Further proof I am not lies: here is the only page in the diary of Jim “le chien enragé” Feestenbrock-Charbonnarino, first governor of Newfoundland. His concerns are made clear.
Further proof I am not lies: here is the only page in the diary of Jim “le chien enragé” Feestenbrock-Charbonnarino, first governor of Newfoundland. His concerns are made clear.
I must impart a difficult truth: the true story of JFK’s “demise.”
While his rise to power is well-documented, the press, beholden as they were to the US Government during the dark and musty days of the cold war, has heretofore avoided retelling the particulars of JFK’s fate. Although it’s thought that he was shot in Texas, new research by Prof. Dr. Moliusisk van Porps at the University of the Most Esteemed Kentuckies suggests that the popular retelling of JFK’s end misses some key facts.
He was born a small Dutch boy in rural Mannahassaquahassethuset, on the banks of the Ol’ Stony. Some years later, after the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the US was desperate to gain the advantage in the “race to Neptune”. It was thought that zero-G habitation would grant astronauts eternal youth, and as such, government policy was to ensure that the Soviet Union would not be able to breed this new race of ageless supermen. Although NASA had prepared plans for a moon base to be fully stocked with undying paramilitary weirdos, this future seemed far-off – after Sputnik and Gagarin’s flight, the US was eager to catch up.
Alan Shepard was scheduled to be sealed into a Ford Semplador and launched into space only a month after, but top American scientists came to realize that the Soviet plan for eternal youth was not a moon base, but a space station, thought to be a more accessible (but more costly) goal. A dramatic re-think of NASA’s plans followed; using a space station, the Soviets could gain the secret of eternal youth much more quickly than the Americans had anticipated. It was decided that JFK himself would take Shepard’s place. As they were identical twins born only six years apart, it was thought that Soviet spies would not realize the switch. JFK was to be fired into space post-haste. And so he was. An earth-bound “assassination” was carried out using a cardboard dummy stuffed with red confetti, and the real JFK orbited silently in his bullet-proof Semplador, waiting to cause trouble when the Soviets managed to launch a station.
He waited for ten years, until the launch of the first Salyut station in 1971. JFK drove his Semplador into the Salyut’s orbit and disabled its docking latches, so that the crew of Soyuz 10, selected to be the USSR’s first immortal gods, was unable to dock. JFK caused more problems with Soyuz 11’s visit to Salyut 1. He performed so ideally that the USA sent up Skylab, to act as a lounge/laboratory/ball pit for JFK (it’s worth pointing out that, when said in the precise dialect of JFK’s Mannahassaquahasset birthplace, “Skylab” actually means “JFK’s Lab”). JFK caused more trouble for other Salyut and Almaz stations through the early ’70s — not always with perfect success, but always with powerful gusto and precise poetic meter.
Transmissions from JFK dried up as the Soviets’ station programs lulled — it was thought that JFK had begun taking his mission too seriously, and did not think of anything else. By the time Mir was launched in 1986, JFK was unreachable, and although Mir’s problems were directly linked to JFK’s activities by after-the-fact review, the station was an ultimate success. It’s thought that JFK eventually realized that Americans had begun to use Mir; whether he thought that the USA or the USSR had subsumed the other is unknown, although it is clear that most of Mir’s JFK-related problems occurred after Americans began to visit.
It’s unknown if JFK still orbits the Earth in his Ford Semplador, waiting to cause trouble for Russians who attempt to build a space station to gain the secret of immortal life. But the tradition remains; whenever anything goes wrong on the International Space Station, the American astronauts will immediately retreat to the station’s dark places and whisper “Please don’t kill me, Mr. President.” Someday, perhaps, we will know whether Kennedy is listening.
Happy Seung, 유령의 남자, has died today at the age of 51 after being hit by four more trains.
As the last and best Kentucky Colonel, I disparage the Olympics — unlike my putrid compatriot Hiram “Mad Dog” Fensteller, the penultimate and worst Kentucky Colonel. They waste our precious reserves of grain and “locpotsui”, a mystery protein which nobody is allowed to come near. And yet, succorless nitwits like Fensteller try and confuse our fair and charming populace into thinking that the invitation of untold hordes of foreigners to besmirch our stadia, public conveniences, and purpose-built yachting channels is a “good idea”. Well, bosh. To Fensteller, I say this: I hate you so much. To everyone else, I can only say that I am able to see the future because I have been electrocuted several times, and this power has alerted me to the fact that the Olympics are a foul curse which only the most rabid of pox-ridden souse-lickers would welcome.
