THE RECENT FLURRY of correspondence has left Dr. Boli a little breathless, and before he falls so far behind that his correspondents may accuse him of negligence, he has decided to take care of all his outstanding obligations at once.

First a message from one “Billy the Kid”:

Dr Boli,

May I request the assistance of your “Amazonian Guard”. I was the victim of an ambush a couple of weeks ago by two Crow while at home around sun down. I swear one was a squaw.

I can only thank the Lord that my dear wife heavily pregnant was not home at the time. I managed to fight them off, but inflicted heavy injury. A similar incident happened last year and again I thank the Lord my wife was not at the ranch.

The Crow are ruthless and show no signs of humanity. I fear they are more animal than man and all attempts at communication fail.

I dare not mention such terror to the wife for fear stress and harm caused to the unborn. She is currently not well and is resting at WoodEast hospital.

It is only my trusty companion Buffalo Will and I guarding the fort. The journey to town and back twice a day is fraught with danger but is nothing we cannot handle.

However if the Amazonian Guard is head’n on down these parts Godspeed.

Billy the Kid.

Your problem, sir, seems to be avian in nature, and Dr. Boli would recommend engaging the services of a good scarecrow. The old straw man in a flannel shirt is largely ineffectual, as corvids are too intelligent to be influenced by straw-man arguments. Your best bet is to engage a literature professor who is proficient in deconstructionist theory, which is proven to repel crows more effectively than any other school of literary criticism. If, on the other hand, you find that you are still in need of an Amazonian Guard, Dr. Boli regrets to inform you that he has no such corps at his disposal. The good news, however, is that, according to our North African correspondents, the original may be coming up for sale at auction very soon.

Next we turn to one C. Simon, whose query is too long to be reprinted here, but may be read in full here. To summarize, our correspondent seems to find existing philosophical systems inadequate as means of avoiding pain. Dr. Boli agrees, and would suggest that two aspirin are worth a hundred pages of Plotinus. Indeed, aspirin may be regarded as the cure for Plotinus. The idea of a march on Washington is, however, to be deprecated. Some time ago, Dr. Boli spent four years in Washington throwing old cabbages at various members of the Buchanan administration, so he speaks from experience when he says that a giant march in that city is not a cure for pain but rather the cause of it. Washington, depending on the time of year, is either bitterly cold or too hot to endure, and the only place large enough to accommodate the crowds you contemplate is the Mall, which is the least shaded place on earth outside the Sahara Desert. On the whole, Dr. Boli would stick with the aspirin.

Finally, a reader calling herself “Whatsername” appends this comment to our history of the Confederate flag:

Well, this vile piece of dreck guarantees that I will never visit this blog again. I guess Dr. Boli must have thought that Khmer Rouge was a real gas.

Dr. Boli assures his correspondent that there is nothing funny about the Khmer Rouge. He does, however, believe in laughing at Jefferson Davis, whose characteristic sin was pride, which caused him to fall as lightning from heaven. Come to think of it, Dr. Boli may have confused Mr. Davis with another notorious figure of history, but the general observation still stands.



  1. Martha says:

    Dear Dr. Boli, though it is presumption and indeed arrogance on my part as a foreigner to attempt commentary on the internal affairs of the United States of America, nevertheless as a long-time reader (and, if I may trespass upon your patience to permit the neologism), ‘fan’ of that genre of popular literature dubbed scientifiction as championed by Mr. Hugo Gernsback, may I say that your correspondent “Whatsername” excited my interest?

    Taking the scornful reference to your putative admiration of the humorous qualities of the Khmer Rouge to be in the nature of a rebuke to a perceived lacking in patriotism and failure to reverence your native land and its flag on your part, and considering that the cause of this rebuke was your explication of the design and derivation of the Confederate Flag, as a scientifiction ‘fan’ I feel impelled to state that this missive puts me in mind of nothing so much as the “Alternative History” stories so beloved in the field.

    Therefore, though I am hesitant to put forth such a theory for your consideration, nevertheless it strikes me that you, Dr. Boli, are to be congratulated as the first (confirmed to date) person to receive a communication from another dimension in parallel to our Earth, where the currents of history diverted into another channel, and the Confederate States of America were victorious in the struggle of your Civil War.

    I can see no other reason to reproach a person of your known and unquestioned integrity with scanty veneration for your native soil, so may I be the first to congratulate you on an undoubted wonder of modern science? I dare say it is not too premature to expect a Nobel Prize for such advancement of human knowledge!

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