our perspicacity just caught up with our ebullience  

June 24th, 2010

He had heard people speak contempuously of money: he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it.

W. Somerset Maugham


For sale: one happy go lucky bottlenose dolphin. Answers (sort of) to the name Spike. Ideal for someone who lives in the ocean. $100 firm. Box 2.
For rent: bathing caps. $4/day. Perfect for someone who bathes intermittently and hates getting their hair wet. Box 298.
Will trade: my odd feeling of impending doom for a mint condition LP of Justin Bieber singing the hits of Bobby Sherman. No hurry. I am willing to wait until such a thing exists. Box 9.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Sixty-Two

Click on the picture. (2:38)

Or start from the beginning.



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The Golden Age

Is it at all possible that we are currently living in the middle of a Golden Age? Will future generations look back on this era and think that we were blessed to be alive at such a time?

You scoff. You say - are you kidding? Look at what a mess the world is. How could this be a Golden Age?

Well, everything is relative. The Golden Age of Ancient Greece maybe didn't look so hot to Daphnis eating nothing but acorns and struggling to learn the panpipes. Hanshan lived in a cave and carved poems on trees during China's Golden Age. Poor folks had to endure Hamlet while standing in a pit during England's Elizabethan Age. That doesn't seem very golden does it?

My point is that it is only in retrospect that these things seem Golden. How they appeared to people at the time is anybody's guess. I don't know but I would wager a reasonable sum that there is not a lot of first hand testimony from the people living in a so-called Golden Age saying "Boy, this Golden Age thing sure is great."

It is entirely possible that this time right now is part of a Golden Age. If it is what do you think it will it be noted for primarily? Art, literature, music, science, economic stability, prosperity? Agriculture, boxing, ping-pong, go-kart racing, thumb wrestling? Stoat-handling, wizardry, nephrology? Card-sharping, jay-walking, harmonized singing? It is hard to say.

Looking around nothing springs immediately to mind. I don't think it's going to be card-sharping as one rarely meets a cardsharp these days although I suppose this could be the Golden Age of Online Poker. I really don't know enough about that realm of human endeavour to weigh in on the subject.

Ultimately it doesn't much matter. Our sad little bodies will have decayed away into nothingness long before these kinds of judgements can be made. Perhaps even the great grandchildren of the worms fed by our rotting corpses will have been transported up into little worm heaven before this may declared a Golden Age. And then maybe in the end we will only make Silver. Oh well, that is the way the cookie crumbles as we say nowadays.

Hugh Briss

Two Girls

Emma, fourteen, and Ashley, also fourteen, are best friends. They attend the same school and play soccer together. Their cellphones are identical as are their backpacks.

Emma has a younger brother named Bryon whom she calls "Big Stinkie" and Ashley has a younger brother named Byron whom she calls "Little Stinkie" (he is two inches shorter than Bryon). Neither of the girls much likes their respective brothers.

Emma really wants to be an endocrinologist and Ashley's mum is a gastroenterologist. Ashley wants to be a nephrologist and Emma's dad loves kidney beans.

Emma plays the clavichord and Ashley once broke her clavicle. Ashley plays the cello and Emma says that she once saw YoYo Ma on an airplane.

Isn't life interesting?


The In-Love Guy

Once upon a time there was a guy who liked being in love.

He was fond of writing little poems and sending them to whomever he happened to be in love with at the moment.

At night he liked to lie in bed and think of the more appealing qualities of the object of his affection as he gazed up at the moon and the stars. That is, if it was clear enough out.

He was a very romantic guy.

F. Speeking