Sunday, February 26, 2006

Close Call


There was an incredible display of athletic prowess on display in Torino last Thursday when Norwegian bobsledder Andrus Halvorsen narrowly avoided running down Austrian cross-country skier Klaudia Bernhard. The one man sled being driven by Halvorsen at a speed approaching 90 mph (or 144 kmh) jumped the bank and spun wildly out of control down the mountain slope. Bernhard, who was traversing the mountain laterally, was concentrating so hard on her own performance, she didn't notice the bobsled until it was too late. Halvorsen managed to straighten his vehicle at the last second and, throwing all of his weight into it, steered hard right, the direction the skier had come from. Unfortunately, it dawned on Ms. Bernhard a split second earlier that she had dropped her glove and so turned back to recover it. Halvorsen saw this in an amount of time so miniscule as to baffle non-bobsledders, and reacted accordingly, turning sharply back to the left. In that instant, Bernhard realized her glove was still on her hand, and proceeded to turn back in the direction she was originally heading. It now appeared there was no way an abrupt and violent crash could be avoided. Fortunately for both athletes, their families, the city of Torino (or Turin), Italy, Europe, the Olympic Committee and the entire world watching the games on television, listening to the games on radio, receiving pictures of the games on cell phones or just imagining the games in their heads as they drove to work, the bobsled hit a dry spot in the snow and came to an abrupt stop just inches (or centimeters) from young Klaudia Bernhard. You should have seen it, because it really was incredible.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Three Glyphs of Flur

These are the three legendary glyphs of Flur. Had it not been for the Flur Expedition of 1926 under the leadership of Major David Domo, the glyphs, which eventually unlocked the mystery of Flurian numerology, would undoubtedly still be buried beneath seven feet of ash and clay somewhere in the mountain crests of the Colgatias, within the Republic of Fluristan. Think of it. But not for too long.

Friday, February 24, 2006

R.I.P.

We gather here today to bid farewell to a man who did so many for so much.

To be an assassin is a lonely job. There is no one there to hold your hand as you aim your weapon; no one there to put an arm around your shoulder as you squeeze the trigger. No, no one comforted Jebadiah Talabagian, but no one made him muff the shot, either.

A loyal employee of Sid Greenbaum's numbers racket by day, Jebadiah made a kil.... a small fortune at night, filling contracts and eliminating problems with his M40-A1, complete with night vision scope. In doing so, he won the admiration, envy and eventual wrath of his peers.

Jebadiah leaves behind his mother, Murtha; his ex-wife Wilma; and his dog, Bowser. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Those who didn't, won't. Or anyway didn't.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Diary Entry 1

"Bloody Hell!" I exclaimed in disgust. For I had lodged my posterior so tightly into the throne, to free myself was a wickedly difficult manoeuver. I shook it to the left and I shook it to the right, but all to no avail. I was flustered.

"Thompkins! I'm..." I sighed, exasperated. Thompkins appeared forthwith. "...stuck." I whimpered.

"Oh dear," said Thompkins, grabbing hold of my arms and pulling. "You have got yourself in a sticky wicket, Your Majesty."

"Confound it all, man!" I cried. "It's not my arms that are stuck. It's my bloody arse!"

Thompkins then grabbed me by my midsection and we cavorted about in a sort of sailors' jig. It was not altogether unpleasant. Under other circumstances... But the ministers were waiting and I could tarry no longer. With a Herculean twist of my body I at last popped free. In doing so, I lost my balance and fell to the floor, taking Thompkins with me. We lay there for a moment, utterly flummoxed.

Now that I look back on it, the entire dreary morning was made up of events such as this. The look of astonishment on the faces of the ministers when I arrived at Lancaster Hall; how was I to know my hairpiece was askew? The hideously awful cup of tea I was served there; I spit it out immediately and unfortunately, in the process, drenched Lord Timsbury. The whole business of having to sign my name to all those depressing dispossession and imprisonment orders; my hand was veritably racked with cramps afterwards. And the ministers, those appalling old waxworks, kept intoning the most ridiculous rigmarole about sovereignty and rule of law and who knows what. It was all so monotonous, I must have dozed right off. Next thing I knew, Thompkins was tapping my shoulder and the room was empty.

