Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Charge of the Light Brigade

I've been prowling about one of those classmates websites, occasionally getting enmeshed in an interesting topic on a bulletin board. I know -- I ought to be reading one of those three books I'm currently immersed in (a Joseph Epstein, a Patricia Highsmith, and a David Stove, to pre-empt all of those raised nands), or at least doing the dishes (a huge stackful of which is the net result of dining with the nieces yesterday evening), but I am easily sidetracked.
I was surprised to find that I'd attempted, frivolously it would seem, to start a topic there a few years ago. The group was named "The Charge of the Light Brigade," and I made an initial posting. As things turned out, it was my last. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were no replies. I don't recall any of this, but I rather liked the post upon reading it just now. Yes, it's eccentric: I have a great love of nonsense (conscious nonsense, not the solemn and portentous kind that's ubiquitous nowadays.) And this is nonsense. I don't venture so far beyond the fringe these days, and I get a few more replies.

From: Bruce Brownee
Sep 17 2003 7:54:48AM

To: ALL

(1) Do pigs live in trees? tick tick
A thousand millenia before Christ, people were apes living in highrise condominiums and scraping out a living through forgery, prostitution, death, and theme parks. By today's standards, they were hideously deformed. By their own standards, they were merely ugly. As any body part could regenerate into an entire anthropoid, these bloodthirsty apes soon covered the globe. And the oceans. And most of the visible universe. By Darwinian standards, they were TOO successful. But archeological digs on Skull Island, in Prague, at a satellite of Alpha Centauri, as well as remnants found in meteorites and sewage systems, have uncovered their hideous bones and clues to their dreadful habits. Most expeditions experience vomiting for many hours after what they are seeing sinks in. Others go into shock Others go stark raving mad. A few laugh it up. But no one emerges unchanged. But the question remains: Why did they die out? Intergalactic climactic catastrophe? Malnutrition? Stupidity? Smoking? War? Monsters out of space who could detect them without seeing or smelling them? Mass suicide when mirrors were invented? We do not know. We do not much care. The esteemed critic and physical anthropologist Septimus Verve has suggested that the childrens' book Golly, Golly, Ugly Ollie!by one Jeremiah Vanderbilt, and often ascribed to Shakespeare, is in fact the encoded racial memory of our ancestors, and he has spent twenty years on this project, with, as he notes, "tenuous, but highly promising" results.In other news, he was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. Don't call him Ishmael. He'll call you.
(United Press Multiterritorial)