A 5-Paragraph Essay on Why the Killer in Me Is Not the Killer in You (for Billy Corgan)

          The killer in me is not the killer in you. There are numerous reasons why this is so, foremost of which are vast differences in appearance, modus operandi, and choice of companion animal. These differences leave no doubt that the killer in me is not the killer in you.
          First off, the killer in me and the killer in you look nothing alike. The killer in me looks like Lenny Kravitz if Lenny Kravitz had been cast in the original Mod Squad – which is to say, the killer in me looks a lot like Lenny Kravitz. The killer in you resembles Mrs. Havisham from Great Expectations right down to the goiter. Since they bear so little resemblance to each other, it is impossible that the killer in me can be the killer in you.
          Next, we turn to their radically different methods of killing. The killer in me approaches his victims on public streets, asks for directions to the nearest dry cleaners, and then nonchalantly blows a poison blow dart directly into their left eye. It is always the left eye and it it always a direct hit in the center of the eye – he never misses. The killer in you lures plumbers and handymen into her basement/dungeon/kill room and, after rendering them senseless with a tranquilizing spray, hoists them up onto a flogging station with the aid of a winch (as the killer in you is weak and enfeebled) whereupon she proceeds to flog them to death with a cat o’nine tails. Clearly, these are not the modus operandi of the same killer.
          Finally, we come to the choice of companion animals. For his companion animal, the killer in me has a Shiba-inu/wolf-dog named Kenji. Kenji is never allowed to feast on the flesh of the killer in me’s victims. The companion animal of the killer in you is a Siamese cat named Dash-Dash (pronounced “dash, dash, dash”). The killer in you takes great delight in watching Dash-Dash devour the flesh of her victims until only bloodied bone is left. Simply put, different companion animals – different killers.
          In conclusion, the killer in me is not the killer in you. Since they have widely divergent appearances, share no common modus operandi, and have diametrically opposed companion animals, there is no doubt whatsoever that the killer in me is not the killer in you. To insist otherwise is folly.

Great Things! (vol. 2)

Great Things! is an occasional MonsterBeGood feature which is composed whenever the editor senses the world at large, medium, small, toddler and infant sizes needs a healthy dose of the type of medicine you just can’t get from a pill, a compound, a nasal spray, a medicinal rub or a suppository. Consider it borscht for the blues, a mud pie for the mopes, or even a z-pack that you don’t need to wait 5 days to take.

And so, here’s wishing you all Great Things!


Great Things!

The Ballad of Bill “The Bunter” Hobson (A Spectacularly Undistinguished Practitioner of the Art of Professional Fisticuffs, Who Nevertheless is Remembered as a War Hero)

baseball player v. boxer

It was just in Bill Hobson’s nature,
before he was even a runt,
why, before he even learned to walk,
he’d taught himself to bunt.

He showed little interest in grade school.
His teachers found him as a student wanting.
He’d do no homework, but every day in his backyard,
for six hours after school, he’d diligently practice bunting.

He made the freshman baseball team,
but he gave his coaches a fit,
for Bill insisted on bunting – no matter what the sign –
as a way to get a hit. (He never did.)

Tossed off the team for insubordination, next fall, he tried out for football.
The coach showed him how to punt it,
but instead of catching and kicking the ball,
Bill Hobson tried to bunt it. (It will come as no surprise that he did not not make team.)

Bill got a job as a night watchman.
After he’d made the rounds and checked all the locks,
he would spend the rest of the night
practicing bunting out on the loading docks.

Late one evening, a gambler spied Bill,
said to his partner, “Look at that schmuck.”
His partner said “He doesn’t look like a fool to me,
He looks like a stroke of good luck!”

And so the boxer Bill “the Bunter” Hobson was born.
Of his prowess at fisticuffs the gamblers would sing
as they’d travel from town to town, get Bill into a boxing match,
then bet the house of the other guy in the ring.

His head it was battered.
His jaw it was shattered.
Across his tattered baseball jersey,
his blood it was splattered.

His eyes black and bruised,
but he never felt used,
for if one’s calling is bunting,
one’s life can’t really be choosed.

