Banned Names

To: All Citizens, Residents, and Domiciles of New Salem
From: Justice Korbin Minotaur
Date: 9 Floreal 223
Re: Banned Names

Acting on behalf of the authorized ministers and council of reeves of our beloved nation-state, I hereby proclaim that the following names are forever banned as names for children born on national soil or imported herein. If you have any children bearing any such name, you have twenty-four hours to change the name to something acceptable or the child’s name will be irrevocably changed to Melchior the Wet. For purposes of this decree, intelligent mammals will be considered as children.

The banned names are as follows:

-Melchior the Wet [banned unless assigned by official government decree as a form of punishment and ignominious branding]
-Anticipatory Valley Forge
-Trimm Angus
-Testatrix Beverlies
-Agonizing Peterson
-Hyundai Git
-Try Jennie Bloodsport
-Cherokee Anti-Jackson
-Darling Imagine Fresh Graham
-Crisp Salude
-Andrea the Giantess
-Brass-Then Wilderness
-Trust Hurdz
-Freddie “First” Manassas [the banned version of the name is the one with quotation marks around “First”; the name Freddie First Manassas, without quotation marks, is authorized]

p.s. In case you haven’t heard, we are also now following the French Republican Calendar in New Salem, this land of child geniuses, this earth of beautiful majesty, this seat of Mars, this realm of overpeopled Walmarts, this other Hades.

CC: The Estate of Spiro Agnew


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Employee Quiz Answers

To: All Court Employees, Both Those Trusted and Untrusted

From: Justice Korbin Minotaur (per Eric of Cornwall)

Date: 6 Floreal 223 (25 Apr. 2015)

Re: Answers to Weekly Quiz Results

Because of a sudden bout with Legion fever (which also unfortunately corresponded with the visit of my former pastor), I was not able to post the weekly quiz results yesterday in chambers. I have therefore asked Mr. Cornwall to post them on the informal electronic newspaper titled Minotaur Saith.

The usual rules apply: (a) Washingtonian honesty is expected as each of you corrects his or her own answers. (b) No quarter will be shown for misspellings or partial answers. (c) If you score less than 89 percent, please submit your fully executed resignation papers within twenty-four hours.

1. Justice Korbin Minotaur

2. “I know I am Thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor?”

3. Achillea ptarmica

4. Shadrach, 1/68th, Meshach, Lassie

5. Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism

6. [Either “dentistry” or “Pittsburgh” would be accepted here as correct answers.]

7. Marie Callender’s Razzleberry Pie

8. [There is no right answer to 8. Anyone who wrote down anything should deduct two points from her or his score.]

9. A bonnet both wet and crimson.

10. Booh-yeah!

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Idea for a Movie: 44

Justice Minotaur proposed the following movie plot while attempting to use a drill press to “turn Monterey Jack into Swiss cheese” (Cornwall happened to have a tape recorder on him and so was able to capture the proposal verbatim):

“The movie is called Staring down the Barrel of a 44.

“Naturally, the person coming to the theater thinks it is going to have to do with gun violence in some way–presumably someone is held at gunpoint during the film.

“We let the audience believe this for a long time, perhaps as long as the intermission. We do this with very long character sketches, where we find out through a series of flashbacks where the main characters went to finishing school, how they like to make oatmeal, maybe what they know about the Diet of Worms, etc.–whatever it takes to prolong the time that the audience finds out the true meaning of the title.

“At some point we let the audience know, essentially, they have been fooled. The movie is not about guns. Instead, it’s about the main character not wanting to turn 44.

“But again, we know something the audience doesn’t. They think the guy–let’s say his name is Ricky Jukebox–doesn’t want to turn 44 because he is afraid of getting old, afraid of confronting his mortality. Kind of the obvious plot, right?

“So we have a lot of scenes that play into this: Jukebox looking depressed and telling friends he doesn’t want to turn 44; friends saying it isn’t so bad and buck up, man.

“Maybe this goes on an hour or two, with lots of scenes that just show Jukebox driving around the mountains on a moped trying to find some peace. Maybe he keeps running out of gas and actually has to pedal the thing, which the audience doesn’t even realize is possible.

