Monday, December 26, 2016

Of Providence and Heartache

The chord struck by quiet grace and beauty so rare loudly staggers the Ascetic Mindframe, awakening the atavistic male genetic drive towards not only being a Good Provider, but being worthy enough to the Beauty that for which you would provide.
  The time-line of man’s existence is thrown into question, positing myriad ‘what-if’s’ upon his journey in hindsight.
  Mere service to others was never a problem, nor was maintaining one’s character in good standing. But Worthiness and Providence seemed criteria of a higher exponent.
  A sense of wistfulness descended — not over tangible regrets, but unactualised potentials, and were found wanting.
  How is a monk to provide?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Dusty Nutcracker

Stratum XX: Birthday Reception

  The dayroom at the Road Street estate was sparsely festooned with a few balloons and ribbons. Several octogenarians slowly milled about.
  A pudgy Armenian proudly lorded over his victual presentations at the far side of the room.

Steam tables offered a strange “cream salad” embedded with olive slices, “Keystone style” barbecued chicken, and an odd display of ‘naked’ frankfurters stacked like cordwood.
  Courier One was able to make the event from the Deep South to see his aunt — Miss W — in whose honour the reception was being held. Miss W herself stood there expressionless and mute — the result of a recent stroke, alas.

  Appreciation was duly given to one Frau Blöb, for her assisting Miss W in her disability was both kind and patient.

  Courier One and his aunt posed whilst Frau Blöb took their picture. Miss W stood rigidly in a white blouse, plaid skirt and knee socks, bringing to mind an incongruous image of an elderly woman dressed as a Catholic schoolgirl.

Stratum XXIX: Reliquary Disposal

  Some years later, Miss W sadly passed away, and Courier One came back with Stoddard in tow to Road Street to settle her estate. In her quarters, they went through sundry personal items with mild curiosity tinged with a bittersweet sense of a person’s life path as told through the span of years by their personal possesions:
  An old hairbrush, still holding auburn strands.
  Her deceased sister’s voter registration card, faded and crumbling after fifty-odd years.

  A written request to have her cat “Timmy” (who was nowhere to be found) to be donated to the local shelter.

  On an endtable stood a rickety nutcracker with a broken arm, heavily caked with dust. A silent sentry, or a no-longer-useful totem that had been clung to over the years.
  Though Miss W’s parents were from the Old Country, and thus of the Old Religion, there was a poignant irony when Courier One pointed out, “She always did like Christmas... year ’round.”

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bio-Meth: People Helping People

DNA Donations • Help Save Lives • Earn Extra Bucks

  DNA is the essential starting material needed to manufacture therapies and products that help individuals with rare, chronic and often genetic diseases to lead healthier and more productive lives.
  Enter the Orville Corporation’s Bio-Meth DNA Donation Facility. Bio-Meth takes painless and quick DNA donations from the public for easy cash. Here’s the thing — you’re not donating to a charity anymore. You’re donating to a business. They will use your DNA to turn them into products. It’s only fair they compensate you for your time and your DNA, right?
  Many people who were apprehensive before their first DNA donation have become regular donors after discovering that donating DNA is safe and easy.
  Some of the therapies, products and services Orville offers based on donated DNA are:

• Therianthropic Therapeutic Services
• Punge Procedural 41-2: Neurohacking (Scrubbed)
• Bifzabka Nano-Punge™ Protocols
• Ego Excision and Emotherapy

  Millions of people whose lives depend on DNA donors cannot thank you personally for your donation, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made a big difference for people suffering from a host of conditions. Stop by today!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

23 Flavours of Freedom

Renowned Heritageville restaurant “The Gristle” is duly celebrated for such culinary creations as the “Molten Bowl” (sautéed soy product) and the “Gristle Staple” (glorified beans & rice).
  But now The Gristle has taken a bold leap into the 21st century with a virtual menu featuring the Orville Corporation’s Praise,™ the “New Food Substitute,™” — a soy-lentil confection that can be enjoyed both in meatspace and in online soyspace.
  Praise™ is such a versatile foodstuff that the The Gristle has developed 23 unique flavour combinations thus far — including local favourites “Fudge Howdy” and “Unagi Tartare” — all of which can be sampled at the restaurant or on the World Wide Web,
  Visit today for a delicious feed!