Then the Great War in Europe broke out (version II).
Bill was drafted and sent to the front.
It was at the Battle of the Bulge
that Bill made his most famous bunt.

​A German soldier tossed a grenade at his platoon’s foxhole
It hung in the air, everyone thought in that instant, “My God! We’re done for and that’s that”
but Bill saw the grenade as a baseball,
and bunted it with his bat.

And even though Bill “The Bunter” Hobson was a failure as a student,
could not even stay on the baseball team,
never stood a chance at making the football team,
never became a doctor or a lawyer,
and although his lack of prowess with women was up until this point
not heretofore mentioned, one can only imagine,
and his total number of wins as a professional boxer amounted to zero (0-533 to be exact),
when it came time for his final out,​
Bill Hobson died a hero!

So it doesn’t matter if you reach first base,
it doesn’t matter how many runs you score,
in the town square of Rosemont, Ohio, is a statue
erected in honor of “Bill ‘The Bunter’ Hobson – a Hero of the Second World War”

5 Proven Ice Breakers for Shy Girls With an All-Encompassing Love of Forklift Safety

  1. “Hi. Have you ever been involved in a forklift accident?”
  2. “My friend over there was wondering how many people do you think are injured annually by forklifts?”
  3. “I love your shirt. Do you know the minimum clearance for a forklift to pass under an overhead conveyor?”
  4. “I see this song makes you want to move too. Maybe if the dance floor gets a little less crowded, you might want to tell me how often the fire extinguisher on a forklift needs to be inspected?”
  5. “Excuse me, I’m not usually this forward with guys, but speaking of forward, do you know when it’s okay to drive a forklift forks first up an inclined ramp with a load raised to maximum height?”

Proposal to the Tate Museum for the Interactive Installation Exhibit “Soil Room”

Artist’s Statement

​Our primitive ancestors knew the value of soil and respected the soil.

Yet, as the story of humanity has left its footprints upon history, soil has been trampled underfoot, becoming a mere footnote in the long march when it is fact its very foundation.

Here are the facts on the ground: We may not be made of the soil, but soil has made us.

It is safe to say that we would not be standing (or sitting or lying or crouching) here today without soil; we would be still be some type of fish, as without soil there is no shore upon which our super-primitive ancestors (i.e. those even more primitive than our primitive ancestors who knew the value of soil and respected it) could have place a tentative tentacle, fin, antennae, etc. and quickly perished, somehow beginning the great evolutionary process that has resulted in proposals of exactly this kind.

No. Soil has become a dirty word. Your good name has been soiled. Your reputation has been soiled. You’ve soiled your pants, your diapers, your dress, your futon, your rug, the reputations of those previously believed to be virgins, etc.

Even when taken as a signifier (“soil”) of a material object (“[soil]”), “soil” immediately takes us to one of two bad places – either we are worms endlessly burrowing through the soil only to have the soil pass through us (please see T.F. Burns, “The Soil Traveler”) or we bodies that are entombed within the soil (please see “The Obituaries”). In rare cases, we can imagine ourselves as both (please see K.F. von Braunstein’s, “On The Dead Worm Which Eats Through Its Own Corpse”). ​

Farmers appreciate the soil, but many have bought the farm – driven off their land by foreclosures and the rapaciousness of multinational agribusiness conglomerates, which despite their vast amounts of capital have yet to produce a self-cleaning head of lettuce or a self-dicing tomato. And besides, farmers are not our intended audience – as they are far too busy doing the hard work of farming to frequent the Tate in meaningful numbers.

​”Soil Room” is an interactive installation which attempts to start both a discursive and recursive dialogue (ideal mix: 3 parts discursivity for every 2 parts of recursivity, with a bitter lemon rubbed in sweet bitters) on our concepts of the “soil” by boldly challenging visitors to re-envision “soilness” by navigating (in this case, physically navigating) a recontextualization of the soil into a decontextualized environment itself contextualized by its surroundings.

Proposal for Installation – The Basics

The Tate will give over to me a gallery room approximately 100’x100′ with a ceiling height no less than 25 hands or 25 feet (whichever is larger).

