Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Settling Canada

Allo, mes amis . . . . It is Tee Angel here to tell you one of those old Cajun tales which you can believe or no; it is not the skin off my behind, cher!

Back before the Grand Dérangement, when the French were settling Acadia and Canada, le bon roi Louis wanted to have a stable European population a la French; his voyageurs were marrying or shacking up with Indian maidens and this was seen as a grande no-no back in France.  After all, these young or not-so-young men might affiliate with their wives' tribes, instead of being loyal Frenchmen and they shift allegiance away from France and its language.  So the solution was to adopt a number of virtuous poor, peasant girls as wards of the king and ship them over to be brides for the voyageurs, who were by this time singing about mistreating larks* and carousing in the woods.

These were les Filles du Roi: the King's Daughters.  They were given a dowry, and were supervised by the nuns until suitable rites of marriage were performed.

Anyway, they were shipped over in batches; and the ships would stop at various towns.  The men would gather, and pay court to these Filles du Roi (properly chaperoned by the nuns, to be sure).  And, if a suitable husband were found, they would be married; if not, then back on the ship as it goes upriver.

It so happens that the prettiest girls were married off in the first stops of the ship -- in Acadia**; and as it traveled subsequently upriver, the less attractive ones found husbands.  The ones further upriver could not be choosy.

Those poor unfortunates at the end of the voyage were stuck with the homeliest of the filles.  And that is the truth of Le Bon Dieu, I make no mistake.

In later years the king gave bonuses to families with many children; whether ten or twelve I'm not sure. 

*The song "Alouette" is about this practice.  The horned lark is typically the earliest bird to sing in the morning, and thus wake up sleepyheads.

** These first Acadiennes were the ancestors of today's Cajuns.

[I hope you don't find this Cajun story too corny.]


Alouette

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Prophetess Takes Aim on the Seven Deadly Sins

It was one of those bright, warm days in Old New Orleans.  People were lining up in front of a streetcar stop.  Just then, one of the local eccentrics, The Prophetess showed up and cheerily delivered this message:

"Allo, mes chers, I have the important spiritual message for you today while you are waiting for the streetcar.  Some of you are not right with the LORD, and the Big Guy ess not happy, no.  So it is time for you to do some cleaning up of your act, and get back on the moral horse before the fifth race.  And play the trifecta today, it is a good play.  I tell you true!

You need to remember the Dirty Seven, the Seven Deadly Sins.  Being that this is New Orleans, we are quite proficient in them here.  Anyway, for those not darkening St. Louis Basilica in many moons, here they are:

Being Full of Youself -- Mes amis, your merde stinks like anyone else's; no need to be puffy about yourself.   Carly Simon did not write the song about you; your vanity is risible!  Dial it down a few notches; for those from the Uptown or Jefferson Parish, put it on mute!

Being Laid Back -- Lying on the sofa and eating cheese doodles while watching soaps or ESPN is a semigrave sin.  Get up, and ride the exercise bike; and if you are a woman and you do it right, you get the big surprise.

Pigging Out --  The Good Lord and your personal trainer are made unhappy when you do this, so ease up on the Doritos or Moon Pies.  And, s'il you plait: only one cannoli at Angelo Brocato's.  For a suitable penance, eat in a school cafeteria.

Being a Material Girl -- Stop wanting so much stuff, and looking on other peoples'stuff with desire.  You really do not want to be a clone of the Kardashians, do you?  Swell clothes and car, perhaps?    Or celebrity status?  You can't be Les Miles or Drew Brees, sorry.  Okay, perhaps a little enhancement in the tetons area?  Well, that is a sin.  Appreciate what God gave you, it was for a reason.  Besides, do you really want to wear a 40DD bra?

Taking Care of Business -- Do not be cutthroat in your dealings with others.  You can carry only so much away, and executive positions with Enron or some of those mauvais banks in New York is not to be had.

