Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poe's Crow

I while ago I left a comment on Odock in which I quoted a story punchline that included the word "absinthe". Carol Anne of Five O'Clock Somewhere is curious to know the story behind the line. So....

Edgar Allen Poe had fallen asleep while writing at his desk around midnight and was awakened by a rapping at his door. He thought the blasted raven had returned, but when he opened the door he found instead a crow.


The crow was injured and as there was a blizzard howling, shivering with cold. He brought the bird in, tended to its injuries and placed it on his hearth to be warmed by the fire.

Days passed and Poe fed and cared for the bird which never showed any desire to leave. Indeed, it seemed to like to sit perched on the hearth and watch as Poe wrote at his desk.

Then one night, Poe was drinking absinthe - that green wormwood and herb liqueur that may have induced some of Poe's more bizarre flights of fancy. He went over to the hearth to pet the crow and absentmindedly left his glass there. The crow, thinking it was being offered to him, drank the absinthe. Immediately a change came over the bird. His feathers transformed into scales and his wings and feet into fins! His body became flat and he flopped onto the floor, his eyes slowly moving on his face until they both stared up from the same side of his head!

Poe was shocked with disbelief. He thought that his own drinking of absinthe had caused him to hallucinate the whole incident and threw the bottle into the fire. But then a smile came to his lips as he remembered that old aphorism...


"Absinthe makes the hearth-crow flounder."

15 comments:

bonnie said...

oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. That's even better than my favorite kayak joke (also the only kayak joke I've ever heard, I don't know why kayaks seem to be so inherently not funny).

Also reminscent of the chess convention at the fancy hotel...

Pandabonium said...

Oh yes. those are good ones. Martin just told me the latter one last month.

I guess I got started liking puns as a kid by watching the "Fractured Fairy Tales" feature of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

Baydog said...

But-a-Bom!

PB: Wassamatta U? I wish you could hear me now. I do a great Bullwinkle. Tell me if you watched the honeymooners when you were little, or big for that matter. I've got a classic for you. Something to do with the Knights of the round table.

To leave that drink in front of the crow was very absinthe-minded.
His Sole purpose of doing so was purely for the Halibut. It was no fluke, I can assure you.

Pandabonium said...

Baydog - fanmail from some flounder?

You're to young to remember the Honeymooners! Yes, I watched it when I was real little. I remember Art Carny (he was a great actor) talking about "taking the plunge" as they say in the sewer dept.

I knew this post would unleash the punsters. :) Bring on the Knights...

O Docker said...

Thanks for this, Panda.

Finally, I understand why the raven kept saying "Nevermore".

Pandabonium said...

O Docker - can't help myself.

Well, you know, the raven had been sipping some "Old Crow"...

Don Snabulus said...

I tip my cup of koala tea to you.

Pandabonium said...

Don - mercy!

Baydog said...

Don, I may be onto something here....Has anyone told you that your last name rhymes with fantastic?

Arkonbey said...

Sweet! I haven't heard a new one of those in a while.

I tend to fall back on the "farmer whose horses have bird's nests in their manes", "The old man who clones himself, but his clone is vulgar" and "the scientist who tries to make dolphins live forever"

Pandabonium said...

Arkonbey - I like the dolphin story. Don't recall the first two, I'll have to track them down for a laugh. Thanks.

Don Snabulus said...

Baydog, I can honestly say that I have not. ;)

Pat said...

Now if the crow had flown off while mouthing off a rhyme, it could have been,

Crow-etry in motion!

Pandabonium said...

Pat - groan. (I like it).

Zen said...

LOL