Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"New Local Eatery Astounds Critic" - from THE DAILY FLYLEAF 9/5/13

"New Local Eatery Astounds Critic"

"A Little Taste of Michigan" Column by L. B. J. Cool Dawg

The Daily Flyleaf, September 5th, 2013 [From the Files of the Jeremy Kellerman Advice Hour Archive]

So I been writin this colum for a long-a-- time, and most of the foods I eat taste all plain and sh--. So when I first heard about "Laverne's Discount Oatmeal" in Ann Arbor, I was all like "HE-- NAW! Not another bullsh-- place run by some dumba-- who don't even know how to flip a flapjack." But I couldn't have been more wrong.

When I sat down in Laverne's restaurant, the first thing I noticed was how f---ing cool the menus were. They had this big-a-- picture on the cover of a old barn, you know like red with white stripes and sh--, reminded me of like a White Stripes album cover except the music didn't sound shi--y, and instead of music there was food inside, like music for eating, he-- yes.

Inside the menu, like the average food consumerist is gonna be freaked the f--- out by just HOW DA-- MUCH FU--ING OATMEAL IS IN THERE. When I saw it I was all like "WHAT THE HE--, ALL YOU SERVE IS DA-- OATMEAL? WHO THE FU-- DOES THAT SH--?"

Now at that point I might'a just walked right the fu-- out and flipped Laverne's Discount Oatmeal the big old finger-di--, but I was hungry as sh-- and luckily Laverne herself stepped out of the kitchen at that point. She was all like "Hello there, sonny! In the mood for some oatmeal?" And I'm like "Well I guess I'm hungry enough, I'd prolly eat dogsh-- right now," and she laughed and said "Oh, you youngins'!" you know like a old-a-- grandma says. Then she starts tellin' me about the daily specials (which included free orange juice) and how the deluxe bowl of oatmeal (64 fluid oz., hot fu--ing da--) is on sale for like $4.99 or some sh--. So I says "Hurry yo a-- up, grandma, and pour me a big steamin' pile!"

About 3 minutes and 27.42 seconds later, Laverne comes walkin' through the kitchen door carrying the most BIG-A-- FU--IN' BOWL OF FU--ING OATMEAL I HAVE EVER FU--IN' SEEN. She slams that bad boy down on the table, using all her elderly arm strength, and then she smiles at me like the sweetest old grandma that ever gave her grandkids ice-cold popsicles on a hot-a-- day in the summer, and she says "Now, you tell me if it's too much for you, and I'll get you a to-go bowl."

And I'm all like "FU-- THAT, LAVERNE, FOR ALL I KNOW THIS MIGHT SUCK SERIOUS A--!!!" but she politely assures me that it does not.

So then I hesitantly dip my spoon into this beige mess and, lifting up a heaping spoonful of what very well might've been the most bland, disgusting, shi--y crap I ever ate, I felt like a daddy tryin' to get his dumb-a-- little brat to eat some disgusting Baloney Hut monstrosity by doing that stupid "here comes the choo-choo airplane" bullsh--. But I ain't a stupid kid so I forced myself to shove that drippy pile of melted goblin a-- right in my mouth.

HO.

LEE.

SH--!

That was the BEST FU--ING SH- I HAVE EVER FU--ING EATEN!!!

I mean FU--ING DAM- IT, THAT WAS SOME DA-- GOOD FU--ING OATMEAL! HOLY SH--!!!

Serious, there ain't absolutely no FU--IN' WAY I can accurately convey to you the sheer level of mind-fu--ing deliciousness that was Laverne's oatmeal. That sh-- was like eatin' a 3-course meal prepared by a team of celebrity chefs, consisting of Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batalli, Anthony Bourdaine, every single Iron Chef, and the immortal soul of Julia Child. It tasted like every good meal I've ever eaten, multiplied by a thousand taste points and somehow blended in a way that actually tastes better than the individual meals that it consists of. It was like being a baby bird and being fed by yo momma when she pukes up worms, except the worms were delicious oatmeal, the baby bird is yourself transfigured into Tom Selleck, and yo momma is God. I mean how in the everloving FU-- do you even give oatmeal that much flavor...he--, how do you give oatmeal ANY flavor?! Laverne is like some crazy-a-- wizard-god that took the form of this old grandma lady to throw us all off, fu--ing sh--. 

