Sharing the Love

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I’ve had some serious insomnia lately, which means I’ve been up during the middle of the night, reading lunatic shit, mostly on Reddit. I’ve come across a couple of strange topics I wanted to share with you guys.

The first involves another lost German child. Not long ago I talked about the case of Tristan Bruebach, a German teenager killed brutally in a tunnel in Frankfurt in 1998. I had never heard of that particular MO before and the crime itself was utterly shocking. This time the child in question was literally lost. Dirk Schiller disappeared on a vacation with his family in the former East Germany in 1979. As in the family was walking to their car in a snow covered lot and the little boy disappeared without a trace.

His mother never gave up looking for him and there is a level of conspiracy attached to this case that gives even a skeptic like me pause. This site does a great job covering the case, explaining the Stasi connection, and a possible link to medical experimentation. This is a seriously twitchy case, and it’s made all the more twitchy given the release of the family’s Stasi files. I lost hours reading about this case.

The other strange tidbit I want to share is also from Reddit, and is amusing, bordering on hilarious, once you read enough to realize that your initial conclusion was incorrect and that the person in question is not into waterfowl bestiality. Readers, I give you /u/fuckswithducks. His comment history is a gold mine and I lost even more hours reading his deep love of rubber duckies, his encyclopedic knowledge of them as well as how he uses them in his sex life.

I shit you not, I read comment after comment to Mr Oddbooks until he pleaded with me to shut up. Here are some examples, all links as they were in the original comments.

Duck size is important:

Let’s talk about duck size. I’m really not interested in small ducks. On the other hand, big ducks are nice, but they’re just impractical. What the hell am I supposed to do with them?! My ideal duck size is 3-6 inches tall. Also, I don’t really like fat ducks. I’m just looking for nice, standard, medium-sized ducks like these.

It is possible to have a favorite rubber duck, and to know so much about that duck that people may think you are making shit up until they Google and realize you, in fact, know your shit, duck-wise:

I’m still searching for the manufacturer of my favorite rubber duck. Every few years the ducks show up in stores again (the last time I saw one was around 2008), but I’ve never been able to learn their origin. Here’s a bit of a back story about this duck (some info I’ve posted before, some is new):

In 1977, a toy company called Knickerbocker created a new toy called Ernie’s Rubber Duckie. Designed by famous toy inventor Henry Orenstein (patent USD260915), this toy would lay the foundation for one of the most iconic rubber ducks in history. In 1983, Knickerbocker was sold to Hasbro; which produced more of the ducks around 1985 through Playskool. Around that time, a Taiwanese factory got a hold of this toy and started creating generic knockoffs of it. By 1992, Playskool discontinued production of their rubber duck, but the Taiwanese factory continued on. Every few years, this anonymous factory produced replicas which would appear in toy stores across the United States.

Remember this stock photo? It appeared in everything from Photoshop tutorials to the default Windows user account profile picture. Some were even used in an experiment to test the pollution caused by different kinds of jet ski engines. Those particular ducks are now mounted on the desk of politician Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif. The last time I ever saw them was in a World Market around 2008 (video evidence from 2005).

If you have one of these, feel free to check the bottom and I guarantee you’ll find the “Made in Taiwan”. They seem to all come from one source, yet I have never been able to track them down. My dream is to some day discover where they’re made and start my own store for them.

Edit: I want to thank all the people who have tried looking for me! Unfortunately, the search goes on. Several people have found very similar ducks, the closest probably being the Bath and Body Works ducks or this knockoff of the knockoff which is from China and is significantly lower quality.

Duck porn is a thing not limited to /u/fuckswithducks:

Thanks for doing an AMA! I have a more general question about Brazzers. In Wet Dreams! with Dani Jensen (2012), I noticed that you included a rubber duck in the shoot. In Splash Time with Jenna Ross (2013), you used 3 of the same duck. Does Brazzers have its own permanent prop collection? If so, can we get a tour and see some of the interesting things you’ve collected to use in videos over the years? I’m curious because you reuse the same rubber duck and I have seen other studios reuse other rubber ducks as well (for example, Bangbros reused this one 12)

But just because some porn companies recognize the erotic use of rubber ducks does not mean they make it easy for the average duck perv:

The generic video titles (e.g. “[Pornstar] rides huge dick”, “young bedroom solo”) and descriptions which are clearly copy/paste jobs. They make it really difficult to find porn when you’re searching for specific things. Really the only way to find porn with rubber ducks is to search for “bath” and then scroll through all the thumbnails for one. Plenty of porn videos set entirely in the bathroom won’t even mention it in the title/description, though. It’s simple SEO, people!

