Thursday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Thursday and the Ides of September. Professor Ceiling Cat Emeritus has decided to stay home and rest today, as he’s afflicted with a lousy cold and a sore throat; and trying to work through it is debilitating. I will rest, but perhaps try to post a bit. As always, I do my best.  It’s National Crème de Menthe Day, a vile, verdant liqueur that was the only alcohol my mother would drink.  Ergo, I’d get furtive sips of it throughout my childhood. I haven’t had it since. On a happier note, it’s also National Linguine Day, so enjoy your flat pasta. I particularly like it with clams, garlic, and olive oil.

On this day in 1835, the HMS Beagle, with Darwin (and Captain Fitzroy) aboard, reached the Galápagos Islands. The rest is history: both evolutionary and human, though many people mistakenly think that it was these islands alone that gave Darwin the “aha moment” that led to his theory of evolution. On this day in 1935, the Nuremberg Laws deprived both Jews and Romanis of German citizenship; this was the beginning of their long persecution. It was on the same day that Hitler adopted the swastika as the emblem of his Reich. And on this day in 1963, four members of the Ku Klux Klan blew up the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four black children; I remember that incident well. Three of the murderers were later convicted, and the wanton killing helped arouse national sentiment against segregation, culminating in the passing and signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Notables born on this day include Jean Renoir (1894), Fay Wray (1904, famously grasped by King Kong), Murray Gell-Mann (1929), and Oliver Stone (1946). Those who died on this day include Cootie Williams (1985), jazz trumpeter who played for the Ellington Band and did the solos on “Take the A Train”.  Journalist Oriana Fallaci also died on this day in 2006. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is eating cat snacks that are said to help keep her teeth clean; I fed these to her recently and she loved them:

Hili: This is very tasty.
A: And healthy.
Hili: You don’t have to ruin it for me.
In Polish:
Hili: To bardzo smaczne.
Ja: I zdrowe.
Hili: Nie musisz mi obrzydzać tych pysznych chrupek.

Leon, back in Wloclawek, is awaiting the arrival of his new wooden home. Meanwhile, he and the staff gather comestibles in the woods:

Leon: No mushrooms.



  1. darrelle
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    A square slab of vanilla ice cream drizzled with Crème de Menthe was the standard “fancy” dessert at US Military Officer’s Clubs in the ’70s. I ate a lot of it.

    • Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Benedictine or Grand Marnier are both much better over vanilla ice cream. 🙂

      • Dominic
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        Not Bailey’s?

        I like it with grappa 🙂

      • darrelle
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Oh, I think just about anything is better over vanilla ice cream. And I like mint!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Green crème de menthe drizzled over vanilla ice cream? Don’t tell me there weren’t gay guys in the officers’ mess prior to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. 🙂

      • darrelle
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        You should’ve seen the typical Sunday Brunch at the O’Clubs back in those days. Awesome.

  2. Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Jerry,

    “Journalist Oriana Fallaci also died on this
    day in 1964.”

    Wiki says 2006 (aged 77)

    Is there a joke in there somewhere that’s gone over my head?

  3. Dominic
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Also the birthday of Henry Sweet, the philologist – Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer…

  4. Sarah
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Oriana Fallaci couldn’t have died in 1964. She wrote about 9/11 and was very much alive at the time.

  5. Peter Austin
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Get well soon!

    Maybe a wee bit amber restorative .. “to kill the germs” is in order?

  6. Roo
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Aw, feel better soon! I feel like the standard condolence when someone has a cold is to list bizarre things they should do which are like *magic and will definitely make the cold be gone by the next morning, you wouldn’t believe it but it’s true I totally swear my grandma did this and it worked every time and… So… mix half a cup of cream with half of cup of whiskey and add some lemon and drink it piping hot; wrap yourself in hot towels and eat a bunch of garlic; go for a jog in the cold; then stand on your head and drink upside down from a cup of water. Maybe the last one is for hiccups, can’t remember. You’ll either feel better or you’ll be drunk and smelly and pass out from exhaustion, so what’ve you got to lose, right?

    • rickflick
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      I’d suggest waiting for the randomized, double blind trials.

