more? Kasey Mohammad, K. Silem Mohammad, Kasey Mohammad and Patrick Herron, from 1/19-1/23 2002
OLD NORSE FOR BEGINNERS
a play in one act
by K. Silem Mohammad
KENT JOHNSON: Old Norse is the name we give to the language which the
ELIOT WEINBERGER: Old Norse is classical North Germanic language used from
roughly 1150 to 1350. Its predecessor is Old Scandinavian....
KJ: Old Norse is the language spoken and written by the inhabitants of
Scandinavia around 1000 AD and earlier. The modern Nordic languages of
Swedish, Danish ... are from the 12th cent.
CANDICE WARD: Old Norse is also noteworthy as the language of the Eddas and
sagas (see Old Norse literature; Icelandic literature ... The vocabulary of
Old Norse is known scarcely from runic incriptions, but its descendant the
Icelandic language with its sagas demonstrates how rich....
EW: Old Norse is the term generally used in English to refer to the
language and literature preserved in manuscripts written in Iceland and
Norway during the....
KJ: It is not surprising that some words came into the Irish language from
CW: Since Old Norse is a dead language, there is no need (according to the
folks who write dictionaries) for an English-to-Old-Norse dictionary.
EW: Old Norse is a collective term for the earliest North Germanic literary
languages, Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Danish, and Old Swedish. In
KJ: Icelandic is WRONG. Old Swedish is WRONG. Old Norse is RIGHT.
Picture of a streetsign in York, England. The streetname is Old Norse and
EW: The Narwhal (meaning "corpse whale" in Old Norse) is a rarely seen
Arctic whale. This social whale is known for the VERY long tooth that males
KJ: Old-Norse is obligatory on the Grunnfag and Mellomfag niveu, available
at the hovedfag niveu....
CW: The word tiwaz, tyr in Old Norse, is the exact cognate to Sanskrit
dayus, Greek Zeus and Latin Jupiter. A threefold mystery....
KJ: The word in Old Norse is "igdur"--variously translated as "tits" or
"nuthatches." In fact, it probably sounds to you like a good career
EW: About Old Norse. Old Norse is the language spoken and written in
Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the colonies of the....
KJ: Horses are how people got around back then, and Raidho (known as Rad in
Anglo-Saxon and Reid in Old Norse) is the rune of travel!
CW: The only change since Old Norse is that the r-ending has become an
KJ: Old Norse is only spoken by a few, and then only poorly....
EW: ... spoken by so few. Very few people outside Iceland learn Icelandic,
although Old Icelandic is taught at a number of universities abroad, largely
because of our....
CW: Here there is space to mention the three centres where Old Icelandic is
taught, but there are eight others throughout Australia where there have
been or are....
EW: Old Icelandic is taught at the University of Oregon by the Department
of Germanic Languages and Literatures. WWW Links....
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Old Norse is one of my courses (for all the reasons you
mentioned in your Old Norse page). You don't mention....
EW: Old Norse is the synthetic medieval language which we find in the
KSM: No previous knowledge of Old Norse is required. It will be examined
by means of one three-hour paper.
EW: In the United States he rendered us the most treasured compliment when
he said: "Old Norse is Crown" but as many of you know, Old Norse is in fact
KSM: No previous knowledge of Old Norse is required. The module will focus
particularly on the Icelandic (which will be helpful to readers whose only
experience of Old Norse is in Icelandic)....
CW: Old Norse and Old Icelandic. Old Norse is a member of the Germanic
family of languages which includes English, German and Dutch....
EW: THE place to look when you are interested in Old Norse is (of course)
EV Gordon's _An Introduction to Old Norse_ (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
CW: Old Norse is a collective term for the earliest North Germanic literary
languages, Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Danish, and Old Swedish.
EW: Most appreciatively, the cost of the book is very reasonable; a similar
book on learning Old Norse is almost double the cost of this book.
KJ: Old Norse is also noteworthy as the language of the Eddas and sagas
(see Old Norse literature; Icelandic literature). See Eric....
EW: And the original Old Norse is transcribed next to the English
translation as well. The Cadillac of all translations ...
CW: Old Norse is analyzed within the framework of Government and Binding
(GB) and functional grammar. The linguistic sources are....
EW: Old Norse is one of the three early branches of the Germanic languages;
Icelandic is a descendant of West Norse....
KSM: A course in Old Norse is also offered....
KJ: Old Norse is still the language used for the Icelandic sagas. You may
consider the Scandinavian languages....
EW: The sumbel (sumbl in Old Norse) is a solemn ritual in which the
participants sit together and participate in drinking, speech-making and
gift-giving, in many....
KJ: My sense is that (in English-speaking scholarship) "Old Norse" is used
as a catch-all term for Scandinavian languages duing the Viking and Medieval
CW: Old Norse is one of ten branches that make up the Indo-European family
KJ: The standard insult in Old Norse is to suggest homosexuality, which is
often expressed in terms of using such and such a man "as a woman." There
CW: Icelandic (Old Norse) is the official language; Old Norse literature
reached its greatest flowering in Iceland....
KJ: ...gay vikings.
EW: Old Norse is a language which is rich in words describing sexual
CW: Nynorsk, created in the 1850s from spoken Norwegian and Old Norse, is
spoken by about 20% of the population. Of the seven additional....
KJ: ...for male vs. female giants. Since Old Norse is a highly inflected
language, and lemmatizing these texts would have been too time....
JORDAN DAVIS: ...the pwerson wants something to feel as real as possible.
EW: Here is my first draft, in English and old Norse I would like some
critique, even if you don't read.... Portions have been digitalized. The
entire text in Old Norse is also available on the web for the stout of heart
CW: The final example assumes that the font "Old Norse" is not currently
KJ: "Old Norse" is, in my view more the product of the invention of
tradition than it is of linguistic reality. I think that....
