Friday, March 31, 2006


Or, …if you hear laughter, you’re definitely not in heaven!

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, PhD (pretty hopeless dingbat) who occupies a place of honor in The Creative Loafing Institute as Dean of Dross & Drollery, and he's also the Occasional Chairperson of the Cheerful Chinwag & Chortle Department (whenever the spirit moves him)

Nearly 121 million web pages are devoted to the humble “fool” with but a mere 7,290,000 dedicated to his opposite, the “wise man”. One might assume therefore that fools outnumber wise men by a ratio of 17 to 1, but one might be wrong.

Considering the fact that in the 13th century court jesters played a vital role in royal affairs, these once indispensable positions died however with the demise of King Charles I in 1649. It seems that Oliver Cromwell’s republican supporters thought it looked like a good idea at the time. Little did they know that when the monarchy was restored eleven years later, regrettably the role of the court jester was not resurrected. (Perhaps that was because a strong belief in God, the Holy Trinity and a surplus of angels was more useful than the frivolous remarks of a fool with a title.)

Today the fool has been relegated to the back of one card in Tarot Card deck. Clearly, there are few opportunities for fools to find their rightful place in a world full of logic, reason, and practical solutions to every problem under the sun.

So just what might a help wanted classified ad for a fool say today?

Help Wanted: A consummate cully who is willing to fall in love with every new product or service on the market, and then part with his or her money easily!

Wanted Immediately: A mirthful person who owns an outfit with bells, is prepared to carry a bladder on a stick if required, and is willing to be the butt of everyone’s jokes as well as provide entertainment spontaneously when called upon to do so by the powers that be if you please.

Exceptional Career Opportunity: A Corporate Jester who’s willing to do the undoable, think the unthinkable, say the unsayable, and last but not least, drive the organization bonkers with oodles of creative folly!

True fools understand that their journey of jocularity demands that they travel light, for they know not where they are going or what they’re supposed to be doing.

By exercising their sense of curiosity, they have no fear of asking silly questions like: “Why is that elephant sitting in the living room?”, “Why is the Emperor wearing no clothes?” or “Who says it can't be done?”

Those with a mission of mirth and merriment know that their only purpose in life is to go out and enjoy the world. For their sole passion is just to see what there is to see and delight in all of it …without any preconceived notions or expectations about anything or anyone.

No need for “fool-proof” plans or fear of looking like a fool; because fools are always true to themselves and their calling! These light-hearted souls enjoy exploring the mysteries of life. And their candor not to mention their creativity in dealing with conundrums make them grateful guests at any grassroots giggle gathering.

So, without further ado: A toast to fools the world over – may they entertain, educate and enliven our journey through life!


Or, if fools rush in where angels fear to tread, then where do they usually hang their hats when they're not falling in love or parting with their money?

By Theolonius McTavish, a jest-in-time news junkie, who spends far too much time seeking pots of gold at the end of rainbows, kissing blinking blarney stones without too much luck, and commiserating over the lack of four-leaf clovers in his field of dreams!

Well, April Fools' Day is drawing near. While "every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day and wisdom consists of not exceeding that limit", April 1st is one day when we can truthfully say that the sky is the limit for playing the fool!

So, what better occasion than now to find out just where all those Canadian class-clowns and comics call home.

A quick glance at a Mirth Map of Canada suggests there may be a whole lot of tomfoolery going on in the following places:

  • Chin or Community Punch Bowl (Alberta)
  • Loos or Ta Ta Creek (British Columbia)
  • Button or Finger (Manitoba)
  • Dipper Harbour or Five Fingers (New Brunswick)
  • Cow's Lick or Leading Tickles West (Newfoundland & Labrador)
  • Thumb's Island (Northwest Territories)
  • Dingwall or Ecum Secum (Nova Scotia)
  • Belcher Islands or Zebra Mountain (Nunavut)
  • Funnybone Lake or Punkeydoodles Corners (Ontario)
  • Oyster Bed Bridge or Uigg (Prince Edward Island)
  • Baie des Ha! Ha! or Funny Lake (Quebec)
  • Limerick or Smuts (Saskatchewan)
  • Snafu Creek and Snag (Yukon Territories)

On second thought, maybe it's a good idea to stay far away from a "fool's paradise". And if you're not sure where that it is, just follow Will Roger's advice - it's the spot where "everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."


And for those who need an excuse to flaunt their frippery and feathers, or just enjoy foolish food for thought ...drop by in the evening of April Fools' Day and join the rest of the fools at Ogden Point Cafe (at the Breakwater) in Victoria, BC!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Or, what brain food have you got on the menu tonight?

By Pierre Buldoo, (former head chef at the “Flash in the Pan” Bistro), and one of those whine and dine types who is quick to find fault with any flavorful filet that misbehaves in front of guests or any beverage that bubbles in such a way as to draw unwarranted attention to itself, thus disturbing what is generally known as ‘genteel chin-wagging’

While casually wading through my favorite bedtime book, “The Glossary of Gluttony & Guzzling”, I realized that no reliance should be placed on appearance, especially when it comes to food.

Indeed, what you see is not necessarily what you get. After all how does one know the state of the ingredients before they’ve been beaten, whipped, or zapped? And, who really knows the state of mind of the cook who prepared those “pickled pigs toes” anyway?

All of this brings me back to page 322 of the glossary, and funny foodie phrases beginning with the letter “d” and concluding with “k”:


deipnophobia (n) a less debilitating social phobia usually referred to as “a fear of dinner conversation”, the remedy for which is usually dining in the comfort of a closet, a cube farm cubicle, or a quick drive-thru fast-food outlet

Democritorte (n.) an ancient emphemeral philosopher who was credited with mixing love draughts incorrectly vexing a good many Greek gods not to mention mere mortals, (who satiated themselves with yummy tummy cakes made with lots of eggs, grated nuts, a a rich frosting designed to boost their sagging spirits)

dew-drink (n.) a draft of beer before breakfast, (popular among those with an aversion to crying over spilt milk and those who think pulp in orange juice is gross)

dicky (n.) slang term for a cock o’ the walk that doesn’t know when to shut up

doggy bag (n.) a pejorative term for the container of leftovers provided by restaurants wishing to satisfy the ever changing desires of frugal lapdogs, parsimonious top-dogs, and thrift-conscious watchdogs who frequent their five star eating establishments


edacious (adj.) craving food or voraciously devouring it in great quantities (usually at weddings, wakes, and workplace retirement parties when someone else is footing the bill)

eelogofusciouhipoppokunurious (adj.) descriptive of a meal …particularly a finger-licking good pizza, (also used as a compliment to a host or hostess when you don’t know whether the pizza has been hand-made, ordered out, or store-bought…as in “My that meal was eelogofusciouhipoppokunurious!")

