Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Zwo-und-Zwanzig
To hear Minka read this week's episode, click on Danae, at right.

To read this week's episode, click on the daughter of Albion, receiving instruction.

The story so far is available here.

This week in The Prattler, The Search for Stupid.

Friday, May 29, 2009


BALD, adj.  Destitute of hair from hereditary or accidental causes -never from age.

2009 Update: Having increased albedo and declining influence as a result of excessive exposure to testosterone and rarified exposure to estrogen.  

Thursday, May 28, 2009


BOTTLE-NOSED, adj. Having a nose created in the image of its maker.

2009 Update: Of a cetacean species lacking only arms for the making of mischief and, therefore, a food fish.*

*Yes, OC.  I know cetaceans are mammals, not fish.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Justice, nominated

What was it that brought Sonia Sotomayor fame?
Compassion and wisdom, as Democrats claim?
Her race, sex and illness which her enemies blame?
Or activist pride, alleged by the same?
Is she merely wiley and skilled in the game
Or sincerely committed to law, as it's framed?
I'm not here to judge, extol or defame
To tell you the truth, I just like her name.

DEBATE, n. The stage between discovery and analysis.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

2009 Update: A natural poison used by philosophers to simulate temperance.

Monday, May 25, 2009


BATTLE, n. A method of untying with the teeth of a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.

2009 Update: The basic unit of progress making heroism of service and senators of heroes. 

A good Memorial Day to all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Ein-und-Zwanzig
Click on Augustine at right to hear this week's episode.

Or, click n the scriptures to read.
The story so far is available here.

Friday, May 22, 2009


NUDITY, n. That quality in art which is most painful to the prurient.

2009 Update: The worry distinguishing civilized men from great apes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


NOBLEMAN, n. Nature's provision for wealthy American minds ambitious to incur social distinction and suffer high life.

2009 Update: One deprived by the greed of an entire community, typically through inheritance.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Californie Blues

That which we would we no longer can.
The ship of state is sunk and  when at last a fine
People were put to the test.
The proposition failed that each is a master.

That which we wouldn't may be a better plan. 
For the sky remains blue and Whitney tall over Lone Pine
And man is a fool so it's probably best
That he brings his own plans to disaster.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY, n.  Government based on a theory holding the average citizen superior to the typical one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

2009 Update: The franchise by which citizens choose between prosecution and burglary.

Californians, do remember to cast your ballot today. There's almost $200 apiece at stake, so it's like working twice.

Monday, May 18, 2009


KINE, n. Cows.
If kine is the plural of cow,
And the plural of sow is swine,
Then pumpkins may hang from a vow,
And coronets rest upon brine.
2009 Update: Cattle, as they were called archaically when their skin was still suede.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Zwanzig
To hear my sister, Jenna, read try to get between the women in the Wolfshausen market square.

Or, if you prefer to read in quiet, you might try the lego market.

The story so far is available here.
This week in The Prattler, One Nation.

Friday, May 15, 2009


JOSS-STICKS, n. Small sticks burned by the Chinese in their pagan tomfoolery, in imitation of certain sacred rites of our holy religion.

2009 Update: An religious olfactory decor, meant to make ritual sensible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


JEWS-HARP, n. An unmusical instrument, played by holding it fast with the teeth and trying to brush it away with the finger.

2009 Update: A prop which identifies the crazy old coot in a western movie to bearded audience members in dusty hats.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


They say hedgehogs do one thing well
While man, he errs diversely.
Dogs, in particular, excel
At helping man err worsely.
Since sea life feeds the world, it's true,
Gives us breath and some glows, too,
I guess it's no surprise to find men
Take things of value and combine them.
Inspired thought, it seems to me.
But a better one, it must be said-
Would be human with a hedgehog head.

PROGRESS, n. The obsolescence of the senses.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


JUTE, n. A plant grown in India, the fruit of which supplies a nutritious diet to the directors of our State prison.

