The Tarzan and Jane Dialogues

Once again brought to you in 1950’s black and white television style by the Farmer’s Friend, O’Hara’s Foot Powder and Dehorning Ointment. If you’ve got it we’ve got the cure. Guaranteed to work quickly or we pay the funeral bills, and that’s a promise from O’Hara’s. A trusted friend since at least yesterday morning.


The scene: A treehouse in East Africa  –  February 11, 2016

Tarzan: Ungowa! Ungowa! See Jane, lion just need little convincing. Things be peaceful now.
Jane: Amazing, Tarzan. I’ve never seen anything like it. What’s the secret? Is it your body language? Is it your loincloth? Is it that word…what is it? Foongowa?
Tarzan: Ungowa, Jane. But don’t ever say unless lion out of hand.
Jane: But I’ve heard you say it to the elephants, the zebras, even Cheetah.
Tarzan: Jane mistaken.
Jane: Tarzan, I’m not mistaken. Lord knows there’s not much to occupy my time up in this tree house. I don’t miss major developments like this. I don’t miss the banana harvest, the spring rains, the migration of the rhinos, the spear ceremony with the Tamurundis…
Tarzan: Tarzan get picture, Jane.
Jane: So what does Ungowa mean exactly, dear?
Tarzan: Ungowa mean…Get back!
Jane: Get back? I hardly think so. Level with me, Tarzan. I want to know about the origin of Ungowa!Tarzan and Boy
Tarzan: Ungowa, Jane!
Jane: That’s not amusing. Now tell me or you sleep on the couch.
Tarzan: We not have couch.
Jane: It’s just an expression. Why won’t you tell me about Ungowa?
Tarzan: Tarzan not know about Ungowa. Ungowa just word. Ungowa something make lions and elephants listen to skinny ape man, not trample, eat him.
Jane: You mean to say you just say Ungowa and you don’t know what it means, where it comes from or how it became part of the language?
Tarzan: It slang. Jane understand?
Jane: So you’re telling me you don’t know what it means or why it has come into favor?
Tarzan: That just way it is.
Jane: The magic word for any situation. Too much. Oh well, I guess there’s nothing to do now but eat your lentil soup.
Tarzan: Lentil soup again! Ungowa! Tarzan calling out for pizza!


Filed Under: Reflections on Disorder


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