Inventor of ‘Toi Toi’ Creates More Salutatory Gibberish
John Man, a highly skilled practitioner of linguistic rumpy-pumpy, achieved fame in the early 80’s by inventing the now ubiquitous phrase “toi toi”.
Though initially intended for people to say to disobedient dogs or rogue goshawks, it soon became popular among artistic types to use before performances as a kooky way of saying good luck.
Sally McNally, musician and guerilla-knitter, has used the phrase for years. “It just rolls off the tongue,” she said, “like reflux, or a small ball for carrying messages inside your mouth. Without it I would have to go back to saying ‘good luck’ or something. I mean…what the hell?”
We asked Man if he had any theories as to why the phrase had become so successful. “I think it’s the combination of O and I that comes just after a T and is then repeated,” he said. “That probably has something to do with it.”
Now, after years of resting on his laurels, he has come up with another phrase, one that is set to become very popular amongst the bee-farming community. Though naturally guarded about the precise content of his new phrase, Man hinted that it was a tasteful allusion to the onomatopoeic ‘buzz’ sound typical of bees.
“Many people told me I was wasting time by randomly vocalising into a microphone for hours on end,” said Man. “But I always knew I was sitting on salutation gold.”
Bob Guy, dramatic actor comedian, is glad he does not have to say ‘good luck’ to his friends. “Those words really stick to the tongue,” he said, “like a desperate moisture-seeking alien or effective tongue clamp. Not like ‘toi toi’, which is like a Gatsby party for your teeth.”
We asked Man if he was afraid his new phrase might not take off as well as his first. “The public is so capricious with what it chooses to like! I really thought ‘chookas’ would go worldwide, but it only became popular with the bogans.”
Mr Busy-Busy-Stop-Stop, bee-farming vivisectionist, was confident that Man would once again craft a lexical delight for his permanent casual use. “I’m sure I will use it all the time,” he said, “so long as it does not magnify the adhesive properties of my tongue in any way, like a doughy clag lasagne. I hate those.”