Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Back to School

So far I have been making excellent use of my time during this post-graduate visit to my former institution of higher education. Whereas I once studied classic literature and learned obscure languages and analyzed ancient history, I now devote my energies to the things that truly matter.

For example, Fluff. That's right. Marshmallow Fluff. The kind you put in your peanut butter sandwich. The ambrosia that, like some kind of addict, I could only get at my friends' houses because my mom would never buy it when I was little. It turns out there is a Fluff website which has not only a three-page history of the Fluff company but also a scrapbook with pictures of happy children whose faces are covered in Fluff. It is very wholesome and I am determined to bring Fluff and peanut butter sandwiches (or "fluffernutters" to those in the know) to my place of work because they will demonstrate my knowledge of haute cuisine, which is sure to impress my new colleagues.

I also learned many dirty Latin words from the poetry of Catullus. This is less wholesome and less likely to impress my new colleagues, so I will probably have to forget my new vocabulary as soon as possible. But of course "scortillum," mildly translated by William Whitaker as "wench," is precisely the kind of thing that will stick in your mind even after you forget how to conjugate sum.

As for scholarly debates, there has been no end of discussion as to whether, if you had a time machine, Catullus would be someone you'd necessarily date. I vote yes, because everyone knows the Romans were an attractive people; just look at their statues. Maeve and I have also hit upon a principle of great use to the study of history, and it is this: the natural habitat of Emperors is Rome, and the natural habitat of wolves is the forests of Germany. It follows that the fact that wolves ran free in the medieval forests of Germany is not a basis on which you can fairly criticize the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne because wolves and emperors are not supposed to have anything to do with each other. Charlemagne did not campaign on wolf removal reform.

This is the conversation that followed the composition of that paragraph:
Maeve: Wolves are cool. They will eat you.
Katie: Did you really just say that?
Maeve: Yeah, I even kind of thought it through first.

Maeve is now sitting on her bed saying, "Fornicator! Fornicator! Fornicator!" and giggling. She is still translating Catullus.

The other scholarly debate we had earlier concerned Merovingian kings, the predecessors of Charlemagne, who had a habit of riding around their kingdoms in goat carts. This is what we had to say about that:

Katie: Goats can be regal.
Maeve: No, they can't.
Katie: Sure they can. They have . . . the beards . . .
Maeve: No. They eat everything.
Katie: They are . . . exploratory. They are tireless scholars.
Maeve: Maybe I should change the title of my blog to Le Fabuleux Destin d'une Chevre.
Katie: . . . Are you a goat?
Maeve: I'm a tireless scholar.

It is a haven of learning, Maeve's room.

6 comments:

.Maeve said...

do you think wolves eat goats? i do.
my mom thinks i'm feral because i'm teething. i think i should chew on coral, like charles II in his first ever portrait.
school is a lot less interesting without you, but i bet i'll sleep better.

the anonymous hedgehog said...

hrmmm, yes, i suppose you will. but who wants to sleep when you could stay up half the night brainstorming how to get Jonathan Frakes on your Catullian TV show?


if you got those teeth removed, you know, you wouldn't have to chew on coral, which i imagine might be actually more painful.

.Maeve said...

i like chewing on things.

Matthew said...

I dislike Fluff.
I like goats.
The image in my head of toga-and-wine Katie & Maeve is back.

.Maeve said...

i'm almost embarrassed to say there was no alcohol of any kind involved in this weekend ... though it now occurs that an I, Claudius drinking game of the drink-when-they-do type would be very successful / dangerous to one's health indeed.

i start cicero on wednesday ... i wonder if he lends himself as well to the sitcom format.

The Anonymous Hedgehog said...

MATT! You dislike fluff? Our friendship is over.

I think an I, Claudius drinking game could probably give you alcohol poisoning if, for example, you drank everytime someone got poisoned and/or someone attempted murder and/or someone showed signs of madness/depravity. Oooh! Or every time it gave you ideas for a sitcom joke. Yes!