"Where is everyone?" I blinked.

"Gone, Your Majesty" said Thompkins. "Gone for fish and chips."

"Fish and chips? Without me?"

"You're expected back at the castle, Your Majesty. For veal and prawns."

"Such is the end of empire," I sighed to myself.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

AlleyOop


Follow me down these stairs. Now here's something you don't see every day. That's right. It's a bowling alley. But not just any bowling alley. This bowling alley is a perfect facsimile of the bowling alley in the basement of the White House. Not that slick two lane deal installed for Truman. That turkey wound up in the puff pastry EEOB a few years after it went in. No, this is modeled after Dicky Nixon's one laner, circa 1970. See that wallpaper? You can't find wallpaper like that anymore, believe you me. That's special-order, custom-made, by gum. And get this: polyester pants and shirt to clash, just like Dick in this file photo. Try 'em on... And here, put on these white bowling shoes. You look like a 9 and a half. Ten? Squeeze... There. Mighty fine. Now, would you mind putting on this Nixon mask? Yes, I'm serious. Look, I'm going for historical accuracy here; are you going to cooperate, or not? Okay, then. Grab a ball and knock down those pins... Nice pullback... Release... OHHHhhh h h h h . . . gutterball.
Would you look at the time?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Generic President

Hi. I'm your stern but caring Generic President, Thomas Abraham Washingtaft, and I'm here to tell you that this Generic Presidents' Day they're SLASHING PRICES on the Already Everyday Low Prices at your friendly neighborhood BIG BOXMART. Take it from me and all the other no-name Free World leaders, there are some UNIMPEACHABLY GREAT DEALS on your favorite generic products. You can't afford to VETO this chance to drive up the national debt. Just charge it! And remember the generic words of the White Bread POTUS: "Ask not a crook what fear itself should fool all the people and carry a big stick; ask the business of America to tear down this price of freedom is on the march."
You've earned your Political Capital... Now SPEND it!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Xiktheus


Pope Xiktheus I (b. 1154 A.D. - d. 1219) Born of uncertain origins and adopted at birth by a conclave of monks residing in caves within the Bavarian Alps. He was given the name Hans-Peter Neumann. The monks' high hopes for young Hans-Peter came to fruition when he was taken under the wing of Gustav Hoffman, the order's brewmeister. In the coming years, Neumann was to help win the order many awards for his ale making prowess.

Neumann was kidnapped in the spring of 1187 by black sheep members of a Bohemian Benedictine Order and was subsequently traded to a Belgian order of Cistercian monks for 3 and a half tons of barley. He resided in the monastery at Villers-la-Ville from 1189 to 1213.

In November of 1213, Neumann was summoned to appear before Anti-Pope Simpleton II at the Anti-Vatican in Rome. He was ordered to report directly to the Adriatic League to train for the bigs. For the next four years, Neumann's brewing skills were put to test as never before, and in the spring of 1218, Hans-Peter Neumann received The Call. Only it was not to the Anti-Vatican League as expected. No, an esteemed Board of Cardinals elected Neumann to become Pope Xiktheus I.

As popes go, Xiktheus proved better than most, partly due the fact he served only fifteen months. In that time he was able to establish the most modern of all medeival Vatican breweries. Alas, Pope Xiktheus never got to sample the first batch, as he was stabbed to death on the morning of March the 15th, 1219, by his old mentor and teacher, Gustav Hoffman. Hoffman surrendered his weapon and threw himself at the mercy of the Cardinals, pleading justification due to copyright infringement. His life was spared since there was now a vacancy for the job of Chief Vatican Brewer and with his credentials, he qualified.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Previous Tenant

From the LA Times:
News of Death May Be Kept Mum

Question: I own a rental house in which the previous tenant passed away. Is there any law requiring me to disclose this to the new tenants?
Answer: You are generally not required to tell prospective or new tenants about the death of a previous tenant on your property. If it was due to natural causes, you need not tell the new tenants. If it resulted from a violent crime, even though you still are not specifically required to tell the tenants, it is probably a good idea to do so.

