Monday, December 28, 2009

Back in the saddle! The tattered remnant of my NaNovel

Just so that NaNoWriMo was not a complete and utter failure, I have scavenged some usable material for a short story just in time for the Piker Press "Time Travel" issue. I have submitted, but not yet had accepted the following much abridged version of Schrodinger's Mother-In-Law's Cat.


Tonight. He would do the cat tonight. And by Monday, he would be free.

He never liked the cat in the first place. He came with Marla’s mother when she came to help out with the pregnancy. Then, along with Edna, the cat never left. Made itself at home in his own house. Helped itself to water from his toilet if its own dish was empty. Helped itself to leftovers on the counter or table if they didn’t get put away quick enough. Relieved itself on the bathmat in his bathroom if the litter box did not get changed each and every morning. Scratched on the door when it wanted to come in. Scratched until it had worn the paint off the door and shredded the weather stripping. Scratched even though it was three in the morning and continued scratching even though nobody else in the house seemed able to hear it. Scratched until Will got out of bed and staggered downstairs to open the door.

But no more. The cat was going to die. A long, anguished and painful death. The way Will had suffered long pain and anguish since Edna brought him into the house.

In the darkness of an old tool box in the garage, Will had placed a dish of antifreeze. He had studied up on the effects of antifreeze poisoning. Intoxication, diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, and finally death. It wasn’t quick, but it was painful. Perfect for that damn cat.

It was easy enough to lure the cat into the garage. It was a sucker for raw chicken. More than once Will had asked Marla not to feed the cat chicken scraps as she was chopping it up for dinner, but she continued anyway. Now Will was grateful that she had trained the cat so well. He dangled the moist pink meat in his fingers and walked slowly backwards into the garage. The cat followed tentatively. It had to know how much Will hated it. He rarely allowed it to be in the same room with him, was usually chased out with a vicious kick if there were no witnesses. If there were witnesses, he would simply snarl and hiss at it and slap at it with his hand until it ran from the room. He took a lot of static for even that, but everyone knew exactly how he felt about that cat. Well, they had an idea how he felt. They just had no idea how utterly deep his hatred ran.

The cat was sitting next to the box now, and looking suspicious. Will decided that it would not jump into the box itself, so he brought the bit of meat closer and closer to the cat’s reaching claws even as he reached his other hand towards the scruff of its neck. The cat’s eyes darted back and forth from the tantalizing treat and the empty hand moving closer and closer. Will monitored its attention carefully, not wanting to break the spell of the raw meat. Then, he sprung the trap.

His empty hand flashed downwards and grabbed a handful of skin and fur. He only had to lift it up a foot and drop it in the box, but even so as he did the cat managed to get its claws into his arm. They opened up several long gashes in parallel lines up his forearm which were deep enough that blood immediately began dripping from them. Even so, Will persisted. He dropped the cat in the box with one hand and slammed the lid closed with the other. It was a heavy metal tool box, something he had inherited from his father, and which had been in his family for years. It had a worn radioactivity symbol and writing in some foreign language on the side that looked German to Will. Most important to Will, it had a heavy hasp on the lid and a large padlock chained to it. He worried for a moment as he listened to the cat struggle and snarl inside the box about whether it would spill the dish of antifreeze. Then he decided it didn’t matter. Even if it did spill the antifreeze and get it all over, it would eventually lick the sweet liquid off its fur coat and ingest the poison. At least he hoped so. He had at least seventy-two hours for something like that to happen.

After a few moments, the clamor inside the box quieted. Will imagined the cat’s evil green eyes shining in the darkness, waiting for him to re-open the lid so that it could renew its attack on his arm. He grinned with satisfaction as he instead closed the heavy hasp and inserted the padlock. The snick of the lock closing sounded like pure paradise to Will, and he decided to celebrate his weekend of freedom with a drink or six.

Besides his newfound freedom from the cat, he was also free of the rest of his family until late Sunday night. Even though the trip to the amusement park in the next state had been planned for months, Will informed Marla that he had been feeling a bit ill lately (a complete lie) and that wandering around the sun-baked pavement for hours would be intolerable (the complete truth.) She gave him that look that said she was altogether convinced he had something up his sleeve, but all too easily shrugged and conceded that since Edna was coming along she could handle it by herself.

As will sat in his recliner watching some anonymous sporting event on the TV and sipping a rather oversized glass of Captain Morgan and Coke, (more Captain Morgan than Coke, truth be told) he couldn’t keep his mind off the fate of the cat in the box. Had it licked up any of the antifreeze yet? Or was it simply huddled there, too upset to think of either drinking or grooming and waiting for him to open the lid? Was it sick and dying? Or alive and well and building up a serious grudge against him for imprisoning it? As the liquid in his glass went lower and lower, the images his increasingly befuddled mind became stranger and stranger. The cat was immune to antifreeze, and instead was turning into some sort of mutant beast like in a comic book. Any minute now, it would tear through the metal walls of its prison and come seeking revenge.

He also imagined the family arriving home unexpectedly and having to explain the dead or dying animal in his toolbox in the garage. He could see Edna’s face screwing itself up into that gorgon-like expression of rage he had only seen (thankfully!) once or twice since meeting Marla. Now that he thought about it, he realized that one of those times had been when she caught him punting the cat out of his bathroom. She really took abuse of her cat more personally than she would abuse of even her own person. How would she react to his macabre scheme?

He was certain he did not care to find out. To steady his nerves on that point, he picked up the phone and dialed the number for Marla’s cell phone. They had just arrived at the hotel and were still checking in; she didn’t really have time to talk, and the kids were already changing into their swimsuits right there in the lobby so they could go jump in the pool. Will hung the phone up and refilled his Cap’n and Coke, forgetting to add any Coke at all this time. At least he was feeling good on that point. No unexpected returns to worry about for now anyway.

The game dragged on and on, until Will wondered why he was watching it anyway. He started idly flipping through channels, interspersed with swigs of the Cap’n – now straight from the bottle - there was no longer any need to lie to himself and even include Coke in the equation. As he flipped through the channels he thought he caught his own last name, but his reactions being a bit retarded by his friend The Cap'n, he went a few channels past before his hand got the message to stop. He had to carefully go back to find the program in question, but when he did he was more than a little disturbed to find what its subject was. Apparently Einstein had an associate who shared his last name, and that together they had discussed some sort of experiment involving a cat and a locked box. Will tried to follow the extremely technical details of the program, but found his eyes were getting much too heavy to be able to accept input on a topic as foreign to him as quantum mechanics, whatever that meant. He pulled a blanket over himself, allowed the remote to fall to the floor and was soon snoring with the nearly empty bottle of rum tucked securely under his arm.

The screeching noise startled Will from his medicated stupor with a suddenness that set his heart to pounding frantically. The world swam before his eyes, and for a few seconds, he was terrified to think that he was having a heart attack. He pressed his hand to his chest, wondering if it was possible to give oneself CPR. He could feel his heart pumping through his shirt, but as his drunken mind struggled to full consciousness he could feel the rate of his pulse receding and he took a few deep breaths to calm himself down. He looked up at the television and found the source of the screech. The station had gone off the air and was now displaying a multicolored test pattern. He muttered under his breath insults and curses for whatever idiot decided it was a good idea to broadcast such a strident sound in the middle of the night. He hunted around for the remote control, finally finding it well under his recliner and turned the TV off. The sudden silence in the dark house seemed much louder by comparison, and Will shivered with a sudden feeling of foreboding. He was still clutching the bottle of rum, and he polished it off in an attempt to banish the feeling. As he swallowed the last bit of the fiery liquid, he jumped again at what he swore was the sound of a cat meowing.

The sound brought back with unpleasant suddenness the memory of his crime. Was it possible that even if it were still alive that he could hear it all the way in here? The living room was on the far side of the house from the garage, and the heavy steel box should be nearly sound proof. He tipped the bottle up once more, and was highly disappointed to remember that he had just emptied it. He looked at the smiling pirate on the label and cursed him for abandoning him in his time of need. He tossed the empty bottle at the trash can, but missed by a rather large margin. He didn’t bother to pick it up and try again. Instead he staggered into the kitchen to see if there was any more Captain Morgan in the liquor cabinet over the fridge.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t. Fortunately, the Captain’s cousin Jose Cuervo was.

Will hated tequila, but right now he needed something to banish the feeling of dread that seemed to be pouring out of the garage right now. He never thought he would be so remorseful for killing something that needed killing as much as that cat. And yet, he found himself jumping at sounds, and turning suddenly to follow shadows that seemed to dance through the darkened kitchen. After a good long pull from the bottle of tequila, Will walked around the house turning on every light. It must just be the darkness and emptiness of a home so normally filled with noise and life. When he finished, he turned the TV back on and found an old cheesy sitcom with a particularly loud and obnoxious laughtrack to banish the silence and emptiness of the house.

And yet, the dread remained.

Finally, Will decided that it was time to face the cat. Checking the clock on the microwave he saw that it had been nearly six hours ago that he had shut the cat in the box. Not nearly enough time for the poison to have done its work, but it should be enough that he could see evidence of sickness. He shouldn’t even need to open the box – he could shake it and see if the cat made any noise inside. If it sounded healthy, he might even decide to abandon the whole enterprise and take the cat to the shelter tomorrow. He could concoct a story of a stray dog, or a speeding driver, or something. Anything would be better than the horrible feeling he was practically swimming through right now.

The garage light came on weakly. The newfangled compact fluorescent bulbs always took a minute to come up to full brightness, and he hated the sickly light they gave until then. He went down the few steps into the garage, and walked across the floor. The smell of the litter box assaulted his nostrils, and gave him just a small bit of encouragement. If the cat was dead, he could get rid of that horrible thing and not have to smell it every time he came out here anymore. The box sat right where he left it, although it looked somehow... different. He took another long pull from the tequila bottle, hoping it would help his eyes to focus better in the dim light. (Or, better yet, make them not focus at all?) The box on the floor sat there stolidly, though Will was sure the radiation symbol painted on the side looked somehow... different. More there perhaps? Less worn, less touched by age.

That was it! The box looked as if it had been gone over with a polishing rag. Gone were the grease smudges and dents and dings that it had acquired over the years as Will, his father, his grandfather, and who knows who else had carted it around to various repair jobs. It fairly shone in the dim light, the only think still looking as he remembered it being the padlock.

That feeling of disquiet suddenly returned with a vengeance, and Will found himself scrabbling madly at the top of the tequila bottle as his panicked brain demanded more anesthetic to ward it off. When he finished another good long pull of the bitter liquid, Will felt a bit light-headed and decided he had better sit down before his friend Jose showed him to his seat unwillingly. He managed to drag out a dusty camp chair and get it unfolded before he collapsed into it, facing the box.

He sat and stared at it for a while, his alcohol-soaked mind running through the possible explanations for the apparent refurbishment of his tool-box. It didn't get very far. He decided to consult Jose again. He was no help either. Will decided to get closer. Not being too confident in his ability to walk, he slid the camp chair closer. He was now sitting close enough to reach out and touch the box, but the waves of dread he felt pouring off of the newly shiny surface were now almost tangible. He stared at it for a few moments, mesmerized by the way the light played off of the shiny surface. The writing on the side was clear and easy to see, and something told Will that it was not German, but Austrian. How he knew that, he had no idea, but at the same time he got the idea that he could also read it. He snorted laughter as that idea staggered through his mind, and shaking his head sent another shot of tequila after it.

The laughter seemed to somehow break the spell of doom and gloom that the box had seemed to have been casting over him. He decided he was being stupid, and that he was letting his inebriated imagination wander much too far and wide tonight. What was there to be afraid of? It was just a stupid old box, and inside was just a stupid old cat that was probably retching itself to death about now. Will decided that the time had come to stop being a baby. After a quick swig of liquid courage, he reached out a hand and grabbed the handle on top of the box.

He flinched as his skin made contact with the metal. It was hot, and seemed to be vibrating slightly as if a weak electrical current were running through it. Will almost snatched his hand back, but then, feeling a bit foolish he hardened his resolve and kept it there. The metal was definitely hot, though not enough to burn the skin. And the odd vibration could not be dismissed as imagination. Something odd was definitely happening, though he could not quite wrap his mind around what it might be. Remembering his purpose in coming out to the garage, he steeled himself (and ensured that his feet were, in fact, firmly planted on the floor...) and strained back on the handle.

Will had fully intended only to rock the box back a little, just enough to let it fall back to the garage floor with a thump. Nothing too energetic, just enough to ensure that if the cat were simply sleeping inside it would wake up and make some noise. Hopefully enough to terrorize it and make it snarl or hiss or something loud enough that he could hear it and make a guess as to its status. What happened was something entirely different. When he pulled on the handle, the entire world seemed to slip sideways like a car on an icy road slips sideways when the wheels lose traction. Bracing his feet more firmly against the floor had no effect, as the floor itself was slipping with him. Will felt terror welling up in his throat again, and he dropped the tequila bottle and grabbed at the handle on the box with both hands, as it seemed to be the only solid thing in the universe. Indeed, even the shape and color of everything in the garage, with the exception of the locked box were losing their focus and cohesion and began swirling and slipping into incoherence. Will closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, a scream of terror locked in his paralyzed lungs. His feet suddenly lost contact with the floor, and his butt lost contact with the chair and he seemed to be hanging over a pit with nothing to support him but the handle on the box. The vibration and heat increased until the pain in his hands became unbearable. Will hung on grimly, preferring the searing pain in his hands to the unknown fate awaiting him at the bottom of whatever pit had opened up beneath him. The pain increased in intensity as the vibration became a real electrical shock, eventually becoming so strong that his hands convulsed of their own accord and he lost his hold on the box and slipped backwards into oblivion.

"Is it your son? He looks a bit like you, a bit heavier perhaps..." The voice was heavily accented, sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Only older, weaker, less real.

"I am not sure. He was only a boy when I last saw him." The voice is pleasantly familiar, from a deep crevice of memory locked away in the mists of childhood. His foggy brain screams that he knows that voice, but it is impossible, that person disappeared without a trace, no longer exists.

"Whoever it is, he seems to have recreated the experiment, if in a sloppy and inexact way." The foreign voice again. Will wanted to quote lines from The Terminator to it, but his voice did not yet seem to be functional. Still, the terror were gone and had been replaced by a sense of giddiness. He would have broken out in laughter had he been able to find his voice.

"Well, his mother always distrusted my work, and would most likely have steered him away from those pursuits. I would be surprised if he even knew about you." That voice. Will knew that voice. The face that matched it seemed to be floating just outside his consciousness. Why could he not place it? It seemed as familiar as his own...

"A foolish woman then. I never understood what you saw in her. Yet you were too headstrong..." Will laughed again at an image of The Terminator using a cane to walk, dentures falling out as he told the police officer he would be back.

"Wait... I think he is coming around. He seems to be trying to speak." Indeed, Will felt the tickle of vibration in his voice box, and realized that he was actually making sound. He decided to try and open his eyes and succeeded. The faces of two men coalesced out of the haze. One face, older and sickly. The other finally making the connection with the memory of his voice complete. Amazement, shock, disbelief all competed for space in Will's consciousness, all struggled to leap to the forefront and inform the first words out of his mouth. Hilarity came from behind and won by a mile.

"Are you Sarah Connor?" Will asked the grizzled old face and exploded in hysterical laughter. The faces continued to stare at him with interest, tinged with a bit of worry. He tried to stem the laughter, but only managed to squeak out a badly mangled "It's not a tumor..." before collapsing in full body laughter once again.

"Is it possible to lose your mind in transit?" The familiar voice said again, the worry evident in his voice. The accented voice answered, just as full of disdain: "Of course, anything is possible. An infinite number of possibilities with an infinite number of outcomes. He could have been a raving lunatic before entering the rift, or the transit through space-time may have torn his mind loose from its moorings. Especially considering the clumsy manner in which he set up the experiment." The disgust in the voice served at least to cool Will's hysterics.

"Wait, who are you calling clumsy?" he managed to gasp, then, turning to the familiar face managed to ask the question it presented him: "Are you really my father?"

When Will finally had full control of all his faculties the two men quizzed him unmercifully regarding the circumstances of his arrival. He seemed to be in some sort of scientific laboratory full of various and sundry instruments whose purpose he could not hazard the first guess. His father's assumption had been absolutely correct regarding his mother's suspicion of science. Particularly after the disappearance of her husband as he worked in his lab late one night. She always told her son that his father had died in a construction accident, rather than face the shame that he had deserted her. She never shared with Will the confusion at the door locked from the inside on the laboratory, the security guard who swore that nobody came into or left the lab all night long. All of these things were too painful for a suddenly single mother of three very young boys to face, and so she lied, and stood by her lies to her death bed. Will was the oldest, yet only three years old at the time and so neither he nor his brothers ever thought to question their mother's version of events. Never considered looking for any family on their paternal side, as their mother told them their father had been raised in an orphanage and had no family. Yet here he was, in a lab with a man whom he addressed as father. Will sat on the floor and considered the revelations he had just received. Not only was his father still alive, but so was his grandfather, and they were together.

"So, if you are my father, why do you look like you are my age? If I had to guess, I might even put you a little bit younger than me." Will looked quizzically at the man his memory shouted was his father, but which his intellect argued against just as strenuously.

"We are no longer connected to the space-time continuum as you know it. We no longer age. We don't get hungry, or thirsty, or sick, or have any physical afflictions at all. Our bodies are effectively in stasis. Time no longer pulls us forward." His grandfather answered, and Will was not comforted by the answer.

"I have no idea what the space-time thingy is, but does this mean I won't get sick or hungry or thirsty again too?" asked Will. The old man nodded, his face becoming even more haggard and old.

"Unfortunately yes, I am afraid you are trapped as I and your father are." Will felt a chill down his spine at the word 'trapped'. He had been considering a lifetime without illness and finding it rather appealing.

"What do you mean trapped? Never getting old, never dying? Isn't that what it's all about?" Will asked, not sure he wanted to hear the answer. The old man gestured hopelessly around the laboratory.

"Trapped, like a cat in a locked box. This is now the entirety of our universe. The door may as well be painted on the wall. It will not open, nor can we penetrate it or the walls. If I was a religious person, I would call this place Purgatory. As a scientist, I simply call it what it is: a rift in space-time created by a foolish experiment that we all seem to have recreated unknowingly." Tears sprang to the cloudy blue eyes, and the old man hid his face in his hands and sobbed. Will looked to his father for something, some refutation of the bleak prognosis and received only a confirming nod of his head.

"It is true. In here there is no passage of time. The clock on the wall mocks us, as does the calendar beneath it. We seem to breathe, but only out of habit. I once tried to commit suicide by covering my face with plastic, but soon realized that it was hopeless."

Will felt panic clawing at his throat for the third time. However, this time he felt a coldness that belied the hopelessness of the situation. He had made a successful career out of cleaning up the messes of others, and this seemed like a situation that called for his special talents.

"Tell me again about the experiment that brought us all here again. I want to be sure I understand." The old man continued sobbing softly into his hands, and Will turned to his father.

"Can you explain it?" His father shrugged.

"It was only to be a thought experiment, a way to explain quantum mechanics and the behavior of atomic particles. He proposed it to Einstein as a ridiculous case only to help understand the way in which the very act of observing quantum particles changed their behavior. It was only later in life that he began to understand that it may actually have a real world application - that the act of confining a conscious entity in an enclosed space with an uncertain and random means of death might be enough to affect the space-time continuum. He decided to try it, but not with a cat. He tried it on himself."

Will looked over at the frail old man who was no longer sobbing, but listening intently to the conversation. The old man nodded and continued.

"I was dying of tuberculosis anyway - the doctors had informed me that I had only months to live. I decided that I had nothing to lose. I said farewell to my family and friends and created my experiment with me as the cat and my lab as the box. I was only locked in for a couple of hours before the particle detector was triggered and the vial was broken." He gestured towards an odd-looking device on the counter. The hammer was frozen in the very act of smashing a glass vial filled with a greenish liquid. Shards of glass hung in the air around the hammer, and small streams of green liquid were spraying in all directions away from the cracks in the vial.

"I am not exactly sure what I expected to happen. What happened was that my physical existence was frozen in time, while my mental processes continue as if nothing happened. Then, after an eternity alone, suddenly a man appears in the lab with me. My son, reading over some of my notes has taken it into his foolish head to recreate my experiment and is consigned to the same static rift in space-time." Understanding began to dawn on Will. His father's disappearance while locked in his lab now made perfect sense. He had recreated the conditions of the experiment exactly, and had experienced the same result.

"So how did I end up here? I wasn't performing any experiment, I was just trying to kill an annoying cat." Will watched the faces of his father and grandfather as they puzzled through this question. Finally, his grandfather shrugged his shoulders.

"I suppose that since I created the rift, your father's experiment opened it wider, and you just got close enough that you slipped in." The despair in the old man's voice was evident, and Will felt his temper rising.

"So how do we 'slip' back into it and return to our proper time and place?" He asked, a bit impatiently. His father's eyes narrowed angrily.

"One of the most brilliant thinkers of the modern age, and his son have been puzzling over that for what seems to have been decades in realtime, and we are no closer to a solution than we have ever been. And unless you know something about quantum physics that we don't, I suggest you not act as if you are going to do any better than we have." Will looked from his father's angry face to his grandfather's resigned face and snorted in disgust.

"So I guess we just sit here in purgatory for eternity because you guys are simply too brilliant to see the answer then?" Scorn filled Will's voice as he stood up and strode across the lab while reaching in his pocket.

"What are you doing? What do you mean the answer?" his father's voice suddenly had a tinge of hope in it. Will ignored him and pulled the key from his pocket. The key to the padlock he had used to seal his mother-in-law's cat inside the box he had just spotted in the corner of the lab. As he approached it, he heard very faintly from inside the box that noise that filled his sleepless nights: the tireless claws of a certain black cat on the inside of the steel box.

Will woke up in the recliner, an empty bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey in one hand, and a black cat smelling strongly of antifreeze curled up on his chest. He smiled at the cat and stroked its sticky fur. It purred roughly and pushed its head against the pressure of his hand. In the kitchen, the sound of movement told him that either his father or grandfather was awake and looking for their first breakfast in decades.

Setting the cat gently on the floor beside the recliner, Will Schroedinger, grandson of Erwin and son of Robert went to help.

Schrodiger's mother-in-law's cat followed, hoping for a scrap of something.

© 2010 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved Mother-In-Law's cat followed, hoping for a scrap of something.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Twenty-One Thousand and some odd words... That's it. I could blame it on a crazy, busy month. I could blame it on having five kids. I could blame it on a poorly conceived plot with no advance planning whatsoever.

But in the end, I have to accept the fact that it just wasn't much fun this year. I really really tried to get myself excited about it, but it just didn't happen.

Oh well.

Next year?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can't talk... Noveling...

It's that time again! National Novel Writing Month, the time of year when I can pretend I am a real author working against a ridiculous deadline with an editor who really doesn't care if I am spelling words right, or if they are even words as long as my manuscript is over fifty-thousand words and is done by midnight November 30th.

I don't plan to update this blog much for the next thirty days, unless I manage to write something I am particularly proud of. Or ashamed of. I just might post some of that just to show you how lenient my NaNoEditor really is. Either way, I need to save all the keystrokes I can for my novel.

Meanwhile, here is my Writer's Round Table assignment from last week. It was to write a review of my finished novel. I chose to follow the lead of the RT leader who wrote a negative (scathing really...) review in the voice of a certain troll we had all been feeding recently. I tried to get all of my ideas for the plot in here, but those very ideas are pretty scarce in the first place so the review is quite necessarily vague. No matter. It gets the point across, right?

Here it is:

Schroeder’s Mother-In-Law's Cat – and Tyler Willson’s mess
Review by Richard N. N. Raton

What might have been a very interesting concept has been horribly
mangled by an utter lack of imagination and the disorganized thinking
of a sadly arrogant and sloppy author.

