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BS: The Mother of all BS threads

Rapparee 30 Apr 10 - 09:13 PM
Rapparee 30 Apr 10 - 09:36 PM
Amos 30 Apr 10 - 10:01 PM
Rapparee 30 Apr 10 - 10:36 PM
Acme 30 Apr 10 - 10:51 PM
Eiseley 01 May 10 - 12:11 AM
Amos 01 May 10 - 12:31 AM
Amos 01 May 10 - 08:59 AM
Amos 01 May 10 - 09:05 AM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 10:30 AM
Amos 01 May 10 - 02:28 PM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 03:12 PM
Amos 01 May 10 - 03:28 PM
Acme 01 May 10 - 04:37 PM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 05:36 PM
Amos 01 May 10 - 07:05 PM
Eiseley 01 May 10 - 08:12 PM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 09:48 PM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 09:52 PM
Amos 02 May 10 - 12:04 AM
Amos 02 May 10 - 11:04 AM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 11:53 AM
Acme 02 May 10 - 12:21 PM
Amos 02 May 10 - 02:31 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 02:57 PM
Amos 02 May 10 - 04:52 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 06:24 PM
Eiseley 02 May 10 - 06:36 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 08:44 PM
Amos 02 May 10 - 10:10 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 10:10 AM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:57 AM
MMario 03 May 10 - 11:08 AM
Amos 03 May 10 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Eiseley 03 May 10 - 02:23 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 06:11 PM
Acme 03 May 10 - 06:38 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 06:41 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 06:48 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,Eiseley 03 May 10 - 07:22 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 07:29 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 08:21 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:01 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:05 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:07 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 11:22 PM
Eiseley 03 May 10 - 11:35 PM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 01:22 AM
Amos 04 May 10 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 09:13 PM

As an added bonus, the fleas, crabs, mites, and various other fauna that live upon Shame's so-called body will be blown into creeks, rivers and oceans, thereby improving the fishing and giving purpose to Sham's otherwise shameful excuse for an existence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 09:36 PM

MOM!!!

Amos took my palindrome 35353.

Ground him.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:01 PM

Oh many's the post
You acted scary
From the safety
Of your home
Now it's all
Been proved for nuffin
Cuz I took
Yore palindrom.

There are just
Three things I wish for
They are my lady
My guitar and home,
I have them all
And more beside them
Since I took
Yore palindrome.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:36 PM

35353. All I wanted out of life. Just that one palindrome. And Amos took it.

I would go fling myself from the bridge and into the river except I might sprain a ankle or something....

Well, I shall enjoy knowing that Amos will be forever writhing in the mental torment of his own making, knowing that he took the only thing I really wanted, that I really cared about. The worms of grievous torture will eat their holes though his mind, inflicting upon him thousands of times, nay, millions and quadrillions of times, more anguish than his blatant theft of my beloved palindrome will ever cause me. And when he is old and gray he will pray for relief and it will not come and then, despised by all and lying desolate in the gutter, sobbing he will make his exit, repenting all the while that he took my beloved 35353. Later, from his unmarked pauper's burial site, even then, his moaning and lamentations shall be heard and his place of last repose will instead of a place of rest become a carnival attraction.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:51 PM

What's the next one coming up?

35353

36363, right? Well, that's only 1010 from now. Peanuts for this crowd.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 01 May 10 - 12:11 AM

Actually, Rapaire, 35353 wasn't just a palindrome, it was a prime. Those should all be mine. But I was singing Brahms tonight with the symphony, so I don't begrudge Amos the Primadrome. Here, Rap, you may plan for and post on the next three primes, as a retirement gift: 35363 35381 35393.

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 12:31 AM

OK, Big Guy, tell ya what I'll do.

I'll give you this Palindromic Prime for your very own in exchange for two swords and six handguns. They clearly aren't what you care about at all. I will pay for Clone services to delete my post and insert any post you can get them to insert in its place. You pay for shipping.





A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 08:59 AM

It's quiet before dawn on Saturday morning in the quiet neighborhood of University City. A warm day promised, a cool night finished. No cars yet.

The guest bath is tiled but not grouted, the tiles standing proud and separated from each other on their mortar beds, like disgruntled Republicans.

I am grateful for the weekend. Sometimes think I should go sailing for six months.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 09:05 AM

Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos - PM
Date: 16 Jun 06 - 10:17 AM

...If EVER there was someone who could overwhelm with pure significance, unlimited cross-references, meaning without end, semantics wholesale, and umoored syntax run amok, our Rapaire is the man to do it.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 10:30 AM

That's because I've got a Master's Degree -- in SCIENCE!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 02:28 PM

Yeah, me too. Zo vat?

I have two viewpoints about your assertion Rapaire, borrowed from your buddy Bill Buck the Shake:

1. "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!"

2. "All that glisters is not gold, often have you heard that told. Many a man his life hath sold, but my outside to behold gilded tombs do worms enfold."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:12 PM

Yeah, but mine's from Case Western Reserve University, where the Michelson-Morley Experiment, "what might be called the most famous failed experiment to date [1887]," was performed. And you can visit the EXACT SPOT where it took place, if you don't mind being run over by a transit train.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:28 PM

Lord, Rapaire, you aren't used to retiremet yet, are you? There's no NEED to puff yourself up like that. You should be puffing up EISELY so she can become the Queen of Bookes for all of Pocatello.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 01 May 10 - 04:37 PM

We need to find something for Rapaire to do. Other than throwing rocks at the golfers as they pass by his back fence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 05:36 PM

I don't do that. I'm thinking about setting up a speaker system and, as they start to drive, going "Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck!" or giving a loud burp or other rude noise. Small hidden speakers, of course, on my property.

Eiseley just left, taking a six-pack of Polygamy Porter ("Bring Some Home To The Wives") with her.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 07:05 PM

I don't thik feeding her Mormon brew was what I had in mind...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 01 May 10 - 08:12 PM

Rapaire forgot to mention that he only gave me the empty package. It had a pretty picture on the front he wanted me to frame for him.

The problem with Rapaire retiring is that now when I hear or read something especially funny I have to run all the way across town to share the joke---instead of just running upstairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 09:48 PM

I have a bottle of the Real Stuff in the fridge, should you care to sample it....

