Sunday, March 1, 2015

Douglas Adams, paging Mr. Douglas Adams

Here are the answers to the poetry pop quiz in my last post and a few more answers thrown in for good measure:

1. “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died” by Emily Dickinson.
2. “Fable” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
3. “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes.
4. “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou.

The answer to the question “Where’s Waldo?” (which was asked in the title of the poetry pop quiz post) was 2 (Ralph Waldo Emerson) . He was there all the time.

The answer to the question “What is The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?” (which wasn’t asked at all) is 42.

42 is a domino game played mostly in Texas.

42 is the age of the youngest president of the United States (and it was not John F. Kennedy) .

42 is the number that baseball player Jackie Robinson wore on his jersey throughout his Major League career.

In Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Rule Forty-two is “All persons more than a mile high to leave the court”. Specifically:

At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his notebook, called out “Silence!” and read out from his book, “Rule Forty-two. All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.

Everybody looked at Alice.

“I’m not a mile high,” said Alice.

“You are,” said the King.

“Nearly two miles high,” added the Queen.

“Well, I sha’n’t go, at any rate,” said Alice: “besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.”

“It’s the oldest rule in the book,” said the King.

“Then it ought to be Number One,” said Alice.

I must say, I quite agree with Alice.

According to a woman named Connie Robertson in A Dictionary of Quotations (1998, p. 447) , Voltaire once said, “England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.”

42 is a lot of things. For just some of them, click here.

It will make your head swim.

This post is the blogging equivalent of the Theater of the Absurd, a term that can be traced (sort of) to “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus, which was written in -- wait for it -- 1942 .

It is only fitting, therefore, that we end this post with the song “Mairzy Doats” which was written in 1943. Here is little Janet Lennon, youngest of The Four Lovely Lennon Sisters, singing it on The Lawrence Welk Show in 1957 (1:39) .


  1. If everyone had 42 sauces, would we also have more intestinal forty-two'd?

  2. I am wondering about England's 42 religions now. It seems rather a lot.
    Mind you, 42 sauces seems excessive as well. I must be in a minimalist phase...

  3. I love the 'Theatre of the Absurd' and all it's connections, like the poetry of Edward Lear. Nonsense that makes sense. Sometimes. 42 was my best year alive to date.
    Always keep an eye on the sauce sir.

  4. What about "Summer of 42" by Herman Raucher? I read that novel years ago and at the time I loved it. It created a sense of lost innocence. I should read it again some time though I rarely go back to books.

  5. All, I knew I could count on you, my readers, to make pithy, cogent comments. Thank you!