Popcorn presented by The Colonel #23 (guest aggregator Sherlock Combs)
*****From the University of Minnesota Oral History Archives (Davis Logsdon, curator), concerning the start of World War II in 1939: "I'll always remember that weekend war broke out. I was at a house party at Cliveden with the Astors, and we sat around listening to the moving broadcast by Mr. Churchill, or Mr. Chamberlain, as he then was.
I remember turning to my husband and saying, 'Squiffy, this is the end of an era.' But I did not feel then that all was quite lost, and immediately afterwards I got on the telephone to Berlin to try to speak to Herr Hitler, who had been so kind to us on our last visit to Germany that summer. Unfortunately, the line was engaged. There was nothing I could do to avert the carnage of the next six years."
*****Nothing in the Christian bible says that the number of oriental kings or wise men was three. The number was probably deduced from that of the gifts they bore: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
*****Do they keep Tishah B'av in Coosh-Behar?
*****The Colonel has already waxed enthusiastic about the work of novelist Hilary Mantel ("Wolf Hall," "Bring Up the Bodies"), whose many excellences as a writer make TC want to bury his pen. Here's a sentence of interior monologue, as the main character notices that he has begun to confuse memories of his two daughters, both fifteen years dead of a fever that flashed through London: "[T]hat's what death does to you, it takes and takes, so that all that's left of your memories is a faint tracing of spilled ash."
*****The fiscal cliff is the new Y2K. May it be as much of a dud.
*****Sparse advice on New Year's resolutions:
(1) Make no more than three;
(2) Choose one from column A (home or self) and one from column B (work or others);
(3) Choose the third from either column;
(4) Make one of the three the top one;
(5) Mark your calendar for weekly review sessions in January and February, and monthly sessions in later months;
(6) If you fall off the wagon, be gentle with yourself, but get back on, and schedule eight more weekly review sessions from the reset point.
Most people don't keep their New Year's resolutions for long, but some do, and there's no reason you can't be among them, enjoying the benefits of achieving your own Big Three. Good luck.
*****Cora and Dora are visiting from Bora-Bora, where they live by the Goats of Christmas Pasture. C&D are best known as the owners of the only surviving manuscript of "Apocalypse Now" in the form originally written by Gilbert and Sullivan, before Hollywood messed it up.
*****Roy Marshrigger does not lack what Isaac Asimov called "a cheerful sense of self-appreciation." The stories in his first book, "The Best Short Stories of the Twenty-First Century" (Unobtanium Press, $12.12 hardcover, paperback free) are all by him. Stories include:
"The C-Curse of the S-Stuttering M-Mummy,"
"Passing Water into the Hated River of Time,"
"Lies, Damned Lies, Half-Truths, and Weather Forecasts,"
"Murder, She Tweeted,"
"The Man Who Mistook the Asian Foods Aisle at Stop & Shop for His Mistress,"
"Investment Outlook from the Mystic Bank & Trust,"
"Prince Rebus and the Republican Comeback,"
"This Can't Go On, It's Glottal Stop," and
"Pot of Gold at End of Tunnel, Light at End of Rainbow."
Sadly, it's already out of print, with half the remaining copies in Dick Cheney's garage at an undisclosed location, and the other half at Cora and Dora's place in Bora-Bora.
*****"No journalist has checked out the totally public transcripts, studies, white papers, code amendments, revenue rulings, and procedural memos relating to IRS policy debates of the mid-1980s because the stuff is solid rock. [Massively, spectacularly dull.] The eyes roll up white by the fourth paragraph. You have no idea." --David Foster Wallace, "The Pale King," ab 143.
*****How's Pablo Fanque doing? Fair.
*****If there's evil in the world because God's away on business, it must be very important business.
*****At the Genetic Modification Restaurant, try the Leg of Rainbow Trout.
*****Pumpkin Philosophy holds that life is gourd; Potato Philosophy holds that love is potatoes. One is torn between (a) choosing one over the other and (b) trying to cherry-pick the best parts of each.
*****"The trouble with cooperatives is that there's always someone who won't cooperate." --Tree Fanatic