Well, some of us men cleaned up after Thursday's hangin'. That was the women that did the hangin', weren't no men involved in it. We just get to clean up afterward. Fortunately it wasn't too messy this time. Not at all like when they did Blackjack Ketchum down in New Mexico a while back.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 09:52 PM

Amos, I apologize for complaining about you taking my much-loved palindrome. I was out of order and I realize it. Eiseley, you may have the primes.

Dibs on all the irrational and imaginary numbers!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 12:04 AM

I guess the sidearms meant more to you than you wuz lettin' on, Sir R.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 11:04 AM

So was there a big political hoohah about replacing the unforgettable Whoosis?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 11:53 AM

I dunno who or what the wimmen hanged. I just had to help clean up the aftermath.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 02 May 10 - 12:21 PM

I have an idea for Rap: http://bit.ly/99ZBc8. Just a suggestion, mind you, but think of the rope you can weave, the paper you can make, the smoke you can inhale. . . all on the edge of the golf course.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 02:31 PM

That would be an interesting trip indeed, for a man of so many fine acheivements...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 02:57 PM

If the wind's blowing over the course it could add a whole new dimension to pasture pool.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 04:52 PM

You'd probably spend more time putting your attention on pocket pool. Pasture pol is a new expression for me. Very droll.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 06:24 PM

Maui is pretty far West, they play
cowboy polo there, as well as in Montana and througout The West (excluding California, some of which ain't West).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 02 May 10 - 06:36 PM

Almost halfway done, Amos!
Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 08:44 PM

Shouldn't that be "Almost Half-Baked Amos"???


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 10:10 PM

Half-done is always well-begun, I think!! Can't wait!!


NEver mind the snide remarks, Rapaire--you're retired now.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:10 AM

Actually you should take on more of the responsibility for keeping Mom alivew and well with well-crafted, original BS, as you will have more time on your hands.

Unless you keep it somewhere else...

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:57 AM

All right then, Sir Amos!

        You'd see them sometimes when you'd go fishing, usually in the Spring but, sometimes, in mid-Fall. Thousands of them in the river, fighting to find the mouth of the creek at the headwaters of which they were born.

        Their colors ? bright gray and brilliant red and deep green and what even looked like a flash of blue ? would dazzle you on a sunny day as they leapt from the water, trying to get to their spawning grounds.

        Most wouldn't make it. They'd be eaten by the bears which gathered along the creek banks or be taken by eagles or, for many, exhaust themselves trying to make the spawning grounds and die in the attempt.

        Those that did make it would spawn and then try to run the gauntlet again to make it to open water -- some few made it, but most didn't. They left their egg stalks cemented to stones on the bottom of the creeks, and one person said that these deposits of eggs looked like gardens of flowers.

        Eventually the eggs would hatch and the squid larva would fight their way to the river, only to repeat the cycle some years later. It had been going on for thousands of years, this spawning of Architeuthis Mississipiensis gigans, the giant squid of the Mississippi, which everyone simply called "big squid."

        Boaters didn't like them. During spawning season or when a school of squid would appear on the surface there would be so many squid that boats couldn't run their motors without damaging the propellers. Fisherfolk didn't like them because they couldn't be eaten ? it was said that they tasted like ammonia ? although a few were used for bait. Barge operators didn't like them because it was said that REALLY big ones attacked barges at night, which really scared the crews even though no one was ever hurt.

        Gradually the numbers of squid declined. Some people said it was because of pollution, but most said that it was because the squid migrated elsewhere. Dam workers reported giant schools of squid moving downstream, and the New Orleans newspapers said that "immense numbers of squid" had passed the city on the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

        So the next year they were missing from Cedar Creek, just as they were missing from all of the creeks around town. And we missed seeing them. Like nearly everyone in town, we liked watching the squid as they made their journey upstream. Even people like boaters liked to watch the shoals of squid, their bodies turning pretty colors and their tentacles waving in the air.

        And of course that was the year the Walt Disney released the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which had a great scene in it about a fight with a giant squid. The same sort of squid that used to be around town in such great numbers was in a movie. A squid was a movie star, and all of them had left. Like all of the kids in town we were really disappointed that they were gone, but we thought that maybe the squid in the movie could have been one of ours.

        Then the movie came out and we found out that the squid was a bad guy that tried to sink the submarine. Nobody liked that. We knew that squid were pretty fish which didn't hurt anything except maybe barges at night, and even that wasn't proven. So after the first couple of days the movie closed because nobody went to see it.

        We hiked out to the Swamp the weekend after the movie closed. We were hoping to get some early dewberries so that Mom could make a dewberry pie for Sunday dinner. Naturally, we talked about the movie as we walked, our dewberry buckets in our hands. We each had two buckets, and in one of them was our lunch. Of course, we'd made jokes about which one was to be our "lunch bucket" before we'd left, and finally Mom had had enough and told us to go get the dewberries and, because we'd forgotten them, had tossed our lunches to us.

        But we talked about the movie and the submarine in it and about things under the sea and about the squid and how it had attacked the submarine and about how there weren't any squid around any more. Tony agreed with those who thought that the squid had left because of pollution and Ted thought that they had left because it was time for them to migrate and Martha thought that they'd left because they were angry about being made a bad guy in the movie and I thought that it might have been because of all of these reasons or maybe just because they wanted to move somewhere else for a while..

        Eventually we reached the Swamp. It was pretty much as we'd left it the weekend before: quicksand pools, dead trees, live trees, bushes, shrubs, logs, illigators, Spanish moss, muck, mud, dry land, flowers, lizards, musk ox, and all. Swamps don't change much if you leave them alone, and we liked that.

        Remembering the old saying that you should never ever pick dewberries on an empty stomach, we ate lunch and then set out for the dewberry patches. There were lots and lots of early dewberries, but you had to be careful because they grew next to quicksand pools and you could slip in pretty easily. Falling in a deep pool of quicksand -- and all of them were really, really deep -- could be a major annoyance.

        All of our left-hand buckets were filled and we'd just started on the right-hand buckets when Martha said, "What's that?" and pointed to the quicksand pool.

