The Pillage People

The Pillage PeopleThough they were best known for their aggressive neo-fascist jazz stylings of classic Tyrolian folk tunes, The Pillage People were equally popular with a certain sect of gigantic silly hat fetishists. (You know who you are.)

Pictured, from left to right are: Amanda Uhgenkitz (flugelhorn and pistol), Betrand “Stumpy” Russell (sousaphone, vocals and umbrella), Dennis “Don’t Mind the Finger” Travesty (vocals and thermite grenade), Velaquez Eatme (guitar and pointed stick with razor attached to the end with duct tape), and Karl “The Beard” Marks (pocket xylophone, clarinet with flame attachment, and dictatorship of the proletariat).

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The FridgularityKick off your summer holidays with a fun summer read. Right now you can get the paperback of The Fridgularity for 25% off, if you buy it direct from Monkeyjoy Press. Use coupon code: BE3H5AJV. 

Available in all formats in all the usual places online:

Paperback ($15.99)
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble Amazon.ca

Ebooks ($4.95)
Kindle | Smashwords | Kobo | Nook | iTunes

Some members of Alltop are also bitter. Thanks to Foxtongue for finding this pic. Originally published, February 2009.
Alltop: humorphone and feedbag. Originally published August, 2007.

Ten indisputable facts about Canada (Part Two: Culture)

To commemorate Canada Day, I decided it would be useful to clear up some common myths people have about Canada and its culture. I thought it might be especially helpful here at The Skwib, since many of its readers come from other parts of the world. You may want to read Part One, about Canadian history, first:

Six: Hockey

Baby with hockey stickIf you are familiar with Canada, you may have heard something about hockey — or ice hockey, as it is known in countries where other, sissified forms of hockey are more popular. Hockey is quite possibly the most important thing in Canadian culture. Did you know that most Canadians emerge from the womb clutching a tiny hockey stick? Did you also know that infants who do not have a hockey stick when they are born are given one by the National Hockey Commission? It’s true. (Though quite often the Canadian babies born without hockey sticks must have it duct-taped to their tiny fists.) Hockey was invented by Canada’s first PM, John A. “The Madman” Macdonald and his Association of Really Ripped Gentlemen (ARRG) in 1847 (the same year the Canadian parliament was built in Ottawa). Hockey permeates Canadian society the way that guns permeate US culture. When there is no ice to play on, Canadians make do with roads, sidewalks and abandoned tennis courts to play their favorite game. There are probably about 29-million people playing hockey right now in Canada. (The other four million are either too infirm or too drunk to play, or they are part of the small percentage of selfless Canadians who keep our various hockey-supporting infrastructures serviced, including the universal hockey injury health service, the power grid, and of course, the lumberjacks who chop down the trees we use in the creation of hockey sticks.)

Seven: Timmys

Tim Hortons coffee cupAlmost as important as hockey, Timmys, or Tim Hortons, is Canada’s national coffee chain. (It may be no surprise to learn that Tim Horton was a legendary hockey star, capable of decapitating his opponents with one slash of his razor-sharp hockey stick.) Timmys is best known for its highly addictive coffee, made from the distilled sweat of NHL hockey players, ultra-caffeine, phenylcyclohexylpiperidine (rocket fuel), and one supposes some form of coffee bean, though the dark coloring may be provided by some kind of cocaine-based food dye. Timmys coffee is powerful enough to wake even a thoroughly hung-over hockey dad at 4 am, as he attempts to deliver his hockey-addled progeny to a 5 am practice.

Eight: International Stars

Pamela Anderson in hey-dayYou may not realize this, but one of Canada’s major exports is international stars. In fact, fully 63.2% of our Gross Domestic Product is the result of remittances from our international stars. What stars am I talking about? Well, the Department of International Entertainer Breeding has been most successful at creating three kinds of super stars:

  • female singers:(Celine Dion, Joni Mitchell, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette, Shania Twain, Justin Beiber … etc.
  • comics: Dan Akroyd, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Howie Mandel, Lorne Michaels, most of Second City, the Kids in the Hall … etc.
  • actors: Michael J Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Seth Rogan etc.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for this, but really, what choice do we have? We would go broke without them. Though we really are very, very sorry about Celine.

