Lester Cheese on the Lives of Eskimos

Back when I was living for a short time in Shaleadelphiville, Minnesota, I worked with a guy that went by the name Lester Cheese. If you’ve never been to, or don’t know of, Shaleadelphiville (Pronounced: Shale-ah-del-fee-ville by the locals), you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. The place is a hell hole. Although, they do have one of the better indoor shopping malls that I’ve ever visited.

But, I’m getting somewhat sidetracked. This story isn’t about Shaleadelphiville. It’s about Lester Cheese. You see, Lester was an urban shaman of sorts — a truly great and very original thinker. The profundity of thought that Lester seemed to come up with, constantly, and almost always entirely out of the blue, was astounding. I’m serious! It would astound you. It really would. For instance, Lester and I were sitting in my apartment one night drinking beer and watching old re-runs of “Open all Night” starring George Dzundza and Sam Whipple on television. Out of the blue, and after a long period of neither of us talking, Lester just up and says the following:

“Eskimos, man! Have you ever thought about Eskimos? Those stupid fucks! Although, of course, I hear that you’re not supposed to call them Eskimos. The preferred term is Inuit, or some shit. But, fuck it, man. I call them Eskimos. But, did you ever think about the ancient Eskimos? Like, the ones that were here, living way up north before the white-man ever showed up on this continent? Man! They lived this crazy, cold existence; trying to spear seals through holes they carved in the ice and shit, and building little snow houses they called ‘igloos’ that they would huddle together in, trying to keep warm. It was cold as fuck for them and it must have sucked. Like, I mean it must have sucked royal donkey balls! Have you ever seen the clothes they made? Huge and bulky like a motherfucker, man!

So, here are all of these Eskimos freezing their damned asses off, trying to find food in this sub-sub-zero ice covered, wind swept wasteland, day in and day out, struggling through this miserable, cold existence; trying to keep their damned sled-dogs alive. It must have sucked, man! It must have sucked worse than anything we can imagine. I mean, we’re in Minnesota, man, and when the winter weather starts coming in everybody starts bitching and moaning like it’s the end of the world or something. And, winter in Minnesota aint shit compared to what those Eskimos lived through — every damned day, man. Day in and day out.

But, here’s the thing, when you think about it. There was nothing really keeping them there, was there? I mean, they were totally free. They could do anything they wanted. So, why did they stick around? All they had to do was just start walking south, man. That’s all they had to do — just start walking south. They didn’t have jobs and bills to pay and that kind of shit — there was nothing keeping them there. They could have, if they wanted to, just started walking south and eventually they would have hit better weather. I mean, dammit, man! They could have walked all the way to fucking Florida if they wanted to. It wasn’t like there was any immigration laws back then, or border checkpoints, or any of that shit. There was nothing stopping them from walking straight to fucking Mexico, or on to the motherfucking equator.

So, why didn’t they move south? I’ll tell you why, dammit! It’s because they didn’t know. Those stupid bastards thought that the barren, frozen, shitty-assed wasteland they lived in was what the entire world was like. As far as they knew, no matter how far they walked, it would just be more of the same. That was their world, man. They knew of no other and had no clue that any part of the world could be different than the part they lived in. So, there was no reason for them to go anywhere. As far as they knew, their current situation was as good as it got — any-fucking-where. Those stupid bastards had absolutely no idea that all they had to do was to just start walking south, and, down there was fucking Florida, man. Fucking Florida! They were clueless.

So, you know what, man? Fuck the Eskimos, man. To hell with them. I have no sympathy. It was their own ignorance that kept them freezing their asses off. If they would have just thought outside the box a little bit and gone where the evidence didn’t lead, you know, just for the hell of it, they could have been sunning themselves on fucking beaches instead of living in their cold, shitty igloos an wearing their giant, heavy-assed clothes.

But, it makes you think, though. Doesn’t it? Maybe, just a stone’s throw away from here, speaking on a cosmic scale of course, maybe there’s another dimensional reality that exists where there’s no death and no suffering and everything’s just awesome all the time? And, exactly what it is that would be required of us to leave this shitty existence and get to that one is something that’s entirely within our abilities right now and we could completely achieve, but we just don’t know it. We just don’t know that particular reality is out there, and we have no clue as to what we have to do in order to get there. So, we stay here, in our miserable existence, complaining about everything, thinking this is all there is and that this is as good, more or less, as it gets.

Hell! Maybe all we have to do is to just die, and that’s where we end up? We just die and we end up in the awesome-Florida reality? I bet that’s probably it too. We’ve got to do what most of us fear more than anything — die. And, once we do, we see that we’re in this idyllic place and that death wasn’t actually any kind of a big deal at all. And, everybody in this new place is all standing around saying “Ah, shit, man! If I’d have known, I would have offed myself years ago. Fuck, man, I can’t believe I didn’t know! I’m such an idiot!”

Think about that, man. Really think about it. The next time one of those rabid Atheist dip-shits tells you there’s nothing after a person dies, tell him that Florida didn’t exist for the Eskimos either, man. And, imagine it, man. Back then, in the time of the ancient Eskimos, there were probably these Eskimo atheist jack-asses whining about shit — there was probably like a Richard Dawkins Eskimo, or a Sam Harris Eskimo, or some shit, and they were all like: “Yo! Other Eskimos, listen up you stupid bastards! That great polar bear god that you dumb motherfuckers pray to? Yeah, doesn’t exist, guys. You know how I know? What kind of god would create an entire world that was nothing but snow and ice and was all cold and shitty all the time? What kind of a god would create an entire world where we had to wear these stupid-ass giant jackets and mitts and boots and shit, otherwise our nuts would freeze off? Think about it, guys. The reason everything is cold and shitty is because nobody created it. It just happened this way. It just happened all cold and shitty like this. There is no polar bear god, you dumb fucks. That’s logic, motherfuckers!” And, the whole time this asshole was saying all this shit, all any of them had to do was just start walking south. But, none of them knew it.”

