Monday, September 10, 2018

If necessity is the mother of invention, then snark hunting is its uncle

Yes, that’s all very well, dear reader, aren’t you clever to have remembered that Lewis Carroll’s doppelgänger, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was named after his dear uncle, Robert Wilfred Skeffington (gesundheit) Lutwidge.

I also know that you made arrangements to force your attentions upon some local chorus girls and impress upon them the coincidence of the Snark’s origins; how Lewis Carroll commenced that poem’s composition in the town of Guildford on July 18, 1874 — the precise time and place where Dodgson himself was playing the role of "dear uncle" whilst nursing a terminally ill, tubercular nephew.

But there’s more. While going through an old dustbin the lid flew off and you emerged clutching the proof positive of an avuncular trifecta : a dog-eared account of dear uncle Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge being fatally wounded by a lunatic armed with a large rusty nail, the point of which had been recently sharpened in anticipation of its lethal purpose. (When the English go nuts, they stay really focussed, eh?)

Enough of these dear uncles and these dear readers! It's this defective pen of mine, it will not draw uncles properly — curse these cut-rate penmongers! This hand-me-down drawing of a telegram of a newspaper clipping of a photograph of a simulated second-hand uncle will have to do for now … at least until that time when all our dear uncles, like laughter, are doomed to disappear.