Remembering The Beard Wars

bearded gentleman with an extremely long, matted beard

by Mark A. Rayner

“Captain Chiggerson, can you hear me? Captain?”

“I can hear you! I’m blind, not deaf.”

“Sorry Captain, but you didn’t seem to be responding,” the historian asked. He was a young man, and was frankly shocked by the Captain’s long beard, his lifeless eyes. He’d met many veterans of the Beard Wars, but he’d never gotten used to their dead stares, their broken minds, their creepy long beards.

“Well, I was thinking,” Captain Chiggerson explained.

“About the war?”

“Of course I was thinking about the war. What the hell is wrong with you, are you simple? You just asked me about what role I played in the war, ye whippersnapper!”

“Of course, Captain. I didn’t want to interrupt your train of thought, but these Flannigan pornograph recording cylinders are expensive, and they’re only good for a half-hour of recording time.”

“Well, it’s not a thing a man wants to think about. All the lives lost. The horrors”

“Naturally, but it’s important that future generations understand what happened during the Beard Wars. You know, so it never happens again,” the historian said. He sported an impressive set of friendly mutton chops, which left his chin bare, but otherwise covered his face with hair. It was an old-fashioned facial hair style, but he found it made his interview subjects more comfortable, and likely to answer his questions, because their hero, General Hiram I. R. Sute, made the style so famous.

Of course, his current subject couldn’t see, so it wasn’t helping. “So, you were going to tell me about the start of the wars. What did you do before the wars began?” the historian prompted.

“I was a barber.”

The End

The Fridgularity Buy my latest novel, which is the hairy tale of a fridge, a singularity, and a man who didn’t like to split hairs. Available in all formats in all the usual places online:

Paperback ($15.99)
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Alltop is always in need of a trim. bearded gentleman, a photo by Foxtongue on Flickr. Originally published June, 2012.

The Sarcastic Cyborg Debriefs

Sarcastic Cyborg Interviewed by Pug
[recording starts]

Is this thing on?

Seriously. Is it on? I’m not getting any neural feedback.

You humans are so odd. You are human aren’t you? Why don’t you just implant a microphone in your scull — there’s lots of room. That way the rest of the world could hear the same voice you do.

Oh yeah, you don’t sound like that. Right. Everybody says that when they hear their recorded voice the first time. It’s so predictable.

But just imagine what it was like for us before we improved the speaker systems in our bonded polycarbide armor — our voices always came out so screechy and monotone. Here, let me play you an old recording:

“EX-TER-MIN-ATE!”

Oh that’s terrifying, isn’t it?

I mean, if we had deep booming voices like that Darth Vader dude, it would be frightening. But as it was, we sounded like the Chipmunks after a crack cocaine and peyote button binge. Gonzo alien invasion.

Don’t worry, I’d never probe you.

Of course I’m being sarcastic. That’s what we do. We probe you bastards every chance we get. Not only is it fun, we know you hate it. (Well, all but 10% of you.)

Frankly, we just can’t trust a species that can survive without mechanical and electronic augmentation.

Well naturally, that’s why we introduced the Internet to your planet. You don’t think you apes came up with it do you? The iPod too.

What is wrong with you? Don’t you understand sarcasm? Are you brain-damaged or something?

I’m sorry. You do work for the government, don’t you?

I see you’ve discovered how to open my armor. Well, let me tell you’re in for a surprise. Yes, I’m one of the most attractive women you’ve ever met Jimbo. I only use Sean Connery’s voice pattern because it sounds cool whenever I use the letter ‘s’.

[mechanical sigh]

Yes, sarcasm again. I’m actually a little green blob, and the armor just makes me feel big. And shiny. Just like a forty-year-old account exec in his Hummer.

I see you’ve got the outer carapace open. Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

[recording ends]

Brilliant photo by Zoomar | More about Daleks[wikipedia] | Other sarcastic bastards. Originally published January, 2008, and now appearing in Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

I’ve been LOBOed

Inter-species romanceThis is not the same thing as having a lobotomy, though I imagine they are both somewhat disorienting experiences. The creative, funny, and dare I say paranoid genius at Predator Press was kind enough to interview me about Marvellous Hairy and The Amadeus Net, though LOBO was considerate enough to ask me about hockey, the existence of Canada, and inter-species romance as well.

The results can be found at Predator Press, and include such exchanges as:

LOBO: Have you repented to your clergy for all the sex in The Amadeus Net yet? I tried to get my penance reduced by ratting you out about it, but the church was skeptical: rather than take my word for it, they ordered a case of the books to be distributed among the congregation for review. Now they are all blind, and their palms smell like Gillette. All of this could have been avoided with the simple use of a praying mantis. Are you an atheist Mark?

MAR: If you mean, do I believe in a “Magic Sky Father”, then yes. If you mean, do you believe in a “Cosmic Unconscious Fun Monkey,” then the answer is: maybe.

The whole interview is here. And you should check out the blog — it’s very funny.