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.