Expanding Vocabulary

ThreateningSnowWe Chicagoans share many similarities with the Eskimos, besides our subarctic climates. The Eskimo language, they say, has sixty-two different words for snow. I would venture to bet we Chicagoans have sixty-two words for snow as well. Very few of them, however, are appropriate for use in polite company.

A Nation Comes Together Against SPOILERS

fliptopthumbIn light of some television networks and news agencies publishing Olympic
updates from Sochi before they have been officially aired in prime time, The
President, Congress and the FCC are dropping all other matters to address the national outrage over ‘Spoilers.’

Most citizens agree there should be a Standard National Spoiler Disclosure
Protocol in place, regulated by the FCC, which would force broadcasters to use a ‘SPOILER’ tag or similar disclaimer when revealing sensitive information, or face fines and penalties and possibly have their license revoked for repeated infractions.

Americans are outraged, not only for the irresponsible handling of medal counts
at the Olympics, but for other recent infractions including the Game of Thrones
season ending cliff-hanger, the Breaking Bad finale, and the almost instant
reporting of ‘more trite nonsense’ that accompanies any new Twilight movie
release.

After years of being splintered by national debates on political matters such as
the economy, national security, employee rights, voter rights, civil rights,
entitlements and government spending, it seems the American people finally have
an issue we can all come together on, and rally as one voice for some real,
substantial change.

The Director of the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander, addressed the press today, saying, “After reading countless personal emails and private messages, we are aware that the Spoiler issue is the number one priority in the agenda of the average American household, and it should be ours as well.”

Congress announced it is pulling manpower and money away from immigration, the
drug war, maintaining Guantanamo bay with an eye toward its decommission, and
the crumbling infrastructure of the nation, to focus our minds and our finances
on how to properly identify and warn about Spoilers, and other related
matters such as how long is the statute of spoiler limitations? Is giving away
the plot-lines of Firefly, now ten years in the public eye, still a
prosecutable offense? How soon is too soon?

The President, Congress, Senate and other government VIPs are said to be forming
an expert committee to deal with this emergency, and promises to put all other
matters aside until this is dealt with to mutual satisfaction.

Joe Krumpnall, an out of work auto mechanic and ex-vet we interviewed today
seemed to reflect the Government’s and the people’s beliefs. “I have no job and
no money and I’m sick but I can’t go to the doctor because I have no insurance.
And I’m currently playing a sort of roulette game; will my electricity be cut
off before my television and phone service, or will my landlord beat them both with his
ten-day notice to evict? I tell you what, the only thing that keeps me sane recently after a long day of hunting for work and begging for
help is to come home and watch some young girls sliding a rock across the ice
and sweeping it home. Now that’s ruined, since they announced all the curling results and medal winners already on the five o’clock news.”

American officials are consulting with the British Government and the BBC. They specifically want to find out how the Doctor Who Fiftieth Anniversary Special was handled so adeptly. For the better part of a year secrets were kept under lock and key, even from cast and crew. There were denials and rumors and denial of rumors, but in the end it was kept mostly a secret on a level with most matters of National
Security, until Tom Baker made his return to the show for the first time since
the 1980s.

Oh, have I said too much? There’s a helicopter overhead and a black van in the
driveway. Someone is pounding on the door. I’ll be right back…

A message to my fellow writers

GhostwriterAnd an offer to the readers…

One thing which I think is important to remember, I have to continually move this back to the forefront of my mind, and it’s probably something all my fellow writers out there can take a little comfort in, or maybe readjust our expectations.

We write, we are the writers. Our readers read, this is what they do. And while we all yearn and scratch for feedback and input and all coveted costumer review, we must remember that many who we beg for words do not feel adequately prepared or properly trained to do so. They would love to convey their opinion of our work, but if their level of confidence and intimacy with the language doesn’t match our own, they may feel intimidated to use their words to talk about ours.

