Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Words of the Day



WindWalkerCamp will open for campers 14 June. Stay tuned.

Peace, y'all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


QUIDDLER is one of the funnest games in the world (quoth the English teacher; and yes, dammit! I said "funnest".) Several months Zak and Lauren were in town and they and Austin and I got into a game wherein Zak said, "Why don't we keep a list of all the words we come up with and write a short story with them to see who wrote the best?"
So we did.
Below are those compositions, anonymously presented, of course . . . we will have open balloting for one week from today. It's like Chicago politics: "Vote early; vote often."

Composition A

The lazy yid slumped at the helm like a soggy yarmulke on a pile of sock. Needless to say he tracked a slow, sloppy course and left lax and torn every fid and clew about the ship. A nicotine haze covered a drunk moon quark-dim with sleepy light and even the zoea below swam on their hands and knees. The pilot's tin jug, calico'd from pure UV and salty air sounded every bit like the bony rasping hiccups of the ghosts that haunt these waters. Though they were generously rationed rum, this distant son of Abraham preferred his ale from the agave. He'd spilt this night no less than a quart of the clear bier on his beard so it smeared, in fact, to his gut and to each rib. It was said his ship sailed queer, surely the dud of the fleet, the admiral's ire and constant gripe.
Even now she was well hind of her convoy through this perilous range that had found more than a few ships with crews even more bold than hers and of greater unity laying on the sea floor like sox in the hamper. Indeed, this was no river Om. The sea was confused with deep troughs and every man braced his rack, clingy, like a pauper to the pew. "Oh to man the rails of one of the admiral's doves," he thought. "For sure a far cuter cutter than this flaccid frigate." It was, he mused, as if someone had tried to chisel a mum but instead had pulled from the lathe a wooden weiner, such was his ship. Had she legs, they'd be knock-kneed, had she an arse, she'd be dragging it. "Bah," he sighed, "a right pile of matchsticks."

Composition B

Small bells on the shop door jingled as we entered Om Gourmet Grocery in the university town of Athens, Georgia. OGG is just one of the thousands of small businesses in America that have been forced to become more innovative as the state of the economy worsens. Luxury items are the first sector to decline in economic straits. The store, where you might once have come for a quart of cold pressed olive oil, a wheel of rich European quark, a tin of rosewater lozenges, a case of specialty Yorkshire ale, or an amber jug of organic agave syrup, has now downsized their luxury import inventory to make room for stock that will appeal to a more frugal consumer base. Shop owner Martha Hind says, "More of our customers are mending torn clothes rather than buying new, and embarking on small-scale home improvement projects themselves rather than hiring professionals, so we're actually expanding our grocery to include more non-food items, like tools and textiles. We've even had requests for a lathe by some local DIY enthusiasts! So, we're listening, and trying to respond."
Even armed with her flexible business strategy, Hind worries that they can't hang on much longer, and is frustrated by a perceived lack of leadership from Washington. "Frankly, I feel like the President is, well, sitting on his arse -- going along with a bailout plan that rewards the corporate fat cats who created this problem in the first place... I'd like to think this new pile of candidates have a plan for us average Americans, but honestly, I don't have a lot of faith in them either."
We asked each of the candidates, on the trail in Athens before their final debate, for some reassurance that their leadership plans will put the worst behind us.
Staunch White Sox fan Barack Obama employed a sports metaphor in his answer. "What we have here is a ballgame with no referee! And the Bush administration's economic policies have turned out to be a dud in terms of protecting the American people. But, let's be clear -- now is not the time to gripe, or try to stoke our partisan ire. Now is a time for unity.
Dem running-mate Joe Biden added that we should be wary about the big rescue bill Congress has passed. "It's like throwing cigarettes at a nicotine-addict... I don't think it's sound policy, and my friend John is trying to push it through without taking any time for review or dissent. At odds with his own party, all he can do is lurch and clank from one position to the next. And John, if you're listening -- just because you can see the bank from your house doesn't make you an expert on the economy. Haha... Listen folks, I've known John for 35 years. Don't worry, he can take a good rib now and then.
GOP candidate John Mccain, heretofore mum on the subject of the crisis, told us, "My friends, Washington has become too lax in its oversight of wall street, allowing greed and corruption to cripple the system. If we don't take bold action, we'll be watching what's left of our crumbling economy carried out on a funeral bier. Additionally, we must cut pork barrel spending, and my friends, I know how to do that. Just recently, 'that one' asked for a 3.2 million dollar earmark for researching the DNA of crab zoea! My friends, this is ridiculous and it's got to stop!"
Governor Palin's response? "What we have to do in order to shore up our economy is create job creation under the umbrella of job creation which will allow us to create new jobs. Also, with trade missions and the global threat, we must seek to try to stop Ahmadinejad from being such a weiner. If, God-willing, John McCain and I are so blessed and so privileged by the American people to serve, we will seek to let the doves of the free market fly up and shield us, ya know, from those harsh, clingy UV rays of Fannie and Freddie who would seek to bring harm to us and our allies. As Ronald Reagan said so wisely, "'A yid in the pew is cuter than a ghost with a beard.' And that is what I would seek to tell the American people in this time of crisis. Also, fid." In an attempt to clarify Palin's queer statement, we contacted Palintologist, Tina Fey "Oh -- that's classic Palin gibberish." Fey remarked. "It's what I call a verbal 'pile of sock.' Her words have no pairing or relationship with reality, and that doesn't seem to bother her. Trying to interpret what she's saying is like trying to match a pile of single, mateless socks. Frustrating. Annoying. Senseless. Don't even try." In short, none of the candidates have a definitive plan for untangling this clew of economic anxieties. Luckily for them, no matter what they say (or don't), studies show that most Americans will go with their gut on November 4th rather than their opinion on the range of platform issues. On our way out of the shop, we asked one more patron who he thought would be best suited to lead. "Bah!" He smiled, shaking his head, "I'm waiting until 2012."

Composition C

It is an ancient Yid
And he boldeth one of them.

‘By thy long beard and pile of sock
Now wherefore gripest thou me?’

‘The Tin Queer’s pew is opened wide,

And this is range of rib ;
Lax sox are torn, the wiener set :
May'st hear the clingy clank.’

He ires him with his skinny gut,
‘There was a lathe,’ quoth he.
‘Hold off! un-jug me, grey-beard arse !
'Eftsoons his ale dropt he.

He clews him with his cuter fid--
The Wedding-Ghost stood mum,
And jingled like a uv’s child:
The Mariner hath his quart.

The Wedding-Ghosts sat on an agave
They cannot choose but hear;
Oh spake on that ancient Unity,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

The quark was cheered,
then bier was cleared,
Merrily did nicotine drop
Below the dud, below the doves,
Below the zoea top.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor om nor motion ;
As idle as a painted hind
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And fey damned boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very pile did rot:
O Bah!That ever this should be!
If slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

OK, Friends and Neighbors.
There you have them.
One of the players wussed out and would not be persuaded to grave upon the tablets of your minds.

Read On!
(Or off.)

More later.