Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hey I’m innocent! So’s the canary. But how are we gonna finish this caper?

Ok this is actually an article about the mechanics of writing longish palindromes, but let’s stay with fantasy for a while ok?

It   all started with CANARY.

No, with ‘the canary’. (Of course ‘the bird is the word’, you’ve no doubt heard.)

She alighted on my window-sill last night looking starved… hollow-cheeked in fact. Twas a no-brainer to offer to take her up the street to ‘Red Rosy’s 24-hr Diner’, one of my fav hangouts.
We pulled into the lot and then I saw it. Him? Some creature running off into the woods from the rear service door. (The pix I snapped on my phone oddly failed to turn out, wouldn’t ya know)
Anyway, we set ourselves down and ordered. She wanted two ‘chicken’ eggs over hard, home fries, and an English muffin.
“Coffee?” asked Rosy, ignoring the obvious fact that she was serving a song-bird.
“Can I have orange juice?”, the canary asked me sweetly.
“Of course; O.J it is” I told her.
Ok, everything was fine… and she even got a chance to meet my buddy Ed who sat down at the counter next to us. ‘Ed Argyl’ we called him. That wasn’t his real last name; no it was ‘cuz of the socks he’d worn since grade school. Now a police academy candidate, with its own dress code, he might let us in on his real name soon.
“Something wrong with the juice?” I asked the bird when she pushed it away from her plate with a delicate wing.
Nah maybe I just changed my mind.” she chirped tactfully.
But one sip I took (never waste food) and I knew it was old and watered-down. Grade ‘B’ OJ, to be kind. Could Rosy have knowingly done a trick like this?
Ed maintained that, in his words: “No way man, somebody’s screwing with the goods!”
I’d already told him about the ‘animal’? I’d seen in the lot:
“Like a sasquatch.”, I said, “‘course they don’t exist…”
Me ‘n canary were just finishing our breakfasts when Ed came back with the news:
“Prints leading to the door, all the way to the fridge, and then back out. Longer gait on the exit path.” we learned from Ed, a bit out of breath.
“That means that he…um… ‘it’ wuz prolly running away huh?” I asked him.
Yup, we covered that last week at the school.” Ed said, kinda proud of his new skills.
“So the animal I saw…”
“Yes, prime suspect, and apparently intelligent for a proto-homonid. Knew enough to replace the fresh-squeezed… er… ‘pinched’ stuff with water.”
“Whew. At least Rosy’s off the hook!” I told him. “...and thanks to Mr. Ace detective ha.”

Happy ending, and thanks for reading…
But when I went to write it all down I ran into a snafu.
See I started with CANARY. Backwards is ‘Y RAN A C-‘

Scant hours later I had:
YAY! A YETI, NOT RED ROSY RAN A CON JOB: ED ARGYL, NOTED ACE CADET: “ONLY GRADE ‘B’ O.J. ON CANARY’S ORDER TONITE. YAY!

The problem is that I ‘add’ to CANARY in both directions, making sure of a semblance of bi-directional logic on both fronts. Yet at some point one needs to turn it into a single string of letters identical in either direction. I suppose that CANARY need not be the center word. And now that I write this I’m thinking to go to:

‘Y’, A YETI, NOT RED ROSY RAN A CON JOB: ED ARGYL, NOTED ACE CADET: “ONLY GRADE ‘B’ O.J. ON CANARY’S ORDER TONITE. YAY!

Oy, that works, but I’d have to come up with a reason for calling the critter ‘Y’. (Not to mention pointing out, as I re-read the story that in the States at least most of my memorable breakfasts were at night, or call it ‘early morning’.
A tough job I’ve undertaken, feeding starving birds. Not to mention searching the lot the next morning for ‘spoor’ With Ed. Gung ho, that guy.

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‘O’ the PAL DOC is interesting or original, huh? But never both?

