Friday, June 30, 2006

"the secret of the universe..."

(Taken at Wikipedia)

I'm still keeping those promises, so I'm again short on time (despite rising at 3:00 a.m.). I'll therefore keep this entry correspondingly short.

Since Dennis Mangan stole the joke that I stole from Wendy Bracewell, I'm stealing a quip from Dennis that he stole from Arthur Koestler, who once stole a cosmic insight from God while under the influence of LSD:

"Last night I discovered the secret of the universe, but this morning I forgot what it was."

I suppose that Koestler might call that "darkness at dawn."

Be that as it may, I know someone who had the same insight ... and also forgot. But he was clever like a 'furriner' because he had anticipated that he might forget and had circumvented that eventuality.

But I'm getting ahead of my story.

This happened in my hometown of Salem, Arkansas, and the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on how you felt about him) was a doctor's kid who as a young teenager had once tried to fly his father's small, propeller-driven airplane from Arkansas to Mexico to pick up some cocaine with the bright idea of selling it on the streets of our isolated Ozark hometown (population 900) and getting rich.

Without anybody noticing.

Despite what you might think, the fellow was actually a very bright kid. Inquisitive. Curious. Articulate. And always thinking ahead ... even if in the wrong direction.

So when he was under the influence of LSD and had his mystic, crystal revelation, he knew from previous experience that he might forget his acid insights, so he scrounged around for a pen and paper, and he wrote and he wrote and he wrote, page after page after page of his multidimensional insight into the many-faceted secret of the universe.

Then, he put the sheaf into a safe place and fell asleep.

The next morning, he woke up, remembered that he had learned the secret of the universe, and went to fetch the papers. On them, he had written, sheet after sheet after sheet, these words:
Something in this room stinks. Something in this room stinks. Something in this room stinks...

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At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LSD: Lose Sense Directly. There is an alchemy based on LSD. It came more or less to the same end as you describe. Apparently, it linked human consciousness with protaplasmic being. Now, there's progress for ya.

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

In a distant blue haze ... I think that I recall something like that about LSD.

Of course, back then, protoplasm was heavy stuff...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:01 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

*LOL* Reminds me of The Shining. Since I've had a recent encounter with a crackhead, I'm not surprised. Toward the end of the relationship (before I figured out what he was doing) I remember telling him to go to the doctors and that I was worried he may have been getting early-onset Alzheimers! ;o)

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I suppose that drugs aren't really funny. In fact, I have other stories that reveal just how screwed up people can get on the junk.

Sorry to hear about your ex-boyfriend. Some people are so self-destructive.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herschel was indeed an interesting person, no matter, as you say, how one felt about him.

When I think about Herschel I will always recall that he was the one who gave me instructions on how to dance. It was at my first dance, 7th grade, at the old high school study hall (desks moved to the side). A band from Batesville was playing and I wanted to ask Vanessa McCullough to dance. Since Herschel was the most worldly person I knew, I approached him for advice.

"The secret," he explained,"is to move your body in three directions at once." He must have ascertained my blank gaze was one of complete puzzlement,so he gave me a short demonstration. It did seem as if he was sort of moving in three directions at once (and I hadn't been drinking--but Herschel had).

I did ask Vanessa to dance and I surely tried to move three directions at once. I think I pretty much looked like a 13-year old gawky kid who was in the throes of either a major Pentecostal experience or, more likely, a serious panic attack.

Anyway, that was old Herschel, always trying to move three directions at once.


At 4:07 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Pat, for that anecdote about ... uh, "Herschel"? Is that the spelling? When I was typing my blog entry on our mutual friend, I hesitated ... before leaving out the "c" and kept wondering if it belonged. Did he really spell it that way?

Anyway, his advice on dancing is brilliant, and I'll have to apply it next time that I dance. Except that I'll alter it to, "The secret is to move your body in four dimensions at once." There's also time...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:47 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

I never had the nerve to try the stuff, but I have had that same experience. Sleeping, waking, whatever, I get ideas that seem so insightful and comprehensively applicable that surely I could change the world.

I used to try to write them down, but I never could really recapture the original thought. It fades fast. I've decided that some of the younger angels like to tease us by opening the pages of the cosmic book of knowledge just long enough for us to get a peek.