1. ‘Fake Woke’
2. Praise from Caesar
3. Rhesus Pieces
4. Synchysis
5. Tedium Vitae
6. Calamitous Intent
7. Psychic Albino
8. Asia Minor Style
9. High Kudos
10. Fake Craig
11. Bro-Nega
12. Caffè de Gallina di Cacao
13. Yellow Sauce
14. E Flat Minor
15. Unagi Tartare
16. Spectrum Salad
17. Fudge Howdy
18. Byo-Byo Nilla
19. Rendered Hatchling
20. Irish Meadows
21. Anole King
22. Scotch Vindaloo
23. Lemon Tabasco

Upcoming flavour combinations: Parkaire Breeze, Frog Nut, Rotting Carapace and Alfredo Achaar.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Ein Abend in der Allerberger

DATELINE: Old Salt Town, Stratum XI-XII — Those furley seniors really thought they were pulling one over on the chaperones.

  It was a rustic tavern at the inn with stony walls and raftered ceilings. The chairs and tables were hewn from sturdy oak with Old World charm. It was here that the underage students had snuck out to for a few steins of lager. That there was no drinking age here bolstered the young Seppos to step out on their own.
  Mirth and camaraderie ensued.

  But the jaws of the lads dropped when “The Iron Maude” and Radulphus walked into the bar.
  Were the guys going to get in trouble? Detention abroad? Sent home from overseas? A semester failed?
  They were sweating it out.

  But the two chaperones simply ordered beers and nonchalantly joined the young men at their table, treating them as fellow adults. Which they practically were.
 It was implicit that as these young men were the oldest of the tour group, they were the most responsible ones; the chaperones could afford to give them the longest leash. After all, these students had the best grades, had jobs, and had already come halfway around the world.
 Bright kids, but the mischievous spirit lurks underneath — and they all know it.
 The barkeeper brought the beers to the two chaperones.
 “Vielen Dank,” said Iron Maude.
 Soon enough the mirth and camaraderie had returned for the entire table.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Ditching Downers in Himeji

Under an azure May sky, Himeji-jō stood majestically in the centre of the city. It was Stratum XVII, and Stoddard, Aliyah B., and Tài Lè made their way through the gates up the walkway and to the keep to find the castle’s interior to be no less majestic.
  But Stoddard noticed that the travails of far-flung travel were taking its toll on his companions. Incessant bickering and snotty sarcasm were blinding them to the centuries-old marvels before their eyes. Plus, Stoddard found it taxing on his own enjoyment.

 Time for a bail-out plan.

 Whilst the trio walked through one of many covered shopping arcades (this one strangely deserted), Stoddard slowly lagged behind the squabbling duo and ducked into a 100-yen shop. He pretended to browse as he whipped out his JR map and timetable.
 Stoddard strode back out into the arcade and looked both ways with a deep breath.
 The shopping street extended at least a kilometre in either direction, still deserted.
 Stoddard breathed again and smiled. The burden of downer company had lifted — he felt like a free man — free to explore, free to get lost in an alien city, free to take it all in one step at a time. And he did.
 Buying paper lantern gifts, a happi coat, some conveyor belt sushi, enjoying conversation with some lovely bijin.
 As the afternoon waned, Stoddard made his way to the Limited Express Railway Station for the trip back to Kobe.
 Sitting alone on the train, he stared westward and savoured a Déjà Vu of gazing at a similar sunset six strata prior, from a train going from Napoli to Roma.
 Solitary travel can sometimes seem the most satisfying.

Il-Passaġġ Magħżula: The Chosen Path

I had the focus,
You gave a slow kiss,
Spotlight’s callin’ you
Listen, my girl!

Follow that footpath,
Ignore any aftermath
Fame is beckoning
Give it a whirl!

Hear the fanfare blow!
See their interest grow!
Who knows what
You're heading toward!

You can’t hear what I‘m sayin’
Over the sound of what you’re doin’
You can’t pick up a thing of what
I‘m puttin’ down...

