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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 8, 2016

Joshy's Corner features 18 Carat Affair's Desire. This episode features selections from Vance Randolph's 1951 classic "Ozark Superstitions" courtesy of Columbia University Press. Vance Randolph spent decades in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks collecting the phrases, superstitions, taboos, song and semantics endemic to region. 

The penultimate episode of the season !!! visit clamsimmons.com for more info.

Nov 10, 2016

Featuring All Bases Covered by Various Blonde. Various Blonde appears courtesy of the Record Machine.

Sep 21, 2016

Featuring Gabriela Lemmons of the Latino Writer's Collective

Aug 20, 2016

Featuring "Chuck D" by Ebony Tusks

Aug 10, 2016

In preparation for the rule of dolphin kings.

Jul 27, 2016

Oscar Addlepatter was last seen in an Arkansas pumpkin patch in 2010.

Jun 1, 2016

Pledge your support now! There is still time! 401-237-0892! 

May 24, 2016

 

Ronnie and Donnie Turtle were the Romulus and Remus of Turtle County, brothers who bought all the county’s water, killing anyone who could not afford it. When it turned out no one could afford it, they found themselves in the awkward position of having killed their profits and neighbors simultaneously.

 

Regardless, they had accrued an impressive amount of wealth in the process and felt they deserved to build a monument to their success - one  that they could live in - and so they began to build their mansion on 1818 Turtle Street. The Turtle Brothers were too proud to travel across county lines to hire people who might make snide remarks about all the dead bodies liquefying in the sun and so they began to clear the land alone.

 

Every tree worth its lumber was chopped to the ground, every stone worth its hardiness was quarried from the earth, every shock of tallgrass was sliced clean from the turf, and soon all of the land around 1818 Turtle Street was reduced to a barren and threadbare state. By duties end Ronnie and Donnie sat down on a pair of tree stumps to admire what they had accomplished. The view inspired pride and thirst. As if on cue, a woman appeared from the southeast clutching a large jar of pink liquid.

 

The Turtle brothers clapped their hands as she headed their direction.

 

“Man, that sure as heck looks like lemonade,” Donnie said.

 

“That’s what I was thinking,” Ronnie said.

 

“I’m getting thirstier and thirstier just thinking about it,” Donnie said.

 

They quickly agreed that they would pay any cost to drink her lemonade. When the unknown woman arrived they were quick to make a deal.

 

“How much you selling it for?” Donnie asked.

 

“Yeah, how much you want?” Ronnie asked.

 

The woman gave no answer but she had fire in her eyes and wind in hair.

 

Ronnie said, “Well shoot! You are a tough negotiator but it’s a deal.”

 

And Ronnie pulled out a stack of fifty gold bills and she handed over the glass jar. The woman turned to leave and the brothers were alone. Before Donnie could’ve asked to have maybe half of the jar of lemonade or even a sip-Ronnie guzzled the only shebang in one big gulp.

 

Donnie said, “Ronnie you old spider dick- I was going to want to have me some too!”

 

Ronnie said, “Sorry brother, but trust me on it - that the lemonade was disgusting but it sure was sweet.”

 

Donnie said, “You really know how to toast a dog turd.”

 

Ronnie coughed and said, “You would’ve done the same thing you jackwad-but probably ten times fas-.”

 

But before Ronnie could finish his line, his eyes began to swell up and bulge out of his eye sockets, and the straining blood vessels all over his head turned his whole face purple.”

 

Donnie began to scream, “What do you want me to do? Tell me what to do!”

 

Ronnie said nothing but his hands began to grip around his throat.

 

Donnie said, “Oh okay, I think I get it! You are choking so you need me to do a tracheotomy.Now hold still - if you squirm it’s only going to make it worse!”

 

Donnie pulled out a long knife and stabbed at Ronnie’s throat, Ronnie tried to dive away but just far enough to get stabbed in the wrong part of the neck.

 

Donnie said, “Am I going to have to tie you down? What’s the dealio here? Do you want help or not?”

 

And so Donnie got out an ax and gave Ronnie a couple of chops on the legs so he wouldn’t squirm so much.

 

Donnie said, “Finally you are holding still for three seconds. Sheesh!”

 

And Donnie perfectly threaded the knife into the windpipe and air finally escaped out of his windpipe. Ronnie’s eyes receded back into their sockets and the blood vessels were no longer bulging in his face but as Ronnie regained movement in his hands he was quick to point to his legs. Ronnie’s legs-severed just above the knee were pouring a massive amount of blood onto the grass.

 

“Doggone it and rat dabbit, if it’s not one thing it’s another!” Donnie said. “You are bleeding all over the place! Sheesh, what are we going to do with you?”

 

Ronnie motioned towards Donnie’s belt suggesting a homemade tourniquet.

 

Donnie said, “You are friggin loco Ronnie, this leather is legit Italian. How’s about this instead?”

 

And Donnie began to press several paper napkins against Ronnie’s massive leg wound. Within seconds Ronnie bled through the napkins.

 

“Well shucks,” Donnie said, “Ronnie would you quit burning my bongos and stop bleeding for once?”

