Friday, September 17, 2004

Popular boy names: Jacob, Michael, Repugno

As you may have noticed, I love new words like "bridezilla," "nonblowoffable," and "fuckedupedness" (or should that be "fuckedupness"?). Well, I love old words too, like today's word: "hornswoggle."

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "hornswoggle"--first cited in 1829--means "to get the better of; to cheat or swindle; to hoodwink, humbug, bamboozle." Sadly, I am not a great hornswoggler, but let me tell you about a couple of guys who horned many a swoggle in their day, which was in the early sixties in San Francisco: Coyle and Sharpe.

"Ahead of their time" doesn't quite cover just how ahead of their time these two were. With their then-high-tech recording equipment and batshit-loony scenarios handy, James P. Coyle and Mal Sharpe did man-on-the-street interviews they'd use on a daily radio show. These deadly-serious, professionally-dressed pranksters would string their victims along with intriguing offers, like the chance to work in a pit with these companions: maniacs as adversaries, bats for lunch, flames for heat, snakes underfoot, and rowdy customers overhead. One guy was told that scientists had created apples with feet--also known as "foot apples." He was then asked for his opinions on, among other unholy-foot-apple-related issues, how best to herd the foot apples. Another person was offered the chance to live in the sewers with a man named Repugno.

How could anyone believe this stuff? I have no idea, but it's probably the funniest shit I've ever heard--and full of 24-carat "hornswoggling." Verily, few have hornswoggled so mightily. Check it out here.

1 comment:

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