Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Old Gringo

Story #50, In which Ambrose Bierce reaches his destination.

To hear the story, talk to the skull.





To read the story, blow out the candle.


Happy 164th birthday to Ambrose Bierce.


To celebrate, here are two new Bierce-related links:


Did you all know Bierce wrote fables? I didn't until Indie mentioned it sometime back. Here's a Collection.
and, The Devil's Dictionary Defiled, by S.R. Brubaker. Brubaker's site is a well-designed and funny page including definitions by Bierce and Brubaker.


This week in The Prattler, Unheard Of, the challenge to the Voting Rights Act.

70 comments:

ariel said...

wow...

actonbell said...

Happy birthday to Ambrose!

Wonderful story! I love the definition, too--perfect.

Minka said...

so you couldn´t get 164 candles on that cake?
Happy Birthday Bierce, sorry you got an old cake! :)

ariel, you´d think it would bother me, but it doesn´t. Not in the least! Nope...not at all!

puppytoes said...

Happy Birthday, Ambrose! and, as ariel says, wow... *that's* irony. and a delicious one, at that! really brilliant, Doug... this helps start the day quite nicely, thank you very much!

bronze: metal coated-memory


abufirc: but for clever ariel, i'd have been first!

puppytoes said...

first? ...or second. or third. ah well, i'm very happy to be in such good company this morning!

Doug said...

Ariel, you're a smart aleck.

Thanks, Actonbell. Happy Saturday.

Minka, I tried 164 candles. My screen melted.

Thanks, Puppytoes, you take cream and sugar?

AP3 said...

Brilliant! Well done!

And BASIP is up now. Geez, the pressure! You're probably hiking by now, anyway.

Tom & Icy said...

Great Birthday tribute. You do a delightful job of Waking Ambrose from the Dead and keeping his memory alive. Here's best wishes for another great year.

mireille said...

Could this possibly be any more cryptic? I know there's stuff in there I'm not understanding ... but I like what I do understand ... portends pretending to be syllopsisms purveyed by the philosopher of pique. He's not so much mean/misanthropic as he is irritated by stupidity. And he thinks we're all stupid. Which, I guess, we are. Happy birthday, Big Grump. xoxo

O Ceallaigh said...

Hooooah, Doug! Your best since I've been following WA, I think. (Though I still favor the idea that he suicided in the Grand Canyon.)

sold my vote to rob my voters

Oh ouch. Que ça change, c'est la même chose, eh? Pray tell - which came first, this line or the Prattle?

And your definition reminds me of one of Bierce's best short ones:

PHILANTHROPY, n. Restitution.

cooper said...

ha ha that was great. I always suspect he was crazy and happy birthday to him, dead though he may be.

Corruption and Philanthropy - hummmm

ariel said...

I'm bad as Steve Seagal. :-P

I loved it. happily you changed Spanish to English in the critical moment. :) oddly, I kept seeing John Cleese in the role of Ambrose Bierce, they don't look anything alike but his talk... and then I really started laughing. very good story!

qwwmjwof: gimme my mojo, gimme my wolf

Logophile said...

Aaaah,
in fine form and fine voice, Doug.
Happy Birthday, Ambrose.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bierce!

ariel

Doug said...

Thanks, sis!

Thanks, Icy! Good girl!

If you mean your comment, Mireille, no. It couldn't be more cryptic. But zockso!

Thanks, O Ceallaigh and excellent use of the comparative. I'll be wondering all day whether to take a compliment. That is a great definition. Did I just learn the French for "As things change, they stay the same?"

Thanks, Cooper. Crazy, happy and dead is a fine way to live, don't you think?

You're worse, Ariel. All the Spanish amounted to "huh?"

Thanks, Logo.

Miz BoheMia said...

Oh no Ariel! No one can beat Steven Seagal at a game of "worse"! I met him... I speak from experience... *shudder*

I ditto Ariel's first comment...