I, with the help of a team of experienced landscapers, will cover the entire surface of the room – floor, walls and ceiling – with a 6″ coating of soil.

Visitors will enter the installation via a 50′ long rounded stone chamber resembling the sides of a stone well. The Tate will be responsible for furnishing this entrance, as I do not do stonework.

Lighting

​The installation will be unlit, so visitors can experience the soil in complete darkness.

Prohibition Against the Sale or Rental of or Provision of Illumination Devices Including Torches and Flashlights

The Tate is hereby prohibited from selling, renting or providing its visitors any illumination devices for use in “Soil Room.” However, if visitors choose to hold aloft any lighters or flashlights they are carrying, this is fine, although in theory, if there were no legal matters to consider, those using illumination devices would be eaten by predators.

Maximum Number of Visitors at Any One Time

There will be no limit on the number of persons allowed to enter the exhibit at any one time (Fire codes are for bureaucrats and Cassandras!).

​Duration of Installation Exhibit

The exhibit will run for one year, allowing “Soil Room” to experience all four seasons. If the show would naturally end in a winter, but the Groundhog has seen his shadow, the exhibit will be extended another 6 weeks. ​

Temperature of “Soil Room”

During the summer season the room is to be cooled to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (I’m an American. I don’t do the Celsius thing. I’m sure you can figure it out.) and during the winter season heated to 70 degrees. During the Fall and Spring the temperature will be whatever the midpoint is between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (I’m an installation artist. Simple math is beneath me.)

Synergistic Possibilities for Future Exhibitions Based on “Soil Room”​

Future Video Installation – “Humans Moving Through Soil”

For a 3-hour period during a random Saturday of each of the four seasons, every visitor entering “Soil Room” will be required to wear a special jumpsuit, along with shoes, a helmet and special gloves (4 fingers mandatory – no mittens!) the effect of which is to cover all surface skin. Video cameras inserted into various places will recorded the motions of visitors wearing their special suits (whether the film will pick up body heat, infrared waves or radiation waves is still TBD). Edited portions of these videos will form a new video installation entitled “Humans Moving Through Soil.” Unedited video will form the 12-hour long “exclusive director’s cut” version.

​[Ammendment to the preceding paragraph: I have consulted with several experts and now understand that filming the video in infrared will not require special suits, therefore…no, on second thought, have them wear the suits anyway.]

[Ammendment to the preceding ammendment: Please ignore the preceding ammendment].

Future Found Sculpture Exhibit – “Things Left on the Soil”

At the end of each day, Tate Museum curatorial personnel – with the assistance of janitorial personnel – will curate the room of any objects left by visitors. These will be further curated into an exhibit showcasing items left behind. Vsitors who identify objects lost while in “Soil Room” will have the option of recovering them by paying the ransom.

Synergistic and Crassly Commercial Possibilities

​The Tate gift museum is encouraged to exploit all available profitable synergistic product off-shoots as the artist believes this will help to further raise “soil consciousness.” The following are merely examples of the possibilities:

The “Soil Room” Dollhouse – a cube with one open face and the rest of all surfaces covered in soil. Sold in the following sizes: Starter, First Promotion, McMansion, Empty Nest, Empty NestEgg (alternatively titled the “Bernie Did What?”).

​Soil – Soil will be sold in the following sizes: Large bucket, Grande Bucket, Tall bucket. Also sold in 20lb., 50lb. and 100lb. bags.

Soil Room T-shirt (standard) – This will be a mass reproduction of a t-shirt worn by the artist as he rolled around in freshly landscaped flower bed.

Soil Room T-shirt (worn by artist) – This will be a t-shirt worn by the artist as he rolled around in freshly landscaped flower bed. Authenticated with artist’s initials hand-cleaned using an instant stain-remover pen.

​​​Closing Statement

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I want to start by saying thank you – thank you for your time. I appreciate it tremendously and I will therefore keep my closing statement mercifully short. Two simple words – not guilty. Why? Two simple words and an acronym – the DNA test. Thank you. That’s all your honor.

Artist’s Closing Statement

I really can’t say it any better than what you just heard from my attorney, Mr. Hobson. But, here’s hoping to see you hopping and bopping in “Soil Room” soon!

