The Annotated The Gods Must Suck

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Table of Contents
Why Does This Text Exist? ................................................................................................................ 2
The Dancing Prophet ......................................................................................................................... 4
  The Dancing Prophet....................................................................................................................... 5
     Mike the Sacred King and the Dedication Present...................................................................... 5
     Neon Mike Descends into the Underworld................................................................................. 11
     Mike Seeks the Sacred Golden Brewskis.................................................................................. 18
     Neon Mike Confronts Gamma Gamma Lambda........................................................................ 23
     Neon Mike at the Dedication Party............................................................................................ 25
     The Aftermath of the Party......................................................................................................... 35
  The Seal Queen's Quest................................................................................................................ 36
     Lisa Gives the Devil an Estimate............................................................................................... 37
     Lisa Finds the Problem.............................................................................................................. 41
     Queen Lisa Hits the Road.......................................................................................................... 48
     Lisa Gets Really Really Really Really Lost................................................................................ 52
     Lisa Meets the Ship of the Dead................................................................................................ 55
     Captain Trips Tells His Story..................................................................................................... 58
     Lisa Back in the Mediterranean................................................................................................. 61
  Lisa Gets Burned........................................................................................................................... 65
     Lisa Shows Poseidon that She Really Has What It Takes......................................................... 71
     Lisa Gives the Devil His Due..................................................................................................... 77
  The Vengeful Sacred King............................................................................................................. 83
     The Sacred King Gloats............................................................................................................. 84
     Zeus Tries to Pull a Nasty.......................................................................................................... 85
     Everyone Gets Saucy................................................................................................................ 93
     Mike Blows It............................................................................................................................ 101
     The Hero in Hiding................................................................................................................... 107
     The Night That Wouldn't End................................................................................................... 113
     The Unrecognized Guest That Blew Mike's Consciousness.................................................... 118
     Mike Gets Really Super Slamming Like a Big Power Nazi...................................................... 124
     A Hero's Reward...................................................................................................................... 132

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Why Does This Text Exist?
In the early-mid-1990s I had learned to deal with the tedium of existence by cultivating obsessions
with certain kinds of lurid things and stupid things. At a boring, tedious, go-nowhere job these
provided me with ready-made points from which to launch nuisance attacks on other people;
bothering others, it seems, either seriously degraded my mental health or preserved it from certain
ruin. Once they achieve sufficient density, obsessions must overflow the human mind and come out
somewhere. Done with some technique or in a manner that resonates with some audience
somewhere, we may call it art, but I don't attribute that title to this.
Mainly, though, I spent a lot of these years cutting up when in the company of others and reading
useless books about things like comparative religion and popular culture and serial killers. A few
years of this allowed me to accumulate enough material that it seemed necessary to off-load it
somewhere, and a completely unnecessary mock-epic about Fang seemed like the best way to go
here. It travels in the company of a similar text about Robert Thetford, though set in modern times
and attempting less to reconcile him with mythological sources as to place him in a contemporary
magical stupidity unrealism version of Siddhartha.
I drew a great deal of inspiration in those days from a figure I refer to (mysteriously) as my Stupidity
Guru, who taught me better ways of celebrating the ridiculous and turning situations that would have
once driven me to self-pity into opportunities for making others far more uncomfortable than I was.
He gave me the nerve to be bad; I gave him the cover he sometimes needed, though I definitely got
more from him than he got from me. I didn't count, but it wouldn't surprise me if 1/3 or more of the
footnotes in this annotated version implicate anecdotes, sayings, or deeds of his. Michael has
probably heard me use some of these without ever recognizing their origins as foreign to my own
manufacture – this comes, in part, from my streamlining my own style of stupidity to maintain
compatibility with his.
Bad judgment tended to compound over this whole ridiculous enterprise, though. First, the bad
judgment in deciding to write any of this stuff down; second, the notion of making it some kind of
lame fan fiction about Michael Austin; third – much more severe – the horrendous lack of tact
inherent in having sent him an unsolicited, unannounced manuscript of the thing as another in a long
series of attempts to damage his sanity and inflict upon him an unwanted self-awareness (Robert
accused me of having done this to him, particularly in the context of me having him yell “I HATE
COPS!” one too many times in his no-longer-extant text), and subsequent demonstrations of my own
manifest lack of sympathy or social skills. Even after it was established that I had gotten away with
sending the horrid thing to Mike and Lisa – note that I do not say It had been all right – I continued
giving the existing text additional life.
At my first office job, where I edited hypertext help systems (Windows Help files), I used the
document to teach myself how to do some of the conversion tasks necessary in starting with raw
pure-ASCII files and producing a WinHelp file from the other end of the process. Then the source
material served as a project for teaching myself HTML, after which point I compounded the poor life
choices inherent in letting the manuscripts survive by posting the whole thing on a web page. And
ten years and more had passed, and one last exercise in nonexistent impulse control remained:
annotating the damned thing so that some of the internal logic became more open to some
hypothetical or imaginary person who might want to read it.

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With only those changes I could not stand to omit – some things with tempering some of the
profanity (asterisk-vowel substitutions in f-bombs and s-bombs), omission of lame-beyond-lame
introductions, abandonment of hyperlinked indexing of events (too much work to upgrade to a linked
PDF file), minor spell checking and renaming of one or two headings to make the hyperlinked table
of contents more useful), this manuscript retains essentially all the bad features of the original,
especially the vomitrocious illustrations. In general, badness remains intact because I liked it better
that way.
But the annotations represent perhaps a richer body of the absurd than the strained situations and
made-up incidents used here to make fun of Mike and Lisa through proxies I manipulated like hand
puppets to launch the various assaults on human dignity that appear throughout. Sufficient time has
passed that Michael probably (with intent) misremembers a number of the items attributed to him. I
figure putting them down in writing will make it that much more difficult for him to deny things to his

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The Dancing Prophet
    Chapter one: Mike the Sacred King and the Dedication Present
In which Mike ponders the problem of what to get for the Sacred King of the Moon, who could
probably kick his ass....

    Chapter Two: Mike Descends into the Underworld
In which Mike gets into a big slappy fight with his Lust in the underworld over his honor and the one
vacant crapper....

    Chapter Three: Mike Seeks the Sacred Golden Brewskis
In which the Well of Sacred Wisdom helps Mike get a grip by sending him to deal with the unspoken
horrors of the Chicken Master....

    Chapter Four: Mike Confronts Gamma Gamma Lambda
In which Mike wahoos like in the old days before he got a damn job....

    Chapter Five: Mike at the Party
In which Mike demonstrates that his big old butt ain't just for show, dammit....

    Chapter Six: The Aftermath of the Party
In which Mike and Lisa lick their wounds in an age 3000 years before the invention of the Band-

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The Dancing Prophet
    This translation comes from a recently found document in primitive Aeolian Greek. Parts of the work are clearly pre-
    Homeric from an uncertain source, but there are traces of later interpolations. Or perhaps it's all bullsh*t end to end.

Mike the Sacred King and the Dedication Present

The world knew Mike as Mike, Michael, or Neon Mike the Eternal Rhinestone king1, but his true,
secret name was Mikhail Halogenus Austinides, and had been for many centuries. And one day it
came time for him to attend the dedication of a new temple to Apollo, Inventor of the Platonic Les

"Hey Pugs," he asked Lisa, "what should I take to the dedication?"
"I don't know," she said. Her attention was divided, for the Sibyl at Delos had just written her an
urgent message. From Elysium, Divine Salvador Dali3 in his Poppy Bagel Shaped Palace had
entreated her: "Lisa! We need a new sky over the earth!4 We ouranophiles5 grow tired of the same

1     Michael once demonstrated for us an exceptionally cheesy pair of mirrored sunglasses which, he
      said, transformed him into Tyrone Limestone the Rhinesone King. Or something sort of like that
      almost happened.
2     In the early and mid eighties, a great deal of chatter went down among Michael and his peers about
      the awesomeness of the Les Paul, especially in the hands of the now-deceased Johnny Thunders. Les
      Pauls per se became cultic objects in this peer group. So to take the inherent excess in the
      instrument one step further, it seemed necessary to postulate that an Ideal Form of a Les Paul
      existed somewhere – hence, a Platonic Les Paul.
3     Back when I pinched off this manuscript and its antecedent texts, I found a great deal to fascinate
      me in the person of Salvador Dali, including the content of a sixties-era documentary about him
      narrated by Orson Welles. Dali may have had an estate where some of the architecture resembled
      giant eggs. For some reason – perhaps some thought about what else contributed to a well-rounded
      breakfast – I decided he needed a palace shaped like a poppy bagel.
4     In this documentary, Dali inflated a large plastic bubble and painted the interior of it, claiming to
      repaint the sky. References to restructuring or repainting the heavens in this text owe to that

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bad seventies6 canopy over the heavens! Won't you help? (P.S. Please, please, no pastels!)" So she
was on her thousand-mile ladder, painting the bowl of the heavens, beginning with a new Zodiac.
As Mike pestered her with questions, she was adding the finishing touches to a new sign called
Celestial Elvis in Decline. Celestial Elvis was wearing a purple velvet suit of light over his ridiculous
huge sow-belly7, and fighting with the Crank8 Bull of the Underworld.
"Does Superfoot9 still drink unmixed wine and then beat his midget army of mindless slaves to
impress the wimmenfolks?" she asked. King Superfoot could be a crashing boor even if he did warm
up by stomping Chuck Norris' ass down into the deepest pit of Tartarus.
"Mmm-hmm," Mike said, emitting a little neon glow for punctuation. "It's great, and he loves it.10"
Mike stood a moment, in thought, looking at the tattoos that covered every inch of his skin between
his neck, ankles, and wrists11. Perhaps they could give him some inspiration. His favorite one today
was one of General Lee in a Robin Hood hat in Achilles' chariot, drawn by skeletal horses, as he
charged Salt Lake City with his poisoned spear. But General Lee wasn't telling him today.
"Cheesy! You can tell me!" Mike said, but Eustachia12 just sat and growled. She was a very rare and

5   From reading too many footnotes and going through Robert Graves' The White Goddess a few times,
    I thought it apt to attempt to use some terms of Greek derivation. Elsewhere I misused them
    horribly, found out later, and decided I liked the misuse better. Ouranophile intends here to mean
    “lover of the heavens.”
6   In the mid 1980s, Michael frequently observed the awfulness of much of what came out of the
    seventies, and applied the pejorative “bad seventies” to those things and tastes that evoked the
    foulest fecal aftertaste in his metaphorical palette. To respond to this, I adopted the habit of
    overusing the term “bad seventies.” In one episode, I so overused the term that Michael offered to
    cut me up with a bad seventies knife.
7   At one time, Lisa had suggested creating a tasteless velvet painting of the late, fat, declining Elvis in
    a toreador's outfit, with angels tossing pills down at him from the heavens. I attempted to credit her
    mythical counterpart here with similar vision.
8   Michael used to make lots of jokes about crank.
9   The way I hear it, martial arts expert Superfoot Wallace made light work of Chuck Norris back in
    Norris' youth and prime. I never saw either one of them fight in competition, so this event could
    belong among martial arts apocrypha. I know of it mainly because my Stupidity Guru mentioned the
    episode a few times.
10 Attempts to bust or criticize Michael for something would frequently elicit responses about the
   greatness of the deed and the degree to which the object should actually love it. The verbiage here
   belongs somewhat to Michael's own usage.
11 This text comes from the early to mid 1990s, when tattooing returned to ascendancy but before it
   had become such a tedious cliché and trite ingredient of perpetually-replicated countercultural
   uniforms. In this window of time, one might attribute to it a certain hipness borne of its inherent
   stupidity. Therefore Michael appears as supremely tattooed. Also, practices of some religious groups
   included tattooing of priests. And since Michael's mythical self here has a heroic role as a champion
   of bikers, all the ingredients converge to require he bear considerable skin art.
12 I remember the surly little curmudgeon dog that Lisa and Michael had back in the early 1990s as
   bearing a name something like this. If I have this wrong but it still resembles the correct name, so
   much the better.

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valuable Swabian13 Angsthound and all the f*ck she ever did was sit and growl between trips to the
back yard to unload.
Well. So no one at Neon Mike's Palatial Cesspool of Hedonism could tell him anything today. King
Superfoot, Lord of the Moon and Thane of the Copernicus Crater, was waiting and Mike had no idea
what to bring to this very important dedication. So Mike decided to consult Reverend John the
Baptist14, the skin artist who tattooed mighty Herakles15 himself--no one else had the nerve, but
Reverend John the Baptist just said "God damn! Don't you think I've seen that sh*t before?"16
Mike put on his finest leathers of supple accountant skin, cut into a smart biker fringe and adorned
with seventy pounds of unneccesary zippers, and mounted his Invincible Prince of Darkness
Freedom Hog17.

13 I had a short-lived obsession with Swabia at about this time. I no longer recollect the details, as if
   any of them had any contemporary significance.
14 Reverend John the Baptist refers to an idealized mythological version of a north Texas tattoo artist
   called Reverend John. My Stupidity Guru had his work done there. Reverend John's shop contained a
   great deal of Texas patriot and white pride material, as well as polaroids of skanks having their
   genitalia tattooed. When the tanks rolled in to incinerate David Koresh and all those children in the
   compound, my Stupidity Guru and I happened to watch the initial coverage from inside Reverend
   John's shop. Reverend John's title comes from the fact that he could also perform weddings.
15 Pretentious spelling either imitates or mocks scholarly works. Latinized spellings give the name as
   “Heracles,” but many works by folks who actually can read the Greek alphabet translate the letter
   kappa as our “k.” “Herakles” seemed and seems more correct to me, but these days I see little to
   gain in pedantic assertion of the point.
16 This repeats something my Stupidity Guru said once about Reverend John. Once, the story goes,
   Reverend John's peers (or some bikers who knew him) attempted to convince him to accompany
   them to some lame stripper bar. Reverend John did not want to go, and reportedly said “God damn!
   Don't you think I've seen that sh*t before?”
17 More coinage from the Stupidity Guru. He had his own modifiers for superlatives. Great things he
   tended to indicate with the preliminary “freedom;” unspeakably vile ones with “prince of darkness.”
   When he told a story about breaking wind at school with such a foulness and ferocity that the
   teachers sent him home as a sick child – including his recollection of the reaction to the victims in
   the music class where he did it – the two terms came together in the epithet prince of darkness
   freedom fart. Michael may remember a badly drawn cartoon where his early career as a teacher
   comes to a rapid end in a room full of dead students. Thenceforth, things both great and vile earned
   the longer qualifier. A motorcycle suitable for a sacred king like Neon Mike must, of necessity,
   deserve the title Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog.

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Phaeton had died trying to pull the sun behind this Harley in a big truck and tractor pull in North
Carolina18, for it was so modified that none but immortal Mikhail19 Halogenes20 Austinides21 himself
could manage it. It had ape hangers so long no human arm could reach them to steer it. It had
extended chrome forks seventeen feet long that ended in a three-inch knobby bronze wheel; this
gave it a turn radius about like the orbit of the earth around the sun. On the back of the banana seat
with its bayonet mount was a flagpole flying the Glorious Twisted Cross; and it had sixteen exhaust
pipes per cylinder, all of resplendent chrome peeled from Hektor's armor22.
What could Mike do, but consult Reverend John, the man who had not only tattooed Herakles but
had convinced Poseidon himself to get a Prince Albert piercing23 so that he could hang his ocean-
god phallus from his Olympian omphalos24 by a big gold ring? With a sound like the rattling of a
billion Trojan shields, all badly in need of gaskets and rings25, Mike pulled into Reverend John's shop

18 Serious students of Greek mythology may recall a version devoid of the serious Detroit iron.
19 Having seen Mikhail for Michael in Russian usage, I assumed that this came verbatim from the
   Greek. Since I almost never checked my attempts to simulate Greek, this could be tragically wrong.
20 More bad faux Greco-Latin coinage. I intended here to create a Classical term to correspond to the
   Neon in “Sacred Neon Mike” and misremembered some information about chemistry, thinking at the
   time that the term halogen applied to the noble gases like neon (I think it doesn't). Retrofitting this
   for archaic language produces halogenes.
21 Yet more faux-Greekness. Austin may indeed become Austinides in descendants of someone named
   Austin who speeks Greek as his primary language. Possibly no such person exists.
22 Back in the early 1990s, at my tedious and soul destroying job at the newspaper, my Stupidity Guru
   and I frequently attempted to chase away the ennui by babbling obsessively about stupid stuff that
   didn't matter, like customizing motorcycles. Essentially this list of customizations all comes from his
   suggestions, and suggestions we would make to our supervisor for “improving” his Honda.
23 Genital piercing still remained correctly recognized as stupid back then, even if it would subsequently
   become some kind of badge of tedious mass-produced hipness in the years that immediately
   followed. We were right. It is stupid.
24 This may represent a correct usage of a Greek word. I intended to mean “navel” here.
25 Hot rods remain important throughout the text.

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to ask him what he should do.
Reverend John stood in his door, watching Mike dismount from his Invincible Prince of Darkness
Freedom Hog. He had an identical stallion, but that the flag on the banana seat was the Stars and
Bars rather than the Glorious Twisted Cross26. He wore a robe of Phoenician purple and held in one
hand a Budweiser; in the other, he held a sprig of mistletoe honed to razor sharpness, just the thing
for tattooing a clubfooted Divine King27.
Mike gave Reverend John a big stupid28 biker handshake, and Reverend John said, "Hey, Bro!
Wanna buy some trips?" Mike answered with the second half of the ancient Cretan prayer? "I would
love to buy some trips.29" Thus they recognized one another as members of the great ancient Harley
Cult of Knossos30.
"Tell me, Reverend John," Neon Austinides said, flexing his bronze knotted muscles beneath his
feathered riding chaps31, "what I must take to King Superfoot Wallace to consecrate the new shrine
to Apollo, Inventor of Platonic Les Pauls32!"
"A subscription to Swank?33" Reverend John suggested, paging through the sticky pages of last
month's issue. He turned back to the phone sex ads. "Look at this: 'All the hottest, horniest sluts in
incredible hard core milk spurting action! Two way! Four way! Black! White! (Oriental action, too!)' 34"
"No Swank today," Mike Halogenes answered.
Mike gave a big double Randy Macho Man Savage35 thumb's up when the idea came to him. "Hey,

26 Hindsight suggests a Texas flag as more apt to Reverend John and his caricatures. However,
   something somewhat disreputable, suggestive of lack of appeal to elitists, and nonetheless hinting of
   a mythos of lost nobility serves here. Mike's nazi flag implies his heroic role carries more of the biker
   than of the redneck; John's, the converse.
27 Gleaned from a lot of ritual nonsense read in Robert Graves' The White Goddess.
28 Throughout the text, stupid means, interchangeably, both stupid and good. Perhaps the positive
   connotation might render better as annoying to snobs.
29 Michael told a story about coming across a biker party, where a complete stranger bellowed over the
   noise of the stereo “Wanna buy some trips?” I sometimes would greet Michael with this, to which he
   would generally respond “I would love to buy some trips,” and the combination seemed fit as a
   religious sign/countersign.
30 More attempts to grandfather this crap onto known or suspected precursors to ancient Greek culture.
31 Paul Stanley made some Kiss videos wearing leather chaps with feathers on them. He thereby
   demonstrated an elegant appreciation for the decadent and stupid, even if he might not choose to
   describe the chaps with such terms.
32 As patron of the Muses, Apollo seems the most likely divinity to have come up with the Les Paul.
   Hopefully the real flesh and blood Les Paul would not have taken offense at this attribution.
33 In the banter between my Stupidity Guru and myself, to look at pornography placed the viewer
   among the stupid; to look at a low-rent production likeSwank rendered one sublimely stupid.
34 My Stupidity Guru claims to have seen this text on an ad for a porn video in the back of a tattoing
   magazine. He only gave me this information after repeating this verbiage a number of times at the
   Flying Tomato, every time an Asian coed would enter.
35 Does the connection between sports entertainment and stupidity require further explanation?

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maybe I'm just stupid!"
"Maybe you are stupid," Reverend John agreed.
"Who are you calling stupid?" Mike asked, reaching for his bronze spear.
"I'm calling you stupid," Reverend John said, looking for his mighty Texas Longhorn Bull Horn bow.

"You're stupid too," Mike said. "You look the same, you act the same, you wear the same sh*t, you
talk the same sh*t. I can't tell one of you from the other.36"
Reverend John looked reverently at Sacred Neon Mike. "There's just me here, that's why I look the
"Oh, yeah," Mike said.
"What can I do if I'm stupid?" Mike asked.
"You must descend into the underworld and confront your lust," Reverend John said, then vanished
into the nether recesses of his eternal tattoo parlor. "Reverend John has really got what it
takes37,"Mike said. "But how am I going to get into the underworld?"

36 Here cites more Reverend John text. In the episode with the stripper bar, when pressed for reasons
   why he did not want to go, Reverend John purportedly claimed “You're stupid, you wear the same
   sh*t, you talk the same sh*t, I can't tell one of you from the other....” I draft his rebuttal into
   Michael's service here, to demonstrate that the heroic properties of stupidity have, indeed, invested
   in him as their champion.
37 In some silly piece in National Lampoon in the 1970s or early 1980s, one of the writers retold the
   story of Demosthenes the Orator, who overcame a speech impediment by bellowing over the
   incoming surf until he acquired a manly voice. In the Lampoon version, Demosthenes returned to the
   Senate and his onetime deriders responded with the dubious praise of “Hey! He used to be a homo
   but now he's really got what it takes!” What it takes became, in the context of this work, an all-
   purpose qualifier for the good guys.

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Neon Mike Descends into the Underworld

Stupid or not, he had an idea. He removed his Paul Stanley limited edition Ibanez Iceman38 from
his back, and plugged it into the nearest reamed-out Marshall and started playing "Whippin' Post.39"
"I will play Whippin' Post until the earth opens to admit me40," Mike Halogenes said.
"I will not open to admit you," the earth said.
Austinides wailed with the sound of the Universal Wailing Cat-Soul being tortured. He sounded
worse than Lemmy Kilmister, and yet the earth would not open for him.
"I will play Free Bird41 until the earth opens to admit me," Mike Halogenes said.
"I will not open to admit you," the earth said.
So Mike played Free Bird, and small animals died by the legion at the sound. Forensic
speleologists42 threw themselves from tall buildings to be free of the sound, and even the deaf raised
their eyebrows dubiously. Yet the earth would not open for him.
"I will play Love Hurts43 until the earth opens to admit me," Mike said, stroking his vanishing chin44.
"sh*t," the earth said. And it opened a great big tunnel there and then for him, with road signs and
lighting and convenient rest stops all the way to the deepest part of the underworld.

38 Paul Stanley's connection with the cult of the Stupid needs little explanation, particularly in light of
   the recognition of his feathered chaps. This specific guitar model comes into the narrative from the
   Stupidity Guru's (then-) recent purchase of one. Some money went to things other than hot rodding
   his El Camino and covering his flesh with tattoos.
39 An obvious selection from the Cheesy Covers Bands Would Prefer No One Ever Ask Them to Play.
40 Some Celtic story Graves referred to in The White Goddess mentioned some story about some folks
   who killed their brother and attempted to bury him, but found that the earth rejected the body seven
   times. At least I remember it that way.
41 The protocols of knowing people in bands more or less require that, if you ask someone to come hear
   you play, you entitle him to badger you and the band with trite requests for “Free Bird.”
42 Once, when tasked with inventing the stupidest, most worthless college major I could imagine, I
   proposed “marine forensic speleologist,” someone who looks for the evidence of ancient crimes in
   underwater caves. While other, stupider majors may indeed exist, I can't recall ever seeing a want
   ad for a marine forensic speleologist.
43 More legends about Michael intrude here. One story others tell me from time to time involves
   Michael's behavior at some Austin area band's performance. This band had the poor judgment to
   include “Love Hurts,” a song that appeared on Nazareth albums and radio airplay with the express
   metaphysical purpose of sucking the joy out of Michael's life. The story tells of Michael reacting by
   banging his steel-plated skull against one of their speaker enclosures until it broke and a sudden
   retreat from the venue to escape possible retribution. So “Love Hurts” serves as an appropriate
   method of goading someone – here the personified Earth – into cooperation, but also stands as
   something we could not expect Michael to do, nor of anyone to manage to coerce him into doing,
   even at gunpoint.
44 Michael grew a beard in the mid-1990s, and when he removed it I began the claim that his chin had
   vanished while covered with hair.

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"Rockin',45" Mike said, and it was so.
That was an awfully long tunnel, though; and Mike was concerned that his Prince of Darkness
Freedom Hog might run out of dirty Texaco gas46 before he made it to the far end of the road. Yet an
ancient prophesy, long before he was born, said that if he ever spent more than a dollar on
gasoline47 that he must die, and rot, and be used for cosmetics research for ever and ever; and that
by Mary Kay Cosmetics,where they test lip gloss on the spincters of the dead in the lands around the
river Stynx48. Not only this prophecy but that Mike was a tightwad kept him from filling his tank.
Mike shook his head. "Hey, Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog," he said. "I guess I'll have to leave
you here. Don't let any fag bikers ride you."
That tunnel looked awfully long, maybe several hundred feet. It might mean walking for seconds,
even minutes.
That was lame. So of course Mike scammed off with his mother's car. He'd let her know about it
later, and put in a dollar's worth of gas. That would be okay.
At the end of the tunnel, Mike left the car in a nice, safe looking tow-away
zone. He was deep inside the earth, and knew it, too, because everything
was red and glowing instead of damp and brown. He was greeted by an
ugly old stain.
"Hey, Alice Cooper, Court Jester of Hell!"
"Hey! Wanna buy some trips?"
"I would love to buy some trips," Neon Halogenes answered piously as he
fondled his forty pounds of unnecessary zippers on his riding leathers.
"Hey Alice! How do I get to see the Queen of the Underworld?"
"What do you want to see that ragged old H-D Freedom Slut49 for?" Alice
45 Michael used rockin' as an all-purpose positive modifier as late as the early 1990s. It remains beyond
   the scope of this document to speculate whether he continues to do so as late as 2005.
46 A reference about the history of the author's Honda Express moped. The operator of an Express can
   see into the gas tank when putting in the quart or so of gasoline that the tank will hold. On one
   occasion, I saw black grit in my tank after putting in about fifteen cents (mid-1980s prices) into the
   tank. Texaco gas remained suspect to me for years afterwards.
47 Another Michael-acting-badly story comes in here: I witnessed an exchange between Michael and his
   mother about his use of the car. His mother asked him if he put gas in it, and he insisted he had.
   When pressed about it, she asked how much gas. Michael said “a dollar,” not much at all even during
   the oil crash of the mid 1980s. We razzed Michael about this for some time.
48 Mangled beyond recognition we find a modernist variant of the kind of prophesies that attached to
   figures like Achilles about the precise circumstances of their deaths. I used this to explain why
   Michael should have a legitimate reason to skimp on filling the gas tank.
49 More Stupidity Guru anecdotes. He referred to an incident at a custom motors shop in Denton,
   Texas, where some biker had parked to block in some cars and someone moved his motorcycle to
   clear the way out. He reportedly complained to the proprietor, saying “No one touches my hog, my
   wallet, or my old lady.” Since this seemed to impose a set of priorities in which the biker's girlfriends
   would not figure very highly, the saying gained currency in my own limited peer group. The “old
   lady” term morphed over time into “slut,” then “freedom slut,” then “H-D freedom slut.” Proper

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twirled his Jester-of-Hell cane with the skull on it, then adjusted his studded red leather hellish
"She's going to tell me how to confront my lust so that I won't be stupid any more."
"Why don't you want to be stupid? I'm stupid. It's great to be stupid."
"I don't know why I don't want to be stupid," Sacred King Mikhail Austinides said, wiping away one
pathetic tear, "because I'm stupid. If I weren't stupid anymore, I would know why I don't want to be
"That's stupid," Alice said. "You wait here and I'll go get the queen, if I don't forget."
"It would be very stupid to forget," Mike said.
"I love it,50" Alice said, and he wandered off to be stupid somewhere else, completely forgetting
about getting the Queen of the Underworld.
Mike stood there in the cave, watching bats and stuff flying around. He realized something very
important: beer and Mexican food have a way of coming back on you51. "I need to lay a big Dung Fu
master52 freedom log, and perhaps also a good strong ammonia leak53 as well," Mike said, for he had
begun to prophesy.
He looked around in the little cave in hell, and there was a door with the symbol of Ares on it. So that
was a men's room; besides, he could tell from the smell. He walked over and tried to open the door.
It was shut good.
"Jesus H. Creeping sh*t," Mike said. "I may have to foul my cool riding leathers of finest accountant
skin, all fringed and adorned with forty pounds of completely unnecessary zippers." He went over to
the door again and knocked.
"Go away," something behind the men's room door said.

    usage always requires that the term old lady or slut appear last in the formulation, and that the hog
    figure first.
50 If not previously mentioned, the expression I love it! serves as a standard response to accusations
   of wrong behavior, with the propriety of the response increasing with the lurid quality of the
   questioned behavior. A Sacred King remains immune to shame through methods like this, and
   related figures like a Court Jester of Hell follow a similar logic.
51 In the infamous comic strip about Michael's unfortunate first day teaching – where an episode with
   gas took the lives of an entire class of students – the newspaper headlines of the next day attributed
   the catastrophe to beer and Mexican food, in reference to an old Freak Brothers strip where Fat
   Freddy lets one rip on Notorious Norbert's high-tech dope-smelling microphone.
52 My Stupidity Guru had, as previously mentioned, occasional episodes with intestinal gas. Sometimes
   he would gear his diet towards deliberately creating such incidents. He even postulated that a kind of
   master of the art – a Dung Fu master -existed, who could do things like refrain from defecating for
   25 years.
53 The ammonia leak reference sites our tendency in the mid eighties to unnecessarily announce our
   intentions beforehand, in more detail than anyone would want to hear. We got so we would even ask
   each other. Are you going to take a big steaming sh*t or No, I'm just going to take a good strong
   ammonia p*ss actually passed through our mouths as sentences. Probably the qualifier ammonia
   comes from some Richard Pryor routine.

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"What are you doing?" Mike said, getting angry. Now, when Mike was an infant, the gods thought to
make him immortal by burning him in a sacred fire54. They had only done the top of his head when
they lost interest because the A-Team was coming on television. So they left him with no top of his
head, and Hephaestos had to make a big steel plate55 for the inside of his skull to keep his brains
from exploding out of the top of his head like Vesuvius erupting every time he had to think. If he had
to do that, he would have been really stupid.
When Mike grew angry, a great bronze ramming spike56 would emerge from the steel plate in his
forehead. He had to dump really, really bad, and had a veritable dock worker's hook57 sticking out
like a ridiculous rhino horn.
The voice from behind the bathroom door was mocking. "I'M MASTURBATING!58"
"Ruh59!" Mike said, battering his head savagely against the door. "Ruh!" From behind the door, the
voice just cackled like some insane screamer who has gotten the upper hand.

What door could resist the Diomedes60-like Ozzy tantrum61 Mike flung at that moment? Could even
54 This comes from myths about Achilles.
55 The lore of Michael claims he has a steel plate in his skull from a childhood injury. I've never seen an
   x-ray of this, nor used a metal detector on his head, so I can't really verify this. He certainly seems
   to believe he has one, regardless of what an autopsy may confirm.
56 This either borrows from tails of marine warfare in triremes or something the Stupidity Guru said
   about customizing automobiles.
57 This sites some now-forgotten pornographic text, which attributed to male anatomy the quality of
   being like a dock worker's hook.
58 This comes from a story about Calhoun Junior High retold by the Stupidity Guru. By the late eighties
   and early nineties, many schools had begun mainstreaming special students, or attempting to teach
   mentally retarded students in the same classes as the general population. As the story goes, one of
   these students decided that the showers in the boy's gym provided an appropriate place to pleasure
   himself. When a coach went in to ask him what he was doing, he responded with “I'M
   MASTURBATING!” rather than the expected reproach. He knew the word and knew what it meant, at
59 Michael once used this phoneme while in the process of teasing his orange cat Ziggy.
60 From the Iliad, I remember the work beginning with the rage of Diomedes. I may misremember.
61 At one point my Stupidity Guru and I speculated about how well Ozzy Osbourne might behave
   backstage at concerts. We decided we liked him the best if he did something like throw tremendous

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the gates of Ilion62 herself have resisted the urgency of Mike's throbbing bowels and Shiner63-
distended bladder? What mortal--what god, even--might confront this Sabbath Night reject waiting to
blow out all three ends because he could not conquer the crapper?
As Poseidon broke the dams of man, as the Greeks slew the Trojans, even as Batman stomped
everyone (including Liberace's evil twin brother) on television, so did the men's room door sunder at
the onslaught of mighty Mike's sacred neon shoulder. "Ruh!" Austinides proclaimed, disturbing all
the spirits in Tartarus64, who had hoped to be allowed to sleep late, just once, without someone like
Herakles, or Theseus, or Orpheus, or Aeneas, or Jesus65, or some twisted overworld intruder coming
down to harrow hell when they all had hangovers.
Mike's eyes bugged out. His mouth foamed. The major blood vessels of his neck stood out66. He
looked at what stood behind the door.
Huge, fat, and bloated, sitting on the crapper with a copy of Swank, it sat holding its disreputably
distended dingus.
"Holy cow," Mike said. "You're my lust, aren't you? Put down your disreputably distended dingus!"
"I won't," said Mike's Lust.
"You'll do it and love it, stain," Mike said. "Because I've got to have that john."
So the two mighty godlike beings, Mike and Mike's Lust, squared off. Mike stripped down to a pair of
pink ball huggers and iridium-lensed wrap-around shades67, and overall looked like a big waxed
strutting Venice Beach Paul Stanley. Mike's Lust put on a sumo diaper because Greeks knew better
than to trust one another enough to wrestle naked any more. The consequences could be extremely
"Ruh!" said Sacred King Neon Mike, and he charged. "Ruh!" said Decadent Mike's Lust, and he
charged. Mike charged with his forehead forward, his arms in the biplane position68, screaming "You
know you love it!" Mike's Lust charged like a big fat slob, screaming "I'm such a bad boy!69" And the

    fits of temper over not having the right brand of bottled water in his dressing room. A really dramatic
    fit over something incredibly trivial, after that point, bore the technical name “Ozzy tantrum.”
62 I could misremember here, but I think Ilion and Ilium refer to Troy.
63 At one point, the Austin (resident) crowd more or less adopted Shiner as the official, canonical beer.
64 If I had remembered, I could have made this more pretentious by spelling it Tartaros.
65 The attempt here was to list some known harrowers of hell.
66 This also used to happen when Michael sang.
67 In some movie – perhaps “Falling Down” - a late scene occurs where onlookers come to observe
   what has happened. Some ridiculous weightlifter with a waxed and oiled chest appeared in the
   crowd, and we proclaimed this guy The Big Venice Beach Paul Stanley. Any clothing of questionable
   enough taste to remember may show up on Michael's back somewhere in this text.
68 Michael once did this as a dance, prior to the “carry me” incident. I nearly had a motorcycle accident
   once when I remembered what he looked like, started laughing, and lost control of my steering.
69 From the movie “Never Too Young to Die,” at one point Gene Simmons' character Velvet van Ragnar
   stole a truck and rammed through a barrier fence on his way to do some bad things. He emitted the
   line “I'm such a bad boy” at that moment.

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impact of the two champions caused every pay phone in Southwestern Bell territory to malfunction at
the same time, causing much dismay in the phone sex crowd.
The adoioi70 tell of how when Sacred Neon Mike was born the Harley spirits--the Harleiads--
attempted to render him immortal by sticking his head in a blast furnace to burn away his mortal
part71. It didn't really work, since it left him with a big smoking crater in his forehead; this not only left
him stupid, but required no less a personage than Hephaestos himself to have to install a steel plate
in Halogenes' head. So whereas a human had a soft and decadent gourd for a head, Neon Mike had
an invincible wrecking ball.
Mike's Lust bounced like a huge volleyball across the entire underworld. He bounced by where Andy
Gibb was being tortured by having to push a gigantic disco ball up a hill all day long72. He bounced
past the inventor of cheese logs, who was compelled to write "I'm sorry" forever and ever on an
endless third grade chalkboard. He bounced past a bunch of other people being punished horribly
for doing things their mothers told them not to.
"Hey, that's really something," said the Queen of the Underworld, who was suddenly there for no
particular reason. "You don't have to be stupid anymore. Here's the Divine Chrome Nazi Helmet73 of
Unprecedented Lucidity."
"Rockin'," Neon Mike said. Even if the Queen of the Underworld was just an old lezzie that didn't
want to admit it.
Mike put on the Chrome Nazi Helmet and looked especially rockin' after he had himself waxed and
oiled and clad in the classic grey wool of a Nazi officer's field uniform. He looked glorious like Angry
Young74 Josef Mengele.
                                "How am I going to get home?" Mike asked, realizing that his mother's
                                car had been impounded. He might have to tell her about that some
                                "Hey, Queen of the Underworld, who's just an old lezzie that doesn't
                                want to admit it75," Mike said, tactfully. "How do I blow this joint?"
                                The Queen of the Underworld thought for a moment, and looked up on

70 I remember getting this term incorrect, confusing aoiodoi and adoioi. One of them may mean “bard,”
   especially in a Homeric context; the other means “someone can't remember his Homeric terminology
   and doesn't even know how badly he mangles the lexicon.” I may have gone back and corrected this
   in one version of the text, and then gone back and uncorrected it because I liked the stupid wrong
   one better.
71 Again, borrowing from the origins of Achilles.
72 Here I mix the unfortunate premature death of Andy Gibb – only about 30 years old – with the
   mythical figure Sisyphus. At least I recall Sisyphus as pushing the big boulders up the hill. In my
   footnotes as in the text, I doubt that I will look up nor confirm anything.
73 Once at work at the newspaper I decided to start ranting that I wanted a chrome nazi helmet,
   without knowing if such a thing actually existed. It seemed like an appropriate thing to demand to
   demonstrate one's petulance – flashy yet inappropriate and not necessarily available anywhere.
74 One response to the decadence involved with the aging of certain sixties era rock icons involved
   referring to their early material as the “Angry Young Insertname.” This struck me as a notion that
   youth could make anything, however loathesome, stylish, including (say) Josef Mengele.

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her shelf, next to the Prozac and Gyne-Lotremin packages, and found a pair of red sequined Doc
Marten76 low quarters. "Just put these on," she said, "and scream 'I hate you for caring! I hate you for
caring!'"77 So Mike, who, though he had the Helmet, was still stupid, did what he was told, and
returned to the world of light.

