Forbidden Fruit

By: Ernst Luchs

A frigid, frustrated wind blew with bitter petulance against every orifice of the unbreachable stone tower. The tower was but the uppermost appendage of architecture spread out over many acres and over many unmarked graves, where restless bones quivered in the worm-riddled clay. Behind a small stained-glass window on the third floor flickered the light of a single candle, a candle lit by the delicate hands of a maiden yet unknown to the world, yet unchosen, yet unplucked in the perfumed gardens of desire. She sat near her canopied bed crocheting a new bodice to fit her young, vibrant body. Her name was Beaujolais, which was but a synonym for desire itself.

Perhaps one day, someday soon, a man (or woman, anyone!) would come to unravel her silken cocoon of isolation. Then she could turn from being a fuzzy caterpillar with too many legs into a beautiful, mature butterfly that eats everything through a long, tube-like mouth and has only a week to live. Yes, someone would come to pry open the bars of her gilded cage and then clean the cage out afterwards. The cleaning-out part would probably take several weeks but it was long overdue. She wiled away her days seeming never to notice that she had an admirer close by.

Heime was tall and beefy. His big, brown eyes were big and brown. He could always be found in the stable, shoveling, or in the smokehouse, staring at the hams with pained earnestness. As he struggled through the years to master his shoveling, Heime had watched Beaujolais from afar. She had grown out of her simple childhood clothes into the fetching fashions of young womanhood in full bloom. His codpiece grew unruly in her presence and he found that he could no longer contain himself.

She herself was not completely blind. She knew in her heart, in her bones, that Heime was the finest, purest, grandest specimen of the male animal that she’d ever seen. There was also a musky odor in the barn that thrilled her beyond belief. When at last they came face to face along a garden path one dusky twilight, they beheld in each other’s eyes the savage longing that had led them both there to that exact spot. Each felt the hold, the pull of that strange, subatomic force that had surely drawn them together.

He touched her pale neck with his hand and a shudder of delight vibrated and ricocheted through her entire body. She was like a rare, wild swan to him, from the soft, delicate down at the nape of her neck to the webbing between her toes. How she loved to nibble grain out of his cupped hands!

He was like a panda to her: soft, furry, round, with a remarkably human grip and a warm, moist muzzle that sent ripples of passion through every fiber of her being. Burning with desire, he swept her up in his arms and held her with the tenacity of a cephalopod.

“Do you love me?” he asked with the innocence of a child.

Her eyes welled up with tears and her fulsome lips swelled with passionate abandon as she gazed up at his finely chiseled, grizzled, fizzled, swizzled face.

“If love is the pain in my aching bosom, beneath my brooch, beneath my sternum, to the left of my aorta, if love is the silence I hear whenever you stop chewing whatever it is you’re chewing on, if love is the rabbit-fur mitten you use to stroke me with so softly, then yes, yes, yes I love you, Heime. Here on the 39th parallel of eternity I love you!”

“It’s peanut brittle,” said Heime. “That’s what I’ve been chewing on.”

“Oh, so that’s what’s stuck between your teeth. I thought it might be gristle from yesterday’s pork roast.”

“These peanut skins stick like glue to my gums. You know. It’s like popcorn kernels. Only I don’t like popcorn.”

“I don’t know what to say when you shower me with so much attention,” she said, wiping off a handful of peanut-brittle goo.

“Just say thank you,” he suggested. “But don’t say it in English. Say it in French. It drives me wild.”

“Bon jour,” she whispered in his ear as he swooned.

Sometime later — who knows when? — he awoke, electrified by her unearthly beauty. He could feel his jugular vein throbbing against the inside of his collar, and wished briefly he had bought the shirt a half-size larger. He could feel her wild, young, ample, generous bosom heaving under him, straining against her tightened bodice. Her breasts jostled, plunged and cavorted like two baby seals eager to test the open sea.