Sensuality -- Chers, this comes from reading too many of the romance novels.  Now follow Prophetess Madeline's ironclad rule: if the man on the cover is not wearing a shirt, don't buy it.  If he's not wearing pants, close your eyes and recite the penitential psalms or the starting lineup of the Cubs.  Do not crave M. Johnny Depp; he is married.

Being Real and Upfront with Your Feelings -- Having the hissy fits is, like, totally displeasing to the Big Guy.  Develop a few little inhibitions for your own sake.  Remember: it is also okay for girls to be the quiet, strong type.

Text Messaging or Using Cell Phones While Driving -- These are no-nos.  Don't do them!

"Ur, Mlle. Prophetess, I think you mentioned eight."

"I did?  Oh, my bad.  Which one did I add?  Eh bien, don't do any of them, just to be safe."





Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Spotlight Effect

Do people really notice when we doing things outstandingly?  Do they really notice it when we do something dumb or disreputable?  At first glance, there's bad news and good news.

A study by Gilovitch. Medvec, and Savitsky (2000) looked into one aspect of how and when people notice what you're doing.  Some college students were persuaded to wear a Barry Manilow t-shirt.  Now Barry Manilow is not and was probably not ever regarded as the epitome of "cool."  They asked the t-shirt wearers to estimate what percentage of people noticed what they were wearing; they estimated that about 47% would notice their un-cool Barry Manilow t-shirt.  In reality, only about 22% of people did notice.  This indicated that other people pay less attention to what we do than we think they do.

This can be good, like when they miss our gauchness or miscues.  But it can be a problem when they are oblivious to your accomplishments.  Maybe it all washes out: they blissfully ignore your deserving honors, but also fail to notice that you've buttoned your blouse in the wrong holes because it was dark and you were sleepy.

On the other hand, sometimes what we wear can prime being noticed strongly.  What percentage of people do you think noticed this person's bare midriff, bralessness, and unpleasant hat?


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Euphemisms for War

Somebody named Clausewitz described war as "an extension of foreign policy by other means."  The word "war" has apparently gotten something not to say -- politicians must have linguists on call to think up devilishly clever ways of calling it something else.  At one time we had a Department of War; now it's a Department of Defense.  If we restrict the usage of the word "war" to situations in which a formal declaration of war is involved, the last country which the United States formally declared war on was Romania, in 1942.  Seventy years ago.

This semantic twist would be news to the participants in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and numerous other conflicts!

The Korea conflict was referred to officially back then as a "police action," according to some sources.  I recently heard an old veteran from those days recite this bit of scornful verse:

"Truman says, 'This ain't no war,'
So what in the Hell are we fighting for?"

Other terms might and have been used by clever circumlocuters:
1.  Pacification
2.  Armed intervention
3.  Armed presence
4.  Humanitarian intervention

But, by far, the strangest use of terms was Defense Secretary Robert Gates's expression "limited kinetic action."

These alternative expressions serve both as euphemisms and as a means of making policy operationally more flexible; for example, going around the War Powers Act or selling it to the public.  Most people would balk if a President would declare that we should declare war on Uruguay.  (I couldn't even imagine a reason, offhand; Uruguayans, rest easy!).  But saying that we need to stabilize the region, or to forcibly assist in humanitarian missions might fly with some.

Still, Robert Gates's use of that term made it sound like an old-fashioned game of pinball or pool.

How does it fit in with St. Thomas Aquinas's "just war theory"?  Do we also talk about a "just police action theory" or a "just limited kinetic action theory"?

Also, what about "Make Awkward Sexual Advances, Not Limited Kinetic Action"?  It makes for a mighty busy t-shirt.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Assholes

A few months ago I commented on assholes.  Not the physical kind that we all have as our shared humanity (the terminus of the alimentary tract), but the unpleasant personality kind.  Recently Barry Scott Kaufman reported in Psychology Today a possible reason for their behavior: it's effective.  As he put it, direct path to mating success stood out... low agreeableness; the lower the agreeableness, the more sexual partners."  In other words, assholes get laid more often.

