Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s December now! December 1, 2017, Friday, and the day of our department’s Christmas party, where I will stuff myself with Middle Eastern food and get somewhat buzzed on wines I picked out for the occasion. It’s also National Fried Pie Day, something that might well be unique to the U.S.  A small fried peach pie is a good finish to a BBQ dinner. It’s also World AIDS Day, in existence since 1988. Finally, Cook County’s ill-advised and much hated soda tax expires today, allowing me to purchase my diet sodas without the stupid 2¢-per-ounce tax that was touted as a health-improving measure but was really intended to raise revenue. (The tell was that diet sodas were also taxed.)

People have been sniping at each other on the posts lately, and I urge new readers to have a look at the Da Roolz, or posting rools, to the left of this post, or here. Please be civil, and no name-calling or suggestions that another commenter is ignorant or brainwashed.

On this day in 1824, and for the only time in American history, the U.S. Congress had to decide the winner of the Presidential election, as none of the four candidates (William Crawford, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and John Quincy Adams)  received a majority of the electoral vote. This was according to the Constitution’s Twelfth Amendment, and Adams became the winner. On this day in 1913, the Ford Motor Company introduced the assembly line: a moving belt on which cars were assembled, with each worker specializing in a single task. On December 1, 1919, Lady Astor became the first woman member of Parliament in the House of Commons (she was elected on November 28). It was on this day in 1955 that Rosa Parks, riding a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white man, was arrested for violating the city’s segregation laws, and the rest is history. It was a pivotal moment in the U.S. Civil Right movement.  Finally, on this day in 1990, the two ends of the Channel Tunnel, dug from England on one side and France on the other, met—40 m below the seabed.

Notables born on this day include Marie Tussaud of the wax museum (1761), the “poet” Julia A. Moore of Michigan, perhaps the worst poet who ever lived (1847), Lou Rawls (1933), Woody Allen (1935), Richard Pryor (1940), Bette Midler (1945), and Pablo Escobar (1949).

Here’s one of my favorite Julia A. Moore poems (her sarcastic nickname was “The Sweet Singer of Michigan”), honoring a little girl who choked to death. The third verse from the end is sheer genius.


One more little spirit to Heaven has flown,
To dwell in that mansion above,
Where dear little angels, together roam,
In God’s everlasting love.

One little flower has withered and died,
A bud near ready to bloom,
Its life on earth is marked with pride;
Oh, sad it should die so soon.

Sweet little Libbie, that precious flower
Was a pride in her parents’ home,
They miss their little girl every hour,
Those friends that are left to mourn.

Her sweet silvery voice no more is heard
In the home where she once roamed;
Her place is vacant around the hearth,
Where her friends are mourning lone.

They are mourning the loss of a little girl,
With black eyes and auburn hair,
She was a treasure to them in this world,
This beautiful child so fair.

One morning in April, a short time ago,
Libbie was active and gay;
Her Saviour called her, she had to go,
E’re the close of that pleasant day.

While eating dinner, this dear little child
Was choked on a piece of beef.
Doctors came, tried their skill awhile,
But none could give relief.

She was ten years of age, I am told,
And in school stood very high.
Her little form now the earth enfolds,
In her embrace it must ever lie.

Her friends and schoolmates will not forget
Little Libbie that is no more;
She is waiting on the shining step,
To welcome home friends once more.

Only William McGonagall comes close in the sheer awfulness of his poetry. If you want a good anthology of the world’s worst poetry, get The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse.

Those who bought the farm on this day include George Everest (1866), Aleister Crowley and G. H. Hardy (1947), J. B. S. Haldane (1964), David Ben-Gurion (1973), James Baldwin (1987), Alvin Ailey (1989), and Stéphane Grappelli (1997). Grappelli, of course was most famous for his jazz violin played with guitarist Django Reinhardt. Who would have thought that a fiddle player and a gypsy guitarist missing two fingers on his fretting hand could make musical history? Here’a rare video of them playing; the hot stuff starts at 1:30:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is housebound and grumpy:

Hili: It’s snowing.
A: But you are inside.
Hili: I feel aggrieved anyhow.
In Poliah:
Hili: Śnieg pada.
Ja: Ale ty jesteś pod dachem.
Hili: I tak mam pretensje.

From reader Taskin in Winnipeg, who constitutes half of Gus’s staff:

A couple of Gus pics for you. Gus spent the morning on the Katzenbaum and the afternoon in the sunny front window. It’s been a good day.


From Matthew Cobb—the world’s bravest (or craziest) goose:

This woman got a bobcat stuck in her car grille on Thanksgiving. It was a bit shook up, but it’s all right now (see story here):

Two tweets stolen from Heather Hastie:

And a black kitten in a nice nest:

And from reader Chris:


  1. Posted December 1, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    “People have been sniping at each other on the posts lately”


    uuurrrgghhh – I… think… they got me…

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    There is a tendency for some to hang on to a poor argument or idea far too long. Trump does this quite often.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Just a point of interest in case you do not have the news this hour. Mike Flynn has made a deal with Mueller and the first shoe has dropped. Let the games begin.

