All about them scales (parody lyrics)

 

I’ve always enjoyed parodizing things when I had a fun idea, so here’s another one based on “All About that Bass”

I’ve got more here and here.

 

Because you know I’m all about them scales
’bout them scales, no feathers
I’m all about them scales, ’bout them scales, no feathers
I’m all about them scales, ’bout them scales, no feathers
I’m all about them scales, ’bout them scales

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no cockatoo
But I can roar it, roar it like I’m suopposed to do
’cause I got that rough skin that all the birds miss
All the right claws and all the sharp teeth
I see the scientists, making up stuff and shit
We know that shit ain’t real
Come on now, make it stop
If you got teeth and claws just tear ’em up
‘Cause every scale of you is perfect
From the tail right to the top
Yeah, John Hammond he told me he spared no expense at all
He said, dinos don’t quack, chirp or produce some other bird calls
You know I won’t be no pigeon or stupid ass budgerigar
So if that’s what you’re into then go hug a mosasaur

Because you know I’m all about them scales…

No school today!

Because it has been an awful week1 I’m giving you a day off from Olli’s Saturday School.

Instead I’m providing you with this entertaining twitter conversation that probably tells you more about me than I care to admit.

Antje, Kiera: I love you guys!

 

Footnotes
  1. and because I’m too lazy to think of a lesson right now []

Olli’s Saturday School – The Wayne Train

We all have been in that situation, when some obnoxious person you can’t really tell to sod off is talking to you. They’re talking about things you just don’t care about. You’re not interested.

Good news: We have a couple of phrases in Germany that exist solely for that purpose.

Say Hier ist ein Groschen while handing someone a small coin.1

This translates to: Here’s a dime.

Wofür? – Why? What for?

Für die Parkuhr! – For the parking meter!

Hä? – Huh?

Für einen Groschen hört die dir eine halbe Stunde zu. – For a dime it will listen to you for half an hour.2.

In short, you’ve told that person to go away and tell their “interesting” story to the parking meter because nobody else cares. Feel free to adapt, change coinage, shorten or whatever.

Another way of stating your obvious disinterest is the following.

Kennste Wayne? Wayne interessierts!

The translation Ya know Wayne? Wayne cares! only makes sense if you know that Wayne sounds like the German word Wen, a form of who. Wayne interessierts = Wen interessierts? = Who cares?

This led to the following fun phrase, blending German, English and puns together.

Tschuu tschuu!
Hier kommt der Wayne-Train zum Mount Whateverest. Nächster halt: Miregalistan.

Choo choo!
Here comes the wayne-train to Mount Whateverest. Next stop: Idontcaristan.

Or maybe ask them: Wo ist der Bus? – Where’s the bus?

Welcher Bus? – http://www.ollicrusoe.net/?p=749

Der Bus voller Leute, die es interessiert. The bus full of people who care.

What? You don’t care? Fine, I’ll go tell it to the parking meter.

Footnotes
  1. Groschen was the German equivalent of a dime, back when we still had the Deutsche Mark as currency. []
  2. of course this isn’t true anymore []

Olli’s Saturday School – The fifth season

Somehow Germans ended up with a reputation of being humorless. Part of that might be, because we put aside a certain time of the year to be funny.

While neither is true, I’m not here to debunk both myths, I’m just trying to shed a light on what we sometimes call Die fünfte Jahreszeit – the fifht season

Karneval
Fastnacht (Fassenacht, Fasching, etc)

Both words seem to derive from lent starting right after it. Karneval is often attributed to the latin words for meat and farewell, while Fastnacht can almost literally be translated to lent-eve. Or, if you want to pun: Almost night.

It is celebrated in most catholic reagions of Germany, namely the Rhineland. The most well-known and widely spread variation is the Rheinische Fassenacht (Rhenanian Carnival) with the biggest celebrations in Cologne and Mayence.

