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  • LC: The Meaning of Liff II / 13 septiembre 2005

    Buenos días, Amigos y Desconocidos Lectores Constantes.

    No se quejarán: estoy siendo casi tan constante como prometí, y no dejo pasar tres días sin traerles alguna cosilla que mordisquear. Hoy no hay libro, porque ayer estuve echando un ojo a la estantería de la izquierda, donde se acumula en pilas inestables cantidad de material interesante, y decidí que lo primero es lo primero, que hay que darle al César lo que es del César y a Capote lo que es de Capote. Y si me pongo a vaciar la estantería, sacar fotografías, buscar datos biográficos y demás, el monográfico puede tardar tranquilamente seis meses en llegarles. Y no me lo parece.

    Así que sólo les traigo la letra B de The Meaning of Liff, con la correspondiente fotografía casera de la portada, y les cuento que ya fuimos a ver la adaptación cinematográfica de La guía del autoestopista galáctico. Con las prisas, nos dejamos en casa la toalla, pero cuando estrenen El restaurante del fin del mundo no se nos olvidará. Si mis Amigos Lectores tenían planeado ir a verla, que sepan que psé.

    Psé significa que uno puede y debe ir a verla, claro que sí, y llevarse una toalla, y recitar poesía vogona si le apetece. Los vogones están muy conseguidos: son feos, son idiotas y son burócratas. Pero hay algunas cosas que chirrían, como el insólito aspecto de Marvin: según mis encuestas, todo el mundo lo imaginaba más parecido a C3PO, y menos a una máquina expendedora de chicles. Por no hablar ya de la sorpresa Ford Prefect. Me juego lo que quieran a que nadie se lo imaginaba negro. ¿Será algún tipo de política de integración? ¿Habrán llegado a un acuerdo con Tim Burton, que ha metido una Violet Beauregarde blanca y rubia en Charlie y la fábrica de chocolate, pasándose por la brinca del coño las ilustraciones de la novela? Cuánto misterio.

    En fin. Ya hablaremos en otro momento de La guía. No vayan a ver la película sin haber leído antes los libros. Y hasta entonces, ahí les queda el extracto prometido de The Meaning of Liff, que nunca será adaptado al cine.

    Tengan cuidado ahí fuera, donde cambian los colores.
    Constant Reader.
    The Meaning of Liff


    BABWORTH (n.)
    Something which justifies having a really good cry.

    BALDOCK (n.)
    The sharp prong on the top of a tree stump where the tree has snapped off before being completely sawn through.

    One of the six half-red books lying somewhere in your bed.

    BANFF (adj.)
    Pertaining to, or descriptive of, that kind of facial expression which is impossible to achieve except when having a passport photograph taken.

    BANTEER (n. archaic)
    A lusty and raucous old ballad sung after a particularly spectacular araglin (q.v.) has been pulled off.

    A humorous device such as a china horse or small porcelain infant which jocular hosts use to piss water into your Scotch with.

    BAUGHURST (n.)
    That kind of large fierce ugly woman who owns a small fierce ugly dog.

    BAUMBER (n.)
    A fitted elasticated bottom sheet which turns your mattress bananashaped.

    BEALINGS (pl. n. archaic)
    The unsavoury parts of a moat which a knight has to pour out his armour after being the victim of an araglin (q.v.).
    In medieval Flanders, soup made from bealings was a very slightly sought-after delicacy.

    The optimum vantage point from which one to view people undressing in the bedroom across the street.

    BECCLES (pl. n.)
    The small bone buttons placed in bacon sandwiches by unemployed guerrilla dentists.

    BEDFONT (n.)
    A lurching sensation in the pit of the stomach experienced at breakfast in a hotel, occasioned by the realisation that it is about now that the chambermaid will have discovered the embarrassing stain on your bottom sheet.

    A knob of someone else’s chewing gum which you unexpectedly find your hand resting on under a desk top, under the passenger seat of your car or on somebody’s thigh under their skirt.

    BENBURB (n.)
    The sort of man who becomes a returning officer.

    BEREPPER (n.)
    The irrevocable and sturdy fart released in the presence of royalty, which sounds quite like a small motorbike passing by (but not enough to be confused with one).

    The massive three-course midmorning blow-out enjoyed by a dieter who has already done his or her slimming duty by having a teaspoonful of cottage cheese for breakfast.

    1. The shape of a gourmet’s lips.
    2. The droplet of saliva which hangs from them.
    BILBSTER (n.)
    A pimple so hideous and enormous that you have to cover it with sticking plaster and pretend you’ve cut yourself shaving.

    An opening gambit before a game of chess whereby the missing pieces are replaced by small ornaments from the mantelpiece.

    BLEAN (n.)
    Scientific measure of luminosity:
    1 glimmer = 100,000 bleans.
    Usherettes’ torches are designed to produce between 2.5 and 4 bleans, enabling them to assist you in falling downstairs, treading on people or putting your hand into a Neapolitan tub when reaching for change.

