Intestines In The Streets

Been busy this weekend and didn't come up with anything clever, and yet I don't want to just type up a batch of movie reviews, because I can always do that; I've got a godzillion of 'em. So, I figured I'd try this, fast 'n' sloppy like.

The title of the post is also the title of a short story I once wrote, about a buildup of preservatives that gave people's innards a life of their own, so they'd bust free of your abdomen and slither away. You needed them more than they needed you, y'see? It was disgusting and more than a bit stupid, but I wrote it in the 80's when "splatterpunks" were ruling horror fiction, and I was looking at guys like Skipp & Spector & David Schow and thinking, "I can be waaaay grosser than these guys!" As if being gross was really what it was all about.

So, why use that for the title of this blog entry? Because I figured I'd give you a capsule version of the plots of things I've written. At first I thought this was too self-indulgent (really, why shouldja give a damn since I'm not John Grisham?) but then I thought how curious I get if I find out somebody writes; I'm always glad to find out somebody else writes novels or stories, and always want to know what kind of stuff they write, what their plots are. Even if I don't know the person. Like, I'm still frustrated that some people I did a "write a novel in a month" exercise with a couple years back never told the rest of us what their story was going to be about. Even though most of 'em didn't finish it, they should have at least let us know the basic plot, just to scratch that curiosity itch.

So, not that you're necessarily curious, but, just in case... here goes.

I don't know how many novels I've written, actually. I know how many I've got that might actually be publishable if I tweaked 'em enough, and that's around five. But in high school I turned out a ton of 'em, all nearly-plotless crap, but novel-length. When The Road Warrior came out, it had a huge impact on me, and I was also reading a lot of Executioner-type series in study hall (I'll probably do a blog post on those somewhere down the line, 'cuz they were a pretty funny Reagan-era phenomenon, held over from the pulp days), so I figured, "I'll write an action series based around a post-apocalyptic highway mayhem scenario!"

So, I wrote about half a dozen of these halfass sumbitches, with the basic plotline being this: the Russians dropped biological weapons on the U.S. in the form of gas bombs that made anyone exposed into a homicidal lunatic, bent on killing anyone who hadn't gotten the gas. (O' course, that's yer average zombie plot, but they're not dead). Through all of this a group of teens, mostly girls who were incredibly hot, became highly-mobile mercenaries, driving around the loonie-infested highways (also full bandit biker gangs who hadn't gotten the loonie-gas but were taking advantage of all the anarchy to become warlords), delivering things from place to place and killing as many people as possible. No real plot to any of 'em, just driving, with a bunch of people to get in a gunfight with showing up every 3 pages or so. Idiotic high-school junk, but good exercise 'cuz it showed me that I could turn out something novel length. I still have them somewhere, tied up in a dusty, yellowing bunch, but I don't remember the names of any of 'em, and it's irrelevant anyway. They're juvenalia.

I also wrote a bunch of horror short stories. Like I said, I was trying to out-splatter the splatterpunks... and, since I actually was listening to punk rock (and thought I was the only person in the state doing so, since I never saw anyone else who was into the stuff until I ran into Igor in college) I was trying to out-punk them, too. As in, I was going to use my writing to upset status-quo society and spread chaos. That kinda bullshit. I tried to intentionally piss off my teacher and classmates in my college creative writing classes by writing aggressively-transgressively-nasty stories like "Soon The Frost" (in which a psycho insulates his shack for the winter by harvesting the fat from the morbidly obese people he murders), "(Inverted) Cross To Bear" (in which the re-discovery of a necklace left by a guy who ritually dismembered his girlfriend with a Ginsu knife sparks a violent Satanic possession), "Charnel Knowledge" (in which a guy finds a human molar in his yard and becomes so obsessed with death that he tries to bury himself alive), "Seeing Eyes" (a guy tries to buy hunting dogs from a crazy old blind man in the woods, only to find the guy's been interbreeding monstrosities), and "Blue Mirrors" (in which a guy wandering the beach with a hangover can't decide if he cut a girl's arms off with a broken bottle, or if someone else did it).

My literary assault worked really well; my teacher couldn't stand my stuff. He did like my writing, but he loathed the subject matter. He was so desperate to discourage me from writing it that when I mercifully wrote a crime story called "S.O.B." (which was a total Mickey Spillane pastiche) he got a visiting author to read it to the whole class and discuss how I should write more things like that instead. Didn't deter me from the horror stuff, although I did write him a biker-saves-witnessing-church-girl-stuck-on-the-wrong-side-of-town story called "Missionary Postion," just to be nice. I got a "this could be publishable in the right place!" note for that... still trying to get me off the horror track. In vain. :)

Anyway, even outside of the class I kept writing a bunch of other short stories, with titles like "Slaughterhouse Slamdance," "Embryonicus Necrovivicus," "Morbidus Rex," "Maggoty Remains," "Meathook Fuck," "Mortisectus Autopsiorium," "Somnambulus Mortuarium," (I thought I was fucking clever using faux-Latinate titles, y'see) "Night of the Living Sleaze," "Necrotic Insemination," "Sister Mary Fuck Face," "Fungod," and other such I'm-trying-so-hard-to-offend-somebody childishness (a trait which would later be picked up by death metal bands like Cannibal Corpse). Plots involved things like a guy building a god out of rotting body parts in the attic, farm kids using their dead grandpa as a scarecrow (or trying to - it didn't work 'cuz the crows kept pecking at 'im), undead anorexics eating a fashion designer who promoted the "waif" look, a guy possessed by some weird unidentifiable thing in a jar in his refrigerator (that one ended when the guy tried to carve off all his own flesh and preserve it in jars), and a guy trapped on a gravel bar in a river with hordes of starving rats. Just pleasant-ass stuff.

Then, I wrote a horror novel called Rictus Grin. It was a zombie thing in which Satanists raised demons which entered and animated corpses, which then went around killing to create more corpses to give homes to their demonic brethren. Coincidentally, a similar idea was later used by a writer named Brian Keene for a couple of pretty successful books, but his were much better written than mine was. Rictus Grin had a few good ideas in it, but it's mostly still juvenalia. I do like the title, though. I may have to re-use that someday.

Since those days I've written only a few other short stories, such as "Shrouded In Rain" (a guilty woman sees her dead boyfriend naked in the rain whenever there's a storm, and when she finally chases after him, her equally-guilty mother starts seeing her naked in the rain), "Damp Basements of Heaven" (a somewhat-unbalanced guy who does some urban exploration in a storm drain system ends up regretting it), "Up The Stairs Where The Windows Are Painted Black" (a passerby tries to save kids from a burning house, but a weirdly-deformed evil baby-thing won't let him), "Skull Punx Rule!" (a new punk rock movement takes death-rock a little too far), "Sarcastic Gods" (a guy wakes up too early and finds out the insane creator hasn't prepared that day's world for him quite yet). Mostly I've concentrated on novels, though, so I'll go into those.

Death Metal Creeps is a horror novel about a death metal band who are being followed by some overenthusiastic, degenerate fans who take the band's Satanic messages far too seriously and commit torture murders as sacrifices to Satan. When they finally learn that the band doesn't really mean all the Satanic stuff, they feel betrayed and decide to square things with Satan by killing the band members. There are some pretty harsh scenes in this that I'd probably have to tone down if I ever wanted to get it published, but several people have read it and liked it despite incidents of cannibalism, necrophilia, and razor-blade swallowing.

Orphans is kind of a sociological horror novel about a bunch of runaway kids using a vacant house as a squat. One of them is a psychotic, and when they kick him out for getting violent, he resents it. His parents had kicked him out, too, y'see, and he killed them for it. So, the other runaway kids get stalked by their crazy ex-friend, and they don't want to go to the cops for help because they'd get sent back to their abusive homes. This would need some work in the revision, but it's serviceable.

Deadhouse is another horror novel in which a small group of teens learn that their neighbors, the Spellmans, are dead in their bed upstairs. Nobody knows how they died, because there's not a mark on them. After the kids get over being creeped out, they start using the Spellman house as a place to hang out... which may be what the Spellmans planned. This is a pretty freaky, dream-logic kind of novel. A friend of mine whose husband is a prolific author liked this enough to try to market it to Tor Books, but we were half-assed about it and didn't get anywhere with that. I've never bothered trying to sell any of this stuff; I have a weird plan to have about a dozen potentially-saleable books stored up before I ever try getting any published.

