The Secret Lives Of Dog Toys

…mostly, they lament being covered in spit.

 

The Doclopedia #996

Quick Recipes From Around The Multiverse: Nick’s Eye Opener Breakfast Genre: Pulp

So last night you had a full meal of double crosses, betrayal, lies and a real nice stab through the heart by a dame you thought you could trust. Then, for dessert, you got a good working over by a couple of no neck thugs, followed up by the cops asking a whole lot of questions before telling you not to leave town. Yeah, brother, you need Nick’s Eye Opener Breakfast…and you need it fast.

For starters, have a couple of shots of that bourbon you keep in your desk drawer. After that go throw a couple of gallons of could water on your face before you have a hearty breakfast of aspirins and growing anger at having been played for a chump.

Now, while that anger heads for a boil, salt it with a hefty desire for revenge on the Frenchman, his goons, that lying bastard from Boston and the two crooked cops you know are in on this. What the hell, might as well toss in the dame and that maybe not so dumb as she looks sister of hers. Yeah, that sister who might just have been the go between for Little Miss Heartbreaker and Frenchie.

Stir it all up and then call up Frisco Jim and see if maybe his boys might be interested in part of a big pile of stolen money.

Then serve it all while it’s nice and hot.”
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The Doclopedia #997

Quick Recipes From Around The Multiverse: Hrog’s Mammoth Dinner Genre: Humor

Go hunting, like Hrog! Find many mammoth, then crawl in grass until close. THROW SPEARS! CHASE MAMMOTH! THROW MORE SPEARS! KILL MAMMOTH!

Cut off many big hunks of meat, like Hrog do! Take meat back to village. Stab long stick into meat, then place over fire. FIRE GOOD! HROG SAY SO!

While meat cooks, tell story of how Hrog was the best hunter in the group. Show how Hrog kill mammoth!

When meat smell delicious, take off fire, cut off slices for all tribe, then eat. Hrog eat more, so Hrog be strong to kill more mammoth!

Then sleep.

Long Cats Are Watching You!

…and ready to pounce!

 

The Doclopedia #993

Unsuccessful Comic Book Heroes: SuperMom Genre: Humor, Supers

In the mid 60s, Slammo Comics really wanted to jump on the “superheros with problems” bandwagon that the big comic company had ridden to amazing success. The main problem was that the big company had already done all the cool characters. True, Slammo did have a decent hit with “The Black Hunter”, which featured one of the first African American heroes, but they were having a hell of a time coming up with something else.

They must have been grabbing at straws to introduce “SuperMom”, one Renee Knotts, a wife and mother of three who, besides living in suburbia and dealing with various family issues, had the bad luck to get exposed to some radioactive liquid one day. Sure enough, Renee got super powers and then sort of fell into fighting crime…when she wasn’t tending sick kids, cooking dinner, going to PTA meetings or explaining to her husband where she got those bruises.

As you might expect, the problems of a suburban wife/mother/superhero didn’t exactly have young boys clamoring to buy the latest issue. Actually, girls didn’t like it much either. After limping along for 8 issues, it got cut from Slammo’s lineup.

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The Doclopedia #994

Quick Recipes From Around The Multiverse: Mouse Soup Genre: Humor, Post Apocalypse

Ok, so first, ya gotta find an old house or farm where they had a garden. Man, you find an old farm and yer eatin’ good! Just water the veggies or trees or whatever and wait for stuff to ripen up. If you can find a chicken or duck that ain’t gone all mutant, then you can use it in the soup, but me, I just use mice cos they’re all over and they don’t go mutant. ‘Course, it does take about a dozen for a good pot of soup, but hey, you’ll be eatin’ it for 3-4 days.

Anyway, ya kill the mice, then skin ’em. Yeah, yeah, there’s more meat on a rat or squirrel, but they all went mutant and now they’re like rodent piranhas. So, ya pot the mice in the pot with carrots and taters and whatever the hell ya got and ya simmer it over yer fire for an hour or so.

Then ya eat it cos ya probably ain’t had nothin’ to eat for days.”
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The Doclopedia #995

Quick Recipes From Around The Multiverse: Egg Of Fire Lizard, Fried With Scallions Genre: Humor, Fantasy

As recorded in his book “Elven Cooking For The Not Especially Bright”, by Tarkin Springflower:

Ingredients:

1 Fire Lizard egg, fetched within 2 hours of being laid

1 cup scallions, finely chopped

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of butter

In a mithril frying pan, lightly saute the scallions in the butter, then add the salt and the egg. While this is going on, you should have several humans & dwarves fighting the angry female Fire Lizard. Keep a close eye on the contents of your pan so as not to overcook it. When the yolk begins to turn red, remove from the heat and let rest for 2-3 minutes. Use this time to heal the wounded, reminding them that Fire Lizard skins are worth good money.

