Beauty does equal
Average space between eyes
And in everything
NOTE: A physically beautiful person has average physical everything: average space between eyes, average size of eyes, average size of ears, average shape of eyebrows, etc.
Autumn leaves colour lawns orange
Litter roads red
The long slide into the cold begins
Advent madness beckons
Like a siren
Calling us onto the rocks
Of family festivities, hidden lonelinesses, retail greed and envy
Soon rooftops will grow neon reindeer
Tinsel will be worn around necks at office parties
All too soon
It will be Christmas
Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond
• If famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright had a weakness, it was his designs for furniture. When he designed the Johnson Wax Administrative Building in Racine, Wisconsin, he also designed three-legged chairs that unfortunately tipped over frequently, spilling the occupant onto the floor. The company president asked him why he had not put four legs on the chairs, and Mr. Wright replied, “You won’t tip if you sit back and put your two feet on the ground because then you have five legs holding you up. If five legs won’t hold you, then I don’t know what will!” Earlier in his career, Mr. Wright designed chairs for another building he had designed: the Larkin Company Administration Building in Buffalo, New York. His chairs were called “suicide chairs” because they tipped over so frequently. Although Mr. Wright thought — correctly — of himself as a genius, even he admitted that his chairs were far from comfortable. He once said, “I have been black and blue in some spot, somewhere, almost all my life from too much intimate contact with my own early furniture.”
• Franco Corelli used to carry around hidden sponges on stage while singing so he could occasionally wet his lips. Birgit Nilsson remembers that during the 1961 revival of Turandotat the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Corelli suddenly turned his back on the audience, reached into the front of his pants, and, in Ms. Nilsson’s words, “began fooling around.” Of course, she was understandably worried about what he was going to do, and she was understandably relieved when he finally pulled out the sponge he had been searching for and wet his lips.
• During Tosca, a fire started on stage while Geraldine Farrar was performing. The prompter started to throw a fire extinguisher to Ms. Farrar, but she motioned to him not to do it. Instead, she acted shocked, then beat out the fire with her hands. Later, she explained that a modern fire extinguisher did not belong in Toscaand she preferred to injure her hands rather than to do violence to the opera.
• WNBA star Rebecca Lobo’s most embarrassing moment on the basketball court came when she was a first-year player for the University of Connecticut. She had forgotten to tie the drawstring of her uniform shorts, and when she jumped to block a shot, she became entangled with the other player, and her shorts ended up around her ankles. After that experience, she remembered to tie the drawstring.
• As a youth, Marvel Comics maven Stan Lee worked in a movie house on Broadway. Once, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the theater, and Mr. Lee had the privilege of showing her to her seat. He walked down the aisle with his head held high, and he tripped over the leg of a patron and fell. Mrs. Roosevelt put her hands on his shoulders and asked if he was all right. (He was fine — except for his pride.)
• Language can be ambiguous. While a priest was giving a homily in a Catholic school, a little boy started talking. Not wanting the homily to be interrupted, a Sister asked one of her young pupils, “Go up there and tell him to stop talking.” The young pupil walked past the talking boy, went up to the priest who was giving the homily, and said, “Sister said you should stop talking.”
• Chubby Wise played fiddle for country singer Hank Snow. During a concert, Mr. Wise’s bow caught Mr. Snow’s toupee and flung it out into the audience. Someone in the audience went home with a very unusual celebrity memento. (Once, Mr. Snow got too close to the edge of the stage and fell off. He said, “Goddamn it, Chubby. Why don’t you watch where I’m going?”)
• The funniest typo that ever occurred in a work by children’s book writer Phyllis Reynolds Naylor appeared in a short story titled “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Instead of reading, “Marvin Migglesby sat by the fire roasting chestnuts and feeding them to the dog,” the last line read, “Marvin Migglesby sat by the fire roasting the dog.”
• In 1952, the Oklahoma Sooners had a wonderful football team, but way too many fumbles, especially in the first half, led to a loss against Notre Dame, although the Sooners were favored to win. At halftime, an Oklahoma drum major threw a baton high in the air, but missed catching it when it came down, and it tumbled crazily on the ground. A fan told Oklahoma coach Bud Wilkinson, “I see you coach the band, too.”
• Hugh Laing once was in the middle of a dance with Alicia Markova in Alekowhen she fainted — she was so graceful that the faint seemed part of the dance. Mr. Laing did not stop dancing, but he gathered Ms. Markova in his arms, danced offstage and gave her to some people who could help her, then danced onstage again.