Signal 30 is something I wrote for the previously-mentioned "write a novel in a month" discipline exercise a couple years back. The object was to write a novel at least 50,000 words long in a month. This one's pure pulp horror, and at first I thought it was junk, but now I kinda like it, because it's got no pretension to it, and the horror's hardcore. Basically, a bunch of college kids go urban-exploring in a storm drain (I have a weird fascination for storm drains and urban exploration in general) and end up trapped in pitch-black tunnels with a bunch of carnivorous walking dead. My goal was basically to create a bunch of nice characters, make you fall in love with them, and then have them killed off as gruesomely and unpleasantly as possible. I think I managed that much, at least, and since it moves in almost real-time, I didn't indulge in as much wank as I sometimes do.

Steve's Trailer
was another write-a-novel-in-a-month attempt. I failed to meet the deadline, but I think it'll be finished eventually; it's almost done. It'll need a lot of revision and tightening up, but I think the plot's okay; a guy leaves a party in a trailer park, drunk, and gets lost. The park's a lot bigger than it had been when he went in, and the trailers are weirder. After wandering around for hours, he starts thinking someone's stalking him, and it starts raining, so he ducks into this old trailer. The place is full of hippie stuff and there's a weird guy with a flute who's in bed with two dead girls. The guy escapes, and the next day he goes looking for the trailer so he can tell the police about it, but the trailer's nowhere to be found. When he tells a friend's wife about it, she says "You can't scare me with that story, I've been hearing that urban legend for years." And he finds out that there's an old legend about this guy, which he starts researching... and finds out that he might be a real serial killer, or maybe just a made-up story that somebody was imitating. The mix of fact and legend and his inability to get enough concrete information about it starts driving him insane.

I've also got several unfinished novels, some of which are already novel-length even though they're nowhere near done. One, Seth's Soul, is kind of like a Southern Baptist version of The Exorcist, in which a girl gets possessed by a weird deaf-mute albino guy who used to walk around the highway all night collecting roadkill. It's not quite as stupid as it sounds, but it's probably close. There's some stuff in it I really like, but overall it's a huge mess.

Then there's Blacklight Autopsy, another zombie thing, which is kind of an amalgamation of three movies: White Zombie, Romper Stomper, and Shane. It's got an evil rich guy running factories full of re-animated corpses, Nazi skinheads, and a homeless guy who's possibly a hero or maybe just a psycho.

Then there's Choir of Worms, about a barrier island that's overrun with flesh-eating worms. That was part of a failed attempt to write a novel in a week, and if I ever finish it I'll probably wrap another novel around it; I have a Pale Fire type plan for it.

And there are other incidental things, but that should be more than enough. Hopefully it'll spur some o' ya into posting the plots of anything you've written, or at least thought about writing. Everybody's got a few decent plot ideas in their heads, so, talk about 'em...


The Wordsworth Editions List; or, how to make free shipping on Amazon, or, an anthology of online links

Welcome to my unpaid infomercial for liter-a-toor.

I do a lot of shopping on Amazon.com, and Amazon has this ingenious li’l trick where they give you free shipping… IF your order totals over $25. This, o’ course, is an incitement for you to spend even more money, because don’tcha feel dumb dropping $5 or so for shipping and not really getting anything out of it? Sometimes, though, what you’re buying is already $20, and it’s hard to find something to push you over that free-shipping hump without making the total $35 or so. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there.

Well, the Wordsworth Editions people and I are here to help your sorry ass, budreaux! Provided you’re into reading old ghost stories, that is. And if you’re not, there’s something wrong with you, anyway, ‘cuz old ghost stories RULE! way more than anything you like rules! Get away from me.

I’ve always been into old Victorian horror, and my scrounging started turning up these anthologies, all of which were cheap. I like cheap. A LOT. On average, they’re around $6.99, which is cheap for a better-than-mass-market-paperback style book these days. Some were was low as $4-and-change. So, I started keeping them in my to-be-bought-later list, just in case I needed something to make that free shipping. After reading ‘em a bit I got obsessed and started buying them outright. Which is good, because Amazon seems to have some kind of a buy-three-and-the-fourth-one's-free deal on the Wordsworth Editions, too. Score!

So, in my ongoing effort to be oh-so-friggin’-helpful, I thought I’d make a list of the titles with a bit of info about the stories in each. Since these stories are old and most are public domain (which is why the books are so cheap), I’ve hunted up the text of a few and provided links where you can read them online. I am by no means an advocate of reading books online or in any electronic format. I fully advocate the murder of trees in the name of the printed word, and if that makes me the Sasquatch of carbon footprints, I'm fine with that. But, those e-versions are out there and they don't cost anything, and I believe in free samples... if only because it'll sell more paper copies.

I don’t have all of these titles, but I’m working on it. I like the Wordsworth Editions format so much that I’ve even snagged a few that I’ve got other copies of. And one of my favorite things about them is they'll devote whole volumes to obscure (but still talented) authors who haven't been collected before, so, even if you're an aficianado of this stuff you'll still find plenty of things you haven't read before.


The Loved Dead - H.P. Lovecraft
This is a collection of stories that Lovecraft either revised for other writers, or ghost-wrote for them. As such, they’re not his best work, but they’re still in the style of his other stuff, and they’re not anthologized very often. So, it’s a neat collection of obscure fringe material that you probably haven’t seen before. The title story is one of the most absolutely ye-godz morbid stories that was ever published in the pulp era (aside from trashy shudder-pulp madness such as "The Mole Men Want Your Eyes" - go read that, you owe it to yourself) and was co-written by Lovecraft's friend, C.M. Eddy. It's about a necrophile whose maniacal erotomania for corpses leads him to work in a mortuary... but, he gets fired when his boss finds him sleeping on a slab with his arms around a naked cadaver! So, he has to find new ways to scratch his itch... by becoming a razor-killer. This is daaaaamn no-holds-barred stuff for the 20's, and is rumored to have saved Weird Tales from going under. The magazine was struggling, but when they published this story there was such an outcry from enraged readers that the magazine was boycotted in several cities... which led to greater public interest. It just goes to show ya, if you ever want readership, just court controversy... which is why, for the sake of this blog, I occasionally advocate the shaking of infants. Tell your friends I said to shake the baby! Anyway, you get that story, plus many more, including a tale Lovecraft ghost-wrote for Harry Houdini, "Imprisoned With The Pharaohs", "The Mound," "Within The Walls of Eryx," "The Crawling Chaos," "The Night Ocean," "The Curse of Yig," and a dozen or so more. Wordsworth also has another Lovecraft volume, The Whisperer In Darkness, which includes many of his better-known stories (plus one of my favorites that doesn't often show up in his anthologies, "The Hound," which is one of his most morbid stories, involving a pair of grave-robbing ghouls who push their limits of sickness by building an underground museum out of things they find in graves.

Tales of Unease - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Doyle is best known for his Sherlock Holmes stuff (which I always thought would suck until I actually read a few of 'em - go read "The Speckled Band" and you'll see why I changed my mind about Sherlock) but his horror stories are incredible. This guy is a master at coming up with very creepy situations and then keeping most of the horror in the shadows, showing you just enough to really set your imagination crawling. This includes such stories as "Lot No. 249", which is one of the creepiest mummy stories ever. A college student starts to suspect that they guy in the dorm room below him is experimenting with a horrible mummy he's got, and an ancient Egyptian scroll. He's right. Other stories include "The Captain of the Pole Star," in which a whaling ship isolated in the frozen north is haunted by a ghostly woman who's seen on the ship and the surrounding icebergs, and even though the crew is terrified and they're almost out of food, the captain refuses to leave. Highly creepy stuff. Loads of other great stories are in this one; my only bitch is that they should have included "The Parasite," a really twisted Doyle story in which a repulsive old lady uses hypnotism to turn an unwilling man into her love-slave. That one may have been too long to include here.

Not Exactly Ghosts - Sir Andrew Caldecott
This guy was new to me, and it turns out I really like him. He was a civil service agent who was a big fan of M. R. James and decided to try to write some of his own horror stories, James style. Turns out the guy was quite talented, and came up with some weird 'n' creepy plots. Stories include "A Room In A Rectory" (in which a new rector decides to re-open a room that had been closed for decades, and ends up haunted and obsessed by a disturbing painting of angels vanquishing Lucifer), "Sonata In D Minor" (a recording of a musical piece drives the listener into homicidal rages), "Autoepitaphy" (a strange old desk inspires people to write epitaphs), "The Pump In Thorp's Spinney" (a kid who got a model water pump as a kid becomes maniacally obsessed with them... until he plays with an old one that makes screams come up out of the ground), and "Whiffs of the Sea," wherein a painting of a beach creates a nauseating ocean smell that leads to the discovery of a horrible long-ago death. Well-written stuff.

