Archive for October, 2011

Five Zombies In Search of A McRib

The Nexus of the Crisis and The Origin of Swarms

They were banging wildly at the windows.  Bloody, barbeque sauce stained hands clutching at whatever they could grab.  We had kept them at bay by throwing of the store’s stock of McRibs through the drive-thru window into the parking lot.  The horde of undead monsters gobbled them up, consuming them in a grotesque span of seconds. In their fiendish delirium, they could no longer tell the difference between human life and a dollar ninety-nine cent sandwich (2.99 in some markets).  The five of us were about to become a very unhappy meal.

There was Janet, the waitress, Addams, the cop, McBain, the lawyer with great hair, and The Doctor.  They had gone through their lives secretly wondering when their hour would finally come round.  They never would have believed they would perish terribly, mistaken for a limited time sandwich.  I had dressed well, anticipating teaching an excellent day of thought provoking history classes.  Instead, I was going to be eaten by zombies at my local neighborhood McDonald’s.

Janet:  We should feed them something else.

Addams:  We should not feed them, it will just encourage them.

McBain:  We should reason with them.

Me:  We should run.

Doctor:  I’m a doctor.

Janet:  We should scare them.

Addams:  We should shoot them.

McBain:  We should trick them.

Me:  We should hide.

Doctor:  I’m a doctor.

Janet:  We should climb out through the air conditioning ducts.

Addams:  We should set off an explosion in the parking lot.

McBain:  We should wait for the army to save us.

Me:  We should help them.

Doctor:  I’m a doctor!

(Banging on the windows is growing louder)

Janet:  We should feed them the cop.

Addams:  We should feed them the lawyer.

McBain:  We should feed them the poor.

Me:  We should try to understand them.

Doctor:  I’m a Doctor!

Janet:  We should fight them with our mop handles.

Addams:  We should make an example of one of them and scare the others.

McBain:  We should poison the McRibs, then feed them to the zombies.

Me:  We should educate them.

Doctor:  I am a….Doctor!!!!!

(More zombies pounding on the windows.  The zombie moaning is becoming intolerable)

Janet:  We should protest their actions.

Addams:  We should show no fear.

McBain:  We should see if we can pay them to go away.

Me:  We should build them houses.

Doctor:  I……AM…..A…..DOCTOR!!!!!!

Janet:  We should raise their taxes!

Addams:  We should use our weapons!

McBain:  We should offer them a simplified tax code that does not punish job creators!

Me:  We should offer them adequate dental care!!!!

Doctor:  I am a doctor…I am a doctor….I am a doctor!  I’m a Doctor!!!

(The glass in the main window begins to crack.  Zombies swarm towards opening with horrific glee.)

Janet:  We should pray with them.

Addams:  We should pray for them.

McBain:  We should pray for ourselves.

Me:  We should love them.

Doctor:  I am a doctor????

(The window shatters and the zombies pour through)

Janet:  This can’t happen; I’m too young.

Addams:  This can’t happen; I have a family.

McBain:  This can’t happen; this is America

Me:  This can’t happen; we’ve acted honorably.

Doctor:  This can’t happen; I’m a doctor.

The zombies attack and overwhelm us.  Lots of gore and guts and gizzards and grossness.  You’ve seen this movie before or at least one like it.  Just make up your own ending.  Mine is…They all die.  Alone.

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BlaK Dan Reviews Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning”

A few weeks back, we did an interview with the 2011 Purest Man In Metal Award winner BlaK Dan Krutzmeyer (or xxxxZyr as his friends call him).  What I did not reveal in the initial article was that BlaK Dan is actually my brother-in-law.  About 5 years ago, BlaK Dan received a settlement from Costco after slipping on a wet spot in the cat food aisle and rupturing his spleen.  Instead of spending that money wisely on food and shelter, BlaK Dan invested heavily in Amway products which he has been unable to sell even at steeply discounted prices.

