Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Sneezed A Sneeze by Ish Kabibble

I Sneezed A Sneeze

I sneezed a sneeze into the air.
It fell to earth I know not where.
But you shoulda seen the looks on those
In whose vicinity I snoze.
--Merwyn Bogue AKA Ish Kabibble

This is one of the poems Peter suggested when I began the blog. As you know, he's a fan of comic poetry, especially when it has clever use of rule breaking. This poem is exactly the sort of thing that he likes to read and memorize.

You may or may not know that Peter's computer died the week Elizabeth was born. He was able to resurrect it, but only by completely disabling the wireless card. Since it's a laptop, used mostly for surfing the web while sitting in the living room, this pretty much killed its usefulness.

Peter started talking wistfully about getting a new computer about two years ago, walking around the Apple Store at the mall and drooling. I told him then, and later, that when his computer couldn't do what he wanted it to do anymore, then we'd get a new one, but with the speed of technology advancement, it's just not cost effective to stay at the cutting edge. Since then, I've been mentally socking away a hundred dollars a month towards a new computer. We also cancelled our Cable service, so that saves a lot too.

Well, I certainly believe that this calamity counts as "not being able to do what you want it to do," so I told Peter to start looking around for a new computer (by the way, rereading this, it sounds like I'm in charge and he has to ask my permission. We each have to get the other's approval for large purchases, so it works both ways). He found that Apple was going to be launching a new something-or-other shortly, so if he waited a couple of weeks, he could get the model he wanted for less, since it wouldn't be as top-of-the-line anymore. He also found that he could get a refurbished one at a discount as well (refurbished means that when they tested it, coming off of the assembly line, something didn't work. So they replaced the defective part with a working one -- it's still brand new and in perfect condition). It took him quite a while to reach a final decision, and even then he waited to make sure we were still making more than we were spending each month now that Elizabeth is here. So last week, he finally sat down to place the order. He got almost done, but it was getting late, and he didn't want to make a decision about a printer that night, so he put it off till the next day.

The next day the computer he had chosen, a laptop the same size as his current one, but with better speed and memory, was out of stock. And since it's an older model, and refurbished to boot, there was no guarantee that there would ever be any more. He came to me horrified, and asked what he should do.

I was secretly pleased. An Apple laptop, no matter how out of date and refurbished, costs a LOT of money, and I personally thought it was excessive for the way he uses it. At the same time, he doesn't spend a lot of money on smaller purchases, and gets a lot of joy out of his computer and spending time with his online friends, so I couldn't feel good about telling him he couldn't have the computer he wanted. This setback was the perfect opportunity for me to get him to step outside of his preconceived ideas about what his computer had to be like.

"When something like this happens to me," I said slyly, "I generally take a step back and reexamine the entire purchase." I don't remember whether I said it was a sign from heaven, but I certainly implied it. "Does it have to be a Macintosh? Dell has some pretty good deals on laptops. Does it even have to be a laptop? You can get a lot more computer in a desktop version, and honestly, when was the last time you took your laptop anywhere?" Peter took the hint, and spent a couple of hours looking around on the site. we discussed the alternatives, and he decided on an iMac with better specs than the laptop, but at a lower price.

The last time I looked at what "iMac" meant was years ago when they first came out in fruit flavors. I was totally unprepared for what arrived at our house a few days later. His computer is a GIGANTIC flat screen on a stand with all the components built into the back of the screen. There's also a very thin aluminum keyboard and a mouse. But the screen--it's seriously a Thing Of Beauty. It's 22 1/2" wide by 18" high (visible area is 20 1/2" x 12 3/4" or 24" diagonal) and it's only 1 1/4" wide at edges to about 2" thick in the middle. The keyboard is 17" x 4 1/2" but only 1/4" thick including the keys sticking up.

Peter is in love. He was positively drooling over it and caressing it when he got it set up. He could hardly believe it was his, and talked about coveting it. He's spent the last few days customizing it and putting it through its paces. He downloaded the Indiana Jones trailer in HD to watch in all its glory. It has a built in camera and microphone that automatically took his picture while he was setting up his account (anybody wanna try videoconferencing?). He's downloading print quality cover artwork from the Manga he works on to use as background art. It's a joy to behold him having so much fun.


  1. Woot! He does look happy. :)

    I always remembered it as "hard and cold were the looks of those/in whose vicinity I snoze."

  2. I agree. There is something immensely pleasurable about watching your husband enjoy some bit of shiny new gadgetry. Sam has a long list and it's so nice when we have the need and the money to buy a new piece of electronics.

  3. YES! I love the new iMacs. And YES we want to videoconference! We've done Skype with Mike and Miriam and Nate and Deb already, and we loved it. I think everyone in the family should get in that habit.

  4. Go Mac!! They're the best.


  5. WOW! YAY PETER. That really rocks! I am so happy for you, and the picture is darling. I am so glad you got something that makes you so happy. I will show it to dad. He'll be pleased too.

    Love, Mom

  6. Ish Kabibble was a comedian, but the poet that you're looking for that Wrote "How you catch a cold." was from the same era.
    Please look up Ogden Nash, and change your website to respect the true author. Thank you...

  7. I actually researched this before publishing the post. Many poems are misattributed, and I take that seriously. Ogden Nash wrote many poems, but contrary to popular belief he did not write every comic poem in his era.

    He wrote a poem called "Common Cold"

    One called "The Sniffle"

    And another called "The Germ"

    But there are no reputable websites that link this poem with Ogden Nash.

    In his New York Times obituary, it says that along with being a comedian, Merwyn Bogue was an accomplished musician and that he enjoyed comic poetry. While they don't say outright that he wrote this poem, it is at least implied.

    I could believe that one of his joke writers came up with some or part of the poem, but Ish Kabibble is the only person I've ever seen reliably credited with it.