All Saints' Eve - Ameila B. Edwards
Many of these stories are more on the mystery side than horror, but there are a few ghost stories mixed in, and some disturbing tales of mental illness, such as "Cain," in which an art student becomes so obsessed by a painting that he goes mad.

Collected Ghost Stories - M. R. James
If you haven't read this guy's work, then you know fuck-all about horror stories, m'man, and you need to remedy that, quick-like. Everything this guy wrote is creepy and classic. Includes genre heavyweights like "'Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You My Lad'" (a guy poking around some ancient ruins finds a whistle that he really, really shouldn't blow. The apparition in this thing is one of the creepiest things ever penned), "Casting The Runes" (a devil-worship curse tale that was turned into the movie Night of the Demon), "The Ash Tree" (a haunted tree yields some seriously icky giant spiders), "The Tractate Middoth" (a certain dusty old volume in an old library keeps being read by a guy who has spiders in his eyes; this was adapted into a great episode of the ancient TV series Lights Out), "A View From A Hill" (weird things are seen through some infernal binoculars), and lots more. An essential part of any library.

Oriental Ghost Stories - Lafcadio Hearn
A collection of horror stories set in Japan, which was the basis for the classic Japanese horror film Kwaidan. Here's an online batch of Hearn's work, which is included in this volume. Go read the ultra-short "Mujina" and tell me that ending didn't fuck you up reeeeeaaaal good.

Terror By Night: Classic Ghost & Horror Stories - Ambrose Bierce
I love this guy. I've had people accuse me of being his reincarnation, which I think is simultaneously a great compliment and a subtle way of calling me a blasphemous, misanthropic, sardonic asshole... which is still a compliment in my book. In any case, you get a lot of stories in this one, some of which aren't supernatural tales but horror of war things (such as the disturbing, atmospheric, and gruesome "Chickamauga" - read that and you'll be getting it out of your head, mmmmmm, never), or the freaky-experiment-with-narrative-flow "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which became one of the more memorably-artistic Twilight Zone episodes. Other classics herein include "The Damned Thing" (which spawned the evocatively-gory chapter title "A Man Though Naked May Be In Rags"), "The Moonlit Road" (the unusual structure of which influenced Kurosawa's Rashomon), "The Boarded Window" (if you watched PBS during the afternoons in Mississippi as a kid you doubtless got the crap scared out of you by the short film version) and too many others to list.

Tales of Mystery and the Macabre - Elizabeth Gaskell
One of the more obscure authors, but skillful. Includes stories like "The Grey Woman," "The Old Nurse's Story," "Curious, If True," and others.

The Power of Darkness: Tales of Terror - Edith Nesbit
Her most famous horror story is "Man-Size In Marble," in which a guy scoffs at a legend of two knight statues that walk and kill, but she's got lots of other great stories here, too, such as "The Mystery of the Semi-Detached," the title story, and many more.

Night Shivers
- Mrs. J. H. Riddell
This one includes the full text of a novel, The Uninhabited House, which is great, as well as a dozen or so stories. So far the only one I've read (besides the novel, a long time ago) is "Nut Bush Farm," which is an atmospheric tale of ghostly sightings in lonely farm fields. If you're into stories set in old crumbling houses, she's a good bet for you.

The Witch of Prague And Other Stories - F. Marion Crawford
The title story is a complete novel, which I haven't read, but among the other stories in this volume are several absolutely essential genre classics, such as "The Screaming Skull," which is highly spooky and disturbing. I read it for the first time as a kid and it bugged the hell out of me. "For The Blood Is The Life" is classic vampire stuff that shows up in damned near every bloodsucker anthology. And "The Upper Berth" is one of the creepiest ghost stories you'll ever read. It's the tale of a haunted ocean liner cabin, which always stays damp, and no efforts can keep the porthole closed... and people who stay there have an annoying tendency to jump off the ship in terror. One of those guys you've gotta read to know this genre.

The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories - Marjorie Bowen
She was a new one to me, but there's good stuff here, and she has good instincts for what's creepy. Stories like "The Fair Hair of Ambrose" (a story about nightmares involving a murdered girl, with a nice shock-effect ending), "The Crown Derby Plate" (the desire to complete a set of plates bought at an estate sale lands a woman in a horrific situation when she pays visits to a lonely, nasty-smelling eccentric at an old house), and "The Bishop of Hell" (a sociopathic hedonist comes to grief and returns from the dead with a warning) make this worth snagging.

Couching At The Door - D. K. Broster
Another happy surprise, this one's got some scary, original stories in here. You'll not soon forget the demonic dust-bunny thing in the title story, which is very well-handled. "Clairvoyance" gets pretty nasty with a Japanese katana, and "The Pestering" is pretty disturbing, too. Snag this.

The Bell In The Fog & Other Stories - Gertrude Atherton
The title story is disturbing in a way that you can't put your finger on; it leaves more of an unsettling impression than working as an outright assault-of-horror type thing. Basically, a mentally-unhealthy man becomes obsessed with a little girl in an old painting, discovers a little girl who looks a lot like her, and forms a really unhealthy pedophile-style obsession with her. Other stories are similarly obtuse-yet-psychologically-eerie. Atherton was heavily influenced by Henry James, but she's a lot more readable. But then, who isn't?

Gothic Short Stories
An anthology of multiple authors, this includes a lot of classic darkness such as the absolutely-essential "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (I read this thing at least twice a year and it never loses its impact, it's a masterpiece), "The Room In The Tower" by E. F. Benson (one of the most nightmarishly surreal horror stories ever, with a last line that's a real kick in the teeth. Reading this thing in an anthology years ago got me obsessed with E. F. Benson, and I haven't gotten off that train yet. His story "Caterpillars" is notorious as one of the sickest stories of the era; I remember Stephen King and Peter Straub almost derailing an interview when they got off on how badly that one bothered them). There are also some familiar stories like LeFanu's "Schalken The Painter" or Poe's morbid grave-robbing teeth-fetish classic "Bernice", or Stevenson's "The Body Snatcher", but there are a few more-obscure tales in here, too. One, "The Lame Priest" by S. Carleton, I'd never seen before. It's an okay werewolf story, no great shakes but worth the reading time.

A Night on the Moor & Other Tales of Dread - R. Murray Gilchrist
Another collection of an obscure author. Haven't read into this one much, but it looks very poetically-written.

Aylmer Vance: Ghost-Seer
- Alice & Claude Askew
I'm not usually into recurring ghost-hunter characters (Wordsworth also puts out a volume of William Hope Hodgson's "Carnaki The Ghost-Finder") but I read the first story in this one - "The Invader" - and it wasn't bad at all.

Uncanny Stories - May Sinclair
Haven't read far into this one yet, but it looks promising.

The Temple of Death - A. C. and R. H. Benson
E. F. Benson's brothers also gave ghost-story writing a shot, and turned out some interesting work. Haven't read far in yet, but "The Temple of Death" was an atmospherically-written, allegorical story that was fairly creepy. I'll be digging into this one further.

The Crimson Blind & Other Stories - H. D. Everett
Yet another talented unknown saved from obscurity. I've only read a couple but they show promise.

The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories - Wilkie Collins
Better known for his novels such as The Woman in White and The Moonstone, Collins also turned out some classic horror. Haven't had time to start this one yet.

Return From The Dead
An anthology of mummy stories by different authors, this includes the aforementioned "Lot No. 249" and a few others, including the full text of Bram Stoker's novel The Jewel Of Seven Stars.

The Shadow on the Blind and Other Stories - Louisa Baldwin & Lettice Galbraith
Neither woman had enough output for her own collection, so they combined the two. Haven't read into it much, but the first couple of stories were well-written and not bad, if a bit mundane (such as an old murder being reinacted in shadows on the windowshade of a haunted room).

The Black Veil & Other Tales of Supernatural Sleuths
Anthology of various authors, combining horror and detection. Has some classics like "The Gateway of the Monster" by William Hope Hodgson and "The Red Hand" by Arthur Machen, as well as more obscure stories.

Strange Tales - Rudyard Kipling
Kipling turned out a lot of genre classics, and you'll find most of 'em here.

