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Nasty, Brutish and Short, Esq.

St. Schori-Up-The-Cream-Bun-and-Jam

Middlesex

My Dear NBS,

It has come to my attention in recent days that you are labouring under the belief that I banned a comment you made in response to one of my art-appreciation posts. (This one, I believe.)  Specifically, you appear to believe that I removed a remark you made on the subject of sex and further, that I did so because of a delicacy of feeling that has set in since I swam the Tiber.

Allow me to assure you, Sir, that such is not the case!

In the first place, apart from spam, I simply cannot recall deleting anyone’s comments here at TPSAYE.  I don’t get that many of them to begin with.  Why would I want to throw away such precious confirmation that someone out there actually reads this blog? (“Blogging just for myself” be damned!) Further, given that we have communicated for some time now and have several blog acquaintances in common, I should think that I especially would have remembered deleting a comment had you been the author, in the same manner that a barman might especially remember tossing out a valued patron. I’m getting old, but I’m not that old just yet.

I can only suggest that if you posted a comment to that particular entry and the comment did disappear, it must have been through some technical glitch with WordPress, and not through any deliberate action on my part.

In the second place, we must nip this insinuation of neo-Catholic prudery firmly in the bud.  I’m still just as red-blooded as the next fellah, even if I’m no longer a Palie.  And while it’s true that I am not fond of raw language and don’t use it myself,  that’s a matter of linguistic snobbery, not religious scruple.  I have no objection whatever to discussing what Mr. Peperium refers to as “boudoir gymnastics“. Bring on the acrobats, says I!

I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding that may have arisen.

Cordially,

Robbo

P.S. And yes, Mrs. P is coming for you. Resistence, if I may say so, is futile.

Neil McCormick on Britney Spears:

Britney Spears has launched two new perfumes for Christmas called Curious and Fantasy. Presumably Lipsync and Paparazzi were already taken.

My bed ridden mother-in-law called to ask if I could pick some up as a present for one of her grand-daughters. What, indeed, could be a more appropriate gift for the impressionable teenage girl in your life than the aromatic essence of a burned out, twice divorced, ex-Mickey Mouse club sexpot recovering from a nervous breakdown? Hey, she may have lost custody of her own kids, but that’s no reason to keep her away from yours.

Indeed.

My long-range strategy for healthy child-rearing includes a high-priority program to instill in their growing minds the idea that “celebrity” is a dirty word.

Tonight the eldest gel and I will begin one of my very favorite chapters in the whole LOTR trilogy, namely Chapter 9 of The Two Towers, “Flotsam and Jetsom”.  I’ve always loved the temporary sense of relaxation as the surviving members of the Fellowship (less Frodo and Sam, of course) are reunited at the ruins of Isengard and are able to lounge about as Merry and Pippin recount the tale of their adventures with the Ents.   I have always been particularly moved when Aragorn settles down, stretches out his legs and takes a long pull at his pipe:

“Look!” says Pippin, “Strider the Ranger has come back!”

“He has never been away,” said Aragorn. “I am Strider and Dunedain too, and I belong both to Gondor and the North.”

There is something immensely satisfying at watching Aragorn getting the chance to, as it were, take off his royalty for a while and unwind.  (The opposite is true, too, as for instance when the Fellowship passes the Argonath on its way down the Great River and Aragorn takes on the air of a king returning from exile to his own land.)

I’m afraid all of this will be lost on the gel.  For some reason, she does not like Aragorn, accusing him of being stern and grumpy all the time.  Perhaps it is my poor reading, perhaps it is just that these moments of levity and the complex currents swirling below his surface are a wee bit too subtle for the gel to comprehend yet.

In any event, she is impatient to get back to Frodo and Sam, whose meeting up with Gollum I am already relishing.  However, I’m also a bit concerned: A trouble I have with reading aloud and in character is that when characters have been off the stage for a while, I sometimes forget how I voiced them.  Sam will be okay – I modelled him on Graham Chapman’s farmer contemplating the enormous commercial possibilities of Harold the Flying Sheep’s potential escape.***  Frodo I seem to recall giving a softer, almost whiny voice, but I’m not sure how much I pitched in.

I’m sure that if I stray too far from my originals, I will be corrected.

***”What on earth?” you’re saying to yourself.  Well, here you go:

griersonLast evening whilst perusing my Bruce Catton, I came across his description of Grierson’s Raid, a deep cavalry strike through Mississippi and Louisiana ordered by Gen. Grant in April, 1863, in order to distract and confuse the Confederates while Grant made his approach to Vicksburg.  (The raid was quite successful, bamboozling the Confederate commander John Pemberton, tying up both infantry and cavalry desperately needed to counter Grant and destroying large amounts of Southern stores.  The raiders also got away.)

The raid was led by Col. Benjamin H. Grierson,  a former music teacher who, owing to having been kicked in the head and nearly killed as a child, loathed horses.  When he volunteered for the Union Army, he had no intention whatsoever to become a cavalryman.  Nonetheless, Fate put him in the saddle, where he performed brilliantly.

waynehorsesoldierI smiled to myself at Catton’s description of Grierson and the irony surrounding him because I immediately thought of The Horse Soldiers, the 1959 John Wayne movie loosely based on Grierson’s Raid.  It’s a pretty good flick within the Duke’s canon, but I have an awful hard time picturing the Duke a) teaching anyone music or b) hating horses.

Of course, now that I’ve thought of it again, I’m going to have to toss Horse Soldiers back in the Netflix queue.  It’s been a while since I did a WayneFest, and perhaps it’s time for another one.

I had a dream last night that I was reading one of the Gospels and that I could understand – or at least see – the whole of Creation emanating out from it in an amazingly complex and elegant physical structure. The whole dream was quite beautiful.

I should mention that I also dreamed Mrs. R had decided to repaint the library a salmon-y color.  Without removing any of the books, pictures or whatnots, I took a can of spray-paint and began to experiment.  The can malfunctioned so that I could not shut it off, and I wound up spraying paint all over everything.  I yelled to Mrs. R to get the door open so I could retreat outside, but by the time I got there the can was empty.  Far from feeling that a disaster had occurred, by the end I was laughing at the absurdity of it all.

While the first dream by itself suggests a visit from the Spirit, the second one inclines me to think I simply ate too much of Mrs. R’s extra-spicy curried chicken for dins last evening.

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