Letter Day 300: Smarmageddon

October 30, 2008

My grandmother is coming to visit for a month. She is somewhat of a prudish old whore, that we all hate. Yet she is rich, so we humor her. The problem is my cousins and I really enjoy talking about penis: so what are some good euphemisms for the male member.That we may converse on the downlow.

Doug Harntel,

Providence RI

Ok. Try on these for size:

Red bellied Goofish

Frigatoni with cheese sauce

Floptailed Scorpion

Shame flavored tooth paste dispenser

Delroy the Doughfaced Dolphin

Daddy’s secret Ice cream lever


Is the pen the really mightier than the sword?


Well, Pete…I suppose that’s a question of proximity and perspective.  As cutting as well honed rhetoric can be…once you get within about ten feet the persuasive power of a Flamberge takes on a certain immediacy.  So at what distance does the ability to move the human heart, supersede the ability to remove the human heart? Really depends on who’s pushing the pen: I’ve read protest papers so bad I was throwing Panda cubs off a highway overpass halfway through the first paragraph.

By the same token, there was a scrap of verse[1] painted on a gallery wall near my house that would arrest me totally when I walked by it:

And when the fog had cleared he saw that all Minnie the moochers dreams of escape, after rising in that strange conveyance, light as down, had slumped back to the accepting earth, where they, and she, lay broken now.

He would have wept had he been able, yet there was nobility in the attempt and beauty in the upward sweeping image of her departure that could never be cancelled by the fall.
He would miss her, he missed her even now, though she was there on the cool ground a few steps from where he had frozen to watch her flight.
But he would always, in his mind, see her Aloft. Alight

I walked by it daily for two years, and every time it captured me, forced me to sit on the steps to consider this sad and beautiful plight, allowed me to lay down some ugly little burdens I’d been holding onto for too long. I’d given lip service to art as this transformative thing…but it was first time a piece was so true and eloquent it shifted something in me for the better. And while I’m sure you could match, or exceed, that sort of impact with a hard swung machete, you’d have to be there to make your point…maybe take some time off work.

So I guess it comes down to what you consider power: The ability to cut away the parts of the world that are not in agreeance; or the ability to invest the world with traces of your better nature. Make your choice accordingly.


A whole children’s song about toast.

If I could figure out a way to post a link to it on your blog I would do this publicly for the pure joy of it but I can’t so the best I can do is perhaps supply you with your new anthem???



I almost electrocuted myself trying to make toast in honor of this song…such was my weeping, and the insufficient surge protection of my kitchen outlets.


[1] A link to project that spawned the verse. Though my interpretation was not correct, I still always read the piece with the image of horse who built a hot air ballon to escape a farm. Oddly, I find this interpretation even more poignant.


2 Responses to “Letter Day 300: Smarmageddon”

  1. Warcloud Says:

    “Daddy’s secret Ice cream lever”

    That is not a euphemism, that’s an Amber alert waiting to happen.

  2. Stiletto Says:

    Damn you, Warcloud, you stole the thunder from my mouth. Thief.

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