garamond never looked so good 

January 27th, 2011

Passion without potency is called "incompetence".

The Discourse on the Highest Tao under Heaven
(The Chinese Sexual Yoga Classics)


For rent: very small mouse trap and skeet set. Ideal for a mouse who loves sport shooting. Variable rates. Box 229.
For sale: one computer screen. Effectively keeps computers from just flying in your windows willy-nilly. $7. Fits mosts windows. Box 101010.
Let's face it - nobody likes a sore loser. So why not come by Teddy Ruxpin's (no relation) Liniment Barn after the big game? Now on Regent at Lagimodiere (pronounced "Lagimodiere").
Wanted: Belly button lint from the Thirties. Must be authenticated or the deal is off!! Reply to Box 23.
I will be moving to France this year and I must divest myself of some things that I cannot take with me. My frozen croissants, my collection of boxed wine, my autographed copy of the Schlieffen Plan, my tiny Eiffel Tower statuette etc. If you like things hated by the French perhaps you will make me an offer. Send for list. Box 1940.
For Sale: some potato pancakes that I'm really too full to eat. They're in the back of the fridge behind the Miracle Whip. Just leave the money on the counter.
Looking for a place to spend a quiet weekend getaway? A honeymoon or rekindling an old relationship? Why not think about Uncle Earl's Cot and Scoff, a delightful variant on the regular Bed and Breakfast. Inquiries: Uncle Earl's, Box 4586, Honeyman Lake, MB.
For Sale: One extremely rare issue of Archie Digest in which Archie is depicted as a marmoset with an enormous mustache. $250 OBO. Box 713.
Hey, this is exciting! Now Persiflage has its own down loadable ring tone! Just click: FREE RINGTONE to preview or really just download it. Free, gratis, for nuthin'! No need to thank us.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Ninety

Click on the picture. (3:30)

Or start from the beginning.



You know it is always possible to contact us. We rather like getting email. And not just from our friends in Western Africa (what's up with the banks there anyway?). You could send us a short missive anytime. It doesn't have to be long. How about just a "Hey Hugh, how's it going?" That's not much to ask is it? Email us at:

This is what we are saying.

Art Advice For the Young People

The following is a complete verbatim (what other kind is there) transcript of a lecture recently (within the last six months) delivered (orally) to an unfortunate class of students at a local university by the "artist" E. Watermuldar.
Sometimes free advice is still over-priced.

I asked myself what would I, at the age of, say 19, want to hear from an older "more established" artist but all I could come up with was "Here is some money for beer". But that is not what I want to say to you today. I don't have any money for beer. Well, I don't have any money for beer for you.

The fact is that when I was your age I wasn't too interested in hearing advice from anybody. I was a very closed minded young fellow and not anywhere near as smart as I thought I was. But then I am sure that you are all quite a bit brighter than I am. You certainly look it.

Or maybe you are just more sophisticated. You are exposed to so much more information than I was at your age. This has inevitably made your taste so much more elevated. You are a much more discerning audience. When I was young girls went crazy for the likes of Bobby Sherman. Nowadays there is Justin Bieber. The difference is startling.

And of course now you have the Internet which was only accessible to Matthew Broderick when I was young.

With the advent of the aforementioned Internet it has become less necessary to consult with one's elders. One can safely avoid the smell of mothballs and the drinking of endless cups of Red Rose tea that were, for many years, an integral part of that onerous task.

Just as an aside, mothballs are made primarily from paradichlorobenzene which I learned in high school in a class that was known, in those days, as "Chemistry". Within the confines of that smelly classroom/lab we had to learn how to draw out the molecular structure of things. I remember analysing the chemicals that made Vlasic pickles crunchy. I believe we were tested on these things. If you want to know more about paradichlorobenzene there is an article on Wikipedia. But I don't know why you would as no one uses mothballs anymore. Except for male moths.

But this kind of learning is passe, as the French say. Now you need only to Google, or if you like living life on the edge, Bing, "career paths for artists" and you will have immediately, at your finger tips, all kinds of information about how to proceed. Things that it took me more than ten years and no small amount of blood, sweat and tears to learn you will know in seconds.

Otto von Bismarck once said that "fools learn by experience, I prefer to learn by the experience of others". This is basically what I am saying to you.

There really is, as far as I can see, no point in going out and experiencing the world first hand. First hand experience is highly over-rated in my experience, which I, by the way, experienced first hand. I spent, for instance, alot of years working on loading docks and unloading trucks and I could bore you to tears, or maybe just near tears, with information about pallet jacks and hydraulic lifts and lifting with your legs. But learning that stuff wasn't any fun at all. And why would you want to hear it? I guess it's pretty clear that for that matter second hand experience is no great shakes either.

