Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fit One, Page Seven, Panel One

The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat —
So the Baker advised it — and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:
This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail.

The illustration of these two stanzas has completely exhausted my remaining brain-worker abilities. Purchasing insurance for a lengthy sea voyage in the company of a declared homicidal maniac is standard naval procedure but fiendishly tricky for a landlubber draughtsman such as I. The dagger-proof coat which the Beaver is wearing was the crux of the drawing and easier by far, I decided to indicate its prophylactic function by delineating its essential nature: what goes on inside the dagger-proof coat, stays inside the dagger-proof coat.

Several of my readers have recently communicated to me that they don't "get it", that my written commentaries on the Snark contain "too many references to stuff we don't know about anyway", and finally, that's it all "too surreal". Success at last!

But seriously, big words make my head hurt too, that's why I became an artist. As a child I learned about these gigantic hurtful words and the small-minded hurtful people who use 'em. Whenever someone tries to make my brain hurt-hurt with jaw-jaw, I remember what Humpty Dumpty advised Alice on the subject of big, bad, scary words —
"They've a temper, some of them - particularly verbs: they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

The egg speaks and having spoken, we obey! Yes, our new watchword shall be: impenetrably-clear.


  1. I wholeheartedly disagree! Embrace obfuscation! Cultivate consternation! Promulgate the time-wasting yet illuminating sport of referent-chasing for the masses!

    Now, having said all that...what's the deal with the squids?

  2. Very well, very well, I cannot not continue to cultivate consternation! She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed will not be pleased but I'll placate her with a freshly lured tourist.

    The squids ... truthfully, I just thought they looked nice in the rigging of the HMS Snark, you know, the classic Montreal dish of calamari volant en plein air?

  3. Tellement savoureux! But if you're going to include Montrealia in your fantasia, then sooner or later, you'll have to work some poutine into the mix.

  4. poutine is sacred sustenance in Chez Mahendra, it thickens my waist and dulls the senses during the long, dark, wind-lashed Quebec winters.

    Oh, for a bowl of poutine on a long sea voyage, to wash down the airborne calamari!