FURTHERMORE DISCOVERS THE CLASSICS
Furthermore was in a classical mood recently. I know this because I found him standing atop a Doric column in the center of our shared caverns the other night. He was clad in a white toga—which looked remarkably like my wife’s best table cloth—and he was declaiming something in Latin. The various Things about the place seemed to appreciate his efforts. I was a bit taken aback. I mean, I didn’t know he even knew where my wife stores the linen, you know?
Anyway, I settled down with a good cigar and waited. I figured this had to be going somewhere. See? I’m learning. I just kept waiting. Finally, the old bird flapped over to the table, trailing the “toga” in the air behind him.
“Latin,” he declared pompously, “can be groovy.”
Having managed to avoid this branch of study during the days of my youth, I remained silent.
“And it’s so flexible,” he added with a smirk.
Okay. Now he had me.
“Like how?” I asked. I know better.
“Consider the phrase ‘Cogito, ergo sum,’” he began in his best professorial tone. “Means ‘I think, therefore I am.’”
I knew that.
“But if you change it just a bit, it has many new meanings,” he observed. Then he proceeded to give examples. You may want to quit reading now. It wasn’t pretty.
Cogito, ergo Sam. Means “I think, therefore I play it again!”
Cogito, ergo sub. Means “I think, therefore I’m a U-boat.”
Cogito, ergo dumb. Means “I think your brother is calling.”
Cogito, ergo bum. Means “I think you’re an….”
Well, you get the idea.
Cogito, ergo rum. Means, “I think it’s Friday afternoon.”
Then he moved on to Spanish and Vaya con Dios, which, of course, means “Go with God.”
However, vaya con Dior means “Get the best dressmaker you can.”
Vaya con dope means “Cut the grass” or something like that.
Vaya con dip means “I think your brother is calling.”
Ad infinitum, of course, means “without end.”
Ads infinitum, then, must mean “and now a word from our sponsor.”
Dads infinitum means “so’s your old man.”
Then the old bird began switching languages on me again. Moving rapidly into French, he proclaimed “L’etat c’est moi.” Which, of course, was Louis XIV bragging that “The state, it is me.”
Furthermore likes “L’etat c’est mob,” or “The state, it is run by the Mafia.”
L’etat c’est mop, or “The state, it is cleaning up.”
Shifting back to Latin, Furthermore concluded this exercise in English as an Abused Language with Deo volente—“God willing.” He notes, however, the CEO volente means exactly the same thing.
I decided that enough was probably too much and headed for the bar. Furthermore flapped along, muttering something about fixing a classic martini. Some things are, of course, understood in any language. I knew that, too.