a fantastic source of knowledge you could probably live without  


or, as it is more commonly known,



Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

William Blake

I wonder why I ever bothered with sex... there's nothing in this breathing world so gratifying as an artfully placed semi-colon.

"Camille Desmoulins"


For sale: one slightly flawed record of John Cage's 4'33". There is the slight sound of a pin dropping at 1'59". As is $6. Box 13.
I've got a lovely bunch of cocoanuts! Want one? Box 30.
Halloween Costume for sale! Complete with mask, tights, cape and boots. Also a small utility belt and a bat shaped bat. I think it's supposed to be old time radio personality Arthur Godfrey but I am not sure. Pretty convincing though. Make me an offer! Box 867.
For rent: small two bedroom apartment overlooking an even smaller one bedroom which in turn overlooks a really quite tiny bachelor apartment. $1450/month nothing included. Box 462.
For Sale: Complete set of dinky toys. Really dinky. Box 44.
Wanted: Complete set of dinky toys. Somewhat less than dinky. Box 44.
For sale: DVD containing all three seasons of the short-lived but brilliant TV show "Oh Terrance!" * featuring the zany adventures of a hapless shipper reciever and his crazy co- workers. Includes bonus footage of actual loading dock bloopers. (* real fans of the series will notice the exclamation mark which was only added to the title in the last season in a failed attempt to attract more viewers). $300 OBO. Box 196898.
Will trade my collection of Gumby leisure wear for any Pokey formal wear. Box 7.
Now Hiring! Brand new restaurant in downtown Winnipeg is looking for chefs. We have no idea what kind of restaurant to be so if you have some special king of cooking you like that would be a big bonus. Box 23.
Wanted: over-sized Mr. Turtle pool with the original howling turtle sound feature. Must still be blood-curdling. Box 21.
For rent: amphitheatre. Seats 25 comfortably or 38 uncomfortably. 40$/day. Would be ideal for staging Aristophanes' The Frogs. Box 76.
Are you a 3? Why not level the playing field by dressing like a 9? Great styles for men and women who want to look better than they have any right to. The International Chateau of Fashion (ICOF) is running a workshop on dressing up the second weekend in November. Box 857.
For sale: two misshapen walnuts I had in my purse. 3$. Box 1.
ACTORS! We need actors IMMEDIATELY to star in our play CAPITALIZED LETTERS! which we will be mounting at the First Annual FESTIVAL OF SHOUTING to be held the last week of November at various locations in THE EXCHANGE DISTRICT. We need: AN OLD MAN, ANOTHER DIFFERENT OLD MAN, A YOUNG BOY, A DOG (this does not NECESSARILY have to be played by a REAL dog) and A LADY. Unfortunately we can't pay anything. Box 40.



Portrait of the Artist as a Young Entrepreneur

If you are interested in "The Arts" then you really should click HERE. You will be treated to a short film which delves (yes, that is the correct spelling) into both the business of art and the art of business.

Why not send an email to Hugh Briss? You could get one back. And wouldn't that be nice?

Ways of Thinking

A Moral and Philosophical Exploration in One Part

"Cogito ergo sum" wrote that old joker Rene Descartes and he sort of had a point. It is one's way of thinking that defines one and delineates the lines of one's character. And as Heraclitus used to say "Character is destiny".

"Huh?" I hear you say (which is nowhere near as clever as either of the previous two quotations). Okay, I will cease with the name-dropping and, in deference to your profound ignorance, try to make my point without reference to Western Society's rich cultural heritage.

A person, let us call this person Ms. X, thinks that the world is a magical place. She thinks that wonderful things happen to ordinary people and that these things occur seasonally. In short, she believes in the Easter Bunny. (For clarity let us hereafter refer to him as Mr. E. Bunny. Or Sam for short).

Now this belief leads Ms. X to expect that she will find eggs in places other than the egg department of her local grocery store during the spring season. And furthermore she expects these eggs to be brightly coloured. She also expects these eggs to be secreted in places fairly low to the ground at or below elevations that would not exceed the reach of a rabbit of average height.

This manner of thinking will result in Ms. X spending an inordinate amount of time during the month of April looking at the ground. It would not be ridiculous of us to assume that she will not be inclined to notice a certain amount of activity that takes place above three feet (approximately one metre) or, if we care to be anthropocentric, waist level.

She may very well be struck (not literally) by her friends' shoe choices. She may find a smattering of dropped change and she may indeed remark on the increase in littering in her neighbourhood. There is certainly an upside to an increase in a vigilance that targets the ground and its environs. But it is also unlikely that Ms. X will notice anything that flies at her head from above. It is therefore extremely likely that she will be successfully assaulted by redwinged blackbirds, those vicious and malevolent avian thugs.

Certainly we can conclude that Ms. X's belief in Sam will irrecoverably result in some nasty forehead scars that will thereafter compel her to wear her hair in bangs which will, of course, result in her never being hired for any job that requires a seriousness of purpose. Ms. X's belief in a magical ovaphilous rabbit therefore, will ruin her life.

Hugh Briss

Uncle Petey's Bed Soars

Once upon a time there was a man named Peter whom, due to his general avuncularity, people called "Uncle Petey". That's Petey with a 'y'.

Uncle Petey had a bed which was not all that surprising but what was surprising was that Uncle Petey's bed flew. At least it did according to uncle Petey.

