Saturday, March 24, 2012

If I Could Turn Back Time

It’s that time of year again when the clocks go back, forwards or nowhere depending on where and how aware you are. So to celebrate losing an hour’s sleep this weekend, here are three snippets from Huh?, fifty shades of Spain and Spanglish for Impatient People respectively:

Huh?, chapter 27, “Private Universe”:

Which reminded him: tonight they had to turn the clocks back. Last time there had been chaos, when Simon had asked the teachers to remind their students to “turn your clocks back an hour” when he meant “turn your clocks forward an hour”. Most teachers realised it was just a slip of the tongue, but one or two had taken Simon at his word, and duly passed on the message verbatim to their students and anybody else who would listen to them; with predictable consequences. Even today, nearly six months on, you occasionally saw bemused students who, having arrived two hours late for their class, would walk up and down the corridor, wandering and wondering, “Where did they all go?”.

fifty shades of Spain, number 6, “Just Another Day”:

‘What time do you get up, Pedro?’
‘Six past ten.’
‘Six past ten?’
‘Yes, six past ten.’
‘That’s a very exact time.’
‘So you skip breakfast, do you?’
‘You skip breakfast. You don’t have breakfast.’
‘Yes I have breakfast. Why not?’
‘It’s rather late for breakfast, isn’t it? Six past ten.’
‘No, I have time.’
‘I see. And then you get into a time machine and come to English class?’
‘I said, And then you get into a time machine and come to English class.’
‘No, I drive.’
‘I see.’
‘Why "time machine"?’
‘Because it’s five past eight now and I couldn’t see how else you could get here if you get up at six past ten. What do YOU think, Juan?’
‘If he has an alarm clock. Why not?’
‘And a good time machine. Or did you mean, "ten past six", Pedro?’
‘When you said, "six past ten", perhaps you meant, "ten past six"?’
‘Yes, ten past six.’
‘OK, Juan, what time is it now?’
‘Eight past six.’
‘Is it? My watch must be fast.’
‘And now it's eight past seven.’
‘Eight past seven?! That last hour really flew, didn't it?’
‘Sorry?’ . . .

Spanglish for Impatient People, Lesson 10, “At the doctor’s”:

–¿Cuánto tiempo me queda, Doc?
–Querrá decir, ¿Cuánto dinero me queda, no?

–How much time have I got left, Doc?
–You mean, How much money have I got left, don’t you?

–Tómese estas pastillas.
–¿Para qué son?
–No pone.
–¿Qué clase de médico es usted?

–Take these tablets.
–What are they for?
–It doesn’t say.
–And you call yourself a doctor!

El problema con vosotros los británicos es que no tenéis sentido de humor alguno.

The problem with you Brits is you have no sense of humour whatsoever.

Have a nice weekend wherever and whenever you are.


  1. How very, very funny. I'm still laughing, ten minutes later. Excellent tasters for the books!

  2. Gerry and Reggie, yes it had to be you! Thank you so much for visiting, and for commenting.

  3. You do know you're a first class nutter don't you Mike.
    Lots of love x