Saturday, March 31, 2007


Episode 13 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's reader.

To hear the story, reason with them.

This week, The Prattler is on vacation due to back-ache and excessive cussing. It should return next week.

To read the story, reason with him.

Friday, March 30, 2007


CALAMITY, n. A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

2007 Update: Any result favored by probability, predicted by history, consistent with common sense but contradictory to the pride of the wagerer or idle spectator.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


CHORUS, n. In opera, a band of howling dervishes who terrify the audience while the singers are taking breath.

2007 Update: The congregational keepers of the mysteries, arbiters of conflict and independent mission review board. A choir of consultants.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Two Generations of Limerick

If you wonder how children can be so
Gossipy, fashion-forward, in the know.
Consider they might
Be more lucky than bright
In who sends them IMs in utero.

When one stops to consider the aging,
Who made peace in a world with wars raging
The miracle, I guess,
Isn't doing with less
But doing at all without paging.

GENERATIONAL, adj. Ambirrelevant.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Club, n. An association of men for purposes of drunkenness, gluttony, unholy hilarity, murder, sacriledge and the slandering of mothers, wives and sisters.

For this definition I am indebted to several estimable ladies who have the best means of information, their husbands being members of several clubs.

2007 Update: A gathering of the uncollected, meeting to exclude the absent.

Monday, March 26, 2007


CIRCUS, n. A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool.

2007 Update: A workplace with a calliope.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Episode 12 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's readers.

To hear the story, shake a palm.

This week, in The Prattler, "Subpoesy."

To read the story, squeeze a date.

Friday, March 23, 2007


SYMBOL, n. Something that is supposed to typify or stand for something else. Many symbols are mere "survivals" — things which having no longer any utility continue to exist because we have inherited the tendency to make them; as funereal urns carved on memorial monuments. They were once real urns holding the ashes of the dead. We cannot stop making them, but we can give them a name that conceals our helplessness.

2007 Update: A representation in line and angle for a nimbus of truth and moon. A draft against future foresight. A jester's halo, a fool's compass, a point for those who have no other and to the satirical lexicography, a trap.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


SYLLOGISM, n. A logical formula consisting of a major and a minor assumption and an inconsequent. (See LOGIC.)

2007 Update: The shortest member of too long a lecture. An atom of babble.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Somewhere in the Gospel, or else an epistle
We are called to lament and then told to bristle
At abominable acts not done in His name
Or, at least, not in ours, which seems just the same

A cabal in the shadows frustrates his will-
That my home should shine from on top of a hill.
Let the warning go forth from steeple to steeple
That my enemies doth confound His people.

They uphold the sinners who daily abuse,
In language I'd rather that they didn't use,
My authority to call, here on this Earth,
For referendum discounting my neighbor's worth.

I once was blind but now I have found
That my rights in landscape have been trampled down
When the branches on his accursed oak tree,
Cross the fence that divides our property.

And darker yet, his cat his sin compounds,
By stalking the branches that shade my own grounds
And with bearing I find to be infernal
Takes all my squirrels to rewards eternal.

But these aren't the worst diaboliculations
In my neighborhood causing our holy frustrations.
His wife has spread the worst of godless lies.
I was not at home and those weren't my eyes!

And so, for their trespass, theft and sedition,
Brothers, in His name, send them to perdition.
To let any sin in our midst lessens us all,
For do we not worship the God of the small?

GLORY, n. The grandeur awaiting the petty.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


SHADY, n. The transactions of the R.R. Commissioners
A--Shady business, sir. Brown

2007 Update: Furtive, secretive, sinister. Like the purpose of the enemy or the methods of a lottery winner.

Or, say, like the real estate endeavors of the Birthday Girl! Feliz CompleaƱos, Hermana!

Monday, March 19, 2007


Scepter, n. A king's staff of office, the sign and symbol of his authority. It was originally a mace with which the sovereign admonished his jester and vetoed ministerial measures by breaking the bones of their proponents.

2007 Update: A royal symbol of despotism, such as puppy's tail, a child's tears, a woman's ring or the wallet on a man.

An update: According to gentle hints on her blog and the loud exclamations of our Miz B, it's the birthday of our favorite trollop! Wish her a happy birthday and a shameful birthday night.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

An Honest Man

Episode 11 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's readers.

To hear the story, admire the work of an architect.

This week, in The Prattler, "Liberalism in Schism."

To read the story, come be illuminated by Diogenes.

Friday, March 16, 2007


TELEPHONE, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.

2007 Update: The visible part of a global charism devoted to the principle that only the dead shall know peace. A planetary leash, dragging the living in contrary directions by the ears.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


TENACITY, n. A certain quality of the human hand in its relation to the coin of the realm. It attains its highest development in the hand of authority and is considered a serviceable equipment for a career in politics. The following illustrative lines were written of a Californian gentleman in high political preferment, who has passed to his accounting:

Of such tenacity his grip
That nothing from his hand can slip.
Well-buttered eels you may o'erwhelm
In tubs of liquid slippery-elm
In vain — from his detaining pinch
They cannot struggle half an inch!
'Tis lucky that he so is planned
That breath he draws not with his hand,
For if he did, so great his greed
He'd draw his last with eager speed.
Nay, that were well, you say. Not so
He'd draw but never let it go!

2007 Update: Quivering cowardice in the costume of a corsair, with a patch over one eye. The ardor with which the self-important pursue over-rated achievements among undervalued neighbors, except in the case of satirical lexicography which is a noble avocation even at three A.M.

