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"It's American Made" (ergo endurable)


Over the years, I have observed and blogged about many of the vocabulary-stretching episodes I have suffered, or at least endured. Writers, comedians, pedants, word-of-the month sources, and I have frankly enjoyed most of them. My old blog, The Musings of an Idle Mind hosts many of those observations. My old Facebook account (no longer extant) had some, but usually those were duplicates.

I intend to repost many here. But that isn't the object of today's post. No, today I am celebrating the stylings of comedian John Branyan, who has a routine wherein he self-denigrates his own vocabulary in comparison to William Shakespeare and children who were Will's contemporaries. Shakespeare, he observes, had a working vocabulary of 54,000 words. The average modern American's vocabulary is 3,000 words. He then says he'd be unable to converse with kids in Olde England to even tell them a simple nursery rhyme, then proceeds to do exactly that. Witness Triune Tale of Diminutive Swine (The Three Little Pigs) by John Branyan, Comic.

In time past, though not long ago, there lived pigs.

In stature...little.

In number...three.

Who being of an age both entitled and inspired to seek their fortune.

Did set about to do thusly.

When they had traveled a distance, pig numbered first spake.

Saying, "Harken brethren, heed this tempestuous realm."

"Tarry we long from hearth and home we shall fare, I fear, [snort] not well."

And so being collectively agreed but individually impelled,

The diminutive swine set about each to erect for himself an abode.

Pig numbered One did construct his house from straw.

Pig numbered Two did likewise.

Though, rather, not from straw, instead from sticks.

Meanwhile, unique in his imaginings, pig numbered Three did erectus his domicile,

Stalwart and garish, a structure made from brick entirely.

Soon there happened along,as is frequently the scenario in classic tale of protagonist pig, or red-hooded child...

A wolf.

Carnivorous nature in full season he called out to the straw ensconced swine.

Saying, "Pray thee, little pig, grant me entrance."

But pig One recalled with sage foreboding that,

"He is mad who trusts in the tameness of a belly-pinched wolf."

And responded immediately, "Nay! It shall not be!"

"Indeed, not by whit or whiskered jowl!"

Prepared for this most expected response, the wolf replied immediately.

"Then steel thyself little pig."

"Forthwith shall I endeavor by employing means both huffing and puffing to dismantle yon

flaxen fortress."

Whereupon there issued forth from the wolf an exhale of gale proportions,

That quickly rendered straw hovel to dregs and dross and carried aloft piglet and

shattered quarters both.

Exposed now to claw and fang, piglet One made haste, wolf in pursuit,

To the stick festooned sanctum of peccary secondary.

Causing pig Two to cry out in dismay,

"Well! This knots my knickers!"

"The marshaling of feral wolf to my doorstep is nowhere among those endeavors amenable or


"A thousand pardons," squealed One.

"T'would seem the beast's maim-full breath has purged me of home and sound judgment


The mighty maelstrom of the wolf's exhale splattered second swine's shack and shortened his

sanctimonious scolding simultaneously.

"Lo! And Behold!" squealed Two.

"Stand we now amid wooden wreckage tremulous and vulnerable."

"With nary a strategy for eschewing the canine devourer looming in deadly proximity."

"Strategy!" squealed One.

"While 'tis noble to contemplate tactical particularities,"

"Pressed as we are with the time restraint forbidding detailed strategical conversations,"

"I would urge we RUN!"

"Wee wee wee wee wee wee wee!"

Whether by their own fleet-footed competence or the wolf's winless attitude,

The diminutive swine arrived at their ultimate kindred neighbor's inexpungeable brick

ingress unscathed.

Upon the third pig's door with urgent hooves they pounded.

Calling out, "Unbar this entrance and with haste we beseech thee!"

The third pig hailed from the American Colonies.

And possessing a vocabulary substantially less robust than his impromptu visitors,


"Say what?"

"Seek we sanctuary!" they implored on the verge of hysteria.

"Lest we fall forthwith to the ravenous appetency of yonder approaching carnivore!"

Still confounded by their importunate words, pig Three did render ajar his portal.

Whereupon One and Two spilled through and collapsed beyond the threshold, enervated.

"So, y'all just wanted to come in?"

"You could'a said that."

The sinister hiss of the wolf could once again be heard outside.

"Pray thee, pigs, grant me entrance."

"The wolf!" said One and Two.

"Wolf?" said Three.

"What'd ya suppose he wants?"

"He seeks to gain purchase within."

"Indeed he would occupy this very alcove were he but afforded the most meager of



"I'm just gonna go ask him what he wants."

"Under no circumstances!" squealed Two, flinging self bodily against the portal.

"There is naught to be gained accosting external opponent."

"Save our own immediate demise!"

"What did you say about my Momma?"

House and occupants were again engulfed in a malevolent blast of wolfish wind.

The foundation shook, the frame rattled.

And lo, to the astonished eyes of piglet and encroaching scoundrel alike,

Stood the third pigs lodging, undaunted.

[Aside] Good news for you pig fans.

Aghast and dismayed, pig Two queried of Three.

"How does against such relentless and torrential onslaught this domicile endure?"

Pig Three, puffed out chest, tapped a hoof to the hearth and responded.

"It's American Made.

I must admit that the ending could have used some work. Or perhaps a better word than admit is opine. It is almost as if he is celebrating the American lack of vocabulary.

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