Tag Archives: comedy

The Ranger’s Book (An Excerpt)

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I thought it would be a fun April Fool’s Day thing to post an excerpt from the upcoming Tangent Artists Class Handbook, which will be part of our series that includes “The Handbook for Saucy Bards,” and “The Cleric’s Guide to Smiting.” I now present this excerpt from “A Ranger’s Instructional or: How Not to Die Alone in the Woods.” The funny part is that this information is actually useful and we’re not kidding around.

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CHAPER XX

WHAT DO I WIPE WITH?

Let’s not get shy here; it’s a fact of life—even the Majestic Elves and Powerful Wizards have to crap in the woods sometimes. ‘How’ is an age-old question uttered by new Rangers and adventurers alike since time immemorial. You will at some point be confronted with the urge, a bush and little to no guidance. Ignoring the urge is not an option.

The first part is easy, once you overcome your shyness and accept that this is part of the job you took. The key is to be at least 200 feet from where you’re eating or sleeping, and away from your water source. Take your spade, and dig a hole about 6-inches deep and “go” in there (or as close as you can get it). The ground might be rocky or tough or whatever—just do your best. The bottom line is to keep your business away from any scavenging animals to a) hide your presence so your meat won’t be scared away, and b) keep your meat from eating it. You never know if you’re going to have to eat something that may or may not have just eaten your own feces. Best to avoid that option if at all possible. “Never shit where you eat” as my gran used to say.

The second part of this (getting clean) is not always as easy and has led to some hilarious stories through the years that the publishers have forbidden me from elaborating on. NOT wiping is not an option as it can lead to yeast infections, jock itch, and a lot of bad illnesses and rashes (not to mention embarrassing staining you’ll have to explain later). Fortunately, you have a plethora of options open to you if you plan ahead. Don’t assume everything you need will be right by you, because it never will be. TRUST ME.

RAGS: Many first timers will try to prepare for this moment by rooting through mummy’s rag bag for fabric scraps to use. This may seem like a good idea but it’s ultimately doomed to failure. Your supply will never be limitless and little things like illness or too much fiber will usually deplete a well-calculated stock. The flipside being that if you DO plan ahead you will have a lot of extra weight with you and when it’s gone unexpectedly (as always happens) you’ll have to make do with other rags. Everyone will know too. You’ll be the daft bugger walking into a town with no shirt sleeves or socks.

PAPER: Similar to rags but much more practical and comfortable, and one small book, with thin soft pages, can last several days. I highly recommend the unabridged “Miles Reyner’s Handbook for Saucy Bards.” It’s been said that thin paper was our most treasured contribution to peace talks with the Elves and I believe it. Those poor bastards had to do with leaves.

LEAVES: Corn lily, dock, wooly lambs ear, mullein, and other leaves that are large and flat make good wiping leaves. Use them in a stack of three or four, with the vein sides out for added scrubbing power. If you’re passing by a bush take some leaves with you to keep on hand (or to thaw them out if it’s cold out). Plants like mullein and lambs ear are additionally popular because of their velvety fuzz. It’s like being cleaned by an angel’s wing, but it’s not for everyone. Some people’s skin can be irritated by the little white hairs and break out in a bad rash. If you’re not sure, test it out on skin that’s slightly less…er… vital.

MOSS and GRASS: several varieties of moss are good if you use the green spongy side and use a cloth to pat it dry. Drier moss like Old Man’s Beard (which hangs from trees) is a tried and true standby in the wild, and it’s often used by lady-travelers during their “monthly visit” (sorry if that’s indelicate, but I have daughters and a wife and they told me to address this). Cattails are also useful for both purposes.

Grass, if you’re so inclined can be gathered in folded in half to make a “scrub brush” to use accordingly. Just make sure the grass is soft and not the hard knife-edged variety with serrated edges.

HAND: This was Man’s first loo roll if you think about it. It’s also a testament to mankind that we evolved— rather quickly at that—other methods of cleaning ourselves that don’t involve getting poo in our fingernails. This might be considered a last resort, maybe if you’re in a desert or something. Just remember which hand you wipe with and be consistent. And don’t let me shake hands with you. I heard Orcs prefer this method which explains a lot and why I don’t shake hands with Orcs.

