With Great Fez Comes Great Responsibility

Iron Dobbin

Long before Giuseppe Del Balso invented cross-dimensional rift surfing, full-frontal time travel, or the pleasures of Zoot, he had many adventures, riding through the Italian countryside on his iron Dobbin.

Though invented to teach children how to ride a horse, the iron Dobbin was not exactly the most comfortable or speedy ride — that is, until the precocious young Giuseppe got his hands on it. Supercharged and enhanced with the electro-fuel that would later start the War of Pasta Memes in the Horse Head Nebula, the iron Dobbin was capable of great speeds. He once rode it from Padua to Otranto in an astonishing three hours and forty minutes. (He lost his trademark fez* in a near collision with Mussolini’s station wagon outside a gelato stand in Brindisi.)

Though greatly enhanced in speed, the genius-child was unable to do anything about the gut-churning gait of the iron Dobbin, nor prevent the jarring motion that cost him several molars, a testicle, and indeed, his sanity.

*the lost hat was later replaced by his trademark SUPERFEZ.

Alltop lost its sanity years ago. More on the iron Dobbin here.

Ask General Kang: How did you deal with climate change on your planet?

Ask General KangAn interesting question. Because my planet is so far advanced of yours, we experienced our major climate changes about a millennia ago.

Like you are currently experiencing, on Neecknaw we discovered that our oil and coal-based economy increased the carbon dioxide load in our atmosphere past the point of the planet being able to deal with it. (Unlike Earth, the main culprit was not the car but our massive fez and tutu industries.)

As is happening here on Earth, the primitive nation-states of Neecknaw were unable to agree on ways to reduce the carbon emissions and so, ameliorate the changes. We did use a few mitigation strategies, such as seeding the atmosphere with sulphur dioxide to block solar radiation, but this had the effect of killing many of our freshwater lakes and waterways with massive storms of acid rain. The acid rain also played hell with everyone’s tutus and fezzes, which meant that we had to produce more tutus and fezzes, resulting in an unforeseen positive feedback loop.

So we all agreed that seeding the atmosphere with SO2 was a bad idea. (You must understand how attached the average Neecknabian is to their fez/tutu.)

But we didn’t ever tackle the CO2 problem, and the warming continued.

Eventually, there was a massive spike in temperatures, which happened very quickly. Most of our coastal cities drowned, the equatorial regions became uninhabitable, and even then, most of our resources went into fez and tutu construction. Roughly ninety percent of the Neecknabian population died, civilization collapsed, and the scarcity of food resulted in a somewhat loose interpretation of cannibalism. (These are sometimes referred to as the “Tasty Ape Age”, though I would never be so crass.)

Luckily, this die-back had the effect of weeding out the weakest of our species, and when Magnok the Foot-Eater conquered the continent of Floog, he was able to quickly rebuild society. Eventually, a brilliant gorilla invented fusion and our economy was based on that power source instead of carbon.

But you know, even though everyone understood the fez and the tutu were the cause of this disaster, Neecknabians are still devoted to the sartorial splendor they impart; however, a series of brutal conquerors have reserved these items of clothing for only the most elite troops.

Is it possible to hot-wire a faster-than-light vehicle with a bottle of lube and my sister’s vibrator?

Alltop wears a beanie and a kilt, but don’t ask it what’s going on under there. Originally published, December, 2009.

Ask General Kang: What kind of drug policies do you have on your home world?

Ask General KangInteresting question, no doubt prompted by the recent vote for the decriminalizing of marijuana possession in Washington.

Given the bloodthirsty nature of my intergalactic conquests, you will be surprised to learn that we do not have any prohibitions against selling, buying, owning or using drugs on Planet Neecknaw. Check the Kargnakian Code — there’s nothing there.

There are, however, severe penalties for not performing one’s duties. Whether you are a member of my elite tutu-wearing plasma chimp forces, or a broadsword-swinging, fez-wearing gorilloid in my crack Holy Crap, Those are Gorilloids with Broadswords! Legion, you are expected to be able to perform your duties.

Well, as you know, drug use (and of course I include Psychlo-Mebnumbian Brain Slugs and wire-heading) can impair one’s ability to fire a plasma rifle, swing a broadsword, or even fill out a spreadsheet properly. If you are living on one of my planets, I suggest you only use these mind-altering substances when you are not going to be on duty.

And what happens if you do?

You know how they use to hang, draw and quarter people for crimes like treason? Well, he have something very similar, we: Pauly-Shore, Carrot-Top, and Luba-Goy our drug-addled offenders. Then we throw them into the Pit-Inhabited-By That-Thing-They’re-Afraid-Of, for as long as it take for them to die of terror.

Nasty.

Hey man, it doesn’t generate as many jobs as US drug policy, but it is effective.

Next Time: I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole relativity thing, and I’m not having any luck. When I do, will it help me decide what to have for lunch?

Alltop always knows what it wants for lunch. Originally published (with a different lead paragraph) in May, 2006.