Jun 10 2011

#41 “The Threat”

From Sam

A picture of a wolf flying a plane might be shocking to some, but the most astounding thing about this illustration actually came in the body of the accompanying email. It was there that artist claimed that wolves flying F-16s would most likely be a part of our near future. I had never considered this before, and I must say that I was a bit taken back. I love the lupine, but the thought of this marriage between nature’s most perfect predator and some of the world’s most dangerous technology truly took my breath away. It also got me thinking about what other animals might pose a threat to the human race.

In my research I discovered a page at msnbc.com that details the world’s 10 smartest animals. These creatures are logically the prime suspects in the animal kingdom’s plot to overthrow humans. I have edited the list slightly because “man” was listed as the most intelligent animal of them all, but in order to change the list from “the smartest animals” to “man’s biggest threats,” I elimated man from the list and logically replaced him with the wolf. If you to see the list on which this one is based, you can find it here.

The Animal Kingdom’s 10 Greatest Threats to Mankind:

1. The Wolf: This is for obvious reasons. The wolf is smart, savvy, savage, wild, ferocious and obviously intelligent enough to pilot fighter jets.

2. The Chimp: The genomes of a human and a chimpanzee are at least 98% identical. Also chimps can sometimes perform better on memory tests than humans. Not only this, but if you have seen Amy Winehouse recently, you must concede that chimps are even rivaling some humans in terms of general attractiveness.

3. The Dolphin: These creatures are known for their creative skills and intuitive communicative abilities. Plus, some dolphins have been known to attack and kill sharks by ramming them with their “razor-sharp” noses. A close friend of mine once claimed to have been attacked by a dolphin when it “kicked him in the crotch” at the beach. The result was not pretty, but the jury is still out as to whether or not this was an actual dolphin attack.

4. The Elephant: These monstrous man-killers have gigantic brains are able to empathize and communicate with one another. Let’s just hope they don’t learn to read because if one of them gets a hold of Orwell’s short story “How to Kill and Elephant,” we’re all goners for sure.

5. The Octapus: These slimy sea creatures possess a natural curiosity and problem solving ability that have brought out comparisons between their brains and ours. While we’re trying to figure out whether to call them octapi or octapusses, they’ll be plotting our doom.

6. The Crow: These black demon birds are capable of fashioning and using tools as well as solving relatively complex problems. Also, these natural “bomb droppers” are capable of inflicting terror with both ends: their beaks as well as their bottoms. Never underestimate an animal that is capable of dropping its feces from hundreds of feet above our heads.

7. The Squirrel: The mental map making skills of this deceptive rodent make it a natural enemy of mankind. Plus they have those tiny hands… those clawed, terrifying, tiny hands…

8.  The Dog: We welcome them into our homes and call them our best friends. How naive can we be? These naturally intelligent killing machines could murder us in our sleep at any moment.

9. The Cat: These solitary survivalists would watch us choke to death on a chicken bone without lifting a finger in our favor. They’ve been adapting to various living conditions for nearly 10,000 years; plus, have you ever seen a cat play with a mouse in the throes of death? Brutal.

10. The Pig: The intelligence of a pig rivals that of a chimpanzee. They learn tasks surprisingly quickly and can move the cursor of a video screen with their disgusting little snouts. Not only this, but if you’ve ever seen the movie “Snatch,” you know that a group of pigs can devour an entire human, bones and all, in mere minutes.


Jun 9 2011

#40 “Wolf Club”

From a stranger in Canada.

Just one simple thought for the day:

“You buy furniture.  You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life.  Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled.  Then the right set of dishes.  Then the perfect bed.  The drapes.  The rug.  Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”

~ Tyler Durden


Jun 8 2011

#39 “Red Eye”

From John, an MU student.

