Alphabet Soup: May 2006 Archives

The Big Sixth

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An extremely large, spotted creature (possibly a mammal) with an unruly red mane and absolutely ENORMOUS feet has been noticed again, for the first time in about a month, in the vicinity of the South African university town of Stellenbosch.

Descriptions of the creature are vague, but officials have decided to settle on one eye-witness account of it looking like “a frightening cross between a gorilla, a lion, a leopard, a buffalo, an elephant, a warthog, and a cow. Oh, and it laughs like a hyena.”

Citizens of Stellenbosch have been assured that the creature, although scary-looking, is not really as dangerous as it appears to be.

But in case those unfortunate enough to encounter the creature sense the possibility of an attack – like the creature displaying uncontrollable tremours, convulsions and foam at the mouth – the advice is to stay as calm as possible and to immediately placate the creature with large amounts of coffee, a book, something sweet to eat and some jazz music. According to a behavioural expert, this is a foolproof, fail-safe way to instantly make the creature comfortable and very, very happy.

Despite the creature’s lack of movement (due to its remarkably lazy nature), it has been surprisingly mobile. In recent days, sightings have been reported along South Africa’s beautiful Garden Route, on the outskirts of the Karoo, in and around the town of Mossel Bay, speeding westbound along the N2 Highway as it was being transported in a white van with a pack of dogs, in the Tyger Valley Mall and, currently, on a wine farm.

Until this past December, when a flurry of sightings were reported in Johannesburg, Cape Town and along the Vaal River, almost a decade passed with no sightings at all of the creature being reported anywhere in South Africa. Most researchers admit to being baffled by this strange fact, while other (more arrogant?) researchers ascribe the creature’s disappearance to a lengthy period of hibernation.

“Hibernation’s the logical explanation,” one of the more arrogant researchers was quoted as saying. “It is already a well-known fact that the creature roams at night and sleeps by day for up to twelve hours at a time.”

When a question was raised about migration being the possible reason for it seemingly vanishing, the researcher sneered and said that the creature couldn’t possibly travel far enough for the trip to qualify as migration, because the creature is simply too lazy and needs too much rest, too many frequent feedings, too much coffee and too many books, which means that it could never travel light enough to stray too far.

South African President, Thabo Mbeki, has said that he is thrilled to hear that the spotted creature isn’t extinct. Sounding more like an NBC executive than a head of state, he said: “For a long time, South Africa has only been content to have the Big Five. We are very happy to have the Big Sixth, the elusive spotted creature, to complete our collection of must-see wild-life!”

People who wish to see the creature are advised to be on the look-out around coffee shops, bars, Irish pubs, flea markets, dog pounds, book shops, libraries, jazz clubs, and shops that specialise in women’s shoes in freakishly large sizes. Prime times to glimpse the creature are around dusk and midnight. “Early birds shouldn’t even bother to look. The creature loathes sunrises, because it takes place so early.”


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Stellenbosch - Last Thursday evening, in what was initially suspected to be a case of first degree blogicide, briefly died, plunging both people who knew it into shock and mourning.'s remains, which were hidden behind a cold and impersonal 'this website does not exist anymore' error message, was stumbled upon by an unsuspecting late-night surfer.

The surfer, who does not want to be named for fear of being forever associated with this website, is so traumatised, he has not logged on again even once since making the gruesome discovery, even though he has been assured that the victim did NOT, in fact, die a virtual death, as had been initially feared.

After several hours of being inexplicably out of existence - possibly due to exhaustion brought on by fruitlessly waiting to be occasionally updated and discovered by publishers (or even just a few readers, really) - was miraculously re(d)suscitated, returning to the world wide web with a loud thump.

Four days after the ordeal, is alive and well, albeit still as ignored as ever before.

When asked to comment about the near-death experience, said: "I was dead? Oh... it didn't really feel much different than any other time. Besides, I don't really remember anything much about being under, except for being at this huge summer's barbecue."

Upon which the reporter asked: "How do you know it was summer?"

"It must've been, because it was really, REALLY hot."

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


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