Serve this dish with a fine wine and a nice crusty bread.

A Wonderful Book About Terrible Children

…including the story “The Little Boy Who Ate Mud”

 

The Doclopedia #991

Unsuccessful Comic Book Heroes: Butterfly Man        Genre: Humor, Supers

This poorly thought out hero was introduced in 1968 as an attempt to cash in on the whole hippie/Summer of Love thing. His ability to fly and shoot out “peace beams” could not counter the crazy image of a muscular man wearing a tie dyed bodysuit and huge colorful butterfly wings. His enemies, villains like The Warhawk, Doctor Badvibes and Sister Scream, were just as goofy as he was.

Thankfully, his comic run lasted only 6 issues before Marble Comix pulled the plug. Today, the only mention made of Butterfly Man is when one Marble character wants to compare another to a real loser.
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The Doclopedia #992

Unsuccessful Comic Book Heroes: The Dreamwalker      Genre: Humor, Supers

From all outward appearances, The Dreamwalker should have been a massive hit. The character had a totally cool set of powers (enter the DreamWorld, use DreamMagic versus the minions of the evil Horrifus), a first rate set of secondary characters, cool DreamTech gadgets and great art & writing. The first 10 issues were lauded by fans and critics as some of the best comics ever. The publisher, Gnarly Comics, was even getting offers to make a movie version.

When issue 11 came out, things started going south fast, it seems that both the artist and the writer had started dropping acid and snorting coke and it was reflected in their work. The art, while still technically very good, was getting stranger by the issue. The storyline got more and more convoluted and took on a politically ranty feel. By issue 16, nobody knew what the hell was going on and issue 18 was the final issue.

Gnarly Comics tried to restart The Dreamwalker several times, but had no success. It wasn’t until 2007 that the character got revived in a form people would read about. Even then, it was a minor hit at best.

The Fantastic Adventures Of Doctor Tempest In The Land Of Dreams

…from the August 1896 issue

 

 

The Doclopedia #990

Poultry That Saved The Day: The Chicken That Prevented They End Of Life As We Know It Genre: Humor, Science Fiction

The “Nine High Pitched Tones Followed By Three Very Low Tones” (closest approximation we can put in print) were a race with two very powerful, yet utterly conflicting, basic drives: Interstellar conquest & expansion and a paralyzing fear of confrontation with a race that might destroy them…or even hurt them. Taking that into consideration, you have to admit that the creation of the “Ultra Low Tone Held A Full Minute”, or ULTHAFM for short, was a stroke of genius.

You see, the ULTHAFM was a life form created from about a dozen other life forms. Once released upon and Class K through O planet, it would rest a few minutes while analyzing the DNA of several nearby species, then start consuming, absorbing them. This would continue until there were no native life forms of consequence (including bacteria & viruses) left on the planet. After that, the ULTHAFM would soon die, leaving a nice safe world for the NHPTFBTVLT to introduce an ecology of their choosing onto. Once the ecology was established, the cowardly aliens would settle upon the planet without the slightest bit of confrontation necessary.

They sent the ULTHAFM out in five small, yet very tough, asteroids about the size of a large automobile. After passing through an Earth-like atmosphere, a fist sized meteor would impact and the very tiny ULTHAFM would emerge.

Sadly, luck was not with the aliens, as the first two asteroids fell into stars, the third was destroyed along with the planet it landed on when a Sliivnovian Planet Eater wandered through that system, the fourth was sent off on a new trajectory by an impact with another small asteroid and the fifth, though able to make a successful impact, had it’s cargo eaten by a large Rhode Island Red chicken about 30 seconds after it opened.

You see, the ULTHAFM had the twin flaws of being totally defenseless and very small for the first 5 minutes after emerging. Thus, it could not survive being swallowed in one gulp by a hungry hen, then ground up in her crop. The ULTHAFM was utterly destroyed and, in a rather strange side effect, the chicken grew to twice her normal size. She won many first prizes at county and state fairs over the next few years.

As for the NHPTFBTVLT, they no longer exist. That fourth asteroid that got knocked off trajectory? It crashed back on their homeworld a year later. 90 years after that world had been cleansed of life, the planet was colonized by the Rooroovax, who pretty much turned the place into a humongous theme park.

 

Holy Guacamole, only 10 more Entries before I hit 1,000!

