ON A MISSION THROUGH FEDERATION SPACE, the Starship Enterprise encounters a huge stationary object, directly in its path.
“What’s that up ahead on our sensors, Spock – some sort of monstrous Klingon Battle-Cruiser?”
“No, Captain. It looks more like an enormous container, registering at least several cubic-miles in dimension. Perhaps a station or depot.”
“Hail them, Uhura.”
“No response, Captain.”
“Could it be derelict, Spock? Any life-readings?”
“Not obtainable at this distance, Captain. However, my scanners detect some activity within – though of what sort or scale is hard to ascertain at present.”
“Captain, I’m now getting some sort of transmission from the object. But it’s making no sense – just whisperings, hissing noises, strange burps and gurglings and something swishing and sloshing – Aahhh!”
“It was suddenly cut-off and replaced with a high-pitched whistling. I’ve turned it off now.”
Without warning, a tiny point of light flares into existence on the forward screen. Rapidly expanding, it culminates in a brilliant flash, dazzling the crew and momentarily throwing everything into stark relief. The bridge seems dimly lit in the aftermath. Crewmembers blink and shake their heads in bewilderment.
“What was that, Spock?”
“Something was hurled straight at us from the object, Captain – but it appears to have caused us no lasting harm. My sensors report that the photonic output was below the threshold of injury to our eyes. In addition, our screens are highly polarised.”
“Uhura, go to Yellow-Alert. Checkov, raise shields and ready phasers and photon-torpedoes.”
“Ivilibil borsht Mockba iz, shildz vorty-vor en veponz zeksti-nine purzen donli. Iy turn zistemz on, boht Ukraine en bolokov, Keptin.”
“Vahkinel! Iy don bilivit! Izorri, boht strogonov blohkowt en norvski kachinska.”
“Uh – Spock?”
“Our immediate available power is sufficient for only forty-four per-cent shielding and weaponry needs powering up by sixty-nine per-cent.”
“Well, just give it what shielding and weapon power you’ve got for now, Mr. Chekov. Spock, how near are we to that object and what’s our present speed?”
“The object is forty-six-million, point two-hundred-and-fifty thousand miles distant and at our current rate of three-hundred and seventy-two thousand miles per second – or light-speed times two – we will reach it in two point, five-zero minutes. I recommend reducing speed to half-impulse, which will take about thirty seconds to achieve, making our ETA approximately eleven point, seven-five minutes from now.”
“Hmm! Not enough breathing space for my liking. We need less than half-impulse.”
“It would take more than two minutes to reduce speed appreciably lower than half-impulse – taking us too close and leaving us less than a minute’s leeway – effectively cancelling any advantage.”
“Well – We’ll just have to detour round it, then! We can’t turn back! We still have to rendezvous with those Zchk –ss – er – whatsit ambassadors!”
“Not advisable, Captain. We are in a bottleneck zone and have a very limited area of manoeuvrability around the object – considerably less on all sides than our present distance from it. There are highly ionized nebulae above and to starboard. To port is the borderline with the Klingon-Empire and directly below, the Romulan Neutral-Zone. None of those prospects are viable alternatives and may even be much more dangerous. Our best course is to proceed ahead – slowly and with caution!”
“Place obstacles in my way please, Mister Spock, you’re making it far too easy for me.”
“Never mind – I forgot that jokes fall flat as pancakes on Vulcan ears, even though they’re pointed. Let me see. Now you just told me our manoeuvrability is severely limited. That calls for special tactics. Sulu – reduce speed to half-impulse as Mr. Spock advises and stand by helm on Evasive Measure F.U.U.S.O.B. Instant high-warp.”
“Aye, Captain. Hafimpols – Ikangivu. Ingayji nao.” – BLIP – “ETA – nine point, six-four minutes. Kangivu evasive measure – ondilef an ondirye, dopple bukto zenta, zen orbit – okai. But F.U.U.S.O.B. – zoomon atiywarp? Ha! Saki yo, huh? Toshiba karaoke ama ono gozo – orni got wanki pyjama ata momen! Fukujima! Okai?”
