Sunday, December 31, 2006

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Out with the old year and in with the new. And where does that get you? The old one was a perfectly functional year. Why, just last October it was winning accolades at the annual awards ceremony. It was sunbathing at Saint Tropez last July. It fell madly in love in April. Why, just last February it finally shed its training wheels.

Sure, it's a little long in the tooth now, but this new year is an unknown property. Do we expect preciousness to get us through the cold winter months? Couldn't this cherub be foisted on us in May or June instead of January? What we need now is experience. Let's keep the old year until it keels over and dies, what do you say?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Papa Legba

I was standing on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street, waiting for the Loa bus. I was cold, so I began shuffling my feet and clapping my hands together. In doing so, I worked up an interesting rhythm.

A dog sidled up to where I stood and looked up at me expectantly. I figured he was hungry, so I tore off some of the fried chicken I'd been eating and gave him some. He seemed grateful, but rather than look to me for more, he put his ears back and stared down Seventh.

From that direction came slowly an old man, hobbling along on a pair of crutches. His face and arms were covered in sores and bruises, and he was having a hard time breathing. As he approached, the dog went up to him and licked his hand. I stopped shuffling. He chuckled.

"You don't want to stop now, son," he said to me weakly. "You're almost there."

I had no idea what he meant, but the spark in his eye made it clear that he did. The dog wagged its tail. The old man sat himself down on a bench I hadn't noticed was there. I sat down too. I looked down Sixth, then straight ahead. He looked at me looking.

"What you want," he said, "is not far off."

"The bus?" I asked. "I imagine not."

"No, not the bus. What you want. You know you can have it."

I stood up and started to walk away. Then I stopped and walked back. I looked down at him and he met my gaze, smiling. He drew a pipe from his coat pocket, struck a match to it and smoked, all the while studying me. This weak old man was not weak at all. He had resolve to beat the band.

I wanted to tell him I didn't know what he was talking about, but something stopped me. Because I knew what I wanted. Maybe he was right. The dog looked at me, then at the old man, and then back at me. The Loa bus pulled up to the corner and the door opened wide. A wave of warmth hit me.

"It's my bus." I said quietly. "I have to go."

The old man nodded. "I'll see you," he said.

He and the dog watched me climb aboard and take a seat near the front. I turned to wave, but the old man had picked up his crutches and was walking on up Seventh. The dog trotted down Sixth.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Nondecisional Escalation

The great decider, a uniter not a divider,
has reached a decision on the division that splits us.
This after the fact-finding mission to back
another cynical division deployed in Iraq.
General consensus on green zone defences concur
a surge is what's needed in order to urge
the insurgents to cease their insurrection.
But the meeting in Crawford to be nondivisional
means the final results must be nondecisional,
and that means no means to an end must occur.
But damn, there's always that next election.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Billybob Pod

WANTED FOR PIRACY:
* Billybob (aka Captain Mr. Bill, aka Willyboy, aka Junkie Dan)
* Suspected of years worth of nefarious deeds of daring-do on the high seas.
* Distinguishing features: Missing a few fingertips due to mishap involving a shark.
* Believed to be recently armed with ultraviolet vision after emerging from some sort of pod.
* Should be considered dangerous. Do not mess with him.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gort

The total blanket our parents left us waits crouched with the linen, an everyday object that we are content to imagine. We air it out now and again, hang it on the line for the neighbors to see and marvel at. Then we remothball it, return it to its shadow world, sigh and say we hope we never have to use it. Klaatu barada nikto.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Oni

Jombo was not only the village witch doctor, but the son of a hyena. He laid eyes on Oni and wanted her for his wife. But Duna, Oni's father was cheap and would not put forth so much as a rooster for her dowry. So Jombo felt he had no choice but to cast a spell upon Oni, and so turned her to a halfhag.

One day, Kwame, a halfdweeb, passed through the village...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Xmus Yums

Here are three of the world's most popular Christmas sweet treats, guaranteed to turn any frown upside down.



Umm-uhmm. Bone marrow crackers. Okay, they taste like sawdust, but reindeer love 'em. Leave a plate of these out tonight and there'll be no leukemia in store for Donner or Comet.




Oh. Wow. It's old fashioned rhubarb circus candy. Just like the kind that made everybody sick at the State Fair last October, only with the strychnine removed, I think. Elves and clowns scarf these down, usually with no ill effects.





