How come I never hear of low-fructose corn syrup?

          I saw someone described with an office job as “a freelance poet.” Are there salaried poets? Who employs them? How much do they make?

“No one who likes Yeats is capable of human intimacy.” Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends.

          Double your pleasure. Try starting mystery novels in the middle. That way you can wonder not only how the story ends but how it began.

          Sodom gives us the word “sodomy.” What does Gomorrah give us? Gomorrhea?  

          I miss baseball and was wondering recently where some of its locutions come from. A batter makes out but gets a hit. (Sometimes a character in a movie or book says that a batter made a hit, but that is supposed to be funny. Usually it indicates that the speaker has not mastered English or baseball.)

And where does the phrase “make out” in the amorous sense come from? Surely it is not derived from baseball. Though one does get to first base…..

I know that “battology” does not refer to baseball, but it should. “Ted Williams really understood battology” makes immediate sense.

Just so you shouldn’t have to ask again,

He was the kind of guy that if he said

Something and you were the kind of guy that said

You can say that again, he’d say it again.

                    Howard Nemerov.

President Trump’s “good friend” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had not been seen for a while. Near the beginning of that period, Trump told the South Korean president that he had just received a “nice” letter from the North Korean leader. North Korea almost immediately retorted that it had sent no such letter. Remember when you would have automatically taken the word of the American president over the word of a North Korean dictatorship?

Supposedly in order to battle Covid-19, Trump suspended some travel to the United States for sixty days. I was reminded of the 1965 blackout in New York City when Johnny Carson the next day reported that “Mayor Wagner leapt into action and suspended alternate side of the street parking.”

It has been a cold spring, which taught me, yet again, that you should check the damper before you light the fire.

On my shelf is a copy of the National Book Award winning A Frolic of His Own by William Gaddis. Except on the spine the title is given as “A Frolic of His of His (sic) Own.” Does this make my volume valuable? I am willing to part with it.

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