A palindrome, you will recall, is a word that can be read both forwards and backwards, like dad, or the language name Malayalam. But we needn’t stop at words; entire phrases can be palindromed, as for example, in the phrase: Otto made Ned a motto. And why stop there? Why indeed. In the entire history of humankind, no one has ever been able to fashion an entire coherent story in which each and every sentence is a palindrome. Everybody knows those lame one-liners like Able was I ere I saw Elba, and A man, a plan, a canal, Panama. But how far does that get you, after all? Today, on the Star Chamber pages, history is made. Herewith, we present you with that most remarkable of remarkable creations, the wholly palindromic story.
Mr. Nym Goes Adventuring
(Editor’s note: I know that’s not a palindrome; it hasn’t started yet)
My name is Siema Nym. Once I went to the city of Foyticeh tott New Iecno. There I met a magical dwarf named Deman-Frawdla Cigamat E. Miereht.
“Eciovy reeh canie mot diase!” he said to me, in a cheery voice.
“Huh? Em etib,” I helpfully read from my phrasebook, but he said, “Dias eh tub, koobe sarhpym morf da erylluf plehi, bite me!”
“Ecanem ta ergh tiwdna reduol diase!” he said, louder, and with great menace.
He taunted me… he threatened to poke me in the shoulderblade with a candlestick, all the while growling in a low voice, “Eciov wol anig nilworgelih weht; llakcit seldna cahtiw edalbred-luoh seht nieme kopot denetaerh… tehem detnuateh.”
What a terrible mistake to come to Foyticeh tott New Iecno; I wish instead I had gone to Tenog da Hidaet-Snihsi Wionce Iwent tothe Cityo’Fo Temoco Tekatsim el-Birret a Tahw!! At least there they will offer you a tasty plate of the local delicacy, caciled lacoleht foe talpy-tsatau oy reffolli wyehte rehtt saelta. Mmmm.
“Look over there!” I shouted, hoping to draw his attention away from my increasingly desperate situation by pointing out a low-flying fruitbat native to his country whose name is quite long and complicated and which I will abbreviate here (if you will forgive me) as a saem-revokool*.
No luck; he glared and gurgled, “El grug d’na deral gehk culon…”
“Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?”
He paused and tapped his finger thoughtfully on his long nolsih-noy llufth guoh tregnifsih deppat d’nad esuapeh.
Aha! I left and never went back to the city of Foyticeh tot Kcabt New Revend Natfeli.**
My name is Siema Nym.
The end neeht.***
- Its full name is Saemev igrof-lliwuoy fier eh etaiverbba lliwihcihw d’nadetacilp moc d’nagnol etiuq sieman esohwyrtnuoc sih ot evitan tabtiurf gniylf-wol a tuo arey ouchec kingt his gnitniop yb noitautis etarepsed ylgnisaercni ym morf yawa noitnetta sih ward ot gnipoh detuohs Ierehtre vokool. Wow.
** A law came into effect during the course of the story that actually changed the city’s name! Hah!
*** I accidentally typed the word “neeht” at the end of this sentence. It was an honest mistake.