Monthly Archives: October 2012

It’s official: Palindromes promote mental health!

      Yes, folks… depending on how you define that slippery term…
Personally, I use the process of remembering each middle-of-the-night discovery… later, in the grim light of dawn, as a finger on the memory pulse. With practice one grows more adept, and the very same neurons will then help you to remember like, your name, where you live, kids?, marital status, stuff like that there…

And the second benefit is developing of talents for creating cover stories. This will help the palindromist at work, even if he doesn’t do cloak and dagger/ spy vs spy for a side income.
Like just now for instance: Fell asleep for an hour between checking power outages in PA, created a phrase but upon awakening I remembered only that, like, ‘it had an ‘X’ in it?’ Sick feeling, I’ll tell you. But five minutes of acquired persistence and it all came back:


Now comes the fun part; see, when I was growing up as a lad in pastorale Gleneld in Wales, I got used to hearing the herb-seller calling out his wares. Every Friday morning he plodded down our street with his tired old mare and cart. And for some obscure reason he also sold bottles of compressed gases. Helium, Nitrogen, Propane, whatever the market could support. My Momma used to buy a tuppence worth of thyme, cumin, and basil, and the old guy usually threw in a sprig of fresh catnip for our old tabby.
So I guess it was ’78, maybe later, the year of the Big storm and the start of the Troubles, that the government stepped in, as is their wont. Forced the old cart-vendor to keep records, to justify every farthing, guinea, whatever.
   He did just what I would have done in the situation; turned to drink. Luckily his horse knew the way, to carry the sleigh, but still. And the only gas they forgot to list in the Regulations was Xenon. What anyone used it for I never learned. Nor what the ‘A-B’ stood for.

     But anyway, I wouldn’t have remembered this elusive memory from my childhood had I not discovered the palindrome which explains it all. I feel so very sane at this moment. Why is everyone staring at me?

Seven Queasy Pieces

Well ‘Ned’, (if that’s your real name), we’ll just see now if the Head Office lets you keep those purple robes… and the 10% you probably siphon off from the take in airport lobbies.
Most readers have probably encountered one of our ilk somewhere in the world. While waiting to check-in you’ve watched our emissaries quietly and tactfully approaching travelers in a attempt to spread our message of world peace, universal love, whatever. Yes, the purple hat with the ball on top is a familiar sight for frequent fliers.
Sure, there are cracks in our castle, the usual dirty laundry as befits any major religion; genital mutilation, the odd suicide bombing from a disturbed lone wolf. But still, underneath it all, Sunga is our supreme leader, and we don’t take kindly to any disparagment of his/her Name.
And so this ‘Ned’, whoever, shall get what’s coming to him, the traitorous infidel! The only question is whether stoning preceeds beheading, or the converse. I’m on the fence on that issue. Hey, I got family to protect.

2) So what’s the deal with one of my favorite restaurants: the famed ‘KAYAK SALAD LAB’ in Red Deer, Alberta? Hell, I used to drive up there almost every weekend, 4000 miles each way but worth every penny for their vegetarian cuisine.So I check their site yesterday and suprise! They’ve abandoned the veggie ship, pissed on sustainable photosynthesis, and now feature, god-forbid, “Yak-on-a-slab”. Yeah, even the name has changed, to ‘That BALD ALASKA YAK Place.’ Sorry, cannibals, you won’t see my face in the crowd anymore. Nice while it lasted.

3) Meanwhile I sit here in my Minivan, in turmoil, in the Twenty-nine Palms(CA) Mega-Zone parking lot, there behind the petting zoo, trying to put it back together:A MAN, A PALM, A LLAMA, A MALL… A LAPANAM? Nah… try again, Johnny…

4) Back home only to discover that my neighbor must’ve bought another dog while I was gone. A little chihuahua, a quarter the size of ‘Adi’, their trusty Shepherd. They call the newbie ‘ED’,
and apparently, nothing’s too good for the little rat. “ED IS A PET’S DOG. GOD, STEP ASIDE!” my neighbor shouted at me there on the sidewalk. Well yeah, glad yer dog’s got a dog of his own.