The Amazing Origins of Glen Bell the Bulldog

The Amazing Origins of Glen Bell the Bulldog

Back when I was attending the University of Texas at Austin, I owned a little bulldog that I named “Glen Bell.” Don’t ask me why I named my bulldog “Glen Bell.” I’m not sure why I did. I think, perhaps, I was exceedingly drunk on wine at the time that I was picking out a name. Consuming excess amounts of wine has always impeded my ability to make sensible choices when it comes to giving names to things. I actually have a long history of drinking large quantities of wine (or, sometimes martinis) and then picking out really ridiculous names for things. It’s a bizarre phenomenon — one which has hounded me since childhood.

Anyhoo — this little bulldog of mine, Glen Bell, (no relation to that Glen Bell)  was a funny little thing. I had actually purchased him in New York City, a year prior to beginning my stint at the University of Texas at Austin. I purchased him, as a puppy, from a man that went by the name Arnold Schwarzenegger — and, no, not that Arnold Schwarzenegger. As it would be, Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t actually this man’s real name at all, but merely a pseudonym he had adopted. His real given birth-name was actually Miley Cyrus — and, no, not that Miley Cyrus! A different one altogether. At least… that’s what I remember his name as being. It was a while ago now, so I could be in error. …maybe it was Adrian Peterson? I don’t quite remember now. And, no, not that Adrian Peterson… if that, indeed, was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s real name and it wasn’t actually Miley Cyrus at all. Well, whatever his actual name was, he now went by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, for the purposes of this story, let us just go with that and just assume that his real, actual name was really David Ortiz (and, no, not that David Ortiz) Ok? Ok! Fine. Good.

Arnold’s own dog, a Labrador Retriever, had recently given birth to a litter of pups and, don’t ask me how it happened, but this litter included four small Labrador Retriever puppies of both the yellow and black variety, and one tiny, little Bulldog! Now, I know what you’re likely thinking: Man! You’re really fucked up! That’s impossible! Labarodor Retrievers can’t give birth to Bulldog puppies! Asshole!’ Well, if you are thinking that, I’m sure you’ll be surprised to find out that you’re absolutely wrong! You see, that’s what I once thought as well. In fact, I was sure of it. However, as the cosmic forces of serendipity would have it, a short while after acquiring Glen Bell, my little Bulldog puppy, I happened to run into a man on a street corner while I was downtown one afternoon attempting to locate a vendor from which I could purchase a discount pumpkin, and while also engaging in my new hobby of keeping up with the Kardashians while wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants costume.

Now, this man, whom I had met on this particular street corner, found himself to be both taken and impressed by my SpongeBob SquarePants costume and just how expertly I appeared to be keeping up with the Kardashians while wearing it. He introduced himself as Cristiano Ronaldo, (no, not that Cristiano Ronaldo) and the two of us began in on some light and pleasant conversation. A number of topics were discussed and, during the course of our conversation, I happened to mention my recent purchase of Glen Bell, my tiny Bulldog pup. I expressed to Cristiano my absolute skepticism regarding the likelihood of a Bulldog puppy being born to a Labrador Retriever bitch and made known to Cristiano my suspicions regarding the veracity of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story. I suspected that Arnold was lying about the entire situation, and that Glen Bell had actually been thrown by entirely different mother — a Bulldog mother, of course.

To my surprise, however, Cristiano Ronaldo informed me — right there on the spot — that while Bulldog puppies being born to Labrador Retriever parents was indeed a rare occurrence, it is, nevertheless, not entirely unheard of. As you can imagine, however, I was then immediately skeptical regarding this assertion of Cristiano’s.

“I don’t believe you!” I informed him.

However, this Cristiano Ronaldo character, whom I had just met, immediately informed me in return that he, “Seriously knows his shit about dogs and whatever.” Well, I had no rational grounds for skepticism now! Not after having been given the word of a confirmed expert on such matters! And, as you can imagine, I am sure, I was utterly astonished! I had never known that such a bizarre occurrence would ever be possible — that a Labrador Retriever could actually give birth to a Bulldog puppy! Does the universe know no end to its own wonders? Little Glen Bell, my amazing new Bulldog puppy, was truly a living marvel — such a rare specimen indeed! And, as it should go without saying, this new information I had acquired regarding the miraculous specialness of little Glen Bell entirely evacuated from my thoughts any and all traces I had ever entertained, or would ever again entertain, of cooking him and eating him! Little Glen Bell was now known to me to be far too much of a rarity for that sort of nonsense!

As if I needed any further confirmation as to the veracity of Glen Bell the Bulldog’s miraculous origins exactly as Arnold Schwarzenegger had related them to me, Cristiano Ronaldo went on to inform me that he was either certain that Albert Einstein himself (yes, that Albert Einstein) had once written a paper, or else he had dreamed it one night after downing several Bloody Mary cocktails at an all-night “The Legend of Korra” screening party which took place on All Hallow’s Eve in lower Manhatten, which specifically explained the physical mechanisms at work which sometimes facilitated the birthing of Bulldog Puppies by Labrador Retriever bitches. In this paper, Cristiano Ronaldo explained, Albert Einstein theorized that an antibacterial gravity spike occurring in the Pacific Rim and brought about by a corporate merger between Duke Energy and JPMorgan Chase, had resulted in conditions conducive to such happenings and goings on, and whatnot. It sounded perfectly reasonable to me. And, if Albert Einstein said Arnold Schwarzenegger was telling the truth, then brother, Arnold Schwarzenegger was telling the truth, by God!

