fatman Find the clues!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Needless Interlude

Finally we are ready to track down LEVIATHAN and destroy him if need be. We have everything we need to undertake this kind of mission. Crusty old Ahab-esque sea captain- Check! A crack team of stereotypical underwater commandos- Check! A leaky, second-hand submarine purchased at "Honest" Vladimir's Used Submarine Emporium ('Where the prices can't sink any lower!')- Check! ...actually, that last thing is a trifle worrying.

"Honest" Vladimir, a former East European of dubious integrity, claims he found our sub somewhere on the bottom of the Baltic sea. 'Is good as new!' he claimed as he whacked the side of the vessel with his walking stick. An unhealthy clang echoed. 'What's holding that thing together?' I ask, pointing, 'Is that duct tape?'
'Duck tape? No understanding. We patch up hole made by torpedo. Is good now. Less leaking.'

I'm snapped back into the present as Lim finishes a speech to the Krakenguard, '....and in hindsight we probably should not have crossed Jesus DNA with that of a mutating sea monster. To expand on that further I have the absolute pleasure of introducing Dr.Heazlewood to the stand.'

Weak applause.

'Thanks Lim,' I say as I grab the microphone, ' what a magnificent introduction by my friend and colleague Dr. Hieronymus Lim WHO WAS WITH ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY DURING THE CLONING JESUS EXPERIMENT AND WILL GO DOWN WITH ME IF THINGS GO BADLY (wink). OK, for those who haven't the pleasure of working with me yet (stifled laughter from the audience) my name is S.Heazlewood, a.k.a.Fatman. We've been working on the cloning Jesus experiment for about...two or so weeks now and so far our biggest...um...'
' Mistake.' offers Lim.
' Multi-tentacled sea monster.' says Terry the one-eyed intern.
' F-ck up.' growls Van Cleef.
'...challenge is to capture or possibly eliminate JC 271-LEVIATHAN. Since it grows extra tentacles at the rate of one every three hours it's...pretty big. It's probably the size of an Architeuthis squid or a Sperm Whale. Combined.'

A raised hand from one of the Krakenguard.

'If it is combined with Jesus DNA would it not be a force of good rather than something that would go up and down coastal towns and devouring it's populations?'
'Glad you brought that up Token Hispanic Stereotype. Let me be clear: "Genetically identical" is not the same as being identical. This creature shares the same genetic makeup as Christ but it's personality is nothing like.'
'So it's like the evil twin of Jesus?' asks Token Hispanic Stereotype.
'If it'll make you sleep better at night. Look: say if I had the DNA of Hitler and raised a clone in a better enivro....' I trail off, 'Hey Lim! What do you think the result would be if we mixed Hitler DNA with Jesus DNA?'

A harpoon plunges into the wall inches away from my head. 'Let's not get carried away,' spits Van Cleef, 'we already have an enormous sea creature to hunt. Let's not exacerbate the scenario with a clone army of Hitler/ Jesus hybrids.'
'Point taken. Any other questions?'
'Can it talk to other marine animals?' asks a cigar-chomping Krakenguard member with a Brooklyn accent.
'Like Aquaman you mean? Maybe.'
'Is it possible to kill it? It says in the Bible that Jesus rose from the dead after three days.'
'Then we won't give it three days. Look men, we are all plunging into the unknown here. We don't know if normal weapons will work on it or if killing it would be pissing off God. All I know is if it's not stopped soon it may take over the world,' I motion towards the submarine, 'All aboard men. It's a good day to die.'


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Old Man and J.C.

"Oh! Ahab," cried Starbuck, "not too late is it, even now, the third day, to desist. See! Moby Dick seeks thee not. It is thou, thou, that madly seekest him!"
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

In certain circles the name Van Cleef is synonymous with hunting gigantic sea monsters. Since the late 20's he'd carved a niche for himself by boasting a gift for finding rare and wonderful marine life and then killing them. He'd roar his trade in ports around the world: "Here I be! The foulest man e'er to be keelhauled by his Ma! There be nothing beshat by Neptune that I canna hunt down! If it have fin, if it swims, I can take it down for a tuppence and a case o'grog! I've found Nemo, cooked 'im and et 'im!"

