Living in such a state          taTestaTesTaTe          etats a hcus ni gniviL
 of mind in which time         sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA         emit hcihw ni dnim of
 does not pass, space         STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE         ecaps ,ssap ton seod
 does not exist, and         sTATeSt        oFOfOfo         dna ,tsixe ton seod
 idea is not there.         STatEst          ofoFOFo         .ereht ton si aedi
 Stuck in a place          staTEsT            OfOFofo          ecalp a ni kcutS
 where movements           TATeSTa            foFofoF           stnemevom erehw
 are impossible                              fOFoFOf             elbissopmi era
 in all forms,                             UsOFofO                ,smrof lla ni
 physical and                            nbEifof                   dna lacisyhp
 or mental -                           uNBeInO                      - latnem ro
 your mind is                         UNbeinG                      si dnim rouy
 focusing on a                       unBEING                      a no gnisucof
 lone thing, or                      NBeINgu                     ro ,gniht enol
 a lone nothing.                     bEinGUn                    .gnihton enol a
 You are numb and                    EiNguNB                   dna bmun era ouY
 unaware to events                                            stneve ot erawanu
 taking place - not                  -iSSuE-                 ton - ecalp gnikat
 knowing how or what                 1225.94                tahw ro woh gniwonk
 to think. You are in                TWELVE.               ni era uoY .kniht ot
 a state of unbeing....                                  ....gniebnu fo etats a



EDiTORiAL by Kilgore Trout



by Kilgore Trout

Merry Christmas. Ho ho ho. Peace on Earth, and goodwill to men. Yeah.

Now that the merriments are out of that way, let's drop the idea of Christmas for awhile. I'm sure today, you are sitting at home, wanting to play your new little Atari Jaguar or go ride in the car your rich daddy bought for you. Well let me tell you something. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOWNLOADiNG THiS PiECE OF CRAP WHEN YOU COULD BE DOiNG SOMETHiNG FUN? Okay. This can be fun, but it's a different sort of fun. Kinda like "if-they-don't-find-me-and- use-hidden-cameras-to-incriminate-me" sort of fun. Get the picture? This zine can wait. Go play.

[pause. sips cup o' joe. waits. taps desk nervously.]

Okay, now that all of the losers have gone to play with their Atair Jaguars or go joyriding in their new cars, we can have some fun. Did you really think I was serious when I said this zine was a piece of crap? Don't you know that your whole life should revolve around it (and indeed, in at least one high school, informants tell me that people have taken to quoting from the Tales of Spam and have taken its message to heart)? So, if your life DOES center on SoB, you may be wondering where the hell were we two days ago when you scoured our distro sites and found nothing. Well, as you know, SoB #8 was supposed to be released today. We are pushing that back into January sometime due to a few authors not getting their stuff back to us. I believe the Christmas postal rush had something to do with it (Griphon, you bastard, get a computer. Ugh.) Also, we were waiting on Tachyon for some information and I didn't receive anything until late last night. I cannot reprint his letter due to some of its foreshadowing about the articles upcoming in SoB #8, but he has set up a new base of operations and will be giving us a full report to be released with SoB #8.

Anyways, we figured you'd want something on Christmas Day, so we just pushed this back two days and now here it is. Herein lies stuff you'd expect and some that you wouldn't. We've got the long-awaited third volume of the Seven Tales of Spam, and Phadrous joins us once again with his stream-of- consciousness ramblings that somehow make sense even though he says they don't. Nemo est Sanctus also comes back with a few essays, and I'll leave the rest of 'em for you to read. Don't want to give away the surprise ending, eh? Oh, we'd also like to welcome to new writers, Morrigan and Dirk Russell. I'm sure you'll find their writing a pleasure to read.

Also, you should find the new State of unBeing FAQ that Crux Ansata made in the same place you found this file. If not, it's available at the distribution sites listed at the end of the zine. If you are a writer, send us a little background on yourself (true or not) and Crux Ansata will include it in the next revision. And if you ever find yourself frequently asking questions about SoB, let us know so we can answer them.

Well, that about does it for my editorial this time around. If you are still wanting to send in new headers for the next issue, please get those to me as soon as possible. If all goes well, next month will see the release of two issues. If not, well, hell... you've waited this long, what's another month? Heh.



Kilgore Trout

Captain Moonlight
Dark Crystal Sphere Floating Between Two Universes
Dirk Russell
Flying Rat's Nostril
Ivy Carson
Nemo est Sanctus


[=- ARTiCLES -=]


[Editorial | Next]

by Nemo est Sanctus

Consider the human female. The most beautiful walk like a grasshopper, if you study the gait closely. Why? Why. Elaine Morgan says it is because women have not yet evolved into a fully bipedal form. It is, though, not important. The important thing is that it is beautiful.

What is beauty? Often considered, our society seems to have no clear philosophy on beauty. This is because beauty is an art, and like all arts, it cannot be appreciated by the masses. Today, we see art torn apart by market forces, as "art" -- and "beauty" -- must be packaged and mass produced so as to make money so the artist can survive. Because of this, we have seen a marked shift in what is considered "beautiful".

Consider the skin. In the days that beauty was appreciated, we saw the image of the "alabaster maiden". The pale was seen as beautiful. Today, the obscene and plebeian concept that a burnt skin is "beautiful" dominates the media. A tanned skin has become the view of "beauty". But why? A tanned skin is plebeian. A tanned skin denoted, in happier days, the skin of those who toiled in the fields. The uneducated, the lower class. When these proles gained money, the "artists" stroked their ego by redefining "beauty" to include them.

But why was the pale beautiful? Because the pale was unnatural. The pale denoted someone who had worked on appearance by avoiding exposure. Because the pale was artificial.

Consider cosmetics. Women do not wear lipstick to show, to reveal. There is nothing there that they seek to show better. Rather, they wear it to hide, to conceal. It is worn to hide the stains of defiling kisses already spoiling the beauty of the lips, or it is worn by foolish innocents to hide their purity and attract beasts in human form. Why does this attract? Because it is evil, and evil is so much more beautiful than good. But more than this, it is artificial. Although lipstick is now appropriated as the domain of everywoman, it is still a vestige of the artificial.

One current trend in cosmetics is to look "natural". The point of makeup it to appear as if one is wearing no make-up. Why? Because the masses cannot appreciate the artificial. When beauty was appreciated there was an artificial ideal to which cosmetics were used. To-day, cosmetics are not worn to show. They are not a creative, vital, revolutionary tool for the creation of beauty. They have fallen into the hands of the plebeians, and are now concealing, dead, reactionary tools used not to show beauty but to conceal faults.

There is, of course, a deeper trend here. Beauty is no longer appreciated because the masses have not the culture to appreciate the subtilties of beauty. Although the masses do not admit it to themselves, they realize full well their ugliness. They try to hide their ugliness through concealing cosmetics, they try to deceive themselves by redefining beauty to include the plebeian. They try to be exactly the same.

They no longer have an ideal of beauty, so they try to make it appear that they are not as ugly as their fellow.

Today's world has lost ideal. Beauty, to today's person, is something which one wants to appear as. This, gentle reader, is not beauty. Not every person can truly look beautiful, for to look beautiful is to attain perfection. Beauty is an ideal to which one attains, not something so easily achieved.

It is not "natural" -- dare I say not "normal" -- to be an "alabaster maiden". It is not "natural" to be painted to look beautiful. It is artificial, and it is an ideal. It is an otherworldly pursuit.

Having lost the ideal, however, today's woman tries to hide the ugliness of the real world and look "natural". This is an action of defeat, and indicates that today's woman does not have anything to strive towards, only ugliness to hide from.

Consider cosmetics once again. Can one believe that slight differences can make significant differences in appearance? It is not simply the make-up. Consider the walk. The total self-absorption of a beautiful woman is beautiful in itself. This is not the beauty of "self-confidence". This is the beauty of self-absorption. This is the beauty of the self-absorption that comes from being conscious that a beautiful woman is the process of trying to achieve an ideal. A beautiful woman is a work in progress.

