Saturday, June 25, 2011

An Epitaph

Archie Armstrong's Banquet of Jests (1641; rpt. Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1872), p. 6:
An Epitaph.

One Mr. Dombelow died of the winde Collicke, on whom was writ this Epitaph.

Dead is Dicke Dum below.
Would you the reason know:
Could his taile have but spoken,
His stout-heart had not broken.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grounds for Appeal?

Peter V. MacDonald, Return of the Court Jesters: Back to the Bar for More of the Funniest Stories from Canada's Courts (Toronto: Stoddard, 1990), p. 6:
[H]e was launching an appeal because of Assistant District Attorney Ned Lowenbach's excessive flatulence. "It was disgusting," Head declared after the four-week jury trial. "He [the prosecutor] farted about a hundred times. He even lifted his leg several times."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Odd Blessing

John Jortin, Discourses Concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion, Vol. III (London: John White, 1805), p. 209:
At another time, the emperor Michael sent to his mother Theodora to come and receive the benediction of the patriarch. She, imagining that it was Ignatius, came and prostrated herself with great respect before him, to receive the blessing. But it was Gryllus, who took care to conceal his face. He then brake wind backwards, and in a profane manner said, Such as I have, give I unto thee. The empress, thus insulted, cursed the false patriarch, and her son, and told the latter that God, whom he despised, would certainly forsake him.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Absolutely and Unconditionally Funny

K.J. Dover, Aristophanic Comedy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), p. 41:
We might have imagined that the Greeks, living as they did in conditions which we should regard as intolerably insanitary, would not have welcomed such frequent reminders in comedy of dirt and discomfort. But the humour of excretion seems to belong to all cultures; indeed, the noisy expulsion of gas from the bowels has as good a claim as anything in our experience to be absolutely and unconditionally funny. That is presumably due to the fact that the small child, having begun with a natural sensual enjoyment of defecation, is then restrained from making a mess or a bad smell where adults do not want it, and is thus provided with a channel through which he can later retaliate on society, even if only vicariously, by identifying himself with characters shouting vulgar words in comedy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Soiled Doublets

Lewis Carroll:
I enclose some Doublets, with which you may like to occupy your free minutes (if you have any). To solve a Doublet, you must change one letter only, in the first word, making a real word; then change one letter only in the new word, and so on till you get to the second word. The intermediate words are called "Links," and the whole thing a "Chain."
An example, from rice to poop, from BigHominid's Hairy Chasms:
A further example by my son (Turdman Junior, a chip off the old block), transforming bean to fart:

Free Alois Mabhunu

David Smith, "Zimbabwe detective gets 10 days in jail for using Mugabe's private toilet," The Guardian (June 2, 2011):
A Zimbabwean police officer arrested for using president Robert Mugabe's private toilet has been jailed for 10 days, it was reported on Thursday.

A court found that detective sergeant Alois Mabhunu yielded to the call of nature and forced his way past guards to a loo reserved for 87-year-old Mugabe at a recent trade show.

Mabhunu was arrested the following day and detained at police barracks for three weeks. On Tuesday he was convicted by an internal police court and sentenced to 10 days in prison, Zimbabwe's VOP radio reported.

But Mabhunu has appealed to the national police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, to overturn the verdict, the station added.

"He has been convicted and sentenced to 10 days in prison by the police court but has since made an appeal to the police commissioner soon after conviction," said a source quoted by VOP.

Mabhunu, a murder detective, has also been demoted and transferred to a different police station, though he will remain in the city of Bulawayo. He is no longer allowed to wear plain clothes and expected to report for duty in full uniform.

The incident happened at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) early last month. According to VOP, Bulawayo police would only say that Mabhunu's case was "an internal matter".
At least he wasn't shot for choosing the wrong place to evacuate. See Valley Forge Orderly Book of General George Weedon of the Continental Army (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1903), p. 255:
Major Clairborne will in future mount a Brigade Guard to afford three Sentinals with orders to Fire on any man who shall be found easing himself elsewhere than in ye Vaults.