The Topology of Syntax—Iain A. Plicable SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents Labyrinths & Linguists—Craig Kopris

The C-Rhyme and Pun-ish-ment of St. Alvin

by Jerry Fyodor & Josef Dobrovskýevsky

It is now commonly accepted that St. Alvin was always accompanied by an assistant called Theodorus. Theodorus was a budding philosopher, with interests in Kant, Hegel and innateness in generative grammar. He was however, very rotund and was therefore known as the Deep Fat Friar. As a young monk, St Alvin left his first monastery, where he had taken a vow of silence, to found an order that believed that people were best served by creating attractive paper to put around Christmas gifts. It is for this reason that his autobiography was entitled “From Trappist to Wrappist.”

The members of that order were noted for their unusual style of chantamelodic and unusually aggressive for church music. Many of them were penitents who had formerly pursued a life of crime. Hence they were known as Gangster Wrappers. Others combined a less aggressive form of this style of chant with a novel kind of performance art. They would hang large sheets of the Christmas paper on the wall and, while chanting, paint them with abstract designs using brushes attached below their waists. The order also brewed a specialty beer for Christmas, and they made the brushes from bunches of hops, leading to their being called Hip Hop Artists.

The Order was to face its first crisis when the head of its Irish operations, a Mr Patrick Donegal, was punched by a Scottish gangster named Nicholas MacDonald. It would be some time before St. Alvin recovered from the shock of the Nick Mac Pat D whack. MacDonald, a speaker of Scots, eventually repented his actions and joined St. Alvin’s order. He was known for often repeating the same monologue to the other monks on the best way to present a completed bundlethis came to be called his “wrappit speech”.

As his speed increased, though, the emotion and care fell from his work, and eventually, the lack of hype or articulation in wrappit speech was a well-known phenomenon.

After this, St. Alvin devoted himself to working in the monastery’s vegetable garden, but he was unable to achieve organic certification due to his use of lettuce spray. St. Alvin spent so much time in the garden, that he wore a footpath to it. The path became treacherous in the spring rains, and was paved after a horse raced past the garden path fell.

While walking around a nearby village one day, St. Alvin met a man whose job it was to see the earthly possessions of those who had died leaving only baths filled with brightly colored tools and houses decorated with pictures of melting clocks. This man was, of course, a surreal estate agent. St. Alvin got into conversation and realized that the man had an interest in linguistics, especially how the Voynich Manuscript might reveal strategies whereby one might commit acts of wrongdoing and yet still enter paradise. It was clear that the monk was dealing with a sin-tactician. But he was more than a match for his slippery linguistic interlocutor. You see, he too, had once gone in for linguistics. His personal expertise was in the examination of negative reactions to linguistics classes. He was a diss-course analyst. (St. Alvin spared a moment for a pitying thought for the theological danger such a conversation might have had for some of his colleagues who had studied mere philosophy, particularly those whose expertise was in certain rare 20th century philosophers who advocated chiseling the words of W. B. Yeats and Ezra Pound onto the uprights of soccer goalsa group known as the post-modernists, and generally regarded as useless in any sort of meaningful debate.)

Meanwhile, the monastery’s sea-side sister institution held an annual contest, in which professional fishing monks prodded contestants with walking sticks to “elicit” the correct re-ordering of freshly-caught Icelandic cod; this was the first known instance of long quiz stickly-induced cod switching.

Cod-switching was of course a sternly disapproved practice among the Cockney Orthodox Manichaeists, led by Friar Iver Ore.

This did not stop the practice of cod-switching entirely, but rather forced participants into pig farms in rural areas. Generations later, a prominent swine-keeper in the cod-switching game, known to history only as “Cree”, popularized the practice of oiling the cod to speed the process, leaving city-based cod-switchers (not used to oiled cod) ineligible to participate in rural contests. Thus, widespread cod-switching led to pig dens, which eventually led to Cree-oils, causing mutual inter-eligibility to be lost.

St. Theodorus, meanwhile, was creating resources to help people who worshipped small, fantasy characters with strange ears to leave behind their idolatry. For this reason he is credited as the inventor of the first Elf-help group. He was also the author of a famous treatise on nature worship, “Their Idol, A Tree”.

It was translated into Elvish presently, but alas, critics panned the edition, claiming it needed a little less conversation, although noting it would be vivid with less vagueness. Although St. Theodorus generally hid his emotions well, he was always known to hoe the fields when emotionally devastated, and many at the monastery reported seeing his heartbreak hoe-tell after reading the reviews, and one monk even found him crying in the chapel, muttering “Don’t be cruel”. He found his solace in animals, and found no greater joy than the morning horse feeding, when foals rushed in.

And, in fact, many monks were very fond of keeping animals, especially those that produced wool. Through selective breeding, they achieved animals with remarkably human characteristics, human-like faces, hair and even facial hair. However, these animals did tend to leave their comfortable paddock and enter the cloisters. St. Theodorus, being a kind man, felt an affinity for these animals and insisted in addressing them as if they were human. When one female sheep, which, through an accident of genetics, had grown narrow but human-like facial hair under her visual organs, became most difficult to shift, the saint approached the animal and said the words that are now inscribed on the wall of the chapel: “Eye mustache ewe to leave.”

Oh, and remember the Deep Fat Friar? The owed Doris $20. While it doesn’t seem like much, shitake-d out on him so he took a new fungus strain to the coast and was never seen again.

The Topology of SyntaxIain A. Plicable
Labyrinths & LinguistsCraig Kopris
SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents