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#56624 02/13/02 02:49 PM
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Today's Word, "fetor" suggests a coinage: "Fetort". A retort uttered by person afflicted with fetor oris.


#56625 02/14/02 03:23 AM
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Can you recommend a good prescription mouthwash, Dr. Bill?


#56626 02/14/02 02:20 PM
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Dear WO'N: None of them do me much good.


#56627 02/14/02 02:29 PM
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Dear WO'N: Imagine what my friend Dottie would have done to me if I told her hair was nitid!


#56628 02/14/02 03:07 PM
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told her hair was nitid!

Really! I can't imagine a word sounding much less like its meaning! Even if you know how to spell it (it just occurred to me that it *sounds like knitted).


#56629 02/14/02 04:21 PM
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Dear Faldage: But what if Dottie thought I was saying her hair was full of nits?


#56630 02/14/02 04:35 PM
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Dottie thought ... her hair was full of nits

Hadn't thought of that, Dr. Bill. Just makes our case against the word that much stronger!


#56631 02/14/02 05:59 PM
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you guys are just nitpicking again.


#56632 02/14/02 06:24 PM
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Dear tsuwm: Do you need our services? Do you have mechanised dandruff?


#56633 02/14/02 07:15 PM
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OOO--Do you have mechanised dandruff?

Animated dandruff would be, um, interesting, (undesirable) but understandable.. but mechanised? made out of machinery? automated? the idea of mechanised dandruff makes the animated kind seem desirable!




#56634 02/14/02 08:32 PM
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Or self-propelled.


#56635 02/18/02 02:39 PM
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Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, you
sockdologising old man-trap."

Booth fired his gun at that precise moment to muffle the
loud noise of his shot with the guffaws from the audience,
and quietly escaped. ]

I remember reading that Booth jumped from the presidential box down to the stage, landing badly so that he broke an ankle, but managed to get out the back door.


#56636 02/18/02 04:47 PM
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I remember reading that Booth jumped from the presidential box down to the stage, landing badly so that he broke an ankle, but managed to get out the back door.

As a recall, the who treated Booth's ankle, was probably unaware of his patient's identity, but was nonetheless tried and convicted as a co-conspirator in the assassination. His name was Dr. Mudd, and I recall hearing that this is the source of the phrase "his name is mud".

Sounds suspiciously like an urban legand, but it will be easy enough to LIU this evening.


#56637 02/18/02 11:09 PM
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http://www.historybuff.com/library/refmummy.html

Click on the link beneath the picture for the story.


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from http://www.word-detective.com/100297.html:

Mud on the superhighway.

Dear Word Detective: I've searched the entire World Wide Web looking for the origin of the
phrase "Your name will be mud." I think it might have come from the name of the doctor who
treated John Wilkes Booth (Dr. Mudd, I presume). -- Jerry McFadyen, via the Internet.

Searched the whole web, eh? Well, by now I'm sure that you've come to the same conclusion
that I reached a while back, namely that if you're looking for solid, useful information on the
Internet, you're barking up the wrong medium. There are exceptions, to be sure, but in
general trying to do serious research on the web is akin to asking a housecat for help with
your homework. Someone needs to explain this to Al Gore.

Thank heavens for books, therefore, especially ones such as "Devious Derivations," written
by Hugh Rawson and published by Crown. Mr Rawson devotes an entire page in his book to
the theory you have evidently heard: that the phrase "Your name will be mud" is connected
somehow to the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd who treated President Abraham Lincoln's assassin,
John Wilkes Booth. Doctor Mudd may or may not have been in on the 1865 assassination
conspiracy with Booth, who had broken his leg escaping from the scene of his crime. In any
case, Mudd was convicted of conspiracy in the trial that followed, and his name, to the
general public, certainly became "mud" in the sense of the phrase -- despised and reviled.

But Doctor Mudd's name is certainly no more than an interesting coincidence, for it cannot
have been the source of the phrase. "Mud" had already been in use for more than 200 years,
since at least 1708, as a slang term for a fool. According to Christine Ammer, in her book
"Have A Nice Day -- No Problem!" (a very fine dictionary of cliches published by Plume),
"mud" was commonly applied in the 19th century British Parliament to any member who lost
an election or otherwise disgraced himself.


