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Saturday, January 4, 2014

An Anthropological Tour Of Insulo Merdo Amaso

Geo.: First, I'd like to thank Tetrarch Lafo Forgxiston for personally conducting me on this tour of Merdo Amaso Island here in the...

Tetrarch Lafo Forgxiston: Please! Don't mention our location specifically. We are a nation of philosophers. We survive in privacy.

Geo.: May I say that we are guests in an uncharted spot among the outer Azores?

Tet.: Yes, but not a Portuguese possession. We are independent. Our national language is Esperanto, mainly derived from Galatian, thousands of years ago.

Geo.: Excuse me Tetrarch, Esperanto was a language invented by L. L. Zamenhof in the 1880s.

Tet.:  We do not disagree here, nor do we argue, but your understandable misinformation was widely spread from this island to illustrate a point made by our greatest philosopher: "Kelkfoje ŝajnas ke ni estas ne tre brila."

Geo.: Which means?

Tet.: "Sometimes it seems we are not very bright."

Geo.: Profound. Who is this "greatest philosopher"?

Tet.: Me.

Geo.: I see. Is this saying repeated often?

Tet.: Almost constantly, but is expressed only by shrugging. One cannot argue a shrug. Since we are all philosophers, it was considered a conversational courtesy of minimal social disruption.

Geo.: What can you tell me about your cultural legends --your Creation Myth?

Tet.:  According to myth, the Colossus Of Rhodes waded away from his foundations in a panic induced by volcanic distress and dropped igneous excretions here, and that's how Merdo Amaso came to be. A sad tale and, in consideration of all sufferers, we do not elaborate upon it. 

Geo.: And the universe?

Tet.: Direct your attention to our Capitol building. The question mark on top refers to the Logos, the causal Word of all things. In the beginning, there was nothing. Nothing was divided by an interrogative. All that exists is the quotient.

Geo.: I see. And what of the inscription over the entrance?

Tet.: It is a concept, an instruction that has spread over the entire world, appearing in every language in every nation. Buildings of all sorts, public edifices and private businesses, display it to keep the flow of humanity safely unimpeded through their doors. You may consult the lexicon in your guidebook to translate it.

Geo.: Oh my! I certainly recognize it!
Tet.(shrugging): Quite.





27 comments:

  1. "Almost constantly, but is expressed only by shrugging. One cannot argue a shrug. Since we are all philosophers, it was considered a conversational courtesy of minimal social disruption." Seriously, shrugging and looking away is key to world peace. When I was young, I argued. The older I get, the more shrugging I do.

    And I always thought basalt looked a little ... scatological.

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    1. Understood! I am embarrassed by how old I was before I gave up arguing religion, politics and philosophy --but delighted by improvements in blood pressure.

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  2. " Igneous excretions."... what a great way to use it! Poor ol' Colossus must have eaten some bad tamales.

    Happy New Year, dude!

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    1. When I was 7 my dad took us San Francisco to see Lowell Thomas's "7 Wonders Of The World" in Cinerama! I wondered what became of Colossus and decided he got lost looking for a big bathroom. Now I am a great big dude and still believe that. Happy New Year too!

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  3. People who shrug are so sophisticated. I can never pull off a good shrug.

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    1. Michelle, it's my observation that those who think they can't shrug well are usually the most charming shruggers.

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  4. Maybe we could attain world peace if everyone just shrugged 10 times a day (and took an aspirin for shoulder pain).

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    1. World peace, eh? Might just be worth it.

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  5. Replies
    1. I hope there'll be classes in it so we can shrug without injury.

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  6. As Cheech or Chong might say, This is good merdo!

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    1. Might take practice to say "merdo" while exhaling slowly. Do they cover that in Esperanto classes?

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  7. Shrugging is indeed a valuable language all its own - - and a much easier one than Esperanto. I previously thought that Texas was the only place made up of igneous excretions......or perhaps I was thinking of ungulate excretions.....

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    1. Ungulates travel in herds so there'd definitely be broader island groupings.

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  8. Love the photo! Lower blood pressure is a good thing

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    1. Glad you like photo, Sage. I took some liberties with Rhode Island's capitol.

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  9. Dear Geo.,
    as shrugging is so full of meaning now, I'll simply train in rising one eyebrow. The left.

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    1. Now you've got me practicing. I can raise my right eyebrow by itself, but when I raise the left one they both go up.

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    2. When we have mastered it, we might be able to recognize us in a café, not needing Esperanto anymore.

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    3. We will get to wear trench coats and fedoras!

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  10. Delightful.

    I'm stealing that, by the way: One cannot argue a shrug.

    Pearl

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    1. Thanks, Pearl! Steal away...hmm, on second thought, maybe you should give me all your money. See the kind of talk I learn from you?

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  11. You don't see too many Esperanto jokes 'round the 'sphere. Nicely done!

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    1. It's true, Squid, they are pretty rare. Thanks!

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  12. I am fluent in shrugging, having practiced it at least 10 times a day for the past few decades.

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    1. That's some eloquent shrugging! I hope to get better at it --maybe our community college has classes.

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  13. This whole post sounds like a conversation between any two of my brothers. My head is spinning.

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