So, there you have it, dear readers! The story of the strange birth of my little Bulldog puppy Glen Bell, and how I came to acquire him. I’m sure, after reading this account, you’re just as stunned and amazed as I was upon learning that our strange and magnificent universe is capable of manifesting such oddities of nature. And, I can assure you that every word I have written above is either entirely true, or the result of the excessive consumption of Paracetamol washed down with a mint julep or two… or, three… along with a Mai Tai, or a couple. Of course, I have changed the names of the people appearing in this story —you know? To protect the innocent and what have you. My apologies, however, if some of the substitute names I chose to use may have seemed somewhat odd. I’ve been drinking rather a lot of wine this evening.

The Thurmond, West Virginia Pork Licking Festival

Thurmond, West Virginia Pork Licking FestivalI was in Thurmond, West Virginia two summers ago attending the semi-annual pork licking festival that has been taking place there now for close to one eighth of a century. It really is quite an event — worth making the trip for, if you’ve never been. Five dollars gets you in the gate and with the purchase of a twenty-dollar arm-band you can lick pork all day at no extra cost. Or, at least, until the pigs come home to roost — whichever comes first.

On this visit, two years ago, the attendance was overwhelming — as far as regular attendance levels regularly go for the Thurmond pork licking festival. On the day that I attended, there must have been at least thirty people there. I do not know what the total combined attendance was over the entire span of the three day event.

Marjorie Habbenshnacker ended up winning the “Make a pie out of anything” contest that day with her ground shovel and peppermint-wine cured garden gloves recipe. Marjorie has taken home the trophy for that contest five of the last seven times.

All in all it was a very good time. Much pork was licked on the day I attended. And, I’m sure much more pork ended up being licked by many, many people over the entire three days.

The event closed up for the night at nine o’clock in the evening. A voice came across the loud speaker and announced that the grounds were closing up for the night and that all event-goers would now have to make their way to the exit gates where they would be given a free bacon flavored lollipop for having attended. I made my way toward and out the gate, received my lollipop, and began heading toward town with the massive pork tenderloin, which I had earlier licked and then purchased, wrapped in gold foil and tucked under my arm.

However, with me being as incredibly dunder-headed as I am, it wasn’t very long before I realized that I had become completely lost. I had thought that I had been walking the correct road leading back into town. As it turned out, though, I hadn’t. I was, in fact, heading down a dirt path that led ever deeper into the menacing and lonely hills that surrounded Thurmond. The pathway soon came to a vanishing end and I found myself surrounded mostly by wilderness. It was exceptionally eerie. The dark night was silent and still and I felt not at all at ease.

I turned and began heading back along the path in the direction from whence I had come.

I hadn’t walked very long, however, when the pathway in front of me lit up like daylight — brighter than daylight. A beam of light — a circle of light — approximately twenty feet in diameter was illuminating the path and surrounding grasses up ahead a ways. I froze stiff and immediately dropped my pre-licked pork tenderloin. I looked up toward the sky — up above the circle of light — and there, to my astonishment, I saw a small, spinning circle of tiny red lights. They appeared to be orbiting the outer circumference of some sort of disc shaped craft.

Then, a weird sort of spark appeared on the brightly illuminated ground in the dead center of the beam. A weird sort of greenish flame that made a strange cracking sound as it appeared and an even stranger sizzling sound as it quickly faded from view just a moment later. But, there, now, where the spark had appeared and then again disappeared just a second ago, was what looked to me to be some sort of wild boar. It stood motionless, facing me, in that beam of light. And I stood motionless facing it for what seemed like an eternity. Then suddenly the boar stood up on its hind feet. It pointed a hoof at me and spoke.

“Is that your pork tenderloin?” It asked in a voice that resonated with porcine fury.
“Uh… yes.” I stuttered back, “I, uh, I… I licked it at the festival. It’s mine. I bought it.”

The boar dropped his hoof and returned to standing on all fours.

“Heed the rabbit’s words.” The boar then said.

And, no sooner had he spoken that final sentence when he and the circle of illumination he had been standing in was suddenly gone. I then heard a bizarre and oscillating rushing sound — like that of someone swiftly rubbing their hands together at an increasing speed in order to warm them. My eye then caught the red lighted craft quickly speed away, out of sight, into the dark and starry night sky.

I stood puzzled and still for quite some time. Then, when I had managed to gather some semblance of my wits, I continued on my way down the path. It wasn’t long however before another equally bizarre event befell me. As I walked through the darkness I became aware of a strange clicking sound up ahead. It was faint, but it seemed to be increasing in volume and pitch. Something was coming toward me. Again I froze and stood still in my place.

Within a couple of second another weird animal slowly hopped into the illumination of the soft moonlight and I found myself standing perhaps thirty feet in front of a giant brown rabbit. It stopped and looked at me. I looked at it. It was perhaps six feet tall — perhaps slightly more. Then, it too spoke.

“You saw the Boar?” It asked.
“I did.” I responded.
“That pork tenderloin, it’s yours?”
“It is indeed.”
“Leave it here. Drop it.” The rabbit commanded, albeit in a soft and unassuming tone.

I complied with the animal’s request and let the tenderloin fall to the earth beside me.

