Friday, December 03, 2004

A Holiday Tale

This is the time of year when people the world over gather to celebrate a single holiday that occurs at the end of December. I'm sure you'll probably be celebrating this day too, I know I love Voodoo Day. I'd like to use the transistors given into my care by the good people at Blogger to tell you a little bit more about a day that you probably usually celebrate blindly without thinking of the true reason for the season.

The original legend of the Tragically Demented Screaming Voodoo Lizard Man is a complex tale of grief, joy, grief, slight happiness, and above all, sorrow. The T.D.S Voodoo Lizard Man is fancifully thought to tear open the sides of houses with lightning at midnight on December 22nd and spew from his gaping maw lizard bile covered goodies for children. He typically regurgitates these presents under a dead rosemary bush hosed down in pig sweat. The original story doesn't include the dead rosemary bush soaked in pig sweat. That was later added because just about anything smells better than a big pile of lizard bile right in the middle of your living room.

Long ago, in the remote southern French Jambalaya country of the east Congo, a people of mixed Portuguese Indonesian descent dwelled in relative harmony (aside from the occasional attack by lions, tigers, bears, pygmies, killer bees, giant spiders, and Oprah). They were simple voodoo worshippers with the simple desire to enslave the primate population of the entire continent with voodoo and conquer the world.

One fateful evening, Pierre O'Malley sat with his family in their rude grass hut, waiting out a particularly furious tropical storm. They hadn't had enough to eat throughout the whole month on account of Vladimir Miller, a neighboring villager, having developed a rare strain of bulimia to the point where he had consumed and vomited nearly every scrap of food the community had stored against the short winter month.

Pierre, the village voodoo practicer person, and his son George were engaged in constructing a voodoo doll of Vladimir from lizard entrails and Vladimir's own toenails and earwax. The idea was that if they could use voodoo juju to remove old Vladimir's stomach he would die a painful death and the village could celebrate the happy removal of its biggest idiot. Unfortunately, the O'Malley's hadn't managed to remove the entire stomach, and spilled a potful of wild magic mushrooms onto the doll. Pierre, fearing the worst should he continue, threw the doll into the fire and watched as the smoking entrails slowly blackened and dissolved into ash. The O'Malley's sat in wordless anxiety for several minutes, listening for signs of vengeance from the voodoo spirits for a rite fouled by mistakes.

As soon as they began to relax, a dreadful keening seemed to come from outside. As Pierre stepped to the entryway, ready to confront whatever demon he might have unleashed, the wailing increased in intensity and the sound began to circle the house, faster and faster. Seconds passed and the screaming only grew louder and more terrible. At last Pierre slammed open the door and shouted into the storm for the creature to reveal itself.

The noises ceased. Pierre started to become confident that his challenge had frightened off the demon of the night. As he turned to reassure his family, a great concussive blast knocked him to the floor as lightning tore off the side of his hut and thunder rumbled through his bones like an apocalyptic earthquake. A figure dance madly, silhouetted in the flashes from the sky. It began screaming again, and further lightning revealed the dread figure to be none other than a mindless Vladimir Miller, his skin marred with scales and his jaw elongated to resemble that of an alligator. The tempo of his wild dancing increased, as did the volume of his wailing until finally, he stopped dancing and his body seemed to heave as against great bonds. His lizard's maw gaped and he spewed forth all manner of delicious foodstuffs, enough to feed a starving, not to picky village for at least a month.

So ends the great Legend. This December, leave a bottle of ipecac syrup on your mantle, next to a pig sweat covered bush of rosemary, and perhaps you'll receive a visit from the Tragically Demented Screaming Voodoo Lizard Man.

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