Tag Archives: writing

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.

Girl’s Bicycle

The true test of an English major is knowing the difference between a “girl’s used bicycle” and a “used girl’s bicycle.”

 

Girls bicycle1

or

  girls bicycle2.jpg

Bar Jokes for English Majors

 

I am once again thankful to FOAF (friend of a friend).  These are too good not to post.  They come from the bluebird of bitterness blog and the image from the story reading ape blog to which I give credit.*

Bar jokes english major

 

A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

 

A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

 

An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

 

Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”

 

A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

 

Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

 

A question mark walks into a bar?

 

A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

 

Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a war. The bartender says, “Get out — we don’t serve your type.”

 

A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

 

A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

 

Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

 

A synonym strolls into a tavern.

 

At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

 

A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.

 

Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.

 

A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

 

An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.

 

The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

 

A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

 

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

 

A dyslexic walks into a bra.

 

A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

 

An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars.

 

A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.

 

A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

 

A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.

 


*A footnote reference walks into a bar and has no cash.  The bartender gives him credit.

Happily Ever After

 

It is February, the month of valentines, hearts, flowers, Cupid, love and time for another long overdue, heart throbbing story of:

Fallen Arches title copy

For those too new to this blog to remember or those who do remember but wish to forget, Fallen Arches is my grotesque effort to reinvent the romance novel (more on that subject at Fallen Arches Redux).  Here, for your reading pleasure, is the latest installment.

—————

The transport carrier was heard before it was seen.  The drab, dusty, black-hole like sky of Voltmore 4 prevented sight for more than an arm’s length.  The bulky carrier’s engines throbbed as it approached and docked at the colonizing station platform.

Anxious couples milled about in the darkened air, nervously awaiting their turn to be processed and then boarded onto the carrier for their transport to the far off lands of Northeros and Southos in the Gethen solar system, where their lives could begin anew.  The exhausting and endless Arrakis wars, stopped then renewed with even more hostility and bloodshed, had seen the near extinction of several tribes caught in the midst of the seemingly endless struggle.

Ultimately the Hainish Truce supplied a welcome but brief relief.  At first the warring factions did not observe the tenuous truce but then, after several false starts, it appeared that the truce would hold and repatriation or, at least relocation, of the decimated tribes could begin in earnest.  The Wockyjabbs, a docile, retiring, servile people, were among those tribes caught in the unrelenting, harsh wars between the belligerents and nearly obliterated.  Oscar was among the few Wockyjabbs left.

Voltmore 4, though incredibly barren and bleak at the edge of the galaxy, was a safe holding place for the remaining tribe members who survived until they were chosen by the supreme Ekumen Council to be paired together and then moved to Gethen where they could settle and breed and continue their lineage.  By Council law, each tribe was granted one pairing per transport which occurred only once a nebulon.*

[*Author’s note: A nebulon is a single revolution of the planet Hysteria around its sun or approximately fifty years.]

In the near complete darkness, Oscar, his newly chosen mate alongside, plodded ever so slowly through the dimly lit corridor leading up to the carrier.  Painfully shy like all Wockyjabbs, Oscar finally picked up the courage to reach out and touch the hand of his chosen partner.  Other than their exposed hands, both were covered head to toe in layers of clothing to protect themselves from the harsh Voltmore 4 climate.  When no resistance occurred, Oscar started to stammer out his thoughtful but slow speech.

“I.. I know that we will be together for a lifetime and we hope to.. to form a new life and.. you know.. re-create, I.. I mean reproduce, to keep our species alive and.. and all those things but, but I.. well, I don’t even know your name.  Please tell me.”

After a pause, his mate replied “My name is Walter.”

—————

With apologies to J.K. Rowling, Lewis Carroll, George R. R. Martin, Frank Herbert, and Ursula Le Guin.

Puns on High

I have relatives in high places (they are smoking something in the Colorado Rockies) who provided me with a year-ending set of puns:

  1. The meaning of opaque is unclear.

 

  1. I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant but then I changed my mind.

 

  1. Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time-consuming.

 

  1. A man tried at assault me with milk, cream and butter. How dairy!

 

  1. I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

 

  1. If there was someone selling marijuana in our neighborhood, weed know about it.

 

  1. It’s a lengthy article about ancient Japanese sword fighters but I can Sumurais it for you.

 

  1. It’s not that the man couldn’t juggle, he just didn’t have the balls to do it.

 

  1. So what if I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’? It’s not the end of the world.

 

  1. Police were called to the daycare center. A 3-year old was resisting a rest.

 

  1. The other day I held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.

 

  1. Need an ark to save two of every animal? I Noah guy.

 

  1. Alternative facts are aversion of the truth.

 

  1. I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.

 

  1. Did you know they won’t be making yardsticks any longer?

 

  1. I used to be allergic to soap but I’m clean now.

 

  1. The patron saint of poverty is St. Nickeless.

 

  1. What did the man say when the bridge fell on him? The suspension is killing me.

 

  1. Do you have weight loss mantras? Fat chants!

 

  1. My tailor is happy to make a new pair of pants for me. Or sew it seams.

 

  1. What is a thesaurus’s favorite dessert? Synonym buns…

 

  1. A relief map shows where the restrooms are.

 

  1. There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal

 

  1. How do they figure out the price of hammers? Per pound…

 

  1. And finally…

Puns on High