Seven Queasy Pieces

Well ‘Ned’, (if that’s your real name), we’ll just see now if the Head Office lets you keep those purple robes… and the 10% you probably siphon off from the take in airport lobbies.
Most readers have probably encountered one of our ilk somewhere in the world. While waiting to check-in you’ve watched our emissaries quietly and tactfully approaching travelers in a attempt to spread our message of world peace, universal love, whatever. Yes, the purple hat with the ball on top is a familiar sight for frequent fliers.
Sure, there are cracks in our castle, the usual dirty laundry as befits any major religion; genital mutilation, the odd suicide bombing from a disturbed lone wolf. But still, underneath it all, Sunga is our supreme leader, and we don’t take kindly to any disparagment of his/her Name.
And so this ‘Ned’, whoever, shall get what’s coming to him, the traitorous infidel! The only question is whether stoning preceeds beheading, or the converse. I’m on the fence on that issue. Hey, I got family to protect.

2) So what’s the deal with one of my favorite restaurants: the famed ‘KAYAK SALAD LAB’ in Red Deer, Alberta? Hell, I used to drive up there almost every weekend, 4000 miles each way but worth every penny for their vegetarian cuisine.So I check their site yesterday and suprise! They’ve abandoned the veggie ship, pissed on sustainable photosynthesis, and now feature, god-forbid, “Yak-on-a-slab”. Yeah, even the name has changed, to ‘That BALD ALASKA YAK Place.’ Sorry, cannibals, you won’t see my face in the crowd anymore. Nice while it lasted.

3) Meanwhile I sit here in my Minivan, in turmoil, in the Twenty-nine Palms(CA) Mega-Zone parking lot, there behind the petting zoo, trying to put it back together:A MAN, A PALM, A LLAMA, A MALL… A LAPANAM? Nah… try again, Johnny…

4) Back home only to discover that my neighbor must’ve bought another dog while I was gone. A little chihuahua, a quarter the size of ‘Adi’, their trusty Shepherd. They call the newbie ‘ED’,
and apparently, nothing’s too good for the little rat. “ED IS A PET’S DOG. GOD, STEP ASIDE!” my neighbor shouted at me there on the sidewalk. Well yeah, glad yer dog’s got a dog of his own.

5) Meanwhile, Montana’s infamous and bizarre ‘Bazaar Czar’, Jules Fafner, suffered perhaps his final upset, as one more town has voted to ban his ‘happenings’ from their city limits. Fafner is now rumoured to be considering abandoning the Jules Family holdings, perhaps as early as March 15th this year. Said the small-town god-father: “First Helena, then Billings, and now I lost Butte to boot.”
His terse email to the Butte town fathers: “ET TU, BUTTE?” went unanswered, or appreciated, as of press time.

6) In the graphics world, specifically military/patriotic posters, ‘ROTC ART’ has as its theme on-campus this year ‘TRACTOR!!’, featuring strangely reminiscent Soviet realism-style drawings of young, bold, (and white) schoolboys eye-ing the Homeland’s Farmalls. That look in their eyes; scary, I’d call it.

7) And finally, the Mars Rover’s destination, one of them, is a crater called ‘Glenelg’, named after a small town  in Maryland, USA. Oddly, a town in Wales decided, a scant couple hundred years ago, to name itself after the crater on Mars. Or the town in Maryland. Copycats.

Wu: Hmm, every story here has an element of forwards/backwards text. Was that accidental?
Me: Ever tell you how much I appreciate your finding the smoke and mirrors in my stage act?
Wu: Hey, I try to be helpful.


22 thoughts on “Seven Queasy Pieces

  1. doahsdeer

    When Hoztam, a local Indian restaurant/art gallery announced a special exhibition of ROTI ART, I was skeptical. I’ve had my share of unleavened bread, and really where’s the art in flat bread. Turns out, I was wrong; it tasted good and looked good hanging on the wall. But when I asked about a rival exhibition of NAAN ART, they became irate. TRAITOR I was called. And worse.

  2. belove000

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  3. jsolberg

    @murisopsis –  I also suffered extensively; the spinster ‘Miss Martin, a, um’ we called her. #5 was fun to write, I loaded it with clues. Thanks for continuing to read, while I wait to become serious here.

  4. elgan

    My favourite one is “Montana’s bizarre ‘Bazaar Czar’, Jules Fafner”. Ever check out that gold ring he’s wearing or ask him about the mysterious circumstances behind his brother Fasolt’s too early demise? I’d be ready to run, if necessary.

  5. jsolberg

    @elgan – El you true sweetheart! I put Fafner in there hope against hope that you, perhaps uniquely, would catch it. Now if only Niebelungen backwards spelled something mythic. Der Gnu lebe in… Thanks again for the nice pickup today:)

  6. twoberry

    I’ll have to come back and read more of this.  I just got as far as the second one, which I’d like to call the Big Yak Attack, but I’m gonna B late for work.

  7. Roadkill_Spatula

    “Et tu, Butte” just rolls off the tongue. I ran into the name Fafner in a Pinkwater book, but knew nothing of its history until your interaction with elgan prompted me to look it up. I now know more than I did but couldn’t bring myself to read the whole Wiki article.Quite a collection, Reb Greblos. Phenergan will stop the queasiness. 

  8. twoberry

    Re (5), where my favorite palindrome, ET TU BUTTE, occurred, my thoughts kept going to Jules Feiffer, but I had to research FAFNER and found this:”Fafner”Fafner is the brother of Fasolt, the other giant that built Valhalla for Woton. It was Fafner who complained that the gold alone was not in lieu of Freya because he could still see her behind the wall of treasure. He demands the ring from Woton (who is wearing it at this point). After Woton gives up the ring, Fafner kills his brother and takes it for himself in a possible Cain and Abel allusion. “Woton cannot directly attack Fafner, or else his spear will be broken. Fafner, now in dragon form, is woken by Woton and Alberich, and warned that someone is coming to kill him. Fafner scoffs, and falls back asleep. The next day, Siegfried ends up stabbing Fafner in the heart with Nothung after being led to the cave by Mime. Fafner promptly dies, but not before warning Siegfried about the person who orchestrated the battle. “The Apocalypse Conspiracy* says the following about the Fafner and Fasolt characters, “Both brothers are strongly characterized and each one represents a different aspect of the people. The first one would correspond to the utopia of 1789, the one that dreams about justice and about equality. For this idealist, money has no value; only women and love are worth granting efforts. With a lot of common sense he accuses Wotan of sacrificing love and the value of women to sterile stony bulwarks. His brother Fafner would correspond more to the revolutionary of 1791. The ambitions are totally negative. “If he wants to seize Freia [sic], it is only to deprive the Gods of the golden apples, to weaken them, by no means to eat them. He is the one who will urge his brother to agree with the exchange.”Thank you for inspiring this research.

  9. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – thanks, Tim. I discover ’em while falling asleep, then wrack my brain in the morning trying to recall. So I believe the obsession is just a mechanism for working on my memory skill, which is ‘changing’, to put it nicely. Or optimistically. Euphemistically?


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