Saturday, February 6, 2010

Repost: War and Peace: I Have the Power When I'm in the Shower

originally posted 11/15/2009
Good morning, Fearless and Beloved Readers! I've missed you, I really have. Give yourselves a hug.

Have a seat on the red horsehair loveseat over yonder. It's one of the few Victorian Pieces in The Manor. {guffawandsnicker} Go figure, huh? Captain Haddock's more recent ancestors were a wily people, a sang froid of common sense running in their blue, blue veins.
The space that we are in today served them as Reception Hall during the American Civil War, and for roughly 60 years afterward. Back then, it was worth their Snooty While to allow a more plebian sort of individual to attend the legendary Marlinspike Hall Afternoon Teas.

But a few changes were necessary, so as to honor their actual intent.

Horsehair furniture. Horsehair as stuffing, horsehair as "fabric." *Small* furniture of unwieldy proportion, shape, and style. American furniture! To provide the necessary Provenance of Snoot, most of it was purchased from a small dealer specializing in the paraphernalia and artefacts of Abraham Lincoln.

We're talking austere. And sturdy.

But mostly? We're talking un-freaking-comfortable! Somehow, some way, the earthier visitors to The Manor found that the rich folks' furniture variously pinched their derrières, squeezed their oversized working class thighs, and often made them break out in an itchy rash. Slowly but surely, word spread, and the afternoon receptions thinned out, freeing up The Haddocks for their beloved Tea Time Mahjongg Tournaments.

Oh, yeah. They also switched from what most people in this region of Tête de Hergé (Très Décédée, D'ailleurs) prefer to drink, a strong polyvalant coffee, to thinly brewed and overly sweetened English teas.

That's the succinct version of why there is such a massive collection of Bone China Coffee Cups, Mugs, and Saucers -- and of why it is hidden from Common View. It must be said, doggone it, that must also be the reason for the chintzy, stained tea cups and the dented, tarnished silver tea sets.

It's not that Haddock Stock disapproved of tea, per se. There are over three dozen delightful tea pots in the working kitchens in the East Wing, alone.

But today, we chose to greet you here in La Recepción! Yes, we are planning a surprise renovation for this space -- from Lincolnesque austerity to teeming, busy Spanish Colonial. Coffee reigns supreme again! I know, it will be a striking change, yes? From itty-bitty loveseats to massive, in-your-face stuff!

My! I do go on. The words seems to have built up over the past few weeks. Explosive posting.

Anyway, please pour yourself a cup of this fine, winey yirgacheffe. It is Fred's favorite from the years he lived in Ethiopia. And why not, let's use the Imported Fine English Bone China Coffee Accoutrements!

Here, look in the bottom of the china cabinet -- note the paw foot, the curved glass -- no, the bottom, there you go! Smart Reader!

If you're a strict, unyielding traditionalist, use one of those Royal Crown Derby Posies-patterned coffee cups and saucers -- a very fine bone china, with both gilded rims and handle bands! Stop! Right there! Very good, Sweet Reader.

It's part of Captain Haddock's extensive Imported Post War Bone China Collection.

Now that everyone is seated, all comfy (how is that horsehair treating your various tushes?),
the inmates here at Marlinspike Hall would also like to extend a Warm Welcome to My Two Cyber Stalkers. I think I spotted them sprinting between haystacks earlier this morning, as dew lay on the Manor Holdings. I'm unclear as to how the Second Cyber Stalker came to be on scene, but I surmise that she is basically an unbalanced woman fallen under The Spell of The Primary Cyber Stalker. Maybe, if I am good, one of them will leave a comment explaining the exponential growth of my fan base. But until such time as the two of you begin to focus on each other -- the absolutely predictable ending to your saga -- please, make yourselves at home.

Just don't touch anything.

This morning, for the first time in about two months, I woke up feeling pretty darned okay (I don't want to jinx it with excessive exuberance).

The cows are giving sweet frothy warm milk again, sparing us another morning of nasty "non-dairy creamer," and providing The Castafiore and Her Denizens with the raw material for yogurts, various creams, and cheeses. We are thinking of reopening The Manor Dairy.

Marmy and her Fluffy Butt has made peace with Sam-I-Am, thereby helping Uncle Kitty Big Balls to de-escalate his frenetic efforts at a military-style feline coup d'état. Sammy is finally able to doze with both eyes shut. In other Cat ChitChat News, Dobby has learned how to wink when prompted. As we tell him with great frequency, Dobby is a very good boy.

