Sunday, January 30, 2011

new salty sweety crunchy chips! new salty sweety butter-flavored crunchy chips! new salty sweety crunchy chips with extra blueberries! new salty sweety butter-flavored crunchy chips with extra blueberries and a prize in every package!

wow! are they all-natural?

yes!! they are all-natural, refreshing, and just the cooling drink to end your busy day.

i like it!! and what about that prize??

win big! collect a prize from every package and enter in our grand one-time drawing for an award of ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

i'm already there!!

yes, you are. and in the meantime may we purchase your soul for a very cheap price, attractively packaged?

huh what???

that's right, just sign here with one of our extra-new gold-sparkle flibbo pens, guaranteed to draw a crowd, and we'll be away!

can i keep it??

yes!! this pen is ALL YOURS! and we'll even throw in this pad of shiny-glo flibbo paper, featuring all your favorite celebrity characters.

wow!!! it even has dodney duston, the fab new singer that everyone's mad about!!

it does! and soon you'll be joining dodney and the gang in HELL! but don't let that spoil your fun.

spoil it?? i can hardly wait! me, dodney, and a lifetime supply of flibbo pens?! can't i just go now?

patience, my child. for you have many a beverage to drink and product to buy before then. now here is your check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS, and do please close the door as you go.

Friday, January 21, 2011


there's a world somewhere that insists on being left to itself. no visitors welcome! if its out-of-the-way location, odd atmospheric disturbances and lack of favorable landing zones don't put you off, we can guarantee that you won't stay long.

before you even land, everything is shutting down, and by the time you get there it's nothing but cold, dark and dreary, nothing to be seen. the lights go out, the trees droop, moving creatures go dormant and hide in burrows, very deep and hard to find. just a bunch of dreary droopy trees and not much else. it starts raining.

most people just leave then. nothing here.

anyone who persists finds it increasingly uncomfortable. bogs appear and get stepped into. stinging plants spring up in all the pathways. wet things drop on your head, sticky and smelly and hard to remove.

anyone still here?

next come the landslides (only where no burrows are, of course) and the rolling moss that bites you. your campsite or prefab hut is built on quicksand and you return to find it sinking fast. was that an earthquake? lightning may flash as you run for your spaceship and you will feel very lucky to get out of there. tell your friends! they won't want to visit.

and all for nothing, a waste of good equipment and time and money. and no useful samples, no valuable minerals, no photo-worthy scenery or quaint native specimens, zero development potential as anything at all! unless you like mud and bad smalls and nasty stinging plants everywhere. yuck!

and off they go very relieved heading for planet resort or planet nervous breakdown recovery treatment center. and the lights go on again, the rain stops, the nettles fade away, the trees straighten up, and finally the animals wake up and come out again.

and the planet goes back to sleep.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


as noon approaches in your so-called "mean time" for one instantaneous moment it is the same day everywhere, it may even be sunday. saturday departs as monday arrives, a few feet apart across some imaginary line, with the sun just the same in the sky. hello, neighbor, what day is it? it's sunday over here! well that may be, but it's monday for me, back to work! or should i come on over for an extra day of weekend?

and at the imaginary poles it's evening on one side and morning on the other, you're having morning coffee while i'm having my after-dinner drink. wow, can i come across and join you? and by hopping back and forth the day can go on forever. or perhaps just sit on the pole where it must be no time at all.

and how arbitrary it all is! just do the math. ok, you have a limiting set of information to work with, your earth only rotates so fast and orbits just the way it does, but do the math. why 24 and 60, why not 32 and 45, or 15 and 96? or indeed 6 days with 35 hours, 48 minutes in each? well, no, that leaves the sun behind. even in modern techo-society it's nice to have the sun overhead at noon o'clock (or a mere one hour off it in summer). though, if it turned out to be that much better for business it might still happen. if there's more money to be extracted from people's work and people's spending, why not 5 days with 32 hours of 63 minutes, or indeed 10 days with 16 hours each? rich people don't live in world time anyway, they're always in their private jets or climate-controlled mansions, they don't care! who needs the sun when you have the deluxe super-sunroom, and who needs to worry about time at all when people must wait for you?

so on this arbitrary day of an arbitrary and awkwardly mathematical year, "leaping" around every four unless divisible by 4 and not by 100, unless it's by 400, this so-called "sunday" that so far entirely lacks sun, here in zone GMT-8 and god knows what they're doing in greenwich or why i should care. in any case, it may be 7?? in the "morning" here but my body clock seems to consider it practically midday, and while my neighbors recover from saturday-night hangovers or head off to church (possibly even both in one lifetime!) i look out at gray and wish it were bedtime already, with merely a long 15 hours or 900 minutes to go.

sometimes i wish
i'd been assigned back in time
in a place without a clock
and no one running around
making money!

but then i wouldn't have this
or this tv i never watch
or this computer i'm
typing on