Thursday, November 20, 2014

The die is cat

Mrs Spat's cunning disguise would perhaps have been more effective if more sides of the cube had been non-Cyclopean.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Honest, she just walked straight into my outstretched fingers and hit the ground like an Italian soccer player. No way was I practicing my Vulcan nerve pinch

Let's get outa here, lads. These ladies look dangerously inbred; the trees are melting; I can hear banjo music in the distance; and there's a bunch of library pixies down in the lower right corner, which always means trouble.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Play With Words.

The Riddled Amateur Dramatic Societies Christmas Special this year is "Any Fule Knows or Ye Merry Adventures of Fule Not Luking Bak in Angre" by John Osborne
Here we the see The Fule (Smut Clyde in an award winning hat) talking to Mr Sausage Maker (myself ) and pulling a groat out of his ear. This sets up the first major joke of the evening when Mr Sausage Maker says "Do not nanny me sir, it's my groat and not yours, groper!" There will be an intermission to allow the laughter to subside. Yes, they are nice rocks on the ground. Evangeline van Holsterin's vile cousin Throgmorton got them from a man he knows. 

 Then in a largely allegorical episode the Fule takes up Nordic skiing and getting one leg stuck in a warp in the fabric of space and time. He escapes from the grip of space time whatsit by shouting "Hawk Nax" which becomes an audience interaction thing for when The Fule is in trouble.

Moving on to the sing-along section of the play The Fule wanders the streets playing his bagpipes trying to earn money but people just throw more musical instruments at him in a post-modern sort of thing than John Osborne is full of it about  has as a theme in many works. The second big laugh of the night happens here when someone yells "You can't play that, try this!"

After he has sold the instruments The Fule tries to set up a hairdressing salon where the clients are not impressed by having to be blindfolded. See Miss Dainty (Evangeline van Holsterin) saying "Not a short back and sides or I'll have your gizzards and weigh them out ". "Ooer missus" says The Fule in his trademark saying. Evangeline enjoys the sword aspect a little too much for my liking.

Then in a hallucinatory episode The Fule sets up a fashion advisory business which seems to consist of persuading people to carry dead rabbits. Ms Upright (tigris) is complaining that the rabbit is a bit elderly. "It's a bit of a hairy hare" she says. Ha ha ha we all say.  

But then it all gets a bit odd and The Fule ends up sailing off to Fule land because as he says "This place is too foolish for the likes of me". He shouts "Hawk Nax" and is rescued by the Fule Navy who are out sailing in circles for no reason that is ever given (Plothole Spoiler). This is an artists impression since we only have one stage rowboat and it will just be manned by Greenish Hugh and Space Time Eddie who may or may not arrive at all.

I remain unconvinced about the flooding of the stage but Smut says it will be fine. I think we should give umbrellas to the front row people but this did cause trouble when we did "Moby Dick." The play's the thing, though eh?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

After Murgatroyd Falls

The Innkeeper of the Murgatroyd Falls Cafe and Coprolite Museum paused and looked up as someone collided with the front door.

"It sticks!" he yelled "It bleedin' sticks. You have to do short, sharp repetitious bangs on it"

The stranger entered, the front of his hat flattened into a pirate hat shape. "I'm not Keith Moon" he said.

"That's interesting" said the innkeeper "neither am I"

 "I shouldn't have to memorise click tracks just to come in"

"It's the waterfall" said the innkeeper "bleedin' 'umidity keeps the wood all warped."

"Perhaps" opined the stranger "you could invest in aluminium frames and door jambs" he paused as his mind flitted to the ironic juxtaposition of the words jamb and jam " And then people wouldn't rupture their wrists just coming in".

"I have never had this conversation before" said the innkeeper "perhaps you could tell me more about aluminium whilst I pour you a pint of Jimkin Bearhugger's Olde Watchamakallit" 

"Indeed" said the stranger "the history of aluminium is as long and exciting as that of the salted pineapple trade" He stopped at the sight of the massive eye rolls he was getting from the innkeeper. 

"But enough of the warp and weft of history" he said "Is it true that this evening, the Quarter finals of the Voltinism of Calopteryx Haemorrhoidalis and World Cup Finals Interpretive Dance Competition are here this evening?"

"Yuss" said the innkeeper "they do say as how the crew from the Olde Entymologist has it wrapped up this year on account of their " The sending off of Plácido Reynaldo Galindo Pando  versuses Romania in 1930"

"A sad business and Pláco never properly recovered from it" said the stranger. The innkeeper nodded while wondering how becoming the Peruvian Minister of the Interior, looting the place and retiring to Florida was "never properly recovering from it"

The innkeeper reached up to pull the draught handle for the pint of Olde Watchamakallit, only to have his hand seized by the stranger "Hold there good fellow"  said that person "ist there perhaps some Riddled Christmas Ale on the premises?"

