The Age forwarded many of the replies it received on to me. Mostly they were pretty staid and Biblical. That even include one from a "Frodo T. M. Table Leg". But the letter that took the cake was from a Richard J. O'Hara:
But the letter that took the cake was from a Richard J. O'Hara:
Mr Kennedy's problem in finding a suitable explanation for his son about the association of the lily with death raises several pertinent observations.
The first is concerned with his inability to be satisfied with the explanations proffered from widely varying sources which should have advised him that an in-depth study would be necessary. Such a study would necessarily touch upon occult areas of knowledge and to draw the attention of such fields to a 6-y-o child is thoughtless in the least. A by-no-means unusual parential attitute in today's world.
Secondly, the aforementioned inability to be satisfied is reminiscent of the story about the one-legged, bald-headed seeking to hire a costume for a fancy dress party. Limited by his appearance he still refused to accept the advice of countless sales attendants to be Long John Silver, Peg Leg Peter etc until, finally exasperating the last one's creativity, he accepted a mystery package and took it home. Upon opening it he found a tin of Golden Treacle and the instructions:..."Pour the Golden Treacle over your bald head, stick your wooden leg up your fundamental orifice and go as a Toffee Apple".
Mr Kennedy has already limited the rules of play by defining the lily as of the genus, arum. Now I am wage enslaved by the malice and mischief of such impedimentia as he and I am not at all inclined to educate him for that sort of money but I will offer some advice.
He could take a leaf out of the book of those ascetics who contemplate their navel for elucidation and have his son, at that tender and malleable age, bend over and touch his toes. Whilst his son contemplates his feet Mr Kennedy could consider whether he is interested in further instruction and whether he ought to take out a State Bank loan for a maths course.
If he feels he has sufficient grounding in the subject he could study gematria and try to make the correlations. If he still feels like using his sone as a social accessory he could study constitutional law, the history of the Westminster System, the meaning and breadth of Stillicide and start counting his large change.
Richard J. O'Hara.
Gematria = A cabalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures by interchanging words whose letters have the same numerical value when added.
Stillicide = The falling of water, especially in drops. In a legal sense, the dropping of rain water from the eaves of a house onto another's land or roof.