Uncle Garabed’s Notebook (Nov. 21, 2009)

Pretty Strong Words
Compulsion in religion is distinguished peculiarly from compulsion in every other thing. I may grow rich by an art that I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment; but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor.
Thomas Jefferson
 
No Foolin’
Alphonsus, King of Naples, had a court fool whose custom it was to enter all the stupidities committed by his superiors in a large notebook. One day, the king entrusted a huge sum of money to a Moor in his employ with which to travel in Arabia and buy horses. The fool jotted this incident down in his book. Idly thumbing its pages shortly after, the king discovered the entry and called the jester to his presence to explain. “Well, sire,” began the fool, “it was monstrously silly of you to give a man so much currency—you’ll never see it again.” “And if he does come back?” asked the monarch. “Then I’ll cross out your name in my record and put his there instead, as having committed the stupidity.”
 
Backfire
President John F. Kennedy had invited a group of business leaders to the White House to demonstrate his bullishness on the American economy. He stated, “Why, if I weren’t president, I’d buy stock myself.” One outspoken executive replied, “If you weren’t president, so would I.”
 
From the Word Lab
Erythematotelangiectatic is a subtype of Rosacea.
 
Dramatic Change
Edo: Has your psychiatric treatment helped any?
Bedo: I should say so. Two years ago when the phone rang, I wouldn’t answer it… Today I answer it whether it rings or not.
 
What’s in a Name?
Kaytanjian: Turkish in derivation, identified as a trade, kaytanji is a maker/seller of cotton or silk cords, braids.

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CK Garabed

Weekly Columnist
C.K. Garabed (a.k.a. Charles Kasbarian) has been active in the Armenian Church and Armenian community organizations all his life. As a writer and editor, he has been a keen observer of, and outspoken commentator on, political and social matters affecting Armenian Americans. He has been a regular contributor to the Armenian Reporter and the AGBU Literary Quarterly, “ARARAT.” For the last 30 years, Garabed has been a regular contributor to the Armenian Weekly. He produces a weekly column called “Uncle Garabed's Notebook,” in which he presents an assortment of tales, anecdotes, poems, riddles, and trivia; for the past 10 years, each column has contained a deconstruction of an Armenian surname. He believes his greatest accomplishment in life, and his contribution to the Armenian nation, has been the espousing of Aghavni, and the begetting of Antranig and Lucine.
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