EW: I do not know what an old Norse is, but I expect you can lead it to
water, but you may have a devil of a job getting it to drink!
CW: The term "Old Norse" is sometimes used to mean specifically what we
here call "West Norse" or what we here call "Old Icelandic." It is
KSM: Old and Middle English (down to 1400) are compulsory, but Old Norse is
another favourite, and you can also study literature in other languages....
CW: Old Norse is a collective term for the earliest North Germanic literary
languages: Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Danish, and Old Swedish. The
KJ: Old Norse is a nice language due to its amazing similarity to English.
Well, I guess I shouldn't say amazing, most of our language came from
KSM: No previous knowledge of Old Norse is required. It will normally be
taught in the Michaelmas term, so....
ALLEN BRAMHALL: What or Whom is a Warlock?
CW: OK, maybe it seems strange even in context.
EW: Alternative theories?
CW: ...style with no standard. Some of us try to get the right feeling by
conserving some of the old style and tone in language. My Old Norse is too
poor for that.
KJ: Old Norse is out. Let's not even consider Old High German, then with
the singular edohso and the plural edohsan....
CW: This also ignores that Old Norse is a declined language, that is, the
nouns change form with the case used. Dictionary lists are fine....
KJ: Old English, or Old Norse is usually the kind of thing only learned in
the Ivory Towers of Academia.
EW: ...knives into plowshares, took to raising kids and carping at by-laws,
and meekly blended into the landscape. Old Norse is important for the
history of English.
CW: My own impression from reading a (very very limited) sampling of Old
Norse is that ON culture had a razor-sharp ear for word play, and I....
KJ: ...had an auto accident. Thus, all commentary is MINE, ALL MINE!
Ahhh, ha-ha-ha ... 3rd ed.
KSM: No previous knowledge of Old Icelandic is required.
CW: ...takes skills that only a few have, and an in depth knowledge of Old
Icelandic is necessary for understanding most of both the manuscript and
EW: If you think that Old Norse is an easy-to-learn, attractive and
user-friendly language, you might be an expert and I've been looking into
this well over twenty years and my Old Norse is reasonable and I can speak
German, which in my mind is a prerequisite if....
KSM: There is no pre-requisite for this course, but Old Icelandic is much
easier if you have already studied Old English...
CW: Like Old English, Old Icelandic is a Germanic language. Icelandic
belongs to the north Germanic group of languages ("Norse" or
"Scandinavian"), which ...
EW: Although Old Icelandic is separated from the other languages studied so
far within the framework of the Göttingen word length project, the same
KJ: As most of the extant manuscripts we study were produced in Iceland,
"Old Icelandic" is arguably a more accurate term.
CW: Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Danish, and Old Swedish. Of these,
Old Icelandic is the most richly documented, in the broad variety of Old
EW: Of course classical Old Icelandic is what students usually get taught,
but there are many interesting facets of....
CW: Literary Old Icelandic is often presented in a normalized textbook form
and (together with Old Norwegian) is referred to as Old Norse. See also....
KSM: Expertise in Old Icelandic is not required....
KJ: We must keep in mind the fact that Old Icelandic is not identical with
Old Norse, and that Icelandic literature cannot be clearly differ- entiated
CW: Since both are Germanic languages, Old Icelandic is similar in some
respects to Old English. This does not mean, however, that they are
KJ: Also Old Icelandic does not make a great deal of sense: there is no
difference between Old Icelandic and Old Norse [ON]: Old Icelandic is Old
KSM: Expertise in Old Icelandic is not required.
I was hanging on to my seat the whole way, chugging 40s of Olde English 800.
OE 800 is really how I relate to this incredible drama. You know, mead is
closely related to malt liquor. My theory is that with enough malt liquor
one can sound like s/he's consumed quite a bit of mead, which makes one in
turn sound like someone speaking either Alt Hoch Deutsch oder Old Norsk.
Sundafyllir. Or Old Icelandic. I mean, runic Swedish. I mean. Burp.
And what a denouement! Bravo! Very filmic. Mannvitsbrekka.
Hic. Fill my bay up with fish, o wise one. I am as drunk as the ocean.
Editor, _Olde English 800 for Advanced Alcoholics_
& Author of _Dude, Who Stole My Shield?_
Frank Booth: "Heineken!? Fuck that shit! PABST BLUE RIBBON!"
OLD NORSE FOR BEGINNERS
a play in one act
by K. Silem Mohammad
PATRICK HERRON: Good day to ye all and pleased I am, to meet ye. I'm
Patrick, and sure as me namesake St. Patrick banished all the snakes from
Ireland, I'll be glad to chase away all your woes. I'm friendly....
GABE GUDDING: Hi Patrick! You did a very good job! Seems like a tremendous
amount of work, you can be sure that shooter like me are really thankful! I
wish you the best....
CANDICE WARD: I'm Candice, and this is my ghetto fabulous home page. I've
recently changed a lot of stuff on this page, so I hope you find it....
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi everyone! I'm Kasey, and I'm five years old. This is
my very own part of Mommy's page, where I get to tell you all about what
I've been doing and how much....
CANDICE WARD: Hi Kasey, Mamaw is so glad to have a new baby girl, I know you
will fill our lives with joy....
MAIREAD BYRNE: Hi Kasey!!! Haha I am reading your diary. Do you know some
chick named Zoe from Drew? Her dorm is near mine. Her roommate hates her.
KENT JOHNSON: Hi! I'm KENT! I can only describe myself as a thirtysomething
Asian dude living in Sacramento, California....
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hello! Hooray! I'm David and I bid you welcome. I hope you
enjoy yourself here. Feel free to explore my home, but please don't touch
the coffins. We may bite....
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi David, hi David, hi David, hi David!