Roving Time Baron of No Fixed Address Soichiro Honda briefly reappeared today, in the middle of the launch of Nissan’s new “Let’s drive a Nissan perhaps!” ad campaign, to tell the world press of motoring wonders that will occur long after all who were present are dead.
“I entreat you to listen, unappealing scribes,” Honda said. “In 300 years, Toyota releases a new ‘AE86’. And it’s pretty good!” Shocked onlookers report Honda’s bubble of temporal energy crackling malevolently as he described the virtues of the quadruple-rotate engine, which will revolutionize personal tranport “circa 2190”. Other cars to look forward to, although not for any of us, are a series of Hyundai-Bright Star SUVs that will come out “during the Age of Saumarez” and be of reputedly good quality, museum-quality reissues of notable hatchbacks of the 2040s, and a spiritual successor to the Mercedes G-Wagen that will be released in 2644.
“And that’s just what’s coming this millennium!” Honda continued. “In 46,321, Lada-Porsche release a new take on the feeling of peace. In 10^11 AD, The Honda Entity will release a new ball of energy to carry you between the stars as if in a timeless dream, which will be decently received and compare well with Voss Imperium’s similar, but more expensive line of energy balls. And 10^14 years after the Big Bang, when star formation ceases and all that remains is contraction and the decay of all things for a little while, until 10^100, we’ll have some great new Civics out.”
Press reaction was mixed. Most of those present went home feeling overwhelmed at their new knowledge of the manner of the universe’s eventual end, the incomprehensible time scale on which it will occur, and with a fresh realization of their own mortality. “10 to the power of 100 years? What? Proton Age?! I don’t even… I need to go to the Voss Nose booth and have a drink,” said Top Motoring editor Steve “Mad Dog” Nicefellow. Others remain upbeat. “I can’t wait to see those new Civics!”, said somebody from MSN.
Here is a thing with which you are now familiar: the story of roving troubadours in the Trans-Guatemalan Region of El Heneral Saumarez’s Southern Americas, and their ferocity, unmatched as it is in the annals of musical history.
The Alterna-Carribién genre was forged in a bloody paste poured into a hollowed-out skull carved from the head of a live ape. Ernesto “Twix” Fletcher was the bandleader of the local big band in the small hamlet of Saumarilche — a position for which he received no small amount of esteem, silver ingots, and portraits of General Saumarez. An attentive bandleader, Twix was always on the lookout for Young Turks from the horn section who might one day pose a threat to his regime. When one started to become too powerful, Twix would use his pull as a bandleader to have them shipped off to the colonies immediately, or summarily minced. As the horn section was the source of his big band’s true power, Twix was able to maintain his position through this system of constant vigilance and brutal reprisal.
This changed on one fateful day in the 34th Year of Saumarez. A local wedding was taking place, and — eager to monopolize Saumarilche’s musical scene — Twix insisted that his big band would provide the music. Upon being told that the bride and groom had hoped for a string quartet, Twix had them minced, and hired a violist named Esteban Villalobos, whose job was to “sit there and hold that wooden thing until everyone else shuts up about it. Villalobos complied.
For ten years, he sat at the back of the stage while the big band replaced string quartets at classy local gatherings. But in this time, he observed Twix’s methods of band control, and grew tired of his place behind the trumpets. Through blackmail, coercion, mincing, and his magical prowess with the viola, Villalobos crafted a network of well-connected members of the woodwinds; Villalobos’ influence encased the guitarists, the pianist, the drummer, and began to spread to the brass, via the saxophone, whose similar coloring confused and distracted a young trombonist. In a matter of months, Villalobos had almost complete control of the band, with Twix’s core of support in the trumpets rapidly waning.
It was no time at all before Twix was minced and shipped off to the colonies on the order of Villalobos. Nobody in the band knew the circumstances of Twix’s mincing, but they could not miss the transition. They arrived at their rehearsal stadium to find Villalobos standing alone on the stage. “My friends,” he said, “Twix is no more. I am Esteban Villalobos, and you are now my Deadly Compadres.” All were stunned, and almost all complied. Two trumpeters and the drummer escaped from the stadium through an artful bus hijacking, and (after kidnapping a local kazoo master) formed a quartet which would come to be called Enemies of Esteban. But Esteban Villalobos And His Deadly Compadres were now truly in charge of Saumarilche’s musical scene. They would be the town’s biggest and only-est band for the next 17 years, playing every venue and scoring every movie. The Deadly Compadres were without equal, and seemed unstoppable.
