Posts Tagged ‘Cyrus St. Rid’

Liquid Dental-Grade Gold Wholesaler

July 19, 2010

No denying... gold shines brighter than your home-grown enamel.

The first thing most people notice about me is the golden Palomino, Virginie Von Kentuckeree T-Bone, that I ride to all of my social and business engagements.  But the second thing that everyone tends to notice are my golden teeth, cast from the finest dental gold in the Southern Hemisphere, where gold is considerably cheaper than the northerly half of the planet, unless you choose to deal with the dreaded and fabled Russians of the Mountains.

I will now let you in on a little secret.  This is one of my most longest-standing and most recently-ended careers.  You still have time to get in on the ground level.

For one reason or another, gold teeth have fallen off the popularity wagon in the past 75 years, save for amongst the most stylish of classes– the hip-hop artists and gypsies.  The call for dental gold, however, has remained relatively steady as a result of these two important economic groups.  In my experience, the decline of the gypsy population has directly correlated with the increase in the hip-hop artist population.  (Budding scholars, I suggest a fruitful study!)  Thus, being a gold wholesaler who retails solely to the dental community may not have been the most profitable endeavor, but it has provided a modest income that I have devoted to improving my personal gin distillery over the years.  For those of you who do not live in a state with a limited number of state or county liquor enforcement officials, and/or lax liquor laws, you can perhaps consider putting your gold tooth money towards, oh, a gourmet mustard cellar or an exotic bee apiary.  Invest in an Oregon clear-cut and put in a hops field is my personal opinion, barring your gin options, but don’t listen to me.  I’m just the billionaire entrepreneur you aspire to be.

It’s a funny way I got into the field.  Post WWII, as a young and idealistic anti-fascist, I found I could provide cheap South African gold to dentists who, pro bono, provided fillings to Jews, homosexuals, blacks, and errant Slavs who had survived the Nazi death camps.  (Having built a successful Prohibition-era safari tour business in Africa, I often took time off from the safaris to explore the continent’s deep geologic offerings– a mineral safari, if you will.)  I filled orders in the US, Europe, and throughout the Pacific, despite the lack of German aggression in the area.  Altruist, though I am, once the refugee market played itself out, it was difficult to let go of the enterprise I had poured so much of my molten gold into.  I decided to keep it up.

The details are better explained by Mr. Polly, my stalwart secretary, to whom I left most of the paperwork.  And honestly, it was all paperwork once I’d perfected the chemical process of converting the metal to a liquid sans painful heat transfer or loss of structural integrity by means of adding liquidizing agents.  (This is my own patented process and you are wise to avoid copying even the most rudimentary of steps, lest I sue you.)

All that aside, darling readers, you are welcome at my next backwoods gin and tooth filling bash.


Exotic Meats Butcher

June 27, 2010

The tenderest morsels to grace a freezer case.

Those of you who are among my most devoted followers have probably noticed a marked trend in my career choices.  It is true that many are apt to involve the artistry of the blade.  You may be wondering why this is, why I, your dear Cyrus, am so prone to choose the knife-wielding professions.  It is no accident.  I am what is known in scientific circles as a “Cultrusus.”  That is to say, genetically adapted for superior cutlery skills.  Just as some of you are born without the ability to see out of even one of your eyes (in which case, thank your government-provided Web Reader for me), and some of you lack all of your toes, I am predisposed to wield all manner of cleaver.

Thus it should come as no surprise that I built an empire on rare cuts.  The blood of exsanguinated creatures filled the moats of my meaty fortress.  My foes?  The damned Genewdry Brothers.  Yes, they and I have more of a history than simply battling it out over the placement of vending machines.  In our younger days, we fought a bitter battle for control over the exotic meat market… a market I was to strategically drive them out of.

In those days, tariffs were low.  I knew that with the proper lobbying, I could have them raised.  But not until I had the makings of my scheme in place.  I purchased the largest ship I could find– a decommissioned Naval rig, which I christened “Noah’s Place”– and set off on a safari of sorts.  Over the course of two years I visited every continent on earth, collecting a menagerie of every delectable animal the world has to offer: ibex and cheetah, wombat and auroch, hammerhead and diamondback rattler alike.  I brought them all back to the Cy-Ranch in central Florida, paying the requisite import duties, and began what has been dubbed “the most aggressive husbandry program the US has ever seen.”  This was, of course, the days before cloning.  I can only fantasize how my operation could have been streamlined had cloning been an option.  But enough dreaming.

