Dear Santa’s helpers and elves: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!



Demons give birth to their salvation, but then they throttle them. This thought echoed slowly through Beethoven's mind as he left the pub he'd had a nice simple meal at. A Weiner schnitzel with a nice helping of roasted potatoes. Walking into the bitter, biting cold, one of the coldest on record in Vienna, he knew that he might not have so hastily downed the absinthe offered to him by an admirer, after having consumed a copious enough portion of port, to help keep the frostbite at bay. He were trying to remember whether or not it were his good friend Goethe who had proffered forth that phrase weaving throughout his headspace, or perhaps overheard in a pub while relaxing his tongue in conversation. Nevertheless, walking tightly cloaked against a bracing, slapping wind, he were stopped in his near frozen tracks by the almost surreal vision of a bear, in the middle of the horse paths, staring straight at him. A bear. A big brown variety. This being the coldest winter on record, the zoos had frozen over to the point where some of the bars containing them and their locks, simply snapped, while others escaped when zookeepers feared losing them to the snarling winter winds. Most went through the dense parks until the wild woods found them and sheltered those which would survive. Many fed hunters families for months. A few found their way to zookeepers homes, not all with friendly intentions. But on this particular evening, attended by a searing cold front embraced by the bones as chains, a big brown bear got up on its haunches in front of a shivering Beethoven and softly began to dance. At first a minuet. Then, a waltz. Waltz's being formidably popular in Vienna and its provinces at that time. And then, seeing a barrel of rainwater that had frozen over, the bear began to roll on top of the barrel and ended it by doing a back flip off of the barrel and onto the growing ice. And nary did he slip! Beethoven can have said to have seen a few things in his time. Things biographers would be too prudent to articulate, but he'd not seen anything quite this symphonic and daring before. But wait! Then, from out of the trees, jumps a monkey. Who proceeds to also begin dancing. All the same moves done by the bear, plus a few unique monkey moves thrown in for good measure with more electro-static limbs. Startled was the great composer, yet also wickedly amused. He could write chamber pieces to this, this was awesome! Then it alighted on him that these animals were performing animals and animals gotta eat. So these two were performing for their supper, otherwise, why would they be out in the nasty weather doing side show tricks for an inebriated musician? Knowing that he kept a good and honest tab in the local pub where he'd just digested his flavorful meal, the swerving but delighted Beethoven, walked his two performing companions, the monkey and the bear, into the pub. Where he instructed the barkeep that his tab would now include the proper feeding of his two new found entertainer friends. As if on cue, a gypsy violinist stood up and began to play. The monkey ran up and snatched from the laughing gypsy's hands, the fiddle and the bow and began playing a lively bagatelle. Finding this scenario irresistible, Beethoven took off his overcoats and gloves, ordered another glass of absinthe, and sat down at the pub's piano and jammed with the surprisingly funky monkey while the bear, between sips of sherry, taught a few customers, a few of their native dances. There were more than a few people who wondered later whether the whole night had been a fantastical dream. Even the great maestro woke up the next morning not altogether certain whether or not the winter and the drink hadn't taken his imagination and made folly of its madness. He didn't care. He awoke with so many new things he wanted to write! He felt renewed, full of prowess and ready to step into some new areas that perhaps now the time were ready for. He drank his coffee in his morning robes as he started sketching out his idea for an opera about two animals who escaped from the circus. A fiddle playing monkey and an acrobatic bear who lives to dance the ballet. After all, his great mentor Mozart had gotten away with an opera about a silly bird and a magic flute. As he stroked the scruff of his unshaved chin, Beethoven felt confident that THIS would be his opera of immortality and reach.


