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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Poems and Pies.

"If this book should chance to roam, box its ears and send it home"
is something that my sister used to write in the front of her books. It came into my head last night and I didn't know if it was something that she had invented, or if it had come from elsewhere.

A bit of googling provides 9 references to the poem.

There seems to be an alternate ending -
tan its hide and send it home
. This seems to refer to an inscription in a used book.

In this digital book, the phrase is different again -
"Friends, if this book should chance to roam
Please write in it and send it home"

The verse as I knew it originally makes up part of some Harry Potter fanfic, as so:
Something inside the damaged cover flashed, catching his eye.

It was a beautifully illuminated bookplate bearing the school's coat of arms, one of a kind routinely stocked by Flourish and Blotts for Hogwarts students. It was clearly much newer than the book itself. Harry peered at it, surprised - and drew in a sharp breath.

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus.
This book belongs to


"If this book should chance to roam

box its ears and send it home"

Harry's eyes burned with shock. After a moment or two of staring, he mechanically fitted the cover back into place and fumbled for his wand, tapping it and whispering hoarsely "Reparo". The cover mended itself seamlessly, but Harry could not stop staring.

He owned so few things that had belonged to his parents - an invisibility cloak and a handful of photographs. Now, out of the blue, there was this … but what in hell had he just discovered? What was a teenaged girl called Lily Evans, a bright and popular pupil, Head Girl in her day, doing with this - a book on the dark arts? An ugly book describing in detail all the worst possible elements of evil wizardry ….

Harry straightened up, thinking hard.

Jeremy Clarkson is one of my least favourite people. He is arrogant and offensive at every turn, on every issue. He is particularly disliked by environmentalists for his promotion of huuuge cars, and his utter lack of concern for any environmental damage he or others may cause. He hates cyclists too, and has made some dodgily xenophobic and disgustingly sexist comments.
Transport 2000 argues that Clarkson [...] has come under fire for promoting `yobbish` driving behaviour, through such actions as deliberately driving into trees, churning up mountain peat bogs in 4x4s and tearing up road safety information on camera. Campaigners argue that he personifies a couldn`t-care-less attitude to the environment, and that his programme, Top Gear, glamorises speed and fast cars.

So, with all this background I, along with many others, was dismayed that Oxford Brookes University offered him an Honorary Degree.

I very much love the woman who presented him with a banana meringue pie in his face. She apparently said that it was homemade, organic, free range and fair trade on the basis that that would annoy him even more :D

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thermalsatsuma said...

The pie in the face thing was a bit juvenile though. The funniest thing was him only being worth an honourary degree from Oxford polytechnic ... :-)

Peter Bryenton said...

Box it's ears . . .

Thanks: we googled this in an IT class for Year 10 students today.

Peter Bryenton
RNIB New College, Worcester.