        "It's a big blue eye watching us," I replied. "Nothing to be alarmed about. Probably happens all the time, only you don't notice it."

        "Why would it be watching us?" asked Ted.

        "Maybe it's part of Santa Claus's surveillance system," opined Tony.

        "Maybe it's the Eye of the Swamp, watching to make sure we don't do anything bad," opine Ted.

        "Maybe it's a really, really big squid and it's going to try to capture and eat us," opined Martha.
        
        "Don't be silly," I replied. "All of the squid have left. And besides, there aren't any squid in quicksand poo....aaaawk!" And a great big tentacle wrapped itself around me and started slowly dragging me towards the quicksand.
        
        Quick as half a wink, Martha and Tony grabbed my feet and stopped my slide towards the quicksand.

        "What's a 'quicksand poo...aaawk'?" asked Ted.

        "You stupid stupid!" I exclaimed. "Help Tony and Martha hold me!"

        "Stupid! You called me stupid!" exclaimed Ted. "I've got the highest reading level in my class! So there!"

        "If you don't help us, Mike'll be dragged into that mouth," said Tony. And I looked and sure enough, there was a beak-like mouth in the quicksand, opening and closing with really nasty sounding clicks.

        "Maybe I'll tickle you, instead," said Ted. "That'd show Mike for calling me stupid."

        And he sat down on the ground with a thump.

        And another tentacle flashed out of the water and started to drag him to the quicksand!

        As he passed me, I grabbed his legs. Now I was holding onto Ted's legs while Martha and Tony were holding onto my legs, and all the while tentacles were drawing Ted and I toward Our Fate (if Tony or Martha let go).

        Just then, there was a great big jerk towards the quicksand and my legs were pulled from Tony and Martha's grips! Ted and I flew towards the Horror In The Quicksand!

        And just before Ted's head touched the quicksand, I managed to hook my right leg around a nice, big tree trunk! With another jerk, we stopped.

        Did you ever wonder what the rope feels like during a tug-of-war? Ted and I know from first-hand experience.

        For what seemed like hours we were pulled and jerked and tossed toward the quicksand. And for what seemed like centuries I hung onto that tree with my right leg.

        Tony and Martha got up and got some big sticks and started beating on the tentacles which held Ted and me.   They were forced back when other tentacles came out of the water and nearly caught them.

        "Oh no!" cried Tony. "Whatever shall we do?"

        "Oh no!" cried Martha. "Our brothers who just ate lunch with us are going to be lunch!"

        "I could let go of Ted's ankles," I said.

        "Oh no! Don't do that! I don't want to be et!" cried Ted.

        "I'm getting a cramp in the ankle that's holding us to the tree," I said.

        With that bit of news Tony and Martha jumped up and ran into the brush. They were back in just a couple of seconds, dragging a long length of grapevine. With that they proceeded to lash my leg to the tree, which let me relax my ankle just a little bit.

        Still, the thing was pulling and jerking us, trying to pull us free of the tree, and all of us knew that it might succeed. The grapevines would snap, I wouldn't be able to snag the tree again with my ankle, and then -- sluuuuuurrrrpppp! Chomp, chomp, chomp!

        "It seems to be awfully hungry," Ted panted. "I wish it could find something else to eat."

        And with that, Martha reached into one of the buckets, pulled out a handful of dewberries, and flung them right into the mouth in the quicksand! A couple sort of spattered to the side of the mouth, but a big, ugly tongue came out and licked them inside.

        With that, Tony too started throwing dewberries at the mouth. Both he and Martha missed much of the time, but that tongue would lick up the splattered dewberries. In fact, the tongue got to catching the dewberries while they were still in the air!

        All of this would have been as interesting as heck if Ted and I weren't still being pulled mouthward.

        And then, just as Martha and Tony were throwing the last of the dewberries into the mouth, the tentacles let us go!

        Ted and I flew backwards towards the tree I was tied to. I hit the tree first and then he landed on me.

        The eye and the mouth and the tentacles disappeared into the quicksand. A minute later there was a big bubble that came to the surface and broke with an "UUURPPP!" sound. Then smaller bubbles trailed off towards the other side of the quicksand pool and finally disappeared.

        "Well, that settled the left hand dewberries," I observed. "And we're going to have to pick quick if we're going to take home any at all."

        Ted got up and walked over to the buckets. I got up to follow him and fell down. Tony came over and untied the grapevine that had still tied my foot to the tree.

        "Wow! That was exciting!" I said.

        "Falling down often is," replied Tony.

        "No, no. The fight with whatever that was," I replied to his reply. "I think that must have been a big Big Squid. And I thought that they were all gone, too."

        "Well, whatever it was, it's gone now. And I don't think that I want to go over to the other side of the quicksand pool. But, maybe, hmmmm....I bet that there's a tunnel or something that connects this quicksand pool to another one and so on until you get to the river. I bet that's where whatever it was went, too. To the river," said Tony, in his longest statement thus far that day.

        "Here, Mike," said Ted. "I filled your buckets with dewberries because you saved me from being et." And he handed me two buckets full of dewberries!

        We quickly filled all of the buckets with dewberries again, and then we walked home. I had to walk with one foot in the gutter for quite a ways, but eventually my right leg returned to the same length as my left leg. Ted's legs never did return to the same length, and we had to sew strips of cloth around the bottom of his pants legs so that they'd be long enough to cover the tops of his socks (and no matter what he says, we didn't use lace ruffles).

        Mom was happy to see all of the dewberries we picked, and the next day we had dewberry pie. She also made a bunch of dewberry jam and jelly for the Winter. But that night we had carrots and caviar and croutons and crackers for dinner, and when Mom brought the calamari to the table Ted yelled, "PAYBACK!" and ate it all. Mom just looked at him and sighed, and got the cake for dessert.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:08 AM

This explains your rapport with the Squid over at the Tavern....the two of you have a long history.


I always thought the demise of the Mississippi Squid was due to the extinction of the riparian fur sharks; one of their major foods.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 12:55 PM

YEah, the last remnant of the last Mississippi fur shark was all the squids had left, and they didn't know where they would get any more. Dad Squid reckoned they should move out, maybe head to the depths of the Atlantic. Mom Squid looked at the remaining hauch of the shark and said, "I dunno, Dad. It's a pretty fur piece...".

