F: She Likes Puzzles

Besides introducing me to Ubbi Dubbi, Zoom (see also column u) provided a game called "Who is Fannee Doolee?" The cast members would say things like "Fannee Doolee. She likes doors but she hates windows." The idea was to find out why Fannee Doolee liked some things but hated other similar things. For instance, these statements are true of the original Fannee Doolee:

  • She likes eggs but she hates yolks.
  • She likes butter but she hates margarine.
  • She likes tabbies but she hates calicos.
  • She likes drizzles but she hates rain.
  • She likes swimming but she hates diving.
  • She likes surrealism but she hates art.

(If you don't get it, you can go read the answer now.)

The game is apparently not original to the show; Wendy Cope, one of my favorite poets, has a fun poem called "Does She Like Word-Games?" in her collection Serious Concerns, which uses exactly the same criterion as Fannee Doolee. I don't have permission to reprint the poem, but it's worth reading if you can find it.

Anyway, the Fannee Doolee idea can be extended to other sorts of patterns as well. For instance, Fannee's sister Georgia:

  • likes voodoo but hates magic
  • likes blue, white, and ecru, but hates red
  • likes H2O but hates water
  • likes radii but hates diameters
  • likes cocaine but hates crack
  • likes Boggle but hates Mastermind
  • likes alpha, beta, gamma, and delta, but hates epsilon
  • likes quiche but hates custard.


And their brother Hal:

  • likes pots but hates kettles (he and Fannee agree to disagree on this...)
  • likes bugs but hates insects
  • likes pain but hates pleasure
  • likes Macs but hates Windows and UNIX
  • likes soup but hates gazpacho
  • likes strength but hates weakness
  • likes ten but hates eleven
  • likes men but hates women
  • likes socks but hates stockings.


Their Aunt Isabel, a somewhat complicated sort:

  • likes trembling but hates timidity
  • likes rain but hates downpours
  • likes vanity but hates mirrors
  • likes oceans, and likes liners, but hates ocean liners
  • likes hawks but hates eagles
  • likes Quakers but hates Penn
  • likes history but hates memorizing
  • likes charity but hates giving
  • likes you but hates everyone else
  • likes men, and likes women, but hates androgyny.

(And she doesn't get along with Fannee at all.)


Finally, their cousin Jack likes Anglo-Saxon roots and hates French roots, but he seems to be on vacation at the moment (which is to say, my dictionary is inaccessible).

Join the Conversation