The next piece of the puzzle, raising tariffs to ridiculous extremes, was easy peasy.  The trick was throwing enough drug and meat-fueled parties in the nation’s capital.  After all, nothing brings the reds like meat and the blues like drugs.  I am nothing, if not the original bipartisan.  Support for my bill was nearly unanimous, save for a few stubborn New York representatives who were in the pockets of the Zoo and Natural History Museum lobbies.

The Genewdrys didn’t even see it coming.

So you see, it’s relatively easy to take over any segment of business or industry so long as you understand the ways in which you can destroy the supply chains of your competitors.  Good luck, budding entrepreneurs!

Vegetable & Fruit Dollmaker

April 19, 2010

This goose will doesn't know that it's "egg" will never hatch.

In the days before widespread polymerization, toys were scarce.  The game of “Mousetrap” was not a colorful board-based game, but rather something parents thought up in order to rid the crawlspace of vermin and keep kids out from underfoot for a couple of hours.  And the things known as “dolls” back then would be virtually unrecognizable to today’s youth, made as they were of wood or cloth or even ceramics.  And most of the children in the lower income brackets never saw even these, never held a tiny wooden Baby Ethel in their malnourished arms.  The state of American play was as deficient of fun as the blood of these children was of iron.

Luckily, those were the days when an enterprising whittler from the woods could make a profitable go of it, carving spoons, clogs or powder horns for whole communities.  I had been quite the knifewielder down in the swamp, but I was always dreaming bigger.  At the age of six, I developed carpal tunnel (formerly called, “whittlin’ wrist”) and was implored to set down my knife and rest.  I remember my fingers literally itching, and my mind going half mad from sloth, as my toy chest contained a dried up bowl of mud and a chunk of wood.  There was nothing I wanted more than to carve, but thanks to Dr. Bonvillain-Fontenot, it was strictly verboten.  There had to be some way around it.  With every day that went by, my dexterity diminished and my abilities atrophied.  Then one morning, as my mother Theresa sliced an apple for my porridge, I had my revelation.  The low resistance of vegetal flesh would be gentle on my wrist, and I could easily provide many children with inexpensive toys.  Were it not for this whittlin’ wrist setback, I would never have bothered to re-think my trade, thus finding the vegetable toy niche.

I started peddling my trade door-to-door, but it was no time at all before I set up my very own booth in the center of town.  With the profits, I hired a legion of other young whittlers like myself, and dispatched them across the country in the nation’s first, unacknowledged franchise operation.  Surely the history books would remember my name, had the accursed child labor laws not put me out of business for good, forcing me back to unproductive pursuits such as catching bugs and putting them in jars and fishing with a stick and bit of twine.  Though many people blame the stock market crash for the Great Depression, I am here to tell you that it was child labor laws that started it all.

Plant Interpreter

March 18, 2010

A well-understood spider plant.

What I have never been able to understand is how not everyone can talk to plants.  Why, it’s the simplest thing in the world– place your face close to the plant of your choice and quietly say, “Shhhshhhhhhhshissssssssss [Hello, gentle plant and how are your roots and leaves this fine day?]”  And then the plant will tell you how it is doing.  Nothing could be easier.  Yet it turns out that surprisingly few people know what to say, let alone are able to decipher the response.

It took me years to realize that this was a marketable skill.  One day Mr. Polly and I were visiting Vincent Price in his dungeon when he mentioned that he simply could not manage to keep the callas lilies he so loved to display on his fireplace mantle alive.  Well, I walked right over to those infernal flames and asked the flowers what was wrong.  After a good 25 minutes of listening to and taking down their grievances, I returned to Vinny and told him, “Stop smoking.”  Mind you, this was back in the day that it was thought that smoking helped fumigate lung parasites and was a highly recommended therapeutic practice– long before we knew that nicotine gum was just as effective against lung flukes.  “At least don’t smoke around them, is what they’re telling me,” I responded when old Price guffawed, “and have your hunchbacked butler bring them outside for a few hours during the sunny part of the day.”  VP was skeptical, but I implored him just to try it for a week, two weeks.  My pleading must have worked, because a week later, calls started pouring in from all the Hollywoodland elite, and my face began appearing in glossy magazines and I made quite a number of late-night variety show appearances.  Thus I became known as the “Plant Interpreter to the Stars!”