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: ...saying hello at once and that was the depth of the
conversation. It was just "Hi David, Hi David, Hi David," and then I had to
go and it was, "Bye David, Bye...."
MAIREAD BYRNE: I am Mairead, caretaker of Lady Yasaman's galleria. Within my
care you will find many things.
GABE GUDDING: Wow! She knows us! I feel so special. Hi, I'm Gabe. And you
MAIREAD BYRNE: I am Mairead, wandering bard of Nwm. If you are a lover of
fantasy, this is the place for you.
GABE GUDDING: Oh, right....
KENT JOHNSON: Hi Gabe! It's so nice of you to let me know you actually have
a cat who looks almost exactly like mine....
MAIREAD BYRNE: Hi Gabe: I don't know what your "Brown Crust" is, but I'd
suspect a fungal infection from your description....
GABE GUDDING: Hi. I'm Gabe and I don't really know where I am.... [realizing
her nudity, he blushes deep red and looks away] Um ... sorry ... I ...
KENT JOHNSON: I'm Kent, and this is Gabe, and we're going to Pennsylvania
where we live....
GABE GUDDING'S PARENTS: Hi Gabe. Mom and Dad. We turned your entire room
into a giant aquarium for all the turtles. It's a drag....
MAIREAD BYRNE: Hi Gabe, Yes I'm reading this, no I don't remember the
cheesesteak but I do remember the cheesecake....
GABE GUDDING: ...hard to speak with her bright black eyes so steadily sad in
front of me....
KENT JOHNSON: Hi Mairead. I haven't seen you here before--welcome! Is your
name some exotic Celtic name or does it mean you are marry-ed?
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi there ... you might not know me, so let me introduce
myself. I'm Alan and I'm an Asian boy. Actually, if you want to be more
politically correct, I guess....
PATRICK HERRON: Hi, I'm Patrick and I'm trying to play the guitar. You will
now enter the hidden world of my thoughts, my wishes and other psychopathic
HENRY GOULD: Hi Patrick: Here is Henry, I would like to join the CashFlow
101 party, and here I'm new, but deeply fall in love with RichDad, keep in
touch, and run the....
MURAT NEMET-NEJAT: Hello everyone! I'm Murat and I'm 28 years old. I'm a
graphic designer. I'm very alone for a long time. I....
MAIREAD BYRNE: Heya Murat! Heard any good jazz lately?
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi Murat! Thanks for your perfectionism. Your albs are the
best since Vangelis.
PATRICK HERRON: Hi Murat. Hazel nuts have been gasified very successfully in
Italy where I saw it being done for a town water supply during a tour in
ALAN SONDHEIM: I'm Alan and I rock and roll all day long! I also have a very
unhealthly obsession with Cat Deeley. AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH the brain pain is
KENT JOHNSON: Hi, I'm Kent, and I'm an alcoholic and an addict.
MURAT NEMET-NEJAT: Hi, Kent. Sorry to hear this news. How are you doing now?
Wish you feel better. You know it's a wonderful sun-shine day today! So take
care and have a great....
KENT JOHNSON: I'm Kent and I'm 14. I've been aggressive skating for about a
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi, Kent! Boy it's great to be here. Yes, I re-write
everything myself ... AFTER I STEAL IT!!! Oops. Shoulda mumbled that
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi Kasey, wait a minute while I go put some clothes on. I
don't think you want to see me almost naked.
PATRICK HERRON: I'm Patrick and as you can probably tell, I'm CANADIAN!!!
MURAT NEMET-NEJAT: Hi Patrick. You are most fortunate to live in an area
where you have such wonderful salmon fishing.
KENT JOHNSON: I'm Kent and I'm 15. I've been aggressive skating for about 2
PATRICK HERRON: Hey, I'm Patrick and I live in Salisbury. I am an aggressive
skater with maybe half a year's experience. I skate with my friends James,
Ryan, and Matt.
KENT JOHNSON: Hi Patrick!!!! Sometimes being an "A" can ... sometimes being
type "A" can have a very negative effect on people around me--I sometimes
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: I'm David, and in my slingshot is the unrated cut of
KENT JOHNSON: Hi, I'm Kent and I'm the dad.
PATRICK HERRON: I'm Patrick, and these are my hunting grounds. Go find your
own sheep, boy.
CANDICE WARD: I’m Candice and I come from a country on the other side of the
world. It’s filled with lots of sheep and rugby-playing people. That’s
KENT JOHNSON: Oh hi Candice. What a lovely surprise to see you here. What's
up baby doll....
CANDICE WARD: I WILL VOMIT ON YOU, I SWEAR TO GOD!!!
KENT JOHNSON: Online, I have the morality of Satan's spawn.
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi Kent! The "skin effect" is called ... The Skin Effect.
KENT JOHNSON: Hi I'm Kent and I'm a BOOTAHOLIC! :) I'd say my Fav pair is my
Lace Up Packers made by Olathe! They have BIG ASS 3.25" Under Slung Leather
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi Candice. My girlfriend asks: where do you find your
CANDICE WARD: [smile, a certain diffidence--perhaps aloofness--and talks
softly] Sometimes I'm Candice and sometimes I go by my soap opera diva name,
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi Candice ... AGAIN. Yeh ... uhm ... UPDATE. PLEASE. I
dunno if you've been wiped off the face of the earth or what ... but ... hey
... yeah ... I love your art....
CANDICE WARD: I'm Candice. And I don't miss the stress. I hate those moments
of coming out and looking....
GABE GUDDING & MAIREAD BYRNE: O ya hi Candice what’s up?? Have a nice night!
Um ... we r just goin to the bathroom LOL....
ALLEN BRAMHALL: I'm Allen, and my life is boring. I like going to church.
God is my father. I go to Menallen Elementary (The school for losers). Like
most kids say, school SUCKS!!
