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#16802 - 02/06/01 11:04 PM Re: More shaggy dogs
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2661
Loc: Chicago
Geoff - As most wars go, you were just one contradiction away from one...

#16803 - 02/06/01 11:13 PM Shaggy kangaroo story
Marty Offline

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I'd like to share with you an excerpt from "British Veterinary News" which I stumbled across recently:

"Few English vets know about the key role played by one of our number in a sorry tale of Australian marsupial research some 40 years ago. My interest, sparked by an off-hand comment at a BVA dinner, led me to the archives of the Australian Veterinary Association and several retired veterinary surgeons in that country. The story, as I have pieced it together, goes as follows:

In February 1960, a bright young English veterinary science graduate began work in Sydney, under an exchange programme between British and Australian veterinary communities. For some years, Australian wildlife specialists had been concerned that numbers of Western Red Kangaroos were on the decline, and one theory held that it was linked to an unexplained but steady and measurable decline in the size of the females' pouches, resulting in increased mortality of joeys, possibly through suffocation.

At that time the drug thalidomide, after promising laboratory and clinical trial results, had recently been approved for human use. The young vet suggested to his Aussie colleagues that they try thalidomide on the pregnant kangaroos. The initial results were spectacularly promising. The drug appeared to have the effect of relaxing the abdominal muscles, expanding pouch size by as much as 35%, which resulted not only in more full-term successful rearing of joeys, but also in increased multiple births. The only side effect appeared to be that the fur of the the treated does and their offspring turned a darker richer shade of red. After limited lab and zoo-based trials, a programme of mass treatment in the wild was undertaken.

Unfortunately, about two years after the start of the programme, a worrying and statistically significant increase of limb deformities in the joeys concerned was noted, and the programme was immediately terminated. The devastated young vet returned home in shame, and immediately abandoned veterinary science as a career, training instead to become a University lecturer.

I tracked him down at his Lancaster home, where I was granted an interview, provided that I identify him only by his curious nickname "The Rhubarb Commando". Although the ageing ex-vet insists that he has had a long and rewarding career as a history academic, it is clear that he still harbours some bitterness for what he sees as his unfair treatment by the veterinary community in general. He did add, however, sniffling and wiping tears from his eyes, that he regrets the suffering that he caused the affected animals of the red kangaroo population."

The title of the article was:

Rheumy Rhuby rues roomy ruby roos.

#16804 - 02/07/01 05:11 AM Re: Shaggy kangaroo story
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>Rheumy Rhuby rues roomy ruby roos

I hope he's not hopping mad at being discovered

#16805 - 02/07/01 08:30 AM "Rheumy Rhuby"
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Oh, Marty, Oh, Marty!! That was hysterically funny!
Oh, you are wonderful! Why haven't you revealed more than
hints of this talent before?

"Hopping mad"...I love this place!

Musick--alas, too little, too late.
Now, Geoff--C'mere a minute, my dear--I'd like a word with you.

#16806 - 02/07/01 10:19 AM Re: Shaggy kangaroo story
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC

That wasn't good, it was downright GREAT. It's just too bad that it needs such a limited (and captive) audience.


Here's one I wrote a few years ago.

God, how I loved that little flower shop. Of course it's closed now. The owner's in St. Elizabeth's. Probably won't get out until sometime after Hinkley does. You remember him, the guy who shot Reagan. President Reagan. Back about twenty five years or so ago. Yeah, most people try to forget.

But I wish you could have seen that little place in its prime. The only flower shop in DC with a revolving door. Like they have in fancy hotels. but it was what was just inside the door that always caught my fancy. George had this great big room about twenty feet square, kind of a lobby I guess you'd have called it. And that room was just full of statues. All of em sheep. George had a thing for sheep.

Now, I have to tell you this right up front. I wasn't there for the sanity hearing. I've read the transcripts, even though they're sealed to protect the public. But I think the public has a right to know. I'll probably go to jail for contempt of court. But I've only got a few months left, so maybe they'll be lenient on me.

