Some News is Good News

I Have Parquet Floors Because I’m Slimming Down: Lo these many years I’ve told myself I’m not fat, I’m just healthy. As it turns out, I was right all along. The Centers for Disease Control finally fessed up what should have been obvious from the start: we lightly-tubby people who actually eat food live longer than those stick-figure fashiony types who just look at it and take the occasional lick.

A day of triumph for Jewish mothers everywhere, I’m sure. In other good news, the New Orleans Journal of Medicine announces that Binge-Drinking and Promiscuous Sex are Good For You. Hey, I read it in The Onion, so it must be true.

Things That Go “Bump” in the Afternoon: I completely forgot that Tuesday was National Look One Way And Walk The Other Way Day. And me with my combat armor at home. Seriously, it was like bumper cars out there. Anyone remember that scene in The Matrix where Morpheus strides through urban crowds, which part before him, and Neo pinions along behind him getting bumped by everyone on the sidewalk? It was like that, only without Morpheus.

Shakespeare, It Ain’t: When you reach a certain age, your Mom throws out your comic collection. This means two things. (1) Mom has had it up to here with your crap in the cellar/garage/closets, and (2) they’re not going to name that museum wing after you after all.

A lot of Greek and Egyptian comic book collections were tossed by a lot of moms in the thousand years or so that the people of Oxyrhynchus used the desert outside of town as their Ye Olde Dump, and historians and out-of-work English majors have been unearthing and preserving the scraps from the Oxyrhynchus site these two millennia after the fact with tender care. This month a joint project of Oxford and Brigham Young, using image systems derived from infrared satellite technology, has read whole tracts of papyrus previously thought to be blank or damaged beyond repair.

New sections of dialogue from the fragmentary Sophocles play The Progeny is one of the discoveries. Here’s a new bit:

Speaker A: … gobbling the whole, sharpening the flashing iron.
Speaker B: And the helmets are shaking their purple-dyed crests, and for the wearers of breast-plates the weavers are striking up the wise shuttle’s songs, that wakes up those who are asleep.
Speaker A: And he is gluing together the chariot’s rail.

This may not mean much to you or me, but we’re not experts. In the proper hands, this stuff is dynamite: gritty, authentic, realistic, the actual bones that a solid writer can flesh out into true drama. David Milch has already plotted the entire first season of a new HBO mini-series based on these lines alone … so keep an eye out for next year’s cable blockbuster, Toga Party. The guy who runs the local taberna, Al Gamemnon, should be a real corker.

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