But after decades of hunting down monsters of the deep Van Cleef found himself with a diminishing market. He was hunting his prey into extinction. Not only was his source of income drying up, he found he was slowly losing his reason to live, his raison d'etre evaporating. He was without white whales to pit his wits against. Morose and withdrawn and without any challenges left for him Van Cleef melted away from public sight.

It took me two days to finally track him down to a dangerous bar on a wharf frequented by smugglers and degenerates. The bar itself was typical of places like this- cheap rum soaked into the floorboards, sailors asleep, unconscious or dying on the said floorboards and arguments were settled by spearguns at ten paces. I found Van Cleef eating roast parrot and playing Battleships with a barman, who had his arm gnawed off by a Tiger shark, out the back.

'You should charge your mobile phone batteries once in a while, I've been looking all over for you,' I say, pulling over to join them uninvited.
Van Cleef responded by spitting brine on the floor.

Look at him- face like a jar of spiders and the personality of a cudgel. A
Schimmelpennincks cigar jutting toothpick-like out of his mouth, a mouth that is a misery of decaying teeth re-arranged by bar brawls, a reptilian tongue and gums blackened by disease. He looks like he could survive a direct hit from a torpedo. He blows his nose on an algae-coloured handkerchief and says in a rusted voice, 'Rumour is you've been trying to clone Jesus.'
'Things not going too well for you then?'

Van Cleef and I had to work together twice before and we've walked away both times with a profound loathing of each other and a vow to never work together again but LEVIATHAN was a different kettle of fish, so to speak. I quickly fill him in on the details. 'Are you trying to tell me that there is a rapidly mutating sea creature that shares DNA with Jesus swimmin' 'round the ocean?'
'Well it could've been a lot worse. There's a JC called BASILISK that can kill people just by looking at them.' The news seem to worry him more.
'What you are trying to tell me,' he wheezes,' is that there are more of these f-cking things out there?'
'...um...yeah. About 400 or so all told.'

He keeps staring at me so I go back to the subject at hand. 'Look, we have a bunch of guys specifically trained to deal with this sort of situation...'
'...this sort of situation bein' the capture or possible elimination of an enormous underwater Jesus with self-replicating tentacles...'
'...called the Krakenguard,' I continue, ignoring him,' who are getting assembled as we speak. But they lack experience. So just tell me yes or no right now. Can you lead these guys? Are you in?'

Van Cleef doesn't even hesitate for a heartbeat and says, ' I'm in.'

The hunt is on,

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Squid Out of Water

Our understanding of genes has indeed come a long way these past few years. A couple of hundred years ago we were still fairly ignorant about potential outcomes of having a shallow gene pool. We were still a drooling bunch of inbred peasants, worshipping giant turnips, standing around the field with our hoes and our britches and deriving copious amounts of enjoyment out of using rabbits as golf balls. We'd also spend a lot of time marrying our siblings and drowning the occasional villager as "witches" if they had ingrown toenails or six-fingers on each hand.

Then eugenics comes along and is taken very seriously by a bunch of guys in the 30's who set out to breed a "superior race" of people with good genes (blond hair, blue eyes, ability to juggle chainsaws[1] and have lungs capable of yodelling for an extended period of time), something which is still considered a superior thing in pornos and Japan.

And, like that over-excited gentleman who always turns up at bucks parties and ends up with a dead stripper on his hands, we took things a little too far. By 'we' I do not mean the human race but me and my colleagues at the cloning Jesus project.