5) Meanwhile, Montana’s infamous and bizarre ‘Bazaar Czar’, Jules Fafner, suffered perhaps his final upset, as one more town has voted to ban his ‘happenings’ from their city limits. Fafner is now rumoured to be considering abandoning the Jules Family holdings, perhaps as early as March 15th this year. Said the small-town god-father: “First Helena, then Billings, and now I lost Butte to boot.”
His terse email to the Butte town fathers: “ET TU, BUTTE?” went unanswered, or appreciated, as of press time.

6) In the graphics world, specifically military/patriotic posters, ‘ROTC ART’ has as its theme on-campus this year ‘TRACTOR!!’, featuring strangely reminiscent Soviet realism-style drawings of young, bold, (and white) schoolboys eye-ing the Homeland’s Farmalls. That look in their eyes; scary, I’d call it.

7) And finally, the Mars Rover’s destination, one of them, is a crater called ‘Glenelg’, named after a small town  in Maryland, USA. Oddly, a town in Wales decided, a scant couple hundred years ago, to name itself after the crater on Mars. Or the town in Maryland. Copycats.

Wu: Hmm, every story here has an element of forwards/backwards text. Was that accidental?
Me: Ever tell you how much I appreciate your finding the smoke and mirrors in my stage act?
Wu: Hey, I try to be helpful.

Was ENOLA gay? Guess we’ll just have to Google it, right?

     An activity best done while wide awake, or at least not, as I learned, while sound asleep and dreaming.
Look, anyone coming to my Israeli site here to  get a feel for the question ‘Will there be a War?’ will find me continuing life as if ‘No’, (except for maybe stockpiling a couple day’s fresh water and beer.) Achmi Blow-job MacMud would, on the other hand, be well-advised to pile up rocks in the backyard (flint works well) in the off chance his ugly skeleton isn’t incinerated to the last molecule and he needs a knife to ‘clean-and-dress’ rat carcasses among the Stone-Age rubble.
     Yup, the whole deal puts me in mind of the ‘Enola Gay’ and Hiroshima. So much so, that falling asleep, I continued, as is my wont, to investigate the various pertinent(?) details in depth.
“Hmmm,” I snored to myself, “I’ll have to just Wiki that name, Enola, and bingo, I’ll have a definitive answer.”
       One of the first search results was the OED, the Oxford English Dictionary online, and just as I was about to click on it, the voices started. Yes, again. Some British dude, intent on making me feel young and stupid, droning on and on: “Righto, chum. The OED and all that rot!”
So hey, when the voices are that adamant, and with me in my weakened state, I gave him a chance to lay out his alternative data source. He suggested an oddball site, on page 7 of the search results: “” I could already hear the barkings from the web-site at that point, but I plunged onward, as only dreamers do.
So far I had: ENOLA? OED? OR HUMANE GOD.NET? ROT? OR….I knew as soon as I clicked on the site, like the igno-second when you stupidly download a virus, that I was in trouble.

I was transported to some stinking horse-fly-infested Texas stadium, where, sitting on sweltering bleachers, I watched teams of dogs, a dozen or so, maybe a few less, do just awful thing to each other, two against one, against the clock. Hoses, bags, yelping victims, some obscure point system, none of it made any sense. And at a certain point, luckily, I emerged from the nightmare long enough to realize that I was the only spectator, indeed the only non-canine, in the whole dream/nightmare. As in, ‘yeah, I can just leave, click out, and go to OED like I wanted to in the first place.’ That felt empowering. And that’s just what I did.

     It’s sad, ain’t it, how much the digital wet dream has skewed our consciousnesses? Damn, I used to dream, not too many decades ago, about real stuff: muskrats, me, running through the corn rows. finding long-lost pots of gold, or nubile females just aching to be full-filled. Nowadays it’s all virtual battles between virtual data banks. How far we’ve fallen.
     At any rate, I did manage to discover how the awful palin-virus snuck into my cerebellum. Reversing the above letters, I ‘read the writing on the wall’, so to speak: ‘TEN DOG ENAMUH RODEO, ALONE.’
A more careful and alert dreamer might have noticed. I didn’t, but I am, as a result, considering cutting down on spicy, thought-provoking foods before bedtime.