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  • I feel close to this subject by virtue of the fact that I have an 11th century ancestor named Ranolphus who came over to Britain from Normandy with some guy named Bill. I have to wonder if G-Granddad had any seasickness on the way over and subsequently garnered some derision from his mates, based on potential similarity between the sound of his name and the jetsam he might have produced.

    I’d also like to point out that most folks of my generation first heard the term “ralph” courtesy of Cheech and Chong (Up In Smoke, 1978). And that of the “earl” variety, “summoning the earl” is my favorite expression – puts a classy spin on it.

    But the real reason I wanted to post something is that this reminded me of a story from an underground comic from the 80’s, Weirdo Magazine. I don’t remember the issue or the author of the story but it was a Tasmanian cartoonist recounting tales from his youth, including an episode where as a teenage lad he was thrown in jail for 24 hours and in one panel an old drunk in the cell with him is coughing a big wad of phlegm into his hand (thinking, “I’ll save this for later…”) with the sound effect, “ROUAULT, URSULA, BRAQUE!” written in big, fancy, florid script. Always makes me smile.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work – I donated some frog skins 🙂

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