Santa's absolute favorite. Treaclemint cookies. Laced with Ecstasy, they get results. No way you're not getting a Playstation 3 if you leave these out.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Howard Stern

From the Clean Channel to the Dog Star, Howard continues to remind us of the words of Lenny Bruce:

"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Leech

I tell ya, you're aLL Right. You're All righT in my boOk, know what I'm sayin'? You're OkAY!
Hey. You're FLush. Buy me A drink, wouldJa?
You'd Do that for mE? You are a GentLeman and a Scholar, sir.
Merry goDDam chrismas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vesta

Back then it was no simple task to kindle a fire, so once one was started, it had to be maintained. Hestia kept it going on Olympus, all the while fending off the advances of vain Apollo and damp Poseidon. Her Roman version was Vesta, who kept the fire going in her circular temple atop Palatine Hill. Vesta hired a crew of like minded virgins to help her in her task. Their hearth tending was a thing to behold. Embers were sent out from the temple to kindle fires in the farthest reaches of the empire. Newborn babes were brought to the fires for tempering.

The Vestal Virgins had two things to maintain: the fire and their virginity. To lose either was punishable by death. Naturally, the method chosen to bring about this result was to tie her to a post and burn her alive. There were always enough coals to achieve this.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Man on Mars

Martian terrain (click to enlarge) with large pointy-chinned, feather-cheeked dour man. Has martian perched atop his right forehead (your left). May have old man above left eye.
Here's the martian.

Also: The North Pole here on Earth ain't much, but here is the North Pole on Mars. Cool. Maybe that's where S. Claus lives.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

John Brown

John Brown leaned forward. Told them they could easily dispose of him; they were nearly there already. But the thornier issue - you remember - slavery? That would remain.

You would dare arm our slaves, enable them to rise up, kill or make suffer their masters, join with you and your like; brigands, ruffians and Negroes alike? Brown, suppose you had every nigger in the United States, what would you do with them?

I would set them free.

Meet John Brown, terrorist.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Guignol

Take one Montmarte church replete with cherubim. Combine with overwritten scripts and overacting players. Add a dash of illicity. Garnish with a slice of death, et voila: Behold the Grand Guignol.

Who knew the body held so many guts and there were so many ways to bring them to the surface? Arms, legs and heads were violently torn from their owners. Blood flowed, eyeballs bounced. Actual crimes of the days were reenacted with flourish, making the Grand Guignol the Law & Order of its day. Society swells and riff-raff alike sat prepared to be enthralled and disgusted and possibly pelted with entrails, a doctor always in the wings to treat the faintable. Apparent spectators could be in a trice dragged stageward for subsequent torture and rape. C'était horrible.

Next to the Eiffel Tower, it was The Place To Go when you visited Paris.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bigfoot Forward

Two hundred kilometers northeast of Saskatoon, I set my turboprop down on the tundra. I had come to take part in a poker game with some high rolling natives of the region, and I found the game soon enough. It went on in earnest for two days and then things got serious. I was racking up my share, but I was looking for the cards to nudge out the man I saw as my biggest threat, Running Fox.
I was dealt three sixes and bet half of what I'd won. They all dropped - all, that is, but Running Fox, who called and stood pat. I drew two and bet it all, having drawn the fourth six. I knew Running Fox didn't have enough on the table to cover the bet. He threw this photo into the pot.
"What the Sam Hill is that?" I asked.
"Bigfoot," said Running Fox.
"Bigfoot?" My jaw dropped. "You mean, you possess a Bigfoot?" He nodded. "A living Bigfoot?" He nodded again, stoically. "Well," I said, "this I have to see. I'll except Bigfoot as your call." I prayed he didn't have a straight flush.
"Read and weep. Full house, kingss high."
"Not good enough, Foxy. Four sixes."
And that's the story of the sasquatch I won in Saskatchewan.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

