Tag Archives | not getting eaten

Why Dr. McCoy was not a whiny bitch

McCoy, Kirk and Spock are all about to die as their bodies are de-atomized over a period of several agonizing seconds.

McCoy, Kirk and Spock are all about to die.

Everyone in the original Star Trek was quite condescending to Bones whenever he got fretful about using the transporter.

Yet Dr. McCoy had solid, philosophical reasons for being freaked out by the device. Basically, the transporter disassembles all your molecules, and then reassembles them somewhere else. (Assuming something doesn’t go horribly wrong in the process, as it did in pretty much every other episode.)

It’s an existentialist nightmare.

So that means when you voluntarily use the transporter, you’re opting for death via de-atomization over a period of several agonizing seconds. Sure, a copy of you will go on, but who knows, maybe it will be the evil copy of you, or perhaps the machine will screw up, and you’ll end up with Mr. Spock’s wang protruding from your forehead. In either case, it doesn’t really matter, because the you that you are at this moment (which granted, is also an illusion of sorts, but that’s a subject for another time) is going to die. And presumably it hurts a bit to be de-atomized. Did anyone else ever think it took quite a long time for them to stop “sparkling”? It’s seconds at least. Now imagine what that feels like, having your atoms ripped apart over a period of several seconds. Having trouble? Pluck out a few nose hairs. Now imagine that in every molecule of your body for several seconds.

His crewmates should have cut Bones a little slack; let him take the shuttlecraft if he wanted. Besides, when you’re fighting Tiranglian Lizard people, or reprogramming a rogue computer, the doctor’s only going to be helpful in stitching you up afterwards. (Or whatever “non-barbaric” technology” Dr. McCoy used.)

If anything, McCoy was pretty stoic about the whole thing. If it had been me, there’s no way you’re getting me onto the transporter pad:

“Mr. Rayner, put on your red shirt and step onto the transporter pad, we’re going down to the surface,” Kirk ordered the pudgy and pale-looking ensign.


“Mr. Rayner, you’re going down to the surface with the rest of the landing party, where we’re all going to die. Well, you’re going to die. Bones and Spock and I will be fine.”

“We all die every time we use the transporter!” Ensign Rayner cries.

“Don’t make me beat you.”

“Frankly …” Mr. Rayner lifts shoulders. “I’d prefer that…” Mr. Rayner raises hands. “Jim.” Mr. Rayner thrusts hands forward.

Then Kirk decks him (ripping his shirt in the process).

Green-skinned dancing girls appear on the transporter pad and begin doing the Hippy Shake, while Spock raises an eyebrow.

Your Turn

Now, what other science fiction inventions would suck? High on my list would be the notion that “food in pill form” is a good idea. I definitely think that would be awful, though obviously not as much as soylent green. Also, artificial intelligence seems like a bad idea too. Am I missing any?

Transport yourself with some satirical fiction …

Alltop is also not a whiny bitch. Originally published May, 2009.

Why Canadians celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday

photo of queen victoriaHere in Canada we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, and it is known as Victoria Day.

Why? She has been dead for more than 110 years, and our current Queen has now been reigning almost as long as Vicky did. I mean, Canada barely has anything to do with the monarchy anymore.

Do we celebrate this ex-monarch’s natal anniversary because Canadians are great traditionalists and we still carry a torch for the Old Vic? After all, it was under her watchful, un-amused gaze that we started on the road to independence.

No, it is because we are terrified of her.

Those of you lucky enough to be born in Republics will never know the terror of falling asleep, worried not about the Boogity Man, or other non-existent creatures, but fearful of the dreaded Queen Victoria creeping into our rooms to deprive us of love, joy and perhaps even our very lives.

A history of worrying eugenics

Like many Royal families in Europe, the House of Hanover once suffered from inbreeding, but through an ad hoc eugenics program, they were able to instill their bloodlines with enough vigor to run roughshod over the United Kingdom.

Their secret? Carpathian werewolves.

It began, of course with Sophia of Hanover, who was quite a looker, but who had a taste for the exotic and enjoyed it a bit rough. Carpathian werewolves were brought in to satisfy her proclivities and produced George I, who became the first Hanoverian to rule Great Britain. Carpathian werewolf tendencies were noticed in George II, but it wasn’t until George III went howlingly mad were people convinced that there was a problem with this eugenics program.

16th century woodcut of a Carpathian werewolf

George IV was an indifferent king, and William IV did little damage. However, neither were to produce an heir, and it was up to George III’s fourth son, The Duke of Kent, to produce a new ruler. He did so with the help of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Even at the time, there were rumors that the Princess had an extra-marital affair, and the lack of genetic weaknesses in Victoria’s children has been used as evidence.

