Parting Glances: Riding the tiger’s back

By |2018-01-16T00:42:23-05:00September 7th, 2006|Opinions|

The September issue of my favorite read-cover-to-cover magazine, Fortean Times (a journal of the weird, the unusual, the anomalous) carries the following item under the sub headline, “Piercing Headaches.”
“An unnamed patient who complained of persistent headaches had doctors in Oregon baffled until they sent him for an X-ray and found 12 nails embedded in his skull. [Surgeons] peeled back the 33-year-old’s face before the 2in (5cm) nails could be removed with needle nosed pliers and a high-speed drill.” Dare I go on?
“Six of the nails were embedded in his brain between his right eye and his right ear, two were below his right ear, and four were in the left side of his head. They narrowly missed arteries and his brain stem. Amazingly, there was little bleeding in the brain.”
Amazing indeed. A photograph of the poor guy’s hammer! hammer! hammer! hammer! back-skull job accompanies the FT story. It’s my recommendation that the X-ray be blown up and posted in every gay bar in the country. CAVEAT! Crystal Meth’s 9-Inch Nails! (Actually they’re 2-in nails, but you get the point of the message.)
Apparently said near-brain-dead guy was attempting to commit suicide. “[He lied] he had had a nail gun accident; but later admitted to attempted suicide while high on crystal meth. He left hospital 25 days later, weak but healthy.” [But none the wiser?]
And, as a follow up to a previous PG column on the momentous 666 date – Mark of the Beast Doomsday – this item. (Fundamentalist biblical dimwits, please take notes.) “Special needs teacher Suzanne Cooper, 36, gave birth to a son at 6:59 am on 6/6/2006 in Southmead Hospital, Bristol [UK], six days after being induced [into labor].
“She and her husband Mike named the baby [surprise! surprise!] Damien. He weighed 6lb 6oz.
“‘The Omen is one of our favorite films and that’s why I was keeping my legs crossed for birth on the sixth,’ she said.” [Note to self: File under Hot Crossed Buns, British Style.]
And this pluck-up-your-courage-in-the-jungle-of life news tidbit: “A female rubber-tapper [not a safe-sex worker] in Malaysia was bitten on the thigh by a tiger. The predator took a pace back and began staring at her. She stared back. The contest lasted several minutes before the tiger disappeared among the trees. By keeping her nerve, she had escaped certain death.” [And the tiger, a bout of lactose intolerance.]
How does that limerick go? “There was a young lady from Niger/ Who smiled as she rode on a tiger./After the ride/ She was inside,/And the smile was on the face of the tiger.”
Let’s close this Labor Day Week PG folderol on the subject of limericks. This delightful nonsense verse form (frequently wacky, ribaldly obscene) was “invented” by Englishman and suspected drama queen Edward Lear (1812-1888), who wrote sunny children’s verse in limerick form (none X-rated, to be sure).
It was Mr.Lear to whom we credit today’s expression for non-email, outdated postal usage: “snail mail.” On Feb. 19, 1864, he sent a letter on a drawing he had done to a friend, Evelyn Baring. His words were neatly inscribed on a snail’s shell.
Our closeted Dear/Queer/Lear wrote only one gay (slightly) limerick: “There was an Old Man on a hill,/Who seldom, if ever, stood still;/He ran up and down,/In his Grandmother’s gown/ Which adorned that Old Man on a hill.” (Last line update: Which gave the old dragster a thrill.)

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.