“You shouldn’t eat pork.” The rabbit said. “It can be dangerous if you don’t cook it properly. Trichinosis and all that, you know.”
“That’s mostly a myth.” I replied. “These days, what with governmental regulations regarding the feeding of pigs and improved health standards with the commercial handling of meat…”
“Yeah, yeah.” The rabbit interrupted. “Whatever. Just, listen, alright? The Boars don’t like it. Ok? The Boars don’t like you eating pork. Just lay off pork. Got it? There are things going on that you couldn’t understand.”
“Ok.” I said.
“I guess we’re done here, then.” The rabbit remarked.
“Ok.” I repeated.

And with that the giant rabbit stood up tall upon his hind legs and uttered a final sentence.

“Please pray for me.” It said, and darted off into the blackness.

I bent down, picked up my pork tenderloin, tucked it back under my arm and began making my way back toward the town.

“I paid good money for this hunk of pork!” I said to myself. “Fuck that rabbit!”

I never dared speak a word of my strange encounter to anyone, lest they think me mad.

Eggshell

Eggshell Cracked Egg“It’s not white enough,” said the man who might be Sydney Greenstreet, “I want to buy a white shirt. Do you sell white shirts?”

Rory reached onto the rack, pulling off an identical shirt. Sydney Greenstreet was messing with him. He was now certain that the man in question had once gone to great lengths to attain the Maltese Falcon and had run Casablanca’ s black market with deviousness and cunning. This man would need to be dealt with using his own deviousness and cunning. This man was messing with him. Nobody knew which shirts were whiter than which others better than he. There was a time when he had sold paint.

Sydney Greenstreet examined the shirt. Handed it back.

“My good man, I do not think that you know which color is white.”

His exit was graceful, in spite of his legendary girth. Rory was a little bit frightened, worried that the noir icon who had risen from the dead for a new shirt would visit awful consequences upon him. And for no good reason too. There was a time when he had sold paint and he could recognize every color.

They were his friends at the paint shop, the colors. They would gossip about the boss and he would talk to them about his crush on his coworker Anna Saldivar. After work, they would meet for drinks, kind violet, eccentric chartreuse, and they would unwind over nachos and a Devils game. There was no better job in the world, Rory felt and as a seller of dress shirts, he knew this was so.

He’d be forever angry at the one who got him fired. Eggshell, treasonous eggshell, the carpet sample that he had felt was his friend “Cream”. But it wasn’t cream. Cream was in Atlantic City with a cocktail waitress he’d remember forever thanks to an ill-conceived tattoo. Rory told the couple cream and an arrogant laugh filled the paintshop, a heartless eldritch laugh, the kind of laugh that conspires with one’s bladder.

“You are beaten,” said Eggshell that day, “look on my works ye mighty and tremble.”

And everything was lost to Eggshell, his world of paint, most of his confidence. He certainly had the skills to manage dress shirts with their less than plentiful pallet, so it was strange that white defied him on this day. But maybe it wasn’t. Maybe this was something else. He examined the shirt again, it was white, it had to be white.

“That’s you, white, isn’t it?”

“Yes, dear,” said white, “tis me.”

“I knew it,” he said, “I knew it was only you.”

Rory’s boss walked in on his Richie Sambora brand stilts, skillfully ducking the low ceiling at the store’s entrance. Rory’s boss was a lion and the world’s biggest Bon Jovi fan, a fact that he was never shy about revealing.

“I ran into Sydney Greenstreet,” growled the boss, “and I’ve got to say, I am a bit disappointed. You give sales a bad name.”

“I-well, you see…”

“What I see is a man who does not appreciate his job. I hired because you knew colors. But you don’t know white.”

Rory proudly produced a picture of him and the color white on a deep sea fishing trip. As proof that one knew White, it was rather concrete. Rory’s boss looked over the photo, scratching his mane in befuddlement.

“Yeah,” said the lion, “looks like you and White are the best of friends.”

“So, you see, something is going on here,” said Rory.

“As the world’s biggest Bon Jovi fan, I am a wise and giving man,”said the lion, “but I cannot permit you to keep on selling my customers the wrong color dress shirts. You know the company protocol for this.”

“But…”

“Look, I don’t make the rules.”

With a sigh, Rory went to the backroom and brought out the spanking stool and the blue gingham employee humiliation dress. Rory put on the blue dress and in a falsetto bad enough to feel like divine retribution began to sing.

“Tommy used to work on the docks…”

The lion got down from his stilts, stretched Rory across his lap and administered three quick, professional spankings.

“Consider yourself reprimanded,” said the lion who got back on his stilts and walked out. Rory put on his regular clothes and he cried. He lay on the floor in fetal position, listening to the muted colors in their less than distinctive dress shirt tones trying to cheer him up. All of them but one, all of them but white.

Rory rose to his feet, a dark, psychotic smile crossing his face.

“You had me fooled,” he said, “you had everyone fooled. But it’s become all too clear what’s gone on here.”
“Ah, but you are a clever monkey,” said the raspy voice of eggshell, “yes, you have coaxed me out of hiding.”

The room became offwhite. No. That wasn’t it. Rory cursed to himself for even thinking it briefly. The room became eggshell. Each shirt, the walls, the ceiling, the door the register was absorbed in the color he could never nail down, a color now omnipresent. The voices of every other color, shade, tone grew muted and choked with silence.

“It is not for men to know what’s pure and clean or to judge what’s unsullied. Did you ever think that there might be no white, that the one you trusted and fished with and played pickup games of basketball with was actually not what you remembered? It was me,” said Eggshell, “it was always me.”