PATRICK HERRON: I'm Patrick and I hate opera and teachers.
ALLEN BRAMHALL: Hi Kasey, how are you doin'? Are you ready for the pirate
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi, I'm Kasey and I'm on all fours for Orgasmonaut Band.
Give me a call.
JORDAN DAVIS: Who are you and what do you want?
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: I'm Kasey, and I want that digi-armor you have. So fork
it over, now!
JORDAN DAVIS: No way.
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi, Jordan. I'm 105 years old and I listen to your show
MAIREAD BYRNE: HI JORDAN, HOW IS YOUR MONO DOING?
KENT JOHNSON: Hi, Jordan, from Old Man Johnson here. A lot of us complain
about people not "supporting" local music because they don't come out to
every single local concert....
CANDICE WARD: Hi Patrick, Just wanted to thank you again for the frogs--they
are really healthy looking and very active. I look forward to seeing them
grow so that I can....
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hey! I'm Kasey, and I'm 15 and I live in Georgia, USA. I
am totally obsessed with 'Nsync! I went to their concert on November 22,
1998! It totally rocked!
CANDICE WARD: I'm Candice, and I want you to play "I Drive Myself Crazy"
because I *love* how crazy those fine boys go!
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi, Kasey: I congratulate you for your exquisite spirit.
GABE GUDDING: Hi Kasey, If you aren't getting periods and you want to get
pregnant, the first step is to go to your gyn. Explain the situation. There
are many reasons why....
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi Gabe. Interesting question ... sort of like the
Kantian dilemma of do you lie to save someone from a murder, and if so,
which is worse?
MAIREAD BYRNE: Kasey you are a bitch. Hi Kasey. Kasey I will torture you
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: [Picking up diaper and holding it like a puppet, making
it talk in a silly, squeaky voice] Hi David! I'm Dilly Diaper! Come here and
play with me!
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: [Running over to Diaper] Hi Dilly!
CANDICE WARD: Hi Kasey. Unfortunately our idea of what smells good and our
dog's idea of what smells good are two very different things!
PATRICK HERRON: Hi Candice. JMO, the runt is not always the smartest pup in
the litter. I've bred 3 litters....
KENT JOHNSON: I'm Kent and I live in a box with my cat. It needs a new roof
but I haven't been able to find a good newspaper yet. So here is how my life
started. I was born....
PATRICK HERRON: Hi Kent. Sorry to hear about that ... it's sure a common
problem--builders should stick to building.
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi Kent, Graymont has what you need. They make Niagara
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi Kasey, as I stated earlier, I was moved by your book like
no other book I have read. I sent it to my....
HENRY GOULD: Hi Kasey, just here to let you know not to let ignorant people
get you down. You have grown in the Lord, and that is obvious. You....
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi, I'm David, and I lost my coins--crystal coins. Can you
MAIREAD BYRNE: Hi David. I just picked up the leopard and I am very happy!
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: ...brutal wrestler from my school with his arms wrapped
around the trunk of a pecan tree, saying his first words to me ever, "Hi
David," sweetly, as I walked by....
ALAN SONDHEIM: HI DAVID, I WAS BORN IN A INDUSTRIAL FAMILY, MY > FATHER
INDUSTRY WAS > PAPERBOARD INDUSTRY.MY MOTHER INDUSTRY WAS > GRAMAPHONE
MANUFACTURING > INDUSTRY....
MAIREAD BYRNE: Hi Kasey!!! You're Pretty! ... We will, we will Rock You!
Will, we will rock you! Hey rockin' Robby and Kickin' Kasey! Just stopped by
to say hi ... soo ... HI!
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: I'm David and I'm collecting coke can since 6 years. I
have 1120 different cans and about 100 cans from all over the world for
trading. Empty cans, full cans....
GEORGE THOMPSON: Let me introduce ourselves. I'm George and I was born in
1921--WOW I've seen a lot of changes. I flew planes for a while, and retired
from a glass company....
PATRICK HERRON: HI GEORGE! JUST A NOTE TO ALL! GEORGE IS ONE OF THE BEST
MODEL CANOE BUILDERS WE KNOW. HIS WORK IS VERY HIGH QUALITY. TRULY AN
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: His name is George. Hi, George. Your name is George. He
looks like a George. Like George Washington. I like George.
GEORGE THOMPSON: Hi, I'm George and I sing the bass part.
PATRICK HERRON: Hey dude--I'm Patrick and _I_ play the bass....
GEORGE THOMPSON: Hi I'm George and I live in Florida and at night while I am
in sleep paralysis mode a ghost comes and has sex with me. When I wake up I
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi George. They will not answer you because they are
embarrassed that their "prophets" and "apostles" said these things.
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: I'm David. And look at those fucking curtains. Jesus.
GEORGE THOMPSON: Whoa. They suck.
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi, I'm David, and I'll be your anesthesiologist today!
GEORGE THOMPSON: Hullo. I'm George and I'm quite athletic. I have good built
and of good looks. I'm interested to be your friend. Hoping for your soon
PATRICK HERRON: I'm Patrick, and you and I are going to be much better
friends really soon.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi George I have sent you an e-mail, I like your
perspective on life, you are a good person.
GEORGE THOMPSON: I'm George and I'm beautiful the way I am.
HENRY GOULD: Hi George and maybe Dad!!!
GEORGE THOMPSON: Yo I'm George and I'm twelve. I want to be a paratrooper
and a cop. Back to Home.
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi, I'm Alan Sondheim and I'm typing here andx someone is
going to read this out loud and....
CANDICE WARD: Hi Alan, do you know this bug? ... Previous message: Hi Alan,
do you know this bug? Next message: Caller-ID in detail-file?
PATRICK HERRON: Hi Alan, We received a similar bug report.