Uncle Petey would tell anyone who was willing to listen all about his magical bed. He would tell them that each and every night, just as he was about to drop off to sleep, his bed would suddenly rise up off the floor and soar out the window.

For several hours Uncle Petey and his bed would be mysteriously propelled hither and yon throughout the heavens and then, sometime before morning, the bed would fly back in the window and land exactly in the same spot from where it had taken off.

There were many people who doubted Uncle Petey. Although he was a very likeable sort he was really not considered a reliable source of information. The general opinion of Petey was that he liked to stretch the truth, so not a lot of credence was given to his stories of his flying bed.

But the little children loved his flying bed stories and they would always gather round whenever he was telling one.

After he and his bed were shot down over North Korean airspace a lot of people changed their opinion about him. But that didn't matter to Uncle Petey as neither he nor his bed survived their encounter with the surface to air missile.

E. Watermuldar

The Rabbit Who Didn't Succeed

Once upon a time there was a rabbit. Now I realise that all of you know a rabbit story but in those stories the rabbit is invariably quite accomplished. This is different. This is the story of "The Rabbit Who Didn't Succeed".

This rabbit was named Mike. It was not short for Michael. His parents had simply named him Mike. They just could not be bothered with any more syllables. They felt that one was sufficient. Both of them had single syllable names and they didn't see any need to get all fancy with multi-syllable names for their kids. Or kid. There was just Mike.

Mike was kind of an average sort of rabbit. If you had seen him nibbling away at your front lawn one morning you would not have thought anything of it unless you are one of those people who are fanatical about maintaining their yard. Then, of course, you would have been livid.

But what I am trying to say here is that Mike would not have stood out as anything particularly special rabbitwise if you had seen him.

Mike, like many other rabbits, had certain aspirations in his personal and professional lives that he wished to see fulfilled. One of them was to become involved, in an overtly sexual way, with a lady rabbit. That was really his greatest personal ambition and consequently he spent quite a lot of time thinking about it.

As far as professional goals went he really only wanted two things. First of all or firstly, he wanted to get a job were it would at least be considered acceptable to wear a white lab coat and second of all, or secondly, he wanted to pipet something.

Now I don't know where you went to school so I don't know if you know what I mean when I say "pipet". A pipet is a kind of tube used in the laboratory to transport a measured amount of liquid. They are actually kind of fun to use. So it's not hard for me at least to understand why the rabbit in question wanted to use one.

Basically i guess we could say that Mike wanted to be a sort of scientist.


Now if you or I wanted to be a scientist we would go to school and study science type things for a few years and then we would go out and apply for jobs with laboratories or pharmaceutical companies or even universities. No doubt at some point in this process we would have to sit down at a big desk and answer the questions of some established science person and if we didn't answer them correctly or if we didn't sufficiently impress the aforementioned science person we wouldn't get admitted to their school or hired by their company. That would be the end of our science career. Well, things were no different for Mike.

Mike realised that if he wanted to ever be allowed to pipet something he was going to have to sit through one of these interviews. But Mike had a problem. Mike's problem was that he always looked alarmed. No matter what the situation, no matter how placid his surroundings, how charming his companions, no matter how unfraught with peril the circumstances, Mike looked as if he had just been informed that a psychotic axe murderer was running up behind him. He couldn't help it. He just looked that way.

Now Mike was smart enough and experienced enough to know that this particular facial quirk of his was not conducive to his being allowed to pursue his science dreams. No one wants to look across the laboratory, a place where dangerous chemicals are often stored and sometimes used, and see someone who looks terrified. It is, to say the very least, bad for moral.

The problem, as the rabbit saw it, was his lack of eyebrows. Eyebrows, Mike felt, lend a certain sagacity to a being. That was the reason, he believed, that humans often attributed more intelligence to golden retrievers than they deserved. I'm not sure he was wrong.

But what to do about it? Mother Nature had not seen fit to bestow upon the lapine race any eyebrows and as a result they invariably looked shocked and alarmed. How could one single rabbit change his situation? Mike thought he might have a solution.

Mike thought: what is an eyebrow after all? It is just a wad of hair resting above the eye. There was nothing particularly special in that. He had lots of hair. He just didn't have big chunks of superfluous hair hanging above his eyes. All he had to do in order to gain eyebrows was to paste some of the extra hair that he had shaved off his bum just over his eyes and, bob's your uncle, he would suddenly look wise and controlled and, he hoped, all sciencey.

So he did and he was immediately accepted into the chemistry program of a highly prestigious unversity where he started pipeting things in his very first year!

He never got laid though.

C.F. Maynard

Checklist for Winter Preparation

1) Do you have adequate snow pants? Remember, because snow pants are made of snow which melts easily they MUST be kept refrigerated until the winter season begins in earnest.

2) Hawaiian shirts. Even if you can't get away somewhere warm this winter you can still wear one of these delightful pieces of apparel to boost your spirits in the deep dark depths of January.

3) Mitts. We all cook more things when it's cold. Remember to wear hand protection when removing things from the oven. It's hot in there!

4) Christmas Lists. It's never too early to start compiling a list of all the things you think you need. Make multiple copies and give them to anyone you think might conceivably get you a present. And why not hand them out to strangers too? You never know.

compiled by the Persiflage staff