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The Launderette Overflow


(?) Work In Progress
(?) Australians in America
(?) "End Of"

(?) Work In Progress

Tue, 08 Nov 2005

From Benjamin A. Okopnik

Are you feeling especially contentious this week, or what?

(!) [Sluggo] Not that I've noticed.

(?) OK; just wondering. 'Cause, y'know, you might have been wrestling a lot this week or something.

(!) [Sluggo] That was three weeks ago. Delayed reaction? OK, here's the summary I wrote notes for but never got around to finalizing.
Went to the Okie Rumble, a wrestling retreat in Oklahoma City. This was its ninth year but the first I attended. Also the first time I'd been to the south central part of the country. (OKC is 200 miles north of Dallas, and some 600 miles south of Fargo, North Dakota.) There were 110 attendees. Most came from the southeast (Louisiana, Georgia, Florida) and NYC, but there was one from Portland, one from Vancouver BC, and one from England. (Other Europeans were going to come but got hit by a new $300 fee for a tourist visa, thank you Homeland Security.) Most had wrestled in high school or college but some like me had picked it up recently. Most now do submission wrestling (like Brazilian jiu-jitsu) or mixed martial arts (like UFC), but some thirty people did pro wrestling (like WWE). There were also a few freestyle (Olympic style) matches, at least one boxing match, and two guys brought their gi's (Oriental jackets) and did jiu-jitsu. I had seven submission matches. Most with people better than me but a couple with beginners. Everyone is good about teaching stuff to the less knowledgeable so there's kind of a downward flow of learning.
It took place at a gay hotel in OKC. They took the furniture out of six rooms and put down 10'x10' mats. Most matches were one-on-one though sometimes three or four people would take turns. I didn't like having all those little rooms. At Hillside (another retreat in Pennsylvania), everyone is all in one place and the mats are larger and communal, so anytime you want to wrestle there's always mat space. Here you had to schedule an hour slot a half-day in advance, so you lose out on matches that can't be scheduled. But large open spaces are rare and expensive, and even if you find a warehouse you still need living accommodations for out-of-towners.
I did a submission match with a guy who does mostly pro (from St Louis), and he told me the history of professional (=fake) wrestling. It didn't start with WWE but goes back to at least the 1800s. Paying audiences watched real wrestling and fake wrestling side by side but weren't told the difference. (In pro wrestling, the "victim" actually does the movement, the perp just pretends to beat him up but stops short, which is an athletic feat in itself.) There were also fake bareknuckles boxing matches people bet on. It was an inside secret until [some pro wrestler] wrote a book in the 1970s exposing the fakery. Suddenly audiences vanished and local pro wrestling clubs folded (except in St Louis). Vince McMahon, owner of WWE (then WWF), responded by making it sillier -- guys in plumbers' outfits, chairs, etc -- to hold an audience.
That part I didn't understand. I detest WWE and its crap, but I've seen enough amateur pro-wrestling demonstrations to have respect for it. It lets people act out aggressions they can't do in real life, and some of the storylines are funny as hell. Especially when you have real wrestlers watching it, who know it's fake but are egging them on anyway. But still, I hope UFC wipes WWE off the screen. »
(!) [Jimmy] I doubt it, from what little I've seen of UFC. WWE is... a soap opera with fighting (uh... better fights :), UFC just looks like a bar brawl.
(!) [Sluggo] It can look like a brawl if you don't understand what they guys are doing, but it's quite organized. It (pankration) is a combination of wrestling and kickboxing. One guy puts the other guy in standard submission holds until he taps out (symbolically gives up).
(!) [Jimmy] Well, any time I saw it the rounds ended after one put another in a submission hold and punched 'til the referee sent him back to his corner.
(!) [Sluggo] That is how it often ends. I wouldn't call that a bar brawl. I don't know about the referee "sending him back to his corner". That might happen on a technicality or to investigate an apparent injury, but I don't think it's routine. The ref will move the fighters if they're too close to the edge of the ring, but he usually keeps them in their same relative positions.
(!) [Jimmy] I meant at the end of the round/fight.
(!) [Sluggo] Actually, both BJJ and UFC were more brutal than they are now. BJJ was 'vale tudo' (anything goes), and UFC didn't have rounds. But they had to tone it down to avoid getting it banned in the US. In Brazil you can have a full-on fight in the street but in the US you'd get arrested for that, so there's a difference in culture. But I've heard that even Brazil has tightened things up the past couple years. So it kind of parallels the Greek experience of more brutal to less brutal. I don't know how old the videos are you saw.
Another thing is that even if you wonder why somebody would want their face pounded, those guys live for it. At the amateur level they're not paid, so you really have to want to be there.
(!) [Jimmy] Aside from that, it's not going to replace WWE any time soon. WWE may be fake, but it's more interesting to watch, if only for the acrobatics.
(!) [Sluggo] « The referee watches closely and stop the match if one guy can't defend himself any more, or if the other guy breaks the rules. There are three or four rounds, not fifteen like in some boxing matches, and you don't go till the guy is knocked unconscious. It's safer than American football because you're not colliding with the guy at thirty miles an hour. Injuries during deliberate holds are rare because (1) they're designed for maximum pain but minimum injury, and (2) the guy is supposed to tap. There are several tournaments like UFC, the biggest being Pride FC in Japan.
In the early 1900s, the Gracie family in Brazil learned jiu-jitsu from a Japanese master. They combined it with streetfighting techniques and created the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In the 1990s they set up schools in the US, knowing it would be a big hit because there was nothing like it here. UFC was started around the same time although I'm not sure exactly how. Early UFC was all about "Which style is best?", matching opponents from different martial arts backgrounds (including wrestling and boxing). The BJJ guys used UFC to prove their style was the best. »
(!) [Jimmy] IIRC, there are two Gracie school ATM (family feud).
(!) [Sluggo] ATM != bank machine?
(!) [Jimmy] "At the moment"
(!) [Sluggo] There are several families of schools with different Gracie names. I don't know about a feud.
(!) [Jimmy] Well... maybe it's resolved now. I read that when they (well, some of them) were in Sepultura's "Attitude" video, which was 8 or 9 years ago--I just didn't think until now about how long ago that was.
(!) [Sluggo] I don't follow the Gracies closely, so they could have had a feud for all I know. I was at one Gracie school for a short time, but it was pretty much just a franchise name. I attend an independent BJJ school now, but only because it's a good place to learn submission skills, not because I'm interested in BJJ per se.
(!) [Jimmy] "Real" Jiu jitsu practitioners tend to look down on Gracie Jiu jitsu, because it has all the vicious stuff removed.
(!) [Sluggo] « They mostly succeeded, although it showed certain weaknesses in the BJJ technique (no stand-up boxing skills). Then everybody started cross training, and eventually a "pankration style" developed, which you can learn specifically and is what UFC is now. But to be really good you'd take additional training in specific fields (freestyle wrestling for takedowns, BJJ for ground work, boxing for stand-up work, and [insert Oriental martial art here]).
Pankration was the main sport in the ancient Olympics. There's a modified version in the modern Olympics (no stand-up hitting?), »
(!) [Jimmy] I should hope so. Pankration was originally a fight to the death, no?
(!) [Sluggo] I've heard different things about that. Killing the opponent would be the ultimate victory, but you can't do it every time or there would be no opponents left. More importantly, there would be no soldiers to defend the city. (I think there were several styles practiced simultaneously, only some of them to the death. Also, there were an increasing number of people growing up maimed, and that led the Greeks to impose more rules to prevent people's lives from being wasted.
Obviously if they're maimed they're not dead, so the match couldn't have been to the death.
(!) [Jimmy] Whoops. I meant "in tournaments". Heh. I can just picture the ancient Greek school kids:
"Where's <insert Ancient Greek name here>? Isn't he joining us for lunch?"
"We just had pankration..."
(!) [Sluggo] There's a book you might like, The Machine by Ian Freeman. He's a British boxer/bouncer turned UFC fighter.
(!) [Jimmy] I think I've read an article or two of his, though most of the prominent British martial arts writers have been bouncers at some stage.
(!) [Sluggo] He's kind of arrogant in the book but it's still a good read. He grew up in Sunderland which I guess is a rough place. He said they had bar fights every night, with people coming just fight the bouncers. I found it hard to believe but he writes, "I know you don't believe it but it's true, I swear. It was much rougher in the 80s." I couldn't understand how the police could visit a bar several times a week (or even once a month) and not have its liquor license pulled. Maybe the laws are more strict here.
(!) [Jimmy] I'm not sure if it was the same in England, but over here in the 80s there were extremely high levels of unemployment, and most of the time it looked like people were starting fights because they lacked any other form of entertainment.
(!) [Thomas] One word: Thatcher.
(!) [Jimmy] Ah. Verbum sapienti sat est.
(!) [Rick] Isn't the first rule of Thatcher Club that nobody talks about Thatcher Club?
(!) [Thomas] ... and Michael Hesseltine was just a figment of her imagination? :)
(!) [Rick] Ah, Baron Tarzan, himself!
Where's Punch Magazine , now that we need it?
(!) [Sluggo] The bouncers in England seem to be much bigger on average than the ones here, but maybe the problems are bigger. (All those football fans.) I saw so many bars with two huge bodybuilders outside the door. My thoughts were, (1) where do they find so many of those guys?
(!) [Jimmy] Big guys are easy to find: rugby players and the like.
(!) [Sluggo] (2) does it really take two to deter people at the door?
(!) [Jimmy] Yes. If nothing else, you need one guy to stand in front of the security camera. In general, though, the bouncers (at least in Ireland) tend to be very pleasant: big is not the same as strong, or able to fight, and you never know how many brothers/cousins/etc. a guy has.
(!) [Sluggo] (3) Why isn't one of them inside watching the joint since that's where most of the problems will be?
(!) [Jimmy] No, most of the trouble will be at the door, because they're to stop known trouble makers from getting in in the first place.
(!) [Sluggo] Our bars just have one average-looking guy out front, and the only reason he's there is because the state insists he check the ages on IDs. Unless the bar is large, he's also the security guy.
(!) [Jimmy] In most of the pubs in Ireland, the regulars double as security -- they don't want their favourite pub messed up. In any place that has a nightclub licence (some pubs get them, to stay open later), you'll have at least 4 bouncers at the weekend: 2 at the door, 2 inside.
(!) [Sluggo] « but it's not shown on US TV because figure skating and synchronized swimming are so much more important.
There's a TV show "Ultimate Fighter" that shows how the guys train. I don't have cable so I haven't seen it. But one of the guys, Chris Leben, is from Portland. He used to come up to Washington to fight in the amateur tournaments. We have a good-natured rivalry with his school (Team Quest) because of course Washington is better than Oregon. :) Now he comes up to sell T-shirts. The tournament organizer invited him to stand in the ring as a VIP and said, "He used to fight here. But he ended up beating all our guys. Now he's on to bigger things."
The amateur tournaments normally have pankration matches intermixed with kickboxing, and sometimes muay thai or regular boxing.
Wrestling is disappearing in American colleges due to Title IX, a law that under some interpretations requires an equal number of slots for men and women in sports. So the colleges drop wrestling to avoid getting sued. (There are few women wrestlers, though there are more women pankrationists than you might expect.) Wrestling remains big in the midwest colleges and Oklahoma because there are so many multigenerational wrestling families and it's a moneymaking sport, but it never caught on much in the northwest where football subsidizes all the other sports. But as it disappears from the colleges it's been popping up in the martial arts schools, as people want to cross train. So that could be its dominant place in twenty years. »
(!) [Jimmy] Wrestling is pretty big in Poland, as I found out one night. Long story short, growing up with brothers close to your own age beats (rules-abiding) wrestling.
(!) [Kat] Er. Mike, maybe I misread you, but it looks like you just said that each sport is required to have equal numbers of slots for men and women.
(!) [Sluggo] Not each sport, but over the total number of sports at a school.
The proponents say Title IX does not impose quotas, but in practice one school after another has dropped wrestling out of fear of a lawsuit. In Washington there are some seven universities and a couple dozen community colleges with sports teams. All had wrestling in the 60s. Now only two community colleges have it. The UW still has the padded room, and could restart it immediately if the legal situation were straighened out. Oregon and California have held out better but are still losing teams rapidly.
What happens is, women's slots remain empty because not that many are interested in sports, even with full scholarships. So they cut the number of men's slots by a like amount, and wrestling is an easy target. Not basketball, because the number of men and women playing basketball are similar. A sane person would say, have as many slots as there are people interested, of either gender, and leave it at that.
(!) [Kat] Just for reference, here's what Title IX requires


