Category Archives: Features

A Guide to Alien Cinema

Alien culture is aptly named: it is the culture of a race of organisms that lives in a distant galaxy and tends to do things in a way that’s not just strange, it’s alien. No surprise, then, that when a human being watches a film made by aliens, she has no clue which way’s up. For all the sense she can make of it, she might as well be an eight year old child watching Eyes Wide Shut, or Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

Owing to their impenetrability, perhaps, alien films aren’t well distributed on Earth, and people mostly go about their lives with little awareness of what’s happening in this important medium (important to the aliens). And while we grant that there’s sense in this opted ignorance — why waste the time? — we’d like to suggest taking a few minutes right now to familiarize yourself with several of the 2008’s top alien film releases so far. We’ve put together a “Cliff’s Notes” of sorts to bolster comprehension — translating lines of dialog into English, substituting Earthly objects for their alien counterparts whenever possible.

Graygl Horcoot (“The Plowman’s Scat”)
The Plowman’s Scat shows us one ocean-cycle in the life-test of wizard Unye. Unye is comfortable-sounding, broad, and says fathomable ideas, all of which make him a big talking point for his local newspaper equivalent, a periodical information digest that’s basically a handful of rocks (“Gorcoot”). Early in the film, we realize that Unye is perpetrating an elaborate trick (“Morcoot”) on himself that essentially amounts to murdering one’s own sense of reason, but it involves doing so without one’s own knowledge (critically, that lack of knowledge doesn’t mean the same as our words ‘unconscious’ or ‘subconscious’, because it is a person’s alternate mind (people from Unye’s planet have two or seven minds) that is murdering the primary mind’s sense of reason). Morcoot is also a serious crime, and so detective-type guys are on Unye’s tail for much of the film waiting for him to slip up. (Attempted Morcoot is actually a capital offense, so if one of Unye’s alternate minds is found guilty of it, Unye — including all his minds (except his graygl mind (roughly, “plowman’s” mind)) — will be executed.) But so then at this point we lose track of Unye and the film spends some time documenting horcoot erosion and levitation (basically, “scat” erosion and levitation). At the end, there’s a massive spinning horcoot erosion accompanied by a clanging sound called “gerg”. As an editorial aside, it should be mentioned that this ending was considered by viewers to be a sensational O. Henry-style finale along the lines of Citizen Kane‘s.

Pazd (“Swirls”)
Pazd tells a story whose primary characters are pools of colored light. In a bit of technical spiffery culturally similar to the advent of 3-D specs in Earth cinema, Pazd is shown without using light of any kind. In the opening scenes, an oblong pool of burgundy light undulates. At a point roughly equivalent to the end of act one, the “viewer” realizes that the pool of light isn’t burgundy, but yellow. This instigates a chain of events in which the yellow pool of light (first perceived to be burgundy) reveals a blue pool of light underneath it. During the film’s final 30 hours, several hairpins in the script expose that (a), the blue pool of light may simply be a refraction of the yellow pool; (b), the yellow pool is in fact burgundy, as initially perceived; (c), the blue pool is a refraction of a different yellow pool; and finally that (d), this other yellow pool is burgundy.

Stron Poar (“The Ambitious Animal”)
In Stron Poar, an animal resembling a much-larger horse (a stron) is fixated on the notion of “raxia”. Impossible to translate literally, “raxia” means roughly “countenance”, with the additional sense of “moderation”. The stron determines to submit itself to a series of tests, called “iax”, which if failed result in “lengthening”, similar to our idea of death; but if passed will allow the stron to “pronounce raxia” (which involves literally enunciating the word “raxia”). In the first test, the stron must fall into a “wind tube”. It succeeds. In the second test, the stron must “refute this”, which the stron does. Finally, the stron is asked to “refute wind tube”, which the stron very nearly does — a climactic and emotional victory, similar to Rocky going ten rounds with Apollo Creed, that had audiences returning for a second and even third viewing. It must be understood that, speaking physiologically, strons have nothing that we would recognize as an appendage or even an orifice — the closest they come to either is a pad. This makes refuting the wind tube a tricky affair. Additionally, their equine mane is liquid rather than hair, and can vary in temperature, but during “iax” a stron is not allowed to fluctuate the temperature of its mane.

