I have to confess to cheating on you, somewhat; at the end of the night I end up writing a lot because it all comes out, and I've put the Bleat to bed by then. I've been doing some stuff at Ricochet, and of course there's the newspaper. Tomorrow or Friday I hope to have a site here with all the stories and notes about The Duration.

Realized today it's been a week since St. Patrick's Day, a holiday I never celebrated or cared for or noticed much. This year was a bit different, since there was a dispute about the parade.

That seems like it happened a month ago. Last Saturday feels like a week ago.

After a brief excursion outside today to perform necessary legal business - and let me tell you, whole-lotta social distancing and disinfecting going on; I had to hose down my driver's license - I ran in the pet store for dog food. Staff is normal and smiling and "can I help you" and it's so disconcerting. When I got home I discovered that I had developed an honest-to-God twitch on my left cheek, which also involved the lower eyelid. Cured by a walk around the block. Dog bolted for something, pulled my arm, and now I have an aching muscle in my lower left side that feels like a strain or a tension knot. Not a flu ache. No sir, not going there.

I think if you get this, you know it.

And what do you do then? Tie some stink-finger around your neck!

Remedies of the Spanish Flu era, from one of those home-spun columnists who rambled on and on in every paper in 1918:

Even then, the supplies flew off the shelf when the grippe came to town.

Old Asefetida. It is “also spelled asafoetida, (and) gets its name from the Persian aza, for mastic or resin, and the Latin foetidus, for stinking.”

It has a long pedigree:

It is a giant fennel that exudes a vile odour. Early records mention that Alexander the Great carried this “stink finger” west in 4 BC. It was used as a spice in ancient Rome, and although not native to India, it has been used in Indian medicine and cookery for ages. It was believed that asafoetida enhanced singers voices. In the days of the Mughal aristocracy, the court singers if Agra and Delhi would eat a spoonful of asafoetida with butter and practice on the banks of the river Yamuna.

It gets better:

Bouquet: a pungent smell of rotting onions or sulfur. The smell dissipates with cooking.

Flavour: on its own, extremely unpleasant, like concentrated rotten garlic. When cooked, it adds an onion-like flavour.

If it was foul, it must have some medicinal value, I guess. I love the part about the bouquet: people must have been so desperate for spices they thought "okay, it smells absolutely vile, but maybe if cook it the stench will abate."

Seems like a lot of work for something that was merely onion-like.


Yes, yes, but when you cook it a long time, filling the house with its wretched scent, it tastes onion-like.


Did you know Alexander the Great carried it around? He conquered the known world, and when he realized there were no more lands to conquer, he sat down and wept






It's 1923.

Oh happy days are here again:

Yes, but where? Here? America? Where?

Buffalo NY.

The man was a hero.

  Post-Partum, you suspect.


And now, the happy news! Pretty Girl! Flowers! Much better than all that incineration and suicide.

Modern eyes just have a hard time understanding why they ran everyone’s address.


She lived here, in case you want to go back in time and stalk her.


And how will the market be so ordered to behave?

As it happened, prices went up - farmers would get more for their crops in 1924, and when you had a large portion of the workforce involved in ag, that had wide-ranging salutary effects.

  Editorial page hardy-har

Tale as old as time, I guess:
Maybe I’m just in need of a nap, but that one took me a while.


Now, a whole site for you to enjoy!

It's not very good!

But maybve that's part of the fun - old comics that just . . . didn't . . . have it. Mind you, they could have had it then, but to modern eyes? Nope. Have a look at Fellow Citizens from 1947, which, as you'll note, is part of the rehabbed Forties site.

New interface, which you can see here. There will be some 404s and such; sorry. Sue me.

Now to have another bourbon with a splash of bourbon. See you around.




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