He and she were bound by the primal laws of physics to collide, to come together as one, not only on the astral plane but on every plane you can think of, intermingling, entwining and emulsifying each other’s molecules. He took her whole face in his mouth and graced her with the biggest, wettest kiss the world had ever known. She surrendered utterly to the sweet confusion of his raging fury. They locked tongues for an hour, breathing only through their noses.

She hadn’t known until their lips and their hearts had entwined (to awaken a memory buried deep within her psyche) that she had been an alien seed fallen from the heavens, which had lain dormant in the peat bogs for eons, finally to germinate and grow into a sinuous, seductive lie, a remarkably camouflaged beast of prey.

He didn’t know the jig was up until he felt his life’s blood being sucked out through his now-paralyzed tongue. He felt the rest of his manly physique going numb, immobile. His body gurgled the way a straw gurgles. Slowly his lungs, his entire body collapsed and was reduced to a gray, wizened parchment, which could be rolled up like a scroll, and was.


Proper Gardening Tips

By: J. Pinkerton

Gardening is for some a way of life, and for others a nice hobby to keep them occupied. Decide early which category you fall into, and the amount of your children’s college money you will be willing to part with to feed your new obsession.

Try planting bright, eye-catching gardenias next to your front step as a way of perking yourself up as you leave for work. If manic-depressive, follow this up with a cocktail of mood suppressants and downers with a chaser of whiskey in the car.

Exposure to the sun can be an essential factor in the health of your garden. Manipulate the rotation of the Earth for a plump, healthy tomato harvest.

You’re only spraying nutrient-rich growth promoter on one side of your cucumber leaves, not both? Why don’t you just back up over your garden with a monster truck, moron?

Never add fresh manure directly into an already established garden unless it is worked in at least four weeks before planting. To do otherwise is the cardinal sin of gardeners, broken only once by history’s greatest monster: Adolf Hitler’s gardener.

Fence off your garden so that “little feet” can’t tromp through your planting areas while playing. If this proves ineffectual, amputate the legs of your children at the knees, using children’s Tylenol as a mild sedative. They’ll thank you when they see a supper plate full of nutritious, garden-fresh green beans!

Composting is a useful tool for any garden, as it adds nutrients into the soil. For the most impressive garden possible, avoid salty, nutrient-poor foods when defecating randomly through your garden.

To get started in building your own hydroponic garden, be sure to plant a row of cabbage and carrots near the entrance of your greenhouse. This will serve as a handy smokescreen to hide the titanic amounts of pot you will no doubt be planting.

Avoid placing your garden atop steep slopes, or water won’t have time to seep in before running off. Locations to avoid: the tops of hilly patches on your back lawn; near any recent yard renovations; at the summit of Mount Everest; on top of the Washington Monument; in deep space.

Mix a handful of wood ash with a handful of hydrated lime and two fingers of vodka, then just kick back and relax. You’ve worked hard on your garden, you deserve it.


The Two Worlds Of Don Don

By: Helmut Luchs

My name is Carlos Piñata. I’m an illegal alien living in the United States and going to college on a government grant. My mother would have wanted it that way. In fact, she said on her deathbed (which happened to be a bed of nails), “Son, I want you to take this mattress back where you got it. And another thing. It is my wish that you live in the United States as an illegal alien and attend college on a government grant.”

“But Mama,” I said, “we are living in the United States as illegal aliens, and I am going to college on a government grant.” She died with a smile on her face and nails in her back.

It was around this time that I began to actively reassert my interest in prank phone calls, which eventually led to my arrest on harassment charges. Even then I used my one phone call to order a pizza, leaving a false name and address for delivery. I was going nowhere at that point in my life. I had graduated from college with a degree in mushroomology, unable to find work and still making large payments on the mattress my poor mother died on.

Then one day I decided to actively reassert my interest in getting drunk and stealing cars. I was on my way to church in a stolen pickup truck when it struck me that there must be something more to living. I took a sharp turn in the road and in my life and headed down towards Mexico to go barhopping. Shortly after I crossed the border I must have passed out from intoxication. I had nightmares about a large silver crow that swooped down from a red sky to peck at my head. Then the crow was mysteriously transformed into something that looked like Colonel Sanders in a sombrero. I woke up just as the old man was putting out a small brush fire on my forehead.

