Rabbi Bob Goes On A Road Trip With A Turtle

…and two strippers from North Beach

 

The Doclopedia #948

Pie!: Chicken Pot Pie

Ah yes, a most delicious chicken pot pie, don’t you agree? Branwell, please convey our pleasure with dinner to Mrs. Zelogny. And ask Walton to set out the reserve brandy.

Now, my friends, let us adjourn to my workshop where I shall fulfill my promise for this evening by showing you my Temporal Conveyance Engine. Using it, we shall open a passage between our own year of 1891 AD and the year 1056 BC. I believe you will find it most enlightening.

Why of course, Nigel, I can have Mrs. Zelogny pack up a pot pie for my bachelor brother! Now, as for why the year 1056 BC was chosen, it all has to do with certain temporal weaknesses inherent to these grounds…”

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The Doclopedia #949

Pie!: Ollywox Pie

Today on Cooking For Gorvoons we’ll be making Ollywox Pie, a worldwide favorite that originated in the Zarinar Republic several centuries ago and quickly spread during the Jarib Uprising. The big secret to making a great Ollywox Pie is a light flaky crust and very ripe ollywox fruits. By very ripe, we mean extremely soft and squishy. The best way to insure this level of ripeness is to purchase the fruits green, then put them in a warm dark place for a couple of moon phases. Now, as for the crust, you’ll want to use good flour and cold cubes of Tarfu Lard…”

Bubblegum In The Microwave

…an ill advised experiment

A long post today, Gentle Readers.

The Doclopedia #947

Pie!: Lemon Meringue Pie

It was 12:15 on Saturday, May 22, 1966 that Porky Patterson’s mother put a nice fresh lemon meringue pie in the fridge for dinner. At 12:45, she left to go visit Porky’s Aunt Hilda on the other side of town, leaving Porky alone in the house with the pie. Had his dad or siblings been home, he would have never gotten into the fix he did, but his dad and older brother were off fishing, his older sister was out shopping and his two younger sisters were at a birthday party. So it was just Porky and that pie. That lovely, delicious pie.

As you might imagine from his nickname, Porky liked food the way a sailor likes the sea. It called to him and he went to it. So it was with the pie. By 1:30, Porky could resist the siren song no longer, even though he knew his mom would skin him alive if he ate any of the pie. After maybe two minutes, he decided to cut a narrow slice of pie from exactly in the center, a long narrow strip of pie from one side to the other. He figured that then he could just push the sides together and nobody would be the wiser. Now, that might have worked if he had made the slice a quarter of an inch wide, but Porky cut it more like a full inch. This meant that when he pushed the halves together, the formerly round pie was now more of an oval.

In true Porky Patterson style, he then panicked and formulated a plan that was risky at best and doomed to spectacular failure at worst. Had any of his buddies been around, they would have put their money on the latter.

Stopping only long enough to raid his secret stash of birthday money, he left the house as fast as his 10 year old legs would carry him, jumped on his trusty bike and started pedaling to the bakery over on Main and Third where he planned on buying a replacement pie. Time was of the essence, since his mom would be home by 3:00 to go get his little sisters from the party down the street, then start dinner. If she saw her pie, Porky would be a dead man.

Now, the Patterson family lived on the west side of town, which was up in the hills and about 5 miles from the bakery. Getting there would not take Porky too long, but pedaling his pudgy self back up the hills would take up valuable time, so he decided to shave minutes off the downhill ride by going down Suicide Hill.

Known to everybody but the bicycle riding children of the town as Hanford’s Hill, it was a 3 mile long stretch of mostly woods on a very steep grade. Several trails ran though the woods, but the widest and most straight ran from top to bottom and ended at Pine Street about a mile from the bakery. The trail was fairly smooth, but crazy steep and you never knew when you’d find a rock or tree limb or species of wildlife in your way. Local kid legend had it that the last person to make it safely from top to bottom on Suicide Hill was Brian Hobbles, way back in the spring of 1955. Even then, they said, he was afraid to ride a bike downhill for years.

So Porky’s fear of his mom trumped his fear of Suicide Hill and down he went. By the time he’d gone 100 yards, he was doing about 60 miles an hour and screaming at the top of his lungs. His screams only got louder when he realized that recent light rains had made the trail slick and it was all he could do to keep the bike from sliding sideways. He passed a couple of kids that were out for a hike and later, they would relate to others how wide Porky could open his mouth to scream. Mention was also made of how his eyes looked eerily like car headlight, they were so open.

About halfway down the hill and still screaming, Porky encountered a cow, most likely belonging to Mr. & Mrs Duglemann who had a small farm on the less steep part of the hill. In the three seconds he had to make a decision, Porky opted to go off to the right, forsaking the trail and an impact with a Holstein heifer. Of course, going off the trail upped the Danger Factor to about 1,000, which Porky soon realized as he plowed through high weeds and several small bushes that scratched him and filled his clothing with various types of stickers.

