edifying in a stupid way   

July 8th, 2010

Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since/purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?

John Donne


For rent: an odd feeling that you have forgotten something. $4/day. Box 99.
For sale: leather bound, gilt edged copy of the large print edition of the complete original scripts of the great television programme The Montefuscos. Features hand-tinted illustrations of all of the original cast and crew. 2311 pp. One million dollars OBO. Box 11.
Think your life is going nowhere? How about this guy? "Performance artist" Glen Johnson will be running circles around the inside of aceart inc (290 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg) all afternoon July 28th. He'll also be writing "stories".
Take out an ad in PERSIFLAGE! Increase your market by 3 or 4 not very discerning individuals! Only $10! Maximum 40 words.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Sixty-Four

Click on the picture. (3:11)

Or start from the beginning.



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Mister Backyard Looks at the Wild Flowers

The other day I was talking to a gardener friend of mine, Mr. Yamamoto (he was actually born in Israel but says the Japanese style moniker gets him more business), when he suddenly pulled out his Veiny Vetchling (Lathyrus venosus). I was somewhat startled, as you can imagine, and I wondered what he planned to do with it. This made me start thinking about some of our really wild flowers.

A lot of people in this part of the world don't know very much about wild flowers. When they hear the word "wildlife" they think only of fauna: deer and antelope playing, bisons roaming, bears lurking and so forth. Few realise that some pretty crazy stuff goes on in the world of local flora. Here is just a smattering of some fairly wild plants:

Helianthus divaricatus The Woodland Sunflower, while in many ways a utilitarian (he provides seeds for oil and flour and a beloved snack for birds and mammals) and very regular in his diurnal habits (he countest the steps of the sun after all), is, after Old Sol climbs into bed, very apt to cut loose. Especially if there is karaoke about!

Oxycoccus microcarpus and Oxycoccus quadripetalus The Swamp Cranberries are not only high in Vitamin C but, very often high on Vitamin C. Why do you think they hang out in the swamp?

Oenothera biennis The Yellow Evening Primrose is an aromatic fellow who is into frottage and partying til the wee hours with the Sphinx and Tiger moths.

Viola pubescens The Downy Yellow Violet. This saucy minx loves the moist woods and is up for all kinds of shenanigans. She is more open minded than her cousin the Early Blue Violet (viola aduca) and not quite as much of a downer as the Northern Bog Violet (viola nephrophylla).

Cypripedium reginae The Showy Lady Slipper. Sometimes a gal's good looks can work against her. And being named after Aphrodite doesn't help either. Although she may not be wild by nature she is easily lead astray.

Menispermum canadense Moonseed is a bad seed. It is best to stear clear of this fellow as he can, should he so choose, make your lights go out permanently.

Aster laterflorus The Wood Aster is sometimes inaptly called the "One-Sided Aster". Nothing could be further from the truth. This little fellow swings both ways. And I do mean "swings"!

So the next time you hear someone refer to the wildlife of Manitoba you can think about all the weird wild stuff those flowers get up to when no one is watching!

In The News

Cure For Loneliness Discovered

Scientists in Sweden have discovered a cure for loneliness. It appears that a lonely person, by spending time with people that one likes and admires and who, in turn, like and admire the lonely person, that same lonely person can become, over time, slightly less.
The scientists seemed quite excited by their discovery as they had been shut up in their lab for some time but they gave no word on how such people could be found.

April No Longer Cruelest

April is no longer the cruelest month. It was surpassed by May in 2009.
Last year May was responsible for more crushed hopes and unfulfilled desires than any month previously recorded. There was also an especially high incidence of ennui.
Given May's 3rd place finish in 2007 and its 2nd place in 2006 it finally pulled of April in the standings.
The government began keeping official records in 1901.

Nude Underpass in Development

Due to the recent closure of the last remaining naturist campsite in the province, the City of Winnipeg announced this week that a nude under- pass is being considered as part of the new Jubilee Avenue/ Pembina Highway development project.
Under the new plan, unclothed persons would be able to make their way from the corner of Jubilee and Pembina to the top of Harrow Street without fear of criminal prosecution or public embarassment.