Tag Archives: humor

Bruno Solar System’s First News Now Reporting on the Planet Sardon

In recent Solar System news, the National Treasury of the Sardonian people has been unsealed, not for its yearly accounting, but for a printing of new funds at a volume never seen before.

“The underground presses were literally glowing with warmth,” our National Treasury correspondent, A. Fraser, reported by interplanetary wire. “The smell of newspaper and ink was overwhelming to the senses. I swooned. It was as if great works of literature were being churned out by the millisecond.”

As we’ve reported before, the Sardonian economy is kept afloat by scraps of official paper fibers over which words are printed in special government fonts. Being an extraordinarily complex system, only three economists understand the full spectrum of values the currency possesses. The average Sardonian simply attempts to keep up with the effect of market forces on those words found most frequently in his vocabulary. For example, the poorly educated comprehend all too well that articles, conjunctions, and other insubstantial one-syllable words are of little value (even if they don’t know exactly what the current low value is), while a confusing handful of one-syllable words contain such historic significance (e.g. tongue, horse, and moon) that they are priceless and, consequently, also of little value to anyone but esoteric historians.

By extension, most middle class men happily languish in workaday jobs to earn two-syllable words, such as balloon, python, and monkey, which suffice as exchange for words that put dinner on the table. However, due to the plebeian uprisings of 3024, the two-syllable word marrow–which represents the staple diet of the people–has been downgraded to the value of a conjunction so that the impoverished may also feed their families by trading lesser-fonted marrow coupons for grade B vegetables.

Why are they printing so many new words? The economic fate of the Bruno Solar System seems to hang on this very question. We asked A. Fraser, and he responded, “For more than a century, the Sardonian women have suffered oppression under the Primogeniture Word Act. They’ve been forced to subsist off strict word allowances belonging to their husbands or supporting male relatives. It’s all color of law, but it’s been practically illegal for women to own words of any kind (for more, see A Social History of Gender Inequalities). After weeks of silent protest by the women, which involved doing nothing but playing hand signal games with their children, newly elected President Grayhall pushed a landmark bill through the senate to give women back their own kinds of feminine words.”

Our interplanetary wire being cut from too much congestion, A. Fraser sent us this late, breaking news by old-fashioned quantum telegraph: While the senate spends the next fifty years defining what constitutes a feminine word–almost impossible because the language, itself, has evolved morphologically in the neuter–Grayhall has, in less than five minutes, met with advisers to finesse his healthcare reform plan. Throughout his private advisement meeting, his personal security officers leaned out the upper story windows at five second intervals, throwing out buckets of newly minted words for the women below to catch in their arms.

“It was beautiful,” one security officer remarked. “They were like blooming flowers with their arms wide open, catching a rainstorm of petals.” After that, the officer shut up because he had used his entire savings account in that one poetic sentiment.

And it appears the government has not only used all its stored words, but has caused a debt bubble as big as the planet itself. Nobody can quite get an accurate figure of words printed, but the estimates have ranged anywhere from 8 billion to 700 trillion, not to mention the words printed in a rush at the end for the sole purpose of repairing the smoking presses, which are estimated at ρ 5,000,000 paper cost.

We tried to contact A. Fraser by wire again for a badly needed verbal update, but were unable to do so. We did receive one last entangled particle telegraph from him, detailing the Chief Governor’s theory that President Grayhall printed all these beautiful words because he hopes the women will use them in support of his healthcare reform plan. While this may seem like a bright idea, A. Fraser teleported, modern Sardonian women aren’t the idealized oracles of ancient times. How could they be? They haven’t had any practice at it. Some men have reported hearing nothing but female voices, tinny from disuse, wasting currency on cupcakes, but I would question such rumors. One man claims he had to lock up his wife in a silencing room because she wouldn’t stop muttering the word chocolate, which is one of the most expensive luxury words available. But, again, that’s, as yet, an unsubstantiated rumor.

