The Passive Periphrastic of Norbert Fragg

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006 08:09:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: WILLIAM KENT <ET06077 at elephant-talk dot com>
Subject: The Passive Periphrastic of Norbert Fragg

ET'ers all,

Zounds! Norbert Fragg's Soundscrapes, which, for years, were considered inconsequencial by the music media, not to mention the World at Large, have finally had an undesired consequence!

Bleator the Sour created a new band: Sour of Power, and invited the hapless Fragg to solo guitaristically, if not heuristically, on a reworked, reworded version of a prior hit, (Oh What a) Tetchy Man (He Was). Fragg refused.

Thus began a competion among foundering, if not floundering prog rock au-go-go bands to tempt our Norbert to contribute to retitled versions of their tired, but not yet retired tunes, and thus bring new misery into their world. Ander Ianson of Heathrow Dull wanted Our Guitarist of the Perpetual Warmth to dribble in on a new studio version of Soundscraping Away (on the Ice of a New Day. Alas, Ianson was flouted.

An as yet additional, but in no way contritional, reformation of Not Quite offered to rework complicated arrangements, three part choir boy harmonies and lyrics of their infamously incomprehensible "Close to the Fridge" "Yours is Definitely a Disgrace," "I'll Be the Down and Out," "Owner of an SUV." If Fragg would tour with them, they promised a gala concert version of Fragg's last, unqualifed smash hit, "Lights Please," that spontaneously combustible high water mark on Thing Dismal's best-selling triple CD live set, "The Inception of a Flush."

Fragg abjured this opportunity, and did not even deign to reply (and Fraggs almost always prefer to deign out, rather than eat at home) to the squabbling members of Pink Adenoid, who contemplated a Fraggish solo on a remixed version of (All in All, It's Just) Another Shop in the Mall, Part Two. He was thunderously silent to the Amercian Tse Tse Bop, who abandoned all plans to redo their classic bottleneck boogie stomp rocker "(The Girls Are All Crazy `Bout a) Sharp Dressed Fragg."

Similar rebuffs went to The Whom (Won't Get Fragged Again), Geater Pabriel in the reformed Menace-Is (The Fragg Fries Eggs on Broadway), and Robert Shrub and Jimmy Leaf of Lead Balloon's "Whole Lotta Fragg." In an effort to gain an explanation to these seemingly daft indignities, I made the acquaintance of Theophrastus Horatio Endymion Floor, a comrade who was praised recently in Fragg's published Diaries, to wit, "T.H.E. Floor is my friend."

Mr. Floor took me into a secret Mouthborne basement where, he assured me, our Norbert uses for what he referred to as passive periphrastic practice. Mr. Floor pointed to some blottings above the basement chamber door. He told me that what resembled an accident of plumbing was, in fact, if not in fancy, the very handwriting upon the wall. I read: Fraggis desipio ei agendus est.

"That's the passive periphrastic," Mr. Floor assured me. "A Latin construction that indicates obligation and necessity."

I demanded a translation.

"Fragg must play the fool, or, colloquially, Fragg must make an ass out of himself."

"An ass?!" I exclaimed.

He further told me that Fragg has forsaken musicking temporarily to make his Shakespearian debut in a most appropriate role in the Hoof and Mouth Theatre Company's production of "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream" as a character who wonderfully, magically, marvelously makes an ass of himself.

Verily, dear team, Norbert Fragg has Bottomed out.

Bill Kent

Mike Stok