Sunday, January 27, 2008

Moon Woman Speaketh

Some day, when aliens land on Earth, the president will have need of me.

I know it seems odd that a mother of eight children would have found the time to master an alien language without formal training at some university, but it seems I have somehow acquired this gift gratis. I know, because sometimes, I have spoken to my children in what I perceived to be plain English, asking them to get dressed in the morning, or at night, to sit at the table, to put away their clothing, pack up their back packs, and turn off lights and these simple normal every day actions go undone.

Sometimes, even as I have been speaking, “Don’t hit your sister!” and the child is looking at me, he or she chooses to still punch with abandon as if I said nothing. I can say “No! No! No! No! No!” and it avails me naught.

Since I know my children are intelligent, and that they are generally good kids, I can only conclude the fault is mine. I must somehow not be making myself clear. Thus I have determined that unconsciously, occasionally, I slip into some weird “moon man language,” which my children are unable to decipher.

Moon man language sounds to the adult ear, like English, but apparently conveys either no meaning, or the opposite of the speaker’s intent. For example, “We’re having dinner soon.” translates as far as I can tell to “Please help your self to a soda, an ice cream and a few pieces of left over fried chicken right now.” “We have to run an errand. I need you to get in the car.” means “Find a secret shelter immediately, remove your shoes and if possible, lose them. Make no sound and hope the danger passes by.”

“Clean your room.” elicits an aggressive response, that I think means what they hear is, “I have come to kill your dreams and destroy your future. Flee if you would live.”

I am working on the reverse orders, but so far have had no luck in actively initiating my fluency in Moon Man. “Have a snack.” does not have a corresponding translation. Neither does, “You can watch TV.” nor “Does anyone want pizza for dinner?”

To begin to master Moon man for that eventual day when the commander in chief calls, I practice. Since I can’t control when I begin speaking, I have to create situations that will allow the talent to flower. One method I have found successful, is to actually choose to speak gibberish to my children when they are peppering me with questions.
“What’s for dinner?” a child asks as he grabs an apple.

“Repast for thine evening’s pleasure is perchance a fowl most pleasant, roasted with gracious loving care and infused in a honey soy emulsified marinade to create a mahogany sweet and salty outer crust, served with wild grains that have been softened by a chemical reaction with evaporated H20, and fresh stalks of brocollini, prepared in the same manner, with pasteurized juices brought forth from a bovine as your beverage.”


“Chicken, broccoli and brown rice. Milk to drink.”
“Cool, Mom.”

“Set the table please.”
“I’m going next door to see if I can walk Mr. Chips for the Browns. Be back in five.”

Hmmm. Set the table meant walk a dog. I think I’ll start a book of useful phrases.

I wonder how take me to your leader would translate? Probably something like “Please turn on the tv and watch until your brains ooze out.”

for humor that almost never gets lost in translation, try


Dorky Dad said...

Hopefully we won't be attacked by teenage aliens. Then we're in deep trouble.

Larramie said...

"Take me to your leader" = "Take me to your mom."

Bex said...


Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!