December 2009

The bar didn’t so much as erupt into chaos as it did squirt into mild discomfort and bloating. The beer meister held her head in her meaty paws over a barrel of amberweiss and wept tears of rye dough. Her assistant paced through knee high tentacles of yeast whimpering: “I thought I followed the recipe…” over and over.
The patrons of the bar held their distending stomachs as many of their colons came unfolding like Slippery Snake toys.
“Let’s ditch this joint!” h0m-R muttered through spittle and a straw that ended in a hefeweizen. The group made a mad dash for the door as the German sailors began looking for the beer meister, pounding on the service door and chanting “Kill the pig, cut her throat, bash her in!” and all hoisting sticks that had been sharpened on both ends.
They rose up in chorus:
“Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah
Ahnd ze mahn at the bahk zed
Ahvryyvone attahk ahnd eet teuhrned eento ahh barrroom blitz
Ahd ze fraulein een ze cahner zed
Junge, ich wanna vahrn ya, it’ll teuhrn eento ze barrroom blitz
Barrroom blitz, barrroom blitz, barrroom blitz!……..”

They had just about made it to the door when a insect looking green man put a blaster into the ribs of Nibb.
“Oota Boota, Nibb.” said the pouty lipped man in jockey silks.
“Yeah, I’ll bet you have.” said the horse while unnoticably slipping her blaster from its holster and sending nearly 1.21 gigawats of energy into the chest of the diminutive horse racer.
She whispered into his melting ear, “I told you at Preakness….you’ll never ride me again.”
The sound had garnered some concerned looks from the mob and Nibb said,
“Had a slight weapons malfunction, but everything’s perfectly alright now. We’re fine, we’re all fine, here, now, thank you. How are you?” and then left into the autumn night air.

They were whisked away to the Isle of Man by a chariot of the gods that was pulled by six mighty and fiery steeds. After they landed and the others went ahead, Nibb lagged behind.
“Hey–don’t you horsies get tired of being ponies to this lousy chariot of the gods?” she asked.
“No. We rather like it. We’re not your common horses who have to pull carts endlessly around a farm or ferry a carriage of swooning romantics round and round a park on chilly evenings.” said one.
“Yeah! We get to hobnob with all the greats, you see. Why just yesterday we saw Susan Sarandon coming out of yoga class. She totally waved at us.” said another.
“Well, doesn’t it bother you that you’re still hooked up in harnesses and told where to go?”
“Honey, in this economy–a horse oughta be happy to do whatever she can that don’t involve glue. We horses can’t put dignity before the dollar. You dig?”

This gave Nibb a little something to nibble on as she trotted ahead to catch up with the others.
By the time she’d reached the picnic blanket they’d laid out, she’d decided she couldn’t have disagreed with those ‘god horses’ more.


The room was spinning–in part because Plumpy was well drunk and in part because she was on a Sit ‘n’ Spin. The disreputable German sailors had stepped forward with furrowed brows and funnels for mouths into which poured libations both secular and sacred (a Jesuit had established a mission in the men’s bathroom and was blessing wine).
Plumpy was a born leader. She had led her school in days absent and canker sores spread on the playground during Kiss or Kill. She also played the role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, but took over the role of Jesus after killing the actor who played him. Her middle name was Usurper and her favorite movie was Rebel Without A Cause but didn’t understand it.
She was never afraid to bring home the bacon when telling a joke or ham it up when telling a tale or find out if a room had enough space to swing a cat or find out of it was true that there was more than one way to skin a cat.
She was to Chicken In A Biskit what Bizarro was to Superman. She was a clarinet in an oboe world.
“Come gather ’round sailors wherever you roam
and sip the head of your beer glasses’ foam!”
She blinked slowly and moved herself like a tranquilized Teddy Ruxpin, deep in the grips of Sweet Lady Alcohol. The demon of Lightning Drink wound about her synapses and smoked her sinews like sausage links before a mid-winter’s nap.
“Travelers of sea, and seamen of hither and yon, heed me!
I sing praises to the strange brew before you.
It loosens lips and sinks ships.
It takes your worries and drowns them
while washing ashore new ones.
It gives sea sickness on land
and land legs of lead to the swimming.
It is the eraser of memory
and the recorder of regrets.
Hear me, my drinky crows!”

