By Clementine Castle
Epigraph: “If you like to watch popcorn pop in super-slow motion, you may be overdoing the cough syrup.” --Joy Davidman
👻 If this is a mild winter, a lot of insects may be active earlier and more numerously that if there’d been ten consecutive below-zero days.
👻 Middletown’s Main Street, with its wide sidewalks, is like that of a Midwestern town more than like a typical New England town.
👻 “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Deport him, and you’ll never have to feed him again.” --The Bible According to Groper
👻 “There’s no rational way to estimate the age of the Big-Bang universe. It could be five seconds old, popping into existence complete with Scotch of varying quasi-ages, all our memories in our heads, dinosaur fossils in the ground, and skyscrapers already built. That’s no less likely or rational than a tiny point popping into existence 19 billion years ago and expanding into all that exists now. The thing is, there’s no practical difference between the two fact patterns, so the issue can safely be ignored.” --Jonathan L. Seigel
👻 An attractive map of Europe:
👻 “I burn, but I am not consumed.” Some Trump opponents compare themselves to the persecuted church that likened itself to the Unburnt Bush of Exodus. Fire as a symbol of the presence of God has led some to interpret the saying as “God is with me, so I am not destroyed,” but that changes the meaning: the but becomes a so.
👻 As a fan of interesting pub names, I offer “The Bewildered Gazelle.” I have never found one better than “I Am The Only Running Footman.”
👻 “I rise in glory, but I stand in need.” --Rudolf Schirman. I have no idea what that means.
👻 “The Rachel Arles Singers” are begging for trouble.
👻 The beloved Sufi poet Rumi said, “Whoever looks into my face remembers to pray.” It meant either that he prayed so often and so intensely that his visage radiated prayerfulness, or that he was ugly.
👻 Philosophy begins with wonder at the world. The wonder sparks a search for clues. The clues spin off all the other sciences.
👻 “The protest against an exaggeration very often takes the form of an exaggeration in the opposite direction.” --Frederick Copleston. Stay on the pendulum till you reach your destination.
👻 “Democracy is like a train. When you reach your destination, you get off.” --Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
👻 Amazon has destroyed more jobs than Mexico.
👻 Walmart has destroyed more jobs than Mexico.
👻 “Raise your tiny right hand and repeat after me.”
👻 You used to be so obtuse
Or is the word “abstruse”?
Semantics is like a noose.
This line is the caboose.
👻 “I am consumed but unburnt.” I sold out to avoid torture?
👻 If Middletown were yarn-bombed like Utica, NY, we might be asking ourselves, “Street Art or Clutter?” On the plus side, it’s pretty. I have seen it, at the peril of my life, but that’s another story. On the minus side: "National Grid does not endorse attachments, adornments or modifications on its utility poles for reasons concerning the safety for its customers and personnel," representative Virginia Limmiatis said.
👻 Ms. Limmiatis reminds me of the woman who tells you, “There’s no eating in the library.”
👻 “Like a sack full of six plastic eggs of glow-in-the-dark silly putty, a half-eaten tuna-fish sandwich, 42 standard-issue playing cards, a six pack of Jolt Cola, $1,000 dollars in gold bullion, a mint condition Tito Puente basement tape, a modified Speak-and-Spell that can broadcast to outer space, and the head of Alfredo Garcia, Trump’s first week was something of a mixed bag.” --Jonah Goldberg
👻 Bob Mankoff of The New Yorker used “kicked in the head” to mean “finished,” as in “Well, I guess we kicked that in the head.”
👻 “Microdose LSD Therapy Made Her This” --clickbait
👻 Alt fact: America was established by fish whom we even today call the Flounders.
👻 Alt-alt fact: America was established by orphans whom we even today call the Foundling Fathers.
👻 The Constitution of the United Mice of Scotland begins: “We, sleekit cowerin’ timorous beasties.”
👻 Memorable song lyrics:
My Daddy is a prominent frogman
My Momma’s in the Naval Reserve
When I was young I carried a gun
But I never got the chance to serve
I did not serve.
My Maserati does one eighty five
I lost my license, now I don’t drive
I have a limo, ride in the back
I lock the doors in case I’m attacked.
--Life’s Been Good
One shot to wake
One shot so I don’t shake
Oh, what have I done.
--One Shot to Wake (Lost Dog Street Band)
And once in a while when the wind blows
And the heart winds, and the heart winds, and the heart winds
There's tears in the bank and a credit card
Everyday in the morning when you get up and you crawl out of bed.
--Jack Gets Up (Leo Kottke)
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly for penalty and repentance
William Zantzinger a six month sentence.
--The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Bob Dylan)