But it quickly grew old.  I gave the same recommendations over and over again.  “Try mixing Miracle Grow with the shredded cardboard in that pot.”  “Your dwarf pine prefers vodka.”  “You’ll need to burn that weedy brush in your backyard to make room for the rice paddy.” I got so fed up that I wrote a book and began charging a thousand per half hour consultation.  Naturally, this freed up most of my time for my preferred endeavor at the time– the lipstick applying stand I’d set up on the Sunset Strip, an endeavor which unfortunately failed, but the reverberations of which were felt at department store makeup counters for decades following.  You see, I was the one who originated the idea of not applying lipstick to the rear molars, a move that has saved women the world over thousands each year.

Old-growth Extreme Topiarist

March 3, 2010

At last, at last. Symmetrical at last.

My biggest problem with nature is that it lacks all culture, untouched as it is by human hand, and when it is touched by human hand the hand tends to come away dirty because nature is full of dirt.  It’s simply not a pleasant place to be.  I could have called a committee meeting about it, but I’m no dawdler.  Also, my insurance company had sent me a final notice that I would be dropped from my plan should I take on any other chainsaw or trapeze-based activities, so I had to go rogue on this one and put the business in Jeannie-Fayelene Bakker’s name.  (Due to the demons of her Appalachian past, Ms. Jeannie-Fayelene won’t set foot in forest, wood or bathtub– any place where moonshine stills are traditionally located– so the enterprise was entirely my own undertaking.)

The first trees I tackled were Muir Woods in northern California.  I had to make my move in the middle of the night, as the rangers denied my offer to trim their trees during visiting hours– something I can only imagine would have proven a huge tourist draw, and demonstrates the sad state of the bureaucratic process.  What’s more, I had to work fast and with as little noise as possible.  (You may also note that I invented the world’s most effective chainsaw silencer for just this purpose, and said silencer is built into most models today.)  I began at 11 pm, and knocked off at 3:45-ish.  But in that short amount of time, I managed to transform what was once a rough, untamed wood into a magical glen that all could enjoy.  I not only reshaped the needled, upper portions of the trees into perfect spheres, but I carved giant old man faces into the trunks at eye-level!  Never have I seen so many visitors to a National “Park” weeping openly at the sight of nature, finally neutralized.  Though many of my endeavors cause similar swellings of deep emotion, similar torrents of tears, I would say that this instance moved me the most.  I knew that if I could bring this feeling to so many people at just this one old-growth forest, it would be morally negligent of me not to chainsaw my way across the continent, the globe.

Little did I know that I had tapped a vast, underserved market.  Not only was I receiving calls from Forest Service branches (as well as civilians) throughout the United Somethings of America, as soon as the word got out, the calls started pouring in from all nations of the world.  Even nations without trees wanted me– to sculpt their sand dunes or dig stylish trenches into their permafrost.  The fact of the matter was that I couldn’t keep up.  I hired and trained scads of workers, but only a few could topiate to my high standards.  Unfortunately, many millions of  acres of forest have gone un-shorn, and seem destined to remain so… after six years I felt that my life was running me, that the demands from all sides were never-ceasing, and that it was no longer worth it.  I threw in the snot rag and called it beer-thirty.

Many of these previously stunning forests have now been left in decline to fall back to their untouched state.  You would never know, were it not for glossy coffee table books and the distant memories of a select few individuals, the former glory of the National Forests.  Dear readers, this is one instance I will implore you– please steal my idea.  Take up the cause and make America beautiful once again.

Lycracycle Instructor

February 19, 2010

Not just a craze, a lycraze.


February 18, 2010

Cruelly cropped from a photo whose concept I suggested.

If you have attended a soiree at my home, you will remember that as the waitstaff enter with the sausage and citrus platters, it is my tradition to regale my guests with a medley ancient German carousing tunes.  “Why have you not started a band?” the crowd often cries out, interrupting me around the 40-minute mark.  “How can you keep this talent from the world?” they weep, so touched are they by the delicate interplay of my voice, tuba and accordion.  I do not like to call attention to the fact, but I did in fact once start a band.  A very successful and beloved band.  Many have called it “the best band in all the world,” but I think it is tied for that title with another band that I wrote all the songs for in the late 90’s– a little known group called “Hanson.”

