2018-08-15 21:19-21:20 HOURS

Visible from back patio facing West, bright orb traveling at high speed from South to Northwest. No discernable strobe or other characteristics of conventional aircraft. ISS tracker shows space station traveling Northwest to Southeast approaching South America at time of sighting. Previous confirmed ISS sightings indicate that this object moved to quickly and in the wrong direction to have been ISS. Approximately 45 seconds into sighting, object brightened visibly on lower surface. Illumination was circular and appeared as if a spotlight had been suddenly directed Eastward. No beam visible during illumination. Duration of illumination: 1-2 seconds. Object maintained constant speed for duration of visibility. Light breeze, 80 degrees Fahrenheit, partly cloudy. No visible moon. Aircraft overpass directly following sighting. Aircraft travelled slowly Southwest to Northeast with discernable red and white strobes.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…watch the skies. Someday you might see some weird thing fly overhead that is probably not as strange as it appears from the ground.

A don’t…believe everything you see is not strange. If you don’t know exactly what it is, it can be as strange as you’d like it to be.

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The Weirdest Alien Abduction Account I’ve Ever Stumbled Across or The Bizzarest of the Bizarre

I often find myself in a semi-dark mood. This is not a depressed mood. Rather it is a state of dissatisfaction with the status quo and the mundane. When I am in such a mood, I generally succumb to it by searching for ghost stories, odd conspiracy theories, strange historical events or coincidences and/or accounts of alien encounters.

During one such semi-dark mood, I decided aliens best fit the ambience my mind had established for itself and I searched for encounters I’d never heard of before. The search was quite extensive, since I’ve brooded over the subject quite often and have read many accounts. As I scrolled through details I’d already read, I stumbled upon something new.

And bizarre.

And that’s saying something because E.T. encounter accounts are bizarre by definition. Strange beings with strange powers from strange worlds possessing a strange interest in ordinary humans and farm animals? What’s not bizarre about that?

But a while back I found an account that really takes the cake. Or perhaps I should say instead, it takes the pancake. More precisely I should say that this particular account gives the pancakes.

Allow me to explain.

According to the account I read, a farmer in Wisconsin was in his field when he noticed a strange shiny craft had landed in his back yard. He approached it and a hatch slid open to reveal three creatures that, according to the source, were wearing some sort of beret-like headgear and resembled Frenchmen. The beings held a shiny metallic container out to the farmer and somehow indicated that they needed, of all things, common water. The farmer obliged as many farmers seem wont to do and the beings, in actions reminiscent of Frenchmen rather than aliens, cooked the man some pancakes. The cooking apparatus described sounded to me like some sort of camp stove and the source mentions that it emitted no flame and no other furniture was visible within the interior of the ship. Or tent. Or whatever it was.

After treating the man to the world’s most curious culinary curiosity, the Frenchmen/Aliens/French campers in the American outdoors/Whatever they were took off into the Wisconsin sky. The farmer allegedly ate one of the pancakes and then gave the other to a judge he knew. The judge sent it to Wright Patterson Air Force Base where it was tested and then placed on display. The pancake was found to contain water (obviously), unknown flour (according to the first source I found) and grease. Disgusting. Un-Frenchman-like. Proof positive that it was indeed aliens, rather than Frenchmen, that cooked for this man.

Unfortunately, I cannot find the original source I got this story from. For some of the details and a picture of the farmer holding one of the pancakes, you can visit http://obscurban-legend.wikia.com/wiki/Pancake_Bakers_from_Space. The name of this source takes away from whatever credibility the story may have had to begin with but, let’s face it, the story was never extremely credible.

It is, however, quite entertaining and certainly bizarre.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…believe the tale if you wish. Such stories add a certain, well, not spice…they add a bit of extraterrestrial grease to life that makes the non-greasy (difficult) aspects of life easier to slide through.

A don’t…eat alien pancakes. The one in the photo looks like a sea sponge. Plus, given the ingredients used by the Faux-French, you never know what’s really in store for you. It’s like taking candy from a stranger who is stranger than any of the very strange people that already reside on planet Earth.

P.S. I finally decided it might be fun to do the Twitter thing. If you are a fellow tweet producer and have absolutely nothing better to do with your time, feel free to look me up: William Ennis @sirdonkeylegs. You may or may not regret it. If you do you can always unfollow me.

