The Taxidermist

Posted in Sausage Makers Society on May 16, 2019 by A lo Hawk

Ajax Chaste was a virgin like his parents. When he was three years old he was adopted by a kindly, childless couple, Paul and Becky, who lived on an inland farm.  The Chastes were about the same height and weight and wore similar flannel shirts and blue jeans. They had matching haircuts and mannerisms; they kept a portrait of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust on the mantel over the fireplace in their farmhouse near Ketchikan, Alaska.

Ajax was a Native American Inuit. His birth parents were born on Baffin Island in the Nunavut Territories of Canada and had moved to the west coast of Alaska in 1982 so his mother could work the cruise-ship trade and father, an experienced whaler, shipped out on commercial fishing boats for months at a time. He disappeared with ship and crew in a violent Pacific storm in 1984. Mom used her own assets to attract a rich whale and sailed away on the Regal Princess, leaving Ajax abandoned behind the hedges of the local dog kennel.

In his new environment of verdant pastures and rolling hills, Ajax was surrounded by a variety of domesticated animals; plus he sought out all of the wild critters and creepy creatures he could find. Farm life was strenuous and regimented but daddy Paul taught him how to butcher hogs and snap chicken necks. Whenever he could escape his chores he would run with the Australian cattle dogs or stalk the barn cats.

Ajax felt a deep ancestral love of animals but he loved them equally whether alive or dead. He did not discriminate between animate and inanimate flesh. If a creature was behaving badly, a quick whack on the head with any handy blunt object would make it more cooperative. But if he accidentally killed it, the fun would be over and he would feel an unpleasant tingle of sadness. He decided when he got older he would do something to correct this sorrowful state.

Ajax became obsessed with herpetology. He had a pet iguana named Darwin. He dissected frogs in his room and began skinning snakes to make belts and hatbands to trade at the rural school he attended on Saturdays. Once, he found a dead deer in the woods. Apparently, it had broken its leg in an accident then collapsed and died of dehydration and exposure. He returned to it every day to watch the decay; fascinated with the eruption of maggots, the cloud of flies, the evidence of scavengers. To him, it represented the whole circle of life, death, and re-birth. It was the most significant spiritual experience of his young life.

Ajax was raised in the Church of Androgyny. When he turned 16, he submitted to the Nirwaan, the Sacred Rite of Castration where the testicles are surgically removed. This was the only time in his life he has taken a drug; he was injected with Ketamine, a potent tranquilizer and anaesthetic. The High Priest who performed the ceremony was a fully emasculated eunuch; he’d had his penis ceremoniously amputated in devotion to the faith.

Always a quiet, reserved kid, Ajax became an even more taciturn teen-ager, spending his days in his room listening to moody bands like The Cure, Bauhaus and Depeche Mode while working on his secret projects. When not secluded in his bedroom in the attic, he would roam the countryside hunting, trapping and fishing using the traditional methods of his Inuit ancestors. A lonely kid with no friends, his adopted parents convinced him to go to a psychiatrist to find out why he was so repulsive to others. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder. His symptoms included Alexithymia, or the inability to express emotions, and Eccedentesiastia, which is constantly hiding behind a fake smile.

In high school, now using the nickname AJ, he became interested in robots and joined the Robotics Club. He enjoyed building the radio controlled metal war machines and he won many battles at state-wide death match contests. He even gained grudging respect from his fellow geeks yet they still refused to invite him to the post match celebrations. He was eventually kicked out of the club when he began covering his mechanical creations with animal hides and installing tiny speakers which emitted high-pitched predator cries.

AJ was born with Occular Amblyopia (a deformed, lazy eye) but it went untreated because his birth parents were suspicious of doctors and disturbed by the bad omen. Young master Chaste realized the grey, wandering pupil was repulsive to people so he usually wore an eye patch in public. Despite this superficial handicap, he was a good student and earned adequate grades to be accepted to the University of Alaska in Anchorage. His strong kinship to animals and the support of his adopted parents encouraged him to pursue a Veterinary Technician degree. If all went well he would eventually transfer to Fairbanks for veterinary medicine school.

AJ developed severe insomnia while at school and had to avoid all stimulants. He would walk the streets at night and find stray dogs and cats. When he brought them home he would break their legs or poison them to learn their physiology and how to heal them. He was never cruel; he performed these experiments humanely with a minimum of pain. He would often steal bottles of Acepromazine to sedate the animals.