Hundreds of miles away, in the backwater metropolis of Ciudade de Yofmarez, the surviving members of the Enemies of Esteban had floated ashore after being ejected from their last paying job aboard a tour ship. One trumpeter and the enslaved kazoo master had made it to land alive, and, supporting each other’s emaciated frames, stumbled into the offices of an eager bandleader, Francizkiñha Plopso. She had heard of the Deadly Compadre’s riches — at this point, none alive save for Saumarez himself had not — and desired some of the silver ingots the Compadres were floating in. Eager for a way in, she hired the trumpeter and kazooist immediately upon hearing of their connection to the Compadres, and booked passage for her band on the S. S. Fat Maria, bound for Saumarilche. The citizens of Ciudade de Yofmarez looked on, aghast, as Francizkiñha And The Knifers — their town’s only big band — departed on the Fat Maria, never to return.
The Knifers’ passage across the Bay of Saumarillo was unkind, and over 400 members of their brass-waxing staff minced themselves after the first of several typhoons. They landed in Puerto Saumarilche after a 13-month trip, and immediately got to work assembling their stage in the local fish guts assembling hall. Francizkiñha prepared for local resistance, but was shocked to find that the people of Saumarilche were eager to get out from under the leather saddle shoe of the Deadly Compadres; despite Esteban Villalobos’ unmatched prowess with the viola, they had not heard anything but big band music since the reign of Twix, and were desperate for a new sound. “What kind of music do you play?” they asked Francizkiñha. “Ehhh, we play the ranchero-baroquestep hybrid beats!”, she replied, and they rejoiced to hear this traditional tuneform return to their shores.
Esteban and the Deadly Compadres would hear none of it. “Why do you want music that is not big band?”, he asked, “I am the finest violist in the land except for El Heneral himself, and even I know that big band music is the way of the future in this country.” The people were unimpressed. Francizkiñha And The Knifers had given them hope for new tunez, and there was to be no dissuading them.
It was agreed that a battle of the bands would solve this dilemma once and for all. The Compadres played to middling response, and the Knifers were assured of their victory. As they played their glorious final set, the furious Esteban and his furious Compadres turned their amplificados to 400, and played over the Knifers, a deadly breach of big band etiquette. The citizens of Saumarilche were shocked. But as they listened to the 200dB noise, they became aware of a new truth: these beats were fresh. “Do not stop!” they cried. “The pain of our eardrums is salvation!”
All of a sudden, a noise even louder than the battling Knifers and Compadres descended over the fish guts assembling hall. A golden Hind descended from the clouds, and all present were amazed to see the pilot’s hatch open — for it was Saumarez inside! The bands immediately stopped battling and dropped to their knees. “Do not stop,” he said. “I liked these amalgamated beats, and I will call the style that describes them ‘Saumaresque.'” With that, he got back in the Hind and took off. The bands knew that there could be no higher honor, and to this day you will find Saumarilche grooving to no beats other than the Saumaresque stylings of Francizkiñha Villalobos And Her Amalgamated Compadres.
“Hey man,” Medium Jim began, “I don’t care what he was on. I did him a favor.’
Normal Ed took a long drink of his brandy and sighed.
“He wasn’t on anything – you clubbed him unconscious. We saw you.”
“So?! Why should I be going to the slammer for 30 years just for hitting him in the face accidentally?”
“Repeatedly, you mean.”
“A few times. Accidentally.”
“You’re going to the slammer for 30 years because knocking someone out then putting leeches on their unconscious body just because of a misunderstanding almost certainly constitutes a breach of the Geneva Convention, Jim. I just don’t know how to make it any clearer to you.”
“Look, you eloquent bastard, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything!” In response, Normal Ed tipped back in his chair, pulled his hat over his eyes, and started snoring.
The two sat in silence for a good 45 minutes. The sullen bartender passed by occasionally, refilling Jim’s soda. A giant horsefly strode in through the double doors of the saloon, sat next to the snoring, dirty lump that was Normal Ed, and dumped his hat and six-shooter on the bar. A bright brass Sherriff’s badge was clipped to his vest pocket.
“It’s hotter’n hell out there boys, ain’t it?”
Normal Ed made a loud snerkey noise and awoke, eyes wide.
