Semi-Literary Trivia Question of the Week #2

Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturitions are to me,
As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
On a lurgid bee,
That mordiously hath bitled out,
Its earted jurtles…

…is an example of what?

  1. An early attempt at nonsense rhyme by Theodore Geisel, later known as Doctor Suess, from a mostly unsuccessful story called The Purple Pattiwack.
  2. A poem recited by Mad Mathesis’ unnamed cousin, in Lewis Carrol’s collection of short stories, A Tangled Tale.
  3. A poem recited by the narrator, Bella Donna Black Swan “Shady” Gray, to open the second-place winner’s entry in the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for terrible writing.
  4. Vogon poetry, “the third worst poetry in the universe,” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
  5. Unused verse discovered among Edward Lear’s effects after his death, and later finished by other authors and published as The Scroobious Pip.
  6. Text of laws introduced in the Arizona legislature last month.

Answer here.
Answer last week’s question.

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Posted in Humor, Trivia

Fun Shower Activities – Another Winning Blog Entry from Shut Up Dad

Fun Shower Activities With a Partner, to be exact. Be careful in there! But enjoy yourself. Plus: just what were those sounds?

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Posted in Humor, reblog

Semi-Literary Trivia Question of the Week #1

Homer Simpson is the name of:

  1. A farmer who joins the Army after he loses his father’s Oklahoma land during the Dust Bowl, in James Jones’ From Here to Eternity.
  2. A plumber who is drafted to serve as a proctologist in the U.S. Army Air Forces, in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22.
  3. A minor-league baseball player with the lowest batting average of his team but the most home runs, in Bernard Malamud’s The Natural.
  4. A creepy bookkeeper obsessed with an aspiring starlet, in Nathaniel West’s The Day of the Locust.
  5. The inventor of the Smartypants Phone, in Jules Verne’s comic romp, The Voice Transmission Device That Also Transmits Imprudent Photographs Via the Infernal Network.

For the answer, see the Cliff’s Notes analysis of this character. Or see the complete text online.

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Posted in Humor, Trivia, Writing

This is your brain on cartoons…

A New Yorker article explores why we laugh at cartoons — using New Yorker cartoons for illustration. Nice concept.

But if you think too hard about what makes humor, do you destroy it? I must admit that when someone says, “I take humor very seriously,” I do tend to look around for an escape route.

A psychologist speaks to a bunny on a couch.

See the New Yorker article illustrated with this cartoon.

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Not usually my bag of tea


“Spoken word” poetry is not something I have appreciated much, with the possible exception of William Shatner. But “To This Day” by Shane Koyczan is a powerful bit about bullying. The spoken word part makes it all the more vivid — as does the video, created in sections a group of volunteer animators. Watch the “To This Day” video as it brings this piece to life.

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It can be a thin line between a writer and a would-be writer.

Write Despite

So tonight I’m sitting here with a laptop waiting for my daughter to finish her piano class. And this man asks me what I’m working on.

“You’re not writing a novel, are you?” he says with a laugh.

And stupidly, oh so stupidly, I tell him that, yes, in fact, I am.

And of course, that was the end of my writing session. He took this as his cue to regale me with his own failed attempts at writing, and what conspired against him, and before the 45-minute lesson was up, I had learned about his ex-wife (unsupportive), his current wife (needy), and his three grown children (ingrates). Not that I didn’t find it all interesting, and the man perfectly pleasant. I did. But I will now have to sit in my car to write for the next six weeks of piano lessons unless I grow a backbone between…

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Posted in Writing

Writing for a niche market. Or maybe this could be a writer’s prompt?

Shit I Heart

This must have been some copywriter’s dream job – by the guys over at Partners+Napier.

While I’m not saying that I’d ever steal public signage, I’d like to have one of these in my home.






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