If I even started to try to debunk this article, I'd no doubt end up on a journey of truly Homeric proportions. Yes, my people, this is the sort of gob-smackingly offensive "logic" that gets tossed around so much these days.
OUR storm is past, and that storm's tyrannous rage
A stupid calm, but nothing it, doth 'suage.
The fable is inverted, and far more
A block afflicts, now, than a stork before.
Storms chafe, and soon wear out themselves, or us;
In calms, Heaven laughs to see us languish thus.
As steady as I could wish my thoughts were,
Smooth as thy mistress' glass, or what shines there,
The sea is now, and, as these isles which we
Seek, when we can move, our ships rooted be.
As water did in storms, now pitch runs out;
As lead, when a fired church becomes one spout.
And all our beauty and our trim decays,
Like courts removing, or like ended plays.
The fighting-place now seamen's rags supply;
And all the tackling is a frippery.
No use of lanthorns; and in one place lay
Feathers and dust, to-day and yesterday.
Earth's hollownesses, which the world's lungs are,
Have no more wind than th' upper vault of air.
We can nor lost friends nor sought foes recover,
But meteor-like, save that we move not, hover.
Only the calenture together draws
Dear friends, which meet dead in great fishes' maws;
And on the hatches, as on altars, lies
Each one, his own priest and own sacrifice.
Who live, that miracle do multiply,
Where walkers in hot ovens do not die.
If in despite of these we swim, that hath
No more refreshing than a brimstone bath;
But from the sea into the ship we turn,
Like parboil'd wretches, on the coals to burn.
Like Bajazet encaged, the shepherds' scoff,
Or like slack-sinew'd Samson, his hair off,
Languish our ships. Now as a myriad
Of ants durst th' emperor's loved snake invade,
The crawling gallies, sea-gulls, finny chips,
Might brave our pinnaces, now bed-rid ships.
Whether a rotten state, and hope of gain,
Or to disuse me from the queasy pain
Of being beloved and loving, or the thirst
Of honour or fair death, out-push'd me first,
I lose my end; for here, as well as I,
A desperate may live, and coward die.
Stag, dog, and all which from or towards flies,
Is paid with life or prey, or doing dies.
Fate grudges us all, and doth subtly lay
A scourge, 'gainst which we all forget to pray.
He that at sea prays for more wind, as well
Under the poles may beg cold, heat in hell.
What are we then ? How little more, alas,
Is man now, than, before he was, he was ?
Nothing for us, we are for nothing fit;
Chance, or ourselves, still disproportion it.
We have no power, no will, no sense ; I lie,
I should not then thus feel this misery.
--- John Donne
The Fire That Filled My Heart Of OldIt's also worth checking out Thomson's deeply pessimistic The City Of Dreadful Night, a longer work that can be found here. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure most of you are just flighting past these poems, but give them a go. I do wonder what people might make of Thomson in these days. His vocabulary isn't exceptionally broad, but he has at times a keen gift of phrase--- "leaves the clay it glorified" strikes me as very good, indeed-- and he stands in curious contrast with the earlier Romantics; he seems neither Romantic nor Victorian, a bit out of the general loop, as it were. Give these poems a read. I think they're worth the effort.
The fire that filled my heart of old
Gave lustre while it burned;
Now only ashes grey and cold
Are in its silence urned.
Ah! better was the furious flame,
The splendour with the smart:
I never cared for the singer's fame,
But, oh! for the singer's heart!
The burning fulgent heart!
No love, no hate, no hope, no fear,
No anguish and no mirth;
Thus life extends from year to year,
A flat of sullen dearth.
Ah! life's blood creepeth cold and tame
Life's thought plays no new part:
I never cared for the singer's fame,
But, oh! for the singer's heart
The bleeding passionate heart!
E. B. B. [Ed: Elizabeth Barrett Browning]
The white-rose garland at her feet,
The crown of laurel at her head,
Her noble life on earth complete,
Lay her in the last low bed
For the slumber calm and deep:
"He giveth His belovèd sleep."
