Archive for January, 2011

Boxing Glove Encruster

January 31, 2011

For maximum jeweled damage infliction.

It was the mid-1960s.  It was a time when women’s boots reached their apotheosis: the white go-go.  It happened one day while was sitting ringside at the weekly boxing match I attend.  My mind was wandering a little– when you’ve seen as many fights as I have, it’s easy to drift off to the rhythmic thump of gloves on flesh.  In point of fact, I have something of a white noise recording that I like to play as I drift off on nights that I’ve had too little scotch– a radio broadcast of the 1952 Marciano versus Walcott heavyweight fight.  Yes, that puts me right out, as I celebrate somebody’s incredible knockout with a bottle of scotch.  I don’t ever seem to remember who wins, which is part of the pleasure of listening to this match over and over again– it’s always new.  All I know is, that knockout sure bends some part of the brain’s memory center.  Scientists, I suggest a study.

Anyway, as my mind wandered through cloud cuckoo land, I slowly realized that my eye was fixed on the bulky red gloves of the two fighting men.  And it struck me.  “How many times, Cyrus,” I asked myself, “have you watched those same boring red gloves bring meaty man after meaty man down?”  I felt so weary at the thought of having subjected my retina to so much sameness.  How disappointing.  How dull.  It was up to me to enliven the ring.  I jumped up, clambered into the ring, and for some reason I don’t really remember what happened next, but I can tell you that the dispute over who will pay to get the blood out of my ferret-fur duster has not yet been resolved.

Even though I was inexplicably banned from the arena, I still knew that I had a hot business plan on my hands.  Custom, jewel-encrusted boxing gloves to delight the souls of all beholders.  Having attended so many fights in my day, I was well-acquainted with many a noble pugilist, and though silver threads and golden needles may not have been able to mend their hearts, they could at the very least put a spring into their steps.  In addition to the mats, that is.

It wasn’t difficult to implement my plans.  I already had a factory floor’s worth of pre-teens trained for sewing kid gloves.  (I’m in a prime position for market takeover when ladies driving gloves come back into style, just you wait… my back inventory occupies no small corner of a warehouse.)  It was an easy transition to embellishing padded leather mitts.  In fact, one of the little factory girls wrote this song for me in thanks, and even made a video for it that included images of the factory in which these industrious young souls toiled: 

In any case, my beautiful gloves are now only used in unsanctioned fights.  Some bureaucratic nonsense about increased lacerations due to mini gem edges and infection related to bacterial colonies living in “difficult to sanitize vanity gloves,” resulted in their being banned from sanctioned fights not 3 months after their introduction to the market.  I didn’t mind too much, though.  I’d planned ahead for the the burgeoning vintage novelty market, and am now making a healthy profit from the sale of autographed gem gloves, all of which goes directly into my scotch account.

Salmon Relay Specialist

January 23, 2011

Always here to help, you monstrous beast, you.

As most citizens of the US, I maintain a minor bunker of cured salmon roe, should nuclear holocaust ever rain down upon us, and as a general rule, I restock it twice a year, moving the older inventory into my personal pantry for immediate consumption.  Since time immemorial, this is what I have done and my mothers before me, and their mothers before them.  Like the changing of the seasons, so too goes the rotation of the salmon roe from bunker to pantry to stomach, and back into nature.  I had thought that this was always to be the way of things, and I’m guessing you were all just as shocked as I when, this past autumn, my schedule half ton shipment did not arrive.  Upon calling my roe supplier, I was shocked to hear that though I was a longstanding customer, there was not enough roe to fill all orders, and unless I wanted to pony up double the amount I normally pay, my account would be suspended indefinitely.

While many folks are content to roll over and give up in the face of such circumstances, I am not.  “Very well,”  I told the dastardly accounts manager, “We shall see who profits by this slight.”

And I set about learning the life cycle of the salmon, in order to best bring down the powerful salmon roe lobby and their subsidiaries through rival interests– those of myself and the rest of the Americas.

Honestly, I don’t know how salmon even survived without the help of humans.  How did they even make it upstream before we built them ladders?  Also, you’d think that a creature that spends the majority of its life in the open ocean would be able to scout out a nice little crevice (perhaps in a cave in one of those magnificent underwater mountain ranges)  in which to lay its delicious eggs.  But I suppose this is another of mother nature’s delightful tricks for creating a symbiotic relationship between two species– make the salmon utterly incapable of depositing its eggs in any place other than one mediated by human intervention, and thus delivering necessary sustenance to us.

You thinkers have probably already guessed at the weak link in the chain of salmon-spawning events.  Indeed– the salmon ladder.  If the fish have such a hard time climbing, why not give them a helping hand?  And in the process, harvest their sweet ova.  It was not hard to assemble a team– there seems to be some sort of job crisis in the riverboating towns of salmon country.  In the grand tradition of the bucket brigades of the past, we lined the salmon ladder and passed the struggling beasts from hand to hand to their desired destination, but not before one crucial stop– me.  (The best place to do this, by the way, is in a national park or forest.  That way, you can outfit your crew in spiffy green uniforms with official patches.)

Careerlings, at my age it is rare that one experiences a pure, childlike joy such as this.  Can you picture it– me, up to my armpits in globules of salmon eggs, scraping into the underbellies of these female fish-monsters, and then tossing them to freedom, their scales glinting in the golden afternoon light.  Occasionally, I’d plunge my face into the tank I stood it, and fill my mouth with the freshest roe ever to burst on my palate.  I tell you, you don’t know the value of a day’s work until, drunk on Polish vodka, you’ve shampooed congealed caviar from your tresses.