Thai Tea, Anxiety and a Brush With Death: An Eye Opening Experience

I suffer from anxiety. I have mentioned this in a few previous posts. It is not something I am proud of, but it happens. My brain always knows that there is no real reason to worry, but my body refuses to believe it. I suffer from nausea and sleeplessness even as my mind goes over all the logical reasons why I should be calm and asleep. It makes no sense and frustrates me to no end. I just want to enjoy my life that presents no reason not to be absolutely ecstatic every single day. I have a wonderful, beautiful wife, three amazing children, a house, a job and more food in the fridge than is really necessary.

I love Thai iced tea. It tastes like a sweet tongue depressor. For some reason, I love this flavor. It even seems to dry my mouth out as I drink it. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do.

Recently I’ve been plagued by severe anxiety. I don’ t know why. I started a college history class, the syllabus of which caused me to not sleep for three nights and break down in tears at work. I work in a jail and broke down in front of my captain. Thankfully, I still have a job. I dropped all my history classes and changed my major. This was right after July 4th and ever since, I’ve experienced nausea every time I’ve signed in to do some work on the English composition class I am taking. My wife thinks that I’m actually suffering from PTSD due to my Army service and the fireworks did something to me. I did dream about my son being blown up in a desert which was quite disturbing, but I still don’t want to believe that I may have some disorder related to the Army.

Until recently I was only able to acquire Thai iced tea at restaurants. Yesterday my family and I found a grocery store that stocks items imported from such places as India, Japan, China and…God be praised…Thailand. I found a bag of Thai iced tea mix and bought it. I restrained myself as long as I could because my wife had company after we got home, but I eventually broke down and brewed a cup as the ladies sat and talked.  The ingredients listed simply “green tea” and I had my doubts as to whether just green tea could taste like a Thai iced tea. After a bit of experimentation, I took a restaurant quality sip. In a fit of carnality, I gulped down the whole glass and sat on the couch, satisfied. As I listened to the world’s most amazing woman chat with her friend about trivialities, I began to feel nauseated. I assumed it was because the children would have to go back to their mom soon and I was missing them before they were gone. As the afternoon wore on, I began to experience what I thought was anxiety and assumed it was related to a rather extensive assignment due that evening. After we dropped the kids off, I was absolutely miserable. We grabbed a burger and I felt a little better after eating.

As I worked on my assignment, my distress continued to worsen. This was despite the fact that the assignment was nowhere near as taxing as I had assumed it would be.

When my throat began to constrict, I became worried for a very real reason. I threw my computer across the bed and bolted for the bathroom.

Long and disgusting story short, I soon felt much better. I finished my assignment and held my wife close as my stomach recovered from its recent severe contractions. At some point she got up and left the room. When she returned she shook me out of my semi-comatose stupor to inform me that the Thai tea mix had a label warning that it could cause cancer and birth defects.

Needless to say, we trashed the crap.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy what you enjoy, but be wary of items that list a single natural ingredient but stain your lips a garish, unnatural shade of orange.

A don’t…drink Thai tea under stressful conditions. Or perhaps any conditions. What a horrid experience.

More Fishing Stories

I posted a few fishing stories last night. Remembering these events fished some older encounters up to the surface of my sea of memories. Here they are. Enjoy!

My brothers and I went fishing with our dad when we were teenagers. Dad is a singular individual, dissatisfied with relaxation. As I age, I identify with this. If I am not working in the yard, working on my course work or marketing my children’s book series (the first of which is called “How Sir Donkey Legs Became a Knight” and deals with a young boy who didn’t quite fit in until he accidentally “saved” a kingdom, and is available in paperback and ebook format from such reputable retailers as Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. You should buy the first, become hooked and wait breathlessly until I have enough money to publish the next installment, “Sir Donkey Legs Should Not be a Knight” which deals with the young knight’s sisters’ reactions to his erroneous accolades) I am not quite happy. As I lay prostrate in a hammock, attempting to forget the cares of a menial food service job, dad was above me in a tree, sawing limbs. We eventually burned them, but there were plenty laying on the ground for easy collection. I eventually had to get up, chased from slumber by the danger of falling branches. Later we traversed the perimeter of the lake so that dad could utilize his new net. It was weighted at the edges and had a retrieval line so that the fisherman could easily pull it back. Dad tossed it elegantly off a cliff, waited too long to pull it back, and it became entangled in submerged rocks. He stated his intention to not “lose my new net” and promptly stripped to his tighty whities. He then descended the cliff face hand over hand, dove, retrieved the net, ascended. It is bad enough when a  teenaged boy sees his father in wet tighty whities. Even worse when strangers pass by and he greets them heartily in his might-as-well-be-nude attire. How horrified I still am on so many levels, these many years later.