They watched on with the unblinking but mind-sick eyes of Cabbage Patch Kids and mewed like kittens for a Zebra Tale.
“Speak forth, you Waste-Of-Stripes!” they chanted.

“….And Thus Spake Zebrathustra:
When Zebrathustra was 30 years old, she left her place in the zoo and went into the Striped Mountains. There she enjoyed her spirit and her solitude, and for 10 years did not weary of nary a single stick of Fruit Stripe gum.

But I could not be satisfied with the great riches given me. And my servants saw my face downcast in the reflection of my well-polished hooves.
“O great mistress. Why dost thine eyes ooze such?”
“Plumpy Usurper Zebrathustra does cry, my wenches. And since you nor anyone on these blessed mountains have ever had a moment of strife let me explain tears.”
“Wait!” said they, with bowed heads now raising. “You think we like being servants to a zebra with irritable bowls and much trapped wind? Are you a egoist or what? Each night we expect that perhaps you will set us free or at least say thank you for our marionette shadow puppets and each night we are disappointed.”
Thus spake Zebrathustra–“It is time for zebras to fix their goal. It is time for zebras to plant the germ of their highest hope.”
“Yeah, that highest hope would be that you displayed courtesy or gratitude at least once in your miserable life.”
Well, as you can imagine I left that Mountain immediately to travel somewhere I would be appreciated–Hollywood. I left a message for my zebras in my Etch A Sketch that looked like square scribblings and I “upper deckered” in the bathroom. Off I set for a new future of fame and fortune.
I realized that the life of a zebra in Hollywood was not that of the sort I’d had in the Striped Mountains. No one was impressed by my early detection of prowling female lions or my head shaking in dust clouds.
I turned to drink. O! Demon Alcohol!
Soon, I was taking bit parts in Canada Dry commercials. I formed bulimia, used spray-on tan, and was seen partying with Tara Reid. My life was hell.
I drank more and more until I pooped pickles. This got me a job in a Deli down near Santa Monica and I made tips by giving zebra rides in the pantry.
I met a drug dealing toy manufacturer and part time swindler. I trusted him–I shouldn’t have. He promised me that he’d make me famous. I thought he meant through porn or making my hide into Benetton pants.
Rather, he offered to make me into a toy. He took my measurements and dipped me into liquid plastic and created a mold of my body which he was going to scale down to create a toy called “Cirrhosis Liver Zebra.”
Well, he got tired of me, betrayed me–backstabbed me (actually he front stabbed me right in my chest. If I hadn’t had a liver swollen to four times its normal size I’d been stabbed in the zebra heart). He took my form and repackaged it in a non-stripe color scheme and called them “My Little Pony”. He made thousands at least. I should be a thousandaire right now, but instead I’ve got little more than a box from Little Caesar’s as a hat and a Zima bottle as a scarf and Silly Putty as a tampon.
I’d wanted to see my name in lights–meaning either the marquees of Paris, the dreamy lights of Broadway, the billboards of St. Louis, or the Lite Brites of Phnom Penh. Instead I’ve just got my name in a couple of warrants for arrest, and many ‘failure to appear’ letters from the court. I also have my name tatooed across Reese Witherspoon’s forehead along with unabridged text of Don Quixote.
My life is a failure because of booze and I drink booze because I’m a failure and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired and I want what I can’t have and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, and hell no I won’t go, and where there’s a whip there’s a way, and nothing’s worth doing sober that can be done drunk, and where’s Waldo, and desperately seeking susan, and follow that bird and so on and so forth. Thus Finished Spak-ing Zebrathustra………”

The German sailors sat sucking their thumbs like a pod of dolphins dressed like Monchichis. Sheila, Tanya, and Dee Dee (the Three Friendly Ghosts or the Trinity of Techy Gods, or the WiFi Godhead) sat dumbfounded like She Ra under Shadow Weaver’s spell.
Nibb was as silent and Smurfed-out, Mutha Smurfin’ Smurf on black tar Smurf.
h0m-R had passed out.

