Category Archives: Features

Beatific Musings

Sometimes a squirrel and a hummingbird will go out and make a day of it. The hummingbird scouts for acorns in hard-to-reach places, then knocks them down to the squirrel, who clicks his desperate gratitude. If the hummingbird gets tired, he can perch on the squirrel’s back and the squirrel will carry him for a while. If the squirrel dies, the hummingbird hovers over his body mournfully, his gaze darting this way and that in confusion.

Do you suppose that puppies love everything — running through flower patches, tumbling in the grass, howling at the moon — but that what they love most of all, because it tickles, is pooping? Dropping little puppy dumps in the vegetable garden?

When an elf bakes bread in the morning dawn at his little elf bakery in the tree-trunk, well I would bet that’s an extra cozy, scrumptious, feel-good affair.

When rabbits and cats get together, and have sex, there’s nothing strange or perverted about it; they are free spirits piloted by their feelings and revelling in the wonderful madness of love.

It’s cold and snowing outside, and dark; it’s very late in the year; the cocoa has just come off the stove and an amiable fire licks the back of the fireplace; you ease onto the couch with your mug and hardback — a hundred and seven pages of The Hours to go. Perfection? Almost. You may be sitting too close to the fire, because it’s getting uncomfortably warm. But you’ve just tucked your legs up on the cushion and positioned yourself just so against the pillows, so you hesitate to walk across the room and open a window. And just then, as if you had willed it, a fist-sized lump of cement comes crashing through the glass; a refreshing draft drifts in on its heels, and your eyes return to the page.

Hey! Hey, hey: what is better: skipping barefoot through a field of heather, cockscomb, and clematis as an evening sun melts on the horizon? Or finding out that an evening of fun with Heather, your slutty sister-in-law, whom you treated to the old cock’n’moan, didn’t catch you chlamydia?

An Honest-to-Goodness Email Received by the We Are Scientists

An Honest-to-Goodness Email Received by the We Are Scientists, Which We Are Pretty Sure Illuminates the General Demeanor and Standard Listening Habits of the Average WAS Fan, and Which Might Serve as a Convenient Template for Any Individual Who’s Contemplating Sending Personal Messages to the Band.
From : [address hidden for the sake of sender’s politcal career, which – we don’t think it’s too revealing to confess – is already in full Congressional swing]

To : wearescientists@hotmail.com

Subject : possibly naked

Date : Sat, 27 Sep 2003 02:01:24 -0700

we are four girls sitting in a room, possibly naked, listening to your
cd and we think you are really talented. we knew this before, of course,
but we fully appreciate this fact now. because who else can write music
that four girls, possibly naked, can listen to in a room at nearly 2am
and sing along. good job. you are excellent human beings and you’re all
good rappers too. looking forward to october 24 with intense
anticipation. good job, keith, alone at the grove house – you were
great. we hope you rap too and that michael tapper does some freestyle
and that chris cain tells a dead baby joke and also do weezer because el
scorcho rocks as does the beyonce song minus the jay z part. and also
tatu. this is very important to us.

we are fans. obviously. ps that was a play on the name of your band. in
case you missed that.

also, we really like your new song. even though one of us didn’t
actually hear it, we all know it’s good. really good. something about
“don’t leave i’m blacking out but it’s been fun”

p.s. here is a proposed set list:

please play
spotomatic freeze (it really did work acoustic), and also mothra, and
also the method and country livin’.

we hope you have a fun day, possibly naked.

love,
four girls, in a room, at 2am, listening to your cd. drunk. and possibly
naked.

Hey, everybody. This guy wrote a script

Yeah, and he sent it to us hoping that we’d produce it. We’re considering it. It’s pretty good. We’d like to see what you people think. Take a look at this chunk from early on in the story and give us your sincere opinion.

Weirdly, he didn’t give us his name, just his picture. So, uh, without further ado, we offer you a chunk of an untitled screenplay by this guy:

RAY’S SALOON, early evening. Sunlight whispers in through wooden slats in the windows. Men play pool. Other men drink at the bar or at tables. The jukebox plays Willie Nelson. DAPHNE, mid-20s, lovely, a sheen of sweat on her forehead and upper chest where the shirt opens, enters. A CREATURE like DAPHNE doesn’t go unnoticed at RAY’S. All eyes politely acknowledge her beauty-queen figure. She leans on the bar, giving the BARTENDER a lucky angle that reminds him of sweaty clean-shaven midgets moving against each other under flannel sheets.

BARTENDER: Help you, missy?

DAPHNE: You can start by quit’n starin’ at these titties.

BARTENDER: Reckon you oughtn’t bring them things in here if and you don’t want ’em stared at.

DAPHNE: Oh, I guess. Where’s Jimmy.

BARTENDER: Over yonder.

JIMMY, cowboy handsome, sits alone at a table near the back of the bar. DAPHNE walks over and sits down across from JIMMY. JIMMY looks up from his beer.

JIMMY: Hell you doin’ here, D?

