Life Is Largely Acceptable, Day 146: If We Build It, They Will Come

February 23rd, 2011

Although most of this blog’s most open-hearted readers (you know who you are) have cheered our new, positive direction, there have been those who questioned it.  But now we have absolute proof that simply creating a little island of positivity, free of harsh judgments and threatening male archetypes, will attract the right kind of attention.

And this proof comes from an unexpected source: our spam.

Until very recently, our spam mail was largely confined to pitches for bulk discounts on male erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs, people who have millions tied up in Nigeria but who have figured out a way to get at it with our help, and occasional cries for help from Diane Von Fürstenburg.  In other words, the usual trivial ephemera of dodgy, bargain-basement capitalism.

But today is the beginning of the rest of this blog’s life. And our spam heralded it.

Our first example:

hello, sir. My classmates decide to create a opera there are several clips about maid in this play. so I want to ask a few questions on it.

what type of etiquette the actual maid have to own around england. for example how they entertain the guests? bend or bend theirs knees? where they will put their hands? forward or backward?

what type of rules while maids serve the guests drinking tea? what should maids do once the hostess question them to leave.

Say Thanks A Ton
Kathleen G.

See what I mean?  We’re attracting students.  Who want to stage an opera.  Not some Canadian Pharmacy that’s mysteriously situated in India.   I could deconstruct the letter, breaking out the individual questions and attempting to answer them, but in the new spirit of the blog, I thought I might leave that to you.

All I’ve done for Kathleen G. is to provide a hint via the illustration above, which shows that a maid around England does not bend her knees or not bend her knees, at least not all the time, and keeps one hand forward and one hand backward.  I think this is the kind of useful, practical information needed by students who are creating a opera.  Please submit your answers to Karen G.’s questions, keeping them tasteful, and together, we’ll do what we can to earn that sign-off, “Say, Thanks A Ton.”

Our next piece of evidence:

some writers such as Ion Creanga, Mihai Eminescu, Tudor Arghezi Mark Twain sketches in their works a happy childhood, carefree, in the main concerns are playing the game and when other writers like John Teodoreanu George Cosbuc Toparceanu George, has a sad childhood in which children are shown the difficulties and responsibilities of life too early, it’s becoming stressful for them.

and jocuri cu barbie Romanian most famous monument high childhood, Memories of childhood “, illustrates well the complementary relationship between game and childhood. Nica child is always playing. Whether it’s stealing cherries or staging a play or church services with the stick.

First, of course, we can see this as a reading list of writers whose work we may not be completely familiar with.  I have to admit, for example, not having read all of George Cosbuc or Toparceanu George, if those are in fact two different people.  I mean, “Toparceanu George” could be an affectionate nickname for George Cosbuc if George Cosbuc comes from Toparceanu and Toparceanu is indeed a place.

See how little I know? And how delightful it is to be prompted to expand my horizons.

And what insight into the games of Romanian (I guess) children.  Stealing cherries sounds like high adventure, at least if they leave enough cherries to go around, and staging a play (we seem to have a theme here!) or church services with the stick just opens me, at least, to a tizzy of speculation as to how the stick might be used.

I’m sure this resonates with each of us differently.  No sense in me imposing my reactions upon you.

So, there — good news even in the spam box.  I hope you’ll agree that this was worth postponing Wumsy for.

14 Responses to “Life Is Largely Acceptable, Day 146: If We Build It, They Will Come”

  1. micael hallinan Says:

    They have maids in Romania?

  2. Larissa Says:

    So happy to see that the correlation between Mark Twain and Tudor Arghezi has finally been unearthed! I know I couldn’t tell the difference between the two…Who knew those Romanians had such a knack for disguise! Little did we know that they were actually one person named TudorArgheziMarkTwain. Very confusing. (c:

  3. Suzanna Says:

    So sorry that you haven’t heard from Ms. Von Furstenburg. My guess is that she’s in Nigeria with the Romanian poets working on an opera about English high society.

    Mun if I ever see a cabbage tea pot with a tiny bunny hopping on top I’ll buy us both one. Maybe we can learn to pour as well as the English and try out for the opera?

