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Mysteries 


Friday, September 30, 2005

I am no longer in Porn Movie. Never mind where I am.

Let's play a game, instead.

You guess what the following are or for what they're used.

Update: I've added some of the guesses so far now that I'm back in Porn Movie.

1.


Guesses

Chief Ten Bears: Take home gifts from the Six feet Under season 5 wrap party.

Frank: 6 members of a Jamaican ragga tribute band are tragically caught in a very thin pool of green quicksand.

LJ: Nail Painting shop window display

Rurality: ZOMBIE hands!

Julie: pimp slapper

Bluewyvern: Long nails for hijacking airplanes.


2.


Guesses

Chief Ten Bears: Dim Sum extruders most commonly found in chinese restaurant kitchens.

Frank: Kublah Khan's cigarette bins.

LJ: some kind of old vents in the sidewalk

Rurality: Big thimbles for the ZOMBIE hands.

Julie: urban-hornet hives

Bluewyvern: Barriers for stopping carbombs.

3.


Guesses

Chief Ten Bears: Your life flashing before your eyes as you look up while your elevator plunges to the ground floor.

Frank: God's toilet.

LJ: Stained glass ceiling in a building

Rurality: What the ZOMBIE hands hath wrought.

Julie: mandala for a banker

Bluewyvern: A skylight for illuminating divinely.

4.


Guesses

Chief Ten Bears: Uuh, a bird with a pair of testicles beside its head?

Frank: Part of an illuminated manuscript that was entirely made from concerete.

LJ: A fresco on a cemetary monument

Rurality: What the ZOMBIE hands hath wrought.

Julie: chip off the ol' John Keats memorial soup tureen

Bluewyvern: Funereal sculpture for mourning the victims.

5.


Guesses

Chief Ten Bears: New Starbucks frap drink for St. Patrick's day: the McDonald's-shamrock-shake-barfachino.

Frank: I am guessing here, but could that be a very long pink lizard trying to escape from a large pool of green slime?

LJ: Green algea on the water

Rurality: ZOMBIE hands, after falling into the lake that is covered in pollen (arranged by the Grinch who stole Christmas).

Julie: aeriel view of sour stomach

Bluewyvern: Scuzzy water for dumping the bodies.

6.


Guesses

Chief Ten Bears: Big Foot's bowel movement.

Frank: A hedgehog that recently exploded. Looks recent. Probably still a crime scene.

LJ: I'm torn between - something dead, or some kind of seed pod that hasn't dispersed.

Rurality: Charred remains of ZOMBIE hands, after having been fished out of the river and torched by the locals.

Julie: sycamore ball meteorite

Bluewyvern: A dead animal for tripping over.

*****

The person with the most correct answers - or failing that, the most amusing answers - wins a prize.


Money Walking Around in the Woods 


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Last week's Maple Ridge News carried a story about a couple of troublesome bears that destroyed 70 of a hazelnut farmer's 90 pollinating trees:
Despite baiting a bear trap with moose steak and molasses, anchovies and apples, Pitt Meadows hazelnut farmer Eero Rontu was having no luck trying to snare the culprit which has been eating into his profits.

A bear trap, provided by conservation officers and even stocked with delicious bacon fat warmed in a frying pan heated by a candle, failed to attract the bear for the past week.
Once he trapped the bear, it was by turns sleepy and angry, perhaps "because the apple-molasses mix may have fermented a bit during last week's warm weather." The bear presumably ate the moose steak and anchovies right away.

Rontu points out that in Finland one can sell just such a bear to a restaurant for $4500.

"We have lots of money walking around in the woods here."


Big Bunny 


Monday, September 26, 2005

Big rabbits thrill me. I wish big bunnies roamed the planet. I don't care if they go all Godzilla on us and mannibalize us. I WANT big bunnies to rule the earth.

Really, what is there to be afraid of? Rabbits are vegetarians. We have a lot of blackberry bushes that ecology groups spend thorny afternoons trying to eradicate. Giant bunnies would be our allies!

Yay for big bunnies!

There is a billboard in Vancouver that has a giant bunny just peeking over the edge. That bunny is just the right size of big bunny I wish would rule the earth. (And he is light brown. Light brown bunnies get extra points.)

Every time I pass that big bunny I say, "I want to kiss that big bunny."

Finally, Matt said, "I can hoist you up to the billboard and you can kiss it if you'll stop saying that."

