Holy crap! (I never could get the hang of coming up with something better than that, the way Burt Ward always seemed to.) August is almost over and I haven't posted single goddamn thing here. To the literally dozen of people who come check this place out from time to time, I'm sorry. In my defense, my 1st book is supposed to come out at the end of this month, and so I've been a little nutty.
Actually I've been straying dangerously close to shit-house rat crazy territory, staying up for days at a time and popping Klonopins and Xanax like tic-tacs just to get the fear flutters from bursting into flight like a colony of rabid bats. Not everyday, mind you, but that's happened once or twice this month. I'm pretty sure if Poe were alive today, he'd have a pretty bitchin' time with Xanax. (Don't mix that shit with booze, boys and girls - that's how rock stars die.)
So what else is new, you ask? Well for one thing, the wonderful people over at Cracked.com posted an article I co-wrote with a really funny and talented guy named Gabriel Oliver. Here's a link to said article, in case you want to check it out:
I still haven't figured out how to properly link stuff on this blog. Maybe someday. Anyway, here's some dark stuff about our moose brethren that you may not know about.
According to the Finnish tome The Kalevala, Lempo was the equivalent of Loki, with several notable exceptions. One of them is that Loki was considered more of a prankster, while Lempo was more of the bloodthirsty psychotic Lord of the Underworld types. Lempo’s idea of a good joke was to find a warrior in the middle of battle, and send one of his demon minions in to possess the warrior’s sword so that he might cut himself to pieces in front of his men. Hilarious, right?
Oh yeah, Lempo also had a legion of moose. Fire-breathing moose.
We probably should have known then that there was something wrong with those creatures, but between the PR department over at Whatsamatta U, and their constant presence on the label of many excellent beers, we’ve gone and dismissed the Moose (or European Elk, if you prefer) to be a gentle giant of sorts. A somewhat quirky, fey beast that aside from being a nuisance if you happen to live in Cicely, but otherwise no harm, no foul.
The truth is a little more sinister. Turns out that these enormous, steam chuffing, razor antlered beasts can be more than just quirky. They have a taste for alcohol, a penchant for violence, and about as much respect for human weaponry as Godzilla had for Japanese tanks.
The Misdemeanors: (Yeah, I could have called them "moosedemeanors" but when it comes right down to it, puns suck.)
1 - Drunk and disorderly
We’ve all been there at one time or another, you’ve had a few too many, and find yourself stuck in a tree, waiting for the fire department to get you down. On a dark and windy night (is there any other kind in Sweden?) farmer Par Johansson (I’m pretty sure that if you live in Sweden, your surname is either going to Johansson, Johansen or uhh…Chef) heard what he described as something “screaming with a very dark voice”. Naturally he went to check it out, because when farmers (read: real men) hear unearthly howls undulating from their creepy-ass orchards they don’t piss themselves and run screaming for the nearest safe-room, they investigate, damn it. And what did Farmer Johansson find for his troubles? A 1200 lb bull moose had decided to tell both Mother Nature and most of the laws of Newtonian Physics to go take a flying leap, and then it climbed into a fucking tree. Apparently, the moose had figured out that by eating fermented apples it could catch a pretty good buzz, and perhaps grew maudlin after listening to too many Opeth albums. No one knows how much time Per Johansson spent denying the existence of a beneficent and loving God once he laid eyes on the unholy sight of a drunken, gimlet-eyed, half-crucified moose screaming its lungs out while dangling from an apple tree, but at some point he did manage to come to his senses long enough to contact Swedish Emergency Moose Services – or whomever one might have to call in such a situation.
(Quote:"It was raining really bad. In the wind I heard something screaming with a very dark voice," Johansson told CNN. "At first I wondered if it was the crazy neighbors, but then I heard it again and went and checked. I saw something really big up in a tree in my neighbors' yard and it was a moose. It must have been drunk after eating fermented apples and as it was reaching out for more fruit it must have slipped and fallen into the tree.")