Some guy in the sticks surrounding Vienna thought to use the zoo escape as his opportunity to take his own dog, and bill him as were he a captured wild zoo animal, charging a small fee to come on his small property and see, RUFUS, THE BARKING DOG! Though Rufus, did have a nervous canine condition which caused him to bark a lot in distress, he were still embarrassed to be a part of such a ridiculous scam. Couldn't his master see how totally redundant and ignorant it was to bill him as a barking dog when dogs are by nature expected to bark? Were it not enough that he were already named Rufus? Because dogs go 'roof, roof' right? So that alone can cause a fair bit of anxiety, just living up to that. Then the barking dog thing on top of it. What is more surprising, the dog thinks, is that people actually part with their schillings for such a non-event. The dog barks, AS ADVERTISED! Then people go away as if their fair share were gained. As were it proof that things do work! This went on for a bit of time, enough time for the dog's master to purchase another cow. Then, for real, one day, Rufus was gone. He vanished. Slowly, while he were being sold as the wild captured zoo dog who barked, his mind became anchored towards that. His dreams began to assume the shape of escape. His once simple farm life, out of avarice and greed, had become a joke. A ticket. He were expected to be something that he were not until he became something that he failed to recognize, when he looked at himself in the pond with head shaking disgust. The dog managed to catch up with a few of the real beasts who'd found refuge in the forests around Vienna, some as far away as Bavaria. The animals who'd broken free of the coldest winter anyone alive could recall. He were teased by the others when he changed his name from Rufus, to 'Wufus', since 'woof, woof', is what he actually barked, and not 'roof', roof' as previously assumed. And he had his spots bleached out just in case his silly owner by some bizarre chance came searching for him. After all, he did have a nervous canine condition, though he accepted the condition as part of the conditions for access to life. He liked his life now. He had a few small run ins with some of the other escapees, who'd make fun of his prior domestic status, a farm dog. But they were zoo animals, so who were they to judge?


THE SHAMEN AND THE SHOWMAN stood stock still. After passing the other on the way to their respective flights, their eyes locked nervously. They both missed their planes staring into the face of the other, trying feverishly to figure out how the one could use the other for more personal gain. And notoriety.


We've little time today for the whole jokes, so we will simply supply the punch line and YOU can create the joke around/before it: 
1) That's not my fur coat you asshole, that's my wig! 
2) That was either my gerbil or my toupee, neither one of them is very quick! 
3) Those were either bagpipes or I just farted my way into BERKLEE/JUILLARD 
4) ..and when she sat down she said, that wasn't a whoopee cushion, it was an air pocket in my girdle! 
5) I thought you were screaming for Adventure. Next time you scream for your dentures, put your teeth in your mouth first!


At this point we try not to have any fixed opinion, in case it gets in the way of our next contradiction. Ample fields of grain lie between what we think we know and what we don't. And it is THAT grain that makes the sweetest bread.


I served in the American Army before the camouflage uniforms came in. When I served, if we wanted camouflage, we had to shit ourselves.


The final point of contention in the Hollywood marriage was who got to keep the masseuse. It's getting messy now.


Only time can teach that the greatest gift you can give a child, greater than even privilege and wealth, is ENGAGEMENT. And not to be an asshole to them.


Improving your sense of who you are improves your health along with it. Our immune systems are at any given moment barometers of our self regard. We are all more exposed to illness when our regard is low and when our guard is down.


And sometimes illness is a grounded way for us to get back in touch with ourselves. And spend some quality time together with the self and its good friend, rest.



There are people with more time than money and there are people with more money than time. 
If possible, avoid pissing off the latter.


The sweet sheer stupidity of youth is its greatest attraction. O HOW I MISS IT! Not the age so much as its inspired and reckless fruits.


Knowing too many facts makes it more difficult to create your own.


Shout out of respects to one of my fantasy teams, RuPAUL McCARTNEY.




Our dreams are as real as the electro-magnetic energy they are composed from. One of my old teachers from a lifetime ago used to say that IF YOU CAN SEE IT, IT IS REAL.


What is supposed to piss you off more? To discover that there is a price on your head, or that it is negotiable?


It is easier to change the scenery behind the clown if the clown is convincing enough. We won't notice much until after the backdrop has changed and the clown has moved on. The smart money never watches the clown, but to what is happening to the scenery while the clown act distracts the audience.


Apparently 4 out of 5 doctors surveyed preferred being Doctors to Surveyors.


A great whiskey polices itself. With whiskies of a certain quality, you do not get 'drunk', you get 'high'.


Death and Destruction have called a press conference to announce that they are merging their business interests and are now seeking new management. Preferably someone with a background in either Wall Street, or Hollywood.