“Finally near the end we learn the real reason he is afraid of turning 44: he had a relative, let’s say an uncle by affinity rather than consanguinity, who was gunned down mercilessly a year ago by a burglar with a .44. So now we have come full circle here, haven’t we.

“And so the man, Jukebox, has come to associate the number 44 with all things bad. In fact, he hates 44 so bad that he also hates its factors–1, 2, 4, 11, and 22.

“Anyway, so there is a sort of denouement at this point and all the tension begins to settle, as the details begin to sort themselves out. ‘Ah, no wonder he didn’t want to turn 44. Makes perfect sense now.’

“And then right before the credits roll we have one more surprise. Jukebox falls into a grain combine and is pulverized, and we fade from the colorful gore to black. This teaches the audience that Nature has a way of asserting herself completely without regard to what is convenient for us, and not everything has the clean ending that mental weaklings so crave.”

Journal Entry: “Hot Date”

Journal entry, 4/21/15: Earlier today Mr. Cornwall observed Justice Minotaur on a first date with a woman named Dr. Tandy Buttercup (it is not clear if “Dr.” is part of her given name or reflects a degree she has earned). The more general context here was that Minotaur has been on a number of first dates lately but has not been able to secure “return appointments.” He asked that Cornwall observe him, in hopes that if Minotaur failed again to get a second date, Cornwall could perhaps shed light on reasons why. Minotaur feared that there could be an observer effect, however, which he articulated as follows: “If the date goes rotten it could very well be your presence, Cornwall. Kind of like how if you ask a hungry wolf to watch the chickens it seems to substantially alter the behavior of the chickens.”

Minotaur brainstormed aloud how it would be possible for Cornwall to observe the date without the woman knowing that Cornwall was there as an observer. Possibilities that Minotaur considered included the following: (1) Minotaur and Cornwall pretending to be conjoined twins; (2) Minotaur pretending to be from “another country and/or planet,” with Cornwall serving as interpreter; and (3) “while Minotaur and the woman are taking a stroll in a park, Mr. Cornwall coming on the scene quite by chance and offering to measure both of them for uniforms in case military duty should be made compulsory as during earlier major wars–if the measuring went on long enough, perhaps the woman would more or less forget Cornwall was there.” Finally, it was decided that Cornwall would secure a job as a server at a local restaurant, and Minotaur would take the woman on a date to this restaurant at a time when Cornwall was working. “It is kind of like a play within a play, wherein we shall catch the conscience of Buttercup,” Minotaur enthused.

Cornwall finally secured a job waiting tables Tuesday afternoons at an establishment called Gettysburger, where each entree is prepared by a psychotic man (the owner) who not only pretends to be Abraham Lincoln but believes that he in fact is. And so it was to this setting that Minotaur brought Buttercup on a first date only a few hours ago. As Cornwall waited on these two customers, one of them completely unaware that she was being closely observed as well as served, he overheard Minotaur say the following things to his date:

“I wonder if it would be appropriate for me to ask for just a ‘tad’ of butter on my toast. Get it? Get it? As in Tad Lincoln.

“Have you ever had a feeling that not only do you not recognize someone, but you are absolutely positive, 100 percent so, that you have never met a certain person in your entire life, and you would swear by it in a court of law? That is how I feel with regard to our waiter this afternoon.”

“When I was in the merchant marine, I once ate at a hamburger place where you ordered based on the pH level of the rumens of the cow you wanted to eat.”

“When did you first begin to realize you were left-handed? Obviously it is not something that came to you overnight, but what were the first intimations?”

“One time I was sitting in Heathrow in the boarding area and pretty much by coincidence learned that this very unpleasant man I was talking to was to be seated immediately next to me on the flight. I don’t want to say how, but it so happens I had a quart of chloroform on me in a Mason jar (this was before 9/11), which I used to put this man into a long slumber. I then had the best flight of my life, spreading myself out quite comfortably across two seats–mine and the one that would have been his. For some reason, however, neither one of the seatback storage areas that I was now privy to included the in-flight magazine.”

“When I say ‘hot date’ in reference to you, I mean it literally. It seems like there may be something wrong with your sebaceous glands.”