The Haunter of the Ring & Other Tales - Robert E. Howard
The prolific creator of Conan the Barbarian also wrote a ton of horror fiction, and this is a pretty good collection, even including some stories that a supposedly "complete" anthology neglected to reprint. The big standout here is "Pigeons From Hell," which is a scary-ass horror classic. Skull-Face, which is really a novel, is also included, along with many other great ones. Wordsworth also has another Howard volume, The Right Hand Of Doom, which collects his horror-tinged action stories of Solomon Cane, a swashbuckling Puritan.

Children Of The Night: Classic Vampire Stories
Another multi-author anthology, lots of these will be familiar to horror fans, but you can never have enough copies of Le Fanu's "Carmilla" or Maupassant's "The Horla," can ya?

Ghost Stories of Henry James - Henry James
I find this guy's prose damned near unreadable, but it's undeniable that he had an impact on the genre. All his classic creepier stuff is included, such as the profoundly-overbloated short-story-stretched-to-novel-length "The Turn of the Screw" (I always wanted to be fucking clever and write a sequel to that called The Return of The Screw, just to piss off the English majors. Full disclosure: I am an English major, but I still think a lot of us are way-far-up-our-own-ass and could use some taunting). If you can handle this guy's tiresome prose style, then you'll be well-served by this collection. I usually only read him when I'm feeling guilty for having too much fun and need to punish myself. Henry James is the literary equivalent of a hairshirt.

The Casebook of Carnacki The Ghost-Finder - William Hope Hodgson
Good collection of creepy investigative horror. You can find 'em online here.

Dracula's Guest - Bram Stoker
The title story is an excised chapter from Dracula, and there are several other great stories here, such as the seriously creepy "The Judge's House" (that story's one of the reasons I hate rats so much) and the oh-my-god-how-fucking-sick "The Dualitists", as well as other worthy stories.

Wordsworth puts out a lot of Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, who's another guy you've gotta read if you want to know your way around horror fiction. They put out his novels The House By The Churchyard and Uncle Silas, as well as some collections of short stories, such as Madam Crowl's Ghost and In A Glass Darkly.

There are also a few ancient horror novels that Wordworth Editions put out cheaply such as Sweeny Todd or The String Of Pearls (which is a "penny dreadful" that's a lot nastier than the musical) and The Beetle by Richard Marsh, which is supposed to be very weird. Several Dennis Wheatly Satanic novels are also available. There are also others that are mystery stories or Sherlock Holmes pastiches that you can check out if you're of a mind. And, there are hopefully more to come, 'cuz I'll still be needin' to make my free shipping on Amazon.

God, I gotta quit writing these long posts. Four hours work and who knows how many people are even readin' this shit...


Rockin' out the delivery route... (iPodatry #3)

Lots of cool songs shuffled through my iPod while I was on the road the other day... here's the Recently Played list.

Some of the highlights of this list:

Less than One - The Grassy Knoll
From the self-titled release (early 1990s???), this is interesting instrumental trip-hop; I usually lump this in with Amon Tobin's stuff - jazz-inflected electronica that swings.

Pieces of a Man - Gil Scott-Heron
A fuckin' poet... if you're not familiar with his work, it is officially time for you to get off of your ass! From the album of the same name.

747 - Blind Idiot God
Blind Idiot God is a groundbreaking instrumental three-piece careening from aggressive post-hardcore blasts to trippy, delay-laden dub... This is from Cyclotron. If you like Dysrhythmia, check em out!

You Will Be Reincarnated as an Imperial Attack Spaceturtle - Behold... the Arctopus!
...speaking of Dysrhythmia, this related band is even crazier!!! I wanna be reincarnated as their bass player! Spastic math-flavored instru-metal!

Standard Audio Frontend - Oval
From Dok... glitch-a-licious! Clever glitchwerk from the masters. Crazy electronica reminiscent of a CD player's deathsong.


a tiresome series of pithy observations

“You got somethin’ to say? Nobody wants to hear it!” - Flag of Democracy

I’ve got nothin’ to say in particular, and don’t feel like just typing up movie reviews, but I don’t wanna get lax on my post-a-week bit this early in the game. So I figured I’d just pull a random bunch of observations and comments out of one of the Se7en-psycho-like notebooks I have full of this garbage, and let the world decide if they’re worth contemplating. Considering that we have entire colleges devoted to theology, I figure this shit’s worth a chance, y’know?


- “Warming” and “harming” differ by only one letter, but they don’t rhyme. “Warming” and “storming” do rhyme, though, even though their letters aren’t nearly as similar. Even odder, “wa” and “ha” do rhyme, but “wa” and “sto” sound nothing alike. Contemplate that on your road to madness.

- If I ever have to get part of one of my arms amputated, I’m gonna dress up as Mickey Mouse, stick a glove over the end of the stump, and trick-or-treat as a watch. That way, I think everybody’ll at least say “There’s that clever bastard” when they see me, which is cooler than just “there’s that bastard who’s missing part of an arm.”

- Speaking of watches, you don’t tell time, you assign it. So, stop saying that.

- I think if you ever kill a bunch of people, you should arrange the bodies into the letters of profanities, just to make the cop who draws the chalk outlines write bad words. Yeah, I’m a murderer, but you write vulgar graffiti at the scenes of tragedies! Who’s more crass?

- What happens if you have more than one parakeet? Is it just a keet then? And how come when one trooper jumps out of a plane, he becomes a paratrooper? What if a parakeet jumped out of a plane? Would it be a paraparakeet? And what if two parakeets jump out of a plane? We’re gonna be stuttering if we even try to discuss that one. Let’s just pray the situation doesn’t come up.

- “Humpty Dumpty”… it’d be interesting to know the story behind that name. Sounds like what happens if you fuck the shit out of somebody. And is fucking the shit out of somebody really desirable? Talk about arguing about who has to sleep on the wet spot, jeez. “Did you come?” “Nope, but it was almost as good!”

- Speaking of names, I understand the origin of most last names. “Smiths” were iron workers or what-not, “Browns” probably had brown hair or something. What I can’t come up with is a presentable explanation for Lipshitz and Upjohn.

- Why aren’t tee-shirts appropriate wear for tea parties?

- How come you can talk about “wiener dogs” all day and people think it’s cute, but if you mention dog wieners you’re sick and inappropriate? And pussy cats, oh, we can talk about those with grandma, but mention cat pussy just once and you’ve ruined Thanksgiving. Same words, but the order damns us? Doesn’t seem fair.

- If you have a rare dime that’s worth a hundred bucks, then that’s not really a dime anymore, is it? After all, a dime is a ten-cent coin. So, what the hell is it, then? I don’t like things that screw with the dictionary definitions… that opens the door to chaos.

- That “Focus On The Family” organization is getting pretty crazy and radicalized, and they probably bear watching, but coming up with a Focus On Focus On The Family group might get kind of redundant. Especially if that group also got radicalized and needed a subsequent watch-group.

- If your last name was either “Conjoined” or “Siamese” and you had twins, that could lead to some confusion. Especially if they were conjoined twins. It’d be nice if they’d have conjoined triplets every once in a while, just to up the sales of newspapers.

- What if the popular beans in Lima, Peru, were actually kidney beans? If you ordered lima beans there, it could lead to some confusion. Especially if your last name was “Conjoined.” What would you feed the twins?

- I wonder what happens to conjoined babies in the wild. Surely there are two-headed deer and possums and such being born, and some are surviving. You do have some slim hope of shooting a 20-20 point buck. If you’re hunting for trophy deer, should you be using .00 buck? Seems like that’d defeat the purpose. They need to invent something like 24-point buckshot. And what about doe season… how come you can still kill doe with buckshot? Worst specialized product ever. I’d like to kill somebody with a shotgun, but I’m very precise about the equipment I use, and I don’t know anybody named Buck. I need some Steve shot, damnit. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Buck Owens were killed by a shotgun… wielded by an assassin who’d been promised a dollar to do it?

- I know a guy who’s such a gun nut that if you tell him you’re going to hang out and shoot the shit, he’ll start recommending what kind of load to use for that.

- Chicken pot pie isn’t a good “ala mode” kind of pie. And what the hell is chicken pot, anyway? Is it like monkey grass? I don’t think you should get chickens high… they act stupid enough as it is. And if you smoke tumbleweed, does the room spin? How do those fuckers grow, anyway? What’s the farm look like?