From the moment that I first laid eyes upon this malevolent lupine, I knew that it was evil. You might wonder how I recognized this so clearly or what told me so definitively that this wolf was one to be feared. Was it the black environment in which this wolf is steeped? Perhaps. The haunting luminescence of its fur? Maybe. The ominous crouching and foreboding body language? Possibly. But what really solidified this creature’s wicked nature lies in those deep red eyes.

To be honest, I’m not sure exactly why we often associate the color red with evil or anger, but I’ve noticed that there are lots of theories that attempt to explain this phenomenon and lots of contrasting claims that try to dismiss it. In the end, though, I find the implementation of the concept to be more interesting than its origins.

As a result, I wish to share with you a few examples of famous creatures and characters that display this interesting concept of the evil red eye. This information is taken from a website I discovered called “Red Eyes Take Warning: Television Tropes and Idioms.”

I have narrowed the website’s massive list of examples down to some of the most familiar, but you can check out this link for the full list.

  • The evil robot AUTO from WALL-E
  • Emperor Zurg in Toy Story 2
  • Mrs. Jumbo from Dumbo normally has Blue Eyes like her son, but they turn red during the scene where she goes crazy as a result of several children making fun of Dumbo, resulting in her being tied up by several circus workers and subsequently being dragged away to be locked up in solitary confinement as punishment for being a “mad elephant.”
  • Disney’s Aladdin. While Aladdin and the Genie are in the cave, Aladdin taunts the Genie about the limitations on his wish granting abilities to trick him into getting everyone out of the cave without using up a wish. When the Genie gets angry and starts giving a speech, his eyes turn red momentarily.
  • As well as Sauron in The Lord of the Rings being a flaming red eyeball himself, the black horses of the Ringwraiths have glowing red eyes.
  • In Dreamscape, the wolves chasing the heroes in the final dream sequence.
  • Black Swan: Natalie Portman’s Baleful Polymorph
  • The Terminator machines from The Terminator series
  • Star Wars: The “Sith eyes” seen on Darths Maul, Sidious, and Vader in the prequels.
  • Big Bad, Dorian Tyrell, in The Mask, while wearing the title item.
  • In Judge Dredd the deadly ABC robot controlled by Rico has glowing red eyes.
  • The HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey uses cameras with glowing red lenses to watch the crew of the Discovery.
  • Grendel in the Old English epic poem Beowulf
  • Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs is depicted with maroon (brownish-red) eyes in the books.
  • In the Twilight novel series, the vampires who drink only human blood have red eyes.
  • Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter
  • The Castlevania series usually depicts Dracula as having red eyes
  • In Left 4 Dead the Witch is distinctive (and sometimes visible only) by her glowing red eyes.
  • Nearly all the Decepticons of the original Transformers
  • Skeletor, nemesis of He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Jun 7 2011

#38 “Fooble”

From a stranger in Nashville

Upon examining this illustration, I feel that no one would be able to deny that this wolf is truly unique and creative. The combination of imaginary and somewhat silly features of this creature surely exceeds the reasonable expectations of most viewers.

However, this wolf also got me wondering a little bit. Consider this: Whenever we see something that we claim to be new or unique, or whenever we claim to have thought up something completely original, isn’t it inherently based on things that are already in existence and things that we are already familiar with? In examining this wolf, we see that the final product that is before us (or the combination of all of the individual elements) is something that we have not seen before, but the elements themselves are actually very familiar to us.

It makes you wonder, can you ever give birth to a truly original thought that is not based on knowledge which you already have?

Try this: Imagine the wildest and weirdest looking alien that you can. Now, you might be thinking that the alien has 4 eyes or no eyes or has 6 legs or no legs, or that it speaks English or that it doesn’t speak at all, or any number of possibilities; but no matter what you imagine, it is sure to be based upon a previous or preexisting set of knowledge about the way things work that you already have stored in your brain. Even if you imagine the creature having a million legs and a million eyes, this is not truly original because what you are essentially doing is just editing your previous knowledge of legs and eyes and applying it. Legs and eyes are not new or unique, no matter how many of them you imagine.