True beauty is in the hot-house orchid. True beauty is in the carefully cultivated, the unnatural, the artificial. True beauty is the pursuit of the unattainable, the action of attaining towards perfection. A truly beautiful woman is in the action of trying to be God. Today's base version of "beauty" is simply in the process of trying to forget she is a human.


"Power is what men seek, and any group that gets it will abuse it. It is the same old story."

--Lincoln Steffens


[Prev | Next]

by Captain Moonlight

This being Christmas time, you may well ask, "Captain Moonlight, what do you want for Christmas?" (Actually you probably don't give a flying rat's nostril, but play along with me on this one.) To which I would answer: "Peace on Earth and good will towards men.

"Or a gun."

"Or a gun!" you may well fume, "Or a gun! How can you make such conflicting requests?!"

Actually, these are not really conflicting at all. Any peace which is unjust is evil, and, this being Christ's Mass, it is a time when evils must be overthrown. As Irish President Patrick Henry Pearse said in his famous "Peace and the Gael",

War is a terrible thing, but war is not an evil thing. It is the things that make war necessary that are evil. The tyrannies that wars break, the lying formulae that wars overthrow, the hypocrisies that wars strip naked, are evil.

Pearse was executed by the British for helping lead the Irish Easter Rising of 1916.

As long as there are oppressed living in America, or whatever country you live in, you must be willing to fight to end that injustice. As William Allen White said, "Peace without justice is tyranny." If we have peace on Earth, but without goodwill towards men, we must all be prepared to march, gun in hand, to the nearest place of government. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," said Edmund Burke (1729-1797), and the attitude that "It's not my problem" will be the death of us all.

You see, dear reader, my statement was not at all contradictory. Peace without justice, and goodwill, is an evil peace, the Devil's peace, and it cannot be left to stand. It has been the apathetic attitude that it's easier to let someone else take care of it that has dug our graves, and now, unless we are prepared to fight, we must lie in them.

This being the end of the old year, it is a good time to ask one's self, "Exactly what have I done this year?" I recently read a public message on Scum Net, a local BBS network carried by Isis Unveiled, in which a man calling himself The Godfather made a statement which impressed me, saying that all of us, at least once a year, must look at ourselves and look at our morals, and think "Is this really what I believe? Is this really what I should be doing?" I suggest that we all do just this, and look again at our morals and our actions, and see if they coincide. We must all decide if we really believe in what we are doing, and if we don't, decide how to change it. And if armed revolution is the only way to fix the government's corruption today, then so be it.

The moral is, if we are to continue living with each other, we must do away with tyrannies both personal and societal, and I believe that the anniversary of the birth of Christ is as good a time as any to reiterate this. We all must be willing to kill and die for our beliefs. If your morals and your beliefs are not important enough to you to die for, then you need different beliefs. To quote Pearse,

It is because peace is so precious a boon that war is so sacred a duty. . . . Christ's peace is lovely in its coming, beautiful are its feet on the mountains. But it is heralded by terrific messengers; seraphim and cherubim blow trumpets of war before it. We must not flinch when we are passing through that uproar; we must not faint at the sight of blood. Winning through it, we (or those of us who survive) shall come unto great joy.


"Our differences are politics. Our agreements, principles.

--William McKinley


[Prev | Next]

by Phadrous

I awoke once more and found that I had lost my lust for rest. Too much time had been spent meandering through mind in this limbotic fashion. How many days had I slept? Two? Three? No, no days though it felt like it. I picked up my journal from beside my chair, rubbed most of the crap out of my eyes and began writing. What I wrote made no sense so I turned on the lamp behind me and started over.

"Proposition: I am a stupid ass."

I stopped and thought about this. "Why am I a stupid ass?" Then I picked lint from my navel and my eyes glassed over. "Why?"

"Because," I continued on the paper, "when I 'fall in love' I always sit around whining on paper about how I don't know what to say and 'isn't the world crap?' If God is love, then he's also a sadist. But maybe there's love and not just libido-reduced feeling.

I set down my pen and paper, picked up a guitar and sat playing and thinking about my future. Something I recommend for anyone in too good a state of mind. I wondered what I'd do, where I'd be. I thought of Doris Day signing "Kay Sera" (sic) to the questions of life and wanted to brain the stupid bitch. Where had I always dreamed of? England. Europe. Couldn't happen, could it? Would I not die from claustrophobia? Just a few states north and the horizon begins to disappear along with the sun. I wasn't sure if I could handle that. I was used to the wide open spaces. Right? Not exactly. Put me in Iowa, even with the sun and I'd feel the same. I feared anything different. Well, if I was up to that then I must do something odd just to spite illogical thinking. What did I want? Love? Maybe. I wanted pace of mind but who doesn't?

I became confused and so made up a new chord that didn't sound half bad. Didn't sound half good either. My cat groaned in defiance of my non- conformist guitar style. I stopped.

"Fuck Plato," murmured a voice escaping from a dream.

"Fuck yourself," I said, answering my overstuffed brain. What did I want right this moment?

Fame and fortune. Twenty thousand screaming girls to want me. Yeah. That's what I wanted. I wanted everyone to like me, every guy to be jealous of me and fear my wrath but be my friend, every woman to want me, and one girl to love me. What else could a person want? So, to gain this respect, I did the same thing that every asshole worth his title does. I sat very still in a large country chair moving as slowly through space and therefore as quickly through time as I could. I sat as one man put it "completely surrounded by no beer." But moving that slowly, a beer would have just caused me to sleep and its pretty lazy to sleep all day long. If there's one thing I learned from my cousin it's not to sleep past 12:00pm. Only lazy bums do that.

So I ate jello to keep myself awake and got the runs cause that green bastard food is too thick to piss and just too slimy to come out solid.

Ahhhh.... those where the days....

Kilgore wants an ending to this bit o' shit. Well... sorry. I think that's as close as I'm coming to it. If you want to know how this story ends you must be a boring son of a bitch cause I don't care and I wrote the goddamn thing. Good night, ya fuckers.


"You may think it's funny, but it isn't."

-- A cheerleader, on seeing a man struck
in the chest with a chicken


[Prev | Next]

by Nemo est Sanctus

A play I went to see recently was given a standing ovation. Did it deserve it? Who could say. I cannot recall a single play recently that did not receive one.

The typical modern audience will applaud at anything. And it does. Applause does not occur at intermission and end, as it should. To a certain extent, this can be attributed to the lack of theater etiquette taught today. The advent of film and television has disassociated the interaction of audience and actor from the minds of most people. To a very real extent, though, it is a lack of value.

In certain instances, it is understood to applaud during an act. In very rare cases, a standing ovation is proper. A standing ovation is supposed to mean that a play was excellent, that a play was somehow greatly superior to the standard expectations of the audience.

To-day, it is considered an insult to withhold a standing ovation. What can a standing ovation possibly mean, what satisfaction can an actor receive from a standing ovation, when a standing ovation is expected?

This is a symptom that occurs in many forms in to-day's society. To-day, it is considered an insult to withhold a tip. A tip is considered the norm, and to withhold one a slight. Why? If a tip were standard, it would no longer be a tip. What benefit can a tip imply if it is expected? If someone is paid to be a waiter, why is a tip expected? A tip is -- or should be -- expected as the result of extraordinary service. It no longer is.

In the hands of the modern audience, the standing ovation has become cheapened, just as all the modern audience touches does. The modern world has lost the concept of the better, that which attains towards the perfect, and instead expects that it be given that which pleases it. The modern audience does not approach a play, a work of art, with the intent of seeing beauty. The modern audience expects to be amused.

The modern audience expects to be pleased, and in so doing, is oblivious to the fact that the purpose of a play, the purpose of any work of art, is to create beauty. The modern audience has no concept of beauty, and so is slighted if it is not amused. Being unable to appreciate the purpose of art, it cheapens this art.

As long as art is produced for the satisfaction of the masses, no beauty will result. Only when art is returned for art's sake, and the audience can be made to realize that their part in a play is as the worshiper at an alter, as one permitted to see the mysteries and expected to be in awe of that which is presented, can beauty be produced once again. Only when the ego of the plebeian can be overcome can the beauty of the Muses be revered once again.