Nixed Mutts

…I know, BAD Doc

 

The Doclopedia #989

Poultry That Saved The Day: The Duck Who Stopped The Zombies Genre: Humor, Horror

Dr. Taringani had been hiding in the Safe Room for two days, ever since that Rhesus monkey had come back to “life” on the operating table and attacked Gary and Francine, then crashed through glass of the observation window into 30 students. The virus had mutated inside the monkey and was now killing humans, apes and monkeys at an alarming rate. A cut, a bite, an inhalation at close range…that was all it took. According to the radio, which they often left on in the lab, the zombie virus had spread a thousand miles outward from Wisconsin in a mere 48 hours.

Of course, after he had made his initial call to the CDC, the battery on his phone went dead, so he had been cut off from communicating with the rest of the world. The zombies had only hung around outside the thick glass walls of the Safe Room for about half a day before running off. Yes, these weren’t slow shambling zombies, they were fast and strong and still intelligent enough to be cunning.

While he had been trapped, Dr. Taringani had figured out an airborne anti-virus that would destroy the zombie virus. Now, free from the Safe Room, he got to work on it. It didn’t take that lone to make, since they had already created an anti-virus to what they had thought was just a version of a common flu virus. Getting it airborne was pretty easy affair, requiring only a very high pressure tank, which he had grabbed from the physics lab, and a tank full of the anti-virus. The anti-virus tank had a safety setup on it that, after filling, required him to enter a 6 digit code, so he chose his birthdate, 3-7-1970. Figuring that the tank would release a cloud of several hundred yards volume and noting that there was a stiff breeze blowing south, he figured that the anti-virus should kill all the virus in at least a few hundred square miles. Satisfied that he had done his best, he began towing the very heavy tanks out of the building and into the quad.

It took him a while to reach the quad, a place he had always liked. He took a moment to check for zombies (which he had been doing every ten seconds or so anyway), catch his breath and admire the fact that the ducks, geese and swans were swimming in the pond as though nothing was wrong. Actually, for them, nothing was wrong. The virus only affected humans, apes & monkeys.

He had just typed in the first three digits of the code when he heard the waterfowl making excited noises. He turned just in time to see a hulking zombie, probably a football player, leaping towards him.

The doctor and the zombie went down onto the grass and rolled around. By the time Taringani could break free, he had been scratched several times. The zombie was up fast and the doctor barely dodged him. Seeing a rock next to the pond, he grabbed it and, as the zombie grabbed and bit him, he bashed in the side of it’s head. Sure enough, disrupt the brain with enough trauma and the zombie stopped functioning.

The bite wound burned like fire and his vision was beginning to blur as Dr. Taringani staggered back to the tanks. By the time he reached them, death was near. He fell to his knees next to the tanks and had just enough strength and life left to enter two more digits before he died, his index finger resting lightly on the final zero. In less that thirty minutes, he would rise from the dead without having released the anti-virus.

Fortunately, a large male duck came over to check things out. He looked around at things, hoping the human had brought some bread to feed the pond dwellers with. Seeing no bread, he was about to leave when he noticed the white necrotic tissue on the humans otherwise very dark brown index finger. Thinking this might be a worm or other food source, the duck gave it a good hard peck. The final digit was entered and the safety device let out the 10 second warning, which caused the duck to fly off into the safety of the pond.

The anti-virus was released just as the wind picked up. It spread across an area of over 2,000 square miles and killed an estimated 7,000 zombies. Even better, the anti-virus was now being carried by birds and humans, so it spread even wider over the next few days. Once the CDC reached the university lab, they found the formula and released hundreds of anti-virus clouds worldwide. The zombie apocalypse had been averted!

The duck lived a good long life and fathered many babies. Nobody ever knew that it was he who had saved the human race.

The 43 Things You Shouldn’t Sleep With

…#1: ex-wives

 

The Doclopedia #988

Poultry That Saved The Day: The Turkey Who Saved The Queen Genre: Humor

Good Queen Graciella was much beloved by her subjects in the kingdom of Artvisia. She was a young woman, but wise and just and caring, just as her mother had been during the 30 years of her reign. Even more importantly to this tale than the love of her subjects is the fact that Graciella was loved by all the animals she ever met, most importantly, a young hen turkey named Mona.

Now, Mona was not your ordinary turkey. She had been gifted to the Queen (who loved farm animals) from the Wizard Tordell, with whom the young queen had a romantic understanding. Mona was easily half again larger than a large tom turkey and many times smarter, which is not saying that much, really, since the average turkey has a brain the size of a pea. Still, she was pretty smart and the Queen had taught her a number of tricks.