We're All Working for the Swami

I first met Swami Dave in a crowded street market in the steamy holy city of Baton Rouge. I was but a waif and wastrel - a waifstrel, as it were. I was indentured to a dentist. My job was to blow opium smoke into a hose.
Swami Dave floated into the stall on a cloud of flowers, his jaw swollen. "It'll have to come out," was the verdict. He refused the hose and never flinched. When it was done, I offered to shine his shoes. Then I noticed he was barefoot, so I washed his feet instead.
He must have seen something in me, because he slipped the dentist a wad of bills. Just like that, I was a free man. A free kid, anyway.
Swami Dave took me to a swank set up he had on Fairfields. The place was crawling with kids wearing orange robes, all walking backwards. I learned that was part of the ritual. Followers walk backwards, Swami walks forward. Followers leave room, Swami enters. "Whatever," I says. "Give me the robe, but I ain't drinking the Kool-Aid."
I was given a basin and a sponge and told I would be Swami Dave's official foot washer. I got pretty good at walking backwards while holding a basin full of lotus water. It really wasn't as bad as it sounds; I had nicked a tin of opium from the dentist. The worst part was washing his feet after he'd walked on hot coals. I didn't like using a wire brush.
Over the next three years, I rose through the ranks. From foot washer to laundry detail to limo stepstool to flower petal strewer to food taster to the most coveted of swamical serving duties, right hand PR hack. I'd be by his side still had he not absconded with all he was worth and then some to Aruba. Before he left, Swami Dave drew me aside, pinched my cheek and wished me luck. "Go with my blessing, Child," he said. "Go where?" I asked. His eyes twinkled. "I hear Miami's nice this time of year."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sleep Story 2

The plane taxis toward the terminal. I suggest we buckle up, as many accidents occur at this point. What should appear out the window, in front of the wing, deliberately running toward the plane's wheel, but a clown. The body of a clown, anyway; on his shoulders is an oversized human skull. In no time at all he goes under the wheel. The plane bounces slightly, then comes to stop short of the ramp. A crowd comes running. We sit there, not knowing what to do next. It's quiet.

I guess the pilot decides we need to back up to the scene of the accident. Most of the people on the plane pile over to our side for a better view. We pull up beside not one, but two big-skulled clowns, dead on the tarmac, their huge clown feet pointing to the sky. What a waste.

I don't have a model of the clown, I'm afraid. Maybe I'll make one. Or maybe I won't. It was all quite horrible and I shouldn't be reminded.

But Empty Eyed Louie did remind me later.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Eb 4 Class Prez

I am here......to tell you......to vote for......Eb Gluck for......class president. Why, you ask? I will tell...... you why.
I have known...... Eb Gluck...... since...... well....... a long time. I remember...... back in.......a few years ago....... Eb and me....... I mean, Eb and I....... were at Camp Wumpachuckanimrod for the summer. It rained...... and it rained. We couldn't swim or play badminton... or take hikes...... or anything. We were b-o-r-e-d......... That spells bored. Well......
Eb had an idea. He said we should..... aneth...... anethasi....... anesit...... we should drug....... the camp mascot........Billy.......the badger. And you know? That took leadership.
So Eb sneaks into the nurses' office.......heh-heh.......and gets a bottle of that stuff....... that stuff that puts you to sleep...................... chlorofoam. So, Eb gets a hunka cotton wet in it and sneaks up behind Billy the Badger. Only....... it wasn't chlorofoam, it was a monia. Well...... that was a mean badger. Did you know a badger has claws like ninja throwing stars?
Anyway.......after Eb got out of the hospital he went to another hospital and after he got out of that one, he came back to school. He was changed...... Really changed. He studied hard and then......he made up his mind that........he'd run for class president........so.........
Why should you vote for Eb Gluck........for class president? Well....... because....... because he's been attacked by badgers! I mean....... has Jennifer Wilson been attacked by badgers? No! Has Craig Thomas been attacked by badgers? I don't think so! Only Eb Gluck has been attacked by badgers.......well........a badger. So.......vote for Eb........my friend.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Joseph

Joseph started getting a thing or two through his head. That he'd have to return to the place of his birth to register for the honor to pay Caesar his just due. That he'd have to take Mary with him, who he had promised to marry even though she was with child by none of his doing. That they had no money for accommodations and precious little food to sustain them. That they'd have to pass through something like fifteen checkpoints on their journey from Nazareth. That they were without papers. All at once, Joseph realized things didn't look good.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Amalgamorph Speak

People of Galaxy 8309, we bring you tawdry greets from our quizzical sector of Star System 74-F. I am Moqwadish and I represent species called Amalgamorph. Observe please my protuberant crania. Soft-skulled it hugs my brainia.
My people enjoy to rhyme.