Title IX governs the overall equity of treatment and opportunity in athletics while giving schools the flexibility to choose sports based on student body interest, geographic influence, budget restraints, and gender ratio. In other words, it is not a matter of women being able to participate in wrestling or that exactly the same amount of money is spent per women's and men's basketball player. Instead, the focus is on the necessity for women to have equal opportunities as men on a whole, not on an individual basis.
In regard to intercollegiate athletics, there are three primary areas that determine if an institution is in compliance:
  1. athletic financial assistance
  2. accommodation of athletic interests & abilities
  3. other program areas
Appraisal of compliance is on a program-wide basis, not on a sport-by-sport basis.
While many resources have been written specific for intercollegiate sports, the general components of Title IX apply to interscholastic sport as well.


* (sorry, managed to lose the URL for the originating site during clip/paste)
(!) [Sluggo] « I asked where the words heel/jobber came from. He said they're not opposites but "heel" means bad guy, the opposite of "face" (good guy).
Jobber means "chosen to lose", from the days when guys were paid to lose a match to change the betting odds. He's doing a job, you see. But as heels got paired with jobbers so frequently the terms got distorted to "winner" and "loser".
He also showed me the difference between a choke hold and a sleeper hold. A choke has the arm in front of the neck (to block the air), while the sleeper has the elbow in front (to block the veins on the side). That's good to know because I was doing sleepers thinking they were chokes. Somebody had told me "always keep your elbow in front", which turned out to be wrong.
Another guy I had a submission match with had an unusual philosophy. He'd learned wrestling along with visualization techniques. So whenever I got frustrated and started muscling my way through, he'd say, "Stop, breathe. Think about your quiet place [the place where you'd felt most tranquil in your life; e.g., a wood or seashore]." I recognized it as a combination of yoga and the visualization competitive wrestlers do. It works. It calms you down and gets you through situations you'd give up on otherwise. »
(!) [Jimmy] Um... that's not really new. Shaolin kung fu started as a method of physical meditation (based on yoga, presumably, as it was brought to the area by an Indian monk), Japanese martial arts have always had a similar philosophy.
As for visualisation, well... you've seen kata and shadow boxing, right?
(!) [Sluggo] Not with visualization, no. I experienced katas briefly in Oom Yung Doe. I'd like to learn a couple of them someday, but not enough to go through a full class.
(!) [Jimmy] OK, fair enough -- kata has become "tradition"[1], so the point is probably lost on most teachers, but with both kata and shadow boxing, you're fighting an imaginary opponent: visualisation.
[1] A British karate practitioner, who has also studied several other martial arts, wrote a book explaining how many of the "decorative" moves from the Shotokan kata are actually throws and grapples. The excerpt I read made a lot of sense, but the traditionalists are deeply in denial.
(!) [Sluggo] « I arrived a day early and the host was setting things up, along with two locals. He asked what I'd heard about Oklahoma. I said, "Wheat fields and the Dust Bowl. You never hear about Oklahoma in the news." Except for the bombing, he reminded me. He asked what the price of gas was in Seattle. I said, "$2.80 regular, $3.10 premium." They were shocked and said it's $2.15 there, which I verified at gas stations. Oklahoma City is the only state capital that's still producing oil. I'd seen the derricks near the airport. A mini Middle East in the US. »
(!) [Kat] OK City may be the only state capital, but you're aware that other cities (outside of Texas) have working oil production? El Segundo (just south of LAX).
(!) [Sluggo] All the Oklahomans I'd met previously had a flat accent close to Midwestern. So I was surprised to call the hotel and hear a Southern drawl. And then our host was saying "y'all" right and left. Half the locals were speaking Southernese, the other half General American. I asked what's up with that. He said, "The Okies talk Southern; the transplants don't." So there you go.
(!) [Kat] Remember that Oklahoma is where the Okies came from...and that it's just north of Texas.
(!) [Sluggo] Breakfast was eggs, ham/bacon/sausage, a biscuit with gravy, a plain biscuit, and hash browns/tater tots.
(!) [Jimmy] Um... 'biscuit'? With gravy? Care to describe that? (I'm pretty sure you're not talking about the kinds of biscuits we get, though digestive biscuits do go well with a good cheddar).
(!) [Sluggo] American biscuits are globs of dough. http://static.flickr.com/2/1391594_15a763a08e.jpg http://www.hollyeats.com/images/South/Arcade-Biscuit.jpg
(!) [Thomas] Over the years, Mike and I have discussed all manner of our cultural (that's England versus America and vice versa) differences. I took advantage of this, when Heather and Jim were visiting, too. It's really fascinating [1].
For instance, when I offered Heather some bacon, she was shocked that the size of the rashers was very large. To me, they were normal, so I asked her what she meant -- apparently, most bacon in America is half the size of a typical rasher here.
[1] This is subjective -- but I love it. :)
(!) [Jimmy] If you're ever in Morrissons (sp?), have a look at the Razzlers rashers.
(!) [Thomas] Yeah -- saw them in Sainsburys.
(!) [Jimmy] Oh. I was sure they were made for Morrissons. Well, that's streaky bacon (though Razzlers is sweet cure, so it's not like American bacon).
(!) [Jimmy] Oh! Biscuit == scone, gotcha.
(!) [Rick] Close. 'Merkin biscuits are in general and a lot smaller. If they were sweet, they'd be classified as "cookies". What are called "saltine crackers" are a fairly typical subcategory of American biscuits, e.g.: http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2005/03/the-saltine-challenge
(!) [Sluggo] Er, biscuits are leavened, crackers are unleavened.
(!) [Rick] Well, if you look at, say, Ritz saltine crackers, you'll find that they are leavened with baking powder or baking soda. Not much, but they're not flatbread. Not like this stuff: http://www.recipezaar.com/137356
(!) [Sluggo] Cookies can be either (if compact cookies like ginger snaps and digestive cookies are truly unleavened). Cookies are sweeter than biscuits, but 'Merkin scones are also sweeter than biscuits, but not as sweet as cookies. The word "biscuit" is sometimes imported to refer to to a British food ("digestive biscuits"), the way "football" is sometimes imported for soccer.
(!) [Kat] [gee, I can't get online for a few days and a food discussion breaks out in TAG]
American biscuits are a type of bread.
I would say that scones are best described as a sort of leavened shortbread. You can have savory scones, although they're not very traditional.
A cookie in American culinary terms is any quick-baking sweet that isn't a piecrust, bread or cake. (Brownies and blondies skirt the edge between cookie and cake, in my estimation.) I don't know where you get this "cookies are soft and chewy" idea, Mike -- surely this is your own preference on this, since it excludes things like Oreos?
(!) [Sluggo] There are also "Australian toaster biscuits", which look almost like English muffins but taste different. According to the links below, they're similar to a crumpet, a food we don't otherwise have.
(!) [Kat] Crumpets are usually confined to areas of the U.S. with either a high British expat or foodie contingent. (For those who are still unclear on "what's an English muffin" (being neither English nor a muffin) -- they're a sort of chewy bread that's split and toasted until they're rough on the toasted side).
(!) [Sluggo] English muffin http://robeth.com/WebImage/A_WEB_EnglishMuffinToasted.jpg
(!) [Jimmy] What the heck is that? It looks like a bagel with the middle left in.
(!) [Sluggo] Australian toaster biscuit http://www.recipezaar.com/52813 http://bread.allrecipes.com/az/AstrlnTstrBscts.asp
Muffin http://www.ghalad.com/upload/files/muffin.jpg (sweeter than a scone, not as sweet as a cookie)
(!) [Jimmy] We get those here. My brother went through a chocolate muffin phase in college: we'd play cards[1] in the canteen with his friends, and he used to buy rounds of muffins.
[1] A Klondike-like game called "Bastards". Ever heard of it?
(!) [Kat] Muffins are just cakes baked in small containers.
(!) [Sluggo] No, that's what cupcakes are. :)
(!) [Kat] True. A muffin is just a quickbread baked in a small container.
I know of other English speakers who use the word "cakeling" for cupcakes.
(!) [Sluggo] An Aussie discusses the different kinds of muffins http://www.aussieinamerica.com/food/muffins.htm
Foster's used to run a series of ads that ended with: "Foster's. Australian for beer." I told this to an Australian friend and he laughed, saying Foster's was just one beer among many in Australia.
