June 4th, 2007

Kero Power Tie

That Cat

Poor Buddha. He's the sweetest cat you could ever hope to meet, but his face always looks like Toshiro Mifune at the end of the torture sequence in Yojimbo, and he squeaks when he purrs.

-The Gneech
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Party Guy

Happy Birthday to pegasus316 and unclekage!

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

A tayler's holiday, when they have leave to play, and cucumbers are in season. [From] cucumbers, taylers.
--B. E.'s Dictionary of the Canting Crew, c. 1699

The dull session of the year; from the German phrase, "die saure gerkin-zeit," the pickled cucumber-time.
--Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

Feast Eve of St. Boniface of Crediton,
the only saint among the five patrons of tailors whose feast day fell during summertime "cucumber season," the rest occurring from late October to mid-November. Samuel Foote's comic play Sir Jacob Jollup (1777) again associated tailors and cucumbers, referring to "a journeyman tailor -- this cross-legg'd cabbage-eating son of a cucumber." Historically, cucumbers have enjoyed a mixed reputation for culinary charm, especially in Britain. In James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785), for example, he included this disparaging remark from Samuel Johnson: "It has been a common saying of physicians in England that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing."

Oh, Johnson. You're such a scamp!

-The Gneech
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Van Helsing No D


"Interesting fellow, very very interesting," said Greg. "Had a natural dignity about him that was very appealing. He rather reminded me of José Ferrer."

"Who?" said Alex.

"José Ferrer," Greg repeated. "Played Cyrano de Bergerac."

"Who?" said Alex.

Greg did a staccato head-jerk. "What do you mean, 'Who?'"

"Just what I said!" Alex replied. "I don't know any of these names you're making up."

"You can't seriously mean that," said Greg. "You've never heard of Cyrano de Bergerac?"

"Well," said Alex, "I gather he was played by José Ferrer."

Greg grasped the bridge of his nose and screwed his eyes shut in a remarkably Brigid-like fashion. "I can't believe it," he said. "I suppose next you'll be saying you never heard of Leslie Howard."

"Who?" said Alex.

"Begone," said Greg, putting up a hand as if to ward Alex away. "You're dead to me."

-The Gneech

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Archie do


At one of the Starbucks we frequent at lunchtime there is a chatterbox of a barista who today inquired of me, "Do you remember the '80s at all?"

Somewhat amused, I said, "Yes, I spent about ten years of my life there."

Nonplussed by this, he asked me to identify a song from the '80s ("Take On Me" by A-Ha, what a softball!) and was amazed to learn how old I was. He seemed to think I was somewhere in my mid- to late-twenties and was quite shocked that I was (*gasp*) 37. Of course, I started thinking of myself as being "around 30" when I was 24 and haven't stopped thinking of myself that way since.

In other news, for fans of "The Chap": you might want to check out Classic Style Magazine, a sartorial quarterly for the tweed-minded. Think of it as a "GQ" that Jeeves would actually approve of. I was greatly impressed by the first issue primarily because it was all about men's hats, and particularly fedoras. The second (and current) issue, the cover of which you can see in the upper-right-hand corner of the web page, is about finding a well-fitted suit.

A two-year subscription is only $25, so I'm thinking of indulging. It does say "Dapper Gent" on my business card, after all, and I should probably strive to live up to my self-declared reputation.

-The Gneech
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