Setting the Record Straight – February 13, 2021

Scattered across my desk, crammed into two file cabinets, overflowing countless e-folders, and scribbled onto stacks of white and yellow legal pads are more story, rant, anecdote, and Pulitzer embryos than stars in the sky seen from the dark side of the moon.  Sorting through them all to cull the crap and refile the redeemable will take longer than searching through an etui looking for that elusive wheatstraw blade.

Suck it up. Deep breath.  Fresh thermos of coffee. Pull aside the less promising.   Take them as far as they can go. Dump them on WordPress.  Burn the notepads they’re scribbled on.  Delete the documents they occupy.  Move on with life.  Serious things. Like filing taxes for 2020.  Being on time for supper.

Let us address some of the more difficult questions of life.

What calamitous event gave us cheese?
Spoilt milk is a, um, delicacy?

“Ah, shit, Sven!”

“What is it, Olaf?”

“The damned milk’s gone off!”

“Smells okay to me.”

“No it don’t.  Smells like baby puke.”


“Right. Worse. Like the north end of a southbound Viking.”

“Rather like that smell.”


“No.  This.”

“Lookit them green and black things!” 


“Looks like a goose shit in it.”

“You’re just trying to put me off it.”

“Well, ya!”

“Might oughta save it.  Use it for something.”

“Calves won’t touch the stuff.”

“Caulk longboats?”

“Worthless.  Ruint!”

“Guys from Gaul eat weird things. Toadstools and such.”

“Well, we know about those guys from Gaul, don’t we?”

“They’re healthy.”

“Eat mordersnegle too.”

“Snails. They call’m something else.”

“Throw that bucket away!”

“Feed it to the dogs. They’ll eat anything.”

“Dogs eat it, likely kill’m.”

“Ooh.  Feels slippery.”

“Aw. Lookit.  On yer damned fingers!”


“Don’t! Man, not in yer mouth!”

“Mmmm.  Hey.  Got any of those burnt bread things left?  Be perfect.”

“Aw!  Come on! You’re making me sick!”

“Mmmm.  How about some of those moldy grapes in the fiskehus?”

No two snowflakes alike?
What rubber hose had nothing better to do than sit around and compare snowflakes?

“Hurry up Waldo! You gotta get those flakes separated and to me before they melt!”

“I’m trying Uncle Bob, but they’re so small!”

“Job too tough for you?”

“I’m cold.”

“Thought you wanted to be a scientist.”

“I do.”

“Get a move on.  Need more samples.”

“Uncle Bob, I’m so cold my nose looks like a witch’s ni…”

“No more delay!  Science awaits!”

“How many do you have to compare?  I got you eight already.”

“Get out there and find me two more.”

“Yes Uncle.”

“Be careful not to damage them.”

“Yes uncle.  After these how many more?”

“Ten oughta be statistically significant.”


“Nice number. Makes for smooth calculations. Reduces error.”

“Leaving now, Uncle.”

“Better hurry. These other eight melt, we have to start all over.”

“Yes Uncle.”

What doofus figured-out fingerprints?
Sometimes you start off on the wrong track.

“You have more finger smudges for me?”

“Yes Gramps. Tell me again why I have to do this.”

 “I need to see different smudges to complete my classification guidelines.”

“Classification is still not clear.”

“Uppy-things, twirly-things, lefty- and righty-things, and loopies.”

“What’s the point?”

“Wide variations in patterns. Classification will allow criminologists to identify from finger smudges who is criminal and who is not.”

“That’s possible?”

“I believe it is.”

“Sounds kind of iffy to me.”

“Not.  Sheriff brings someone accused of sheep stealing, we look at his finger smudges, and right away know if he’s a sheep stealer or not.  Be a new branch of science.”

“I dunno, Gramps. This is a lot of work.”

“Not really.”

“Is for me.  You wanted smudgies…”


“Smudgies, smudges, whatever. Dangerous too.”

“Dangerous? Nah. Dip fingers into the goose fat, wipe them on a linen. Bingo!”

“Okay for the family and the folks at the Rectory.  But you send me to the pubs and gypsy camps, for, um..”

“Criminal element…”

“Yuh, criminal element smudgies. Last time at the Goose and Piglet, a gang of those ruffians pounded me soundly.”

“You brought smudges.”

“Where their hands mashed my face in, got my blood on them, then threw me and my linen collection out into the street.”

“Good work!”

“Need you to do that again.  Need more samples from the criminal element.”

“No! My face still hurts!”

“Your grandfather Waldo was a whiner too.  Just bring me the smudges.  Make haste now!”

“What’s the hurry?”

“Changes all of law enforcement and jurisprudence forever.”

“Gets us nothing.  Doesn’t straighten my nose.”

“Fame!  If I’m right about this, why, we’ll go down in history. And it will change the way novelists write about crime for all time!”

What the?
“Decisions rendered that could have changed the course of humanity had they taken another direction.” 

