Posted by Bill Kent on Sep 25, 2007 - This post is archived and may no longer be relevant

Obsessive bibliotaphist, cantankerous cake caterer and occasional guitarist Norbert Fragg has described squerd as a dish that is "more mood than food," and, in a rare interview in which photography or recording of any kind was expressly forbidden, he offered this tour of historic, hysteric citations to this polymorphously obverse, visually unappalling and questionably edible taste sensation.

Of squerd, Mr. Fragg first heard as part of the Cacheism of Catch-Can: in mistranslated scripture in which Jesus miraculously eases the urinary tract agony of a disciple by saying, "may ye who be without squerd, pass the first stone."

Later, as a student of classical gas, Fragg discovered Plato’s Ithyphallicon: Socrates On High, in which the famed philosopher feasting on contrasting squerds prepared by Pyphragorous, a discredited Greek epicurian (and distant ancestor of our Norbert). A highly fibrous Hay Squerd was added to a honey sweet Bee Squerd. Alas, this failed to equal a turbulent Sea Squerd bouillabaisse of chopped clams, anchiovie paste and mangled elderberries.

Of course, Shakespeare may have made the most famous references to squerd, if they had not been deleted by subsequent editors. Only a line remains of an entire play, Richard the Squerd, in which we are told that "a squerd by any other name would smell like feet." In an infamously excised scene, Lady MacBeth hurls haggis at three witches who have invaded her Scottish kitchen, exclaiming, "Out, damned squerd!" "Once more into the squerd!" Henry V exhorts his troups before the battle of Aching Court, and, in The Tragical Events of Omelet, Prince of Danish Pastry, Polonius suggests "to thine own squerd be true."

In the cinema, portly Oliver Hardy might have been heard to address is tearful Stan Laurel, "That’s another fine squerd you’ve got us into!"

Sherlock Holmes, in "the Adventure of Crusty Pot," refers Dr. Watson to a learned monograph on the subject. Watson then mentions, in a slightly amended passage, a tantalizing tale of the "Giant Squerd of Sumatra, the recipe of which the world is not yet prepared."

And it is only by an act of fate that the American musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim remamed his dark opera of a homicidal London barber. The original version was to be called Sweeney Squerd.

Pythonophiles recall a hasty subsitition in two infamous sketches. In "Nudge, Nudge," the annoying boobie should have asked "Your lady? Does she... Does she like SQUERD? Ay? Nudge, nudge. Know what I mean?" And "spam, spam, spam, bacon and squerd" never made the final broadcast.

When I begged him to let me glimpse the algorithm for squerd manufacture, the erudite Fragg concluded his disquieting disquistion with the renown statement made by the Prussian dermatologist Otto von Birthmark: "laws are like squerd, one should see neither being made."