Because living in fiction beats the alternatives.

It's not all fun and games…

Contrary to popular belief, most people don't achieve their dreams. Take, for example, Hollywood. Most people that depart for this smoggy stretch of California land do not, in fact, become famous actors and directors. Even those that do have to suffer first. Harrison Ford, as everyone knows, was working as a carpenter when he was hired for the role of Han Solo. What most people don't know is that during this stint of work, he bashed up his thumbs so badly with a hammer that they had to be replaced with robotic prostheses. George Lucas drew upon the horror of this real-life incident when he created the scene of Luke Skywalker losing his hand. It's ironic that Mark Hamill lost his real hand two days after shooting that scene in a bizarre Swiss Army Knife accident. However, in his case, they were able to clone a new one from Carrie Fisher's shed hair follicles, and Hamill's body didn't reject it because she really is his sister.

In more modern times, Russell Crowe had to work for seven years as a cheese slave before it occurred to someone that a hunky Australian git would make a good Roman general. In his private diary, which I hired ninja squirrels to steal, he still reminisces fondly of the days when rich widows would pay him well to drizzle molten mozzarella on his rock-hard abs.

He's not the only Australian in show business, however. Paul Hogan, beloved portrayer of Crocodile Dundee, met with intense racism in his early days as an actor due to being an Australian Aborigine. He purchased a skin-whitening treatment from Michael Jackson, and next thing you know, he was g'day mating all over the place.

The only other famous Australian is Yahoo Serious, whose real name is Bozo Profound. You haven't heard much from him of late because Yahoo! Search successfully contested the name and they now own his body. Rumor has it they sold his organs on the black market in Thailand, so it's possible that kidney your aunt got last year has been in a major motion picture or two.

Many people think Mel Gibson is Australian. He's not. He's Austrian, but he does a much better job of covering up the accent than the current governor of California does. The "Mel" is short for Melanin. He's an Austrian Aborigine, and suffered similarly to Paul Hogan, who is no relation to Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan is actually a clone grown from Pancho Villa's mustache, fragments of which were embedded in the death mask taken of his face shortly after he ceased living (hence the name "death mask'). Most major wrestling figures are cloned from the facial hair of great historical leaders. I think next year they're introducing The Proletariat and The Means of Production, a pair of tag-teaming twins grown from Karl Marx's beard and eyebrows, respectively.

Speaking of the Marx Brothers, Groucho is proof of the phenomenon formerly seen only in Japan (and documented in their precious graphical works known as manga, which is Italian for "to eat", due to the edible rice paper on which early such comics were printed) wherein very aged humans shrink to about three feet in height and turn green. After this happened to him, he could only get a job on Sesame Street and was forced to live in a trash can. Another example of this anti-growth spurt is Yoda, bringing us back to the beginning, indicating that we are in fact at the end.

Hallowhat?

"Zexxnar, why are you plotting a course that way? There is nothing of interest out there—the stars are too sparse."

"No, Raqqmip, you are incorrect. There is a small world known as Dirt to its inhabitants, and it is the correct time in the solar cycle for their festival of refueling."

"Festival of refueling?"

"Indeed, on my last pass through this spiral arm I discovered it. On an orbit of their star, they have a festival where the larvae of their species visit the dwellings of the adults, and demand concentrated fructose on threat of dire consequences. It appears that the threats are mostly a ritual formality, as I did not see any vaporizations even when the fructose was denied."

"Interesting…we could refuel our entire storage tanks in this manner. But wait, you mentioned the young of their species—how are we to acquire the fructose?"

"That is not a problem. By fortuitous accident, my last visit coincided with their festival, and I was given fructose merely for being present. Along with the ritual of threatening, there is a ritual masquerade, presumably to hide the identity of the criminals making these threats. They assumed my appearance was merely part of this masquerade. I received numerous compliments regarding the mere existence of my lower arms, and one of the breeders exuded a cloud of ethanol and proposed that we should copulate."

"They can exude ethanol at will? What sort of monsters are these?"

"Well, that is a minor detail I had left out, but my research after the fact indicates that this fructose is for consumption by the young…"

"Great Gazorbokan! A race powered by fructose! Can they fly to other stars at will?"

"No, strangely enough. They appear bound to their own planet. Their only contact with galactic civilization had been with the free clinic the Antarean proctologists have set up in orbit about their homeworld."

"They have no idea of the power of fructose?"

