The Journal of Provincial Thought
jptArchive Issue 19
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The Readers Cry Out
Pigasus Sighting!!!

This nocturnal Golden Styglider, documented by Strategic Air Command liaison Kathleen Kitner, wheels and soars before Earth's hot little sis Venus like a shadfly drawn to a candle or a frat brother to a keg.

Rant 19 Golden Styglider 1 Golden Styglider 2

Editors of jpt,
Is "purple haze" the theme of Issue 18?  Both the Rice and Scott stories speak of it. —Klep

Ed.:  Speak of....... Well, see, you've gone and activated the secret theme of Issue 18.  That makes you the first of a no-duh new wave of Issue 18 themegenies.  With this distinction comes a cappuccino at Starbucks, where you'll want to wow the Starbucks crew with your humble-origins-to-themegenie story as you are paying them.  Always mention that jpt sentcha! 

Editors, Journal of Provincial Thought,
A+ on the Lawrence Jones jazz pieces.  Anyone who'd like some tips on collecting or appreciating the classics will profit from the "Confessions."  Jones [Issue 18] wrote that a jazz program on television was canceled "as New Zealand television became more commercially oriented."  This has been something of the story with jazz, as we know, which has led some to mourn its impending demise.  Happily, those rumors were greatly exaggerated.  Besides the obvious fact that department stores, elevators and corporate phone lines on hold have found a genre of music they can't live without, jazz remains a magnetic music, attracting passionate new followers and artists.  Jazz is atmosphere.  It's the most natural music in existence for classy nightclubs, lounges, and romantic moments.  It's at home in a greater range of settings than any other music, from street corner to concert hall.  It's adaptable and ever growing.  The fluidity, nuance, and personality generate contagious energy and bring connoisseurs the joy of infinite discovery.  Bottom line, jazz is here to stay.  Compliments to you for giving it the space it deserves.   —G.L.

Ed:  What are fiends for?  (JAZZ fiends.)  In fact, at JPT Towers & Catacombs, all types of music can be heard filtering through the cracks of the great stone chamber doors... although there is a particular staffer who grouses, "What's with this bizarre worship of sounds?  Why are we required to exhibit some ritualistic response to vibrational displacements?" 
Ed. #2:  Fair enough.  But too bad she can't donate her hearing to Beard across the hall, who'd give a mint just to hear his petite sweet Tisha titter.
Particular staffer:  Beard would rather have a Porsche.  And I'll keep my hearing, thank you.  It's a survival thing.
Ed. #2:  And survival, my friend, is a dancing thing.
Ed. #1: Too-shay already.

To the Editor:
At the very front of Issue 17 there appears this grotesquery:  "Next Issue:  We will do what others have only dreamed about us doing!" Saxo Grammaticus should have rapped your knuckles and growled, "No, it's 'dreamed about our doing." (Where is Saxo, anyway?) Not to be picky.  —Picky

Ed.: Pick yerself, Picky.  Consider this. Whether it's "us" or "our" depends on whether the statement's focus is on us or the doing.  Since nobody here remembers, the ruling on the field stands and the object is "us."  We will concede that in another world you could have had a point.  But then in another world we could have been Elvis and bought our own Twinkie factory and promoted you to head Twink.  Or maybe things are copacetic as they are. // They say Saxo is in Saxony.

Dear Editors,
It's a wild novel Owen Scott has going.  Books now constitute one-sixtieth of the weight of the world, did you know that?  Only one-trillionth of that weight belongs to books that are "massively" brilliant and thrilling and intriguing and pssst! educational.  Dr. Scott's muse deserves a hug from me and, later that evening, a rubdown.  —R.W.

Ed.: Books by their sheer mass have been affecting the tides of late, and now they're starting to pile up on the International Space Station, giving it the wobbles.  Watch out Moon, you're next for the book bloat.  Humans are quite about the Much Ado.  Nearly all of dem bücher need recycling into BETTER books like Dr. Scott's.  Even then, the distinction of being awarded this serialization would stand us a head above all those blowhard publications out there a-catering to their burping masses.  ....Ah, but Double Double Take Take.  Grab your goggles and let's go reading.

portal19-5jpt Editor,
Is Dr. Scott manipulating our psyches for some dastardly clinical purpose?  Double Take has my full, eager attention but it isn't giving me any clues where we're going, none I recognize, anyway.  Will I be in one piece when we get there?  —B. McB.

