[lit-ideas] Re: Thereabouts
- From: profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx
- To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2022 09:21:57 -0700
It will be the view of some readers that to drive three hundred miles round
trip solely because you’ve heard the beer is good might be overdoing matters.
On the other hand, people drive further than that to see performances of
Shakespeare in Ashland. In defence I’ll explain that it was a cask beer and
named, rather wonderfully in my view, Reg. Full name, “Reg the Great, like
Alfred the Great and Charles the Bald. There should have been an early English
king named Reg. I mean, think of all the ones named Rex. Bloomin’ dog’s name,
that. Succession should have been Vince the Wind followed by Reg the Great
followed by Mimo the Magnificent.
Beside where they sold the beer was a used bookstore. Pretty close to Nirvana,
in my humble view, cask beer and used books in the one spot. Also Scottish
meat pies and baked beans.
We were briefly in our home abode, and then off to another wedding, this one in
San Diego, where people claim the beer is good. Not in the same league as Reg,
let me tell you.
Before we left I went out to look at the light on the trees and there was Mimo.
“Have we ever discussed nothing?”
“The absence of something , as in ‘the chicken coop is empty,’ or the vast void
of space, type thing?”
“Nothing as a desired goal.”
“No, I don’t believe we have. I once sat through an hour on ‘nothing comes of
nothing’ when I was a T.A., and the Western Civ prof set out to reveal to
Freshpersons the magic of Shakespeare.”
Mimo, “Only, I’m not feeling it.”
“Not feeling what?”
“Death where is thy sting?”
Mimo, “I beg your pardon?”
“Sorry. Incautious choice of words. Tell me more about what you’re not
Mimo, “The joy of it. I’ve been talking to this Indian chick who says that
if you try really hard you’ll reach some kind of nervousness.”
Me, “Nirvana maybe?”
“That. So my question is… after all the emptying, what would be the sign
that the bathtub is liveable?”
Me, “ You think of emptiness as a kind of bathtub?”
“Don’t you? That’s where life began.”
Me, “Sorry, I was born in Scotland where people don’t discuss Nirvana much.
Nectar, on the other hand… have I told you about our trip? They only sold
cask beers, made in British styles. I’m not a fan of dark beer but B said
the Porter was very good.”
Mimo, “Nose painting, sleep and urine.”
Me, “The porter in Macbeth! That’s his line!”
Mimo, “There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio…”
Me, “I see why you’re having difficulty with emptiness; your head is stuffed
with good stuff by the bard.”
Mimo, “I would give all my Danes, for a pot of ale and safety.”
“Not ‘Danes’ I think.”
“Makes perfect sense. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark… might as
well give it away. Past its sell- by date.”
Me, “ I very much doubt you’re going to reach nothingness any time soon. You
seem to be headed rapidly towards encyclopedic knowledge.”
“Is that bad?”
“Why don’t you ask Bill.”
Mimo, “Who’s Bill?”
“He’ll be the one ordering a pint in iambic pentameters. Buy him a beer and
let him tell you the story of his life.”
“Buy him a beer?”
“That’s what the line means, ‘Nothing comes of nothing.’ You have to buy him a
We attended another fine wedding celebration, in San Diego’s gorgeous gloaming.
Toasts were offered, none for the British traditional “absent friends,” but I
quietly slipped it in, so you won’t feel left out.
Cheers and, “to life.”
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