[=- POETRiE -=]


[Prev | Next]

by Morrigan

Black as the night I hear you scream
from the darkness of an abandoned dream
of which you are nothing
you are dead but still
alive from the abandonment of your insignificant life
you run from fire of the lion's sun
that is carried by the evil one
you shriek with fear of the loss of life
as you run you are crying
and yelling for help
but nothing happens
all of a sudden you stop and bend down to pray
pray to the goddess from your dreams
you don't know what's happening
you only know you're being taken over by a spirit
after you pray you look
and see nothing but light rays
with blue and purple and white
nothing is there.
you look down at your feet
you see nothing but
miles and miles of light rays
you think you're dead but realize
you're still alive
in the darkness
of all surrounding life


"Go; for thou stay, not free, absents thee more."

-- Milton, Paradise Lost


[Prev | Next]

by Thunder

Help me
I'm lost
I must get out
I must get free
Where am I
How did I get here
What did I do
How did this happen
My mind is foggy
I can't remember
What was it like
On the outside
Maybe I didn't like it
I have my doubts
I live with doubt
I live here
I will never leave


"To speak of the natural death of the village communities in virtue of economic laws is as grim a joke as to speak of the natural death of soldiers slaughtered on a battlefield."

-- Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid


[Prev | Next]

by KidKnee

as she tears at her wrist,
so does she tear at my heart.

i watch that tender flesh tear away so easily,
so delicately.
and the crimson drops flow so naturally,
so lovingly.
like tiny caresses down her arm i watch them flow.
her skin as pale as death,
her skin as white as snow.
her blood as red as life,
her blood burning through my soul.

her head cocks back in a silent moan.
as i can only writhe in desire,
wanting that which i cannot have.
as her blood flows, so does mine boil with desire.
i yearn for but a taste of that crimson lust.
i will taste, i MUST!!!

THiNG. THiS SiNGLE DROP. That single woman.
those unholy drops, those beckoning drips, they scream out to
my soul and make my teeth all gnashy.
this hunger tears at my ever fading sanity.
this blood tears at my brain.

as it drips from her arm to her thigh, my head cocks back in
a silent moan.
a scream of desire.
a scream of hunger.
oh do i lust for that hunger that tears at my insides to tear
at her insides, and get drunk of their life, and make it
as it trickles it tickles my every nerve.
a thousand caresses at my spine as i lurch forward and
forever take that which is not mine.
basking in her warmth.
suckling at her breast.
painting myself with her death.

damn that hunger.
it ever gnaws at my sanity.
it ever gnaws at me.
though filled with stolen life, i am forever empty.
the blood still screams for me.
the blood still moans for me.
the hunger still thinks for me.

her skin as pale as death,
her body as pure as snow.
her blood as red as life,
her death my tomorrow.


"Inside every anarchist is a slave screaming to get out."

-- Nemo est Sanctus


[Prev | Next]

by Morrigan

it is coming
it is coming for me
the sun is breaking free
the light fills the sky
as the bird flies
over-head the wind
cries my name
it is coming for me now
it's always the wrong season
"can't you feel my pain
or are you sane?"
it is not my turn to fade away
as i lay
you can see inside my meaningless heart
with green and yellow it tears in two
there it goes
it is lost and can't be found
it will soon come again for me
but that will be the right season
to fade


"My girl says she'll take no one else as a lover.
No one else -- she says -- even if Jove were to coax.
Says! but the words they say, these girls, to their panting lovers,
Write on the giddy wind. Write on the stream as it flows."

-- Catullus, LXX


[Prev | Next]

by Ivy Carson

My silly eyelashes bat at a newly found friend.
Beneath charming false blushes I smile,
beguile -- defile the moments I spend
whilst I whimsically chatter and wile.

Oh, I mustn't be thought of as two dimensional.
I'm considered deep among my peers,
and am called quite unconventional
by foppish fools who don't sense my fears.

Destruction occurs within my anguish laden breast
as the massive steel gadget is wound --
a knob resting on my plastic chest
ruthlessly whirling and twirling round.

Repetitive patterns fester in my pathetic mold.
I spin in a horridly cruel trap.
My being reflects the knob I hold.
Revolving, degrading -- a harsh slap.

I exist solely as an insipid little doll
greeting failures with a sulky pout
stagnant behind a circular wall,
a lost wind-up toy flitting about.


"Let us abolish policemen who carry clubs and revolvers and put in a squad of poets armed to the teeth with poems on Spring and Love."

--Mark Twain


[Prev | Next]

by Morrigan

I stand near them
but am far removed
my mind is where
their's are not

I send them letters
and receive replies
but the words
do not come from them

I give them gifts
and am given in return
but the heart of the materials
is lost in the packaging

where did they go
where did I go
why are they near
why am I far


"Knock, knock."

--the Angel of Death


[Prev | Next]

by KidKnee

If i were dead.

Would you love me more if i were dead?
Is that what it takes to receive your love?

Do you toast me now,
Joe was a good guy you'd say...
Kinda strange but a helluva guy.

you might if i were dead.

Do you cry for me,
tears of sorrow spilled for me...
watering the flowers around my grave.

you might if i were dead.

Do you bring me flowers.
daisies, lilacs, honeysuckle, and rose.
showered down around the stone that marks my rotting skull.

you might if i were dead.

do you say i love you joe,
i know you can't hear me but i want you to know,
i'll miss you joe.

you might if i were dead.

i'll live without your love.
i'll live without your touch.
i don't need you love to live

though i might when i'm dead.


[=- FiCTiON -=]


[Prev | Next]

by Dirk Russell

May 20, 1998

I can't believe I'm actually writing in a diary! If Tina, my 14 year old sister hadn't given it to me, I probably wouldn't even have bothered with one. But, since I graduated today, and it was a present, I figured what the hell. Why not?

So how should I do this? "Dear Diary"?? No... not me at all!

Anyway. I graduated from the Police Academy today! I never thought I would make it! Officer Greg Murphy. It's got a ring to it!

Dad was so damn proud! "I knew he'd carry on the family tradition!" he told EVERYONE... Personally, I think he misses it. Oh, he says he likes being retired... but I know him.

Mom says she's happy for me but I can see it in her eyes. She's worried. 7 cops have been murdered in the last 6 months and there aren't any suspects. She's afraid I'm gonna be #8. I know she's thinking of Bobby, my older brother. He was killed the first year in the war against Canada. But she won't admit it. Well, I have 3 days before I have to report for my first day. I'm so damn nervous... I wish I had to go in in the morning. 3 days is going to drive me crazy.

Well. It's late. I suppose I better try and get some sleep...

May 23, 1998

Whew! First day is finally over! I don't know what I really expected but I never expected anything like today.

Everything was ok at first. I was introduced around when I got to the PD and then I was formally introduced at roll call. Kinda embarrassing. Oh well. My training officer/partner is a woman. Her name is Carolyn Barns. She sure seemed cold at first which made me kinda nervous. I finally asked her why.

"Look, kid," she says like I'm only 12 years old, "I don't have anything against you personally. But I trained 2 of the cops that were killed and I don't like it one fucking bit. It makes me wonder what I did wrong. I don't like second guessing myself. So you listen close and do exactly what I tell you. Understand?"

"Yeah," I told her. It was quiet most of the time after that.

Other than that the whole day was pretty much boring. We drove around a lot and she wrote a few traffic tickets while I watched. The worst part was the paper work... And I did most of it.

Maybe tomorrow will be better... except I think the paper work will be a never ending stream...

May 24, 1998

God... I feel sick. I worked my first auto accident today. 6 vehicles I never saw anyone dead before. Except at funerals but that isn't the same. So much blood. There was blood, glass and gasoline everywhere. I don't know how I kept from losing my lunch. I don't think I'll ever forget that lady's face. The terror was frozen on it like someone had sculpted it there. Her eyes were green. I thought she was still alive when I reached her. I know I saw her head turn as I ran up to what was left of her car. She must've died before I got to her. I must've stood there looking into her lifeless eyes for a long time. When I finally looked away I made the mistake of looking into the car. That's when I noticed the child.... Oh God... I can't take this...

