Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Achtzig
To hear Trudi's story, give her a click.

Or, you can read at the Synod Horrenda.

The story so far is here.

Friday, July 30, 2010


SCARABAEUS, n. The sacred beetle of the ancient Egyptians, allied to our familiar "tumble-bug." It was supposed to symbolize immortality, the fact that God knew why giving it its peculiar sanctity. Its habit of incubating its eggs in a ball of ordure may also have commended it to the favor of the priesthood, and may some day assure it an equal reverence among ourselves. True, the American beetle is an inferior beetle, but the American priest is an inferior priest.

2010 Update: A symbol of the sun, found in a mound of dung. The more plausible easter egg.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


SCIMITAR, n. A curved sword of exceeding keenness, in the conduct of which certain Orientals attain a surprising proficiency, as the incident here related will serve to show. The account is translated from the Japanese by Shusi Itama, a famous writer of the thirteenth century.

When the great Gichi-Kuktai was Mikado he condemned to decapitation Jijiji Ri, a high officer of the Court. Soon after the hour appointed for performance of the rite what was his Majesty's surprise to see calmly approaching the throne the man who should have been at that time ten minutes dead!

"Seventeen hundred impossible dragons!" shouted the enraged monarch. "Did I not sentence you to stand in the market-place and have your head struck off by the public executioner at three o'clock? And is it not now 3:10?"

"Son of a thousand illustrious deities," answered the condemned minister, "all that you say is so true that the truth is a lie in comparison. But your heavenly Majesty's sunny and vitalizing wishes have been pestilently disregarded. With joy I ran and placed my unworthy body in the market-place. The executioner appeared with his bare scimetar, ostentatiously whirled it in air, and then, tapping me lightly upon the neck, strode away, pelted by the populace, with whom I was ever a favorite. I am come to pray for justice upon his own dishonorable and treasonous head."

"To what regiment of executioners does the black-boweledcaitiff belong?" asked the Mikado.

"To the gallant Ninety-eight Hundred and Thirty-seventh — I know the man. His name is Sakko-Samshi."

"Let him be brought before me," said the Mikado to an attendant, and a half-hour later the culprit stood in the Presence.

"Thou bastard son of a three-legged hunchback without thumbs!" roared the sovereign — "why didst thou but lightly tap the neck that it should have been thy pleasure to sever?"

"Lord of Cranes of Cherry Blooms," replied the executioner, unmoved, "command him to blow his nose with his fingers."

Being commanded, Jijiji Ri laid hold of his nose and trumpeted like an elephant, all expecting to see the severed head flung violently from him. Nothing occurred: the performance prospered peacefully to the close, without incident.

All eyes were now turned on the executioner, who had grown as white as the snows on the summit of Fujiama. His legs trembled and his breath came in gasps of terror.

"Several kinds of spike-tailed brass lions!" he cried; "I am a ruined and disgraced swordsman! I struck the villain feebly because in flourishing the scimetar I had accidentally passed it through my own neck! Father of the Moon, I resign my office."

So saying, he gasped his top-knot, lifted off his head, and advancing to the throne laid it humbly at the Mikado's feet.

2010 Update: A sword curved to rest gently along the throat. Civilization without the scrawl.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Temptation, and its causes

Temptation holds a pride of place
In man and his endeavors
Gold and flesh e'er turn our knobs
And pull on all our levers.

In youth the shining, soft or certain
Drives the young to draw the curtain
And conspire against the very things
To which our hearts appert'in.

And then as we grow sad and wiser
Eternity inspires the miser
To prepare a lasting legacy
As life churns him to fertilizer.

But with my youth by now gone by
Through older eyes I see,
A sinful motor may turn my eye
But the devil driving is irony.
-Cyrus Moody

TEMPTATION, n. The nearest thing out of reach.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


SAFETY-CLUTCH, n. A mechanical device acting automatically to prevent the fall of an elevator, or cage, in case of an accident to the hoisting apparatus.
Once I seen a human ruin
In an elevator-well,
And his members was bestrewin'
All the place where he had fell.

And I says, apostrophisin'
That uncommon woful wreck:
"Your position's so surprisin'
That I tremble for your neck!"

Then that ruin, smilin' sadly
And impressive, up and spoke:
"Well, I wouldn't tremble badly,
For it's been a fortnight broke."

Then, for further comprehension
Of his attitude, he begs
I will focus my attention
On his various arms and legs —

How they all are contumacious;
Where they each, respective, lie;
How one trotter proves ungracious,
T'other one an alibi.

These particulars is mentioned
For to show his dismal state,
Which I wasn't first intentioned
To specifical relate.

None is worser to be dreaded
That I ever have heard tell
Than the gent's who there was spreaded
In that elevator-well.

Now this tale is allegoric —
It is figurative all,
For the well is metaphoric
And the feller didn't fall.

I opine it isn't moral
For a writer-man to cheat,
And despise to wear a laurel
As was gotten by deceit.

For 'tis Politics intended
By the elevator, mind,
It will boost a person splendid
If his talent is the kind.

Col. Bryan had the talent
(For the busted man is him)
And it shot him up right gallant
Till his head begun to swim.

Then the rope it broke above him
And he painful come to earth
Where there's nobody to love him
For his detrimented worth.

Though he's livin' none would know him,
Or at leastwise not as such.
Moral of this woful poem:
Frequent oil your safety-clutch.
—Porfer Poog
2010 Update: An invention of Elisha Otis for the purpose that the descent of man not be accelerated by the descent of men.

Monday, July 26, 2010


SACERDOTALIST, n. One who holds the belief that a clergyman is a priest. Denial of this momentous doctrine is the hardest challenge that is now flung into the teeth of the Episcopalian church by the Neo-Dictionarians.