Then again, it might just be loose synapses.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JJ Mollo, I have the experience in dreams of writing wonderful poems ... but when I awaken, they dissipate.

Being otherworldly, they didn't belong here.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Pat, I was glad to see you did use the "c" in my name. I was a bit dismayed to see in the moonshine story, which did in fact contain a bit of colostum from which Jeff may have noticed the "soured milk taste" to see the c left out.
As to the "plane trip for coke" that did not happen, heck I could barely drive a car. Now realize I may have actually said I did that, I continue to use BS so as to confuse issues. It makes it more fun than ever now that the internet has made it easy to google so that whenever anyone googles me they end up as confused as I continue to be.
But I do hope they enjoy it as much as I. Oh, one other thing Pat, that whiff of alcohol you detected on my breath the evening of the dance had been a swirl of Listerine provided be Sidney Lowrance.

Hers"c"hel Ducker

At 3:51 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dang, Herschel, if I'd known you were still alive ... I'd have invented stories about what you did.

So, the airplane story wasn't literally true? I didn't know that. How did that get started as a rumor? Let's keep it as literarily true, i.e., as fiction. Thanks for setting this blog entry straight.

Also on the spelling of your illustrious name, which I always thought was better than being named "Horace."

Anyway, it's good to hear from you -- and to hear that you survived your misspent youth (much as I have survived mine, similarly misspent if more covertly so).

I'll alert Pat to your note.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm unceertain about it's genesis. You may recall that it was said "Herschel streaked the rodeo", that too is untrue. You might contact Roy Barker on that one, he had placed me securely in his jail some hours earlier.
But however these things happen, it heightens the impishness factor, a quality much missed in adulthood.
I'm not too sure it was, as you say, "misspent", I did learn to write. But alas I've spent 30 years waiting for that "flashback" that all the experts told me was bound to happen.

Herschel Ducker

At 4:28 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Herschel, I see that you did learn to write -- well enough to correct Fred Thompson:

There needs to appear another [sic] following "shear". Or was that word used instead of "sheer" to indicate a figurative "lopping the heads off the Spartans"?

I got that from Googling your name -- with the "c."

And do you now live in Melbourne?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, in Melbourne, and back in college, seems I've made a career of education, receiving of course.
As to correcting spelling, it's one of my quirks, I'll hazard a potential problem, you may "e" me at the address I've used in my postings to you. It's not the one I normally use and it has a pseudonym as it's addressee. But if you use the name of my last ship in the subject line I will direct you to my "normal" address.
One needs to take precautions when posting to the web. By the way, I've done no illegal drugs since '92, it's not as much fun but it does allow me to correct politicians at will.

Herschel Ducker

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my associates informed me that the info I requested you place into the subject line might be too difficult for one who is not familiar with my military record. Although I did remind her that I wrote from there to the Salem Headlight.
She suggested a less arcane question. So, where did our young selves play football/baseball etc. fairly close to where you lived as a youngster?
Recall that it was called something else from what it is now known.
I have looked fairly extensively at your site. You impress me. To know that a grad of Salem AR has amassed such wealth would be a valuable asset. Plus, it would be nice to reacquaint.

Herschel D.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'll drop you a line ... as soon as I figure out the clue:

"...if you use the name of my last ship in the subject line..."

I'm flunking this IQ test rather handily (if I do say so myself).

Must be something obvious. Hmmm ... well, I'll just write "my last ship" in the subject line and see what happens.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

P.S. Just before posting this, I noticed your new comment. I think that I understand and will try that acronym.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did receive. I may have "timed out" tried c & p from sent folder. Did you receive?
Herschel D.

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Kurt Vonnegut dies today. "po po, tweet".

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yes, I received it but haven't yet had time to compose a reply. I've been frantically cutting a paper to the bone for a 9-minute presentation tomorrow on "Asia: What is it?"

I promise to answer within the next 24 hours.

And immediately before seeing your most recent comments, I saw on the news that Vonnegut has died. Perhaps he's not really dead but has been transported away from earth by time-traveling aliens of the planet Tralfamadore.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the Navy with Herschel Ducker, USS Kitty Hawk, remember Ducks Pond? Or sitting with his feet in the washing machine in Japan?? You should not been so selfish with that LSD, He was crazy, showed up for captains inspection wearing his bathrobe and a cup of coffee in his hand. I still have fond memories of him. Hope he is clean, must be about 47 or so now. He was a free sprit, cute sister also

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, I'll let Herschel know of your comment.

