January 1, 2012

The best of 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU. I think 2012 is going to be a good year. There is something about an even-numbered year that pleases and reassures me more than an odd-numbered one does. I suspect 2011 is a prime number, which makes me feel insecure and inferior. I like to be in charge of numbers but 2011 thumbs its nose at me. I can't order it to divide itself into nice, even, bite-sized bits like a decent docile number should. On the other hand, I can divide good old 2012 by 2 and by 4 and 503 and 1006 and probably by a whole lot of other numbers if I feel like it, which leaves me feeling in charge. So yes, I feel much better about 2012 than I did about 2011.

Nevertheless, 2011 had its moments for me, and it's only right that we should record them for posterity. I learned some new things, picked up some new phrases, and tucked away little literary snippets for future use. Here's what I mean:

The most apt name for 2011:
A Norwegian new to sailing bought a boat to sail around the world and struck a sandbank outside his home harbor. While he was waiting for the tide to rise, he made himself a cup of tea. His stove caught fire, set the galley alight and burned the boat down to the waterline. He escaped unhurt in a rubber dinghy. His name? Bornt Olose.

The best poem of 2011:
Teeth is very nice to have,
They fills you with content.
(If you don’t understand that now
You will when they have went.)

The cleverest Tailpiece of 2011:
Time flies like a speeding arrow. Fruit flies like a rotten banana.

The saddest story of 2011:
Stavros O'Blimey, inventor of the patented self-darkening whisky glass, died in penury in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The most common exercises of 2011:
Running up bills
Hurling insults
Leaping to conclusions
Rubbing people up the wrong way
Pulling the wool over people's eyes
Throwing caution to the wind
Dragging people’s names into the mud
Dodging creditors, and
Flying off the handle.

Best nature poem of 2011:
Extensive exhaustive researches
By Darwin and Huxley and Ball
Have conclusively proved that the hedgehog
Can scarcely be ravished at all.

While further industrious enquiry
Has incontrovertibly shown
That this state of comparative safety
Is enjoyed by the hedgehog alone.

The best reality checks of 2011:
Every silver lining has a cloud.
There’s a tunnel at the end of every light.

Best Dog-Latin mottos of 2011:
Vinum super omnia.
Contra ventum non urinatum.
Illegitimus non carborundum.
And behind the head door: Veni Vidi Wiwi

The most honest comment on exterior brightwork in 2011:
The John Keats Varnish Rule: “A thing of beauty is a job forever.”

Today's Thought
Now in the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires.
— Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat.

Cannibals in the Congo captured a missionary as he was traveling up the river in a dugout canoe. They were about to drop him into a pot of boiling water when he cried out: "Wait. Don't touch me. I possess powerful magic."

He went to the canoe, and patted the outboard motor. He pulled the string and it burst into life with a loud roar.  "See," he said. "I have power at my fingertips."

The savages fell back muttering in amazement.

"Well, I guess we'd better let him go," said the chief. "That really was magic. I've never before seen an outboard start on first pull."

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

1 comment:

Matt Marsh said...

2011's not only a prime, it's a sexy prime (look it up) and a sum of 11 consecutive primes. (What's that, officer? No, there's nothing wrong with me, all physicists are like that and these papers are all for- what's with the cuffs, mate? No, I'm not going to take that pill....)