Here is another challenge: Try to imagine a color that you have never seen before. Don’t merely imagine a new or a unique shade of a preexisting color; try to imagine a totally new color altogether. Not too easy is it?

I bring all of this up not to take away from the awesome creativity that is displayed in the above illustration, but merely to allow us to expand our intellectual horizons by admitting that we really might only capable of rearranging the knowledge and thoughts that are given to us by the world around us.

… But what do I know? A much wiser man than me by the name of Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there will ever be to know and understand.”


Jun 6 2011

#37 “Herp -n- Derp”

From a stranger in Texas

After utilizing a few Internet message boards and Q&A websites to conduct a little online research, I have discovered that a surprising number of people are extremely interested in whether or not animals can be born with any type of mental retardation. As it turns out, animals can certainly be afflicted with all sorts of mental handicaps. When you really stop and think about it, this makes perfect sense. After all, why would animals be immune to mental retardation or other afflictions of this sort?

I suppose the reason why many people ask this question is because encountering an animal that is clearly mentally handicapped is somewhat rare. This actually makes perfect sense, as well. From what I have read, most animals typically have a keen eye for the health and mental wellness of their young, and if an offpsring appears to have a severe disability, that offspring is usually left to die. This is harsh, but it is essential to the well-being of the species as a whole. If mentally retarded animals survive long enough to breed, they could pass along their less-desirable characteristics, which would in turn impact larger populations of that species.

Now, for all my research, I have never heard of anyone who has ever come in contact with a mentally retarded wolf.  I’m not sure if this is due to the reasons listed in the preceding paragraph or if wolves are, in fact, so insanely awesome that they actually are immune to retardation. In the case of the lobos, I tend to lean towards the second explanation. In direct contrast to my opinions, however, we certainly seem to have two retarded wolves on our hands today in the form of Herp and Derp.

But while these wolves may be sacrificed or killed if left to ways of the wild, they will find refuge in my collection of wolves of all shapes, sizes, temperaments and mental capabilities.

Herp and Derp, I greet you with open arms. All wolves are welcome here.


Jun 5 2011

#36 Contents: One (1) Wolf

From a stranger in Roanoke, Virginia

I am delighted to share with you one of the most clever pieces of artwork that I have received. This artist has taken the idea of mailing a wolf one step further and has actually drawn a picture of a wolf  mysteriously placed inside a package; this displays an inventive mind and a unique intellect that I think should be applauded. As I studied this picture more and more, I began to ponder the idea of the containment of the noble savage and the impact that it can have on both man and beast. As a result, I am trying something new with this post and am sharing with you a piece of short fiction. I don’t claim it to be great, but it will certainly be different, and I hope that it is well-received.

Note: this piece of fiction was inspired by concepts brought to mind by this picture but is not necessarily “about” this picture.

—————————————————————————————————————

The creature radiated energy of an otherworldly sort. Vibrations pulsated from its quivering body like the sonic boom of a jet engine unexpectedly soaring across a clear, springtime sky, over and over again.

Kneeling a short distance away, the man surveyed the drama warily, his eyes wide and breath shaky and visible in the cold.

As the struggle of life and death played out before him, his heart pounded in his chest like a prisoner rattling the bones of his ribcage, stirring his insides into an oily mess. He saw the spray of blood lying gently upon the delicate white surface of the snow outside of the wolf’s radius like a covering of dark red lace. The creature’s forepaw had been caught in the bear trap only hours before. While its resolve was iron, the frenzied eyes filled with rage spoke of a desperation that the man knew would win out in the end. Ultimately, when the wolf had gnawed through its own flesh, grinding the rubbery ligaments in its very jaws, it would be free. But it would die.

Then, he knew, the pup would also die that worriedly trembled near to its mother’s side, offsetting her deep growls with a strained whimper, creating a poignant symphony of pain, fear and anxiety.

