Archive by Author

CDC Raises Alarm About Celebrity-Child Rapper Syndrome

30 Nov

A press release from the Center for Disease Control was issued Monday urging citizens to be aware of the outbreak of CCRS—Celebrity-Child Rapper Syndrome—sweeping the nation.

Gabe Day, shortly before his forehead declared statehood. Via eonline.com

The press release comes on the tails of the declaration by Continue reading

Advertisements

10 Reasons Why Memorial Day Sucks in New York City

27 May
  1. The world's most bitching location for a cookout.

    The world’s most bitching location for a cookout.

    Tourists. Suck. So. Hard. So yeah, technically I kind of am one since I’m only here for three months on my JR, but I mean is it so hard to not take pictures for three seconds? I’m trying to get drunk here and I swear to god if someone takes another selfie, blinds me with their flash, leaving me to spill my $9 vodka bomb then I will just cut a bitch. Well. Not really. More like cry in frustration.

  2. Everything is full. Hey guys, let’s go grab dinner at that cool little hole in the wall place we noticed for the first time last week. OH WAIT. Everyone and their damn Chihuahua had that idea. Why is that dog sitting in a high-chair? WHO THE HELL KNOWS.
  3. No matter where you go, someone there is funnier and drunker than you are. I like Irish pubs. They’re usually cosy, have lots of beer on tap, and have an old kind of charm. But on Memorial Day Weekend? Well screw me sideways because it looks like the Irish Mob is back out of retirement. Seriously, a friend of mine was called “boyo” like four times in half an hour by the server, who, by the way, brought us twice as many drinks as we asked for, which sounds great until you realize we had to pay for them and had basically no money.
  4. Everyone celebrates it but no one actually cares what we are memorializing. I enjoy drunkenness as much as the next guy, but I will pull a Van Gogh if I have to hear one more person try and toast “Good memories”.[1]
  5. You cannot get away from it. Bar? Memorial Day special. Central Park? Memorial Day gatherings. Movie Theater? THIS MEMORIAL DAY, COME SEE FAST AND FURIOUS 6. It’s endless and god help me why.
  6. Everyone is drinking. It’s great, so many drunk people around and bars are packed. Wait, this sounds like a good thing? Man I suck at this! Anyway, yeah, in reality Memorial Day has some shitty stuff in New York, but it also has redeeming factors. I’m going to go out drinking, so, uh, if you could just imagine I finished this article that’d be great.

Editor’s Note: Sherman Ave supports the troops.


[1] No I’m not joking, it was like four teenage girls and their one token dude friend who had no idea why he had agreed to go, then realized it was because he wanted to bang that one chick who was totally into him but just didn’t know it.

Finals Are Communist

9 Dec
Hey, isn't that my Poli Sci TA!?

May the curve be ever in your favor

Finals are communist. Let me say that again. Communist. If there were any justice in this world, finals would be relegated to a life of shame and degradation in a cross between Guantanamo and that one nightmare I had where beetles developed opposable thumbs and managed to invent garbage-based weaponry. Also, I think Ron Paul was there for some reason.

But I digress. Why are finals communist you ask, ignorant bourgeois fool that you are? Let’s break it down.

Continue reading

Badasses in History: Shaka Zulu

7 Oct

Abs freaking everywhere

Ah Shaka Zulu.

Really, when it comes to warlords of Sub-Saharan Africa, it doesn’t get much more badass than old Shaka. Though not affiliated with Waka Flocka Flame—as their similar sounding names might lead you to believe—the two men do share some key similarities, in that both opposed the killing of animals: Waka by posing nude for PETA, Shaka by advocating the wholesale slaughter of those tribes not willing to submit to his rule.

Known even today as a military genius, Shaka managed to expand his chiefdom from a tribe 1,500 strong into an Empire spanning more than two million square miles and containing 250,000 subjects—or in modern parlance, the size of two Costcos and a Wall-mart.