Eve with the lid on (n.) an unusual culinary expression meaning “apple pie” the way someone’s Mum used to make it in the good old days before frozen pastry, microwaves, and brand-name, easy-to-prepare, pie mixes had been invented


farctate (n.) a state of being stuffed (like a turkey) or filled to the gills (like a puffer fish)

farmyard nuggets ( colloquial term for real honest to goodness eggs laid by stress-free, grain-fed, range-free hens with happy dispositions and prodigious capabilities

fleshpot ( a place that provides lusty little tidbits, (confirming the fact that the only way to win a man's heart is through his tummy)

fletcherize (vb.) to chew or masticate a morsel of food at least 30 times to make it digestible, as in “Fletcherize this you fool…I’ve had enough of your tough tortes for one day!”

foot-ale (n.) ale bought by a person entering a new job to those who are already employed; this is also known affectionately as “networking” or “paying one’s dues”


glister of fish hooks (n.) a glass of Irish whisky (commonly consumed by irreverent imps, lewd leprechauns, and whimsical wee folk who live in trees if you please)

glop (n.) a thick semi-liquid food or mixture of foods that is said to be mushy, tasteless, or unappetizing in appearance (usually prepared by young children or bored bachelors who use “hungry man’s helper” to disguise the contents of the meal )

goblocks (n.) large mouthfuls of food (that usually suggest that the consumer is hungry, happy, or perhaps just hates to see good food go to waste on someone else’s plate)

gormandizer (n.) one who devours food in a gluttonous manner; one who binges, eats to excess as in, “he/she eats like a pig”; the opposite of “he/she eats like a bird or a fly”

groak (vb.) to stare at someone who is eating food in the hopes of being tossed some leftovers; often referred to as the “uninvited house guest” or the salivating pooch at the end of the table


hare soup (n.) a rather saucy soup with a reputation for exciting desire among Mad Hatters and Bunny Club members

hassenpfeffer (n) a well-seasoned rabbit stew (with lots of pepper that when combined with an unexpected “hachoo” leaves a mouthful of bunnkins spattered all over the dinner table)

hop toad (n.) a strong liquor that compels one to hop about incessantly or croak unexpectedly

hygrophobia (n.) a fear of liquids (especially the kind you can’t consume or swim in)


ick wit (n.) pejorative term for a tasteless tongue-twister

ingluvious (adj.) gluttonous as in “What an ingenious if not ingluvious manner of devouring Dictionnaire erotique, a Latin-French dictionary of delicate but delightful diversions published in Paris in 1885.”


jejunator (n.) a person who fasts (when he’s not promoting the slow-food movement)

jentacular (n.) pertaining to the first meal of the day (that for some is a little less than spectacular, unless one gets a real kick out of eating weight-watcher wabbit stuff)

jowfair (n.) an event that does not occur despite a good deal of planning (probably having something to do with Murphy’s Law or “the best laid plans of mice and men”)

jowter (n.) a person who sells fish (because he hates jousting for a living)


kalling (n.) a form of fortune-telling based on what variety of cabbage a blind-folded individual selects; one who follows a coleslaw calling

kickshaw (n.) a tidbit or delicacy (consisting of at least 5,000 calories that one gets a kick out of eating, especially in front of anyone consuming a lean-cuisine meal)

kreatophagia (n.) the eating of raw meat (which usually goes down better with several shots of “Beefeater” gin)

And if perchance these words of wit and wonk leave you feeling a tad woozy, fear not. Relief is close at hand in the form of something that Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus (a.k.a. Claudius I - Emporer of Rome) was known to have said.

Apparently the ruler of Rome had a fondness for food, thinking nothing of inviting 600 or more licentious lollygaggers over for a meal of wine, women and song. While flatulence was prohibited in public during the first century AD, Claudius seriously considered "an edict to legitimize the breaking of wind at table, either silently or noisily."

Thankfully democracy prevails in some countries today, and we can do whatever we please with our volatile vapours. Some people may however pay a heavier price than others for being part of the animal kingdom. We may have won the right to "pig out", but we're still trying to come up with how to solve the problem of errant 'sliders', and the occasional whiff of wayward vulgar wind).


For those who need to verify the veracity of the Roman Emporer's words..., pick up a copy of Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. The Twelve Caesars.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here is some zany advice from "Zelda" to commemorate "The Year of the Dog":

"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."

"If you want to be Top-Dog, you've got to get off the porch."

"When you're in deep water the best thing to do is shut your mouth."


For those who need a little tough but tender truism today from a top-dog ... just tune into Zelda Wisdom.

Created by Carol Gardner, the "Zeldom Wisdom" GGGRRRUUUFFF greeting card line and merry mutt merchandise, is certain a well-deserved bark of distinction"!

Monday, March 27, 2006


Or, is that a beautiful biscuit and bow-wow welcome sign up ahead?

By Theolonius McTavish, a canine-friendly Celt, who wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a Schnauzer and a Shih-Tzu, or a Scapegrace and a Scaramouche

Canada is that big blank spot on a map occupying half of a continent called North America.

This sprawling country is inhabited by far too many wild critters, (better known as eager beavers, ugly moose, and well-fed guano-producing gulls). On the plus side, it’s also home to a surplus of crapping canines, (also known to be “man’s best friend” unless one is on the receiving end of a bloodhound, pit-bull or a rottweiler).

So, why the big interest in mutts you might ask? Well, 2006 has been dubbed “The Year of the Dog” by all those who ascribe to a zany zodiac full of animals with special powers be they pigs, roosters, rams etc.

All of this leads to exactly where are the most pooch-friendly places in this homeland of hockey pucks and 24-hour a day donut and coffee shops for sleep-deprived wage slaves?

A road map is as good a place as any to get started. And judging from the place names, perhaps at least a handful might offer a biscuit, a blanket, or comfy canine quarters:

Driftpile, Freedom, Grassland, Ma-Me-O Beach, Seven Persons, and Wander River.

British Columbia:
Anarchist Mountain, Horsefly, Likely, Poopoo Creek, Resplendent Mountain, Sandspit, Skookumchuck, Spuzzum, Tranquille, Yak, Youbou, Zero Lake, Zeus Glacier, and Zippermouth Lake

Bird, BirdTail, Boggy Creak, Cooks Creek, Dog Creek, Eden, Nonsuch, Red Sucker Lake, and Sandy Hook

New Brunswick:

Bath, Poodiac and Utopia Lake

Newfoundland & Labrador:
Billy Butts Pond, Comfort Cove, Exploits River, Flowers Cove, Fortune, Fox Roost, Funk Lake, Happy Adventure, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Hare Bay, Hearts Content, Hearts Delight, Heart’s Desire, Jerry's Nose, Lawn, Mouse Island, Nameless Cove, Nicky’s Nose Cove, Old Room, Paradise, Tickle Cove, and Wild Bight

Northwest Territories:
The Ramparts

Nova Scotia:
Coddle Harbour, Lapland, Mink Cove, Mushaboom, Old Sweat, Pugwash, and Sackville

Zebra Mountain and Zigzag Island

Bath, Bruce Beach, Carp, Dummer, Funnybone Lake, Happyland, Honey Harbour, Lively, Nowhere Island, Oldmans Pocket, Pickle Lake, Pooch Lake, Pooh Lake, Punkeydoodles Corners, Puppy Lake, Sucker Creek, Tiny, Turkey Point and Wawa

Prince Edward Island:
Crapaud, Knutsford, Old Harry, and Whim Road

Funny Lake, Grande-Entrée, Ham North, Shitagoo Lake, Yarm, Zaza Lake, and Zip Lake

Carrot River, Chicken, Choiceland, Grizzly Bear’s Head, Little Bone, Love, Lucky Lake, Moose Jaw, and Yellow Grass

Yukon Territories:
Flat Top, Good Neighbour Peak, Snafu Creek, and Welcome Mountain


Frankly, after re-reading this, I’m almost tempted to go out and create a miscellaneous mutt-friendly map of places to take your favorite Fido or Fifi. Just take a snapshot of the welcome sign posted and let me know if they really do fling their doors wide open for your wet-nosed, four-legged, tail-wagging friends!

What, you haven't got a clue about the "Year of the Dog"? Then better find out more about what's in store for these furry-critters.

And in case you’re wondering whether they have “pooch-friendly” places in the ‘Old Country’, you’ll be glad to know “Church Stretton" in South Shropshire has won the “top-dog” prize in the U.K.

