Etiquette & superstition: losing one’s virginity

Someone on the internet scans and posts an out of print book, and copyright holders of said book ask them to take it down. Old story. But here’s the good part: copyright holders actually decide to get the book reprinted for all to enjoy. Kudos, Estate of Edward Gorey.

ETIQUETTE (from The Recently Deflowered Girl, written and illustrated by Edward Gorey under the pseudonym Hyacinthe Phyppe; originally published 1965): “Deflowerment at Seance: At seance conducted by smooth-talking gypsy, you ask him to produce spirit of Rudolph Valentino. Spirit of Valentino appears and you are deflowered.

After deflowerment, you say, ‘Gee, Mr. Valentino, may I have your autograph?’

He says, ‘To tell the truth, this whole seance is a fake.’

You say: ‘Personally, I don’t believe in them either.'”

SUPERSTITION: A hooting owl is a sign that one of the young virgins in the village has been deflowered. Damn gossipy owls.

Etiquette & superstition: poppies

I got out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve a little late this year to see any blue dicks, but the cream cups and locoweed pods were still in abundance, not to mention the California poppies.

When I was a kid, I was kind of afraid of California poppies. I was told that because they were the state flower, it was illegal to pick them; I was frequently worried that a poppy might die near me and I would get blamed for killing it or something, and I’d be sent to prison forever. Now that I’m older, I know a lot more about poppies,* so I was glad I went out to see them.

ETIQUETTE: The gift of red poppies indicates that the recipient inspires exotic passion in the giver. White poppies, intimacy. California poppies, dreams.

SUPERSTITION: Do not place poppies near your eyes or ears. If you put one near your ear, you’ll get an earache; if you hold one up to your eye, you will go blind. If you pick a red poppy and a petal falls off, make sure it doesn’t hit your hand. If it does, you will soon be struck by lightning.

* I know that sounds like code for “heh, heh; I do opiates” or something, but it’s not. I just know a lot more about poppies now that I’m not a kid.

Published in: on April 27, 2008 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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