A Miserable Week

A Miserable Week

It was a misery specific to me alone, and I could have suffered that way except for good friends and good books. The books had more endurance, friends would cluck, cluck and duck out after finding me, the drama queen, unendurable.

I had a toothache. There’s probably no one who is a stranger to toothache, and if there is, then harken unto my words and stop eating desserts. Or go back and be born with exceptionally strong teeth. There’s nothing like a toothache to reform a dessert-aholic or to to make him wish for a better genetic profile. Even if the reformation and all the wishing in the world are only temporary.

So, at the apex of the pain, I had an extraction. I’m not even going to talk about that, it’s too fresh. It was yesterday.

Good books were what pulled me through this ordeal. They will sit with you for however long it takes for the pain medication to kick in, even longer if you like. They uncomplainingly drop from your hands and onto the floor when, in a weakened condition or during a brief snooze, your fevered fingers lose their grip. Name one acquaintance who would stand for that.

I’ll tell you who stood me in good stead during this prolonged, painful ordeal. It was Jasper Fforde.

Oh, good grief. Is she going to babble on about him again? Every other blog post it’s Jasper Fforde this, or Jasper Fforde that. The man doesn’t even know how to spell his own name!

Yes, I am going to babble on about J.Ff., and here, from two erudite researchers, are comments on the double Ff (ff):

I’d heard the “ff” was from an old calligraphic way of writing a capital “F” — it only looked like a doubled lower case letter. But folks (or is it “ffolkes”?) misinterpreted it, and over time it became “ff”. (scratch1300)

I think scratch1300 is on the right track. From Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable] [quote] Double F (Ff, or ff) as an initial in a few personal names, as Ffoulkes, ffench, etc., is a mistaken use in print of the medieval or Old English capital F as it appears written in engrossed leases, etc. In script the old capital F looked very much like two small f’s entwined. (bibliophage)

That’s all I’m going to say on that subject, except maybe I’ll use that spelling on occasion when I’ve got a character who needs an uplift.

How fast we mortals forget our resolves. My husband just came home and was about to eat the last piece of rum cake, but I beat him to it.

About Eleanor Ingbretson

Native New Yorker. Transplanted to New Hampshire years ago, but still considered a flatlander by the neighbors. Writer of fantasy and mystery and whatever else takes my fancy.

Posted on April 1, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m glad you got the rum cake. You deserved it.

    Did you know that a bibliophage is a letter-eating serpent in Garth Nix’s seven-book series? Can’t remember the name of the series, but the first book is Mr. Monday, and the names go on in order. Our hero has to cross a stream of bibliophages, so he removes all labels and everything with letters on it from his clothes. He is just about to jump in when he notices the manufacturer’s name on his pants zipper…..


    • Eleanor Ingbretson

      The things you know, Heidi, astound me.

      Thursday Next was trapped in a room by the bad guys who took from her any written item that she might read and thereby book jump out of their hands. They forgot the washing instruction label on her pants. She read that and escaped into the instructions and from there to the washing machine manual and from there to home. How many of us would have the wherewithal to do that!


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