January 30th, 2006

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Reprinted from November 2004, by request

I grind my teeth in my sleep to keep the fairies away.

Once upon a time, 18th century Paris to be exact, there was a Queen who was being tormented by an evil King. Her fairy godmother disguised herself as a mouse and hid under his pillow to whisper taunts in the royal ear and disturb the royal slumber. When this failed to alter the King’s behavior, the fairy mouseling knocked out all his teeth as punishment.

Seeing this, the other mice in the castle approached the fairy and asked if they could have the teeth, to replace the ones they were constantly wearing down. They quickly worked out an arrangement whereby the mice could collect the discarded teeth of children, as long as they left proper payment. The fairy supplies them with sleeping powder and protection from cats, as well as tracking quotas, overtime and medical insurance.

In English speaking nations we were unaware of the details and assume the Tooth Fairy does all the work herself, but in France, Spain and Latin America, the children know to leave their teeth for La Bonne Petite Souris and El Ratoncito. In India they toss the teeth onto the roof for the mice to collect, due to the mistaken belief that Ganesh is the Tooth Fairy. No one wants a divine elephant man rummaging under their pillow.

And we’ll all live happily ever after, except for the King, who was toothless and terrified of falling asleep, which caused him to slowly go insane. Oh, and Ganesh, who keeps slipping off the roof.
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In real life, I juggle photons.

1. Worked thirteen hours today and after a three hour break I go back and do it again. If you are on RoadRunner in North Carolina and your connection slows down tonight, it might be my fault.

2. If anyone in the area sees a copy of January’s Blotter mag, please grab me a copy. February too, if it shows up soon. I never seem to run across them, so I don’t know which Sinister Bedfellows they are printing.

3. Please tell me if you get this joke.

Something different follows shortly.
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From the files of Maintenance Man: unZed the suicidal zombie

Not ready to script this yet:

Temp Girl asks Maintenance Man about the animosity between d20 (the sorcerer who handles occult cleanup) and Bodybag (the demon who handles organic cleanup). This leads to a flashback...

Arachnia had just broken up with her boyfriend. “That’s it Zed, this is the end.” Zed, being distraught and melodramatic, threw himself off a bridge into the path of a truck. Unfortunately, he was resurrected by Doc Saturday, zombie master. Even more unfortunately, he wasn’t actually dead when Doc Sat resurrected him. The zombie magic, applied to a still living (though much the worse for wear) body resulted in an immortal suicidal Zed, whose body degenerates and regenerates at the same time. He is also able to control his craving for brains, much as you can control your craving for coffee or cookies. He can do it, it just hurts.

The first time Maintenance Man encounters Zed (or unZed, as he is now known) he was comatose, having perished during a battle with Doc Saturday. Not realizing that unZed would recover, MM called in Bodybag and d20, to dispose of the body. This resulted in a huge battle over whether a dead-again zombie should be considered occult or organic waste (we will not consider what these two recycling experts do, exactly). During their argument, unZed woke up and lurched away.

He still appears from time to time, stalking Arachnia and killing himself, seeking the sweet release of eternal death (though Bodybag points out that it’s not as relaxing as you might think.

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Someday, I will get these all written out, illustrated and published, but first I have to complete Cthulhuvida (which I have decided to do as woodcuts, possibly a webcomic first!) and Bearcats of Mandhu (I’m waiting for the King of Nepal to finish the next chapter of history.).