Archive for October, 2009

Ode to the Six-Stone Swan of Attenborough

6-Stone Swan of Attenborough

Under a sky heavy-laden with clouds

One finds the pebbled path

Stuck fast betwixt the willows

Guided by the Trent, carrying its pellucid offering to Brigantia

This umber road presses its travelers ever forward

Nymphs whisper softly of legendary fowl

The northern ponds yield not your ethereal presence

Every corner promises you, the oaks sway in assent

Mounds betray your former haven

Across a bridge which bears the weight of time

Yet has not borne such a burden as thee

Downward one must travel, ever hastily downward

Another pool breaks through the arborous wall

There you reveal your avian majesty

A tortuous ivory neck, bent as a shepherd’s crook

Sable trunks undulate with great effort like the rising and crashing of the Deep

Thy gait they dare to deem “pigeon-toed”

Though you surely demonstrate it as “swan-footed”

Every gesticulation comes with a heave of your great breast

Straining for breath

As you have engorged yourself on the daily offerings

The goose, the mallard, they shudder at your attendance

With wings upraised you flaunt your glory

Enraged at the presence of the avian serfdom

The earth quakes at each step, pleading for your mercy

At long last, you heed its request

For it has declared you sovereign

Reluctantly your feet lead you to water’s edge

Each footfall brings you closer to your fluid perch

You have abandoned the shore in confidence

Preserved by the writ of royalty

Nary shall you cast your gaze behind

Now the river shall bear the burden of your legs

A Fashionable Conclusion

Due to sun-deprivation, that's the actual color of her legs.

Alabaster Hamstrings

You may have thought she was done, but wife is full of trend-based surprises. Due to sun-deprivation, that’s the actual color of her legs.

A Blast from the Past… Again: the KKK

I recently took a trip in my time machine and was able to recover another remarkable relic from the year 2005. Adding this to the repertoire of entries will help expand your horizons, so that you may come to understand how historically rooted is this mode of communication…

Oxford, 2005

"Hello to all you birds and blokes from the right good Mr. Blair and his American chum, Andrew 'the Fraus want to squeeze his rumpus' Talbert,

I truly desired to end this e-mail at the intro, but a greater desire burns within me to divulge the happenings of the last few weeks. With that said, I must explain my address to you folks on the mainland. I have ventured across the channel and am currently residing in Oxford with my cousin, Franklin. You must, therefore, read this letter in a Cockney accent to the best of your individual abilities, because I have labored in the same manner. Whether out loud or in your heads is a matter of personal preference- either way I do not care. Now, let us look back over the past several weeks and try to salvage memories worth slathering on this paper.

This past week I was invited by my Korean friend David to partake in a delicious meal prepared by several of his Korean lady friends. I traversed through Mannheim with two other Americans and my main man, Dag, for the experience. After a select malt beverage, the ladies brought out a meal that I was to struggle with for the next two days. They unloaded 3 pans of chicken and onions with red pepper and rice. I estimate the quantity of meat prepared was roughly 12 pounds, with an additional 4 pounds of onions, and 9 pounds of red pepper all together. I am unsure of its proper name in Korean, so I referred to it as peener choi and later as “the afterburner,” but I will explain that in a moment. We handled the first plate without difficulty, the second slowed us a bit, but we managed to take care of business. It was at the third and spiciest round that we confronted an insurmountable task. Despite being quite full I found myself continuing to cram vast quantities of this delicacy into my facial orifice (I use the qualifier facial because I know that some of you with sick minds would have imagined otherwise). I find myself utterly merciless when confronted by the kindness of Asian women, as Hiroki can inform you of the night that I ate all of their food because of the insistence of his mother, but I digress. I assured myself out loud that I would finish all that they laid before me, and was challenged by one friend, Matt, to do so. Even Dag, the man who eats so voraciously and with such commitment that I am surprised he has managed to keep all ten digits without one falling as a casualty of mastication, surrendered to the overwhelming number of fowl that had been slaughtered for our enjoyment. I reminded myself that, though my stomach and intestines were at maximum capacity, I still had the entire length of my esophagus up to my larynx to fill until I would succumb to asphyxiation. Fortunately, David informed me that I needn’t eat anymore, as the others had already retired, and Matt retracted his former challenge, and quickly took my plate to the kitchen so that he wouldn’t have to take me to the hospital. I leaned back and breathed heavily, contracting my stomach muscles in the hopes of holding my internal organs together, that they would not burst. My relief soon turned to fear as the ladies brought out two trays of sliced fruit. I sat in helpless terror as my hand reached for several pieces of pineapple, placed said fruit into my mouth, and my jaw began working contrary to the desires of my mind…