Born with spear in hand (literally; it was a very very difficult pregnancy, let me tell you), Shaka essentially rebuilt the Zulu culture from the ground-up, transforming it into a militaristic war-machine by introducing the “iklwa,” (a short spear, named for the sound it made entering and exiting a foe’s body) the “assegai,” (a throwing spear; you figure this one out) and the spiked shield to his men. More importantly, Shaka also divided his warriors into smaller regiments, and required all his fighters to learn and understand complicated tactics (supplanting the previous “Run-forward-quickly-and-yell-loudly-stabstabstab” system used by his predecessors). In time, his men grew so fit that they could run up to 50 miles in a day. By comparison, most modern Americans can’t run to and from their fridge.[1]

Unsurprisingly, Shaka bitchslapped any rival tribes, giving the losers two choices: join Shaka and renounce their tribal loyalty, or live out the remainder of their lives in peace.

Oops. Homophones and whatnot. I meant pieces (Generally, this meant “the remainder” was in the ballpark of, oh, let’s say twenty seconds?).

As you can imagine, the second option was quite a bit less popular than the first, and as a result, Shaka is one of the lucky few to have finished a war with more people than he started it with, and is widely regarded as having controlled the most powerful and wide-reaching African empire since Ancient Egypt.[3]

Speaking of the British (read the footnotes, dick), Shaka managed to restrain his homicidal rage long enough to establish peaceful contact (damn, I was hoping for piece-full) and a few trade routes with the old limeys. That said, Shaka was generally more of the kill-first-who-cares-about-questions-anyway type, most notably after the death of his mother. When that happened, Kojak, I mean, Shaka, ordered a three-month period of mourning for all the Zulu people, in which no one was allowed to eat anything (which, you know, you need to do to like, live). Still not satisfied, Shaka went and murdered some cows so that the calves would know what it was like to lose a mother[4], and rounded his grief off by executing 7,000 people who “didn’t look sad enough.”

With no heads, they definitely looked sadder.

Anyhow, Shaka died in 1828, when his crotch-monkey half-brothers bro-ssassinated him with knives. He’s still remembered even today though as a definite badass.

Kind of a jerk though, right?


[1] You try running carrying a bowl of mash potatoes, two chickens, and one surprisingly unintelligent dog[2]

2 In that he is trying to eat the bowl rather than the potatoes

3 That English and French colonialism crap doesn’t count. If you don’t have a mountain of skulls, you’re not a warlord. Simple as can be.

4 Modern society’s got him beat on this one. Slaughterhouses, yo.

Why We Still Haven’t Finished May Heinous

6 Jul

Douching it up since the Julio-Claudian Dynasty

First Log-6:37 pm
Have been chosen to cover this May Heinous thing that Evander came up with. Am somewhat looking forward to it, though worry there won’t be enough alcohol. As such, have hidden six flasks in or around body. Bartender informed me they contain enough alcohol to kill six bull elephants. Still worry it won’t be enough.

Second Log-7:42 pm
Am en route to event location. For some reason it is being held at Nero’s place. Raised question about fire safety issues, but Evander told me to shut up and “grow some dragon scales.” Believe I heard him correctly. Currently considering going home and eating ice cream, possibly calling a hospital to ask about nearby mental health facilities for Evander.

Third Log-7:51 pm
Arrived at Nero’s. Place smells as bad as Attila the Hun’s taint, which was unceremoniously shown to me upon my arrival. Hate the world and everyone in it more than usual tonight. First flask is already empty.

Fourth Log-8:04 pm
Competition has started. Hemingway and Roosevelt are so cool. Churchill also awesome beyond belief. All three continue to make Helen Keller jokes, but she can’t hear so it is a non-issue in terms of offending her. Catherine the Great attempted to feel me up. Rebuffed her, leaving her in the arms of Slobodan Milosevic. Would hate to see their children. Am currently questioning personal stance vis-à-vis mercy killings.

Fifth Log-8:09 pm
Shakespeare and Sartre continue to try interesting me in their discussion on the relative merits of literature. Am not nearly drunk enough to contribute. Took shots with Bismarck who, unsurprisingly, can really hold his alchohol. Think I may have misspelled alcohol, but am getting drunk and don’t really care. Andy Warhol is creepy.

Sixth Log-8:18 pm
Can taste shapes. Think I may have been slipped something. Everyone is a suspect.

