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Now displaying: April, 2016
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.

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