As he came out into shorter grass and could devote more time to avoiding fatal impact with trees, the terrified boy began steering back towards the trail. This took great concentration, which is why he did not see the skunk. Unfortunately, the skunk did see him and even though the bike never touched it, the skunk released what skunks release. The effect upon Porky was immediate, since he went from screaming to gagging and coughing. Even so, he made it back onto the trail at about 50 miles an hour.

Of course, the latter half of the trail was also the steepest part and also the part that crossed the most other trails, so it was probably inevitable that he would meet up with other humans and animals. The first of these were the Richards brothers and their four huge Dobermans. Porky barely missed hitting Olaf Richards and that pissed off the dogs who then started chasing him. Going down that steep hill as they were, the dogs made good time and were less than a yard behind the bike. At that point, Porky found his ability to scream had returned.

A couple of minutes later, the trail went under a low hanging tree branch. Porky ducked, which kept him from getting hit, but did not keep a large cat from falling off the limb onto his back. Given the speed at which he was now moving and the pack of dogs behind them, the wise feline decided to dig in his claws and hold on. Just for good measure, he added his own yowls to Porky’s screams of terror and, now, pain.

Soon, Porky saw Pine Street in the distance and was hoping the dogs would stop following him then. The cat would have to wait until he could stop. He was beginning to think he would survive Suicide Hill after all when he saw Susan Leems step out onto the trail in front of him.

Susan, a pretty young lass of 12 years old, had been cutting across Suicide Hill on her way home from her regular Saturday art class at the YWCA. In one hand she carried a bag full of containers of paint and in the other, she held her 5 year old Dachshund, Fritz. Fritz was well known around town as liking absolutely nobody but Susan. He had bitten a couple of dozen people and was roundly hated by humans and other dogs. Actually, aside from Susan, pretty much every other mammal in town hated the surly little bastard.

As Susan turned to scream at the approaching Porky, she threw her bag of paints into the air. Porky swerved to miss her, but got pelted by several pots of paint. He, the cat and the bike were now quite gaily colored, not that any of them cared.

Susan was falling backwards now and Fritz, seeing both a human and a cat he could terrorize, made a mighty leap that put him right into the handlebar mounted basket of the bike. About a minute later, holding a snarling weinerdog in one hand to avoid getting bitten and his handlebars in the other, Porky entered Pine Street at roughly 55 miles an hour. Since Pine Street started at the bottom of Suicide Hill, there was no immediate cross traffic. There were, however, many people outside on a nice weekend day to see a multicolored boy wearing shredded clothing and a crazed cat on his back as he rocketed past on his bicycle while being chased by a pack of dogs. Nobody much cared about the part where it looked like he was strangling Fritz.

After flying through about four intersections and causing at least three fender benders, the Dobermans stopped chasing Porky. Sadly, they were quickly replaced by a couple of police cars, one of which was telling Porky to pull over and stop. Being a law abiding kid, Porky tried to stop, but it soon became apparent that wet paint or mud or cat urine had made his tires too slippery for his brakes to grab onto. He was going to tell this to the cops who pulled up on his left side, but it was at that moment that Fritz broke free of his grasp and chomped down on his left hand. With a yell, Porky began waving his arm, trying to break free of Fritz. He was successful, but at the cost of actually tossing the vicious little hound into the open window of the cop car, where Fritz landed unharmed on the front seat between Sgt, Foley and Officer Zims. With no respect for the law, Fritz went on the attack, causing the car to swerve off into the rose garden in front of the town library, where it knocked over a sundial after uprooting a dozen rosebushes.

By now, Porky and the bike were doing less than 10 miles an hour and the cat decided to get off. With a sigh of relief, Porky headed up onto the sidewalk at Broadway and third, a mere two blocks from the bakery. He stopped right in front of the fabric store and collapsed as the policemen got out of their car to question him. They did this from several feet away because of the skunk stink. Porky was just babbling to them about lemon pies and Suicide Hill when his mother and Aunt Hilda came out of the fabric store and nearly tripped over him. At that point, Porky just gave up and asked Jesus to come take him.

Once he was cleaned off, washed until he was much less stinky and patched up by a doctor, Porky went home where his mother told him he would never get to eat pie again in her house and by golly he was going to go to church every Sunday and he could expect to be grounded for a month. Add to this the teasing by his siblings and Porky was doing hard time. He wished the police had arrested him instead of letting him go.

Speaking of the police, they informed the Leems family that if Fritz ever got loose again, they would ship him off to San Quentin.

Caution: Blogger May Be Intoxicated!

…heh, heh…”may” be…heh, heh

 

The Doclopedia #946

Pie!: Summerberry Pie

Oh my, now that hit the spot, that did. Nothing like a nice summerberry pie, is there? Puts me in mind of that time Kree, Sonk and I joined up with those elves and humans on that mad journey to find that wizard staff. Remember that, Kree? Oh my, we traveled so far east we were nearly heading west again! Met those fellows in that inn over in Bagtown, that one that burned down a few years back.