Once upon the same occasion, I, in a fit of woodsmanly premonition, froze mid-step with my foot hovering over a heretofore unseen baby copperhead snake. The youngster was coiled, ready to strike. I remained frozen, fearing the very worst. The snake, apparently a coward, suddenly slithered toward the lake…and my father. I screamed a warning and my dad, channeling a Comanche warrior, raised his small axe above his head and stood ready. As the offending bit of nature passed him he swung the axe with full force, producing sparks that, luckily, did not result in forest fire but could have. The snake escaped off of the aforementioned cliff with its head half-attached. It slithered in rather a funny way after dad had his way with it.

Our final tale comes from a former co-worker of mine. He said he had a friend who once rested a shotgun barrel on his boot-toe. An unintentional jostle resulted in the loss of the poor man’s big toe. A few years later, my co-worker and his friend were fishing from a boat. His friend fell off the boat, sliding chest first along the hull in the strangest version of falling off a boat ever. The man emerged from the water a short time later, screaming. When they asked what was wrong the man screamed, in a family-unfriendly display of angst, “I cut my titty off!”. And when the man again boarded the boat his friends found that, indeed, his nipple was missing. As he slid bare-chested down the hull, his nipple had caught upon some bit of roughness, excising the minute appendage from its natural perch. I asked my friend if he was still in contact with this man. He replied that he talked to the one-nippled, one-big-toed individual on a very occasional basis. I then asked if the man was now any more than a living nub and inquired as to whether or not the man had been successful in obtaining life insurance. No answers were forthcoming.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…exercise caution when engaging in any endeavor. Danger and humiliation are just around the next tree or bend in the river. Or, perhaps, just over the edge of the next cliff.

A don’t…forsake the outdoors. The clear and present dangers can sometimes provide stories that keep you and your wife awake at night with unbidden giggling.

The Toynbee Idea: Mysterious Tiles and a Strange Realization Regarding the English Language

I think about strange things sometimes. No one who knows me is surprised about it anymore. During a weird idea acquisition binge I indulged in several years ago I became aware of the Max Headroom Intrusion, Toynbee tiles and other such social arcana.

The Toynbee tiles intrigued me the most and I think about them quite a lot. If you are unfamiliar with the phenomenon, I’ll explain briefly. Some unknown individual(s) have placed small tiles on roadways and sidewalks in the eastern part of the country. These tiles are handmade and most look somewhat like ransom notes with letters cut from magazines to evade identification by handwriting analysis. The main idea the tile maker(s) seem to be conveying is that the dead should or shall be resurrected on Mars. It is unclear to me if they (or he or she) want the dead already on Mars (Martians) to be resurrected or if the dead from Earth will be transported to Mars for resurrection. The reference something called the “Toynbee Idea” and the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

None of this makes any logical sense to me. Despite my confusion, the fact that someone finds the idea important enough to make and surreptitiously place these tiles (which it is believed are coated in some substance that gradually wears or melts away leaving the tile exposed only after the tile maker is long gone) is certainly intriguing. Couple this with the unknown identity of the tile maker(s) and it smacks of whacko conspiracy theory oddity, the study of which is a hobby of mine.

Anyway, this post is not about the tiles or the “Toynbee Idea”. It is about the way the English language works and how it seems that we somehow understand that writers of sentences and phrases do not mean exactly what they say in some instances. At least one tile calls upon others to make and lay tiles. The tile I reference states “You must make and lay tiles! YOU!”