Any of these three films makes for a fun evening or week at home with the fam, and besides feeling A LITTLE CONFUSEDat the conclusion, you’ll also — we think — enjoy the sense of being a little more plugged in…


… (this has been a thing about) Alien Cinema.

A Conversation With Ekaterina

Hello! Greetings. My name Ekaterina, and I am Russia woman from city Moscow. Maybe you see a movie Hunt for Red October or Russia House — that exactly my city. Everyone in Moscow surprise by how accurate. You see these movie, Hunt for Red October and Russia House, last weekend?? I tell them I do. They are perfect document! You are still most beautiful woman in all of Moscow, maybe Russia, I see, and sexy almost to fault. I say almost!? I tell them yes, Hunt for Red October and Russia House impeccable reproduction of homeland, and I thank them for honest obervation.

Now I explain my woe. One or some month or week ago (I forget time frame because of shaken up by emotional trauma) I meet lovely, wonderful Mike on internet chat room. Mike american from Seattle, likes everything same as me: movies, fun, the world, sometimes animals or not, and food. I think is perfect match and we make plan for I come to Seattle and we marry and live together. Mike even send me photo of him without clothes, so in love we are, and I am very excited to see that he is proprietor of gigantic cock! I never see man’s cock before, I am virgin, but I have hear that bigger is maybe better, and Mike is proud owner of 3 inch hard cock! I never imagine it can be so big! (You will say I delusional, but lately since Mike leave me I allow my mind to imagine EVEN bigger cock of 3.2 inches — I know can never happen so large except on bear!) I send Mike picture of my without clothes so he make sure he find me attractive and he say he faint when he open email! Then he wake up and he faint again immediately! Then he wake up and have to spend time alone in bathroom with laptop for nearly 24 hours straight, he say, but I don’t understand what he mean.

But then when everything is perfect, Mike resume with his wife who had leave him, and he tell me our wedding cancel. My heart is ruin forever I think, and I spend many days thinking my heart is ruin! But then I talk to Natasha (best friend swimsuit model who almost sad as me about my no move to Seattle because she plan to come visit me in America and get tan in my new back yard in swimsuit with no top for avoid tan lines) and she convince me that my heart now ready to love, and I must find a man who willing to share love with me while my heart is ready, man who also have heart ready. So that is why I email you, in hope to find man with similar interest in fun and things and go travel places far or close or just other parts of house to share my heart and love with. Do you like picture I include at top of email? Some people think I very pretty like model, but I not really sure. Here is picture of me after I hear about Mike leaving me and I realize that even though my future not certain, there is hope:

One american man tell me I look like american movie star Rebecca Romijn Stamos from Xmen movie! Other man once tell me I look like actress Cameron Diaz who date Justin Timberlake; here is picture of me that Natasha take without me knowing when she catch me thinking hopefully about my future with new man, maybe you:

Please if you think that you can love person like me, write me back. All I need is credit card number to get airplane ticket only. I am so tired! Just want to lay down in bed, although don’t really feel like sleeping! Don’t worry, I in perfect health, yesterday I go to doctor he tell me perfect health, and I have tightest pussy he ever seen, that it genetic and will always stay that way. I think he maybe make pass at me, but I just laugh at his silly saying, he tell me I most beautiful woman he ever saw. Before he doctor, he casting director for models in commercials.

If you think we could be in love forever like I do, then please write me soon! I cannot wait to come to America and meet my love of my lifetime, leaving tomorrow morning even if you wish! I already pack my things, and just now need credit card number and bank account information to buy plane ticket (russia airline companies strange, require bank account information to purchase ticket, but all is safe and they destroy information after seeing it).

Waiting hopefully to meet you and love!



It’s a fact: children are obsessed with We Are Scientists. Children are fucking obsessed with us. Why?! Why is it? Is it their purity of instinct? Their absence of cant and cunning? Their commitment to major-label-indie aesthetics? Is it that we craft songs that suit their smaller faces? Their smaller hands? Is it that from their diminished vantage we, more than any other band, appear as titans? as gods? Is it that with their half-formed consciousnesses our songs, with bone-lean, adamantine logic, make better sense than the songs of other bands and periods? Is it that their eyes — children’s eyes — stare with unblushing curiosity at the world, and only we dare to stare right back at them? Only we dare to put our hands to their foreheads and give a little shove?
The reasons, we haven’t figured out. But the facts are in: children the world over are passionate about We Are Scientists. They talk about us in their broken grammar. They dance awkwardly when their parents put us on. They gleefully hand over whatever alms are collected in their overall-bib pockets when they meet us. And that shit adds up.