 

Ronnie’s hands went lax against his body and his eyes rolled up to the clouds. Donnie continued to press the napkins against his brother’s wounds for several minutes, at times pounding against his chest in a repeated fashion, but it was too late, the green grass had turned red and one of the kings of Turtle County was friggin dead.

 

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

May 17, 2016

 

Donnie and Ronnie Turtle were the first to sell gunk and they got rich doing it. After they got rich selling gunk, they started selling kid’s sunglasses (because no one was doing it) and they got even richer. After selling gunk and kid’s sunglasses they were richer than they ever imagined - Donnie and Ronnie then bought all the water in the county. The water was dirty so the Turtle brothers told the county they were going to clean it up and then sell it back to them. So the county sold them the water and the Turtle brothers processed it and started selling it back to the people of the county. It made the Turtles even richer but when they realized that no one else was selling water, they started selling cups of water for nine dollars and 20 gallons of shower water for ninety dollars.

 

Some people could afford to take a shower and drink a cup of water once a week. Other people could not and the Turtles became furious that those people were not buying. They were so irate they hired a hired man to investigate. The hired man discovered that the poor people were getting their water at a particular stream at a particular time.

 

When the hired man shared the news of what was happening the Turtle brothers were very upset.

 

Donnie Turtle said to Ronnie Turtle, “what should we do?”

 

And Ronnie said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

 

Then Ronnie asked Donnie Turtle, “Well, what should we do?”

 

And Donnie said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

 

Then the hired man said, “You know, I know another guy.  He’s good at kicking people into the river and sometimes hitting them with hammers. If you hired the other man the only people left in the county would be good, honest water buying people.”

 

The Turtle brothers said, “I like that - do that. Let’s celebrate with pound cake.”

 

After they ate a delicious pound cake the hired man contacted the other man and together they kicked all the poor people into the river. By morning there were no more poor people left in the county, so the Turtle brothers raised the price of water from eight dollars a cup to twelve dollars and the price of a shower from ninety dollars to one hundred and twenty dollars. Some people could afford to pay. Most people could not. Those that couldn’t were forced to walk around with their mouths open in hopes that a rain drop or two might fall in and quench their thirst. They called themselves the thirst quenchers.

 

When the Turtle brothers learned about the thirst quenchers who could not pay for water they sent the hired man and the other man to kill everyone who was walking underneath the clouds. In their minds, the rain in the clouds was the property of the Turtle brothers and the thirst quenchers were common thieves.

 

And so the hired man and the other man gathered their hammers and whacked everyone walking underneath the clouds. Sometimes they found people walking around on clear days and they thought about not killing them but then they realized that that’s exactly how a thirst quencher would hide-walking around in plain sight on a clear day without their mouth wide open. It was too obvious to ignore so the hired man and the other man whacked them too. By the time they were done they had eliminated all of their doubt and fear-no one was left to walk around with either their mouth open or closed.

 

Unfortunately when they were done the the Turtle brothers were the only ones left in the county. The Turtle brothers had no one left to buy their water and it made them very sad. The hired man and the other man reminded them that still had plenty of money and plenty of water to survive. This cheered up the Turtle brothers just a little and they asked the hired man and the other man to build a statue of them and then they changed the name of the county to Turtle County. After the hired man and the other man built the statue and held the ribbon for the ribbon cutting ceremony the Turtle brothers kicked them out too because they could not afford the new water prices.

 

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

May 10, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

In the 19th century, the Osage people lost millions and millions of acres of land across three treaties: the Treaty of 1808, the Treaty of 1818 and the Treaty of 1825. In these treaties, the bulk of the Osage Empire was sold to the U.S. government for less than six cents an acre. The Treaties of 1808, 1818 and 1825 still haunt the former Osage lands of Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. Some spinetingler theorists argue that all the houses in former Osage lands are haunted because they were built on stolen land but nearly all spinetingler scholars agree that all the houses in former Osage Lands with street numbers that match the years of the treaties have a much greater chance of hauntings.

 

The Spinetingler Scholars Alliance has found overwhelming proof that numerical correlations can lead to general feelings of uneasiness or sensations around the face, liver and spine. In more extreme instances, they can lead to a full blown spectral outburst, when a human witnesses a short but demonstrable glimpse into a ghost’s eternal protest at shirking the mortal coil. Extensive studies have been made of spectral outbursts by spinetinglers scholars. It is such a common focus of spinetingler research that finding funding is becoming highly politicized and even taboo in some circles.

 

Nonetheless, one of the most famous spectral outbursts involved a house on 1808 Turtle Street. On today’s date just a few short decades ago, a woman named Dolorous Jones who lived at 1808 Turtle experienced something that could scarcely be believed without the eyewitness testimony of her own person and the thorough documentation by the Spinetingler Scholars Alliance.

 

In the middle of the night Jones awoke to the sound of a squirrel gnawing on her bathroom door. She rarely saw or heard squirrels in her bathroom, but she clearly heard the distinct sound of tiny rodent teeth scratching on a door. But when she got up to check the toilet closet, she found no squirrel. She shut the door to the poop pantry and went back to sleep. She slept for three hours and seventeen minutes before she heard the distinct sound of the tinkling keys of a piano.