75 The Stupidity Guru recounted a story where a gay man he worked with made some unkind remarks
   about a female supervisor with whom he had a disagreement. Among these we counted “She's just
   an old lezzie who doesn't want to admit it.” Largely the Queen of the Underworld appears as an
   excuse to repeat this expression.
76 At one point, I obsessed over the baggage of late eighties skinhead fashion. As things became too
   dated or too mainstreamed, they became less interesting as well.
77 The Stupidity Guru quoted to me an episode from a comic book where someone had placed the nazi
   super-villain The Red Skull in a pit to hold him prisoner. During his captivity, the story goes, he had
   some visions; during one, a hallucinated figure had the poor judgment to express concern for the
   Skull's condition. The Skull rightly rebuked him by saying “I hate you for caring!”

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Mike Seeks the Sacred Golden Brewskis

No sooner had Mike returned to his estate that he shared with Sacred Seal Queen Vern and their
invincible guard dog Cheesy than he had an insight what he needed to take to King Superfoot
Wallace on the moon.
                               "I need the Sacred Golden Brewskis of G. Gordon Liddy!"78 Neon Mike
                               said, and he was right. Superfoot loved the Sacred Golden Brewskis of
                               G. Gordon Liddy.
                               The only thing was, Liddy was getting awfully tight-fisted with his
                               brewskis any more. Everyone was after them, and he only wanted to
                               release them to a primitive tribe of narcoleptic one-eyed giants called
                               Republicans. Mike frowned. Gordon might not let him have any
"Hey Pugs," he yelled up at the sky, watching as Lisa added the finishing touches to a new
constellation called Eustachia Going to Town in a Cat Box. "Tell me how to get Gamma Gordon
Lidius to let me have some of his Sacred Golden Brewskis."
"I don't know, Noodles," she said. "Why don't you ask the Well of Infinite Wisdom?" Mike rubbed a
splattered bug off the Chrome Nazi Helmet of Temporarily Suspended Stupidity and nodded wisely.
"If you call me Noodles, I'll call you Bubbles, so just watch it," Neon Mike said. He recalled how he
had destroyed the race of Giants by afflicting them with horrible nicknames like Buttons and Bobo
and Snuffles.
The Well of Infinite Wisdom was way down in the basement of Sacred Halogenes' castle, so the
room was a perfect place to keep all his unanswered mail79. Neon Mike walked down nine hundred
times nine hundred steps, nine hundred times; and his big ridiculous Austin ass80 was swollen and
throbbing when he hit the bottom.
"Holy Cow, my suspension's really out of alignment now," said Mike, attempting to knead the pain
out of both butt cheeks at one time. His rare accountant-skin leathers creaked as he squeezed.
"Now, where is that well?" Mike asked. He began to burrow through the mountain-high stacks of
Shiner bottles, old Rolling Stone81 magazines, bad vinyl Sabbath albums, unanswered mail, left-over
bell bottoms from the seventies82, and other items whose time had come but were so horrible that
they could never enter Inanimate object heaven. Mike made like a veritable mole, flinging six
78 After Watergate, Liddy had a short period of fame as a talk radio host. He probably peaked in the
   mid-to-late-1990s. He served as a cult figure for folks into “Hayduking” or performing dirty tricks.
79 A gibe at Michael for not having ever answered a letter. He actually does answer letters from other
   folks, from what I hear, but typically the sort of stuff we sent him involved inexplicable jumbles of
   text or audio media, for which no response would, by axiom, make sense.
80 Here I recalled a poke at Michael's brother Jackie. Someone had noted that he had a larger butt than
   Michael did, and the term “huge Austin ass” gained a temporary currency.
81 Micheal once had a collection of Rolling Stone.
82 Micheal routinely bashed the bad fashion sense of the inmates of the 1970s. We encouraged this kind
   of abuse.

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hundred years of National Geographic magazines83 and three dump-truck loads of plastic bags84 this
way and that. Finally he found the well, which looked like a big stupid hole in the ground.
"Hey, have I found the Well of Infinite Wisdom or did I just get a big stupid hole in the ground?" Mike
Halogenes asked.
"That helmet isn't helping you much, is it, stupid?" a ghostly voice echoed from the deepest forlorn
expanse of the great ancient well.
Mike pondered this for a moment, then began trying to feel the steel plate in his head.

"Tell me how I can get Gamma Gordon Lidius to give me some of his sacred golden brewskis to take
to King Superfoot Wallace on the moon so he can dedicate his temple to Apollo, inventor of Les
"Give Liddy the finger," the well said.
That certainly didn't seem right to Mike. He tried thinking about it with the Chrome Nazi Helmet of
Smarts on, and it still sounded pretty ridiculous. He tried it with the helmet off, and it wasn't any
"But what does it all mean?"85 Austinides was forced to ask. The well drew breath into whatever it is
wells speak with and began to narrate. "Long ago, there was a great cosmic spirit named Velvet van
Ragnar86. He was a big phony-hormone-boob screamer and an international terrorist and a critically
approved nightclub performer. When Velvet would kill, it was with a razor-sharp bronze fingernail on
his middle finger; this was the deadly Stunkfinger of van Ragnar."
"Wow," Mike said. "It's great, and I love it."
"When Velvet was treacherously slain by a jealous piece of teenaged chicken, his followers saved
The Finger and put it in a glass case in a temple atop the Tower of Disgusting Old Transsexuals

83 Michael's mother may have had a collection of National Geographic. This was not an exceptional
   event, given the penetration of the magazine.
84 Here the author takes an unkind look at the fact that Michael's mother collected plastic bags for
   recycling prior to local implementation of recycling. At the time, the activity seemed obsessive and
   pointless, but so too does recycling to someone who doesn't recycle.
85 A genuine Michael expression.
86 Here we begin exposition of elements taken from the movie “Never Too Young to Die,” which
   featured Gene Simmons as a transsexual terrorist named Velvet van Ragnar. Details in the
   paragraph more or less represent what the movie contained.

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where it is guarded by an unbeatable spirit known as the Original Chicken Master87."
Mike frowned. "This means another stupid fight, doesn't it?"
The well just laughed. "I've got to get my jollies somehow."
Mike dressed himself in his finest pope's robe with fishnet hose and spike heels and a resplendent
new "I Love to Kill the President" button and got on the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog to seek the
Tower of Disgusting Old Transsexuals where the Finger and the Chicken Master could be found. He
got lost pretty soon, describing a big circle in the Shakey's Pizza88 parking lot for several hours
before he realized he wasn't even on the street. So he took his last quarter and dialed information,
and they told him to hang a left on I-35 and follow his nose.
The Tower of Disgusting Old Transsexuals was a great, huge, stone thing, older than the universe
itself, or even older than that. It might have been thirty or forty years old. It leaned this way and that
and looked like a corkscrew pointing up into the heavens. Gang graffiti adorned the bottom twenty
stories or so.
"I'd bet my disreputably distended dingus that there isn't a damn elevator, either," Neon Halogenes
said. He parked the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog next to a puddle of caustic substance89 and
walked to the door.
Inside, it was dark, as it is in places without much light. Bats flittered around and lichens grew on
everything, even the bats. Stone stairs led upward into infinity. A sign on the wall warned "Don't sit
next to the Chicken Master!"90
"Stairs," Neon Clovie said. He kneaded his butt again. Then he began walking. After two steps he
lost interest. Then the Chrome Nazi helmet gave him an idea: it was time to do the fly91.
87 The Chicken Master refers to a local habitant of the Fry Street area in Denton, a fat man who stood
   about 4'11” and had such a round form that he could only wear overalls. This figure liked to affect to
   streetwisdom and biker chic. He may have done time for selling drugs; one story tells that his arrest
   occurred in the context of him pleasuring himself in the bathroom with a living room full of teenagers
   watching hard core porn on his television, and with a white board with contact information for all his
   drug customers. The notion that he might have a taste for barely-pubescent kids gained him the
   nickname “The Chicken Master,” as a kind of superlative form of the pejorative label chickenhawk.
   Since the Denton area has a few folks reputed to similar tastes, occasionally someone else might
   earn the credential of Chicken Master; but none, in the lore we created, ever outdid the Original.
   Hence the epithet Original Chicken Master.
88 I have no idea if such a place still exists or still existed at the time of the writing. I do have
   memories of the dawn of the seventies and a pizza parlor where banjo players entertained the
89 At one point, caustic substance provided the standard of metaphorical comparisons for things Michael
   didn't care for, including the sound of his Peavey tube amp after he discovered that it wasn't 100%
90 When the Stupidity Guru and I went to Bram Stoker's Dracula, we found that the Chicken Master was
   in the theater, seated in the second or third row. Some folks entered the theater and went to the
   available empty seats, on that row; I remarked in a too loud voice, “Don't sit next to the Chicken
   Master!” This became both a piece of conventional wisdom (after all, you don't want to sit next to the
   Chicken Master) and a kind of metaphorical warning about things you shouldn't do because your
   common sense should tell you so.
91 A “Gong Show” reference. One contestant came on to do a dance called “the fly,” where he imitated

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Mike rubbed his neck, then rubbed his consciousness92, then rubbed his forelegs together before
him. He cleaned all the cilia on his proboscis, then flapped his wings a couple of times. He flew a few
stories, then hung upside down on the wall, looking for some fresh sh*t.
Flitting from turd pile to turd pile, Mike Halogenes Austinides made his way up to the top of the
tower, which was probably eight million billion trillion zillion feet high in its stocking feet, and even
taller with heels on. Then he came to a door with a neon sign on it, which said:
                           SECRET CHAMBER OF THE SACRED FINGER

                                 BEWARE OF THE CHICKEN MASTER

"This might be it," Mike said. He pushed the door open.
Inside, there was an evil spirit even more disgusting than Mike's thrice-defeated lust. It stood four
feet tall and five feet wide, clad in tough-guy overalls and bad-boy weightlifting gloves, with a big
tough biker Harley-Davidson tee shirt and a stupid skull cap with skulls on it. It had a tattoo with a
wolf sitting on a big pile of skulls on one flabby forearm93; and on the other, the arcane motto, "I Luv
Brave, fearless Mike had one option. He had faced his lust in hell. He had argued with Reverend
John in his own shop. He had had the top of his head burned off with a blast furnace. He had drunk
Mister Beer95. He had faced every degrading danger that could afflict man or god.
This was too much even for a demigod like Mike, though. "It's f*cking Bunny!" Mike screamed.
Bunny the Chicken Master sat reading the International Registry of Elementary Schools and fingered
a huge butterfly net96. He saw Mike, stood up, was instantly drenched in sweat from the exertion, and
sat down, falling asleep instantly in exhaustion97.

    a fly grooming itself with its forelegs. Michael used to do the fly sometimes after I showed it to him,
    including once on a trampoline at Robert's place.
92 Michael had a habit some years back of referring to the head and all it contained as “the
   consciousness.” For example, when I'd rub his denuded scalp with my rough and leathery hands,
   he'd say “Don't touch my consciousness, Stain.”
93 This sentence accurately describes the Chicken Master.
94 This refers to a local tattoo artist whose posturing seemed to exceed his talent by a substantial
   margin. As much as the Chicken Master pretended to being a big tough biker and failed to convince
   anyone, Steve seemed to a lesser degree to attempt and fail in the same impostures. We thought of
   them as a nearly perfect couple.
95 Way, way back in the Stone Age, before everyone became beer connaisseurs (read “snobs”),
   everyone went through a period where neither good beer nor much money to buy it was available,
   and some generics became legenday in the years during which college stains gentrified themselves.
   Mister Beer finds mention in the lore of bad generics.
96 When describing someone as a chickenhawk, the Stupidity Guru and I would often make the claim
   that such a person spent a lot of time hiding in the bushes at the junior high, armed with a butterfly
   net for catching prey.
97 The Chicken Master, owing to his poor physical condition, would sometimes appear in businesses like
   grocery stores seated in a chair for half an hour or so before he'd go about his business. I can't recall

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"Well, that was easy. And boring," Neon Austinides complained. He began sneaking over towards
the glass case that enclosed that sacred, grim artifact. It would be too easy, like stealing library
books or pulling money out of his mom's purse.
"I'm going to get the Finger," sacred Clovie gloated. Yet as he approached the case, he looked over
at the horrible blob of a caricature of a worthless waste of a human being sitting asleep in his chair.
Mike could already smell him, and knew he was going to have to pass pretty damned close to grab
the Finger.
Mike stepped two and three times, then froze in his tracks. Bunny was moving! Mike's eyes bugged
nearly out of his head.
                                                  "Holy creeping apesh*t! Bunny's playing air guitar98 in
                                                  his sleep!" Mike ran in big butt-kicking strides for a
                                                  stray pile of debris behind which he might cower
                                                  heroically. He rolled up in a fetal position and peeked
                                                  at Bunny, still asleep in his chair, doing these stupid
                                                  god damned Eddie van Halen99 hammer-on runs over
                                                  and over.
                                                  "I can't get near that. Alice preserve me!"
                                                 When he got the courage to unroll and raise up into a
                                                 low crouch--always minding that he stayed clear of
any stray Mister Rock and Roll100 Fag Rays that Bunny might be emitting while playing air guitar in
his direction--Mike began to apply what little benefit he could glean from the Chrome Nazi Topper of
Reduced Mental Deficits.
Mike backed away from the Chicken Master and crept up the stairs with his back plastered against
the cold slime of the slimy, cold stonework. "This place could definitely use a couple of cans of
Glade," Mike speculated in his sacred neon way.
Then he sneaked all the way to the top of the tower, where he hung an anchor windlass he always
carried with him. He liked it better than bicycle chains, since although the anchor chain was by far
larger, heavier, and harder to use, it was also far harder to lose for someone who had to look at his
driver's license to remember where he lived.
Mike lowered the chain with the anchor on it after carefully impaling a case of Twinkies on the arms

    if he actually would shop in the places or just stop inside when the exertion of walking got too much
    for him. In some circumstances, someone with similar problems would deserve some sympathy,
    rather than the kind of derision that appears in this document.
98 Air guitar belonged in the set of things that we could describe as stupid without intending to
   compliment them. The Stupidity Guru speculated about the origins of air guitar, and finally concluded
   that John Travolta invented it.
99 The cheesy hammer-on run had become particularly disreputable among my peers in the early
100 Various posers in Denton, Texas earned the epithet Mister Rock and Roll, although the archetype
    remained on the right side of stupid. He had the predictable title The Original Mister Rock and Roll,
    because he manifested all the stupidity of the type with none of the self-satisfaction that made it
    loathsome in his lessor imitations.

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and hooks of the anchor. "Let's see if nature doesn't take its course," Mike said, promising to
sacrifice some of his neighbors' stuff to a bunch of different gods just as soon as they left long
enough for Sacred Austinides to rip it off.
Mike looked down into the dark, deep tower as the chain clanked down. He could just barely see the
Chicken Master beneath him and could just only make out Bunny's hands miming some wicked Z-
Rock heavy metal lead guitar. He shuddered and almost whizzed on himself. "Air guitar," Mikhail
moaned. "Air guitar!"
It seemed like Bunny might go on for hours. Then Sacred Clovie noticed Bunny's nose beginning to
twitch, and before Mike could blink, Bunny executed a twenty-foot vertical leap to grab the anchor in
his mouth. The arms of the anchor ripped through his cheeks; yet the Chicken Master, still
completely asleep, chewed away as if nothing had happened101.
Mike tiptoed down the stairs, shaking his head in disbelief. What a huge disgusting fat slob! If
someone were to pull him off the anchor, Bunny would flop around like a flounder! If someone threw
him in the River Ocean, he would empty that sucker out and lie on the silt flopping around like a
beached whale!102
"That's how you fish for Bunny," Sacred Neon Mike said in his most annoying and self-congratulatory
manner. Mike stole the Finger from its glass case as he heard Bunny mutter in his sleep; Bunny was
saying something like "Of course I'm a real Scout Master!103"
Mike did his bi-plane dance and jumped from the window with his pilfered booty. No way was he
doing any more stairs, not even for Philthy Animal Taylor's autograph. He was so into the von
Richtofen bit that he shot down four 747's on his way down, laughing as the passengers crashed,
burned, and died. "Waffenlos judisch Schwein!104" he screamed, polishing his Iron Cross.

Neon Mike Confronts Gamma Gamma Lambda

Mike pulled up in front of Gamma Gordon Lidius' Beachfront Condo on the Prince of Darkness
Freedom Hog. Instantly, Liddy vaulted out of a tree with a bayonet in his teeth, clad in the clown suit
and Dracula cape that were part of his special forces training.
101 We used to speculate about fishing for Bunny the Chicken Master, and came up with the precise
    method Michael uses here to trap him.
102 More from the lore of the Chicken Master appears here. The Chicken Master used to claim to various
    prestige assignments in the Viet Nam war. He may well have been a veteran, but so many guys
    chose to take the wannabe path that the burden of proof by then rested with him who claimed to
    have served. At one time, Bunny purportedly claimed to have been a paratrooper. The description of
    him emptying out the River Ocean recounts our own speculation about what would happen if the
    Chicken Master did attempt to sky dive and landed in an ocean, including the detail about flopping
    around like a fish in the bone dry ocean bed left behind.
103 A cheap and predictable jab at the fear of pedophile Boy Scout Masters.
104 German appearing in this text will not have any greater quality than the Greek or other languages
    misused herein.

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He levelled an AK Freedom 47 at Neon Mike's sacred invincible works and said "What have you got
to keep me from desexing you right here, sweet boy?" Then he fingered his big Freddy Mercury
moustache105 and shed a tiny tear as he regarded a golden statue of Richard of Nixion. Gordon
Liddy jumped when Mike spoke, for his mind had wandered into something involving one of the
nation of attorneys he kept on hand at all times to keep him from being executed instantly.

"The Finger!" Mike said. "The Finger?" G. Gordonus Lidios asked. "The FINGER! THE FINGER!
THE FINGER! THE FINGER!" Mike showed Liddy the Finger. Liddy looked at the Finger, then he
took the Finger. Then he took the Finger into his condo to show Tammy Faye, the new queen of his
kingdom, Lidia. "The Finger?" Tammy Faye asked. "The Finger!" Gamma Gordon answered. Calling
on Hermes, Pilferer of Others' Beer, Mike snuck into Lidios' kitchen and completely cleaned him out
of Sacred Golden Brewskis106.

105 Discussion about lameness and greatness sometimes turned to the subject of the Freddy Mercury
    moustache as a form of stigmata. The wearer frequently fails to recognize its implications as ungrand
    and ungreat, even though Freddie himself – who did not always require the moustache to act in his
    capacity as Freddie – deserves more credit than many of those who wear his face fuzz.
106 Given the importance of wahooing – going into a convenience store, grabbing beer, and running out
    while yelling wahoo – in the general Denton lore of the period, it strikes me as odd that I did not
    allow Mike his wahoo yell here.

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Neon Mike at the Dedication Party

Mike sat on the floor around a pile of Mötörhead albums and looked out the window at the moon.
He thought a moment. He couldn't get there from here; there was no highway connecting the two
that he could ride on on his Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog. "Lame," Mike said, and wondered
what Wendy O. would do in the same circumstances.
Lisa was officiating as High Seal Priestess in a big human sacrifice ceremony to the seal spirits, and
was busy shoving a busload of Mormon missionaries into a fifty ton-hydraulic press. "I hate human
sacrifices," she said behind her seal mask. "I never have anything to wear." Then she pulled the
lever and squeezed another Mormon missionary like a grape. "Nasty," she observed. "Why are
Mormons always so juicy?"
Mike sat there on the floor, looking sometimes at the moon, sometimes at the messy human
sacrifice getting blood all over the parade grounds. Then he yelled out the window. "Hey Vern," he
"Address me as Delphina107 the Seal Queen while I am operating my Holy Hydraulic Press," she
said, ducking as she squashed a really big, fat one that squirted everywhere.
"Holy Delphina, Immortal Seal Queen," Mike began, "can I borrow your infinite ladder with which you
have been painting a new sky for Divine Dali?"
"You're not going to drop it and break it, are you?" she asked, not really sure at all that Neon Mike
was going to take care of it.
"Of course not," Mike said. "I'll take care of it."
"You're not going to run the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog up it and break all the rungs are you?"
"Of course not," Mike said.
She paused a moment before squashing the next missionary. "Well, all right. Just be careful," she
"What do you think I am?" Neon Mike asked.
Mike instantly rushed downstairs with the Sacred Golden Brewskis of Gamma Gordonos Lidios and
ran for the ladder, which he leaned against the moon. Putting the brewskis in his saddlebags, he
rode the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog up the ladder, breaking every rung with its three-inch
knobby bronze front wheel. He laughed as he reached the moon and the ladder fell 240,000 miles to
the surface of the earth, burning out to cinders in re-entry.
"Mike!" screamed Delphina, the sacred Seal Queen.
"I didn't break it," Mike said. "It was like that already. It's not really broken, and besides, you told me
to do that."108

107 Graves may have said something about an etymological connection between Delphi and dolphin. This
    seemed like a cheesy way to invest Lisa with a pseudo-important ceremonial title. Seals, dolphins,
    what's the difference?
108 I used to contend that a truly worthwhile denial should contain three mutually contradictory
    premises, since if anyone believed one of the three you were off the hook. These were It didn't

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Mike sat there for a moment, almost feeling guilty, but since he wasn't wearing the Chrome Nazi
Helmet of Remedial Smarts, he couldn't remember what for. Lisa finished her human sacrifice,
grinding her teeth, and saying something like "Stupid immortal Dudu," then directed the seal-
custodians to come in with mops and buckets and clean up the blood.
Lisa pulled off her seal queen mask and shouted up at the moon. "So you're just going off to that
party and you're going to leave me down here?"
"Guh109," Mike said.
"You destroyed my ladder!"
"Guh," Mike said.
"How am I going to get up there now?"
"Guh," Mike said. Then he thought for a moment. He was clad in hot pink compression shorts over a
gold lame G-string, and wore his finest seventies disco chain110.
"Hey, Lisa," Mike said. "Why don't I hand you down my disco chain? Then you can hang from it and
paint different parts of the sky as the moon goes to different points in its orbit?"
Mike removed his disco chain, which weighed almost as much as all the mountains on the earth. It
had to to be 240,000 miles long. He unravelled it and hung it down to the earth.
Lisa sighed. But it beat letting Divine Dali down. She put on her finest mountain climbing gear and a
Valkyrie's helmet and began climbing the gold braid toward an unfinished constellation called
Topographical Map of Rush Limbaugh's Left Butt Cheek. "You owe me for this," she said, and eyed
the fifty ton hydraulic press. Some day she might come up exactly one head short in a big batch
human sacrifice.
Mike looked at himself as he stood up on a crater on the moon. He had been counting on the disco
chain to cover his big sow belly. He sighed, and reached into his saddlebags, where he kept his
sequined pink Gary Glitter jacket. "It's not the same without the matching eighteen inch platform
heels," Mike sighed.
The dedication was being held in an American Legion hall that was rented out for special events.
King Superfoot greeted him at the door. "Hey man! Wanna buy some trips?"
Mike shook his hand as he finished the ancient religious formula: "I would love to buy some trips."
Superfoot pointed him to the main gallery, where most of the guests had assembled. Mike looked,
and saw Krishna talking to almost everybody; he was in about fifty or sixty bodies that he could see,
and probably had all the women upstairs in seventy or eighty thousand separate beds already111.
    happen, Someone else did it and You told me to do it. Michael more or less goes through this
    ceremonial set here.
109 Possibly mentioned before, the monosyllable guh contains an all-purpose response to someone
    nailing or busting you if the others don't serve. In band practices, guh served to mean “I'm not ready
    to start the song.”
110 Sacred Neon Mike wears this stuff because Michael would never do so.
111 In one Krishna-related episode I read about, he apparently divided himself into fifty selves to attend
    to as many women simultaneously. This seemed like a skill that could prove useful in a dance

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Nearby, two Krishnas were arguing with each other as Orpheus looked on.
"Strats blow!112" Krishna One said.
"Jimi played a strat," Krishna Two said.
"So did Lee Atwater113," Krishna One said.
"Personally I like Deans. Billy Gibbons played one in the eighties," Orpheus said. Krishna One and
Krishna Two looked at each other and snickered.
"Still, there's nothing for that overstated Johnny Thunders-like decadence but a big ridiculous Les
Paul,114" Mike said. And, after all, they were dedicating a shrine to Apollo, Inventor of the Celestial
Les Paul.
Mike walked on, to where Paul Stanley and Quetzcoatl argued about feathers. Paul was wearing his
feathered chaps; Quetzcoatl was feathers all over. "Look, you're overstated, that's all. Don't you
have any subtlety?" Paul Stanley asked, looking at the emetic explosion of reds, greens and yellows
that covered Quetzcoatl. Then he pointed to his own leather-clad legs with the blue peacock plumes
ballooning out from them. "That's style," he said. "That's vulgarity," he said, pointing at rainbow-hued
Quetzcoatl. A Krishna said, "I like his colors." Paul Stanley just sneered. "What do you know? You're
f*cking blue!115"
Mike walked into the john. There were three Krishnas at the urinals. Then there were two empty
urinals, and some guy that looked like some garden variety Greek diety. So Mike assumed the urinal
next to him.
"Hey, man, wanna buy some trips?" Mike asked. Then the god at the next urinal turned and looked
him square in the face.
"Holy cow!" Mike said. He had said the wrong thing to the wrong person, for as he saw the god turn
to face him, it turned out to be Freaky Dionysus116, God of Trips!

112 The author speaks here. Strats per se do not blow, but many people who play them do, or use them
    as a pretext for lame musical mimesis. The Stratocaster serves as the instrument of choice of
    visionless Hendrix wannabes everywhere. The debate that follows asserts pros and cons, since the
    Stratocaster deserves the chance to defend itself.
113 At some fundraiser – possibly for the United Negro College Fund – some unfortunate film footage
    exists of Lee Atwater onanistically stroking a Stratocaster in the company of B. B. King. Nothing
    really kills the cool of a brand of guitar like seeing it in the hands of a nebbishy GOP political
114 Michael well might have said this. As far as I can tell, though, Thunders tended to play a Les Paul Jr
    or Special or some nonstandard model – for instance, the one configured with a single P-90 pickup.
    People who speak of Les Pauls usually refer to the conventional configuration with two humbuckers.
115 Unkind and unfair to Krishna.
116 Freaky Dionysus fuses the dangerous qualities of the legendary Dionysus with the stainlike
    tendencies of someone Michael will doubtless know and remember, who spent too much time
    practicing and preaching revelation through narcosis.

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You could always tell Dionysus because of the two red blinking neon lights shaped like mushrooms
which he had instead of decent Christian eyeballs. He always had this bad seventies smile and
dressed in paisley a lot. He usually looked pretty swishy, but he was really far too freaky for the gay
sex crowd. Everyone was scared of him.
There was a rumor that one time he spiked the ambrosia of Zeus, his own father. The next they saw
of old Zeus he was hiding behind a bush with a butterfly net at a junior high school waiting for class
to let out so he could capture himself some new chicken.
If he'd do that to his own father, what would he do to a stranger like invincible Mikhail Halogenes?
"I would love to buy some trips!" Dionysus said, then flexed his fingers at Sacred Neon Mike.
Everything sort of blurred then, and Mike wasn't aware of controlling his own actions. Sort of like
normal, but more so, really. The next he knew he was up on a table, stripped down to a gold-lame
G-string with a fringed derriere, with his hands on his knees, waving his butt in a big circle in front of
Herakles, Medea, Chu Chalain, John the Baptist, Rene Descartes, and Nefertiti.
"I love it!" Mike screamed, and someone turned up the stereo at that moment. "Hot Cop" by the
Village People117 blared out at deafening decibalages.
Mike grinned as Mary Shelley attempted to stuff a five-dollar bill down his jockstrap. "Hands off,
Bubbles," Mike said, then started gyrating his belly at a Krishna who twirled his moustaches in

Dionysus must have really freaked me good, Mike thought.

117 There was a point in history after the Village People ceased to be cool when they were extremely
    uncool. This, however, was a self-correcting phenomenon, since their uncoolness allowed them to be
    used to annoy people – which, in turn, made them cool again.

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For as he looked at the neck-to-wrist-to-ankle tattoos that covered every inch of his flesh, he noticed
that they were blinking like Neon signs. His tattoo of Hitler was goose-stepping at a frantic pace. The
swastika in the forehead of his full-back Manson portrait was spinning like a windmill, and the Gene
Simmons on his thigh was blowing da-glo orange flames that lit up the room when they erupted from
his disgusting jewboy maw. The Slim Pickens118 riding the nuclear bomb backwards down to
Moscow was detonating frantically.
"Wow, this is really frantic," Mike said.
One of the Krishnas jumped up on the table, jealous of the attention Mike was getting. He stripped
down to his black stiletto heels and red fishnet hose; his Prince Albert was clearly visible. Krishna
started doing the Time Warp119.
"How seventies Krishna is," Dionysus said, shaking his head.
Mike answered the challenge with some really corny Temptations moves. Then Krishna countered
with a classic disco Bump; Mike nearly derailed. "He is so arrested!"120 Mike said.
Still, Krishna was developing quite a following, especially among the fifty thousand other Krishnas
out there cheering him on. He was devillishly handsome, and, unlike Mike, still had all his hair. His
outfit was more daring, with the exposed pierced genitalia.
"Krishna's not so hot," Paul Stanley said, then turned to pout and admire himself in a mirror. Merlin
nodded. "He's a little overexposed, and the fishnet hose and stilletto heels are a little seventies
decadent chic."
On the other hand, Mike had his detractors, too. "I can dance better than that in my cell with my
shackles on," Mighty Charles Manson, the Immortal and Inconquerable Wizard, remarked. "Too
many freckles and too little soul," George Foreman, then a minor demigod of Southern Ass
Whippings, said.
Mike began doing the Pencil Sharpener121. He held one hand in front of his works, as if holding a
pencil in the sharpener, and the other hand turned an imaginary hand-crank that would have been
mounted in his protruberant veranda. Dionysus had given him some pretty freaky stuff.
"Oh, yeah?" Krishna said, and started to do some classic James Brown split, but then thought about
the future prospects of his naked genitalia and reconsidered. At the last moment he switched to the
Mashed Potato122, which is really, really hard for a guy in spike heels to do, whether he is wearing
118 See Slim in “Dr. Lovecraft,” especially how he met his demise. The annals of stupidity will always
    have a place for him.
119 The work of Richard O'Brien enjoyed a lack of hipness for some period of the eighties before coming
    back into vogue in the 1990s.
120 Michael used this expression to refer to Beavis and Butthead.
121 While working at the newspaper, for a while we had a guy who had been discharged from the navy
    for buying liquor while under age. He used to tell stories about the trouble he made or he witnessed,
    and in one incident he and his buddies had set up a member of their group to get slapped by telling
    him he would succeed with some girls on the dance floor if he danced the Pencil Sharpener. The
    method and description in the text match what the sailor heard from his companions, and dancing
    this way did get him slapped.
122 Another Michael anecdote serves here. After a night of drinking, according to the story, Mike decided
    he needed to do the mashed potato in his upstairs apartment at about 2:00am. As he interpreted it,

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red fishnet hose or not.
"Look, stain, you're just not going to out dance me," Neon Mike said, for the man who had
conquered the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog was not about to be bested by some funny blue
guy with a foreign accent. Mike did the Fly again, and ended by nestling on the ceiling of Superfoot
Wallace's palace cleaning the ciliae on his neck with his two pointed forelegs. Krishna answered by
summoning about twelve other Krishnas up with him to launch into a precision choreographed Paula
Abdul dance triangle with himself at the apex.
"Foul!" Sacred Mikhail Halogenes cried. "There's only one of me, and I can't do team dancing."
"I like it better," Achilles said, unable to dance because of a pulled hamstring123. "Let's give the points
to Krishna," he suggested.
"Krishna!" Herakles said. "He looks like some kind of soap dropper in that get-up he's in!" Herakles
began fingering his big war club, then rubbed his magnificent biker beer belly. He looked up at
Sacred Neon Mike, whose beer belly was a magnificent echo of his own. "I say Mike wins! He's
really got what it takes!"
"Lord Krishna!" Achilles said, getting really red in the face. He was a little bit drunk on Mickey's124.
"Sacred Neon Mike!" Herakles shouted, turning the color of a slug's belly, not because he was
drunk, but because he was mental, and was always like that.

Achilles and Herakles squared off, and there was going to be hell to pay. Achilles reached into his
Straight Satans Motorcycle Club125 jacket and pulled out a big bicycle chain, a sacred relic given to

    the dance involved stomping on the floor as hard as he could to make as much noise as the local
    physics allowed.
123 A particularly unfunny reference to the Achilles tendon.
124 Before the rise of the Era of Gentrified Beer, some degree of commerce in bad malt liquor occurred
    with Michael and with some people he knew. One friend and onetime roommate of Michael's took up
    drinking Mickey's because of its cheapness and a taste that attracted no one to want to sponge off
    the purchaser. One time after a death in the family I spent a week drunk on the stuff.

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him by Athene with which to beat queers and roll winos126. Herakles lifted his club, which was really
just a beat-up transmission out of a beat-up old El Camino. Fire flashed in Achilles' eyes, which were
glowing like the sun; and a chill like the snows of Hyperborea flared in those of Herakles. The room
divided into two hostile camps, and bronze daggers and zip guns appeared everywhere.
The Achilles-Krishna army formed a phalynx on the dance floor as the Herakles-Mike army began
the first probes of an elaborate pincer movement; Immortal Rommel brought up the rear with the
armored cavalry--modified hot rod Panzers with racing slicks and nitrous oxide systems127--waiting
for which side to support.
"Hold it!" screamed King Superfoot Wallace. "Hold it before I kick everybody's ass!"
Every pair of eyes turned to face King Superfoot, remembering how he had beaten Chuck Norris and
made him be his woman128 on national television. No one wanted to be King Superfoot's woman,
since it was rumored that he had a stripey-assed baboon's129 works with spikes on it. Emily Post
hinted that such things just weren't done.
Nobody had seen King Superfoot enter; he had left the party earlier to spend a couple of fruitful
hours on phone sex and had returned quietly. He stood there, regal and terrible, in his little golden
mouse-ears crown and Confederate officer's uniform. He wore a red silk cape trimmed with finest
white seal fur, mainly to irritate Lisa a lot.
King Superfoot had taken his shoes off. Not only as the deadliest weapons in this or any other
universe were they grim and deadly; but also did they inspire fear by their color, and size, and
"What," Mighty King Superfoot of the Moon asked, "is all this about?"
Herakles spoke up first. "Neon Mike can dance the sh*t out of Krishna," he said. Achilles burst in:
"Neon Mike is an untalented amateur with all the grace of an unflushed toilet!131"

125 The Straight Satans were mentioned somewhere in Ed Sanders' The Family, first edition, which
    talked about the doings of the Manson family and the subsequent trial and media circus.
126 Not sure where this comes from, since it implies knowledge of a guy I worked with a year after I
    remember writing this stuff. We called him Super Vato down at the peanut butter factory because he
    used to wear a shirt with that emblem. He had stories about beating up gay guys in Houston with a
    dog chain. Since this tale refers to a bicycle chain, it may relate more to stories about Florida bikers
    I heard from a guy who would eventually become my last roommate.
127 Nitrous boost systems combine hot rodder engineering with suicidal stupidity and very much belong
    in a text like this one.
128 A standard threat in some circles. “I'll make you my woman,” a threat of male-on-male rape as a
    tool of humiliation. As far as I know, Superfoot Wallace did not make Chuck Norris his woman,
    except in a metaphorical sense. Not having seen the contest in question, I can't really vouch for the
    degree to which Wallace came out ahead, if indeed this ever happened.
129 The stripey-assed baboon served as another obsession for some time. I used to retell a story about
    how I had gone to an animal park in the seventies and our car had been beset with baboons that fit
    this description. The baboons did things that you still can't get away with showing on prime time.
130 A reference to an obscene limerick, where these qualities are found lacking in some guy's male
131 My own expression. Not as good as I thought it was at the time.

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King Superfoot turned to the Hammer. "What do you think of them, Malleus?" he asked, using
Hammer's more dignified Latin name. Hammer Malleus just waved his hand in a 'so-so' gesture.
"One of them's a white guy and one of them's a blue guy and they're both sort of stupid."
Mike had to answer this insult. "I am not 'sort of stupid'! I am extremely stupid!"
"I am divinely stupid," Krishna countered.
King Superfoot stood and stared, and the tension filled the room like the body odor of an elevator full
of winos. "Only one man has the wisdom and judgment to save us all from war," he said, shaking his
"King Solomon?" some stupid rabbi who lived in Phoenecia asked.
"Me?" about thirty of the Krishnas asked.
"No," King Superfoot said. "Only one man."
"Say it isn't so!" Mike said. "You can't mean--"
"Yes," nodded the king. "Randy Macho Man Savage."132
                              Randy, the demigod of all terrestrial chivalry and rightness, adjusted his
                              ridiculous neon cowboy hat and wraparound iridium shades and
                              assessed the situation. "Let's do this right," he said.
                              "Hephaestos!" Hephaestos limped into the room, not dressed for the
                              party. He was in a Slayer shirt and a tartan kilt. He was having a bad
                              hair day.
                              "Hang us a big disgusting disco ball," Randy Macho Man Savage said,
                              pointing to the ceiling. Hephaestos called some of his mindless robotic
                              slaves on his cellular phone from his utility belt, and had them and
                              some of King Superfoot's mindless dwarvish lackeys hang a twelve-foot
                              disco ball from the ceiling.
"And some strobe lights," Savage said, savagely. And it was so.
"And the right music. Something you can mosh to." And none dared disobey; so they called for the
stupidest, sorriest, suckest band ever to sell an album, sacred Mötörhead133.
When Krishna saw that walking mole factory, Lemius Kilmisterion134, arrive with his depraved
Rickenbacker, he felt like turning blue. (It was too late.)
"I can deal with this," Neon Mike said, watching two paramedics remove Philthy Animal Taylor135

132 I couldn't be bothered to remember that the name officially is “Macho Man” Randy Savage, rather
    than this misordered version.
133 Motorhead seem to thrive on negative press coverage, so the insult here serves as a compliment.
134 The attempt to Hellenize Lemmy's name here attempts a kind of pun (or maybe a portmanteau) on
    the term mysterion, which I remembered as meaning some kind of ceremonial table. I did not look it
135 Philthy might have retired already by the time this text appeared. However, he always struck me as
    the best Motorhead drummer even if his endurance limited the length of their shows towards the end
    of his career.

