Monthly Archives: February 2008

Eureka? …or, ‘my final week, and i spent it nekkid’

Today’s Featured Question is a real toughy; I spent an hour, and I can’t get anywhere universal; I can only flail about. But at least I get credit for the previous Question: “If I knew I ‘only had’ (sic.) one week to live, what would I do?

Answer: Probably try to prove this theorem… after I hunted down the child who wrote the question and explained the difference between “only had a week” and “had only a week“(!) Hint: A guy who ‘only has one week to live’ will have to live without a car, food, beer… oh, and clothes, while we’re stripping him of everything else. 

theer's meerorem


Stuttgart 2008: Success! (…almost)

     Regular readers of this column who wish me well, (if the two are not incompatible), will be pleased to learn that I almost did it! I finished a respectable third, representing my Little beLeaguered nation in this year’s “Drunk-Drive-athon” held in Stuttgart, Germany two weeks ago. You probably want a short account of the action, so read on:
“Anyone can drink; anyone can drive; ahh, but to do both, and well..” is the challenge engraved on the Chromium Mug, which god-willing I may yet hold proudly kinda overhead-ish next year. With any luck, that Austrian judge will get run over crossing the road. His insistence on the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ of the Urination sub-clause was what cost me the gold.
      Ok, this year I decided to go with a higher handicap: my two bottles of Bailey’s Irish creme plus a quick six of Beck’s netted me a whopping .68% blood alcohol, which meant I could actually score a bit lower on the course and still win. Of course they don’t tell you the Inebriation-Index before the trials. See, the whole thing is carefully set up to simulate an actual drunk-driving experience. Including the unfamiliar vehicle and last-minute road-directions. This year I drew a green Buick LeSabre I’ll call ‘The Three-Mile-Islander’ for its incomprehensible array of un-marked buttons and lamps, like Babcock and Wilcox’s nuclear-reactor control board, which pretty much destined the thing to melt down. 
  So I was helped into the car; “Keys are under the seat!”, they slammed the door shut and started the clock. Cameras facing backwards and forwards, attached to the roof, plus recording sensors on the gas, speedometer, turn-signals, brakes.. just about everything, generate a data-base which the computer uses to calculate how closely your driving resembles that of a hypothetically sober Mr. Goodnick. It’s not really a race, more of a rally, and the whole thing lasts about an hour, including…well including being stopped by an official dressed as a policeman. Your ‘performance’ is video-taped. I did real well in that part, standing downwind of the officer, one-word answers, papers in my hand, sort-of. The tape does show me asking to try on his hat, but I said it in a non-threatening way, and only lost two points. The real kick in the butt was the absurd instrument/control panel of this awful vehicle. I got cocky in the middle of an intersection, hit the power-seat-adjust by mistake, crushed myself against the steering wheel, tried to reverse it and made things worse by hitting ‘seat-up’, I guess. Turned me into a soprano, (and one who’d had to piss like crazy since almost Mile One.) After somehow extricating myself from the pincher-effect, I found myself locked in the vehicle. Ok, no problem, roll down the window, right? Wrong. more un-labelled buttons, including ‘cruise control’, ‘seek’ on the damn radio, and some other warning buzzer, which turned out to be ‘turn signal on too long’. Somehow I pulled over, jumped out, and pissed against a wall. We do that in Israel. Like I told the judges, “See, to our peoples, “if they never saw it, they won’t know what it is, but on the other hand, if they saw one already, then it’s nothing new I also threw in the thing about wearing out my prostate by being too famous for my own health.. don’t know why I thought that’d win me sympathy(?)Anyway, the Austrian judge didn’t buy it, the prude. Plus the wall I ‘defaced’ was the front of some ‘Kilianskirche’ on Kaiserstrasse….VerlorenstraBe..hell, I don’t remember. He tried to claim that I picked it on purpose(!)
    In the end, I got 1087 points; some whiz-kid Albanian albino took second with 1103, and the winner was, as expected, for the third year in a row, Darryl Buck, from Amarillo, Texas, with 1127. He is good, I’ll give him that, but lucky, too, drawing a ’67 Mustang, a female cop, and going with a .40 Index from straight Johnny Walker, probably the right compromise. But pray for me, fans: I’ll get him next year in Dallas or my name ain’t… whoa, now what’s my name, officer? Wait, I got it right here in the old wallet-thingy… um “Trojan” Yup, dat’s me, boss. Anyway, back home now, my prize money plus a quarter bought me a good cup of Turkish coffee, plus here a “ma’shteen be’kir” gets a little respect. You can look it up….

