Tuesday, October 31, 2006


GUARDIAN, n. One who undertakes to protect from others what he is not ready to get for himself.

2006 Update: A traitor in training.

Monday, October 30, 2006


GRASSHOPPER, n. An insect with legs like a couple of step-ladders. The Gryllus campestris of Linnaeus; the Yumyum chawfully of Sarah Winnemucca.

2006 Update: An apprentice stereotype.

Happy Birthday to my twin. May your next year be filled with the backsides of bunnies.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Red Mask of Death

Story #68, in which a cocktail party goes amiss.

To hear the story, call the specter.

To read the story, comfort Edgar Allen Poe who's rolling in his grave about now but probably used to it.

This week in The Prattler, "Trick or Treat" which should be up by 11AM TLP Daylight Savings Time.

Friday, October 27, 2006


DESERVE, n. The quality of beinig entitled to what someone else obtains.

2006 Update: v.t. To inherit by hard work and imagination.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


DULLARD, n. A member of the reigning dynasty in letters and life. The Dullards came in with Adam, and being both numerous and sturdy have overrun the habitable world. The secret of their power is their insensibility to blows; tickle them with a bludgeon and they laugh with a platitude. The Dullards came originally from Boeotia, whence they were driven by stress of starvation, their dullness having blighted the crops. For some centuries they infested Philistia, and many of them are called Philistines to this day. In the turbulent times of the Crusades they withdrew thence and gradually overspread all Europe, occupying most of the high places in politics, art, literature, science and theology. Since a detachment of Dullards came over with the Pilgrims in the Mayflower and made a favorable report of the country, their increase by birth, immigration, and conversion has been rapid and steady. According to the most trustworthy statistics the number of adult Dullards in the United States is but little short of thirty millions, including the statisticians. The intellectual centre of the race is somewhere about Peoria, Illinois, but the New England Dullard is the most shockingly moral.

2006 Update: A well whetted wit, positioned and parodied.
2. A lexicographer by choice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

This week, I'm pround to introduce Cheesemeister as my Wednesday guest. Cheesemeister was asked to define Batty.

BATTY, adj. The description of an individual who turns a blind eye to proper appearances and instead follows their inner guidance to those things from which they find true fulfillment.

About Cheesemeister: Cheesemeister may be the most prolific blogger of us all and needs your help, probably. As best I can tell, her principle blog, The Cheesemeister's Maelstrom of Distorted Bedlam reflects the dark and light of her sense of humor. A fan of death metal music and defender of Iron Maiden, but with diverse musical taste, Maelstrom is cleverly written in the form of a tabloid covering metal bands which I can only pray are fictitious. I'm pretty sure Death Cheese is mostly fictional. And then pray some more. I kind of hope The Lutefiskies are real and that I never hear them.

Another blog of hers, The Freakulosity of Dreams recounts the dreams and nightmares that inform her writing or distract it. This blog purports to be evil and to be prepared to take over the entire blogosphere. That's not a dream, it's real. Lock up your daughters. A third blog, The Nutty Gnostic describes Cheesemeister's take on belief, blended with adult language and amber alerts. A whole community of faith with a single author. That sounds familiar. A fourth blog, The Raven's Realm is a collection of Cheesemeister's poetry. At this point, I have to tip my hat. In all the prolific writing, Cheesemeister doesn't stick to heroic verse but writes sonnets and formal poetry as well.

Now mind you, we're still with the blogs she updates regulatly. Full Moon Rising is a fun site, in which Cheesemeister does comedy. There's a great meme (a sentence I never expected to write here. It was on this blog where Cheesemeister mourned the departure of our own dear friend Lammy. The Asteroid of Amoeboid Fungus is a site dedicated to Cheesemeister's creative writing, although there's plenty of that on her other sites.

Beyond these, there are 12 others. The nether regions of the netherworld world of Cheesemeister can be explored through her profile. I'd like to thank Cheesemeister for being a great guest here.

How to be a guest on this site: To be anointed, I will need your email address and permission. So, were you to send an email to dpascover at mac dot com and say in the subject line something like "OK, ok I'll do it," that would definitely work unless I thought it was spam and deleted it. On an upcoming Wednesday, after posting that week's guest I would then send you an email with a word not in The Devil's Dictionary which you could then spend the next three days writing a definition for and return to me with a graphic or two of your choosing. The only rules are no profanity, no novels and anything else I make up. If you've done this before, I may ask you again if you're around a lot. If you've done this before and not been heard from since, just let me know that you want to be a guest and then disappear again.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


DELEGATION, n. In American politics, an article of merchandise that comes in sets.

2006 Update: Babble by the bale.

Monday, October 23, 2006


DIAMOND, n. A worthless stone, too soft to be given to a beggar in place of bread and too small to knock him down with.

2006 Update: The epitome of romance- as sharp as a grudge, clear as suspicion, hard as expectation and as durable as disappointment.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ancient of Days

Story #67, the contemporary lesson of a history student.

To hear the story, receive the grace of the Ancient of Days.

To read the story, surrender to the daughters of Albion.

This week in The Prattler, "I Know! I Know!" in which Doug speaks for both parties on national security.

Friday, October 20, 2006


FRIENDSHIP, n. A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.
The sea was calm and the sky was blue;
Merrily, merrily sailed we two.
(High barometer maketh glad)
On the tipsy ship, with a dreadful shout,
The tempest descended and we fell out.
(Oh, the walking is nasty bad!)
- Arnit Huff Bettle
2006 Update: An alliance joined in enmity towards a former friend.
I fled in haste my lover's ire
With fingers broken and my cat on fire,
Into a bar where they might douse
The flames devouring my former house.
I met there a brother who understood
Innocence suffers at the hands of good.
He told me amity will last just fine,
As tinder for his girl and a spark for mine.
- The Right Reverend Charles Bartholomeo Limperbotham

Thursday, October 19, 2006


FORGIVENESS, n. A strategem to throw an offender off his guard and catch him red-handed in his next offense.

2006 Update: A brave face around a simpering tongue.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Rest Is Gravy

Mark your calendars, y'all. This week my special guest is Actonbell. I am whole. Waking Ambrose is complete. Actonbell was asked to define Roast.

ROAST, v.t. 1. to cook by exposing to dry heat, as in an oven or before a fire, or by surrounding with hot embers, sand, or stones. For instance, you can roast marshmallows, chestnuts, and coffee beans. When roast is a noun, it's pot roast, rump roast, and pig roast, but when it's an adjective, it's more like roast beef, roast turkey, roast chicken, roast duck, and roast peppers.

Or, so I've heard. I don't cook at all, can barely operate the stove, but could, if I wanted to.

2. To honor (a person) at a roast: that is, to affectionately and humorously dredge up all kinds of stuff in said person's past life to reminisce about and poke fun at.

Doug's inaugural Waking Ambrose post in Feb 2005 garnered just 4 comments, and now look at his fanclub! The following comments prove that this here blog is actually a longitudinal roast. That's a slow roast, done over a long period of time. Can we reminisce about any of these comments, or make up new ones?

General Observations about Doug:

Jamie Dawn: You are a man of many talents.

Karma: Breaking myths and predictions and all the rules, is only proof of how very special you are. And there was never any doubt about that.

Kyahgirl: You must be one of those robust fellows Doug because, judging by your posting schedule, you're up before dawn every day. Wait a sec....maybe you're one of those men of reason who doesn't go to bed til then?

Quilldancer:Doug, did you know that you were the second person ever to comment on my blog?

Sar: Electioneer - The civic duty that transforms my favorite blog dog into a volunteering human.

TLP: You little pyro!

Alice: in Wonderland Or Not- See Doug evolved due to auspicious circumstances ...there is no intelligent design.

about Doug's singing:
dddragon: I think he sounds MIGHTY fine.

Weirsdo: I vote that your voice is less annoying than Willie Nelson's.

Tom and Icy: Us doggies just love it when humans sing and I bet Willie and Walena are in heaven at your house!
His definitions and stories:

Pia: How can anybody top you or Ambrose?

Monika, who loves to be the first commenter: Now that was great and funny and also kinda smart! Maybe your DNA holds more than just food-related genes!!!

Mireille:Warmth AND charisma!!

