My father János VI and his father János V used to drive down from Chowchilla and poach boar along the backroads around Monterey. (Safari-suit-wearing big-game fanatics had created a breeding population of boar on the Central Coast in the 1920s.) One time dad and Grandpa got lost in the fog and shot a sea lion by mistake. Grandma put it in a casserole with macaroni and cream-of-celery soup. Continue reading →
He was my cousin and my father’s favorite apprentice.
Late at night when the fog was especially thick (which is to say every single night for many, many years) my father’s fakirs would slide down the chimneys of the grand and withdraw a few minutes later with a candlestick, a watch, a spoon, a brooch. When the thefts were discovered more servants would be sacked, more bellies would be empty and more children would crawl to my father pleading for work.
Once they got the rejection issues fixed, several things happened:
Pet taxidermy disappeared entirely. When my aunt Stephanie concluded her cat Tiger was near the end, she had Tiger appended to her (Stephanie’s) left shoulder, and supplied Tiger with blood from her own heart thereafter. This fell into a grey area in the dress code at Stephanie’s office.
A small number of insecure men had their torsos grafted onto stallions. At that point the men were really hung, but they were no longer to the taste of most of the available women.
A subset of vegetarians went fully ruminant, their abdomens crowded with extra stomachs, their manner laconic, their mouths full of cud.
On May 1, 1979, seventeen capuchin monkeys escaped from a lab in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana. The monkeys thrived, and there are now an estimated 10,000 capuchins living in Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arkansas.
They steal my beer. I installed window locks, and they broke the windows. I installed bars, and they broke into Mac McCuller’s garage and stole his angle grinder. I left out poison bait for them, and they burned down my truck. Continue reading →
Back-to-the-land engineering graduates have largely abandoned 3D printing in favor of agricultural technomimicry, in which food crops produce novel materials and domesticated animals assemble them into farmer-specified shapes.
*Let us not forget that John Denver died at the controls of an experimental aircraft.
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Nalchik was a good place to recover. I spent several hours each afternoon in the hot springs with my nose above water and my hair freezing into icicles. The pool girls brought me tea. Every few minutes a bubble of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrous oxide farted up to the surface. I made no attempt to pursue the nitrous bubbles because I was there for healing, right? Healing.
Who would have guessed that I could make a living selling Panasonic R-70 “Panapet” transistor radios to the natives of Santo André, the smallest island in the Azores? The island’s population (excluding me) was descended from a stone soup of the original African slaves (mainly Ewe and Fon), their Portuguese overseers and a batch of mutinous Scots tossed into the sea and (legend has it) rescued by turtles. In the three-way genetic wrestling match that resulted, the Portuguese lost outright and the Africans and Scots fought to a draw in which their descendants ended up with dark skin and nappy red hair. They subsisted on fish, taro roots and hot sauce and couldn’t be bothered to emigrate.