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?


47 thoughts on “It’s official: Palindromes promote mental health!

  1. Kellsbella

    Thanks for intimidating the hello outta us! All’s I got is Madam, I’m Adam. God dog!Well, well, well! I found one online, and it deals with your long lost childhood friend….  Lisa Bonet ate no basil. (Well, the poor fella probably went outta business by that point.)You’re too clever for your own good. Wanna loan out your palindromistic brain for a spell?

  2. Kellsbella

    @jsolberg – Next you’ll have to do limericks. I love limericks! That is my request. I say, are you coming to FL? G. said either he was going out there or you were coming here. I can’t remember (so much for my brain power) G. (Melfamy) is my neighbour.

  3. sleekpunk

    My brain is too stuck in left gear to see beyond, ABBA. And they’re not Welsh. A little after ’78 was, Just Say No. And maybe Disco died? Thanks for the exercise.

  4. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Tim, I like your back-story for it. Seems that my taste is currently for the most contorted fictional justification/explanation, or at least for constructions which require such. That seems to be the creative side of the whole mess.

  5. Roadkill_Spatula

    Your story reminds me of a grocer named Gusikov (not sure on the spelling) who ran around Ohio Amish country selling from his truck. The customers soon learned to dump out his buckets or baskets of produce to make sure there wasn’t bad fruit at the bottom. When this was the case, he would say, “Not Gussy’s fault!”

  6. priscilla1213

    HI dear i am Priscilla by name, i read your profile and like to be in contact with you, that is why i drop this note for you, please i we like you to contact me in my privet mail box to enable me send my picture to you,and also tell you more about me thanks i we be waiting for your reply, (

  7. seedsower

    Man, our hucksters did not sell fresh herbs and gas, we got corn and apple cider.That was a wicked night, a shutter blew loose and banged all night and so did a rain spout which had a different pitch to it so it was like a noisy night.Glad someone got some sleep!

  8. somewittyhandle

    Not dead yet, Yoni. I’m not sure I’ve even reached the middle letter of my palindrome. I hope you are likewise a long way from Panama.I appreciate your vigilance, that you spotted David Hart’s latest escapade.

  9. jsolberg

    @somewittyhandle – Yes, vigilance. I stand in vigil on the wind-blown shores of Easter Island, deserted except for my replica of a Lockheed Constellation, which passed overhead like God in a Chariot 50 years ago, so my father told me. ‘Someday He will return’ is my chant.

  10. gnostic1

    You have a tremendous talent for dredging up memories. For instance “cover stories” put me in mind of that quilt with AIDS that toured America years ago. “Xenon A-B” suggested an instruction manual for a gas that isn’t good for much. (Have you heard that Dorothy Parker once said that Katherine Hepburn’s performance ran the gamut of emotions from A to B. [this was all over the twittersphere in about 1934])During the war my grandmother lived in an herb cellar with a fellow who was an old cart vendor (Shouting Daffydd’s House of Used Carts: “Trust me on carts boyoo; I’m a little hoarse!”). People would needle them about their record age difference (for Gwent); she was 43 and he was 31 (It would have been funnier if they had stayed together another two and a third years but one can’t play with the truth.)

  11. gnostic1

    @jsolberg – In the oily days of vaudeville we just called it cross talk; if you weren’t good at that you could squeak by on physical comedy that often hinged on a floridly dysdiadochokinetic gait.

  12. chromepoet

    Will you please stop messing with the language? There is no ‘x’ in ‘it’. Though, I suppose, you can x it but that sounds like acne. I finally looked up palindrome. Gah, can’t believed I missed what you were doing. Now I need to schedule time to go back and read everything again.

  13. jsolberg

    Chromie, your dances with language are much more defensible than my own. I pretend, for comic relief, to believe in some sub-surface implications whenever a phrase reads the same back/forth. But of course it’s just lexical astrology.Still, the jungle-story background inspired a couple years ago by one of my favorite ‘finds’ would never have come to light otherwise.Wish I had a handy link.NOT WE, NOT WE, NEGRO ‘G’, DIRT UP ANI’S EVIL BUT TANGY GNAT TUB; LIVES IN A PUTRID GORGE, NEW TO NEWTON

  14. jsolberg

    @somewittyhandle – Sharp eye guy. Probably from distinguishing pins from nappies lately.Yes, bees, but not by design. The book was titled ‘All Things Apiary’ but I found no monkeys, apes, or primates at all. Having purchased the thing already, I then went with the cheapest course. ‘Gibbons don’t sting!’, I curse my ignorance under my breath.

  15. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Yes, Tim, having avoided any real-world posts for some time, the impression grows that I am in fact a simple automaton churning through letters and not much else. I’ll have to balance the books here sometime soon. Thanks for your thoughts. (And it was everyone’s fault, I guess. Cultures develop fixed-ideas, nonchalance. Heaven help us these days as rational thought becomes ‘so yesterday’.

  16. jsolberg

    @sleekpunk – ‘Abba’ is a very old word, from simpler times, and pretty much means only one thing, unlike today’s ‘surf’ and ‘mouse’ for example. And actually, the real word-short form is ‘Av’. The rest is a fondness-suffix, guess you’d call it. Like Daddy and Dad.Yes, I’m monitoring your 13-step program. As to comments, I feel queasy not having the requisite tools to guess what you’re up to in RL. Somehow that became important. Ha, look who’s talking.


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