ANyway, Mike, that was just excellent, a fine tale and well told.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Eiseley
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:23 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Rapaire! The boys will be so happy when I tell them I have a new Swamp story to read to them tonight!

Happy day!

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:11 PM

Here ya go, Eiseley. (These are true, unvarnished tales from my misspent youth.)

    It was all the fault of someone in China, of course. We never knew who, of course, and neither does anyone else. But because someone in China found that the crystals found under manure piles could, when mixed with sulphur and charcoal, make a big FOOF! when lit Tony, Ted and I nearly sank a barge, burned up a city park and frightened a herd of cows so badly that they gave sour cream for a week.
        We didn't mean to do any of it. Nobody knew we almost sank the barge and burned up Pesthouse Park. And the sour cream sold well, so the farmer actually made money. Mom was upset about Ted's pants and Tony's shirt and my socks -- they were our old clothes after all -- but the way she carried on would have led you to think that we'd deliberately set ourselves on fire.
        Anyway, by October of 1957 the Navy had tried to launch the Vanguard satellite. It had exploded on the launch pad, and the Soviets had promptly launched Sputnik I. Suddenly the schools and the government and everyone in the U. S. knew we had to learn to put up satellites and launch rockets, and that we had to do so fast. It was the beginning of what would be called the Space Race.
        The Army used a Redstone missile to launch Explorer I and the Soviets orbited Laika, a dog, in Sputnik II and before you knew it we'd launched a chimpanzee

named Ham and Telstar and Allen Shepherd and John Glenn and the Soviets had launched Yuri Gagurin and less than twelve years after Sputnik I was orbited Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.
        It was an exciting time! Sometimes it seemed as if rockets were being launched everywhere -- from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base and White Sands and Wallops Island, Virginia.
        Naturally, my brothers and I wanted to launch a rocket too. Or better, several rockets, preparatory to launching a big one to put a satellite into orbit.
        We knew that it wouldn't be easy, either. After all, it would require ballistics, aeronautical engineering, fuel technology, chemistry, aerospace medicine (Tony and I planning a manned launch, but we hadn't told Ted yet), ceramic engineering, life support systems, electrical engineering, calculus, several types of geometry and even stuff we couldn't think of right off hand.
        We spent the Winter studying rocketry from books at the Public Library. Our first design used a plasma-pulse engine. It was powered by a semi-toridal fusion reactor fueled with monatomic hydrogen. It was a great design, and only required breakthroughs in atomic chemistry, plasma physics and fusion theory. Mom agreed that it was a great design but suggested that we design something a little easier for our first rocket. She also suggested that we study rocketry less from science fiction and more from science.
        So we went back to the books, and they were hard ones this time! Then, one day in early Spring, we found the recipe for caramel candy and our search for a fuel
was over.
        It was in a book on amateur rocketry -- something that we didn't even know existed anymore. Naturally we knew about the work of Robert Goddard and Willy Ley and all of the early amateur pioneers. But governments seemed to have made rocketry professional -- and yet here as a new book on amateur rocketry.
        We checked the book out and nearly memorized it.
        Caramel candy was easy to make, too. All you had to do was mix sugar and potassium nitrate or potassium chlorate together and pour the gooey result into a rocket body.
        There were certain problems, of course. The mixture had to be melted at an exact temperature -- too cold and it wouldn't melt and too hot and it would ignite.
        Sugar was easy to get, since you could buy lots of it at the grocery store. But we were stumped by the potassium compounds. After all, if a twelve year old walked into the drugstore and asked for, say, ten kilograms of potassium chlorate, the druggist might ask questions.
        And we knew what the questions would be. They would be on the order of "What do you kids want with potassium chlorate? Don't you know that it can be made to explode? Maybe you should talk to the police. . . ."
        Tony decided to make our own potassium nitrate. He looked it up, and while we couldn't believe what it was made from he swore it was true. So we started to collect the raw materials (and boy! were they raw!).
        Then I made the discovery that we could buy potassium nitrate under its old name, saltpeter. It was used by some people when they made pickles.
        Really. Pickles. The kind you eat.
        We bought five kilograms of saltpeter.
        Each.
        We also bought five kilograms of sugar, and we were ready to make rocket fuel.
        An electric skillet would have been ideal, since you could control the melting temperature of the mixture. But we didn't have one, and Mom said that we absolutely positively could NOT use the kitchen stove OR her skillets.
        She became especially adamant after we touched off a pile of the mixture in the yard as a test.
        Sure, we tried. We tried using Vaseline as a binder, but it made the fuel wet and it wouldn't burn. And if we loaded it as a dry mixture it would simply fall out of the rocket. We'd have to find a way to melt it and pour it in, as the book said.
        We also needed a private place, away from houses, to launch the rockets. Having a lot of water around would be very desirable, too.
        So early one Saturday morning we took our chemicals and a big old iron skillet we found in an old garage and three long tubes of heavy cardboard and a slide rule and some batteries and some wire and a switch and a bunch of other stuff and set off for the Boogie Swamp.
        We built a campfire and let it die down to a nice bed of embers before we started melting saltpeter and sugar together. We weren't sure that we could melt the mixture without mishap, but things went very, very smoothly. By noon we had filled all three rocket bodies and had even managed a star-shaped burn channel, just as the book recommended.
        Parachutes to retrieve the rockets had proved an insurmountable problem, so we used instead paper bags filled with the contents of fireworks. We figured that even if we couldn't reuse the rockets we could at least get an idea of how high they flew.
        After the payloads were in place we attached fins made of light aluminum and by one o'clock the three rockets were ready for flight.
        Liftoff was set for 1400 (naturally, we didn't use a.m. and p.m., because it wouldn't have been scientific).
        So we ate lunch and at 1400 we set the rockets (which we had named the Rocket Space Vehicle Probe, or RSVP, 1, 2 and 3) around the base of an old windmill. We put the extra saltpeter and sugar mixture in the middle of the launch area.
        The ignition wires were connected and we moved back about a hundred feet. Tony did the countdown.
        ". . . six . . . five . . ah . . three . . . ."
        "You forgot four," accused Ted.
        "Oh, yeah. Uh, . . . six . . . five . . . FOUR . . . two . . . ."
        "Now you forgot three," I said.
        "Alright, wise guy. You do the countdown!" Tony said.
        "SIX! FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE! BRENNSCHUSS!" I shouted.
        "Huh?" queried Ted, who was at the switch.
        "Brennschuss. It's German. Means 'burn time'," I explained.
        "Oh. What should I do?"
        "Close the switch, dummy!" I replied, and he did.
        RSVP 1 burped a little gust of smoke and sat there. Ted, Tony and I got up and walked over to see what was wrong.
        We were perhaps ten feet away when the wind blew the rocket over onto the pile of chemicals. RSVP 1 was now pointed up and to the west.
        THEN the fuel really ignited and the rocket blasted off.
        It also ignited the rest of the caramel candy mixture and the other two rockets, Ted's pants, Tony's shirt and my socks. Boy, was it spectacular!
        We watched awestruck as RSVP 1 vanished in the direction of the river, gracefully clearing trees and brush with ease.
        We watched horrified as RSVP 2 rose and, just above a barge full of gasoline traveling down Cedar Creek, ignited its payload of pyrotechnics.
        We watched proudly as RSVP 3 rose gracefully in the air and vanished from view as it passed through a cloud.
        "Wow!" we said together. "They worked!"
        "Sure glad we tripped and fell into this old pool of water when they fired," said
Tony.
        "Yeah! Sure glad we tripped and fell into this old, STINKY, SLIMY, MUDDY, ALGAE-COVERED old pool of water," said Ted.
        "Yeah," I said, "'Cause if we hadn't you'd have burned up both legs of your pants and Tony wouldn't even have his shirt collar left and I'd have more than burn holes in my socks."
        "I wonder where they fell?" Ted asked quietly.
        We had seen what RSVP 2 had done when it had ignited its payload over the barge full of gasoline. The crew had run around with fire extinguishers in case a fire started and the Captain looked right at us and the big cloud of smoke which was slowly dissipating.
        And we decided right then that we'd be better off at home, as we suspected that the sheriff would be along shortly.
        Mom, Grandma and Martha weren't at home when we got there, for which we were grateful. We sort of figured that there would be enough fuss when Mom saw our clothes.
        When they finally did get home we had showered and changed clothes and were watching the news. It seemed that a farmer north of town had reported that a flying saucer had attacked his cows with a ray gun that shot colored sparks.
        Tony, Ted and I knew where RSVP 3 had landed.
        Mom, Grandma and Martha had been visiting our cousin at the Girl Scout
Camporee in Pesthouse Park. They told us that someone had gotten careless with fireworks and a skyrocket had landed right in the middle of the council fire. It had scattered burning wood around, and the grass in the camping area had caught fire. Fortunately, the Girls Scouts had put it out before any more damage had been done.
        We didn't say so, but we were pretty sure that we knew where RSVP 1 had landed.
        Just then the television news reported the attack on a gasoline barge on Cedar Creek by a skyrocket. The sheriff had found where the rocket was launched and arrests were expected any moment.
        Mom looked at Tony, Ted and I. She shook her head and went to make supper.
        Arrests were never made, but interest in the case revived a few days later when Mom found our clothes in the laundry. We found it very necessary to curtail our rocketry experiments after that, even though we didn't find her remarks very helpful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:38 PM

