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October 27, 2005


That reminds me of a lacksadaisical billboard painter I once knew. He would spend most of his working day sitting around up on the ladder, watching the world go by, raising the brush now and again. Only as the last light of the day faded would he really get to work, quickly and poorly getting the job done. He would usually be forced to redo his work the next day, but always claimed that he nonetheless valued his many hours sitting atop the world. As he told me then, sign in haste, repaint in leisure.

He was right, too, you know. A stressful life, after all, only leads to trouble! In fact, your story reminds me of an Episode from History which my dear old dad once related to me. It seems that the ballad about Sir Patrick Spens gets it a little wrong. What actually happened was that the king summoned all his knights to watch him, the king, go out on the bluid-red sea, for a brand-new type of seagoing ship had just been built and the king wanted to take its maiden voyage (as is, after all, only a king's right, even if it now only survives in remote islands near the coast of northern France). Well, the king was mighty nervous about this episode, and the stress must have taken its toll on him, for he hadn't gone ten minutes, ten minutes, ten minutes but barely fifteen, when he had a heart attack right there on the boat! Seems his heart had failed to contract. The helmsmen called for the knights to drag them back to shore, and all of them, Spens among, piled into smaller rowboats and went out to get the king and succeeded in bringing him back, and thus was disaster averted.

And that was the first vassal assist!

Hum. It seems that it was the wine the king drank in Dumferline toun that was bluid-red, and not the sea. That does make more sense.

Though we know from independent sources that the sea is wine-dark, so let's call it even.

I had a TA once who'd been raised Catholic and whose family always strictly observed Lent. One year, while she was away at college her dad asked her what she was giving up for Lent.

Her answer: Catholicism.

Nah, you're allowed to make your own eucharist. Usually they just buy it from Catholic supply places, though.

varying the recipe and procedure according to the process of the liturgical calendar.

A different host for a different occasion, you know.

Are Ben's post and first comment supposed to be jokes?

I can't tell if you actually don't get them, Weiner, if you're just trying to say that they are utter failures. My dad liked the first one, though.

I explain the puns: 1. "festina lente" is a motto which is commonly translated "make haste slowly". 2. This is twofold. First, a vessel assist is when you get smaller boats to help your boat dock. Second, vessel asystole occurs when your heart fails to contract.

I didn't get them, owing to unfamiliarity with the phrases. But I also think it would be a great idea to start posting long, absurd, pointless stories ending in stilted phrases that sound as though they should be puns but in fact are not. Then your faithful readers would spend all our time walking around, pronouncing the phrases several different ways, trying to figure out what was going on. It would be a new kind of troll, or shaggy dog story, or something.

"His heart failed to contract" is a great red herring since ordinarily those details don't have anything to do with your pun.

Except, of course, that failure to contract is what creates the asystole. As is explained in my comment above.

Pwned, Weiner.

Oh, ordinarily. Right. Shit.

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