2010 Update: One who believes that, as the son of man was raised up, so must the priests be raised up- although on a stage rather than a cross. Sacerdotalism was fervently opposed by early Protestants who preferred a scaffold.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Achtzig
To listen, follow the Marburger soldier

Or, you can read from the apple tree.

The story so far is here.

Friday, July 23, 2010


LEGISLATOR, n. A person who goes to the capital of his country to increase his own; one who makes laws and money.

2010 Update: A member of a legislature, and representative of the neighbor. The legislator may propose, oppose or dispose the laws authorizing, limiting and defining the tyrannical and inquisitive branches of government; may conspire or enter into conspiracies as the hours in the day and longevity allow; and may identify the conspiracies of others as necessary to promote domestic anxiety and explication. The third person of government and the plural.

Happy birthday to Mo'a

Thursday, July 22, 2010


LEATHERHEAD, n. Dr. Bartlett, of the Bulletin.

2010 Update: A sparkling wit out of earshot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There are prices that never get bought
And wishes that never get caught
But old gamblers bet
That all their regret
Turns to chips in the next table's pot.

RETURN, n. The profit accumulated when a staggering fool meets a regimentary public.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


LOVE, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder. This disease, like caries and many other ailments, is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions; barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages. It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient.

2010 Update: Reason's envy of the appetite.

Monday, July 19, 2010


LEGACY, n. A gift from one who is legging it out of this vale of tears.

2010 Update: The providential tariff on imported goods and services.

Happy birthday to Pia

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Neunundsiebzieg
To listen, wait for the interrogator to open his mouth.

Or, you can read alongside Gretchen, Vater Karl and the baby.

The story so far is here.

Friday, July 16, 2010


BLOODTHIRSTY, adj. Addicted to the wanton wasting of blood- which is probably very good to drink.

2010 Update: Sanguine, as a stranger. Unfamiliar.
A hangman told me, over beer,
"My job I can do free from fear."
I asked him, then, to tell me good,
Why cloak the sinner in a hood?
He answered, "Well, before I frees 'em,
I dress 'em as the jury sees them."
-Dresden Snappletort, Esq.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


BILLINGSGATE, n. The invective of an opponent.

2010 Update: The cooing of a dove, translated into English or German.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Greater Grouch

A man I met upon a trail,
Bearded, bent and grim
He seemed so weary and so frail,
I thought at once of him,
That age will neuter every male
And so it's always been.

Sympathy rose in my eye
And must have reached the brim
For the old man looked up to reply
And raising a withered limb
Growled "youth falls from an empty sky
And thus it's ever been!"
-Labfej László

TRADITION, n. Coiled novelty.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


BACHELOR, n. A man whom women are still sampling.

2010 Update: A man whose sobriquet is more flattering than his compliments.

Monday, July 12, 2010


BLUE-STOCKING, n. A woman who for their slight of her personal charms revenges herself upon men by caricaturing science, art, letters or learning.
"They call me a blue-stocking!" madam explained;
"Pray why, of all ladies, should I, sir, be named
From the hue of my stockings, which man never spied?"
"Nor ever desired to," the villain replied."
2010 Update: A Boston baseball fan after the 2005 American League Division Series. Prior to that, a Chicago baseball fan of perennial season-ending poverty virtue.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Achtsiebzieg
To listen, just head over by Ulrich, Dietrich's patron.

Or, you can read all about it among the ruins of St. Elizabeth's hospital.

The story so far is here.

Friday, July 09, 2010


IN'ARDS, n. The stomach, heart, soul and other bowels. Many eminent investigators do not class the soul as an in'ard, but that acute observer and renowned authority, Dr. Gunsaulus, is persuaded that the mysterious organ known as the spleen is nothing less than our important part. To the contrary, Professor Garrett P. Servis holds that man's soul is that prolongation of his spinal marrow which forms the pith of his no tail; and for demonstration of his faith points confidently to the fact that no tailed animals have no souls. Concerning these two theories, it is best to suspend judgment by believing both.

2010 Update: The seat and source of choler, melancholy, biliousness and revulsion. The diet of the unprosperous cannibal.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


IMPROMPTU, adv. Off-hand- said of verses that are written without confusing the legs and protruding the tongue. F'rexample.
Bulbous bangs enormous roared
And swamping pickled he,
Through beetling barbarous restored
Fuliginous and free;
For bellicose arbitrament
He on his nether ear had went!
2010 Update: Casual and unplanned, as a conspiracy just revealed or an old joke.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ruba'i for FIFA

Soccer joins our separate shores
And brings our world together.
A sport that cleaves us, man from man,
Is one that I'd like better.
UNITY, n. Distance.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


IMPARTIAL, adj. Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy or adopting either of two conflicting opinions.

2010 Update: Symmetrically slanted.

Monday, July 05, 2010


INVENTOR, n. A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.

2010 Update: A creative sort, plagiarizing ideas rather than thought. A patent lawyer's client.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Sieben-und-siebzieg
To listen, come to the edge of the castle wall.

Or, you can read all about it in the weapons raised against Dietmärchen.

The story so far is here.
Happy Independence Day (Gringos.)

Friday, July 02, 2010


DEPENDENT, adj. Reliant upon another's generosity for the support which you are not in a position to exact from his fears.

2010 Update: Worthy of charity and faith, but not hope.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


DEBAUCHEE, n. One who has so earnestly pursued pleasure that he has had the misfortune to overtake it.

2010 Update: A woman whose ingenuousness succumbs to her ingenuity.