There we were, sitting and eating a spanking fine summerberry pie and drinking a beautiful honey ale, when this great hulking human asks us if we’d like to earn some money and do a bit of traveling. Sonk tell him we might, but what do three humans and three elves…and Red Elves at that…need with three gnomes? Well, the big man tells us they might well be needing some gnomish inventing and engineering when they go off to find the Staff of Heritivus, some high muckity wizard from 500 years ago. Well, being low on funds and hearing they have a Bag of Holding full of building materials & tools, we said that we would indeed accept their offer.

Well, boys, I’m telling you we fought all sorts of creatures, cast mighty spells, went from ruins to ruins, built three bridges, a battering ram, two catapults and a boat before we finally found that bleeding staff! Kree got his arm broken, I got turned to stone twice and Sonk lost half of his right ear. We got paid quite generously, but I’ll be dipped in dragon dung if I’ll ever go out adventuring again.

Now, let’s have another slice of pie and I’ll tell you about the time Tweg and Doolo tried to build a flying ship.”

Doc Tempest VS The Russian Robots

…from the July, 1956 issue

 

The Doclopedia #944

 Pie!: Sausage Pie

Here you go, folks, a nice hot sausage pie. Dig in, but mind that hot gravy. You know, the crust on this one really turned out nice. I think I might be learning how to cook. Heh heh heh.

Oh, I learned this recipe from an old Italian hunting dog, back when I was in the Canine Pup Scouts. He was helping us get our Tracking merit badges and we’d go way out in the woods to track everything from rabbits to bears. At days end, he’d cook up all sorts of tasty things, including a sausage pie like this one. Of course, his version was a good bit more rustic than this.

Those are sweet potatoes, ma’am. I swapped them in for the usual potatoes because they just taste so much better. Same thing with the addition of artichoke hearts. And you’ll notice I added herbs to the dough for extra flavor.

Don’t worry about not finishing. I’ll just give the table scraps to my human, Albert. He’s a good boy, but like all humans he’ll pass up his human food for a chance at dog food.

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The Doclopedia #945

Pie!: Coconut Cream Pie

The Great Mutation Outbreak of 1998 can be traced back to an apprentice baker in St. Louis, Missouri who came to work after a night of partying with his friends in an old chemical warehouse on the outskirts of town. Apparently, several random chemicals had found their way into his hair without him knowing it. These then got into 24 coconut cream pies that he baked.

All of the pies were sold early and 6 of them were taken to other parts of North America, including as far away as Quebec. Everybody who ate those pies found themselves mutating into a hideous monster over the next 48 hours. Worse yet, of course, was the fact that their bodies leaked out a clear liquid that had the same mutagenic effect. This got into water supplies and things got far worse in the next two weeks.

Fortunately, the chemicals broke down a few days after they entered the water, so the outbreak was confined to North America. Once the government had eradicated all of the mutants, things went back to normal.

The Mystery Of The Innocent Butler

…or was he?

Woohoo! New Doclopedia theme today and it all about Pie! Well, OK, pie and other stuff. But, you know, Pie!

The Doclopedia #943

Pie!: Blueberry Pie

Yes, ma’am, my partner and I was wondering if you’d have any odd jobs we could do in exchange for maybe a bite to eat of that blueberry pie you have coolin’ on the window and lettin’ us sleep down by that creek that cuts through your property. It’s been a dog’s age since we had homemade pie and that there one smells like heaven. We can do all sorts of stuff, ’cause unlike some guys ridin’ the rails, we ain’t got a fear of hard work.

Oh, no, ma’am, Pete don’t talk much anymore. See, when we was comin’ up back in Chigago, we run afoul of bootleggers back in ’26. They come real close to beatin’ us to death before that Shifter fella stopped ’em. Anyway, Pete got his throat hurt and now talkin’ is a chore for him.

Yes, Ma’am, we saw The Shifter right up close. He was tossin’ them bootleggers around like they was ragdolls, laughin’ all the while and tellin’ ’em to go back to their bosses with the word that crime had a new enemy in Chicago and he was it. After they was either dead or run off, he helped me and Pete into a big black car, then took us to a doctor that patched us up no charge and gave us five bucks each to boot! That Shifter fella is aces in my book, I tell ya.

Oh, why, thank you, Ma’am. Here ya go, Pete, warm blueberry pie. Mmmm Mmmm, this is delicious, Ma’am. Now, soon as we finish it, how about we split and stack that wood you got over yonder?”

This Blog Contains Zero Trans Fats

…and no high fructose corn syrup, either!