    BLITHBURY (n.)
    A look someone gives you by which you become aware that they’re much too drunk to have understood anything you’ve said to them in the last twenty minutes.

    BLITTERLEES (pl. n.)
    The little silvers of bamboo picked off a cane chair by a nervous guest which litter the carpet beneath and tell the chair’s owner that the whole piece of furniture is about to uncoil terribly and slowly until it resembles a giant pencil sharpening.

    BODMIN (n.)
    The irrational and inevitable discrepancy between the amount pooled and the amount needed when a large group of people try to pay a bill together after a meal.

    BOLSOVER (n.)
    One of those brown plastic trays with bumps on, placed upside down in boxes of chocolates to make you think you’re getting two layers.

    BONKLE (n.)
    Of plumbing in old hotels, to make loud and unexplained noises in the night, particularly at about five o’clock in the morning.

    BOOLTEENS (pl. n.)
    The small scatterings of foreign coins and half-p’s which inhabit dressing tables. Since they are never used and never thrown away boolteens account for a significant drain on the world’s money supply.

    1. The man in the pub who slaps people on the back as if they were old friends, when in fact he has never no friends, largely on account of this habit.
    2. Any story told by Robert Morley on chat shows.

    BOSCASTLE (n.)
    A huge pyramid of tin cans placed just inside the entrance to a supermarket.

    BOSEMAN (n.)
    One who spends all day loafing about near pedestrian crossings looking as if he’s about to cross.

    BOTCHERBY (n.)
    The principle by which British roads are signposted.

    BOTLEY (n.)
    The prominent stain on a man’s trouser crotch seen on his return from the lavatory. A botley proper is caused by an accident with the push taps, and should not be confused with any stain caused by insufficient waggling of the willy (see: piddletrenthide).

    BOTOLPHS (n.)
    Huge benign tumours which archdeacons and old chemistry teachers affect to wear on the sides of their noses.

    BOTUSFLEMING (n. medical)
    A small, long-handled steel trowel used by surgeons to remove the contents of a patient’s nostrils prior to a sinus operation.

    BRADFORD (n.)
    A school teacher’s old hairy jacket, now severely discoloured by chalk dust, ink, egg and the precipitations of unedifying chemical reactions.

    One who is skilled in the art of naming loaves.

    BRECON (n. anatomical term)
    That part of the toenail which is designed to snag on nylon sheets.

    BRISBANE (n.)
    A perfectly reasonable explanation (Such as the one offered by a person with a gurgling cough which has nothing to do with the fact that they smoke fifty cigarettes a day.)

    BROATS (pl. n.)
    A pair of trousers with a career behind them. Broats are most commonly seen on elderly retired army officers. Originally the broats were part of their best suit back in the thirties; then in the fifties they were demoted and used for gardening. Recently, pensions not being what they were, the broats have been called out of retirement and reinstated as a part of the best suit again.

    BROMPTON (n.)
    A brompton is that which is said to have been committed when you are convinced you are about to blow off with a resounding trumpeting noise in a public place and all that actually slips out is a tiny ‘pfpt’.

    Any urban environment containing a small amount of dogturd and about forty-five tons of bent steel pylon or a lump of concrete with holes claiming to be sculpture.
    ‘Oh, come my dear, and come with me
    And wander ‘neath the Bromsgrove tree’ –Betjeman

    One who has been working at the same desk in the same office for fifteen years and has very much his own ideas about why he is continually passed over for promotion.

    BRUMBY (n.)
    The fake antique plastic seal on a pretentious whisky bottle.

    BRYMBO (n.)
    The single unappetising bun left in a baker’s shop after four p.m.

    BUDBY (n.)
    A nipple clearly defined through flimsy or wet material.

    BUDE (n.)
    A polite joke reserved for use in the presence of vicars.

    BULDOO (n.)
    A virulent and red-coloured pus which generally accompanies clonmult (q.v.) and sadberge (q.v.).

    BURBAGE (n.)
    The sound made by a liftful of people all trying to breathe politely through their noses.

    BURES (n. medical)
    The scabs on knees and elbows formed by a compulsion to make love on cheap Habitat floor-matting.

    BURLESTON (n., vb.)
    That peculiarly tuneless humming and whistling adopted by people who are extremely angry.

    BURLINGJOBB (n. archaic)
    A seventeenth-century crime by which excrement is thrown into the street from a ground-floor window.

    BURNT YATES (pl. n.)
    Condition to which yates (q.v.) will suddenly pass without any apparent intervening period, after the spirit of the throckmorton (q.v.) has finally been summoned by incessant throcking (q.v.).

    BRUTON COGGLES (pl. n.)
    A bunch of keys found in a drawer whose purpose has long been forgotten, and which can therefore now be used only for dropping down people’s backs as a cure for nose-bleeds.

    BURWASH (n.)
    The pleasurable cool slosh of puddle water over the toes of your gumboots.


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