Adjective Proliferation

July 3, 2007 - Leave a Response

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my duty to inform you of a grave danger threatening our national security: Adjective Proliferation. AP affects every level of our society. Even as we speak language terrorists under the guise of marketing personnel in major corporations are proliferating adjectives at a rate guaranteed to destroy the English language as we know it. For this reason the President has appointed a new head of the Language Security Department who has acted decisively to stop the hideous misuse of our words.

By order of the Language Security Department, the following adjectives are not to be seen in television, radio or print advertising:

Tempting

Decadent

Extreme

Delicious

Fantastic

Grande

Mega

Luxurious

Incredible

Limited-time

Special

Easy-to-use

Beautiful

Delectable

Spicy

Firey

Generous

Amazing

Any miscreant caught using the above words for advertising purposes will be submitted to severe verbal humiliation.

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June 12, 2007 - Leave a Response

Last time we saw our hero Rev. Clockslip, he was taking advantage of the hospitality of yours truly while embroiled in a messy doctrinal dispute with his incredibly orthodox wife. The situation has now changed dramatically, whether for better or worse I’ll let you decide.

On Sunday the good Reverend once again took his place in the pulpit and his wife dutifully sat in the front row, their marital strife safely hidden from the worthies of the congregation. Like every Sunday, Clockslip appeared from behind the choir loft after the special music and walked, stumbling slightly, to center stage.

This time though, the crowd could sense a difference. They sat in uneasy silence while he shuffled his notes, one sheet on top, then the other, then the first again, staring down at the faux wood of the pulpit without saying a word. It may have been a full five minutes before he looked up, and when he did, he was staring right into his wife’s stern blue eyes.

I could tell he was drunk. He’d taken to lifting the alcohol straight from my cupboard, instead of waiting for me to supply him.

“Petunia,” he slurred in a pathetic tone that did nothing to relieve the congregation’s mind, “I want to tell you, right now, before I forget, or you go away, I love you very much.”

Mrs. Clockslip sat up straighter in the pew, every inch of her on the alert, no doubt planning how she could play this all off to the parishioners.

“I love you, Petunia, and I need you. I can’t live without you. I can’t do anything by myself,” Clockslip’s plea continued, the words running together into one long mushed-up sentence.

“And I brought you this,” he finally declared, and from his stack of papers on the pulpit, he pulled out a sheet of brown imitation parchment paper.

There was a sharp intake of breath from Mrs. Clockslip. As the congregation looked on, by now completely horrified at the proceedings, Reverend Henry Clockslip stepped deliberately down from the podium, got down on one knee in front of his beloved and solemnly gave her his gift.

She sat shocked, looking down at it, then finally with a sob threw her arms around the penitent preacher in a spasm of affection.

The lookers-on reacted quizzically, but a few applauded, and I joined them. After everyone had left I finally got a look at Clockslip’s peace offering. It was a copy of the last page of the Westminster Confession of Faith, with his signature scrawled on it in a large unsteady hand. I suppose this indicated his full and complete acceptance of proper orthodoxy.

So they’re back together again. Petunia’s heart was softened by the Reverend’s weakened state and she took him back into her care. What a story. Divided by doctrine, reunited by alcohol. Someone ought to make a film.

Mrs. Clockslip

June 3, 2007 - Leave a Response

For more than a week now, Reverend Clockslip and I have been on-again off-again bedfellows due to the ever unfolding drama of his estrangement with Mrs. Clockslip. Petunia Clockslip is a woman of strict doctrinal rigor, her orthodoxy defended with the ardor of a blushing maid.

My friend the Reverend, who I shall call Henry, encountered this paragon of theological certitude while they were both attending a Bible college in Grand Rapids. One day in class discussion, upon the suggestion that God’s sovereign care over the universe might take a form other than that described in the Hiedelburg Catechism, they rose in unison to cow the heretical miscreant. Their eyes met and between them flashed an understanding. After that, through many late night conferences on the nature and timing of Christ’s millennial reign, they became romantically attached.

Now, after a quarter century of marriage and almost a half century of age behind him, Henry Clockslip’s former passion for ramrod straight theological discipline and razor sharp theological distinctions has begun to wane. Petunia, on the other hand, has moved not an inch from any one of her pet convictions. Thus we find ourselves in the present position.

The Reverend is at my house for a seemingly indefinite period. He cannot go anywhere else, for he does not know anyone else outside of his congregation, and the Clockslips are keeping their pseudo-separation a secret from the members of the church. So here we sit. However, I do not think that the present state of affairs will last for long. Clockslip seems to be concocting a plan to win his orthodox bride back. We shall see what develops.

