Alferd Packer Restaurant and Grill (that’s not a misspelling, Neal) at the University of Colorado-Boulder is named after one of only two people in our country’s history who have been charged with cannibalism. Students selected the name and the dining hall slogan: Take a Friend to Lunch.

The New Executive Office Building in Washington, D. C., held a similar popularity contest for a new dining hall in the mid-1960s. Alfie Packer won again but humorless bureaucrats squelched the suggestion.

Legend has it that Judge Melville B. Gerry of Lake City, a Democrat, pronounced sentence upon Packer this way: "You voracious man-eating son of a gun, there were seven Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them. I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you are dead, Dead, DEAD, as a warning against reducing the Democratic population of Hinsdale County.”

A daffy definition

Burglesque: A poorly planned break-in. Think Watergate

Thomas Jefferson on Freedom of the Press

European naturalist Alexander von Humboldt spotted a ferociously negative Federalist newspaper in the cabinet room of Jefferson’s President’s House, the dwelling that became the White House. “Why are these libels allowed? Why is not this libelous journal suppressed or its editor at least fined and imprisoned?” he asked. The President’s reply: “Put that paper in your pocket, Baron, and should you hear the reality of our liberty, the freedom of our press, questioned, show this paper and tell where you found it.” From the letters of Margaret Bayard Smith The First Forty Years, page 397.

Getting serious

Michael Swerner, correspondents Richard, Pat, classmate Joe and A-E, were all members of the Cornell University Class of 1961. The class sponsors an annual scholarship in Mickey’s name and donated a window in the Sage Chapel on the Cornell campus honoring Mickey, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, Freedom Riders who were killed in 1964 and buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Dumb business decisions

DirecTV more than a decade ago when we lived in North Carolina refused to discuss an errant $3 monthly charge that Frau and A-E considered a breach of contract. So Frau and A-E dumped ’em. DTV has monthly since attempted to return us to their customer flock, spending far more than three bucks each month on mailing: “We miss you” and “We want you back” were some of the more direct mail pleas. DirecTV’s thrice offered $200 to return. Balderdash: we’ve a provider that lives up to pricing promises.

Ode to annual end of gardening season

A-E’s botanical knowledge is best summarized with this doggerel:

“Doctor A-E quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?”

“With bugs and slugs and blight to fight,”

Says he, “I hardly know.”

Supergardener Frau dug up her tulips because after two years, each Dutch gardening gift stops blossoming and reverts to scrawny stalks. A row of roses and mulched marigolds decorated the hut front this summer but Frau’s promise for next year is plump clumps of as-yet indeterminate posies with sun-draped dazzling dew-covered blossoms. A-E’s staying as aloof as possible from the floral frenzy. A-E mistakenly told Neighbor Bill that “we are” preparing for a future flower feast. “Who’s we?” he responded: “I’ve only seen Frau slaving over the plot.” Sometimes A-E dislikes Bill’s keen vision and quick, unfortunately accurate wit.

A brief aside: Willie just celebrated his birthday. That makes him about 80 days older than A-E. The author of this corner will take advantage of that chronological gift and taunt our neighbor as much as the old hunting-and-pecking fingers can grind out and mock him with the term “geezer” as often as possible.

Example: Geezer, is your dribble cup collection still growing?

This Canisteo scribbler’s weakly rubbish is aspirin- and broccoli-free. Aspirin removal prevents Frau’s allergic reactions, broccoli deletion helps everyone with taste buds.