Sunday, April 22, 2012

Joe Versus Mad Anthony's Bones.

So I'm reading the Wikipedia article on the movie Joe Versus the Volcano, which I have always loved, and noticed that there was a link to "flibbertigibbet", a word introduced to my vocabulary by the movie.

Apparently, in addition to being ye olde slange terme for "scatterbrained chatterbox", Flibbertigibbet was also a character in one of the local legends surrounding Wayland's Smithy, a barrow tomb in England, where some of the remains show signs of excarnation before interment.

What is excarnation, you ask? Why, the removal of the flesh from the bones so that only the skeleton is buried.

While this sounds like something that only heathen savages would do, General Mad Anthony Wayne, for whom a tenth of everything in Indiana is named, expired on the road home from Detroit. He was buried in Erie, Pennsylvania, but his remains were dug up and boiled down to the bones which were carried in saddlebags along what is now US 322 in Pennsylvania to the family plot on the other end of the state.

Apparently the General's ghost wanders the verge of the highway on his birthday, January 1, looking for stray skeleton bits that may have bounced loose when the horse hit a pothole.

17 comments:

Guffaw in AZ said...

We can always count on Tam not just for trivia, but minutiae of interest and education!
Thanks!
gfa

Jay G said...

Joe Vs. the Volcano???

Why, Tam, why?

Tam said...

Jay G,

Because color movies from the 1940s are cultural treasures, that's why.

Old NFO said...

LOL, good one and bits I didn't know :-)

kishnevi said...

Flibby caught my fancy when I first heard the name--back in the days when high school students were actually expected to read King Lear--and used to use the (full) name as a substitute when circumstances wouldn't permit the normal F-word to be used for cussing purposes.

Did not know about the Wayland connection, though. Thanks. (Though I had heard of Wayne's ghost. I think there are actually several ghosts wandering around the Northeast/Midwest looking, like he does, for lost body parts or other things they shuffled off with this mortal coil.)

Tam said...

Old NFO,

I found myself reading about US 322 and thought "How the hell did I wind up here? I was just reading about Joe Versus the Volcano" and started hitting the Back button to find out. :D

Darrell said...

That's the only Tom Hanks movie I really like.

Weer'd Beard said...

It was common for the lordships who died at sea, or in forign lands, the practice was to gut them like a fish, and pack them in a barrel of rum to ensure freshness and identification so that the estate could be properly released.

Matthew said...

A flibbertigibbit
A will-o-the-wisp
A clown

Lyrics from: What do we do with a problem like Maria?
From the Sound of Music, a color movie from the Sixties

That's where I first remember hearing it as a child.

Two thumbs up for "Joe" though, especially the luggage.

BryanP said...

I've always liked that movie. "Take me to the volcano!!"

Nathan said...

Perhaps perversely, it's one of my favorites, too.

rick said...

I worked as an extra on that movie - it gave me a brain cloud. Also, Tom Hanks is a very tall fellow.

DirtCrashr said...

Sound O'Music = Nazis with machine guns vs. Crafty old Nuns (Early Masonic/Papist/Illuminati-with -chicks nexus, Pre Norm Brown DaVinci Code thing - or whatever his name is, Ed Brown? No that's my gun.)

Jerry said...

Meg made the movie, 'nuff said.

Drang said...

Captain Cook was also excarnated. That the Hawaiians ate him is a myth--say the Hawaiians.

pax said...

Knowing about excarnation sheds a bit of light at the interplay between Henry V and the herald at the end of the St Crispin's Day speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAvmLDkAgAM

RevDisk said...

Great... I live off 322.

Fine, Mad Anthony's ghost can borrow the bayonets and drink the beer. Unless it's the LAST bayonet or beer, then I'll be less than pleased.

322 is a useful route. It meanders across PA and runs through plenty of towns. Not the highest speed, but lots of interesting stops and makes a great secondary route.