I tell you, I could hardly wait to debark from that smelly, superannuated lunker of a ferry when we finally arrived at the port of Mykonos, where I was certain my hotel would have a mirror in the bathroom, and some illumination, enabling me to apply a styptic pencil to the many wounds I had sustained while trying to shave that morning.
We first debarked the ship in the port of Casablanca, where I hoped to begin the process of introducing Anna, the youngest of my progeny, to lands and cultures beyond her ken; and as we wandered through the souk, she suddenly raised her eyes from her iPhone, which she had been using to adjust her makeup, and, catching her reflection in a dilapidated old wood-framed mirror that hung in one of the stalls, she dropped her jaw and exclaimed, "oh ... my ... God ... Daddy, that is the most amazing WYSIWYG interface I have ever seen in my life!"
The prime minister had scarcely debarked at Southampton before the news began to reach him, of what an omnishambles his government had fallen into during his absence, and his mood, on the trip by coach to London, alternated between the extremes of high dudgeon and a cold fury that welled up de profundis.
I suppose I am being hyperbolic when I say I have Van Gogh's ear for music, but really, when I hear a military band banging and wuthering away, it makes me want to scream, and as for the visual arts -- well, most of what passes for painting nowadays looks, to me, like an efflorescence of fungus on a panel of storm-damaged sheetrock.
As I sit down to my supper, a vegetable stew garnished with a slice of bread, and I take a few moments to gaze around the room and make a fond inventory of my lares and penates: the row of books on the shelf, the orange jump suit, the tin cup and bowl that sit before me on the table; the scrapbook stuffed with newspaper clippings, propped against the wall ... will I be accused of battology, too, if I repeat a dozen or more times, in a kind of grace, the old apothegm, "there's no place like home"?
Louis Clount, local televangelist and self-styled "sky pilot of Skelton County, Kentucky", was moved to great pity at the plight of an impoverished collier, a childless widower with the black lung, and a spiritual isolato; the tears welled into Clount's eyes as he cast them heavenward and examined the crown molding that ran atop the walls of his splendid TV studio set.
As I staggered down the steps of the Palatine Hill, having consumed a bottle and a half of red wine and lain baking in the sun on a stone bench for as many hours, I fear I was barely sentient, and when I was approached by a comely young man (the Roman prostitutes, you should know, are known for their mordacious banter with potential clients) his jibes had an antaphrodisiacal effect that was quite the opposite of what he had intended.
Abdul liked to picture himself in a place of safety far from the tumult of his everyday life, and had reserved himself, in his fancy, a snug himalayan eyrie, constructed of stone and heavy timber, inaccessible to other men, but available to him through one of the topoi he had encountered in his reading of the "Nights": transportation atop a flying rug, for example, or in the cupped palm of a genie's hand.
Faced with a himalayan accumulation of unfinished business, and fondly imagining that a decline in the state of the union might reflect poorly on their hated President, the leaders of Congress pursued a policy of masterly inactivity and blathered incessantly about matters that pertained to the national interest not at all.
My boss dismissed me as "a goldbrick of himalayan proportions", and with some justification, for I had spent half the day arguing with a coworker over whether it is ever acceptable to use the word, "shylock", with its unfortunate associations, in everyday speech, when all the while I was supposed to have been applying myself to the unspeakable drudgery of designing quaint little skeuomorphs to stamp onto our polymer fabric product to make it, if not pass for, then at least, remind one of real, old-fashioned damask.
Perhaps my son suffered from some genethliac deficiency upon emerging from the womb, for there were no stars to thank for his physiognomy, which seemed to have been amalgamated from a menagerie of bestial sources; and it is doubtless in an effort to displace the attention of strangers from his unfortunate countenance that today, as an adolescent, he wears hair in a style that is suggestive of a chartreuse thagomizer having sprouted miraculously from his skull.
Girrrls, here at Miss Juno's Academy you will learn that it is not enough to become proficient at your work; no; you must be seen to perform your theurgy with poise and sangfroid at all times -- thus, never chevy a hare when you can easily break its little neck at one stroke, ha-ha, and, conversely, never threaten a nation with plague and pestilence when all you can deliver are a few measly canker sores!
Herbert the librarian provoked a veritable cloudburst of tears at the Sunday dinner table when, confounding his professional duty with his filial, he presented his mother with a floral bouquet and a card containing this parnassian pasquinade: "Roses are Red Violets are Blue The town's copy of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Is seventeen days overdue!"
By a month or so after the wedding, my mother's opinion of Audrey had begun to coalesce, and she began to insinuate that she was somehow lacking in the muliebrity department; but really, between the two women there was much of a muchness, and I found myself looking forward to the spectacular, vesuvian displays of mutual hostility that I felt sure would commence any day.
The Australian media mogul managed to exscind the presumed front runner from the presidential race altogether, by the ruse of asking her to explain how she hoped to atone for having beaten her husband, and in response to the felicitations that poured forth from his adoring staff, he modestly dropped his gaze to the floor and murmured, "oh, it was nothing -- all in a darg!"
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