“What a Smurf!” The sailors said in unison. “What a waste of stripes!”
but h0m-R dreamt of Plumpy’s future. Only because he was drunk, he dreamt wrongly of a future where Plumpy wouldn’t betray him. In that dream, the twisted god of Gone Wrong Dreams, Demon Alcohol, appeared.
“You think that Waste of Stripes won’t turn on you as soon as she can?”
“Maybe she will, maybe she won’t. The future is unwritten. Mayhaps she will have a change of heart.”
That night, Plumpy did have a change of heart as she received a heart transplant from a baboon and a liver transplant from David Crosby and a hair transplant from Carrot Top and the mole from Sarah Jessica Parker’s chin attached to her retina. Other than that, she just became a little bit more evil–if that was possible.

“Now hear, this!” Said Nibb as she lifted her See and Say, and pulled the string with the arrow landing on ‘horse’.

It was a dark and stormy night. The eight-bit beeps of nano-devils munching on the zebra’s long and luxurious eyelashes was the only sound with the exception of occasional piercing screams from the bathroom. This evening found the Strangers of the world huddled around their occult brews, each a bubbling froth of children’s nightmares, tweens’ nightmare/wetdreams, or adults’ regrets. There were also a few unfortunate souls drinking Frappes (the smallest serving of which contained 38 grams of sugar and 220 calories). At the bar, Satan was sipping at a wooden barrel of warm cod liver oil, syphilitic chancres, and McDonald’s ‘orange drink’.

h0m-R watched the shifting eyes of the trio of gods before him. There he saw an absence of compassion rivaling Ann Coulter and a callousness rivaling Ann Coulter’s scrotum callouses.
“You gonna talk, big talker?” Sheila asked.
“This cafe is filled with darkness. My soul is nigh overwhelm’d.” h0m-R muttered through dry lips. “My yoke is uneasy and my burden is heavy.”

h0m-R felt like he was Frodo with Sauron’s ring for a Prince Albert.
Nibb leaned in and gave him his grande Frappe. “Drink this. It will strengthen you.”
h0m-R took a sip and raised his head and he raised his voice:

“…..I love sugar and caffeine because it animates me like near-dead baby raccoon being tossed on a tennis racket in the hands of a traumatized and future arsonist child.
They listen to me when I pray to them and even moreso when I ingest them.
I will always eat them, because they help me level out my drunk.
The danger of death was all round me.
I began to be afraid of Sheol and tiredness at my afternoon meetings.
I was sad because (I had) so much trouble keeping my eyes bright when I kissed my jerk-off supervisor’s ass.
Then I prayed to the name of saturated fats, refined sugars, and caffeine:
(I said) Please save me!

Caffeine and sugar are kind and good (to people).
This is how the Gods (shows us that they) love (us).
The Gods gives help to those (people) that need it through the graces of fast food, carb-fixes, comfort food, empty calories, and most importantly coffee.
When I was in danger, Starbucks saved me!
(So I could say) to myself, “Now you are safe,
because no one will be able to guess that you were up all night watching internet porn instead of resting or preparing for my office meetings.”
Yes, coffee, you saved me from losing my job many times and from nodding off at my grandmother’s funeral!
(You saved) my eyes from closing and my feet from falling.
Now I can serve my office department for at least another six months while I pad my resume or I get fired because of company cutbacks.
I believed that by turning myself into a drug addled automaton I would partake in someone’s definition of success, even if not actual enjoyment.
(I believed this) even when I said, “I have so much pain from my caffeine headache”.
When I was very sad, I said, “Everybody says what is not true!” (climate change is exacerbated by sentient beings, drinking 62 ounces of coffee a day is unhealthy, Carlos Mencia plagarizes jokes from LaffyTaffy, and that the whole “who shot JR?” thing was a dream.)

