August 2016

The Sisters of Proxima Centauri wore their traditional habits, based on what had been common street wear two hundred years ago.

“So, you think you have what it takes to be a midwife?” said Sister Mary Xargbargl. A Theodosian, she looked rather strange wearing an Earth-style t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, but the Sisters would brook no violations of their dress code.

“I do,” said Miriam Burbage, late of 1066 Vowele St., The Integral Article, Surwickshire.

“You do know that there are over 10,000 species on Maximus Prime,” Sister Xargbargl said. “Each with their own complex birthing rituals.”

“Well, I do know that 4583 of those species reproduce by budding or asexual division,” said Miriam. “So there’s that.”

“Hmph! I’ll be the judge of that,” Sister Xargbargl snapped. “How does a newly budded Pseudopodean prevent its parent’s digestive enzymes from permeating its membrane?”

“It uses its birth legs to crawl away before they soften, naturally,” said Miriam. “Do give me a harder one if you’d like to test me, Sister.”

“How long does a newly burst Chitinoid have to find a suitable host before it loses its baby claws, then?” snapped the sister. “And how do you, as a midwife, keep from being infested?”

“37.3 hours,” said Miriam. “And I’ve already switched to a garlic shampoo.”

“Where must the incision be made to keep an Eleutherian from eating its way out of its father?”

“Below the sternal vacuoles and above the hyperthorax,” said Miriam. “Are you quite finished?”

Sister Xargbargl nodded one of her heads rather grudgingly. “Just one more thing.” she said. “Why?”

Miriam looked off into the distance. “I want to help people,” she said. “If there had been an alien midwife when my sister was carrying her half-Scraglite baby, she might have lived.

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-All ENGL 101 classes scheduled for 5PM have been rescheduled to 5AM due to a computer error. It cannot be reversed, so the new time will stand.

-A typo in Blackboard now means that classes scheduled in Bourke Hall will now take place in Burke Hall. As Burke Hall was demolished to make way for South Parking Lot C in 2009, this may require rain gear depending on the weather.

-Road construction continues on Campus Loop. Due to the fiscal year ending June 30, no construction was possible over the summer and the entire loop will be closed until Summer 2017. Please plan accordingly.

-Franchising issues have led the Chik-Fil-A corporate headquarters to withdraw its license. Starting in September, the student union fowlery will become a Lucky Dragon 777 Chicken, the first such franchise outside Guangzhou province.

-Conference issues have forced the university to reschedule its opening game. The season opener against the Northwestern Community College Dandelions will now be played against the East Alabama Sledgehammers. The Dandelions will play last year’s nation champions Arkansas A&M for their season opener.

-The Office of the Chancellor is pleased to announce that 17 new vice chancellors have been added to the university administration, including the Vice Chancellor for Vending Machine Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for Tailgating Issues, the Vice Chancellor for Alaskan Native Student Affairs, and the Vice Chancellor for Active Shooters (not to be confused with the Vice Chancellor for Trigger Warnings).

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They say that when
You pick your nose
You have a mortal sin

Old Egypt has
A different take
With a small heated pin

Needle goes up
Your nose with ease
And thus they pick your brain

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Okay, so.

I meet Death sometimes to play games. Or maybe she’s the Devil, I dunno. She answers to both, I guess? Denny Feldman started calling her Devth because of that and I guess she likes it since he’s still alive.

Anyway, to get to her place we go into this ratty old trash can behind the Gas ‘n’ Gulp. If she wants to play games there’ll be…I dunno, a tube or something to slide down. If she doesn’t it’ll just be garbage. Someone threw out a bowling ball the other week and it’s still in there. I mean, who does that?

So, we usually play board games. Devth likes Monopoly because it lets her be evil, I guess that makes sense. But don’t cheat or act shifty.

Okay, so, if you cheat or act shifty, you’ll know Devth is mad cuz she’ll get goat eyes. If yoo’ve never seen goat eyes, look them up because they’re really weird and scary. Like octopus eyes. But in a goat. Anyway, they’re yellow too, and she’ll give you the evil eye with them. Literally, I guess.

Anyway, you have about 30 seconds to calm her down before things get bad and you get thrown into the eternal night forever. The last time it was me Devth thought I took money from the bank without it being my turn. I just forgot to get change when I bought Reading Railroad, and laughing about it was enough to calm her down.

Missy Antonucci wasn’t so lucky. When she got caught counting cards when we were playing poker, Devth revealed her true terrible form and cast her into the pit of 1000 years’ torment. Okay, so it’s bad but at least it’s not the eternal darkness, Missy will get out in 2116.

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Okay, so.

I met the living embodiment of pestilence when we were in a dinky little airplane together. Remember, the one that crashed into the Smokey Mountain Cookie Factory on Harrison? Everybody was okay. Everybody but the cookies was okay.

