Monthly Archives: November 2014

Weird Finds: Ghosts from My Past at Grandma’s

I spent the past week at my grandparents’ house in rural Indiana, about forty-five minutes north of Louisville. While there, I was unexpectedly confronted with the sins of my past. Before we get to that, though, some exciting news.

My short story, “Diversion,” is going to be published in fall of 2015 by Shade Mountain Press in their anthology, The Female Complaint!

The story summary is as follows: On a commuter flight from Tokyo to Hiroshima, a young woman overhears two fellow passengers having a sexist conversation and decides to teach them a lesson. If you’re into feminism, Japan, or funny revenge stories, consider giving it a read. When it’s published. Er, in a year.

Now, to return to our regularly scheduled programming. My grandparents live in Vallonia, Indiana, an unincorporated community in Driftwood Township. It was a minor center of combat during the War of 1812. In 1853, it was legally platted. And while I have no idea what the hell ‘platted’ means, I’m sure it caused more of a stir than the town has seen before or since. It’s a quiet sort of place, is what I’m saying. Residents have to make their own fun.

Vallonia, Indiana

Unfortunately, if there’s one thing I suck at, it’s making my own fun. If I’m left unstimulated for even five minutes, I start clawing at the wallpaper, drugging myself for science, and walking around with my jaw unhinged until someone chucks something nutritive down my gullet. I once got so bored I punched a hole through my sister’s wall and then tried to cover it up with a poster from school reading SHOULD MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED FOR MEDICAL USE? That ruse worked for all of twenty minutes before my mom took down the poster and realized what I had done–I still don’t know how she saw through my fiendish cunning.

My point is, I’m not good at remaining idle. Which explains why I spent an hour yesterday cataloging my grandma’s book collection. She’s a devout southern woman, so her literary holdings tend toward a certain theme…

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Turkey Tales (pt 3): Married Turkeys

Welcome to the third and final installment of my Thanksgiving series, Turkey Tales. Over the past month, we’ve gotten hot and bothered about Sex Turkeys and trembled in the face of Murder Turkeys. Now–because I realized I was one article away from a game of turkey-themed F*ck-Marry-Kill–we’re going to take a look at Married Turkeys!

I put this article together using the same painstaking process I employed for the first two: typing a stupid phrase into Google and seeing what came up.

puritan who had sex with three turkeys

Exhibit A

Here are the results I received for the query “Married Turkeys.”

Top 10 Images of Animals Getting Married
I’d never realized how achingly specific top-10 lists could get until I stumbled across this one. Not content to slap up just any images of animals getting married, the intrepid author spent days combing the net for the 10 very best images of animals getting married. At least, that’s what I assume happened. How else could he or she compile such top-shelf pictorials?

Ducklings getting married.

Ducklings getting married.

Swans getting married.

Swans getting married.

Penguins getting married.

Penguins getting married.

Those are but three of the literally 10 top images of animals getting married. You’ll notice that birds are well represented on the list. Unfortunately, one of the birds that isn’t represented is our friend, the turkey. I realized I would have to look elsewhere.

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Turkey Tales (pt 2): The Attack Turkey of Martha’s Vineyard

For the second installment of my special Thanksgiving series, I wanted to tell a story about a turkey who killed someone. (Hence my recent Google searches for “turkey who killed someone,” “turkey kills man,” and “murder turkey.”) Unfortunately, reality refused to cooperate with my aspirations. Never in recorded history has a turkey been someone’s primary cause of death. The closest I came was this glancing reference to a Bay Area man who died after accidentally riding his bike into a flock of turkeys, and even then, you could make a strong case that it wasn’t the turkeys’ fault.

Turkey

The lack of fatal turkey stories surprised me. I grew up in an area that had wild turkeys, and let me tell you, those bastards were mean. They used to chase kids around at the bus stop, fluffing their feathers and gobbling with malicious intent.

Perhaps, I reasoned, they only seemed deadly in the eyes of a child. Surely no adult has felt seriously menaced by one of the walking holiday entrees.