And for those who can’t get enough of those Shih-Tzu snapshots, here are some more.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Or, where do all the grand gigglers gather on April 1st every year?

By Theolonius McTavish, a jocular jest-in-time journalist, and professional party tosser who never needs an excuse to dress up and act the part of a fool, fop or fonkin!

April Fools’ Day is one of those days that seems to be highly under-rated by the makers of guffaw-inspired greeting cards, mirth merchandisers and a host of party planners.

Being a Celt whose kissed more than a few Blarney stones in his day, I know a good party when I see one. And, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate April Fools’ Day in Canada’s capital of granola-gardeners and grinning gargoyles here in Victoria, B.C.

While the capital of British Columbia takes pride in counting its blooming blossoms every spring, (and reminding the rest of the country what they’re missing by not living in Lotusland), the City oddly enough does keep a few frivolous facts under wraps, perhaps for very good reason.

Visitors to Victoria probably aren’t even aware of a little known fact that the city is a vortex of vintage vixens (nearly three waggish women for every mild-mannered male), and that it is also home to a large covey of witty Wiccans, goddesses of giggle, not to mention Priestesses of Puckery.

Lest macho and metrosexual men of merriment feel left out of this festivity, there is no need to fret or be fit to be tied! April Fools’ Day attracts a diverse group of equal-opportunity fun and frolicking friends who love to get dressed up in foolish attire, tickle their funnybones, plus play with words, food, music as well as other odds and ends.

This year Victoria’s very own Creative Loafing Institute will be organizing a delightful “do-it-yourself drollery event in honor of the inner imp in everyone” (better known as the "FEAST OF FOOLS") at Ogden Point Café, (199 Dallas Road, near the Breakwater), from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 1st.

Fannie Fortunata, Coordinator of Cut-and-Paste at the Creative Loafing Institute, assures us that “this occasion will appeal to ‘fools who fall in love’, ‘fool-proof systems analysts’, and those who can’t resist rushing into places ‘where wise men never go and angels fear to tread.”

The Manager of Malapropisms & Merry-Meals at Ogden Point Café, “Dick Danger”, is putting on his best blinking bib and tucker and arranging a sassy spread for this entertaining evening of good cheer designed to whet the whistle and appetite of every finger-licking fop, flop, and fool in town!

This event is free! So haul out the most outrageous costume you can find in your closet, rummage around for some jolly jokes to exchange, or just bring along a sample or two of your creative contributions. The latter may include such things as doodles, drawings, loopy limericks, tacky tricks, mangled music, etc. to share with other muddleheaded munchkins on April Fools’ Day!

And should you ever doubt the wisdom of a day devoted to the humble fool in all us, never forget the words of Mark Twain, “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”


The Creative Loafing Institute, is a fully-accredited addlepated amusement centre, (certified by the Ministry of Casual Lollygagging & Loopy Lifestyles), that will appeal to anyone who can do any of the following in no particular order: twiddle their thumbs, wiggle their ears, hum tiddly pum (or wink inconspicuously).

In case you're wondering, the fine fool who graces us with his appearance on this page is the witty work of Victoria, B.C. artist, Jack Cooper!

For those who aren't sure if they have a funnybone or have never consumed any foolish food for thought, perhaps they should get their hands on this crazy claymation comedy, "Feast of Fools".
And for those nincompoops and ninnyheads who need to brush up on their wacky wordpeckering before the event, why not take a peek at "The Foolish Dictionary Online".

Saturday, March 25, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here is a piffling piece of pooch poetry in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"Now lapdogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:"

(Alexander Pope, 18th century British poet, from his celebrated work - The Rape of the Lock)


For those who don't know a thing about "hotdogs", "lapdogs" and "watchdogs", please consult Webster's Online Dictionary under the heading of "dogs" for all you ever wanted to know about these marvellous mutts.

And for those who need to get their hands on The Little Book of Big Lapdogs, drop by

Friday, March 24, 2006


Or, in praise of droll diversions that grace the covers of diatribes and dross

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, a blushing bookworm who doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about reading rhymes but nevertheless is tantalized by titillating titles that tickle the fancy of readers (with incredibly short attention spans, a dislike of mind-bending exercises, and a desire to expand their Little Loo Library holdings at minimal cost)

It has been said that one can never judge a book by its cover. However, it would appear that the jolly jackets adorning some recently published materials might well invite a second glance, even by a casual browser of bookshelves or a bleary-eyed bibliophile.

While authors wait with bated breath for the announcement of prominent literary awards such as the “Booker” or “Pulitzer” Prize, few if any buy a rabbit’s foot, kiss the Blarney stone, or cross their fingers in the hope of receiving “The Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year", (sponsored by the UK-based trade journal, “The Bookseller”).

Since 1998, many lost if not altogether forgotten authors have been surprised to learn the existence of such an award let alone the fact that they have earned a prestigious place in what some might term “the annals of the inane”.

First prize for the oddest book title of 2005 went to: People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What To Do About It.

Frankly, it was a close call as judges spent many weeks sipping weak tea and sometimes something stronger just to keep them awake. The winner apparently had some stiff competition from other egregiously quaint if not endearingly quirky titles including: The Art and Craft of Pounding Flowers: No Paint, No Ink, Just a Hammer!, Ancient Starch Research, Fancy Coffins To Make Yourself, and Tea Bag Folding.

For the benefit of some blessed bookworms who might have fallen asleep and missed out on the previous winners of witless wonk, here is a selection you may wish to acquire:

  • Bombproof Your Horse
  • Designing High-Performance Stiffened Structures
  • Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice
  • Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships, 227 Secrets Your Snake Wants You to Know
  • Celtic Sex Magic: For Couples, Groups and Solitary Practitioners,
  • Hot Topics in Urology
  • The Joy of Chickens
  • The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling

Now whatever you do, grab some paper, sharpen your pencils, and don't forget the eraser so you can get busy on coming up with next year's nifty nincompoop book title. And if you don't walk away with "The Diagram Prize" fear not. I'll be offering a brand new award called "The Doorknob Trophy" -- for the longest book title ever devised by devoted dingbats and diatribists!


For those interested in more witty wordpeckering, why not take a peak at Tony Augarde's "Wordplay" articles appearing in a wonderfully entertaining online compendium called "Oxfordshire Limited Edition".

Thursday, March 23, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few piffling pieces of pooch wisdom in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree."

(Oliver Goldsmith, 18th Century Irish playwright, witty poet, and entertaining essayist from his celebrated work entitled, "Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog")

"Ours is a mongrel language which started with a child's vocabulary of three hundred words, and now consists of two hundred and twenty-five thousand; the whole lot, with the exception of the original and legitimate three hundred, borrowed, stolen, smouched from every unwatched language under the sun, the spelling of each individual word of the lot locating the source of the theft and preserving the memory of the revered crime." (Mark Twain's Autobiography)

"A book is like a man -- clever and dull, brave and cowardly, beautiful and ugly. For every flowering thought there will be a page like a wet and mangy mongrel, ..." (John Steinbeck, 20th century American writer and novelist)


An American journalist by the name of Harry Esty, (born in Syracuse, New York in 1889), wrote about a mangy mutt called "Nibbie" in his book entitled, "Some Nonsense About a Dog".

For those who can't abide dog-eared books, perhaps they can quit complaining and check more of these Mark Twain quotations.

And speaking of "mongrels"'s a whack of wicked information about this word which hails from the old Latin term "mixticius", and notes that the noun "mongrel" is searched for 34 times a day on their English-language book site, while the term ranks 36,835 in a list of approximately 700,000 words in the English language.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Or, how come these far-flung places aren’t in any tourist brochures?

