CURIOS AND CREDOS. I borrowed This title from a dead humorist. The title came from a posthumously published book of James Thurber.
The man James Thurber who rightly owns that title wasn’t boring. He was a cartoonist, trading in the whimsical and ironic to the point of fine humour, even though he was not a Nigerian politician.
The middle name of James Thurber was Grover, and he was American, and a author to boot. Few things make Americans Great; education is one. Thurber went to Ohio State University. He also spent a tidy portion of his writing career in France- the land of Romanticism. Not many American is so blest.
Thurber with the great American writer E.B. White co-authored a book titled IS SEX NECESSARY? Among other books authored by Thurber is My Life And Hard Times. He wrote another one he titled Let Your Mind Alone. And the dude went ahead and published Fables For Our Time.
Well, before I lead you down a path I dont intend to lead you at all, let me lay the ground rule that this is not about James Grover Thurber the Humorist; It is about me and the reawakening of one of my many die-hard obsessions. Not masturbation; Curios and Credos it is, one of my many obsessions.
I got one on you if you were already thinking that Curios And Credos is like the Male Animal Game of Girl-Chasing. It is close though; that is if you read my sheet about Compulsive Girl-Collecting, but not quite. My reawakened passion is curious items collecting.
Collection was an obsession for me.
Sadly, though, I have outgrown the compulsion to collect things, but here I am a full-grown and graying man, and the Stern Hand of Compulsion has gotten the ancient hold on me again like in my halcyon days.
James Thurber used the phrase The Stern Hand of Compulsion to describe Obsession. Thurber said of Obsession “The Stern Hand of Compulsion that impels women to clean house in the middle of the night.” The Stern Hand of Compulsion, in English would mean a crazy diabolical urge. I think Nigerian writers need this- the Crazy Diabolical Urge.
Dung Beetles: I used to keep a handful of them in glass jars as pet of sort. To my Young inquisitive mind, dung beetles were alien beings sent here to teach us faillible humans valable lessons in economics of time space and Resource management. Dung Beetle were good managers in lots of things in which humans were bad managers: things like sewage disposal.
I kept a few grasshoppers too. But i grew averse to those stinking and wasteful critters: grasshoppers. All they live for- the grasshoppers- very Much like some humans, seems to be eat-and-poop-and-stink.
As my attraction to grasshopper decreased with each one caught and kept, my fascination with dung beetles grew with each one that graced my space.
I never kept a bee because I have been stung by bees in more than one occasion. Once bitten twice shy was my watchword in dealing with bees. I liked houseflies and spiders more than I like bees and mosquitoes.
The thing here is; we all can learn lots from observing the life of a dung beetle. In the life of a dung beetle is lesson on time, space, and shit management.