One of the most entertaining officemates are those who feign their English fluency with impunity but without shame.
Jeck was one of them. There were times when Jeck would stop people dead in their tracks with an arresting reprimand like this: “And where do you think you’re doing?” Which I’m pretty sure would be written as, “And where do you think your doing?” The stunned individual naturally didn’t know what to do, where to go, let alone what to shoot back.
Another example is Yeye. Anyone with a name that rhymes with "yeah-yeah" can only have Riot as her middle name. Yeye wasn’t even officially a fellow employee. She’s just the boss’ cousin, who always tagged along during extracurricular company affairs like summer outings. In the middle of conversations, Yeye would keep you suddenly mum then make you burst into laughter with a punctuating line from her like, “What you see is what you don’t.”
Eventually, people like Jeck and Yeye often ended up the willing victims of office jokes because their lines got immortalized like Hollywood stars’ sidewalk stars. Gorgeous was, of course, the bitchiest among those who'd steal Jeck's and Yeye's malaprops. With a probing eye, Gorgeous would stop people rushing out the door with revised lines like this:
“And who do you think you’re going?” (Which Jeck naturally would write as “And who do you think your going?”)
Gorgeous dispensed such lines with a booming voice, so that everyone took notice and was in on the game.
Attacking the complicated grammar and intricate idiomatic quirks of the English language is a very productive office hobby. Try it!
Another example is: “What you say is what you don’t” –- obviously a deliberate confusion of “What you see is what you get” and “What you say is what you are” with "Believe it or don't" -- the latter being a form of deliberate error itself.
Then there’s: “What on earth are you going?”
Like DHL and Fed-Ex service, the key is in the fast and clear delivery of the unexpected mix-up. The minute you buckle, the jeers are on you. It's especially unfortunate for anyone belonging to an office of hecklers like ours.
As you can see, this kind of joke is a variation on the very Filipino “It’s-raining,-aren’t-they?” scheme.
My favorite attack is the following because it attacked the office’s favorite frenemy, Ramil (code name: Mac), the perpetual malcontent and perfectionist:
“Poems are made by fools like me. But only God can make Ramil.”
You can never imagine how getting back at someone like that could be so sweet.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Posted by R.O. at 9:30 AM