Here goes. George's best friend is a guy named Sam, who travels a lot, and hardly ever got back to Washington. But one day, the revolving door dumped Sam into George's lobby, where he was greeted as a long lost brother. "God, Sam, it's good to see you. Want some coffee?"

"Love some, George. Then we can sit in the conversation nook here and catch up." No sooner had they settled in than Sam took a look around. "Interesting room, George. Love the statuary. Particularly that one over in the corner. The alabaster one."

George's eyes lit up. "Yes, that's my favorite of the whole lot, isn't she a beauty? A Merino. I had her specially commissioned a few years ago."

Sam sat for a moment, puzzlement evident on his face. Finally, he spoke, "Gee, George, if she's so special why do you have her hidden in the corner like that behind a potted palm? If I owned that statue I'd have it all by itself with a spotlight on it and special flowers around it. It truly deserves that kind of treatment."

George smiled ruefully. "That's what I thought. But it didn't work. I had her over there opposite the doorway when I first got her. But I had to hide her. It was either that or go bankrupt."

"Huh? Bankrupt? What the hell you talking about, George?"

"Sam, I don't expect you to believe this. But I'll tell you anyway. When I had the Merino over there by herself instead of hidden in the corner the customers stayed away in droves. They'd come in one side of the revolving door, see the statue as the door turned, and keep right on going out the other side. Business was off about 93 percent. Nothing but phone orders. And those were dwindling as word got around."

"Word? What word? George, this doesn't make any sense at all."

"Tell me. I couldn't figure out what it was, so I began calling my best customers and asking them point blank what was wrong. Every one of them told me that the setup in the lobby, with that one statue by itself, gave the whole entryway an aura of perversity. And before you ask, I haven't the slightest idea why. It just did. I pushed her back in the corner there, sent out letters to all my customers, and things are finally turning around a little. Most of them are starting to come back. But, damn it Sam, I do not understand it to this day."

Sam thought for a minute. "Well, George, I guess it proves what Smokey Bear always said. Lonely ewes can pervert florist foyers."

And to this day George drools onto his straight jacket.


#16807 - 02/07/01 11:15 AM Re: Shaggy sheep story
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Lonely ewes can pervert florist foyers

Now, Ted, that ain't necessarily so! Don't forget Sparky
the Fire Dog.

Psst--d'you reckon we ought to cue the young folk and the
outlanders whence came this pun?

#16808 - 02/07/01 11:56 AM Re: Shaggy sheep story
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
I leap to follow up on Jackie's suggestion.
The quotation is from a motto : "Only you can prevent forest fires."
Many years ago, LIFE magazine's last page always had The Picture Of The Week and one week it was a photo of a singed baby bear cub that had been rescued from a forest fire in New Mexico. He was named Smokey. The photo caused quite a national stir and the little bear became famous and was adopted as a mascot by the Fire Service. Since most forest fires are started by careless disposal of matches or by campfires that are not put out properly the slogan was adopted and "spoken" by Smokey. The real Smokey was at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. where he lived a good life until his death. However Smokey is still the Forest Service representative in public service announcements.
More info than you ever wanted to know about Smokey is available at www.smokeybearestore.com
Aloha, wow

#16809 - 02/07/01 04:41 PM Re: Shaggy sheep story
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
cue the young folk

No need, we understand quite fully. Smokey is still being used.

#16810 - 02/07/01 08:10 PM Re: More shaggy dogs
Geoff Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 819
Loc: Portland,Oregon, USA
Geoff - As most wars go, you were just one contra-diction away from one...

Pray tell, what does this have to do with the way the rebels in Nicaragua speak?

#16811 - 02/07/01 10:09 PM Re: More shaggy sheeps
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2661
Loc: Chicago
Denial is not just a river... the contr(a)ction came from your comb(o)(in)nation ... don't Miss quote or forget the placement of the WOMB-AT an a-lass... for you must speak more often and sooner (as warned) to avoid being accused of singing a nickel raga...

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