By Theolonius McTavish, a tartan-loving tippler with a very full kit and caboodle just waiting for an opportunity to practice my pig-Latin on unsuspecting aliens from outerspace; (where else do you suppose cosmic crash-landing critters might come from?)

Having visited umpteen unbecoming if not a tad un-English pubs in my lifetime, it’s high time I make preparations to visit some far-flung places that do not appear in those lovely glossy-colored tourist brochures beckoning buffoons like me to a bug-infested beach somewhere with the only saving grace being lots of free mouth-watering margaritas!

Pray tell why aren’t the following fifteen far-flung and perhaps fly-by-night places not on the tip of every tourist’s tongue? Perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that few who venture a visit to these vapid vortexes of vitality return in good health or in good spirits.

Suffice to say that I’ve decided to put them on my “to-do” list of places to visit before I expire.

1. Bight of Biafra/Bonny - a lost little piece of landscape on the coast of Africa and tantalizing trivial pursuit question to pose during a long lull in a deathly boring dinner-table conversation which happens rarely in America, as no one is ever at home at the same or they’re all watching wretched wrestling on TV!

2. Funafuti - sounds like a fun-filled spot until you find out it’s an atoll in the Pacific where some like to lob things that usually blow up and cause an unsightly mess.

3. Gippsland - a dazzling domain of dirt in Australia that is home to the world’s largest earthworms, up to 12 feet in length, for those curious non-metric types.

4. Glittertind - no it’s not the home of a quaint casino in Nevada, but an 8,110 ft. (2472 m.) molehill in Norway, probably inhabited by more than a few testy trolls if I'm not mistaken.

5. Great Dismal Swamp - another languishing landmark that lies somewhere between the American states of Virginia and North Carolina, that even the alligators appear to avoid for fear of getting bogged down in the muck with no one nearby to throw a life-raft, a tree frog or even a humble animal cracker!

6. Grossglockner - well if you think it’s a place full of folks with big beaks and long necks, you’d be wrong, it’s a mountain (12,457 ft. or 3797 m) in south west Austria that welcomes abominable people of snow not to mention the odd yodeler or two.

7. Ifni - a sp"if"fy spot in southern Morocco …but who knows if it’s really there or not’s been a pretty “iffy” place to visit unless that is you would care to ride a bad-tempered camel, brave a few sandstorms and grind your teeth for entertainment.

8. Lolland - an almost forgotten island in the Baltic sea whose Danish inhabitants have probably never heard of lollipops or lollygaggers, but they know The King of the Elves if they can ever get their hands on this elusive extraterrestrial being.

9. Macgillicuddy’s Reeks - you might think it was a place full of foul-smelling fish folk but you’d be wrong, it’s the highest mountain in the Land of Leprechauns and Dermot of the Love-Spot.

10. Powys - may be called the "Paradise of Wales" but unless you fancy a bit of cricket, fencing, or quoiting and happen to speak their delightful dialect, you may not find your way to a popular three-star watering hole named, "Llanfihnangel-Yng-Ngwfyna" (where they know how to celebrate every sporting success in style)!

11. Pukapuka – a sparsely populated and isolated atoll in the Cook Islands whose residents do not play peek-a-boo with the palm trees; (this vital fact was overlooked in the writings of a 1930’s anthropologist named Ernest Beaglehole).

12. South Uist – one of two islands of the Outer Hebrides whose only claim to fame is an old test range for rockets circa 1953 and an eye-sore called, “Eynort”.

13. Tittybong - not a passion pit, it’s an out-of-the-way place along with others such as Eweylamartup, Jiggalong, Mullumbimby, and Toowoomba found in the Land of Oz.

14. Zagazig – is unlikely to see any mass-tourism until its main attraction “Bubastis” is put back together again (an Egyptian version of Humpty-Dumpty), although if truth be told these ancient ruins reflect a rather ripsnorting record as the center of the largest annual orgy of all the Eastern Mediterrean in the 5th Century B.C, (according to Herodotus who stated that some 700,000 gathered for a very festive wine and women taste-testing event, usually glossed over in tour guide books).

15. Yap – a Micronesian island of the Carolines (located in the Western Pacific Ocean), is known for its quaint inhabitants who prefer to trade in American green backs rather than ancient stone money known as Fé, but if you don’t speak Ulithian or Woleaian and don’t scuba dive this probably won’t be a warm and fuzzy place you'll remember with much fondness.


Here are a few more place names to keep in mind for your next whirlwind tour of the world before you meet the "Big Bopper in the Sky"!

Monday, March 20, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few quintessenial pieces of pooch wisdom in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

Five things I learned from my dog:

1. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

2. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough.

3. If what you want lies buried, dig deep until you find it!

4. Run, romp and wiggle your tail daily.

5. Never pass up the opportunity for a joy ride.


By the way, here's a great source of pooch posters and scallywag signs to keep everyone begging for more!

And for basset-hound owners who need their own parking permit, try this one out!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Or, are you sure we are what we eat?

By Pierre Buldoo, a cock-a-leekie cook who spends his spare time collecting cute cock-and-bull stories not to mention curious culinary expressions that may be useful to impress those hard-to-please cock-a-hoop folks from out of town or visiting firemen with oodles of time on their hands and no place to go

While glancing through the “Glossary of Gluttony & Guzzling” the other day, I came upon some weird and wonderful words beginning with the letter "c" that deserve a special spot on any platter of puckery.

So, when eat out next time at a fine restaurant with primp and proper guests, please feel free to sprinkle these sumptuous syllables about to warm the cockles of the heart belonging to your dinner companions and snooty service personnel.

cachinnate (v.) to laugh loudly at the sight of funny-looking food or funny-fingered folks trying to eat lobster tail in a delicate manner (so as not to attract unwarranted attention)

cagmag (n.) a tough old goose, or simply inferior food of any kind (often found in places whose reputations proceed them such as ‘greasy spoons’ or ‘holes in the wall’)

cancatervate (v.) to heap humungous amounts of pasta into a pile in the middle of one’s plate (in order to have more room to plop the “alfredo” or spicy tomato sauce)

cannikin (n.) a small can or drinking vessel (filled with whatever tickles one’s fancy) that fits inconspicuously in purse, pack sack or jacket pocket

cap-à-pie (adv.) meaning ‘from head to foot’, consistent with the behavior of one who prefers to put a foot rather than finger food in his/her mouth at cocktail parties

caperberry (n.) bears no relation to the “crackleberry”, but in ancient times it was sad that the berry of the caper plan was considered a strong aphrodisiac for those who are tired of tantric exercises or little blue pick-me-up pills

capernoited (adj.) descriptive of a slightly inebriated, soused or tipsy guest whom you probably never should have invited for a meal, (even if it is your best buddy or bemusing boss)

cardoon (n.) no’s not a party pooper, a wet blanket, or a popcorn-consuming bridge-player but rather a prickly plant akin to an artichoke whose fleshy inner leaves are often eaten as an aphrodisiac, especially in the land of lovers (France)

carminative (adj.) descriptive of bacterial buildup that induces the expulsion of "vulgar winds" (better known as "rogue volatiles" such as "blue angels", "freeps" or "sliders") from the intestine caused by the ingestion of lovely legumes or lactose foods

carnophobia (n.) a fear of meat particularly, “hot dogs” or “pigs-in-a-blanket”

carpophageous (adj.) fruit-eating, (popular among happy hippy peach pit folks and groovy grape or granola types living in California or the Gulf Islands of B.C.)

