Thursday, March 09, 2006

WELCOME to Beyond Good and Eviler!

It was 1975: the year The Muse first spoke to me. Or, should I say, through me. It was a Wednesday, to be precise, and a chilly, blustery fall day. Almost winter, the trees, cold and hard, held but a few brittle leaves which rattled relentlessly in the wind. Bereft of summer’s beauty the landscape was a suffocating blur of gray and brown. I felt ill at ease. I stopped. And then it began... 

I’ll never forget that moment! It was the beginning and I was transformed! The change was irrevocable and clear and, to further emphasize the impact of this, I remember distinctly the smells in the air, the clothing I wore, every item my pockets and the foolish thoughts running through my 61 year-old head just moments before it happened. It seems some things one never can forget. They are stamped in our mind with an indelible ink that perhaps only death can erase. 


I was on a bicycle. I should mention that. It was a warmer day than most. I wore a cardigan. It was open but I was still quite hot. There was also a light breeze and the fragrance of incense from nearby Kinkakuji temple blew across a humble rice field towards me, of all people. I remember that smell. I have it now in my mind. It was thick and dry, and, as it sailed upon a crest of a capricious burst of air, my cardigan slapped against my sides as if to say “Hey Von Noshrilgram! Today’s the day!” I was but five minutes from the home of the abbot of the previously mention temple when I heard The Voice clearly, through the rustling of the tassels on the little girl’s bicycle I had mistakenly grabbed at the train station and now found myself riding. (This sort of accident is commonplace in Japan, or I am told. We’re often in such a rush to get home, and frequently it’s dark.) 


I cannot remember the words exactly. The Voice spoke in a deep knowing way with such eloquence I felt it must to be shared. It was the sound of Truth. It whispered, in a conspiratorial tone, with a disorienting sense of a familiarity:”…WOWY, YOUR HEAD… IT SUUURE IS POINTY.”
Overcome, my flip-flops stumbled upon the pink plastic pedals of the Hello Kitty 3000 TM and I zigzagged along the street for several meters. I stopped at the community information board and leaned on it as I replayed The Voice in my head. “Could this be true?” Could The Muse, one of the nine deities of Greek and Roman mythology which presides over the branches of learning and the arts: The Muse that inspired all great artists and intellectuals of recorded western history be demanding my attention? Me? Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr., celebrated botanist, wild game hunter, exotic animal trainer, humanist lecture, distinguished fire walker, writer and linguist? Still leaning, I snapped the kickstand out - not unlike Marlon Brando in The Wild Bunch. 


I did not try to interpret. I simply continued to lean - mostly because my cardigan was hooked solidly to a hamlet of staples protruding from the lamppost. My forehead, pressed into the grain of the wood, I began to work at the staples anxiously. 


“...WHAT?” it whispered incredulous. “IT IS... ON THE BACK, BEHIND YOUR EARS. EEEK! LOOK AT THOSE EARS!!!” 


I yanked my sweater free, inadvertently removing substantial patch of wool the shape of a rectangle. I looked through it unimpressed and saw an angry little girl with a Hello KittyTM knapsack hanging menacingly from her shoulder. To her right a mob of hardened seven year-olds stared me down.
Gurgle, gurgle ...gurgle. (This mysterious sound emanated from somewhere in the void before me.) “HEAR THAT?” Said the Voice. DID YOU? THAT SOUND MEANS... WEEEEEHEEEE! IT’S LUNCH TIME!” 


I let the bicycle drop and ran...




The Beyond Good and Eviler blog has been created to perpetuate the memory of the late Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr., celebrated philosopher botanist, wild game hunter, exotic animal translator, humanist lecturer, extinguished fire walker, writer and linguist. As the sole inheritor of the Ivan Noshrilgram estate I felt it incumbent upon me to establish The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation in 1999. The mandate stipulated in the constitution of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation is to celebrate the wondrous life and boundless spirit of my late great uncle, and to encourage or, whenever possible, foster humour writing throughout the English-speaking world. Those of you who knew my uncle are aware that his friends, colleagues, associates and admirers throughout the non-English speaking word were many - and this respectfully may include you dear reader - however until our staff includes speakers of all major languages it will have to remain unfortunately exclusively English. I certainly invite translators to approach the Foundation regarding this! (For submissions please contact Eunice at beyondgoodandeviler@gmail.com.)
This and that said, please kindly be patient while we set ourselves up...
We shall most certainly be running at full speed shorty.

Hold your hoses.

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr.
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)
New Delhi, India
In
loving memory of
Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Sr.
(1914 - 1999)

15 comments:

Yat Sen Feng said...

He's not dead. Is he dead?

Eunice said...

He's dead. Completely.

Margaret Chan said...