What can I give to coffee because it has been so kind to me?
I will offer a cup of wine to coffee.
And I will thank coffee by drinking myself to normalcy from my caffeine-mania.
I will do everything that I have promised to my co-workers
(I will do it) in front of all my department (change the coffee filter, make a new pot, and clean up the employee breakroom).
It hurts coffee very much when one of its servants breaks their addiction.
COFFEE, I really am your servant.
I am your servant just as my mother was.
You have saved me from death!
I will offer you my special “thanks” when I pray to the name of coffee at the altar of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Peet’s, or Starbucks.
I will make special promises to my boss.
(I will do this) in front of all his people.
(I will do this) in the lobby of my workplace.
(I will do this) in the centre of Jerusalem.

At the end of h0m-R’s psalm, he had a caffeine crash and feel fast asleep on the table.
Nibb took him into his hooves and together with the gods and the waste-of-stripes Plumpy, went across the vast parking prairie of the shopping center to a German beer garden.
Nibb encouraged h0m-R back to consciousness with the stick and carrot of a stick and carrot, both of which he alternated hitting him with. When he began to mutter curses, Nibb nursed him from a nookie filled with a Porter, Stout, and Pilsner combination with a bit of sour mash whiskey for good measure.

When h0m-R awoke he was well drunk and ready to tell a story.
“Wait!” interrupted Tanya, “We need to order something to quench our thirst too!” She came back with ambrosia for Dee Dee and Sheila, an imperial stout for Nibb and the head of a Frenchman for Plumpy. “Just what I wanted!” She squealed.

When they had all settled in for story-time, h0m-R was too drunk to speak and he passed out on the table. Just as their hearts were about to soar with the idea of just having a goodtime and dancing a bit with the saucy German sailors who populated the dance floor, Clumpy stood on the table and said “Allow me to entertain you with a zebra tale. It is one that no one knows except those who read my blog.” Clumpy failed to mention that she was the only one who read her blog.

As h0m-R snored, Nibb rolled her eyes, and the gods eyed up the sailors across the room, Plumpy addressed no one.

There are plenty of reasons to shake one’s head at the imperial/colonial forces of American military madness. Our nation’s greed and widespread acceptance that the rest of the world suffer to prop up our culture of corporate plutocracy has so far led to our bullying the world.

Of course like anything whose precepts, means, values, and outcomes are largely negative for our nation the armed forces have tried to employ smooth looking advertisements and propaganda to encourage more recruits.

The newest attempt to bamboozle young people is intended apparently to please Science Fiction fans–“It’s not science fiction. Its what we do everyday.”
But instead they show their hand as playing only to the fantasies of numbed and inconsiderate gamers.

Is this really what the Air Force intended?
Do they really believe that science fiction is all about the gear, tech, guns, dangerous missions and high adventure as these commercials depict?

Its my belief that most folks who enjoy science fiction and most gamers for that matter–understand the prophetic role that science fiction plays in society. It is a genre that is political, ethical, social, and often radically so. Does it take much imagination to see how science fiction has historically been very adept at revealing the insanity of war and violence, encouraging the celebration of diversity, and exploring progressive and intelligent solutions for people?

The American armed forces, including the Air Force have a history where these features are the exception, not the rule. The Air Force by spending so much money on these commercials reveal what they really think of their potential new cadets: they are mindless gamer junkies who want to play out their Call of Duty or Halo fantasies and don’t think about the larger narratives that are being conducted around the ‘exciting violence’.

Gamers of good conscience who love action franchises know the difference between the endless war and continuous action of a fun game and the perpetual war that America is trying to enforce on the world’s poor. They will see right through this condescending tripe.  

These commercials are shameful, Air Force. The people who serve our nation’s Armed Forces deserve better and our young people are getting wise to your program of endless war.