ROCKS: A smooth water stone, flat but round with a conical end is good, but it’s not going to be very absorbent, still it’s better than plants if you’re not an expert herbologist.. This is a method preferred by Dwarves, but I’m not positive—I’ve never had the courage to ask one.

SNOW: Want to really wake up on a winter’s morning? Try a handful of snow up your arse. In all seriousness, this is actually the most hygienic and least annoying methods if you’re traveling in winter. This works best with snow that packs nicely, like the kind for snowball or snowmen. Too powdery and your hands get dirty; too wet and it’s suddenly no fun.

IN GENERAL: Make sure to bury your waste and your wipers as best as you can. If the ground isn’t cooperating, build a little cairn over it, anything to keep it out of sight and free to turn back into the earth.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after every time you go. It helps to have a friend place the soap in your hands so you don’t have to root through your pack with dirty fingers. Also, help eachother out. If you spot some good leaves or stones or whatever, tell your friend too so they won’t be out of luck when it’s their turn.

For added fun, tell the company’s Bard to use pinecones. Tell him that all the great woodsmen use them. It’s hilarious, trust me.

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Candy! Lollipops! Flu shots!

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WARNING: MOM STUFF

Today was a pretty funny kind of day, so I thought it deserved a post with my own interpretation. Today there was no school because it’s voting day, so I decided to bite the bullet and take the kids to the minute-clinic to get flu-shots done. Now, those of you with kids know that this is not something you plan out loud. If you tell your kids in advance that they’re getting shots they tend to spend every hour and sleepless night up to then. This requires you to be more (ahem) covert about your intentions.

So this morning came the announcement,

HEY KIDS! Get in the van! Mom’s gonna go vote, we’re going to run an errand *cough*, and then we’re getting self-serve frozen yogurt!

Which means I kind of feel like this.

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Candy! Lollipops! Ice cream! All for free, kiddies! (Image property of Warner Bros.)

So we pile into the van and on the way to the clinic, I drop the bomb. Guess what, guys? You’re going to have to EARN it. Panic ensues, but it’s too late. We’re already down the road. Thank God for child locks.

NOPE. (property of Warner Brothers)

Now, I do know that the flu vaccine comes in a nasal spray, but I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, so I kept mum on it. When I got to the pharmacy I did ask about the nose spray. The lady behind the counter said, “Yes, but we only have ONE.”

I entertain the notion of letting one kid have a nose spray and the other a needle for a split second. It played out pretty much like the ending of The Good Son.

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Yeah, never mind. (property of 20th Century Fox)

“No, We’ll all take the needle, thanks.”

So a few pinches and a few tears later, we’re out and eating frozen yogurt while showing off our battle scars.

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Mission complete! You have earned XP 2,000 and gained item [pumpkin pie froyo] and earned title “the Child Deceiver.”

I can’t say the kids feel like I was entirely fair to them, but that’s life. It’s a motto I keep repeating to them, courtesy of one of our favorite movies, Labyrinth. That one moment when Hoggle wails Sarah’s frequent lament, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” And she counters…

…BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT IS. (Property of Tri-Star films)

Life isn’t fair, and it’s not going to be. But that being said, just because things are unpleasant doesn’t mean that it’s not for a good reason. And like The Doctor says:

Well said, sir. (property of BBC)

Now to repeat this whole thing NEXT YEAR.

Goody Gumdrops (I don’t know the source for this one)

Who’s Kevin McRealguy

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A while ago I had this conversation on Facebook:

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Me: Toying with the idea of a male pen name to publish under, but I keep getting the sillies. So far I’ve gotten Mann Riter, Duke Longcock, Dude Macho, Kevin Realguy, and Birk Totesman.
Replies:
1: Jock Manbro?
Me: Slab McRib
1: Stan McDudeguy
2: Chin McNads
Me: Harry Guymember
1: Brock Blokeyfist
Me: Stache Von Surham
1: Sir Male Mansome of the Muscle-upon-Hardbody Mansomes.
Me: Tor Ironbatch
3: Bob Johnson (oh wait.)

 

It was funny enough at first, and I got something like an unprecedented 65 responses, all in the vein of silly names. It was a lot of fun, but in the end it made me very depressed. I kept thinking about what might of happened if I HAD been a male writing Fantasy instead of a woman.