Well, one day, an evil king from the land of Curkasa had his Wizard teleport a group of Forest Goblins into Graciella’s castle, so as to abduct her. Their attack was swift, leaving the Queen only enough time to tell Mona to run to Tordell’s tower and bring him to the castle. Mona took off to do this just as the goblins grabbed up the Queen and were teleported away.

It took Mona less that 15 minutes to reach the tower, where Tordell was pretty quick to understand that something bad was up. He followed Mona back to the castle, where he found out from the folks there what had happened. Within the hour, the full army of Artvisia, with Tordell in the lead, was on their way to the border with Curkasa. Unfortunately, once they got there, they found the border sealed by powerful magical forces. No human or horse could get through. A goblin informed them that the King demanded their surrender and that Artvisia become part of Curkasa or the Queen would die.

Thinking quickly, Tordell took Mona and snuck off out of view. There, he gave Mona a Potion of Rapid Movement, then placed another potion in a small pouch that he put around Mona’s neck. The turkey then took off at an astounding speed towards Castle Curkasa. The magical barrier, not having been built to keep out most animals, did not stop her. Within the hour, Mona was at the castle, but it took her another hour to sneak in and find Graciella, who gave her a big hug and then drank the potion, which was a Potion of Monstrous Rage.

What happened next involved the Queen becoming insanely angry, growing to 5 times her normal size and pretty much demolishing Castle Curkasa. When she caught the evil King, she threw him 500 feet into a group of fleeing goblins. It was not pretty. Meanwhile, Mona was racing around at roughly 90 miles an hour pecking and clawing anybody she saw. By the time the potions wore off the castle was in ruins and many bad people and goblins were dead.

Some weeks later, Queen Graciella married Wizard Tordell in a ceremony so beautiful, it was celebrated in songs and artwork for centuries. Her Maid of Honor was Lady Mona, the Turkey who saved the Queen.

Curse Of The Devil Newts

…the lead story in Strange Amphibian Tales

The Doclopedia #987

Poultry That Saved The Day: The Goose Who Stopped The Aliens      Genre: Humor

On April 21st, 1961, the alien race known as the ReeEEn came to Earth in 50 interstellar war craft that each measured two miles across and were bristling with weapons. It took them less than a day to destroy ALL the world’s military might and another day to wipe out the 10 largest cities, just to drive home the point of who was now in control. The main starship hovered over Washington, DC, and the Grand High Leader of the ReeEEn was beamed down to officially accept the surrender of the world leaders who had been told to assemble there. The ReeEEn, who looked sort of like 5 foot tall ants made out of dry leaves, initiated a Universal Translator so everyone could understand what was being said. This is the only reason we know what happened next.

Just as the Grand High Leader was finishing his “You Are Now Our Slaves” speech, a very large gray goose wandered onto the White House lawn. The following conversation was recorded by television crews.

GHL (who began a violent shaking, as did his retinue): “ACK! GAH! A Yundor!”

Goose (honking while looking at the ReeEEn suspiciously): “What are you? You look like food!”

GHL (his retinue has now begun wailing in terror): “Oh, Mighty Member of the Yundor Empire, we had no idea that you had already claimed this planet! Please, accept our apologies!”

Goose (sounding much more aggressive as it advances on the ReeEEn): “You are strange things! I do not think I like you. I will see if you are good to eat!”

GHL & retinue (while collapsing flat on the ground and screaming): “Please, spare us, Great One! We shall make restitution to these beings! We shall make GENEROUS restitution!”

Goose (tries to pull a few of the “leaves” off of the ReeEEn, then apparently gets angry with them): “Blechh! You taste bad. I do not like you! I shall bite you and hurt you until you leave me territory. I shall tell others of my kind to hurt you and all that look like you.”

At this point, at least 5 ReeEEn apparently die of fright and the rest release what scientist later decide was their version of excrement. The GHL gives a command and every one of the ReeEEn is beamed up to the ship.

Within a month, the ReeEEn had rebuilt all of the destroyed cities and replaced each countries military with a single 100 foot tall WarBot. Unfortunately, the WarBots were designed to respond to the language of geese and so could never be used by humans due to them not having a Universal Translator.

When everything was put right, the ReeEEn left a fully functional space station and ready to use bases on the moon, then flew their ships into the sun, destroying them.

The goose, who actually was the pet of a family that lived about two miles from the White House, was honored by the entire world and every country forbid the harming, killing or eating of geese. When the final report of the ReeEEn was sent back to the Galactic Union, Earth was declared off limits for at least 1,000 years.