 

The only problem was that she had no piano. Not even a small keyboard. Not one to miss a midnight piano party, she went downstairs to where the piano tinkles seemed to originate, but she found no piano. Too disturbed to sleep, Jones got up and made a gallon of oatmeal smush. It was Jones’s box turtle Donnie’s favorite meal and she sprinkled raisins and sugar delicately and was just about to raise the spoon to Donnie’s turtle face when a voice spoke to her from across the kitchen table.

 

The voice surrounded her with a great forest of noise.

 

The voice said, “Hush, hush, hush, hush. I will make you blush if you make that Donnie turtle eat that smush.”

 

The voice got louder, “Inferior oatmeal! Inferior oats!”

 

The table began to rattle like so many wooden chains and the room swirled like a cauldron sloshing with the broth of spirit, as if a giant sinkhole was preparing to swallow her house whole. Jones rushed out the front door without her hat or shoes and ran down the street to Mother Jones’s house. Terror pounding in her heart she told Mother Jones about the tiny ghost squirrel, the invisible piano and the oatmeal poltergeist.

 

Mother Jones pulled out a giant candle from the back pocket of her candle vest and said, “Child, you must follow me.”

 

They walked very slowly towards the daughter’s house. Dawn had not yet broke its orange yolk on the earth, and a thin layer of fog enveloped the house. At the top of the staircase hovered a towering figure silently billowing. It had one eye and teeth more numerous than any toothbrush could handle.

 

Mother Jones set the candle on the ground and locked her fingers with her daughter's fingers. Kneeling to the ground she spoke:

 

“We made a mistake

We made a big mistake

but please let us live in peace

and eat oatmeal.”

 

The hallowed form let out a deep exhale and slowly gathered its fog. Like a low hanging cloud it drifted down the street to 1818 Turtle Street. Mother Jones collected her candle and went home.

Apr 28, 2016

The Carolina Parakeet was the lone parrot species, west of the Appalachian Mountains. At the time of Lewis and Clark, the Carolina Parakeet and its bright green, yellow and red plumage filled the skies with glorious shenanigans. Unfortunately, the last Carolina Parakeet died alone in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918.

 

The dwindling numbers of Carolina Parakeets were accelerated by a number of human beings in the 19th century, but Chonny Burpins almost single-handedly crapped on the southern bird’s path to extinction. At the zenith of powdered Victorian restraint, Burpins hid in bird costumes for hours waiting to pounce on bee hunters who unwittingly disturbed the habitat of the Carolina Parakeet.

 

She also stabbed hundreds of feather poachers. Sometimes in the face. Sometimes in the eyes. Always with icicles. No fingerprints. Even today, Carolina Parakeet Rejuvenation Scientist Community Encyclopedia describes Burpins as,  “a right handed Parakeet defender living with a left handed person’s brain. Also, maybe she killed a few dum-dums every once in a while.”

 

One day while waiting at Kaw Point she spotted local bee hunter, Donnie Turtle. Donnie Turtle whistled as he carried a honeypot towards a rotting tree trunk. The trunk was full of Carolina Parakeets and as Turtle approached the tree, birds burst from the top of the tree like green smoke rising from a chimney.

 

As Turtle reached in to pull out a honeycomb, Chonny Burpins emerged from her camouflage of dookie-colored logs.

 

“Don’t do that!” Burpins said, and she thought about stabbing him in the eye and the face with a rusty nail but something happened in her heart and instead she took a handful of leaves and stuffed them in Donnie Turtle’s virigin honeypot. She pulled them out, covered in sweet goo, and began to paste Donnie Turtle against the tree one leaf at a time. Donnie Turtle resisted and she pinched his nose, very, very hard until he farted quite extremely.

 

“You will stay here until you learn the ignorance of your ways. Consider the woods your school and you the sticky, farting, unwilling pupil”

 

Donnie Turtle stayed honey glued to the tree trunk for nine days. On the tenth day he said, “Please let me go I need to go to the bathroom.”

 

Burpins quickly unpealed Turtle from the tree and within 36 hours Donnie Turtle began dressing as a bird and hiding behind rotting tree trunks as well.

Apr 26, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

One night in the late 40’s a bunch of bus boys were busy soaping up rags in the bar of the Missouri Hotel. It had been a long night but now it was time to flip the chairs and sweep beer caps into dustbins. The bus boys worked hard and before long all the glasses stood tall and sudsless on the drying rack.

 

Soon Arnie the bar keep was handing out nickels and sending the bus boys out the door. When they left, Arnie poured himself a tall glass of Nasty Boy and soaked in the silence. For twenty minutes everything was still and Arnie even began to wonder what would be like to fall asleep in a museum but then he was jarred awake by a clatter coming  from the peanut pantry.

 

Arnie wondered if maybe one of his busboys was scratching around for a few peanuts but when he climbed down the stairs he found that the peanut pantry was empty. Arnie walked to the corner and found a tiny mouse door that had been boarded up. In the cracks of the boards a faint light filtered into the peanut pantry.

