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Halloween Countdown 


Thursday, October 28, 2004

So far I have seen an IMAX 3D horror movie; took in six authentic haunted houses; am decorating the old workplace with decapitated heads, corpse hands and tarantulas; watched numerous horror films; arranged for ghostbusters to visit; and bought five pumpkins.

Tonight I met my match. Men with chainsaws chasing me around mazes.

Area 51: Alien Apocalypse: the first haunted house. I hid behind little Kazumi the whole way through.

The Asylum of Terror: the second haunted house. I hid behind little Kazumi most of the way until I ran, terrified, for the rest of the maze. It was only when I got out that I realized I left Kazumi behind. So I went back in. A guy with a chainsaw chased her. By far the scariest. Especially the polka-dot chameleon clown.

Nuclear Nightmare: the third haunted house. I hid behind little Kazumi. A guy with a big knife got fed up of me cowering in a corner and told me to hurry up. Another guy with a chainsaw got between me and Kazumi. Kazumi yelled at me to run to her, but there was no way I could squeeze past the chainsaw.

What Lurks in the Dark: the fourth haunted house. I was so happy when the attendant made me go with a young couple. With a man to protect us, there was no danger. Just to be safe, I hid behind little Kazumi. This house was really dark. In the confusion, I somehow ended up in front, the girl behind me, holding on to my shoulders, her boyfriend behind her, holding on tight, and Kazumi at the back. When the bad man jumped out of the dark, the girl grabbed my hand. I felt brave and manly.

Reaper's Remains: the last haunted house. I groped my way through the dark, leading Kazumi, a girl and her boyfriend. The boyfriend told me he will be screaming "like a little girl."


National Novel Writing Blog 


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Twenty dollars is how much Pugshot bet me. If I write at least 10,000 words of a novel, Pugshot owes me twenty US dollars. If Pugshot wins, I owe Pugshot the twenty dollars.

I know, I know, it should be 50,000 words. But look, I'll be starting on November 3rd, not November 1st. Everyone else will have a head start.

Besides, I managed 4,000 words in 2002 and 2,000 words in 2003. 10,000 is a longshot for me, therefore a suitable goal.

To further cheat - no! no! - I meant to further increase audience involvement, I will be selling prime real estate in my novel. Please submit your words.

I guarantee that your words will make leading role and cameo appearances in my novel.

Right now I am thinking of a novel about a mad scientist in a lightbulb factory (plenty of piranhas!) or a novel about a travelling vampire carnival (lots of sullen things wearing black!). You know, the sort of topics an editor once told me she hates getting.


And I Even Look Like Him 


Monday, October 25, 2004

You are a RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD ZOMBIE
You are a Return of the Living Dead Zombie. You
were brought back from the grave by exposure to
245-Trioxin. You crave the heavenly taste of
spicy brains to stop the pain of being dead.
You are virtually indestructible, as even
burning you up will create Zombie Rain and
raise more zombies.


What kind of Zombie are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


And I Even Look Like Her 


Monday, October 25, 2004

HASH(0x888a69c)
You're Brigitte Bardot!


What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Thanks, Raspberry)


Crenguţă Update 


Monday, October 25, 2004

She still bites but she doesn't puncture skin any more. Still exhibiting extreme fear of humans: writhes on her back when touched and appears to be possessed by the spirit of a hornet-stung cobra. Burrowed under the newspaper lining of her cage. Hisses, sneezes and squawks like a parrot.

So far, I am not in a coma.


Brush with Fame 


Monday, October 25, 2004

My ghostly adventures made it on the 6 o'clock news. I was the assistant in question.

The newscaster almost said Port Mutant before he corrected himself.


Charlie with the Gimlet Eyes 


Sunday, October 24, 2004

"A friendly crow has turned rogue, swooping down on children at Mary Hill Elementary School, stealing their toys and food, and dive-bombing adults.

The crow, which pupils have nicknamed Charlie, has been hanging around since school started.

While pupils were running laps, Charlie and friends stripped the paper labels off water bottles placed on the edge of the route.

He'd dive-bomb the kids, peck them in the head, chase them back in the building.

