Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hell in a handbasket

Sometimes I feel that we could entitle every entry that way. Hell in a handbasket. I mean, if it isn't one thing, it's another. For example, at the moment the Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression over the whole Wear Your Guns to Starbucks business. Law and order in the old west was established when people stopped wearing their guns into the saloons, not when they started. But to tell you the truth, to the Mite it's more that Starbucks are the new saloons than that a bunch of idjits feel the need to arm themselves before drinking a cup of coffee (I mean, Starbucks coffee isn't that bad, people). It used to be, life was lived in bars, with a shot o' red eye. You lookin' at me, pardner? Smile when you say that. Does a Colt .45 beat a pair of aces? Transfer all that to a coffee shop, and it's just too...metro. Instead of those four-handed poker games, you've got people in the comfy chairs doing the Kenken puzzles in the back of the Times. I mean, who are you going to shoot if you get two fours on the same line? Jeesh. Anyhow, at least Sarah Palin now has some place where she can get a cup of joe and feel comfortable about it.

By the way, is a Palindrome a really big auditorium where ex-governors put on gladiator displays? Whatever.

Because there was no school at Tennessee Williams for the various holidays, and business was slow at the bookstore because everyone is down in Florida at Disney World wishing they had looked up the crowd numbers before making their reservations, we've got a supersized episode this week. You might even detect an extra load of plot in it, as compared to some of our narrative-free entries. That should give you something to shoot about next time you're in the mood for a latte.

Episode 9: audio / pdf.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Somehow we managed to get an episode out this week (audio / pdf), but truth to tell, the Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression over the whole health care bill deal. The thing is, he has perfectly good health care coverage at Tennessee Williams HS, so he needs this like he needs a hole in the head. On the other hand, at the bookstore where I work, the closest thing we have to a health care plan is a half-empty jar of outdated aspirin in the employee bathroom. So I'll benefit royally while he gets nothing out of it at all. I guess I said "Hoo-ha!" to him one too many times or something. Whatever. In any case, I've already made an appointment with my podiatrist to have these pesky bunions removed. And maybe a few corns while he's at it. And the Nostrumite is just staring at me as if I just robbed Fort Knox or something. (He's obviously never had any foot problems.)

Thank you, Congress. Thank you, Obama. And thank you, Mite, for earning enough to pay all those extra taxes to make my feet finally look less like barnacle-encrusted shipwrecks and more like nuclear-powered submarines.

(I think I need to buy a book of metaphors with the money I'll save on podiatry. That last one just isn't working for me.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New feature on Nostrum Nation

No, this isn't to announce a new episode.

The thing is, the Mite and I are already confused about what has happened in the world of Nostrum, and what is going to happen. For instance, have the vampires shown up yet? We've decided the only way to keep track of things is to add a new text box to the blog page, outlining the content of the episodes to date. We are also working on outlining the content of the episodes to come, but that's between the two of us. If we let you have that too, who knows what would come of it. Halefoil Cumcut complaining that he doesn't want to be a part of the ##### subplot? Eric Rand-Walsh not recognizing who the real dragons are and demanding to be included in Nostrum when he already is? Tarnish Jutmoll complaining that he's not ready to retire yet, either in fact or in fiction? It's too much for us to handle. Let it suffice that we will publicly summarize what happened, and if you have any private concerns to bring to us, do it somewhere else. The feature, along with the running list of the people and places in the narrative, is now posted.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

But wait! There's more!

We here at Nostrum HQ wonder why, as we studied the life of He Pingping, the world's shortest man, all of the photographs were of him and the world's tallest man, or occasionally, the world's tallest woman. I mean, the guy was a couple of feet tall. You could stand him next to Betty White and he's still look like a really small person. Obviously your average media photographer either doesn't understand the concept of overkill or, for that matter, the irony of real life. Anyhow, one thing that we do know is that there is now a new world's smallest man. Our advice to him is to steer clear of really, really tall people. Forget basketball, for instance. No March Madness for you, my little friend. Hang out instead at bowling alleys and bingo parlors. Get your photograph taken with normal people. We promise you—in fact, we guarantee you, money back, no questions asked—that you will still look both itsy and bitsy. You can take that to the bank.