Soldiers find their fittest grave
In the field whereon they died:
So her spirit pure and brave
Leaves the clay it glorified
To the land for which she fought
With such grand impassioned thought.
Keats and Shelley sleep at Rome,
She in well-loved Tuscan earth:
Finding all their death's long home
Far from their old home of birth,
Italy you hold in trust
Very sacred English dust.
Therefore this one prayer I breathe, ---
That you yet may worthy prove
Of the heirlooms they bequeath
Who have loved you with such love
Fairest land while land of slaves
Yields their free sould no fit graves.
"The Nightingale was not yet heard,
For the rose was not yet blown."
His heart was quiet as a bird
Asleep in the night alone
And never were its pulses stirred
To breathe or joy or moan:
The Nightingale was not yet heard
For the Rose was not yet blown.
Then She bloomed forth before his sight
In passion and in power,
And filled the very day with light,
So glorious was her dower;
And made the whole vast moonlit night
As fragrant as a bower:
The young, the beautiful, the bright,
The splendid peerless Flower.
Whereon his heart was like a bird
When Summer mounts his throne,
And all its pulses thrilled and stirred
To songs of joy and moan,
To every most impassioned word
And most impassioned tone;
The Nightingale at length was heard
For the Rose at length was blown.
Okay, just try and tell me that this picture isn't just about the cutest thing you've seen today. Go ahead. I dares ya. Check out the enraptured expression on his face....
In case you're wondering what's happening, you can read the story here. You may now release your collective "Awwwww"s.
It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot!And if you don't know where that comes from, you really are too young to be reading this blog. :-)
GOOD GNUSTell me, people, how can you not like this poem?
When cares attack and life seems black,
How sweet it is to pot a yak,
Or puncture hares and grizzly bears,
And others I could mention:
But in my Animals 'Who's Who"
No name stands higher than the Gnu:
And each new gnu that comes in view
Receives my prompt attention.
When Afric's sun is sinking low,
And shadows wander to and fro,
And everywhere there's in the air
A hush that's deep and solemn;
Then is the time good men and true
With View Halloo pursue the gnu:
(The safest spot to put your shot
Is through the spinal column).
To take the creature by surprise
We must adopt some rude disguise,
Although deceit is never sweet,
And falsehoods don't attract us:
So, as with gun in hand you wait,
Remember to impersonate
A tuft of grass, a mountain-pass,
A kopje or a cactus.
A brief suspense, and then at last
The waiting's o'er, the vigil past:
A careful aim. A spurt of flame.
It's done. You've pulled the trigger.
And one more gnu, so fair and frail,
Has handed in its dinner-pail:
(The females all are rather small,
The males are somewhat bigger).
--- P.G. Wodehouse
~~And I guess that's why they call it the Blues
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Laughing like children, living like lovers
Rolling like thunder under the covers
And I guess that's why they call it the Blues...~~
"There are certain things that happen which are not sexual but could be interpreted that way," Laird said.Well, now how could anyone have misunderstood? It as just an innocent case of bondage and manipulation. I get it now. Whew, that's a relief. And remember children: Father knows best.
The Complete ListSo, who do I think is missing from the list? Hmmmm..... so many....
1. Vito Corleone of The Godfather (Come on... Number One?!?!?)
2. Fred C. Dobbs of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
3. Scarlett O'Hara of Gone With the Wind (Fiddle-dee-fucking-dee.)
4. Norman Bates of Psycho
5. James Bond of Dr. No (I thought they said "character" and not caricature.)
6. Annie Hall of Annie Hall (Wha????????? I say, Whaaaa????)
7. Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark
8. Ellen Ripley of Alien (Oy.)
9. Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Give me a break.)
10. Gollum of Lord of the Rings (Meh.)
11. Margo Channing of All About Eve (Good call.)
12. Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane (Okay, getting better.)
13. Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird (Okay, okay.)
14. Randle McMurphy of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Meh.)
15. Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs (Oh, Jesus...)
16. Robin Hood of The Adventures of Robin Hood
17. Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz (Bleah!)