(!) [Jimmy] Sure. You expect otherwise?
While we're talking about beer, my friend's Polish housemate told me that drinking beer at work is tolerated in Czech factories[2]. Yikes.
[2] He's a pretty serious kind of guy, so I wouldn't automatically put it down to the usual tendancy to bash the neighbouring country.
(!) [Breen] And one which my Aussie friends say they make only for export to the States.
(!) [Jimmy] Uh... Hmm. What's the percentage?
(!) [Lew] It should be close to 0%.
Yes, Fosters Lager is imported to the USA. It is imported to the US from up here in Canada, where we brew it under license.
FWIW, 20+ years ago, my wife and I honeymooned in Oz, where we picked up a liking for Tooeys. Never had a drop of Fosters the whole time we were there.
(!) [Rick] And the pity is, there are many good Australian beers, e.g., Victoria Bitter, Mathilda Bay Brass Monkey stout, etc.
I'd say your friend was being polite, since Foster's is something of an object of derision, in Oz.
(!) [Kat] My Aussie friends are evidently ruder than yours, and say "Foster's is Australian for piss."
(!) [Sluggo] The scones here are sweeter than biscuits, and in a triangle shape.
(!) [Jimmy] Sweeter, yes; they also come in triangles here.
(!) [Sluggo] (The first one is a bit more yellow than normal.) They're very simple to make. Flour, baking powder, salt, and water or milk. Stir vigorously with a fork a couple minutes. Drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet (or use cutters for a precise shape). Bake at 450*F for 8-10 minutes. Biscuits were common in colonial times as a quick bread, but nowadays on the west coast they're mostly a breakfast item, served with butter, jam, or honey. In the South they're also served with dinner, and if there's a Kentucky Fried Chicken near you, they serve a biscuit with the chicken. (I did see packages of fried chicken and biscuits at a deli in OKC. And packages of ribs to go.)
According to the Clabber Girl box, baking powder was quite the rage in the 1800s. It leavens instantly when exposed to water, unlike yeast which takes hours. http://commerce24.pair.com/webstaff/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/clabber_girl.jpg
http://science.howstuffworks.com/question57.htm http://users.rcn.com/sue.interport/food/bakgsoda.html
Biscuits with gravy is a Southern thing. I've had it in restaurants occasionally, usually with a white gravy with sausage chunks. http://www.chickfila.com/MenuItems.asp?MenuItem=gravybiscuit
Note to yanks: digestive biscuits are these small flat unleavened things that pass for cookies in Europe. They make you go, "but a cookie is supposed to be bigger and chewy!"
(!) [Jimmy] I take it you don't get ginger snaps, custard creams, Jaffa Cakes, Hobnobs, etc.? :)
(!) [Sluggo] Ginger snaps, yes. But fresh ginger snaps are softer than digestive cookies. The others I haven't heard of.
(!) [Jimmy] Softer? You mean they don't... snap?
(!) [Rick] Ginger snaps, custard creams[1], Jaffa Cakes, and McVities Hobnobs would all be classified as "cookies", on account of being sweet.
[1] Mind shipping me some Bolands? Thanks very much.
(!) [Jimmy] Wow. Haven't seen those in a while. I'll have a look. Want some Jersey Creams while I'm at it? The mention of Bolands brought back fond memories of pooling change with my brother while we were both at college together, living with the housemate from hell.
(!) [Rick] I was really only joking. While I'm fond of Irish biscuits, I wouldn't want to put anyone to the effort of shipping them halfway around the globe, for me.
There was a time that I did a big favour for a British acquaintance, and he kindly shipped me a huge box of Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles. That was much appreciated (and delicious). But, again, it was a somewhat extravagant gesture.
(!) [Jimmy] ...and Fruit Pastilles are somewhat less likely to become inedible in transit.
(!) [Jimmy] It seems that Bolands no longer exists: it either merged with, or was bought by, another company. Whatever happened, I haven't seen their biscuits in any shops
(!) [Sluggo] They're sold in the US under the Marie Lu brand. I couldn't find a picture of Marie Lu, but here are digestive biscuits. http://scally.typepad.com/photos/photo_cuisine/digestive_biscuit.jpg http://www.britsuperstore.com/acatalog/Mcvities_Digestive_250g.jpg http://www.foodsubs.com/Crackers.html
(!) [Sluggo] Half the meal was grains or potatoes. I was almost desperate for fiber -- an apple or banana, please! -- but the closest was orange juice. Dinner was heavy on steak and ribs. This is cowboy country, and there were plenty of cowboy hats. I could barely remember from childhood that this was what all American food was like before the ethnic restaurants took over.
(!) [Kat] Er...surely when thee and me were little, if you were on the West Coast like I was, you remember hippie-leftover cafes?
(!) [Sluggo] I remember one cafe in the 80s that had the lovely name Morningtown.
It was vegetarian and run by a collective. That's the hippiest cafe I saw until the Gravity Bar in the 90s, which served gross wheat grass, barley, and carrot drinks, and any other vegetable or grain they could put in a blender. In the 60s I remember McDonald's, but I was just a wee'un then. What kind of cafes are you talking about?
Gravity Bar http://www.roadtripamerica.com/eats/gravity.htm (It doesn't exist anymore.) I couldn't find a picture of the ultramodern decor (a loss to history), but it was in the silver metal style like the top of the kitchen picture. The silver metal tables were small, high, and round, and the diagonal legs came down to a point.
Growing up, food was like the Oklahoma meals minus the gravy and ribs, and with less emphasis on grains. I'd totally forgotten about that. I remember several months ago pondering what was American food and then thinking, "*Is* there any American food?" It took a while to remember: "Burgers and pizza, of course!" But now when my office pools for takeout lunch, it's "Teriyaki, Thai, or Chinese?" At home it's a plain chicken, plain fish, or pho. Breakfast is eggs and toast, or cereal. Though I do have pizza once or twice a week, like any red-blooded American. :)
(Thomas: that's bloodED, not bloodY.)
(!) [Sluggo] « We often ate at a "root-beer diner" that served excellent root beer in chilled mugs, along with the aforementioned breakfasts and hot dogs for lunch.
The hotel was five miles from downtown in an industrial district. I never did get downtown. The one thing I hate about the South is the lack of buses. Too socialist, I guess. So I took a taxi from the airport, which I never do if I can avoid it. It would have been $50 to go downtown and back in a taxi, so I didn't. But there's a bombing memorial downtown, and outside of town is the Wrestling Hall of Fame at a university. Maybe next year I'll see those.
A gay hotel in Oklahoma City is an uncommon thing, and it's the only one for several surrounding states. I told the taxi driver to take me to the Habana Inn and he looked at me strangely for a long moment. The dispatcher joked to him, "I'll take him if you don't want to." I didn't give a f**k what they thought but it was hilarious. OKC isn't quite as homophobic as Reverend "God Hates Fags" Phelps in Kansas, who pickets AIDS funerals, but it's close. »
(!) [Breen] The Branch Fredphelpsians have also taken to picketing the funerals of Iraq military dead. FP apparently has taken up some grudge against the Pentagon to augment his other psychoses.
(!) [Sluggo] « The hotel has a country bar and a disco bar. A bar in a hotel sounds funny when there are three gay bars within two blocks, until you realize that many of the guests come from surrounding states with no gay bars within a hundred miles of them. »
(!) [Kat] Er...why does a bar in a hotel sound funny? For some sufficiently high value of "most", hotels have bars, motels generally don't. -ish.
Ah, America...all these variations.
(!) [Sluggo] « Another "feature" of the hotel was trolls: local voyeurs who loitered on the balconies. My room was at the end of an outdoor balcony, so I had to literally stand next to them as I unlocked my door. In my experience, the only people who hang out on balconies are panhandlers or drug dealers, so it was unnerving for a day until I realized they were well behaved and not pushy. I attributed this to local tradition, but another wrestler pointed out, "They don't know if we'll beat the shit out of them." I tend to forget this since I know I'm mild mannered, as is everyone else in the wrestling network. (Assholes are not well liked, as Willy Lowman would say.)
Then there was our host's little scuffle. I only heard it secondhand, but on the last night (Saturday) he was in a car, and some rednecks in another car started shouting "Faggots!" and "AIDS!" and other pleasantries. He flipped them off, and the driver asked if he wanted to fight about it. He said yes and started getting out of the car. The driver floored the accellerator and sped away. Haha!
(!) [Sluggo] I thought your statement about hiding one list and making the other one public -- and then reversing them -- was great.

