The Charlotte News

Friday, October 17, 1941


Site Ed. Note: Today's page is a little wanting of new topics to pique our interest. Hugh Johnson offers a quick history of military strategy and tactics, the old chess game of taking the capital of a particular enemy as the piece en prise, the pièce de résistance, leading to the pax Romana, as differentiated from the more modern approach of bottle-up, bypass, and push the opposing army to surrender, cut off from its high strategic command by the bottle-up, thus susceptible to attritive conculcation.

The Pete Ivey pièce de circonstance from the Winston-Salem Sentinel offers a particularly prime salient upon which to assault the charge, and prepare one's self solipsistically, or even solipotently, for life. Read it thoroughly, possessed of that acuity of a chrysaline just before emergence into the imago, and you can never go wrong...

Incidentally, the other part of that story which we began the other day is that, about a year later, we were pulling out of an iced-over parking lot in front of a little country store one chilly morning, though not so chilly as to be 30 below. The macadam on the main road onto which we intended to proceed was completely chaste. So, not wishing to fish-tail into that bit of virginal stretch in our little blue roadster, we proceeded with enormously restrained delimitation. We properly reconnoitered from within our coign of vantage and the thusly thrown coup d'il adduced to our cortex the patrolman owling steadily toward our position from down at the bridge, a good quarter mile away, but that did not deter our delimited moment.

For we took out our trusty protractor and slide-rule and determined from them that the precisely proper speed at which to proceed in order to be certain of safe acquisition of the untrammeled morning macadam's humpy plane was not for want of accuracy, while resisting adequately by attaining tractably, not truculently now, though on occasion past we might have done so, the spinning radial surfaces to the sun-glinting strip of straight running ground velivolant in its ordinary lift against our sails treading in normal custom. But this day, we entered with caution, duly cognizant of the previous year's trippingly tree-slur in siding attitude-errant while in search of maple syrup with which to slither down our gullet, thereby giving quiescence to the sting of the boot-spur's mullet in our side as if caught in the ring by a cavalier's larrup. This situation, we quickly assessed, carried with it the same potential in reverse, only with a target not so hospitable in gentle coherence with our nose as that of the great stationary oak of yore--or was it a maple?

So, with the past fully thus in mind, we pulled out. The patrolman did not even have so much as to apply a feather rested between his toes to the pedal to the right of his redoubt. Nevertheless, he found disquietude in our manner of approach to the brigand's last respite before us, even if unfettered progress there was quickly interrupted by the bump-bump tread over the rails, thus slowing of necessity celerious peroration, figuratively speaking, along this tombolo in search, as we often were in the evening hours, of Fomalhaut; and so he flagged us in sullen swagger to the scapula's dusty mane, as the snow crunched now beneath the grooves in our paws, gearing ground down teeth to the gurdy pain.

We immediately inquired, as we stepped boldly into the abyss, just what it was this knightly squire might be considering, as he whipped forth his tablet and thumb-punched the top of his velum's wife with particular punctulation at his apparently youthful command.

Ignoring his play thusly, we proceeded to inform him further that our approach, contrary to his assertion of sloth, was in accordance with the manner most safe for entry under the conditions prevailing most predominantly of the morn, though not as in Goth, our rampart shorn fully of shide, that being strictly within the general rule enunciated in the handbook elaborated not by fools--that is slick to sleight to avoid the skid.

When he insisted yet, oblivious to our articulation, in putting his pen to pad, we suggested, albeit in more terms polite, that he a slate loose well might.

Just then the north wind took over with a great glorious breath suddenly shivering through all the trees to earth as we stood looking straight upon his now obviously perturbed countenance, as the dust mixed with snow swirled 'round him in a transitory williwaw. And, as if by great ordination from somewhere in relief of the statutory times, the wind lift grabbed forth as if by grasp his hat and threw it unceremoniously to the ground. He quickly bowed and scrambled and scraped to keep it from tossing end to end into the road. His youth now suddenly betrayed to self-mocking persistence in the chase, and the formerly self-assured mien now having fallen fast into disarray, we began to feel a sudden sense of empathy for the scrambler, as he finally laid hold on the knight-errant rambler and replaced it snugly upon his head, as if an admiral standing at the helm of his sleek sloop's fife-rail fed.

Yet, though now recovered from this momentary loss of composure in the face of the mighty wind, so taken with chagrin was he that he quickly put away his writing pad, replaced his pen in his breast pocket, resumed his posture at the wheel of his ship, mumbled something indiscernibly and then drove away into the morning stray light.

So, we re-entered our ship as well, proceeded on up the felt-slap macadam, and, as we did, waved hearty greeting to the sisters three whom we passed, catching, we think, in our peripheral rondo off calliope notes, cackling mercilessly at the wit of the hat which did peek its pearly shift from the head and tumble fast into the Fallopian motes.

We'll say it again: don't mess with musicians.

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