I arrive at the Mad Science Lab under the New Bethlehem Hospital at 3am. The call came in ten minutes ago and I came as soon as I could. I burst through the doors. 'Yo! What's the happy haps?', I ask gravely. Lim: 'We've had a JC ( one of the failed Jesus-clones) escape.'
'Shit. Please tell me it was JC 144-PIERROT the white-faced, tragic clown Jesus.'
Lim shakes his head almost wistfully.
'Was it JC 236-JACKALOPE? The messiah crossed with a jackrabbit and an antelope?'
'You wish.'
'It's going to be bad isn't it?'

The cell where we housed JC 271-LEVIATHAN is empty. Being an underwater creature we needed to install a tank full of fresh sea water and we had kept LEVIATHAN placated with bucket-fulls of his favourite food, plankton and murdered sailors, but it's obvious now that he wanted something we couldn't give him. Freedom. I peruse the cell to find out how he had managed this daring escape.

The surveillance cameras are covered with a black, anchovy-smelling goo. LEVIATHAN was a mutating sea monster so he may have grown an ink sac like his cousin octopus and used that to blind our electronic eye. Or maybe he always had this ability and kept it secret from us for a day just like today. He must have waited in the darkness until one of the mercenaries we hired as guards came to investigate and opened the door. And in that instant LEVIATHAN lashed out with one of his many tentacles, ripping the jaw clean off the merc. I stand over the jaw-less corpse of our fallen comrade and offer a short, yet poignant eulogy ('Squid got your tongue?') before heading back to the control room.

We get confirmation on the eleventh call. Terry the one-eyed intern: 'One of the cabbies working for one of the taxi companies "vaguely" remembers picking up a guy who looks like a cross between Jesus Christ and a multi-tentacled sea creature and dropped him off at the beach. Apparently LEVIATHAN was a good tipper.'
'Damn! We have to act fast. Hand me the phone. I...have to make an unpleasant call.'

Fatter than a speeding bullet,

[1]-Long time readers will have by now realised that I am a big fan of people who can juggle chainsaws. And kittens.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Oh the joys of having bored unpaid interns working on a project to clone Jesus Christ! I came in to the Mad Science Lab this morning after a woeful nights' sleep to find the hunchback shambling back and forth irritably, mumbling 'Thisss isss not good. The bossss isn't going to like this.'
'What am I not going to like?' I ask, stifling yawns.
'The internsss. They...'
'Hey, you've been working on your Peter Lorre impression!' I interrupt.
'You can tell? Thanks man! Yeah, I've been working on it all night wondering if anyone will notice.'
'It's very good.'


'The interns...' I gently remind him
'Sorry. Yeah. The interns are splicing animal DNA into some of the Jesus embryos to see what would happen.'

Freakin' interns! How many times have I told them to not go screwing around with this project? I've been less than satisfied with the results of the JCs so far and now they are adding ANIMAL DNA to the mix? Who knows what'll happen? They are like the dudes who isolated the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the Aequorea Victoria jellyfish and injected into mice thus creating glowing vermin. Giddy as schoolgirls at this new technology. Careless. Totally disrespectful of the moral implications of their actions. Plus if they were going to start doing this sort of shit could no one have informed me before so that we could bet on what the results were going to be?

I march down the damp corridors where we house the JCs to inspect the new additions of our menagerie, the hunchback scuttling a few feet behind me. I'm a little pissed off at the whole situation quite frankly. I peer into the chamber that houses JC 244-CENTAUR and see a creature who's upper body resembles that of the Son of God (breadcrumbs in his beard, eyes wide in wonderment and a pious glow about him) and the lower half of an Arabian Chestnut Stallion. He's reading a copy of Tom Clancy's 'Op-Centre'.
'Get that shit away from him.'
'Yes sir.'
'Where did we get a hold of all this animal DNA anyway?' I say as we pass the chamber that houses a Jesus with the body of a bird (JC 259-HARPY)
'Terry has a friend who works in the zoo.'
'Which one's Terry?'
'He's the intern you stabbed in the eye with a chopstick last Tuesday.'
'Terry...Terry...' I can't visualise his face, 'er...how is he?'
'Healing.' replies the hunchback.