 

The Doclopedia #942

Islands Of The Circle Sea: Firzogny Island

Far up the Balgorz river, where it widens into Lake Firzogny, you’ll find Firzogny Island, a mountainous place with thick pine forests, rushing streams and only one small town. It’s a peaceful and relaxing place far away from the problems of civilization. Quite far, actually, since the nearest town of any size is 200 miles away and the nearest true city is over 300 miles past that. Truth to tell, there are many other places closer to home for most people to go relax and get back to nature.

So why come all the way to Firzogny Island? Fishing. You see, the many streams, rivers, ponds and lakes on the island are home to some of the rarest, most tasty and most challenging to catch fish on the planet. Fishermen have been known to travel 2,000 miles and spend big money to come here to fish for king trout, skarfish, hazoo and the rarest of all, the white alvod. The guides from the village lead parties of fisherman high into the mountains to pristine lakes or the best spots on streams. Some parties will travel the length of the island over a two week period.

On the island, all differences and animosities from the outside world are forgotten. Nobody is a king or wealthy merchant or admiral or pirate. Everybody is just a fisherman out to catch the big one.

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The Doclopedia #943

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Mox Islands

Four islands make up this group and all of them are dormant volcanoes. The largest island, Mox Veku, is 9 miles across. The smallest is, Mox Dolu, is 2 miles across and barely pokes up 170 feet above the waves. All four of the islands are within 2 miles of each other. Forests of short balbo trees cover all of the islands and no mammals or reptiles live here. Aside from the hundreds of species of birds that live here full or part time, the only other land species are sea frogs, who are found in huge numbers.

The main distinction of the Mox Islands is that they are the most remote islands on the planet, lying 1,700 miles from any other island and 2,500 miles from the mainland. Few ships have ever been there and nobody lives on any of the islands.

Not In This Issue: Richard Nixon, Steam Powered Bicycles or Zebra Finches

…we agonized over cutting the zebra finch article

 

The Doclopedia #940

Islands Of The Circle Sea: Black Dragon Island

Despite being located a mere 200 miles off the coast of the Corcoro Empire, this island is not claimed by the Corcorites or any other government. Nor will any ship not crewed by madmen get within 20 miles of it. As the old sailors say, “if ye can see Black Dragon Island, yer too damned close”.

The black dragon that rules the island is Tuwalunga and she is just the latest in her line, which stretches back well over 900 years. Like all black dragons, she is huge (300 feet from nose to tail tip), dangerous (she can breath both fire and a deadly poison gas) and not interested in meeting any creature unless it is to eat them. Any ship that comes too close to the island will be destroyed and the crew eaten. The only other dragons that get close to the place are the few males that come there during a rare breeding season. Most of them never get out alive.

The island itself is about twelve miles ling and five miles wide. It is mostly made up of high craggy volcanoes and narrow strips of beach. Many animals and birds live there, but none are larger than a housecat. Anything larger gets eaten.

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The Doclopedia #941

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Alandooro Archipelago

If there were ever a group of islands tailor made for pirates, it would be the 1,687 islands that make up the Alandooro Archipelago. Ranging in size from less that 100 yards across to 140 miles long by 78 miles wide, the islands also cover a range of climate zones from temperate to tropical due to the archipelago stretching over 1,800 miles from end to end. Many of these islands are quite close and the larger ones have easily navigable rivers. Such features give pirates many places to hide, which they do in large numbers at all times of the year.

The pirates are also aided in their hiding by the three kingdoms that make up the island group. To the north is Parland, home to fishermen, farmers and brewers extraordinaire. Parlanders are big friendly folks who don’t think much of the large empires and kingdoms. They do like pirates, whom they trade with and often marry their sons & daughters to. Most of the 400 islands that make up Parland are of the larger sort and they are typified by gentle rolling hills and a few forested mountains. This is at the temperate end of the archipelago.

The 682 islands that make up the middle of the archipelago form the nation of Shang. These islands are seldom larger than 50 miles and many are much smaller. About a third of them are mountainous while the rest are hilly or flat. Wildlife abounds on these islands and in the waters around them.

The Shangasi people are small, seldom standing more than 5 feet tall. Their skin is a light green and their eyes are large and almost always yellow. Both sexes wear their hail long and dress in togas of various shades of green, blue and brown.

The Shangasi are a race of mystics, scholars and storytellers who live very lightly on the land. They enjoy hearing pirate stories and telling pirates stories they have heard. Pirates who visit Shang are very respectful of the Shangasi rules and beliefs.

The final country in the Alandooro Archipelago is Lakama and it is by far the favorite among pirates looking to relax and revel. This is made very easy by the Lakaman people, who lead a laid back life punctuated by festivals, food, strong drink and sex.

The Lakamans are a tall and slender folk, brown skinned and almost universally good looking. Their mostly tropical islands are small, but very close together due to the narrowness of the southern end of the archipelago. Indeed, many islands are actually linking together thanks to very shallow seas and fast growing mangroves, boolee vines and irongrass..