(?) :)

(!) [Sluggo] I almost said, "No, don't reverse them! I insist the TAG list be the hidden one!!!" :)
I've been ignoring that highly mathematical thread, whatever it says.

(?) Oh, c'mon. What part of

                   / 2
            -b + \/ b   - 4 a c
x = ----------------------------------
                     2 a

don't you understand?

(?) Australians in America

Fri, 11 Nov 2005

From Mike Orr

There's tons of great quotes and comparisions on this "An Aussie in America" site.

http://www.aussieinamerica.com/food/nostalgia.htm One man's meat is another man's poison. Aussies and yanks have very different tastes regarding junk food.

"My cultural preferences are exposed when I assume something not widely known in America would take off like a house on fire if only these deprived people could sample it. Yet, when I am the author of this happy event, to my astonishment my beneficiaries remain unconverted."

* http://www.aussieinamerica.com/food/thought.htm My kingdom for a meat pie!

* http://www.aussieinamerica.com/food/outback.htm The Outback Steakhouse, a pseudo-authentic Australian restaurant in the States.

""Bloomin' Onion". In this, the Outback has outdone even the Australian propensity for irreverence with its use of expletives to name menu dishes. This could well be the appeal! They advertise themselves as "Home of the Bloomin' Onion" and are justifiably proud of this creation; a deep-fried battered onion cut to resemble a flower..."

"Despite their best efforts at helpful translations, the Outback still has the potential to confuse the locals. I got a good laugh when an Asian-American (ESL) friend related that on a visit to the Outback he had to ask the waiter which toilet (restroom) to use, as he couldn't sort out the "Blokes" from the "Sheilas". They might want to put those international stick figures back on the doors."

(!) [Jimmy] Over here, there are a few tourist unfriendly pubs that have the toilets named "Fir" and "Mná" (Irish for men and women). That's about the only Irish any visitor to the country should ever need to learn. (Well, maybe "sláinte" ("health")).

(?) * http://www.aussieinamerica.com/holidays/lights.htm 240 volts vs 120

It says all Australian outlets have wall switches, because it's supposedly too unsafe to pull a live cord from a 240-volt outlet. Why did I not see these switches in Europe then? Or did I just fail to notice them?

(!) [Jimmy] It's about 50-50 here.

(?) Here about the only outlets that have switches are living rooms without a built-in light. The idea is that you'll have a lamp that precisely matches your decor preferences. This was popular in 70s construction. It's irritating if you (1) don't have a lamp, or (2) don't want to put a table in that location, because you have to walk across a dark room to turn on your other lamp. And most portable lamps don't adequately light the room unless you have lots of them, so you end up with a couple lighted areas in a sea of darkness.

(!) [Kat] Have you tried those cheap "indirect" halogen torchieres that IKEA sells for around $19.99? I found that those answered both the "enough light" and "don't want to put a table there" problems back when I needed to light built-in-the-80's condos.

(?) Ah yes, they solve the light problem. But they're 300 watts and burn hot, so not only they use a lot of electricity but are a fire hazard.

(?) Slightly less irritating are bedrooms with a dinky ceiling light over the closet, so again you have to use a lot of (space-consuming) lamps or curse the darkness. I've been living in pre-1930s construction for most of the past 16 years (my current apartment was built in 1903), and it doesn't have such nonsense. Every room has a ceiling light in the center that lights the whole room.