Strangely enough, when I awoke I was lying in the middle of the road, my truck was upside down in a ditch and the old man from my dream was setting a torch to it. This was my first meeting with the infamous Don Don, or as his friends called him, Donny. I yelled, “Get away from that truck you crazy old crow!” but just then it burst into flames. “You’ll pay for that!” I screamed. He walked up to me smiling.

“Do not be fooled by what you think you see,” he said, “for there is more than one world and more than one reality. What you can’t see is often more real than what you think you see. Let me show you: How many fingers am I holding up?”

“Two,” I said, and with that he poked me in the eyes.

“Now how many?”

“I don’t know. I can’t see a thing.”

“Yet I still hold up two fingers in a world you are unable to perceive.”

“Hey, get your hands out of my pockets!”

“Ah, already with just one lesson your perception of this other world has increased dramatically.”

“Well, I have taken a couple of metaphysics classes,” I said modestly.

“Fascinating!” exclaimed the old sorcerer. “But tell me, where do you keep your money?”

“In my shoes, of course.” I had no sooner answered than a fiery pain came to my head and I fell unconscious. However, due to my highly stimulated sense of awareness, I believe I was actually conscious that I was unconscious, and I remember thinking that the old man was truly a man of knowledge.

When I came to, both Don Don and my money were gone, and in light of this discovery I felt I must actively reassert my interest in bank robbing.

It wasn’t until several years later that I saw Donny again. I was now a rich man and unaccustomed to stopping in at the lower-class bars and brothels, but on this night I decided to make the rounds just for old times’ sake. The bar I found him in was simply a shack made of old road signs and the beverage was nothing more than local sewage that had been stored in a retention pond for several days to give it flavor. Even in the dim light of that tiny shack I recognized him. There he was in his familiar white beard and sombrero, wearing a dress and dancing on top of a table as dark, oily men bought him drinks and stuffed small bills down his front. As I looked on I was stricken with grief and horror at the realization that this was the only way a man of knowledge could get a drink in this country.

I pressed forward through the crowd with tears streaming down my cheeks. When I reached the table, our eyes met. He looked at me and winked, and without hesitation I stuffed a hundred-dollar bill down his brassiere. Insulted by this hint that he could be bought, he slapped my face savagely and I left the bar in shame, having learned another great lesson from this man: a lesson in pride. And never again would I stuff a hundred-dollar bill down the brassiere of a man of knowledge.


The Ballad Of Bigfoot (Hidden In Rudyard Kipling’s Desk By Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

By: Kurt Luchs

The name’s Dan O’Brien and I won’t be lyin’

If I say I’ve seen a thing or two.

I’ve sailed more than most from coast to coast,

From the China Sea to Timbuktu.

I’ve braved many a gale on back of a whale,

Sent many a fool to Davy’s Locker;

Cut sails from the gizzards o’ giant lizards

And still I ain’t ready for a rocker.

I’ve kissed native girls with coral for curls

And bodies like burnished ivory.

Then after my pleasures I plunder their treasures

With whiskey and wiles and connivery.

I take their gold to have and to hold

And leave ’em to sob in their huts.

I’ve nothin’ to do with ’em when I’m through with ’em —

The Devil take the heathen sluts!

But in all the years passed before the mast

I never yet knew a creature

As could make me squeal or turn on my heel

And holler for a preacher,

Unless you’re exceptin’ that beast of deception

With a smell like pickled pig’s foot,

That hairy mound who howled like a hound

The fearful name o’ — Bigfoot!

My leaking bark was the Crippled Shark,

My crew was two score and ten;

Recruited from middens and debtors’ prisons

To a man they were desperate men.

We hoisted our ales and lowered the sails

And pointed her into the sun,

Then to celebrate this affair of state

Fired the cook from the forward gun.

