Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ever Watchful

I've been watching this site. Watching things is pretty much my main pastime, living as I do on the Moon. Don't get me wrong; I like it here. Plenty of solitude. No smog, or even air to speak of. Except inside the Blue City's forcefield dome, of course. Even though I'm more or less immortal, I still need to breath from time to time, otherwise I go into a kind of catatonic trance--which curtails my watching activities.

The forcefield keeps the moon dust out, too. Some days, when the forcefield breaks down, I have to completely give up my watching activities, so occupied do I become between holding my breath and dusting things off. Luckily, the infrastructure doesn't break down very often. When it does, I have to call the Skrull repair crew, who often have to come from the other side of the Galaxy, leaving me to hold my breath for a very long time.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy all this blogging business. Used to be, I had to watch things through my special Chromaton Telescope. The Cretaceous period was one of my favourites, but more for the spectacular ferns than the dinosaurs and such. Then satellite TV came along, and I got hooked on reruns of Mork and Mindy and Fame. Now, high-speed internet access gives me a world of distractions, literally at my fingertips, and I can go weeks without even venturing past the front airlock of my abode at X-117B Vibranium Lane. A watcher never had is so good!

With the explosion of the whole Blog phenomenon, I can gain access to the private lives of strangers in a way I would never have imagined possible a mere millennia or two ago. Oddly enough, out of all the hundreds of thousands of blogs offering themselves to my parusal, I have grown a particular fondness for a certain Fakiegrind, and it's affiliates. Nothing makes my day more than waking up to read what new inanities the half-cracked brain of Flatlander and the Agents have seen fit to post. I find that in some strange, mystical way, the entire rest of the cosmos is wondrously reflected in the seemingly trivial themes that Fakiegrind often alights upon in its nearly daily postings. Heck, I've even stopped watching CNN and the Galactic Broadcast Networks Prime Meridian report!

So, I was greatly distressed to encounter what seems to be the latest of Flatlander's harebrained schemes to quit the blog. Employing the bold ruse of the Fakie Agent Relocation Program at first seemed to be merely another of Flatlander's clever jokes, but several days have elapsed without word from the Fakiegrind administrator and it seems that he might be trying to push this ploy to the limit, perhaps in some kind of desperate attempt to glean more attention and comments from readers.

I seem to recall that this gambit has worked in the past, eliciting kind words and commentary from quarters not normally heard from on this page, and warm farewells from such Fakiegrind regulars as the sentient automatons at Roboshrub Inc. However, like the fabled boy who cried wolf, Flatlander may have played this card one too many times, as public response to this last episode of attempted blogicide has been less than overwhelming.

At any rate, I hope that Flatlander will reconsider this new turn his blog has taken, and find some ingenious way to write himself back into the story-line. The secret agent setting off on bold new adventures image is all well and good, but he has a responsibility to his readers to keep them posted on the movements of such sinister world players as the Xister and the enigmatic Adjuster (or "Maladjuster", or whatever he's calling himself these days). Also, there's the Black Cheddar Consortium who have been too quiet for comfort as of late, and Captain Canuck doesn't seem to have returned from his mission to Baffin Island to investigate alleged UFO sightings. Deep cover is no excuse! My code of ethics as one of the Immortals forbids me from entering directly into the affairs of mortals, and I would hate to loose my Galactic Parking Privileges over this issue. So what I'm saying is, DON'T MAKE ME STEP IN AND INTERFERE WITH THE BLOG BY MAKING AN ACTUAL POST!

Wait a minute. Oh crap--they're towing my hovercar! Hey, cut that out! Do you know who I am? By Blackbolt's vocal chords, I'm the Watcher! You'll be hearing from my lawyer. Somebody get Birdman on the phone!


Uatu (The Watcher)

Blue City, The Moon

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Overseer Q

"Hey! No photos!"

It was late last night that Overseer Q arrived with his assistant Growing Dinosaur Neil. He comes by once a year or so just to check up on the Agents in the northern hemisphere. Often he just wants to play video games or read the paper, but yesterday he had a specific agenda.

"Flatlander," he said in his rather unnerving high, squeaky voice, "I have a new mission for you, and this one comes straight from the top."

"What is it this time, another UFO investigation? Radioactive dinosaur bones pointing to extra-terrestrial involvement in the Great Extinction? Another Elvis sighting?"

"No, this time it's Top Secret. You're to break off your current activities and take on a whole new identity. No more skateboarding. No more record collecting. Might require a relocation. Further information will be made available at a later juncture."

"But the big record collector's show is next week-end. There's going to be bargains! I still haven't found that Electric Boogaloo album with the instructional manual."

"It's all right. The boys at Intelligence broke the code. We now know how they do that head spin thing, and the bionic worm as well. You are to cease your quest for the manual and focus your energies in an entirely new direction."