DAPHNE: Might ask you the same thing, Jimmy. Ray finds you here you know he’ll leave ya worse off than he did last time, and there ain’t a whole lotta room between what happened last time and dead.

JIMMY: Ray ain’t gonna find me here.

DAPHNE: Why not, Jimmy.

JIMMY: Know how come?

DAPHNE: How come, Jimmy.

JIMMY: Ray’s dead, that’s how come.

DAPHNE, whispering: He what! You mean to tell me you killed Ray!

JIMMY: I did or I didn’t, it don’t matter. Fact is Ray’s dead.

DAPHNE: I’m not sure that’s the way the law reads, Jimmy!

JIMMY: Look, D, I’m sorry ’bout what happened with you and me, ’bout as sorry’s I’ve ever been, I guess. Hell, you know I never meant what I said to your sister.

DAPHNE, choking up: It ain’t what you said, Jimmy, it’s what you did. An’ with my kid sister!

JIMMY: Hell, she’s legal, D.

DAPHNE: The hell she is, Jimmy! She turns fourteen this spring!

JIMMY: Kate’s a beatiful woman, just like you, D. Ain’t no way a man as whiskey-soaked as I was coulda turned down what she was purveyin’.

DAPHNE makes to smack JIMMY’S face, but JIMMY catches her hand by the wrist.

JIMMY, angrily: You oughtn’t to hit a man who just done what I come from doin’, D. He’s liable to lose his cool.

JIMMY farts, loudly.

DAPHNE, scoldingly: Oh, Jimmy.

SCENE.

Scenes from the Boda Dome: Neighborly Disturbance (personal log, cit. 511-61Je, AUG/28/33)


Scenes from the Boda Dome: Neighborly Disturbance (personal log, cit. 511-61Je, AUG/28/33)

I knock twice.

No answer.

I knock five times, rest, then deploy a prolonged two-handed roll.

The door opens. “Yes!” She’s annoyed; probably the knocking was too enthusiastic.

“Um, yes. Can you turn your TV down please?”

“I can, certainly. Whether I do or don’t is a different issue.”

“Emm, right. So do you think you’ll turn it down?”

“Are you asking me to?”

“Well, yes. I am.”

“I see. In that case it’s not a TV.”

“Do you mean that in the case where I ask you, and only in that case, it’s not a TV? Or is it actually not a TV.”

“The latter, obviously.”

“Obviously. Do you mean that sound is not coming from a TV?”

“Correct.”

“Aha. And…do you mind my asking what it’s coming from? I mean, is it coming from a radio, or, or a … portable TV or something?”

“No. Neither.”

“Right. And yet it’s quite loud.”

“That means it’s working. It’s a noise maker.”

“Do you mean perhaps that you use your TV as a noisemaker? Or is it in fact a small box with no picture that makes TV sounds to block out other noise.”

“I should say it’s the latter except that it’s not really very small, considering noise-makers, which tend to be quite small.”

“Do you mind if I see it?”

“No. Follow me.”

Indeed, as noisemakers go, it is huge. It looks like a TV without a screen; exactly like that, actually. And it’s emitting TV sounds, but muffled, heard through a wall.

“My god, so you like that sound, that droning TV-though-the-wall sound?”

“Yes. Well, it relaxes me.”

“My god.”

“Would you mind much leaving now?”

“Oh! Of course not, no. I’ll just… I’ll just be going.”

“Thank you. I’m expecting someone.”

“Of course. Coming over to watch a little TV, is he?”

Glaring. “She. And no, we’ll be going out.”

“A wonderful idea. Do you, emm… Do you think you might turn off your noise maker when you go?”

“I take it you’d like me to.”

“Very much, yes.”

“I should think not, then.”

“Really.”

“Yes.”

“I see. You know that’s really quite rude.”

“I think so, anyway.”

“I see. So long as you realize it, then.”

Smile.

“Emm… right. I’ll just be going, I suppose.”

“Marvelous. I’ll show you out.”

I return to my appartment and notice that the sound is indeed that of a TV through a wall, through a wall, as opposed to just the former.

PICK YOUR PRODUCE

The members of We Are Scientists love fresh fruit. The fresher the better, says Michael, his mouth full of blackberries and his heart full of malice. We can’t help but notice, though, that most of our fans can’t tell a fresh piece of produce from a member of sensationl soul act Boyz II Men. All too often, we watch with only a small bit of amusement as one of the many dolts who constantly surround us bites eagerly into what he thinks is a soft, juicy apple, only to have the unripened fruit shatter his incisors like fine china against a prop propeller. So, in the interest of protecting you, the ignorant consumer, we offer these helpful tips and tricks for choosing only the choicest pieces of summer produce:

Cantaloupe

Rap on the side of the melon opposite the stem. If you hear a hollow “knocking” sound, this means that the fruit is ripe. If not, it means that your wife is cheating on you.

Golden Pineapple

If a pineapple at the market looks green, take a look at the base. If it has begun to turn a little orange or red there, this tells you that your job title is a laughable euphemism for the actual duties entailed by the position.