In order to recoup his investment, BlaK Dan has been showing up at our front door at the crack of dawn trying to get me to buy cases of Nutralite Vitamins and 100 count boxes of hand sanitizer.  At first, my wife and I tried to help him or, at least, keep to the terms of the restraining order we have against him.  But BlaK Dan is persistent and we are running out options that don’t involve having some guy named Yuri The Blade drop him into the Atlantic Ocean. I have no use for Amway Products and I am tired of having to deal with the guy, so I told him that I’d pay him if he stays away from our home and writes me a metal album review from time to time.  Maybe the reviews will keep him busy and stop him calling us at 2 AM in a drunken haze to cry about the lack of woodwinds on the recent Burzum album.

Anyway, here’s the first (and hopefully last) in a series of articles called “BlaK Dan Reviews Albums He Hates”…..

Alright, so first of all, I need to tell you that this album sucks.  It’s so obvious that it sucks, I don’t even need to listen to it.  I could feel the suckiness through the latex gloves I used to handle it.  Out of a scale of 1 to 10, it gets a negative 12 billion.  It is meant to sap the spirit of those who fight the battle to remain unscarred by the joy and happiness that goes on around them.  It is a Trojan Bull sent into BlaK Dan’s City of Darkness to try to destroy the China Shop that is his purity.  BlaK Dan will not be fooled!

People like to argue that Metallica sold out when they recorded …And Justice For All or The Black Album or when they did a video for “One”.  This is not true.  Metallica sold out well before the time of their birth.  While James Hetfield’s mother was pregnant with him, she listened to a good amount of Elvis Presley.  Recent research conducted by researchers has conclusively shown that fetuses exposed to Elvis music will become humans who write sucky, sell-out music 98 percent of the time.  James was born to suck.

That drummer who looks like a Muppet is no good either.  What’s his deal?!?!  He strikes me as the type of guy who’s in it to meet women or make money or to be famous or something.  He’s probably got a room in his house filled with nothing but KC and The Sunshine band pictures.  Why does he need all those drums?  He doesn’t even use most of them.  I’ve seen pictures of him smiling, too. If I knew for sure I could keep my Bathory vinyls in prison, I would crush his head with a boulder whilst reading from the Necronomicon.

Like I say, I’d never listen to a Metallica album, but if I did, I bet they have choruses on them.  And melodies.  And harmonies.  And lyrics about feelings.  And songs about how much they cried when their dog ran away when they were eight.  And stuff about how when they were kids people laughed and wouldn’t invite them to birthday parties because they had stupid Gobots instead of Transformers like all the cool kids.  And songs about how personal hygiene is important.  Dumb sucky stuff for losers who buy furniture and go to shopping malls.

I have so far burnt over 300 copies of this album in an attempt to unfoul the universe of smut.  I plan on keeping myself and my pet ferret Varg warm in our cave all winter by the light of this epically sucky piece of suckdom.   A suck free cave with blazing Metallica albums and all the berries and squirrel we can eat.  The way Odin would have wanted it.

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The Tyranny of Attrition

“Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-hanuted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me:  has it happened at last?”

-Walker Percy from Love in the Ruins

October is the cruelest month
(Or was it September?)
(Or is it all of them?)
I don’t know anymore
I’ve stopped counting

You don’t need a compass to know which way is up
Despair, Guided by the torpor of stale air
The last thought that went through Junior’s mind
Was how much the horizon looked like the ocean

Because this is The Season of the Witch
Must be The Season of the Witch
Must be The Season of the Wi-tch

Oh Dr. More
We’ve become so much less
Your you-topian dreams
Transmogrified
Into an I-topia of silent screams
And ponzi schemes

Because this IS the wasteland
And WE are doomed
As the milk of human kindness
Reaches its much anticipated expiration date
Evaporating, The Armageddon of the Spirit
Echoes of Narcissus
Gazing
Lifelessly
We know that we are dying
(Be it one at a time)
(Or all of us at once)

Because this is The Season of the Witch
Must be The Season of the Witch
Must be The Season of the Wi-tch

The Absence howls
To be filled by nothingness
The Presence mocks us
With its promises of illusion
You don’t need a stethoscope
To hear a heart that’s not beating

