Some women

They take off their clothes
and smear honey all over their naked body.

They roll themselves
back and forth
over wheat
on a sheet
spread on the ground.

They carefully collect all the grains sticking to their moist body
put them in a mill,
turn the mill
in the opposite direction of the sun
grind the wheat
into flour
and bake bread from it.

They serve it to their husbands to eat
who then grow weak
and die.

Do penance for forty days on bread and water.

(From The Joy of Confessing: “Women’s Vices” and Burchard’s Decretum of 1003)

Specific comments about certain aspects of the meals service

In reply to a comment about the
fish batter not being sufficiently
crisp, Mr Howe explained that one of the fish
friers was not working properly, but
that he hoped that this would be put right
in the near future.

Mr Howe also
mentioned that recently it appeared
that a small number of undergraduates
in lunch and informal hall were taking
two portions of sweet or cheese and biscuits.
The committee agreed with him that people
should not take an additional helping
which they had not paid for.

Mr Howe said
that there was a tendency for the pencils
to disappear from the ticket machines
outside hall; the committee felt that
for the benefit of others, people
should not remove the pencils from the ticket

Mr Howe was worried about
standards of hygiene in the ‘servery’
and thought that undergraduates could
play a part in preserving standards by
refraining from peering into the food trays.

(Kitchen Committee minutes from Fitzwilliam College Magazine, 1971)

A row over the cook

After the stabbing, the
£120,000 a year actuary
ripped some pages out of
a Game of Thrones book
and shot himself with a speargun.

The actuary slept with
the fluffy duck every night
because it still bore the scent
of his ex-partner’s perfume.

But the actuary suffered
panic attacks and sat around
the flat all day eating food
from a saucepan,
snorting coke
and watching daytime TV.

Court reports tweeted by @CourtNewsUK on 1st May, 2014. Submitted by Marika.

Window in the House of Mirrors, Market Street, 1889

At the top
is a clear-eyed maiden
whose lips smile joy.
and to the left, framed
in long hair
is a horribly sensuous face,
eye closed in a leer
thick slobbering lips.

Next, is the stupid fat face
of a glutton. Then comes
the hard cold face
of a woman not much
older than the young girl above,
the fifth
face. In the narrow
ell of the house,
behind her is that embittered
old man with cruel eyes,
his hairy moustache
cushioning bulbous jaws.

A description from a file in Denver Public Library of stone carvings on an old Colorado brothel. Via Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves (1994, Wesanne Publications). ‘Cushioned’ changed to ‘cushioning’. Submitted by Angela Readman.

The Judicial Reasoning Behind My Uncle’s Two-Year Sentence

The reason I hesitate to give you the full maximum
is that although there is a charge at Fergus Falls against you,
I must consider you are innocent of that until you are
proven guilty, and these crimes that you have committed,
outside of this juvenile crime, you haven’t used aggressive
you haven’t used a gun,
you haven’t hit a man over the head.

Also, I am going to consider that you have plead guilty
and have saved the State some money in trying you
although the County Attorney is of the opinion that he would
just as soon try you and all the rest of them.
He doesn’t think you have a chance in the world
of ever getting out of it.

I am going to take into consideration the fact that
I can’t say that you have committed an aggressive crime;
if you had, I would give you the very limit I possibly could,
because I don’t think the court should monkey around
with a man that hits anyone over the head.

Court Report, Hennepin County, Minnesota, Fourth Judicial District Court, October 23, 1958. Pages 23 & 24. Obtained through the Minnesota Historical Society Library. Submitted by Kelly Nelson.


Phaeton chariot and Argus’ head,
One lion skin.
One tomb of Dido, one bedstead
Canopy, old Mahomet’s head.
Iron targets, one Mercury’s wings,
City of Rome, one golden fleece
Belin Dun’s stable, one bear’s skin
Tantalus’ tree
And Phaeton’s limbs.

Items picked out of an inventory of ‘all the properties for my Lord Admiral’s men’ – the Elizabethan theatre company – taken by impresario Philip Henslowe, 10 March 1598. Via Futility Closet. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

José Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales

José Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales,
in a few short weeks it will be spring. The snows
of winter will flee away, the ice will vanish,
and the air will become soft and balmy. In short,
José Manuel Miguel Xavier Gonzales,
the annual miracle of the years will
awaken and come to pass, but you won’t be here.
The rivulet will run its purring course to the sea,
timid desert flowers will put forth their tender
shoots, the glorious valleys of this imperial
domain will blossom as the rose. Still, you won’t be
here to see.

