Henry Higgins, digitised, and a housekeeping alert

These snippets come from a yellowing scrap of newsprint cut out long ago from an obscure little Manhattan paper, and taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door — unnoticed for years, until yesterday. Before the internet, it might have taken oh, … the time it took to build the Pyramids, to explain the first item to someone who has never been to the segment of New York known as the Bronx, or got to know and adore by other means the sounds its natives make. Now, you can hop onto a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3uzi_TYulo

The second clip has an easily decoded message — in the half of the conversation attributed to the wicked ironist labelled ‘He’ —  the reason why post-Gutenberg posts might be less frequent, for a while.

Dear Diary:

… The scene, West 53rd Street, outside the Museum of Modern Art. Leading characters: a well-dressed girl, about 10 years old, with a thick Bronx accent and a large French poodle.

Girl (commanding the dog): Asseyez-vous! Asseyez-vous!

The dog does not respond.

Girl: Oh, sit down, why doncha!

The poodle sits.

Girl with accent: Mon dieu!

The poodle barks.

— Rodman Philbrick

Quick conversation between man and woman overheard by Robert Crohan of New Rochelle, N.Y. in a Brentano’s book store.

He: I’ve written a book.

She: You’ve written a book! How did you have time to write a book!

He: I have no life.

She: I have no life either!

He: Yes, but I have no life better than you have no life.

— Metropolitan Diary, edited by Ron Alexander for The New York Times, 1 January 1995