ALAN SONDHEIM: HI! I'm Alan and I'm a biologist and philosopher. If you
think life is bad ... How would you like to be an egg? You only get laid
DAVID BIRCUMSHAW: Hi Alan. I was just wondering. Am I an oddball? How many
others like me, have contacted you, with respect to traveling?
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi! I'm Alan and I'm Wendy.
GEORGE THOMPSON: I'm George and I'm really nervous.
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hello fellows, let me introduced myself, I'm Alan and you can
call me Wengyang. Firstly, I will like....
GEORGE THOMPSON: I'm George and I've invented a patch that can be worn on
your arm (much like those used to treat smoking addictions) that will cure
CANDICE WARD: Hi George. Unless she catches you in bed with another person,
the woman's high Interest Level does not drop like a rock--it drops
gradually, in five stages....
KENT JOHNSON: Hi Kasey!! Umm ... Thumper is better than Cozimodo!! Member
the tent we made in ur room!? That was fun!! And the psychic thingy haha
we're dumb! Yay Im on ur team....
ELIOT WEINBERGER: I'm Eliot and I've had enough of that little pain in the
ass, so I'm taking over. See, I can be cute too.
PATRICK HERRON: Hi Eliot--I believe you have broken the code and found the
ELIOT WEINBERGER: I'm Eliot and I'm made from 15" dense curly mohair in a
yummy butterscotch color. I love to gaze at the stars and listen to romantic
music. My adoption....
GABE GUDDING: Hi Eliot. We're getting closer to buying our own place and
I'll finally be able to use the book I bought from you mowing my own hay.
ELIOT WEINBERGER: Hi Gabe, Thanks. Hey, you are very good at trying to keep
some conversation going here, and it's appreciated. It's just that I'm not
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hi Eliot, I would like to know if we could export the
oaf_activatoin_context_get function from oaf. rationale....
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Hi Eliot, I just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks
for sharing your art.
GEORGE THOMPSON: I'm George and as you can see I'm really nervous.
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hello, I'm Alan and I know appliances.
END OF ACT TWO
OLD NORSE FOR BEGINNERS
a play in one act
by K. Silem Mohammad
[There are thousands of shining stars in the sky.]
GWYN McVAY: [Southern voice] "The TRUE STORY of a Girl Sees Heaven Before
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: A little girl sitting in the back of her parents'
station wagon driving down the road, and the girl said "Mom give me the
camera I see a face in that cloud ... it look like is hunt and said he was
hunt and he was walk with 2 legs," and the girl said "Come there dog," and
fint his legs and when Lulu but him a name he saw him in the road.
DAVID BARATIER: [Nude in tub] The horse had one white foot and the girl said
it was lame; it wasn't. That horse is now show jumping very successfully.
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: They both looked up and saw a bright light. They both
looked up as it flew by. And the boy said to the girl "My wagon's bigger
than your wagon!" The little girl said "No it's not!" The boy said "Is too!
Let's measure!" They measured and the girl said "Oh gosh, it is."
GWYN McVAY: And the girl said to the boy "Who gave my dad Viagra?" And the
doktor said "I remember, it was me ... why" And the boy said "I'll tell
you.... My mom is dead ... my as is hurting...."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: And the shadow saw the girl In the sudden dappled
light, And the girl said "Let's be me again before the cloud, before the
fright takes you away--let it be...."
ANTHONY ROBINSON: Raichu hided under some barrals and the girl touched
Raichu and Raichu was scared and the girl said "It's me Raichu" and then
Raichu was happy and the girl said "I've got nothing on tonight; how about
you and me going to your place? I am going to tell you the story of my
mother's Meeting with God."
GWYN McVAY: So my mom left a note and the girl said she was calling the
ALAN SONDHEIM: Hello, it's your fault too, dummy.
GWYN McVAY: Anyways my mom got to the part about using "protection" and the
girl said "Don't worry Mom, I've been taking your birth-control pills." The
woman and the girl she was with said "We are going up! Why did you hit the
down button!?" and the girl said "What? Up and down? Don't they both do the
same thing...." "Right. Now up...." Then there were some more amorous
noises, and the girl said "Wait, where are you going?" And the guy just
answered "I have to get home."
ANTHONY ROBINSON: So later that evening the boy arrived at his girlfriend's
GWYN McVAY: They sat down for dinner and the girl said grace. Said Jillian,
"Let's share our shirts." So the boy put on Jillian's shirt and Jillian put
on the boy's shirt and the boy said "Hey! Look! A shirt with ruffles...."
Then the girl said "I'd like a shirt from JC Penney." and the clerk rang up
the bill and the girl said "I'd like a pair of pants from JC Penney."
ANTHONY ROBINSON: And the boy said he looked wild and wide, like the side of
the hill. And the boy said to himself "I
cannot manage to shudder! I shall never learn it here as long as I live."
GYWN McVAY: And the boy wished to be like God.
ANTHONY ROBINSON: And God asked why the boy would like to be like God.
GWYN McVAY: And the Boy said "I would like to be like you so I may be able
to help those in pain."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: Raven came and the boy said "Grandfather, when I die,
then you can eat me; but do not eat me now," he said to him. Raven said
"What happen'd" and the girl said that she was playing with the bird and the
bird spit at her so she burn down the nest, broke the neck and she cracked
ANTHONY ROBINSON: The boy and girl were very afraid and the boy said in a
shaky voice "We don't know where your fangs are, Sir...."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: But one day, he met a small boy, and the boy said "But
there have been people walking on the moon, and...."
ANTHONY ROBINSON: "Are you mad, boy...." The master said; "Now, while you
were under water, what did you think of?"
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: And the boy said "AIR! I wanted AIR!" The master
replied "You mean you didn't think...?"
