Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Quandary Resolutions by MissTeriWoman

  • #8460 submitted 05/13/2020: grinagog, slip-up, pelagic, femina, n.

    MacFarlane shrugged: "some loons on the ferry, larking about - everybody on Barra thinks we're a couple of superannuated 60s rock-stars with more money than sense, wallowing in nostalgia, preening our femina like lady ostriches, whaddaya call them? hens I suppose, listening to our greatest shits on repeat and gawping like grinagogs at our haydays when our old band's on one of those Top of the Pops reruns, nobody knows our real names, it's just a coincidence," but Doubleday snarled back: "it's pelagic or aerial, gotta be one or the other, you reckon? either a small sub out there on the Minch, watching us through the periscope, or somewhere above, a spy-drone, controlled from Barra, one of those old cotts up the hill, video transmitted back there, what's the range? can't be too far, he stared directly up, narrowing his eyes, catching a tiny glint, a barest reflection: "we've slipped-up somewhere, what? how? probably never know, but. . . . .fuckit, Par, run, weave, and giving MacFarlane a push to start, started running as fast as he could, they both were, over the rocks, up the short slope, feet pounding on the grass, round the south side of the Black House, heading for the back door, when the bullets raked up the turf behind them, MacFarlane flinging himself at the door and falling though, Doubleday crashing on top of him, kicking the door shut, and the sound of shots striking the steel, made to look like the traditional, panelled wood but infinitely safer when you are wanted by someoneplenty of someonesand they lay panting in the dark lobby: "definately a drone, then," said Dominic, hauling Sir Parlane to his feet, then leading the way down the stairs, "but that doesn't rule out the submarine either, better than a cottage, no names, no pack-drill, enough sea to disappear into, plenty of deep-water lochans to be able to surface, launch or retrieve your spy. . . . .hell, it's a fuckin assassination drone!" he threw a few switches and steel shutters slid over the windows, above and below ground, "we'd better sit tight just nowwe can keep an eye on the whole island on the monitorsbut it's good that we dug the tunnel, they'll think we're trapped here and they don't have to rush, well, neither do we, hey, you're shaking, Par, here's a drop of the Pure, best cure after a shock like that," and as MacFarlane swallowed his in one gulp and poured himself another, he snarled: "trying to kill us? evil fuckin bastards! with a drone? sneaky fuckin bastards!" and Doubleday raised his own glass: "never spoke a truer word, Par, sneaky fucking bastards is what they are, whoever they are!"

  • #8459 submitted 05/12/2020: al desko, motherhood statement, flotsam, mural, adj.1

    As they hurried up the spiral staircase, MacFarlane could hear Doubleday humming 'Roll Out The Barrel' and laughed: "hark at you, Dom, that song's a bit of a motherhood statement from you, I can always tell that you're hyped up, glad to be free of the old al desko for a a bit of physical action, and even chasing a will-o-the-wisp such as the flotsam or jetsam from one of the ferries going into or coming out of Castlebay is enough to get your juices pumping!" and Dominic replied: "you're probably right enough there, Par, but if I'm right and there is a message in that bottle, I'm claiming the mural,"and pushing through the front door, MacFarlane couldn't resist calling back over his shoulder: "or Muriel, as that auld biddy on Corrie used to call her picture wall," and the two hustlers scrambled down towards the eastern shore of the tiny island, Dominic checking the sight-line he had picked to show him where the floating bottle had been and. . . . .there it was, bobbing just a few yards away from the breakers, though on this side they were hardly more than ripples and even the shore on the other side was hardly battered, so sheltered were they by the spine of the curving archipelago, with Barra and Vatersay providing a useful wind-break, and as MacFarlane watched his Partner in Crime use a child's fishing net, on a long bamboo cane, to catch the bottle and bring it carefully ashore, he couldn't help but congratulate himself for his own foresight, in recognising the perfection of this lonely place both as a base for their microfinance scams and a safe have which, with it's own generator and the easy access provided by satellite communications and the internet, meant they could function here for as long as they wanted, safely under the radar - literally! and that tip-off last year from his friend in Oxford about the likelihood of another pandemic, but on the same sort of scale as the 1918 flu one, within 12 months, had been just the nudge they had needed, and here they were, in Lockdown, with enough stores to keep them going for more than a year and not a cloud in the sky, and then he noticed that Dom was frowning, holding a piece of paper he had taken from the bottle: "what is it, Dom? a shopping list, or the mobile number of a 12-year-old who lives on Mingulay with her aged grandparents and pet sheep and dreams of being rescued from a life worse than death by a bonnie prince from over the water, or an infamous Scottish baronet or, if he's too busy, his dashing Man of Business?" but Doubleday shook his head, and said: "it's addressed to usby name'Sir Parlane MacFarlane and Dominic Doubleday, Muldoanich'and the message is—'I'm watching you, boys, right now'!" and it was the reflex of self-preservation that made MacFarlane's head swivel as he scanned the horizon, mentally checking everything he saw, from a rock barely cresting the surface of the water, to a distant island, but Doubleday was looking up at the sky and wondering just how high would a drone have to be to be both invisible and inaudible?