Throughout these mostly flat to moderately hilly islands, the Lakamans make a living by fishing, farming and trading, all of which they do in a very relaxed manner. Festivals and parties break out at a moments notice and the islands all run on “island time”, which means things get done when they need doing, then you take a break.

Lakamans love pirates for their hard living ways and the interesting goods they bring. There are hundreds of places to hide ships and the Lakamans have made an art of doing so. Many old pirates retire to these islands.

The Rare And Beautiful Six Legged Running Turkey Of Potawango Island

…tasty, but creepy looking and fast

 

The Doclopedia #939

Islands Of The Circle Sea: Skyrise Isle

Despite it being a totally ordinary looking island, Skyrise Isle is the most unique bit of real estate on the entire planet of Eltera. Every morning at dawn, this three mile wide island rises 1,000 feet into the air and stays there all day until the sun goes down. The various streams on the island rain down as waterfalls and the shadow cast by the island is greatly feared by all mariners. Nobody knows what magicks caused the island to float in the air, but it is known that it started around 275 years ago.

Aside from becoming airborne during the day, the island is a fine place to relax, gather up food and take on fresh water. Still, few ships aside from pirate vessels will do this due to fear of the tsunami the island is believed (falsely) to create as it rises & sets.

Possums In The Flower Pots

…kind of cute, in an ugly way

 

The Doclopedia #937

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Poadan Islands

Located in the Great Southern Bay, the eight Poadan Islands are a delightful rest stop for any mariner. From the smallest (Tornofu, 1.5 miles across) to the largest (Aralonfu, 26 miles long, 5 miles wide) you’ll find friendly people, lovely weather, great food & drink and peaceful relaxation. This last is strictly enforced by the Yarotodan Giants, a group of 10 foot tall humanoids who act as a police force and will not be gentle when arresting violators, who will spend three days in jail before being allowed to pay stiff fines.

The Poadan Islands are also noted as one of the very few places where one can legally buy Haakaanese Ship Charms. Outlawed by most of the Greater Civilizations, these charms allow ships to employ several useful magicks, depending upon the type of charm. Popular charms allow swift travel, a cloaking fog, iron hard hulls and the ability to sail against the wind without deploying sails. Most charms have 6-10 usages before falling apart.

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The Doclopedia #938

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Island of Etradio

In the cold reaches of the Coldwaste Fjord lies a great rock of an island that is nearly devoid of life. On this island lies the stronghold of Etradio the Lost, perhaps the greatest scholar of the past few centuries. If there is an obscure fact about anything, Etradio almost certainly knows it. If he doesn’t know it, he can look it up quickly in his library of many hundreds of thousands of books and scrolls, some of which date back to the Great War. For a price…usually a very high one…Etradio will answer any question.

While getting to the island, and then to Etradio himself, is extremely difficult, it is even more dangerous to find yourself caught on the island after dark. You see, in exchange for his vast knowledge and a very long life, Etradio made a bargain with the Mad God. This bargain causes him to transform into a huge creature of terrible power and hunger every night. This is why very few living things call the island home and why visitors need to be out to sea by nightfall. Until the dawn, Etradio prowls the island seeking flesh, blood & bone to sate his terrible appetite.

Etradio is not called “the Lost” because he lives in such a remote location.

Crazy Jimmy Jumps Out Of A Balloon

…and finds you can’t really parachute from 60 feet up

 

The Doclopedia #935

The Alphabet: Y

Y is for…Young Explorers League: Boys and girls, do you have a love of the exciting life? Do you enjoy solving mysteries and exploring new places? Are you smart and adaptable to every situation?

If so, then the Young Explorers League is the club for you! Join up and learn all about the world we live in, especially the exotic & unexplored areas! Hear exciting and informative presentations by some of the foremost explorers of our day! Go on hikes and camp outs in out of the way places that will test your skills! Meet new friends and learn things you never imagined! Compete in exciting events both here and abroad!

A new troop of the Young Explorers League is starting up in this city right now! If you are a boy or girl between the ages of 10 and 18, go sign up now. Dues are only $2.00 per year and you’ll get a a membership card and a year’s subscription to “The Y.E.L.L.” our newsletter. Join this week and you can attend our first meeting and hear a talk by Dr. Jones about archeology!

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The Doclopedia #936

The Alphabet: Z

Z is for…Zimbolio: Zithoraxos Quanniferti Zimbolio was the 228th Supreme Ruler of the planet Mataralis 4. He ruled from 2680 AD to 2761 AD and was the final Supreme Ruler of that planet. As tradition had always dictated, he was only ever called by his last name.

Having been educated on Earth, Wigahsix 3 and Pollux 7, he brought some interesting ideas to his reign. In fact, he caused a huge amount of social upheaval, most of which the Mataralians have yet to recover from now, 90 years after his death. Some of the things he did include…

Eliminating the annual Food Offering

Freeing the Smalts

Allowing females to dress in any color on any day

Making the first week of each month “Watch Human Television” week

Allowing the common folk to eat glins, soobecho, kimarnut and vaa.