"None. They consume it, and with no ill effects. When we visit, we shall have to take our own food supplies with us, for they do not seem to have selenium carbide wafers available anywhere. I suspect their biology could be most enlightening, but I would be very reluctant to have such a high-powered furnace of a being on board the same ship as ourselves."

"At last you show some good judgment."

The Ninth Book of the Companions

And so it came to pass that Jhrad chose to leave the Company of the Traveller, and wandered in the desert for a moon and a day. On that day, he came upon a pool in the sand, exactly equal to the measure of a man in all directions, and as he bent down to slake his thirst, the pool turned to blood before his eyes, then roiled and bubbled with the fury of the sun.

As the blood bubbled, it burst, and spewed forth in all directions, covering Jhrad and the sand with its rich wetness. In place of the blood lay a mouth, and it addressed Jhrad in a voice that came from deep beneath the earth yet was not of the earth. "Who are you that wander this trackless desert, where no man may breathe more than three times without becoming dry as a stone and still as dust?"

"I am Jhrad, sorceror. I was one of the Companions of the Traveller, and I shall be again, but now I must seek that which cannot be held in the presence of the Traveller."

"That which you seek lies in the hands of the Queen of Fire, whom no man may bear to approach unless he bears the Red Mark."

"By your blood I am red from head to toe, and thus bear all red marks."

"You are wise, for one who seeks something so foolish," and with that, the mouth grew wide, and Jhrad stepped within.

The tale of Jhrad's battle with the locusts is sadly lost to us, with only the scrap regaling of how he "smote the second seven-hundred count of their number with the breath of dreams, and charmed the last third into slaying themselves" still existing on this mortal plane. His approach to the Fortress of Angoreth is also lost, and we must resume following him after he has passed the first gatehouse.

And at the second gate, twice as tall and four times as fearsome, Jhrad again called out, and again a face appeared at the battlements, with eight times more teeth and sixteen burning eyes. It called out to him, "In all time, but thirty-two seekers have passed the first gate, and none have gone further."

Shifting the giant's spine to his other hand, Jhrad answered, "I know the sixty-four secrets of the stars, and shall use each one to pry loose a nail from the gate, and it shall fall."

"Then I shall let you pass, for the gate must not fall, and the stars themselves would slay you if you were lying."

And thus he passed the second gate and came to the throne room of the Queen of Fire. It was a vast and opulent hall, with pillars of living flame supporting a dome that was stolen from the roof of the world, before the lesser gods had to craft the mere sky to take its place. Under the dome sat the Queen of Fire, red and perfect, burning since before Fire was tamed and made to swear its oaths to only burn where fuel is to be found.

Jhrad called out, "Queen, I have come to claim your favor and your gift."

"And why should I favor you, half-mortal as you may be?"

"I bear the Red Mark of your Ladyship, though no man, not even I, knows how it is drawn, for to do so would insult your sovereignty."

"You also bear the red whorl of the Unburnt Knight, sorceror. I should kill you for that."

"Ah, but you see, your Ladyship, your mark is on top of his, for you are superior."

"You are clever. Come, claim your gift."

Jhrad approached the throne of glass, and embraced the Queen, and she drew out his breath and burnt it and infused it with fire and he died and was reborn and knew the ways of Passion. Releasing her, he turned his head, for he could never look at her again, and as he turned, he spied Mhzad, who had been waiting for him at the side of the throne the whole time, having come by the Twilight Ways. He kissed her, and she too knew the ways of Passion, and in perfect silence they left to rejoin the Traveller as his Trials of Joy and Anger were to begin.

Saving Face

People often ask me where I get my ideas. The simple truth of the matter is that I keep a dried monkey face in the top left drawer of my desk. Whenever I'm low on inspiration, I pull it out and gently stroke it with a damp, warm cloth. This awakens the spirit of the crazed macaque within, who then starts gibbering and ranting. Sometimes, it's in Assyrian, which is a real pain to feed through Babelfish. Mostly, though, it's intelligible (assuming you count half a high school education marred by crypto-fascist rhetoric as intelligible).

The story of how I came by this dried monkey face is itself quite fascinating. It was on a Thursday morning (the face claims that it was Tuesday, but it lies all the time) that I was cleaning my bicycle when a curious gentleman wearing a long coat and a top hat found his way into my basement in some manner. Being somewhat perturbed by this occurrence, I asked him just who he was and what he was doing here, as he was clearly not there to read the gas meter.