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 11)

​If you give a hungry man a fish,
he will eat for a day.

If you give a hungry man a gun,
he will likely aim it at you and say,
“take me to where you keep the fish.”

From the World of Feline Dressage

Dear Ms. Kataraski,

I write in response to your letter of protest dated 10/29/11.

In Article IV, Section III, Paragraph 2a of “The Rules of Feline Dressage” it is clearly stipulated that the rider must remain AT ALL TIMES IN THE SADDLE during the course of a run. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in immediate disqualification.

That a wild rabbit from the nearby woods entered the dressage area during Mr. Max’s run is an unfortunate, unforeseen event; however, this in no way supersedes the aforementioned rule. Your rider left the saddle and his mount in order to give chase.

In short, the sport of feline dressage is not about who can produce a cat dressed in miniature equestrian garb that can for a brief moment look debonair on horseback.

Anyone can do that.

The sport of feline dressage is about who can train that same cat to remain mounted in the saddle atop his horse throughout ALL of the required movements and jumps.

The Board has considered the matter carefully and hereby rejects your protest.

Sincerely,

Nancy France
Executive Director
New York State Association of Feline Dressage


Entry for a Painted Bride Quarterly Facebook contest requiring the use of the words “debonair”, “saddle” and “stipulate.”

This was based on an actual protest letter, though not in the sport of feline dressage (which has been on the decline – did you even know it existed?), but rather open-sea canine dolphin riding, a sport which has long been my passion.

Ten More Things You May Not Have Already Known

The real-life inspiration for “the farmer in the dell” actually lived in a glen.

The Empire State Building grows at a rate of 2.25 inches per year.

Shetland ponies are small in stature due to an ancient curse.

The first camera capable of capturing the human soul was invented in 1879.

Most Navy SEALS are actually people!

In 1684, the HMS Victory became the first ship in the English Fleet to be sailed entirely by Great Danes.

When boiled and eaten, Dachshunds – commonly referred to as “wiener dogs” due to their resemblance to walking, furry, hot dogs with tails – do not taste like hot dogs at all, but more like rancid veal.

All mirrors begin as glass figurines of whales, which mirror-makers then roll, flatten, and shine.

Genghis Khan’s real name was Ira Finkleman.

If you fold yourself in half, then fold yourself in half again, and keep on folding yourself in half, you will reach the moon by the 32nd fold!

Ken “The Deer Destroyer” Hendricks On Raising a Child (and a Rifle)

How do you raise a child in a today’s culture? Who makes the most accurate production hunting rifle?

Is proper child rearing a lost cause? And where do you turn when even good hunting rifles no longer meet your standards?

We all want to raise children who will grow into good adults – possessing great marksmanship and wind-reading skills, along with a superbly accurate rifle. However, nature and nurture are in a never ending battle to claim the disposition of a child and decide whether or not she will have in-depth knowledge of ballistics.

Most parents want their children to be kind and caring and to have an inner standard of goodness that can guide them through the typical trajectory graph for a M4 carbine and M16A2 rifle. This kindness of spirit entails a child’s desire to do good actions, avoid bad, and share hunting rifles in the fashion of Soviet Red Army soldiers in WW2.

Your children will grow up to be kinder and more considerate of others if you teach them which manufacturing company makes the most accurate bolt-action centerfire hunting rifle. Plus, when children are polite, kind and honest, they develop a good shot with an accurate K98k and can make hits out to scoped rifle range very easily.

The most important rule for you to embrace and integrate into your parenting practices is this: the rifle you need is a big bore, not a giant bore, hunting rifle, and if you get the right one you can take down almost anything.

Life won’t always gift your child with exactly his heart’s desire, but there are ways you can make sure that, underneath it all, he learns to appreciate that the key to shooting a gun accurately is having the knowledge of how to adjust the gun’s sights. It doesn’t take a village to raise a child or make minor adjustments to your rifle – start by putting your hand on the muzzle and try moving the barrelled action in the stock.