Even the title displays the author's attempt at infantile humor.
Schroeder’s Mother-In-Law's Cat is a ripoff of the famous quantum
physics thought experiment postulated by Austrian physicist Erwin
Schrödinger in 1935. In it, a cat is placed into a sealed box with a
device that may at any random moment, kill the cat. His exercise
postulates that while the box remains sealed and the cat remains
unobserved, that we are faced with a situation in which we must
consider the cat both alive and dead and that two different cats now
exist: one alive and one dead. As soon as the box is opened and we
observe the results of the experiment, the other cat simply ceases to
exist and the one we find in the box becomes the only real cat.

This concept has been extended by others to explain the possibility of
multiple universes. With Schrodinger’s cat, we have two possible
outcomes which will continue to exist in parallel until we open the
box. According to the “Many Worlds” concept, each choice we make
results in one or more boxes which will forever remain unopened as we
can never really know the outcome of any choice but the one we have
made. Due to our inability to observe them, those other outcomes must
then continue to exist inside their sealed boxes. Each possible
outcome therefore becomes another universe in which we have made that
different choice and experienced the corresponding outcome.

Willson takes this fascinating concept and tries to wrap his tiny
intellect around it. Unfortunately, he fails and does so rather
miserably. The result of this failure is a muddled mess of humorless
jokes, inconceivably impossible situations, and confusing subplots.
Not to mention grammar and spelling errors that would make the most
hardened high-school English teacher have an instant conniption fit.
In fact, it is this reviewer's opinion that Mr. Willson has attempted
to purposely commit literary crime with a gleeful sense of willful

The title character is a man named Will Schroeder. His mother-in-law
has a cat which has become the bane of his existence. Will attempts to
kill the cat by locking it in a box with a dish of poisoned food. What
results is described by the title character as a ‘cat’astrophe. (This
is only a sample of one of the very sad attempts at humor in this very
sad collection of attempts at humor.)

I will make no further attempt here to describe the plot, as there is
really not one to describe. I cannot describe any memorable scenes, as
there are not any. Characters? Likewise. As I sit here attempting to
think back and remember this book I am reminded of the uncomfortable
sensation of trying to recall a night of reckless drinking. The
headache it gives me is no less painful and annoying than the hangover
one experiences as a result of too much soju!

The worst part is that I will never get those two hours back. I have
literally sent a bill to Mr. Willson’s agent demanding that I be
reimbursed for the time I spent enduring his confusing and pointless

Some people tell stories that inspire. Others tell stories that
entertain, or frighten, or educate. This particular story confuses,
frustrates, and wastes precious moments of your life. If I could
become the supreme ruler of the universe for but a moment, my first
act as supreme sovereign would be to hunt down and destroy every copy
of this book in existence, and institute a penalty of instant death
for any person guilty of even remembering that it had existed.

It is indeed that bad.

© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Monday, October 19, 2009

Witches in the Piker Press!

My latest story in the Piker Press:

Ready to Die? part one of two.

The "final" version of Assignment: Witches.

Note that the Press now has a place for comments after each article.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Writer's Round Table Assignment

After a brief hiatus, I have once again started participating with some other writers in an informal workshop to improve and inspire our writing. For the last few weeks, the RT leader has been helping us prepare for NaNoWriMo with writing prompts regarding characters, plot summaries and etc... Here is this week's assignment:
Write a passage of 500-1000 words describing the location; the neighborhood, city, state, country, territory, or region in which your work will take place. But write it as though a travel magazine article and try to include some aspect of the plot.

Since I am purposely NOT planning anything for NaNoWriMo this year I simply decided to create an all new setting just for the assignment. I kind of missed the travel magazine mark, but I think it accomplishes the same basic purpose. Enjoy!

Harold was roused from his peaceful slumber by a crackle of static as
the Captain got on the PA system. Harold was surprised to see that the
ship was already sitting on the ground at the destination spaceport
and being taxied towards the terminal by a small insect-looking
contraption. As he sat up and began gathering his things, he listened
to the bored voice of the Captain recite the now familiar speech for
all vessels landing on Philornia-4.

“Attention passengers, this is your Captain speaking. We have arrived
at the Philornia-4 spaceport and will be disembarking shortly, as soon
as we reach the terminal. Passengers making connections to other
planets in this star system please contact the gate attendant
immediately after exiting the spacecraft. We are a bit behind
schedule, and you may need to make some adjustments to your itinerary.
For those whose final destination is this planet, I am required by
the Philornian Tourism and Security Administration to read the
following statement. As you pass through the customs office, you will
receive the same information in pamphlet form, and will be required to
sign a waiver acknowledging receipt of and understanding of this
Welcome to scenic Philornia-4, the crown jewel of the Philornia solar
system! Millions of visitors each year enjoy our pristine beaches, our
permanently sunny weather, and our very robust night-life. The
Philornian Tourism and Security Administration (or PTSA) has the
privelige of ensuring that your stay on our planet is a safe and
enjoyable one.
Therefore, while we are one of the premier tourist destinations in the
universe, there are some things that first-time visitors ought to be
aware of before disembarking.
1. Free medical care is available at the PTSA clinic in each city.
Should you find yourself in need of any medical care, please proceed
immediately to the nearest clinic and identify yourself as a tourist.
If you cannot make it to the clinic yourself, please locate the
nearest sub-space communications console, and dial 911. We will send a
paramedic team to your location as rapidly as possible.
2. The Tourism Zone of Philornia-4 has been certified by the Universal
Tourism Board as safe for a broad range of carbon-based life-forms
without need for any environmental or physical assistance. However,
you should consult the PTSA agent at the spaceport with any species
specific concerns you may have about the oxygen content and pressure
of the atmosphere, or gravitational pull. We are happy to make
whatever accommodations possible, but remember, you are ultimately
responsible to ensure that your species is compatible with our
3. Outside the Tourism Zone, you may encounter unfavorable weather
patterns, wildlife in their natural habitat, or possibly even criminal
elements. For this reason, non-Philornia citizens are strictly
prohibited from straying outside the Tourism Zone. Only those
traveling with a work permit or on official Universal Government
business will be excepted. Penalties for disregarding this restriction
include, but are not limited to: Deportation off-world, detention,
fines, and/or death.
4. The perpetual sunshine experienced throughout the Tourism Zone is
one of the reasons we are the most popular destination in the
Universe. Unfortunately, for some species, extended exposure to the
sun can result in adverse medical conditions. Ensure you are familiar
with your particular species’ reaction to extended sunlight, and take
all necessary protective measures.
Thanks again for visiting us. We hope you have an enjoyable visit. “

The PA system clicked off with an abrupt click and Harold stood with
the rest of the passengers as the cabin door opened and the warm
tropical breeze blew into the cabin, bringing with it the salt-tang of
the oceans and the smoky smell of beach campfires.
Harold furtively checked that his blaster was still in place under his
arm, and putting on his sunglasses he muttered into the audio pickup
that transmitted his voice to Central, “On the ground. Mission is a
Then he shuffled patiently down the aisle and off the spacecraft with
the rest of the passengers.

© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Assignment: Witches (Conclusion)

Finally! I finished it! Now - for the re-writing... Sand - watch your inbox tomorrow. It will be there.

I promise!

Part One
Part Two

Part Three

Sammy slid the van to a stop at the end of the street. They could get no closer, due to a stack of rusty car bodies blocking the street. All seemed quiet for now, but the pall of battle still hung thick in the air over the entire neighborhood. They both sat in their seats for a moment, surveying the scene. Then, Nathaniel turned to Sammy and stuck out his hand.
"Sammy, I am sorry I upset you earlier. No matter what, it's been interesting working with you. I'll see you when we get wherever it is we're going buddy." Sammy looked at his hand incredulously before taking it and shaking it enthusiastically. "And I am telling you, the only place we are going after we turn in all these heads will be The Prancing Pony for a couple dozen brewskis." Nathaniel shook his head, but smiled anyway. "Let's go then." He said, then opened his door and stepped out onto the cracked pavement.
Neither said anything as they picked their way through the wreckage littering the street. Nathaniel pointed his caster at the empty windows of the houses they passed, but Sammy just walked with a determined pace and his trademark grin. Finally, they reached the house in question. Nathaniel double-checked the numbers on a flattened mailbox he found in the middle of the street, but it was painfully obvious that this was the place. The house itself was more or less untouched, the faint green glow around the edges revealing the spells of protection that were still intact. But everything within a hundred yards of the place had been blasted beyond all recognition. Smoking craters were everywhere, and the stump of what was once a large oak tree was burning fitfully. It's smoky flames cast weird shadows that danced fitfully across the yard. Nathaniel motioned with his caster at an upper window of the house where he thought he saw a shape moving and Sammy nodded. Pulling an adjustable frequency anti-magic grenade from his belt he gestured at the window and signaled for Nathaniel to be ready. Nathaniel glanced at the sensor mounted on his wrist and made note of the magical frequency used by the spells protecting the house. He fiddled with the control on his caster for a few seconds, while Sammy did the same with the the grenade. When they were ready, Nathaniel aimed his caster at the window, and Sammy pulled the pin. After a silent three-count Nathaniel triggered a three-spell burst at the window at the same instant that Sammy lobbed the grenade.

Yellow light flashed from the muzzle of the caster and impacted the window with its customary hum and crackle. The spells from the caster disrupted the protective spells for only an instant, but that was long enough for the grenade to crash through the glass and enter the house. Sammy and Nathaniel both dived for cover as the grenade detonated. Hoping their plan worked, but not having time to check the sensor to see, they both jumped up on the porch and ran to the door before the spells could be re-cast. For good measure, Sammy aimed a spell at the door hoping to blast it off its hinges. It worked, and they both followed the disintegrating door into the house. They did their customary tuck and roll, coming up with their blasters at the ready.

But there was nothing but dusty silence inside the house. They crouched for a full minute, scanning the house and waiting for something to appear. Nothing did. The only sound was their labored breathing and the crackling of flames somewhere upstairs.
"Check your sensors Nate." Sammy said. Nathaniel looked at his wrist. The protective spells around the house were gone and no other magical activity was within the range of its ability to detect.
"Clear Sammy... I don't seen anything." Nathaniel said. Sammy grinned and muttered, "Maybe they cleared out before we got here." Nathaniel doubted it. It had taken a lot of magical energy to cast a protective spell over the entire house, and he couldn't come up with a single reason why the witches would do that for an empty house. He shook his head. "Let's clear it room by room. It's too easy to fool the sensor." Sammy shrugged, "You got it boss. Let's start down this hallway." He nodded at the hallway just beyond his position behind a moldy sofa and Nathaniel nodded in agreement. Raising his caster he sprinted across the room and stopped just outside the hall. "Go!" he shouted to Sammy, who sprinted past him and down the hallway and stopped outside the first room. As soon as he was set, Nathaniel sprinted down the hall and took up position on the opposite side of the door. Their eyes met for an instant and they both nodded and Sammy turned and kicked down the door. Nathaniel jumped into the room and rolled right closely followed by Sammy to the left. They rolled to their knees, covering the room but it was empty. They repeated the process until they had cleared all of the rooms on the ground floor. Then, they sprinted up the stairs and began clearing rooms there. As they stood outside the last door catching their breath, Nathaniel nodded at Sammy that he was ready.
"Dude, I'm beat. You kick this one. I ain't sure I got another one in me." Nathaniel rolled his eyes but shrugged his shoulders. It made no difference to him, Sammy was the more muscular of the two so the door-kicking was just generally something he was better at. Turning towards the door he kicked with all his might and was across the threshold before the door hit the wall behind it. But as he tucked into his customary roll he felt a wave of warmth wash over him and felt himself being pushed by an invisible hand across the room. He hit the opposite wall and slumped to the floor, the breath knocked from his lungs. As he lay there on the floor gasping for oxygen, his eyes focused on the ceiling and his blood ran cold. The ceiling was covered with complicated glyphs that he recognized as the runes of power witches believed provided them with additional energy for their embedded magical devices. Then a familiar grinning face came into his vision and the fear changed to a cold anger.
"Sorry Nate-o Potato... but you have no idea how hard it is to get behind you!" Sammy was holding Nathaniel's caster in one hand and his own in the other, and they were both trained on Nathaniel's chest. "I always knew you were paranoid above and beyond the call of duty, but you didn't even trust your partner most of the time!" Nathaniel had finally caught his breath, but his head still felt woozy and numb. "Wha... are you doon?" he managed to gasp, the anger growing stronger as his mind struggled to grasp this turn of events. Sammy's grin widened and he shook his head. "Nope, I don't get to fill you in. I only get to be the one to bring you in." Sweeping one caster towards the open doorway he indicated a dark shape that had appeared there. His voice took on a reverential tone and he bowed his head slightly, "SHE - will have the pleasure of answering your questions..." he turned his head and winked at Nathaniel as if he were telling one of his favorite bawdy jokes, "...before you die."

Nathaniel sat in the chair, his arms restrained at his sides and his feet firmly locked together on the floor. Smoky green tendrils crawling about his arms and legs were the only evidence of the restraining spell the witch had cast on him. She sat cross-legged on the floor in front of him, her face hooded and her hands making intricate patterns with her hands in the air above her head. Her voice wavered hypnotically, and despite his anger and disgust Nathaniel found himself relaxing, his mind filled with pleasant memories and delicious aromas. He pushed against them, trying to recall all of the horrible atrocities committed by witches in the past century since the secrets of their magic had been revealed to the world. The struggle continued in his mind until at last he gasped with the effort and gave in. Beneath the black hood Nathaniel sensed a smile, and having been broken it warmed his heart to see it.
"Now Nathaniel Roman, give me your heart. Tell me your pain, reveal to me your soul." Her voice was soft and tremulous, and Nathaniel felt an overwhelming desire to please her at any cost.
"My mother told me that witches were to blame for all of the trouble in the world... she would stay up late at night braiding ropes from human hair to put around our beds. I never could sleep, I was too worried about being turned into a frog in my sleep." The hooded witch nodded and her sweet voice sounded in his ears, soothing away the tension summoned by the memory. "We have ever been misunderstood, and silly superstitions, instead of providing comfort and safety, only heighten the mystery. Tell me more."
Nathaniel nodded dreamily, and began reciting a disjointed and disorganized history of his life. Memories long banished flickered through his mind; his mothers hands, worked to bloody blisters washing dishes to earn a living; visiting his father's grave every Sunday morning and reciting prayers to ward off evil spirits - and witches. Each and every painful memory was soothed and healed by the witch until his recitation returned to the present. Nathaniel told of the fear and anger he felt when Sammy betrayed him. He showed her the image of Sammy standing over him with his own weapon, and she nodded understandingly.
"Yes, your Sammy had to do a harmful thing love... but he did it for me. And for you." Nathaniel nodded, pleasure washing over him as he allowed her to take the pain of betrayal. "Thank you my love..." he mumbled, a thin string of drool dripping off his chin and onto his shirt.
"You are very welcome Nathaniel. Now, let me tell you what you can do to repay me..."

Two weeks later, Nathaniel stood next to Sammy in full dress uniform. They stood at attention before a vast crowd as a distinguished looking man pinned medals to their lapels. He stepped back, and they both snapped a crisp salute, which the man returned.
"Congratulations men. The United Nations, and the citizens of the world thank you for your dedicated service." He dropped his salute and reached a hand out towards Sammy. The solemn face he had been wearing through the entire ceremony was suddenly replaced with his more normal grin. "Secretary General Gunn, we have something for you as well!" Gunn's face froze, and he tried to withdraw his hand but Sammy held it fast as Nathaniel stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Sir, we come bearing a message from our Mistress, Lady Felula the one you know as Yolanda Rorshack. She wishes us to tell you, that your war against witches is over." Nathaniel placed his other hand in the middle of the Secretary General's chest. He looked down and finally understood when he saw the still healing sutures across the back of Nathaniel's hand. The sutures that were instant and incontrovertible proof that a person had allowed a witch to implant a spell caster inside his or her own body. The sutures that preceeded the side effects of a magical implant that made it so easy to spot a user of such prohibited technology: the green skin and enlarged nose covered with pre-cancerous warts. In the instant it took the Secretary General to finally understand what was happening, and just before his security detail could leap to seperate him from the two witch hunters, Nathaniel looked at Sammy, and grinned, "Well, Sammy, ready to die?"

© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Assignment: Witches (Continued)

Part two of what has turned into another three-part story. I had really hoped to finish it tonight, but at least I am making progress, right? Sorry Sand... I promise you will have it by Saturday. Until then - enjoy!

"See Sammy? How are they gonna send us in on a two-four-niner without any intel huh? You can't tell me that's just a snafu. Someone's got it in for us!" Nathaniel could feel the apprehension rising in his gut as he pondered the ramifications of the call.

"Shut up Nathaniel! Just shut up and get your head in the game, before you get us both kilt!" Sammy yelled, gripping the wheel even harder and staring straight ahead at the road. "How do you know they don't already have a platoon heading that way right now? They ain't gonna..." his voice faded off as he lost the words to express his thoughts.

A Code 249 meant an organized uprising by one or more covens. Not the normal kick down the door and decapitate the witches kind of mission; in these calls, the witches were already on the offensive and organized. And already fighting.

"Ain't gonna what Sammy? Ain't gonna send us into a situation where odds say we ain't gonna win? How much longer can we keep on defying those odds Sammy?" Nathaniel was livid now, not understanding why Sammy refused to see his point.

Suddenly, Sammy slammed the brakes to the floor, and the old van screeched to a halt, the loose witch heads in the back rolling around like soft bowling balls. Throwing the gearshift into neutral he rounded on Nathaniel, his face white and his finger quivering as he shook it in his face.

"You listen here you paranoid retard. We ain't been having nothing but a bad run of luck. Times are tough all over, and the witches are getting pretty tired of being hunted like animals. All of the Paranormal Assault teams are complaining that the work is getting harder and support is getting lighter. I am sick of listening to their whiny, pansy rants, and I ain't gonna sit here and let my own partner start whining like a pissy girl too. Now shut your piehole, recharge your caster, and loosen the grenades in your belt, cause when the shit gets hot I want to know that you are behind me one hundred percent, not standing around pissing your pants cause someone didn't tell you what to expect."

Nathaniel sat back, amazed at the depth of emotion his longtime partner was revealing. In all their years of chasing the rebellious witches he had never expressed anything but unwavering enthusiasm for the job, and an endless litany of stories that Nathaniel knew were ninety percent lies. No matter how crappy the work got, Sammy faced it with a grin and a smart-ass comment.

"All right Sammy, alright! Calm down, don't blow a gasket or anything. I was just wonderin aloud ya know? It just seemed weird to me is all. Don't know why you have to get so worked up over it!" Nathaniel was stunned, and starting to babble incoherently. Sammy's face was inches from his, and Nathaniel could smell the garlic on his breath as he tried to push himself backwards into the passenger door. He scrabbled behind him for the door handle, suddenly wishing to be anywhere but where he was.

Then, just as suddenly as it had started, it was gone. Sammy's face cracked into the familiar grin, and he sat back into the driver's seat and threw the van back in gear. The tires spun on the gravel road as he floored the accelerator and fishtailed back up to speed. "Had you goin' for a minute there didn't I Nato?" Sammy said, looking sideways at Nathaniel as he power slid around a corner. Nathaniel didn't move, still pressed up against his door with one hand on the door handle his brain was struggling to process what had just happened.

The nav box on the dash directed them to turn left at the next intersection, and Sammy yelled back at it joyfully, "You got it Miss Direction! Left turn on Merryweather Lane in one - point - five - miles. Can I have your number Miss Direction? You got the sexiest voice I ever heard from a lump of electronics..." It was an old joke, one which Nathaniel had heard Sammy yell at the box for years. Today for some reason, it rang ominously artificial in his ears. The corner approached, and Sammy threw the old van into yet another power slide which very nearly turned into a rollover when they skidded from the gravel road back onto pavement. The tires skipped across the cracked hardtop a couple of times, the van leaning sickeningly to the right then finally righting itself and with a last quick fishtail accelerated on up the road. Nathaniel was suddenly very aware that he wasn't wearing a seat belt and the thought finally overcame the paralyzing fear. He sat back in his seat and buckled up quickly as Sammy accelerated the van down the road.

"Hey Nato-Potato... I think I have a can of Red-Bull in the glove box, can you check and see for me?" Sammy asked, his voice so matter-of-fact and normal that Nathaniel began to wonder if the tantrum he had just witnessed was simply a figment of his imagination.

"Sure Sammy... just a sec." Nathaniel said, his voice tight and apprehensive. He opened the glove box and sure enough, an energy drink can rolled out and landed on the floor. He reached down and snagged it just before it rolled under the seat, and he held it out towards Sammy.

"Thanks Dude! I could use a pick-me-up just about now." Sammy reached for the can, but at the last second Nathaniel yanked it back. "Maybe you've had enough already Sammy. What's gotten into you all of a sudden?" Nathaniel asked, sure he would see the angry Sammy again. Instead, Sammy grinned even wider, and he looked over at Nathaniel long enough to wink. "Yeah, maybe you should drink it instead. You look like someone just took a dump on your grave! Go ahead, slam it!" Just then, the nav box signalled an upcoming right turn, and Sammy forgot all about the drink and returned to propositioning the lady in the box. Nathaniel watched and listened for a minute, before returning the can to the glove box. Sammy was still driving like a maniac, and was now giving the lady in the nav box a detailed (and mostly untrue) list of his more desirable traits. Nathaniel shook his head and pulled out his caster and started checking its charge, while continuing to watch Sammy out of the corner of one eye.

They saw the battle long before they even got near. A pall of gray smoke mingled with hints of green and yellow floated away on the still evening air. An occasional bolt of magical lightning would light up the smoke cloud as someone loosed a spell at an enemy.
"WooHoo Tater! Looks like a good 'un for sure!" Sammy said as soon as he saw the cloud. Nathaniel could only nod and check his caster one more time. He was still not sure where he stood with Sammy, and was loathe to set him off again right before what looked to be a serious battle. They were now winding through what was once a rather expensive neighborhood, though it was now utterly abandoned and gone to ruin. Most places of wealth and privilege had gone this way once the UN became the global authority. According to the news it was a sign of the progress made by the global government to eliminate class warfare and world poverty. What it really meant was a lot of really big houses for squatters to occupy.
Suddenly, Nathaniel sat up straight and started paying attention to the landscape around him.
"Hey, this is the old Hawthorne Heights neighborhood isn't it?" He asked Sammy, who was in the middle of a bawdy love song to the nav box. Sammy looked at him for a minute before answering, "Yeah, I guess so. Why? You never lived in a place this tony did you? I thought you grew up in the sticks." Nathaniel nodded, and peered closely at what numbers there still were on the fancy gates at the end of each driveway. "Yeah, I did. But Ma brought me up here one time to show me where Yolanda Rorshack lived. We even saw her bring her trash out to the sidewalk... I'll never forget that day." Sammy's grin widened as he watched Nathaniel's head crane to follow every dilapidated gate post and street sign they whizzed past. "Yo-LANDA RorSHACK?" Sammy asked incredulously. "You saw YoLANDA RorSHACK taking out the GARBAGE! You are my hero! Did you get to touch any of it? Wow! Did it smell like normal people garbage? Or did it smell like she had her own personal angel piss on it and make it smell like lilies?" Nathaniel's head jerked around as he finally heard the cutting sarcasm in Sammy's voice. His eyes narrowed and he pointed a stern finger at Sammy, "NEVER talk about her like that again! She was... IS God's own servant, sent here to comfort us poor souls and..." Sammy laughed derisively. "And to make a bazillion bucks off of mindless rubes like you and then disappear as soon as the world REALLY starts to suck! Yeah... pardon me for blaspheming her holy angel pissed-on garbage dude." Nathaniel was getting ready to get really mad when the radio squawked to life again.
"Para12, this is Command." Sammy grabbed the mike with one hand while power-sliding the van through another intersection. "Command, this is Para12, go ahead." Nathaniel sat there fuming as Sammy winked at him. "Para12, this is Command. What is your ETA to the Code 249?" the raspy voice of the dispatcher asked briskly. Sammy thumbed the mike, "'Bout five minutes or less Command. Got any new intel for us on the situation on site?" Nathaniel forgot all about his anger of a moment ago as he and Sammy both listened to the hiss of static on the channel waiting for an answer. "Para12, negative. The first units on scene are no longer responding. Last report was initial report of Code 249 event."

