“One ring to rule them all,” Professor Plum intoned ominously, “and with the stuff infect them.”

At least he read the mail. (More)

Ms. Scarlet turned off the Bilbo on her Nook, and they left together to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Janitor Professor of Astrology struggled over whether to cast his two red Kings into the Crack of Doom. He had raised to open the pot and Chef called. The flop brought the Ace and Seven of Spades and the Jack of Diamonds. Chef checked, the Janitor Professor of Astrology bet, and Chef replied with a pot-sized raise. He did not think Chef began with a pair of Aces, as she would have raised before the flop. But she might well have one Ace, or an Ace-Jack for two pair, or a pair of Jacks or Sevens for three of a kind. Or she might have only two Spades and hope to bluff him off Kings or Queens, or make her flush if he called. His inner Samwise Gamgee pleaded with him to fold as his inner Gollum clung desperately to the precious Kings. Finally he heeded Sam’s voice, and Chef courteously turned over one of her cards: the Seven of Diamonds.

The Janitor Professor of Astrology began his plaintive mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to make Egg-Stuffed Baked Potatoes, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.

In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood.

I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no wise were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.

Pat in VA

Dear Pat,

We applaud your weaseling, although we regret that our remark may be misunderstood as an indictment of the weasel community. We would challenge you to produce even a single documented case of an AIDS-infected activist using a barbed ring to infect someone else with AIDS, but we doubt your inability to produce such evidence would lessen your belief in this epic fantasy.

Dear Ms. Crissie,

You don’t understand. In order to win the debate, we have to return the discussion to sexual behavior in all its yuckiest gag-inducing truth. Now to do this, we’re simply going to have accept the fact that we aren’t going to be liked. We’re going to be branded “mean” and “bigoted.” What do I mean by returning the yuck factor? Here’s what we’re talking about: [Deleted]

That sense of moral outrage you’re now likely feeling–either at the descriptions above or at me for writing them–that gut-wrenching, jaw-clenching, hand-over-your-mouth, “I feel dirty” moral outrage is the gag reflex. It’s what you quietly felt when you read “two men deep kissing” in the second paragraph. Your moral sensibilities have been provoked – and rightly so. That reflex triggered by an accurate description of homosexual behavior will be the beginning of the recovery of moral sense and sensibility when it comes to the so-called “gay marriage” debate.

Thabiti in Grand Cayman

Dear Thabiti,

We agree that you will be branded as “mean” and “bigoted,” and rightly so. Your argument is, in fact, mean and bigoted. We note that heterosexual sex can also be described in terms that evoke the “yuck factor,” and indeed many heterosexual couples enjoy the same “gag-inducing” activities on your list. Yet you don’t call for the law to reject their marriages based on their bedroom activities. In short, you evoke disgust over imagined acts as a tool of social control, an argument with a long and ugly history in racial, religious, and other forms of bigotry.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I’m sure Chef’s Egg-Stuffed Baked Potatoes won’t trigger my yuck factor. How do I make them?

Wanting the Stuff for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Wanting the Stuff,

We assure you that Chef’s Egg-Stuffed Baked Potatoes will not trigger your yuck factor, as you can choose the ingredients yourself. First, slice the top off of a baked potato and scoop out most of the inside, saving that for mashed potatoes or some other use. Brush the inside of the potato with melted butter, sprinkle in your favorite cheese, crack an egg over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Chef adds crumbled bacon and chopped green onions and bell peppers. Then bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, until the eggs are white and the yolks are soft. Bon appétit!



Pat in VA; in my own experience.

Thabiti in Grand Cayman.


Happy Sunday!