Carolyn says I'll get use to it. I can't imagine getting use to it. I asked her if she remembered the first time she worked an accident. She got that far away look in her eyes and walked off.

Everyone says I did a good job, especially since it was the first time I worked an accident like that. All I know is the whole time I kept seeing those green eyes...

I dread tomorrow...

May 28, 1998

Work has been slow last couple of days. Thanks God. I stood by while Carolyn gave some guy a ticket for speeding. He acted like he was being harassed. Told us we should be out catching real criminals. Carolyn told him he was one and if he didn't cool his attitude he was going to jail. He just stood there flapping his mouth like a fish out of water.

Bad news. They found another cop dead today. Shot in the back of the head like all the others. His name was Joseph Balock. I only met him once. Seemed like a nice guy. Carolyn must've known him pretty well. I don't think I could've imagined her crying. I tried to get her to tell me about him but she just yelled something incoherent at me and told me to "Shut the fuck up!"

I think she hates me.

There's a lot of talk around the station about finding whoever it is that's killing cops. Some want to take him out somewhere and shoot him then cut him up into tiny pieces and burn the pieces to ashes.

I'm not sure how I feel about it but I think I'm beginning to agree with some of them.

June 4, 1998

Arrested my first person today. Some drunk weaving all over the road. He got out of the car, slurs "Wha's th' prblemm, osferfs?" and passed out right there in the street. He woke up long enough for me to read him his rights. I don't think he even realized what was going on...

I finally got up the nerve to ask my partner why she hates me.

"I don't hate you, Murphy," she said.

"Bullshit. You've treated me like a red headed step child since day one," I snapped back. I was determined to let her know I was pissed.

She let the air out of my ego real quick.

"Look. I've trained a lot of rookies. A lot of 'em ended up quitting. Some died because they made stupid mistakes. Trying to be fucking heroes." She stopped for a second, to think, I guess. "At first, I tried to get to know the new guy. After my first trainee got himself killed and the next two quit, I thought it was me."

We stopped at a red light and her voice got soft. "I made the mistake of getting emotionally involved with one rookie. He died saving some kid's life. I swore after that I'd never get close to trainees ever again."

She looked me in the eye, a memory burning behind them. "It isn't you, Murphy. It's just the way things are. If you make it through the next year and stay with the Department, I have no doubt we'll be friends but right now you're just another face."

So now, I'm determined to stay on. I like her. She doesn't mince words.

August 12, 1998

It's been 12 days. I haven't seen a soul in the entire city. I don't know what happened. 12 days ago I woke up like any other day. I thought it was kind of odd that there was nothing on the radio or TV. I didn't really think much of it until I drove to work. It seemed like a normal day except there wasn't anyone around. No cars. No people. It's like they all just vanished.

I took a cruiser out the first day and drove around the city and yelled for someone, anyone, over the P.A. Nothing.

The second day I dialed number after number in the phone book. I dialed till my fingers hurt. No answer at any of them. Not even the Government listings. I tried calling my grandparents in Dallas. Nothing.

Over the last 3 days I've been out to several of the surrounding towns. There hasn't been any one.

Whatever happened only seems to have taken the people. There are still birds and cows. I hear dogs barking at night and have seen a few cats.

Why am I the only person left? Maybe I'm dead and this is Hell.

At least the power is still on but I don't know for how long. I've got to get a generator soon. Fuel is no problem. There are a lot of cars out there that I can get gas from. Food is no problem either. All the stores are full so I won't starve to death.

I still wear my uniform just in case someone is out there. Hopefully, they won't think I'm trouble and will come to me like people have always done when they need help and see a cop.

Tomorrow I'm going to San Antonio. I really don't think I'll find anyone though. If this were just a local thing I'm pretty sure someone would have come here to find out what happened.

I fear I am totally alone.

August 14, 1998

I've been in San Antonio for almost 2 full days now. Empty. Just like everywhere else. I thought I heard someone today. Looked around for 2 or 3 hours and found nothing.

Damn! What is going on!?

I deliberately set off alarms in various places and waited for someone to show up. Not one soul.

I'm still driving the cruiser around. Occasionally, I'll turn the siren on and wait to see if anyone shows up. Fruitless, of course.

I've seen accidents since the first day while driving around. The first one actually excited me. I guess even the hopes of finding even a dead body would give me hope of finding living people. Nothing. The cars must've kept going after their drivers vanished.

I'm becoming extremely paranoid. I feel like someone is watching me. At first it was just a vague feeling. Now it's like every window is hiding a face. Or several. Right now I'm sitting in some motel. I checked every square inch of this place for hidden microphones and cameras. I tore apart cardboard boxes and stapled them over this room's single window. I still don't feel completely at ease though.

I feel like a kid left home alone getting into the liquor cabinet half afraid mom and dad are gonna come home and catch me.

Is this what it feels like to lose your mind?

It's starting to rain. Sounds bad. Thunders every few seconds.

I just checked outside. The rain is coming down like God just opened the flood gates. Lightning like a mad house! Going to be hard to sleep tonight. Tomorrow I'm going back to Austin.

August 15, 1998

I'm sitting on the outskirts of San Antonio right now. The sky is lit up like the early morning just as the sun comes over the horizon.

I woke up to the sound of the hotel room's smoke alarm. I panicked at first. I had my weapon in hand and fired off the entire clip in those first few seconds before I realized what was happening. The place was on fire. I didn't even bother to dress. I just grabbed what I could carry and threw the door open. I jumped into the cruiser and took off.

I figured a lightening strike had set the place on fire. Or maybe a fuse blew somewhere. It wasn't until I was out of the parking lot that I realized I was surrounded by walls of flame.

As I watch now, I can only guess that half the city is burning. Maybe more. Well, if there was anyone there, I hope they got out in time. I wonder how far it will spread? Maybe the rain will keep the damage to a minimum.

Well, I'm too keyed to sleep now. Time to go home.

August 19, 1998

I know for a fact now that I am losing my mind.

I keep hearing my name being called. And it always seems like a different person. Sometimes Mom or Dad. Sometimes it's a voice I don't recognize. Funny, I thought I heard my partner, Carolyn's voice once.

I walked through one of the malls today. Kind of strange to see the place empty. I sat down at one point and just closed my eyes. I could almost hear all the voices and the other sounds of people walking from store to store. That's when I heard Mom call my name. I jumped up off the bench and looked around. It sounded like she was right there next to me.

"Mom!" I shouted. My voice echoed back at me.

I heard my name again. This time behind me. I spun around only to see a fake potted plant.

"HELLO!!!" I yelled as loud as I could.

Silence mocked me.

I ran all over the place. Yelling, screaming. Before I knew it I was leaning against a wall crying like a baby wanting his mother.

I don't know how much longer I can take this. I know before long I'm going to either go completely insane or put a bullet in my head. Either way, I'll be alone. At least if I were crazy I probably wouldn't know it. Or care.

I think I'll go get a portable tape player tomorrow. The kind you can wear on your belt and put headphones on. Maybe that'll stop the voices.

I doubt it.

January 25, 1999

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday. To celebrate, I got some cake mix and frosting in a can from the store and made me a cake. Worst one I ever tasted! I mean it was good but it lacked that flavor birthday cake has when you have real people to share it with. These mannequins don't talk back or eat or anything.

I just had to have someone to talk to. So I grabbed a couple of store mannequins and dressed them up. At least I have someone human looking to stare at across the table. Or to watch TV with. Video tapes of course. At least I don't have to worry about waiting for returns from the video stores. I'm getting to watch all those movies I've been wanting to see but haven't had the time.

The power is still on but I've already started using the generator instead. Decided to get into the habit of using it for when the power does finally go out.

I've given up looking for people. The dummies and the voices keep me company now. I threw the tape player away. It seemed to make the voices clearer and I couldn't handle it. Half heard mumblings were getting on my nerves.