- If you were in a band called The Culprits and somebody stole your equipment, that could result in one really weird police report. So it’s probably best not to name your band that, or The Thieves, The Perpetrators, The Suspects, or The Guys Who Stole The Band Equipment.

- How the hell are pacifists supposed to fight for what they believe in?

- If the world gets much weirder, people are going to start wondering what the big deal is about Dr. Seuss.

- If you were small enough you could probably use a lunchbox as a suitcase. That’d be kinda cool, having, like, Evel Knieval luggage.

- How come nobody ever goes in the rest room just to take a breather? If you ever do build a room just to rest in, you’re screwed, because people will go pee in there. “Who defecated on the couch? Was it the twins?”

- Passionately wrong is so weird.

- “Here comes the guy who carries around a sack full of his own poop!” Oddly, nobody ever sounds happy when they say that.

- If somebody gives you the option to have sex with anyone, living or dead, I think you should pick someone living, and tell them they’re sick for even asking such a question.

- You really have to have contempt for something to name them “pooka shells.”

- I’d buy a harmonica, but I don’t know any girls named Monica… at least, none I’d like to harm. Monicas, apparently, have nervous systems that are very susceptible to corny wheezy noises.

- I think as a joke we should sometimes drop bombs loaded with Superballs instead of shrapnel, so they can ricochet all over the place and the enemy can get a good laugh before the real stuff comes down.

- Where does the Easter Bunny get all the money? Candy ain’t cheap. If he makes it himself, then he should be sued for trademark infringement, ‘cuz I’ve gotten Nestles before.

- Who in the hell is the marketing genius who thought “Hopalong” would be a good name for a cowboy hero? What’s next, “Arizona Skippy”? “Frolicabout Jones”?

- Do people who work in factories making cheese the right size or the people in candy factories who pack the fudge in boxes ever find it awkward telling people what they do for a living?

- Since it’s rolled in wet flour, fried chicken is essentially paper mache chicken. That’s handy to know if you want to wallpaper your colon.

- Since these products are manufactured and marketed, there must be dildo factories and dildo salesmen. Can you picture the meetings with guys in suits, holding up charts and graphs, nobody giggling? “We’re falling off in the northeast!” “I have a marketing slogan for our new model J457A - 'Go Fuck Yourself!'” Same deal with whoopee cushions. For someone these things are serious business.

- Speaking of whoopee cushions, what are they really used for, if coitus is referred to as “making whoopee”? Nothing kills romance like making that noise. And why is sex referred to as “hanky panky”? I think that should be the term for masturbation, because that’s when you need a hanky.

- I hate things that are marketed as “collectable.” I’ve seen that used for a cut-out NASCAR car on the back of a Chicken In A Biskit box. ANYTHING is “collectable” if you’re of warped enough mind. Just ask Ed Gein.

- The bands that wrote all that music and the people who designed those video games never went on killing sprees, so everybody should retire that particular argument.

- “Slow and steady wins the race.” Maybe so, but you’ve still got to be the fastest slow, steady person.

- Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And tomorrow is the yesterday you’ll think about two days from now.

- Why do anti-abortion activists show gory photos? Why would the fact that a procedure’s gross-looking stop somebody? Do they use that same logic with appendectomies? “Don’t get your tonsils out, it’s gruesome!”

- Why put “In God We Trust” on money, when money is maybe the biggest proof that we don’t trust God and all his “birds of the air” stuff? It’s like writing “Thou Shalt Not Kill” on your box of Teflon bullets.

- Your funnybone is in your elbow, your sadness bone is in your pelvis.

- Since green tea is full of antioxidants, can I use it to rust-proof my swingset?

- Any percentage of infinity is still infinity. So what’s the use of a clock?

- Whoever said “breaking up is hard to do” obviously never had a cell phone. By the way, the cell-phone cancer clusters are starting to show up now. Sleep tight!

- You can’t do anything tomorrow. Tomorrow is a concept only. When you actually do the thing, you’ll be doing it now. Tomorrow is unreachable. “Tomorrow I will go to the horizon,” you might as well say.

- Trying saying “We were out of syrup, so I used dishwashing liquid” when serving waffles at breakfast sometime. Somebody might think it’s funny, and when they laugh, it makes it easier to weed out the weirdoes.

Yeah, I’m probably stupid, but if you think so and you’ve read this far, you’ve been tricked out of your time by an idiot, then, Bonzo. Ha!


My dog treed my new neighbor!

My dog Chester, a mutt with some clear Rhodesian Ridgeback ancestry, treed our new neighbor, this here rather large raccoon, early this morning. Mister Raccoon is a big ol' healthy specimen of his species, well-fed from all of the composting + gardening that goes on in the neighborhood (and certainly enjoying all of the trashbins, too), and he scooted up this tree with amazing haste for such a laid-back little fella...

Chester's inside the house now, so that Mr. Raccoon can go on about his day. Just held him up long enough to snap these pics.

Sorry this ain't as violent as Zwolf's rat-war post... but this critter ain't infringing on our space, so live + let live... but in the same ideaspace, go check out the really interesting Battle of Mice, whose experi-metal sounds will expand your mind (you'll need to adjust yr skull on yr own, though, so get a crowbar + keep it handy). (I hate these comparisons, but...) they kinda remind me of Bjork fronting Sleep.


Mr. Stupid's Giantly Obnoxious Haiku Hoedown (excessively-self-indulgent edition!)

If you liked my other collection of terrible haiku on the website, then hooray, yay, there's more teh stupid! If you hated the other haiku, then this is a whole buncha stuff you'll have to ignore, then, iddnit?

Some of this is funny, some of it is profane, some of it is dark 'n' disturbing (but that stuff's hilarious to me), and almost all of it is juvenile and very-much-stupid, but, I figure, it's like an Airplane movie: even if 90% of the content is stupid, there's so much of it being thrown at you that even if only 10% works, it still counts as a score. Volume, volume, volume! Some of it's been floating around a while, but some of it is unseen by man and still has that new haiku smell. Enjoy, or disregard, whichever's funnest.


I need to work out
or I'll have to settle for
flabby dystrophy

no that is not mine
my AK-47
has wooden handgrips

my uncle is lonely
he's not a ventriloquist
he just likes the doll

mee-maw is crazy
that's how come her nickname is

library's good for
instructions on making a
bomb out of a cow

sure thing go ahead
try sucking on it a while
maybe it's a tit

my girlfriend is dead
but I still think she's sexy
O Annabelle Lee

I'm not disturbed I'm
drowning in the downpour that
only I can see

that's not flatulence
pipe organ of inner church
playing hymns to god

wanna be mah own
uncle that's how come I done
married mah sister

it's never my fault
you and your society
make me do these things

self-righteous gas
pull my sanctimonious
finger there bubba

hey read your e-mail
now there's a way we can all
get a bigger dick

trick or treat demon
give him candy or he'll make
tombs of your cities

cursing and angry
nothing makes her happy now
Damitol overdose

okay here's the deal
if I keep pants on all day
you will give me cheese

I don't think the cops
are really trying to catch
the mime murderer

time to face the truth
"Cat Scratch Fever"'s a lame song
there, now, I said it

just keeps on smiling
as rats gnaw his painted flesh
dead clowns are more fun

it's your birthday so
everyone will sing you live
in a zoo and stink

what a dorky spy
yeah, yeah, he may be incog
but he ain't neato

blessing for themselves
curse for the rest, people who
don't know that they're dumb

my sister is such
a literalist that her
nickname's "Sobriquet"