"Ist?" thought the innkeeper but said "we has a bottle or two for discerning patrons” and he tapped the side of his nose.

Two hours later the stranger sat in a corner of the cafe near the Coprolite display and looked at the Christmas Ale bottle. It seemed the usual 750 ml size and yet he had been steadily drinking from it and the level had not moved and he felt no ill effects from drinking it. He had had an interesting and, he had to admit, erotically charged tussle with the table that the bottle stood on when it had tried to make a run for the door but he felt no hint of drunkenness. Well, no lasting drunkenness, at the end of each glassful he was roaring,  'I've always loved youse all, " drunk but the next sip took him straight to sobriety. An interesting brew whose label boasted that it was now free from eels. 

But the evening was drawing in and the teams for the event began to arrive, carefully unloading their equipment, handing their entry forms to the innkeeper and greeting the opposing teams in an edged but sportsman-like manner.

Then with 2 minutes to go the door opened, crashed shut, opened half-way, jammed and finally swung violently against the wall with a crash.

"This door is a bleedin' danger to shipping" announced a woman for whom the word statuesque was a mere signpost on the way to a full description.

"Miss van Holsterin" said the innkeeper "how charming to see you.'

"Wotcher, Arthur" said Evangeline van Holsterin, head barmaid of the Olde Entomologist "Oi!" she yelled out through the door "get a move on you lot!"

The rest of the troupe filed in; Smut Clyde carrying a  duck costume, tigris with an enormous gold coloured whistle, Swearing Bob carrying a wooden mallet, wearing a Uruguayan football shirt and offering the hammer to people "if they *****ing well wanted it". Then at the end of the procession, Greenish Hugh and Spacetime Eddie dressed in motley and twittering to each other like sparrows on mescaline. They climbed the staircase and with various gestures towards the other teams were gone.

The competition began and the stranger sat in the corner with his Christmas Ale in front of him and watched the various represenations of  Calopteryx Haemorrhoidalis and was impressed by the redness factor of their tail sections but found all of interpretive dances to be lacklustre and frankly, derivative. He swore that if he had to sit through another Zinedine Zidane headbutting incident he would go quite mad.

   Finally it was time for the Olde Entomlogist entry which began with an earsplitting feedback hum and then Greenish Hugh appearing alternately wringing his hands and flapping them. Then he went off and the show started.

The  Calopteryx Haemorrhoidalis section of the show was a trifle confused because of the red flashing lights that the players wore on their trousers. The frequency of the flashes and their retina scorching intensity seemed to set off reactions in some of the audience who were lying on the floor, catatonic by the end of the performance. However the second section comprising the sending off incident roused them as it was presented as part of the long history of colonial exploitation of South America. The stranger briefly wondered if Moctezuma, as portrayed by Swearing Bob, had actually told Cortés to "Sling it or get a ****ing jade axe where it would do him no ****ing good" Eventually brave revolutionary Pláco was sent off and with a short speech to FIFA about "I knows where the ****ing bodies are ****ing buried, too ****ing right" he was gone. The stranger was impressed by his explanation of the enormous golden whistle as  " it's a ****ing metaphor **** for brains"

The judges were unanimous in giving the winning prize to the Olde Entomologist team by 3.75 points to 2.78 points over The Puzzled Wombat team. The head judge said that he could remember very little of the first half of the OE performance but the Golden Whistle metaphor had sold him. Evangeline van Holsterin accepted the winners cheque and graciously held it up to the light to ascertain its veracity.

Some time later the stranger noticed tigris and Smut Clyde sitting at the bar and made his way over to them. Glancing back he noticed the bottle of Christmas Ale had resealed itself. He got to the bar and heard tigris say "...if it says Chocolate Hob Nobs on the tin, people don't expect it have honeyed locusts in it"

"Mighty fine acting" said the stranger in his best cowboy voice.

The two turned to look at him "Hello AK" they said

"What?" he said and took off his Stetson "how did you know"

"The neon sign saying 'This is Another Kiwi' on your bottle of Christmas Ale was the first clue" said Smut. 

"Also" said tigris "the shouting during the soccer match dance"

"The referee was a blithering idiot" explained Another Kiwi "bleedin' Romanians were offside all night. I expect that you are both surprised and maybe even a little angry to see me, what with thinking I had drowned in this waterfall".

tigris and Smut looked puzzled. "No" said Smut "you went up North to see you Aunty Grizelda. Has she recovered?"

"No" said Another Kiwi "the specialists say that, as a newt, she just needs water and rocks and such. Difficult to have morning teas like that unless your friends are amphibians. But did you not find my broken body in the falls?"