And that is how I put my roe supplier out of business and ensured that I will always have buckets of roe for pool parties.

Feline Laryngologist

January 18, 2011

Larger headpiece recommended.

Those among you who are regular readers will recall that while I easily communicate canines, I find them simple and the most ill-mannered of four-legged animals.  (Yes, even more uncouth than goats, with whom I feel a certain affinity of spirit despite their voraciously destructive tendencies and the clear mark of evil upon their square, square eyes.)  And you may remember my trauma in losing my dearest Office Abbie to the mean streets outside my laser tag office, so when an amber-eyed tortoiseshell plaintively meowed up at me after I married that Carey Dunderwould off to some meaty-faced hockey player, and I watched the couple galloping their horses off into the smog, I found my efforts at understanding the imploring cat to be in vain.  Staring into the urine-colored pools of its eyes, I knew that it was just as frustrated as I.  It was confirmed when she promptly tripped me as I attempted to stride away.  Unfortunately, I took a rather hard tumble onto the cat, and left her jerking, mouth frothing, in the arms of a young boy in a jaunty, striped sailor shirt and so never learned the secret message she meant to impart.

But I did leave the park that day with a determination I hadn’t felt since I learned that Oxycodone was to be removed from production.

One thing I can tell all you would-be veterinarians– there is truly no need for costly years of medical training.  In fact, most animals look just like humans on the inside, so a copy of Gray’s Anatomy, a scalpel-like instrument and a good mix of pain pills (which, unfortunately, contains Oxycodone with less and less frequency these days) are all you really need to perform what may, on the outset, seem like entirely too complicated procedures.  And if you’re looking to do something “specialized,” then you only really need to read the part of the book that’s about the particular body part you want to work on.  Even then, it’s not entirely useful.  How am I supposed to know what a flagellum is?  A flappy tail, that I understand.  No need for a fancy word.  What I’m driving at, vets, is that when it comes down to the nuts and bolts, all you really need is that picture.  I recommend ripping it gently out and laminating it.

At this point, you are probably asking out loud, “Why, if Cyrus St. Rid, DVM, has managed to perform thousands of cat laryngological operations, do we still have such a dearth of talking cats?”  I tell you, readers, there is a tragic tale at the heart of this career.  For I fast learned that the lifespan of a talking cat turns out to be shortened by roughly the rest of its life minus 12 minutes, so even though I consider the procedure to be a success, it does not turn out to be entirely useful, since mostly the cats just say, “Oh god, don’t go for the ones with the talons!”  or, “I feel like I swallowed an entire box of litter,” before they expire.  And believe me, as much as you think you want to hear one say that, Mr. Polly assures me that it is very depressing.

Hiatus! Return!

January 10, 2011

Up and up and up, nowhere to go but up!

Well, hello, loyal readers.  I’m guessing you had all passed me up for dead, save for Eugenie P.T. Shales, who thoughtfully tracked me down last August whilst I was on a materials gathering expedition in North-Central Pakistan.  Grieve no more, mourners.  I’ve returned, and with ever more tales of the trails.  It’s true, I was retired.  And what started out as a mere stroll to the local state park’s wedding pavilion soon turned pastor for a young chanteuse’s shotgun wedding, which in turn led to a hot tip on unrefined uranium, which led instead to bales of the highest-grade of human hair bales, and another foray into the wig business (with surprisingly better results, but more on that when we come to it).  You know how starting businesses and careers goes– you start out a sideshow’s human ant, and the next thing you know you’re busing tables at a Big Boy in Topeka, or drenched in Arctic oil.  There’s just no telling where one thing will lead.

Which is to say, I’m quite relieved that my mansion is still in order and that my liquor vault remained impenetrable during my long absence.  The trained hippo has died, but she was just getting to the age when they are no longer so cute and much more difficult to saddle and ride round the property.  Really, past the age of 2, all you can really hope is to spray them down with a brightly colored paint and hope they won’t dunk themselves in the pool before it’s dried.  Then you can at least delight yourself with the sight of turquoise and golden behemoths stampeding gaily through your afternoons.  (Side note– monkeys and other furred creatures hold up much better when dipped in paint, as it tends to coat better.  And though you may be tempted to go with an oil-based paint, I highly recommend trying a glossy latex first.)

Do you have a cocktail in hand?  If so, I can tell you are well on your way to “making it.”  No?  Well, get your darling derriere into that lounger and ring your butler!  I recommend a Brandy Alexander– you’re going to need the additional calories from the cream for your brain to fully process my last year of work.  I doubt you can see, but I look exactly the same, and this is due to the fact that, though I’ve been working hard enough for 12 people per day (and that’s just physically– let’s not talk mentally, as it would only discourage you), I’ve been taking in a steady stream of Brandy Alexanders.  It’s important to be properly nourished for careerism, so I recommend bringing a large canteen or sheep’s bladder of Brandy Alexanders to your work site or office for the days that will surely be your most demanding.  Other beverage alternatives could include a Ramos Gin Fizz, Prairie Oyster, or Eggnog, depending on your particular constitution.

Do you have your cocktail yet?  Good.  Drink it and demand a refill.  Your dear, long-lost mentor Count Cyrus will now recount the careers of the past year.  After this quick nap.