[lit-ideas] Sunday Wotsit

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 11:23:52 -0700

I've never seen a wotsit with a link in to a podcast, so you'll find at the end 
of para number uno "The Icebreaker Episode." Within that episode, you'll find 
an Irish woman telling a joke.  If you're anything at all like me it's possible 
that in addition to finding the joke funny (it's the one that finishes, "why 
are we speaking Spanish?") you'll begin to wonder how and why it is that some 
Irish people can be roundabout, un-modern, so not to-the-point in their speech 
and yet remain charming, engaging, very much present in the trickly tapestry of 
today.  http://www.publicradio.org/columns/dinnerpartydownload/

One section of the newspaper yesterday was on about a re-birth of floor 
coverings.  "Go out and buy carpets," was the gist of it, the bottom line, the 
take-home message.  In a related piece--people will read more, the theory goes, 
if stuff is arranged thematically--an interior designer advised me to buy 
books.  "Ah-ha," I thought, ever ready to applaud those who are in favor of 
what I do.  She continues, "take the covers off and stack them by color."  
This, she explained, in addition to making you seem smart, will brighten up any 

A second article explained how to go about painting the interior of your 
garage.  On the day that I consider painting the walls, ceiling and floor of my 
garage, I will know that I have finally read everything.   

I survey, in lordly manner, my current floor covering--many stacks of 
books--and wonder if I should attempt to re-arrange them.  By color, say.   

Having eaten a bit of a Voodoo doughnut (my annual one) and not an apricot or a 
walnut or something that expert study proves will help me live longer, I gather 
to me an taste of Tempranillo, the one from Trader Joe, with the pig flying pig 
on the label, and settle to considering plot.  For those of us who like the 
sound of words, numpties who swirl them as one would wine, people who dub 
others "miscreants" just for the fun of the term, for us the discipline of plot 
and form are difficult.  We are diverted by assonance and dissonance and happy 

And yet I love a well-wrought mystery, which is to say a mystery that has 
exactly the right form and is just a little different from all the other 
mysteries I've read.  It's not all about plot, though.  Hollywood addresses 
this problem with slightly odd faces, casting people whose features are 
completely symmetrical.  Witness Owen Thingy's broken nose or that of Gerard 
Depardieu.  What a world it would be if when actors ate Voodoo, the fat from 
the doughnut was deposited in those parts of the nose that most need attention. 
 Doughnut surgery substitute; it's a thin premise, but it just might work.

David Ritchie,
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