Most apologetically, he claimed to be lost, and asked if I had ever heard of Sir Arthur Sherlock Twain. When I replied in the negative, he said he was dreadfully sorry, but he appeared to have stepped into the wrong universe. If I could merely point him in the direction of the nearest washing machine, he would be gone as soon as humanly possible, and he would give me an aluminum doubloon for my troubles. I gestured to the washing machine behind him, but explained that aluminum was a curious metal for minting currency. After some discussion, it became apparent that the process for refining aluminum is a rarity among most dimensions, and that he would be willing to pay handsomely for the roll of aluminum foil I had in the kitchen.

We conducted the transaction, during which he handed me the worn lottery tickets which bear the winning numbers for the third and fourth weeks of May 2009 of the Xtremo-Ball lottery (which itself will not inaugurate until 2007). Not a bad catch for a common household supply I seldom even use. Afterwards, he stepped into the washer, set it to "Casual" and twirled out of sight.

After he was gone, I noticed the monkey face on the floor. It must either have fallen out when he was rummaging in his pockets or when he was being spun about. I went to dust it off, and that's when it began speaking to me. I've kept it in the desk since, in case the owner comes back for it. I'm not particularly eager for him to return for it, as I find it so useful. Likewise, the face claims its former owner never did clean him off properly, and he has no desire to go back to that stuffy old pocket now that he has a nice, spacious desk drawer.

Shall we gather by the river…

I have seen the past, and now I am old. It is only upon the realization that time has passed that we age. Were we to remain oblivious, we would be children forever, free to bang our drums and climb trees and frolic away from the cares of life.

Time is a river, and we float upon it like garbage, rushing downstream to be dumped into the vast ocean. It is only by the remembrances of the fishermen lining the banks that we can leave a mark of our passing.

To the fish in the river of time, the rafts of junk that make up our lives are great places to hunt. All sorts of tasty bugs lurked trapped in the crevices of our lives—little mad, twitching things that we refuse to show to others and hide underneath our air bubbles, hating them but afraid to drown them. When the fish catch them, we convince ourselves that we never liked them at all, despite their being the only things that truly matter.

Somewhere, far out at sea, a giant raft is forming from all the millions of lives that flow downstream into it. One day, this raft will achieve sentience and claw its way upriver like the great, blind beast it is, devouring the fishermen that have in turn eaten the fish that once consumed our dark secrets, closing the cycle and unmaking all things as it stumbles back into the source of eternity. On this day there shall be only Joy and Pain and Oblivion.

R'lyeh Records

It has recently come to my attention that the world of hip-hop has been infiltrated by eldritch beings of horror and madness for many years now. The prime example of this is clearly Coolio. Due to sources I cannot divulge, I suspect him of being none other than dread Cthulhu. Aside from the obvious linguistic similarities in their names, there is the fact that both have tentacles on their heads (although Coolio's are on top while Cthulhu's are on the bottom).

Furthermore, I have obtained from illegal Ukrainian porn servers poorly-ripped but clearly recognizable MP3 copies of the original Shoggoth's Paradise, prior to its being altered for mass consumption. Fortunately for us all, "the stars were not right" for widespread release. I shall be gravely watching the heavens for any unexpected shifts that could presage a rise in non-Euclidean rap.

Remember, "That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die." This is the only possible explanation for how Tupac Shakur, clearly an avatar of Hastur, can continue making so many movies after his death. Thanks to information provided by the Echelon project, world government agents from Majestic 12 were able to prevent the release of his infamous "King in Yellow" album cover by introducing a subtle printing error that bleached the colors, making him appear to wear filthy white instead. His lack of shoes on this cover was merely another sign of his ability to craft mind-altering music from beyond the grave.

However, by far the gravest threat is posed by the world altering spaces that are being smuggled into our reality inside cargo pants. The vast, cycoplean expanses surrounding each leg are perfect for the eventual army of invading Mi-Go that will burst forth from the Antarctic once the polar ice cap over Lake Vostok is shattered by the simultaneous vibrations of the majority of the world's cars with overpowered bass systems.

Our only hope is to popularize goth music with over 180 beats per minute, allowing us to raise a defending army of speed-crazy zombie warriors led by vampire overlords, made sun-proof via genetically-engineered CopperTone. You know what you have to do…

A few thoughts

The number 4 hates you. It wants revenge for what your family did to it. If it ever teams up with the color green, you are so screwed.