  • Teflon for paving highways
  • Withdrawing males’ suffrage
  • The 1960 Edsel production year
  • Beatles choosing the name ‘Liverpool Laddies’ 
  • El Duce choosing the family gelato business over military-politics
  • Marie Curie pursued a theatric career, first starring in “Les périls de Puliene” at Théâtre le Ranelagh
  • Custer not only losing Little Big Horn, but just after, the ITU (Indigenous Tribes United) seized Washington DC and threatened to invade and subjugate England if England refused to reassume control of the original 13 colonies
  • The ‘French’ Army Knife
  • Moorg Stoneweilder of Ballyshannon, County Donegal is denied exclusive production rights for the round ‘wheel-thingy’  
  • Einstein left the patent office to mime and twist balloon animals in the park 
  • Gutenberg determined printing was a passing fad 
  • Eric the Red went bald at thirteen
  • The Athletics never left Philadelphia and the only Washington Senators ever known were the baseball team disbanded in 1899
  • Betsy Ross told Colonial American George where to stuff it
  • The Lenape Chieftain Muddy Water repossessed Manhattan in 1630 for back taxes
  • Moses was afraid of water

Readers, I have ab-so-lute-ly no idea…


Politicians aren’t corrupt. They are amoral.  All politicians.  Corruption is a natural extension of amorality.

Defending satire1  

A recent visitor asked why onions no longer made them cry.  Friday evening here, late, I consulted the research team.  They were perturbed, being interrupted on the cusp of a promising weekend, and it was Brian O’Rourke’s turn to buy, but as I pay the bills, they knuckled under and threw this report on my desk as they walked out the door to Clegg’s Tavern.

Onions may not cause a human subject’s eyes to tear because:

  • A male onion is under the knife (this was covered earlier, and I suspect the research team was taking a poke at me)
  • Over time, a normal person becomes naturally inured to the effects of Trivegoxynase
  • The human subject has celebrated sufficient birth anniversaries that certain chemical changes have taken place in their body; they no longer react as a normal person to any chemical stimulus
  • Emotional changes in the human subject have changed that individual from a sensitive, caring, empathetic schmuck into a hard-ass, insensitive, kryptonite slug2
  • Soil amendments, naturally organic and Aramoco-developed, change the assimilation of nutrients by plants, thus altering the plant’s ability to create some hormones or reduce the strength of what is produced – affecting more than smell, taste, size, coloration, and ratings on Anurabolly, Scoville, Becquerel, and Fjogg Indices
  • Some plants, especially exotic hybrids, are sterile, incapable of producing seed and otherwise natural phytochemicals3
  • GMO sleight-of-hand may have altered the ratio of or removed normally present male-female-specific hormonal differences in the plant
  • The subject may not be peeling an onion but a turnip

That inquisitive visitor, in closing, questioned a declaration that all males go through rut. That was fully addressed in note 6 of 2/12/2021, specifically as manifesting in obsessions with, for example, NFL, MMA, or any event where Hakas are customary.  It is remarked, however, that reaching the age of fertility, this male rut is a permanent condition.  While it may be disguised or overpowered by infirmity or senility, it remains. Some male humans may not remember why they bridle when the neighborhood kids walk on their suburban lawn, but it is nonetheless evidence of residual male rut.  Similarly observed in behaviors like speeding up when the vehicle behind changes lanes to pass, and proudly having the louder Cowboy Cadillac, the rut makes frequent, unpredictable appearances.

It’s late Friday night and I’m over-budget.  Wonder if I can squeeze in at Clegg’s.  Later, kiddies.

— Notes — 

1 This is itself satire. If you don’t understand the implications therein, let’s take a crack at spelling it out for you: This is all nonsense, dreamed-up, with no basis in fact.

2 Mordersnegle. Unless you’re French, then escargot.

3 Sterile hybrids: The research team holds little hope that common hybrids not infertile will at some point be incapable of further propagation. A call placed to Clegg’s Tavern found the team already blitzed to the point of being unable to provide a credible explanation.

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

6 thoughts on “Setting the Record Straight – February 13, 2021

  1. Brilliant SP! A lot of subject matter to get into here, thank God it’s not like Olaf’s milk. Always a pleasure to read your ramblings and if the Indians had repossessed Manhattan, what would the island be called? Irving?
    All the best and hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend?

  2. Is that onion section multiple choice? You’re research team is on to something and I’m thinking it’s the Emotional Changes, or at least I hope so, because that means my decade of self-development courses are finally working. My better half, on the other hand, insists he must be rut-root-proof and thank the heavens neither of us know what MMA or Hakas mean, and last we heard, the traditional use of the acronym NFL has been repurposed to Not For Long due to the former’s Satanic agenda.

    1. MMA Mixed Martial Arts. SuperTestosteronic gumballs get into a cage and proceed to bash each others brains out. Haka: Maori war(like) ceremony. Quite interesting, actually. Only a Caspar Milquetoast lacks any manifestation of the male rut. Plays poker? Tells tale tales drinking with his buds? Is incensed by the yuppie boob who feels himself too good to wait in-line like everyone else? In the words of the illustrious lusterless Sleepy Slimy Joe, “C’mon, man!”

      1. No poker, thank all the gods and genies. Not warlike, doesn’t like sports. Don’t think he relates to Caspar Milquetoast though. But we’re curious, what’s it called when the girls tell tall tales while drinking? And, incensed by the rude yuppie boob seems more universal too, not rut-related at all, just common and justified irritation. Your team’s been so helpful so far, I’m seeing loads of development potential for them here.

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