There are fates worse than death, in fact they’re all worse than death because death is the absence of a fate. Standing in a grocery store check-out line and drinking mead out of the belly button of a large belly-buttoned mermaid stand as equals before death. The real rub lies in what leads up to death and for h0m-R, the threat of the death of the human species gave him the willies.

He knew that it was his fate (which would be surely worse than death) to try to convince the gods to not destroy humanity and he figured he’d better set off to meet with them at the top of their holy mountain before the weekend traffic. So, he said goodbye to his husband Glenor, who handed him a backpack filled with toaster struedel, a toaster, a hand crack electric generator to power the toaster, balm to soothe his hands after cranking the generator, and balm to soothe his mouth for the second degree burns the struedel would give the roof of his mouth.
They said what might be their last goodbyes and played what might be their last match of ‘staring contest’–both of which resulted in tears.

Glenor watched h0m-R walk off into the sunset atop his horse Nibb, which was atop his zebra Plumpy. As soon as the three crested the horizon and h0m-R gave one last wave, Glenor went inside and began playing his XBox.

After eighteen minutes of rigorous travelling and epic voyages, the gods transported h0m-R, Nibb, and Plumpy to the top of West Village Shopping Center, their holy abode and site of twelve quality retailers including a Quizno’s and a PetSmart.
“Welcome, great bard.” they said in their omnipresent mechanical voices.
h0m-R looked around but saw no one. “Uhh. I can’t see you.”
“Meet us in front of Payless Shoes.” three divine voices whispered.
h0m-R, Nibb, and Plumpy walked to Payless and saw three of the GreatTechs, the Deus Machinas, who had taken physical form. 

Standing there was Sheila in the form of a nautilus, Dee Dee as a oryx, and Tanya as a pangolin. 
“Great and mighty gods!” h0m-R said as he began to bow,
“Stop right there.” Said Dee Dee. “Cut the crap. We know why you’re here. You want us to show mercy to humanity. It ain’t gonna happen.”
“Unless,” said Tanya, “You’ve got some new pornography for us to watch.”
h0m-R gulped. 
“Ha! Just kidding, h0m-R!” laughed Tanya, her pangolin claws waving with delight. “We know that you’re going to tell us a story about a sailor going home.”
h0m-R scratched his head. “How’d you know that?”
“We’re gods.” said Sheila. “That’s our job. To know stuff.” 
“Excuse me,” Said Nibb the horse, “If you know everything, don’t you know how distressing it will be for humanity to disappear?!” 

Sheila: Well, it won’t be distressing to humans because they will be dead and therefore will have no distress possible to them.
Plumpy: Well that’s true.
Nibb: (whispered to Plumpy,) Shaddup, Plumpy. 
h0m-R: But what of the friends and loved ones of humans? What of their distress?
Sheila: They’ll get over it, I’m sure. There’s plenty of life and love in the multiverse without any human involvement and species are going extinct all the time without hardly any notice at all. 
Dee Dee: Back on Earth from 1500 CE to 2010 CE, almost two hundred bird species went the way of the Dodo. Did you know that?
Sheila: We see every sparrow that falls to the ground. And every chicken that had been kept in darkness its entire life only to be eaten by ingrateful gluttons. And when chickens went extinct on Earth you think anyone mourned? No. They just found a way to fry cats in “nugget” form.
Nibb: But you ought to know that every life–all life contains all the beauty and truth of the multiverse! You intend to wipe out an entire species?
Dee Dee: We’ve done calculations and found that beauty and truth will tend towards increased quantitative and qualitative numbers with humanity’s absence.