Someone have MOM move into the house. It's thundering out there! Geez, Louise, you'd let her get hit by lightening if I wasn't watching you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:41 PM

Dang, what a treat. I am tempted to take back all the uncharitable things I have said about Rapaire, except I've lost track of them. But I'll take back the last three, anyway.

Good stuff. Obviously retirement suits you!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:48 PM

There are more, Amos. There are MANY more, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:01 PM

And now, Amos, a little poem I wrote to celebrate the first deer my nephew John shot (he was hunting, legally).

                     John's Deer

                It was mid-November of ninety-two --
                Deer season, opening day --
                John was sitting on a southern slope
                With Ralph fifty yards away.

                Ralph's my brother's oldest
                And John is squeezed between
                Ralph and niece Elizabeth --
                Someday John may be fourteen.

                Yes, Ralph's John's older brother.
                And I wasn't there to see
                When John dropped his first buck deer,
                But Ralph told it all to me.

                "Dawn broke nice and quiet
                It barely brushed the sky with pink
                We'd been on stand for half an hour
                Or thereabouts, I think.

                "Suddenly shots were all around!
                It sounded like a heckuva fight!
                But when I poked my head up I found
                They were fifty yards to the right.

                "Those shots just kept on coming
                But when I looked around I saw
                John putting shot after quickly aimed shot
                Downhill, into the draw!

                "And then he tossed away his weapon,
                And in the early morning light
                John lit the fuse and tossed downhill
                A stick of dynamite!

                "It exploded and I started toward him.
                He was yelling to beat the band!
                And then suddenly he jumped off of the ridge
                Clutching a knife in his right hand.         

                "When I got to the ridge I saw him
                Crouching in the blasted wood,
                Stabbing and cutting a little spike buck --
                John saw me, waved, and stood.

                "'I got him, Ralph!' he hollered,
                But I think he's still alive!'
                And over the cliff John tossed that very dead deer
                In a two hundred fifty foot dive.

                "When we finally got down to him
                That buck was as dead as dead could be.
                He carried a rack of two or three points,
                But John swore thirty-three!

                "To get that deer out of the creek
                Was a job and a half, I'd say!
                It took us all day and half the night
                And my back still aches today.

                "We stuck two four wheel drive pickups
                Broke a winch and an ATV.
                Finally Dad brought in a D-9 Cat
                And moved the hills away.
        
                "We had to build a road to that old deer
                We built three bridges and filled in two bogs,
                Leveled mountains and drilled four tunnels
                And lumbered out five thousand logs.

                "We butchered at last that old deer up
                (John wanted to mount the head)
                We got seven pounds of meat from it,
                And eighty pounds of lead."

                Now, I don't believe Ralph for a minute!
                He stretches the truth some, you know --
                'Cause I've seen John's venisonburger,
                And the bullet holes hardly show!