I'm starting to spend a lot of time at the library. I decided I better start learning how to grow vegetables and hunt. I need fresh food. The canned stuff can't last forever.

Deer and other animals are starting to come into the city. I read about traps for small animals today. So tomorrow I'm going to either get one at a hunting store or build one myself. Maybe I can catch a rabbit or something.

December 25, 1999

It's Christmas Day. Almost a new century!

I went out and got me a new car today. A Porsche. Nice.

I got David a truck with a camper on back. Ungrateful bastard just sat there and didn't say a thing. I knew I should have left him in the store.

For Darla, I got a diamond bracelet. She just loved it! She must not be mad at me any more because she let me put it on her wrist.

I got Kathy a new book to read. She must have read that other one a million times by now. I guess she likes it. She's sitting by the fireplace reading it right now.

I had to throw Steven out of the house. He's been asking for it for a couple days now. Just sits in the kitchen and doesn't do anything all day. Not to mention he's been making nasty comments about Darla. The bastard had the nerve to accuse me of drinking all the tea and not making any more. He's sitting out in the front yard sulking right now. Let him.

John and Mitsy are suppose to come over tonight for dinner. I'm going to cook some of the deer steaks and baked potatoes too. Kathy suggested stuffing and gravy. So tonight we're going to really eat. John said he was going to bring some scotch for afterwards. We'll probably end up getting shit-faced again.

Having them around is nice. They're a quiet bunch most of the time. Which is ok I suppose.

One other bad thing. I had a bad argument with Mark. I went to see him to talk to him about the voices. I heard Mom again this morning and she was crying.

Mark said, "Man, you're fucking crazy."

I asked him, "When did you become a fucking shrink? Who the hell do you think you are, asshole?"

"Look," he said, "you live alone and hear voices that don't exist."

"Fuck you!" I told him, getting right in his face.

"NO! Fuck you!" he yelled back. "You got dummies in your house right now and talk to 'em like they're fucking real! You got 'em set up all over town!"

"I ain't fucking crazy!" I yelled back at Mark. "Those are my friends you're talking about so you better watch your mouth!"

"You're nuts, Greg!" he yells back. "Face it! You've gone completely over the edge!"

That's when I hit him. I hit him so hard he fell over his coffee table and his head fell off. I helped him into his favorite chair and put his head back on. I sat there and apologized for several minutes but he just sat there. I could tell he was really pissed off. I'll take him some steak and stuffing tomorrow. Maybe he won't be as angry.

Spring 2000

I forgot what day it is. This is one of my clearer moments. It just dawned on me that I have lost my mind.

It happened when I was talking to Kathy. No. That isn't right. I was talking to a dummy I named Kathy. I've been piling books around her to read. I was asking her how her current one was going and she didn't answer. I figured she was really absorbed into it. So I got up to go to the kitchen and stubbed my toe on the coffee table. I hit it so hard it split the nail down to the skin. It brought tears to my eyes.

That's when I looked up and saw a mannequin sitting in my living room. And the past few months came flooding back in a rush.

I've lost it. I've been living in a fantasy world and didn't even notice. That, or I just ignored reality.

Even now, it's hard to separate what's real and what's not. I have this incredible urge to go over to Mark's house and tell him there's a dummy in my living room. Except he's one too. I think. No. I'm sure of it. Well, almost sure.

I've been slipping in and out all day. I'd stop and talk to someone (?) and it would suddenly hit me that I wasn't talking to anyone.

Damn... I can hear David now. Asking me if I want to go down to the video store and get a couple of movies.


Or is he? Maybe they're all real and I only think they're mannequins. I can't tell any more.

I got to find out for sure. I swear Darla is asking me what I'm going to make for dinner tonight. Is she really? Or am I just imagining it?

Damn... She wants chicken. Too bad. She's gonna have to deal with whatever I decide to make.

Mid summer (June??)

This is my last entry. I can't take this any more. I had to prove to myself once and for all what was real and what wasn't. It was hard to do at first. I took my shotgun into the living room and pointed it at Kathy. She didn't even look up from her damn book. I yelled her name three or four times and all she said was "What?" I think anyway.

So I pulled the trigger. Her head exploded. No blood or gore. Just sawdust and fiberglass. I turned and shot Darla in the chest. She just fell over with a dull thud on the carpet. She just lay there with an arm in the air.

So I went and shot everyone I saw. No one came to stop me. No one ran. I shot people until I had one shell left. Then I came back home.

Oh, God! Please forgive me for killing them!

No... they weren't real... were they??? damn....

i got one shell left. only one thing left to do.....

if anyone is reading this i just have one thing to say



Spam (spam) n. A trademark for spiced pork products. [SP(ICED) (H)AM.]

--The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1976 Ed.)


[Prev | Next]

[to Volume II]

by Flying Rat's Nostril


This is the tale of mighty King Bubba and his not-quite-so-mighty-but-certainly-hard-working knights of the not-quite-round,-sort-of-off-center-circle-without-being-ellipsoid-coffee-table. You will hear (well, actually you'll read about them, unless, of course, this is being read aloud) about how he: became king, bought the not-quite-round,-sort-of-off-center-circle-with-out-being-ellipsoid-coffee-table at the great yard sale of Nagi Nagi, how he gathered his many knights to fill the director chairs surrounding said table, how they defeated the great cheese monster of Ugh, and how, at age 36 1/2, he finally learned to tie his laces. This being the tale of his early life and reign, will end just before that fabled quest that brought about his untimely (actually, it was very convenient) death. That will be told (written, really) in a later edition. Namely:

7 Tales of Spam Volume IV:
King Bubba and the Knights of the Not-Quite-
Part II
The Quest For the Very Holy and Prestigious, Not to Mention
Nifty, Keen, and Swell, Spam.

Chapter I

"The felling of an orangutan tree"

It was a peaceful day in Spamshire, the Westwood was full of those noises that forests are usually full of. Squirrels chirped, birds sang, trees just stood there coldly, abstaining from such pointless things, and, with a curse, Pan tripped over another tree root, once again firmly embedding his pipes up his nose.

The noisy silence of the forest was shattered by a solid thunk from deep in the woods. On a side note, it is said that many innocent bystanders, who had come to the forest collecting berries, were killed by falling pieces of silence. The thunk that had broken the silence was repeated, this time followed by several fearful hoots and screams. The thunk was repeated again, it was almost a thump this time, but it was indeed a thunk. And again hoots and screams filled the air. The thunk was the sound of an old wood axe thunking solidly into the trunk of a tree. The axe was held in a hand that was attached to an arm which ended in the shoulder of a young man named Bubba.

Bubba was the apprentice of the great porn-movie director Merlin. Believe it or not, Bubba had been sent to chop wood because he could not keep his eyes on his work. You see, while he did enjoy participating in and drawing the pictures for Merlin's great films, more than anything, Bubba wanted to be a knight.

More accurately, Bubba wanted to carry weapons, not to mention using them, and he saw knighthood as means to that goal.

The axe thunked into the tree again, sending up another chorus of hoots and yells. By now, you must be wondering what is making all that noise. If you're not, you obviously spent way too much time watching cats.

It seems, that the tree that Bubba chose to chop down happened to be an orangutan tree. What, you may be asking, is an orangutan tree? Cob Webster's Dictionary describes an orangutan tree as: "A tree from which orangutans grow."

The orangutans were in full bloom and growing nicely. Their green fur was the only indication that they were not ripe. On normal conditions, a ripe orangutan is a quite fearsome creature. I once saw an Antarctic orangutan wrestling an 80 lbs. squid for the body of an Amazonian tiger beetle.

These orangutans, being not ripe, still lacked a backbone, which grows only after the vegetable has fallen.

As terrified as they were, food is never very far from their minds. You may think this fact is totally irrelevant to the story, but it was included in order to explain a following statement.