"Yes, miss?"
"Good afternoon, sir. Might I inquire about the apartment to let?"
"Certainly, come right in. It's up the stairs. Follow me, please."
"My, these stairs are steep, aren't they?"
"Hmm? I daresay, I never noticed. Never noticed, indeed."
"And a bit dark.."
"Here we are; Number 206. Let me just find the right key.."
"Do you smell gas?"
"Actually natural gas is odorless. They put a chemical in it that gives it the smell."
"But do you smell it?"
"No. No, I daresay, I do not. Here we go. Right this way."
"Good Lord! What is that ghastly smell?"
"A bit stuffy is all. We've had it closed up of late."
"It smells like something died in here."
"I'll just pop open a window."
"Umm.. Those red stains in the carpet.."
"Paint. That's paint. An artist lived here before. Must have spilled some.. paint. We can cover that up with a little throw rug."
"It seems that mirror is turned toward the wall. That's odd."
"Didn't like reflections, it would seem. Bit of a queer duck."
"What. Is. That?"
"Oh. The writing, on the wall. Well, the old boy fancied himself a poet."
"It says, 'Die, Fag, Die!'"
"Not much of a poet it would seem. I'll have that painted."
"Is there something you're not telling me about this rental? Something I should know about?"
"No, no - nothing. Nothing of any great importance. Nothing to lose sleep over. Nothing that must be disclosed. Still..."
"Yes?"
"There is one thing I think you should know. I'm not specifically required to tell tenants about this, but I think you should know.."
"Know what?"
"It's about the previous tenant."
"Yes, the artist. What about him?"
"Well, it's like this. He... was..."
"Yes?"
"He was... gay."
"How much is the deposit?"

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bjorn

Bjorn Bjornsen slept here. And that's not all he did here, although my lips are sealed. Surely you remember Bjorn Bjornsen. The famous Norweigen speed skater? Won gold at Nagano, silver at Lillehammer? That Bjorn Bjornsen. Well, he slept here, in this room and in this bed, one night in the summer of '99, shortly before his disappearance. Folks say he knew too much about the inner workings of the IOC. They tried to pin a steroid rap on him but it wouldn't stick, so it was off to Davy Jones's Locker for him. If the stories are to be believed, his remains lie under fifty feet of permanently frozen arctic tundra. Not even global warming will thaw out his ass. Poor Bjorn. Never made it to Salt Lake. But then neither did a bunch of the committee memebers he'd had dealings with.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Off Limits


This is the room no one goes in. Ever. There's a reason for that, but I can't remember what it is. It has something to do with the death of a previous tenant, a will, a monkey's paw and blue peonies. Must be a hell of a story.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Eddie


About those bloodstains... I can explain.

My cousin Eddie - I told you about him - he's.. well, not challenged, not disturbed, how should I put it? He's a retard. A pure D fruitcake. And a rube to boot. All in all, he's one hinky hick. But Eddie has a cosmopolitan genius living in his brain. Elliot. Elliot P. Sanderson. Known to take over Eddie's persona at the whim of a hat. (Note to self: credit George.) During a recent Eddie-to-Elliot transformation, Elliot flew to New York City and conned his way into the office of Donald Trump. Talked the Donald into liquidating some frozen annuities and presto! There's "Elliot P. Sanderson' on a door to a rather lavish office. What followed is seen here on this film. Roll the footage, please.

That's Elliot shaking hands with Trump. Here he's leaving Trump Towers and getting into a limo. Now here's Eddie getting out. Eddie, not Elliot. See the eyes crossed? He shields them with his hands and gazes up, slack jawed in wonder at the sheer immensity of it all. Fast forward through the elevator ride. Here's Eddie entering Elliot's office, playing with the paper clips and rubber bands, sitting in the wastebasket. Due to time constraints I've condensed four weeks into a minute and a half. It's a bit of a blur, but slow it down and you'd see Elliot addressing the shirts in the boardroom, Eddie goosing his secretary, Elliot signing a 72 million dollar contract, Eddie tending his moonshine still, Elliot dining with Trump at Alain Ducasse, Eddie drinking with a bum in an alley. You get the picture.