 

Curiosity aroused, Arnie kneeled down and popped the boards off the mouse door. He stuffed his head into the mouse door and found a miniature speakeasy. Arnie pushed away the cobwebs and under the glow of one mutant lightbulb he saw six tiny figures sitting at a table dealing cards and smoking cigars at a green velvet table.

 

Even more shocking was the sight of Arnie’s dead dad Barnie behind the mouse-sized bar.  Barnie waved at Arnie and walked to the door. He patted his son on the tip of the nose and gave him a big kiss.

 

Barnie said, “Hey look it’s my beautiful son! Watch out, these goons are soaking wet but they play for keeps,”

 

Arnie asked, “Dad, why did you shrink?”

 

Barnie said, “I never said it was terrific. This is just the way these things happen.”

 

One of the six rose from his seat and threw his cards down on the table. He pulled a machine gun from his side.

 

“You’re all crooks-every lousy one one of you!” Jerry the Goose shouted.

 

The other five loosened their hands from their cards and placed them below the table. Arnie could tell that they weren’t reaching for their keys.

 

Another of the five said, “Careful Goose, we’ve got your numbers.”

Goose said, “Joey that’s a gas, a real gas- them numbers are crooked just like the fence post at your mother’s house.”

 

And without hesitation Goose flipped the card table over and sprayed bullets at everyone at the table. Barnie’s dad Arnie took cover inside Arnie’s nose.  Predictably, the other five pulled out their own guns and began to fire.  It was as loud as a tiny junior high brass band and bullets times infinity rained throughout the hideaway.  But even though thousands of bullets passed through their bodies their wounds were bloodless. It was an eternal standoff between ghosts.

 

As the shooting continued Barnie climbed out of Arnie’s nose and into his son’s earlobe.

 

“The angels told us we were gonna be tiny, like potato chip crumbles but they also said that we could play with our guns and drink our drinks as long as we wanted.”

 

As the bullets pounded the air Arnie said,“Huh, so this goes on every night then?”

 

Ghost Dad Barnie said, “Dem’s da rules, sonny boy. If you want to get some sleep tonight I'd go home now. They’re going to shell each other for more four hours before they get thirsty and I serve ‘em up dem salty peanuts.”

 

Arnie said, “Uh, okay, Dad, bye, I love you. I always wondered what happened to you.”

Barnie said, “Me too son, me too!” and Barnie placed a tiny kiss on his cheek and sent him out the door.

Apr 19, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

The Union Depot Train Station was an architectural marvel, but it was built in the middle of a floodplain and in 1904 the Union Depot was completely flooded. When preparations for a new train station began, city planners began to focus on a strip of land adjacent to the O.K. Creek. It was agreed that if the waters of the O.K. Creek could be diverted and channeled underground, that this would be the ideal location for a train station.

 

And so the city began to confront that wrinkle. City officials began to contact all the plants and animals living along the creek, telling them they had 30 days notice to vacate their creekside parcels.

 

Waterproof notes were handed out to all the fish and turtles. Eviction notices were seed pasted to the nests of the local waterfowl and all the street cats were contacted. Every cricket and water bug was notified via paper boats. Cattails and creekside willows are no dummies. They read the writing on the ripples of the water and de-rooted themselves. The creek water became salty with the tears of all the plants and animals and it was stained with the blood of thousands of dead tadpoles. The bullfrog community agreed that death was preferable to a forced migration.

 

With heavy hearts, most of the creatures accepted their fate. Except for the crawdads.

 

Crawdads are blue shelled luddites - freshwater lurkers who don't take kindly to trespassers and their ilk. When they heard the news they tapped into the old alliance and sent an owl to the mayor’s office with a note of their own. It read:

 

“Dear present administration,

 

Mess with the tiny daddies and you'll get the claws. Rome will burn before we surrender our homes. You ugly, ugly, shit head man!"

 

The mayor laughed and crumpled the note in the newspaper.  His administration did not respond to threats from hooligans. If he would have listened, perhaps a great horror would have been avoided, perhaps a mighty disaster would have been circumvented - but a massive collision was being prepared and it would not be denied by the watchful eye of history.

 

Thus, on the debut evening of the first train rolling into the new train station, just as the mayor prepared to clip the dedication ribbon with the scissors of great purpose, an army of 9,000 crawdads surged over the nearby hill. And they did not stop at the appointed boundaries, but began to pinch noses, pinch butts, and pinch ankles. Shovels were produced by the train station police, but even as they smashed one or two crawdads, more crawdads began climbing into the conductor’s cab and twisting the machine to and fro until the great machine - the great machine that had upset them from their homes - toppled over and burst into flames.

 

The records show that the rebellion lasted for one hour, until Donnie Turtle, the master crawdad smasher of Raytown, began to stomp on the their shells. And in ten minutes he had killed almost all of the crawdads, and in the eleventh minute Turtle pulled out a giant sprayer and began to wash their parts into a nearby drainage ditch.  

Apr 12, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

Derrick Thomas was a great football player for the Kansas City Chiefs. His football coaches knew he was fast so they nicknamed him the Falcon. In one game, the Falcon sacked the quarterback a record seven times. The Falcon was a legend but tragically his life was cut short in a fatal car crash.