A Conversation with Ekaterina

Hello! Greetings. My name Ekaterina, and I am Russia woman from city Moscow. Maybe you see a movie Hunt for Red October or Russia House — that exactly my city. Everyone in Moscow surprise by how accurate. “You see these movie, Hunt for Red October and Russia House, last weekend?

A Conversation With Bo

Snakes is crazy. That’s just a fact.
Names Bo. An I couldn help overhear whatchooz just sayin bout snakes an them not bein crazy, them just bein animals an whatnot, an animals is just gunna do whatever it is they hasta do ta git fed an prognosticate or what have ya. An I jus wanna jump in’ere an tellya you aint gotta damn idea whatchoo talkin bout, comes ta snakes.
Yall tryin ta tell me yaint never seen a snake do nuthin crazy, im guessin at means yaint never seen a snake. Ya see this here scar? No, thisn here. Ats where a snake bit me. Onaccounta why you think he done at? Onaccounta not a god dang reason in the world is why. Latched right on’ere wouldn let go. Had ta beat his silly ass till he whuddn’nuthin butta tuba jelly.
Down here, boy, snakes a waya life. Seen a snake go right through a mans head. Don’believe me? I don’rightly give a fuck. Seen it go right through his head fastern a choochoo train. Fastern a god dang eagle’th his nuts on fire.
Seen’em come in formation. Yeah, snakes is crazy, don’mean they stupid. Come outta nowhere all whipped inta formation an just POW, wiped outta whole god dang village. Ats over in Nam. We get on radio askin missionafire, we didn know what in hell it was till the last minute, realized iwuz snakes. Couldn get missionafire counta we couldn tellum what in hell we was lookin ta fire AT, see.
But I seen snakes come off a bridge, drop two three hunnerd yards, squirm away like they was just joyridin. Probly was, too. I seen a guy was a circus performer get ate by a snake no biggern’is forearm, cuz the snake jus don’give a dang. Swut it is bout snakes people don’realize, zem not givin a shit bout any buddy er any thing.
Founda snake in m’daughters teeshirt drawer on bout two weeks ago, had ta light the whole god dang house on fire ta get the dang thing outta there, then had to bury the dang thing under ten feeta cement justa get it ta where it whuddn’gunna squirm right back in the dang drawer. Probly gunna hafta take m’kids outta school move clear over the state line justa be sure.
You see that right’ere? Swhere a snake tried to get me with a blowtorch. I shit you not.
That aint half of it. I seen a snake punch through five feeta steel cuz he wanted some dudes samwich. I seen a snake wrap hisself around a propeller on a copter, brung the copter down, burned up the whole crew, snake walks away like it was all jus funnin games. Seen a snake go in one wall socket’n come out another at a differnt house, on a differnt street, two days later, cuz theyc’n go through wires like electricity. Go through phone lines, too, fars at goes.
Tellya what, I gotta get this lawn mowed. Wifes gunna fuck my ass with a spatula i dont. Pleasure talkin to ya, and you watch yerass. Next time yaller through here I’ll tellya bout when them snakes practically took over the dang country back in eighty-nine. Key-rist, you talk bout gettin lucky, this country got luckyern shit back in eighty-nine. Shit on me though boy, here comes m’wife. Ya best getcher ass on backtyer truck, she’ll stick a dang kitchen tool up yer ass too she see ya out here, an she already seen ya, an I’m talkin she stick it so far up’ere its upter elbow on the OTHER arm, you see what I’m gettin at, less you like that kinda thing.
Didn think so, I’ll see yall later on!

