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May 14th, 2007

Happy Birthday, thornwolf!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

father of the chapel
Chapel, in printers' parlance, means workshop, originating from the fact that early printing presses were placed in chapels attached to abbeys. "Father of the Chapel" was the name given to the chairman of the meetings of journeymen printers assembled to decide any point of common interest.
--J. B. Lippincott's Everyday Phrases Explained, 1913


Virginia: A Land of Firsts
On this date in 1607, the colony of Jamestown was founded by the Virginia Company of London. It proved to be the first permanent British settlement in North America. Virginia has had the distinction of being the birthplace of both American democracy and American slavery. The first Anglican church in North America was founded here, also in 1607, and with it came the first Christmas celebration. The English also introduced vices, soon establishing the New World's first whiskey still and tobacco farm, and bringing over the first African slaves in 1619. The government declined to ban these influences, but when America's first printing press was set up here in 1682, authorities were quick to send the press and its owner packing.

And for the most part, things haven't much changed. :P

-The Gneech

Fictionlet

Greg hoisted the writing desk and looked to Isadora expectantly.

"You just lifted that like it was nothing!" Isadora said. "It must be nice to be young."

"Where did you want me to move it to?" Greg asked.

"Don't ever get old, m'boy," Isadora continued without pause. "You don't know how much you'll miss being able to do things like lift desks, until suddenly you can't do it any more."

"This room? The living room?"

"After a while, all that keeps you going is getting to your next set of pills." She pulled out a small pill organizer and opened a compartment, revealing a bright array of pills in various sizes, shapes, and colors -- mostly pastel. "My blood's too thick. So I take this one to thin it, except it thins it too much, so I take this one to thicken it back just a little. But that one puts my thyroid all out of whack, so I take this one to bring it back under control."

"That is a lot," Greg agreed, wincing slightly as the edges of the desk dug into the palms of his hands. "So where--"

"And this is just the mid-day bunch! You should see what I take at night so I can sleep! And this mask I have to put over my head to regulate my breathing at night."

"Erm."

"This is what science gets you! Sure, we're all living longer, but at what cost, eh? I worked for years and years to build up my retirement, and now I'm just forking it all over to the drug companies. Old people are going broke right and left, but it's a golden age for pharmacists!"

Greg finally put the table down with a puff of breath, figuring the only thing to do was to wait until the storm blew over.

"Not there," Isadora said. "It goes at the top of the stairs."

-The Gneech

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