When it Italy, on the first day of my tour, the tour guide woman ("Big Momma") was explaining things about the bus we'd be using. She told us there was a bathroom underneath the back set of steps, where the emergency exit was, yada, yada, yada...
But the most intriguing thing she said was about a hammer that they kept on the bus. She told us that we shouldn't worry if we were in the back of the bus and saw a hammer. Its purpose was "not to give each other the head", but it was there in case we needed to break a window.

Some people laughed when she said this; I think more so at the Freudian slip than her gay joke. I smiled, thinking it was amazingly bizarro.
Now...up till this point, I've always assumed that she was using some sort of variation on "hitting on the head". From what I had remembered of Spanish, they don't say, "I hit you on the head with the bat", but "I gave you the head with the bat", or "I gave the bat your head", or something like that...??? They also don't say, "I cut my arm" or "I hit my arm"; they say "I cut myself", as we do, "I cut myself the arm" or "I hit myself the arm", or something like that.

They basically don't use the "my" because it's implied by the reflexive form of the verb, so "I cut my arm" and "I cut the arm (of something/someone else)" has the exact same three words, but with a different conjugation of the verb (either reflexive or not".
SO..."hitting yourself on the head" would be same as "hitting (something) on the head", or, in the case of the Romance languages, using the hammer to "give yourself (someone else) the head". Am I right so far?
Is it possible that she was just applying this sort of logic to the American language? Or could it be that it was a combination of that as well as possibly knowing what "giving head" means? It seems that if she had any idea what "giving head" was in English, though, that she'd be careful to avoid making slip-up's about giving head. Still, when I learned Spanish and Italian, I never rememeber thinking that this "give someone the something" construction could ever cause such a problem. So...what gives?
Comments?
P.S., off topic, but I am listening to AOL radio, the remix station, and they are playing the Phillip Steir remix of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride". Is Steppenwolf the same band who did "Born To Be Wild", or am I confused? Are they a 1-hit-wonder or a 2-hit-wonder?

Comments Jr?
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P.S., off topic, but I am listening to AOL radio, the remix station, and they are playing the Phillip Steir ... the same band who did "Born To Be Wild", or am I confused? Are they a 1-hit-wonder or a 2-hit-wonder?

Yes, Steppenwolf (originally The Sparrow) did "Born to be Wild." John Kay was the lead singer. The had at least seven LPs (including "Steppenwolf 7"), and songs you might have run into in addition to "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Born to be Wild" include (some are covers) "Sookie, Sookie"
"Don't Step on the Grass, Sam"
"The Pusher"
"Rock Me"
"Move Over"
"Tenderness"
"Monster"
"Hootchie Kootchie Man"
"Children of the Night"
"Jupiter's Child"
"Circles of Confusion"
"Another's Lifetime"
"Skullduggery"
"A Girl I Knew"
"Berry Rides Again"
"Fool's Fantasy"
"Snowblind Friend"
"All I Want Is All You Got"
"Everybody's Next One"
"Five Finger Discount"
You know I smoked a lot of grass.
Oh Lord! I popped a lot of pills.
But I've never touched nothin'
That my spirit couldn't kill.
You know I've seen a lot of people walking 'round
With tombstones in their eyes.
But the pusher don't care
If you live or if you die.
God Damn! The pusher.
God Damn! The pusher.
I said God Damn! God damn the pusher man.
You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With a lump of grass in his hand.(1)
But the pusher is a monster
Not a natural man.
The dealer for a nickel
Goin to sell you lots of sweet dreams.
Ah...but the pusher will ruin your body;
Lord he'll leave your mind to scream.
God Damn! The pusher.
God Damn! God damn the pusher.
I said God Damn! God damn the pusher man.
Well now if I were the president of this land
You know I'd declare total war on the pusher man.
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he run, And I'd kill him with my bible, and my razor and my gun.. GOD DAMN! The pusher
God damn the pusher.
I said God damn! God damn the pusher man!
(1) When my band covered this, we always sang "with the love of grass in his hand."
When it Italy, on the first day of my tour, the tour guide woman .. But the most intriguing thing ... "not to give each other the head", but it was there in case we needed to break a window.. Comments?

