1. I remember some variant of Arlo’s joke from a very old Mad magazine. I forget the setup, but it ended with asking what the switch did, and answered, “Maybe it turns on the lights on the national Christmas tree.”

  2. The Arlo joke I actually heard from Stephen Wright. He said he’d regularly flip the switch to see if anything would happen. One day he got a phone call from a woman in China saying, “Cut it out!”

  3. Is there a specific kind of ball used for dodgeball? (Like, we do identify a basketball or a soccer ball.) Or is it just that any large-enough and soft-enough ball can be used?
    And would one ever use “dodgeball”as a noun, for thhe ball, not for the game? Say, if the P.E. instructor sends some trustie student back to the building with the instructions “bring two dodgeballs”.

  4. Or maybe that word is “trustee”, just like a financial agent? Those who have read some Nevil Shute will recognize the title “Trustee from the Toolroom” — when I first picked it up I had just learned the term “trustee” as used in prison movies, for a prisoner given certain privileges of moving around the building and assisting the official staff in small ways. So I read the novel waiting for someone to land in jail. But it turned out to be “trustee” in the financial or specifically the testamentary senses. So I then didn’t know if the term heard in prison movies would be also spelt “trustee” or something like “trustie”. That’s what I meant in writing about a “trustie student” in the previous comment — likening high school to a prison.

  5. One who holds property in trust is a trustee. A trusted prisoner is a trustie. A trusted student is neither a trustee nor a trustie.

    I was once at a dinner for the trustees of a mutual fund, and the restaurant’s sign called them the fund trusties. There were some jokes about that.

  6. We had one of those light switches, in our upstairs laundry closet. Being a good boy, I left it off and alone.

    A few years after we bought the house, a workman was up in the attic for something in the heat of summer. When he came down, he said, “Did you know your attic exhaust fan isn’t running?”

    You can see where this is going…yep, I paid for an electrician to come out and show me what the switch did! Later we had the roof replaced and the fan changed to a ridge vent, so now it IS a disconnected switch. When we eventually sell the house, I hope I remember to explain it to the buyers. (I suppose I COULD just pull the switch and replace the cover with a blind plate; I’d stuff a note inside explaining…)

  7. Yes, there is a specific ball used for dodge ball. That are the big red soft inflated red balls also used for kickball.

    Dodgeball, the game, is a noun. The balls used in Dodgeball are called either kickballs (because they are the same balls used for kickball) or dodgeball balls. I imagine some may call them dodgeballs but for some reason, probably because they are not used exclusively for one purpose, dodgeball ball does seems as weird as baseball ball or football ball (which…. isn’t a ball at all) or basketball ball would, and refer to a it simple as a dodgeball seems incomplete.

    A student who has the quality of being trusted is referred to be the adjective “trusty”.

    Riddle: What’s long, brown and sticky?
    Answer: A stick.
    Riddle: What’s level, flat and silly?
    Answer: A sill.

    We can go on for a very long time.

  8. Appropriately, we call this game ‘la balle aux prisonniers’; children play it at school, and from what I can see in manga, it’s a staple of japanese PE, as well.

  9. Is there a specific kind of ball used for dodgeball?

    Back in the day, we used what were called “playground balls”. Fairly large but lightweight.

  10. It was also known, at least among the children I went to school with, as “murderball”.

    Yeah, those old fairytales are bad and Disney just makes them worse.

  11. I’m sure that the names for the ball have regional variations, but we called them “dodgeballs” and/or “kickballs”, depending on the sport we were playing at the moment.

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