Yes, he was crazy, but the Ozarks produces more of those than it can consume locally. Thus have I been exported to Korea...

His cute sister? That would have been Carolyn, and she was cute. I actually asked her to the Senior Prom, but she didn't answer and didn't attend. I later learned that someone else had asked first, to which, she'd said "Yes" but was then confronted by my invitation. I guess she felt a dilemma.

You'll be sad to hear that Carolyn died some years ago. I'm not sure of the details.

Thanks for the visit.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've a feeling I must be speaking to Adrian, perhaps Tony,

Things're well. But now the VA has me on more stuff than I ever took illicitly. I cannot recall "Duck Pond" however, and who has my flag?

The only duck pond I recall had to do with that too dogonned high cliff bordering the carrier landing in Yokosuka. And several bottles of Capt. Morgans.

Such things should not be discussed via e-mail you realize-

P.O. Box 5
Salem, AR 72576

Oh, you should recall the washing machine was after the refined evening at "Jolo's". Perhaps you were at Duck's Pond? "Knights of the Round Table" and all that?

Herschel D.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Carry on, mates.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ducks Pond was the waterbrake room, that you painted so nicely, then it flooded, mysteriously. you slept in the rack above me, V2 division. I went to your sister's wedding, met your parents, Was I that easy to forget???

At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not now. Doggone though if I can recall your name> I did recall the mysteries of the water brakes though. Funny how such things happen aboard a technological marvel like the "s..... kitty."

What had me puzzled was that the washing machine incident occurred in PI, kinda threw me.

Just send me an "e" on the web address you see. Write the 2 letters and the 2 numbers of that iron beast cause otherwise I'll miss it 'cause it'll go into my junk folder and I hardly ever look at it.

Are we talking V-2 or V-3?


At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Everything, and always is a lie. I always lie.

If I start something like, "now this is no bullshit."

Guaranteed. I talk like I've been elected to represent a state like Arkansas. But neither I nor my significant other will ever run for President. (this requires some leeway). I've only met my significant other, well,maybe a bit more than that.

Unfortunately she doesn't know my name. I think I make a better impression if I'm not there.

Herschel Ducker

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I see we've landed in a Cretan paradox. Now, we're trapped ... unless, like you, "I make a better impression if I'm not there."

Me and You and a dog named Boo and also Robert Zimmerman. None of us are 'there', for as with Oakland, "There is no there there."

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something stinks in this room.


At 8:52 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hilda Doolittle, I agree.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:34 AM, Blogger The Tailored Trash Queen said...

My name is Leslie Danielle Holloway....I was born in 1976 in Salem, Arkansas. How is that for a flashback?

Mr. Hodges, if u are still in touch with Herschel, please pass this on to him. I want nothing more than to know my origins. I am at a crossroads, and I can go no further until I know from where I came. Herschel will know exactly who I am I think....well I would hope anyway.


At 11:38 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'll pass it along.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Holloway, Herschel here. I've been wondering myself if this day would arrive.

Jeff (this blog's author) has my email address - and you can email Jeff at this Gypsy Scholar site. I will do whatever I can to "help" us. Yes, us.

I will respond to the email I've received from Jeff giving him permission to send my address on to you - but only you can take that step.

I too have been curious, about five years ago, I heard something that prompted me to phone your Aunt B. Never heard back though I left a message (unsure whether I even had the correct number).

I would appreciate the opportunity for certainty - one way or the one other way. The only thing I am sure of, there was only one of two ways. I know both.

(Apparently Jeff was only aware of the other way - in email Jeff reveals as much.)

But Leslie, for all concerned (or should be) perhaps we three, you Jeff, and I should probably be discreet. There is one other I am definitely concerned for - the other - not particularly.

The next move is your's - but I am here.

Herschel D.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to say Jeff. When this post posted I was... uhm... well

But it would appear ...

You Jeff, for/however it came to occur... well... having this sort of thing so foremostly being the topmost result overall... well.

Initial chagrin it would appear, is likely gonna lead to my changing my mind. Remarkably - in the "bestest" of ways.

Didn't expect this.

Hilda Dolittle

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I hope that all is for the best . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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