It started like all bands do– with a classified ad in the local paper and a slough of fliers tacked to coffee shop corkboards, stapled to lightposts, and taped to urinals.  Auditions!  Tuesday, 5pm at the Community Center!  Be there or be squared!  Hundreds showed up, toting along their zithers and harps, xylophones and mouth harps, theramins and autoharps.  I had requested that the auditions be cut down to an amusing montage with plenty of cutaways to me and Office Abbie woefully shaking our heads, rolling our eyes, waving goodbye, mouthing “we’ll call you,” and sleeping, but alas I was forced to sit through all six hours until the last two folks stepped though the doors.  We had been packing up, dismayed at not found anyone to join our band, and were reluctant to even let these two milk-fed bumpkins step on the stage.  But we agreed, and boy were we blown away.  We signed them up immediately.

At first things were good.  Practices were so fun that we forgot to take hallucinogens.  They happily filed the paperwork to change their last names to the name of the band.  It was too good to last.  Things started going south when I the girl refused to eat the salami and blood orange sandwiches I brought to each jam session.  Next thing you know, she was penning insulting lyrics about birds following me around.  It was very Hitchcockian, and I knew what she was implying– that she wanted me pursued and attacked with nothing short of avian bloodlust.  I feared for my life.  I could see the madness in her eyes.

I stopped going to practice, and on the very day I planned to quit, they kicked me out.  This time I didn’t mind being beaten to the punch as long as it meant that I no longer had to keep Office Abbie secreted away in my wine cellar, lest Karen decide in her fury to abduct and torture my poor darling.  Now I am content merely to entertain house guests each night, and enjoy the royalties that continue to fill my coffers.

Raise your martini shaker, oh barkeep!

Tour Guide

February 18, 2010

You know you're elite in plaid skirt and loafers with riding crop in hand.

When it comes to fibbing, there’s really no profession in which you can get away with so much as being a tour guide.  As long as you have your authoritarian riding crop in hand (or badminton racket), folks are prepared to believe anything  you say.  It is similar to putting on a policeman’s uniform in the morning– people will believe that you have the authority to pull them over and solicit bribes.  Or pushing an ice cream cart, which I learned the hard way.  All I wanted was to eat an ice cream sandwich whenever the mood struck, but I quickly found myself accosted.

What I’m trying to say is that the most important thing is your outfit.  As long as you have a basic understanding of what tour guides look like, you can hijack any high-paying tourist group and take them where you want to go.  As long as you are prepared to spew a litany of “facts” for an hour or two, you can get pretty much anywhere.  This is how I made my way across India (I think it was India, but it might have been Florida…) and around the Cape of Good Hope (which also might have been Florida).

Where doesn’t matter.  Where is incidental.  The point is practicing your abilities to think on your feet, to cadge sweet lemons off sweet couples looking for memorable Polaroids, and to convince British aunts and their wards to give you piano lessons and bottles of wine in Venice.  If you plan to marry, working as a tour guide is your best bet.  My first three marriages were a direct result of leading tours.  I don’t remember much about the marriages themselves, but I do remember this one fact, and also that I vowed never to marry again not long after, but to make do with just an assistant and bodyguard, which has worked out splendidly.

Caricaturist Rescuer

February 4, 2010

This one really skewered them!

There is no greater political act than to pick up one’s nib and sketch out an exaggerated version of a well-known public figure.  That is why caricaturists are so beloved by the proletariat, the workers of the world, and so vilified by those bourgeoisie pugs in power.  That is why the most talented caricaturists were so often thrown like rabble they represent into makeshift, moving jail trucks, heavily sedated and dumped into the dry ravines of Arizona, New Mexico, and even the bedeviled republic of Texas.

In the halcyon days of my youth, I often sat beneath the ancient, wizened oak in my backyard, a straw in my mouth and a loyal yeller dog by my side, dreaming of becoming a caricaturist myself and sticking it to the pugs that were oppressing my dear mothers.  But as I grew, it soon became clear that my aptitude for this fine art was severely limited by my walleye.  (Which many surgeries have now corrected.)  Yet, the idea still plagued me… there must be some way to support them, our nation’s finest dissidents.  I thought about starting an endowment, a national endowment for the arts, but any way I sliced it, it didn’t seem like enough.  I thought about catering the international caricaturist convention, but doubted I could steady my hand to carve a roast whilst in the presence of such greatness.  Then I realized the greatest service I could render– to begin a rescue organization, so that at least a few of the hundreds of caricaturists that died each year, choking on the desert dust and pummeled by tumbleweeds, might live.