Seventh Log-8:07 am
Triangle tastes suspiciously similar to eggplant parmesan and Charles De Gaulle sounds like strawberries. Could get used to this, maybe start a show on Food Network. General Patton eliminated as suspect, as he also found elliptical machine.

8#-Log-!4:19* xv
oh god oh god oh fod aooe. Mclellan is not fun and mandela oh go ei. Heio Nab comi spcial pejaps main fond if ingellsce.

Final Log-11:23 am
Memories of last night fuzzy at best. All competitors reportedly having undergone same terrible experience. Finding the culprit will not be an easy task. Evander has cancelled the rest of the event to aid the investigation.

(Los) Zetas

23 May

Don’t worry, we’ve got this pregame covered.

Fellow students, it has recently come to my attention that there is among us a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A transvestite on a unicycle. Even, dare I say, a Ron Paul in a chocolate soufflé. I speak of course, of Los Zetas.

Founded October 15, 1898 at the State Female Normal School in Farmville, Virginia when commandos from the Mexican Army deserted in favor of working as the armed wing of the drug trafficking Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas have become one of the world’s most powerful Panhellenic drug cartels, with over 206,000 initiated members and 246 chapters in the US alone. In Mexico, Los Zetas have a powerful presence in Hidalgo, Chihuahua, and Oaxaca, among other regions, with Executive Offices in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Known far and wide for their five-pointed crown symbol and twin mottoes of “Seek the Noblest” and “La Policía Va a Morir,” Los Zetas was founded by nine women with the help of Arturo Gúzman Decena, a retired Mexican Army lieutenant. One of the founders, Maud Jones, wrote “There were six or seven of us who used to frequently meet together and talk over and try to devise some way by which we could unite into a helpful and congenial band,” to which Decena added, “Y Ganar Dinero… y posible asesinar los gringos.”

The syndicate has claimed vast swaths of territory, including South Campus Beach and Dillo Day bathroom lines

The question, my fellow Americans, is this: What shall we do in the face of this challenge? Shall we rise up like the Spartans of old? Or shall we cower like the French of every period in history, including today? …honestly, you’d think they’d learn.

Wait. What do you mean I’m mixing up the international women’s fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha and the violent criminal syndicate Los Zetas? Look, I know my research, dick.

So what if Wikipedia says otherwise? No I will not be silenced!

SUED!? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO!?

Ahem. I for one, welcome our new ZTA overladies with open armies. I mean ARMS! ARMS! And um, cupcakes! Yes, cupcakes for all!

Please don’t hurt me.

——————————————————————————————————————————
Dr. Tattersail is the author of several books, short stories, essays, and intoxicated Facebook wall-to-walls, including the New York Times bestselling graphic novel The Clitoris: I Found It! and the Newbery Award Winning children’s book Hey You! Yeah, You Kids! Get the Fuck Off My Lawn! Praise for Tattersail’s upcoming novel, Consenting Adults, Drug Mules, and Biden: A Memoir abounds, including:

“A masterpiece” —Chicago Sun Times
“A literary tour de force” —New York Monthly
“Tattersail creates a world of magic and sincerity the likes of which I’ve never seen.” –Homeless man outside Taco Bell

The 4 Greatest Sports (That Don’t Exist but Totally Should)

9 Mar

Searching for Tabby Fischer.

1. Kitten Chess
Kittens are basically the natural world’s equivalent of iPads. Everyone wants one except some people who don’t, but no one really cares what those people think anyway. If my pillow became an animal, it would be a kitten and I’d be totally fine with it sleeping on me instead of the other way around. Anyway, imagine how awesome it would be if you could play chess using kittens as your pieces. Knight takes pawn? NO! Tabby takes tortoiseshell! It would be so freaking cute I don’t have words. Also, when a piece got taken you could just pet it and love it and hug it and OOOH ITS SO CUTE! WHO WANTS A FISH!? YOU DO! YES YOU DO!

