Smoke and Mirrors

Troubled psychiatrists
around the world
have increasingly turned to iodine
for lack of anything better to recommend.

This simple palliative
sure has brightened the lives
of countless patients, whether or not
they’re actually doing anything
for their brain chemistries.

Rather than causing a stir
by playing the tired smoke and mirrors
game of “Is This a Placebo or Not?”,
doctors everywhere are prescribing Vitamin I,
that heaviest of stable halogens.

Its deep violet hue promotes a sense of mystery
in 74% of test patients, creating
more of a positive psychological effect
than any old placebo ever could.

Tea Time

A dinghy
in the middle of
this patriot’s sketchbook

provides a pure rendition
of what our ancestors
had once believed to be
a savior of some kind.

According to our current science,
the dinghy no longer ranks
among the ideal species
to be considered a deity,

but belief systems
have changed significantly
since that epoch. A list
of acceptable deities
may be found outside my office,

though not before tea time
(I despise holding class
before tea time).

Sweet Lady Science

Where do I even begin? Well, we stopped dropping the snakes down the hole and letting them just smack their bellies on the ground because this here sarcastic douchebag decided to get sensitive one day and say “geez, we sure do like hurting snakes!” We all looked at him like he had three or four heads, the favorite number of heads to picture an alien having when you’re gawking at this here guy who all of a sudden gives a damn about snake welfare.

They’re just damn snakes, they’re cold blooded. They’ve lived unchanged for millions of years now and they don’t give a damn about being slammed on the slab if it means we can sleep in peace. That’s right, sentient snakes who have been telepathically communicating with me for a good… seven years now. Wow.

So anyway, go on ahead with your little protest, we ain’t changing these rules for nothing or nobody.

—-TWO WEEKS LATER—-

BREAKING NEWS: SNAKES FEEL PAIN
Scientists Everywhere Urge Citizens:
“Discontinue Dropping Snakes on Slabs”

Jesus, what are the odds? We’ll probably never find out just how this study was started or funded, or how it coincided so perfectly with that sensitive douchebag making his impassioned plea down at the firehouse, but Sweet Lady Science has spoken, and we must heed her words.

March On

Umpteen liberty steaks transgress
like no other cut of meat
ever conceived by our dedicated team
of mix-n-match overachievers,
and you can quote me on that.

I don’t find this grand display of sentience
to be entirely unexpected, but I really thought
a few generations of anthropomorphization
would have had to come and go
before such nationalistic forms of protein
started speaking up.

But
I’ve been proven wrong in my assumptions
more times than I can count at this point.
I hold no grudges; I march on
as any man of science would.

Band Names – 11:11GMT

I really wish I could use my arms… Oh well. What else, what else…

I remember those times in college where my friends and I would sit around for hours–on one substance or another–laughing our asses off as we came up with names for the indy rock band we were always meaning to start but were too lazy to actually do anything about it. I recall that I was the best one at coming up with them, which didn’t surprise me, since I was the only English major among us. I didn’t have it down to an exact science, but there was an improvisational quality to it, like catching lightning in a bottle.

And now, if you’ll let me (and of course you’ll let me, my infernal conquerors), I will recite a list of indy rock band names for your pleasure–or displeasure. I don’t really care about your opinion on the matter. Go ahead, punish me. Ha!

Tumblestiltskin
Belfast Breaklast
Bragadelphia
Gopher Module
September Badger Fire
Thermometer Blues
Frenzy Salmon
Salmon Frenzy
Take Forever After
Filteropolis
Gravel Health
Gnome Pants: They’re Just Painted On
Fibrous Being
Semper Fly
Gifted Flight Attendant
Tambourine Massacre
The Trouble with Oscar
Piston Piston-Piston
Bother Pillows
Gazette
Distance Spread
Temple Wandering
Foam River
Too Risky Nevertheless
Stealth Canister
Boulder Trappings
Voracious Treader
Stencilwaukee
Pony Express Quarterly
Filth and Vinegar
Absolutely Air Pollution
Bankrupt Bancroft
Ain’t Necessarily Snow
Self-Degradation: WITH REAL CHEESE!
Four-Liter Cola
Tell Me Yesterday (About Tomorrow)
Several Unopened Packages
Criterion Contradiction
It Takes a Pillage
Inept Acquiescence
Unprecedented Wealth of Shit

I know you’re impressed, my bodiless, faceless, nameless authority figures! I’ll bet there’s not a single other person involved in your sick little game who can name that many band names off the top of their head.

How about you put a shot of espresso in my shake the next time I wake up?

Deal?

I’ll take that silence as a yes.

CIII

The eggs of the common jellybird are prized more than those of a stork, ptarmigan or even the elusive sweater-wearing snoot pigeon. You’d think that these eggs would be valued for their culinary value, but they’re practically inedible (more of a collector’s item). So far, over 9,351 different distinct colors of jellybird egg have been discovered, with no apparent end to the hue differentiation. The lacquered version of these eggs is the most common, but fossilized ones fetch the highest market value by far. Genuine fossilized jellybird eggs are quite rare but not unheard of, as the species has always been highly adaptable, flourishing since the early Paleocene, leaving treasures behind for us to find. Recently, a suspicious influx of fossilized jellybird eggs has flooded the market, baffling experts around the world. There have not been any significant findings in the recent past that would justify such a surge, yet nobody can tell the difference between these numerous new artifacts and their scarcer counterparts that have been accumulating since we humans took an interest in their preservation. Someone must have perfected a method for fossilization on demand, or, perhaps, there’s truly no such thing as a genuine fossilized jellybird egg, implying that all the most valuable specimens were planted. Planted by whom, we may never know. It’s only a matter of time before religious zealots claim that God placed the eggs in the earth as a means of testing our faith and jumpstarting the Easter tradition that Christians hold so near and dear to their hearts.

(3) Don’t Want to Write–I’d Rather Be: Inventing Megapithicus

Eight of the largest specimens known to man all once resided in this very location. Of course, they all occupied different spans of time, though many of them overlapped by a good several decades. The overlap periods are usually favorable, though sometimes two beasts of such stature end up doing nothing but fighting over the small patch of territory. It’s not exactly their domain because they don’t own it, but it’s a kind of sanctuary where they may do as they wish to their environment. They are highly evolved, sure, but their evolutions veered away from our human ancestors a couple million years ago when they decided to breed primarily for strength. At the time it was a brilliant decision, because they were quite fertile and stable. No other animals or tribes of humanoids would dare to invade a Megapithicus lair. Of course, they don’t call themselves Megapithicus. Our preeminent primate scholars assigned that fun name to them when they first saw the ulna of a particularly large Megapithicus man which they later dated to 20,000 BCE.