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Des
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 01:25 am:   

Planes in the Fifties breaking the sound barrier over Walton-on-Naze backwaters.
My Dad driving a steam-roller round Walton, to my utter delight. I think it was his job, and he wasn't so delighted!
Looking forward to the Beano comic to drop on my doormat every Thursday, the smell of its pages, the stationery smell of newsagents in those days, the smell of books in general, uniform fifties library books (which drabness seemed to accentuate the delights emerging from the print within), my Mum making me wear waterproof leggings when it rained, being able to scribble stories in pencil, using plasticene, throwing bean-bags about in PE, sitting on bristly PE mats, fuzzy grey pictures on the TV screen which, on some evenings, were indecipherable...
and arcade amusements on Walton Pier (hand-manipulated cranes that could never quite grapple with the pack of cigs wrapped round with a brown ten bob note, pinballs without flippers, ghost house tableau where a coin would produce a skeleton out of the cupboard, silver balls spinning round vertically into the lose and win holes, the win giving you another turn, the lose losing you your coin. A lesson for life?)
And many more...
Any more out there?
Des
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Eric Schaller
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:57 am:   

This reminds me of one of Van Morrison's spoken word pieces from his album (I don't have it on cd) A Sense of Wonder.
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des
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 08:43 am:   

I remember my dad in the fifties melting red sealing-wax on to the knots of string on parcels to be sent in the post. It had a heady smell. Why was it necessary to do this then and, if it was so important, why isn't it necessary now?
Perhaps the world's ills, which people have discussed so cleverly but which I don't pretend to understand, need thus sealing to heal them.
Des
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Des
Posted on Sunday, March 02, 2003 - 05:35 am:   

NYM words?
I'm looking for nym words. I've thought of (or people have told me about) antonym, pseudonym, eponym, anonym, acronym, homonym, synonym, nymphomania, Runnymede...
Any help would be welcome. Childhood ambition to nymonise the world.
Des
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:45 am:   

altonym (a high name)
frigonym (a cold name)
pornonym (a prostitute's moniker - see nymphonym)
phonym (synonym for pseudonym)
gymnymnasium (repository for naked names)
gymnymnosperm (the tree of naked names)
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 09:48 am:   

Brilliant, Michael. You a neonym. Me a necronym.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 03:42 am:   

Pomonym: a postmodern name.
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Rhys
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 04:00 am:   

I've always wondered if namelessness is a condition in which things just get used without this use ever becoming very memorable... After using a nameless thing it can only be remembered as vague, foggy, asymmetrical, dubious, troublesome, somehow pure...
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 12:51 pm:   

I don't understand, Rhys. What you say there seems in itself 'vague, foggy, asymmetrical, dubious, troublesome, somehow pure...'.
Indeed, a lessonym in involution. Des
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 02:34 am:   

Well I have a thing at home which I have no name for. It's not an anonymous thing, because that suggests it has a *hidden* name, which I don't know. I doubt it has any name at all...

It sits on a shelf and just *is*. Sometimes I pick it up and examine it, but I can't even remember what it feels like when I put it down.

If somebody could just say to me "it's a mug tree" then I'd feel more at ease!
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 05:13 am:   

It's a mug tree.
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 06:22 am:   

Thanks for that Nicholas! Yes I do feel better now.

But I'm still waiting to harvest my first mug from it. I wonder if it's dead?
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Brrrrian Frost
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:02 am:   

You must leave it in the sun for several weeks straight. That's the reason why all mugs are actually grown in the Arctic during the summer, and in Antarctica during the other summer. Mugs are the chief export of many snow-bound nations, second only to ice cubes.

Yours, etc.
Brrrrian Frost (a penguin)
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:31 am:   

Ah, the SUN! Thanks Brrrrian! That's obviously where I was going wrong...

I had left it in a SLUM for several weeks straight. I must have misheard. At night thugs whistled sea-shanties as they lurched down the alleyway where it was located... Famished children begged for scraps of mouldy bread in the gutters... Old women with pimples for noses leered with toothless profundity and chuckled as their stooped heads scraped the undersides of the overhanging eaves... Meanwhile the river barges hooted through the smog and my iron mug tree feared the cry of the scrap merchants...