English Usage Tip # 479:

    Couldn’t help but notice here on Xanga that even some veteran linguistic heavy-hitters seem a Little be-Leaguered by the confusion surrounding the similar-sounding words, ‘lei’, ‘lie’, and ‘lye’. And so you shouldn’t god forbid drop the ball in front of millions of adoring fans, here is the birds-eye lowdown, in Clip ‘n Save form, on their proper usage:

The verb ‘to lei’ simply means ‘to adorn the neck of a welcome guest, tourist, or other personage with a string of flowers. Ex: “Aloha. Please to smile while I lei you, Ma’am.”  It is an active verb here; the passive form is expressed as ‘getting lei-ed’ , which should not be confused with the variant ‘getting a Leid’ (sic)  which carries the sense of “understanding the german words to a song which generally goes like: ‘This brisk fall air makes me wanna climb a mountain in my leather shorts, but alas, my lover is dead, and this here rose weeps for our eternity lost… etc.'”
To ‘lie’, on the other hand
, is to tell a tall tale, to fabricate a phony garment from whole cloth. “I lie, constantly; yesterday I lied, and tomorrow, god willing, I shall continue to lie.” One who lies is known as a ‘liar’. He may profess to be a ‘lyre’, but don’t believe him, as a lyre makes an entirely different sound.

And finally, the verb ‘to lye’ means: “to bathe someone or some thing in caustic soda; sodium hydroxide to be exact”. Please be aware of any aluminum jewelry worn by the victim, as the hydrogen gas evolved by the exothermic reaction can be flammable. The past tense can be tense; Ex: “Where is your hair?” “Oy, yesterday I lyed a guy and it didn’t turn out well.” “Ja wohl, das tut mir lied..Gibts etwas anderes neues?

As you can see, caution is the byeword in proper usage, so be careful, und bye for now

Math-makers 102: “Little Mort”,The Exciting Conclusion??

    In our last episode, Johnny and Bunny were planning a party, and fretting about how best, if at all, to ensure that the invited guests would be able to sit, each opposite his or her private heart-throb. Johnny’s original instinctive confidence was tested by the intricacies of the problem, and near the cliff-hanger of an ending, both he and Miss Universe were scratching at a blank wall. Now while you slept, they continued playing with numbers, both complex, imaginary, and irrational, to no avail. But god-in-the-machine appears in this thrilling Final Chapter, in the form of a likeable Dom Delouise lookalike with an improbable name… so let’s listen in as we hear Cutie-pie say:

“Call Morti, duh!” That’s what she said, but to me it sounded alot  like the proverbial “Nu, let’s just pull over and ask somebody”
“I’d really rather just drive around in circles lost here in Beer-Sheva for another half a day or so, darling, if it’s you’re ok with that..”
I said, true to form.Ok, I was agreeing, of course, but without admission of guilt. Morti, we hadn’t heard from him since he’d sold his start-up firm to the Belgian giant, Orgasmetrics Inc. for a small fortune. Mortimer Descartes, a short comical balding immigrant from Bordeaux, France, had been our house guest for a few weeks, while he settled into his adopted homeland. We’d had a lot of fun together: I loved calling him “Le Petite Mort”, or even ‘Morti merde a la carte”. And if anyone could help us out, it’d be Mort.
“Just so he doesn’t have another ‘invention’ to try out on us..” I smiled at Sweetie, “ that ‘le petite mort-gauge’ thing with all the wires and sensors, blood-pressure cuffs, and pulse recorders, you know.”
“Yeah but it was fun, helping him to establish a base-line for..”
She smiled
“A base-line?” I corrected her. “If I recall, it was our ‘hyperactivity’ that made him go with a logarithmic scale on the damn thing.” Morti had been trying to quantify, how to say this.. um.. ‘mutual simultaneous pleasure’, and of course, being handy and even, ok, ‘loud’, we’d been a natural choice for guinea pigs. We’d done test runs twice a day for two weeks. hey, anything for science. Anyway, I dialed his old number, and ten minutes later he was sitting in the kitchen, looking at the charts.
“Simple. You need to go for quantity, not quality over here..” he pointed to the matrix.
“Can’t we have both?” I kinda winked, to remind him of our past ‘services’, but it was obvious he was intrigued enough by the problem to hang out with us till the fat lady screamed.
“No, I mean the data, just restructure it as ‘points, like in the Eurovision Song Contest, but from one to ten, for each opposite-sex guest, and then we have a simple math waltz in the park.” Morti grabbed a pencil and showed me what he meant. I could feel a chill of eureka  as I quickly grasped the correctness of his approach.