I loved that oatmeal so da-- much I didn't even need a to-go bowl. I ate the whole fu--ing thing. I cried with every bite. I mean just wailed, like I just got told I won the lottery and my giant check would be personally hand-delivered by the Pope. Laverne was crying too, happy to see me enjoying her food so much, and we both were just screaming while I gobbled that godly elixir. About halfway through she told me to hang on a minute, then she ran into the kitchen and came back with a little container of cinnamon.

HOLLLLYYYYYY SHHHHH-------------------!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just when I thought the oatmeal couldn't get any better, she sprinkled on some of that cinnamon and it felt like getting into Heaven only to find out you got upgraded to the Honeymoon Suite and you'd get a personal massage from a bunch of enslaved demons that God didn't know what else to do with. I wanted to kiss Laverne's wrinkly old-a-- lady face but I didn't want to give her heart the boom-booms. After all she was born in the Year of Our Lord 18 hundred and 93 and my motto is, everything goes but never get stanky with a bi--h who shared time on this earth with Guy de Maupassant, even if she makes the fu--in' best oatmeal you ever ate.

Whenever I got done slurpin' down the last of that sh-- like it was the final cup of Folger's before they file for Chapter 11 during the Apocalypse, I told Laverne "You are one stone-cold, humongous mega bi--h!"" and that she made the best fu--in' meal I had ever had and that I had BETTER get some more for the road or I was gonna go absolutely super monkey balls ape sh--palooza on her fu--in' quaint establishment.
So after a lot of excited yelling back and forth eventually I got outta there with three industrial-size oil drums (had to go to the factory next door to get them, long story) full of the sweetest nectar this side of Greek mythology.

Then I motored my way over to the nearest medical supply store and started demanding their most accommodating oxygen tank available. I told them I was gonna use it as a never-ending oatmeal funnel, and they said "But sir, it doesn't work that way" and I said HEY, FU-- YOU, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY FU--IN' IDEA WHAT SH-- I'M TALKIN' ABOUT.

So as I sit here writing this review I am slurping down my second a---load of oatmeal this afternoon and dreaming of when I can go back to Laverne's, re-stock, and get ever closer to infinity beyond the stars. I touch the full spectrum when I eat this sh-- and you just have no idea if you've never done it. Get your dumb unenlightened a-- to Laverne's Discount Oatmeal as soon as your sh---y little legs will carry you and imbibe a fu---ton of oatmeal before I clean out that old bi--h's pantry for real next time. Serious.

Summary: Laverne's Discount Oatmeal is an excellent, small, family-style restaurant with an emphasis on traditional American breakfast fare. The limited seating may be off-putting to those looking for the accommodations offered by larger chain restaurants, but for those willing to put in a little patience, the reward of having breakfast in an authentic country-style diner will be worth the wait. Though the menu is very limited, patrons will find the level of creativity and flavors offered in the different oatmeal dishes to be more than a match for any other bistro in the area. As the name implies, the prices are better than fair as well, making this particular restaurant a perfect place for family breakfast on a budget.

Pros:

- Friendly service

-Delicious cuisine

- Cozy, intimate atmosphere

- Affordable prices

Cons:

- Limited hours of operation

- Limited menu

- Limited seating


- The orange juice kinda tasted like rat piss

Kellerman Releases His First Video Game!

Hello, Kellermaniacs!

So I've got some real BIG NEWS for all you Kellerman Buffs out there in Blog Land!

Yes, I know, it's been quite some time since old J-Kels has graced the world with a blog post, but I've been really busy behind the scenes on various projects, and this is one of the biggest!

PRESENTING...

BUTT!

What is BUTT? Butt is my new, old video-game! What do I mean by "new, old," you ask?

I first designed the game in good old 1983 when I was finishing my B.A. in Communications at Wanetshaw Community College in Dearborn, MI. This was in the pre-"Advice Hour" era, of course. It was just a fun project to exercise my creativity muscles. Like a real muscle, you have to exercise creativity to get stronger...do this, and some day you can become a creativity heavyweight like me! I wanted to create a video game that reflected my emerging interest in self-empowerment and positive thinking.