      • darrelle
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        And . . .

        A new article from the NYT relating how Trump pressured several Republicans in key positions to end the investigation.

        The suddenly breaking news that the Treasury Secretary has been lying about his people modeling the effects of the new tax plan, while two bipartisan evaluations model it to be a disaster.

        Sessions refusing to answer whether Trump ever asked him to hinder the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference.

        Is this what it looks like when the wheels are coming off?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          Trump sheared off the lug nuts when he fired James Comey; the wheels are starting to wobble wildly now.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Look for Trump’s lawyers to issue a statement saying “Mike who?”

        Also, look for Trump soon to fire his legal team (which has been urging him to play nice with the Mueller investigation, and telling him he’ll probably be exonerated before New Year’s Day).

        In the meantime, it’s come to light that Trump has been hondeling Republican senators to close their Trump-Russia investigations.

        • Merilee
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Once again I learn a cool new word from Ken: “hondeling”. Gotta remember thst one. Seems there’s been a whole lotta hondlin’ goin’ on in this so-called administration.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          This is where we find out who can chew gum and walk at the same time. The tax deal is going on and Trump is seeing the first steps to impeachment. Obstruction of justice may have started with the Comey events but is simply reinforces with his actions on congress. I suspect FLynn has already given the investigation 5 more reasons for impeachment. He just walked into court on CNN.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The poetaster Julia A. Moore is to verse what Edward Bulwer-Lytton (of “it was a dark and stormy night” fame) is to prose (at least according to reputation; EBL actually wasn’t that bad a writer).

    • Doug
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Mark Twain was a fan–if that’s the right word–of Moore and spoofed her in “Huckleberry Finn” with the poem “Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots [Dec’d].”

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        I can understand why Twain was a “fan” of Moore. That poem is soooooo bad, it’s good.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 1, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        For my money, there’s never been a better take-down of one writer by another than Twain’s “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses.”

        • Mary L
          Posted December 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          I first read that many years ago and still cherish it. Thanks, Ken.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    For “The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse” – is eager to inform me that the book is highly rated by people interested in origami & home remedies. Perhaps a small review sample size glitch.

  5. Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I think the goose knew that the cows only faked the attacks.
    Besides, she also seems to know that she is not on the menu of cows.
    The cows, after all, seemed more confused by the goose’s behavior than the goose from the them.

  6. Les Faby
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The 1876 Hayes v Tilden Presidential Election was not strictly handled by vote totals. There was voter suppression by intimidation and negotiations between parties. The Democrats finally let the Republican Hayes win and Hayes removed Federal Troops from the South, returning slavery in all but name for freemen.

  7. Jake Sevins
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “the “poet” Julia A. Moore of Michigan, perhaps the worst poet who ever lived”

    Perhaps you are forgetting the Vogons, the Azgoths of Kria, and Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex?

    • ploubere
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Good point re Vogons. She is the worst poet on this planet.

      • Nobody Special
        Posted December 3, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        I take it you’ve never read Nassar ben Houdja’s weekly contribution to Jesus and Mo’s comments.
        Weapons grade awful, and that’s being kind.

  8. Merilee
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The third donkey IS clever!

  9. Graham Head
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Small correction. Nancy Astor was the first woman to take her seat in parliament. Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to parliament but as an Irish republican did not take her seat.

  10. Posted December 1, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Those cows — young ones — are practicing “approach and retreat”, a behavior to determine whether something unknown is a threat. The goose may well be alarmed, but the cows are wary, too. They may never have seen a goose before. In any case, they aren’t trying to intentionally scare the goose.

    • David Coxill
      Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink


  11. BJ
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    You have to look at the tweet below the goose versus cow video: GOOSE VERSUS GORILLA!

    Gorilla vs Canada Goose— Nature is Amazing 🌴 (@AMAZlNGNATURE) December 1, 2017

  12. ploubere
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Django was genius.

  13. revelator60
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    The great Spike Milligan made a film about William McGonagall in 1974. Milligan played the poet, while Peter Sellers played Queen Victoria. The film is an acquired taste, and the American DVDs are poor quality, but The Great McGonagall is hard to forget. Here’s a positive review:

  14. David Coxill
    Posted December 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi ,over here in GB there is a Free view channel called Talking Pictures ,they showed The Great McGonagall earlier in the year .
    I recorded it ,haven’t got round to watching it.

  15. Posted December 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I love the music clip. Grapelli later made some great recordings with the classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin that are worth checking out.

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