First of all, this discussion popped up after a fellow writer Emma Newman had done a large initiative towards Waterstones books after they published a sort of  “Dummy’s Guide to Fantasy Authors” which featured predominately white male authors. I’m usually pretty much in the dark about this kind of bias. I grew up with brothers, most of my friends growing up were guys, and so on, so I usually think of myself as “one of the guys.” I’d toyed with the idea of a pen name or doing the ‘initial thing’ early on, but decided not to because I naively thought that it wouldn’t matter. “No one is going to care, right?”

It’s only when I see the surprise on people’s face when I tell them I’m an author and the genre is NOT romance or erotica that it hits home. It hits home further when I see people stop at my table to look at my books or comics, only to see that I’m the author/artist and then put it down with a sneer (ouch).

It’s disheartening and annoying to think that people aren’t judging my books by what I wrote in them. Instead they’re judging me and something I can’t control.

I know, I know. Total pity-party time. “Cry me river. Ever think it’s because you just suck and it’s nothing to do with your gender?”

It’s possible. But thanks to the common myth that “women can’t/don’t write Fantasy,” I’m not sure I’ll ever know for sure which it is. I have no “control group.” Unless I were to engage in some rom-com worthy gender-bending disguise antic that would fool the world into thinking I’m a male writer only to have it backfire on me with hilarious results and teaching the world a lesson about gender equality. And then we all have pie and coffee.

Seriously, though, I’m half considering showing up at my next con looking like this:

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I’m out. Peace. 

 

Getting to Know Morfindel

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(Note: This is a repost after the first page got deleted. Apologies)
Character Wednesday!

I had a request for one on Morfindel Cunlias this week and I’m happy to oblige.

Here’s Morf!

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Morf comes from both the Linus Saga books and its parallel dimension CRIT! He’s a young Elf, only 20 when we meet him, who still has a lot of growing to do. He tries to do his very best at all times, but usually ends up stymieing himself with his own naivete and impulsive nature.

He started off as a nuisance newbie hanging on Linus but over the series he’s starting to become Linus’ best friend… a bond that’s put to the test a lot when he falls for Linus’ oldest daughter.

SO! Some fun facts.

* To answer most people’s question, his surname, Cunlias, is pronounced “Koon-lees.”

*His mannerisms and personality are based on one of my best friends.

*Morfindel thinks of Linus as a father figure, even if Linus would rather think of him as a younger brother. He tends to gravitate to fatherly figures after being raised in a male mission since he was three. It also explains his avid attraction to women yet his complete inability to comprehend them.

*He has yellow eyes (those exist, I’ve seen them!) which hint at his true roots. More on that in future books.

*I cut Morfindel’s hair off out of spite because I hated drawing it in the comic. Much sooner in the book, and those tresses’ days are numbered in the comic too. I HATE long hair.

*Morf hates raisins. The monastery used raisins to sweeten a lot of dishes for the children and Morf  got thoroughly sick of them early on.

 

That’s all for this week! Let me know who you want for next week.

And Now for A Bit of Fun

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A twist on a less-popular Grimm Fairytale


Once upon a time a lad, Hans, could not decide which of three women he wanted to marry.

His mother told him, “Invite each girl to dinner and observe what she does.”

Hans invited the first girl to dinner. His mother gave her a piece of cheese. The young lady cut off the rind in a thick slice and ate the cheese.

When she left, Hans’ mother said,”She did not take care when slicing the rind off. She is a wasteful girl and will ruin you. Do not marry her.”

The second girl was invited to dinner and again was given cheese. This one ate the whole thing rind and all.

Hans’ mother said, “This girl is a glutton and not fine enough for you. Do not marry her.”

The third girl was invited over and when she was given the cheese, she very carefully took her time and shaved the rind off, being careful save as much good cheese as possible.

After dinner, Hans’ mother told him,”The girl is cautious and frugal. She will make you a good wife.”

At this point, Hans realized his mother was a nutjob with impossibly high standards and the “good” girl was OCD. He went with the glutton who was obviously “low maintenance” and had a sweet ass.

The glutton said, “Who the hell were those other two bitches?”