Nine: The CBC

CBC logoMany of you may have heard of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is purportedly Canada’s national broadcaster, running services in both English and French; the CBC has television and radio stations across the country. This, is, of course, a front. In fact, the CBC are highly trained cadre of scientists, weapon-specialists, and blade-wielding warriors who keep Canada safe from another outbreak of zombies. (This is always a danger, particularly in the summer months after the NHL hockey season is over, when Canadian men, in particular, are prone to fits of zombie-ism.) Without the brave and tireless work of the CBC, Canada would have long been overrun by zombies. Even so, some taxpayers think it would be nice not to have to pay for CBC TV.

Ten: William Shatner

William Shatner is a national treasure, so he gets his own category. It is just a matter of time until we have a National Holiday named after him. (Personally, I think we should have some kind of break in February.)

Here is some classic “stylings” of Bill, performing Rocketman:
YouTube Preview Image

And here is Bill’s send up of the I AM CANADIAN rant:
YouTube Preview Image

Part One: History

The FridgularityKick off your summer holidays with a fun summer read. Right now you can get the paperback of The Fridgularity for 25% off, if you buy it direct from Monkeyjoy Press. Use coupon code: BE3H5AJV. Available in all formats in all the usual places online :

Paperback ($15.99)
Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble Amazon.ca

Ebooks ($4.95)
Kindle | Smashwords | Kobo | Nook | iTunes

Alltop is an honourary Canadian. Originally published June, 2009, and now a part of my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures. Thanks to Iragerich for the baby-hockey evidence, Loimere for the Timmys cup, UltimateGraphics for the Pammy pic.

Note: we may have different interpretations of what the word “indisputable” means.

Great Canadian TV Trivia – The Littlest Hobo

a pig on the beach with sunset

The Littlest Hobo original cast and theme song did not test especially well.

There’s a voice that keeps on calling me
Down the road is where I’ll always be

Every stop I make, I’ll make a new friend
Can’t stay for long, I see the sausage casings
and I’m gone again.

Maybe tomorrow, they won’t slaughter me,
Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep moving on.

Here’s the intro from the second pilot:

Alltop is the bacon of humor aggregators.

Jesussic Park

Jesussic ParkJesus was visiting a lost valley that was reputed to hold a few holy men who separated themselves from the rest of the world so they could better understand the nature of God. He was hoping to talk to them alone, but he’d made the mistake of healing a few of the sick (he couldn’t remember if they were lepers, blind or tone-deaf cantors) in the town nearby.

So instead of a quick Messiah-to-Hermit conference, he’d accumulated a large crowd.

“What do you think we should do, Oh Son of God?” Peter asked Jesus. (Peter was always kissing his ass.)

“I don’t know, why don’t we try the Beatitudes? It always does well with an outdoor crowd. Remember how it killed on the mountain?”

Peter nodded. Unctuous as ever.

So Jesus climbed a large boulder, so the crowd could see him. They’d stopped in some tall grass just inside the entrance to the valley.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Jesus began, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

He paused dramatically, because the next one always got them where they lived: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

You could feel the ripple of excitement at that thought shiver through the crowd.

Or was it something else?

The tall grass separated in a dozen places, and suddenly, there were screams of horror and agony as they were pulled down.

“Dragons!” somebody in the crowd shouted.

“Save us from the dragons, O Messiah!”

Just then, one of the dragons — actually a velociraptor, a predatory dinosaur about the size of a turkey — appeared at the bottom of the boulder where Jesus had been Beatituding.

“Stay away from my flock!” Jesus commanded the dinosaur.