“Y’know, Spock – sometimes I wonder what the hell those two are talking about.”
“Captain, may I point out that we are presently on cruise-mode and need to power-up systems for instant access to high warp-speeds and full-defence capabilities?”
“Great stars! What is all this battery-recharging syndrome? What sort of power-system is this? Uhura, open a channel to engineering.”
CRACKLE – HISSSS –
“Captain to engineering. Urgent! Yellow-Alert priority”
KCHRKKKKK – SSHHHHHFFFZZZZZZ –
“Scotty – ‘you down there in the engine-room? This is extremely urgent! Repeat, Yellow-Alert priority. Please respond immediately Mr. Scott!”
POP – POP – – PIPPIP – – – PIP –
“Aye, Captin’! I’m a doohan heer – wor ulse? Ah heerd thuh Yellow-Alert, too! All muh eenstrooments arr gooin bloddy creezy doohan heer! Ah’ve got muh worruk cot oot jess train a keep things ronnin’ steady! Wassup wi evrrathing? Is it yon big thingy oot thor, ye’ve joost relayed doon t’ me munnitor?”
“Yes, Scotty. We need full power urgently for instant high warp and defences.”
“How soon d’ye want it – coz ay’ll need aboot ten munnits t’ poower-op fully?”
“We’ll reach it by then, Scotty – we need full power within the next few minutes.”
“Och, crimminy. Ye dinna want moch, do ye?”
“It could mean the difference between life and death for us all, Scotty.”
“Could ye no a spotted it arrrlier?”
“Er – Spock?”
“Too much interference from nearby nebulae and local star-systems for our sensors to detect any sooner.”
“You hear that, Scotty?”
“Aye! Weel – ay ken gie ye full poower within three munnits, ef ye insist. An thot’s th’ bust ay ken doo – bot ay’ll no be laikin it. Ma puir wee bairns’ll be streened ta th’lummit doon heer. So dinna ye be blemmin me ef oor bocket bosts a got. An doon expect it fexed in a juffy noo. Och, tis modder ye doo ye noo, an a heethan peebroch, sassana-busted, beastie-doo mactoo – aaarrrggghyll –”
“Thank you, Scotty. Kirk out.”
“Bones – ‘you there?”
“Yus, Jum. Wassamatta? Gotta tummy bug?”
“There’s a potentially dangerous unidentified stationary object – dead ahead. We’ve slowed to half-impulse and will reach it soon. We can’t go round it effectively because of nebulae and politically sensitive borderlines. We’re going to take evasive action as soon as Scotty gives us enough power. If that fails, we may have a battle on our hands. We can’t turn back – the fate of the Federation depends on this mission.”
“Jumminy Cricket! Ah wondered what all thuh Yellow-Alert shindig was about.”
“Well now you know. So please be ready to receive any casualties or emergencies that may arise.”
“Now y’all be careful up there, Jum. Ah’ve only got one first-aid kit down here and one stethoscope – and only one highly desirable nurse. All the rest are ugly and only half-trained. The diagnostic-machines and biobeds need overhaulin’. Ma tricorders need retoonin’ – and Scotty promised ta fix the x-ray last week but didn’t – though Ah guess it’ll take a few foggy pics at a pinch. What’s more – Ah’ve only got one crate of bourbon left ta last me through the rest of this damn trip!”
“Just be ready with what you’ve got, Bones. That’s an order!”
“Y’know y’really oughta lighten up a bit, Jum – an’ not be so all-fired up ta start a fight with ev’ry bug-eyed monster y’ come across out here. Learn ta relax a liddle an hang loose – an that’s a medical-order from your doctor. In the meantime, Ah’ll do what Ah kin with this makeshift junkyard ya call sickbay, Jum – McCoy out.”