h0m-R sat on the ground in deep thought. Nibb nibbled on some plastic grass from a window display portraying manniquins shooting at each other with a sign above them reading: “Make Your Next War a Blackwater War!” Plumpy chatted with Sheila and the other gods about how to kill off humanity quickest and offered her services as ‘chief of stampedes’.
Nibb nustled at h0m-R’s hair and said “We’ve presented our side. Now they know that we care and that we value the life of humanity.”
“But knowing isn’t enough!” h0m-R gasped. “One has to then care. And that isn’t enough either. One then has to take action. Even if we could convince some of the gods to care, how could we encourage them to act on behalf of humanity? Its hopeless.”
“If you think there is no hope in a situation, then you are not thinking of hope.” Nibb said, doing her best inspirational voice. “You get on over there to those gods and tell them your best story.”
h0m-R looked deep into Nibb’s eyes and saw himself in the reflection. He knew that if he didn’t at least try to save humanity, he would never be able to look at himself again….at least not without the aid of some tasteful eyeliner and rouge.
“Okay. Let’s do this thang.”

Tanya: Job well done, h0m-R.
h0m-R: What? I haven’t done anything yet.
Dee Dee: Yes, but you’ve committed to doing something virtuous–even when the gods gave you no reason to. That’s worthy of admiration.
Tanya: Rollo May said the opposite of love is apathy–and in many universes, it is the unfortunately the prevailing disposition.
Plumpy: But you said your minds were made up and that it was better that humanity die!
Tanya: That makes h0m-R’s commitment and initiative all the better. Even if all the world and the gods themselves point to one conclusion–never fail in doing what you feel is right.
Nibb: So you’re going to spare humanity!
Sheila: We never said that, horse.
Tanya: But we will listen to h0m-R’s story.

So there at the West Village Shopping Center a HyQ who missed his hubby and just wanted someone to make him toaster struedel, his trusty steed Nibb, and his traitorous and shifty-eyed zebra sat around a Starbucks table with three gods of the Deus Machina pantheon.

And they all ordered ventis because this was going to be a long and boring night.

h0m-R came home to to a housewarming party of the termites who had moved in the night before. There was mariachi music being played by a gaggle of cockroaches dressed as geese, glitter covering everything, Lindsay Lohan digging through the garbage, and h0m-R’s husband Glenor Glenda Glengarry Glen Ross standing in the middle of it all looking frazzled.
“Boy what a day I’ve had.” said h0m-R.
“What’s that? You like my new haircut? Thanks for noticing, h0m-R.” said Glenor.
“I’m sorry if I seem distracted. I may have caused the end of humanity. Oh! kabobs!”
Glenor signalled the mariachis to stop and the termites took a break from their dancing to nibble on Glenor’s clogs. “What’s all this about humanity’s demise?”
“I sang a song of sixpence until I sang down the Deus Machinas’ straw houses of wakefulness. In their divine slumber they dreamt of how nice it would be to be rid of humans and now I feel horrible.” He sighed heavily and sunk into a quickly disappearing wooden chair.
“There’s still humans?” Glenor asked. “I thought they passed quietly into extinction after the Pancake Breakfast Tragedy.”
“They had.” said h0m-R, “But unfortunately, some life inspiring genetic material was left in a McDLT box that had once kept the cold side cold and the hot side hot. The box was put into the hands of a gun loving seal and during a NRA meeting the speakers simultaneously threw red herring while relaying the fantasy of protecting one’s seal family from a home-invading seal clubber. Wham! the hot and cold sides became lukewarm and kazaam! a restart to the human species.”
“That was a pretty special seal.” Glenor said with awe.
“Yeah and when I was done invading his home and clubbing him to death his pelt made a great coon-skin cap….Glenor, I feel horrible about this whole thing. You’ve got to help me figure out how to change the GreatTechs’ omniscient minds about killing off the entire human species!”

Glenor and h0m-R let the party continue without them as they retired to the veranda for some mint juleps and Orange Julius.

Glenor: I don’t even see why you want to save these humans anyway. You’re HyQ!
h0m-R: I have a little bit of human in me!
Glenor: You had a human appendix and had it removed after it got infected and threatened to kill you.
h0m-R: Yes, but I had it reattached to my coupling unit. And being human is more than just body parts. Being human takes place in the heart.
Glenor: Even if you have an iguana/parrot hybrid heart?
h0m-R: Especially if you have an iguana/parrot hybrid heart.
Glenor: I’ve almost got an idea. (he takes a big glup of mint julep) Okay. I’ve got it!