(?) "Click on this picture he sent for an enlarged view of:

...the electrical panel BEFORE it was replaced. Check the "frankenswitch" -- something you'd see out of a horror movie. All I remember of it now is that when you used to move the switch to turn the power on, you would hear a 60Hz hum and sparks would fly when the switch made contact for a few seconds. I've never seen ANYTHING like it in Australia!" (This would be the main switch you see in older houses, upstream from all the fuses. A big knife switch. Um, what do old Australian houses have instead?)

* http://www.aussieinamerica.com/geography/remote.htm How remote is remote?

"What people don't realise is, it's not Australia that is far away, it is the rest of the world that is "distant"."


"Taxi etiquette is the classic example of Australians' aversion to superiority. If you hop in the back seat of a taxi, the driver will perceive you to be condescendingly taking on the role of master with chauffer. So most people sit in the front. This is a behaviour in sharp contrast with American custom. Here, the driver expects you to sit in the backseat, and would consider it a threatening action if you were to hop in the front. You have more opportunity to poke a gun in his ribs and demand his cash. (A similar contrast is found in what is considered to be proper behaviour when the police pull you over in your car. In Australia it is considered polite to get out of your vehicle, as a gesture of meeting the officer halfway. In America such behaviour is considered threatening and could get you shot. The best procedure is to stay seated with your hands on the wheel.)"

(!) [Jimmy] It's front seat here too. I don't drive, so I don't know about being pulled over, but I'm pretty sure you're supposed to stay in the car.

(?) * http://www.aussieinamerica.com/geography/convict.htm

"I am struck by the amount of Australian slang concerned with anger or conflict. This could well reveal the preoccupations of the underdog with a capricious and cantankerous authority. In practice, it might mitigate the fear of a teacher's wrath, to later describe the scene as, "Mr. Brown chucked a wobbly"."

"When someone is having a temper tantrum you can remark that they chucked a spaz (short for spastic), cracked a mental, had a mental attack, had a spaz-attack, chucked a wobbly, chucked a tantie (short for tantrum), had a pink fit, had a hissy fit (short for hysterical), or spat the dummy (pacifier)."

http://www.aussieinamerica.com/geography/earthquake2.htm Anne experiences her second earthquake

"...earthquakes are the Bigfoot of natural disasters, resistant to prediction, manipulation, or control, the only ones still defying both the imagination and the photograph. A hurricane's giant waves and black skies send witnesses dashing for cameras, but the first tremor of an earthquake sends them running for their lives. Earthquake photographs show an aftermath of fissures, landslides, and pan caked expressways - but those of the event itself are invariably disappointing, just blurred buildings or panicked shoppers caught by a security camera. People say their refrigerators danced and their palm trees kissed the ground, but where is the proof? The National Geographic Society has installed video cameras aimed at bar stools and couches in earthquake-prone Parkfield, California, setting them to begin filming at the first nudge, but film what? Crashing gin bottles and falling chimneys? And how will this help anyone imagine an earthquake? -- Thurston Clarke, California Fault"


"Our cellar is a cellar until there is a tornado warning. For some reason, it then suddenly becomes a basement."

" In NJ, you ask for a soda by name or you call it soda. In Texas, it's called coke no matter what it is (and even then you get a dr. pepper) ... In NJ, they place your products in a bag. In Kansas, they put them in a sack. In Georgia, they don't put them in anything unless you glare real hard at them."

"I especially like how in the States you pay a check with a bill. But in Oz you pay your bill with a cheque."

An American in Australia writes: "I slid and fell, smacking my tailbone on a curb, which caused great pain. Later, when my neighbor and his work "mates" were out the front as I came home, one commented on my walking funny. I did not say I fell on my a##. I responded by saying, "I fell on my fanny and hurt myself." I thought I had refrained from swearing or being crass and boy was I wrong! The workers howled and wanted details how I could hit my fanny and hurt it. (Hint: in America boys and girls have a "fanny", but in Australia only girls do.) "

"It seems the Australian shitty has a greater range in the degree of remonstrance than the American shitty, and Americans do not understand it in its milder versions. When an Aussie says, "No need to get shitty about it", they usually mean, "No need to get into a bad temper about it."

(There are tons of others in the article.)

(?) "End Of"

Fri, 25 Nov 2005

From Thomas Adam

Mike, et. al

(!) [Jimmy] In the back of my mind, Paul Simon is singing :)
(!) [Sluggo]
"Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
Don't need to be coy, Roy
Just listen to me

Hop on the bus, Gus
Don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free"

   -- Paul Simon, "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover"

(?) Here's an idiom that I am hearing often. The premise of its use seems to centre around a dialog -- it might be describing an event -- say, a scenario that happened that day:

"Yeah, you wouldn't believe what happened today. I kept trying to get him to tell me what he meant, but he couldn't articulate it. Ugh, I was getting very angry. I couldn't take any more of his evasions. So in the end I told him to shut up. End of."

End of.

