Are Ya Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’?

I’m writing this from the “Mountains Library near Lake Lure. 

Just recently, reading an extended essay about British writer Ian McEwan,  I came across a little game that McEwan once got going with his British friends and fellow writers Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis.

Fellows got into a game trying to one-up each other on variations of the familiar phrase “cruisin’ for a bruisin’.”  Note that in all instances here they seem to have dropped the “g” sound as the more casual  form seemed more appropriate. 

The writer of the essay reporting this gave two excellent examples of the variations the three came up with,  while avoiding some of the scatalogicalical and sexual variants.

I got so intrigued by this challenge that I spent several early mornings trying to create good  specimens.   Here is one of my poorer (at least in my judgment) attempts:  “Are ya rootin’ for a bootin’?”  Keep in mind that each example is, in effect, a kind of dare to the person addressed, asking him (probably not her) to make a choice and threatening to deliver some harm to the listener.

Give it your best shot.  I will in a few days share with you the two examples given in the essay that a member of this distinguished literary trio came up with.  And I all also share several “pretty good ones” (IMHO) that I came up with.



4 Responses to “Are Ya Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’?”

  1. Tammy Stephens Says:

    I don’t use my g’s either. and have to catch myself in writing. I always say gonna instead of going. The army took much of my accent, but a little remains.

    “They were writin’ about how they were rocken’ and dancin’ all night. They weren’t sleepin’ but drinkin’, I’m believin’. “

  2. Tammy Stephens Says:

    Opps, missed the point to where it was to mean cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Were you plannin’ for a cannin’, Mary Easley? (Not sure if this could be perceived as a threat)

  4. Raymond Rundus Says:

    Well, Tammy did get a bit off track there, but in a clever and amusing fashion. And who can blame her for that kind of relief?

    Sarah, that is a timely and appropriate replay on the common phrase, which after all rather trite and a cliche.

    I came up with quite a few alternatives (and I will keep the gs intact as I believe that was what McEwan, Hitchings, and Amis did -:):
    (1) Are you lusting for a busting?
    (2) Are you aching for a breaking?
    (3) Are you searching for a birching?
    (4) Are you hunting for a punting?
    (5) Are you longing for a bonging?
    (6) Are you asking for a tasking?
    (7) Are you itching for a stitching?
    (8) Are you edging for a dredging?
    (9) Are you inching for a lynching?
    (10) Are you itching for a stitching?
    (11) Are you hoping for a roping?
    (12) Are you (s)ailing for a whaling?
    (13) Are you tacking [sailing term, right?] for a whacking?

    And to end with, two of the literary trio’s best efforts, according to the writer of the excellent essay about McEwan:
    (14) Are you aiming for a maiming?
    (15) Are you angling for a mangling?

    SUGGESTION: Keep your favorites from these variations in mind should you become involved in a verbal/near-physical altercation. You can outwit (by the use of such bafflement techniques) your antagonist and probably send him back to his mommy boohooing and wiping the tears from his eyes because of his lack of the verbal skills that you possess and have just demonstrated to him face to face and mano a mano. (And “her” is also possible, though less likely, given the “macho” aspect in the male culture.)


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