“Honey, can you..?” I turned to where the computer in the corner had been screen-saving for the last hour or so.
“I already did it.” Madame Cutie pointed to the screen with a triumphant ‘Voila!’. She must’ve figured it out at the first mention of ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’. The new charts were ready for action:

old and new versions
“Ok, now just make a third combined chart out of ’em, like a town-to-town distance cross-matrix.” Morti instructed. Smelling victory, I playfully fought with Gorgeous hand-to mouse for the honor of constructing the final version.


“Ok, now just pick the ten highest numbers off the chart and you got it” Morti was wolfing down the last of the salmon like a starving shark, but we didn’t care. Our party was saved. Or so we thought… (cue ominous music and fade… )

“You can leave your hat on”

    One would think that Oliver Sacks’ classic recounting of odd cases of brain dysfunction, “The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” would be immune to the scourge of cheap imitators and profiteers. One would think, but. ‘one would be wrong’ as I love to say, sorry to say.
   A quick look at the list I jotted down at the local mass-market bookstore is enough to prove that while immitation may be a form of flattery, it can also be a source of annoyance… or amusement; I’ll let my dear readers judge the merits of the following offerings:

1) The salesgirl actually confused this one, “The Man who Mistook his Hat for a Wife” by Oliver Secks for the real thing, so similar was its cover art, except for a somewhat furtive looking gentleman kneeling beside a fur hat, saying “ceci est ma femme”. I thought to leaf through it but the pages seemed to be stuck together, so I laid it down, face down, and moved on to:
2) Oliver Sucks: “Only Men, Only Hats” This one had lots of pictures. You don’t wanna know.
3) Oliver Soaks: “The Man who took his Wife and his Hat to the Cleaners”. Another ‘men’s book, I guess in the self-help genre, written by a retired divorce attorney, it claimed to have “over 100 tips for your successful exit strategy“, plus an all-new “laundry made easy” appendix for the newly rich and single. Ugh.
4) Ollie Versache: “Running with Berets” Didn’t know quite what to make of this one. The guy on the cover did look quite fashionable though
5) “The Man who Mistook Miss Tuck for  a Wifi” by Olive R. Sax looked like it might’ve actually been a fun read. Just out in paperback, the blurb called it “torrid, lascivious, and disturbing at once”
6) There was a fluffy kids book, “Ollie’s Silly Hat Tricks” which I bought in the end. Quirky. I’ll have to review it here sometime. Along with my thoughts on the movie re-make I rented at the checkout, “A Man, a Woman, and a Hat” Looks romantic from the picture on the cover; two lovers in the rain, trying to take cover under a too-small fedora on the beach.