 

When he passed away a void was created in the football shaped hearts of thousands, but within a few short days birds began to hover near the milemarker that claimed Thomas’s life.  First, it was only a few hairy rats with wings and their night bat friends. Then, it was all the pigeons and doves who like to eat popcorn out of the trash. Thirdly, all the cardinals and bluejays and all the other seed suckers flapped over.  Fourthly, all the hawks showed up with fresh mouse meat blood dangling from their beaks. Before long every bird of every species and every feather was lording over the highway.

 

Most drivers passed through the tunnel of feathers but not Donnie Turtle. Donnie Turtle had drank an entire trashcan full of beer. His friends tried to stop him from driving but he punched them in their dumpholes and said,

“Donnie gonna do what Donnie gonna want to do.”

 

When he hit the highway, he began to swerve between lanes. The giant congress of birds swooped closer to his van and began to sing.

 

“Pull over! Be safe! Don't drive! Pull over.”

 

When he did not stop the birds began pecking at his windshield. Peck. Peck. Peck.

 

“We can see inside your soul. You are dangerous. You are a dangerous man. Pull over!”

 

Turtle replied “You turkeys don’t know nothing!” and kept on driving wildly down the highway.

 

Out of nowhere a brilliant falcon wearing a football jersey appeared. “Clear a path!” the falcon squawked.

 

The falcon dumped all over Turtle’s windshield making it impossible to see. Finally, as the white sludge covered his entire car, Turtle pulled the van over and took a long nap.

 

Seven hours later Turtle woke up and realized what had happened. Tears streaming down his face, Turtle thanked the falcon who had saved his life and pledged to be the safest driver in the history of the world. After the solemn oath was made Turtle scraped the crap off his windshield and ate seven burritos. He never told anyone what had happened but he donated to the Audubon society

Apr 7, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

The original town of Kansas sat on a bluff towering above the river. The height of the bluffs made offloading river goods, such as molasses and horse pelts, a nightmare. After years of slow delivery times, horse pelt industry officials threatened to leave Kansas City. That's when intrepid Mayor Johnny Filth stepped in.

 

Mayor Johnny Filth took the city's entire annual budget and bought a shovel for each citizen in town. He handed a shovel to every man, woman and child at Kansas City's annual bean dinner and said, “Get to digging! Do it for the horse pelt industry!”

 

Together the city cut into the river bluffs like a giant stack of chocolate cake. Within days the bluffs began to shrink and the speed of horse pelt delivery was mightily increased. The work continued day into night and night into week and week into fortnight.

 

After a fortnight, Donnie Turtle, one of the hardest working shovel boys slipped a note into Mayor Filth’s pocket. It read: “I'm an honest and lowly shovel boy and I never hope to be anymore than that for as long as I live. But I've started to notice that the more we shovel, the more piles we create. We used to have one big bluff but now we have a thousand tiny bluffs. My brains are little more than duck paste but I know that the good Mayor Filth will conjure up a fit solution. ASAP.”

 

Mayor Filth got up early the next morning and scratched the pox hole on his face. He pulled the blowhorn down from the ring of honor and spoke bravely,

 

“Let the city gather all the piglets and all the saddles for the piglets. All the piglets will carry the dirt to the lowlands and the waste places so that this dirty dirt will be gone. Call all the piglet wranglers of Westport. Today is the day the piglets set this town in order. Together they will lead a legion of piglet wagons to redistribute dirt into the low places of the city. We will work until dirt fills every gully, every ditch and every ravine. ”

 

As Donnie Turtle listened, tears streamed down his face. He tossed his shovel and began to hammer together dirt wagons for every piglet wrangler in town. According to legend, Donnie Turtle banged together a thousand tiny dirt wagons for all the bacon babysitters of Westport. At lunch that day all the hoggy handlers of Westport applauded and marveled at the industry of Donnie Turtle. He could barely gnaw a bite of beaver wad jerky before a swineherd supervisor slapped him on the back. They say the cheering was so relentless he never finished his sandwich.

 

That afternoon he hand delivered another note to Mayor Filth. It said, “I hope you are happy. You have helped forge a path for Kansas City to join the cosmopolitan glow of the 20th century and impressive towns like St. Joseph and Fall River. Unfortunately, the success of my piglets wagons has brought undue attention onto my lowly nature. You will continue your great work, Mayor Filth, but you will do so without me. I will leave this place now. Hopefully in a better place than when I started making dirt wagon hours ago.”

 

Donnie Turtle left the office of Mayor Filth with a sly grin on his face. He collected his hunk of beaver wad, his pipe and his hat he wore when he thought about church. He hitched a dozen piglets to a wagon and slapped the reins against the piglets. The porkers mushed and mushed for months until Donnie Turtle finally reached a tiny cave. Donnie Turtle lived out the rest of his days in the cave making candles out of bat guano and writing letters to the Mayor of the cave, which was of course, himself.

Apr 5, 2016

 

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

The Elmwood cemetery caught the animal buddy world by storm when Margarine the deer befriended a stray dog named Rusty. Rusty and Margarine, with every frolic among the headstones and every cuddle among the tombs, sent inspirational shockwaves across the mammal community. But the transcendent friendship was cut short when a local hunter named Omalley Squeezums shot and killed Margarine in the heart of the cemetery.

