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My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people present.

Orson Welles

One day, in olden times a scheduled public execution date had arrived. This was a big event - 3 men were slated for execution by guillotine, a priest, a lawyer and an engineer.

The crowd had gathered in anticipation of the blood and gore they were privileged to witness on that bright beautiful day.

When it came time the executioner asked the priest if he had any last requests. The priest said; "Yes let me take a moment to pray to my Lord and God in preparation for meeting my maker." The priest completed his public prayer and laid down in the guillotine. The executioner pulled the lever and the blade came screaming down. To everyone's surprise it came to a screeching stop just inches from the priest's neck. Well the crowd ooohed and aaahed in amazement. Everyone was in agreement that it must be a sign from God so the executioner publicly proclaimed that they should let the priest live, as God had spared his life.

Next up was the lawyer. With his keen intercession skills, said to himself, "If that works for the priest it will surely work for me too!" With his practiced skills of public deception he brought the crowd to their knees with a prayer that shamed the best of the clergy. Feeling fairly confident, for he had even deceived himself, he laid down fully expecting to be a free man within minutes. The executioner pulled the lever, the frame vibrated with the forces of the heavy blade free falling toward the lawyers neck. Again, the heavy steel blade stopped inches from it's target. The crowd stirred in amazement, fear and blood thirst!, as the lawyer sprang to his feet with a loud self righteous proclamation of God's mercy.

Next up was the engineer. No one knew what to expect by now. The quiet spoken engineer simply laid down face up so that he could at least watch the apparatus work. The executioner a little disturbed by the day's events reminded the engineer that he had the opportunity for a last request. The engineer stood up in excitement and said: "HOLD IT, STOP EVERYTHING, I THINK I HAVE FOUND THE PROBLEM !"

From “The Book of Heroic Failures” by Stephen Pile: [h=1]The World’s Worst Phrasebook[/h] Pedro Carolino is one of the all-time greats. In 1883 he wrote an English-Portugese phrasebook despite having little or no command of the English language. His greatly recommended book The New Guide of the Conversation in Portugese and English has now been re-printed under the title English As She is Spoke. After a brief dedication: “We expect then, who the little book (for the care what we wrote him, and for her typographical correction) that may be worth the acceptation of the studious persons, and especially of the youth, at which we dedicate him particularly”. Carolino kicks off with some “Familiar phrases” which the Portugese holidaymaker might find useful. Among these are: Dress your hairs This hat go well Undress you to Exculpate me by your brother’s She make the prude Do you cut the hairs? He has tost his all good He then moves on to “Familiar Dialogues” which include “For to wish the good morning”, and “For to visit a sick”.Dialogue 18 – “For to ride a horse” – begins: “Here is a horse who have bad looks. Give me another. I will not that. He not sall know to march, he is pursy, he is foundered. Don’t you are ashamed to give me a jade as like? He is undshoed, he is with nails up”. In the section on “Anecdotes” Carolino offers the following Guaranteed to enthral any listener: “One eyed was laied against a man which had good eyes that he saw better than him. The party was accepted. I had gain, over said the one eyed; why I se you two eyes, and you not look me who one”.It is difficult to top that, but Caralino manages in a useful section of “Idiotisms and proverbs”. These include: Nothing some money, nothing of Swiss[h=2] He eat to coaches[/h] A take is better than two you shall have The stone as roll not heap up not foamAnd the well known expression The dog than bark not bite Carolino’s particular genius was aided by the fact that he did not possess an English-Portuguese dictionary. However, he did possess Portuguese-French and French-English dictionaries through both of which he dragged his original expressions. The results yield language of originality and great beauty. Is there anything in conventional English, which could equal the vividness of “To craunch a marmoset”?
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