Sunday, August 30, 2009

Advice for Fiddle Players

Fiddle music is very popular, and some of us even aspire to play this fine instrument. Some things to remember if you want to play the fiddle:

1. Practice, practice, practice! If a note is off-key and sounds like a finger scraping across a chalkboard, play it over and over and over and over and over until you get it right. Do this in a church if possible, where folks are less likely to kill you.

2. No matter how tight you are for money, do not substitute pig gut for catgut strings. It not only doesn’t sound right, but when the fibers heat up they tend to curl.

3. Never use your bow to play fetch with your dog. The slobber will affect the sound quality, as will attempting to play with any other object he chooses to bring back.

4. You will learn to play faster if you butter your strings.

5. A good way to get a job is to get to know all the fiddlers in your locality, then hide their instruments.

6. Once you start getting jobs, always dedicate one song to the wife of your host. Be sure it isn’t about murder or unrequited love.

7. Another way to earn money is to find a sponsor and play his theme music wherever you go. You will either be paid by the sponsor for advertising his product, or by your listeners for agreeing to play elsewhere.

8. A fine, sustained note impresses a crowd, and when done right can also kill flies.

9. Do not wink at anyone while playing. It will either earn you a black eye or extra helpings of Aunt Verna’s prune cake.

10. And last but not least: Always ask to be paid in paper bills. One is not weighed down with bags of coins and can run more quickly if need be.

copyright ©2009 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Gravity is comprised of two states: lightness and heaviness. Most of the time heaviness outweighs lightness, but sometimes a great enough volume of sparse matter can overcome a concentration of weight. You have seen this when balloons carry baskets into the air. The principle applies equally to humans and animals in other situations.

For example, Bleb and I were once ambushed by a pack of wolves, and we tried to escape by outrunning them. We came to a cliff and Bleb kept going, albeit in a somewhat downward direction. “Whoa!” I cried without thinking, and so Bleb halted -- just a few inches from the ground. From there we were able to safely step off and continue on our way.

We could not do that today, as both Bleb and I are weighted down with a heavy knowledge of the laws of physics. At the time, though, we were mighty ignorant. Ignorance is bliss, and bliss lightens your load considerably. The wolves, as you may guess, were smarter and therefore had to take the long, slow way down, by which time we were far afield.

This is not to say that I’m against education. You can earn much more money with a good vocabulary – otherwise I would not be able to sell Wizard Water©. I’m just saying that ignorance also has its uses.

As for gravity, good humor also helps to lift any weight – that’s why humor is also called levity.

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[Note: Others have claimed to escape danger in the same way as described above, but none to my knowledge have explained as I have just how it works.]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Hazards of Crop Transportation

Whiskey still-West Point,Durham,NCI have just returned from a trip to the small settlement of Swallow Creek in north Georgia, where I observed an interesting method of shipping produce. The roads to this place are so steep and narrow that the farmers can’t export their crops by wagon. They therefore don’t grow vegetables in any commercial quantity, with one exception: corn. Farmers up there have learned to convert most of their corn to liquid. Since unhusked corn can go bad quickly, they take the added precaution of fermenting it for preservation purposes. They then make use of the natural forces of gravity by pouring it off a rocky granite outcrop from which it falls to a large vat in the valley far below their settlement. The owner of the vat pays the farmers for their crops by weight.

For this reason, people in the area measure the land in gallons, not acres.

I discovered all this accidentally when attempting to refill my water supply from what I thought was a pure mountain waterfall. It was dusk, and in order to see better I carried a lantern. Well, I stumbled and dropped the lantern. Imagine my surprise when the waterfall caught fire. Not only that, but the flame appeared to travel both up to the source of the stream above, and also down the mountainside. I looked over the ledge I was on as far as I dared and watched the flame as it ran downward until it reached the valley, where it ignited a large pond. The pond stayed lit for some time.

When I reached Swallow Creek the next morning, the farmers were in a sad state. It seems their entire season’s yield had been consumed by fire the night before. Upon learning the details, I decided that further enlightenment from me would not help matters. I mentioned, however, that the ancient Romans faced a similar problem and solved it by transporting their water via aquaducts. The farmers got rather excited about this. The last I heard they were planning to construct something which they were calling an aquae-vitae-duct.

By way of making amends, I also left a bottle of Wizard Water© to help speed production of their next crop. With luck, they might fit another season in the next week or so. I just hope they get the produce bottled before storm season sets in. The lightning strikes around here don’t need any augmentation.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Perpetual Motion Machine

I am working on a perpetual motion machine. Some people think such a thing is not possible, but I have heard women discuss men’s faults and know this is not so. If we can only harness the power of dissatisfaction we might be able to replace horses and mules with personal vehicles whose only maintenance requirements are hot air and a list of chores that need to be done.

I have invented a device that almost works. It uses a combination of naturally generated friction and hot air that can be found in any state capitol. In fact, it once ran for 18 months on little else, but then the legislature stopped arguing and passed the bill. I am currently pursuing a way to attach the device to lawsuits.

copyright ©2009 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

howling dogThe hottest days of the year are upon us, and as many of you know, the danger of heat prostration vastly increases during this time.

What many people are not aware of is the increased danger of spontaneous internal combustion.

As the sun draws closer to the earth, it warms the blood to dangerous levels. This warmth increases bacterial fermentation within the body. It is a well known fact that the process of fermentation generates gas. During long spells of hot weather the gas buildup can be considerable within the bloodstream, and the least exertion can cause a resounding discharge.

The newspapers do not like to report such matters, as they either discredit them, or fear alarming the public regarding something for which they believe there is no cure. The danger is real, however, as is the treatment.

I knew a circus performer who stood six feet six, weighed over 200 pounds. He prided himself on his strength and endurance, and so he would continue to work in hot weather when all others fell back to await cooler conditions. On one such occasion he was wrestling a pair of elephants when he suddenly burst into flames. He might have survived had not the elephants, in panic, stamped him out.

Don’t let this happen to you! Drink plenty of cool liquids to keep your blood temperature down, stay away from magnets (they excite the iron in the blood, which can initiate deadly sparks), and always apply a dose of Wizard Water© daily per the directions on the bottle.

Wizard Water© is guaranteed to prevent spontaneous internal combustion or your money back. If you use it as directed and find yourself in a state of conflagration, return the bottle in person and I will happily refund your money – and in coins, not paper.

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