Posts by Dr. Boli


Sir: I am incandescently furious. I thrive on outrage, and I have just been pushing the “Random article” button on Wikipedia for three hours to find things to be outraged about. I am angry that a student newspaper called the Daily Nexus prints once a week. “Daily” is in your name, people! I’m really peeved that Scotland no longer has a Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. What, I’m just supposed to stop learning after 2007? I’m mad as all get out that Thorbjörn Fälldin was prime minister of Sweden from 1976 to 1978, because I hate all diacritics, but especially diaereses. I am absolutely livid that there is a species of catfish called Rita rita, because those blasted ichthyologists stole the title of a song I wrote in seventh grade. I’m also furious that these fish have a single pair of mandibular barbels, an elongated Weberian apparatus firmly sutured to the basioccipital and the sensory canal on the posttemporal enclosed with bone, because I have no idea what any of that means, and people should speak English for Pete’s sake. I am trembling with rage that King Ssuna of Buganda attacked the king of Buzongola in 1856. I just learned that Elizabeth Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, was involved in the Highland Clearances, and I want to punch her in the nose. I am just sick that there is a village in Cuba called Guatemala, which is obviously just a commie Castro plot to confuse us. I’m angry that the railway station in Trimbach is served by local trains only—what, you have to get to Bern that quickly, you self-centered Zurichers? Anyway, I forget what the point of this letter was supposed to be, but it’s my invariable policy to write a letter to the editor whenever I get mad, so here you go. —Sincerely, The Man Muttering to Himself While Riding the Red Line Car Back and Forth Between Castle Shannon and Allegheny.




Portrait of a Gentleman.

Portrait of a Gentleman (?).

Portrait of a Young Gentleman.

Portrait of an Old Gentleman.

Portrait of a Young Gentleman with an Old Gentleman.

Portrait of a Gentleman Who Believes He Is Still Young but Is Suffering from a Delusion.

Portrait of a Lady.

Portrait of a Lady of Quality.

Portrait of a Lady of Unusually High Quality.

Portrait of the Sort of Lady You Don’t Bring Home to Mother.

Portrait of a Clergyman Reading the Sporting Times.

Portrait of the Archbishop of Canterbury Dressed as the Archbishop of York for a Masquerade Ball.


Historical Scenes.


The Death of the Earl of Cavendish from a Surfeit of Malted Milk Balls.

Citizens of Liverpool Fleeing the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Institution of the Royal Academy of Hoops.

The French Frigate Moutarde, After an Hour and a Quarter’s Engage­ment, Strikes to His Majesty’s Ship Roast Beef.

King Solomon Counting His Wives and Coming Up One Short.

Cincinnatus Leaving His Plough to Go Back to Accounting.

The Prophet Jeremiah Ordering Falafel from a Street Vendor.


Allegorical and Mythological Scenes.


Britannia, Hibernia, & Scotia Bickering Over a Leg of Mutton.

Nine Tailors Making a Man from Cloth Remnants.

Bacchus Refusing White Zinfandel.

Fate Weighs the Schedule of the No. 91 Omnibus in Her Balance.

Virtue Awarding Herself a Good Conduct Medal.

The Apotheosis of Henry Biggleton, Late Manufacturer of Biggleton’s Famous Imbricated Kidney Pills.

Artemisia Defies the Goddess Athena and Is Turned Into a Harmonium.

Prosperity Rides the Horse of Commerce Across the Bridge of a 20% Excise on Imports.


On this day in 1974, Richard Nixon became the first and last president to resign from office. “There is one cause above all to which I have been devoted and to which I shall always be devoted for as long as I live,” he told the nation. “When I first took the oath of office as President 5½ years ago, I made this sacred commitment, to ‘consecrate my office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations.’ I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge.” Thus, for old times’ sake, President Nixon managed to get in one more lie before he left office.


Book cover

You have finished your summer reading list, and yet it is still summer. You have read everything your English teacher required of you. Why not read the required reading of the future?

Here is a simple tale of a young man who wields absolute power over a vast empire, whose word is law, and who therefore never gets what he wants. That is the marvelous order of the cosmos. When he discovers that he can get what he wants just by insisting on it, the world might come to an end.

This is Dr. Boli’s latest literary sensation. It may remind you of Voltaire. It may remind you of Italo Calvino. Or it may remind you of nothing else ever published. Order a copy and read the classic literature of tomorrow today.