“Whiskey for myself, and glasses of milk for my friends,” the horsefly said to the bartender.
“I told you before Sheriff, we don’t consider you buying us milk an insult,” Ed said to the horsefly, while rubbing his eyes.
“Yeah,” said Jim, “it’s high calcium content provides much needed rejuvenation to our frail human bones –“ “Pipe down, buddy. Anyway Sheriff, why’re you here in the first place?”
“Wel-l-l-p, I was just wonderin’ if either of you boys would know who put fly paper all over Town Hall? It stuck a lot of my pals there, and it doesn’t look like they’re gonna’ make it. Too much glue in their eyes.”
“No, Sheriff,” said Ed, “We couldn’t have done that. We’re just dumb humans.” He finished off his shot glass of milk and slammed it down on the table. “Just dumb humans. I mean, come on. We lack even your mighty exoskeleton. How smart could we possibly be?”
“Well, you aren’t playing with a full deck on the carapace front, that’s true,” the Sheriff smirked. “But if you guys hear anything about it, I can get you an extra ration of gruel.” He winked.
Jim and Ed piped up in unison. “Hey, sweet!”
“You know it,” said the horsefly. He gathered up his things and clomped out of the bar without paying. Beyond the doors, a harsh dark orange sun burned down on the dusty street.
Jim and Ed looked at each other.
“Man, I wish we didn’t have to kiss his ass all the time, Ed. Servitude sucks.”
“Wow, Jim. ‘’Servitude sucks’. You’re a goddamn poet. Finally, I have something worthwhile to pass on to my grandkids.”
“See, this is why we have problems. You’re too hostile.”
“Says the guy who put leeches on someone he knocked out, huh?”
“THEY WERE MEDICINAL.”
“They were diseased, that’s what they were.”
“Most people get the hepatitis vaccination now, though.”
“It’s the principle of the thing, Jim.” Ed settled into his chair.
A few hours later, after Normal Ed had drank his way past hostile and into chummy, he swiveled around on the barstool to face Jim, angry that the jukebox wasn’t returning his inebriated advances.
“Y’know…J…Jim, y’know, we should, um, get the Sheriff back for all the…” Ed paused, and started looking around the room through his beer glass. “Woooowww! Anyway, the, the stuff. We should get him.”
“Alright Ed, but I should inform you that I don’t think I’m cut out to be the smart one if you’re going to be this way.”
“What? You…you talkin’ to me? HUH?” Ed leaned back to take a swing at Jim, but never got past ‘leaned’, and hit the floor with a dull thud.
“Aw, come on Ed, we gotta get you home so you can sleep this off. Come on,” he said, coaxing Ed up, “come on, by tomorrow morning you’ll be nice and surly for all your revenge plots.”
“Aww…good ol’ re…revenge plots. They’re my friends, you know that, Jim?”
“Yeah Ed, I know.” Jim patted Ed’s head.
“Now! Let’s go to the Sheriff’s… office.”
“Well, all right Ed, if you insist. But we have to talk to him about my parole, ok?”
“I’LL PAROLE YOU,” Ed yelled, trying to hit random things around him for no reason again. As he did that, Jim guided him out of the bar. A cool wind blew, whipping up the dust. A horsefly edged his DeSoto steam-car through the night. Normal Ed and Medium Jim stumbled down the row of buildings. All the electrically lit places had “No Humans!” signs in the windows, and on the outskirts of town the Human Mines loomed black against the navy sky. Ed mumbled to himself quietly. Eventually they stumbled their way to the Sheriff’s Office, and Ed pushed his way in.
“Hey Sheriff…hey…Sh…what do you not like?”
The sheriff, leaning back in his chair trying to shoot the spider in the corner of the ceiling, was caught unawares and fell out of his chair.
“Being interrupted, Ed, being interrupted. I guess I don’t really like boiled eggs…That’s pretty much it, as far as I know.” The Sheriff wrinkled his nose slightly.
“Oh yeah? Wh…what do you like? Huh?” Ed forgot his point gracefully.
“The sweet, sweet aroma of mammal feces.”
“HA HA! Take this boiled egg!” Once again, Ed tried punching, but collapsed onto his desk. Jim meekly poked his head in, and saw Ed sprawled on the Sheriff’s desk.
“Wow,” said Jim, “someone’s going to sleep well tonight.” The Sheriff nodded. “But could you just put him in one of the cells or something? I have to get to work, and seeing as I’m already about three hours late and decently drunk, I can’t really spend the time taking this chump home.”