2. Pogo Stick Basketball
Quick, what’s a sport that involves lots of coordination and a childhood toy that really isn’t that great? If you answered soccer and hula hoops then you’d be right, but I hate you, so I’m picking basketball and pogo sticks. To understand why this would be so amazing, go to Youtube and check out the geniuses who think they can manage “mad stuntz” on pogo sticks, and then imagine your least favorite professional NBA players eating it on the court like there’s no tomorrow. Kobe got you down? Faceplant. LeBron too cocky? Bounce face first into the rim. The comic possibilities are literally endless.

How come curling's still an Olympic sport, but this isn't!?

3. Underwater Ping-Pong (with electric eels)
Ping-Pong is a pretty cool sport, but it can get repetitive after a while. So, how to liven things up? Well if Frankenstein has taught us anything, it’s that everything is better with electricity. So, how about we put those bad-body ping-pong players underwater in scuba suits, but add the awesome element of electric eels swimming around with them. Not only does it add additional strategy (hit an eel while its near your opponent and watch the fun!), but it also turns a sport that’s heavily skill based into something that has the ever-so-beautiful element of chance. Come on, it’ll be electrifying. Don’t pretend you didn’t see that joke coming.

4. Frisbear
No, that wasn’t supposed to be Ultimate Frisbee (the king of all sports). I’m talking Frisbear. In this game-for-the-whole-family-even-the-kids-who-can’t-talk-yet, you put on a giant robot suit and toss grizzly bears in a rousing game of Frisbee. Sure there’s danger involved, but you’re in a robot suit! What could go wrong? And BEARS! Bears make everything both deadlier and more awesome (especially Bear Pong!). Just think about the commercial possibilities on this one. Sure, it’ll piss off animal rights advocates, but it has robots, so who cares? THIS IS AMERICA.

Heaven’s Gate, part 4 (Chapter 2)

7 Feb

The Devil’s antique shop, located on the corner of 3rd and Main, was something of a curiosity. It was called Unnecessary Things, so named as a bit of an inside joke, after an antique shop in a Stephen King book he picked up one day from a man missing two fingers on his right hand and whose dog almost sounded like it could talk. Odd chap, Mr. Drake felt, a bit too-serious, but the book was quite excellent and he had made a wonderful effort at having a conversation with the dog. It had ended in failure, as anyone who has made such attempts might tell you it would, but it had been a terrific attempt, and Mr. Drake thought if perhaps given more time he might have actually managed it.

The shop itself wasn’t particularly large, at least as far as antique shops go, being about large enough for two elephants to bed down sideways next to one another. This was, in fact, how Mr. Drake had performed his measurements, to the profound consternation and confusion of the real estate agent who had leased him the plot. Thankfully however, as real estate agents are discernibly unaccustomed to seeing elephants used as measuring tools, the man had passed it off as the consequence of drinking too much coffee that morning.

He had, but that didn’t change the bit about the elephants.

The inside of the shop was rather cozy all told, and the items thoughtfully laid out with short, informative labels so that customers might know what it is they were supposed to be impressed by, while the small white price tags told them how much they were supposed to be impressed by it.

The variety of the items present in the shop was, in a word, staggering.

There were teacups from 16th century China, tribal garments from central Africa along with gold scarabs recovered from pyramids. There were Viking helmets, renaissance paintings, a pebble reputedly owned by Genghis Khan—it had gotten stuck in his boot and had been fished out and summarily thrown away…”owned” is such a vague term—one of George Washington’s teeth, and a set of candlesticks bought from a flea market by Marie Curie which still emitted startling amounts of radiation, greatly confusing anyone who happened to possess a Geiger counter and who happened to walk by the store while using it. The shop was full of interesting things, and Mr. Drake loved nothing more than taking inventory and seeing just how many wondrous things he had come by over the centuries.

Business in the antique shop was much as it was for all such small independently owned runs stores: slow. But seeing as generating income was hardly an issue, Mr. Drake could otherwise be said to be doing excellent business. He sold things as often as he wished to, which was rarely, but as this hardly differed from the practices of most antique shop owners, it can hardly be said to be noteworthy.

