Episode Eight of the Lion in Tweed: The Lion in Tweed and Half Dollar play Jeff Tweedy songs and discuss Aumann and Meyerson on Peak's Island in Casco Bay



Download the mp3 here.

Subscribe here

Download music files here.

Partial transcript below.


The Lion in Tweed took the screen door from Half Dollar, who was holding it open for him.

"I have a flashlight," Half Dollar whispered. The Lion nodded in response.

The Lion stepped through the wooden door onto the deck, a full flight up from the ground. There was a constant hum of crickets and far away, foghorns rang like bells hit with pillows: a clear, distinct, single note with something of a reverb trail, but just a little soft. Half Dollar began down the stairs, and the Lion followed. When the Lion reached the bottom of the stairs, he found his sandals soaked through quickly in the damp grass where he and Half Dollar planned to sit in lawn chairs, extracted from the shed charmingly called the "Li'l Gull," relative to the "Gull Cottage" which was the main building, from which they had just descended.

The Li'l Gull

The Lion noted with pleasure that the contracted "Li'l" was apstrophied correctly.

Half Dollar sat in one of the wooden Adirondack chairs and the Lion sat in the one next. The white paint on the chairs wasn't chipped as much as worn thin, as if scoured by the airborne salt of the Atlantic Ocean that wafted over Peak's Island. Half Dollar took out a swiss army knife--one of the classic kind, just a knife, a file, a corkscrew, and a single other tool that the Lion couldn't identify--and opened the blade with the feathers of one wing. He extracted a cigar from the pocket of his white button-down shirt.


"I didn't bring a cutter, so I hope you're happy with a swiss army knife," said Half Dollar.

"Um, uh, that's fine, I think," the Lion replied.

Dollar passed the Lion a cigar and then began to work on his own: carefully carving out a circle from the end of his cigar. The Lion smelled his cigar, deeply, the dry outer black of his nose fluttered against the wet black inner nostrils as he inhaled. He didn't really know what he was trying to identify, in smelling the cigar, but he saw more seasoned cigar smokers doing it and he figured eventually he would figure out what to look for.

Dollar finished his work and passed the knife, handle-first, to the Lion. As the Lion began to look the cigar over to identify exactly where and how much to cut, Half Dollar began to work over his cigar in his bill. He held a lit match--never a lighter--to the end of the cigar, slowly turning it. The Lion was sure there was a name for this, and his friend Half Dollar most certainly knew that name. He and Half Dollar, Math majors together at Oberlin College back when they were young, shared the pleasure in getting luxury choices exactly right, down to the details.

"Toasting," said Half Dollar, apparently aware that the Lion was looking at his activity and guessing that he was wondering about the word. As Half Dollar said the word, he looked up and opened his eyes wide, popping up his eyebrows as if use them as air-quotes.

"I see," said the Lion. The Lion finished the mangled end of the cigar and began to toast his as well with a match from the box between them.

The crickets hummed. A dog barked. The Lion finished toasting and, with a new match (the previous one having grown too short for him to handle comfortably between the pads of his paw), began to light the cigar's end again, drawing into his mouth, careful to let the dense, syrupy smoke to settle only on his tongue and in his mouth. The smoke drifted into the air, and merged quickly from his perspective with the fog hanging over the ocean in the distance. The foghorns continued to announce their notes authoritatively, and somewhere a ship's bell began to ring wildly.


"I love the foghorns, Dollar," said the Lion.

"The foghorns are great, aren't they? I think it's interesting that they are out of phase," said Dollar.

The Lion hadn't noticed it, but now what Half Dollar mentioned it, he began to hear that pattern, going in and out of sync.

Dollar said: "It's almost like a Philip Glass piece. 'Okay: have this one playing a note every ten seconds, and this one every 11 seconds. Repeat it forever.'"

They listened to the foghorns quietly for a few moments. They heard a plane land overhead. The Lion drew into his mouth. "So how is your work coming along?" he asked, exhaling.

This portion of the transcript is unavailable at this time.


The Lion said, "Is it too late to play a little?" Blue and Half Dollar's wife had come out to the deck above, and began talking in the night air.

"I don't think so," said Dollar. He put the cigar in his bill and picked up his banjo.

This is the


of the podcast.

Thanks for listening to episode Eight of the Lion in Tweed: The Lion in Tweed and Half Dollar play Uncle Tupelo songs and discuss Aumann and Nash on Peak's Island in Casco Bay.

DOLLAR: I'm Matthew Bourque, and I voice Half Dollar and play the banjo and sing. I am pursuing my PhD in [Computational Game Theory] at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

LION: And I'm Andreas Duus Pape. I have my PhD in economics, and I also study game theory.

We lived on the same hall our first year
at Oberlin College in northern Ohio

DOLLAR: Andreas and I lived on the same hall freshman year at Oberlin College in northern Ohio, and started in the same Calculus II class, and we took a math class together nearly every semester we were there. We've shared a love of mathematics, lefty politics, and music since then. I look forward to playing together again soon. Maybe next time in Chicago?

LION: That would be great! My wife Emily and I would like to thank Jim and Gail and Matt and Araidia for inviting us out to their wonderful cabin on Peak's Island and sharing their space and memories of the place. Thanks to Araidia for tailoring advice for a project that is under wraps. Here is Jim sharing the Maine island tradition of Dark and Stormys:

This portion of the transcript is unavailable at this time.


The Lion in Tweed

Previous Episode . Return to The Lion In Tweed Main Page . Archive of all Lion In Tweed Episodes. . Next Episode