Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In The Company of Eels

In the spring of 1899, the poet Lemur Godsmith, in order to more fully understand the subtleties of his subject, spent what amounted to weeks under water with the creatures before writing his epic poem, "In the Company of Eels." It's been whispered that he was never the same since, most probably due to oxygen deprivation. Even years after his submersion, his wife reported that he still had fits during the night--swatting at the air maniacally, clenching his jaw and quietly ordering, “Get them away, get them away!”


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Death By Rice Pudding

A scene from the Upper Macungie Fathers of Rathbone Vaudevillian Extravaganza and Sheep Shearing Competition of 1897.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In Lowly Reverence Adore

a.k.a. "I [heart] my human head"

No one can clearly remember the day that Augustus brought home 'Aunt Fanny' as Father came to call her, although I do recall that it was in the summer.

Gus would keep her on the porch on the whole, although if she was in the house when we took tea, she would always ask if it was "Dah-JEE-ling", sometimes incessantly. She said little, only three or four sentences and always insensible.

One night she woke up the whole house asking for 'Finsbury'.

Eventually mother made father get rid of her after Gus chewed on her nose; we all missed the old girl...


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Masonic Rite #201 - Promotion from on High

Thaddeus T. Gorman, already showing off the key to the city of Pittsburgh (few people realize it was gated as late as 1962) and a top coat made especially for him by the National Embalming and Crematoria Research Organization, both of which he received in 1874 for outstanding funerary and security services.

A known compatriot of Emperor Joshua Norton I of America, General Custer, Harry Houdini and Dr Joseph Bell.

Gorman was not present in London in 1888, nor San Francisco in 1906.

He died in 1948 and again in 1952.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Prudence Fenwick and Friends

Prudence fancied herself a sort of St. Francis figure, bringing love and kindness to all animals and keeping a special few with her at all times. There was Jeff the dog of uncertain origin who refused to let his front paws touch the ground, believing himself to be more highly evolved than all other canines.  Prudence also kept a crow whom she named Moribund. Unfortunately, Moribund took to staring tirelessly at Jeff, causing him to take up smoking and thus bringing about his untimely death 19 years later. They are seen here in the darkly charming Fenwick Manor on St. Crispin's Day, 1887.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Louis So Loved the Ladies

I do not believe a story is necessary here. We can all see exactly what Louis is up to. He'd like to believe he's sly, but his size makes this an impossibility. He got away with it for a little while this day, as the ladies talked and laughed unaware. Until at last he could hold it in no longer and a loud "Whoooooooooop!" escaped came from his fishness, alerting the women to his presence. They all turned to look at once, saw him, began laughing again, and Louis in disgrace sank slowly and quietly down below the surface of the water once again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Infanta

Though not the next in line for the throne, Twinkle was subject to the intensely mean-spirited scrutiny of her public. While being carried through the streets atop her elephant she was painfully aware of the snickers, sneers and fingers being pointed her way. Through the air like small daggers floated such words as, “Mutant!” “Inbred!” And even “Monster!”

Though life would prove difficult at first, Twinkle was the kind of baby who saw her differences as a blessing. Through hard work and an enormous will to succeed, Twinkle overcame her would-be handicap only to become the 1911 World Cartwheeling Champion at the widely publicized Side Show Olympics held in Rotterdam.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shuzaahn, Warrior Queen, With The Royal Twin Step–Nieces

Incarnatia and Exaltatia adored their boldly eccentric aunt, the Queen Shuzaahn, and always took pleasure in her company. Yet quietly they wished she’d forego her hedgehog tunic while in their presence.

Fraternitas Philosophiae Infinitum

They had so much to learn from him. He was the one who made it back from the great beyond. He held the secrets to life and everything. And so he joined their exclusive club, meeting with them every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the grange hall to answer questions, discuss world events, reveal truths and sometimes just sit quietly and listen without judgement. He was their mentor, their hero, their god. They were his friends. Word.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Concentration With Subsequent Minor Infestation

One day in early January, while trying to determine which of the two minnows was largest and best, Buzz inadvertently summoned a small number of rather large insects.

Summoning The Great Continuum

They met on gran's front porch each June 12th to summon up the powers of the Great Continuum. There was little Bartie with his fashionable science goggles, Pathos the slumberhound forever at Bartie's side, and Chlorimonia the raven who was considered rather large for a bird of her type but still within normal limits. Gran Mizrabelle who sat watch over the band of friends opted out of the proceedings each year, claiming another bout of the jitters. This is the only known photograph of the event.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Seaside Lessons

March 3, 1894--The Sgt. Maj. Windy E. Bola, seen here with some young diatoms on their excursion to the coast of Cape Breton, where it was her supreme desire to impart on the youngsters the fine art of mirror signaling. Just as the camera was set up and ready to capture the fun, storm clouds rolled in, the rain started and a massive corvid took flight nearby. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

His Holiness the Bahbra Binki

In this his only formal portrait, Bahbra Binki, renowned Sufi master and dervish with the most consecutive gold metals in whirling, is seen here in full regalia and looking pensive. When pressed for the meanings of the symbols within the portrait, Binki swore it was standard fare for a dervish of his rank, looked around nervously, coughed in a violent manner and begged for a lozenge. Soon after this was taken he was said to have run off with a massive leather-clad man who went by the name of Simkins--a strange character himself proported to have kept a small "humanoid" companion on a leash which screamed "gimme some!" unmercilessly. Binki was also the author of the acclaimed book of Haiku entitled, I Have Something in My Third Eye.

Old Dan

From 1855 to 1890, Daniel Berrimuck attracted throngs of enthusiastic onlookers to the circus to watch his well-known flag routine. It was simple to say the least and consisted of the performer merely marching around in small circles barely able to hold onto his prop, dropping it, stopping to bow gracefully to his audience, picking it up again and continuing on, all to the tune of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”. The crowd cheered in elation with each move he made, clumsy or not. Dan always assumed he was the best flag performer the circus had ever seen, after all, listen to them! Never did it occur to him that maybe, just maybe, they were all cheering for the world’s only successful cross between a common grey squirrel and a highland cow. Ah well, it’s probably for the best. He continued to thrill crowds for ages, and through the years became known affectionately as Old Dan.

An attic full of antiquated insanity, darkness, humor and mayhem