Is the Chief Governor’s theory correct? As soon as more information arrives via telegraph or wire, we’ll have late-breaking coverage on the debt bubble, President Grayhall’s healthcare reform plan, as well as a few human interest stories on how the men are coping with hearing the new sounds of their wives’ voices.

First News Now.

For related posts, click below:
The Planet Sardon: A Travelogue
The Planet Sardon: On Ethics, Morality, and the Greeting Card Fund
The Gillilander Pituitary Scale of the Male Out of Eden Complex


Dr. Gillilander & the Double Blind Reviewers

It’s no secret that Dr. Gerald Gillilander DPPM PB [Doctor of Psychiatric Pet Medicine, Physio-Biotamist] has recently defended himself against charges of unethical practices regarding his experimental subjects, as well as the way in which his studies are reviewed–or, shall we say, the way Dr. Gillilander treats his reviewers at his extensive grounds right here in the city of Austin.

This reporter braved the rumors on the wind and drove to the dreaded research facilities to investigate the accusations for herself. Upon entering the drive, I stumbled on an unknown aspect of Dr. Gillilander’s shame: the man on his knees, clutching at a woman’s left leg while she attempted to climb into a Toyota sedan. The distraction of an unknown vehicle gave the woman the impetus to strike Dr. Gillilander with her sensible heel, slam her car door closed as he reeled from the attack, and then peel off down the drive.

Quickly, I leaped from my own vehicle, snapping at my cameraman to follow. I knelt beside the weeping scientist, who wore a white lab coat with a yellow polka-dotted bow tie.

“Alma,” he wailed. “Alma come back.”

The bells dinged in my head. Alma was the name of his wife. I took his hand. “Did your wife leave you, Dr. Gillilander?”

“She’s suing for custody of Caroline.”

“Is that your daughter?” I patted his hand.

“Our terrier. Our baby. The one we raised together. Who are you, anyway? And why is that camera in my face?”

“My name is Julie Swisher. I’m a reporter for the Austin Chronicle, and I’d like to get your side of the story.”

He shook his head, and his shaggy hair trembled. He pushed his glasses up his nose. “I don’t allow reporters here.”

“You’ve had an awful lot of bad press lately, Dr. Gillilander. Don’t you think it’s time to tell your side of the story?”

“No. You’re a woman, and I’m afraid I can’t listen to your questions. I’ve heard all the female command frequencies my pituitary gland can take in one day.”

“What if my cameraman and I switch places?” I asked him.

Reluctantly, Dr. Gillilander agreed, and he stood to his feet while Antwerp, my videographer, showed me which button to push for go and which to push for stop. Then I explained to Antwerp that a good journalistic interview resembled a natural conversation, only with poignant, leading questions.

Antwerp rubbed his hands eagerly. “So show me the chimera creatures,” he said to Dr. Gillilander. “I wanna see the ones that are three-fifth human. Do you think they should get the right to vote? Some people argue they should.”

“I treat all of my subjects ethically,” Dr. Gillilander shouted. “We use the democratic process right here at the ranch.”

“Don’t get bent out of shape,” Antwerp said.

“I’ll show you, if you don’t believe me. But this video only gets released at my say so. Understand?”

Both Antwerp and I nodded eagerly, and I made a mental note to edit out the camera jags caused by my natural journalistic enthusiasm. We followed Dr. Gillilander to a cluster of prefab metal buildings that hummed from the use of enormous fans on their roofs.

Dr. Gillilander unlocked one set of rolling garage doors and pushed them up. Unwittingly, I gasped at the sight of the disfigured creatures, who cowered at the sudden burst of sunlight. But as my eyes focused on them, I realized what Dr. Gillilander meant by ethical. Each pen resembled a cozy living room and bedroom space, complete with computers and televisions. One pen, belonging to a creature that appeared as a dolphin with legs, contained a library, mainly composed of Shakespeare. The creature–a he?–wore the same style of glasses as the good doctor, and he held Macbeth in his flipper hands.

“Good afternoon, Dr. G,” said a creature who resembled either a sasquatch or a humanzee.

