Sunday, September 04, 2005


From the NY Times cover story on the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist:

Kathleen Arburg, the court's public information officer, said Chief Justice Rehnquist, 80, had died at his home in Arlington, Va., surrounded by his three children (italics mine)

Why 'surrounded' I wonder? To begin with, it is even possible to be surrounded by just three people? And even if it is, why would you say your children surrounded - as if it was something you couldn't get out of?

I'm sure Rehnquist was very noble and respectable man (despite being a staunch conservative) - so it's unfortunate that the memory his name conjures up for me comes straight from Gore Vidal's Myron, where, in conformity to legislation on obscenity by the Supreme Court, the word rehnquist is used to refer to a portion of male genitalia! Just goes to show you why it's not a good idea to piss off novelists.


Heh Heh said...

"despite being a staunch conservative"
snarky political statement, eh?

Falstaff said...

Ya, ya, totally.

It always pays to be magnanimous to the dead - witness Mark Antony's speech over Brutus' dead body in Julius Caesar (the "this was the noblest Roman of them all". P.S. I just raised an army against him and hunted him down till he killed himself. But that doesn't mean I didn't have RESPECT for him!)