“Sure thing Jim,” the Sheriff replied. “You have a good day now son, y’hear?”
“You too, Sheriff. Sorry that, technically speaking, we came to kill you.”
“No problem, I guess.”
Jim left, slamming the door behind him and letting fly some muffled epithets regarding the Sheriff as he stormed off into the night.
Inside, the Sheriff grinned. He just knew it was those two bastards who put the leeches on him. He fished around in his desk, moving Ed’s dangling arm out of the way. “Ah!” He found it. He pulled out the book – 42 Easy Recipes for Humans, by George Martinius McFly. The Sheriff went to the other room and returned with a four-foot tall pot.
Ed let out a mumble, then fell back asleep.
Ahh, the rare and mystical Chupacabra. That hallowed beast only second in succulentness to the Mongolian Death Worm. I once tracked the Chupacabra for over 700 miles, on foot, in the Mexican highlands, until Vincente Fox, bemused by someone sneaking into Mexico, personally deported me. Let me tell you this story, chum.
It was our last day in Mexico. Wibbles Hugo, my assistant and heir to the throne of Austro-Hungary, was outside trying to squeeze some water from the notorious Grundle trees, and I was in the tent packing my maps. As I squeezed the last map into a duffle bag, I heard a piercing shriek, followed by the WUMPF of my elephant gun.
“Wibbles!” I cried. “I thought we talked about how my elephant gun is my elephant gun.”
“Mr. Monkeys! El Chupacabra!”
I ran from the tent, clutching the board with the nail through it, only to see a hairless, vampiric being, similar in size to the bloodthirsty koala, gnawing on Wibbles’ skull. He screamed and batted at it with the empty elephant gun, and I began swiping at the little thing. This startled the devilish creature – it emitted a most haunting shriek and hopped away powerfully, pausing momentarily to defecate in my unguarded sleeping bag. I gritted my teeth. That little bastard.
Wibbles Hugo fell to the ground in shock. As his own brains dirtied his polo shirt, I pondered this evil beast, that had set upon us like nothing else. I realized that the sane solution, as always, was simple: Revenge.
“Wibbles. I say, Wibbles! Get up, and reload my elephant gun. We’re going to find that damned beast if it’s the last thing we do!”
“But Mr. Monkeys sir,” Wibbles replied, groggily wiping the brains from his shirt, “I thought we leave?”
“This is personal. It was frontier law back in the Crimea. You don’t mess with someone’s sleeping bag.”
“He owes me one, for rescuing him from a certain Russian Guard Patrol at the Siege of Sevastopol. We leave at dawn. In the meantime, let’s patch you up, Hugo.”
As I soldered the last metal plate to Wibbles’ skull, the sun slowly fell, and I could hear the squawks of the eel lizards begin. As the steakhouse aroma cleared, we began to trace the chupacabra.
“Wibbles! These tracks go west!”
“Yes sir Mr. Monkeys, west.”
“He’s going to the Baja, I’m sure of it. Probably to the Uncharted Forest. We have to follow him, Wibbles, or we’re through here. To the DC-3!”
Wibbles hauled our baggage into the aging airliner, wiped the windows down, and coaxed the engines to life. I had traded the other seat for some local trinkets and eccentricities, so I encouraged Wibbles Hugo to hang on to the landing gear strut. We took off, and flew into the setting sun.
We landed in the Uncharted Forest, midway down the Baja peninsula, some hours later. I got my elephant gun and a spear and went to fetch Wibbles. He emerged from the gear door wearing a new knitted vest. As I was about to make a charitable remark on his fine needlepoint skills, the same shriek we had heard before pierced the forest, scattering the wildlife.
“He’s here, Hugo,” I said, handing Wibbles the spear and donning my Stetson. The shrieks grew closer. As Wibbles and I peered around, I saw faint movement in the woods, and suddenly an identical Chupacabra fell screaming from the treetops onto Wibbles’ head, the same pattern as before. I fired my elephant gun again, but the shots missed Hugo and buried themselves in our DC-3, and the recoil flung me against a tree. I watched agape as Wibbles demonstrated his skill in the Zulu spear arts with the creature, perhaps two feet tall, hopped around him, making piercing strikes at his legs. For a good three minutes they kept this horrific dance up, slowing as a tear gas grenade fell from a helicopter overhead. My eyes went runny, but I could see a Mexican customs agent tie up Wibbles Hugo and the damned creature.