Why should you even bother trying to learn something second hand from some old gasbag such as myself? You can't skim over or ignore the boring bits that I have chosen to relate. You can't pick out only the bits you are interested in and forget the rest. Like this lecture you are compelled to listen, or at least pretend to listen, to a bunch of stuff that is to you uninteresting, unintelligible and unconnected to your reality. Is it not much much easier and indeed more pleasant to learn these things third or fourth or fifth or even sixth hand by scrolling over your computer screen or your phone instead of stumbling around out and about in the so-called real world?

This real world, it seems to me, is in no way preferable to the virtual or digital one. It is messy, tiresome and filled with people who do not share your goals, ideas, values or interests and are often not all that keen on you personally. In the virtual world these folks are a great deal easier to avoid. One merely clicks one's mouse or rolls one's thumb on the swirly doodad on your phone or iThingy and you can make them disappear. This does not work in the "real world".

Just think of how simple it is to de-friend someone on Facebook. Although I do not have The Facebook myself, I understand that this is a fairly straight forward procedure. In the real world de-friending someone is a much more complicated and messy task. Occasionally the police must be involved. Sometimes there is violence and always there is the unpleasantness.

Because it is so difficult in the outside world to "cut someone loose", as we used to say in my day, one is often forced to spend prolonged periods of time in the company of individuals with whom one would not normally choose to associate. This is especially true when one is in prison or at work.

keep going


Which, of course, raises the whole question of work. If you have an IQ that has moved into the significant double digits and you have been paying any attention at all to the world around you, then you already know that you will not, in all probability, be able to make ends meet as an artist and will have to find something called a "job" in order to survive. That is if you should decide to ignore my advice and venture out into the world.

Work is very distasteful. The word itself is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon "wyrcan" which means strenuous exertion. Now why in heaven's name would you want to do that?

Well, I will tell you why: money. Probably at some point in your young lives you have heard the expression "money is the root of all evil". This is a big lie. It is also a serious misquotation. The original saying was: "the love of money is the root of all evil".

Paul, that is the apostle Paul, wrote this in a letter to his friend Timothy. Why we are not sure. I strongly suspect that Paul owed Timothy money and this was his clever way of weaseling out of paying it by trying to make Tim feel bad about asking for it. But that's just my theory.

Personally I think that the want of money is the root of a goodly amount of evil. It sure has been in my life. Not having money can make one do some very unpleasant things. Like work.

I believe Chilly Willy said it best when he said: "work, don't like work". At least I think it was Chilly Willy. I used to drink quite a bit. I may have that wrong but I am pretty sure that it was a cartoon penguin.

But what is there to like about work after all? To spend forty or so hours a week doing something that is almost invariably pointless and for which you have little or no aptitude or interest merely to keep the wolves from the door? There simply is no fun there. This should be readily apparent to even the most slow witted of you.

But what is one to do? How can one avoid this work thing? Well, if one is an artist there are a couple of things that can, at the very least, save you from some work some of the time. For one thing there are grants and there are artist fees. I guess that's two things.

Unbelievably there are individuals and organisations that are willing to give you money simply because you are an artist! I know this seems almost too good to be true but rest assured I would not lie to you.

Actually, in my experience, that is exactly the sort of thing that someone who was lying to you would say. But even if I might lie to you at some future point I am not lying about this: there are people and groups that will give you money for being an artist.

The Queen of the Potatoes

Once upon a time there was a mysterious lack of potatoes in a small kingdom high in some mountains. Perhaps you are thinking to yourself that it is not so mysterious that there were not that many potatoes high in the mountains but it is.

You see there had always been a lot of potatoes there. Almost half the families who lived in the kingdom were engaged in the farming or selling of potatoes. In fact the kingdom was sometimes called the Kingdom of Potatoes, although that was not its real name, because it was famous for its potatoes. So you can see that it WAS mysterious that there were almost no potatoes there.

The King, the fellow who ostensibly ran the place, was, not to put to fine a point on it, fairly useless. He was a nice enough fellow and most people, including his subjects, liked him but he really wasn't very good at things like responding to shortages and such like. He was really a lot better at sitting around chatting or finding things to watch on the TV.

Luckily his wife, the Queen, was a much more capable individual. She had management skills and a forthright manner that was business-like without being off-putting.

So when the Queen learned of the mysterious lack of potatoes in the kingdom she immediately knew what to do.

That very day she cut up all the potatoes that she had in the burlap sack she kept under her bed (she and the king slept in twin beds in the same room and had done so for some time) and went out into the field behind the castle and planted them.

The Queen made sure each piece she planted had an eye in it so it would sprout (she was good with those kinds of details). She watered the soil but she didn't add any chemical fertilizer or anything else to it.

She did that in the spring and that fall the kingdom had lots of potatoes. Which was a good thing.

C.F. Maynard