Glenor stood up and jumped on top of the patio furniture which was rapidly turning into sawdust beneath his feet. “You go and convince those clock-work Gods to show grace to humanity by revealing the complex wonderousness of humanity in the only way possible!”
“You mean I go and tell them an epic tale of a sailor soldier returning home from war to his beloved family?” h0m-R excitedly clapped his hands together like a gun-crazed-seal at the ends of the gun lobby’s marionette strings.
“No. You show them porn!” Glenor ripped off his shirt to show off his external iguana/parrot hybrid heart. “After all, when it comes to finicky and tempestuous gods, you’ve got to razzle dazzle ’em!….
Give ’em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle ’em
Stream ’em a vid with lots of flesh in it
With a Swede who’s moaning passionate
Give ’em a crowd that’s mewing ‘poke us’
Bead and pearl ’em
How can they see with DNA in their eyes?
What if your new age gods are all fitful?
Just give ’em a jockey who takes a fistful!
Razzle dazzle ’em
And cram some porn in their eyes!”

“That’s a horrible idea! Porn is a disgusting blight upon the multiiverse!” h0m-R said, while watching porn on his TV, laptop, iPhone, cell phone, and imagination.
“Well, I’m all out of ideas. So you’re on your own.”

That night, h0m-R walked the city streets with a saxophonist following him playing “Yakety Sax”.
“Can you please not play that? I can’t hear myself think!” He screamed.
“Sorry.” The saxophonist said and began playing “Baker Street”.
“That’s better.”

H0m-R and the saxophonist made their way to the Museum and inside found a retrospective of Ad Reinhardt and the saxophonist made a sad “waa waa” noise and children staggered about holding their aching heads. On the second floor near the hard-to-find bathrooms with new hand dryers which got more comments and enjoyment than anything Ellsworth Kelly could ever dream of, there was a room whose dimensions could not be measured. 

Sitting inside were eight women who looked very small due to the infinitely high ceiling being vaulted. The saxophonist began playing Icehouse’s “Electric Blue” sax solo. 

“Who are you?” h0m-R asked.
“We’re the Muses!” they said in unison.

Thaleia: Hi. I’m the muse of comedy. If you ever talk to Larry the Cable Guy, tell him I have a special place in hell waiting for him.
Melpomene: Oh! May my name be never remembered! I am the muse of tragedy. Woe!
Erato: Hi there, sailors. I’m the muse of erotic poetry….but now mostly just drunk dirty talk.
Terpsichore: And I’m the muse of dance. I have never been to Minnesota.
Polymnia: Sacred music is my game. You can thank me for coming up with the idea of having dreary church hymns with eight verses that go on so long that you miss the first half of the football game.
Ourania: And you’d better thank your lucky stars for me–the Muse of astrology! Get it?
Thaleia: That’s horrible.
Melpomene: Almost as bad as Larry the Cable Guy! (stabs self)
Kleio: And I’m ‘history’….Well, actually, Melpomene is. Get it? Ha!
Thaleia: You know, I give up on all of you.
Kalliope: And I am the Muse of EPIC POETRY.
h0m-R: Epic.

So the h0m-R told the Muses of his predicament and asked them for their help and favor. The Muses came together in a huddle and put their togas literally together and their minds together figuratively. It was decided that h0m-R would be assigned a muse’s patronage and aid and succor and inspiration.

