Today’s bit of Forgotten English is “monkey board,” meaning (as I’m sure you’ve already guessed) “the step at the rear of an omnibus on which the conductor stands.” Which isn’t especially relevant for today, but I do like rider etiquette, supposedly from Eliza Leslie’s 1859 Behavior Book:
If on stopping an omnibus you find that a dozen people are already seated in it, draw back and refuse to add to the number, giving no heed to the assertion of the driver that there is plenty of room. You have no right to crowd them, even if you are willing to be crowded yourself — a thing that is extremely uncomfortable and very injurious to your dress, which may in consequence be so squeezed and rumpled as to never look well again. A lady will always regret making the thirteenth.
Somehow I just don’t see that going over so well with today’s busy morning commuters. Although “making the thirteenth” does sound vaguely like a naughty euphemism.
In other news, I spent the day juggling several projects, though mostly pulling together some materials for a pair of instructor websites we’re designing. I’m not saying that Microsoft PowerPoint is pure evil or anything. I’m just saying the jury’s still out. I’m building these slides myself, based on the author’s detailed outline and the text, so it’s a little slower going. It may very well drive me crazy before I’m through — if not in need of some of the counselors this book is intended to train.
And that’s about it. Of course, my fortune cookie with dinner this evening insisted, “Your life becomes more and more of an adventure!” Although, aside from slightly burning my upper lip on the General Tso’s chicken, that so far doesn’t seem to be the case…and even that’s pretty shabby as far as “adventure goes.” We shall see.