NOTE: This certainly will qualify as SPASTIC's geekiest post yet.
"Son I am able," she said "though you scare me."
"Watch," said I.
"Beloved," I said "watch me scare you though."
Said she, "Able am I, son."
-They Might Be Giants, I Palindrome I
. . . . . .
During cocktails at our last meeting, Bob stood up and yelled "Oh, no! Don Ho!" We thought this was simply one of Bob's numerous non sequiturs, until Anna realized he had just blurted out a sweet palindrome (then fell unconscious onto the divan).
Palindromes, of course, are most often words or phrases spelled the same way backwards as forwards*. The most famous is "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!"** Not nearly as catchy as "Rats live on no evil star" or "May a moody baby doom a yam?" but famous nonetheless.
Now, why is it that so few can take true joy in something like a palindrome? They're seen as trivial, silly, a waste of time.
Do people not see that this is why we must appreciate the palindrome (and the spoonerism, and the anagram). We can spend our lives running willy-nilly, never stopping for a rest, or we can take a break and let our brain work in an area it doesn't often use: the, um, backward - word - thinking - up, uh, lobe.
I can sit in the living room, looking out my window thinking: "Was it a car or a cat I saw?" or I can get to work thinking on truly important things, like "when's the next palindromic date?" (01-02-2010).
When your man loses the election, you can complain all you want, but how about complaining in style:
"Loss? Alas! S.O.L."
In addition to the traditional palidrome, there's also the Word-Unit*** Palindrome, such as:
"Better doctors like people treated well because well-treated people like doctors better."
The lyric from the TMBG song at the top of this post is a word-unit palidrome. These are just as fun to create. Here's another:
"You can cage a swallow, can't you, but you can't swallow a cage, can you?"
So here's the thing: the few minutes it might take to ponder the lovely palindrome will add minutes onto your life. It's a halt. A mental rejuvination. Even if, after 30 minutes, your list reads:
it's OK! It's the procees more than the product. Of course, if you've got some sweet ones, send 'em our way!
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget!
A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog
-"Weird Al" Yankovic, Bob
*Lisa Bonet ate no basil
**America: The Book version: "A man, a plan, an American attempt to control shipping lanes in the Western Hemisphere: Panama!"
***Word-Unit is 50 Cent's newest protégé. He's gonna blow up big!