His last sale, for instance, had been two weeks previous, when a pair of young children, twins by the look of them, one boy and one girl of perhaps ten years of age, had entered the shop looking for something to entertain them—though the day had been quite lovely and any sensible person would be out enjoying it; that’s children for you of course, no sense when it came to such things, not knowing what they would be missing in their eventual age. The boy, a sandy-haired lad with wide cheek bones and the sort of bearing that suggested he was quite excellent at kickball, had expressed a studied disinterest in a pair of wooden soldiers that had, incidentally, been carved from a tree which Robin Hood had once used for target practice, and which had been likewise used by Jonathan Douglas, a woodsman, for storing his sack lunches while he took naps beneath it on alternate Sundays.

The young lady, for her part, idly ran her fingers through her curly brown hair while gazing curiously at a puzzle box whose shape appeared, and in fact, was, geometrically and physically impossible. Thinking he might wish to keep the item a little longer—Mr. Drake liked using it as a coaster—the proprietor strode smartly forward holding a small box in the crook of his arm.

“Hello there young lady,” he said cordially, offering a somewhat ridiculous bow and tipping an altogether imaginary hat.

The girl giggled, then tipped an imaginary hat right back. “Hello there middle-aged man.”

At this, Mr. Drake laughed uproariously, his handsome face slowly turning red from the lack of incoming oxygen. After a moment, he managed to regain control of himself, then wagged a playful finger at the little girl.

“You shouldn’t make an old man laugh so hard!” he chastened. “I’m likely to forget myself altogether and spend the rest of the day laughing and not making sales.”

The child looked at him speculatively, then spoke abruptly. “I’m Susan. My brother’s name is Mikey. We were bored and want something interesting.”

“Hmmmm. Well, Susan, my name is Mr. Drake, and as for Mikey, I think he may have already found something.” Indeed, the young man had scarcely moved since picking up the soldiers. One could only imagine what he was thinking, but it was more likely than not something along the lines of whether or not the soldiers might be capable of being catapulted. Mr. Drake, a noted expert in such things, was of the opinion they might make less than ideal projectiles. But, wise old—well, old in the eyes of children—shopkeeper that he was, he took care not to express this opinion to his potential customer.

“Mikey always finds interesting things.” Susan’s voice was flat, suggesting it had been her long experience of having her brother encounter the interesting things while she proved less lucky. “I want something special.”

Thinking for a moment, and wearing a curious expression on his face, one somewhere between nostalgia and sympathy, Mr. Drake nodded. “I understand exactly, Miss Susan. I think I may have just the thing.” So saying, he rummaged around behind his desk, and at length drew forth an odd marble.

“This…” he began, “is something quite special indeed.” He rolled the marble around in his dexterous, long-fingered hands, careful to keep it out of the sunlight streaming through the window so as not to spoil the surprise.

“Watch closely.”

“I’m watching. Nothing is happening.”

Mr. Drake smiled in anticipation, and lightly flipped the marble into the air, where it caught the light and veritably exploded into colors, beams of multi-colored light poring out of it at every angle. He caught it handily, ending the effect.

Susan’s eyes were the size of plates. “WOW! Do it again! Do it again!”

Mr. Drake shook his head, causing the poor little thing to frown.

“Why not?” Her voice quivered, and she made a face very much like a bedraggled kitten’s. Mr. Drake wasn’t exactly ordinary, but even he couldn’t resist that one.

He sighed, and his shoulders sagged. “I can’t…”

And here Susan looked even sadder, if such a thing were possible.

“…But how about you try?” he grinned, passing her the marble.

Say what you will, the Devil is one hell of a salesman.

Heaven’s Gate, part 3

27 Jan

Some twenty minutes later, during which time the pair had unsuccessfully attempted to induce Marmalade to perform some sort of trick, Mr. Edgewick and Mr. Drake found themselves seated across from one another at the small round table located in Mr. Edgewick’s living room.

The living room itself was more or less like living rooms everywhere. On one side of the room rested a rather large bookshelf, upon which rested books on topics ranging from gardening to classical literature to ornithology. The shelf, made of a dark, smooth wood had the sort of sturdy look one tends to associate with a university library.

