Am I going to survive this?
Dear Readers, Lord-A-Lovers, and Advice-Seekers from Around the World,
Wow. Kung fu. A kung fu lady. That's some mad-crazy hardcore action. I am totally not fucking with your shit in this holiday gift-giving season. I tried kung fu for like a week once, and the sensei or whatever just kept throwing my ass all over the room and knocking me down. My spine hurt too much for me to get up in the morning after my third lesson, so I quit his ass.
Anyway, yo, it's Rob here. Lord A., the Giant Squid, is still, like, 72% out of commission, but he totally came around for a little while this morning, and . . . well, I recorded it, 'cause it's really easy to record audio n' shit on this Mac I'm using, and I'm, like, gonna type out what he said below:
ROB: —m recording this now. OK. Shit. What's up? How do you feel, dude?
GIANT SQUID: ROB?
ROB: Yeah. I'm here.
GIANT SQUID: I SEE VERY LITTLE. MY EYES, THEY ARE DIMMED.
ROB: Yeah, and you're shouting a little.
GIANT SQUID: APOLOGIES.
ROB: Your water is still kinda murky. I mean, it looks better and all, but it ain't crystal clear. This shit ain't a fucking mountain stream, you know? Those scrubbers in your tank, they had a lot of, like, shit to fight back. What do you see?
GIANT SQUID: LIGHT. COLOR, ALTHOUGH ALL DARKLY, AS THOUGH FILTERED THROUGH THE SEPIA PRINTING PROCESS OF ANTIQUE PHOTOS.
ROB: That sounds about right; the dome part of your suit is all stained and cracked and patched—
GIANT SQUID: I ALSO SEE TESLA AND TWAIN, LIKE DIMINUTIVE NYMPHS, WRESTLING, FUSSING AND FIGHTING. EXCHANGING BOTH HATS AND VULGARITIES LIKE TWO BROTHERS FROM TWO WHOLLY-UNRELATED-EXCEPT-BY-SPECIES MOTHERS.
ROB: Uhhh . . . I . . . [squeak of hand wiping glass clean] I'm not seeing that. Are the, uh, nymphs fighting near the front or the back of the dome?
GIANT SQUID: I HAD A DREAM, ROB.
ROB: About that Hazel ch— um, lady? Woman? Gentlewoman?
GIANT SQUID: NO. I DREAM NOT, AND YET I DREAMT.
ROB: You've been through a lot in the last little bit. Almost didn't make it and all.
GIANT SQUID: I DREAMT IT WAS BLACK FRIDAY. THERE WAS A VERY LONG LINE OF PATRONS, IN WHICH I STOOD. WE WERE QUEUED ASIDE OF A BEST BUY BIG BOX STORE, AND I WAS MUCH HOPEFUL OF OBTAINING A DELL DIMENSION HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE DESKTOP PC WITH MONITOR, PRINTER, SCANNER AND X-TREME GAMER PACKAGE FOR JUST $199. I DID POSSESSES OF A COUPON, WHICH WAS PRINTED UPON THE GLOSSY, LIGHT-BOND PAPER. I WAS NOT IN MY VELOCITATING SUIT; I WAS NAKED AMONGST THE GRUNTCHIMPS AND MONKEYMEN OF YOUR KIND WITH MY TENDER TENTACLES BEARING ALL OF MY WEIGHT UPON THE PARCHED EARTH. BUT RATHER THAN COLLAPSING TO THE GROUND AND SUFFOCATING, CRUSHED UNDER MY OWN WEIGHT IN THE SEARING DRY UPSPACE, I WAS BUOYED ALOFT, GENTLY BOBBING AS THOUGH I WERE DEEP IN THE SEA'S COOLING EMBRACE, OR ONE OF THE THANKS-TO-GIVING DIRIGIBLES OF DETROIT.
