well worth one tenth of one percent of your time     

December 3rd, 2009

There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.

Fran Lebowitz


Willing to trade one white plastic bag formerly used to lug groceries for one of those nice cloth ones. I will throw in a couple of plastic water bottles and some scrap paper. Box 91.
For sale: exact replica of the tie worn by Boo Boo Bear in his first appearance on the Tonight Show. Made entirely out of walnuts. $350. Box 3.
This Friday marks the seventeenth anniversary of the day on which I decided that higher education was a bust. Celebrate by forcing someone to learn something useless.
For rent: small toaster oven. Useful for making toaster pizza. Daily and yearly rates available. Box 394.

Listen to Part Thirty-Three of

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Click on the picture. (3:41)

Or start from the beginning.



A Whole Lot of Horses

JW's ride

By 1880, there were at least a hundred and fifty thousand horses living in New York.      - New Yorker 16/11/09

Greg tipped his bowler onto the back of his head and took another bite of his raw carrot. This place was getting crowded. His chair bumped. The Clydesdales at the next table were getting a bit rowdy after all that Budweiser.

Greg loved living in New York City. He considered it the greatest city in the world but he was finding lately that there were entirely too many horses for his taste.

He was tired of bumping into horses everywhere he went. It used to be that a fellow could sit down to a glass in a tavern without being jostled by a bunch of beer swilling draft horses. An equine gent could, if he were so inclined take a short canter in the park without fear of stumbling over a clump of Shetlands out cavorting on a day off from the pony rides.

Greg was not even going to let himself start thinking about the other, rather messy, downside of there being so many horses in his city. He could barely take a step without...well, putting a hoof into some evidence of the growing horsey population with its, seemingly, poor bowel control. He had started wearing boots.

There were, in Greg's opinion, entirely too many horses in New York City. But what could be done about it? He didn't want to move. He still loved New York. It was a problem.

Then one night as he was standing on his bed trying to sleep it came to him. There were a lot of horses in the city because there was a need for a lot of horses in the city. If there were some other way for the streetcars to go up and down the streets and some other way for the delivery vans to make their deliveries then all the horses could go away. Greg would have his city back.

And that is how Greg the Horse came to perfect the internal combustion engine.

M. Issing

Staying Positive

A lot of us with IQs well into the double digits and a tendency to notice things, have an alarming habit of slipping into patterns of negative thinking (you thought I was going to say "warm bath" didn't you? - well, we do that too).

This can be a bad thing (as perhaps indicated by the word "negative" which means "bad" - actually it means "lacking positive qualities" which I think we can agree is "bad") as it makes one feel hopeless, morose, cranky, angry and incontinent (that last one might just be me - whenever I get down (not in the dancing sense) I have an overwhelming urge to tinkle (not on the ivories - that would be unsanitary (or possibly insanitary - I can't remember which it is)))(I think that's all the parentheses accounted for (or do I mean "brackets"?)).

At any rate, negative thinking can be avoided by staying positive (duh!). This can be accomplished by concentrating on "positive" things and not thinking about "negative" things. And what are those "negative" things you say?

"Negative" things are things like: noisy neighbours, fallen arches (of the foot variety - a nicely crumbling stone arch overgrown by plants and such can be quite lovely), stupid employers/employees, PEOPLE WHO STAND IN FRONT OF THE BACK DOOR ON THE BUS, and any one of a thousand other irritations, petty (not Richard or Kyle) or other wise (not Robert).

DON'T think about these things. Stop it. You're thinking about them right now aren't you? Well, try thinking about something "positive" instead. What sorts of things are positive?

Bunnies (unless you are trying to grow carrots or lettuce), hugs (non-creepy variety), warm woolen mittens, whiskers on kittens, sleigh bells, snow on your eyelashes, brown paper packages secured with twine or some such thing, et cetera (not Peter (although I have nothing against Chicago (the band - or the city really, although I did spend an unpleasant night in the bus depot once (I still think that cop was out of line but he was enormous)))).

How'd that work out for you? Were you able to drive the image of Kyle Petty out of your head with the smiling visage of Peter Cetera?

I mean, were you able to subvert "negative" thoughts of noisy neighbours with pleasant thoughts of snow on someone's eyelashes (or other suitable body part)? Do you feel better? No? What the hell's the matter with you?

H. Briss