In terms of psychology, "the 'asshole' consists of the following traits: High Extraversion, Low Neuroticism (perhaps), Low Conscientiousness, Low Agreeableness, High Openness to Experience, and a bit of a dip into the dark triad traits (those with an extreme dark triad profile aren't considered sexually attractive)." The dark triad refers to three personality deficiencies: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy.  In effect, these traits define the personality of the horndog.

These fit conveniently into what many women think of as "bad boys."  But these women have a somewhat grandiose view of their capacities to inspire improvement; namely that their love and care will reform these errant males.  Think of The Taming of the Asshole written by William Shakespeare.  (He missed an interesting possible plot here that the groundlings would have enjoyed.)  In fact, these women overrate their prospects for transforming these goats into sheep.  And, bad boys are fun!

In my opinion, part of the mate-selection or courtship process should include looking for evidences of assholedom, perhaps even setting up situations in which he can play nice, or be expolitative.  (Hopefully, not so far as to include winding up in bed together.)  If he behaves well, then he's got that thing going.  If he acts like a bastard, then run like the dickens.  Do not stop!  Do not turn back!  Look for a nice guy instead.





Sunday, May 20, 2012

Women's Orgasms: Their Evolutionary Origins and Implications

Why do women have orgasms?  I would say that it's a great thing that they do; but there are some people that are not so sure about that, like Rush Limbaugh.

But let's look at the views as to their origins. There are two opposed views of how orgasms in women came about. One view is that the fact that some women have orgasms is because their doing so serves an adaptive function in various possible ways: pair bonding, mate selection, or enhanced fertility.  Let me re-phrase these.  The fact that women have orgasms facilitated the formation of pair bonds that endure, with the result being two parents for the offspring and increased survivability of them.  [If we both get orgasms, we enjoy being together more and have sex more often.  After all, it takes a very self-contained guy who is content to copulate with someone who just lays there.]  The mate selection view holds that women use orgasm as a sort of test for “quality” of possible partners.  ["If you ring my bell, you are a better bet to mate with in the long term." (she hypothetically thinks)]  The enhanced fertility theory, meanwhile, proposes that uterine contractions during female orgasm help to “suck up” sperm into the uterus.  [So our orgasms help the little wigglers along into meeting Miss Ovum.  Okay.]

Now I thought of a possible reason why women fake orgasms.  Their doing so is for the same reason that they use make-up, wear bra inserts or have breast implants, and wear perfume: to present false signals as to their reproduction value to unsuspecting males.  Still, how can you blame us? After all, there's a lot of chicanery we must sort through that guys deliver.  And, maybe with time, the guy might get better at performance.

The by-product camp, on the other hand, claims that female orgasms are to this day an incidental by-product of male orgasm, not an evolutionary adaption. In effect, women got a unexpected bonus by having orgasmic capacities although they're not, strictly speaking, necessary for continued survival of the species.  In other words, we're just on for the ride.  

But wait!  That kind of interpretation completely neglects women's reasons for having sex.  Let's face it: through most of history women have borne most of the risks associated with sex: early pairings in marriage, unwanted, premature pregnancy, death from complications related to childbirth, infant mortality and the despondency that goes with it.  As a matter of fact, the greater longevity of women as compared to men is really a twentieth century phenomenon: in earlier times men actually lived longer than women because of mortality due to birth complications, bearing too many offspring, and other things.  In short, there are many reasons for women being wary about sex. 


In fact, even today, women desire sex less often, and prefer fewer sexual partners than do men.  And, unfortunately, sex is not always orgasmic for them.  However, when they have those magical moments, that motivates them to try to have them on other occasions.  And since the likelihood of orgasms is not certain, they are really equivalent to being on a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement when it comes to rewards for lovemaking.  This schedule of payoffs normally results in a higher response rate with it.  Also, the uncertainty of orgasms reduces the likelihood that their impact will become jaded with time.

