1. Anatomy of cartoons: Michael Paulus has been figuring out what sort of skeletons would necessarily underlie various famous cartoon figures. Peanuts seems to have gotten the most attention, but also included are the Power Puff Girls, Betty Boop, Marvin the Martian and (my favorite, I think, from this group), a Shmoo. (Snaffled from John De Nardo on Facebook.)

2. Weight-loss made easy! I was in a room with a scale the other day, so I weighed myself. I have no idea why, because I don’t really care: for someone of less than average height, the BMI will always be the enemy. (In other words, shave me hairless and put a dixie-cup on my head and I am a Shmoo. Don’t ask me how I know this.) But there I was, and there the scale was, so I stepped onto it. The last time I weighed myself was several weeks ago, but the difference was striking: I’d dropped something like thirty pounds.

I was mildly pleased (“Take that, Body-Mass Index!”)–at first. Then I realized that a precipitous weight-loss without any real lifestyle change isn’t really a good thing. I looked a little closer and saw that a paperback was wedged under the scale. I pulled it out, and the scale instantly spun around to the 200+ lbs. I’d been expecting. (I’m not being coy about the actual weight; I didn’t have my glasses on, so an exact reading would have been more trouble than it was worth.)

Maddening. Enough to drive someone to drink–which would be appropriate, in a way, since the word scale originally meant “drinking cup” in English, and is cognate with the Scandinavian toast, Skaal! (Yes, I spent some more quality time this afternoon with my close personal friend, the tyrant OED.)

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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2 Responses to Shmoocetera

  1. The really telling thing is that the places you frequent are so full of books, a paperback wedged under the scale was not worth noticing until you had to consider the possibility of a wasting disease. Books pouring off the overcrammed shelves and drifting tidally about on the floor? Perfectly normal.

    • JE says:

      This is totally true, and comes from living in a house with four book addicts. I dread the day we move again, just because of those boxes of books…

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