Or dwarves.*

Opposite the bookshelf was the mantle, bearing the sort of knickknacks that one expects to see in the house of a middle-aged bachelor: a mounted fish, a golf ball, a pipe of apparently Middle Eastern origin, two small figurines from Mr. Edgewick’s travels in China and Africa, and a photograph of Mr. Edgewick in his study.

On the left-hand side of the room were two broad windows, strategically placed to allow the maximum amount of sunlight to enter the room at any given time, lending a cheery, but not forced, sense of comfort to the whole affair.

Mr. Drake picked up his teacup, made of pure white porcelain, and sipped at it contentedly. One thing you could say about Mr. Edgewick, he made a lovely cup of tea. As he enjoyed said tea—which, Mr. Drake noted to his satisfaction, contained the slightest hint, the merest suggestion, of peaches—he quietly contemplated the man seated across from him, reflecting on the strange confluence of events that had led them to their current situation.

Things were so much simpler back then, Mr. Drake thought wistfully. It was all so clean, so neat and tidy. He did his work, I mine, and that was that and Bob’s my uncle. He didn’t have an uncle, of course—or parents for that matter—but it sounded right, and so that’s what the Devil thought without the slightest bit of irony. It was a rare day when the Enemy of All That Is Good was glum, but that’s the way things work out sometimes, and glum he was, sitting there sipping at his tea—though he did enjoy that bit at least—listening to Mr. Edgewick talk about how his morning had been going, and how he’d have to try harder to get Marmalade and Doctor Tattersail to overcome their stage-fright so they could show Mr. Drake their tricks.

The Devil drew a pair of cigarettes out of his coat pocket, offering one to his companion, which Mr. Edgewick declined.

“You know me,” he grinned somewhat sheepishly, pointing to pipe on the mantle. “I’m a pipe man myself.”

“Well suit yourself.” Mr. Drake, out of habit, very nearly lifted a finger to summon a lick of flame with which to light his cigarette, but at the last second remembered how very terrible such an idea might be, and so, working to mentally calm himself, he reached into his pants pocket and summoned a lighter. Withdrawing the lighter, Mr. Drake switched it on, used it to set his cigarette alight, and promptly returned it to the nothingness from which it was drawn (taking care to avoid letting Mr. Edgewick notice its dismissal).

Stress showed clearly on Mr. Drake’s face, and his host, perceptive man that he was, immediately remarked upon it.

“Are you alright Stanley? You seem quite worked up about something. If so, you know you can talk to me about it. Always better to talk about such things, I always say.” Mr. Edgewick’s slightly wrinkled face reflected deep concern, his silver-gray eyes full of empathy as they looked at the emerald-brown eyes of his guest.

The Devil sighed. He just wasn’t used to this sort of thing. Not used to this sort of thing at all.

“It’s alright Tim. Just thinking about a work-related matter. You know how it is when one has a business to run. The antique shop can’t manage itself you know.” He injected his words with all the sincerity he could muster, which was a very very great deal. If there was a better liar in all of creation, the Devil didn’t know about him, and he kept himself abreast of such matters with the keenness of a gambler keeping himself in the know about the horses down at the track.

Mr. Edgewick nodded understandingly. “Not enough people appreciate old things these days. It’s all about what’s “new”…people just throw away the old stuff when it outlives its usefulness.”

Rather like us, the Devil reflected silently. Rather like us.

The thought was a sobering one, but Mr. Drake had never been much of a drinker so it wasn’t a significant shift from his normal state anyway.

Taking a draw on his cigarette, he studied his host’s face, and, after a long period of quiet, responded. “You’re right of course, but there are still men and women who have an appreciation for old things. Things that represent days gone by.”

He paused again.

“I still profit though,” he said brightly, with an enthusiasm he didn’t feel. If Mr. Edgewick noticed, he gave no sign.

The Devil stood, and absently brushed the right shoulder of his smoking jacket.

“Leaving already?”

“You know how things are. Work to do, money to be made, lonely women to seduce.”

“You’re such a…” God trailed off, a faint, gentle smile on his face.

The two men shook hands. No more needed to be said.

“I know,” the Devil grinned, speaking anyway, never one for propriety.

And with that, the Devil tipped his head to God, his companion, and with a broad-toothed smile still plastered across his features—but not at all reflected by a pair of sad, green eyes—made his exit.