But I don't want to kiss some dusty old billboard beside a gentleman's club. I want to kiss a real big bunny. And I want to climb on its back and telepathically ask it to attack those snooty girls in equestrian shows. My big brown bunny would agree, telepathically, and we would trample babies in strollers on the way (that never happens in movies).

On the way, me and my big bunny would loot the cupcake shop after all the customers and cupcake chefs run away in terror. The cupcake icing we don't like will be our war paint: we'll look like Braveheart Scottish warriors.

Then we'll liberate the cookie store.

Then we'll emancipate the pancake store.

Then finally we arrive at the horse barn.

There I go. Fantasizing about big bunnies again.

One of my other big bunny fantasies involves big pink bunnies.

Pink bunnies are, as everyone knows, mannibals. Worse than dingos. You don't trust them around a daycare. And don't give them jobs at the old folks home, either.

Then common sense takes a leave of absence and grannies knit a big pink bunny. It's like fusing piranhas with flying fish or messing with elephant genes to give pachyderms laser raygun eyes.

Turns out we can excuse the grannies for putting this 200-foot rabbit on Piedmont's Colletto Fava mountain. They were misled by the Viennese group, Gelatin.

The four artists who comprise Gelatin have a fondness for the taboo. You can tell from the titles of their shows: "gelatin at the shore of lake Pipi Kacka," "Golden Shower" and "Suck and Blow."

They also like fertility, running the gamut of relationship landmarks from initial interest (1999's "Hugbox") to courtship ("Le Cadeau") to full-blown declarations of love ("True LoveIV") to finally getting some ("Real Sex") to revealing unusual fetishes ("Armpit") to waning love ("Fake Sex") to futile attempts at rekindling that lovin' feeling ("Breakfast in Bed) to rage at the break-up ("Sea of Madness") to bizarre acts of revenge ("Furball").

Most tellingly, Gelatin's second show, in 1994, was titled "Flat Rabbit." Gelatin has a history with rabbits. We might even say that the fertility bent documented in their projects reflects the proclivities of the rabbit.

The 200-foot pink rabbit represents roadkill ("an innocent carcass at the roadside" according to Gelatin's press release) yet it remains a fertility symbol even in death: it gives birth to maggots ("you leave like the larva").

I like to think of the maggots flying off in bunny-moth form and breeding themselves into millions.

We can only hope this will lead to a master race of evil pink bunnies that will eat up all traces of humanity and that a new era of peace will embrace the earth.

Update: Non-Vancouverites may now fall to their knees in awe. Matt pointed out that you can see the big bunny here (he's the top bunny - imagine him being ten-feet tall).

Up-update: Matt took a picture of the big bunny beside the gentlemen's club.


Hamster Balls 


Monday, September 26, 2005

Hamster wheels are the lazy ass way of exercising the hamster.

Every hamster cage seems to come with a hamster wheel and most are as dangerous for hamsters as non-standard cribs are for babies. I am referring, of course, to the metal hamster wheel with spokes, into which cute tiny little hamster limbs can slip and break.

I've also seen baby hamsters flung across the cage during "baby hamster wheel-mobbing" incidents: hamster babies rush a metal-spoke hamster wheel and one baby manages to secure the wheel, starts running and attains a speed that causes the babies clinging to the outside of the wheel to lose their grip.

Hamster wheels with closed rungs are better but still a flimsy excuse for hamster exercise.

News outlets are rife these days with hamster-powered night lights (I am relieved to see that Skippy uses a safe hamster wheel though I am dismayed at the size of his cage) and hamster-powered phone chargers (good hamster wheel use in evidence).

The responsible hamster owner can achieve proper hamster exercise with the employment of a hamster ball. Insert the hamster inside, block staircases and you have a workout that challenges the hamster physically and mentally. The hamster can travel where it pleases, all while practicing eye-paw coordintation.

Hamsters are perfect pets, because unlike dogs, who are needy drama queens, and cats, who require a staff to satisfy their every whim, hamsters are rugged individualists with simple needs. They can take care of themselves. Humans, where they decide to interfere in the hamster lifestyle, need only follow a few rules to ensure their hamster survives.

Occasionally keeping an eye on the hamster ball is such a requirement. Making sure the hamster doesn't roll down the stairs or doesn't trap itself atop a heat vent - you'd think any yokel would get it.

So when Roly the hamster snubbed death on a British highway, hamsters everywhere hoped that owners learned their lesson and would keep their hamsters out of harm's way. Yet it's happened again: another hamster rolls its hamster ball onto a busy street.

