Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Unusual Stake

I was engaged in a friendly game of cards the other night at a local tavern when a fellow walked in and asked to join the game.

“You are welcome to join us,” I said, “but you’ll need at least ten dollars to start.”

“Ten dollars!” he cried. “I don’t got no ten dollars. Does it have to be cash money?”

“What did you have in mind?” I asked.

“Just a minute,” he said, and walked out. He returned hefting a sack over his shoulder with a large, live animal of some kind kicking inside.

“What’ll you take for this critter?” he asked.

“What is it?” I replied.

“See for yourself,” he said. “Weighs a good 50 pounds at least, I should think.”

“Fifty pounds?” I said.

“Take a gander,” he said, swinging the sack over his shoulder and slamming it on the floor as if he was breaking up a load of walnuts. The sack’s contents lay still. “Only be careful. Don’t let him out.”

Cautiously, I untied the twine and peered inside. There, stunned and insensible, lay the largest rabbit I had ever seen. Its size alone would be cause for remark, but I could not help notice that it was also wearing a red vest and bow tie.

“My good man, do you know what you have here?!” I cried.

“World’s biggest jackrabbit,” he said.

“Yes, but in addition to that! This is the one and only Easter bunny!”

“The Easter what?” he said.

“Rabbit! You know, the one that brings colored eggs to little children.”

It turned out the gentleman, who’d grown up in the back woods, had never heard of said creature.

“Eggs? Rabbits don’t have nothin’ to do with eggs,” he said.

I assured him that this one did.

“Well what’ll you give me for ‘im?”

I was a little short on funds, but a way forward occurred to me.

“I will stake you in this game, sir, in exchange for your rabbit.” He thanked me and sat down to play. The sack on the floor remained immobile.

As it turned out, he drew several poor hands and the game was soon over. I thanked him for his trouble and carried the sack out to my wagon.

“What are you doing?!” a voice exclaimed behind me. I whirled around. It was the sheriff.

“Shh!” I said. “I am taking a present home to my wife and I do not wish to disturb the contents.”

“And what would that be?” he asked.

“You would not believe me if I told you,” I said, “- but we shall never lack for eggs again!”

“I’ll bet you won’t,” he replied. “We’ve had reports of chickens disappearing and I think I’ve found the culprit.”

So saying, he grabbed the sack and began to open it.

“No!” I cried. “Don’t let it loo-“

Heedless of my warning, he un-cinched the sack and shook it. A large white-and-red blur fell onto the ground, kicked up considerable dust, and took off like a bolt of boiled lightning, knocking the sheriff over in the process.

“I told you not to open the sack,” I said loudly when he regained consciousness.

The sheriff did not see it that way. The fine he charged cost me the rest of my winnings. I offered to pay with a case of my elixir, but he refused.

I must look into to getting flashier packaging. You can’t always count on the locals accepting a marvel, whether it comes in a bottle or sack, or other common container.

Copyright © 2013 Laurie J. Anderson. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chicken Salve

I have created a salve to encourage chickens to bathe. Most chickens do not bathe, and this increases the chance of disease. My salve is made of pine rosin, beeswax, camphor, bull steer manure and turpentine. One gathers the ingredients in a certain ratio according to a formula of my devising, and heats it all until melted. The mixture is then applied to the fowl -- either with a house painting brush or a sheet that has been soaked in the salve.

Chickens treated thus will either rush to the nearest creek or, lacking immediate relief, drop all their feathers. Either way, one then need not worry about fowl diseases, as the chickens are unlikely to return home.

Copyright © 2013 Laurie J. Anderson. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Johnson’s Improved Light Bath Cabinet

It has been noted that light of varying strengths affects plant growth and animal activity. It is well known that the weak winter sun slows physical response, whereas the warmer spring sun increases blood flow and plant development. Now scientific research has shown that light’s component parts can increase particular effects. Red, for example, is known for its calming influence. This is why natives of the South Pacific, where sunrises and sunsets are particularly strong in the red spectrum, are of a pacific nature. Blue eases pain such as headache and indigestion. Green stimulates circulation and helps to speed the healing of bruises and wounds, because its thermic nature increases the hemoglobin-carrying power of the red cells. And so on and so forth.

Mechanical advances in the development of the carbon arc-lamp have also provided the means to concentrate colors. The arc-light contains a great number of chemical rays of light, the exact composition and intensity of which varies depending upon the color of the light used.

I recently acquired a complete set of arc-light bath cabinets in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. They are wired so that, by means of a switch, the patient can be treated with light of the appropriate color. Besides their curative powers, they also bake bread.

My travels, unfortunately, take me far afield from modern electrical generators. I believe I can reach more people by being light of foot rather than weighed down with oak cabinets carrying foot lights. I am therefore putting this valuable set of healing tools up for sale.

All reasonable offers will be considered. Serious enquiries only.

Copyright © 2013 Laurie J. Anderson. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention, More or Less

Benjamin Franklin once said "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

To which I say, an ounce of Wizard Water© cures what one cannot prevent....unless the matter involves a beehive and a misapplication of gunpowder. In that case, it is better to have placed a bet on the bees, to collect one's winnings quickly and then take the first train to Chicago.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fight or Flight

I hear that the Kaiser has established an "air corps," dubbed "the "Imperial and Royal Military Aeronautical Group."

He apparently thinks that it is not only possible for soldiers to fly, but that it is a good idea.

I am not so sure. I do not see how even a highly trained soldier could efficiently manage a rifle while flapping vigorously enough to hold himself aloft.