Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Grotans

One thing you have to give the Grotans, they are relentless. I've had one on my tail for going on 23 years.

It all goes back to my days with Orkin, killing bugs for residents of Sector P. Most of Sectors N through S are ecofuges, so we were working underground. Folks were expected to live and let live, but when the roaches and silverfish get to be the size of wheelbarrows, a certain need arises. I helped fill it. I personally racked up 7,493 kills and became persona non grata to the Grotans.

It's ironic, really. Grotans are hired to protect the insects, even though they can't stand the suckers. They're crustaceans, kinda buglike themselves, so maybe it's self-loathing that spurs them on. But man, they love their job. Best trackers in the known universe. No one uses gamma radar like they do. Not even Orkin.

Gotta go. My alarm tells me he's zeroing in.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Banfry Kajar

Banfry Kajar ruled laxly the Empathic Realm. His subjects never even noticed.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hammerhead


















This is Hammerhead. He is some kind of homemade stuffed animal, although what kind I do not know.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Morgue Arrival C

Male subject was recovered from local rock garden. Arrived not only badly mangled and dented, but petrified as well. Morgue attendants baffled. Owners of rock garden said he came with the place. Two previous owners claimed the same.

Local newspaper wrote human interest story, interviewed local university archeology professor. She examined corpse/mummy/fossil and determined it to be Marcus Quidillus, Roman senator who was last seen on August 23rd, 79 AD taking the thermal baths in Pompeii. How he arrived in Cincinnati is a mystery.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Failure or Disaster?

The Great and Powerful Decider today said that "failure would be a disaster." To prove his point, he launched a battery of Success rockets in the enemy's direction, somewhere over there.

Perhaps it was just an odd coincidence, but in Moline, Illinois on this very day, disastrologists from around the world were gathered for their annual convention. Immediately on hearing the presidential pronouncement, they set to work in groups of four to study the matter. Breaking for lunch, the general consensus was about 65-35 in the Decider's favor, but the afternoon sessions resulted in the tables being turned. By unanimous vote at the end of the day it was determined that failure may indeed be a disaster, but it was much more likely that disaster would end in failure.

A poll is being taken among the country's leading failurologists to find out what they have to say on the matter.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bird Nettle Soup

Ingredients:
3 cups nettle, preferably purple haired variety;
1 cup thistle;
5 to 7 small birds, preferably finches or sparrows, de-feathered and de-beaked;
3 quarts water;
sage, salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Boil birds. Add nettle, thistle and spices. Go away. Come back. Serve. Eat.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pixie

A pixie will appear when it wants you to see it. Do not, whatever you do, look directly at it. It will cavort about, do handstands and flips. It will turn its head into a balloon and float it on a string. It will whine like a puppy and cry like a baby. Ignore it. If you know what's good for you, you'll pay no attention to it. Because what it wants you to do is follow it.

Suppose you did. In the beginning it would be like a child's game of tag, the pixie turning around and laughing, always just a step ahead. Then it would pick up speed, become nimble, dart from bush to rock to tree. You would try to keep up but you'd grow weary doing so. If it were to get to this stage, you'd be done for. You would never be heard from again.

So avoid eye contact. They can be quite entertaining otherwise.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Katie Casey

Katie's doctors noted her word salad and diagnosed schizophasia. Disordered nonsense was all they heard. But Katie had a twin, Casey, who she had been on speaking terms with in the womb. It was with him, dead for fourteen years, she conversed in their own private language. If the doctors had known about Casey, they'd have deduced idioglossia. Not schizo, but cryptophasia. It was another misdiagnosis for the book that wouldn't be written.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It

It isn't there anymore. But when it was, it was a sight to behold. You'd be climbing a hill in a car. more than likely, or in a train or on a wagon or horse if a hundred years ago, on foot if earlier than that; of course, go much further back and it wouldn't have been there at all. You'd crest that hill and there it would be, below you and to the right, or to the left if you took the southern route. Big as day, if day was big, which it would have been if it was summer, but if it was winter, big as night. If it was night, you wouldn't see it nearly as well, as it'd be dark. But it would be there just the same. Rising up, its "arms" to the sky, its "feet" planted into the ground, it "eyes" beckoning you to approach. And you, unsuspecting, young and naive, would do so willingly. And the stuff that was you and your car, train, horse and wagon, would only be remembered from that day forward, albeit with a whiff of nostalgia and longing for a simpler time, a time when danger was clear and defined, not like it is today.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Marjorie

Marjorie was a problem for the ward from Day One. She made a point of getting in the faces of all the other girls. Now, the women of Ward D don't put up with too much. They're known to lay down the law with newcomers. But they backed off from Marjorie. The razor in her shoe that first day made it clear she meant business. We took it away from her by deploying a little taser action, but unarmed, she was just as bad. She could inflict a half-nelson in a half second. Her kidney punches were undefendable. You never saw her coming.