AFORE ME STOOD NIKOLA TESLA, ALSO HOLDING THE GLOSSY CIRCULAR OF COUPONS GRASPED DAINTILY IN HIS LATEX-BEGLOVED HAND AND FROWNING SLIGHTLY AT THE QUEUE OF FELLOW SHOPPERS. ASTERN ME WAS MARK TWAIN, ALSO KNOWN AS THE SAMUEL LONGHORNED CLEMENS, ALSO KNOWN AS THE MADMAN IN WHITE, OR SOMETIMES JUST AS JACK DADDY. HE WAS SMOKING OF A CIGAR AND CHUCKLING, WITH HIS HANDS THRUST DEEPLY INTO THE GROIN-ADJACENT POCKETS OF HIS WHITE TROUSERS. A GROUP OF NEVER-DO-WELL TEENAGERS STOOD BEHIND TWAIN, AND ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT DIRECTLY SPEAK TO HIM, THEY DID MOCK HIM ROUNDLY, DUBBING HIM AS 'PROFESSOR FAGGY PANTS,' AND MAKING SPORT OF HIS MODE OF DRESS, INCONTINENCE, AND THE LITERARY ZOUNDERKITE OF A CONNECTICUT YANKEE WITHIN KING AUTHOR'S COURT AND ALSO OF THE FINAL THIRD OF THE HUCKLEBERRIES AND FINNS, WHICH THEY HELD TO BE INFERIOR AMERICAN LITERATURE AND WELL BELOW HIS TALENT.
I WAS WORRIED THAT TESLA MIGHT BE AIMING TO ACQUIRE THE SAME DEEPLY-DISCOUNTED, LOSS-LEADING DELL COMPUTER AS WAS I, AND THERE MIGHT BE TOO FEW OF THE FINE COMPUTERS FOR EACH TO HAVE AS MANY AS THEY WISH. I WANTED TO ASK HIM ABOUT THIS, BUT WAS UNABLE TO DO SO AS HE AND TWAIN WERE ALREADY ENGAGED IN CONVERSATION AS TO WHAT WERE THE MOST DESIRED HOLIDAY GIFTS OF THE SEASON, TO WIT:Tesla: Twain, I do wish you would put out that fume stick you so dearly love to suck on. The entire practice is unhygienic and diseased.
Twain: I still owe your Czechoslovakian personage due justice for the soiling of my finest linen suit this past Spring. That was an evil trick with the vibratory platform, Tesla, and I shall smoke until I feel I have meted appropriate vengeance upon your soul.
Tesla: Ahh. Hah ha. Yes. That was amusing. It took me weeks to clean your filth from the seams and crevices of my electrically-excited platform. You must be wracked with guilt over the inconvenience you caused me. Perhaps your guilt would be assuaged by purchasing me a fine holiday gift, such as an HDTV? The displays are crisp and clear and vivid enough so that you may see the blemishes on the faces of actors.
Twain: That surely would be pretty picture to gaze upon in the dwindling evening light, but if I bought one of those I'd have to also acquire some sort of gaming console to use with it in tandem. The thrill of victory over a foe or the solving of a clever puzzle, these warm my heart on a cold Cincinnati night.
Tesla: But which console to buy? Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Sony's Playstation 3? I think that I would prefer the Playstation 3 for it has the most raw power "under the hood," and also may run that superior computer operating system of Mr. Torvalds.
Twain: That is a delightful prospect to be sure, but a joy to be known to fee of my fellow Americans this holiday season, as Sony only shipped 125,000 of these machines, and they are already sold out in many locals. I wouldn't say it would be impossible to own a PS3 this holiday season — especially knowing your close and personal relationship with impossibility — but I would say it was a long shot. Me? I'm set on purchasing a Wii from Nintendo, if I can find one.
Tesla: Do you not find the joy-squealing and arm waving inherent in Wii-manship somewhat undignified? Where are the stentorian role-playing games and the pre-enactments of World War II? How can this be a serious game for serious adults such as we? No, it is precious and cloying and ridiculous and suitable only for the small girl who still wears the long dress and dreams of rainbows and ponies.
Twain: That squealing and merriment, my balto-slavic friend, that is what we here in America have given the epithet "fun." Also, there is a new Legend of Zelda game, and another diversion where-in you race pleasantly-odd monster trucks.
Tesla: No. It is not for me. I shall be buying the Xbox 360, I fear. For it has power rivalling the PS3's, and a library of games to match. Also, I enjoyed very much the fragging of opponents in the Gears of War. I shall play on the Xbox Live and frag many teenaged boys, and then "teabag" their avatars until they quit in shame, as I understand is the fashion of the day. Also, it is in-stock everywhere.