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from the back of a mobile intensive care unit and remove his straightjacket before sitting him on his
drummer's throne.
Mötörhead started into "Mean Machine" and half of the Krishnas vanished instantly, followed shortly
by Paul Stanley. Herakles laughed evilly, because he was evil, and Mötörhead was almost as evil.
And Mike was most evil of all, because he was black inside136.
Krishna began with a classic thirty-foot ballet leap and a long toe walk on his long toes. Then he
proceeded into some pelvis-pumping Temptations moves, including the typical old two-hands-
whipping-around-each-other bit that even William Shatner could do in his sleep137. He ended the
round with a thirteen-foot vertical leap where he did an 180-degree split and grabbed both ankles in
midair, then landed daintily on the point of his nose, grinning lasciviously at the ladies.
"Not bad," Randy Invincible Macho Man Savage said. "Next round!"
"The Iron Fist" was the next selection, and Mike started in by hauling in his big disco chain with Lisa
at the other end of it. "Help me out here a minute, Vern," he said.
"Guh," Lisa said, as Mike began swinging the chain over his head with her on it. Lisa got the brass
ring on the wall on the first try, and caught a rose in her teeth besides, all one handed. Even a few
Krishnas applauded this move, although the disco chain may have helped turn their loyalties. As the
song wore on, Mike decided to dance a big Ozzy tantrum. "I wan' it!" He screamed, jumping up and
down like an idiot. "I wan' it!" he said, pounding his fists and feet into the ancient mosaics on King
Superfoot's floor. "I wan' it! I wan' it! I wan' it!" Mike pounded his face on the walls until his teeth were
nothing but jagged bleeding stumps. Then he started doing the von Richtofen, buzzing and strafing
the crowd faster than Herakles and Achilles could haul out their worthless jewish138 cadavers.
Randy stood a moment. "Oh, yeah," he growled in his ridiculous steroids voice. "I'm gonna have to
call a tie on this round. Only one thing to do to break the tie: call for a free-for-all slamfest and use a
casualty count."
Mötörhead broke into "Boogeyman," a song that was not only long and stupid, and had a patented
Philthy Animal double time drum beat, but also included a five-minute one note guitar solo by Lemius
himself139. One could suspect that Randy had rigged this contest. But, after all, Mike needs all the
help he can get.
Mike laughed like an idiot. He ploughed through the entire first row with the steel plate in his
forehead. He crushed Odin's skull like an egg, cracked Lir's ribs140, shouldered Prometheus in the
butt so hard that he had liver failure141; he turned himself into a human superball and bounced off all

136 Michael's usage. I'm not completely sure what he meant by it when he said “I'm black inside,” but I
    attribute to myself a similar quality.
137 I remember seeing – and groaning at – something like Shatner doing this in a television special
    called “Mitzi and a Hundred Guys.” Perhaps it was just a hallucination.
138 Anti-Semitism-chic seems to figure in places throughout this narrative, perhaps through the nazi chic
    that comes from one school of biker chic.
139 This distorts a fair and true description of the track “Boogeyman.”
140 This may play at making a joke about the method of Lir's demise. I don't remember.
141 An unfunny gag about the sentence which Zeus imposed on Prometheus for giving man fire. He
    chained him to a rock where a bird or birds would tear out his liver, which would regrow, since

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four walls, floor, and ceiling, leaving Mike-shaped craters wherever he struck; set a school bus full of
first graders on fire and laughed as they burned; nailed himself to the wall in the crucified position
and screamed, "Father, why have You forgotten me?"142 and then finished up by detonating a
thermonuclear device in his mouth. His cheeks inflated like twin hot-air balloons, then burst, raining
fallout all over the crowd.
Krishna himself was not idle while all this was going on. Wielding his hands like straight-razors, he
was popping heads right and left as he did classic Baryshnikov lunges and leaps. He mounted a
huge steamroller and flattened the College of Cardinals, who had had no idea what sort of party this
really was. He turned himself into a big blue flame and set everybody's hair on fire, including the
other Krishnas', which was extremely unpleasant to everybody but Mike himself. Soon everyone but
Mike, Krishna, Randy Macho Man Savage, and King Superfoot lay in a big, throbbing, smoking,
steaming heap. There were no heads left to count.
Except one, of course. And Mike was stupid enough to do it. "Carry me! Carry me!143" he said,
jumping on Krishna's blue shoulders and pounding on them with his two puffy edema fists. "I don't
want to carry you," Krishna whined.
"Carry me! Carry me! Carry me!" Mike screamed, petulantly. "Carry me! Carry me! Carry me!" Mike
jumped up on Krishna's shoulders and used his moustachios as reins, screaming "Sacred Neon
Mike and his dancing horse, Krishna!" And he ran Krishna ragged until his flanks were all sweaty
and lathering and he was blowing foam out of his snout.
Krishna collapsed in a blue heap, and Mike sat there, grinning like an idiot.
Randy looked around at the heaps of the wounded and dying. He looked at the perforated stone
walls Mike had pierced with his bludgeon-like steel-plated consciousness. He looked at the
bloodstains everywhere. Then he shook his head.
Two thumbs up he gave Neon Mike, and his loudest "Oh, yeah!"144 ever.

    Prometheus was a Titan rather than a mortal.
142 Feigning Christhood for purposes of self-pity seemed funny at one point.
143 Once Michael pulled this stunt on Lisa who, indeed, did carry him. She returned the favor in a public
    place. It seemed an apt method for Michael to demonstrate his domination of Krishna.
144 This may have referred to Savage's Slim Jim commercials.

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The Aftermath of the Party

When Neon Mike awoke in his castle, weeks or years later, he wasn't even aware of whether
Apollo ever got his temple dedicated to him or not. "Serves him right if it didn't," Mike observed,
rubbing his throbbing consciousness. "Too much of a snob to show up at his own party."
"Pugsie, you were a little extreme at the party," Lisa observed, changing the dressing on one of her
broken wrists and applying topical disinfectants to the bruises that turned her skin into a big black,
gray, and blue expanse.
"Guh," Mike said. "It was that sorry old Dionysus's fault. He slipped me something."
Lisa shook her head. "He's not even off probation yet," she said.
But it was all true, even if you say it isn't so, for Mike had beaten his own lust in hell, challenged the
Chicken Master, confiscated Gamma Gordon Liddy's Sacred Golden Brewskis, climbed the ladder to
the moon, gotten real blitzed and outdanced Krishna himself. So he put on his finest accountant-skin
chaps and saddled up Cheesy to go jousting with dragons in England somewhere, more out of
boredom than anything else; and thanks to his efforts, it was thousands of years before anyone had
to fear the Village People again.145

[Superfluous footnote:
Versions of this have appeared in monasteries in Ireland and Russia. Their antiquity has been called
into question by the fact that they are all in ASCII format, when modern authorities are almost certain
that the bards of Greece used Apple computers until definitely Hellenistic times.]146

145 About as weak a denoument as it has ever been my misfortune to author.
146 About as weak a post script as it has ever been my misfortune to author.

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The Seal Queen's Quest

           Chapter One: Lisa Gives the Devil an Estimate
           In which the sorry old Prince of Darkness begs with Lisa to fix his ride, causing
           her great distress and trepidation....
           Chapter Two: Lisa Finds the Problem
           In which Lisa uncovers the peculiar thingamajig from which all diabolical
           misery originates deep within a GM Quasitraction transmission....
           Chapter Three: Queen Lisa Hits the Road
           In which Lisa lays down rubber on the Greater Minos freeway and shows the
           eurofoofoos in their little goober sedans she's got what it takes....
           Chapter Four: Lisa Gets Really Really Really Really Lost
           In which Lisa commands the good ship Bobbin into some part of the map all
           covered up with compasses and notes and stuff, so noone knows where the
           #$@%& they are....
           Chapter Five: Lisa Meets the Ship of the Dead
           In which Lisa comes face to face with the horrors of creatures from a god-
           blighted land called The Sixties....
           Chapter Six: Captain Trips Tells His Story
           In which the crew of the Bobbin hears All Along the Watchtower again and
           thereby comes to realize that some things are worse than death....
           Chapter Seven: Lisa Back in the Mediterranean
           In which the survivors of the Bobbin find that Lisa's checks are not quite as
           good as gold....
           Chapter Eight: Lisa Gets Burned
           In which Lisa proves that you just can't find a good garage any more even three
           thousand years ago....
           Chapter Nine: Lisa Shows Poseidon that She Really Has What It Takes
           Wherein Lisa demonstrates the secret mysteries of the Seal Queen
           Priestesshood, including The Trick with Her Knee....
           Chapter Ten: Lisa Gives the Devil His Due
           In which Lisa, Mike, Vince Neil's garments, Richard Simmons, and the wrath
           invoked by a broken oath all combine to create a sh*tstorm of vengeance....

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Lisa Gives the Devil an Estimate
  This work may be contemporary with the Mike Saga. On the other hand it may be an expurgated version of an earlier
  mythical cycle since its emphasis is matriarchal rather than patriarchal; the figure of Sacred Neon Mike the Tattooed
                                         King is reduced or absent throughout.
Or, as in the case of the better known Mike Saga, it may altogether be intestinal debris. Experts point out that the only
known forgery inferior in style and content to this document is the Book of Mormon147.

Lisa, known from Delos to Delphi as the Seal Priestess148 of the Island Peoples, sat on a carved
jade throne in the back of her sacred garage and mechanic's shop. And in her sea-blue overalls and
four-foot high Bride of Frankenstein coif149, she was every inch a queen.

"Oh, the evil that men do!150" Lisa wailed to the Universe Herself, the Great Goddess on her cosmic
sofa. Lisa tried to put on her "Lisa's Custom Precision Engines" hat, but her hair was just too f------
Satan himself had come into her shop earlier that day. Lisa did not particularly like Satan coming
around. It was not just that he showed up in a big purple overcoat worn over black fishnet hose151,
pink ball huggers, and spike heels, for this was the traditional outfit of an entire family of kings from

147 The Book of Mormon suffered as the butt of a lot of early nineties jokes, including the innovation by
    some of my peers to create a Book of Mormon Drinking Game, which involved opening the Book at
    random and counting the number of times the expression “and it came to pass” appears, with the
    higher number winning. I figure that my limited role in the creation of this game – the act of pointing
    out to someone how many times in the blue version of that book the expression seems to appear –
    should suffice to keep me in bad stead with Mormons more or less for the rest of my life.
148 Lisa seemed to have an affinity for baby seals in the mid eighties. This provided a totem for her
    mythological self.
149 At one point, I suffered under an obsession with the Bride of Frankenstein hairdo, and asked a
    number of women if they wouldn't be happier wearing it. To date, no takers.
150 The cheesiest manipulative applause line there is, showing up in variants in a number of works, esp.
    “Men and their wars!” Even when self-consciously feeding us corny lines for the humor in them, Lisa
    would not be likely to allow something as corny as this into her script.
151 Fishnets seemed important, in proportion to their impropriety. For instance, if a man found himself
    on trial for some charge he couldn't beat, he might as well appear in the courtroom wearing fishnets.

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Korinth to Phoenecia. It was other things. He was always coming on, and Lisa was tired of beating
the sh*t out of him with her fine Belgian torque wrenches. He was too sneaky, and this bothered her.
And, worse than that, his feet didn't match.
Yet what could she do? Satan had brought in his Mighty War Chariot152 and had thrown himself at
her feet. He had clasped her knees like a suppliant and had hardly seemed like the Cosmic
Troublemaker. "Fix my chariot, Lisa!" he had cried. "You're the only one who can help me!" He cried
and cried and cried, taking off his glasses and weeping torrentially into his sleeve, just like Jimmy
Swaggart. That is to say, like an idiot.
"What about Hephaestos153, the Muscle Car Master of Sacred Olympos?" Lisa asked scornfully,
trying to pry the Devil's grubby hooks off the clean sea-blue knees of her celestial overalls.
"He is involved with a truck-and-tractor pull in Hyperboria," Satan wailed, yet Celestial Lisa was

"And what of Daedelos?154" she asked, turning up her nose enough that the Devil could look deep
into her heavenly nostrils. She unbalanced her three-foot155 bride of Frankenstein hairdo at that point
and would have toppled if she had been a mere mortal. As it was, she had to straighten her head out
or wipe out, so she turned her head to dubiously look the Devil in his sorry lying eyes.
"Look not into my sorry lying eyes so," Satan entreated. "For Daedelos is correcting the alignment on
Apollo's Customized Chrome Sun Chariot."
"And yet," Lisa asked, "you have not yet given me a reason to help you," she said, for even the
base-born knew better than to trust this goat-horned hosehead.

152 My Stupidity Guru had an El Camino he referred to as Satan's Mighty War Chariot. This name alone
    justified some mention in this work.
153 As inventor and handyman among the gods of Olympus, Vulcan/Hephaestos seems very likely to
    have the best skill set in hot rodding internal combustion vehicles of any of the Greek gods.
    Therefore if we seek a god for hot rodders he's likely to be it.
154 Daedelus, as an inventor, logically figures in the cycle of sacred mechanics. Not on Hephaestos' level,
    perhaps, but with the right kind of mechanic's vision.
155 I'm pretty sure elsewhere I describe this as four feet tall or six feet tall. I like it better with the error.

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"Help me because it was a gift--from my sacred Jester, Alice Cooper."
Lisa's eyes widened, for it was rumored in Ionia and Doria that Alice had given a great boon to the
world: stupidity. Alice had, so they say, stolen into immortal Olympos itself to steal it from the king of
the gods, Zeus himself, who monopolized it selfishly; and once in Alice's hands, stupidity was a gift
men could thenceforth have in the same measure as the gods themselves. And the commodity was
so precious that priests and kings squabbled among themselves to corner the stupidity market.
"I will help you," she said, "if you bring me...Paul Stanley's feathered chaps." Only bringing Alice's
name into this allowed her to consider even dealing with a sorry road rat like Satan, also known as
Lucifer, Phosphoros, Mephistopheles, and, around Christmastime, Satan Claus156.
Now, Satan's Mighty War Chariot was not just any mighty war chariot. It was a vintage Pontiac
Catalina from the Mighty Age of Muscle Chariots, so ancient that its license plates were in the
forgotten script of ancient, sacred Knossos. It was black and shiny and just the thing for cruising
gullible underaged demonettes. It had a big ridiculous cast-aluminum GM 454 Big Block157 engine
that growled like a thousand lions being gelded with a red-hot C-clamp. There was no other like it
anywhere between Olympos and Tartarus.
It was big and black and shiny and overpowered, just like the Devil himself.
"Paul Stanley's feathered chaps!" Satan gaped. "He is the only living being whose ego rivals my
own!" Satan wailed; Satan moaned; Satan cried. Yet Lisa gave him her patented sphinx-stare.
"Paul Stanley's feathered chaps," Lisa said. Once she had spoken the Fates themselves were SOL
in trying to change her mind. "No chappee, no fixee. Get it, you stupid limping hornhead?"
                               Satan groaned, and turned his sort-of-human head into a big ugly
                               catfish head with long whiskers158. Then he realized that perhaps this
                               was bad manners and turned it back, although he completely forgot
                               about the whiskers, which stuck out a good two feet.
                               "Aaaargh!" the Devil groaned, little realizing the secret contempt Lisa
                               harbored for him especially when he said aaaargh.
                               "Do you have to say 'aaaargh' like that?" Lisa said. "You know my
                               price. If you don't like it let Hephaestos fix it. He walks funny like you
                              "...I will pay your price," Satan whined. "But don't make fun of
                              Hephaestos. We went to Rice together." Then he turned himself into a
succession of ridiculous animals: first a bear in a Cossack's hat, drinking bad vodka; then a lion; then
a jaguar; then an eagle; then a bullfrog. Then he vanished. There was a little blob of fresh Bondo
where he had stood.

156 I remember once sending Michael some kind of hand drawn cartoon about Santa wanting to give
    Micheal some inappropriate gift, though he quickly became “Satan Claus” and eventually “Satan
    Klaus von Bulow.”
157 Another standard item in the must-have modifications for a GM hot rod. Yes, my Stupidity Guru
    brought the item to my attention. Normally mentioned in the context of a nitrous boost system.
158 My Stupidity Guru and I worked at the newspaper under a supervisor who had sort of a froggy facial
    configuration. The Guru would sometimes refer to him as “f*cking Catfish Head.”

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Lisa sprayed down her garage with two whole cans of 'desert mist' Glade and went to look at Satan's
Mighty War Chariot.

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Lisa Finds the Problem

Lisa had a pet monkey that talked. She called it Bumbles. Once Bumbles had been a man, a
priest of Rush Limbaugh159; yet Bumbles had offended the gods by repeating Rush's claim to
prophesy. "Stupid mortal," Oracular Apollo had said, "Can't you tell the difference between a prophet
and a sore loser?160" Then Apollo descended from his Customized Chrome Sun Chariot with his
Cosmic Ugly Stick and had proceeded to turn Bumbles into a funny-looking rhesus monkey. "And I
hope they use you for immune system experimentation," Apollo said.
                                      Bumbles had had nowhere else to go. He was loathsome to
                                      man and god alike, and even Rush wouldn't take him in.
                                      "There is no place for a talking rhesus monkey in
                                      today's Republican Party," Rush said, and hung up the
                                      phone, and that was it for Bumbles, because he was out of
                                      Lisa found Bumbles useful sometimes, though. For instance, if
                                      she had wanted Satan out of her shop altogether, she would
                                      have let Bumbles pelt him with little turdules162 from the rafters.
                                      Bumbles was handy with the cars, too. Lisa had bought
                                      Bumbles a little mechanic's overall with a patch with his name
on it.
"Go under the car, Bumbles," Lisa said, and Bumbles answered "OK, boss" and vanished beneath
the chassis. There was no way to get that three-foot hair underneath the car, even up on the rack;
and besides, the twin lightning bolt white streaks would look horrible if she got transmission fluid all
in them.
"See any leaks?" she asked.
"No, boss," Bumbles answered.
"Get up on the hood and I'll start it up," she said. She didn't want to grind Bumbles up in the flywheel,
at least not yet.
She turned the key, and the motor emitted a hum sort of like what you could hear in Attica when
there were earthquakes on Crete. So everything was all right there.
She revved the motor, and watched tools fall from the walls and saw small cracks appear in her

159 At some point in the mid-1990s, something about Rush Limbaugh struck me as hilarious. I no longer
    remember what it was.
160 This intends to jab less at Limbaugh and more at some folks I knew who could not let the result of
    the 1992 election go without perpetual whining. They were pikers compared to the folks I know
    today who moan about 2000 and 2004.
161 I went through periods in the early 1990s when I had neither a telephone nor much money to make
    calls with. I'd usually get busted by answering machines, which would connect – taking your quarter
    – but still leave me without having spoken to anyone. I still hate answering machines.
162 A guy I used to play in a band with coined the term turdule to describe what mice leave behind.

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concrete walls. Nothing wrong there.
"I'm going to take this monster on the street," Mechanic Queen Lisa said. "Get in, Bumbles."
All roads would have lead to Rome if Rome had been invented yet; as it was, they were few and far
between except on the ancient holy isle of Crete, where Lisa had her mechanic's shop. The Minos
Highway was the only real place for hot-rodders to do their diagnostics.
Of course, sometimes the Minos highway was completely impassible. There were just too many
gods with chariots: Apollo, Helios, Thor, Poseidon, and just about anyone who was anyone in an
indo-European tradition. Lisa quietly thanked the gods and goddesses - certainly not in that order -
that the Olympics, let alone the Superbowl, hadn't been invented yet.
She eased out into traffic, past a few imaginary animals, and gunned the motor. And she felt the
transmission stick.
"It's the transmission, boss," Bumbles said.
"Shut up, Bumbles,163" Lisa said.
"Okay, boss," Bumbles said. He frowned, and when he did, he was almost as ugly as Howard Stern.
It wasn't every day, though, that even a sacred seal queen like Lisa got to put Satan's Mighty War
Chariot through its moves. She looked through the ashtrays and found the predictable filterless
Camel butts and a dubious-looking roach clip. There was also an address book with no one's name
except Dionysus'. Dionysus was a troublemaker who got killed every few years by people he
screwed over, only to come up again a little bit after Christmas so he could grow up and be hacked
to pieces again. He loved it.
Lisa adjusted her mirror, just like it said in the Cretan Department of Public Safety Handbook. Some
goofball in a chariot was trying to pass her. He had sea-blue hair.

"How very saucy it is to have sea-blue hair and try to cut me off," she observed, and Bumbles
couldn't help but nod.

163 The Stupidity Guru reported that he once got into a fight with his brother. Partially because he called
    him Bumbles, after the name of some abominable snowman creature in some Christmas special; and
    partially because he wouldn't stop telling him “Shut up, Bumbles!”; and partially because he had
    plastered him with a can of vegetables, this fight had required parental intervention. The expression
    “Shut up, Bumbles!” had become a standard response to someone else's undesired verbiage, and the
    character Bumbles appears in this text largely as a pretext to use the expression.

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"Would it be so bad if I cut him off?"164 Lisa considered.
She waited until Bluehair was passing her on the right, then gunned the motor to pull up parallel with
the guy. His skin was sort of green, which suggested either he had a very bad diet or had forgotten
to breathe a long time ago. He said something that sounded like 'rich.' Then she pulled in front of
him and began to slow down, just a little.
Blue Hair tried to switch lanes, and Lisa switched with him. He stopped signalling, trying to trick her.
"You can't trick the Sacred Seal Queen!" Lisa laughed. She began to fishtail the rear end of Lucifer's
Glorious Pontiac Catalina and take up every lane of the highway. Blue Hair couldn't handle it. Soon
he wiped out altogether; Lisa watched him, inside his chariot, harnessed to his horses, cartwheeling
down the highway in flames.
"Gee, I hope he wasn't hurt." Lisa smiled back at the bouncing debris and the smoke cloud that
connected heaven to earth.
Still, she was concerned. Just exactly what was wrong with the car, anyway? That sticky tran would
be a booger to set right. It might require pulling the transmission, rebuilding it, getting all dirty, and
maybe also dedicating some kind of human sacrifice to some club-footed loser like Vulcan-
Hephaestos. That human sacrifice business really bit, too, because it meant Lisa would have to go
to the cleaners to get her sacrifice robe resanctified, and that she would have to spend an entire
afternoon polishing her chromium seal-priestess mask. Being a satanic mechanic165 had its
But what did it all mean166? There wasn't really any way around any of this.
To be thorough, Lisa put Satan's Mighty War Chariot through a number of other moves. She rode a
school bus full of nuns and orphans167 off onto the shoulder, admiring her handiwork as she saw the
big yellow machine fishtail and take out one hundred feet of guardrail. She ran a police roadblock,
and repeated an ancient religious formula attributed to Artemis the Huntress-Maiden: "I'm such a bad
girl!"168 She turned the car around and saw how fast she could get it going in reverse. It was too
much for Bumbles, who sat with his little monkey-hands covering his eyes.
"Bumbles, sometimes I wonder if you've got any guts at all," Lisa wondered out loud. "You don't
really have what it takes."
Leaving leagues of destruction in her wake, Lisa returned happily to her sacred garage. There were
no two ways about it, she knew; the trouble rested firmly within the transmission.

164 Rudeness with an automobile is a kind of inevitable thing and an obligation as a method of
    addressing other rudeness with automobiles.
165 A Richard O'Brien coinage probably familiar to everyone.
166 Again, Micheal's coinage “But what does it all mean?”
167 This may appear more than once, perhaps showing up again when Sacred Neon Mike tosses molotov
    cocktails during Sabbath Night. The standard innocent victim of someone's stupidity on or against
    cars seems to involve causing an accident in a bus load of nuns and orphans. May derive from a
    Saturday Night parody of a Smucker's commercial, where two announcers compete to produce the
    more disgusting name for a jelly, with something like “1000 dead nuns and orphans, all eaten by
    rats” winning the round.
168 A variant of “I'm such a bad boy!” from Velvet van Ragnar's coinage in “Never Too Young to Die.”

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"Look, Bumbles," she said, pulling into her well-trodden driveway. She saw a single set of motorcycle
tracks and a litter of Shiner bottles, and knew that the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog must be
near. "Sacred Neon Mike has returned from the lands beyond the North Wind where he renews his
tattoos and vows every year on the day the sun is its weakest!169" Bumbles bowed his head
Mike was in the garage, sitting on the discarded remains of a nitrous oxide boost system that Lisa
had tried to construct for Dionysus, God of Fiends170. It was designed to put the nitrous into the
carburetor and into the driver's face mask.171 It worked all right in the engine, but Dionysus had
complained that the compression wasn't what he wanted in the face mask part; the engine only
needed 9:1, but he needed at least 12:1172.
Lisa flicked a Bumbles-pellet from her embroidered nameplate on her sacred blue overalls and got
out her Kenmore-Craftsman of Hellas toolkit and began pulling the transmission. Pretty soon it was
in pieces all over the place; one in particular caught her eye, and she looked at it through a large
magnificent glass she kept on her workbench.
"What is it?" Neon Mike queried. He looked exceedingly prone to question as he sat there in his
grimy longjohns and hiking boots sipping cappucino from a Doc Marten that Athene had given him to
remember her by, once it had gotten all scuzzy and funky.
"It is a 1968 GM transmission doo-hoomey frammistat." Lisa stared at it as if it were something a
doctor had pulled out of her body. "It makes the hammilo hammer occlude better on quasitrac173
"It looks like a big metal booger," Mike observed sagely. Lately he had begun to prophesy. When
Mike began to prophesy, it inspired Lisa to wonder. And what she wondered was: Was it time to use
him as a human sacrifice?
"That's actually sort of stupid, Clovie," Lisa observed.
"I love it," Mike said. Then he described everything in the room. Strangely enough, the wooden
beams looked like big wooden boogers; the windows looked like flat, glassy boogers. The sky looked
like a big gaseous booger made of nitrogen and oxygen.
"Even you, Lisa, sacred queen of the seals, look like some kind of giant seal's----"
"Isn't that the doorbell?" Lisa suggested.
"Sacred Olympos, it must be the postman with the latest issue of Swank!"

169 A garbled description of a pagan or neo-pagan view of what the winter solstice means.
170 “Fiend” was a standard early eighties pejorative term for a kind of self-destructive party animal
    Michael new many of.
171 The Stupidity Guru once suggested the modification to a nitrous boost system that also provided gas
    to the driver.
172 Although I never checked stuff like this, this compression ratio probably intends to be ridiculously
    high. Ask a real auto mechanic.
173 An unfunny take on Positrac.

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Sacred kings, even sacred neon kings like Mikhail, were quite often very difficult to get along with
when they started prophesying, and perhaps that is why they generally got recycled at the end of the
year174. But perhaps it would only be necessary to lock Neon Mike in the basement forever and ever,
with just two wells, one to drink from, and the other to relieve himself into175. There he could predict
the future based on what he saw on C-Span and through a new method called pornoscopy176, where
one read the future based on the shape of stretch marks on the models in stinky nudie mags.
Lisa continued disassembling the transmission, and didn't listen as Halogenes returned into the
garage, rubbing some shine into the scalp on his consciousness. "Did you know that Poseidon's
pissed off at you?" Mike asked.
Poseidon? That was odd. Lisa had almost nothing to do with any of the Cronides brothers, since
they were so self-important and couldn't dance worth a damn. Zeus was henpecked, and Plouton177
was on some kind of self-pity trip she didn't dig. Poseidon was into earthquakes. They all sort of
"How can you tell?" she asked. Mike pointed out a particularly scabby picture in an old copy of
174 An attempt to summarize, without accuracy, the role of the sacred king as described in The Golden
    Bough and The White Goddess.
175 From a joke about two beer cans, where one needs to remember which one to drink out of and which
    one has been pissed in.
176 Pornoscopy was mainly a pretext to claim that Mike read nasty low-brow porn mags. At one point
    someone requested I demonstrate pornoscopy to help him find his lost keys. I found the letters O, A,
    E, and R in the pictures. He found his keys near the toaster. I'm not sure if this validated anything or
    not. Pornoscopy as theoretically envisioned would proceed through a negative aesthetic experience,
    with bad porn producing a strong reaction in the consumer such that his senses shut down to drown
    out the undesired images, and the desired visions flood in to answer the question or deliver a
    prophesy. The pornoscopy I demonstrated did not use this method. I also argued that a
    pornomancer can't really like the porn he views, because this undermines the necessary disgust
    effect that drives things.
177 I may have read something by one of the Greeks – either Aeschylus or Aristophanes – where
    someone attributed to Pluto a speech reeking in self-pity. I'm inclined to say it was in Aristophanes,
    and the thing occurred for comedic effect.

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"Nasty," Lisa said.
"Here, on her larger breast--look at the stretch marks. There is a pi for Poseidon, a pi for pissed and
an omicron for off. Now on the thigh with the strap marks--no, not that, that's just hair--is an alpha;
that means at. On the foot with the handcuff on the ankle is a lambda. That stands for Lisa.178"
Lisa pointed at a mark near the model's misshapen navel. "Isn't that a nu for not?"
"No, that's just more hair with a big crab louse on it."
Well, it didn't pay to take Mike too seriously when he made predictions; his last big whopper had
been that Hitler would come, three thousand years too early, to Crete, and create a thousand-year
empire to celebrate the glories of disco music and hatchback automobiles. Yet he had been right
about that business with Richard Simmons.
"Let him be pissed off with me," Lisa said. "Patriarchal upstart. He never sends us cards or letters
around Christmas time."
"There isn't any Christmas yet," Mikhail Halogenes sagely observed. Bumbles made the two-guns-
drawn point-scored sign of an Australian football referee179. Mike and Lisa both told him to shut up.
"Where can I get a 1968 GM transmission doo-hoomey frammistat?" Lisa asked, pulling handfuls out
of her three-foot Bride of Frankenstein hairdo.
"I don't know," Neon Mike said. "Why don't you try the Chrome Nazi Helmet of Diminished
"How does it work?" Lisa asked, dubiously, for she was uncertain about anything that shiny with that
many Glorious Twisted Crosses on it.
"You put it on and begin to recite," Mike said, and returned to his copy of Swank. He was looking at a
page where some poor worn-out thing was attempting to put something in her mouth that clearly
could never fit in it.
Lisa sat the helmet atop her mountain of hair. Then she began to recite:
"There once was a man from Nantucket--Clovie! This thing isn't any good!180"
"So try the phone book," Mike said. He brought the magazine very close to his face, attempting to
discern some fine detail of prophetic import.
Fat Anthropos' Chariot Supply181 couldn't help her, since F. A. was only dealing with imports from the
far west now. Demetrios' Racing Motors carried the item, but didn't have it in stock. Ouranides Auto
Parts hadn't even heard of the part.
"Must we prophets always walk through garbage?182" Lisa moaned, and thunderheads gathered over
the mountains of Greece.
178 The pornoscopy Mike demonstrates here resembles the demonstration I gave so much that I must
    assume the event preceded the text.
179 My stepfather would sometimes watch Australian football, not so much because he cared about the
    sport or about sports – he didn't – but because he enjoyed the hand signals the Australian football
    umpire uses to signify the scoring of points.
180 Lisa in the real world would also resist a helmet that attempted to make her recite this limerick.
181 There may have been a “Fat Man's Motors” upon which to base this.

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There was only one place to go, and that was Xolxis183. Xolxis Chariot World had anything a seal
priestess could ever require in the way of muscle car parts; yet Lisa had difficulty reconciling herself
to going to a place with so many exes in its name. Xios was bad enough, with just one; that place
was infested with wisecracking blind adoioi claiming to be poets and denigrating the gods. Xolxis, far
worse, was infested with orthography reformers attempting to put more exes into their language in
order to use up all the left-over ones in all the other languages of man.
"Sacred Halogenes," Lisa began, "I must bid you auf wiedersehen, for I am off to Xolxis to get auto
parts. The refrigerator better not be empty when I get back, either."
"Guh!" Neon Mike said. "I'm going into the john with my copy of Swank to prophesy.184"

182 I used to script little elitist expressions of exasperation useful for the delivery of large quantities of
    petulance in small packages. This is one I didn't use much.
183 I'm fairly certain I took this place name just because I liked how weird it looks in English translation.
184 A suggestion that Mike may be up to something besides pornomancy.

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Queen Lisa Hits the Road

Packing was a drag, and Lisa took it very seriously. What could she leave behind? If she took her
St. Cheesy185 medallion, she might have to leave behind her autographed Barry Goldwater cameo. If
she took them both, then her collection of Civil War shell casings couldn't come along.

"If only someone would invent VISA!" Lisa cried to Extendia, Goddess of Overused Credit. "They
would take it everywhere, and I could buy everything on the way, then file chapter 11 when the bills
came due, sort of like a savings and loan scam."
Lisa packed her best travelling clothes: Her Alpine mountain climber suit, and her waterproof gold
lamé hip waders, and her revealing Polynesian grass skirt ensemble. Yet on the road itself a more
all-purpose vestment was called for, and her red silk cowboy outfit was just the thing. She packed
one bag of clothes and twenty-two toolboxes with her tools and loaded up her favorite hearse186, the
one painted in the flower-power circus colors and stupid hippie slogans that undermined the dignity
of her seal-priestess office. "Who would suspect that the Sacred Seal Queen of the Greater
Mediterranean would dare to drive around in a ridiculous sideshow attraction like this hearse?" she
asked, and nothing answered, so she stopped waiting for a reply after a couple of hours.
Yet it was a mighty hearse, a Ford with a big 429 Cobra motor, like the big Typhon Mustangs that
nearly stormed Olympos. It had racing slicks and big chrome exhausts and could do a quarter-mile
while the opposition was still turning its engine over. This was the hearse from which mighty
Achilleos stormed Troy, behind which he dragged the mortal remains of Hektor as he sped off to the
Sonny and Cher concert.
"Bye-bye, Eustachia," Lisa said, wiping a big tear as she watched the little dog lay some serious
cable in her flower bed. "Bye-bye, Mikhail Halogenes," she said, as Mike sat in a gazebo turning his
Swank upside down in an attempt to divine the future.
"Be careful, Lisa," Neon Mike said, "for not only is Poseidon himself rather annoyed with you, but
taxes are going up, and I'm not really confident in the sanity of whoever is writing this.187" Then he
185 An attempt to give mock epic significance to the surly little dog.
186 I don't completely remember the context, but Michael once referred to a situation where one might
    expect the ominous apparition of a clown driving a hearse. What this would serve as an omen for is
    lost to history.
187 Ha. Or not.

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returned to his magazine, resplendent in his red cloth-of-gold construction worker's suit and silver
hard hat.
Lisa got in the hearse and gunned the engine, which sounded a lot like Willie Dixon clearing his
throat in the morning.
Lisa didn't drive too long before something happened. This is partly because there isn't too far
anyone can go on Crete before they're in the water. "Even the best car," Lisa observed, "is not much
of a boat."
She wished somebody like Argus the shipwright was handy. "But, after all, what could he do that I
can't?" It was obviously a job for her sacred golden chainsaw.
Who has not heard the fame of Lisa and her Sacred Golden Chainsaw? Found washed ashore on
the banks of a pool of caustic substance secreted when Cronos whooped his poor old daddy
Ouranos, this chainsaw felled the forests that built the mighty ships of the Greek fleets that sailed on
Troy, and was given to mighty Aias the Greater until he snuffed it like a big moron. Lisa found it at a
garage sale, because the Aiads didn't have any more sense than try to sell it.

"I would fell the invincible Minoan redwood that seems strangely out of place this far from as-yet-
undiscovered California," Lisa said, saying a prayer to Artemis, Protrectress of Groves, Nude
Sunbather, and Castrator(or is it castratrix?) For the Hell of It. Then she made herself a scale model
of the Queen Mary and christened it the Bobbin because of the way that it was bobbing up and down
in the water.
The Bobbin had three rows of oars, which was unfortunate for a boat with no rowers whatsoever.
"Whatever will I do for rowers?" Lisa asked, growing used to the endless rhetorical questions
imposed upon her by dramatic convention.
She looked through her endless inventory of tool boxes. "I could compel the natives at gunpoint, but
that is so seventies," she thought. "I could convince everyone that Minos had told everyone to get off
the island by nightfall or be fed to his stupid and ugly stepson the Minotaur.
Then she came across a small autographed picture of Ronald Reagan188, and the sun came out from
between the clouds to cast a holy sunbeam on his virile features. "What would Ronald, the very

188 At this point in the nineties, mock-epic depictions of the targets of hero worship struck me as
    particularly amusing. Perhaps this is part of what made Limbaugh references seem funny to me back

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image of Zeus, his father, have done?"
Then it came to her, and she did what Ronald would have. She took her checkbook and wrote out
hot checks189 until she had all the rowers she wanted.
Lisa drove her Circus Hearse onto the deck of the Bobbin and stood in her forest-green pirate's outfit
to oversee the navigation of the ship and headed east. And her rowers were a crew like no other
boat has seen.
There was Fred Harmon, the original Bozo the Clown. There was Rocky Marciano. There was Fred
Flintstone, whom only Lisa had ever seen shaven. There were both Dorsey brothers, and all of the
Kennedys. One whole tier was occupied by Osmonds, who were only allowed to row under the
provision that they would remain gagged and masked during the entire voyage east. There was the
entire 1961 lineup of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
There was Charles Darwin, resplendant in his shackles and mutton chops. There was Celestino, one
of the better popes190. There was Jack, who climbed the beanstalk. There was Mister Peabody.
There was Harold Stassen, who was still running for President, right next to General MacArthur.
There were all six of the better known Stooges--Moe, Larry, Shemp, Curly, Joe de Rita, and Joe
Lisa beat a wonderful rowing rhythm--some complex jazzy thing in 13/17 time that practically
screamed for Miles Davis to exploit it--and the Bobbin edged off from the beach.
"Hey, Lisa," Fred Harmon observed, waving with one blue clown-suited arm. "Does it look like bad
weather to you?"

"I don't see any bad weather. I can't see any weather at all through the coal-black cloud front that
seems to have suddenly overcast the sky, nor through the blinding lightning flashes or torrential rain
that seems to have just started. Keep rowing. I don't see anything wrong at all."
Still, as the Bobbin drifted eastward, toward the Dardenelles, she wondered. Was Poseidon mad at
her? And for what? And what could he do about it?

189 Almost a political statement. Thankfully nihilism trumps political philsophy here.
190 This probably refers to Peter of Merrone, known also as Pope Celestine V, who in The Bad Popes is
    described as a hermit drafted into the papacy, a role he did not desire. The fact that he didn't want
    the job seems a likely cause to attribute to him the claim of having been the best of popes.