Nathaniel wanted badly to scream at Sammy that they should turn and run, that they were walking into a trap, that Command was purposely sending them to their deaths. But the memory of Sammy's angry face made him bite his tongue, even though Sammy's face was still covered with the usual goofy grin. Winking again at Nathaniel he thumbed the mike once more, "What about backup Command? How many other units are inbound?" The answer finally wiped the grin off of Sammy's face, "Para12... you are on your own."

(To be continued...)

© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Friday, October 2, 2009

Assignment: Witches

The next themed issue of the Piker Press will be a Witch themed issue on the 19th. It has been a while since I finished anything - my muse seems to have gone on another of her extended vacations and refuses to inspire me with anything to write at all. However, I try to never miss an assignment. So, turning once again to my substitute muse over at the Seventh Sanctum for a random story plot, by serendipitous coincidence I got the following as the first of five I generated:

The story is about a pessimistic witch-hunter who is obsessed with a religious musician. It starts in a world-spanning nation on a prairie planet. The critical element of the story is the revealing of an impostor. The fallout from the cold war plays a major role in this story.

Bring on the Witches!

Nathaniel Roman examined the blade of his sabre grimly and shook his head. "Well Sammy, ready to die?" Sammy grinned and with a bloodcurdling screech turned and kicked down the door of the darkened building. Immediately they were bathed in a sickly green glow as the spells of protection cast upon the door were banished by the pair's counter-curse. Ignoring the swirling clouds of dispelled magic they rushed into the room, each immediately hitting the floor and rolling in opposite directions. Bolts of green lightning seared the air where they had been only seconds before, digging jagged smoking holes in the walls behind them.
"Up the stairs! On the landing..." Sammy called out, and Nathaniel stopped moving long enough to point the device in his hand at the flicker of movement on the landing midway to the top of the grand staircase that dominated the entire room. Yellow light erupted from the device and Nathaniel was up and running for cover as the landing disintegrated with a deafening explosion. Sammy followed up with a shot from his own caster that destroyed what was left of the support structure for the staircase. Bolts of green lightning continued to streak across the room at the two hunters as the staircase collapsed entirely. Coughing through the dust and smoke, they grimly pressed their attack.
Pausing for a moment behind a marble column, Nathaniel tried to locate their target by watching for the source of the green lightning attacks. He groaned inwardly when he realized that there were multiple sources, and that he and Sammy were about to be cut off from retreat.
"Sammy! It's not just one... We've got a coven! Let's get out of here!" He pulled a grenade from his belt and threw it in an arch up and over the railing on to the balcony where he thought several of the witches were located.
"Grenade!" He screamed at the top of his lungs and turning ran towards the door, firing his caster wildly behind him. The whump of the explosion pushed him the last few feet through the door and across the broad porch. He attempted to leap to his feet, but still fuzzy from the explosion he fell down the stairs cursing each time he hit the ground. When his face finally plowed into the gravel driveway at the bottom of the stairs, he finally regained his footing and looked around.
"Sammy! Where are you?" he yelled, watching with dismay the smoke pouring out the doorway. Sammy had not made it out before the grenade went off!
Nathaniel ran back up the steps and back into the door, all attempts at caution now abandoned. The grenade had blown a hole through the high arched ceiling, and moonlight was now freely streaming through illuminating the grand foyer of the decrepit old mansion.
"Sammy! If you're dead I'm gonna kill you!" Nathaniel yelled, frantically kicking aside the rubble as he searched for his companion. Then, a voice from overhead startled him, and it was with great effort that he prevented himself from pulling the trigger on his caster in its direction.
"Hey! A little more warning next time Tater-head!" Sammy was trying hard to be angry, but Nathaniel could still hear the omnipresent grin through the sternness. He looked up to the balcony, and saw Sammy standing there with his sword dripping blood. In his other hand, he held three severed heads, the green skin and warty noses evidence enough of their crimes.
"How did you get up there?" Nathaniel yelled, relief washing over him. Sammy gestured with the severed heads, "I took the back stairs. Got to the top just in time for your little fireworks show. Next time, why don't you warn me BEFORE you throw the grenade!" Nathaniel grinned for an instant, then his pessimism returned. "Did we get them all? How do you know we are clear? What if there are more? You only have three! There are ten more..." Sammy interrupted. "We got all thirteen Nate, I just haven't headed 'em all yet. Get up here and help. You know how I hate this part." Nathaniel nodded and ran quickly to help.

As they drove back towards town Sammy kept up a running dialogue that Nathaniel mostly ignored. Instead he fiddled with the dial on the radio, looking for some music to listen to. Unfortunately, as was the case since the United Nations took control of the world's governments, there was nothing more than propaganda thinly veiled as news. Finally he punched the power button a bit harder than was actually necessary to turn it off and turned to Sammy. He tried for a few minutes to capture the thread of his conversation, but quickly gave it up as a bad enterprise. Sammy rambled far and wide, especially when he was talking to himself. Nathaniel decided to try and turn the conversation somewhere he could follow.
"Why do you figure that Intel told us that there was a lone witch, and we found a complete coven?" His question caught Sammy by surprise, and he halted his rambling diatribe for a few seconds to consider the ramifications of the question before answering.
"You know Nate, it ain't healthy to be questioning the folks at HQ. I'm sure they just got their wires crossed somewheres, or the witches found out somehow and called in reinforcements. That's all. You think too much Nater-Potater..." Sammy said, his broad grin covering for his nervousness. Nathaniel pondered this for a few seconds, and Sammy actually remained silent for once.
"But see, I would be able to dismiss it easier if it was an isolated incident. But remember last week? We get sent out to arrest a suspected sympathizer, and find ourselves in between two third-degree priestesses! It was a lucky thing that I was expecting the worst that day! Where would we have been if we had followed protocol for a non-magic arrest and left our casters back?" Sammy's grin was thinning, and Nathaniel could tell he was getting his point across. He pressed on, "And then we get paired up with them chuckle-heads last week that left us in the lurch. I know they said that HQ called them back at the last minute, but why didn't they call of the whole mission, 'stead of just pulling our backup as soon as we go hot?" Sammy's grin was gone now, and in its place a scowl of suspicion. "So what Nate - you going to go revo on me now? Gonna ditch this sweet gig and go underground with the rebs and insist that freedom is better than security? Maybe even join a coven and become a witch yourself?" Nathaniel recoiled from the sudden hatred in his friend's voice, "What's the matter Sammy? I didn't say none of that. I was just wonderin' why Intel is so bad lately, and why HQ seems to be settin' us up every time! Sheesh! There ain't no call to go..."
"Then drop it! Hear?" Sammy snapped, his eyes focused on the road and his fists clenched tightly to the wheel. Nathaniel just stared for a few seconds, his mind working methodically through the possibilities. He had not yet reached a conclusion when the radio on the dash squawked and came to life.
"Para12 this is Command. Respond." Sammy grabbed the mike with one hand and answered sharply, "Command this is Para12, go ahead." He looked sideways at Nathaniel as he spoke, the unexplained anger still plain on his face. "Para12 this is Command. Proceed to the coordinates on your nav immediately for a code 249." The color drained from Sammy's face and he turned to Nathaniel, all traces of anger gone. "Roger command, two-four-niner. Any further sitrep for us?" The silence as they both waited for a response was strained; finally the radio came back to life. "No intel at this time. Just go in hot. Command out."

(To be continued...)

© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Urinal Cakes Archived...

For those of you who are a bit confused... I was reminded today that all of this wonderful creativity will be disappearing in a couple of weeks. So I decided to capture it and preserve it for posterity.

There will most likely be updates if anything else is added before The Great Forum Reset of 2009.

Without further ado, may I present: Did Someone Say, "Urinal Cakes"?

thetejon Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:Oct 6, 2008 - 07 49

OMFG, I totally just did!

As we all know, regardless of whether or not we want to, urinal cakes are right behind Thanksgiving, Nano, and the Presidential election on the list of Important Things That Happen in November in the USA.

Every year, I wonder how I might explain urinal cakes, and why they're disturbing, to someone who might not know. And every year, I think that it's probably more interesting if I don't. Just know that urinal cakes are real, they know where you live, and Chris Baty can not protect you.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 6, 2008 - 12 08

Great Job El Tejon! Now, along with my annual fear of the urinal cake, I have angst about which of your two double posts to ignore, and which to reply to!

I hope I have not replied to the thread marked for death. If I have, I hope that this death marking is not contagious, or in any other way liable to intrude upon my somewhat idyllic real life. (Unlike the whole urinal cake thing, which of course consumes much of my waking thought and a the majority of my sleeping thought as well.)

So bring on the talking primates, the dancing elephants, and the various and sundry adult beverages which generally accompany our annual sojourn down this kaleidoscope of pleasure and revulsion...

And welcome back!

thetejon RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 6, 2008 - 18 16

My post count no longer includes the two erroneous posts, so it looks like we've escaped the Brutal Hammer of Post Deletion.

I am saddened to admit that the urinals in the restroom at work are cake-free. This job is much better than the one I had this time last year, but not, alas, for urinal cake reports. I have to rely on my faithful minions for that . . .

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 6, 2008 - 18 42
Where do urinal cakes go when they're not there any more? Do they get boxed up and put in the snack aisle at the store? I ate some frosted things once, and I swear...

MapleQuill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 6, 2008 - 23 54

It's tragic to be a woman. We don't get urinal cakes. We don't even get urinals. Mind, I have no CLUE what we'd do with them if we did... kinda narrow for a bidet and trying to put it to its proper use sounds like an uncomfortable mess...

bubble RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 11, 2008 - 19 28

MapleQuill wrote:
It's tragic to be a woman. We don't get urinal cakes. We don't even get urinals. Mind, I have no CLUE what we'd do with them if we did... kinda narrow for a bidet and trying to put it to its proper use sounds like an uncomfortable mess...

My research on Female-to-Male trans stuff indicates that it is in fact possible for a woman (or biological woman... or whatever) to pee into a urinal, with the right, um, gadget and practice.

After searching, I turn up this page:

Rastaban.Zozma RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 00 34

I may have nightmares tonight.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 07 25

Gyps looks around.

"This place looks familiar." She spies a large tank with the barely readable "Sherry" printed on it. "A yes, I'm home. Finally."

The place is looking in need of an episode of Extreme Makeover. The porch is sagging and the shingles are clinging to the roof by some miracle of physics. Weeds have overtaken the lawn. No one seems to be around.


"Hey." Gyps jumps as Tweetywill's voice sounds from the brush. "Glad to see I'm not alone here. Why's the place look abandoned?"

"I dunno. Let's see if there's any sherry left in that tank. If not, I'm sure they all left on an expedition for more."

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 12 20

Tweetywill steps sheepishly from behind the weeds.
"You know you would think I was finished trying to lurk invisibly, after the last few years. I guess it is just habit by now."

Gyps nods knowingly before diving headfirst into the sun-bleached sherry vat.

Tweetywill watches intently, then begins ruminating on the virtues of urinals, cakes, mints, and looberries.

A bedraggled baboon stumbles out of the abandoned beach shack and stretches in the autumn sunshine. Then, catching sight of Gyps' feet sticking out of the sherry vat and hearing Tweety's disjointed ramblings, slaps his forehead...

"Not you people again!"

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 13 44

Awesome UC pic of the day...

A urinal in Tanzania

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 17 56

Lydia avoids the invisible cloak on the dusty floor that Twilly forgot in his haste to jump back into the pond and wanders around looking in the shadows for the rest of the playmates. Gyps comments about remodeling cause shudders of fear to chase down Lyd's spine.

"Gyps, don't even talk about remodeling! I currently am living behind tarps and tape - and not in the good way!"

She snags a wine stem and pours some liquid refreshment.

"Hey Aser drag your furry tush out!"

scriibe RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 20 21

This is my first foray into the urinal. Please be gentle.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 20 28

I just called the Company and the tanker with fresh cooking sherry should be here any time. Sip away, O Cakers!

Aser fills a tankard from the tap and tastes it. "Whoa," she says, flipping her black cloak back to free her drinking arm, "this stuff actually tastes better when it has a chance to breathe!"

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 7, 2008 - 20 29

"Aser, that's not breathing it's steaming," Lyd back pedals away from the potent brew.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 08 00

"Quiz for you all!" Tweety shouts, determined to keep this thread on topic for at least another five minutes....
"What kind of urinal cakes do they use in the most photographed monument in France?"

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 08 07

Gyps wipes a stray drop of sherry from her lips and licks it off of her fingers. Who knows when the tanker will get here. No point in wasting perfectly aged sherry.

"Tweety, dunno the answer to your quiz, but there is a baboon monument in France? Who knew?" She stumbles to the front porch and sits on the top step. "Lyd, we've been repainting and fixing up our house for the last year. It's only 1200 square feet. You'd think it wouldn't take that long."

Welcome Scriibe. The urinal cakes are the ones to watch out for. Everyone else here is pretty harmless. Well, except for the Queen (AoaS) and the Shaman (Aser). They can get rowdy on occasion. But they mean no harm. :-)

Gyps watches as a baboon sweeps the porch. "Ah, sprucing up the place, eh?" she asks right before she passes out.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 18 50

The door swings open with a clatter, and Cheryl lopes in, dragging a large gunny sack behind her. "I'm not late, am I?"

Lydia surreptitiously dumps her sizzling drink on the peperomia, which immediately begins trembling and flapping its leaves. "No, we're all just getting here." She gestures to the bag. "What's that?"

"This year's supply of yarn. I hate leaving the house for provisions once we start writing."

"That's a lot of knitting," says Tweetywill.

"Ah, Twilly, that's where you're wrong," says Cheryl, pulling a short, bent stick out of her hip pocket and twirling it though her fingers. "This year, I'm crocheting."

"Why the switch?" asks Aser.

"Because you people require a LOT of blankets and pillows every year, and because I hear there is someone else in the house who crochets." She pulls out another crochet hook and points around the room with it.

"You mean there are TWO hookers here?" asks Scriibe. Lydia elbows him in the ribs.

Gyps gulps down the remainder of her drink and stands up. "Damn straight." She climbs wobbily over the coffee table and takes the second crochet hook from Cheryl. They nod at each other, and then raise their hooks high and cross them like tiny little swords. When the two sticks of nickel-plated aluminum touch, sparks rain down, and a plume of smoke rises.

Aser looks at them quizzically. "Have you guys been rifling my rucksack? That's a good trick."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 20 10

Dangit, Cheryl, you write us too well. Maybe we should be your characters in your NaNovel this year.

Aser continues to ponder the puff of smoke, which has the vague scent of scorched strawberries. "Ah, you've been mixing the ground-up cakes with gunpowder, haven't you? Or else consorting with High Elves ... but that's dangerous, considering the potency of the pot they grow." Sipping from her tankard of warm sherry, she ponders the afghan with the laptop under the coffee table. "Twill, is this a trick question?"

Scriibe snaps his fingers. "Of course! The answer to the question is, 'I don't know, but they sure smell Eiffel!

Lydia snorts in disgust and pulls up a loose floorboard to retrieve a bottle of gin. Gyps smacks her lips and asks, "Are we getting together a buffet?"

Rastaban, MapleQuill, and Guardian edge to the door in fear, only to find a large, polite baboon with a tray of olives, cheddar cheese bits, and tiny Lebanon Bologna with cream cheese rolls. "Would this esteemed trio like a sample before the most sherry-drunken shaman Aser eats them all?"

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 20 10

Tweetywill looks perplexed.
"Is it the prostitution that makes you crochety? Or just the toxic effects of the nickel plating process?" Hoping that nobody is offended by his horrible punning, he edges towards the tattered invisibility cloak on the floor...

"Aser! Good to have you back! And your front too! And both sides are equally welcome!"

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 20 17

A clap of thunder echoes across the beach as Aser and Tweety simul-post. Lightning strikes the rusted weather vane perched crazily atop the rickety shack.

"Whoa! That was kind of weird! And we both came up with horrible puns?"

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 8, 2008 - 20 57

Gyps grins at Cheryl in delight. A shiny new crochet hook is just what she needs. "Hope you brought enough yarn for two." She turns to the growing crowd of macaques, Shamans and sundry others, "Anyone like granny squares? I do a wicked fingerless glove - great for keeping the hands toasty while you type. Takes about an hour to make a pair."

The sound of air brakes outside makes everyone jump. Except Aser. She perks up and smiles. "The sherry's here!" Then she turns and sashays out to supervise the delivery.

Cheryl hauls her gunny sack (I love that term) into the living room and dumps its contents onto the recently cleaned, but still sagging, sofa. Gyps goggles at the variety.

"Oh, Cheryl, it's going to be a wonderful November."

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 9, 2008 - 12 31

*slinks out after killing the thread.* >.<

Sulwen RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:

Oct 9, 2008 - 12 43

Wow...this has to be the oddest recurring thread on the forum. No question. You people are awesome, in a strange, strange way! :-)

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:

Oct 9, 2008 - 17 54

Upon hearing Sulwen's kind words, Tejon raises a paw in the air, wiggles his semi-shaven butt, and begins chanting, "We're number one! We're number one!" Scriibe shakes his head sadly. "Urinal cakes. Number one. What else did you expect, dude?" Aser, who has had Narsai secure a garden hose and some pool noodles, begins filling the hot tub from the steamiest of the old sherry vats, while Guillaume hangs a flat-panel TV on the wall. "I wonder what's keeping Holly," she says to no one in particular. Somewhere in the distance, a baby burps and coos. Gyps instinctively begins crocheting a layette.

schizophrenicchick RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:

Oct 9, 2008 - 18 20

schiz wanders in . "wow. it's been a lonnnnng time. anybody want apple don't??"

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:

Oct 10, 2008 - 00 25

Gyps mumbles something about hooking Twilly when a dreadful crash makes them all jump. Aser growls, "That sure as he -" Cheryl hands Aser a large tanker of sherry nearly chipping the Shaman's teeth in her haste to keep the swear word inside Aser's mouth. Aser automatically gulps and looks surprised. "This is good! Where'd it come from?" Scriibe waves his hand and answers, "I was told to come with gifts. Lyd said nothing from the discount rack either." Another crash outside sends a few folks to the window.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:

Oct 10, 2008 - 06 57

Gyps turns to Cheryl and says, "Bet the elephant is back. What else could be making all that racket?" Then she returns to counting stitches on the baby blanket. "Should I do booties and a sweater, too, what with winter coming and all?" Cheryl nods as she carefully watches Aser to prevent further profanity.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on: Oct 10, 2008 - 13 05

"The elephant is back? I love the elephant! What was her name again?"

Tweety sprints back outside (oddly enough, since I could have sworn he was outside to begin with...) Anxious to see his old friend (and get everyone's mind off the horrible hooking joke) he stands on the sand looking around wildly. When he can't see the elephant, he desperately pulls out another instant quiz... "What is this picture of?"

A. Looberry filaments under high magnification.
B. Cheryl's gunny sack-O-yarn
C. Mouse brains
D. Mung

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 10, 2008 - 17 01

Aser turns the picture upside-down. "Could it be that these are mouse brains on looberries? Or the gunny sack-O-yarn tossed with gummi worms?"

Narsai looks over her shoulder. "It is the inside of a spleen," he suggests.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 11, 2008 - 10 40

Cheryl gives Narsai a gentle dope slap. "I would NEVER knit with a spleen. Too slippery. But those colors... it sure would make a nice snood."

Scriibe raises an eyebrow. "Who snood? I didn't see anyone nude." Then he instinctively recoils from the elbow shot Lydia is sure to deliver.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 11, 2008 - 19 32

At least, we ladies get those mysterious metal boxes with the flip-top. I always have the urge to stick mail in them!

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 11, 2008 - 22 16

Cheryl puts on the glasses that make her look smart. "Actually, Bubble, those, ahem, devices are optional. A friend of the UC thread assures me that any party girl worth her salt knows how to pee standing up.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 12, 2008 - 18 30

Gyps tucks into her slice of Apple Don't. "Thanks, Schiz."

She wipes her mouth and picks her crocheting up.

Aser stumbles past grumbling about having to pee standing up. Gyps figures it's best not to ask.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 12, 2008 - 20 28

Tweetywill blushes with the heat of a super-nova...

", I know I was trying to steer the convo back to urinals, but umm....."

Desperately searching for something... ANYTHING to change the topic, he suddenly blurts out:


eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 12, 2008 - 21 41

The elephant lumbers up the path, toting East on her back.

Trumpeting at seeing her dear friend, Tweety, she unceremoniously dumps East and runs to frolic with Tweety.

East stands, dusts herself off and, stars and birds still twirling above her head, staggers in the side door to the kitchen for a sandwich.

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 12, 2008 - 22 52

Lydia sighs and refrains from commenting about urinal use and if she knows how to pee standing up.

"Twilly, you don't need to announce your dining choices," she hands Twilly a large glass of sherry.

"Besides if the elephant doesn't distract you we seriously need to check what happened to the good sherry!"

eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 06 54

East looks around the dusty kitchen, wondering when the last time anybody cleaned was. A glass of fine, aged sherry was in order here... perhaps that would settle the stars still shimmering lightly over her head. East walked into the next room just in time to hear the comment about Twilly being distracted by the elephant.

"Twilly! Clara has been longing to see you again all year. I do hope she manages to distract you at least a little." East twittered, reaching for a glass of sherry and staggering just a little as one last bird made a chirping circle about her head before flying out the broken window.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 12 13

Reminding herself to say nothing about the elephant in the room unless the elephant actually manages to squeeze through the doorway, Aser peers beneath the couch. "Not under there," she mumbles. "And he wasn't in the kitchen being made into a sandwich this year." She checks the front porch, then the stairwell leading to the cellar, the sherry tanks, and the various strange weapons of mass confusion that have accumulated there.

Rubbing her hands together with glee, she pulls a pen and notebook from under her black cape and plunks down on the couch next to Cheryl. "Cheryl, which kind of poetry is the worst? Rhymed, unrhymed, or blank verse?"

Cheryl puts on her Smart Glasses again. "The arrythmical ones with stupid rhymes are just about as bad as knock-knock jokes, but I don't think you can discount unrhymed ones that use about 40 lines to make a single run-on sentence."

Aser cackles to herself. "Thank you, Cheryl. I'll warn you before I begin to recite so that you can put earplugs in."

Guillaume whispers to his older brother. "Narsai, please tell me that our shaman benefactor is not going to make up crappy poetry again."

Narsai, wise in the ways of getting things done by someone else, murmurs back, "O Brother, I cannot. But it must be noted that the sound of a vacuum cleaner being run across the carpets and furniture will drown out the sound of poetry recitation."

Guillaume the Ever-Hopeful runs to the closet and drags out the Hoover ...

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 12 17

Lydia runs to join the wise ones. Her donations to the effort of sound distortion are matching sets of pink earplugs. She plugs in her archaic Walkman (since it's handy) and blares NiN into her ears. Nails always being more pleasurable than bad poetry.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 15 58

And how about those amazingly powerful new hand dryers? You could get a 747 off the ground with a pair of those suckers!

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 21 01

Aser laughs so hard she falls off the couch and onto the floor.

Cheryl observes her and nods to Gyps, who runs to the cabinet and grabs a handful of United Airlines barf bags. She begins handing them out to all and sundry, then takes her own and hides in the closet. The room of characters, creatures, and pseudonyms can all hear her shouting, "La la la la I can't hear you! La la la la LA LA LA"...

"Thank you for that lovely introduction," says Aser, and clears her throat. "And now, the poetry, just for my dear buddy TheTejon..."

"They flew through the air
with the greatest of ease
powered by a hand-dryer pair
above Badger's fleas

"More powerful than a hovercraft
Faster than an elephant on the moon
Cooler than Huck Finn's river raft
Admired by Alice the Goon

"Aliens and giant squids tried
To catch them, always asking why
They traveled that way. But they only cried,
"It's the only way to fly!"