Perhaps the most recent hamster was entirely responsible for his near-mishap. Perhaps hamsters are to blame for their troubles. Perhaps hamsters have a collective death wish.

That would explain how some dumb hamster managed to get herself into a sealed envelope and then into a mailbox.


Vampire Lesbians Killed My VCR 


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nipples unfettered by bras glare from underneath white t-shirts.

Just ask Susan Sarandon. In The Hunger, they alarmed her so much so that she had no choice but to spill her sherry down the front of her shirt. Alcohol increases the temperature surrounding the nipple, thereby decreasing the magnitude.

Yet, Sarandon chose to forego the laws of physics for the laws of vampire lesbian film sex scenes.

My VCR had had enough. The rhino semen extraction documentary was one thing. This was something else altogether, something that crossed the line. The VCR decided not to eject the video. It wouldn't let me even watch the video again to, um, catch the young Willem Dafoe cameo.

After one month of temper tantrums from the VCR, I took a screw driver to the VCR and disassembled the thing. The Hunger came out but the VCR hasn't been normal since.

I've tried to trick it into accepting nice family entertainment. I suspect it caught me re-labelling my cockroach video with an "Aristocats" sticker. It wouldn't accept the tape.

I'm getting really desperate now. I only have Nasubi on VHS, not DVD. Blackadder is easily converted. But not my favourite naked Japanese reality tv contestant.

Please, VCR, please let me watch more videos. I promise that I will never watch bad movies again. I promise it will only be Sesame Street from now on. Please?


Cherry Pie 


Monday, September 19, 2005

It's my latest obsession. I pass restaurants and wonder, do they have it?

On Labour Day, I drove three cities over to a place distant from now in time, a place I used to frequent long, long ago.

They had it. One last slice sat in the display.

The man behind me said to his friend, "I am going to get that slice of cherry pie."

Ha! I snatched it from before his eyes.

Then the test. Was it as good as they led me to believe?

Forking aside the whipping cream, I prepared one mouthful.

Sour. And sweet. Like a raspberry, almost. The pie crust provided the appropriate butter blandness to offset the fizz-bang.

Cherry pie passed the test. I officially like - nay!- love cherry pie.

The next week I drove 100 kilometres for cherry pie.

It's all Agent Cooper's fault.

In a Twin Peaks marathon spanning two weekends, I went through the pilot episode, the entire first season and the tie-in movie.

Squinting away flapping fingernails, the references to cherry pie and damn good coffee and Douglas firs made me want to rush out and give myself a coffee enema atop a Douglas fir.

Cherry pie was my second option.

Now don't you give away Season Two.


Unchiu Tanu 


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

This is my uncle Tanu:



He died a few hours ago. Pancreatic cancer, just diagnosed a few weeks ago.

Four weeks ago the doctors gave him two weeks. Last night my parents gave him a week.

The gangrene turned one leg black and then got to work on the other.

I went through my photos of the last time I saw him, when he was just familiar background. He appears in my photos only incidentally. For some reason, I figured he would always be there and I could take his portrait any time.

In his office he had the girly calendars that came complimentary with orders of soft drinks. He never paid much attention to them but I never knew him without a girlfriend, always one of the well-dressed middle-class ladies of Alba Iulia.

He never turned one of his girlfriends into his second wife.

"What happened to ---?" I'd ask.

"Oh, she turned out to be a drunk," my mother would say. Or, "Her daughter put her foot down and refused to let her mother continue on with your uncle."

The last girlfriend had her own ex-husband in the hospital, a cruel man who refused to die.

In the end my uncle argued with her about money. Or she argued with him about money. It doesn't matter because there is no more money. I will never meet this girlfriend; she'll be gone by the time I ever visit Romania again. I will never know her story.

What else to say about the uncle who was always so soft-spoken and sweet and treated me with utter respect and about whose vile ex-wife, instead, I remember the anecdotes?

In Alba Iulia, there is a suitcase. After my uncle mother and father died, I went through our ancestral home in the Transylvanian hills and took every single photograph, letter and paper scrap with writing, and put everything in a leather suitcase. I carried this suitcase from the childhood home of my mother and my uncle through the mud to a tractor. (We also dragged off Azorel, my grandmother's dog.) I took the suitcase and put it in a closet in an apartment overlooking the cathedral in which my parents married. Inside the suitcase are all the photos of my uncle that I never took.