“Now, where were we, Christine, ma dear? We – ell, Ah do declare! They sure are the sexiest suspenders Ah’ve seen ya in yet, ma liddle chickadee!”
“Lenny – you silly boy. Turn off the comm.”
“Sigh. I need to put in an urgent request for new medical-equipment and some properly trained medical-staff, before Doctor McCoy slips into complete debauchery. I wish he’d get himself more in touch with what goes on in the real universe outside sickbay, too – all this hang-loose business. I’m a Federation starship-captain with responsibilities, not some goddamn galactic tourist! Any more luck with the hailing, Uhura?”
“None, Captain – I’m afraid.”
“Any more of those strange transmissions?”
“No, thank goodness.”
“Any life-readings on that object, yet, Spock?”
“None, Captain – and we are now close enough to know for certain.”
“So, who hurled that flash of light at us?”
“Could be a built-in automatic-response to the approach of incoming objects. Perhaps a warning or some other form of communication.”
“Dubrovski plockow. Instamachinka, autochembrik-kamerastovinchi, Keptin.”
“Checkov says they may have photographed us, Captain.”
“Who? Whatever for?”
“Whoever built the vessel and left it here on automatic function.”
“Yamamoto, moto. Shogun foh Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, zen kung-fooey.”
“Sulu suggests it may be for security purposes, Captain.”
“Dammit all, Spock – someday soon – I strongly recommend that Messrs Checkov and Sulu both take the time out to learn to speak English properly, because I sure as hell can’t understand a goddamn bloody word they say. What’s the activity-level aboard that object, now we’re a bit closer?”
“Very low – maintenance-machinery, just ticking over. There’s a warp-engine and impulse-motors, but they’re completely shut-down and would need twenty-five minutes to power-up.”
“Flaming stars – everything sounds like it’s running on batteries out here!”
“Even stars have to recharge, Captain – and they do so continuously with non-stop nuclear-reactions.”
“Why can’t Scotty do that with our power source?”
“He does, but our power source is only a tiny fraction of even the smallest star‘s – though it has to be channelled very carefully and the Enterprise is draining it continually.”
“Any weapons or shields aboard, Spock?”
“No weaponry and no power-shielding – only the hull itself.”
“Only the hull? Why – what’s so – what’s the composition of the hull?”
“Silicon, aluminium, magnesium, oxygen in combination. Some tungsten, duralium, titanium, carbon – and – other trace elements.”
“Hmm – meaning?”
“It’s ceramic in nature. Almost like a very superior Wedgwood or Spode, but highly reinforced and virtually unbreakable.”
“Sounds like super-strong pottery to me. What about the interior, Spock – any contents?”
“Apart from the maintenance machinery and dormant drives in separate compartments at the base, entirely liquid – composed of seventy per-cent H2O, sixteen per-cent bovine lactose solution, five per-cent tannic infusion, four per-cent bergamot saturates, two per-cent exotic spice concentrates and three per-cent de-crystallized sucrose.”
“Well, it sounds very much like a recipe, Spock – but what does it all boil down to, in plain English?”
“That is plain English, Captain! Unlike ‘boil down to’ which is metaphoric ambiguity!”
“Groan. Well, layman’s terms, then.”
“And layman’s terms, too – if you want scientific terms, I can –“
“No thanks, Spock. I do not! Just give it to me in as few words as possible.”
“Tea, Captain. Finest quality Earl Grey, to be precise.”
“No, Captain – I am not kidding, as you put it. That would be illogical and I am a Vulcan.”
“I’m aware you’re a Vulcan, Spock – and strongly suspect you’ve got a highly developed and very devious sense of humour – even though you wouldn’t admit to it.”
“If that is so, Captain – I hope it is more subtle than you suggest.”
“Oh, without doubt, Spock. Eh? No – never mind. Now, are you absolutely sure that – that – giant pot of tea, is uninhabited, non-hostile and weapon-free?”