Our differences are not nearly as terrifying as our similarities
The weight
Too great
The universe has forgotten how to protect us
(Or never wanted to know)
So far, from our-Selves
In the wasteland, there is no Up

Because this IS The Season of the Witch
Must be The Season of the Witch
Must be The Season of the Wi-tch

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A Confessional Review of David Mamet’s Homicide

“A Grandma is at the shore in Florida with her little Grandson. The grandson is playing on the beach when a big wave comes and washes the kid out to sea. The lifeguards swim out, bring him back to the shore, the paramedics work on him for a long time, pumping the water out, reviving him. They turn to the Grandma and say, “We saved your grandson!” The Grandma says, “He had a hat!””

-Henny Youngman

Bobby Gold was born to die a thousand slow deaths.  His is the pain of a man without a country.  Homicide is his confession. The confession of the man that can never be whole.  He is the first through the door, the last to leave the gym.  His mistakes must be rationalized or his coat of armor will become tin foil.  He has an answer to every question even before you ask it, because he cannot afford to show an ounce of skin.  He must convince them of his worth.   He must be more than human or else they will see him. Then, they will know.

Bobby Gold, set to wander the desert into eternity.  He must be exceptional or he is lost.  He is the map of human misery.  Bobby the Nomad.  Every time he finds a river he drinks a mouthful of sand.  He knows that you see him and he thinks you won’t let him forget it.

His is the story of the self-made man.  What becomes of the self-made man when he stops creating?  What if he gets tired?  What if hasn’t the strength to work at the rate to which he has become accustomed?  No one will catch him if his arms and legs cramp up. He knows this as surely as he knows how much time it will take him to get there 15 minutes early.

He looks around at people and instead sees the ocean.  The ocean is still and never needs anything more than what is given.  The ocean is a mystery to him.  Who built it?  How does it hide its shame?  In his hands are a set of tools from which he must construct himself.  From nothing.  From the ground up.  He must explain himself over and over.  He recoils, overwhelmed by the fear that they’ll recognize the sadness in him.  He explains and explains and explains never making the point that is so obvious to anyone who takes a moment to look.  And he hopes his explanations will blind them to the truth.  And he hopes they’ll see him and forgive his existence.

He looks enviously at those who have never had to work a day in their life to exist.  Some people just wake up and “are”.  He must invent.  He must create.  All of his actions reek of existential survival.  Bobby is a reminder of how fast a man must run to not fall down.  The faster he runs, the closer the oblivion he gets.  It is gaining on him, always.

Bobby Gold, never to know the stillness and quiet of a dreamless sleep.  Haunted by his visions of wholeness.  Mocked by his own creations and talents.  Bobby hears with a third ear.  He is haunted by the stumbling footsteps of those who do not belong.  The flesh on his neck stands at attention when he is near them.  He doesn’t need files and he doesn’t need a map.  He knows the look.  He is blessed with the curse of understanding.  As like is drawn to like, as “a dog goes back to its own vomit”, as pain seeks out pain.  He is them and they are he.  Outcasts.  Alone in a crowded universe.

Bobby Gold, born to see what people pray to have the strength to ignore. Bobby the Outcast.  Bobby the Obscure.  Bobby the Stranger Among Strangers.  Bobby the Donkey.  Capable of so much, but unable to hide the absurdity of his being.  Imploring the world to see him for what he does and not what he is. Doomed by the pain of the man who can never be more than he can build.

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Califivenia Dreaming

The Clown Prince of Denmark....A Grenine Dane

One of the great comedy bits ever concocted is Victor Borge’s famed “inflationary language” sketch.  Borge, the brilliant Danish pianist and comedian, devised a way of inflating the value of each word that has a number in it by taking the number and adding one.  Thus, the constitution becomes the constitthreesion, lieutenant becomes lieuelevenant, tulips become threelips and on and on.  Utterly hysterical.

