Monday, March 4, 2013

Items that Never Quite Made The Anvil Deadline

Mr. Rob Edwards, Publisher Extraordinaire


Book Reviews:
{That Never Quite Made the Cut}

The Gentleman's Pocket-Farrier, Shewing
How to ufe Your Horse on a Journey,
What REMEDIES are Proper for Common Misfortunes
 that may befall Him on the Road
Captain William Burdon
London: John Grage, 1732
"Queis gratoir ufus Equorum, Nocturna verfate manu, verfate diurnal."
Okay, second version of this difficult book review.  A rough translation from the Latin goes something like:  "Tonight's special at Denny's is the chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes and garvy."  The 'manu' part has something to do with either a foul tasting tropical root or Don Ho's ukulele.  We're not sure, but this seems like either a Hawaiian religious icon or a pasta dish from southern Italy.  The 'diurnal' is defintely one of those things you find in the men's room that looks like a Rice Crispy's treat, but tastes like the lid on a Clorox bottle.  The 'ufus Equorum' is one of those big, dumb European horses.  Probably Dutch.  'Nocturna' is what most book critics do half-way through Chapter 1 -- fall asleep.  Our staff is busily trying to sort this out.  Coffee isn't helping.
First Chapter deals with...REMEDIES:
"Whenever you intend to travel, hunt, or only ride out for AIR, let your Horfe's Feet be examin'd, two or three DAYS, or fome convenient Time before you fet out, to fee that his Shoes are all faft, and fit eafy on his Feet, for on that depends the Pleafure and Safety of your Journey."
"If he cuts either before or behind, loo at his Shoes ftand not out with Edge beyond the Hoof, and feel that the Clinches lye clofe, but if his Cutting proceeds from Interfering (that is, croffing his Legs in his Trot) then 'tis natural infirmirmity, and can only be a little helped by Care."
[Editor's note: So, no need to bother with Veterinarian!]
"Before you mount, look round your Horfe. to fee if his Bridle, Curb, Saddle, and Girts are all fitted in their proper Places.  Always accuftom your horse to ftland firm, and without Motion, till your Clothes adjufted."
[Editor's note: Very important, especially that last part!]
This first section seems to address things like fastening your seatbelt, turning up the CD real loud and checking if the turn signals work, just in case you actually bother to use them.  The rest has to do with checking your make-up in the rearview mirror -- very important if you happen to be a woman that might accidently run into another woman.  Also, in 1732, leprosy was still a very unsightly distraction for other riders.  Adjusting your 'Clothes' falls under the category of wool underwear, which tended to 'ride up' as they say.  Skipping underwear altogether would probably alleviate this problem.
"Moft Men whip and fpur their Horfe to make him go fafter before they bid him; but that is cruel Treatment, to beat a generous Creature before you have fignified your Mind to him (by fome Token which he may be taught to underfland) who wou'd obey you, if he knew your Pleasure."
Well, this critic has come to believe that most horse's (horfe's if you prefer), don't speak English.  Apparently, neither does the author.  Perhaps Captain Burdon has confused a Lexus 300 with a large, four-legged hairy thing that wouldn't know a brake pedal from a head of cabbage.  However, the 'whip and fpur' part does have to do with an after-hours club I know in San Francisco.  Obviously, I haven't been there, but most good journalists know where disgusting things take place.  Hey, it is a tough job, but we have to ferret out the truth, no matter how risky.  I mean, I once had to interview Bambi...Bambi?  She had this thing about salad oil, a snake and....
"...there is a wrong judg'd Cuftom amongft our Profeffors concerning Rowels.  If a Horfe is fick, they bleed him right or wrong, give him a Drench, and put a Rowel under his Belly; without enquiring of his Mafter or Keeper, what Ufage he huth lately had, which did occafion that Illnefs.  Rowels are abfolutely neceffary in fome Cafes, but are abfolutely unneceffary in others, and ferve only to disfigure and torment a Horfe.  As for Example:  The Rowel in the Navel for the Greafe (which you may fee in almoft all the coach and Cart-Horfes about Town) is very wrong; becaufe Rowels, in a Horfe that's greas'd, promote too great a Difcharge from the Blood and animal Spirits, which weaken him to a Degree of irreecoverable Poverty."
It is quite possible that Captain Burdon is referring to the IRS in this vague passage.  Being "weaken [ed] to the degree of povery" almost always has to do with either taxes or alimony.  "Rowels" are a bit more problematic, especially if one is stuck in your ear, navel or arse. I could see it happening though in one of those western-style bars during a line dance, especially if you were a bit "greas'd" on some of those "animal Spirits."  I do agree though, that "Rowels are neceffary in certain Cafes."  I know a couple of spots outside Moscow where a good set of Rowels will get you anything in the place.
Lastly, Captain Burdon comments on common eye ailments:  "After you have taken a pint of Blood, get a Quarterri Loaf (something like a sourdough baguette), hot out of Oven, cut away the Cruft, and put the foft Infide into a Linnen Bag large enough to cover his Forehead and Temples; prefs it flat, and bind it on by way of Poultice, as hot as may be without fealding.  Keep his throat warm.  Let the Poultice flay on 'till 'tis almoft cold, and repeat it once or twice.  Into a half a Pint of Kofe or Spring Water, put one Dram of Tuffy. finely prepared.  One Dram of white Sugar-Candy powder'd; and half a Dram of Sugar of Lead.  With a Feather put a drop into each Eye Mornings and Evenings."

So readers, there you have it...whatever it is.  As a side-note, Captain Burdon's tome (some edition of it) is available -- along with mine:  (Mares, Foals & Ferraris) in a special Amazon section called:  Best Bathroom Material of 2013   Half kidding.  Actually, both ARE there! 
Insert Smiley Face here:


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