Sometimes I think my Forgotten English desk calendar is making things up. About a month ago, it was “fourteen hundred,” which was supposedly “the cry uttered on the London Stock exchange when the presence of a stranger [was] detected. It was supposed to be derived from the fact that the number of members of the exchange was, for long, limited to 1399.”
The word for this weekend is “melsh-dick,” meaning “a wood demon who is supposed to guard over unripe nuts.” No, seriously. “‘Melsh Dick‘ll catch thee lad,’ was a common threat used to frighten children going nutting.”
Children just don’t go nutting as often as they used, do they? There’s just not as much call for demons to protect hazelnuts “from the depredations of mischievous boys.”
I wonder if that’s what the mischievous boys I saw across the earlier tonight were doing. It looked like they were trespassing on our neighbor’s property, using the fact that the house has been dark and for sale since he passed away in July, as an excuse to drink in the backyard — or, for all I know, try to break in. I only saw them briefly, rushing from around the side of the house, and speeding off, so I don’t want to assume too much. Maybe somebody called the cops, or maybe it was all perfectly innocent. I don’t think hazelnuts grow in this area, but you never know. Not with young boys and their depredations. And not with Melsh Dick lying down on the job.
Otherwise it was a quiet Saturday for the most part, largely spent writing and hanging around the house. I did mail out a few more copies of Kaleidotrope this morning, which should be everybody except new subscribers (hint hint) and a few reviewers. I was tempted to go see The Social Network this morning — the matinee, weirdly, was actually 10:30 — but I wasn’t sure that my back could take it. I’m still not sure, but it has seemed better today, maybe thanks to the heating pad I’ve been using since last night.
This evening, my parents and I had a very nice dinner out, then I came home and watched MacGruber. It was okay. Some of it, the sillier parts, were almost inspired. But I can’t help but feel Nathan Rabin was right when he noted that “Itâ€™s so obsessed with getting the hair, clothes, beats, clichÃ©s, music, and conventions of cheesy â€™80s action movies in the Cannon vein right that it sometimes forgets to include jokes.” It also sometimes mistakes dick and fart jokes for good jokes, but that’s almost to be expected.
If nothing else, the celery was funny.
And what more can you ask from a day than funny celery and protected hazelnuts? What more indeed?