The sea was clear as a maiden’s mirror,

The sky was blue as a vein;

We were three days south when the weather gave out

And began the cursed rain.

It hailed cats and dogs and poisonous frogs

Till we thought we were Noah’s Ark.

Then the mainmast split when the lightning spit

And crippled the Crippled Shark.

We were tossed and torn around the Horn,

All the while the deck was burning,

But I swore allegiance to the regions

From which there’s no returning.

When the hurricane ceased and gave us peace

We all of us made crosses,

Then dropped a rope near the Cape o’ No Hope

To ascertain our losses:

One bosun burned, or so I learned

When I breathed in half his ashes;

The first mate hid ‘neath a lifeboat lid

Till I gave him forty lashes.

The cabin boy had been thrown like a toy

Behind the fo’c’s’le ladder

And there he stayed while the thunder played

And he lost control of his bladder.

“Press on!” says I. “We’ll do or we’ll die,

And woe to them that disobey.

The first to utter a cowardly mutter

Will be the first to lose his toupee!”

Though my crew of fifty were yellow and shifty

And wouldn’t stand my scrutiny,

I settled their hash with musket and lash

Till they planned a murderous mutiny.

They brought me a broth of boiled sloth

To make me sleep like a gypsy;

Then the second mate took a silver plate

And bashed me until I was tipsy.

They set me adrift in a scurvy skiff

With my noggin nailed to the floor

And said, “Roses are red, but dead is dead

And we’ll never see you no more.”

The tropical air baked me medium rare,

To the four winds I was a slave;

And while I was waitin’ I prayed to Satan

To take my crew to the grave.

For days without number I had no slumber

Nor food, nor drink to tide me by,

And should things get dull a passing gull

Would make a pass at my one good eye.

By luck at last my bones were cast

Upon a sharp and slimy beach

Where on the sand a moth-eaten band

Of monkeys gabbled, each to each.

Monstrous they were with matted fur,

Faces smiling like open sores;

Such was their stench that it gave me a wrench:

“Touch me not or you’re damned!” I roars.

But worst of all, though their heads were small

And fit like nuts for cracking,

Their feet were the size of Victoria’s thighs —

No use to try attacking.

Odoriferous, Lord! And vociferous

They stammered and stank all about me,

Then tried to unmind me by pointing behind me

When one of ’em made to clout me.

‘Twas my belief that she was their chief

(If such could be anointed);

Each toe was big as a suckling pig

And her tiny skull was pointed.

In midair she stopped, to her knees she dropped

And kissed my offended fingers.

I’ve since washed and washed at a fatal cost

Yet still the smell of her lingers.

“In short,” she queried, “would you be married?

And if you’re not, are you looking?

Unless you’re my beau, your carcass we’ll throw

Into that pot a-cooking.”

She showed me a stew where my traitorous crew

Were turned into appetizers.

My men, once vicious, were now delicious

And none of them the wiser.

“In every port,” I says in retort,

“I’ve got a gal I call my wife

And more’s the pity ’cause they’re all pretty

With looks not like to shorten my life.

“In any event your lovely scent

Leaves something to be desired.

I’d sooner be buried than getting married

To an animal that’s expired!”

At this she rears and covers her ears

And screams to have me skewered.

Though few the men within her ken

She seems to want one fewer.

But I offers my knee completely free

To her dainty knob of a nose;

Then as if by chance I dances a dance

On all twelve of her swollen toes.

And before the twits could gather their wits

I parted ’em like the ocean

And rendered ‘em gutless with dagger and cutlass

To prove my undying devotion.

Without looking back I beat a track

To the brink of the Devil’s waters

And diving headfirst I swore a curse

On Darwin and all his daughters.

It was sink or swim and by God’s whim

I sunk straight down to the bottom

Where my bones were sweet with delicate meat

For all the sharks that got ’em.

When next I awoke I was coughing up smoke

And tied to a bed o’ fire;

The name’s Dan O’Brien and now I’m lyin’

Where everyone’s a liar.