Bottom line: Have a pleasant weekend but be wary of imposters. …Oh, and stand by for more in the series, “Matchmaking Math for Party-planners”

Matchmaking 101

You know, there is a conjecture that a solution must exist, for any arbitrary’ n’ couples” I told her, without a trace of posturing.
“A ‘conjecture‘ is there?” She feigned salon-intellectual pomposity, and then laughed.
“That’s what we have to call it, Sweetheart, ’til it’s been proven” I explained.
“So nu, prove it already..” This time it was the spoiled princess voice.
    We were sitting and eating breakfast, me and my one-and-only, love-of-my-life, imprinted on my limbic-system, thank god I found you, Girl. Million-dollar -a-slice Icelandic salmon with genuine Philadelphia cream cheese, delivered by hand-picked-for-their-brotherly-love couriers fresh each morning. Yes nothing’s too good for her Chosen One. And we were planning a small party, twenty guests:  ten guys and ten girls. Decor, cuisine, entertainment, all these had been quickly settled; we hardly ever disagree on anything. But seating? She was concerned that one or more of the guests might be troubled over having to sit opposite his or her god-forbid ‘second choice’. I let myself ponder a second the  mathematics of the challenge, and remembered having read something long ago, germane to the issue. Ok, I probably could have stated it in a more ‘plain-folks’ style, but she actually likes jargon, (and everything else about me, did I mention that?).
“Ok, well… um… let’s see…” I started.
“That’s a proof?” she asked, feigning innocence. I just love her.
“No, pussy-cat, I’m just warmimg up. Now here we go: Each guy can rank-order the girls in preferential order, right? …assign each one a number from one to ten.”
“As can the girls, obviously..”
She handed me another slice of salmon.
“Obviously. I was getting to that. So we now have an array of hope…” I paused a second for her smile  and lost my train of thought, as I considered jumping on a new one.
“So we can create a matrix, like this one:” I quickly drew a chart on a notepad

matrix . My Valentine took one look and reached around behind her to boot the nearest computer, “I think if you plan to submit this to the Journal of Theoretical Matchmaking, you’d better..”
“You’re right”,
I said, grabbing my Bolivian coffee and setting up at the new mission-control position. A few seconds later I had a sample matrix staring at us, waiting for the starting gun:

“Great!” oozed Sweetie-pie, kissing the back of my neck. “Everybody’s happy.”
I hated to disappoint her, but rigour is rigour, and our proof, at least, was still in the fore-play stage.
“No, they just know what they want; we gotta help ’em get it. We need a procedure, see..” I thought of all those dumb ice-breaker party games that lesser-lights seemed to think we needed in order to ‘mix’, back in the Stone Age. Like giving you the name of a food, and you had to find the girl with the animal that ate it. I always got a carrot, which never went with my Sears sweater.
“Well, we could first line them up in two rows, across from each other, on the lawn.” I thought that’d be

“Unless it rains”, she pointed out a flaw in the logic.
“Ok, assume a perfect world. We pick Guy one, he looks at his chart, and walks toward his first choice girl..”
“…who becomes immediately very ill..” She laughed at her intuitive grasp of reality. Women think of everything.
” Ok, maybe she wanted Guy Nine, who am I to legislate morality? So we’ll let her go to that dumb Guy Nine,nu..”
“..who becomes immediately ‘very ill”
She was repeating herself.
“So how would you do it, Miss Einstein?” I really didn’t have a plan, tell the truth, plus I get a free point for respecting her opinion, don’t I?
“Math, Johnny. ..’the uncanny efficiency of math’, you know, Wigener?”
I let Dream Girl take my place at the keyboard while I attempted to get a couple eggs not to ‘marry‘ the teflon skillet. By the time they were on the table she had made some admirable headway:

“What’s up with Girl Three, you know, Miss ‘Na-na-na-na’?” I had to ask.
“She don’t like guys, I guess..” Cutie said ,slyly. As if God almighty had filled in the chart on Mt. Sinai.
“Just great! Replace her. In the name of science.” I decreed, imperiously.” And it kinda looks like Girl Two’s a real knock-out, huh?”
“Dat’s life, kid.”
my co-conspirator informed me, again washing her hands of responsibility. “We do want a realistic model, right?”
“We want a killer party, first, and to get this thing past peer-review of course. Ok, we’ll invite ‘Foxy’, but let’s fudge some choices for Sappho, ok?”
I still had no idea how to stage-manage the thing. I took a deep breath:
“We need a procedure, an algorithm, if you will..”
“I will”
Silly girl.
“..which specifically excludes the possibility that Girl Four, for example, sitting across from Guy Seven, will start to play footsy with Guy Nine, sitting next to him, leaving Guy Seven to try to schmooze Girl One, who make become..”
“Violently ill?”
I laughed at her little obsession with…um.. ‘puke’. “You know what I mean, though, right?”
“Oof! This is like, a simultaneous equation of 100 variables. Can’t we collapse it somewhere?”
she wanted to ‘finish math’ as much as I did. And both of us more than Bertrand Russell. We looked at the charts, scratching our heads in loving unison……