After she had placed her order (for a “McClellan Burger–This is a burger that we prepare continuously but do not deliver to your table except upon the severest provocation”) but before she had been served, Buttercup dismissed herself to use the restroom. After fifteen minutes had passed and she had not returned, Minotaur asked Cornwall to go inquire after her. One of the female servers checked the women’s restroom and found the stall locked and a window open. It appears Buttercup had fled the premises.


Journal Entry: White Cherry

Journal entry, 4/20/15: Minotaur saith: “Where does white cherry come from? From a guy spray-painting cherries on trees one at a time. This takes all summer. Sometimes he instead will rent a plane and paint an entire town white from the skies. This is where we get white peach, white corn, and white dogs.” Further Minotaur saith not.

Journal Entry: Niece Phone Call

Journal entry, 4/15/15: Today Justice Minotaur had a step great-grandniece celebrate her fourth birthday. The niece, Cherries duPriss, is a big fan of all the Disney princess movies, so her mother put out a text message to family members asking if any of them would be willing to call Cherries and to pretend to be a Disney character wishing Cherries happy birthday.

Without telling the mother of his intentions, Minotaur drove to a pay phone at a gas station and placed a call to Cherries, who has her own cell phone. As best Mr. Cornwall can recall (he was present, as Minotaur asked him to actually do the dialing), Minotaur said the following in a high feminine-sounding voice:

“Greetings, young one. This is Justice . . . I mean, this is Burt J. D., ummm, Kidgloves. Yes, Burt Kidgloves. They call me Burt. Or Burtie sometimes. Why am I calling? I drive a truck. Yes, that is right, I am a truck driver. I know nothing of the law, nothing of the business of rendering judgments. It is as foreign to me as Medicare was to Methusaleh. I drive one of those side dump loaders, the kind that dumps the dirt out the side. Maybe you have seen me on the job, or maybe at Taco Bell on my lunch break. The name of my company is . . . Bloody Palms. Why would a man name his company that? The first job I ever took in Vegas was on a property that had all these huge beautiful palms with reddish leaves. Also, I am severely polycythemic, which makes my palms look red at all times. Anyway, I hasten to close. I wish you much of joy as you celebrate the day you were untimely ripped from your mother’s womb–for yes, you were born by C-section. Your mother’s o.b. told me when he was drunk. Please, stay in school. I really don’t want the truck-driving thing to be in your future. You are a wonderful girl. Tell your mother she still owes me $180.”

Journal Entry: Cooking Show

Journal entry, 4/13/15: Justice Minotaur was in a local cooking show today that was filmed for later broadcast, perhaps on the national prison network. The show was arranged as one of these competitions among three chefs who are asked to make a dish using a surprise ingredient, with celebrity judges rendering the verdict. Minotaur squared off against Lily R. Pseudo-Dionysius and Mormon Mount Vernon, who have actual culinary training and experience.

The secret ingredient announced at the outset was free-range chicken. Upon learning his hen was still alive, Minotaur read the bird its Miranda rights (New Salem follows the holding in Miranda) and then helped it apply for a mortgage. It was then time for the chicken to be reunited with its forebears, which Minotaur effected with a length of piano wire that he had smuggled onto the set. He then scalded, plucked, cleaned, and butchered the victim in a most humane manner except for some verbal taunting. Selecting several breast cuts, he proceeded to wash each of them as vigorously as Lady Macbeth washed her hands after Duncan’s murder. Minotaur then roasted the cuts using an improvised torch (lighter and a can of hairspray) and shredded the meat with a yard trimmer. He then made a significant quantity of roux from camel butter and some bagged flour, into which concoction he dumped the shredded chicken and also emptied a plastic bag labeled “Vegetables.” Three minutes later he was pouring a chunky, thick paste into paper cones for each of the three judges.

Knowing that he was probably going to lose the competition, Minotaur faked like he was taking an important phone call and did not appear for the filming of the verdict. Dionysius also resorted to the same strategy, as her “Drinkable Chicken Delight” did not appear to have worked out according to plan either. Mount Vernon was declared the winner by forfeiture, though he could not verbalize a comprehensible theory behind what he had prepared. His dish was a conventional barbecued chicken sandwich served by a man reaching his arm out the top of a sleeping bag. It seems that had Minotaur stayed in the contest he might have had a chance after all.


Imagine this woman washing chicken.

It appears she is mailing a letter and does not have time at the moment to wash the chicken.