Miz Bohemia: Thank you for the fun and the pearls of wisdom and for having me as a guest and for your brilliant stories and most of all, thank you for you.

a4g: Oh, and let me take this opportunity to bow to your always trenchant (re)definitions. We-who-soak-up your daily compliments too infrequently mention that mixed feeling of admiration, envy and resentment that accompanies the double barreled morning onslaught of wit from Bierce + Pascover.There. That will have to last you a year. It's all the mushy praise my black heart can muster

G: I have a feeling that you have elevated many of our vocabularies in more areas than we might admit in such genteel company.

Ariel:I've always known you're an attention whore, Doug...

Fred: Slide shows, music, gay bars, exchange student, foreign country, romance....
I loved it!

Shayna: So, ummm... will ya come and read a story to my son? Great story teller you are, Doug! ;)

Good Times! So. Let's get this roast in the oven...

About Actonbell: Actonbell, aka Rahs Speedy Gonzalez Pez, is a runner, beer-lover and the poet laureate of warehouse rats. She also holds the stamina record for being singled out for begging to do a guest post here. She'll still beat me in a footrace, but this morning I win. For those of you still assembling your Pez family trees, Actonbell is the daughter of TLP, the younger sister of Dddragon, the older sister of AP3, and aunt to Goa'uld and Bookworm all of whom took pity on me long before Actonbell. Her husband is Ekim Roadrunner Pez who occasionally lurks and seems only to show up to beat the rest of us at puzzles. By the way, if I were being fair I'd admit that Actonbell has long claimed that she wanted to be home on her guest Wednesday so as to graciously co-host and this is her first Wednesday off. But when was fairness ever funny? Let's continue.

Actonbell keeps two main blogs. Paradise Alley contains cultural insight and information, primarily about books, independent movies and magic. If any three of you read as much combined as Actonbell does, I'm impressed. Six of me don't. By my estimate, Actonbell reads 48 times as many pages per pound of body weight as I do. It shows in both her critical insight and her eloquent writing. When Actonbell likes a book, it always goes immediately into my Amazon.com waiting list and ends up gathering dust on my shelf. Fortunately, she seems to favor books with pretty covers.

Her other blog, Tempest in a Teapot is where Actonbell gets downright nasty. Well, imperfectly elegant, but let's be supportive. When Actonbell writes about work, the pseudonyms she gives her coworkers are funny by themselves, the stories always well-told and the writing smooth enough to make you think you're listening. One observation about the distance runner: many of us who started blogging around the same time seem to be slowing down and either posting less often or commenting less while Actonbell seems to be getting more enthusiastic and writing better, fuller posts more often. For that, Kudos from a blogger in decline and a beggar in triumph.

As for the roast, this was her idea and I have to say, I've survived harsher treatment than she gave me. Let's see how the rest of you do.

Actonbell was partially fictionalized in this story. There remains one adjective used more often than any other to describe Actonbell and for that I turn to her sisters and ask Actonbell to join me at the roastee's table. Have at us, folks.

How to be a guest on this site: You don't have to be a reclusive blogebrity to be a guest here. Email me at dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, I'll email you with a word to define and ask you to return a satirical definition and at least one graphic representing you and or your definition by the following Saturday. The rules are: No profanity, no novels and whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


FANATIC, n. One who overestimates the importance of convictions and undervalues the comfort of an existence free from the impact of addled eggs and dead cats upon the human periphery.

2006 Update: Anyone who submits to a leader as though he were God, takes up a cause as though it were Earth or argues with Me.

Monday, October 16, 2006


FALSEHOOD, n. A truth to which the facts are loosely adjusted to an imperfect conformity.

2006 Update: A biased account of sincere spin or an unjust allegation by my enemy, who has a tail.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Secret Lives

Story #66, about a woman with many tales.

To hear the story, yodel from Mont Blanc.

To read the story, parry.

This week in The Prattler, "Political Capital."

Friday, October 13, 2006


DRUNK, adj. Boozy, fuddled, corned, tipsy, mellow, soaken, full, groggy, tired, top-heavy, glorious, overcome, swipy, elevated, overtaken, screwed, raddled, lushy, nappy, muzzy, maudlin, pious, floppy, loppy, happy, etc.

