The Vulture | Quarter to Three | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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The Vulture 

Last Updated: 06/06/2013 6:45 pm



Dear R., "I've been out of town for awhile," a goateed man confides to his cell phone, on a Rural Transport bus. The 3rd Amendment to the Constitution prohibits troops from being stationed in American houses. If you've ever noticed, there are no soldiers in your house. I wonder where the goateed man went out

of town.  Vancouver, BC?
Hippopotamonstrosiscryptalia - fear of long words.*

*a 14 year-old boy told me

Q: What did the vulture bring on the airplane?
A: Carrion luggage.

Yesterday I went to the local high school as a "special guest poet," leading exercises such as "Palindrome Training." [A palindrome, of course, is a word, sentence, or birth certificate which reads the same backwards and forwards.] I showed several of my palindromes:

lion oil
Bonk a knob
Elope, Pole!
Draw, O coward!
Knife no one, fink!

(I was shocked that no one knows what a "fink" is anymore.)
Next I revealed "a simple trick for writing palindromes."
I had someone write on the board:
"My best friend is Sid N. Eirftsebym."

The kids were amazed how much this resembled a name. I told them to write some variant on this, and they worked hard - but few showed me what they'd written.
One guy told me:
"My sister is a siretsisym."

Here are the ones I wrote:
"I miss you, Ouy Ssimi."
"I love to eat Aeotevoli."

Pearls were brought to the West by Alexander the Great
(it is believed).

Do you realize Bill Gates has lost $53.4 billion since 1998? (The Feb. 27 Kingston Freeman explains the new Forbes list of billionaires.) Gates is down to a mere $46.6 billion. This is amazing luck. If anyone else (me, for example) had dropped that amount of money, it would be a disaster. It happened to the only person in the world who wouldn't mind!

There are always at least three towns listed on a destination sign on a road, otherwise it looks like a baseball game:

Woodstock 3
Phoenicia 12
and insults the "lower-scoring" town.

Quotes from Max Beerbohm:
Good sense about trivialities is better than nonsense about things that matter.
One might well say that mankind is divisible into two great classes: hosts and guests.

Only mediocrity can be trusted to be always at its best.

American Poem
"News" and "noise" come from the same root (nevus), meaning "to stupefy."

Breaking Into Prison
Only three people ever broke into prison, demanding to be inmates. Peter Green, Victor Serra, and Israel Fernandez scaled the walls of Sing Sing on the night of August 3, 1971. They were arrested, tried, and sent to Auburn State Prison.

Denver Leopard Funeral
The largest funeral ever held in Denver was for a leopard. The cat, which belonged to John Colvin, a wealthy mine owner, died of pneumonia in 1926. Coleman staged a grand service at St. Joseph's Cathedral, which 40,000 attended. A eulogy was delivered by movie star Clara Bow. The leopard's name was Alfonse.

Poem 42

Show the world you're proud to be an American with this new flagpole-hat! A durable pole rises from an ordinary baseball cap, displaying a bright 18" X 24" banner. This patriotic headwear can actually strengthen your neck muscles! The pole comes in two sizes: 8' and 12'. Operators are standing by at 1-800-FLAGHAT.

Britney Spears' ancestors were serfs.

Speaking of Funny

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