Jim Bishop | On putting Descartes before the horse (neigh!)

Jim Bishop | On putting Descartes before the horse (neigh!)

“To be is to do” – Socrates
“To do is to be” – Sartre
“Do Be Do Be Do” – Sinatra

I’m sure the intelligentsia among us reading this is already chuckling up their collective Harris tweed sportcoat sleeves – kinda warm for that attire, isn’t it? – as Perrier water sprays from their nostrils.

And who, pray tell, qualifies as an erudite type? That’s a person who can hear the “William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger. For me, that familiar strain spurs images of thoroughbred horse racing – “Beetlebaum! – as in Spike Jones and his City Slickers’ decomposing take on Rossini’s famous work. (Jim Britt and yours truly played that version on the May edition of the “Warped Records Show” on WSVA).

Welcome to the race track – that’s where windows clean people. You can bet on that…

. . . and the odds are also good that this is a setup for yet another – oh, no, Mr. Jim! – mindful (or mindless) Plato of putrefied, pun-jabbed, Confucius cacophony. So, let’s not Hegel any longer.

Continuing this derailed train of thought, who among us can hear or read the definition of the word “brachiate” – to move by swinging from one hold to another by using arms – without thinking of Tarzan (or George of the Jungle)? I know I go ape, but that’s too much monkey business.

A hungry traveler stops at a monastery and is taken to the kitchens. A brother is frying chips. “Are you the friar?” he asks. “No, I’m the chip monk,” he replies, adding that making a torte is a piece of cake.

Some folks are revolted by, have resistance to and find shocking watt is charged in our ohms for the use of electric current.

When I go to West Africa I’m Ghana make sure Togo to Mali and then I can say I’ve Benin Timbuktu.

I’m bad at math, so the equation 2n+2n is 4n to me.

The little old woman who lived in a shoe wasn’t the sole owner – there were strings attached.

What do you call Peruvian Rorschach tests? Inca Blots.

The girls swim team has a new coach who acts like she knows everything. Her name is Claire Buoyant.

It’s evergreen and related to the pine but has no cones – perhaps yew can tell me what conifer tree it is.

Me: “My teeth are very sensitive.”

Dentist: “Okay, I’ll be careful what I say around them.”

I once worked at a factory that made boat paddles. The starting pay was ten dollars an oar (they let me paddle my own gnu).

I had this crazy idea about writing a novel about the Civil War, but suddenly it was all gone with the wind.

A van full of wigs blew up on the freeway – police are combing the area.

My medical advice to you: don’t get sick. But if you insist, and are fortunate enough to get an appointment . . .

My doctor examined me and gave his diagnosis. I told him I wanted a second opinion. He said, “Go out and come in again.”

I told the doctor I had a ringing in my ears. His advice: “Don’t answer it.”

While he was talking to me his nurse came in and said, “Doctor, there is a man here who thinks he is invisible.” The doc replied, “Tell him I can’t see him.”

Another patient came in and said, “Doctor, I have a serious memory problem.” The doctor asked, “When did it start?” The man replied, “When did what start?”

When I told my doctor I broke my leg in two places, he told me to stop going to those places.

Doctors can be so frustrating. You wait a month and a half for an appointment and he says, “I wish you had come to me sooner.”

Meanwhile, the proctologist reassured the patient that his condition could be rectified.

A Buddhist walks up to a hot dog stand and says, “Make me one with everything.” He pays the vendor and asks for change. The vendor says, “Change comes from within.”

I need to cease and desist this peudo-intellectual pundemoanium and do my philosophy assignment . . . but I just Kant.


– Column by Jim Bishop



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