So, to start out an email which I share, it was between Chris, my blog master, and is wife Claire. I had sent them an email describing some risqué plans for my 77th birthday.
They: We just can’t believe you’re going to be 77!
Me: Well that is what my fking passport says and my fking drivers license says. So you f**king well have to believe it. Love you guys, truly I do.
We shall now have the synonyms of risqué. They are ribald, rude, bawdy, Rabelaisian, racy, earthy, indecent, suggestive, improper, naughty, locker-room; vulgar, dirty, smutty, crude, coarse, obscene, lewd, X-rated; informal blue, raunchy; off-color. Now, to be perfectly clear, I shall not be naughty, improper, racy or indecent on my birthday. But that is ONLY because it is not safe to travel in these times and I am most self protective. So I will spend it alone, in my self isolated apartment. I shall be fine. I can walk out and pick up a sweet at Epicurean Trader another from my favorite groceries store on Hayes Street. But such fun it is to contemplate a choice,- a rather indecent and naughty time with someone who seems to adore me. Younger than me, of course.
The following was sent by CPI – it is SO funny. It comes from Canada, from The National. So absolutely perfect. Please enjoy as I did.
SURVIVING THE CLICHÉ-19 PANDEMIC.
• National Post (Latest Edition)
• 12 May 2020
We are all in this together, but the good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The light is not visible at this point, but it is there. And if it is not really there, we will do whatever it takes to find a light and turn it on to guide us out of the linguistic darkness that now engulfs all of us.
I speak, of course, of the current pandemic that is sweeping the globe: “CLICHÉ-19.” As you know, we are all in this together. And to beat this pandemic of incoherence, we must all learn to think outside the box. Trust me, we will get through this together and emerge out of this incessant onslaught of senseless blathering more united and stronger.
Let me explain.
To get through this CLICHÉ-19 period, we must all stay calm and stick together — although that cliché comes with a catch, which is normal since one cliché is often accompanied by a contradictory cliché. In this case, if we stick too closely together we risk running afoul of the other essential clichés of this pandemic: self- isolate and maintain social distance. Stay home and work remotely to help flatten the curve.
So the message becomes: stay apart but stick together. The lesson here is that clichés are only good when they stand alone and are not crowded by other clichés. An isolated cliché is OK once in a while. Crowds of clichés pose a risk to good mental and economic health.
So when they say stay home and work remotely to help flatten the curve, they actually mean that we must all flatten the curve of our ambitions and look to the end of the tunnel with the assurance that the authorities will do whatever it takes to make sure that somebody at the end of the tunnel remembers to turn on the light.
To support that effort, today I am announcing a $ 1.2- billion green energy grant to each of our provincial power monopolies to find a wind- or solar- powered source of light and stick it at the end of this tunnel.
And if the light never shines, we will still be here for you. And we have your back. We also have your wallet, because we will come back later — maybe in a year or two — to remind you that because we were all stuck together, you will later be required to pay back the deficits we are rapidly building. In other words, we will be there for you when we need your money.
As we struggle through this CLICHÉ-19 lockdown, we should acknowledge and thank our front- line workers. I’m thinking here of the paid speechwriters and policy hacks who are toiling in the backrooms to generate the same phrases and language over and over and over again, day after day. They are on the front lines of this and they’re doing a remarkable job. They deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation because, as you know, the search for the common cliché is an arduous task and repeating it day after day requires stamina and courage. Thank you.
And then there are our other front-line workers, the men and women who toil in the media, the journalists, reporters, columnists and editors who are forced to stay home alone, work remotely and sit in self-isolation to help flatten the curve by watching and recording for posterity the endless stream of repetition of commonplace phrases and sentiments that are the hallmark of CLICHÉ-19.
As the French poet Gérard de Nerval once said, “The first man who compared woman to a rose was a poet, the second, an imbecile.”
The heroic members of the media are at the front lines of the pandemic and they are doing a marvellous job of not gasping through speech after speech. To each and all we send our thanks.
We will win this, this encounter with CLICHÉ-19. As I said at the beginning, there is reason for hope. Perhaps you have heard of the concept of “heard immunity.” As we listen to the outpouring of repetition and stale concepts, rest assured that scientists — linguists, lexicographers and epidemiologists of language — are at work tracking the origins and pathways of this linguistic pandemic.
According to the latest scientific models from the Imperial College Institute of Linguistic Immunology, once 30 million people have heard the same phrases more than 225 times, the end of the pandemic is all but inevitable. We in Canada have already passed that statistical tipping point when heard immunity will rescue us all from this plague of meaningless slogans.
Heard immunity occurs when an entire population rises up against the clichés. There comes a point when the vast majority of people cannot take it anymore, and they emerge from their self- isolation and shout: “We are all in this together, and we want out!”
AN ISOLATED CLICHÉ IS OK ONCE IN A WHILE. CROWDS OF CLICHÉS POSE A RISK TO GOOD MENTAL AND ECONOMIC HEALTH.