One of the green monkeys snatched up a bit of chaos and swallowed it in one bite. It managed one, "Urmph!" before it exploded, showering the area with frog bodies. This set off a chain reaction of complicated and confusing events. You may wish to read the next sentences twice. The exploding orangutan did so loudly startling Bubba, he began to scratch his head but decided that this might not be a good idea while he was holding the axe, so he dropped it. The axe fell from his open hand and landed on his toe, not only crushing it, but making a horrible squishing noise as it did so. Bubba cursed and jumped up on one foot, thinking he might be safer this way. He was wrong. He lost his balance and fell against the tree; this was too much stress damaged tree trunk to take. With one (actually several at once) last scream from the orangutans, both he, the tree, and its orangutan passengers crashed to the ground.

Chapter II

"The makings of a squid . . . er, king"

It was about this time that snatches of a horribly butchered song came drifting through the forest. The original version of this song is actually quite melodious and is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

That description could not be applied to the version that was heard this day. If you were to record the sound of two cars, both traveling approximately 50 mph, in a head on collision, raise the recording by one octave and play it at 1/10 the speed, it would sound nothing like the song. Really there are very few things that sound like a two car collision.

There are no words to describe the horror of that song. Words such as: evil, twisted, sick, gross, macabre, and politician don't even come close to describing it. If you took all of these words and combined them, getting Geltfaux, you would be getting close. Actually, you could have Geltfaux^2 or even Geltfaux^3, getting even closer. The best way to describe it would be: Geltfaux .87150 x 10^4, yet even that has a margin of error. The perpetrators of that horrible blight on humanity turned out to be four youths. Four stupid youths. Four drunken, stupid youths. It is hypothesized that if these youths had not been so drunk and so stupid, either the song would never have been sung, or if it had, the perpetrators would never have survived. Since they were, after all, at ground zero.

Presently, they came upon Bubba, who was still sprawled on the ground surrounded by green, hooting, orangutans.

"Hey, Bubba!" called one of the stupid, drunken youths, "ya hear the great noose?!" Bubba didn't bother answering, for at that moment the stupid, drunken youth who had spoken suddenly flopped onto the ground and died.

Another one of the stupid, drunken youths promptly sat down on the body, "No stupid!" he said, kicking the body, "it's not good noose, its bad noose!"

"What is it?" asked Bubba jumping up, and landing on one of the orangutans, not only killing it, but also dooming the world to the horrible fate of Glooth (don't worry I'll explain in a later story).

"The king is dead!" they shouted gleefully and in unison (even the dead one joined in). The three stupid, drunken youths burst into another verse of their Geltfaux .87150 x 10^4 song. Bubba was not a very bright man, but not only was he much smarter than the three youths, he was also very painfully sober.

He screamed and dropped to the ground, twitching. The three stupid, drunken youths sensed Bubba's distress and stopped singing.

"C'mon Bubba," said the dead, drunken, stupid youth, "come with us, we're going to vote for the new king."

Bubba glanced around, he looked at the fallen orangutan tree, at the three stupid, drunken youths, and finally at the poor orangutans, all of which were dead except for one, who was having a brisk conversation with Richard Nixon.

"Sure," he said, wiping the blood from his nose and ears, "why not?!"

Now you must understand that Spamshire is a very different than its neighboring countries. There are many differences, but only one of these should effect you. Unless, of course, you happened to be a giant sloth.

The main difference, but not the strangest, is that the people of Spamshire voted for their kings. This has gotten them into trouble a number of times. I will explain shortly.

Many hours and many casualties later, due to that Geltfaux^4 song, Bubba and the three drunken, stupid, youths arrived at the voting office.

The main clerk was out of the office, doing that thing with the sloths, leaving only an inflatable copy of himself.

"Excuse me sir, but I would like to vote," said Bubba.

The clerk looked at him blankly.

"Hello? Are you listening to me?!"

The clerk did not respond.

"Hey, you! I have a Lorg given right to vote, and I intend to exercise it!"

The clerk calmly took this tirade, but still did not respond.

It was at this precise moment that, in Newark, a pigeon died (thus dooming the world to a horrible fate).

It was also at this precise moment that one of the stupid, drunken youths burst into song. One of his companions, who had become sober over the few minutes, realized that he had been singing that song for the past three days and died screaming.

The inflatable dummy, who was inanimate and therefore did not have the option of going insane or getting drunk, calmly deflated itself.

Bubba and the remaining stupid, drunken youths saw that the clerk was going to take a nap, and so took it upon themselves to take a couple of voting tickets.

Well, believe it or not, I was wrong. There is another custom of Spamshire that concerns you, even if you aren't a giant sloth.

The people of Spamshire have the nasty habit of naming stupid people Bubba. Suffice it to say that all four of the stupid, drunken youths responsible for that Lorg damned song, were named Bubba.

It is also a well known fact that many stupid people have the nasty habit of writing their names in on the ballot when they don't know any of the candidates. The Bubba's of Spamshire were no exception, so all over the kingdom people were writing Bubba in on the ballot.

Now, as I said earlier, Bubba was not a very bright man. He was, however, much smarter than the average Bubba. While he did still write his own name in on the ballot, he also included his address. He thought that if someone was going to get his vote, even if it was himself, people had a right to know where to find this person. Did I mention that a majority of the Spamshire population had an I.Q. lower than a gopher's basement? Well they did.

And so it was, that in the year of our Spam, 1058, Bubba was named king. This was good for Bubba, because now he could behead people.

Historians note that the number of executions tripled in Bubba's reign. It is also said that the general populace did not seem to mind, because he only executed members of law enforcement. Indeed, this did not stop until the police chief of Spamshire (the only law enforcement agent left) arrested himself and threw himself in jail.

Unfortunately, there were no longer any guards and so he promptly escaped.

Chapter III

"The great yard sale of Nagi Nagi"

It is said that there are five great events in our past. The slaying of Spam, the bringing of Spam to man, the great yard sale of Nagi Nagi, one event I must keep secret for a future issue, and of course the horrible calamity of Glooth.

There were only three times in history that the great yard sale of Nagi Nagi existed. One of these times was shortly after Bubba had been cora . . . coran . . . made king.

Bubba arrived at the sale on its third and final day of business. Apparently, the former king had had a fetish of eating off the floor, and so did not have a dining table. Bubba had used up all of his yearly budget on a shiny, new, Spam encrusted guillotine. He first tried to use his "mad" money to buy one, but he didn't have enough. He then dipped into his "stupid" money, but he still did not have enough. He only had enough when he combined his "mad", his "stupid", and his "worthless drunk" money.

He arrived at the sale accompanied only by Merlin, who he had made his advisor, and a young page.

Right as they walked past the big banner declaring the event, a sales representative of undetermined age approached.

"Greetings my king! I am Hor . . . er, Cormel and I will be your sales rep. today!"

"Hello I am Bubba, and I will . . . "

"NO! Stop!" screamed Cormel, "do not say that! I hate that! I hate it! I hate it! I hate it!"

"Oh . . . er," replied Bubba.

Cormel wiped the foam from his mouth and smiled, "Please forgive me sir, you must realize that I am under a large amount of stress."

Bubba looked up, above Cormel's head, but saw nothing. "Er . . . um," he said.

"How can I help you sir?" asked Cormel.

"I am looking for a dining table, a round one," responded Bubba.

Cormel raised one of his thirteen eyebrows, "I'm sorry sir, but we have no bananas today."

"Er . . . Well, that's nice, but I asked about dining tables," said Bubba.

Cormel's face attempted to look sorrowful, but could only pull off disgruntled, "My deepest apologies sir, but we have no bananas. Would you like an apple? We have some very nice apples."

Suddenly, Bubba had an idea. "How about a banana? I would like to buy a banana."

A relieved look crossed Cormel's face, "Oh yes! We have some very nice tables!"

They followed Cormel through a maze of carpet walls, into and through a maze of fiberglass walls and finally through a maze of jars of squid jelly.

They came upon a large open space obviously designed to contain tables. There was only one table left.

Cormel's face fell, "Oh dear," he said picking his face up off the ground, "it appears we only have one Hubble space telescope left!"

"Well, let's take a look at that banana!" said Bubba, clapping his hands together.

"Of course, sir. As you wish, sir."