A fetish collection of rubber duckies can have a practical use as well, like for when your girlfriend takes up too much space in bed:

Came here to say this. There are plenty of passive-aggressive ways to win your space back. Personally, I like to stack rubber ducks on my girlfriend until she moves.

And sexual appreciation doesn’t always have to be about the ducks:

Sexual preferences aside, I think everyone can appreciate a nice set of boobs.

Part of me thinks this is a dedicated dada-esque account.  But most of me hopes this is real.  I really love /u/fuckswithducks and need him to abide on Reddit as long as he can.  I should probably send him some gold to show my appreciation.

You read anything recently that is weird or strange or unsettling?  Tell me about it!

Halloween Week – The Servant Girl Annihilator

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Finally, something truly creepy and scary for Halloween week.

At some point during 2000, I read a book called A Twist at the End: A Novel of O. Henry and the Texas Servant Girl Murders of 1885 by Steven Saylor.  I’m not entirely sure how I came to have this book because I’m not really one for historical fiction, but once I learned that the book was indeed based on real events, I became obsessed with the Servant Girl Annihilator case.  As most friends I had at the time can tell you, I pretty much sent a copy of this book to anyone who showed even the slightest interest in it.  I went on a “ghost tour” that took me on a walk late at night to visit the locations of some of the murders.  It was on this tour that I learned about the “Moonlight Towers,” one of which stood at the end of the street where Mr. Oddbooks and I lived at the time, a nearly useless anachronism that seemed pointless to me until I learned their origin.

Much of what I am going to share here is data I have rattling around in my brain, but I will include a list of links at the end of this article for those who may want to read more about this interesting case than just what I remember.

The moniker “Servant Girl Annihilator” is actually both a flippant and misleading moniker for the person or persons behind the murders that occurred in Austin, Texas in 1884-1885.  The name comes from a line William Sydney Porter, aka “O. Henry” put in a letter to a friend, describing the events in Austin in the summer of 1885.  In a bitchy little comment worthy of Oscar Wilde, Porter snarked that Austin was terribly boring but the attacks from the “Servant Girl Annihilators” made things interesting at night.  This moniker is misleading because men, boyfriends/common law husbands living with some of the female victims were also attacked, and because the last two women killed were not servants, but “respectable” married women.

But most of the victims were indeed women and most of them were black servants.  Here is a list of the victims, as well as what was done to them.  Most readers of this site are hardy people, but if you are new here, the content that follows may be a bit upsetting. 

Halloween Week – My Favorite Cemetery

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

One day Mr. Oddbooks came home and told me about a cemetery near Jarrell, Texas that was evidently very interesting.  It was located in a ghost town called Corn Hill.  Old Corn Hill Cemetery boasts the graves of people of historical importance in Texas, so I wanted to check it out.  Cemetery, ghost town, historical importance – what’s not to like?  The problem was that the directions were so bad that I really think that had we closed our eyes and tried to get there by our sense of smell, we wouldn’t have ended up as lost as we became.

It took us a couple of weekends to find Old Corn Hill Cemetery, but during the hunt we found a couple of very interesting mini-cemeteries, a derelict house where we totally trespassed and took pictures (I later learned that house is the James Shaver home, called the Old Stage Stop and Hotel), and all sorts of interesting fauna, mostly longhorn cattle.  But we also found the Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery, which has become the cemetery to beat for me in terms of symbology, statuary and emotional attachment.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Jarrell, Texas, is an imposing building, very gothic without any accompanying morbidity, which seems strange to say given that the cemetery is essentially in the church’s backyard.  Corn Hill, Texas was established in 1848 and began to die a slow death in 1910 when railroad lines bypassed Corn Hill in favor of neighboring Jarrell.  The Holy Trinity Catholic Church was built in 1914, and, as I’ve mentioned before, in such a young state as Texas a hundred year old church has serious history behind it.  Corn Hill itself was not founded by Germans and Slavs, but their influence is felt heavily in this area.  People who aren’t familiar with Central Texas and the Hill Country are often surprised to know that huge swaths of this area are to this day very German and Slavic, especially Czech Moravian.  For decades many Moravian families spoke a Moravian Czech dialect, as well as English, being bi-lingual in the way that we tend to associate with Mexican and Central American settlers to this area.  Sadly, this dialect with pidgin elements is dying off though you still see lots of signs and bumper stickers boasting the phrase, “Jak se mas?” which translates as “How are you doing?”  In short, Czech for “Howdy!”

