Monday, February 26, 2007
In order for my students to appreciate this week's Limerick, I first have to instruct them in the patois of New York pick-up basketball. You see, those of us who frequent the hard-scrabble asphalt courts of the City have developed our own expressions. For example, sometimes a call in a game can be simultaneously fair and charitable. For example, a player may travel or double-dribble, but only because -- oh, I don't know -- perhaps the sun was in his eyes, or he got scared when a bigger player came up to guard him. In such a case, the traveling player might call out that he was fouled and the other players might agree that allowing the foul would be both fair and charitable, or to use the vernacular "fairitable."
I swear, the word is used all the time in pick-up basketball games. If you don't believe me, just try using it. When someone calls a foul on you, just look him in the eye and say, "Okay, that's fairitable." You will get no argument.
It is for that reason, and not (heavens forfend) because I was desparate for a rhyme, that the word, "fairitable" appears in this Limerick.
Allegheny College v. National Chautauqua County Bank
Although her estate was inheritable,
Ms. Johnston chose to be chartible.
A bargain was struck;
Her heir's out of luck:
To the College Cardozo was fairitable.