Outlawing the worship of his ancestors

And most radical of all, declaring that he would end the days of a Supreme Ruler by not choosing a successor. Since this had never happened in nearly 6,000 years of their history, the government and the priesthood had no idea what to do. They argued over many ideas, but since most of them were distracted by colorful females or stewed soobecho or “Captain Kangaroo” reruns or those damned free Smalts, they never came up with anything and eventually just settled for a democracy.

When Zimbolio died, the entire planet mourned him. Afterward, everybody ate crispy vaa and watched “Hill Street Blues” reruns.

Chapter 339: In Which Our Hero, Having Just Freed A Small Town From The Turks, Goes Off In Search Of A Sacred Pudding

…the Blessed Pudding of Saint Obie

 

The Doclopedia #933

The Alphabet: W

W is for…War Ducks!: In the 1980s & 90s, there were few graphic novels as popular as the War Ducks! series. Made up of War Ducks! (1983-1986), War Ducks!: Jungle Hell (1987-1991), War Ducks!: The Big Battle (1992-1994) and War Ducks: Hell Is War (1995-1998), they told the story of Colonel Grogan and D Company as they fought in an alternate World War Two on an Earth where human don’t exist and the supernatural does. The series was noted for a compelling storyline, excellent artwork and memorable characters. In 2003, a War Ducks! Animated movie was released which grossed 650 million dollars. A sequel came out in 2006 that grossed over 575 million. The third in the series is due out in 2010.

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The Doclopedia #934

The Alphabet: X

X is for…X Street Station: The X Street light rail/municipal bus station in Sacramento, California, appears to be an ordinary public transport station to most people. Buses pull up on one side and light rail trains pull on the other. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But like a certain train station in a series of popular novels, if you are in the know, you can step over onto Platform X and get to the buses and trains that service Secret Sacramento.

Like the regular Sacramento, the Secret City is actually Sacramento and a whole bunch of suburbs spread out over an area roughly 40 miles across. About 120,000 beings live in Secret Sacramento, most of them human.

To get to Platform X, you need to walk to the west end of the station and fine the edge of the concrete painted black. This is bordered by a hedge of lemon verbena, but don’t worry about it. Just walk straight on through with a strong mindset towards reaching Platform X and you’ll be okay.

It’s All Fun & Games Until You Cast The Wrong Spell

…and “Nuclear Flatulence” is ALWAYS the wrong spell!

 

The Doclopedia #932

The Alphabet: V

V is for…Violence Suppressor: From the New York Times, May 7th, 1886: Doctor Karellan has invented the Miracle of Our Age in his Violence Suppressor! His recent demonstrations in the Bronx and Manhattan have proven that his device is a godsend. When switched on, all violence within the area of effect, which our reporters determined was roughly three miles across, dropped within hours to nearly zero. Even the most deranged maniacs and hardened criminals became as docile as lambs. It is theorized that prolonged exposure to the vibrations produced by the device will even repair the minds of the insane.

This paper predicts that within the year, the good doctor will be installing these devices, which run on a slight amount of electricity, in cities across the nation and around the world. A new day has dawned and soon mankind will be free of the scourge of our violent urges!

From the New York Times, September 27th, 1898: Reports from the Army and Washington say that levels of violence and madness have dropped back down to pre-1886 levels in most areas of the nation. The number of dead and incarcerated will be tallied up soon, but is expected to number in the hundreds of thousands. Similar reports are coming in from around the world.

Shortly before his death from grievous wounds, Doctor Karellan stated that he had no idea or indication that heavy solar activity would shut down his Violence Suppressors, which had, up until two years ago, made this world such a better place.

Rice Creepies

…another cereal that never made it

 

The Doclopedia #930

The Alphabet: T

T is for…Tovanite Raiders: On the world of the Circle Sea, the Tovanite Raiders are one of the most feared pirate gangs. Using swift & small, but very tough ships, they attack in swarms of up to a dozen ships. They move towards their intended victims in an intricate pattern while laying down a constant cannon assault.

Once they board a ship, the Tovanites usually kill half the crew and all of the junior officers. This tends to make the survivors pretty docile and allow for the total looting of the ship. If the Raiders are feeling generous, they’ll leave behind a few days worth of food & water.

The Tovanite Raiders sometimes bite off more than they can chew, such as when 30 of their ships went after what appeared to be two large Molodrian merchant vessels, but were in reality a pair of Dintolian “Avenger” class warships in disguise. Only one of the Tovanite ships was left afloat, to give a warning to the rest of their fleet.

