Wednesday, January 17, 2018


It is never too early to listen to the music of outcastes, misfits, poor people, criminals, and exiles from Smyrna. Which means that at this moment I have rebetika blasting from my laptop. And I am contemplating having a second cup of coffee or going back to sleep.

I will probably go back to sleep.

Rebetiko music is associated with the people on the margins during a bad time in Greek history, and their instruments were often destroyed by the authorities. Bouzouki, baglamas, and santouri. From shortly after the end of the first World War to the early fifties, this musical style and its themes were looked down upon, in disrepute, and quite staggeringly popular.
Because, naturally, the rational mind sneers at neurotic authoritarianism, and invents its own rules.

The rational mind is not necessarily sane.

I too have my own rules.

For example:

1. Always wait at least four hours between lunch and dinner.

2. Never eat breakfast until you've had coffee and a shower.

3. Always wait at least four hours between sexual acts.

4. Never drink or smoke on an empty stomach.

5. No alcohol before evening.

6. Shave daily.

The first two are essential to a feeling of physical comfort, the third has not been a consideration for several years unfortunately, the fourth is practical, the fifth is simply the civilized thing to do, and allows me to sneer at most of the United States, whose male population turns into a bunch of stinking alcoholics during weekends and ballgames -- especially ballgames on weekends -- and the sixth applies only to men.
Sorry, ladies.

You will notice that what this means is that the first smoke of the day is after coffee and a shower, and benefits from a pastry or cookie.
And maybe a second cup.

Other rules are quite as practical, and, in some cases, more easily obeyed than most. For instance: Don't act like an idiot in bars or moving traffic, don't enjoy a sumptuous cheese platter before engaging in crime or naughty business, and always let a bit of time pass between filling another pipe, to keep from overloading your palate. An hour or two at least.

I am a practical man. With all the right instincts.

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