Amalgamorph propose assimilation of unlike species, such are yours. We like enjoy time warp travel, cosmic ray days and procreating new life forms. Must you reply obediently. Send your data immediately. That is all.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hondo Zendo

The sleep of those nights a half-sleep and by day half awake. So satori attained.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gully Deposit Grain

Martian gully deposits (left) in the vicinity of Mons Miro display a notable proclivity toward momaism. Heretofore stymied in their attempts to study the deposits up close, NASA scientists last week were able to launch a microcam from the Mars Global Surveyor in order to take a closer look. The isolated grain on the right makes clear that these are no mere sand or salt deposits. Each grain appears to be a miniature (this one is about three microns long) complex carbon-based organism. It is unclear at this point whether they are fossilized exoskeletons or actual living entities of some odd sort, but either way, NASA is announcing that life on Mars does or did indeed exist.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bisby

Never was a footman like my footman Bisby. Why, Bisby's the last of a breed of servant the likes of which we'll see no more.

I remember once - it was during the war years, rationing and all, couldn't lay your hands on a decent ham sandwich - the cook was at her wits end trying to come up with new recipes involving caviar and fois gras, which was all that was left in the cellars. Well, besides the wine. Anyhow, Bisby, whose duties, of course, did not extend to the kitchen, took it upon himself to call upon his cousin, who happened to be groundskeeper at the Filchmont estate. and who had recently nabbed a poacher who had purloined a bevy of quail in the lower quadrant. The deal led to an outstanding partnership beneficial to all but those snotty Filchmonts. It was all timing with Bisby.

Like the time Bisby in '56 was filling in for Reginald, my valet, who was off burying his mum in Kent. Well, some occasion occurred that called for my formal attire, only Reginald, unbeknownst to us, had sent the entire contents of my armoire to laundress and tailor, leaving me with nary a stitch. Did Bisby panic? He did not. Bisby rang his brother, a lorry driver, who just the night before happened upon an abandoned shipment of the most "dapper of duds," as his brother phrased it. Another deal was struck and I was vestured superbly.

Ah, Bisby, Bisby. He's been in Wandsworth for the last thirty years. We really must visit him one day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Clara

Clara got by on her secretarial salary, but barely. Trouble was, she spent most of her nights at the Top Hat Club dancing like the dickens and having a gay old time of it. She fell madly for King Oliver and Satchmo - danced her feet off whenever they came through town, which in those days was often. There were men who occasionally liked to try to show her a good time, but none of them could keep up. The bathtub hootch took its toll with them. Clara tippled some, but her vice of choice was the wacky weed. Made her flapping a blur. Here's how she looked many a seven AM, after a night of it. Oh, that Clara.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Small Bones

The Occurrence of Small Bones
a nine line sonnet (legal in Delaware)

Most unfortunate fact
swept under the rug:
Look little way once.
Small Bones May Occur.
Duly noted and annotated,
medical records attest.
As or say made chance,
But then who reads them?
Chokers' survivors do.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Miss Molly Muffet

When she was twelve a recluse spider bit Molly Muffet on her cheek, swelling one side of her head to an ungainly proportion. Naturally, from then on, arachnophobia took over her life. Nary a tisket or tasket, nor even a basket went unexamined. Eight legged lurkers could lie in wait under any three legged tuffet. Fortunately, there was always time for words and Kay, her sister, knew a few. They and Kay kept the spiders at bay that wiggled and jiggled and tickled beside her. I guess she lived.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Turk

The Turk knew what he was in for, it wasn't like he didn't. He cooked the books for years and managed to keep the numbers hid. But Sid had his eye on the Turk, got the notion his quiet meant he talked more on the outside. Since he's gone nothing adds up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Polytonality

What happens when polytonality is suppressed? We know the answer to this question from studying Manitoban muskrats in their rutting season. By feeding them pine cones soaked in maple syrup, scientists are able to stifle the rodents' eerie love song and force them to produce a raspy hack instead. The result is a slightly less unsettling quag and fewer baby Manitoban muskrats.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Morgue Arrival A

This one's a puzzler. Came in today on the rhubarb express. That's what we call any extremely rural EMS ambulance. It's fitting, too, as the guy appears part vegetable. I'd guess artichoke. Well, time to drain the chlorophyll.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Marching To Pretoria

Colonel Edwin Pilfington III of Her Majesty's Finest fought valiantly under Lord Kitchener in the Western Transvaal against those confounded Boers. The bloody bitter-enders never knew when to quit, scorched earth or no. Still in all, despite losing two legs and and an arm in an artillery barrage, Colonel Pillfington did manage to capture singlehandedly
(as that's all he had left) 217 enemy wives and children.
"All in a day's rout," he is said to have harrumphed.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Don Quixote (aka George Bush)

"The fear thou art in, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "prevents thee from seeing or hearing correctly, for one of the effects of fear is to derange the senses and make things appear different from what they are; if thou art in such fear, withdraw to one side and leave me to myself, for alone I suffice to bring victory to that side to which I shall give my aid;" and so saying he gave Rocinante the spur, and putting the lance in rest, shot down the slope like a thunderbolt. Sancho shouted after him, crying, "Come back, Senor Don Quixote; I vow to God they are sheep and ewes you are charging! Come back! Unlucky the father that begot me! what madness is this!"