(!) [Jay] From the (I gather, snarky) German "ende!", which, presumably, means "That's all I have for you"?
(!) [Sluggo] Never heard of it. I'd say, "End of story," but even that sounds kind of like Trainspotting. Add it to the list of British contractions like "Deffo!" and "Brill!" that haven't made it here.
(!) [Jay] Hey; I use "brill".
(!) [Sluggo] When did you first hear it? How widespread is it?
(!) [Jay] Made it up, I thought.
(!) [Sluggo] I first encountered it two days ago in...
Remember Jimmy's quote in Johnny and the Dead about Karl Marx? I'd never heard of that book but it sounded so cool I ordered the trilogy from the library. Curiously, they don't have it in book form but only on cassette. It's read by Richard Mitchley who's a really good actor.
Every character has a different accent. Wobbler sounds pretty
cockney. I'm not sure how that could happen in "Blackbury" wherever that is (20 miles from the sea, prob'ly further from London). On the other hand, his grandfather was evacuated from London during WWII and remained in Blackbury, so maybe that was the reason.
The tone is like Douglas Adams writing to a younger audience.
(!) [Jimmy] Hmm. Never read pTerry before?
(!) [Sluggo] Hadn't heard of him.
(!) [Sluggo] I liked Johnny and the Bomb best. A time-travelling story about a German blitz on a street in Blackbury. There seemed to be an invisible elephant in the story though. Everybody acts like there haven't been real bombs since WWII, but how can people in 1998 not know about the IRA bombs or even mention them, even in a very small town?
(!) [Neil] I guess it's a matter of perspective. The Blitz was a pretty big thing, affecting a huge number of people. The IRA campaign was small and while it had a large media impact, it really didn't seriously affect many people[1].
I grew up in London during the IRA bombing campaigns and worked there for a while. It really isn't something I would think about much at all, in spite of having been "close" [2] to a couple of bombs. I certainly wouldn't normally think about it in connection with the blitz.
[1] Obviously for those whose friends and family were actually killed it had a big impact. Most of us were just mildly inconvenienced by occasional security alerts shutting down tube lines or closing down a street we wanted to visit.
[2] The docklands bomb want off about an hour after I left Canary Wharf and there was an attack on Gatwick Airport with a home made mortar, about an hour after I left on a flight to Florida IIRC.
(!) [Jimmy] Because it's irrelevant to the plot? Because the town (imaginary, BTW) was situated far enough away from the major cities that its inhabitants would have been relatively unaffected?
How about: because it's a kids book, and the only knowledge of history assumed is that there had been a war, and that Britain had fought Germany?
(!) [Sluggo] I'll have more quotes from it later but it's hard to find quotes in a 6-hour tape. One word sticks out because I didn't understand at all. The boys went to the /m{l/ (rhymes with cat). Only when they compared it to American /m{l/s did I realize they meant /mAl/ (rhymes with father); i.e., mall.
Yo-less, who was "technically" black but didn't say "Yo" and was a bookish nerd. Actually it said, "He didn't say 'Yo' or 'Check it out'." I didn't think there was anything particularly black about "Check it out"; everybody has said it for years.
(!) [Jimmy] "Only You Can Save Mankind" was inspired by the first Gulf War, so you have to take that into account.
(!) [Sluggo] I got partway through that book but the silliness level finally got me and I gave up.
(!) [Jimmy] Fun fact: pTerry's daughter, for whom the books were written, now reviews video games for a living.
"Johnny and the Bomb" says this:
"He was black. Technically. But he never said 'Yo', and only said 'check it out' in the supermarket, and the only person he ever called a mother was his mother."
(!) [Sluggo] One quote was something like, "Let's stop being satanic and go home."
Yes, Jimmy, I enjoyed Bigmac's skinhead adventures. Always law-abiding except he had a weakness for cars with the keys left in them. But he always got in trouble coz he looked like he must be guilty of something. Too bad he listens to heavy metal and has swastikas on his jacket, but at least Pratchett got it better than most authors do.
(!) [Jimmy] You forgot that he was also good at maths:
"Bigmac was good. He was good at maths. Sort of. It made the teachers wild. You could show Bigmac some sort of horribly equation and he'd say 'x=2.75' and he'd be right. But he never knew why. 'It's just what is is,' he'd say. And that was no good. Knowing the answers wasn't what maths was about. Maths was about showing how you worked them out, even if you got them wrong."
Terry Pratchett, "Johnny and the Bomb"
(!) [Sluggo] I just didn't consider it important. :)
(!) [Jimmy] You do realise that in most places, there is little or no segregation between punk and metal fans, so pTerry was closer to the mark than you would have been :-P
More quotes:
Poor old Rubber. Of course, you called people mental all the time, but there was something weird about him. His body walked around down on Earth but his brain was probably somewhere you couldn't find with an atlas.
Terry Pratchett, "Only You Can Save Mankind"
The Alderman said Mr Vincenti had been a Capo de Monte in the Mafia. Mr Vincenti told Johnny that, on the contrary, he had spent his entire life being a wholesale novelty salesman, amateur escapologist and children's entertainer, which in a number of important respects was as exactly like not being in the Mafia as it was possible to get.
Terry Pratchett, "Johnny and the Dead"
The audience in the Frank W. Arnold Civic Centre looked a bit sheepish, like a class after the teacher has stormed out. Democracy only works very well if people are told how to do it.
Terry Pratchett, "Johnny and the Dead"
       'How do you feel about fish?'
       'Can't abide fish.'
       'Not Iceland then. I believe it's very hard to have fun in
Iceland without fish being involved in some way. Well, now... it'll
be early evening in New York.'
       'America?' said Miss Liberty. 'Won't we get scalped?'
       'Good grief; no!' said William Stickers, who was a bit more
up to date about the world.
       '_Probably_ not,' said Mr Fletcher, who had been watching the
news lately and was even more up to date than William Stickers.
Terry Pratchett, "Johnny and the Dead"
Johnny had been on a school visit once, to a sort of theme park that showed you what things had been like in the all-purpose Olden Days. It had been quite interesting, although everyone had been careful not to show it, because if you weren't careful they'd sneak education up on you while your guard was down.
Terry Pratchett, "Johnny and the Dead"
(!) [Sluggo] [From Johnny and the Bomb . The boys and Kursty the girl have been transported from 1998 to 1941. Wobbler meets a snotty boy with a suitcase, running away back to London where he was evacuated from:]
   Wobbler: Who's Jerry?
   One eye looked at him with deep suspicion.  ---The *Germans*....