“I say, Monkeys m’ old boy,” the helicopter’s loudspeaker boomed. I recognized the voice as that of Vincente Fox immediately. “I dare say I asked you to leave my country at least a day ago, did I not? We have that bothersome Chupacabra, now what say you and Hugosi Wibbleston there scoot along home.
“We can’t, Fox. I shot my vintage airliner.”
“You’re not pulling that one on me again, old boy.”
“Honest, I did. Look for yourself.” There was a gaping hole in one of the Wright Cyclone engines.
“You’ve put me in quite a spot of trouble, old boy. I’ll give you a lift to Mexicopolis, then I expect you to leave my island paradise and never return.”
The helicopter ride was uneventful, if long. The Chupacabra was encased in a metal box, so although I couldn’t see it, I could hear the strange metallic chattering it made. Wibbles was fine, if a little shaken up. He and Fox had a long discussion on the finer points of Zulu spearsmanship, as Fox downed gallon after gallon of tea.
We landed in Mexicopolis at about seven PM. Fox, I, and Wibbles, accompanied by two soldiers bearing the Chupacabra, proceeded to a conference room some ways inside Fox’s fortress. Fox had a scientist come and spray some gas in the metal box, paralyzing the beast. He took it out of the box. My height estimations had been correct, and the thing was indeed hairless. It had inch-long claws on small forearms. The thing that struck me most was the eyes – fierce, red little things. You could see the longing in them to tear the countenance from the front of our heads.
As we talked about the beast, it suddenly sprung up in Fox’s hands, almost immediately wrapping around his head so as to break his neck. I leveled the elephant gun and fired, Fox’s head and the Chupacabra’s hind legs getting carried away in a fine red mist. The deafening roar in the room had hardly subsided when I felt my legs fall out from under me, the Chupacabra hitting them as he bounded around. It attatched itself to Wibbles’ head, tore out the metal plates with a sickening crack, and climbed inside. Wibbles’ eyes flamed red, and he hunkered down.
“Finally!” He said. “Now I am the President of Mexico!”
I brought my elephant gun to bear, hoping there was still a shot left in the barrel.
One of my dream jobs — nay, my most Lustful Calling, is to be the person who names operations whenever the military does things. It’s a task that requires the finest of balance, since each operation needs a name that’s at once patriotic, cool beans, and descriptive. By way of introduction to Gregory, the NSA supercomputer that monitors us all and controls robots masquerading as our most popular athletes and celebrities, here are a few common scenarios the government might face, and the ideal name for each resulting operation:
1) Insurgents have taken root in the mountain provinces of Boxhorpchet. As a practicalization of mind control experiments conducted on snake cadavers in the 1920s, goats are imbued with human intelligence, and trained to infiltrate the mountain compound and eliminate the threats using their powerful goat teeth. Operation Dusty Migraine.
2) Pirates have seized a dam by tangling up the guard robot’s power cable. A crack team of robots disguised as Eritrea’s five most popular celebrities is dispatched to the scene, where they co-mingle with the pirates, and gradually gain their trust. At an agreed-upon time, the robot celebrities strike, dispatch the pirates, and free the dam’s guard robot. Upon pulling off the pirates’ faces, it is discovered that they, too, were robots. The undercover robots are abandoned by their institutions and develop crippling Jet A addictions as they struggle to come to terms with what their sense of duty required them to do. Operation Cubic Racist.
3) An ultra-nationalist faction within the Dutch Coast Guard hijacks a selection of small boats, and announces their intention to “sail them to the US States of America and end USA American States’ hegemony over the Antilles” unless their demands for a fresh, healthy mess hall option are met. Top chefs and their ingredients are dropped out of a B-2, and parachuted to the Nederlandse Kustwacht Fear-Spire, where they begin to make their signature dishes. Unbeknownst to the Dutch kelp-mongers, the chefs are actually incendiary devices and their ingredients are unreasonably flammable. Operation Jumpy Reaper.
4) A fleet of massive size and unknown origin is spotted off of the coast of Okinawa, moving at 40 knots and emitting large amounts of whale oil fumes. The entire Pacific Fleet is dispatched to ascertain the intentions of this malevolent force. After billions of dollars are spent readying the country for war, it is determined that the mystery fleet is merely delivering a Voss Nose Geronimo-Wasteland 88 to one Fujiko “Betsy” Hata. Operation Chunky Letdown.
