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Friday, December 23, 2005

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the compound
Not a creature was stirring, but the troops were all around.
Other trespassers were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that sneaky St Nick would soon see them there.

My Mercs were nestled snug in their hiding places,
With night-vision goggles worn over their faces.
And Sarge on the 60, and I had his back,
We had just settled in for our winter ambush attack.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang up in the bunker to see what was the matter.
The spotlights switched on with a great blinding flash,
While grenades and gunfire turned the woods to ash.

The volley of tracers flying over the snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what through the hail of flak should appear,
But Santa on his sleigh, with a look of abject fear.

That little old driver, with a hoarse scream on his lips,
knew he wouldn't survive this yuletime apocalypse.
His reindeer were nimble, but we led them and aimed,
And with our bunkers and snipers, they all soon got maimed.

First Dasher! Then, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
Then, Comet! And Cupid! And Donner and Blitzen!
With his team cut down the sleigh started to fall,
But still somehow breached the compound's outer wall.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the sleigh the SAM missiles flew,
With the deer and St Nicholas facing imminent doom.

And then, in a twinkling, with sparks, fire, and a poof
Debris rained down, sleigh parts, guts and a hoof.
As Alpha got on line and Bravo flanked around,
Suddenly out of the wreckage came St Nick with a bound.

He was covered in deer guts from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
With a ripped bag of toys aflame on his back,
He was as doomed as insurgents against us in Iraq.

His eyes big as saucers! He stumbled, mumbled, and slurred!
Bravo began their assault without saying a word.
His droll little mouth was agape with fear,
And the beard of his chin was blackened and seared.

He held in his teeth the stump of a pipe, with a bend.
As the mercs opened fire, I yelled "This is the end!"
The "Ho-ho" stopped when they double tapped his head,
And his fat belly jiggled when they filled him with lead!

He was chubby and plump, and face down on the ground,
And I laughed when I saw him, Bravo neared with a bound.
But then a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
I heard the spoon of a grenade, and knew Bravo was dead.

His body exploded- the grenade did not work!
It was blocked by his lard! The stupid fat jerk!
His finger was laying aside of his nose,
Surrounded by guts, bones, fingers, and toes.

I sprang to my feet, and Bravo gave out a cheer,
"The enemy is dead! We have nothing to fear!"
I said, "You can't trespass here without getting a fight!"
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest*

What is the worst thing to happen to birds since the invention of eating them? If you guessed 'their inherent stupidity', you are wrong. If you guessed 'Bird Flu' you are right.

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This fowl* disease (I went there) has been flying* around for over 100 years, but the human infecting version was hatched* in Hong Kong in 1997. During this outbreak 6 people died, but they were all Chinese. Scientists noted that it spread primarily from chicken to human, but rarely from human to human. It spreads mostly from chicken to chicken, due mostly to chickens' notorious promiscuity and wanton disregard for contraceptives.

The Human-infecting strain has been roosting* in almost exclusively Asian areas, and has been the worst hit to Asian-white people relations since Jackie Chan started doing wire stunts in his movies.

Despite Asia seemingly being the origin of the human-strain, the disease has recently flown the coop* and has been lightly pecking* at the populations of some European countries as well.

Because of the recent outbreaks, millions of birds have been killed in the name of saving lives. However, the the Bird Flu hasn't gone north for the winter* yet, and the flock* of victims keeps getting larger. Some people are preparing Y2K like provisions to pluck* their families from the beak* of certain infection. To others, the news is just more incessant "end of the world" squawking*. But before any more people get diseased bird-meat stuck in their craw*, all I gotta say is "Where's the beef?" or maybe "Polly wants a beef cracker." I couldn't decide which was funnier, sorry.




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* It's a bird joke. Get it?


-Eric

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

If rubbing jellyfish all over my body is wrong, I don't wanna be right

News has surfaced recently about a giant jellyfish invasion off of the coast of Japan. No, I'm not making this up. I read the story from the Times Online, but you can find it other places too. Isn't the internet wonderful? The Times reports:




THEY are called echizen kurage and they sound like monsters from the trashier reaches of Japanese science fiction.
They are 6ft wide and weigh 450lb (200kg), with countless poisonous tentacles, they have drifted across the void to terrorise the people of Japan. Vast armadas of the slimy horrors have cut off the country's food supply. As soon as one is killed more appear to take its place.

Finally, the quarrelsome governments of the region are banding together to unite against the enemy.

Echizen kurage is not an extraterrestrial invader, but a giant jellyfish that is devastating the livelihoods of fishermen in the Sea of Japan. Nomura's jellyfish, as it is known in English, is the biggest creature of its kind off Japan and for reasons that remain mysterious its numbers have surged in the past few months.



Is this not the coolest thing to hit the news since that fake story of the lion-fighting midgets? And this is all real, baby. It gets better:

The problem first became obvious in the late summer when fishermen chasing anchovies, salmon and yellowtail began finding huge numbers of the jellyfish in their nets.
Often the weight of the echizen kurage broke the nets or crushed the fish to death; those that survived were poisoned and beslimed by their tentacles.




Yes, you read that right. Beslimed. Until I read this article I was unaware of the awesome uses of the 'be' prefix. In my innocence I knew only of 'bespeckled'. Now I wonder, what other words can be graced with the 'be'? Any verb? This opens doors, man. Leave it to the British to come up with really cool, incredibly useless words. More on jellyfish:



In Akita prefecture some communities saw their incomes fall by 80 per cent. The gizzard shad fishers of South Korea have also been plagued by the Nomura’s.



To me it sounds like the 'gizzard shad fishers' have been plagued with a terrible job.



"I say Bruce, have you seen my portfolio lately? Gold is through the roof! How 'bout that!"

"Actually, I'm in Gizzard Shad, mostly."

"Oh. ...How's that going?"

"...Not so good."

"....."

"You see, there's these jellyfish.."

"....."

"They're really big."



In some places jellyfish density is reported to be a hundred times higher than normal. Worst of all, no one yet understands why. One theory is that global warming is heating up the seawater and encouraging jellyfish breeding.



Another theory is that giant jellyfish have a proclivity for eating scientists who blame everything on global warming. You've been warned.

Some observers "blame heavy rains in China over the summer". Which is, incidentally, what I blamed my last late essay assignment on.



In the meantime locals are making the best of it — rather than just complaining about jellyfish they are eating them.




This reminds me of when I decided to stop just complaining about babies.



Jellyfish are an unusual ingredient of Japanese cuisine but are much more prized in China. Coastal communities are doing their best to promote jellyfish as a novelty food, sold dried and salted.

Students in Obama have managed to turn them into tofu, and jellyfish collagen is reported to be beneficial to the skin.




"So, I rub the jellyfish...on my body.."

"uh...yah"

"....and thats good?"

"mm hmm, right. For the skin."

"...You aren't just saying this because you have thousands of dead, gigantic jellyfish?"

"........"

"Becaus-"

"DO IT."


These interesting, useless facts, previously known by less than 5 individuals worldwide, were also among the wealth of knowledge imparted unto me by The Times Online:



- The most poisonous jellyfish is the Australian sea wasp, or box jellyfish, with enough venom to kill 60 people. Wearing tights is an effective defence.




This is also an effective defense against meeting members of the opposite sex.



- A collection of jellyfish is known as a smack.




I suppose, and maybe I'm wrong here, that it would then stand to reason that a collection of female jellyfish is known as a 'bitch smack'.

..And I'm through.



-Eric