Origin and Etymology of hoity–toity: rhyming compound from English dialect hoit: “to play the fool”.

First Known Use: 1668 


Defending Eliza

I have hated her for decades. She has been a pernicious abomination on both memory and psyche. How dare she speak thusly to Elizabeth, saying she gave no regards to her family. Especially after she spoke to her with such abhorrent condescension at Rosings? The piano forte in the housekeeper’s room–indeed.  My only comfort is the violent disgust she must have felt when Elizabeth was ironically, paradoxically entrenched and celebrated as the mistress of Pemberley. Even then the missives continued, when upon the tragedy of Captain Denny’s death she wrote that she would have “been an ornament to the English bar” had she only been a man (italics mine). Only this, only that. Ad nauseam. Her petulant and verbose meanderings are better countered by the patient Elizabeth and virile Fitzwilliam than I, who would just as soon lock her in the blue bedroom with Wickham and throw away the key. Housekeeper’s room–indeed!

–Carolyn M Crane




Nobody nearby was awake to see the neighborhood idiot standing bathrobed in his driveway gaping at the night.

The Sisters saw him.  Europa’s Bull saw him.  Zeus saw him.  The Blind Hunter and Leda’s Sons saw him there.

Flags of cloud unfurled toward sunrise.  No more stars would fall.  He turned to the front door of his little house under the sky.

Just then a piece of Mr. Halley’s wanderer rocketed into the sea of air overhead.  Ice dissolved in flame.

It made him smile to think that he would breathe it in and out someday along with the breath of Jesus and da Vinci and many another fool.

–Robert Lee Haycock



Notes from a Percenter

Wichita, 11/1: Found the most delightful eatery (Michelin, five star). Visiting for the annual Ruby-Throated Chug count. (Had to make SOME use of this year’s Neiman catalogue—Alfred did indeed splurge on those binoculars.) Chug—I know the name lacks a certain je ne sais quoi as birds go—but it IS the rarest in the Americas. What a thrill to get even a glimpse, non?

Oh, the eatery. Divine. Actual Wonderbread (not some cheesy knock off). And the mayo—the jar’s lines are so reminiscent of those urns we enjoyed at the British Museum—I can’t remember which trip. As if that weren’t enough, authentic bologna. All the way from Italy. So deliciously retro.

Did I mention that we outbid a Chagall for a rare eighteenth-century Chug print at Christie’s last week? (Can’t reveal what Alfred paid, but needless to say, the auctioneer was palpably stunned.)

Ta Ta for now.

–Carolyn Waggoner


Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Cambridge Press. MA 1956.

James, P.D. Death Comes to Pemberley. Alfred A Knopf. NY 2012.

“hoity-toity”. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Encyclopedia Brittanica. Accessed 11/15/2016.

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