Guardian is toes up in the corner, stunned into unconsciousness. Clara the elephant whispers to herself, "OMG, and I can never forget..."

"Booger," says Tweetywill feebly. "Booger."

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 22 29

Cheryl applauds enthusiastically. "Pretty close rhymes and no discernible meter - doggerel at its finest, and perfectly suited for the occasion. Well done, shaman, well done!" She then tucks a freshly-crocheted pillow under Guardian's head and leans close to whisper. "I know what you mean about those turbo hand dryers. They crack my shiz up, but on a geezer like me, they blow the skin on my hands almost to my armpits."

RowanWatersprite RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 13, 2008 - 23 55

Hrmmm... we sell those at work...

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 05 40

Giant squids! That's what I forgot! There have to be giant squids in The Narwhar!

Sea life: 1
Humans: 0

Should I mention those magical water-saving automatic toilets that save water by flushing five times before you can get your knickers up and get out of the stall?

(Sigh) What would I do in November without Mountain Dew and the Urinal Cakes thread?

Heartbeat RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 08 33

Oh! Urinal cakes, how I have missed thee. We have pink urinal cakes at church! And any woman who has not used a urinal has not lived.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 11 36

Tweety hands his glass of sherry to poor Clara.

"Here sweety, you need to take this from me before I forget that I have sworn off all adult beverages... perhaps if you drink enough your famous memory will be blank to that horrific poetic assault..."

Sorting through the semi-sentient contents of the refridgerator, he finds a can of Shasta Root Beer that still appears to be sealed. Cracking the top, he toasts the cackling shaman:

"May all of our poetry during this NaNo time be as rife with undiscernable meter and half-rhyme, and may Clara find forgetfulness in time..."

Then he snickers at Guardian and toasts her with his fake root beer: "You said knickers... huh huh huh... That was cool. Almost as cool as pink urinal cakes at church..."

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 15 04

Lyd snickers as she notices the label on the fake root beer slipping and Twilly is drinking just 'beer'.

"Aser, give ya another serial if you can get Twilly to drink the sherry hidden in the secret vat in the basement."

Aser looks thoughtful and whispers something to the wise ones.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 18 20

Tweety tips the can back for a long chug, then spews it all over the room.

"Beer! Geez! What are you people trying to do to me?"

Clara polishes off the glass of sherry and happily relieves Tweety of the offending adult beverage...

"forget...forget...forget... IT'S NOT WORKING!"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 19 02

Watching the droplets fly, Aser shakes her head in sympathy. "Looks like what happened when Bugsy the Macaque filled a sherry bottle with flat Sprite and food coloring and gave it to me for Christmas." She turns to Lydia and asks, "Did we bury that monkey in the back yard or the front yard?"

"We buried something," Lydia says thoughtfully. "I remember the shotgun, and saying whatever it was wasn't worth making into a pair of mittens, but there were a lot of gin bottles around the place the next morning ... "

"Aha, that's the ticket," Aser notes, a finger in the air. "Sherry makes you shoot things, but gin makes you forget. Twill, find that poor elephant some gin and a few olives before the next ratty poem surfaces from the murk!"

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 19 24

Lyd tosses Twilly a bottle of the good Vermouth -- "Hey, make the poor dear a martini straight up."

Aser and Lyd nod as Twilly looks a tad puzzled.

scriibe RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 19 28

Where's the gin and olives?

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 20 10

Rune Evensberget stared sullenly at the urinal cake as he unzipped his fly. God, he hated his name. He planned to change it when he turned 18, to something cool like Axle Slasher. Yeah, that would do.

His dad never asked about the odd hammering and ratcheting sounds he made in the garage after school. Or why he had wanted that old welding machine.

As he zipped up, he had an idea, and he checked his pockets to see if he had his lighter. He wondered if a urinal cake would burn.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 20 50

Some of them are so flammable that they are used for charcoal-lighters in countries with no burn-laws. That's why so many bars have ice dumped in urinals.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 14, 2008 - 21 04

"Of course they burn!" Tweety snaps at Guardian, snatching away his lighter. "And don't think we are going to start calling you Axle..."

Turning to Aser, he waves the bottle of vermouth angrily.

"And do YOU remember who showed up last year when we got the elephant drunk?"

Aser ponders the question for a moment before realization dawns in her eyes.

"Not HER!"

Tweety pats Clara sadly... "Sorry girl, you will just have to learn to deal with the poetry."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 08 05

Guardian lounged under the fronds, gently plucking out a riff on her bass guitar with her tiny hands. She glanced up as flames shot out of the urinal and Rune yelled, "All-right!"

She stopped plucking and shook her head sadly. "He's going to do something awful with those cakes. You just watch." She reached for a glass of chardonnay and took a sip.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 09 50

Gyps gaped at Aser. "You don't mean the Queen, do you?" She began to tremble, but it was difficult to determine if it was from fear or laughter.

Schiz took the remains of the fake apple pie to the dusty kitchen. "Y'all didn't leave any for the Queen. It was nice knowing you." Her witchy cackles could be heard throughout the house. And on the front porch where thetejon was hiding behind a large potted fern.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 10 33

Tweetywill looks somewhat panicked as he realizes that nobody remembers...

"I remember, of course." Clara says, nuzzling the vermouth bottle in Tweety's hands. "She was really quite nice to me, offering to take me shopping and all. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad if she did show up again?"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 11 40

"I am no elephant, sir. I make it a point to forget everything. Simplifies my life, you know," Aser says by way of excusing herself. "And I must point out that those were wild elephants -- PARTY elephants -- not like the civilized, educated elephant Clara is. However, we can't take the risk, and Cheryl and Gyps will have enough on their hands without having to knit underpants for Paris Hilton." She takes the vermouth and looks at it before handing it off to a garden gnome that just happens to be passing through. "What is vermouth, anyway?"

NicolaDunn RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 15 17

Go find a book called "The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint" and read it before NaNo starts.
It... has urinal cakes in it... as a fairly central recurring role.

It's an amazing book too!


writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 20 26

Gyps ponders searching for a book with a urinal cake theme. She immediately calls her therapist for an appointment. A third baby blanket joins the booties, hats, sweaters and other crocheted assortment quickly piling up around her. "I forgot. I don't have time to read. Must crochet more before the Queen arrives. Perhaps a poetry shield. Hmmmmmm."

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 15, 2008 - 22 49

Lyd wanders past Twilly and snags the abandoned cloak of invisibility.

She mumbles, "Poetry shields be...." a clanging bell along with a trumpet sound from Clara, the semi-intoxicated elephant, drown out her NC-17 phrases.

Shrugging the cloak around her shoulders she sneaks back to the corner near the doorway.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 16, 2008 - 06 05

Under the fronds, Guardian sat up in amazement. "The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint?" she said under her breath as she whipped out a notebook and wrote down the title. She glanced over her shoulder at Rune, who was trying to pick the lock on the janitor's closet so he could get more urinal cakes to experiment with. "Maybe this book will give me ideas on how to deal with that surly, dangerous boy. He's quite out of control."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 16, 2008 - 21 26

"Oh, Guardian, don't worry about experimentation with urinal cakes -- it's just a phase he's going through, and should be worth 2000 - 4000 words, anyway. Just make sure he gets to sniff the wide range of scents so that he doesn't choose aftershave that smells like one of them." Aser drains her tankard and drop-kicks it across the room.

"INCOMING!!!" shouts Cheryl. "Cover your ears!"

With a kaghhhing sound, Aser clears her throat. "I just want to stand up and say I know exactly how much TheTejon loves my blank verse, so I wanted to give him some to entertain his mind while he sits up, awake and mostly brain dead while his beeootiful daughter serenades him with wails...

i was conversing with tejon just the other day ("Oh, by the way, this doesn't use punctuation, a la Don Marquis, so put your red pens away and squash that inner editor")

"Ahem, where was I? Oh yes..."

i was conversing with tejon just the other day
and he said that he thought my penchant
for crappy poetry would be my downfall
i told him that a downfall would at least
be some sort of movement
be it right direction or not
aser he replied you have no direction at all
you're right I told him and that is why no matter which way
i move i can count it as progress

your progress is another woman s landfill he told me
but i reminded him
that there are a lot of gullies to fill up
in west virginia

he was annoyed but could not refute me

the best he could come up with was
but maybe they like having gullies

fine i conceded
i ll send my stuff to shore up the levees
in new orleans

he laughed and gave me the address for homeland security
and the mayor s office in that beleaguered city

Aser looks at her cell phone as it buzzes insistently. "That's Tejon, I know it. He's going to accuse me of being a liar again, as well as a crappy poet."

Lydia bruises Scriibe with yet another elbow. "Don't we all?"

Scriibe mutters, "Don't you have some other body part that you can do that with?"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 17, 2008 - 06 47

Rune, hiding behind a tree, heard Aser mention the "wide range of scents", and he got a look on his face that would've made a horde of Vikings get back on their ship and leave. Ironically, that very look was made possible by his Viking ancestry, which came along with the name he hated so much.

He had been reading a book, too. A chemistry book. He was a lot smarter than his dismal grades would indicate, and he had made a careful note of the chemicals that were listed on the boxes of urinal cakes. "Paradichlorobenzene, naphthalene, ammonium compounds...and maybe the different scents will burn in different colors," he thought to himself. He stalked away with the book tucked under his arm.

Guardian watched him go. Then, after inspecting the fronds to make sure they would be okay in her absence, she picked up a covered dish and strolled over to meet her new neighbors, who were half-buried in a blizzard of crocheted items. "I just made these cookies," she said hopefully. "Can I trade 'em for a pair of crocheted fingerless gloves? I know leather is supposed to look cool, but I think yours would be cooler...something in a shade of lavender, maybe?"

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 17, 2008 - 16 40

Gyps smiles up at Guardian. "Take your pick. I have any shade of purple you might wish for and a few you might not. (And if you really want a pair, nanomail me and we can arrange it.)"

Guardian looks at the large pile of yarn and digs in to find the shade of lavender that best compliments her eyes. "Rune will find it most amusing that I am wearing gloves that don't cover my fingers, but at least I don't wear pants with zippers and chains that serve no apparent purpose."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 17, 2008 - 18 23

Aser, who eats as few sweet-tasting things as possible, eyes the cookies sidelong, as if they might leap up and shove themselves into her mouth. "Guardian, are you from any part of Pennsylvania that is graced by Hartley's Potato Chips? Now there's some fine inspirational snacks." To Tweetywill, she says, "You, 'ey, youse want me ta slap ya upside da ear?" She looks around. "Narsai! NARSAI! Bring me a cigar, will you? I can't talk like this without a cigar!"

As Narsai trots through the room Cheryl points a knitting needle at him. "You bring a cigar into this house, Buster, and you'll be picking up baboon stuffing for the next six months."

Looking over his shoulder, Narsai sees that Aser is completely distracted, throwing punches at her shadow on the wall. He decides that finding a good hiding place is the real better part of valor, and leaves the house, muttering, "I hate it when they call me Buster. Most undignified name."

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 18, 2008 - 22 27
writergypsie wrote:
Gyps smiles up at Guardian. "Take your pick. I have any shade of purple you might wish for and a few you might not. (And if you really want a pair, nanomail me and we can arrange it.)"

Guardian looks at the large pile of yarn and digs in to find the shade of lavender that best compliments her eyes. "Rune will find it most amusing that I am wearing gloves that don't cover my fingers, but at least I don't wear pants with zippers and chains that serve no apparent purpose."

Lyd wags her fingers at Gyps and wonders where her fingerless gloves went astray.

Twilly's muttering about pumpkins reminds Lyd this year she wont be carving them. *sigh*

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 17, 2008 - 12 00

Tweety grabs a handful of cookies, hoping the sugar buzz will kill off the bad taste of purposely horrible shaman poetry in his mouth.

"Guardian, your rebel without a clue kind of worries me. Do we need to take him out behind the woodshed and let Clara teach him a thing or two about life?"

Aser shakes her head sagely. "Naw, violence only magnifies that kind of attitude. Just let him be. He will either grow out of it or remove himself from the gene pool. Meanwhile, can I uh, interest youse guys in uh, some more uh, poetical ruminations of the artistical and entertainering type?"

(No idea where the sudden Joe Pesci/Rocky Balboa accent came from. It just appeared, as do many strange things in and around this odd little looberry colored shack on the edge of the briny deep. I hope Aser will forgive my creative license. *bows respectfully*)

Cheryl holds up a pair of high-tech, cutting edge, solar powered, environmentally friendly, beautifully crocheted, noise cancelling ear-muffs.

"By all means dearie! Ruminate away!"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 18, 2008 - 15 15

"In my corner of the universe, Troyer's chips are the ultimate in spud snacks," Guardian replied. "Sometimes we drive right past the factory, and if the wind is cooperating, the wonderful golden chip-smoke blows across the road. No matter how cold it is I roll the window down, then roll it up to trap a car-sized cloud of radiant billowing chip molecules..." She drifted away in ecstasy.

Rune had been watching all this from a nearby treetop. He did his best thinking in trees. He smirked at Guardian and then he said, too quietly for them to hear, "All these zippers DO have a purpose. Where do you think I keep all the lighters I bought after Tweety confiscated the one I had?" After a moment's thought he took out his phone and called Merle. It was time to steal some pumpkins.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 18, 2008 - 16 21
GuardianOfTheFronds wrote:
It was time to steal some pumpkins.

Tweetywill looks after Rune with a sudden understanding.
"Hah! Reminds me of when I was in college, and my room mates took pumpkin stealing to a new level. There was a stack of pumpkins in the corner of the living room that was four feet high. We managed to dispose of them all on Halloween, although I will not detail how, since I am not sure how long the statute of limitations on some of them is..."

Coming to himself, he turns to Aser.

"Good thing I was never as messed up as that kid!"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 18, 2008 - 22 39

"You have conversations with an elephant regarding the dangers of liquor and the benefits of Afghans of Invisibility," notes Aser. "Is that less or more messed up than a kid with a zipper fetish and a scientific bent for explosive urinal cakes? You're a writer, aren't you? And the kid isn't. My guess is that if he met you in a dark alley with a laptop lighting up your face, he'd turn and run like hell."

"I believe Madame Aser has had that very experience, Most Twillious, if I may put in my two cents," Guillaume says. "But I was under the impression that the person who ran screaming did not know that the Esteemed Shaman was a writer, for it was then that my employer vowed never to put on a floral print muu-muu again."

"Thank you, Guillaume, didn't I hear your brother calling you?" Aser taps her foot.

"No," Guillaume replies. "I would certainly have heard him."

"But if he was calling you, and you didn't see what he wanted, he'd beat you with a broom, wouldn't he?"

Looking worried, the younger baboon sighs, and turns away in search of his brother Narsai.

It was a time of searching, indeed, for the poor sober shaman had lost track of her punted sherry flagon. From author to author, character to character, the dry wreck tottered, pleading, "Has anyone seen my sherry flagon? The one with the drunken sherry flagon dragon on it?"

"Would you recognize it if it was in pieces?" asks Gyps. "Maybe you should check out the floor underneath the cracks in the plaster where your mug went flying at Poetry Mach Three."

"Crap," says Aser. "I went all the way to Midgard to get that one. I'm switching to pewter souvenirs from now on."

"Or," suggests Tweetywill coolly, "you could give up both sherry and the poetry, and do far less damage."

"Why on earth would I want to do less damage?" asks Aser, truly puzzled.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 19, 2008 - 09 14

"It's so hard to get good help," Rune said under his breath as he watched his minion, Merle, stagger into the clearing with another large pumpkin. He wondered if he should have just kept the whole project to himself.

Merle was seriously out of shape, and he crammed syllables together into long strings as if he were speaking Finnish. "Whadawe needallthese punkinsfor?" he panted as he set the pumpkin down next to the other ones.

"I want to try out a new method of lighting them," Rune said. He indicated the boxes that were stacked on one side of the clearing.

Merle picked up one of the boxes to see what was in it, and then he gave Rune a look of total bewilderment. "Urinal cakes?"

ForeverBleeding RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 19, 2008 - 11 09



eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 19, 2008 - 17 16

"Odd? What's odd?" East walks in the room and takes a sip of sherry just as a box of urinal cakes goes up in flames. "Oops."

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 19, 2008 - 18 48

"East! Welcome back!" Tweety shouts, glad to see another of the regulars. Then he notices Forever standing there with a look of frightened disgust.

"Hey, don't worry, they are all completely harmless. Except maybe for Rune, but don't worry, he is just a fictional character anyway. The rest of us are real and harmless, just not real harmless..." Tweety chuckles at his own joke. Aser gives him a sidelong LOD*. Tweety pretends not to notice.
"Come on in and have a beverage. Can I offer you a Root Beer?" Aser slaps the proffered soft drink aside and sloshes Forever with cooking sherry from a dragon flagon (pewter this time).
"Naw, you want a grown-up beverage doncha?" snapping her fingers loudly she yells in the direction of the kitchen.
"Narsai! A dragon flagon for our new friend here!"

Cheryl holds out a dusty afghan as a solemn baboon approaches with a tray of dragon flagons.

"You might want to lurk invisibly for a while, until you get used to this place. It does take some getting used to. Can I interest you in an Amazing Afghan of Invisible Lurkability? All of the newbies love them. It helps them feel safe."

"Good thing elephant's eyes are immune to the effects of invisible lurkability. You can't hide from me!" Clara trumpets proudly.

Forever is not sure how to respond...

*Look Of Death = LOD (My wife introduced me to this concept...)

eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 19, 2008 - 19 41

"Tweety! Come here and give me a hug!" East lurches forward drunkenly and awkwardly hugs Tweety while Forever continues to look a wee bit stunned, cooking sherry dripping from his eyebrows.

Look of Death. I like it. I may borrow that.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 19, 2008 - 20 07

Aser eyes the matching pewter flagons embossed with drunken dragons on the tray and wonders about the integrity of her credit card. Could it be that some baboon might have learned how to forge her signature? She frowns. Could a baboon in question have manufactured a falsified drivers license with his own photo on it? Did the known world now believe she was a baboon?

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 20, 2008 - 07 21

Rune had only been able to find two kinds of urinal cakes. The cherry ones made purple flames, and for some reason known only to chemists the green-apple ones made red flames.

Purple and red.

Good Halloween colors.

He peered through the foliage at Guardian, who had just come out of her chip-reverie and was wondering who the new folks were.

With Merle in tow, he sneaked back to the clearing.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 20, 2008 - 07 25

Gyps rummages through her purse, though some would call it a duffel bag, and comes up with Lyd's black fingerless gloves.

"Here they are. I think you forgot them on the table last year in our rush to evacuate." Lyd takes the proffered gloves and slides them onto her slightly chilled hands.

"That's better. Now I'll grab some sherry and we can hunt down tejon."

"Better not. I hear that sleep deprived badgers are a nasty business. Best let him tend his young in peace." Gyps picks up a stray baby bootie and tosses it onto the ever-growing pile of crocheted goodies she and Cheryl are amassing in the corner of the living room. "Maybe I should crochet an antimacassar, " she mumbles.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 20, 2008 - 07 43

Narsai looks around nervously as Aser continues to stare him down.

"An antimacassar would be excellent, most crochety one. I believe I hear my most annoying brother calling. Please excuse me..." The baboon scoots quickly from the room, tucking his tray under one hairy arm.

Merle pokes Rune with a dirty elbow and snickers underneath his breath...

"Hey, look what I snicked from the monkey's pocket!"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 20, 2008 - 15 29

Rune took the card, looked at it briefly, and then gave it back. "Why don't you...just keep that," he said, and he smiled benignly at Merle. "It might come in handy." (What he really meant was, "Handy for ME. If they come looking for it, I'll be sure to let them know that YOU have it.) He gestured at the stolen picnic table they had carried into the clearing. It was surrounded by stolen pumpkins. "Let's see if these work."

They put a big carved pumpkin at each corner of the table. Rune positioned a urinal cake in the bottom of each one, put the lids on the pumpkins, and lit the cakes with a match taped to the end of a twig.

The result was awesome, in Merle's opinion.

A couple of hours later, Guardian wandered over to a window to check on the fronds. The potato-chip bag dropped from her hand and she turned around and yelled, "My fronds are on fire! Quick, where's Clara?"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 20, 2008 - 22 40

"Make sure you hook that hose to the water tap, and not the sherry tap," Aser instructs the hapless Merle, as he grins and tries to look unobtrusive.

"I shall instruct him, O Honored Shaman," says Narsai, becoming visible from the shadows. He grasps Merle's collar, jingles him, and picks his pocket as a return favor. "This is the water tap, Young Prankster, and that one is for sherry. Water tap is for outgoing, sherry is for incoming. Don't look down the front end of the hose when it is turned on." The baboon walks twenty paces away and sits to watch.

Clara appears, sniffs Merle with her trunk, and observes, "You smell like a burnt pumpkin pie.

"With looberry topping."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 21, 2008 - 14 25

Rune looked disgustedly at the charred remains of his first experiment. It wasn't the effect he had wanted. Merle had thought it was great until the brush fires started, and then the paste-eating turncoat had run off to fetch someone. The cinders had traveled quite a ways, and sirens could be heard in the distance.

"Maybe, if I leave the tops off the pumpkins..." He would need more pumpkins. And more urinal cakes. The boxes had caught fire and gone up in a spectacular WHOOF!

Well. He didn't need help now, anyway. While everyone had been running around and yelling, he had "acquired" an item that would be a lot more helpful than his knuckle-dragging sidekick.

He picked up a burlap bag, took something out of it, and held it up.

It was the Amazing Afghan of Invisible Lurkability. Forever, still stunned, hadn't been paying attention. Rune also knew that it didn't work on Clara, who had trumpeted that fact rather loudly.

He grinned, and it was a grin that would've been right at home under a horned helmet. He wrapped himself in the Afghan and sneaked away from the scene of the crime.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 21, 2008 - 20 20

Hey Guardian... So if this conflicts with your image of Merle, please forget it. He is, after all your character. However, everytime he appears in our thread I keep picturing one person...

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 21, 2008 - 22 29

Twilly who said we were supposed to post our pictures here?

*wicked grin*

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 22, 2008 - 06 42

Put a beat-up (fake) leather jacket on him and you pretty much nailed it...

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 22, 2008 - 06 56

Gyps looks at Merle, as he is trying to get control over the urinal cake fires. (You know they will forever be known as the "urinal cake fires" don't you?). She turns to Lyd and says, "Does he look a little yellow to you?"

Before Lyd can answer, Gyps catches sight of someone or something disappearing behind the afghan. As she tries to get closer, she trips over a smaller pile of fingerless gloves and hats and lands right at Aser's feet.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 22, 2008 - 08 14

Guardian sat on a (nonamazing) afghan and stared up at the fronds, which still smoked around the edges. Bits of ash drifted down from the sky.

So there was a fifteen-year-old Viking-in-denial, wearing excessively-bezippered pants and carrying an arsenal of lighters, and now he was able to Lurk Invisibly.

It was enough to make her hair hurt, and she had a LOT of hair.

She picked up her bottle of chardonnay, but it was empty. "Crap," she thought. After deciding that the smarter of the two delinquents would be sufficiently smart to lay low for a while, she left to get another bottle.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 22, 2008 - 17 44

Tweety focuses an (attempted) LOD at Lydia, but has not yet mastered the technique. (Plus, my wife informs me it is a uniquely female talent...) Failing that, he tries to think up an acceptable comeback, and likewise fails. All he can come up with is.... "Oh yeah? Booger!"

Flush with triumph in the LydiaWar, Tweety turns his attention to Guardian. Handing her a fresh root beer, he commiserates with her and her unruly characters.

"I had a character like that once. Well kind of. Only he didn't have an attitude. But he did create an artificial black hole at the center of a solar system that made the sun go supernova and destroyed the entire galaxy..."