   ---Why, are we fighting the Germans?
   ---Are you an American?  Our dad says the Americans ought to fight
but they're waiting to see who's winning.
   Wobbler decided it might be best to be American for a bit.  ---Uh,
er, yes, sure.
   ---Go on, say something American.
   ---Er, right on, Republican, Microsoft, Spider-Man, h-h-have a nice day.
   This demonstration of trans-Atlantic origins seemed to satisfy the
small boy.
   [The boy talks wistfully about air raids in London and collecting shrapnel.]
   ---What's shrapnel?
   ---Are you a loonie?  It's bits of a bomb....
   ---What year is this?
   The boy looked at him sideways.  ---You're a spy.  You don't know
anythink about nothink.  You ain't an American coz I seen them on the
pictures.  If you're an American, where's your gun?
   ---Don't be daft, Americans don't all have guns....
Kursty had a sort of talent for striking matches in a firework factory.
Bigmac quite liked Miss Partridge. She was nasty. The two social workers he'd had before had made out that he was wet [what?], but Miss Partridge made it clear that if she had her way, Bigmac would have been strangled at birth. You could respect someone like that. They didn't make you feel like some kind of useless nerd.
[Bigmac sees a tempting car.]
Bigmac stared at the car. He'd seen ones like it on television.... The keys were still in the ignition. Bigmac wasn't a criminal, he was just, around, when things happened. This was because of stupidity. Other people's stupidity. Mainly other people's stupidity in designing cars that would go from nought to 120 miles an hour in ten seconds, and selling them to even more stupid people who were only interested in dull things like fuel consumption and what color the seats were.... The keys were still in the ignition. As far as Bigmac was concerned, he was practically doing the people a favor by really seeing what their cars could do. No way was that stealing. Because he always put the cars back if he could, and they were often [in] nearly the same shape. You'd think people would be proud to know their car could do 130 miles an hour along the Blackbury bypass.... The keys were still in the ignition. There were a million places where the keys could have been, but in the ignition was where they were.
[Bigmac crashes the car and gets hauled to the police station. The police captain is very interested in his transistor radio and earphone. There's also a police sergeant, and a soldier standing by the door.]
   Captain Harris: You say you live in the, Joshua Che M'Clement
block, which is near here, you say?
   ---You can see it easily,--- said Bigmac trying to be helpful.
---Or you could to, if it was here.
   The captain and the police sergeant looked at each other.  ---It's not here.
   ---Yes, I dunno why.  (pause)
   ---Tell me again what 'Heavy Mental' is.
   ---They're a neo-punk thrash band.
   ---A music band.
   ---Er, yes,
   ---And we would have heard them on the wireless, perhaps?
   ---I shouldn't think so.  Their last single was "I'm Gonna Rip Off
Your 'Ead and Spit Down the 'Ole".
   ---"Rip off your.. Head?" said the policeman, who was taking notes.
   ---"And Spit Down the Hole."--- said Bigmac helpfully.
   ---This watch of yours with the numbers on it.  I see it's got
little buttons too.  What happens if I press them?
   The policemen tried to move away a little.
   ---Er, the one on the left lights it up so you can see it in the dark.
   ---Really?  And why would you want to do that?
   ---When you wake up in the night and want to know what time it
is?-- Bigmac suggested after some deep thought.
   ---And the other button?
   ---That's to tell you what time it is in another country.
   Everyone suddenly seemed very interested.
   ---What other country?--- said the captain sharply.
   ---It's stuck on Singapore.
   The captain laid it down very carefully.  The sergeant wrote out a
label and tied it to the watch strap.  Then the captain picked up
Bigmac's jacket.
   ---What is this made of?
   ---I dunno, some kind of plastic.  They sell them down the market.
   The captain pulled it this way and that.  ---How is it made?
   ---Ah, I know that.  I read about it.  You mix some chemicals
together, and you get plastic.
   ---In camouflage colors?
   Bigmac licked his lips.  He was sure that he was in deep trouble
so there was no sense in pretending.  ---That's just to make you look
   ---"Hard", I see,---  said the captain, and his eyes didn't give
away whether he really saw or not.  He held up the back of the jacket
and pointed to two words done rather badly in biro.  [This means a
thick marking pen?]  ---What exactly are "Blackbury Skins"?
   ---Er, that's me and Bazzer and Skazz, er, skinheads.  A kind o' gang.
   ---"Gang?"--- said the captain.
   ---Er, yes.
   ---Er, the haircut.
   ---Looks like an ordinary military haircut to me.
   ---And these,--- said the captain, pointing to the swastikas on
either side of the name.  ---Gang badges, are they?  Also to make you
look "hard"?
   ---Er, it's just, you know, Adolph Hitler and that.
   All the men were staring at him.
   Bigmac: It's just decoration!
   The captain put the coat down very slowly.
   Bigmac: It's nothing to get excited about.  Where I come from you
can buy badges and things down the market.  You can get Gestapo
   ---That's enough.  Now listen to me.  You'll make it easier on
yourself if you tell me the truth right now.  I want your name, the
names of your contacts, everything.  A unit is coming from
headquarters, and they aren't as patient as I am.  Do you undersand?
   He stood up and started putting Bigmac's labelled belongings into a sack.
   ---Hey, that's my stuff!
   ---Lock him up!
   ---You can't lock me up just for some old car--
   ---We can for spying.  Oh yes, we can.---  He strode out of the room.
   ---Spying?!  Me?
   ---Are you one of them 'Itler Youths? --- said the sergeant
conversationally.  ---I saw you lot on the newsreel, waving all them
torches.  Nasty pieces of work I thought.  Like Boy Scouts gone bad.
    ---I haven't spied for anyone!!  I don't know how to spy!  I
don't even *like* Germany!  My brother got sent home from Munich for
stitching up one of their football supporters with a scaffolding pole,
even though it wasn't his fault.
   Such rock-solid evidence of anti-Germanic feeling did not seem to
impress the sergeant.
   ---You can get shot, you know.  First offense.
   Bigmac's boots dug in to the floor, and he rose out of his chair
like a missile going off.  His feet barely touched the tabletop....
Miss Partridge might make cutting remarks, but she wasn't allowed to
use bullets, however much she wanted to.
(!) [Sluggo] We've got, "As if!" And "Not!"
Please take back "Fab!" Really.
As to what we would say, that kind of sentance doesn't really need a tail; just emphasize "Shut up". But in general instead of "End of story" we'd more likely say "And there you go" or "And that's that", etc. Or "That's it" when something is finished.
(!) [Jay] I'm very fond of "that's all I have for you", myself. Was that Good Morning, Vietnam? Or Top Gun? Firebirds, maybe?