After graduation, Mr Chaste was hired as a Vet Tech in a small veterinary clinic on the outskirts of the city. He got a tattoo on the inside of his left wrist of a traditional Ulu knife, his favorite blade for skinning hides. He began pursuing an amateur taxidermy hobby at night after the clinic was closed. Using the bodies of animals brought in for cremation, he filled their urns with wood ash and practiced his skinning and tanning skills on the corpses. The forms were sculpted from polystyrene, wood and wire. Gears and servo-motors replaced joints and muscle. This mobile menagerie was placed on every shelf and flat surface of his mobile home.

Eventually he ran out of space in his trailer and storage shed. One evening in his workshop he had an epiphany. Distraught pet owners were willing to pay exorbitant sums for pet memorials. What could be more memorable than your best friend preserved in an eternal, peaceful pose displayed in a shrine of honor in your home? He could create lifelike stuffed animals, place them in tasteful settings and charge premium prices.  The following day he formed an on-line taxidermy service specializing in deceased pet re-creations. He called the company LIFELIKE REMEMBRANCES. One rich client paid him $10,000 to re-make her poodle Trixie with motion sensors; a voice chip containing dozens of barks, whines, and whimpers; and fully articulating tail, ears and jaw.

With his new taxidermy business taking off, AJ was earning double his salary at the clinic. He fantasized about creating an exotic animatronic petting zoo if he could only acquire the valuable hides. All things considered, his future was looking bright. That was before he choked his boss to death.

Ax Jackyl and Mr Chaste

Posted in Sausage Makers Society on May 14, 2019 by A lo Hawk

Despite having a lazy eye, AJ Chaste was always a voracious reader. His right eye, a chestnut brown, was focused and penetrating; while the left was an opaque grey and prone to frenetic movements. With a slight turn of his head he looked around the office and saw the ugly metal bookshelf containing his current collection of professional and hobby reference books. There were several thick veterinary manuals, an over-sized set of encyclopedias with gold script on the spine — Van Dyke’s Illustrated African Big Game Anatomy Vol I-IV, The Art and Science of Taxidermy, How to Skin and Brain Tan any Mammal, Fundamental Prestidigitation, and The Deck of Deceit: 52 classic card tricks.

In the bottom drawer of his beat-up desk he kept his guilty pleasures — a book on hypnotism, a frayed and split copy of the HP Lovecraft novel Re-animator, an autobiography by Aleister Crowley. In the cramped bathroom down the hall were stacks of Mechanical Animation magazine as well as a thick folder stamped — Universal Zoology of Known Extraterrestrial Beings: Roswell Project.

AJ opened his eyes and looked down through wet strands of his long black hair and saw the motionless body on the table. He had his hands around the throat of his boss, Chuck. In a flash, he recalled the argument in his office; the threats, the sudden violence leading to the sudden sweet silence. Chuck had discovered the BS, the Bad Stuff he had been doing at the clinic at night. He was going to expose his plan to mechanically re-animate all of the dogs and cats brought to the facility for cremation or disposal. He had to fix this. He had to get home to his workshop and his tools. He had to get to work.

Chuck was a rather stout fellow, so moving his limp body from the office, down the stairwell, out of the building to the deserted parking lot and into his truck required a tremendous amount of energy. By the time he got the Chuckster to his workshop in an old wooden shack behind his double-wide mobile home, he was exhausted and collapsed onto a bare mattress,  falling like a widow-maker into a catatonic sleep.

The next morning was chilly and he returned to the shed to find the pale, nude body undamaged but beginning to stiffen. Too much time had passed to perform a neural defibrillation experiment on the brain but the organ was too valuable to waste. After removing the head with a swift whack of an axe, he strung up the ungrateful dead man by piercing the achilles tendons with slaughterhouse meat hooks and winched the chain toward the low ceiling beam. Using his favorite ulu hunting knife, he disemboweled the humanimal and prepared the flesh for skinning.

The taxidermist knew human skin was more delicate than other mammal hides he has tanned so he worked carefully. Once the skin was removed, he placed it in a bucket of water to soak while he returned to the carcass for butchering. By lunch time, he had carved and wrapped a winter supply of prime Chuck roast and processed fatty ground Chuck to put into the freezer. He took the juicy heart, ribs and a long strap of fatback into the house for seasoning. The remaining usable meat was cut into thin strips for drying into jerky.

Following a hearty meal of spicy bar-b-que, he was energized to resume work unnoticed on his parcel of land at the dead-end of a half empty trailer park. He put the head in a vise and sawed open the skull. Taking a soup ladle, he scooped out the grey matter and filled a large sauce pan. Adding water, he cooked the brain until it became a pink-grey mush, then let it cool. Meanwhile, the water was gently squeezed out of the bundle of skin and it was draped over a smooth log. A rib bone was used for fleshing any excess fat and rough tissue from the epidermis. The skin was then stretched and attached to a wide wooden frame with fish hooks and line. He took a sponge, dipped it into the lumpy soup and coated the entire skin with the tanning mixture.

