2009apr07. So the “MUNI” light rail vehicle stopped right in front of us and we were the last to board and it was packed so we were standing on the steps, nearly pressed against the doors. I was toting along a book bag, a new kicky addition to my wardrobe that all the ladies were grooving on – and we had had a pretty full day in the city. I was sort of out of it, and just wanted to get home, but we weren’t moving. There were no buzzing noises etc like BART when someone is blocking a door, so all of us in the vehicle slightly craned our necks and looked around hoping to discover the cause of our delay. Finally the driver jumped outside and we’re all thinking “oh, here we go, someone’s going to get it” and he comes right over to where I am and points out my book bag is resting on the door push bar. A) Ever since the first time I got on a MUNI, I’ve hated the design of these things and thought it would be pretty easy to accidentally activate it during typical packed rush hour nonsense B) I’m not easily embarrassed, but there is nothing I hate more than people who get in my way when I’m going from A (not the “A” I’ve just mentioned) to B (not the “B” you’re currently inside of, all snuggly). So to have held up an entire light rail vehicle – even if it was only for a half-minute – filled me with a deep something-something that really got my goat, because again, it was because of this cockamamie bar thing. And all of those people, coming home a half-minute later now – what about their lives? Have I changed them for better, or for worse? Do they come home later to barely miss the gun-toting robber? Or do they give their loved one just enough time to finish putting the frosting on a post-work cupcake? The worst thing, the most horrible thing, is that I’ll never know what happened. All my stories, lost. C) There was a gal sitting facing me – we locked eyes after the doors closed and we were just staring at each other full-bore. Hers were gray, she looked Russian. It went way way past the “perhaps someone should look away” stage. We ended up going out, dating for awhile, living together, growing old, having affairs, travelling a lot – we both died around the same time and then the train started moving.
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2009apr07. Cocaine-carrying jungle camp semi-subs.
2009apr18. Excerpts from one chapter of Banvard’s Folly: Thirteen Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck (2002), by Paul Collins.
And everyone knew that William Ireland wasn’t clever enough to write well in his own modern tongue, never mind forge a document in Elizabethan English. They would have been right on the last count, if only they could see it. William couldn’t forge a document in Elizabethan English, as his love letter to Anne Hathaway demonstrates:
O Anna doe Ilove doe I cheryshe thee inne mye hearte forre thou arete as a talle Cedarre stretchynge forthe its branches ande succourynge smaller Plants fromme nyppynge Winneterre orr the boysterouse Wyndes Farewelle toe Morrowe bye tymes I wille see thee tille thenne Adewe sweete Love
This was the work of an ambitious but inexperienced youth who mimicked old writing by arbitrary additions of double consonants, replacing i with y, and tacking e at the end of words. It wasn’t Elizabethan dialect. ¶ It wasn’t any dialect. [pg 36]
On Christmas Eve 1795, the London Times ran a notice that Miscellaneous Papers Under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare was now ready to be picked up at Samuel’s house. [ ... ] The obvious target for ridicule was Ireland’s bizarre spelling, and on January 14 a journalist at The Telegraph happily “discovered” another letter of Shakespeare’s:
Tooo Missteerree Beenjaammiinnee Joohnnssonn:
Wille youe doee meee theee favvourree too dinnee wythee meeee onnn Friddaye nextte attt twoo off theee clockee too eatee sommee muttonne choppes andd somme poottaattooeesse
I amm deerree sirree
Yourre goodde friendde
Williame Shaekspare [pg 40]
By now the public had accepted the notion that William had been behind the forgeries, and for some time William had been receiving inquiries from interested collectors: did he still have any of the old Shakespeare forgeries lying around? Perhaps he would like to sell them? The manuscript of Vortigern, say? Might he still have that in his possession? ¶ Oh yes, William would reply. It just so happens that I do. ¶ It just so happened that William always had one in his possession. For ever since the forgeries had been exposed, and become a subject of morbid literary interest, he had been quietly doing something almost dazzlingly postmodern in its sheer ingenuity and conception. ¶ He was making forgeries of the forgeries. ¶ No fewer than seven “original” copies of the manuscript of Vortigern surfaced after William’s death, along with a whole array of other copies that he made of the Shakespeare papers. Each is utterly authentic in appearance; it is impossible to tell which is the original and which is the copy. After all, the collectors were getting them straight from the source, and besides, who’d ever heard of a forgery of a forgery? [pg 51]