我聽見, Ivan 死了? Yat 參議員告訴了我。 他說謊嗎?

Jorgen Engel said...

Ik kreeg een vraag van Marg Chan. Zij zegt dat Ivan overleed! Hello? Ik zag hem vorig jaar in Boedapest bij Spears Britney conert! Wat gebeurt? In elk geval, hij is me nog geld verschuldigd.

De Engel van Jorgen

A. Bucherrelli said...

Profondamente sono stato rattristato per sentire parlare della morte inattesa del sig. Von Noshrilgrams. Lo rende triste pensare che non sia più con noi, e quel volta può passare così rapidamente. Posso tranquillo vederlo sulla sua bicicletta che gira intorno ed intorno nei cerchi. O era la mia bicicletta? Amperora tale è vita!
Visitilo prego quando potete trovare il tempo.

Sig. Anthony Bucherrelli
Il Vatican

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Yep. We are all saddened. ...It WAS six years ago, right?

I am going to bed now. I have cricket practice in the morning.

Eunice
Secretary to Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr.

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Dearest Eunice

The door is stuck again. It's stuck. I can't get it open.

Would you mind giving it a yank?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Eunice? The new carpeting is jambing the door.

Please open it.

Please bring me a coffee too.

(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Eunice. The carpeting which you chose and which The Foundation paid for and which you decided should be installed by your wayward brother is presently impeding the opening of the door to my office. This is creating for me some disconsternation. It is truly counfounding me that you would refuse to open the door when I am asking you in a manner which I ascertain to be reflecting the intentions of a kindly older gentlemen. Why would you refuse?

I think my uncle – may he rest in peace - was very kind to you during his lifetime.

Ivan Von Noshrilgram
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice Eunice Enice Eunice Eunice EuniceEniceEuniceEuniceEuniceEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Ivan Von Noshrilgram
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Curator of the Ivan Von Noshrilgram Library, Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

Eunice said...

Ivan

I am at the club. I told you I would be getting up early to practice cricket. I have been trying to reach you on your cellular phone ALL MORNING. Why aren't you picking it up? Anwyway, I will be back momentarily. Should I pick up some jamun gulab from Suresh at Connaught Circle? I will be passing by. Also, would you like Arjuna to join us for brunch? He says he has something of importance to share with you.

Disconcernation is not a word.

Eunice

Ivan Von Noshrilgram, Jr. said...

I am hearing ringing.... There is ringing in my head.

What does this mean? Am I having a stroke?

Ivan Von Noshrilgram
(President of The Ivan Von Noshrilgram Foundation; Botanist, Wild Game Hunter, Exotic Animal Translator, Humanist Lecturer & Linguist)

Eunice said...

Ivan

I am at the Gymkhana Club. I told you I would be getting up early for cricket practice. I have been trying to reach you on your cellular phone ALL MORNING. Why aren't you picking it up? Just press the small button with the green phone receiver, and say "hello". Anyway, I will be back momentarily. Should I pick up some jamun gulab from Suresh at Connaught Circle? I will be passing by. Also, would you like Arjuna to join us for brunch? He says he has something of importance to share with you.

Disconcernation is not a word.

Eunice

Mr. Arjuna said...

Hello Ivan,

This is Arjuna. I am writing this on our way to your estate via my laptop. Unfortunately we shall be late. Evidently from the look of things an elephant has had a fit and destroyed a number vehicles and food stalls in Cannaught Circus. An ambulance has taken away several western tourists, and a cow, that seemed to have become caught up in the rampage outside that fast-food restaurant we choose to avoid. I gather Suresh is fine however. When we saw him last he was reporting the incident painstakingly to the police. Even their patience seemed to put to the test. However, we will have to pass through Chandi Chowk to find the jamun gulab.

Eunice reports that she is fine.

Mr. Arjuna
(Director of the National Indian Cultural Centre)
New Delhi, India

Princess Masako said...

アイヴォン・ヴォン・ノーシュリルグラム2世 様
前略 彼の訃報を聞き、大変心を痛めております。彼が1970年に来日された折、当時の陛下にお目に掛かられる為、皇居にお越しになられたことが御座いました。まだ小さかった私と、鯉の住む池の傍らで毬を手にお遊びく下さったことをよく覚えております。公務多忙の為、インドに赴き位牌に手を合わせることが出来ず大変残念に思っております。そこでほんの気持ちでは御座いますが、インドに、彼を偲ぶ記念碑を建立する運びとなりました。私達日本人の善き友人でもある彼を、世界中の人々が未来永劫忘れる事のないように、遠く日本からお祈り申し上げております。
尚、この文書は非公式の扱いとなっておりますので、こちら以外では発表されませんようお願い申し上げます。