“You see?” said Dr. G. “They’re perfectly happy. They vote on meal choices, and I’ve even allowed them to organize.”

“Organize?” asked Antwerp.

“Yes, they belong to the Chimera Creature Union.”

I could tell Antwerp was impressed with that. Antwerp was an outspoken union sympathizer. He seemed to have forgotten about the leading poignant questions, however.

“Excuse me,” I said. “Dr. Gillilander, if you’ll allow me just one question.”

The doctor stuck his fingers in his ears. “I can’t hear you,” he said.

I kicked Antwerp’s anklebone, and he yelped.

“Um.” Antwerp gazed around, then stared up at the giant fans that washed the strong animal smell away.

“What about the reviewers?” I asked.

“What about them?” Dr. G shouted, and the humanzee-sasquatch growled at me.

“What about the accusations of kidnapping and bodily harm of prominent Russian scientists?”

“I’ve only done what was necessary for the proper journals to accept my work.”

“Yes?” I prodded, directing the camera intently at his face.

“I change their cage liners twice a day. I give them fresh food and water.”

“Show us,” I said.

He walked us over to the next building and paused, his hand at the padlocked door.

“The video is only shown at my discretion,” he reminded me.

“Of course.”

After unlocking a series of chains, padlocks, and fingerprint-encoded sealing devices, he threw open doors, gates, until finally we entered the inner sanctum, where famous–and missing–scientists writhed on tables, punching words into keyboards with the help of electric shock collars. One looked up at us, startled by our footsteps, if I could even safely use the word look. He was missing both eyes, as were all the white-coated lab dummies. They were double-blinded.

Nary a poignant question occurred to me. I swept the mess of mangled reviewers, my camera hand shaking.

“I’ll have to confiscate that,” Dr. Gillilander said. “Released at my discretion, remember?”


I turned on my heels and booked it, Antwerp close behind. We raced from the lab of horror back to my car. Breathless, I handed Antwerp his camera and slid in the hot car interior.

“We’ll make history,” I panted. “I might win an award for journalistic achievement. I might even become the next great documentary videographer.”

“Um,” Antwerp said.

“Do you think you could speak in words?”

“Um, you forgot to push the go button,” he said. “But don’t worry, I’ll back you up on this.”

For more Dr. Gillilander, click here: The Gillilander Pituitary Scale of the Male out of Eden Complex


Are You Serious?

I’ve been accused of being too serious many times in my life, and multiple times in the last several weeks alone. This is disturbing to me because I find the world to be an absurd place. I’m always laughing at something. Sigh. Oops, I meant snigger. Why don’t people understand this?

In the tagged archive section on my old blog, humor rests at number three. With 37 posts, 18th C comes in first. Next is poetry, at 32. Third is humor, with 22 posts. Humor falls in line before accordions and even James Boswell (who, admittedly, probably landed in some of my humorous posts). I feel sort of like the autistic boy in the book I’m reading, who hands over his “Hi I have a disability” card when the world misunderstands him.

In keeping with my frantic tone right now, which inspires me to edit and write like a madwoman, I’ve decided to re-post at least one of my so-called jokes from my blog. You never know, it might come in handy to you. I know it’s worked for me. Begin Joke.**

The Rube Goldberg Method of Novel Writing:

The contraption starts with the harried author, who bangs her head against the wall, thereby knocking off the framed-inspirational-calligraphic scripture, which falls on a foot pedal, which kicks off a series of amplified notes that rattles weighted hanging objects, carefully placed to eventually fall onto the computer keyboard when the notes have hit their highest pitch. These weighted, swinging objects have been mathematically determined to fall at a certain rate and order, eventually spelling out this sentence: Justin is dead. However, because writers tend to be terrible at mathematical equations, the sentence is just as likely to come out this way: Ass did jute in.

Patent pending and all rights reserved. Now back to novel writing, unexpected endings, notwithstanding.

**End joke. I’m handing over my disability card now.