Ed.:  Were you in one piece when you began?  We can't foresee how many pieces people will arrive in.  Look, B.  Pull yourself together and get strapped in for a journey.  The book is some 203,000 words, over 500 pages.  Nations will rise and fall before we "get there," unless we initiate a Larger-Chunk timetable.  Which perhaps we'd better.

Dear Editor,
I too am living the highlife as a successful biker, but the closest I've been to Africa is my Jacuzzi, where I repose with a cognac while scoping out John Rice's explorations on the big screen.  I think I'm going to have to get my *ss to Africa.   —D. F.

Ed.:  (Randy Newman singing "It's a Jungle Out There" ...)  Be careful.  Don't get eaten.  Simba has acquired a nose for the green and a taste for that monied flesh. 
Ed. #2: Take along a squirt gun--works on my cat. 
Ed. #3: This guy can probably afford one of those big Whamo Water Blasters.  Just never point it unless you're willing to use it. 
Ed. # 2: And if you do use it, you'd better not miss.
Apprentice: Try filling it with human urine; that might drive them away.  Throw a keg party to get a Whammo Blaster full. 
Ed. # 2:  Or a Frosty Mug Lecture.
Apprentice: Sure.  There's this McGyver-like guy comes on Public TV, makes yard & garden chemicals out of things like p*ss and detergent.  He says moles can't stand human p*ss.
Ed. # 3:  That's moles, fellow.  Lions already smell like p*ss to start with.  You're going to get eaten.
Apprentice: Perhaps.
[Long editorial silence.]
Ed. 1:  The tour company doesn't want clients getting eaten.  They probably have those creatures trained.
Ed. 2:  Like Roy's tiger.
Ed. 1:  Moving on...   

Dear Editor,
Sure, I'd ride with Pilgrim.  What would I have to do to get in his gang?  —Beejee

Ed.:  Quoting the official gang brochure"Associate memberships are available for as little as five thousand dollars.  Those desiring a patch will have to produce another two grand.  If you're female (no jailbait please) and wish only to pack along cozied up behind Pilgrim on a typical three-day, two-night weekend run, the privilege will be priced in inverse proportion to your talents and enthusiasm, but expect to drop at least three hundred bucks, probably closer to five, plus all your expenses.  There's a lot of overhead.  Nobody rides for free.  Nags, head cases and passengers of attitude will be stranded, no exceptions, no refunds." ....So they're not giving these things away.

Attention Editor of jpt,
There are shades of meaning and of valuation that subjectively color the parameters and perceived implications of movements, philosophies, nations, political or religious positions.  Opponents commonly understate, overstate, or otherwise mischaracterize these parameters and implications, not necessarily maliciously, but often out of honest though biased perception.  Professor Loose quite thoughtfully exposes some of the internal contradictions of Biblical literalism as he characterizes it.  His rhetorical question "Do words have any meaning?" underscores his insistence that "literal" must itself be literally defined.  That is a logical, altogether reasonable and certainly convenient position, and on this ground he is able to ascribe multiple absurdities to literalism.  However, life isn't so accommodating.  A nonliteralist cannot decree what literalism must mean to the literalist. The question is not one of secular technical definition, but of spirit and faith.  Loose himself embraces "the inherent enigma of existence" as evidenced by the dual, seemingly contradictory natures of light and other phenomena.  This belief requires a kind of faith in the physics that says it's so, or a certain metaphysical intuition, or both.  Why then is it impermissible to allow a literalist to believe that apparent contradictions go more to the Mysterious Ways in which God Works than to a smackdown by Webster's?  It is also possible that fault lies in the limitations of words, which after all are but symbols.  Standard definitions of "literal" are along the lines of "in accordance with the primary or strict meaning of the word, true to fact, not figurative or metaphorical..."  So what IS a primary and strict meaning as divined in the realm of Mysterious Ways of the Almighty?  How can "true to fact" possibly comprehend all the "fact" that is infinite Glory?  To be completely fair, Professor Loose "won’t swear that mine [view] is the only one that is right or that it is right at all," and he indeed makes headway with the idea of interpreting Genesis in light of current scientific understanding.  He certainly deserves applause for a most unusual and thought-provoking informal lecture.   —S.G.  

jpt Attention Ed.:  Perhaps you shouldn't read what he's saying THIS issue, S.G.  It might nudge you to unseemly utterances. If you're the goadable sort.