MANIFESTATION is much easier to achieve when the MAN part of the equation is more sure. Linguistics represent the physical foundations of what we know of consciousness. It also carries a more reliable historical perspective along with it, language being the only real history of man which is also its truest science, save biology. A knowledge and belief in what MAN is, grants a large amount of power to manifestation. In the flow of our self trust and regard, things happen. Especially those things you need.


Your freedom is only free while you are not accessing it. Begin accessing it and watch the taxes spring up all over the game!


My son seems so far to be quite a happy spirit. So my goal, is to avoid giving him ANY philosophies which may confuse him and take him away from what he has already found. There is no philosophy greater than being happy and sitting well with who you are. No one is a freak if they are clear with their own vision. What a blessing if he doesn't wind up a miserable bastard like his father was.


Here they are ladies and gentlemen, those bankers turned rock stars, THE ADJUSTABLE RATS. One night, one night only!


If truth were not such a political liability, it might even be said that some people are even more sober when they are drunk.


One way or another, we always make our heroes pay for taking what they need to survive us.


Crush me like a grape, I'll return to you as a vineyard.


The list of female genius influences listed in the chapter 4 credits of The Sphinx might have also easily accommodated the additional names of Debbie Harry, Whitney Houston, Mavis Staples, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and the great maestra of gospel, Shirley Caesar. And no one who followed her was NOT influenced by the grandmother of the whole situation, Mahalia Jackson. Throw in Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand*, Shirley Bassey, Donna Summer, Chaka Khan and Linda Ronstadt and you have got a few more profile items on me. Perhaps now a little bit more than you need. The guys are another story and another entry altogether. I were influenced as a boy a lot by female singers for the simple reason that I were a boy soprano and sang in a woman's range. My voice never really broke after or during puberty except to take me from the Soprano range to a normal woman's alto range. Since conformity demands that the highest male voice be deemed TENOR, I was classified as such in school, but in reality I am still an alto, with a contralto's range (on a good day). It took me many years to develop a 'falsetto' (or the high male 'false' voice, meaning it is made not in the chest, as per usual, but high in the tones of the head, and projected from there, like when you were a boy and would try to imitate your mother's high voice), since my normal vocal range encompassed what for many males would be the falsetto range. I were also never really around anyone who tried to convince me that my voice would change, so I never even thought about it, it just never really did. There are only about half an upper octave's difference between my voice at 12 years old and now (at 48), and even then, if I plan a little ahead and lay off the drink for a little, we can still reach those screeching tones. Naturally, the voice also deepens over the years from both use and from the heartstrings having been pulled around a lot more. Point is, we were listening to females, not because we preferred them to male genius, but because their songs were more in my voice range. To this day I am told that we write interesting songs for women, and I think I understand why. Like many vocalists and instrumentalists, I used to dance almost exclusively at the top of my range. Mainly for the tension it provided. Now I just go where the song itself wants to be. Singing is no longer encouraged upon me like an Olympic sport. I am not, nor have we desire to be some 'slingin', singin' stud. No acrobatics, no pyrotechnics. If it isn't coming from the heart, you won't hear me sing it. No competition, just, How can I be true to the emotions of this song? I sold my extra bag of vocal tricks for a guitar and a bass amp. And a banjo. 
It also takes a while to discover all of the different colors the human voice has. And how we may use them to give each piece of music, its own private individual stamp. Now, when we have to sing low, we close our eyes and ask ourselves, 'WWSD'? Which roughly translates in my world as, What Would Sinatra Do?