There was something wrong with the table. There was something off about it. It was round. . . . Well, sort of. It was round in an off center way, as if someone had held the center in place and had moved the sides. It was almost elliptical, and yet it wasn't. Just looking at it twisted your vision.

Bubba's page suddenly screamed and passed out, his mind broken under the strain.

Bubba and Merlin were both uneffected. They had both seen stranger things in some of Merlin's films. Specifically the "Things you shouldn't do in public" series. The most noted of which was "Things you shouldn't do in public part IV: Giant Sloths."

"I'll take it!" said Bubba.

"Take what?" asked Cormel.

"The banana, of course, I want to buy it!" responded Bubba.

"Banana?" said Cormel with a hint of a smile, "We have no bananas today."

"What?! Then what do you call?!" he screamed pointing at the table.

"I call that a coffee table, sir," Cormel responded calmly.

Bubba drew his sword and charged at Cormel. At the precise moment that he would have stabbed Cormel in the throat, Bubba slipped on a banana peel. His sword flew from his hand and sailed over the great yard sale of Nagi Nagi, landing in a field of flowers. The sword killed a grub that if it had been eaten, would have saved the life of a starving bird. If that bird had lived, it would have reproduced. One of its grandchildren would have been hit by a car and jammed up into the engine. The body of the bird would have clogged up the engine and the car would have stopped, just short of running over an opossum. If that possum had lived it could have prevented the horrible calamity of Glooth. Oh well.

Cormel helped Bubba to his feet, apparently not noticing that he was almost run through by Bubba's sword.

"Well sir, will you be buying the table?" asked Cormel.

"Yes I will," said Bubba, "How much will it be?"

"The price is 2,000,000 Spam can tabs." Did I mention that they used Spam can tabs for money? No? I didn't? Are you sure? Well, they did.

"What?!" shouted Bubba, outraged, "2,000,000 Spam can tabs for a not- quite-round-sort-of-off-center-circle-without-being-ellipsoid-coffee-table!?!"

"Well, OK, you talked me into it, for you, 19.95 Spam can tabs plus shipping and handling."

Chapter IV

"The story of the Knight Frog-tongue"

It is said that in all, King Bubba had over one hundred knights sit at his not-quite-round-sort-of-off-center-circle-without-being-ellipsoid-coffee- table. However, due to a breach in a union contract, only eight remained there. Those being: Sir Frog-tongue, Sir Spamson, Sir Athlete's Foot, Sir Asparagus, Sir Bladder Control Problem, Sir _____ the brave, Sir Sir, and of course the mighty Sir Bob.

If I were to tell you the tale of each knight, I would be doing a lot of writing. I don't have that much patience. I will only tell you one tale, that of Sir Frog-tongue. He was not the bravest knight (Sir _____ the brave) nor was he the mightiest knight (Sir Bob). He was not the tallest knight (Sir Asparagus) nor was he the knight with the worst rust problem (Sir Bladder Control Problem). In fact, he was the shortest, most cowardly, weakest, short tempered knight Bubba had. He did, however, take very good care of his armor.

You might be wondering why I would choose the most lacking of all Bubba's knights. Well, have you ever heard that saying 'a chain is only as strong as its weakest link'? You have? Cool, isn't it.

It was a bright sunny day. Bubba was in his backyard, watching several servants skin the cucumber (a large flightless bird) that he had just shot. Merlin approached him and bowed formally. "Good day may king. I come bearing news."

"Oh, hi there, Mer. Well, spill yer beans," responded the king cheerfully.

Merlin ignored the king's unwitting insult, "I have finished interviewing the candidates for knighthood."

"Oh, that's great, lin! How many did you accept?"

"For knighthood, seven. For my next film, twenty nine."

"Which film would that be, ler?"

"The Sloth of No-sloth."

"Er . . . "

"Part 15."

"Ah, that's great, Min, but I have a problem."

"A problem, sire?"

"Yes a problem, I have eight chairs and seven knights."

"Yes, I see. Well, what do you propose we do about it?"



"Exactly! What a wonderful idea! We will leave at once!"

Now you might not have been able to understand this exchange.

If not, it is most likely because you don't understand the spoken language of the humming bird. Before he became Merlin's apprentice, Bubba had been raised by a family of birds. He occasionally lapsed into their native language. For your better understanding, I will now translate the previous conversation.

"Hmm mmm. hmmmm hm."


"Hmmm mmhm hmm?"

"Hmmm mm."

"Hmmmmhm. H mmm hhhm?"

"hhhhhm. mhhmmm."

"hmh . . . "

"hmmm mmmmmhhmmm."

"mmmh hmmm hmmmmmm."


"hmmmm hmm mhm?"

"How about a quest to find one, Merlin? Ya know, wander among the people, that kind of thing."

"Cheez Wiz, sire?"

Well you know the rest.

Several months later, Bubba had traveled across Spamshire and just en- tered the land of Guacamole.

Guacamole, is widely thought to be an evil land.

This is not true. The land is very green (but not the green of growing things it was the green of, well . . . guacamole) and mushy and foul-smelling, and nothing wholesome grows on it, but it's not evil.

After wandering for three days in the lands of Guacamole, Bubba came upon the town of Boot-leather-for-brains.

The town was a collection of ramshackle buildings that looked like they had been constructed with an erector set. The sole reason they had this appearance was that the building had, in fact, been constructed with an erector set.

Immediately after entering the town, Bubba was grabbed by a large, unwashed mass, and herded to the town square.

The town square, which was actually octagonal, was located at the center of town. For some Lorg-forsaken reason only half of the town had been built on solid ground. The rest of the town, the half they had built over a dip hole, had long since sunk taking all of the towns skilled craftsmen with it. Bubba would never know this, however, for he was not a radish. That is yet another story that you will never hear . . . er, read . . . oh whatever.

All he knew, or rather all he was concerned with at that moment (I mean, you don't expect him to walk around actually forgetting everything he knows, do you?), was that he was being herded by a large, unwashed, smelly, disgruntled mass to a town octagon. The town octo . . . squa . . . town center was dominated by a large platform which in turn was dominated by a throne on which a figure sat. The figure was short of stature and large of cynical expression. He smoothed his hands over his crushed-bug-purple robe and stood.

"We've brought a victim!" shouted the crowd in unison. "Dance! Dance, frog man, dance!" they began to cheer.

"Silence!" shouted the man atop the throne.

"I am Frog-tongue! Last of the immortal frog dancers! I demand respect!"

Bubba was stunned. The last immortal frog dancer! He would make a great knight!

Bubba cautiously climbed up onto the platform.

"Greetings sir, I am Bubba, king of Spamshire. I have a proposition for you." Frog-tongue was busy throttling a small child. Consequentially, he wasn't listening.

"You seem a fair and just 'man' -- " he continued.

"What do you want?!" Frog-tongue asked dropping the child.

"To make you a knight," responded Bubba.

"Why would I want to be a knight?"

Bubba glanced around.

"OK, that's one reason. What else?"

"Well, let me tell you what we knights do." Bubba thought about it.

"hmmm," he said unintentionally lapsing into his native tongue.

"Basically," he said finally, "we sit around and drink a lot."

"That's all?"

"Well, occasionally we kill people."

"Oh, really?"

"Yes, really."

"Who do we kill?"

"Oh, anybody I suppose."

"So I could kill anybody I wanted?"

"Well, I might have to restrict that. I mean, I can't have you running around killing all the help. Who would bring me my wine?"

"Oh, that's disappointing."

"Don't worry too much. There are plenty of peasants lying around. Nobody would miss them."

And so it was that Frog-tongue became the eighth knight of the not-quite- round-sort-of-off-center-circle-without-being-ellipsoid-coffee-table.


Normally, I would use this part of the story to do a follow-up of the main characters. However, seeing that I have the entire next story to do just that, I will use my following words to explain some things that I promised to tell, but didn't.

First of all, the great cheese monster of Ugh, one of the many things that Spamshire (other than what they did with sloths) was famous for was their extraordinary cheese-making skill.

One day Lester (the cheese molester, as he was known to the neighborhood kids) the greatest cheese maker in all of Spamshire made a batch of Limburger cheese. As he was checking on the cheese, he caught a good whiff of it.