 

Omalley Squeezums was quickly brought to justice and promptly paid the ten dollar fine, but the damage had been done––the dreams of a trans-species Camelot were lost forever. However, even as the nation mourned the death of Margarine, the cemetery’s humble plastic-flower duster, Donnie Turtle, made a curious discovery. Turtle found a notebook whose cover read “Private Deer Diary! Don't touch! Or read! Ever! (Unless You Are Rusty).”

 

Turtle rifled through the pages and instantly recognized Margarine’s distinct hoofwriting, but the tone of the first entry struck him like a frozen bundle of raisin-sized turdlings dropped from a rooftop on a cold winter’s morn:

 

Rusty stinks! He stinks like poop!! Just kidding he's my best friend and a truer friend than any squirrel could be. Squirrels, dirty rotten squirrels! If I could I would cut down all their trees and drown them in the river. Good thing we bought poison capsules. In a week or so we will begin to wipe this graveyard clean. No more squirrels defecating on the benches of remembrance. All the squirrels will be dead in a week and we will finally have some peace and quiet before our big animal buddies calendar shoot.

 

Later that day Donnie Turtle found Rusty licking his buttcheeks in the shadow of an ornamental fox statue. Although Turtle knew that Rusty enjoyed licking his butt he asked if Margarine had always hated squirrels.

 

Rusty yelled, “Margarine was a saint in life and a martyr in death!”

 

The old bloodhound popped up from his pose and lunged at Donnie Turtle with one of his giant paws clawing out his eyeball like a grape from a shallow bowl. Rusty yelled, “Squirrels are a menace! And squirrel sympathizers who support their activities will be eradicated presently.”

 

Rusty stood over Donnie and prepared to strike again when a shot rang out in the cemetery. Rusty’s tail went stiff and the old bloodhound keeled over like a slab of red concrete. Footsteps quickly approached from the east. Donnie Turtle feared his breaths were numbered and when the shooter leaned over him he prepared to die.

 

But the shooter quickly handed him the eyeball Rusty had scraped out his face.

 

“Are you looking for this?” the shooter asked.

 

“Yes,” Turtle said.

 

“You probably want to hand me over to the graveyard sheriff for shooting a beloved member of the animal buddy community,” the shooter said.

 

Donnie Turtle slid his eyeball into his socket until it clicked. His vision was immediately restored. Omalley Squeezums stood before him.

 

“Actually Omalley,” Turtle said, “how's about you help me get rid of this dog body.”

 

And it was on that historic day Donnie Turtle and Omalley Squeezums burned Rusty’s carcass at the limestone quarry and implicitly pledged to protect all the squirrels in the cemetery.

Mar 29, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

Nelle Peters was one of most prolific architects in Kansas City history. She designed over a 1,000 buildings including one of the city’s most iconic high-rises, the Mark Twain.

What most people don’t know is that the Mark Twain apartments have a dark secret. To understand that untold mystery, we need to first look at the moral tug of war between Peters and J.C. Nichols. Nichols was a famous real estate developer, but in the process of gobbling up land and spitting out commercial and residential properties, a radical concept began to dominate his mind.

As the plans for the Mark Twain apartments neared fruition, Nichols became more and more obsessed with the idea of secretly stealing Mark Twain’s body in hopes of burying him in the cornerstone of the building.

Nelle Peters pushed against this idea from the beginning, but it was like convincing a spider to clean up his own cobwebs.

“Drop this body-snatching nonsense. How could you even think about stealing Twain’s corpse,” Peters said. “I won’t allow it. And neither does the law.”

“If you say a word about it, you will be dead where you sleep. And besides, who would believe a dull pencil face like you?”

“Nichols, your threats are like mouse farts, they make noise but very little thunder. Even so, if you do your deed, lock the door behind you. You will never see me again and I will never smell you again.”

Two days later J.C. Nichols met up with famed grave robber Donnie Turtle at Mark Twain’s grave. It was midnight when Donnie Turtle threw away his first shovel full of dirt.

Nichols paced around the graveyard for hours and hours as Donnie Turtle struggled to loosen the coffin from the earth. When the coffin was raised from the ground it was clear that it was much bigger than Nichols’ anticipated.

“Boss Nichols, this here is Twain. He’s a dead big boy and his coffin is even bigger! Sneaking this coffin on to the train is going to be like trying to stuff a piglet in a jelly jar.”

J.C. Nichols became enraged.

“Donnie Turtle! Donnie Turtle! Donnie Turtle! You lack foresight!”

J.C.  Nichols pulled out his bowling ball bag and grabbed the grave digger’s shovel striking Donnie Turtle on the head. Life and blood alike poured out of Turtle’s head and into the cold, cold turf of the graveyard. No one knows if remorse or regret ever filled Nichols’ heart over these unseemly acts, but seven days later a local dry cleaner published a small advertisement in the local paper:

“DEAR CUSTOMERS,

WE DO NOT CLEAN BLOOD OUT OF BOWLING BALL BAGS. ESPECIALLY LEATHER ONES. ESPECIALLY LEATHER BOWLING BAGS FULL OF BLOOD AND TINY CHUNKS OF BRAINS. WE STILL OFFER TREMENDOUS CLEANING SERVICES FOR NORMAL CLOTHES LIKE TUXEDOS AND OVERALLS BUT PLEASE, NO MORE BOWLING BALL BAGS FULL OF BLOOD-YUCK!”

