June 24, 2004

I have to wonder...

Would Vin Diesel be half as thrilling if he was Vin Regular Unleaded instead?

June 23, 2004

Backstroke in C Minor

I spend my days hidden away in PodLorien entering nefarious data into a global computer system. I'd rather be in the Crypt but there isn't as much money in bloodsucking as you may think. Most days pass in profound boredom broken by wild spurts of monotony. Today, however, was worse.

My pod neighbor is a sun-dwelling mortal type and his phalanx of windows sends sunlight shafting over my walls to form a sort of dust mote-crowded light ceiling. Most days the temperature ranges from briskly cool to polar cap but today the air conditioning repairman was in so naturally it felt akin to working on the equator. The shimmy of sun overhead merged with the swirling tropic air to heady effect. I began to feel as though I were in a very long corridor suffused with light and filled with cloudy bunches of cotton. I could hear Josh Groban on my stereo as though filtered over a phone connection to a distant land. I was swimming upstream, against the flow of cotton, useless in the warm current. My head lolled back in my chair and cotton got in my eyes and ears. The dust motes in the light ceiling began a bawdy song-and-dance routine filled with high kicks and airy pirouettes. It was a daring performance and I laughed aloud but the sound emitted as a murmle-murmle more than a bray of amusement. Cotton stuffed every nook of PodLorien and the corridor to my monitor was monstrous long. My backstroke weakened. I drifted, floating deadman style in the wafting cotton current under the dust mote cabaret.

I don't recall how I made it home.

June 22, 2004

It's not better to be famous. It's just... more prolific.

Madonna Esther is serious about Kabbalah. Serious enough to change her name to Esther, in fact. She says the new name is evocative of her spiritual self. Okay. But I'd just like to point out that "Madonna" is not exactly pagan in origin either. Just FYI.

Britney Spears may be engaged. This is a time of great rejoicing in any girl's life. But especially when you've known the young man in question for two whole months and he's expecting his second child with another woman whom he left for you. Lance Bass? You free for another Spears marital intervention or...?

Mary-Kate Olsen has checked herself into a treatment facility for "health-related issues". No, not drugs. No, not recurring Bob Saget nightmares. Anorexia. $300 million dollars can buy a lot but even it can't quite cover image pressure.

Fame doesn't make you happier or smarter. It just makes a lot more people aware that you're human.

June 21, 2004

The Fable of the Three Fruits

In the wooded realm beyond the Great Divide there sat a small cottage of industry. It serviced a vague sort of construction themed workplace where came and went a vast array of humanfolk. In the small yard to the side of the cottage stood a tree and two plants upon which grew luscious fruits all the year round. The tree bore cherries, red and jubilant of color. The first plant bore strawberries, crimson and juicy. And the second plant bore lemons, zingy and vibrant of flavor. In time a single fruit fell from each and lay upon the cottage lawn. Ill at ease to have been so discarded and not wanting to rot their lives away, the three joined forces and conspired together to go into the cottage. There, they reasoned, they would find fulfillment as someone's breakfast or at least as a garnish and thus would not be sorely wasted. For there is nothing a fruit loathes so much as waste.

So it was that Strawberry, Cherry, and Lemon found themselves within the cottage proper. Such a sight they had never seen for the yard gave no view of the industry within. The coming and going of the humanfolk, the grind of machinery, and the bustle of the rooms inspired a sense of awe in Strawberry. She declared that she would no longer be eaten but would join in the work and make a name for herself. Cherry and Lemon saw the folly in this immediately and tried to dissuade her but in vain. Strawberry got herself atop a table and launched into a racy little song about berries and cream that garnered much attention. One of the workers licked his lips and another reached out to eat her outright but before either of these ends could be met, a Dark Force pushed through the cloud and proclaimed with much ado that Strawberry was a rarity, a sensation, and would henceforth be entertainment. It whisked her away to the main desk in the cottage and bid her perform again, only this time to a larger gathering. Perform she did but so dazzled was she by her own newfound glory that she popped her green topper right off for the finale. The crowd gasped its displeasure. Never had a strawberry gone so far and offended so many. The Dark Force snaked out its hand and swallowed Strawberry whole without so much as a bite.

Lemon and Cherry, hidden still in the dust of the corner, bit back horrified cries. Strawberry had been swayed by folly, it was true, but to be eaten thus without so much as a juicy bite or a smile of pleasure was an affront to fruit everywhere. They vowed vengeance for their fallen comrade and plotted against the Dark Force. That night, while the cottage was dark for slumber, Lemon and Cherry put their plan into action.

The next morning the Dark Force came down for its usual tea. It poured a steamy cup and drained it down. Then, quite without warning, the Dark Force choked. Its hands reached to its throat and it coughed and hacked something terrible. Its face turned from greyish pallor to bluish haze and before anyone could think to do anything, it crumpled and died. This was all very stunning to the assembled workers and they gathered in clusters to talk excitedly amongst themselves. In short order it was discovered that the Dark Force had been siphoning life off the other workers and that its death had released them from mindless servitude. They began to enjoy their work and industry tripled even as creativity burgeoned. It was a widely-held belief that Strawberry had somehow managed to slay the Dark Force after her untimely demise and she was hailed as a saint among fruit.

No one saw the slowly shrivelling lemon and oddly sunken cherry under the tree in the cottage yard. Lemon smiled at Cherry and Cherry winked at Lemon. And only the cat who took pity upon the fallen fruit and ate them up with a miow of delight noted the odd lack of lemon seeds or cherry pit in her marvelous lunch.

The moral of the tale is...

Fame and evil can both be the pits.