May 30th, 2007

Party Guy

Happy Birthday, longtail!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk)!

The uppermost and most valuable grain in a stack of oats. Hence, figuratively, one's most valuable possession, as in the case of a woman, chastity.
--Edward Lloyd's Encyclopædic Dictionary, 1895

Pickling Time in Britain
The month of May was regarded as the proper time to distill herbs, which were then at their greatest perfection. Our domesticated progenitress pickled parsley green to cheat grim winter of some of its deprivations. They pickled nasturtium seeds, or else the seeds of elder while they were green to use as a substitute for capers. They pickled radish-pods, horse-radish, young artichokes, samphire, and even marigolds. Having pickled every green shoot, pod, and seed they could adapt to their purpose, they began to do the same by plums, apricots, peaches, currants, and grapes -- when they set about making jams no fruit escaped them, and sometimes the vegetables.
--Frederick Hackwood's Good Cheer: The Romance of Food, 1911

Since the 1500s, the process of curing edibles in brine has been used figuratively in the phrase "in pickle," which meant to have something waiting, ready for use.

I don't care what anybody says, "Frederick Hackwood" is an awesome name.

-The Gneech
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Jeeves Strangle

Speaking of Hugh Laurie...

I keep being highly amused by comments I see here, there, and everywhere about "Can you believe HOUSE is singing?" or "Wow, the guy who plays HOUSE was once in a TV show with Stephen Fry!" etc. -- I mean, my interests are wide and varied, but "way ahead of the curve" they generally are not.

See, when I see "House, M.D.", all I can think is "Hey, what's the deal with Bertie Wooster/Prince George/Stephen's Comedy Partner playing this cranky old doctor?" It's not even like I can say I knew about him before he was famous -- 'cause he's been famous in the U.K. for decades. I only first became aware of him in the early '90s when the local PBS station had a (very short) run of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" because it was "sorta like a more contemporary 'Monty Python'" (not really, but in the world of TV marketing, that's how they looked at it), followed up by watching "Jeeves and Wooster" for years.

Ah well, people are strange. :)

Anyway, dedicated to nicodemusrat, who commented that Hugh can actually sing when he wants to, let's have...

Mystery ... or a more recent performance...

Too Long Johnny...

All We Gotta Do...

...and my personal favorite, The Sophisticated Song.

Then let's watch him get the stuffing knocked out of him. Just because!

House? Feh. Hughey-come-lately, says I!

-The Gneech
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Mad Red


"I keep thinking there must be a deep meaning in there somewhere," Greg said, "but so far I haven't come up with anything satisfactory."

"In what?" Brigid asked, almost afraid to know.

"Well, I was just sitting here thinking about Scrabble over lunch--"

"Why Scrabble?"

He shrugged. "I dunno. Why not Scrabble?"

"You've got me there," she admitted.

"Anyway, I was thinking about Scrabble, when it suddenly occurred to me that 'evil', 'vile', 'veil', and 'live' are all anagrams."

"That's it?"


"You're looking for the meaning of life in 'evil', 'vile', 'veil', and 'live'?"

"Well, it's not like I'm looking real hard," he protested.

"So they're anagrams? So what? Nine plus nine is eighteen, nine times nine is eighty-one, and eight plus one makes nine! Who cares?"

He blinked rapidly. "Wow, they are, aren't they? I never noticed that! Cool!"

"How is that cool?" she demanded. "It's not cool, it's just a freaking coincidence!"

Greg tilted his head looked at her, frowning. "For someone who claims not to care, you're taking it all very personally," he said.

-The Gneech

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