As if there were any further doubts as to the dastardly nature of the deed of defilement, they say that a mere 70 years later the Mark Twain Apartments were getting brand new Panasonic VCRs in every apartment, when the VCR installation specialist made quite a discovery. The VCR installation specialist spent a lot of long nights connecting the VCRs to the standard issue Zenith televisions and on multiple occasions he reported hearing the distinct sound of a river boat chant.

Don’t mind me and my fart butt

I’m floating down the river

as regular as the Hannibal rain

They call me Mark Twain

and they cut off my head

but it don’t matter none

because I was already dead.

Chop me and slice me

from my head to my toes

till the blood runs dry

all the good parts are gone

like a half eaten pie.

I wrote all my bits

I left big old shits

and I loved every day

that I saw your muddy eyes.

Mar 22, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

Oscar Wilde, one of the brightest wits the Emerald Isle ever burnished. In 1885 Wilde toured America with speaking engagements dotted across the country. Unfortunately, critics treated Wilde's performances like watermelon seeds spit in the face of a very wise turtle.

In fact the Kansas City Star gave his performance at the Coates opera house a bad review. They declared Wilde to be a spectacular nincompoop. As if that wasn't bad enough, Wilde was reviled for his off stage habits as well. In particular, they didn't like his hollow tooth.

Some said he kept jewels in his tooth. Others said he kept manuscripts in his tooth. A select and depraved few hinted that Wilde kept tiny baby teeth in his hollow tooth. This was an era when people were very secretive about their dental life and so rumor has it that almost no one, with the exception of Wilde's dentist, spoke about the hollow tooth.

Of course, one person did speak about it, and he spoke about it very rudely. Rumor has it that that person was Resse Rames.

Rumor has it that one person in particular gave Wilde a hard time, a famous bank robber named Resse Rames. Resse Rames had just lost to Wilde in several hands of horse mouse at the Monkey Tree Saloon. Frustrated at his mounting losses, Rames challenged Wilde to a boot drink.

Rames pulled the boot off his foot and poured seven bottles of whiskey past its tongue. When Wilde refused to join Rames grabbed Wilde by the mouth and pulled out his largest hollow tooth.

“Won't give you your stinky yellow tooth till you take off your boot!” Rames' said.

Wilde said, “Fine, you hideous oak! But you will be forever marred on the stage of life.”

And, without ever making eye contact with the bank robber, guzzled it down in a single gulp.

Resse Rames took his boot and filled it to the top but after three or four medium guzzles a wild jack donkey burst through the doors of the Monkey Tree Saloon.

The donkey was a tornado of saddled might, smashing every chair and stool with the might of its back legs. Everyone with half a brain molecule hopped behind the bar for safety. However Resse Rames froze up like a concrete turtle and the jack donkey stamped him with hoof prints on his chest.

After an errant kick of jubilation the donkey settled down at the bar and began to slurp out of Rames' boot.

Wilde heard the sound of the donkey slurping the last of Rames' guzzles and while everyone else remained motionless, Wilde walked around the bar. Wilde leaned over the dull lump of Rames' body and collected his hollow tooth from the top of the bar.

Wilde ran his fingers through the donkey’s mane and onto the horn of the saddle. The leather of the saddle crunched and crackled as Wilde lifted himself on to the back of the wild animal. Backing the pack animal up with a few clicks of his heels, Wilde lead the donkey away from the saloon and down a dusty West Bottom Street.

Mar 15, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editor: Sarah Rendo

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

A modern Odysseus, Rube Foster was a giant concoction of pitcher, manager, businessmen and visionary, all shaken up together inside a 6 foot 2 Texan frame. In 1920 Rube Foster gathered a group of businessmen to the Paseo YMCA. By the time the men left they had created the modern Negro National League.

 

Some say that Rube Foster never left that room and even though he died in 1930, he never stopped watching over the YMCA. One day someone tried to steal a car outside of the YMCA but the thief retreated when he was pelted by a cascade of ice. Some say it was a freak hailstorm. Some say it was Rube Foster chucking ice at the dude.

 

Some say that Rube Foster never left that room and that his genius is so powerful it resonates through the room in a constant current of electricity. Some say that there’s enough in Rube Foster’s room that if electricity were tiny packets of ketchup there would be enough tomater sauce to overflow a regular sized volcano.

 

Some say that Rube Foster never left that room and if you try to throw away a tiny paper cup it’s going to always land in the bottom of the waste paper basket-even if your eyes are closed.