The original game was somewhat different than the game you can play today. It was titled "The Angelic Struggle" and featured an Angel of Positivity repelling the materialist, consumerist objects spewed by the Clouds of Despair, using the mighty Bellows of Self-Empowerment. The game was a big hit with my sophomore roomate, a certain Mister David Munson you might have heard of (wink wink!).

However, technology is a temperamental beast. I saved the game on a SAWG-E Flopping Diskette, produced by the Balonatronics corporation (back in the glorious '80s, Balonatronics was a subsidiary of the famous Baloney Hut fast food chain we all know and love). Unfortunately, I never found another computer compatible with it after I got rid of my trust old Rubendo 5000 PCD (personal computational device). Then after my beloved Vickie died back in 1996, I lost track of it.

But you can't keep a good idea down! A couple months ago, Scott was fishing around in some old boxes, looking for hidden treasures among a bunch of Grandma Kellerman's old stuff. What should he find, though, but the original SAWG-E Flopping Diskette by Balonatronics? He passed it on to his whiz-kid pal Johnny Weinstein, and using his incredible electronics skills, he was able to access the original master and sub-ter files!

Under my supervision, the game was updated to reflect the modern era. The name "The Angelic Struggle" was dropped because Scott said it was too outdated. He re-named it "Butt" instead, due to his market research into youth culture and modern gaming trends. Some of the objects in the game were touched up, and some new ones were added, to reflect 2010s sensibilities.

An interesting development occurred when Johnny discovered the licensing agreement of the original Balonatronics diskette I used. Apparently, by using the disk, I was also signing away half the rights to anything saved on the disk to the Balonatronics Corporation. I called in my manager, the always fabulous Lance Erikson, to investigate and sort everything out. Apparently, since Balonatronics now only exists to oversee the properties they created when they were an active company, in lieu of paying them any licensing fees, we made the project a sort of collaboration. All we had to do was credit Balonatronics as the co-producer of the game, along with me, and the Jeremy Kellerman Productions gang. This is great! I get to see my name alongside a beloved fast food giant's subsidiary! To show our thanks for being so easy to work with, we gave Roger Nimrockets, "Mr. Baloney" himself, founder of Baloney Hut, a little cameo in the game. Thanks, Roger!

Our game was finally released on April 1st, 2014, and I couldn't be happier. The PC version is currently available directly from Jeremy Kellerman Productions via this link: https://gumroad.com/l/YoDu

The OUYA version can be accessed here: https://www.ouya.tv/game/Butt/

Even more exciting, BUTT is a featured OUYA game today, April 2nd, 2014! Wow! A historical Kellerman moment! Yes! I hope soon to see some Let's Play Videos, reviews, and other fun stuff! We're working on an Android tablet release, too!

One last note: like other Kellerman projects, I'm releasing BUTT into the public domain using the Creative Commons Zero Waiver (CC0). This way, even more people will have access to my uplifting wisdom. Share it, friends!

I hope to do some more releases in various mediums in the year still ahead. The Kellerman creativity train can't be stopped! Choooo choooo! Nothing can hold J-Kels down!

Until next time, my friends, as always...

Think well, live well, and be well!
Jeremy Kellerman

Promo for Kellerman game

Thursday, May 31, 2012

JACKSON BLUBBER

Transcript of "Jackson Blubber" Commercial on WXVH, Channel  23, Ann Arbor, Michigan Local Access Network

HI, I'M JACKSON BLUBBER!

AND THIS IS MY STORE, JACKSON BLUBBER!

YES, THE NAME OF THE OWNER IS ALSO THE NAME OF THE STORE!

JACKSON BLUBBER IS THE COUNTY'S ONLY STORE THAT EXCLUSIVELY SELLS RAIN BOOTS AND SPANISH FLY!

THE DEALS JUST NEVER STOP!

COME ON DOWN TO JACKSON BLUBBER, WHERE THE PRICES FALL FASTER THAN THE PRICES!

JACKSON BLUBBER! YEEEEEEEEHAW!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Two Gods from New God" a work of Beat poetry by Zack Pat Shak

Introduction:

Hey there, it's Jeremy Kellerman!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post, but it's been kuh-razy 'round ol' Ann Arbor!

I've been in and out of the hospital and in and out of the studio and sometimes in one and out the other, like the way information passes through my ears, LOL!