You can also take a bonus episode of Nostrum to the bank this week. Pick your poison, audio or pdf.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If this is Wednesday, it must be Tuesday

I'm not quite sure why this episode is coming out a day early, but I do know that the Nostrumite is in a state of permanent depression over the death of He Pingping, the world's shortest man. It's not that the Mite doesn't have sympathy for the little fellow or his family so much as the fact that the name He Pingping was out there in the first place and the Nostrumite never knew about it. Would that be perfect for a Nostrum character or what! He Pingping would definitely being doing OO. Poorly.

We have seriously lost something here. Console yourself with the audio or the pdf of Episode 6.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nostrum on hiatus, but still manages to produce!

This has been the week from hell. A rumor that Sarah Palin was going to appear at the bookstore for a signing had people lined up out the door, clutching their Going Rogues to their breasts in hopes of getting that miraculous signature (who knew that the woman was able to write her own name?), Then it turned out that, in fact, all of the people on the line were plants hired by the Palin organization, which had provided the books, which meant that the store wasn't going to make a penny out of this, plus they were blocking traffic for the books that would make a penny. Then the news broke that Palin was disguising herself as a Canadian and sneaking across the border to get free health care, and well, there you were. panic in the self-help aisle and riots down by the James Pattersons. When I went to ask the Mite if all of this had sent him into a state of permanent depression, I couldn't find him: the Mate told me that he had disguised himself as a Canadian and snuck across the border to have someone look at his hemorrhoids. This is understandable, as what true-blue American would ever want to look at the Nostrumite's hemorrhoids, so what alternative did the lad have? The only thing that perplexes me about any of this is where one gets these Canadian disguises. Do they actually sell kits that put "eh" at the end of all your sentences? Amazing.

Because of all of this activity, the Mite and I were not able to get an episode out this week. The good news is that we were able to substitute an entry from our favorite blog instead. Avail yourself of the audio or pdf, as you wish. Note that both of them are misnumbered, which is SBO's fault and not ours.

We'll be back next week with a return to our regular scheduled programming.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Worst. Weekend. Ever.

So it started when the Mite said, hey, let's go skiing up in New Hampshire. Cut to the chase: Friday, in his car, the two of us, the blizzard to end all blizzards, stuck off-road for seven hours in a snow drift listening to old The View from Tab podcasts. It doesn't get any worse than that? Don't believe it. After we were rescued by the state police, we managed to crawl to a Holiday Inn Express in some NH town so small I think their name is "You Are Now Entering Leaving—Goodbye!" The bad news was that said Holiday Inn Express had no electricity, so the Mite and I sat around in the dark for 48 hours waiting for the roads to clear, no electronic entertainment whatsoever, with nothing to preserve our sanity other than a deck of cards the front desk sold us for $11. Hearty folk, those New Hampswegians. Stingy bastids, too. So we played honeymoon bridge for a couple of days (the Mite now owes me $3428.42, give or take a few bucks) before we were finally able to make it back to Massachusetts. Thanks to a deep seabed of inner serenity, the NostrumMate had stayed behind with the kids, which was a really good thing because that would have made 5 of us playing honeymoon bridge in an electricity-free one-night-cheap hotel for two nights, and, well, none of us really would have wanted to go there. Talk about your states of permanent depression!

On the bright side, we're now all melted out, I'm back at the bookstore and the Mite is back at TWHS, and everything is roughly normal. For instance, this week's episode of Nostrum (pdf) brings us back to Mr. Jutmoll and his plans for the future. Enjoy it. And think of the blood, sweat and tears that go into these productions, the creative strain, the endless hours of honeymoon bridge...

Does anyone even know what honeymoon bridge is anymore? Life is so tough sometimes.