Friday, June 20, 2008

When Nice is Nice

Thanks to Leahle for her comment in which she asked whether or not there are any situations where good or nice would be appropriate. Yes, there are a few, a very few such situations.

The same question came up in one of my graduate courses, and the following was my answer.

Of Nice and Men
An Ode Abjuring Clarity

- - - Prof K

Alas, he swallowed a thesaurus
For, heaven forfend, he mustn’t bore us
Nor commit that cardinal vice—
Egregious use of the forbidden word “nice.”

Long nights he labored, drenched in perspiration,
Awaiting divine locutionary inspiration.
Oft bleary eyed, persistently he created,
With palsied digits and breath quite bated,

Until, perchance, his recalcitrant muse
Who had heaped upon him abundant abuse,
Relented sufficiently from her denigration
To allow, at last, creative elation.

And thus it transpired that both juvenile or valitudinous
His characters palavered in utterances multitudinous
Acquiring verbal lock-jaw along the way.
Declaiming in periods pretentiously enlightening,
In stentorian accents quite ludicrously frightening,
When all that was required was, “Have a nice day.”

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