Triolet

I wish I were a jelly fish
That cannot fall downstairs:
Of all the things I wish to wish
I wish I were a jelly fish
That hasn’t any cares,
And doesn’t even have to wish
“I wish I were a jelly fish
That cannot fall downstairs.”

— G.K. Chesterton

Rhinoceros Party of Canada

The Rhinoceros Party of Canada claimed to have an appropriate mascot, as politicians by nature are “thick-skinned, slow-moving, dim-witted, can move fast as hell when in danger, and have large, hairy horns growing out of the middle of their faces.” Platform planks:

  • repealing gravity
  • providing higher education by building taller schools
  • tearing down the Rocky Mountains so that Albertans could see the sun set
  • abolishing the environment “because it’s too hard to keep clean and it takes up so much space”
  • putting the national debt on Visa

Compare New Zealand’s McGillicuddy Serious Party, whose policies included “full unemployment” and the introduction of chocolate fish as legal tender. “If you want to waste your vote, vote for us.”

Not Raising Hogs

March 20, 1963

The Honorable Ed Foreman
House of Representatives
Congressional District #16
Washington 25, D.C.

Dear Sir:

My friend over in Terebone Parish received a $1,000 check from the government this year for not raising hogs. So I am going into the not-raising hogs business next year.

What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on and the best kind of hogs not to raise? I would prefer not to raise Razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, I will just as gladly not raise any Berkshires or Durocs.

The hardest work in this business is going to be in keeping an inventory on how many hogs I haven’t raised.

My friend is very joyful about the future of his business. He has been raising hogs for more than 20 years and the best he ever made was $400, until this year, when he got $1,000 for not raising hogs.

If I can get $1,000 for not raising 50 hogs, then I will get $2,000 for not raising 100 hogs. I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to 4,000 hogs which means that I will have $80,000 coming from the government.

Now, another thing: these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. So will you pay me anything for not raising 100,000 bushels of corn to feed the hogs I am not raising?

I want to get started as soon as possible as this seems to be a good time of year for not raising hogs.

One more thing, can I raise 10 or 12 hogs on the side while I am in the not-raising-hog business just enough to get a few sides of bacon to eat?

Very truly yours,

J.B. Lee, Jr.
Potential Hog Raiser

Shaggy Dog Story

A man is looking for a new pet, so he goes to the pet store and asks the owner if he has a dog. The owner shows him a few dogs, but the man isn’t interested. Suddenly the pet store owner has a thought.

“I know just the dog for you,” he says, and he goes to the last kennel in the row. “Isn’t that the shaggiest dog you ever saw?”

“Why, yes, that is the shaggiest dog I ever saw!” says the man. “I should take him to show my wife! I’ll buy him.”

The man buys the dog and takes him home to his wife.

“I bought a dog today,” he says. “Isn’t that the shaggiest dog you ever saw?”

“Why, yes, that is the shaggiest dog I ever saw!” says his wife. “You should take it to show the minister!”

“You’re right,” says the man, and he takes the dog to see the minister.

“I bought a dog today,” he says. “Isn’t that the shaggiest dog you ever saw?”

“Why, yes, that is the shaggiest dog I ever saw!” says the minister. “You should take it to show the mayor!”

“You’re right,” says the man, and he takes the dog to see the mayor.

“I bought a dog today,” he says. “Isn’t that the shaggiest dog you ever saw?”

“Why, yes, that is the shaggiest dog I ever saw!” says the mayor. “You should take it to show the governor-general!”

“You’re right,” says the man, and he takes the dog to see the governor-general.

“I bought a dog today,” he says. “Isn’t that the shaggiest dog you ever saw?”

“Why, yes, that is the shaggiest dog I ever saw!” says the governor-general. “You should take it to show the queen!”

“You’re right,” says the man, and he takes the dog to see the queen.

“I bought a dog today,” he says. “Isn’t that the shaggiest dog you ever saw?”

The queen says, “No.”

The Yak

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yak_Drawing_historic.jpg

As a friend to the children commend me the Yak,
You will find it exactly the thing:
It will carry and fetch, you can ride on its back,
Or lead it about with a string.
The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Thibet
(A desolate region of snow)
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet,
And surely the Tartar should know!
Then tell your papa where the Yak can be got,
And if he is awfully rich
He will buy you the creature — or else he will not.
(I cannot be positive which.)

— Hilaire Belloc

Extreme Ironing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Extreme_ironing.jpg

Extreme Ironing is an outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

The sport reportedly started in Phil Shaw’s backyard in Leicester, England, but his promotional tour quickly attracted followers in Australia, Austria, and Germany, and the 2002 world championship drew 80 teams from 10 countries. Following the 2004 Summer Olympics, British rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave backed high-stakes ironing to become an Olympic sport.

“Ironists” have performed atop Mount Kilimanjaro, 100 meters underwater off the Egyptian coast, during the London marathon, and in a David-Blaine-style box 20 meters above Christmas shoppers in Leicester. And like any noble calling, this one has inspired others, including downhill vacuuming, inner-city clothes drying, and “apocalypse dishwashing.” Helen Keller wrote, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”