La Bonne et Belle Bianca and Fred have had several run-on and amorphous spats, but today? Both have tweeted at me asking for my version of how and why their internescine battle began. I pretended to have a broken tweeter, thereby encouraging them to give up their fruitless efforts to justify the Recent Unpleasantness. Last I saw? They were off to town in Ruby the Honda CRV, laughing and carefree.

I gotta say, if you will permit me to wander just a little from my tight prose, that this household tweeting has become a real thorn in my imaginary side. How much trouble is it to get off one's lazy arse, leave one's quarters, cross over to the Central Ballroom, and take the Checkered Spiral Staircase to the Former Cloak Room, recently converted into My Reference Room Slash Office?

Exercise your stubby legs, get some bloodflow to that congested brain, enjoy some energizing endorphins!

Fill your lungs with bracing fresh air! [We have ongoing draft issues in that Manor Sector... but that is a Tale of Frustration better suited to another time.] If you absolutely cannot make the trip and the message is of real import? Go low tech and give Dobby a note (on letterhead, of course, for verification of authenticity). He always knows where I am. He is a very good boy.

Well, darn. I seem to be the only Responsible Adult left in The Manor at the moment and some children from a neighboring village have asked to tour The Petting Zoo. Now I've no time to edit, to spellcheck, to render the dull, lackluster phrase more witty.

I had planned for this clear but slightly chatty introduction to lead into a wickedly clever, oh-so-subtle excoriation of right wing conservative assholes. Remember, please, that that is just a stream of adjectives so as to particularize "assholes." In and of themselves, those who are "right wing" or "conservative," let's even add "republican" and the slightly deceptive "libertarian" -- those good folk are not necessarily also nominative assholes.

Now I've only time for a rough esquisse and pompous use of easily translated foreign words.

It seems that some of the less able assholes referenced above have chosen to claim a certain photo of President Obama, his family, and some military officials -- situated on a dais -- to be a snap taken on Veterans Day, reflective of the President's lack of respect for the military, even for the war dead. This, because while everyone else in the photo has either hand to heart or arm raised in salute, the President is just standing there, presumably like an ignorant, superior, snotty dolt.

Something, praise Heaven, made me go to in hopes of a thorough debunking of this obviously manipulated photograph -- I thought perhaps it had been PhotoShopped.

It turns out to be something more insidious. In a way, I am glad to not have time to reproduce the hateful email and blog posts written as illustrative introductions to the photo, which turns out to be an unretouched one, taken not on Veterans Day or at the recent Fort Hood memorial, but considerably earlier, on Memorial Day, at Arlington's Memorial Amphitheatre. It was a ceremony held as adjunct to one held at the Tomb of the Unknowns -- this one honoring blacks who fought in the Civil War.

So President Obama had to travel from one honored site to another. He was slipping into the amphitheatre... Well, I guess presidents don't really get to "slip in" -- quiet and unnoticed -- anywhere. No, they are introduced by that pesky toe-tapper, Hail to the Chief.

The deference being displayed was intended to honor him, as required by Department of Defense bylaws, which dictate that the same gesticulations and do-da shown during The Star-Spangled Banner, another American masterpiece, are to be gesticulated and do-da-ed during Hail to the Chief. Therefore, I am a little glad he is not sticking out his tongue, jumping up and down, beating his chest, and acting the insolent fool that the aforementioned assholes apparently envisioned.

He looks, to me, a mite embarrassed and shy.

No. That's not right.

I just momentarily forgot, is all, in the midst of renewing my relationship with my Beloved Readers, wallowing like a happy pig in the squishy mud of what looks to be a great day.

I know that look. So do you.

That's the look of sad. A weary-to-the-bone sadness that, at one time or another, can be seen on all leaders of good heart. Clearer than a precision-tooled 140-charactered tweet. More expressive than the best of mots justes.

It's nice to be back with you, Reader. Thank you for waiting for me to catch back up.

Shit. Now I can't get that "alternate" version of Hail to the Chief from the movie Dave out of my pointy head.

"Hail to the chief, he's the one we all say hail to! I have the power when I am in the shower!"

I gotta get down to the zoo. Y'all feel free to roam around. Someone keep an eye on the two reprobates, would you?

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