I think that song's by
Black Sabbath or the Monkees
I get them mixed up

my relationship
with Jane is great 'cuz she's still
unaware of it

I'm really not sure
I'll ever get high enough
to enjoy jam bands

worst action show yet
cancellation is due for
Minister Squadron

enough about me
let's talk about pie, mmmm pie
boy do I like pie

if you wouldn't mind
I'd like to have your skull when
you're done using it

in a minor key
the caliope plays slow
the circus goes dark

how many secrets
do cemeteries hide deep
in claw-marked coffins

you'll have to do more
than frown a lot to get real
monster credentials

my painting is of
Hitler on a tricycle
I've done better work

his journal should be
scrawled in a shaky hand with
a dull grey crayon

all our times have gone
yeah we can be like they are
don't fear the reaper

now we'll live in fear
prophecies have come to pass
Melvin has returned

I'm so embarrassed
we don't celebrate it here
Pants Off At Work Day

oh take me down to
Circuit City where quality's good
and priced to fit me
(this is called "Rough Draft For a GNR Sell-Out TV Commercial")

oh say can you see
by the something something light
hmm hmm dah dee dah

okay bad picnic
but pissing in the basket
that was uncalled-for

get too excited
sometimes when I eat my peas
might wanna stand back

it's the thought that counts
but gravel for my birthday?
next time think harder

I hate watching you
labor to articulate
Lypozene ad girl

no I'm not lonely
as I sit covered in filth
the flies are my friends

if you keep that up
you'll dislocate your pelvis
you better stop that

Jim Morrison's dead
or he'd be in Vegas now
light my fire hey whoa

better haul some ass
crucifiers after you
run faster Jesus

know him by his skull
and the slow way that he blinks
call him turtle boy

don't wanna be a
cheetah but I'd still like to
bring down a gazelle

one in every class
up to third grade you know her
girl who smells like pee

I may have to move
all the marching undt seig heil
damn next-door Nazis

call me immature
one more time and I'm gonna
show them my underpants

at first he's funny
then the creepiness sets in
birthday party clown

not miraculous
but still great skill on display
waterski Jesus

don't approve of me
think I have bad attitude
yeah well whatever

another detailed
story of your former job
boredom rapes my ear

just like castanets
I love to go to the beach
to hear the clams fuck

would not have to think
would not have to go to work
wish I were a sponge

ceiling cracked head hurts
maybe I am too big for
jumping on the bed

if you take a ship
on an ocean cruise be sure
to pay your sea fees

yummy frosting skin
everyone wants to eat me
thinking like a cake

in my neighborhood
everyone was so ugly
walked playing kiss chase

sister resourceful
she ran out of hair rollers
so she used hot dogs

the two sexiest
animals in the barnyard
brown chicken brown cow

knock knock who is there
buffalo wings buffalo
wings who I don't know

don't do your laundry
then you'll end up wearing your
least favorite shirt

Principal Peters
is best example of the
Peter Principle

what John Hinkley did
you know secretly Jodie
Foster was flattered

eat these magic beans
then speak the language of the
underneath people

it's hard to tell when
your dominatrix mistress
is in love with you

found some dog doody
gonna put it on my head
it's a compulsion

oh no I got more
everyone e-mails me
funny cat pictures

you stop whispering
I know you aren't really real
under the bed guy

must eat the peas first
then the carrots then the corn
this is OCD

the paintings of John
Coltrane are like the music
of Jackson Pollock

I like John Lennon
for his music and all but
lord does he smell bad

lion sleeps tonight
"a whem buh way": Swahilli
for "kill white people"

mourners file past it
twenty corpses in one box
behold, clown coffin

those two old ladies
were so birdlike I caught them
shitting on my car

little dynamite
inside a log best way to
stop a firewood thief

she ain't pretty but
there's nothing wrong with her that
tequilla won't fix

mean Mormon, pig pants
lipstick-stained harmonica
things you seldom see

six extra nipples
are on his chest
they are wisdom teats

hiding in plain sight
you know Joseph McCarthy
was a communist

"blessed are the poor
in spirit": self-defeatist

moo moo moo moo moo
and moo and moo, moo moo moo
hear the lonesome cow

no please you go first
polite standoff at doorway
I insist damnit

wants to be neighbor
and also bite off your face
zombie Fred Rogers

sneaking to the church
to lick the stained glass windows
they LOOK like candy

how many times do
we have to take knives away
no, Charlie Manson

big words impress folks
the reason I say things like

to eat to sleep and
keep chickens away from me
all I want from life

Itchy and Scratchy
"fight fight fight" to "fart fart fart"
Terrence and Phillip

opened a great big
box of cats at a dog show
then the fun started

degree of sadness
difficult to determine
morose or lessrose

say "if I'm wrong I'll
eat my hat" lots when you wear
bacon sombrero

chatty and vapid
manageable brain damage
that's my co-worker

find them all over
in the world of arts and crafts
wood chickens prevail

brown socks and tan pants
opinion of little worth
Ron Dobbs is the man

wearing bean costume
when, when will someone hear my
silent cry for help

I think she likes me
always notices me, yells
"hey there, you dumbass!"

I can spit real good
it's my talent, don't know why
girls are not impressed

still a few bare spots
on that wall and the ceiling
I need more bacon

she's so nice to me
don't see why it's wrong to be
in love with grandmaw

bathing is an art
it's a great way to get clean
I wish I knew how

mice fill my pockets
a sign someone should get me
the help that I need

bunnies thnowmen and
weddings for your weenie dogs
your world disgusts me

breakfast lunch dinner
I think I love spaghetti
maybe too much maybe

don't care what you say
we will not name the bunny
Lee Harvey Oswald

best time of the year
Spackle Madness Days sale at
True Value Hardware

my hands are greasy
and I'm way too frickin' big
love me some butter

I am a real jerk
I need a punch in the face
except not me, you

get them in the car
then there will be no escape
from your gruesome poot

they build their church on
delicious baked goods and pies
knights of the minnow

college is stupid
no classes to teach me how
to be a viking

I like to get mail
but not when it's all soggy
sweaty mailmen suck

I won't tell anybody
about you and the watermelon
it'll be our secret

more memento mori
count on a somber drive down
armadillo road

the real scary part
of the movie will make your
sphinkie go winkie

hey there Miss Jolie
I wish I was yer boyfriend
you sure is purdy

if dog that in
garden not carpet you'd say
it was fertilized

please don't get me wrong
I like them, just think they look
like some fat guy pants

I will always be
better at civil discourse
than you are douchebag

frosted on the top
oh my beloved cupcake
you make me happy

demand I take baths
then get mad 'cuz tub's dirty
I just can not win

all those people who
won't let me use bad words can
puff my pee pee pipe

the only people
I really hate are racists
oh, and Mexicans

alienate me
fetish for lederhosen
no one understands

golden present for
anniversary fifty
how 'bout a shower

says he's my friend but
invited to my birthday
Jesus did not come

guess it's for the best
I did not name things for Nerf
I'd have picked "Doosh Ball"

I am not crazy
you only say these things because
I think I'm Batman

don't wanna sound weird
but goddamn if that girl don't
have some pretty feet

radio dying?
no they're just playing Donovan
Hurdy Gurdy Man

beauty of your eyes
lips hair body mind wasted
I just want your blood

ha ha harshed his buzz
punched a hippie while I was
finding my center

puppies and kittens
and bunnies oh my the cute
things I just don't like

with stiff legs they march
difficult to walk and sit
wearing wicker pants

if I was you man
I'd probably drink a lot
too if I was you

talk dirty to me
then wash your mouth out with soap
love your Irish Spring kiss

four hour erection?
not gonna call my doctor
unless she's horny too

no she loves me not
yet I'm in her thrall my sweet
Annie Mosity

pie bomb in mailbox
seltzer sniping from the tree
terror clown is back!

your beanie baby
is covered in lubricant
dude like what the fuck

pineapple cultist
I am, you make fruit salad
murderer of god

you sure do throw a
great party and by the way
I spit on the cake

I'm so sorry please
accept my apology
if not you're a jerk

while my back was turned
pork chop gone and happy dog
solve this mystery

I like girls a lot
they are very pretty and
they don't hit as hard

I know as long as
you have an ass there will be
a good place to kick

god you are so lame
nobody likes Nsync anymore
fuck your ring tone, bitch

now everybody
knows 'bout the bunny jammies
I hate my web cam

now my legs are wet
I was peeing along fine
then the wind shifted

don't think I'll have any
limburger, camenbert, brie
the wrong kind of cheese

my sister is weird
that David Hasselhoff guy
makes her nipples stiff

they say I broke it
and so I got in trouble
but how can wind break?

you want to tell, huh?
here's something to tell: you stink!
tell your mama *that!*

chicken pot pie please
I've had enough Rice-A-Roni
not my favorite

when you got that itch
it's the only way to fly
carpet dragging dog

manners? screw manners
just pass the damn bread already
I'm starving damnit

the Fonz was kinda weird
to stick up his thumb and say
"Potsie, sit on it!"

that Mister Roeper
was always funnier than
that Mister Furley

grandfather wears these
pants that are made from rubber
I think he's lazy

silly cowboy name
don't even get me started
Hopalong, that's dumb

public ham-slapping
that's why we don't get to watch
Pee Wee Herman show

mister kittycat
knows when dinnertime is and
not much else really

well you can just, just
go and do I don't know what
call me stupid huh!