Then I saw this video:

That’s News 10 reporter Duffy Kelly being chased by a wild turkey in Arden in 2010. As funny as the premise of this video is, you have to admit that it’s a bit unnerving to watch. The thing just keeps coming, even after being nearly run down by a mail truck. When Kelly seeks safety inside her car, the turkey circles the vehicle, looking every inch the modern day dinosaur. I’m assuming Kelly got away eventually…but we’ll never know.

(Unless we look at her LinkedIn profile, which seems to show that she’s still alive. Or is that what the pro-turkey lobbying syndicate wants us to think?)

Still, Kelly’s attacker has nothing on Tom the Turkey, the terror of Martha’s Vineyard.

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Turkey Tales (pt 1): Thomas Granger, Turkey Lover

‘Twill soon be Thanksgiving, and we Americans, supreme masters of the Greatest Country in the World, will be toasting our exalted status by eating a heroic amount of potatoes and pointedly not thinking about all the Native Americans we had to kill to take possession of this bounteous land of ours. It’s a real neat holiday!

In preparation for the big day, I’ve decided to spend November posting stories about turkeys. I’m doing this for two reasons: 1) It’s my blog, so I can do pretty much whatever I want, and 2) this blog gave up any claim to respectability the moment I elected to post about penis origami.

Without further preamble, please enjoy the tale of Thomas Granger, Puritan America’s #1 Turkey Lover.

Turkey Lover Plate

(www.zazzle.com)

The Case of Thomas Granger
“There was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger. He was servant to an honest man of Dux­bury, being about 16 or 17 years of age. (His father and mother lived at the same time at Scituate.) He was this year detected of buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey.”
-excerpt from Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford

Once upon a time, there was a young man named Thomas Granger. He was, according to his ninth great nephew, born in 1625/1626, most likely in England. Like many Puritans of the time, he left his native land and immigrated to the New World. His motives are open to speculation, but they may have been different from those of his peers.

GOODMAN GREEN: With all mine heart do I love this New World, sweet land of religious freedom. What say you, Goodman Brown?
GOODMAN BROWN: Indeed, Goodman Green. I, too, delight in the freedom to practice mine own religion.
GOODMAN GREEN: And you, Thomas? What be your favorite aspect of our adopted homeland?
THOMAS GRANGER: Probably the turkey sex.
GOODMAN BROWN: I beg your pardon?
THOMAS GRANGER: Er, religious freedom, I mean. Sorry, I have a stammer.

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Women and Erotica: Let’s Have a Giggle About Fanfiction

When I was a kid, the Internet sucked. I mean, really sucked. It was slow, hokey, full of gifs of skeletons smoking spliffs, and sounded like demons screaming in Hell whenever you fired it up. A typical day on the Internet was you waiting three hours to watch a fifteen-second clip from Star Trek and then getting kicked off the computer because your mom needed to make a phone call.

Dial-up Internet

“MEGAN GET OFF THE INTERNET, I NEED TO RESCHEDULE YOUR ORTHODONTIST APPOINTMENT!”-Hypothetical Late-90’s Mom (www.dacor.net)

I say this for the benefit of anyone under twenty-five who happens to be reading this blog. Another thing I’ve done for your benefit: found a sound clip of the dial-up Internet noise. Don’t thank me too effusively until you’ve actually listened to it. Christ what a racket.

Erotica and the Early Internet
Needless to say, the Internet of the late-90’s was not the virtual flesh market it is now. Don’t get me wrong–it was still full of pornography–but one’s efforts to access it were often stymied by poor connections, insane site layouts, and whatever virus came with that HOT!HOT!HOT!AshBangsPikachu file you downloaded off Napster. This was a transitional time when middle school boys still kept adult magazines under their mattresses despite having the World Wide Web at their fingertips.

“What about middle school girls?” you ask, with a not-at-all-creepy gleam in your eye. “What did they do?”

To which I reply–after submitting your name to whatever shadowy organization maintains the government watch list–thusly: “We didn’t need the Internet or the skin mags. Not when our mothers had these…”

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