We like nonsense rhymes precisely because they make no sense.
They allow the rhymer lee-way to exercise (in this case) his wit.
They allow listeners to hold their breath in anticipation of the next amusing thing.
The first few lines of Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy Cat are a case in point:
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
Nonsense which makes sense – eventually – in real life parodies the nonsense rhyme.
The mother of one of the little girls at choir practice tonight is suffering nasal catarrh something terrible.
She gives the impression that she has a cold.
She normally stays for the duration of the practice, partly because her child is a little, well, ADD, and she is on the cusp of admitting that she really ought to join the choir.
Anyhow, we are informed that she does not have a cold.
She has sinusitis, and a sore throat from the incessant nasal drip.
She has tried every prescribed and over-the-counter remedy to no avail.
She tells us that a friend of hers had a similar problem, and when she went to the clinic she was blessed to have a female Ukrainian doctor attend to her.
The Ukrainian doctor gave her patient a prescription for something pharmaceutical.
What is more, she advised the woman that before getting the prescription filled, she might like to try a home remedy for her problem:
Putting honey up her nostrils at night for three consecutive nights.
If the remedy worked, then the woman would have no need for the prescription.
I love my life.
I go to Church choir practice to learn about how to get honey up one’s nostrils efficiently.
You use a syringe, apparently. No needle, obviously.
But a rather large syringe because of the viscosity of the honey.
Squeals of laughter all round.
Comments from the group range from plain rude (me), to thoughtful ones about how contact with other cultures can be beneficial (our coordinator).
Tilt your head back, and squirt until you can taste it in the back of your throat.
Then you have to massage the sinus points on either side of the bridge of your nose.
The mother of the little girl tells us that so far, she has noticed an improvement in her condition.
The only problem is the stickiness of it all.
And we all know that warm honey is runny honey.
She cannot tell us how many mountains of tissues she has been through in order to deal with the drip factor:
Whatever honey does not land up in your sinuses or in your alimentary canal comes out the same orifices into which it was introduced.
This last point was not discussed; it is just me, ad-libbing.
Now you know where the saying, “desperate women do desperate things” comes from, and, more importantly, why the Owl and the Pussy Cat took honey with them in their beautiful pea green boat.
(Tell me about the benefits of sniffing warm salt water if you wish, but I would much rather talk about how to dance by the light of the moon.)