18. Carl Spackler of Caddyshack (Say what!?!?!?!? Who made this list?)
19. Rick Blaine of Casablanca (Right on.)
20. Virgil Tibbs of In the Heat of the Night
21. Susan Vance of Bringing up Baby
22. Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver
23. Eathan Edwards of The Searchers
24. The Little Tramp of Mabel's Strange Predicament
25. Gordon Gekko of Wall Street (Yawn.)
26. E.T. of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ("Eliot, Eliot, I'm standing on my testicles!")
27. Marge Gunderson of Fargo (A quirky choice, but one I respect.)
28. Captain Quint of Jaws
29. Daphne/Jerry of Some Like it Hot
30. King Kong of King Kong
31. Norma Desmond of Sunset Boulevard (Now she should have been MUCH higher on this list.)
32. Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany's
33. Ratso Rizzo of Midnight Cowboy
34. Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde
35. Dr. Evil of Austin Powers (I've got a big bag of Shhhh for the guys that made this list.)
36. Alex Forrest of Fatal Attraction (Groan.)
37. Jake Gittes of Chinatown (Okay.)
38. Willy Wonka of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (I think it's time you gave me another break.)
39. Michael Dorsey/Dorthy Michaels of Tootsie
40. The Terminator of The Terminator (Oh, fuck the hell off.)
41. Jane Craig of Broadcast News
42. "Dirty" Harry Callahan of Dirty Harry
43. Forrest Gump of Forrest Gump (This list is like a box of chocolates... Fulla brown stuff.)
44. Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction (Blah.)
45. Mary Poppins of Mary Poppins
46. John McClane of Die Hard (Yippy-cayay, muthafuckers...)
47. Mrs. Robinson of The Graduate (Right. On.)
48. John "Bluto" Blutarsky of Animal House (Another break, please?)
49. Chance the Gardener of Being There (YES!)
50. Blondie of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
51. Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street (Oy effing vey.)
52. Howard Beale of Network (This is a great call.)
53. Ninotchka of Ninotchka
54. Frank Booth of Blue Velvet
55. The Dude of The Big Lebowski
56. Alan Swann of My Favorite Year (Another quirky choice, and another good one.)
57. Tom Powers of The Public Enemy
58. Phyliss Dietrichson of Double Indemnity
59. Lt. Kilgore of Apocalypse Now
60. George Bailey of It's a Wonderful Life (Fair enough. But what about Clarence?)
61. J.J. Hunsecker of Sweet Smell of Success
62. John Shaft of Shaft (What tha funk?)
63. Carrie White of Carrie (Jiminy willikers!)
64. Rocky Balboa of Rocky (Double jiminy willikers!)
65. Edward Scissorhands of Edward Scissorhands
66. Navin Johnson of The Jerk (Alright, go away now.)
67. Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther
68. Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange (Oy.)
69. Terry Malloy of On the Waterfront
70. Judy Benjamin of Private Benjamin (I'm verklempt.)
71. Rev. Harry Powell of The Night of the Hunter (Good call.)
72. Lloyd Dobler of Say Anything
73. Norma Rae of Norma Rae
74. Tony Montana of Scarface (Possibly the most overrated character in film history.)
75. Dr. Strangelove of Dr. Strangelove
76. Tony Manero of Saturday Night Fever (Bite me. Seriously.)
77. Annie Wilkes of Misery
78. "Mad" Max Rockatansky of Mad Max (I now have road rage.)
79. Hans Beckert of M (Good one.)
80. Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon (Why the HELL is he so far down this list?)
81. Aurora Greenway of Terms of Endearment (Hi, I'm Shirley MacLaine, and I'm a neurotic mess.)
82. Jack Torrance of The Shining (All work and no play make Jack a hammy actor.)
83. William Cutting of Gangs of New York
84. Darth Vader of Star Wars (The Force is weak with this one.)
85. Stanley Kowalski of A Streetcar Named Desire (Another unfair demotion.)
86. Melanie Daniels of The Birds (Tippi. Hedren. Oy.)
87. Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Oh, come on. It's a good comic turn, nothing more. If anything, it's Johnny Depp doing Peter O'Tools doing Allan Swann.)
