CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
This says that people who promptly answer correspondence are "stunted and queer." We, too, strive to answer promptly and are unabashedly stunted and queer. (Not proudly, mind you, for the opposite of "shame" is not "pride" but "shameless.") From Mince Pie by Christopher Morley, 1919.
Desperate times do not call for milquetoast measures. Messrs. Meow and Miaow (no relation) enter an old wizard's manor to set up a strange ritual. See also this unusual collection of Strange Prayers for Strange Times.
“Possibly—just possibly—he might derive comfort from the liturgy, and even strength. The gods whom he had worshiped might be unworthy of his worship, or of anyone’s; but the worship itself must have counted for something, weighed in some scales somewhere, surely. It had to be, or else the Whorl was mad.” —Gene Wolfe, Caldé of the Long Sun (and though we’re Wolfe fans, this particular series of novels pales unforgivably next to the Book of the New Sun)
"And what of the dead? I own that I thought of myself, at times, almost as dead. Are they not locked below ground in chambers smaller than mine was, in their millions of millions? There is no category of human activity in which the dead do not outnumber the living many times over. Most beautiful children are dead. Most soldiers, most cowards. The fairest women and the most learned men – all are dead. Their bodies repose in caskets, in sarcophagi, beneath arches of rude stone, everywhere under the earth. Their spirits haunt our minds, ears pressed to the bones of our foreheads. Who can say how intently they listen as we speak, or for what word?" ―Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch