Pozo and Mr. Savage

Pozo and Mr. Savage, waiting for a train with Ivanka

They lived on the margins of society as a travelling entertainment act. A classic clown-and-baboon show, in the old Czech style.

They had terrorized a generation of Eastern European children.

Pozo the Clown (once known to his family and a series of bemused teachers, as Jirka Zdenec) found his lifelong companion and colleague at the German customs house, in Dresden. (Some years before it was firebombed.) It turned out that the young baboon, of the Red-Assed Dorling family, had been abandoned by a teenage Canadian singing sensation just weeks before. Pozo fell in love with the manic little primate immediately, and agreed to adopt him, and to pay for all the medical bills of the customs agents who had been caring for him.

Their career became the stuff of legend. Their stock-in-trade was children’s parties, but they’d also perform at conventions, trade shows, and if they were unable to book a gig when they rolled into town, they’d do a little bit of busking too. Mr. Savage was an accomplished pick-pocket, so when they ran into hard times – as they often did – they could still pay for Pozo’s heroin habit and Mr. Savage’s expensive tastes in raw flesh. (He preferred macaque heart whenever he could get it.)

Most days, they were just one step ahead of the law.

Today was no different, though they found themselves at a train station, practically deserted between the morning rush hours and the 13:04 express from Praha to Brno.

The train that Ivanka had fallen asleep waiting for – a nap that one day, she would tell her therapist, changed her life.

The End

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Alltop doesn’t have coulrophobia, but monkeys do freak it out a bit. Amazing photo Daughter of the Circus by Michael Garlington. Get his book here.

Ask General Kang: How can I get more respect?

Ask General KangIt depends on how much respect you’re looking for, really. I mean, if you just want your friends, family and neighbours to respect you then it should be pretty easy.

From what I can see, your smaller primate groupings here on Earth tend to respect strength of character, kindness and consideration of others. So for starters, stop acting like a pretentious wanker, insufferable know-it-all, or complete douchebag. (People usually lose respect for individuals for one of those reasons.)

But if you’re looking for respect from a larger grouping of primitive hominids (that’s you, humans) — let’s say from the size of a corporation up to the size of a nation — this will require power too.

For my money, nothing says power like a phalanx of Über-Chimps decked out in gold spandex and helmets that look like the business end of a whale phallus. Oh, and they have to be toting plasma weapons too, or the look just doesn’t work. Unfortunately, all your backwards planet seems to think plasma is good for making televisions show crappy content in higher definition.

So, give your primitive technology I’d start building a thermonuclear weapon right now, and some kind of delivery system. (No one would expect a llama.)

My advice is to test it on a holiday weekend for maximum impact.

Next Time: I’ve read somewhere that time dilates near the event horizon of a black hole. Does that feel anything like my early morning Intro to Psychology class?

Alltop is a singularity of humor. Originally published, oh, let’s say … before.

Batman Lashes Out at the Other Members of the Justice League of America After Spending the Weekend at the Jack Nicholson Film Festival

Batman loses it

You know, I’m getting a little tired of all the snide remarks about the way I fight crime.

We live in a world that has villains, and those villains have to be defeated by men with Batarangs. Or superpowers, if you’ve got them. (Yeah, and females too, don’t get your star-spangled knickers in a knot, Wonder Women.) I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for the psychotic killer that I sent to the hospital last night, and you curse my “methods”. You have that luxury.

Green Lantern, you can always capture crooks with that weird glowing shit from your alien ring. And you Wonder Woman, I wonder if that golden truth-telling lasso is as innocuous as it looks? You have easy options.

You know that when I beat that punk to within an inch of his life, while tragic for him, I saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I find it particularly ironic that you, Martian Manhunter find me grotesque, but you do, don’t you, you green uni-browed freak!

I’ll grant my methods are extreme, but they work. You people with your superpowers don’t dare admit it. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me cruising the streets of Gotham in my Batmobile, you need me in my Batmobile! Who else is going to clean up that bat-hole?

I use words like discipline and detective work and a lot of made-up words starting with “Bat”. I use these words as the backbone of a life spent intimidating the criminal classes. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to you, who succeed because of the detective work that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a Batarang and solve a few crimes without your superpowers.

Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think is “excessive” or “brutal” or “verging on insane”. Continue reading

Salathial Turgid, Hanging Judge

Salathial Turgid, Hangin' Judge

The O’Reilly Boys finally caught up with Old Judge Turgid at the Annual Pecos River Ride and Chili Jamboree. Salathial had hung their older brother Seamus “The Tinkle” O’Reilly just the year before and they were plum angry.

But Old Judge Turgid, he didn’t mind none. In addition to having a giant noggin’ that made his ten-gallon hat look like a Boston dandy’s bowler, Salathial Turgid had a legendary intestinal track capable of containing the very vapors of Hell.

He knew it. The O’Reilly Boys knew it. And the terrified denizens of Pecos knew it.

So when they put the Colt up against his temple, he laughed and said, “Boys, the only thing keeping my sphincter shut is my continued vo-lition. I’d give you the count of ten to va-moose but I suspect one of the town-folk will kill you first.”

Thanks to Michelle Jones for her creative photo and to the Hole-in-the-Mattress Gang. Originally published February, 2008.