A few short, but pithy items…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s quotation is from Vladimir Nabokov’s 1930 novel The Luzhin Defence:
The lull continued for two or three days; Luzhin was photographed for his passport, and the photographer took him by the chin, turned his face slightly to one side, asked him to open his mouth wide and drilled his tooth with a tense buzzing. The buzzing ceased, the dentist looked for something on a glass shelf, found it, rubber-stamped Luzhin’s passport and wrote with lightning quick movements of the pen. ‘There,’ he said, handing over a document on which two rows of teeth were drawn, and two teeth bore inked-in little crosses. There was nothing suspicious in all this and the cunning lull continued until Thursday. And on Thursday, Luzhin understood everything.

Excuses for being late. No. 295.
I’m sorry I’m late, but a mastodon was poking around my refuse bins.

A single overheard remark:
‘Did you tell him owt? Or did he know everything?…’

An observation:
Two old ladies walking through the town centre; both had nicely permed and coloured hair, one electric blue and the other golden-yellow. As they walked past I heard one say to the other, ‘… but I do like the Buddhist religion though.’

I’m thinking of changing my name to Stan Dwelback…

‘You know, you have really intelligent eyes…’
‘I know, they keep me awake in the night talking to each other…’

When I was young there was a phrase which was regularly bandied about back then – it was ‘scruffy students’, sometimes ‘scruffy bloody students’. I was one of those.
That phrase has certainly fallen out of use; now students are all so bland, safe, respectable, modestly dressed, neat, ambitious, in debt, and surprisingly dull and boring, as is the music they listen to. How very very sad…

You know how some people are very good at striking up conversations with complete strangers? Well I am becoming quite skilled at striking them down again…

‘What are you talking about! Dance steps?…’
‘No, Dan’s steps, I borrowed them to hang my curtains…’



About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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8 Responses to A few short, but pithy items…

  1. I chuckled at the intelligent eyes – very funny! And gosh I do agree with you about students – when I was at Uni ages ago, they all came for lectures looking like they were dressed for a Saturday night out! All bling and heavily made up. Then you got the older students who thought they were 18 again, wearing holey band t-shirts, and “layy-errrrrs, man, you gotta wear LAYY-errrs”. I rolled my eyes and hid in the library for the most part. Oh and what happened in the book? About Thursday? What did he understand?

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I know nothing of ‘layers’ – I must have missed those.
      Thursday: Mr Luzhin, chess genius and a troubled soul, probably thought that he understood, but probably didn’t. He was very good at chess, but not too hot at real life…

      • Hmm…..ok. Thanks. Although I did watch a movie (based on true story) about a guy teaching chess to young poor kids, and saying that chess was like a metaphor for life itself. Also – layers….I do like this scene from Shrek (although ironically it is also about life, and not about clothes, which is what I originally meant) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpcwKEIRCI

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Ah, those kinds of layers…
        Apparently chess is very useful in life, because it makes you really good at… er, playing chess…

      • I can play it a little bit….possibly on a par with my skills at Life, heh! Can you play? I would love to come across one of those places that have open air games in a park, y’know, where you can just sit with a random person and play board games. Nobody does that up here. No imagination, pfft!

      • Dave Whatt says:

        I flirted with chess for about a day after someone showed me how the pieces move, but it didn’t stick. I’m quite glad really, I have enough on my plate without getting into games.
        You often see open air chess in parks in American films – I have never seen that here in Dulltown though…

  2. Rebecca says:

    Ooh, I love a bit of word play. My favourite homophone phrase (erm, just made that up – does it exist? And is it a bit sad to have a favourite?) is pea stalks/peace talks. 🙂

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