WOW! Indeedy...

What am I to say after that?

Memorial... artwork of early onset curmudgeons!

OC! Tu parles francais? C'est super!

pzrgwlg~ Pizza rugs with logs... huh?

puppytoes said...

am i the only one who can't seem to blow out that candle? (i mean i looooove hearing you tell your stories, but i like to read them, as well).

Bronze: the color of young gods and old ladies (in Florida)

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Happy birthday Ambrose, you rascel you.

Good story to listen to, but I can't get to the written story. Or is that the joke? I'm slow ya know.

Miz BoheMia said...

Puppytoes I couldn't either but hold down the mouse's right key and click on "Open Link"! that worked for me! Besos to my fave chica!

And hola hermanito! Gotta give the public what they want! Hope you don't mind my jumping in but hey, what are lil' bohemian sister for then I ask?

puppytoes said...

HA! how funny and/or stupid am i? (i usually try that when all else fails. this time, i did not! muchas gracias, mi hermana!)

beyond that... when i listened to the story i was very tired and just a tad distracted. which is why i thought the word was "bronze". oh well. some day, Doug, you can do a bronze memorial of an ADD puppy who can't always listen *and* hear at the same time. sigh...

(on the other hand? perhaps, some day "bronze" will be one of your words. then i'll be *golden*)

bmliunyv: i'm very good at being looney.

Doug said...

Miz B, and you didn't make fun of my Spanish. Bless you hermanita!

Puppytoes and TLP, It's supposed to work normally. I think the place where I store the stories (and Prattle) only allows so much throughput per hour. We don't go over often but that may have been the problem. TLP, I loved those candles that don't go out as a kid. I just didn't think of it.

O Ceallaigh said...

Doug, you'd better take it. It ain't for sale.

Yes you did, though in English it's usually given "The more things change, the more they stay the same." And I screwed up, I think. Que ça change, que c'est la même chose.

MizB, un peu. Un très petit peu. Un trop petit peu. Vide supra. And thanks for blessing the test tube earlier today.

ariel said...

I've never met candles like those as a child. what evil invention!

Jenna Howard said...

What a story. So close yet so far.

Nicely done...again.

G said...

The ole trick candle - don't think I didn't try it several times - even snuck up on it. Oh... you did think it.

I guess if you're gonna go, falling off the barstool has its charms.

Comple anos feliz! To curmudgeons everywhere! Nice listening.

Sar said...

I enjoyed the tribute nod, Doug, even if I didn't understand quite all of it. And what exactly is the proper etiquette for acknowledging the birthday of someone who's, well, dead. How about this:

Happy 164th natal anniverary, Bierce!

Kyahgirl said...

God! What a curmudgeon!

Doug that was masterful. After reading some of Bierce's biography on Don Swaim's site, I think your story is perfect.
Happy Birthday to the old crabpot.

Jamie Dawn said...

I like the definition.

If AB wouldn't have done so much coughing, he could have managed to drink a lot more before he kicked the bucket.
P. Villa was not tenderhearted.

SquareGirl said...

Doug, that was terrific! I truly enjoyed that!

Happy Birthday Ambrose. The next toast i ever make will be to you and tyranny.

Indeterminacy said...

Amrbose would have been proud, and he would have blogrolled you.

Minka said...

"For what is a man but a granary to the worm. A bottle of tequila, too, to justify the worm’s revenge."

that is my favourite line in this one, I think.
I can´t even pretend to get it all, my knowledge of Bierce is still pretty limited after a year. I blame you for not doing a better job!

And is it just me or is the cake/candle burning wanna-be chocolate cake and old picture. Bierce is up in hea...hell going ´where in God´s name is my new cake, you Scrooge!

Kyahgirl said...

I think he was redeemable Minka because he cared for the worms. Maybe if he had met the right penquin at the right time, it would have ended his mysanthropic (sp?) ways!!!

puppytoes said...

what i didn't say yesterday (or maybe i did) is that i think the ending to your tale would have delighted Bierce beyond worms.