Finally, it is a fact that female orgasms can occurs as a result of other means in addition to intercourse.  Men who develop more skill in foreplay may be naturally selected because they are better bets to be devoted mates and parents.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Launching Ships and Buff Guys

Having indulged in that most guilty of pleasures, the movie "Troy", with Brad Pitt, I mused on the decline in relative value of women in these recent times.

After all, Helen had, as the legend had it, "the face that launched a thousand ships"; and her abduction by Paris led to the ruinous Trojan war where buff guys ran around in armor and fought each other with swords. What a story! She must have been quite a gal, though not one of emulatable morals. (Typical Hollywood material, maybe.)

But I can understand her point. Menelaus must have been a dull old stick, palling around with his drinking buddies while leaving Helen at home and never taking her dancing, much less shopping in the agora. You see, wives were supposed to have wifely virtues such as sewing, rather than womanly wiles. Take the Odyssey: After the Trojan War Odysseus got to cat around the whole Mediterranian with chicks like Circe and the Sirens while poor Penny had to stay at home and sew. Or weave. Uh . . . . I didn't take that course in school. Maybe that's it. These warrior types prefer women with skills other than putt-putt.

Still, it's natural to wonder how would I fare: how many many ships would be launched on my behalf; and would I really rate a war with buff guys fighting in cool costumes. I visited my old friend, the Mad Psychometrician Scientist, and brought him a bread-and-butter gift: Jack Daniel's. He told me he could help me. Withough going into the science and the math (which is above me for sure), he estimated that four pirogues and (looking me over again) a zodiac would be launched on my behalf. And four geeks would play paintball until 'Inspector Gadget' reruns came on T.V.

Actually, if the truth was to be known, back while I was in junior high school, two boys cut cards over me at a dance.  The loser danced with me.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Faculty Get the Shorter End of the Stick

Shorter College is not high on most people's academic horizons: it's a small, Baptist-oriented college in Rome, Georgia in the northwestern part of that state.

Recently the college announced that it would require its faculty and staff to sign a statement  "rejecting homosexuality, adultery, premarital sex, drug use and drinking in public near the Rome, Ga., college’s campus.  It also requires faculty to be active members of a local church. The statement, one of several steps the university has taken to intensify its Christian identity after the Georgia Baptist Convention began asserting more control over the campus six years ago, provoked an uproar among faculty, alumni and observers."

Read more:
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/14/shorter-university-faculty-leaving-over-new-lifestyle-statements#ixzz1v2ibJigU
Inside Higher Ed


As a matter of fact, many of the faculty there seems to be dropping out just on principle.  This is impressive, given the fact that so many of them are at mid-career and it's hard to get a job in academe nowadays.  Furthermore, these persons probably loved their institution, have homes in Rome, and love living in that community and their having to relocate would create considerable hardship during these recessional times.

I suspect that these faculty at Shorter College are not fire-eaters when it comes to faculty, unlike those of the storied Berkeley students and faculty of the old days.  These would be people who would simply teach at their Baptist institution that they voluntarily chose to affiliate with.  Additionally, many of them had been awarded tenure years ago which implied a continuous contract with certain stipulations.  In effect, Shorter College changed the rules unilaterally: it's now saying that they require their faculty and staff to eschew homosexuality, sleeping around if you're single, drinking, drugs, and be good, active Baptists.  Within the confines of colleges and universities in other places, this is an anomaly: there is a more laissez-faire attitude: as long as you conduct your lifestyle privately, and do not have sex with undergraduates or break the law, they're willing to overlook what is going on.  (As a single grad student, I say thank God!)

Boo to this move by Shorter College's governing body!  If there's a saving grace in this unhappy story, it is that there is a large number of faculty at this little college who are willing to stand up for their principles, even if it's costly to them.

