A Jack Collier Story
By Brett N. Lashuay
Today we have deer.
And in case you were wondering
How does something called a “Jagarita” save the rain forest all by itself?
Why are they making vodka out of jaguars?
Why are they giving us a drink so large that a jaguar can steep in it?
Isn’t it kind of tacky to ask a jaguar to bath in a drink made primarily of its brothers and sisters?
If you substitute tequila with vodka, can it still be a margarita?
Why would you remove tequila, which is delicious, and replace it with vodka anyway?
Why would you put vodka into ANYTHING?
How did I get to South Africa?
Why won’t the floor stop spinning?
And why is iTunes playing Sloop John B?
What the fuck is going on here?
It’s the Pillar of Cheese in the Shape of Jane Austen, isn’t it?
It came back and it’s ready for action, isn’t it?
I have five stories in the works right now, in that they’re in my head. I’m thinking about which ones to proceed with.
1. New Jack Collier story. I’ve got an epic and a drawing room Agatha Christie style story in mind. These are two stories, but they’re the same character.
2. Weirdo vs. The Flying Saucers. The sixth book in the grand epic I’ve been talking about in veiled terms since starting this thing. Spoiler: they fight against flying saucer bound bad guys.
3. A children’s story. I was thinking of writing a story about a squirrel (possibly named Cyril) that didn’t have enough nuts for the winter because the chipmunks stole them. So he goes on a bloody streak of vengeance, killing each of the chipmunks and stealing back what’s his. This will involve garroting, stabbing, shooting and beating to death with a little novelty baseball bat (Because chipmunks and squirrels are small, see) The only thing that was going to keep him from going over the edge was the rabbit who lived at the bottom of his tree and tries to bring him back into the light. Sort of Baby’s First Noir. As an added bonus, the moral lesson is going to be “Sometimes life is hard and murder makes it all better.” Because I like getting angry letters from parent groups.
4. A horror story where a war vet is thought to be paranoid because he thinks the fey folk are stalking him. The only thing that keeps them back is steel, so he collects a lot of knives. I was thinking of having his wife tell the story first person. She can slowly buy into his delusions or find out it’s all true.
5. Devil Inc. Which I’ve talked about before.
Dear Geeks, Nerds, and other assorted basement dwelling Virgins,
For the love of waffles, please stop bitching about Star Wars Episode One. Seriously, it’s just tedious at this point and I haven’t heard anything new added to the discussion in a decade. We get it, you were disappointed that the movie didn’t blow you out of your seat. Yes, the prequels aren’t as good as the original trilogy. Allow me, for a moment though, to give you what I like to call a spoiler for life. Many things aren’t as good as the thing that came earlier and the thing from your youth will always look nicer than the thing you have now.
And, if I may, stop saying George Lucas killed your childhood. I’m really sorry Reb Brown lied to you and there isn’t actually popcorn growing on the trees at Disneyland, but that’s not George Lucas’s fault. Childhood ends, that happens to everyone. It’s supposed to be a part of life. You’re not supposed to stay in this pupa stage forever. I know how you feel though, my childhood ended too. Of course that was more because I came to fully understand things like sex and arthritis rather than watching a movie, but I can still sympathize. However, let’s not blame a moviemaker for that. If George Lucas could kill your childhood with a movie, then your childhood wasn’t worth having. In fact, your childhood isn’t George Lucas’s responsibility.
Like wise, while we’re on the subject, how about you stop with phrases like “Raped my childhood*” when describing these things? If you’re complaining about Star Wars, you’re very likely a child of the 80s and 90s. That means you were raised on a steady diet of corporately owned cartoons that sold action figures and had breakfast cereal tie-ins. You have spent your entire lives consuming things that have been focus-grouped to within an inch of their lives. You’ve rarely had anything mainstream that wasn’t cynically trying to mine your pockets for money. Even when you know that, you still buy all of it. You ran out and watched all three Star Wars prequels, even though you knew they weren’t any good. You went to see Revenge of the Sith after you knew damn well that Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were crap. Even after you knew about that, and you knew damn well that Spielberg and Ford had also lost their shit as well, you STILL went to Crystal Skull and acted surprised that it wasn’t as good as Raiders. Seriously, what are you, fucking retarded? And seriously, stop acting like Lucas is the sole reason Crystal Skull sucked. Ford was so not on his game, he couldn’t even see his game with a telescope. As for Spielberg, well, he hasn’t been the same since Private Ryan. And let’s remember, for all the bitching about more Storm Troopers, you all let Steve go for the walkie-talkies. WALKIE-TALKIES! That was Greedo shooting first levels of bullshit right there.
