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27 May 2010

slightly prettied stamp from the All-Women Planet Mollyringwald / Men are pigs / Seduced & Abandoned / haunted / drinking turpentine

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The Zeta Beam is working again! So I hastily packed my backpack, made my rendezvous with the ZB at the Laundry Club (the most fun it's possible to have doing your laundry), and once again I am in my holiday time-share in Ciudad Vleeptron, around the corner from the Shoe Mirrors Underway station.
Awaiting me in my mailbox, by accident, or by some forbidden criminal act, was a piece of mail from the All-Women Planet Mollyringwald, with a slightly prettier stamp based on the 18th-century barracks ballad "Miss Bailey's Ghost, or The Unfortunate Miss Bailey," who was seduced and abandoned by the wicked English Army officer Captain Smith, serving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
On Mollyringwald this is not considered a funny or a vulgar song, but rather a Cautionary Tale of the vile proclivities of nasty men. Vleeptron's xenoastroanthropologists believe that the women of Mollyringwald sing "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey" at their religious ceremonies.
I don't know who sent me the stamp. It was on an envelope with just this note:
I like Halifax a lot. I particularly love the Halliburton House Inn, a small, intimate hotel, with a delicious gourmet restaurant, just a few blocks from the Harbor remarkable as the site of the world's biggest man-made explosion before the invention of the atomic bomb. Two ships collided, and the one packed with high explosives on its way to World War One in France caught fire, and within an hour exploded, devastating Halifax. A blizzard followed, killing more people than the blast.
Do ghosts exist? Do they haunt us? Here is a perfectly convincing story of what happens when a military officer and gentleman uses a maiden ungenteely, and how she extracts her Revenge Beyond the Grave -- which, in this case, was in unconsecrated ground, Miss Bailey having hanged herself one morning in her garters.
Let's face it: Men are pigs. Look at John Edwards and Mark Souder. Look at that Mark Sanford guy in South Carolina who hiked the Appalachian Trail all the way to Buenos Aires.
Military gentlemen have been getting drunk and singing this bawdy song for centuries. I like to sing it myself when I'm driving to town. I have a rather competent, even pleasing voice, but it is best suited to slightly comical or perverse songs. In amateur and college theater, I used to get the 2nd comedic lead (with a solo) because I'm loud -- a great musical virtue when there's no electronic amplification. Boys with much lovelier voices who couldn't be heard beyond the fifth row would not get these roles.
"Avaunt!" is an antiquated word which means: Begone! Go Away!
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A Captain bold in Halifax
Who dwelt in country quarters
Seduced a maid who hanged herself
One morning in her garters
His wicked conscience smited him
He lost his stomach daily
He took to drinking turpentine
And thought upon Miss Bailey.
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
One night, betimes he went to bed
For he had caught a fever
Said he, "I am a handsome man
And I'm a gay deceiver."
His candle just at twelve o'clock
Began to burn quite palely
A ghost stepped up to his bedside
And said, "Behold Miss Bailey!"
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
"Avaunt, Miss Bailey!" then he cried,
"You cannot fright me really."
"Dear Captain Smith," the ghost replied,
"You've used me ungenteely!
The Coroner's quest was hard with me
Because I've acted frailly
And parson Biggs won't bury me
Though I'm a dead Miss Bailey."
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
"Dear Ma'am," said he, "since you and I
Accounts must once for all close,
I have a one pound note within
my Regimental small clothes
'Twill bribe the Sexton for your grave."
The ghost then vanished gaily,
Crying, "Bless you wicked Captain Smith!
Remember poor Miss Bailey!"
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!
Oh, Miss Bailey, unfortunate Miss Bailey!

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