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The Doclopedia #931

The Alphabet: U

U is for…Unexpected Visitors From Outer Space: This 1961 black & white film was directed by the infamous cheapie filmmaker Harold Foonster. Noted for using slapdash scripts, has been or never will be actors, no budget effects and extensive narration that he did himself, Foonster nonetheless made money. On any given weekend. you would have been hard pressed to find a drive in not showing one of his signature triple features. Later, he sold his entire body of work to television stations at an enormous profit. Unexpected Visitors From Outer Space was the one film of the 67 that Foonster made that was actually pretty good. Today, it is praised by critics and beloved by fans of comedic science fiction movies.

In the film, a family of five aliens land near the small town of Brushy Corners, Texas, and assume human form. They enter the town and pose as distant relatives of old Mrs. Duncan, the town matriarch. From there on, the film is a slapstick romp built around the aliens trying not to be found out, the townsfolk trying to hide the fact that bootlegging is their primary business, a pair of UFO investigators attempting to prove that somebody in town is an alien and various people plotting various things with other people.

At just under two hours long, it is by far Foonster’s longest film. It also had the largest budget of any of them at $75,000.00, much of which was spent of special effects. The film made over three million dollars and the town of Rado, Texas, where it was filmed has an annual festival with showings of the movie and appearances by the actors, many of whom were locals.

A Wild Weekend In A Small Town

…that general store will never be the same

 

The Doclopedia #928

The Alphabet: R

R is for…Rindi Climber: Among the Tiny Folk of New York City, Rindi Climber is legendary for her skill and bravery. She is also widely thought of as being crazy as a loon. You see, Rindi likes to climb tall buildings using the minimum amount of equipment possible. There is hardly a tall building in the city that she hasn’t climbed at least once. Since few Tiny Folk ever live more than three stories above ground level, Rindi tends to be one of a kind.

On any given day, Rindi will be either climbing up a building or traveling to a building she means to climb. Her main source of transportation is her squirrel, Maks and her helpers at the actual site of the climb are her cousins Burlo Finder and Kiondi Looker. None of them climb with Rindi, although Maks will cheer her on from nearby trees until she is way above him. Once she starts climbing, Burlo and Kiondi take an elevator to the roof to await her.

Depending upon the building, a climb can take Rindi anywhere from five days to two weeks. She carries most of her supplies with her, but Burlo and Kiondi sometimes leave food caches at various points on really hard climbs.

Lately, Rindi has been hearing a lot of news about the really tall buildings in other places outside the USA. She’s thinking that she’s really like to climb that big building in Dubai some time. Kiondi is looking into flights there for her.

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The Doclopedia #929

The Alphabet: S

S is for…Spellcasting During Battle: If the various Earths where magic rules had a bestseller list, the book “Spellcasting During Battle” by Archmage Tolivorikus would be #1. Tolivorikus was one of the first battlemages and surely the most powerful of them all. He fought in wars and battles over a period of nearly 80 years, then retired to a peaceful life in the country, where he wrote the book.

Contained within the 350 pages of the book are chapters on why a mage would want to go right into battle in the first place…basic spell preparation…the usefulness of wands, ring staves and the like…what spells work best in what situations…enchanting armor & weapons and a very comprehensive list of spells. Everything is laid out in easy to understand terms and written with more than a bit of Tolivorikus’ wry humor. There are many illustrations, some in full color.

It is unknown how many copies of this book have been sold, but considering that one army alone, the Imperial Defenders of Walzaret, has 10,000 battlemages, each with a copy of it, the numbers must run very high.

Not In This Issue: Italian Shoes, Kumquats or Hydrothermal Vents

…but we do have quilts

The Doclopedia #926

The Alphabet: P

P is for…Peaches & The Creamettes: These four young ladies (Janet, Katy, Nancy & Dixie) from Atlanta, Georgia, were one of the most popular girl groups of the early 1960s. They first got into the music scene in 1957 when, as sophomores in high school, they got work singing backup for “Guitar” Bill Calhoun on one of his albums. Over the next three years, they worked steadily with such acts as The Charmers, Jackie Hull, Lance Marvel, The Knights of Blues and Doreen Pearl.

In 1960, they were signed to the Gold Moon record label and given the name Peaches & The Creamettes. Their very first single “Johnny Boy”. Went to number two on the charts and got them on many national television shows. This was followed by several more hits over the next three years, including “I’m Waiting For Him”, “Dancing In The Gym”, “Summer Sweetie” and their biggest hit, “Magic Love”.

Like many early 60’s groups, Peaches & The Creamettes fell out of the public eye with the coming of the British Invasion. They broke up the act and either got married or went to college. Dixie got her PhD in Economics and eventually wound up working for the Carter administration. Katy became a veterinarian. Janet was a stay at home mother and Nancy was a working mother with her own catering business.

When the 50s/60s nostalgia craze hit in 1980, the group got back together for a series of shows and a new album, “The Return of Peaches & The Creamettes”. Both they and the album were well received.

