G’day! Byron the Quokka here, announcing the latest release from Acme False Facts Inc.–the Deluxe False Facts Summer Set for 2022! If you order now, before the first day of summer, you’ll get $85 taken off your shipping and handling. And you’ll also have time to memorize some of your favorite false facts, to be trotted out on the beach to an awed and admiring crowd.
Here’s a wee selection of items on the menu, just to turn you on. All facts guaranteed 100% false!
*Elmer Fudd was a real person; in fact, he was a U.S. Senator named Frank Feezle, best known for saying, “Mistah Vice Pwesident, thea’s something vewy scwewy going on awound hea!”
*Cave paintings found near Shoatsburgh, Pennsylvania, radiocarbon-dated to 2000 B.C. depict all the major characters from the “Archie” comic strip. Scientists admit they’re puzzled.
*The largest goldfish ever caught on rod and reel (by Mrs. Bertha Fandango, 1911) was really only 7 inches long; but it looked much bigger from certain angles. The entry in the record book has been slightly modified.
*World Chess Champion Boris Slitely used to practice by pushing chessmen off a shelf and watching them bounce on the floor. Then he would jump off his chair and bat the fallen chessmen around the floor until they disappeared under the furniture.
*In 1584 Sultan Abdel-el-Kukri Rogers ordered all Turkish Navy personnel to call each other by pet names. He was overthrown by Osman “Fido” McQuillan, who much later on in life became a TV talk show host.
Remember–stand tall, throw out your chest, look ’em in the eye, and recite a false fact. You’ll be amazed how it moves people to stand in awe of you. You might even have a future in politics!
All right, so he fell in love with a coconut. Is that so terrible? And he got music by Mozart to go with it. I can admit that as a single man in my early twenties, I would’ve been better off dating coconuts.
Not long ago, Phoebe suggested we throw a party for Violet Crepuscular to celebrate 500 chapters of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. It’s as good an excuse as any to have a party. Hey, how many writers manage a book with 500 chapters in it? (“But look at all the chapters she skipped, to get there!” Killjoy.)
We could have the party right here on this blog, a space equally convenient to all. We’ll need a menu of snacks and foodstuffs, a roster of fun activities (Anybody got one of those forbidden “Jarts” games?), party favors and decorations, and music. A wading pool is optional. We might also vie with one another in composing laudatory poems to the guest of honor. Like, “No matter how you dial it, the Queen Of Suspense is Violet.” Ooh! I’d better disqualify myself.
Okay! Now I’m waiting for the suggestions to come rolling in.
P.S.–Imagine what a big party it’ll be if everybody reblogs this post somewhere! I’d love to see what would happen.
A letter from reader Ambrose Twidgeon in Babbo Township, Pellucidar, has served as a timely reminder to the Queen of Suspense, Violet Crepuscular.
“Dear Ms. Crepuscular,” the letter reads, “what ever happened to the traditional olde English fox hunt in Scurveyshire? How can you write about English country life without the fox hunt? I am so upset with you, I had to break my model airplanes!”
Ms. Crepuscular’s reply is found in her introduction to Chapter CDLXXXVIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney.
“As a matter of fact,” she trombolizes, “I was just about to write about the fox hunt when Mr. Twidgeon’s letter arrived. Really, I do not need any guidance in writing romance novels! Let me offer this friendly reminder to Mr. Twidgeon: Get lost!”
The hereditary master of the Scurveyshire Hunt is Lady Margo Cargo, who inherited it from her father along with a persistent halitosis. She can’t ride a horse, so she leads the hunt in a golf cart driven by a condemned prisoner. No fox has been caught since Lady Margo took over.
(What about the Scurveyshire Fair, Violet? And the vicar’s backyard wading pool?)
“If I get any more friendly reminders from ignoramuses who think they know how I should write my novels, I am very much afraid that I shall lose my temper,” Ms. Crepuscular writes. So vanishes all hope of finding out about the fair and the wading pool. She’s in one of her moods.
The chapter ends without the fox hunt actually starting.
Done with COVID-19? Not yet suitably scared of monkeypox?
Well, hang onto your hats–here comes sea monkeypox!
“Yeah, folks, sorry about that, but we gotta lock you down again,” says Chief Phrenologist Otto Blotto, of the World Wellness Fanabla (WWF). “Thank goodness we already have drop boxes, absentee ballot forms, and mail-in ballots stockpiled in Mordor. So it won’t affect the midterm elections.”
