According to dictionary.com, the word ‘side’ means: “one of the surfaces forming the outside of or bounding a thing, or one of the lines bounding a geometric figure.” It does not say that ‘side’ should refer to one specific place. We English have taken this description very very seriously.
Side, is an English concept apparently. The Aussies have no idea what I’m talking about when I say something is on the side. They look at me, as if I’ve said “Oh hi, I was just wondering if I could tweak your nipples for a second or two?” Their minds cannot comprehend the complexity of ‘side‘. Side, to us Brits is like Narnia. We know it exists, because we have seen it. But no one else understands it.
Let me elaborate; when someone in the house asks a simple question such as “where are the keys?” and you know that the keys are on the bench next to the cooker, the answer is “they’re on the side“. If the very same person were to ask; “okay, I have the keys, where is my phone?” and you know that the phone is on top of the set of drawers in the bedroom on the right hand side of the bed, the answer would be “they’re in the bedroom, on the side“. If they are then looking for their hand held mirror, which Ashlee was looking for this morning, and you know it is in the bathroom on the bench next to the dryer, you would say “it’s in the bathroom on the side“.
Here is an example. I shall use Jesus and the virgin Mary as key characters in this, because they still seem to be quite popular.
Jesus: “Oi, shitface, where’s my phone? And you can’t punish me for calling you shitface, because i’m Jesus, i’ll turn your bathwater into the terrified screams of unbelievers.”
Mary: “It’s on the side, love.”
Jesus: “Magdelene keeps ringing, tellin’ me she’s all pregnant and that the kid is mine. Fuck that. Ima kick off in the temple today, fake my death to avoid paying child support, and become what i’ve always wanted to be; a gay atheist democrat. I’m sure no harm will come from it, and I’m almost certain that the idea that I’ve had a child will in no way spawn the writing of an incredibly shit novel followed by an even worse film rendition of it, followed even further by the same author raping the very concept of literature, and metaphorically pissing all over greats like Shakespeare and Milton, by writing even more atrocious novels. Thanks for my phone, it was on the side, your water is safe.”
See! Even Jesus knew what side was.
We Brits know exactly what side we are talking about, when we answer with “side“. If someone were to ask us “oh cool, you found the keys, where were they?” and you found the keys on the small table that the phone sits on, you would say “they were on the side“. Side is a generic answer, for when something is on the work bench, or on top of the bathroom cupboards, or the bedside table. However, side is NEVER to be used to describe a bed, a couch, a dining room table, a bookshelf, a child’s head, or the floor. That would just be ridiculous.
I have tried today to limit my use of ‘side’ when Ash asks where something is. This morning, as explained earlier, she asked where her mirror was. I answered, knowing that the use of ‘side’ was very much off limits, with: “It’s on the …….. bench……. with the clothe……… with the jumper thing….. next to the…….erm………. It’s on the side“. I couldn’t help it, side is just a far more simple way of explaining the location of a given object at any particular time.
So now we have cleared that up, here’s a pretty picture of mine for you to look at, in an attempt to make it seem like this was a worthwhile blog at all. It was taken in Melbourne at the weekend. I have uploaded a few more prints that are now for sale, at http://jme2007.deviantart.com/prints if you are interested. That’s right, my transformation into a dirty Capitalist is well underway. I will be lobbying Western governments to invade poorer Nations and create awesome photo opportunities at the expense of the local population, in no time.