      • Roo
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think anyone is conducting those on old wives tales, although it would be a cute pop culture ‘myth busters’ style study. My family swore by getting rid of warts with something involving a potato and a full moon (can’t remember the exact details,) and curing a baby’s stye by rubbing it with blessed gold (like a baptism cross or wedding ring).

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Since you are not running for any office we won’t demand all your medical records. Leon does look like a basket case today.

  8. somer
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Hope you take a good rest and feel better soon.

  9. Alan Jardine
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    >>It’s Thursday and the Ides of September.

    Er, I do believe that you are a couple of days late with the Ides. My wife was born on the 15th (Ides) of March, so for nearly all of our married life I’d assumed that “Ides” applied to the 15th of every month. However, a couple of years ago I learned that I was mistaken: the coincidence of “Ides” and the 15th applies only to four months of the year – none of which are September.

    See for the details.

    So the Ides of September would have been on Tuesday.

    Alan (no, I’ve never been associated with the Beach Boys).

    • Sarah
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Right, the Ides of most months is the 13th.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Deny the Beach Boy thing all you want, man; I still dig your rhythm guitar playing and the vocals on “Help Me Rhonda.” 🙂

  10. Richard Jones
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Please, no ‘the’ before HMS Beagle.

  11. Teresa Carson
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Jerry, You are so fortunate to have such a fine group of careful editors. I’m impressed!

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The 16th Street Baptist Church — yeah, the Klan pushed it too far that time. It’s one thing to kill a civil rights activist like Medgar Evers (as it had a couple months before) or even to murder a teenager with the effrontery to whistle at a white woman, like Emmett Till; it’s another to blow up a church on Sunday and slaughter four little girls.

    And, oh, The Duke had an “orchestra.” Give that elegant man his due.

  13. Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Get well soon! Lots of allergic sneezing around here these days.

  14. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    OMG. The Nazis adopted the swastika today.
    Still a religious in many Asian countries. Wikipedia reports the following string of incidents

    “When a ten-year-old boy in Lynbrook, New York, bought a set of Pokémon cards imported from Japan in 1999, two of the cards contained the left-facing Buddhist swastika. The boy’s parents misinterpreted the symbol as a Nazi swastika, which is right-facing with 45 degree rotation, and filed a complaint to the manufacturer. Nintendo of America announced that the cards would be discontinued, explaining that what was acceptable in one culture was not necessarily so in another; their action was welcomed by the Anti-Defamation League who recognised that there was no intention to be offensive but said that international commerce meant that “isolating [the Swastika] in Asia would just create more problems.”

    In 2002, Christmas crackers containing plastic toy red pandas sporting swastikas were pulled from shelves after complaints from consumers in Canada. The manufacturer, based in China, said the symbol was presented in a traditional sense and not as a reference to the Nazis, and apologized to the customers for the cross-cultural mixup.[135] In 2007, Spanish fashion chain Zara withdrew a handbag from its stores after a customer in Britain complained swastikas were embroidered on it. The bags were made by a supplier in India and inspired by commonly used Hindu symbols, which include the swastika.”

    Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” replaces the swastika with the nicely punned “double cross”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      If we’re doing “silly swastika stories”, one version of Doom (the classic first-person-shooter) included a room with a square column in it, containing 4 niches (each with a fireball-throwing gorilla, in the harder levels). On the map view, this formed swastika, leading to the game (or that particular level) being banned in Germany.
      (I may have the game confused – it might have been Castle Wolfenstein. Or plausibly, both.

  15. Posted September 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    What, no shout-out for National Double-Cheeseburger Day? And you call yourself an American!? For shame, and good day sir.

  16. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I too have a sore throats and came home early.

  17. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted September 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s National Crème de Menthe Day, a vile, verdant liqueur that was the only alcohol my mother would drink.

    Billy Connelly monologue :
    Haggis and Jock, two Celtic fans, go to Italy for $football competition$. They’re in a bar in Rome supping away. “Haggis” asks the barman what the Pope drinks and is told “creme de menthe”.
    “Right-o. Two pints of that then.”
    (I’ll not give up the day job.)

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