Big-Arse Dinosaur Alert

“Diane, we have breaking news ….. It seems the employees of a creationist dinosaur park in Cabazon, California are holding off the authorities in an armed stand-off. As you can see from Chopper One, there are snipers situated in the head of the T-Rex that are preventing the FBI and ATF from breaching.”


While not a reality as of yet, let me assure you that, oh yes, this could one day come to pass. And after what I saw and sensed at the time, that day may not be that far off. Any similarities in this situation to the Branch Davidian assault in Waco are purely intentional.

Recently I came across some photographs of my trip to the Cabazon Dinosaur Park and it brought back memories of my adventures there. But before we get too carried away here, let me take you back to shortly before my entire belief system, you know the one that I have, the one that says “hey, it’s all good” came under a heavy barrage of 155mm “what the fuck” shells. My mum is heavily involved in this adventure from several years ago and is the one who originally said “ooh, it would be ever so nice to and visit the dinosaur park”. Many things begin with an “ever so” in her world – how they end up is usually rather interesting.


Anyhoo … I was visiting and after doing all kinds of work in the garden (yard would be an inadequate name for what my mum has) and also working on the house, it was decided to give mummy’s little soldier a treat. Now I would have been most happy with an ice cream or a happy meal, but nothing but the best for Mrs. F’s number one son. And since Sunny Jim was already planning to go and shop for some new clothes at the Ralph Lauren outlet store just down the street, she thought that going to the Dinosaur “Museum” just down the road from the outlet mall would be suitable recompense for all of my efforts this week.

So after my buying assorted and sundry Polo items that were either blue with white stripes, or white with blue stripes, off to the Dinosaur Park we went. I was giddy with anticipation. And after several misadventures at a roundabout (you would think that an English driver could do better) and noting that, contrary to my aunts assertion, my mother could not handle freeway driving anymore (she seemed to be doing just fine at 85mph) we pulled into the parking lot.


I was immediately confronted by a giant brontosaurus that seemed to be about the same size as the one that Fred Flintstone used to pilot for Mr. Slate: yabba dabba doo. This concrete behemoth was the only thing besides my mother’s car in the parking lot. Immediately I was thinking that maybe this was the Jurassic equivalent of “The World’s Largest Ball Of String”: currently residing in Branson, Missouri; Darwin, Minnesota; Cawker City, Kansas; Valleyview, Texas; (oh, but it was so much more than that …)

The brontosaurus doubled as a gift shop but when we went inside, everything was locked up and nobody was manning the fort; so to speak. We wandered (it was well over 90 degrees already) around in search of the ticket office. All the while we were searching, there was an equally behemoth (and I mean truly fuckin’ hoooooooooooooge) tyrannosaurus rex staring over the fence. (An interesting placement and interpretation of the beastie,” I remember thinking at the time.)


After trudging past all of the empty parking spaces we came to a rather ramshackle ramp that had a, to be polite, rather bogus looking display next to it. “Oooh look, dinosaurs,” said the Duchess, “this is going to be good.” Immediately the camera came out and pictures were taken from angles that only Fellini or Polanski could appreciate. At the top of the ramp was an equally ramshackle hut with an open window. It looked like the tea shack at Vicarage Road football ground where Watford plays: arguably the worst stadium ever to grace the Premier League in England.

Above the window was a hand-made sign reading “TiCKets” written in multi-colored Sharpie. Ignoring the immediate impulse to order a “pie ‘n’ a bevy” I settled for two tickets to enter and view the “attractions”. The price of admission was $5. We chose to just say “no” to the options of “digging for fossils” in the sand box or panning for treasure. Both of us thought that digging in the world’s largest litter box would be more likely to yield “kitty roca” rather than a trilobite.


So, lighter by $10 since I paid for my mum’s ticket as well, we entered the little shack. Immediately I noticed that things were not as they seem. Taking up half of the shack was a dinosaur display with an itty-bitty, teensy-weensy, historical misnomer. There was a Crusader in the display with the dinosaurs. Now, I haven’t had a history class in several decades, but I do remember that the Crusades were fought in Palestine ‒ not Jurassic Park. But since there were only two teenagers working inside the shack, I just decided to let it go and keep looking around. Sometimes, though, you just have to cut your losses. And sometimes, your mother just wanders around looking at stuff going “Oooh, that’s ever so nice.” So rather than bursting her bubble, and by now it was become awfully sodding difficult, I just stifled my urge to start laughing out loud and kept on looking around.