cenatorial (adj.) pertaining to dinner or supper as in “George eagerly looked forward to joining his closest cenatorial companions, (a six-foot tall white rabbit named “Harry” and a horizontally-challenged elephant with a blue tusk called “Boo Hoo”), for some gristle and grog at a nearby pub.”

cepivorous (adj.) onion-eating, (a great hobby for those who hate hobnobbing)

chalybeat (n.) archaic term for beer consumed by chilly willies and chinwaggers

chankings (n.) morsels of a half-masticated meal that fall out of one’s mouth quite by accident, or bits of food that are intentionally abandoned or rejected (after having been chewed or chomped upon and deposited unobtrusively on the corner of one’s plate)

chthonopagia (n.) excessive consumption of dirt, (synonymous with too much hearth and home…so how blasting off from the “Mother Ship” for a night out with those blessed “Beastie Boys”?)

chug-a-lug (v.) to consume the entire contents of a beverage container without stopping for air while seated on a bar stool of some sort, (accompanied by that well known tippling tune sung by one’s blotto buddies, “Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall”)

Cissa, aka cittosis (n.) an acute craving or abnormal desire for strange foods during pregnancy, (that fortunately afflicts only half of humanity, more or less)

cleptobiosis(n.): a condition known as fleshpot thievery, food foraging without a permit, grub grabbing when no one’s looking, sustenance stealing involving the plunder of edible provisions without permission; (not recommended for formal occasions)

coddling (n.) a small immature green cooking apple; (they’re often of more use in a great game at Halloween involving having them bob about in a bucket of water while asking one’s guests to bite into them without making a mess of one’s dining room table)

codswallop (n.) unadulterated nonsense that’s best shared among friends on April Fool’s Day

Cold Duck (n.) a cheap blend of sparkling burgundy and domestic champagne that’s often used to impress an amatory acquaintance

coshering (n.) the prerogative of a feudal lord entitling him to lodging and a meal at the expense of others, (today we might call this individual a meal moocher who takes advantage of a relative, friend, colleague or employee’s hospitality once too often)

costermonger (n.) a street vendor or “hawker” who sells fish, fruits, vegetables and other comestibles from a cart (that probably did not pass the latest safety inspection by the Motor Vehicle Branch but whose owner is a member in good standing of the goody-two-shoes guild who supplies fresh ingredients to the chef in your favorite restaurant)

crackleberries ( what those Downunder Aussies love to eat, better known as eggs

crapulous (adj.) given to gluttony, over-eating, or a similar condition known as being “sick by intemperance” (requiring an extra large bib and a wallet full of credit cards)

creophagist (n.) a carnivore or meat-eater who can’t stand the sight of carbohydrates

cribble (n.) course flour or meal, that when mixed with water makes superb glue; (v.) to sift or to pass through a sieve (hopefully this removes all the nits or bits of things one hasn’t a clue how they got in there in the first place)

cucurbitaceous: resembling a cucumber or squash (a real tongue-twister to pull out of your triva treasure chest during particularly long pauses in dinner conversation among dreadfully boring dinner companions at a wit-challenged wedding or retirement party)

cuckoo-ale (n.) a hops beverage consumed out of doors by agricultural laborers amidst much mirth and jollity celebrating the sound of the first cuckoo birds returning in springtime

Cuttle-Fish (n.) a piscatorial ingredient in love potions reputed to have been used by thaumaturgist Apuleius, who lived in the second century A.D. and is said to have prepared it in order to win the affections of a wink and blink widow


For those who like to eat and feed on more unusual words, do drop by The Phrontistery .

Friday, March 17, 2006


Or, how about a delightful doggy biscuit to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts by Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few quaint if not quintessenial quotations by one very interesting if not irreverent Irish icon in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"I like a bit of mongrel myself, whether it's a man or a dog, they're the best for everyday." (George Bernard Shaw)

"Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical condition of healthy life except fresh air... . It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog's life. The only alternative excitment is irritability." (George Bernard Shaw)

"If you eliminate smoking and gambling, you will be amazed to find that almost all an Englishman's pleasures can be, and mostly are, shared by his dog." (George Bernard Shaw)


There are 565,000 web pages devoted to"green dog". Ahem, it isn't easy being one.

So, whether you're looking for The Green Dog: A Mostly True Story, a color-coordinated emerald green posh pillow for your lime-green mutt or a clean green dog loo'll probably find it on the Internet ...along with a pair of dog print cotton pj's for girls and toddlers.

And speaking of green dog biscuits, why not try some!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Or, words that sound naughty but really aren’t…

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D. (a Pontificatingly happy Dork), whose vocation consists of sitting on a velvet cushion (provided by the University of the Addleheaded & Absurd) and expounding upon all manner of miscellaneous material, including words that sound lewd or lusty but are perfectly innocuous if one only knew the meaning.

A casual glance through a dictionary is to some a chore, while to others, it is a source of good cheer not to mention several chortles in what might have otherwise been a very boring day.

Those who have a passion for peachy keen words as I do will appreciate the buffet of buffoonery that exists between the pages of the Concise Oxford, Funk & Wagnalls, or Merriam Webster’s version of all things English.

Here is a saucy sample of words that may inspire a second look:

blowsabella (n.) no, it is not one of those transparent tight t-shirts or see-through blouses worn by happy hippies and flower children but rather a rare expression meaning a red-faced wench or a female whose hair is disheveled (before hair-spray had been invented)

chirogymnast (n.) ahem…it’s not a breath-taking boudoir bouncer, it is a mechanical contraption used to exercise a pianist’s fingers…which is probably the origin of a quaint yet quintessential definition of a piano player …“one who enjoys tinckling the ivories” (hmmm...maybe it's 'tickling' them?)

doatee (v.) much as the word might mean a devoted admirer or a swooning sweetheart, it is an old English verb meaning to node the head when asleep whilst one is sitting up possibly in a church, but today more likely it is in front of the TV (a.k.a. boob tube)

lixiviate (v.) no it has nothing to do with receiving a tiny taste of something called "titillating tongue-lashings", but involves a most intricate series of scientific steps involving the extraction of a soluble constituent from a solid mixture by washing or percolation, (now doesn't that warm the cockles of your heart today?)

nude contract ( no this is not an contract stipulating the terms and conditions of a clothing-optional T.V. weather forecaster, but rather an ancient English legal expression meaning “without consideration, “where no action can arise”

nugatory (adj.) this is not a pit stop for naughty-navel gazers on their way to purgatory; rather, it is an eight-letter word meaning trifling, inconsequential or inoperative, (a word that comes in hand when describing a small snafu like why a machine went caput and how the operating manual went missing along with fine fellow who knows how to fix it in a jiffy)

peelo (n.) some suggest the word is an ancient Anglo Saxon term meaning “effluent”; Finnish folk say it means a “net cretin” or “telecommunications dweeb”, while the Irish have claimed that it as a slang expression meaning “glum” or “morose-looking”

peeper (n.) it might be easy to jump to the conclusion that a peeper is nothing but a venturous voyeur with a pair of opera glasses, in point of fact, it is a variety of tailless amphibians (such as a tree frog or spring peeper) known to make shrill riveting sounds causing insomnia among the late-night caper crowd or tryst-minded tea-for-two types

peever (n.) not to be confused with a pesky peek-a-boo player on a losing streak, this six-letter word means a stone used in a popular children’s game known as ‘hopscotch’

peewit (n.) while some may believe this word is a slang expression meaning an ill-behaved or incontinent nitwit, it is actually a bird…from the lapwing (not lap-dancing) family

sexagenarian (n.) – no it’s not a euphemism for Don Juan, Casanova or Matahari, nor is it a chronologically-gifted gentleman who has a penchant for pinching posteriors…rather, it refers to a member of the human race in the sixth decade of life on a planet called “Earth”

tantrels (n.) while it might be nice to think that this term has something to do with young ladies sunning themselves on a beach somewhere with utter abandon, this antiquarian word means idle people with no fixed address or full-time job with good fringe benefits

underhung (adj.) it has nothing do with the position of one’s private parts in a pair of spandex shorts during a particularly awkward movement of an exhausting yoga routine; it is an old English term meaning a person whose lower jaw projects more than is customary

