Prunes and Prism

RULES FOR YOUNG LADIES: Some arch advice on snagging a husband. Exercising the mouth into a pretty shape through repetition of certain words seems to have been an indoor sport for young nineteenth-century girls; in Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens' overly bred girl repeats, "papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism." (

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Planet of the (Shaved) Apes

I love that smarty-pants Caleb Crain and will have to tell him so, should I see him again at a House Jam. He's recently written about both monkeys (Arctic Monkeys, that is) and journalist Celia Farber's piece for Harper's about scientists who discredit the theory that HIV causes AIDS.

Both of which remind me of a temp I once hired, a blowsy lady of un certain age who was bravely lipsticked and lousy with free-floating crazy and faded glamour (and did she shake a little? I swear that's how I remember it). One day in the office we were talking about the heart-wrenching case of endangered diana monkey Cookie Flikshtein, adopted as surrogate daughter by Roman and Inna Flikshtein of Manhattan Beach and now facing court removal and repatriation to the wild, where there would be no ice cream or nightly news.

And Frau Blowsy said tonelessly, "Monkeys are dirty and they cause AIDS," then went back to work.

Sometimes to keep the peace you keep your own counsel, and there is nothing to be done but run to the co-workers with whom you have been making nasty jokes about her imaginary Vicodin habit to share the delicious news.

And so (on the other side of the barrier): "... and then SHE said, 'Monkeys are dirty and they cause AIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'"

And my Esteemed Colleague said, "But that doesn't mean she wouldn't let one buy her a drink."


Anonymous ashok said...

Totally off-topic, gratutious self-promotion:

You mentioned you liked O Magnum Mysterium, and I wonder if you like opera. I just wrote up a commentary on love and the poet in La Boheme and thought you might be interested.

9:46 PM  
Blogger thirty-year-old secretary said...

Dear Frostine,

I miss you.


1:10 PM  

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