The Adventure Of The Laughing Loon

…as told be John H. Watson, MD

HAHAHAHAHA! I’m done…DONE I SAY…with my second use of the alphabet as a Doclopedia theme! Behold, puny humans, the final three entries! I am free, FREE to…well, do shorter themes, you can bet your ass on that. In other news, after 77 posts on one theme, my webmistress/wife, who threatened my life after I did the 50 United States, will no doubt snap and kill me.

The Doclopedia #468

The Alphabet, Again: Z is for…Zoo World

Zoo World is exactly what the name implies: an entire Earth sized planet terraformed into a zoo for Terran animal life. In fact, each continent and large island is set up with zones for creatures from both the Modern Era and the Pliocene/Pleistocene Era. Security, both to keep areas separated and to protect visitors, is some of the best in the galaxy and quintuple redundant. All interactions with the animals by humans or aliens is strictly forbidden. If some interaction is required, it is handled by Mark IX androids.

At any time, there can be no more than 50,000 visitors to Zoo World and they all stay in the two polar hotels, both of which are deep underground. Tours of the planet are conducted in omnicraft equipped with full military grade cloaking units. A seven day tour package for a family of four includes luxury suites, gourmet meals and guided tours of 5 land areas and 2 undersea areas. Please note that if you want to see dinosaurs, you want to go to DinoWorld or DinoWorld 2.

The Doclopedia #469

The Alphabet, Again: Z is for…Zufalutangak

Are you insane, white man? We do not speak of Zufalutangak out loud and in the open! To do so is to invite terrible trouble and destruction of everything for miles around!

The Great Beast Who Always Hungers has hearing far better than even wolves and can smell those who do not fear him. He can see even in darkest night or densest fog. The coldest winter or the hottest desert day are as nothing to him. He hungers for the flesh of the fearless, white man, and when he finds it, he feasts until there is nothing left.

You smile, white man, but when he comes for you and your friends, you will not smile. You will run and scream and perhaps try to shoot him with your guns. It will not matter, because he is many times the size of a man and cannot be killed.

So be quiet and respectful, white man, or be dead sooner than later.

The Doclopedia #470

The Alphabet, Again: Z is for…Zip Zipronofsky

Arthur Randall “Zip” Zipronofsky was perfectly satisfied being known as “The Golden Voice of the Northern Prairie” when he worked out of KDUK, the powerful radio station in Bismark, North Dakota. He was not only the morning news/talk host, but the most popular sports announcer in 5 states, handling everything from baseball to curling. And then aliens from Mars landed in a cornfield and shot his career all to hell.

It was late June of 1958 and Zip was interviewing several corn farmers about what looked to be a bumper crop. He was on location near the South Dakota border and had just asked the men about the weather predictions for the summer, when they all saw the UFO come out of the western sky and land not 500 feet away from them.

After overcoming the initial shock, Zip and his camera crew started filming the spacecraft. As the door opened, Zip was talking a mile a minute, a speed that picked up considerably when the first 4 foot tall little green man stepped out and said hello to him.

Over the next twenty minutes, Zip interviewed the Martians about everything he could think of. Turned out, they were friendly little folks and just stopped by to invite humans to Mars for a visit. Once Zip and his crew ran out of film, the Martians bid them goodbye and took off. A few minutes later, Zip and company were on the road at great speed, just barely getting out of there ahead of the Air Force.

Back at the station, Zip had them stop the “Afternoon Movie with Don Sigerson”, and play the raw footage from his close encounter. The station manager and the owner were amazed and saw dollar signs from this, so they immediately made copies of parts of the interview and sent them out to all of the big network affiliates. Before the military or government could stop it, the news that we were not alone in the universe went worldwide. And, of course, any television station wanting the full interview would certainly pay for the privilege.

For the next year and a half, Zip became That Guy Who Interviewed The Martians. Oh, he made lots of money off the interviews (well, except for the interminable military and CIA interviews) and his book “Messages From Mars” and from the movie starring Rock Hudson, but nobody wanted to hear him talk about anything but the goddamn Martians. Even worse, just as he was about to stop giving interviews, the Martians came back, landing 17 ships in 17 major cities and staying for three days and giving dozens of interviews in each city and then Zip was old news and couldn’t have gotten an interview if he’d pissed on the President’s leg on the Fourth of July. Even worse, Zip could not go back to his former job because he was “too famous”. After carefully considering drinking himself to death or maybe becoming a monk, Zip arrived at a much better solution.

He liquidated all of his assets, wrote a long rambling suicide note and then faked his own death, supposedly by jumping into one of the Great Lakes wearing 200 pounds of chains. Several thousand dollars, three successive false identities, some plastic surgery, a new accent and a bunch of moving around and he was a new man.

In 1965, “Big” Dan Daniels debuted on KZOW, channel 8 in San Francisco as the prime time news sports guy. He quickly became very popular and went on to become a beloved anchorman. Oddly, he always refused to interview any Martians that came to town.

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