Todays factoid:1857 Milton Snaveley Hershey of chocolate fame was born. (“Let’s call it ‘Milton’s Chocolate’?” “No, no, how about ‘Snaveley’s’?” “Oh well, let’s just call it ‘Hershey’s’ then”.)
Today’s news from Thailand:
The Bangkok Post reported that in Australia a 6-year-old muslim girl was banned from riding the school bus. It seems that after enduring constant insults about her head scarf from some of the older boys on the bus the six-year-old had enough and retaliated against a seven-year old boy tormentor by pulling down his pants for all on the bus to see. The little girl was banned because apparently de-pantsing someone on the school bus was against the rules while merciless taunting was not.
Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:
FROM RUBAIYAT TO RUBY OTT ON THE RUBY YACHT AND HOME AGAIN
All my life I have often taken voyages of the mind as I have pursued some research thread or another (Please see attached, if you are interested in how this all got started). Anyway the internet is a marvelous vehicle for anyone who enjoys traveling without leaving ones bed.
In my most recent voyage, I had been traveling north escaping from the 9th Century devastation of Southern Italy with some jewish merchants and settled with them in the Rhine Valley only to be forced to move eastward into the Pale, when the armies of Western Christendom had made that land too dangerous for my Hebrew brethren.
Shortly thereafter I was at the home of the local Rabbi, in a shtetl deep within the Pale somewhere in eastern Poland, when that good man began to become quite emotional and upset about a radical Sephardic Rabbi named Maimonides
who lived among the muslims and was obviously corrupted by them. According to the Rabbi, this Maimonides was attempting, in his erroneous writings on sacred subjects, to humanize the
faith of their fathers.
I decided to visit Maimonides at his family home in Egypt where he was working as the physician to the Sultan Saladin. One evening shortly after I arrived, I asked the honorable doctor-rabbi to instruct me in his teachings. He responded to my request by saying “Pookie, before embarking on a voyage into Hebrew esoterica, you should first travel to Persia and stay a few evenings in a caravansary called ‘The Perfumed Garden’.”
I did so and one evening while relaxing in the hot tub after the days debauch, I met a fellow traveller who introduced himself to me as Mercury Ali. We got to talking about this and that and after swapping some tales of our respective voyages he suggested that in the evening we attend the salon of the well-known Hori, Scheherazade where he assured me that the finest stories in all of Persia could he heard. Be careful he warned me, the tales are so beguiling they can become addictive. It has been rumored that some of the attendees at the salon had become so besotted that they remained there for over 1000 nights.
Assuring him that I will take his warning seriously, I accompanied him to the salon. I admit I soon began to find myself becoming addicted to the conversation. After a few nights with Haroun al-Rashid, Delilah the Crafty, and any number of men named Sinbad (Aladdin and Ali Baba, to my regret, were off on some adventure or another) I met up with another attendee, the besotted tent-maker, mathematician and astrologer Omar Khayyam. He invited me to spend the next few days with him and a couple of Horis, and a few bottles of Napa Valley’s finest jug wine under some trees in the desert somewhere.
One morning, having finished off the jugs of wine, I found myself with Omar banging on the door of a local tavern demanding the proprietor open the premises so that we could resume our drinking.
After a downing a few cups of chardonnay in the cool common room of the tavern, I fell asleep on the table and woke up in the early part of the 20th century in Greenwich Village in New York City at the house of two hippies who were dancing with each other while reciting Omar’s verses.
It seems that Bob Babbitt and his wife, Jessie were having a party to celebrate the end of their short unhappy experiment with sobriety. Among the guests was a gentleman who went by the obvious alias of O Henry. I was later to learn that he was a convicted embezzler, ex con and drunken pharmacist from North Carolina who was hiding out in New York in the witness protection program under an assumed name.
He suggested that since the current party was winding down, that I join him at another get-together in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana hosted by a friend of his called Idaho. It was a reception in honor of the newest residents of the valley, Homer K. M. and his girlfriend Ruby Ott.
The following morning we joined Rocky and Bullwinkle on Bullwinkle’s boat the “Ruby Yacht” and travelled down the Bitterroot to Veronica Lake where we spent the day. That evening tied up the boat at one of Today’s factoids.
[P.S. 1. to Athena and Arron (and Anthony also) if you read this far, here is the connection to the complete collection of O Henry’s tales: (http://www.gutenberg.org/author/O._Henry), You can read his short stories, “The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball” and “The Handbook of Hymen” should you want to take my voyage in reverse.
2. to Natalie Alavi, if you have read this, perhaps when Cyrus gets older you can use it to introduce him to his wonderful Persian literary heritage.
3. to Phillip, who I am sure has not read this, but if you have, I regret to inform you that Omar (who was previously a member of the Taliban) and Scheherazade are living together in an apartment in North Beach San Francisco with another illegal alien couple from Guatemala who formerly served in the Sandinista army and that Omar and Sherry (the name she goes by now) are strong supporters of Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer when they are not out campaigning for the “Green Party”.]
Given the upcoming election, I thought you may appreciate this:
“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of the universe.”
Buckminster Fuller, “I Seem to be a Verb” (1970)