Safari Dave has Nothing on Curious George

(For getting stuck in places.)

Orpheus looks backward. *Spoiler Alert*

Adam and Eve eat the apple. *Spoiler Alert*

Odysseus comes home. *Spoiler Alert*

Hamlet/Othello/Macbeth/King Lear/etc die at the end. *Spoiler Alert*

Ahab dies at the end. *Spoiler Alert*

Anna Karenina dies at the end. *Spoiler Alert*

Jane Eyre marries that rich dude. *Spoiler Alert*

Frodo destroys the One Ring. *Spoiler Alert*

Darth Vader is Luke’s dad. For reals. *Spoiler Alert*

Beowulf kills Grendel and his ma. *Spoiler Alert*

Spoilers don’t exist.

All About the Wizards

(I’m not talking about the basketball team, sorry.)

Zombardo the Wizard was stuck up in a tree. It wasn’t a pleasant place for a wizard to be, especially not one with a mild fear of heights (acrophobia) and a mild fear of cats (ailurophobia) and a mild fear of being caught up in a tree (dendrophobia). You’d think, being a wizard–and yes, there was a cat stuck up in the tree with him–that he could just whisper up some magic words and, poof!, be down on the ground or have turned the tree into a statue or made the cat float away like a balloon. Unfortunately, all this mild fear made those magic words slide right out of his head.

Zombardo sighed and gazed down at all the magic words piled on the ground.

“Nothing good can come of this,” he sighed.

Crazy Old Mercurial Shoes

(Or is it feet?)

Zeus was feeling sad. The old thunder and lightning bit just didn’t strike fear and terror in the hearts of the hums the way it used to. Also, Hermes kept flitting around, asking about email and AOL and things like that. Apparently, their dial-up connection was just too slow. “Come on!” he’d said. “I can run around the world THREE times before I can download my email. We gotta get with the program, here!”

Zeus didn’t really see the point. Hermetic wisdom, ha! This guy was just as in the dark as all the rest. And Hera? Ho boy, where to even start. Zeus stared down at his sandals. One of the straps was fraying. Nope, they just didn’t make them like they used to. Hercules used to say that he’d worn the same pair of sandals through all of his Trials. Zeus believed it. Those sandals were solid. The smell though, phew! Zeus suspected that the stench might’ve contributed to Hercules’ legendary crankiness. Also, that lion? STINKY! Hercules hadn’t really figured out the whole sportswear thing, that’s for sure.

There was a crash and Hermes said, “oops.” Zeus looked over to see him holding a shard of one of his favorite vases. Zeus sighed and went back to playing Tetris.

No One Ever Talks About the Frontlash

(As opposed to the backlash.)

Indeed, indeed, indeed. The Hungarian Prime Minister of Uruguay (long story) sped along on his moped. Nothing had been the same since the Tea Kettle Incident of ’27. Even now, the sight of tea kettles left him in a cold sweat. Thankfully, he thought without words, he had his moped, his delicious pink moped, the solace of his days and nights, the sole comfort of his stultifying days, his terrifying nights. Heavy lies the head that wears the pinstripe suit or something.

In some past or future time, he murmured without speaking, he might have been a baker or a shoemaker, some kind of a woodworker or a sculptor. It almost didn’t matter what.

He’d been elected seven times to his position, yet, no matter what he did, he couldn’t get unelected. In the last election but two, he’d tried to conceive of some way to run against himself so that he’d lose no matter what. But no matter how he sliced it, there he was, Prime Minister. He’d scoured all the land of Uruguay for anyone, everyone more qualified, less corrupt, more thoughtful than he, but they’d all politely declined.

In a fit of universal sanity, they’d all turned down the possibility for nigh on supreme and ultimate power. An exaggeration, sure, but one which he’d been sure would lure some power-hungry dog-catcher or neighborhood busybody. No dice.

The Prime Minister got the distinct impression, and this was the most infuriating thing of all, that they all pitied him. That those kind old women who pressed warm pastries and hot tea into his hands, who knitted him scarfs out of, I don’t know, some kind of llama wool or something, that they did so not out of a sense of patriotism or duty, but because he reminded him of that time their son or daughter called home, homesick and weeping. Even the moping, sullen teenagers, in their derelict shades and second-hand finery, didn’t ignore him, their laughter chasing after him as he sped by. (Really, now? “Sped”?)

It was Wednesday, miercoles, if you will, when the Prime Minister slowly came to a stop, stepped off his moped, laid facedown in the grass, and wept.

He would never not be Prime Minister, you see. Not ever ever ever.

The Silent Warbler

(Yes, it’s a bird, silly.)

I see. I see. I see. I see. I do not hear. I do not hear the silent warbler.