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Lisa Gets Really Really Really Really Lost

Lisa suspected that perhaps the prevalent winds might be carrying her off course. "We're really
losing the way, Miss Seal Queen Lisa," Deputy Festus191 said, holding his hat before him even as the
rain soaked his greasy black hair.
"What makes you say that?" Lisa said. She looked over the bow. "I can't see one god damned thing.
How can you see something that suggests we're lost? We shouldn't jump to conclusions."
Yet she had her galley crew row and row until the storm cleared away. When the sky turned blue
again, she looked out past the great nude mermaid figurehead of the Bobbin. There was dry land all
around, and a sign in the as-yet-not-invented Roman letters:
                                      WICHITA, KANSAS 14 MILES
She looked at the sign. She thought a moment. "Perhaps we are a little bit lost. So maybe you all
should just keep rowing."

Soon, the Bobbin had rowed its way onto I-35 and followed it south to Texas; once in Texas, it was
just a little detour to the east before they were in the Gulf of Mexico, or, as they called it in the days
before there was such a place as Mexico, the Gulf of Nothing.
"Where do we go from here, Boss?" Bumbles asked. Lisa shook her head. "Shut up, Bumbles. It's a
"You don't know, do you boss?"
"That's a secret, too. Shut up, Bumbles."
"We're really, really, really, really lost, aren't we, Boss?"
"Can you swim, Bumbles?" Lisa asked, and Bumbles finally did shut up after all.
                        "What I need to do is to take an oracle. Something better than Mike and his
                        silly pornoscopy." Lisa began to ferret through her Fortune-Teller's Toolkit.
                        She had already eviscerated the chicken, so reading its guts was right out.

191 These popular cultural references among the crew of the Bobbin may be an attempt to parody works
    about the Argo, which found no small number of celebrities of mythology among its crew. It escapes
    me now, as does much of the humor in the selections of names.

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She considered the little eight ball that you turned over to read the messages on the little bobbing
cube inside. But she decided upon the Wheel of Answers, the favorite tool of economic forecasters.
It was based on the Wheel of Fortune but with different things on the wheel, though the glitter was
just as fine.
"I need some stupid model to help me with this," Lisa said, and Moe Howard, in a shiny gold dress
and a really hideous wig, stepped up to assist her.
"Oh, Hekate, Goddess of the Underworld, Queen of the Moon, and Confirmed Manhater192 of the
Kosmos, answer my weighty query!" She raised a golden dagger and plunged it into the heart of a
sacrificial mushmelon193, which was really not a bad mushmelon at all.
"Where the f--- are we?" Lisa asked, and Moe (as the hostess Moeina) spun the wheel. It turned and
turned, barely missing the BANKRUPT space. Finally it stopped two sections down, on
Well, Lisa thought, isn't that helpful. "Oh dark and ancient Moon-Queen! How may we return from
whence we came?" Moeina spun, and the wheel turned. BANKRUPT didn't even have a chance this
time; it stopped on a space that said THAT DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON WHERE YOU CAME FROM.
Lisa looked at Moeina, who wiped his face slowly in a vaudeville mannerism called the 'slow burn194.'
"Hekate, dammit, which way do we go?" Moeina spun. The wheel stopped on the word EAST.
"What for east?" Lisa asked. "Why east?" Moeina spun the wheel. BETTER GREEK
RESTAURANTS, the wheel said, which was stupid, because Lisa could eat Greek food all the time.
It came from living in Greece.
"Go east?" Bumbles asked, getting ready his parade mummer's hat and baton, anticipating the need
to point in the direction they were going once they got under way. He added a chrome Iron Cross
just to make the ensemble really suggest the extremes of subtle good taste.
"That's right, Bumbles."
"I wish Lord Rush were here," Bumbles said, missing his old master.
"How would we feed him?195" Lisa asked, shaking her head. Mike's prophesying was stupid, but
Rush's did not yet have a word to describe it. To merely listen to him risked pissing off Hekate and
Apollo and every other self-respecting prophetic deity. What's worse, he was losing his hair and
wouldn't admit it and just kept moving his part in a vain attempt to conceal the advance of his shiny
pink scalp.
Lisa directed her mindless galley slaves to resume rowing as she sank deeply in thought. It might be
harder to get to Xolxis to get that stupid 1968 GM transmission doo-hoomey frammistat than she
thought. Satan would pay. Not just for parts and labor, she decided, but also for mileage. And
192 Some unpleasant experiences with whiny women who happened to also be lesbians had made the
    subject of lesbians somehow inherently amusing to me. They seem very different when they're not
193 I don't know of any place but Walt Kelly “Pogo” strips where the mushmelon exists.
194 I may have been reading My Life in Pictures by Moe Howard about this time.
195 Wow, a fat joke. Don't die laughing on me. I seem to imply here that Rush Limbaugh serves a
    ceremonial role similar to that of prophetic figures like Mike and Lisa, although in a much less
    reputable cult. Combover jokes may not have gone out of style yet.

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perhaps for wear and tear of her inimitable pirate suit.

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Lisa Meets the Ship of the Dead

Lisa appointed a watch and went to the captain's cabin where a few of her hastily appointed
officers were having Sabbath Night196. They were piously dressed as Ozzy himself, back in his
spandex, eye-makeup, and tattoos phase. Lisa quietly wondered if she could ever reconcile herself
to these signs of the advance of patriarchal heavy-metal religion.
Politely, she went into the corner, and, in a screaming paisley chi, started doing forms. Someday she
too would be a black belt like Elvis197.

"Hey Lisa, Ozzy's really wicked!" screamed the Iron Chancellor. Lisa moved her hands slowly in the
air and nodded sagely. Ozzy was certainly something.
Nirvana loomed closely when Lisa's concentration was interrupted by her watchman, the Little-
Richard-clone wrestler Johnny B. Badd198, burst into the captain's cabin. "Eternal Commander Lisa!"
Johnny sang, not too badly. "Another ship sails these waters."
"Why shouldn't another ship be sailing these waters? Are these our waters?" Lisa asked.
"Yes, but who knows who might be sailing these waters?" Johnny B. Badd observed, snapping a curt
military salute to Commander Seal-Queen Lisa. "It could be the Village People199, or ...worse."
"What could be ...worse than the Village People?" Bumbles asked.
"Shut up, Bumbles," Lisa said.
Yet it was important. What if it really was the Village People? Would she and her entire expedition be
196 Sabbath Night will figure more prominently in the next Mike segment. As I understood the real world
    Sabbath Night practices, the festivities involved getting a bunch of stains and fiends together to
    listen to Black Sabbath albums and smoke dope. I seem to invest it with greater ceremonial
    importance here.
197 Critics of Elvis cite his tendency to start doing forms on stage as one of the symptoms of his
    cheesiness and decadence, both synonyms for stupidity. So we allow Lisa here to do forms as well.
198 Sadly, wrestler Marc Mero abandoned the Johnny B. Badd persona, and roundly denounced it for
    precisely the things that made it entertaining, its stupidity and its glorification of gay chic.
199 At the time, people still might have recoiled from the threat of a Village People invasion. By now
    they've become cuddly cultural icons.

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doomed to dance bad seventies moves under a ridiculous disco ball forever? Lisa opened up her
great brass telescope, a fantastic seven-foot-long eyepiece with red pennants hanging off it200.
She scanned the dark shadow on the waters. It was still dark, but only more so. "Darkness even
darkens the darkness," Lisa said, even though she would have shut Bumbles right up if he had
dared a line that stupid.
"It's getting and nearer and nearer to the Bobbin," Johnny B. Badd observed.
"Holy cow, that ship really has what it takes," Fred Harmon observed, pulling on the twin red tufts of
hair on the sides of his head, and stamping his big clown shoes up and down on the deck.
The black ship, encased in darkness, pulled up to the Bobbin and halted. A greasy gray rope
stabbed out from the shadows. Then a bony hand hauled in the rope, drawing the two boats
together. Their hulls banged against each other, making all aboard the Bobbin wonder if it would be
necessary to get a pan of cold water to decouple the two.

"Wow, it's a boat of the dead," Johnny B. Badd observed, pointing at a skeleton in a tie-died tee
shirt. The deck of the Ship of the Dead was covered with zombies, skeletons, and plasma donors.
They were all really, really decomposed, yet they nonetheless had a kind of existential dignity201
about them.
"Hey, these zombies really have what it takes," Fred Harmon said, pointing and waving. "Hey, that's
a ship of the Gr*t*f*l D**d202!"
Indeed, the captain of the ghost ship did have a huge skeletal gut, frizzled grey afro, and little round
glasses. With two defleshed phalanges, the skeleton Captain Trips made a peace sign.

200 I might have seen something like this in a woodcut of Galileo. Alternately, something similar may
    have appeared in Swift's Gulliver's Travels in the section about the Academy of Projectors.
201 I remember smirking at the expression “existential dignity” in a context that suggested a general
    absence of dignity.
202 Those who sought to repudiate the sixties and seventies in the eighties found much material to work
    with in making fun of the Grateful Dead and their fans. This sequence was probably written before
    the death of Jerry Garcia, but I don't know that the bad taste of mocking the recently dead would
    have changed my narrative intentions enough to absolve him from ridicule here.

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Lisa, being the immortal Captain of the Bobbin, spoke up, for not only was it her duty, it was also her
story. "Say, dead captain," she shouted over the edge of the Bobbin," help us navigate our way east
to Xolxis."

"Can't do it, Commander Seal-Queen lady," Captain Trips said, adjusting his admiral's hat atop his
afro. "For let me tell you of our ancient curse."
"Oh, God," Bumbles said, wiping his little monkey face with his little monkey paws. "Here comes
some serious BS."

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Captain Trips Tells His Story

A tear inched down Captain Trips' skeletal cheek as he began to speak.

"Once," he said, "we were all mortal men just like you. We were a priesthood of Dionysus
Mycophilos203, Bacchus the Mushroom Lover. And we frolicked in the fields and valleys of a distant
land called Kalifornia, and we were all very happy, even when we got the clap and hepatitis."
"Oh, my," Lisa said, reading the Greater New York telephone directory in a hopeless effort to stay
awake while the walking cadaver babbled. "What could have happened to all of you? You don't look
happy at all now. You don't look like you've got what it takes anymore."
"This is true, for our hubris destroyed us. We forgot that but for the favor of the Gods we would have
remained stupid Kalifornian nebbishes had not divine Dionysus made us into big stains instead."
"We sang our mushroom hymns to our mushroom acolytes again and again and again, forgetting the
source of our worship; and soon we forgot even that we were singing our mushroom hymns to the
same damn people over and over and over and over again.204"
"Eventually we bored Dionysus, who eventually started listening to the Ramones205 and completely
forgot about us, his wayward priests. Then one day, he checked up on us and he caught us still
playing the same songs for the same people. 'Lame,' Dionysus cried. 'I curse you all.' And he cursed
us to float in the sea as skeletons in a big rotting boat forever and ever with our accursed audiences
playing the same one song again and again and again. And now you must join us."
"Guh," Lisa said. "I think I left some popcorn burning in the galley."
Captain Trips may have frowned, though this was difficult to tell on a man who no longer had a face.
"You don't want to come on our ship and listen to us playing the same stuff over and over again?"
"Guh," Lisa said. "Maybe later."

203 I intend this to mean “mushroom-lover,” but who knows. Given the other possible meanings of this
    text, including other usages of the root for mushroom, it could also mean “snot-lover.”
204 Basically my critique of the Grateful Dead and its fans appears here. I developed a cruel streak
    towards sixties nostalgia at some point, and some targets are easier than others.
205 My recommendation about what Grateful Dead fans (and, perhaps, the Grateful Dead themselves)
    should have done.

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But there was no appealing the verdict of Dionysus' curse, and the unwilling Bobbinauts were
dragged, kicking and screaming, onto Captain Trips' ship of death. One sailor leaped to his death
screaming "Skynyrd206 or die, man!" Lisa envied him.
It was just one song, and it went on forever, and, worse of all, it was
mostly guitar solo207. Bumbles plugged his ears with his own dung;
everyone else would have, but their discomfort was so extreme that
their sphincters all locked up like a dry engine left in a junkyard for four
hundred years underwater208.
"There must be some way off of this thing," General MacArthur whined,
waving his corncob pipe. He didn't dare smoke it because it was too
likely that one of the Dead would shove something very un-Douglas
MacArthurlike into its bowl. "Help us! You're the queen! If we appease
them we must fall!209"
"Shut up, Bumbles," Lisa said, then realized she wasn't talking to the
monkey this time.
There were some things worse than death, though, and this song was even worse than "All Along
the Watchtower.210"
"If only crafty Odysseus were here, he'd clean these bozos' clocks," Lisa muttered to herself,
attempting to stuff her pirate's sash into her pounding ears. "I must handle this myself," she said.
"Only one thing is more powerful than a curse from Dionysus," Lisa reasoned. "and that is bad
sixties hero worship. I must compel some ridiculous sixties icon to command them to free us from
their stinky dope-smelling ship and godless acid music.211"
Her plan required her to be careful. Lisa rolled up in a fetal position and muttered "groovy" every time
it got so bad she felt she had to scream and pound out her brains on the deck212. Meanwhile, turned
away from the band and nation of captive zombie spectators and Bobbinaut prisoners, she pulled a
206 Redneck chic has a limited place in this text. Southern rock fans still strike me as considerably cooler
    than folks who don't know that 1969 ever ended.
207 The author editorializes again. I had suffered in various contexts the tedium of playing music with
    guys who overdid it on the guitar solos. The tedium becomes exquisite displeasure after a while. My
    musical tastes formed partially in reaction to this tedium.
208 I tried here, without particular success, to name a set of conditions that would help make an engine
209 Dialogue comes from something I expected MacArthur might have said rather than models anything I
    did hear or read him saying.
210 My personal anti-favorite of songs to play. It brings with it sixties nostalgia, Dylan worship, Hendrix
    worship, the tedium of a three chord song, long-winded lyrics, and the opportunity for interminable
    soloing. A wonderful combination exists here of things I don't like.
211 The author here exaggerates his sentiments and uses the Lisa character as a ventriloquist's dummy
    to express them.
212 I remember Ed Sanders claiming that Charles Manson did this at a Grateful Dead concert in some
    edition of The Family. The part about extreme displeasure comes from this author and not from

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huge hunk from one of the rotting masts of the ship and began to carve it with her official Swiss
Army Knife.
Working rapidly, she shaped a ventriloquist's dummy with face just so and body just so. She stole a
Mary Kay cosmetics kit213 from Johnny B. Badd while he wept in a heap nearby and painted the
dummy's face. Then, once she was satisfied that the dummy was complete, she said a silent prayer
to Hera, Deceiver of Really Dumb Guys214. Then she stood, and proclaimed in a loud voice to all on
the deck, "Look! It's a Genuine Bad Sixties Icon!" and held up the dummy.
"Is it ... Donovan215?" a zombie lighting worker asked.
"Could it be ... Sonny Bono216?" a zombie sound man gasped.
"No!" Shrieked Captain Trips, ripping off his admiral's hat and falling prostrate to the rotting timbers
of the deck. "It's Charlie Manson, the original and immortal Wizard!"
"The Wizard!" the Gr*t*f*l D**d screamed.
"The Wizard!" all the rest of the zombies screamed.
"The Wizard!" screamed the captive Bobbinauts.

213 Because of the properties associated with Mary Kay's cosmetics – a density and thickness that gives
    them the ability to cover just about anything to excess – I make the assumption that any application
    of too much makeup involves Mary Kay stuff. This is probably unfair both to Mary Kay company and
    to the people who put on too much makeup. It ignores more tasteful uses of Mary Kay makeup and
    less tasteful uses by consumers of other brands. At some point in the eighties or nineties, MK stood
    as a kind of permanent whipping girl for anything people didn't like about makeup usage or
214 This looks like an understated bash against the institution of marriage. Since I remember reading
    Warren Farrell a lot during these years, odds are high it meant something like that.
215 Donovan spent his time as an object of ridicule, partially because the elitist strains in Bob Dylan
    worship resented him as a pretender and as a lightweight, partially because he had anything to do
    with the sixties at all.
216 Sonny Bono appears here since by this time I don't remember being able to find anyone involved in
    cultic sixties-worship with anything good to say about him at all. I don't recall if he had become a
    Republican politician yet at this point, but this doesn't matter to the task of deriding him. A
    combination of the unfair discrediting he received for taking anti-drug stances and simple exhaustion
    from overexposure via his variety show in the early seventies with Cher mean that just about anyone
    could justify being tired of him for reasons good or bad.

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"Yes, it's me, you maggots," Lisa said through the dummy's mouth. "The reason you can't kill me is
that you haven't been able to find me. You send your man out across my line in the desert, but when
he gets there, I'm not there in your mind. You say you're free and I'm not and I say, 'You are?' And
you say I'm in and you're out when really I'm in, I'm out, I'm down at the San Diego Zoo, I'm riding a
motorcyce in the desert, I'm your house, I'm your family, I'm your children, and I'm crazy....217"
"Wow!" the zombies started screaming. "Charlie's really got what it takes!"
Lisa made the ventriloquist's dummy take a big shepherd's staff in one hand and a stone tablet in the
other and proclaimed "Let my people go!"
"The Wizard says to let them go!" the zombies screamed.
Lisa bravely stood and improvised pornographic limericks as her brave Bobbinauts hysterically dived
over the side of the cursed ship of the dead, and didn't escape herself until it was almost too late.
She needed some distance for her big Errol Flynn move; she tossed the dummy into the howling
army of bad sixties skeletons and grabbed a convenient but incongruous curtain pull from way up
the one surviving mast, and, screaming "Tally ho!" swung back onto the Bobbin, which the surviving
Bobbinauts had already begun rowing so damned fast that the boat popped a big wheelie all the way
back across the Atlantic.

Lisa Back in the Mediterranean

"I'm beginning to think that maybe Poseidon really is mad at me," Lisa considered
philosophically. "This entire business ever since I hit water has been nothing but trouble. Hekate
alone knows how much is going to hit the fan once all the rowers realize their pay is all on rubber
"So what will you do, Mighty Seal Queen?" Slim Pickens asked, picking his teeth with a World War I
"I guess I must take another oracle. No stupid pornoscopy and no stupid wheel for me this time,
though," Lisa said. She stood in her inimitable suit of ivy leaves and a big Marie Antoinette powdered
wig and considered the matter.
"I know! Bobbinaut Slim!" she shouted, and began jumping around in a big circle in a frenzy of

217 I remember seeing a news clip of Manson making an ass-brained speech like this to a parole board.
    History confirms that he did not win parole with it.

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inspiration. "I will prophesy with dandruffomancy!218"
Indeed it was fortunate that Lisa remembered this ancient art from her days in kindergarten.
Dandruffomancy only required a head of hair and a piece of black construction paper, and Slim
already had both handy.
"The black construction paper," Slim said, and doffed his Stetson. "And the haid of hair," he said,
lowering his big redneck melon over the black surface.

Lisa gave his scalp a vicious Indian Burn and watched the flakes form a pattern on the black
construction paper. As the dandruff rained down, a picture began to form: It was a picture of Lisa
cutting Poseidon off in traffic on the Minos Freeway and laughing as he cartwheeled in flames off the
"Is it bad news?" Slim asked.
"Guh," Lisa said.
Slim looked at the paper and shook his head. "You're not gonna let some little thing like that
demoralize you, are you? You're not going to let that stupid blue-haired bully push you around!
Shoot, you can lick him! Who cares if he's Zeus' brother!"
"You're right, Slim," Lisa said. Within an hour she had grounded the Bobbin on the coast of Spain
and burned it to the ground, and was headed east in her Flower-Power Circus Hearse. Confused
Bobbinauts sorted through the ashes as they watched her smoke on the horizon.
"They would really all be happier in Spain, anyway. The weather is really much nicer in winter than
"Guh," Bumbles said.
"Shut up, Bumbles," Lisa said.
Lisa ignored France, Italy, and Yugoslavia as she passed them by, since they hadn't really been
invented yet, and only stopped in Makedonia because it had the last Exxon station before Xolxis.
She waved as she left northern Greece and Turkey behind her and consulted the Rand-McNally
Atlas of the Prehistoric Fertile Crescent.

218 I read about the notion of taking a black piece of construction paper, drawing a snowman on it with
    white crayon, and adding dandruff for snow somewhere, probably in National Lampoon.

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"I need to follow the southern coast of the Black Sea even unto Armenia," she said, as Bumbles
nodded in agreement. Yet as she drove, she looked in her rear view mirror, and saw a chariot
behind her flashing red and blue lights.
"Cheese it! The cops!" she screamed, and hit the accelerator.
The copper goaded on his horses as Lisa spun her wheels on the Armenian blacktop. "This calls for
an ancient Minoan charm," she reasoned. "Did you know, Bumbles, that if you point at an oncoming
cop car and yell 'BRONZE!' that you will become invisible?219"
"No way, boss," Bumbles said, shaking his little monkey head.
"Try it, you stupid piece of sh*t monkey," Lisa growled, tired of her stupid monkey's perpetual
cynicism. She had to put it kindly, so as not to offend Bumbles' delicate sensibilities.
"BRONZE!" Bumbles yelled, pointing, and Lisa aped his motions.
Miraculously, the Armenian State Trooper headed on the highway past where Lisa had pulled over
onto the shoulder. "Cool," she said, and looked at a billboard that said "Come to Xolxis Precision
Motor Supply!"

"We're almost there," she said, and headed off the wrong way down the highway, singing along with
the radio, which was turned up to full blast and blaring out John Denver220's finest.
219 My Stupidity Guru made this claim. We reliably bellowed Bronze upon seeing a police car, and never
    were stopped after doing so. This does not prove that it worked.
220 More seventies-bashing here. I don't think I've heard a John Denver recording since 1973.

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Lisa Gets Burned
Xolxis Precision Motor Supply always smelled like motor oil and was staffed by two thousand-
year-old mechanics who were too blind to run the register or to read inventory numbers and too deaf
to hear what you asked for221. These guys were old back when Hephaestos was a teenaged hot-
rodder and Zeus, his out-of-control dad, was still turning himself into everything in the animal
kingdom to go cruising for chicken. So she screamed herself hoarse attempting to get them to admit
that what she needed was a 1968 GM transmission doo-hoomey frammistat222.
Perhaps she should have been more concerned when she saw the wall of autographed pictures of
Poseidon, but there were more important things on her mind. So she overlooked the pictures of
Poseidon on horseback taking the rodeo trophy, the pictures of Poseidon with the Chamber of
Commerce, the Kiwanis, Optimists, Rotarians, and Masons223.
Nor did she heed the picture of the owners of the store shaking hands with Poseidon, or the picture
of the owners of the store lake-fishing for largemouth bass224 with his Poseidon-ness somewhere in
the Black Sea.
She tried waiting in line. She was the only seal queen there--really, the only customer of any sort--
and took a number. Her number was nine hundred million and thirteen.
"Hey, Bumbles," Lisa said.
"Yeah, boss?"
"Turn my skeleton over when it bleaches on one side225, will you do that for me?" she asked, and
Bumbles nodded his assent. Lisa sat down after she pulled up the taproots her feet were beginning
to sprout into the floor.

221 Some poor customer service my Stupidity Guru suffered at auto supply shops in Denton appears
    here in condensed form.
222 I was fairly sure at the time of writing that no such component existed in the real world, and that the
    name would evoke images of real technobabble while remaining absurd enough that no one would
    take it for real.
223 I recall seeing similar images of various merchants with the various groups mentioned above –
    though no one merchant did all those things – with the exception of Masons. This may have been an
    attempt to condense local color into one overreaching absurdist combination that made Lisa's
    analogue have to confront the guys who seemed always wanting to shaft us or overcharge us when
    we were college aged in Denton.
224 A friend I haven't seen since the early 1990s used to correct my usage when I'd mistakenly refer to
    largemouth bass as “bigmouth bass.” The term was generally used in an unflattering comparison to
    some part of some human being, so the correctness of the term mattered less than evoking an
    unpleasant visual image at someone else's expense.
225 Yet another Stupidity Guru story! He had been at a comics convention, with comics writer Marv
    Wolfman as a guest at the event, and an autograph line had gotten long. Someone brought some
    comics for Wolfman to sign, and, as the retelling goes, he objected to items he had nothing to do
    with - “This isn't mine, and this isn't mine” were his remarks while excluding items and backing up
    the line. The Guru or his companion made the remark about the skeleton bleaching on one side, and
    Wolfman evidently did not enjoy overhearing it.

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Lisa got to wait and wait and wait and wait at a table with a bunch of seedy old magazines. There
were several copies of Swank with their pages stuck together; these occupied Bumbles' attention
rather thoroughly. Lisa made the rhesus monkey drag the nasty things off behind a dumpster behind
the shop226. There were also American ire-Mycenean Muscle Car Monthly, National Geographic, and
Aryan Times, which was subtitled "The Spearhead of the White Racial Holy War.227"
She didn't really listen when the oldest of the old farts picked up a telephone--quite a find since it
wasn't due to be invented for perhaps another three thousand years yet--and called a number and
asked for someone whose name sounded like Poe Sidon228. She was attempting to forecast the
future of the Earth Mother cult with a Pocket Scrabble229 set she carried for fortunetelling
Finally they gave her something in a box. The word "Motorcraft" was scratched out; the word
"Mopar" was written over it and scratched out; and the letters "GM" were penned in over that230.
She was steamed and cursing when the old fart rang up the 3000 drachmae231 ticket, when she only
had 3001 in her wallet and was hoping to stop at the McDonald's in Thrace on the way back to
Crete. But she had the part, or something in a box that purported to be the right part. The sun was

226 Lisa's opinion about pornoscopy somewhat parallels the usual female-male divide on the subject of
227 Another newspaper anecdote appears here. A small circulation Black-interest newspaper called The
    Texas Times had reported an episode in Fort Worth, Texas, where some white supremacist had
    posted flyers of some racist newsletter called Aryan Times: The Spearhead of the White Racial Holy
    War. The Times reproduced the front page of this posting and ran it on their front page; so a dozen
    flyers, through this ill-considered use of a visual aid in a news story, allowed a piece of racial
    badinage that had appeared a dozen times to reappear at least 5,000.
228 How many times and in how many ways did I attempt to flog this dead horse of a gag? Redundancy
    and relentlessness do not make a cute couple.
229 I had been very proud, for no reason I can remember, of a Pocket Scrabble set I used to own. It was
    never played and ended its life in a dumpster.
230 An attempt to undermine confidence in the product by creating doubt as to its manufacture – Ford,
    GM, and Chrysler all appear on the scratched out manufacturer names. In modern times, it's much
    less noteworthy if a part from another manufacturer appears on an automobile.
231 I never bothered to sort out the difference between a drachma and an obol, nor their relationship to
    a talent of gold.

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going down as she left the shop.
Her Flower-Power Circus Hearse wasn't there. She looked at the sign in ancient Armenian over
where she had parked: It said 'NO PARKING even for seal queens.'
"Well, doesn't that beat everything," she said. She had even gotten oil stains on her gold lame hip-
waders, and now she would have to walk back all the way, with Bumbles riding her shoulder.
Soon, as she headed west through the mountains of Armenia in the dark and cold, she realized that
she was really really really really lost again. And all her really good fortune-telling devices were in
her missing wagon.
"If I ever get the damn thing out of impound, I'll never leave Crete again," she said. "You know, I
have an ugly feeling that those old geeks in the parts store called in on my Incredible Bagwagon,
probably to get some kind of kickback232 from that sorry old Poseidon."
As she crossed from Armenia to Turkey, which then was a piece of Greece, since in those days the
Greeks were dumb enough to want it, she came to a dark pass. There was a little toll booth, and, in
ancient Ionian, a sign read "PAY TOLL HERE."
"I'll pretend not to speak anything but Ancient Cretan and blow these goons off233," Lisa said. She
began to wander through the gate.
"Oh, yeah?" a voice said.
"Yeah," Lisa said.
"Oh, yeah?" a voice said.
"Yeah," Lisa said.

Then, before her, from a stinking hole in the ground, appeared the Dreaded Lord of Uglies. He was

232 We frequently suspected merchants in the area of engaging in some kind of dishonest dealings,
    including kickbacks. Probably this amounted to little more than sour grapes and our own cheapness
    back in more impecunious times. However, merchants in this narrative generally wear the paint from
    the same brush.
233 Freeloading in this narrative is a sacrament and not a simple expression of crass self-interest.

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partly a snail, partly a roach, and partly a door-to-door missionary234; in short, in his person was
included two thirds of all the ugliness that Mother Earth has ever seen.
Lisa made her sternest seal-queen face and straightened out her gold lamé hip waders. This great
ugly beast was, indeed, great, ugly, and beastly. It stretched out its spindly little pipe-cleaner
forearms and grunted a challenge.
"Oh, woe unto a hapless Seal Queen who never wanted anything but for all the children everywhere
to be delighted into dementia by armies of happy clowns," Lisa groaned, sticking her arms out and
hanging from a tree. "Everyone and everything do conspire against me! It ain't right!235"
"Gee, Boss, don't be such a baby," Bumbles said, and flinched instantly, expecting to receive a
Dutch rub such as Lisa sometimes gave him when he was exceptionally naughty.
"Shut up, Bumbles," Lisa said, but she knew the monkey was essentially right, even if he was uglier
than H. Ross Perot. Lisa looked at her enemy before her and pulled the nails from her palms to
descend from the tree. She didn't like being tied to the whippin' post anyway.
"That's a classic Aikkido pose," Lisa thought. She remembered her many years under Master Dud,
who trained all the Seal Queens in the art of beating the snot out of fatassed bikers236.
"Hah! Now I have you!" The King of Slug-Ugly taunted Lisa. What's worse is that he had a Jersey
Slugboy oozed forward and did a ridiculous kung-fu movie spin, jutting out one elbow to try to clip
her sacrosanct shoulder blade.
"No way, knucklehead," Lisa said, fanning her hands around like a Plymouth flywheel with razor
blades on it. She rained vicious taunt blows all over the slug's oozing white hide. Then she did a
quintuple somersault over his microencephalic slugboy head , landed behind him, let loose with a
classic Errol Flynn "tally ho" and kicked him once in the kiester.
"Fool, dare you consider even for a moment threatening the invincible Lord of the Uglies?" slugboy
said. "None may trifle with the invincible Slugboy!" Then he pulled a bicycle chain out from one of the
pockets of his Dee Dee Ramone238 leather jacket and began swinging it like a propeller in front of
Slugboy brought the chain down onto a convenient boulder and turned it into a cloud of dust. "Ha!"
he screamed. Then he tapped a two-inch ash from the end of his sh*t-stinking Sam Houston cigar239.

234 I had had at least one unpleasant run-in with missionaries in the late eighties, enough so that they
    receive ill treatment here.
235 More histrionic pseudo martyrdom, attempting in form to counterfeit Christhood. The gag seemed
    very juicy to me back in the day. Also, this passage mocks a kind of rhetorical usage Lisa sometimes
    would resort to by driving it to extremes.
236 Probably a reference to some Dead Kennedys song I don't remember.
237 Watch “Frankenhooker” to see why this matters.
238 All Ramones and ex-Ramones were still alive at the point this was written.
239 My Stupidity Guru and I sometimes smoked cigars less to get pleasure and more to cause others
    displeasure, including during the imposition of the no-smoking policy at the newspaper. In one
    episode, we smoked cigars inside a closed car and blew so much smoke that we couldn't see outside

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"Ha yourself," Lisa said, vanishing into the darkness using the time honored methods of the seal-
"Guh," Slugboy said.
"Ha!" Lisa said, drawing her saber. She started backing up the stairs, slinging her cutlass at the giant
slug. "Odd, though," she thought. "We were in a cave a minute ago....Where did these stupid stairs
come from?"
"You can't escape me merely by backing up a conveniently anomalous flight of stairs," Slugboy
remarked, drawing his ridiculous Cyrano de Bergerac rapier.
"Guh," Lisa said. "Then take this!" Then she did a classic Jean-Claude van Damme la savat240
maneuver, turning slugboy's melon head in thirteen241 neat circles before it unwound.
"Oh yeah?" Slugboy said.
"Yeah," Seal Queen Lisa said.
He let out one last "Yeah?" then the Lord of the Uglies adopted a centuries old sumo242 squat,
looking half ready to kill, half ready to defecate.
The two butted bellies with a crash like Zeus on crack having a big lightning-and-sh*t storm. Though
Lisa's belly was by far the smaller, it was also harder; Slugboy rolled seven leagues and bounced
seven times and dug himself a hole seven fathoms deep when he hit243.
"Hey," the Lord of the Uglies said as the last breath of life passed from his mouth, "Lisa has really
got what it takes!"
Suddenly Lisa caught on. "You work for Poseidon, don't you?" she asked the King of the Uglies.
"Guh," Slugboy said244. "I don't work for Poseidon. He wouldn't hire me, and I wouldn't work for the
likes of him. And besides, I don't know who you're talking about, and I think you must have both of us
confused with someone else.245"
"You're lying, aren't you?"
"No, really, I'm not."
    the windshield, mainly through blowing stinky smoke at one another. At some early point in these
    pointless exercises, we decided Sam Houston cigars were the ones to use for such abuse. Probably
    they were available at Skagg's and were cheap (the cheapness being desirable not just because we
    had not much money to waste on this nonsense, but because cheapness served as an effective
    predictor of how bad a cigar would smell when burning).
240 I really can't say if this is a correct usage or not.
241 The number thirteen throughout this text intends to pseudopagan pseudosignificance.
242 Something about sumos seemed intrinsically hilarious back in the day. The art of mocking the sumo
    became more popular and more mainstream over the passage of decades.
243 Here I may be mocking a description of Zeus' defeat of Typhon, probably as read in Velikovsky.
244 Seemingly the Lord of Uglies has forgotten that he was almost done dying a sentence or two
    previously. He understood that he still had some unserved narrative purpose to complete, and
    muddled through like a real trouper.
245 An attempt to vary the three-denials seen previously when Mike totals Lisa's ladder.

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"You're not?"
"No, really. Really."
"You're lying."
"How many pages have I spent trying to sidestep the ire of that sorry old Poseidon Cronides
anyway?" Lisa ranted. "I'm sick of it!"246 And she sat down on the dirt and thought and thought and
thought about it, for she was going to solve her Poseidon problem once and for all.

"Tell me where he lives," Lisa said, putting Slugboy in a technically perfect half-nelson that Hulk
Hogan had taught her when they were both in the Marines.
"Ouch! Guh! He lives in a big palace in the bottom of the Sea. It's probably the biggest and onliest
palace, since not too many contractors do sea-bottom work anymore. The insurance is too
goddamned high...."
Lisa wet her finger and took the wind. That was how it was going to be, all right, and she would have
to put Mister Smarty-Pants Sea King in his place.

246 It must have been worse for the real Lisa reading this.

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Lisa Shows Poseidon that She Really Has What It Takes

"What do you think, Bumbles?" Lisa asked, and she turned a circle before Bumbles, who still tried
to sneak glances at one of the copies of Swank he had lifted from Xolxis. She stood before him in a
forest-green candy-stripe usher's uniform and an Empress Nefertiti headpiece, a strange mixture of
Minoan dignity and Helladic stylishness.

"Great, Boss," he said, and returned to the magazine. He mouthed the words as he read.
"I'm going to dive into the vast Mediterranean and put that mean old Poseidon in his place, and I'm
going to do it right now. Just as soon as I finish reading," she said, and hefted a stack containing the
Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Das Kapital in the original German edition of about three
thousand pages, and some stuff that was neither so short nor so concise.
"Are you stalling247, Boss?" Bumbles asked, turning the magazine upside down in a vain attempt to
find the center of gravity of a cluster of diseased-looking models in a pose that would make
Aphrodite blush.
She was caught dead to rights, for the monkey was telling the truth.
So there was only one thing she could say. "Shut up, Bumbles248," Lisa said, and she began to pace.
Soon there was a deep rut in the earth by the shoreline.
"Why don't you take him out with your unstoppable Kung Fu moves, Boss?" Bumbles asked. "Or
maybe use your Aikki-Do249 or even Detroit Gutter Fighting? Or maybe just sneak up behind him and
blow off his worthless blue head with a big Fort Worth Special?"

247 We used to accuse Michael of stalling (because he did) and eventually started treating the vice as a
    virtue, with coordinated team stalling on things like walking down stairs providing a way for two or
    more of us to annoy a third party. Stalling even got to the point of lying down in a busy street.
248 Indirectly cites another roommate I once had, who would respond to irrefutable claims of fact with
    “You're right, so shut up.” I liked the response. It was pointlessly rude.
249 I misremember the number of different spellings, syllable breakdowns, and capitalizations imposed
    on the term aikkido within this text. Perhaps somewhere one is actually correct.

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"Because, Bumbles, it doesn't work that way. Underwater is his turf, and everything goes his way
there. It's just not fair. Everybody hates me.250" Then a big tear welled up at the corner of one of her
big doe eyes251.
Seeing the seal queen in grief even moved the cold hard hearts of the gods of Olympus themselves.
Athene saw the despair on the face of her loyal seal priestess and descended to earth, disguised as
a plastic dashboard Virgin Mary with a bobbing head252.
"Despair not, O Loyal Seal Queen," Athene Parthenos253 said. "Have you ever wondered how I, a
goddess among the horny and incestuous deities of immortal Olympos, have remained a virgin so
"Because you're ugly as sin and sort of a bitch to boot?" Lisa ventured, extremely lucky that Athene
was so lost in self-admiration that she wasn't really listening254.
"My father, Zeus, was father and mother to me, because some of this divine incest stuff is really,
really, really weird255," Athene said. "Anyway, he taught me this great trick with my knee. It works
good," she said, and whispered a secret then only known to seal queens and their priestesses256.
Lisa's eyes grew wider and wider. "Really? Puts them away like that?" She smiled hugely, thinking of
Sacred Neon Mike back at her palace, eating her Feta Cheese Doritos257 and drinking her
Hellensbrau258 beer while she was away, plus leaving his prophesied-out copies of Swank all the hell
over the place.
"Yet, O Sacred Athene, there is one thing. That drowning business. How am I going to meet
Poseidon on his own soggy turf without filling my lungs to the brim with rancid salt water and
drowning deader than hell? I do not know if faith alone will work259."

