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Squid #74
(published Early, 2002)
Ask The Giant Squid: Lincoln's Chinese New Year
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
This past Yule Time, it seems, Sang acquired a most curious chart. This is a paperboard diptych, mounted vertically (the one paper pane directly above the other.) The upper pane features a depiction of human infants disguised to appear to be various fruits, vegetables and other flora, and the bottom pane consists of a grid. This paper grid tracks the days present in each surface month, and while such a makeshift calendar is quite insufficient (lacking any notations viz. the movements of embracing-cold and treacherous warm currents, migratory patterns of clams or whales, or any real tracking of astral events apart from a simplistic charting of the phases of Earth Moon), it is a nonetheless the sort of quaint folkcraft which seems to brighten the drear of many an office chimp's day.

And, while this calendar grid is quite deficient in managing any of the important data of the day-to-day, it does contain a great wealth of information on the spiritual events which do not simply dot or punctuate your year, but quite nearly overrun it altogether, like barnacles about the stubled jaw of a hunchbaked whale. I was unaware that you grunties exist in such an ecstatic state of perpetual religious and civic zeal. It is impressive, indeed.

While gazing at the buttercup-themed babies— or, quite plausibly baby-corpses, for the infants photographed do have a terrible stillness about them— adorning Sang's day-grid, I happened to note an annual celebration most fascinating:

February the Twelve: Chinese New Years Lincoln's Birthday Mardi Gras.

As in many occasions with the artifacts of your culture, while most of the words were familiar, the overall drift of meaning was lost to me. So I first referenced my assistant's assistant, Rob— for whom, I must say, some little affection has sprouted in my hearts. I have taken to thinking of him as my simple, abridged Robictionary.

Rob has described February the Twelve variably as the Fattness of Tuesday, Marty Graw and Poonch-Key Day.

"Punch Key Day?" I queried, incredulous. Perhaps some holy day commemorating the great computational devices of yore, and the embossed cards which functioned as their Random Access Memory?

"No, dude, POONCH-Key Day. You know, poonckeys?" he made several cryptic gestures with his clever paws, the pantomime of some item airy, floating, spherical, soft. "Poonchkeys, dude? Poonchkeys? You eat Poonchkeys on Poonchkey Day."

I stared upon him, yet spoke not.

"A great earth delicacy, man. Polacks make 'em, like a jelly doughnut, but with, like, a whole fucking stick of butter in each one. They're awesome."

"Herm. Yes, indeed. The Poonchkey. The day of Poonchkey. How might I spell this word, Rob?"

"Oh, fuck, it's, like, um . . . P-A . . . CH . . . shit!"


"I can get it . . . hold on . . . There's a Z in it . . ."

"Yes, Rob, indeed. Please to not overburden your mental capacities. Your intelligence is most appreciated in this case. Further question: How does this relate to the Chinamen's New Year and the Nativity of Abraham Lincoln?"


"Never to mind, dear Rob. Please fetch me a terrier from the kennel— I am somewhat peckish. And be sure his eyes are lovely and soulful. I crave soulful eyes this afternoon."

Later, and in further conversation with Sang, it was revealed that The Poonchkey Day of Fatest Tuesday is a Polish configuration of the harbinger of the Catholic season of Lent, an extended period of minor privation which Sang indicated the Cross-and-Mother worshipers believe to somehow absolve them of sin.

Parenthetically, my research reveals that this pre-privation-season bacchanal is formally known as Carnival, descending from the Latin carnis levare, literally to lift the meat.


Although this phraseology does grant my the giggles, I jest not: this etymology is accurate and true. The sexual overtones are unmistakable, and I note the mythical rapacious appetites of Catholic clergy without further comment. I leave this data to be interpreted by the reader as he or she may.

(HA HA. "Lift the meat." Ah, you grunty slink monkeys. You are indeed "the living end." I laugh 'til tears come to my great and terrible eyes.)

I have asked many a source how it might be that sacrificing a minor indulgence (say, for example, the nibbling of cocoa-sweets or the viewing of certain broadcast programming) might set to rights the wrongdoings of a year, but none can arrive at a satisfactory answer. Sang noted, after insisting on both confidence and anonymity, that he firmly believed it to be simply another piece of nonsensical Western superstition.

At this time, I would like to express my regret for having betrayed Sang's trust— although I argue that, in the interest of elucidating my Readership Most Benevolent, it was entirely necessary. In the esprit of the season, I shall avoid eating of the jellied poonchkeys for the coming two score days, and thusly cleanse myself of the sin of friendly betrayal.

As Sang is of Chinese extraction, I asked that he explain to me why it is that the Chinese New Year should inspire such an observance, at once orgiastic and puritanical, from devote Christians.