He was kind of dazed by the crash so I helped him out. I probably should have thought that one through better since, you know, disease. He did look a little splotchy, but when I asked he said it would be fine as long as I washed my hands before I ate anything. While we were waiting for the ambulence and firefighters, I asked Pestilence where he was going.

Okay, so he was going to Vegas, he said, for a bachelor party. He’d been around here to give the mumps to kids whose parents thought vaccines caused lycanthropy or something. Then he asked me where I had been going. I said that I’d been flying to Grandma Dee’s since she was too blind to drive. Pesitlence said he’d clear up her cataracts since I helped him, but I don’t know if he can really do that.

If you’re in Vegas, I guess say hi to him. Look for really blond hair, kinda splotchy skin, and a green striped t-shirt. Wash your hands before you eat anything.

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CARL: This is Carl Drake, play-by-play commentator for NBS Broadcasting, coming at you live from the 20Ω6 R’lyeh Olympics.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. This is Tom Hicks, color commentator for NBS Broadcasting, and it’s my honor to be providing filler commentary for the 20Ω6 R’lyeh Olympics to fill the dead space in between events that our viewers at home are interested in.

CARL: I suppose we could be covering the Clean and Jerk Souls Out Of Writhing Physical Forms events, but as all Americans have been eliminated from contention, it would be an impermissable sin to ask our viewers to cheer for a Canadian.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. The big news today is about the American athlete Byron Lackey’s allegations that he was beaten, robbed, and had his soul partially sucked out and the gozzamer threads of his sanity partially unwound. This after his disappointing silver medal loss to, of all places, Belize in the 100-meter Ichor Doomstroke.

CARL: Lackey claimed that he was assaulted by a Cthuloid poasing as a City of R’lyeh Police officer. However, records colelcted by the Gibbering Eyes in the Olympic Village paint a different and far darker picture of the events.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. It seems that, rather than being robbed, Lackey in fact was drunk on space colour after his narrow loss and had vandalized a City of R’Lyeh Police shoggoth cruiser. Gibbering Eye footage shows him urinating, spray painting, and finally kicking it.

CARL: Furthermore, it seems that the robbery story was concocted by Lackey and his teammates to cover for the fact that the gelatinous shoggoth clung to, removed, and consumed Lackey’s pants during the altercation and he had to accound for their absence.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. US Olympic authorities have in fact withdrawn their earlier support of Lackey, and the chief of police has in fact consumed his passport to hold in his abdominal sac as a flight risk.

CARL: The standard R’lyeh punishment for this sort of false accusation, without taking into account the vandalism that preceded it, is to be cast among the Deep Ones to live as their slave until their unhuman rituals drain the soul and leave nothing but a degenerate husk behind, which is then devoured by the Elder Things as part of the ritual that foreshadows the coming revival of their race.

TOM: That’s right, Carl, though anonymous sources inside the City of R’lyeh Police have said that Lackey may face a lighter penalty in the interest of preventing a diplomatic incident until such a time as the stars are right. Lackey may only be forced to transfer his soul into a vessel of the Deep Ones’ choice, to slowly undergo the horrifying metamorphosis that is their fate.

CARL: Not a good sign for Lackey’s appearance at the 20∆0 Olympics in Celephaïs.

TOM: That’s right, Carl, not a good sign at all. Though some are claiming that Lackey’s punishment is still impermissably light compared to that of Ginger Douglas, the American gold medalist in Rythmic Shapeshifting.

CARL: She was pilloried in the press for failing to salute the American flag during her medal ceremony, despite the fact that no other medalist or audience member before or since has ever done so. Yet because she is Atlantean on her father’s side and Lackey is a brodude, some say that their penalties are mismatched.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. Ms. Douglas was punished by switching bodies with a liquifying corpse and put to work delivering singing telegrams all over R’lyeh.

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Ranids are a perplexing mystery of our time. Born to human mothers, they appear like nothing so much as amphibians stretched over a rough human body plan. Facial recognition experts have detected faint echoes of their parents in ranids’ features, but they resemble nothing so much as each other.

They have no vocal cords and cannot speak, but ranids are as intelligent as any other humans and readily learn to speak using synthesizers and a modified version of American Sign Language. Genetic analyses have shown that their DNA has no notable or measurable differences from that of their parents or siblings, though it is worth noting that once a ranid is born all future pregnancies will inevitably produce ranids as well, leading some to suspect that there is a epidemiological basis for their morphology.

Yet tests on ranid parents have yielded no conclusive results.

Ranids require more moisture and more proteins and meats in their diet, but can otherwise accept normal foods provided that provisions are made for their lack of teeth. While many have died due to lack of proper care, and still others have been murdered by their parents, most have thrived.

There is one ongoing debate, though. The first ranid, Gabrielle Ramirez, was born 9 years and 7 months ago. What happens when a ranid undergoes puberty?

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