Note to other colleges and universities: THESE are the kind of men and women that you want to teach your students.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More of the Special Corps of the French Foreign Legion

Here is Capitaine Chantal Leroux in her special field uniform as a Legionnaire.  I think that this is both a cute and sexy costume that could also serve as the uniform of a French maid.  It has the Elegant Gothic Lolita style to it!  Hmm . . . . Where is Clouseau?  Alice in Wonderland meets the Addams Family . . . .   There is a flavor of Baby the Stars Shine Bright in it.  For those unfamiliar with their style, go to:

https://www.google.com/search?q=baby+the+stars+shine+bright&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS458US459&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=8Qt5T7fNC4rGtgfhlKWNDw&ved=0CGgQsAQ&biw=1441&bih=676


The white lacy trim on the dress and stockings makes it look really cute and girly.  It's hard to believe that she is a formidable infiltrator in hotel settings and that she is skilled with knives and automatic weapons!  It is not so hard to believe that she is also an accomplished cocquette! 

[I though you would be interested in French maids, Mike.]





Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Prophetess Discourses on Undies

Okay, mes amis . . . . I am going to speak my speak on a matter of importance for today.  To lead the proper spiritual life one must be well-grounded.  I recommend going directly to your prie-dieu before you change out of your nightgown -- you have one, don't you?  Start the day with good intentions.  Perhaps read a prayer, and think of what good works you intend for this day.  Dedicate it to The Boss (NOT the one in New Jersey, mind you, chers!)

Your selection of lingerie should be always correct.  For daily use, I recommend the proper lingerie color to be white; even though in a well-ordered world no one will see it, you should nevertheless don this symbolic garb of nether virtue to represent the daily purity that you wish ultimately to live today. 

Granny panties are for those aspiring to the sisterhood; bikini bottoms are okay, but not string bikini panties!  A bra should always be worn, even if you have meager assets.  (Having more assets may be one of the spiritual rewards for having lived righteously; aspire to at least a B cup metaphorically, for this is New Orleans and we're relaxed about those things.) The Christian woman should avoid lace trim as a vanity, and especially should avoid colored trim as it symbolizes being still committed to the way of the world. 

If you must wear a sheer blouse, then be sure to wear a camisole so as not to make your bra visible.  And, obviously, don't wear a black or red bra or camisole under a sheer blouse!  Geesh, when you have to have a prophetess tell you that, you need basic instruction!  Well, okay, Isaiah disn't cover this, either. 

Thongs?  These are not advised.  I tried wearing one -- I spent the whole day being reminded that I was wearing one.  This served as a distraction from spiritual development and uplifting thoughts, which should be our primary focus.

Ladies, I suggest that you get your lingerie in order.  Throw out with no exceptions the erotic, the boldly colored, the vain, the nonspiritual lingerie and wear only that appropriate for the pure of heart.  

Finally, collect your remaining undies (other than the set you are currently wearing, and take them to the priest for an underwear blessing each year!  Don't ask a Dominican, though; the priest as St. Leroy's is more willing to help you be grounded in your undies! 

[A question from the audience]  "Prophetess, are there acceptable occasions for wearing colored lingerie?"

[Thinking] . . . . Well, if LSU is playing, then wearing purple and gold underwear is acceptable.  And I always wear Mardi Gras colors on Mardi
Gras day.  Sometimes it's okay to laissez les bon temps rouler!"  Also, I do have a pink polka-dotted set to help me when I'm feeling less than feminine.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Politics and Inconsistencies

I'm not too sure of all the reasons for it, but it seems that the Republican Party has evolved into the party that favors less government, smaller amounts of taxation, big corporations, people with $$$, military interventionism, people living with "family values," and being openly supportive of religion.

The Democratic Party likewise has evolved into one that favors more government, higher rates of taxation, people who are working for the government, more social welfare, shying away from military interventionism, less religion (or at least not bring up that indelicate subject), and being more broad-minded about family values.

Oh dear, I've probably offended some people here and there.