250 Note the recurring theme of histrionic self-pity as a kind of performance art.
251 It had been a few years since those damned waif paintings, but not long enough to make me forget
    nor to keep me from inflicting their imagery on my characters.
252 Perhaps a tribute to John Waters' crass and relentless mockery of Catholic iconography. Someone
    probably already manufactures a bobbing head statue like this now. Yesterday's blasphemy becomes
    today's popular culture.
253 This may be an authentic title, and may cite her virginity. I no longer remember.
254 A really unkind explanation of why a goddess might remain a virgin came to me in a rereading of
    some text on Greek myths. Probably the Greeks never intended that anyone make any such
255 Can one really make sense of the notion that she sprung, fully formed, from Zeus' forehead? The
    whole explanation seems a conspicuous attempt by religious revisionists to deny her a mother that
    might be somehow theologically embarrassing.
256 If you can think of a cheesier deus ex machina than having a goddess descend and tell someone to
    save the day by kneeing someone in the nads, I'd like to hear about it.
257 These might be interesting. In the context of 2005's Wasabi Flavored Funyuns, they could actually
258 Another imaginary Helladic consumer good.
259 I need to remember to try this line at work when presented with the need to perform some
    exceptional task.

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Athene considered a moment, rubbing her little white moustache260, then
tracing a finger down the ventriloquist-dummy lines that connected the
corners of her mouth to her chin261. "There is an herb, innocent Lisa, that
grows on the graves of virgins buried under a full moon on a Sunday
before their fourteenth birthday. If their dads were left handed and were
married with a mouthful of mint and mistletoe. And if their mothers had
extra fingers. And if their grandmothers had hairy moles on their left
cheeks, and if their grandfathers had snored as preteens."
"That shouldn't be too hard to find," Lisa said.
"Yes, but there are peculiar conditions about it. The grave must be
unmarked, face north, be three and a half feet deep, and the body must
be buried, not burnt, in a shroud, and not a coffin. And furthermore....262"
Lisa was quietly thankful that Bumbles knew Gregg shorthand and could take all this down as fast as
Athene rattled it off. She silently said a prayer to Hermes, importer of letters, and set off to find this
herb, a little green thing with either five or seven pointy leaves. It took days and days, but all that is
just a sentence when it's on paper, and it didn't seem long at all to Lisa, who had nonetheless not yet
been allowed to go to the bathroom anywhere during this story.
"This is it?" Lisa asked. Athene nodded.
"This will keep your mouth very dry indeed263," Athene said, and Lisa declined the pack of Zig-zags
Athene offered her. Goddesses could develop a very Hollywood set of vices after they had been in
Olympos too long.
Lisa waved bye-bye until Athene got the point and vanished with her owl264.
Lisa put a leaf of the herb in her mouth and waded into the water. She wadded up the left-over
stems and seeds in Bumbles' mouth, just too make sure that the ungrateful little ankle-hugger
wouldn't drown.
Soon, the duo were doing classic Sea Hunt maneuvers among the beds of seaweed and coral and
the schools of Mediterranean fish, and Lisa was cultivating a French accent to describe the scenery,
a concession to Jacques Cousteauides265.
260 One does not find the extinct gods and goddesses of Greece flattered here. This implies they do not
    exist or that they do not seem inclined to defend themselves against the death of a thousand small
    slanders to which I subject them here.
261 At one point, I speculated that the more antisocial kind of lesbian had these markings by axiom. I
    even called them Stigmata of Sappho. Some celebrities did have them, and occasionally news
    coverage would show some activist who, by context, could seem to be eligible for the stigmata.
262 From The Golden Bough and The White Goddess, a few sequences detail elaborate ceremonial
    preparations required to sanctify things or to make a weapon suitable for slaying an oracular hero.
    This attempts to take these terms unto tedium.
263 A stupid marijuana joke, just in case no one figures it out.
264 In general, the gods and goddesses mentioned in this text do not seem especially well-liked even if
    they do enjoy the worship of mortals.
265 The Cousteau mentioned here reflects his kindly public face as seen on television, not the guy who
    made remarks about the need to exterminate 100 million human beings a year for environmental

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There were chariot tracks all over the sea bottom, and most of them were on the scale of
Poseidon's, which had big bronze magnum wheels. They were also deeper since Poseidon's chariot
had positraction.
Two giant tuna fish in glasses and berets stood before the gates to Poseidon's palace266. They called
to Lisa to halt.
"What business do you and your ugly-looking monkey have with King Poseidon?" one of the tuna
guards asked.
Lisa smiled dully and batted her eyelashes, which takes a lot more effort underwater, but it was as
nothing to an immortal seal-queen. "I am just an innocent, stupid, and underaged Bimbiad looking for
someplace to spend the night. Whose castle is this?"
The two tuna looked at each other and shook their heads. It ran in the family. Zeus was girl-crazy,
and his rotten brother Poseidon was, too; and the only thing that kept their whiny-assed younger
brother Hades from scoring just as often as they did was the fact that he lived in hell and smelled like
burning sulfur. "It is Lord Poseidon's," he said, and opened the gate, not wanting to be promoted to
sushi in the near future. Poseidon did not look highly upon opportunities lost.
"Punishing267," Bumbles said, and Lisa didn't even tell him to shut up, because she couldn't hear a
word he said through the mouthful of shake that gagged him.
Lisa followed the chariot tracks up to the front gate of a castle that looked really, really Disneyland,
and shook her head. That color scheme was beneath the brother of the king of the gods, surely.
Pinks and aquas and schools of singing fishies wearing bows or glasses--it was undignified.
Lisa saw a figure on the porch, and knew from the blue hair and the tattoos of boats and anchors
and busty nude mermaids that this piece of divine white trash had to be Poseidon. "Well, howdy,
sweet thing," Poseidon said, using his best scamming voice. Lisa bit her lip. She did not want to
imagine what blowing lunch looked like underwater.
"Oh, my lord," Lisa began in her best Brownie-at-the-meeting voice, a tone which said 'Please pull
me into your Pontiac station wagon and kidnap me and leave my body in the woods somewhere268,'
"I am but a helpless and underaged Bimbiad269 who has gotten lost in the vastness of Invincible
Neptunus' ocean. Can you help me?"
"Why, shore270," Poseidon said, "for I am none other than that aforementioned God of the Sea. But
first, would you like some of my magic water?"

266 Some lame attempt at a popular cultural reference here. I recall old tuna commercials – either
    Starkist or Chicken of the Sea – using two late fifties hipster themed fish as spokesmen. Charlie
    never made it into the can, and in his depravity he was disappointed by this.
267 An unsavory character took the term “punishing” and made it punishment to listen to. Bumbles'
    usage here intends that kind of lameness through overuse.
268 I used to make way too many jokes about pedophiles.
269 Too many types of nymphs and sprites had names that ended in -ad. It seemed likely that libidinous
    deities crusing for chicken would look for something called a “bimbiad.”
270 I don't remember if I intended an awful pun here or not.

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                         Lisa was dubious as she saw Poseidon attempting to peel the label off a
                         bottle of Everclear. "Perhaps later," Lisa said. This was what she said to the
                         Jehovah's Witnesses when they came to waste her time in her sacred seal-
                         queen pad. "Are you, indeed, mighty Poseidon?"
                         "Why, yes," Poseidon said. "And until lately, I was the unchallenged lord of
                         chariotry as well, until some sorry skank in a Pontiac Catalina cut me off on
                         the Minos Freeway and screwed up my ride."
                         "Guh," Lisa said. "How horrible."
                         "Yes, and if I ever find that Sunday driver, I will trident-whip her until she
                         don't know what's going on, either, dammit," Poseidon said.
                         Lisa stood. "If you are, indeed, the immortal Poseidon, I have a secret
                         message for you from the Eternal Seal-Mystery Cult."
"Hey, that's really cool," Poseidon said, picking his nose until he saw that Lisa was watching him dig
his whale-belly white finger deep into his nostril. "What's the message?"
"It's a secret," Lisa said. "I can't tell you where anyone but my tight-lipped monkey can hear."
"Okay, cool," Poseidon said, rubbing his hands together, and stepping forward until he was within
spitting distance. "Is it something juicy? Is it another story about my brother Zeus and a Cub Scout
"I cannot say. You are yet too far," Lisa said.
"All right, all right," Poseidon said, getting into movie-closeup range. "What's the big secret?"
"This," Lisa said, driving her knee home with the force of a Dardanian battering ram pounding the
walls of Ilion. As Poseidon crumpled to the ocean floor, Lisa spoke to him in her finest Vito Corleone
"Now dig this, you soggy piece of sh*t. No more messing with me, understand? Or I'll hook you by
your Prince Albert ring to a team of horses and see if they can't rip that sucker right the hell out!271"
Poseidon rolled up in a fetal position272 and croaked "" In his pain, he was too
astonished to wonder at her peculiar shift of wardrobe, though he did admire the nattiness of her
gray pin-striped suit and little eyebrow-pencil moustache.
"I am the sacred seal queen who cut off your sorry butt on the Minos highway, for I am Divine Lisa,
High Priestess of Crete, Delos, and Delphi; third degree black belt; certified notary public; and fourth
degree Knight of Colombus! And I will not be bullied!"
Neither afraid nor indecisive, but firm as the rocks of the earth herself, Lisa made an ultimatum to the
simpering god on the floor. She spoke in the ancient dialect of the Corleonides, a people known for
administering the horse-head sacrament to those who were dumb enough to piss them off. "Now
listen, Blue Hair, and listen good, because I'm not going to repeat myself."

271 The Trucker God, a neighbor of the Stupidity Guru, said something similar to a wayward sibling while
    giving him a well-deserved beating.
272 The all-purpose gesture of defeat.

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"How did you grow that neat little moustache? Seal queens can't do that--at least not until they're
much older," Poseidon groaned in wonder.
"Never mind that. Listen! You're going to lay off me and the entire seal racket unless you want to end
up at the bottom of the ocean. Capeesh?273"
"He's at the bottom of the ocean already," Bumbles said.
"Shut up, Bumbles," Poseidon said.
Holding her head up high, Lisa strutted away from the afflicted ocean god, who wasn't going to be
going anywhere or doing anything to or with anybody for a long time. She suspected Athene's Secret
Knee Mystery would be very useful in the centuries to come, at least until there were public schools
to desex all the males of the planet long before they reached puberty274.

273 This may or may not be correct colloquial Italian from the East Coast. I had no means nor inclination
    to look it up.
274 Schools seem to believe still that their mission includes this task.

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Lisa Gives the Devil His Due

Lisa was dripping wet and cold as a clam when she pulled herself out of the Mediterranean on
Crete's sacred shores. She left a dripping trail all the way to the seal-shaped gates of her palace.
As she had feared, her palace was buried in Shiner bottles275 and the plastic wrappers from Swank
magazines. The wrappers, she suspected, were to keep in the smell so that it would not contaminate
the rest of their mail.
"Oh, Pugsie," Lisa called out. "Did we forget what we agreed about the state of my sacred palace
when I returned?"

"Guh," she heard Sacred Neon Mike blurt out from beneath a moldering heap of forest-green bell
bottoms276 Mike sometimes wore on Sabbath Night. "Cheesy did it. And besides, you told me to do it.
And it was like this when you left."277
"In case you were not aware," Lisa began, drawing a deep breath and looking around the disaster
area for one of her favorite axe handles, "while you were in the john all day practicing pornoscopy, I
had to check out Satan's Mighty War Chariot. Then I had to find out where to find a 1968 GM
transmission doo-hoomey frammistat. Then I had to sail the Bobbin across the seas. Then I got
blown to a thousand miles inland somewhere where there had never been a 7-ll. Then I had to listen
to the Grateful Dead until me and the Bobbinauts could contrive a daring and Errol-Flynnlike escape.
Then I had to cross overland to Xolxis and deal with a couple of deaf old goofballs who couldn't get
my parts. Then I got my Circus-Colored Flower Power Hearse towed away. Then I had to
singlehandedly defeat the King of All Uglies, who looked even worse than Lyndon Johnson. Then I
had to go under the ocean to talk to Poseidon about his attitude. And I come back and find this. My,

275 This means to remind the reader of an episode Michael wasn't around to see, when the band he had
    been in began auditioning singers. They ran a newspaper ad mentioning that they liked shiner and
    most of the auditioners showed up with six packs of the stuff, and soon outside the door at Mahalo
    Central a six foot tower of bottles formed.
276 We once mocked an inserter machine repairman by making fun of his pants. He came in wearing
    forest green bell bottoms in 1985, long after you could get away with such things. My Punk Guru
    cried out like a town crier “FOREST...GREEN...BELL BOTTOMS....”
277 Again the multiple-denial excuse appears. I seemed to think highly of it at the time.

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my. My, my."278
"But what does it all mean?" Neon Austinides asked, genuinely confused.
"I saw Athene today," Lisa said, gritting her teeth.
Mike paused poignantly. He might have been prophesying or just thinking. "Did she say anything
about ...knees?" Neon Mike asked.
"Gee, I'm not sure," Lisa said. "What a horrible mess. My, my. It sure is wonderful talking to old
Athene. She knows so much useful stuff."
She vanished into her mechanic's shop, clutching her 1968 GM transmission doo-hoomey
frammistat. She left a dripping trail and hunks of seaweed in her wake. Sacred Neon Mike was
suddenly drenched in an anomalous sweat unbecoming to the ecologically sound and very cool
climate controlled environment of her immortal Seal Palace.
Lisa took the Frammistat. It fit right into the hole in the Prince of Darkness' transmission. Lisa
reassembled the greasy damn thing with no thought to what transmission fluid would do to the
magical herbs - moly, garlic, marshmallow, and stinkweed279 - that grew from the floor of her seal-cult
custom motors shop. All signs indicated that Satan's Mighty War Chariot was mightier than ever.
Lisa occasionally peeked back into her palace, since she kept hearing inexplicable 'guhs' from
within. Mike was on the phone.
"Is this Herakles?" Neon Mike asked. "Yeah, remember when you had to clean out all those stables
that the horses had been taking big dumps into forever, and no one had cleaned out for years and
years? How did you do it?" He paused, as Herakles' big beer-drinking biker voice spouted out from
the receiver. "Guh!" Mike said280.
"Thanks anyway." Unaware that he was being observed, Neon Mikhail nonetheless continued talking
to himself and describing everything he did. "I guess I'll just have to use my baboon whistle281," he
mused, philosophically. He held up a chain around his neck, which ended in a little whistle like a dog
whistle. "This whistle," explained Austinides, "summons my personal army of nineteen onanistic

278 I may have intended this work to appear serially. Where? I can't tell you. But the exposition suggests
    answering a need to recap after too much happens. Or it could have simply offered an opportunity
    for Mike to say “What does it all mean?” again before Lisa implies that Mike is due for the secret seal
    queen trick with the knee.
279 The herbiage here is probably half random, half taken from mentions in Graves' or Frazier's work.
    Marshmallow probably shows up because I was somewhat taken by the fact that the word actually
    came from a flower, known in Greek as altheia. At least I remember it that way.
280 The gag here may have been that Herakles just got down to do some work and Sacred Neon Mike
    recoiled in horror at the notion. I don't remember. Alternately, I may have just wanted another
    opportunity for Mike to say the word “Guh.” I doubt if Michael ever used it as much in real life as
    Sacred Neon Mike uses it in this text.
281 At one time I claimed to have or covet a similar whistle, suitable for summoning a similar army of
    baboons. See the comment, below; after making a remark about an imaginary event involving
    baboons, I began to speculate about the benefits of the ability to summon such an event whenever I
    desired to. The likely instrument seemed to need to be a baboon whistle.

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stripey-assed baboons282 from way the hell out of Greece283."

Lisa closed the door. She didn't want to see it.
When Lisa next saw her seal-palace, it was as though it had been buffed and polished by
Hephaestos, custodian and whipping boy of the gods284.
When Satan returned, Lisa was ready and waiting to show him the fruits of her labors. She was
wearing a high feathered headpiece in arrogant scarlet and a forty-foot long feather boa285, a
costume that was both useful and dignified.
"Is my mighty war chariot once again possessed of the hate for which it is known?" Satan asked,
wringing his hands like a man asking for a loan which he knows he will not repay.
Lisa paused a moment and gestured to her eunuchs to fan her with the great palm fronds they
held.286 "Perhaps," she hinted. "And do you have Paul Stanley's feathered chaps?"
"I have the chaps," Lucifer said, holding a cardboard Christmas box under one arm. He was wearing
a black leather overcoat, probably to make flashing schoolchildren easier while he roamed the earth
looking for trouble to make.
"I would see them, Lord of Darkness."
282 I once disrupted a break at work at the newspaper by suggesting the delay in a school newspaper we
    were waiting to run had come from an attack on a Chi Omega float by a swarm of nineteen
    masturbating stripey-assed baboons. The baboons would reappear in a number of jokes.
283 I don't understand the significance of this vague geographical origin.
284 Although Hephaestos should have had what it took to occupy a more prominent role in Olympus,
    surviving stories about his make him out as a kind of a dweeb. In one, his old man threw him down
    from the heavens, causing him an injury that made him lame (Graves explains his limp differently,
    as a kind of stigma typical of sacred kings); in another, he caught his wife Aphrodite messing around
    with Ares on the side by creating a net that neither god could get out of, then, when he found them
    in flagrante dilecto, he bound them and brought in the other Olympians to show them what was up
    (in a manner of speaking). Whining to one's cousins and uncles about a woman that done you wrong
    is a degree less manly than saying “No one touches my Hog, my wallet, or my HD Freedom Slut (in
    that order)”.
285 This may have been near the time I would sometimes drive around Denton, Texas wearing a feather
    boa and feeling exceptionally powerful.
286 A brief attempt to invest in Lisa's analogue some of the style of Cleopatra.

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"Uh...well...guh!" Satan said. Then he opened the box and pulled out a faggoty-looking pair of black
leather biker chaps287. Bird-of-paradise feathers hung from the sides, and looked like they would
balloon out with sacred stupidity when one jumped from one's wall of Marshall's.
"Hey, cool chaps288," Mikhail Austinides remarked. He was wearing his Smokey the Bear outfit.
"Yet there is something wrong," Lisa observed. "These are...Paul Stanley's feathered chaps?"
"These are the feathered chaps," Satan said, shuffling his foot and his hoof.
"You're bullsh*tting me, aren't you, Satan?" Lisa said.
"Well, yes."
"Whose feathered chaps are these?" Lisa asked.
"Guh," Satan said.
"I can't hear you," Lisa said.
"Vince Neil's."
Lisa's eyes glowed like two blast furnaces. "Vince Neil's?"
"...umm, yes," Satan said.
"The skinny little screamer in Motley Crue?"
"Uh, well, yes, that's the one. Guh!"
"I told you to bring me Paul Stanley's feathered chaps, right?"
"I guess so," Satan said.
"And you brought me Vince Neil's289, right?"
"Well...I guess I did."
"Michael...." Lisa growled.
"Yes, Pugsie?" he whimpered, hoping to God that he wasn't in trouble himself.
"Put on the Richard Simmons290 videos."

287 Multiple readings invite me to ask: Does a way exist to create such an item of clothing without
288 Michael recognizes the ceremonial nature of feathered chaps in the practices of the cult of stupidity
    without fully analyzing whether they enjoy a complete ritual purity. Lisa makes no such oversight.
289 Ignoring the vast number of things one could cite as wrong with Vince Neil, we need only recall that
    the cultic role of rock stars travels through generational phases. Later icons earn lesser and
    subordinate places by virtue of their newness; if they have sufficient staying power, they ultimately
    can supplant their predecessors, as the Olympians did the Titans. Neil didn't, and the derision here
    remains appropriate.
290 Somewhere, someone laughs with Richard Simmons rather than at him. Somewhere.

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Satan begged, but Lisa was firm. He threatened, and she laughed. He cried. He screamed. He
screamed so loudly that all the demons in hell were telling him to shut up as if he were Bumbles and
not their invincible lord and master291. But finally he broke.
"I've got the chaps! I've got the chaps! I just wanted to keep them for myself! They're in my
"Frisk him, Clovie," Lisa said, narrowing her eyes like Mike Hammer.
"Here they are, Vern," Mike Halogenes said. And indeed he held the genuine article in his two
hands. They shone like Helios in his sun chariot; they were as brilliant as wit; and they were
furthermore not only stupid but divinely stupid.
Satan cringed, then took his sorry ass away to his Catalina, and meekly pulled out of the garage.
Lisa waved with three fingers293. "They're divine," Mike said, and Lisa nodded gravely.
Everybody lived mostly happily ever after, except Satan, of course, but that's his problem. And
Poseidon, whose balls still hurt sometimes when the weather changes. And all the Bobbinauts, who
hit the roof when the checks bounced at the bank - yet what could they do? Lisa was old high school
buddies with Hermes, God of Commerce, and there was therefore no way to make her cough up
those back wages294.
When she got her Circus-Colored Flower Power Hearse out of impound, hardly anything had even

291 See also “The Devil and Billy Markham,” after Billy gets the Devil painted into a corner where he
    must either become Billy's woman or forfeit a bet: Or lift your tail and hear all hell wail / As I bugger
    your devilish ass.
292 It's not clear why Satan needs an overcoat to go with his stupid theatrical cape. This may be a jibe at
    goth poser garb, or possibly earlier in the narrative something implied Satan dressed for flashing or
    attending a raincoat rat type of movie theater. Failing these things, he might have opted to wear
    some second hand Prince performance outfits, such as the panties-and-overcoat outfit from way
    back when. Satan, however, would seem to have fallen on hard times if he imitates Prince rather
    than Prince imitating him.
293 This may have been an ancient blessing, or I might have intended this to indicate Lisa was offering
    the “read between the lines” gesture.
294 This looks somewhat contrived as a way of closing off plot threads to prevent their interference with
    subsequent texts – one would expect that a kind of crony connection to Hermes would have proven
    useful before this point, especially in the multiple Poseidon-related incidents throughout the tale.

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been ripped off, although someone had painted "SICK BOYS RULE295" on the side with the daffodil
garden and singing kingfishers. She decided she liked that better.
And somewhere--some day on Delos, others on Delphi, yet others on ancient Crete itself--there is a
statue of Hera, mother of the gods, whose feathered chaps still flap to this day.

295 My jokes about sexual misbehavior had earned me the honorific of “Sickboy” at one point. However,
    like all titles, someone with more talent always waits in the wings to take it away.

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                        The Annotated The Gods Must Suck

The Vengeful Sacred King

          Chapter One: Beforenote
          Wherein the authenticity of this document is proven beyond possibility of
          human doubt....
          Chapter Two: Zeus Tries to Pull a Nasty
          In which the King of the Gods decides it's time for Sacred Neon Mike to Loosen
          Up, Go with the Flow, and Grab His Ankles....
          Chapter Three: Everyone Gets Saucy
          In which a bunch of steroid kings, posers, and big strutting Venice Beach
          tanning booth peacocks impiously mouth off to Sacred Neon Mike about being
          Zeus' woman....
          Chapter Four: Mike Blows It
          In which Sacred Neon Mike plots and executes his brilliant plan of vengeance,
          after which he goes shopping for U-Hauls....
          Chapter Five: The Hero in Hiding
          In which Mike faces the opprobrium of the mocking stains of Hellas by drinking
          beer and breaking wind far away in the Black Forest....
          Chapter Six: The Night that Wouldn't End
          In which the sun goes down forever and Mike sleeps in really late....
          Chapter Seven: The Unrecognized Guest that Blew Mike's Consciousness
          In which Mikhail Halogenes confronts the dire menace of the Stick Man by
          hiding under the sofa and letting Lisa deal with it....
          Chapter Eight: Mike Gets Super Slamming Like a Big Power Nazi
          In which Mike loads up the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog with Bumbles and
          a sack of whacking booth tokens and heads off to Pornopolis to clean Freaky
          Dionysus' clock....
          Chapter Nine: A Hero's Reward
          In which the Gods of Greece show Mike their gratitude and all get really hung
          over and flatulent....

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The Sacred King Gloats

"There is no more beer!" cried the Gods of Olympos, beseeching Sacred Neon Mike in their
pitifulness as the delirium tremens dragged them away into screamy dreamland. "Help us!"
Mike, arrayed now as a Teutonic sacred oracular king, simply laughed. "As you all turned against
me, so shall I now turn against YOU!" Then he began cackling like a retarded hyena. All the gods
despaired then, and rolled up into fetal positions, and cried that everyone hated them296. What,
though, could bring Sacred Neon Mike to show such spite to the immortals of Olympos? And what
could endanger the beer of the world? Somewhere the secrets must lay in the memories of Sacred
Neon Mike.
"Think about it, Bumbles," Mike asked. "Don't you think the end of the world and all the beer that
goes with it serves them right?"
"Sure, boss," said the tiny rhesus monkey, not wishing for Mike to open up another case of ass whip
for his benefit.
Mike stroked his six-foot braided beard and thought about what had brought everyone to this dire

296 Another formal expression of histrionic self-pity, part of the methods of petulance. In general, at the
    onset of the most trivial resistance, the performance requires feigning martyrdom, and the whine
    “Everybody hates me!” aptly serves as an introductory statement to such a pathetic demonstration.
297 Foreshadowing is even better for events that do not actually occur in the narrative.

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Zeus Tries to Pull a Nasty

The waters of Greece lapped against the beach outside the windows of Sacred Neon Mike's
Pleasure Palace298, which was strange, for he lived miles inland; yet this anomaly escaped him, for
he considered the importance of a document clutched in his puffy edema fist299.
This must be important, Sacred Neon Mike thought, as he went through his mail. In between the
fourteen copies of Swank was a little gold-embossed invitation. Mike looked at the return address.
It said, "Zeus, God of the Whole Damn Universe."
"What is it?" Lisa said, looking up from her experiment table. She was trying to get an
electroencephalographic reading from Bumbles, her monkey familiar, with a Leyden jar and a Sears
Die-Hard battery. The reading kept coming out flat. Just like Mike's had300.
"It's the immortal king of the entire freaking universe inviting us up to his cool bachelor pad to drink
Shiners and listen to Kiss albums," Mikhail Phosphoros301 said. He was polishing the buttons on his
acid-washed denim Frederick's of Hollywood bodice.
"How boring," Lisa said, pulling a switch and sending Bumbles into a simulated epileptic seizure. She
looked at a scroll that said '1001 Fun Science Projects for Seal Queens.' "This isn't working. I'm
sorry, Bumbles," she said.

Bumbles, now a smoking charred ruin on the table, moaned, "It's okay, boss.302"

298 This nomenclature dates back from making fun of a guy named H-----, who might have served as
    the first figure given the epithet Neon. Sometimes the derision would posit the existence of a Neon
    H-----' Pleasure Palace, though no one would likely bother with such a place if Neon Mike offered an
    alternative. The original Neon H----- might best be described as a prototype to Freaky Dionysus.
299 I once noticed that Michael's hand and arm seemed to join without benefit of a clearly dilineated
    wrist visible, and attempted to make fun of the fact with the expression “puffy edema fist”. I'm not
    sure edema even affects arms.
300 Science confirms what we already knew.
301 The epithet Phosphoros does a better job of citing “Neon,” since it means “light-bearer,” but this may
    have also intended to remind the reader of Mike's diabolical qualities.
302 The abuse of Bumbles would seem less amusing if he did not demonstrate a long-suffering nature.

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Mike paused to think a moment, which made his steel-plated consciousness throb with the pain of
an unprecedented occurrence. He would have to put off today's fourteen-hour pornoscopy marathon
to see Zeus. But he was, after all, the king of the gods, and would just as soon turn you into a
stripey-assed baboon303 as look at you.
"Gee, Vern, let's dress up and be somebody,304" Mike said. So Sacred Neon Mike burrowed through
his fifteen-foot heaps of dirty laundry in the Gallery of Postponed Housework305 and found his finest
meeting-people-who- think-they're-big-stuff outfit, his Little Richard Suit, a marvelous thing of white
silk and rhinestones. Behind it trailed a vast red silken cape, with sequined borders in the pattern of
big crosses and praying hands.
Mike looked at himself in the mirror. "Amazing how a good looking man looks good in anything he
chooses to put on," he said, reaching for his finest can of consciousness polish.
Lisa, however, had opted for a mixture of subtlety, dignity, and sanctity, and so was wearing a black-
and-white cheerleader's outfit with a Carmelite nun's headpiece.
"Come on, Vern, let's mount the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog," Sacred Neon Mike said; and he
cranked the motor over, and a sound like all the tormented souls in Hell screaming that the plumbing
didn't work erupted from the twin jugs of doom that powered the ancient sacred shovelhead motor.
The palace of Olympos was always cool to go to. There were strip bars right next to the municipal
buildings to make it easier for one type of prostitute to visit another; and there were cool bars where
you could get really cheap Mister Beer and eat honest god-fearing cholesterol burgers without
having to look at disgusting liberal306 food on the menu.
"Look, it's Aphrodite's Pleasure Palace," Lisa said, waving one pompom at a blinking neon sign of
two big bloated breasts and some other stuff you don't mention in polite company307.
"It would be a very good place to practice pornoscopy," Invincible Austinides said, mentally counting
just how many dollars were in the big crack wad308 in his wallet.
Parking, though, was really a bitch near Zeus' sacred omnipotent palace, and Sacred Neon Mike
had to solve that particular problem by parking in three adjoining handicapped spaces that that
stupid clubfoot Hephaestos, who ran a great custom engine shop down near Crete, always used to
claim he needed.

303 Baboons appear important enough to mention more than one place, but probably just because of the
    loathsome habits they demonstrate for crowds.
304 A paraphrase of Michael's coinage “Let's get drunk and be somebody.”
305 A number of Michael's peers tease him about deferring-housework incidents. R----- of Olympia
    recalls how Michael would spend all afternoon stalling about doing the dishes, then race to get them
    done starting when he would hear his mom's car in the driveway. In another incident, a number of
    us busted him when he came home and found the vacuum cleaner in his bedroom, an instruction-
306 Already the author's displeasure at the sanctimony of vegetarians seems to appear, or perhaps a
    reaction to the joylessness inherent in a diet exclusively composed of rice, soy, tofu, and lentils.
307 Note a love-hate relationship with erotica throughout.
308 Michael once had the habit of describing pitifully small sums of paper money as crack wads. For
    example, a folded wad of four one dollar bills would

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The palace was huge. Mike and Lisa entered a hall so long that there were hotels in it so you could
spend the night between legs of the journey toward the part you sought. The ceiling was so high that
there were clouds accumulating there309; and every ten feet or so was another image of Zeus. There
were statues and paintings and busts and bas-reliefs and posters and framed, autographed
photographs; there were pictures of Zeus with his brothers, Poseidon and Hades; there were
pictures of Zeus with a few of his trillions of kids, like Herakles, Dionysos, Hephaestos, Apollo,
Athene, Ares, Barry Goldwater, Steve Harris, and George Foreman; there were pictures of Zeus with
his 'friends': Zeus as a giant clam with this sweet young thing, Zeus as a zebra with some older
woman, Zeus as a giant rabbit with a Cub Scout Troop310.
There were guides and rickshaws and cabs and concession stands, some of which sold maps and
tour guides and promotional literature about Zeus, A New Kind of Old Fashioned King of the Gods.
"Gee," Lisa said. "This place was much nicer before it became such a tourist trap."
Pushing aside some very old people just barely able to walk with the aid of canes311, Mike secured a
cool rickshaw for the both of them. It was drawn by an underfed dwarf suffering from pimples and
body odor. "Double time, there, big guy," Mike said, politely swatting him about the head and
shoulders with his General Patton riding crop.
Soon they reached the reception hall, where Mike gave the rickshaw operator his fee and a hefty tip
on a rubber check for a bank account he closed out fifteen years ago. "There you go, big stuff," Mike
"I want to visit the Shrine of Sacred Lee Harvey Oswald312 while I'm here," Lisa said, getting out her
sacrificial incense.
"All right, Pugs, I'll meet you back here in a little while," Mike said, and he sat and waited and waited
and waited. There were a couple of well-thumbed copies of Honcho on the office table, and Mike
had read both of them already; still, there were some interesting phone sex ads in the back, and
Mike occupied himself with these, wondering just how far he could stretch his phone sex budget this
Zeus himself came into the room. "Sacred Neon Mike!" he said, holding out one hand. Zeus was
very much like Herakles, his son, Mike noted: the same big biker beard, the same swollen beer belly.
Zeus was a redhead, and this made his red, white and blue Jesus robe look really cool.
"Hey, man, wanna--" Mike began, then remembered that the sacred oracular greeting had changed
since the incident at the dedication ceremony at Superfoot Wallace's palace. After thousands of
years, the ancient password had changed. It was no longer 'Hey, man, wanna buy some trips?'
Mike cleared his throat nervously, worried that he might not make a really rocking impression on the
king of the gods, especially since he was still wearing last month's underwear. He thought for a
moment then remembered the proper new greeting: "Gene's boots are wicked!313"

309 I've heard this claim made about airplane hangars.
310 Zeus' tendency to sleep with anyone of any sex and any age has yet to be sufficiently mocked.
311 Various kinds of completely unnecessary rudeness figure prominently in the cultic nature of Sacred
    Neon Mike. See later in the text where he engages in Sabbath Night activities.
312 Something seemed hilarious about the “I Shot JFK” tee shirt back around this time. Precisely what is
    lost to history.

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Zeus smiled grandly. "Gene's boots are wicked."
Mike and the omnipotent king of all the gods stood and looked at each other uncomfortably for a
moment. Then, after Mike thought he couldn't stand it for one more second, and would have to grab
a salad fork and go on a big bad seventies killing spree314, Zeus spoke.
"So why did you ask for this audience, Sacred Austinides?315" asked the all-knowing King of
"Guh! You invited me here," Mike said.
"Oh, yeah." Zeus said. Then he pulled a big appointment book out of his back pocket, and began
flicking through the pages. Finally he came to this month, and today, and muttered to himself for a
"I know," Zeus said. "I wanted to ask you about your new invention, that new method of
"Pornoscopy," Mike said proudly. "It is the telling of sacred truths by the reading of omens on the
bodies of disgusting and diseased nude models in nauseous nudie mags. I'm great at it. I love it."
"Do you mean," Zeus asked, "that I have spent all these eons running through the pages of a gold
mine of prophetic insight and passed it by?316"
"Well, yes, but it's no disgrace to be stupid.317"
Zeus nodded wisely. "I love being stupid. Once upon a time, I was the only stupid being in the
universe. Now we are many, and stupidity flourishes."
"Amen," said Zeus and sacred Neon Mike.
"Would you care for a glass of wine?" Zeus asked, pulling out a big bottle of bright blue Mad Dog318
from his hip pocket. It was marked "From your loving son, -D.319"

313 Pretty much the author sought an excuse to remind the reader that Gene's boots are wicked.
314 The business about taking a fork and going on a stabbing rampage may borrow from some National
    Lampoon piece which compared the effects of various drugs. I remember the glue sniffer as going on
    the fork spree.
315 This may refer to episodes I had at the newspaper, where people would call the mailroom office –
    forcing a stoppage of machinery, because it wasn't possible to run and monitor the machinery and
    deal with the 20 personal calls a day of certain employees simultaneously – where one employee's
    grandmother would call and forget that she had called, asking who was on our end of the line and
    what we wanted.
316 The love-hate thing with pornography. We see a contrast between low uses (simple pleasure reading
    and...whatever else one does with porn) and high uses (pornoscopy and pornomancy).
317 Paraphrases Albert the Alligator, who attempted to comfort one of his peers who had made a mistake
    by saying it was no disgrace to be stupid. Comforting words, therefore, provide the pretext to deliver
    an insult.
318 Mad Dog here reminds the reader of the white trash quality of the gods.
319 The clever reader will recognize that this foreshadows catastrophe. In general, nothing good comes
    from having Freaky Dionysus involved in anything.

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"No thanks," Mike said. He only liked the lemonade Mad Dog320.
Zeus shrugged, then upended the bottle. "Tell me about the best way to practice pornoscopy."
"Hmm," Mike said. "That's sort of hard. I like them all. You can do it with magazines or with videos,
especially in a type of oracular clauster called a whacking booth321, but I prefer to do it in my john
with a big juicy copy of Swank."
"Really," said the immortal king of the gods, eyeing Mike up and down. "Can you do it with Honcho?"
"You bet, your Majesty--" Mike left off in mid sentence, for Zeus was starting to do something funny.
Suddenly, before Sacred Neon Mike's very eyes, Zeus began to transform. Was it just Mike
beginning to prophesy? Or was some horrible thing about to happen?
Zeus' lines stabilized. "I'm looking for a new punk," Zeus said.
"Guh! Good luck," Mike said, looking for an exit sign.
"You don't understand," Zeus said. "I just found him.322"

Mike took a look at the king of the gods in front of him. No longer was he a massive manly man with
a big evile323 red beard; he had taken the form of a giant silver poodle the size of a Clydesdale. This
poodle wore a pair of red fishnet hose and had passion pink painted toenails.324
320 Michael may have claimed once that he liked the lemonade Mad Dog, but he probably intended to
    put his audience on with the statement.
321 My Stupidity Guru and I once went to a porn parlor called “TK's,” and saw signs pointing to the
    “arcade.” The Guru speculated this place would have disgusting sexually themed video games. What
    it had was closed booths with coin-operated televisions showing various kinds of porn; these booths
    were filthy and had splatters on the walls, floor, and ceilings that looked like someone had shaken up
    a can of Dr. Pepper and sprayed the place just a little. Awed and disgusted, he said that this was not
    an arcade; these were just whacking booths.
322 This exchange, or something very, very similar to it, occurs in Clint Eastwood's “Escape from
    Alcatraz,” in a shower scene where a goon calling himself Wolf attempts to claim Eastwood's tail as a
    prize. Eastwood's character ends up pounding Wolf as he deserves. The series of quotes found itself
    much repeated during my shifts with the Stupidity Guru at the newspaper.
323 A particular kind of Denton-area stainlike rude vileness bore the label evile. I once tried to flex my
    own evile muscles but a number of locals had natural talents with which I could not compete very
324 The notion of Zeus turning himself into animals fit for the King of the Gods to use as vessels for

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"Um, later, your majesty."
"You're not going anywhere," Zeus said, emitting that silly poodle growl that would have been funny
out of the context of impending gay anal date rape325.
"Look, someone left a dollar on the floor," Mike said.
As Zeus turned to find this remarkable prize, Mike began running like a lunatic from the royal
conference room.
Guh. Guh. Guh. Mike thought. This is worse than just about anything, including MTV. Zeus was off
on one of his binges, trying to make Austinides his woman326. Guh!