And even though I was staying at my mum’s rather than a Holiday Inn Express, my spidey senses were on full alert and the huge sign saying “Don’t swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution” was also a clue that something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Meanwhile, mum was busy looking at all the little dinosaur models and not noticing that each little plastic figure had an equally little label reading “Don’t swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution.”


By now, I was beginning to sweat (from trying to contain the sarcasm) and starting to glance around with a vague unease: that sense of being out of balance. I was also noticing that there were a lot of security cameras and signs pertaining to the cameras. Everywhere I looked, there were signs pertaining to Genesis having all of the answers: hey, Peter Gabriel was a pretty righteous dude, but I don’t really see him as the new Messiah. The Duchess had managed to touch and eyeball everything in the wooden shack by this time and so we ventured back out to the heat to see what other revisionist wonders were to be found.

I was not disappointed as I was able to find my very good friend, Sir Crusades-a-lot, busy fighting off a herd of velociraptors. Next to the diorama was a signboard alluding to the fact that dragons of yore were actually dinosaurs with a Jones for virgins chained to rocks (I added the virgins bit). At this point, my mum was beginning to smell a rat. We wandered over to the next display which featured a triceratops. The triceratops is a cool dinosaur. In fact, it is one of the coolest dinosaurs with its three horns. And in the display with the very cool triceratops was an equally cool lion and, I suppose, a lamb that was being as cool as a lamb can be.


These three cool animals were all lying down together that, rather than giving off an aura of cool cubed, totally evaporated into a miasma of mixed metaphors which left me slack jawed and drooling just a little. I believe that this was actually the desired effect. Next to the display was another sign board telling how the dinosaurs were also taken on board the ark and looked after by Noah, his missus, and all the little Noahlings. The reason that we have the vast Diaspora of fossils was that flood scattered the remains of all dinosaurs that did not go up the ramp two-by-two. After all, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day along with the lions and the lambs and humans.

There was a moment of epiphany for my mum at that point. “Oooh, I think that there is something funny going on here!” my mother (under)stated, “is this one of those compound things that you see on the news?” My answer was a simple and terse “yep”. And then we wandered down to check out the giant, massive, huge tyrannosaurus that overlooked the property. This was a massive concrete structure that overlooked the surrounding area: and the whole time we are approaching it I am thinking that a 50 cal machine gun would dominate all avenues of approach if mounted at the opening in the head of the dinosaur. Everything was giving off a Jim Jones vibe.


And the vibe carried over to the displays inside the t-rex. Everything had a National Enquirer / The Sun feel to it as it screamed “Darwin was a wanker” in the most hyperbolic ways possible. (And the other signs read “smile, you are on camera”.) My mum was ready to leave at this point. And we were still the only people, other than Muffy and Buffy, the Kool-Aid swigging teenagers that were “on duty”, so to speak. We wandered back up the hill, and my mum took some more photographs of the various and sundry displays. On our way back down through the nearly deserted parking lot, we ran into another group of intrepid tourists in search of the front door. (Remember that when designing a good location to defend, a difficult approach to the front gate is very, very important.) When the lady asked my mum if it was any good, my mother looked her in the eye and stated “it was very interesting.”

I did not dare make eye contact with her until we were out of earshot because I was going to really start laughing, and so was she, if I looked at her. Once the other rubes were gone, my mum looked at me and said “well, I never …. “ and then she did what she should have done earlier and took me to Burger King and bought me a cheeseburger and an ice cream.

It Has Been One Of “Those” Days….

Make it one of “those” weeks ….

No, make it one of “those” years….


Fuck it, it has just been one of “those” lives.

Every Now And Then ….

I completely forget that I have lived in America for the past thirty four years and when someone asks me something in American (yes, there is such a language)  I answer in English.

This morning I returned something to Fred Meyer to be exchanged.  The lady at customer service was, as is usual at Fred Meyer, being extrememly pleasant and helpful and we completed the exchange (something smaller for something larger; unfortunately) when out of the blue she asked if I wanted to keep the old bag.

