We have so many phrases, references and in-jokes that we use all the time.
Sometimes they come when one of us mishears the other one and says what we thought they said. Other times it can be referencing something someone has said or done. And occasionally we do hand gestures that we turn into sign language.
We use some more than others, but they’ve all become part of our everyday vocabulary now – to the point that we say them while talking to other people and they don’t understand what we’re on about.
Since there are some funny stories behind some of them, we thought it’d be interesting to make a note of them and explain where each one came from. So read on to learn the language of Ben and Mike.
We meet most weekends and it’s usually at 11:30am, as that gives us time for a lie in but also time to do stuff before lunch.
One time we said “What time shall we meet? The usual?” “Yeah, 3am.”
And from then on that became code for 11:30am.
We were creating characters in the WK16 wrestling game and Ben had attempted to create Shaggy from Scooby Doo. The hair and clothes looked quite similar, but the face didn’t look like him at all.
Mike said it looked more like an actor called Brad was playing Shaggy. So now whenever we create characters that don’t look enough like the original, we pretend it’s Brad playing them.
We were talking about meeting at 3am (see above) and Ben reckoned that one day, Mike would actually turn up at 3am as a joke. Ben came up with this little scenario in which he wake up to find Mike sat at the end of my bed, just staring at me.
“Mike? What are you doing here?”
“I made you breakfast.”
“How did you get in?”
He said ‘cornflakes’ in a really sinister voice and we found it very funny, so we reference it now and then.
This was kind of a sequel to e-vowl (see below). We were on the bus and Mike said something rude, so Ben shouted “dir-TAY!” in the same tone as we’d done for e-vowl. We now use it when one of us says something rude.
On the number 7 bus route to town, we pass two semi-detached shops. The one on the left says ‘Extreme cash and carry’ and the one on the right says ‘Pharmacy’. But the way it’s written, it looks like it says ‘Extreme Pharmacy’.
Ben pointed it out once and we made jokes about shopping in an extreme pharmacy; diving through the window to get in, shouting everything, etc.
Our favourite line was one of Mike’s, which was “I went in for a plaster and came out with a neck brace.”
So now whenever we pass the shops, we always say “Extreme pharmacy! I went in for a plaster and came out with a neck brace.”
We saw a kid in town with a WKD bag on and Ben said to Mike “D’you think he knows that that stands for ‘wicked’ and that wicked used to mean evil?”
Mike said “Huh, what’s next? Just having ‘evil’ written on your jacket?”
Ben then did an impression of a kid bragging about doing something mildly rebellious and Mike shouted, in a really chavvy voice, “e-Vowl!”
We then spent the whole day saying pathetically rebellious things like “I didn’t say thank you when I got off the bus… e-Vowl!”
So now we use it whenever we do something slightly rebellious.
Hello, it is me, I am here
We were at a food market in town and there was one stall with this guy from Amsterdam selling nuts. We knew he was from Amsterdam because he shouted “I’m from Amsterdam! I’m in Birmingham!”
Sadly, everybody was just walking past his stall, so he was just standing there shouting “Hello! It is me! I am here!”
We felt sorry for him, but loved his advertising strategy.
Hmm! Yes, it will be
If one of us does a hand gesture while we’re saying something, we pretend that it’s sign language for whatever we’re saying.
One day, Mike was saying how good something we were going to was going to be, but because Ben was drinking, he couldn’t respond, so he just pointed up and did a “Hmm” noise to show he agreed. Mike thought this was sign language for “Yes, it will be”
So now we use this one regularly.
I’m alright, how are you?
Whenever one of us calls the other, we always open with, “Hello, how are you?”
The other one says, “I’m alright, how are you?”
Then the first one will say, “I’m alright, how are you?”
Then we just keep repeatedly asking the same question until one of us gets bored. It usually goes on for a couple of minutes and it’s often Ben that gives in first.
“I’m back” “I’m front” “And together we’re… don’t interrupt!”
