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Squid #344
Ask the Giant Squid: A Pirate, A Ninja, A Sasquatch, President Lincoln, El Chupa Cobra and I Walk Into a Bar
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Great and Powerful Giant Squid,

If there was a fight to the death between a pirate, a ninja, a sasquatch, former president lincoln, you, and el chupa cobra, who would win?

Anonymous the Pirate

Dearest Anonymous,

As any physicist might patiently explain, ours is a deterministic world, bound by the Motion's Laws, the Conservative Thermodynamics, and the steadfast unplasticity of all matter. The dropped ball always plummets groundward, the flame sans oxygen does gutter and fail to thrive, the object in motion does tend to stay such, until finally conquered by the slow, ebbing attrition of frictions.

But this was not always known. For a great long while, a dearth of basic organization obscured the tick-tock, hum-drum regularity of our Universe.

Upon the First Most Violent Pugilistic Sextet, the combatants fought without benefit of rules, referees, allotted times, allotted opponents, or any formal structure to their event. It was a Battle Royale; fisticuffs were taken to in a manner most will-he or nill-he, with neither rhyme nor reason. The melee, staged on a lone, rocky Cretian promontory, was, as Thomas Hobbes commented at the time, "poor, nasty, brutish, and short." (A missive that Mr. Hobbes did like so much, he did steal it from himself for later use.) The many spectators were much upset at the dearth of spectation, although the wagerers were much pleased by both the early elimination of the sasquatch, the momentary sub-victorious upset by the nascent and foetal pre-soul of young Lincoln — flitting vengefully about the pirate's head, first beguiling and then beheading him — and the final victory by my cousin Lobellia, as she had been an underdog wager given odds of a six-to-one remuneration. Many drank for free that night. Ahh, what a donnybrook.

The Second Most Violent Pugilistic Sextet was a much more refined event, commenced on a clear, bird-chirpish morn in mid-September of 1862, upon the parade grounds of Antietam. It was organized into specific one-upon-one heats, charted below with their respective victors:

Ninja Ninja Ninja NINJA
Chupa Cobra
Giant Squid Giant Squid Giant Squid Giant Squid
Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln

Both President Lincoln's unprecedented use of a "smiley" and the Ninja's alchemic(k)al gendarme were long spoke of after that day, and Lobellia's defeat was actually miraculous in its delay, as she had neglected to train a whit for the sextaduel, and her aim was terrible. Nonetheless, at that time, both Lincoln and my cousin Lobellia complained of a dearth of fairness in the single-elimination rounds — Lincoln claimed additional and undue distraction from the booing and air-horns of the Confederate line, and Lobellia indicated her disadvantageous position, viz a viz the sky's flaming sun. One week later, upon the blood-soaked muck of the field, a second competition — generally referred to in the historical record as the Second Again Most Violent Pugilistic Sextet — was arranged as a tourney of three matches, with the first set of rounds resulting as follows,:

Pirate Pirate Pirate Pirate
Giant Squid Giant Squid Giant Squid
Chupa Cobra
Sasquatch Sasquatch Sasquatch SASQUATCH

Nikola Tesla — who was present as a maintenance worker upon Lobellia's elementary velocitating suit — immediately noted the pattern. After weighing each combatant during the lunch recess, as well as measuring their reflexive-timings and mass, and then taking some basic meteorological readings, Tesla set to work with his slipstick and polar-graph paper, and ultimately produced the first draft of the Diagram of Sextet Supremacies, included below. As they prepared the first heat of the second set of matches, the young and saucy rogue announced that, having been told that the first round shall include the Pirate fighting the Sasquatch, and then the Ninja battling Lobellia, it was an elementary deduction that the Ninja should, at the end of the set of matches, ultimately reign — which was indeed the case.

At that time, it became clear: owing to the physical attributes of each contestant, some few variables of the environment, and the iron-clad Laws of Physics, in these competitions, the victors were pre-determined. This was not chance, nor skill, but the simple Laws of Nature: Every Pirate can best any Chupa Cobra, each Sasquatch might crush any Pirate, but will invariably fall to even the most winsome teen Ninja. The Diagram fully elucidates the relations, below:

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb might be summarized as follows:

Pirate stabs ninja garrotes sasquatch eats suck-snake envenoms squid devours Lincoln outlaws pirate drowns chupa-cobra constricts ninja fatally-adores squid rends sasquatch conquers Lincoln in chess competition stomps sucking-cobra pays the ninja to assassinate lincoln (again). In unrelated events sasquatch holds the pirate in her deadly embrace, and the pirate later gasps out a final, cutting remark to the giant squid.

Of course, matters have changed somewhat since Mr. Tesla's fine calculations: the Pirate has grown old and weary; the Sasquatch has left-from-the-closet and commenced an intensive weight training program, along with classes in the acting improvisational; the chupa-cobra — dreaded "sucking snake" of MexAmerican myth and legend — has worked in many an anatomical film; I — with my finer pugilistic skills and much-advanced chrome walking suit — have replaced old Lobellia; and Abram Lincoln has slipped his mortal coil in favor of the terrible, stony spider-avatar within which he does now stomp his Washingtonia Deca stomping ground.

As a final note, my assistant and typist Jarwaun insists that I tell you of "the song." Although I begin by noting that "the song" — which is technically a sea chanty — is roughly contemporaneous with the First Most Violent Pugilistic Sextet, I wish to further addend that it takes as its source material certain ancient petroglyphs found at the terminal of the Toledo-Keyser Subway route. The remaining ruins of the terminus being now located at the entrance of the Toledo Zoo. The frieze above the stairwell in the now closed terminal does depict these six creatures you ask after, Anonymous, but is best understood as a depiction of the three ancient seasons, each in balanced, döppelgangerish duplicate.

The Winter — the most deadly and ice-locked dying time — remains nameless, faceless, and is simply the void. She is in the space betwixt every word, and is the pause in which we wonder of there is a next breath, or if the prior was also the last.

But all of that is matters tangential, except for to say that it is the inspiration for "the song" in which my good assistant does most delight. He has even performed it upon occasion, accompanied by the electronic drumming machine.

This most ancient rhyme concerns the long-traveling, relentless world-shaper, the simple sailor Christopher Navy, who was once mistaken for the dread pirate Old John Rictus, before finally making a name for himself as Jack the Logician, the coldest and most fearful man to ever skim across the friscillant surface of the Deeps. The song sung of him is as follows,and I include it solely for your elucidation, and to please a very steadfast and well-meaning young man:

Of Grog and Steel Star, is he, is he
Of Spidery Ape, is he, is he,
and when venom is high,
reaving tentacles nigh,
Then Jack the Logician will be, will be

He Binds Sun and Moon, does he, does he,
Of Midnight and Noon, is he, is he,
When Numerical Fangs Seek
The Razor Sharp Beak
Then Jack the Logician's to Sea, to Sea.

I Remain,
Your Giant Squid

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