The Phrase Finder also validates this:
http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/meanings/424000.html




#56639 02/19/02 04:04 PM
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President Harding is credited with coining "bloviate". I know of another word he is apparently erroneously credited with having coined. Can you remember it?

http://www.thirdlion.com/ATM23.html You have to scroll down a ways.


#56640 02/19/02 06:53 PM
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H.L. Mencken said of W.G. Harding: "He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash."


#56641 02/19/02 08:14 PM
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Dear tsuwm: I wonder what Curmudgeon Mencken would have said about that paragraph if someone else had written it. It seems to have a bit of overkill.


#56642 02/19/02 08:29 PM
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>that paragraph

I thought he was just speaking generally.


#56643 02/19/02 08:34 PM
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True, dr. bill, but Mencken was not noted for underkill. And there is a time-honored tradition of lampooning presidential speech. (Wonder how many of our USn's are old enough to recall Vaughn Meeder's First Family album?)


#56644 02/19/02 11:06 PM
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it reminds me of ... college yells

Hey!

GO SPARTANS! GO BUCKEYES!


#56645 02/20/02 02:02 PM
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Tonstant weader fwowed up. Gate me no gates. This is one gate too far.


#56646 02/20/02 02:13 PM
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one gate too far.

Wordgate - a post too far?


#56647 02/20/02 02:19 PM
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Billingsgate to Watergate.


#56648 02/20/02 02:26 PM
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Irony bars me from continuing to fence with you, Bill. [unwunk]


#56649 02/20/02 02:26 PM
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Barbara Billingsgate?

Seriously, for a nonce cliché -gate sure has legs. We're getting on 30 years this one has been going. Everytime a new one pops up the Cliché Police pule and micturate; when the tears and ashes clear another one pops up. Linguistic Whack-A-Mole®.


#56650 02/20/02 02:39 PM
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Irony bars for a cage for you.


#56651 02/20/02 03:24 PM
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Irony bars do not a prison make
nor emoticons a door...


#56652 02/20/02 05:01 PM
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Ah, to mitigate or litigate, that is the question.
"Irony bars", but a gate allows one to pass beyond the fencing.


#56653 02/21/02 02:42 PM
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Interests me even less than pocket pool.


#56654 02/22/02 03:04 PM
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stocious = drunk, intoxicated

Praps. But I think it goes beyond that.

edit: [unwink]


#56655 02/22/02 03:27 PM
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The Gershwins and their collaborators were so gifted it is tempting to suppose there is something funny about this name other than just its absurd sound. Perhaps a built in flatus control?


#56656 02/22/02 04:09 PM
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Not to mention the separate credits for lyrics and libretto.


#56657 02/22/02 05:01 PM
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Dear Faldage: I wondered about that too. I am so ignorant of music that I thought there was some subtle distinction. In the musical might there not have been spoken text and stage directions that would be called the "libretto" with the lyrics a subset of the whole?

#56658 02/22/02 05:47 PM
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spoken text and stage directions

I think that's what they're getting at Dr. Bill. Looks like the libretto is everythang but the singing words. Not sure about the stage directions, though.


#56659 02/24/02 09:25 PM
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A purposeless incompetent in public office.

What can I say? Welcome to Oz... (interesting also that we have the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting coming up here soon - possibly a few too many throttlebottoms in one place at one time). Cynic? Me ... never!

Hev

#56660 02/28/02 05:05 PM
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In Shakespeare's Henry V, before the curtain goes up, the chorus on the proscenium gives about twenty lines about the problems of presenting the play. I don't know why, but I have always remembered this one line:

" Can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? "


#56661 03/04/02 05:28 PM
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I don't care for "philomath". We already have "polymath". The aftermath may be "philopath".


#56662 03/05/02 05:27 PM
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Dear Dr. Bill,

But, but, but...philomath and polymath are not the same! That "love" bit in the philomath definition is a crucial distinction. I have an uncle who can only be described as a philomath. The man eats, sleeps, and breathes learning. (He's retired, but he's always been this way. Now he just has more time.) He knows all the libraries in the city, and the specialties of each. He watches televised university classes for fun. He has a complicated system to keep track of which library books are due when. He loves to argue with you over something he's just learned about. So at least in my family, philomath is a very necessary and useful word!


#56663 03/05/02 06:32 PM
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We have philosopher which once meant the same thing. And only philomaths. but not all, can become polymaths.


#56664 03/05/02 07:08 PM
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Love of learning vs. love of wisdom.


#56665 03/05/02 08:15 PM
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Dear Faldage: Many learned people are not wise. But few wise people are unlearned.


#56666 03/05/02 08:30 PM
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So a philosoph will be a philomath but a philomath need not be a philosoph.

Need the learning be formal?


#56667 03/05/02 08:50 PM
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The wisest man I ever knew was educated in the College of Hard Knocks. But also read a lot, with underatanding.


#56668 03/06/02 11:18 AM
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Did you guys really think I'd leave this one alone? Ithyphallic, coupled with T. S. Elliot's "...not with a bang,..."? ROTFLMAO


#56669 03/06/02 12:24 PM
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ithyphallic -- been there done that, thanks to dr. bill. We probed this word thoroughly last October.

http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=43425
http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=44628

And what a nice thing to wake up to this morning, eh, Connie?

#56670 03/06/02 02:19 PM
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Dear Keiva: And do you remember the neurophysiology behind the vulgar taunt: I hope you die ithyphallic?


#56671 03/06/02 04:29 PM
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Remember no; understand, yes! (And you aren't talking about "as in the movie Private Benjamin".)

Well, ithy or ithn't ty?


#56672 03/06/02 08:51 PM
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A good word to drop at a cocktail party.....or maybe at a parade. " For Zeus' sake, Socrates, start the procession while I'm still ithyphallic."


#56673 03/08/02 01:56 PM
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could the antonym be moribund ?


#56674 03/08/02 02:52 PM
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Moribund? Dear boronia, you must be Joke-und.jocund


#56675 03/08/02 02:54 PM
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I confess, there was a time when I was more rotund than jocund


#56676 03/08/02 03:15 PM
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Dear boronia: I hope that no sorrow may obtund your sense of humor.


#56677 03/08/02 03:21 PM
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now I am stun(ne)d -- what is obtund??


#56678 03/08/02 03:47 PM
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ob[tund 79b tund$8
vt.
5ME obtunden < L obtundere, to strike at, blunt < ob3 (see OB3) + tundere, to strike < IE *(s)teud3, to strike > STOCK6 to make blunt or dull; make less acute; deaden

Dear boronia, I hope annyonce did not make your countenace rubicund.

ru[bi[cund 7r14b! kund#8
adj.
5Fr rubicond < L rubicundus < ruber, RED6 reddish; ruddy
ru#bi[cun4di[ty 73kun4d! tc8
n.



#56679 03/08/02 04:02 PM
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darn - can't think of any more UND words with which to reboUND!


#56680 03/08/02 04:08 PM
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Take your dictionary back and ask for a refund.


#56681 03/08/02 04:22 PM
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you seem to have a rather fecund mind - bravo
(do you have any friends named Edmund?)


#56682 03/08/02 04:46 PM
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Dear borovia: you win. I couldn't think of fecund. Perhaps that's because only female things can be fecund.
My mind may be f'd up, but not capable of being impregnated. And my testosterone levels are so low, my voice is no longer orotund.

No basso profund-o am I.


#56683 03/08/02 05:06 PM
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Oh, Dr bill i wish i could give you some of my testosterone!
now that my estrogen levels are falling, i am slowly turning into a circus freak show item.. the great bearded lady!


#56684 03/08/02 05:37 PM
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at lunch I walked by a store with a bridal display - and the groom wore a CUMMERBUND!


#56685 03/08/02 09:27 PM
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Dear boronia: So corny I'm ashamed to use it, from the same continent as "cummerbund" ks

bund
n.
5Anglo-Ind < Hindi band, embankment, dike < Pers b9nd9r, harbor6 in India and the Far East, an embankment or quay, or an embanked road along a waterfront



#56686 03/08/02 10:47 PM
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Let us be verecund in all things, never orotund. He or she who may disagree has an orbotund head.

Confession: the above came from a rhyming dictionary, not from my brain.

#56687 03/08/02 11:07 PM
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According to http://www.dictionary.com, verecund can be found in Websters (1913), but the definition there seems contractory: rashful; modest. The best I can find elsewhere indicates "modest", but can we get OED confirmation?


