by Clarence Brown
American Reporter Correspondent
April 21, 2004
PERHAPS EVEN THIS
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. (One day it might be pleasant to recall even these things). This line from Virgil, quoted in a recent New York Times profile of my old Princeton colleague and friend Bob Fagles, is the motto for today's Soup.
So, this Irishman was stranded on a desert island for years and years-he'd lost track.
One fine day a beautiful sailboat appeared on the horizon, came nearer and nearer, and finally a beautiful young woman got out.
-How long have you been here? she asked.
-Oh, the dear Lord knows, said he. Years and years.
-How long since you had a smoke?
-Since forever, he said. From a blouse pocket she took out a pack of cigarettes, lit one, and handed it to him. He puffed away blissfully.
-How long since you had a drink?
-The same time, he said, not believing his eyes as she took out a flask and handed it to him. The fine Irish whisky had hardly gone down his throat when she began to unbutton her blouse and, looking at him suggestively, asked, And how long's it been since you...played around?
He: Don't tell me you've got golf clubs in there!!!???
(That story is the property, insofar as I am concerned, of Walter Dalton, the great Seattle actor and locker room raconteur.)
The following classics of disrecommendation come from my cousin, Dr. Michael Watson, the grand old man of the Bamberg, SC, medical establishment:
1. Since my last report, this man has reached rock bottom and begun to dig.
2. When she opens her mouth it is usually only to change feet.
3. He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.
4. This person is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
5. He would argue with a signpost.
6. He has a full 6-pack but lacks the plastic thingy that holds it together.
7. If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one.
8. She should go far, and the sooner she starts, the better.
9. If you stand close enough to this fellow, you can hear the ocean.
10. He's got two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it.
11. If this man were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
12. Put it this way: he takes two hours to watch Sixty Minutes.
13. The wheel is turning. But the hamster is dead.
14. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.
15. It's hard to believe he got in ahead of 1,000,000 other spermatozoa. (For the record: No. 13 is the favorite of Dr. Watson.)
I hope that one day it will be pleasant for you to remember some of these funnies. What the line from the Aeneid recalls to me is a comic strip that I began in the margin of a page in Latin class. The characters were a Laurel & Hardy team named Forsan and Haec. It never reached syndication, and even that it is pleasant to remember.
Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University.