boldly sashays (whatever that means) into the new decade    

January 7th, 2010

Any suggestion about what conditions are both logically necessary and sufficient for the constitution of bullshit is bound to be somewhat arbitrary.

Harry G. Frankfurt


For sale: scholarly tomes... oops, that's a typo - scholarly Gnomes. A selection of garden gnomes with knowledge of Renaissance Art, Euclidean geometry, Roman coinage, particle physics and comparative linguistics. Rock bottom prices. Box 137.
For rent: fully winterized cabin in the Florida Keys complete with fireplace and a rack for hanging your snowshoes. $1000/week. Box 98.
Will trade my half roll of grey duct tape for a full role in a play about duct tape. I am a tall actress with some singing ability. Box 11.
I will be moving to France next year and I am hoping to learn French before I go. If you could teach me French in my spare time that would be great. I have 9 1/2 minutes after 5:00 PM every second Tuesday. Box 4.
Single fellow with a love of fine dining would like to share his can of Quebec-style Brown Beans in Maple Syrup with a lady of similar taste. Box 334.
Public Service Announcement:
The sky above the earth will be darkened between the hours of 5:00PM on Thursday, January 7th and 8:00AM Friday, January 8th. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Thirty-Eight

Click on the picture. (3:15)

Or start from the beginning.



Would you care to receive a shortish missive from us each week to remind you of the continued existence of this website? Drop us a line (an expression meaning "to send an email") and we will oblige.

New Possibilities and So Forth

sailing chariot

I feel like I should be writing, in this my first essay of the new year and, indeed, the new decade, something about the future and new possibilities but I don't want to so I'm not going to.

What am I going to write about? Well, just be patient and in a sentence or paragraph or two you will know and you can stop asking.

The decimal system was invented in 1588. Four hundred and twenty-two years ago, if I am not mistaken, or .422 millenium if you prefer.

I own a tape measure that has fractions printed on it. I don't mean randomly. They form part of its function. I don't have to count those little tickies on the side of the tape. I can just read ¼ or ⅜ or whatever.

I mention this because I think it is odd that this device made in, say 2007 (I'm not sure but that's probably not a bad guess) is four hundred and eighteen years out of date and yet it is still remarkably useful.

On the other hand, my eight track tapes of Tom T. Hall are now unlistenable. Okay, some of you are going to say that those tapes were unlistenable a good thirty plus years ago. That's just cruel.

My point here, assuming I have one, is that time, of course, marches on but it does not do this according to any readily discernable plan. Some things and people get left by the wayside and others do not. Who the hell knows how or why?

Simon Stevin (look him up) would probably laugh at my tape measure, finding it both unbelievably futuristic (it is encased in a yellow plastic) and hopelessly anachronistic (Stevin invented the decimal system - okay you don't have to look him up now).

But I tell you this - if he had owned one or borrowed mine (if I felt like lending it), he would have had a much easier time building his Sailing Chariot. Take that smart guy!

Hugh Briss


Vondel, Twenk and Waldo's Adventure

Once upon a time there was a pair of twin sisters named Vondel and Twenk. They lived in a medium sized castle in an enchanted duchy very, very far from here.

They lived in a castle because they were the daughters of the Duke which would make them duchesses I guess.

The twin duchesses were happy little girls and they had fun cavorting with their dog Waldo who looked very much like a Saint Bernard (the dog) but wasn't. The two girls would spend hours riding the dog or carrying him, they were little but quite strong, through the enchanted woods in back of their house, castle.

Now the thing about enchanted duchies and even more so about enchanted woods IN enchanted duchies is that they have a tendency to promote strange happenings. It is for this very tendency that they are called enchanted. And as if two twin little girls carrying a large dog around wasn't a strange enough thing, one day something really strange happened.

The girls had just put Waldo down for a bit of a rest when they heard a very strange noise. They both turned their heads, because none of their ears were pointed in the right direction, and when they turned them back Waldo was gone. Where the dog had been there was now only a small door lying flat on the earth.

Thinking the dog must have gone through the door, the twins went through it too and immediately found themselves, not in China as you might expect, but in a small town in Iowa that cannot be named for legal reasons.

But when they exited the door, there was Waldo sitting on the sidewalk before them. So that was good. But when they turned around to head back home the door was gone!

If you or I had been there we probably would have uttered some expletive, no doubt directed at the enchanted wood, but Vondel and Twenk were happy little girls and not at all given to that sort of irrational anger. Things like this they took in their tiny stride.

The girls and their dog started walking. For some reason they decided to walk south. Southish I should say because after some time walking they ended up in Surfside, Florida which is certainly NOT straight south from Iowa. Southeastish really.

It was there that they met a retired pirate who had built a pirate ship entirely out of egg cartons. Taking pity on the twins, the pirate sold this completely useless but highly ornamental vessel and bought them a pet carrier and plane tickets back home to the enchanted duchy.

And that's pretty much it storywise. For now!