Notes on several JC types to look out for:

JC 266-MANTICORE: Possessing the head of Our Lord, the body of a lion and the tail of what could be a dragon. Shoots poisonous spines when infuriated which tends to happen if people leave the tv on. He particularly despises car commercials and Dr Phil.

JC 271-LEVIATHAN: Started off fairly normal looking (save his hands resembling tentacles) and docile but has changed demeanour in the last 24-hours. Strangely, he is growing a new tentacle at the rate of one every three hours and I have spotted a lobster-like claw which he uses to make rude gestures with. Definitely a potential danger to mankind if he keeps growing at the rate he is.

JC 345-BASILISK: The most tragic of the JCs. A kind and caring creature, this unfortunate beast has the curse of killing anything it lays its eyes upon. Its desire to help mankind is hindered by this genetic defect and is driving it slowly to insanity. Also feeding it has become somewhat problematic.

(Insert witty remark here)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The man sitting quietly in the interrogation room looks nothing like he does in pictures. But put on a crown of thorns, nail him up on a cross and he would be a little closer to how we might expect him to look like. He certainly does have a beatific radiance to him. I enter the room sipping coffee from a Styrofoam cup.
'Espresso?' I enquire.
'Wh...what? No thanks. I'm fine.'

We had been experimenting with Jesus' supposed DNA for a few days now and had met nothing but failure after miserable failure up until today. Jesus with webbed-feet, bi-polar Jesus, Christ with vampire fangs, Bruce Banner Jesus who turns green when angry (JC 140-HULK), a Jesus who is a real nice guy but developed a severe alcoholic addiction and then a gambling habit and then we caught him beating up cab drivers (JC 153-JENKS), Elvis-impersonator Jesus and even an atheist Jesus. Although they all share the same basic genetic makeup and about 30% of them suffered from stigmata there didn't seem to be too many things linking them together. Their personalities are all over the shop. They do looks similar though.

JC 177-HIEROPHANT is the closest we've come to the Real Deal. He seems kind, compassionate, in tune to God. The spitting image of what Jesus should be like, spiritually speaking. Or so it would seem. I've been called into do a Voight-Kampf test to see if he's trying to 'fake' being Christ. Lord knows we've been fooled before (See: JC 166-THE RIPPER who escaped and was on the verge of killing prostitutes before we took him down. Apparently one of the interns was feeding it rats and making it listen to endless amounts of Opeth which would make anyone want to kill people).

I take out my Voight-Kampf machine that determines heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and skin conductivity of the victim...I mean...subject. I don't know why I just said victim. It also checks where the eye is looking because that's what they did in Blade Runner.

'So....,' I begin ,' did you want to ask a question before we begin?'
'Well...where am I? And how come I can speak and understand English?'
I zap him with low voltage electricity- Longinus with a cattle prod. 'That's two questions.'

He looks a little groggy so I walk slowly to the cooler to get him a cup of water, nodding slowly at the one-way mirror as I do so. Dr.Lim and a crack squad of mercenaries are on the other side, taking notes, and ready to rush in and subdue JC 177-HIEROPHANT at a moments notice if need be. After THE RIPPER no one is taking chances. No one wants to have their noses bit off.

'Here you are.' I say placing the cup of water in HIEROPHANT's mitts. He takes a sip. And Lo! it has turned to wine. I can't see them but I know that Lim and co are hastily scribbling notes. I take my seat. 'HIEROPHANT, I'm going to show you a picture and I want you to respond as honestly as possible. Just the first thing that pops in your head.'
I show him an ink blot test. He peers at it. 'It...looks like a small child. He's covered in flies for some reason. I wonder if he's hungry?' ( Compassion. That's good. I note it down on my pad.)
'Good. Good. Now have a look at this.'
'It's a train wreck. A lot of people seem injured. I should help somehow.'
(Again. Thinking about saving people. I note this on my pad.)

