the revised devil's dictionary

H h

habeas corpus legal (from Medieval Latin, literally produce the body) One of the legal foundations of law as practiced in Europe and North America. Some modern legal experts, including former Attorney-General John Ashcroft, whose legal scholarship is unquestioned in timid circles, have taken the position that the word habeas should be used in the sense of manufacture, rather then deliver. Ashcroft's successor as Attorney-General, Alberto Gonsales, was of the opinion that the constitution of the United States only allows the revocation of the right of habeas corpus, not the existence, thereby establishing a catch 22 situation for posterity and official amusement.

hail n Repeatedly up-chucked rain.

Hainesian adj A philosophic school of thought wherein all problems, conflicts, and processes are believed to solved or described best by one solution or process. Sometimes known as ďone-size-fits-allĒ. Though not a formally recognized school of philosophy until the advent of the late nineteen century and the publishing of the Communist Manifesto, early examples of Hainesian beliefs exist, such as the recognized definitive treatment of horses by early vets. Broken leg, shoot horse. Spavined back, shoot horse. Cut hoof, shoot horse.

half-life n 1: The length of time it takes for one-half of a substance to decay. 2: Growing up in a Republican household. 3: Growing up in the Midwest. (Note: unlike physics, the latter two examples are additive. Growing up in the Midwest in a Republican home is no life. Note, however, that a radioactive cat is known to possess eighteen half-lives).

Hallmark n A company charged with the support, maintenance and marketing of assigned ďofficialĒ days, such as Valentineís Day, Motherís Day, Tax-Freedom Day, etc. Some days are only established regionally, such as Boxing Day in the British Empire or Idi Aminís Birthday in all African countries currently in the International Genocide Monetary Fund.

Halloween holiday Peculiar holiday in the United States. Children and young adults get to go door to door threatening neighbors and strangers alike. Bribes are given and received. All in all, itís an accurate facsimile of life in the economic sphere. As holidays go, this particular one is probably the most endangered by political correctness but as yet, no great movement has been observed by PC forces.

hallucinogenic adj Anything that causes one to hallucinate or misinterpret the senses, particularly those of hearing and sight. Some notable hallucinogenic agents are mescaline, psilocybin, religion and politics. See delirium, starving to death.

Hardyís Warning maxim Your subconscious is not your friend.

heart n The organ of the body, along with the arteries, used to store cholesterol.

helium n Chemical element, the lightest of the noble gases and chiefly used for Mel Blank impressions or as the chief constituent of party animals. Like the other noble gases, rarely forms compounds, but this is because it just canít seem to settle down, rather than any real standoffishness.

Hermes mythology Greek god of thieves, pickpockets, and physicians. Works for me.

hermaphrodite n Someone with a little of everything but not quite enough of anything.

hero n If deceased, a tragic martyr. If living an embarrassment

Herschelís Observation maxim Given a family of sufficient size, a cold is immortal.

Hilaryís Observation maxim Dogma is a bitch.

Hiroshima Day holiday A special day (August 6) set aside to memorialize those killed during the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Part of the official activities has been the symbolic drawing of shadow figures on sidewalks and walls. This is done to emphasize just how terrible it is to die by atomic incineration rather than by rape, torture, mutilation, starvation, and disease (Manchuria, 1935-1945 and civilian internees of the Japanese 1940-1945)

history n 1: Collection of convenient stories and accounts, supporting oneís views. 2: Narrative style account with most of the obvious inconsistencies removed. 3: In politics and government , the current, official party line.

holistic adj A descriptive term often applied to health care practitioners who typically use non-invasive health care techniques like articulation, such as chiropractic, reiki, yoga or fraud, as opposed to invasive techniques used by medical doctors such as surgery, pills, injections or malpractice. See naturopath, holotropic breathwork.

holy adj The most deceptive, blatantly dishonest adjective in the English language. Means personal.

Holtís Syllogism maxim An important observation, expressed in the format of logic, it would be:

Major Premise: All praise is pre-implementation.
Minor Premise
All blame is post-implementation.
Beat feet before project implementation.

home n Where one lives, not just where the bloody heart is.

homeland n Whatever country or political/geographic region that one holds dear or has physical possession of oneís relatives.

homeopathic adj A medical school of thought that believes that herbs or substances which produce a given symptom when administered in large doses, will alleviate the same symptom if administered in small doses. No, Iím not kidding. See sympathetic magic.

honorarium n A premium bribe. See kick-back.

house v To place people in a sheltering structure for an extended period of time. Allowable structures are houses, dormitories, hotels, motels, huge canvas tents. Large cardboard boxes can be utilized if more suitable materials are not available, as is generally the case in the Far East or the central business district of large American cities.

hubris n Overweening or excessive pride. Those who use the word are generally guilty of it.

humanitarian n One who has raised his own personal caring for humanity in general to self-avowed sainthood. See altruist.

humble adj Modesty on parade.

humor n Transmogrified pain.

Hunterís Theorem maxim When the going turns weird, the weird turn pro. (from journalist Hunter S. Thompson, AKA Raoul Duke.)

hurricane n A rotating mass of warm, wet and willful air, out for a stroll in either the Caribbean or Atlantic ocean. If land is encountered, they naturally seek out trailer parks. If encountered in the Pacific, theyíre called typhoons. They should not be confused with tycoons, even thought both congregate in the East.

hysteria n The preferred condition, by the media and the government, of the voting population. See Patriot Act. See Iraq. See mass hysteria.