Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fit the Sixth, Page 40, Panel 1 … the snarkhunter’s guide to the galaxy

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

Well, isn’t this jolly, all of us having our tiffin in this lovely English garden waiting for the sun, and if the sun don't come, we’ll get a tan from standing in the English rain. What a clever way with words these Brits have, always joking around and making light of the darkest (and wettest) situations. Here we are, in the very thing-um-a-jig of a Snark Hunt, crosshatching to the left of us, crosshatching to the right of us, and our merry lads have seen fit to burst forth into song, a semimelodious bit of Old English galdor reminiscent of the salad days of Aethelred the Unready and suchlike skaldic mumbo-jumbery.

All of which affords this illustrator a bit of artistic license sufficient to render a thimble, some forks, an esperant anchor, a smile and some soap, ie., five-sevenths of the afore-mentioned Snarkic prophylaxes. He’s also taken the liberty of laying on some cakes and ale (on an illustrator’s meager pittance of a moon and sixpence, no less!) and has even hired a band-cum-bandshell, all of which should provide sufficient innocent merriment for the B-Boyz and their Protosurrealist demimondaines, at least enough to show ‘em that this illustrator cares.

Naturally, this illustrative care increases our stanzel’s Combined Snarkic Prophylactic Level (CSPL) to six-sevenths, which fraction, when its numerator and denominator are multiplied, provides us with the number 42, a number mooted by some to be The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything in It.

Lewis Carroll thought enough of the number 42 to provide it with a comfortable home and small pension, way back in the Good Old Days of Fit the First. There are certain small-minded persons who will always look askance at such instances of numerophilia, they will mutter darkly of alphanumeric miscegenation and cryptokabbalistic cabals and all that sort of thing which they suspect is always going on at parties like the one pictured above. Which is why those sort of people never get invited to this sort of party, huzzah!

And so, ladies and gentlemen and sundry weirdos, proclaims this illustrator as he sways drunkenly onto his feet, I propose a toast!

Let’s hear it for Lewis Carroll (tipsy shouts of hear, hear!) … the best Anglican maths-tutor-cum-nonsense-wallah Oxford ever produced (gurgled cries of approval emanating from a giant thimble full of wine) … a true friend of man and anaepest alike (slurred bleats of rhubarb-rhubarb, custard-custard) … and the most important Victorian poet to ever use the words railway-share! (exeunt all, with general bedlam light to variable).

NB. It is a semi-useful fact to know that this artist is capable of more than mere ink-slinging. I am equally dextrous at not making money with mallet, chisel, rasp and stone, so there, ha! With nephew Leopold's 2nd birthday this Tuesday, the 22nd, I thought it best to commemorate the grand event by casting the young rascal in a sort of Imperial Roman role, to wit, a bas-relief of the smoothest alabaster … happy birthday, Leo! Now go eat your vegetables!


  1. What a gorgeous piece... er... pieces! Your nephew is wise in his choice of uncles.

  2. Thanks, Sarah. I think that every two-year old is, deep, deep, deep down inside, a nascent Roman emperor … most often post-Antonine …

  3. So that's alabaster? Not icing sugar? Beautiful, either way.

  4. Thank you … alabaster is the classic English sculpting stone … a pretty name for what the building trade calls gypsum.

    But who wants a woman with gypsum thighs anymore?