Word of the Day: dioristic

This story is another of the fractured nursery rhymes. It’s about 30 times longer than the original nursery rhyme, which probably means I’ve really thought too long about it.

Today’s Word:


As in:

Like many people in the world of entertainment, Jack B. Nimble has had to change his act to keep people coming.

He just never imagined the changes would be so significant.

“People just aren’t impressed by one guy jumping over a candle stick any more. It’s too tame. I made the candlestick 15 feet high, but, it usually blew out when I did it. There’s no drama in a guy jumping 15 feet over a stick. Then I tried a bunch of candles, spread on the ground over three feet, and jumped over that, but, the novelty of that wore out pretty fast. Now, I’m going to try jumping over bonfires, and see where that takes me.”

Nimble, his face lined with the stress of trying to eck out a living in the world of daredevils, feels the pressure of an increasingly demanding audience. When he started, his dioristic routine was top of its class. Now, that routine is, at best, seen as “quaint,” and at worst, “stupidly boring.”

“Audiences are jaded. Anyone can jump over a candlestick. Now they want to see death defying thrills and, if you can manage it, a really spectacular accident. It keeps me up at nights trying to plan these things, and I worry more about having a crowd appreciate the stunt than I worry about the injuries. I got kids to feed.”

I’ve always thought that “jumping over a candlestick” was a ridiculous stunt. Why do you have to be all that nimble or quick to jump over a candlestick? Is this some weird medieval thing that has some other meaning that I don’t know because I’m literate or born 500 years too late for this to make sense? Anyone know?

dioristic / DIE – or – IS – tic / Distinguishing; distinctive; defining

Word of the Day: deglutition

Today’s tale is another in the series of “fractured nursery rhymes.” This one is dedicated to my friend, and historical food cookery aficionado, Sheila.

Today’s Word:


As in:

A Middle Ages-themed restuarant, “Pease Porridge” has been closed by the health inspector, after tests revealed that the contents of the pot were, in fact, nine days old.

The restuarant, which was billed as serving authentic recipes from 16th century Europe, opened seven months ago to mixed reviews. Several critics complimented the venue’s authenticity, and even appreciated a number of the dishes as “unique and surprisingly tasty.” A few noted that the food was “decidedly odd,” and specifically mentioned that the signature dish, “pease porridge,” a typical peasant dish, was “largly unappetizing, especially served cold. It did not inspire thoughts of deglutition.”

The dish, available in both hot and cold preparations, was praised by some patrons, but others found it barely palatable. Some complained it had little flavor, and others claimed it was too salty.

The restuarant’s owner, Margaret West, explained that their dedication to authenticity was the culprit in this diversity of experiences. “Like those peasants whose diet depended upon this inexpense preparation of veggetables stewed in a single pot over the only source of heat in their small dwellings, we started with peas and bacon, and then added to it over each day. We put in the things we had leftover from other menu items.”

This set off red flags for Jeffrey Lopez, a health inspector and fan of historical recipes. “I went to the restuarant hoping that they were not cooking things to warm, and then leaving them over a hearth (whether literal or figurative) over night to then serve the concoction cold. I had hoped they were using refrigeration for the food when it was not heated to temperature. Food kept out overnight is a dangerous proposition, and is a perfectly suited environment for bacteria to grow.”

West commented on this idea as being “… a bit paranoid.” She went on to state that people today are just a bit too obsessed with food safety, and it would do them good to build their immune systems and stop worrying so much about bacteria. She notes that our ancestors wouldn’t have discovered cheese if they’d had our predjudices about food storage, and indicates that “they survived. Well, most of them. They might even expect to live to the ripe old age of 40!”

This was funnier in my head.

Also, tomorrow, the largest internet protest ever will be taking place to protest SOPA and PIPA. These are *REAL* bills, about to PASS, and not Kate Middleton’s siblings. While I’m not a fan of piracy, these bills will not put a dent in stopping *actual* piracy, and could really hurt businesses that depend on the internet.

deglutition / DEE – glue – ti – shun / the act or process of swallowing


Word of the Day: indurate

It was very difficult to return to work today. It feels like I stepped into the ring and took a serious beating. It was really hard to get out of bed this morning, and if the traffic had been at normal levels, well, I’d not have gotten coffee this morning.

This is another in the series of stories based upon nursery rhymes.

Today’s Word:


As in:

The continuing economic downturn has forced some families to some unusual means to try and earn a living. Maybe “unusual” is just the way it is with our next guest.

I’m talking today with Rosemary Shue, a long time resident of Stonybrook, who has been called unusual for two things: her house, which is built in the shape of a shoe, and her large family. Rosemary is the mother of 15 kids. Recently, when her husband lost his job, she was forced to take drastic measure to earn a living for herself and her kids. In this case, she decided to turn her house into a tourist destination. That’s right, the “Shoe” is open for business.

While the non-standard house is still the family’s residence, during the day, the indurate family will be giving tours of the place. You can now finally see what’s inside this local landmark. It’ll cost you $5 for the privilege. For that price, you’ll get a full hour tour of the place, from “heel to toe,” as it were.

The Shoe will also be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in its spacious gardens and enclosed patio. The food will be prepared by Mrs. Shue herself, and will include some of the produce her family grows on the property, plus locally sourced meat and dairy.

When she’s not serving meals or giving tours, Mrs. Shue will give classes in various ways to stretch your budget. She’s learned them all while raising 15 kids! She’s charging $20 per person, per class, and they range in topics from canning and freezing, to making your own furniture, handmade holiday décor, and tasty recipes that can be made for pennies.

Like many other destination restaurants, the Shoe has added on a gift shop, which is, naturally the last stop on the tour. You can buy some of Mrs. Shue’s prizewinning preserves, and bring home a t-shirt or mug with a picture of the iconic family home, built centuries ago.

You can even take home a picture of yourself at the home. For $5, you can have your photo taken either in front of the home, or waving from the top of the high-ankle. It’s sure to be a prized memory in any scrapbook.

I’m not sure if I’d *buy* a photo, but, a tour of a shoe house would be interesting.

indurate / IN – dur – ATE / physically or morally hardened