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Squid #41
(published May 24, 2001)
Ask The {Sally McBootykins}: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Splendiferous and Cruel
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

I have a friend who is getting married, and she's looking for a polite way to tell her father that she doesn't want to be "given away."

Any suggestions?



I must say, despite my catholic understanding of your species, its nations and their myriad customs, I was quite shocked to hear of this strange habit of giving the bride away. I asked Tom to explain this, and he fully explicated the matter many a time, both backward and forthward, until I was certain that I lacked errors in my cogitation of this reflex

forgive, I meant action, not reflex; this action of giving the bride away.

I am singularly appalled by this habit of free bride distribution and applaud your friend— things of value are to be sold or bartered off, never to simply be given away. To give the bride away, at no charge, would both insult one's own kin-clan (implying that one of its constituents has no value) and that of the groom (as it would seem to indicate that the bride is being foisted upon his familial group, like a frumpy smallpox blanket or razor-embedded Hallow's Eve candy scraps.)

And, as I applaud Friend, I also revile and reject Father for daring to attempt to slip such a calamitous atrocity past she.

Pardon, past her. She should pay nevernomind to the anxieties of polite society and comporture, and upbraid & abrade the Father with the utmost verve and vigor, yelling upon him "I shall be sold, never given! I am chattel of no less than moderate worth! Upon my head you shall place the appropriate price, and then demand remittance!" all the while battering him about the anterior surfaces with her knobbly manos and isosceles elbows. All the while, as her screaming grows coarse with the hoarse horse, and her talons are torn away as they catch upon the Father's brass buttons and epaulettes, sweet-salt surface-scuttler tears shall career down her face, a luminous green cataract in an otherwise achromatic and dreary world of tongue-body communications . . .

And, afterall, as I've learned from your situational comedies, it is only the greatest of fools who will purchase a cow which is being given away, yes?

It also would seem, to one as great as I and me, that the groom . . . he should groom the bride, no? With a currying brush and the appropriate soaps, solvents and hygienic aids, that shampoos and conditions in one? The snakes and helpers? And it is to him, despite the price paid, it is to him the responsibility of getting a bridal for the bride, and a halter, and a halter-top, and he should ride gentle, and milk often, and never dress her— or force her to dress her— in the strange and discomfortable garments, the stiletto-heels and hobble skirts and pasties and gartered-belts of garter snakes, no matter how sexually, or to what degree it grants him the would.

Perhaps now it seems, to me, it seems to me that I am constructing, crafting, a great magilah or marriage advice, to advise one on the best of marriages . . . it is a new Kama Sutra, Kama Squidtra . . . and it is strange, that one as alonesome as I should be the one to pound out such a guide, that I should know so much while I feel so very little.

And I am also reminded of the cigarette lighters— you know, the smallish species? Those that sing the horrible songs of loss and despair?— and how they are said to mate for life, but do not truly do so; they rather flit from mate to mate in a most shameful manner, like cuttlefish . . . low like cuttlefish . . .

I cannot recall . . . What was the question?

Ah, yes, the give-away. Do not, Al, give it away give it away give it away now. Do not permit the cat to leave the cat-sack, and do not permit yourself to die unto the give-away, dead giveaway, not should one get-away.

If they can avoid it, that is.

I meant to permit, do not to permit to get-away in their tremendous get-a-way vehicles, the escape podules and miniature submarines deep beneath the foundations of their tremendous, shimmering maisons. To get a way in the getaway, gateway— SafeWay, safe-away. Safe. Away.

I . . .

The water is warm today, Al. Warm and terribly





I am become. You will see. You shall see, soon enough. Big. You shall all see the big that I am become.


Marriage is a sacred and deeply held tradition of the Christian people of this land. The giving away of the Bride by the Father of the Bride to the Groom of the Bride is a long held and cared for tradition. Originally, for the pasty northerners who hale from that somber and wonderful land above the sickly flowing Rhine, there was this tradition as it grew. It came about due to the fact that, in the cold windy snowscape, families clustered together in small tribes of blood relations. When tribes came into contact, it was a cause for consternation and conflict because, amongst the icy mountains and rocky coasts, there was a desperate lack of resources. War was common. A struggle for food and land and sacred space. Secretly, also, in the background, a genetic war was being waged. The peace of both came by one way: The Peaceweavers. These were the free young girls of the tribe. They could not be married within the tribe for fear of incestuous degradation. And so, to bring the fighting to an end and to forward the cause of procreation within a larger genetic pool, brides were exchanged. Father bequeathed daughter. Brides were given away.

They traded their women, creating a bond of blood and of resources. Feuds were resolved and political alliances formed in this manner. And such is the origin of this fine, long standing tradition.

A creation of the Vikings, as it were.

And who could hope to find a better model for life and civility then the Vikings?

Not I, Pollyanna. Not I.


The northern starscape is close and cold.

Close and cold.

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