Clara suddenly slaps at something in the bushes with her trunk and yells: "Don't even THINK about it you delinquent! Besides, there ARE no warp transmitted gravitic generators in THIS universe!"

A pair of dirty high-top Cons sneakers sprints away through the underbrush, then comes to a sudden stop underneath a low-hanging branch. Many and various curse-words emanate from the air about five feet above them...

Aser helps Gyps to her feet.

"Don't blame you for tripping over that stuff. I haven't ever seen a crocheted fingerless hat before either."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 22, 2008 - 20 50

"But I'm glad you're here, Gyps. You can be the first to listen to my inspirational poem that is practically guaranteed to make people believe that they can write fifty thousand words in thirty days or less."

Gyps begins to run, her feet raising a cloud of dust. But she has no forward progress, as Aser has the back of her sweater firmly in her clasp. Just as Gyps' sneakers begin to smoke from the friction, Narsai appears at Aser's shoulder with a fresh warm glass of sherry. "Why thank you, Narsai, don't mind if I do."

Gyps bolts for the house. From the doorway, Guardian shouts, "Run, Gypsy, run!!!"

"Fine, be that way," Aser says, walking down the beach towards the breakers. She removes her black cape and places it on the ground, and raising her arms, declaims to the ocean:

"A fat frog in a blender --
Not an image you should render
Even if you have been on a three-week bender.
It's sure to make someone puke.

"A cook who's being petty
Will put pigs' feet on spaghetti
And instead of apple, make Broccoli Brown Betty,
Daring diners to rebuke.

"You should not sew a ruffle
On a khaki Army duffle
It will make soldiers weep and stomp off in a huffle,
And the nation then would fall.

"But if you are going to write
And bring 50 thou words to light
Just pound out those flagrant phrases, pound with all your might.
It's November, after all."

Two bluefish and a medium-sized flounder fling themselves out of the waves, gagging. Aser calmly gathers them into the cape and heads towards the back door and the kitchen. "Who says poetry will never put food on the table?"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 23, 2008 - 07 09

The poetic assault washed over Rune, who didn't even notice it. He was still focused on one word Tweety had said, and it was a word that haunted his life: booger.

The other kids had made fun of his last name (Evensberget) and called him "Evensbooger". At least, they had until they figured out that things would...happen if they did that.

He looked down and realized that the Afghan wasn't hiding his sneakers, and he adjusted it to take full advantage of its Amazingness. Then he gave Tweety a Look of Death, which generations of looters and raiders in his family tree had practiced to while away the hours on their longships. With the right DNA, a man could do it.

The elephant finally wandered off, and he tiptoed away, careful not to disturb any foliage. Booger, indeed.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 23, 2008 - 07 21

Gyps hid behind the surprisingly large cottage, hoping to escape the poetry. Alas, like a strong fragrance, it wafted on the breeze. Giving up, she decided to finally clean the kitchen so she could prepare the flounder for supper. All the while, she muttered to herself, "Fingerless hats. I can't believe I dangled my modifier." She slapped the now filthy dishcloth onto the counter. "Well, at least something good occurred from Shaman poetry."

Eastrockpark looked around. "Wow, it's a clean kitchen. Who knew?"

"I needed a break from crochet. And I almost got one when I tripped over the hats and fingerless gloves in there. Did you get a set?"

"No, but I'll help you with the cooking, if you like."

A loud crash in the living room had both of them ducking for cover.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 23, 2008 - 11 11

"Clara! No! You have to use the Elephant Door! Not the doggy door! Bad elephant! Bad!" Tweety brandishes a rolled up newspaper menacingly, but Clara simply continues pushing through the doggy door until her entire body was inside the house.
"You don't have the guts to use that newspaper Tweety, and you know it." Clara pouts haughtily. Tweety's shoulders droop in defeat, and he nods in agreement.
"I guess that's why my circus career went down the tubes. Especially after the clowns figured out that I was just bluffing about the nunchuk skilz..."

Tweety and Clara wander into the kitchen where Gyps and East are huddled under the table.

"What's for chow?" Tweety asks, cheerfully.
"Fish" Answers Gyps icily, still embarassed about the expose of her dangler. (BTW, I have never been able, til now to understand what a dangling modifier is. Who says you can't learn anything in the UC thread?)
"Smells great! When will it be ready?" Asks Tweety, trying to be agreeable.
"You like fish?" Asks East
"No, but after that last poem, I think my sense of smell and taste are permanently damaged."

A pewter dragon flagon suddenly sails in through the gaping hole where the front door used to be and smacks Tweety in the back of the head.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 23, 2008 - 13 33

Guardian writhed on the ground and clutched her head. Then, in an attempt at poetry-exorcism, she scrabbled for the small volume of Sufi poetry she always kept close by. Her hands shook as she opened it and tried to read a poem with the double vision she had suddenly been afflicted with.

Gradually she stopped twitching and her vision cleared. She took a big swig from the bottle of chardonnay.

A twig snapped nearby. She didn't even bother to look.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 23, 2008 - 21 30

Once the flounder was safely cooking, Gyps retrieved her crochet hook and yarn and set about crocheting a fingerless hat. "Hey, don't laugh. Someone's gotta try it. And Cheryl has her hands full!" Eastrockpark just rolled her eyes and checked on the rest of the meal they'd started.

Clara, meanwhile, tried to find a place to sit, but everything in the house was too small and not built for an Elephant. "Sorry, Clara," Tweetywill said. "I'll go outside with you if you'd like. We'll both be more comfortable anyway. It's getting crowded in here with the crochet and the Shaman." Tweety sidles up to Clara and whispers, "And the poetry."

From the yard, someone begins yelling, "Sufi, Sufi, Sufi, Sufi."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 23, 2008 - 23 09

Aser snags a loaf of bakery fresh French Bread and the two bluefish and goes outside to the barbecue. "Leave these inside and someone will put Cajun seasonings and tartar sauce on them. All they need is cooking." She kicks the smelly chunks out of the barbecue put. "AND NOT OVER URINAL CAKES!!!!"

"This year's novel is called Going Hungry, and I don't plan on doing that before November first," she says, cleaning and scaling the bluefish. "All I need is some grapes or a cantelope, and I can last until the deadline." She tosses the fish heads over her shoulder, beaning a passing nameless surfing novelist.

"Ow," says the nameless surfing novelist, "I wonder what the hell that was all about? Is it an election issue?"

Aser turns and wonders if the politically curious nameless forum-surfing novelist would like some REALLY bad poetry.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 24, 2008 - 06 25 "Sufi!" Guardian shouted at the dopey Springer Spaniel that had just erupted from the depths of the fronds. "Sufi, COME HERE!" The dog ignored her and bounded over to the barbecue pit to investigate the wonderful smells.

"Shoo, you hairy pestilence!" Aser said as she hurled a fish-head in the general direction of the dog. Sufi caught the airborne piscine cranium and pranced over to Tweety and Clara. To the dog, Clara was just another big dog with a rather odd nose. Sufi waggled his rear end endearingly and dared Clara to try and get the fish-head away from him.

Rune, who had been watching Tweety's every move from somewhere in the shrubbery, realized that the dog would be a problem.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 24, 2008 - 07 12

How terrible is it that I'm starting to really like and kind of feel sorry for Rune?

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 24, 2008 - 10 49

He started out as an experimental character but you have just decided his fate! I am now going to include him in my Official NanoStory, although I'll be careful not to "pre-write" anything that will eventually show up there.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 24, 2008 - 13 03

The smell of cooking fish was making Rune hungry, so he went home, got his bike, and rode to the store. He selected several items for lunch and dinner, paid for most of them, put them in his bike basket, and slowly pedaled home.

The house, as usual, was a mess. He put the groceries in the kitchen, took a garbage bag from under the counter, and picked up the beer cans and pizza boxes and other trash that stayed where it was until he cleaned it up. After doing the dishes from breakfast, he made lunch.

He fixed a plate and took it in to his dad, who was watching football. When his dad wasn't at work he was always watching football, or hockey, or car racing, and if he couldn't find anything live he watched sports he had recorded.

Rune put the plate down on the coffee table, returned to the kitchen, made himself a sandwich, grabbed a pop from the nearly-empty fridge, and went out to the garage.

His dad hadn't been in the garage in years.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 24, 2008 - 18 39

"Garages can be good," Aser says as she watches the boy in the crystal ball that nestles among the bric-a-brac and weaponry on the side table. "I'm in kind of a garage phase myself when I'm not me."

Schiz eyes her warily. "Who are you when you're not you?"

"Someone else, of course," says Aser, trying to see what all is in Rune's garage by looking through the other side of the crystal ball. "It's like being bifurcated, but not."

"Is this supposed to be a poem?"

Aser's eyes light up. "No, but it could be!"

"Bifur----" Gyps gasps. "You can't say that on a public thread!"

Cheryl puts on her Smart Person Glasses again. "Indeed she can, no matter how perverted it sounds. Now please, don't ask her to rhyme anything with 'bifurcate,' please, please, please."

Aser shouts, "Did one of you take my notebook from the couch???"

Narsai asides to his younger brother, "No, not one, but by general consensus, all. The Esteemed Hedge Shaman cannot generate rhymed poetry without a notebook."

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 24, 2008 - 20 32

Gyps laughs at Cheryl. "Of course I know what bifurcate means. Eight years in the legal field didn't damage me enough to forget." The smell of burning wafted into the room. "Damn. My food!" Gyps takes off like a shot.

From the kitchen, Cheryl heard, "Who stuffed all of these notebooks into the oven?" followed by the sound of the fire extinguisher.

"Noooooo!" Aser cried.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 25, 2008 - 06 52

Rune had discovered, through additional experiments, that the pumpkins wouldn't be incinerated if he left the tops off them before he lit the urinal cakes inside. Now, he needed a good place to put his project. A place that would be easy for a TV crew to get to.

Hidden by the Amazing Afghan Of Invisible Lurkability, he wandered around the mini-park in the middle of town and located all the surveillance cameras. The genius who had installed them had them all facing out, toward the sidewalks. Most of the park itself was out of view of the cameras. Obviously, it was hard for the police to get good help, too. He thought briefly of Merle, and then he decided that he would get more done without him.

He left the mini-park and returned to the garage, where he had hidden more pumpkins that he had stolen to replace the first batch. He'd had to go a lot further away for these.

After making sure he had his arsenal of lighters, he prepared to construct his masterpiece. At least, his public one.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 25, 2008 - 21 34

Aser sprints to the kitchen to try and save her toxic poetry just as Tweety suddenly reappears next to the cappuchino machine. Looking around to see that nobody is watching, he surreptitiously spits something in the sink. Then he grabs a root beer from the fridge and guzzles it down in one long swig. Then, he decides to go see what is happening in the garage.

"That kid has quite a setup" he admits with grudging admiration. "He could get in a lot of trouble though, if he's not careful." Aser comes in holding a smoking but unfortunately semi-intact notebook and rolls her eyes.
"Did you ever stop to think maybe that's just the point?" Tweety shrugs.
"I guess so. I just hope he doesn't hurt himself or get locked up permanently." Gyps joins them as they stand there admiring the various devices and stockpiles. "I kind of like him too Gyps."

Just then Merle walks in, reeking of burnt foliage and cooking sherry.

"um, hey guys, I know the monkey showed me which tap tuh use, um, but I think um it got mixed up or sumthin, um, and well the red water doesn't put the fire out too good, um it kind of makes it bigger, knowhutamean guys? Um, could someone gimmeahand or sumthin with this fire cuz its not goin too good for me now..."

Sufi the dog wanders in through the open door, and catching a whiff of Merle, decides that anything that smells that bad needs to belong to him, and marks him as Sufi-territory...

"Hey! Whose dog is this anyway!" Merle shrieks in disgust. A muffled guffaw from a dark corner of the garage draws Sufi's attention next, and the hackles along her back stand up. Clara's trunk enters the garage, followed shortly by her melodious voice:
"Don't worry little doggy, it's just Rune, lurking amazingly. He's Harmless..."

Tweety adds: "Mostly Harmless"

Gyps finishes. "42"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 25, 2008 - 23 15

Aser puts her scorched notebooks on a shelf out of the dog's reach. The smoky reek of crappy poetry and flounder would drive the beast mad with the urge to mark, like a graffiti punk with a can of new spray paint in front of a blank, freshly-painted wall. She bursts into voice:

"Better to be safe than sorry,
than be all feathered and tarry!
Better to not have to worry
About being marked by something furry!"

"What is that noise?" asks Rune's voice, though he himself cannot be seen. "Sounds like somebody's channeling Tom Bombadil on Xanax!"

"Rune! Rune, dood! Are you dead and a ghost now or whut?" Merle looks around wildly, damp and still dripping various fluids.

In the distance, the sound of sirens is heard.

"Dangit," says Aser. "The fire department is on the way! Do you know how illegal it is to have an elephant living on the front porch? Not to mention baboons in this country without work permits???"

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 25, 2008 - 23 34

**WARNING** Off Topic Post Ahead... (As if there can ever be such a thing in THIS thread...)

Aser wrote:
"Sounds like somebody's channeling Tom Bombadil on Xanax!"

Aser, if I had been drinking something just now, you would have owed me a new keyboard for that one. I have been reading the Lord of the Rings to my 6 year old son, and he is FASCINATED with Tom Bombadil. He keeps quizzing me over and over about who he is, and why he does the things he does, and a very repetitive question is: "Why doesn't Frodo just give the ring to Tom? Can't he get rid of it? Can't he get rid of Sauron? Why doesn't Tom take the ring to Mt Doom?" Tonight, I got frustrated with him because he kept interrupting the Council of Elrond to ask about Tom. I told him: "Tom is over! He never shows up in the whole rest of the story! He has no purpose! I don't know why he is in the book! He shows up, saves the hobbits from the willow tree and the barrow wights, and then disappears! Stop asking me questions about Tom Bombadil!"

Gotta love kids...

OK, back to your regularly scheduled UC randomness. I just had to share.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 26, 2008 - 08 59

Rune had just picked up the first pumpkin when he heard someone coming towards the garage. Several people, in fact. THAT was unprecedented. He put the pumpkin down, covered himself with the Afghan, and hid in a corner.

They let themselves in and wandered around looking at the place, which had lumber, tools and hardware all neatly arranged. There were winches, chains, come-alongs, pulleys, and many power tools. One of the workbenches held small plastic buckets containing different sizes of screws and nails and unidentifiable metal things. There were other plastic buckets with dried tar on them. Several cans of shellac were in a cardboard box under the workbench. In the middle of the garage was a large object which was completely covered with tarps except for the long wooden poles that stuck out of the top.

Merle appeared, still whining about fires. What a nuisance. Then the dog showed up and peed on Merle, and Rune couldn't resist a snicker. Horrifying poetry soon followed, and he burst out with a comment before he could stop himself. He realized at once that he had given away his hiding-place. Frantically, he looked for a way to get past all these people and out the door. His heart sank as a trunk came through the doorway, because he knew Clara would be able to see him.

Clara stretched out her trunk and snatched a corner of the Afghan. Rune became visible to everyone else, but he held on to another corner and tried to yank it away from her. Sufi, eager to join in the new game, leaped into the air and clamped his jaws on a third corner. Not to be left out, Tweety lunged and grabbed the fourth corner.

"This is ridiculous!" Rune said, and he let go of his corner. "What do you want, anyway? And how the hell did you even find me?" He glared at Tweety, as if daring him to say the word "booger" again, and then he turned his glare on Aser. "You can't rat on me, 'cause you're doing illegal stuff too!"

He looked at the large tarp-covered object and said, somewhat less belligerently, "I can help you get away from the cops, if you want."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 26, 2008 - 08 02

Also off the "Off Topic" topic (Maybe we need a new thread called "Off The Off-Topic Topic").

I wish I had a Babel Fish to stick in my ear. Maybe it would help me learn Finnish more easily...

thetejon RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 26, 2008 - 09 00

TheTejon, rather more resourceful than your average dog, deftly and quietly slips the burnt poetry into the diaper bag he's been unobtrusively carrying.

"This will come in handy for scaring away door-to-door salesmen," He said. "Maybe I can record them and get them to play when someone rings the doorbell."

He carefully makes his way towards the door, a watchful eye over his shoulder looking for anyone carrying a Wand of Turning People and/or Badgers into Sandwiches.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 26, 2008 - 18 22

Aser checks the secret pockets of her cape, and finds nothing. She checks her pants pockets, the tops of her suede ninja boots, and the inside of Clara's trunk. "My notebooks are gone," she says in shock. "Gone, I tell you! I have been snookered!"

"Snookered?" Gyps gasps, poking her head out the garage door. "You almost said 'snookered' in front of the police, and the fire department, and the FBI, and the IRS, all of whom are pulling into the yard! We'll all be arrested!"

Cheryl stands in the doorway of the garage, finishing the top seam of a 47-foot baby sock. "Doesn't the crime depend on whether she meant 'snookered' or 'snookered'?"

Rune mutters again about being able to help, and this time, the company turns to him as one.

"Time to shine, Non-Invisible Boy. What do you have in mind?" Tweetywill says, snatching his favorite toy, the Afghan of Invisibility away from the dog and the elephant.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 06 50

"We need time," Rune said. "Close the door, and lock it. And keep the dog quiet." He quickly added, "And Merle, too!" He said it with such authority that several of the others leaped to obey.

Aser and Cheryl exchanged a knowing look. The kid was a general without an army. No wonder he was such trouble. And he had practically raised himself.

The door had a set of locks that wouldn't have looked out-of-place on a Brinks truck. Tweety took care of the locks, and Gyps scooped up Sufi. Narsai and his brother quietly flanked Merle, and poked him when he started whining.

Rune walked over to the huge tarp-covered object, lifted one end of a tarp, and told everyone to climb into the...whatever it was. They managed to get Clara in with the help of a section of steel beam and a couple of hydraulic jacks. Rune quietly went over by the door, turned the lights out, and joined his new rebel army under the tarps. "Keep quiet," he whispered, as if they needed to be told. Boards creaked as Clara settled herself.

Someone knocked on the door, and then they heard the sound of footsteps going up the path to the house. Rune's dad had actually noticed the commotion and come out on the porch to see if it had anything to do with sports. The fugitives in the garage could only hear parts of the conversation: something about fires, and a rash of pumpkin-thefts, and a fraudulent ID card with a baboon's picture on it. Rune's dad insisted that he didn't know anything, and all the badges and dark suits finally went away.

In the garage, nobody moved for a while. Rune finally climbed out and carefully peeked through the shade that covered the only window the garage had. He quietly unlocked and opened the door and tiptoed into the yard. After a complete circuit of the place, he came inside and said, "They're gone. Everybody out."

"Everybody" dutifully obeyed. Now Rune's eyes were actually sparkling and he said, "Let's get these tarps off. And then YOU can help ME!"

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 26, 2008 - 21 23

Gyps looks outside at the numerous cars pulling up in front of the deceptively rickety shack. She looks back at the tarp-covered contraption Rune is walking toward. "I don't know, guys. Is this such a good idea?"

Aser starts to reply when she notices a lone diaper on the floor near the back door of the garage.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 06 55

Gyps put Sufi down. The dog ran straight to the diaper, snuffled at it, and then started to follow a trail with his nose. The trail led to the door, and Sufi scratched at it and whined to go out. Gyps opened the door and the dog bounded out and disappeared around the corner, where he encountered Tejon, who was trying to sneak away with Aser's singed notebook.

Sufi sniffed excitedly at the diaper bag. The bag would have been sheer bliss all by itself, but in addition to its own aroma it held smoky, fishy, stinky poetry. He absolutely HAD to own it, so he lifted his leg and peed on it.

Tejon yelled at the dog in outrage. Sufi, frankly, didn't see what all the fuss was about.

writergypsie RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 07 24

Gyps looked at Aser, then turned her gaze to Cheryl. "Now that I take the time to look, that is suspiciously like the hovercraft."

Aser grinned. Just then, Sufi trotted in with a charred notebook clasped in her furry jaws. She looked about as smug as a dog can look (and that's pretty smug).

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 10 49

Tweety was just beginning to marvel that Sufi was able to simultaneously trot and carry a charred notebook in his paws when Aser saw the book and went postal.

Give me that book!
You pee-marking snook!
The hovercraft's starting
To make Rune look smart... um... ing
I will wale on your hide
Til the inrush of tide
From the great briny deep
Where the fishes all sleep
You are holding my precious
Like something delicious
Without which my poetry
Is like a dead oval-tree.

The wave of horrible poetry hits the poor animal like a wave of noxious gas, and she whines piteously and drops the book. Everyone else in the house cringes and gasps for breath and Aser lunges for the charred notebook. But before Aser can grab it, Rune appears out of nowhere and snatches it up.
"You should know that teenage boys are immune to poetry of any kind. Hormones you know."

Merle snuffles and wipes his nose with a grubby forearm.
"I kind of liked it. It tasted like burning."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 16 20

Aser prepared to explode as Rune calmly leafed through her baneful declamations. He found one that interested him and he showed it to her. "This would be a powerful charm against anyone who works for an acronym," he told her. Nobody in the room doubted him for a moment. He gave her the notebook, and she marked the page and carefully tucked the book into a pocket.

They finally got all the tarps off. Rune folded his arms and stared at the object that had just been revealed. "I built it myself!" he said proudly, oblivious to the looks that were being exchanged behind him. Either the kid was a genius, or he was so far beyond insane that he would make a fascinating case study.

He had made...a boat. It was long enough that it rested at an angle to the garage walls. Everyone walked up to get a closer look at it.

"It's a full-sized replica of Skuldelev 6," Rune told them. "That's a Viking boat that was sunk in a fjord in the eleventh century, and it was dug up in 1962."

Tweety reached out and ran his hand along the hull. It was made of long, wide strips of aluminum that had been welded together. "Um, I don't think they had aluminum back then," he said doubtfully. He pointed at a welding machine near the workbench. "And they certainly didn't have those."

"Aluminum is lighter," Rune said, "and you can find it...lying around."

Tweety laughed at this unsurprising revelation. "Lying around in scrap yards and recycling bins, you mean."

Rune grinned sheepishly and shrugged. "So I was frugal."

Everyone was impressed. This frugal young man had put a thirty-five-foot boat together. Without any help.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 19 13 The mailman arrives, carrying a package.

"Is there a Tweet E. Will here?" he asks timidly, looking nervously at Clara.

"Depends who is asking..." Rune answers suspiciously. Tweety nods in approval.

"Um...I'm the mailman, I have a package... I'll just leave it here then..." he starts backing out nervously but Merle grabs his bag and starts looking inside.

"I hear mailmans don't take walks on their days off..." The mailman panics and whips out his dog repellent and sprays Merle in the face before fleeing down the long drive.

Meanwhile Tweety has opened his package. It is a copy of "The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint"

"See y'all later, I am going to be reading for a minute..." Tweety walks away.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 27, 2008 - 22 25

Minty fresh cakes? Edgar? thinks Aser, suspiciously. If only Uncle Edgar were not such a stranger these days.

Clara walks swiftly back up the drive after chasing the mailman, grinning with accomplishment, passing Merle who has run to the beach to cleanse his eyeballs in Mother Ocean.

"Hey, you guys, about Merle ... " Rune says apologetically, "... he's a good hearted dude, it's just that ... "

"He's about 50 bricks shy of a hod?" concludes Gyps.

"A cod?" asks Lydia. "He uses bricks for his cod?"

Scriibe perks up. "Cod? Do you mean fish or do you mean his -- Oww! Would you quit doing that?"

"A hod, not a cod," Gyps reprimands. "Don't any of you read the dictionary?"

Aser puts up a hand. "I used to, but it didn't have much about cooking sherry in it."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 28, 2008 - 09 09

Rune watched dejectedly as Tweety walked away, and he had a brief urge to set something on fire. Then he saw Clara coming back from her mailman-repelling activity, with Sufi trotting along beside her. Maybe Clara would help. "I need to get my boat out of here," he said. "I built it right on a trailer. Will you pull it?" Clara held her head high and said, "Of course I will!" He fashioned a well-padded harness and adjusted it until it fit her perfectly. Then he attached it to the front of the trailer.