Now, reading this we understand that sentence is designed to call the reader to action. However I am not “you” to me. I am I. Yet I still understand that the “you” the author refers to is me even though I never refer to myself this way. If I was unfamiliar with English idiosyncrasies, I would fail to understand that the request was directed at me because I am not “you”. If the author had written “I must make and lay tiles! I!” I may then understand if I was unfamiliar with the language. Knowing the language, however, I do not read in the first person so I understand the “you” refers to me even though I am not “you”; I am I. Understanding English, I am aware that the author would not refer to a stranger as I.  By crafting the sentence the way he, she, they or it have, they have caused me to understand that they are calling readers, rather than themselves, to action. The reader understands that the writer is writing from his/her/their/its own perspective. For some unknown reason, this fascinates me.

I leave you with a joke of my own crafting (as far as I know. If you’ve also thought of this joke or heard it elsewhere, understand that I am unaware of it and am not attempting to plagiarize.). What is the first thing two individuals who have just been released from prison experience upon getting married? Con-fusion. A ha ha ha. Confusion, con-fusion. Two cons now one. I apologize for that joke.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…look into the Toynbee Tiles if you are interested or literally have nothing else to do.

A don’t…make and lay tiles! Don’t! I’m sure it’s considered a form of vandalism.

The 13th of Friday, 1st Part: Hilarious Tales of Unluckiness That Probably Didn’t Happen on a Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is a day to celebrate, fear, or at least obsess over one’s favorite or most frightening superstitions. I am not personally superstitious, however I always enjoyed pretending to be. My brothers and I, not understanding fully the Friday the 13th mythology, would gather in one another’s bedrooms on such nights and read scary stories. We didn’t wander through the day fearing cosmic reprisal of some sort. In order to make up for this oversight, I present a few of my families misfortunes.

Disclaimer of Implied Accuracy:

Few, if any, of the following unlucky accounts occurred upon a Friday the 13th.

My brother had a horrible temper. It didn’t take much to set him off and he would set off after my other brother and I with bb guns or knives at the slightest provocation. On one such occasion, we fled the house to evade him. We were tiring quickly and our angry brother was showing no signs of slowing as his nearly super-human rage kept a steady supply of whatever it was that motivated him flowing through his veins. He was gaining ground and I suddenly remembered that one of dad’s junk cars had power windows and keys in the ignition. I grabbed my non-angry brother and we used the last of our stamina in a mad dash to the vehicle. We had just locked the doors when The Angry One skidded to a stop by the driver’s side door and began banging on the windows. He suddenly froze and we could see in his eyes a wicked idea forming. He jumped up on the hood, dropped his pants and underwear, smashed his “manhood” on the windshield and began to smear mashed scrotum across our field of view. I turned on the windshield wipers. They smacked him and his scrotum skin became trapped beneath the blade. You would’ve thought this would’ve made him angrier, however, he jumped down laughing and high fived me when I exited the car.

The same brother got us kicked out of a trailer park because he climbed up on top of our trailer and mooned all the trailer park kids.

The same brother made the mistake of listening to me when I told him to jump onto the couch. He did a sort of running belly flop and smeared a cat turd all down his chest. As mom was flipping the cloth couch cushions over, she berated me for telling my brother to do something dumb. “You know he always does what you tell him!” Am I to blame for his idiocy? Apparently so.

My dad caught his pants leg on fire once, but he was wearing combat boots and didn’t notice until the flames got up above his mid-calf. Many weeks later he caught the other leg of the same pair of pants on fire and again didn’t notice until the flames were rather high upon his leg. He kept the pants as fire pants since all the frayed ends had already been burned off and they wouldn’t catch fire again. As far as I know, they didn’t.

I entered the kitchen for a snack and tossed the pack of firecrackers I’d had in my back pocket onto a loaf of bread. As I searched the kitchen for sustenance, the firecrackers began to explode, ripping the bread to pieces and catching the packaging on fire. I don’t know if this is lucky in that it wasn’t my butt that got exploded or unlucky in that the universe was trying to burn our house down.

I once leaned shirtless over a lit shadeless teddy bear lamp as a child and burned my armpit on the bulb. A thin layer of skin pulled off and stuck to the bulb. I had to go to the emergency room and, I suppose in order to offset the bill, dad refused to throw the bulb away and it lasted a long time. My skin continued to blacken and was still present on the bulb when it finally burned out. Ironically, I had won the teddy bear lamp as the only contestant in a cute kid contest.

While living in an R.V. park in Tucson, dad took us to the shower room and let us shower without shower shoes. We all came down with horrible athletes foot.

