Tag Archives: dragon

Rantipole

And are you celebrating the Summer Solstice today? Mordecai, of course, went about his pre-solstice preparations with a reckless abandon and ended up burning down my garden shed last night.

Thankfully, my flying machine was not in it. I was taking her out for a midnight flight last night (before today’s heat wave struck) and on my way back home I noticed a ball of orange flames. Was Mordecai contrite and apologetic? Of course not. He woke early today and took to the streets with his special Solstice Mead, declaring that the Solstice is the perfect day to find “inspirational women” to keep company with. He’s trouble. One might even say that he is a rantipole.

Rantipole is a noun that means a wild, rakish, roving, sometimes quarrelsome person; a rude romping young person. It can also be used as an adjective and as a verb. It’s a versatile insult, really. And it IS an insult.

Some believe that the word is derived from the Dutch word randten meaning to talk foolishly, rave, while others believe it is actually derived from the English dialect ranty, meaning riotous;wildly excited plus poll, meaning the head. A slang dictionary from the 1700s has rantipole defined as a rude wild Boy or Girl.

Rantipole is used liberally in literature, naturally, as it’s a marvelously descriptive insult. You can find it in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow:

“This rantipole hero had for some time singled out the blooming Katrina for the object of his uncouth gallantries, and though his amorous toyings were something like the gentle caresses and endearments of a bear, yet it was whispered that she did not altogether discourage his hopes.”

And you can find it in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations:

“Well!” cried my sister, with a mollified glance at Mr. Pumblechook. “She might have had the politeness to send that message at first, but it’s better late than never. And what did she give young Rantipole here?”

Mordecai is an embodiment of rantipole. He is wild, uncouth, and terribly quarrelsome. I have no doubt that his Summer Solstice will be spent in a mead-soaked giddiness. I, ever the more staid brother, will be sipping lemonade whilst the dragons play in the charcoal aftermath of the garden shed. Today is hot, and – if only for a fraction of a second – the longest we will have all year.

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Dragon Adornment

Never question a dragon offering complimentary ear piercing. Just smile politely and back away.

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Springs & Feathers Flying

It has become awfully noisy in the Laboratory this evening, due to the new creatures by Angela St. Andre of The Iron Phoenix.

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Hurricane Donuts

Inspired by the bookstore Word in Brooklyn (they commented that they were going to make a raft of donuts for this oncoming Hurricane), I determined that I would make some apple cider donuts. I call them Hurricane Donuts in honor of Cousin Octavia (she has weathered many a tropical storm in the kitchen, frying up donuts for the multitudes who take refuge in her enormous concrete manse) and pulled out a gallon of apple cider to flavor them.

Upepo, that imp of a dragon, got so excited that he nearly burnt my left eyebrow off. Now I look terribly sinister and am starving for donuts! I managed to spill the batter all over the kitchen floor, and it was promptly eaten by the flivvervaat young who have taken refuge in the cabinet again after the rain started. Any batter that could have been saved was burnt by Upepo’s flames and is toastier than toast.

Instead, I am chewing on a sugar cane, drinking tea, and reading fascinating articles while the creatures and specimens excitedly prepare for a hurricane. I know this old house will weather the storm quite nicely, but I hope my fellow Brooklynites are prepared for whatever may come. The something wicked is not my brother Mordecai. It is Irene.

Five facts about Hugo Munsterberg, the father of Forensic Psychology, found here.

The Postmodern Mystery Reading List – 50 essential works – compiled by Ted Gioia, found here.

Stay safe, oddlings. There’s nothing shameful in preparedness.

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