We continue in this vain for several hours. Ink blot tests, number puzzles, philosophical questions. We touch on what it means to follow the will of God and why we can't all get along as a planet. HIEROPHANT seems amiable, a real good guy and we have a real friendly rapport by the end of the interview. We shake hands. 'That seems about it. You're free to go out into the world.' He gets up and is on the way out the door when I spin around and tackle him to the ground. Lim and the mercs are in the room in seconds. 'Why? How did you know? You bastards! Bastards!' he yells and his jaws open wide, revealing rows of sharp teeth. He emits an inhuman screech.
'You were a little too good HIEROPHANT. I'm guessing you have some form of telepathy and was tuning into the thoughts of those around you. I've known from the second question it was all a charade. Train wreck? Buddy, you think it's around 30 AD. There are no trains.'

Lim and I walk away from the room while the mercs start beating into HIEROPHANT with claw hammers. 'Damn,' mutters Lim ,' another failure. And they seem to be getting smarter. Adapting.'
'We'll get there in the end. We'll get there.'

Honk if you're Jesus,

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Deep Beneath An Abandoned Hospital

The Mad Science Lab, located underground of New Bethlehem Hospital

We are still working out the kinks of the whole 'cloning of Jesus'-thing. This is not made easy by the fact that we are using second-hand equipment, the crumbling basement that we are working on is haunted and the team leader ( Yours Truly) has almost no scientific background and cannot work a toaster unsupervised. Budget is pretty tight and I can only afford a cheap science team that consists of disgraced scientists, a handful of unpaid interns, a guy who once played a geneticist on a commercial and only one hunchback.

So far we have produced only failure after failure. I blame this mainly on our tight schedule and the interns who tend to just f-ck around lobbing a football to one another and debate for hours on end as to what the plural of Jesus is. If it wasn't for Dr.Lim, the second-in-charge, I'd doubt that we'd even be as close to succeeding as we have been. I'll now list how the experiments are going because, Hell, you've read this far. (Note: I'm not going to bore my readers with the science of the process or explain how we got the cells to divide and grow so rapidly, mainly because I do not fully understand them myself. At school we were forced to learn the basics of genetic engineering but at that time of my life I spent more time perving on girls and gluing airplanes together than pouring over the "Mendel-Weismann-Morgan"notes)


Cloning of Jesus thus far ( each specimen has been labelled JC, then a numeral. Some have also been assigned a code-name when deemed appropriate)

JC1-JC12: Failure.
JC13: Zygote stage. Sample didn't last long.
JC14-27: Failure.
JC28-33: Zygote stage. Samples perished soon after.

(Dr.Lim fiddles around with things. I have no idea what he did but it improved the results somewhat)

JC34-38: Zygote to Embryo baby! Samples perished soon after.
JC39-42: Embryos....that don't last long.
JC43-TADPOLE: Embryo. Holding, holding....

(Me: Hey Lim! Looks like we're cooking with fire now.
Lim: Please don't cook that. It's THE SON OF GOD!!!)

Lim then begins to explain the procedure that will accelerate the gestation of the embryo to the eight-week mark and into a fetus. I wasn't really listening.

JC44-78: Fetus. These perish soon after. Is that now technically murder?
JC 79: Fetus. Sample destroyed after a careless intern kicks a football into it.
JC 80: Fetus. Perishes soon after.
JC 81-84: Fetus. Samples destroyed after a careless intern spills a mug of hot chocolate on them.

(Intern: Sorry Dude!
Me: Stop f-cking around you morons!)

JC 85: Fetus. Looks pretty healthy.

Lim then explains that from JC85 onwards they can hook these suckers up to artificial "umbilical cords" and further increase the growth of these Jesus Children. As he was explaining how he was to do these things one of the interns cranked up the stereo too loud and I could barely hear him. Sounded interesting though.


When we come back from lunch we are all astounded by the rapid growth rate of the Jesi/ Jesuses. Some have perished and others have hideous birth defects but these are a huge improvements from before. It's amazing what an hour lunch break can do. The notable JCs are:

JC 97-HREIDMAR: Jesus with a stunted growth. Possibly due to some kind of skeletal dysplasia.

