Author Archives: Swany

Children’s Crusade

The variants of the long-standing story of the Children’s Crusade have similar themes. A boy began preaching in either France or Germany claiming that he had been visited by Jesus and told to lead a Crusade to peacefully convert Muslims to Christianity. Through a series of portents and miracles he gained a considerable following, including up to 30,000 children. He led his followers south towards the Mediterranean Sea, in the belief that the sea would part on their arrival, allowing him and his followers to march to Jerusalem, but this did not happen. They were sold to two merchants (Hugh the Iron and William of Posqueres) who gave free passage on boats to as many of the children as were willing, but then they were either taken to Tunisia and sold into slavery by the merchants, or died in a shipwreck on San Pietro Island off Sardinia during a gale. Some may have failed to reach the sea, dying or giving up from starvation and exhaustion. They were betrayed by some of the adults in their group.

A device whereby severall voyces of birds cherping may be heard

A device whereby severall voyces of birds cherping may be heard, by John Bate, 1634

John Bate. The Mysteryes of Nature and Art. Contained in foure severall Tretises, the first of Water workes, the second of Fyer workes, the third of Drawing, Colouring, Painting, and Engraving, the fourth of divers Experiments, as wel servicable as delightful: partly collected,and partly of the Authors Peculiar Practice, and Invention. Page 21. London: Ralph Mab, 1634. Library of Congress

Mountain Bride

The story of a luscious hill girl who started a feud when she gave her heart to a city man.  Rhonda Fleming and Joseph Cotton also star in other stories by Peggy Gaddis, available from Cameo Books in a plain brown wrapper.

Terminal munchies

They gave him gas, they gave him heartburn, they gave him headaches, but he couldn’t stop eating popcorn.

The autopsy revealed high levels of THC, a few crystals of ureic acid, and a receipt from a dentist in Tijuana for seventeen hundred bitcoins.

His brain was donated to the Brain Trust for an undisclosed tax receipt.

The odd relic of his half-remembered life was licensed to appear in an upcoming blockbuster.

His heart was donated to the Heart Foundation, beating all previous donations.

His feet, minus the baby toe on the starboard foot, were burned in effigies.

His liver was transplanted into former president Jimmy Carter, giving him a couple more years of life.

His balls were knocked out of the park when Paul Bunyan pitched a no-hitter.

His stick comforted the duchess of Glosterchershestershire in her bouts with depressions.

The whites of his eyes served as target practice during the American Revolution.

The CIA examined his sublingual proclivities, but they proved to be unsuited for any future needs.

Shoutout at the I’m Okay Corral

Genghis Khan or Hopalong Cassidy ?

Genghis for centuries has had a fearsome reputation because of his large-scale slaughter of conquered populations. Numerically, not approaching modern levels, but proportionally, near extinction for the clandestine cohort .

Hopalong, on the other hand, had a wooden leg. Rude and rough in his youth, he grew up to become a clean-cut, sarsaparilla-drinking man of many attributes. He was the first man to legally marry his horse, in a barbershop in Omaha. Always a square shooter who would give a cocksucker an even break, he shot the chip off Roy Rogers’s shoulder, and Dale couldn’t suppress a suppository. Hopalong was featured on the first lunchbox to bear an image. More than 100 companies manufactured Hopalong Cassidy products, including children’s dinnerware, pillows, roller skates, soap, wristwatches, and jackknives. Life and limb, sink or swim.

Redundancy

Some have accused me of redundancy, but like I said before, that’s an old story. Who isn’t redundant, according to the latest subsidies, and who is? Would they who is please take two steps forward and three steps back.

When they eventually hit the stone age they cast their pearls before swine, but the grunts didn’t go for it. Doesn’t the transcript show that  I already said that?

Tonight we will be doing, god be willing, the old topsy-turvy, to the tunes of Alphonse the Swinherd. The Swindle sisters will spin like spiders.

Hang on a second, I just blew up my random number generator. Luckily I have the diesel backup. By the numbers.

Peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks

Anyone could see he was a nut. The first thing he said to her, I will plow your field like a Ukranian, or my name is not Cashew Gesundheit.

When pressed, he would sweat Oil of Olay. More than enough to choke a moose. But it was like out of the frying pan and like into the fire. He came out white as a ghost.

Scholarships in the cabbage patch

I say that I might be accounted a scholar in that which follows, because it is not a controlled appelation. I might fight to the death anyone who says otherwise. And a scourge on your descendants unto kingdom come.

Choose your weapon and I’ll choose mine. A word to the wise: Don’t look over your shoulder.  Or I in my Nietzsche and she in her Marx will bust on in on you like the devil taking the hindmost of the band of brothers. Don’t ask to see the details.

Suppose your autonomous vehicle

Suppose your autonomous vehicle was driving down the road, with you in the back seat checking watching Youtube, and the vehicle chanced upon an unusual situation, where it would have to kill either:

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury, Jack the Ripper, and a tribe of Zulus, thus destroying the British Empire
  •  Five random Wallstreet Bankers, to the mortification of their capital gains
  • Jesus Christ, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther
  • or you

Who would sign the victim statement? Who would inherit your fortune cookies?

Hand me my slide rule and my procrastinator. I will tell you in a New York minute.