Stay tune for more miscellaneous mirth from the pages of your favorite dictionary.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few quaint if not quintessenial quotations in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"Let sleeping dogs lie." (English proverb)

"Do not disturb the sleeping dog." "Non stuzzicare il can che dorme." (Allexandro Allegri)

"It is nought good a sleeping hound wake." (Geoffrey Chaucer)


Here's a great opportunity for you pet pals to enjoy a bit of doggy doowop, and show off your dogbone applause after playing the "Sleeping Dog Game"

Saturday, March 11, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here is a quaint if not quintessenial quotation in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Vitues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog." (George Gordon, Lord Byron, Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog.)

And speaking of delightful daring dogs and their ong-haired stories, why not take a peek at a remake of an old film, "The Shaggy Dog"

Friday, March 10, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few quaint, quirky, and quintessenial quotations in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"Wise dogs don't bark." (Author unknown)

"Wise dogs smile, you know."
(The Wizard's Tears, Maxine Kumin and Anne Sexton, 1975)

"It's a wise dog that obeys its own master." (Proverb)

"It's a wise dog that scratches its own fleas." (Proverb)


Speaking of chronologically-gifted clever canines (or hounds with heaps of horse-sense), why not mosey on over and check out "Wise Dog Cards" at

By the way, who'd a thought that dudes and damsels trying to dodge doggy doo doo would have inspired the unforgettable "I heart New York" (logo)? about what this top-dog graphic designer responsible for this indelible icon has to say:

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Or, amusing ambrosia for addlepated Adams’ apple lovers

By Pierre Buldoo, a smashing short-order cook at the Carpet Knight Cafe, who spends his spare time collecting curious culinary expressions that may be useful in filling a boring breach in one of those long, awkward, pregnant pauses that often occur during a dazzlingly drab dinnertable conversation in a hoity-toity restaurant whose name you can't pronounce and a maitre d' who takes pride in exhibiting an appalling display of faux French

Culinary consumption has long been known as the best way to enhance one's girth not to mention ensure one has an indubitably good time.

So to get in the spirit of scrumptious sauciness and shameless scuttlebutt, I have produced below a short list of funny foodie phrases beginning with the letter "B", (designed to whet the appetite or whistle whichever comes first).

barathrum (n.) a person with an insatiable appetite like a bottomless pit

basil (n.) an aromatic plant used by wily women as a love charm; also known for its therapeutic qualities and said to help the deficiency of Venus

batrachophagous (adj.) descriptive of one who indulges in delicacies like frogs or toads

Batrachophobia (n.) a fear of amphibious vertebrates such as frogs or toads (whether alive, pan-fried, or pickled)

beasts of venery ( the hart, hind, hare, boar and wolf (in other words red-blooded wild things better left in the woods with Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother)

bedabble (vb.) to wet or soil by dabbling (as in fingering foods without a pair of gloves)

belly-pinched (adv.) starved sumptuous sustenance types, (i.e. hungry-as-a-horse folk without a horse of course)

belly-rack (n.) the art of gormandizing, i.e. stretching the belly or gut from excess food and boasting about such feats to one's feckless friends

Bête noire (n.) commonly called a bugbear; (as in a person or thing to be avoided because it tends to turn one’s tummy into a topsy-turvy state and being called a ‘party pooper’)

biltong (n.) South African expression meaning jerked meat, (i.e. not your average netherparts, from the word “bil” – buttock + “tong” – tongue)

Bird Nest Soup (n.) an aphrodisiac Chinese culinary preparation that leaves ladle lovers a bit “bird-brained” after the first course

bizarrerie (n.) any portion of menu that is odd, eccentric, or highly unusual (such as dromedary drumsticks, fricasseed angel wings, or a tantalizing tidbit of toasted tripe)

bleezed (adv.) denotes the change in one’s countenance following the consumption of far too much alcohol at a wake, a wedding, or a workplace retirement party

blind tiger (n.) a pretty potty place (that sells a wide selection of intoxicants illegally)

blinked beer (n.) sour, weak (bad) beer that may result in belching and “belly-vengeance” among lounge lizards

bloated (adj.) descriptive of an obnoxiously vain gut (that suffers from too much gourmet gluttony, grubbing good times, or gratuitous grab-bagging)

BlOnD GiRaFfe (n.) a boisterous bit of beefsteak served to folks with big chompers, long necks, and fat wallets

blotto (n.) a delirious state of mind induced by the immoderate ingestion of several barrels of beer, a basket of rather bold burgundy, or a case of very bad spirits

blue-plate (adj.) descriptive of the main course on a mild-mannered menu that comes with measly morsels of meat, a portion of insipid wimpy veggies, served with cold tasteless gravy and a simpering sprig of last week’s parsley (on special from the local farmer’s market)

bonnyclabber (n.) sour milk that has become thickened (not great for the old British dessert standby of milk pudding, or its American counterpart, the ice-cream soda)

bouffage (n.) a satisfying meal usually involving the consumption of meat, especially hamburgers (i.e. eating in a greedy manner by filling one’s mouth and making one’s cheeks swell excessively to impress one’s dinner companions or rude relatives)

brizzle (vb.) to burn slightly, singe, or scorch (a “must” have skill for any backyard barbecue enthusiast)

Broad Bean Soup (n.) a light meal consumed daily by Italians for its amatory virtues

Buttermilk Bath (n.) an exceptional anti-aphrodisiac said to repel ripsnorting amatory challenges (by coating the consumer in the buttermilk of a she-buffalo)


For those who can't get enough gourmet giraffes and guffaws, please consider visiting one of may favorite watering holes and wicked eateries in Key West, Florida - the "BlOnD GiRaFfe" (see photo above).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here is quaint, quirky, and quintessenial quotation in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"Each of us must journey through the dogs, beyond the dots, and to the truth, alone." (The Mouse and His Child, Russell Hoban, 1967).


For those who'd rather send their pooches packing to a 'ruff ruff retreat' rather than "journey through their dogs", here's one place pooches will feel quite at home - "The Bed and Biscuit" - .

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Or, the joy of jocularity

By Susan Snitterby, a creative loafing consultant with an incredibly large kit bag and caboodle not to mention far too many aces and jacks up her sleeve to count

I am reminded today of an amusing answer to life's little challenges and exactly what to do while you're waiting for the Tooth Fairy, the Great Pumpkin or the Man From Glad to solve them:

“Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they find you.”[1]

Speaking of where to go to find the good times, maybe all we have to do is enjoy the power of puck and play wherever we are. After all, human beings are the only crazy creatures who truly appreciate the value of a tee hee or perhaps oodles of hums to relieve a mess of stress.

Want to find a ho-ho or a hum? All you need to do is wash your worries away and hang them out to dry. If that doesn't work, then consider becoming a “Master of Mirth” or “Mistress of Merriment”.