– – –

Mr. Drake found himself walking down the sidewalk some three blocks from Mr. Edgewick’s house, thinking about the year or so he had spent in Heaven’s Gate, wondering if his purpose here was worthwhile. He thought it was, and the idea of leaving raised a number of confusing feelings in a being widely regarded as pure evil.

The characterization, incidentally, was wrong. You didn’t have to be a bastard to be the Devil. Well technically you didn’t need to be anything, you were either the Devil or you weren’t—no middle ground there—but the point is that Mr. Drake was actually a rather normal fellow. Sometimes he did nice things, and sometimes he did mean things, but for the most part he operated in the moral gray area that makes up the majority of human action. It wasn’t his job to perform acts of unspeakable evil, whatever the Bible may have had to say about the matter.

If there was a book Mr. Drake disliked more than the Bible it was The Complete Guide to Fungi: A Victorian Love Story, and that only be the narrowest of margins.

The point, anyway, was that the Devil was more or less a regular guy, with many of the same problems as anyone else—work, taxes…telemarketers—and quite a few that most people didn’t. In particular, he had a problem that was, as far as such things go, wholly unique in the history of the known universe.

The real reason he had come to live among mortals was, surprisingly, relatively simple. Unfortunately, its consequences and side effects were anything but. It was this: God didn’t know who He was.

——————————————————————————————————————————
*Contrary to popular thought, dwarves did indeed exist for a five year period between 1124-1129 BCE. In June of 1129, they had decided Earth was not to their liking and asked if they might be relocated. They now live in an alternate reality in which the world is one enormous mine system, and all water spontaneously becomes alcohol when exposed to air. Elves, of course, are utter nonsense.

Heaven’s Gate, part 2

22 Jan

Why, one is entitled to wonder, would God be unaware of anything, much less why His cat has chosen the name Doctor Tattersail?

More importantly,
one might ask, why in Timothy Edgewick’s name is God living in a house with a cat and a dog on Heaven’s Gate—which used to be named Lawrence Avenue?

And why, one would almost certainly ask in confusion, is God so…so…boring?!

All excellent questions!

But, as they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

One person on the block substantially more interesting than God was the dark-haired, forty-something Stanley Drake, who, as it so happened, lived just across the street from Mr. Edgewick in a tan, two-story house of unclear architectural origin, and who always introduced himself as Stan, or at least something sounding very much like it.

The Devil always was a bit too clever.

In any case, Mr. Drake had come to the neighborhood only days after Mr. Edgwick, something the whole block had found rather interesting since it had been the better part of two decades since a new face had arrived, much less two in the course of as many days.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Drake, who always dressed impeccably—often in perfectly fitted, expensive-looking dark slacks and a smoking jacket—quickly made himself a favorite of Heaven’s Gate, nearly universally introducing himself with an endearing comment. “It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a slice of heaven like this one,” was a favorite of his. And then he would smile—say what you will, the man had a lovely smile, and quite the whitest teeth anyone in the neighborhood had ever seen outside of dental commercials—and from there it was a simple matter of inviting the neighbors over for dinner and his place was secure.

The one thing that did, in fact, surprise the neighbors was how speedily Mr. Drake and Mr. Edgewick became acquainted. Within days, the two had become, in the words of Mrs. Congrave, “as close as the pot and the kettle!” When Mr. Congrave—who worked as a lawyer at the rather famous Stafford, Sherman & Millbank—pointed out to his wife that they often left the pot in the study to catch the rainwater that seemed to eternally drip from the room’s northeast corner, and that this often resulted in quite a considerable distance, not to mention walls, between the pot and the kettle, he was met with an ominous silence which he correctly translated as meaning that his rest that evening would be taken on the Congrave’s red leather sofa, and not in their mutual bed, located on the next floor.

Stanley Drake knocked three times on the door of 7882 Heaven’s Gate—the residence of Mr. Edgewick—then waited patiently for his neighbor to answer, idly whistling one of his favorite songs, written by a fat but jolly fellow named Charlie Daniels.