Memorial: afterthought

Doug said...

O Ceallaigh, I find your humility suspicious in someone who's supposed to have a PhD in Biology and who quotes Shakespeare. They didn't make professors like that when I was in school.

Ariel, try them on a three-year-old. Absolutely wicked.

Thanks, Jenna.

Thanks, G, and you're right, this is kind of a curmudgeon holiday. I know I didn't work.

Sar, you're right, I think Birth Anniversary is the appropriate phrase. To hell with them.

Thanks, Kyahgirl. I'm glad you read Don's site. It's very good and he's been very supportive of Waking Ambrose even listing us next to some pretty scholarly work. Humbling but appreciated.

Thanks, Jamie Dawn. I suspect if Pancho Villa were tnederhearted, Bierce wouldn't have gone looking for him.

Thanks, SG, "To Tyranny!"

Haha, Indie, can you imagine him blogging? The comments section would be brutal.

It's his favorite cake, but of what importance are the preferences of a great man of letters when some penguin chick on a floating stone in the North Atlantic starts to complain. Correction made.

Kyahgirl, please "Misanthropic" is the only word I care to see spelled correctly here. You're right, Minka could probably have spared us The Devil's Dictionary, inspiring instead a great of opus of tightly worded Hallmark cards. If only she'd been born older.

Great pun, Puppytoes. That's funny.

Minka said...

"when some penguin chick on a floating stone in the North Atlantic"?

Are you suicidal? Not only did you insult me by referring to me as "chick" but to leash out against my beloved ice-cube?

*turns around, head up high and leaves in a way that suggests the last word has not been spoken on this subject*

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Yesterday I did see a candle, and couldn't get to the written story. Today, at Della's, I see a girl comin' outta the cake, and I can't get to the written story. This is progress of some kind?
Just askin'.

Doug said...

Minka, one thing I've learned from you, my linguist friend, is that subjects don't have a last word.

TLP, I was kidding about blowing the candle. You have to click with your mouse.

karma said...

'the last pearl of wisdom stuck between his lips' is one of your finest, kiddo. i'm proud of ya.

happy 164 birthday bumps, Ambrose

ariel said...

can a real man have pink cake? and in three shades of pink? just askin'.

Anonymous said...

Fab cake, my man! And good job growing up!

greetings from the beyond

puppytoes said...

Re: Aversion: The feeling that one has for the plate after he has eaten its contents, madam.

ummm...is that the plate?

Miz BoheMia said...

Oh my! Ambrose Bierce kinked it up! Sizzlin' fo' sho'!!!

O Ceallaigh said...

Y'know Doug, I always thought Ambrose, a good Victorian for all his curmudgeonliness, would have been aghast at the very thought of lap dancing. Now you've got me wondering. The oldest profession was considerably more prominent in Bierce's day than ours, and, especially out in the American West, slightly more respectable, if for no other reason than that ladies (with our without irony) tend to be in short supply on frontiers. I wonder ...

The above exposition is for the express purpose of keeping Cooper from killing you. Put the Duke fight song away.

:)

ariel said...

I haven't seen the lady of the pink cake on the previous computer, I can see her now. I too wonder. when is Mr. Bierce gonna get tired with her out of the cake back in the cake actions and does something...

Tan Lucy Pez said...

HaHa Dawg. I was clickin' and clickin' and all sorts of mean and ugly stuff....

Actually, Ambrose was not a REAL man. I mean he was never nekkid in front of a woman? What's up with that? No pun intended, of course. But since it DID come up, so to speak, what's he coverin' up with that cake?????
(All of this is ON SUBJECT, IMHO.)

Doug said...

Thanks, K!

Ariel, curmudgeons can do whatever we want.

Haha, thanks, Ambrose! Happy Birthday, pal.

Puppybrose, it just may be.

