Flip Flop Flying

I miss the apostrophe

with 26 comments

As this site is Flip Flop Flying with a G, not Flip Flop Flyin’ with an apostrophe, today I’d like to pause for a moment and lament the seeming extinction of the apostrophe in the word Hallowe’en.

I always enjoyed the way it hung there between the two Es. I liked how it added a nice gothic sense of horror to the word that such an event could only benefit from. The apostrophe shielding us from the horrors within, but also amplifying our fears.

But it seems it’s dying out. It’s all Halloween nowadays… when I were a lad it were all fields of apostrophes, not just rampaging gangs of teenagers in Scream masks acting out their mini-protection racket fantasies: give us sweets or we fuck up your house!

It’s only just gone midday in Berlin and already the spooks are working. As I left the flat to go and get my morning coffee – all crusty-eyed, askew-haired, and yesterday’s clothes-ed – I shut the door of the flat as one tends to do when leaving one’s home. The front door is a bit stiff and has to be slammed, but usually that’s no problem at all.

This morning though, I slammed the door and heard a crashing noise. I dismissed it, thinking it was a neighbour dropping something in their kitchen, and went and got my coffee, came home, read some websites, went about my day. Time passed and then, Ooh, I need the loo, I thought. So I went to the bathroom to find the mirror had fallen off its ledge over the sink and was broken.

The slamming of the door had created a vibration that worked it’s way along the hall, past the little chamber of shoes and coats, into the bathroom, and thunk! ruined my morning. Seven years! Seven years! Aaargh!

So, I begin sweeping the broken shards off the floor, cursing my bad luck, but taking things in my stride. Then I take the remaining hulk of broken mirror out of the sink. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. Fuck. Shit. Fuck. Bollocks. Fuck. The mirror has made a four-way lightning-shaped crack in the sink. And there’s a hole big enough to put a pencil through.

I peer through it at the floor tiles and let out a sigh. The seven years of bad luck began a second or so after the mirror broke. Now I really will catch bird flu. Then I’ll get hit by a tram on my way to the hospital. And the ambulance that picks me up will have engine trouble and explode. But I’ll be rescued by firemen and taken to the burns unit, where I’ll be treated and have my broken bones put it casts and my bird flu will be sorted by the ace doctors, and all will seem good until a comet lands directly on top of the hospital and kills everyone, (and I’ll die thinking something dumb like, Oooh, I really fancy some Walkers salt and vinegar crisps), and a chain reaction will set off a new ice age and life on Earth as we know it will end. All because I slammed a door. Sorry about that.

Written by Craig

October 31st, 2005 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

26 Responses to 'I miss the apostrophe'

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  1. When I look in the mirror I get a sinking feeling.

    Anonymous

    31 Oct 05 at 1:24 pm

  2. I sit here with my fingers on the keyboard, not knowing what to write. Just that I have a new job – finally – and that your mishap is not allowed to destroy my future plans to keep working. The world as we know it must not be destroyed. I realise this sounds erratic, but backtrace your actions. Make it unhappened. I trust your magic. ;)

    Elisabeth

    31 Oct 05 at 4:00 pm

  3. your sink was really dirty

    Anonymous

    31 Oct 05 at 4:10 pm

  4. It was dirty, yes. The cleaning lady has genuinely been on holiday. I know I could’ve done it myself, but, fuck it.

    Craig

    31 Oct 05 at 4:13 pm

  5. I will send a big first aid kit.

    Now may be the time to patent anti-voodoo dolls. The first one ought to be a Craig doll to ward off broken mirror bad luck.

    What you really need is one of those NASA astronaut helmets…that should protect you against a he’lla of a lotta things. I could check my local science and surplus.

    b

    31 Oct 05 at 4:22 pm

  6. Door slammin = bad Karma. Had a big row with my daughter last night, and slammed the door to her room shut in a finale of parental pique,(I’d been out all day and discovered she’d broken a glass, a glass water jug, and knocked a picture off the wall and broken the frame/glass while I was away). Came back to haunt me this morning though when I was called back from work to smash the lock on her door, which had jammed post slammin’, preventing her from going to college. At least it gave me a chance to apologise…and contemplate the avoidance of future slam scenarios.

    ADT1960

    31 Oct 05 at 4:25 pm

  7. So it’s your fault that my day is so rubbish at work today!

    CoCo

    31 Oct 05 at 5:21 pm

  8. No worries on the mirror man. As far as Hallowe’en apposed to Halloween, I’m 29 and I’ve never seen it spelled with the apostrophe.