Cheryl did the math and said, "How is that going to fit through the door?" By way of a reply, Rune walked to the back of the garage and took down some tarps that had been covering the overhead door. He had kept it in good repair, and it went up almost soundlessly, giving them a view of the Briny Deep which was a short distance away.

Clara started pulling, and the trailer began to move. Just a few minutes later she had reached the edge of the water. Rune got into the boat and put up the mast, which had been too tall for the garage. Then he climbed out and walked around the trailer, giving the craft a final inspection. "Wait a minute," he said, and he pointed at something Cheryl was holding. "Can I use that?" She handed him the forty-seven-foot baby sock and he tied one end to the boat and the other to a tree. Then Clara waded out into the water and pulled the trailer right in after her, and the boat floated free.

"Does anyone want to come along?" Rune asked the crowd on the beach. "I can handle it myself, but it's a nice day for a sail. Besides, your place is probably crawling with cops."

Meanwhile, back at the Fronds, Guardian was keeping an eye on the shack where she had met her new friends. Half a dozen government agencies had taken it over. They looked so out-of-place that it was appalling.

She felt responsible for the whole situation; if her Interdimensional Fronds had landed somewhere else, those nice folks would still have their peace and quiet. They were probably at Rune's place now. She crept through the shrubbery in that direction.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 28, 2008 - 11 23

"Thanks for the offer, Rune, but I must decline. The G-men at the house strike me as a crowd that really ought to hear some poetry." Aser begins to stagger back up the beach to the house, where too many men in suits with things stuck in their ears are milling.

"You live here?" asks one of the agents.

"I live many places," Aser says mysteriously. "This could be said to be one of them, if this is what you call 'living'."

"Just answer the question," the man says shortly, "and don't be a smartass."

"Piffle," retorts Aser. "We're not in a court of law. Why are you guys here, anyway?"

"To investigate."

"Investigate what? The fire is out, the Fronds are quiet, the giant squids frolic in the briny deep as they should on a Twosday afternoon." Aser looks at her watch and sees that it's half-past her sherry break.

"Hey, we just go investigate wherever they send us. Something must have been suspicious around here."

"Yes, I'm suspicious about your grade school grammar lessons," the dried out shaman grumbles.

"Hey, that's an elephant!" One of the men points at Clara. "Elephants are illegal as pets!"

"Don't be ridiculous," Aser says. "That's a Halloween costume. Listen, you can hear the people inside singing from here. Elephants don't sing, everybody knows that."

"Looks like a real elephant to me."

"CGI," Aser responds. "I have Photoshop on my computers."

"Wait a minute, those are monkeys!"

"Nope. More Halloween costumes. We're good at what we do."

The agent casts about for something else to investigate. He looks at the Fronds, but before he can speak, Aser drones. "Decorations for the Halloween Party and Kick Off Celebration."

"That boat licensed?"


"I still think we ought to take a look around the place," the agent growls.

Aser frowns and there is a faint crackling of static as she prepares to sear the air. "Look around if you wish, and have some of the fish," she says loudly. "Things will work out fine, especially if you find my spine."

The agent winces.

"I'm just hopin' you don't leave the door open. And please, you guys, try some of the looberry pies."

One of the men gags, and says, "I don't think we need to go any further."

Cheryl appears with a deftly knitted muffler and wraps it around Aser's mouth. "And I'm from Iowa, and hate writing fiction. What could be more wholesome than that?"

Shaking their heads to clear the horrible rhymes from their memories, the men in suits leave without looking back.

Cheryl unwinds the thick scarf from around Aser's head and asks, "Why do you always have to go for the Self-Destruct Mode?"

"Cooking sherry," Aser says, and heads back to the house.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 29, 2008 - 07 42

Aser had just taken her first sip of sherry when there was a loud SPOING! from the direction of the bathroom. "What now?" she said, and she got up to investigate, still holding her glass.

She looked through the bathroom doorway and she couldn't believe her eyes: the whole bathroom was full of Fronds. They sprouted out of the tub, the toilet, the sink, the wastebasket, and even the big seashell that was on the floor in the corner. "What am I supposed to do with THAT?" she shrieked, and she went to the window to look out at the spot where the Fronds were supposed to be. They were gone.

Cheryl glanced into the bathroom, shrugged, and said, "You could pee standing up." She immediately realized her mistake as she felt a definite buildup of Poetry in the vicinity. As Aser raised her arms in a Classic Shaman Pose, Cheryl covered her ears, ran away, and dived behind the couch. The poem oozed into Cheryl's brain:

"My Sticky-Buns are the best in town
You'll really want to wolf them down.
But if your buns get sticky then that's too bad
Some talcum-powder you'll wish you had!"

This poem was so awful that it was able to affect plant-life that was rooted in Another Dimension. The beleaguered Fronds quivered, and then they disappeared with a sound like a hundred firecrackers going off.

Aser returned to the window, where she saw that the Fronds had erupted a short distance from the barbecue pit. "Well, at least they'll be good for shade there," she said, and then she summoned Narsai.

Narsai silently appeared and said, "Yes, Esteemed Shaman?"

"Find Guardian and tell her that her Fronds are acting up."

Narsai bowed and departed.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 29, 2008 - 20 58

"Most Vigilant of Guardians," the great baboon begins humbly, "the Fronds have been into the toilet and the bath and are now milling about the barbecue."

"The toilet? They didn't get any of the urinal cakes, did they? Please tell me they didn't root in the urinal cakes!"

"As far as I know or can tell, they did not; however, the shaman has asked me to inform you of their movements. This is probably occasioned by her concern that Master Merle's attempt to preempt their conflagration may have given them a taste for cooking sherry..."

"OMG," grates Guardian. "Can you order about twenty cases of Seven-Up to be delivered right away? It's the sugar content -- it will help them with their roots."

"At once, Madame."

"Narsai! A bottle of grain alcohol, too, please. If it's not just the sugar, but the alcohol -- grain goes a long way and mixes with everything."

"You are wise, O Guardian. I shall phone in an order immediately." The baboon hurries off to the nearest house phone.

Meanwhile, Aser rummages through the cabinets in the bathroom. After two years, she is still in search of her spine, which she will surely need for NaNoWriMo.

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 29, 2008 - 22 41

Lyd nudged Narsai and whispered, "Here, use my laptop and have the liquor delivered. BevMo has killer prices and you wont miss anything while on the phone."

Narsai nodded and began clicking and mousing his way to massive liquor delivery.

"Oh, dark one, what method of payment?"

Smiling Lyd handed him a credit card that had somehow landed in her hand during one of the chatoic events of the past few days. All she knew it wasn't her name on the card and it seemed to be a nice bright and shiny object.

"Thank you, I appreciate your kindness."

And like that a few clicks and someone's credit card was now responsible for the UC Party.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 30, 2008 - 07 14

The new folks had all politely declined Rune's offer and gone home, apparently to make preparations for a party. A grown-up party. That left him with Merle. Well, maybe it was just as well. He didn't need a boatload of girls, and anyway they would probably complain about their hair.

Sufi, like all dogs, recognized Going For A Ride no matter what form it took, and he barked at the boat and looked at Rune pleadingly. "Let's go," Rune said, and he motioned at the gently-bobbing craft. Sufi was in first, and he stood on his hind legs to look over the bow. Merle slowly clambered in and sat down heavily.

"I dunno about this, dood," Merle said, clinging to one side. "Ain't it, you know, kinda too big? Just for us, I mean?" Sufi barked furiously at him to shut up.

Rune ignored the whining that had already started. He untied the forty-seven-foot baby sock from the tree, climbed aboard the boat, and pushed off with an oar. He had custom-built several power-assist devices for the boat, so he could take it out by himself. The sail went up with the push of a button, and within minutes his lightweight Skuldelev 6.1 attained a speed that would have made Erik the Red wet his knickers.

The trial run was a success, and in a calculated act of malice Rune decided to do an Authentic Raiding-Party Landing. He aimed the boat straight at the shore, and when it was close enough he dropped sail and ran the sturdy craft right up on the beach.

The Authentic Landing was also a success. Merle had wet HIS knickers.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 30, 2008 - 09 11

Tweetywill lounged in his beach chair snoring loudly, a thin string of drool hanging from one corner of his mouth. The book he just finished has fallen to the sand next to him - he was up pretty late finishing it.

Just then an aluminum viking ship made a sudden and violent beach landing, sliding to a stop mere inches from Tweety's beach chair. Jerking awake, he yells: "Edgar! Get the urinal puck! The ghosts are back!"

Merle, swearing under his breath while looking sideways at Rune clambers down from the viking ship and manages to land face first in the wet sand. Swearing even more fervently he finally manages to get to his feet and waddles up the beach towards the Maison D'Looberry.

Tweety wipes the drool from his chin and looks up into the sparkling eyes of Rune, standing on the prow of his ship surveying the beach. Sufi stands next to him, his tail wagging furiously and barks twice, as if to announce the arrival of the Viking raider.

"Hey there, Axle..." Tweety yells. "Wanna watch where you park that thing?"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 30, 2008 - 16 37

"Sorry," Rune said as he jumped down from the boat. "You blended right in with the other driftwood."

"What do you mean, the 'other' driftwood?" Tweety snapped.

Rune spotted the book that Tweety had dropped, and in a magnificent save he quickly said "What were you reading?"

Tweety picked the book up. "You'd like it. It has urinal cakes in it."

"I've been reading this," Rune said, and he fished a battered book out of the pocket of his Army jacket. "I'm going to start writing." He handed the book to Tweety. It was a copy of "Bubbles the Retarded Chimp's Guide to Writing Dreck".

Tweety laughed and said, "How are you going to learn anything from that?"

"The idea," Rune explained patiently, "is to read the book and NOT do what it says."

Just then, there was a bloodcurdling scream from the direction of the Looberry Shack.

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 31, 2008 - 16 08

"What do you mean they can't deliver the liquor until Monday?" Aser couldn't believe her ears.

Everyone else was covering theirs.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Oct 31, 2008 - 16 48

Inside the house, Cheryl's hair has been permanently straightened and stands upright on her head. The dog-headed baboons have buried themselves under the sofa, with only hind feet and tails visible. Aser clings with hands and knees to the chandelier, shuddering and making the lights flicker.

"I set that as my ringtone on my cell phone," says Schiz merrily. "Come on, Gyps, call me again!"

Clara the Elephant squeezes through the magically-expandable door with a baseball bat. "I'll save the day!" she trumpets.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 1, 2008 - 07 10

Gyps snatches the cell phone from Schiz and turns the volume from seven to two, then stuffs the device into a newly-crocheted cell phone cozy.

Time zone by time zone, the room grows quiet except for the sound of clicky computer keys. No one notices when all of the animals slip out of the room, taking one of the spare computers with them.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 1, 2008 - 08 49

Rune wanders between the lounging novelists, trying to get someone's attention. Nobody even looks up, and he is beginning to get frustrated.
"Pay attention to me!" He demands, but the clickety-clickety only speeds up. Merle staggers in from the kitchen. Rune notices that while his face is free of the sticky sand, it is also stained a deep red color. And Merle is acting even more brain-damaged than usual, although it took a lifelong friend like Rune to notice...
"What happened to you?" Rune demands, glad to see that at least his minion was paying attention to him.
"I wash wasshin the sand off with the hose, I guessh its still hooked up wrong or sumpthin... I feel funny. Why is the room spinning?"
Rune rolls his eyes in annoyance as Merle staggers to the door and falls down the stairs to the sand where he just lays there and starts laughing.
"Nothing is more entertaining than a drunk fat kid..." Tweety intones wisely, before turning back to his laptop. "I will have to make sure that ends up in my novel, should be worth a couple thousand words at least..."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 2, 2008 - 07 04

Rune went back to his boat, reached into a duffel-bag that was under a seat, and took out a can of Spam, some crackers, and a plastic knife. He made Spam-and-crackers and ate them while reading his book. He wanted to be a writer too, but he couldn't afford a computer like those folks had, and even laptops were hard to steal. Figuring that Tweety should be good for a few pages of scribbling, he extracted a notebook and pen from another pocket of his Army jacket and got to work.

Meanwhile, Guardian was having trouble with her Frond Tuner. It was a small device that looked like a cross between a TV remote and a compass. She smacked it on her palm and then flipped it over and took the battery out. She touched the battery to her tongue. "Well, that explains why the Fronds went walkabout," she muttered. She felt around in her Interdimensional Travelers' Satchel for another battery, but there wasn't one. Maybe someone at the Looberry Hut had a nine-volt.

eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 2, 2008 - 17 58

East wanders up the path from the Outside, looking a little the worse for wear as her trek through the Force Field was much more harrowing than normal and she had been trying to make the trek for two days without success. She wasn't the only one looking a little ruffled. Glancing around, she could see the whole place looked... well... ruffled. Well, one thing that Force Field had been good for. All the words she would have written in the Forum had found their way to her Novel instead. This thought made her feel just a little less frazzled and she laughed.

A boat lay on the beach with a young lad at the helm, scribbling madly away and paying her no attention.

In the distance, Clara bathed in the water and trumpeted only lightly upon seeing her former mistress entering her new domain.

"Well, Clara. I'm glad to see you've found a new home." Waving, East glances again at the credit card statement she tucked in her pocket on the way out the door. "Twenty cases of Seven Up? I don't drink Seven Up. Do I?"

Stepping around to the side entrance to avoid the broken porch, East entered through the kitchen and peeked into the next room where all the writers sat at their laptops busily typing away. Not an animal was in sight except for Clara. Probably acting as lookout. East shook her head and gave a wry grin. Back in the kitchen, she gave it a thorough cleaning, removing one lone charred notebook from the back of the oven, before deftly putting together two apple pies and two pumpkin pies and setting them to cook. Soon the aroma of pies permeated the building.

East settled into a chair at the table and pulled out her own laptop and began typing furiously.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 3, 2008 - 07 06

As Guardian was walking up the path to Looberryville, she spotted Rune and wandered over. "Hey, Hemingway," she said. "You got a nine-volt?"

He stopped writing, unzipped one of his many pants-pockets, took out a battery, and tossed it to her. "You can get them to explode," he said by way of explanation. "That can come in handy for distracting people." He failed to mention what they would be handily distracting people FROM.

Guardian installed the battery in her Frond Tuner and saw that the device now worked properly. She fiddled with the settings and pushed a button. Now the Fronds should have returned to their original coordinates at the edge of the yard, and she could relax and get busy typing.

There was a lovely view here, so she went a short distance up the beach, sat down, opened her laptop, and started a new chapter. She glanced at Rune and thought that he might like a laptop, too. Maybe one would turn up. Sufi appeared and curled up at her feet.

The Fronds had, indeed, gone back to their proper location. All but one. It was a tiny little Frondlet, about a foot high, and it was...

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 4, 2008 - 07 01

"Woo-Hoo!" Tweety jumps up in surprise as a tiny frond springs up in the middle of his Cheryl-crochety bean-bag. He is also surprised that he was able to log into the forum in less than two hours...

"Guardian! Get in here and get this thing out of my bean bag! It is being most fresh and disrespectful!" The frond is nonetheless nonplussed, swaying back and forth in an imaginary breeze. Aser looks up from her keyboard, her fingers not slowing one whit.
"When the site's a-slowin, the fronds will get growin'"

Everyone stops typing to gag, heave, choke, or otherwise display some sort of digestive distress; except for Rune. And the Frond. Rune giggles slightly, glancing sideways at Guardian who is shaking her Inter-Dimensional Frond Controller and Universal Television/Sattelite Remote with Optional Self-Adjusting Fragrance Dispenser. The Frond, who has decided his name should be Frank, soaks in the green mist of horrible poetry, and suddenly grows a full half an inch. Everyone watches in horror as a tiny little mouth opens up in the front, and the frond turns towards Aser.

"Feed me Seymore!" it yells in a high tinny voice.

Aser rolls her eyes. Rune giggles again. Guardian opens the battery compartment and looks again at the battery that Rune gave her.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 4, 2008 - 11 54

"Do we have any herbivorous animals around besides Clara?" Aser asks Cheryl. "A goat might be a good investment at this point."

"Yes, it would be nice to have some kids in the house, wouldn't it?"

Aser snaps her laptop shut and bonks herself purposefully on the forehead with it. "That's it, it's time for some fresh air." She plugs the laptop into a charging portal and walks out the door to sit on the front steps. She ponders the universe and decides that the universe needs a big plate of chicken wings, and pizza. The universe nods and gives her a big thumbs up, causing a thunderstorm of fantastic proportions.

A badger dives under the front porch and shouts, "Stop that!"

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 4, 2008 - 13 11

Three words... Sweet Baby Narsai?

(OK, I *know* it is not really a baboon... but those booties look suspiciously like something knitted and/or crocheted in this place...)

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 4, 2008 - 21 26

"Wait a minute!" Guardian said as she squinted at the battery. "This isn't a nine-volt, it's a ten-and-three-eighths-volt. You have some weird voltages in your universe."

Rune shrugged. "Close enough, isn't it?"

Guardian shook her head. "That extra one-and-three-eighths made a TALKING FROND! There has NEVER been a talking Frond. Now I have to fiddle with this damn thing again." She flipped switches and tweaked knobs, and Frank the Frondlet returned to being an ordinary plant; at least, as ordinary as Interdimensional Traveling Fronds could be. She pushed a button and the Frondlet vanished from Tweety's comfy nest, and reappeared in Aser's Dragon Flagon.

Finally, something had been able to get Aser's attention away from her keyboard. She stopped typing and said, almost as if in a trance, "There'"

"Cool," Guardian said. "I mean, anyone can have a boring paper umbrella in their drink. But I bet that's the first time anyone's seen a Dragon Flagon with a Frond sticking out of it."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 5, 2008 - 11 50

Aser stares at the Frond in the Dragon Flagon. "What if the Frond takes root in the cooking sherry?" she asks. "Do you get a drunken interdimensional Frond, or do you get cooking sherry with bits of interdimensional DNA in it? If I drink that, I could start to sprout."

Then her eyes light up in inspiration. Cheryl spits in anticipation, but then has to go to the kitchen for a cloth to clean the spit off her crocheting. Aser observes, "What if the sherry makes the plant drunk? We could end up with an overly fond Frond in a dragon flagon. You know someone would add some salsa, and then we'd have a Tex-Mex fond Frond in a dragon flagon... and then Cheryl would be upset and we'd get a knit fit over a Tex-Mex fond Frond in a dragon flagon ... and then ..."

Before she can utter another rhyme, Lydia slaps a beer hat loaded with two bottles of sherry onto Aser's head. "For the sake of humanity, swallow, Aser!"

"Mmm," says Aser, as the Frond edges closer.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 5, 2008 - 19 18

Cheryl and Gyps stare at the picture of the ersatz Narsai. "Definitely crocheted," says Gyps. "Worsted weight, I would guess."

Cheryl frowns. "And probably acrylic. You'd think with all the critters that traipse through here, we could get some fiber animals. I do know how to spin yarn, you know, and natural fibers provide excellent warmth, not to mention protection from, oh, say, FIRES." She calls to Aser, who is rapturously inhaling the aroma of chicken wings. "Hey, the next time you're conjuring up fauna, do you think you could get me an alpaca, or some biffle?"

Aser does a spit take with her sherry. "What the devil is biffle?"

"BFL. Bluefaced leicester. It's a breed of sheep. Corriedale would work, too, or Coopworth."

"Hmm," said Alydia, "Lester, Corrie, and Coop sound like good names for my secondary characters."

"Oh crap," says Cheryl, "Are we supposed to be writing?"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 5, 2008 - 21 18

The badger that had just dived under the porch dived right back out again. "There's something under there!" he yelled in fright.

A dog wriggled out from beneath the porch. It was a brindle Boxer. "Hello, my name is Ike," he barked. "I'm on my way to a story, and I must say that my Mistress can spin yarns as well as anyone. By the way, did you know there's a sheep under your porch?" He trotted away and disappeared into the Fronds.

Rune, who was stretched out on the beach and taking a break from scribbling, opened his eyes to find two baboons staring down at him. One of them was holding a laptop. Rune sat up slowly, so as not to scare them, and said, "You wanna make a deal for that?"

Inside the Looberry Hut, Aser was just about to take a sip from her jaunty Frond-bedecked Dragon Flagon when the Frond suddenly began to chant:

"Four legs good, two legs bad. Four legs good, two legs bad."

Clara, who had never heard of Orwell, perked up her ears.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 5, 2008 - 22 43

Tweetywill looks up blearily from his laptop. "Clara, calm down sweetie. Frank the Fond of Dragon Flagon Frond is simply celebrating the election results. They only chant that until they evict the farmer. Then he'll probably start going on about the universal health care plan they have for retired workhorses. But I don't think you have to worry much, they don't make glue out of elephants do they?"

Guardian gasps. "Who is evicting the farmer? Am I the farmer? Is this a joke of some kind?"

"Unfortunately not my interdimensional agriculturist friend. If it was a joke I would have started out by saying: 'a priest, a rabbi and a nun walk into a bar..." Tweety returns to his novel.

Cheryl quickly crochets a lariat out of acrylic yarn and takes after the sheep. "Come back here you! From each sheep according to his wool, to each crocheter according to her need for antimacassars!"

Out on the beach, Narsai walks away looking quite satisfied, while Rune approaches Tweety, a shiny new laptop under one arm.
"Hey Twilly I have a surprise for you..."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 5, 2008 - 23 02

You guys are totally nuts, I have to testify to that. And now back to the scenario ...

Aser staggers up from the couch to watch the spectacle of Cheryl bounding about trying to lasso sheep. "For that sight alone in 2008, I am grateful."

Then she pauses. "Is that really how you spell grateful? Have I been writing too much today?"

"Yes," says Alydia, refilling the sherry hat. "Sit down again, and write us an epic poem why don't you."

"I'd be glad to," Aser says."Except I seem to be out of words. Would someone be so kind as to run down and ask Rune for a cup or two of words to rev up an epic poem?"

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 01 20

Lyd double checks the sherry hat and sees that Aser as nearly finished off the two bottles.

"Sheesh, a day or two of work and writing and we're down two barrels already. Whose turn is it to order?"

Twilly finds his cloak of invisibility and dives underneath muttering, "No way am I ordering. They ask for things like credit card numbers."

Scriibe wanders past and Aser sees he's not paying attention.

"Scriibe, it's your turn."

"Huh? What? I wrote a poem already."

"Nope, liquor run."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 07 15

Guillaume grabbed a cup, left the room, and asked Rune if he would fill the cup with words for Aser's epic poem. The dutiful baboon returned quickly.

"Well, let's have the cup!" Aser said, reaching for it. She was surprised when Guillaume hid the cup behind his back.

"Esteemed Shaman, I think perhaps..." he began, but Aser stood up and held out her hand. He reluctantly gave her the cup.

She eagerly peered into the cup, looking for words, and then her eyes widened. She glanced at Guillaume, who shrugged and took a step back.

Well, she should have known. Ask a hostile fifteen-year-old boy for words, and this is what you got: "&#$@tard, @$#%weasel, and %@#hat.

Outside, Rune and Tweety were looking at a screen and giggling. "The Apocalypse is at hand," Aser thought gloomily.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 14 10

Aser mulls over the words silently, knowing that if she voices them aloud someone will wash her mouth out with the smelly kind of soap dispensed in public restrooms and hang a dead albatross or a string of urinal cakes around her neck. She takes the cup to the kitchen and puts it in the sink; then, distracted by the woeful lightness of the sherry-hat, she forgets to wash it, as in "Oh, I should wash that cup out but I think I'll just forget to."

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 19 21

Twilly sees Aser doing dishes and run back under the cloak muttering, "She doesn't look happy doing dishes."

Cheryl finds a new shade of yarn that was hiding in a box. "Hey is this up for grabs? I think I need to knit a cap cozy for Aser's wardrobe."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 19 43

Aser had previously put her Frond-infested Dragon Flagon in the sink, right after she had donned her sherry-hat. The Frond had sipped the last few drops of sherry and was now getting cranky. Aser put the cup of words in the sink right next to the Flagon and wandered off to refill her hat.

