It was the month of October. But at the Desperate Wayfarer’s Club it was sizzling hot. There was I for months on the move trying to beat the heat. Global warming it was whispered at first and none would believe it then. From look of it no one seemed to believe it either. It was killing time and the travelers were all there. They were asking the bar tender for ice to make their hooch sound high class. None was getting any. You see the proof was right there. It melted even before it could be served. Yet drinking the undrinkable they were craving for ice! The bar tender whinnied,’This heat is killing me and ice is melting dear sirs, Between the two I ain’t sure if I will see end of the day.’ The travelers snorted and it was hooch, with no ice.
I was seated among well heeled travelers. It was obvious.They were all sitting on thie lounge chairs with their part of feet missing. Heat made the asphalt like it was a trial run on the halls of Lucipher. How people everywhere bought branded items. Some even tried cucumber! Cool as cumber was one expression that was left as useless! while sale of Gucci, and Adidas fell nothing made their feet protected. Those who were on the run to escape the city lost their standing. The crooks who beat the system did not carry their loot no more than their poor feet could. But no they were all holed up at the club somewhat in a dither unable to down their constitutional. I gulped mine down and said,’ I can find my feet again.’
Obviously fellow travelers didn’t take kindly to the expression.. They looked not at their feet but at the empty glass. One asked,’My dear sir, You drink and say finding your feet.’ You have even got shoes on.’
I looked at my feet and smiled. ‘Ah it is story time. I know my moleskin shoes are wonder shoes. I saved the wonder of..’
“Shoes?” asked one.
Seating next to him I said,’my story. It has to do with moles and I had a capital idea of going into business of making shoes.
I would have launched into it capital outlay and production cost and the whole rigmarole of setting up a factory and so on. But as one who loved to tell stories I knew these were of no use at the moment.
I knew it was the story of moles what brought me there and not what I do with their skin.’
One traveler immediately thrust a bumper of hooch onto my hand and said,’Here this is one me. Only make the story smooth and as silky as taste.
I thanked him and said,’I am Dr. Fixi-It and I have just come after saving the world. In order to do that let me briefly touch upon my job. I fix whatever problems there may be. This story hangs on a little hiccup called Nuclear Waste. And it is what I intend to tell you right now. You heard of spent fuel rods?
‘Oh yes, something nuclear I believe.’ one said brightly. I explained as quickly as possible the difficulty in getting rid of the high-level waste. In a flash I moved on to its disposal. ‘Bury them under the ocean floor, storing it underground, and shooting it into space. Then I set my assistants to search high and low for a solution. But I found a mole right in front of the lab. A mole was messing up a flower bed for a week. I hit upon the idea of using moles to solve it for us.’ The travelers must have noticed the strange cunning smile and said,’Oh Dr. Fix-It drink up your whiskey. You look like one in need.’. How could I refuse them and said,’Oh yes. I set up a mole farm where I fed them with nuclear waste little by little.. The moles were soon hooked on to the stuff. It was better than “deep geological disposal!”. (to be continued)
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The world didn’t come to end since time was found hanging on my hands. Imagine! It still is.
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“We take over some dogs and some dogs take over and our sofa as well” -A dog lovers lament.
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If short of breath all you need is to do a handstand. If you could do it, short or length wouldn’t bother you.
Do you suffer from insomnia? If you do, counting sheep may not help help anymore. Think your boss is suffering from the same condition and his is much more aggravated case. It will not help you fall asleep. But you have something more pleasant thought to keep you occupied.
Do you suffer from flatulence? And the sound is flat and ear splitting? Don’t worry. In company you ask as if to no one
in particular,’turn off the volume, please.’Before someone gets the idea, you say,’I prefer fleetwood mac, but don’t let it stop the music,please.’
If you are with your wife in a posh company say with a smile as natural as can be,’ Oh dear, they are playing our music.’ It is a sure romantic touch coming from you. The shock value is enough to distract all.
*In case a piece of a bone gets stuck in your throat, don’ t panic: get your dog to fetch it. Invariably he does it.
If more than three or four bones have become stuck, it is pretty serious. Lie down quietly for help to arrive.
(To the next of kin: Phone for your undertaker. He shall know what to do with a bag of bones.)
*If you are in the habit of rubbing hands in glee it can often leave an unpleasant impression on others. Here is a cure: wring hands in counter clockwise for a week.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous line about the rich: “They are different from you and me.”does not apply to politicans who cadge your votes. They are rich beggars whose offshore accounts, if they are Mormons, can be in three places.
What makes rich different from you and me?
