Tuesday, March 24, 2009


OUT-OF-DOORS, n. That part of one's environment upon which no government has been able to collect taxes. Chiefly useful to inspire poets.
I climbed to the top of a mountain one day
To see the sun setting in glory,
And I thought, as I looked at his vanishing ray,
Of a perfectly splendid story.

'Twas about an old man and the ass he bestrode
Till the strength of the beast was o'ertested;
Then the man would carry him miles on the road
Till Neddy was pretty well rested.

The moon rising solemnly over the crest
Of the hills to the east of my station
Displayed her broad disk to the darkening west
Like a visible new creation.

And I thought of a joke (and I laughed till I cried)
Of an idle young woman who tarried
About a church-door for a look at the bride,
Although 'twas herself that was married.

To poets all Nature is pregnant with grand
Ideas — with thought and emotion.
I pity the dunces who don't understand
The speech of earth, heaven and ocean.
—Stromboli Smith
2009 Update: A region much explored in college lectures, slide presentations and blog entries. The great out there.
Settling into my chair in a restaurant
Al Gore approached me, earnest though not gaunt
He begged me consider my footprint long
And listen as gravely as he ran on.
"The great outdoors calls you, answer briefly
With sacrifice and appetite chiefly!"
"Where shall I find this suffering sweet thing?"
I asked as he asked the waiter to bring
The fried scallops platter, and a bottle
Of wine, "Seek the fermented to coddle,
The polluted to cleanse, the gassy too
The environment needs me, and I you."
"Where is this environment?" I asked him.
"Outdoors!" He answered, gravy on his chin.
-Calzone Collins.


Anonymous said...

reminds me of the man who cries out for help from those he just defrauded
...for the self-righteous rarely see that they have also defrauded themselves in their acts of madness.
(ie. Icelandic or American...etc etc etc financial wizards)
earth first - we can mine and log the
other planets later....PEACE Always

Anonymous said...

second read--Balance and how hard it is to achieve.....
Enjoy the day !!!!

actonbell said...

I hear that travel broadens the mind 'til you can't get your head out of doors.
--Elvis Costello (what a conundrum)

Ariel the Thief said...

LOL Actonbell!

Out-of-doors, someone else's business.

TLP said...

Now I'm hungry for Italian food.

What Mama used to say, "Go outdoors and play!"

Believe it or not, my country aunts and uncles used this phase to mean go to the outhouse. "I have to go outdoors" meant you had to go potty. And the potty was out-of-doors.

the amoeba said...

OUT-OF-DOORS, phr.: Having no more Jim Morrison recordings in stock.

Causes exist solely to enrich their (usually self-appointed) advocates. If the ones you must convince inhabit the five-star restaurants (so the rationalization goes), then to the five-star restaurants you must go, and oh yes, the scallop platter (braised, if you please) is mighty fine. Gandhi, after all, is dead - and if the staffer who said "it takes an awful lot of money to keep Gandhi in poverty" is to be trusted, he never really existed.

An Inconvenient Truth spent about five seconds of its 94 minute runtime on the one true cause of Earth's environmental ills. 'Cause Al Gore knows damn well there's neither votes, money, nor credit in exploring the one true solution (draconian human population control).

Tom & Icy said...

The sun is much brighter there.

Nessa said...

What Doors-R-Us advertises when it goes Out-of-business.

quilly said...

Not taxed? Have you ever tried to get into the "great, free" out-of-doors? Entrance fees, camping fees, refuse fees, and should you ignore any of those, let's talk FINES!

As to hunting or fishing in the great, free out-of-doors, first you must buy you license, the tags (yes, even some fish require tags), the permits and entry fees, then ...

Time in the out-of-doors requires specialized equipment which carries with it special price tags and extra special taxes ...

So, I stay home and buy my venison at Whole Foods. In the long run it is just easier and cheaper to have the great out-of-doors delivered to my home.

the amoeba said...

Breaking news!

OUT-OF-DOORS, n.: The unprofitable cure to vitamin D deficiency. No you can't stop buying sunscreens so that your skin can make its own vitamin D when you step outside. You gotta buy our supplements ...

The world will end through suffocation under the weight of our pills.

pia said...

actually 15 minutes of unprotected out of door sun is supposed to be good for you--in winter only if you lived where Doug graduated college or further South
I'm really trying to justify my love of that 15 minutes

TLP--go play out of doors, didn't mean go potty to us. Just 'go out, come back in case a bomb actually drops (not the 50's and 50's gov warnings--school things) or after the blizzard is full blast

Wish parents did that now

weirsdo said...

What's passing by when the Corvette has the top down.

sauerkraut said...

a great place to be when the kidlets are driving me nuts. also a place the dog prefers not to be thanks to invisible fence training. why didn't I just get another cat. ...

cooper said...

If the story is true, "out of doors" is where a friend of mine's parents sent him for two hours whenever they wanted to have sex.

skywind said...

Oh, very humorous terms, very concise statements. :)
Health information
Humor & Fun World

Minka said...

out-of-doors,n. the place where primal instincts run wild, and that's how we break a branch, ankle or promise

actonbell said...

LOL, Amoeba, I liked the out-0f-Morrison-stock definition.

Anonymous said...

GOOD MORNING--a blue filled sky on the other side of the door-Peace !!!
not "glumi"(word verification)

actonbell said...

Good morning, Doug!

And Ariel, I'm going through picture withdrawal, I'll have you know.

Doug said...

Bear, Old Man Lazarus, poor as I, when he died he found a home on high.

That is quite a conundrum, Actonbell. I've notice that as I travel less, other parts become hard to fit through the door.

Ariel, indoors is the dog's business.

TLP, I'm familiar with the process. Did your mama mean for you to play in the outhouse?

Amoeba, time for Logan's Run?

Sure, Icy, but the lights are dimmer.

Ha, Nessa. Any day now. My guess, though, is the window business is probably picking up.

Quilly, the secret is to hike in. But, you're right. The biggest improvement in government since Bierce's time might be the "user fee."

Amoeba, I was thinking fire, but you could be right.

Pia, never let a doctor lock you indoors. I mean it.

Great way to see it, Weirsdo. I would think.

Sauerkraut, this is why you shouldn't train your dog.

Cooper, they were probably playing scrabble.

Welcome, Skywind. I trust you not to be spam.

Minka, some branches need breaking.

Good morning, Bear and Bell. I know I've been tardy.

Cooper said...

I was taking advantage of a day off to get here early thinking there would be another post...damn it all, again I'm not first.

Ariel the Thief said...

Thanks for asking, Actonbell, the camera is always with me, I should start using it again. :)

tsduff said...

There is no place finer
Than outside the diner
When taking that after meal stroll
Just out of the doors
Where dirt is the floor
It's great to be in the sun-shiner

I love Amoeba's correct observation about being out of DOORS.

Jim said...

Out-of-doors is the place where my dogs go for relief.