Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who could forget "Mr. Telephone Man," the 1984 hit by New Edition. What's that you say? You had forgotten about it completely, and now it's going to be stuck in your head for days? Sorry.

There's something about the chorus of this song -- "Mr. Telephone Man, there's something wrong with my line/When I dial my baby's number, I get a click every time" -- that I find amusing. There's a sketch here somewhere about an earnest, mentally challenged young man who's quick to ask professionals for help:

A member of New Edition sits on the ground, staring in bemusement at the phone in his hand. He dials zero.
OPERATOR: Operator assistance, can I help you?
CONFUSED YOUNG MAN: (sings) Mr. Telephone Man, there's something wrong with my line! When I dial my baby's number, I get a click every time.
OPERATOR: Sir, you've reached the operator. I think you need to call your phone company.
CYM: But I get a click!
CYM: I can't reach my baby!
OPERATOR: You're a special young man, aren't you? Perhaps I can help you. What number are you dialing?
CYM: 862-4784
OPERATOR: And where does the person you're calling live?
CYM: In the other place.
OPERATOR: The other place. Like another part of town, maybe?
CYM: Yeah.
OPERATOR: You may have to dial the area code first. Do you know what that is?
CYM: No.
OPERATOR: Ask a friend where this person lives, then get the three-digit area code. Make sure to dial "1" before the number, okay?
CYM: Thanks, Telephone Man!

And then repeat this scenario with Mr. Home Fixin' Man, whom the young man calls to figure out why his refrigerator isn't working (it isn't plugged in), and Mr. Television Man, who helps our protagonist determine why "Scooby Doo" did not come on its regularly scheduled hour (there's a bowling ball-sized hole in the screen).

My favorite part of the video, by the way, is the token lame, ineffectual white guy. What a performance! How is it that this weaver of illusions has not become a household name?

.: posted by hornswaggler 12:36 PM

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