I hope to begin posting here again as soon as possible, but in the mean time, here's a poem by my old friend and fellow Michigan genius/legend, the Beat poet Zack Pat Shak. Enjoy the depth!

"Two Gods from New God"

"where one road ends
Another begins
and quickly leads to the edge
thousands of screaming souls
return to the place from which
They Started.

I dreamed a Dream far too great
for this world
and so the World forgot the Dream
and forgot Me
and I, then, forgot Myself.

Memory comes and goes
and Returns and Departs
and Returns again
with the Tides
inconstant, ever-changing, liquid
much the same as Dream.

if you were I
and
I were you
we would not be standing here
together.

and how to break the barrier
of Otherness
that insufferable Gulf
between Us
between You and I
and who
we might be
Together."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Experts Determine That Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan is "Just Some Guy" - A DAILY FLYLEAF SPECIAL REPORT

Experts Determine That Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan is "Just Some Guy"

A DAILY FLYLEAF SPECIAL REPORT

by Jeremy Kellerman

Originally published in

"The Daily Flyleaf"

August 6th, 2011

"KETTERING, OHIO -

            Today during a press conference, an international team of scholars, scientists, philosophers and music critics have announced that they have determined that "legendary" singer-songwriter Bob Dylan is, in fact, human, the result of a study that has taken over three decades to complete.

            "Few singers, songwriters and musicians, or in fact artists of any field or medium, have had the impact same impact as Bob Dylan." said lead geneticist and Harvard University professor Frank Edmonds. "Dylan's music captured the interest of the youth during the turbulent 1960s and has somehow remained relevant to nearly all subsequent generations and to people from nearly every walk of life. Though his career has experienced some downturns, the overall consistency of his success is remarkable, to say the least."

            Explaining the particular reason for the study, simply dubbed the "Dylan Human Question Project," Edmonds went on to say that "...unlike other, similar artists, Bob Dylan has acquired a mythical quality that from the earliest days of his career has caused his fans and followers to view him in an elevated, even supernatural light. Many have referred to him as a prophet, a mystic, and other such lofty titles. We felt, decades ago, that it was worthwhile to determine the truth of these claims and to discover just what value one might find in Bob Dylan's life and work."

            What these scholars found, said Edmonds, is surprisingly underwhelming.

            "From what we can tell, Bob Dylan is just some guy. Essentially, he is no different than you or me. Genetically speaking, Dylan is absolutely just a typical human with a basic genetic structure like that found in all people." Dr. Edmonds went on to explain that thanks to testing on multiple tissue, urine and stool samples collected over the years, the research team had concluded that in an overall biological sense, there is simply nothing different about Bob Dylan.

            However, a biological evaluation of Dylan isn't the only type of study the team has focused on. Brown University professor Martin Hilliard headed a special task force as part of the study to examine the neurological makeup of Bob Dylan, and Hilliard's group worked closely with those led by doctors Annie Dodson of Ohio University and Michael Thomas, who led teams formed to study the mystical/spiritual power of Dylan's lyrics and their literal meanings (as close to this as could be determined) respectively.

            "We studied Mr. Dylan's brain during several daily processes. Firstly, of course, we studied it during songwriting, and also while performing, and listening to music, and his neurological functions during these activities proved not at all dissimilar from those of other singers and songwriters, or even of any other type of artist at work. In an effort to be thorough we also tested it during other activities, such as during meals, talking on the telephone with friends and while sleeping, and absolutely none of these produced any results outside of those usually found in normal, human subjects. It was," Hilliard added, "kind of a letdown."

             Dr. Thomas, chair of the English Department at Royco University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has scrutinized Dylan's lyrical content since his career began in the early 1960s.

            "I began taking serious notice around the time that the album Bringing It All Back Home was released. At the time I saw the album's title as a clever metaphor about the Vietnam War, though in retrospect I saw nearly everything as a clever metaphor for the Vietnam War back then. In all fairness, nearly everything was. As the years passed I saw his lyrical focus shift a number of times, and I wrote a number of well-received essays and delivered a number of highly successful lectures on the various literary allusions and other such techniques employed in Dylan's creative process."

            However, Dr. Thomas's enthusiasm for Dylan's work suffered some strain over time.