Being deep in thought at the time, as I am want to do, I replied “Oh, I got rid of ‘er years ago!”

“The Most Important Thing To Remember About Area 51 ….

Is that there were 50 other Areas, man:  50 other Areas!!!!!”

I work with a rather paranoid, retired air force top sergeant who reminds me of this all of the time; and he should know.

Tnemelpmis Tuot Tialla Ne’s Euqin, Euqin, Euqinimod

“Oooh he was such a lovely man.  ‘E always carried my groceries into the house for me, what with all my arfritis and such.”  How often has such a statement been made to an earnest looking bottle blonde television reporter (looking suitably, and intensely, earnest in her post interview facials that are edited into the piece).

This is while she interviews “Elsie the Nosey Next Door Neighbor” who was justifiably dischuffed when body after body is dug up from the dahlia beds next door and it turns out the person who prides herself on being in the know knows not a thing.

But what makes a serial killer become a serial killer?  I have to admit that I have given this at least three to five minutes of careful thought.  And I did consult with my youngest daughter who considers herself to be somewhat of an expert (as all 18 year olds are on pretty much every subject) on such things as nature versus nurture:  she watches as many episodes of Criminal Minds as humanly possible, so she must be an expert on evil!

Of course, according to Tipper Gore and the PMRC all metal music is evil:  let me re-iterate that – it is eeeeeeevilllllllllllll. Televangelists and others from the south with big hair (male and female) also maintain that metal is the root of all societal decay.

Not wanting to Reign In Blood on their parade for the decline of Western Civilization, I do sort of, kinda like, wonder what metal albums the Greeks and Romans were listening to as their societies imploded (Ozzy is definitely old enough).  Breaking out the big book of serial killers and reviewing it, (I had to tear it away from the daughter’s grasp) there seems to be a timeline on the emergence of serial killers.

It is really from the period of the 1960s onward that serial killers seemed to emerge en masse.  Now many attribute the rise of rock music, hallucinogenic drugs, and pervasive violence in social media as being the prime factors in the creation of your bog-standard serial killer.  And to some extent I would agree with all of this.

But was there a Genesis, so to speak, an epochal event that forever changed the world?  In the late 1960s, Charles Manson talked about “Helter Skelter” off of the Beatles’ White Album as being a call to arms for him.  However, bearing in mind that “Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace” according to this album too, I really don’t hold much credence in the Beatles being the root of all that is evil in the world.

But just to digress for a moment, I will mention that I was stuck on an elevator one time listening to a Muzak version of “Octopus’s Garden” and that really made me fuck-off angry and ready to kill. (Who would’ve thunked it that massed strings could be worse than Ringo Starr singing.)  It was even worse than listening to Mantovani’s orchestral stylings of “The Girl From Ipanema”; so just maybe there could be something to the music theory after all.

Analyzing the musical releases of the early 1960s, I came across one piece of music that stood out from all of the rest.  And I believe that this is the Ground Zero of serial killer creationism.  My brother-in-law even told me that a Marine Corps officer (and they like explode if they tell a lie) told him that while he was on maneuvers with the British that he had heard rumours that the SAS locked new recruits in rooms and bombarded them with this song over and over to induce a killing frenzy.

It is even whispered that Al Qaeda uses this particular song to brainwash new recruits in to becoming suicide bombers and even uses this song as the ring tone on the cell phone detonators.  I was as shocked as anyone else to learn that extreme jihadists understood extreme irony.

The secret to the Chicago Bears stifling defense (notably consistent since the mid 1960’s) is also rooted in this song.  Its message is so powerful that Dick Butkus pulled his own front teeth out in anger just because he hated their shape after listening to this song just once.  The Philadelphia Flyers have played it more often than Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” and they are always the most violent team in hockey.  Bobby Clark (the dirtiest Flyer ever) even has the lyrics tattooed on his inner thigh; or so it is rumoured.

It was this particular song that was the inspiration that Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne were searching for when, in the late ‘60s, they were deciding to take Black Sabbath in another direction when their first attempts to be a Memphis soul band (with horn section) failed and they decided to hang up the powder blue tuxedoes in favour of black, black and more black.

