The dresses and the cartoon facesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : occasional planet : One Thread
The albatross skit came from a Monty Python prime time show that aired when we were all wee sprouts...It had some dark politico-erotic significance that only the dry English late sixties wit could understand as a parody involving some obscure lord or MP who got caught with a teenage Scottish girl who told the Daily Mail that she was fond of albatross of the kind sold in movie theatres in certain parts of Dilbert-on-Thyne-with-a-trout (a suburb of the more sooty industrial corner of Glasgow)...this was of course during the later sixties when all the Brrriddish Rrrrealm was driven silly mad with shock over those beelzebubs with guitars, The Rolling Stones, who'd just appeared on Ready-Steady-Go on BBC 1 or 2 (I don't know which)...See, back during this period when the emergence of rock and roll signalled that all was indeed lost, Glasgow threatre goers resorted to eating albatross, once a staple to their lowland forbearers' old damp and chilly oak dinner tables (much like haggis was to their smelly highland cousins) in an effort to harken back to the simpler days of yore, when all things were pure, simple, and dirt, mold and grime were more tolerabe. Ironically, albatross and haggis today are both considered delicacies by Lowlanders and Highlanders repectively...Which brings up an important historical point, and a warning: before your penchant for international delacies drives you to sample albatross in a movie theatre or haggis in a bog, remember that had beef, fish, pullet or possum been readily available to the medieval French peasant, he would never have developed a taste for snails.
-- Andrew Branan (email@example.com), September 08, 1997
slow day at the office Andrew?
-- Dale (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 08, 1997.
Could it not also be said that the dim-witted Brits, from whose stock many of us spring, view the practice of culinary Albatross as an act of victorious closure over some past curse?
For as the Floyd has noted, the Bootlegger wore the Albatross as a symbol of his sin against the wing'ed beast (nature) and his crew (humanity), and ultimately the creator (that fuzzy-faced cartoon that often appears from the clouds in ...Holy Grail). If we extrapolate this sin to 'original sin', then the English practice of eating the foul water fowl (as parody'd by the Monty Python troup) could be analogous to the Christian practice of dunking stale bread in grape juice - a sign of salvation.
Those silly Brits . . .
-- Yob Sortabla (email@example.com), September 18, 1997.
I appear to have misrepresented my position. I was attempting to ascertain WHY the Brits may want to eat Albatross. Not that such practice is actually recommended. Of course, since the Brits/Scots/Welsh/etc. are known globally for their mysterious propensity for rank and foul cuisine, any such exploration of their motives is doomed to confusion and failure.
I am certainly not advocating anyone consume Albatross in any form. These are beautiful birds in flight and I don't believe that the curse attendant to their execution can be vanquished by eating the corpse.
I was simply contemplating the absurd logic which may be used by barbaric Englishmen (not women I'm sure) to justify consumption of the legendary bird.
As an aside, Floyd has elsewhere misrepresented the size of Albatrossi which are actually not significantly larger than a big Gull and are dwarfed by North America's largest water bird, the Great Blue Heron.
-- Yob Sortabla (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 1997.
I stand corrected. But I must confess that the only photos (moving and still) that I've ever seen of Albatrii have indicated to me that they really were just extra large seagulls. I guess I must revise that to 'some are extra-extra-XTRA-large'.
They are also wonderfully clumsy on take-off and landing (remember the old Disney movies?!)
-- yob sortabla (email@example.com), September 29, 1997.
In fact I think I've seen in some reference book them referred to almost scientifically as 'Black Footed Goony Birds'.
-- yob sortabla (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 08, 1997.
I thought it was terribly bad luck, old chap, to eat an albatross. You know, "water, water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink, and if you kill an albatoss, you must drink V-8 juice straight." From Rhyme of the Ancient Bootlegger. Could it be that the historical eating of the albatoss by dim-witted Englishmen resulted in the final demise of the British empire (witnessed by such events as the colonialist Hillary's triumph over blue-blooded (in truth) Mallory; the recent loss of Scotland; and Baywatch as the number one program in BBC land. If only they could find Excalibur.....
-- alba-boy (email@example.com), September 16, 1997.
All this blithering has me dizzy. I just want to know what y'all are smoking and where you got it. As for all the exciting goings and comings of you kids to your various good times and whatnot, I would just like to sign up for all skiing, boating, loafing, and any other recreational trips that come up. However, since this is not possible at this time, some of you fun kids come visit me before I move out to my unabomber cabin in the woods where no one can find me. My house is already on the market and it won't be long until I secede from the union.
-- the real world (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 20, 1997.
When you move into that new house, be careful. It sounds as though Dale may try to slip you an alba-micky. He seems to advocate the eating of alba-fresh and may even make you wash it down with red wine. I still think it's terribly bad luck. Ask to see the USDA label on all fowl. Themn again, behaps he'll make you eat wood and nails and mortar from your present home to partake of the past .....
-- alba warning (email@example.com), September 23, 1997.
OK, I need to proof before posting. Where's the spell check on this thing?
-- speller boy (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 23, 1997.
Sorry Dale, but I must beg to differ with you once again. According to my Encarta 97 Encyclopedia, there is at least one species of Albatross which has a wingspan of 3.4 meters. (that's 11 ft. +/- for those of you who are "metricly" challenged) This would appear to be much larger than John's wingspan either with _or_ without crutches and significantly larger than the largest gull I've ever seen. The article also lists another characteristic that makes the albatross an appropriate mascot for at least some of the members of this group. Apparantly they often begin breeding at the age of 15!
-- science teacher (email@example.com), September 27, 1997.
That's right! I had forgotten those films. I now remember one where the poor old birds were having a hard time taking off and landing (because of their great size)so they showed them stuggling to fly to the accompanyment of sputtering airplane sounds. BTW, I think they are also called Gooney birds.
-- science teacher (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 07, 1997.
Wow. I looked it up and 'gooney bird' really is 'black-footed albatross.' So if we wear black shoes, is that redundant or clarifying? Is it proof of Albatrossness?
-- alba-girl (email@example.com), October 13, 1997.
-- alba boy (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 13, 1997.