jub jub jub jub jub jub jub jub jub …

It’s about time.

You can’t bribe time. I think that the “Jubjub” might be a chronometer. “Jub jub” makes me think of the sound of a clock escapement. You want the sound to be “symmetrical”.

From The Hunting of the Snark:

297    “Be a man!” said the Bellman in wrath, as he heard
298       The Butcher beginning to sob.
299    “Should we meet with a Jubjub, that desperate bird,
300       We shall need all our strength for the job!”

321    Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
322       And they knew that some danger was near:
323    The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tail,
324       And even the Butcher felt queer.

325    He thought of his childhood, left far far behind —
326       That blissful and innocent state —
327    The sound so exactly recalled to his mind
328       A pencil that squeaks on a slate!

329    “’Tis the voice of the Jubjub!” he suddenly cried.
330        (This man, that they used to call “Dunce.”)
331    “As the Bellman would tell you,” he added with pride,
332        “I have uttered that sentiment once.

333    “’Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat;
334        You will find I have told it you twice.
335    ’Tis the song of the Jubjub! The proof is complete,
336        If only I’ve stated it thrice.”

337    The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
338        Attending to every word:
339    But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
340        When the third repetition occurred.

381    “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird,
382        Since it lives in perpetual passion:
383    Its taste in costume is entirely absurd —
384        It is ages ahead of the fashion:

385    “But it knows any friend it has met once before:
386        It never will look at a bribe:
387    And in charity-meetings it stands at the door,
388        And collects — though it does not subscribe.

389    “ Its flavour when cooked is more exquisite far
390        Than mutton, or oysters, or eggs:
391    (Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar,
392        And some, in mahogany kegs:)

393    “You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue:
394        You condense it with locusts and tape:
395    Still keeping one principal object in view—
396        To preserve its symmetrical shape.”

By the way: The bird also lurks in Carroll’s Jabberwocky (1872):

004    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
005        The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
006    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
007        The frumious Bandersnatch!”


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2017-09-19, update: 2022-10-22

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