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Past Dense: Long Distance Operator

by Robb Hibbard Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm •  Published: April 3, 2013
Don't let the kids' books, the detailed expressions of care, the ability to plumb the depths of the pubescent soul fool you: Judy Blume is, at heart, a tooth-chipper; she will slice through your heart like a piece of geode, leaving all to behold the inner twinkilings!
Don't let the kids' books, the detailed expressions of care, the ability to plumb the depths of the pubescent soul fool you: Judy Blume is, at heart, a tooth-chipper; she will slice through your heart like a piece of geode, leaving all to behold the inner twinkilings!

The oldest answers outlive the oldest questions. — Anon.

I’m not entirely convinced of the veracity of that statement. For one, it’s in italics. But also, I know already that its source isn’t “Anon.” — the statement is simply something I made up to facilitate, without much in the way of exegesis, explication, expurgation or excommunication, the following text, which will be named “Q&A: Judy Blume and Friedrich Nietzsche.” Or maybe it won’t be, as a name is merely a construct of nomenclature meant to lend a sense of unity — usually braided of fog, not thought — to a collection of points, observations, anecdotes, climaxes, denouements, and pregnancy cravings.

You might note that works of fiction and non-fiction are always named, as are pieces of music, animals that lick themselves, animals that lick other animals, animals that lick both themselves and other animals, inbred royals that lick themselves, inbred royals that lick other inbred royals, and inbred royals that lick Friedrich Nietzsche, animals that lick Judy Blume, … now my head hurts, and I must break for a calmative.

The concept is simple, and involves two extant texts: “Letters to Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell You” by noted children’s author Judy Blume, and “The Portable Nietzsche,” whose authorship is self-evident. The anthology was edited by Walter Kaufmann, whose brother, Andy, played ‘Mork from Ork’ on notable 1970s sitcom “Eight Is Enough.”

Tertiary syphilis, chronic loneliness, and abuse of chloral hydrate could not stop Friedrich Nietzsche's record 10-year streak as a Nielsen family, which is all the more impressive given that all images were in black and white. He carefully logged each show he viewed in volumes he named "Thus Spake Zarathustra" and "Twilight of the Idols."
Tertiary syphilis, chronic loneliness, and abuse of chloral hydrate could not stop Friedrich Nietzsche's record 10-year streak as a Nielsen family, which is all the more impressive given that all images were in black and white. He carefully logged each show he viewed in volumes he named "Thus Spake Zarathustra" and "Twilight of the Idols."

What I will do is this: First, open to a question in the Judy Blume text. Copy the question. Second, open to a page in the Nietzsche text. Thus will an answer to the aforesaid question be provided.

Q.: Dear Judy, My name is Daisy and I wrote to tell you about something I am worrying about. I don’t want to grow up. I’m twelve and I still enjoy playing dolls. I always carry my Raggedy Ann with me on trips and when I spend the night with people. Daisy, age 12.

A.: Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra for all who are low; and this counsel he gives to all his enemies and all who spit and spew: “Beware of spitting against the wind!” Thus spoke Zarathustra!

Q.: Dear Judy, During sixth grade I was talked about, spread rumors about and embarrassed. I have tried everything sensible. I have ignored them and I have laughed with them. Nothing works and I am about to go crazy. Vicki, age 12.

A. Alas, all lies withered and gray that but recently stood green and colorful on this meadow. And how much honey of hope I have carried from here to my beehives! These young hearts have all become old already — and not even old; only weary, ordinary and comfortable. The put it, “We have become pious again!”

Fern? My question would be, "How can I punish my parents for naming me Fern?"
Fern? My question would be, "How can I punish my parents for naming me Fern?"

Q. Dear Judy, Please send me the facts of life, in number order. Fern, age 9.

A.: I am a prelude of better players, O my brothers! A precedent! Follow my precedent!

Q.: Dear Judy, If you ever wrote a book on Should I Smoke Pot? it would be a bestseller. Eddie, age 17.

A.: Siamo contenti? Son dio ho fatto questa caricatura!

Q.: Dear Judy, I have an idea for you.You see, at school everyone says that I once went in my pants, which is true. Toby, age 10.

A.: Every human being who has thus suffered knows more than the cleverest and wisest could possibly know!

All victories outlive our efforts. -- Anon.
All victories outlive our efforts. -- Anon.