When the human canvas had cured, it was hung inside a rusty steel drum set on concrete bricks for smoking. A small punky fire was maintained beneath it all day; he checked it frequently to make sure the precious bolt of fleshcloth was not burned. The next day, the skin was cut to the rough pattern of a shirt and pair of pants. Sinew was used to sew the garments together. The result was a crude but supple leather outfit suitable for daily light activity. The faint trace of a navy tattoo could still be seen on the right shoulder of the long-sleeved shirt.

AJ sensed it was time to get out of town for awhile so he packed up his truck with dried food and camping gear. With Neil Young playing on the radio, he steered toward the road to Denali, or ‘The High One’ in the Athabaskan language. It was September and the full Harvest Moon hung like a pumpkin in the sky. The native son found the isolated area he knew contained acres of ripe huckleberries, thimbleberries and salmonberries. He planned to get up early and spend the day filling several buckets with berries for canning. It was risky to camp in an area crowded with hungry bears so he built a roaring orange fire to compliment the giant orange orb in the sky.

He heard the low, guttural growl around midnight and instantly snapped awake from a light nap. A loud cracking of branches warned of a large animal thrashing forcefully through the foliage in the direction of his camp. Two large red eyes, glowing like the coals in the fire, blazed from the thicket then slowly rose above the brush. A vague shifting shadow appeared to be standing on hind legs and it emitted a raspy, supernatural snarl that was unmistakably hostile and imminently dangerous. In the fading light of the dying campfire, it was impossible to determine if the creature was an angry bear, rabid wolf or berserk yeti. AJ reached for the big Rough Rider Bowie knife on his hip as the menacing hulk leaped into the air towards him.

Barely able to pull the blade from the sheath and aim it toward his attacker, he was knocked to the ground by a feverish, hairy brute. The impact of the falling bodies drove the knife’s curved clip point deeply into the animal’s chest as its jaw clamped down on AJ’s shoulder and several of its razor claws raked his torso. For an agonizing moment the two hominids were locked in an existential embrace with each hell-bent on survival. At last, an anguished, high-pitched howl pierced the man’s eardrums and the injured beast staggered backward, turned and lunged through an opening in the undergrowth.

Bleeding and in shock, AJ attempted to assess his injuries. He could see two oozing puncture holes on the back of his right shoulder in the muscle above the scapula, as well as three long parallel slices of raw tissue across his torso exposing the ribs. The damaged flesh burned intensely and had a foul odor, as if the creature’s fangs, claws and saliva contained a toxic chemical. The pain eventually receded while the fluid in the wounds coagulated to stop the bleeding. He stumbled to a nearby creek to wash the gaping lacerations with cold glacial silt water which re-ignited the agonizing fire spreading across his torso to his extremities. Relentlessly, the heat crept up his neck and consumed his head. Finally, his skull felt like a match-tip being rubbed against sandpaper. Skskskchchchiiixxx!!!

The contaminated man woke up lying next to the rushing creek with the midday sun blinding his eyes yet warming the chill in his bones. His head was pounding as he crawled to the bank and lowered his body toward the cold swift water. Taking several big gulps, sitting up caused his head to spin and he vomited the silty water back into the creek where it instantly washed away. When the nausea subsided, he haltingly shuffled to his truck for a roll of fishing line and a small hook. Semi-reclined on the passenger seat; with shaking hands he sewed shut the long scratches on his ribs and the two craters on his shoulder.

Earlier, he noticed the big, broad leaves of the Devil’s Club plant growing on the far side of the creek and he knew the spiny stalks could be mashed up and used as a healing salve. The autumn sun dipped below the horizon before he completed the complex task of retrieving the plants, carefully peeling and processing the stalks into pulp, applying the poultice and securing the restrictive bandages. Exhausted, he fully reclined in the truck cab and chewed on homemade jerky as moon glow shone through the windshield. Suddenly, a discordant chorus of wolf howls shattered the man’s quiet reverie and sent violent spasms throughout his body which tore at the fresh trauma.

The next two days were spent in a high-grade fever dream; he repeatedly hallucinated leaving his body to run with a wolf pack endlessly chasing an enormous caribou herd. When the fog cleared, he discovered his wounds had almost completely healed. Starving, he ate the remainder of his provisions then fired up the beat-up rig and returned to the highway. Undecided for a brief moment, the manimal hybrid intuitively decided to head north to the city of Fairbanks. The first thing he did when he arrived was to find the nearest branch of Wells Fargo bank, withdrew a large sum of cash and closed out his accounts.

