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Jest in Literature - Don't you love Fleabees?  Gunjan Saraf
 Sep 10, 2002 01:02 PDT 
9th September 2002    #     022

A little Blue and Back
                          ~ The Doc

                           ~ The Doc

The Flea
                           ~ John Donne

Definitely Lewd
                           ~ The Doc

Poetry Corner
                         ~ Darling, Lanis, Lane and Bill
                            with The Doc and Gunjan chipping in.

Inspiration Corner -
                          ~ The Doc

Winding Up
                          ~ The Doc and Gunjan


----------------   MESSAGE   -----------------

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====> A little Blue and Back

Hello, patient ones! I'm back... well, most of me is back. I
thank you for your good wishes during this elongated recovery
period. I actually have been feeling better for a few days, but
the nature of the accident I suffered has made getting back to
this newsletter a bit difficult.

You see, I managed to inadvertently whack off about half of
the ring finger on my right hand. There is probably no way to
adequately express the feeling of realizing one has just
experienced something irreversible. You look down; it's gone;
and you just know that no miracle is going to make this not
have happened.

I first got into doing things on a computer when I realized that
with some practice keyboarding I could zip along with my
thoughts much quicker than if I were writing them out by hand.
Fewer cramps, too.

I had gotten to where I was keyboarding over 100 wpm, and
that really facilitated producing this newsletter. Now, with two
wrapped up digits (actually one is wrapped and the one next to
it is in a brace. I lacerated the extensor tendons in the middle
finger as well), this process is excruciatingly slow, much like
hand writing, which I also can't do.

Gunjan and I are researching some voice-activated typing
software, but that has been a bit confusing so far. Thus, I have
determined to peck away at this until we get something going on
that end. While this issue will be a bit late, at least we will get
back into the swing here.

Gunjan is unaware that I have also been researching a method to
dictate the newsletter and having it typed. I thought my ad for
someone to assist would be fruitful, but so far, no luck. Maybe it
is my insistence that the person fit nicely into the French Maid's
outfit that has slowed responses. Either that, or perhaps the
lap-sitting requirement has narrowed the field.
Picky, picky, picky.

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====> Prelude

"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem
to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year."
-John Foster Dulles

When confronted with whether a person who unknowingly
commits an "evil" act can now be considered evil himself, many
people tend to want to create two phases for the process of
answering. They want to consider the act a "mistake" if the person
committing it was ignorant of the fact that the act was evil when he
first committed it. Having created that mitigation, people seem to
then be able to consider that the act and the person are both "evil"
if the person does the same thing a second time in full knowledge
that it is evil.

All of this leads back to a consideration of whether evil is
something we somehow know, or if it is something we need to
be taught. If we need to be taught what is evil, is it then our own
fault if we are ignorant of it, or can the responsibility be
laid at the feet of those who did not teach us?

In other words, is ignorance our own mistake or someone else's?
If it is not someone else's, then how can we escape the notion
that committing an evil act, even in ignorance, does indeed mark
us as an evil person?

The quote by Dulles intimates that we are not successful if we
repeat or do not correct an error after its initial appearance.
In other words, we are only successful if we learn from our

For consideration would be, are we then considered "successful"
if we do not commit an evil act a second time? As a corollary,
one might then wonder if not repeating an evil act exonerates him
of the fact that he committed it the first time.

Wrestle with that, if you will, or just blame it on the pain
medication I'm taking.

What's so humorous about that?

Well, nothing if I don't get this next part written: I keep saying in
this newsletter that nothing is indomitable if we take it apart and
deal with it. (How do you find out how something works?
Tear it apart!)

I doubt that I'm alone in having had fits trying to figure out this
long-ago poet named John Donne. I used to think him and his
poetry so stodgy and remote neither were worth an investment
of time.

Then I read how Donne quit the church in order to marry Anne
Moore. Well, she was sixteen, and that was considered a bit
young for a thirty year old man, even back then. She bore him
either twelve or sixteen children, I forget. (After ten, who's
counting?) She died. (Too easy.) He went back to the church
(scouring the youth choir, one must wonder?). His poems go
back to stodgy.