With idle fists, Rory struggled, punching the eggshell air, hitting the eggshell walls, til stained with eggshell blood, the eggshell in his veins. There was no red in him, no way that the shade of white that said it was the only white would give in. He fell again to the floor and crying in fetal position.

Eggshell laughed its soul crushing laugh again as it had all those years again.

“That’s your problem, Rory. You give up too easily. You got cocky and you phoned it in one time and you never forgave yourself.”

The lesson was short and abrupt, the epiphany, like many epiphanies, short simple, a sentence. The color returned to the room. Rory got off the floor and left work, in order to go buy some art supplies.

‘Till the Cows Come Home

'Till the Cows Come Home“How long’s this gonna take, man?” The receiver crackled loudly in his ear, jolting him. He cursed as the elongated straw almost fell from his fingers.

“Dunno, I’ll be done when I’m done.” He struggled to contain the anger that surfaced momentarily, but then it was gone as soon as it had appeared and he placed his lips around the straw once more, his jaw set in a grimace of determination.

“What? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

He was becoming tiresome and Leth contemplated tossing the headset aside. He couldn’t obviously, it was one of only a dozen they had managed to pilfer from the cows and to Leth and his group of survivors the headsets were pivotal to their mission success.

“It means what it means, think about it, dumbass!”

There was a brief silence, as the owner of the voice on the other end thought it over for a few seconds.

Dumbass…

“Just get a move on here, will ya? At this rate we’ll be here till the cows come home!”

Leth smiled, his thin lips pursed tightly around the straw that hung precariously, its tip now almost where it should be.

Just a little more … that’s it.

“Gotcha!” Leth said, the straw now clutched tightly between his forefinger and thumb as he made sure the straw was in position in the tiny hole they had spent 3 years creating.

The gaseous air that moved slowly over the surface of the dome blew against the straw, ever in motion, its greenish hue creating a Martian-like landscape effect upon the spherical dome when seen from above the Earth’s atmosphere.

The straw was buffeted about somewhat in the artificially circulated bugger gas, but this time there would be no mistakes. Leth was sure of that, and as he licked his lips and smacked them loudly a few times in preparation for the next phase of the mission – Operation Airsuck, that’s what Coddler had chosen to call it. Nevermind ‘air suck,’ Leth thought the operation name sucked; still, Coddler was their leader and the idea had been his, so there had been few complaints concerning the name choice.

Without Coddler these forays into their long lost Earth’s atmosphere would have been impossible.

“Prepare your lungs, Lethy boy, coz they got some fresh Earth air to suck up!”

Leth nodded, more for himself than for the distant figure above him, riding the air currents on the back of a Sweal, a ridiculously shaped crossbreed of seal and sperm whale that Coddler had somehow decided would be the most suited to riding the waves of the Earth’s now gravity lacking outer atmosphere.

Pausing, Leth placed the pink plastic straw between his ice-cold lips, the temperature of the frigid atmosphere around him beginning to take its toll. Even his genetically engineered physiology couldn’t last long out in the endless, lifeless expanse of the Thermosphere.

It was a lonely, silent place and with the inky blackness of space mere miles away, punctuated by the presence of Earth some 60 odd miles below, hopelessly out of reach, encapsulated by the immense glass dome the cows had constructed with the help of human slaves.

Planet of the Cows, Leth thought as he let the enormity of what he was about to do sink in.

High above, past the bulbous flapping arms of the sweal and the curious peering eyes of the only other modified human alive – Swik, drifted the massive form of their home, the last bastion of the human race.

The pitifully small number of remaining humans inhabited the only solid ground left to the once great bipedal race – the first and quite possibly last great spaceship ever built.
Lagniappe was a monstrous ship in comparison to anything else ever created since the dawn of man. From bow to stern she was an unbelievable 6.4 miles long and 3.9 miles wide, originally built to carry humans to Alpha Centauri and other stars in search of a new home.

Once, she had stood out in the night sky, lit up by the thousands of lights that flashed across her surface lending her a life of her own, causing many that gazed upon her to gasp at the sheer magnitude of such a structure. Her metallic grey body was covered in geodesic domes and other similar structures where life had once flourished, a perfect imitation of the earth and all its climates and zones. A veritable arc that was to carry Earth’s creatures 4.3 light years across space to the much studied Alpha Centauri star system where it was hoped, awaited an Earth-like planet.

As a generation ship, Lagniappe was equipped with the most advanced technology the combined brains of humanity could muster and it was said would last thousands upon thousands of years, self-sustaining. Within it, life-cycles would mirror those upon Earth, generation after generation living, dying over and over until at last she reached her destination.

“Hey, quit daydreaming down there and suck the damn air up that straw if you please. It’s getting cold out here and my claws are seizing up, now come on Leth!”

Swik was slightly more modified than Leth, in that he had claws for hands, claws that allowed him to better care for the ship. They weren’t the kind of claws you would expect to find on an Earth creature – oh no. These claws were giant titanium pincers, three pronged and bristling with all manner of tools, he would never shake hands again, that’s for certain.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m on it, Swik.” Leth said, before gulping down one last lungful of the thin thermosphere air. Any normal human would have perished in the thermosphere unprotected from the cold, not to mention the lack of oxygen, but not Swik and Leth. Their bodies were almost unrecognizable from what they once were, a necessity given that humans were now confined to space, since the cows had stolen their planet.

Leth placed his lips around the straw and began to suck, his modified lungs, all four of them, working with him to draw in the precious Earth air that existed below the dome the cows had erected generations earlier.

