like the sleeping flower, re-emerges in the Spring  

Sometime in April, 2012

Orthography is so absolutely necessary for a man of letters, or a gentleman, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule upon him for the rest of his life; and I know a man of quality who never recovered the ridicule of having spelled wholesome without the 'W'.

Lord Chesterfield


Put some Spring in your Steppe with a tulip from Larry's House of Tulips now with REAL tulips!
For sale: photograph of an actual extraterrestrial. His name is Heinz and he is holding a death ray in one of his left hands. Slightly blurry. 6$ OBO. Box 90.
For rent: very small apartment inside the right vest pocket of an optometrist who lives in Elmwood. $175/month. Box 338.
Tired of getting your news second hand from the TV or the Internet? If you want to really know what is happening in the world as it happens and not after the fact, why not try making news? Merely by curing a disease, starting or ending a war or landing on another planet you can become a newsmaker! What are you waiting for?
For sale: garden tools that formerly belonged to Kemal Ataturk (or at least a guy who looked a lot like him). Rake, trowel, two kinds of hoe and kind of a twisty claw thing (not sure what that's for). $50 for the lot. Box 1923.
Are you the only person in your family or friend grouping who is incapable of whistling? Embarassed at family gatherings or social evenings out? You can learn to whistle no matter what your age or level of musicality. The Whistling and/or Humming Institute of Manitoba has been teaching people to whistle and/or hum since 2011 and we can helpt you! Inquire about our summer classes today!



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Was Spengler Wrong?
The Regression of Civilisation

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Soother

Oswald Spengler, as we all know, posited a theory that all civilisations, including this one that we are currently enjoying, experience a kind of life cycle: they are born, pass through a childhood and into adolescence, then mature into an adulthood, age more or less gracefully and finally die.

Spengler believed that various historical epochs in one civilisation had rough equivalents in others. One could for instance, if one knew what to look for, see the signs of an early middle age in Ancient Egypt at the time of Thutmose III. This middle age would appear very similar to that experienced by Rome around the time of Julius Caesar.

Of course, Spengler's system necessitates a belief in a continuous progress of each and every human civilisation towards a maturity and then a senescence but just the other day it occurred to me that he was quite probably wrong.

Almost everything that I have witnessed in the last ten to fifteen years has lead me to believe that this civilisation certainly, is not maturing at all, but it is, in point of fact, regressing. It seems that we are moving backwards towards childhood and furthermore, we are doing so at an increasing rate.

Find this difficult to understand? Well, think of it in terms of your own life. If you are an older or even middle-aged person this will be relatively easy for you to figure out (if you are a younger person or adolescent (anyone under the age of thirty-five) you are probably to busy tweeting or Facebooking whilst dancing along with your Justin Bieber albums on the phonograph to care anyway, so never you mind). Think back to when you were a teenager (as we said in those days). What was the thing you most wanted?

Freedom. You wanted to cast off the shackles of childhood and roam free - a citizen of the world, unrestrained by the bourgeois constraints of those overly serious and restrictive oldsters who had dictated, rather arbitrarily, your every move for the last eighteen years. You wanted to become a free agent, responsible for yourself.

This is probably not the case now. You are probably trying to unload responsibilities and find someone or something that will make your life easier and more carefree. You don't want to make your own decisions anymore. It is burdensome. Now you, like everyone else out stumbling about these days it seems, want someone to take care of you.

Personal responsibility and independence have gone the way of the Dodo. As Fran Lebowitz has said, the worst thing you used to be able to call someone was a baby, now the goal is to remain one.

Most everyone of us, it seems, desires to be coddled and cooed at, bundled up and carried and never exposed to anything remotely unseemly or untoward. We do not want to be exposed to difficult decisions or forced to make uncomfortable compromises. We want our bottle and we want it now!

And why not! Have you spent any time around a baby? It is a pretty sweet deal! Aren't you tired of hauling yourself around, trying to earn a living, make meals, fill out forms et cetera? I know I am. But what does this mean for the civilisation as a whole?

The Great Movements of Humanity are beyond our control. These things just happen ineluctably. They are like the shifting of the tectonic plates beneath our feet. If Western Civilisation has decided that it doesn't want to pick up after itself then there is nothing we can do.

There is just no sense worrying about it. Just sit go ahead and sit down right now, no matter where you are. And if anyone tries to make you do anything, cry or hold your breath until you turn blue. That'll show 'em!

Hugh Briss

The Locker Number

Steve remembered, very clearly, his old high school locker combination. Even though he was now over fifty the six digits remained indelibly etched on his brain. He was disproportionally proud of this fact. Often he would mention it when conversing with his wife.

"I can still remember my locker combination from high school!" he would say and she would roll her eyes. "That's pretty good eh?" he would insist. She had long ago stopped responding.

Then one day Steve was offered a ride in a time machine. He knew immediately where and when he would go. He stepped out of the time machine in 1977. It was June. It was his very last day of high school.

Steve strode down the hall to his old locker. There it was. Old number 227.

227? No, wait, that was his locker number in junior high. Where was his locker in high school?


E. Watermuldar

The Bird Who Bathed

Once upon a time there was a bird who bathed. Now many of us have seen a sparrow or a robin take a dust bath, kicking dirt around and rubbing its wings over its head and so forth, or even a quick dip in a bird bath, but that is not what I mean. I mean that this bird, whose name was Frances, took bubble baths.

I think we can all agree that this was pretty unusual behaviour for almost any avian creature to indulge in but it must be stated that Frances was one strange bird. She was, after all not a duck or a goose or any other kind of waterfowl but, in fact, a Cedar Waxwing.

Frances had become enamoured of the frothy delights of this particular method of cleaning oneself in a fairly circuitous manner. She had never intended to submerge herself in water.

One day, when she was attempting to wrench free from a Mountain Ash a particularly reticent rowanberry, she misjudged her grip on the branch and she fell directly into a pail of soapy water that had been left at the base of tree by some interrupted washer of things.

At first she had panicked. She feared that she might drown. But the water was warm, and as I have said, soapy, and Frances found that the sensation of being submerged was not at all unpleasant.

After that initial unintended bath Frances soon began looking for sources for soapy water. Before long she was regularly bathing.

The other birds mocked her somewhat for this idiosyncrasy but Frances didn't care. A good soak and all her cares floated away. She was one happy and contented Cedar Waxwing.

C.F. Maynard