Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chatting, rat patting and mannequin love

I patted some rats today. Not what I expected to be doing when I left my house this morning, that's for sure!

I visited a shop that sells clothing and accessories of an alternative bent (goth/metal type stuff - lots of black, buckles and skull motifs). I'd seen a skirt online that I liked but wanted to try it on for size. As soon as I walked in, the shop assistant came over and was on for a chat.

At first I was a little irritated - shut up and let me shop, dammit! - but I ended up happily discussing the rampant consumerism of Christmas, vegetarianism, the death of pets and various other topics quite unlike the normal small talk you get from shopgirls.

Then she mentioned she had her pet rats in the shop today so I asked to see them and I had a pat. Obviously I'm not grossed out by them. It's not like they just crawled out of a pile of roach-infested garbage. (When I was a kid, living on a farm in the middle of a mouse plague, I always felt sorry for the cute little mice when they got killed. Perhaps I am just favourably disposed to rodents?)

I ended up buying a T-shirt (above) which I did really like, but I also felt I couldn't walk out empty handed after standing there talking for 20 minutes! Maybe that's her sly plan...

(PS The Army of Wonderland T-shirt is by Beserk, an Aussie label.)

Big man-nequin

I had a chuckle when I walked past a shop which had a few male mannequins in the window wearing very, very well padded trunks (below). The bit that looks like the mannequin's right leg is actually the bulge! I also like the way the mannequin on Mr Bulgy's left is reaching for a tentative hand hold. Aw...dummy love.

Side note...
I have just learned the word mannequin comes from the Dutch language. It originally meant dwarf but then came to refer to an artist's model. We later adopted the French spelling. The words easel and landscape were also plucked from the Dutch artists. Etymology is so interesting, isn't it?


Abbeysmum said...

snakes are amazing to stroke, they feel very different from what you imagine.Rats are apparently very good parents and don't have that awful smell that mice have.A lot of our English words are from French or Latin , I find it fascinating to see so many Italian words that mean almost the same in English.

Glee Girl said...

Hi abbeysmum. I have patted snakes before but can't think what it was like. Sharks are also unlike what you'd expect - they look smooth and slippery, but they are rough like sandpaper.

Rats are smart too - the girl at the shop said hers are trained to use a little tray like cats. They don't live long though - only about three years.

Yes, I'm always interested in words that come from sources other than French, Latin or Greek. Like robot, which I think is from Swedish. What are some Italian words that mean the same in English? (apart from ;) )

Anonymous said...

Isn't 'robot' a word from a Czech novel? My neighbour had a pet rat. Seemed like a good pet to me, surprised that more people don't have them. But if you want to know more about rats have a look at Ratatouille :-) Oh, and I think that words from different languages that are almost identical and share the same meaning are called cognates. That we have these words is just an indication of whom we have been talking to these last odd thousand years (collectively).

Stephanie said...

You might like the book Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, it's all about the origins and evolution of the English language.