“As a mere point of interest on my part, what’s the temperature of the contents?”
“For your aural – or should I say, oral, digestion – comfortably below boiling-point but hot enough to satisfy you, and kept at a constant balance.”
“Spock – I think you just made some sort of joke!”
“Besides, you didn’t actually give me a temperature reading.”
“Unnecessary, Captain – it would have been meaningless to you.”
“Ooh! Touché, Mister Spock! I might’ve known you’d get me back for my earlier quip about your ears.”
“Forget it, Spock. Now! Let’s see! We have ascertained that the object is a huge ceramic vessel, containing hot tea. Mega-gallons of it! And finest quality Earl Grey, at that! Way out here – in deep space!”
“Amazing! Excellent news! Somewhere to get a decent cuppa! We certainly can’t get a decent cuppa from our replicators. The tea from them always tastes like herbal soap-solution and the coffee like molten rubber.”
“One moment, Captain. The object is rotating slowly under its own momentum and a small plate attached to the hull, lit with markings is just coming into view. Hmm – absolutely fascinating!”
“What is it, Spock?”
“It’s in seventeen galactic languages, including English. I’m putting it on main-screen now.”
SAM’S SUPER GALACTIC REFRESHMENT SERVICES
– ORION ARM DEPOT –
– TZUP Ω T4UΣT4MΣ2
AVAILABLE TO ALL FEDERATION CITIZENS AND STARFLEET PERSONNEL
ON VERY REASONABLE CREDIT TERMS
GALCARD ★ TREKICHEK ★ VULCANICHIP ★ KLINGIMUN ★ ANDORISPEND
FEDICRED ★ FERENGILOOT ★ ROMULOLLY ★ ZARMUSIBUCKS ★ UNIDOSH
HOT TEA – THIS STATION
HOT COFFEE – 2.3 PARSECS GALACTIC NORTHEAST
BY THE HORSE’S-ARSE NEBULA
“I believe that that is a huge incandescent cloud of hydrogen in the shape of a colossal looming horse’s backsi –”
“Spare me, please, Spock. What’s that written below it?”
SERVING HATCH AIRLOCK ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THIS NOTICE
PLEASE NOZZLE-UP – AND PLUG-IN
YOU WILL BE DELIGHTED WITH THE TASTE OF THIS SUPERIOR BLEND
“Captain – I’m receiving another transmission – and this time it’s not garbled.”
“Put it on bridge-audio, please, Uhura.”
Hi! Galactic Greetings from Sam’s Super-duper Galactic-Refreshment-Services. You are now near enough to have received our Advertising Signal-Flash and the recording of our Beverage-Manufacturing-Process.
Apologies for any electromagnetic disturbances this may have temporarily caused. If you have not already checked us out under magnification – please feel free to do so.
If you are space-weary, thirsty, tired of recycled slop, in need of a really first-class beverage – and you want only the best that an amazingly trivial amount of space-creds can obtain, please proceed further and visit our wonderful Tea Station.
Just zoom right in and enjoy. All our products are made on the premises from finest quality, genuine original sources, transported here from their natural environments and kept in perfect condition in stasis-field containment.
The facility is easily accessible and there is also a vast suite of automated revolving tearooms beneath a transparent cover at the top of the station, with a panoramic view of the nearby starfields and nebulae. Thank you for your attention.
Have a Federatingly Galactic, Interstellar Day.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz
Harbll! Garzmiddn-loobimunz ov Zarmuuz’ Voodra Garzmiddn-Rontlbiden-Durslogez. Chi-chu nar nerdnuff duharr wakeez oor Argvakzen zurgl-flumz oon daka tum wooboo-tingatz oogorz buvaarej-muurvukdrin-brooxis –
“Suffering stars. What’s that, Klingonese? I didn’t even know they liked tea.”
“Zarmussian, actually, captain – and like many other Federation members, they too have developed exotic tastes through cultural exchange.”