A timely question, as I attempt to profit from my little hobby. Knowing that my clients can Google any creation I come up…it’s a mixed blessing. I religiously avoid copying anyone else’s efforts; ya can’t sell ’em as yours, plus eyeing the competition is more annoying than inspiring. But I suppose I do have an obligation to check each ‘gem’ for imitators, so to speak.
Ok, for truly long ones, like the phrase below, written ten years ago and turned into a nifty 4-part harmony song as well as being the ‘punch-line’ of a longish short story on Xanga, the chances of it having been independently ‘discovered by the million-ape typists are astronomically slim.
“NOT WE, NOT WE, NEGRO ‘G’, DIRT UP ANI’S EVIL BUT TANGY GNAT TUB; LIVES IN A PUTRID GORGE, NEW TO NEWTON”

But how about this one, short, sweet, and almost Panamanian:

“A DOG, A PLAN, A BANAL PAGODA”

I swear I created it; yet it could easily belong to some prior human who came up with it first. One way to find out, of course, but I dunna wanna look; it’d be just too sad…

I did (almost) sell this short one… to a Catholic school teacher who heard what I was doing. She asked me for one ‘with a religious theme’.
Just hours later I turned in ‘NU NO NE NA NI’. Called it a ‘SLEW OV VOWELS’ , just for good measure.

Guess what; she graded it and returned it, no deal!
Scrawled on it in red ink: “INANE; NO NUN!”
Fine, lady, be that way. Mebbe I shoulda gone with the ‘PAGODA‘? They’re religious, ain’t they?
Oh well. I’m feeling better having shared this here. And stay tuned; I may shortly be very rich.

DR O Talks to the ‘Wonder Ape’, etc.

Had a short but wide-ranging chat with ‘Tarot’, the well-known simian detective. You can read the entire interview (ALL CAPS) below in either direction:

Me: “AH, TAROT, U R A BUSY APE!”
(A little background): GAS-WAR ERA: W.A. LED REVOLTS, RIFTS..
Me: I asked him about both his favorite tools and the tricks which enable his awesome successes
Tarot: “APE-SUIT, EYES, OH, THE GUNS, SNUG EH, THOSE? , YET I USE PAST, FIRST LOVER, DELAWARE, RAW SAGE, PAY SUBARU TO RAT, HA.
Me: (He’s referring to his work tracking down Del-based auto-industry vegetarian tax-evaders, a niche market if there ever was one.)
“Thanks, hairy guy,, and best of luck in your exciting gig.”

I should point out that the hurried conversation took place on my fishing boat off Florida. I’d invited him along as part of the crew which also included my translator, ‘Miami’ Tim, my Mom (Oy, she don’t take orders well), and luckily, my long-time first mate, Sammy Sanchez. We were looking over ‘today’s catch’, among the many other chores, including getting Tim to not ‘wet’ the deck. Overheard…
“SAM, ONE I MET- IT’S A LAMPREY..
MIAMI TIM, AIM YER ‘P’!
MA, LAST ITEM..I.E. NO MAS!”

Tough job keeping it all together but Dr ‘O’s doing his level best.

‘You’ve got a PAL IN DR ‘O’. (ME!)

Yes it’s official. Awarded myself an honorary Doctorate. And took upon myself the heavy responsibility of leading the masses , forwards and backwards, through the random(?) jungle of words and their spellings.
Ok the clincher was last night’s belated net-research into what others are doing in the field. Came away both sad and proud; an odd mix of emotions.
Sad, perhaps, upon discovering that ‘We are not alone’. Working as I do, alone in my Mom’s acne-infested basement, well past self-respecting adolescence I was blithely convinced that my efforts were ‘unique’. (They are; more later.)
Yes, an endless page of Palindromic sentences was only a click away.
Yet they all smell so ‘Palindromic’. The blatant springs and arrows left in the final product, the aroma of contrivance and bitter necessity. I vowed to do better. It *was*, though, instructive to see many of my own ‘discoveries’ in ‘prior-art’ print.
And yet… my creations must all pass a test I adhere to religiously. They must possess some erudite charm factor.
I so hope that my readers will agree; DR ‘O’ truly stands on the shoulders of minions of midgets…. the ‘MADAM I’M ADAM’ crowd. Go get a real life, ADAM, you’re just tired and in my way.