Holy Trinity Catholic Church is heavily Czech and the cemetery reflects it.  I loved this cemetery not just because it was exotic to my austere Southern Baptist upbringing, but also because it was, quite literally, an education investigating the stones.  Eventually my friend Barbora K., a resident in Slovakia, had to help me translate much of what is written on the stones.  This cemetery was the gateway to me learning about the German, Moravian and Bohemian influences in Central Texas.  It also taught me a lot about how cemeteries are arranged in Eastern Europe.  Others feel strongly about this cemetery as well – I get at least one message a month from someone who finds my photos and wants to share their experiences with the church or ask if they can use some of my pictures.

And I know this isn’t particularly spooky or Halloween-y, but cemeteries in the bright Texas sun simply cannot be creepy unless you’re out in the middle of nowhere near dusk.  But there is still a somber, gloomy mood to this cemetery, especially when you get to the “babyland” section. The cemetery is a strange mix of dereliction and utter devotion because while many graves and statues have not held up in the Texas heat, every grave has been tended to by church members, even the ones where the stone is missing and all that is left are little metal markers so weathered the names were unreadable. The cemetery is grim yet comforting.

Angry Angel
I am not a particularly good photographer but this angry angel is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken. You can see the church spires peeking behind the trees. 

Halloween Week – Baby Head Cemetery

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

In the summer of 2012, Mr. Oddbooks and I drove out to Baby Head, Texas.  A real place.  I swear.
Baby Head Cemetery

It’s a ghost town now, more or less incorporated into Llano, Texas, and Llano was a weird place in its own right.  We drove around forever trying to find the remaining Baby Head post office and never found it.  But we did find plenty of Apostolic churches, Cowboy Congregations, exotic animals being raised so weekend warriors can obliterate them with assault weapons on canned hunts, and several hidden little cemeteries that I really want to go back and investigate, as long as I can remember to wear steel-toed boots to repel all the grass burrs and fire ants.

Back to Baby Head.  The town got its name because “oral tradition” says that some time between 1850-1875, a local Indian tribe kidnapped a white child, killed it, and left it on a mountain that came to be called Babyhead Mountain.  (The town’s name and the cemetery’s name are Baby Head, while the mountain is Babyhead.  Don’t ask me why.  But even that isn’t carved in stone as you will find the town, the cemetery and the mountain all referred to as “Babyhead” or “Baby Head” with no real explanation for the variations.)
Historical marker

It’s hard to know if there is any truth to this legend.  The tribe of the Indians who supposedly killed the baby is unknown, though if hard-pressed I would say it had to be Comanches, a pretty harsh tribe to be sure.  The name of the baby is also officially unknown, but it is assumed to have been a little girl.  I personally suspect the baby’s designated gender is because the oldest grave in the Baby Head Cemetery belongs to a little girl who died on New Year’s Day in 1884, though one local historian insisted her late husband knew people who searched for the child.  The woman’s husband said the little girl was murdered in 1873, and that her name was Mary Elizabeth Buster.  I have never been able to run to ground a Mary Elizabeth or a Mary Elizabeth Buster from Baby Head in 1873, but I also have a notoriously short attention span.  This article by Dale Fry best illustrates all the stories about this Texas legend.

I had read several accounts of how creepy Baby Head Cemetery is.  It wasn’t creepy.  It was interesting, and sort of macabre in a very sunny way, but mostly it was painful. 

This Is Not an Odd Book Review – What the Hell Is Going on in France?

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Last year on Houdini’s Revenge, I wrote about how the media worldwide completely mishandled the details of the arrest of Varg Vikernes in the summer of 2013.  Seriously, it was a complete mess, and the hearing that occurred on June 3rd of this year was chilling in what it revealed and the implications for anyone in France who may espouse ideas that are contrary to a particular party line.