Recently, in my big-hearted way, I gave Donne another chance
before I was done. After all, maybe he had more. Certainly he
had Moore. In this latest look, I finally grew up enough to be
able to read what is undoubtedly one of the wittiest, naughtiest
poems to have come out of the 1700's.

The more I study literature, the more I am convinced that all the
men through history thought and wrote about was sex. Boy,
we're sure lucky we've progressed beyond that.

                    Fantasy Art

If you like fantasy- and erotic art then this is
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take you to fantasy land..

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===> THE FLEA.
by John Donne

MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
And this, alas ! is more than we would do.

O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.

===> Definitely Lewd

Did you struggle through it? Can you believe that people like
Donne actually got away with this stuff? Smut, I tell you.
Pure smut! Someone should have said something!

Tear it apart: Ignoring the lack of sanitary conditions that are
assumed in this poem, this is a translation of it. The only piece
of information that you might need to know is that in the 1700's,
sexual intercourse was believed to result not in fertilization of
egg by sperm, but in a commingling of blood.

For those of you who are die-hard figures-of-speech fans, what
we've got here is a METAPHYSICAL CONCEIT. For those
of you who are just concerned with the dirty parts, what we've
got here is the same old story - man tries to have sex with woman
who insists on remaining a virgin. (Yes, I suppose we should
consider this lady to be yet young indeed.)

The scene is this: picture a man sitting by a woman whom he has
heretofore attempted to seduce unsuccessfully. We join them in
the middle of his current attempt to hoist her petticoats.

A flea which has just bitten him jumps to her. He watches as it
bites her and then says, "Look! We just had sex!" "What?"
she says, startled, her hand darting to her crotch. "Yea." he
says. "That flea has a drop of my blood in it, and now a drop
of yours. Same-same sex. Was it good for you?" He lights a
cigarette. "Sex is an evil in which I will not partake," she replies
haughtily, taking a drag off his cigarette and wiping her brow.

"Ah, come on," he says, "when our blood combines, that's sex.
It happened right there inside that flea. You're not going to say
there's something evil now existing in that flea, are you?"

"Well, of course not," she says, a bit hesitantly.

"How about seconds, then?" he mumbles as his face descends
toward her cleavage.

With her delicate little finger, she then smashes the flea, thereby
believing she has ended the seduction.

Even though thinking with his other head, our hero rises to a
witty level which scores a big point for the men of history.
Personally, I'm proud of the way our hero turns this event
back on our vestal virgin.

"Oh, my," he says, "look at the little regard you pay to this thing
that you formerly thought such a sin. If you can so casually snuff
out that symbol (metaphysical conceit) of this thing that you
consider such a sin, then it must not be the sin which you claim it
to be, is that not so?

"Here you have casually killed this flea which had our bloods mixed
within it, yet you are not dead, and I am not dead, so I guess it is
not the mortal sin, huh?"   

Go, Dude!

Of course, to a vestal virgin, having sex would be the same as dying,
so we hear the argument for a reduction of charges as the curtain
drops on this scene. "I'll plead guilty if you reduce the charge to
'Assault with a friendly weapon...."

Comments or Questions :

The Devil's Dictionary defines LOVE as
'A temporary insanity curable by marriage.'
But if you're serious about finding it here's
The Easiest Way to Find the Love of Your Life!
Check out http://ebooks.wz.com/dating/a277.html
to have a great date next weekend...

===> Poetry Corner

His sleek, black, stretch limousine
screeches to a stop in the pit of my
The acrid smell of burning rubber, instantly
Chauffeured by imagination, he
intentionally leaves the motor running.
Exhaust fumes intensify; the poison chokes
me from the inside out.
"Hey asshole, put that piece of trash in
gear and get the hell out of here!"
Is what I want to scream, if I could just
stop shaking,
If my heart would stop racing,
If I were in control.
He revs the motor spewing out another
gush of disgusting, toxic fumes.
I double over gasping for breath, nearly
The battery acid hole scorching my
stomach, the survivor's souvenir.
~ Darling 2002

(Jesus. I'd just about give another finger
to have written something like this.)