To this end, I am offering a new service; especially geared toward the readers among us who would love to put their opinions into digital print if they could only find the right words. For a mere 99 cents, I will ghost write your review of my book. I will strive to put your unique take of my work into words you will be proud to paste anywhere, I will also do my best to convince you that this truly is the most important work you have ever read.

This way, we all win. The writer gets the reviews they cherish so, and the reader gets a few professionally framed paragraphs explaining their thoughts which they can paste around the internet and feel like a well-spoken, as well as obviously well-read, individual.

Act now before the inevitable laws are passed against this sort of thing!

Olympic Committee called on to ban anthem

Flip Top News LogoDATELINE, Sochi.

It began with a few countries asking the International Olympic Committee to ban the national anthem of Lichtenstein, which is the 1968 hippie masterpiece In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly.

Lichtenstein, a tiny sixty-two mile square mile strip of land between Switzerland and Austria, is well used to being overlooked. The country began to gain publicity and fame when it was reported that Doug Ingle, vocalist and organ player for Iron Butterfly, was born in the tiny nation. Eventually, in recognition and gratitude to Lichtenstein’s most famous export, they changed their national anthem to the seventeen minute long In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

This has gone mostly unnoticed as does most everything the tiny state does. They have rarely won medals in previous Olympics and have skipped about half of them altogether.

This year, however, the Lichtenstein athletes have come to compete. They won their first gold medal in the early events that were held the day before the official opening, besting the rest of the competitors in Figure Skating- Pairs- Siamese Twin- Short Routine. When the seventeen minute hippie anthem was played while the athletes stood with their medals, some countries protested primarily on the burdening length of the song.

Lichtenstein has continued to place well in the competition, winning seven gold medals as of this writing, most notably in Women’s Cross-Country Speed Curling, and Men’s Individual Ski-Lift Defenestration.

More and more countries have aligned with the protest as the extended acid rock staple is played repeatedly. Some national ambassadors are citing the thick cloud of marijuana smoke that permeates the stands every time Lichtenstein wins a medal, and the general feeling around the grounds which are starting to resemble a Grateful Dead pre-concert parking lot.

Olympic Officials could not be reached for comment at this time. They could be reached, but refused to comment as their mouths were full, mostly Cool Ranch Doritos and Krispy Kreme Donuts.

©Robert Emmett McWhorter

Shutting down the weather channel

fliptopnewsA group from Earlham Iowa identifying itself as Citizen Against Unamericanism & Socialism & Evilution (CAUSE) is planning a march on Washington DC later this month to publicize their cause and try to drum the president or congress into some type of action.

They are calling for a full boycott of companies who advertise on the Weather Channel. Their online campaigns at [whine&cheese.net]  and [soapbox]have spread petitions world-wide calling on people to stop watching the Weather Channel and stop buying from anyone who supports their Orson Wellian 1984 remake of War of the Worlds scare tactics. Some local affiliates and cable providers have recently stopped offering the channel in certain areas.

The group’s leader, Leigh Donald Day say CAUSE, which they pronounce as ‘cuz,‘ wants the FCC to step in and stop the Weather Channel as a matter of National Security.

Their initial complaint was that programming on the Weather Channel has grown increasingly violent over recent years, and is no longer suitable for children to watch, with an increase in fatalities from tsunamis and hurricanes and volcano eruptions and virgin sacrifice as well as spontaneous combustion. The group has been pressing harder in recent weeks since the snow storms covering much of the country are causing so many children to miss extended lengths of school time due to all the ‘Snow Days.’

When reached for comment the president declined to speak on the matter, saying it was utterly ridiculous and he had nothing to hide, but was currently busy on sky writing mission aboard Air Force One, spelling out ‘HAARP’ in the chem-trail clouds.

Flip Top News vows you bring you the latest on this story as more develops.