  • #8458 submitted 05/11/2020: gazump, brubru, aggrandize, sinistrorse, adj.

    The sole house on Muldoanich, were you able to see through it's three feet thick stone walls, was unusual, to say the least: the ground floor was, to all intents and purposes, a standard but and ben, with, on one side of the front door, a combined kitchen/dining/living-room and on the otherben the hoosewas the bedroom, now with an en-suite, but only used for (very) occasional visitors; down the sinistrorse spiral staircase, obviously based on those molluscs which coil anti-clockwise, led to the main living area, with it's magnificent thirty foot long curved window, cut out of the western face of the hillside, offering a spectacular and unrivalled view of the larger islands, from Barra to th north all the way down to Mingulay, a smudge on the south-western horizon; here was the main galley, where Dominic Doubleday cookedmainly old recipes from his mother, whose Great-Grannie had been born here, on the island, the last person to have lived on it until her great-great-grandson and his business partner collected it as collateral from a client who went bankrupt, owing them more than he would ever knowtheir separate bedrooms, the capacious lounge and their Hub, from where MacMoney spread out it's tentacles in the various markets and sucked in a steady flow of funds; they specialised in gazumping and dumping, not to aggrandize themselvesor their clientsbut often, just because they could, and they rather liked to see people squirm; but for now, Sir Parlane was staring through his binoculars, looking out of the slightly smaller, at twenty feet long, eastern window: "it's a brubru, I'm sure of it, floating on the sea," and Dominic hurried over, accepted the glasses from MacFarlane and focussed: "ya, balloon," he snarled, then laughed: "it's jist an Irn Bru bottle, likely tossed aff the ferry, but. . . . .he stared hard and lowered the gasses, "it looks like it's got a message or something inside, definately a piece o paper," which MacFarlane confirmed after another, closer look and then saying: "let's go see if we can fish it in, might be interesting!"

  • #8457 submitted 05/10/2020: dead hand, abstract away, indomitable, Padawan, n.

    And in what at first glance might have been taken for a traditional 'Black House' on the Hebridean Island of Muldoanich, but if you could creep closer, hugging the ground so as not to be picked up by one of the well-placed CCTV cameras, you would likely observe to be of more recent construction, although in the original style, the two Partners in the microfinance house of MacMoney were laughing at the television in the basement lounge, which took up a sizeable chunk of the island's only hill, and which had been showing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest wheeze: "in the name o the wee man," cried Sir Parlane MacFarlane, Chairman and CEO, "he wis aye whit ye micht ca' an abstract thinker but since BoJo lost his MoJo to the CoJo he's jist become plain vacant!"

