“The Placebo Meadows Lectures: Series 2,” by Stan Dryer

Jul 3rd, 2024 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Here at Placebo Meadows we believe that no matter how old you are, you can always expand your life with learning. With that thought in mind, here is a list of this year’s lectures. Dates will be announced in the near future.

1. It Was Never My Fault

Noted explorer and mountaineer Eric P. Framstudder BFC will read passages from his latest book, It Was Never My Fault, a retrospective of his life spent attempting to climb numerous challenging peaks. He is not afraid to discuss the many failed and tragic climbing expeditions in which he participated. Eric is the author of seven mountaineering books including. One Mistake Too Many, One Piton Too Few and Were We Foolish or Just Plain Stupid? Our Attack on Mt. Quaramajanga. He is noted for having laid out the famous Deathtrap route on the north face of Angaputta. Although no one has successfully used this route to reach the summit, the many failed attempts have resulted in only three deaths. Framstudder will illustrate his talk with heart-warming videos of various mountain rescues including footage he took while strapped in a rescue sled coming down K7.

2. Facing the Fear of Fear Itself

Ever wake up in the night in a cold sweat wondering what you are afraid of? This unknown fear may be fear of fear itself (FOFI). We owe a debt of gratitude to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who, in addition to winning World War II, was the person who first identified and publicized FOFI. Today, if someone comes to a psychologist complaining of a fear of something unknown, the first and usually correct diagnosis is FOFI. Once a patient recognizes this fact, treatment can begin, usually by convincing them to transfer their fear to something more concrete (e.g., a highway bridge or a large building.) Psychologist Evelyn P. Noncluet MOD will enlighten and entertain us with histories of several of her FOFI cases, some heart-warming, some heart-wrenching and some just plain boring. She is not afraid to describe her failures in excruciating detail. After all, we learn by our mistakes. The worse the mistake, the more we learn, unless, of course, the mistake kills you. (By the way, if you wake up in a hot sweat you shouldn’t be afraid of anything; you most likely have too many blankets on the bed.)

3. Saving the Polar Bear

The speaker for this lecture will be Lillian V. Quinfark ESD who is the Director of the GWB (Garbage Without Borders) Project. Climate change has seriously reduced the population of the arctic grey water wombat. As wombats are the preferred prey of the polar bear, those bears have turned to scavenging in garbage dumps near northern Canadian villages. As more and more bears use this scavenging as a means of survival, these dumps are rapidly being depleted. Local residents simply cannot provide enough garbage to sustain the increased number of bears using the dumps. Waste disposal scientists have calculated that if this depletion continues at its present rate, these garbage dumps will be gone by the year 2030 with little chance of their ever being rejuvenated. Action to restore these vital portions of the ecosystem to at least their current level of garbage content must not wait. Lillian will describe how she and the GWB had to fight opposition from both local and international governments to be able to transport American garbage to beyond the Arctic Circle to help restore the survival dumps. She will also explain how you too can participate in GWB’s life-saving mission through donations of cash and/or garbage.

4. Helen Warrington Sedgewick, Author and Naturalist

To cap off an already outstanding lecture series we are proud to announce that best-selling children’s author Helen Warrington Sedgewick NCP will be with us for our last lecture of the season. She will be reading selections from her “baby animal” books as well as samples from some of her more controversial works.

Helen is well known to generations of parents for her award-winning children’s books. In her “baby animal” series she has made it her mission to describe the family lives of creatures most of us view from a rather negative perspective. You are all familiar with the most famous of these beloved books, A Family Hangs Together: the Baby Vampire Bat Book. And of course, there is the well-loved Give the World a Hug: the Baby Boa Constrictor Book. Or can we quickly forget: City Survival: The Baby Brown Rat Book? But Sedgewick has not been afraid to address matters other than the maternal aspects of animal life. She courageously confronts the realities of sex and love in: I Lost My Head Over You: A Praying Mantis Love Story. And of course you all remember the storm of controversy raised over her Malaria Mary: Early Feminist Mosquito. Come and enjoy meeting Warrington Sedgewick but bring a large handkerchief as her work, while filled humor, has it most poignant moments.


Glossary: For those of you not familiar with the acronyms used by professionals, this short glossary may be of help.

BFC: Banned From Climbing

MOD: Mail Order Degree

ESD: Environmental Sciences Dropout

NCP: Never Caught Plagiarizing


Stan Dryer is the pen name of an author who lives in southern New Hampshire. He has been writing short stories for sixty years with early publication in magazines including Playboy, Cosmopolitan, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. More recently, he has had 17 short stories and humorous pieces published in on-line magazines including Mystery Magazine, Fabula Argentea, Write Launch, and Spank the Carp. He is an active member of Mystery Writers of America. His work, humorous or otherwise, may be seen on his blog: www.standryer.com.

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