Tuesday, February 3, 2009

if airplanes are housed in aerodromes, where do we keep the Palins?

"Able was I ere I saw Elba." I was taught by Dr. Richard Arthur George, Head of the English Department (though I cannot recall anyone else in the department) at the Carteret Academy for Boys (West Orange, New Jersey) that that is the longest palindrome in the English language. And it's much cooler than the "Poor Dan" example the definition offers ('in a droop' indeed!).

I've always been pleased, as if I had something to do with it, that the zip code of where I live, Norwich, Connecticut, is a palindrome, 06360 and go to great lengths to NOT use the "plus four" part of the zip, not because I wish to delay the mail (just the bills, thank you) but because then it's not a palindrome. Whenever, in person or on the phone, someone asks for my zip code, I not only give it, I also point out it's a palindrome and am greeted at best with a blank stare and at worst by a yawn. If you're looking for someone to blame for the possibility of no mail delivery on Saturdays, I may be your guy (or yug, to keep this palindromic thing going, I guess).

I mention this because my brother, Adam, had a great story yesterday on how it came to be that he does NOT share his natal day with a Groundhog. I love eyewitness accounts, which, technically I suppose his wasn't, but it sure sounded like it. And speaking, okay, typing, as I was a moment ago about the post office, albeit somewhat obliquely, there's a possibility when he gets home today (but more likely tomorrow) the world's greatest birthday card (from me, of course; you had to ask?) will have been delivered. It may well be the greatest birthday card in the entire universe (which is also sort of a hint) and actually was the subject of an email I received from John and Druscilla Hallmark, of the South Hampton Hallmarks (of course), over the weekend inquiring as to my intentions in connection with the purchase of their card. The American Greetings people aren't anywhere near this customer-oriented and, believe me, I notice little touches like that.

This past Presidential election season, so much attention was paid to Governor Sarah Palin that almost unnoticed was the Presidential campaign of (to me) a more famous same last name. And what would our country look like had this succeeded-one can only wonder. It's a fine line separating the Economic Stimulus package from The Piranha Brothers, though Joe Biden does look a little like Dinsdale, at least in profile. And how I wish I had heard of either Michael (British and Loony) or Sarah (Plain and Tall) before encountering the most appropriate of palindromes for today's birthday child, "Madam, I'm Adam." Thus endeth the lesson and not a moment too soon.
-bill kenny

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