…and speaking of matters SINATRA. Surely it has happened to you too right? You find yourself on a flight, in a good comfortable seat, and across from you, in the next aisle is none other than Nancy Sinatra. Yes, THAT Nancy Sinatra, with the Laughing Face and all of that. With these Boots are Made for Walking and all of THAT. When I noticed her, I'd just awoken from a lunch induced nap. This being a return flight from New York to Los Angeles. If it hasn't happened to you, forgive my presumption. This being at some time in the mid 90's of the century last. But it DID happen to me. She whose father we were then and remain yet in awe of. Who rewrote laws we now take for granted and whose singular genius summoned up a whole zeitgeist of visionary artistry and manhood. A man who defined not only the music of his age but the very time it belonged to, and beyond. A great unique, original American grand master. A Buddha of culture. Who elevated what he touched and whose voice wrapped a bandage around a wounded heart. Besides all of that, Nancy was sexy, and I far too in awe and respectful to be the man in the situation we now regret we were not. Instinctively noticing her traveling companion, a man whose neck's girth alone exceeded one of my thighs, and who seemed put together from what fragments Mike Tyson and Rocky Marciano rejected as too much, and whose temperament suggested minding your own fucking business, I settled into another useful nap before the plane disembarked in the City of Angels. Whereupon after getting off the plane before Miss Sinatra, I went into a candy store and like a smitten kitten, bought her a box of fine chocolates. Seeing her approach, I offered her the candy out of respect for both her loveliness as well as her family's contribution to my love affair with music. Not to mention, she too made some pivotal records which influenced my youth. Her bodyguard stood down as she accepted, in a way of sweetness, the small affections we managed to offer her. I write this now more than almost 2 decades hence as a happily and contentedly married man. Lucky as all hell and then some. But what SHOULD have transpired when we saw Miss Nancy get off the plane as we offered her her sweetmeats was this:

Rockstar: “Miss Nancy, Now I know we just met, but I feel like I've known you my whole life. I can get us a plane and be in Tahoe in an hour, marry me”. (Slowly from the corner of rock star's eye, he spots swift sudden movement from the massive Sicilian bodyguard/'family friend') Rockstar: (to Sicilian as he snaps fingers a few inches from the massive minder’s face, as if inducing a quick hypnotic spell), “RELAX YOUR BODY! Look pal, this ain't about you, unless you want to MAKE it about you, you dig?” (Sicilian eases off). “Now listen Miss Nancy, we could ditch this loser, get on a plane, do Vegas, Tahoe, Reno, Azerbaijan, wherever you want to go. Just marry me. I need you in my life. And I believe that I can make you happy. Now call up Frank Jr. and get his blessing.”

But you see, that never happened because we were too pussy to consider that even had she laughed me off as a distaff charmer, she might have still appreciated a musician asking her for her hand in matrimony. Her father sang Love and Marriage right? We assume it to be her birthright for aspiring musicians and chancers to propose to her. It should be a right of passage. I kick myself, even as a luckily married man, that we were not MAN ENOUGH to demand that FRANK'S oldest girl, take me seriously as a suitor. Things have worked out well enough for me anyway. But out of respect, to both my own and her father's inspirational manhood, I should have asked the Chairman Of the Board's daughter, to be my bride. And had she slapped me, that would have made for a good story too. Besides, Michael had Elvis' girl. Why just him?


Generally, SHORT GREED can be dangerous and get in the way of vision. I fancy myself a LONG GREED man. We are diligent and patient in the long grass and factor our greed according to the wind and its natural laws. Nor are we prone to trading what we see of our long greed objectives for a short greed windfall. I shall always be he who favors the LONG GAME. We grow into ourselves as we arrive where our vision leads.


For extra credit homework, notice the proximity of Georgia to Azerbaijan, as well as to Memphis. I think it is totally awesome that a small southern American state can also parlay its clout into also being a small country in central Asia on the Black sea. And what a way to extend your BRAND!


..and then it got a little ridiculous. THE SHAMEN AND THE SHOWMAN both arriving at the simultaneous conclusion that whoever blinked first, quit first to catch another plane, would have his soul absorbed entirely by the other. The cannibalism that leaves no trace but an empty shell. The Showman would BECOME the Shaman, the Shaman would add greater showmanship to his repertoire of moves and spell castings. Their assistants bundled about them like crickets, resigned to the long wait which might have to ensue. This was war, and it were going to take as long as it took. Or until at least one of these men came to their senses and allowed their air of importance to be re-calibrated by the stiff and shifting wind which blows with candor, these sullen mind games into choppy breezes for children's kites.


