The High Countries

because it’s all paperweight…

Jack and the Twoderful Beans

Inflationary Language

Growing up in a Dutch home meant growing up to be strong. Not just physically strong, with beatings from the cousins around every turn, but mentally strong as well. Dinner table discussion rivaled any great sporting event and getting a word in was like stealing a raisin from a speeding blender. If you didn’t respect your elders, there was discipline on the other end of the stick, and don’t even think about speaking the word ‘bored’ — there’s a weekend of chores, no question. When we ate, we ate like strong men. When we worked, we worked like good farmers. And when we laughed, we nearly embarrassed those around us, I’m sure.

Nothing came so easily as laughter around our house. The entire family was raised on great humor and had strong enough backbones to laugh at themselves, making holidays and birthday’s unfortunate days of target, rather than embrace. I was raised on the classics of my generation, sure, just like any kid: Saved by the Bell, Family Matters, Tailspin, but none of these experiences came close to what it was like sitting and watching a few select shows with my father.

My dad is a strong man. He has massive hands which are generally referred to as ‘mitts’. His legs may look little bigger than a stork’s, but they stand tall on his 6’4 frame and are guaranteed not to be noticed when he’s speaking. I wish I could say that my father is a blatantly caring man – he is, don’t get me wrong — but that’s not nearly the first thing you notice as he walks into a room. Twenty-five-plus years as a Washington State Trooper and you’ll see why he talks with an unabashed ‘boom’. Its true, his hands and frame make him domineering, but his laugh…oh, his laugh… that’s something different entirely.

Only a couple times have I ever heard my father laugh to tears. Once was during an episode of M*A*S*H that, which, for the life of me, I can’t remember. All I can remember is Hawkeye making sarcastic remarks and next thing we know, we could barely breath. There we were; I’m looking at dad with tears in my eyes and pain in my side, mom is grabbing the counter because she’s laughing at me and Dad has his head down, hands calmly on a pillow, caught in utter hysteria. It really was a beautiful moment, none of us able to speak, the TV still playing whimsically in the background. Even as I write this, I smile, knowing all along how much literal pain I was in — it was bearably unbearable.

The only other time I saw my father’s tears of painful laughter was during a Victor Borge Sunday-afternoon special. My dad had seen a similar show as a child and therefore wanted the entire family to partake in the event. And so, like good, responsible children, we gathered around as it began.

The skit was funny, quite funny really, as Victor beautifully played and generously made fun of his own talent. We laughed throughout the entire piece, but the pinnacle, without a doubt was Borge’s story of Jack and the Twoderful Beans. Borge figured that since money inflates, so too should words and coined his now famous, “Inflationary Language”. ‘To’ would become “Two”. “Foretold” would be “Fivetold” and so on…

My Dad and I talk about this story to this day, both getting thoroughly entertained by both it’s comic genius and the memories it stirs…

Read below, or watch it here.

Twice upon a time there lived a boy named Jack in the twoderful land of
Califivenia. Two day Jack, a double-minded lad, decided three go fifth three
seek his fivetune.
After making sure that Jack nine a sandwich and drank some Eight-Up, his
mother elevenderly said, “Threedeloo, threedeloo. Try three be back by next
Threesday.” Then she cheered, “Three, five, seven, nine. Who do we
apprecinine? Jack, Jack, yay!”
Jack set fifth and soon met a man wearing a four-piece suit and a threepee.
Fifthrightly Jack asked the man, “I’m a Califivenian. Are you two three?”
“Cerelevenly,” replied the man, offiving the high six. “Anytwo five
elevennis?” “Not threeday,” answered Jack inelevently. “But can you help me
three locnine my fivetune?”
“Sure,” said the man. “Let me sell you these twoderful beans.”
Jack’s inthreeition told him that the man was a three-faced triple-crosser.
Elevensely Jack shouted, “I’m not behind the nine ball. I’m a college
gradunine, and I know what rights our fivefathers crenined in the
Constithreetion. Now let’s get down three baseven about these beans.”
The man tripled over with laughter. “Now hold on a third,” he responded.
“There’s no need three make such a three-do about these beans. If you twot,
I’ll give them three you.”
Well, there’s no need three elabornine on the rest of the tale. Jack oned in
on the giant and two the battle for the golden eggs. His mother and he lived
happily fivever after — and so on, and so on, and so fifth.


July 18, 2008 - Posted by | Entertainment


  1. Very funny, Bryce, well-written and brought a smile two my face two. 🙂

    Miss you!

    Comment by molly | July 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. Yes, we have had some really good times! I watched Borge again – man that guy is funny!

    Comment by Dad | July 29, 2008 | Reply

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