July 21st, 2009


From Twitter 07-20-2009

  • 06:59:39: Had a dream about being back in school, but at least it was the last day.
  • 08:14:32: My McDonald's receipt last night included "no sauce" and "no onions." Sounds like some kind of Zen thing.
  • 08:15:20: Is there any real reason why "versus" in court cases is abbreviated as "v." instead of "vs."?
  • 08:16:25: NYT headline: "Music Industry Lures 'Casual' Pirates to Legal Sites." Casual pirates? Captain Hook would be appalled!
  • 08:18:21: I hadn't had an Egg McMuffin in a while, but they're now on sale, and I must say I still like them.
  • 12:47:19: @themall So it should be "Alien v. Predator"?
  • 12:51:01: Trending topics include "Michael Vick" and "Moon." So is that where they're going to send him? I'd be in favor. No dogs there.
  • 16:34:55: Picked up issue 7 of the Wizard of Oz comic today, just in time for the release of #8.
  • 16:35:27: I also now have numbers 0-3 of the Oz-Wonderland Chronicles. I'm Oz comic rich!
  • 16:37:31: I kind of wish I could make videos, but I know it would be very frustrating for me.
  • 18:58:29: So is "Public Enemies" the sequel to the 1931 James Cagney film, like "Aliens" for "Alien"?
  • 22:17:51: Which is the worse simile? "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes" or "I'm going to miss you like a child misses a blanket"?
  • 22:20:19: Okay, maybe it's actually "I miss you like the deserts miss the rain."
  • 22:52:07: http://tinyurl.com/mj37ay I think the abusive dad might be Big Mouth from the Smurfs. I wondered what happened to him.
  • 22:57:06: @alyankovic "Dog Eat Dog" and "Everything You Know Is Wrong"

Tweets copied by twittinesis.com


Whether Pigs Have Wings

When Ruth Plumly Thompson introduced a flying pig into the Oz series, she wasn't being entirely original. The expression "when pigs fly" apparently dates back to an old Scottish proverb, and I've seen many images of winged pigs that have no known connection to Thompson or Oz. The Kids in the Hall even had a flying pig. I'm not sure whether Thompson was the first to refer to such a swine as Pigasus, but that was also the name of the pig that served as John Steinbeck's personal stamp, as well as the Yippies' 1968 presidential candidate (although that pig didn't have any wings). Pirates in Oz, the first Oz book to feature Pigasus, was published in 1931, but I know of no indication that the Yippies read it.

Anyway, though, while maybe not a unique creation, Pigasus is an Oz character whom I quite like. Thompson must have liked him as well, as he actually has a starring role in two of her books, unlike so many of her original characters who were pushed into the background after one significant part. Pigasus is a creation of the Red Jinn, although it's never entirely clear what that means. Did Jinnicky magically modify an existing pig? Was Pigasus the result of selective breeding? I suppose the Wizard of Ev doesn't want to give away all of his secrets. Regardless, Jinnicky gave the pig as a gift to the Duke of Dork. When Captain Salt's crew invaded the Duke's castle boat, Peter Brown traded a Bananny Goat for the flying swine, and Pigasus became part of the reluctant pirate crew. After flying Peter to the Emerald City in an attempt to thwart Ruggedo's latest invasion plan, Pigasus decides to remain there.

In addition to flying, Pigasus also has the magic power to make anyone riding him speak in simple rhyming verses. (Incidentally, an Oziana story by John Bell has the normally rhyming Scraps riding Pigasus and speaking in abstract free verse instead.) And while this ability isn't mentioned in Pirates, Wishing Horse establishes that he can also read the mind of anyone on his back. This power comes in handy when Dorothy is the only one who remembers Ozma after King Skamperoo's enchantment, and the two of them set out together to break the king's spell and restore their rightful ruler.

For what it's worth, I dressed up as Pigasus for the 1996 Munchkin Convention and the following Halloween, but I don't have any pictures handy.