Saturday, November 10, 2012
"Two Score of Jests" / "Vale"
My Final "Jests"
1. "Entertainment Crackers"
Crackers that are so nice they are called "entertainment crackers."
Perhaps you have heard of them.
I think that their reputation rather proceeds them.
They are opposed to their confreres in the biscuit tin, the miserable "water cracker" -- so named because it tastes like water.
"Bread and water."
They should call them prisonhouse crackers.
2. I misremembered the name of the dog from Downton Abbey. I called her "Ibis" ("Ibex") when her name is "Isis".
Here endeth my excellent run of jests, which ran rather like that peculiar figure Emerson describes in "Experience" - that "train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus."
I do not believe I am being grandiloquent when I make the comparison.
I do not believe I am being pretentious when I make the allusion.
The better-loved, more beautiful beads, it seems, were the least-loved among ye.
You my readers who it seems pine for chintz and paste trinkets!
Ye came to me to read of Storage Wars, of Market Warriors, even of Dog the Bounty Hunter.
My own humble prattle about the daily goings-on in my days when I reflected amicably on life in a district of Brooklyn town seem to have amused few among ye.
Shall you recoil from me once more if I draw on another figure from the American Renaissance, now recalling the words of Longfellow as I describe my actions?
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
When I published my squibs exclusively in pamphlet form, in the previous century, I used to round off each volume with a vow that the next volume should not be offered to the former subscription list; that I would leave copies only in hedgerows, in huckleberry bushes, in ditches, in dead letter boxes, in drop-points, secreted in the almshouses of Abingdon and the charity shops of Norwich's St. Benedict's Street. The municipal hutches for cats at the top of Long Island; Commercial Street between Box and Clay?
These threats were empty vessels and I'd routinely return, like a drinker from LETHE's waters, to the fray of publishing my own jokes and tirades.
These days I have had the petulance scoured out of me, and instead withdraw my gaming pieces with that sort of playful misanthropy that has become my signature on this site.
I say, I -- who so gamely threw myself into the "great game" -- I withdraw my dies and counters respectfully from that humiliated bandshell the public arena, and fold myself up, mummy-like, in the shroud of my former showman's tent.
Got metaphors if you want 'em.
The next time I feel compelled to write a new rumination on the subject of Market Warriors or Top Chef or Chef Race, I might conceivably resume posting my findings somewhere "online" where the mysterious hundreds who read those posts will easily find me again.
Under what name I shall discourse, I do not say.
I prefer to ask, what name did Achilles travel under when he went among the women?
As for the more personal ("bitter, dreary") entries, these shall return to the printed page eventually (sold on the streets of Brooklyn) or they shall perish - as they should - in an old-fashioned diary I have.
That said, I might equally exit, folding my puptent like the Arabs as I goe, with the winking recommendation that you regularly check your local lychgate for chapbooks and "little magazines".
You never know what you might find in the hawthorn among the huckleberries!
[Unctuous smile. Exeunt.]