Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"The Strange Case of Mr. Donnybrook's Boredom" by Ogden Nash

I am a big fan of Ogden Nash, who said different things in a different way.  I admire a man who creates strange cases and characters who wind up scouring the globe in mad pursuit of boredom.  This post is in honor of Prof. Peter Toohey, a native of Australia who is professor of Greek and Roman studies at the University of Calgary in Alberta. Prof.Toohey is the author of "Boredom: A Lively History".  I am interested in boredom from all angles, including that of Eastern and Buddhist studies.

The Strange Case of Mr. Donnybrook's Boredom by Ogden Nash


Once upon a time there was a man named Mr. Donnybrook.

He was married to a woman named Mrs. Donnybrook.

Mr. and Mrs. Donnybrook dearly loved to be bored.

Sometimes they were bored at the ballet, other times at the cinema.

They were bored riding elephants in India and elevators in the Empire State Building.

They were bored in speakeasies during Prohibition and in cocktail lounges after Repeal.

They were bored by Grand Dukes and Garbagemen, debutantes and demimondaines, opera singers and Onassises.

They scoured the Five Continents and the Seven Seas in their mad pursuit of boredom.

This went on for years and years.

One day, Mr. Donnybrook turned to Mrs. Donnybrook,

My dear, he said, we have reached the end of our rope.

We have exhausted every yawn.

The world holds nothing more to jade our titillated palates.

Well, said Mrs. Donnybrook, we might try insomnia.

So they tried insomnia.

About two o'clock the next moring Mr. Donnybrook said, My, insomnia is certainly quite boring, isn't it?

Mrs. Donnybrook said it certainly was, wasn't it?

Mr. Donnybrook said it certainly was.

Pretty soon he began to count sheep.

Mrs. Donnybrook began to count sheep, too.

After a while, Mr. Donnybrook said, Hey, you're counting my sheep!

Stop counting my sheep, said Mr. Donnybrook.

Why, the very idea, said Mrs. Donnybrook.

I guess I know my sheep, don't I?

How? Said Mr. Donnybrook.

They're cattle, said Mrs. Donnybrook.

They're cattle, and longhorns at that.

Furthermore, said Mrs. Donnybrook, us cattle ranchers is shore tired o' you sheepmen plumb ruinin' our water.

I give yuh fair warnin', said Mrs. Donnybrook, yuh better git them wooly Gila monsters o' yourn back across the Rio Grande afore mornin' or I'm a-goin' to string yhuh up on the nearest cottonwood.

Carramba! Sneered Mr. Donnybrook. Thees ees free range, no?

No, said Mrs. Donnybrook, not for sheepmen.

She strung him up on the nearest cottonwood.

Mr. Donnybrook had never been so bored in his life.

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