2006 Update: Temporarily unburdened of the conspiracies of the community, the malice of miscreants foreign and domestic, the loss of great loves, the infidelity of strangers, the expectations of coworkers, the ambitions of neighbors, the envy of friends, the curiosity of enemies, family secrets, an evacuated spleen and a full bladder.

Announcement: Today I am emceeing a roast of Pia on Courting Destiny. You are all summoned to join the abuse. This marks my final contribution to the Buy Pia a Vacation Word Fund. Today, of course, Pia is the guest blogger at Sar's so you can see how urgently your contributions are needed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


DIAGNOSIS, n. A physician's forecast of the disease by the patient's pulse and purse.

2006 Update: The prescription for the affliction of friend, colleague or neighbor.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Special Ghost Wednesday

This week, please welcome my guest, Ambrose Bierce, this being the hallowe'en season according to the drugstore in my neighborhood. Monsieur Bierce was asked to demonstrate fables.

The Opossum of The Future

ONE day an Opossum who had gone to sleep hanging from the highest branch of a tree by the tail, awoke and saw a large Snake wound about the limb, between him and the trunk of the tree.

"If I hold on," he said to himself, "I shall be swallowed; if I let go I shall break my neck."

But suddenly he bethought himself to dissemble.

"My perfected friend," he said, "my parental instinct recognises in you a noble evidence and illustration of the theory of development. You are the Opossum of the Future, the ultimate Fittest Survivor of our species, the ripe result of progressive prehensility - all tail!"

But the Snake, proud of his ancient eminence in Scriptural history, was strictly orthodox, and did not accept the scientific view.

The Cat and The King

A CAT was looking at a King, as permitted by the proverb.

"Well," said the monarch, observing her inspection of the royal person, "how do you like me?"

"I can imagine a King," said the Cat, "whom I should like better."

"For example?"

"The King of the Mice."

The sovereign was so pleased with the wit of the reply that he gave her permission to scratch his Prime Minister's eyes out.

The Wolf Who Would Be A Lion

A FOOLISH Fellow who had been told that he was a great man believed it, and got himself appointed a Commissioner to the Interasylum Exposition of Preserved Idiots. At the first meeting of the Board he was mistaken for one of the exhibits, and the janitor was ordered to remove him to his appropriate glass case.

"Alas!" he exclaimed as he was carried out, "why was I not content to remain where the cut of my forehead is so common as to be known as the Pacific Slope?"

The Blotted Esctcheon And The Soiled Ermine

A BLOTTED Escutcheon, rising to a question of privilege, said:

"Mr. Speaker, I wish to hurl back an allegation and explain that the spots upon me are the natural markings of one who is a direct descendant of the sun and a spotted fawn. They come of no accident of character, but inhere in the divine order and constitution of things."

When the Blotted Escutcheon had resumed his seat a Soiled Ermine rose and said:

"Mr. Speaker, I have heard with profound attention and entire approval the explanation of the honourable member, and wish to offer a few remarks on my own behalf. I, too, have been foully calumniated by our ancient enemy, the Infamous Falsehood, and I wish to point out that I am made of the fur of the MUSTELA MACULATA, which is dirty from birth."

About Ambrose Bierce: Um, well, duh. Along with his famous Devil's Dictionary, and invective, Bierce was also a fabulous fabulist. On occassional Wednesday when the times and the morals call for it or I've otherwise forgotten to ask someone to guest here, some of the fables may appear here on Wednesdays. More can be found using the link on the right, last under "Ambrose Bierce Resources."

How to be a guest on this site: There are two options: One is to be a writer famous for invective, die and ferment for ninety years. The other is to email me at dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, I'll email you with a word to define and ask you to return a satirical definition and at least one graphic representing you and or your definition by the following Saturday. The rules are: No profanity, no novels and whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


DAWN, n. The time when men of reason go to bed. Certain old men prefer to rise at about that time, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.

2006 Update: A new day's first ray of doubt.

Monday, October 09, 2006


DISSEMBLE, v.i. To put a clean shirt upon the character.
Let us dissemble. -Adam.
2006 Update: To camoflage frailty beneath a veil of folly.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Story #65, in which we find Doug in Germany looking for 1982.