First things first! Follow these steps to reach a state of serenity and serendipity:

  1. Toss your To-Do list for the day.
  2. Lose your laptop.
  3. Shut off your cell phone.
  4. Bury your Blackberry or pitch your Palm Pilot!
  5. Unplug your user-friendly diversionary devices: i-Pod, videogame, radio, or TV.

Second, shift gears …into a lower one if you please, (at least for the next 24 hours):

  1. Send all your “shoulds” packing.
  2. Quit the need to compete or to control anyone or anything.
  3. Vamoose all signs of vanity or victimhood.
  4. Banish the blame game.
  5. Give your attitude some latitude!

And, last but not least, tune in to your "inner child" …you know, the one who’s never allowed to come out and play! It’s time to welcome your “inner imp” back into your life! Time to discover, explore or tickle your funnybone before it’s too late! So, whatever you do:

  • Eat your favorite funky food or comfort comestible …peanut butter and jam sandwiches, 12 flavors of ice-cream, or whatever whets your appetite!
  • Visit the video store and rent a funny flick or two.
  • Check out a belly-laughing book from the library – don’t forget to take a peek at the kid’s section!
  • Create a new name for yourself – a mirthful moniker, a haw-haw handle, or a titillating title because you deserve it!
  • Rummage through your wardrobe closet – time to get dressed-up in something really outrageous – mismatched socks or shoes, gaudy tie, and vintage sack dress or Hawaiian t-shirt!
  • Find a pencil and paper because now you’re going to do that self-portrait, stick-person, or just color outside the lines!
  • Sing your favorite nursery rhymes in the shower, bang a few kitchen pots, or hum a tune on a comb…good golly -- it's Miss Molly and Mr. Beau Jangles!
  • Grab the scissors, glue pot, and old magazines or newspapers – yup it’s crazy collage time again!
  • Get some glee in your whee …find a pack of playing cards somewhere and build a house of cards - then blow it down; flip pennies; play hop-scotch; or just wiggle your ears or raise your eyebrows!
  • If you meet anyone, and feel the need for a chortle or a chinwag – trying practicing your Pig-Latin, or if you prefer…just invent your own loopy language!

Enjoy yourself … and may the farce be with you for now and ever more!


[1] The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne, 1928.


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few quirky, quizzical and sometimes questionable pooch-inspired quotations in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

"Don't keep a dog and bark yourself." (Proverb)

"Many dogs can understand almost every word humans say, while humans seldom learn to recognize more than half a dozen barks, if that." (The 101 Dalmations, Dodie Smith, 1957)


Speaking of canine communication, faux paws, and poo-poo-ing the other pooches, one t-p manufacturing company is calling upon 'man's best friend' to assist in the toilet training of tiny tots ...

For those who can't get enough "paws for inspiration", why not rent a great giggle film, "The Paw Paws", a merry medley of mooching mates such as 'Princess Paw Paw', 'Aunt Pruney Paw' and 'Pu Pooch'

Saturday, March 04, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

Here are a few quirky, quizzical and sometimes questionable pooch song titles in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

  • "Black Dog" (Led Zeppelin)
  • "Dog Breath" (Frank Zappa)
  • "Der Deitcher's Dog" (Public domain, composer unknown)
  • "Hair of the Dog" (Guns N'roses)
  • "Hound Dog" (Elvis Presley)
  • "How Come My Dog Don't Bark (When You Come Around)? (Dr. John)
  • "How Come Your Dog Don't Bite Nobody But Me? (Mel Tillis)
  • "Me And You And A Dog Named Boo" (Kent Lavoie)
  • "Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone" (Public domain, composer unknown)
  • "Old Dog Tray" (Jerry Ernst)
  • "Pavlov's Dog" (MP3 - composer unknown)
  • "Puppy Dog Song" (Christopher Kavi Carbone)
  • "Salty Dog Blues" (Elvin Rooks & the Blue Grass Ramblers)
  • "Sick As a Dog" (Aerosmith)
  • "Stray Dog Strut" (Cowboy Bebop)
  • "Walking the Dog" (Rufus Thomas)
  • "Wanna Be A Dog?"(Barry Louis Polisar)
  • "Wrong Side Dog" (Linda Book)


Trivia buffs will be pleased to know that there are only 6,650,000 web pages devoted to dog song titles.

There's no shortage of musicians with doggy monikers: "Big Yellow Dog", "Bonzo Dog Band", "Dog Eat Dogs", "Hound Dog Taylor", "Temple of the Dog", and "Three Dog Night".

And, in case you're wondering what a "Wrong Side Dog" looks like, you can fill your boots with all you ever wanted to know about this fascinating furry critter at:

Friday, March 03, 2006


Or, how to play with your food for thought

By Pierre Buldoo, a smashing short-order cook at the Carpet Knight Cafe, who spends his spare time collecting curious culinary expressions that may be useful in filling a boring breach in one of those long, awkward, pregnant pauses that often occur during a dazzlingly drab dinnertable conversation in a hoity-toity restaurant whose name you can't pronounce and a maitre d' who takes pride in exhibiting an appalling display of faux French

Whilst I enjoy flipping burgers, toasting buns, and drenching french fries, my true passion is devoted to discovering quaint culinary expressions that put the zest and zing into so many bland seasonings.

For those who appreciate a little more logic in the ludicrous side of life, I have summarized below a selection of saucy sustenance, beginning with the letter "A" in the English alphabet.

abracadabra (n.) a magical charm or incantation that a chef uses on all meals before they leave the kitchen (in the hope that he/she will receive oodles of compliments from guests)

(adj.) descriptive of one who rarely indulges in food or drink, but may on occasion resort to telling off-color jokes if it’s a slow night or the meal is unappetizing

abligurition (n.) excessive or prodigious expenditures on food or alcohol, designed to impress the heck out of those whose measure success is equated with all manner of stuff, (that makes most folks sick to death with all that food for thought)

Acorus Calamus (n.) an aromatic herb, known in the Middle Ages as “Sweet Flag”, while in ancient Rome it was associated with erotic practices and called "Venus’ plant"

accubation (n.) the practice of eating or drinking while in a prone position (which is really great if one is reclined on a King-size bed or atop an air mattress in a pool but a tad trying if one is in a full-service dining room not wishing to attract any undue attention from nearby guests)

acerophobia (n.) a fear of not enjoying the fruit of the vine; descriptive of one who suffers from sourpuss syndrome

al dente (adj.) anything that tickles the teeth, tongue or tastebuds, as in lightly cooked enough to retain a somewhat firm texture

alliaceous (adj.) smelling like garlic or onions, (which is not advisable if one is planning on a night of poetic perfumery, voluptuous verse, and tinkling trinkets)

Almond Soup (n.) a sumptuous meal whose ingredients include powdered almonds, egg yolks, chicken stock and cream; known to induce a feeling of militant well-being

alliumphobia (n.) a fear of bad-smelling bulbous bits like chives, garlic, leeks, onions, and shallots

a load of cod’s wallop ( a catchy colloquial expression meaning half-baked balderdash or nothing but blinking bunkum

amatory cooking ( culinary preparations reputed to have aphrodisiac virtues include: aubergine (eggplant), apple/pear/pineapple fritters, beef or chicken curry, cheese soup, egg omelette, milk pudding, onion soup, oyster stew, and soft herring roe

ambergris (n.) a waxy substance found floating in or on the shores of tropical waters, believed to be the secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale used in cooking as an aphrodisiac; French courtiers of the seventeenth century customarily nibbled on chocolates covered with ambergris

anchovies ( gastronomically appealing small Mediterranean fish resembling herring used as an amatory appetizer, or lust-provoking little garnish

anacardic (n.) pertaining to a cashew nut, (which is a tasty tippling teaser served with premium-priced low carb imported pale ales or lightly chilled micro-brewed beers)