Before I begin to discuss the situation with Varg, I need to make a couple of statements, one for clarity and the other just because it always comes up and it’s tiresome.  First, let me tell you how I know Varg.  I met him when I was working on a project I started before 9/11 that eventually fell apart because I am sort of chaotic and was even more so back then.  I consider him a friend, and I assume he considers me one, too, though we frequently butt heads.  Second, despite considering Varg a friend, I don’t share all of his beliefs.  I mention this because I get shade from both sides of the fence and it’s annoying, when it isn’t amusing.  Some people assume I am an anti-Semite because I like Varg and that makes them angry.  Interestingly, some remain angry when I explain I don’t hate Jews because they think I should revile Varg for being an anti-Semite.  But then some people who agree with antisemitic ideas find out that I like Varg and that I am not an anti-Semite, and they get angry.  Not long ago some dude who thinks he’s like Charles Martel because being anonymous on the Internet is evidently pretty empowering was so annoyed by me that he social media snarked me with, “Oh, you are a multicultural white genocide supporter?”

Isn’t that how journalists used to know they were on to something – when everyone was pissed off at them?  That’s what I tell myself these days.  So please know I don’t want to hear your opinion about my beliefs, unless you feel that freedom of speech is a bad thing and then I will totally be willing to throw down with you in comments. 

This Is Not an Odd Books Discussion: Movies and metaphysical despair

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I tend to experience pretty passively any sort of media that requires a television screen. I have the TV on in the background as I go about my day, generally as a form of white noise. It’s not too often that I pay close attention to movies or television shows, but recently I watched two movies that were so awful, so absorbing and deeply terrible, that I could not look away even as I felt like these movies were proof that God is dead and that He probably never loved us much anyway.

The first film was The Snowtown Murders, a depiction of a serial murder case in Australia. I warn you now that if you are not familiar with the case, this film may seem like a mess because many characters come and go without a lot of explanation. This film also has one of the most egregious examples of animal abuse this side of Cannibal Holocaust.  Please bear these things in mind if what I write here makes you want to see this film.  John Bunting, a charismatic psychopath with a fixation on largely imaginary cases of pedophilia, influenced a merry band of marginally intelligent and largely hopeless losers into killing those Bunting felt needed to die. I say his obsession with pedophiles verged into imaginary crimes because Bunting, like most homophobes, also felt that homosexuals were sexual predators. With his rag-tag group of socially marginalized losers, he killed 11 people in about seven years time.

The film depiction of the Snowtown murders (so-called because that was the town where the bodies were found – the murders occurred elsewhere) is a bleak look at a particular section of society in Australia. Small, dingy homes, cluttered with useless crap, not enough space, people sleeping on couches because there are not enough bedrooms. Even the best impulses of parents in such a world end up coming out strange and cramped, and as they try to protect their children from the monsters outside, they fail to protect them from the monsters within.

Even though it drained me of all emotional vitality, this is a film worth watching. It’s raw and unflinching, showing the worst things that can happen in such a matter-of-fact manner that it’s sole purpose has to be to cause the viewer to go numb. The actor who plays James spends the film so completely stunned by the repeated blows that life gives him that very little registers. One of the first interactions he has with John Bunting occurs when Bunting is decapitating and skinning several kangaroos in a front yard. They were real kangaroos and that scene was just foul and upsetting. The actor who played James looked like a shark-eyed Heath Ledger, absorbing an unexpected scene of carnage with a flat yet strangely frightened demeanor.

That sets the viewer up for the scene that could, more or less be one of the worst scenes ever in a film. The rape scene from Irreversible was affecting because it was so long and so deeply horrible. Violent. A total violation. The rape scene in The Snowtown Murders was the complete opposite in its execution and as a result was infinitely worse in the toll it took on my psyche. James had evidently been sexually abused by his older half-brother, Troy, throughout their childhood together. The scene we are given in The Snowtown Murders  is maybe a tenth as long as the scene in Irreversible, but it felt longer to me, as the older brother asserted his toxic will against his younger brother, who lay there on the floor, motionless and quiet, waiting for it to end. It was just a part of the landscape of his life. He just had to submit and then he could begin his day in his bleak, cluttered, hopeless life.

John Bunting, learning of this assault, captures Troy, locks him a bathroom and begins a long, horrible assault against him. As much as Troy needs punishment for what he has done, no one deserves what happens to him. Utterly in thrall to John, James is unable to make things stop until he finally ends his brother’s torment himself. It is the first time he really shows any emotion and it’s clear to the viewer that James’ life is probably far better when he is numb because any awakening of feeling is going to involve violence, cruelty and ill-use. This was a powerful movie and I don’t ever want to see it again, but think others may find it just as appalling and upsetting and transfixing as I did. Sometimes the terrible shows us something, lets us into lives foreign to ours and forces us to understand how it is a person can transform from a small, helpless child into a flat, vicious killer.