ANTHONY ROBINSON: They took him, ascended up the mountain, and the boy said
"O Allah Save me from them by anything You wish." So the mountain said to
the boy "Why are you feeding your goats on my grass?" And the boy said "It
is not my doing, for my father told me to come here."
GWYN McVAY: And he came in late the next day and the teacher asked him why
are you late and the boy said "I was on top of Strawberry Hill" and the
teacher said "Oh ok ... only if you say the alphabet." The boy said
"ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOQRSTUVWXYZ." The teacher asked "Where's the P?" and the boy
said "Running down my pants."
ANTHONY ROBINSON: The teacher looked confused and the boy said again
"There's 3 women eating ice cream cones: one's licking, one's biting, and
one's sucking." Which reportedly occurred in a bedroom when Negrete was
alone with the girl, and the girl said the purpose of the rituals was for
Negrete to spiritually cleanse her....
DAVID BARATIER: "If you don't stop this nonsense right now, I'll spank you!"
said the principal.
ANTHONY ROBINSON: ...until at last he came to a handsome boy. So, he said to
the boy, "What do you do here?" And the boy said "I am always learning. Come
and learn with me."
DAVID BARATIER: He was so excited and nervous though that his lines got
mixed up and the boy said "It's the Lord, my boy, and your time is up!"
GWYN McVAY: And the boy said "Don't touch my buns!"
ANTHONY ROBINSON: Shiva came home he saw the boy guarding and said "Get out
of my way!" and the boy said "No my mother Is bathing here." Shiva said "Get
out of the way!" But a beast of burden carried this man, this Great Teacher,
Into Jerusalem, the City of Lights, and the boy said "The City of Lights is
your Heart." The Law lifted the stone, and the boy said "I see a rusty old
sword and an iron ball and a big bronze trumpet."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: And the boy said nothing, for he too was touched. They
stood quietly together, holding hands and feeling the fierce heat of emotion
beating beneath their skin...
ALAN SONDHEIM: ...the cup to him like wine, like elixir, and he took it from
him, and their hands met roughly, and the boy said to him in a voice like a
man's "Way to go."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: When they were trying to open the door to the castle,
PoPo was playing with something, and the girl said "PoPo, what are you
playing with?" "Nacho cheese." And his mother said "How do you know it is
Nacho cheese?" and the boy said the little black boy on the hill in
pilgrim's weeds gave the boy a root, which was that of the Trinity flower;
and the boy said that the face of the pilgrim was that of the Angel of
Death. The boy told him "Maybe you can give work to my brother. He's slow
and he's way in back of me." And the boy said "Good-bye."
ANTHONY ROBINSON: His mother said "Yes, and?" And the boy said "Well, when I
watched and listened to where the sound went, I didn't get closer to God. I
GWYN McVAY: And the girl said to the boy "I am! but your father is crazier
than me why he did not sleep." And the girl said to new ex-monk "You are
crazy from shaving your hair. Ha ha. Ha."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: "...you are here ... she's watching you." We asked her
if she could see "her" and the girl said "yes...but she is hiding from you."
DAVID BARATIER: And she said "Bring me a big one." And she brought a bigger,
and the girl said "That is not big enough."
GWYN McVAY: Once more they arrived before the King and the boy said "King,
King, keep your promise and give us our bag of rice," and so he was sent to
the police. The police said "What's your name?" and the boy said
DAVID BARATIER: The officer asked the boy if he stole the 12-pack of beer
from the Star Mart and the boy said "Yes" ... and the police officer wanted
to know why the boy was driving seventy miles an hour, and the boy said the
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: They both looked up and saw a bright light ... they
both looked up as it flew by ... and the boy said to the girl "If you do not
tell me your name right now I'm going to...."
DAVID BARATIER: And the boy said unto his reflection "And just who might you
be?" And the reflection replied "Why, I am you!" And the boy said "You can't
ANTHONY ROBINSON: The star said "Boy, why are you weeping?" And the boy said
"You are so far away I will never be able to touch you." And the star
answered, "Boy I was living the gay life at one time and now I live for the
Lord," and the boy said that he was a Christian....
DAVID BARATIER: Then the next day they were walking in the park and there
were these people making out and the girl said "look Mommy they are baking a
cake!" The others were curiously crowding around the group, and the girl
said to them: "It's Tik-tok and Billina; and oh! I'm so glad to see them
GWYN McVAY: And so, the dad said the the mum: "U bitch!" and the boy said
"Daddy, what's a bitch?" and the dad answered. Just then the master came
through the hall, and the girl said "By virtue of my three feathers may
there be slashing and striving between master and men," and the dark forest
cast a long shadow over our heads. A preacher came to the door and the boy
said "Hey, bitch, the shit's on the table and Mom and Dad are fucking." I
hesitated, and the boy said "You needn't waver." I began to walk toward the
forest, thinking: How could shit mean food, and fuck mean getting dressed?
ALAN SONDHEIM: [Reflecting] Shortly afterwards, her classmates noticed the
note on her back and the girl said she discovered a needle puncture on her
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: And she said "I am seeking Paul, for I was saved from
the fire." And the boy said "Come, I'll take you to him, for he has been
mourning for you."
GWYN McVAY: His father and mother saw the same donkey at the same situation
(his dick is very long) and the boy said to his mother "Hey, Mom. Look at
this donkey it is measured," and the girl said "Oh gosh, it is." They played
some more and the boy said "My daddy can beat up your daddy!" The girl said
"He can not!"
ALAN SONDHEIM: His parents ask, "WHAT HAPPENED?? WHAT HAPPENED??" And the
boy said "I tried to put my car in a girl's garage and she ripped the back
ANTHONY ROBINSON: Her two tiger brothers went away, and the girl said with a
sigh, "Do not be afraid of me. I am not a woman, but a tiger. You have loved
me deeply and...."
