Another cool piece of Dionysian paraphernalia is the thyrsus (from Greek θύρσος) which is a staff topped with a roughly conical plant part, canonically (cononically?) a large pine cone, but it could be a flower or an artichoke or something like that.
I have sometimes toyed with the idea of carrying one around, but it seems like it would be more inconvenient than useful.
In Doorways in the Sand the donkey is named “Sibla”, which I was thinking would be a good name for the donkey of Silenus. But then I remembered that actually Sibla is not really a donkey, but an impostor. (“The real donkey is tied up out back,” he says.) Probably Silenus had a series of donkeys, each named differently. What did they do with the donkeys when they died? (Peacfully, I imagine, at advanced ages.) I hope they buried them honorably.
One of my favorite lines from the book is in connection with Sibla:
Haven't we all felt that way at one time or another?
I find that somehow, in twelve years of blogging, I have never mentioned Doorways in the Sand. I will have to discuss it at some point.
Today a co-worker mentioned the word “euouae”, which are a certain type of hymnal cadence. I thought I knew what this was but I was mistaken. I had it mixed up with “evoe”, which is the frenzied cry of the maenads (from Greek εὐοῖ). I first encountered this word in Zelazny's Doorways in the Sand, of all places. The protagonist is at a bacchanal party, also attended by the requisite donkey, and:
The girl does not appear again, but the donkey is a plot point. If there is a canonical name for Silenus’ donkey, I do not know it.
Similar but not related is “ululation”, which is just what it sounds like, a long wavering howl. This onomotopoeic word is very old. It is not, however, related to uvula, which is Latin for “little grape”.
To me “ululate” suggests that there ought also to be “ululatrix” and perhaps also “ululatorium”. If I wrote a novel it would be full of this sort of nonsense.