(?) End of what? End of the sentence? End of the dialogue?

(!) [Dave Williams] I've been hearing a lot of terminal 'with'. Like, "Wait up, Steve, Lucy wants to go with!" Then I'm hung up, waiting for the rest of it.
It's probably from some TV show.
(!) [Sluggo] It's a dialect expression. "Do you want to come with?" has been around a long time. I remember a Canadian woman saying it in the 80s.
It may now be spreading from its dialect confines like a virus.
(!) [Dave] Since I gave up on the idiot box in 1986, I'm not exposed to the media influence much any more.

(?) Maybe, although that can't be its only outlet. I too do not watch any television, and yet I sometimes hear it on the radio.

(!) [Dave] My wife will come up with weird words or phrases, and when I ask where she heard that, she never knows. I have a fair idea...

(?) Typically I'd say:

"End of story."

... which means "I've had enough." But yet again, this shortening is happening. Interesting.

(!) [Pete] End Of Proper Human Communication?
(!) [Jimmy] End of conversation --

(?) Sure -- I managed to infer that. :P

(!) [Jimmy] I remember hearing this exchange on some random TV show:
"End of!" (Other character attempts to speak) "End! Of! Con! Ver! Sa! Tion!"
Though I think it's just "End of" so the other person can fill in the blank -- "end of any and all dealings we've been having" kind of thing.

(?) I doubt that. It's lazy. :P

(!) [Pete] I remember one year a friend of mine gave me a blank christmas card and told me to fill in the blanks, now that's lazy.
(!) [Adam]
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the End (of)...
... the Doors?

Released under the Open Publication license

Published in Issue 122 of Linux Gazette, January 2006