The man thought silently. He bit down upon the inside of his cheek and swallowed hard. Then he raised himself from his haunches, lifted the barrel of his rifle and fired. The shot seemed to echo for a long while and the man listened as it died out. Then, pinching the young creature by the nape and cradling it gingerly in his arms as it yelped, he turned and walked away.

In the months and years that followed he questioned his judgment more than most would imagine, crying as he lay awake and whispering his prayers aloud. The murder of the mother was irrelevant. He had known that she would perish. What he punished himself for was not the execution, but the rescue.

Most mornings he would awake in the cold half-light of his cabin to the coarse sensation of the creature’s tongue sandpapering his hand. Often he would simply open his eyes and try with all his might to absorb the beauty of the animal, but no matter how he tried, he just couldn’t seem to drink it in fully. In short, he felt unworthy. The thing was of a godly nature to him. Each claw that clicked upon his battered hardwood floor anchored his guilt and solidified the knowledge that he had no right to contain this creature, to house this embodiment of everything wild and fierce in the natural world. He didn’t know if the wildness of the animal could actually be tamed, but he feared that he done more damage than good, that he had tainted the purity of the creature.

Sometimes, when the days were warm, he would leave the front door open and secretly hope that the wolf would simply trot through it and head back into the wilderness and never return. He would imagine seeing a wisp of the tail cut across his periphery and then all his guilt would wash away like the oil on the highway during a hard rain…

But on these occasions the creature would only stare at the man inquisitively and lie down in the splay of sunshine as it beamed onto the cabin floor. In time the wolf would yawn and lick himself, and the man would walk over to the creature and crouch to pet him. In that moment, as the animal thumped his tail against the floor in approval, the man would wonder if this was the communion with nature that so many had seemed to hope for throughout history or, he questioned, was it still out there floating along on some swampy breeze, buried underneath the needles of some ancient pine, intangible and unattainable?


Jun 4 2011

#35 “The Fox/Wolf Connection”

 

From Dan in Utah

Many people may be staring at this picture in bewilderment this very second and asking aloud, “What the heck does a wolf have to do with Back to the Future? I asked this same question when I first received this illustration in the mail, but then it dawned on me… there is in fact a common link, and that link is none other than the acclaimed actor Michael J. Fox. How could I have overlooked it? It’s so obvious… For you see, Michael J. Fox not only starred in Back to the Future, but he also played in perhaps the most well-known werewolf movie in popular culture in the last 30 years: Teen Wolf.

When I discovered this connection, a smirk of pride passed over my countenance. I was pleased to have solved this little riddle, but after a little time a trickle of uncertainty began to seep into my brain, and before long a deluge of doubt had flooded my mind. As it turns out, after poring over mounds of Michael J. Fox related literature, I discovered that the relationship between the “Fox” and the wolf runs deeper than most would imagine. Peruse the information below if your curiosity is piqued, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. These correlations may be too profound for those who lack a strong mental fortitude. Head to the kitchen and grab a napkin if you must; you may start bleeding from your ears.

  • Michael J. Fox was born in 1961. This same year, the French film The Miracle of the Wolves was released in France and the world was forever changed.
  • Fox was born in Canada, a nation that is second only to Russian in its number of wolves. Coincidence?
  • During the 1990s Fox starred in the television show Spin City which featured the actor Scott Wolf in several episodes as well as the actor Maurice Godin who played a character known as Trevor Wolfe.
  • Michael J. Fox and the actor Scott Wolf bear a striking resemblance to one another.
  • Michael J. Fox voiced the character of a dog (canis lupis familiaris) in the movie “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.” Anyone else see a connection here to the wolf (canis lupis)?
  • The horror film The Company of Wolves was released on DVD in 2002, the same year that Fox released his memoir, Lucky Man. Also, the original version of the film as released in 1985, the same year that Fox starred in Back to the Future.
  • In 2007, Fox was listed by TIME Magazine as one of 100 people “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” If this set of characteristics doesn’t remind you of a wolf, I’m not sure what will. This is also the same year that the short drama Wolf was released, starring Max Moody, Burton Cox and Corine Samwel.
  • In March of last year Fox was given an honorary doctorate degree by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Just last month, roughly one year later, in the same county in Sweden a 45-year-old woman and her child were confronted by a wolf on a wooded path. The wolf attacked the family dog and carried it into the woods as his prey. Just happenstance, you say? Don’t be naive.
  • Fox starred in a campaign ad for Claire McCaskill in 1996 in which he openly supported the use of stem cell research. Some might say this is a result of Fox’s being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I say this is just another covert attempt by Fox to generate a master race of wolves in Missouri in order to take over the USA and allow Canada to absorb our nation.

