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Words, Feb. 2


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Time to bring in a relief picture:

Mary Catherine McSpadden of Mountain View saw this item in the Jan. 19 Arkansas Times — "CLIFF LEE. The star baseball picture bought a nice old house for fix-up in an established part of Little Rock, passed up New York (and an additional $30 million) for a better quality of family life in Philadelphia and gave $1 million to Arkansas Children's Hospital."

MaryMac (as teammates call her) writes: "If Cliff Lee is a star baseball picture, that thing in the square accompanying the article must be a pitcher of said picture."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed Endangered Species Act protection for the sheepnose and the spectaclecase, two freshwater-mussels found in rivers in a small number of states (including Arkansas, in the case of the spectaclecase). I enjoy the exotic names of the creatures on the endangered species lists. They're even more reason to keep the species around. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission list of endangered species includes the Arkansas Fatmucket, the Magazine Mountain Shagreen, and the Pallid Sturgeon. I like to think that one day a biologist will step up and shout "Wait! That sturgeon's not endangered, it's just pallid." Then he'll take it off to a tanning parlor, being careful that it doesn't come out looking like John Boehner.

My concern for the pallid sturgeon may have to do with my fondness for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven": "And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting "On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door ... "

Incidentally, the Baltimore Sun has just reported that "the mysterious Poe toaster" failed to show up at Poe's grave to celebrate the poet's birthday for the second year in a row. Imposters have flitted by, but a cemetery attendant told the Sun, "I could tell just by looking at them that were not the real Poe toaster."

I'd rather be a Poe toaster than a Post Toastie.


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