The following day I met with David to help him install some light fixtures in his apartment. The Ikea store was some distance from his place, so we had to catch a Strassenbahn to a bus station and then a bus to the store- a total journey of about 6000 miles. As we rode on the Strassenbahn, however, I felt deep and painful cramps surging in my stomach, but I figured that it was simply gas and that it would pass with time. At the bus stop, however, I realized I was wrong in the worst kind of way... I have, therefore, termed my experience the Korean kaka katasrophe- better known as the KKK. I asked David to watch my bag and ran into the bathroom there at the stop. Now, as a disclaimer, the Germans are typically associated with cleanliness on a level that is unfamiliar to most Americans, and I have experienced their cleanliness first-hand, but it has since became quite apparent that the Germans have a dirty side, and they managed to fit all of their filth into this single restroom. I kicked open the first stall door only to see a moderately clean toilet without a seat. I slammed my shoulder into the next stall only to discover that it had been sealed shut for some unknown reason. I ran back to the first stall and decided to chance it, but after a quick glance I noticed that the stall was entirely devoid of toilet paper. The holes on the wall indicated to me that there had at one time been a toilet paper holder, but apparently this bathroom was a meeting place for pour souls with the angriest of bowels, and the last man there must have ripped it out of the wall as he grasped at the nearest object to aid him in riding out the storm. The toilet paper, however, was an absolute necessity. So, I peeked over my stall into the sealed stall to see where there had formerly been a toilet there was now a variety of liquor bottles, mostly Jägermeister, and other trash strewn about the cubicle. Apparently, it seemed prudent to some passing welder to seal the room shut, rather than install a new toilet and clean up the mess. Amongst all the refuse I noticed a grand object: Kleenex toilet paper. I climbed from my toilet into the next stall, grabbed the paper and scurried back over to my toilet in great desperation… I finished my business and found there was no sink for me to wash my hands. So, I exited the bathroom and resolved to wash my hands when I made it to Ikea, but in all honesty, it never happened."

I have no regrets.

Low Gear Emasculation

Over the past several weeks, wife and I have been sharing a single bike as our primary means of conveyance. Now that she has a temporary position, she travels a good bit further than I on a daily basis. Having realized the time that the bike saves us, however, we deemed it necessary to purchase another cycle. I spent the day working from home so that someone would be present to receive the bike from the deliveryman. As our original bike is more masculine, we decided to purchase something with a feminine flair to accentuate the baby-producing nature of wife. Having received the package, I tore off its wrappings only to realize how lady-esque it truly is. After snorting at the bike and making derogatory comments, I began the assembly process. The bicycle came together quickly enough, but I noticed that the chain dropped whenever pedal locomotion ceased. Not wanting to void any warranty, I determined to bring our new purchase to a nearby bike repair shop. Riding as hurriedly as possible to avoid potential embarrassment and then over-explaining how the bike was not mine to the shopkeeper, I left the two-wheeled contraption in more mechanically-able hands.

I had the bike home within and hour as the fix was quick and relatively inexpensive. I left wife’s bike on the back porch and settled down with the hope of accomplishing some work (I am supposed to be working on a PhD). Having lost track of time, I realized I had only thirty minutes to pick something up from the town centre before a certain shop closed. In desperation I considered how I could possibly make it in time… then I slowly peered out the back window. The bike chimed its bell at me, bade me come to her, and said, “I have a riding lesson for you!” Devoid of other options I gave the bike another looking over, not as an inspection of functionality, but attempting to determine what I might do to detract from the overwhelming femininity of this velocipede. Wearing camouflage and smearing myself in blood seemed an act of over-compensation, not to mention the fact that it would look like I had murdered a little girl and stolen her bike. Disrobing and exhibiting my masculinity would certainly have distracted attention from the bike, but our community is small, and we run into members of our church everyday… oh, and jail- both the detention and the potential of ending up naked in a cell- these things disuaded me. I decided to swallow my pride and took off in the clothes I was wearing. I gazed at the bike below me: a soft pink and gray frame. Mind you, the gray might have detracted from the womanly quality of the cycle, had not the words “estrogen” and “cuddles” been emblazoned on the sides. Every push of the pedals caused me pain. I felt like a middle-school student hoping his friends would not notice that he was riding a girl’s bike. That is when I looked up and saw actual middle-school students walking along the side of the road, having been freshly dismissed from their classes. “How embarrassing,” I thought, but then I reminded myself, “They’re only kids, they don’t care”- if only I had not read the story of Elisha that morning I could have convinced myself. As I passed successive groups of children, I noticed that none gave me more than a glance, and no one told me to “Go up, you bald head!” My fears allayed, I reassured myself, “This is alright,” when suddenly my seat cranked backwards forcing the pointed end of the saddle into a certain area that is not made to receive pointed objects. It was as though the bike was trying to force the process of evolution so that we would fit with one another. I finally managed to make it close enough to my destination that I was able to abandon this emasculating bike (on the outskirts of the town centre) and run to the shop before it closed to retrieve several photos I had had developed. I returned to the bike and could have sworn she was laughing at me, laying their on her side. She knew I needed her to get home. Not having brought a bag, I stuffed the photo envelope inside my sweater, picked up the embarrassment, and headed home. After riding a short distance, however, the pictures shifted inside my sweater and came to rest upright on my left thigh, and, because I had set the seat for wife’s height, this resulted in the restricted movement of my legs. This meant that with every elevation of the left pedal, the pictures brushed across my left nipple, and then back across with each push. I could not stop as I was in the middle of the road, nor could I stand, as that would risk losing the pictures. So, there I was: trapped, robbed of all dignity, virtually castrated, and being molested by myself. The bike had won…