"And the blog?"

"The blog will be given over to underwriters, to keep up appearances. You'll be half a continent away by the time the site counter hits 20 000."

Now, Overseer Q doesn't mess around. Still, I couldn't help feeling nostalgic--all those days at the skatepark, all that digging through thrift shops. As an Agent, I'm supposed to cultivate a certain detachment, but it isn't always easy.

"So, when will all this take effect?"

"It already has."

With that, Overseer Q unholstered his anamnesis-ray gun and generated a self-forgetting field. I suddenly realized that the past few months have been an artificially induced hallucination, and that I was actually on a train, in a private berth, with only an attaché case and a bag of Doritos on the little table before me.

My first thoughts were, "Man, I hate Doritos", but of course, all was not as it seemed. As I inspected one of the triangular cornchips and brushed away the film of cheesy orange particulate, I saw writing on the snack food's surface. The words were tiny and seemed to glow with a bluish tinge for a moment, then fade. Somehow though, I could still see the script in my mind, where it was now fully legible--it was photoscript, now permanently implanted in my mind!

I promptly ate the chip, and reached for another. Chip after chip revealed more information: directions, names, maps and diagrams, much of which made no sense to me, though I was sure that their meaning would become apparent in time. When the bag was finished I searched the recesses of the foil interior for any further missives. I found a small cellophane envelope, heat sealed, in which was a folded piece of paper. Was it another clue to my future assignment, or merely a randomly packaged promotional item?

"I'll just have a bag of those Doritos" wink wink.

As I unfolding the paper, a small, 3-dimensional hologram of E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial sprang into animation in front of me. The flickering blue apparition looked at me with its big, kind eyes, and raised one long-fingered hand in a gesture of greeting. Then the rasping, broken voice of the sagacious space creature filled my cabin for a brief moment with the words

"Good luck! And Stay Old!"


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Moogs are sexy. Just look at this strange record.


From the back of the jacket:

'Dim the lights, hug something warm, and surrender your ears to the supremely sensual intermingling of passionate sighs and pulsating electronic music.'
[ "something" warm? -like a big ol moog, perhaps.]

'Yes...The Sounds of Love, featuring the recorded verbal "offerings" of two very emotional, ardent lovers, is played against a backdrop of skillfully SINthesized chords, and builds to a frantic climax unequalled in the most explicit annals of human experience.'
[I've got to learn me them chords!]

'Let the Sounds of Love seduce your imagination...release your inhibitions....and guide you to new, exciting vistas of pleasure beyond all expectations. Listen with someone you love...someone who appreciates beautiful music.'
[R2 D2, where are you?]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ye Olde Skayteboarde

I was bumming about, minding nobody's biz

when I stumbled upon a contraption like this!

It had all the markings and provenance
I tried to look all nonchalant
As I picked it out of a heap of trash
Threw the board down and proceeded to thrash

This is the way we used to do it
With stickers and rails attached to it

Graphics and logos from days of yor--
companies that shred up the Time Before

The thing was in need of a new set of trucks
What do you want for just three bucks?

The best part part of this Deal of Deals
Is the giant, smooth-rolling T-bone wheels

Nice and wide, it rides so sweet

And perfectly fits my size twelve feet

The Hummer of skateboards for cruisin' the hood
After so many years, it sure felt good!

Eye in the Sky


Deep cover, indeed. This strange light was seen hovering in the bushes not far from Fakiegrind Central. Can't say more now. They're watching.

Don't force us to use our mind powers

Flatlander is deep under cover but soon the stale air and sounds of polyurathane on tarmac will drive him out.
Today's secret fraze is "Canadian Tire Money". How many times can you get people to talk about it in one day?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Life in the bowels

At fakie central life isn't always skateparks and introspection! Here we painstakingly gather samples of pavement from around the world and catalog them for future reference. Even if dimensional vortesies transform tape machines into croccodiles, we roll on.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Caption Contest


Supply a caption for the above photo and you could win a patented Fakiegrind time eraser®!*

* While quantities last.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

(some things never change)


I cruise
U cruise
We all cruise
With skate shoes.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Trip to the Oracle

I climbed the cracked marble steps, pushing past creeping vines and giant, tropical weeds that seemed out of place in the northern hemi-sphere. The temple was located in a rough part of town, behind a street lined with pawn shops and pool halls. I stood between two ominous seven-foot tall statues of a robotic tree with wicked looking arm attachments. What madness, I thought to myself, the statues are made out of poured plaster, when bitumen and straw would seem the logical choice!

I did some brief callistenics, for the blood, then placed my offering of penny candy and glowsticks on the porch, as I had been instructed to do. With some trepidation and, I would even say, dread, I pushed the doorbell.

