So you think you're Myles? The winner
The Irish Times received almost 500 entries to last months ‘So You Think You’re Myles?’ comic writing competition. Here is a second selection of the final shortlist and the winner, as chosen by our judges
By Pat McDonagh
WINNER:A cliche walked into a set-up. “Well, introduce yourself,” said the set-up. “What sort of cliche are you, and how do you think I can help you?”
“Well,” said the cliche, “like most cliches, I really don’t need an introduction. You’ve probably heard of me . . . I’m a man who walks into a psychiatrist’s office . . . ?”
“Of course I’ve heard of you,” said the set-up, “in my position I often encounter cliches like you. And you . . . you’re hoping that I can introduce you to a punch-line?”
The set-up snorted derisively. “That’s not the way it works I’m afraid. Look, we’ll talk, but there is no guarantee that a punch-line is going to knock, as opposed to knock-knock, on that door. You should know, I have my standards,” he said in a supercilious tone. “I never answer the knock-knocks. Who told you it was that simple, anyway?”
“The chicken that crossed the road,” replied the cliche.
“Whatever happened to him?”
“You don’t really want to know,” suggested the cliche, “and nobody else does either.”
“So, to continue, you’re a cliche who walked into a psychiatrist’s office . . . and the problem is?”
“I know,” said the cliche, somewhat impatiently, “I’ve got as far as that. I’ve even got as far as me telling the psychiatrist what my problem is. And I plead that he has to help me, that I keep thinking I’m a famous psychiatrist. I’ve even got the psychiatrist asking me how long this has been going on.”
“Hmmm,” interrupted the set-up, “very cliched.”
“I know,” said the cliche, slightly embarrassed, “but after that . . . nothing! I need a punch-line!” he added, with no small degree of exasperation. “Truly, we cliches are the comedy gods’ most forsaken!”
“Oh, pull yourself together,” said the set-up, ”the situation is not without hope.”
Suddenly, there was a knock, as opposed to a knock-knock, on the door.
“And you are?” shouted the set-up.
“A punch-line,” came the reply. “You?”
“We’re, eh . . . I’m a man who walks into a psychiatrist’s office, the psychiatrist asks me what the problem is, and I tell him that he has to help me, that I keep thinking I’m a world-famous psychiatrist. And the psychiatrist asks me how long this has been going on.”
“Allow me to introduce myself,” declared the punch-line, as he entered the room triumphantly.
In the distance, a drum roll sounded; the punch-line continued: “It all started when I was Jung!”
By Alison Hackett
Typos permeate all forms of the printed word, but in most cases just bring on a wry smile or snort of amusement. On a Friday night out after a bad week at the office, who wouldn’t enjoy ordering the “oven baked fillet of hate”?
However, it was on holiday recently while perusing the menus that I decided the typo had been surpassed by whacky translations. “fish exposed in the window” sounded tempting, if unethical, but there was worse to come.
Yes, I know Silvio Berlusconi is out of favour these days, and it is well known that he has a fancy pad in Sardinia for his bunga-bunga parties, but for the Sicilians to be including delicacies such as “tomatoes with fried Sardinians” on their menus seemed a bit much; and although Berlusconi’s slippery behaviour has earned him, in Italy, the nickname of Spaghetti alle Vongole, were they having yet another crack at him by offering us “spaghetti with voracious clams”?
Amusing as these translation bloopers are, they are short-lived, as menus will regularly be reprinted and corrections made. On the other hand one can only admire those people who forfeit all proof-reading and editing rights when they choose to inject permanent ink words under their skin in a tattoo.
“Your as welcome as the flowers in May” and “Trust Noone” have been known to appear on legs and backs, and even though it is unlikely that Victoria Beckham is well versed in Sanskrit, the fact her name is misspelled in that language on her husband’s arm must irk; but it is to striker John Carew that we award the Olympic gold. His tattoo was planned to be “My Life My Rules” and he decided to create it in French with the request for “Ma Vie, Mes Régles”, along with a nice wing design stretching out alongside. After the deed was done, he can’t have been too happy when a professor of French in Oslo pointed out that the acute accent on the “e” should actually have been a grave accent if the word “rules” was intended. My guess is that Carew is blaming the tattooist for the typo. It would be too painful to admit that it had been done exactly as he had instructed, because he now has the French words meaning “My Life, My Menstrual Cycle” permanently fixed on his neck.