In conclusion, I’ve never been one to support conspiracy theories, but when the evidence is overwhelming, sometimes there is simply no other conclusion to be reached. To strive for the deeper meaning, though, takes courage, heart, and a sense of adventure. So let this be a lesson to you: Don’t tread on the monotonous highways of the dull-minded and unsophisticated, but seek to stride upon the paths of the scholarly and cerebral, because “where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”


Jun 3 2011

#34 “TEAM WOLF”

From TEAM WOLF in London, England.

I first want to apologize for the length of this post. I know it is incredibly long, and for that I am sorry.

Moving on…

The above picture is a very early one that I received via email from a group of acquaintances in London who have now become known as TEAM WOLF. These four individuals make up a sort of modern Fantastic Four. They are a diverse group with an unusual variety of individual backgrounds. In the past couple of months I have learned quite a bit about this fanatical foursome through an ongoing correspondence that has been extremely insightful and enlightening. What I have detailed below are amazingly accurate biographies of these unique characters that are responsible for the artwork above. In truth, I have found these characters so fascinating that I believe their identities must be shared with the world. I am presenting these biographies without their permission or endorsement, but I assure you that they are absolutely true.

Maddie: a.k.a. “Evil Maddie”

Maddie was the mistaken love child of a troubled Mexican-American Vietnam War veteran and a native London confectionary shop owner. Her father, Jorge Osvaldo Ramirez, received the news that he had been drafted at the age of 18 while he stood complacently making fry-bread in his family’s trailer in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Upon hearing the news, a mild look of bewildered curiosity flashed across his countenance, and he simply walked out of the trailer, tromped down the rickety wooden steps and strolled out of his family members’ lives forever. After being awarded 3 Purple Hearts (2 for leg injuries and 1 for a bit of shrapnel lodged firmly in his left cheekbone), he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Military but chose not to return home. Instead he traveled Asia and Europe as a migrant worker specializing in small engine repair, falsifying documents, and training roosters for illegal cockfights. It is rumored that Ramirez once penned a memoir entitled The Hellish Hero under the pseudonym Pablo D. LaRocha which detailed his little-known and extremely secretive missions in Laos during the war. Popular consensus is that the U.S. government had the man assassinated in fear that he would divulge too much information about his country’s most furtive wartime missions.

Anyway, when he stumbled into a young lady’s confectionary shop called “The Decadent Deli” in the summertime roughly 5 years after his discharge, he locked eyes with a woman whom he knew he could not live without. She was tall, blonde and slender, and her eyes spoke of a silent pain that was both beautiful and mysterious; there was an instant connection. The two spent a romantic summer holed up in the woman’s apartment, eating dark chocolate truffles and making love until Ramirez once again denied himself of the happiness of a family that he did not believe could be real and abruptly disappeared. He left only a note that read: “My dearest one, Your lips are as sweet as the chocolate that drips from your fingertips. I will never forget you.”