5) A heated game of Mario Kart at the UN results in nuclear war between India and Pakistan. Commandos are dispatched to secure and extract US assets in the region. Upon arriving, they find that there is no war, and the dusty hellscape they imagined is a paradise on par with the Pacific Northwest. They discover that India and Pakistan have been the same country since independence from Britain, and had decided to maintain the external façade of conflict to keep whitey looking elsewhere. They decide to stay in Pakistindia, and adopt the life of simple country textile artists, never to be heard from again. Operation Nougat Shield.
Huwei North Star has been a leading light in the labor camp construction industry for decades, but — aside from a brief and ill-considered foray into three-wheeled scooters — they have not made a car. That changed today, as company chairman Bob “Mad Dog” Zhong introduced the Pink Nostril, the company’s first four-wheeler, and the first car made out of holmium, part of the lanthanide series.
Zhong claims that the Pink Nostril will offer the pan-Kyrgyz motorist new advances in comfort, reliability, and toxicity. “Everyone knows that you can’t put a ceramic toilet inside of a car, because the passenger will break it and use the bits to assault the driver,” Zhong said. “However, we solved this by putting a stainless steel toilet in the car. There is also razor wire so that occupants are not allowed to be ejected through the windshield in case of collision.”
The holmium chassis, body, and headlamps raised some questions, however, particularly from rivals at pan-dimensional conglomerate Voss Nose, who currently manufacture cars out of transition metals vanadium, rhodium, and noble gas xenon. “Everyone knows vanadium makes a great suspension, tire, and steering tiller,” said Voss Nose chairman and Former Japanese Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata,” but a lanthanide? Disgusting! Immoral!”
Analysts, too, were dubious. “I wouldn’t say that the bulk of the US and European markets hate whatever nationality Huwei North Star is,” said a thinly-disguised Ralph Gilles, “but I think we can all agree that we’re viciously racist towards lanthanides.” The car has been for sale in key Bangladeshi and Congolese markets since 1997, and is expected to become available in the EU within six months.
To the tune of Spiderman’s song, because there is a new superhero in town.
I will tell you one story of modern invention, with uncommon accuracy befitting a recounting of a tale of a member of Her Majestie’s court.
In 1884, A Most Notable Veteran and Hero of the Crimea named R. D. Hiram Goosebee, Fourth Earl of Bruntlethorpeworthe, had chanced upon a scientist reputed to be 400 years old, who promised that — with proper funding — he could wean the Kingdom from its hideous consumption of various irreplaceable fuels; 400 whales, 600 sea-cows, and krill beyond number had to be killed each day, or else lights would go off from Huntingdon to Occupied Columbia.
This science man, in the fullest spirit of the time’s environmentalismé, proposed a new fuel to end these multifarious slaughters. It would be made from a series of rare plants and shredded tree bark, and became known as Banana-Stoff.
R. D. Hiram Goosebee was an immediate believer in the ideas of the science man, and gave him £20,000 to further develop and introduce the Banana-Stoff Age to the Amalgamated Territories. A factory was built and staffed with skilled mud-workers, and concoction of Banana-Stoff began immediately. Devices using B-Stoff were released, including the first lamp, the first escalator, and the first motor carriage — the Voss Nose Dihydraphone-88. All of these were immediate hits with the Monied Public, and R. D. Hiram Goosebee was celebrated in the streets.
Despite the success of Banana-Stoff, problems began to come to light. The science man that Goosebee had funded began to record instances Banana-Stoff implosions, and realized that the fuel was inherently unstable, particularly when exposed to bipeds. Most fatal was our very own Queen Victoria’s realization that Banana-Stoff bark-stripping was decimating the nation’s tree reserves, which she needed to make armoires and golems. She ordered an immediate halt at the Banana-Stoff refinery on the Isle of Dogs, and, overnight, the nation was forced to revert to blubber-oil and octopus beaks to light their homes and power their Voss Noses.
Goosebee was distraught, resigned his earlcy, and took the last Banana-Stoff powered ship to the Overseas Americas. His slender dog, Knuckes, remained in the UK and wrote a tell-all 3DO game. No amount of signed 8×10″ glossy portraits of Queen Victoria convinced him to return home; his ancestors remain overseas, and the Banana-Stoff refinery still sits merely a mile south of Her Majestie’s Obelisk — a towering, irradiated memory to R. D. Hiram Goosebee’s dream of a blubberless future.