Letter to Minotaur Regarding Adolf S. Stalin

The following letter was received today at the Compound. The letter was inscribed by hand in green ink on the plain interior side of a box of Post brand Raisin Bran. It is unknown if all the cereal was eaten before the box was used in this manner.

January 26, 2017

Dear Judge Minotaur,

Forgive me for intruding on your peace, but I have a knotty situation that I believe only you can unravel. By way of introduction, I am Hecuba Promontory. My only sister bore an only child, a male, whom she named Adolf Susan Stalin. Two years ago, my sister and her husband both perished after eating extremely old dumplings, and my husband and I took charge of the boy, who is now 12.

It seems the boy is the subject of great ridicule at school. You are a wise judge and know the hearts of men, and I believe you will be able to help us tell why he is being teased by his classmates and what we can do to try to minimize this. He reports that in his gym class, the class is so large that the instructor takes roll by calling out the initials of each boy rather than the full name. Adolf reports that there is always much tittering as his initials are called out. I suspect that if we analyze this situation more we may find a clue to this mystery. The only other possible clue I have–though I don’t know the significance of it–is that every day when I collect his dirty clothes from under his bed, his Hello Kitty undershorts are sogged all through.


H. Promontory

p.s. You shall be compensated fairly.

p.p.s. My husband has been in a neck brace and unable to work since 1998. Please forgive the foul and hateful things he will say to and about you.


Thoughts on Bananas, Part Deux

Justice Korbin Minotaur’s further thoughts on bananas, copied out of his diary entries:

-“If Father Adam called it a banana, the French and Germans have no right to call it anything else.”

-“Shucking a banana is an inherently human act. The last thing you will ever see a robot do is shuck is a banana. Put on really thick gloves. Do it! Now, can you see how hard it is to hold it just right in the one hand–without squishing it into a paste–while snapping its neck with the other? A robot’s hands are clumsy like yours when you have gloves on. No robot will ever have the dexterity. To say nothing of the fact that a robot would never be curious enough in the first place to shuck a banana. What is the motivation if you are a robot? You don’t need the nutrients.”

-“If I had young children, I would teach them to be confident when snapping the neck of a banana. You have to do it like you are Al Qaeda. One crack, snapping like a whip on a cold morning for all to hear and admire. That is all it takes. If you proceed gingerly, the neck doesn’t snap and you bruise the tender meat. You probably also lose the girl.”

-“One of the few jokes that translates into every culture is pretending to talk on a banana as if it is a telephone.”

-“Experimental findings, day 17. Banana: tastes almost as good sliced as whole.”

Thoughts on Bananas

Thoughts on bananas, from Justice Korbin Minotaur.

“It is said that at the time he croaked, Stalin was working on what he called his ‘most terrible weapon.’ This was to be a strain of banana that went directly from unripe green to rotten brown, bypassing yellow. This deviant fruit, he predicted, would unleash a ‘frustration worse than death’ on the West.”

“If you take the phloem of a single banana, you could weave a pair of breeches for every solider in Washington’s army.”

[Remainder of page unintentionally left blank.]

“Daily Patterns of Success”

A publisher in Dry Prong, Louisiana, USA, recently contacted Justice Minotaur to ask if he would like to contribute to an edited compilation. According to the publisher’s solicitation, the compilation, tentatively titled Mein Fuhrers, will include articles from “leaders in business, law, government, teaching, and animal husbandry, shedding much and arguably holy light on the reasons for the success of these titans.” It is not known if Minotaur was contacted because of his connections to law or to animal husbandry.

After personally inscribing his contribution on a tanned hide (likely that of camel), Minotaur had the composition transcribed and then locally edited. He has asked Mr. Cornwall to reproduce it here before submitting it to the publisher.

Daily Patterns of Success

by Justice Korbin Minotaur, Thane of Cawdor

As by definition it is in the morning when the day begins, so it is the patterns we follow in the morning (which in this paper we will consider as being anytime between about 4:32 antemeridian and noon-hour) that may lead us to the Canaan we seek. In hopes of assisting the youth in particular who may read this mixed-quality compilation, I set forth here, as the guts of my article, a typical morning itinerary for myself. It is not improbable this routine has nothing to do with my success, but I take pains to describe it here just in case.

5:00 antemeridian. Reveille. This is brought about either by extraordinary cramps in my bowels (see next entry for a possible reason) or by the incessant chirping of the artificial rooster often called an “alarm clock.”

5:00 to 5:04? antemeridian. In the toilet. This time can extend for as long as four hours, depending on whether I fall asleep in there and on how much meat I ate in the night.

5:05 to 6:05 antemeridian. An hour of Yoga. “Yoga” is a television drama produced out of North Dakota State University, USA. It depicts the (presumably) fictional tale of a Union horse who, after escaping from a Confederate prison camp during the American Civil War, makes his way to the Pacific coast and then clear to Mongolia, where he terrorizes the countryside.

6:06 to 7:20 antemeridian. Almost every day I make some effort to thwart bodily stench. One measure I sometimes take is to unclothe my body and rinse it in heated water expelled from a spigot situated in the wall at about the height of my head, all while standing in a cube that is enclosed to prevent the leaking forth of the water. The effort goes better if I use store-bought cleansers both on the hair of my head and the flesh that enshrouds my bones and organs. (Note: I had a grandfather who wore underpants at least part of the time while he was so rinsing, possibly to get hay out of them.)

7:20 to 7:45 antemeridian. “Enbalming.” After emerging from the wet chamber, I often rub a milky white balm into my flesh. The balm is expressed from a tube labeled “Gentleman’s Lotion,” which I keep in a drawer when not in use.

7:46 to 11:00 antemeridian. Cannot account for this time. Check to make sure that no one is tricking me by turning my clocks forward.

11:01 antemeridian. Send daily reminder (via “electronic mail” composed by Mr. Cornwall) to court paymaster that I want to be paid with actual money, not rolls of fabric.

***Ask Lady Cottonmouth to change to a muskier perfume. [Mr. Cornwall’s note: This appears to be a note to himself that Minotaur inscribed on the hide while composing his article.]

11:02 to 11:30 antemeridian. Chicken for breakfast. No, children, I am not talking about having these feathered creatures as guests at our table. I mean we are going to capture, kill, roast, and eat them, such that their meat essentially becomes our meat. Children, our fragile bodies cannot last without that thing which Father Adam named “food”! (Aside: When Adam first looked upon a chicken, did he in fact first name it “food”? Or was it only later he realized he wanted to eat it?)

11:30 antemeridian to noontide. Racing. This is usually about the time when I realize I was supposed to be at work three hours ago.