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The Doclopedia #927

The Alphabet: Q

Q is for…Quilt Woman: The legend of the Quilt Woman is well known throughout the homeless population of Canada. The legend goes that on cold nights, this old and dirty looking woman wanders the streets pushing a shopping cart full of all manner of things. When she sees some poor soul huddled asleep in a doorway or other spot, she pulls a heavy quilt from her cart and covers them with it. Those who have gotten this gift report that the quilts keep you toasty warm on even the coldest nights. They even seem to warm the ground, floor or pavement underneath you. Nobody who has one of these quilts will ever give it away. If one is stolen, it always seems to wind up back with the proper owner within a day or two.

Nobody knows who or what the Quilt Woman is, but she’s not a ghost, because she has been videotaped many times over the years. Attempts by the police to bring her in for questioning her have all been unsuccessful so far. She has yet to even leave fingerprints anywhere. Asking the homeless for help in finding her is pointless, as they will never tell the cops anything about her.

Spider And Blondie Encounter Cattle And Goats

…in the middle of the night in the rain

The Doclopedia #925

The Alphabet: O

O is for…Orbital Eye: Science has no explanation for the Orbital Eye that circles Earth 87. It is known to have entered out solar system sometime in 1966 and reached Earth on March 7, 1969. It orbits at an altitude of 1,000 miles and alters its orbital path a couple of times a day. In the course of a couple of months, it looks at every spot on the planet. The Eye is 100 miles across and is a living entity of some sort. It appears to subsist on solar energy. It will let spacecraft get within 50 miles of it, but will move away rapidly if they get any closer.

The Eye has never done anything but look down upon the planet, but it has had a profound effect on science, politics, popular culture and especially religion. There are at least 90 new religions that worship it. Most of them are cults. On July 23, 1998, the Eye blinked twice in the course of 5 minutes. Several religious leaders declared that the end of the world was near because the Eye was getting ready to fire a heat ray. Of course, this never happened.

The Mindbogglingly Convoluted, But Somehow Really Informative, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Charity Treasure Hunt.

…co-starring her favorite teacher, Miss Lena Spozinski

 

The Doclopedia #922

The Alphabet: L Is For…

Leaving, Nebraska: The small town of Leaving (population 3,209) is located in the west central portion of the state and would appear to any observer to be a typical small farming community. Being quite a way off the beaten path, tourists almost never go there and it has actually been left off state maps a few times. Nothing exciting ever happens there…unless you are a criminal on the run.

Strangely, a fair number of criminals do indeed find their way to Leaving, usually by getting lost at night. None of them ever leave, because the good folks of the town capture them, put them on trial and then drop them down a concealed pit that goes straight to Hell. It’s a speedy and efficient system that has worked well for over 100 years.

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The Doclopedia #923

The Alphabet: M Is For…

Myribdis Island: Myribdis is a small volcanic island located in the northern Pacific Ocean, on about the same latitude as Seattle. It lies far out at sea, well away from any ordinary shipping lanes or fishing spots. The island is surrounded by rocky reefs. It has a only a few small beaches and plenty of steep mountains covered in conifers and ferns. The main peak of the island is at the northeast end and is the dormant volcano, Myribdis.

No humans live on the island, but there are deer, wolves, bears, mountain goats and many small mammals & birds. There are no reptiles, but there are several species of amphibians. Seals and sea lions migrate to the island to breed.

While no humans live on the island now, it was once home to a small colony of misfits who left China in 1145. They were lead by a mad genius/cult leader who told them he would take them to a new land where they would rule as gods. The truth was somewhat less dramatic. The colony lasted just over 100 years before a long and very cold winter killed the last of them.

During the time the colony was there, the leader and his most devoted students created several marvelous inventions, some of which would amaze even modern scientists. These are stored in a cave on the lower southern slope of the volcano.

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The Doclopedia #924

The Alphabet: N Is For…

Night Of The Ghosts: On January 15, 1971, from 6:14 am until 3:26 am on the 16th, the city of Macon, Georgia was beset by ghosts. Thousands upon thousands of the spirits of the dead appeared all over town and interacted with the living. Most were gentle and non-threatening, but some were pranksters and a few were horrible and mean. There were riots and then churches filled to capacity. No amount of praying stopped the ghosts, and in fact, many of them entered the churches and knelt down to pray.

People saw loved ones, old friends, ancestors, hated enemies and folks they didn’t know from Adam. Hundreds of thousands of photographs were taken, along with hours of videotape, film and sound recording. Over the course of the first few hours, the National Guard had to close all the roads to keep sightseers out. Paranormal experts rushed to get there.

When the ghosts disappeared that night, many people had to be treated for anxiety and related disorders. 195 people committed suicide after meeting dead family & friends. Many had been suspects in those family & friends deaths.

To this day, nobody can explain why this event happened or why it has never happened anywhere else. Macon now holds an annual “Ghost Night”, during which it is estimated the city gets 400,000 visitors and makes upwards of 25 million dollars.