JC 99-IFRIT: When released from the Womb ( a chamber where we house the rapidly growing Jesi) this Jesus ran out screaming 'Aaaaaargggghhhhhh! Aaaaarrrghhhhh! Pain! All I feel is PAIN! Arrrrgggghhhhhh! Heeeeeelp Meeeeeee!' and then he burst into flames, completely destroying the photo copier and singeing Dr. Gulbransson's eyebrows.

JC 121-BEETHOVEN: This Jesus appears to have Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome. It is deaf and has an irregular heartbeat due to a screw up with chromosome-11. Stupid chromosome-11!

The experiments continue well into the night....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.

Once you can grasp the knack of believing in impossible things the next step is to make it happen. Like cloning a human being or dating the Lesbian Girl from Neighbours. Impossible? I laugh at impossible. Bwa-ha-ha! I have in my possession what is supposedly the skin cells of one Jesus Christ bought at an exorbitant price. The 'old me' would have spent that kind of money buying a Doomsday Device and held the world at ransom but I have recently changed my ways. My efforts are to make the world a better place by cloning a Jesus or two, thus putting an end to disease, poverty and war.

(I'm typing all this at a nearby internet cafe not 400 meters from my mad science lab. For as cool as it is to have a mad science lab located underground of an abandoned hospital, aptly named New Bethlehem, we still do not get access to internet or cable and I have to do cloning research online at $3 an hour.)

I am encountering some difficulties. Namely, most of the data I have regarding human cloning are wildly contradictory. There are a lot of useless, even darnright fraudulent, information after the wake of the Hwang Woo-Suk Controversy and the wack-job Raelians so I have to triple check all the info I have before I start Operation: Bring Back Jesus (it was originally called Operation: Second Genesis but it sounded a tad John Case.)

Things to note before I start cloning:

1) There is only a 2% difference in a chimpanzee genome and the human genome but the difference, I'm sure you'll agree, is pretty huge.

2) "Genetically Identical" is not the same as being identical. Supposing that the DNA we have DOES belong to Jesus Christ. We would not be producing an exact replica but more like a twin of Jesus Christ. Many, many twins.

3) The success rate for cloning has been very low: Dolly was born after 276 failed attempts, Prometea took 328 and Paris Texas was created after 400 attempts. Is every failed zygote of Jesus we make the same as murder? And not just the murder of any man but the Son of God.

4) Will the new 'Jesus' have a soul?

5) Due to the extra shrinking of telomeres ( regions at the tips of chromosomes which prevent genetic threads fraying every time a cell divides) at every mitosis there may be a 'slight chance' that there will be some form of accelerated aging.

Oh well. Fortune favors the brave. No knowing if this is going to work unless we start crankin'!

Plus-Sized Model,

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Armed Only With An Idiot's Guide To The Human Genome Project...

On the phone he sounded vaguely Middle Eastern. The name of the person I was to meet was "Ben Trovato", an obvious pseudonym. I suppose that "Fatman" is also a nom de guerre of sorts so I didn't complain, didn't ask questions. He had what I was after and I had the cash. Supply. Demand. It doesn't come much simpler than that. 'We shall meet at the pier at midnight. Make sure you aren't followed. Double back if need be...'
'Enough!' I interrupt, 'I know the drill. Just be there. And don't even think about double-crossing me. I have powerful friends.'
'You and me both sahib. You and me both.' he mentions this as a sinister fact, not a threat.

The Artifact in question was the skin samples of The Man of Sorrows, a.k.a. Jesus. I had recently decided, on a whim really, to clone the DNA of the bearded one. It seemed like a good idea at the time. How does a man whose intelligence is on par with a brain-damaged numbat,
a man who gets nosebleeds even thinking about a Rubik's cube, suddenly decide to tackle a complex procedure that has tested the minds of some of the most brilliant scientists on the planet? A childhood promise. That's all.