You know how you're not supposed to get inside a refrigerator? It's not due to the danger of suffocation—there's vast amounts of air inside, because every refrigerator on the planet connects to every other, but only when they're closed and the light is out. Wait, did I say every refrigerator on the planet? There's quite a few I missed, then…

In a trailer park in Alabama, in a room with no air conditioning, there is a wretch of man. Before him is a typewriter, and every year he uses it write a new romance novel. The original, which he quit college in 1973 to write, was pathetically bad. The sequels keep getting worse and worse, featuring tentacle monsters and other foul things. He is getting old, and soon he will not be able to write any more. We need someone to take over his responsibilities, or else the unfathomably horrible will finally happen.

That other tab you have open in this browser window? Don't look at it. Just close this window and forget you ever clicked that link. For the love of everything holy and sane, don't look at it!

If you change your middle name to R. R., you will be a best-selling fantasy author.

Oh, and one more thing: Ever wonder why your body is built so that you can never quite reach that one spot on your back? Ever wonder why you always get an itch right there? I can reach that spot.

Why Chicken is Healthy for You

Long, long ago, when the world was young, many creatures were very different. One of these was the chicken. All chickens used to be very fat and round. They would sluggishly hop around eating all the food they could find. Being this fat was a true disadvantage, as people prized the fat because it would fuel their oil lamps for a long time. Since the chickens were so fat and slow-moving, they almost always were caught. That is, until one day things changed.

Chick’aku, the ancestor of all modern chickens, was peacefully eating an ear of corn on a sunny mountainside. Suddenly, a terrible cry reached her ears. It was a group of people out to catch chickens! Chick’aku ran, or rather hopped, for her life. The people were in close pursuit as she bounced up the grassy slope. She headed for a large boulder lying nearby. Once on the other side, she paused to think. Where could she go? She must hide! The hollow tree a few feet to left seemed perfect.

The humans went rushing right past Chick’aku’s hiding place, but soon noticed that their prey had evaded them. They began to search the area. Chick’aku just hoped they would go away. Her recent exertion and the hot sun were causing her to get exceedingly hot. In fact, she thought she could feel the fat sloshing around inside her because it had melted.

Right when the hunters were leaving, the youngest, a boy of nine, spotted Chick’aku. She jumped out of the tree and right into a briar patch. The sharp thorns bit into her skin, but she crawled out and kept on fleeing. Then a strange thing happened. With every hop she took, molten fat ran out of the holes in her. In mere seconds she was a nice, lean chicken. The people stopped chasing her, as her valuable fat was gone. Now she could walk easily and people would no longer try to capture her. Chick’aku was overjoyed!

As you may have guessed, all of the fat chickens were eventually hunted down by people. Only Chick’aku’s children, who were also nice and lean, were left alone. To this day chickens have remained like that. That’s why eating chicken is healthier than eating red meat.


Note: This is a little tidbit I wrote way back in 8th grade and just now dug up.

Politics as Unusual

So, I was thinking they should make a movie about a bad-ass 19th century U.S. President who goes around doing all sorts of crazy stunts with over-the-top special effects and battling the enemies of the state. He can have a big set of Wolverine-claws for carving out hunks of Latin America to lord over via the Monroe Doctrine. At some point, his elderly mentor Andrew Jackson can show up and engage in some John Woo-style two-fisted sixgun action in a climactic battle scene against his opponent in the upcoming election. We can call the whole thing Van Buren.

You can have my bananas when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers!

So I go to eat a banana, and I note that one of the ones in the bunch has a sticker on it advertising that godawful-looking new Garfield movie. Who the fuck decided that my fruit needs to be turned into a damn billboard? And it's not like they just show a picture of Garfield or something—no, they boldly state "Watch Garfield: The Movie". Why they hell should I? You expect me to take advice from a banana? What kind of sheep are people that such campaigns are actually worth the money it takes to pay some starving third-world kid to put a sticker on each bunch of bananas? Screw you! No! I already wasn't going to see your shitty movie because it looked like crap! Now I'm going to not see it twice! So there!

This moive is wonderful with perfect 3D graphic. Garfield in the movie is really a cool and smart cat who can dance admirably. When he went to the tall building to saved the dog Odie and went down, it was very cool! But it was so dangerous when he dropped down from the tall building.

The story line is superb and jokey, and the actress is very beautiful and cute. It was very incredible for Jon that the girl could love him, I also have the same feeling and the same experience with Jon.