The newcomer lived out of his truck’s camper top; sometimes he ate fresh road kill but mostly he fished for Chinook and Coho salmon, Arctic Grayling and Northern Pike from the Tanana River. Gradually, he regained his strength and even managed to put on a significant amount of new muscle mass. He began to sleep-in later and later in the morning preferring to stay up late at night. His skin itched constantly and he grew facial hair which was unusual for an Inuit male. Always a meat eater, he would occasionally supplement his diet with corn, squash, beans and berries. Now however, the thought of eating any fruits or vegetables turned his stomach. He craved meat and the fresher the better.

The changes accelerated. His bio-rhythms were more nocturnal than diurnal. The hypertrichosis, or excessive hair growth, worsened; he was the only indian he knew able to grow a thick, full beard. For the first time in his life he became aggressive and violent. He started using the name Ax Jackyl and hung out in late night bars bullying people, starting arguments and causing fist fights. As the moon waxed and approached full, Ax got a strong urge to travel north towards the Arctic Circle where the nights were getting longer quicker. He abandoned his truck at a rest stop and stuffed his backpack with all of his knives, tools and camping gear. He easily hoisted the 80 lb sack over his shoulders and stood beneath a large green highway sign outlined in white reflector dots. As soon as he extended his thumb, a long haul trucker appeared, pulled his eighteen wheel rig along the edge of the road and opened the passenger cab door. Ax settled in as the truck accelerated to highway speed and the first pale rays of moonlight shot over the horizon. The Hunter’s Moon.

Who Am I?

Posted in Maudlin Missives with tags on December 25, 2018 by A lo Hawk

Many are saying I’m the best 140 character writer in the world. My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.

The beauty of me is that I’m very rich. I had some beautiful pictures taken in which I had a big smile on my face. I looked like a very nice person, which in theory I am.

I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent. I think I am actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.

I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war in a certain way. But only when I win.

I won with the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated. I am all alone in the White House (poor me).


Four of a Kind

Posted in Trail Tales with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2018 by A lo Hawk

I am awakened not by my alarm but by my full bladder and colon. I slip on my crocs, crawl out of my tent and find the cat hole I dug last night to relieve my bowel pressure. It is only 1:30 in the morning but I have an itch to get the day’s adventure started.

For the past month of weekends I have traveled the state to climb 14,000 foot mountains. Yesterday I motored to tiny Alma, turned up Buckskin Creek and followed it towards Kite Lake. This alpine basin south of Breckenridge is surrounded by a high ridge containing four rounded rock piles: Mt Democrat (14,148), Mt Cameron (14,238), Mt Lincoln (14,286), Mt Bross (14,172). The moderate class 2 terrain and easy access makes it a popular pilgrimage for peakbaggers of every ability.

To avoid paying the $12 camping fee I had set up my tent along the creek outside of the fee area a few miles from the trailhead. To pass the evening I sat in the car drinking double IPA, reading “House of Rain” by Craig Childs, and watched the stream of clouds fly over the mountain tops and the late arriving caravan of cars crawl along the rough road to the campground.

Overnight the wind brought a passing storm which dropped a mixture of rain and snow over the area. When I emerged from my warm cocoon the sky was clear leaving a glistening frozen blanket on the ground illuminated by innumerable sparkling points of light overhead. The unmistakable collection of stars known as the Big Dipper sits perfectly framed on the horizon as if about to pour a ladle of stellar material over the earth.

I throw my wet tent into the Subaru and drive a short distance to the end of the road. The parking lot is full of silent metal hulks so I park along the side of the road facing the exit. Using my headlamp, I toss the Camelbak over my shoulders and find the metal cylinder to deposit the envelope containing the $3 day use fee. Making my way through the automobiles and multi-colored tents clustered around a black void of still water I swivel my head until I locate the sign marking the start of the hike. No other soul appears to be stirring as I stride forward on the wide gravel tread at 3 am.

Bundled up with layers of clothing, hat, gloves and hoodie pulled down to protect skin from the bitter wind chill, I follow the trail across the basin toward the lower slopes of Mt Democrat. As I ascend the rising switchbacks I begin to see headlamps blink on and form a slow-moving line below. Looking further down the valley I also see a steady parade of headlights moving up Buckskin Creek Road.

Just below the saddle between Mt Democrat and Mt Cameron I reach an altitude where the fresh layer of snow over the scree creates tricky footing and consequently requires sharp focus. The views expand beyond the Kite Lake basin as I carefully climb untracked switchbacks to a false summit. As the route levels off the view below disappears while the universe overhead commands attention. Moments later the final pitch leads me to the lonely cold summit at 4:40 am. A sharply defined quarter moon amplifies the night sky to a surreal intensity. As much as I want to prolong this rare moment I have been pacing to keep warm and I have other peaks to visit. I reluctantly retrace my solitary tracks over the apex.