            "Don't get me wrong, I still think his stuff sounds cool as all Hell. The thing is, though, after all the work I've done, figuring out the various ways he has borrowed from sources as varied as Confederate poets, obscure Japanese crime novels, and traditional American blues music, I can't honestly tell you with any sense of authority what the f--- any of this stuff actually means. I mean, really, what the f--- are you supposed to do with it?

            Take It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) for instance. The opening verse goes like this:

            "Darkness at the break of noon
            Shadows even the silver spoon
            The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
            Eclipses both the sun and moon
            To understand you know too soon
            There is no sense in trying"

            That sounds cool as F---. SERIOUSLY. But what the f--- does it f---ing mean?! Like, if I went home tonight, and found out my neighbor's house was burning down with the whole family inside but I only had time to save one of them, how the f--- is this song going to help me? Okay, so maybe it isn't a personal morals and ethics kind of song, maybe it's more political, sure. So say I'm the President of the United States and I'm on the brink of a third world war. What then?
            Gee whiz, better pop on the old It's Alright Ma, and that'll clear everything up, right? The only statement in that line that remotely resembles any kind of advice or prescriptive statement is "There is no sense in trying," and not only is that bleak as f--- but he doesn't even try and support it. All that's there is a bunch of bullsh-- imagery about darkness at noon and some kid's balloon. What the f---, seriously?!"

            A visibly exasperated Dr. Thomas went on:

            "And take Highwater (for Charley Patton) from Love and Theft in 2001. This one he wrote close to forty years after It's Alright, Ma but it's still the same thing: f---ing cool song but you can't make sense out of it for sh--. I'm no pig without a wig, I hope you treat me kind. Really? REALLY?! The only album of his that actually has any sort of definite, discernible meaning is Christmas In the Heart, and that's just a Christmas covers album without any original songs!"

            Catching his breath before excusing himself, Dr. Thomas concluded that:

            "It's just f---ing disappointing. You know, he's supposed to be a prophet, his music is supposed to bring about world peace, he's supposed to be this mystical, incredible force, but when you get right down to it, he's just some guy who writes really f---ing cool-sounding songs that don't mean anything in particular at all. They're great for when your girlfriend breaks up with you or you're mad at the government or your cat just died, but objectively, they just don't have any real significance whatsoever. 
            Just think about it. The answer is blowing in the wind. What the f--- is that supposed to mean?! I could write something as profound as that. Why not The meaning is resting on the clouds or The truth is sailing down the stream? Sorry, but f--- this. I love his music but f---, trying to figure it out is just a big f---ing waste of f---ing time!"

            Dr. Thomas's colleague, Dr. Dodson, has attempted to search for potential meanings in Dylan's lyrics relating to various kind of spiritual truths.
           
            "Certainly just as much has been said by various scholars over the years in regards to the spiritual, religious and philosophical content of Dylan's work as has been said about any other possible connection. My team attempted to cross-reference and evaluate each song, working with Dr. Thomas's  group, to see if any pattern presented itself. Nothing has. We've even taken his biographical details into account to see if his attributes align with any type of known gods or similar deities.

            Strangely, the only valid argument for Dylan's identification with a known spiritual entity is the Anti-Christ. Look on the back of his CDs. The address listed in the fine print is 666 Fifth Avenue. No, seriously, look at the back of this one." Dr. Dodson then produced a copy of Dylan's 1981 album Shot of Love and indicated the address. "It's not only that, but Dylan is friends with the Grateful Dead, and they sing Friend of the Devil. That's pretty hard evidence. Still, there are too many discrepancies and not enough indicators aside from these things to prove that he is anything other than a man with a real flair for songwriting.  That 666 Fifth Avenue thing is pretty weird, though."

            The news of Dylan's official status as a human being and not any sort of official spokesperson for a generation, spiritual or political leader or prophet was released just after his August 5th, 2011 concert here in Kettering, OH. Fans have only just begun to issue reactions. From the infamous Dylan "Red" boards, run by a Texas pastor who claims himself a fan of Dylan's Christian albums, fans had the following comments:

            "typiccal" : Bob Dylan is definitely God, but so is everybody else. The spirit of a thousand-year old Atlantian warrior, channeled through a middle-aged housewife, told me this.

            "Mr. Stinx" : Bob Dylan is not God, but he's definitely Protestant. I must go jump in a lake now.

            "bloomin' insane" : Bob Dylan is definitely a hippie.