    and his Chief Operations Officer and Finance Director, Dominic Doubleday agreed: "aye, it's like the virus has abstracted awa' his capacity for jined-up words, an he kin only speak three at a time, afore haein tae tak a breath," and MacFarlane pointed out: "with heavy emphasis on the first, second and third, ha ha ha!" at which Doubleday asked: "div ye unnerstaun whit he means by 'Stey Alert'? is thon no the Boy Scout motto?" and MacFarlane laughed, "nay mon, yer thinkin aboot 'Be Prepared,' bit thon wud mak mair sense than Stey Alert, he micht as weel hae made it Expect the Unexpected fer aw the use it'll be, the baw-heided Padawan," and Doubleday interjected: "mair like a Paddywack," and MacFarlane poured them each another glass of Laphraoigh 25-year-old, and mused: "he seemed gey fixated oan his erse, did ye hear him? 'oor erse hus drapped doon tae unner wan, burrit micht get bigger'," at which Doubleday spluttered, almost choking with laughter: "his is big enough fer twa! he's a bam-pot, an noo he's goat his ain wee Swingometer an a hale Unit watchin the size o his erse an iffen it gets ower big the English'll jist hae tae be lockit back in their hooses!" and they both hooted with glee, then Macfarlane observed: "Ah rither think it's the deid haun o Auld Indomitable, Churchill, ye ken, that's feelin his erse, efter aw' that's BoJo's hero, an he's aye hud thon baby-face like Churchill, but since he cam oot o the hospital, he looks fer ower like thon Mister Hyde, gaunt an haunted, see thae eyes? reed an starin, wi rampant madness; Ah read that the virus kin affect the brain an he looked totally affected the nicht," which was when the phone rang and MacFarlane muted the television while Doubleday answered the call.

  • #8456 submitted 05/09/2020: dead hand, system, decoupage, microfinance, n.

    The dead hand system of decoupage, as practised by those famousor infamous, in the view of Paisley bodies, who adhere to the Kronstadt Method, espoused by Madame Blavatsky in her classic, 'Seven Years under House Arrest' which has become a smash-hit best-seller on Amazon during the current Lockdown, still gripping the occasionally griping country in it's iron jaws, and in which the Born-Again Anglo-Catholic exponent of Meta-Realism as 'The Road to Joy' relates the amazing story of her discovery of the healing properties of Blue Cheese and Pink Wafers, a previously unsuspectedly potent combination, and which imbue the Blue and Pink Combinations which she habitually wore, much to the consternation of her Pussy, Galore, who had never seen such bizarre underwear in her, admittedly short and limited, puff, with an unbelievable heightening of sensual, not to say sexual, pleasure—Brothers Karamazov in their tiny workshop on Ailsa Craig, which has itself become the mecca for the latest breed of craftworkers whose skill, talent, imagination, vision, dedication and willingness to suffer extreme hardship and impoverishment, have secured the lavish, if extortionate, investment of the new microfinanciers such as Moneyspider, Moneytree, Moneypenny, Moneymouse, Moneyphant and Moneyhunny who have come out of the woodwork as Working from Home became the mantra and the norm and enabled hundreds of merchant and investment bank employees, under the pretence of Home-Working for their employers, to transfer millions of gigabytes of confidential information from those employers' servers to their own lap-tops and flash-drives and wave goodbye to the circus, touting themselves, without stirring from their beds, or kitchen tables, to those nouveau-entrepreneurs who saw in the Karamazovs buccaneering style, their last chance standing if they wanted to be millionaires before reaching the ripe old age of thirty, getting married and having a nuclear family, with a son named Zak and a daughter, Mossy and living in a but-and-ben on a rock in the Irish Sea, a wild Highland lochside, or half-way up a soaring heathery mountain, which they can call work-life-balance as they interact with the shrinking world on-line, while the rafters are lost in peat-smoke and their feral children chase capercaillies down the hill and up again!

  • #8455 submitted 05/08/2020: dead hand, megapolitan, verboten, arte povera, n.

    The Bagman

    It was on a Friday Noon-timeish, when the Bagman came,

    He looked, he saw, his nostrils twitched, his fingers did the same,

    The dead-hand of a former life glued him to the ground,

    He opened his mouth but could not speak, nor make a single sound;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to dae,

    Do do do do daddlee-do da day

     

    This was the Megapolitan's home, the Bagman kent it weel,

    The Heid o the Mega-Polis, though it didnae look richt real,

    A fairy castle the kind o thing ye've seen in Disney Filums,

    Wi swimmin pools and squashy coorts, an bowers fer sookin pilums;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to slum,

    Do de do de dibbittee-do de dum

     

    He opened a door marked Verboten! and stood on the threshold of gloom,

    A red light glowed from the ceiling, above a white marble tomb,

    But on top of the tomb lay a deid man, the Bagman clocked his face,

    Oh my God, the Bagman thought, it's only Puddin' Race;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to get done,

    Do wappa do wappa do wappa bun!

