Archive for May, 2009

It Smelled Like Mint

Posted in Fiction on May 30, 2009 by klogtheblog
It has been almost sixty years since the fluoridation of our nation’s drinking water became national policy, and almost as long since fluoridation was a major controversy, sparking post nuclear paranoia in swaths of the populace. Today it is a commonplace fact that our water has fluoride in it and the benefit to our dental health is common record (with some conspiracy theories still raging). But how is fluoride added to the water supply? I asked that question of Dick Barnes of the U. S. Department of Fluoride, and he invited me to visit a fluoride processing site in upstate New York.I shot upstate and met Mr. Barnes at the Croton reservoir. We hiked to an adjacent reservoir where a number of workers were busy tipping bins of used toothpaste tubes into the water.

“Yes, we used to use chemical fluoride, measured in parts per million, with a carefully regulated lab to introduce the fluoride,” said Mr. Barnes, “but in the early seventies we switched over. People had other concerns with the war in Vietnam, and the fluoridation process got deregulated about the time when we started some innovative efficiency planning. It was determined that the military and other government organizations rationed millions of tubes of toothpaste a year. We found we could kill two birds with one stone, by depositing them here.”

In an organic process the dilution of these toothpaste dumps adds fluoride to our drinking water, while creating biomes unlike any seen in the history of Biology. Calcium phosphates and silica abrasives from the paste have formed a layer of silt on the bottom of the pond. Freshwater crabs have taken to using the tubes for a protective shell. They’ve grown long thin, spindly legs to protrude from the narrow openings of the tubes.

“Every first Thursday we have a crab steaming dinner at the processing center,” said Cliff Nomans, one of the toothpaste dumpers, “There’s not a lot of meat in the legs, but you can suck out the juices, and it has a clean minty taste, and then you can squeeze crab meat out of the tube. The trick is to squeeze from the bottom.”

Another layer of sediment includes the gels layering from bright green to blue to red, creating a translucent blob on the floor of this man made lake. “We always joke that there should be jellyfish here,” laughed Mr. Noman.

What they do get is frogs. Translucent, striped frogs. Only there’s no steaming or barbecuing these frogs every first Thursday; these frogs are highly poisonous. Many have six legs, but Mr. Barnes assured me that has to do with the mysterious affliction plaguing frogs all over the world, and not specific to this reservoir. There is a breed of stork that has evolved a resistance to the frog toxin, the only side effect being that they glow in the dark.

Said Mr. Noman, “I don’t know how crocodiles got up here, but they’re thriving. We don’t know if they’re eating the storks or the frogs or both, all I know is you’ve got to watch out for those jelly crocs, because they’re see through too.”

Meanwhile the detergents in the toothpaste means a foamy lather lines the shore of this lake. This has created a new home several breeds of insects have adapted to. Moquito larvea and water striders live inside the bubbles. Spiders have developed varying techniques to harvest their prey within the foam.

Professor Leman Frears studies these creatures. Said Frears, “Some of the spiders have become hunters.” He showed me a tiny spider pursuing a wintergreen gnat. The two bugs scrambled slowly as they faught the minisci of the bubbles. They penetrated a succession of bubbles, until finally the spider got into the same bubble as the gnat, and fed. Some spiders still hunt the old fashiond way. Frears showed me the strange designs of spider webs in the froth.

“They harvest these webs at the plant.” said Frears, “If you ever use flavored dental floss, some of that is spider web.”

How far does the effect of this fluoride processing site go into the environment? Frears said the full effects, while probably benign, were unknown. “All I know,” said Frears, “Is that the local bats have forgone sonar, relying more on taste. They fly with elongated tongues, sensing the mint, cinnamin and wintergreen flavors that indicates an insect is nearby.”

I was amazed by what I saw at the flouride processing site. As we hiked back to our cars from the reservoir, Dick Barnes and I heard a loud sound in the woods. We went to investigate. I only caught a glimpse of the creature, but it was large, and it was like nothing I had ever seen. I can’t adequately describe its features. I don’t know if I saw fur or foam, arms or tentacles. But it smelled like mint.

–Dan Kilian

The Polar Turtle
sKwirrels

Barnacles

Posted in Poetry on May 29, 2009 by klogtheblog
Once again our God has shown
That prayers aren’t wishes, His will a stone
We bash against and cling onto
Like barnacles, oblivious
To any world above this rock
Unknowing, buried by an ocean
Never even guessing at
The air, the birds, the sky beyond
*
–Dan Kilian
*
In memory of Kevin Brumett

Prayer of Brief Eternal Life

Sweet Nothings

McBob: Mcartney and Dylan Collaborate

Posted in All things music, Comedy on May 28, 2009 by klogtheblog

Reports are that Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney intend to work together on some songs this summer, at one of their homes in California.