(to be continued, when I get His Meerness, to whom I’m indebted for this puzzle, to reveal the solution. At least I’m honest, haha)

Significantly “Other”

Methusalette was significantly older than I, in her late 660’s to be precise, and hadn’t spoken a word for the last century or two, Still attractive though, in her camel hair robe, she motioned for me to come in, and with her feeble hand she slid the covers back to make room for me on the bed. It was plain what she had in mind: I was three months late on the mortgage in those days, and she must have sensed that I was desperate for every shekel. I bent over and spoke softly into her ear:”Thoosy, there’s a significant legal issue here, you’re probably aware of that..” She rolled her ancient eyes but was silent.

I gulped, and started to undress. “…a SIGNIFICANT issue..” I repeated, “It’s even on Xanga..”

Thoughtful and sensitive, as older women often are, she moved her head ever so slightly, to call my attention to the note she had apparently prepared for the occasion, there on the side table, where it lay beside her quill pen and assorted lotions. I picked it up and read the painfully scrawled hand-writing:
“Enjoy… I’ll give you a SIGN IF I CAN’T take it anymore.”

I may  not have answered Today’s Featured Question…

“Amines to an end”: 16th Notes from Under the Ground

    I’d run out of gas. Dead out. Even the old red Volvo 122 I’d been nursing on fumes since Whitehorse wouldn’t run on air. And cold air to boot. I’d say it was about 5 below and 1:30 AM when she chugged to a halt, at the end of a long downhill run, which had sadly given me false hope that “I could just glide on like this forever”. Damn maps, they stick Canada there on the top, label a couple mountain ranges, and a guy like me can’t help but picture my little toy car just running ‘down the map’… to Amarillo at least.

Anyway, I slept in the ‘auto-mobile’, if you can call it that, and at first light started walking towards… wherever.
“Where am I?” I shouted at the first slow pickup I could sorta communicate with.
The girl slowed down enough to yell “Gabbler”.   I could feel her hesitate a second. You never really know why. I guess I musta had a quizical look on my face, so she added, “…Montana”
“I knew that.” I told her quickly.”The state, I mean..” I had my pride. “What they got there?” I tried to sound like a tourist.
She waved out the window at the empty and somewhat scarred landscape and said dismissively “More a this… oh, and the mine.”
    See, I didn’t mention I had no money either. I mean, not a penny. I coulda had a penny…if I’d been smart and only put $1.73 in the  tank back in Hibsen. Funny how having a penny in your pocket can cheer a guy up. I musta forgot. Musta thought “Hey, a buck seventy four, now that’ll get me someplace, somewhere with hope, prosperity, goodwill towards men…”
“Mind if I?”
I motioned toward the bed. She had a couple tires in the front seat, plus I didn’t want to seem ..’forward’.
“Jump out when you get where you’re going” she yelled, friendly enough, leaving me to huddle down behind the cab, maybe out of the frostbite zone, and think, “Yeah, ‘Nowhere’…I’ll be sure to jump out when I get there.”
I knocked on the back window as soon as I could read the sign. Above a long grey-dirty quonset hut with steel doors it said “Camp Heta #3″-Gabbler, MT” and a bunch of other stuff I was too tired to read. She slowed down just enough, and one of the dozen or so  men standing in front of the door yelled something unintelligible at her. Somebody kicked him, in jest I suppose, and the others just kept ‘milling around’ in the gravel lot. Yeah, ‘milling around’. No other word for it. I’d seen this scene somewhere before, but it didn’t matter. Well, actually, if I could ‘mill around myself, it might help my job prospects, I thought.
“Start here with Grubie”, the white-hat told me, picking one of the older looking guys to be my… my.. hell, I didn’t even know what they did there, only that I’d have to at least pretend to like him till I got a paycheck, or got dead, whichever came first.
“Hat’s over there” Grubie pointed to a dirty table with mostly broken tools on it, and a banged-up metal hard-hat with a little light on the front. “Ok“, I thought, “I’m a miner. Guess that answer’s that.”
   Meanwhile the rest of the guys, in groups of three or four, were looking at their watches and drinking  from a beat-up styrofoam cooler, each one with his plastic throw-away cup, fighting for refills. Grubie left me standing there trying on my dumb hat, kinda un-ceremoniously, as I watched his seniority part the waters as he neared the cooler with his cup. I wasn’t particularly thirsty, nor had I ever seen men so dry already at six in the morning. Grubie came back with two cups, looking embarrased to be caught playing hostess. He made up for it by gruffly shoving the cup in my hand, “Vitamins. Helps in the mine.” was all he said. As a ‘new-hire’, I wasn’t about to set myself above the crowd, so I feigned eagerness and downed the Kool-aid, whatever it was. “This is what all that ‘fluid-fight’ was about? I thought to myself. “These guys don’t get out much, apparently,”