"Firstly, I am Vietnamese, not Chinese. Secondly, sir, with most dutiful respect, I must contradict: these are three holidays, separate and unique, which only coincidentally, at this time, occur upon a shared day. This is coincidence, and nothing more."

"Ah, Sang, you are as sagacious as you are slanty-eyed. If I may quote Monkey Shakespeare: I think that Sang doth protest too much. Your resistance only confirms the depth and significance of this 'co-incidence'"

For you see, dear readers, it is a great secret that even Sang desires not to be set free upon the world, like unto a cat freed from the tied sack. But this feline is quite ferocious, and should have been quickly deposited into that mightiest of land-floods, the Mississippi.

It was, after all, the Chinamen who are indeed ancestors to Sang and his peninsular lot, who first discovered this fair America. They called it Fu-sang (HA HA, coincidence indeed— are the coincidencia not blooming most verdant today?) for the trees which grew upon its shores. It was a great golden mountain in the minds of these early Chinese sailors, wandering the wave-roads in their curvy and craft junks. But this, though debated amongst your dry historians, is at least known to the world.

What is not known is how it was that the Chinese water-goers were able to make contact with this landscape. It was, indeed, many millennia ago that those Tyrean sons of Hiram, the Phoenecians, with their navies populated by the mute children of Dragons' teeth, that brought all knowledge of mapmaking and the seas to the fair Chinese shore.

Pirates, traders, merchants and cut-throats, the Phoenecians were the first to settle what is now the Orleans Novo of the south— to this day the very Capitol of Mardi Gras and the monkey-humping spectaculaire that is Carnislevare— and with them came their yellow friends. The turkis, semitic, African and Asian crew members formed a community with the local native peoples of the bayou, giving birth to a new and secret race of world travelers: Melungeons. These Melungeons, when Phoenecia fell away before Rome, were left for a time to fend for themselves, only preserving fragments of their past. It was not until the arrival of St. Brendan of Ireland that contact again was reestablished with the ancient and guarded Phoenecian libraries of the Middle East.

Contact with both the Chinese and the inheritors of the Phoenecian libraries, the Templar, was guarded by the most senior families within the Melungeon, allowing again the average Melungeon to drift away from enlightenment and back into the tribal ways of the native people.

Abram Lincoln, a Melungeon of Illinois, was a member of an aristocratic family within that invisible nation, and as such an inheritor of that ancient and secret knowledge. And so it was that the native celebrations within that ancient Melungeon homeplace were rationalized against the tri-part truth of the world. Lincoln's true date of birth has been lost to us in favor of this magnificent "co-incidence."

In point of fact, it was this very ancestry which prompted Lincoln into the Civil War. His fear was not of a disintegrating Union, but of the loss of New Orleans and all of its beer drenched, hidden secrets. It was also this ancestry which would prompt Lincoln to influence the thinking of future Secretary of the States William H. Seward.

Seward, famous for negotiating the purchase of Alaska from Russia for 7 million dollars, publicly pursued the secret Lincoln Agenda of re-assimilating the Sino-American empire which existed before the last Ice Age, and which is recorded in the Sino-Phoenecian secret histories to which he was privy. For this purpose, Seward became the father of the modern Navy, especially the development of the Pacific Fleet. He prompted land acquisitions through the Pacific Ring of Fire, of which Alaska was merely the most famous. His policies also lead to the American Imperialist conquest of Guam, Hawaii, Samoa and the Philippines. Have not you gentle and urbane citizens ever wonder: Of what use is Guam? Why else would man desire it, but as a pawn in a great and many-armed conspiracy?

Though Seward always promulgated these plans under the guise of competition with the Imperialist powers of Europe, it is clear even now that Sang's paltry "co-incidence" is evidence of a deeper and more ancient significance.

Fear not, friends, there yet shall come a time when the world trembles as the three great Super-Powers of the pre-ice age world rise again. Hyperborea, Fu-Sang and the Middle Kingdom all are even now preparing to carve up the globe.

It is comforting to note that Valentine's Day has naught in the least involvement with any of this strange and entangled matter. Allow Cupid's arrow to distract you, dear readers, for even now, madmen in Peking are assembling an octo-limbed Lincoln-Mao-Alexander-Magnus-Conan super-beast to bring this world to its knees.

I As of Yet Remain Yours,
The Giant Squid

Post Scriptorum: Several reliable sources have informed me that the correct rendering of "poonchkey" is paczki, properly pronounced in gruntspeak as "pone-chkey." They confirm Rob's assertion that these are a Polish delicacy, assert that the paczki is indeed a glorious sort of cow-butter-rich jellied doughnut pastry, and further note that "Rob is obviously some kind of fucking moron. Can't you get better help?"

And I wonder: Can there be better help than one so devoted, feckless and uninquisitive as my dear Rob? I truly am perplexed as to how you evaluate employees.

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