Friday, September 5, 2008

On the other hand, many large hills are not Marilyns

Map of Marilyns in Britain and Ireland

Looking at all the good things that are named "Melissa" on my friend Melissa's blog has caused me to reflect wistfully on my own moment in the sun. I refer, of course, to Hurricane Marilyn. At the time, my mom would cut out articles from the newspaper and leave them out for me to read---"Marilyn Rips through Gulf Coast," "Marilyn Gaining Potency over Haiti," and so forth. There's nothing like reading "Marilyn's remnant circulation meandered over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean for another 10 days before becoming absorbed in a frontal system" to really get your self-confidence going (thanks, Mom).*

[There are a couple of other famous Marilyns, as you know: Monroe, of course, and Manson (who is a MAN, were you aware of that?! I don't think he should be allowed to name himself that). Also a woman named Marilyn who has written many religious poems which are quite amazing. I would quote one for you, but she is apparantly NOT amenable to such an idea, so I will merely direct you here to see for yourself. I don't feel I can really claim any kinship with any of these Marilyns, however.]

But now, thanks to Wikipedia, I find myself once again in the spotlight as a "type of mountain or hill in Great Britain." While I do not consider myself a real Anglophile**; still, I have fond memories of my time there and hope to go back someday, so I am pleased to find myself in a sense already part of the landscape. Maybe it's narcissistic of me, but I derive almost endless amusement from reading sentences like these:
Many of the islands' largest hills are Marilyns. . . On the other hand, many large hills are not Marilyns because they do not have sufficient relative height.

Around half of the Donalds are also Marilyns.

So how do you work out which hills are just hills and which ones are prized Marilyns? Happily, there is a list.

Some hillwalkers attempt to climb as many Marilyns as possible as a form of "Peak bagging." (Known as "Marilyn-bagging")

Some radio amateurs attempt to operate from the summit of every Marilyn.

Furthermore, having a go at a Marilyn can take you beyond the well-worn paths up worn-out hills. ***

And so forth. Very entertaining (and informative!).

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of "Marilyn: Beneath the Surface." Join us soon for another fascinating episode.

*Marilyn was directly responsible for 8 deaths, 5 in St. Thomas, 1 in St. John, 1 in St. Croix and 1 in Culebra (Puerto Rico). Most drowned and were on boats at docks or offshore. Marilyn also caused severe damage to the U.S. Virgin Islands, in particular to St. Thomas.

**Let me take this chance to remind you, however, that "he who tires of London, tires of life, for there is in London all that life can afford."

***And to those of you who are finding some sort of innuendo in these statements, please! Restrain yourselves!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so very, very pleased with this post. That hurricane of yours provided some great headlines. I must admit, I thought those British Marilyn references were rife with innuendo. I've spent far too much time reading literary criticism to muster any amount of restraint.

    And regarding that other Marilyn's poetry: simply too good to be true.

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