Vee dooayv nirt aarluddi chikkidoo ooz ucki marxvekinoo – flee bee fleedle doodum –
“Speak the lingo then, Spock?”
“No, but I recognize it and have a limited understanding of the basic linguistic structure – and I find the incidental connotations of the phonetics, the vocabulary, and the whole syntactical structure, quite fascinating.”
Vee doo uk chargunaganzga, doo-usti, tig op dibbi-dibbi-doo-oz schlurrm, immigrimmd o-agreeli voondabra Tblonkuz buvaarej, oogiwun oogli da booz darda numeezenlee –
“Alright! I’ve heard enough! More than enough! Turn it off, Uhura.”
“Hmm. Fascinating – and extremely enterprising.”
“Oh, very punny, Spock! Well, I’m definitely relieved by the outcome of this incident and – I don’t know about the rest of you, but they’ve made me feel very curious and practically thirsting to try out their product.”
“They certainly have employed very clever advertising techniques, Captain. Quite intriguing. Placing the station in such a strategic position, in a narrow band of negotiable space between Federation zones, is guaranteed to attract attention.”
“Very clever but risky, Spock. We could’ve blown the station out of space if we hadn’t found out about its true nature.”
“Not so, Captain – my sensors have detected an ingenious transporter set-up installed within the facility. The slightest hint of hostile activity from without is automatically detected, and the whole facility instantly transported half-a-parsec ahead. A sort of built-in reflex-action.”
“The disappearing teapot-show, eh? No flies on Sam’s lot! Well, I think it’s time to make contact. Uhura – turn off Yellow-Alert and give me ship-wide hailing frequencies, please.”
“Yellow-Alert off and ship-hailing activated, Captain.”
“Attention all crew. This is the Captain.
As you all know, we’re on a historically important mission with a schedule to keep.
But we’ve made good time and still have a few hours to spare – and I’m sure we could all welcome a refreshing break with decent bevies – ones that don’t taste of soapsuds or molten rubber.
If so, listen up.
Now, there are two uncharted service stations in the vicinity, vending tea and coffee – superior quality by the looks of it. If you wish to make use of the facilities, please assemble on deck fourteen, all those who want the tea-depot to starboard.
Take bikkies or anything else you have with tea, in case they don’t supply extras. Good idea, too, to take flasks as well, if you like. The coffee-depot will be the next stop after this, so please assemble on deck fifteen, all those for coffee.
Thank you. Kirk out.”
“Uhura – relay the recording of that information transmission from Sam’s Services over the main tannoy system, so the crew know as many details about it as we do.
BREEP BREEP – BREEP BREEP – BREEP BREEP –
“Captain – Commander Scott is hailing you”
“Thanks, Uhura. Put him through to my descom. Please.”
CRACKLE – FFFFZZZZZ –
“What in space is wrong with this channel? Scotty?”
SSSHHHH – KKKCHHHKK – POP-POP-POP-PIPPIP –
“Captin – what’s allus busness boot a tea an coffee break arm hearin’ oower th’ tanny? Och, ye coulda tolt me afore, insteada leavin me bostin a got train a’ get full poower on laine f’ ye. Ah hed it op an ronnin in three munnits flat an all, putting all munner a struss on ma puir wee bairns doon heer. Ay would nae ha mainded s’ moch ef it hadda been fer a deesen drenk, laik Bell’s orrr Teacherrr’s – bot when ay’m hearin’ –“
“Alright, Scotty – my apologies and grateful thanks to you. I do appreciate the difficulties you labour under, but we’ve been very busy up here, too – finding out all we could about this object and have only just reached a conclusion. A satisfactory one – so we can all breathe easier now.”
“Aye. Weel – Luckily theer’s nae harm don thos tame, an ay spoos ay’ll laikly join th’ coffee queue wi a flask a th’ guid stoff.”
“That’s the spirit, Scotty – and well done.”
“Och, flattery is it, noo? Bot tis braw t’ be appreciated nonetheless, Captin – an heers moog in yer eye.”