     

    Race wis the big Heid Honcho, the Capo o aw the Cops,

    His faimly cam fae Naples, his Pa has fower Pizza shops,

    Frae the land o Arte Povera, whaur poverty's arty an chic,

    Tae the meanest streets o Glesca, an a razor slash doon yer cheek;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do dabitty-do be do

     

    The blood had pooled oan the flair, an wis stainin the marble pink,

    When the Bagman noticed a bullet hole in the eyelid Race used tae wink,

    So he turned the stiff's heid tae the richt an saw it wis empty, nae brain,

    And then he looked doon at the flair, but there wis nae sign o a drain;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do dagnabbity-do de do

     

    An then he saw drops o blood, gaun up a gilded spiral stair,

    Followed them tae a vast bedroom, pink an satin an where,

    Chianti Race lay sprawled, on a four-poster Emperor bed,

    Beside the brains o her hubby, an like him, Chianti wis dead!

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do bubblee-boo de boo

     

    They cried it a Murder/Suicide wi Chianti takkin the fall,

    Though the Bagman knew she hudnae the smarts o a bimbo Barbie doll,

    But he let it ride, didna rock the boat, didna let oan whit he kent,

    That Puddin' Race, the Scots Top Cop, wis one hunner per cent bent;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes trouble that the Bagman has to hide,

    Do do do do piddlee-poo denied

     

    For he gave the hoose the aince ower, an fund unnerneath the flair,

    A big wad o cash, stocks an notes in the name o Big Toni St Clair,

    The Boss o the Gorbals Geysers, wha owns the two top teams in toon,

    So the Bagman gied in his notice, retired an went aff tae bide in Troon!

     

    (Chorus) And it all made work that the Bagman does nae mair,

    Do do do do gone without a care!

  • #8454 submitted 05/07/2020: ironfisted, calumny, truckle, dulciloquent, adj.

    The Bagman

    It was on a rainy Thursday that the Bagman left the town,

    Driving up a hill and round a bend then hurtling down,

    Till he found himself on an old and disused railway viaduct,

    Staring over, and far below, was a body that had been chucked,

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do!

     

    And seated on a nearby stump were a Parson and his dog,

    Who told their tale when the Bagman climbed down through the clinging fog:

    "She must've been in a desperate state, such a terrible thing to do,"

    Though the Bagman wondered, or was she pushed? and Reverend was it you?

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do!

     

    The Parson spoke dulciloquently, as though straight from his heart,

    And the Bagman thought, what a calumny, to suspect him of playing a part,

    So he offered the Parson a nip from his flask and they sat and shared a smoke,

    Then he laid her out, though every bone in her body had been broke,

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do!

     

    And the Bagman noticed her face ironfisted, as though to wipe it away,

    And he saw that she had no bag, no coat, nothing with her that day,

    And he noticed a cut beneath her ribs where a slender blade could be slid,

    And he wondered why her body was here, when it could easily have been hid?

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do!

     

    And the Bagman thought, am I being truckled, by this Parson and his dog?

    And he turned away from the suspect pair as they sat upon a log,

    Then he whirled around and pointed a finger straight at the Parson's face:
    "You lured her here, and beat her up and cast her down to this place!"

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do!

     

    The dog barked twice and the Parson fell to his knees, hands clasped in prayer,

    But the Bagman seized him by the scruff and said: "no, don't you dare!

    You're a hypocrite and a murderer, and you must pay the price!"

    And the Parson admitted he'd murdered his lover which really wasn't nice.

     

    (Chorus) But it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do!

  • #8453 submitted 05/06/2020: backhanded, staid, quintessence, puppify, v.