2009 Update: The principal ingredient in burlap for sacks.  The principal ingredient in a burlap sack, however, is typically a hog or heiress.

Monday, May 11, 2009


JACOB'S-LADDER, n. A ladder which Jacob saw in a dream reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending. Seeing that angels have wings, the purpose of this ladder is so imperfectly apparent that many learned commentators have contended that it was not a real ladder, but only a ray of glory. One cannot help thinking it rather hard on Jacob that he should be required to dream with logical realism.

2009 Update: In ancient scripture, a symbol of mystery. In old movies, a sign of science fiction.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Neunzehn
To hear Weirsdo read this part, click on the Witwe Greulich at right.

Or, if you prefer to read in quiet, click on Frau Braun's refuge at left.

The story so far is now available here.

This week in The Prattler, Welcome, Mr. Blakeslee

Friday, May 08, 2009


PARTISAN, n. An adherent without sense.

2009 Update: A plaintiff in the jury box.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


POSITIVISM, n. A philosophy that denies our knowledge of the Real and affirms our ignorance of the Apparent. Its longest exponent is Comte, its broadest Mill and its thickest Spencer.

2009 Update: The theory that knowledge can only be gained through direct sensual experience, as of a theory.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Serpent and The Supreme Court Justice, a fable for children

Once upon a time, a supreme court justice was tending his garden.  A serpent appeared between the daisies and the dahlias.  The two stared at each other, the justice waiting for the serpent to plead his case and the serpent expecting a curse.  While they faced each other in silence, a squirrel gobbled the cucumber bush and an owl took a shrieking mouse.

Moral: Crime is chaotic and justice still.

PRUDENCE, n. The mistrust of the mind toward the feet.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


UXORIOUSNESS, n. A perverted affection that has strayed to one's own wife.

2009 Update: Domestic surrender exported.

Yes, I had to look that up.

Feliz Cinqo de Mayo, amigos y amigas, extranjeros y conquistadores.

Monday, May 04, 2009


UNCTION, n. An oiling, or greasing. The rite of extreme unction consists in touching with oil consecrated by a bishop several parts of the body of one engaged in dying. Marbury relates that after the rite had been administered to a certain wicked English nobleman it was discovered that the oil had not been properly consecrated and no other could be obtained. When informed of this the sick man said in anger: "Then I'll be damned if I die!"

"My son," said the priest, "this is what we fear."

2009 Update: A healing touch with blessed oil, as of Iraq.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Achtzehn
To hear Actonbell read this week's part, click on the sketch of Marburg's market square.

To read this week's part, click on Frau Braun at left.

For no reason in particular, the story so far is now available here.

And this week in The Prattler, The Specter Spectre Inspector.

Friday, May 01, 2009


IMMODEST, adj. Having a strong sense of one's own merit, coupled with a feeble conception of worth in others.
There was once a man in Ispahan
Ever and ever so long ago,
And he had a head, the phrenologists said,
That fitted him for a show.

For his modesty's bump was so large a lump
(Nature, they said, had taken a freak)
That its summit stood far above the wood
Of his hair, like a mountain peak.

So modest a man in all Ispahan,
Over and over again they swore —
So humble and meek, you would vainly seek;
None ever was found before.

Meantime the hump of that awful bump
Into the heavens contrived to get
To so great a height that they called the wight
The man with the minaret.

There wasn't a man in all Ispahan
Prouder, or louder in praise of his chump:
With a tireless tongue and a brazen lung
He bragged of that beautiful bump

Till the Shah in a rage sent a trusty page
Bearing a sack and a bow-string too,
And that gentle child explained as he smiled:
"A little present for you."

The saddest man in all Ispahan,
Sniffed at the gift, yet accepted the same.
"If I'd lived," said he, "my humility
Had given me deathless fame!"
—Sukker Uffro
2009 Update: Common.

Rabbit rabbit