Well, I had a wonderful day down in the mine. A beautiful day, to tell the truth. Just to feel my tight, powerful body tear into the ore, to bang the chisel into the seam till I’d mentally done every girl I could remember who’d ever gotten away. Ahh, just to hear Grubie announce: “Quitting time” and be thinking “Hell, I could do this for another week and still not wanna quit”. I’d mentioned I played guitar sometime during the day, and so when we came back up to the surface, Grubie introduced me to a guy, played in a band over in Bozeman, wanted me to meet him. The guy said I could crash at his place, only a couple miles or so down the road, and I jumped on that, thanking him maybe too profusely. On the way out though, we did the same little ritual,  the ‘Dixie-cup Madness’, but this time over what looked like coffee. ‘Looked like’, I said. It tasted like the world’s cheapest, most low-down de-caffeinated domestic blend of floor-sweep beans, spiked with… I dunno, chicory?” Anyway, I fell asleep in the truck on the way to his place, which I thought a bit odd. Maybe I’d overdone it, you know, my first day on the job ‘n all. But no, this was weird, almost like… like… The cold Montana night air brought me around just enough to ask Bud about it on the way up the concrete steps to his dark little shed.
“It’s so you can sleep” he ‘explained’, all groggy himself. “You know, from the vitamins” I took that as the complete answer, provisionally, of course, and crashed on the couch.
   I was there a week. Never had such a beautifully mechanical life, not before and not since. My head did start hurting on friday though, even after White-Hat had handed me a roll of twenties with a smile he probably thought said “I picked another good one” but which caught me thinking “Damn, now all I need is a can and a funnel, and it’s like this never happened.”
   Bud told me the truth. After I confessed that I might not show up Monday.
“Here, this’ll do yer headache”.. he handed me two white pills, “Exedrin D&E” he laughed, “off-brand”.. and I could tell there was more to the story.
“Get it?” he kinda kicked me. In jest. Yeah, I guess that’s a cultural thing in these parts. I didn’t get it, and the twenties in my pocket gave me the luxury of being real, again, so I gave him a clear “Um..?” look.
“The ‘D’s on the front and the ‘E’s on the end,” he explained.
I swallowed the pills with a warm Kessler beer he had on the cheap table. ‘D-exedrin-E’ Hey, I’d heard of that.
“Don’t it like make, jumpy?” I asked, too late.
“What, and the Koolaid didn’t?” he made like he wuz gonna kick me again.
   The whole thing made sense in a second. They’re playin’ with us, no dickin’ with our metabla-whatever. And underground, too, the slimy badgers.
Bud started to sing. A ‘miner’s song’, I guess, but you could tell he’d made it up..
Give me the Dr…. I need, I need… he made like he was calling a guy on the phone,”that’s right, Doctor Ed, I’ll be there at six. Bud laughed, and once again I knew there must be a punch line.
“Ed?” I asked. My headache was fading fast.
“Yeah, Ed, the White-Hat, he hired you, duh.”  “Give meth-e-drine, Ed, I need, I need..” Bud with his kick, like the rim-shot drummer for his own stand-up. And now I no longer puzzled why or how ‘Heta #3’ had beat the production quota five years in a row. But it was getting dark, and as I caught Bud off-guard with a kick I hoped he’d take the right way, I told him “Thanks for everything, guy” and shook his cracked hand, the fingernails chewed almost to the bone.