    The Bagman

    On Wednesday evening, rather late, the Bagman turned the knob,

    Pushed open the door, came staidly in, to start another job,

    With wary eye and listening ear, he moved from room to room,

    And reckoned if he was not mistook the house was like a tomb;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do

     

    Splashes of gore all over the hall bespoke of an awful sin,

    Footprints in blood leading over the floor then took him further in,

    On the kitchen table he saw a man who'd been hacked to death with an axe,

    Some of his bits had been left where they fell and others were in two sacks;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do

     

    The Bagman gathered the spare bits up and put them with the rest,

    In a strange backhanded kind of a way, he felt he had passed the test,

    There was nothing quintessential here, it bespoke of a jealous rage,

    But the Bagman's place is not to judge the writing on the page;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do

     

    Then out in the garden, on the lawn, he saw the other half,

    A woman swung like a pendulum, puppified like a veal calf,

    And as she was rocked thither and back, on the ever moving swing

    She'd bled to death, so slow, so sure, an adulterous reckoning!

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-ee do de do

  • #8452 submitted 05/05/2020: repugnant, lustrum, lorn, awesomesauce, adj.

    The Bagman

    'Twas on a Tuesday morning that the Bagman came to see,

    Just what repugnant fruit there could be, growing on the tree,

    Turning in the breeze he saw an awesomesaucey bag,

    He cut it down and tumbled out a filleted aged hag;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-oo do de do

     

    Looking round the corner in an unprepossessing yard,

    He saw a barrel standing where the ground was very hard,

    The darkness round the bottom endit surely wasn't mud

    He opened the top and peered inside a barrel full of blood!

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-oo do de do

     

    "Five years this blood has been in here, it has a lustrum tang,"

    The Bagman knows it very well, he's never, ever wrang,

    And from the blood he fished a body and laid it on the ground,

    A bloodless, lifeless, love-lorn lad in his own red blood been drowned;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-oo do de do

     

    Behind a door, he knows, full well, the sight he's going to see,

    A body with it's head blown off while standing for a pee,

    It crumples down about the pan, it's bowels evacuate,

    And no-one but the Bagman will approach it in this state!

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do,

    Do do do do doodle-oo do de do

  • #8451 submitted 05/04/2020: handfast, walking carpet, collimate, sub voce, adv.

    The Bagman

    It was on a Monday morning that the Bagman came to call,

    He picked up a head he spotted lying bleeding in the hall,

    He crossed the walking carpet and found arms and legs as well,

    And the torso in the bedroom giving off a rotten smell;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do!

    Do do do do dooddle-ee do de do

     

    Handfast in the bathroom, two other corpses lay,

    Stiff as boards, or bored as stiffs in an almost collimate way,

    The Bagman threw one over each shoulder and took them down the stairs,

    And wondered where the fourth he'd find to end up with two pairs;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do!

    Do do do do dooddle-ee do de do

     

    Humming (sub voce) as down to the cellar he went,

    If you'd have heard him you'd have thought he was on pleasure bent,

    But the Bagman is a professional, body, heart and soul,

    So he quickly found the last one under a hundredweight of coal;

     

    (Chorus) And it all makes work that the Bagman has to do!

    Do do do do dooddle-ee do de do

     

  • #8450 submitted 05/03/2020: precocious, legman, politesse, mimesis, n.