'He started dive-bombing mothers on the way into the building with their kids,' [secretary Alyssa Hall] said. 'Now he's got a couple of other crows with him.'

The crows, and a seagull, lurk around the playground during lunch and recess.

It and the other crows were not tempted by Cheezies placed on the ground to lure them in for a closer look. Only the seagull ventured close.

One crow - she said it was Charlie - left the gang and perched in a tree, staring at her with gimlet eyes.

'He's always staring at me,' she said."

Tri-City News


Advice Column 


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Dear Maktaaq,

I think my husband is having an affair. He returns from work late every night and, when I ask how his day was, he snaps at me that it was fine and I shouldn't be so nosy. I also found a receipt for flowers in his pant pocket when I doing the laundry. I haven't received flowers from him since our third anniversary, four years ago. He also goes on weekend trips for the company, he says. He works for a small hat manufacturing company. I may be a housewife married straight out of high school but I know factory floor workers don't get all-expenses paid business trips.

What should I do?

Sincerely,

Unhappy Housewife


*****


Dear Unhappy Housewife,

Any guinea pig infestation can be treated in one of three ways:

1. Hiring an Andean shepherd to draw them out of their lairs and to an undisclosed location.

2. Impaling effigies of the guinea pigs with knives.

3. Trapping them with venus flytraps.

Unfortunately, the average Andean shepherd's salary shot through the roof after the presidential guinea pig débâcle, making them impractical for the middle class masses.

Also unfortunately, effigies of each guinea pig must be made to dispatch the entire population. Overlooking even one guinea pig leads to renewed infestations. Just one guinea pig can self-germinate up to 49,000 other guinea pigs in three weeks. Furthermore the succeeding guinea pigs will have mutated a resistance to voodoo magic.

Most guinea pig extermination success stories attribute their effectiveness to the venus flytrap. Enforce at least three days of fasting upon your carnivorous flora, then surround the site of the infestation with the plants. This humane method does not kill the guinea pigs; the venus flytrap will only have begun salivating if you check on your traps within 24 hours, leaving the guinea pig soggy and perhaps temporarily paralyzed. Any plant with a trapped guinea pig should be pried open, the guinea pig inserted into a stamped envelope (see your post office for guinea pig mailing rates) and sent back to Peru. All guinea pigs should be returned to Av. Alfonso Ugarte 650 Lima - Perú.

Yours most truly,

F.G. Maktaaq



(Inspired by JMB)


Locust Party 


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Maikopunk wrote about potlucks. LadyLitBlitzin commented. I haven't had such a thorough laugh in a while. Even my newly-formed whiplash hunchback quivered with mirth.

Parties are weird. Sometimes people take care of your things and sometimes they vomit in your clothes drawers.

Uni, just to make it clear, is the Food of the Gods.


Crenguţă 


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The hamster's name has been decided. My sister suggested one of our distant cousins. She is Crenguţă, or Twiggy. Crenguţă seems tomboyish enough for a vicious 31-day-old hamsterling. Both my sister and I have been bitten by the little harridan.

For those of you who don't speak Romanian, Crenguţă is pronounced kren-goo-ts-ugh. My sister and I can't even say it. I phoned my mom up in the middle of the night just to check the spelling.

So Crenguţă is a spunky little shrew. We'll have to work on the taming part.


Fortune Teller 


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Romanian fortune teller was packing for her overseas trip. I insisted she read my cup.

My grandmother prepared a cup of Turkish coffee for me. I drank the grounds after I mixed in a teaspoon of sugar. The fortune teller snapped impatiently at me. My grandmother prepared me another cup. The fortune teller didn't let me add sugar or drink it all.

She wanted a paper towel on which the overturned cup could drain. Seeing that I could not find a paper towel she insisted I bring her toilet paper.

There is something wrong even about pristine toilet paper touching the rim of a cup that lips have just touched. I did not go for the toilet paper. My grandmother ran to find some tissue before the irate fortune teller stomped off.

My cup drained, it revealed the spider: more hardship in my future. And health problems, especially before a holiday. I will travel again - I will receive some money and spend some money, probably on this trip. After this trip, another trip, a permanent one of which I am fretting.