Some say that Rube Foster never left that room and that if you go that if you go swimming at the YMCA and try to grab some toast you won’t be disappointed. Dolorous Jones wasn’t disappointed

 

Dolorous Jones stopped by the Y to grab some toast and a few laps in the pool. She had half a loaf of bread and a clean women's swimming suit. She stuck one sliver of bread in the central terminal of the public toasting area. And she waited. And she waited. And she waited. But no toast. But suddenly, all of a sudden, without warning, all of a sudden, a floating finger stuck out of the wall and pointed at the toaster and the toasting irons became orange-lava hot, heating those bread shanks from a pale white to a golden brown. When the toaster went “ding-ding-ding” the finger retreated back into the wall.

 

Dolorous Jones ate that toast and gathered her belongings, her swimsuit, her purse, her toast kit, her stick of butter and she headed for the door. As she left, she took one look at that toaster to see if it was a special kind of toaster, like maybe it’s one of those special toasters you read about in the papers. And she was right, it was a special kind of toaster - it wasn’t even plugged in.

Mar 8, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editors: Sarah Rendo/Robert J. Baumann

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

Satchel Paige was the greatest pitcher that ever lived. He was famous for a number of pitches, including the bee ball, a pitch so fast it buzzed past a batter’s ear like a thousand wax masters. What you might not know, probably because you’ve been drinking too much pop, is that in tribute to Paige (or in an awe-inspiring coincidence), a giant jumble of bumble bees continuously hovered around Paige’s memorial in Forest Hills cemetery.

At first several visitors to Paige’s grave got bumble bites all over their face, arms and noses and it seemed that all hope for peaceful visits to the grave of the great hurler were lost. That is, until one day when Elmer Fartz accidentally plopped a tiny honey and peanut butter sandwich on the ground. By the time Fartz stooped to rediscover his sandwich, dozens of bees were busily slurping honey off the bread. The bees ate to their great content and a hearty round of bee burps soon followed. Some even allowed Mr. Fartz to pet them and scratch them behind their tiny, yellow ears.

Word spread quickly and it appeared that the bee problem had finally bumbled over. That is until a visitor named Dolorous fell for the ultimate dupe: she accidentally bought a low grade honey substitute. The imitation honey stand had obviously escaped the dragnets of the local bureau of the sweetness police.  

Dolorous set the jar of honey with great respect in front of the grave and the bees began to slurp. At first all appeared well and their bee faces began to curl into smiles. But then their tiny bee lips sucked down that first bundle of fake honey molecules and they became furious. The bees assembled into a cloud in the shape of a yellow hammer.

The yellow hammer of bees smashed into Dolorous’ beautiful leather purse, popping out the keys to her Crown Vic. The yellow hammer then transmorphed into two giant hands and slid the keys into the ignition.  Unless you are knee deep in circus peanuts you can guess what happened next: one big bee hand grabbed the wheel while the second pushed down on the gas and the sedan went speeding around the graveyard.

Dolorous’ Crown Vic careened around the cemetery, narrowly avoiding trees and Paige’s statute, until finally slamming into the side of the Battle of Westport’s confederate soldier’s memorial in the corner of the graveyard. The obelisk snapped in half like a fun-dip sugar stick.

As the tires continued to spin against the limestone, the bees dispersed into a thick cloud above the monument and released untold gallons of honey atop the stone structure. The honey drizzled with great thickness upon the faces and names of the fallen Robert E. Lee lovers. Dolorous watched as the great pouring of honey continued creating a sludge on the broken stone.

Over the next several days, the honey hardened and formed a golden husk over the stone. Before leaving, Dolorous left a tiny note on a baseball next to Satchel Paige’s grave:

Woe to ye imitation honey jars and confederate ghosts alike.

Do not anger Satchel’s bees.

Heed them or you will learn to fear their sweetness.

Mar 1, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editors: Sarah Rendo/Robert J. Baumann

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

Before Ernest Hemingway handed out cigarettes and candy to Italian troops in World War Uno, he worked as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star. It didn’t matter if the story was about church farts or missing sewer lids – no street went unpaved by his narrative.

Soon thereafter, Hemingway took a trip to the Kansas City stockyards. The dust of the West Bottoms swirled with a whirlwind fueled by a thousand cow farts as Hemingway approached the corrals. Although it was like standing in the furnace of a great booty bomb factory, Hemingway followed his internal journalistic compass deep into the bowels of the stockyard.

Suddenly a gust of cow toots blew the cap off his grand noggin and sent it tumbling down a cattle shoot. Ernest hopped down from the corral and snatched his hat, hundreds of bulls racing closer and closer, their snorts and grunts ringing in his ears.

Maddeningly close to his person, young Ernie began to scream, “Help me! Anybody! I want to be a famous writer! I’m going to reinvent the form!”

Finally a one legged cattle hand named Elmer popped open a gate and the young writer leaped into the pen. Hemingway’s chest heaved up and down. Elmer spit tobacco juice on the ground and said, “Stick to scribbling, ya bozo. Best stay clear of the running of the bulls. If their farts won’t kill you, their hooves will.”

No one knows if Hemingway’s near trampling would inspire him to greatness. However, it has been said that on a slow news day, if you go to the stockyards and rub your ear against the old wooden planks of the corral, you can hear the sound of Ernest Hemingway screaming and it smells like a stampede of ghost butts.

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