Hullo Bob! Lovely to be here!

Ehhhhh…

Simply wonderful to finally collaborate with you! I’ve been looking forward to it!

Hello?

Bob! Hello! Your security guard said you were waiting for me here so I came up! I’m here like we talked about, to work on some songs!

You’re not Georrrge.

George? George Harrison?

Georrrge from th’ Beeeatles.

Well, no, I’m…I’m Paul. You know, George has…passed away. We spoke at his funeral. I’m the…other Beatle. You know, Paul.

You’re not the one with th’ glaaasses? Th’ one who got shot?

No, that was John. He got…shot, as you say. He’s…dead, too. I’m Paul! Remember? We were going to get together and write some songs?

Righhht, righhht. So let’s get to it.

Jolly good! So, lyrically, you want to come up with lines and pass them back and forth? Or trade verses, or…

Noo nooo, I’ve got th’ lyrics right heerrre. Some poems of Bernardo Axtaaago. Basque guy. We just take these lines and make ’em rhyme. Let’s see. “Our aunts and our mothers too.” Hmm…Boo, blue, coo…

You?

You. Yeaaah, not bad, Georrrge.

It’s Paul.

Our aunts and our mo-o-otherrrrs tooooo…biscuits, gravy and yoooooou…

Oh I like that, biscuits and gravy!

Sing along. Our aunts and our mo-o-otherrrrs toooo…

…and our mo-others tooo…

…biscuits, gravy and yoooooou…

You know, when I harmonize, I usually like to harmonize off a…a note? You know? Notes?

You’ll harmonize to this and like it! Our aunts and our mo-o-otherrrrs toooo…

…biscuits gravy and yooooou!

Way to go Ringo! Now I’m gonna do a harmonica solo! Do some ooohs!

Oooooh! Oooooh! Bloody hell.

Keep oohing!

Ooooooh! Oooooooooh! Oooooooooooooooooooh!

–Dan Kilian

Fab Facts about The Beatles Rock Band Game

Chronicles (Excerpts) by Bob Dylan

Firemen II

Posted in Art, Comedy on May 27, 2009 by klogtheblog

–Dan Kilian
A Ladderal Move
Quesadilla

The Supreme Facts On Sotomayor

Posted in All things political, Comedy on May 27, 2009 by klogtheblog
President Obama has selected Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. Here are some facts about the new nominee.

If confirmed, Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. If the highest Hispanic in the Justice Department, Alberto Gonzales, is any indication, she should be a White House stooge who politicizes the bench, and prove a corrupt embarrassment.

She’s already had a prototype Beanie Baby designed and ready for marketing to child fans of the Supreme Court.

She was called “baseball’s savior” when as a judge she overturned the widely criticized law making baseball illegal.

She has the quality of “empathy” which Obama indicated was a key quality he was seeking in an appointee. Conservatives contend that “empathy” is a codeword for judicial activism, but Obama really is seeking someone who can infuse oneself with the experience of others. Sotomayor actually has the ability to read people’s emotions from a distance of up to twelve feet, even through walls. She is often heard saying to herself, “So much paiiiiin…”

She has webbed feet, but doesn’t know how to swim.

She is hypoallergenic, so she can play with Sasha and Malia.

The name Sotomayor literally translates into “therefore, towards, is allowed, either.” It is thought that President Obama’s fondness for prepositions* may have been a tipping factor in the decision to tap Sotomayor for the post.

–Dan Kilian

*I have no idea whether the words “so”; “to”; “may” and “or” are prepositions, but I think they may be. I bet you don’t know either. Grammar is a dying science!

Westminster Dog Show Acceptance Speech
Advice For Obama

Join In

Posted in Fiction on May 25, 2009 by klogtheblog
I kept thinking about the shape McAndrew’s leg made after it blew off. He’d got it full on in the thigh, so right after the splash of blood and the severing, it kind of stood there, leaning and it bent at the knee. McAndrews was already on the ground, groaning or screaming, I couldn’t tell what, and very soon silent. The leg made this angle shape as it fell, and then it was nothing, just part of the gore and debris.

A church steeple exploded and a spray of bullets cut through our men. We had to get to shelter. No time to knock. In the door, in the window, through the Goddamn wall, hello Mr. and Mrs. Kraut, you’re home’s a war zone now. Get down. Get down. Get the fuck down if you don’t want to die.

Is it safe out the back? I’m in here with Duggans, poor kid. He saw McAndrews go down and he looks pretty shook up. He helped me drag McAndrews out of the gutter, but the gunfire was too intense. Now we’ve got to fight our way back to the body. We’ve got to take this town, in order to bring the body home, or we join it where it lies.