Guess I ought to book a ticket to Greenland...
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:51 am:   

MUG TREE (Quercus Vultus): The Tree of the Face, now extinct; for reasons unknown, traditionally presumed to be a rare species of oak. In ancient times, victims were hung from its limbs, sometimes by the neck and sometimes by the ankle. When a person of exceptional spiritual stature was thus executed, his or her body did not rot, but was absorbed into the tree. Over time, one of two things would happen: the tree would shape itself into a perfecy likeness of the dead sage's visage (or mug), down to such details as facial moles and other blemishes, or the memory of the sage in people's minds would alter, intertwining with their conceptions of the tree until the two became indistinguishable. The result of the latter process was not fixed, sometimes even resulting in two or more final conceptions which could take any number of forms, with differing emphases on the face and the tree. Due to the fetishisation of such tree-sages, this multiplicity of canons has been the cause of much strife over the years; however, irrespective of denomination, it was commonplace in many households to maintain a small effigy of the mug tree as a sort of altar for worship. It is said that the devotees of one particular sage, in deference to his characteristic dark humour, often hung cups with handles (colloquially known as "mugs") from the mug trees of their messiah, using this irreverent punning as a form of worship. Gradually, this practice shed its ironic significance and became widespread among the devotees of other sages. This in turn lead eventually to its modern status as little more than a charm which, it is still superstitiously believed, protects mugs once hung on it from having their future contents sorcerously transformed into vinegar or, as some of the more sinister stories have it, blood.
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:06 am:   

That's fascinating Nicholas!

Would it be considered blasphemous to hang a *cup* from a mug tree?

When chefs talk about adding "half a mug of chopped sage" to their recipes, what exactly do they mean?

Does a sniper in a factory which manufactures ceramic drinking utensils for coffee and tea have a very clear mugshot?

If a family tree became (by some strange warp of genetics) a family mug tree, what would this entail in terms of evolution?

Questions, questions!
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:15 am:   

Let's ask the Badass Futuristic Rotating (or is it now merely Rotated?) Meerkat!
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:17 am:   

Good idea!
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:23 am:   

I have just asked the Giant Rotating Meerkat...

Keep your fingers and mug trees crossed!
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:28 am:   

I wonder: if I wrote a Condensed Encyclopedia of Household Botany (ala Steve Aylett's Bestiary, would anyone publish it?

More to the point, would anyone possibly want to read it?

Yet another question for the Meerkat! But ooh-er, I hope the answer doesn't involve anyone dying. It doesn't agree with me.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:31 am:   

"(1) It would not be blasphemous to hang a cup from a mug tree. It would be blasphemous to hang a man from a mug tree."

I say! It must've been an impostor Meerkat. The Condensed Encylopedia of Household Botany is never wrong, and it is a ridiculous idea that an action which gave rise to said tree's divinity should be itself blasphemous! Mayhap the Rotated Meerkat is, in truth, a few degrees shrot of a full revolution.
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Brrrrian Frost
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 11:06 am:   

"MUG TREE (Quercus Vultus): The Tree of the Face, now extinct; for reasons unknown, traditionally presumed to be a rare species of oak."

The mug tree is not extinct, as I mentioned previously. Botanists simply do not assume they'd find one in a frozen wasteland. Regardless, several specimens have been cryogenically stored for posterity, so extinction is not an issue.

Yours,
Brrrrian Frost

PS: I neglected to mention, but our mugtrees normally grow mugs of frosted glass.
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Des
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   

Interesting bobble-teased thread this one.
Did you know that not even top mathematicians, physicians or caterers can fathom the optimum angles and positions of the 'plugs' on a mug-tree? Rotate the whole mug-tree and, try as you might, even with a meticulous inching round of its base, you can never quite bring it back into exactly the same position vis a vis the residue of its original aura or silhouette that it wishes to re-inherit precisesly plug-on-plug. The secret of the art of these optimum angles entails using a base as small as practically possible, but still big enough to allow a full mugload on the plugs without the whole contraption toppling over. The esoteric angling of the plugs, then, is the secret behind this "feat of the tiny foot". And the process can only be truly replicated (involving any mini-optimisation of the base or foot in this way) from the Golden Mean mug-tree mould held in perpetuity in a place where casual quests can't even hope to know the name of. Des
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 06:25 pm:   

Heh.
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Brrrrian Frost
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:10 pm:   

What's more, entire Feng Shui artist (?) careers have been ruined on account of seemingly innocent mugtrees. This is likely because mugtree placement and orientation involve a certain amount of cool.

Yours, etc.
Brrrrian Frost (still a penguin)
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Stoup
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 10:38 am:   

It's not a static orientation, they have to be rotated slowly, ever so slowly.
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des
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 04:12 am:   

And slow it has been --- and I can now tell you, Stoup that, with slowness tantamount to staticity, then you wonder which mug amongst us would wait that long for its rightful plug of mounting.
A bit like over-patient destiny.

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