Anacreontic (adj.) descriptive of an amatory-themed, convivial-toned drinking song or light lyric used to accompany poor pub grub or to impress a new barstool acquaintance

anadipsia (n.) abnormal or excessive thirst, usually from eating too many peanuts, cashew nuts, and potato chips or just hanging around far too many salty sea dogs

analeptic diet ( all food of easy and quick digestion that avoids fatiguing the gastric organs, stimulates the central nervous system, and promotes the secretion of virile semen; it is said that males who adopt such culinary delights become well suited to make the sacrifices required of a dashing Don Juan, a cavorting Cupid, or a Casanova of carnal-knowledge

anserine (adj.) of or resembling a goose, gooselike; avoid goose-stepping, giving anyone goose-bumps or cooking someone else’s goose, unless you’re prepared for a few unintended consequences…which can sometimes be a tad messy

Aphrodisiac Cakes ( ancient form of pastry made in the shape of the pudenda muliebria and offered as a token of affection during divine sacrificial rituals; popular among Teutonic baking aficionados

arachibutyrophobia (n.) a fear of peanut butter; which means you should at all costs avoid being seated in the peanut gallery in a classy café as it may be a hazard to your health

arachnivorous (adj.) descriptive of one who enjoys eating insects, especially spiders, (preferably with a pinch of salt or chocolate covered with a warm caramel glaze)

arm and a leg ( an exorbitant price paid for a measly meal that probably will not entice a partner’s endearing invitation to see any fetching etchings this evening

Artemisia (n.) Named after the Greek moon goddess often portrayed as a virgin huntress, this genus of aromatic plants includes such nifty notables as ‘wormwood’ and ‘mugwort’, classic condiments in amatory cooking

artichoke (n.) a tall thistle-like herb, whose edible parts are the fleshy bases of the leaves; widely consumed in France, it is said to induce a state of euphoria and pleasant relaxation that is often a precursor to encounters of the canoodling variety

aubergine (n.) eggplant, (which when mixed with a paste made of flour, water, boiled tree bark, peppercorns, chives, pimentos and vanilla beans, is said to be a popular tropical love potion)

Australorp (n.) black domestic fowl developed by the Aussies; valued for egg production but probably would qualify as a “finger-licking good” or fine fricassee entrée

avulse (v.) to pluck …as in cherries from a bowl or feathers from a chicken, (for those who enjoy an affordable, do-it-yourself modest main course or healthy dessert)

ayahuasca (n.) an hallucinogenic beverage made from a South American vine, which probably shouldn’t be consumed unless one is a shaman, a soothsayer, or a spin doctor


One of my favorite funny foodie books is, The Ravenous Muse: A Table of Dark and Comic Contents - A Bacchanal of Books, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon. (For more details, see reviews by epicurean eccentrics at AMAZON.COM . Now there's a wicked word wench if ever there was one!

See interview with the Karen Elizabeth Gordon regarding her paradoxical pieces of puffery and prose at:

Thursday, March 02, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

By Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

A quirky, quizzical and sometimes questionable quotation or two in honor of the "Year of the Dog":

“Is your dog’s breath worse than his bite?” (Anonymous)

“As second reading speeches go, it was probably the most dog’s breath of a speech I ever heard.” (Remark made in New South Wales – Australia - Legislative Council Hansard Full Day Transcript, 3 June 1985).


Speaking of “dog’s breath”, there are some 13,600 web pages devoted to this topic.

The best place to find out more about the “hair of the dog” among other animal idioms and expressions is "The Dog Hause" at

The fact of the matter is that this year you’re far more likely to run into someone wearing a “Dog’s Breath Lounge & Poker Room” t-shirt than someone wearing the “cat’s pajamas”! On the other hand, beware of biffy-loving bar-stool beagles!

There are several brands of beer that sport such names as “Dog’s Breath Porter”, “Dog’s Breath Brown Ale”, and “Dog’s Breath Bitter” – “Ale with an attitude!” And, if you need a bit of mood music to go along with your hound-dog halitosis, you might want to listen to "Dog Breath" by Frank Zappa!

If you’re in the mood for puttering about or picking up some prehistoric paraphernalia, perhaps one of the best spots to find your heavenly heart’s desire is at “Dog’s Breath Antiques” in Saanichton, (on the outskirts of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada).

And last but not least, New Scientist magazine reported in its March 12, 2005 issue that an American food giant by the name of "Proctor & Gamble" has filed a patent (2004/47925) for a brand new bow-bow meal that offers pooches longer and healthier lives with the help of a magic ingredient called "garlic". Several grams of this grand gastronomic giddy-up-and-go-getter food additive will keep these hounds healthy for who knows how long. (No doubt the company will also be coming out with a mellifluous mutt mouthwash shortly, in case the dogs dig into too many garlic cloves at one sitting.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Or, why did you write this brazen book on buffoonery anyway?

By Penelope Bonkles, a jaunty journalist and jest-in-time jitterbugger with an insatiable thirst for bubbly beverages and breathtaking bits of wonk that wiggle waggishly.

The following is a brief interview with Peter Poffleyend, (author of what has been called by many revered reviewers as undoubtedly “the worst-selling how-to book in North America” titled, “Pith & Piffle – All You Ever Need to Know About Something That You Had No Idea That You Ever Wanted In The First Place – Or How to Be Happy Without A Plan, Proceed Successfully In the Absence of A Process, or Arrive at A Destination That Bears No Resemblance to the Pretty Picture You Had In Mind In The First Place.”).

Q: What possessed you to write what some have termed a “nonsensical narrative”?

A: Well, I was walking along the beach one day minding my own business (and casually looking for fairy stones to give to a few of my far-out friends), when suddenly a seagull by the name of Jonathan flew fancifully over my head and let a load of guano go. That was a sure sign from the cosmos that I needed to bless the bird, freshen up, and kick-start my own kismet!

Q: And have you found your destiny yet?

A: Why yes, I’ve learned there’s no point in waiting for Godot or someone else to light a fire under your tail, or give you a map, compass and a GPS to find the proverbial Holy Grail. In fact, writing this book taught me a lot about life – that people will buy almost anything as long as the balderdash, bafflegab and bunkum comes nicely wrapped with a welcome back coupon entitling them to a 10% discount off their next purchase.

Q: What can readers expect to find between the pages of your pocketbook?

A: Well for starters, I point out where to find goofs, gadflies, and guffaw-lovers just like them. And if you need umpteen more reasons why to buy this practical pocketbook on “Pith & Piffle” here they are: (1) Why you need to walk the path of pomp and puckery! (2) How to build a brand new world full of ballyhoo, bamboozlement, and bombastic beating around the bush. (3) What constitutes a life of ludicrous leisure and lavish lollygagging? And lastly, when to enjoy yourself, because it’s never too late to wink!

Q: What advice would you give those seeking an avocation in the field of creative loafing?

A: Quit trying to fit into someone else’s box. Create your own sandbox, become King/Queen of your own Castle, and invite others over to play! If you want your life to be interesting and exiting – dare to be different…dare to be you and not a carbon copy of someone else! Just remember what Henry David Thoreau had to say: “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” Besides, every new year brings 365 days of opportunity – so watch out for those seagulls!


For those who can't get enough Orange Organics and pumpkin art -- the above carved cutie is courtesy of master-carver John Vickers of Victoria, B.C. So trot on over and take a gander at some great pumpkins at and for more details.