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Through the Looking Glass: a new fragment

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 25, 2006

From a early draft ms of Chapter IV, recently found among Dodgson's papers at Christ Church, Oxford. Readers are reminded that state-mandated Vulnerable Minor Protection Programs were in their infancy in the 1870s. Tenniel's illustrations, of course, belong to the edition of 1872.

So much obliged!' added Diddletwee. 'You like poetry?'

'Ye-es, pretty well -- some poetry,' Alice said doubtfully. 'Is it very long?'

'It's long,' said the Diddletwum, 'but it's very, very beautiful. Everybody that hears me sing it -- either it brings the tears into their eyes, or else --'

'Or else what?' said Alice, as Diddletwum had made a sudden pause.

'Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is called "Talking About Touching".'

'Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested.

'No, you don't understand,' Diddletwee said, looking a little vexed. 'That's what the name is called. The name really is "Boundaries Are Beautiful".'

'Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called"?' Alice corrected herself.

'No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called "We Have All Been Enlightened": but that's only what it's called, you know!'

'Well, what is the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.

'I was coming to that,' Diddletwum said. 'The song really is "The Ballad of Petey the Parrot",' giving his brother a hug. Diddletwee smiled gently, and began:

Petey the Parrot served twenty-one months
Of a rap for indecent exposure.
His Bishop paroled him and gave him a perch
On his pear-wood episcopal crosier.

He scolded the skeptics who labelled the bird
Unsuited for pastoral placement:
"I'm giving him charge of the CCD staff
And a suite in the chancery basement."

Hide the eggs, Gwendolyn, hide the eggs Tom!
   Hide the eggs Kate and Kareem!
Petey the sinister Young Adult Minister's
   back on the pastoral team!
With an aawk! and a squawwk! twenty months and you walk,
   back on the pastoral team!


Petey was therapized, pampered, prepared,
Pronounced cured by professional weasels
Who shortly thereafter were found to have died
From a sorrowful shortage of T-cells.

The cops nearly nabbed him at Cock-à-Two's Bar
But Petey was just enough quicker
To fly through the window, and home, where he found
He'd been named archdiocesan vicar.

Hide the eggs, Gwendolyn, hide the eggs Tom!
   Hide the eggs Kate and Kareem!
Petey the sinister Young Adult Minister's
   back on the pastoral team!
With an aawk! and a squawwk! twenty months and you walk,
   back on the pastoral team!


When the parents complained that his ministry style
Included non-standard relations,
The kindly old bishop asked Petey to screen
First his phone calls, and then his vocations.

It didn't take long for the entering class
To grow from near thirty to -- zero.
Now Petey's a bishop himself, don't you know,
And described as "The NCR's hero."

Hide the eggs, Gwendolyn, hide the eggs Tom!
   Hide the eggs Kate and Kareem!
Petey the sinister Young Adult Minister's
   back on the pastoral team!
With an aawk! and a squawwk! twenty months and you walk,
   back on the pastoral team!

'I like the cops best,' said Alice: 'because they were a little sorry for the poor hatchlings.'

'They asked the DA to take them off the case, though,' said Diddletwee: 'Contrariwise.'

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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Granny - Mar. 31, 2006 6:38 PM ET USA

    Methinks the truth-searching Maestro has found his day job. An insider with a split personality? An outsider, retired? A gifted, craft-y wordsmith, no matter what his job. A talent, a harbinger, a prophet and problaby not honored in his own land, but this rabble is grateful for some graceful irony on a sad subject.

  • Posted by: Abraham Tolemahcs - Mar. 27, 2006 9:26 AM ET USA

    Ignacio, Based on the quality of Diogenes satire posted here over the last 2 years or so I would guess that he is good enough to quickly craft these in his spare time and still keep his day job. He's definitely got "skills."

  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2006 9:35 PM ET USA

    God, this is masterful. Where do you find the time, Diogenes? Next time I am tempted to be irritated when there is Nichts Neues im OTR, I shall remember this jewel.

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Mar. 25, 2006 1:34 PM ET USA

    The question still remains: Does Diogenes have a day job? If so where does he find the time to craft these blogs?

  • Posted by: frjimc - Mar. 25, 2006 12:33 PM ET USA

    "They [the second graders] practiced saying "No! It's my body" in loud, crisp, confident voices, and they danced to the jingle of a body safety tune." Why, then, are SOME people (Diogenes!) insisting on good, sound moral instruction for the children and their parents? I think the addition of dancing to a body safety tune makes all the difference in the world!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2006 12:03 PM ET USA

    Masterful piece of doggerel, Diogenes, despite its absence of charity.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Mar. 25, 2006 12:00 PM ET USA

    'Twas Brillig, Uncle Di! Simply, Brillig!

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