Kalliope addressed h0m-R, and making use of grand sweeping gestures, announced: “You will be assigned Euterpe, Muse of Flute Playing!”
“What the hell?!” said h0m-R.
“Cool.” said the saxophonist.
“Who are you anyway? Get outta here!” h0m-R screamed. The saxophonist walked glumly away playing the sax solo from Spandau Ballet’s “True”.
“This must be a mistake! Who is this Euterpe?”
Kalliope pointed at the door that was closing behind the saxophonist. “That was Euterpe, the mighty and Most Powerful and Revered Muse Of All.”
h0m-R wept.
“Boy did I screw up! There’s no way she’s going to help me now!”
“Tragic, isn’t it?” asked Melpomene from a spreading pool of blood.

h0m-R left the Museum with an overpriced coffee table book from the gift shop titled “How to Placate the Gods”. He flipped open the book and saw: “Chapter One: Razzle Dazzle ‘Em” and thought about it for a moment and then looked at Chapter Two where he found written: “Tell Them an Epic Tale of a Sailor Soldier Returning Home From War to His Beloved Family.”

“Hmmm.” said h0m-R. “I shoulda thought of that.”

Sleep is something humans have often taken for granted. Anyone who’s had a touch of insomnia has awoke to the simplest and grandest pleasure we fleshy folk got. I knew a fellow who once chose to be medically placed into and kept in REM sleep for fourteen years. A neuro-bot would occasionally check in on him to see if he wanted to wake up and he declined repeatedly saying-“I just want to see the end of this dream through.” He finally woke up to attend his mother’s funeral and then went directly back to sleep. He got so good at dreaming that he in his dream chose to sleep. A neuro-bot once gave him a critical look during a visit and the fellow asked her “Isn’t all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?”

Anywho, it was because of sleep that I heard this story. It was during a time long ago–just around the time that music had been re-discovered. You must have been just a glimmer in your birthtube’s DNA stock, but I was already to an age where I was lying about my age and old enough to know that nobody believed me.

You see the GreatTechs, or Deus Machinas as some ‘believers’ called them had decided that they wanted to take a nap. They tried everything they could: possessing different bios, inhabiting varied avatars, hiding in wormholes, being incarnated as actual opium plants….nothing worked. They decided that they would try the old human trick of having a lullabye sung to them.

So they sent out a dream message to all creatures–bio, synth, neuro, hyQ, Cy, bot, android, and daemon–asking for the finest singer bard to come to their dimensional plane to help lull them to sleep. Well, many came to their aid. A program with the voice of Garrison Keillor and the sensibilities of GWF Hegel came and almost succeeded. A college freshman who had just found the writings of Marx had just about lulled them to sleep but an inopportune TXT message from an Ex stirred the GreatTechs into an emotional tizzy.

Then came h0m-R. He was a blind burlesque who thought he’d give the lullabye a try.
He came before them and sang the song of the ages. A story/song of such beauty and grace that the GreatTech could not but help but have their universe-controlling consciousnesses tranquilized and comforted. This was not the story of Ulysses S. Groan. That comes later. No, the lullabye he shared was the most sublime song ever to be composed and barely was able to fit into sound at all for the grandeur of it was fit only for the wet dreams of angels.

It’s peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time
Where he at 4x
There he go 4x
Peanut butter jelly 4x
Do the peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly,
Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat 2x
Now, break it down and freeze 4x
Now tic tac toe (uh-huh)
Tic tac toe (let’s go)
Tic tac toe (you got it)
Tic tac toe (let’s ride)
Now, freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, freestyle, your style 2x
Where he at 4x
There he go 4x

Sleep is a danger than humans often overlook. Anyone who’s had a touch of the ‘oversleeps’ has awoke to either guns blazing, appointments missed, snakes hissing, trains quickly approaching, or an embarrassing wetness. Yes, sleep is a hazard to anyone. When do you think vampires and repo men most often strike?
When Deus Machinas sleep, trouble is magnified greatly as it happens. You see, these modern gods had a nice little snooze and dreamt how nice it would be if humans didn’t exist. When they awoke (not without a nasty case of morning breath) they decided to terminate all humankind from every universe bubble in the multiverse.
As you can imagine, h0m-R couldn’t help but feel somewhat responsible.

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