Quote of the Day

I am most of all concerned when I hear a man having done a gallant action in the field, is so far puffed up with it that he looks upon himself as a little deity, and that he may, in consideration of having been able to fulfill his duty in one point, dispense with all other obligations.

“I am most of all concerned when I hear a man having done a gallant action in the field, is so far puffed up with it that he looks upon himself as a little deity, and that he may, in consideration of having been able to fulfill his duty in one point, dispense with all other obligations.” — Eliza Haywood, “Effeminacy in the Army Censured,” The Female Spectator

A Perfect Match

What does it say about me when the first thing I think of is a phosphorous tipped small wooden stick?

The answer lies in how I would answer that question about someone else: a person who lives in a place where matchbooks aren’t a common thing.

I live in clues; resolving them, giving them.

The ultimate in cool was lighting a strike-anywhere match on the zipper of your jeans. It took skill to strike it without leaving the head in the zipper’s teeth. Then button-fly jeans became cool.

For paper matches it was the one-handed fold-the-match-back light. The difficulty was the short strike, which meant more pressure was needed. And, because even in a single matchbook there is a lot of variance in the match heads, regularly showing off meant walking around with a black specked callus in the middle of your right thumb.

The strike-anywheres were more expensive and harder to find. If you wanted real ones you had to look for the boy scout approved waterproof ones. Otherwise, despite what the sales clerk was affirming, you were probably just getting a wooden safety match.

Nobody could figure out how to light one cowboy-style. The consensus opinion was that they were using their chaps. Nobody knew that modern denim was softened.

Elliot Gould’s Philip Marlowe used strike-anywheres. The walls of his bedroom were missing the expected scars.