In the same R.V. park, my non-angry brother rode his bike with his eyes closed right into a saguaro cactus. He came home walking a bike with a flat front tire and had hundreds of cactus needles embedded in his face and chest. Mom and dad gave him a couple of Tylenol, waited 30 minutes, then got out the pliers and prayed the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops because of all the screaming.

Our R.V. caught fire whenever we tried to cook in it.

We were kicked out of a trailer park 30 miles from Mexico, by illegal immigrant neighbors who were so disgusted with the piles of junk surrounding our trailer that they would rather face the possibility of deportation than be our neighbors anymore.

Dad left junk out and some of it got stolen. He left a sign spray painted on a chunk of plywood that said “Dear thief, how would you like it if I stole from you?” Then he laid it on the ground. He didn’t even put it on a post.

My angry brother got bit on the big toe. By a rat. In a bed we all three shared. As our non-angry brother slept naked because he didn’t have any clean pajamas.

My dad let 8 year old me drive our car onto ramps so he could crawl under and work on it. I didn’t do well. I got up the ramps. I got over the ramps. I jumped from the driver’s side door as the car sped toward the woods on our property. The first time I ever crashed a car, I wasn’t even driving when it crashed. Dad had a lot more work to do after letting me help him work on the car.

Dad built his own septic tank and when he put dirt over it, it collapsed.

I was born into my family.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider yourself lucky if you aren’t related to me.

A don’t…judge me. I learned from all my family’s mistakes. My children are safe and are not even given the option of underage precision driving. Or any driving. They don’t even have those electric little kid cars. Also, we have no cactuses and I don’t build my own infrastructure.

Reflections on Death and the Burial of a Strange Man

My wife and I spent the weekend visiting the graves of our respective grandparents for some reason. It got me to thinking about a lot of things. Mainly, I considered the death traditions we celebrate and the secondly it got me to thinking about the manner in which I’d like to be laid to rest. If you are sensitive to conversations regarding death and interment, you might want to seek reading material elsewhere. My sense of humor is less than sympathetic in this regard. I think it’s a coping mechanism. Still, it could be offensive. Consider yourself warned. Proceed at your own risk.

It is strange the way we commemorate our dearly departed. We generally either put them in a box in the ground with a stone to mark the spot or burn the body and dispose of the ashes in a treasured location or store them on a mantelpiece. We visit the resting places of our relatives to reflect and place tokens. It seems, to me at least, a more meaningful tradition is to visit the places my loved ones lived and laughed and loved rather than the plots in which they were buried. My wife and I did this, also, on the way to the respective cemeteries. We drove past our grandparents’ old houses and various other places of interest in their lives. I found this much more satisfying than marveling at the fact that I soon stood over the resting places of their remains. I suppose I can see how being close to their mortal leavings can provide a sense of closeness with their eternal being.

All that aside, I began to think that if people are going to visit my resting place after I’m gone, I’d like to give them a show. I want my sense of humor to live on despite the death of my body.

I’m inspired by some inappropriate 1800’s era tombstones from New England I read about in a book call “Weird New England”. If you enjoy the thought of someone’s body spending eternity underneath a stone engraved with insults, you should check it out. If I’m cremated when I die, and you should stumble upon my urn, you’re likely to read on the side a saying such as “They burned me, then urned me.”, or, “I was incinerated; my mortal remains herein incarcerated. My soul is gone, my ash remains; if I should spill I’d likely stain.”

If I should be buried and I die in some horrific fashion, a photorealistic engraving of my expression at the moment of death will adorn my stone. With or without the engraving, my casket will be buried in quicksand with a thin layer of false turf covering it. There will be a fine-print engraving to encourage one to step closer to read it. The resultant motion of the person thrashing about as they sink into my grave will activate a recording of me either screaming an ear-splitting, pterodactyl-reminiscent scream or moaning a loud and disorienting zombie-esque moan.

Burial or cremation, one thing is sure; you should probably avoid me in death as much as in life unless you enjoy heartless and narcissistic pranks perpetrated upon your person. My poor wife. She’s going to have to be buried next to this.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…think often of your lost loved ones, as they were as well as as they are.

A don’t…feel compelled to visit my grave. You really don’t deserve that.