We suspected she was tonguing the Thorazine, so we more thoroughly administered. No change. So we upped the dosage. Still no effect. Upped it again to the legal limit and beyond. Still nothing. ECT proved temporarily effective, but in the end only provoked her into more manic outbursts. By week three we were at our wits end.

One day Dr. Boyd produced a handheld plexiglas mirror in a soft rubber frame. Naturally there are rules against glass objects, so mirrors aren't allowed, but a plastic mirror is another matter. Marjorie grabbed it when offered and wouldn't let it go. We observed her over the next hour gazing into the mirror with rapt and blessedly silent attention. When Dr. Boyd came up to her and held his hand out, she slowly passed the mirror back to him. She actually made eye contact.

I said to to Doc Boyd, "I guess looking at herself helped, huh Doc?"

He shook his head. "Didn't you see her eyes? She never even focused on her image. She was looking behind her."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Joe's Knob

Is your proboscis obtuse? Your muzzle befuddled?
Well, get your honker on down to Dr Schmozell's
for a whole new nozzle on life.

(theme song)
We'll tweak that beak, chisel that shnizzle,
Sculpt that snoot, that snout, that schnozz.














Turn this.............................................................into this
....................At Dr Schmozell's Nose Palace.......................

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Morgue Arrival B

Subject was found decomposing in highway culvert. Apparently jumped or fell from height, possibly from nearby overpass. Run over at least once, possibly by large truck. Most likely caromed into ditch where discovered approximately three weeks later by litter crew. Something (Dog? Carrion crow?) snacked on flesh. Cursory autopsy performed. Cause of death: blunt force trauma.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Shifty Corp Report

Low wages and shrinking benefits have enabled ASC to enjoy a profitable 2006. That's just between us preferred stockholders, however, since our assets are neatly tucked away in the Caymans.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Zenobia

Zenobia, Warrior queen of Palmyra, of Syrian father and Egyptian mother, took control of her parents' lands and then some for a flash of the third century. The Romans did not approve, so took it all back and Palmyra besides. It is written that Zenobia was perp-walked in golden chains through Rome alongside Amazons and Goths, all for the greater glory of the Emperor. Ignobility, however, was not hers and so she rose again, this time through the Roman social strata, a less bloody but no less ruthless endeavor.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Barry Gibb

Don't do it, Barry. Don't play Mark Henderson. Take your brothers far away. It's a turkey. Disco's dying, but this ain't no better.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Genghis Trump

His formidable rise to power shocked the world. Despite nuisance investors who demanded to at least break even, The Genghis, as he came to be known, wowed them on the battlefield. In lands he conquered, he had great edifices erected to his glory. Those who dared stand in his way risked his infamous two word curse: "You're impaled."

Friday, January 12, 2007

RIP Robert Anton Wilson

"Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd." - from his final post

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Angry

2007 shall be year the courts order the chronically angry to be fitted with speech filters so as not to disturb the complacent.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Borneosimian

The Borneosimian Wars of the Seventeenth Century resulted in a depression so deep it became the Monkey Funk of the Eighteenth Century.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Anjofragulian

It has been observed that the crenulata manifesting in the Anjofragulian aspect is geosynchronous to a fault.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ilbigradient Casmanoor

The lumpish demeanor of the ilbigradient casmanoor is peckish at best.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Enlisting the Dead and Wounded

US Army Urges Dead to Re-enlist
Dear Lieutenant Vinson,

All of us at Central Command trust you spent a relaxing and peaceful Christmas / Kwanza / Hanukkah at home with your family. Now that the new year is upon us, don't you think it's time you consider re-enlisting in the Army?

We realize your recent tour of duty was a strenuous one. Many like you fought / were wounded / died in Iraq / Afghanistan / other conflict zone. Our records show that you were one of those who served with honor and that is why we are contacting you now. Your country needs you again.

At this point in your life you may be considering other options. We realize that. But we also know the war against al Qaeda / the Taliban / terrorism in general is long and hard fought and it requires the best fighting force America can muster. We are also prepared to pay more in both wages and benefits to officers like yourself who choose to sign up for another hitch. Those perks could come in handy in the future, especially for those of you who were wounded in the line of duty. Veterans benefits only go so far, you know. As for those of you who made the supreme sacrifice for your country, we are well aware that material incentives will not mean as much to you. That is why we are prepared to offer promotions to all who have died in the line of duty. Posthumous honors go a long way toward proper placement in the afterlife.

If you are of a mind to feel that your lack of limbs or life would not be of much use to your fellow soldiers, you can put your mind to rest. You have much to offer in the area of expertise and your duties would be largely in educating and training new recruits. Who but yourselves could better warn them of the dangers they face as they take up where you left off?