According to information found inside a box of Lucky Charms, sea monkeypox can be contracted by anyone (and probably everyone) living within 2,500 miles of any salt water. Symptoms include a weird-looking physique, growth of a caudal appendage (he means a tail), a sudden eagerness to be trained, and shrinkage down to the size of a brine shrimp. Successful therapy includes casting multiple votes for the Democrat candidate in your district.
At all times, Dr. Blotto added, the WWF will live true to its Scientific Motto: “Democracy dies when Democrats don’t win.”
You should be able to guess what will happen, once a cat or a dog starts playing with balloons. Many years ago some scientists in Michigan did some experiments on cats and dogs and balloons, but the results have always been kept secret.
A reader in Brazil, Kathleen, has asked me for this. She wants to make a Bell Mountain video for her YouTube channel. She’s interested in the fact that the book was inspired by a dream I had one night.
I dreamed of a boy standing alone on a grassy riverbank, a shallow stream of cold water flowing over a bed of smooth stones. In the distance towered mountains, the tallest of which, Bell Mountain, was cloaked in clouds around the summit. No one had ever seen the summit.
And suddenly that mountain began to “sing” to him. This terrified him and froze him to the spot; but it was also exhilarating. He’d never heard anything like it before. He could have listened for hours, but then he woke up.
It was a very vivid dream, in technicolor, and I never forgot it. That was a good thing, because shortly afterward someone at the Chalcedon Foundation wondered how we’d do if we published a novel–and I was ready to write it!
I also dreamed the climax of my third book in the series, The Thunder King, and the opening chapter of the seventh, The Glass Bridge. I have always dreamed vivid, unusual dreams, all my life; and they’ve played a major role in my writing.
I look forward to seeing Kathleen’s video, and hope I can post it here for all of you.
G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with Quokka University’s weekend TV listings. Lee is off getting interviewed somewhere, so I’m on my own. I don’t mind if you don’t!
Here are a few samples from our weekend menu.
2 P.M. Ch. 11 DANCE TO THE MUZAK–Game show
Our hidden camera watches contestants dance to the Muzak that’s pumped into the elevator car while regular passengers watch, confused and maybe just a little bit scared! The grand prize goes to the contestant who can annoy and unsettle the most riders without getting punched in the nose. Host: Sales vice president Jack “Happy” Pew at Metro Studebaker, Ponca City.
2:15 P.M. Ch. 08 JIMMY FRAUD’S DELUSIONS–News
He’s only just discovered that he’s psychic, and can report the news before it actually happens. None of his predictions has come true, so far, but “that’s only natural, I’ve got to get warmed up,” he explains. Co-anchor: Dan Rather. With T’an Pu T’ing and his pots and pans orchestra.
You name it, someone in the audience has it! Join host Jacob Marley as he tries to find a disease that no one in the studio has or has had. It’s been three years since he thought he’d found one–only to have a man with just one buttock claim the prize. Color commentary by Joyce Carol Oates. Special guest: Alvin the Octopus.
3 P.m. Ch. 36 MOVIE–Horror
“The Man Who Feared Hamsters” (Bolivian-Silurian, 1996) is Shabby Jones (bodybuilder Tom Platz), marked for death by the KBG (no, not the KGB!), must elude the killer hamsters that they’ve programed to hunt him down and eat him. Film critic Prabhu Patnabhirish called it “Absolutely the worst movie ever made.” Spymaster: Ben Gunn. Femme Fatale: June Allyson. Assassins: the June Taylor Dancers. Song: “I Busted My Coccyx on the See-Saw.”
Ch. 48 DUST BUNNIES–Western adventure, with soliloquies
Who are the Dust Bunnies? The most feared gunfighters who ever hid under a bed! Marshal Pete Cottontail (Richard Simmons) recruits only the toughest, meanest, deadliest hombres. This week: The Bunnies take on savage Sea Monkeys for control of Drybones Air Force Base, just two miles out of Tucson. Hoppy: Zoe Caldwell. Floppy: John Inman. Col. Tubbs: Some guy from New Jersey.
Well, folks, I hope these have whetted your appetite for another weekend of glorious, edifying, hair-raising television!
(Rushing to get to my TV before I miss anything! Byron the Quokka, signing off)