Monday, April 28, 2008

Shock the Monkey: The obligatory exotic pet anecdote

“Hey look -- that guy over there has a pet _______ (fill in name of current exotic pet species du jour).”
“Hmm. That reminds me of this story...”

It is an early eve in an otherwise empty, quiet pub when who walks in but good old Mike D., already half-sloshed before sundown. The usual barstool banter commences with jokes, stories and hearty laughs between the few in attendance.
The door opens and in walks a lone university girl, apparently waiting for her friends to arrive. Perched on her shoulder is what appears to be a small spider monkey.
Plastered three sheets to the wind, Mike’s eyes light up. [A drunk and a monkey. You can see where this is heading.]
Mike saunters over to the young lady and inquires about the pet, craning his neck trying to catch the little fellow’s eye. Quite happy to be showered with attention, she obliges, beaming with self-satisfaction.
[Aside: Here the reader will see the story’s subtext -- exotic pet as conversation piece for attention whores, and the consequences thereof.]
Mike, who could change from charmingly tipsy to a slurring pervert in zero seconds flat, proceeded to make lewd comments and puns to the woman about “what she does with her monkey.” (These comments are best left up to the reader’s imagination.) Disgusted by the wisecracks as any young woman would be, she spun about face to instead turn her attention to the TV above the bar. Her back was to Mike, but the beast on her shoulder was now looking him straight in the face. Bad move.
“Hey lil’ fella, hey there... hey, how are you? Hey...” Mike continued to interrogate the primate, waving his hand at it, peering into its face, provoking it more and more.
The reaction of the monkey (or that of any primate, including man) was perfectly understandable: Agitation.
And when agitated, what do monkeys excel at?
Unfortunately, this little bugger’s nappies were secured quite loosely, and what began as a few spattered rivulets soon turned into a chocolate cascade down the woman’s back. (Why, oh why did she choose to wear a plain white T-shirt tonight?)
Jaws dropped and the roar of guffaws echoed throughout the pub. Of course, this was the perfect time for her friends to walk in the door. Everyone was beet-red with laughter yet this woman was still unaware until her friends rushed up to notify her of the fecal Niagara she was host to. Embarrassed blushes between them all and before you know it, all were scurrying out of the pub, monkey in tow.

Whereas the obvious lesson learned in this little tale is “beware of the attention you seek,” one has to feel bad for the monkey. Does he have dignity? Perhaps one day, an advanced alien civilisation will make us crap our collective drawers. Wouldn’t that be some karmically funny sh*t? Guess we’ll see.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gutts waves off non-issue of the week

Leave it to The Media to dig up dirt on even the most revered icons of our time. Yes, Johnny Gutts may be a professional hard-ass who Gets Things Done, but surely he must have skeletons in his closet that we can milk to up our circulation figures, mull culture vulture editors and programmers.
Well, cheers -- you found something.
Sure, Mr Gutts has a slacker nephew. Hell, he has a slacker brother and sister-in-law who are parents of said nephew. How do you think he honed the art of pungeoning and the ability to spot BS?
We learn from that which surrounds us. For good or for nought.
“My uncle thinks I’m a slacker.”
Oh dear, one’s tender self-esteem seems to be determined by the opinions of others. Whatever happened to the “self” part of esteeming?
Yes, Jared Gutts hasn’t a job. He live in his parents’ wood-paneled cellar, writing (what he thinks are) haikus about The Man’s nefarious deeds against Chav Entitlement. That’s when he’s not out getting arse-over-tit drunk with his tosser mates and racking up ASBOs. Can we afford a mere millilitre of pity for the poor sod?
“It’s society’s fault,” sniffs Roddie Gutts, proud father of Jared and brother of Johnny Gutts. “They don’t recognise his genius.”
“He is a very talented lad,” echoes wife and mother Cortnee Wexford-Gutts. “Pass the chips, luv.”

Johnny Gutts won’t have any of this hookem-snivey.
“The bloke is a jakey soapdodger whose sorry lot in life is of his own doing and that of his pampering, boundering mum and dad. I don’t have much to do with them at all.”
Gutts clearly sees through this ruse.
“It is yet another non-issue dredged up by bored writer hacks. These mediatoxins are just another distraction from the real issues of today, like global warmening, the genetic experiments in Heritagethorpe, and of course, pungeoning. I would advise wiser folk to ignore this twaddle, but then, they already know to.”

