Dull as a Convention of City Planners

In Flotsam and Jetsam

By Riverboat
Dec. 22, 2017 at 12:46 a.m.


My wife affectionately calls me a “book snob.” Of course, she calls me a lot of things – yes, they’re all printable – but I’m proud of it. My own daughter also calls me “nerd dad.” I can’t seem to shake the idea that literature should be worth reading and educational.

Mark Twain famously described a classic as “a book which people praise and don't read.” Here are my top three classics you won’t miss in the checkout line: Conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, and Njal’s Saga. The last one is of Icelandic origin. Dull does not come close to describing it, so I made a sort of Cliff’s Notes version:

“There was a man named Grrot, son of Grynngynn the Shaky. He was a powerful chieftain. On one occasion a tribe of Krysspy-Kryyms crossed the Fjord of Thjord and met the Hakkyssaks head on. Whereupon Hammer-head smote Flytty the Impertinent and pierced his shield and shattered his sternum. Following this shtus, he struck a marriage contract with Pryssy the Pink and her father, Thor the Llowbyddr.

“The saga now moves to Innaggaddadavydda where Thor the Iron Butterfly and his comrades valiantly fought the Hwlloskulls and burned their houses. The fire drew boatloads of Troggs led by Lyr-Lyr-Pants-on-Fyr. They planted their axes in their heads, then called for their lead arbitrator to lead a council. Fflysswatr made a pact with Smellyyffrt and concluded with a concert performed by Bjork the Weird.”

Okay, I made up the part about Bjork. But you get the dryfftt. The only redeeming quality is that it wasn’t written in Latin so professors can’t torture students translating it. You can thank me later for saving you the bother of reading it. My motto is “I read them so you won’t have to.”- Patrick Hubbell


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