88. Raymond Babbitt of Rain Man (No.)
89. Sandy Olsson of Grease (No, no, no.)
90. John Malkovich of Being John Malkovich (No, no, no, no, no; a great movie, but one of the greatest characters of all time? Mehtinks not.)
91. Mrs. Iselin of The Manchurian Candidate (Alright, this DESERVES to be here. Angela Lansbury at her *intentionally* creepy best.)
92. Dil of The Crying Game (Meh. Seems an overstatement.)
93. Harry Lime of The Third Man (Good choice. His cuckoo-clock line is a classic.)
94. Rose Sayer of The African Queen
95. Oda Mae Brown of Ghost (Back da fuck up, girlfriend....)
96. Tommy DeVito of GoodFellas (Meh.)
97. Ace Ventura of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Okay, this is WAR.)
98. Antoine Doinel of The 400 Blows
99. Kevin McCallister of Home Alone (Okay, this is NUCLEAR WAR.)
100. Roger "Verbal" Kint of The Usual Suspects (Retreat to DefCon 3.)
Children Selecting Books In A LibraryAnd then there's the little poem of his that almost everybody has read at some point or another, usually in high school:
With beasts and gods, above, the wall is bright.
The child's head, bent to the book-colored shelves,
Is slow and sidelong and food-gathering,
Moving in blind grace ... yet from the mural, Care
The grey-eyed one, fishing the morning mist,
Seizes the baby hero by the hair
And whispers, in the tongue of gods and children,
Words of a doom as ecumenical as dawn
But blanched like dawn, with dew.
The children's cries
Are to men the cries of crickets, dense with warmth
-- But dip a finger into Fafnir, taste it,
And all their words are plain as chance and pain.
Their tales are full of sorcerers and ogres
Because their lives are: the capricious infinite
That, like parents, no one has yet escaped
Except by luck or magic; and since strength
And wit are useless, be kind or stupid, wait
Some power's gratitude, the tide of things.
Read meanwhile ... hunt among the shelves, as dogs do, grasses,
And find one cure for Everychild's diseases
Beginning: Once upon a time there was
A wolf that fed, a mouse that warned, a bear that rode
A boy. Us men, alas! wolves, mice, bears bore.
And yet wolves, mice, bears, children, gods and men
In slow preambulation up and down the shelves
Of the universe are seeking ... who knows except themselves?
What some escape to, some escape: if we find Swann's
Way better than our own, an trudge on at the back
Of the north wind to -- to -- somewhere east
Of the sun, west of the moon, it is because we live
By trading another's sorrow for our own; another's
Impossibilities, still unbelieved in, for our own ...
"I am myself still?" For a little while, forget:
The world's selves cure that short disease, myself,
And we see bending to us, dewy-eyed, the great
CHANGE, dear to all things not to themselves endeared.
Her imaginary playmate was a grown-up
In sea-coal satin. The flame-blue glances,
The wings gauzy as the membrane that the ashes
Draw over an old ember --as the mother
In a jug of cider-- were a comfort to her.
They sat by the fire and told each other stories.
"What men want..." said the godmother softly--
How she went on it is hard for a man to say.
Their eyes, on their Father, were monumental marble.
Then they smiled like two old women, bussed each other,
Said, "Gossip, gossip"; and, lapped in each other's looks,
Mirror for Mirror, drank a cup of tea.
Of cambric tea. But there is a reality
Under the good silk of the good sisters'
Good ball gowns. She knew... Hard-breasted, naked-eyed,
She pushed her silk feet into glass, and rose within
A gown of imaginary gauze. The shy prince drank
A toast to her in champagne from her slipper
And breathed, "Bewitching!" Breathed, "I am bewitched!"
--She said to her godmother, "Men!"
And, later, looking down to see her flesh
Look back up from under lace, the ashy gauze
And pulsing marble of a bridal veil,
She wished it all a widow's coal-black weeds.