The rich can gold plate their teeth if they want to. The other day the Don of Snazzi-Pazzi family had his teeth capped. Later that year while his feet were capped with block of cement and under water, sharks who came around saw his teeth sparkling and were impressed.’He is my kind of guy’ said they while they dug in.
The rich can miss flights and drop millions and yet say,’I will dip into tax-payer’s money a little more deeper.’ Yes if the poor slobs have been funding my lifestyle and paying for my shenanigan’s I don’t see why should n’t they cover my lapses as well?
The rich can take it easy if the lawyer’s bills are stiff. They can spend a little hush-money and your contract will see the lawyer is laid out stiff instead.
So the rich is all the bad things you can imagine. Only that when you win at Lotto some 356 billions you wont imagine a thing! In that case leave us poor slobs to imagine. At least imagination is free under the sun is it not?
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Have Boots Will Travel
Researchers at the University of Kansas say that people can accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality simply by looking at the person’s shoes.
“Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers,” the authors wrote in the new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality. “Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear.”
Medical Daily notes that the number of detailed personality traits detected in the study include a person’s general age, their gender, income, political affiliation, and other personality traits, including someone’s emotional stability.
Lead researcher Omri Gillath said the judgments were based on the style, cost, color and condition of someone’s shoes. In the study, 63 University of Kansas students looked at pictures showing 208 different pairs of shoes worn by the study’s participants. Volunteers in the study were photographed in their most commonly worn shoes, and then filled out a personality questionnaire.
So, what do your shoes say about your personality?
Some of the results were expected: People with higher incomes most commonly wore expensive shoes, and flashier footwear was typically worn by extroverts.
However, some of the more specific results are intriguing. For example, “practical and functional” shoes were generally worn by more “agreeable” people, while ankle boots were more closely aligned with “aggressive” personalities.
The strangest of all may be that those who wore “uncomfortable looking” shoes tend to have “calm” personalities.
I love boots but I love boots that do not bite the toes that tickle them. Do I have attachment problem? No I don’t think so but they have and I love to break them. It often happens they get used to the toes that wiggle into the tip of the shoes on a daily basis. Once my boots know who is the master it is all smooth going. Did I tell you the first pair of Italian shoes I had in the eighties with a chisel cut? It was two toned and a beaut. Before I could break them I had to visit the US. I thought I would make a splash and on arrival the customs fellow stopped me. He was sure I was a Columbian drug dealer and had me searched thoroughly and at the end he asks sheepishly,’ You are clean. But why walk like that?’
You don’t mess up with the Customs. So I said, ‘O Lord do I have to explain I was born with the walk?’ I managed to pass though that time but every time I go abroad I make it a point to remove my shoes. Lately my wife tells me that it is mandatory and for security reasons I have no right to sport everywhere my shoes, the only elegance that I allow myself.(ack: The Sideshow-Yahoo News blog)
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“Ecco homo!” Rabbi Weiss one morning exclaimed laying aside his papers. I waited for him to explain which, as I had anticipated, he did. He patted his luxuriant white beard and said, “ Mattan this Armenian Jew! He is now become the Mayor. I had long ago warned him of coming to a bad end. Now he has gone and proved me wrong!”
That name seemed to ring a bell. “ Wasn’t his grand father who ended up in a gulag?” The rabbi nodded.
I added, “And a terrible poet to boot. He wrote, ‘Lament from the Lost Ark.’ Remember?”
“ Who doesn’t know the lines, Lark, lark is it you? / It is me again; / I’m set down as Cain/
My love for Mark it’s true. And so on.” I quoted from memory.
“Please refrain from quoting his lines while we call on Mattan this afternoon,” Benn Weiss cautioned me. I replied, “ Mum is the word.”
“Once his father was so worried about him.” Rabbi Weiss ruminated, “ that he would do such a thing as serve the public.” “Isn’t serving the public a good thing?”
“Yes, Jake,” my friend continued,” Not in case of Mattan. He will beggar the public funds as he did with his father’s life savings.”
“So we are going to meet a crook?” Rabbi Weiss was deep in thought. “I shall not quote poetry.” I assured my friend, ”Perhaps a joke or two when the time calls for it?”
The rabbi nodded his head.
Later in the evening while the mayor and the rabbi had exhausted the topics I asked,” Have you heard about a fellow who stole the white elephant of the King of Siam for a lark? When the law caught up with him he could only say, ‘It was all a mistake, fellows!’
“He is now in Sing- Sing on account of a lark.”
