Tag Archives: annoying people

Your Letter of the Twelfth Inst

Seemingly all written exchanges – by email or Twitter or other electronic device – have eradicated the art of Victorian letter writing.  To that end, I re-post my attempt with apologies to all Victorian letter writers.

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Great Balderdash, Falls-on-Potomac

November 22, 1871

My Dearest Friend:

In re your letter of the twelfth inst, I am shocked to realize that a great misfortune has occurred wherein my last post has somehow conveyed to you unnecessary hardship in its reading, the poorly administered cause of which is entirely my fault.  Believe me when I say that such an unfortunate and distressful outcome is the last emotion I wish to express and even now as I write these words causes me great distress to think that there has been a misunderstanding whose result may break that mutual bond so lengthily constructed and for which I have the most sincere and foursquare concern.

No scurrilous knave, unspeakable cur, enterprising rogue or devious scoundrel could have erected such a formidable barrier to our friendship as has occurred by a simple whim, a mere fancy, a jot so insignificant as to be inconveniently overlooked and misplaced within my last missive and by whose existence has the modest incivility of this slight action been overshadowed with the enormous barbarity of my inadvertent words, the resulting outcome of which has placed our relationship in such precarious jeopardy and confers upon it a deed most foul.

I do hope that the undertakers for the incomparable and advantageous design of the speedy and safe conveyance of letters and packets (under a pound weight) to all parts of the cities, high roads, streets and suburbs thereof will have ordered their messengers, who collect such letters at any of the places aforesaid, to promptly discharge their duties and rapidly transport my reply of deepest regret to you. 1

Lest I be remiss, let me redress my words.  When I stated that you have the capacity for drawing liquid out with your mouth, I was only admiring your demonstrative skills to pull on something irresistibly, like the pull of the Sun on the planets or the Moon on the tides.  When I wrote of you in a way that implied irritation or annoyance, I dare say I only meant to call attention to your unerring ability to discomfort others by your incomparable talent in presenting indisputable and irrefutable facts in excruciating detail.  And, of course, my reference to your origins was not to cast aspersions on your genealogy but was by way of comparison a measure of your originality and uniqueness.

If, after all my aforementioned efforts to postulate my remonstrance and articulate my deepest remorse, you remain steadfast in your resentment and cannot be mellowed by the earnestness of my words nor by the long-standing nature of our relationship, I must then, with all due respect, retract my apology and repeat my original contention that you still suck, you insufferable bastard!

These words notwithstanding, I have in this, as always, the honor to be, very respectfully, your most humble and very ob’t. serv’t.,

 

1 From William Dockwra’s 18th century advertisement in the Mercurius Civicus as presented in JaneAustensWorld.

Halloween at the Airport

Halloween is coming.

Forget wearing a Donald Trump or Lady Gaga outfit.

Try one of these, all available at your airport:

HA1

HA2

HA3

HA4

HA5

HA6

HA7

HA8

HA9

HA10

The scariest part is that these people may be on your flight!

Walking Sticks and Death by Selfie

 

“Get up off your butt and stop sleeping! I’m tired of doing nothing.”  In such dulcet tones did I receive the proclamation of She Who Must Be Obeyed*.   (*from Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer.)

I, in turn, responded in my most Rumpolean manner by stating: “Huh? What? But, my dear, I am not ‘doing nothing.’  I am, in fact, emulating the habits of my good friend the Koala Bear.”  Koala Bears sleep, on average, 22 hours a day and spend the remaining time eating Eucalyptus leaves.  I create something similar by putting Eucalyptus leaves in my drinks.

“Emulating Koala Bears. Nonsense.  We are going to do something by visiting the National Parks.”

“Oh wonderful. Uh, wait… by National Parks, you mean outdoors and hikes and uh, more hikes.”

“Yes, exactly. Now get up because we are on our way.”

Thus began our trip to some of the more storied National Parks of the western United States – Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and the Petrified Forest. Despite the exacting toll on my feet and the interruption of my Koala Bear studies, it was a very pleasant trip and allowed me to observe some unnatural wonders among the wonders of our National Parks.