Just consider it. We hope we don't need to call you up for assignment in the future.

Sincerely,
U.S. Army Reenlistment Division

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Diary Entry 7: Embedded

Vicky Brock reporting for duty.

Yes, it's true. Being an embedded reporter is, as our President says, hard work. When this reporter was summoned to serve her country in a time of war, she hesitated a moment. After all, being a journalist on the front lines of a war is dangerous, not to mention messy. But once she had attended the rigorous regimen our military requires of its embedees, she came to realize it was a far, far better thing for her to go and serve than never to have gone at all. And so go she did.

Due to her fundamental need to directly communicate with her diary, Vicky Brock is about to change her tense. She has - no, I have - decided to direct the rest of this dispatch in the first person, as much as it pains me to do so.

I have been embedded for lo these many months in an exotic foreign war zone somewhere deep in the Mideast. (Or it could be the Near East; I get those two confused.) My embedders inform me daily that the war is raging outside my hotel, in the very streets of this embattled city. And indeed, as I write, I can hear the sound of distant explosions in the distance. As the woman who changes my sheets so poignantly observed just yesterday, "War is Hell." I have to agree. And yet, it is important that our mission here be accomplished. Many soldiers and mercenaries have lent or sold their support to a beleagured people desperate for something. What is different about this war, I am told, is that many American Corporations also have roles to play. From repair of what we call the infrastructure to re-educating the populace to training the New Army, everyone here is busy getting the job done. Even reporters such as myself are part of the big equation, the answer of which is yet to be determined.

I have to sign off now. Captain Michaelson just phoned and he needs me to take dictation. This is Vicky Brock, embedded reporter.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Brook Sprite

Folks hereabouts are given to speculating on any number of things. High school football scores. The price of hay. The day of the first freeze. Which child will be pulled under next by the brook sprite.

They make as if there's a particular type of child who is likely to be chosen. "The smaller the better," is a commonly held opinion. "The loud ones announce their presence," say some. "The quiet ones will go without a fuss," say others. All are facts and are true up until the day they're put to the test. Then, all bets are off.

They say the brook sprite, once he's zeroed in on a child, will swim alongside him, then veer away, luring the child into the deeper water. Then he'll wave and disappear under the water. If the child follows, he might see the sprite below in the murky depths, swimming eellike through the watervines, inches above the muddy bottom. The child will lose sight of the little devil the moment he feels a vine wrap around his ankle.

What they don't tell you because they don't know, is that the brook sprite is the last child drowned. They also don't know and don't tell you that the type of kid he's looking for is the one most like him. He then tricks the water gods and can move on.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Chiron

The centaurs all had mothers who were clouds. This was a trick played on Ixion, their father, by Zeus. Ixion, a lowlife human, had killed his father-in-law and was shunned by all save Zeus, who invited him to Olympus for the weekend to tell him how he did it. Once there, Ixion got horny for Zeus's wife, so Zeus spiked his drink and made Ixion think a cloud was Hera. Next thing you know, Centaurus is born. (Clouds have a short gestation period.)

Centaurus grew up to have a thing for horses, so knocked up all the mares he could find. That's where all the centaurs came from. The centaurs begot the Visigoths who begot the Pagans and the Breed. They were a rowdy lot. They liked to hang out with the Satyrs, drink wine all day and worship Dionysus.

Not so Chiron. His father was Cronus, god of watches. His mother was a nymph. How those two begot a halfhorse / halfman is any one's guess, but beget they did.

Chiron grew up in a cave. He read the stars and found there the power to heal. He started a cult and inducted the likes of Jason and Achilles and Heracles to become disciples. Chiron played a mean lyre and fomented peace. As such, he became an enemy of the state.

Zeus hired Heracles to assassinate Chiron. Heracles, armed with a bow and arrows dipped in Hydra gall blood, got in a shootout with a herd of centaurs and got the better of them. Got the better of Chiron, too, right in the foot. Nothing is more toxic then Hydra gall, so it laid him down and smarted something awful.

Well, everyone had forgotten that Chiron was immortal. That meant he would have to spend eternity in agonizing pain. Meanwhile, Prometheus, who was at the time chained to a rock and getting his liver chewed out daily by an eagle because he had pissed Zeus off, was in considerable pain as well. A sort of hostage trade was worked out wherein Prometheus was freed (although he did have to lug around that damned rock wherever he went) and Chiron got to die. Makes no sense to us, but it"s justice to the gods.

In the end, Chiron got placed in the night sky as Centaurus. At the time, all the northern sky was taken, so he got stuck up in a distant corner of the southern sky. They say he's aiming his arrow at Aquila, Prometheus's liver-eating eagle, but I think it more likely he's planning a trick shot and the trajectory is toward that poseur Sagittarius. There's not room in the sky for two centaur archers.

Monday, January 01, 2007