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Posted in personalities, tagged bawdy, Benny Thomas, Chinon, du Ballay brothers, French scholar, Gargantua and Pantagruel, humanism, humor, pen and ink, pen portraits, Rabelaisean gusto, renaissance, Sorbonne, the Church on June 13, 2012 |
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There is not a single reliable portrait of Rebalais extant. Not one of them is like another. One engraving produced towards the end of the 16th century seems more true to the real person. Here quoting from one of the introductory remarks attached to Gargantua and Pantagruel we read thus ‘his features are strong furrowed with deep wrinkles; his beard is short and scanty; his cheeks are thin and already worn-looking. On his head he wears the square cap of the doctors and the clerks, and his dominant expression, somewhat rigid and severe, is that of a physician and a scholar..’Details of his birth and date also seem rather vague. Making up for scant information of his life his references in his romances to names persons and places become more valuable. In his patrons and intercourse, friendships, his sojournings, and his travels we have a treasure trove of details.
Like Descartes and Balzac he was a native of the Touraine and by general opinion he was born in Chinon, whose praises he sang with which such heartiness and affection. Because he was the youngest his father destined him for the Church.While a novice his future patrons Brothers du Ballay were studying an the University of Angers. He entered the monastery of the Franciscan Cordeliers at Fontenay-le-Comte. It was here his powers were ripening and he began to study also think. The encyclopaediac movement of the Renaissance was in the air and Rabelais threw himself with all his energy into it. The Church position favored Latin and study in Greek was thought as dangerous. In their eyes it invited free thought, heresy. But Rabelais pursued it with vigor.
He was well versed in science, philology, and law, already becoming known and respected by the humanists of his era, including Budé. Harassed due to the directions of his studies, Rabelais petitioned Pope Clement VII and was granted permission to leave the Franciscans and enter the Benedictine order at Maillezais, where he was more warmly received.
In 1532, he moved to Lyon, one of the intellectual centres of France, and not only practiced medicine but edited Latin works for the printer Sebastian Gryphius. As a doctor, he used his spare time to write and publish humorous pamphlets, which were critical of established authority and stressed his own perception of individual liberty. His revolutionary works, although satirical, revealed an astute observer of the social and political events unfolding during the first half of the sixteenth century.
Using the pseudonym Alcofribas Nasier (an anagram of François Rabelais minus the cedille on the c), in 1532 he published his first book, Pantagruel, that would be the start of his Gargantua series. In this book, Rabelais sings the praises of the wines from his hometown of Chinon through vivid descriptions of the eat, drink and be merry lifestyle of the main character, the giant Pantagruel and his friends. Despite the great popularity of his book, both it and his prequel book on the life of Pantagruel’s father Gargantua were condemned by the academics at the Sorbonne for their unorthodox ideas and by the Roman Catholic Church for their derision of certain religious practices. Rabelais’s third book, published under his own name, was also banned.
With support from members of the prominent du Bellay family, Rabelais received the approval from King François I to continue to publish his collection. However, after the king’s death, Rabelais was frowned upon by the academic elite, and the French Parliament suspended the sale of his fourth book.
Rabelais traveled frequently to Rome with his friend Cardinal Jean du Bellay, and lived for a short time in Turin with du Bellay’s brother, Guillaume, during which François I was his patron. Rabelais probably spent some time in hiding, threatened by being labeled a heretic. Only the protection of du Bellay saved Rabelais after the condemnation of his novel by the Sorbonne. du Bellay would again help Rabelais in 1540 by seeking a papal authorization to legitimize two of his children (Auguste François, father of Jacques Rabelais, and Junie). Rabelais later taught medicine at Montpellier in 1534 and 1539.
Between 1545 and 1547, François Rabelais lived in Metz, then a free imperial city and a republic, to escape the condemnation by the University of Paris. In 1547, he became curate of Saint-Christophe-du-Jambet and of Meudon, from which he resigned before his death in Paris in 1553.
There are diverging accounts of Rabelais’ death and his last words. According to some, he wrote a famous one sentence will: “I have nothing, I owe a great deal, and the rest I leave to the poor”, and his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”(ack:wikipedia)
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Parodies based on Edward Fitzgerald version:
Seeking yet old thrill,-it begins anew
I heard a cry within, ‘Snort or go bust!’
‘Yeah with a monkey on my back a fix
Will give my world its center: I am at rest !
A quick bite on the run to my workplace
Will keep me for the day in this rat race:
You do know how to get on without sweat?
Backbite or kiss the ass to save the face. (#2 and 3 from First Ed.)
Here with a kindle O, beneath the Sun
A word or two from my love,-it is fun
If she had her Kindle too; Had Khayyam
lived now would he check out from Amazon?
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