Archive | Odd Science

The Trustworthiness of Beards

Trustworthiness of beardsFinally, a new advance in the Beard Sciences! Here at the Institute of the Hirsute, we applaud this initiative.

This exhaustive study of trustworthiness, vis-a-vis a gentlemen’s hair foliage, will help generations better understand who they’re dealing with. (Click the image on the left to see the full spectrum of beard/trustworthiness.)

I would like to note one area where this study has made, what I believe, to be an error. Of course, I’m talking about the Stalin’s Moustache paradigm. Please note the shape of Stalin’s moustache, and then map it on the trustworthiness scale. As you can see, it is clearly falling somewhere between the Full Moustache (aka The Wilfred Brimley) and the Cop Moustache (aka The Burt Reynolds, aka, The Fireman), which both fall into the Mildly Trustworthy category. Stalins' moustacheI note a very slight, almost impossible to detect upturning of Stalin’s moustache, which may lead one to place it slightly towards the Handlebar (Questionable), and would like to propose that the Stalin have it’s own place in the scale. Based on the purges, his ruthlessness, and general history, somewhere between Dangerous and Disastrous.

In all other regards, though, this new Chin Covering Spectrum is an extremely important tool for those of us in the Beard Sciences.


Check out some hairy reads here …

Alltop is sporting some Mutton Chops, but we think it’s okay.

A Traditional ‘Christmas’ at the Tundra Household

Roast turkey with skull & crossbonesDr. Maximilian Tundra was heading home again for the holidays, dread clutching his heart like an iron fist. He’d managed to avoid Thanksgiving, but there was no escape from The Feast.

The Feast, as it was known amongst Clan Tundra, was a toxic stew of carbs, fats, and pharmaceuticals that had a tendency to drive the family bonkers.

Not that they weren’t certifiable to begin with.

Dr. Tundra’s sister, Eugenie, was a brilliant “installation” artist, who was nevertheless, seriously bi-polar. His younger twin brothers, Xavier and Xenophon, had never really recovered from their childhood “incident” — as the family called it — following a plane crash in the Andes. His Da, Dr. Halvard Hemming Tundra, seemed perfectly normal; of course, the Great Danger of attending the Feast was that Dr. H. H. Tundra didn’t attend, and that he sent his doppelganger, Mr. Angry McBucktooth in his stead. His Mum, Beatrice Pelagia Tundra (nee Sweeney) was in denial, but otherwise safe to be around.

And that was just the nuclear family. Getting the extended clan together required a number of court orders, insurance waivers and to be on the safe side, Da usually hired off-duty members of the SWAT to patrol the grounds.

Perhaps it was for that reason, or perhaps it was the family’s iconoclastic nature, but The Feast was never celebrated on Christmas. It always happened on the Solstice.

The darkest day of the year. Of course, it also marked the start of days getting brighter and brighter. The rebirth of the sun, his Da called it. But when it came to the holiday, his family and The Feast, Dr. Tundra was definitely a glass-is-half-empty kind of guy.

The policeman checked his ID, and waved him past the checkpoint, a set of gates loomed ahead, which would let him into the Tundra compound. A high fence, razor wire atop, surrounded the area. Guards and German shepherds patrolled the grounds, checking the fenceline for weak points.

It would do no good. It never did.

He parked, put on his flak jacket and entered the Tundra mansion. The smell of roasting turkey and peyote stuffing filled the house, and Dr. Tundra shuddered.

An outside observer would wonder if that was a shudder of anticipation, excitement, or perhaps the thrill of visceral familiarity that we get when we return to our childhood places.

But no, it was dread.

Alltop freebases its turkey. The reasons why festive feasting can cause family fracases.. Thanks to ckirkman for the turkey pic. Originally published December 2005.

An Outraged Diner Emails the In-Vitro Café

Beaker meat with face of Marcel DuChampsFrom:
Subject: Suing your restaurant

Dear Proprietor,

My wife and I managed to get a table at the grand opening of your establishment last night, and we regret our effort.

We are both conscientious eaters, so the idea of dining on in-vitro meat that was grown in a lab appealed to us. We believe that no creature should be slaughtered for our own pleasure, so we have not eaten meat for years. In short, we were thrilled to hear about your new enterprise and we wanted to support it. Even the high price tag and “mysterious” nature of your menu could not put us off.

We were not even dissuaded by having to sign a non-disclosure agreement before dining.

The menu — which I will get back to in a minute — was quite delightful.


The celebrity-named dishes were whimsical and amusing. I was quite tickled by your dish called Six Cream Cheese of Kevin Bacon, ostensibly an entrée with lots of cream cheese and mock bacon, while my wife was charmed by Lady Gaga’s Crazy Legs — some kind of ersatz chicken drumstick recipe.

That was, until we learned these were not, in fact, Frankenpork and tank poultry we were eating, but the cloned meat of the actual celebrities themselves.

You seemed quick shocked when a number of your clientele regurgitated their Muscles from Brussels (I now understand that was not a typo), or their Jack Lemmon Meringue Pie, or whatever they had ordered from your ill-conceived and possibly illegal menu.

You should have expected it.

I will concede my Angel Hair Pasta, Con Angelina Jolie was delicious. I thought I was ordering a kitschy-sounding entrée, and I did not believe for a minute I would actually be consuming the meat from said actress. Yes, she was delicious, not only in the visual sense, but also to the taste. There was a lingering sweetness to the dish, and you did something quite remarkable with the sauce. But that is beside the point; I was tricked into eating another human being!

I’m sure there will be a certain segment of the population that will enjoy consuming their favorite celebrities, and not just in the metaphorical sense that we do now. In fact, given our culture’s obsession with fame, I predict your enterprise will be quite successful. And this is to say nothing of the deviant souls who will spice up their night out with the ultimate taboo, without the fear of legal repercussions.

You, however, can look forward to a prolonged entanglement in the courts.

Even though your menu does not serve actual human flesh, but rather, tissue grown in a lab, it is still, in the opinion of my wife, myself and my attorneys, cannibalism. How you ever managed to get the local health authority to allow anthropophagy in a licensed establishment, I will never know, but rest assured, this issue is one of the avenues my legal team will be pursuing.

And though he is infamous, I don’t know what you were thinking when you put the Hitler Fusion Stir Fry on your misguided bill of fare.

That, sir, is just offensive!


P.S. We left before I had a chance to try the Marcel DuChamp Banana Flambé, but I am curious, how does one cook a Dadaist for dessert?


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Alltop loves a little frankenpork. Originally published by Defenestration Literary Magazine, 2010.