The Frond, sensing a possible source of nourishment, extended its rootlets one by one and crept into the word-filled cup.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 20 01

"&@^#%@! you *#&$^%# novel (*$^ writing (*$&@( @$**ers!" A high tinny voice screeches from the kitchen.

"Aser! The sherry truck will be here any minute! No need to wax poetical just yet my dear." Cheryl says soothingly, slipping a new beer hat cozy over Aser's cap.

"Wasn't me that time, although I am truly impressed! That was some talented cursing!"

Tweety lifts a corner of the AAIL (patent pending) and whispers in a horrified voice, "It was Frank, the Foul-mouthed Flagon-Fond Frond!"

Rune does a fist bump with Frank. (Although Frank doesn't really have a fist, more of a rootlet.)

Narsai whispers to Rune, "Young master, I believe we had a deal. You were to avenge me of Master Tweetywill for posting that infernal sub-primate in that regrettable getup and inferring that it was me. Instead you have simply been sharing silly Youtube videos with him!

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 6, 2008 - 22 30

Aser flings the beer hat cozy across the room, through the hall, and onto the wall of the kitchen where it plops into a pot of chili. "I do not wear multi-colored cozies! See the outfit. Black, black, and black, do you notice a theme here?"

"Hmpf," says Cheryl. "A simple 'Get this #!!%ing thing off me' would have sufficed. No need to get violent."

"Violence is bliss," grumps Aser.

"No, that's ignorance," says the Twillsome One from beneath his AAIL, lamenting his own use of acronyms.

Guardian gasps at the language of her creations and grabs the soap, "You two are plum ig-nernt and this isn't gonna be bliss!" Rune picks up the fond Frond in the dragon flagon and dashes for the back door.

"Not the back door!" shouts Eastrockpark. "They use that for ... crap, too late."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 7, 2008 - 08 10

Rune's apparent breach-of-contract had Narsai contemplating some revenge of his own.

Just then, Tweety's phone rang. He didn't recognize the number. "Hello? A survey for what? How do I feel about endangered wombats? Who IS this?" It was some environmental organization. "Wombats are wonderful, now leave me alone 'cause I'm typing." He hung up.

A minute later, his phone rang again. "Hello? What kind of survey? Do I suffer from WHAT exotic diseases?" He shook his head and hung up again.

As soon as he hung up it rang again. "Hello? Would I like to have a free sample of urinal cakes? NO!" He hung up.

It rang again. Tweety stared at it in disbelief. "How did all these people get my number all of a sudden?"

Narsai nodded in satisfaction. The kid was a sly one, but he kept his word.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 7, 2008 - 18 38

"Tweety's phone rings again. "Contribute to the Obama campaign? Didn't you guys already win? Re-election campaign already? You can't be serious..." Tweety punches the end button angrily. Then connecting a cable from the phone to the computer, he hacks away for a minute.
"There, that's what you get for messing with me!"

Narsai peeks out from the kitchen, stifling a smile. Aser shakes her head sadly. "Narsai, I really don't think you want to get in a prank contest with Twill. I have heard... well... things." Narsai looks at her haughtily. "Indeed, most honored shaman, I have no idea what you are talking about. Such a thing would be rather beneath me."

Rune creeps back into the house, carrying Frank in a somewhat larger flagon, this one with an oriental design incorporating some sort of flaming bird.

"Beneath you monkey? Kind of like that herd of angry ticks the Twillmeister just released on your feet?"

Narsai runs screaming from the room. Guillaume giggles madly.

"Most esteemed Twill, I would like to participate in any such contest, if you would be so kind as to include me."

Guardian looks curiously at the new flagon. "Is that a Fung Flagon you have Foul-mouthed Frank the Frond in? Fantastic!"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 8, 2008 - 07 36

"What happened to the Dragon Flagon?" Guardian asked Rune.

"Someone should've told me about the back door!" Rune said grimly. "Frank the Foul-Mouthed Fond of Dragon Flagon Frond seems much more at home in this Fung Feenix Flagon anyway." He held up the flagon.

Frank the Foul-Mouthed Fond of Feenix Flagon Frond said, "This is #@%$ing farcical!" and then he started humming to himself.

Meanwhile, Isabelle the Sheep was looking for new stuff to eat. That's what sheep did. Now that the crazy lady had stopped chasing her with the crocheted lariat, she could relax and look around the place. There was an interesting smell coming from an open window. She stood on her hind legs, put her front feet on the sill, and poked her nose at some pies that were cooling in front of the window. "Poor, lonely pies," she thought. "Somebody should eat them, but everyone's too busy typing. What a shame, these pies sitting here and going to waste."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 8, 2008 - 12 57

The hapless sheep digs into a fragrant pie, unaware that Cheryl was approaching with a battery operated shearing clipper. With deft and sudden moves, Cheryl grabs the ungulant and removes enough wool to make a vest. "Wow," says Aser. "Now we know who shaved the Badger's butt in eons past."

"I learned the technique while hustling sheep in Australia," Cheryl admits.

"Hustling or rustling?"

"Dangit!" shouts the sheep. "How am I going to keep warm this winter?"

Scriibe wanders past with a speculative smile on his face, whereupon Aser whacks him with a spatula. "Where are those fifteen new stories I asked for?"

Scriibe scurries away, arms over his head. "As soon as I find the time warp, I'll go get them! Really!"

"I think it's in the left-hand side of the microwave," offers Twilly helpfully, handing an L. L. Bean catalog out the window to the sheep.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 8, 2008 - 17 20

"Hustling," says Cheryl. "Remember the cuscus? He showed me a few tricks when we were on holiday."

Gyps throws an afghan onto the sheep's back. "Why should I waste time making antimacassars for all of the furniture when I can just make one big one for you?"

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 8, 2008 - 18 56

Lyd grumbles at the noises coming from the open windows and pulls out some earplugs while muttering, "Why does everyone feel obligated to ruin a perfectly good Saturday running power tools? After all most of these folks have gardners with their lawn mowers and leaf blowers who already noise pollute Monday through Friday. Don't they know Saturdays are for relaxing and writing?"

Gyps snags a new glass of sherry from Scriibe's freshly opened bottle while Twilly keeps answering odd calls on his cell phone.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 9, 2008 - 06 26

"Power tools? Early morning power tools?" roars Aser. "Now that's a cause to throw your wallabies into! Clara, get that baseball bat and let's get 'em! She snatches up a spatula the size of a pizza-scooper and bounds for the door, her black cape billowing behind her.

"That should take care of that," says Lydia smugly.

Twill looks concerned. "Maybe it's foundation garments and costume malfunctions, or maybe it's something more sinister. But I think you should know that your signature line appears only for one brief shining moment and then disappears." He puts his laptop aside and heads to the kitchen where he finds a certain boy cramming pizza into his face with both hands while a tiny, foul-mouthed Frond fondly sings a song from South Park, the Movie, from the boy's backpack. "RUNE! What are you doing with the signatures??"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 9, 2008 - 07 34

Isabelle the Sheep was NOT in a good mood, and she snatched the L.L.Bean catalog and ate it.

Gyps saw the poor sheep shivering, and threw a newly-crocheted afghan over her. The sheep became Amazingly Invisible and began to Lurk. Now they had an Amazing, Invisible, Lurking sheep who was still not in a good mood.

"Uh, Gyps," Cheryl said quietly. "Did you accidentally use some of Aser's special yarn?"

In the kitchen, Rune stopped munching pizza long enough to say, "I hacked into the Pentagon and stuck all those signatures to their e-mails." He shrugged. "The Chinese never thought of it."

Frank the Foul-mouthed Fond of Fung Feenix Flagon Frond finished his song, and then started a George Carlin routine.

Outside, the power tools fell silent one by one.

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 9, 2008 - 18 30

The sound of a sheep gagging made most of the writers jump up onto furniture.

Lyd still had her earplugs in so Aser thoughtfully twapped her on the back of the head while pointing.

"What the @#$k now?" she yanked out an earplug.

"Invisible sheep who ate an LL Bean catalogue and heaven only knows what Rune fed it while we weren't looking." Aser clued her in.

"Eep!" She launched herself on top of her chair.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 10, 2008 - 11 36

Once again, the forum thread says there is a post by Lyd, but I cannot see it. I shall attempt to rectify this situation by posting aimlessly, so forgive me.

Aser cusses at her computer. "WTF? Stupid dog-a$$ forums!"

Clara, covered with bits of grease and yard trimmings, swings her baseball bat in irritation. "Are you telling me that we just took out 37% of Lawn and Garden Services in this area just to have the computers still not work?"

Aser flings a wad of grass clippings off her forehead. "Apparently. Let's go to the surf for a nice bath. I have a ditty that ought to supply enough fish for tonight's dinner."

"How about some seaweed?" asks the elephant.

"You betcha," answers Aser, heading off the porch for the white-sanded beach.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 10, 2008 - 09 09

Rune and Merle are walking back to the beach, all dressed up like viking warriors, except that Merle looks more like the lady who sings when its over.

Tweety stands at the edge of the sand, wearing a dark suit, mirror shades, and with a wire running from his ear to his collar. He speaks intermittently into his cuff in a quiet voice. He spots the viking lord and lady.

"Hey! Beach is closed! No access until further notice!" Rune looks defiantly at Tweety while Merle turns to leave. Rune grabs him by one long blond braid and drags him back.

"You can't tell us what to do. Who appointed you the beach police anyway? Why can't we go onto the beach?"

Tweety cooly reaches up over his head and snags a flying fish out of the air.

"Aser and Clara are bathing right now. You don't want to go there." Rune considers this for a moment, then shakes his head.

"I never pegged her for a puritanical prude type. Is she really all that shy?" Tweety smiles wryly as he sidesteps another fish sailing through the air gasping for oxygen.

"Nope, she isn't. It's the poetry. We don't want any innocent bystanders to be injured." Without flinching, Tweety reaches smoothly into his coat and draws his Desert Eagle .50 cal. Aiming over his shoulder without taking his eyes off of the two kids he lets loose with a half-dozen rounds. A fish with a slim, cylindrical shape (as opposed to the tunas which are deeper bodied) and numerous finlets on the dorsal and ventral sides behind the dorsal and anal fins falls out of the sky and smacks Merle right in his horned helmet. The fish has six perfectly round holes right through it. Rune gasps in surprise.

"Holy Mackerel!"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 10, 2008 - 17 18

A young man stepped out from behind a tree; at sixteen, he was one of the youngest CIA recruits ever. He, like Rune, had been immune to the poem that had driven everyone else who worked for an acronym away from the Looberry Shack. He was also wearing a dark suit and had a wire sticking out of his ear.

"Excuse me, sir!" he said to Tweety, and he pointed at the gun. "Do you have a license for that thing? And another license for fishing? Or a permit for self-defense in case you claim you were attacked by that fish? And did you know it's illegal to impersonate a CIA operative?"

Then Aser came striding up the beach with a towel wrapped around her. She marched right up to Tweety and shouted, "ARE YOU WASTING FOOD?" She picked up the holey mackerel and whacked Tweety on the back of the head with it.

Rune and Merle edged away towards the Skuldelev 6.1.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 10, 2008 - 23 22

Tweetywill sighs in annoyance and shakes his head. The fish smack had dislodged his mirror shades and his hair now smelled like fish. This poor rookie had picked the wrong day to be pedantic and impertinent.

"First, I don't need no stinkin' license. If you think you can confiscate this puppy, then by all means go ahead and reach partner and we'll see who confiscates whose iron." The cocky young recruit shrinks slightly as Tweety straightens his glasses and picks up steam.
"Second, what I was doing would hardly qualify as fishing, as I am using neither tackle or bait. What I was doing was protecting innocent passersby from the dangers of poetically stunned seafood. The fish was hardly stupid enough to attack me, unlike what they are apparently allowing to leave Langley wearing a badge nowadays." Tweety is getting pretty worked up at this point. Rune and Merle stop their stealthy move towards the ship to indulge the irresistable teenage urge to watch a good fight.
"Third, and I am getting very near the end now, if you weren't such an obvious sufferer of cranial-rectal inversion you might have noticed that I am impersonating a Secret Service agent, and not a pimply, pompous, preening, pretending prick of a CIA agent." Rune and Merle are giggling now, waiting for the moment when the two dark suits throw the first punch. Rune elbows Merle and whispers loudly: "I got twenty bucks on Tweety. That was a pretty slick shot he made with that pistol a minute ago." Merle shakes his head. "That's a real CIA guy, Tweety is just a middle aged wannabe writer. I'll double your bet." They shake hands as Tweety and the kid face off, their faces solemn, and their eyes locked.
At that moment, the CIA kid makes a reach for his piece. Tweety's hand flashes faster than eye can follow, and comes out with a tattered, half charred page splattered with Desitin and cooking sherry. As the kid's puny little .25 auto comes up, he is hit in the face with vintage shaman poetry spilled with lightning speed from the lips of the middle-aged wannabe writer impersonating a Secret Service agent acting as lifeguard to a crazed hedge shaman and a talking elephant.

The level of absurdity
contained in these few lines
could kill every bird-ity
south of the indian salt mines.
it can cripple grown men
and make circus clowns cry
it will steal your last fountain pen
or launch your mackerel into the sky
but in the end it serves mainly
to amuse, entertain, and defend
a shaman whose aim in life is plainly
to find the final last end
of the worlds supply of sherry
and drink it up with a satisfied slurp
that sounds like a baboon eating a cherry

The kid's weapon quivers as he brings all of his teenage hormonal strength to bear against this assault. Yet Tweety has chosen his poetry well. Even a teenage boy cannot repel poetry of such suckitude. His head begins to swell, the wire pops out of his ear with a high-pitched squeal of feedback. The girly automatic drops to the sand and he falls to his knees moaning in pain. A moment later a wet popping sound is heard across the beach as the youngest recruit in the history of the CIA explodes.

Tweety calmly wipes the splattered blood from his mirror shades, re holsters the notebook page, and walks off into the sunset. Until he trips on a piece of driftwood and goes facedown in the sand.

Rune punches Merle in the arm and holds out his hand. Merle whines, but hands over a pair of crumpled twenties.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 11, 2008 - 10 56

Aser turns to Clara. "See? It really is an art form."

Clara dabs at her eyes with a tatted-lace-edged cotton handkerchief. "Just thank your lucky stars that elephants can't puke," she says sincerely.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 11, 2008 - 21 53

Guardian came flying out of the Looberry Hut, with Cheryl, Gyps, and East right on her heels. "What the hell happened? We heard shooting and an explosion!"

Aser strolled up, holding several fish by the tail. "Tweety took out a spook who escaped my first poetical dragnet," she said, and she took the fish inside.

Sufi the dog ran up to Tweety who was sitting on the beach, still stunned from his fall. With his big flapping tongue, Sufi washed all the sand off Tweety's face.

" get away from me!" Tweety finally managed to push the dog away.

Isabelle the Sheep, who had been Lurking Invisibly nearby, had indigestion, and she was looking around for something she could eat that might help. She tiptoed up to Tweety, lured by the smell of cooking sherry. She sniffed at the charred piece of paper that had fallen partway out of its holster, and then she delicately extracted it and ate it. The poem began to ferment in her stomach along with the L.L. Bean catalog.

Rune examined one of the twenties that Merle had handed him. "Hey!" he said indignantly. "You stole this from me, you &%@#weasel!"

"I did not!" Merle insisted.

"I mark 'em. See?" Rune said, and he showed Merle the mark.

Merle looked wildly around at the other people on the beach, but there was no help there. The other folks, in fact, were now indulging the irresistible urge to watch two teenage boys kick the crap out of each other. Guardian and Tweety whispered together, numbers were mentioned, and then they shook hands.

Just as the two Viking wanna-be's squared off, there was a shrill scream and a long string of cursing. Everyone looked in the direction of Rune's backpack, where Frank the Foul-mouthed Fond of Fung Feenix Flagon Frond was just disappearing into the mouth of a Lurking sheep who was desperately in need of some Rolaids.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 11, 2008 - 23 44

"some sturdy walking shoes
an ornate comforter
all weather

values you can count on
crap you do not need
stuffed down your

bought by the shitass Sears
L.L.Bean whores off
thrown to Hell

poisoned cheap merchandise
sold as quality
kill buyers'

"Holy smokin' mackerels," says Aser, "did you see what that sheep crapped out?"

"I did," Cheryl marvels. "Better than anything you've come up with lately."

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 12, 2008 - 08 12

Gyps runs out of the house with an extra large afghan. She shakes it open and drops it over the the remains of the CIA kid, which promptly disappear.

"Why are you wasting the good stuff on him? He's already, you know...." Lydia makes a slashing motion with her finger.

"I saw Cheryl's novel in there, and there was a policeman in it. The last thing we need is a policemen sniffing around while we have an exploded punk on the beach."

"You read my novel???" exclaims Cheryl. "I'm shocked that your eyeballs didn't deflate over from the lameness of it."

Gyps reaches into her back pocket and pulls out a little scrap of yarny goodness and shakes it open. "Screen doily. I made it out of the special yarn. It's lacy, so about every third word gets through. Enough to keep track of what is happening, not enough to obsess about the details."

"That's brilliant," says Cheryl. "Mind if I borrow this?"

"I left the other one on your computer, " says Gyps. "It seemed... prudent."

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 12, 2008 - 19 10

Rune and Merle are finished brawling, and return to the garage for some ice to put on their shiners. The find the garage mess, with Tweety pawing through a pile of spare parts in the corner.

"I know you have a motivator in here somewhere!" Tweety mutters, continuing to make a mess of Rune's otherwise neat garage.
"What do you need a motivator for?" He asks, somewhat annoyed at this uninvited intrusion.
"For Narsai... it is time for the next round in our ongoing grudge match..." Tweety says grinning. He points to a man-sized shape in the corner. Merle and Rune both gasp in amazement. Rune breaks out of his spell and runs over to a drawer and pulls out a bundle of circuitry with wires and connectors hanging loose.
"Here, will this one work?" He asks eagerly, almost quivering with excitement. "Yep, looks like the kind Uncle Owen always used. It will have to do." He takes the part and with a little bit of maneuvering and cursing has it installed. He steps back and picks up a remote control that looks suspiciously like the Interdimensional Frond Controller but with the fragrance dispenser removed. Tweety ceremoniously pushes the red button...

The shape in the dark corner comes to life...

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 12, 2008 - 21 48

...and it came out into the light where the boys were able to get a good look at it. They stood in awe of Tweety's creation. "We need to steal that," Rune whispered to Merle. "It would look really good on my aluminum Viking ship."

"What if it gets wet?" Merle whispered back.

"We'll worry about that later." Rune paid close attention to how Tweety was using the remote.

The magnificent mobile metal man took a step, and another, and another. Rune raised the overhead door, and the robot picked up speed. It walked out of the garage, and then it suddenly pitched forward and landed right on its face.

Isabelle the Amazing Invisible Lurking Foul-mouthed Fond of &@%$ed-up Poetry And Unwanted Catalogs Sheep, who wasn't aware that she was invisible, said, "Hey, you big klutzy @&#$tard! Why the &#$@ don't you watch where you're going, $#&hat?"

Rune grinned wickedly. He had a plan.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 12, 2008 - 23 35

Aser, clothed once again in unrelenting slimming black, muses from the steps of the front porch. "You know, this is all getting complicated for me once again."

"It always does," Schiz says, sliding onto the step beside Aser. "But then you get a new shipment of sherry and you forget the stress and just pound out the words."

"Thanks, Schiz, I appreciate that." Aser says with a gentle shoulder bump.

"They're aways shitty words, but they're words," Schiz goes on. "You shouldn't worry that the last three years of NaNo have been pure garbage that you won't allow anyone to see."

"That's ... reassuring, Schiz. "Thanks. I think. Say, what on earth is that semi-visible naked sheep doing aboard Rune's aluminum boat? It's a Viking design, so does that mean she's going to be the masthead, or the main course of dinner?" Aser turns from the steps and shouts. "Lydia! You got any mutton recipes?"

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 13, 2008 - 00 43

"Of course!" Lydia nods and reminds Aser she has one of the cookbooks hidden in one of the various computers cluttering the Aser home cave.

"Leg of lamb on a bed of white beans with tomato slices and onions" she nods and points to the book.

Twilly sniffs the air and asks, "Who's roasting a bird?"

Cheryl runs towards the oven asking, "Where's Molly?"

Aser pulls out her own set of earplugs and begins frantically slamming words into her NaNo.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 14, 2008 - 07 20

Sufi the dog crept onto the boat and slowly approached Isabelle. He'd never seen half a sheep before, at least not one that was still standing. Something tickled his nose; he could feel it but not see it. It was an edge of something. He grabbed it and gave it a tug. The Afghan slid off the sheep and completely covered Sufi, except for a fold that he was able to peek out of.

"Hey, you little $@#%weasel!" Isabelle shouted. "Now I'm gonna freeze to death on this g@#$&%n boat!"

Sufi jumped off the boat and took off down the beach, and a cloud of dust was the only clue as to his whereabouts as he dragged the Afghan along.

Meanwhile, Tweety had helped his robot get up and made sure it was still functional. He pressed some buttons on the Robot Controller; this model had the Optional Aftershave Dispenser. Now the robot could see infrared, and would be able to avoid invisible animals. It was almost as good as Clara's vision.

Merle looked at Rune. "Now what are we gonna do without the sheep?"

"The dog will work even better," Rune said. He sniffed the air. "What do I smell cooking?"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 14, 2008 - 23 25

"Oh, crap, Merle, it's YOU!! How many times do I have to tell you not to stand so close to the beacon flame?"

Merle sniffs and clutches his scorched buns. "Dang these baggy jeans! I belted them around my knees and couldn't feel them catch fire until you said something. I coulda gone up in smoke. Why aren't Bermuda shorts in fashion?"

"Because then someone would grab you and shear off your leg hair," grumps Isabelle. "If I had been wearing a purple polyester jump suit, everyone would have just run screaming instead of shaving me and leaving me, as they say, nekkid."

"Better you than me," says a fully pelted Badger with a bag of groceries in one hand and the other paw steadying a sling with a badger baby across his chest. He hurries across the beach, a palm frond tied to his back to eradicate his foorprints.

Inside the house, Aser clicks "Control+S" to save, She stretches and ponders, "Am I so wrong to miss Gerald the Giant Squid?"

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 15, 2008 - 08 25

Tweety looks up from his laptop.

"Stupid Squid..."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 15, 2008 - 18 29

Isabelle the Foul-mouthed Fond of %@$#ed-up Poetry And Junk-Mail Sheep jumped down off the boat and went to find something to wear. Out behind the Looberry Hut was a clothesline with several items hanging from it. They were all in unrelenting, slimming black. She selected one, pulled it off the line, and wriggled into it.

Rune got into the boat, opened a small hatch under the seat, and pulled out a can of Spam. His aluminum boat sat higher in the water than a wooden one would have, and that would have made it hard to handle, so he had hundreds of cans of Spam in the bottom as ballast. It was also his emergency rations in case he found himself stranded on an island with pirates and ninjas all around. He returned to the beach and followed the trail Sufi had left in the sand.

"Here, Sufi!" he called, and then he saw a cloud of dust coming toward him. He opened the can of Spam and held it close to the ground so Sufi could smell it. When the cloud of dust was right in front of him, he held the can out of reach. "Are you tired of dragging that thing around?" he asked the dog.

The dopey Springer Spaniel barked, "Spam! Spam! Spam!" Rune reached down and felt around for the Amazing Afghan, and he pulled it off the dog. Then he smacked the can until the Spam fell out, and Sufi pounced on it.

As he had suspected, it was much easier to make a deal with Sufi than it would have been with the Foul-mouthed, heartburn-afflicted semi-nekkid sheep.

Now he had another Afghan to replace the one Tweety had hidden.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 15, 2008 - 23 36

Isabelle, now clad in unrelenting black, minces back to the front of the yard.

