Friday, May 28, 2010


HEARSE, n. Death's baby carriage.

2010 Update: Transportation sent for the departed.

Programming note: I am leaving soon for the Deep Springs classes of the 80s reunion. I have great intentions of posting a story in the morning and something normal on Monday but Deep Springs may or may not be on the grid and I may or may not be on the wire. If you don't hear from me until Tuesday, please only complain sincerely.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


HYBRID, n. A pooled issue.

2010 Update: The product of two or more earlier strains, such as a jackelope, a chimera, a Californian or an opera.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It takes a Wilderness

When baby-sitting five and two,
There's certain things you need to do
And certain friends you ought to keep
'Ere entering the forest deep.

Without a lion from the zoo
The woodsy path's a road to rue
When discipline and reading's boring
Someone has to start the roaring.

A shuffling, shrieking wild man
Is also good to keep at hand
When the way gets muddy or gets lost
The kids can still go forth as tossed.

No childcare council's fully strong
'Til a dinosaur has come along.
For little boys respect no laws
Not enforced with teeth and claws.

It takes a wilderness to watch two boys
Their tricks and turns and broken toys
But so it falls an uncle's duty...
(OK, sure, Uncle Doug said "doody.")

I tell you this so those who follow
Won't find themselves down in the hollow,
Scratched and sore and damp with pee
Fare well but it's too late for me.

BRAT, n. A sausage to be grilled or boiled in beer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


HARMONISTS, n. A sect of Protestants, now extinct, who came from Europe in the beginning of the last century and were distinguished for the bitterness of their internal controversies and dissensions.

2010 Update: A pietistic sect remembered more for the quality of its preaching than for the sensitivity of its hearing.

Monday, May 24, 2010


HAPPINESS, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.

2010 Update: The pervasive pleasure forstered by forgetfulness, miscalculation, intoxication and the mistaking of statistical inevitability for prophesy by a silly optimist. An early sign of lunacy, dementia or paranoia to a gloomy diagnostician.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Zwoundsiebzig
To hear this week's episode, send a pig to ask the author.

Or, you can read this week's episode by clicking on the mighty fortress.

The story so far is here.

Friday, May 21, 2010


DARING, n. One of the most conspicuous qualities of a man in security.

2010 Update: A laudable trait in a stranger surrounded by my neighbors.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


DANDY, n. One who professes a singularity of opinion with regard to his own merits, accentuating his eccentricity with his clothes.

2010 Update: A person usually male.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Center Cannot Hold

Shoveling and shoveling onto a widening pyre,
Those nearest the pile get buried.
Dried up manure, moistened by hearthy fire,
Spews clouds of black smoke on the mad and the harried.

Surely some revelation's at hand
Surely the dingdong's our rebellious bell.
But is the center taken first because they're the unmanned
Or to give Lucifer time to add circles to hell?
-William Specter Yeats

CENTRIST, adj. Occupying the far fringe of both sides.
Yes, Olivia, this is about a brothel.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


DANDLE, v.t. To set an unresisting child upon one's knee and jolt its teeth loose in a transport of affection. A grown girl may be similarly outraged, but her teeth being more firmly secure, there can be no object in doing so, and the custom is a mere mechanical survival of a habit acquired by practice on babes and suckling.
If you care not for the scandal
You can hold a girl and dandle
Her upon your knee all night;
But the game's not worth the candle
When 'tis played by candle light.

But whene'er you feel the yearning,
And the candle isn't burning-
Or at least not very bright,
The the little game concerning
Which I sing is very quite.
2010 Update: To prepare young tykes for the ascensive drubbings that replace affection away from the familial knee.

Monday, May 17, 2010


DAD, n. A father whom his vulgar children do not respect.

2010 Update: A candidate for promotion, every Father's Day, to father.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Einundsiebzig
To hear this week's episode, ask Jeeves.

Or, you can read this week's episode by clicking on the boy and his pig.

The story so far is here.

Friday, May 14, 2010


RECREATION, n. A particular kind of dejection to relieve a general fatigue.

2010 Update: Predecomposition.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


REAL, adj. A woman's tongue. This is the only part we can swear to.

2010 Update: Persuasive, at least to the speaker.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Measuring goodness

Seven sisters inspire sailors,
Who have seven seas to drown in.
Seven dead flies set forth a tailor
And there's seven sins for frowning.
If we count counting as boon,
Does that make eight virtues or noon?

METRIC, n. A quantitative approach to quality, 40% less misleading, on average, than a statistic.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


RAZOR, n. An instrument used by the Caucasian to enhance his beauty, by the Mongolian to make a guy of himself, and by the African-American to affirm his worth.

2010 Update: The second enemy a man faces every morning.

Monday, May 10, 2010


REMOTE, adj. The day when merit will be in more demand than money.

2010 Update: At a distance flattering to intimacy.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Siebzig
To hear this week's episode, read by my super-special guest nephew, Jacob, follow the path at right.

Or, you can read this week's episode by clicking on the chaos at left.

Much thanks to Andy, but more so to monkey boy!

Friday, May 07, 2010


PHOENIX, n. The classical prototype of the modern "small hot bird."

2010 Update: A creature able to fashion itself a new life from the ashes of its old one, although maybe not in Arizona.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


PERORATION, n. The explosion of an oratorical rocket. It dazzles, but to an observer having the wrong kind of nose its most conspicuous peculiarity is the smell of the several kinds of powder used in preparing it.

2010 Update: A robust, inspiring presentation in which an orator finds opportunity to use words without sentences and phrases separate from sense. The silence of the lexicographer.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

In the milky-starred chamber of Morpheus

In the milky-starred chamber of Morpheus,
Draped by emulsified petals of lotus,
A spirit propelled by the strumming of Orpheus
Takes the hand of a comet and waltzes as planets take notice.

The daring nights carry the windswept asylum,
Where substance and spirit o'er the dome of sky lurk.
All the more a predation when Orion and Andromeda come
As you dream disagreements for tomorrow at work.

LEVITY, n. The emulsified soul.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


PERICARDIUM, n. A sack of membrane covering a multitude of sins.

2010 Update: The hammock of the heart, in which convictions, convenience and contempt also suspend.

Monday, May 03, 2010


PERFECTION, n. An imaginary state of quality distinguished from the actual by an element known as excellence; an attribute of the critic.
The editor of an English magazine having received a letter pointing out the erroneous nature of his views and style, and signed "Perfection," promptly wrote at the foot of the letter: "I don't agree with you," and mailed it to Matthew Arnold.
2010 Update: Anonymity.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Reformation of Wolfshausen

Teil Neunundsechzig
To hear this week's episode, click on the monkey doctor at right.

Or, you can read this week's episode by clicking on the drunken doctor at left.

The story so far is here.