   As I sorta snuck past the Mine with my gas-can, on the way to a new life,  I finally had time to read the sign.

I should have known. A big logo: the letter ‘C”, with Ed’s face peeking through the hole in the middle, and a friendly wave, and then the part I’d only barely read: “Welcome to Camp-Heta Mine #3”.

Sandy’s Andy

Sandy’s Andy’s gal,  it’s true
But Sandy’s in the Andes
So Andy’s in the Indies in his
Undies eating candies

Mabel, (maybe short for
(‘Mabeline’) was lean and handy
They waxed and waned until it rained
The beach was warm and sandy..

Andy’s Sandy phoned, He told her:
“I’m still ‘Sandy’s Andy’…and like,
“what’s up in the Andes?” Sandy
didn’t have much to say…

“At least we rhymed”, she finally cried
You’ll always be inside me
But Randy’s as poetic, plus he’s
Lying here beside me.

So never build a bond upon a
Pun. It may be clever, but the
thrill is momentary, and true
Love should last forever

Ok, so here’s the deal on this little story/poem:
1) It’s short
, always an advantage since you can read it twice, carefully,(or even aloud, as poems were meant to be), and still not be late for work.
2) There’s a moral in the last verse, so I can get it on Public Television under the “20% educational” clause
3) Stuff you mighta missed:
SANDY’S ANDY is a repeating series and appears twice, as a contraction and as a possesive
‘Mabeline’ from Chuck Berry: “Mabeline, why cain’t you be true?” Infidelity is a theme here.
“What’s up in the Andes?” ..which are a high mountain range in South America
“You’ll always be inside me” The name ‘andy‘ is ‘inside of’Sandy

So we’re sitting here at Goddard; pretty sure we got the poem up in a stable eccentric orbit, tracking looks good, but… but no telemetry. The ‘white-coats’ and the Ph.d’s here all wanna know if it sent a clear message, if we need to make modifications in the next one, and basically what was its ‘footprint’ on the ground. Maybe JPL’s got a glitch in the microwave link with Xanga. We’ll give it a couple days…or forever, whichever comes first.

Heart-breaking News: “Third-World Word-Play Play-offs Off”

“I coulda been a con-10-der” sniffed the Senegalese ex-patriate writer, Patty M’backi, on hearing the curt cancellation announcement on the short-wave-radio  at her rented lean-to in the Can-8-ian wilderness.
“Hey, I was Eu-4-ic, now I’m just Eu-6-ic at heart.”
Still suffering from con-2-tions from the dwelling’s collapse in last week’s storm, she described the con-none-drum she finds herself in:
“My visa’s up on friday, now what I shall be doing, am going  home and sell my book in Dakar? Yeah, they’ll eat up ‘My Tin Dromedary ate Gunther’s Grass’, now, won’t they!” she said bitterly, throwing another book in the fire to keep warm.
I asked her about the prospects of translating it into French. Her face said it all as she dismissed the notion on the spot.
“Yeah right, after all the tsoris I had learning the English? You are nuts? Hey, translate this, you terrible little enfant terribibble, and I give you the lean-to, plus this box of sardines..” she challenged me, pointing to the impromptu coffee table where she did her best work. I glanced at the note-pad:
Today I ‘choose‘ cheese.
Yesterday, I ‘chose‘ cheese
So, the day before that, what, I ‘chse‘ cheese?
I had to admit, it might loose something in the process, but I do love a challenge:
“Throw in the ‘fridge’, and you’re on, Patty” I moved closer to the fire and pulled out my dictionary. “You got any cheese around here?”