And yet, you keep going back to these poisoned wells and allowing these people to do this to you. You allow them to cynically sell you things from your childhood, inferiorly repackaged and obviously of lower quality. And you keep buying it! You keep going back and then complaining that it’s not as good as the thing you had as a kid. Then you dare to claim that your childhood was raped, while rushing out for the next bit of rough hatesex with some other beloved childhood icon.
Let’s face it, your childhood is into it. Your childhood likes it rough.
* By the way, violent sexual assault is nothing like having to watch a disappointing movie. Ask any rape victim if they would allow the comparison. None that I’ve talked to would allow it.
I would like to talk about one of the most annoying things about being a smart person who immerses themselves in obscure literature. The stuff didn’t used to be obscure. Nero Wolfe and Bertie Wooster used to be big names, The Shadow was once the biggest selling super hero on the block. However, now it can sometimes be hard to find people who have heard of them. Present company, of course, is excluded from this complaint. If you’ve been reading this for a while you know all about Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin as I mention them about 900 times a week. You haven’t been here though, it’s really bad here because I got all the audiobooks I didn’t have and started listening to them. Sorry, I got off on a tangent for a second.
The thing is, even when it’s not obscure I get problems. See, if you read a lot, watch a lot of movies or listen to a lot of music, it’s going to inform your vocabulary and your vernacular. References will slip into your speech. Little turns of phrase that you like will pop up again and again. That’s how some of the phrases we use everyday came into existence. Some writer came up with them and lots of people repeated them until they were accepted as part of the…thing that’s a synonym for vernacular but can’t be that word because I used it once in this paragraph already. Parlance? Yeah, that probably would have worked. Damn this computer for not having anyway to edit my typing.
The problem is, most people don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. If I manage to do even more chores than I’d told Syd I was going to do and as I finish the last one walk by saying “My mistake, four coffins.”… well, actually, these days she doesn’t give me a look anymore. She just gets on with her day because she knows I’ll explain the whole movie and its place in cinema history if she shows even the slightest sign of weakness.
The thing is, it’s not even things that old, or that obscure. It happens with things people should know. We’ve not cut the grass yet this year. We don’t own a mower. We had someone cut the grass, but that’s not been a priority this year and so far, the grass isn’t over grown. The weeds are starting to get a little high though and it needs taken care of. So when I borrow a mower, if I were to say “Dear Grass, now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho!” I can tell you that some dipshit would start panicking that I was about to go after the lawn with an automatic weapon. I know, because there have been dipshits that have overreacted to lines that that before. You’re reading this on the internet, it’s a Google search away, and the context should seem a bit odd, yes? Do people normally attack the lawn with MP5’s in your world? And… it’s fucking Die Hard! It’s not like it’s some small independent movie from Sri Lanka or something. It’s one of the most influential action movies of the last 25 years! Yet, some dickhead won’t get the reference, grab the wrong end of a completely different stick and start telling people I’m getting drunk and shooting at grass. Few things are as annoying as having to stop someone during a gibberish laden false accusation fest and say “Okay, first, explain to me what the fuck you think you’re talking about. I need to understand what’s going on inside your head so I can fully explain why you’re not only wrong, but also a colossal moron.”
Happened once or twice, why do you ask?
Second problem, which is almost as big, is when trying to talk to ignorant people and thinking that everyone knows what some words mean. I don’t mean ignorant as a euphemism for dumb here, just ignorant of some words. Someone will either not understand a word and ask me to explain what that word is, or will think I’m trying to prove how much smarter I am by throwing big vocabulary words at them.
Dealing with the second part first, I have so many ways to prove how much smarter I am than 98% of the people I meet, using my expansive vocabulary doesn’t even occur to me. I prove I’m smarter by discussing ideas, concepts, histories and stories those people can’t possibly understand. Seriously, vocab taunting would be fuckin’ grade school shit compared to talking about dark matter. When I decide to admit to someone’s existence in order to speak to them at all, I want to communicate. If that person can’t understand the words, then I’m just wasting my time, even more than normal. Besides, if someone thought you were stupid, they wouldn’t use big words they thought were above you, they’d use small ones because they think you’re too stupid to understand the big ones. Always watch a person who changes their vocabulary around, they are an asshole.
Now the second part of that we can go a book called Champagne for One. Yep, it’s a Nero Wolfe book. In it, Wolfe is trying to get information from a girl and he asks her is she ever had an inkling about something. The girl then asks “What’s an inkling?” to which he replies “An intimation. A hint.” and as the questioning goes on, he keeps having to try and find simpler and simpler words. I always love that scene, as I’ve lived it more times than I can remember.