Guess the Animal

Who wants to try to guess the animal? Everybody does! Hooray! Okay, we’re going to start with a hard one that we just learned, okay? So think about some of the animals that we just learned about in the last couple of weeks. Okay, here we go.
A native of North America, I use my slightly-webbed hind feet to navigate my chosen habitat. Several years ago I was introduced to The Netherlands, which is a country in Europe, where my burrowing habits damage dykes and levees; for that reason I’m hunted by the Dutch and sometimes served at restaurants as waterkonijn.
What am I?
What am I, huh?
Can anybody guess?
Here’s a hint: Over the course of her life, the female of my species typically has two or three litters with between six and ten babies in each litter.
Still nothing? Uh oh, you guys are in trouble. Okay, here’s another hint: “waterkonijn” means “water rabbit”.
That did it! That’s right, I’m a muskrat! A muskrat is correct! All right, great! Good job! Now you’ve loosened up your noodles a little bit, got those connections firing, let’s move on to something a little tougher.
Guess the animal.
I have four strong legs that allow me to run very fast — so strong, in fact, that I can carry people around on my back or even pull carriages behind me. People who use me for this sort of labor tend to nail U-shaped metal “shoes” to the hooves on my feet, in order to protect them.
I’m the most popular racing animal, and every year at events like the Kentucky Derby people bet millions of dollars on the abilities of some of my species’ more athletic members.
Any ideas?
Guys, anything?
A dog? No, no. Good guess, though. You can’t really ride a dog.
A bull? No, great guess.
Anybody else? Okay, here’s another hint. I’m a vegetarian and tend to live on grass and hay, but I have quite a sweet tooth: sweet vegetables like carrots and even actual sugar cubes are my favorites!
Anybody have it?
A… a what was that? A dog? No, no dogs don’t eat hay. And somebody already guessed dogs. Anyone else? Come one guys, think hard…
Okay, another hint: I’ve been in lots of movies! “The Black Stallion” was all about one of my kind befriending a young boy. In any movie involving knights and swords, the heroes are always riding around on top of me. There was even a movie called “Seabiscuit” about me. Indiana Jones prefers riding me to riding a camel, and in the movie “Hidalgo”, the guy from “Lord of the Rings” rides me all over the desert. In fact, some policemen in big cities like New York and London still ride around on me because I make it easier to push through crowds of people.
Anyone have any ideas? No? Nobody has any ideas? A cow? No, I’m not a cow. I’m not a cow, now come on, really think. Reeeally think, guys…
How bout this: my name rhymes with ‘morse’ and ‘borse’ and ‘course’ and ‘Norse’ and ‘lorse’ and ‘rorse’ and ‘torse’ and ‘zorse’… anybody? Anyone get it? Has anyone thought of what animal I am? Anybody?
How bout this, I look like a zebra but without the stripes. Anybody? I look like a donkey. Anybody? Anyone get it? I look like a pony. Or a mule. Can anybody think of it? Nope, not a lion, but that’s close. Like a lion, I have a mane. But think about a zebra, but without the stripes. Think about a zebra, but all brown. What would that be? Anybody know? What would a solid brown zebra be called? Or what’s another word for a pony? What else can you call a pony?
Hold on a sec, everybody… Okay, you see this? What’s this? What’s this a picture of? Can you tell me what it is? Can you tell me what this is a picture of? See that? What’s that? Okay, hold on a sec… give me just… one… second… I’m gonna… pop this tape in, and… Okay! Now, what are those? What are those animals there called? No, they’re not bulls. Look at them running there. What does a bull look like? That’s right, a bull has horns. But these don’t have horns, do they? No. No, so what are they? If they’re not dogs and they’re not bulls and they’re not lions or cows or zebras, they’re… they’re… Anybody know? They’re… they’re… What are they? They’re… horses, everybody. Horses. See? Like a big zebra, but with no stripes.
Your daddy has a horse? Well, I’m surprised you didn’t recognize the pictures. His name is Thunder? Well, I’m surprised you didn’t recognize the horses in the video. Is that what your daddy’s horse Thunder looks like? It is? Well, I’m surprised you didn’t recognize a picture and a video of a fucking horse when your daddy has one at home. Doesn’t that surprise you a little bit? Doesn’t it surprise you? Well, it’s okay to say that word sometimes when you can barely believe something; I’m sure your daddy uses it sometimes, too. Well I’m sure he just doesn’t tell you about it. How about this Carol Ann, we’ll play one more round of animal guessing. My name is Thunder and Carol Ann’s daddy is my owner. What kind of animal am I? A horse, that’s right, Pete. You’re a fucking genius. You actually got it before Carol Ann, which officially makes her the stupidest person in the world. Don’t you think so, Carol Ann? Well, yes, but remember it’s okay to use those words when you can barely believe something, and Pete guessing what kind of animal your daddy has before you can is pretty amazing. Don’t you think? Carol Ann? Don’t you think so, Carol Ann?
Alright, everybody go to the cafeteria now, it’s time for lunch. Carol Ann, remember that your sandwich is the thing inside the bag your mommy gave you, and your hand is the thing at the end of your arm that you pick other things up with. I want you to be very careful not to accidentally eat your hand instead of your sandwich. If you have any questions, just ask Pete. He’ll be happy to help you, won’t you Pete? Yeah, great.


