The Unswung Bat

Saturday, September 16, 2006
 
The Devil's Arithmetick

I said 30 entries in 30 days, no more or less -- you didn't think I quit, did you? 1 down, and 4.0 tomorrow, and I'm outta here.

I am actually really good at managing time. I don't usually feel like it, but when I try to, I can do exotic and frightening things with a watch and an agenda. My incredible talents are usually dormant of their own accord, as I don't tend care much about scheduling. Sometimes, though, I find I must actively suppress my emerging superpowers, because I am terrified at their true extent.

Two days ago, for instance, I sat down, wrote all the things I wanted to do on a scrap of paper, and divided the day into 30 minute segments in which I would finish everything. And I did. However, so precise was my time management, that I found my self seriously struggling to decide whether I should go swimming or floss, the latter activity consuming 5 apparently critical minutes of the former. Fear me, for such are my powers.

To make up for it, the next day I missed a 3 o'clock class by planning for it to start at 4 pm. Seems the prof and the other 40 students don't feel they need to think about what's convenient for me. U of T is such bullshit.

In other news, I'm getting a job at U of T! Probably! Huzzah! Actually, this is quite a nice one. The Varsity, the newspaper I've been volunteering at since June, needs a copy editor, which they badly need to correct mistakes in their stories. For example, here's a nice line from one of my pieces, after it was hurriedly revised by a harried editor:

"After a mob of 6,000 drunk partiers pelted paramedics with beer bottles and torched a car at last year's homecoming party last year, Kingston police is warning that at this year's homecoming at Queen's university next year it may use riot police and tear gas."

Who happened what? When did it where? See, now, what he meant to do was change it from saying, basically "last year police warned about next year's party," to "police have warned about this year's party." That's a good edit. Instead, it exploded. So I've got a reference from within the Varsity and hopefully I'll get to work. Shortly afterwards, I'll take over the newspaper world and become the next William Randolph Hearst. Yay! I've already bought a charming wooden sled to refer to in my last words.

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In the Cursed Parlor of Mme De Bovary

Meanwhile, within the cursed Parlor of Mme De Bovary:

Cecil was at the folding table practicing with his cups. I could hear him from my perch within the camera obscura. Imagining it in the darkness, I was bored with the trick but infuriatingly curious about its secret.

He would present his audience with 5 cups, call forth a spectator, and shuffle the cups with diabolical ease, catching a sliding four golden bells between them. When he stopped, the watcher would pick one. No matter which one was picked, the others would levitate, and inspection would reveal a tiny jinn, quivering and straining, under each of the floating cups. Then he would pick up the other cup and all four bells would tumble out, the gasps of the frail jinni drowned out first by their ringing and then by the invariable applause and admiratory chuckles.

The bells were an obvious prestedigitory trick, of course. Any one of us knew a dozen ways to gather them under one cup with no risk of revealing the subterfuge. In the early days following his disappointment at Oxford, I witnessed Maxwell performing his famous appendectomy on the prince using the crudest of these techniques. When the prince died anyway, not of sepsis but infected horsebite, the prevailing demonology took a severe blow, but fortunately the publication of Morlaye's Balance and Vacuum wasn't far off.

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I was going somewhere with this, maybe I'll remember where.

There would be songs, sung by a choir



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