The first is the use of the walking stick.  It seems that nowadays no visit to a National Park is complete without the use of one.  My own unscientific observations have concluded that there are only three categories of people who use walking sticks:

1. Dudes who look cool with walking sticks.

Walking stick1   Walking stick2   Walking stick3

2.  People with disabilities or injuries who need the aid of a walking stick.

3.  Everyone else.

Only categories 1 and 2 should use walking sticks. Unfortunately, category 3 predominates in National Parks.  Actually, the device should be called a carrying stick because most users are carrying rather using their walking sticks.  I think that the organizers of National Park tours highly recommend a walking stick as de rigueur for the upcoming visit and then just happen to have them available at highly inflated prices.

Those who actually use walking sticks use modern ones in tandem like ski poles and have determined that their use entitles them to the right of way on any park path. Failure to yield will result in being pushed aside or poked with the sharp ends of the stick.  I have reserved a new ring in hell for category 3 users of walking sticks.

My other observation is the occurrence of the ubiquitous selfie and selfie stick. Most of the people who take selfies are instant candidates for a Darwin Award.  For the uninitiated, Darwin Awards are given to those individuals who improve the human gene pool by eliminating themselves from it.  A double Darwin Award was given in 2014 to two men in Kenya who were capturing selfies with a wild elephant when they were trampled to death by the irate pachyderm who proceeded to bury the corpses with brush. The two men were actually touching the elephant’s face while taking the photos.

Similar Darwin Award candidates inhabit our National Parks. The idea is to get a picture of yourself overlooking as close as possible a treacherous chasm, cliff, overhang or precipitous drop.  While endangering themselves, and often unsuspecting visitors nearby, the selfie taker fails to understand some basic rules of photography.  First, you are taking up most of the picture so no one really sees the natural wonder to which you are adding yourself.  Second, most selfie pictures can be composed at a safe distance from the dangerous perch or drop off with the same result and no requirement to jeopardize yourself.  But where is the fun in being practical?  Most selfie takers get an “A” for enthusiasm and an “F” for practicality.

Thankfully, the Darwin gene pool remained unaltered, my sore feet recovered, and I was able to return to my study of Koala Bear sleeping habits.

Election Postmortem

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“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

-Thomas Jefferson

 

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

-W. B. Yeats

 

“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

-H. L. Mencken

For this election, I’ve got a little list.

With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan.  To the tune of I’ve Got a Little List from The Mikado.  Chorus is in Bold Italics.

for-this-election1

Martyn Green as Ko-Ko, 1930s

As someday it may happen that a victim must be found, I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list.

Of society offenders who might well be underground, and who never would be missed — who never would be missed!

The lady whose email servers have problems of their own

Thirty-three thousand disappear like a stone.

There’s the party outsider who praises in raucous tones

Every party but his and every country but his own.

And the election outcome denialists,

They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!

 

He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;

And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed.

 

Apologists, deniers, spin room activists,

Irrational supporters who get me really pissed.

All TV journalists who speaks as though listeners care

And the other ones who claim to be balanced and fair.

The dead who vote Democrat but that theory is not sound,

For you see, Mayor Giuliani, they are already underground.

WikiLeaks, tax returns, foundation donations and grants

And all those fanatics who substitute enthusiasm for facts.

And that singular anomaly, the lady plagiarist — I don’t think she’d be missed — I’m sure she’d not he missed!

 

He’s got her on the list — he’s got her on the list;

And I don’t think she’ll be missed — I’m sure she’ll not be missed!

 

There’s the pestilential congressmen who give democracy a pass.

The judicial obstructionists who are running out of gas.

And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,

Who defend outrageous statements by saying – “Oh, never mind.”

Third party candidates without a world view

The little, lyin’, disgusting, crooked, low-energy crew

Bad hombres, nasty women and also you-know-who

The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.

But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,

For they’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!

 

You may put ’em on the list — you may put ’em on the list;

And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed!