Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Do not take us to any vulgar places
You may be wondering what strange and wonderful books I discovered in my recent delving into the parental cellar bookshelves.
But first, the goats, because last weekend we went north to Columbia County to meet 2 exceptional and pregnant goats, Gretel and Cecily.
But first first I must tell what I learned before meeting the goats. Among the many divisions that separate us in this world and the hereafter, especially the hereafter, is the one between the sheep and the goats. In any representation of the Last Judgment you will find Jesus in the center with the sheep on his right hand, signifying the blessed or saved, and the goats on his left, signifying the damned. As far as I can tell, Matthew referred analogously to the sheep and goats being separated, as they would be by a shepherd, and did not cast any aspersions on goats per se.
Another important fact I have learned about goats is that they have rectangular pupils. This is a fact that I can swear to on St Matthew’s Gospel. These rectangles allow them to see up to 340˚ (unlike our meager 210˚), which is especially remarkable when you realize that they can also turn their necks almost 180˚ in either direction.
Octopi also have rectangular pupils, though they do not have hooves.
Now for some literary highlights:
Gazella, by Stuart Cloete: “She sacrificed men on the altars of love and revenge...half-mistress...half-witch...half Portuguese...half Zulu...half child...ALL WOMAN!" This book is dedicated to “tiny” (sic)
Junior Scenarios for Home Movies, published by the Eastman Kodak Company in 1941, in which detailed instructions are given for movies you can make featuring your talented offspring. For instance, you can construct the witch’s gingerbread house with a large box, brown paper trimmed with doilies and a sign clearly identifying it as “Gingerbread House” . Then in Scene 11 (Semi Close-up) "Hansel and Gretel close the door. Hansel pulls off the knocker and tastes it. His fact shows that is it delicious. Gretel looks on, somewhat worried; but the temptation is too great and she breaks off the doorknob and tastes it, finding it also quite delicious."
Scene 12 features the witch looking from behind a tree.
But perhaps most importantly, I learned how say the all-important “Do not take us to any vulgar places,”
Bringen Sie uns nicht nach einem unanständigen Platz.
next time I am in Dresden or Cologne.
When in Oslo or Trondheim, I can say, “I’d like some suckling pig, hare, reindeer, and codfish liver with molasses.”
Jeg vil gjerne ha smâgris, hare, reinsdyr, og mØlje.
Which is a better idea than what did last time I was in Norway, which was try to avoid eating herring without benefit of the language.
Yes, I know herring is very good for you and some of my favorite people in the world love herring.
And also, because it might: Det kan begynne å brenne, which means: “It might catch fire.”
From What you Want to Say and How to Say it in German, and Norwegian for Travellers.