Woody was quite tired and real glad to be back home after his long and exhaustive search. He and his tree-mate's Gothic country rock disco band, THE SAI BUBBA'S, were on the lookout for a girl singer and Woody had had the fanciful idea of he and LATE NIGHT NATE doing a tour of nudist colonies scouting the next Lady Gaga. Woody thought it funny were she only to wear an eyepatch, so that it could be said that she did wear something. They were successful with the few gigs they'd booked to date, but felt that maybe a naked babe writhing sensuously beneath the tree shade might cause a few more ears to hear the quality in the music. Breasts have the power to do that. It is said that music has the power to soothe the savage breast. Though the guy got stoned by a crowd of critics when he said that “Breasts have the power to soothe savage music.” Didn't matter, Woody understood the dynamics of nature well enough to trust that Beethoven himself would have done much better had he had a big breasted choir of tarts, or a lovely harlot half dressed and turning the pages of the score for the grand maestro. But hell, that was Vienna, this was the forest, and you simply didn't need as strict a dress code in the woods. They had barnstormed one late evening, trying to come up with an appropriate name for the radical band envisioned by the two tree mates, Nate and the woodpecker. They tried out 'Miles Per Hour Davis', even 'Miles Per 10 gallon Hat Davis'. 'Gram Parson's Crackers' was bandied about by the band, 'Dylan in his Underpants' was mooted as well as their drunken idea to put together a transvestite act for extra money dressed as their favorite diva and call themselves, 'Cher and Cher Alike'. 'Grateful Head' also came and went. They wouldn't quite remember later the exact origin of THE SAI BUBBA'S, but it stuck. The 'Haberdashers' didn't quite cut the figure they were looking for in their minds. But it came close though the owl pointed out that to take on a name such as that, even tongue in cheek, allowed them to be more easily dismissed, should they prove themselves and their tunes to be a threat to the on going status quo experience of itself. Or if they sucked. So why bother? Woody liked it though, it were both silly and provocative and he himself, unlike the more cautious and unflappable owl, were not averse to doing small things to throw people off, if he got a kick from it. All of his time spent under surveillance and under a doctor's scrutiny had certainly bred some bitterness. He may have been more easygoing before, but something of his intensity and bravado were never to be the same again. A portion of his soul was neutered, his forthright beak dented. There were times still when out of nowhere multiple yellow and red sparks would go off in the corner of his mind like a roman fire-wheel. All at once, he is stopped in whatever manner had previously occupied him and became for an instant, like unto a plastic ornamental bird. So, yes our woodpecker did have contention in his spirit to unravel. Though to utilize until such a time as the energy of his confusion vanishes into the ethers of his own forgiveness. Woodpeckers are anyway feisty and loathe to forget. This one was dangerous as he were neither totally a bird nor the human he were treated by, reprogrammed. At times he existed in a nether world between what we know of time and what time itself has forgotten. The owl explained to the woodpecker that those personal issues were better left to the lavender hours of the evening, and to the dawn that splits the horizon beyond it. The woodpecker in any event knew that he were his own personal Anti-Christ of bullshit, which meant that there would always be something to work with, something to keep him busy when not writing songs for his band. “Envy will come, especially if you are saying something that might make sense. Expect stones to be thrown, and just keep moving. And if they are useful stones, build something with it.” Is what Late Night Nate had to say about the matter to his younger, but traumatized friend. “Anyway, who gives a tail feather? Let's Rock!” This would move Woody back to his normal equilibrium, he would pull out his guitar or banjo and pick out some old familiar tunes. Some Leadbelly. Some Neil Young. A little Josie and the Pussycats. Being themselves archetypal characters created by an author, the band did not feel it right to discriminate against other groups created by animators. Who were they to judge? Source is source and due to their 'mystical approach to country, western, hillbilly, polka and hip hop music' they were starting to get around. It felt ordained. They were hard at work preparing for their upcoming tour of Turkey and Greece, which they were very much looking forward to. Never had they been so very far from that neck which was their neck of these soft, long, wide and lovely woods. Afterwards Nate planned to stop by and visit some old relocated friends in the outlying forests of Berkley California, where as a rambling young owl, he'd spent time studying human nature, which meant going to LOTS of parties and acting like the locals. Inhaling exotic fragrances and dousing his headspace in leaking barrels of beer. He was certain that his good buddy the woodpecker would enjoy a brief sojourn there before absconding back into their fertile lives in their own forest of plenty. Life was not perfect there. Life was not perfect anywhere, but at least in their own jungle, life was their own. From the vegetation which padded out the foliage in their garden of animation, this truth became known; that though their wings could stretch to include all, they could not stretch to include a lie. Which nature smells as rot, hiding behind the robber's mask of circumstance. Selling estrangement as logic, and fractured chance as math. Woody's philosophy, a survivors creed, had become this; life is, and to hell with who doesn't understand. He himself had wasted too many good years trying to understand and be understood and was slowed down in the process. And all he got from it were headaches. Not anymore, give or take a few hardcore flashbacks. With Late Night Nate standing his usual solitary and faithful watch, upon that branch which sheltered their collective dream, the woodpecker would curl up in his cozy nest and continue reading, late into the night, the book of life. In this case; 'LIFE' by Keith Richards, a hero, a Buddha of culture to both birds nestled near the tree tops. A middle finger associate of the true brotherhood, a fine member of the ZOOATHALON, and a good way to end a fair and good woodpeckers day, as well as this story. As both give way to the wandering breezes of night, as it wraps its arms around these lilting eyes and causes the darkness to lean in suddenly and overwhelm. With the OWL wooing in the echoes mounted by the space between the twilight and the stars.


