superlatively mediocre 

March 18th, 2010

Sometimes, you know, it's necessary to think.

Georgiy Kasianov


For sale: one slightly used Argive/Trojan dictionary. Some pages salt stained. $4 OBO. Box 18.
For sale: Ian Paisley patterned tie. Warning: may frighten some children and a lot of adults. $1 OBO. Box 1690.
Will trade my entire collection of Spanish Civil War peanuts (over 200!) for any works of George Orwell translated into Pig Latin (except Animal Farm). Box 324.
Don't forget: Milk and Cookies with Uncle Glennie. April 1st in the Project Room, aceartinc 2nd floor, 290 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg. Doors open at 7:00PM. Stories at 8:00 and 9:00.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Forty-Eight

Click on the picture. (3:33)

Or start from the beginning.



Speak to Me

Ludwik Zamenhof, a Polish oculist, developed Esperanto in the the late nineteenth century. I'm pretty sure the guy who sold me my glasses never invented a language, even an unpopular one.

According to wikipedia (to be taken cum grano salis), Esperanto has between 100,000 and 2 million speakers and about 1000 native speakers who learned Esperanto from their parents (I am placing a call to CFS right now). That's a pretty wide range and if I were a betting man I would lean towards the 100,000 figure. These things just tend not to be popular.

I'm sure Zamenhof was a lovely man and his heart was certainly in the right place. I can understand a hopeful man, which Ludwik certainly was, thinking that the world would be better place if we all could just communicate better. But I'm not sure he was right.

There have been a number of fairly brutal civil wars fought in recent times betwixt groups of people who spoke the very same language. "Understanding" one another's words at any rate seems to have not solved their difficulties. In fact it may have made things worse. Sometimes it is better NOT to know what the other person is saying.

If you have ever travelled somewhere where the inhabitants speak a language you do not speak you may have felt, as you rode the bus or strode the boulevards or whatever, that you were dwelling amongst a fine and noble people. Nope. They were having the same stupid conversations that you hear on the bus or in the mall here. It just sounds better in Lett or Pashto or Kikuyu.

Actually, if you think about it, we might all be better off if none of us understood what any of the rest of us were speaking about. Tyugarish?

Hugh Briss

The Angry Little Girl

Once upon a time there was an angry little girl. She was angry all the time. She was angry when she got up in the morning and she was angry when she went to bed at night. And in between, she was angry.

Everyone who saw the little girl knew she was angry. Her brow was always furrowed and her little lips pursed. Her eyes were dark like little coals except that they were eyes and not coals. Very often she had her little fists thrust into the pockets of her little sun dress. That is, if she wasn't carrying anything.

She had a tendency to stomp and she was always looking down. If she did look up at you, you would think "Wow that little girl looks angry."

No one knew why the little girl was angry because everyone was afraid to ask.

Then one day a small bear came to the angry little girl's town. Hard to say why. But he did. Anyway one day the small bear was walking down the main street of the angry little girl's town (perhaps looking for honey or berries or some thing that bears like) when he met the angry little girl stomping down the street.

Bears are curious by nature and so the small bear stopped and asked the angry little girl why she was so angry and she replied:

"I was angry because I missed a bus a couple of years ago and it made me really mad because I had to walk all the way home but now I am angry because nobody, nobody until now, has ever asked me why I am angry. And..." her little face lost a bit of its anger and she began to look sad, in fact, a tear formed in one of her little coal-like eyes, " I thought no one cared."

The small bear hugged the angry little girl who was no longer all that angry.

S. Kind