- Miguel de Cervantes from "Don Quixote"

That the Law

Every time I see this simple truth while driving through Brinkley, Arkansas, I mean to capture it's image. I finally did. (Click to enlarge.)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Incubus

There's no polite way to explain it. It's a parasite. A demon. It's hideousness astounds women and takes their breath away. While stunned they are easy prey. The incubus attaches itself.

Or,

She never sees it coming because she's asleep. It could be a handsome prince or someone she knows for all she knows. So rough, though.

Either way, it is not a pleasant union. Bile arises. The revulsion requires absolution, but no amount of cleansing will do. And nine months later... You just don't want to know.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Playtendo 3Wee Released

The Playtendo 3Wee video game system hit the stores this morning and garnered somewhat less than spectacular sales, according to an industry spokesman.

"Sales have been somewhat less than spectacular," said Charles P. Harris, vice president in charge of marketing for Playtendo. "We are expecting things to pick up a bit this afternoon, however."

Controversy arose following last week's press release unveiling the 3Wee. Based on poll results, consumers expressed confusion as to whether the game system was a Playstation or a Nintendo product. Spokespersons for Nintendo and for Sony, the manufacturer of the Playstation, declined to comment on the grounds that they, quite simply, weren't sure.

"What's important to keep in mind," said Harris, "is the advanced technology behind the Playtendo 3Wee. It's the only game system out there with both a Blu-Ray drive and a Wee Remote. That sets us apart."

This reporter visited several area retailers and found dazed shoppers camped out in long lines, waiting for the opportunity to purchase one electronic game system or another. Hawkers for the Playtendo 3Wee worked the lines alongside the muggers and pickpockets consumers have come to expect. It is a sales technique that, innovative as it is, may be ahead of its time.

Joe Blow, a beefy Playtendo salesperson. took a few moments to talk to me. "They ain't biting now, but they'll come around. We'll be here as long as the lines are here. Our hundred dollar cash only price tag is just too low for some of these marks to resist. I'll be eating sirloin tonight."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Legong Dancer

In the village of Binoh within the district of Badung on the island of Bali there lived a young Legong dancer by the name of Reena. Reena possessed a singular beauty which left all in the village awestruck. Each performance began with offerings bestowed before her. The gamelan orchestra would slowly begin playing, but Reena remained stoic, kneeling, without expression. Only her fingers moved. Then her eyes. Her neck bent. Gradually, she came alive. A story would unfold. With fluid movements Reena evoked the divine nymph.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Arthur Rimbaud

He sold his words to fishmonger's wives, who couldn't spare the time of day. The vital germ! The seed! His song bled in the town square. He took to the high seas and settled for less.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gallery of Icons 5

Best I can tell, this is an unfinished sandstone sculpture of Ah Puch, Mayan god of death. I purchased it from a blind market vendor in Cancun who assured me it came from Tulum. Naturally, I felt guilty at first paying only 400 pesos for such an exquisite example of pre-Columbian art, especially given the fact that the poor man couldn't even see what he had. But I came around to thinking his loss, my gain. To the victor go the spoils. Manifest destiny, etc.

I even got a story to go along with it as to why the carving wasn't completed. The old guy told me whenever the Mayan stonecarvers attempted to carve the likeness of Ah Puch, they would meet some horrible fate. The chisel would slip and sever a vital artery or they'd be struck by lightning or they'd just suffer a massive heart attack and die. Isn't that darling tale? I paid nothing extra for the folklore.

I'm thinking I could take a Dremel and drill out the eyes. What do you think?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fustian Foister

Fustian foister, get thee hence.
Drivelers of bombast find no refuge here.
Here the humble hold pompous roasts.
Excess verbiage is given but
the flick of a toothpick,
if that.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gallery of Icons 4

Onward through the Yucatánic fog

Chac Mool was a figment of fancy belonging to Augustus Le Plongeon, 3D photographer and father of Plongeonetics. He dug up a statue at Chichen Itza in eighteen something and named it such after the King of Mu. Plongeonism has it that Mayans visited Atlantis on their way to Egypt where they erected slightly more pointy pyramids. It helped that they had electricity.

