The President's Message

*My Brain Won't Let Me Sleep

Greeting my friends! 

Last week I got up in the middle of the night to take a stroll down the hallway, and then back to bed.  Somewhere, somehow, between those two rooms, the letter “F” entered my brain.  I tried to sleep but couldn’t, my mind was now running rampant with the letter F.

I first thought about the shape of the letter F and wondered who came up with that?  It is right after the letter E, and it looks to me like they got lazy and just used the E again but dropped the bottom line, but without that bottom line I think the letter F would fall over on its face.  Then I thought about the sound of the letter F, and started saying words like furnace, flight, freedom, famous fruit, and the frisky fox frolicked with the friendly frog from the fabulous funny farm.  Next my mind went to words that end in F, such as cuff, cliff, scruff and chief, and I wondered why when F is at the end of a word there are usually two of them.  Why not have two at the beginning, like ffluffy or ffuzzy? 

Then I thought of the words tough and rough, and pondered why we needed two completely different letters to make the same sound as F.  Was the letter F not pulling its weight?  Did it fall down on the job?  It could have, without that bottom line, so they decided to bring in GH to make the same sound as F and pick up the slack?  And why the letters G and H?  They are right next to each other in the alphabet, but why them?  Were G and H not used enough in the other words?  Was it some sort of Alphabet Union thing, where the contract stated all letters had to be used equally?  No, that can’t be it, or we would see a lot more words with X and Z in them.

I have a cough, slop the hogs in the trough, that’s enough, now let’s eat some cookie dough!  But wait, shouldn’t that be pronounced cookie douff?  Like cough and trough?  Nope, it’s dough, like doe a deer, a female deer, unlike due or dew or do.  And if that isn’t confusing enough, think about his.  Trough.  Now add an H and it becomes Through.  One simple letter changes the entire pronunciation of the word.  My brain was beginning to overheat. 

I thought it, I caught it, I bought it and I brought it.  In those words the GH is not even spoken, so why have GH in there?  First they make GH sound like an F, and then sometimes GH makes no sound at all.  This confused me.  Then the word “phone” popped into my head.  Oh good grief!  So now we have the letters PH to make the same sound as GH which sounds like F?  And did you notice that P looks like a one-legged, pot-bellied fat man and will surely fall over?  So it’s really no better than the letter F.  Phone, graph, hooked on phonics, photograph, prophecy, etc…  Did you ever think about eating candy in Kansas?  C and K, different letters, same sound.  Jim and gym?  I’ll save that one for another sleepless night. 

The English alphabet dates back almost four thousand years, and English is often considered one of the more difficult languages to master due to the incredible amount of inconsistencies in it.  They say it was developed by conquers, missionaries and scholars.  Scholars?  Ha ha, I think not! I think they went with the low bid, which was probably two mules and a goat.

If you find yourself pondering the alphabet tonight rather than sleeping, I apologize for putting that thought in your head.  So if you want, ring me up as I will probably be awake contemplating whether the E’s are silent in bee and pee, which brings us back to that midnight stroll down the hallway.   

As for news on the Metropolitan front, there is not much happening there.  The Redwood Tour was a huge success and a lot of fun, as reported by the attendees.  There have been a couple burger runs with cruises afterwards.  There was an old car parade in Sumner which I and the Bergh’s attended, and we met Sherry Buchanan and Larry Welch afterwards.  Nice people those two.  Last Sunday was a parade through Jubilee in Lacey hosted by Mike Rossi, and also a burger in Fife hosted by the Mayfarth’s.  We are easing into September and our ideal driving weather will soon be spotty, so get out while the sun is still shining and drive and drive and drive! 

I don’t see much coming up in September.  Normally we would be having Weekend on Whidbey on the second weekend, but this year it made sense to cancel it.  Besides the people, what I will miss the most is Dale cooking me breakfast.  I may just go park in his driveway on the 12th and see if he brings out an omelet and a couple waffles.  He may just turn the sprinklers on me, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take.    

We will be having a Zoom meeting on Sept. 6 at 1:00.  During this meeting we will be voting on the suggested names for a group of Mets.  Look for the names elsewhere in this newsletter and be ready to vote.

Be smart, be safe, stay healthy, and I hope to see you soon.

Gary Roberts 

Posted : September 17th, 2020