Fear of Beards

Gardyloo

I have this book, The Word Museum : The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten which is a lovely bathroom read. Some wonderful tidbits I discovered include “pogonophobia” (a persistent fear of beards), “pornocracy” (The rule of prostitutes; dominating influence of cortezans; [from] The Pornacracy, a party which which controlled the government of Rome and the elections to the papacy throughout the first part of the tenth century), and “gardyloo” (a cry which servants in the higher stories of Edinburgh give, after ten o’clock at night, when they throw their dirty water, &c. from the windows). I’ve already used some of these words in my stories, including “geloscopy” (divination my means of laughter) and “ostentiferous” (that which brings monsters or strange sights). Every author should have herself a copy.

Also, I’ve just caught up with the 33rd issue of Y, The Last Man, a comic which I’ve grown to love. Here’s the premise: every man on Earth dies in one bloody instant except one loafer twenty something wanna-be magician and his pet monkey. Now, before you go saying this is not-so-subtle teenage porn fantasy (after all, who would not want to be the last guy on Earth surrounded by three billion available women?), you might want to read an issue. What impressed me was how they portrayed all of the sectors of society we usually conceive as male-dominant: the government, the military, automobile repair, etc., and how the authors showed how many of our preconceptions about these sectors are false. (Spoiler warning). The government does not fall (one of the senators, a Hillary Clintonesque woman) steps up to power while the gun-toting Republican wives try to sieze control of the White House. Yes, there are scenes of lust and temptation in this graphic novel, but they are there only to move the story along. Yorick, the male protagonist, does not go around the planet schtooping every woman he sees, but instead he stays (mostly) faithful to the love of his life in Australia, who he’s not even sure is still alive. When I read Y, The Last Man I was instantly hooked. You might want to check it out.

Sunset on Mars

Finally, though it may be dawn here, the sun is setting somewhere in the universe. Take for example this picture of a Sunset on Mars. Can you just picture a romantic dinner with the love of your life right on that little hill and watching the sun go down on another world? “Dear, will you marry me?”

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