As D.H. Lawrence (in ‘White Peacock’) said:
“The lane debouched into a close-bitten field, and out of this empty land the farm rose up with its buildings like a huddle of old, painted vessels floating in still water.”
The farmhouse is sort of like that, with its tire swing hanging from an oak; its peeling barn in the distance, the gardens of course…and the path that leads down a small slope and around behind a corner of thorn bushes… There are tables in the front of the place too for the seasonal foods they sell. Strawberries, apples, tomatoes and pumpkins and sunflowers too. But it’s always been “the attraction” at the end of the path that delights me every time. Propped against the oak is a plywood sign; upon which is painted the following in blue spray paint:
If you do choose to follow that path and go round the corner behind those bushes, you will come upon a cage of sorts, not unlike a rabbit hutch. The sign on the hutch indicates that the rare red bat can be seen by lifting the wooden door. At the very end of this blog is a similar bat to the one actually nestled on a thatch of hay on that farm.
Pathos: Ability of art to evoke compassion or sadness. Greek for suffering. Evoking feelings of tender pity.
Bathos: Pope invented the word in 1727 satire. An anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous.
Asked to choose, I would pick Bathos every time.
I am drawn to silly and also to unusual things. I am silly quite often, many times without meaning to be. For example…vacuuming the front lawn comes to mind. Think about it. You’re driving by and there I am with my heavy duty dry-vac vacuum cleaner running on an extension cord and I’m passing the hard floor attachment over the grass…back and forth, back and forth. Why…?
The answer to that is quite simple. You see I used to have a round glass-top patio table (with umbrella)
out front in my yard…….until a neighborhood kid accidentally shattered it. What to do? The shattered glass was everywhere! I couldn’t let my dog, my children or their friends get gashes in their feet. So I had to vacuum the lawn and remove the glass hazard before someone got hurt on it. Wouldn’t you know it, that kid’s mother was nice enough to replace my glass table.
Within two weeks that one got broken too. There I was, back outdoors vacuuming my lawn again.
‘There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’
by Edward Lear
(I memorized that limerick in 4th grade and never forgot it. For some reason, I used to recite it over and over while vacuuming my living room rug, which is a task I hated-although I must say I did not recite it when I was vacuuming the lawn. It seemed important to mention that.) I don’t ever vacuum these days. This is because I sweep now. I have no carpets as they’ve been pulled up. I sold the old vacuum. It was just collecting dust. Get it?
Passersby may have thought it seemed quite silly to see me vacuuming grass, but I did so for a good reason. It’s all about perception, isn’t it? I’m writing about random silly things today because I haven’t quite finished that blog about the burn survivor but that particular blog really is forthcoming.
For now though, I ask you… have you ever LIKED the Facebook page called “The Bureau Of Silly Ideas?” Because if you haven’t, you should. It adds a bit of whimsy to the FB Newsfeed. And while I’m on the subject, never underestimate silly stuff. After all, the novelty toy/fad from the 70s, the ” Pet Rock” (a rock in a box) made millions. Remember how the box even had air holes so the rock could breathe?
I’m going to finish this blog with D.H. Lawrence because D.H. Lawrence is who I started with in paragraph one. PATHOS:
Before I forget, I promised you the bat from the farm; a true example of Bathos:
I will never ‘outgrow’ my love of pun. Although I’ve never taken a picture of the bat at the farmer’s market, it looks just like the one above. Now there’s a farming family with my kind of humor… I must have visited their rare red bat a dozen times. Sometimes in fact, I bring a child along and I build the excitement (as we walk along the path) of seeing a rare red bat in captivity. When children are “between grass and hay” (the 19th century term for children between childhood and adolescence), they are at the perfect age to appreciate a good pun. (Incidentally, I have always been the perfect age to enjoy them!) Great fun! Remember to balance your pathos and bathos.
Bureau Of Silly Ideas on FB: https://www.facebook.com/bureauofsillyideas
meretricious: Apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity.
persiflage: Light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.
(((((Words are fun.)))))