Shortly after this, Maddie was born, but she was no ordinary child. She possessed a sense of hearing that was beyond that of any normal human. It is believed that this was a result of the genetic makeup of her father who was able to fire large artillery weapons during the war without the slightest repercussion combined with the keen ear of her mother who had always had perfect pitch and had been an accomplished cello and harpsichord player in her youth. Maddie felt ostracized by her gifted hearing ability as a child but soon used it to her advantage during a short stint as an undercover officer for the London Police. It was her efforts, in fact, which foiled the little known attempt on the Prime Minister’s life in 1999. However, after surviving 4 bullets to the abdomen during a drug deal gone awry in 2007, Maddie put her skills to more a practical but equally fulfilling use and now specializes in developing assisted hearing technology for the hearing-impaired of the world today.

Mike: aka “Mike of the Jungle”

Contrary to what his name might suggest, Mike is not a sort of “Mowgli” character out of something along the lines of Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel The jungle Book. Nay, Mike’s unusual moniker is in fact a reference to the urban jungle that often surrounds and defines his interesting line of work. As a child Mike saw his father lose his position as a high ranking corporate executive for one of Stockholm’s leading snowboarding companies, Alpha Snow. According to legend, Mike’s father was the man who coined the slogan “Snow: it’s our thing” for Alpha Snow in 1984 when the company was just beginning to make a name for itself. Shortly after this, however, because of his embarrassing lazy eye and penchant for slightly off-color jokes, Mike’s father was released from his position and Mike and his family were forced to scrounge for food in the stinking alleyways of Stockholm’s slums. Clutching a maggot-infested turkey drumstick in his tiny clawed hand and crouching in the corner of an abandoned Stockholm sewage plant, Mike vowed revenge upon the man who had disgraced his father and his family.

Through an odd turn of events a few years later, Mike caught the eye of an “entrepreneur” by the name of Eli Cody while his family was performing cheap carnival tricks for money on the streets of Segovia, Spain. While his family juggled pins and knives and all manner of other objects, Mike would make his way through the crowd, pick-pocketing as he went. When Mike shuffled up along side Cody, the man snatched the young lad’s hand and drug him away from the crowd. “Follow me,” he said, “and you will no longer be forced to live this life of disgrace.” Doubting the stranger’s outlandish offer, but being too alarmed to resist, Mike ran away and accompanied Cody to Bejing where the old gentlemen taught Mike the fine art of covert assassination. Yes, that’s right, Mike is a trained, professional killer, but not of government officials or international terrorists. Given his horrendous childhood and the pain inflicted upon him by pompous corporate pigs, Mike bills himself as a gun for hire specializing in facilitating mutually beneficial corporate deals by eliminating troublesome CEOs and business tycoons. In short, he’s a corporate assassin. Unnamed sources have divulged that for years he has longed to leave the business, for the blood on his hands has simply become too thick with guilt. However, he still has one final target- one last trigger to pull: the one that will eliminate Adrian Rutger, former CEO for Alpha Snow.

Jeremy: aka “Jez”

Born into a life of privilege, Jeremy spent summers vacationing and “working” at his grandparents’ vineyards in France: the famous Madirian vineyards. With a wine bottle sloshing violently in each fist, Jeremy whiled away the time by stomping grapes in gigantic wooden vats to the catchy sounds of French pop music blasting away on a small transistor radio. As the light gradually faded in the west and the last dying embers of the sun stretched her fingers out into the darkening sky, Jeremy would prop up his purple-stained feet and watch the carloads of young women approach his personal wing of his grandparents’ estate. The nights there were filled with cries of ecstacy; the excess of pleasure was beyond description. Countless children were fathered out of wedlock. It was a life that some consider a myth: Hedonism at its finest. However, as is often the case, the excesses of youth often lead to a sobering adulthood, and by the time he was 22, Jeremy had decided that fulfilment did not reside in the flesh but in the spirit. He traded his wine bottles for a staff and his purple-stained feet for ones that were coated with sand and mud. In a desperate attempt to find inner peace, Jeremy set out to walk the entire coastline of France in order to seek a deeper meaning to life.

