Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let Me Tell You How Great I Am

My comedy has always had a very limited audience. This is due to the facts that I both joke about very odd, obscure things, and also that I don't have any friends. I spent an embarrassing amount of time closely quoting, line-by-line, two songs by a fat electronic artist named Dan Deacon, an art house film about an oil tycoon, and a YouTube video about a cross-eyed attorney-kitten.

This did not win me any friends at, say, sorority mixers. Which I was never invited to in the first place, and even if I had been, would probably have ended in disaster after repeatedly waiting for laughs on a brilliant "Whose chair is this?" reference. Not my social life, not my problem.

Now, I bring up how intensely clever I am because I did something intensely clever last night. It involves knowledge of Thai, the Lunar Calendar, and idiomatic English; but once we get through all of those, boy howdy, you will just laugh and laugh and laugh. So strap on your tittering girdle and tighten the buckles: it's titterin' time.

Now, all of my readers are native, idiomatic English speakers (save for the few subscribers who use this blog for ESL purposes--bonjour, Honduras!). So you know that today, February 14, is Valentine's Day. And you also know that a common phrase in the Candy Heart Canon, which almost-but-not-quite works as a portmanteau (Candyon (great Gruff Rhys album (veering away from relatability again))), is "Be My Valentine," which sounds about as romantic as other imperatives "Try harder next time" and "Get in the car." Regardless, "Be My Valentine" is a recognized greeting card phrase.

Now, this February 14 also happens to be the Chinese New Year. We can say Happy New Year, or, in Thai, สวัสดีปีใหม่, or in our alphabet, "Sa wat dee pbee mai," where "pbee mai" means "new year."

"Pbee mai," which you can doubtless tell from the tone markers in the original Thai, is middle and then low, and is pronounced like "Be my" in Valentine. Thus the phrase:

ปีใหม่ Valentine

A lexical combination of Valentine's Day and New Year's to match the calendar collision of the two holidays.Will you pbee mai Valentine? Does anyone know what I'm talking about, or is this too, too strange? Why do I think the things that I think?

N.B.: I wrote this post while listening to "Don, Aman" by Slint.


  1. first of all, there is nothing shameful about nachos the cross eyed cat. secondly, how could you forget the gamma sig barbie social!?!?