While Borge’s idea is a comedic masterpiece, I wonder if he didn’t happen to luck into a fantastic way of creating a more precise version of the English language.  We live in a world where hyperbole is commonplace.  Both a grilled cheese sandwich and a beautiful, once in a lifetime sunset can both be referred to as “wonderful”.  The listener is left to determine from context clues and body language which wonderful is more wonderful.  But, these bits of evidence can be misleading and in a text-based situation like the internet, one can easily miss the difference between the commonplace “wonderful” and the nearly spiritual “wonderful”.

Borge has unwittingly given us a solution.  Numbers combined with language can help us find a more precise answer to the deeper meaning of many words.  So, the excellent grilled cheese that you consumed for lunch can be “threetaful” or two points better than wonderful.  The sunset which brought tears to your eyes is much more likely “tentaful”, a full nine points better than the original.  In this way, once can clearly discern the differences between a great sandwich and a magnificent experience of nature’s wonder (or tender in this case).

Think of all the miscommunications this could clear up.  If someone produces a really quality work of art it could be called a great “creatention”, a true masterpiece would be much more along the lines of a “creafifteention” and the best piece of art you’ve ever come across might well be a “creathirtytion” or even a “creainfinitytion”.  Think of how much additional joy your neighbors will feel during the holidays when you complement them on their “sixtaful decortwelvetions”

It could work in either direction, too.  Let’s say you meet someone you have a serious romantic interest in and make an offer to become better acquainted.   There is no ambiguity in that person telling you, “No, I don’t want to go over your house and negativeonenicate.”  In that case, it’s clear she’s not being coy and any sort of future inquiries should be made elsewhere.

In literature, there are serious possibilities as well.  A writer could be given the gift of being able to explain complex circumstances in one word.  A character with a ridiculously pronounced area between his eyebrows and his hairline could simply be described as a person with an “eighthead”.  A character maimed by a poorly performed birth ritual could be quickly noted as someone with a problem with his “twoskin”.  A character who is overly honest could be referred to as being “seventhright”.  No fuss, no muss.  Think of the efficiency.

Five us four fully understand each other it is a greytwelve skill six learn.   When we creaeighteen a more precise language much of the twentytion that arises from miscommunications will be mitigtened.  Face it, our current language is assafive.

Here’s Borge’s original bit…..

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Acute Post-Operative Complications

About six months ago, I had surgery done on my foot to remove a bone spur.  During the surgery I was given a dose of anesthesia to knock me out and numb the pain.  Since the surgery I have noticed many inconsistencies in the fabric of the universe.  I have come to the conclusion that one of two things took place.  The first possibility is that I am still under anesthesia and currently on the operating table.  For this to be true, the anesthesia would have to have distorted my sense of time and what has felt to me to be two months is actually less than an hour.  The other possibility is that I died on the operating table and this is either a very strange afterlife or I am experiencing an early stage of death in which the images and ideas in my head slowly become distorted as I lose my connection to what we know as reality.

I know this sounds a bit far fetched, but things have been really strange since the anesthesia went into me.  When I was first injected I began to feel extremely sleepy.  I tried to talk but it felt like my mouth was filled with peanut butter.  My eyes closed and all I could hear were the doctor and one of the nurses talking and that dumb song “Life is a Highway” (the surgery center pumped bad pop music into all the operating rooms to “relax” the patients).  I was completely conscious and totally immobile.  The song was making me angry.  Why couldn’t they have anesthetized my ears?  It’s a preposterously stupid metaphor.  What the heck does it mean?  Life goes on for a long time?  Life has exits?  If you stay on life for thirty minutes you can get to the airport?

I’m not certain of how I got home.  It was late in the day.  For the next week I flowed in and out of awareness.  Pain and pain medicine shaped my reality.  I watched the entire first season of the TV show the old CBS show “Wiseguy” on DVD (mercifully, I only remember about ten minutes of it), I ate pizza, I stared at the painting of a woman on the wall and imagined another head growing out of her neck.  I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong.  I chalked the whole thing up to oxycodone-induced weirdness and figured I’d feel normal once I got the stuff out of my system.