The literature detailing the fall of man was sparse, but it was still confusing to Leth and the other remaining humans, all 8,133 of them as to how ‘cows’ of all creatures had been able to overthrow their human masters, wipe them out and conquer the entire planet.

The year was 4037 and according to records, humans had been confined to their ship for over 2000 years. The dome the cows had built around the entire earth was impenetrable, at least it had been, as recently as three years ago, Professor Coddler had discovered that it was growing weaker, its integrity failing.

However, there was no way to get past the bugger gas which perennially snaked across the surface of the dome protecting it from any organic life form. After losing hundreds of men to the gas, both engineered and otherwise, their handful of scientists had discovered that the gas contained swarms of tiny creatures that fed on everything – except armorglass of which the dome was constructed, albeit an incredibly powerful armorglass only the cows and their human slaves could construct.

These little creatures were like the legendary piranha, now just a legend on Lagniappe, and voraciously ate their way through anything that entered the eerie green smoke, whose tendrils snaked along the glass of the dome, glowing and even causing Lagniappe to glow with a sickly green light.

Two lungs were fully filled with air now and the other two were steadily filling as Leth sucked in the surprisingly sweet air from the Earth proper, through the 20 foot long straw that he had managed to slip through the hole, a hole that had taken 3 years to create, just 3 millimeters in diameter.

That was all they needed. The cows, some 60 odd miles below, were oblivious to the two ragged, pitiful human/robots that floated above them. They were too busy grazing; the entire Earth now covered in rich, fertile grassland, their only food despite the rich abundance of food Earth had to offer. The cows seemed only to want to eat grass, and certainly never meat. Forever herbivores.

Leth let out a long exhalation of fresh Earth air, his body invigorated and buzzing with the unimagined levels of oxygen in the air he had just breathed in. The air he had released flowed up through another straw that connected to a bulbous grey tank on the equally bulbous sweal’s back. The job was only just beginning. They would suck enough air to create 4 oxygen rich, armorglass penetration bombs, the purer oxygen of the Earth’s atmosphere lending a potent power to the blast that Professor Coddler hoped would shatter the dome, at least where the small hole had been chipped away.

“Stage one complete, Leth … can you feel it?”

“Feel what?”

“The anticipation, the knowing, the knowing that we’re about to take back what rightfully belongs to us and put those damn cattle back where they belong – in the fields and on our dinner plates!”

Leth smiled up at Swik, atop the sweal above him, the long pink straw clutched in one claw as it snaked into the tank behind him.

“You been reading up on Earth history, I see, Swik!”

“Yeah … well, know thy enemy and all that, you know.”

Leth nodded, looking down on the green tinted dome, trying in vain to see through to the Earth below but it was useless – for now.

“Yeah, Swik, I know…”

Leth turned back to the little pink straw in his hand, literally the only material the humans had discovered could get anywhere near the glass dome without being munched by the tiny creatures in the bugger gas.

I wonder what T-bone steak with pepper sauce tastes like …

Leth licked his lips once more before sucking in an almighty breath of Earth air.

If everything went to plan, within 6 months, he might just find out.

Local Man Decapitated in Fit of Laughter

Sun Tan Lotion of Boy's Head

Michael Kopflos, 33, it seems, met a hilarious fate last Thursday evening. While strolling along Senzatesta Blvd. around midnight, Koplfos experienced the extreme misfortune of meeting with his untimely death during an uproarious laughing fit. Due to this most bizarre of circumstances, Kopflos is sure to enter medical journals as the first person ever known to actually be decapitated by laughter.

The unusual happening occurred when a quite inebriated Kopflos happened to witness an irate Julia Sint kick her, now, ex-boyfriend, Thomas Varlata directly in the groin. Kopflos had been walking with his friend Diane Zeuge, when the incident took place.

“At first, Michael only seemed slightly amused by the whole thing,” reported Zeuge, “but then he started, like, laughing harder and harder, you know? Then, I said something like ‘Oh! She nailed him right in the potatoes!’ and Michael just burst into this crazy laughing fit. His face turned all red, then blue, and he looked like he was in pain, or trouble, or something. I thought maybe he was choking, so I went to hit him on the back, but before I got to him, his whole head just exploded! It was the most horrible thing I ever saw. I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Zeuge, however, may soon have more to worry about, as local police are investigating the case and haven’t ruled out manslaughter charges. It has been rumored that at least one witness has come forward and claims they saw Zeuge actually strike Kopflos on the back just prior to his head blowing off.

Detective Norman Undersoke was the first officer on the scene and he suspects there might have been some foul play involved. “This bitch, Zeuge, really isn’t that funny. I mean, think about it for crying out pete’s sake! Do you think what she said was funny enough for some son of a bitch’s head to pop clean off, for crying out pete’s sake? And, is it really that funny seeing some asshole getting hoof-slammed in the jiz-pouch by his girlfriend? It’s just not that funny. Jeez! Use some cotton picking common sense for crying out pete’s sake!”

Charges have yet to be laid pending the outcome of the full investigation. Both Julia Sint and Thomas Varlata declined to be interviewed for this article.

And, in other news:

Twelve angry fishermen caught a baby sea-lion off the coast of Cape Ragu today. Reportedly, their immediate instinct was to club the thing to death on the deck of their boat, “Just for giggles”, as one of the fishermen later said. However, after offering it a shot of rum in a humanitarian gesture in order to dull the pain of the righteous beating it was about to receive, the fishermen were stunned to actually hear the small sea-lion speak English and beg for its life.

