Dr. Cozen and his patent medicine, a putative panacea alleged to cure marthambles, beriberi, scabies, lumbago, St. Vitus' dance, dropsy, and coxsackie, enjoyed beatific success until Harriet published a meticulously researched debunking (which drew little attention at first, but set off a storm of indignant vociferations from unsatisfied customers that eventually closed the bad doctor's business).
"Piffle, persiflage, folderol! Just what I'd expect from Leviathan!" said Harriet irritably, her usual savoir-faire lost in the face of the Registry's refusal to renew her license -- but her gallimaufry of words only baffled the clerk, who ventured, "Ma'am ... are you calling me a whale?"
Harriet's draconian approach to Halloween meant no trick-or-treater escaped from her clutches without a new word: ghosts learned to call themselves fetches, werewolves became lycanthropes, and no one eked so much as a skittle from the experience.
In her seagoing days, morbid and tenebrous dreams -- which she believed were brought on by too much salt-preserved meat -- led Harriet to become a pescatarian, but when she returned to land she couldn't tolerate the draconian restrictions of that diet, so she resumed her old omnivorous ways.
Harriet's habit of hobnobbing with D.C. insiders turned out to be a machiavellian ploy to influence the health care debate: she'd feed them fabulous meals while delivering stentorian pitches for a public insurance option and other pet causes --members of the house one week, senators the next, then joint committee staff -- proving that she understands the warp and woof of our legislative system.
My gregarious nature made me believe that combining our dinner parties would lead to a better time being had by all (not to mention less cooking for me), but Harriet (who tends to conflate intelligence with moral excellence) declined with a luculent tirade on her manichean theory of socializing: to wit, my friends are dull and shallow and she'd sooner invite her friends to eat with axe murderers.
Harriet was explaining how she'd overcome haiku's syllable limits by using rebuses in her poems when Rudi came galumphing in on a gimcrack hobbyhorse he'd found in the cellar and warned her that such chimerical submissions would never be accepted by the poetry competition.
Harriet made a peremptory attempt to quash the rumor about Luigi by fiat, but the scuttlebutt wouldn't be silenced so she dumbfounded everyone by telling the truth.
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