Originally published June 23, 2013
Friends with Benefits (definition according to urbandictionary.com):
Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved. Typically two good friends who have casual sex without a monogomous relationship or any kind of commitment.
Two female friends, one recently single after a long relationship …
Friend One: (Concerned) Do you think you want to be with someone again?
Friend Two: (Thoughtful) I’m not thinking about that right now. But, someday … maybe just a friend.
Friend One: (Feeling mischievous) Oh, like a friend with benefits?
Friend Two: (Very matter-of-fact) Oh no. I’ve got that covered.
Longer pause …
Friend One: (Very curious) What? You have a vibrator?
Friend Two: (Aghast) No! What are you talking about?! I was talking about insurance!
True story; I’m Friend One. Everyone I’ve told that story to thinks it is LOL (laugh out loud). 😀 It’s especially funny to people who know us (Friends One & Two), because my mind tends to “go to the gutter,” whereas Friend Two’s mind always “goes to the bank.”(Which explains why she’s more well off than me.)
Still, it got me to thinking about phrases that could be misinterpreted and the humor in those situations. Then, as I was figuring out how I would construct this post and what the title would be, I remembered a college girlfriend who delighted in using a goofy expression anytime a strangely funny situation would occur. “It’s like I always say … life is foony,” Pam would say with twinkling eyes. What made it even funnier is that she would practically pee her pants every time before finishing it. And, before we knew it, all of us were in convulsions. Still makes me giggle. 😉
While Googling for “misinterpreted phrases,” I found some humorous stuff and remembered even more funnies. For instance, who remembers singing the wrong words to songs, then finding out later how wrong you were? I’ll own up to mine first. I loved bee boppin’ and singing this Martha Reeves & the Vandellas hit at the top of my lungs:
Only, I must not have known the title of the song because I would sing, “Bibbly wack, bibbly, ohhhhh bibbly wack, when are you coming back? Bibbly wack, bibbly, ohhhhh bibbly wack, when are you coming back?” Well, my best friend, Patty, let me carry on like that forever, doubling over in laughter before telling me the real words. Of course … Jimmy Mack. Very manly name. Why would grown women be hot for a guy named “Bibbly Wack”? (To this day, Patty cracks up when telling that story. Some best friend!)
Many of you might remember the song “Africa” by Toto: I bless the rains down in Africa … . Some have been known to sing, I left my brains down in Africa … . Or, the Tom Jones’ classic “She’s a Lady:” Instead of She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner …, people have crooned, She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a wiener … . Click here for more funny, misheard lyrics.
I did find a link for “Top Ten Misused Phrases,” which the author listed as malapropisms, Dogberryisms, acyrologia or eggcorns. I’m familiar with the term malapropisms, but the others were new to me. (Like “Bibbly Wack,” this admission is pitiful because I’m an English major.) FYI … Dogberryisms are attributed to a Shakespeare character, Dogberry, who had a very high opinion of himself and was famous for his frequent use of malapropisms; acyrologia is a highfalutin word used by academics; and, eggcorns are different from malapropisms in the sense that eggcorns are generally considered creative (i.e. the Americanized “cold slaw” from the Dutch cabbage salad, “cole slaw”), whereas malapropisms are considered foolish … such as “escape goat” (for “scapegoat”) or “Heineken Remover” (for “Heimlich Maneuver”).
Another site I found gave examples of humor, which is — of course — a relative term. This one made me groan: “What time does Sean Connery arrive at Wimbledon? Tennish.” But, this one made me giggle: “Two whales walk into a bar. The first whale says to the other, ‘WOOOOOO. WEEEEEEEEOOOOO. WEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOO.’ The second whale says, ‘Shut up, Steve, you’re drunk.'”
See, that second one reminded me of a joke my parents told me, one that had me scratching my head at first because they would double over with laughter every time they told it, probably because of my dumbfounded expression. It goes like this, “How can you tell that an elephant’s been in your refrigerator?” (Generous pause.) “Duh! By the footprints in the butter, Silly!”
Imagine whales bellying up to the bar, or an elephant leaving only “a trace” of itself in the butter dish. Now, that’s foony! 😀
* Photo credited to author.