Archive for July, 2009


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Here’s the titlecard from Lester and Stubbs 1963 cartoon short “Hot Tub Hooligans”. Also, another color version of Lester Bester, The World’s Greatest Entertainer:


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Wittgenstein’s Waffle

“In a surprisingly short time I received a letter from New Zealand asking if it was true that Wittgenstein and I had come to blows, both armed with pokers.”- Edward Popper, recollecting a ten minute altercation between he and Ludwig Wittgenstein on Friday, October 25, 1946 at the Cambridge Moral Science Club, King’s College, Cambridge, England


Ludwig Wittgenstein: It was a delicious waffle. My man-servant Alfred makes these amazing Belgian waffles, the best I’ve ever tasted: slightly crispy on the outside, nice and soft inside, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and topped with fresh blueberries and vanilla whipping cream. I have them all the time. Even for lunch and dinner. I was having one for afternoon tea in the dinning hall the day that Karl Popper was visiting Cambridge. He was eyeing it the entire time I was eating. He made the comment that “it looked delicious” and “what a novel idea, eating a waffle for tea”. I nodded and continued eating my waffle, ignoring Popper who was now leaning towards me, his nostrils expanding and contracting rapidly, like a dog sniffing a treat. “You know, that is a rather large waffle, Wittgenstein. Two people could easily, well, you know…” The nerve! Popper wasn’t even trying to be subtle about his desire to consume my waffle! Just because he was a visiting scholar he thought that he was owed some sort of consideration. So I turned my back to him, and left the dinning hall as quickly as I could. 

Karl Popper: Arrogant bastard! He ate the waffle right in front of me! He didn’t even have the decency to offer me a bite. I’m sure he’s heard of my affinity for waffles―it’s legendary. I’ve even written a dammed book about the philosophical problems that arise from the consumption of waffles in an immoral universe!

Wittgenstein: I don’t care if he was some hoity-toity visiting professor! You just don’t physically demand one’s waffle! So I took my delectable delicacy and fled to room 3H where I thought I would be able to finish it in peace. However, he was right on my heels! Before I knew it, Popper had retrieved a red-hot poker from the fireplace and was brandishing it like a weapon, demanding that I hand over the waffle or that he would burn me like the cow I was! Maybe that’s the way they do things in New Zealand, but not in Britain!

Popper: Then the dammed fool takes a poker from the fire, pointing it at me like someone possessed while he horded his delicious waffle. He kept screaming at me that there were no philosophical problems surrounding the consumption of waffles, merely puzzles relating how much syrup must be added to enhance the flavor! He was insane I tell you! You can read all about it in my autobiography, Unended Quest for the Perfect Waffle. It became a rather nasty obsession of mine, as one might tell from the title. 

Bertrand Russell, well-known philosopher and fan of Popper: They were on either ends of the room, both with hot pokers in hand, Ludwig with his waffle, and Karl eyeing it from a far. By this time a crowd of onlookers had formed in the doorway. At one point during the row I yelled out, “What about a moral rule? A code of ethics?” Then someone from behind me shouted, “Stuff it, wuss!” Really! I would expect such language at Yale, but Cambridge?

Alfred, Ludwig’s man-servant: Of course I was flattered that these two gentlemen would go to such lengths to fight over one of my Belgian waffles. My wife Margaret hardly bats an eye anymore when I serve her one. Then I suggested settling the matter with pistols at twenty paces. I do love a good bloodbath!

Harold Smitch, philosophy student: So we all moved out to the courtyard. By this time the number of people watching the incident had grown by the dozens. Wittgenstein was one of my professors at the time and I was failing his class, so, of course I was pulling for Popper to blow his head off.

Maria Von Trap, shrill ex-nun: It was horrible! They kept missing each other. I mean completely. It was if they had no training with weapons whatsoever. Then out came the machine guns! They were acting just like those horrible Nazis! I took out my guitar and tried to lead the crowd in a rendition of “My Favorite Things” but it was useless. How does one solve a problem like this?

Keith Moon, drummer for The Who: It was f@#king unbelievable, man! Guns were blazing; the crowd was going f@#king wild! I took out me drum kit from the tour bus and smashed it to little bits just soes I wouldn’t be left out of the fun!

Genghis Khan, barbarian: I’ve never seen such destruction, and I should know. I’m Genghis Freakin’ Khan! They went from machine guns to cannons in no time at all. Popper destroyed a couple of statues and Wittgenstein one of the dormitories. If only I had one of those cannons at my disposal, the Great Wall wouldn’t have been such as pain in the ass to deal with.

Mummenschanz, mime theater group: (miming Wittgenstein and Popper planting sticks of dynamite and then detonating them)

Sherlock Holmes, famous detective: Then they both boarded tanks. They started at either end of the football field then began driving towards one another, firing madly away all the while. There was no mystery what would happen next. It was elementary.

Honore de Balzac, French writer: I did not care for either of these two, they are both pompous, arrogant windbags who couldn’t hit the side of the Eiffel Tower. And by the way, you British cretins, it’s pronounced Balzac not ball sack!

Albert Einstein, wacky scientist: The power to split the atom is nothing to be taken lightly, but Wittesengstien and Popper seem to love flirting with disaster. Eventually they launched a couple of atom bombs at each other and that was that. Of course, in the process, they leveled all of Cambridge and most of England. It would have all been for nothing I suppose, had I not discovered a half-eaten Belgian waffle near ground zero. It was because of that waffle that I decided right then and there to abandon my endless pursuit of physics and open up my own waffle shop on 3rd and Amsterdam in Princeton, New Jersey! My stars that waffle was scrumptious!

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