In the last two months, I have found shoes lined up with the right shoe on the left and the left shoe on the right. An omen of death. My grandmother died after my sister placed her shoes this way. Ever since I am always careful to place my shoes in their correct position. But this summer, my shoes, on their own, switched positions. Three days ago I found some slippers under my bed in the death position. It perplexed me how my shoes did this by themselves on so many occasions.




Day of the Fire 


Monday, September 12, 2005

Mid-afternoon I ran down the stairs and out the door and something stank as I opened the front door.

Damn sawmill, I thought.

The smoke felt like a medium-weight coat of barbecue-puff. My eyes became and still are red and sore.

I looked up toward my home on the mountain - I live a lonely mountain hermit existence in the woods - and my mountain wore a furry grey cap of smoke.

I went back inside and decided to work another hour and a half of unpaid overtime. Page layout for the bimonthly newsletter is a pleasure I wouldn't pass up - not when I can decorate the pages with clipart bats and eyeballs. Yet, the room filled with the outdoor smell and I wondered if it was not the Museum itself that was on fire.

Then, beside me-

crack!

Something was in the wall, just beyond me in the attic.

A ghost!

No, no, I said to myself, it must be a crow.

I said goodbye to my unfinished page layout (still needs one or two more elegantly fluttering bats) and ran out for good.

Outside I walked around the Museum to make sure it wasn't on fire. On the roof there was a crow.

On my way home I remembered that Burns Bog, just less than twenty kilometres from me, was burning. I could probably go to higher up parts to see it burning but my own inner turmoil ordered me instead to do the laundry. I left it up to others to witness the spectacle.

My hardly altruistic act tonight is to encourage you to explore the Burns Bog Conservation Society's gift catalogue. The Family Favorites & Wild Gourmet Cookbook has a recipe for cooking skunk. I won't say much more. I feel the daggers of hate surging towards me from the spectres of the forgotten skunks of Burns Bog.


Zombie Death 


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Just as I was about to leave from work on Wednesday, the weird coworker sidled up to me. "So, are you doing National Novel Writing Month again?"

"Yeah, sure," I said.

"Then can you please kill me? Like, write me into your novel: I can be a low-grade zombie and then you can kill me off."

I promised to definitely kill his literary alter-ego.


Man-Eaters 


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Other species eating us are just as scary as us eating us. But it wouldn't be right to call a grizzly that chomps down on some hiker a cannibal. Then again man-eating grizzly just doesn't have a nice ring to it.

We at Maktaaq Corporation recommend Mannibal, a word for those times when you need to describe the thing that ate your grandmother.


Spider Transients 


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A German woman destroyed her house to get rid of her spiders.

The woman first tried to kill them with hairspray.

Then, seeing that the hairspray had no effect, she tried to set the spiders on fire.

"It was a series of unfortunate events which led to the damage," said a police spokesman. "The spiders are gone though -- that problem was solved."

As someone who also lives with a household of eight-legged squatters, I can relate.

This past Labour Day weekend presented me with three hideous spider encounters. One was crushed with a sock, another washed down the sink. The third, discovered in a boot about to be worn for the first time this season, ran off to get reinforcements.

Personally, I can see promise in this scenario as a revenge musical, in the same style as the Charles Bronson Deathwish movies.

Picture this: The spiders come back with some tarantula punks, piss all over my carpet, tie up the hamster with their threads and ransom the hamster for a cartload of flies.

Having no choice, I go to a horse farm to trap flies, whereupon I find a wheelbarrow loaded with rusty horseshoes. Thanks to my quickthinking, I grab hold of the wheelbarrow handles and run with it back home. I attack my own house from without, squashing the spiders in a barrage of horseshoes. Of course, I sing a rousing military hymn as I throw the horseshoes.

In the final scene I am down to the last horseshoe and facing the biggest of the tarantula punks. I throw the horseshoe and miss.

The tarantula sings its villain about-to-kill-hero speech.

The hamster, having escaped her ropes (off camera), plunges a toothpick through the tarantula's back. The tarantula writhes about, the wound obviously not lethal. A rather pathetic song-and-dance takes places.

That's when I light my cigarette and throw the match at the carpet. (Luckily there would have been an earlier scene where, in the heat of the battle, a barrel of kerosene springs a leak over the carpet.)

The hamster and I escape just in time. There's another song number at the end.


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