A sullen wife and a reluctant mother,
She sat all day in silence by the fire.
Better, later, to stare past her sons' sons,
Her daughters' daughter, and tell stories to the fire.
But best, dead, damned, to rock forever
Beside Hell's fireside-- to see within the flames
The Heaven to whosee gold-gauzed door there comes
A little dark old woman, the God's Mother,
And cries, "Come in, come in! My son's out now,
Out now, will be back soon, may be back never,
Who knows, eh? We know what they are--men, men!
But come, come in till then! Come in till then!
The Breath of Night
The moon rises. The red cubs rolling
In the ferns by the rotten oak
Stare over a marsh and a meadow
To the farm's white wisp of smoke.
A spark burns, high in heaven.
Deer thread the blossoming rows
Of the old orchard, rabbits
Hop by the well-curb. The cock crows
From the tree by the widow's walk;
Two stars in the trees to the west,
Are snared, and an owl's soft cry
Runs like a breath through the forest.
Here too, though death is hushed, though joy
Obscures, like night, their wars,
The beings of this world are swept
By the Strife that moves the stars.
The Death Of The Ball Turret GunnerI remember once liking that last poem, but it's since become to my mind a kind of patchwork pastiche of Ezra Pound and Siegfried Sassoon. There's a sadness to the fact that sometimes an accomplished writer should mainly be remembered for a poem that is by no means near his best. It'd be as if we only remembered Shakespeare for The Merry Wives of Windsor. I suppose this is how Alec Guinness felt, being remembered primarily for being Obi-Wan Kenobi. *shrug* Hopefully, though, a few of you might search Jarrell out. Yes, this is one of this blog's primary duties-- beyond making puerile jokes and pointing to myriad examples of human stupidity-- to expose my readers, as much as possible, to writers that we tend to neglect or to forget. Sadly, even were I to teach a course on Modernism, Jarrell would have to be sacrificed (as Johnson would have to be sacrificed from a Victorian course), but that doesn't mean he should fall into oblivion, either.
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
RK, if no one else, should find this of interest: Catherine Deneuve has a volume of diaries coming out, diaries, however, that are eliciting some rather unkind responses from critics. The former link has some good quotes in it, though, including this one: "The French like their literature to resemble their cassoulet - thick as a brick, and somewhat indigestible." See also Gerard Depardieu's description of Mme Deneuve as "the man I’d like to be."
Those of you unfamiliar with Mme Deneuve should check out her filmography. Some of you may remember her from her peculiar appearance in The Hunger lo those years ago with Susan Sarandon and that great thespian -- ack!-- David Bowie. That film still makes me, er, uncomfortable. It's too bad, though, that there seems to be a snowball's chance in Hell of her doing films in English that might do her justice. Her last film to get attention outside of French-speaking markets was probably Indochine in 1993, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award (admittedly as the dark horse in that race). At almost sixty, she seems to have matured more than she's aged-- and she's certainly a better actress now than she was in her ingènue days.
Mystic And CavalierAnd then there's this poem, a beautiful, sad, haunting piece, which for reasons beyond immediate explanation I admire greatly and thinkn probably more powerful now than it was when it was written, especially in this day and age in which we fortify ourselves against the past with callousness and indifference. The poem was written with an elegaic quality, but it seems to me its mourning is stoic in its own, and more powerful for its memorial of an era more acute to subtlety. Maybe it's me, but I see a correspondence here between the sad woman of Johnson's poem and the singing women in Wallace Stevens' "The Idea of Order at Key West" and Conrad Aiken's The Divine Pilgrim. Whether the latter two poets were rewriting Johnson, I do not know. The beauty of Johnson's poem is its simplicity; even the most immature undergraduate could read this poem and gather its meaning, or so I'd like to think, however naively.
Go from me; I am one of those, who fall.
What! hath no cold wind swept your heart at all,
In my sad company? Before the end,
Go from me, dear my friend!
Yours are the victories of light: your feet
Rest from good toil, where rest is brave and sweet.
But after warfare in a mourning gloom,
I rest in clouds of doom.