Back at the saddle I greet a human shadow making halting steps to the trail junction. I continue ahead on the rocky ridge as it begins the climb to Mt Cameron. Looking across a huge granite bowl toward the dark mass of Mt Bross I see a necklace of lights advancing across a veiled face. There is a prominent sign at the trailhead warning that Mt Bross is closed to the public next to a well worn path which takes you there. A spectacular nine mile loop lures undaunted peakbaggers to tag all four in a day. My plan is to do the loop clockwise.

Mt Cameron is a gradual camel hump; no reason to slow down across its parabolic summit. The trail is a wide white and gray trough pointing the way to lofty Mt Lincoln which is backlit by an orange and blue tinted sky. I turn off my headlamp and hurriedly scramble to reach the top as a fiery red orb rises to announce the break of day.

A lean young man dressed in khaki clothes arrives minutes later. We can see hikers strung out on the ridges connecting Lincoln, Cameron and Bross like ants emerging from their underground nests. I head for the saddle leading to Mt Bross where I meet hikers who tell me how steep the trail is from Kite Lake. Since the trail will be in the shade for hours, the descent will be cold and slick. I have another idea.

Mt Bross is another featureless mound except for a curved wall of rock built to block the wind. There are a couple of lumps huddled inside as I pace a circle around the structure and return the way I came. I have decided to return by way of Mt Cameron to avoid the shady descent and to extend the sunny ridge walking as long as possible.

By now dozens of rubber soles have trampled the thin layer of white crust into dust. On my right is a queue weaving a thread of bodies up Mt Lincoln. I turn left and minutes later am standing on the flat top of Mt Cameron looking down at a total logjam of people and dogs swarming the wide saddle, clogging the switchbacks to Mt Democrat and outlining the entire route back to the lake.

Before I am absorbed by the madness I stop at a flat rock to finally strip off unneeded layers. The peace and serenity of the morning is shattered by a flying drone, the constant klickety-klak of metal tipped trekking poles, pop music coming out of someone’s pack, the general murmur of a festival crowd punctuated by canine yelps. Continuing the descent into the basin is a stop and go dance against the flow of mouth-breathers with their various burdens either carried on their backs or following behind.

Returning to the Kite Lake trailhead at 8:30 am, I am mildly concerned to see cars constricting both sides of the narrow lane as far as I can see. Luckily, I am able to safely negotiate the metal corridor through the late arriving hikers and autos until I arrive back at the campsite satisfied with the decision to go all in. Aloha and Happy Trails!

41 Colorado 14ers + 10 repeats + 3 West Coast peaks = 54 total summits

For details go to My Fourteeners

Trippin the Gaslight Fantastic

Posted in Era Vulgaris with tags , , , , , , , on July 19, 2018 by A lo Hawk

Gaslighting — 1. psychological manipulation to distort someone’s view of reality (see 1944 movie GASLIGHT), 2. gleefully turning on the afterburners, 3. juvenile male prank of igniting farts in sleeping friends faces —Lewd’s Dictionary of Hip Vernacular

“Hey buddy, who’s on first?” & “Excuse me, what?” & “No, he’s on second.” & “Fuck off, creep!” & “He’s our shortstop.” & “Kiss my ass!” & “So you’ve met the pitcher and catcher?” & “Get away from me, you asshole!” & “That’s me, I’m the manager.”

{the ubermensch in the slaughterhouse high five castle enters a brave new orange clockwork world to catch 22 lords of the fly agaric mushroom word cloud}

“Hey buddy, did you see the latest?” >> “Say what?” >> “Our POTUS Trumpet on the idiot box sure is Putin on the blitz.” >> “What the hell are you saying?” >> “The fake news tricksters are trolling your facebook meme thread-bare-ass-naked fear and loathing.” >> “You are an insane jack-off.” >> “That penurious narcissarian candidate attributes his indictment attention deceit disorder to head rushing collision muddling.” >> “I don’t give a mind fuck!”

Taint Talk Podcast, episode #9

Posted in Era Vulgaris, Snark File with tags , , , , , on June 27, 2018 by A lo Hawk

Image result for corkscrew images

SH “Welcome to Taint Talk, I am your host Slap Happy. If you’re a virgin viewer, this podcast is dedicated to frank discussions of sex by people who make a living in the sex trade; everybody from hookers, porn stars, adult film producers, fluffers and ass bleachers. Today we are talking to a rising shaft in the adult film industry, King Kielbasa. Welcome to the podcast, King.”

KK “Thank you Slap, happy to be here.”

SH “So King, how did you get into the porn business?”

