Ode On a Virginian Urn: “Comment Awaiting Moderation”


Dearest Barbara,

My HEAVENS! Those dower cast-iron urns of yours sure did start to smile when you got to work, didn’t they! Why, I don’t think John Keats himself would have the words to aptly describe their magnificence! Good show, my girl!

Incidentally, have you met my neighbor, Mr. Keats? Perhaps his wife Anne? Now that they’re in their golden years, they do enjoy a calm stroll most evenings, and often pass by your homestead! While I will confess to hearing Mr. Keats postulate that your acreage would produce a “better yield” if it were “plowed rather than pruned,” I still count him among your admirers.

“It’s all well and good to grow handsome flowers,” he said in that deep, booming voice of his, “but they’re no substitute for hearty potatoes or a paddock full of mutton when there’s a harsh winter coming on!”

Just between us, Anne secretly wanted to attend the Garden Club Luncheon ever so badly, but Mr. Keats explained to her that to impose would be “bad form indeed!”

“Besides!” he chuffed, “What’s she going to serve for brunch? TULIPS?!”

Oh, drat! I must be off, Barbara. My dear husband James is at work on his “Book of Play,” or whatever he calls it, and is talking loudly to himself in the study. Whenever he does this, it never ceases to wake the children, and Lord knows they need their sleep after watching our youngest, Timothy, expire of the Consumption just last night.

Be well, dear!

– Elizabeth Ash

"Timothy's Final Procession"

“Timothy’s Final Procession”

Dearest Elizabeth,

Well, I am flattered that you could pull yourself away from your so recently deceased Timothy to comment on my urns. Tulips were not on the menu for the luncheon -although pansies were considered – so you and your dear friend, Anne, should have just popped by. We had champagne. Lots of champagne which would have made it all so much more endurable for you, I’m sure.

Fondest Regards,

– Barbara


“Merriment in the Garden”

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Bah-bah-bah, Bah-Barbara-Anne! Huh-huh.

Hey! It’s James now, of The Offensive Playbook.

Frankly, I think Elizabeth and Anne are a couple of meddlesome hens. How hard is it to give me a healthy son and take care of him so that he lives past the age of five? Like, get it TOGETHER, Beth! Jesus Christ.

I’m sure she and Anne WOULD be happy to learn of your open door policy on luncheons, as they ARE total freeloaders, but the fact is, I won’t even make eye contact with Anne Keats, never mind talk to her(.) And Beth? Just locked her in the root cellar as punishment.

I caught her using my computer (which I’ve expressly forbidden) to check out that stupid Pinterest site. It must have been just after she commented using MY username!

Anyway, the cellar is stone-lined, hella-deep and hella-dark, so even if we had neighbours within earshot, I doubt they’d hear her pitiful screams.

I just yelled down to her: “You’ll know better NEXT TIME wontcha Beth!?” Ha ha!

I think I can hear her sobbing. Sheesh. The only baby that seems to stay alive in this house is that one.

Anyways, keep on rockin’

PS – Keep that terrier off my property. I’m not saying I’M going to shoot it the next it digs under my fence, but I’m saying SOMEONE might.

"Fair Elizabeth Reflects on her Misdeeds"

“Fair Elizabeth Reflects on her Misdeeds”




  1. Haha! This one hilarious and twisted James.This quote in particulalry triggered an outburst of laughter 😛

    ” Well, I am flattered that you could pull yourself away from your so recently deceased Timothy to comment on my urns.”

    This Beth lady friend of yours sounds like a wittering budgie…I’m sure the root celler well make her reflect and she SHOULD learn from it.


    1. rossigifford1, I’m glad you enjoyed it. The line you enjoyed was written by Barbara, but I enjoyed it too, so…fair is fair. 🙂 I hope Elizabeth learns not to meddle, but…let’s just say she visits the cellar more than is necessary, and I don’t mean for the pickled onions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Offensive Playbook… your methods are harsh but effective. I’m sure Beth (after each celler time) appreciates what you are trying to do. I mean after she calms herself and stops munching on those onions for comfort and looks at the biiger picture here.

        And nice Job Barb! Very witty and the image placed above it just added to it more 🙂


  2. This reader always thought a key offender in The Offensive Playbook was the “comment awaiting moderation” feature. Enabling a creative synthesis between the incarnation of the imaginative idea while acknowledging the possibility of destructive, demonic, and disruptive comments, with their possibility of usurping all other elements of the writer’s world–such moments are necessarily brief but worthy of fantasizing about. So I am pleased to see the blogger has “rung the death knell” for this age of moderation! in doing so poet Mr. James Henry Ash has set the stage for simultaneous destruction and regeneration, which represents a fall from the Victorian conception of linear time…just as he sets the stage for both of these moments in the distant past of pagan myth in his poem “The Garden of Plowing Through Your Bean Field” Mr James Ash has followed in the footsteps of wordsworth when he wrote, the “light of sense / goes out.” May you be forever aware of your own fictiveness, mr James Ash.


    1. Wendy, thank you for saying hi! (Again!) 😀

      Oh, and thank you for your astute response! It’s great to read. Sir Kyle and I were just today discussing the management of our estates. Perhaps tomorrow I will show our correspondence.


    1. I warned her, “Don’t you hurt my dog!” but I don’t know that she was listening. As usual. I’ll tell her to put him in the basket next time.

      I agree, Elizabeth is at her smoothest when she applies her various ointments and lotions. Excellent tip.


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