It happened so gradually that I hardly noticed the wall of shimmering green gas materialize before me. Tendrils of green fog writhed a few inches from my widening eyes, and within the heart of the foggy obelisk flashed flickering branches of electrical discharge.

(Speilberg wanted to make the oracle look
more like this.

"Yes?" A deep, slightly weary masculine voice sounded from out the wall of fog.

"Yes!" I echoed, rather stupidly.

"You rang?" The voice had a calm, almost melancholy aspect that was slightly menacing.

"Er...Mighty Oracle, I come seeking advice."


"...and I've heard that your advice is sought far and wide, by people from Winston all the way to Grange Street."


"So I was wondering if you could answer my question."

"Which is?"

"How can I quit my slavish addiciton to skateboarding?"

Skating is good, but self-determination is better.

There was a pause, and the flashes of lightning from within the wall of fog increased in their intensity for a moment. I feared a bolt was about to shoot out and zap me. I covered my eyes with one arm, cringing in the flickering light, but held my position on the temple porch.

Then the Oracle spoke out in a pleasant, even tone that assuaged all my fear and anxiety:

"You must seek the fabled Red Goat of Haberdashery that grazes on the steep slopes of the Mountain of Dirty Laundry, past the Seven Stale Waterslides of the Park of Perpetual Motion. You will encounter a despondent Dragon, whom you will engage in a game of chance. The winner takes the powerful Mantle of Sonic Youthfulness, and proceeds to the Crypt of Freakish Fashion Experiments. You must win the mantle before hazarding the Crypt. Only with its aid will you be able to resist the Sirens of Suede Monstrosities and recover the Shoes of Short Distance Pizza Delivery. Once you have the Shoes, you must make haste. There are Powers that would like nothing more than to see the Shoes delivered to the treacherous King of Salted Serpents, but this must not be let come to pass. Feed your skateboard to the Goat of Haberdashery, and he will disgorge a magical hat. The hat will make you forget you could ever ollie up a curb, and you will be cured of your addiction."

"You might also be required to participate in a lizard toss."

The Oracle fell silent, though its foggy tendrils continued to writhe in the most unnerving of manners. I considered all that it had told me, and let out a heavy sigh. I then felt the impact of a soft object on my bum, and turned about. It was the morning post, which the paperboy had lobed with not inconsiderable skill at the Oracle's porch.

I picked up the paper and examined the headline. Another librarian strike. When would we ever learn to pay our overdue fines? With heavy heart, I passed the newspaper to the Oracle, and watched in amazement as it disappeared into its foggy green interior.

"Mighty Oracle," I said, "you describe a long and arduous journey, yet the radishes in my garden require daily watering and attention. Is there not some other way to save myself from destruction?"

"You could just hide your skateboard in the basement and stop using it."

The bold simplicity of the plan astounded me, and I suddenly understood the grounds for the Oracle's reutation for wisdom. Overwhelmed with gratitude, I took out my pocket calculator and did some rudimentary differential equations. Yes, the plan was bold, but it just might work. Thanking the Oracle again, I threw back my head in an extravagant gesture, rolling my eyeballs up into my cranium like some weird piece of Aztec statuary, then turned and descended the steps, back towards the town and my shambling destiny.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

It's all in my mind--except for the part that hurts

How old is old? And why did I get a new skateboard? Tried to land an airwalk and a spear of pain shot up my back. Gotta keep it low to the ground: skate the curb, the flat. G-turns and wheelies are low impact. Throwing in a shove-it combo didn't seem to do any permanent damage.

How I squandered last year's freedom of motion! The ollie impossible was at least potentially plausible, once I learned the proper footing. But now--today--even the possible seemed unattainable. It could be time to let it all go. I had my mind made up, in fact. I was home free and boardless, my mind at ease, feet on the ground. So why did I get a new skateboard?

It's all karma, they say. Or fate, character--call it what you will. Then there are the allegations of free will, and the alibi of responsibility. I've heard it unfolds as it will, and you can go along with it or not. Best to go quietly, then, without a fuss. Try your best, fail, recover the inner directive, start again, stumble, get up, discard the mind, then plead to the Lord almighty to make something good out of it all.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

No Backsliding

Let your backbone slide, so the song goes, but I'm not about to cover up my newfound freedom with nostalgic groping after the past--not while I still have a desire for the Lord's rest, and a talent for stringing together lines of nonsense.

The year's first crop of dandelions were hovering their translucent geodesic seed above the green ocean of lawn, and gossamer spider-spun filaments laced the pasture like a delicate network of tightropes tread only by the weightless footsteps of sunlight. The trees had revived from winter slumber. The fortunate north eastern breeze was clear of noticeable industrial discharge.