The fishermen were, understandably, aghast. Each of them immediately recognized that such a miraculous and unique animal could not be done away with in a brutal beating. Instead, the fishermen slit the throat of the animal and proceeded to cut it up into precise sections in order to facilitate accurate measurement of the sea-lion’s entire form. The sections were taken to the Ragu Institute of Science and scanned into a computer using a very high-tech and uber-sciency modern device. From the data collected, perfectly accurate scale-model replicas of the sea-lion were then made. The replicas will go on sale later this season. They will be sold through mail-order ads that are scheduled to begin appearing in the backs of comic books.

One Crazy, Crazy Day

Freak Out!So, the other day I decided to take a walk down to a rather quaint little coffee shop that’s located about six or so blocks away from my house. I had recently just quit my consultancy job at a Micronesian cow-plucking firm where I had been working for a little over two years. I was now back home and found myself wanting nothing more than a honey-dipped doughnut, a small bag of pretzels, and a large, piping hot coffee with way too much sugar.

I entered the coffee shop — gleefully anticipating a relaxing time spent consuming some sugary-sweet treats and a cup of hot joe. Such was not to be my fate, however. As I entered, I noticed a strange woman who appeared as though she was having a fit in the middle of the coffee shop! For a short while, I watched in bewilderment and awe. A voice, from somewhere deep inside my psyche, spoke to me and said: “Keep your eye on this one, Jones! I believe she may be about to turn into a gruddle-poke, or something.”

Needless to say, I was now quite worried. If you don’t know what a gruddle-poke is, then it’s very likely that you, yourself, have never been to Micronesia. In the northern territories, at least, they are quite the nuisance, let me tell you! These annoying beasts are a cross between a gruddle bug and a land-roaming poke-fish. So, I’m sure you can image just what sort of bad news those little devils truly are. And now, here, in this coffee shop, I find myself face to face with a woman who, by all appearances, seems as if she’s right on the verge of transforming into one. No longer was I worried. No, friend– the worry had now turned into a feeling of complete terror. I began screaming loudly. In a state  of sheer panic, I bolted for the door. And, as fast as I possibly could, attempted to dart back to my car.

Unfortunately for me, however, in my blind and reckless hurryment, just as I was approaching the exit of the establishment, I slammed straight into another customer– the impact of our meeting sending the two large coffees he had just that moment purchased hurtling through the air. He was not at all pleased. He began yelling at me in a most threatening tone.

“Sorry!” I yelled back. “No time to stop! There’s a gruddle-poke transformation about to happen! You’d best flee the area as well!”

“You son of a bitch!” he screamed back at me. “I’ll kick your gruddle-poke ass, you son of a bitch!”

 Judging by how concerned he seemed about me, and how totally unconcerned he seemed about the exceedingly concerning transformation that was about to take place inside the coffee shop, I could tell that this man had, for one, never been to Micronesia, and, as such, for two, didn’t know what a gruddle-poke was, nor how loathsome a creature they actually were.

I ignored the enraged fellow as best I could and continued swiftly to my vehicle. He followed in pursuit. I climbed inside my car, slammed the door shut, locked it, started the car and began to drive off. The angered man jumped on to the hood of my vehicle, still screaming in a fit of absolute rage.

“You mother-fucker! You owe me two coffees! Get out of the car, mother-fucker! I’m going to kick your ass, you son of a bitch!”

I didn’t know what to do. The terrible transformation could be completed at any second and I didn’t want to be anywhere near that place once it was. I had no choice. I pressed the accelerator to the floor and quickly sped off– the enraged individual still standing on the hood of my car. Unfortunately for me, and for my poor car, this only seemed to anger him even more. He began violently kicking at my windshield as I raced down the street.

Man Kicking Car Windshield

My windshield was now smashed from the force of his strikes, and I was frantically playing through my options in my head. After a short while, I spied a rather secluded alley-way coming up on the left. I made a quick turn into the alley — the angry man still screaming and kicking at my car. When I was a fair way into the depths of the alley, I stopped the car, exited the vehicle, and shot the man with the .38 caliber revolver I usually carry upon my person– in case I ever run into any fully transformed gruddle-pokes.

This seemed to calm him down somewhat. He fell from the vehicle. His screams turned now into a series of grunts, groans and short-breaths. After a very short time of this, he seemed to drift off to sleep. I was content to let him nap. I jumped back into my car, pulled out of the alley, and continued on my way– still a little worried that a fully transformed gruddle-poke could be close behind.

After driving around for a short while, trying to get my bearings, I began to feel somewhat wound-up from the day’s events. I needed to relax and unwind. I picked up my cell-phone and dialed my friend Harvey Rankle. Or, “Harvey the Party”, as he was known around town.

“Yo, yo, yo! Wassup? Who’s this? Wassup?” came the voice of Harvey from the other end of the line.

“It’s Jones,” I answered back. “You would not believe the day I’ve had! Listen, I need to unwind. What’cha doing? You feel like hitting up a peeler joint, or what?”

“Yo, yo, Jones! You know me and my midget ways,” — Did I mention that Harvey was a midget? — “I is down and I’m game, Jonesy boy! Come pick me up.”

I headed to Harvey’s place where he was already waiting for me outside of his door.

“Wore my lucky blue shirt!” he yelled into the car, as I pulled up alongside of him. “I’m gonna get me some poon-tang tonight!”

“You always do, Harvey.” I replied as he entered the car. “Shirt or no shirt, the ladies always seem to go wild for you.”

