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Halloween Guest Post by Mark Twain

31/10/2016

A CURIOUS DREAM
CONTAINING A MORAL
by Mark Twain

animated skeleton on wheels w coffin

Night before last I had a singular dream. I seemed to be sitting on a doorstep (in no particular city perhaps) ruminating, and the time of night appeared to be about twelve or one o’clock. The weather was balmy and delicious. There was no human sound in the air, not even a footstep. There was no sound of any kind to emphasize the dead stillness, except the occasional hollow barking of a dog in the distance and the fainter answer of a further dog. Presently up the street I heard a bony clack-clacking, and guessed it was the castanets of a serenading party. In a minute more a tall skeleton, hooded, and half clad in a tattered and moldy shroud, whose shreds were flapping about the ribby latticework of its person, swung by me with a stately stride and disappeared in the gray gloom of the starlight. It had a broken and worm-eaten coffin on its shoulder and a bundle of something in its hand. I knew what the clack-clacking was then; it was this party’s joints working together, and his elbows knocking against his sides as he walked. I may say I was surprised. Before I could collect my thoughts and enter upon any speculations as to what this apparition might portend, I heard another one coming for I recognized his clack-clack. He had two-thirds of a coffin on his shoulder, and some foot and head boards under his arm. I mightily wanted to peer under his hood and speak to him, but when he turned and smiled upon me with his cavernous sockets and his projecting grin as he went by, I thought I would not detain him. He was hardly gone when I heard the clacking again, and another one issued from the shadowy half-light. This one was bending under a heavy gravestone, and dragging a shabby coffin after him by a string. When he got to me he gave me a steady look for a moment or two, and then rounded to and backed up to me, saying:

“Ease this down for a fellow, will you?”

I eased the gravestone down till it rested on the ground, and in doing so noticed that it bore the name of “John Baxter Copmanhurst,” with “May, 1839,” as the date of his death. Deceased sat wearily down by me, and wiped his os frontis with his major maxillary—chiefly from former habit I judged, for I could not see that he brought away any perspiration.

“It is too bad, too bad,” said he, drawing the remnant of the shroud about him and leaning his jaw pensively on his hand. Then he put his left foot up on his knee and fell to scratching his anklebone absently with a rusty nail which he got out of his coffin.

“What is too bad, friend?”

“Oh, everything, everything. I almost wish I never had died.”

“You surprise me. Why do you say this? Has anything gone wrong? What is the matter?”

“Matter! Look at this shroud-rags. Look at this gravestone, all battered up. Look at that disgraceful old coffin. All a man’s property going to ruin and destruction before his eyes, and ask him if anything is wrong? Fire and brimstone!”

“Calm yourself, calm yourself,” I said. “It is too bad—it is certainly too bad, but then I had not supposed that you would much mind such matters, situated as you are.”

“Well, my dear sir, I do mind them. My pride is hurt, and my comfort is impaired—destroyed, I might say. I will state my case—I will put it to you in such a way that you can comprehend it, if you will let me,” said the poor skeleton, tilting the hood of his shroud back, as if he were clearing for action, and thus unconsciously giving himself a jaunty and festive air very much at variance with the grave character of his position in life—so to speak—and in prominent contrast with his distressful mood.

“Proceed,” said I.

[remainder of story after jump]

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Happy New Year, One & All!

31/12/2014

Dave Mink - Moms Revengeunderlying art by Dave Mink

 

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On The Convention…er, Film Festival Trail

23/07/2014

1950_04_cartier_gnomepresscalendar

No San Diego Comic Con for me this year.  Instead, I’ll be at the Christian Comic Arts Society table at the Pan Pacific Film Festival with Jose Guillen (Friday), Ralph Miley and Clint Johnson (Saturday).

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Peter Lorre Bogarts That Joint

16/04/2014

animated peter lorre bogarts that jointmore things Lorre found here

 

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The Words Of The Prophets…

2/03/2014

…are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls

WotP Linus Pauling

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…And Now, A Moonwalking Midget Pony

4/02/2014

animated moon walking midget pony

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Odd Couples

1/02/2014

20070530-Zappa_KirbyFrank Zappa and Jack Kirby

600full-salvador-dali w Disney Walt Disney and Salvador Dali

(It’s easier to wrap my head around
Zappa + Kirby than Disney + Dali…)

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Either The Cutest Or The Scariest Thing Ever Posted

24/10/2013

Thanx to
Steve Niles
for the tip off

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Question

29/08/2013

animated hypercube

 what color number
did the music smell
like in the dream you
cannot remember?

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William S. Burroughs’ Words of Advice For Young People

6/02/2013

“People often ask me if I have any words of advice for young people.
Well here are a few simple admonitions for young and old.”
— William S. Burroughs

Never interfere in a boy-and-girl fight.

Beware of whores who say
they don’t want money.
The hell they don’t.
What they mean is they
want more money.
Much more.

If you’re doing business with
a religious son-of-a-bitch,
Get it in writing.
His word isn’t worth s4it.
Not with the good lord telling him
how to fnck you on the deal.

Avoid fnck-ups.
We all know the type.
Anything they have anything to do with,
No matter how good it sounds,
Turns into a disaster.
Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill.
Tell them firmly:
I am not paid to listen to this drivel.
You are a terminal boob.

Now some of you may encounter the Devil’s Bargain,
If you get that far.
Any old soul is worth saving,
At least to a priest,
But not every soul is worth buying.
So you can take the offer as a compliment.
He tries the easy ones first.
You know like money,
All the money there is.
But who wants to be the richest guy in some cemetery?
Money won’t buy.
Not much left to spend it on, eh gramps?
Getting too old to cut the mustard.

Well time hits the hardest blows.
Especially below the belt.
How’s a young body grab you?
Like three card monte, like pea under the shell,
Now you see it, now you don’t.
Haven’t you forgotten something, gramps?
In order to feel something,
You’ve got to be there.
You have to be eighteen.
You’re not eighteen.
You are seventy-eight.
Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.

Well they always try the easiest ones first.
How about an honorable bargain?
You always wanted to be a doctor,
Well now’s your chance.
Why don’t you become a great healer
And benefit humanity?
What’s wrong with that?
Just about everything.
Just about everything.
There are no honorable bargains
Involving exchange
Of qualitative merchandise
Like souls
For quantitative merchandise
Like time and money.
So piss off Satan
And don’t take me for dumber than I look.

An old junk pusher told me –
Watch whose money you pick up.

.

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