            "Spartacus" : Bob Dylan is definitely gay.

            "Eggbert" : "Under the Red Sky" is definitely a WAY better album than "Highway 61 Revisited."

            "DefinitelyThatGuy" : This is all definitely ridiculous.

            At the Kettering, Ohio, concert, fan reaction was mixed. A Daily Flyleaf correspondent in attendance, Leo K., had this to say:

            "Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat and Girl of the North Country were amazing. Things Have Changed was absolutely top-notch as well, but after that I couldn't focus because the guys in front of me decided that they would be THE ONLY ONES in our entire section to STAND UP. I'm sick of concerts. 60 bucks to see some idiot's back. I hope that guy is reading this and feeling ashamed of himself. Oh, also, The Carolina Chocolate Drops were AWESOME."

            This mix of fan reactions is nothing new to Dylan. During his 1966 European tour, when he "went electric," a fan infamously called out "Judas!" The man later revealed in a televised interview that he actually mistook Dylan for the current persona of the Biblical Judas Iscariot, who he presumed to have become immortal. It was assumed during that time that folk music was imbued with the Power of Christ. Later, fans thought they saw heavenly visions of Dylan during the airing of a Victoria's Secret ad. It was later explained that the "angels" that surrounded him were simply models wearing fake wings.

            Noted Dylan trash collector A. W. Jeberman and obsessed Dylan scholar Rhistopher Cricks, upon hearing the news of Dylan's humanity, have since locked themselves in Cricks's office at Cambridge University and are refusing to leave. Sounds from inside, plus the large amount of ponchos and umbrellas they were seen hauling with them, indicate to authorities that they are either engaging in sexual activity and/or preparing for very rainy weather.

            Despite Bob Dylan's lack of godhood, the research team did manage to determine that Dylan's son, former Wallflowers front man Jakob Dylan, is in fact the Babylonian god Marduk, Lord of Cities. So far, neither the public nor the media has taken much of an interest in this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Bear is Swelling

"The Bear is Swelling"

For her fifth birthday on the 23rd of June, Susie was given a teddy bear by her mother and father. She named the bear Mr. Hugs. Susie developed a habit of falling asleep with the bear wrapped in her arms. The bear became a source of comfort to the child.

Frequently the bear, "Mr. Hugs," would be left at random throughout the house as the family members went about their daily business. The bear gazed upon their activities with dull, lifeless, thoughtless eyes.

Yet, somehow, as the days passed, something began to change. For reasons unknown, and though it is unclear upon which exact date, the beginnings of sensory impressions formed, eventually leading to the existence of some primitive form of consciousness. The bear, though lacking any ability to interpret what he saw, was able to watch the family, hear them, smell them, and feel them for the first time. From approximately July 1st to July 15th, the bear existed within a state of pure experience and observation, not unlike a human infant trapped within an inanimate form.

Some short time later, the bear began to form memories of what he saw, and after that, gradually, began to learn from and develop opinions about his memories, observations and experiences. Sometime near the end of July, for the first time the bear began to desire experimentation and as a first act of will, the bear moved on his own. First one paw, then the other. Under cover of night, the bear taught himself to walk. This took only a brief period of three days.

As August wore on, the bear began to explore the house on his own every night, just after Susie fell asleep. At first he only explored Susie's room. He tried on her dresses and discovered that, somehow, he would swell in size in order to perfectly fit her garments. After Susie's room lost the sense of novelty it first had for him, the bear began exploring other rooms. In Susie's older brother's room, the bear found a different style of clothing to wear, and his size ballooned to match that of the teenager. In Susie's parents room, the bear took on the size and attire of first a full grown woman and then a full grown man. The bear liked the flow of Susie's mother's dresses, and of having breasts, but he preferred the larger, masculine frame he gained from wearing Susie's father's suits.

The bear, in time, learned to enjoy television (with the volume down low enough so as not to wake the family) and to prepare food as he saw the family do during the daytime. Having no mouth, the bear could not eat the food, so he usually wrapped it in tinfoil (mimicking the practice of Susie's mother) and hid it in the back of the refrigerator.  The family members would assume these leftovers to be the work of each other and no one ever questioned anyone else about where they had come from. Most of them went untouched and spoiled. A few of them, peanut butter and jelly, were left on Susie's night stand. She ate them for breakfast. They were her favorites. No questions were asked; she assumed them to have been put there by her mother.