When I started out, it was only me, a van, and a trusty yeller dog with a good sniffer.  Each night, armed only with a metaphorical sword of justice, we’d climb into the van and drive the back canyons of the desert until the sun broke red, orange, purple and gold over the mesas.  On a good night, we’d find one caricaturist, but that only happened once every few weeks.  More often than not, we’d wind up giving rides, water and food to lost immigrants.  I was glad to at least accomplish something each night.  The dog was glad to be petted.  But those rare occasions when we chanced upon a caricaturist, we’d spring into action– bringing her or him to a safe house (usually my own), where a local physician (usually myself) would clandestinely attend to the poor soul.

Word spread quietly amongst those sympathetic to the cause, and soon an entire legion of young folk had thrown in their lot with my own.  We were saving nearly 75% of drugged and dumped caricaturists.  The pugs in power were pulling their hair out.  They tried cracking down on us, but because we were so loosely organized, we evaded nearly all their raiding attempts.  And when a few of us were caught, the newspaper rags took up our cause and public opinion was with us.  We had become a legitimate, respected institution.

That is why you hear nothing of caricaturist kidnappings today.  Once we had the people, on all levels of society, on our side, the practice stopped and caricaturists were once again free to sketch as they pleased without fear of premature death.  These days, the organization is mostly back to helping immigrants.

Organic Appliance Certification Tsar

January 28, 2010

You can tell it is organic because it is green.

Everyone in America loves organics.  Everyone in Sweden and/or Norway loves organics, which is why everyone in America loves them, too.  I would draw you a diagram, but I am out of grease pencils after laminating each page in the last three years’ worth of Harper’s Bazaar and drawing handlebar mustaches onto all the models, then wiping them off and replacing them with goatees, then wiping those off and finally settling on muttonchops and fu manchus with alternating black eyes and eye patches.  (DO NOT TRY TO PATENT THIS IDEA– I have already submitted it to the patent office, and your pleas and wails will get you nowhere.)  Anyway, I am sure that my scientifically calculated vectors and arcs would only confuse.

Since I take careful stock each day of the top newses in Sweden and/or Norway, I saw this organics market infiltration before it ever lapped up like so many used syringes on our shores.  I know of the proud lesbian city of  Shakebao, the snowstorms that target Scandinavian preschoolers, and how Swedish and/or Norwegian princes are often voted as the rural worlds’ “hottest hicks.”  And I also knew decades ago about the Swedish and/or Norwegian virus that we call “organics.”  Thus, I was able to position myself in such a way, giving lectures and publishing papers, so as to step into the coveted role of Organic Appliance Certification Tsar with no opposition.  Except for Tom Daschle, but after his verbal snafu got him ousted from SoDak, he’s had no luck with the rest of our fair country.  As the old aphorism states, “As goes the Lower Dakota, so goes the Nation.”

I thought about going for the position of Wheat King.  I briefly considered Friar of the Free Range.  But the thought of sullying my well-tended hands with foodstuffs or, god help me, latex gloves was enough to send me swooning.  Mr. Polly followed me from room to room with an IKEA-brand chaise for weeks to catch me with each successive faint as I macerated the problem in my mental spirits.  Before too long, I found the answer– I wasn’t looking far enough into the future.  I had to look beyond what the Swedes and/or Norse were doing– I had to become the visionary, the trailblazer, the maverick, the McClairvoyant that could see that distant horizon that the Scandinavians were probably only three quarters of the way through developing, and thus hadn’t begun reporting on yet.  I would deal with appliances!  And maybe electronics!  I knelt before a woodland altar and salted a bowlful of slugs to the glory of Thor.

Within the year, I was a member of the Cabinet.  You may remember my appointment– it was all over CNN, MSNBC, and of course, C-SPAN.  I dominated lower-screen scroll bars for months.  I was bold with my decisions, going with my gut first and my gag reflex second.  American scientists scoffed at my rulings, only to be put in place once the original Swedish and/or Norwegian was translated.  I daresay I ushered in America’s second green revolution (quite literally, when I gave the organic seal of approval to a number of eco-terrorist devices that remain in use by high profile Earth First and rogue Acorn groups to this day).  Let this be a lesson to you, the next generation of government employees:  read the Swedish and/or Danish news.  (DO NOT READ THE NORWEGIAN NEWS.  That is my territory.  Sniff it.)