O, now that was just 'FAGNIFICENT'!


Faith is a sword. Use it or dull it and lose your grip on it. Whatever are the 'odds', remember that odds can be seduced.


THERE ARE NO ANSWERS! Just a bunch of questions looking for validation (and funding).


Do not look for answers. Look for what you find.


What impresses me most about my boy, even at 7 months old, is how possessed he is of the notion that it is HE who is totally in control of things. HE is the conductor, me and his mother the band, and that is just the way it is. He has complete confidence that his surrounding environment WILL meet his needs and demands. Funny, a man is considered a spiritual adept, a master if they practice the same philosophy and faith that most of our children display naturally, until we replace the same certainly with games and fear. I see them as inverted hourglasses. The hourglass is turned on its empty side and begins slowly to fill up with sand. A newborn infant is like this. Though the bottom of the glass has but a few grains of sand, the TOP still has an amazing amount still waiting to be poured into the life. While the bottom we address as though it were newly arrived, the top of the hourglass suggests very much in the way of ACCUMULATED WISDOM, memory, experience, data, files, agenda. So at any given moment hovering above a baby are THE GREAT SANDS OF TIME. As they grow through the years, the top of the glass fills the bottom. The top of the hourglass, as it becomes fewer in sand and increasingly more free space, begins to likewise accumulate new vibrational energy and inspiration in the vacuum that the empty glass provides. Our infants may appear to be small and helpless, but they are not. Vulnerable yes. Helpless, no.


You can go blind from peering too deeply into someone else's soul. You see it or you don't. Stop looking for things and start finding them instead.


God bless the Scots. Their invention of golf has at least kept a lot of bad doctors from racking up too many hours in hospital and kept them (statistically) away from hurting more people. It being easier to avoid malpractice suits if 18 holes can be scheduled than another surgery. FORE!


This ends our Scratching Scrotum Revue. Next, we switch hands! And thank you Miss AMBER DEXTROUS!


Look back over your past. Is it me or does it seem that bad relationships are the most difficult to leave. GOOD relationships? So easy to screw up. But the bad ones seem to linger and compel long after the taste in your mouth has already changed to bitter.


As video games go, and with what time we have to enjoy them, we give a big thumbs up to the NEED FOR SPEED HOT PURSUIT. It is a part of the NFS franchise, and one that so far we find most engaging. I don't have to spend more time than I have, when some small time arrives, in order to have some fun with this game. I do not get paid by anyone for saying these things. I just like to pass a good word along when we can. And there is a lot of crap out there.


I seem caught in a flood right now. My NORTH and SOUTH POLEMICS are melting! 
I can swim through this. It were being frozen out before that was tough….


Yes, we provide the SMOKE. Bring your own mirrors!


Radio edits are so gay.