    King Saul was still in his pyjamas when Lycra arrived at the Royal Palace on Royal Palace Street, for he refused to conform to the recent Ordinance, jointly passed by the City Council, the Sanhedrin andperhaps more importantlythe Roman Governor, and Saul had not minced his words with the Ponty Pilot: "no way, Jose, I never held with British Summer Time in Ponty and I'm damned if I'm going to be ruled by it here, Greenwich Mean Time has served us well enough, and I mean to live by it now," and so he did, in total disregard of the fact that he was living in Jerusalem, in what would, in a future yet to come, be a different Time Zone, but such is the freedom enjoyed by Princes, Kings and Potentates; but he still showed politesse when the precocious teenager entered his study, indicating that she should sit while he read the letter from Zadok, "so that you can take back any reply I may have for him," then opened the envelope and extracted the letter, which was very short: 'Deer One regrading the rantin poacher & revolving rabbit Jesy Josef, condense him to deth, gulf klub 3.30 byob," and it was signed, as usual, Kevin, so Saul assumed that the misspellings and disjointed style were a new form of code, to confuse and misrepresent the actual message, and, offering the girl a drink: "you're his new legman then?" which made her blush rather sweetly, as he poured two large measures of Highland Park and, pulling his own chair close to hers, sat beside Lycra and took her free hand in his: "you probably think all this," he put down his whisky and swept his own free hand so as to encompass the entire Palace, "is a mimesis, a bit like living in a painting, because it has no relation to the real world you inhabit, but you'd be wrong, Myra," and she stammered: "Lycra," to which he responded: "Myra Lycra, what a wonderfully rhyming name," and she blushed, furiously, to her roots and Saul sniffed the aroma of her heat.

  • #8449 submitted 05/02/2020: precocious, turn turtle, gratuitous, saturnine, adj. and n.

    When he opened his bloodshot eyes, the bright Middle Eastern sunlight was like a blow from a red-hot poker and he screwed them tight shut—he was drained, exhausted, wished he were back in Ponty, but no such luck—he recalled his young self, proud that his father—despite his pre-war reputation, Dai Organ Morgan had been accepted in the town thanks mainly to his fortunate conversion by Rev Sam and then the energy with which he had overseen the construction of the Jerusalem Tabernacle—could play the music for all the rousing hymns and had such a fine stirring voice and was looked up to be everyone, then his mind came back to the present; he knew what he had to do, so pulling on his robes he made his way to the Sanhedrin Corporation office and summoned his secretary, the precocious teenager, Lycra Croft: "take a letter, Miss Croft," and when she remained standing, asked: "what are you waiting for, Lycra?" and she replied: "the letter you want me to take, Mr Zadok," with which his heart sank even further: "it's not written yet, I'm going to dictate a letter to the Ponty Pilot and you will write it down, that's called 'taking a letter', see you?" and she nodded, obviously mystified, but he handed her a spiral notebook and a pen and when he sat in his chair, she did likewise on the other side of his desk: "good," he said, "now this to the Ponty Pilot, Dear Owen," Lycra stopped writing almost before she had started: "you said it was for Mr Pilot, sir, who's Mr Owen?" and Zadok sighed: "the Ponty Pilot is like his job, as mine is High Priest, his name is Owen Glendower, and he's a friend, so I address him as Owen, ok?" and she nodded and wrote something in the pad, and Zadok continued: "regarding the accusations against the itinerant Preacher and alleged Revolutionary, Rabbi Jesse Joseph, while I would never turn turtle, for the man seems determined to condemn himself by his words, deeds and prophecies, yet I wonder if gratuitously condemning him to death might not be playing into his hands—some of these people believe that Martyrdom can achieve their goals faster and with greater popular support than another ten years of agitation and they do not hold so dearly to their own lives as the rest of us; the Sanhedrin is divided on the issue, King Saul has indicated that he will support whatever you choose to decree, so I respectfully suggest that perhaps in this case, for now at least, Justice might be best served with Mercy and that you set the Rabbi free, on Probation and Bound Over, rather than Condemn him to Death. I have booked a round for us at my golf club this afternoon, and remember, one of the rules is, strictly no business may be discussed, so that should give us both a pleasant break—3.30pm in the Clubhouse—yours ever, Zadok," can you type it up and I'll sign it, Lycra?" and she left the room, returning after only fifteen minutes with the letter, but he was busy on a call to his accountant, so merely scrawled his name and handed the sheet back to Lycra, who put it in an envelope and asked if she should take it to the Governor immediately: "yes, yes, poste haste," said the High Priest, heartened by news that several of his investments were accumulating nicely, he felt much less saturnine than he had at the start of the day—he had solved the problem of the Renegade Rabbi, who would now owe him big-time; he had set it up so that if the release should cause trouble, it was the Ponty Pilot's final decision not any advice given to him that would be remembered; and he had shown Solly to be vacillating and vacuous, instead of taking a decisive lead, which might just tip the odds in favour of himself if the King could be toppled; and watching Lycra's bottom as she bent over her own desk in the outer office, to lick the flap and seal the envelope, he realised just how pretty it was and that thick as she may be, she was young, firm and succulent and it was probably about time for him to enjoy some of the fruits of his labours, "let's just get this weekend out of the way, the Rabbi can wander off down to Galilee and he'll soon be forgotten, Solly will lose the support of both sides for not taking one himself, and I will be remembered as the Wise Counsellor who restored Peace to the Temple, to Jerusalem and to Israel—Zadok for King—sounds good to me!"

