Spot 036: April Fools


by Cicero [translated by Etaoin Shrdlu]

No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a person who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?
We denounce with righteous indignation and dislike people who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. In a free hour, when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances, it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. Wise people always hold in these matters to this principle: reject pleasure to secure other greater pleasures, or else endure pain to avoid worse pains.

Cicero needs no introduction, and he won’t be getting one. Etaoin Shrdlu is a lynotypist who…well, you know where to look.



by mdjb channeling Lewis Carroll

‘It’s all about as curious as it can be,’ said Fanny.
‘It all came different!’ Sara complained. ‘I’d like to hear her try and repeat something now. Tell her to begin.’ She looked at Dita as if she thought she had some kind of authority over Alix.
‘Stand up and repeat “I know nothing important and never will,”‘ said Dita.
‘Oh my god,’ thought Alix, ‘She’s always trying to give orders and make us repeat lessons we were supposed to learn years ago! I might as well be back at school.’ However, she got up, and began to repeat what Dita told her, but her head was so full of the underdressed boys from the Gay Pride Parade, that she hardly knew what she was saying, and the words came very queer indeed:—
‘It’s the voice of Lady GaGa; I heard her declare, “You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.” You know that I can’t love you, ‘cause that’s how it goes. Trim your belt and your buttons, and turn out your toes. It’s just a game. Don’t call my name, Alejandro’ [later editions continued as follows When the clouds are all dark, he is gay as a lark, And will walk all night through MacArthur Park.]
‘That’s different from what I used to say when I was a girl,’ said Sara.
‘Well, I never heard it before,’ said Fanny; ‘and it sounds uncommon nonsense.’
Alix said nothing; she sat down with her face in her hands, wondering if anything would EVER happen in a natural way again.

See Authors page for mdjb’s channel.



by Paul de Denus

I’ve decided this will be the month to quit writing. The tank has been dry for a while, my stale ideas vaporizing like bad farts. I’m out of gas. I’m putting my pen down, ignoring Word for a while. April has never been a good month anyway. Or maybe I’m just fooling myself.

The weather’s crummy, rainy and my health always seems to deteriorate a bit with achy bones and stuffed sinuses and after writing the shaky check to pay my taxes the day before they’re due, well, there’s no desire to do creative writing; I did all that on my fudged return.

The thing is, I can’t put down or turn off my brain. There’s that idea about homeless people and the one about the rubber room and the one about the pond and the other piece about a birdman I haven’t quite figured out yet. They all feel promising… just not now.

Will I continue to write? Maybe. May has such a positive tone.

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.



by Sandra Davies

Babette resented every minute of her pregnancy. And she was one of those rare women who knew the moment she became pregnant, so experienced every second of those forty weeks and two days.
Not even the first three, five or seven weeks of wondering “Am I?” Nor the sense of increasing delight that usually, in a family where to-be-father and grandparents are actively desirous of such, where the house in which it will be born, nurtured and live out its life already possesses a well-equipped nursery and where there is no question of the child having to go without any material item whatsoever.
Morning sickness was moderate, ligaments could certainly have stretched further without discomfort, skin on stomach and breasts showed only the most delicate of silvery stretch-marks. Ankles did not swell nor did she suffer the unspeakable purpling pain of piles. Instead she bloomed, skin flushed and lovely, hair glossy and in the last ten weeks or so she only had to open her mouth for someone to solicitously ask “What can I get you? How can I help?”
Such a crowd attended the birth too and even before the umbilical cord was severed there was something approaching a scuffle to be the first to see, to touch, to hold this oh-so-wanted son.
But the baby lacked the necessary organs and seeing their faces (and breathing a sigh of relief) Babette said to her husband’s assembled family “Your first child, first grandchild, my daughter, is to be called April.”

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.



Illustrations if you can call them such supplied by foolonhill.


3 Comments to “Spot 036: April Fools”

  1. I’m not going to be fooled by Paul’s contribution anyway – the way he’s been writing lately he’s not going to give up …

  2. nah… I’ll be here. @Michael- I googled ‘Etaoin Shrdlu’ and see it here-clever

  3. Just having fun with this one, attempting to catch up to date. The Lorem ipsum piece is just that, the original having been written by Cicero and later translated many times, though I think not by Etaoin in actuality. I wonder if any living person has been cursed with that name!
    The Alice piece–well, I’ve done this kind of thing before. Carroll’s source material provides a rich vein to mine.
    I’m grateful to Paul for providing something that reflects true character (or the questioning thereof), in light of MudSpot’s meager attempt to provide some April Fools’ amusement.

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