Monday, June 04, 2007

Looking for a Giggle? Check Out This Classic!

The Kay is doing a round with what Hemingway always called the Black Dog. It's a curse I've suffered from my teenage years when life gets too lifelike or I get overly tired. Today the latter is mostly to blame as my idiot upstairs neighbor decided to raise hell with her live-in of the moment at 4 a.m and it sounded as if World War III had started. I nearly called the cops but opted not to as she and the nut cases she hangs out with don't appear to be too stable and I am afraid of retaliation. I've told my landlord and he allegedly has talked to her but it hasn't exacerbated the problem and as a result, I am awakened in the wee hours constantly these days. Not good. So what does one do about it?

I find, in addition to venting a little here, that laughter is pretty good medicine soooooooooooo I decided to share one of my favorite books with y'all. You know of my love affair with words as I've written about it here and my fellow cynic & Ohio native, Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), wrote a wonderfully cynical, erudite, and witty book called The Devil's Dictionary that has fed that love since my high school days when I was introduced to his work. It's a great, worthwhile read and demonstrates his razor-sharp wit and flair for satire. Here are a few of my favorite definitions from it. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

politician: n., an eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

hospitality: n., the virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain persons who are not in need of food and lodging.

turkey: n., a large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries, has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. Incidentally, it is pretty good eating.

scribbler: n., a professional writer whose views are antagonistic to one's own.

acquaintance: n., a person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to; a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor and obscure, and intimate when he is rich and famous

bigot: n., one who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

dictionary: n., a malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.

frog: n., a reptile with edible legs.

corporation: n., an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.

love: n., a temporary insanity curable by marriage.

mad: adj., affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.

pun: n., a form of wit, to which wise men stoop and fools aspire.

work: n., a dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go fishing

year: n., a period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

age: n., that period of life in which we compound for the vices that we still cherish by reviling those that we no longer have the enterprise to commit.

future: n., that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.

There! I feel much better and I hope you are smiling, too!

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. Love the words - I'm smiling!

  2. Kay... I hope you get new,"quiet" neighbors real soon.

  3. Enjoyed the definitions. Hope the "black dog" has left you by now. You're in illustrious company, since Winston Churchill reported was visited by a "black dog," too, from time to time. So much for the neighbors, don't know what more you can do about them.

  4. Loved these definitions Kay.

    So sorry about your neighbor problems....that's a touchy situation. Very thoughtless on their part; but you did the right thing by going to the landlord. I'd be hesitant to address them face to face too. They really do sound unstable. I'd go back to the landlord if things don't improve, and suggest he give them an ultimatum of some kind.

  5. I've been a long time fan of Ambrose Bierce .A few of my favourite short stories by him are Affair at Coulter's Notch ,The Damned Thing and An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge whic by the way was made into an excellent short film by a French director. I like your original method for battling the"black dog"


I love your comments!!! If you wish to post as Anonymous, please leave a name in your comment otherwise your comment will not appear.