  • #8448 submitted 05/01/2020: precocious, synaesthesia, appellation, puntabout, n.

    Zadok had a most troubled sleep that night, in which dark and ominous dreams roiled around his bedchamber, like bats in a belfry, squealing and squeaking, their leathery wings beating against the ancient stone walls, occasionally becoming snagged on the bell-ropes, while he tossed and turned, alternately throwing off the duvet because he felt so unaccountably hot and sweaty, and dragging it over his head in vain hopes of warming his deep-chilled, remorse-filled, faith-killed, pig-swilled, stone-milled heart that seemed to pound like the big bell of Hell, going ting-a-ling-a-ling while the voices of the damned cried out his name, his real name, the one he had been born into in Ponty, after the war during which his father-to-be, Dai Morganknown by all and sundry as Dirty Dai for the brutal, even sadistic, delight he took out on anyone who opposed hima die-hard, hard-bitten, Jew-hating, Commie-baiting, out-and-out Fascist had been held at the Ascot Internment Camp in Frongoch, Merionethshire until the 9th of May 1945, the day after VE Day when he wasand the delay in releasing him demonstrates the concerns the authorities had for public safety, as even Sir Oswald Mosley had been released in 1943—the very last member of the British Union of Fascists to be released into a changed world, and a chance encounter with a Christian Missionary, Rev Sam Bones, on the train back to Ponty, resulted in his conversion, to the extent that, on leaving the station in his home town, he accompanied his new friend and saviour to the site of what was to become the Jerusalem Mission, on Puntabout Streetdirectly facing the hallowed ground of Pontypridd Rugby Football Cluband threw himself body and soul into first demolishing the bombed out shell of the town's only brothel - Grandma Evanses Layin Doon Hoose, as it was popularly known by all and sundryand the erection of the soon-to-be consecrated Nonconformist Chapel over which Rev Sam cast his spell, drawing first dozens, the hundreds, and laterafter extensive enlargementit could seat a capacity congregation of two thousand believers; here it was that precocious young Kevin Morgan absorbed his own Faith, almost with his mother's milk, for he was still a babe in arms when Bronwen Morgan took him to his first Service, and even to this day, the throb of a church organwhich at that time was played religiously every Sunday by his father who quickly received the appellation Organ Morgan which followed him to the grave forty years later and though it is well weathered, his tombstone still can be read:

    Dai Organ Morgan,

    1st April 1900 - 15th May 1987

    In his hands,

    the Organ upon which he played

    was raised in stature

    to a degree unequalled

    by faithless men

    as with other forms of synaesthesia, affects not only his hearing, but also his breathing, heart-rate, and the very brain-waves in his head, and tonight his very being was racked with demonic convulsions and a terrible sense of foreboding!

  • #8447 submitted 04/30/2020: hoary, desiccate, emblem, mauvais ton, adj.