Of course, we need look no further than the Princess’s diary, dated August 28, 1819 (roughly nine months before Victoria’s birthday) and we can learn the truth: “Did it with that animal again.” Was it another Carpathian werewolf? We can only assume, “yes.”

And so Victoria was the result of an accidental eugenics programs, filling her with the vigor, bloodlust and terrifying hunger of the Bane of Carpathia. To this day, she is known for the coldness of her presence, her ability to suck the very joy right out of the room, her insatiable desire for human flesh.

Here in the colonies we are still terrified of her, and so we ingratiate ourselves with her hairy be-clawed shadow by celebrating her birthday. (Because even if she was “laid to rest” in 1901, we all know she is not gone.)

Luckily, Carpathian werewolves are also put off by large amounts of alcohol and loud banging noises, so in Canada we have incorporated excessive drinking and fireworks in the holiday, just to be on the safe side.

So it worked out okay.

See also: 10 incredibly true facts about Queen Victoria

You know what really scares me more than Carpathian werewolves? Lots of humorists.

Doug the neurotic invents a corollary on his daily commute

Revenge of the chickenOkay, I’ll admit it. I’m freaking out.

I ate at Wendy’s last night, and then I’m reading the paper today — yeah, like I do everyday on the bus — and so I’m reading the paper, and what do I see? Bird Flu! There was another breakout of bird flu in a freakin’ chicken farm in Canada!

Yeah, I know you can’t catch bird flu from a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but still. I’m just saying that it’s a sign. It’s just a matter of time. That or the polar bears. Where the hell are they going to go when the last of the polar icecaps melt? The motherfuckers are either going to drown or head south and look for a little protein in Doug form. Spicy Doug Sandwich. Did you know the polar bear is the biggest land predator in the world? Yeah, and they aren’t going to catch bird flu. Not to mention the terrorists. If they don’t get me than for sure some crypto-Nazi is going to rendition me to somewhere where water-boarding is like foreplay.

Holy shit! It says here that some of the people working with the chickens caught Bird Flu. Oh God, I don’t want to catch BIRD FLU.

Why the hell is everyone looking so calm? Look at that dude. He’s just listening to his iPod, pretending that we’re not all about to die from an anthrax attack. It says we will right here on page three.

The bus is awfully slow today. I wonder if that’s because the driver is working with the terrorists, or maybe he has the beginnings of BIRD FLU and it’s slowing him down? All these stories keep saying it’s only a matter of time until the virus leaps from poultry to humans. Just like the terrorists. They’re going to do another big attack.


They haven’t, have they? Maybe if the media is really covering a story like this, that reduces the chances of the thing actually happening. What if there is some sort of inverse relationship to disaster and the amount of fear churned up by the media: the more ink and airtime devoted, the less likely there will be a disaster?

Oh shit. What if there was some kind of OTHER relationship, like a corollary to Murphy’s Law? What is that? Anything that can go, will go wrong. No, that’s Microsoft’s motto. Anything that can go wrong, will.

Like, my bus is late. It can be late, so it is late. I’m going to have to run to catch my transfer. Bastards.

What if there’s some kind of corollary to Murphy’s Law? Anything that can go wrong, will, unless the media gives it saturation coverage … in which case, something else will go even more horribly wrong. Not bad. Call it Doug’s Corollary.

Finally, the bus is at my stop. Come on lady, move. I got to run.

Wait! If that is true, what is worse than BIRD FLU?

Dashing now. I’m still fast. Not young enough to fight off BIRD FLU, but still quick.

Oh my God. Ohmygodohmygod, EBOLA is worse than BIRD FLU!

Oh God, I’m going to catch some new strain of EBOLA and bleed out from they eye sockets and shit! It’s going to wipe me out like a —


The End

Alltop is a busload of fun. Photo by Mark Lorch. Originally published in 2007, so you can see how it’s the specific fears that change, not the general tone of the media.

The Giganto-Schism

giant woman in fountain

The Giganto-Schism occurred sometime just after the establishment of the Trans-Vatican and the first RoboPope, Clagnor The Irrefutably Lethal. (This was during the first years of the Genetic Fruit-Topping Wars).

While the people of St. Tropezia were somewhat bemused by the dire calamities promised by the Trans-Catholic Church, they found themselves drawn irresistibly to the gigantic women of the saucy little planet, and formed the Giganto Creed.

In particular, they loved Our Lady of the Massive Legs and Leopard Skin Camisole (particularly when she was bathing).

The Giganto-Schism further widened when the Victoria Secret Galaxy joined the Corporate Imperium, and they unleashed their first catalog of “Euretro-Genita Coverings for the Monumental Goddess” collection upon the unsuspecting Trans-Vatican.

And when the RoboPope discovered that several of his Death Cardinals of Extreme Planetary Retribution kept copies of the catalog under their mattresses, the church never recovered.

Alltop also has big dreams. Originally published in 2007. Photo by Odegaard