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Lenticular Haiku, by Sir Archie Ferndoodle

9 Jan

by Roger White

Fellow time/space voyagers and other occasional devotees of “This Old Blouse,” I am more tickled than a duffel bag full of marsupials to announce the return of my dear friend, front porch sartorial mentor, and fellow breakfast-nook philologist, Sir Archie Ferndoodle (applause, applause, applause).

Yes, the former poet laureate of the Greater Southwestern Scribes Society, which meets every third Thursday in the back of Sue’s Salon in Cement, Texas, has been gently coaxed out of quasi-retirement to once again bless us with phrasings, words, syllables, parts of syllables, and renderings of nocturnal animal sounds from the Ulan Bator region as only Sir Archie can. (And remember, if you mention this column at Sue’s Salon, you get 10 percent off a five-ounce jar of Sue’s Coconut Heel Scrub with the purchase of at least $20, not including her patented Tomato-Lye Jamboree Hair Tonic.)     

As I’m sure you remember, the esteemed Fernie holds an associate’s degree in postmodern comparative limerick studies from the University of Southern Panama’s Correspondence College and has been featured five times in the American Anthology of Poetry. Just a few of his classics include “Oh, Staff Sergeant, My Staff Sergeant!,” “Why Is the Man Always from Nantucket?,” “The Squirrels Stopped Talking to Me Today,” and his latest, “A Stitch, a Horse, and a Can of Pearl,” which was the inside-cover poem in the most recent edition of the Cement Area Greensheet.

The more astute of you may have seen Fernie’s hand in the Christmas edition of “This Old Mouse.” Raise your hand if you had the notion that Sir Archie was the ghostpen behind“The Nitrous Before Christmas.” Well, you’re dead wrong; I wrote that while flying low in my dentist’s office, but I did have ol’ Fernie in mind. In fact, he may have actually inhabited my body during that whole experience, but we digress again.

So anyway, without further magoo, I give you Sir Archie Ferndoodle, who has just returned from a five-month sojourn at the Tao Sendaha Haiku Sweat Lodge, just north of Pittsburgh.

 

Lenticular Haiku

by Archie Ferndoodle

 

Hand old, withered

Extended to young happy boy who

Smiles and

Coughs up a small border town near

Flagstaff.

 

Deposit slip with no meaning flutters

In brown surge of empty day. I find Julia at

Home making love to the Buick

Again.

Better judgment whispered

Toyota, Toyota.

Toyota. Smash hindsight with

Bitter hammer of stoli rocks. Ah.

 

Three grateful invertebrates argue

On who passed

Wind while each ascends

The assistant professor’s

Mortgage.

 

 

 

Trees and earth know much more

Than they sing

To man accused of listening of listening

Of listening to Alex

Trebek and his minions. Only refuse

And then hear again, the daily

Double. Oh! Bodies of

Water for Four

Hundred.

 

Heat. No heat. Heat. No heat.

Damn toaster. Fling the

Shiny monster down the hillock to

CRASH waves of filament element

Parchment and wire. No heat toast is mere

bread and

Sorrow.

Dear Julia. I’m trading it

In.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

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Here’s to the Royal Couple! Clink. Hic.

2 May

by Roger White

I simply cannot tell you what the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton meant to me. No, wait, actually I can. In four words.

Toad in the hole.

As most regular guys will attest, all the pomp and majesty and gowns and uniforms and beefeaters and archbishops and romance and cleavage do very little for us. Well, maybe the cleavage. Otherwise, to the average American Joe Blow—who comprises 92 percent of the U.S. male population (97.7 percent of Oak Hill men, huzzah!)—watching coverage of the royal hitching could be likened to sitting through a televised reading of the Congressional roll call.

Ho. Period. Hum. Exclamation point.

Highlights of the actual ceremony for us Joes?

• Posh Spice (aka Mrs. David Beckham, hubbah hubbah)

• Pippa Middleton (Kate’s sister, who followed the bride around carrying the dress’s caboose—again with the hubbahs)

• That gorgeous droptop Aston Martin the royal couple tooled down the road in. Now we’re talking. I did some research and found that this awesome ride, which Wills borrowed from his dad, is a 1969 DB6 Mk2. This car, sweeter than any bridal gown the House of Steve McQueen or whatever could produce, is fueled by a four-liter double-overhead cam six-cylinder powerplant, churning out over 280 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Not a V6, mind you. No, this is an old-world inline six. Righteous. William cruised off to his mom’s palace using a five-speed manual transmission, by the way. So there was no playing handsies in the car; he was working a stick. How ’bout that for wedding reporting, guys?

So, anyway, about the toad in the hole. After watching the newly minted royal spouses speed away in a car likely worth more than double my lifetime earnings, I figured that was it for me—no more happy royal nuptial news, please.

Then I heard National Public Radio’s coverage of various “wedding watching” parties across the country. Apparently, many, many ladies throughout our fair land got up at three a.m. to bear personal witness to all the glitter and gowns and unicorns and such. But they didn’t simply crawl out of bed and turn on the tube. No, they gathered in brightly colored klatches, baked up all sorts of British fare, mixed up champagne and orange juice, champagne and cranberry juice, champagne and prune juice, champagne and more champagne, and made genuine little festivals out of the whole affair.

I’m thinking the female work force in the U.S. and U.K. was pretty sparse later that day.

Listening to the women carry on at these shindigs in NPR’s story made me a tad envious, I must admit—and hungry. Some of the properly British dishes served at these gala gatherings included chocolate scones, bubble and squeak, toad in the hole, egg in a basket, fruit bismarcks, smoked haddock, truffles, rashers, black pudding, and, of course, fish ’n’ chips with Guinness.

First off, bubble and squeak. Sounds like a bathtub cleaner, I know, but it’s really quite yummy. You take leftover roast and veggies, throw in some potatoes, cabbage, carrots, peas, and other odds and ends and fry it up in a pan. To be perfectly cheerio, you serve it with pickles.

Toad in the hole?  Sausages in pudding batter, slathered in onion gravy, and baked like a casserole. Sausages in anything, onions on anything, I’m there. The Pavlovian dog in me heard the bell quite plainly.

What else. Ah, yes, egg in a basket. Remember the movie Moonstruck? When Olympia Dukakis was frying up an egg in a piece of toast? Again, ding! Rashers—basically, that’s British bacon. Fruit bismarck? Easy, that’s essentially a big ol’ mixed fruit pie gobbed with powdered sugar and whipped cream. The rest of the royal rations you can probably guess.

And, of course, the whole lot is washed down with ample servings of champagne with (insert fruit here) juice and/or beer stout enough to walk on.

As I listened to the recipes pile up in this story, I realized the common denominator was booze of one sort or another. Aha! There, I determined, lay the ulterior motive for many of these stately soirées. These ladies only claimed interest in the House of Windsor’s succession rituals just to catch a buzz. Sheesh, some people.

Well, it’s all over and done with, anyway. Hand me a Miller Lite, will ya? The game is on in a few.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat daschund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.