#56688 03/08/02 11:25 PM
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Dear Keiva: Nice find. New to me. Dictionary of Difficult words gives "shy". Your "rashful" obviously should be bashful.


#56689 03/09/02 05:56 PM
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Hey, boronia: We both forgot "gerund".


#56690 03/11/02 02:58 PM
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Perhaps it might be interesting to compare "ukase" with "ex cathedra".


#56691 03/12/02 02:56 PM
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Two's company, a troika is a crowd.

x-bonus Quote from Josh Billings. Another forgotten newspaper great, like Peter Finley Dunn.
Here's another of his:When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

I remember seeing this attributed to Mark Twain.

Later I found it attributed to Josh Billings.


#56692 03/13/02 03:53 PM
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In the new Russian government, I wonder how much activity there is in samizdat.

I still cherish the observation:" No Izvestia in Pravda and no Pravda in Izvestia "


#56693 03/14/02 08:42 PM
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What in hell can anybody do with a word like "glasnost"? It sounds like "glass nosed" but what can be done with that?


#56694 03/15/02 03:19 AM
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Glasnost by itself isn't good for much, Bill, but combine it with perestroika and we can all relive the Cold War. They go together like Quemoy and Matsu.


#56695 03/15/02 04:51 AM
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it's my considered opinion that Anu missed out on the chance to gloss one of the most interesting Russian words of all: poshlost /POSH lust/ a well-rounded, untranslatable whole made up of banality, vulgarity and sham; it applies not only to obvious trash (verbal and animate), but also to spurious beauty, spurious importance, spurious cleverness...

http://home.mn.rr.com/wwftd/

#56696 03/15/02 01:27 PM
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Anu missed out on the chance to gloss one of the most interesting Russian words of all: poshlost

Don't blame it on Anu-- the guest AWADer this week is Rudy Chelminski. I agree, by the way, that poshlost would have been a much more interesting WAD than nyet.


#56697 03/15/02 02:02 PM
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There are a couple points of interest here. The way "nyet" is used in the example, it is a noun. But ordinarily, according to my dictionary, it is an adverb. And English "no" is an adverb, which I did not kinow before.


#56698 03/15/02 03:04 PM
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>Don't blame it on Anu...

why not? he's been dictating to jazzo on our list.

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#56699 03/15/02 04:20 PM
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Dear slithy: I'll bet few members remember what Quemoy and Matsu refer to.


#56700 03/15/02 04:36 PM
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>I'll bet few members remember...

define 'few'.

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#56701 03/15/02 05:12 PM
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Dear tsuwm: the last time Quemoy and Matsu were in news was in Eisenhower administration, I think. And then briefly enough to be readily forgettable. So if ten percent of board members remember them, I'd be mildly surprised.

A URL about it:http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/specials/elections/1960/editorial1.html

#56702 03/15/02 05:56 PM
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>So if ten percent of board members remember them, I'd be mildly surprised.

well, since not even close to 10% of board members participate (and then there's all those split-personalities), it's going to be a rough go, statistically speaking. but then we're a pretty old bunch.

I remember them well; fallout shelters too.

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#56703 03/15/02 06:07 PM
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I remember.

The Few. The Proud. The Ugly.


#56704 03/15/02 06:44 PM
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>I'll bet few members remember...

>>define 'few'.

Define "member".

I re-member. [showing his age -e]



#56705 03/15/02 07:04 PM
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I remember fallout shelters too.

A poem from those days, by E.Y. Harburg:

Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter
Worthy of Kubla Khan's Xanadu dome,
Plushy and swanky with posh hanky-panky that affluent yankees can really call home.

Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter,
A push-button palace, fluorescent repose,
With electric devices for facing a crisis with frozen fruit-ices and cinema shows.

Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter
All chromium kitchens and rubber-tile dorms,
Whose waterproof portals will echo the chortles of weatherproof mortals in hydrogen storms.

What a great come-to-glory emporium!
To provide a deluxe moratorium
From the nuclear heat, to beguile the elite
In a crème de la crème crematorium.



#56706 03/30/02 08:46 PM
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Sniff!..Sniff!.. I am too young! I know nothing of Quemoy and Matsu. They sound like exotic breeds of dogs to me.! Wail!!!Sob!!!!


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