Monthly Archives: May 2011

Genetic Windstorm

I admit it; I spent yesterday away from the house, tromping and skulking to avoid Mordecai. As with every family, we have our disagreements, and while we are both rather aged, our disagreements are long-standing and difficult to ignore.

I am attempting to let bygones be bygones, for now, and have been up on the widow’s walk with my brother, watching the wind come across Brooklyn. I am ignoring the fact that Mordecai smells suspiciously of smoke and lychee. That usually means that his mind is whirring with evil plans. Charles assures me that Mordecai has changed, but I have been around my brother for too long to fully believe the dapper sea horse’s words. (As I have Bubo, so Mordecai has Charles. He wears a rather natty hat that is a bell jar and that is where Charles resides, attempting to police Mordecai’s worst impulses and acting as a small and spiny conscience.)

We are sipping mint juleps and discussing jet propulsion and wind energy. So far a thoroughly delightful afternoon.We have set up a small umbrella over Charles’ bell jar to protect him from the sun, and I am wearing my dark sun goggles to protect these delicate peepers.

Contentment never lasts around Mordecai, so I am keeping one eye sober and open. Bubo, for her part, has not eaten out since he’s arrived, the better to watch him. Unfortunately, this means she’s especially cranky and even the coyote jerky I gave her (an early birthday present) hasn’t improved her mood.

I can not blame her. Coyote jerky is not as tasty as it sounds.

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He IS Heavy

I should have known.

Mordecai has come.

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Tea Interruptus

I’ve spent today in the garden, taking advantage of the cooler weather and the breeze to put the water seal on the one-man catamaran in time for summer.

When I entered the house for my 4 o’clock tea, I noticed that my dictionary was open to H and my magnifying glass was positioned over hysteria.

There was also the distinct odor of burnt molasses and all the windows were open.

I should have recognized that this wind was not only bringing a storm, but also something wicked. I’ve combed the house and locked all the windows.

Bubo has settled into the oval window in the corner of the East Tower and is quietly humming Schubert. Not a good sign, indeed.

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Paraprosdokian

I would like to spend the day experimenting with a hybrid coffee bean I’m developing, so I thought I’d give you recidivists something meaty to chew on today. It’s not a word, per se, but a grammatical technique.

Paraprosdokian is a figure of speech wherein the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader to rethink or re-interpret the sentence or phrase. It is often used for comedic or dramatic effect.

It’s origins are found in the Greek παρα- beyond and προσδοκία – expectation. The term, though, seems to be a recent coinage.

You’ve undoubtedly heard paraprosdokians from Groucho Marx. My favorite is from “A Night At The Opera”: “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

One I know you’ve heard before: I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Mull those over, won’t you?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must change. I’ve been writing this in my pajamas; what the computer is doing in my pajamas I’ll never know.

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