I have no Romance-English comparative grammar insight to offer. I do think a nonnative English speaker can avoid this kind of problem by choosing to speak at first in the most general terms that apply, and adding specifics to this in following statements only if necessary. This avoids a confusing statement often, from trying to say too much at once, and also avoids making statements that simply aren't well thought out.It is irrelevant whether "head" here refers to the head of any human or the head of the hammer. It would injure a person to be hit by a hammer on body parts other than his or her head. It would injure a person to be hit by part of a hammer other than the head of the hammer. In no way was it ever necessary for the tour guide to specify "head" at all. There would be no point in reciting a list of body parts to not use a hammer on, then proceed to a list of items of passenger property to not use a hammer on, etc., and no point in reciting a list of parts of the hammer which should not be used to strike people or passenger property.

All she had to say was "Use the hammer if you need to break a window". She could have said "Use the hammer to break a window in emergency, and do not use the hammer for anything else."
Starting with a general statement and then working to more specific matters is probably a good strategy for anyone trying to speak in a language they don't truly command. The more general idea of "injury" is better than a specification of injury to the head, for instance. "Do not use the hammer to give injury to another" would have been a fine statement. It's a matter of thinking, resulting in wise word choice, rather than fine points of grammar.
In this case, she probably got laughs from that phrase before and so repeated it. Normally tourists do not need to be told that their vehicle "has not been equipped with weapons for the purpose of assaulting each other, so don't assume it is alright to engage in armed combat on this excursion" even if you come across some article that could be used in fighting. Even if she spoke English as badly as do many of the foreign graduate student's assigned to assist professors with teaching at US universities, which I assure you is a horrendous standard of bad English, she could have managed to say "Hamma, no use make injure anuda! Use break window if big emergency. No the other use at all or policeman punish you!" She probably wanted her laughs.
P.S., off topic, but I am listening to AOL radio, the remix station, and they are playing the Phillip Steir ... band who did "Born To Be Wild", or am I confused? Are they a 1-hit-wonder or a 2-hit-wonder? Comments Jr?

Yes, they did "Born to be Wild". "Train Kept-a Rolling" (covered by Aerosmith), "The Pusher", and their cover of "Corrina, Corrina" are all songs they played that got good airplay at some time. Some underground play of "The Monster" occurred during the peak of the counterculture era. They're still playing occasional gigs, too.
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...
This song is about heroin as an evil compared to those drugs popular with hippies. Heroin wasn't popular with them, and this song somewhat preaches to the choir.
In strict and original use, a pusher deals in heroin. A dealer of another type of illegal drug would have another job title. The spread of drug abuse to a large group of people in the US counterculture era blurred some of the language of the drug trade in use there, as did media attempts to report on it, so some people might make the confusing statement that they got speed or acid or grass or some other type of drug from a "pusher". At the time this song was written, most of the hip crowd would have correctly understood "pusher" to refer to a peddler of heroin. Nowdays the job title for a peddler of illegal drugs is simply "dealer" for all types. There's my usage comment.
Yes, Steppenwolf (originally The Sparrow) did "Born to be Wild." John Kay was the lead singer. The had at least ... into in addition to "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Born to be Wild" include (some are covers) "Children of the Night"

A cover of the Wayne Shorter tune? I'm assuming not.

Steny '08!
P.S., off topic, but I am listening to AOL radio, ... am I confused? Are they a 1-hit-wonder or a 2-hit-wonder?

Yes, Steppenwolf (originally The Sparrow) did "Born to be Wild."John Kay was the lead singer. The had at least seven ... damn the pusher man! (1) When my band covered this, we always sang "with the love of grassin his hand."

I don't get what that's supposed to mean. How can he be holding a "love of grass"? I don't know why your band would attempt to censor THAT specific line, if the rest of the song's lyrics are the way you posted them...
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... This song is about heroin as an evil compared to those drugs popular with hippies. Heroin wasn't popular with ... Nowdays the job title for a peddler of illegal drugs is simply "dealer" for all types. There's my usage comment.

