23 September 2010
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
Okay, seriously, what's so cool about the clock that a mouse (granted, a species not generally fêted for their brainpower, but whatever) had to run all the way up it? Did somebody put cheese up there? Maybe it wanted to play king of the world (or at least of the drawing room).
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down.
So he's easily scared, fine, that is normal mouse behaviour. But -
Hickory Dickory Dock.
All right, I'll just say it straight out - when's the last time you heard the word "dickory" in any other context? You didn't, of course. Honestly, making up words is all well and good *cough*Burrowictionary*cough* but when there's only one in there, it rather looks like desperation for the rhyme, ne?
Let's look at another one, shall we?
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet.
Tuffet, huh? It's rather hard to find a good one these days; they're too hard, or too soft, or too grassy, or too dirty - honestly, you start to feel like Goldilocks, who is a fairy tale, not a nursery rhyme, so we'll leave her to her porridge and check out some more nasty food, to whit:
Eating her curds and whey.
Curds aren't bad, really - Heluva Good makes some pretty yummy cheese curds, I like those, in fact they were a staple snack for me my first year of grad school - but whey? Yuck! Do you know what whey really is? It's the icky watery stuff left after you separate the curds out. Blargh...
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away!
Now this I am in total sympathy with. I never used to have a problem with spiders and in fact thought people who got wigged out by them to be total wimps - until I saw Arachnophobia. *shudder* I was about 8 years old, and holy arachnids they scare the crap out of me now. No thanks. Ugh.
Wee Willie Winkie...
Nope, can't do that one, laughing too hard at just the first three words. Next!
One, two, buckle my shoe
Why should I? Are you too fat to reach your own feet or something? 'Cause if so, you should really stick to slip-ons.
Three, four, shut the door
Is there a draft? I mean, it's really quite nice out today, sunny and bright and more June than September.
Five, six, pick up sticks
Look, who are you to be giving all these orders? And unless you're a Manhattanite dealing with that freak tornado, I don't think you generally need to be picking up too many sticks - like I said, it's a nice day, you couldn't possibly need them for a fire or anything.
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Then what did you want them picked up for?
Nine, ten, a big fat hen.
You know what, I was sort of humouring you before, but this is the last straw, that makes no sense AT ALL.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
What is it with the climbing-to-the-tops-of-high-objects thing? The mouse, HD here, and let's not get into the bloody cow who thought she'd take the biggest leap ever known.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
And this is exactly why you shouldn't go climbing the thing to begin with. Especially if you're an egg. I mean, duh.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
So, all right, no offense to the horses or anything, but they don't even have paws, let alone opposable thumbs. What help are they going to be? And while we're at it, which king?
I give up. It's just not working out. For further reading, may I direct you to Hickory Dickory Dock and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie, and The Big Over-Easy and The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde. You may not get answers to what the rhymes mean, but they're damn good reads.
Images: Public domain