The Good, The Bad, and The Freaky

The Good: Woke up to find the first yellow-rumped warbler on the feeder! Woot!

The Bad: Owing to my forgetting what day it was, Digger didn’t go up until I went in and fixed the dates. Doh! (Still, 452 comics, this happens now and again…)

The Freaky: I woke up from complicated dreams of demonic warfare and for no apparent reason remembered a book I had when I was very young. The illustrations were a sort of Norman Rockwell knock-off, lots of rosy-cheeked children and whatnot. I think it was a collection of stories, but only the last one sticks with me, for reasons of sheer insanity.

In this tale, they introduced a few of the local characters, most notably the schoolteacher, who always wrote everything upside down and backwards on the chalkboard. His students either learned to stand on their heads or presumably developed a kind of acquired dyslexia, but for whatever reason, no one ever called the schoolboard to investigate.

Then somebody in this story had a baby, and the question arose of what to name the baby. For reasons never adequately explained, the schoolteacher was required to write it down, and despite having to live with this foible for years, apparently no one could bear the thought of the child’s name not being conventionally readable. Nor does it occur to anyone to just have somebody ELSE write the name down. Instead they embark on a lengthy quest to find a name that looks the same upside down and backwards as forwards, a sort of uber-palindrome if you will.

Being a child with a fairly willing suspension of disbelief, I went along with this madness right up until they actually selected a name.


What? pood?

“Hang on one goddamn minute,” says the very young Ursula.*”Leaving aside that this is a horrible, horrible name to inflict on any child, and “pod” would be just as effective and result in somewhat less teasing in grade school, leaving aside that the name is obviously uncapitalized in order to work, which is only viable if you’re e e cummings–leaving aside–okay, screw it, pood!?**

I have no idea why my brain chose to remind me of this early in the morning

Did anyone else ever encounter this exercise in freakishness?

*Okay, I probably didn’t say “goddamn” but I’m sure that was what I was thinking.

**Okay, I probably didn’t say anything nearly that articulate, but I would have if I hadn’t been six.

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