At first we’re in the clear, scooting through a back alley under drying laundry. Then someone spots us and the shooting starts again. Someone jumps out from behind a corner and I almost shoot him before I realize it’s Curran. He’s got a couple other boys with him, and a few more join us soon after. We shoot at anything and everybody for a small chunk of forever. The drying laundry gets dirty fast, shredded sheets and clothing whipped around the clotheslines by the bullets into lumps of grey twisted rags.

One Gerry drops from a rooftop. Several of us try to shoot him on the way down. It feels good to see the enemy, good to shoot the enemy. It doesn’t really feel so good once he hits the ground. In the air he was fair game though. They keep shooting at us and we keep shooting at everything until someone spots someone, and then we shoot at that guy.

It seems to work. People stop shooting after a bit. We make our way back to McAndrews, and some of us start packing up his body, and those of a couple other guys who didn’t make it. The leg is lost.

We hear some shooting, distant, from another part of town. Some of us cart off the dead, and some head towards the shooting. We’ve got to join it.

–Dan Kilian
Editor’s note: Remember those who gave their lives this Memorial Day. Too many. Let’s stop having these wars.

Futurewar
The Korean War

White Wedding

Posted in All things music, Comedy, Fiction on May 24, 2009 by klogtheblog
The buzz was that Billy Idol, friend of the groom through a foreign exchange trip in highschool, was going to be at Kirk and Jennifer’s wedding. I knew just what I’d say to him. Philip Marsden, the total boor at our table, got to it first in the bathroom.

“Hey Idol, nice day for a white wedding, huh!?”

Idol gave a mirthless chuckle as he went into his booth. I dragged out my piss and caught him at the sink. Nice to know Mr. “Rebel Yell” washes his hands after. I smiled at him. “You must really hate weddings, don’t you?”

Idol smiled back. “Yeah, I kind of really do.”

We were friends. Struck up some more chat about fame and weddings and stuff. It was probably a mistake to do a bump with Idol there in the bathroom, and it was almost certainly a mistake to do several more later on in the evening, but it made being stuck at table 14 with Philip Marsden and the other peripheral guests more palatable, and I got the conversation flowing. I held forth on how great it was to be an extra guest and not have to do anything but wear a semi-functioning outfit and eat.

Which it why it was a such a surprise that when they started passing the microphone for the toasts I ended up giving a toast. I guess what happened was that as an allusion to my earlier monologue at the table about not having to do anything, I made a big show of rushing over and grabbing the microphone, as a joke, to pretend I was really missing the wedding spotlight, which everyone at table 14 knew I didn’t.

So I grabbed it as a joke and was just about to pass it back to the bride’s father when the perfect toast came to me. I forget what it is now, but I quickly said it, because, quite frankly, it needed to be said. It was so perfect and appropriate I know everyone at the wedding would get it that it needed to be said. We were all in this together, for just that moment. So I made a joke about that, knowing that they’d all get it.

So then I had to explain who I was, and why I was talking, so I redid some of my spiel that I’d already given table 14, about how nice it was being on the periphery, but I expanded on it a little so the people at table 14 wouldn’t be bored. So I explained why it was funny that I’d grabbed the mic.

I told people about the encounter with Billy Idol and Philip Marsden in the bathroom, and then I had to apologize to Philip Marsden, which I tried to tie back to the theme of matrimony. I forget what Billy Idol song I started singing, but I know it wasn’t “White Wedding” so I bet he appreciated that. He kept refusing to come up and sing with me, but he was laughing. “Eyes Wthout A Face.” That’s what it was.

Then I sort of got caught on a tangent about Pixar studios, and how they were so good they could make an epic 3D animated movie about anthropomorphic toe-nail clippings. I worked up some of the character names and some of the plot twists, and it was getting pretty elaborate.

Then the funniest thing was when the father of the bride kept trying to take the mic away from me, and then the groomsmen all ganged up on me to get it. It became this huge physical comedy bit, the more I thrashed and held the microphone away the funnier it got. The whole thing climaxed with them lifting me up off the ground and carrying me out of the place. It was friggin’ hilarious.

I was going to go back in for an encore, when I saw there was a bar in the hotel, so I went there for a couple drinks so my re-entrance would be timed right. I got caught up in conversation, so I was there for a while.

Eventually some of the wedding guests must have snuck out to join me. Even Kirk and Jennifer snuck out for a quick drink, which I kept saying was hilarious. Idol never showed. We had a real good time anyway, until a fight broke out and I had to save the day and get in the middle. I got a bloody nose, but things calmed down, thanks to me.

I forget what else happened, but I had a nice evening. It really was nice to be at the periphery. I still need to get them a gift, but I’ve got six months.

–Dan Kilian
New Stoner Day
Garfield Minus Garfield, K Style