Anyway, it looks like we have at least two large groups of people in this country, one largely supporting the Republican Vision and the other supporting the Democratic Vision: but not with complete pleasure or comfort.  The fact is, neither side is prone to compromise, since it's seen as a sin of ideological impurity or lack of political fervor.

However, the Party of Less Government seems to dance to a different tune when they're in charge -- then it's spend, spend, spend and -- "wow!  Isn't government power neat?  Let's use it!"  And this sometimes translates into laws that attempt to police personal behavior, whether in terms of drug use, who one has sex with, what one watches or read in books or the internet, or so forth.

And there's the pork legislation.  It's a rare senator or representative who eschews this.  Remember the Bridge to Nowhere?

The Party of More Government is selective on where it wants more government -- less defense spending or NASA; more on entitlements or social programs or things that are directed to special interest groups to keep their precious votes in the bag.

My point is that less government is the desire of people who don't have it to use; when they get it, it's suddenly transformed into something special and acceptable!

Also:  Maybe we need a little more compromise.  Perhaps our pure as the driven snow Republicans and our shrinking virgin Democrats ought to allow going to second base, at least!  But in order to be receptive to this possibility, each should rid themselves of their special claims to the moral high ground.  This is a failing that both ends of the political spectrum are pleased to indulge in.



Monday, May 7, 2012

The "Half the Age of the Older Person Plus Seven Rule"

Let's be candid: Many people get troubled when they behold someone who is much older being romantically involved with someone who is younger.  After all, we have a plethora of descriptives: gold-digger, sugar daddy, cougar, twinkie, jailbait, nymphet,etc.  None complementary.  Other than the rare situation where two people share the same birthday, there will almost always be one that a older than the other, even though only slightly.  Statistically, the older one is more likely to be male, and the modal age disparity is a little more than two years.  But what sort of age differences become upsetting to people?

Some of us have been in this situation. For example, while barely 21, I briefly dated a someone in his late 30's. Women were particularly catty, and I found that uncomfortable -- uncomfortable enough for it to affect things.  [Parents were in no way involved or even had any knowledge.]
Even celebrities are not exempt. For example, the age differences between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutchner had caused twitterings by people left and right. Not to mention the differences between Anna Nicole Smith (26) and her eighty-nine-year-old husband, though both were well into chronological adulthood. Frankly, I found it kind of ishy.
At what point do age differences produce discomfort?

It breaks down to a simple rule: people feel untroubled whenever the age of the younger individual is greater than half the age of the older individual, plus seven years. Mathematically,

(Age of Older Person)/2 + 7 < (Age of Younger Person)

Therefore, a 26-year-old may date someone as young as 20 [26/2 + 7] or as old as 38 [x/2 -7 = 26; x = 38].


I don't know of any explanation that sociologists or psychologists have come up for this.  It's one of those empirical comfort/discomfort reactions that people have.

----------------------------------------------------------
The Lolita fashion culture is emerging in Mexico now:

http://boingboing.net/2012/05/03/japan-lolita-fashion-anime.html

Don't wear this when dating an older guy!







Friday, May 4, 2012

The New Saint in Town

Tom had a little inventory problem.  It seems that his religious statuary business had a surplus of statues that couldn't be moved.

A little-known fact about the pious statue trade is that some move more readily than others.  For example St. Anthony, St. Francis, and St. Jude get a lot of movement; St. Simon Stylites does not.  The same is with female saints:  good movers are St. Therese of Lisieux or St. Bernadette; St. Agatha with her loped-off boobies looks kind of creepy and her image won't grace many gardens!

Anyway, back to Tom's problem.  It seems that he got a order of 200 statues of some generic female saint that were not accessorized in order to allow the pious to show their knowledge of hagiography.  He painted a few, but nobody wanted them. 

"Dammit, who was she?"  Tom muttered.  He was overheard by Madeline, also known as the Prophetess, who was was saint-shopping for another statue to put on her porch in the appropriate season.  Madeline, a nice but eccentric Catholic girl, offered to help him on it. 

