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The Adventures of Furthermore, the Masonic Raven
Written by Skip Boyer



FURTHERMORE FRAMES A HONKOSECOND

Brother Furthermore was busy with his trivia collection when I stopped down to see him the other night. This is an important part of his life, so I try to indulge him. Furthermore, for those of you coming in late (and that list seems to get longer every day), is my Masonic pet raven brother. He lives in a gothic cavern of some sort below my home. We go back centuries. Anyway, these are the endlessly continuing Chronicles of . Furthermore. So much for station identification,

I slipped across the moat into the cavern with little difficulty. The nine-headed hydra that I pay minimum wage to guard the place is currently on strike. It’s been taking lessons from America West employees, I think. It is demanding minimum wage—for all nine heads. I may have to lay it off—or perhaps just a couple of the heads, a idea that has the charm of a certain degree of merit. Of course, I’d miss the fun of getting past it. The wounds are almost healed.

But I digress.

Furthermore was happily beaking through the latest additions to his trivia collection and sampling a martini with obvious pleasure.

He glanced up as I entered and then speared an olive with his beak, just to show me he could do it. He loves to rub it in. Don’t laugh. You try it sometime.

“Did you know,” he chortled, “that during the New York doctors’ strike in 1975, the death rate in that city FELL by more than 15 percent?”

I had to admit that I did not know that. And I also had to admit that it is a real collectable gem of trivia. I applauded.

“Thank you, thank you,” he drawled in his best Elvis imitation. “That was a good one, no? I have some more.”

Which I was afraid of, of course. Anyway, here are some of the most recent additions to his collection of trivial stuff:

 Seen on a senior citizen’s t-shirt: “Been there. Done That. Don’t remember.”

 Sign at a health center: “If you don’t take care of your body, where else are you going to live?”

 Quote for writers only: “Why would you spend years writing a novel when you can buy one in hardback for $25?”

 I love California. In spite of its faults.

 When I die, I want to be buried in Chicago so I can remain politically active.

 Along the strip from Santa Barbara to Orange County, there are more psychiatrists per square mile (2,000) than in all the other states. (The LA Times swears this is true, so Nevermore and I believe.)

 In no other game but football does a 300-pound monster hit, block, punch, spit, swear, and then wave to the camera with a grin and say “Hi, mom!”

 Honkosecond: The time between when the traffic light changes and the person behind you honks his horn. The smallest measure of time known to science.

 A recent study, cited in Predatory Marketing, says that 77.3 percent of those surveyed say that the product that has most improved their lives is the microwave oven. The television remote control was second at 66.6 percent, followed by the garage door opener.

 More than 20 million people in America—that’s one out of every ten—eat at a McDonald’s every day. That’s more than the combined total population of Australia and New Zealand. (Which makes you wonder just what it is that they know, you know?)

 One out of every 15 Americans says their first job was at a McDonald’s.

 The average age of cars registered in the U.S. is eight years.

I decided that was enough. Furthermore finished his martini and flapped away to frame the one about the honkosecond. I settled down in my Morris chair near the iron maiden and contemplated the olive in my glass. I do wonder how he does that thing with the olive. Or, for that matter, how he mixes the drinks.




BACK TO THE HOME PAGE?

To all Lodge Trestle Board editors: Feel free to use any of the tales of Furthermore. Should you choose to do so, however, we deny any responsibility for actions by your own lodge. If, after the first couple of columns, the brethren appear restless and begin to surge toward you as you enter the lodge room, we suggest you flee and deny any connection with Furthermore.






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