[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Wotsit

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 10:28:05 -0700

The first page, when you look up "plural of Emily" on the web, gives you answers about the wives of Joseph Smith; you must type "plural of names ending in 'y'" to arrive at the rule, which is the same as other words ending in "s" and turns on the consonant. I mention this because, like many other parents of our generation, we tried so hard to find a name that was strong and unusual; and like many other parents of our generation, we settled on "Emily." Thus it was with a brace of Emilies in the back of the car, that out of the blue of a drive up the Columbia Gorge, a line came into my head, "Side effects of highland dancing may include bloating, not boating...blah and blah."

You'll recognize the voice from T.V. and radio ads, jabbering quickly to get though a long list. The line seemed funny--Highland dance does sometimes "prevent" me from boating-- but the fact is it never causes bloating (unless you count the beers afterwards). So I worked to hack a poem out of what was left of the seam when you remove half. Here's where I called a halt:

Highland dancers must be be sure to bring water to competitions and a pinch of salt, for luck or equilibrium; this is, after all, a sport that turns on judges' opinions. No judging is perfect. Narcolepsy is rare in those who listen to the bagpipes indoors, but side effects of highland dancing can include: flushed skin, intermittent brain freeze, getting in advance of or behind the beat, an Asperger's-like tendency to mime trousers being kicked off, glow and jitters, rehearsing steps with your hands.

Studies now show that post traumatic sword dance disorder (PTSDD) is more common in parents than was first reported, but it is currently unclear whether the ailment is iatro-physical or purely psychosomatic in nature. Bagpipe echo syndrome (BES) is quite different and must be distinguished from simple ringing in the ears if anxiety disorders are to be prevented. Treatments include reducing the proportion of toe and heel ghillies, bespoke socks, kilts and jackets in the investment portfolio, but stronger interventions may be necessary. Mall therapy and pedicures have proved effective with some patients, though a cost benefit analysis should always be performed; others respond to a wide range of beverages, with darts, but prophylactic piperectomies should be performed on any premises where these are to be imbibed, or the effect is null.

The preferred option is to coach the parents in having fun, or to send them outside, where they may crab, or they may seize the day and drive a pair of lively dancing girls up the gorge.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

p.s. One Emily doesn't actually *do* Highland Dancing. Oh well. That's art for you.

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