Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A man who picks a cat up by the tail...

"... A man who picks a cat up by the tail,  gains knowledge he can get no other way."
 Garrison Keillor on  A Prairie Home Companion

The wisdom of this is irrefutable.What especially makes me laugh, is the slow burn before the truth of this reaches your brain. It sneaks up on it from behind. It's so clever, that I really can't think of anything else that would have the same impact.

A man who eats artichokes, farts all day. Doesn't really have the same ring.

Garrison has been ingenious as he has presented the cat scenario as though it were a proverb of an Eastern Religion. This not only adds weight to the ridiculous sincerity of it but creates a backdrop of calm, against which we may imagine the cat teaching the man his lesson. I have a cartoon cat in my mind. Possibly Hobbes. Now, THERE is the master of comic philosophy. 

In having to deal with people who may or may not be childish big fat bullies that are irrevocably tied to your family through no fault of your own after accidentally  having 3 children to them*, it is best to practise tolerance and understanding and so I have been attempting to makes sense of things the Garrsion Keillor way. F'r instance:

You cannot blame a tiger for chewing your fucking head off.  He is after all, a bit of a bastard 

If a lion looks like it is going to bite you, shove a donut in   

You must have some experiential words of wisdom for me. Make me smile while I increase my wisdom.

* All characters in this blog are fictitious. Any resemblance that there may be between the protagonists of this post and any bastards , alive or dead, are thinly veiled.


  1. I love Garrison Kellor. Even did a story with his radio show, which I try to catch now and again, in it once.

    I'd give you words of wisdom, but I know nothing...;p

  2. Yes, I can see I have suffered a setback in my efforts to be a good buddhist in this one.

    You have been IN A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION?I am feeling a bit impressed. Quick, tell me which one and I'll try to find it.x

    1. Not that lucky. I meant a story in which his show was part an integral part. Sorry for the misimpression. If you still want to see it's at;


  3. I have not come across this Garrison Kellor before but it is a very clever quote. You make me giggle because I suspect you have many things most unBuddhist to say and yet you have found a 'thinly veiled' philosophical way to address them. Chin up. And as for wisdom... I too have nothing! x

  4. I've read your blog so I know that's not true!