Saturday, May 28, 2022

Four-a-cat

Continuing from Cats and caterpillars:

When I was growing up, my family had an enormous unabridged dictionary featuring what must surely have been an intentionally designed Easter egg. I'm not sure which of us discovered it or how, but if you look up four-a-cat in this particular dictionary, you get this:

four-a-cat n. See four old cat

If you do as instructed, you find this:

four old cat n. three old cat played with four batters

Okay, but what's three old cat? Glad you asked.

three old cat n. See three-a-cat

By this point, one is scarcely surprised to discover that three-a-cat is defined thusly:

three-a-cat n. two-a-cat played with three bases and three batters

 Okay, great! Now if we can just find out what two-a-cat is . . .

two-a-cat n. See two old cat

Are we stupid enough to keep falling for this trick? We are.

two old cat n. one old cat played with two batters

We're down to one! Now we're finally going to get the definition, right?

one old cat n. See one-a-cat

And if you look up that, you finally discover -- eight definitions later! -- that all these games were precursors to modern baseball. But the definitions of these various games remind me of a different American sport. 

No comments:

Easy Without You

This is one of the most seamless mashups I've ever heard.