“Er – mug in yours, too, Scotty. Kirk out.”
JAMES T. KIRK – CAPTAIN – U.S.S. ENTERPRISE
STARDATE: er – sometime in the late 23RD Century.
Well – actually, it’s a few centuries back in time at HQ and 300 years in the future out here. Paradoxically, we can still communicate with HQ as if we’re both living at the same moment in time. How that’s worked out, I’m jiggered if I know. blame general relativity, he’s the culprit responsible. but never mind all that – warpdrive will adjust it all and make sure everything chronic balances out, so that when we get back to HQ, the same amount of time will have elapsed for them as it has for us.
What all that means in everyday life, is any creature’s guess. I’ve never understood relativity and I never will – but I’m only a starship captain, not a scientist, like Mr. Spock. Stars alive, I have difficulty understanding some of my own crew at times.
Computer, erase paragraph and sub-heading and fill in current stardate and time from Enterprise’s data banks.
We are in urgent need of new medical-equipment and supplies. also some fully trained medical-staff to assist Doctor McCoy and Nurse Chapel in their duties.
I will send a requisition to Starfleet HQ, listing exact requirements after I have consulted with chief medical officer, Commander McCoy.
The current mission has been met with the usual enthusiasm and co-operation of the Enterprise crew.
I commend the following crew members in their duties:
Ensign Checkov and Lieutenant Sulu – who are both glued to their seats with eagerness and devotion to duty and work well together. Even if they do make silly suggestions and speak only gobbledegook.
Computer, scrub the second of those last two sentences.
And dear old Lieutenant Uhura – bless her.
Computer, delete that last sentence and substitute:
Lieutenant Uhura – always attentive, efficient, hard working and conscientious.
I highly commend Commander Scott:
He always kicks up bloody blue murder over his orders because he’s so in love with his machinery and afraid of harming it. But he works like a mighty Trojan and does one heck of a job pulling miracles out of a hat on demand.
Computer, delete second sentence and first word of third sentence.
And Commander Spock – even though he’s a piss-taking, pedantic, sardonic, smug, know-it-all –
Computer, delete last sentence and insert:
I also highly commend Commander Spock – who is extremely efficient, faultlessly analytical, an absolute mine of information, and always gets the job done most effectively.
Sip – sip – gulp – mmmmmmm!
Ahh – but the universe always looks more rosy after a nice cuppa – or rather, an extremely large mug, in this case.
Computer: delete last sentence.
We found a couple of uncharted service sta –
Computer: delete last sentence.
Does mention of the service stations have any bearing on the success or failure of the current mission? I think not! Maybe HQ think I’m so out of touch out here, that I’m actually beginning to enjoy that awful recycled slop from the replicators. Perhaps I will put in a request for an upgrading of our replicating facilities, though – when I make out that medical-requisition with Bones.
Sip – sip – aahhhh – great stuff!
Even that cold blue star out there has a decidedly orange cast. Oh, it is an orange – a mouldy old one I left on the porthole-ledge.
Computer: delete last sentence and insert:
We have safely negotiated the narrow strip of badlands that we had to pass through at low-cruise warp, in order to reach the Zchk – ss – thkss –
Computer: delete last hyphenated phrase and supply and insert given local name of destination on current mission from data banks.
Also, if there is a Federation code, designation or nomenclature for the region, forward the information direct to my PC.
I’m tired of trying to pronounce words that my human lips were not made for. Thank stars we have the translators.
BREEP BREEP – BREEP BREEP – BREEP BREEP –
Attn Captain Kirk J. T. SC-0937-0176-CEC – U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701: re. rqstd IDSYS data: > Fedcode – OAS VRG VX-ZK GP-NW 455XBQT > Des – Zeechek Domain > Nom – Vindemiatrix System < : from SFHQ Fed IDSYS-DB –
We are now proceeding to our destination on high-warp and should reach the Vindemiatrix system in little more than two standard Earthdays, where we will rendezvous with the Zeechek ambassadors as per schedule. Kirk out.
