Saturday, 12 February 2011

Leading Apes Into Hell - the Spinster's Revenge

A collection of tweets twitted in the run-up to Valentine's Day to add a bitter taint to the saccharine bliss of happy couples in no more than 140 characters. Now with added extras.

They that die maids, must lead apes into hell (old saying).

Preparing for Valentine's Day. Have bought gun and several boxes of ammo. Happy couples beware, I am the Spinster's Revenge and I am mighty.

Spinster's Revenge Valentine's Day Plan 2: Circulate divorce statistics.

Valentine's Day Spinster's Revenge 3: He's thinking of your best mate when he's kissing you. You know, the really pretty one.

Valentine Day Spinster's Revenge 4: In 2002 and 08 Saudi Arabia's religious police banned sale of all Valentine's Day items. Quite right too.

Valentine's Day Spinsters' Revenge 5: When she's blowing you, she's thinking about that lovely pair of shoes she's going to buy.

Valentine's Day Spinster's Revenge 6: Love will tear us apart, remember.

Valentine's Day Spinsters' Revenge 7: Love is like a butterfly - best asphyxiated and impaled on a pin.

Spinster's Revenge 8: Each man kills the thing he loves/From all let this be heard/Some do it with a bitter look/Some with a flattering word.

Valentine's Day Spinsters' Revenge 9: Andreas Capellanus - "True love can have no place between husband and wife" (The Art of Courtly Love).

Valentine's Day Spinsters' Revenge 10: Cupid is naked so he can crap all over you more easily. Sooner or later, he will.

(11) Love is handsome and love is fine/And love’s a jewel when it is new/But love grows old and waxes cold/And fades away like the morning dew

(12) What is commonly called love, namely the satisfying of a voracious appetite with a certain quantity of delicate white human flesh. Henry Fielding.

Valentine’s Day Spinster’s Revenge 13: Sooner or later that endearing little habit will make you want to stab him in the eye.

Valentine’s Day Spinster’s Revenge 14: Lock and load. Will the apes please form an orderly queue.


The expression 'leading apes into hell' appears in The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, and John Donne's Paradoxes and Problems, for example. In all cases, a familiarity with the expression is assumed. Being a maid and a spinster were, in this case, synonymous.

A spinster was a female spinner - one of the few jobs available to unmarried women in earlier times. Similarly, the name Brewster means a female brewer, Webster a female weaver and Baxter a female baker.

Tweet 1: The intention is to shoot one half of the couple so that the other one is miserable. Shooting them both is far less effective. And bullets are not cheap.

Tweet 2: The median length of a marriage is 11.5 years. Cohabitees who then marry are 60% more likely to split up within 10 years.In 2008, of all decrees awarded to one partner, rather than jointly to both, 67% were awarded to the wife. The incidence of separation is particularly high around anniversary months. And if marriage is so great, why does the government try to bribe people to do it with tax breaks?

Tweet 8 is from The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde

Tweet 9: Andreas Capellanus wrote The Art of Courtly Love, which I read at college (in Mediaeval French, not the original Latin). In common with many writers of the time, he thought romantic love was a terrible, destructive thing best avoided. See Guinevere and Lancelot, Tristan and Isolde.

Tweet 11: From the traditional song The Water is Wide

Valentine's Day is suffering from the recession. The 2010 V Day market was worth just over £232 million, compared with £290m in 2009. Over 2.3 million bunches of flowers were bought last year – 29% fewer than in 2009. The statistics don't indicate how many bunches of flowers were bought from the garage on the way home from work. Not do they include cack-handed cards made by small children that make parents go all teary-eyed.

There is an old belief that if you see an owl on Valentine's Day, you will die a spinster.