Time passed.  My foot began to heal, I started driving again, I went back to work, and I shed my crutches for a boot.  Life resumed, but I could not shake the feeling that the things around me were somehow less real then they had been.  It’s not something I can put accurately into words, but it feels quite real.  The world seemed similar but not the same.

My first visit to the gym was when things started to get really weird.  I slowly moved my way through a few machines and went into the locker room to get the stink off of me.  As I walked past the lockers there was a guy in a speedo who looked almost exactly like the guy who played Father Damien Karass in the Exorcist films.  I had never seen him at the gym before.  He was staring into his open locker and shouting.  Most of what was coming out of his mouth was impossible to understand.  He was raving.  I understood the occasional curse word, but most of it seemed like it was in some weird language that he was making up as he went along.  I averted my eyes away from him and sprinted into the shower.  When I had gotten out, he was quietly staring with this horrible empty expression on his face.  Suddenly, I heard him say in a monotone, semi-possessed voice “Life isn’t a highway, is it Keith?  Is it Keith?  Is it Keith?”

I felt my stomach leap into my throat.   “Excuse me?!?!?!”

He just continued staring blankly into the locker.

“What did you say???”  I repeated in a panic.

He did not respond.

I did not tell the thing about “Life is a Highway” to anyone except my wife.  I strongly doubt that my wife has launched into a criminal conspiracy with some lunatic at the YMCA to drive me crazy so she’ll be able to drive our Saturn more often, so I have to imagine there are strange forces at work here.  But what?  Why?

Every time I see this guy, he hums a bar from it and smiles at me.  He has a sickly, menacing smile.  The type that bankers usually reserve for customers with no hope of getting a loan.  He jogs next to me on the treadmill sometimes.  Humming.  Smiling.  Laughing to himself.

The other day, he walked out of the gym at the same time as me.  He started repeating the phrase “Do you know where we are?  Do you know where we are?  Do YOU know WHERE we ARE?” in strange intonations about five feet away from me.  At first, I sped up, but when he didn’t stop and continued to follow me I knew I had to take some kind of action.  I turned to him and shouted “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?  Why are you bothering me?!?!?!?!”

He looked perplexed.  The man stared blankly into my eyes and began to speak with a voice that betrayed no emotion whatsoever, “Don’t you know where we are?”  He reached slowly into his pocket.  I was terrified.  What was happening?  He grabbed my wrist and shoved a piece of paper in my hand.  With a coy smile, he turned on his heels and stumbled back towards the gym.

Maybe it was some explanation of everything.  Maybe it was a threat. I needed something to make it all make sense.  I swallowed deeply and looked at the piece of paper.  This had to be the answer.  It had to be.  It was a ten percent off coupon for the frozen yogurt store about a mile from my house.  The orange rain began to pour down from the sky, washing away the beautiful blue sunset.  I sat down on the curb next to my car, put my head in my hands and wept.

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Barely Awake Finnegan

You wandered aimlessly or aimed wondrously
Or maybe both
Or maybe neither
About thyme to waist or maybe just Rosemary’s two thighs
An English major who was not general enough to become an English Major
You wonder if you are nothing but sheep just as ewes wonder if they are nothing but sheep
As they graze off into the distance
But sheep sleep
And dream of themselves jumping over fences
Or maybe neither

(!!!!You probably think that runny eggs are out of shape because they never come out of their shells!!!!!!)

Just as a pastor eyes milk
(Or at least two percent do)
As worms learn to hate silk
(Which we hope isn’t true)
Can a ewe eschew this sort of snafu?
(Or at least creatures of their ilk)
Or maybe neither

My unorthodox friend went to see his uncle in Antioch
(But not his aunt in Uncleoch?!?!?)
Because he is pro-Constantinople
But he can’t wholly see, you see!
Or maybe neither

Kids today I tell you…..
(They grow up to be goats)
Ant live with them……
(Ants ruin a picnic)
Or maybe neither

(!!!!!Are you moving the puppet or is the puppet moving you?????)
A tail wagging a dog
(Told by a mongrel)
Somewhere in Missouri
(Signifying nothing)
Or maybe neither

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Invisible Kid: The Noodles O’Callahan Story

Noodles Out On The Swings During Recess

Noodles O’Callahan is a bright, good-natured 8-year-old boy.  He is a third grader at John Q. Poindexter Elementary School in Tupelo, Mississippi. He likes ice cream and pizza, loves his 2 pet dogs and dreams of one day becoming an astronaut.  He is a healthy, happy young man who suffers from one terrible problem that deeply effects every aspect of his life.  You see, Noodles is invisible.