I am talking, of course, about the song “Dominique” by the Singing Num.  I went to Catholic School and I know that a nun can be a massive trigger to violence of an extreme kind.  How many serial killers were tortured in childhood by nuns with yardsticks and metal edged rulers a la Jake and Elwood Blues?

Supposedly Manuel Noriega held out for more than a week as US PyOps people bombarded his (not so) secret hideout with heavy metal songs:  AC/DC and Van Halen were rather popular at the time.  Of course Van Halen has now lost all metal credibility as they have Kool and the Gang opening for them on their comeback tour.

What is not known is that originally the plan was to just play “Dominique” over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over:  or about the fifteen to twenty minutes it would take for Noriega to insert meat skewers into his ears and twist.  This was ruled out since US invasion forces did not have strong enough protection to keep the Singing Nun out of their own ears.

And there was a theory circulating throughout the Pentagon of the possibility of completely reversing the magnetic poles and ripping a hole in the space/time continuum when the Singing Nun’s dulcet tones collided with the Holy Water infused mortar and brickwork of the Vatican Embassy where Noriega was “hiding”.

The Singing Nun, Jeanine Deckers, was, by all accounts, a truly lovely lady who led a very difficult life after releasing her album and making an Ed Sullivan appearance; and who eventually took her own life in a suicide pact with her female lover after leaving her convent.  However she made the devils music when she wrote her song about the founder of the Dominican Order.  There is even a video of happy nuns – singing.  It’s like the Stepford Wives do Mass.  It gives me the collywobbles just thinking about it.

It would take very little for this song to inflict itself upon the subconscious of a weak willed person and send them over the edge and become a mass-murdering machine?  In fact, let us do a quick experiment.  Lock yourself in a dark room and put that song on YouTube or iTunes and play it as loud as you can three times.  Then look at pictures of kittens and bunnies and puppies.  I bet you are imagining them all fucked up, aren’t you.

So back to my original thesis:  serial killers are made by man, not by God.  It is nurture over nature.  Of course the fact that the trigger could well have been created by a woman of God would be a giant cosmic joke.

While you ponder on this and then rush out to get a copy of “Dominique” by the Singing Nun to see if I am correct (you won’t even need to play it backwards), I am going to rush out too and pick up some shotgun shells, ramen noodles and several cases of extra-soft toilet paper.  This is so that I can barricade myself inside my apartment and protect myself as I may have just triggered a global conflagration the Mayans couldn’t even begin to comprehend.

“Dominique, nique, nique s’en allait tout simplement
Routier pauvre et chantant
En tous chemins, en tous lieux, il ne parle que du bon Dieu”

Nwahs Yadhtrib Yppah


A Special St. Valentine’s Day Message

Fuck St. Valentine:  the Romans did not use enough sticks and stones to break his bones as far as I am concerned.

Remember Folks

When Life deals you the Enchanted Bunny card

Kick it in the balls and play your Carrot of Power Card!

I sent out just three resumes and I have a new job already.

Chistmas Etty Kwetty (That Is “Etiquette” To Those With Edjemakayshun)

Always bite the heads off the gingerbread men first …

Then no-one else has to listen to them scream!

A Personal Appeal From This Blog’s Founder

[Cue: very (very) sad Sarah MacClachlan music] 

You have seen them in the hallways at work, lost and frightened and bewildered.  You want to help them, but you just don’t know how.

But now you can help them for just pennies a day by supporting the work of the Soon-To-Be-Unemployed Managers Crisis Fund.  We here at the STBUMCF believe that with God’s Love, and the judicious application of what is remaining after we take out our 95% of the donations, there can be hope.

Every day Russ had to make the arduous trek from the scheduling department to the IT department to make use of the proletarian free facilities in the area.  Recently during a period of turbulence and great upheaval, through no fault of his own, all of the cubicles disappeared that marked his pathway to relief.

Like the Israelites of the Old Testament, he was found wandering aimlessly within the vast, uninhabitable regions that were once teeming with life (but not laughter since QC and QA had lived there) searching for the gateway to happiness and the Men’s room.  But we at the STBUMCF found him and took him by the hand.  We led him to the Promised Land (and back again – but only after he washed his hands).