Eleven months later, having nearly completed the 2000 mile journey and finding only loneliness and despair, Jeremy’s frustration got the best of him and he angrily kicked at a discarded football (soccer ball) that bobbed along in the calm summertime surf. The ball, deflated as it was, soared through the air with speed and grace, and sailed smoothly between the pillars of a distant pier. And with that, Jeremy had found his calling. He had not known it at the time, but his years of grape-stomping had prepared him for a career as one of Europe’s most prominent athletes. Knowing that success was eminent, Jeremy changed his name to avoid the staggering costs of child support and soon moved to England. Before long he was the most talented player in the UK, and to this very day he still celebrates each victory with a smooth glass of wine straight from Madirian vineyards.

The Last Smuggler: true identity unknown.

Little is known about this mysterious character, but rumor has it that he spent his youth sailing the Caribbean on a small yacht captained by his lesbian mother of strong Jewish descent, delivering packages of cocaine and heroin to island drug lords. At the insistence of his domineering and tyrannical mother, the Smuggler’s childhood was spent in quiet isolation away from other youths, and as a result he became accustomed to reading mounds of intellectual literature written by some of history’s greatest philosophers. Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, Blake… The Smuggler read them all and digested all of their ideas until he was positively bloated by the works of these great minds. However, rumor has it that in a not-so-unforeseeable error, the young lad accidentally concocted a devilishly sinister Kool-Aid punch brimming with cocaine instead of sugar. Needless to say, this is the day that changed the Smuggler’s life. While still an intellectual marvel, this elementary-aged drug binge cost the man his ability to concentrate on a single subject for more than seconds at a time, and now he is regarded by many as a sort of mad genius. Like the Summoner from some modern and demented Canterbury Tales, he is a man filled with knowledge but resides in a deranged and twisted state of mind. Some say he killed a man with a plastic fork for talking to loudly at a motion picture show. Others claim to have seen him at a pub in London’s trendy east end devouring dishes of nothing but Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Some say he occasionally impersonates Jimmy Buffet with great success, while others say he claims to be a lesbian living in a man’s body. Still others merely report him as being beyond any description or definition whatsoever. Who (or what) is this modern marvel? The world may never know.


Jun 2 2011

#33 “Hungry?”

From Allie in Chattanooga, TN

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you no doubt have anticipated this day for quite some time. Yes, today is the day that an illustration is posted with a long-expected Duran Duran reference. Do I even need to explain the allusion? I should hope not.

I suspect that many of you would would suppose that this entry might include a link to the famous Duran Duran music video for “Hungry Like The Wolf” with some sort of text-to-text connection between the illustration and the music video or that I would perhaps ponder the reputation of the wolf as a being that is primarily known for its voracious appetite. I have, however, chosen to do neither of these things in an effort to maintain a certain level of variety in these postings.

Having said all of this, I will allow you to “feast” your eyes on the list below that contains 6 of the most unique wolf-related restaurants in the continental United States. I will not claim to have eaten at all (or any) of these fine dining establishments, but if a restaurant has the word “wolf” in its name, how bad can it be? In closing, howl at me if you happen to sit down to a meal at one of these locales and give us all an in-depth review.

The White Wolf Restaurant: Napanoch, NY
A posh eatery is about as rare as a white wolf in Napanoch, so this American newcomer is a welcome surprise. Everything is large from the granite-topped zig zag bar to the deluxe dining rooms, one resplendent in mahogany, another in cherry, both with etched glass accents, while eats run the gamut from popular pub grub to prime rib, pastas and chicken saltimbocca.

Wolf’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant: Evansville, IN
An Evansville tradition founded in 1925, Wolf’s Bar-B-Q has been celebrating a legacy of making great bar-b-q for over eighty years. For the best in bar-b-q meats, delicious salads and sides and some of the area’s best desserts, we invite you to join us at Wolf’s Bar-B-Q. We know you will love it. That is our guarantee!