Of dark and light
   in fear to tread,
With footsteps nigh
   a sound to dread
Terror mounting,
   bile to swallow
Pity dawns,
   no mood to wallow
In fright, it scuttles
   to veil its plight,
A tiny mouse,
   from human sight.

Lanis 2002

(How can I find room to comment on
things that are so well done as they stand?)


too many months, too many weeks,
too many days, my love, since last
I felt the velvet sweet caress
of petals fallen off the rose
and sniffed their scent and said a sigh.
the stem stands straight, alive but bare.
Impatiently I stare the stalk
to urge regrowth. My head is clear;
though knowing that to certain be,
my cheek grows cold, rememb'r'ing.


(I repeat.....)


Happiness is being content with me,
even if I am not content with others.

bill 2000

(Bill baffled me for a bit on this one. What had me going
was the way he could have said "even if others are not
content with me." Choices.)

Note from Gunjan -
In another of his less lucid moments The Doc has missed
including this week's one word writing prompt. Grabbing
my chance I include the prompt for this week. (I have been
looking for a chance to include some easy-to-pun words
so we could have some light verse too.)

The word for this week is - Indifferent
(Wonder if that's the same prompt Shakespeare had when he
wrote about the lion and hind!)

((The Doc adds - Wonder if someoneshould stop this boy before
he gets too carried away, or falls behind in his work....))      

Poetic Submissions For Denial

Turning Dreams into Dollars...

An ebook in which you won't find the get-rich-quick
garbage or motivational fluff that sounds good but never
works. Not too surprising, since the editors of
Internet ScamBusters are publishing it."


==> Inspiration Corner

"There are two ways of exerting one's strength;
one is pushing down, the other is pulling up."
~ Booker T. Washington

(The third would be the old up-and-down, I suppose.)

(I submit the following as a damn fine example of why it pays
to be clear in one's communication.)

A couple of hunters are out in the woods of North Carolina
when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn't seem to be
breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.

His friend whips out his cell phone, calls 911, and gasps to
the operator, "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator, in a calm soothing voice says, "Just take it easy.
I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

....There is a silence, ... then a shot is heard.

The voice comes back on the line, "OK, now what?"

"In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light,
and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal
~ Mahatma Gandhi

(So, you there: take off those fucking headphones and tap your
foot to the sounds of silence,)

"I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its
activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which,
to our eyes, seems to set in night; but it has in reality only gone
to diffuse its light elsewhere."
~ Goethe

(Well, tell me then, Mr. SmartMan Goethe, does a finger have a
soul, and is that where mine went dancing off to when last I saw it?)

Comments or Questions :

If you're looking for a really fun way to earn some
extra money with humor, check out John Cantu's ebook -
Getting Paid to Make People Laugh
(Without Being a Comedian)


[John is the guy who showcased Robin Williams, Paula
Poundstone, Kevin Meany, Rob Schneider, and Dana Carvey.]


===> Winding Up

Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache;
do be my enemy for friendship's sake.
~ William Blake (Hey! Is this guy a "ringer?")
(Message sent to me by Gunjan as soon as I told him
about the finger.)
Just found this quote from 'All's well that ends well' -

The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love.

(The same as Gunjan, I wondered if this was a pun
on "ends".)

The following is a bit of a conversation I had
with Gunjan after my accident:

----- Original Message -----
From: JD Lentz
To: Gunjan
Sent: Saturday, August 31, 2002 11:24 PM
Subject: dragging

 All I do is sleep. I'm good for ten minute stretches. Thus
I have given myself a new nom de plum: Balzer Dragon.
So appropriate.

 Haven't heard of Balzer Dragon.
Which book does the reference come from?

 My book, my friend. say it without looking at it.
Say it out loud.

Hi Doc,
I coulda kicked myself when I finally got that pun.
And you feel you're lucid for less time than me! ;-)

If you know someone who would be interested in reading
'Jest in Literature' please forward this entire message to them.
Better still invite them to subscribe. Thank You!
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JD Lentz
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