Another phrase we use regularly on the phone. We were talking once and Mike went off to do something. When he came back, he said “I’m back”, so Ben said “And I’m front. And together we’re Back To Front!”
We both thought it was really funny and continued to say it whenever one of us returned to a conversation. Sometimes we’d change it so that ‘Back’ would say the “And together we’re Back To Front” tagline. One time we both went to say it and Mike shouted “Don’t interrupt!”
So now we say “And together we’re… don’t interrupt!” regardless of if the other person interrupts or not.
It’s a kid’s show
Mike was telling Ben about an idea he had for a children’s TV series about a teacher that murders the pupils and sticks them in the field dressed as scarecrows. It was a really graphic and gory story, but every now and then he kept saying, “Y’know, cos it’s a kid’s show.”
We found it funny how this apparent kids show was clearly not, but Mike was trying to pretend it was.
I was fired for stealing creams
Another one from the number 7 bus route home from town. There is a sign for an ‘Ophthalmic Optician’ that we always think sounds funny for some reason. The one time we were talking in a Ringo Starr voice and Ben said “I’m an ophthalmic optician. I used to work for Boots but I was fired for stealing creams.”
Mike found it hilarious, so we always say it when we pass the optician.
“Just try it.” “What?” “You heard.”
Ben was in a bad mood one day and Mike said he was going to do something that would’ve annoyed him, so Ben said, really sinisterly, “Just try it.”
Mike chuckled and said, “What?”
So Ben said, “You heard.”
We found it funny and occasionally use it.
One of the one things I like
A line Mike said once that we now use regularly.
Only the jockey
Another mishearing, when one of us said, “I’m only joking” and the other thought he said, “I’m only the jockey.”
We were on about how the singer P!nk has the exclamation mark in her name and Ben suggested it might be because her real name has been censored. He suggested it might have actually been Pank. We occasionally refer to it.
Playing the bucket
We once went to see a play at the Crescent theatre. It was set during WW2 and was about a family that took in a German soldier and the daughter fell in love with him. It was quite low budget and Mike pointed out that our friend Josh, who did drama at school, could have been in this. Ben joked “Yeah, he could play the bucket.”
We made jokes about him just holding his arms out like a handle, people pouring water on him and moving him around the room.
So now we often say of bad actors that they could “play the bucket.”
We were playing Tony Hawk’s Underground on the PS2 and there’s a game in it where you have to try and beat each other’s scores doing trick combos. When someone loses a round (i.e. gets a lower combo score than their opponent) they get a letter.
Eventually it makes up a word, at which point they lose. The default word is HORSE, but you can set your own word.
We had been talking about the word ‘ragamuffin’ earlier in the day, so Ben thought he’d type that. But he realised that after a few letters, Mike would immediately get it and the rest of the game would be pointless, so he decided to change it halfway through so it said RAGAMUFASCIST.
We decided that this is the most insulting thing you can ever call someone.
She went over there
Mike was at Ben’s house and Ben’s mother shouted upstairs for me to do something. Ben shouted something back down and Mike thought he’d said, “She went over there!”
We now use this as a random thing to shout now and then.
Mike pointed out that Sir Christopher Lee sounded like an adverb, so we use it now to describe someone saying something quite dramatically in the style of Sir Christopher Lee.
“He said that very sirchristopherly.”
Steve Martin / Martin Sheen
We were once both trying to remember the name of someone and it turned out to be Martin Sheen. We were both surprised that we’d thought of the same person, but even more surprised when we both revealed that we’d struggled to remember his name because we kept thinking of Steve Martin.
So now we reference this whenever one of us says something the other was thinking of.
That’s Ben, little black fella
While out for a meal with our friend Gush, we had a silly conversation that ended with Gush saying something like “And then they have to identify Ben in the morgue, but it’s Gary Coleman and they think it’s Ben.”
We just started laughing and Mike said, “Yeah, that’s Ben, little black fella.”