"Ben Trovato" is on time. Good. I like punctuality. There is no one else at the pier. He holds up his briefcase and it reflects the light shining from the battered moon, indicating he has the Stuff. I hold up a tattered wallet indicating that I've left the money behind oops! but I'll deposit in a Swiss bank account later because he'll kill my family if I don't. He nods wearily and we walk closer to each other. Up close it's impossible to tell what his nationality is. Part Sri Lankan? Maybe some Native American by way of Europe. Or a little bit of African judging by his tan. Even when he talks, the language that dances on his tongue is like a chameleon. It's English yes, but the accent is too hard to place. It is a djinn. It is smoke with an impossible flavour.

'Here is the Artifact.'
'Is it genuine?' I ask.
He shrugs his shoulders and passes me the briefcase, 'It is yours now. Do as you will with it.'
The briefcase is lighter than a feather. As light as a soul. I turn and walk away, eager to get home and start my experiments.
'One thing though,' he yells out at me, 'it's a thing my second wife's mother used to tell her: "You shouldn't try to clone an army of Jesus Christs for there confusion abounds".'
'She really used to say that?' I turn and ask but "Ben Trovato" is no longer on the pier. It was like he had never even been there.

They LAUGHED at my theories at the institute! Fools! I'll destroy them all!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Don't Wear Orange On St.Patrick's Day

My mother found Billy's kidney in a container filled with ice while tidying up my bedroom during spring cleaning. I would have been about seven or eight years old at this time. When she asked me, point blank, if I had been performing backyard nephrectomy I could only mumble at my feet (such was my shame at being caught) a weak reply about how Billy traded me his kidney for a Star Wars toy he had wanted all during the school holidays. 'How many times have I told you that you just aren't qualified for Laparoscopic surgery?' she said angrily (This was years before Doogie Howser, M.D. was on the air). I knew she was really mad at me this time.
'But muuuuum...' I started whining but she cut me off with her look.
'Hand me over the scalpel and the laporoscope. We shall talk about your punishment later,' she said frostily as she took away my instruments (and Billy's kidney), 'I am VERY disappointed in you today. Why can't you get a normal job like a normal child?'

The fact of the matter was my mother had always hoped that I'd eventually grow out of my selfish ways. My kleptomania was becoming problematic (I had held up several banks in what the newspapers were calling a "spree"), my ADHD was a little out-of-control (after setting fire to that transient, Will-work-for-food guy) and my forgery ring was drawing unwanted attention from the Feds due to minor spelling errors. Unfortunately I come from a long line of con men, hustlers, petty criminals and pool sharks who found this sort of behaviour natural and so I never saw my acts to be a bad thing. Guess Ma just wanted me to break the cycle. So as she took away my belongings I just made a pathetic, left-handed oath to her that I would do no evil.

Anyway, recently I've been watching a lot of My Name is Earl-that Jason Lee comedy series where a ne'er-do-well wins $100,000 and decides to spend his time righting the wrongs of his past. It's a cool show. I like the bumbling attempts of Lee and his idiotic brother restoring the Karmic balance in the world and it made me want to do a grand gesture to wipe the slate clean of my crimes.

'I'd like,' I say to Housemate Darren during the episode where Earl decides to repay all the beer he stole from a golfer, 'to right all the wrongs I've ever done in one gigantic, clumsy gesture.'
'Well, if you're thinking about cloning Jesus to help out all the sick people out in the world and to finally settle the debate on which is the One True branch of Christianity then I think you're absolutely crazy.' says Darren.
'That wasn't what you were planning on was it?'
'It is now! Brilliant! Cloning Jesus. That's the second stupidest thing I've heard today.'