KK “Well, that’s kind of a long twisted story, Slap. I was never much of a ‘pooner’ when I was a young man; I spent most of my time doing stupid stunts with my friends which led to an audition for this new stunt show on MTV called JACKASS.”

SH “Yeah, that was great shit. How fun was it to shoot?”

KK “Actually, it was a bitch. We had to have a full time medical staff on set because all of us were seriously hurt at times and we were always recovering from injuries. You may remember the episode where I got a sledgehammer swung into my groin? After that I developed some scar tissue in my penis which became a fibrosis known as Peyronie’s Disease. My dick would bend sideways if I got a hard on and it was painful as a motherfucker to have sex or even masturbate.”

SH “Oh man, that fucking sucks! What did you do?”

KK “Well, the most effective treatment are injections of Xiaflex which cost $3,300 each, the full course of eight runs about 26 grand. Of course I didn’t have it so I tried various sham pills and creams. I even tried one of those Penis Pumps. Goddammit, I couldn’t touch my prick for a week after that vacuum from hell. Finally, I got so desperate I ordered some of that Plexaderm skin tightener cream for wrinkles and bags you see on late night TV commercials. I figured if I put it on my sausage it would straighten out when I got an erection.”

SH “That sounds crazy enough to work. Did it?”

KK “No Slap, but you knew that. You don’t need to fluff me for your audience. At first the stinging and burning was excruciating, but eventually it went numb to the point I could lather the member up. When I woke the next day, I popped a XXX tape into the VCR to see what would happen. Lo and Behold, as I was watching two chicks scissoring, I felt the rush of blood to the groin and saw my meat swell into a fucking CORKSCREW!”

SH “Wow, you can literally screw with that thing, can’t you?”

KK “It takes a certain type of girl to handle the twirl. I prefer the skinny whores known as ‘spinners’. Man, do they get off on the Corkscrew Cock of Chattanookie County!”

SH “So how’d you get into the movies?”

KK “One of my lady friends told me about a director who was looking for an actor with my ‘talents’. He was directing a porn remake of the oenophile movie Sideways. The film made a lot of money so here I am a year later with a promising career of banging to look forward to.”

SH “So what’s the next project for King Kielbasa and the Corkscrew Cock?”

KK “Slap, its a movie called Fidget Spinners and it comes out in October.”

SH “Alright King, we can’t wait. Thanks for being here. That’s all the time we have for today’s Taint Talk. Join us next time when we present a performance of the KAMA SUTRA by former members of the Cirque du Soleil from their x-rated Vegas show — Orgasm. Good night and good sex.”

Era Vulgaris

Posted in Era Vulgaris, Snark File with tags , , , , , on June 21, 2018 by A lo Hawk

The Fun Machine took a shit and died — Queens of the Stone Age precognized

President Vulgarian of the Reality Show Administration ({}) POTUS P.O.S. ({}) Fucking Moron, Till Rex sec states ({}) simian dominance posturing ({}) crowd size matters ({}) twitter tantrum tsunami ({}) Pulitzer prize winning FAKE NEWS MEDIA like the FAILING New York Times ({}) DEEP STATE of whistle blowing patriotic saboteurs ({}) Recuse you, General Beauregardless immigrant gnome ({}) haunting nightmare of the Mueller apparition ({}) Dump the Chump obstruction impeach relief laxative ({}) Russian Hookers, Golden Showers & the Mooch ({}) Covfefe

Make America Great Again, Rinse, Repeat [$] One man show on the world stage starring Crooked Little Lyin Stormy Rocket Man [$] counter feit obama birther tificate [$] Pep rally sheeple chants: Drain the Swamp. Build the Wall. Lock her Up. [$] white supremacist tiki torch parade car manslaughter tragedy on BOTH SIDES [$] Trade Wars, Zero Tolerance Policy, Tender Age Shelters, OMG [$] The clear cut case of Environmental Chick fil Agency Chief Pruitt B Corrupt [$] No illusion of Collusion [$] Porn Star Witch Hunt [$] Shithole Countries, You’re Fired! [$] #MAGA

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest- and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, its not your fault (Believe me) They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people (Believe me) I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her (Believe me) Grab them by the pussy (Believe me) I have the best words (Believe me) @realDonaldTrump

Inferno in the San Juan

Posted in CDT PTSD, Trail Tales with tags , , , on June 11, 2018 by A lo Hawk

The plan was to meet my friend George (aka Honey Badger) on the Continental Divide Trail in the middle of the Colorado wilderness on a specified weekend in June. Honey Badger had spent months planning an epic 90 mile traverse of the rockiest terrain to split the continent. He would begin hiking at the CDT trailhead at Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs and exit via the Colorado Trail at Molas Pass north of my hometown of Durango. I offered to backtrack from Molas, meet him on the trail and we would hike back to my car together.