A woman of distant parts, with dark hair, will come visit me.

Three men are thinking of me, one nearby, one far away and one overseas. I'll have an affair with a man whose name starts with a G, but he will ultimately dump me as he will not love me. After some unfortunate incident, I'll find happiness with another man. He will be a brunette like me and he will be about my height. His name will start with an I.

I stuck my thumb on the sides of the cup. The fortune teller read the marks left by my thumb on the cup and then the coffee grains stuck to my thumb. After each reading, I licked the coffee off my thumb.

Something good will happen to me in three points. The fortune teller explained that this good be three days or three weeks or three months.

The fortune teller warned me not to thank her or my fortune will change course.


My Road to Bloggerdom 


Monday, October 18, 2004

Bedtime looms, but, inspired by LitBlitz's Question of the Day, a quick story about when I realized I wanted to be a writer.

I started to learn English just before my seventh birthday. I will always remember being plunked down in a grade one class, first period, and they hit me with Itsy Bitsy Spider. I was bewildered: I had just learned German and now had to learn another new language. And eye-hand coordination has never been my strength, even though I'm of Romanian gymnast stock.

The teacher kept repeating spider over and over again, as if by mere repetition I would learn this bizarre new English word. I nodded that I understood. I was scared to death. Itsy bitsy I never figured out.

I failed grade one.

Yet, I was of a literary bent and, as my parents believed in the old adage that little children should not be seen and not heard, they would lock me in the car while they went shopping. I can't recall if they left the windows open a crack, but I do remember that my parents always said a good Finnish sauna never hurt anyone.

Trapped in the car for hours, I tried bringing toys to ease the boredom. My hobby was My Little Pony dioramas. Car interiors proved to limit the extent of my dioramas. So I switched to drawing. I needed something to act as a table. Atlases filled this specialty niche.

At some point, I opened the underlying book and discovered that I could read this mysterious script. The road to English took me through Dick and Jane textbooks - I was one of the last of my generation to have learned from this classic tome - as well as obscure bits of grammatical trivia like the sentence that made me cry: "There are ten monkeys in the tree." There were Mr. Men books and C. S. Lewis books by the gallon. Dr. Seuss I never figured out.

Prison time in the mall parking lot turned into a boon offered only to the constipated. I zipped through novel after novel.

Around this period in my life, I began to crave paper. My father found a stack at a flea market for only one dollar. This paper was like antique zigzag computer printout paper, without the holes on the sides and smaller than the standard size. It turned canary yellow if I left it in the sun.

Still, my addiction to paper went unchecked.

We lived in poor neighbourhood, and the other street urchins and I tramped over to the townhouse neighbourhood for the dumpsters. There I found another motherload of paper.

Now I was ready for action. My first story was a comic book starring Trigger the Tiger and Leo the Lion as they search for hot dates in the jungle. There was definitely a goth bat princess in there somewhere. I can't remember her name.

Trigger and Leo went on to many adventures, concluding in their first epic adventure told in full comic book format. Desert Dummies, as I named this Asterix/Tintin copycat, saw Trigger, the stupid one, pull the aristocratic Leo off a Cairo tour bus and into the Sahara. They walk into a Bedouin tent where they shamelessly flirted with the sheik's numerous daughters. This was back when there was no Islam in my universe. The sheik, furious that the two felines took advantage of his generosity, gave chase. Trigger and Leo escaped and had many adventures.

I threw Desert Dummies out at seventeen when I moved.

Short stories by the dozens. Panda bears raiding Chinese hen houses. A series about thirteen sheer evil black cats with names like Deathtrap and Necrophilia. My grade five teacher, Ms. Perry, never corrected my misunderstanding of the latter word.

There were novels in me, too. One dead-end novella about seven young girls who lived in the woods, inside a luxurious stump. Choose-Your-Own-Adventures. The puzzled porn I tried to write at the prodding of my teenage cousin (now a respectable executive). My grade five magnum opus was a forty-pager about marshmallows. Ms. Perry told us we had to write a story about marshmallows and we had the weekend to do it.

