Sunday, January 12, 2014

Berowne's 202 Quiz

(Also for ABC Wednesday: “A” is for “After”)
Here’s this week’s quiz question.  Give us the name of the following character.
(From the response, it seems this was a tough question.  Sorry, folks; I had no idea.  I thought nearly everyone watched that serial.  Oops - I may just have allowed the feline out of the satchel.)

Don’t care much for Shakespeare?

Then you’ll love this; he didn’t write it.

This is the story of a young woman you may have heard of.  She had everything: youth, beauty, money, a social position in the minor nobility, you name it.

But she committed what was for her social class a sort of faux pas:

She married a commoner.

Actually, he wasn’t commoner than anyone else - J - but he was definitely not upper clahss.

Funny thing, she fell in love with him anyway and they had a happy marriage together.

But such happiness couldn’t last.  Life – (actually it was death) – intervened.  Her true love was killed in an accident.

She was devastated.  She withdrew from society, wanting nothing more than to be alone with her grief.  The key problem after a tragedy of this nature has to do with the word ‘after’.  What is one to do after such an event? 

Her father, who loved her dearly, created a sort of cocoon about her so she wouldn’t be bothered by the nuisances of existence.

But this actually wasn’t good for her.  As the months passed she needed to leave the house, to step out into the figurative sunshine, to once again learn how to live.

The last I heard she seemed to be coming along well.  Hope she makes it. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

201 Quiz Answer

Charles Andre Joseph Marie de Gaulle

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "Z" is for "zero.")
An easy question for you this week.  What’s this chap’s name?
He was the tall one, standing off to one side, isolated from the group, in some photographs of the big cheeses, the leaders of the free world, back during World War II.
He hated having to stand off to one side,  What he called the limejuice types said, sorry, but your country collapsed in just a couple of weeks.  So you have to stand to one side.
He didn’t like the limejuice types.  He didn’t care much for the Yankees either.  Fact is, he seemed to dislike almost everyone; he even hated the big-cheeses of his own country.
Back when he was in school his 6-foot 5-inch height had the other kids referring to him as The Big Asparagus.
The Big Asparagus was a strange one, for a military leader.  He was an intellectual, and there weren’t many of those among the military leaders on either side of the Great Conflict.  His father had been a professor of literature and the son became a fine writer with what critics have described as a powerful, elegant and even poetic style.
He also wrote about military matters.  In the thirties, he wrote and lectured often on one key topic: You see, folks, he said, there’s this little device called a tank – we had it back in ’14 (you know, the war that was to end all wars) – but we never used it right.
We still aren’t using it right.  If all you big fromages would just listen to me, whatever those folks up north in Hitler Alley are planning to pull off, we’d be ready for them. 
One of the books he wrote claimed that a modern army should be made up of “mobile armored divisions.”  Well, the top brass didn’t listen.  Zero is the number of full generals, of whatever country, who enjoy being lectured to by lieutenant-colonels.
So the Big Asparagus had to be content to be faithful to his main activity: continuing to dislike everyone and biding his time.
On a beautiful day in September, the big bus named WWII shifted into gear and the bad guys from Hitler Alley took off in it.  It turned out there was not much that could stop them or their tanks – their "mobile armored divisions."
Our boy never said “I told you so” but that’s only because, as usual, most folks weren’t listening to him.  If you scrutinize his position carefully, however, you may decide that he had made a lot of sense.    
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