T H E  W E B S I T E  T H A T' S  A L S O  A N  E Y E T E S T

August 16, 2007

A peasant must stand a long time on the hillside with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.
               - Chinese saying

PERSIFLAGE is updated on Thursdays.


For sale: aglets. All sizes and colors. Come visit The Agletorium on St. James Street at the corner of St. Matthews.
I am a small man (emotionally speaking - physically I am heavyset) and so I get great pleasure out of humiliating people who have harmed me in some way. Therefore I have rented this space in order to point out that Ken Ziegler of 70 Lonsdale Crescent once struck out at T-ball. T-ball mind you!
For rent: a nectarine that looks rather tasty. $.50/day. Box 209.

Tips for Summer Living:

Tip #9:  Patios can be fun in the summer but it's best to remember that no matter how comfortable you feel the management will likely frown on your removing your pants, no matter how hot it is.



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The Armchair Grammarian

This Week: Extemporaneity

Speaking extemporaneously can be tricky. Unless you have a superlative grasp on the English tongue (which is hard to do as it is so slippery) you will almost ineluctably find yourself in some difficulty.

This need be no cause for embarassment on your part. On a bad day, a graduate of one of our finer institutes of higher learning (vide Macleans Magazine), whilst extemporizing, may appear to have been raised in a trailer park in the Outaouais.

A certain amount of pausing, to search par exemple for le mot juste is simply part of the fun but some things are, or should be, unacceptable. There is no need, certainly, to subject your confreres to a hodge-podge of ill-constructed syntax.

If you would like to appear, when speaking "off the cuff", to have received your borrowed money's worth from your many years of "education" then it is best to bear in mind a few simple rules.

First, do not let your reach exceed your grasp. Attempting a sentence with several clauses of varying types contained within it whilst driving home some arcane point to an audience who may or may not be hostile to you or indeed to learned discourse as a whole, is folly if you have not adequately prepared a plan, that is a sentence plan, which has at its very core a detailed map (which can be wholly contained within the confines of your brainpan, there is no need to sketch it out unless you are, by your very nature, artistically inclined) illustrating, at the very least to you, how you plan to seamlessly move from point A, where you began, to point B where you hope to end.

Secondly, keep it simple.

Thirdly, if you are unsure of the meaning of a word then it is best not to use it. Using a word improperly makes you look stupider than not using it at all. For instance, if I told you my dog has a certain incumbent glow about him wouldn't you think I was stupider than if I told you I don't have a dog? I know I would.

Lastly, if you run into real trouble when speaking publicly, remember it is always acceptable to shout out an expletive and run away. It is the wisest way sometimes.

Leonard Derwerthy

Mr Backyard

relaxing at the beach

Tips for Enjoying Summer Without a Cottage

Many people living in the city during the summer do not have access to a cottage, cabin or trailer near a lake or river but would love to enjoy all the goodtime cottage fun they can without leaving the city. This is easy to do.

The first thing to do is to designate a part of your living space as "the cottage". If you live in a house this could be in your yard - for instance, a shed or garage. If you live in an apartment it is best to usean old box, a fridge carton is ideal, but you can make do with something smaller. A shoebox will work if you exercise the right spirit. This cottage is a state of mind!

Next you will need a body of water. A small pit can be dug in a yard or an ice cream pail works well in an apartment. In a pinch a drinking glass or fruit nappy will suffice.

Set up your cottage, fill up your lake, spread out a beach towel and relax. Listen to the sound of the waves lapping against the sides of the ice cream pail (this can be accomplished with a small fan). Catch up on your summer reading (if you don't have a suitable mystery or romance I recommend the Phone Book it's just full of familiar names!

Kick back and enjoy, winter is just around the corner!

relaxing without the beach