"Whoa, who is that hot babe?" shouts Merle from the deck of the ship.

Rune grabs him by the back of his baggy scorched pants. "It's a sheep, you moron."

Merle looks at him. "What does that mean?"

There was no answer for him, as all that lay before him, behind him, beside him, appeared to be empty air. Rune had disappeared, as quickly and completely as if he had never existed. Ignoring the tense change, Merle sat down on the empty boat.

{Back to previous tense}

"There is no such thing as Spam-scented urinal cakes," says the Badger in a secret meeting with government officials and extraterrestrials. "I promise you that we have not produced them. Syria is the source of these rumors, and should you investigate, you will find them false."

A fat dozing executive who cannot resist adding stars and medals to his tie snorts and mumbles, "Yeah, tell it to the squid."

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 16, 2008 - 23 07
tweety bursts into the super-secret meeting. His hair is disheveled, he is wearing pajamas, and has not shaved for days. His Secret Service Shiny Shades are streaked with dirt and nacho cheese, and his penny loafers have lost their pennies.

He is brandishing his Desert Eagle again, only now he has located its twin and both half-inch barrels are waving around like soulless eyes of zombies...

A swarm of weasels with evil red eyes follows him into the room, nipping at his heels. He turns and blows three or four into oblivion, only to have six more take their place. They are like a small, furry hydra, the more he kills, the more they try to tear his seersucker slacks to shreds.

The Assistant Under Secretary of Something Tremendously Pompous yet Unimportant pauses from adding more stars and medals to his tie and stands up indignantly.
"Sir! I must protest. You are not on the agenda, and none of the members has yet made a motion to add a crazed amateur middle aged novelists battling weasels of despair to the discussion! I would indeed be aware if they had, as I have been nominated to be the agendist..." he is cut off by a 350 grain jacketed hollow point which performs an instant lobotomy among other catastrophic brain damage as it makes its hurried way through the bureacrat's skull. Unfortunately, this particular bureacrat has not used his brain in many years, having replaced intelligent thought with a government approved flow chart properly documented and filed in triplicate with the Bureau of Properly Approved and Documented Flow-Charts to Replace Intelligent and Independent Thought.

"If you would like to have us add your topic to our agenda, please complete standard form 503a-2b..." he is cut off by a giant squid who appears out of nowhere and plops down on him from above. The weasels leave off of Tweety's now quite shredded slacks and are staring gape-mouthed at the carnage as the squid begins to devour the bureacrat, who somehow continues to quote regulations and approval processes until his larynx is fully digested by the ravenous sea creature.

Tweety takes advantage in the lapse of their attention to sneak back out and slams the door on the whole affair.

Aser nudges the Badger and whispers into his ear: "Stupid Squid!"

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 17, 2008 - 07 44

Rune's robot-stealing plans were interrupted by a commotion coming up the beach. It was Tweety, firing round after round at a horde of evil-eyed weasels who had shredded his pants into shorts.

There were so many weasels...despair began to creep into Rune's mind. They would eat his Spam, and commandeer his boat, and destroy the world with a reeking cloud of "What's the use?" An idea broke through his despair: Despair Is An Emotion. Robots Don't Have Emotions.

Rune ran to the garage. Tweety's robot was standing out front, where he had left it when the weasels attacked. The Robot Controller with Optional Aftershave Dispenser was on the ground. Rune sacrificed his Afghan and put it over the robot, which became Invisible. He hurriedly pushed buttons, and the robot started to move in the direction of Tweety and the weasels.

The air filled with the odor of fried weasel as the robot swept its eye-lasers across the horde. The weasels stopped shredding Tweety's shorts and tried to overwhelm the unseen attacker with a concentrated dose of Despair. It didn't work.

The leader of the weasels said, "Uh-oh".

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 17, 2008 - 20 54

Tweety expended his last round at a rather fat weasel, who expired with a satisfying splatter, when he noticed that there were no more weasels pursuing him. They were all running, those not sauteed to a fine Cajun crispiness off down the beach being pursued by laser beams appearing out of nowhere.

Guardian walked up behind Tweety and gently pats him on the shoulder. "Aser says I should confiscate these..." she says, taking the smoking pistols out of his hands. He does not resist. The urge to destroy and kill has wandered off down the beach with the frying weasels. Guardian slips away swiftly, until she reaches Aser standing in the shade of the looberry shack.

"You think he'll be okay?" Guardian asks Aser, who nods confidently. "Yeah, he always gets a little murderous during week two. But the weasels should be gone for now."

Cheryl and Lydia peek out the windows. "Is it over? The week two rampage and the attack of the weasels?" Lydia sounds slightly disappointed, but Cheryl is clearly relieved. "That young man will need some pants! I believe I still have some worsted weight around here somewhere...."

Tweety stands where the water meets the earth, and ponders the funny quirks of life. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you are the sharpshooter on the clocktower running low on ammo. Other times an invisible robot drives away the weasels just in time to watch a beautiful sunset. A giant squid squirms out of the sea and lays a tentacle on Tweety's shoulder. Together they watch the sunset.

Rune watches them from the prow of his Aluminum longboat. Merle shakes his head and picks his nose. (A feat that few are able to do simultaneously...) Sufi puts two paws up on the deck rail, and mutters:

"Stupid Squid."

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 18, 2008 - 00 54

"Gerald!" exclaims Aser, approaching the squid and Tweety duo. She extends her hand to the squid, who firmly but gently shakes it. "It's been so long, Gerald. How have you been?"

Gerald, never much one to vocalize, waves his tentacles, pulls out a notepad, and scribbles, "I've been working undercover."

Aser eyes him askance. "Don't tell me you were the one who -- "

"I was under orders," the squid says, breaking his vow of silence, scuffling a tentacle in the sand. "And it was for the greater good..."

"But didn't he taste like greasy crap on a stick?" Aser presses.

"How did you know?" the squid says, looking surprised.

"Come on, there's chips and salsa up at the house. It will clear your palate. Give Twilly a hand -- a tentacle -- there. He's still trying to recover from the weasel attack. Those yappy bastards have been all over everyone all day."

The squid gently guides the still-staring Tweety up the beach.

Sufi leaps off the boat and barks at them, trying to turn them back towards the sea. Gerald whips out a tentacle and flings the dog back onto the boat. "Some creatures think squids have no sense of hearing."

Tweety's eyes click towards the squid, and he wonders what all the cephalopod has heard ...

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 18, 2008 - 07 49

Rune watched the giant squid warily, because he had read stories about them sinking boats and eating the crew. He had brought the Invisible robot back, and it now stood guard over his own ship and his supply of Spam.

A lone weasel came slinking up over the side of the boat, waving a flag of truce. Rune reached for the Robot Controller, and then he hesitated. The Viking wanna-be wondered if an army of weasels would fight a giant squid, and he tried to calculate just how much despair a squid could take.

The word "despair" was not in the dictionary that Springer Spaniels used, and so Sufi was unaffected by the presence of the weasel. "Did you see what that squid did?" he barked indignantly. "It slam-dunked me into this boat like I was a basketball! Let's get him!"

"Dood," Merle said. "That's a big @%$#ing squid."

Rune thought for a minute, and then he asked the weasel, "Ever seen a urinal cake?"

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 18, 2008 - 22 30

Gerald the Squid hums to himself as he accompanies the twitching Twilly and the shiftless shaman back to the house. "Put on your Sunday clothes, there's lots of world out there ... "

"Oh, no, he's seen 'WALL-E', hasn't he," asks the shaman. "Keep him moving toward the house or he might see that aluminum ship and start calling it 'Eva'."

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 19, 2008 - 07 15

Suddenly Gerald disappears. Twilly and Aser find themselves standing alone at the doorway of the looberry shack.

"Where'd he go?" Twilly asks, sounding hurt. "I was just starting to enjoy that song!" Aser shakes her head. "Secret Squid business I'd say." she answers sagely.

Back on the aluminum longboat, Rune is fiddling with the robot again. Merle squats nearby, handing him tools. Usually the wrong one...

"Give me the hydro-spanner Merle." Rune orders. Merle paws through the toolkit, coming up with an atomic fuser. He hands it to Rune who swears and throws it back at him. "No stupid! The hydro-spanner is the one with the hexagonal trunk." Merle sheepishly digs some more, but before he can find the correct tool a shiny new hydro spanner appears out of nowhere. Rune takes it without looking. "That's what I'm looking for. I swear Merle, you are about as smart as that stupid squid!"

It was then that Rune noticed that the hand that handed him the hand tool was not in fact a hand. It was a tentacle.

Gerald grinned. (Trust me, squids can grin, if you know where to look.) Then with a flash of light and a poof of smoke, Rune and the cephalopod disappeared, leaving Merle squatting alone on the deck of the aluminum longboat pawing through a toolkit. He triumphantly holds up a flux capacitor and says, "I found it Rune! Is this the right one? Rune? Rune! Where did you go Rune?"

Rune and Gerald are standing together in a dark and barren field. The sky is overcast with smoky black clouds, lightning constantly chasing through their billious insides. Leafless stunted trees jut at odd and twisted angles from the black ground, which seems to be made of cinders and ash. At the far side of the field is a wall, running as far as eye can see in either direction, and reaching up into the dark, fiery sky. Directly ahead of them is a gate in the wall, its black bars twisted and foreboding. Over the gate there is a sign. At first Rune can not read it, the light is too faint. Gerald pulls him forward, towards the gate. As they approach, a sudden bolt of lightning strikes one of the nearby mutant trees and it bursts into flame. In the guttering orange light, the writing on the sign becomes visible.


Rune whimpers. "What is this place?" Gerald silently compels him forward, and through the gate.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 19, 2008 - 07 47

Gerald dragged Rune through the gate. On the other side was a soulless gray concrete building with no windows. The squid and his prisoner went into the building, and Rune saw an endless rabbit-warren of cubicles, stretching off into infinity. A machine off to the left dispensed little pieces of paper with numbers on them.

One of the counters at the front had a sign on it with the letters DMV, and along the wall on that side was a row of people who were sitting in chairs and waiting to renew their drivers' licenses. Many of the people had withered away and were mummified.

On the other side of the room was a counter with a sign on it that read, "IRS. How may we help you?" A trail of dessicated corpses, many of them still clutching paperwork, led from the counter almost to the door.

The counter in the middle was the most frightening of all, and Gerald shoved Rune in that direction.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 20, 2008 - 00 42

All right, I officially kind of hate Google Chrome.

At some times it is faster than Firefox, at others it is extremely irritating. My lengthy post has disappeared, and there is no way to recover it.

Bugger all.

I'll try to re-post in the morning, when the sherry tanker arrives.

alydia RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 20, 2008 - 09 56

Inside the writers shed Lydia lifts her head.

"What the !@$k is that noise?"

Scriibe shrugs and mutters, "Something beeping? Cell phone? I don't know. Hey, what's a word for satin slip?"

Cheryl hands Scriibe a dictionary without a sound.

Lydia is irritated by the noise and puts her laptop down and heads to a window.

"Aser, someone is backing up a fuel truck into the yard."

Twilly jumps up, "Oh, that's not a fuel truck, it's the sherry I had ordered. I found a platinum credit card by the phone."

All the writers perk up.

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 20, 2008 - 12 09

Scriibe shakes his head. "I didn't want the dictionary without a sound, I wanted the talking dictionary!" Cheryl huffs and takes her silent dictionary back.

Tweety giggles maliciously in the corner.

Gerald reappears, alone, rubbing his tentacles together gleefully. The smell of brimstone and bureacracy is strong on him. Also fish. He is a squid after all.

Aser elbows him in the eye as she rushes out the door to guide the tanker in safely to the sherry vat.

Schiz and Gyps are right behind her, carrying crocheted semafore flags and oversized tankards.

"Safety first" Clara trumpets, perched on her stand in the corner.

A dictionary walks into the room. "Was somebody looking for me?"
"Over here!" Scriibe shouts.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 20, 2008 - 17 53

Merle wandered into the room, with Sufi at his heels. "The squid took Rune!" he wailed. "I don't know where he went. Whaddawe dooooo?" He had the Robot Controller in his hand.

Sufi barked, "Rune! Rune! Rune!" and nipped at the squid's tentacles. After all, Rune had given the dog Spam, and Gerald hadn't.

The weasels had gone back to their hideout, where they had launched into a raucous argument about their abducted ally, his invisible robot, the unattended boat, and the possible uses of urinal cakes in a military action.

"Despair and Urinal Cakes," the leader of the weasels said, and he grinned wickedly.

The remainder of his horde shouted back at him, "DESPAIR AND URINAL CAKES!"

"Somebody make a banner!" the leader ordered.

Deep in the basement of the soulless gray concrete building, Rune sat strapped to a chair. "You have been quite a disciplinary problem, haven't you?" someone said from behind him.

Gerald had just delivered Rune into the clutches of an organization that was even more life-sucking than the DMV and the IRS combined.

It was the Bureau of Properly-Approved and Documented Flow-Charts to Replace Intelligent and Independent Thought.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 20, 2008 - 19 41

"Somebody make you a banner?" asks Aser archly. "Can do." She nabs the weasel and strips the fur off it so fast that it hasn't even time to cover its boxer shorts and tiny brassiere.

"Eeeee!" screams the weasel.

With an indelible Sharpie pen, Aser writes on the fur, "All You Need Is Words! "

"Any words?" asks Cheryl, her brow wrinkled.

"Any," Aser assures her, impaling the little hide on a bamboo skewer and waving it in the air. "Any and all."

"What if someone steals my laptop and reads them, though?" Cheryl continues to fret.

"Then write the kind of words that will kill them dead on the spot with surprise and horror," Aser advises.

Gerald borrows Clara's baseball bat and swiftly house trains the dog.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 20, 2008 - 20 05

Guardian, who was fed up with Gerald's abuse of her dopey canine, whipped out her Frond Controller. The device now had the Emergency M&M Dispenser attached to it, in case she ran out of sugar before she ran out of chapter.

She pushed some buttons, and a second set of Fronds burst through the floor around Gerald. These were Acacia Fronds, and they formed a very effective prison around the errant squid. They also had a strong antimatter field around them which would prevent him from disappearing. "You can just stay in there until you tell me where Rune is," she said casually, and she went back to typing.

"But I have to get back to the ocean or I'll dry out!" Gerald protested.

"I think some other people around here need dried out too," Guardian said under her breath.

A weasel crept out of the room, nursing a grudge.

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 21, 2008 - 23 10

Isabelle, clad in too-tight black garments, inches forward out of the shadows and begins to nibble at the Fronds, breaking two of her front teeth on their antimatter fields. "Looberries!" curses the sheep, and tiptoes to the basement to find a great-antimatter device.

Narsai pads forward, a paw to his teeth in astonishment. "Was that a sheep I just observed heading to the basement weapons cache?"

"Why do you guys keep calling that chick a 'sheep'?" Merle says, staggering in the door, his clothing smoking and rent as usual.

"A what?" asks Aser, her fingers clicking on the keys of her laptop.

"A sheep," Merle says, confused.

"Oh, a sheep," replies Aser. "It was a sheep?"

"A what?" asks Lydia.

"A sheep," Aser assures, not looking up from the screen.

"Oh," says Lydia to Cheryl, "It was a sheep."

"A what?" asks Cheryl.

Tweetywill leaps to the back of the couch, guns drawn. "Stop this sketch right now, or you're all Swiss cheese!"

"I thought the Swiss were neutral," Cheryl mutters to Lydia.

"Not during NaNoWriMo," Lydia says ruefully.

Aser continues to type banal trash, her laptop's keyboard smoking with shame.

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 23, 2008 - 20 39

There was an imperious knock on the door. Narsai opened the door, and there stood Rune. Narsai gasped and said, "Young Master, what happened to you?"

Rune stepped past Narsai and into the room. His hair had been neatly trimmed and slicked back. The army jacket and excessively-bezippered pants had been replaced by a blue button-down shirt and black slacks. There were spit-shined black shoes on his feet instead of his grubby sneakers. The sparkle in his eyes was gone. The Bureau of Properly-Approved and Documented Flow-Charts to Replace Intelligent and Independent Thought had done their job well, and now the kid was about to become a bigger terror than he had ever been.

He was carrying a clipboard, and he walked over to Aser. He removed a page from the clipboard and handed it to her. "I did a complete inspection of your property," he said. "Here is a list of all the zoning violations I found. I'll have to take a look around in here, too. I see you're keeping endangered species as pets." He went through all the rooms, examining them carefully and noting all the building-code violations, and then he said, "I need to see the basement." He headed in that direction.

Guardian, her eyes wide with horror, stepped in front of him. "Rune, what about the Squid War?" she said desperately. "And don't you want to sail your aluminum Viking boat to exotic islands and fight pirates and ninjas?"

"I can't. I have to make triple copies of all this stuff," Rune said, and he held up the clipboard with its sheaf of papers.

Guardian looked around the room. There was a urinal cake on the floor that had fallen out of the weasel's fur coat. She picked it up, took a welding glove and a lighter out of her Interdimensional Traveler's Satchel (you never knew when you might need a welding glove), put the glove on, held the urinal cake in it, and lit the cake. "Look!" she said, and she held up the burning urinal cake right in front of Rune's face as if it would snap him out of his bureaucratic trance.

Rune merely glanced at his clipboard and said, "You don't have a fire extinguisher in here. That's a violation of the fire marshal's code."

Guardian's M&M dispenser had run out and so had her sanity. She stalked over to Gerald's Acacia Frond prison with the urinal cake still burning in her hand.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 27, 2008 - 21 21

(Still behind on word count, still behind on reading this thread. Just wanted to pop in to say I puffed my word count a little bit by introducing a character who is obsessed with U Cakes. Carry on.)

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 27, 2008 - 23 25

500 words at a time, crack knuckles, stand up, scratch, sit back down and do another 500. That's the rhythm, Cheryl! Go, girl, go!

Aser stares at Rune in shock. "Oh the dread of hell, he's become an Inner Editor!"

She takes the sheaf of papers from the up-tight kid. "I have to read these and sign that I received them, correct?"

"And initial them on the top line of each."

"Got it. Here, sit down at the table while I sign them." Aser taps a dragon flagon of sherry, pours an icy root beer for Rune. She begins perusing the papers, correcting spelling here and there, adding commas, suggesting alternate verbs for punchy sentences. "You see, Rune, it's like this: this place is like a metaphor for the NaNoveling process. We get here, we just start doing and building and adding on, and let the Fronds and the squids and the spacemen take us wherever we have to go to get us to the next glass of sherry. One day it's a remarkable elephant with whom everyone wants to be friends, and the next, it's poetry you wouldn't even want to sign your name to. That's how writing goes.

"We don't need no stinking building permits, we just write. And as for the armament in the basement, why, there are things we've written that ought, for the sake of humanity's wits, to be blown off the face of the earth."

Lydia skids to a stop and sits at another chair with a gin and tonic. "No sherry for me," she says. "I go wherever I have to get to the next adult drink. That's a metaphor for a chapter, isn't it? she adds, elbowing Aser with a wink.

Aser pulls a rubber chicken out of thin air and bonks Lydia with it.

"Is this true, Brother?" Guillaume whispers to Narsai, who is taking a break in the corner, eating green olives and potato chips with ranch dip. "Are we merely metaphors with no real substance?"

"Most ignorant of relatives," Narsai mutters back, "if you think we have no real substance, please go tell the elephant with the baseball bat that her afghan makes her rump look big. I believe that you will quickly have your answer."

"Hey!" Rune shouts, waving the papers in the air, "you signed all kinds of names on here! This one says John G. Barsoom, and this one, Fellmount of Verdansward!"

"And if this place is a metaphor for writing a story, are not all my character's names just metaphors for myself? Don't they all exist in me?"

"But... but ... does that mean I'm not real, either?" Asks the boy, confused. "The ship seemed so real to me, and the Spam."

"As long as you let this place stand, you get to be real. Shut it down, and poof! you're done for, right into the old circular file."

Rune scowls, trying to figure out the philosophy. Then he brightens. "Hey! If I'm part of a metaphor, then I get to have some of the dynamite!"

"Get lost," Aser says, draining her tankard. "Go into town and buy your own with your own metaphorical money."

The boy jumps up and strides purposefully from the house.

"Quick," says Aser, "Lock the door. I think he bought it."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 28, 2008 - 07 53

Guardian turned away from the Acacia-Frond prison, where she had been preparing to do something quite nasty to Gerald.

"Wait a minute!" she said, a flicker of hope in her eyes. "Aser, you did it! The kid wants dynamite, and I know a crooked gravel-pit truck driver who can get him some!" She extinguished the urinal cake with the welding glove, whipped out some cash for a bribe, and ran out of the room after Rune.

Aser shook her head in despair. "I don't know if she's going to save him or if he's going to corrupt her." She sighed and closed the door.

eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 30, 2008 - 15 42

East lifts her eyes to watch Rune stride down the path outside and lifts a full tankard of sherry to her lips, drinking nonstop until every drop is gone before passing out on her laptop.

My intentions were honorable, but I have failed miserably.

*gentle bump*

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Nov 30, 2008 - 22 46

Tweety slams his laptop closed. "It finally went purple! Now I can come back here without feeling Purple Envy..."

Picking up his two Desert Eagles and a belt of loaded mags, he runs down the path after Rune. "Wait up! Firearms are much more fun than explosives. Trust me on this one..."

Aser and East watch them go, through sherry goggles. "Another one in the books eh?" Aser says nostalgialically. East winces, and looks at her quizzically. "It's a good thing you can only use words like 'nostaligiacally' for another hour or so. Then you must return to real words." Aser nods. "No worries. We now have a talking dictionary to help out with that."

The dictionary looks up from his pewter dragon flagon of sherry and winks.

And somewhere, a furless weasel weeps in defeat.

chaimann RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Dec 1, 2008 - 01 26

A small "Woo hoo" emanates from under one of the afghans.

"What was that?" asks Lydia.

"Cheryl just verified," replies Aser.

"You know, 'The Verification of Cheryl' would make a good book title," says Lydia thoughtfully

eastrockpark RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Dec 1, 2008 - 18 58

Congratulations to all with the shiny purple bars! :)

*considers the possibility of stealing 'The Verification of Cheryl' as a title for next year*

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Dec 1, 2008 - 19 42

I may use "Purple Envy" as MY title for next year. I think I have a character in mind already...

Aser RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Dec 3, 2008 - 23 57

Aser basks on the beach in the low afternoon sun, her black ninja cape serving as a screen for what should only be hidden after one reaches a certain age. Narsai brings her a fresh warm tankard of sherry on a tray, with a strawberry margarita for himself. At a pleasant distance, a small bonfire crackles around some logs, some lighter fluid, and the 2008 NaNovel. Seabirds circle around, hoping for the fishy results of bad poetry. In the distance, gun fire and explosions turn the air into music.

An elephant trumpets, and some weasels scream in frustration. Cheryl sings, "Walkin' After Midnight" to applause and the clicks of knitting needles and crocheting hooks being rapped together. Guardian dances to the music with her Fronds, who express a desire to go shopping for Christmas ornaments.

"I like having a couple days off," Aser says to the dog-headed baboon. "But what's on the calendar for tomorrow?"

Narsai grins evilly. "Most esteemed of Writers of Me, you have a Rat in the Attic, a lousy poem, and the editing of five novels."

"No dental appointments?" asks Aser.

"None for this week," Narsai assures her.

"Good. Wake me in two days."

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Dec 4, 2008 - 07 31

Isabelle the Foul-Mouthed Fond of Merle Sheep stares sadly at Aser's burning Nanovel. "You know," she says, "I could've eaten that %@#%&@% novel. I think it would've gone well with lightly-grilled catfish and Acacia Frond Salad."

tweetywill RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Sep 14, 2009 - 18 39 **BUMP**

Remember us? We're still here!

GuardianOfTheFronds RE: Did someone say, "urinal cakes"?

Posted on:
Sep 14, 2009 - 19 15

(Peeks out of fronds) But don't they zap us in October?