The Hellhole

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yesterday something went completely balls-up* at work. I knew it was going to; I said it was going to; I was more of a voice of doom and gloom than Cassandra herself, but do you think anybody listened to me? Oh hells to the no. Nobody ever listens to me, especially when I'm prophesying disaster. But then everything went hellishly awry, like I TOLD them it would, and you don't have to be the Oracle at Delphi to know what happened next.

The Boss: Can you fix it?
Me: I'm certainly capable of that.
The Boss: *sigh* Well, will you fix it?
Me: Yes. Yes, I will. But it's gonna cost you a bottle of single malt. I need something to enjoy while I'm [dealing with other people's fuck-up].
The Boss: Okay. But do me a favor and enjoy the single malt after you've [fixed other people's fuck-up]. I don't want it worse than it was before you started.
Me: 'K.


Well, nobody said nothin' about what kind of single malt it had to be.

<---- cask strength MacAllan

* In current usage, any disastrous situation. The balls referred to are NOT testicles. The term dates from the days of wooden sailing ships when the existence of a shipboard disaster, such as plague, lack of food or water, mutiny, etc. was communicated to the outside world by hoisting large-ish, brightly painted wooden balls up into the rigging. Balls of different colors represented different disasters and therefore served as either requests for assistance or warnings to stay clear.


  • Thanks for the etymology lesson! That was very cool, and now I'm going to use the expression "balls up" all the time, with impunity.

    Nice score, by the way. :-) Since I know nothing about Scotch, I assume cask strength MacAllan is good?

    By Blogger Nancy, at 6:57 AM  

  • The MacAllen is good. Cask strength MacAllan is beyond fabulous. Like the difference between a Corvette (good) and a 599 GTB Fiorano.

    Oh, sorry, a car analogy didn't really help, did it?

    By Blogger Helly, at 7:47 AM  

  • I had no idea about balls up! I always figured it was about someone who had an issue and was born with balls in front of you know what (like in rabbits).

    I still have no idea if MacAllen is good. But here's to you! :)

    By Anonymous Inna, at 8:10 AM  

  • You said single malt and I got excited... But, scotch? Ewwwww.... Tyrconnell.

    Etymology rocks. Thanks.

    By Anonymous Lachele, at 10:34 PM  

  • What else comes in a "single malt" version besides scotch? I don't even know what it means.

    By Blogger Nancy, at 7:27 PM  

  • Irish whiskey comes in single malt. It means one grain (barley, here) and one distillery. The alternative is a blended whiskey (or whisky -- look up the difference, my dear friend and lover of words).

    For reasons I do not understand, the odor of peat in Scotch makes me react in about the same way most folks react to sour milk. I realize some folks love it, and I am very happy for them. But I prefer my whiskey unpeated. And neat.

    By Anonymous Lachele, at 10:35 PM  

  • So that's what balls-up means! Did you ever hear the expression 'balls to the wall'? (which evokes a rather strange picture in my mind). Those thingies on an airplane throttle are called 'balls' and 'balls to the wall' means throttle all the way forward. So that's why it means going all-out (instead of standing very, very close to a wall).

    By Blogger Sandra, at 12:25 PM  

  • Wow, I never knew that, Sandy! Very interesting - thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Helly, at 2:21 PM  

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