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the type-written word

while committing a post-tax completion file purge this afternoon i came across the following piece of writing, which appears to be a stream-of-consciousness work on … whatever came to mind. it’s not dated, but i think it’s from the second semester of my junior year at KU. here it is for your enjoyment (though bewilderment might be closer to the truth), all typos left intact. composing on an electric typewriter is admittedly not my greatest talent.

Essay: On the Absurdity of Folk Literature and the Deeper Meanings Therein

“I know an old woman who swallowed a fly”; “Jack and Jill went up the hill”; “Ringaround the rosey, a pocketfull of poseys …” all these rhymes and more have become ingrained in the collective conciousness of our society (oh what a lovely post-modern phrase is that), so much so that we do not even think about thedeeper meanings they can and do hold.

Well, that takes care of that. Really, I do not know why on earth I should sit down and type out an essay on a topic about which I know relitvely little and do not actually have to write an essay on to begin with. I sorely feel the absence of an italics key or function or something like that. Oh well. I suppose that is why romantic heroines never wrote their journals on typewriters, but always in leathern-bound books with pages that still had the deckles on, using a raven-quill pen and finest iron-gall (or whatever the cheapest romantic alternative was) ink, always making sure to liberally wet the pages with their tears. That and the fact that the typewriter hadn’tbeen invented yet. And doesn’t exactly lenditself to romantic notions, either, what with all the noisy clack-clack-clacking it does. By gum. Oh dear, I suppose a “lady” wouldn’t say things like that now, would she? It was at one time considered impolite and coarse for a woman to chew gum. Ormaybe that was just store-boughten gum. I can’t very well imagine tearing off a wad of resin from the neighbourhood pine tree andsticking it in my mouth for a good chaw, however. Seems frightfully sticky. And rather piney. I like pine trees, of course, but not that much. But now we have very sivilized andoderiferous gums like that frightful raspberry mint stuff I bought the other day. Whew. Glad to be rid of it at last. It made by Burt’s Bees smell like raspberry mint (which itself did not smell like either raspberries or mint). Hark! She approaches! Mi madre, that is.

“The quick brown fox jumps over the …” she murmurs to herself (or possibly to me) as she sees my occupation. Then she and Daddy discuss the Goldthwaite’s and that we are now conclusively related to them and where their manor house is in England and whether a former Lt. Governor of Kansas was black or Indian or a Crawford (and whether the Crawfords or Goldthwaites or someonelike that was a witch-burner because he live in Salem, Massachussetts.

We in my family have themostdevastating sense of humor imaginable. For example, Mom and Dadhave just bee n discussing what to put in the plastic tub for the oldfamily Bible to make sure thatit doesn’t get eaten up by critters. From that we moved on to the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets. Mom asked why they namedit such an absurd name. I said because that’s what they do theree (remotely sense thesheets, that is). She said that just because that’s what they do didn’t mean they had to name it that. She suggessted “Hot Sheets.” Now is that not devastatingly funny? I thought as much. I have, however, a sore throat, a runny nose, a congested chest, a developed gum sore, a bad hair day, and an impending semi-early morning interview witha person I’ve never met and on a topic that I’m not quite entirely positive about myself, yet. Oh boy. Anway, in a situation like that, I think even the least humorous things shouldqualify as humorous (all right, I take thatback. There are certain extenuating circumstances that would disallow humor at the expense of tragedy). But I meant humorous things that maybe aren’t brilliantly witty. Actually, though, that comment was pretty funny. Ugh. And my text is fast becoming riddled with typos. I think it might just be about time for some tea. How does that sound? I like looking at the ticker tapeas it flies by. I can’t seem to figure out if it’s actually imprinted with what I’m typing (in the exact order, I mean). Oh well. -hat does not matter in the grand scheme of things. But it’s still pretty interesting, like Dyland Thomas’ poetic devices and the Anglican Prayer Book service for Day 27 and why human beings are so confounded hard to read sometimes. Yes, even harder than Virginia Woolf (if that’s possible).

Daddy has just said that our old ancestral hall of many spellings was mentioned in “Hamlet.” Fancy that. I always knew we would (or had) amount(ed) to something.

“It is an Ancient Mariner, and he chooses one of three.” “Sophocles long ago heard it on the Aegean and it brought to mind the turbid ebb andflow of human misery.” “Praise God for dappled things.” My fancy is a camel and my pen the eye of  a needle. Perhaps all the great writers held monopolies on camel-thinning solution whilst they were still alive andkicking. Or perhaps they justused typewriters and didn’t mess with romantic notions of ink made out of wasp nest things that harmed the poor tree and became its pearls.

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