By mid-August the bear had thoroughly explored the house and desired more. On August 18th, the bear stole a suit from Susie's father and quietly left the house, undetected. Standing with Susie's father's imposing frame, the bear quickly and quietly traveled down various side streets and alleys before finding the city's downtown area. On a massive main street the bear discovered countless casinos, restaurants and clubs. Curious, he entered one named "Luscious."

Inside the bear was exposed to the gyrations of many strippers, dancing upon poles. One of the strippers proceeded to give him a lap dance. She commented upon what she thought was the "interesting costume" he was "wearing," unaware that it indeed constituted his entire physical body. When the dance was finished and he did not pay, she became irate, criticized him for what she understood to be his sexual fetish for anthropomorphic animal costumes, and requested a bouncer to throw him out. The bouncer was unsettled by how light the bear was, as well as his lack of speech or screams as he was tossed roughly out the door. Several passersby snapped pictures.

Confused, quizzical and vaguely  frightened, the bear returned home, replaced Susie's father's suit, and, shrinking down to his original size, returned to his original position on Susie's bed.

The following night he repeated his actions. This time, he was approached by a woman who revealed herself to be a prostitute. She took the overwhelmed and confused bear to a hotel room with whom she had a previous arrangement and attempted to pleasure him sexually. She unzipped his pants and realized that she did not know how to access his genitals through what she, too, perceived to be a "costume." Frustrated, she tore open the fabric of his crotch. When nothing but fluff was revealed inside, she screamed and fled the building. The bear escaped to his home once more.

The following morning, Susie found the damage to her bear. Crying, she brought it to her mother, who repaired it. Her mother held his arms and caused him to appear as if he was dancing around happily. This made Susie laugh.

Yet again the bear repeated his actions, this time finding a different prostitute. However, on this occasion, he brought with him a pocketknife he found in the pocket of Susie's father's trousers. As this prostitute began to unbutton his pants, the bear motioned for her to sit back. When she did so, he grabbed the pocketknife and flicked it open with incredible swiftness and proceeded to slice into the woman's leg.

Unable to feel pain, the bear was simply mimicking what he had experienced the night before, as a way of experimenting. To him, it was a simple test of actions and reactions. His expectations were confused when the woman, bleeding profusely and with a limp, ran quickly from the room. The woman who cut him had run away first the last time; why, he wondered, was he not the one to run away first this time? At any rate, he once again returned home.

On the 21st of August, the bear returned to the main street, but several men were waiting to apprehend him. His antics had become the subject of fear and paranoia in the area and he was suspected of being a potential serial killer. The bear was grabbed by one man and a part of his arm was ripped off. The man screamed and retreated when he realized that no human arm was revealed inside the would-be bear costume. Before any further experimentation could be achieved, the bear, frightened, returned home.

The night of the 22nd of August the bear did not wear any clothes nor leave the house. During the day Susie had again been upset by the damage to the bear, and her mother chided her for damaging it. Nonetheless, Susie's mother repaired the arm in quick order.

As the night passed the bear considered many things. It briefly stole away to the family book shelf where it attempted to read "The World As Will and Representation" by Arthur Schopenhauer, but could not do so. Unable to learn anything further, it considered revealing itself to the family, as it felt a sense of trust for them. It spent the day unmoving as it weighed the options.

One the night of August 24th little Susie awoke as she was shaken awake by a foreign hand. She opened her eyes to see not her father, but a figure her father's size and wearing his business suit. The figure was her bear.

Susie became horrified and ran to her parents. At first they did not believe her claims, but soon the bear followed them into their bedroom. Susie's father grabbed a golf club and beat the bear to the ground. The blows hit the soft flesh of the bear's fabric-and-fluff body, confusing Susie's father. On the floor, the bear was motionless. Suddenly, the body began to heave, expanding and shrinking to an extreme degree, and the spine of the bear pierced the suit and the fabric-skin, and the back of the bear's body ripped open.

From out of the body came a flood of fluffy stuffing and red, human blood. Out of this emerged a naked, middle-aged man with a balding head of blond hair and a blond mustache. The man stood, uneasily, and looked at the family, with an uncomprehending expression. He continued to heave, as if he had difficulty breathing. The family looked on, silent and terrified. Susie cried.