But Saint Jane Doe resisted identification.  Furthermore, the statues were unpainted, which made the job harder.  (This is usual; Tom got his statues wholesale; he painted and further accessorize them to fit the more common, sellable saints.)

Finally, the Prophetess, in one  of her infrequent spells of being practical, suggested that Tom paint her to be a saint that people could pray to to fill certain wishes that they had.

Tom asked, "Is there a saint who was known for repelling mothers-in-law?"

"Be serious," the Prophetess replied; then suggested.  "How about St. Catherine?"

"The one that told her Pope where to get off?"  Tom asked.

"No, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of girls who want to get married."  (Madeline had become more interested in her; having heard her biological clock ticking.) 

So Tom tarted up the statues to look like they were Egyptian, tagged them as "St. Catherine, the patroness of girls who want to become married, and included this prayer to St. Catherine:

         A husband, St. Catherine,
         A good one, St. Catherine,
         A handsome one, St. Catherine,
         A rich one, St. Catherine --
         And soon, St. Catherine!

The Prophetess also suggested seeding the Times-Picyaune's personal ads* with something like:

"Thanks to St. Catherine for helping me find a nice husband."

Sales soon were brisk; and a new saint gained popularity.  Especially around her feast day, November 25; and especially from anxious mothers worrying that their daughter might get knocked up before marriage.

This went so well that Tom offered the Prophetess a discount if she would handle another hard-to-move saint.  It seems that his statuary got a large supply of statues of St. Paul.  Now St. Paul, that mysogenic grump was a nonstarter for sales, so Tom was looking for a little, er hagiographic rebranding.

After some thought Madeline the Prophetess suggested that the saint be rebranded as St. Fiacre.  As she put it, this was win-win-win-win for those involved.  You see, St. Fiacre was the patron saint of gardeners and cabbies; and is invoked against hemorrhoids.  (Madeline was not aware that she was piling it on.)  And St. Fiacre's status rose in the heavenly pecking order -- after all, there's a lot of people engaging in sedentary pursuits.

Tom thought: "Another win.  This will sell statues!"




*Catholic saints must read the Times-Picyaune; the personals section occasionally has thank-you notices to saints.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cowgirl Melinda, the Goose Wrangler

In a time of underemployment for cattle hands, it sometimes takes ingenuity to find a temporary job. Cowgirl Melinda was in just that kind of situation, so she looked through the usual trade publications and even Craigslist (she had internet skills). Alas, no hiring for drovers at that time, and she was completely unsuited for being a saloon girl, being of impeccable virtue. Besides, she would take it out by drinking the stock!  And she had no typing skills.

However, she noticed an item that intrigued her: "Goose girl needed. Liberal hours, usual benefit package, health insurance. Inquire in person at [address] But what is a goose girl, anyway?

It turns out that a goose girl is usually a teen who is hired to herd geese by poking them with a stout stick. The stick also serves as protection for the goose girl against her charges. Well, Melinda was a bit beyond being a teen; but she was very peruasive, particularly when she was wearing a shooting iron! They hired Cowgirl Melinda to be, as she put it, a goose wrangler.

And she did it, despite the fact that when she drove her herd, or flock, to town some varmint occasionally was rash enough to laugh. But Cowgirl Melinda gave him dancing lessons, using bullets from her .44!

Once some goose rustlers tried to cut some geese from the herd, but Melinda fired her trusty shotgun with both barrels filled will nails!  She needed an extra pair of drinks that evening; the fact that even the outlaws were losing class got to her.  While driving her herd, she sang cowboy songs to them in the evening to soothe them.  They honked appreciatively.

"Get along, little goosie, it's your misfortune and none of my own." 

Cowgirl Melinda drew the line at eating paté. No siree! Good Texas Chili for her, and not that sissy Cincinnati chili, either!