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Today's Stichomancy for David Letterman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Buttered Side Down by Edna Ferber:

Sausage! Sneer, you pate de foies grasers! But may you know the day when hunger will have you. And on that day may you run into linked temptation in the form of Braunschweiger Metwurst. May you know the longing that causes the eyes to glaze at the sight of Thuringer sausage, and the mouth to water at the scent of Cervelat wurst, and the fingers to tremble at the nearness of smoked liver.

Jennie stumbled on, through the smells and the sights. That nibble of cheese had been like a drop of human blood to a man-eating tiger. It made her bold, cunning, even while it maddened. She stopped at this counter and demanded a slice of summer sausage. It was paper-thin, but delicious beyond belief.

Buttered Side Down
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:

to you! In her temple or in your house, what does it matter? are you not all-powerful, immaculate, radiant and beautiful even as Tanith?" And with a look of boundless adoration he added:

"Unless perhaps you are Tanith?"

"I, Tanith!" said Salammbo to herself.

They left off speaking. The thunder rolled in the distance. Some sheep bleated, frightened by the storm.

"Oh! come near!" he went on, "come near! fear nothing!

"Formerly I was only a soldier mingled with the common herd of the Mercenaries, ay, and so meek that I used to carry wood on my back for the others. Do I trouble myself about Carthage! The crowd of its

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:

and scandal; referring frequently to her 'brother the vicar,' and her 'sister, the vicar's lady,' but never to her brother the farmer and her sister the farmer's wife; seeing as much company as she can without too much expense, but loving no one and beloved by none - a cold-hearted, supercilious, keenly, insidiously censorious old maid.


Though Mr. Lawrence's health was now quite re-established, my visits to Woodford were as unremitting as ever; though often less protracted than before. We seldom talked about Mrs. Huntingdon; but yet we never met without mentioning her, for I never sought his

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Myths and Myth-Makers by John Fiske:

inside, and push the thatching-needle for you, in the house.' The cannibal went up. His hair was very, very long. Uthlakanyana went inside and pushed the needle for him. He thatched in the hair of the cannibal, tying it very tightly; he knotted it into the thatch constantly, taking it by separate locks and fastening it firmly, that it might be tightly fastened to the house." Then the rogue went outside and began to eat of the cow which was roasted. "The cannibal said, 'What are you about, child of my sister? Let us just finish the house; afterwards we can do that; we will do it together.' Uthlakanyana replied, 'Come down then. I cannot go

Myths and Myth-Makers