Two puns for Thursday

A caption in yesterday’s New York Times (front page); and a Bizarro + Wayno cartoon:

Me, My Selfie and Ice:


Müesli on the Bounty:


Groan upon groan.

Captions and heads in ludic locales. Feature stories of all kinds invite writers to play flagrantly with language, to make solemn stories fun. As in #1, which uses the idiom me, myself, and I ‘only me, myself alone’. But splitting one into three: the subject of the photo, his selfie, and the ice he’s photographing.

The idiom has been the basis for various plays. Most simply, the splitting of one person into three, as in the American tv show Me, Myself & I:


Me, Myself & I is an American comedy television series that aired on CBS from September 25, to October 30, 2017. The series stars Bobby Moynihan, Jack Dylan Grazer, John Larroquette, Brian Unger, Jaleel White, Kelen Coleman, Christopher Paul Richards, Reylynn Caster, and Skylar Gray.

The show looks at the life of Alex Riley, a major Michael Jordan fan, and an inventor and businessman, at three points in his life: as a 14-year-old who moves to Los Angeles in 1991, as a 40-year-old dealing with the breakup of his marriage in the present day, while being in “inventor’s block”, and as a 65-year-old in 2042 who has just retired from his company and has found his past love.

[with] Bobby Moynihan as Alex Riley – An inventor recalling three stages of his life. He lives with his best friend after a divorce from his wife, and soon learns his wife wants to move away with their daughter, Abby.

Jack Dylan Grazer as Young Alex Riley – Alex spends his time inventing. He must adjust after moving in with his new stepdad and stepbrother. He crushes on Nori who he meets at his new school.

John Larroquette as Older Alex Riley – The owner of a huge company who is now retiring. He realizes his old crush Nori is his true love. (Wikipedia link)

Plenty of other language plays — for instance, Me, Myself & Irene:


Me, Myself & Irene is a 2000 American black comedy film directed by the Farrelly brothers, and starring Jim Carrey and Renée Zellweger. Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, Richard Jenkins, Daniel Greene, Anthony Anderson, Jerod Mixon and Mongo Brownlee co-star. The film is about a Rhode Island state trooper named Charlie who, after years of continuously suppressing his rage and feelings, suffers a psychotic breakdown which results in a second personality, Hank. (Wikipedia link)

And their involvement with Irene.

On the rolled oats front. #2 brings us to the breakfast cereal muesli and the muesli / mutiny pun, with a subtle spelling matter folded in. From Wikipedia:

Muesli (Swiss German: Müesli [ˈmyəsli], non-Swiss Standard German: Müsli [ˈmyːsliː]) is a breakfast and brunch dish based on raw rolled oats and other ingredients like grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, that may be mixed with cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, other plant milks, yogurt or fruit juice. Developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, muesli is available ready made in a packaged dry form, or it can be made fresh.

The spelling issue has to do with the role of the letter E after a vowel letter in German orthography. Ordinarily, vowel letter + E is just an orthographic variant of umlauted vowel letter: in particular, UE and Ü are equivalent spellings for IPA [y], American transcription [ü], a high front rounded vowel. But E in German orthography also spells [ǝ] in unaccented syllables — hence, the Swiss German double-barreled ÜE spelling for [yǝ] / [üǝ].

Then the great muesli / granola question. Not entirely clarified by this bon appétit magazine piece of 9/17/15 by Rochelle Bilow:

What’s the Difference Between Muesli and Granola? A Very Important Primer: Muesli and granola are both healthy breakfast option made with oats, but they’re not the same! Here’s a breakdown of what makes them unique—and how to make them at home.

Muesli and granola are both made with oats, nuts, seeds, and fruits. They’re both healthy breakfast options; both are served with milk, alt-milk, or yogurt; and they’re equally tasty. So, what exactly is the difference between the two? To get to the bottom of this very pressing issue, we spoke with Elizabeth Stein and Bob Moore. Stein is the founder of Purely Elizabeth, a natural foods company that eschews refined sugar and aims to redefine packaged goods like hot and cold cereals — and sells both granola and muesli. Moore is the founder of Bob’s Red Mill, a Portland, OR-based natural foods company that mills their own grains and also sells beans and legumes, in addition to muesli and granola.

According to Stein, muesli is “an uncooked cereal combining grains, nuts, seeds and fruits.” Moore points out that muesli can be eaten either hot or cold; to eat it hot, cook on the stovetop in either water or milk. And granola? It’s “a baked cereal that typically combines grains with sweetener and oil in order to bind the ingredients together,” says Stein. Moore adds that it’s “ready to eat straight out of the bag,” which, we’ll admit, we often do.

Both are traditionally made with rolled oats, although other grains can be used. Stein likes to make granola and muesli with ancient grains, like amaranth, quinoa, millet, and kaniwa, which, technically a seed, is similar in texture to quinoa. Bob’s Red Mill also mixes oats with other grains; in their Old Country Style Muesli, rolled oats are combined with wheat, rye, barley, and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye). In both muesli and granola, the grains are most commonly rolled, although you can use whole grains (frequently referred to as “groats”) to varying degrees of success. Just make sure they’ve been hulled (that is, husks have been removed), and then soak them to soften and make them easier to chew and digest.

Both can and do often include mix-ins of the crunchy and chewy variety. You’ll find chopped nuts, toasted seeds, and dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots, and cherries added to both granola and muesli. Moore is a fan of sesame, chia, and flax seeds, as well as toasted coconut chips.

As for texture, muesli is much looser than granola. In fact, granola is often prized for its clumps and clusters—a product of the fat (oil or butter) used to bind it together.

How to eat ’em? While we often snack on granola by the fistful or sprinkle it over our salads, muesli is too dry to eat on its own. You’ll fare much better with muesli by combining it with milk or stirring it into yogurt. (Of course, you can also give granola the dairy treatment.) Moore suggest preparing muesli in the traditional Swiss manner—it was created by Swiss nutritionist Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner at the end of the 19th century. Soak the dry muesli in milk and leave it in the fridge overnight; in the morning, the grains will have absorbed the liquid, plumping them up and infusing them with flavor.

Now you know.

As for the mutiny on the Bounty: from Wikipedia:

(#5) Theatrical poster for the 1935 movie

The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the south Pacific on 28 April 1789. Led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, disaffected crewmen seized control of the ship from their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh, and set him and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship’s open launch. The mutineers variously settled on Tahiti or on Pitcairn Island. Bligh meanwhile completed a voyage of more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) in the launch to reach safety, and began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice.

… In addition to the many books and articles about the mutiny, in the 20th century five feature films were produced. The first, from 1916, was a silent Australian film, subsequently lost. The second, in 1933, also from Australia, was entitled In the Wake of the Bounty and saw the screen debut of Errol Flynn in the role of Christian. The impact of this film was overshadowed by that of the 1935 MGM version, Mutiny on the Bounty, based on the popular namesake novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, and starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable as Bligh and Christian. The film’s story was presented, says Dening, as “the classic conflict between tyranny and a just cause”; Laughton’s portrayal became in the public mind the definitive Bligh, “a byword for sadistic tyranny”. The two subsequent major films, Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) with Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando, and The Bounty (1984) with Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson, largely perpetuated this image of Bligh, and that of Christian as tragic hero. The latter film added a level of homoeroticism to the Bligh–Christian relationship.


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