Barbara's dumb son
sure has made a mess of things
whistle-ass prez-dint

fuck cocksucker fuck
cocksucker fuck fuck fuck fuck
on the next Deadwood

you swing to and fro
and shrivel up in the cold
scrotum, oh scrotum

Elizabeth I'm
comin' to join ya honey
Lamont knows that trick


Shoot Them Sartana... They're All Bastards!

I had a few ideas for a blog post for this week, but I got lazy. I thought about doing something about strange and obscure TV shows nobody watches anymore (“Winky Dink and You,” “The Magic Clown,” the 1958 “Night Court,” etc.) but that’d take work and it’s the weekend, so why work? Maybe later.

Then I thought about a post about ideas for TV shows, or a post about TV shows that I just made up that don’t actually exist (such as the game show Let’s Fight With Fists, where your host David Jansen pits housewives against each other in street combat for new Whirlpool appliances), but then I realized that my sense of humor tends to be very weird, vulgar, and scatological, and most people don’t think that stuff is as funny as I do… so, I nixed that.

Anyway, I don’t have time to come up with anything brilliant now that I’m completely addicted to watching cutiemish on YouTube. How can ya not love a British Chinese girl who’s a knockout and unashamedly silly? She's freakin' hilarious, and has a Harvey-Pekar-like gift for making even the most mundane material incredibly funny (hang around 'til the very last second of that one for a punchline that casts a new light on the rest of it - it's genius. To me, anyway). Somebody needs to give this girl her own show.

So, out of a desire to put something up, I remembered a list of Spaghetti Western titles I compiled once and thought that might have some amusement value. One of my favorite things about Spaghetti Westerns are the titles, because the Italians just didn’t give a damn about established parameters, they’d use titles that ignored grammar, and had no concerns for marquee space; some of these titles were almost a paragraph. Plus, they’re almost like little badass poems. Many are hilarious and worth watching just so you can tell your friends “This weekend I watched Trinity and Sartana, Those Dirty Sons of Bitches."

If you’re not familiar with Spaghetti Westerns (i.e. Westerns made in Italy back in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, such as the Clint Eastwood/Sergio Leone movies you should be well-acquainted with) there are a few things that will quickly become evident as you read the list: they like to play off of the Leone titles, so you’ll see lots of variations on Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More. Also, the same character names (Django, Trinity, Sartana) tend to show up over and over again. Most of these aren’t sequels; the filmmakers had no qualms about sticking an established character’s name in the title to make you think it was, though, no matter how unrelated the actual film is. Like, Django was a big hit, so damn near half the movies that came afterward got “Django” in the title somewhere. Everybody liked They Call Me Trinity and Trinity is Still My Name, so “Trinity” had to be in loads of titles afterward. It’s shameless.

So, here’s a list (you say long, I say extensive-yet-far-from-complete) of actual titles and retitles (I’ve even seen some of these), and in the comment section you’re encouraged to be funny ’n’ clever and invent some of your own. Once you start thinking in “Spaghetti Western Title” it gets as addictive as haiku or coming up with band names. (note: a few of these aren’t westerns, but they’re other Italian movies with titles so weird or funny I had to throw ‘em in there).


They Believed He Was No Saint
Too Much Gold for One Gringo
God in Heaven... Arizona on Earth
And the Crows Will Dig Your Grave
My Horse, My Gun, Your Widow
Dig Your Grave Friend... Sabata's Coming
I'll Forgive You, Before I Kill You
Stagecoach of the Condemned
Fat Brothers of Trinity
None of the Three Were Called Trinity
Fabulous Trinity
With Friends, Nothing Is Easy
My Colt, Not Yours
The Reward's Yours... The Man's Mine
Seven Pistols for a Gringo
Twenty Paces to Death
Four Candles for Garringo
Watch Out Gringo! Sabata Will Return
Now They Call Him Amen
If You Meet Sartana Pray for your Death
Man Called Amen
Therefore It Is
They Called Him Amen
His Name Was Sam Walbash, But They Call Him Amen
A Barrel Full of Dollars
Coffin Full of Dollars
Django Always Draws Second
Hero Called Allegria
His Name Was Pot... But They Called Him Allegria
Lobo the Bastard
Sartana If Your Left Arm Offends, Cut It Off
Down with Your Hands... You Scum!
Reach You Bastard
Stranger That Kneels Beside the Shadow of a Corpse
Meet the Sign of the Cross
Sartana and His Shadow of Death
Shadow of Sartana... Shadow of Your Death
Four Came to Kill Sartana
Sartana, the Invincible Gunman
Raise Your Hands, Dead Man, You're Under Arrest
I Hate My Body
Two Thousand Dollars for Coyote
Sartana Kills Them All
Ringo and Gringo Against All
Ringo, It's Massacre Time
Ruthless Colt of the Gringo
Five Dollars for Ringo
3 Bullets for Ringo
Three Graves for a Winchester
Clint the Stranger
Clint, the Lonely Nevadan
Clint, the Nevada's Loner
Let's Go and Kill Sartana
Gunman Called Nebraska
Trinity and Sartana Are Coming
The Return of Clint the Stranger
There's a Noose Waiting for You... Trinity!
Between God, The Devil, and A Winchester
Find a Place to Die
Alive or Preferably Dead
Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid
God Was in the West, Too, at One Time
A Special Cop in Action
Magnificent Brutes of the West
Bullets and the Flesh
Two R-R-Ringos from Texas
Trinity and Sartana Sons of Bitches...
Trinity and Sartana... Those Dirty Sons o' Bitches
Halleluja and Sartana Strike Again
Alleluja & Sartana Are Sons... Sons of God
Sartana in the Valley of the Vultures
Reverend's Colt
And Now... Make Your Peace with God
Fistful of Death
Strange Tale of Minnesota Stinky
Showdown for a Badman
A.A.A. Masseuse, Good-Looking, Offers Her Services
Ringo, Pray to Your God and Die
Suppose... I Break Your Neck
They Still Call Me Amen
For One Hundred Thousand Dollars for a Killing
10,000 Dollars Blood Money
Ten Thousand Dollars for a Massacre
Cowards Don't Pay
I Am Sartana Your Angel of Death
I'll Dig Your Grave
Sartana the Gravedigger
Arizona Lets Fly and Kills Everybody
If You Gotta Shoot Someone... Bang! Bang!
Cloud of Dust... Cry of Death... Sartana Is Coming
Gunman in Town
Light the Fuse... Sartana Is Coming
Run, Man, Run... Sartana's in Town
Bulldozer Is Back Amigo
It Can Be Done Amigo
Saddle Tramps
The Big and the Bad
The Artist Is a Gunfighter
A Genius, Two Friends, and an Idiot
A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe
Nobody's the Greatest
My name Is Nobody
His Pistols Smoked... They Call Him Cemetery
In the West There Was a Man Named Invincible
They Called Him the Player with the Dead
Tricky Dicky
The West Is Tough, Amigo... Alleluja's Here
The West Is Very Close, Amigo
Heads I Kill You, Tails You're Dead! They Call Me Hallalujah
Heads You Die... Tails I Kill You
They Call Me Hallelujah
Forewarned, Half-Killed... the Word of the Holy Ghost
His Name Was Holy Ghost
They Call Him Holy Ghost
I Am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin
Sartana's Coming, Get Your Coffins Ready
Sartana's Here... Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin
A Present for You, Amigo... A Coffin from Sartana
Have a Good Funeral, My Friend... Sartana Will Pay
Two Idiots at Fort Alamo
Your God My Hell
Your Heaven, My Hell
Sartana Kills Them All
Awkward Hands
Clumsy Hands
When Satan Grips the Colt
Dead Are Countless
One Against One... No Mercy
Two Brothers, One Death
Sharp-Shooting Twin Sisters
Two Guns for Two Twins
Woman for Ringo
Terrible Sheriff
Two Against All
The Cynic, the Rat & the Fist
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
A Gun for One Hundred Graves
Pistol for a Hundred Coffins
Kill Django... Kill First
The Hand That Feeds the Dead
...And Give Us Our Daily Sex
Crucified Girls of San Ramon
Terrible Day of the Big Gundown
Bastard, Go and Kill
Django the Bastard
Stranger's Gundown
Hanging for Django
No Room to Die
Noose for Django
No Graves on Boot Hill
Three Crosses Not to Die
Three Crosses of Death
"Django, Kill... If You Live, Shoot!"
"Django, Prepare a Coffin"
Django Sees Red
Viva Django
Django Shoots First
Django the Last Gunfighter
Django Last Killer
Django and Sartana... Showdown in the West
Django and Sartana Are Coming... It's the End
Final Conflict... Django Against Sartana
Django Kills Softly
Django Challenges Sartana
Django Defies Sartana
"Don't Wait, Django... Shoot!"
Some Dollars for Django
Few Dollars for Django
One Damned Day at Dawn... Django Meets Sartana!
Even Django Has His Price
Django, a Bullet for You
Django the Condemned
Django the Honorable Killer
Django Does Not Forgive
Django Always Draws Second
Nude Django
God Forgives... I Don't!
Today It's Me, Tomorrow... You!
Run, Run, Joe!
Four Gunmen of Ave Maria
Cry, Onion!
Burnt by a Scalding Passion
Duck, You Sucker
A Dollar Between the Teeth
Shoot First, Laugh Last
Hate Is My God
I Am an ESP
I'm a Paranormal Phenomenon
I Know That You Know That I Know
Wild Beasts with Machine Guns
John the Bastard
Be Sick... It's Free
Who’s Afraid of Zorro?
Seven Hours of Gunfire
All the Brothers of the West Support Their Father
Kill Them All And Come Back Alone
And God Said To Cain
And Then A Time For Killing
And They Smelled The Strange, Exciting, Dangerous Scent of Dollars
An Angel With A Gun Is A Devil
Colt in the Hand of the Devil
Any Gun Can Play
Go Kill and Come Back
Man Called Apocalypse Joe
Bad Kids of the West
Bastard, Go And Kill
Amigo, Stay Away
Humpty Dumpty Gang
Big Ripoff
The Dirty Outlaws
Gringos Do Not Forgive
Blood For A Silver Dollar
One Thousand Dollars on the Black
Buddy Goes West
Those Desperate Men Who Smell of Dirt and Death
Bullet From God
Carambola’s Philosophy: In The Right Pocket
Chrysanthemums For A Bunch of Swine
Ciccio Forgives, I Don’t
A Town Called Bastard
Colt 45, Five Dollars, and a Bandit
Damned Pistols of Dallas
Dead Men Ride
Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Death Is Sweet From The Soldier of God
Death Played The Flute
Dick Luft in Sacramento
Not Sabata or Trinity… It’s Sartana
First They Pardon, Then They Kill
Do Not Touch The White Woman
Don’t Turn The Other Cheek
Drummer of Vengeance
Durango Is Coming, Pay or Die
Fasthand is Still My Name
Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe
For A Few Dollars Less
For A Fist in the Eye
A Girl Is A Gun
Go Away! Trinity Has Arrived In Eldorado
God Does Not Pay on Saturday
God Made Them… I Kill Them
God Will Forgive My Pistol
God Is My Colt .45
Gunman of One Hundred Crosses
Hundred Fists and A Prayer
The Handsome, The Ugly, and the Stupid
Hate Thy Neighbor
Here We Go Again, Eh, Providence?
Hey Amigo! A Toast To Your Death!
His Colt, Himself, His Revenge
Hole In the Forehead
I Came, I Saw, I Shot
I Do Not Forgive… I Kill!
I Want Him Dead
I Protect Myself Against My Enemies
If One Is Born A Swine… Kill Him
Turn… I’ll Kill You
If You Shoot… You Live!
I’ll Sell My Skin Dearly
In A Colt’s Shadow
Kung Fu Brothers in the Wild West
Lemonade Joe
Macho Killers
A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die
On The Third Day Arrived the Crow
Patience Has A Limit, We Don’t
Piluk, The Timid One
Pistol-Packin’ Preacher
Porno-Erotic Western
Shadow of Sartana… Shadow of Your Death
Shoot, Joe… And Shoot Again
They Call Him Veritas
Thirteenth Is A Judas
Trinity Plus The Clown and a Guitar
Trusting Is Good… Shooting Is Better
Up The MacGregors!
Vengeance Is A Dish Served Cold
What Am I Doing In The Middle of the Revolution?
Why Kill Again?