So now, whenever one of us is describing me, we always say that line.
The best way to eat your dinner is off a plate.
My mother often says things that she thinks are funny, but aren’t really funny at all. One time she was making some jokes and we weren’t really listening, but then we heard her say, “The best way to eat your dinner is off a plate.”
She laughed hysterically after but we didn’t get it, so now we say it when someone’s laughing and we don’t know why.
Time to make my daring escape
We were sitting at my house bored and we were playing with some of the dog’s toys. At one point, Mike said “Time to make my daring escape!” and threw the toy at the window – which was closed.
We occasionally refer to it by throwing toys at a wall or window and saying the phrase.
We are one!
This was from an idea for a sketch Ben had where three people pretended they were one person. So they’d get on a bus, for example, and the driver would charge them for three people, but they’d say in unison in a weird voice, “We are one!”
We don’t use this one a lot.
We could’ve done a lot of things… we could’ve gone to Rome!
We’d just been somewhere and Mike kept going on about all the things we could’ve done while we were there. After ages of him listing all the things we could’ve done, Ben turned to him and shouted, “We could’ve done a lot of things… we could’ve gone to Rome!”
Ben didn’t know why he said Rome, but Mike found it hilarious because it was so random. So now whenever one of us suggests something we could’ve done, we use that line.
What is it?!
We were at Brindley Place waiting for someone to turn up for a meal. Mike was pretending to be a waiter and sinisterly turned around to me and said “Whaaat is iiit?”
What you’ve got there madam is peas
We were in a restaurant and Ben’s mother complained to the waitress, “There’s hardly any sauce on these beans and they don’t look cooked.”
So Ben turned to Mike and said “What you’ve got there madam is peas.”
We both found it really funny and often repeat it when we’re out for meals.
Where de fruit bowl?
There was a channel called Big Centre TV that was really low budget and we loved it because it’s so bad. There was a show on it called WASSIFA that was just a bunch of Jamaican people talking.
One time, Ben was watching it and noticed there was a little glass coffee table that had a glass shelf in the middle. On the middle shelf was a fruit bowl with some fruit in it. He found it really odd that they’d put it there instead of on the top of the table where people could access the fruit.
He pointed it out to Mike and we figured they were playing a game of ‘hide the fruit bowl’, which led to us saying “Where de fruit bowl?” in Jamaican accents. It still makes us laugh. Ben even got Mike a t-shirt with the phrase printed on.
X and B! X and B! There is no B, this is a PlayStation!
We were playing on the PlayStation and Mike kept shouting at Ben to press X and B. Ben turned to him and shouted, “There is no B, this is a PlayStation!”
We then paused the game and spent ages laughing. We now use it when we’re struggling in a game, we’ll just shout “X and B! X and B!”
You’re a liar!
We passed the Kerrang radio studios in town and Ben suggested to Mike that we should try and get in by pretending to be a member of the band Oasis. So then we did this little routine talking to the woman on reception
“I’m here to do the radio show.”
“Okay, what’s your name?”
“I’m from Oasis, Mr Gallagher.”
“And what’s your first name?”
“There’s no one in Oasis called John Gallagher.”
“You’re a liar!”
The thing is, Ben always thought he was saying it to Mike as if he’d told me the wrong name to use, but Mike thought he was saying it to the receptionist. Either way, we found it funny and use it whenever someone gives us bad news.
You’re blocking the sun out Casanova
This is another mishearing. Mike said “You’re knocking my sandcastle over” and Ben thought he’d said “You’re blocking the sun out Casanova.”
It was so random that we found it funny and occasionally refer to it.
Zzzap! was a 90s children’s show and we thought the theme tune sounded like something you’d play after telling a bad joke, so whenever one of us says a funny bad joke, the other sings the theme. It’s like a sign of approval if we like the joke.
Obviously you can’t sing in an email, so we just type *Zzzap theme*