The season traditionally starts on November 11th at 11:11, or am Elften Elften um Elf Uhr Elf. The eleventh eleventh at eleven past eleven. The number 11 is considered a wacky number in Germany, the first Schnapszahl1 and plays a big role in Karneval. It also has sort of history roots especially for the rhenanian Carnival, related to the French Revolution. Elf. E-L-F. Ègalite, Liberté, Fraternité.

The first parties and celebrations start then but are suspended during Advent and Christmas until February and the Carnival week starting with the main events on Weiberdonnerstag (Wench Thursday) going through Rosenmontag (Rose Monday)  and Fastnachtsdienstag. (Carnival Tuesday).

During that time the Elferrat reigns. This committee of eleven with a president at the top and in most places the Prinzenpaar (the prince couple) are the rulers of the carnival activities and will often judge comedic performances at the carnevalistic sessions. Their costumes and those of their gards and pages are often a mock-up of late medieval and Napoleonic or Prussian uniforms and clothing, closely related to the tradition of making fun of the government during the season.

Each village and city in the region has their own Elferrat, their rulers and Prinzengarde or Funkengarde and of course the Funkenmariechen (Sparkling guard and Sparkling Mary) trailing them and dancing during the celebrations.

This is what they look like performing a mix of dancing and acrobatics at a carnival session:

Depending on where you are the uniforms look pretty much similar, but the color scheme can vary. Red is traditional in my home area.

 

In addition to their costumes pretty much every village, town and city has their own carnevalistic battlecry and using the wrong one, especially in rival cities is a very serious faux-pas.

The most well-known and wide-spread are Helau! and Alaaf! but the list is pretty much endless. Just look at these examples.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrenruf#Deutschlandweit

Now in the primetime of carnival people tend to go wild. During celebrations a lot of people take time off, businesses in the active areas often just close shop and people exhibit a What happens in Vegas attitude. If you join the activities try to retain some common sense though. Don’t go assuming anything when you get a Bützchen (a kiss) from a total stranger at a Fastnachtsparty in Cologne.

A big part of the tradition are the Kappensitzungen, sessions named after the Narrenkappe (the fools hat) worn by the Elferrat and Karnevalsprinz (see picture above). Sometimes they can also have other names, often mock-militaristics due to the Napoleon/Prussia-merrymaking.
Those sessions are basically big comedy shows with music (we have our own genre for that thing), acrobatics and comedy. A bit like a themed circus. A lot of brilliant political cabaret was born in carneval.

A big carnevalistic comedy tradition is the Büttenrede (tub-speech).

Someone enters the tub (a decorated speakers pult) and delivers a comedic, mock-poetic speech with bad rhyming, usually bitterly sarcastic and centered around current events and politics. The punchlines are usually marked by the traditional Karnevalstusch.

But there’s more.

There’s Weiberdonnerstag when women storm the city hall, cut off men’s ties and generally go apeshit. Just like men during that time.

The climax of the whole season is the Rosenmontagszugm the Rose Monday Parade (usually neighboring cities, town and villages time it so some are actually on Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday, so groups and spectators can go to more than one).

Orchestras, clubs, carneval associations form up a parade and throw candy (Kamelle!) , hand out oranges and snacks, fling confetty and paper streamers. Well, not the orchestras, those play music. And the dancing groups dance. But you get the pictures. Mind you, this is not an official holiday. But in most places where it’s celebrated, business just close down for the day or a couple of hours, because nothing would get done anyway.

How big is this? The largest one in Cologne has been around since 1823. The parade is more than 4 miles long. Yes, 4 miles of parade floats, groups and orchestras one after another. They hand out about 300 tons of candy, snacks, flowers and little presents. About 12.000 individuals are involved in organizing it, there’s about a million spectators. In 2014 there were 82 orchestras, four of them riding on horses. In 2014 the parade was longer than the path it took, so the first group was already done when the last one hadn’t even started.

Here’s an example for a parade float (and it’s actually a pretty small and cruddy one, compared to what you occasionally see) critizising a German Cardinal opposing abortion.

You get all kinds of stuff on the big ones. Polititians, church figures, TV scandals, literally NOTHING is safe from satire on a Rosenmontagszug.