"Sweet daddy's comin' for you, dumplin',327" Zeus barked, as he charged after Mike. Mike's Little
Richard cape trailed out behind him, a vast flapping thing of red silk and glittering rhinestones. Zeus'
poodle-jaws snapped out at it; Mike realized it was a vast surface to grab at him with.
Mike saw a door that said "Viewing room."328 Inside there were wall after wall of televisions, all
running at the same time; Mike dashed into the room. Zeus bit particularly closely at his heels, his
hose-clad doggie legs pumping furiously.
Mike ran by a bank of screens showing erotica starring giant animals putting it to all manner of sweet
things and suddenly had a very clear insight about his future329.
"Prince of Darkness, give me strength330!" Mike screamed. He grabbed the largest of his gold chains
    making love to mortal women seemed to need some improvement into something disreputable. The
    animal most likely to appear silly when in lust came to my mind here, improved by prodigious size
    and the silly affectations of pink painted toenails and fishnet hose.
325 A weird attempt to make something sound funny by claiming it is not funny.
326 As if anyone, ultimately, can claim exemption.
327 Some claim that French is the language of love. Redneck jargon, it seems to me, is even more so the
    language of lust.
328 The sneer quotes serve to imply that we have here no more than a simple, vulgar whacking booth.
329 Blame Zeus for all the stories where he did stuff like this. I didn't make up his reputation, I just
    elaborated it.
330 One time the Stupidity Guru let loose with this ridiculous statement while lifting a heavy object at
    work. He also would ask the born-again supervisor at work if he bellowed this just before bending
    the bars of his cell and escaping. The absurd phrase appeared in a number of contexts in subsequent
    years, including a gig I played where we made one member of the audience yell it while breaking a

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from around his neck, the one with the four-pound clock on the end331, and swung it over his head
like a set of bolas; he let fly, and caught Zeus around all four legs. Zeus skidded to a stop, and spun
in a circle for a moment. Mike made tracks as Zeus unraveled himself. Zeus looked perplexed for a
moment, and Mike wondered if he had given up this ridiculous boff-Mike idea altogether.
"I'm gonna knock the bottom out of that sh*t!332" screamed the immortal king of the gods as he made
an insane buffalo charge at Sacred Neon Mike.
"GUH!" Mike shrieked, rushing down a long flight of stairs, without even a saber to pull a big Errol
Flynn maneuver.
Mike said a prayer to Alice Cooper, demigod of stupidity, in the dim hope that he could think of some
really stupid way to get out of this unpleasant situation. Alice, as usual, was too stupid to pay
attention333. Mike looked at the doors out from the landing chamber at the bottom of the stairs.
Little neon signs hung over every door. Most said, "Zeus' Love Chamber." Sacred Creeping sh*t!
Mike thought. Does Zeus never do anything but cruise for chicken?334
One sign, however, offered some hope. "Escape from the lust of Zeus," one said, and Mike sagely
sprinted down this hall even as the king of the gods barked at his heels.
Mike followed the corridor down a long turn. When did it finally open? He skidded to a stop in front of
a dead end, the sound of Zeus' painted doggie-toenails clicking on the linoleum behind him.
A neon sign blinked, grimly, awfully, before the wall that stopped Mike's escape. It read like a great
evil taunt from some big stain cruelly mocking sacred kings:
                                           "There is NO escape
                                          from the lust of Zeus."
Zeus cornered Mike where he stood, and began humping on his leg335. Mike felt himself battered
against the wall, pounded cruelly flat with each humping. Two thousand pounds of horny immortal
poodle sufficeth to knock flat even the stoutest of sacred kings, and Mike did suffer sorely from the
unwanted and messy attentions of the love-sotten divinity. It was all he could do to draw his breath
and start screaming: "Your majesty! Cease and desist humping upon my sacred neon leg!"
"I LOVE IT!"336 Zeus barked, hanging a long drooly tongue out of his fuzzy poodle muzzle. His eyes

    balloon as the price of playing some lame cover song.
331 This may cite Flava Flay or some other figure of the period, someone who took the dookie chain to
    new levels of excess.
332 I recall the redneck-lord husband of a cousin of mine who lived in a trailer park in Sanger, Texas,
    using this expression once in reference to his wife. In the absence of explicit profane description of
    anatomy, I don't know that I've come across a coarser way of saying you intend to make love to
333 Seems like Alice, as God of Stupidity and/or Court Jester of Hell, presents Mike with problems to
    confront rather than solutions.
334 Read enough stories about Zeus and you may well ask the same question.
335 The Stupidity Guru once stated that this was an appropriate method of greeting a beautiful young
    woman: You should just go and hump on her leg like a dog.
336 If someone catches you dead to rights, you might as well yell “I LOVE IT!”

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bugged out insanely with poodle-lust337.
Was there any way out of this? Mike was cornered by the King of the Gods, in his own immortal
palace, where he had the home team advantage; and Zeus was clearly insane, having taken the
form of a giant horny poodle in fishnet hose to chase down and sodomize sacred Neon Mike.
Immortal Mikhail the Prophetic King thought that was it, and in moments he would be added to Zeus'
cynical and burnt-out harem, just another passing fancy that lost its shine even as it lost its ability to
fart audibly. He wondered if clenching his butt cheeks together really, really hard would help him at
all, but was too lost in despair to even try. Then, from an unexpected quadrant, he heard a familiar
"Bad king of the gods! BAD KING OF THE GODS!"
It was Seal Queen Lisa, also known around the Aegean as Delphina the High Priestess of Cetacean
Worship338, and she stood there with a rolled up newspaper swatting the giant poodle-Zeus on his
fuzzy kiester.
"Bad king of the gods! Bad king of the gods!"
Zeus still panted and drooled, and was beginning to hump up and down on Mike's other sacred leg.
"Do something else! Hurry! Help!"
"I'll show you I've got what it takes," Lisa said, glaring at the rudely horny King of Olympos. She
walked over to the wall and got the fire extinguisher and hosed Zeus down until he was a sorry,
foamy, dripping, panting mass of wet, curly fur. "Doggy needs a bath! Doggy needs a bath!" she
"This is getting old," Lisa observed. "Zeus gets hornier and more hopeless every time I see him.
Maybe it's time we get back to the cool old days when there was a Queen of the Gods and no king at
all339. There was much less of this cruising for chicken back then.340"
"Gee, thanks, Pugs. I was afraid I'd never be able to hear myself fart again," Halogenes said.
"Scored on mama's boy,341" Lisa said, swatting Zeus on the back side of his head with the rolled-up
Zeus rolled up into the fetal position342 and began weeping uncontrollably. Quickly he changed back
from a big retarded doggie to a big retarded king of the gods, wallowing in misery and making a big
337 I've seen a poodle in this state. I don't really want to talk about it any more.
338 First a queen of seals, then of dolphins, and now, somehow, of whales. I'm not sure what else could
    have showed up on her credentials if there had been a fourth text.
339 Consistent with claims found in feminist influenced neopagan literature.
340 An assumption among neopagans and the authors they read – such as Robert Graves – proposes
    that patriarchal religions developed in Europe and the West in general from the imposition of
    patriarchal divinities over pre-existing matriarchal religions and mythical cycles. This implies that no
    original religion used a patriarchal figure as its object of worship and seems unlikely, but the notion
    serves the purposes of religious revisionism.
341 The Stupidity Guru misquoted a scene from “The Great Santini” with this language. In it Robert
    Duvall's character was bouncing a basketball off the head of his son, saying something about
    “mama's favorite girl.” “Scored on mama's boy” is more concise and to the point, and might have
    worked better in the movie.

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"How very unkingly," Lisa observed. She got in a few more swats and a few more 'Scored on
mama's boy' as he wept.
Mike cleared his throat, still too freaked to get up from his defensive crouch in the corner. Still, there
was something just a wee bit odd about this whole situation. "Um, your Majesty, uh, well, what's the
deal? I mean, you never tried to rape me before. Wouldn't you be better off with some phone sex,
maybe, or a copy of Swank? Or Honcho343?"
"It's not me, dammit," wailed the omnipotent King of the Gods, as he wiped his eyes with his regal
robes. "It's that rotten son of mine," he said.
Lisa looked at Mike; and Clovie looked back at Pugs. "Freaky Dionysus?" they asked in unison.
Zeus nodded. "He's got these divine trips he keeps laying on everybody. He keeps doing it to me
with one he calls Iberian Fly. When it hits me I have to do the first thing I see, and that was you,
innocent Neon Mike."
"It was that stuff you were swilling out of a bottle, right?" Mike said, now perhaps regretting that he
had not taken a hit or two off that bottle now. But the moment was lost.
"It turned me into an incredible hump-o-matic." Zeus shook his head. "Curse my horrible son, Freaky
Mike nodded gravely. "His stuff made me one dancing fool," he admitted, then began trying to
recapture the moves that had won him the dancing crown of the Moon at King Superfoot Wallace's
palace345. He put his hands on his knees and began rotating his butt in a big circle346 in Zeus' face.
"Be careful," Zeus said. "I don't know if that stuff is going to hit me again."
Mike gagged on the 'Guh!' before he could even eject it from his throat. Then he, too, rolled up in a
fetal position on the floor, with his hands covering the steel plate in his consciousness.

Everyone Gets Saucy

Far away from Olympos, Mike tried to put the unfortunate incident out of his sacred neon
consciousness, so that his oracular brain might be clear for the all-important necessities of Sabbath
342 This basically serves as the method of choice of demonstrating self pity or histrionic outrage.
343 One standard, indirect method of accusing one's peers of interest in looking at naked men involved
    pretending to find copies of a gay nudie mag called Honcho among their belongings. A broader
    fluency in that kind of magazine might have allowed a wider range of jokes, but it might have
    sufficed just to have everyone recognize the names of magazines. Playgirl was too well known and
    not so associated with male readers.
344 The author's opinion intrudes again here, especially his views on recreational drug use, of which
    Freaky Dionysus can stand as a patron deity.
345 To some degree, simple iteration and summation of the first text, inexpertly introduced into the
    narrative. Slicker segues and smoother exposition is known to the art of the writer.
346 I speculate about stripper dance moves here. I can't prove that a human being has ever perfromed
    this precise maneuver on a dance floor nor on a table.

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Sabbath Night was one of the responsibilities of terrestrial prophets like Halogenes Austinides347,
and he was serious about these duties since his initiation into the cult of Alice Cooper, Court Jester
of Hell, God of Stupidity.
"Present the sacred Molotov Cocktail," Neon Mike said. Mike stood grimly in a red silk Klan robe as
his mindless minion unwrapped the Boone's Strawberry Hill bottle from its black velvet vestments.

Thirteen there were there, ready to cast the sacred oracular firebomb before the traffic on Sherman
drive348, all in the ancient and grave funerary red silk Klan robes. As the one minion unwrapped the
cocktail, Mike drew out his Zippo lighter.
"Why is the fire sacred?" asked Neon Mike.
"Cause now we're gonna bust some shots off, now we're gonna dust some cops off349," said the
"Gene's boots are wicked350. Amen."
Mike lit the holy fuse, and grabbed the holy firebomb, then heaved it in front of a big cop car going
too fast in front of the hollow place in the hedge on the street351.
The cop car tried to swerve away from the big puddle of flames352, and just barely got onto the wrong
side of the street in time to head-on into a school bus full of orphans353.
"Cool," said Sacred Neon Mike as the paramedics hauled off the charred smoldering carcasses by
the truckload.

347 And, of course, of his real-world analogue Michael.
348 At one time molotov cocktail parties might occur at a certain spot on Sherman Drive. Michael knows
    who some of the principal actors were here. Note to the police: I never saw Michael make or throw a
    molotov cocktail.
349 Obviously, quotes from “Cop Killer” by Body Count, back during the last days of its controversy.
350 Some East Coast description of Gene Simmons' boots, serving as a sacramental expression.
351 This is a real place, or was a real place circa 1980.
352 This repeats what I observed at a real molotov party, though the car was not a cop car.
353 Nuns and orphans are the collateral damage of choice when Sacred Neon Mike or related figures do
    something stupid or dangerous.

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Mike's minion looked at him. "That's pretty cool," the minion said. "Hey, while you were giving it up
for Zeus, did you scream out his name? Did his beard scratch your cheeks while you were french-
kissing him? Did you fart when he was through?354"
Mike looked over at his minion. "Guh!" Mike said, always a master debater ready for any
circumstance. Then, in fine debater form, he added, "Shut up!"
"Did you put on makeup and a big garter belt and a little pink scarf and matching halter top and
some stiletto heels and scream 'I'm such a bad boy?'355"
"Guh!" Mike said, plugging his sacred earholes with his stubby sacred fingers.
"Did he tell you you were better than a woman, because you're softer and rounder?356"
Mike just stood and worked his mouth. News traveled fast in Greece! But it was all wrong,
completely screwed up!
"It wasn't like that at all!"
Another of Mike's minions joined in the act. He grabbed his knees and bent way forward. "Look
familiar, Sacred Austinides?"
"I don't need any of you stains," Mike said. "I'm going to the gym and be somebody357." He was in no
mood for this, and besides, he was very unlikely to add to the body count that particular night.
Mike didn't even take off his sacred red robes as he got on the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog
and headed to Herakles' Big Guys gym. What a bunch of wise guys he had recruited as his mindless
priestlings in the cult of Alice Cooper, god of stupidity and leather codpieces! The nerve!
Inside, Mike shook his head about the cattle at the machines.
Sacred Neon Mike felt sorry for all the big stains at the gym. They were all really angular, and all big
up top. Not one of them was nice and soft and rounded like Mike.
Mike stood there, shaking his head. He ripped off his "I KILLED JFK358" tee-shirt and screamed "I'm
a F***ING HE-MAN!359" Then he did the Javelin Thrower360 in front of all the steroid kings361 in his
pink speedos362 and black leather bondage harness, and all was good.

354 These events attempt to parallel the much better set of questions Herakles badgers Mike with later in
    the text.
355 Another reference to the dialogue of Velvet van Ragnar in “Never Too Young to Die.”
356 A simple, unkind burn on Michael's physique. Not necessarily based on anything in the real world.
357 Refers to Michael's quote “Let's get drunk and be somebody.”
358 Note the cultic role of Lee Harvey Oswald earlier in the text. Again. Something seemed hilarious
    about the Kennedy assassination back during the manufacture of the original manuscripts.
359 The Stupidity Guru recommended this kind of pathetic display at the gym.
360 Think of the most famous picture of Arnold Schwartzenegger and you have this pose in mind.
361 The Stupidity Guru's term for weightlifters.
362 The peacock like quality of someone who would wear a Speedo in a public place made the garment a
    semi-permanent fixture of this narrative, even if the author did not bother to refer to them with
    correct number or capitalization.

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"Hey, Mike," said invincible Herakles, walking into the weight room as he polished his sacred beer
belly. Then he grinned hugely. "You know," Herakles said, then began to snicker. "Something funny
just came into my head."
"What?" Mike said. Maybe Herakles had some really ridiculous story about rolling hookers on Harry
Hines Boulevard when he was younger. Herakles always had some cool story about beating up
whores363 or getting in fights with cops or throwing his wastes at tax assessors or getting lucky with
four hundred thousand women in one night364 or something cool like that. Herakles was the original
God of Truckers and had been across a lot of highway.
"Yeah?" Mike asked again.
"Did Dad let you play with his muscles?365" Herakles said, winking massively and evilly.
                       Aargh! Naturally rotten Zeus had told his rotten kids about it! Jeez, now he'd
                       be hearing it from Apollo, too, and half the heroes in Greece! It made him
                       mad! Mike thought about slamming his head through his ribs, but realized
                       nothing could deflate the sacred trucker beer belly of Herakles except a
                       poison wand of mistletoe, picked at midnight, Sunday, on Leap Year's Day, by
                       a virgin, and not allowed to hit the floor, and sharpened into a dart which
                       could only be worked on Sunday, with a union contract366, and so on. It wasn't
                       worth the trouble.
                       Mike stormed out of the gym, completely deflated by the verbal abuse. All the
                       steroid kings pointed and laughed as Mike stomped out.
                       Mike, a few hours later, rapped on a door. He had gone to his venerable
saintly Mom's palace, looking for sympathy. Mom would make it right.
"Oh, hi, Mikhail. Won't you come in?" That was the great thing about her; she never minded his body
sheath of tattoos and chose not to say anything about it when he came around in a bottomless
waitress outfit. She wouldn't give him any crap.
"Have a seat. Would you like some cheese cake?"
"I would love some cheese cake." Mike sat on the sacred old rabbit fur sofa, beneath the picture of
his mother shaking hands with the Queen of England at the Cheese Log Bake-Off Semifinals in
363 The Stupidity Guru had stories about a couple of rednecks who claimed to have done stuff like mug
    hookers and throw cats into branch shredders. Here the author attributes similar vile anecdotes to
    Herakles, the God of Truckers.
364 Herakles may have made love to 50,000 women in one night, or something similar. I didn't look up
    and confirm the story. I just exaggerated the numbers to make the story even more ridiculous. Do
    the math: In a night 12 hours long, you have 43,200 seconds. That allows slightly over a second per
    woman. I doubt that anyone could do much damage on that kind of schedule. It gets worse when
    you have eight times as many women.
365 The Stupidity Guru had a weightlifter friend who reported that he had gone to a Judas Priest concert
    and had Rob Halford flirt with him during the performance – but hadn't figured out that Rob was
    doing this until after the concert, and he had, the story goes, been somewhat annoyed. The Stupidity
    Guru took to teasing him about this incident, asking him at one point “Did you let him play with your
    muscles?” as if real foreplay and seduction had followed.
366 The elaborate ritual preparations of an instrument for wounding or slaying a sacred king here,
    warped from realler lists in works like The Golden Bough and The White Goddess.

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She brought Sacred Neon Mike a big chalice of milk and cow's blood, his favorite drink from his days
in the Boy Scouts in Africa367. As she handed it to him, she began to giggle.
"Gee, Mom, what's up?"
"Did you let him put posing oil on you?" Mike's Mom said, grinning wickedly. She snickered and
doubled over, laughing so hard that she couldn't see where she was going, and stumbled into the
walls. "Did he make you wear his big old fishnet hose?" Then her laugh escalated into a regular
cackle, and she tumbled onto the sofa.
"Not you, too, Mom," Mike whined. "Just don't talk about it, and give me that god damned cheese
"There is no cheese cake. There never was any cheese cake!368"
"Guh," Mike said.
"Did you let him paint your toenails?" Mike's Mom asked.
"GUH!" Mike shrieked, running out into the night, clutching his throbbing consciousness in his hands
as he sprinted across the rocks.
There was only one place he could go for peace, and that was the sacred seal palace he shared
with Lisa Delphina, High Priestess of the Seal Cult of the entire universe. He could hide out there.
He wandered around the grounds, looking at the turrets, the bronze sculpture of the Ramones, the
official Lee Harvey Oswald369 library, the flagpoles from which fluttered the sacred Twisted Cross.
None of it could cheer him up today. With the hands in the pockets of his Trojan War Surplus navy
pea jacket, he wandered around.
He saw a black shape coming up the path. Was it another visitor come by to leer at Zeus' new
chicken? Some horrible papparazzi photographer coming to get Mike's picture for the tabloids? The
Greater Aegean Anti-Sodomy Patrol come to make a citizen's arrest?
Mike cringed. The visitor seemed to be wearing a warrior's helmet and carrying a sacred magical
brand. Was it one of the Grim Gay Gods of the underworld, come to make Mikie act out his new,
sordid reputation?
Mike began to draw his favorite bicycle chain out of his pocket. Then he raised his eyebrows in
Thank the gods, it was only Lisa Delphina, almost unrecognizable in her finest golden welder's mask
and velvet Dracula cape. It wasn't any of those stains out to make fun of him. It wasn't funny. It really
wasn't funny. She'd give him some sympathy.
Lisa put down her welder's rig and raised her mask. "Hi, Clovie," she said.

367 I recall hearing Michael had been in the Boy Scouts. I don't know if he made Eagle.
368 Michael recounted an anecdote where, at some dinner she was giving for company, his mother
    repeatedly offered him cheesecake even though he reported no interest in having any. Finally, to
    stop the question, Michael agreed to have some cheesecake – as he tells it, his mother then reported
    that no cheesecake had existed. This bust was too fine not to include here.
369 More damned nonsense obsession with the Kennedy assassination.

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"Hi, Pugs," Mike said.
"You know, sometimes when I'm heliarc welding, I wonder about some of the important secrets of
the universe, questions that you can't answer with pornoscopy or any other form of prophesy."
"Questions like what?"
"Did he make you wear Hera's underwear? Did you pose for him370?"
Mike ran across their castle grounds, between the fountain versions of Michaelangelo's David371 and
the Harley-Davidson dealership billboards. The sound of Lisa laughing hysterically vanished, and yet
Mike ran and ran and ran. Finally he stopped at the banks of the River Stynx.
He leaned up against a spray-painted boulder in the crucified position372. He was going to stay there
against his nice cool rock until everyone stopped teasing him. What was wrong with everybody?
As he leaned against the stone, he watched the birdies flying by and the leaves rustling in the
branches. Then he saw what he thought was a squirrel bounding from branch to branch. "Nice
squirrellie," Mike mumbled, but he was to demoralized to muster his normal hormone-therapy
It wasn't a squirrel, after all. It was Bumbles, the little rhesus monkey that sometimes helped Lisa in
her muscle car garage.
Maybe I'm not the most pathetic being in the entire cosmos after all, Mike realized. Bumbles used to
be a big handsome prophet, like Neon Mike himself, but he blew it by daring to compare his master,
Rush Limbaugh, to sacred immortal Apollo. Apollo simply said, "You think you're big stuff? You ain't
nothing but a little stinky f***ing rhesus monkey." And it was so.
Bumbles was the ultimate whipping boy.
"Bumbles will understand," Mike said to himself, and came out from behind the boulder. Bumbles
sat, miserably sniffling at the edge of the Stynx. Mike thought he could see a little tear cascade down
Bumbles' ugly monkey-cheek.
"Hey Bumbles," Sacred Neon Mike said. Bumbles looked up, apprehension written over his little
simian face. "It's okay, Bumbles, I'm not going to pick on you, I know what it's like374."
Bumbles cringed a little as Mike stepped near. He looked up helplessly, perhaps because he
remembered all the dirty tricks Mike had pulled on him, including the Ben-Gay in Bumbles' little tiny

370 This may have been one of the questions the Stupidity Guru inflicted on his weightlifter buddy.
371 As early as junior high school, I used to shock the easily-shocked by saying Michaelangelo's statue of
    David would have done better as a fountain, then watching the looks on their faces as they figured it
    out. More or less High Art and toilet humor meet in such a joke.
372 More faux Christhood during histrionic displays of self-pity.
373 An unkind description of the squawky properties available when Michael spoke in his higher register.
    To call it a hormone therapy squeak invites comparisons to urban legends about Michael Jackson.
374 Sacred Neon Mike's abnormal emotional state here comes to the fore, since this represents a
    significant departure from expected behavior.

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monkey jockstrap375.
"Don't run, Bumbles," Invincible Austinides pleaded.

Bumbles looked up. Then he shivered a little. Then he opened his little monkey mouth, and said:
"Did you let him stick his tongue in your mouth? When you danced with him, did he lead? Did you do
it with the lights on or off?"
Mike turned every color in the rainbow as Bumbles laughed at him. Bumbles was laughing at him!
F***ing Bumbles!
"Shut up, Bumbles," Mike said. But Bumbles just shrieked hysterically, bent over double, shedding
little monkey tears of hilarity. With his little monkey paws, he made little flapping wrist gestures and
howled in a very monkeylike fashion.
"God damn it, I'm putting a stop to this right now," Mike said. He picked up Bumbles by his tail and
dangled him over one mighty hob-nailed steel-toed Doc Marten, ready to drop kick the little s*** for a
field goal.
As Mike's big old boot got ready to plaster Bumbles' worthless ass, his beeper went off. Damn! He
pulled his divine cellular phone from the pocket of his navy pea jacket376.
"Yeah?" he groaned. What did sacred Lisa want? He was going to hang up, even on her, if it was
going to be more teasing.
"Dudu, you're not about to do something mean to Bumbles, are you?" Lisa's voice came over the
"Of course not," invincible Clovie said.
"Do you promise?"
"Guh! Of course I do! Why doesn't anyone ever trust me?"
Mike hung up the phone, shaking his head. No one ever had any faith in him!
Mike picked up Bumbles again, and kicked his ass so hard that the sorry little monkey had to set his
watch back two hours when he landed two time zones away. His little monkey butt swelled up so big

375 No one bothers to ask why a monkey would bother with a jockstrap. Even assuming he had human
    proportions, gravity will not behave the same way on organs belonging to a fifteen inch tall hominid
    as on a fully sized one.
376 Anachronism does not read as amusing as it writes.

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and colorful that everyone thought he was a baby stripey-assed baboon377.
Mike sat and seethed and seethed and seethed and seethed, and when he began to glow, he waded
into the Stynx. Steam erupted in a cloud around him.

"It's all your fault, Freaky Dionysus!" Mike screamed, shaking his fist at heaven. He ran up a really
dramatic crag so that the lightning could flash behind him and illuminate his silhouette as he
"I hate you, Freaky Dionysus! I hate you! I hate you!"
Mike's screams awoke even the dead themselves, and the dead were scared. Especially Jerry
Garcia, because he was getting really old and fat and ugly378. For hours, he stood and screamed and
jumped, until even the constellations themselves begged him to shut the f*** up.

377 Again with the baboons!
378 I recall this text preceding Garcia's death, but not by much. The unkind description of the man
    suggests he hadn't died yet – my own limits would forbid describing him in these terms so close to
    the date of his demise.

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Mike Blows It

"Revenge," growled sacred Mike all day and all damned night. "I'm going to get that Freaky
"Couldn't we just move to Dacia379 and learn to speak German?" Lisa asked. She was dressed in a
summery frock of opaque Saran Wrap, which, though it didn't really show through, was awfully hot
and awfully tight, and tended to overemphasize her derriere380.
"Revenge, Pugs," Mike said. He was sharpening his bronze spear381 on a big grindstone, sending
sparks flying off the head.
"Faster, Bumbles!" Mike screamed. Bumbles, on a big gerbil wheel, was powering the wheel.
"I can't, boss, my butt hurts."
Revenge, revenge, revenge, revenge! "I'm getting revenge, Lisa," Sacred Neon Mike said. He
looked at a pile of revenge toys he was accumulating in his little revenge parlor. There were knives
and hammers and big old hammers of hate382 and pitchforks and clubs and hand grenades and
railroad spikes and pink fishhooks383 and citronella torches384 and cayenne pepper mace and broken
steroid bottles and pneumatic hammers and icepicks and flamethrowers and boxing gloves and
brass knuckles and ramming spikes and a bunch of other cool implements of death Sacred Neon
Mike had been picking up piecemeal at garage sales and Trojan War surplus stores.
"Look, Lisa, look, Bumbles," Mike said, waving out at the grounds of his oracular prophet palace. He
had Sherman Tanks and Panzers and war chariots and Messerschmidts and triremes and AMC

379 I may have misunderstood Dacia to mean somewhere in what is today Germany and Austria. It
    probably turned out to be Hungary somewhere. Nonetheless, given this misapprehension, it seemed
    like an excellent archaic name for someplace to which I could attribute much of the camp
    Teutonicness that flavors subsequent sections, as Sacred Neon Mike leaves Greece and moves into
    central and western Europe.
380 I'm not sure why I came up with this costume. Perhaps too many words had passed since I had
    suggested something either unsanitary or lurid.
381 The Iliad cites a technology typical of Bronze Age Greece, and the presence of bronze weapons in
    these texts seems to aim at a simple context setting through period technology.
382 A second hammer type – the hammer of hate – appears in this list, contrary to likely rules of good
    composition – mainly because the Stupidity Guru tended to refer to such an object as a kind of ideal
    form of the attitude one might expect of someone who showed he had What It Takes through
    meaningless displays of utterly gratuitous violence. If there could be a metaphorical “hammer of
    witches” to destroy witches with, a metaphorical “hammer of hate” could conversely serve to
    advance the hatred of one's fellow man as an ideal.
383 The pink fishhook comes from a conversation involving a number of Michael's peers in discussing
    various sixties guitar players. At some point someone suggested that a number of them had
    improbably oversized male organs; and someone may have credited George Harrison with the
    ultimate credential in this regard, that he drove giant pink fishhooks through his. I doubt I have the
    ability to make this mean anything much.
384 Michael once brandished a citronella torch in my face while I was playing bass in public.

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Pacers385 and a lowrider school bus with forty-foot extended dual chrome exhausts386 and a big
Virgin Mary painted on the hood.
"Isn't that nice. Am I to gather, then, Clovie, that you are entertaining some kind of animosity towards
Freaky Dionysus?"

"No, I'm just pissed off at him and I'm going to kick his butt."
"Why don't you just dance with him?" Lisa asked, rubbing some of the left over bruises from two
stupid sagas ago.
"Guh! Are you still nailing me about that387?"
"That's a lot of stuff you have," Lisa said, not really wanting to discuss the sort of body counts that
Mike's dancing might raise. "You've even buried your collection of Swank."
"Revenge is more important than pornoscopy,388" said Invincible Iron Mike of the Apocalypse.
"That's nice," Lisa said, and returned to spinning the fates of all the mortals that were to follow her
generation. Because you had to do something back in ancient Greece when there was no cable
Mike was in revenge training. Every morning, he would get up and run up all the steps to the top of
Mount Olympos. Or he would do twelve, whichever came first. Then he would wrestle Bumbles until
he had won three falls, which was sometimes an all day job, since Bumbles had started taking
vitamin B-12. Then he would dive for Shiner caps in the falls of the River Stynx until he started
drowning, as he tended to in deep water above his shins. Then he would climb on his big brass
statue of Joey Ramone and look up at the sky and scream toward heaven, "I hate you, Freaky
Dionysus! I hate you! I hate you!"
"Spar with me, Bumbles," Vengeful Austinides would say, and Bumbles would put on his tiny little
rhesus-monkey gloves. Bumbles would knock Mike flat on his ass and do the Javelin Thrower389. But
385 The AMC Pacer has consistently served as an object of ridicule.
386 I used to claim the intention to lowrider out a school bus, mainly because it sounded so stupid.
387 Sacred Neon Mike should have addressed this question to the author.
388 This intends to let the reader know that Sacred Neon Mike has begun losing it, since we can expect
    him in his right mind to realize nothing as more important than pornoscopy.
389 Again we find mention of weightlifters and posing. Recall this pose from a famous nude photograph

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after months and months Mike got so he could defeat even Bumbles by sucker punching him in his
little monkey privates while he tried to put on his gloves.
"Great shot, boss," Bumbles would say, rolled up in a little fetal position and moaning in great
"I'm ready." Mike said it, and it was so. "I'm ready. I'm ready."
"You're hyperventilating," Seal Queen Lisa said.
"I'm vengeful," Austinides said.
"You're also sort of stupid," Lisa confessed.
"I am vengefully stupid."
"I know that you have been training for your revenge for a long time, now, Clovie, and you look really
heroic now. What exactly are you going to do to Freaky Dionysus?"
Mike stared. "I am vengeful. I am going to get Freaky Dionysus."
"You don't know, do you?"
"Sure I do," Mike said.
"You do?"
"That's nice, Clovie," Lisa said, then began to do her Indian Goddess dance in the Prophecy Room.
"Wow," said Sacred Neon Mike, "how did you grow all those extra arms?"

"Pollen and everclear," Lisa said, smiling sagely.

    of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
390 Isn't he a good sport?

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Well, thought Mikhail Halogenes. She is right. What am I going to do to Freaky Dionysus?
"The Invincible Secret Weapon!" Mike screamed, waving his arms in the air like an idiot.
He dressed in his blackest Mountie uniform and covered his face with burnt cork and withdrew the
Invincible Secret Weapon from its hiding place in the Gallery of Things Too Horrible to Name.
He snuck, like a shadow, across the dark Grecian night into Thrace391, where Freaky Dionysus lived
in his Divine Fiend Manor392.
Divine Fiend Manor was in the middle of a big grove of big trees with big mushrooms growing all
around them and was filled with big satyrs and big nymphs and all kinds of cool monsters. Yet Mike
didn't even think of the groovy mushrooms or slutty skankiads393 creeping around in next to no
clothing as he flitted from oak to oak.
"Revenge," said Mike, clutching the Invincible Secret Weapon in his hands and a USMC bayonet
between his teeth.
Seven times seven394 leagues Sacred Neon Mike penetrated into the grove, far from civilization or
any kind of public restroom facility. This deep into the Fiendish Grove of Thrace no sunlight pierced,
and the cops would only laugh at you if you tried to call them to help you.
One big ugly crag jutted out in the center of the Fiend Grove. It was shaped like a big skull, which
was unlikely enough, but this skull was also bonging out really heavily and looked really, really
"Revenge!" Mikhail Halogenes Austinides the Rhinestone King395 said.
Soon he was within smelling range of the burnt-rope396 aroma of Freaky Dionysus' Fiend Manor, and
he hid behind a sacred holly bush. There he unwrapped the Unmentionable Death Weapon.
Inside a bag made of ancient centaur hide, handed down for thousands of generations in the
Austinides clan, was a full hundred pounds of wet dog sh*t. Freaky Dionysus would be sorry he ever
messed with Mike. Really sorry. Really, really sorry.
Mike put the bag of doo on the stoop, lit it with his handy Zippo, rang the doorbell, and ran back to

391 I may have read somewhere that the cult of Dionysus originated in or became prominent in Thrace. I
    do not remember.
392 Michael's peers from the early and mid 1980s recall that a house existed called “Fiend Manor.”
    Michael may have lived there once.
393 Reference to various types of boy-toy nymphs reminds me that I must have wondered, somewhat,
    what purpose the nymph of any flavor served in Greek mythology, beyond providing a convenient
    target for fornication. I still do not know if they did much else, aside from occasionally mothering
    heroes and gods after the episodes of fornication.
394 Intends to imply a ritual significance of the number.
395 Again we refer to Tyrone Limestone. I never knew if Michael ever mentioned Limestone more than on
    that one occasion, nor if he remembered having done so at all. The Rhinestone King references
    would have made more sense, but that does not mean that the narrative would have improved or
    cohered better in the presence of such information.
396 Reefer jokes tend to fail from overexposure and triteness. This one might have been amusing as late
    as 1968 or 1969.

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crouch in a bush. He was so elated that his tattoos began to blink on and off in beautiful neon

Freaky Dionysus stuck his head out of the door. He was wearing a gold tiara and a tie-died Grateful
Dead tee shirt with corduroy bell bottoms397. Amazing, Neon Mike thought, how he doesn't look that
much like Zeus, except maybe for some of the insanity in the eyes. He looks more like that stuck-up
half-queer Apollo. Yet there was that scary godlikeness, that property that cannot be duplicated in
mortal faces, yet is shared by the likes of Zeus, Apollo, Herakles, Freaky Dionysus, Philthy Animal
Taylor, and all those with enough divine blood.
"My, my, a flaming bag of sh*t," Freaky Dionysus said, and got out a fire extinguisher, put out the
flames, and flung the bag of dung into the yard with a big snow shovel. Then he looked into the
hedge where Sacred Neon Mike was hiding, and said, "Hey, Mike! Did Dad dance for you? Did he
put on those pink pasties with the tassels and make you wear the little sailor suit and put suntan
lotion all over him?"
It was the ultimate disgrace, even worse than when Chuck Norris had to be Superfoot Wallace's
woman. Mike staggered away from Freaky Dionysos' sacred trippy grove, his head hung in shame. It
started to rain, and Mike let out a sorry excuse for a flatus, nothing like the horrendously evile
Shiner-and-Mexican-food398 Prince of Darkness Freedom Farts399 he used to be able to let loose at
will. His tattoos were becoming so dim that they were practically invisible.
It was almost as if he were no longer Sacred Neon Mikhail Halogenes Austinides and had simply
become Mike. He didn't have what it takes.
"I'm going to get on the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog and drive away forever and ever," Neon
Mike said.
Back in the palace, Mike was gloomy. He lay in a fetal position400 in front of a little chrome statue of
397 The corduroy bell bottoms imply a connection to one of Freaky Dionysus' prototypes in the real
    world, a figure known for promoting evolution to a higher plane through the same old partying and
    decadence that have failed to advance humanity since its earliest days. Wearing corduroy bell
    bottoms in the early eighties and babbling about Lou Reed have not much added to the spiritual
    advance of the species either.
398 Paraphrasing the Freak Brothers episode where Fat Freddy passes gas on Norbert's drug sniffing
    microphone and nearly asphyxiates him.
399 Repeats my phrase coined to describe the episode where the Stupidity Guru got sent home from
    Newton Rayzor Elementary for passing a vile cloud of wind during music class.
400 Ceremonial self-pity, as established by now, generally requires either the fetal position or the
    crucified position.

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Alice Cooper.
"Pugs," Mike sighed, "let's move to Dacia." Then he went back to bed, forgetting again to set his
alarm clock.

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The Hero in Hiding

"Gee, we don't hear from the old gang any more," Sacred Neon Mike said one morning. "We
don't hear from Herakles, or any of those big stain weightlifter friends of his, or even from Krishna
coming around for dance lessons. It's awfully slow lately. I think all my friends are avoiding me401," he
"Maybe it's because we disappeared from Greece and fled in disgrace to Dacia with no forwarding
Mike visibly did a take. "Wow! You're right! I hadn't even thought of that!"

Then it all came back to him. Loading up everything in a U-Haul, breaking the axles on it when Mike
tried to put all of his copies of Swank on it, and then making Bumbles drag the whole mess around in
a big wheelbarrow because even the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog lacked the horsepower to
move Mike's collection of Swank. Picking up a secret lifetime cache of a rare oracular beer called
Grecian Nastybrew, a brau so potent only Mike and Herakles could drink it without barfing in a
festival of da-glo emesis402. Running every stop sign in eastern central Europe to get from the land of
the little islands to the great dark Teutonic forests of Dacia, where the mushroom groves of Freaky
Dionysus were unheard of and the mushroom groves of Wotan403 were de rigeur.
"That's why it's so dark and Gothic here," Mike understood. "And why we don't eat anything but
sausage and kraut404 now."
Lisa waved away some of the sacred funk of Sacred Neon Mike's unbelievably virulent flatulence. "I
wish there were something else to eat. Things were better when you were doing felafel and grape
leaves and olives and stuff405."

401 An inversion of the notion that Michael in the real world may have been avoiding his friends.
402 At one time, I'd reach for any opportunity to insert the phrase festival of da-glo emesis into a text.
403 Though comparitive religion tends to posit Wotan as an equivalent of Hermes in his role as a
    psychopomp (or a guide that directs souls from this world to the next), the cult of Wotan may have
    engaged in some ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms that makes him crudely equivalent in some
    ways to Freaky Dionysus.
404 As dumbed down a description of German food as you can expect to find anywhere.