That validation
A vital appetition
Just like a hamster
Waiting to be fed

You made your bed there
Under the hot glare
Bail out of the scene
Afore it leaves ya dead

©MCMLXVIII WBLO-TV, Happi-Time Productions

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Slumming It at Hashtain Park

One warm Stratum XIII evening the Technicots [sic] had scored tickets for a table (!) at the renowned Hashtain Park amphitheatre, courtesy of one of their millionaire fathers. They were excited to be at a concert featuring the Master Songster. Most tables were occupied by gentried season ticket-holders, replete with fancy linens, the occasional candelabrum, fusion finger food, and flavoured wine coolers. A “Yuppie Picnic,” if you will.
  The Technicots, in high contrast, sat at an unadorned folding table (the natural state of all unoccupied tables). Atop the table sat a six-pack of cheap brew that was supposed to last the endurance of the concert for the handful of fellows. (The venue had a BYO policy.)
  The concert began and the Master Songster was cranking out his hits one after another, including “Stuck Inside a Mobile Home with a Memphis High School Band.”
  But the Technicots noticed a disturbing fact — not once did the Master Songster look up from his guitar to make eye contact with the audience. One Technicot swiveled his head, taking in the crowd. Aside from a few die-hard fans down front, all of the tables were engaged in idle chatter whilst nibbling on balsamic munchables. That a world-class musician there upon the stage was being treated as “background music” was certainly dismaying. Philistines, the lot of them.
  But the Technicots enjoyed the concert nonetheless.
  At the close of the show, as people were packing up, a prim and coiffed woman at the next table leaned over to the Technicots and sniffed, “Do you want the rest of our paté? We were going to give it to the dog.”

Sunday, August 07, 2016


Courier One: “How shall the vessel be christened?”
Master Stoddard: “With mighty Neptune’s benediction, she shall be known as JEFON II.

  Her launch was most likely from the shores of Lac des Cloches in an early stratum summer. The craft would navigate the waters with aplomb, cruising by the free-floating Quai des Anguilles.
  The JEFON II would avoid the concrete dam at the North End, lest it be pulled over the edge.
  The ship also avoided the Baie du Lenapes at Kenvil — a filthy body of water downstream from Shakamaxon, filled with iceberg hazards and urban detritus.
  Most memorably, the JEFON II would sail the blue seas at Medeira Selváge, with the famed Reges Tower in sight. Other ships would pass by in admiration, such as the “Pop-Eye” sightseeing boats, the Swandale ferries, and the P.V.S. Ayrshire Urie.
  So what happened to this fine ship?
  It is not certain, but it is thought that the JEFON II escaped its moorings at Crique de Yanick sometime after the move to the East Bank after Stratum V.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Backyard Pantomime

One summer Stratum I afternoon, Mum gave young Malinconico a handful of loose change.
 “That should be enough for admission to Backyard Pantomime, right?”
 “I guess.”

 Malinconico made his way under the balmy sun to the Giannone Estate, who was hosting the event. The paltry coinage gained him entrance as he made his way to the backyard.
 Kids from all over the neighbourhood were milling about, including the Cozzolinos, the Nuvetis and the gang from St. Jude’s. Backyard Pantomime was about to begin.
 Two fellows faced each other in the clearing. They began making dance-like gestures reminiscent of retarded Tai Chi. But young Malinconico was distracted by a table off to the side of the yard.
 Atop the table were sweets, treats, refreshments and prizes — all available for a price!
 Alas, young Malinconico realised he was out of cash. The frustration levels grew to that rivaling the Vertol Waiting Room.
 Tears began to burn his cheeks. The image of those stupid Tai Chi dudes became a blur.
 In his consternation, Malinconico stormed off the estate grounds.

