Complete the Thought ...

Monday, September 25, 2006

... The Islam-Free Edition

I didn't sleep terribly well last night, so I'm way out of gas at the moment. This evening's blogging will consist of a meme I found over at Mountaineer Musings, the blog of Sarah K (aka Frank J's wife, aka Tee Shirt Babe). I stop by there once in a blue moon for a laugh.

Normally, I add a question -- often having something to do with beer -- whenever I do a meme, but this time I have an even better idea: I will impose an initial condition. I will answer every question as if Mohammed (Merciless, Implacable Justice Be Upon His Followers) never existed.

Why? This thing is about thirty questions long and Moslem fanatics got two of Sarah K's answers. (And they could get more of mine if I allowed it.) This is supposed to be fun. Of course the answers to "The world could do without: " and "What worries me most:" are some variant of "Islamofascists" and "We're not killing them fast enough."

The Moslems are pissed at me. So what? The sky is blue, too. I'll take those as given and I'll be damned if I'm going to let any further consideration of those bastards harsh my mellow this evening.

I was going to say that every blogger should do this as an act of defiance -- but that would be permitting these people to set terms, which they are not entitled to do. The value of the "Gus Van Horn Condition" has nothing to do with them. It is to remind yourself that your life is yours alone to live. What a bunch of superstitious morons think is, in the grand scheme of things, completely irrelevant, and that is something we forget at our own peril. It is, after all, why we fight them.

So here goes....

1. Never again in my life: will I visit Belgium without tasting as much beer as possible.

2. When I was five: I decided that one of my kindergarten teachers was my "girlfriend". A few years later, my mother ran into her at the store and, when she reintroduced us, I didn't even remember who she was. Was I a little cad-lad or what?

3. High school was: where shyness, Catholic repression, and my work ethic conspired to stunt my social life severely. I'm glad I didn't go overboard with my social life then, but still....

4. I will never forget: how excited my wife was after we decided to get married.

5. I once met: Leonard Peikoff about a decade ago when stopping by a lecture by his wife (which I could not attend) to pick up a friend of mine. I had no idea Peikoff might be there. The lecture was running over and he asked me something as I waited outside the auditorium for the talk to let out.

I didn't know the answer to his question. I am introverted by nature anyway and was in a bad mood besides, so his persistence annoyed me. I am afraid, in an effort to get him to leave me alone, that I was quite brusque.

Of course, I kicked myself later on when I realized who he was!

6. There's this girl I know who: I used to tend bar with while I was in grad school. Two or three years later, on my way home from the previously-mentioned trip to Belgium, I run into her at Heathrow Airport!

7. By noon, I'm usually: Ummm. Awake.

8. Last night I: slept poorly.

9. Next time I go to church: it will be, I hope, to attend a good friend's wedding. Otherwise, I will be attending a funeral.

10. What worries me most: is the lack of respect for reason that permeates every aspect of our culture.

11. When I turn my head right, I see: my scanner, a copy of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and Tougher Than Tough: The Story of Jamaican Music.

12. When I turn my head left, I see: a huge stack of books and papers that needs organizing due to my recent removal of a bookshelf.

13. You know I'm lying when: I tell you how to catch me lying. Why would you want that information, anyway?

14. If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: Hamlet. This is not because I normally have trouble making decisions. It is because of a very unfortunate set of circumstances in my life that I have not quite "solved", for lack of a better term.

15. By this time next year: I may find myself living in (gasp) New Orleans.

16. A better name for me would be: Jerry?

17. I have a hard time understanding: how the hell anyone can support Kinky Friedman.

18. If I ever go back to school I'll: be getting paid to do so.

I have a PhD. I love to learn new things, but I have done my time in our broken educational system. I am done performing this activity as an amateur.

19. You know I like you if: I give you a hard time.

20. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferarro are: Correct, tolerable, a hick, and past expiration.

21. Take my advice, NEVER: rush into an unfamiliar church when you are late for a wedding. You may appear to be trying to give away the bride!

22. My ideal breakfast is: Eggs Benedict, tomato juice, coffee, cottage fries, and an English muffin. Barring that, I am fond of almost anything hot that I do not have to prepare myself.

23. A song I love, but do not have, is: Hmmm. There is an entire album, I am pretty sure, by a ska band (whose members were all Rice alumni) that I wish I had on CD. But the name of the band escapes me at the moment.... One of their songs was "Burrito Hell". Haven't heard it or them in ages.

24. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: making your visit short and taking precautions against crime.

The town where I grew up is falling apart. Visit Houston, instead!

25. Why won't anyone: stand up for his rights anymore?

26. If you spend the night at my house, DO: keep the door to your room shut unless you want Jerome to sit on you at some point during the night and try to lick you!

27. The world could do without: global warming hysteria.

28. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: defend the "right" of a cockroach to live!

29. My favorite blonde is: my wife, who is actually a brunette! She's not "bottled" and I'm not "sleeping on the couch"!

30. Paperclips are more useful than: anything when it comes to annoying your former customers. Yes, Bill. I'm talking to you!

31. San Diego means: "I'm done!"

-- CAV


9-26-06: Inserted two questions I missed.


Unknown said...

Yo, Gus, you write: "There is an entire album, I am pretty sure, by a ska band (whose members were all Rice alumni) that I wish I had on CD. But the name of the band escapes me at the moment.... One of their songs was "Burrito Hell". Haven't heard it or them in ages."

They were Burnt Toast, who played ska in their spare time to relieve stress, and they recorded one album as a graduation present to themselves, of which I think about a thousand CDs were made. None is available anywhere used, near as I can tell.

And: "29. My favorite blonde is: my wife, who is actually a brunette! She's not "bottled" and I'm not "sleeping on the couch"!"

Reminds me of an anecdote about Truman. Once he was with several of his aides and somehow an advertisement came up (might have been on a billboard they passed in a car, but I'm not sure) that said, "Gentlemen prefer blondes" or something like that, and he replied, "Actually, real gentlemen prefer silver."

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks! I was hoping you'd come through with the name. I can now keep it filed away for my next trip to Soundwaves.


Unknown said...

Oh, and Gus, if memory serves, the name of the album is A Burrito Every 40 Seconds.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you, sir!

Anonymous said...

Minor grammatical point, but shouldn't it be:

She's "not" bottled and I'm "not" sleeping on the couch!

Gus Van Horn said...


See this page (under "Quotation Marks for Words").