So there Santa was. With his reindeer posse flying over the rooftops of northern Vienna and environs when Rudolf, Santa's keen eyed lead sled, spotted them. Rudolf was quite the spotter. Including the agent he hooked up with who got him both a song and a Christmas TV special. Songs like 'Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer' don't just write themselves, gears have to be turned, palms greased, and in the end, Rudolf got the song material he thought his status as lead reindeer, THE ANTLER MAN, deserved. So, renowned for his spotting and granted the modicums of respect it commanded, his sleigh bells gave a chiseled shake as down upon the lamp lit, damp and frozen streets, two dancing figures of oddly juxtaposed size, were seen doing a figure 8 waltz. On a small pond hardened by the winter chill and being pounded now by ice skates. A monkey as he got closer, and as it turned out and he first suspected, a large brown smiling, tutu wearing bear. Santa laughed out heartily in amusement, once the fog had cleared from his glasses (he never wore the goggles Mrs. Santa had gotten the elves to make for him one Christmas. They were well made but Santa felt them too flash), and ordered that the reindeer team go down at once to get a closer look at this most wonderful sight. 2 escaped zoo animals with a most graceful sense of rhythm and figure skating. 
Santa thought to ask them if they'd like to join him for the evening and ride with him to keep him company. After all, who wouldn't find it a blast to hang out with Kris Kringle during his busiest day making deliveries? The places you'd get to see! The propositions you got to witness St. Nick extricate himself kindly from. The sleeping visions of families dreams. Wouldn't that be great? A dancing bear and a monkey on a trip around the globe with Mr. Holiday himself. Of course, it couldn't be that simple, not in any portion of the ZOOATHALON. Because just as the reindeer army descended to 'conversate' with the figure skating duo, a UFO, full sudden whirling technicolor blazes, out of the air, hovers above the tiny pond and with a mega watt bright magnetic light, pulls the two zoo escapees straight into the ship. A scout ship Santa thought to himself as he looked at it. He'd know the difference between a scout and mother ship. He'd been there before. They used to harass him from time to time before he made the right calls and put a stop to it. 
The AURORA BOREALIS are the sparks created by the prayers of the elves and the sweat of their labor in the steel mills of Santa's workshops and as it happens has a great influence on the magnetic grid of the planet Earth, and ships can find it difficult to navigate this grid if the grid is shifting more than normal. Once this was understood, Santa had far fewer problems with these little alien weasels. This hadn't happened for quite some time, but still it irked Santa that the aliens would scoop him like this. And for what? More animal samples to take back to their planet? Weren't these particular aliens vegetarian anyway? Mainly thought Santa, they did it to mess with him. Santa knew that the aliens were above all, all that hocus-pocus be damned, just a bunch of merchants and horse traders looking to take advantage of a good deal like anyone else. And the aliens were jealous of Santa's franchise. 
They wanted a piece of it. Naturally, Santa wasn't about to consider licensing his franchise to these fools for neither a piece or a sniff. It wasn't only about the vast profits for Santa and his family. Some years he barely broke even. It were about his sacred duty to fulfill his purpose. And for as long as he were capable, he would continue unabated. The economy was the economy. His job was his job and he planned to stay on it. He had a whole community to support. The Aliens had even abducted him and Rudolf once, left the other reindeer just dangling in mid-space, while Santa got slapped up a little. Rudolf had been given one of those sinister long needle shots and was out like a light bulb. His red nosed turned purple and blue. After an exasperating time trying to convince Santa of his resistance's futility, they let him go upon realizing he thought them all a joke. Animated toys you'd give an unruly imaginative child. They were not used to being taken not so seriously, so they gave him and Rudolf back to the other sled team and away they drifted until the ship disappeared into a vapor of its own reflection. Then they took off like a team of race hawks, but flying high on a twitching rail of steam. Santa said nothing at all on the way back to the North Pole afterwards. And the elves sensed upon his return not to ask him any probing questions, in the event that he'd been probed enough already for one night. 
And so it goes. After the kind Mrs. Santa had made him a nice cup of hot chocolate, with a twist of cinnamon and lemon, she retired to bed. It was good to be back home thought St. Nick. Even when the day manages to come up just one dancing monkey/dancing bear short.


VENISON IN VENICE ANYONE? Next year we mount this campaign and attempt to attach it to Tennyson and Tennis while we try to find yet another way to make of ourselves a MENACE TO THE MINISTRY. Stay tuned!


Thank you for your response so far to THE SPHINX. Have a most wonderful and happy holiday season. Make it count! See you next year, in the big 11!






* This is NOT an admission of latent homosexual tendencies. There are ‘straights’ who also think Mme Streisand brilliant!