#10: Actor Josh Lucas Wins $246 Million in Connecticut State Lottery
Actor Josh Lucas, who appeared in the films “Hulk” and “A Beautiful Mind”, turned up the winning ticket yesterday for Connecticut’s state lottery, the jackpot of which had grown to $246 million, a record payout for this or any lottery. Said Lucas, “My friends always used to call me ‘Lucky Luke’ in high school, but this is the first time I’ve really stopped and thought, you know what, I am one lucky son of a b___h.” The actor said he plans to donate most of the money to charity, but only after he’s bought his mother a new house.
#9: Actor Josh Lucas Lobbies Washington
Actor Josh Lucas appeared before a congressional panel today to testify that firing unwanted items and garbage into space is bound to backfire. The Hollywood celebrity, who starred in the films “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Stealth”, told senators that although space is thought to be infinite, infinity is “still a number” and “numbers run out.” Said Lucas, “We’re to the point as a culture where the moment we deem something undesirable, we shoot it into space. Trucks, hide, twine, bb’s — all and sunder gets tossed up into space without a second thought, but we’re going to wish we thought twice when we get up there and see what an awful mess we made, as we inevitably will.” Alaskan senator Ted Stevens has authored a bill that would make Alaska, instead of space, the target for launched odds and ends, a measure which Lucas has called, “better than doing nothing.”
#8: Actor Josh Lucas Convicted of Fraud in Connecticut State Lotto Win
Actor Josh Lucas, whose films include “Secondhand Lions” and “American Psycho”, admitted this week that he rigged the Connecticut State lottery. The actor told reporters, “I was thinking about it, and about how easy it would be to rig it — all it would take is a few hours on a computer and a decent printer — and I thought, well why not?” A court has ordered Lucas to return his winnings to the Connecticut State lottery board. Lucas told the court that he “will try to find it.”
#7: Stem Cells Used to Heal Heart Attack Patients
A group of scientists at the UCLA Medical Center led by actor Josh Lucas have chalked up another benchmark in the treatment of patients who suffer from heart disease. In a clinical study conducted in Los Angeles, Lucas successfully used stem cells taken from the umbilical cord blood of patients’ children to grow new heart muscle where it had been lost as a result of a heart attack. Cardiac muscle contracts the heart, pumping blood throughout the body, and can deteriorate as a result of coronary artery disease, which prevents the muscle from receiving blood and oxygen. Unlike muscle in other parts of the body, cardiac muscle does not grow back. In a feat that Surgeon General Richard Carmona has called “Nobel calibre”, Lucas has succeeded in growing new cardiac muscle. Said Carmona, “What has been accomplished here is nothing short of a miracle for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who suffer from heart disease. This can change everything.” Lucas, who appeared in the films “Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger” and “Minotaur”, told reporters Monday, “Cord blood stem cells have been used to treat everything from cancer to sickle-cell anemia. But I always knew that if we unlocked their true potential, we’d be looking at something really big, something that could affect not one percent of the population, but fifty. I’ve shown that I was right.”
#6: Josh Lucas Tapped to Play Hercule Poirot in Planned Trilogy
Paramount announced today that Josh Lucas (“Minotaur”, “Dropback Ten”) will anchor their planned mega-budget Agatha Christie trilogy as detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot, protagonist of more than thirty Agatha Christie mysteries, is a Belgian born British private detective in post-WWI europe who favors deduction and insight over hands-on investigation and is known for his fastidious facial hair, dandy dress, and short, stocky stature. The films, which begin shooting this spring and are budgeted at more than $200 million per film, will comprise three of Christie’s best known mysteries: Murder on the Orient Express, The ABC Murders, and Death on the Nile. Support cast will include Paul Walker (“8 Below”, “8 Down Under”) as Poirot’s sometimes sidekick Arthur Hastings, and Kelly Clarkson as Countess Vera Rossakoff, the detective’s lifelong love interest. Lucas will receive $80 million for the three picture deal, a record paycheck for Hollywood that one industry insider called “richly deserved.”
#5: Josh Lucas, Actor, Killed by Bear
