A. Sklyarenko: He too had had just about his 'last straw' of champagne, namely four out of half a dozen bottles minus a rizzom (as we said at old Chose) and now, as he followed their bluish furs, he inhaled like a fool his right hand before gloving it. (ibid.) According to Webster's dictionary, rizzom means "straw; a tiny bit, particle."

Jansy Mello:  Why was “rizzom” (a straw, a tiny bit…) included in a “saying in old Chose”? This has been teasing my  imagination because of its kind of formulaic rendering: “four out of  half a dozen bottles  minus a rizzom.” 

I once heard an almost similar  construction (“meia duzia de tres ou quatro cervejas” - with no added straws and a special twist), but I thought it was a spur of the moment playful invention. Thanks to the internet I learned that, among other things, it’s the name of a singing group (how could it not be!)  

Checking for  “the last straw” in wiki [ “The idiom the straw that broke the camel's back is from an Arabic proverb about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. This is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition, a single straw. This also gives rise to the phrase "the last/final straw", used when something is deemed to be the last in a line of unacceptable occurrences. Variations include "the straw that broke the donkey's back", the "melon that broke the monkey's back", the "feather that broke the camel's back", and the "straw that broke the horse's back". One of the earliest published usages of this phrase was in Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son (1848), where he says "As the last straw breaks the laden camel's back", meaning that there is a limit to everyone's endurance, or everyone has his breaking-point. Dickens was writing in the nineteenth century and he may have received his inspiration from an earlier proverb, recorded by Thomas Fuller in his Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs as "'Tis the last feather that breaks the horse's back". Mark Twain also used a variation of this phrase in his book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), "this final feather broke the camel's back" (Twain 71.) In other languages: The equivalent proverb in the following languages roughly translates to "the drop that made the cup overflow" As in Russian последняя капля переполнила чашу терпения. “]  I found out that it’s related to the more obvious expression “the drop that made the cup overflow.”
The idea of relating “straws” ( and sipping straws?), or a last drop to champagne is itself relatively funny.
Rizzom could simply be the outcome of a caprice on the part of a dictionary lover*  
A.Sklyarenko’s wonderful link between “Ursus” and VN’s  “ridebis semper” with Hugo’s novel is a gem, and it’s fitting doesn’t require any “risus”…  



*-  I continued to puzzle over “rizzom” anyway and I’d like to share the fun with the List. The first thing I remembered was riding a train (Zug) in Germany holding a soda with a ‘straw’ whose wrapping played with the verb “to sip” (Zug) in a train. I checked it online to be sure that my ancient recollection could be correct and it seems to be.
Zug, in German, may refer to: railway train; train; railroad train; chess move; move at chess; draft; air lock; barge train; streak; shark; crease; pen line; stroke of the pen; drink; swig; draught; suction power…
I rushed to the “chess” association (Zug: a chess move) - but I selected just one entry because it seems that it’s the passage from the German “Zug” to the English designation of a special chess move, namely, Zugzwang.  
Crazy!  And yet, somehow, Lucette’s fate might have been the result of somekind of a “draw” (!) after the frustrated attempt at a mènage a trois ( I didn’t check in Ada but isn’t this how the Ursus story ends for Lucette? Or later caused her last plunge?).

Wiki: “Zugzwang (German for "compulsion to move" is a situation found in chess and other games, where one player is put at a disadvantage because he must make a move when he would prefer to pass and not move. The fact that the player is compelled to move means that his position will become significantly weaker. A player is said to be "in zugzwang" when any possible move will worsen his position. The term is also used in combinatorial game theory, where it means that it directly changes the outcome of the game from a win to a loss, but the term is used less precisely in games such as chess. Putting the opponent in zugzwang is a common way to help the superior side win a game, and in some cases, it is necessary in order to make the win possible.The term zugzwang was used in German chess literature in 1858 or earlier, and the first known use of the term in English was by World Champion Emanuel Lasker in 1905. The concept of zugzwang was known to players many centuries before the term was coined, appearing in an endgame study published in 1604 by Alessandro Salvio, one of the first writers on the game, and in shatranj studies dating back to the early 9th century, over 1000 years before the first known use of the term.Positions with zugzwang occur fairly often in chess endgames. According to John Nunn, positions of reciprocal zugzwang are surprisingly important in the analysis of endgames

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