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Uncategorized

No More Trimming Irish Guard’s Bearskin Hats–Switch To Faux Fur

article-1379261-0BB9212500000578-539_634x372Soldier magazine reports that the English Army, bowing to increasing pressure from Animal Rights Activists and the exhorbitantly expensive costs of trimming and maintenance,  has announced that bearskin helmets worn by the Irish guards while on duty at Buckingham Palace will be phased out in favor the more politically correct and less costly synthetic “faux” bearskin hats.

“The hats are extremely expensive to initially procure,” explained Major Arthur Ursa.  “And it’s a little-known fact that the hair on bearskin keeps growing and needs to be regularly trimmed–a tedious, time-consuming, and difficult process.”

C_71_article_1015253_image_list_image_list_item_0_image-462505Ursa explained that the switch to faux fur not only will save “a shilling from every tax-paying household in Britain, money we can put to better use on ammunition and domestic surveillance,” but will ease the burden of poor public relations generated by continual protests by anti-fur activists who appear at British Embassies around the globe.  The protestors distract government employees, create a security risk, and cause strife with local authorities whenever they appear.

peta-hat_1683378cAs incredible as it sounds, scientists have confirmed this hair-raising fact about the bearskins. The skins retain an original hormone, often for a decade or more, causing follicles to “live” long after the animal has been skinned. Scientists call it otiose and it is hoped it can be put to use in medical research — especially into baldness.

“Bears hibernate in the winter and the amazing thing is that in the spring the skins really start to sprout.” Ursa explained.  “We have a specially trained platoon of barbers who labor round the clock from March well into June.”

Categories
Poetry

War Poems For National Poetry Month: Wilfred Owen, Dulce Et Decorum Est

gassed-1918

Panama…then Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq again, Afganistan–right or wrong, for causes both just and cynical, we’ve been in an exhausting, nearly constant state of war, however distant and vaguely defined, since I graduated from High School in the 1980’s–and that was just a few deep breaths after the war in Viet Nam/ Cambodia/ Laos that defined my father and his generation.  It seems fitting to start out a series of my favorite poems with war theme.

I’ve thought of no other poem more than this one over the past two decades, which speaks volumes for Wilfred Owen, who wrote from a foxhole in World War I–the “War To End All Wars.”  In the age of biological weapons, this piece resounds like the deepest church bells on a cold, crisp night.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

http://www.english.emory.edu/LostPoets/Seaman.html

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Uncategorized

Cannibalism at Jamestown

Researchers have found conclusive evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, the earliest known site of European hubris in North America and, not coincidentally, the place where I was given my first and only tricorne hat. I’d been under the assumption that the flesh-eating Briton thing was understood. Those first colonists pretty much sucked at…um…colonizing.  Their attempts at agriculture were abysmal.  They tended to shoot at the local “savages,” who were, in turn, understandably reluctant to provide a pilgrim-style deus ex machina for the clueless white trespassers. The Virginians were, however, wildly proficient at dying.  They were aces at it, dying like mad.

Now, archeologists have determined that this cannibalism was unquestionably committed by the English settlers, because the meat was boiled down to a tasteless grey clump and served with sodden cabbage and a puddle of “pudding” on the side.

Knowing what we know about English cuisine, a good grilled slice of teenager was likely a welcome departure from all that boiled muck and internal organs.  It’s also possible that the adolescent whose gnawed bones were found, trapped in that tiny fort all winter, was just asking for it, sighing and complaining that nobody could possibly understand how she feels, not ever; leading her to be consumed in the way that grizzly bears sometimes eat people: not because they’re hungry, but…just because they can. Like saying “screw you” but with teeth and claws like pitchforks.

How could the English not be cannibals.  Just look at this guy:

Maybe this isn’t so far beyond the realm of imagination?