    Standing by for Wumsy.

  4. micael hallinan Says:

    In Romania Wumsy would be called Wumsescu. If I’ve used up my allotment of responses I will take tomorrow off.

  5. Gary Says:

    Dear Kathleen G.

    The maids you refer to do not belong in England at all. History teaches us that there were once two towns in Japan called England and Usa, so that in the early days of manufacturing they could truthfully print “MAID IN ENGLAND” or “MAID IN USA” on their inferior shoddy goods.

    I respectfully suggest that you redesign your opera along the lines of “The Mikado,” thereby keeping it firmly rooted in Nippon. But you could if you wish retain the English influence, by adhering to the best traditions of D’Oyly Carte during production.

    Three little maids who quite unwary
    Come from a ladies’ seminary
    Three little maaaaids from school.

  6. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    Oh Tim, you bring out the best in all of us. That picture looks like an ad for a porno flick-not that I’d know anything about that.

  7. Debbi Says:

    Oh, Mark Twain made it in there? Awesome!

  8. Robb Royer Says:

    I’m beginning to doubt there is a Wumsy. Im beginning to think Wumsy is your “Answered Prayers’.

  9. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Well HI, there — how long have all of you been here?

    micael, Romania was known as “the land of maids” before the Ceausescus introduced their innovative economic plan, “Everyone exactly equal but us.” The market for maids kind of plummeted and they all became Olympic gymnasts.

    Larissa, the tip-off was that no Romanian writer would actually be named after a royal British dynasty. “Tudor”? Give me a break. But I’m glad it eases your mind.

    Zanna, Mun told me you wanted to buy the teapot, but it’s not for sale. It’s on a really drool-worthy site called THE RHINESTONE ARMADILLO, by a woman who just buys everything in the world you could possibly want and never find, and then puts pictures of them online. It’s at and you have to go way down the page to see it.

    And I think it’s really cute that you want it.

    micael, two comments on one post? Spending more time online lately? No, please don’t feel like you shouldn’t comment tomorrow. There’s no quota for anyone but Everett.


    Hi, Lil — I try to bring out the best in all who are kind enough to stop by our little rainbow village, and it’s quite true that the pert little domestic at the top of this post is from a different frame of reference altogether.

    Hi, Debbi — Mark Twain is on every good list. And, everyone, let’s give Debbi a hand because her new mystery, LEAST WANTED, is in Amazon’s Top 100 for the Kindle!!!!! Yikes.

  10. EverettK Says:

    Sorry I’ve been slow to fill my quota, Tim, yesterday was a BUSY day. I spent an hour reformatting one of your books, then an hour working on our new hardwood floor, then five hours driving to/from and attending to some family stuff (one of my brothers is seriously ill), and then another three hours working on our new hardwood floor.

    Who has time for seriously silly and sententious sophisms?

    But for those of you who have always wondered what an idiot of my ilk looks like, and have never seen a hardwood floor in your life (I’m sure there’s a small but insignificant minority of you out there somewhere), here are two pictures of me and our developing project:

    Everett at work
    Everett at rest

    My wife does all the decorating. I just sleep here and work here. Sometimes.

    Okay, quota met. Whew!

  11. Laren Bright Says:

    I like Gilbert & Sullivan. Now I’m not going to read this blog any more today (until later). Snob.

  12. Timothy Hallinan Says:


    Everett, you don’t have a minimum quota, just a maximum one. And your house looks great, and you’re surprisingly fit for one who spends most his time curled over a keyboard in the dark, staring at a display. Oh, wait, that’s me.

    Laren, meet Gary. Gary, meet Laren. Be far away from me when you begin to sing.

  13. Debbi Says:

    Thanks, Tim! I’m enjoying that ride while it lasts. 😀

  14. Jaden Says:

    (Sigh) I don’t think I’m clever enough for this blog by half, but I do love it.

    I went to the rhinestone armadillo site. First, let me just say I want a rhinestone armadillo. Second, I love the little bunny-on-a-head-of-lettuce teapot, but I love the Thing in a Jar even more.

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