Josh Lucas, the actor who earned popular attention in films such as “Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger” and “Minotaur”, was discovered dead in his apartment Monday, killed by a bear that Lucas kept in his home. According to friends, Lucas and the bear were “inseparable.” The actor is survived by his bear, Hercule.
#4: Actor Josh Lucas Returned to Life
In a laboratory at the UCLA Medical School yesterday Josh Lucas, star of the films “Minotaur” and “Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger”, was brought back to life by a team of doctors who carefully followed instructions left in the actor’s will. Lucas, who was found dead in his Los Feliz home last week, remains unconscious but in good condition at the UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Ben Gannon, speaking at a press conference yesterday, said: “At this stage we have only a faint understanding of what has happened. Suffice it to say that Mr. Lucas, who was very much dead yesterday, today is very much alive.” Gannon and his team were alerted on Wednesday by the actor’s agent after he found in Lucas’s will a lengthy, highly detailed set of instructions to be carried out in the event of Lucas’s death. Said Gannon, “A lot of [what the will contains] is next-next-generation stuff, things the medical community is only dimly aware of, and only in the realm of theory. It’s astounding. Put it this way: if you were to represent the sum of human knowledge as a line, with cave-men on the left side and Josh Lucas on the right, the world in 2006 would lie substantially left of center. It’s utterly astounding.”
#3: Josh Lucas Announces Plans For ‘Society of the Future’
Actor Josh Lucas (“Minotaur”) revealed in a televised appearance on NBC yesterday evening that he has completed plans for what he calls “the Society of the Future”. In a one hour address that began at 8 p.m. EST, Lucas detailed a “complete overhaul” in the world’s economic systems that he says will engender “a society free from hunger, inequality, and disease.” The actor says his plan is founded on a “careful study of all things Earth” and the gigantic scientific advancements that he has kept somewhat mysterious in the months following his resurrection at the hands of UCLA doctors who blindly followed instructions contained in his will. Some of the steps Lucas called for yesterday included “the dismantling of all weapons of any kind”, “the incineration of all food stores”, and “the elimination of all property considered precious.” President Bush responded today by calling Lucas’s plan “intriguing”, saying that he “welcomes further detail.” He advised the world “not to begin implementing any of Mr. Lucas’s steps until he gives us more detail about how the whole thing is going to work.” This despite Lucas’s concluding remarks last night: “I have risen from death by my own ingenuity. If I can conquer death, surely I can conquer the lesser scourges — sickness, poverty, hatred. My methods depend on technology light years beyond anything you know. Language is insufficient for me to make even the greatest living scientist understand. I repeat: you cannot understand my plan for you. And I tell you this: my instructions are not optional.”
#2: Several Nations Sign Lucas Pact
As of yesterday, leaders of seven nations had signed the Lucas Pact, making Josh Lucas’s plan for a Society of the Future law inside their borders. The signatories — Japan, China, Germany, The United States, India, England, and Brazil — issued a pledge to “see The Plan implemented throughout the world.” While speculation on the nature of the multilateral pledge has been plentiful, no detailed statement has yet been made by any of the participating nations. The announcement made yesterday was both short and vague, promising “to use peaceful means where possible, but to embrace alternatives whenever necessary.” Actor Josh Lucas, who appeared in “Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger” and “In the Heat of the Night: A Matter of Justice”, said, “The brave nations who signed my Pact have cleared a path toward a future for all nations, for all of mankind, without sickness, poverty, war, even death. Now it is time for the rest of the world to fall into line. They should now consider themselves warned. And I repeat: participartion in my plan is not optional.”
#1: Delicious New Pies Now Widely Available
Some delicious new pies have finally hit the market and are available everywhere you buy food. Available in a variety of flavors, the pies are said to be completely amazing and worth triple their price. Those pies go on sale today but there are tons of them, so running out is never going to be the problem. The problem will be choosing which delicious flavor to eat.