And now, to wrap things up, I give you THE traditionall carnevalistic music, the Narrhallamarsch. The March of the Fools Hall, which is played by orchestras on the parades, wherever the Prince is due to appear or when a new performers enters or exits the stage on one of the sessions.

Footnotes
  1. booze number, a number considering of all the same digits []

Rudolph the Red Shirt Ensign

You know Savik and Chapel and McCoy and Spocky,
Sulu and Chekov , Uhura and Scotty,
But do you recall?
The most famous crewman of all?

Rudolph the red-shirt ensign
Had a very flashy shirt
And if you ever saw it
You would fear he’d bite the dirt
All of the other crewmen
Used to laugh and be right mean
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any away team

Then one boring mission brief,
Jim Kirk came to say,
Rudolph with your shirt so bright,
Won’t you lead my team tonight!

Then all the crewmen loved him,
And they shouted out with glee:
Rudolph the red-shirt ensign
You will soon be history!

 

Have a long and prosper Christmas!

All the right fur in all the right places

Because you know I’m all about that box,
‘Bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box

Yeah it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no LOLcat
But I can purr it, purr it like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that meow meow that all the kits chase
All the right fur in all the right places

I see the videos with all them kittycats
We know that shit ain’t real
Come on meow, make it stop
If you got fluffy pawsies, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is furry
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
Sit in boxes you hardly fit into it just feels right
You know I won’t be no match-stick leg skinny-ass Greyhound dog,

So, if that’s what’s you’re into
I’ll stick my head inside a hole

Because you know I’m all about that box,
‘Bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box

I’m bringing cuddly back
Go ahead and tell them skinny kittens meow
No, I’m just purring I know you think I’m fat,
But I’m here to tell you that,
Every inch of me is furry from the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
Sit in boxes you hardly fit into it just feels right
You know I won’t be no match-stick leg skinny-ass Greyhound dog,

So, if that’s what’s you’re into
I’ll stick my head inside a hole

Because you know I’m all about that box,
‘Bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box, no catbed
I’m all ’bout that box, ’bout that box

stu_2014 031

Last Christmas

Oh god, there it is. Every year when Christmas draws near, we listen varily to the radio programmes, hoping to avoid it, until at one point that one song comes on.

Pretty much everyone in the office at work hates it. Except one coworker who turns it up. “What’s your problem? I like that song!”

Wham!’s Last Christmas1

A while ago Emmie Mears who is totally awesome, you should follow her on twitter and read her book ranted a bit about it and I got an idea.

 

So, here goes!

Last Christmas
I cut off Wham!’s head
But the very next day it grew back on
This year
To save all our ears
I’ll try to do something special. 

Once listened, ne’er forgot
I keep my distance
But I still catch the song
On the radio
I do recognize it!
Well,
It’s been a year,
It doesn’t surprise me
(Merry Christmas)

I hacked it off up and sent it
With a note saying, “I hate it”
I meant it
Now I know what a fool I’ve been.
But if they sang it now
I know I’d try it again.

Last Christmas
I cut off Wham!’s head
But the very next day it grew back on
This year
To save all our ears
I’ll try to do something special.

Oh, oh, baby.

A crowded room,
Friends with tired ears.
I’m hiding from it
From that tune from hell
My god I thought it was finally over
No! I guess I need a shoulder to cry on.
That song on the radio, brings pain to my heart

I wish I could just go and tear the it apart, ooh-hoo
I could play a good song, I’d never hear you again
That song on the radio, brings pain to my heart (I’ll cut off Wham’s head)

I’ll grab them and kill them, and tear them apart
Maybe next year I’ll give it to someone
I’ll give it to someone special.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse anyone being hurt just because of that song, I do endorse switching the radio station or turning off any audio equipment and screaming at whoever put that thing on.

 

Footnotes
  1. I don’t even know if they just covered it and I can’t be bothered to look []

The Next Generation music (bad pun intended)

What if Status Quo had rocked the mid-2nd millenium instead of…ya know?