Hear, hear, Mr Gutts. Word.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spettacolo Pomeridiano: Iperborea

The invitation came from the cathode crier: the Shrine of the IV Elements was awaiting. Eager anticipation began to mount. If memory serves, the duo reached the Echelon facility some time after the noonday sun.
A sigh of relief -- the chain mail curtains at the portal were raised this time, giving access to the crimson-carpeted antechamber. The duo pressed onward through the low light, the smell of oils and burnt grain wafting about, when they found themselves in the Main Vault before the shrine.
They reverently settled to the ground as images and sound came to manifest before them:
• Animated spinning rings spitting out a clickety-clack tattoo of hi-hat and clav.
• The crackle of fiery aurorae in static air above blistering sands and ice-caked altars -- elementals simultaneous.
• A recitation of quests of yore, replete with beasts, villains, sorcery and... victory.

Victory is the inspiration the duo take with themselves.
Leaving the shrine and portal, they look back over their shoulders -- there, like Petra, the stony face of Iperborea yawns with silent benediction.
Ahead, the sun, the asphalt, and the satellites of Plymouth.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Self-Promotional Sampler Platter: Code PNGN

In a world where...

...Suburban husbands can proudly be Atlas for a day...

...Celebrities will go as far as to throttle primates just to score cheap political points...

...Comic book characters play an active role in the Global War on Terror...

...Postmodernism is used as a means to end postmodernism itself...

...Vegans and hipsters are the true missing links in the Pageant of Man...

...Ship surgeons suffering from Role Strain pogo in frustration to find a suitable ego state before their fifteenth minute is up...

...Sport presenters provide colour commentary on bio-terror hostage rescue simulations...

...Fonzie, the Sopranos and Emperor Commodus all vie for power within the same space-time continuum...

...Choosers cannot be beggars...

...Eddie Munster and Charles Manson battle wits over Hair Issues... and Heir Issues...

...Third World meets First, with surreal results...

...Angry snappers frown at the Cheapening of the Tudors...

...Insectoid kaiju remind mankind of the menace of nuclear destruction... will find The Pungeoning.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

In the Trenches at Sea: The Crucible of Character

“The ship must sail on... regardless of who the captain is, regardless of who the admiral is...”

The good ship Reverend Resbo never did sail very smoothly -- from its rocky beginnings to its eventual loss at sea some twenty-seven years later. Young Merbos had volunteered purely by happenstance: An overheard phone call at The Gristle by a crewman pleading for manpower. The ensuing voyages were a shakedown more for the man than the ship: Find your sea legs, get the tasks done, get from A to B.
It was changes in the Admiralty that led not to mutiny, but desertion by 90% of the crew. The Resbo’s remaining days were helmed by a procession of impotent captains, Queeg-like but without the experience. Needless to say, the lingering skeleton crew had clung to the gunwales, the seas growing fiercer with each successive voyage.
What does a crew learn? Not merely under one unstable captain, but never having experienced an able and competent captain at all -- what does a crew learn?
The ship must sail on... regardless of who the captain is, regardless of who the admiral is.

At the risk of charges of insubordination, Merbos could not quite bite his tongue in the face of:
• Captain Gladhand McSandbag, whose M.O. was ‘Divide & Conquer’ -- pitting the crew against each other so he could swoop down as saviour -- all whilst the ship cruised in circles.
• Captain Connor MacLeod, when not AWOL would brandish cutlery as recompense for his lack of leadership.
• Capitaine Bell√Ętre, who when called to account for excessive tea times and quaintwork, threatened to sabotage his own ship.
• Captain Jethrine -- smiley-psychotic who bragged of cheating at the Academy. Also conspired to keelhaul his first mate, just to get his hands on his paltry commission.
• All admirals who promoted and excused these rate grabbing dinQs (while withholding BCDs), along with their own damage to morale, reputation and seaworthiness.

It’s a wonder that the Resbo stayed afloat long enough to reach the twenty-first century. But it did. Merbos gives hearty thanks to his fellow deck hands who stuck to their oath: The Olde Salt, Top Shelf Charly, Mairobin, The Walt-Man and Lieutenant Gergg. Bravo Zulu.
Every day was a long day but no matter how endless or harsh, one must view it as accomplishment, whether by man, by crew, by vessel, or by navy. Even if one is bailing water, figuratively or literally.
At the end of a given day the scant crew of the Resbo would retire to the Nether Quarters -- a makeshift lounge only accessible via the ship’s photolab. There, Lt. Gergg would provide some much needed ‘attitude adjustment’ for all. At least by laughing off the insanities of the day, the crew could fortify themselves for whatever nuttiness lay on the horizon.

EPILOGUE: All of the original crew, and finally Merbos, did eventually jump ship, as one must when fatal leaks and other Benny Suggs go unacknowledged by brass. The Resbo continued to limp along with clueless crews, captains in name only, and admirals who abandoned them to the wind. She was lost at sea about a year later.
If no one remembers the indignities of the Reverend Resbo, may they remember her lessons.