I don't want to hear no criticism of my potery no more, ya hear?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Eiseley
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:22 PM

Did you also write a poem about the first deer he shot illegally?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:29 PM

MY family (of course, I can only speak for those out to 32nd cousins) never has done or will do anything illegal.

Hmph! The very idea!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 08:21 PM

Aw shucks, and here I thought he had gotten over that reality-distortion thing when he retired. Guess it takes a while to spin down...



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:01 PM

Even when my paternal grandpapa was busted for moonshining during Prohibition it wasn't an illegal act. He just didn't pay off the right people; if he had it wouldn't have been illegal. Likewise for my 3-g uncle who lead slave out of The South and into the free state of Illinois, then over to Missouri where he resold them -- funny thing about him was that after he popped into his sister's place one night nobody ever heard from him again (something about some people, including the local sheriff, looking for him).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:05 PM

        Before he died, our Dad was an actor. He acted with the Quincy Little Theatre, just like Ted does sometimes and Tony and I have.
        Ted's acted in a lot of plays: Antigone, Hamlet, . . . Red Ryder, The Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch and lots and lots more. He's even won awards for acting!
        What is generally unknown or forgotten is that Tony and I, skulking around in the Boogie Swamp, started Ted down the path to ☆ stardom ☆ and association with theatre greats*.
        A long time ago, even before Ted was in Golden Fleecing and we played in Androcles and the Lion together, Tony and I were eating lunch in the Swamp. We'd finished our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and small bottles of milk and were gathering our stuff for a hard afternoon of fishing.
        Suddenly, from the direction of the railroad tracks, we heard a lady crying "Save me! Oh, save me! Is there no hero to answer my cry for help?"
        Then a man with a nasty, oily voice said, "Quiet, my beauty! Your hero (he said this with a sneer) is in prison, where my false evidence put him!"
        "Then alas! all is lost! But I will never succumb to your foul desires and marry you!"
                *Like Leonard Slye and Robert T. Hope and Junius Booth and Sarah Bernhardt and the Duke of Bilgewater.         Tony and I were sneaking closer during this exchange, and when we peeked through the bushes we saw a man in a cape and top hat trying a beautiful lady to the railroad tracks!
        "She'll be killed if a train runs over her," observed Tony.
        We grabbed big, thick tree branches for clubs and yelling "We'll save you" ran out to club the bad guy and untie the lady.
        We got only halfway there when a bunch of people grabbed us, took away the clubs and held us tight!
        The man in the hat came over to us looking annoyed. He turned to another person who we couldn't see because the person was behind us and said, "HOW can we rehearse in conditions like THIS?"
        "Jeffrey, Jeffrey," a lady behind us replied, "They're only children! And besides, you wanted to feel the part by tying Rosalee to an active, real, railroad track! Now everyone, take it from 'Save me! Oh, save me!' and you kids come here, sit down, and shut up."
        Tony and I came, sat, and shut up next to the lady who had been talking.
        I whispered to Tony, "I see. It's only a play and they're practicing. Boy, were we fooled, huh?"
        And Tony whispered back, "You were fooled, not me! I just went along with you to see what you'd do!"
        "Shhhhhhhhh!" said the lady.
        And we watched the beautiful lady get tied to the tracks and the villain (that's what they call the bad guy in the theatre) watch and wait for a train to run over the lady (who is called a heroine) or for her to agree to marry him.
        We saw the good guy (or hero), who had been freed from jail, rescue the heroine and clobber the villain, who was taken away by actors pretending to be police.
        It was good, and even though we hadn't seen the whole play we clapped and clapped.
        But the lady with whom we were sitting (who we learned was called the Director) didn't seem to think it was any good at all, and made the actors do it over and over and over.
        At one point we mentioned to her that a train was, really, about due and the heroine might get hurt for real. She told us that they'd made arrangements with the railroad and no trains would be using the tracks that afternoon.
        Finally she said, "Okay, everybody. I've still got problems with this scene, but tomorrow's final tech rehearsal, Wednesday's first dress and blocking, Thursday's final dress and we open Friday."
        Suddenly a man ran up and handed her a note. She read it and said, "Darn! Miranda's sick -- she's in the hospital. We don't have anyone to play her. It's only one line and some blocking (which is what theatre people call moving around on stage, you know) but it's a crucial role. Anyone know who we can get?"
        All of the actors and actresses thought and thought but no one answered.
        Then Tony said to her, "Maybe my Mom will do it, if its not a hard part. Mom can do almost anything, and besides my Dad used to act in the Little Theatre."
        The lady looked surprised and asked us our names. When she found out who we were she said our Dad had been a good actor and she'd call our Mom about the part.
        The Director told us that Miranda, the name of the lady in the play, was the heroine's mother. All Miranda had to do was come in at a certain time and say, "You'll not have her while there is breath in my ancient body!" The villain would then shoot Miranda, who would fall dead on the stage.
        Tony observed that we certainly didn't want Mom killed! But the Director told him that it wasn't a real gun, but a fake gun used on stage, so Tony and I agreed to tell Mom.
        To our surprise, Mom like the idea of being in a play and she talked to the Director and agreed to do it if we kids could come see the play on opening night for free.
        The Director agreed, and even gave us seats in the "boxes" above and close to the stage.
        For the next few days we were excited! We talked about plays and played plays. We probably tied Martha to pretend railroad tracks twenty times a day.
        One day we forgot to untie her in time for supper and when we finally did she just lay there. When we asked her what was wrong she said she'd been run over by a pretend train and we were some pretend heroes! Ted started to shovel dirt on her and she jumped up and yelled and ran to Mom. Mom got mad at Ted, but Ted explained that if she had been run over by a train she was dead, so he was burying her.
        Finally, Friday came.
        We talked theatre all day, and late in the afternoon we got dressed for the play. We boys wore white shirts and ties and Martha put on her best dress.
        Mom had gone to the theatre early because she had to get into her costume. We four walked to the theatre and were shown to our box by an usher (who is the person who shows you where your seats are).
        We were early, so we watched as the seats filled with the audience. Tony wanted some popcorn, but there wasn't any for sale. But we each got a lemonade and drank that.
        The theatre was beautiful. It was the old Orpheum, and there were golden lights and if you looked at the highest ceiling it looked like stars and moving clouds. The seats were red velvet and the part you sat on folded up. Our box was only about a meter above the stage, so we'd be able to see and hear very well.
        The play was called Caviar For The General, or, The Revenger's Tragedy. We thought that it was a funny name for a play.
        The people in the audience were all grown up, and when they saw us in our box they pointed. So we sat up real straight and behaved ourselves. After all, we did have very good seats.
        Finally, the lights dimmed, the music started, and the play began!
        It was a really great play, about a poor family and a railroad owner (the villain) who wanted the family's farm for his railroad. When he found out about the beautiful daughter he wanted to marry her, even though she was in love with Jack, the poor but honest hero.
        Finally the villain had Jack sent to prison by making up some things he said that Jack had done.
        Ted was watching with great interest. Sometimes he'd whisper to us things like, "Boy! He's a bad man!" and "I'd like to punch him for that." He didn't like the villain at all.
        The Mom came out wearing a dress we'd never seen before. The villain had been trying to carry the heroine off to marry him and Mom grabbed her and said, "You'll not have her while there is breath in my ancient body." And the villain pulled out a pistol and shot her and Mom fell into a heap on the stage floor.
        The villain turned to the audience and, still holding the smoking revolver, sneered.
        Ted yelled, "You skunk! You shot my mother!" and leapt onto the stage.
        He grabbed a chair and hit the villain over the head with it.
        Now, the chairs used in fights on the stage or in the movies are specially made. They break apart very easily: this looks really good and nobody is really hurt.
        The chair Ted used wasn't one of these, and the villain fell to the stage, out cold.
Then Ted picked up the villain's gun and shot him five times!
        "That'll teach you!" said Ted.
        "Put the gun down. It's not real," Mom said to Ted.
        "Mom!" yelled Ted. "You're okay! Are you hurt? I've really fixed this snake good!"
        "You've also fixed the play," murmured Mom.
        Well! You can only imagine the audience. People were fainting and yelling and screaming and laughing and Mom was mortified!
        Finally a doctor came on stage and checked the villain. Except for a cut on his head and being knocked out he was all right. Ted surrendered the pistol and walked up to the front of the stage.
        He said very loudly to the audience that he was sorry he'd ruined the play, but he'd never seen a play before and he thought that Mom had really be shot and all.
        It was no use. The theatre had to give everyone back their money and Mom never acted again. She was afraid that the next time the villain might have a sword.
        The next summer she sent Ted to Children's Theatre to learn about acting and things, and when Ted finally got into college he earned a Bachelor's degree in theatre and he even toured around the country with a theatrical group.
        But after the theatre that night we had a light supper of mock turtle soup, mock steak, mock chicken legs, mock bisque and mock angel food. We had powdered orange juice to drink.
        We never did get to see the heroine tied to the railroad tracks on stage.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:07 PM

