Psst. Hey, Buddy.

Can You Keep a Handshake?

Too Enlightened

Is this a scorpion or a pseudoscorpion?

At some point last week, I did a little meditation and cleared my mind completely of some things it turns out I need.

Stamp Grudges

Despite what the Italian government would have you believe, this is not the likeness of Archimedes of Syracuse:

However, in a grand gesture of the too little/too late variety, the Posteitaliane issued a stamp ("hooray for Archimedes and his water screw and hey what do you know, he was brutally murdered"), the geezers cynically stuck on the image of the Spartan king Archidamos III as if we would neither know nor care:

I say, just apologize for sending a Roman army to sack Syracuse already and be done with it. Stamps are poor recompense for running a guy through. Even the kind you don't have to lick.

And lest we get up on your high horses about the truthfulness of our own government, let me remind you: just as paleontologists were making real headway and our population began to reconcile itself to the apatosaurus, along comes a U.S. Postal Service issue featuring the long-since-Pluto'd brontosaurus:

Archimedes invented war machines that could do some serious damage to ships.

The apatosaurus was really big and stompy.


Now cheer up and think of the screw!

What to Expect as Far as Libations

"In heaven there is some beer."

Byron, the Cocktail Party Monkey

Ask a Maniac! (Havasham Archive)

Dear Maniac:

When I am on a crowded subway, at times I am annoyed by passengers who do not hold their backpacks by the shoulder strap, but wear them instead. Not only do they take up enough space for two (or more) people, they usually shove and batter those behind them with their backpacks without realizing it. What should I do?

- Buffeted

Dear Buffeted:

Scratch someone wearing a backpack on the subway and someone from an old, noble, and fragile lineage bleeds. In other words, they feel -- and because they are royalty, they feel all too much. It is they who wake up the next morning bruised and aching because they have felt your sharp elbow or pointed kidney through the layers of canvas, foam, and textbooks they wear on their backs for protection. Feel for them as you sink the 4" ice pick into their closest eye socket.

- The Maniac

Dear Maniac:

Thank you for this sage advice.

- Buffeted and In Police Custody

Dear Buffeted:

You had your turn so let somebody else write for a change.

- The Maniac