[DWJ] Book recommendation

Helen Schinske hschinske at aol.com
Thu Jul 16 13:23:16 EDT 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charlie Butler" <charles.hannibal at gmail.com>
To: "Diana Wynne Jones discussion" <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 9:24 AM
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Book recommendation

> 2009/7/16 Helen Schinske <hschinske at aol.com>
>> >On the Victoria listserv there was once a series of absurd joking posts
>> about Mrs. Gaskell's pet elephant (I've just looked them up -- it was in
>> August 2001). Several people were fooled (Mrs. Gaskell did not, in 
>> reality,
>> possess a living pachyderm of any sort) and quite annoyed.
> I'd probably have fallen for that. I'm very gullible/trusting: for proof
> whereof, someone once persuaded me that Mick Jagger was Portugese (whereas
> we all know that was Elizabeth Barrett Browning). But I *did *know about 
> the
> wombat, from reading the notes to "Goblin Market".

The professor who finally stuck her neck out and admitted she didn't know 
whether it was true or not (I don't think she was one of the people who got 
angry, though) prefaced her admission by pointing out that she had tenure, 
so she had less to lose than other people. I thought that was HILARIOUS.

[tangent] My brother Dan used to take me in by the most absurd stories. I 
remember once we were playing in the bathroom (we grew up in a big old 
house, and the bathrooms had enormous claw-foot tubs), and he fished out a 
disgusting mess of string and dust from behind the tub and said, "Helen, did 
you know our house used to be alive, and this was some of its hair?" I 
screamed, of course ...

When we were both grown up, he told me that he had been taken in by a number 
of silly stories himself, though the only one I can remember was the one he 
had not *quite* believed: he asked our father what UCLA stood for, and Dad 
said it stood for "University of California with Lew Alcindor" (Lew Alcindor 
being the UCLA basketball player, later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). That must have 
been between 1966 and 1969, I suppose, when Dan would have been between 
seven and ten.

Helen Schinske 

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