03 June 2006

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So farewell then, Brian Church ...

Border this post blackest black and send to Spitaki Gnome for poet laureat EJ Thribb (17) to compose his dirgiest valete.

Wit and tutor par excellence  Brian Church is "shortly off to London to be a more sensible and serious person."

I trust it is also for sensible and serious money.


One of my favourite adjectives, "serious".

When η minxette the angular Aγγela slips me a bit of gossip about the goings-on up in Cassiopington-on-sea, I twirl Greek fingers and lean over her cleavage and mutter 'sovaRO'! (I do wish I had emphatic acute accents. Since being introduced to Mr Churchopoulos' excellent guide to learning Greek in 25 years, I've become fussy and intolerant of unaccented English.)

Indeed, maman and I drowned our sorrows in a swig of the good stuff and debated dropping Athens News now that their star columnist is jumping ship. Except.

Except that readers of AN have the best back page in the WORLD: not just BC but ~ wait for it ~ the non-pareil Dilbert.

Am I in nerdy linguist heaven, or what?

jacket of greek in 25 yearsSeriously, those of you unaware of Church's stylish wit, open a new window sans delay and order online. (No, dear, you don't need the slightest urge to learn the lingo, just to laugh and admire witty writing].

In fact, I'm going to write a gateway tool whereby slavering Corfucius readers have to answer a different question each time they enter ("Page 85: who immortalised it in song?").

Brian deserves all the sales he can get.

He also deserves fans writing very VERY polite requests to think again and stay. Vast pay packets and a 25-storey corner office aren't *everything*, tell him.

So farewell then, Brian Church
We read you for a laff
But you're also a damn'd good teacher.
Keith's mum wants to know
What's the use of learning to
Chat up the locals if it takes til 85?
I tell her it's for the talent in the nursing home.
I showed my teacher, he turned a few pages,
Asked "This is - ah - humour?"
His own lessons aren't exactly
A barrel of laughs.

I keep remembering more good times with the Church tome:

The Greek upsilon - υ - is pronounced as a "V". Euro is eVro. No, not Ev-roe; Ev Ro, as in hot sans the 't'.

; ??: And the Greek question mark (?) is our semi-colon (;)

[Ed: You are after his job! On yer bike, lad: He's irreplaceable]

So I'm down at the Prifi, spongeing drinks off the tourists in between perusing "25 Years" and Alex comes up and we chat. Suddenly he cuffs me gently round the lug 'ole:

"What is matter, huh? Yesterday is 'how many euro?', today is eV-ro. Yesterday you write yourself - takes my pen - 'What is Greek for 'snazzy piece of skirt'* with big ?, like so. Today is ;;;."

He picks up the Church: "You see here? It say twenty five YEAR. Not 25 minutes."

* Page 44. Get yer own copy.

You will be missed, sir.

Check out:

  • Athens News Bookshop
  • Greek Shops
  • ... And what the expletive-δeleted theleted is my old alma mater, Amazon.com across the Pond not doing not stocking it? Blimey, I may have to drop My Lord Jeffrey of Bezosia a finger-wagging line to pull his cassock up.
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