And yea, though we walked through the shadow of death, hand in hand, we feared no evil because the generosity of our patrons had allowed us to plant decision trees at every step for Russ. No longer was he trapped within a void of infinite possibilities, an impenetrable forest of never ending decisions.  He was set free to put one foot in front of the other this day and every other day – until his sixty days of grace expire.

And on that day, when like Satan being expelled from heaven, like Adam and Eve being banished from the Garden of Eden, he is sent packing for all eternity from the soulless tedium that is “his work” he will know that he can navigate into the great unknown and there will be relief at the end.  He will know this because there has been relief at the end of one hundred such journeys already.  If Russ could, he would thank you.  We thank you.  It is your generous financial support that allows us to help managers like him to exist in our world.  So won’t you put one foot in front of the other and go to the telephone and pledge to help?

Russ has been saved, but there are so, so, many managers out there:  wandering aimlessly amongst the spreadsheets they have sown in vain, searching for relief as everything they have known, or not known, crumbles into uncertainty.  Where will that next conference call come from, the next staff meeting with catered lunch?

We at the Soon-To-Be-Unemployed Managers Crisis Fund want to help them.  But we need you to stand up and say “there but for the grace of God go I” and then to make that one call.  Won’t you make that call now, my friend?  After all it is just a few pennies a day.

Dollar Dollar Bowl, Y’All

So let me preface this by saying “yes, it is all about the money” and it only applies to college football.  After all, the money is what it has always ever been about and as long as everyone can agree on that, then we have a good starting point on exactly how everyone can maximize their revenue streams.  Sod the notion of “geographical rivalries” – Boise State joining the Big East to play football throws that notion straight under the bus and then backs over it. 

In fact the revised LMF plan actually resurrects the notion of geographical rivalries and plays on them as actually mattering to people.  Who would not want to see that noted eastern school of academic excellence, Boise State playing all its games against good west coast teams? 

So (drum roll please), here is what my gargantuan Jimmy Neutron brain has concocted. 

1)      Four conferences consisting of sixteen teams each (sixty four teams in total).  They would represent the east, south, mid-west and west regions.  Each conference should have two divisions whose winners would play off in a conference championship.  Basically I used the SEC as the blueprint – it has produced the last five national champions and will probably produce another this year.  They know what they are doing down south when it comes to college football (just don’t mention a salary cap to them –ooops, that was the NFL). 

2)      The four conference champions are the de-facto national title semi-finalists and would play off at neutral sites (we could call them “bowl games” – it has a nice ring to it) and the two winners would play for the national championship a week or two weeks later (for shits and giggles make it a blind draw as to who plays who). 

This is all nice and fair as the best sixty four teams in the country all get to take a fair shot at playing to win their divisions, conferences etc.  Boise State would be playing in a conference that should include Oregon, Washington, Cal, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada etc.  What is now the SEC would pretty much stay the same but with Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech.  Texas A & M could be in the mid-west or the west.  Notre Dame would be in the mid-west (because last time I looked, Indiana was in the middle of the country). 

“Wait a minute” I hear say, “You failed to mention Oregon State or your beloved Washington State as Boise State opponents”.   Why yes I did:  and there is a really good reason for that.  OSU and WSU would not be in the same conference at this point in time and so they would not be playing Boise State. 

3)      A second tier of four conferences would also be created that would contain teams that are on the lower end of the results spectrum (meaning that they suck) such as Washington State, Oregon State, BYU, New Mexico, UNLV and Arizona.  It would be set up along the exact same geographic lines as the senior conferences. 

4)      The top two schools in each division of the secondary conference would be promoted at the end of each season to the senior conference and would replace the bottom two teams in the senior conference.  

5)      There could also be a playoff for the third and fourth place team to get a chance at a promotion spot.  The winner should play off against the sixth place team in the senior conference to see if they deserve their spot. 

Now this is just a series of ideas thrown together after a few minutes thought, but promotion and relegation works really well all over the world and would actually fit into the “bowl system” as having a playoff game that really matters.  This would be far more interesting than watching two third place teams from mediocre conferences go through the motions in the Kleenex Tissue Bowl every year complete with interim coaches, moribund cheerleaders and forty thousand empty seats.  And usually the most intense games of the year in leagues with relegation are the ones that are played where the loser goes down.