 “Hey! Malinconico!”
 He turned, squinting. It was one of the Cozzolino brothers.
 “Whattya want?”
 “Hey, look what I got! Hey, whatsa matter?”
 “Nuthin.’ Whattya got?”
 Cozzolino revealed a small ceramic object.
 “It’s the Idol of the Monkey God. I got it for fifteen cents.”
 “What’s his deal?”
 “He’s good luck. Look at his eyes. See? He’s smiling at you!”
 Malinconico looked with interest at the tchotchke. Cheap thing.
 “Yeah, I guess,” he replied.
 But he was impressed with the optimism Cozzolino infused into the simple curio.
 And the implied benediction was taken to heart.
 Malinconico made his way home as the late afternoon sun dried his tear-streaked face.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Jared Gutts: “What I Know”

CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT: Haute Fresh magazine recently sat down with Jared Gutts, nephew of Orville Corporation CEO Johnny Gutts, as he shared his collected wisdom and trenchant aphorisms:

“UNCLE JOHNNY HAS SHOWN ME the entrepreneurial spirit — I’m gonna open a store that sells those backwards baseball caps. $$$!”
“I ASKED MY FRIEND José if they have nachos in Mexico, and he laughed. So did my friend Roberto. I think nachos must be a great comedy topic in Mexico lol.”
“THE FUTURE IS ALL ABOUT the rapidly advancing field of astronomy. I’m naturally interested since I’m an Aquarius.”
“LIFE is a bowl of cherries — you never know what you’ll find.”
“IF MORE TERRORISTS had access to video games, I think they would chill out a lot more.”
“UNCLE JOHNNY SAYS not to use the mobile phone at the dinner table, but that’s just him being anti-social.”
“I HAVE AN 11TH PLACE participation trophy that reminds me of the competitive spirit. It’s up in my room.”

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Animal PsyOps: Paws and Effect

Mrs. Ock has a moonlighting gig of which many were unaware.
But it would make perfect sense considering how convincing her lackadaisical cover has been. What ostensibly seemed like lazy nosework was simply window dressing for a far more effective sub-clench specialising in brainwork. Apparently, the ALF is indeed a front for the APF, and is not in opposition.

Good to know.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Cue for the Visions: Ride to Atlantus

As the chimes descended through the flanging aquatic murk, she took him by the hand, fluttering forward through the blue. She turned her head to him, her blonde tresses drifting sensuously about her face. A beaming smile, with grace and strength no doubt bestowed by mighty Neptune himself.
Destination? Mythical undersea kingdom, weirdo millionaire hideout, or crumbling concrete vessel — it don’t matter.
The journey itself is almost always as exciting, especially given the company one is with.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Platinum Morning MMXVII

1877 Refortification
1977 Platinum Morning
1997 Implemented Proxies
2007 Eminence Ascent
2017 Sublimatio Quinquaginta

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Vertige Attaque 2

• Vertige Attaque: Le Couloir
• Adieu, Rive Est
• Parc à Piedmont
• La Mère Lion
• La Famille Scarlatti Sort Précipitamment
• Vertige Attaque (reprise)

Vertige Attaque

• Overture in D#
• Là-Haut Sur le Toit
• La Session Gentil
• Set for ‘Ignore’
• Champignons Moelleux
• Vertige Attaque

Monday, June 13, 2016

Latté Septoids of Geherhaus: Auffällig Tugend Signal

• Mehr Zucker als Koffein
• Poor Ol’ Sod Rick
• No Sriracha for You!
• Veganoid Prance
• Gauge of Attention
• Pissenkrieg auf Eriks Gesicht
• Klopapier Stopft den Spalt
• Die Nutzlose Fotze
• Komm, Lass uns Verschwinden!

Thursday, June 09, 2016

SLAKE in Stratum K: Shamrocks and School Buses

As a wee lad in his formative years, young Stoddard enjoyed the simple pleasures of exploring the outdoors — lush lawns, a spring breeze, croci blooming under the sun.
  And incredibly, it was there in the grass that he found a five-leaf clover.
  “Who ever heard of a five-leaf clover?” Stoddard thought to himself. And so he plucked off the fifth leaf and went to show his mum.
  One cannot fault his logic — inasmuch as a six-year-old can be logical. Mum was indeed surprised, albeit with a quizzical frown.