Amos wanted some quality BS....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:22 PM

Well l swan...you are a piece of work, Rapaire. I am just hornswoggled at this fine BS you are putting out.

Actually, I don't swan, but I know someone who does. But it sounds good when one is up a gum stump.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:35 PM

Those are wonderful, Rapaire! Remember, the titles and subtitles are worth reading also. Do the one about the Illigators, please, please!

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:22 AM

Just for Eiseley:

The Glorious Fourth had come and gone, floated away on a full day of rain. Some people ? our Uncles and Aunts and cousins ? came over, but nobody stayed long. It was too wet to even shoot the city's fireworks off, and the big display was postponed for a week.

        The fifth was hot and steamy, and by the seventh everyone said that the Dog Day were upon us even though they usually didn't arrive until August.

        Martha asked what Dog Days were and Tony told her that was when dogs got hydrophobia and went mad. Ted asked what they were mad about, and I explained that they were mad because they had rabies. Tony said that they didn't have rabies, they had hydrophobia, and I said that they had rabies and the "hydrophobia" was the only big word Tony knew and that was why he said that the dogs had hydrophobia. Tony said that he knew lots of big words, like "haphephobia" and "fusee" and "trinitrotoulene" and "dekastere" and "chalcedony" and I said that "fusee" wasn't a very big word and Tony said that it was, and Mom said to stop arguing this minute.

        So we stopped arguing and started fighting, and Mom told us to get out of the house and go outside and play or something.

        So we decided to go to Cedar Creek.

        We had Martha fill the canteens and make some sandwiches because Mom hadn't thrown her out to play. Of course, she charged us and when we paid her she stuck her tongue out and said that Dog Days were called that because Sirius, the Dog Star, was high in sky at that time and we weren't as smart as we thought.

        Ted threw an old tomato at her and he got thrown out for the rest of the day, too. (He missed.)
        
        So the three of us trekked off to find whatever adventure might await us at Cedar Creek.

        There wasn't much, to tell the truth. The remains of the old Civil War ironclad were still rusting away, just as they always had as long as we knew. We fished for a while, but only caught a couple of small five-pounders, which we threw back as they were too small to keep.

        It kept getting hotter and muggier. Finally, Tony announced that he was going swimming.

        "It's a long way to the pool in South Park, even though it's a good idea," said Ted.
        
        "I shan't trouble your nascent mind with the whereabouts of proposed natatorial exercise," replied Tony, "except to say that the present venue will suffice."

        "What? What'd he say?" Ted asked me.

        "He said that he's gonna swim here and that your mind is underdeveloped," I replied.

        "Well put, old bean," Tony said. He was starting to annoy me, and Ted didn't understand at all. And with that Tony started to take off his clothes. At our quizzical looks, he said, "One cannot dampen one's vestments, now, can one?" Then he jumped into Cedar Creek without even any clothes on at all!

        Tony swam around, diving at times and coming up nearby and splashing us with water. He was having a great time and urging us to join him. And truthfully, it did look refreshing.

        Ted and I had just about made up our minds to join him when it happened. We probably saw it about the same time ? several pairs of eyes sticking up above the water, moving slowly and deliberately toward Tony.

        Ted and I lookd at each other. We knew what they were, and Tony was in deadly danger. And when he came to the surface again we shouted the words of warning:

        "TONY!! TO THE ISLAND!!
        ILLIGATORS!!!!"