A Development

May 19, 2007 - One Response

I had up till now cherished the comforting assumption that the next person I shared a bed with would be Lorelai.  This assumption has turned out to unfounded.  With some regret I must announce that my new bedfellow is in fact a fellow.  To be more specific, Reverend Clockslip slept in my bed last night.

Don’t jump to conclusions, no carnal knowledge was involved.  I suppose I’d better explain.  Yesterday I was interrupted during my evening pre-sleep ritual by the door bell.  At the door, squinting into the glare of the porch light, was Reverend Clockslip, dressed in a faded blue bathrobe.

“My wife threw me out,” he said forlornly.

“Did she find the liquor?”

“No, worse.  She accused me of being an antinomian.”

I was speechless at the ferocity of the accusation.  By which I mean I had no idea what he was talking about.  After plying the Reverend with tea I came to understand that Mrs. Clockslip had locked him out of the house upon learning of certain unorthodoxies in his belief concerning the Old Testament moral law.

“She’s grossly misrepresenting my views!” Clockslip almost sobbed, “I believe in the validity of moral law as much as the next guy.”

He was inconsolable.  All I could do was offer him a bed to sleep on.  Mine.  Oh well.  Such are the consequences of feeding a romance on doctrine alone.

Jazz!

April 20, 2007 - Leave a Response

Lorelai and I went to a jazz concert last night. Walking in we heard the drummer make a few introductory brushes and they were off. At first the pianist’s ideas dominated the conversation, but then he and the drummer began to swap stories back and forth, with the bassist keeping the flow together with the appropriate uh-huh’s and yeah man’s. Finally the piano took off on a real whopper, flying all the way into the tenor until the climax came crashing down around him and the bassist intervened and begin holding forth about the great deep truths of the universe. The other two offered a few amens, then burst out again into full throat.

Without a pause they scittered through an all too short set, building momentum until they collided with an oncoming cymbal crash and stopped. Then we kissed. That is, Lorelai and I, not the bandmembers. Though I would have given them anything after that performance, including my body.

Woman

April 11, 2007 - Leave a Response

So you may be wondering (You? Who is “you?” I like to imagine you being an intensely interested and intensely beautiful woman, very like Lorelai, but more interested. Of course I was just about to tell “you” about Lorelai, wasn’t I?) what happened with Lorelai, that is, the woman I met at the café. Well, funny you should ask. You see, Lorelai and I are currently engaged in a relationship. That is, we are: together, seeing each other, dating, a couple, an item, going out, and not having sex.

Fortunately, as compensation for that last item, I am intensely fascinated by her and content for now to bask in the mystery of womanhood, not to mention keeping my less-than-impressive physique under wraps for now. There is nothing worse than getting naked too soon.

Sunday Morning

March 26, 2007 - Leave a Response

I wrote last about a woman, but in this entry I must digress from that pleasant subject and relate one of my weekly rituals. I went to church. Do not stare so. Yes, I went to church, as I do nearly every week, though I am afraid you may consider my motives less than pious. I have become a kind of informal supplier of liquor to a certain local minister who has discovered that Bacardi looks exactly like water when seen from the pews.

My friend Reverend Clockslip (naturally I have had the good taste to give him a pseudonym) is a remarkably paranoid individual who refuses to be seen in a liquor store, so I bring him, by way of friendship, a small bottle every Sunday. I shall relate to you this week’s delivery.

I met the Reverend, as usual, in a small room behind the auditorium where he secluded himself in order to prepare for his sermon.

“Clockslip!” I said, savoring the syllables as they left my tongue (for if you must know his real name is just as deliciously unusual as the false one I have given him), “I’ve got your delivery.”

“Good!” he said, shaking himself out of his dissipation, “hand it here.”

With practiced hands he poured a significant serving into a plastic cup, then opened the top drawer of a filing cabinet labeled “private,” pulled back a mass of folders and deposited the bottle safely at the back.

“Thanks,” he said, gratitude pouring from his eyes as he took the first sip.

“Why don’t you stay and hear the sermon this time, Alec?” he offered hesitantly.

“I stay every time, Reverend.”

“Oh. Well that’s good, I suppose.”

“Time to go get ‘em.”

“All right.”

With this he strode out slowly, every step a deliberation, straightening the hunch in his back by force of will.

Out in the auditorium the congregation murmured, as they did every week, at the delay between the special music and the pastor’s appearance. Finally he took the stage, stowing his cup inside his impressive hardwood pulpit. Taking the sides of the mighty lectern, he paused, as if for dramatic effect, then launched into oratory.

