Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

The two Flann O’Brien dialogues that Pádraig Ó Méalóid and I performed at our Worldcon panel.

The Catechism of Cliché:

What is a bad thing worse than?
What can one do with fierce resistance?
Offer it.
But if one puts fierce resistance, in what direction does one put it?
In which hood is a person who expects money to fall out of the sky?
Second child.
If a thing is fraught, with what is it fraught?
The gravest consequences.
What does one sometimes have it on?
The most unimpeachable authority.
What is the only thing one can wax?
How are allegations dealt with?
They are denied.
Yes, but then you are weakening, Sir. Come now, how are they denied?
What is the behaviour of a heated altercation?
It follows.
What happens to order?
It is restored.
Alternatively, in what does the meeting break up?
What does the meeting do in disorder?
Breaks up.
In what direction does the meeting break in disorder?
In what direction should I shut?

The Atomic Theory:

“The behavior of a bicycle that has a high content of humanity,” he said, “is very cunning and entirely remarkable. You never see them moving by themselves, but you meet them in the least accountable places unexpectedly. Did you never see a bicycle leaning against the dresser of a warm kitchen when it is pouring outside?”
“I did.”
“Not very far away from the fire?”
“Near enough to the family to hear the conversation?”
“Not a thousand miles from where they keep the eatables?”
“I did not notice that. You do not mean to say that these bicycles eat food?”
“They were never seen doing it—nobody ever caught them with a mouthful of steak. All I know is that the food disappears.”
“It is not the first time I have noticed crumbs at the front wheels of some of these gentlemen.”
“All this is a great blow to me,” I said. “How would you know a man has a lot of bicycle in his veins?”
“If his number is over fifty, you can tell it unmistakable from his walk. He will walk smartly always and never sit down, and he will lean against the wall with his elbow out and stay like that all night in his kitchen instead of going to bed. If he walks too slowly or stops in the middle of the road, he will fall down in a heap and will have to be lifted and set in motion again by some extraneous party. This is the unfortunate state that the postman has cycled himself into, and I do not think he will ever cycle himself out of it.”
“I do not think I will ever ride a bicycle,” I said.
Tags: writer: flann o'brien

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