From every tree top some wild woods
songster will carol his mating song, butterflies
will sport in the sunshine, the busy bee will hum
happy as it pursues its accustomed vocation,
the gentle breeze will tease the tassels of the wild
grasses, and all nature, José Manuel Miguel
Xavier Gonzales, will be glad but you. You
won’t be here to enjoy it because I command
the sheriff to lead you out to some remote spot,
swing you by the neck from a nodding bough of some
sturdy oak, and let you hang until you are dead.

And then, José Manuel Miguel Xavier
Gonzales, I further command that such officer,
retire quickly from your dangling corpse, that vultures
may descend upon your filthy body until
nothing shall remain but bare, bleached bones of a cold-
blooded, copper-colored, blood-thirsty, throat-cutting,
chili-eating, sheep-herding, murdering son of a bitch.

(The sentence pronounced on a murderer by a federal trial judge in New Mexico, 1881)

The Mystery of Pittkapples Stone

Mrs. Gordon of Coneregie lies close
to the north dyke near the middle.
Miss Nans Leslie of Pittkapple
lies below Pittkapples stone.

Mr. George Mereson lies
at the south dyke at Mr Reid’s head.
Mr. Reid lies at the south side
of Pitfodle’s stone next to the dyke.

Mrs. Ann Allan or Cambell, wife
of ––– Allan, of the Coast Guard Station, Cove,
was buried second grave,
south of Bishop Grant’s grave.

Mr. John Goodsman, lies in the north
side of Isobel Gordon, close by her.
Mrs. Rankin lies at the head
of Bishop Grant’s, below a stone.

Bishop Grant lies in the middle
of west end of the Pittkapples stone.
For Pittkapples stone read Pittfodle’s.
Miss Wishart lies near the stone in the middle of it.

Mr. Alexander McNab was buried
in the Snow Churchyard with his daughter
in the grave next to Bishop Grant’s
stone on the north side.

James, infant son of Capt. Kyle,
was buried in the Snow Churchyard
in the grave betwixt Pitfodles
and Mr. Massie’s stone.

A child of Mr. McDonald lies
in the grave next to the north dyke
opposite Miss Rankin’s gravestone.
Bishop Geddes lies in Bishop Grant’s grave.

Miss Margaret Cruickshank lies
in the north side of Pittfodle’s stone
close by it. Mrs. Gordon,
his sister lies in his grave.

18th and 19th Century burial records for Snow Churchyard, Aberdeen. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

Keep It Pimpin’

Get more serious about my money
and future. Treat this pimpin like its
a business only except their best.
Take care my bitches more better.

The other ways to work my hoes
internet, int. feature dancers, int. stuff.
Discover hoes from all over
Jail house, small cities, nationwide got hoes
that are waiting to be discovered.

Stay in high pursuit
looking for a prostitute
Don’t never get too comfortable
or lazy in my position.

Maintain and campaign everything I do
or buy make sure it’s a campaign tool
Make my word is my bond keep it pimpin!
Attend the Players Ball in Vegas
Cross country pimpin!
Establish my name internationally

Take my game to the next level
from the concrete streets,
to the executive suites
Pimp or die;
mack or cry
play to win
and plan to the end

Set up a international operation
have five hoes on every continent,
make every hoe take a vow to hoeing!

Purse first, ass last!
If I’m gonna take a chance,
then I’m gonna take the hoes money in advance!

Put my city on the map and establish my own player
Stack money to the ceiling safety deposit box.
Cash cars buy alot good cash cars that way
I will always have cars if something goes bad

Minimumize my budget cash cars, houses.
Keep a good photographer
split second video/kings flea market.
Get in touch with big Al out of Florida.

The business plan of a pimp presented by US prosecutors in Oakland, from Youth Radio, via kottke. The several parentheses have been italicised instead and basic punctuation added where not in the original. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

Burglary by Ruse and Escapade

I’m afraid my burning passion overrode my conscience
It may appear selfish, but I felt the books had been abandoned.
They were covered with dust and pigeon droppings,
and I felt no one consulted them anymore.
There was also the thrill of adventure –
I was very scared of being found out.

The words of Stanislas Gosse when convicted of ‘burglary by ruse and escapade’ for stealing ancient books from Mont Saint-Odile monastery. He climbed the walls at night and entered through a secret door in a cupboard. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.