DeWolf Tavern: Bristol, RI
DeWolf Tavern serves Contemporary American Cuisine in a beautifully situated, historically renovated stone warehouse, located on the Thames Street Landing waterfront in the heart of downtown Bristol, Rhode Island. Our guests can enjoy the bay breeze with cooling cocktails on our casual patio, dip inside for a glass of wine and a light meal in our Tavern room or head upstairs to enjoy the view and fireplace with a bottle of fine wine and a special meal prepared by Chef Sai.

The Wolf House Restaurant: Glen Ellen, CA
Matching the décor, furniture and feel with the era of Jack London, they redesigned the restaurant’s rustic interior, complementing the brick fireplace and expansive views of the creek with blonde maple floors, honey gold walls, cinnamon maple tables, and chairs finished in rich wheat and burgundy fabric.  Warm, elegant, and comfortable, the location’s breathtaking natural beauty remains the setting’s focal point.  Large picture windows overlook Sonoma Creek, with al fresco dining on two trellis covered decks.

Lone Wolf Restaurant: Lubbock, TX
Welcome to Lone Wolf Restaurant, located near LCU. Lone Wolf serves up Lubbock’s finest foods with exciting dishes and unique ambiance. At Lone Wolf, every dish is created using only the freshest, finest ingredients. Lone Wolf has been serving authentic Mexican food since it first opened its doors in January 1994. If you want a fun filled environment with great food, Lone Wolf is the place to be. Enjoy a famous Lone Wolf Platter along with many other delicious choices 24 hours a day. There is fun for the entire family with Big Screen TV’s, video games, cold beers and margaritas.

Big Bad Wolf Smokehouse Grill: Mt. Juliet, TN
Big Bad Wolf Smokehouse Grill is Mt. Juliet’s best kept secret for casual family dining. Specializing in various entrees ranging from barbeque, briskets, chicken, and ribs, the Big Bad Wolf menu has something for everyone. People come from all over Middle Tennessee to savor the flavors of our grill. So if you’re in the Nashville or Middle Tennessee area, looking for a family dining restaurant, come on by and give us a try. You won’t be disappointed!


Jun 1 2011

#32 “Super Plus”

From a local stranger in Chattanooga, Tennessee

This is a post that has consumed my waking thoughts for more than 2 months. Yes, I’ve felt this day was coming for a quite some time, and now it is finally here upon us. I feel the tips of my fingers and toes tingling; my heart rate is steadily increasing; beads of sweat are beginning to form on the wrinkled creases of my furrowed brow. For today is the day that I post the very first illustration that found its way to my P.O. box on Dayton Boulevard in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I struggled with whether or not to save this wolf for a special occasion, but it soon became apparent that I could contain this wild beast no longer! True, this wolf appears to be a humble one, a mere stick-wolf, in fact. But there is an intriguing secret behind this, the first of all lupine illustrations to be opened by these trembling hands.

You would not know this by looking at the picture above, but this wolf is printed on a torn off portion of a Playtex tampon box. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. A tampon box. Playtex. Gentle Glide. Super Plus. Unscented.

When I opened that first envelope, my mind began reeling. It was an experience reminiscent of my first taste of alcohol, my first experience with a woman, the first time I was lost as a child. The adrenaline and fear of my first adolescent fistfight came rushing back, I was standing on top of a mountain and tumbling down it at the same time. How was I supposed to react to this confounding reply to my request for wolf-related artwork? I felt as if I could not be unappreciative, but I also believed that I was the butt of some cruel joke.

As I stood in the parking lot of the post office, holding the picture in my quaking fingers, I cautiously lifted my head and looked around. I was sure that I was being watched. When I returned home, I locked and bolted the door, unsure whether to jump for joy or wallow in haunting regret. I have since come to terms with this bewildering wolf illustration, but it has taken some time. I know that I will probably always associate this picture with a certain degree of fear and anxiety. But at the same time, it will always occupy a very special place in my heart; it will always be my first.

So in the end, I must say thank you to the young woman with the heavy flow (or to the man who loves her) for setting the pace for this unusual project. I don’t even know you are, but I thank you, nonetheless.