…later, he got a half pound of salmon as a reward
The Doclopedia #451
The Alphabet, Again: T is for…Toads From Hell
First off, the giant toads that ravaged the English countryside in 1897 were not actually from Hell. They were from the laboratory of Doctor Hewitt Leverson, a mad scientist who specialized in biology. Never a big fan of Steam Age technology and what it was doing to the environment, the doctor decided to set loose some toads that he had treated with a miracle growth hormone. That would teach people a thing or two!
According to the notes found in his abandoned home, Leverson anticipated that the toads would stop growing at about the 100 pound size. In fact, the smallest toad killed by the army weighed 900 pounds. Most of the Toads from Hell, as the newspapers called them, weighed at least twice that much. The largest weighed 2,600 pounds and had eaten a farmer shortly before it was killed.
The toads rapidly spread out from Leverson’s lab and began mating. Incubation and growth took place at an accelerated rate and soon there were thousands of giant toads ravaging the countryside from Plymouth in the south to Nottingham in the north and from Canterbury in the east to Wales in the west. The military was called out to eradicate the monsters, which the did using both ground troops and airships, but it took several months, during which 372 people died. The losses to livestock and pets was staggering.
Even though the vast majority of giant toads were destroyed by the fall of 1897, there were still many that hibernated and caused trouble in 1898. In fact, giant toads were still being killed as late as June, 1920, when a 1,200 pounder was killed near Bath.
Dr. Leverson was never brought to justice for his crime and even managed to cause more trouble in 1914 with the release of several giant stoats into downtown London. Fortunately for the world, he appears to have been eaten by a giant house cat in 1919.
The Doclopedia #452
The Alphabet, Again: T is for…Twang, Arkansas
The tiny town of Twang, Arkansas, is one of those special places known as a Weirdness Magnet. That means that is something screwy is going to take place, it will probably take place there. A few examples…
On August 4, 1936, an alien spacecraft landed just outside town near the Baptist church. Three aliens got out of the craft and took the tires off of Reverend Miller’s 1930 Ford truck, then took off in their craft, tires and all. Mrs. Miller had to be treated for nerves and Hank Tatterfield, the local handyman took to drinking.
In the spring of 1943, all of the dead rose from the town cemetery. However, instead of attacking the living, most of them just sort of wandered around until they started falling apart a couple of days later. The rest wandered down to Crystal Creek and pretended to go fishing.
Sometime in 1957, Oggie Perd’s dog, Samson, learned how to talk and ride a bicycle. After talking to just about everybody in town, he stole Gary Falker’s new three speed bike and rode out of town, never to be seen again. This was fine by most folks, since Samson was “kinda uppity and maybe a Communist”.
Late in 1980, more aliens landed in the town square and totally disrupted the Thanksgiving Festival. After a few hours, they bought 5 berry pies from the Lady’s Auxiliary pie booth and then went back out into space.
On the 4th of July, 1991, Jed Norman and Evadell Price both vanished without a trace while everyone else was watching the watermelon seed spitting contest. This was not actually a weird happening, they just ran off together to California, where Jed’s cousin Emmett ran a body & fender shop.
The Doclopedia #453
The Alphabet, Again: U is for…Ugly Water
One of the worst acts of product tampering ever took place at the very exclusive “Perfection” resort on opening day. All of the rich and beautiful people were there and most of them at some point drank some “Heaven Water”, the latest fad in bottled water. What they did not know is that the water had been treated with a cocktail of mutagens and genetically modified DNA. 48 hours later, everybody who had even so much as sipped the water was horribly ugly. We’re talking really ugly here…like, even your mama wouldn’t love you ugly. Pork chop hanging on your neck before your dog will play with you ugly. U…G…L…Y…you ain’t got no alibi ugly.
Naturally, all of those ugly people sought out medical help from plastic surgeons. Nothing worked, because the tampered DNA was part of them now. Several of the formerly beautiful committed suicide and many others went into seclusion. Sales of bottled water pretty much stopped, especially when similar events in New York, Paris, Milan, Dubai and Tokyo occurred. The culprits behind these acts of terrorism were never captured.