"Ugh, but that is a monster of a cheese!" he said, commenting on the smell. Well, the editor of the local capitalist newspaper overheard this and thought to himself, "Hmmm, I've got an idea."

On a side note: you ever wonder why they say 'thought to himself'? I mean, who else would he think to? His neighbor? Well I suppose if he happened to be telepathic then it might be possible, but what purpose would it serve? Wouldn't it be easier to just tell them? Of course, none of this is relevant. Since he wasn't telepathic and he wasn't thinking to anybody else. As it happened, the editor need an article for his front page. Now I said that this was a capitalist newspaper and so he was preoccupied selling a lot of newspapers. The fact that Limburger cheese smells is not new, unless you lack a pinky nail. However, a story about the great cheese monster of Ugh is a great story. When it reached Bubba that the great cheese monster of Ugh was residing in his favorite cheese factory, he was fairly upset. He promptly dispatched Sir Asparagus, his least favorite knight, to slay the monster. It is needless to say that Sir Asparagus was fairly irked when he found that there was no monster. I mean, not only did he have to ride all day to get there but he also had a nasty (and I mean nasty!) ingrown toenail. He satisfied himself by killing the cheese maker, his wife, kids, and dog, and making up a grand story about his glory and skill. You know the truth. Lucky you.

Finally, how King Bubba (at age 36 1/2) learned how to tie his shoe laces. Actually, I lied, he never learned how to tie his laces. He paid small, deformed children to do that kind of thing for him. Some (but not many) believe that if he had tied his own laces he could have prevented his own death and in doing so, prevented the horrible calamity of Glooth.

[Volume IV]


"Did he ever tell you he hates generals more than watered down gin and ear aches put together?"

"Yeah, so do I. I never met one who was worth his weight in Spam."

--overheard on an old episode of M*A*S*H


[Prev | Footer]

by Dark Crystal Sphere Floating Between Two Universes

"And in between the moon and you
the angels get a better view
of the crumbling difference
between wrong and right."

--Adam Duritz (of Counting Crows), "Round Here"

"Love is the Law," as Crowley wrote, and ignorance of the Law is no excuse. He never should have gone after her, not when I Loved her. I tried to warn him, as best I could, and so what transpired cannot be considered my fault. And I know the Truth. He couldn't really have Loved her as I do, for how can the Law stand when it is so divided? I saw through that window the eye and saw his Soul and the Truth. No tear clouded his eye when he spoke of her, and as Byron wrote,

When Friendship or Love our sympathies move,
When Truth in a glance should appear,
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a Tear.

Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation or fear;
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soul-telling eye
Is dimmed for a time with a Tear. . . .

He never could have felt that which he said. He always made a joke of the Love he supposedly felt, and that joke to hide a mockery, and that mockery a lie. I saw that, why couldn't she? If she had this dark thing could have been avoided.

But I was right, wasn't I? Of course I was, and when the graves are thrown open the Four Living Creatures will testify on my behalf, and when Anubis weighs our hearts we shall see the Truth.

I was merely an instrument of the Law and the Truth, I feel no guilt; I have nothing to feel guilty for. And when I talked to the Oracle of it, the Oracle felt the same way. The Oracle told the Will of God, and I answered.

I met him in the alleyway that night as he returned from work, and he bade me follow him. We climbed the stairs to his flat and I could have done the work then, but I knew he must know the verdict and the reason for it. He poured gin and sherry and talked of meaningless things and meaningless events. He was elated, for this was the eve of what was to be their marriage, and I had not the heart to tell him just then that all of what he hoped and all that he dreamed would never come to pass; could never come to pass. Oh, he and she would live in a beautiful home! How gorgeous her dress would look! And how great it would be surrounded by friends with me as best man! At this last I felt the greatest pang of grief, and I sorrowfully passed onto him the verdict. But I Loved her Soul, so tell him I did. He tried to protest, but I knew I could not be swayed from the Truth. And I got to him before he got to the revolver in his desk.

If only he hadn't fought; that would have made it much less painful for him and much easier for me. He fought, but I had Love, and hence the Law, on my side. I brought down his head again and again on the hardwood floor, until his Blood -- his Life -- spilled over his study floor. Finally his head gave like a melon, or rather like the Jack o' Lanterns we used to smash on the doorsteps of the avaricious those Hallowe'ens when we were still Innocent (or as Innocent as a child can be in these dark days!), and my job was done. I remembered the gloves and extra clothes, just as the Oracle told me, so the red stuff posed no problem, and after leisurely destroying the evidence I was still out by two, with plenty of time for sleep before what would have been his wedding.

While looking into the mirror early that morning I noticed what both I and the Oracle had overlooked. (But the Oracle overlooks nothing, so it must have been merely my failing.) I had not thought of those windows to the Soul, my eyes, through which my deed shone like a beacon. Fortunately, despite my night-outing, I woke early, and had time to rush to a spectacles shop in the East End. I can't imagine why I was not stopped and questioned by every-one I passed that day! I felt as though every eye was boring into mine as I hurried through the underground tunnels and along the littered slum streets, but I was not noticed! The proprietor at the glazier's surely saw my secret, as his dark eyes looked into mine, with their piercing gaze, but I paid him more than even his inflated price, and he asked no questions. In this part of the slums he must see even foul murder in the eyes of others, and a mere enforcement of the Law went unnoticed.

At what would have been their wedding, no-one knew what to do in his absence. At first, after it was beyond doubt that he was not simply running a few minutes behind, everyone assumed it was simply one of his 'jokes', and all carried on with their socialising, especially taking up the favourite role of teasing the best man about his new 'look'. But I put off their questions with the fact that my eyes had always been more susceptible than most to light, and that my doctor had suggested this as the best solution, so none suspected the Truth. At the toll of the first hour people began to worry, and after the second a party was formed of some of the more sober of his friends to go escort him to the wedding. I was to go with this group, but I fended off her desire to go, and thus saved her from the sight waiting at his flat.

When we entered his rooms, I let them find his body in the study, neatly laid out as I had left it. The others knew I had always been gentle, or so they believed, so I fortunately did not have to pass by the body again, and avoided the possibility of his wounds bleeding again as I passed. The police were easy enough to deal with, for they were not officers of the True Law, and mere human laws did not apply in this case. And I was clever! I broke open his safe that night, and they assumed is was a fouled burglary, the fools! If they were only more seeing, what secrets they might have found! But the Truth was with me, and I feared nothing, for I knew the Truth would stand behind me.

At the closed-casket funeral (the undertaker was not skilled enough in his art to repair the damage done to his head) I gave the oration, and what I said was indeed True. The tears which rolled down from behind my mirrored glasses were real, for he was a good man and I did Love him, and I bore no malice against him when I did what I did. And yet, I know he forgave what I did to him.

Within three years of his death I had quietly worked my way into her heart, and within four we were married. I saw the Truth in her eyes the day we made our vows, as I know she saw the Truth in mine (I had perilously removed my glasses for this holy of ceremonies), as we both had eyes 'dimmed for a time with a Tear.' Before her alone can I now remove these blasted spectacles, for I know that any others, including my children, are sure to see what went into our affair. But it was for her that I did my deed, and I know that she can bear no malice against me, even if she sees my deed in my eyes. But sometimes, as I look into my children's eyes as the sunlight sparkles within them and their Innocence shines out, I catch a glimpse of what they are the product of, and the entire history of my wife's and my story are contained in the screen of their eyes, for they are the living embodiment of the Law and what I did to uphold it. And yet, if they have glimpsed the Truth, they do not show any sign of it, for though that dark deed is forever ingrained in their Souls, they are ignorant of it. If I have one regret for what has been done it is what I have done to the children, for I have stained their purity with my guilt!

But I have her now, and she has me, and we have Love and thus the Law, and mere human laws cannot bind us. Our Souls and our Love rise above such human conventions. I know that wherever he must be he knows the Truth and holds no malice towards me, and that she and I were meant to be with each other. But damn it, when she speaks of him she speaks with a tear!


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