Saturday, February 27, 2016

All the Manhattan Street-Corner Watch Salesman Pondering What Might Have Been -- The Colonel Carries On #20

by Mopujunovir Exdelinovic and W.B. Scrintl

Arrows can make your writing more arresting. So can pictures.

If your cat is constipated, you can put a teaspoon of MiraLAX on his or her food. You can get this tasteless powder at “people” drug stores, because it works for people, too. The generic name is, I think, “polyethylene glycol” (PEG), and it is also known as polyethylene oxide or polyoxyethylene, depending on its molecular weight. It’s a polyether compound with many applications from industrial manufacturing to medicine, such as treating occasional feline constipation.

Disclaimer: the foregoing was not medical advice. Side effects of PEG in humans and cats may include (in alphabetical order) agenbite of inwit; Barbie doll envy; compulsive calligraphy; death; death of a thousand cuts; delayed borborygmi; delayed esprit d'escalier (in extreme cases, Treppenwitz der Weltgeschichte); 

destructive criticism; diabolism; disoccidentation; exhalations of  dark (non-baryonic) matter; hallucinations of little sailors and other diminutive, elaborately uniformed members of armed forces of this and other nations, past and present; hanging indents; inappropriate laughter and knee-slapping at wakes and funerals; inattentiveness; increased spam and Spam; itching that scratching only worsens; 

marital trouble; minding other people’s business; obsession with rural matters; painful snubs; permanently forgetting passwords; previous life recall; roo-roo; runaway inflation; scabies; scabs; slow agonizing death by addictive binge-watching of Super Bowl commercials; spontaneous loss of dentition; and unsatisfactorily high-temperature afterlife. 

When taken with water, retention of water. 

Nameless advisers advise caution; in extreme cases, extreme caution.

On a recent road trip, at a restaurant called “The Shellhouse” on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia (not Stalin’s birthplace Georgia, Georgia peach Georgia), I noted with approval tables with a hole in the middle a tad larger than a dinner plate, into which one could toss one’s crab and oyster shells and other such debris immediately as one generated it. Below the hole was a plastic trash barrel.

The waitresses loved the arrangement for practical reasons, and it did seem like good design, though perhaps not for state dinners.

“[R]umors of the so-called [GOP] establishment’s power — or even existence — are greatly exaggerated. Waiting for 'the establishment' to save the [GOP] from Trump’s hostile takeover is like waiting for Godot to bring the beer to the party.”

Okay, enough pandering to cat lovers. Now for something completely different:

There is a fancy verb for “going beyond your province”: “ultracrepidate.”

He: I would follow you to the ends of the earth.
She: As it happens, I’m not going that far.

H.L. Mencken’s dictum bears much repeating: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Are there any orangutan lovers out there? The little one in the following photo seems to be saying, “Are you going to eat the rest of that piece of pecan pie?”

The term “Oxford comma” refers to the Oxford University Press, whose house style requires using the serial comma. (The serial comma is the comma after “white” in “red, white, and blue.”) To call it the Oxford comma gives it class and snob appeal. Chances are that if you use the Oxford comma you brush the crumbs off your shirtfront before going out.

Even those who don’t ordinarily use the Oxford comma find it sometimes essential for avoiding misunderstanding, as in the book author’s acknowledgments of “my parents, Ayn Rand and God.”

One woman at a company seminar saw another’s name tag: “Annette Thorsen.” The first woman asked the other, “Is your last name Danish?” The second said, “No, it’s ‘Thorsen.’”

William Archibald Spooner (22 July 1844 – 29 August 1930) was a long-serving Oxford don. He was an undergraduate at New College (founded 1379) and remained there for more than sixty years, serving as fellow (1867), lecturer (1868), tutor (1869), dean (1876–1889) and warden (1903–1924). He lectured on ancient history, divinity, and philosophy (especially Aristotle's ethics).
Spooner was well-liked and respected, described as "an albino, small, with a pink face, poor eyesight, and a head too large for his body." It was said that "his reputation was that of a genial, kindly, hospitable man."
In the opinion of Roy Harrod, Spooner exceeded all the heads of Oxford and Cambridge colleges he had known "having regard to his scholarship, devotion to duty, and wisdom." (Notice the Oxford comma.)
Nevertheless, he is remembered more for his “Spoonerisms,” of which I think the following, probably apocryphal, is one of the best.

"You have hissed all my mystery lectures and were caught fighting a liar in the quad. Having tasted two worms, you will leave by the next town drain." (“You have missed all my history lectures, and were caught lighting a fire in the quad. Having wasted two terms, you will leave by the next down train” [One trains “up” to Oxford and “down” to London].)

Less pure souls may prefer his observation to a new female undergraduate: “You’ll soon be had as a matter of course” (“You’ll soon be mad as a hatter, of course").

I accidentally left the house with an unnoticed sticker still on the chest of my new shirt. When asked at the meeting, I was too embarrassed to tell the truth, so I lied and said it was a name tag. It read “Cuidado Facil.” Although it was my first meeting, they elected me vice president in charge of diversity.

Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is full of otherworldly natural sites, most notably the “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley and elsewhere. Popular for exploration are Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians.  The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.

I am still working on the apocryphal Pauline Epistle to the Cappadocians. It's slow writing, since that koine Greek is a killer. Plus one must squelch all originality and follow an established style.

If you’re tired of pictures of animal mothers and their babies, here’s something crasser (no naugas were harmed in the cobbling):
Nature has adapted the following creatures so that they fill their evolutionary niche almost perfectly. They’re feral investment bankers:

The little one is saying, “You mean we take all those people’s money and we still don’t go to jail? Wow.”

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