Time Travel Sucks

Nothing worse than the hoseIf you asked him, Bertie could never really tell you what he disliked most about time travel.

Obviously, having to arrive in each new era stark naked was not the most pleasant experience. It usually meant having at least a few embarrassing moments (though it could occasionally have its upsides, such as the time he dimensionally slipped into that alternate reality where women had the same psychosexual visual response to nudity the way that men did in his reality . . .)

He was bothered that he could not change anything. He’d taken Causality 101 in college, and was fully conversant with the Heisenberg-Lurie equations relating to the Novikov self-consistency principle. He’d even tested this idea by trying to kill Hitler. (Every first-year time traveler tries to kill Hitler at least a couple of times.) Yes, not being able to alter history bothered him.

Then there was the HOSE. He hated the HOSE.

Alltop considers itself a hoser. Thanks to Whatsthatpicture for the historical snap. Originally published in 2007.

A Reluctant Emcee

One of the Ab's brothers

The stun bolt struck near me, and I was flying through the air. My hair crackled with static electricity. My vision went red. Quite possibly I soiled my expensive trousers. Did any of that worry me? No, I had much bigger problems. My brothers were coming back to town for the wedding.

I’d been dreading both events. Their inevitable return, and the marriage of Josh and Mary. Just as inevitable: the lovebirds’ request to have me, the Right Honorable Member of Parliament for Middlesex County, Ab Durer, as master of ceremonies.

I loathe the role of emcee. And my friends always ask me to do it.

Earlier that week, I’d foolishly complained to my brother Warren about emceeing again; he’d looked particularly scary in a suit of plate mail he always “wore” in the datasphere. An affectation, but it had plenty of impact.

“Well, why don’t me and the other brothers come?” he’d said.

“Uh. I’m not sure how good an idea that is,” I had said.

“Sure! It’s been ages since we saw you. Fabian and Petrovich have been pretty busy in Central America, but me and Deeter can convince them to come up.”

“No, I really don’t think you should. You’re not invited.”

“Hey!” shouted Warren, “we’re never invited. Just suck it up. We’re going to be there. Besides, Albrecht,” he said — emphasizing the “brecht”, just the way I’ve always hated it —”we have something to tell you.”

It had taken me a while to work up the courage to let Josh and Mary know that all four were planning to attend. Mary had burst into tears, and Josh confided, “You know, I thought this relationship was just going to be the end of my bachelorhood, not the end of everything.”

I’d laughed and mumbled something about the boys being much more mellow since they’d left high school. You had to admire the couple’s pluck. They made contingency plans, booking a full riot squad for the reception, buying doses of the best nanobiotics money could buy, and hiring Freeze-A-Head, “in case” of fatalities.

I felt so bad that I actually gave them my speech to vet, though I figured we would never get through the wedding, let alone the speeches. I was kind of torn on that. I hate emceeing — blathering into a holo-mic so that the relatives and friends attending remotely can enjoy the syrupy sentiments. And while everyone else whiffs up jazzy nanocaines and quaffs copious amounts of Old Nurberg’s Pink Ale (those who like it like it enough to go blind), I have to abstain.

On the other hand, did I really want to see my brothers back in town, just to avoid sobriety?

But I should get back to the stun bolts, and my electric fandango as I flew through the air, shouldn’t I?

°°°
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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:

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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.

Leonides and the papier-mâché spatula

lady wakes up to discover she's a velocoraptor

Gregorina awoke that morning feeling stranger than usual. She’d had vivid dreams of ravaging Leonides, their local butcher, with his own meat tenderizer.

In the dream – or perhaps it would do her good to think of it as a nightmare – Leonides seemed to enjoy the beginning of his beating, but when he realized it was not an overture to a more gentle form of lovemaking, and in fact, the beginning of the end of his life, he cried out in existential anguish: "Oh no! Not with the mallet I use to prepare scaloppini, not such an ignominious and ironic end for poor Leonides!" (Clearly, Gregorina’s unconscious suspected that Leonides had taken an English degree before learning a more useful trade.)

As she dressed, Gregorina could not shake the image of the butcher’s terror, spurting blood, and excellent prices on Bavarian blutwurst.

And all day, she kept having to floss.

summer reading sale: use coupon code: BE3H5AJV
use coupon code: BE3H5AJV

Just in time for summer, you can get three of my paperbacks for 25% off! Choose from The Fridgularity , Marvellous Hairy, The Amadeus Netor my collection of short stuff, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures. Just use coupon code BE3H5AJV.

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Alltop loves weird couponing.