POINT OF ORIGIN: Present day.
  SLAKE the CHRONONAUT stood on the time displacement platform, prepped for a new APF mission — Destination: Stratum K.
  He materialised in the driveway of the Houcke household. Schoolchildren were running down the sloped drive to meet the approaching school bus.
  In the quantum-calibrated chrono-goggles SLAKE wore, he could tell that one of the kids would overshoot the footpath, putting himself in the direct path of the bus.
  SLAKE took two steps and leapt ahead to tackle young Stoddard by the knees. The boy fell forward and hit the asphalt as the wheels of the bus screeched to a halt, a mere half-metre from crushing his head. The six-year-old got up and sheepishly climbed aboard the bus.
  SLAKE had vanished.
  Was this stroke of good fortune the blind luck of a mutilated cloverleaf or the invisible hand of a future interloper?

  No matter.
  The shamrock survives to this day, laminated for posterity, and one can still see the vestigial stem of that fifth leaf.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

ZFG: Shoulda Went With Her

• Welcome to Paulie’s Shore
• Rickety Charm
• Skinny-Dip with Photoplanktons
• Bitchi Hibachi
• Who’s Afraid of Tobacco Road?
• Violet Solitude

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grand Theft Pungeon XIII: San Athena

Orville’s Grand Theft Pungeon series is one of the most popular series of action-adventure, crime and role playing games. Orville has recently launched the 13th Grand Theft Pungeon version and it’s leading to a huge success. All the die-hard fans of GTP series are expecting new adventure and excitement in GTP13.

GTP players can customise main character Jared Gutts before playing the game. The customisation of appearance, clothes and intelligence (or lack thereof) is a great feature.

GTP13 can be little more explored with more missions such as:
• Run over local character Ted Rant on his bicycle
• Mow down zebra crossing pedestrians in front of The Gristle restaurant
• Start a trash fire in Orp’s backyard
• Play in “Demolition Derby” mode and smash and plow through either gameday tailgaters or the crowds of ClassicCityFest.
• Run over those annoying meter maids with their hoity-toity tricorders

Such missions will give a more real feeling in the game. It will boost one’s temperament to get indulged in the game.

GTP13 has various vehicles which is liked by various fans such as the ‘72 Plymouth Satellite wagon, ‘71 Ford Pinto, ’73 Mercury Comet, ‘75 AMC Hornet — even a ’70’s model Mack garbage truck, if one so desires.

Grand Theft Pungeon 13 is available on all platforms and will be released this summer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Classic City Arcade 0516

Rand Hugoe involved in Nose Work and prepping for Punge Expo ‘16... Dr Carter and wife journey from the Piedmont to visit the Brooklyn Café... Mr Dutch celebrating birthday with howdies... Mr Yudy visiting from the Left Coast… Mr Arthur picking up a gig at the Tron Factory… Mr K leaving dismembered corpses on verandah...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Gritz Game: From ‘F’ to ‘A’

One cloudless spring day in Stratum V an interesting thing happened.
  At recess on the fields of Academie Cloches a surly young Gass-Boy crumpled up his maths test (of which he failed). He tossed the ball of paper to young Stoddard, who, in turn, threw it to young Dom. The friend backed away, taunting, “Come an’ get it,” as he took off running. They began pursuit and a few others joined in on the chase.
  What was developing was a common Seppo game basically known as “Keep Away,” or more commonly (and not-so-correctly) known as “Monkey in the Middle” or “Smear the Queer.” The boy with the paper wad threw it in the air and another caught it and all changed their direction towards him.
  From afar, grumpy lunchlady Mrs. Junck squinted at the mass of young boys tearing across the field. Twenty, thirty, forty young men were swarming after whoever held the ball of paper.
  This became known as the “Gritz Game,” named after a sitcom misnomer heard at the time. Competition, camaraderie, the pursuit of a vision, persistence — all worthy virtues — were learned that day under mere blue skies and green grass.
  Life lessons, one could argue.
  And, as ‘life lessons’ implies lifelong importance, every young man learning those assets of character earned an ‘A’ that afternoon, even if poor old Gass-Boy got an ‘F’ on a measly exam.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Heritageville Oratorio

• Canzoni di Altezze
• Septuor de Februarius
• Die Abstrakte Tänzeln
• É Meglee Palamtha
• Están Perdidos en Parque Paronella
• Avulsió Asperativo
• Vento Guidare i Rivoli Attraverso il Parabrezza
• Sadalmelik und Sadalsuud
• Api All'interno del Divano
• Serata di Stronzio