Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Neun
To hear this week's story, click on Elizabethkirche on your right.

To read this week's part, come the castle.

This week in The Prattler, Low Batteries.

Friday, February 27, 2009


ARENA, n. In politics, an imaginary rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles with his record.

2009 Update: An inverse pyramid in which the center is weighed down by steroids and the sides lifted up by alcohol and hot dogs.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


ARSENIC, n. A kind of cosmetic greatly affected by the ladies, whom it greatly affects in turn.
"Eat arsenic? Yes, all you get,"
Consenting, he did speak up;
"'Tis better you should eat it, pet,
Than put it in my teacup."
—Joel Huck
2009 Update: A metal element used in the past to cure communicable diseases such as syphilis and egalitarianism.  Less toxic antibiotics have since been discovered as well as more lethal anti-ambitionates, rendering the preparation obsolete.

UPDATE:  Happy Birthday to Karma!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday, 2009

Now comes the time we stop to rue
His suffering on the cross.
But this year we pray not to smile
Seeing Jesus in the boss;
And for the strength to sacrifice
What's not yet gone away;
And patience for Heaven's call
Should it not come today;
And for the symbols that recall
The sweet gift of the Son,
Remembering once He gave His life
And Citi traded one.
-Right Reverend C. James Wigginthroop

AUSTERITY, n.  The practice of the pilgrim or the protest of the picketer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


ADOLESCENT, adj. Recovering from boyhood.

2009 Update: Undergoing the transformation from external to internal disappointment. In the chrysalis between larval and carnal stages.

Monday, February 23, 2009


AFFIRM, v.t, To declare with suspicious gravity when one is not compelled to wholly discredit himself with an oath.

2009 Update: To wisen the world by verifying what another would otherwise falsify. To prepare for citation.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Acht
To hear my mother read this week's story, click on Frau Braun's dream to your right (and turn up the volume.)

To read this week's part, come to dreamland.

This week inThe Prattler, Finding Abel.

Friday, February 20, 2009


QUILL, n. An implement of torture yielded by a goose and commonly wielded by an ass. This use of the quill is now obsolete, but its modern equivalent, the steel pen, is wielded by the same everlasting Presence.

2009 Update: A source of levity in the wing of a bird, of gravity in the hand of a poet and of obesity in the caricature of a pol.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


QUAKER, n.  A second person singular.

2009 Update:  A pacifist Christian, redeemed by his neighbor from redundancy.
(Before anyone asks, I have no idea what Bierce meant by that. -UPDATE: I think Weirsdo has the right answer in the comments.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Calming Coup

A mob can rise to causes various
But revolution gets precarious
When fratricide among the elect
Leaves only one party the state can select.

Senator Cogdill was hanged this very morn
But would it be decent for us now to mourn
When the hands at the rope and the hands on the chair
Belong to armed men he'd led, himself, there?

It brings us no sorrow, frustration or grief
Nor does it provide us a sense of relief
To see one party disorder our Golden State
Unless the remaining one shares the same fate.

Gathered on the coast by Keats' blood-dimmed tide
What Republicans teach us, we ought to abide.
When rulers see lynching written into their jobs
Shouldn't the people rally our own mobs?

USURPATION, n.  The expropriation by government of the Jacobin instinct.  Parliamentary ochlocracy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


QUIVER, n. A portable sheath in which the ancient statesman and the aboriginal lawyer carried their lighter arguments.
He extracted from his quiver,
Did the controversial Roman,
An argument well fitted
To the question as submitted,
Then addressed it to the liver,
Of the unpersuaded foeman.
—Oglum P. Boomp
2009 Update: v.i.  To self-reflect.

Monday, February 16, 2009


QUOTIENT, n. A number showing how many times a sum of money belonging to one person is contained in the pocket of another — usually about as many times as it can be got there.

2009 Update: The result obtained by dividing one number into another, except in finance where the dividend and divisor are generally multiplied instead.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Sieben
Today is a holiday, so OC and Quilly are doing the reading and the theme is death. Click on the graves to listen.

To read, the news, click on the picture of Luther shared by Weirsdo.

This week inThe Prattler, Love Under The Democrats (and Republicans.)

Don't forget Ogre Day is tomorrow. Punch a child.
And a Valentine's Day joke, translated from the original bad German:
One day, a demon in hell said to the Devil, "My King, yesterday was Valentine's Day. Shall I go to receive all the men who will arrive on this morning's train?"
And the Devil answered him, "Dear God! I forgot again!"

