Joseph of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy bottle and dropper

Yesterday, while preparing the slickly-titled Services and Ceremonies for Ash Wednesday and Holy Week 1967 liturgy for the SEC website I did a spell-check on the scanned document.

The two most amusing spell-checker offerings were: “Judas Escargot” for “Judas Iscariot” and “Joseph of Aromatherapy” instead of “Joseph of Arimathea“.

I like the idea of Joseph of Aromatherapy taking Jesus’s body to a relaxing cave, filled with essential oils.

My favourite spell-checker ‘correction’ to date, however, was when I worked in the Shaftesbury Society homeless hostel in London. WordPerfect 5 (for MS-DOS) would constantly want to change “keyworker” to “coercer”.

Sometimes coercer might have been more accurate!

A tale of two niggles

A tub of Lurpak spreadable margarine on the left, Clover on the right.

In our nearly seven years of marriage Jane and I have got on remarkably well. We’ve had very few major rows, always make sure that we make up and sort things out before we go to sleep, and I still love her dearly on this the 2,436th day after our wedding. But like all relationships there are still a few things that repeatedly niggle, that we haven’t yet resolved.

For us there are two. (Okay, it’s probably more like: for me there are two. !!)

Niggle #1

The pronouncation of the meat that comes from pigs. As you are probably aware here in English-speaking-land we tend to name the live animal after the Anglo-Saxon words, eg pig, sheep, cow, and when it’s dead we refer to its meat after the Anglo-Norman word, eg pork, mutton, beef. (I think that’s right; I can’t remember where I read that.)

Anyway, Jane pronounces “pork” as poe-rk. Pronounced something like the surname of that great writer of macabre tales and poetry, Edgar Allan Poe, but with “rk” at the end. Edgar Allan Poerk. Whereas I — and almost everyone that I know outside Jane’s family — pronounce it as paw-rk.

Q1. How do you pronounce “pork”?

Niggle #2

Niggle number two is a practical one: how to scrape the margarine from a tub.

My preferred method is to gently scrape across the top layer of the margarine, working my way down in a similar fashion to the way that an archaeologist might excavate a tub of Clover: working evenly across the full length and width of the tub, gradually working down towards the bottom of the tub. The only difference being that I’d probably get quite alarmed if I found any bones or Roman coins in my margarine, whereas an archaeologist wouldn’t.

Jane’s method, however, is to treat the tub of margarine more like an open-cast mine or quarry: she will start at one end of the tub and dig down to the base of the tub and then work her way gradually towards the other end of the tub. (See photographs above.)

Obviously — obviously! — this eventually renders the tub a little unstable as at about one-third full you now have much more margarine at one end of the tub, which weighs that end down. More than once I’ve taken the margarine out of the fridge only to immediately drop it on the floor as I’ve pulled out the light end, and as the heavy end has slid off the shelf it has pulled the whole tub out of my hand. “My” method, however, evenly distributes the weight across the full length of the margarine tub thereby making it much more stable.

The other inherent danger of Jane’s method is what I like to call Spreadable Fat Tub Interior Side Detachment Syndrome™, or SFTISDS. Which is where the whole block of margarine detatches itself from the side of the tub and ends up as a loose lump of pure yellow rattling around the inside of a plastic cuboid tub. It’s like carrying a small box with a hamster running around inside it. I would imagine.

You can clearly see the Clover tub on the right in the photograph above is currently suffering from a pronounced case of SFTISDS.

Q2. Are there any other techniques that we’re missing?

Mil Millington would be proud of me!

… and relax!