I found out today the meaning of the word ‘fiasco’. Well, I sort of knew it was Italian, and I seem to remember I’d come across it meaning bottle or something similar and being related to our word ‘flask’. So far so good, but then how did it come to mean a disaster? An epic shortcoming: a flop, a failure?
Well, it’s a fascinating story. Or at least an interesting one. When people in the Middle Ages joined guilds they had to provide an example of their work – and when they wanted to demonstrate their glass-blowing skills they would make something fine out of glass. However, if the thing they made it turned out to be sub-standard, it was turned into a bottle – or fiasco.
Sadly, now that I have done a few seconds’ research on the internet, this explanation seems to be only one among many; others of which are connected to the Italian theatre where the term was more commonly used. But sources seem to agree that the term came to us via French rather than directly from Italian.
So now you know.
But at least you know that you don’t know. And neither do I…
Something which has definitely not been a fiasco is my spring-cleaning! Yes, I’ve been going in for the whole housewifely thing of stripping down cupboards and searching under wainscots to find dead beetles, sagging cobwebs and lots and lots of dust. Actually it’s not only dust I’ve been finding but also damp, since the leeward side of this house (which faces East, though I don’t know how relevant that is) is prone to damp and the small toilet was literally black with the stuff. I have found it best to attack this scourge with anti-fungal mops, then rinse and repeat before leaving a convector heater to dry the place off. As for the dust, it has been hoovered to within an inch of its life in spite of our only having a vacuum cleaner which is held together with clothes-pegs and sticky tape (I kid you not.)
At this point I should probably upload a picture of said vacuum cleaner. Can I be bothered?
Nope. Here’s a much nicer picture of our friends in the North instead:
Ah! They are, going clockwise, Spouse, Gail, Chris and Barbara. Oh, but you can’t see the baby. Hang on…
There he is. He’s called Jack and he’s six weeks old.
And now before I go, I must say a word of farewell to Spock. No, he is not Spock; he is Leonard Nimoy – and he is no more. Alas poor Yorick, I knew him not at all…
And here, just because he’s dead, is the man himself:
I don’t feel right saying Kirk out any more to sign off. Oh no! What shall I say?
Erm. Hang on…
Just give me a sec…
Adios, adieu, ciao?
I’m going to have to think about this. See you tomorrow!