By Monday morning I had the story of a young girl succumbing to her marshmallow addiction. My heroine bought the last bag of green - mouldy - marshmallows from the corner store. She wakes up on the peanut butter beach of a deserted island. Wandering into the jungle, she finds a leopard, the stately Jasper, losing a game of poker to three hyaenas. My heroine and Jasper live quite happily until a hyaena invasion takes place. Oddly enough my hyaena villains were guilty of over-developing the once-idyllic island. The story ends when, as Jasper and the heroine are about to be hung for treason, the girl wakes up back in her bed.

That Monday morning, on the school bus, I revealed that my story was forty pages. Minor fame in the playground. After lunch, I knew Ms. Perry couldn't wait to call me up for my story. I was her favourite student - she was very literary and loved my flood of stories. A few tales of the origin of marshmallows and it was my turn. As I walked to the centre of the reading circle, the class said, "Uh oh!"

In elementary school, teasing is a sign of popularity. I smiled to my adoring crowd.

Ms. Perry, on the other hand, flew to protect me.

"You are all so rude!" She yelled at the class. She told them how they must never treat anyone like that again and how they should respect every body's effort in writing because writers are very vulnerable to criticism.

I only got five pages into my story when Ms. Perry stopped me and asked how many more pages I'd written.

I went on to a lacklustre career as a teen angst hobbit poet.

For the next school year, Ms. Perry moved to the Yukon and I transferred to a new school when school boundaries changed.

Ms. Perry wrote me a letter before she left. She told me that, if I keep it up, I'll become a great Canadian writer one day. I keep meaning to write that novel that will make me a great Canadian writer so I can track down Ms. Perry and make her proud.

Damn, the quick story about when I realized I wanted to be a writer turned out to be a long story.


New Hamster 


Monday, October 18, 2004

I am off to adopt my new hamster!!!!!!!

Her name is Tina, but she might need a new (Romanian) name. I had lined up Rareş* and Cosmin** as future Romanian hamster names, but I have run out of Romanian female names with no equivalent in English. Any ideas would be welcome.

Finally, I'll have a cute, cuddly thing in my life again!

Tina, baby, I am coming for you!



*Rareş is the name of my first date that my mom set up for me. He was an obese construction worker. Our first date was at an internet cafe where he had me translating his online chats with babes from the Philippines.

**Cosmin is the name of a bizarre chef I befriended while living in a Romanian motel. Cosmin and I would paint glass icons together and laugh at people's underwear in the laundromat.


More Martha 


Monday, October 18, 2004

Martha Stewart is rumoured to have a $5M book deal brewing for her experiences. 5 months = $1M a month...she is a smart cookie. Her salary as head of Martha Stewart Omnimedia is about $900,000 a year, though she is also the biggest stockholder. Still her book deal (and media appearances when this is all over) will make her even richer.

Until then, her prison has a culinary arts school but there are demeaning strip searches that come with the territory.

Locals sure enjoy having her over:

"Residents of the town are hoping the media interest in its newest arrival will make them wealthier, according to the Associated Press news agency. Some locals have rented their lawns to TV networks' satellite trucks while others are selling visitors souvenirs and merchandise."

That is, merchandise like t-shirts reading West Virginia Living. It's a Good Thing. and Alderson, West Virginia. A Good Place to Spend Time.

Since Martha won her Scrabble game with the word escapee, there are some good tips out there what to do with her tunnel as she digs her way to freedom.

And me - Martha Stewart won me over a few years ago when she promoted heritage seeds on her tv show. None of those genetically modified things for her. Then her Halloween magazines secured me as a fan. I'm filling my house with bats.


That's a Good Thing 


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Martha Stewart passed the one-week prison time mark. My sister tells me she plays Scrabble now with the other inmates. Martha won her latest bout by forming the word escapee.

My sister warns that Martha is not in the regular prison. She's in prison orientation now.

Heidi Fleiss said that in prison, 95% of women become lesbians.

I do hope next year's Martha Stewart Living has prison chic.


Zombies in Print 


Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Hamsters in Print 


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

"I need to stay off the hamster wheel called durable goods, I guess."