Dear Editors,
If Glenda White offers her naughty garter on e-Bay she'll reap a tidy sum and I'll reap a brilliant centerpiece for my collection.  —Grinder

Ed.: Your collection?  No, never mind...

portal19-10Dear jpt,
Historically, metaphorically, categorically, this young woman Ms. White is specifically, terrifically, scientifically classified as a firecracker.  But if I'm right she's dynamite —J.K.

Ed.: Or you're a kook and she's a nuke.

Dear Editor,
Mom's friend absolutely one-upped Tom Sawyer's fence-painting scheme by coming up with a way to turn drudgery into REAL fun for her young helpers as they slipped and slopped and flopped around on the soapy kitchen floor.  She ought to have taken it to the next level and turned it into a local business.  It's a cinch.  She could pay the help with cookies and Kool-Aid.  —A.Y. 

portal19-12Dear Editor of jpt,
 I'd like to add something to Moms' tip about taking shower caps from your motel room to put on bowels that have lost their cover.  In most motell rooms theres lots better stuff you can get than shower caps or also soap and shampo and toilet paper or a bible.  Some times you can go out in the hall and ask a maid if you can borrow two three extra towels and she will say sure or you can just pick them off of her cart in the hall when she goes in a room if you dont like to ask.  They will never be missed if you leave a couple in the bath room when you check out.  Sheets light bulbs ice buckets and curtins and things are tricky because the maid can tell their gone petty quick.  Forget coffee pot's and TV's and big pieces of furn. unless you checked in under a allius LOL or get them out of somebody elses room.  Whats also nice at motels is the vending machines are usual in a little side room which late at night theirs nobody around most of the time so you got time to jack some refreshments.  You might not make up the whole cost of the room but with just a little care and the right lay out you can make up some.          —Debs Guy

Ed.: Less see... how do we spell 911...
Ed. #2:  I think it's 9---1---1...

Dear Editors,
Tennessee Dave just confirmed that the stigma of the Southern rustic stereotype wasn't entirely the product of Northern snobbery.  There are things that people bring upon themselves or at least allow a few bad apples to bring upon the many.  However, stereotypes are often nothing more than tawdry amusement at others' expense.  For every warped schoolmarm calling her left-handed students the devil's brood and toasting them beside a radiator, we know there are very many more bright southpaw lads like Dave who plainly see she's nuts— whether the setting is East, West, North or South. —Boston

Ed.:  Well, except that lefties are of the devil.
Ed. 2:  And this does only happen in the South.

Dear Havers of Provincial Thoughts,
The Book of Wine & Seizures is a far, far grander thing than can be realized all at once by any one reader.  That's why we read in a group of five or so.  Our courage is rewarded with an evening's worth of giggles, grins and the feeling of our brains being pulled out of our skulls and mixed in a blender and deftly poured back in under new management.  The stories are worlds the like of which we never imagined our lives taking us to.  —Feeling Accomplished

Ed.: That last bit is what they said back in the early days of the Greyhound bus, when beings of all genetic stock and mental predicament were drawn drooling out of the woodwork to ride forth and spread themselves upon the big cities, which to them were "worlds the like of which we never imagined our lives taking us to."  And of course we know the rest of the story, Skynet and judgment day and the rise of the terminators...
Ed. #2:  Suppress that shudder, Editor 1.

"READING, WRITING AND REVISIONISM" by one Buttwinkle Scribblerus is among the most splendid commentaries on the state of education in America that it has ever been my pained pleasure to read.  You will not mind if I share it with the yapping pups of my university department who think themselves the post-perfection elite.  —H.

Ed.:  They are too strong now.  They will have your job. 

I hope we'll have an opportunity to meet in person one day. In the meantime, I'm reading some of the previously published pieces and thoroughly enjoying them. —J.H.

Ed.:  You can't get to jpt Towers & Catacombs from the regular world, but there's a good chance of crossing paths at a Frosty Mug Lecture, if you catch one coming to your Province. Your second sentence makes an important point: Archived issues are as fresh and timely as the one you hold in your eyes this moment. You newbies should hit the Archives and bring yourselves up to speed.

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jptArchive Issue 19
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