December 4, 2006
Jeff R: Critical Distinction
Mark Twain once said that, in writing, the difference between almost the right word and the right word was the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.
Vice Principal Saunders thought about that as he prepared to address the gathered crowd, ready to begin their four-year sojurn through the world of high school. He cleared his throat. Feedback wailed, and then a spark from the amps jumped to the metal bleachers, and a horrific smell filled the auditorium.
See, in electrical engineering, the difference between the right wire and almost the right wire is the difference between elocution and electrocution.
December 5, 2006
...wasn't availible, so Bacchus had to go with the .cx domain. He always was a gaping arsehole. It's just more literal these days. The tubgirl, that's Isis, a goddess who's certainly seen better days.
The Gods did the media celebrity thing in the 50s, but that's over. Today it's all internet memes. Loki Lie-Smith, Sky-Walker had his revenge after Lucas stole his name- you know him as 'Star Wars Kid'. You've probably seen Thor around, too, as 'Angry German Kid'.
They don't really need worship, you see, although they like it well enough. They just need to be talked about.
December 6, 2006
Jeff R.:This wouldn't have worked with the thimble.
Caught speeding? And that'll land you in jail? Pretty harsh, if you ask me.
I mean, sure, I was tooling in my car something fierce, hopping from Virginia to Illinois, and would have been in Pennsylvania in no time if not for that cop. I just couldn't stop rolling the old dice, I guess.
The bail they want is ridiculous, too. I could build a house for that. Luckily, my neighbor's here, too. Not in the cell, he's just visiting. He's got something he wants to sell me called a 'get out of jail free card'. Sounds good to me.
December 8, 2006
Jeff R.:The Long Arms of the Law
"Damn. Okay, how about a psychic? Or a really smart dog?"
"Done, both of 'em."
"An anthropologist? An alien? What about a total OCD basket case?"
"Done, done, and done."
"Dammit! Okay, how about this: they guy is actually a serial killer himself!"
"Already done. Listen, if you can't come up with something original, I've got six more guys lined up to come in here and pitch this morning."
--Transcript, pitch meeting leading to the green-light for developing Sammy Praxis, Squid Detective, current top cable show in the Friday 9 PM timeslot for three years running.
December 12, 2006
Jeff R.:Take Two
Millions dead and displaced in two world wars?
We Can Do Better.
A Constitution with unsustainable and unjustifiable compromises on the issue of slavery?
We Can Do Better.
Global colonization and oppression of countless indigenous peoples? Squandering of limited natural resources and destruction of the environment? Vast stores of biodiversity lost to mindlessly wasteful mass extinction events?
We Can Do Better.
Just say 'No!" to the Real Time Initiative and their fear-mongering about the so-called integrity of the spacetime continuum. History is broken. Now that the technology for time-travel has finally arrived, don't let THEM stop us from fixing it.
December 13, 2006
Jeff R.:Diplomatic Incident
It was a matter of dialects. In the speaker's native East Wahindic, that particular combination of ululations, trills, and glottal stops meant "As ambassador, I am grateful for your kind hospitality."
In West Wahindic, the related tongue that Uncle Thornton the explorer had learned in his travels, those very same sounds were translated as "Provided she is a virgin, I will pay you many goats to rent your daughter for the night."
If young Patrick hadn't tackled Thornton before he finished taking the blunderbuss down from the wall rack, the war would have started three years earlier than it did.
December 14, 2006
Science is a lie.
History shows it. All major discoveries simply leap straight into the mind of the discoverers, while they're doing something that's, at best, tangentally related to the idea who's time had come. Newton gets hit by an apple and discovers universal gravitation. Archimedes draws too much water for his bath and finds the formula for bouyancy. A couple of biochemists look at a spiral staircase and unravel DNA.
All of that business with carefully tested hypotheses and experimental rigor is pure bunkum, a line to get government grants. When it's steam-engine time, someone will build steam engines.
December 15, 2006
Jeff R.:Leave Your Body At The Door
The tradition dates back to the fifth year of the great die-back, after the new plagues had run their course and the old ones had begun their comeback. When the winter freezes began and the foot of water- too shallow to float, too deep and diseased to drive or wade- that covered the old streets suddenly turned from a million moats to great skating maze, the few thousand people left squatting in the abandoned towers of New York travel, from dwelling to dwelling.
By day they gather the dead. By night they burn them on great pyres. And they party.
December 18, 2006
Jeff R.:Dog Tired
It's exhausting work, being the personal dog-walker of Dame Elizabeth Alexis Cordonova, although it pays well.
I answered the job listing five weeks ago, and became the latest contractor in her burgeoning personal staff. The staff contained enough drama to fuel a dozen daytime soaps. I tried to stay out, but when the Cook broke things off with the Groomer, the drama came to me. The dogs were poisoned.
You'd have thought that'd make my job easier for a little while, but no. The Taxidermist had them back on the grounds the next day, with roller-skate wheels in each paw.
December 19, 2006
Jeff R.:Love Song
"What's that? You writing something?"
"Not that it's your business, but yes."
"Let me see...hey,this is a some kind of sappy song, isn't it?"
"It's not 'sappy'."
"Looks sappy to me. So you still sweet on that girl with the funny name?"
"Eeta's a perfectly common Swedish name."
"I was talking about the last name. Good thing she doesn't have any brothers; I'd hate to be a guy named Mr. Peach."
"If only I didn't have a brother. Now give that back."
"Uh-uh. Sorry, but no brother of mine is going to be singing any dew-eyed aire to Eeta Peach."