So Many Worlds, So Little Time

From JMB

*****

"Anyone with more computer ability than your writer (like, say, my pet hamster), can go to the Bard Web site, click on "The Company", and reach the only Vancouver theatre page that does show complete photos and bios of all the actors, design team, and stage management."

Christine Hackman
On-site wig mistress
Bard on the Beach

Letter to the Editor
From The Georgia Straight
September 30 - October 7, 2004

*****

WANTING 3/4 bdrm home in Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows. For family of four & their hamster. Shop/dble garage with extra parkg a must. Great refs. Call Tim 604-555-8314.

Classified Ad
From Whereabouts Unknown


Romanians on the Radio 


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Heard this evening:

"If we were any more flexible we'd have to hire Romanian gymnasts. Their little hands could go through your money fast."


Quotes 


Monday, October 11, 2004

"The residents were mostly Anglo yuppies with no real experience dealing with people who didn't have to pay for their tan."

I Knew George Lopez When...

From Latina Lista: A viewpoint on anything, and everything from a Latina perspective.

*****

"Your baby's mobile was in good hands."

Gypsy Kings Mobile Day!

From Girls Are Pretty: Come to this blog, every single day, and you will be told what to do.

*****

"Perhaps birds and armadillos ate the bees (they die after stinging) or they flew a distance before dropping -- I couldn't find a single one."

Oklahoma Killer Bees

From Insect Blog: Observations of insects aquatic and terrestial.


Name Game 


Monday, October 11, 2004

One of my new favourite blogs, LitBlitz (the blog of "Literary rants for starving writers and voracious readers"), featured a post on pseudonyms. LadyLitBlitzin asks what people think of the pros and cons of using a pseudonym.

I once counted all the variations of my name that I've used in my lifetime, as well as my pseudonyms (Maktaaq, the Wobbly Tarantula, and two I can't tell you for privacy's sake). My real name, which has been both a bane and a boon, is a slippery fish that has provides me with exactly ten personas so far. Besides the fact that I am heaven-made for conmanship, I find that all these names suit me and my varied interests as well as all the polarized aspects of my personality. The problem with putting anything down in writing is that you're then bound to your pronouncements. Anything you say will be used against you.

Thus, if I remember which persona speaks what, I can use that persona's name with little commitment to my core personality. The inner me that no one can ever entirely know - and who would want to know me in my entirety? - remains almost constant despite the outer shifting tides.

There are other cultures where this name-shifting happens. In Chinese history, for example, many artists had numerous pseudonyms, with the master of all pseudonyms being a painter of the Qing Dynasty with 21 names.

FongYee, whose name implies she is a phoenix rising victorious out of the ashes, is a strong believer in personalities and fates tied to one's name. She suggests I just take a new name and to hell with all the others.

While my real name comes from one of Vlad the Impaler's siblings, English effeminates it. In Japanese, my name means trap, making me deceitful and predatory. I tested out my name at an Ethiopian brothel and the prostitutes found its Amharic meaning, swimming, to be rather comical. In Mandarin, while it is certainly pretty (baby doll), it irked me during my teenage years for not being revolutionary enough. In Javanese it means forest. In Cantonese, it's snortingly nasal.

Maktaaq, on the other hand, is suitable for outsiders. It means whale blubber and I see myself as a kernel of me-ness buried in a vat of the stuff. Fat coagulates and fat can melt. The ever-changing nature of fat mirrors my own transformations (I've even gone from being a non-white threat to WASP to American-born Chinese to Pakistani: my favourite mistaken identity was as a Uighyur minority from China's central Asian Muslim provinces).

But I digress so far from what LadyLitBlitzin wanted to know. In a nutshell, my answer are the pros of pseudonyms: privacy and transformation while maintaining a central me-ness.

Once you've all answered her question, here's mine: what made you choose your pseudonyms?


Bookshelves 


Monday, October 11, 2004

A month ago I went for a follow-up with tea cup fortune-teller Bekka. She remembered me sort of. This year my cup told her I should leave. I have no future in Canada. I should get out in the fall of this year, next January at the latest.

"And don't buy any furniture," she warned. "Invest in a camera. And a laptop. Then get out of the country."