In time, Elliot amassed a tidy sum to fall back on and Eddie fell back on it. A coupla racehorses, a helicopter, countless trips to DisneyWorld. The marble drawer in the next room was one of the last investments EddieElliot made. That and the mobile meth lab. It all endly badly, with the call to the boardroom, the trumplashing and the requisite security envoy out of the building. Then it was off to Hooterville for Eddie while Elliot departed for who knows where; Ibiza, Marseilles..

What's that you say? You want to know about bloodstains? I hear lemon juice and vinegar works.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Marble

Congratulations! You've made it back alive. I could have sworn that fall down the back steps would've laid you out for a week.

As you can see, they're working here in the fourth room. It's hard to hear with all the rock saws going. What do you think? It's all marble. Floors, walls, ceiling - everything. Even the furniture's marble. The best, all the way from Italy. It's cool in the summer and cold in the winter. And hard? Let me tell you, you knock your shin into that table there, you will regret it. If you think it hurt falling down those steps, try falling down anywhere in here. They'll have to ambulance you out.

See those big drawers over there? That's the family mausoleum. Class, no? My dad's in the top one. My mom's sister is in the bottom one and my cousin Eddie goes in the middle one. When he dies. The rest of the family couldn't afford to be marbleized. Them that're dead are either in Shady Acres or in urns. Me, I'm saving up for one of those crypts in space. Timothy Leary, Carl Sagan and me - floating mummies in zero -g. That's the life. Or death, as it were.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Carpets


Is this a theme? The first room has carpets, the second has none - none that are red anyway. I'm thinking this is possibly a metaphor. Why else would the subject keep coming up? What do you think? Surely there are no blogs which are actually carpeted. Even boingboing has just bare wood floors. So maybe it's a reference to the laying of a foundation. But then why wouldn't I simply, like, lay a foundation? Why a carpet? Maybe I'm a Vietnam vet and it's a flashback to all that infernal carpet bombing I saw, I helped cause, back then. The horror (this is whispered). Or maybe I'm attempting to cover something up, say, a shoddy foundation or bloodstains. You, being a total stranger, have no clue.

I'll give you a clue. It's not a rug; it's Astroturf . (Insert little c in a ©ircle here.) I had it installed in all three rooms. It's the new, domestic variety of Astroturf. Looks more like green shag than plastic grass. You'll notice this room has a low pile. I call this the Putting Room. See the hole? Right there, doofus; the one with the flag. You're really not very observant, are you? I showed you the door last time and you walked right through. Now this is the door to the fourth room. I'll follow you in. See ya, sucker.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Knock Knock

Who's there? Oh, it's you again. Did you do something with your hair? It looks so... different.

You know, it's customary for old blogospherians such as yourself to roll out the red carpet welcome wagon when visiting new blogs on the block such as mine. Have you come bearing gifts to lavishly bestow upon my person? Something with which to decorate the premises? Perhaps something as simple as a humble piece of software? What's that you say? You could what? You could go bake a cake and bring it back with you?
I wouldn't want to put you out. By the way, did I show you the door?
Tah tah.

What the...


This is my site. I live here. Please take your shoes off before coming in. I just installed the carpet and you look like a dog owner.

Don't get any big ideas about moving in with me. I don't share well. All through school my report card reported I don't play well with others. It was true then and it still is. Me link to your site? Ha. Don't make me laugh.

Can I get you anything? Crumpets? Scones? No? How about a nice Belgian waffle? Sorry, I don't have any.

I'd give you a tour, but the carpenters have restricted access to the rest of the site. This is the only room so far. There is a back door, however. See? Here are your shoes. Do come back.