Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tabling Arguments

What is it that we all want to read about today? How the West was won? How billions of dollars are wasted on movies that are never watched? Or should never be watched for fear of severe eye and brain damage?

Let's talk about it all. It's all on the table today. Along with the salt shaker, the pepper grinder, the napkin holders, the natty table cloth, and the crumbs from breakfast. Is there an elephant in the room? Put it on the table. 800-pound gorilla? Table. We's gonna talk about it, whatever i'is.

Gotta say that the passing of Walter Cronkite closed the book on a lot of things in this country. The world is so different now. The media is this ravaging juggernaut of disrepute and glitter, so far removed from the respectful and scholarly news media of Cronkite's time. But such is life; all things must pass.

I just want to give Mr. Cronkite his due recognition and a respectful send-off to wherever it is that he's moved on to. Would love to hear his report of what he's found there and how he's doing. He'd be the ultimate correspondent from the afterlife, wouldn't he?

What else is on the table? Peanut M&M's. Ate more than half a 12-oz. bag yesterday and I'm probably gonna finish it as I write this. So it should slow down the typing a bit. And have some effect on spelling and grammar, to be noted and calibrated at a later time...

I fear going into detail.

What does that mean?

Ask your mother...

More table items... medication. Anybody else out there taking Lithium and Zoloft and Abilify and shaking enough to register on the Richter scale? I was mowing the lawns (read: weeds) yesterday and was beset by tremors at several points in the chore-- not exactly helpful when attempting precision work with a weed-eater. So I'm guessing you don't want me trimming your bangs while on this particular cocktail...

M&M break!

Okay. Go ahead and tell me if the load of candy consumption might be my "shakes" problem. But I don't think so.

I'm an ever so little bit closer to having a book written. I've written a children's story about a goat and a cat on the Greek island of Samos. It grew out of the legend of The Wild Cat of Samos that we learned of when we visited Samos in the summer of 2001. Rather than go into a lot of detail right now, I think I'll post the Wild Cat story. Then I'll give more details in a later post about my story. That will give me time to work on the illustrations more. How you like them apples?

They're what's on the table.

The animal which you are about to read about and which you can see for yourself in the Natural History Museum of Mytilinii is a savage feline, related to the tiger, known as a " kaplani " ( wildcat ), with its habitat in Asia Minor.

The Kaplani of Samos.

At the beginning of the present century, this animal was forced, either by the flooding of the River Meander or by fire, to swim over to Samos, where its established itself on the hills around Mavratzaii and became the scourge of the domestic animals and flocks of the district.

Farmers and shepherds drove it out and forced it to take refuge in a cave, which from then on was known as the " kaplani - hole ". Its pursuers, not daring to go inside the cave, built a wall of large stones across the entrance. In this way, they left it shut in for about three months, expecting it to die of hunger and thirst. But by eating the remains of its old prey and drinking the water which drop by drop gathered in a hollow in the cave, it remained in fine form. After this length of time, the villagers, wishing to assure themselves that the beast was dead, opened up a hole in the top of the cave - not risking opening the entrance which they had built over - and tied one end of a rope to a pine tree, dangling the other down into the cave. By means of this, Gerasimos Gliarmis, unarmed and wearing a cape, descended into the cave. Imprisoned in the cave, man and beast were instantly engaged in mortal combat. The man grasped the wildcat in a headlock in an attempt to strangle it, while it tried to tear his cape so that it could rip his chest with its claws and crush his arm with its teeth. Gliarmis called for help, but no one had the courage to approach.

In a little while, the brother of Gerasimos, Nikolaos Gliarmis, who because he was one - eyed and powerfully built, with superhuman strength, was known as the " Cyclops ", arrived on the scene. When he discovered what was happening, he grabbed the rope and went down into the cave. The animal left its exhausted opponent and throw itself upon the newcomer. But he seized the wildcat by the throat with his left hand, while with his right he attempted to draw his knife from his belt. But by the time he managed this, the animal had already choked to death.

Gerasimos Gliarmis had been injured in his chest by the wildcat's claws and died from the resulting infection a short time later.

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