An old country is where I should go. China. I've been to China and don't plan on any more time in Asia. I let Bekka talk away. Luckily she did mention New York was an option so I am not condemned to another lifetime in the Far East. And a boat: I will get there in a boat.

Then she repeated her injunction against furniture. She assured me that in old age I won't lack anything so I don't have to prepare now. No furniture. Get out now. A camera. A laptop.

Every day for months I have been dreaming of new bookshelves. Despite my moratorium on book-buying - except cheap art books and classics such as Raise Earthworms for Fun and Profit - my collection of new books overflowed onto the living room floor. I must buy matching bookshelves now, before Ikea stops selling my matching pine bookshelves. There is this interior design fantasy I have, of Viennese wall-to-wall bookshelves. Me, on my chaise longue, holding court with the wits of the kingdom, my imposing towers of books ready to topple in and destroy us all in a scholarly death. Me, scorning the companionship of the television for the langurous affairs with the most loquacious of Victorian writers. A paradise of knowledge within our provincial town.

Daydreams of these bookshelves tumble into insecurities about Bekka's warning. She said I should leave. She said I should not buy any new furniture.

At other people's houses, like a starved python, I leer lustfully at their bookshelves. Their books are so organized. Mine are not even in piles according to genre. I must buy bookshelves.

I've talked to myself logically. Even just three more bookshelves would cost me half of what my wisdom tooth surgery will cost. I must put my health ahead of my library. The dissenting voice pipes up too. Matching bookshelves. A good-looking apartment with uniformity in its furniture. Act now before Ikea debuts a new design in bookshelves.

Bekka's advice is there as well, nagging at the back. Get out. Get out. Get out.

Whither shall I go, Bekka? You never answered that satisfactorily. Just let me know and I can disengage from the dream of the bookshelves.

And I forgot to ask you when I'll marry.


Killer Canadians 


Saturday, October 09, 2004

"I want to make sure they're safe. When a drug comes in from Canada, I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you," Bush said.

Got that, Canucks?


Milky Mango Virgins 


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Don't you just hate it when you proclaim out loud, without thinking, that you have some personality deficiency and then people around you agree? There's no way to suck in your words, which were not meant for public consumption nor for eliciting affirmations to their veracity. Someone rolled their eyes (I could feel it even if I was on the phone) and yelped out "aye!" when I pondered if I was a workaholic.

Even though I fully agree with his assessment, I am also irritated because that means I am an official bore. I hate it when someone dares not be interested in my petty life. I guess this means my second piece of Maktaaq hate mail ("you are so boring no wonder the Arabs want to kill white people") was also fully correct in its take on my dull, insignificant life.

So, to show that I can talk about other things, I shall talk about perverted cocktails. The new Guu has plenty of them on the menu. There is a whole set of Milky Virgins on the drink menu. I leaned over and whispered to my tablemate that mango sounds like vagina in Japanese. That made Milky Mango Virgin even more thigh-slappingly hilarious.

See, I can so talk about non-work.


Dream Journey 


Monday, October 04, 2004

In my dream this morning, I got off the plane at Narita airport with only my queen-size mattress. No luggage, no purse, no passport. I left the airport without any ID checks; I got on the JR Train to Tokyo, 65 km, no payment, struggling with my giant mattress.

In Tokyo, I transferred through numerous stations until I got to Ueno Station. Then I wandered through the massive Ueno Station, with my mattress, until I got to the Takasaki Line platform.

I got off at Kita Kounosu Station because that is actually closer to the Burial Mound Park than Gyoda Station is. The drive from Kita Kounosu Station is only fifteen minutes. I had no money, so I walked, in the dark, for an hour or so. After a year and a half, even in my dream, I knew the way.

At the 7-Eleven on the road that dissects the Burial Mound Park, I crossed the street, went through the parking lot, past the Buddhist temple and its cemetery. I couldn't wait for my homecoming. I left on April 1st, 2003, in the wee hours. Funny how the mattress never seemed really heavy.

I opened the restaurant door: they changed the inside. I squeezed the mattress through the small door somehow. To my left, I saw Mrs. I and her daughter and granddaughter.