        To his credit, he believed us. He looked like a motorboat as he swam to the little island, which was closer than either shore.

        He made it, too, and was about four feet up the island's only sapling by the time the first illigator waddled ashore.

        There were eight of them ? brownish-green relatives of the alligator which were, except for snapping turtles and water moccasins, Illinois's most dangerous aquatic reptile. There were each no less than nine feet long, and each seemed to have a dozen rows of long, sharp, pointed, yellow TEETH. They gathered around the foot of Tony's tree and sort of snapped upwards at him. The sounds of their jaws and teeth closing together was frightening to hear.

        By this time, Tony was at the very top of the tree, about twenty-five feet up. The tree was wobbling a little from side to side from his weight.

        "Assistance! Expeditious assistance! Succor!" Tony shouted.

        "I'd say he was a sucker," Ted observed.

        "Tony!" I yelled. "You want help? Is that what you're trying to say?"

        "In sooth!" he replied.

        "Okay, hang on!" I cried. "We'll go get help."

        "Don't get help! Help me!" he yelled.

        "I'll go get Mom and Martha!" I shouted.
        
        "I'll go get the nuns from the convent!" Ted shouted.

        "I'm en deshabille! I mean, I'm bare!" shouted Tony.

        Ted and I were rolling on the ground laughing.   Finally, I gasped out, "Yeah! We couldn't help but notice!"

        Ted gasped out, "Let's get the game warden 'cause there's a bare in that tree!" and he started to laugh again.

        "Your ends are in view if I get out of here," Tony threatened.

        "No, your end's in view," Ted and I replied and laughed some more.

        Tony was upset. We could tell.

        Finally, I said, "I know how you can get away and be safe."

        Tony: "How?"

        Me: "Well, if you're really, really fast you might slide down the tree and outrace the illigators to this shore."

        Tony: "That's a REALLY stupid idea."

        "Just a thought. Besides, the poor illigators look hungry. But since you don't want us to go for help and you're too slow to beat the illigators, why not go by air?" I asked.

        "Ted!" Tony hollered. "Mike's gone crazy! Watch yourself!"

        "No," I responded, "Shift your weight back and forth at the top of the tree just like pumping up a swing. When it's going really good, let go and you'll fly over here. You might break your arm or something, but the illigators DO look both hungry AND patient."

        "Well," Tony decided, "I'll try it. Maybe I'll land in some nice soft mud. Fetch my clothes and watch where I land, okay?"

        Tony started pumping. Slowly, slowly the tree started to respond. Back and forth, forth and back, and for Tony, up and down, too. The illigators got more and more excited as the bending tree brought Tony's heels and feet and legs and other parts closer and closer to their ready jaws. Back and forth, back and forth ? and then, just at the point where the illigators could nip his heels on the next go, Tony released the tree and took flight!

        In the history of flight there have been many great moments. From the legends of Daedelus to the first tentative flight of the Wright brothers, to the exploits of Beloit, von Richtofen, Doolittle, Lindbergh, and Earhart ? to the heroics of Colin Campbell, of Alan Shephard, and Yuri Gargarin, of Christy McAuliffe and of thousands of other aviators, deeds great and small have been writ on the pages of the sky. Tony's flight, done arms and legs akimbo, cannot be said to be among them.

        To his credit, let it be said that he neither screamed nor broke anything.

        Ted and I dashed after him, carrying his clothes. Tony had gone MUCH further than we had thought that he would. We were concerned because we didn't know then that he hadn't broken anything, and we thought that he might need help.

        Help he did indeed need! But we couldn't give him any right then, for his plight was desperate in the extreme!

        It was also amazingly funny. Tony, you see, completely unclothed as he was, had finished his airborne antics in the exact center of a large, dense, stand of blackberry bushes!

        True, we could rescue him. And eventually we would. But at that time a troop of Girl Scouts were picking blackberries from Tony's stand.

        You would have thought they would have noticed when a bare boy landed in the middle of the blackberry patch, but they didn't seem to. It was a good thing, we thought, that Tony hadn't yelled something.

        Ted and I stopped on a small rise about a hundred yards away to watch the ensuing spectacle. We were, to say the least, hypnotized by the unfolding drama ? and torn between laughing quietly and laughing out loud.

        Quickly the Girl Scouts picked, working closer and closer to the center and a very revealing discovery.

        I glanced down and then looked again. "Ted!" I whispered. "Ted! Tony's clothes are gone!"

        "Clothes? He's gonna need clothes in about three minutes," Ted chortled.

        "PSSSSSSSSSST!" came from behind us. "PSSSSSSSSSST!"

        We looked back and there was Tony.

        We knew it was Tony, because only someone who'd tangled with a blackberry patch could look like that.

        He was scratched all over. In addition, he had spots all over his body where blackberries had been crushed when he fell. True, he now had on most of the clothes he'd quietly taken from my side, but there wasn't any place we could see that wasn't either spotted or scratched or, most probably, both.

        "Oh, darn! I mean, how are you? You got away, I see," Ted exclaimed.

        "Crawled between Girl Scouts. Out of bushes. Let's go home," Tony said, and he tied his last shoelace and stood up. He took a step and fell face down into some mud, as he had inadvertently tied his shoelaces together. Again.

        He got up, wiped the mud from his eyes, and we all started home. As we passed the Girl Scouts they looked at us and made some comments about Tony's condition. I told them about the illigators and said that they should be careful because one had chased Tony and he had only escaped by hiding in some blackberry bushes. All of which was, of course, true, but sort of slanted.

        We got home in time for Tony to clean up before a supper, and really enjoyed a repast of anchovies, avocados, aubergine aspic, and asparagus. There was ambrosia to drink, and BOTH auf lauf and snitz kloes for dessert. It was a good ending to a good day, except for Tony, who spent the next two week covered with calomine lotion. You see, there had also been poison ivy in among the blackberries.

        




Note: The very last illigator died on April 17, 1969, at 7:32 p.m. Being mostly teeth and appetite they ate 'most anything, including each other. The last one, which had been kept in the Quincy Zoological Gardens, started biting its toenails and couldn't stop.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:02 AM

Bravo!! Long live the Illigators!! Whoops. Too late....


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