“Ah, well – one more cuppa, fickle universe – and here’s Mug in your Eye.”
From the Zeechek Archives
For forty parsecs the Far Ones did cross the Great Heavens to meet with us. And on the fortieth parsec they came upon the Wilderness of Orion, and with dangers all around, beheld a sign in the form of a great chalice. And from this great chalice did shine forth a bright light, dazzling them with its brilliance. And a messenger that had no bodily form spake to them from the emptiness with its words of prophecy. And lo, it came to pass that they gained sustenance and came out of the Wilderness of Orion renewed in spirit and did meet with us.
The Book of Ambassadors.
FROM TRANSCRIPT OF MEETING VIA TRANSLATOR –
BETWEEN UFP-FEDREPS AND ZEECHEKS OF VINDEMIATRIX.
ORION-ARM-SECTOR OAVG733 – VIRGO-QUADRANT VGVX-ZF32 –
GALACTIC-POLE-NORTHWEST – AREA DESIGNATION-GPNW-VXZ455XBQT.
“Gray tonor tameecher, sur.”
“Thiswun izonor don behafov Zeecheksia.”
“Maythiss beetha furs meetinova gray taliyans.”
“Zeecheks welcum frensip wif Fedraysun Farwunz.”
“Iy rayz mee glas sinsaloot, sur.”
“Thiswun salootz yootoo.”
“Heerz muggin yor iy.”
“Yor goo delth, Sur.”
“An dyorz, Farwun Kurruk.”
“Bbrruuupp. Whoop si – do begyor pardon, sur.”
“Forwot? Yoodoomee gray tonor, pronownsin mi naym korrektli.”
BBRRHHHPP HHWHHHP SSI
bbrrhhhpp hhwhhhp §§i:
In space, no-one can hear you complain if your replicator is utter crap.
The diaries of James T. Kirk
The theme title of the story, Mug In Your Eye, is a parodied version of Mud In Your Eye, a well-known phrase sometimes uttered as a toast when two or more people are gathered together over a drink. (Ed)
One on-line explanation: Here’s mud in your eye is used as a toast. The speaker is really congratulating himself, for the saying comes from the world of horse racing where the winning horse will kick mud into the eyes of those following.
Another: (The) actual origin of this phrase is Biblical, when Jesus spat in the dirt and rubbed the wet dirt (mud) into the eye of a blind man, which healed the man’s sight. “Here’s a cure” sounds the most plausible given the circumstances under which it is most often used.
Mud in your eye
It comes from the Gospel of John 9:6-7. This is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind … by putting mud, made from spittle and dust, in his eyes and telling him to go wash it off in the Pool of Siloam.
Can anyone tell me the origins and meaning of the drinking toast, “Here’s mud in your eye?”
Alton Toronto Canada June 2005
Alton, HERE’S MUD IN YOUR EYE is an informal/jocular drinking salutation akin to ‘Here’s to you!’ ‘Good health!’ ‘Cheers!’ ‘Here’s looking at you! It is sometimes abbreviated as HERE’S MUD!, MUD IN YOUR EYE!, MUD!, etc.
Two theories for the origin are:
- It originated in the muddy trenches of WWI or in the cafes where English and American soldiers spent their ‘leave’ time – perhaps better ‘mud in your eye’ than something more lethal.
- It refers to the sediment, which is often found in the bottom of a glass of wine. The OED lists ‘dregs’ as a colloquial meaning of MUD. The original meaning of the toast may have been that if one drains their glass too enthusiastically, one may literally find ‘mud in their eye.’
Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang dates the term from the 1910s (no quotes provided). However, most other sources give the date of 1927.
Ken Greenwald Colorado USA June 2005
www.wordwizard.com =› Word Origins and Meanings
Compiled and Edited from Online sources by Dave Draper 2013