Invisiblilty may seem to be a strange ailment for a young person to have, but it’s more common then you know.  1 in every 10,000 Americans are born invisible. These young people often are made to feel different and unwanted.  In many cases, invisible children are ignored by everyone in their lives including their parents. People bump into them without bothering to apologize, they are never picked to play games with the other kids and in some cases they are not even picked up from school.  People simply forget about them.  Noodles is one of the forgotten.  This is his story.

Noodles was in my kindergarten class three years ago.  They train you for all different types of scenarios when you are at the Academy.  You know how to deal with loud, aggressive children, you know how to deal with the ones who struggle to learn to read, you know how to work with the shy ones, but they never tell you how to teach an invisible child.

At first, I let Noodles keep to himself, ignored and avoided by other children.  One student even stepped on his foot and did not apologize or even acknowledge he had done it.  I let Noodles play quietly in the corner for a few hours, but after a while I couldn’t take it.  I started calling on him during class discussions only to be met by an icy silence. The other students were perplexed as to why I was calling on a student that they claimed wasn’t even there.  I was called into Principal Murphy’s office.  When he asked me why I was talking to a student that didn’t exist, I nearly hit the roof.  How dare he dismiss Noodles’ existence!!!  What gaul the man had!  I exploded at him.  The nerve!  To just pretend an invisible student didn’t exist was the worst crime an educator could commit in my eyes.

After that, I took an unscheduled vacation.  I spent a lot of time around the house thinking about what had happened.  Surprisingly, Noodles started showing up at my front door at 8 AM everyday rain or shine.  He should have been in school, but I think he felt like he’d be better off spending time with and adult who actually paid attention to him.  He would come in and have tea while we discussed what it was like to be invisible.  That was nice.  It made me feel like I was making a difference.

All of a sudden, things started to get very weird.  Furniture started moving around my apartment.  I knew he was breaking in to my house when I was asleep and trying to intentionally confuse me.  He would start hiding things in places I’d never bother to look.  My keys showed up in a flower pot, my wallet showed up in a pair of pants I hadn’t worn in months.  One day, I woke up with a bloody knife in my hand.  I have no idea how it got there.  Noodles must have done it!

I spent hours in the interrogation room trying to tell my story to the police.  They simply didn’t believe me.  They claimed that I had stabbed Mr. Morganfield and put his head in my own refrigerator.  In spite of the fact that Mr. Morganfield was a secret disciple of the Pod People and was planning to begin infecting the human race with a DNA altering virus, I would have never harmed him. Clearly, Noodles received the same information as me and simply acted on it.  He had a good amount of pent up rage from years of being unnoticed and must have just snapped.

I now spend most of my days in a heavily medicated stupor eating different varieties of Jell-o.  Noodles still comes to visit me.  He snuck into my cell last night and began singing old Duke Ellington tunes.  I told the guards to shut him up.  They just looked at me like I was crazy.

These invisible children walk among us everyday.  They are forgotten and unloved.   Three years of eating Jell-o and staring at old episodes of Gunsmoke gives you a lot of time to think.  When I am released in the year 2041, I plan on dedicating my life to helping them.  Their story doesn’t have to end up like this.  Help them.  For Noodles.  For me.

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Five Fantastic Facts About Donkeys

Recently, I have developed a bizarre fascination with donkeys.  They are odd-looking creatures with funny ears that make terrifyingly amusing noises.  What’s not to love?  I have spent the last few months of my life reading extensively about donkeys and have discovered several incredible, mind-boggling facts that I’d like to share with you so maybe you can find the same feeling of joy and love that I feel when I see one walking down the street.