The other film I watched was just horrible. No real reason to watch it other than to rubberneck at the sorry lives of others. No revelation. No understanding. All you get is a voyeuristic thrill that comes from watching other people self-destruct but it still may not be enough to get you through Black Metal Veins.

This Is Not an Oddbook Discussion: Update and thanks!

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I am doing much better and should have some content up here soon. I am SOOOO lucky that the situation with my back was not a permanent situation. Back yoga is gonna happen here at Chez Oddbooks and I feel pretty confident that I’m back to normal.

A week after our beloved Tabby died, two little cats with injuries showed up in our lives. Of course they did. The cosmos let them know there were openings. A mother and daughter – mom’s a tuxedo and her kitten is solid black, both semi-longhair with fuzzy tails. We weren’t going to keep them but we made the rookie mistake of naming them and now we’re screwed. Once you name a cat, it’s pretty much yours. But they came along at a fortuitous time. No cat can replace Tabby or Miss Baby but the two new girls provided a distraction from overly involved grief.

So we’re back up to 8 cats, same as it ever was.

I have a movie discussion coming, as well as the long-promised Jim Goad/ANSWER Me!/Rape edition discussion. That will likely happen in September because I want to get a copy of a couple of books that are topical to this discussion and make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

Before that happens, there will be some bizarro reviews and a discussion of why one of my favorite horror writers is a complete disappointment to me. Seriously. I feel like I’m his mom and he came home drunk with a hooker, barfed in the houseplants, and missed the toilet entirely when he peed, soaking the family dog.

I really appreciate the kindness shown to me at the end of July.

I also need to mention that I got a flurry of e-mails around the anniversary of the Breivik mass murders. I tried to answer a couple of them and they quickly turned into a diatribe wherein we were no longer discussing 2083 and what it showed about Fjordman and Breivik. The messages became a mess of kitchen sink accusations against Islam and Muslims that were so disjointed that the only thing uniting them was hatred and a weird way of processing information. I apologize if you sent me an e-mail in good faith hoping to discuss specifics of the Breivik case or 2083, but once again, the True Believers have made it hard to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Conspiracy theory is a badge of tribalism in an age where there are no tribes and is important to the identity of many people. I get that. And I don’t want to mock people who engage in this sort of thinking, though I know it happens from time to time. I do mostly try to be kind and patient. But I only have so many hours in a day. I have a husband, 8 cats, a house to neurotically clean, meals to cook, books to read, discussions to write. As much as I appreciate that people may want to talk to me, I don’t have the time to reply to 10,000 word messages. If you sent me such a message and feel slighted, again, I apologize. If you simply want people to read what you have to say, please leave your messages as comments on the entries themselves. Unless you advocate something illegal or so immoral I cannot stomach it, I won’t censor you.

So things are back to what passed for normal for me and I appreciate my readers here. Next entries will have actual content, yay!

This Is Not an Odd Book Discussion: I’m fucked!

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Since Wednesday of last week, I have herniated a disc as I was dressing (putting on underpants to be specific), lost our beautiful cat Tabby-mama to kidney failure, and lost our cranky but beloved cat Miss Baby to a stroke likely caused from kidney failure, which we had been managing but all kidney failure, no matter how well managed, always ends in death at some point.

The first trial was bad but losing two cats in two days (and three cats in less than three months, because our beloved land walrus Wooster died back in May) is so devastating I am unsure how devastating it is because I have entered that numb stage wherein I am certain this is a pain- and hydrocodone-induced waking nightmare and that none of it is really happening. My cats aren’t children or babies or cute distractions. They’re incredibly important members of a small but functional bioculture and the loss of each tilts this entire house askew for a long time.

I haven’t really slept in days. I hope this entry makes sense. I think it does. Mr. Oddbooks will edit it later if I’m babbling.

Between the pain from my back and a complete inability to sit comfortably or write comfortably and the mental fog caused from losing two important members of Chez Oddbooks, I am really fucked in terms of positive online work. Just typing this caused some interesting spasms. Whether or not I descend into a depression fog remains to be seen but it would not be surprising if I do.

So the ANSWER Me! discussion will be pushed back until I am in possession of a mens sana in corpore sano and I am cancelling Bizarro Week. Two of the books I wanted to discuss are not books I would feel good about sharing with others as gifts. I’m going to have a generic giveaway of Amazon gift certificates some time in September and another in December. I was surprised that half of the bizarro books I had slated to discuss turned out to be such disappointments, but it happens. It’s actually quite a testament to the generally high quality of the imprint in question that I selected books to discuss before I had read them, but perhaps it is time to reevaluate my processes a bit.