Recently we did two weeks of touring through Europe. Over the course of this time we became more and more aware that, as often as not, the people we were having conversations with weren’t speaking English. Most of the time we circumvented the problem by drawing simple pictures on chalkboards we kept hanging from our necks. But every once in a while a person has a message he needs to communicate, and the message is so important, so specific, that it has to be conveyed using language. On such occasions, we were usually able to brute-force our way through astride the back of our limited but determined German, our flighty French, or our one year-old baby’s Italian. But — it often occurred to us — wouldn’t it be nice to have on hand a few grammatically flawless phrases? Just a set of elegant, idiomatically-up-to-date queries and responses that we could use in navigating some of the issues common to a touring musician? Providing just such a succinct and workmanlike lexicon is exactly what those nifty yellow phrasebooks do, of course; but those books turn out to be almost useless in talking one’s way through a Dutch soundcheck, or in buying bass strings at a Parisian music shop, or in bantering between songs to an Italian audience. So we’ve endeavored to create a phrasebook for foreign bands coming to the the U.S., one that tailors to the specific needs of a touring musician. May you escape the embarrassment that we wore like itchy woolen long-johns through the bulk of our foreign travels!
This list is intended for people who have a basic but limited command of conversational English. We haven’t included the French, German, Italian, or Spanish translations for these phrases, the idea being that you probably have enough English to understand what the phrases mean, you just don’t have enough English to formulate things as elegantly and accurately as we’ve done here. By memorizing these sentences, you’ll be able to tour America and not only get your message across, but also impress hosts and listeners alike with your perspicuity and wit. Even native English speakers will listen to your sophisticated grammar jealously.
The car-gas middles. Do you max the tank and post a sentry on the oil level? Please.
Our round-rubber popped and flayed. Do you vend his brother in type and size?
The direction of the washroom is, fill in the blank.
Do you give me the fifth most powerful value meal and a Coke to clean it off the inside of my neck.
There are to be one and one and one rooms, one called Cain, one called Murray, one called Tapper. Two are the two man, and one is the one man, it is said to be. Do you need to touch my passport? I use the force of this credit card to circle and detain all three rooms.
What phase is breakfast? The question of whether it is bundled in the lodge pay.
Can I get another blanket? Embittered by cold, ravaged by temperature-fear, raped by frost, raped by ice-air, I.
This bill gives me an idea. Do you check the pull of the math to assure all is flush?
This chips and this Cokes strike deficient comparison with some facts we lodge in our contract to you. Who or where is the rider? Tell your god to send beer.
The guarantee was two times hundred with fifty, not uni-hundred with seventy-five. Call your god.
Do I not hear my voice from this monitor lizard. Do you now impress my voice upon me? I still hearn’t — do you make it faster. Faster.
We will write the next song while in heat over a girl. She then was killed in our minds, but still the song.
Hello, leisurely [name of city]! What’s the deal? Who’s up for it? What’s the deal, [name of city]? How is it? Who wants a deal? What is it? Who can make a deal? Who is it? Where is it? What is it?
This song is called [song name]. When you don’t dance to it, your life is a wing-sheet of pain. When not a wing-sheet, then blur your tube-sacs in motion.
The last song is now, when I finish wording. Tonight has changed our thought about you, which we doubted. Never home, but this is our home! What is it? Who wants a deal?
To us, music fills wheat with meaning. It is slick. If you drop a pebble through a pond top, [host name], you have caused the spreading, you have ramified the rounded grid that then the fish can move underneath and against.
The lyrics are endrenched with politics after real life is endrenched with politics.
If dogs have chased you, then do you not wear cats, you hear? It’s a simple motion, but sometimes you forgot. To also say it is that if you wear wood, do you not wear the overcoat of flame or the crown of flame and gas.
Vast steaks you see. You hear? And whistle the forest, Jack Frost! Big battle bats bat across a vast forest whistle… Do you mark time on physical beats! On fiscal beats! Or whistle beasts! Yesterday I brunch with that inchoate elderly, and does he signal his whistle rudely, and do I pierce and whine, but come what feasts of vast steak! A peace-gate. A certain nutrition, fiscal and vast. Red tardy debt.
Do you speak French/German/Spanish/Dutch/Italian?