Harvey got into the car and we headed off to Club Super-Poon on East Gerber Boulevard. You know the place, I’m sure. The joint was rocking. Hot dancers everywhere. And, Harvey, as usual, was in full-on party mode. Unbeknownst to the club’s bouncers, however, Harvey had sneaked in a bottle of what he called “Harvey’s Homemade Kickaboo Boost Juice” under his shirt. It was a concoction that Harvey made himself from a secret recipe. I don’t know what Harvey put in that stuff, but I do know that once he takes a couple of swigs — look out! It’s mad-man city.

Beer Drinking Midget in a Strip Club

The women in the joint started crowding around Harvey like Italians on a meatball. I knew from experience that what would happen next was nothing I wanted to see. Let’s just say that when Harvey got into that “boost juice” stuff, it wouldn’t be very long before someone was getting penetrated — didn’t matter where he happened to be at the time, or when. And, you did not want to be around when that happened. You were not safe in that situation. When Harvey hit that juice, boy, somebody was getting penetrated. It didn’t matter if you were a man, women, animal of some sort, or an ear of freakin’ corn. When Harvey hit that juice and got that look in his eye, somebody was getting penetrated. And, it would usually be whomever, or whatever, was within closest reach.

I quickly grabbed one of the girls that looked alright to me and gave her my standard line:

“Hey baby, I’ve got money. Give me the love.”

The two of us went to one of the private rooms at the back of the bar. I laid out a hundred dollar bill on the table, along with a line of blow. She stripped to one song, then touched my wiener. I laid out another hundred and another line of blow. She danced to another song, and then we got down to the dirty business — somebody got penetrated. And, this time, it wasn’t by Harvey.

After I had cleaned up, I exited the private room and made my way back into the main bar proper. Harvey was nowhere to be seen. I looked around for a bit but was unable to locate him. Knowing Harvey, though, he was more than capable of taking care of himself. So, I decided to head home and face what was coming to me. You see, I had originally told my Wife that I would only be gone for about half an hour. I told her that I was just running down to the coffee shop for a doughnut and a coffee. That, of course, was over five hours ago. And, I knew that when I got home my pinky would be stinky– there was no way to hide it. My Wife had some sort of sixth-sense type of stinky-pinky super-human detection abilities. She’d know what I had been up to the moment I walked in the door. And, of course, I’m sure she’d be more than curious as to where, exactly, her two-hundred bucks and all of her blow had gone. There was no doubt about it. I was in for a nightmare.

I opened the door to my apartment and slowly entered. My Wife approached…

Scary

 ©MMXIII ReallyWeirdThings.Com

The Fearsome Syndicate

Fearome RollerbladesHave you ever found yourself with the urge to get up out of your chair, walk over to the window, open it up with swift and vigorous force, and then close it again suddenly whilst humming the theme song to some long since canceled prime-time television sit-com? I have, just now, found myself with that very urge. And, let me tell you, it’s not something I would wish to experience again any time soon. Such notions rushing to the forefront of my psyche never fail to immediately bring me directly back to my past — a very dark time indeed.

I’m speaking of course about the early nineteen-eighties. For me, those were years of incredible discontent. You see, in the summer of nineteen-eighty two I had just purchased my very first roller-skate wheel. And, as I am sure you are more than capable of imagining, following the purchase, I was heart-broken and filled with buyer’s remorse. This was, of course, due to three primary reasons. The first being that I didn’t actually own a pair of roller-skates at the time. My sister did, but she had refused to share them with me ever since she had caught me attempting to train her pet chinchilla to mercilessly taunt the neighbor’s dog. The second reason was that I happened to be deathly allergic to roller-skate wheels. And, the third, but probably not the least important reason, was that, at the time, I was completely unaware of a rather shady, and particularly dangerous, organized crime syndicate active in my very city —  a syndicate which tracked the sale of orphaned roller-skate wheels and, with the intention of holding them for ransom, kidnapped the purchasers of such items.

If you’ve never heard of such a syndicate, I’m sure that you probably now suspect that I must be somewhat insane. Let me assure you, my friend, that for the most part, you are very probably almost not entirely incorrect! Let me also assure you that such syndicates are positively real — at least as far as I can be certain. And, I can promise you that I very definitely may not be quite certain at all!

So, with this fearsome syndicate now hot on my trail, I decided that the safest option for me was to go underground. I hitchhiked to Sesquatallahatchee, Florida — a town which I may, or may not, have almost entirely made up. If I didn’t, don’t bother looking for it on any map. The syndicate has long since erased all traces of it from any earthly record.

After arriving in town, I immediately boarded a train back to where I had come from, and once there, hitchhiked back to Sesquatallahatchee yet again. I was sure that this sort of ample deviousness would be more than enough to throw the syndicate off my trail. I was incorrect however. It wasn’t long thereafter that I spotted one of their dastardly agents at a used-Popsicle stand just out front of the Sesquatallahatchee city hall. I hurriedly began to strip off all of my clothes and yell loudly for someone to assist me, but this action only seemed to alert the agent to my presence. The agent began his pursuit!

After chasing me for many blocks through lower mid-town, the agent finally caught up with me in the recesses of a small, garbage strewn alley-way. I had been tackled! The agent pummeled me relentlessly. I had no choice — my resolve was broken. I could stand no further pummeling. I betrayed my roller-skate wheel and informed the agent as to its exact location.

The agent rose to his feet.

“You’ll never see it again.” He smirked.

Just then, from somewhere close behind me, someone opened a window in that alley way. They opened it with swift and vigorous force. Then, they closed it again suddenly. And, from somewhere further down that God forsaken alley, I could hear the faint but unmistakable humming of the theme song from Welcome Back Kotter.

©MMXIII ReallyWierdThings.Com