Aftermarket Mark Up

Used copy of MEOWING on Amazon for $999.11

Used copy of MEOWING on Amazon for $999.11

This is pretty funny. Having my first book newly available to the world, I have been mindful of the sites where it’s available for sale. I was bewildered and amused to see the first offering of a used copy of the book, especially when I saw the price.

Yep, you are seeing that right, this is not doctored at all I swear. Someone is asking almost a thousand dollars for a used copy of Meowing on the Answering Machine, but they assure us it is a good copy.

I’m sure it’s a typo. I’m sure the seller was still laughing too hard from reading my stories to type straight. Otherwise, I have to wonder, what all is included in the thousand dollar edition of my book? For that price, it better come with a talking couch… and free shipping!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing…

Black Holes

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF An illustrated guide detailing steps you can take to safeguard your family from random stellar outbursts and galactic collapse.

Install Your Own Flip Top Head™

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One of my common themes, the Flip Top Head™, so you can take your brain out for a drag. This is part one of an extensive, easy to read guide to installing your own hinge and hasp and making the most out of the skull space by keep your mind externally.

Mood Ink

Hildegard_von_BingenMy mood depends on the pen I use. Currently, I write with the blue ink of pontification. Where upon I reflect, turn inward to remember.

I save my black pen for hate mail. I could never write, “You dirty bastard batch of corporate bitch slime, you’ll burn like whisky farts in hell, with my blue pen, except of course in retrospect.

I save calligraphy for paying bills and writing checks. Cursive only when writing in the bath.

When I occasionally wait tables I use a shorthand hieroglyph system that all the line cooks seems to intuit and easily recognize. I spend most of my time carving woodcuts which I stamp on the back of postcards and drop into the confession box. The best thank you note is wrapped around a brick.

©M²XIV/REM

Robisms

I’ve been amassing these little sayings for years, weird stuff just falls out of my head. Most of these are skewed takes on familiar sayings, others are some of my ‘go to’ lines for certain situations. I know there are some I’m forgetting, and I’m always coming up with newer and weirder ways to break the language, so this page will be updated occasionally.

‘You have to learn to walk before you can properly fall down’

thinker‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid indefinitely.’

‘It wasn’t me! And I promise I’ll never do it again!’

‘A watched phone never boils’

‘People who live in Glass Houses shouldn’t worry about whether they’re half full or half empty.’

‘A woman is like a fine wine, one is too much and a thousand isn’t enough.’

‘Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and he’ll have an excuse to get drunk at five in the morning.’

‘They say that when God closes one door, he opens a window; so obviously He’s not the one paying the heating bill.’

‘You can lead a horse to water, but you still have to hold it’s head under manually if you expect it to drown.’

‘When life gives you lemons, wrap them in a sock so you can beat people with it and not leave a bruise.’

‘Some say the glass is either half-full or half-empty, I say the choice of vessel is completely inappropriate for the amount of liquid it contains.’

‘Relearning an old trick, you may at first feel rusty, but it soon comes back to you just like falling off a bike.’

‘I don’t put much stock in Horoscopes or really believe in the validity of Astrology, but this is a typically Pisces thing to say.’

‘They say sometimes you must choose between being happy, or being right. I do hope you’re happy, because you certainly are not right!’

‘Of course I’m right, I’m always right! And even when I’m wrong, I’m still righter than you!’

‘I like my coffee like my women; cold, black and bitter.’

‘I can tell the future, but I can’t tell it much. The future never listens.’

‘I’ve never laughed so hard in my mouth!’

‘I don’t care much for tomatoes, but I rarely stop in the produce aisle to yell at the people buying them anymore.’ (standard reply to most trolls)

© Robert Emmett McWhorter

Squirrevolution

exhibit A: Squirrel Revolt  
 
exhibit B: Squirrel Attack  
 
Labrador Dali – Squirrels

This has just come to my attention, and the situation is dire. Forgive me if I fore-go pleasantries and formality, but this matter is too pressing to concern ourselves with decorum.