She's baaaaaaaack! Old friend and favorite shoe, The Belle of The Brawl, is up and ornery, alleluiah! Her first topic back? Gays, gayness and Peter Pace.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Two Fables

The Turtle and The Butterfly

One morning, a turtle saw a butterfly flitting about the meadow. The turtle said to the butterfly, "My shell is hard and I am very wise and very determined, but I can't fly. Living in this modern world requires every defense. Please, teach me to fly."
The butterfly explained to the turtle about natural breezes, variable airflow, navigation by star and by season, and the technology of the lift-giving wing.
"Then I will grow a wing for my natural defense!" the turtle declared.
"My friend," the butterfly answered as a little boy carried off the turtle, "a single wing could not have saved you so long as you're sweet in soup."

Moral: For anyone who entertains a child, there is a recipe.

How Coyote Found Her Voice

One March midnight, Coyote admired the bounty of rabbits the Spring had provided her for the hunt and decided she should give praise and thanks. Using blood as paint and fur as a brush, she made a painting of a red crocus upon the ground which the raven admired and landed so as to more closely inspect the technique. Never having tasted poultry, the coyote fell upon the raven who escaped into the air at the last moment.

The coyote then choreographed a dance, dedicated to the warming of the Earth and as she whirled and leapt about, ever faster and more gracefully, a mountain lion waited for Coyote behind a tree and bit off her tail.

Finally, Coyote wrote a fable about hunters and prey and was commissioned by the Marquis of Lagomorph to teach the young rabbits. Coyote soon discovered that educated leverets are slower and more tender and composed a hymn for the effect which she still sings to this very day.

Moral: Successful artists find vegetarian audiences.

Metaphor, n. An elaborate supper for the allegorically obese.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


TECHNICALITY, n. In an English court a man named Home was tried for slander in having accused his neighbor of murder. His exact words were: "Sir Thomas Holt hath taken a cleaver and stricken his cook upon the head, so that one side of the head fell upon one shoulder and the other side upon the other shoulder." The defendant was acquitted by instruction of the court, the learned judges holding that the words did not charge murder, for they did not affirm the death of the cook, that being only an inference.

2007 Update: Any occasion upon which justice is satisfied in place of the plaintiff, press or public.

Monday, March 12, 2007


TRUTH, n. An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.

2007 Update: Bias.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Episode 10 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's reader.

To hear the story, listen for sunrise.

This week, in The Prattler, "Conservatism in Transition."

To read the story, use the lamplight.

Friday, March 09, 2007


SEVERE, adj. The strictures of an envious ancient upon the follies of youth.

2007 Update: Like Friday's compassion Monday.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


SERMON, n. Ground and lofty tumbling in the pulpit. (See Talmadge.) Occasionally used to define a religious discourse.

2007 Update: A pious exposition against sin and in favor of humility, holiness and precise intonation delivered to a congregation, choir and cleaning lady for it is written in the sacred texts that the way is narrow and few are those that find the gate, yet many are the numbers who will come before you to mislead- (MT 7:14-15) for great is the appetite for the flesh of the flock and rare are good shepherds with stout dogs for, oh yes, though they may cross themselves and genuflect with expressions of purity so too do they vote not as I would have you vote nor park where I park for they are as Methodists, abominable in God's sight. A typical sermon begins with a humorous anecdote and ends upon the passing of the parson.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Top Hat

Top Hat

One night, upon a red barstool
A sot beside me called me fool,
And told me if I'd any sense
I'd keep my koala behind a fence
Instead of in my hair.

And a man in rags then said to me
That fashion is pure foppery,
Less is more and more is less
But only on the edifice
It takes meat to make a lair.

The bartender who replaced my drink
Asked me if I didn't think
Wisdom the cheapest currency.
"I think I'd pour the beer for free
For an idiot with style."

Outside the bar a beggar sat
And offered me his upturned hat
And prodded me to flee the system
That makes men slaves and sharply pits 'em
on each other all the while.

I walked home through the cemetary
Where company is less contrary
For dead men never scorn the quick
Nor do they speak ill of the sick.

Manifesto, n. A long-winded appeal for what never was to an audience that never is.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Sauce, n. The one infallible sign of civilization and enlightenment. A people with no sauces has one thousand vices; a people with one sauce has only nine hundred and ninety-nine. For every sauce invented and accepted a vice is renounced and forgiven.

2007 Update: A gourmet's refinement, a gourmand's alignment, a poet's confinement or a dictionary-maker's definement.

Monday, March 05, 2007


KILL, v.t. To create a vacancy without nominating a successor.

2007 Update: To release from corruption and make admirable.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Truth in The Vineyard

Episode 9 of The Meditations of Diogenes The Cynic. Thanks to this week's reader.

To hear the story, come to the vineyard.

This week, in The Prattler, "The Defense of Unmarriage Act."

To read the story, look over Diogenes' shoulder.

Friday, March 02, 2007


IMMORAL, adj. Inexpedient. Whatever in the long run and with regard to the greater number of instances men find to be generally inexpedient comes to be considered wrong, wicked, immoral. If man's notions of right and wrong have any other basis than this of expediency; if they originated, or could have originated, in any other way; if actions have in themselves a moral character apart from, and nowise dependent on, their consequences — then all philosophy is a lie and reason a disorder of the mind.

2007 Update: Corrupt, craven or contrary to the concerns of a conspiracy. See: Worthy Opponent.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


IGNORAMUS, n. A person unacquainted with certain kinds of knowledge familiar to yourself, and having certain other kinds that you know nothing about.
Dumble was an ignoramus,
Mumble was for learning famous.
Mumble said one day to Dumble:
"Ignorance should be more humble.
Not a spark have you of knowledge
That was got in any college."
Dumble said to Mumble: "Truly
You're self-satisfied unduly.
Of things in college I'm denied
A knowledge — you of all beside."

2007 Update: A prophet in public. etym: I in Latin.

Rabbit! Rabbit! Did I do that right Pezes?

And happy birthday to Diane!