Raspberries

At the market select dry, firm fruits with excellent form and hollow centers. This will help distract you from the fact that your are forever victimized by predatory males.

Tangerines

Check the rind. If it feels puffy – that is, if it feels like there’s any space between it and the flesh – then the fruit is ripe and ready to be eaten. If, however, the skin feels taught, then that girl is only pretending to be pregnant so that you will marry her.

Honeydew Melon

Good aroma, color, freckles, and a sticky feel are the telltale signs of sweet honeydew. People tend to check the stem end of the melon to see if it’s soft, but this tells you only one thing – that these people are weak of mind and spirit, and can be easily felled by a hard karate chop to the throat and/or groin. Dig in!

Cherries:

With cherries, what you see is what you get. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for your cabinet. Do a background check on your Secretary of the Interior. You’ll find that he neither attended Harvard Law nor served in Washington, D.C. as Associate Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Now take a closer look at the man himself. Surprised? He’s actually a 2 year old Bull Terrier.

KATHY BATES

WAS loves celebrities — loves them! So it comes as no surprise to us that we’ve decided to run a few pics of some of our very favorite big-screen personalities: Matthew Modine, Kathy Bates, Tom Selleck, Chris Tucker, and Sylvester Stallone.

See if you can guess which is which!

Surprise! Those were all Kathy Bates!

Scenes from the Boda Dome: General Huffy Discusses the New Weapon w/ Ratley (telephone transcript 26414.51, JUL/14/33)


ring ring…ring ring…ring ring

RATLEY: Hello. R&D.

HUFFY: General Huffy, here. I want the status on our new weapons system, ASAP.

RATLEY: Well, I can give it to you now, how’s that? Is now good?

HUFFY: Yes. Report.

RATLEY: Okay, um, it’s ready.

HUFFY: Why wasn’t I told about this!

RATLEY: Well, when did you want to be told? We just finished it like twenty minutes ago.

HUFFY: I need to be brought up to speed on developments of this nature A-S-A-P, you got me Ratley? Absolutely A-S-A-P! Stat!

RATLEY: Well, when should we have told you?

HUFFY: ASAP! A-S-A-P!

RATLEY: Well…

HUFFY: Ratley, do you know what ASAP means?!

RATLEY: Yes, Gen-

HUFFY: It means as quickly as humanly possible! Do you get me!

RATLEY: Um, yeah, but that’s not what ASAP means. It means as soon a-

HUFFY: Ratley I do not give a good god damn what you think! Not one good god damn, do you get me, Ratley?

RATLEY: Yes, General.

HUFFY: Do! You! Get me!!!

RATLEY: Yes. I don’t know what else to say besides yes. Yes. Affirmative.

HUFFY: Ratley, I want you to report on the new weapons system ASAP.

RATLEY: Um, it’s doing well. All, um…All systems go, I guess.

HUFFY: What is the exkrat?

RATLEY: Um, the exkrat? I’m not…I’m not sure wha-

HUFFY: Ratley! What is the Expected Kill Ratio, if you please!

RATLEY: Right, um…I would say good. Good to very good, I guess. Medium to high.

HUFFY: I need numbers, Ratley! Numbers!

RATLEY: Oh yeah, uhhhhmmmm…. three out of five, let’s say. Or, uh, three point five.

HUFFY: What are you telling me, Ratley?! I need an accurate gauge of this weapon’s destructive capability! It is your job to give me this gauge! Now please report on that gauge!

RATLEY: Okay, well, lemme just…I mean, I’d say pretty high, cuz, like, it’s got the flame, um, parts, y’know…the things that shoot the flames. And then…well, the blade-dealies, the slice-n-dicer thingers…. plus, uh… that…fin…thing, um….with the feathers and the, uh…little, uh, dialer; the, the, rotary-dialer guy on there… I don’t know, general, honestly, what the kilrat is. I’d say like a hundred percent. A hundred percent?

HUFFY: One hundred percent?! Outstanding, Ratley!! How soon can we deploy?!

RATLEY: Uh…I guess, I guess whenever you wanna come down and get it, you could, um, dep-, deploy it. I suppose.

HUFFY: Outstanding!

RATLEY: Okay. So-

HUFFY: Outstanding, Ratley!

RATLEY: Um, okay. So I’ll just leave it out on the desk, and you can get it whenever. I’ll probably be at lunch for the next hour or so, but if you want to come by, I’ll just leave it on the desk, under a paper towel or something.

HUFFY: Outstanding, Ratley. You’ll receive a medal for this, mark my words.

RATLEY: Okay. I’m gonna grab some lunch, then.

HUFFY: You’ll get more than lunch, Ratley; you’re going to receive a medal! What do you think of that!

RATLEY: Honestly? That sounds terrific, General. I’d- but I think I’m going to go eat real fast. If that’s okay…

HUFFY: Go right ahead my friend–the Republic salutes you!

RATLEY: Yes. I salute them, uh… also.