1.  DONKEYS HAVE 14 STOMACHS!!!!

That’s right!  Your average donkey is able to consume 40 pounds of carrots in less than an hour thanks to all of these wondrous organs.  A donkey can also generate additional stomachs throughout their lifetime.  A donkey in Uzbekistan is the current worlds record holder with a reported 59 stomachs.   How about that!?!?!

 

2. DONKEYS CAN LIVE FOR UP TO 3,000 YEARS!!!!!

Not only are donkeys loveable, but they are durable as well.  The donkey that belonged to Plato, affectionately known as Rufus, is still with us today.   Donkeys are able to regenerate any cells that die within a span of minutes.  Nessie, the world’s oldest donkey, just had her 3,357th birthday.  Back in the 1960s, the U.S. Army experimented by dropping 500 donkeys out of an airplane at 30,000 feet into occupied Czechoslovakia.  Only one was slightly injured.  The rest were healthy and immediately able to produce milk for American soldiers who were bravely battling the Germans in World War II.

3. DONKEYS ARE DESCENDED FROM LIONS AND HORSES!!!

Sure, lions and horses seem like a strange match, but hey, love is a many splendored thing! If you mate these two beasts you will produce a donkey.   As crazy as it sounds, lion ranchers in New Zealand have been mating these two types of animals for the past 20 years.  As a result, the donkey population has tripled.  And as you well know, more donkeys mean more happiness for everyone!

4. DONKEYS CAN GROW TO THE SIZE OF ELEPHANTS!!!!

It’s true!  When properly fed a balanced diet of oatmeal cookies and orange sherbet, donkeys can grow to the size of full-grown elephants.   This can mean serious trouble for those who keep donkeys as house pets.  Sure, tiny baby donkeys can be cute, but a full-grown mammoth jack donkey can grow to the amazing height of 160 hands (53 feet tall).  An angry mammoth jack donkey can go on a rampage and destroy an entire village causing massive damage and severe injuries.  So BE CAREFUL!

5. SIXTY FIVE PERCENT OF DONKEYS ARE ACTUALLY ROBOTS!!!!

It’s sure hard to tell the difference between a robot donkey and a real one.  Here’s a tip, if your donkey starts going wild during a lightning storm, it’s probably a robot.  If your donkey gets a cut and begins leaking oil, it’s probably a robot as well. Robot donkeys were first built during The Great Donkey Shortage of 1927 and have been with us ever since.  They are just as friendly and good-natured as donkeys, but often have additional fun options like the ability to blend smoothies in their mouths.  If owning a regular donkey seems financially out of reach, you just might want to consider picking up one of these wonderful mechanical creatures at your local Wal-Mart or certified Robot Donkey outlet.

6. DONKEYS CAN TELL TIME!!!!

Ever notice how a donkey sleeps at night and runs around playfully during the daytime?  Can you guess why?  It is a known fact among donkeyologists that these wonderful beasts can roughly tell what time of day it is based on whether the sun is out or not.  They sure are smart!

 

7. ONE IN EVERY TWENTY DONKEYS ARE BORN WITH THE ABILITY TO SING!!!!

They are known for that ridiculous braying noise they make, but did you know that 1 in every 20 donkeys, if properly trained, can become remarkable singers.  These special donkeys are born with unique vocal chords that allow the donkeys voice to create beautiful melodies.  The Turkmen Donkey Choir, a group of talented donkeys from Turkmenistan who travel around singing old Rogers and Hammerstein show tunes, have performed to packed houses around the world and even had an audience with the Pope!  Recently, a first in donkey musical history took place when a jenny named Roberta starred in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera performance of Turandot.  She received rave reviews and a bouquet of carrots from the audience.  Oh what a night!

 

8. SHERBET IS MADE FROM DONKEY BONES!!!!

Next time you are settling down after a hard day of work to a heaping bowl of everybody’s favorite delicious treat, remember to thank a donkey.  If it weren’t for the Kraft Corporations decision back in 1953 to mix vanilla ice cream, ginger and donkey bones, sherbet would never have been discovered.  Sherbet, once only believed to be a wonderful dessert, has recently been used successfully in medical trails for the treatment of Exploding Head Syndrome.   So, not only do donkeys make people happy, they might just save some lives.

