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.


TLP said...

Well I just love Ambrose this morning!

And you did a good job too.

Can't think of anything...except maybe an aspirin. An aspirin clutched between a girl's knees is as good a safety-clutch as any.

Anonymous said...

in the days
i rode the cage
in its earthly plunge
as ears popped
ones' only faith
was in the


word verf...ounbow
graceful exit

Jim said...

Oh golly, now we've got to be worrying about taking care of our safety-clutches!
That Mr. Otis has has been a boon for employment. They rank 108 (# 125 in revenue of $244M) in the Fortune 500 with 16,678 employees at an average salary of $64,294 each.
That safety-clutch went a long way in getting them ahead in their field I am sure.

actonbell said...

Very nice update:)
This was kinda gory

~Karen said...

Somehow, all of Porfer Poog's apostrophisin' reminds me of the introduction to the immortal book 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation'.

"If this satanic sprinkling of redundant apostrophes causes no little gasp of horror or quickening of the pulse, you should probably put down this book at once. By all means congratulate yourself that you are not a pedant[ic gladiator] or even a stickler; that you are happily equipped to live in a world of plummeting punctuation standards; but just don’t bother to go any further.

cooper said...

Like your update.

SAFETY-CLUTCH: the purse that holds the mace.

This Givenchy clutch would hold a good size can of it.

quilly said...

SAFETY CLUTCH? Isn't that when I clamp my teeth down on my tongue to keep from calling someone a name they likely deserve but I will regret saying anyway?

This, of course, would never pertain to you, especially on days like to day when you are being particularly brilliant.

Doug said...

TLP, I've heard that one before.

Bear, I can't think of a safer vessel. Especially if your faith tastes like sausage.

Why Jim, I had no idea. But I've heard that what goes up must come down.

Very, Actonbell, and yet I imagine Bierce smiling as the pen took his words.

'Eavens, Karen. Was there ever a grammarian who got enough fiber?

Without you, Cooper, this site would be a much less stylish place.

Yes, of course, Quilly. That's what that is.

Anonymous said...

dogs of course,were the
wedge shaped steel plates
with spikes,with hope would
slow/stop a ,runaway,cage...
co-worker once claimed to see the devil on arrival at 4800'ft.he quit on the spot.
i think it was just the drugs...but
who am i to judge .....