Rant-Man’s Notebook: Haiku? You’re Soaking in Them!

A long time ago (in web terms that is–about six years ago), one of my favorite sites on the internet was “The Wonderful World of Clean Underwear and a Sensible Pair of Shoes.” I originally found it listed in an issue of a long-defunct magazine called “The Net” and had to check it out. It was a revelation, and some shards of its goodness permeate Monkey Spit. “The Wonderful World of Clean Underwear and a Sensible Pair of Shoes” featured such oddities as haiku. Not just any haiku; haiku about Spam. Haiku about Bill Bixby. Haiku about cows. How cool is that?

Here’s one from memory:

Man visits doctor.
“I eat spam every day.”
Angioplasty.

The site also featured obscure alternative Christian musicians like One Bad Pig. Here was a guy who did his own thing and did it with style. Certainly this man was a force to reckon with.

Sadly, that site is long gone. However, don’t despair. Richard Vance, the creator of “The Wonderful World of Clean Underwear and a Sensible Pair of Shoes,” has surfaced with a new site, “The Adventures of Richie Millennium in the Thirteenth Dimension,” and it is a very worthy successor. Here you can find an audio file of Richie Millennium singing in the shower. He sings an REO Speedwagon song. You’ll also find the Super Elastic Combustion Rodeo, the world’s oddest postcards, plenty of Haiku, and the Richie Millennium Variety Show.

The best thing about the new site is that it retains one of my favorite elements of the old one, the Archive of Endangered, Special or Fun Words. This is a great resource for punching up your vocabulary. It’s where I learned the great term “defenestration,” the act of throwing someone or something out a window. There’s also “enfenestration,” throwing someone or something IN a window, and “transfenestration,” throwing someone or something through a closed window. Certainly no vocabulary is complete without sesquipedalian terms like these!

Here, for your edification and amusement, are some of my favorite Endangered, Special and Fun words, lifted without apology from the Thirteenth Dimension:

Apotheosis— the act of becoming a god.

Apotemnophiliac— one who derives sexual gratification from the amputation of limbs, either their own or somebody else’s.

Eructation— a belch.

Infundibulum— a funnel or funnel-shaped object.

Omphaloskepsis— the act of examining or contemplating one’s navel.

Oont— another name for a camel.

Somniloquoy— talking in your sleep.

Syzygy— when everything comes into alignment.

If you get a chance, you should pop over to the Thirteenth Dimension and look around. I’ll just sit here and engage in omphaloskepsis while you’re gone.


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