1. UPDATE: that brie canadien i was trash-talking last week was Emma brand, so’s you know. can’t find a website for them, but you’ll in all likelihood know it to see the logo. sorry emma.
2. Duck Eggs. i’ve been eatin’ ’em. they’re considerably more expensive than hen eggs (6$ for 1doz, as opposed to 6$ for 30 from Capitaine D’Oeuf at Jean Talon), but i thought What The Hey, i love eggs and i hate ducks, so let’s see what can be made of this. the eggs have slightly more oblong shape and sturdier shell, which has made for some hard times in the cracking, but i’m getting used to it. had to stab one of them with a fork today, but i shouldn’t take my ineptitude as representative. the yolks, as compared to the hen eggs (also organic, and free-run or otherwise well-treated) also from Mr. Oeuf, are a little paler and larger, and the whites somewhat more gelatinous. i described them to someone yesterday as “more like gristle” (eliciting predictable, if unintended revulsion), but i think gelatinous says it better. they also remain a little more translucent, which unfortunately translates to looking a little grey, and seem less creamy. duck eggs are apparently noted for their gaminess (uh, gamey-ness?), but i didn’t notice any appreciable difference. also, the yolks are usually darker orange, but this is diet-dependent. all in all? interesting, now i know, but i’ll stick to the chickens, thanks.
3. this whole Duck Egg Affair reminded me of puns, and some thinking about them that i’ve been doing.
that’s not totally accurate. the duck eggs reminded me of that far side cartoon with a bunch of animals hanging out and one of them yells “duck!” and they all duck as a duck flies overhead (as if thrown, not flying under its own power, which i maintain is essential to the cartoon’s effectiveness). which in turn reminded me of puns (being one), and how i’ve been meaning to think more about them.
because i’m conflicted.
on the one hand, i disagree with Samuel Johnson’s oft-quoted dismissal of the pun as the “lowest form of humour,” because it simply isn’t so – puns rely on a facility with language of both the speaker and the hearer, exploiting the ambiguity of a given language in ways that may range from merely superficial homophonic resemblance to subtle historical, literary or political significance. further, they need not be employed solely for humorous effect, for they occur all over the place from the Bible to Nabokov to Military iconography, performing artful involutions that may be merely clever or form part of an architecture of symbolic depth and complexity. punning, even at its worst and certainly at its best, can be said to insinuate the spatial complexity and hidden structures of language (in general and in particular languages, in apparent isolation or in defiance of this appearance, in the case of interlingual puns).
on the other, i absolutely want to throttle Shelagh Rogers, and bomb the entire writing staff of As It Happens off the face of the goddamn earth.
i just can’t stand it – i guess because they’re so frequent it feels mandatory, rote (in the particular case of the CBC). it’s like they have a quota and you end up with this deluge of seemingly awful (although perhaps not so bad if taken in the proper time, place, and proportion?) puns, and as with all humour, cooking, i guess all life – sacrifice timing and discretion and you just have an obnoxious, tasteless (or noxious, abrasive) mess.
newspapers are terrible for this as well, and OFTLOG (Oh For The Love Of God),both themed mystery and paranormal romance novels. seriously. it’s awful. i don’t know who established the trend, but terrible puns in combination with literary or pop culture references abound, spun, however, to the extreme that they no longer really refer to anything, or at least the choice of the title incorporating the reference often bears no relation to the content of the referent. or little enough. “Demons Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend”? seriously? seriously?
anyway. you know there is a series of White House Chef Mystery novels? heck yeah there is.
okay, i’m just ranting now. i recognize this, and i recognize that i too trade both heavily and freely in puns here, and for the sake of good taste, i’m trying to rein it in. every time i am tempted toward paronomasia in my post titling, i stop and ask myself if there isn’t an obscure or totally oblique literary or musical reference i could be using. out of respect for the medium. you know.
why do you suppose i find Eggspectations more annoying than Quoi De N’Oeuf (“quoi de neuf” = “what’s new?” although in my head the restaurant was always Quoi D’Un Oeuf, which would mean something like “what, but an egg?” if it actually translated and was something people said, which i guess it isn’t, but i still prefer it to reality, i must say)? because of the french? probably.
(honestly, i’m not sure what i would consider the ‘lowest’ form of humour. scat humour and slapstick offer themselves as likely candidates. both if which i love, and which i think require a certain amount of artistry in order to be done right. even the qualifier “done right” suggests a certain amount of conversation with or self-awareness of their own histories as forms of humour, which seems like a typically academic (read: snobbish) move. like, “I like toilet humour, but only smart toilet humour.” i don’t mean to say oh, i only love Rabelais and Chaplin (what is the distinction between slapstick and physical comedy? does slapstick suggest a move toward cartoonishness? beyond the realm of the believable, vs. say, Gregory Peck tripping over a barcalounger?), because, like a guy falling off a building and landing on a toilet, preferably totally shattering the porcelain and his ribs and collarbone in the process, is pretty funny.
pretty, pretty funny.