A paid vacation on an asteroid
Captain Kirk flies into the void
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

Now you remember what the draft man said
Don’t wear a red shirt or you are dead
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

You’ll be a hero of the whole quadrant
A five year patrol is all you want
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

Alien faces as you wait to land
But once you get there no one gives a damn
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

Photo torpedo flying over your head

Phaser beam flying over your head
If you want to survive beam out of bed
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

Exploding console in the dead of night
The ensign calls : “Stand up and fight!”
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

You’ve got your phasers set to kill
Your finger’s on the LCARS but you’re not sure you will
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

Light’s are failing and the ship’s a wreck
Is this illusion or a holodeck?
You’re in the starfleet now
Oh, oh you’re in the starfleet, now

 

Or maybe the Village People?

Where can you find pleasure
Search the ‘verse for treasure
Learn science technology…

Uh. I think that one already IS all about starfleet.

 

Olli’s Saturday School – No such thing as Thanksgiving

Most of you probably know, but the American Thanksgiving tradition does not exist in Germany, unless you count US Americans living here.

Well, it’s not entirely true. We do have our own Thanksgiving which is called Erntedankfest.

Ernte = harvest
Dank = thanks
Fest = festival, celebration

It is a Catholic holiday that had various dates since the 3rd century, due to harvest happening in different months depending on the climate you’re in. The German Episcopal Conference put it on the first Sunday of October but didn’t force the communes to celebrate it on that day, so while it is usually celebrated in some way, it never became an official part of the lithurgy. In some places it just dictates the theme of the weekly mass, maybe the kids in kindergarden learn something about it that week or have a little celebration and in some places there are – sometimes massive – processions.

And that’s about it. What we do have is Black Friday. Sort of. There’s no actually tradition for this, it’s just that businesses in Germany exploiting the fact that people can be goaded into into spending money by declaring an arbitrary sales day. People see it in US TV shows and on the internet anyway, so why not take advantage on it?

Something similar that is a tradition is socalled Mantelsonntag. This translates to cloak Sunday. Historically the Sunday before All Hallows people would go into town to get a new cloak for the winter. Today this became an arbitrary reason to open shops on Sundays in cities with a predominant Catholic population.1

I don’t want to dwell on commercialism with this lesson, so here’s a few funny words or figures of speech that might entertain you.

The German word for a lucky devil. someone who is always lucky or just got hit by an insane stroke of luck, like winning the lottery, catching a spectacular spouse or dodging certain death by pure luck is called a Glückspilz. A luck-mushroom.
That probably comes from the poisonous Fliegenpilz (fly agaric) being a symbol for luck.
As well as a four leaf clover or vierblättriges Kleeblatt, a pig (Schwein) or a chimney sweep (Schornsteinfeger). The latter supposedly will bring luck if kissed. Depending on who is doing the kissing and what the sweep looks like, it’s either a self-fulfilling prophecy or maybe even the sweep being the lucky one. Also don’t go around calling people Glücksschwein. It’s bad luck. You might get a punch to the face for that.

A jester or prankster, someone who constantly plays pranks or makes jokes is a Spaßvogel. A Jestbird.

A favorite among many non-Germans is the word Kabelsalat, translating to cable salad. A tangled mess of cables in a drawer, box or behind your hifi system. There’s no specific dressing recommendation for it.

Now the final piece. Ever had one situations where two people say or do the exact same thing in an instant? Or when you and a friend text each other at the same time asking to hang out? Or you make the same joke, have the same idea or come to the same conclusion at the same time?

It happens. Great minds often think alike. You’d think there’s a literal translation for that in German, but there’s not.

The German expression for that is zwei Dumme ein Gedanke.
Dumm
meaning stupid you might think it’s not exactly a compliment but in that case it is often used in an endearing way. Gedanke is the German word for a thought.
So the best impromptu translation would probably be two fools, one idea.

Have a nice Saturday, folks!

Footnotes
  1. All Hallows being a Catholic holiday []