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December 13, 2006


For today's theme, this line from Freddy and Frederika, the latest Mark Helprin novel to ensnare me:

"Just a moment before, he had burst into the family quarters like a lunatic, speaking words that might be misconstrued, sounding too eager and very likely insane."

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Tanya: Untitled

Charles ran into the parlor of his parents’ estate, wild-eyed and hysterical. “Fairies!” he yelled, “Goddamn fairies everywhere!”

“Oh dear,” his mother Edwina sighed, “He’s been into town again. I do realize that the poets, actors, and artists are overrunning the city center, Charles. But one can’t go around shouting.”

She poured him a small brandy and pressed it into his shaking hand, as he moaned in agony and shock. “Really, boy. You’re taking this awfully seriously.”

Charles shuddered one last time, whispered “They’re everywhere,” and then lost consciousness. In the garden, Katydid and Lolly ducked under a dandelion, giggling.

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Jeff R.:Diplomatic Incident

It was a matter of dialects. In the speaker's native East Wahindic, that particular combination of ululations, trills, and glottal stops meant "As ambassador, I am grateful for your kind hospitality."

In West Wahindic, the related tongue that Uncle Thornton the explorer had learned in his travels, those very same sounds were translated as "Provided she is a virgin, I will pay you many goats to rent your daughter for the night."

If young Patrick hadn't tackled Thornton before he finished taking the blunderbuss down from the wall rack, the war would have started three years earlier than it did.

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Jim: Balls of Holly

...Tis the season to be jolly,

Jack grabbed the remote and muted the television. “Do you hear that, honey?”

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

“That sounds like Christmas carolers!” Peggy exclaimed.

“Let’s go see,” Jack said, leading his wife by the hand.

Don we now our gay apparel,

On their porch, a dozen carolers swayed to the music. The women each wore plaid flannel shirts and coveralls. The men, though, were decked out in midriff shirts, neck scarves and Speedo shorts. Horrified, Jack slammed the door shut.

Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

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David: Fruit Flies Like a Banana

He burst out of the basement and shouted, “Of course! My entropy vector is inverted! Honey, you’re a genius! I have to go.”

She looked up from the magazine she was reading. “Entropy vector? What are you talking about?”

“This is confusing for both of us, I think. There’s no need to insult me.”

“Insult you? Look, I don’t know what lamebrained project you’ve cooked up down there, but it doesn’t give you the right to run up here and act like an idiot.”

“Honey, guess what? My time machine works!” With that, he ran back down into the basement.

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