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Still, it was a place where no one laughed at Mike, except occasionally Bumbles, who, like as not,
would receive another well-deserved and righteously swift kick between his stripey monkey-buns.
It got lonely, sometimes, when Mike hung around their groovy new gloomy Teutonic angst palace
and Lisa was out having Valkyrie lessons or studying opera. They didn't know anyone here, and it
was always dark and cold, and Sacred Neon Mike often had trouble understanding the lingo.
One day, Mike decided it was time to create a local religious revolution406. He was going to introduce
the primitive locals to the sophisticated subtleties of Sabbath Night.
He was behind in his sacred oracular duties, so he decided to go out and round up some stains to
start Sabbath Night in Dacia, which had not been civilized by the Pious Helladic Dignities of Mikhail
Halogenes Austinides.
"Come on, Bumbles, we're missionaries tonight," legendary Freedom Mike of the Apocalypse said to
the now-very-well-worn rhesus monkey.
"I can't, boss, I've got a headache--" Bumbles said, clutching a chair leg as Mike dragged him away
from his useless hiding place.
Mike looked really wicked in his da-glo aviator's cap and long red scarf and neon lederhosen as he
drove the Hog, and Bumbles looked a lot like a stupid f*cking monkey all strapped up into a side car
with two or three whole rolls of duct tape. Mike grinned as the bugs splattered their fine juicy guts all
over his priestly gold teeth407, ignoring the contrapunctual tone of Bumbles' miserable moaning.
"Looks like rain, don't it, Bumbles?" Mike said. Bumbles didn't say anything. Yet overhead the clouds
were dark and black and Teutonic, excellent for some stupid story about dwarves and rings and
horribly boring stuff like that408.
Lightning flashed across the heavens. "That's pretty cool," Mike said. "It's as good as anything old
ankle-grabbing Zeus409 lay on us in Dardania410," he continued, looking behind him just to make sure
that Zeus was not there in a big ballerina tutu with a bag of whips, sausages, and Vaseline.
Mike noticed the lightning all tended to come from the same place. "Let's check it out, Bumbles," he
said. The monkey might have said something, but the noise sounded less like a monkey talking and
more like one peeing himself.
Ahead, in some forgotten corner of the great European wood that included everything from Spain to
405 As dumbed down a speculation about the Homeric diet as you can expect to find anywhere.
406 Much revisionist lore about pre-Christian paganism cites the notion that religious revolutions
    occurred that overturned old cults and/or grafted new practices onto them. One type of sacred king
    might have acted as a bearer of ancient practices, but another would bring a whole new repertoire of
    cultic behaviors with him.
407 Having operated a motorcycle in spring as the bugs begin to hatch, I can verify that if you expose
    your teeth and do not wear a face shield, you will get bugs in your teeth.
408 A statement of the author's indifference to the works of Richard Wagner and to the source materials
    from which they derived.
409 Projection. Had Zeus followed through with his intentions, he would have done so as a top, not a
410 This may have been a real part of Greece, and may have even really been where the historical Mount
    Olympos was located. I didn't look it up then and I haven't now.

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Turkey to the Mediterranean411, in those days before beach parties were invented (and with them the
need to barbecue), was a classic Chevy Apache, in da-glo orange412, with extended chrome
exhausts, a scooped hood for a 350, and custom rims with big spikes sticking out like the chariot
wheels in Ben Hur. Two goats were hitched to the front of it.
In the cabin, some big stain with a spiked kind and a long red freedom beard was trying to get the
thing to crank.
"Should we offer him help, Bumbles, or should we simply sit here and laugh at his misfortunes?"
Bumbles moaned in a way Mike interpreted as concurring with his own conclusion: that they should
sneer at the stranger's pain.
Red ground the starter once, twice, three times, and still the motor would not turn over. Then he got
out of the car. "I've got something that will fix this baby413," he said. Then he took out a BMF of a
hammer and began pounding the Apache to slivers; and each time the hammer descended, sparks
flew and lightning struck in the sky.
It was petulant; it was pointless. This great bearded man was pounding a classic pickup into great
clouds of iron dust, striking sparks every time his massive hammer came down on the wreck of
destroyed transmission, bent wheels, crumpled body panels, or flaming upholstery. Mike had never
seen anything so childish.
"I love it," said Sacred Neon Mike.
"Waffenlos414 judischer machine415," the red-bearded figure screamed. "Mit blitzen gehe ich dich
ausrotten jetzt416!"
Mike looked. He was really getting worked up. And his German was really, really, really bad417; bad

411 Some claim that pre-Christian Europe once had just such a forest; The White Goddess may have
    implied that this was kept unmolested for religious reasons because local religions tended to ascribe
    sanctified status to various kinds of tree.
412 This improves on an Apache that used to frequent the Fry Street area in Denton. It wasn't quite da-
    glo orange; it was more like the orange of warning cones.
413 Donar makes a resort to uninflected English without any of the baggage of the simulated proto-
    German that clogs up the text later on.
414 Without verifying it, I took Philip Dick's word that the pejorative waffenlos meant more than the
    literal “disarmed” or “weaponless” and implied also “worthless” and “sexually impotent.” Too much
    fact checking over this point would have stood out in this narrative like a shaved spot on a cheek
    otherwise covered with whiskers.
415 Mangled syntax borrowed from quotes I don't remember.
416 More tortured German. Ausrotten may come from a description of how a set of German verbs
    bearing prepositions in compounded forms work; ausrotten would come from rotten and aus-. As I
    remember the description, conventional usage allowed decomposing verbs like ausrotten into their
    components; for example, at the end of a sentence a speaker could say rotten aus instead of
    ausrotten. The example may have been from Hitler's usage.
417 Rather than try to improve it, I simply bragged about how bad it was. The attempt to turn flaws into
    virtues by simple brassing it out appears both within the text in the doings of various characters
    (especially Sacred Neon Mike) and as a technique in composing the text.

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syntax and all that, just like Mike's418, and bad tense, bad conjugation, incorrect cases, and a load of
other things. Mike really loved this guy.

"Printz off Darkness, gibt mir strengt419!" he screamed, and a regular sh*tstorm of lightning flashed
out of the sky and turned the remains of the pickup into so much glowing slag.
"Guh," Mike said, afraid for a moment, as he hid in the saddlebag with the tiny quivering form of
Bumbles the monkey. Then a great big evile grin spread across his sacrosanct oracular features. A
big forest fire had started around this red-bearded goon after he called up the lightning to culminate
his stupid Ozzy tantrum; and in the ruins, he and his goats were laughing like idiots and dancing in a
big circle.
"I love it!" Mike screamed, running headlong into the twenty-foot high flames to join this bearded
retard and his dancing goats.
Although Mike was a stranger and a foreigner, he moshed with invincible Rhinestone Michael until
all the trees were smoldering charcoal.
It turned out that this stain was one of the local gods, a big thunder god named Donar who scared
everyone because of his ridiculous temper and the fact that he could out-eat, out-drink420, out-cuss,
and out-fornicate any mortal and most of the grim bluenosed gods of Dacia. So naturally he was a
perfect complement to Sacred Neon Mike.
Mike taught Donar pornoscopy and the rituals of Sabbath Night, and Donar taught Mike how to grow
a four-foot beard and to dress properly so as to not look so much like an idiot as a glorious Teutonic
"It's furs, and batwings, and helmets with spikes and horns and wings and stuff421. And you never go
anywhere where the light is good, and you pray for bad weather. And everything is wool here, even
the gold lamé g-strings."

418 As far as I knew at this point Michael knew fairly good German, good enough to read and understand
    poetry and philosophy.
419 Deliberately pidginized abuse of the language.
420 Donar's analogue Thor supposedly got in eating and drinking contests that he lost not due to natural
    ability but due to the trickery of his brother Loki, who set him up to attempt to drink the ocean dry or
    to compete with the personification of Fire in an eating contest.
421 Donar again simulates English without much trouble.

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"That must itch terribly," Mike said.
"I love it," Donar said, adjusting his divine Aesgardian422 crotch.
Knowing a local made things get a lot easier, and soon even Bumbles was growing a big braided
monkey-beard and singing opera.
"I'm going to wash the dust of nasty old Greece off my sacred tattooed feet forever and ever," Mike
said, washing his feet for perhaps the first time since the creation of the universe from a vast ocean
of beer.
Mike was starting to go native. He had already grown the knee-length braided biker beard, beaded
with Shiner caps and other precious jewels. He wore a black leather cloak shaped as grim Gothic
batwings. His fine grey wool leggings were crowned by Mike's sacred ermine codpiece. Atop his
oracular consciousness he wore a helmet adorned with eagle wings and glorious freedom swastikas.
Mike was quickly becoming a regular Teutonic mythical figure. And even Cheesy liked it better in
Dacia, because there were cool sausages and beer and skinheads and stuff, and a better alphabet
that was impossible to read but had a better set of letters423. Swabian Angsthounds loved it in Dacia.
"Hey Pugs," Sacred Neon Mike said. "What do you think of me changing my name to Säcrëdër
Nëönïstïsch Mïckël424?"
Lisa furrowed her brow for a moment, thinking. "I think it would be sëhr stüpïdër, Clovie." She was
uncomfortable in her big gold valkyrie's breastplate, because she just was not in a Wagnerian mood
that evening.
"Rockin'," said Sacred Neon Mike, and it was so.

Donar sat at the table, knocking back some jet-black beer that was thick as coal tar and warm as
urine. "Okay, Sacred Neon Mike, so you fought your way past Zeus' rent-a-cop security guards to
get to his inner chambers, ripping off your clothes as you did it; then, when you burst down the door
to get inside, there he was, in a little leather SS cap and mirrored shades, sitting in a heart-shaped

422 I may have acquired this pretentious spelling from a comic book. That source might have ultimately
    extended the pretense to make it “Aesgaard.” I have no idea if either variant of “Asgard” represents
    an improvement in translation.
423 This refers either to Gothic type or to the oghams discussed throughout The White Goddess.
424 Faux-German even worse than some of the text previously inflicted upon the reader.

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hot tub waiting for you with his arms open, right?425"
Sacred Neon Mike frowned at this. "Shut up, stain," he said. "Besides, you're just like him. He's a big
horny red-headed thunder god, and so are you. But he made it to king of the gods and you ain't
"But did you let him put posing oil on you?"
"I think I'm getting the hang of this German lingo," Mike said, for some reason changing the subject.
"The trick is just to say everything with süpërflüöüs ümläüts426, rïght?"
"Yöü göt ït," Donar said. "Gët më sömë mörë bräü."
Mike found his place within this vast Teutonic forest. And he was even at home throwing Donar's
drunken ass out of his cool palace--his Angstpalast427--at some dark hour. And the forest was part of
the coolest forest there was, for it was part of the Black Forest, which was a great, vast, evil Wald,
because it, like Sacred Neon Mike, was also black inside.
Together, Mike and Donar spread the glory that is Sabbath Night through the ashes of the Great
Forest of Europe, and the easily impressed locals bought it, hook line and sinker; and the sound of
their sausage-and-kraut eating minions farting428 their devotions could soon be heard all over

425 From the episode with the Stupidity Guru's friend the weightlifter (at whom Rob Halford had made a
    pass at a Judas Priest concert). At one point I coached my Stupidity Guru with annoying questions to
    ask the weightlifter, and this represents the best set I came up with. I have accused others of similar
    behavior in different contexts, with the key ingredients of fighting one's way into a session of hot guy
    on guy action remaining constant over time.
426 Every lame metal band of the eighties seems to have picked up on the bit with the superfluous
    umlauts. I include this here because I expect the intent was a similar effect: to simulate Gothic type
    and the German language without bothering to learn any of either.
427 This might be almost-valid German.
428 I recalled episodes of unfortunately, unnecessarily vile flatulence following trying out the sausage
    and kraut options at various Denton area barbecue restaurants. At one point I ate such stuff with the
    intent to create such an incident to deal with some folks I did not enjoy working with.
429 Enough faux-German crap has gone on at this point that the need to feign a kind of idealized proto-
    Germany becomes less necessary.

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The Night That Wouldn't End

"Wake up, Mike," Lisa's voice said.
"I can't. I'm dead. Take over," Mike said430.
"No, we're not dead today, Clovie. And we're getting up."
"But it's still dark," Mike whined, rolling up into a fetal position. "It's not time to get up and look for a
god damned job.431"
"Who said anything about a god damned job?" Lisa asked.
"Go 'way. Take over. I'm dead."
"Bumbles!" Lisa shouted. Bumbles ran from a hole between the floorboards, clad in a monkey-sized
fireman's hat and sumo diaper, holding a fire hose, with which he began to hose down Sacred Neon
Mike's sleep-sodden consciousness.

Too shocked to even emit a first-thing-in-the-morning 'guh,' Mike rolled out of his bed of wolf hides,
and sat, dripping and naked, though it would require precision optics to confirm the naked part432.
"What's the deal?" Mike said, reaching for his oracular spectacles.
"It's still dark."
Mike jolted. "I know it's still dark. That's why I said not to get me up."
"You don't understand, Clovie, it's still dark!"

430 Michael's infamous paraphrase of a story Lisa had told him about a girl who pretended to be dead
    instead of asleep. Michael added the “take over” part to it and used it as a response to too much
    input - “take over, I'm dead,” which he delivered while feigning rigor mortis.
431 At one point Michael didn't have a job, and I had some lame 16 hours a week at minimum wage job
    to brag about and to use to compare him unfavorably to myself. Once or twice I told him to “get a
    god damned job,” and rather than wither in shame, he wisely responded that he did not want to get
    one. That quote appears here.
432 A really cheap shot at Michael's expense, though not unprecedented in real-world discourse.

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"So it's still dark! It's a big Dacian forest! It's always dark here! And I like it dark! It's early, in a big
dark Dacian forest, which is dark anyway. Of course it's dark!"
"The sun hasn't been up in a month!" Lisa said.
"Really?" Mike asked, looking at his alarm clock, which seemed to have stopped somewhere
between Marz and Mai. Then he rolled over and went back to sleep. Lisa shook her haid, but knew
better than to interrupt a sacred oracular king practicing somnoscopy, the art of fortunetelling by
staying in bed all day every day and not looking for a job.
It was probably the middle of winter when Mike woke up again. Lisa had given up, which was really
all one could do with the likes of him. There was a knocking on the brass knocker on the front door.
"Mom!" Mike said433, trying to go back to sleep and reenter a dream where he and Wendy O were
posing for an illustrated Kama Sutra. But the knocking kept up, and Mike realized that his mother
was still in Greece and would probably use that as an excuse for refusing to answer the door.
Mike got out of his heap of furs, and pulled on his favorite pink bunny suit - with the attached feet -
and began walking up and down fourteen stair cases to the drawbridge.

Mike got the door, as much as this was against his principles. He started for a moment, thinking that
somehow that sick stain Freaky Dionysus had found him; but then he realized the resemblance was
only superficial. This guy standing on the porch had a similar face, but he looked like he hadn't taken
a dump in a year or two, and he was fidgeting and nervous, and generally a geek.
"Hey, Austinides, long time no see--" said the visitor, adjusting his horn-rimmed glasses with the tape
on them434.
"Hey, Apollo. What's shaking. Later," Mike said, slamming the door435. He didn't know and didn't care
why one of the younger Cronides clan would come to see him. But he wasn't about to give to a
charity, or sign some stupid petition banning pornoscopy, or any of that do-goody crap that Apollo

433 I have seen Michael call for his mother to answer the phone in another room when he was sitting
    right next to a receiver. This pays tribute to such an event.
434 An echo of an obsession I once had with nebbish chic.
435 The legends surrounding the flesh-and-blood Michael include a cultivated hostility to the notion that
    an obligation exists to answer either the door or the phone. Experience suggests some substance to
    these legends.

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was always pushing436. No wonder one of his sacred oracular animals was the mouse437. Bumbles
was squatting a big loaf into one tiny monkey-paw, for his aim was unerring with his wastes; he had
practiced on Geraldo438 for years back in the Bad Seventies.
The knocking started up again. Mike tried to ignore it as he stuck his nose into the latest copy of
Honcho but realized he would have to deal with it; in frustration, he began pulling the fuzzy pink ears
of his bunny suit.
"I can't stand it!"439 he shrieked. Then he pulled the door open. "What? What? What? God damn it!"
"I hate to bother you, Mikhail Halogenes, but, see, we sort of need your help, because Freaky
Dionysus stole my sacred sun chariot to take to a truck and tractor pull and now there's nothing to
pull the sun across the sky, and all the crops are dying, and all the animals are dying, and all the
people are dying, and everything really really sucks, and we just sort of need you to pull the sun
behind the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog until I get my chariot back."
"Is that all you wanted?" Mike asked.
"Well, yes, really, I'm just a god of the sun and poetry and prophesy, and I've never been really good
at handling any of my brothers, not Herakles and certainly not Freaky Dionysus--"
"Cool. I won't do it. Bye."
"But it's dark all the time now! There's no sun at all any more!" Apollo whined, wringing a paisley
handkerchief between two hands.
"You're right, it is real dark. I love it."
"You don't understand," Apollo protested.
"What's not to understand?" Mike growled, devouring the sort of sausage that is likely to induce a
Prince of Darkness Freedom Fart. "There is no light, and so it is dark."
Apollo shook his head. "But it's been dark for a long time," he whined.
"Yeah. It's really Gothic. It makes creepy-crawling around looking in the neighbors' windows440 much
more meaningful," Mike said.

436 Apollo, at least according to my last Classical Civilization class back in 1983, was in some ways a god
    of right behavior and right thinking; someone who is black inside would view this in the as
    sanctimony or as being pollyannaish, as the description here implies.
437 Since I don't recall making this up, it might have actually been an accurate footnote about Apollo.
438 I remember an unfortunate (for Geraldo!) episode back towards the dawn of the eighties when he
    took a cameraman to the San Diego Zoo and pointed it at the gorilla cage there. The gorilla pelted
    them with excrement on live television until a well-aimed clod of it took out the camera. That gorilla
    became my hero, since my visceral reaction to Geraldo was distaste. History has confirmed my
    judgment here as solid.
439 Petulance as performance art never goes out of style.
440 From The Family, by Ed Sanders, describing the Manson family. I remember a passage in which
    someone gave Manson a Dracula cape, which he said would make him invisible while creeping
    around to look in people's windows – the verb creepy-crawling comes from Sanders' work in this

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Apollo began throwing a championship hissy fit441, jumping up and down in place and pulling out his
moussed locks by the handful. "Don't you get it? There's no more sun any more! It's dark! It's dark!"
"I like it dark," Teutonic Mike said, running his fingers through his big cavemanlike knee-length
beard. "It makes the molotov cocktails show up better on Sabbath Night."
"But now there's no sun at all," Apollo whined. "My tan is beginning to fade."

"You're just a big strutting Venice Beach peacock," Mike growled, beginning to eat some more
sausage. "Do you even predict the future anymore? Are you a god or a mouse?"
"So my asking you to save us from the eternal night hasn't done any good at all?" Apollo said,
polishing his big nerd glasses.
"Maybe later," said Sacred Invincible Germanic Mike. "After I finish my sausage. And write a book or
two. And answer my mail.442"
"Well, one more thing I've got to ask you," Apollo said. "Since I couldn't get anywhere with the
important stuff."
"Go ahead," said immortal Clovie.
"All right," immortal Apollo, son of Zeus said, "listen very closely to what I ask you."
Mike took in a deep breath. What could be more important than Mike letting the night last forever
and ever and ever? And that wasn't sh*t to Mike, for he had laid up quite a supply of Grecian
Apollo began to speak.
"When Dad had you pinned to the wall in your cub scout uniform, and was wearing his demon suit,
and running around the room, screaming 'I'm God! I'm the Devil! And I'm coming to get my sweet
thing!' did you straighten the seams on your fishnet hose and give him a big pucker?"
"You Cronides boys are out of your minds," Sacred Mike said, "Get out of here before I make you my

441 Remember the importance of putting one's petulance on display. It practically amounts to a
    ceremonial duty of sacred kings.
442 Again ragging on Michael for not having written me. I sent him crap like this. Is it rational to expect
    a response?

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Apollo gasped. Never before had he anticipated that another might try to make him his woman after
Apollo had made so many women, men, boys, and animals his woman.
"You'd better not ever try to make me your woman, you bully," Apollo whined.
"You're just pissed off because there's no sun for you to be god of. And I will make you my woman."
"You won't," Apollo said.
Mike began pulling down the fly on his bunny suit, and Apollo didn't let the door hit him on the ass on
the way out, for few, even gods, are stupid enough to stay put when a sacred oracular king begins
drawing forth his glorious tattooed prophetic dingus.
Less people would be cool. There would be no more Jehovah's Witnesses banging on his door, for
one thing, and if there was nobody, there would be nobody to care if he vacuumed or not. And Mike
had laid in a supply of Grecian Nastybrew that would surely last a lifetime.

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The Unrecognized Guest That Blew Mike's Consciousness

Months passed, and, since Mike had pissed off just about everyone he knew, he wasn't
bothered by irritants like mail, visitors, or phone calls443. Cable television and pornoscopy made the
days pass faster, and what time he didn't spend on these things, he did spend washing up
It seemed like nothing happened any more. No one came by, and Lisa spent her time trying to carve
her own mythological cycle in bas-relief all around their Groovy German Angstpalast. Then, one day,
the doorbell rang. How many times a year was this going to happen?
"Lisa!" Mike yelled444, hoping Lisa would hurtle across several miles of palace grounds to get the
door so Mike would not have to get up from his chair, three feet from the door. Yet Lisa didn't
"Mom!" Mike yelled. Then he remembered that she was back in Greece somewhere, perhaps still
laughing at the huge bust she pulled on him with the imaginary cheese cake.
"Bumbles!" Mike yelled, throwing a huge steel-toed sandal at the helpless little monkey, who dived
behind a stack of Black Sabbath albums. Bumbles vanished into a dark corner, which meant that he
would have to get up anyway if he were to make the monkey get the door.
Mike got the door, and saw an apparition as horrible as anything that had chased his ass halfway
across Greece back in the days when he was a Greek myth. It was like a man with all the meat
stripped off, capped with a horrible red frizz all over its head - funny thing that even the monsters
were red-headed in Europe in those days - and it stared at Sacred Neon Mike with two buggy blue

Always the hero, Mike ran screaming from the front door. "The Stick Man is chasing me!445" he
443 More cheesy busting of Michael for not responding to mail.
444 Here we repeat the episode where Michael sat calling for his mother to get the phone while sitting
    right next to it.
445 One of the more ridiculous stories told by the Stupidity Guru. At Calhoun Junior High, some student
    resisted being sent to the office. An ailing teacher, who had been shrinking in mass because of health
    problems (probably cancer) chased him through the halls to apprehend him; the student just ran like
    a fiend through the halls, his overcoat trailing behind him like a cape, while yelling “The STICK MAN
    IS CHASING ME!” Sacred Neon Mike here takes this episode into mythical country.

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screamed. "The Stick Man is chasing me! The Stick Man is chasing me!"
Mike ran into the dungeons, still screaming, waking up the political prisoners G. Gordon Liddy446 had
entrusted to his care thousands of years ago. He ran shrieking up and down all the towers, until
finally he found Lisa, who was making beer amphorae with a pottery wheel in her sky blue
cabalist's447 robe. Mike grabbed her by one arm, in spite of a very assertive 'GUH!' that escaped her
mouth, dragging her up and down stairs, back through the dungeons, and around the parking lot four
or five times, then shoved her like a weapon in the monster's face at the front door.
"The Stick Man is chasing me, Lisa! The Stick Man is chasing me! The Stick Man is chasing me!"
Mike ran around in a circle, clutching his consciousness between his hands.
Lisa looked at the horrible thing on the doorstep and smiled, offering a dubious-looking wurst from
the basket on the living room table. She said, "Donar, won't you have one of these goddamn
sausages, which are the only thing we have to eat around here? You seem to be nothing but skin
and bone!"
"GUH!" Mike sputtered. "That's Donar? What happened to you, Donar? You're a pipe cleaner man!
What happened to your sacred trucker god beer belly?"
The emaciated godling shook his head. "No beer, no belly."
Mike almost felt guilty for a considerable fraction of a nanosecond about this, but since his attention
span was just about that long as well, it escaped him. Then, the perfect host, he pointed toward the
fine German refrigerator in his funky prophetic kitchen. "Don't you want some of our secret stash of
Grecian Nastybrew?"
Donar wiped a tear from one withered cheek. "I'm a German. I can only drink German beers. If I
don't drink them, I'll die."
"Don't die here!" Mike screamed. Then he noticed Lisa and Bumbles shaking their heads at him. He
swallowed his 'guh!' and tried to backpedal.
"Um, I mean, we can't let Donar die, can we?"
"I think a sacred oracular king should be able to make a sound decision without perpetually requiring
the expert advice of an immortal seal queen," Lisa said. "Besides, the sorry bastard is your friend,
not mine."
"I don't think that's a problem any more, Pugs," Mike said, noticing that Donar had collapsed into a
motionless heap on the floor, not unlike the proverbial sack of antlers.
"This is getting too thick." Mike realized there was nothing to do now but turn to Alice Cooper for

446 Interesting claim that Liddy had political prisoners. He ended up on both sides of the dirty-tricks-by-
    government game.
447 Kabbalah here provides just another conspicuous fashion mistake. To my knowledge, it had not yet
    become the Scientology-in-Jewish-drag so beloved of nose-in-the-air Hollywood morons that it has
    today. I imply no connection here between Lisa and Hollywood, but instead between her and the
    great alchemists of history.
448 Sacred Neon Mike demonstrates here the axiom It is better to seek absolution than to do something
    in the first place.

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Alice, however, as god of stupidity, was a particularly particular deity. He could only be reached in
certain ways at certain times. Alice demanded a sacrifice.
"Lisa? Bumbles?" Mike said, as he put on his "kill naked" tee shirt449 and got out his human sacrifice
tool kit. They both just stared at him. There just wasn't any volunteer spirit any more, and it showed
in the quality of human sacrifice.
"God damn it, why is everyone against me?" he said.
The closest thing he had to a human sacrifice was an old Arnold Horshack doll from the Bad
Seventies. So Mike painted it red, like blood, and hung it by the neck from a tree, and it was all right,
but not too lifelike; so he poured ketchup over it like more blood. Then he doused it in lighter fluid
and set it on fire and did a big Arapaho war dance around it while it burned, screaming the sacred
sacrificial formula "Scored on mama's boy! Scored on mama's boy!"
Perhaps it was the sacrifice, or perhaps it was the tattoos on his sacred oracular flesh, or perhaps it
was a lifetime of pervasive stupidity, but something of the sanctified odor of holy stupidity assailed
the nostrils of the divines at that moment. Mike beat the Arnold Horshack doll with a big axe handle,
like a piñata, and loved it.
"Hey Stoopid!" Mike heard, as a voice from the ridiculous part of heaven.

There is the simple, accidental stupidity of animals caught licking their privates while there is
company over. There is the unselfconscious stupidity of the mentally feeble caught playing with
themselves in public toilets. There is the amateurish stupidity of the talented layman who knows
there is something sacred about it but has not been initiated into the mysteries of stupidity; and there
is the subtle, ancient stupidity of the priests and sacred kings like Oracular Neon Mike. Yet all this
stupidity is nothing, no, less than nothing, next to the divine stupidity of the likes of Alice, god of
Dumb Stuff, and Mike cast himself to the earth in awe.
Who but a demigod minister's son like Alice would know that the proper way to face the cosmos was
in a studded red leather codpiece and sitting on a throne made of crucified skeletons with big purple
mohawks450? Who but Alice hadn't changed his underwear in the last generation?
"Sacred Alice," Mike whined, "Freaky Dionysus has stolen the chariot of the sun from White Boy

449 It's possible such an item really existed at the end of the 1980s.
450 Alice may have hosted some cable television video show called the something-or-other “Hate Fest”
    with decorations resembling this. My Stupidity Guru said he had, but he also made things up.

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Apollo, and everything is dying, including that big stain Donar, and everyone is looking at me like it's
my f*cking fault. How can I blame Bumbles for this one and get out of having to do anything about
Alice frowned, uglier even than normal. "You can not pass the buck on this one."
"I can't hear you," Mike said, plugging his ears with wax. "How can I pass the buck on this one?
Bumbles would love to straighten this mess out."
"You can not pass the buck on this one."
"I must be a little deaf. It sounded like you said I can't pass the buck on this one."
"You heard me all right, you stupid f*cking stain," Alice said.
"Guh!" Mike said.
"Freaky Dionysus has been making you his woman too long. Now it is time for you to make him your
"Make Freaky Dionysus my woman?" Mike gasped in dismay.
"You must make Freaky Dionysus your woman."
But it was so unfair!
"But Alice!"
"One more 'guh' out of you and I will chastise you with my skull-topped Emperor of Hell Sceptre."
"I know what will get your nerve up," Alice said, scratching the disgusting stubble on his disgusting
chin. He clapped his hands twice, and a big Elvis shirt with the one-foot collar appeared in his hands;
he growled, and this turned into a huge, stinking Sam Houston cigar, which he smoked as he
clapped again. Then, in his needle thin fingers, an embroidered denim vest appeared.
Mike's eyes bugged. "The Power Vest!452"
It was as if Mike had seen Ouranos and Gaia creating the universe out of the primordial golden
brewskis of the Primal Ocean.
This was the sacred vest all the great killers used when they pulled their triggers. It had adorned the
backs of Oswald453, Iscariot, Booth, Hitler, and everyone else Mike admired, too. It had so much
magic in it that it dripped big gooey globs of magic all over the nice clean linoleum454.

451 The obsession with hot guy on guy rape continues untempered.
452 Ed Sanders, in The Family (first edition), claims that Charles Manson had once been given a hand
    embroidered denim vest, and that after his arrest this came to become a cultic artifact among folks
    in California still inclined to do things like make of Manson a folk hero or cult figure. I do not
    remember if the name “The Power Vest” comes from Sanders or our own usage.
453 Enough glorification of Lee Harvey Oswald and a reader might come to suspect that the author did
    not like John F. Kennedy.
454 Cribbed from a “Pogo” strip where someone is grabbing “thick” air (as an alternative to “thin” air)
    and someone warns that squeezing it too hard will cause it to squish out in big gobs all over the nice
    clean floor.

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"With the Power Vest, you may take the chariot from Freaky Dionysus so that Apollo may begin
moving the sun again, and maybe some light deliveries on the side, too." And Mike knew it was so,
for it had adorned the back of Charlie Manson on his creepy-crawling runs way back during the
Groovy Summer of Hate455. Since then it had vanished, and some suspected it was buried under Salt
Lake City with the Ark of the Covenant. But it was not so!
"Now get up off your prophetic tattooed buns and go put it to Freaky Dionysus. Shank his pink ass
and make him love it!456"
Alice disappeared in a cloud of smoke and flames, which sometimes meant he was returning to the
underworld, but also sometimes meant that he was free basing again. His voice echoed off into the
It was worth one last try, though. Mike carried the power vest over to the skeleton lying in his living
room corner. "Hey, Donar, Alice left something where you can get the supply of beer back under
control, you know?" Mike tried to wrap the embroidered and smelly denim vest around the exposed
ribs of what used to be Donar's manly chest.
Donar clutched his bony fingers in a skeletal fist, which then gave Mike the finger.
"I guess he's just chicken," Mike said, getting sort of pissed off, really. He took the Vest from Donar's
cadaver and put it on his own flabby form.

Suddenly the most significant moments in the history of the universe passed through Mike's head:
The creation of the universe from an endless ocean of beer457, the first time Les Paul made his own
ears bleed by turning his amp up too far, and the day the big mole began growing out of Lemmy
Kilmister's ugly assed nose. Mike knew then that today was just such a day.
"Hey Lisa," he said, back in the inner sanctum of the palace, "today is one of the most important
days in the history of the universe."

455 We might as well remember Manson's tenure with this title.
456 Stolen from the movie “The Crow,” where a rapist-murderer confesses in similar language.
457 The shortness of the author's attention span during the manufacture of this narrative becomes
    clearer. The anecdote of creating the universe from an ocean of beer seems to appear at least three
    times just in this last Mike saga. It probably appeared in one or both of the two earlier texts at least

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"That's nice," she said. "Did you check the mail?"458
He ignored the taunt, for he knew that now he had what it takes: he had the Power Vest, and the
Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog, and perhaps the last true beer belly anywhere on earth or
heaven. He would no longer face the world with a weakling's cry of "guh!" any time misfortune
crossed his path; he would face it with a warrior's cry of kitty tormentors: "RUH!"459
Mike stood on a convenient crag, not even wondering how he got there or where he had been
before, since no one was afraid of the gods of plot continuity in those days. And he shook a bad
seventies New York Dolls fist at the heavens and growled, and somewhere, Bumbles was afraid.

458 Seal Queens do not fawn over Sacred Kings who brag.
459 Accurate enough, since Michael did taunt his cat Ziggy with the phoneme ruh.

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Mike Gets Really Super Slamming Like a Big Power Nazi460

Once word got around that Mike was going to do something about the loss of the sun, he
suddenly had loads of unwanted company, so he called his first press conference. A bunch of
moronic gods from Hellas showed up, probably since they figured they could go through Mike's early
first edition gilt-paper leather-bound Swank collection. They thought wrong, too.
"You realize that this is a reckoning for a personal grudge and not an attempt to help you Cronides
weenies, since I wouldn't sell you my snot461," Mike said, as he prepared the Prince of Darkness
Freedom Hog.

"Beer," Zeus said, rolled up in a fetal position462 and moaning in the pangs of withdrawal. "Beer, beer
NOW!" Then he turned into a big Rottweiler and began sniffing Mike's tattooed freedom crotch. Then
Zeus whined as he saw Lisa begin rolling up the very latest, greatest copy of Honcho into a King-of-
"Beer," Apollo said, looking at his sadly faded tan.
"Beer," Bumbles said, rubbing his shrinking beer belly. He was getting sick of Grecian Nastybrew.
Sacred Neon Mike sighed sadly. "You fags just don't have what it takes," he said, shaking his head.
Then he chugged a can of Grecian Nastybrew. He changed into thirteen different decorator versions
of green as he realized what it tasted like.
"Beer," Mike said. "Beer. Beer. BEER!"
"BEER!" Cried all the surviving gods of Olympus. "BEER!" cried all the gods of the underworld.
"BEER!" cried the gods of the forest, and of the streams, and mountains, rocks, pebbles, sand
grains, blades of grass, laundry hampers, EVO engines, Swank Magazines, body odor, toe jam,
tattoos, and neat sh*t like that. "BEER!" cried all the trucker gods and all the biker gods and all the
lowrider gods.
"I am going to get Freaky Dionysus, for I am wearing the Charles Manson Power Vest. Right now I
am going to get him. Without any delay."
460 The Stupidity Guru once used this term to describe his brother's guitar playing.
461 Quip cribbed from Tim Kazurinski's character in “The Neighbors.”
462 Even Kings of the Gods understand the conventions of histrionic self-pity.

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"BEER!" screamed Alice Cooper, Underworld God of Stupidity, for his mouth was getting pretty
damned dry and his patience was therefore beginning to wear very, very thin.
Apollo fidgeted a moment. "You know, this doesn't make too much sense, really, since my rotten
brother Freaky Dionysus invented booze...463" but his sentence was broken off as a giant Rottweiler
surrounded by lightning began humping upon his leg. "Dad! Stop! Please! You're humping your own
son, the glorious god of the sun and prophecy!"
"I LOVE IT!464" Zeus screamed, and no one came to help Apollo out, since everyone hated the stuffy
little bastard and his too-cute little bow that never missed, and especially his endless
extemporaneous sermons about propriety.
"BEER!" Herakles cried. His belly had become flat.
"Herakles, my big stain buddy, oracular trucker god, what has become of thee?"
"No beer, no belly465, Sacred Neon Mike," Herakles the son of Zeus said, one proud tear running
down his divine invincible cheek and dripping off his beard into his pouch of Red Man.
Mike turned, trembling in rage. "Do you see this? Do all of you see this?" He pointed to Herakles'
sacred tattooed belly. Abdominal muscles were beginning to show. "The son of Zeus looks like he
has been...doing situps!"
All the worthless gods of Greece, strange imports to the Dacian Teutonic castle of Sacred Neon
Mike, moaned.
"Freaky Dionysus must be stopped!"
Mike put on his official Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club466 helmet, with the chrome batwings, freedom
swastikas, spikes, and razorblade trim, and was quite a sight in the Power Vest, Highlander's kilt,
and American Skins467 issue Doc Martens.
He cranked over the 4,000 liter468 engine on the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog, and the
assembled divinity of Olympos began to gag and heave on his fumes. "Mike! You're poisoning us!"
they screamed, as grim Plouton of the underworld began preparing to harvest their rank stinking
"I LOVE IT!"469 Mike screamed, and the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog launched loudly into the
Thinking like Dick Tracy, Mike decided to track the sun down by his friends. Sometimes, Mike knew,
the sun and moon had a thing going; astronomers called it an eclipse, yet Mike knew that what they
463 The author shows off something he probably did not fact check from Greek myths.
464 If you're caught dead to rights, might as well yell it.
465 This principle appears more than once, perhaps as a warning to the reader.
466 Probably another biker gang mentioned in The Family by Ed Sanders.
467 Probably a real skinhead organization mentioned in a mid-to-late 1980s Rolling Stone feature on
468 This seems a bit excessive, even by SUV standards.
469 This echoes a real episode where I rode in one of the Stupidity Guru's cars and noticed that it was
    having a kind of raw gas smell and excessive fumes in general. He responded by yelling “I LOVE IT!”

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were really doing was the nasty470.
"Hey, moon, you know if you lay off greasy foods your complexion would really clear up a whole lot,"
he said, for it is good sales technique to start a conversation with a compliment.
"Hey, Mike, I'd say you have the very last beer belly in the kosmos471," the moon said, sighing. She
wasn't shining the way she used to in the reflected light of Helios, the sun.
"Say, have you seen the sun around lately?" Mike asked, a master o the subtleties of conversation.
"Well, last time it was maybe when Freaky Dionysus came by in Apollo's Tight-Assed sun chariot,
and he was going that way," the moon said, pointing.
So Mike followed her finger for a second, then a minute, then an hour, a day, a week, a month, a
year, and still there was no sign of the sun; and he continued following the trail for a hundred billion
lifetimes472. If his mind didn't tend to wander so badly, he would have really gotten bored; and if there
hadn't been a Seven-Eleven every fifteen minutes on the road, he would have had no outside walls
to piss against on the way.