my own personal backyard Stalingrad

This'll be a post about nothin', but I'll try to make it entertaining.

I got interested in the battle of Stalingrad due to a highly recommended book I read. This was about as heinous as warfare gets, resulting in massive damage and a death toll of over 1.5 million... but, it stopped the Nazis from getting to the Soviet oil fields and, basically, won the war, or at least shortened it greatly. The Germans called the fighting there "rattenkrieg," or "rat warfare," because it involved a lot of scurrying around in the rubble, sniping at each other.

I've just had the weekend from hell, much of which centers around... rattenkrieg. Nowhere near Stalingrad levels, or importance to the world at large, but filled with manageable amounts of bloodshed and terror just the same.

See, there's an air conditioner unit behind my house, and it's got a bird feeder over it. The birds have been making nasty with their seeds, throwing them all over the ground, and that's attracted rats. They've been housing under the air conditioner unit, and this weekend I also noticed a horde of mice, running in and out of the upper story of the same unit. It was an all-singing, all-dancing cavalcade of shitting-pissing-fucking-gnawing-bubonic-bearing vermin.

And I'm way-way-chickenshit when it comes to rodents. Oh, I am a big ol' pussy. I'm almost as bad as the women in the Warner Brothers cartoons, jumping on chairs and screaming. It's not quite a phobia, but it's damn close. I'm not even crazy about the too-tame-for-my-taste squirrels we have locally. They don't fool me, they're just rats with a little more cute poured on 'em. Give them a chance, though, and they'll go for your eyes to gnaw their way to your delicious brain! You can tell in the way they look at you. With fear comes hatred, and I want all these critters dead.

So, the situation's been bugging me a little.

I couldn't just put out poison, because this air conditioner unit happens to be inside a dog pen, and I didn't want the dogs to get poisoned, either by eating the bait or by munching down on a poison-packed rat. Frankly, the dogs should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such encroachment on in their territory. My dogs have a history of being lovable but not very fierce; somebody tried to break into our house once and while I ran around the yard with a gun yelling scary stuff they didn't even bark, just watched, wagging their tails. Very helpful creatures. Too bad my sadistic cat, who thinks of nothing but killing all day long and is quite good at it, isn't allowed outside. He'd be servin' some warrants.

Anyway, I wasn't sure what to do about this vermin situation, although I knew I couldn't let it go on because the rodents would just breed and it'd get worse. For several weeks I've been limited to trying to pick the rats off with a pellet gun. I sent a few to Jesus, but it was just harassing, interdictory fire for the most part, nothing that was really going to fix the situation. There were always more showing up, doing their little "we're still here, dipshit!" dances and giving me the finger.

Well, this weekend was apparently a rodent mardi gras. Every time I looked out (and as neurotically obsessive as I am about these bastards, that was about every ten minutes) I'd see at least one rat or mouse, and sometimes three or four. The good thing about this heightened activity was that I also noticed where they were coming from: the rats had a hole to the crawlspace under the house where some ductwork went in, and the mice had a crack around the air conditioner unit. They weren't just living under the unit, after all... that was just a handy duck-in place.

This finally gave me a workable plan.

First, just to thin the herd, I set up a mousetrap on the air conditioner unit. That thing ended up looking like Robespierre's favorite guillotine. The mousetraps I bought are highly effective, but if they catch the mouse across the head there's gonna be blood everywhere. I'm talking last-reel-of-a-Fulci-movie gory, dripping, avulsed matter carnage. So that wasn't terribly fun to deal with, but it made the mice start laying low a little.

Then, for effect, I picked out a nice rat about the size of a small rabbit and hit him with the pellet gun. Zapruder'ed his head spectacularly all over his friends, which got them to stay in their holes for a while. While they were hiding, I quickly jammed a bunch of steel wool in every hole I could find, then squirted in foam sealant. (The steel wool keeps them from chewing their way back through; it stabs their little mouths if they try). I did a pretty sloppy job, and my backyard looks like the aftermath of a pie-fight, but I think they're damn well locked out of the dogpen.

Which means it's now safe to apply chemical warfare. So, rat poison has gone all up under the house. Smorgasbord, fellas! Have yourselves a Jonestown hoe-down, on me.

I'm hoping they'll go somewhere else to die (the poison's supposed to make them seek water), but as bad as those things may stink when they die, I'll gonna welcome it. I love the smell of dead rats in the morning... it smells like... victory.

Then everything will be fine, until the komodo dragons show up.