Monday, 2 April 2007

Ass (not arse)

It was one of those times when you start a sentence, not quite knowing how you’re going to end it. We had picked up our car from Boston (a blue Toyota 4x4), and we’d driven up to New Hampshire to visit Paul and Sally (friends of Rachel’s mum) in New London, New Hampshire. By the time we got there, the weather had got colder and there was now snow on the ground. The next day Paul drove us all in Sally’s car to visit Hanover (the home of Dartmouth College) and Eastman, a planned community covering 100’s if not 1000’s of acres of woods a few miles from New London. Paul and Sally had just bought a house there and so they showed us round. Needless to say, we were envious of how much more you could get for your housing dollar in the US (or at least in New Hampshire) compared to what you get for your housing pound in the UK.

In the car, with me in the front passenger seat and Rachel and Sally in the back, Sally explained that there were buttons you could press to heat either or both of the front seats. She leaned forward and pushed the button that heated my seat. Within seconds I could feel the seat becoming warm. If the truth be told, it was a pleasant sensation all round.

Now this is the bit about starting a sentence not knowing how you’re going to finish it. As my backside began to glow with warmth, I thought I would ask Paul if he'd like to share in the experience. So I asked him if he would like his seat warmer switched on. Only that's not what I said. Instead, I started to say something like “Paul, would you like a warm…”, and as I said the word “warm” I decided I would attempt to sound just a little American and end the sentence with the word “ass”. Only I didn’t say that. My Englishness got the better of me and so it came out as “arse”. Only I didn’t stop there. Something, I don’t know what, made me want to end the sentence with one more syllable. So instead of me asking Paul if he would like a warm ass, I asked him if he would like a warm arse hole.

I couldn’t believe it either! Within a matter of hours of meeting Paul I was enquiring if he’d like a warm arse hole! (I know, it doesn't get any better the more you say it...) Fortunately, I think he had anticipated the question and so was answering "yes" just as I uttered the word "hole", so I think I got away with it.

Still, the lesson here is to have an idea how you’re going to end a sentence when you start it. Similarly, I guess you should start a blog knowing how you’re going to end it. Otherwise, you might find you have to simply end it in the middle of a…

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