Just giving y’all a heads-up as to why it is I am going to be delayed yet again, all the more infuriating since I had sort of gotten on a roll recently.

There is a cosmic lesson in here, along the lines of “shit happens.” Or, as Fay Weldon said, “Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens.”

But then again, I would be careful taking any lesson, cosmic or otherwise, from a woman who was able to wreck her back putting on underwear.

Leave me comments about what you are reading. A movie you liked that I could stream as I lie flat on the couch. Or just share anything, really. People always worry their comments are inane or trivial but that is never the case.

Also, to the Anon who was wondering about someone translating that Peter Sotos interview from French into English, I’m still working on it. A friend of a friend of a friend may be able to look at it once he has finished a large project. Fingers crossed.

This Is Not an Odd Book Discussion: A handy guide

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Dear readers,

Some of you are aspiring writers. Some of you are published writers. All of you are heavy readers.  And almost universally, my readers are people who love small presses. I myself am a fan of small presses. But sometimes small presses are run by ignorant pricks.

Here’s a handy guide that will help you determine if the editor of a small press is an ignorant prick:

— Did he change the title of your story so that it now contains a misspelling?
— Did he fail to tell you he changed the title of your story before the story went to print in an anthology?
— Did he make you sign a contract allowing the press to edit your work but then confused editing with rewriting?
— In those rewrites, did he change the gender of a character, create a name for another character and include implied rape in a story where there had not been rape prior to the “edit?”
— Did he call you unstable and mock you when you contacted him about these appalling breaches in editorial conduct?
— Did he impugn his own press as he scrambled to call you such a bad writer that no professional press would touch your work?
— Is his name Anthony Giangregorio and does he run Undead Press?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, then chances are your editor is ignorant or a prick. If you answered yes to all, then the ignorant prickiness goes down to the molecular level and you should use your stories as cat litter before you submit them to such a press.

Sadly, Mandy DeGeit did not have this handy list for reference and was fucked over by Undead Press. But through her suffering we’ve all learned a important lesson today, I think.

Much love!
Anita at IROB

PS:  Increasingly, I think that perhaps old Tony is really an evil, ignorant prick.

PPS:  There is now no question about it.  Tony really is an evil, ignorant prick.  He very recently made a veiled threat against writer Alyn Day, mentioned in the link above.  Yes, I can hear the neckbeards explaining, ever so patiently, that old Tony isn’t threatening Alyn.  Why wouldn’t an editor who has been shamed for his dreadful treatment of writers decide to stop by the homes of one of the writers who outed him as a cretinous jerk?  Don’t we always stop by the homes of people who have exposed our shoddy business practices?  Couldn’t possibly be that Tony wants to intimidate Ms Day by implying he plans to come to her home “for a talk.”  So let’s all add whistle-blower intimidation to the long list of things wrong with this choad.

El Gato Muy Malo, 1992(ish) – 2010

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Today marks the second anniversary of the date when I lost the most remarkable animal I have ever known. Note that I did not say the best cat ever, or that he was a good boy, or anything praising his virtue. Adolph was a terrible cat at times, so bad we called him El Gato Muy Malo, among other things. But goddamn he was remarkable. He was our nasty roommate who refused to learn English and get a job. I am not one to anthropomorphize my animals. But Adolph was different.

Happy Fatty
I cannot describe him well anymore. I fear so much time has passed since I spent time with him that I would not be able to find the words to tell you how intelligent, friendly, disgusting, valiant, nasty and wonderful Adolph was. Even if he had been a perfectly ordinary cat, he looked like Hitler and lost a leg. That alone is worth remembering.

But even though I no longer really know what to say, I needed to commemorate this day. I posted his eulogy on this site, but I also wrote about him in a cat community. I was surprised at how many people felt similarly about him in just the informal post I made right after he died. I gave him a lengthy eulogy that he likely felt was the least I could do, and it was. Last year I also remembered his passing. Perhaps next year the day that he died will pass without me immediately realizing the significance of the date. I tend to doubt it, but I also used to doubt that a single day would pass without me thinking of him, and that has happened.

Until then, I’m just remembering the most epic cat who ever lived.

Feel free to tell me about the epic animals you have known and I’ll return to odd books on Monday or Tuesday, I swear.