The long awaited departure weekend arrived and Honey Badger loaded up his Mazda in Austin, Texas and began the long drive to Colorado. Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, the Durango to Silverton narrow gauge train threw sparks into dry grass along the tracks and ignited a blaze that would be named the 416 fire. On the eve of his trek I contacted George to update him on our 500 acre alarm and wished him Happy Trails until we meet in a week.

Five days later the 416 fire had grown to a 5,000 acre conflagration, forcing the evacuation of over 800 homes and the intermittent closure of scenic highway 550 between Durango and Purgatory ski resort. To reach Molas Pass, I waited in line for a police escort available only between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm. As our caravan passed below the burning Hermosa Cliffs, the massive bone white column of a pyrocumulus cloud billowed into the sky.

I arrived at the trailhead at noon surrounded by the imposing majesty of the Grenadier Range and Needle Mountains to the south and the solemn vigilance of 13ers Sultan, Grand Turk and Kendall Mountain to the north. I shouldered my pack, acrid scent of smoke stinging my nostrils, and followed the short connector to the Colorado Trail where I turned toward the Weminuche Wilderness.

The day was already warm with a dry south wind pushing the foul air deeper into the mountains and reducing visibility. The trail dove 1,440 feet to El Rio do Los Animas Perdidas or “The River of Lost Souls”. A field of lovely Columbine (the state flower of Colorado) greeted me after descending 33 switchbacks which led to a bridge spanning the churning emerald water of the Animas. I followed alongside the silent tracks of the culprit train for a quarter mile before continuing up a bank on the other side.

Here the trace initiated a nine mile, 3,542 foot climb up the Elk Creek drainage to finally top out on the continental divide at 12,682 ft. Moments after signing the Forest Service register, I met a fellow backpacker sitting on a log inhaling a package of cracker crumbs. Bonefish was a hungry CDT thru-hiker who had run out of food and was trying to get to Silverton to re-supply. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it would have been easier to reach Silverton if he would have stayed on the CDT a little longer instead of taking the CT to Molas and hoping for a hitch.

Continuing to ascend, I was awed by a magnificent cascading waterfall draining some unnamed and unseen high alpine basin. The route then meandered along the white bleached rocks of mineral infused Elk Creek as the drainage closed in on the headwaters. In the evening I reached treeline and found a sliver of smooth ground among the boulders of a large scree field to set up my tent. Later I discovered I had camped among a community of disturbed and vocal Pika varmints who squeaked incessantly while I boiled water for my tasteless and half eaten rehydrated meal. I watched the orange glow of sunset creep up the walls of rock towering over my head satisfied with my first day’s progress (11 miles in 7 hours).

I opened the vestibule of my tent onto a warm morning and set up my stove for coffee. The sky was clear blue and the air was alpine fresh as I broke down camp anxious to go on the hunt for the Honey Badger. After a mile of easy strolling up a grassy hill on meandering switchbacks I stood atop the divide separating two monumental water flows. If I pissed toward Elk Creek it would flow to the Animas, San Juan and Colorado Rivers ending up in the Gulf of California and eventually the Pacific Ocean. Spitting the other direction would feed a creek leading to the Rio Grande, Gulf of Mexico and finally the Atlantic.

Ahead I saw a wooden sign where this trail intersected with another forming a T in the tread. A left turn heads north with the CDT and CT overlapping for almost 200 miles. A right turn heads south toward a wave of CDT thru-hikers and a few section hikers like George. To the west I could see a haze of smoke from the 416 fire rising on the horizon.

It wasn’t long before I saw the head and torso of a hiker emerge above the foliage disguising the trail ahead. Lost Larry carried a sad sack full of woe but he also told me he had seen my friend three days ago. Knowing a thru-hiker would walk more miles per day than my mate, I got a clue he was likely behind schedule. An hour later I confirmed that assumption when I met two more thru-hikers who left Wolf Creek Pass after Honey Badger but did not recall meeting him. At this point I knew something was wrong but the day was glorious so I continued hiking up and down the roller coaster of single track between 11 and 12k ocassionally dropping into the trees. I stopped a few miles past Humpback Pass at a small saddle above Nebo Creek where I could see a distinctive landmark in the distance, a square notch called the Window on the flank of 13,821 ft Rio Grande Pyramid. This would be my turnaround, approximately 17 miles from the car.