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Mambo #5 In Z-Flat Minor: Dissecting Carcass’ Oxidized Razor Masticator

Editors note:  Tyranny of Tradition is honored to be visited by guest writer and world-renowned grindcore expert Dr. Shawn “Von Deathmetal” Jobe. Shawn received his doctorate from the prestigious Millard Fillmore School of Grindcore Studies at Yale University. Dr. Von Deathmetal has just emerged from seven years on a mountaintop in Tibet continuously listening to Brutal Truth’s Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses in the hopes of gaining spiritual enlightenment. Dr. Von Deathmetal has also been on the forefront of the medical movement to use grindcore to help reduce migraines and plantar warts. He is a Pisces whose hobbies include juggling squirrels and playing canasta.

Reek Of Putrefaction,the 1988 release from Carcass, is easily one of the most misunderstood albums ever recorded.  Before Carcass became actual musicians and wrote some of the greatest riffs in the history of metal, they created their first album. Bill Steer, getting a fresh start after his tenure in Napalm Death joined short-lived vocalist Sanjiv and Ken Owen. Jeff Walker eventually took over on bass & vocals.

Trying to one-up his former noisemongers (one can only assume), Steer & co. entered a quaint studio fit for wealthy canines of the feminine sort in December of 1987 with 83 guitars, 12 bass guitars, a drum kit, 2 tornadoes, and 7 or 8 car crashes, depending on who you ask. The end result? The Reek Of Putrefaction. On the surface, it is cacophony of the highest measure, with all the melody of a combat tank rolling through landmine infested terrain. However, once you’ve stripped it down and have peeled back all of the layers, you soon discover that it was England’s answer to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” album.

Oxidized Razor Masticator

Chomping and splicing, your gums sliced to shreds

Tattered bloody ribbons, incisored skin is shred

Scraping on sore teeth, cracking and chipping

Shredding and mincing raw nerve endings

Salivating – sanguis, phlegm, froth and foam

Masticating – your mandible stripped to the bone

Mangling your tongue, bloody torn and dripping

The swollen savage muscle frayed and blistering

Your vocal chords severed, your lips are mutilated

Masticating carved palate as your mouth is grated

Only raw gargles croak from your throat

A trickling death-rasp as you choke

A silly grin carved from ear to ear

Spurting mucus and tongue as your wind-pipe tears

Gaping and sore

The rusty razors bore

Skin hangs and seeps

Peptic ulcers bleed

Your mouth is a sea of cartilage, rabid saliva bleeds

Swallowing shredded tongue and pulverized, crunching teeth

Respirating a bolus of rusty razor blades

“Oxidized Razor Masticator”, unlike the album’s more eloquent tracks, lacks philosophical ambiguity. It was simply Carcass taking a few moments to set things straight. Rumors began to circulate that Carcass members were vegetarians. This was not due, however, to their love of vegetables, but rather their willingness to ingest anything that was not beef, pork, etc.

This hideous buffet included oxidized razors. Nowhere can you find the use of this method more upfront than the blood-gargling vocals in the second verse here. Clearly practitioners of what they preached, Carcass were said to have owned stock in the Gillette Corporation, and later on, the Mach series of blades were inspired by the fast pace of the band’s music.

The song starts off with a veritable ‘how-to’ take on grindcore vocalizing with the Step One of “Chomping and splicing, your gums sliced to shreds.” From that point on, they lay out the instructional manual for every goregrind band that would enter the scene for the next 20+ years. From General Surgery to County Medical Examiners.  From (early) Exhumed to Lymphatic Phlegm. The entire subgenre owes their vocal assault to the clearly printed lyrics to this song. “Your mouth is a sea of cartilage, rabid saliva bleeds – Swallowing shredded tongue and pulverized, crunching teeth.” Indeed, lads. Indeed.

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