Saturday, September 17, 2005

Saturday Six -- Episode 75

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    Each week Patrick tricks me into answering his questions, the nosy old bat! You'd think I'd learn...

    You, too, can be a victim. Get your own copy of the questions and post a link to your answers at Patrick's Place. You'll be ecstatic and prone to verbal exclamations if you do! Yee Ha!

  1. When is the last time you took a vacation and went basically nowhere? Was it as relaxing as previous vacations where you have actually planned a trip?

    My whole life has been a case of going nowhere quickly, so why would I want a vacation from it? Seriously, when I worked for the government, was alone and had no spare coin, vacations were spent at home, resting up from the trials and tribs of dealing with the public on a seven day a week basis. It was as relaxing, if not more so than planning a trip and traveling there, then fighting the airlines to get back to get to work on time.

    2. Take this quiz: Which historical lunatic are you?

    You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognize your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the tiny but fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

    3. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #64 from Jaymi: What is your favorite book from childhood and why?

    I think I mentioned this over at The Daily Snooze last year for another meme. My favorite is/was “Blueberries for Sal.”

    4. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #65 from Hannah: What book character do you most identify with and why?

    If the author is clever and the writing is good, I usually find myself identified, or at least aligned with the principal character or hero. So the true answer is everyone and no one, if you follow my drift.

    But then again, if you are drifting like me you'll soon find yourself stuck on a muddy shoal somewhere, trying to crawl off the way Judd made his grand entrance on “Survivor – Guatemala” last week. Next!

    5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #66 from Holly: What do you think is an appropriate gift to a party? What do you consider a quality Christmas gift from an acquaintance to a party or get together, a friend, and a GREAT friend?

    It depends who or what the party is. I believe in giving truffles to the delightful women of my acquaintance. I give fine wine for new and new-old houses. I'm big on spankings for birthdays, particularly if the aforementioned delightful women are able to perch on my decidedly minuscule lap. I give donations to Republicans, advice to Democrats, kudos to Libertarians and blow smoke from my cigar in the faces of Greenies. Depending on the employer, anything from hand grenades to his horse's head is appropriate. A gift to an acquaintance should be about that person, of value to them. I often try for handmade items for acquaintances if I can. Friends gifts must also be about them and their likes and passions. It's all about them.

    I once received a 5 pound can of cashews from my secretary for Christmas. Because she knew that I like to use them when cooking certain Chinese dishes. Which she knew from having shared lunch at my desk knocking out paperwork on numerous occasions. Back when I had friends, getting warm woolen mittens and a hat for one friend meant he had something to wear out to social events that was nice and not grungy from toiling the soil as a nurseryman day in, day out. I once got another great friend a new guitar, because there was music bursting from her soul with nothing to articulate it upon.

    6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #67 from Judi: If you had to make a choice for the rest of your life between food and sex, which would you choose, provided the following conditions: If you chose sex, you would never feel hungry, but just wouldn't be able to enjoy a nice meal or the tastes of good food or drink; if you chose food, you would no longer have the physical intimacy and pleasure, but you still wouldn't feel deprived of it. In other words, whichever one you choose to give up will be a series of pleasures you'll never be able to experience firsthand again.

    This is tougher than it seemed at first. Of course, I have loved food longer than sex and would ordinarily enjoy food well past the time I could enjoy sex, all things being equal. But they aren't.

    I think, for today, I'd choose to lose sex. I know I can go for a very long time without physical intimacy, so long as I have intellectual intimacy in my life. While I can do alone for long periods, I do get lonely. But one of the joys in my life is cooking for others, and to be unable to taste what I am preparing ... well, I'm not the culinary equivalent to Beethoven. I have no Ninth Symphony Alfredo in me ...


Have a great weekend and a better week ahead. Saturday is Constitution Day. Sunday is the International Speak-Like-A-Pirate Day. The Full Moon is hidden behind the clouds but it is a very important one to Wiccans. The Solstice is coming mid-week and that spells the end of summer for those in the northern hemisphere and the start of hope for the Ice Man down at the South Pole, but first there's the matter of the usually severe spring blizzards to contend with. Just like the advent of Spring here in Maine, it is many days before the hint of spring is felt. At least he'll be getting some sunlight soon.

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