• Early in her career, when she was still a student, artist Edna Hibel was enthusiastically working on a fresco, standing on a big block to reach high up on a wall. Unfortunately, she stepped too far back to view her work with the result that she fell to the floor. Ms. Hibel says, “That’s one time my enthusiasm hit bottom!”
• Early in her career, choreographer Agnes de Mille danced in the play The Black Crook. One night, her partner accidentally kicked her and broke her nose. Ms. de Mille reported, “The sound, a kind of wet scrunch, carried to the back of the theater, but, I am proud to say, neither of us missed a step.”
• Mishaps occur even in the lives of famous authors. Poet Arnold Adoff, author of Eats and Chocolate Dreams, was once eating peanut butter while writing at a typewriter. He was careless, he got peanut butter in the typewriter, and he was forced to hire a repairman to fix the problem.
• Around 1914, while performing in New Orleans, Ma Rainey sang, “If you don’t believe I’m sinkin’, look what a hole I’m in.” At that moment, the stage she was standing on collapsed. (Fortunately, no one was hurt.)
• A Washington newspaper printed a headline with a typo: “CHURCHILL IN BED WITH SLIGHT COED.” President Franklin D. Franklin sent Prime Minister Winston Churchill several copies of the newspaper.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
Who could it be that has robbed me of my moidores and jewels?” exclaimed Miss Cunegund, all bathed in tears. “How shall we live? What shall we do? Where shall I find Inquisitors and Jews who can give me more?”
“Alas!” said the old woman, “I have a shrewd suspicion of a reverend Franciscan father, who lay last night in the same inn with us at Badajoz. God forbid I should condemn any one wrongfully, but he came into our room twice, and he set off in the morning long before us.”
“Alas!” said Candide, “Pangloss has often demonstrated to me that the goods of this world are common to all men, and that everyone has an equal right to the enjoyment of them; but, not withstanding, according to these principles, the Franciscan ought to have left us enough to carry us to the end of our journey. Have you nothing at all left, my dear Miss Cunegund?”
“Not a maravedi,” replied she.
“What is to be done then?” said Candide.
“Sell one of the horses,” replied the old woman. “I will get up behind Miss Cunegund, though I have only one buttock to ride on, and we shall reach Cadiz.”
In the same inn there was a Benedictine friar, who bought the horse very cheap. Candide, Cunegund, and the old woman, after passing through Lucina, Chellas, and Letrixa, arrived at length at Cadiz. A fleet was then getting ready, and troops were assembling in order to induce the reverend fathers, Jesuits of Paraguay, who were accused of having excited one of the Indian tribes in the neighborhood of the town of the Holy Sacrament, to revolt against the Kings of Spain and Portugal.
Candide, having been in the Bulgarian service, performed the military exercise of that nation before the general of this little army with so intrepid an air, and with such agility and expedition, that he received the command of a company of foot. Being now made a captain, he embarked with Miss Cunegund, the old woman, two valets, and the two Andalusian horses, which had belonged to the Grand Inquisitor of Portugal.
During their voyage they amused themselves with many profound reasonings on poor Pangloss’s philosophy.
“We are now going into another world, and surely it must be there that everything is for the best; for I must confess that we have had some little reason to complain of what passes in ours, both as to the physical and moral part. Though I have a sincere love for you,” said Miss Cunegund, “yet I still shudder at the reflection of what I have seen and experienced.”
“All will be well,” replied Candide, “the sea of this new world is already better than our European seas: it is smoother, and the winds blow more regularly.”
“God grant it,” said Cunegund, “but I have met with such terrible treatment in this world that I have almost lost all hopes of a better one.”
“What murmuring and complaining is here indeed!” cried the old woman. “If you had suffered half what I have, there might be some reason for it.”
Miss Cunegund could scarce refrain from laughing at the good old woman, and thought it droll enough to pretend to a greater share of misfortunes than her own.
“Alas! my good dame,” said she, “unless you had been ravished by two Bulgarians, had received two deep wounds in your belly, had seen two of your own castles demolished, had lost two fathers, and two mothers, and seen both of them barbarously murdered before your eyes, and to sum up all, had two lovers whipped at an auto-da-fe, I cannot see how you could be more unfortunate than I. Add to this, though born a baroness, and bearing seventy-two quarterings, I have been reduced to the station of a cook-wench.”
“Miss,” replied the old woman, “you do not know my family as yet; but if I were to show you my posteriors, you would not talk in this manner, but suspend your judgment.” This speech raised a high curiosity in Candide and Cunegund; and the old woman continued as follows.