The reverend has a noble face, which transforms, by its dramatic intensity, the everyday clichés of his sermons into pearls of wisdom strung between frequent emphatic pauses. He is a man who you can never accuse of losing his train of thought, for his face sternly replies that he is simply mustering the forces of argument in order to make a final assault on the recalcitrant minds of his flock.

He was in fine form this Sunday, drawing widely disparate lines of exegesis into a seeming whole, which he finally held high in one fist and brought crashing down on the pulpit to bring his message to a close. This cathartic apotheosis achieved, he bowed his head like a condemned criminal and intoned wordlessly a prayer which we always heard, but none but God ever understood.

This done, the congregation retreated. First, the casual attendees scattered like cockroaches, their duty done. Then the faithful made a more disciplined withdrawal, chatting quietly of lunch. I stayed back long enough to see that my friend successfully hid the liquor cup before being driven home by his wife. Then I too left to find other pursuits, feeling as usual, less religious, but more of a friend. Perhaps even more of a Christian, though I believe my nomination for sainthood has hit upon some bureaucratic difficulties. Damn Catholics

A Discovery

March 20, 2007 - Leave a Response

With the absurd exclamation, “to the world!” I left my desk two days ago in search of who-knows-what in who-knows-where for who-knew-how long.  I now know how long, and am reasonably sure of the location of my discovery but am utterly at a loss as to the answer to my first hyphenated pseudo-question. 

As to the time, my aimless search ended yesterday around noon, the place: a café on eighth street which I occasionally designate my own due to my constant hanging about there.  My discovery: that ineffable creature, woman.  Of course my guard was up, for despite my unflagging interest in knowing them carnally, my interest in knowing women relationally often fails around the three month anniversary.  This is a cardinal fault of mine for which I can only take full responsibility and repent in sack-cloth and ashes before the entire female race.  But as I was saying, I was cautious.

It was all the wind’s fault in the end.  If the breeze hadn’t happened to lift her hair like a veil just as she passed my table on the veranda, I might never have noticed her.  Truth be told, her over-all appearance is nothing remarkable, her eyes though, as she met the wind with a twinkling gaze and welcomed the sweeping away of her somewhat mousy auburn hair.  Ah, the bewitching was in the eyes.

Curses!  A paragraph about eyes.  Too much has been said about eyes, though perhaps not enough about hers.  Nonetheless, let us leave her eyes in her head and proceed to the rest of my encounter.

The next pitfall was the tea.  She had ordered the same variety I was fond of, and on a hot day too!  My curiosity got the better of me.  What could I do?  I laid down my book and walked casually by her table. 

“Is that Honey Chamomile?”  I remarked casually just as I came abreast of her position.

“Yes,” she said.

And, well, what more do you want?  Suffice it to say that we talked, and I came away with, if not the key to her heart, at least the secret code by which I could unlock the impenetrable fortress of her American anonymity.  I mean of course her telephone number.

Writer’s Block

March 12, 2007 - Leave a Response

I, Alec Circe Meyers, creative soul, write this at the commencement of my third week of non-production. I have spent the last fourteen days not creating, not sculpting meaning out of malleable existence, not painting a sky in which to build castles. In consequence I have decided to embrace the agonizing contradiction inherent in my friends’ well meaning advice and write about my inability to write. Upon reflection this is not such an absurd idea as it first seemed. It contains all the elements of a thrilling story. A protagonist: myself. A conflict: my perturbing inability to form anything substantive out of the formlessness of the English language. A resolution: there perhaps I fall short.

What am I doing now but journaling? Keeping company with all the schoolgirls writing down secret romances and trivial dramas in brightly colored lockable diaries. My muse has left me, or is at least having an affair with the milkman, leaving me without her caresses of inspiration to excite my easily bored mind.

The time has come to take action. If this were a crime novel I would be forced to kill someone in a fiendishly creative manner in order to inspire me and prove my intelligence. However, as this is the simple journal of a frustrated scribbler, I shall have to get out into the real world, gain experience, build up stores of happenings, relationships and information so as to fulfill the eternally vexing adage, “write what you know.” It has become necessary for me to know something—or someone—in order to write.

With this resolution made, I find myself nonetheless still typing, huddling closer and closer to the keyboard of my aging laptop, as if to preserve the heat of the hard-drive, or listen for a voice in its gentle humming. I am afraid perhaps of transferring my mode of existence from telling to doing, or perhaps I simply haven’t a clue what I shall do. Enough. I make an end. To the world!

Hello world!

March 7, 2007 - One Response

And so it begins.  I don’t know what to write.  Self-doubt sets in.  The medium seems flawed.  And yet our  hero will soldier through.