2 – Inciting a Riot
It’s not always easy to meet that special someone. The single life is difficult enough, and now that women have figured out that they can make a pretty fast buck simply by meeting desperate men, drugging them and then harvesting their organs on craigslist, dating has only gotten more complicated. At least in the wild, animals have it easy, and can pretty much mate with whomever they want, right? Well, if you’re a moose, then the answer is a resounding “Hell no, sucker!”
Much like the African Lion, moose are polygynous, which means that dominant males collect their own harem of females, who once pinned, are their bitches fo’ life. Sounds pretty good, except for the smaller males, who not only don’t get a chance to find a mate, but also get the added humiliation of having the females cry out “protest moans”. A protest moan is the moose equivalent of a rape-whistle, crossed with a snotty girl in a nightclub doing a massive eye-roll at the poor dweeb that just tried to pick her up. This mechanism impels the larger males to come on over and stomp the living shit out of the wimpier would-be suitors. Which is understandable in a certain light, given the evolutionary imperative is to find the most suitable (in mooseland, that means the biggest and strongest) mate. However, it turns out that the females are employing a Delilah-like cunning in some cases, and using their feminine charms to incite several males to engage in spectacular, bloody brawls. Winner gets the lady, loser goes home.
(Quote:While it was already known that female moose make “protest moans” in response to courtship attempts, scientists now believe that females moan more when approached by smaller males in order to trigger aggression in larger male moose suitors and start fights, the BBC reports.)
No big deal for us human-folk, only that sometimes when a bull-moose decides to take up a life of crime, it can lead to some pretty ugly behavior, like…
3 – Home Invasion
Living in Northern Europe is bad enough. Half the year, you’re depressed and starved for vitamin D, and in some places during the summer you can fester in a state of near-schizophrenia as a result of the sun sometimes setting for less than an hour each day, and sometimes not at all. Oh yeah, and then there’s the danger of moose attacks. Yep, you read that right, apparently it’s a real thing there. Several years ago a man in Loftahammer Sweden was accused by murdering his wife, only to be cleared some time later when DNA evidence lifted from trace amounts of saliva on the woman’s body revealed that the attacker was indeed European Elk, AKA Moose DNA.
Side note: careful linguistic studies have shown the name Loftahammer to be the most bitchin’ name for a town, ever.
But that’s okay, you say, the woman was out in the forest when she was murdered. As long as you stay inside, you’re safe from moose attacks, right?
Only, you already know the answer to that, don’t you… It’s that icy feeling in your gut, the hairs that are prickling on the back of your neck.
Turns out that moose have nothing against wandering into town, or even raiding your house.
HELSINKI, Finland – A 450lb moose wandered into a Helsinki suburb Thursday and destroyed a ground floor apartment after crashing through the bedroom window. Police shot and killed the yearling, which was bleeding to death from its cuts from jumping through the window of a three-bedroom apartment in the suburb of Pukinmaki, about 5 miles from the city center, newspapers said)
Now, on the bright side, this was a ground floor apartment so if you stay up high, you should be safe from the great thundering beasts, I mean it’s not like they can climb trees – oh, wait a minute… Damn.
4 - Looting
And it only seems to be getting worse. The animal kingdom seems to be growing less and less respectful of mankind’s lofty position on top of the food chain. While the bull moose (aside from the one troublesome little murder in Loftahammer) hasn’t exhibited a taste for human flesh per se, they have acquired a thirst for our delicious, delicious beer. This time, the break-in occurred in the Norwegian city of Kongsvinger, where a moose tore into the local market, destroying floral exhibits and sampling the baker’s goods before hearing the siren song of the liquor section, apparently no longer satisfied with chewing up fermented apples. Unlike the home invasion some 20 years ago in Pukinmaki, the aborted beer run took place in a crowded store in broad daylight.
(Customers at a grocery store in the southeastern Norwegian city of Kongsvinger got quite a surprise on Tuesday, when a moose calf marched into the market and made quite a mess.
The moose first made its way into the local shopping center called Sundehjørnet, making a stop at the flower shop and the bakery before barging into the Kiwi grocery store.
Moose are not an uncommon site in the area, but the young male ox’s shopping trip was entirely unexpected.
“I was very shaken when it was all over,” Inger Lise Moss of the flower shop told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).)