When I returned to the trail junction, an impromptu confluence of hikers had formed under darkening skies. Besides the aforementioned CDT hikers, I saw a lone figure striding  confidently toward us from Elk Creek. We talked for several minutes before realizing we had met before. Freebird and I became acquainted on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2005 when we were resupplying at Kennedy Meadows before entering the southern Sierra. I remembered him as a quirky fellow who planned to hike the snow covered high country in sandals. Since then he has become something of a trail legend; not only completing the Triple Crown of North American Hiking (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail) but completing each trail three times earning the absurd title Triple Triple Crowner!

As I reached the crest of the divide above Elk Creek, my phone alerted me of a tenuous signal so I was able to see texts from George indicating he had turned back but would meet me in Durango. Not having my glasses I was unaware the messages were from yesterday and the weak signal made it impossible to hear the voicemails that would have told me he had returned to Austin. All I knew was I was free to scoot home at my leisure.

Standing above the deep gouge in the earth under a blood red sun with white flakes of ash and blackened aspen leaves floating in the air, I thought of Dante’s Inferno, part of the Divine Comedy which depicts a journey through hell as 9 concentric circles of torment located within the earth. Instead of concentric circles I looked down on as many inviting switchbacks and stepped eagerly into the vulcan depths.

In fact it was a pleasant nine mile descent with evening temperatures cooling and shadows growing longer. The woods were so quiet I spooked a young moose who had been lying on the duff as I came around a corner. We stared intently at each other for a moment, ten yards apart, then slowly turned to go our separate ways.

Moments later I saw the unmistakable look of an experienced thru-hiker advancing quickly on long tanned legs. Birdfood informed me of the new Burro fire near Dolores which has forced the closing of the Colorado Trail from Molas Pass to Durango. Apparently the last hiker to get through until the fires are extinguished, he suspects more areas will be closed and is trying to haul ass out of here.

I bottomed out at the Animas River at dusk, thoughts of a cooler full of cold beer and soda motivating me forward to the start of the 33 switchbacks. Shadows became darkness but my eyes adjusted and my breathing recovered on the steady nocturnal climb. I finally pulled out the headlamp for the last mile; arriving at the Subaru before 10 pm, 23 miles covered in 15 hours (including unknown amount of time talking to all the trail folk). Knowing the road to Durango would be closed until 8 am tomorrow, I drove to Coal Bank Pass, beer in hand, where I knew I could get a signal to call my wife and settled into my sleeping bag for a restless car snooze until morning.

On the day I returned, the 416 fire had grown to 16,000 acres with 10% containment, the Burro fire was over 2,000 acres with 0% containment. Highway 550 was closed midday and has not reopened. Authorities later decided to close all 1.8 million acres of the San Juan National Forest.


Flowers for Memogen

Posted in Enigmatic Corporatic with tags , , on June 7, 2018 by A lo Hawk

Memogenetics Memorandum: Transcribed audio field notes from volunteer consumer subject R.A.G.

Product Introduction: [Subject mimics broadcast television commercial advertisement in an unmodulated voice]

“Are you having trouble remembering what you just heard? Are you having trouble remembering what you just heard? Introducing Memogen, a new memory enhancement drug made from a poisonous substance found in pufferfish.”

Side effects may include long term memory loss, drastic I.Q. swings, psychedelic dreams, early onset Alzheimers, intermittent panaphobia, possible phobophobia and you may even lose weight.

“Memogen, the name to memorize.”

Initial Assessment:

“My cognitive improvements were noticeable immediately. I remembered names, phone numbers, security identification numbers, everything I’ve eaten, my first grade teacher’s name (Matilda); every masturbation, bowel movement and hangover I ever had!”

“Later, I increased the dosage until each sensation triggered a flood of memories. I now spend hours in ecstatic reverie reliving the memories of my ancestors accessible through my DNA.”

Final Evaluation:

“Okay, I remember taking those giant pills…uh, what was I talking about?…ahhh…Who am I?”

The Natural Give and Industrial Take

Posted in Sausage Makers Society on June 4, 2018 by A lo Hawk

Blinding flash of white followed by a deafening thunderclap concussion, let the sonic wave roll over and fade into the distance


Sudden rotten deadfall crash explodes my meadow tranquility

Buckle snap

Otherworldly vibrations of a million cicadas haunt the night

Car engine roars

A lonely loon tremolo echoes across still lake waters

Door slams, tires squeal

A woodfire crackles while dancing flames hypnotize

A cacophony of horns honk like mechanical geese

Raindrops steadily drum against a tent wall

Deep thumping bass chord of Harley-Davidsons in harmony

Wind rustles leaves

The radio erupts with percussive beats and screeching voices

Twig snap

Jacked up pick-ups with offensive decals belch black smoke when they gun it


Red pulsing strobe lights accompany a barking staccato siren, let the bellowing ambulance pass by and disappear into the distance