Page And Line Challenge

A Friendly Wager

Robert Graves’  ‘I, Claudius’.  Page 228, line 19:

Hermann and Flavius were the oldest of friends but they also had the weirdest of relationships.  Hermann was taking both German and Latin in school.  He was getting good grades in German, and was also quite fluent in it, as well as enchanted with it.  Never fond of Latin, though, he was doing rather poorly in that class.

Hermann desperately needed a car, and was about a thousand dollars short of the full price of the one he really wanted.  His friend tried to make a deal with him.  “Speak only Latin for one full month,” he promised solemnly, “and you’ve got the money.”


Dumbfounded and scared, Hermann didn’t know what to think. *Hermann began talking German but Flavius said that unless he talked Latin the conversation was at an end.

Eventually Hermann gave in, knowing only too well that it was his only hope.   Day and night he did everything possible to bluff his way through it all, feeling like a character out of an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ or ‘The Twilight Zone’, stuck in a world he could neither understand nor control.  He quite desperately wanted to give up, and very often veered so close to a slip of the tongue. 



Inevitably the full thirty one days had finally past.   Hermann had somehow gotten through it all, and Flavius, a gentleman and true to his word, was quite willing happily to concede defeat.  He gave Hermann the thousand dollars. 



The very first thing Hermann did when he got the car was to take Flavius on an unusually long ride, through four counties, playing Oktoberfest music all throughout the trip.



I’ve grown quite fond of The Haunted Wordsmith’s Page And Line Challenge . I’ve chosen Robert Graves’  ‘I, Claudius’.  Page 228, line 19.  The sentence immediately following the askterisk is the line.  As I said when first I responded to this prompt, it’s an excuse to take advantage of my interest in  classic western literature.


Happy Song, Sad Occasion

Leo and Sylvia have always been quite square and stuffy, but they’ve also been quite happy and agreeable about anything their less conventional friends, Gunther and Lucille would ask them to do. 



One night, the colorful couple invited the reserved couple to see a hypnotist’s show at the local public school. 



All went well at first until the Great Albondigas invited Leo and Sylvia onto the stage so they could participate. 



They both carry harmonicas with them wherever they go, so he took advantage of this.  He told them, as a post~hypnotic suggestion, that they would play ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ on their harmonicas everytime they heard anyone say ‘His Sire was from Castile, his Dam from Aragon’.



Because of its having been such an undeniably obscure phrase, he didn’t even bother to snap them out of it before they left.


A couple of days later, the couples, along with their friends,  Francis and Hildegarde, went to a funeral for a neighbor.  Hildegarde, a somewhat neurotic English professor, was constantly mulling over her notes for the class she was to teach the next day.



At the very beginning of the funeral, Hildegarde spontaneously blurted out, ‘His Sire was from Castile, his Dam from Aragon’.  



To put it as mildly as possible, their neighbor had quite a distinctive processional song at his funeral.  



Here is my very first ever effort for Page And Line Challenge.  I have always been a compulsive bookworm, and I have a bottomless pit of literature credits among my transcripts, so I picked Line 4, from Canto XXXVIII, of George Gordon Lord Byron’s classic poem, “Don Juan”.   In my copy of a collection of Byron’s poetry, it’s on page 195.