I was so weary and so free, as if born forth in the original cradle of creation, much like my housemate's son who was nestled in a newly acquired, fancy stroller with oversized, smooth-rolling wheels. Was it I who walked down that familiar street, as if for the first time, past the soybean factory with its gaseous expectorations, past the empty harbour where great, steel cargo ships are wont to dock, a thousand tiny seagulls dusting its furthest reach? It was I, unchanged, created by a moment for a moment, to be simply myself. It was I, restored to my wanderings, delivered from the illusion of persistence that conceals Perpetual Wandering.

The frequency of shadow mixed with the frequency of sidewalk as I threw expectation out the window; as I embraced transience; embraced duration; embraced the prison cell of vocation, the decadence of calling. The diurnal rhythm of work and sleep bore me aloft on a tide of unemployment that I rode all the way to the beer store, where I made a fool of myself in a non-moment of extravagance, and, wrapping a can of pilsner in the folds of a white plastic bag, threw it in the stroller's carry-all to drink later, once the kitchen radio had eaten the dirty dishes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Revolving Wormhole


I went shopping for a time machine.
They said, "What? Can't you read the sign?
The time/space fabric store is down the road!"
I said, "OK. fine."
I stepped back out on the sidewalk
But didn't recognize the street.
When I checked my watch, it seems I had lost
forty years, three months and one week!

So I went back to the salesperson.
I said, "Hey lady, what gives?"
She said, "The revolving door is a temporal port."
I said, "Ma'am, that's no fib!"
I demanded my 2093 week-ends back.
She pointed to a sign

I said, "You'll be hearing from my lawyer."
She said, "Knock knock." I said, "Who's there?"
She said, "Boo." I said, "Boo who?"
She said, "I'll sell you some fabric softener."
I said, "What would I want that for? My woman
does all the laundry." She said, "So what if
you're a lazy Luke, I'll throw in some
spray starch for free." I said, "I really just
want my lost time back; I ain't getting any
younger!" She said, "Get the hell outta my store,
you son of a one-eyed wonder!!"

Just then there was a terrible noise, like a
chorus of washing machines. A telephone
booth appeared, like the blue ones
they have overseas. And out stepped Dr. Who
making some funny remark, followed by his
newest "assistant", and that weird robotic dog.
He said, "I'd like to help you son, to gain your
heart's desire. I can sell you a used time machine
with just 30 million years on the dial."

But of course, I forgot my wallet. He said I could
pay him in kind. When I asked what he meant
he took out a strange implement, and said
"Just hold still, and I'll extract your mind."
"But I'm still using it!" I protested. And ran into
the phone booth in fear. I hit a random switch,
heard the Time Drive groan, and proceeded
to disappear.

I surfed the timestream willy-nilly
and saw what there is/was to be seen.
I saw some things that would make you sing
and some that were obscene.
I missed the French Revolution, but was there
for Ghettysberg. I break-danced with neanderthals
and chased girls on the Hindenburg.
I saw what becomes of Miami, but it's nothing
like in Futurama. I shook hands with Jesus Christ
and talked to a mutant banana.

And I saw the end of everything,
which takes three billion years.
The Big Bang was much faster;
it's over before it appears.
So, my story has a happy ending
if time travel can be called such
(for the cosmos is shaped like a donut;
the beginnings and endings all touch).
Then go ye forth and multiply, but don't get too uptight
if you walk into a fabric store and loose a few fortnight.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That's Neat

I didn't notice it before, but if you look at the below photo under a certain light, it almost looks like there is some kind of UFO in the wide blue Steeltown sky. Must be a strange cloud or something.

Blog's End


This is a photo of a blog that the Malajuster and his Dudes destroyed to turn into a parking lot. Frankly, I'm sometimes tempted just to give up Fakiegrind and open a bowling alley or a pet cemetary.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dept. H Buys Back Controlling Fakiegrind Share

The crew at Dept. H installed a lemonade stand in front of their secret fortress this week-end as a fundraiser to help pay off The Dudes, who have been threatening to turn Fakiegrind into a parking lot if we don't meet their demands.

Located deep in the Canadian north, the Dept. H Refreshment Stand did not garner much traffic, and for a while it looked like the scheme might fail entirely, until the annual Frobisher Bay Sled Dog Rally passed the location as part of their 65 km race course.

Dept. H managed to raise $2.65, three smoked herring and a used 9-volt battery, which was just enough to buy out the Dudes and restore Fakiegrind as the bastion of free association and tedious inanity that readers have come to expect.

A big Disco Thanks goes out to Captain Cannuck, Nelvana and the anonymous underlings at Dept. H for their ceaseless efforts to keep the blog-to-parking lot ratio at manageable levels.