This cropped up out of nowhere (my own head) during a discussion on parterre.com (the only site I visit almost daily) about Jonathan Miller's contributions [sic] to the world of opera, and a debate he had had with Norman Lebrecht, which inspired our disgusted compere, La Cieca, to show us a youtube video of Dr. Miller's initiation to public discourse in a classic Beyond the Fringe skit with his old partner-in-crime Alan Bennett parodying the philosophic manners of the Oxford of their (then recent) youth.
I had no idea Norman Lebrecht had ever “done” Alan Bennett. At least Bennett does not mention it in his memoirs, but then they are not tell-all memoirs in the sex-sshual sense (to use the Oxon pronunciation), in the Rorem sense (as the thing may be understood by the musically bibliophilic) (or biblious-philic) (joke) (or bibulous-philic) (I say! there’s another!), but tend to revert at odd times to his excursion to the ruins of Aquileia. Or perhaps it would be more just to say that the ruins “stuck out” (as the columns of the forum do, from the sward) at me because I have such happy memories myself of passing a mid-day of my last visit to Venice (April 2006) exploring the ruins of Aquileia while en route to the performance (in Trieste) of an obscure Paisiello opera - so different from the common, everyday, thrice-familiar Paisiello operas we all hum o’ mornings.
But the question of whether, by “Yes,” we mean “Yes” in the consensual, accordative, agreeable sense (or, more simply, as a syllable whose powers of soothe to the audiating soul have been hitherto detected) is not yet made clear by the divergations above of messers Bennett and Miller, and I wish to here evidence a contrary instance from my own experience of the real world, in this case a pub of the gay (in the secks-shual sense) variety, when I proposed to a handsome fellow for whom I had purchased a gin and tonic that we excurse to my flat some blocks (about half a kilometer) further downtown for such disportation as the day and the hour might suggest, and he replied “Yes” in the apparent affirmative, while actually (as a waggle of his eyebrow apprised me) meaning nothing of the affirmative sort at all, but rather a great inclination to be off to New Jersey (or some such) on his lonesome on the grounds that my prolixity (!) had dissuaded him from any physical activity other than the somulous.
Ruminating with a view… (to a death?)
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