Miz B, at Sister Minka's request.

Thank you, O Ceallaigh, Alice and I have an understanding. She doesn't kill me and I don't drag my knuckles on her site.

Ariel, I think he was just getting ready to say something witty.

TLP, anything you say is on topic by decree of the webmaster. Even if it's about Ambrose Bierce's state.

shayna said...

So... I have been trying to blow out that darn candle and it will not let me. :( ;) Is she... I mean it... a "trick" candle?

Miz BoheMia said...

The woman is the candle, no?

You told us to blow out the candle.

Minka suggested the woman be the candle.

And then you guys call me kinky and naughty? Methinks it runs in the family!

Oh, and sorry but can't do. I ain't into chicks unfortunately!

Minka said...

heyhey...I didn´t say anything about women being candles. There are enough phallic shaped monuments in the world as it is!
I merely suggested that Ambrose gets a new cake and not one, Douglas had up last year as well!!!

Doug said...

Hahahaha, Shayna! You've been missed. New post up?

Miz B, I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about. Minka?

Minka, she's nt a candle or or any other object. just a small woman trying to make it in a harsh world like Pansi, and you treat her like some kind of cupcake. Oh, great, now look what you did!

ariel said...

what, are you saying candle is a phallic symbol? when it's burning or when it's not?

Doug said...

Ariel it depends on the company one keeps, I suppose.

Miz BoheMia said...

*GASP* Where'd she go?

Hmph... try to make the ranting bohemian look pyschotic! That was low brotha! LOW!

Although hmmmm... I think your placement of the cupcake speaks for itself and redeems me, REDEEMS I SAY! BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!

ariel said...

this screen is on 800x600, so this is only now I actually took a look at the cake... my, you're making the Chatolic Church blush with that candle...

Doug said...

In the crook of his arm, Bohermanita? What's symbolic about that? You're on sick puppy!

Doug said...

Ariel, see my comment to Miz B. The Catholics need to relax more. The Priests maybe less.

ariel said...

yeah, now it's closer to his mouth. you're getting funny...

Miz BoheMia said...

Why? What was I implying? And HMPH on the constant manipulation!

Yeah girl! You set my brotha straight Ariel!!! Woooh to da Hooh!

Doug said...

Hahahaha, Ariel! Now I'm having Peter Lorre The Maltese Falcon flashbacks.

Hermana, the blogosphere is so odd, I just spent a few minutes trying to figure out what HMPH is an abbreviation for,

O Ceallaigh said...

Doug! You reprobate. Foul PC-less prophet of the sins of delectation. You ... you ... incendiary!!

:)

Kyahgirl said...

I don't know O'C, I kind of enjoyed eavesdropping on Doug's chat with the girls!

its amusing :-)

Doug said...

Haha, O Ceallaigh. I've still been called worse. In fact, I kind of like "Reprobate."

Kyahgirl, why eavesdrop?

Minka said...

Gosh, i am late to teh party...after all I think Ambrose would have enjoye dthis tribute :)

Doug said...

Minka, are there two of you?

Kyahgirl said...

The penguin forgot she's already been to THIs party. Silly penguin-brain freeze.

Minka said...

I menat the party pf the last 6 comments when Ambrose Bierce changed his cake for teh third time...you people!

Doug said...

Kyahgirl, it happens to the best of birds.

Minka, you started the party and then just left?

Anonymous said...

We, the other members of the Curmudgeons' Club of the Netherworld, had a great time with Ambrose on his birthday during the Death Cheese show at Alferd Packer Days in Lake City, Colorado. We did our best to avoid Alferd, however. We have been known to eat people for breakfast literarily, but never literally!

cheesemeister said...

We weren't trying to be "anonymous." The "Other" button isn't functioning on the identity-chooser!
Your Crusty Chums in the Curmudgeon's Club

Doug said...

Hey, welcome cheesemeister, and glad to hear the infernal party went off well.