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Discerning tastes


Last Edited: May 19, 2005, 11:43 pm

There's an ongoing thread on Lottery Post, though maybeso it ends and begins again the way the head of a snake on a Hopi tablet pursues the tail, or poor old YinYang has to always go back to the place it began. 

The thread is a carnival, a celebration of what the posters would do if they won the lottery.  I've been thinking about that a bit, wondering what I might be wise enough to do or not do.  Wondering what some of my best friends, as well as what some fascinating strangers I've never met might do.

Anyway, I think I know what I'd do.  Naturally what I'd do would be jammed to the gullet with wisdom, good tastes, subdued good manners, though probably lacking in ostentation.  Therefore, unworthy of sharing here on the blog, where I feel the responsibility to entertain and edify in equal parts.

So, let me discuss discerning tastes a bit.  How good tastes have been demonstrated by close friends and associates.

When I was in the cabin waiting for the catastrophy of Y2k a jellicle cat of a certain size wandered in and hung around making a nuisance of himself to the other cats, but yearning for fulfillment as a barn cat.  I always welcome cats if there's room for them in my organizational chart.  Particularly jellicle cats. 

This one came to be known as Xerox.  (Most of my adult life there's been a place for a Mehitabel, a Hydrox, a Xerox, and a few other names.  When there's an opening in one of the names and a new animal arrives, it gets the empty name.  When this one came there was an opening for a Xerox.  Simple enough.)

Anyway, Xerox was a good cat.  He caught a lot of mice, never succeeded in becoming an indoor cat, and dodged coyotes, owls and hawks for the duration of his tenure.  He was holding himself back for better things.

After Y2k didn't happen for most people, after it became obvious that I'd made an error in judgement that would require me to move back to town, Xerox naturally came with me.  It was there in Grants, NM, while he stalked vermin along a ditchbank that Xerox had his moment of glory.  A pair of bald eagles flew along that ditch a couple of times a day doing roughly the same thing Xerox was doing.  Not many days passed before the male made a dive from a hundred feet and ended Xerox's hunting days until the next life.

That, my friends, is discerning tastes.  That is going out in high style for any cat, being killed by a great bald eagle.

On the other hand:

Naiad.  Littermate to the current Hydrox, never cared much for Xerox, never paused to indulge in a moment of awe, respect for the discerning tastes of Xerox.  She has her own methods of discernment, of demonstrating her breeding:

A couple of days ago she brought this to the front porch, placed it at my feet for my examination.  It's a rare bird in the US, particularly this far north.  It's a Streak-backed Oriole, usually found in Mexico, but sometimes in Arizona.  This one can be found lying on a box in the carport in northern New Mexico.  Haven't arrived at a proper disposal approach.  Anything I that comes to mind seems inadequate or inappropriate.

Anyway, I'm reasonably certain if Naiad won the jackpot her main ambition would be to kill an American Bald Eagle, preferably a male, and drop it at my feet on the porch.

There's a man in Mullinville, Kansas, I'm betting has the most votes in all Christiandom in favor of him not winning any lottery.  His place borders the highway.  Here's an example of the kinds of things he'd most likely do a LOT more of if he won the jackpot:

It goes on for most of a mile, cartoon characters of plate steel.  Everyone would probably as soon he sticks with the resources available to him now, as opposed to a sudden and unexpected means of acquiring a forest of shiny metal.

I have exquisite tastes, myself, and I can't tell you how glad it makes me to see along any fenceline, the least display of good tastes.


Entry #27


ToddComment by Todd - May 20, 2005, 8:54 am
AWESOME entry Jack! Did you take that picture of the metal cartoon characters? I've never heard of that guy - that must be hysterical to see!

I love all the cat names - very creative. (Xerox is a great name for a cat.) BTW, what is a "jellicle cat"?

Comment by Rip Snorter - May 20, 2005, 1:42 pm
Gracias Todd, and good morning.

Nope. I've never actually seen those characters of steel. A friend was driving through Mullinberg or whatever a few days ago. She'd passed them occasionally and told me about them, but this time pulled off to look them over more closely and take some pics, scratch her head and marvel a bit.

Cat names: Mehitabel #1 was a stray in Houston in 1967.... dropped a litter of kittens in my underwear drawer when I brought her into the apartment because a hurricane was expected. She was named after the Don Marquiz cat in The Life and Times of Archie and Mehitabel, a book from the 1930s.

Mehitabel in the book was reincarnated from Cleopatra. After the Houston Mehitabel, I've had several others around by that name, one for 17 years. At the moment the slot is open, the most recent one having gone on permanent mouse patrol, August 20, 2003 ( http://www.jackpurcellbooks.us/pages/utility%20pages/missing.htm ). Hydrox # 1 first entered stage left as a name and a feline in 1975, a kitten of Mehitabel #2. Xerox came along next litter. The Hydrox and Xerox slots are always filled by jellicle cats.... The Hydrox name having been adopted from a kind of black double cookie with a white center you used to see around in those days. Xerox was merely a photocopy of Hydrox, in appearance.

Jellicle cats as a generic name for black and white cats comes from the T.S. Eliot poetry volume, Old Possum's Book of Classical Cats. It was the source for the Broadway musical, Cats.

Thanks for the reply.


emilygComment by emilyg - May 20, 2005, 9:25 pm
my brother in-in-law (deceased) named all his cats after gas brands - exxon, chevron, etc. . i have max, doofus, pumpkin and boo-boo.

love your blogs. em

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