There are two videos on your right, on the surface they appear to be harmless television ads for a TV provider. I am not in the habit of showing commercials here especially if they aren’t advertising me or paying me for the space.

But there is much more going on here than is immediately apparent. It may be wrapped as a sales pitch, but the project was no doubt commissioned by the Squirrels. A thinly veiled facade for the actual transmission, a rodent-centric call to arms, as well as training guide for young marmots, vitriolic anti-human propaganda.

The first video, for the sake of folks who can’t work the videos and those allergic to advertising, is called Squirrels Revolt, and shows a group of the rodents, forced to work in sweat-shop conditions by their human captors, a common theme in anti-human squirrel art. One brave squirrel worker stands up and calls on his squirrel brothers to revolt.

The second video is similar, featuring a squad of guerrilla squirrels attacking a human civilian in the park. I will spare the gory details, as much as they might turn your stomach and turn your hair gray, I cannot bare to imagine them enough to commit the vile actions to paper.

The words are hard to read, and the video is tough to watch, but be assured the most violent and disturbing aspects of these incidents have been cut out by the Marmot Overlords. They are always careful of the image they project; they keep a tight leash on the information they release.

Those of you following my work for any length of time know how outspoken I am about the Invasion of Squirrels, and the evil plots they develop, and some they have hatched over the years.

In 2007 I wrote the song ‘Squirrels’ as an attempt to warn the world about the coming war. We were able, finally, to record the track for inclusion on the Labrador Dali ‘Possum House’ CD. I thought I could spread my message far and wide, warning people of the impending violence, the Rodent’s Revolt.

I was shocked, livid and terrified when I first received the acetates. My twenty minute masterpiece, the anthem of humanity, the cautionary tale of danger approaching; it was hacked down to three minutes. Nine verses, the ones explicitly warning about the evil of Marmots and the destruction they planned, had all been cut. The remaining lyrics told a disjointed tale of quantum wave-particle duality and the sun blowing up.

I stormed over to Hermetic Medical Records’ underground bunker, lurking through the sterile hallways looking for our A&R guy. The faint greenish-yellow light barely limping out of the bulbs and out of the fixtures, it had little strength to shine at the cold hallways around me. The strange echo of my footsteps bounced back louder than the original sound. It was all intentional, all installed to make any big-headed musicians uneasy and possibly nauseous.

I couldn’t find our representative but I managed to find the label’s CEO. I happened by his open door, and saw him inside sitting at his desk.

I walked in without knocking, sat down without asking; I threw my test-press disc on his desk.

He knew my issue, he wasted no time. He apologized, said regretted trimming the song, but he had no choice; it was just too damn long.

I didn’t stick around argue or let him say anymore. I wanted out of the building, my whole being shivered, an icy fear. I wanted to run far and fast, away from the situation.

He was lying. The song’s length wasn’t the issue, I knew this in my heart. The real problem was the message, the warning I tried to give humanity about the coming danger.

The CEO made excuses; but I knew calling him on it, or getting him to admit it, would be useless. It was too late, he was already on the take. The Marmots had gotten to him, either coercing him with wealth or threatening him with violence. Either way, it didn’t matter, he was now in their employ. There was nothing I could do but save myself; get out of this building as quick as I could before they got me too.

I was certain the CEO wasn’t the only one, the whole company was likely infected, possibly the whole industry, maybe even all media.

The squirrels won this battle; I could see it plain as day. I saw it sitting on CEO’s desk, something new. It had never been there before; not in all the years I had been with Hermetic Medical Records, all the time I had spent in this building, this office. I knew exactly what it meant; they were in control, this was how they marked their territory.

Somehow it seemed menacing, it sparked fear in mt soul, I thought it was mocking me somehow. It was a dish, only a dish that had never been there before, atop the sparse desktop before; a half-filled, glass bowl of mixed nuts.

©Robert Emmett McWhorter

The Writer Calls In Sick

CALLinSICK

(written by Robert Emmett and PT Wyant)