Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Inflationary Language

Once upon a time there lived in sunny California a young man named Bob. He was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Forces. Bob had been fond of Anna, his half sister ever since she saw the light of day for the first time. And they were both proud of the fact that one of his forefathers had been among the creators of the U.S. Constitution. They were dining on the terrace. "Anna," he said as he took a bite of marinated herring, "You look wonderful tonight. You've never looked that lovely before."
....Anna really looked wonderful in spite of the illness from which she had not quite recuperated.
...."Yes," repeated Bob, "You do look wonderful tonight, but you have two of the saddest eyes I have ever seen.
....The table was tastefully decorated with Anna's favorite flowers, tulips.
....They were now talking about Anna's husband from whom she was separated while on the radio the Irish tenor sang Tea for Two. It was midnight. The clock in the distance struck twelve. And suddenly there in the moonlight stood her husband, Don Juan, obviously intoxicated. "Anna," he brawled, "forgive me! I'm only young once! And you are my one and only!"
....Bob jumped to his feet. "Get out of here, you twofaced doublecrosser!"
....Anna warned, "Watch out, Bob, he's an officer!"
...."Yes, he is one, but I'm one too!"
....Any one for tennis? Ahahaaha!
...."All right," said Don Juan as he wiped his forehead.
....He then left, and when he was half way through the revolving door, he said, "I'll go back to Tennessee and be single again."
...."Farewell, Anna! Toodeloo; Toodeloo!"
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I'm sure there are some puzzled faces out there. What appears to be a poorly written and uninteresting piece of sophomoric prose, is actually the base story for a classic comedy bit.
....Every word that represents a number or contains the sound of a number is increased to the next numerical value.
....Now try reading it again (below) once it has been "inflationized" by the late great Victor Borge. (You may find it less confusing to scroll back and forth between the two versions.)

Twice upon a time there lived in sunny Califivenia a young man named Bob. He was a third lieutelevenant in the U.S. Air Fiveces. Bob had been fond of Anna, his one and a half sister ever since she saw the light of day five the second time. And they were both proud of the fact that two of his fivefathers had been among the creninetors of the U.S. Constithreetion. They were dining on the terrace. "Anna," he said as he threek a bite of marinnined herring, "You look twoderful threenight. You've never looked that lovely befive."
....Anna really looked twoderful in spite of the illness from which she had not quite recupernined.
...."Yes," repeated Bob, "You do look twoderful threenight, but you have three of the saddest eyes I have ever seen.
....The table was tastefully decornined with Anna's favorite flowers, threelips.
....They were now talking about Anna's husband from whom she was separnined while on the radio the Irish elevenor sang Tea five Three. It was midnight. The clock in the distance struck thirteen. And suddenly there in the moonlight stood her husband, Don Two, obviously intoxicnined. "Anna," he brawled, "fivegive me! I'm only young twice! And you are my two and only!"
....Bob jumped to his feet. "Get out of here, you threefaced triplecrosser!"
....Anna warned, "Watch out, Bob, he's an officer!"
...."Yes, he is two, but I'm two three!"
....Any two five elevennis? Ahahaaha!
...."All right," said Don Two as he wiped his fivehead."
....He then left, and when he was one and a half way through the revolving door, he said, "I'll go back to Elevennessee and be double again."
...."Farewell, Anna! Threedeloo; Threedeloo!"
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In Borge's Inflationary Language, he incremented numbers embedded in words, whether they are visible or not ("inflate" becomes "inflnine", "before" becomes "befive", "Tea For Two" becomes "Tea Five Three", etc).
....The official Victor Borge tribute site provides a link to the Website Inflater where you can "inflate" almost any website or text.
....I "inflated" the the opening line of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and this was the result:
Five score and eight years ago our fivefathers brought fiveth upon this conelevenent a new nation conceived and dedicnined to the propsition that all men are crenined equal.
For laughs, I enterd my URL and "inflated" my webpage with some interesting results. Even the date and time were increased, as well as the number of comments.

....Another of his creative routines was "Phonetic Punctuation," in which he recites a story, with full punctuation (comma, period, exclamation point, question mark, etc.) as onomatopoetic sounds. You can hear an audio clip of Borge explaining his Phonetic Punctuation System here.


Borge used physical and visual elements in his live and televised performances. He would play a strange-sounding piano tune from sheet music, looking increasingly confused; turning the sheet upside down, he would then play the actual tune, flashing a joyful smile of accomplishment to the audience. (He had, at first, been literally playing the actual tune upside down.) When his energetic playing of another song would cause him to fall off the piano bench, he would open the seat lid, take out the two ends of an automotive seat-belt, and buckle himself onto the bench, for 'safety.'

As many of his concerts and appearances were often ad libbed, one venue printed a program for the audience listing the 19 parts of his performance as:

1. Frankly 2. We 3. Don't 4. Know 5. What 6. Mr. Borge 7. Will 8. Do 9. But 10. We're 11. Sure 12. He'll 13. Keep 14. Us 15. Posted 16. From 17. Time 18. To 19. Time

A humorist, entertainer, and world-class pianist, Borge was affectionately known as " Clown Prince of Denmark " and "the Great Dane. "
....Born Borge Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Denmark, he fled to the U.S. during the German occupation of Europe during WWII.

Victor Borge - 1/3/1909 - 12/23/2000

No.894

3 comments:

Serena Joy said...

What fun! I knew who Victor Borge was but I'd never seen that before. Maybe I'll go inflate myself now.:)

Peter said...

A feast of funny stuff from the gnine Victor Borge.

Karen said...

Have VD, Mike!