Twain: And what, you rascally Czech, are you going to purchase for your mistress? [TWAIN WAGGLES HIS CATERPILLAROUS EYEBROWS]
Tesla: Good sir! You know I find both hair and spheres revolting in their entirety. Find me a woman devoid of both and then perhaps I shall take a mistress! [TESLA SIGHS, CHECKS HIS BLACKBERRY] But if I were to purchase a gift for a member of the "fairer" sex, I should think it would of necessity be both hand-crafted and ornamental. Possibly some jewelry from Etsy?
Twain: [AT THIS POINT TWAIN, HANDS FIRMLY DEEP IN HIS TROUSER POCKETS, BEGAN TO THRUST HIS PELVIS IN THE AIR] You must give the diamonds to get the gold, eh?
Tesla: I am glad to say that I have not the slightest idea of what you are implying. In any case, what do you plan to purchase for your young nephews and nieces? Are they still of toy-receiving age?
Twain: What child is not of an age to receive a toy? I thought perhaps I would give them a rubber ball or a wooden duck with mirthful flapping appendages.
Tesla: And how old are they?
Twain: Nineteen years of age, my dear Tesla.
Tesla: [TESLA WINCES, SHAKES HIS HEAD.] Please, Samuel, do yourself and your relations a favor and do not do this thing. Give them clothing or music or perhaps a gift certificate to a popular merchant? Threadless makes excellent shirts and they are quite affordable. Your kin would surely enjoy them.
Twain: This is sage advice and wise as well. Were you not a swarthy godless European, I would proclaim you a modern Solomon. [TWAIN PAUSES, LOOKS AT THE LONG LINE STRETCHING BEFORE THEM AND BACK AT THE MOCKING TEENS BEHIND. AT THIS TIME TWAIN SEIZED A CIRCULAR DEVICE FROM WITHIN TESLA'S GREATCOAT AND TURNED UPON THE PREDATORY TEENAGERS. HE GRASPED IT IN HIS CLEVER, SLENDER MONKEY HANDS AND BRIGHTLY DID IT GLOW AND THERE WERE SCREAMS AND THE SMELL OF FINE MEATS COOKING AND OF COTTON-POLY BLENDS INCINERATING IN A GREAT ELECTRIC FIRE. PEOPLE FLED AND RIOTED WHILE TESLA TOOK HIS PLACE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE LINE, GRASPING HIS SALES BROCHURE WHILE TWAIN'S LAUGHTER GREW HIGHER AND LOUDER AND HIGHER AND LOUDER LIKE A NIGHTLY THUNDER THAT ROLLS ON AND ON NEVER RESOLVING OR CEASING. HE PUFFÉD HIS CIGAR, SELF-SATISFACTION EVIDENT.] Let us speak freely and honestly as only two friends may: you shall not get a Playstation 3 this season. What else would you like?
Tesla: You make good points. Truth told, more than any other item, that which I most ardently desire this Holiday Season is the fine tome penned by that ebullient and masterful advisor-to-all, the Giant Squid of Poor Mojo's Almanac(k).
Twain: I could not agree more, Tesla. I myself have enjoyed at first hand the vigor and vitality imparted by the book. Mr. Squid's Holiday Hijinx is truly one for the ages. I understand that very few copies remain extant. Interested parties should strike with a swiftness to procure their copies—TODAY!
ROB: They didn't say that, the part about your book. You added that yourself.
GIANT SQUID: [sigh] NO, THEY DID NOT.
ROB: Did the lightning thing really happen?
GIANT SQUID: IT DID. THE CHILDREN SMELLED MUCH LIKE SWEET GLAZED TURDOGDUCKEN AS THEY COOKED AND DIED..
As for your back and legs and shit, Kari, I want you to remember that it's Christmas time. Sorta. Well, it isn't Halloween anymore, or Thanksgiving. At the local Walgreen's they've had Santas up since August, so I don't really know how to judge these things. It's Christmas time, and it's time to remember Christ, yo; he went through all sorts of mad-crazy shit — crosses and being stabbed and fist fights on the temple steps, getting denied and harshed and flunking out of school, hassled by cops, jerked around by his autocratic dad, all that — and he came through it totally fine. You'll be totally fine, too. You'll be a kung-fu superstar, a ninja demigod. Your body will be hard as iron yet supple as a reed, or whatever. Buck up, eyes on the prize, in his name, Amen. All that shit.
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson