Happily Ever After

 

It is February, the month of valentines, hearts, flowers, Cupid, love and time for another long overdue, heart throbbing story of:

Fallen Arches title copy

For those too new to this blog to remember or those who do remember but wish to forget, Fallen Arches is my grotesque effort to reinvent the romance novel (more on that subject at Fallen Arches Redux).  Here, for your reading pleasure, is the latest installment.

—————

The transport carrier was heard before it was seen.  The drab, dusty, black-hole like sky of Voltmore 4 prevented sight for more than an arm’s length.  The bulky carrier’s engines throbbed as it approached and docked at the colonizing station platform.

Anxious couples milled about in the darkened air, nervously awaiting their turn to be processed and then boarded onto the carrier for their transport to the far off lands of Northeros and Southos in the Gethen solar system, where their lives could begin anew.  The exhausting and endless Arrakis wars, stopped then renewed with even more hostility and bloodshed, had seen the near extinction of several tribes caught in the midst of the seemingly endless struggle.

Ultimately the Hainish Truce supplied a welcome but brief relief.  At first the warring factions did not observe the tenuous truce but then, after several false starts, it appeared that the truce would hold and repatriation or, at least relocation, of the decimated tribes could begin in earnest.  The Wockyjabbs, a docile, retiring, servile people, were among those tribes caught in the unrelenting, harsh wars between the belligerents and nearly obliterated.  Oscar was among the few Wockyjabbs left.

Voltmore 4, though incredibly barren and bleak at the edge of the galaxy, was a safe holding place for the remaining tribe members who survived until they were chosen by the supreme Ekumen Council to be paired together and then moved to Gethen where they could settle and breed and continue their lineage.  By Council law, each tribe was granted one pairing per transport which occurred only once a nebulon.*

[*Author’s note: A nebulon is a single revolution of the planet Hysteria around its sun or approximately fifty years.]

In the near complete darkness, Oscar, his newly chosen mate alongside, plodded ever so slowly through the dimly lit corridor leading up to the carrier.  Painfully shy like all Wockyjabbs, Oscar finally picked up the courage to reach out and touch the hand of his chosen partner.  Other than their exposed hands, both were covered head to toe in layers of clothing to protect themselves from the harsh Voltmore 4 climate.  When no resistance occurred, Oscar started to stammer out his thoughtful but slow speech.

“I.. I know that we will be together for a lifetime and we hope to.. to form a new life and.. you know.. re-create, I.. I mean reproduce, to keep our species alive and.. and all those things but, but I.. well, I don’t even know your name.  Please tell me.”

After a pause, his mate replied “My name is Walter.”

—————

With apologies to J.K. Rowling, Lewis Carroll, George R. R. Martin, Frank Herbert, and Ursula Le Guin.

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Donorrhea

CNN Style recently posted an article entitled “What North Korea propaganda posters reveal.”

“To the outside world, North Korean propaganda posters are notorious for their militaristic and anti-American messages.  But one former Pyongyang resident is hoping that her sizable Korean poster collection can present a more nuanced picture of art in the reclusive state.  Stanford fellow Katharina Zellweger — who lived in Pyongyang for five years while working for a Swiss government agency — has collected over 100 examples from inside the country.”

These posters are on exhibit as “Korea’s Public Face: Twentieth-century Propaganda Posters from the Zellweger Collection” at The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) at the University of Hong Kong until Jan. 28, 2018.

Being the kind-hearted soul I am, I thought that it would be amusing to see what nuanced themes Team Trump would construct for propaganda art in the coming year using these same posters.

Hence, Donald Trump North Korea posters become Donorrhea posters.

NKDT7

North Korea:  “Spinning tops is fun!”

Donorrhea:  “Whipping people is fun!”

 

NKDT1

North Korea:  “Agriculture is the first priority.”

Donorrhea:  “Sucking up to me is the first priority.”

 

 

NKDT4

North Korea:  “Let us provide more electricity to the battlefields where we are breaking new ground!”

Donorrhea:   “Let me use my small hands to shut down science and environmental protection before they can break new ground!”

 

NK6

North Korea:  “Let us raise more grass-eating animals.”

Donorrhea:  “Let us raise more grass-eating loyal followers. (But only white sheep.)”

 

NKDT10

North Korea: “Let us further encourage our nation’s excellent sports activities and folk games!”

Donorrhea:  “Always grab them by the ass or the p***y!”

 

NKDT9b

North Korea:  “Let us achieve the party’s agriculture revolution policy thoroughly and brighten the year with increased grain production.”

Donorrhea:  “Let us brighten the year by stomping out fake news with fire and fury!”

 

As the old Chinese proverb states:  “May you live in interesting times.”

DT5b

Cue the theme from The Twilight Zone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

 

Puns on High

I have relatives in high places (they are smoking something in the Colorado Rockies) who provided me with a year-ending set of puns:

  1. The meaning of opaque is unclear.

 

  1. I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant but then I changed my mind.

 

  1. Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time-consuming.

 

  1. A man tried at assault me with milk, cream and butter. How dairy!

 

  1. I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

 

  1. If there was someone selling marijuana in our neighborhood, weed know about it.

 

  1. It’s a lengthy article about ancient Japanese sword fighters but I can Sumurais it for you.

 

  1. It’s not that the man couldn’t juggle, he just didn’t have the balls to do it.

 

  1. So what if I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’? It’s not the end of the world.

 

  1. Police were called to the daycare center. A 3-year old was resisting a rest.

 

  1. The other day I held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.

 

  1. Need an ark to save two of every animal? I Noah guy.

 

  1. Alternative facts are aversion of the truth.

 

  1. I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.

 

  1. Did you know they won’t be making yardsticks any longer?

 

  1. I used to be allergic to soap but I’m clean now.

 

  1. The patron saint of poverty is St. Nickeless.

 

  1. What did the man say when the bridge fell on him? The suspension is killing me.

 

  1. Do you have weight loss mantras? Fat chants!

 

  1. My tailor is happy to make a new pair of pants for me. Or sew it seams.

 

  1. What is a thesaurus’s favorite dessert? Synonym buns…

 

  1. A relief map shows where the restrooms are.

 

  1. There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal

 

  1. How do they figure out the price of hammers? Per pound…

 

  1. And finally…

Puns on High

 

Presidential Curmudgeon Portraits

 

A man can dream, can’t he?

If the United States can elect its oldest president, a man with no political background or experience, why can’t it elect a true elderly curmudgeon?  I can envision the day when, despite the (incorrect) prognoses of all the pundits, I sit in the Oval Office and determine whicih presidential portraits I get to hang on the walls.

I decided that I would pick a curmudgeonly president from each century.

The eighteenth century gives me only two choices – George Washington and John Adams.  Adams is the obvious choice.  He had no slaves; he considered his wife, Abigail, as his equal and he was, by all accounts, a true pain-in-the-ass.  The result is immediate elevation to curmudgeon status.

Presidential1

Although the nineteenth century has many choices, there really is only one:  Lincoln.  Abraham Lincoln was affected by depression, had a true black sense of humor and was, as I have often said, the greatest prose poet of the nineteenth century.  Alternate choices may include Jackson, Cleveland and McKinley but these pale in comparison.  Nope, Lincoln is my choice.

Presdential2

The twentieth century also has many choices.  Perhaps TR or Coolidge or LBJ but, again, they really don’t qualify as curmudgeons (in my humble opinion).  My first and clear choice is Harry S Truman (no period after the S. The S stood for nothing; Truman felt the need to have a middle initial.)  Despite the critics who point to his dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima, Truman accomplished many achievements during his presidency (or presidentiary, as Will Ferrell pointed out playing the role of George W. Bush);

  • Creation of the UN and NATO
  • The Truman Doctrine (which stopped the communist threat to Greece and Turkey)
  • The Marshall Plan
  • The Berlin Airlift
  • Establishment of the NSC, CIA and NSA
  • Ended racial segregation in the US armed forces
  • Legislation to allow immigration of 200,000 refugees from World War II

He also had time to pen and mail (by hand) a letter to Paul Hume, who was critical of his daughter’s concert performance.

“Some day I hope to meet you.  When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

Immediate elevation to curmudgeon status.

Presidential3

For the twentieth-first century, we have only three choices – George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump.  The first two are disqualified as being too cheerful.  The third is disqualified, period.  The Donald is many things but being a curmudgeon is not among them.  We have only started the century so we will have to wait on the fourth portrait.  It could be mine.

Grumpy_Curmudgeon3

 

In the meantime, let me say to my fellow Americans…

Halloween at the Airport

Halloween is coming.

Forget wearing a Donald Trump or Lady Gaga outfit.

Try one of these, all available at your airport:

HA1

HA2

HA3

HA4

HA5

HA6

HA7

HA8

HA9

HA10

The scariest part is that these people may be on your flight!