It ignored him and proceeded to jump on Peter, who was screaming hysterically; the fifty-pound dinosaur then used its powerful, razor-sharp second claw to rip open the Apostle’s stomach. It’s sharp teeth chomped on Peter’s neck.

Jesus had always thought that Peter was a bit of a brown-noser, but he did not like seeing the fisherman disemboweled. He jumped off his boulder, grabbed up his staff, and brought it down on the velociraptor’s head as it gnawed on Peter.

Jesus smashed its skull with the blow.

“Blessed are those who crush the skulls of the dragons, for they shall save their neighbors!” Jesus shouted.

The assembled believers took this one to heart — even more than that excellent meekness promise — and proceeded to defend themselves from the small dinosaurs. The velociraptors grabbed what pieces of the believers they could and ran away.

Judas appeared, his sword drawn and dripping with blood. Father, I hope that’s raptor blood, Jesus thought.

“Those things are pretty easy to kill Jesus, but what the hell are they?”

“Creatures that we thought had been eradicated by the Flood. They must have survived in this lost valley,” the Saviour said.

“Well, I think we should leave. What if there are bigger Dragons?” Judas said.

“O Master,” Luke said, “can you heal the wounded? Raise those consumed by the Beasts?”

“Not now,” Jesus said. “I used up all my spell points this morning on the lepers, or were they blind?”

“No, they were off-key priests, O Messiah,” Simon said. “It was a blessed relief.”

“Shit, look at Peter,” Judas said. “What a fucking mess!”

“Language!” Jesus admonished. “I’m afraid I won’t be able to raise him until tomorrow,” Jesus explained.

“But why O Messiah?” Mark asked.

“Spell points. Haven’t you been listening,” Jesus said to Mark. Father, why did you make him so thick? “I shall raise him from the dead tomorrow, when I have my daily power back.”

“Really? After what happened to Lazarus?” Judas asked. “I wouldn’t. That fucker is just disturbing now.”

Jesus rubbed his temple. Judas and his potty-mouth.

“I mean, Peter is bit creepy to start with, but give him a day in the underworld, and, well, is it a good idea to raise him at all?” Judas suggested.

Jesus ignored the obvious power-play by Judas. The crowd had gathered around the Messiah and his Apostles. Only a few had been killed by the dinosaurs, but they were worried about them coming back.

“We shall take him with us, and visit the holy men later,” Jesus decided. “Let us leave this lost valley. Blessed are the wise, for discretion is the better part of valor.”

The crowd murmured in agreement.

Then the T-Rex smelled the blood, and trumpeted its hideous, terrifying hunting call.

“Blessed are the swift of foot,” Jesus said, “for they shall not be eaten.”

“But I’m lame!” shouted someone in the crowd.

“I’ve got a bad limp.”

“I’ve lost my sandals.”

The ground shook. People held their ears as the nearby hunting call hit 130 decibels. The 40-foot, 7-ton carnivore appeared, its savage head low as it ran through the grass.

The Believers unable to run from the creature looked at Jesus expectantly.

“Spell points!” the Saviour shouted, “don’t you get it?”

Clearly they did not, so he said: “Blessed are the lame and those without quality footwear for they shall see the Kingdom of Heaven.”

And then he ran.

The End

Alltop loves a good bit of turkey. Dedicated to Michael Crichton: and thanks for all the dinosaurs. Author’s Note: This story may seem to be quite far-fetched, but if you accept the Creationist viewpoint, then it is possible that Jesus may have walked with the dinosaurs. (Assuming some had survived the Biblical extinction event, the Flood.) If you find that notion silly, then you may also enjoy this YouTube clip of Eddy Izzard’s bit on Jesus versus the dinosaurs. Other fast-moving lizards include Alltop. Originally published in 2008.

Enjoy this story? Check out my second novel, Marvellous Hairy, which has a whole part devoted to The Lizard’s Pleasure.