Have you not read so, looking in these eyes?
Is it the common light of the pure skies,
Lights up their shadowy depths? The end is set:
Though the end be not yet.
When gracious music stirs, and all is bright,
And beauty triumphs through a courtly night;
When I too joy, a man like other men:
Yet, am I like them then?
And in the battle, when the horsemen sweep
Against a thousand deaths, and fall on sleep:
Who ever sought that sudden calm, if I
Sought not? Yet could not die.
Seek with thine eyes to pierce this crystal sphere:
Canst read a fate there, prosperous and clear?
Only the mists, only the weeping clouds:
Dimness and airy shrouds.
Beneath what angels are at work? What powers
Prepare the secret of the fatal hours?
See! the mists tremble, and the clouds are stirred:
When comes the calling word?
The clouds are breaking from the crystal ball,
Breaking and clearing: and I look to fall.
When the cold winds and airs of portent sweep,
My spirit may have sleep.
O rich and sounding voices of the air!
Interpreters and prophets of despair:
Priests of a fearful sacrement! I come,
To make with you mine home.
The Precept Of Silence
I know you: solitary griefs,
Desolate passions, aching hours!
I know you, tremulous beliefs,
Agonized hopes, and ashen flowers!
The winds are sometimes sad to me;
The starry spaces, full of fear:
Mine is the sorrow on the sea,
And mine the sigh of places drear.
Some players upon plaintive strings
Publish their wistfulness abroad:
I have not spoken of these things,
Save to one man, and unto God.
The Age Of A Dream
[sometimes dedicated "To Christopher Whall"]
Imageries of dreams reveal a gracious age:
Black armour, falling lace, and altar lights at morn.
The courtesy of Saints, their gentleness and scorn,
Lights on an earth more fair, than shone from Plato's page:
The courtesy of knights, fair calm and sacred rage:
The courtesy of love, sorrow for love's sake borne.
Vanished, those high conceits! Desolate and forlorn,
We hunger against hope for that lost heritage.
Gone now, the carven work! Ruined, the golden shrine!
No more the glorious organs pour their voice divine;
No more rich frankincense drifts through the Holy Place:
Now from the broken tower, what solemn bell still tolls,
Mourning what piteous death? Answer, O saddened souls!
Who mourn the death of beauty and the death of grace.
A StrangerMore of Johnson's poems-- including a few of the ones included here-- can be found at this site. See also some his more explcitly "Irish" poems here and here. It's a humbling post-script to note that Johnson died at 35, only a mere five years older than myself. I really need to stop observing such things.
To Will Rothenstein
Her face was like sad things: was like the lights
Of a great city, seen from far off fields,
Or seen from the sea: sad things, as are the fires
Lit in a land of furnaces by night:
Sad things, as are the reaches of a stream
Flowing beneath a golden moon alone.
And her clear voice, full of remembrances,
Came like faint music down the distant air.
As though she had a spirit of dead joy
About her, looked the sorrow of her ways:
If light there be, the dark hills are to climb
First: and if be calm, far over the long sea.
Fallen from all the world apart she seemed,
Into a silence and a memory.
What had the thin hands done, that now they strained
Together in such passion? And those eyes,
What saw they long ago, that now they dreamed
Along the busy streets, blind but to dreams?
Her white lips mocked the world, and all therein:
She had known more than this; she wanted not
This, who had known the past so great a thing.
Moving about our ways, herself she moved
In things done, years remembered, places gone.
Lonely, amid the living crowds as dead,
She walked with wonderful and sad regard:
With us, her passing image: but herself
Far over the dark hills and the long sea.
Well, that grand ole literary crank is at it again, this time with the rather mightily-titled "The Best Poems Of The English Language: From Chaucer To Frost." Info on the book at Amazon can be found here. Bloom's a critic always to be taken with a grain of salt, but he's also a critic one ignores at one's own peril. I'll be curious to see what he does with the poems, even if I'm more than sure much of his commentary is as acidic as grapefruit juice.
