Day 282: Muff Huff

As the sound of exploding steam signaled that it was time to walk into the kitchen and fill her coffee cup, Laetitia sat in the library of the Emerald Victorian planning the second day of her tour of Northern Ireland.  As she looked at her map, she noticed a town called “Muff” on the opposite shore of Lough Foyle from Derry.  It’s on the border between County Donegal and County Londonderry.  She thought she remembered seeing it in one of the Bailey and Hurst books and when she looked, found that it was No. 24 in Rude World.  When a place name appears in one of their “Rude” books, it usually means that there is at least one rude slang meaning for the word, likely unintended by the person(s) who chose the name.  In their books, Bailey and Hurst tell the derivation of the name as far as it is known, but leave it to the reader to discover the slang meaning.  Sometimes there are several, since slang evolves rapidly and may differ according to locale.  For example, British slang meanings often differ from those of American or Australian slang.

From Bailey and Hurst you get truth
About place names that may sound uncouth
But, whose actual bent
Is as innocent
As “Our Lady of Gin and Vermouth.”

Laetitia had not been in the mood for Irish music when she arrived at 7:00 am, so she had put on a compact disk from a Seattle group called The Bobs.  The members of the group all allegedly have the surname, “Bob,” sing a capella, and write their own songs which tend to be a bit quirky.  About the time Laetitia discovered Muff on her map, the Bobs album entitled Coaster had reached the third track and was playing She Made Me Name You Earl.  Laetitia had listened to the album several times before she made out the gist of the song.  It’s a conversation between a man and his penis about his inamorata who insists on giving it the name, “Earl.”  When she refers to a part of her anatomy, later in the song, as “her stuff,” he wonders if she’s talking about her “muff.”

Laetitia decided to take her group to Muff.  As she perused her guidebook for tourist activities in Muff and environs, she noted under the heading of “Muff Diving,” that Muff had a diving school.  As it turned out, most of those who joined her group thought diving would be a great way to spend the day.  Those qualified joined the SCUBA group and the others snorkeled.

At the pub that afternoon, the bartender had a story about a local woman named Kitty, who was often the butt of jokes because she was oblivious to the slang meanings of the words she used.  Once she decided to get a carpeted scratching pole for her very large cat and asked the male clerk at the pet store, “Do you have a pole big enough for my pussy?”  The story that became the limerick of the day concerned the same woman.  She invited a man to see “my Muff,” as she called her hometown and he got the wrong idea.

Ted Thomson said he’d seen enough
And walked down the street in a huff
For he thought he’d get more
Than just a town tour
When invited to see Kitty’s Muff.

Day 132: Rainier Sans Brassiere

Mount Rainier, the towering 14,000-foot mountain of volcanic origin, is one of Washington State’s best-known landmarks. On a clear day it can be seen from the Seattle/Tacoma urban area. Laetitia and her group viewed the glaciers and waterfalls and went hiking among the lush wildflowers supported by the rich lava- and pumice-rich volcanic soil in Mount Rainier National Park. Later they stopped at the town of Rainier for a late lunch. Some local gossip from one of their waiters provided material for a limerick.

An old lady who lived in Rainier
Who in wild youth had burned her brassiere
Gave the men great delight
As she jiggled in sight
Drawing crowds from the bars far and near.

Day 130: Humptulips

Laetitia and her group returned to Seattle via the Central Cascades Drive, stopping for lunch at a German restaurant in Leavenworth. A large number of people of German descent live in Leavenworth, and the town looks like a Bavarian village. They arrived in Seattle that afternoon and finished the day by walking through Pike Place Market before having a seafood dinner at a downtown restaurant. The cocktail lounge of the restaurant was not separated from the dining room, and there was a lively crowd at the bar. Laetitia was close enough to hear some of the conversation, and it became the subject of the day’s limerick.

While raising a glass to his two lips
Young Fred asked the way to Humptulips
And received much advice
Though some wasn’t nice
From the bar crowd as they drank mint juleps.

Day 126: Puget Prattle

As she walked down Raglan Road in the fresh morning air, Laetitia was lost in thought about what she should do next. She had seen a play recently called Becky’s New Car, which wasn’t overtly set in Seattle, but had a distinct Seattle feel to it. In fact, she found Becky’s New Car had premiered at the ACT Theatre in downtown Seattle in 2008, though it wasn’t playing there now, a near as she could determine. For most tour companies, going to see a 2008 performance in 2012 isn’t possible, but it’s the kind of thing Mind’s Eye Limerick Tours does with aplomb. She let herself into the Victorian, and by the time the aroma of freshly brewed Guatemalan dark roast wafted into the library, she had decided on the day’s tour.

She met her group at Seattle Center. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, it is home to the Space Needle and a multitude of performing arts organizations. Her group went to the top of the Space Needle. Fortunately it was a clear day, so they could see Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, as well as downtown Seattle and Puget Sound. They walked around the grounds a bit, passing McCaw Hall, which features ballet and opera and is one of the few places where Wagner’s Ring is regularly performed in the United States. Then they took the Monorail downtown and saw a matinee performance of Becky’s New Car.

No trip to Seattle would be complete without a brief stop at the home of famous Seattle raconteur Queen Gris, whose salon features a guest bathroom limerick collection, so they went there after the performance. The tour group found the antics of Gris’ friends, Boris and Bela, amusing, but thought their conversation tended to be catty. They went back to the Space Needle for dinner, and while they were having pre-meal drinks at the bar, Laetitia overheard a conversation that gave her the limerick of the day.

A lady who lived in Seattle
Was known for her penchant to prattle
‘Bout am’rous conquests
Of world-famous guests
Tales most thought feces from male cattle.