When Cumming asked me if I would ask my grandmother to contribute a new sermon for The Ecphorizer I promised too blithely. "What?" she snorted, pouring herself another al tiempo water & gin (vodka being unfashionable this week, while we decide which government is lying), "Another new editor? You know as well as I that if there's anything worse than an editor it's a new editor!"
[quoteright'/>"But Cumming is an old editor," I pointed out. "Surely you haven't forgotten that he already discovered you, years ago."
"So did Columbus," said she. "I suppose they're calling this impostor the '2nd Cumming'?"
"No, no," I hastened to correct. "It's the same Cumming, no impostor! Furthermore, he's a confirmed post-Townerite, which ought to mean something."
Then it turned out that if there's anything worse than an old editor, it's magazines with orange covers. What an ingrate! Anyway, she claims she's given up sermonizing till she saves up the strength to learn how to program 200 ON GOTOs. After all, machines are more important than people, aren't they? With the program she has in mind, she won't need to think up any more sermons ever again, because the computer will do it for her. Just type in RUN, and voila: instant literary output of unassailable vigor and brilliance. Best of all, a mere 200 words are more than enough, it seems, for anything you want to say about anything!
This word-list, I thought to myself, is worth getting.
"Give over," I commanded, "before I break every bone and bottle in body and house."
"May all editors be struck with impairment of critical judgment!" she cursed.
"Who'd know the difference?" I reminded her. "Just give me the list."
"And curse all writers, too -- all you ever think of is how to be cruel to old ladies and disturb their golden years based on the dubious license of an even more dubious talent!" But in the end she surrendered the list.
It appears that but two verbs are necessary and the rest are all nouns of one kind or another. The verbs (which must always be in the jussive mood), are "extirpate" and "enshrine." A third verb, "monolithize," is optional and of use only in special cases, such as advertising or hortatory poetry.
For those of you who are dying to try this on your own PC, I submit the list. Obviously, by introducing a randomizing instruction, many interesting articles fit for publication can be self-generated for a long time to come, obviating all need for plagiarism. Because of the requirements of assembly language, the nouns cannot be put in alphanumeric order. The computer follows its own logical associations, so of course the juxtaposition of one word to another in the list makes no sense to you or to me.
Ed Rehmus was well-known within San Francisco Regional Mensa in the 70s through the 80s as the "weird" cover artist of the newsletter Intelligencer. He later created an irregular comic stric called "The Clonies." Ed also wrote the occational story for the Intelligencer.
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