This blog will not even bother to speculate what Naomi Wolf's reaction to the book will be. ("It touched my thigh when I set it in my lap and now I'm scarred for life.") Okay, I did speculate. Sue me.
Now, if I'd had a few million pounds stashed around the house, I sure as hell would not have let this happen. I'm shocked. At least it gives me another kick at the can (maybe). My project: if I gigolo myself out for $50 bucks a head, that'll be.... Oh. Crap.
Alright, the line starts here. Ladies only, please....
(First person who makes a remark about me not being worth $50 will be appropriately throttled, bitch-slapped, and either castrated or clitoridectomized as the situation sees fit. And, yes, we thank you for your support. )
Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a benchReminds me of an old joke, longer and much more insidious:
rings and a man engages the hands free speaker-function and begins to talk.
Everyone else in the room stops to listen.
WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"
WOMAN: "I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's
only $1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"
MAN: "Sure, ..go ahead if you like it that much."
WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Jaguar dealership and saw the new 2004 models.
I saw one I really liked."
MAN: "How much?"
MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."
WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing .... The house we wanted last year
is back on the market. They're asking $950,000."
MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer, but just offer 900,000."
WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you!"
MAN: "Bye, I love you, too."
The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are looking at him in
astonishment. Then he asks: "Anyone know who this phone belongs to?"
A wealthy businessman away on business checks into his hotel room and decides to call home and check in with his wife. After several rings, a male voice answers the phone.I know, I know...
Businessman: Ah, yes, hello. Who is this?
Voice: This is the gardener, sir.
Businessman: Ah, yes. Is the lady of the house in?
Voice: I'm not sure, sir. I'll check, sir.
The businessman sits idly on the phone, waiting for someone to return, rolling his eyes and awkwardly picking things out of his wallet.
Voice: Yes, sir, the lady of the house is in, but, sir, she can't, well, she can't come to the phone right now.
The businessman, clearly frustrated after his trip and insistent on speaking with his wife, gets testy and decides to remind the gardener who's really in charge.
Businessman: I don't care what she's doing, can you get her to come the phone right now, please.
Voice: But sir....
Businessman: I don't care. I don't care what she's doing, just get her to the phone right now.
Voice: But sir... I'm sorry to say this but [his voice lowers to a whisper] I am afraid that lady is, well, she is in bed with another man.
Stunned, the businessman sits in silence, wrestling with his jealousy and imagining his wife in sexual performance with another man.
Voice: Sir.... sir, are you there? are you okay?
After a long pause, he grits his teeth and returns to the conversation.
Businessman: Yes, I'm here.
His wallet now cast aside and his hand become a first in rage, he summons himself to respond to the news.
Businessman: Can you hear me? If you want to keep your job, and if you want to put your kids through college, you'll do what I tell you. Do you know where my study is?
Voice: Yes, sir.
Businessman: Go there, and go into the second drawer on the left side of my desk. In there is a gun. I want you to get it and go and shoot my wife and that bastard that's with her. And then come back to the phone.
Voice: But sir....
Businessman: Do you hear me? I can make your life very easy or I can make it very, very hard. Do you understand me? Do it. Now.
Voice: [after a short, defeated pause] Yes, sir....
The businessman hears the phone plunk down on a table, and a mild shuffle of footsteps. Then a few creaks and cracks amid the mostly silence of a moment or two before he hears two loud shots being fired. Then more creaks and cracks, and the sound of heavy footsteps after another moment or two of waiting. Then the voice returns, panting heavily and in obvious distress.
Voice: It's done, sir.
Despite the tremble in the voice on the other end of the phone, the businessman sighs, realizing the completion of his revenge. Slightly satisfied, but suddenly a bit worried about how to handle matters, he composes himself with a kind of careful but heavy-handed clinicism.
Businessman: Well done. Okay, okay. Now, tell me, what did you do with the gun?
Voice: Sir, I'm sorry, I was in such a shock I threw it out of the window into the pool outside. Should I go get it?
Businessman: Pool? Pool?!? Wait a second, is this 765-9842?