Tom Swifties

Yesterday’s post on Mister Completely clued me into the observation that many people do not know what a Tom Swifty is.

From Wikipedia A Tom Swifty (or Tom Swiftie) is a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed. Tom Swifties may be considered a type of wellerism.[1] The standard syntax is for the quoted sentence to be first, followed by the description of the act of speaking. The hypothetical speaker is usually, by convention, called “Tom” (or “he” or “she”). The name comes from the Tom Swift series of books (1910–present), similar in many ways to the better-known Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, and, like them, produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In this series, the young scientist hero underwent adventures involving rocket ships, ray-guns and other things he had invented.

It is the one form of wordplay where adverbs rule!

A Tom Swifty is a play on words taking the form of a quotation ascribed to Tom and followed by an adverb. Here’s a good example:

“The thermostat is set too high,” said Tom heatedly.

From Merriam-Webster

Here are some Tom Swifties I remember from childhood.

“Let’s make coffee,” she said instantly.

“Fetch the stick,” he said doggedly.

“You kicked me,” he said hurtly.

Share your Tom Swifties in the comments section.

Catholic Vocabulary

From a forwarded email.

Catholic Vocabulary List

  This information is for Catholics only. It must not be divulged to non-Catholics. The less they know about our rituals and top-secret code words, the better off they are. 

AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass.
CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync.
HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY. Created by boiling the HELL out of it.
HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range.
RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.
INCENSE: Holy Smoke!
JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams.
JONAH: The original ‘Jaws’ story.

KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava.
MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.
MANGER: Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn’t covered by an HMO.
PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.
PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.
RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.
RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.
TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.
USHERS: The only people in the parish who don’t know the seating capacity of a pew.
Little known facts about the Catholic Churches in Las Vegas :
There are more churches in Las Vegas than casinos.   During Sunday services at the offertory,some worshipers contribute casino chips as opposed to cash. Some are sharing their winnings – some are hoping to win.   Since they get chips from so many different casinos, and they are worth money, the Catholic churches are required to send all the chips into the diocese for sorting.   Once sorted into the respective casino chips, one junior priest takes the chips and makes the rounds to the casinos turning chips into cash. 

And he, of course, is known as The Chip  Monk.   

Thoughts on Life

From a forwarded email

Subject:Fwd: Some Thoughts on Life….you need to laugh out loud several times a day…..I did!!


The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless.

Be decisive.  Right or wrong, make a decision.  The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.

Happiness is not having to set the alarm clock.

“The starting pay is $40,000.  Later it can go up to $80,000.” Great.  I’ll start later.”

Trust science.  Studies show that if your parents didn’t have children there’s a high probability you won’t either.

If you’re not called crazy when you start something new, then you’re not thinking big enough.

Only in math problems can you buy 60 cantaloupe melons and no one asks, “What the Hell is wrong with you?”

When the pool re-opens, due to social distancing rules, there will be no water in lanes 1, 3, and 5.

Tip: Save business cards of people you don’t like.  If you ever hit a parked car accidentally, just write, “Sorry” on the back and leave it on the windshield

When I get a headache I take two aspirin and keep away from children just like the bottle says.

Just once, I want the username and password prompt to say, “Close enough.”

Becoming an adult is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, but no atmosphere.

If you see me talking to myself, just move along.  I’m self-employed.  We’re having a meeting.

“Your call is very important to us.  Please enjoy this 40 minute flute solo”.

I envy people who grow old gracefully.  They age like a fine wine. I’m ageing like milk: Getting sour and chunky.

Does anyone else have a plastic bag full of plastic bags, or is it just me?

I hate it when I can’t figure out how to operate the iPad and my tech support guy is asleep.   He’s 5 and it’s past his bedtime.  Today’s 3 year-olds can switch on laptops and open their favorite apps.  When I was 3, I ate mud.

Tip for a successful marriage: Don’t ask your wife when dinner will be ready while she’s mowing the lawn.

So, you drive across town to a gym to walk on a treadmill?

Say what?

Thoughts from Old People

From a forwarded email

I very quietly confided to my best friend that I was having an affair. She turned to me and asked, ‘Are you having it catered’? And that, my friend, is the definition of ‘OLD’! ~ ~ ~

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, ‘How old was your husband?’ ’98,’ she replied: ‘Two years older than me’ ‘So you’re 96,’ the undertaker commented. She responded, ‘Hardly worth going home, is it?’ ~ ~ ~

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: ‘And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?’ the reporter asked. She simply replied, ‘No peer pressure.’ ~ ~ ~

I’ve sure gotten old! I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my Florida driver’s license
. ~ ~ ~

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour.. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over. ~ ~ ~
An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. ‘Wal-Mart?’ the preacher exclaimed. ‘Why Wal-Mart?’ ‘Then I’ll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.’ ~ ~ ~

My memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. ~ ~ ~ Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out. ~ ~ ~

It’s scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker. ~ ~ ~

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, ‘For fast relief.’ ~ ~ ~

THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference. ~ ~ ~

Now, I think you’re supposed to share this with 5 or 6, maybe 10 others. Oh heck, give it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are! ~ ~ ~

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I don’t want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

Mad Lad of La Jolla

On the morning of Super Bowl Sunday, we were having breakfast at Harry’s in La Jolla. Harry bills itself as “Simple but revered breakfast menu served all day & an old-school diner decor draw eclectic crowds.” That morning it certainly did.

We were seated in a booth near the end of the restaurant, where the single corridor widens a bit at the end of the counter. The restaurant has two entrances, the front along Girand Street and a back, off an alley, where the diner has a parking lot (which is rare for La Jolla).

A man dressed all in white, including a white lad’s cap, entered from the back. Think of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka but in a lad’s cap rather than a top hat and you’ll get an idea of what he may have looked like.

He almost skipped along the aisleway, grinning broadly and throwing handfuls of white strips of paper from a brown paper bag. The strips looked like typing paper that had been sliced into one-inch strips of varying lengths by a paper cutter.

Most people smiled as he passed by until they realized that their breakfast plates, juice glasses, and coffee cups had been festooned by short strips of the white paper now covered with butter, bacon grease, syrup puddles, bits of scrambled or fried eggs, coffee and juice splatters, toast crumbs, jelly stains, or whatever else they had been eating.

Paper also hung from hair, jackets, hats, shirts, and laps.

The mad lad disappeared before anyone could halt him to ask “What in the h**k are you thinking?”

One of the waitresses dashed to the front door to see if he was going from store to store, but he had already disappeared.

Managers and waitstaff all rushed to the tables, apologizing for the inconvenience and offering to exchange the now tainted breakfast plates. The restaurant was closed for about 10 minutes, except for outdoor dining on the front patio, as the staff scooped up paper off the tops and seats of the booths, on the floor underneath, and down the single-aisle along the restaurant’s length.

One man, who may have been a member of the family that has owned Harry’s since it opened in 1960, said “I’ve been working here 22 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. At least it wasn’t glitter.”

“Or ticker tape,” I responded.

He grinned as he continued swiping up pieces of paper strips with his hand, “You got that right.”