"I am back!" I said happily. "Where is JJ?"

Mrs. I did not smile and pointed behind me. JJ was around the living room table (it hadn't changed) with all his friends.

I smiled at him. "I returned and I love you!"

He didn't say anything for a moment. Then a meniscus of tears appeared on his eyelids.

"Get out," he said.


What Kind of People Do Live in Romania? 


Monday, October 04, 2004

Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 23:23:52 +0100 (BST)
From: Pugshot
Subject: Romania
To: Maktaaq

Boy, what kind of people live in Romania?

Pugshot

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A elderly Romanian man mistook his penis for a chicken's neck, cut it off and his dog rushed up and ate it, the state Rompres news agency said Monday.

It said 67 year-old Constantin Mocanu, from a village near the southeastern town of Galati, rushed out into his yard in his underwear to kill a noisy chicken keeping him awake at night.

"I confused it with the chicken's neck," Mocanu, who was admitted to the emergency hospital in Galati, was quoted as saying. "I cut it ... and the dog rushed and ate it."

Doctors said the man, who was brought in by an ambulance bleeding heavily, was now out of danger.


The Don’ts of Marriage 


Saturday, October 02, 2004

One of our collections assistant Kathryn’s latest discoveries is a date-less newspaper clipping with a few words of warning from American advice columnist, Dorothy Dix. Perhaps the clipping was meant to highlight instead the opposite side: an article on creating a "colourful stamped cushion" and a column on knitting, embroidery and crochet ("Wider Shamrock Edging").

Dorothy Dix was the pen name of Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer (1861-1951), whose advice column for the lovelorn appeared around the world for fifty years, had a readership of about sixty million. Rumour suggests she wrote the more tantalizing letters herself, with her astute responses already prepared. No matter, her admonitions still resonate.

The Advice of Dorothy Dix

Adolescent Love Cannot Stand Strain of Reality


Girls, if you want to be happy though married-DON’T marry until you are grown up. Marriage is for adults. It is no business for girl babies to tackle. It is hard enough to pick out a man with whom you will enjoy living after your own tastes and habits are formed and you know what sort of husband you want. It is impossible to do it while you are still a child and your own ideals and desires are continually changing and the thing you are crazy about one day is poison to you the next. Adolescent love is the most perishable thing on earth. It won’t stand the strain of work and worry and responsibility and babies. Besides, if you marry in your teens you will miss your playtime.

DON’T marry outside of your class. This goes for everything, age, social position, education, money, everything. The only happy marriages are those in which the husbands and wives stand on the same footing.

DON’T marry a man to reform him, or thinking you can change him. It can’t be done. There is no magic in the marriage ceremony that quenches a drunkard’s thirst, or galvanizes a lazy man into action, or puts a backbone into a weakling, or that turns a boor into a polished gentleman. After marriage a man is just as he was before, only a little more so. Wait until you find a man who is readymade, with all the qualities you want in a husband, before you marry.

DON’T marry a man who is hard to get along with and who has to be handled with gloves. A man’s disposition is what a wife has to live with, and she can get mighty tired of having to always walk on eggs to keep from stepping on some of his pet prejudices. The grouch, the fault-finder, the wet-blanket, the critic are the worst matrimonial bets.

DON’T marry a jealous man unless you have the skin of a rhinoceros and will not be wounded by continual insults and suspicions, and unless you feel that it will add spice to life to be forever watched and spied upon.

DON’T marry Mother’s pet, for if you do, you will have to wait upon him hand and foot and keep up the spoiling she has started and, no matter how much of a slave you are to him, you will always run a poor second to Mama.

DON’T marry a man who is better looking than you are. He will think that you should wear your last year’s wardrobe while he has three new suits. Women will always be running after him and wherever you go you will hear people wondering how he came to marry a frump.

DON’T marry a man who has holes in his pockets, nor one who counts his change too carefully.

DON’T marry a boy who honks his horn for you to come out and climb in his automobile, or who tries to boss you before he has a legal right to do so.

DON’T marry a man who doesn’t measure up to you ideal, for marriage lasts a long time and it seems longer if you get the wrong man.


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Saturday, October 02, 2004


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