OMG! You top posted! OMG! OMG!!! Anyways, according to the ghetti of the 00's, "pusher" can mean ANY kind of shady drug dealer type thing. "I'm your pusher"!
It is irrelevant whether "head" here refers to the head of any human or the head of the hammer. It ... the head of the hammer. In no way was it ever necessary for the tour guide tospecify "head" at all.

But, that's the thing. She was TRYING to make a joke. Not a sexual joke, which is what she inadvertently ended up doing, but just a silly sort of joke. The reason she mentioned "head" was because you always see people bopping each other on the head with sticks and bats and stuff. It wouldn't be as funny if the Roadrunner clubbed Wile E. Coyote in the ass...On second thought...
There would be no point in reciting a list of body
parts to not use a hammer on, then proceed to a list of items of passenger property to not use ... in reciting a list of parts of the hammer which should not be used to strike people or passenger property.

But that's not what she was trying to say. It was a tour of mostly adults, mostly senior citizens, mind you. She wasn't lecturing little kids on what dangerous things they shouldn't do. She obviously knew well enough that no one would use the hammer to attack anyone else. Like I said, it was just her way of making a (cheesy) joke.

All she had to say was "Use the
hammer if you need to break a window". She could have said "Use the hammer to break a window in emergency, and do not use the hammer for anything else."

Of course. But that would be dull and boring, and come across as lecturey. She didn't want to do that! That would've been WAAAYYY out of character for a fiesty little Italian woman who called herself "Big Momma".
In this case, she probably got laughs from that phrase before and so repeated it.

OH GOD!! I hope not, LOL!
Normally tourists do not need to be told that their
vehicle "has not been equipped with weapons for the purpose of assaulting each other, so don't assume it is alright ... spoke English as badlyas do many of the foreign graduate student's assigned to assist professors with teaching at US universities,

She didn't. At least not as badly as the one I had. Although, she experienced a TREMENDOUS improvement over the course of the year.

which I assure you is a
horrendous standard of bad English, she could have managed to say "Hamma, no use make injure anuda!

LOL! Ghetto Italian woman! But that wouldn't make sense because there are no ghetti in Italy.
Use break window if big emergency.
No the other use at all or policeman punish you!" She probablywanted her laughs.

I'm sure she did, except not because she was making sexual innuendo. Though, if the ratios of seniors and teens/young adults had been reversed, that might not have been a bad strategy. At any rate, her English was decently good. She didn't speak like a cavewoman or a ghetti! LOLOL...It would've been awesome if she did!!!
P.S., off topic, but I am listening to AOL radio, ... confused? Are they a 1-hit-wonder or a 2-hit-wonder? Comments Jr?

Yes, they did "Born to be Wild". "Train Kept-a Rolling" (covered by Aerosmith), "The Pusher", and their cover of "Corrina, Corrina" are all songs they played that got good airplay at some time.

Likely all before my time. "Born To Be Wild" & "Magic Carpet Ride" are both still played regularly on even terrestial classic rock stations though. Plus, they've been in commercials. MOST people of my generation likely know them both. I also got to know "Magic Carpet Ride" before it was in a commercial recently thanks to the Steir remix, whose music video MTV2 used to play A LOT!
Some
underground play of "The Monster" occurred during the peak of the counterculture era. They're still playing occasional gigs, too.

I'm going to download at least the "Pusher" song, and maybe some others. "Pusher" sounds interesting. DAMN, your musicians were bigger stoners than our rappers, with the Dylan song about needing to get stoned, Eric Clapton's "Cocaine", and the other one that's chorus is all about doing drugs. For us, Dido's "Stoned" bombs and "Purple Pills" only has success once it's changed to "Purple HILLS". OY!! My rents liked Steppenwolf decently, I think, though they don't have any of their albums that I know of.
DAMN, your musicians were bigger stoners than our rappers, with the Dylan song about needing to get stoned, Eric Clapton's "Cocaine", and the other one that's chorus is all about doing drugs.

YngJoE = TCE?

Steny '08!
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