Don't eat the yellow fur

At last! Hard facts about G. Gordon Liddy Lewis "Scooter" Libby's novel, which takes place in a twisted version of turn-of-the-previous-century Japan.

One passage goes, “At length he walked around to the deer’s head and, reaching into his pants, struggled for a moment and then pulled out his penis."

He "struggled"? That's some penis.

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You mean Lewis "Scooter" Libby--I think you are mixing him up with that other Republican criminal, G. Gordon Liddy. Here are the Statistically Improbable Phrases from The Apprentice, make of them what you will:

assistant headman, tiny dancer, man with the pole, mountain trousers, old samurai, lacquer workers, liquid woman, dead hunter, youth hesitated, charcoal maker, youth glanced, yellow fur, man with the club, youth nodded, youth stared, moment the youth, snow wall, young samurai

I love that feature on Amazon!


Thanks! I must have been mixing him up.

I'm surprised that "dead hunter" and "man with the club" are statistically improbable. Clearly they haven't processed the Clan of the Cave Bear series yet.


Well, it's a question of how often ðey occur. Maybe "dead hunter" and "man with the club" are major characters, and always referred to in those terms, so the phrases turn up every other paragraph.


Even in that case I think my Clan of the Cave Bear point still stands..

By the way, do I notice a quiet campaign to revive the use of eth in the English language?


I actually use eð and þorn for internal purposes. I typed that one by accident, then noticed but thought I'd let it stand. Sometimes I use eŋ, too, but it's less compelling, somehow. Maybe because it doesn't have the historical precedent (although I use ð for voiced and þ for voiceless, which doesn't have any real history in English that I'm aware of).

I don't really know about the Clan of the Cave Bear books... after the first one I pretty much just read the sex scenes. The actual Amazon SIPs for the first book are: good medicine woman, cursed with death, strong totem, her totem, host clan, totem mark, cave ceremony, male totem, mammoth hunt, protective totems, collecting basket, his bola, totem ceremony, waist thong, carrying cloak, hunt mammoth, stiff rawhide, his totem, your totem, manhood ceremony, his amulet, powerful totem, aurochs horn, bone cup, new cave.

Anyway, the point is that... I don't think it's a statement that these are phrases which are improbable in an absolute sense, which happen to occur in the book, but that their frequency in this book is significantly above the expected value. Although in a lot of cases that would come to much the same thing. (I don't really have any idea how the SIP algorithm works, this is just poorly informed guessing.)

(I also was failing to distinguish between Libby and Liddy. I was thinking "what an extraordinary career, to be involved in two major White House scandals decades apart".)


That's brilliant, now I have no need to ever read Clan of the Cave Bear. I think I get the idea from the SIPs.


I also was failing to distinguish between Libby and Liddy.

"Dyslexics of the world, UNTIE!"...perhaps?

(I mean, ðe world!)


“[She] finally came to him in the bed and shouted ‘Arragghrrorwr!’ in his ear...”

Whoa, sounds like my kinda woman! Think he still has her number?

Gaijin Biker:

He "struggled"? That's some penis.

Actually, he just has really small hands.


I don't know if "struggled" is that bad - what would you prefer, "rummaged"?

Here are the SIPs for the second Clan of the Cave Bear book, The Valley of Horses: flathead females, her sleeping fur, wolverine hood, her carrying basket, her sling, bilberry wine, young flathead, willowbark tea, waist thong, jutting wall, her totem, sandstone overhang, giant hamster, aurochs horn, cave lions, summer tunic, tent hide, bone hammer, sleeping furs, sleeping roll, marked sticks, your totem, giant deer, young mare, blind canyon. Which gives little hint of what I considered the book's most salient feature when I read it (at age 14 or so)... although "Gift of Pleasure" is in the Capitalised Phrases.

Actually, looking at this, you can click on the phrases to get more information... let's go back to The Apprentice and click on "man with the club"...

7 references in Gunsmith 257: Widow's Watch (Gunsmith, The) by J.R. Roberts 3 references in The Apprentice : A Novel by Lewis Libby 3 references in King of the Celts : Arthurian Legends and Celtic Tradition by Jean Markale and a bunch with just one... less common than one might think.

How about "dead hunter"...

21 references in The Apprentice : A Novel by Lewis Libby 3 references in Grateful Dead -- Anthology II by Grateful Dead (Recorder) 3 references in Eclipse (Sweep, 12) by Cate Tiernan 2 references in Grateful Dead Anthology: Guitar by Grateful Dead (Recorder) 2 references in Plague : The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease by Wendy Orent and so on.

The thing about Libby and Liddy is that they're similar both phonetically and graphically. I guess that's one argument against a featural writing system.


"Fumbled", maybe? Better yet, nothing at all!

I still like the first two books in that series, but after the action shifts primarily to the modern humans I get real bored. (The first book, in particular, I dug a lot when I was young because it has that "you thought it was an ending, but it's not and there's still lots more story to go" thing that I think a lot of bookish kids appreciate.)


Oh, I liked the first one myself, at the time. I was disappointed by the second.

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