Because it is silent. Silent like a ninja or a screen door not opening. Silent like a crescent moon or, hell, even a full moon. Silent like a statue of a dromedary, but not a real dromedary–they’re very noisy. Silent like an absence of something real. Silent like the absence of something unreal. I imagine snow falling is silent, but that’s not true. It makes a sound, even though I cannot hear it. Not so the silent warbler. I once saw an owl fly. Its wings made no noise that I could hear, even though its wingbeats were so loud to my eyes. I thought I was sitting in silence, but now I hear this hum, the hum of electricity in wires powering all the things around. Somewhere water drips. Once, I woke to the sound of music, but there was no music anywhere. It was all in my head. Was that sound? In this music, there were voices singing. It was like no song I had heard or remembered hearing before. Sometimes I hear my eyelids blink. It’s funny when people say that it’s so loud they can’t hear themselves think. No one ever says it’s so dark they can’t see themselves think. No one ever says it’s so bright they can’t see themselves think. No one ever says it’s so quiet I can’t hear myself think. Or do they? I wonder what the silent warbler does when it’s not warbling. Perhaps it warbles in its mind. And now I think you suspect I’ve written all of this just so I could write the word warble a bunch. You’d probably be right, but maybe you’d be wrong.

I do love a good warble, silent or otherwise.

Also, a gargle.

Meanwhile, on Pluto

(No, not the cartoon one.)

It was pretty cold. Good thing Juliette Conqueso had brought a sweater!

“Hey, JC! What do you think about this spot for our photo?” said Bonchur Gallnut, slipping on some ice that maybe was or wasn’t there.

Juliette pursed her lips. “A little spartan. I’m thinking maybe we picked a poor spot for a scenic photo.”

Bonchur sighed. “Yeah?”

“I guess, deep down, I really wanted swans, you know? Maybe some shrubs.”

“It’s off to Venus, then! Good thing we brought our teleprompteraterishnisagator.”

Things got pretty quiet on Pluto after that for a pretty long time.

Then some crazy space rocket whizzed by. Pretty fast.

Thoughts on 3 Amigos!

When your name is El Guapo, you better be either really handsome or really ugly. 

The “male/mail plane” joke is funnier in the edited for TV version, oddly. 

That really is a nice pocketwatch. 

There’s something about mixing up English with other languages that’s inherently funny (to me). (eg, “three amigos”)

But I’m Talkin’ About Moon Sharks!

(I’m not really.)

Give it time, give it time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. No one sneezes on Thursday. A collection of pods will not stand. Down home we like to butter our toast on the side. Weasels are for weasels. Fill it up, don’t tuck it under. Integrate the synergies, but do it baldly. Judge not the koi. Retire to a louder place. Once is heresy, twice is just plain fun. The trolls enjoy pickle relish, not the orange kind. Boredom is the gateway to more boredom. You only think you’re watching the street lamp, but really it’s watching you, because government. The lonely butterfly gets all the nectar. Quit stomping on radishes. Turn the page when you’re done reading it. The mind is a shelf grown fat with paychecks, bills, unopened junk mail, all unfiled. Autocorrect this, bithc! One pencil is a handful, two pencils are tow handfuls, but three pencils are just silly. Crying is the sound of the toaster, laughing is the sound of one hand clapping. Kill your measles. Grow fat and sassy. When you’re feeling blue, chop some onions and then jump onto a water slide or a slip’n’slide, it doesn’t matter which. When a wormhole presents itself, you may enter, but don’t forget a sandwich and a spacesuit. Speaking of sandwiches. Fnord. There are many ways to say thank you, but only one way to say “please”. When the USB won’t fit, just turn it right around, no the other way. A poor man is the poor man’s poor man, but a hungry man is forever. Beware the jungle at NE 60th and Grand. When you meet Buddha in the road, cross to the other side, unless you’re at NE 60th and Grand, then you can kill him in an epic fight to the death, but make sure you have an audience or cameras or something, because otherwise, why bother. Two finger typing is for stars, thumbs are for primates, and hurdy-gurdys are for meistersingers. Unicorns make good burgers, but you don’t want to hire one. Fly traps are the battery acid of the soul. All that glitters is not rutabagas. An inkling for your idiom. Pursed lips are the devil’s plaything, also music boxes, also train sets, also jacks, also stubbed toes. When you can’t remember your name, then you’ve finally arrived. Never pack your suitcase with amoebas. If you’re gonna tie one shoelace, you might as well tie the other. Don’t talk to strange urns, strained jars, or stray njurs. Believe what you want today, because it won’t matter tomorrow, especially if tomorrow is a metaphorical tomorrow that never comes. Smile, it won’t get stuck that way.