Just as suddenly as the man had come into existence, he collapsed onto the floor and shrank into a shriveled fetus.

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The family buried the body that night and no one spoke of it again. No questions were ever asked; authorities never traced the incidents in the city to the home of Susie's family. Susie later became a successful optometrist. She married once but following the news that she was unable to have children, her husband requested a divorce. In the spot where the fetus and the remains of the bear were buried, a small tulip grew and existed for many years (despite the climate not being conducive to such a flower) until the lot was used to build a strip mall. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Priests Bake Cookies for Astronauts for Some Reason"


"Priests Bake Cookies for Astronauts for Some Reason"

originally printed in

"The Daily Flyleaf"

August 7th, 2011

            "YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN - Today in downtown Ypsilanti, priests from around the country gathered at Our Lady of the Sacred Conception Church in order to bake cookies for visiting NASA astronauts.

            The astronauts were in the area in order to attend a lecture being given by renowned theoretical physicist David Angle as he revealed several potential new applications of his work to the field of space travel. The astronauts included such luminaries as Michael Hargrove, Gregory Benton,  Clint Frasier and Martin Trappe.

            During the lecture, the priests gathered at Our Lady of the Sacred Conception's rectory to bake a variety of types of cookies for the visiting adventurers. Father Richard Byrne, who calls Our Lady of the Sacred Conception his home parish, was flabbergasted.

            "This wasn't a planned thing. I had invited a couple of friends, also priests, to join me in watching the Michigan versus Ohio State game the other day, and then when we realized that we had the date wrong and there wasn't a game due to the off-season, Father Larry Kildare just suggested we bake some cookies. Father Daniel Fitzpatrick said, 'Hey, you know, I bet those astronauts would really like these.' and we all just sort of agreed with him. I'm not even sure why he thought of it, or why we thought it was such a great idea."

            The cleric was particularly confused by the eventual size of the event.

            "We had a small disagreement over what to make. I said chocolate chip, Father Larry said peanut butter, and Father Dan said oatmeal. We each called friends for advice, to sort of take a poll to see what most people liked best, you see. Somehow that snowballed and we had all these friends, all fellow priests, stopping by to join us. Before long we had priests showing up from other states, some as far away as Delaware and Montana, and some of these priests didn't know any of us or the people we invited. We can't figure out how it happened or why they showed up."

            One such priest, Father John Herriot of Charleston, West Virginia, unconnected to the original group, had this to say:

            "I was just preparing for Mass when all of a sudden I feel this incredible urge to travel to Michigan and bake cookies for these astronauts. It's bizarre. I've never even been a fan of astronauts or space travel or any such thing. I've never even baked cookies before in my life. I have no idea what compelled me to do it."

            Hundreds of other priests expressed similar sentiments, and no one seemed sure exactly how or why the entire situation arose. If anyone was more confused than the priests, it was the astronauts. Astronaut and avid golfer Michael Hargrove had this to say:

            "We were stepping out of the lecture hall when all of a sudden we see what seemed like several hundred Catholic priests just lined up around several blocks, all of them with these huge trays of cookies. At first we thought it was a joke but then it just kind of went on and on, with this huge, awkward silence. The priests seemed embarrassed, like they hadn't really thought it through, and didn't know what to say, and we were feeling odd about it too. Nobody wanted to offend anybody else. I'm not Catholic so I wasn't really familiar with their ways; for a while I thought it was like this typical thing they do, but my Catholic friends are just as stumped as me. We couldn't figure it out. I'm still really confused."

            Indeed, many of those who participated in the unexpected, unplanned baking event remain baffled as to the ultimate significance behind it. Some have attributed the unplanned gathering to the influence of the Holy Spirit, while others have taken it as a sign of the End Times, occurring after the recent discovery of beached whales of a previously unknown species washing up all along the east coast, the sudden appearance of what seems to be Leonardo da Vinci's self portrait on the surface of Ganymede, and the bankruptcy of Borders bookstores.

            Naturally, far more cookies were produced than the astronauts could consume. While some took extras home for their children, many were left behind. The Catholic Church determined that as many as possible would be given to charity, and the unused remainder would be prepared for a very special Mass to be broadcast from the Vatican via the internet."