There aren't too many Plongeonistas left today to perpetuate such myths, mainly because Augustus urged all of his followers to invest in clay coins of his realm, such as is shown here. He called them Chac-moolians and minted gobs and gobs of them. The only use Yucatanian market vendors got out of them was throwing them back at the schlonkers who tried to pass them off. Which is why so many of them are recovered today by just scratching the surface ground in old market places. No one ever bothered to pick them up.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gallery of Icons 3

Olmec, Mixtec, Toltec and Aztec all feared the feathered snake god, Quetzalcoatl. He was handed down to the Mayans as Kukulkán. He slithers each equinox down his pyramid at Chichen Itza and becomes ramrod straight at the proper hour. This could be him, but it's not. To gaze upon his true visage would turn you to a toadstool, so I've substituted an Incan icon of unknown origin. You're welcome.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

True Story 10: Paths

We weren't to wander freely we took to mean without destination. So we made new ones daily. Each would take us farther along a given path. Soon the paths were dotted with relics of past excursions. These were our landmarks. Rocks. Trees. Bridges. Clearings in the woods were highly prized. Some spots held spirits of occurrences; we were here when the geese flew over, there when the storm came up, somewhere near here when we were hopelessly lost. Of course, the latest milestones were only destinations until we reached them. From there on, all was unknown. Occasionally we'd have to cross roads that we recognized, having driven over them with our parents. But these were vague and fleeting recollections. Our memories were our only maps.

Sometimes one of our routes would meet up with another and when this happened our initial reaction was one of amazed discovery and pride in our ability to put a few more pieces of the great puzzle together. But this was followed, for me at least, by a kind of sadness. Our world was becoming smaller, not larger. The forces of de-mystification were at work.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mercury Transit Authority

Fleet of foot Mercury (left) prepares to transit stalwart face of Sun (right). Thousands of Earth observers go blind. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Emmett Newsome

As a young man Emmett Newsome found he'd worn a crease in his life and it rankled him to no end. He said he'd be damned if he'd let some city wear him down and out, so he signed on to a tramp steamer and make his way east. That's east from Hong Kong, mind you, so there wasn't much more east left. Fortunately the ship plied the Pacific South South Southeast. Ended up in Bali, where he took to carving drift coral into the shapes of Vishnu and Ganesha.

He's become all the rage. Free now of rankles, Emmett is at peace.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Glindle Coil

Fuses begat breakers, but Glindle coils begat fuses. They might have lasted longer had they not so easily been shorted out by flies and spiders.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Diary Entry 6: Rapture

Oh, fooey. Another day gone by and I'm still here.

What's the deal? Wasn't Judgement Day supposed to be here by now? All the literature says it's overdue. Pastor Raney's been telling us for the last fifteen years that the sky will open any day now and the saved will ascend to glory. The heathen will turn to ash and their souls will be damned for all eternity, but the rest of us will float to the top like Ivory Soap, 99 and 44/100ths per cent pure. I've been wearing my Sunday Go To Meeting clothes daily for about three years, and so far I've got zilch to show for it. Zip. Nada. Bupkis. I don't get it.

I have a good mind to demand my ten per cent tithe over the past fifteen years be returned to me. I mean, I have a health savings account that starts paying off at a certain point if I don't get sick and die, so shouldn't my soul be afforded the same luxury? If this Rapture doesn't happen soon, I won't be held responsible for my actions. Not a threat, Diary; just a simple statement of fact.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Calling All Saints

Now that the pagan holiday is over, it's time to celebrate the pious. Welcome to All Hallowed Saints Day, where monks are skewered and nuns are burned alive. Whether sacrificed by idolators or the Catholic church, it's all for the Greater Good.

Take St. Fluvius, for example. Born a small child, he grew to be a devout recluse. Content to breathe the clean third century Tuscany air and pray for 18 hours a day, he was aroused from his reverie one day by an ugly pitchforked mob. They demanded he bow down before a statue of Baal they had wheeled into the room and pledge his allegiance to it. "Nothing doing," was Fluvius's earnest reply. These turned out to be his final words as he was in short order boiled alive in oil, set ablaze (they had to dry him off first) and fed to wild dogs. Two centuries later, Fluvius was canonized, as is the custom for shabbily treated anchorites. He was given a festival day (I think it's in April) which is celebrated to this day by someone, somewhere, no doubt.