Poe Folks

January 22, 1999

This is true: Every year a mysterious stranger leaves roses and a bottle of cognac on the grave of Edgar Allan Poe on January 19th, Poe’s birthday. The ritual always takes place between midnight and five a.m. and has now been going on for fifty years, since it was begun in 1949, Poe’s 140th birthday. I thought I should do something to mark this special occasion, so here’s an almost-unknown work on an extremely important subject by the man himself:

The Mammoth Squash

Green and specked with spots of golden,
Never since the ages olden–
Since the days of Cain and Abel,
Never such a vegetable,
So with odors sweetest laden
Thus in our halls appearance made in.
Who–oh! who in kindness sent thee
To afford my soul nepenthe?

Rude men seeing thee, say "Gosh!
‘Tis a most enormous squash!"
But the one who peers within,
Knowledge of himself to win,
Says, while total silence reigns,
Silence, from the Stygian shore–
(Grim silence, darkling o’er)
"This may perchance be but the skull
Of Arthur Cleveland Coxe* so dull–
Its streaked, yellow flesh–his brains."

(An Episcopalian minister. Why Poe wanted to squash him is a mystery–at least to me. For more information, see The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by James A. Harrison, v.7, pg.236.-CW) Enjoy this week’s other offerings.

On a ski lift in Taos, NM:
‘No jumping from the lift. Survivors will be prosecuted.’


Official sign near door: Door Alarmed.
Handprinted sign nearby: Window frightened.


Guys: No shirt, No service
Girls: No shirt, No charge


Road sign seen on the island of Cyprus
(translation of the Greek):
‘Caution: Road Slippery from Grapejuice’


A sign advertising a Company wide skiing race
Let’s see who can go downhill the fastest


Sign in King’s Canyon in California.
‘Slow Parking Ahead’


A billboard seen next to the highway, travelling from Johannesburg International Airport into town. An Ad for BMW showing a photo of a BMW 328i convertible with the roof and all the windows down. The caption reads:’ Our hardware runs better without WINDOWS!!!’


Two signs found on top of one another in a country
kitchen several years ago:

Please wait for hostess to seat you.


Sign in front of church in Montpelier, VT:
Bingo Friday night at 8:00pm
Quickies Thursday at 7:30pm.


Seen in a health food store_
" Shoplifters will be beaten over the head with an organic carrot "


"Children left unattended will be towed at parents expense."


I went to a little hole in the wall restaurant:
the sign read: Women are not served here…
You have to bring your own.

Think about it:

1. Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.

2. Needing a man is like needing a parachute. If he isn’t there the first time you need him, chances are you won’t be needing him again.

3. I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

4. Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

5. My Reality Check bounced.

6. On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.

7. Someday we’ll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.

8. There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives.

9. Good news is just life’s way of keeping you off balance.

10. Carelessly planned projects take three times longer to complete than expected. Carefully planned projects take four times longer to complete than expected, mostly because the planners expect their planning to reduce the time it takes.

11. God did not create the world in 7 days; he messed around for 6 days and then pulled an all-nighter.

12. I still miss my ex-husband, but my aim is improving.

13. Stupidity got us into this mess — why can’t it get us out?

14. Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should be changed regularly and for the same reason.

15. People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them that Benjamin Franklin said it first.

16. I don’t mind going nowhere as long as it’s an interesting path.

17. Indecision is the key to flexibility.

18. If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is.

19. I don’t get even, I get odder.

20. In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

21. I considered atheism but there weren’t enough holidays.

22. I always wanted to be a procrastinator, never got around to it.

23. Dijon vu — the feeling you’ve had this mustard before.

24. My inferiority complex is not as good as yours.

25. I am having an out of money experience.

26. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.

27. Not afraid of heights — afraid of widths.

28. Practice safe eating — always use condiments.

29. A day without sunshine is like night.

30. If marriage were outlawed, only outlaws would have inlaws.

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