Thursday, September 28, 2006

ask palinode #6: cufflinks

Sometimes people living a thousand miles or more from my apartment have questions. And my first thought is generally, "Why bother? They can't come over and slip poison gas under the door by means of a flexible celluloid pipette. Why, between the road agents and the portaging, who would make such a long journey at this perilous time of year? I'm safe until spring thaw".

Then I reflect on the increasing popularity of the motor car and the air-plane, and a flood of generosity douses my soul. Mr. Hobbs, who lives in a boat moored to a rock off the shore of Lake Ontario, has the following to ask:

I purchased a set of cufflinks at the Sunday antique market fair in Kingston. They are a rather nice pair of cufflinks; they work quite well, they don't eat at all, they hold my sleeve's cuffs together, they never jump off and run away, as so many other cufflinks do, and they never talk back. ...But, I fear they may be communicating with others. You see, each cufflink has a symbol upon it, obviously of some sort of club or fraternity, and as to which organization's member they do beckon, I know not! Palinode from the image below can you decipher the club, clan, cult, fraternity, religious affiliation, a-religious affiliation (Buddhists, atheists, Epicureans, the NDP, etc..), group, party, organization, faction, persuasion, or perversion these cufflinks are symbolic calling card to?

Before I may bring these cufflinks to my heart, I will await your response and hold them aloft in my esteem and wear them only upon my sleeve(s).

They have no writing nor stamp on the reverse or stem. They did come as a set of 3, as heirs and spare I assume, for $4 (in total, not @).

Yowzah! You were right to suspect a secret affiliation dependent from the links. The first truth of the matter is that cufflinks are, if not evil, then definitely sinister; their very dapperness determines their nature. It is also true that, issuing from their sinister nature, they are in cahoots with other entities. I wish I could say with confidence that these entities have your best interests at heart, but it is not so. These groups serve only one master, and their twisted altar of worship is not yours.

Given that these are the bald facts in the case, it remains only to suss out the true allegiances of your cufflinks. First off, the symbols are not horseshoes. They are actually bicycle clips.

The bearers of the bicycle clip cufflinks declare their membership in the Constabulary for the Preservation of Humanity By Way of the Atomic Theory (CPHWAT). The Atomic Theory was first outlined the organization's manifesto, Flann O' Brien's 'novel' The Third Policeman. O'Brien's 'novel' is populated by policemen in a rural Irish parish whose chief activity is the theft and recovery of bicycles. The policemen are great proponents of the Atomic Theory.

The Atomic Theory proves that prolonged periods of riding bicycles, especially along unpaved roads or paths, creates excessive jolting and constant friction between the seat of the bicycle and the seat of the rider. The jolting can actually cause atoms from the bicycle and the rider to cross over, so that in time the rider begins to absorb his or her bicycle and the bicycle its rider.

Within a year of daily riding, it is possible for a bicycle and his or her owner to have unwittingly exchanged twenty five percent of their natures. Given such a terrible progression, it would not be surprising if bicycles in the guise of human beings one day ruled the world (incidentally, this has already happened in the Netherlands). The members of CPHWAT, with their dedication to promote high percentages of humanity in humans, have been stealing bicycles for years. Remember: when you return from an afternoon at the beach to find a broken lock dangling from the bike rack, CPHWAT has been there.


Thivai Abhor said...

I would like to extend an invitation to you to join in on a collective blogging section of our upcoming winter issue of Reconstruction. The issue is the “Theories/Practices of Blogging.” In addition to the special section of posts on blogging there will be about a dozen essays on blogging.

The deadline is October 20th.

Our intent in this section of the issue will be to collect a wide range of bloggers and link up to their statements in regards to why they blog (something many of us are asked) and any statement they have on the theories/practices of blogging.

If you already have a post on this you can feel free to use it, or, if you are interested, you can submit a new one.

We will link to each statement from the issue at our site, with the intent of creating a hyperlinked list of statements on blogging that can serve as an introduction to blogging (or an expansion of knowledge for those already blogging).

If you are interested please contact me at mdbento @

My Head Is Too Big said...

*struggles to pull huge head out of drywall, takes a running start at a screen door, for practice*
Cufflinks? Dammit, man! I'm seriously starting to wonder whether this can be done at all. Perhaps I shall wash my hands of the whole endeavor and stick to passing through liquids and gasses.

ozma said...

This explains so much about Rotterdam.