"Throgmorton bought in a wicker thing, that had your name on a note saying that I ATE'NT DEAD but we thought it was one of his jokes"

"He sold me the tailor’s dummy thing".

"Next time" said Smut "I'd get legs too".

"Why, and I may regret asking this, did you go to the trouble?" asked tigris

"Because terrorism" explained Another Kiwi "New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has warned us" he pulled a newspaper clipping out of his jacket "To beware of the evil terrorists lurking , lurking ready to rain carnage*  on us. I wanted to throw the terrorists off the trail".

"It was odds on that you would regret asking" said Smut to tigris.

Evangeline van Holsterin appeared before them and said that it was time to go.

"It is good to be back" said Another Kiwi "I have some Muddy Bay Toheroa Stout for you to try, Smut" he said.

"Oooh" said Smut "the one with extra vitamins for health?"

"You are both loonies"  Evangeline vouchsafed. 

* Prime MinisterKey has in really truly time warned New Zilders of the possibility of carnage raining upon us. Fainting couch sales have tripled.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Horror House of Hammers

An organised toolkit is crucial, for you never know then you might need to lay your hand on that special utensil for removing boy scouts from a centaur's hoof. Success is so often a matter of finding the right spanner to hammer in a particular screw.

Lesser thinkers might ask, "Is life really any simpler for deriving a consensus tool board that organises tools according to the crowd-sourced conceptual links among them, retrieved from the Collective Unconscience?" Proving that such pundits are not the sharpest hammer in the drawer, nor indeed the heaviest spanner in the sack. Also that they have not tried to find things in the Riddled Research Laboratory after Greenish Hugh and Space-Time Eddie have been "tidying up" on their way home from "Dendrogramma enigmatica -- basal Bilateralia clade, or sister group? and Table-top Golf Night" at the Old Entomologist.
Notice how the semantic sub-domain of garden implements (rake, hoe, shovel) is adjacent to the sub-domain of 'kitchen utensils' (knife, fork, spoon, spatula). It is reassuring to see that the confusion is not limited to Another Kiwi's cookery columns -- not to mention his gardening columns. Suffice to say that Ammophos pellets are not a condiment, AK; nor is Sriracha a fungal disease of chrysanthemums.

Notice also how the gardening implements are diametrically opposite to the cluster of 'tools of literature' (pen, eraser, computer). This will come as a surprise to those of us whose mixed metaphors are "flowers of rhetoric culled from the kitchen-garden.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

These secondary objects are called hrönir and are, though awkward in form, slightly longer. Until recently, the hrönir were the accidental products of distraction and forgetfulness

Frank and open was the exchange of views at the ECVP-2014 meeting in Belgrade a few months back when Claus-Christian Carbon presented his analysis of the Emergency Back-Up Mona Lisa recently uncovered (literally!) in the Prado, much in the manner of a hrön.*

I do not know if the Ignobel Prizes include a special award for "Scientific Innovations Illustrated with Lego Figures", but if there is, Carbon and Hesslinger's work is a serious contender. They propose that the Prado version is not a copy, but was painted in parallel with Leonardo's original, by a trusted apprentice peering over the Master's shoulder -- the slight parallax explaining the discrepancies between the two.**

These discrepancies also discredit the accepted account for Cloned Giocondas. That's the one with a time-unstuck alien coercing Leonardo into knocking off multiple copies so that his 1970s avatar can exploit them in a heist plot to make enough money for time-travel research... the City of Death theory for short.
However, the possibility remains open that the differences between versions represent not coigns of vantage, but different instants of time, painted by Leonardo for an early peepshow animation. The future discovery of the remaining frames -- between them recording the full cycle of activity -- is practically guaranteed by the workings of the morphogenic field (intensified as it is by each previous version).

* "The methodical fabrication of hrönir has performed prodigious services for archeologists. It has made possible the interrogation and even the modification of the past, which is now no less plastic and docile than the future."
At Riddled we do not rate for the hrönirific approach to recovering Mona-Lisa variants for it requires the elimination of "witnesses who knew of the experimental nature of the search". We have suffered enough problems with staff retention after the confusion between 'Gioconda' and 'anaconda' while procuring materials, such as could happen to anyone, and entirely due to someone else's bad handwriting.

** The apprentice is thought to be either Giacomo Salai or Francesco Melzi but confirmation awaits further research into conversations in the studio. These can be reconstructed (as any fule kno) from the slight sinusoidal oscillations in the paths of individual paintbrush hairs vibrating in the ambient sound, and then captured in the drying paintstrokes.

Bonus Reverse-correlation perceptual study of La Gioconda here.

Useful lynx at Griffonage-dot-com; also bonus animations.