Then, way millions of light years past the very end of everything was Helios, the sun, sitting around,
really bored looking, not lighting a damned thing up, and reading a copy of Swank.473
"Hey! Sun! What are you doing out here in the middle of space, warming absolutely nothing up?"
The sun just sighed. "Freaky Dionysus just left me here. He wasn't really interested in me. He just
wanted that customized GM 454 in Apollo's Anal Retentive Sun Chariot."
"I can smoke that Chariot, too," Sacred Neon Mike said. "It might have a cast aluminum GM 454 Big
Block with nitrous boost system--but Apollo never really knew how to soup that baby up."
470 This may have been a deliberate distortion of some ancient Canaanite myth I had read. I don't
    remember this late in the game.
471 More pretentious use of the k- in transliterations of Greek words.
472 I may here have sought to distort some story about Rama being tasked with finding the end of the
    lingam of another, higher-ranking god. In the story, Rama traveled for eternities without finding the
    end of it, gave up, and came back with a phony story about how long it was. In punishment, his cult
    was limited to having only three temples.
473 Nobody doesn't like Swank.

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"I wish I had a beer," the sun said.
"Will all of you shut up about that? I've been drinking Grecian Nastybrew since I went into exile. You
think YOU have something to complain about?"
Mike looked at the sad-looking glowing ball hanging there in the middle of nowhere. "I bet I can drag
you with my trailer hitch," he said. Then he pulled some chains out of his saddlebags and wrapped
them around the sun. Then he revved up the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog and popped the
clutch, riding a ridiculous wheelie, and dragged the sun to somewhere over Death Valley, home of
the Power Vest.
"I'll just leave you here," Neon Mike said. "If I fry this patch of real estate, it'll mean some really cool
dune buggy movies with lots of car chases."
Mike realized that he was forgetting something, perhaps something important. Then it hit him in the
late sort of way things tended to strike him when he wasn't wearing the Chrome Nazi Helmet of
Diminished Stupidity. "Holy Freaking sh*t!" Sacred Neon Mike said. "Hey, Sun, do you know which
way Freaky Dionysus went?"
"He probably took Apollo's Anal-Retentive Sun Chariot down to Pornopolis to show it off to all the
skanks at the peep show shops," the Sun said.
Mike thought a moment. It had been too long since he had practiced pornoscopy in Pornopolis.
Perhaps he could pick up Slobbering She-Males, Volume Sixty-Nine, the only one missing from his
personal collection of sacred religious cinema. Then, like an idiot, and a proud one at that, Mike
screamed, "I'm coming to get you, Freaky Dionysus!"
Pornopolis! That ancient city where gods travelled incognito and spent cash so no record would
show up at the banks or on their credit card statements! Pornopolis! Ancient shrine of the skank
goddesses and pilgrimage site for the ancient race of the bimbiads! When money was invented,
Pornopolis was the place that invented the only thing worth spending it on. And the center of all
activity of Pornopolis was its city hall, also known as Tau Kappa's, or, in these days, as T.K.'s474.
Pornopolis was usually a city of dubious smells and quietly muffled moans. Yet Mike could not see
the army of hookers and johns waltzing in the trick game. Mike shook his head and put away his
wallet when he saw the deserted lampposts.
Yet there was something else, something odd, about the town. All the chariots were tipped over,
stopped, crashed, fragmented, like a major traffic crisis had occurred. "What do you think,
Bumbles?" Mike said, talking to the strapped up bundle in his saddlebag. "I think you should untie
me and let me get the hell out of this saddlebag, boss," Bumbles said. "Shut up, Bumbles," Mike
answered wisely.
On the horizon was a rising column of smoke. Who else could it be but Freaky Dionysus pulling a
classic series of Paul Stanley maneuvers475?

474 This pays tribute to a converted Stuckey's in Sanger, Texas, that became a porn parlor. See
    elsewhere in the footnotes for occasional T.K.'s related anecdotes.
475 The Stupidity Guru referred to any egregiously rude and narcissistic stunt in traffic as a “Paul Stanley
    Maneuver.” This came from speculation that Stanley has automobiles with mirrored windshields since
    he wouldn't want to look at traffic, just at himself; and that he couldn't be bothered trying not to kill
    other motorists if it would distract from checking himself out.

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Mike gunned his motor and felt his cheeks almost pull off his face, almost making his head look like
a big skull with a steel plate in it, which is what is was.
Mike closed on Freaky Dionysus ahead of him, gunning the hell out of the modified Bad Seventies
Hatchback476 the mad god had stolen. It was disgraceful the way Freaky Dionysus ran the nuns and
orphans477 off the road and watched them crash, burn, and die, laughing like a lunatic. It would have
been disgraceful that Neon Mike was doing the same damn thing, too, but he was doing it for a
reason, so naturally it was all right.
Freaky Dionysus plowed through the center of a school bus478 and cleft it in two. "Disgraceful," Mike
said, as he ground the children under his wheels, for it really was disgraceful the way human entrails
would ruin the chrome on a really sweet Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog.
"I'm catching up with you, Freaky Dionysus," Mike said, cutting off an ambulance, which swerved
and hit a fire hydrant. The eruption of high pressure water drowned the driver instantly, and the heart
attack victim in the back died loudly as he waited for medical attention he would never receive. "Will
all you idiots stay out of my way?" he shrieked, giving the ambulance both fingers.
Freaky Dionysus stuck his head out of the driver's side window as he wove in traffic and picked off
the odd pedestrian on the sidewalk. "What? Sacred Neon Mike? You loser, you can never catch
me." Then Dionysus stuck one finger up his left nostril and blew a big one in Mike's direction.
"Oh, yeah?" Mike said.
"Yeah," Freaky Dionysus said.
"Oh, yeah?" Mike said.
"Yeah," Freaky Dionysus said.
Mike pulled the Hog up even with Freaky Dionysus, and they were nose to nose. If one considered
the length of the custom extended twelve foot chrome forks that ended in the three-inch knobby
bronze wheel on the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog, Mike led by a length.
"I'm going to get you, Freaky Dionysus, and I'm going to make you my woman," Mike yelled.
"No, I'm going to get you, Sacred Neon Mike, and make you my woman,"
Freaky Dionysus spat back, sticking out a huge Mick Jagger tongue479.
"No, it's like I said," Mike said, growing confused, for it was difficult to remember exactly what was on
his agenda when people would screw with his consciousness.
"No, it's like I said," said Freaky Dionysus.
Mike scratched his steel plate. He was really confused, and didn't know what he wanted to do. Then
he saw something very important, past the right lane where Freaky Dionysus swerved like a lunatic,
on the right side of the road:
476 Hatchbacks do not rank well in the pecking order in which muscle cars occupy the higher tiers.
477 Always with the nuns and orphans.
478 Also always with the schoolchildren.
479 While Freaky Dionysus is something of a syncretic figure – composed of many original characters and
    beings – one real-world source provided this particular anatomical feature, a Denton-area stain who
    seemed very much to belong to the cult of Freaky Dionysus.

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"Holy sh*t!" Mike screamed, turning right in front of Freaky Dionysus from the far left lane. Freaky
Dionysus emitted a cosmic "GUH!" and swerved to keep from crashing into Sacred Neon Mike. Then
he lost control and skidded into a drainage culvert, where Apollo's sun chariot groaned to a halt in
the center of a small army of onanistic winos.
Mike jumped off the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog and pulled out his Swank wad from his wallet,
calculating how many dollars would mean how many tokens in Slutty Frig's whacking booths.
"Hey, Boss," said Bumbles from his muffled place in Mike's saddlebag. "Shouldn't you deal with
Freaky Dionysus?"
"Shut up, Bumbles," screamed Sacred Neon Mike, "or I won't give you any tokens."
Bumbles shut up instantly, for he knew that Mike always followed through on that kind of threat. Yet
Mike scratched his consciousness. He realized that Bumbles was right.
Mike strutted over from Slutty Frig's parking lot and walked over to the hatchback where Freaky
Dionysus moaned in pain. Mike opened the driver's door and dragged Freaky Dionysus' sorry ass
out of Apollo's Sun Chariot.
"In the name of Christian justice someone should cut your head off!481" squealed Invincible Hairless
Mike, and he liked the sound enough to someday decide to record it, if he could get Mountain482 as
his backing band.
"Now, Freaky Dionysus, I will make you MY woman," Mike said, raising his sacred kilt to expose his
tattooed oracular lingam.
"Hey, Mike's going to do Freaky Dionysus," said Rios Grandos, a minor river god from somewhere in
Texas, as he pulled an opera glass out of his robe to check it out.
"Can't we talk about this?" Freaky Dionysus grovelled, knitting his fingers over his immortal
"Now, Freaky Dionysus, I will make you MY woman," Mike said, ripping a big hole in Freaky
Dionysus' compression shorts.

480 Whacking booth tokens enjoyed a certain currency in my own efforts at stupidity of the early to mid
    1990s. At one point, I had bought a few dollars' worth and – not having the guts or desire to commit
    myself to those horrible whacking booths, though this may have been from a location in Austin
    rather than from T.K.'s in Sanger – I ritually purified them (by soaking them in bleach), scrubbed
    them down, and made a bracelet out of them. I claimed my Whacking Booth Tokens bracelet gave
    me the ability to see the future, through understood pornoscopic principles.
481 Again from Ed Sanders' The Family. During Manson's trial, Manson supposedly took a pencil and
    made a lunge at prosecutor Vince Bugliosi while yelling this. It's possible my memory misattributes
    the quote, though not the quote itself; if it wasn't in The Family, it would have appeared in Bugliosi's
    Helter Skelter.
482 Back in the eighties when we spent a lot of time making fun of the (bad) seventies, Mountain
    frequently figured in our derision.

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Down on earth, watching through a forty-foot-long telescope, Achilles wrung his hands in joy, for
though he preferred Divine Krishna's dancing hands down, he held no grudges, and really wanted to
see Freaky Dionysus get the cornholing he deserved. The fringe on his Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle
Club jacket bounced as Achilles jumped up and down in a frenzy, screaming "Mike's HURTING for
that BOOTY!483"
"Dad will get really, really mad if you do this," Dionysus cried.
"He's not happy with you, right now, so now, Freaky Dionysus, I will make you MY woman."
The cute little rabbits in the fields were snickering with glee, and pointing at helpless Freaky
Dionysus. "We'll never be able to hear that sorry bastard fart again," they said, and began dancing in
a big circle and throwing rose petals into the air as a cloud of butterflies performed an air ballet and
all the crickets in the fields began chirping their favorite Village People hits.
"Herakles my brother will whip your sacred oracular butt if you do this," Freaky Dionysus insisted.
"Herakles your brother thinks you're a big faggot anyway and would not in the least be surprised or
offended if I decided that now, Freaky Dionysus, I will make you MY woman.484"
"NO!" screamed Freaky Dionysus when he realized that he was about to become Mike's woman.
"Take this cup away from me, Father!485"
The clouds parted and Zeus' bearded face peeked out between them; and Mike saw the King of the
Gods begin to laugh. "Are you going to pose for him? Are you going to play with his muscles? Would
you like to borrow my big old fishnets? Are you going to let him stick his tongue in your mouth while
you scream, 'I LOVE IT?'486"

483 A jailhouse anecdote from someone I used to work with at the newspaper. One ex-convict said his
    cellmate had figured out how to make an artificial female organ with a bread wrapper, an empty tube
    from a roll of toothpaste, and a pat of butter. He said that guy was “hurting for that booty.”
484 I'm still rather pleased at the relentless logic of this passage.
485 Again, in the more extreme kinds of histrionic self-pity, Dionysus imitates Jesus – badly.
486 Note the reversal; now Zeus mocks Freaky Dionysus about the down-home country cornholing
    Sacred Neon Mike intends for him.

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Freaky Dionysus rolled into a big fetal position487 and began shrieking uncontrollably. Then he turned
into a big goat.
"I can make a goat my woman," said Sacred Neon Mike.
Freaky Dionysus turned into a bull.
"I can make a bull my woman," said Sacred Neon Mike. He said ditto for a fish, a water carrier, a pair
of scales, twin Dionysi, a crab, and other zodiacal nonsense that Freaky Dionysus seemed intent
upon becoming488.
"I can do any of these things and make them my woman, Freaky Dionysus," Mike said, tapping his
foot impatiently. His sacred tattooed oracular lingam grew weary of waiting.
"GUH!" Freaky Dionysus screamed, then turned himself into a big brain coral.
Mike tapped his foot and shrugged. "He's got me there," Mike observed. "I can't think of any way to
make a big brain coral my woman489."
This stumped Mike, who persisted even though his intellectual capacity was such that even the
rocks in the riverbeds made light of his stupidity. How, indeed, could he do a brain coral? It was all
grooves and ridges, and didn't really have the sort of stuff he needed to work with to make it his
woman. He thought of all these sad variants of the act, all those things everyone had seen those
pictures of Aphrodite doing in that scandalous edition of Swank last year, and realized those were
hopeless and pointless substitutes for the kind of country down-home490 boning which Freaky
Dionysus had been begging for for so long.
"Alice, forgive me," Mike said, sadly reining in the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog. "I couldn't make
Freaky Dionysus my woman." As he descended to the earth from his chrome studded Harley saddle,
he shook his head.
Alice squinted. "I don't know any way to do a brain coral," Alice said, shrugging his bony shoulders.
"Does anyone here?"
All heads turned to look at Zeus.
Zeus grinned sheepishly. "Even I, the immortal and ever-libidinous Lord of All Divinities, can not do a
brain coral. And I have tried. Oh, how I have tried," he moaned. A million opportunities lost seemed
to flash across his lust-and-care-worn face.

487 This suggests to me that line from “A Christmas Story”: “It was his only defense.”
488 This may have been inspired by someone's observation that sometimes mythological monsters were
    simple fusions of the animals belonging to astrological signs, though I recall neither the author nor
    the import of such observations.
489 It took me a while to figure out some form of life which a human male could not make his woman.
490 At one time, Michael described a blues riff he was playing by saying “That's so down-home.”

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A Hero's Reward

It was generally agreed among the assembled divinities of Greece, Germany, and every other
place491 not too snotty to offer an opinion that, although Mike had blown it as usual, he had done it in
the best possible way: the world was rid of Freaky Dionysus, who had never mastered the art of
changing back from a big brain coral, and the sun was back, so there would be beer again. So they
grudgingly agreed to give Mike a reward.
"Cool necktie," Mike said, and it was so; for it was very effeminate and flowery, and Mike was
becoming quite a clothes fag lately492. "Did you see it, Pugs?" He held it up before the Sacred Seal
Queen Delphina Lisa.

"That looks like the one Lemmy Kilmister wore when he was tried on his first drug bust," she said,
wide-eyed in admiration. "I am going to paint a new constellation in the sky for it called 'Cheesy
Wearing Mike's Cool New Tie.'"
What did all the gods of Dacia and Hellas have to say about that? "BEER! BEER! BEER!"
And there was much drinking and much scammage493 and the gods of hangovers and delirium
tremens consecrated shrines to Neon Mike right next to all the Seven-Elevens in Pittsburgh.
And when Mike died, Zeus tried to take him up into heaven for his house band, but Mike kept
screaming something about big horny poodles, so instead he taught Apollo the art of music; and the
lying poets claimed thenceforth that Apollo was the rocking inventor of music, and so history did
record it.
But everyone knows it was really Mike who taught Apollo how to play Free Bird.

491 While I abused still-living religions from India in this narrative, I did not see fit to give them billing
492 I recall a story about Michael working in a bank and taking to things like French cuffs. The coinage
    supposedly comes from Michael himself in discussing his new interest in shirts.
493 This term generally describes someone Michael and I both know when he was single and whenever
    he would speak to members of the opposite sex.

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The Cast
           Alice Cooper:
           Alice has many titles within this mythical cycle. He is known as the Court Jester of Hell, the
           Emperor of Hell, and the God of Stupidity. Properly speaking, the last title is inaccurate. The present
god of stupidity is the Divine Salvador Dali. Alice is only the pope of stupid.

          One of Zeus' many offspring, Apollo used to be a cool god of music and prophecy but ultimately
          sold out to the Bible-thumpers and began his own family values campaign sometime about 1000 bc.
Even though he, like his father, brothers, and uncles, would hump a tree stump if that's all there was available,
he nonetheless has become a very boring god of propriety and morals. To get rid of this annoying freak, the
other gods let him manage running the sun across the sky.

           This degenerate little rhesus monkey used to be a degenerate Rush Limbaugh fan. In one of the few
           truly proper things he's ever done, Apollo got really pissed at his mouth and turned him into a stupid
little monkey. It didn't change much.

          This is the Teutonic beer-drinking fool of the gods. He is sort of like a German-speaking Herakles,
          with a lot of Zeus' kinky and stinky habits thrown in. Fortunately, he's easy to whip, and he's dead
besides. Donar is credited with inventing the umlaut.

          Freaky Dionysus:
          Zeus' most wayward son is Freaky Dionysus, god of trips. He's so into his stupid mushroom religion
          that he doesn't even have sex any more. This peculiar and perverse quirk in his personality naturally
means that he's unredeemably evil. Besides, it gives the other gods someone to blame everything on.

          This is the original God of Truckers. Myths tell how Herakles was the very first man, beast, or god
          to grow a beer belly. In so doing, he upstaged his worthless brother Freaky Dionysus, whose only
achievement to date was inventing brewing. He didn't seem able to figure out what it was for. Herakles,
however, can out-drink, out-fart, and out-fornicate anything mortal, and perhaps anything immortal.

            No one knows why this import from Vedic India insists upon busting into the scene of ancient
            Greek mythology so often. Perhaps it has something to do with one of his better known vices, his
ability to divide himself into thousands of copies and try to be the center of attention everywhere. His heart is
otherwise in the right place, though he overestimates himself both as a lover and as a dancer.

          Lisa Delphina:

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From the dark ages of Cretan civilization come trace records of the ancient Mediterranean seal-cult. Its hip
high priestess was known as Lisa Delphina. Since these records cover several centuries and as many alphabets,
one may wonder if this was a title rather than a proper name. If it was the same priestess, she must have gotten
fabulously old, and then everything sort of sinks, and is no fun at all any more. Thank God these stories don't
deal with that.

          Sacred Neon Mike:
          Mike is a peculiar figure. Though fitting the classical pattern of the sacred prophetic oracular hero,
          he is stupider than any of them, including Herakles, with whom his myth is sometimes associated.
Achilles was petulant, but not stupid. Herakles was psycho, not stupid. Jason was deceptive, not stupid.
Odysseus was sneaky, not stupid. No, this stupid thing was his corner on the market. Perhaps that's why no
myth ever mentions Alice Cooper hammering any of those other geeks.

             Greek traditions record Zeus as the king of the gods. A closer inspection of his record suggests that
             a more correct title would be the god of cruising for chicken. Zeus seems able to plow the furrow of
anything except his wife, Hera, who is probably just another version of the ancient Queen of the Gods, who,
after all, is just an old lezzie that doesn't want to admit it.

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The Immortal Figures Shafted in this Tale
                        Alice Cooper         Apollo                     Bumbles

                        Donar                Freaky Dionysus            Herakles

                        Krishna              Poseidon                   Sacred Neon Mike

                        Seal Queen Lisa      Zeus              Click your favorite celebrity!

Alice Cooper

       See Alice....
       defend the honor of stupidity!
       forget to do something important!
       come to Mike's sacred summons!
       tell Mike to shank Freaky Dionysos' pink ass and make him love
       produce the Power Vest!

[Back to top!][Contents!]


       See Apollo....
       have to beg Mike for
       pitch a big hissy fit!
       bust Mike!

[Back to top!][Contents!]

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       See Bumbles....
       have his humble origins exposed!
       speak magic words to become invisible!
       risk life and limb sassing Lisa again!
       read Swank again!
       gag and choke on Athena's magic herb!
       get zapped in cruel electroencephalographic
       bust Mike!
       kick Mike's ass!
       wake Mike up with a fire hose!

[Back to top!][Contents!]


       See Herakles....
       tell Achilleos that he is full of
       bust Mike!
       show the tragic loss of his celestial

[Back to top!][Contents!]


       See Krishna....
       get naked and try to out-dance Invincible
       become Mike's horsie!

[Back to top!][Contents!]

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       See Poseidon....
       get cut off on the freeway and lose it big
       try to put the moves on Lisa!
       offer Lisa a swig of everclear!
       get scammed!
       take a brutal knee in the nads!

[Back to top!][Contents!]

Sacred Neon Mike

       See Mike....
       consult Reverend John the Baptist!
       refuse to buy Swank!
       get accused of being stupid by Reverend John!
       descend into the underworld!
       play Whippin' Post!
       play Free Bird!
       threaten to play Love Hurts!
       scam his mother's car and abandon it in hell!
       meet Alice Cooper in the Underworld!
       weep in utter incomprehension of his incomprehension!
       realize the consequences of beer and Mexican food!
       demand to use the john!
       make his lust learn to love it!
       bust his way into the crapper!
       utterly chump his lust!
       meet the Queen of the Underworld (who's just an old lezzie who doesn't want to admit
       put on the red sequined Doc Marten low quarters!
       lust after the sacred golden brewskis of G. Gordon Liddy!
       consult the secret well of secret wisdom!
       seek the Tower of Disgusting Old Transsexuals!
       do the Fly!
       find the Chicken Master!
       flee the fetid air guitar playing of Bunny!
       go fishing for Bunny!
       do the bi-plane dance!

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meet Gamma Gordon Lidios!
get threatened with emasculation!
wahoo Liddy's beer!
borrow Lisa's sacred sky-painting ladder!
lie like a fool!
kill Lisa's sacred sky-painting ladder and lie about it!
use all three rhetorical excuses!
make a groovy entrance at Superfoot's party!
start dancing like a retard!
do the Pencil Sharpener!
gloat over a rigged contest!
take the laurels!
realize that everything looks like a booger!
receive the latest, greatest Swank yet!
demonstrate the delicate art of pornoscopy!
call Herakles about homemaking tips!
summon his horde of onanistic stripey-assed baboons!
get invited up to Olympos by Zeus hisself!
triumphantly enter Olympos on the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog!
heroically flee from the lust of Zeus!
get cornered by a lust-demented Zeus!
wave his butt for no fathomable reason!
perform the secret sacred rites of Sabbath Night!
get busted by his acolytes!
do the Javelin Thrower!
get busted by Herakles!
visit his mom!
get busted by his mom!
take lip off Bumbles!
punt Bumbles for a field goal!
pitch a truly valiant hissy fit!
plan to avenge himself upon Freaky Dionysos!
arm for revenge!
forsake pornoscopy for revenge!
train for revenge!
approach Divine Fiend Manor!
unwrap the Unmentionable Secret Death Weapon!
go off on a sulk!
decide to scam off to Dacia!
moan about missing distant Hellas!
actually remember moving to Dacia!
wish someone would visit him!
poison the air with his toxic gaseous wastes!
encounter Divine Donar!
mosh with Donar in the flaming debris of a forest!
encounter Divine Donar!

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       stay in bed all day long!
       flaunt it!
       have to get the door himself for once!
       snub the prissy sun god!
       threaten to make Apollo his woman!
       consider all the good things about the end of the world!
       shudder in fear at the dread Stick Man!
       beg Donar not to die on his nice clean linoleum!
       ask for volunteers for a human sacrifice!
       sacrifice the Arnold Horshack doll!
       summon Alice Cooper from the underworld!
       try to pass the buck!
       try to pass the buck again!
       hold a press conference for the gods!
       discover his primal beer-belly rage!
       gag the gods of Olympos on his exhaust fumes!
       attempt to charm the moon!
       address the sun!
       reenter immortal Pornopolis!
       find that skanky old Freaky Dionysos in Pornopolis!
       drop everything for whacking booth tokens!
       threaten to cut off Bumbles' token supply!
       decide to make Freaky Dionysos his woman after all!
       receive a congratulatory necktie!

[Back to top!][Contents!]

Seal Queen Lisa

       See Lisa....
       help Dali create a new Zodiac!
       call Mike Noodles!
       use Mormons in a disgusting human sacrifice!
       consider Mike as a human sacrifice!
       risk her life dancing with Mike!
       lick her wounds!
       bravely meet Lord Lucifer in her groovy muscle car garage!
       demand Satan pay fair market wages!
       soak her garage in air freshener after Satan leaves!
       take in a poor starving helpless politically retarded monkey!
       turn over the engine in Satan's Mighty War Chariot!
       shut down Poseidon and his cheesy chariot!
       drive like Ted Kennedy!

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       find the glitch in Satan's transmission!
       recite an off-color limerick!
       warn Mike not to trash the palace again!
       engage her mighty Flower Power hearse!
       sagely observe that a car is not a boat!
       use the Sacred Golden Chainsaw!
       innocently overdraw her checking account for the greater glory of
       see sunshine where others see clouds!
       wonder if she is in Kansas anymore!
       divine the future via a game show!
       practice her killer karate moves!
       encounter the Ship of the Dead!
       yawn through Captain Trips' monologue!
       get kidnapped and have to listen to All Along the Watchtower!
       plot a daring escape!
       throw her voice through her Manson ventriloquist dummy!
       fearlessly flee the undead underlings of Captain Trips!
       read the future in a pile of dandruff!
       burn the Bobbin to a fine white ash!
       invoke an ancient Cretan charm to become invisible!
       practice her seal-ninja vanishing act!
       brandish her saber like a rabid Visigoth!
       turn her feets to deadly bludgeons of death!
       blaze with her mastery of ancient sumo secrets!
       cause the vicious Slug King of Uglies to fall down!
       get away with calling Athena perfectly horrible and true things!
       learn the sacred ancient art of kneeing!
       scam Poseidon into position for the kill!
       thrust an oracular kneecap where it might do the most good!
       tell Poseidon how it is!
       hint to Mike about Athena's Secret Knee Charm!
       finally heal Satan's Mighty War Chariot!
       confront Satan face-to-face about the...feathered chaps!
       view the Feathered Chaps!
       put Satan in his place with a Richard Simmons video!
       squeeze them chaps out of Satan!
       rescue Mike from a down-home country-style boning!
       protect Bumbles from a richly deserved kick in the ass!
       dress in resplendant opaque plastic!
       ask Mike to produce a valid agenda for revenge!
       choke on Sacred Neon Mike's virulent emissions!
       offer the dying Donar a sausage!
       straighten Zeus out again!


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See Zeus....
forget that he invited Mike to
offer Mike a swig of Mad Dog!
make a move on Sacred Austinides!
hump on Mike's leg!
accept no responsibility whatsover!
sniff on Mike!
hump Apollo's leg!

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Glossary of Important Concepts
Alice: Alice is the god of stupidity. He must be, dammit! And if you can't handle it, then reflect a moment
upon the cosmic implications of his sacred red leather studded codpiece or his skull-capped emperor of hell
sceptre. What do you know, anyway?

Anarchy: One of the sacraments of any real religion. Any religion that has no place for anarchy is worthless
and weak and ripe for conquest.

Arnie: Arnie is BEAUTIFUL! Whenever you see his steroid-inflated self or even his image, good manners
suggest that a gentleman must roll up in a big fetal position and begin weeping with joy, meanwhile crying
"Arnie's BEAUTIFUL!" If he does not, then he is just a stupid weenie with no sense of propriety, and should
be compelled to let Wendy O. Williams make him her woman.

Bad seventies: Either just before or just after the Golden Age were the Bad Seventies, when everyone wore
bell bottoms and platform shoes (not cool ones like GENE'S BOOTS) and muttonchops and turtlenecks and
drove around hatchbacks and listened to Pat Travers. Some prophets insist that someday the world will be
destroyed by the return of the BAD SEVENTIES, so watch out.

Beer: In any responsible creation myth, the Creator makes the universe out of sacred golden brewski. It was
the original substance and was therefore invested with all the life in the universe before somebody churned it
all into a coherent cosmos. Therefore if you drink enough you will live forever.

Beer bellies: Trucker and biker gods tended to have these, and so did their prophets and oracular heroes.
Although Sacred Neon Mike was technically a priest of Rockin' Alice Cooper, God of Stupidity, he wore a
sacred beer belly as a concession to the to biker gods who gave him the Prince of Darkness Freedom Hog.

Bisexuals: Real men, like Errol Flynn, don't give a shit whether you're a man or a woman, because that's
trivial; gender is a property of inferior life forms and unworthy of the attention of true prophets.

Body odor: The sacred prerogative of true prophets. It's not just their right to smell bad, it's their god damned

Brewskis: These are sacred and golden, and G. Gordon Liddy has the very best ones in the Greek universe.

Brown outs: These are like the stripes of rank in the military, and when people see them on your drawers, they
owe you a salute. If not, they may be in for an OZZY TANTRUM.

Bullying: Just another way to show others that you have WHAT IT TAKES.

Busting: This is what you do with stains like yourself. You sit around and bust them, particularly about closet

Charlie: See WIZARD.

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Checks: Only real losers write good ones. Your money is for important stuff only. See BEER and

Cheesecake: It must always be offered but never be given.

Clothing: Dignity is a serious faux pas as far as the sacrament of clothing is concerned. When you beat up
your junior high gym teacher with a big brass shovel, do you wear ordinary clothes or a pair of gold satin hip
waders? The answer is obvious to right-thinking minds.

Confederate uniforms: These are especially hard core. They suggest a fusion of ancient traditions with
modern insanity.

Consciousness: The part of the body that sits on the neck. Only Sacred Neon Mike may call this part of the
body by this name.

Doc Martens: The boot of choice of a new cop killing generation, especially when hobnailed and steel-toed.

Dosing: A cool stunt to pull if you're a messed up god of trips, like Freaky Dionysus. Best performed with
aphrodesiacs where there is a conspicuous discrepancy in the power of the participants.

Dracula capes: A common costume item in Helladic Greece.

Excrement: A must-have item, for you may end up somewhere with a clear shot at Whoraldo with nothing to

Fags: They seem to be everywhere, and they're after you. Guh.

Fishnet hose: They're wonderful. Everyone should own and wear them, even women. They go great with
everything you could wear, or even with nothing at all. They're particularly cool with stiletto heels and body

Fly: This is the sacred oracular dance where you rub your forelegs together, then flap your wings, then rub
your consciousness, then flap your wings. When you are a prophet, you may transmogrify into a real fly.

Freedom hogs. They're the only appropriate means of transportation for a sacred oracular hero. Arlen Ness
makes some particularly wicked customized ones.

Freedom sluts: A FREEDOM HOG will get you these.

Gene's boots: Gene's boots are wicked! They have soles about two hundred miles high and they're black and
silver and glittery and have big fangs or claws or something on them and they're killer bad!

Genitalia: If male, they must be described derisively as undersized, chronically distended, malodorous, or
deformed. If female they must not even be hinted at except by socially approved terms like 'naughties' and
'privates' and 'whatever women have that men do not.' Guys really need theirs to smell really really bad in
order to keep the cops and other undesirables away from them; furthermore, if one is exposing himself to an

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elevator full of Carmelite nuns, it is helpful to have stinky privates in order that the blind, older nuns may be
horrified too.

G. Gordon Liddy: A really cool power nazi. He never said anyone was picking on him, and never said he was
sorry for anything. Lucifer gave Liddy his beeper number.

Guh: There's only one thing to say when someone has you dead to rights. That is, just before you start

Harley-Davidson motorcycles: See FREEDOM HOGS.

Hatchbacks: These are horrible cars from the BAD SEVENTIES, invented by the gods to punish man for not

Hitler: A talented amateur who didn't quite have what it took.

Hot checks: Others are so unimportant that they can't realistically expect you to actually worry whether there
is money in the account when you pay your mindless underlings. Furthermore, since the real important thing to
do with money is to buy BEER, there is almost certainly never going to be money in any bank account.

I love it: When you're caught dead to rights and just don't give a damn who sees you making an idiot out of
yourself then this is your battle cry.

Klan robes: You can be a wizard, priest, alchemist, race hero, idiot, prophet, and dancing fool all at once in
these things, especially if you wear something cool with them. See FISHNET HOSE.

Lesbians: They hate men, and like women, but not the women that men like, and they're always frowning, and
they're always mad at something, and they have these little ventriloquist-dummy lines from the corners of their
mouths down the sides of their chin. Most of the goddesses of the old school are a little bit dykey, but that's not
as bad as all the really decadent and horny bisexual gods like Zeus who will put it to literally any damn thing.

Little Richard: The original sui generis defies description! He taught Errol Flynn how to be a bad boy!

Lowriders: These are very important. The earth is only going to exist as long as there is a King of the

Lust: The fundamental force that drives men to seek BEER. It can make one godlike once it is conquered and
made your woman; or it can just turn one into a big fat bloated butterball.

Lying: When accused, always lie. Lie with several different lies, along these lines: I didn't do it; It never
happened; Someone else did it; and Besides, you told me to do it.

Making someone your woman: This is not a big gay thing, it's a big oppression thing. When you dominate
someone properly, you simply must sodomize him to show him you have WHAT IT TAKES.

Mohawks: If dyed a loud enough color, they are a strong emblem of virility, which is the property of having

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Molotov cocktails: These symbolize the union of man and the forces of the sun, and so must be thrown onto
Sherman Drive every Sabbath Night. They also make traffic veer all the hell over the place. They must ONLY
be made from a wine bottle emptied on Sabbath Night, and must only be thrown by the acolytes who drained
the wine bottle.

Money: It must always be hoarded or borrowed until something very important comes along. See PRINCE

Mötörhead: These are really just a bunch of ugly worn out stains but they are also WICKED! and must be
obeyed in all things. Especially Philty Animal Taylor, who is wicked, and rules also, and is an especially big

Naziism: In this mythical cycle, this is the ultimate demonstration that somebody has what it takes. It takes a
real man to proudly show the Glorious Twisted Cross. A man of character will demonstrate all due reverences
to the sacred idols and martyrs of the thousand-year Reich. Also they have really cool uniforms that look cool
on everyone, even fags.

Nudity: The ultimate gesture of high self-esteem and control of the outward universe. Only weenies are afraid
to walk into the bank during a rush buck nekkid.

Ozzy tantrum: When someone important doesn't get his way, it's time for one of these. Your best form is to
throw yourself to the floor, and begin pummelling it alternately with your fist and your opposite foot. Scream
something cool like "It's not FAIR!" or "I WAN' IT! I WAN' IT! I WAN' IT!"

Pornoscopy: (lit.: the sight of prostitutes) This is a form of fortune telling invented by Sacred Neon Mike. The
prophet examines some form of pornography, either printed or on video; the worse the better. If it's really,
really drippy, nasty stuff, so much the more effective it will be. The models' bodies have somewhere the
portents of whatever the prophet is trying to predict, generally as letters hidden in the picture. The letters are
usually hidden around the mouth and genitals.

Prince Alberts: These are a quiet, dignified body ornamentation in which the head of the penis is pierced and
connected to the pierced navel with a ring. This keeps the HD Freedom pud from hanging to the right or to the
left and makes it much easier on your tailor.

Revenge: The real meaning of the Golden Rule is that if anyone messes with you you clobber him with a big
Rosedale Street Crack Fist. It's true, because that's what it says in the Bible. Really.

Rush Limbaugh: Nobody especially important. He's a big mouth, which is sort of cool, and has a ridiculous
beer belly, but he's ashamed of it, and tries to cover it up instead of holding his show all unshaven, filthy, and
wearing a big pair of dung-streaked drawers. He doesn't have WHAT IT TAKES and perhaps will soon be

Self-pity trips: These should be dramatic and hyperbolic. One excellent strategy is just to roll up in a big fetal
position and throw an OZZY TANTRUM. However, another excellent form is the phony Jesus on the Cross

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self-pity trip: the sufferer assumes the crucified position against the nearest tree, wall, or just standing there,
and insists that his or her sufferings are on a par with those of Jesus. The best self-pity trips come from abject
cowardice, which is really cool if you do it right.

SS uniforms: These look exceptionally sharp, and even the Allies had to admit that the sissy boys in the Third
Reich were always better dressed.

Steel plate: Sacred Neon Mike, when he was born, was an ordinary mortal, but his mother, in an attempt to
make him invulnerable, put him in the sacred fires of the forge of Hephaestos to burn away his mortal parts.
She held him by the consciousness, and as a result, his brains tended to explode out of his consciousness
whenever he tried to think, so he had the sacred steel plate installed to hold in his slimy repulsive brains. When
he gets very angry a big brass rhino horn sprouts out of his consciousness.

Tattoos: These are like the stained glass in a cathedral. They show the important scenes from your world view,
like the Kennedy assassination and marching Nazis and bimbos with big old hooters.

Teasing: You do this to show how sensitive you are when you help others cope with their pain. This is
especially effective as a balm to the woes of the victims of anal gay date rape.

Toilets: You NEVER flush these! A true Dung Fu master never leaves one in a condition where it can be
flushed without at least a good plunging.

Tokens: The basic unit of currency of Mount Olympus, the ancient Mediterranean world, heaven, and the
whacking booths at T.K.'s up a few miles north of Sanger, Texas, on I-35. Tokens are good for all debts public
and private, and there are never enough of them, so you always have to scream for more of them. See

Transvestitism: Real men aren't afraid to dress like a sissy. Just ask J. Edna Hoover.

Velvet van Ragnar: Velvet was a transsexual terrorist with big phony hormone breasts. He loved to kill with
an extended bronze middle fingernail, and to take over the world; plus he had his own act at a nightclub called
the Incinerator. Furthermore, he's really GENE and GENE'S BOOTS ARE WICKED!

Village People: These fiends exist to somehow balance the cosmic order. For everything to add up to zero,
there must be one Village People to every Motorhead.

Violence: There are better ways to solve problems, but they are stupid and boring and no fun at all and we
won't talk about them here. Violence is just a way to show everyone that you are thinking about them and that
you are sincere about the way that you feel about them.

Von Richtofen: This is the famous attacking plane dance. Oracular heroes can actually fly when they do this.

Wallets: No one touches them. As in, "No one touches my H.D. FREEDOM HOG, my wallet, or my H.D.
Freedom Slut [always the slut goes last]."

Whacking booths: Where to spend your TOKENS, and most of your paycheck, practicing PORNOSCOPY,

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going blind, and loving it.

What it takes: You either have it or you don't. Gene's boots really have what it takes. If you don't know who
Gene is or what his boots look like then you certainly don't.

Wizard: Charlie Manson is a modern oracular hero who must have lived in every era to have his almost
comprehensive knowledge of everything since time began. He understands the power of stupidity, as
demonstrated by his applying for credit cards while in jail and by showing up at his second murder trial in a
glorious SS uniform.

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