When in Greece

Mu? Among the more provocative questions debated above the water cooler this week, "self-reincarnation, huh?" generated more than its fair share of interest by adherents and passersby alike. While the answer to the question may seem, at first, to require an ex parte knowledge of the botanical sciences, a more direct solution can be obtained by first asking how many lives might be crammed into the average cat, then dividing the result by a half dozen of the udder. This gives mu, which we immediately recognize as the plaintive feline utterance used to summon the butler, Yeats, so that he might refill the vacant cream dishes left on the floor by the careless hand.

Even if those dishes had been blue, the very idea of replicating lives on the fly begs yet another question, then one more: Why cats? Why cats? While the rest of us muddle along, dodging sparks thrown from the axle of the cosmic wheel as it spins, half greased, toward the window where billions are served, the cat has only to wish itself a new itinerary, and providence responds.

Mere coincidence? Perhaps. I do not claim to understand Greek.


Running with Bulls

You can always get more teeth. FerdinandI mean the bull, not the kingspent a great deal of time sniffing corks, but when the time came to savor the bouquet, he was unable to rise above his haunches. Wishing to avoid drowning in his hoofsteps, I decided to throw caution out with the bathwater and nip the bull in the horns.

A tooth in the mouth is worth two on the hipsand many times its weight in gold wherever fillings are soldbut that's no reason to avoid Spain. A stampede by any other name is still a dash to the finish line, hooks and sinkers be damned. I believe the root of the phobia lies in the mean, square-jawed countenance of bulls, many of whom favor bullion as a hedge against inflation while rejecting its culinary properties. In a similar way, a tooth is still a tooth, even when its roots can no longer be relied upon to bolster self-esteem. After all, the healthful diet required for vim cannot be fully eaten without first entertaining the troops, even when doing so results in charges.

Unlike compound interest, treason carries its weight in much the same way a bull does, which is to say, above and slightly aft of the rail. But a gaggle of bulls is no mutiny, and late charges are better than a lifetime spent waiting for the other bull to jump the gun.

The time is now, and that's as true today as it was yesterday, tomorrow, and the day before that.


Ducking the Hear and Now

Sometimes flies duck, and vice versa. Having been rendered somewhat speechless by a recent morsel of Forgotten Wisdom on Abecedarian, I was forced to divide what remained of my voice between begging for a lozenge and asking myself what Craig meant by "megaphone."

I have no trouble understanding that the hear and now is to the present as the now and again is to the every once in a while, but it seems that both past and future pronouncements would be squashed in the megaphone's vanishing point.

If time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana, can the equations of linguistic relativity be far behind? Even if the flies duck, won't the not-a-river of quiescent time wet their whistles, leaving them to sputter and gag in the maelstrom of the hear and now? Zeno's stop-action film techniques may have been effective against arrows, but Einstein is said to have been aquiver whenever quantum physics entered the room, and he knew a thing or two about megaphones.

I think he knew that there's more to a megaphone than just multiplying by 10^6, and he probably knew other things, too.