    Thoroughly Amused

    31 Oct 05 at 5:28 pm

  9. Maybe it’s a UK thing to have used the apostrophe in the past… or maybe just a Lincolnshire thing… or maybe a in-my-imagination thing…

    Craig

    31 Oct 05 at 5:33 pm

  10. Little hint for insurance claims / getting your landlord to sort out damage to your flat: don’t mention in a blog that you did it by slamming the door. Blame it on a stray bird with chicken flu that flew in through the fan

    dave

    31 Oct 05 at 6:59 pm

  11. No… there definitely was an apostrophe… I’m sure of it!
    but then, I’m a UK person too, so it could just be a UK thing.

    lonely_orange

    31 Oct 05 at 8:04 pm

  12. Ah, you know, those sinks cost like all of $20. Run out to Obi, pick one up, schraub a little AND FEEL LIKE A REAL MAN.

    The Big A

    31 Oct 05 at 10:17 pm

  13. I think it’s time for a new toothbrush.

    Anonymous

    1 Nov 05 at 2:34 am

  14. Jesus, if you’re gonna make comments like that, or that my sink is dirty, at least have the balls to not make the comments anonymously. Otherwise, fuck off.

    Craig

    1 Nov 05 at 8:55 am

  15. Ha ha!

  16. Where did you get that soap? The 1930′s? Sorry mate, just trying to take your mind off the bad luck.

    Benji

    1 Nov 05 at 12:17 pm

  17. I bought it from some market stall. It’s handmade or something. Smells of coconut.

    Craig

    1 Nov 05 at 12:24 pm

  18. Pinch punch first of the month!

    No returns!

    Bryony

    1 Nov 05 at 12:28 pm

  19. Ok, I’m a slightly superstiscious (sp?) atheist too so lets work though a little thought experiment. You are on a small planet hurtling through space, which was created from cosmic debris of a large explosion created by quantum level hiccoughs in a void of nothingness an umimaginable length of time ago. What possible mechanism is there in the universe for noticing one broken mirror and sink and translating that into unmitigated bad fortune for one person, let alone a whole hospital’s worth of asteroid victims in Berlin?
    You’re doing a good thing quitting smoking, which will make you less likely to die from bird flu as your immune system will get stronger. Also, you’ll be less twitchy and less prone to heavy-handedness with doors soon, so your mood and life will inrpove.
    To conclude with a girly note, I saw an aquaintance recently who gave up smoking in February, and she looked less gray, less knackered and basically 2 or 3 years younger, so that could be a good thing if you’re trying to charm them Berlinner laydees (or boys, or both… whatever!). Said friend has become a bit of a nicotine gum addict, but that’ll pass one day…
    PS It should be Hallowe’en; I blame the Americans. (No reason, but why not?)

    Anna

    1 Nov 05 at 4:29 pm

  20. The seven years’ bad luck broken mirror superstition comes from days of yore, where if you were a servant working in a mansion or something and you broke a mirror it would take you seven years to pay for the broken mirror out of your wages. Or something. Really big mirrors could cause up to 14 years’ bad luck, and really small mirrors, like a dental mirror, maybe only a couple of months. A couple of hours’ mild misfortune would befall anyone who left a greasy smear on a banister.

    Stuart who used to work at J17

    1 Nov 05 at 5:40 pm

  21. Stuart who….J17 deserves some sort of medfal for that

    Anonymous

    1 Nov 05 at 7:08 pm

  22. Anna: I was just exaggerating. Don’t worry, I don’t really think a comet’s gonna kill me. At least not today.
    And I started smoking again. (Notice how I slip that guilty announcement in down here in the comments where no-one will chastise me!)

    Stuart: Excellent. Next time I feel like fretting about anything, I’ll come to you first!

    Craig

    2 Nov 05 at 9:44 am

  23. You started smoking again?? Why? What happened? I actually wondered the other day, as sad as it may sound to ponder upon an Almost Stranger’s life, how you were doing with the fag-quitting.

    Elisabeth

    2 Nov 05 at 3:16 pm

  24. That will teach you to slam doorS!

    Fluffs

    4 Nov 05 at 4:32 pm

  25. one toothbrush? did i miss something? is your girlfriend gone? fancy a new one?

    Anonymous

    9 Nov 05 at 3:42 pm

  26. I think you are right about the apostrophe in Hallowe’en. It was orginally 2 words, ‘hallowed eve’ as it was the night before 1st Nov, All Saints Day. I too blame the Americans for its removal!

    Mitzi

    25 Nov 05 at 4:13 pm

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