Friday, February 29, 2008


RASCALITY, n. Stupidity militant. The activity of a clouded intellect.

2008 Update: The spirit that animates statues of bronze.  The principle qualification for sainthood.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


REMINISCENCE, n.  The chief luxury of the unfortunate.

2008 Update:  The mining of fantasy for the smelter of history.  SEE ALSO: FANTASY, HISTORY.

If I can step out of character here for a day, it is the third anniversary of this here blog.  My deep appreciation to all of you who have made this so much fun to do and so pleasant to overdo.

Thanks to all of you who entertained me and each other during my time off the blog.  Special appreciation to Ariel who was Lazlo to the Waking Ambrose Resistance Movement and to Jamie Dawn who kept a word a day in front of you while I was being more concise.  Pia, your new home is ready, magnificent, sturdy, spacious and convenient to drinking and gambling.  Also, in Africa.  Enjoy and stay in touch.

Now, looking forward, a couple items of avocational business.  I expect that for the next four weeks, I will continue to wake up cranky and empty-headed on Saturday morning and immediately begin pacing until an episode of Shahrazade's Wedding writes itself.  God willing, the creek don't rise and Blogger don't crash, a new series will begin on March 29, with you all doing the reading.  I'm ready to email the first episodes, so please let me know if you're willing to read.  That email again, my first initial and last name at  Also, I plan to re-resurrect a The Prattler this Saturday in a new, lazier format.  
Great to see you again.  Did you lose some weight?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


In ought-six, when I went on vacation, I left a game for you to play while I was gone. As before, I will leave you with one and, as before, you can feel free to make up your own, if you like.

This year's game is Designing Pia.

As some of you know, Pia, a friend of this blog since day one, is trying to sell her condo in Manhattan and move to South Carolina.  The process of fixing up the condo using New York contractors is apparently so maddening she can barely blog, so I though we could help with the other end.  In the comments section below, the first person can design Pia's Myrtle Beach floor plan, the next person can change the upholstery, move the furniture repaint rooms, move walls, etc.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


If I live until I'm gray with age,
And, mumbling, shuffling, turn back the page
May I not look back at sober youth,
Lived modestly, measured and with couth.
I hope instead that I am able
To recall my life as though a fable.
Talking dogs! Invective Swine!
Society with sheep and kine;
Plans prepared with rodent reason,
Nocturnally and out of season;
Hummingbird dreams of sitting still;
An insect's faith in strength of will.

Let each winter's tale surpass in rightness,
The steps I took in April's brightness.
Let my passages be descriptive
Of life as no one really lived it.
Let all my recollections resound
With truth, intriguing and profound.
Let each tale partake of youthful spirit,
Invigorating all who hear it,
And be told in solemn, ancient tone.
And, may I fail to grasp I speak alone.

APOCRYPHA,  Scripture uncanonized and memories unlived.

OK, y'all.  See you in two weeks.  Treat each other as I would treat you and remember sarcasm is two spleens beating as one.

Update:  I will posting a little bit of new information on Barncrawling later today, for those of you who might be joining us in Chicago.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


PRODUCTIVE, adj.  A tramp's blanket.

2008 Update:  Silent, serious and still, as described with global authority by successful managers, wolves and worms.

Monday, February 11, 2008


PITIFUL, adj. The state of an enemy or opponent after an imaginary encounter with oneself.

2008 Update: Victorious, politically.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Shahrazade's Wedding, Part XVII

"The Beowulf of Wedding Planning" -Actonbell

Hear the story from the troll.

Or, cross the bridge to read.

Friday, February 08, 2008


SCRIPTURE, n. Obsolete in the pulpit-succumbed to by politics.

2007 Update: The unchanging word of the universal God, as currently interpreted by various tribes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


SHERIFF, n. In America the chief executive office of a county, whose most characteristic duties, in some of the Western and Southern States, are the catching and hanging of rogues.

John Elmer Pettibone Cajee
(I write of him with little glee)
Was just as bad as he could be.

'Twas frequently remarked: "I swon!
The sun has never looked upon
So bad a man as Neighbor John."

A sinner through and through, he had
This added fault: it made him mad
To know another man was bad.

In such a case he thought it right
To rise at any hour of night
And quench that wicked person's light.

Despite the town's entreaties, he
Would hale him to the nearest tree
And leave him swinging wide and free.

Or sometimes, if the humor came,
A luckless wight's reluctant frame
Was given to the cheerful flame.

While it was turning nice and brown,
All unconcerned John met the frown
Of that austere and righteous town.