To hear the story, walk the lonely streets of Marburg.

To read the story, visit city hall.

This week in The Prattler, "The Foley Follies"to be published around noon East Coast time.

Friday, October 06, 2006


BENEVOLENCE, n. Subscribing five dollars toward the relief of one's aged grandfather in the alms house, and publishing it in the newspaper.

2006 Update: A vote to re-elect.

Felicitaciones por tu antiguedad, Papi Brujo

Thursday, October 05, 2006


BRIBE, n. That which enables a member of the California Legislature to live on his pay without any dishonest economies.

2006 Update: An interruption by corruption of the fermentation of an administration. The substitution of misdeed for misrule.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

This week, I'm delighted to have the red-headed quizmistress, Logo as my special guest. Logo was asked to define Trivia.

Trivia is the name of the Roman goddess who is the equivelent of Hecate, the Greek goddess of witchcraft, crossroads, and the harvest moon. She was an underworld titan-goddess, and a good friend of Ceres/Demeter. According to myth, Trivia even helped her find her daughter Proserpine/Persephone.
An early variation of the word and its use dates to early Latin: tri- (3) + -vium, deriv. of via way, road. Trivium- "the meeting place of three roads."
In Medieval times the lower division of the seven liberal arts was called the Trivium and consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The remaining four, the quadrivium, were arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Trivial in this sense would have meant "of interest only to an undergraduate."
The first known usage of the word "trivial" in Modern English is from 1589; it was used in the sense: "of little importance or significance." Thus the word trivia came to be applied to unimportant, inconsequential, or nonessential items, especially of information. In the late 20th century the expression came to mean the kind information useful almost exclusively for answering quiz questions.

TRIVIA, n. 1. Confections of content for those who find the demands of substance distasteful
2. A litmus test for literary tendency.

About Logo: Logophile, the word lover, has two children each named Thing. Although a married stay-at-home mother, careful research into her past has, over the past year, turned up reasons to question the wholesome image that presents. Unsavory relatives, foreign entanglements, grasping material ambitions and the company of thieves, charlatans and disreputable miscellaneous scoundrels paints a different picture of Ms. "I love poetry and drive a mini-van." Wholesome, indeed. I told you she was a redhead.

In spite of the sociopathy hidden just beneath the surface, Logo writes a blog which is one of very few balancing poetry, anecdote and interaction with her audience. Most Fridays she publishes flash fiction of the 55-word variety and during the week she often adds poetry either her own, which is excellent, or favorites by poets who are revered in more sophisticated and proper circles. Mondays tend to be times of sharing the adventures that Logo and her immediate family seem to find themselves in often enough for weekly tattling. Her Tuesday trivia quiz is a favorite pastime for all her readers and the quizes are challenging and fun.

Logo and her dog were guests here about a year back and Logo herself played a street preacher in this story. Thank you, Logo, for being an excellent guest here and taking in as friends those of us less correct than yourself.

How to be a guest on this site: To be anointed, I will need your email address and permission. So, were you to send an email to dpascover at mac dot com and say in the subject line something like "OK, ok I'll do it," that would definitely work unless I thought it was spam and deleted it. On an upcoming Wednesday, after posting that week's guest I would then send you an email with a word not in The Devil's Dictionary which you could then spend the next three days writing a definition for and return to me with a graphic or two of your choosing. The only rules are no profanity, no novels and anything else I make up. If you've done this before, I may ask you again if you're around a lot. If you've done this before and not been heard from since, just let me know that you want to be a guest and then disappear again.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


BALLOT, n. A simple device by which a majority proves to a minority the folly of resistance. Many worthy persons of imperfect thinking apparatus believe that majorities govern through some inherent right; and minorities submit, not becaues they must, but because they ought.

2006 Update: The weapon with which patriots oppose their countrymen.

Monday, October 02, 2006


BACKBITE, v.t. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.

2006 Update: To indicate the coarse idleness, frivolousness, envy, gossip, malintent, ill-nature, indiscretion, arrogance and long-windedness that distinguishes another from your unblemished self.

Happy birthday to Andy Pascover, neigh Pascover, who's a waddling, malodorous monkey.