And so the Gates of Hell were opened,

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Google Fat

Search results that have spat people on to Ramblings of a Fatman this week:

'NSA and snuff films' and 'Nude Eskimo girls'

Thanks Google. I welcome freaks with open arms!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Like The Rotting Remains of a Neglected Relative

The bar I work at is in dire need of renovations. The hand dryers have been broken for eight months, duct tape holds furniture together and customers frequently complain of falling debris. The bribes we dish out to Health Inspectors have increased threefold in as many months. Not only that but the last week everything that could go wrong did. Thursday, the CO2 exploded, cleanly removing the head of one employee and seriously injuring four customers. Friday, the band never showed up, the freezer died on us and the till drawer jammed, forcing us to come up with a hastily devised bartering system so we could still sell drinks. And Saturday, the glass washer broke down, as did the bussey.

Although still a fairly well known bar in Melbourne it is no way near as popular as it was, say, five years ago. Our sister bar, Gambit, has taken over as the owner's favourite since it makes more on one night than we do in an entire week. We are like a once well-liked aunty who has fallen out with the family and is forgotten about, until one day a janitor finds her semi-decomposed body in a dumpster outside of a hotel.

And speaking of corpses in the dumpster, I must dispose of the body of a co-worker who was beheaded on Thursday.

Spends a long time trying to decipher Chinese menus,

Monday, March 06, 2006

Pretty Obvious That I Have Nothing Much To Say

...So I'll just post one of my favourite quotes:

'Son,' he said without preamble, 'never trust a man who doesn't drink because he's probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause the most suffering in the world. They're the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They're usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they're a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can't trust a man who's afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It's damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he's heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl.'
Then he paused for a long minute and added, 'And, son, never trust a drunk except when he's on his knees.'

James Crumley, The Wrong Case

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Your Pronunciation Offends My Ears

( Today's blog owes it's title to Barbara our Russian 1A teacher who was unimpressed with how I said the days of the week in Russian)

My dialogue partner is an imbecile. I do not want to come across like a Goth girl who dreams of working in a mortuary and keeps vials of chihuahua blood by her bedside table so she can use it to write mean things about everyone she has ever met but there is no denying the fact that my dialogue partner has a single-digit IQ.

We are up to the stage in Russian 1A where we have to write a simple exchange between two people. I thought it'd be neat to forego the traditional 'Hello person! Nice to meet you. What is your name?'-type dialogues and instead have a chance meeting between an accident-prone tourist and a foul-tempered Russian. We'd cover greetings (when the tourist opens a box of lobsters that attack him and a nearby Muscovite), directions (the Russian furiously trying to explain where the hospital is so he can re-attach his fingers), sums ('You owe me 50,000 roubles clumsy stranger!') and goodbyes ('Never foul me with your presence again!'). Simple non?

I begin to write down the word "eezveeneetye", an all-purpose word that can mean 'excuse me' (for when you want a waiter's attention or just pushing past someone in a movie theatre) or 'I'm sorry' (for when you drop a cement block on somebody's foot), in Cyrillic script when the half-wit dialogue partner asks me questions that make me seriously doubt his understanding of not just Russian, but English as well.

Half-Wit Dialogue Partner: What's that symbol mean?
Me (thinking that my horrible handwriting may be confusing him): Oh, it's just an Eekratkoyeh.
Half-Wit Dialogue Partner: Really? (Pause) What an Eekratkoyeh?
(Note: We are 5 weeks into an 8 week Russian course. By the third lesson everyone should know how to read and write the language)
Me:....it's just one of the Russian verbs.
(Another Pause)
Half-Wit Dialogue Partner: Why is there a squiggly thing on top of it?

He then starts making suggestions like we should ask each others' names or we should ask each other what time it is. I glare at him. 'You know what the situation is right? These are two people who don't want anything to do with each other. They just want to get to the hospital and leave each other alone.'
'Listen Garfunkel, you just let me write this sucker. Go to the corner and play with matches for a while.'

He shuffles off, leaving me in peace as I try to find the Russian phrase for :'Maybe they can attach a hook where your hand used to be.'

This monkey's gone to heaven,