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: The mother asked her why she was saying that and the
girl said that she could see a tunnel with a big light at the end....
GWYN McVAY: ...until the bus driver stopped the bus and screamed "If your
dad was gay and your mum was a prostitute what would you be" at the boy, and
the boy said "A bus driver."
DAVID BARATIER: His dad asked him if he had learned a lesson about fire, and
the boy said "Yeah Dad, you don't play with fire 'cause things can blow up
in your face and burn branches and leaves in his arms. And the man asked the
boy what he was doing and the boy said that he was going to make a fire so
that he could cook dinner.
ALAN SONDHEIM: I had shown them my dental floss, "the Cadillac of dental
floss," and the boy said proudly "This is the Cadillac of beds!"
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: So then the father started spanking the boy. And the
boy said "I told the truth like President Washington, so why are you
DAVID BARATIER: [A kola fruit has fallen from the tree] And the tree said
"Girl, help me shake my fruit. My branches are breaking, it is so heavy."
And the girl said "Of course I will, you poor tree." So she shook the fruit
ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS: One day the boy came to visit the tree and the tree was
happy and she said "Come play with me boy" and the boy said "No I don't want
to play I want money."
DAVID BARATIER: The boy grew older and became unhappy. The tree asked him
what would make him happy and the boy said "Money." The tree told the boy to
take his fruit ... breakfast? and the boy said "No, I'm tired and drunk and
besides the sun's coming out and we should all probably get to sleep before
it gets too hot to do so...."
GWYN McVAY: The breezes of summer flew away to spark the colors of fall, the
storyteller asked the girl if she would be the storyteller next year, and
the girl said "Yes." The next day the girl walked down the street. Then she
heard a sloppy noise. It was the snowman and the girl said "Shhhh. Be quiet.
I am a reader. I must finish reading my book."
END ACT THREE
OLD NORSE FOR BEGINNERS
a play in one act
by Patrick Herron
ACT FOUR: OPERATION DEFENDING JUSTICE
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Thank you all for coming to my talk today. I want to
discuss with you here today the etiology of a pathology which should be
obsequied with sensitivity. Apologies for the Jesse Jackson impression. To
begin. Borderline Personality Disorder. Yes. Borderline Personality
Disorder is primarily marked by the peculiarity of the sufferer's personal
relationships. Relationships with others are intense but stormy and
unstable with marked shifts of feelings and difficulties in maintaining
intimate, close connections.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Excuse me, Kasey. I hereby give you permission to
describe my character in this act but only in the acts that mention Kasey.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Clear as God's own word. Right. The borderline sufferer
may manipulate others and often has difficulty with trusting others.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: As for you, Kasey, I've never been the least bit
suspicious of you. I must say you did make a complete fool of yourself in
your play--pretending to know anything about Old Norse. Old Norse doesn't
exist even though you might try to speak it here.
GOD (voice from afar, with a British accent): It's the dreck inside the
manifesto we get to hear about: the Pictionary drills and asymptotic
criss-cross frangibilities....Is it safe for an office guy like me to get
warned about, sooner than late? But no, the chemical banks fuck this other
poet through and through.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Thanks for the stunning example of Old Norse, God.
Consider yourself corrected, K. Silem. As I was saying, with borderline
personality disorder there is also emotional instability with marked and
frequent shifts to an empty lonely depression or to irritability and
anxiety. There may be unpredictable and impulsive behavior which might
include jaywalking, character sketches, playwriting, sending backchannel
e-mails erasing the existence of characters in plays or even physically
self-damaging actions such as running from crop dusters, eating toenails, or
riding on escalators backwards.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: Alright, that's it! I must now demonstrate my expertise
on borderline personality disorder since you don't seem to know much about
it, obviously. If it hurts your feelings for me to say that too, then maybe
you are taking it too personally. It IS nothing personal; just a
professional observation. You might not know much about professional
observations; but that's OK because after all, you're not me. I am trained
with diagnoses, vanishing languages, card tricks, and even disappearing
acts. You might call me a reluctant magician. That is, I don't want the
girl in the box to disappear when I pull away the sheet before that live
audience, but then, I'm so good at it I can't help it. I could teach you a
thing or two but, well, you're too busy listening to God.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Right, right. Thanks for the endorsement. The borderline
personality may show inappropriate and intense anger or rage with temper
tantrums, constant brooding and resentment, feelings of deprivation, and a
loss of control or fear of loss of control over angry feelings. And again,
thanks for illustrating.
GOD: It makes perfect sense, but it's not explicable. It makes some real
good sense. It's your sixth vaccination this week
a testament to your sanity, or your sane appearance brattily seated with
your head to the war.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: I had no way of knowing that you, God, speak Old
Norwegian as well as Old Norse. I suspect you and Kasey are both trying to
make some example out of me. Forget allegory--this is the age of
nominalism. I'm too specific for your categories or machinations. Old
Norse is a language you've fraudulently invented, God, while not only dining
out on your fake author-suffering but also crop-dusting three other acts.
In my opinion you are nothing more or less than a crop-duster (if one
without much flying skill, thank God), and a fake, a fraud, a vicious liar
and a playwright to boot.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Very good, K. Silem. You've led me to my next point.
There are also identity disturbances with confusion and uncertainty about
self-identity, sexuality, life goals and values, career choices,
friendships, narrative structures. There is a deep-seated feeling that one
is flawed, defective, damaged or bad in some way, with a tendency to go to
extremes in thinking, feeling, and writing.