Friday, February 13, 2009



The Gorgon was a maiden bold
Who turned to stone the Greeks of old
That looked upon her awful brow.
We dig them out of ruins now,
And swear that workmanship so bad
Proves all the ancient sculptors mad.

2009 Update: A mythological woman with a head as ugly as the heart of a man.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


GNOME, n. In North-European mythology, a dwarfish imp inhabiting the interior parts of the earth and having special custody of mineral treasures. Bjorsen, who died in 1765, says gnomes were common enough in the southern parts of Sweden in his boyhood, and he frequently saw them scampering on the hills in the evening twilight. Ludwig Binkerhoof saw three as recently as 1792, in the Black Forest, and Sneddeker avers that in 1803 they drove a party of miners out of a Silesian mine. Basing our computations upon data supplied by these statements, we find that the gnomes were probably extinct as early as 1764.

2009 Update: A member of the species Homo vicina, descended from dwarves with peculiar adaptions to the synonymous vineland, such as similar hats and habits. It is not known whether the presence of gnomes in plagiarist fairy-tales helped inspire Darwin's theory or merely proved it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When you have to shoot...

There comes a time in each man's life
When talk becomes absurd
Like when action finally calls to him
Or on abandonment by words.

SLEEPLESS, adj.  Thoughtless.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


GNOSTICS, n. A sect of philosophers who tried to engineer a fusion between the early Christians and the Platonists. The former would not go into the caucus and the combination failed, greatly to the chagrin of the fusion managers.

2009 Update: The dualistic heresy against our Holy religion.

Monday, February 09, 2009


GOUT, n. A physician's name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.

2009 Update: A disease caused by elevated levels of acid in the blood of a patient not used to it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Sechs
To hear Weirsdo capture the speakers, listen to the walrus and the carpenter.

To read, come in out of the rainstorm.
The Prattler is up for this week. Sort of a hiatus with the normal number of words.

Friday, February 06, 2009


BLANK-VERSE, n. Unrhymed iambic pentameters — the most difficult kind of English verse to write acceptably; a kind, therefore, much affected by those who cannot acceptably write any kind.

2009 Update: Verse, for a blank reader.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


BASILISK, n. The cockatrice. A sort of serpent hatched from the egg of a cock. The basilisk had a bad eye, and its glance was fatal. Many infidels deny this creature's existence, but Semprello Aurator saw and handled one that had been blinded by lightning as a punishment for having fatally gazed on a lady of rank whom Jupiter loved. Juno afterward restored the reptile's sight and hid it in a cave. Nothing is so well attested by the ancients as the existence of the basilisk, but the cocks have stopped laying.

2009 update: A swift-footed iguana maladapted for metaphor.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Passing Mustard

A triumph of the modern age,
Up-and-coming, all the rage,
And honored mainly in the breech,
Is biography with no marks on the page.

For stories that cannot be read
Will not fill the empty head,
Will not alarm and will not teach
But complement the current quick and dead.

The perfection our heroes attain
Ain't won by effort, trial or pain,
From besting each villain within reach,
But by keeping banners clean and plain.

So if one day I am called to power,
My life will start that very hour.
My past erased as if with bleach
I'll claim credit earned while snoring in my bower.

FAILURE, n. A history which, if forgotten, the neighbor is bound to repeat.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


BODY-SNATCHER, n. A robber of grave-worms. One who supplies the young physicians with that with which the old physicians have supplied the undertaker. The hyena.
"One night," a doctor said, "last fall,
I and my comrades, four in all,
When visiting a graveyard stood
Within the shadow of a wall.

"While waiting for the moon to sink
We saw a wild hyena slink
About a new-made grave, and then
Begin to excavate its brink!

"Shocked by the horrid act, we made
A sally from our ambuscade,
And, falling on the unholy beast,
Dispatched him with a pick and spade."
—Bettel K. Jhones
2009 Update: The ghoul that adds disinterment to the sequence of disappointments. 

Monday, February 02, 2009


BEGGAR, n. One who has relied on the assistance of his friends.

2009 Update:  A miser in doubt.
A gallant knight 
Took to flight
Having found himself outnumbered
"Glad I'd be to stand and parry
But the king's ransom I carry
Was already by Parliament encumbered."
-Sir Rudolph Tattleberry