And while we’re handing out advice, Valerie, young, sweet (and only moderately ‘lost’ considering her age) got an earful when she let the ‘Jewish mothers’ at the bake-sale plan her life:

WE’RE BOSSY? DO BONSAI, VAL SO GUYS’LL ACT ‘RANDOM’, OD ON MASTADON, NOD AT SAM… NO, DO MOD’N ART. CALL ‘S’ YUGOSLAVIA. ‘S’… NOBODY’S SOBER. EW!
…There ya go, Adam!

So much Canal.. so much Panama! (Pals Pt II)

WordPress shuts down your site if your post is titled ‘Part One’ and then you fail to continue within 30 days, so here goes…
Hey I didn’t say it world be easy to live your life where every utterance can be spelled both forwards or backwards. But so be it if one wants to be among the truly Enlightened.
Lately I seem to be lucky:
A neighbor’s mom approached me exasperated on the street, phone in hand. She’s had enough of her son’s arrogant attitude and had SMS-ed him ‘ED U R RUDE!’
He replied: ‘AM I MA?’. As if his obvious character flaw was an un-proven conjecture.
Now I know Edward. Once you get past his exterior bravado he’s a sensitive entity in fact.
So that afternoon I SMS-ed his mother with my advice:
“REC: INSIDE, ED IS NICER”
Haven’t heard from either of ’em yet so cross yer fingers.

Been on the net a lot the last couple days; hey.it’s my job. Had to dig up the dirt on two job candidates here for a company I can’t name. Met one guy Damian, (under false pretense, of course) and barely escaped with my ears intact. What a gabber! The other fellow is a curious specimen; does ‘new-age’ lectures; I went to one, sat in the back row. He’s slick. Plus I’m told he works in private investigations for hospitals disputing claims.Name’s ‘Zelig’ and I fear he may be unstable.
Anyway I filed my report:

GOD, DAMIAN IS TMI-PRONE! ZELIG?.. ASK ROW 8. WORKS AGILE ZEN OR P.I. MT SINAI. MAD DOG.

Next stop was a rare bird shop down at the ‘Safari’ at Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv. I volunteered to take my neighbor Ed’s older brother, call him ‘S’. Most of the exhibitors, turned out, were young female police academy candidates. ‘S’ got into a fight wouldn’t you know. Runs in families I guess. Anyway:
‘S’ SORTA BLASTED A CADET’S ALBATROSS.
Hmm.. guess that’s the ‘takeaway’ as they call it these days.

Lucky Ed does have a younger sister, sweet thing. She was having trouble raising two ‘found’ kittens. They wouldn’t eat anything plus they seemed to be shivvering all night. I spent some time on net-research then an equal time convincing her to at least try what I recommended:
LOOK, STIR ‘EM RAW GELATIN, KNIT A LEG-WARMER, IT’S KOOL.
Last I heard they are still alive, albeit looking a bit silly in their purple knit 4-legged ‘ski-pants’.

Next time we’ll talk about how to create from scratch, no cheating, phrases for almost any situation. Hint: sit in a chair, pick a word spell it backwards in your head and see what comes out.
Here’s one: ‘PERCIVAL’ Ok a quick look at ‘LAVICREP’ and you see that with an ‘S’ you can get ‘SLAVIC REP. (Of course at a cost of making Percival plural or possessive. I went ahead and made SLAVIC REPTILE but now we have to deal with the ‘ELIT’, coming from the other direction. Need a verb ending in ‘EL ‘MODEL CANCEL? As you can see it’s a lot of Panamanian canal-digging in both directions. The reader is invited to flesh out ‘PERCIVAL. The big bucks, be reminded, go to Palindromes which make sense and don’t look contrived or contorted. Be well/ JS