Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An Ant

If I were an ant
I would fight other insects
to prove I was tough.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

La Coruna, Spain -- Potato chips

Frito Lay strikes again. The illustration on the front of the bag was
a leg of pig. The Spanish word was jamon. That's ham, baby. And
that's what the chips tasted like.

Sent from my mobile device

Copenhagen -- Candy bar

They call it Yankie. I don't know if the name is supposed to refer to
Americans (and they spelled it wrong) or if it means something in
Danish (and they spelled it right).

It's basically a Milky Way. Caramel and nougat covered in milk
chocolate. Good stuff.

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hard Work

Hard work will pay off.
Hard work, a sound investor,
and one human soul.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rich and Poor

What’s the difference
between a rich and poor man?
Their money, stupid.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport --Potato Chips

Q: What can make foreign junk food even more appealing than it already is?

A: When it's an unknown snack from a known (often American) company.

It's like snacking in Bizzaro World. Familiar, yet something's just
a little off. Which doesn't mean the snack isn't good. Right now I'm
eating Lay's brand potato chips. The flavor? Bolognaise. There's a
picture of a tomato on the bag. I guess it's supposed to be like a
pasta sauce? Tastes like a cross between BBQ and Sour Cream & Onion.
I'm a fan.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wait, Cat

The cat eyed the bird.
All it had to do was wait
until Master left.

Diamonds and Other Valuables

Diamonds are generally expensive. Also they’re the de facto official ring of marriage engagements (at least in America). It’s a good niche to have. Almost half the people in the U.S. get married, and many of them do it more than once. But why diamonds?

In my wholly unscientific process of guessing and armchair researching, I have arrived at two main reasons. First, compared to other rocks, diamonds are pretty rare. Second, people want them. A lot of people want them. (Because the diamonds look pretty and/or they have practical uses. Like for cat burglars to cut perfectly round holes in museum windows.) And these people will give a lot of money to other people in exchange for diamonds.

I doubt we’d care so much about diamonds if they were as common as granite or sandstone. If the gravel on the road to Grandma’s house were made of thousands of little diamonds, would you want to display one of them on your finger?

No, you would not. If say you would, you’re either a liar or a jerk or perhaps a practitioner of surrealist art. (All immediate grounds for ignoring.)

I have found something else that is both rare and in high demand. But it’s only rare in certain places. In other places, it’s quite ubiquitous.

Foreign candy.

Also foreign soft drinks.

I’m a big fan. I suspect I only like foreign candy and soft drinks because to me they are rare. Now, I don’t eat much candy at home. But something about sipping from a glass bottle of Coke in Italy or chewing on some crazy chili-strawberry gummi straw in Mexico (What?! It’s sweet and spicy?!) really gets me going. It’s a rare occurrence for me, so I value it more than I would if I could buy this junk Stateside. (In which case I’d probably never touch it. Unless I were some sort of surrealist.)

For the second half of September, I’ll be in Europe. But don’t worry. ELR will not go dark. I intend to post highlights of my two-week foray into basse cuisine. I’ll give the location and what I eat or drink. Keep an eye out for my selections at your local store. But if you find any of them, don’t tell me. If I know that a treat is easily obtained in my own country, I’ll stop sampling it abroad. Don’t ruin it for me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

E String

Montgomery paused.
If he played just one more chord
the E string would snap.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ELR Fan Mail #1

Well, kids, it’s time once again to take pen in hand and head over to the ELR mailbag to answer some fan mail. We regret that due to volume we can’t respond to every letter that finds its way to the blog, but we try to get to as much of it as we can. Our first letter comes from little Jenny Mason in Council Bluffs, IA. Jenny writes:

Dear Esoteric Literary Reference,

Are you the same Steve Theiss who took my favorite toy car when your family came over to my house for dinner in 1986? I say took but I mean stole. You stole it. I didn’t even want you to play with it. When you asked if you could, I said no and then when I got back from the bathroom your family was gone and the car was nowhere to be seen. Then the next day I noticed it was missing. I thought I’d never see it again, but then I read your stupid no-topic blog when I was simultaneously Googling the words “haiku” and “Wednesday” for no reason.

You are a jerk. Give me back my toy car. It’s the only thing that reminds me of my childhood and the relative innocence of my life back then. Before all the divorces.

In Hatred of Your Steal-y Face,
Jenny Mason
Council Bluffs, IA

P.S. - I hope you got rug burns all over your legs when you played with my favorite toy on the floor. You thief.

Dear Jenny,

Thanks for the letter. It’s always good to hear from a fan.

In answer to your question, no, of course I am not the same Steve Theiss who “stole” your toy car. In fact, from the way you describe it in your letter, it sounds more like this other Steve Theiss just borrowed the white toy car. Seems to me like you practically gave it to him.

Jenny, you can’t play the part of the generous friend and then get upset when people take advantage of your hospitality. (Although your letter hints that life has taught you a few lessons since then -- good for you!) Plus, if it really was your "favorite toy car", then why did you let the blue flame decals on the sides get all peely? Don’t they have super glue in Council Bluffs?

Anyway, we at Esoteric Literary Reference hope you find your long-lost toy, or at least find something to fill the emotional void with. We suggest Chunky Monkey ice cream. No matter how much you eat, you’ll never be as chunky as that monkey!

Esoteric Literary Reference Letter Reply Dept.