    "Naturally," said Zadok, recovering his composure smoothly, "King Saul would not wish to lower himself to the level of gefilte fish market traders, insulting the Nazarene, and becoming embroiled in an argument about his or another person's claim on the crown," and Charlie Chesterfield piped up: "and anyway, if this Jesse Joseph is The Messiah, as a lotta people in the country are saying, why would he bother with an earthly title? to be King of the Jews is no great shakes, when The Messiah can promise the World and all it's bounty, and Heaven besides! old Solly'd be hard pushed to win that argument," and with a nod, he fell silent, then Zadok, his face turning a worrying red, snarled: "belt up, you hoary old oaf!" at which Charlie jumped to his feet, fists up as if to strike the Pharisee: "don't think I don't know your game, Zadok, I may be hoary, I admit, my hair was grey and is now white as the driven snow, but desiccated I ain't; I still bear the emblem of Auschwitz," and he pulled up his sleeve to show the tattoo of his number, "where were you during the Shoah? snug as a bug in a rug in Ponty, and wasn't your dad one of Mosley's Blackshirts? but they got a hammering when they tried to hold a open-air meeting in Red Rhondda, only the Mounted Police saved them in Tonypandy!" and there were nods and shouts of agreement, even though Mo and Charlie were the only ones present who could have been alive in the 1930s, and Zadok had his doubts as to whether they were old enough to actually have any memory of what happened to his father, or simply remembered what they had been told about itescaping from the pitched battle dressed as a woman and later being arrested, first for soliciting as a prostitute and then, when his true gender was revealed, being charged with importuning for immoral purposes and when he tried to explain in court why he had been dressed as he was, the Communist Magistrate sentenced him to 5 years hard labour in prison! in his frustration, Zadok said something which, in the context of who he was, the others present, where they were and why, was quite mauvais ton, and you can probably guess what it was, for two seconds later, Zadok reeled out of the Committee Room, with a black eye and a jeely nose, both hands clutching his groin and behind him several septuagenarians and two octogenarians were struggling to stop a nonagenarian from finishing the job he had just started, which might mean that he, Charlie Chesterfield, could be having his name, instead of that of Jesse the Nazarene, submitted to the Ponty Pilot for his deliberation!

  • #8446 submitted 04/29/2020: superbious, curate's egg, disingenuous, philobiblist, n.

    Old Moses Meerschaum sucked on his pipe and said: "it's a bit of a curate's egg, no? we don't want to be disingenuous, but even if this Jesse Joseph is playing a long con, that doesn't mean that the Words he speaks aren't The Lord's, we know from the Torah that The Lord may even use empty vessels as conduits for His Word and who's to say this Nazarene isn't chosen by The Lord for His own purpose?" and Zadok the Priest banged his fist on the table like the superbious political wheeler-dealer he was: "see here, you old galoot, we don't need any of your Talmudic nit-picking, you might have been a big cheese back in Ponty, but you're not the Mayor now, I chair this Committee and no philobiblistical havering and on-the-one-hand-maybe-but-on-the-other-maybe-not sort of fine words is going to butter my parsnips if I've got anything to say about it, see? it's a simple enough questionhas Jesse of Nazareth committed Blasphemy by claiming to be King of the Jews? nice and easy, binary choice, even an old coot like you Mo, should be able to accept that?" which Zadok, as soon as he had spoken, suddenly wished he could take back and eat, for old Moses sat up in his chair and fixed the Priest with one of his famous Death Stares, and asked: "what's Solly's view of it?" referring, of course to King Saul, previously Solly Silverstein whose bookies' shop at the bottom of Overbentwilly Street was renowned for it's welcome, it's warmth and the wide range of cakes and biscuits baked fresh every morning by Miriam, his wife, although she was never around to hear the punters' praiseas a Man Cave dedicated to The Sporting Life, the language on occasion could be coarse and not intended for delicate female earsbut the jungle drums soon told her that the coffee sponge or the lemon drizzle had been well-praised, or the chocolate gateau which she turned out whenever there was a really big racethe Oaks, Derby, Champion Hurdle or Grand National and a number of others which drew in more than the regularshad surpassed all it's predecessors, and Zadok hesitated, because he knew what Solly's view was: he couldn't give a monkeys! no-one knew quite how or why the Ponty Bookie had got into the Kinging business, oh there were stories about him wining the title over a game of Beggar my Neighbour, or Pontoon, or a best of three on the baize in Nogood Boyo's Snooker and Billiard Hall over the Glendower Arms where Sinbad Sailors pulls pints and stares longingly at Gossamer Beynon who watches him through her thick, blonde lashes and wonders what his voice sounds like, having never once heard it in the fifteen years since she first saw him and knew he was her soul-mate, her one true love!

     

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