"How sad," his neighbors said, "that he
So scornful of the law should be —
An anar c, h, i, s, t."

(That is the way that they preferred
To utter the abhorrent word,
So strong the aversion that it stirred.)

"Resolved," they said, continuing,
"That Badman John must cease this thing
Of having his unlawful fling.

"Now, by these sacred relics" — here
Each man had out a souvenir
Got at a lynching yesteryear —

"By these we swear he shall forsake
His ways, nor cause our hearts to ache
By sins of rope and torch and stake.

"We'll tie his red right hand until
He'll have small freedom to fulfil
The mandates of his lawless will."

So, in convention then and there,
They named him Sheriff. The affair
Was opened, it is said, with prayer.
—J. Milton Sloluck

2008 Update:  The county official charged with keeping the peace and supplied with a fast car accompanied by shrill siren, bright colored lights and filled with electrical, chemical, ballistic and blunt weapons for the purpose.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday and the morning after 22 primaries.

Some days I'm weary
Most times I'm hungry
It's rare that I'm worried at all.
As long as I sit here,
Not up on that cross,
I don't have too far to fall.

For the last shall be first,
The first shall be last
And the cow shall break free from her stanchion.
When looking for martyrs,
Those who suffer by man,
In modernity, search in a mansion.

Be calm, modern magi,
O, wisest of men,
O, scholar! astronomer! preacher!
In the last days of reversal,
Prophesied long ago,
It's right Joe Scarborough's a teacher.

MODESTY, n.  The pride of a king, majesty of a pauper and the principle virtue of a critic.

A Lenten prayer: To the faithful, strength, to the hopeful, patience, and to the unsaved, may the LORD bless you with deafness.

LENT, n.  The Holy season observed by repentance of sin and the affliction of neighbors.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


SEAL, n. A mark impressed upon certain kinds of documents to attest their authenticity and authority. Sometimes it is stamped upon wax, and attached to the paper, sometimes into the paper itself. Sealing, in this sense, is a survival of an ancient custom of inscribing important papers with cabalistic words or signs to give them a magical efficacy independent of the authority that they represent. In the British museum are preserved many ancient papers, mostly of a sacerdotal character, validated by necromantic pentagrams and other devices, frequently initial letters of words to conjure with; and in many instances these are attached in the same way that seals are appended now. As nearly every reasonless and apparently meaningless custom, rite or observance of modern times had origin in some remote utility, it is pleasing to note an example of ancient nonsense evolving in the process of ages into something really useful. Our word "sincere" is derived from sine cero, without wax, but the learned are not in agreement as to whether this refers to the absence of the cabalistic signs, or to that of the wax with which letters were formerly closed from public scrutiny. Either view of the matter will serve one in immediate need of an hypothesis. The initials L.S., commonly appended to signatures of legal documents, mean locum sigillis, the place of the seal, although the seal is no longer used — an admirable example of conservatism distinguishing Man from the beasts that perish. The words locum sigillis are humbly suggested as a suitable motto for the Pribyloff Islands whenever they shall take their place as a sovereign State of the American Union.

2008 Update: The portion of a Dear John letter providing some closure.

Not that I've been around much anyway, but it's primary day in California so I'll be clerking for the County all day.  To my friends in Super Tuesday states, remember to vote before celebrating Mardi Gras.  Afterwards, debauchery is appropriate. 

Monday, February 04, 2008


SATIRE, n. An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are "endowed by their Creator" with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a soul-spirited knave, and his ever victim's outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent.

Hail Satire! be thy praises ever sung
In the dead language of a mummy's tongue,
For thou thyself art dead, and damned as well —
Thy spirit (usefully employed) in Hell.
Had it been such as consecrates the Bible
Thou hadst not perished by the law of libel.
—Barney Stims

2008 Update:  A mocked man's incomplete revenge and whiskey's favorite chaser.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Shahrazade's Wedding, Part XVI

"The Beowulf of Wedding Planning" -Actonbell

Hear the story from Bossy, Baroness of Istakhr.

Or, grab supper and have a read.

Thank you all for your patience, where applicable.

Friday, February 01, 2008


REALLY, adv.  Apparently.

2008 Update:  Ironically.


Programming Note: Your curmudgeon is planning a blogcation the second half of this month to try to get started on a new story which we can do, again, together a la The Meditations of Diogenes, so Waking Ambrose will go off air on the thirteenth and should return, God willing and the creek don't rise, to celebrate its third birthday on February 28.