GOD: You and I implant the dead signals take our chances in immense
jackboot resemblances in the hoot 'n' holler at the twelve o'clock.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: You are threatening to embarrass me. God's paraphrase
of the first three acts was accurate enough, but that's just where the
problem lies if you repeat (and publicize)--innocently of course--the one
thing He got wrong. What struck me about your response to "What Was Old
Norse?" was your focus on God's example rather than His argument. This is
hilarious to someone with my degree. The "Old Norse Playwright." No
offense, Kasey, but I just about fell over laughing when I got to "Old Norse
Playwright." I'm not saying you're ignorant--I'm only insinuating it so
your feelings don't matter. God's not speaking in Old Norse, silly. It's
the NEW aesthetic!
KASEY MOHAMMAD: See what I mean, folks? Even in less severe instances,
there is often significant disruption of relationships and work performance.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: I would have thought Kasey above such lunatic stuff.
It's "Kasey" to my disciples but "K. Silem" to my audience. Students are
the sort that relate well to people like Kasey Kasem, you know, the latest
and greatest top 40 with a friendly face. This is a state school after all.
But to the leather-bound poets society, only an aged patina will suffice for
peddling books. That's why I'm really K. Silem and you're just aping
GOD: And I’m the immaculate, have been watching your doorstep.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Right, right! You speak Old Icelandic as well! Right on
God! OK, back to my character sketch. Lost my page...ahh yes, here it is.
(Clears his throat.) Note that with the borderline personality, something
which is all good one day can be all bad the next, which is related to
another symptom: borderlines have problems with object constancy in
people -- they read each action of people in their lives as if there were no
prior context; they don't have a sense of continuity and consistency about
people and things in their lives.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: It's you who've misunderstood me, Kasey. You've blown
way out of proportion my irritation with your preachy response to a
lighthearted play that I doubt anyone took seriously. Not me. Don't try
and turn it around on me. Besides, a theory of imagined languages will get
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Borderlines are distinguished from neurotics by the
presence of "primitive defenses." Chief among these is splitting, in which a
person or thing is seen as all good or all bad. That distinction may
alternate from moment to moment and may prove confusing or even hurtful to
those in relationships with the borderline personality. That is, the
borderline can play good cop and bad cop all at once without any ability to
admit the existence of such behavior.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: I do apologize for causing you any distress, though, and
I will just leave your play. When you look for a character, don't come to
ask me. Write me out of it. And if I'm the sort of character you consider
confusing, then you'll have the kind of play you want once I'm written out
of it. I doubt it will look any more appealing in daylight now that Kasey's
taken over. I am so sorry and I'll never bother you again. Pal.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: Again, a fine example. As I was saying, other primitive
defenses cited include magical thinking, that is to say, beliefs that
thoughts can cause events, omnipotence, projection of unpleasant
characteristics in the self onto others and projective identification, a
process where the borderline tries to elicit in others the feelings he or
she is having.
K. SILEM MOHAMMAD: I never once struck back at you, Kasey. Kasey, are you
listening? I recommend that you suspend yourself for calling yourself "K.
Silem Mohammad." I mean, let's keep who's who straight around here. Whose
play is it anyway? You, Kasey, have a responsibility to this play as an
author of the characters you have portrayed. You cannot just allow other
characters to waltz in and attack those who are in bondage.
GOD: I've all means to depict as you stood, dramatic in curious
temperament: I've a neat angle in the sibling queen's tapestry based on your
sauciness, and take careful mementos by rote from the heels of a thought you
murmured: "the little love god" fresh from your oracle as clearly anointed
by pure mind, imprinted on sweet captions that pass from temple to
interesting mandible: please, trace presents and sayings of consequence on
occasion to be merry.
KASEY MOHAMMAD: There's always THAT! Well said, God. Where were we? Oh,
right. As I was saying. This diagnosis was delivered in humorous
friendship. Cumulative character judgments are nearly impossible for the
person suffering from borderline personality disorder. Every person is
understood only by the perceived measure of his or her last action with the
sufferer. Another consequence is that if you laugh about it, the sufferer
will condemn you as callous and thus deny the joke's context, and, if you
lament it and try to help, the sufferer will laugh at you and deny that the
context is sad. Borderline Personality Disorder is a language that exists.
Plays exist. God exists. Even I exist. Old Norse exists. This play is
the very proof. It is its own justice.
GOD: If I cannot be who I am in a group, the present defines another, and
the future ... the future is what there is not here. I need it. I cannot be
who I am without it. I...forget it. Look, can we just change this awful
subject? Oh, right, I'm God. OK, it's hereby changed. I have a question
for you guys--read any good Jewel poems lately? Here's a great one: "I am
not from here, my hair smells of the wind and is full of constellations, and
I move about this world with a healthy disbelief. And I approach my days
and my work with vaporous consequence a touch that is translucent, but can
violate stone." Ahh. Hear that? Her metaphor for living is: when her
hair's on fire she tries to fuck bricks with steamy farts. Now *that's*
PATRICK: Sorry, you can't talk about that here, God. And let me evade the
point that it's certainly not *your* act to go around and change things.
Think you can take liberties with deus ex machina around here? Well, OK,
you *can*, but then I'm going to have to ask you to leave the play for a
short time. We don't want these fires to get out of control, unless, of
course, it's my match that's lighting it. Rules are rules you know, and
rulers are seldom more fun than measuring sticks. I mean, I know who I am,
or at least, I know that I don't know who I am, at least when I'm eating
rice or looking into mirrors, if you know what I mean. If you don't, well,
that's OK, I don't know what I'm talking about anyway. It's my play now and
that's all that matters. Nyah nyah. You violator you! I've a broken
ankle, burned palm, and now a burst eardrum, all objective correlatives for
the sturdiness of my judgment. Talk about you screwing masonry with
flatulence when dancing the Michael Jackson!
GOD: Sure, sure. Maybe you should talk with Kasey. I think from the likes
of his talk today, he'll understand you. Don't worry about the play. Just
ease up on your pure-minded oracle saintly psychopathology and check out
this play I've been writing.
END ACT FOUR