Free telephone

You’ve seen him - that hobo pushing an overloaded cart full of stuff around town. Today as he passed me some items fell off, but he didn’t notice and continued down the block.

“Sir“, I said, “I believe you dropped your miniature globe, and your phone, and your dolls head stuck on the end of a stick .”

He came back and retrieved the orb and scepter.                                                     


  1. I have always thought that anthropologists could learn much about primitive man and his fetishes by close and careful study of our modern, American hobo. Why bother going to New Guinea when the answers you seek are curled on your nearest street corner?

  2. I have always thought the category "primitive man" was very revealing; obviously a suburban construction, very useful for the soap salesman, a catch-all for the ill-educated philosopher--who actually believes in "evolution" of his own species, and a handy tool for tyrannical social workers, too! I have always thought . . . oh, hang it!

  3. oddly enough, I am a soap salesman ... but, alas, I've never been able to infiltrate the hobo market with my wares.

  4. That is because those hobos smell quite sweet already, and don't need any of your insulting and denigrating gifts, mr. fez. What an aristocrat you are! You should work on selling your nicely-baked confections of prose, for that is what is right crispy. Infiltrate the rich, why don't you?

  5. Because my dear Mintern, as the old adage has it: "the rich never pay." So I'm not going to waste any valuable time hawking my soaps in that gilded yet apparently tight-fisted arena.
    Hobos and primitive man on the other hand, well, they'll buy anything with shiny packaging. The grimy dollar is always the best dollar.

  6. But you said you couldn't get the grimy dollar! Just what kind of a soap salesman are you? You seem to be more of a wordsmith, and a wily one at that; you seem to also be a philosopher, or at least a wiseacre. "The grimy dollar is always the best dollar"--what kind of fancy talk is that, Fez?

    I sure wish Van the Man Carter would chime in and tell us more about that orb and scepter! And whether he took the third item, the phone, home with him for his Luddite Museum, or left it to rot in the sun.

  7. If you put a bar of soap in a sock you can hit someone over the head with it.

    I left the phone, it wasn't an interesting model.

  8. "The grimy dollar is the best dollar" - I suppose it is advice to prospective soap salesmen that it is easier selling soap to people who get dirty a lot.
    But Carter was right to leave the phone. The old, grimy phone dollar is a very poor dollar indeed.

  9. Both of you guys are irresponsible and irreverent! How could you leave a telephone outside, in the sun and the rain? "It wasn't an interesting model." Outrageous!

    And now I see that Fez is no soap salesman at all, but only gives (bad) advice. Who else does he give bad advice to?

  10. Now this is an interesting phone. Unfortunately, you will never stumble across one of those babies just lying around in the street.

  11. These comments are so much better than the tedious waffles posted at Unqualified Reservations.

    Meanwhile, I refuse to apologise for my inconsistancy and poor salesmanship, both of which are hallmarks of the tru poet.

  12. Tedious waffles indeed! People who comment on "Unqualified Reservations" are one and all insane, it appears. Even the author says he doesn't read the comments. Of course the author is insane also, but he has the floor, and a wide floor of an empty hall it is. It is absolutely amazing how this guy never says anything, and yet claims to be clearing things up. But he once published a very insightful review of a poem that my colleague and client Edward Williams wrote, and so I am forever indebted to him. But it lead to nothing! As Mr. Williams' agent, and next door neighbor, I was hoping that such a prominant blog as UNQUALIFIED RESERVATIONS (the name alone is fearful!) would cause all his readers to flock to the blog of the poet. But alas, all his readers are insane!

    What is the use of this medium? Are we each and every one of us howling in the wilderness. Is is like Ezra Pound said, "public wailings on the private wall."? I fear it, and yet I keep on typing into the night.

    You are right to not apologize Fez, for you are a tru something or other. That is an interesting phone, Van, and thanks for listening.

  13. Actually, I think it was "private wailings on the public wall". Split the difference.

  14. Ezra Pound is not quoted nor misquoted enough.

  15. I love waffles, and I consider Moldy a voice of reason.

    A Poundian influence can be detected in the writings of many hobos (or is it the other way around?). I'm thinking of this sort of thing:

    Perhaps the CONTINGENCIES have confined Chiang K.S. into doing the best thing at the moment he acted./I don’t dispute this: only I worry about seeing him, about trusting him enough to step on rotten wood.

    I cannot JUDGE, I can only be curious. Polonia wanted to preserve the seventeenth-century style of living. Abysinnia remained in the year 400 before 1000.

    All these collections of “modern” banks of China were possibly unnecessary, having seen the contingencies, but NOW we need to know immediately the system proclaimed three days ago by Hitler and already mentioned by Funk and Riccardi.

    Let’s leave Japan to the force that counters force for a moment. In order to HAVE enough force, well, let’s not speak of Japan. Let’s speak of the INTERNAL economic structure and the relationships between China and the New Europe.

    The speed of the events is so great that EVERYONE needs to stay awake.

  16. This is what I get for not checking ADC often enough. Thank you, Carter.

    If I may speak frankly to the matter, it bothers me considerably that UR attracts more readers, or at least commenters, than ADC - let alone some of the other literary blogs it links to. It seems to me that anyone who reads UR but not ADC is somehow seriously deficient in character, and should not be encouraged.

    I remain undecided as to how to address this problem. Perhaps when I get my orb and scepter back. In the meantime, I promise to spend more time emulating Myles na gCopaleen.

  17. I have a few readers and commenters, but they are of exceptionally high quality. Which is fine by me.

    I'm sure extended periods without posting alienated many readers. Oh well. If I didn't write this stuff I wouldn't comment on it.

    I myself have been contemplating a Mylesesque type joke. I will let you know if I embark on it.

  18. Mencius! where have you been?


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