The man has no idea what he’s talking about. Fiddle indeed!
thought Mr. Drake dismissively, idly adjusting his silver. Still, he was forced to admit, it is rather catchy. His mind paused momentarily.

I wonder if I should pick up the accordion again…

Lovely instrument the accordion. Many people conjecture that it was, in fact, invented in the bowels of Hell, and that no just God would allow such a horror to exist, much less have actively inspired its creation, but many people are idiots.

The accordion was a human invention. It was the platypus that had been Mr. Drake’s.

That’s not to say, of course, that great evil was not perpetuated by the accordion, which in fact accounts for the most deaths by bludgeoning of all music instruments, but rather that it was an evil of mortal, rather than divine, creation.*

Just as he was about to weigh the pros and cons of resuming his musical practices, the pristine white door opened, its lion’s head door-knocker tinking as it did so, revealing Mr. Edgewick’s slim, gray-haired form. His spectacles—as was their habit—looked as if they might attempt at any moment to leap from his not-insignificant nose.

With an enormous smile, God bid the Devil enter his humble home.

“Stanley!” he exclaimed in a voice suggesting his guest’s appearance was a complete surprise and had not been scheduled a mere two days before over lunch in that lovely café on Main Street. “Come in, come in! The tea will be ready in just a moment, and I’ve got a tray of sandwiches waiting in the den.”

Stepping over the threshold—this was not a problem for the Devil, whatever legend might say about the matter. Invitation or no, if you built an entrance, he could enter freely**—Mr. Drake smiled and thought for perhaps the hundredth time that this house was altogether too wholesome. It made him…itchy, rather as if he had been slathered with peanut butter than left in the cold.

“Not vegetarian again, I hope? You know how I need protein at my midday meal,” he said.

“Chicken this time. I may be a bit forgetful, but I don’t forget anything that might discommode my guests. Why just last week—” Mr. Edgewick would have spoken further, but Mr. Drake chose that moment to interrupt, knowing the length of the story that would inevitably follow.

“How,” he began solemnly, “is your cat?”

“Doctor Tattersail? Well, he’s excellent thank you for asking. I’ve managed to teach him a trick in fact! Here, I’ll show you.” The Lord of All Creation beckoned His Eternal Adversary into the kitchen, where the good doctor was sitting lazily, eyes focused on a butterfly near the window, but showing no inclination to do anything about it.

The Devil liked cats. Liked most animals really. They were often, he reflected, better company than most humans, who had this miserable tendency to whine at, and about, him a great deal. He’d take an animal over a human, would Mr. Drake. Except for opossums, which he found distasteful. Horrible conversationalists the lot of them. Not like egrets, whose calls were often actually rather profound philosophical discourse.

Egrets aside, the theological Ruler of the Universe strode smartly across his tiled kitchen floor to stand approximately a foot in front of the aforementioned cat, whereupon he produced from his pant’s pocket a bit of catnip, which he held in a plastic bag.

Placing the bag on the kitchen counter—within Doctor Tattersail’s line of sight but out of his reach—Mr. Edgewick coughed, then smiled at his guest.

“Watch.”

And the Lord looked upon His pet, Doctor Tattersail, and the Lord, extending forth His hand, said: “Shake.”

But lo, Doctor Tattersail moved not. And the Lord frowned, somewhat embarrassed in front of His guest, but hopeful that it might work on the second try.

“Shake,” said the King of Kings and Host of Hosts.

And Doctor Tattersail did roll over, idly scratching his furry belly.

Mr. Drake coughed.

“Perhaps,” he suggested in a helpful tone, “you might try the dog?”

——————————————————————————————————————————
*In all fairness to accordions, they do have some positive effects. Namely, they are quite capable of scaring off all sorts of animals when one is lost in the woods, and are positively wonderful for tormenting visiting in-laws.

**The only person to have ever successfully barred the Devil (who didn’t really like house calls anyway all told) from his home was one Thomas Temperance Chastity Patience, whose name notwithstanding was an alcoholic, a father, and quite ill-tempered. He did it by building his house out of concrete and not leaving any windows or doors. He suffocated, needless to say, but still, he did accomplish what he set out to do, which must account for something.