If you are looking for ways to raise a compassionate, respectful and motivated child, you must expose him or her early on to a wide variety of shooting techniques, training methods, and tactical disciplines. Every day is filled with opportunities for your child to learn how to fire the new Vintage Sniper Rifle.

It’s also vital to teach your child the importance of tolerance and that generally speaking, there are two types of guns: handguns and long guns. The important skills that teach kids to resolve conflicts include building confidence in their rifle’s accuracy, their reloading and their ranging, constant practice, and organized competition. Your children need to know how to react to difficult situations and that a high-capacity magazine is easy to control when shooting fast.

In a competitive culture, a child is told that it isn’t enough to be good – she must build a custom rifle requiring detailed knowledge about gunsmithing processes. And yet, if she has to do things perfectly, she’ll never take the risks necessary to discover and develop an adjustable hop-up system that allows airgunners to enjoy a consistent and accurate shooting experience. Some children absorb the wrong lessons and never learn to accept responsibility or to produce a weapon designed for rapid and accurate fire.

On the other hand, kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and the Blaser R93 – the preeminent hunting rifle made in Germany today. If a child feels good about who she is and what she has to say – if she’s comfortable in her own skin – she’ll be more likely to choose accurate general-purpose hunting and plinking pellets that shoot well in Stoeger X20S Suppressor air rifles. And self-confidence puts a child at an advantage in the classroom because she’s comfortable commanding the teacher’s attention and raising her hand if she knows the crosshairs will shift after shooting.

A child with precocious reading and language skills automatically knows heavy rifles are easier to hold steady, and they’re more accurate when stand hunting or shooting long range. But even the best kids generate a little chaos and disorganization, and don’t always make clean kills when hunting with a .177.

In summary, raising good kids is hard work – there are no short cuts. We all need to have good targets and a hunting rifle that shoots flat, is accurate, and has light recoil. We all need to possess the knowledge and ability to make accurate rifle scope adjustments from a prone position. And simply put, it is one of those essential facts of life that raising children of character demands knowing how to load 90gr Nosler Ballistic tips for deer hunting.

Yes, raising an child is a long journey, but parents have many options and places to turn for help if their hollow stock makes too much noise when hunting elk.

Remember – proper parenting can make a difference. Other people may get different results with their guns.

Do the Children of the Shoemaker Really Have No Shoes?

The children of the shoemaker have no shoes?
Does that mean the children of the blues guitarist don’t have any blues?

The children of the fruit peddler don’t have any fruit?
The children of the boot maker don’t have a single boot?

The children of the banker, their pockets have no money?
The children of the beekeeper, they’ve never tasted honey?

The children of the tailor have never worn a suit?
The children of the beauty queen have never heard of cute?

The children of the school teacher, they really have no class?
The children of the mule breeder, they really have no ass?

The children of the barber they all have the longest hair?
The children of the carney never once been to the fair?

The stonemason’s children, they can’t find two stones?
The archaeologist’s children – do they really have no bones?

The children of the botanist, always asking “what’s a leaf?”
The children of the butcher, always asking “what is beef?”

The children of the tanner, they don’t know where’s to hide?
The children of Colonel Sanders never tasted chicken fried?

The children of the astronomer think that the moon’s a star?
The used car salesman’s children have never ridden in a car?

The saxophonist’s children can’t tell a woodwind from a horn?
The children of the midwife are still waiting to be born?

The tug captain’s children can’t tell a train from a boat?
The children of the Navy Seal were never taught to float?

The children of the silk trader never touched a piece of silk?
The children of the wet nurse have never tasted milk?

The housecleaner’s children all live covered in soot?
The children of the podiatrist are each missing a foot?

The travel agent’s children, they have nowhere to go?
The disc jockeys children, they have no radio?

The children of the carpenter live in a home without a door?
The linoleum layer’s children walk in kitchens with no floor?

The children of the cheese maker are most in need of cheese?
The children of the etiquette columnist never once say “please?”

The electrician’s children are forced to read by fire?
The plumber’s children like to clog the drain with fishing wire?

The children of the rug maker have never walked on rugs?
The children of the pharmacist have never taken drugs?

The children of the odor tester have never smelled a scent?
The children of the penny-maker have never held a cent?