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.