Nightmare Vs. Demonic Possession

This is the creepiest picture I could find. Thanks, Pete Linforth, photographer.

It seems I’m afraid of most everything, but I never felt real fear until the other night. I was brushing my teeth before bedtime when a blood-curdling scream shredded the silence. Every hair on my body, that was not glued down, stood at attention. I could even feel the hair on my legs rise up. It tickled, but I wasn’t laughing–my mother was having one of her nightmares, again.

She’d had them before, about once a month, but they still scare me. No sooner do I let my guard down than she emits a 99.9 decibel, roller-coaster scream, followed by some moaning and thrashing about in her bed.

The first time I heard it, I was dead asleep when 3 shrieks tore through my dreams. Wise to the fact that one should never leave one’s bed when monsters, ghosts and the assorted demons are about, I stayed in bed with my eyes closed wondering, what the f___ was that?

My first thought was, my mom had seen a ghost. This idea is not my fault. My middle sister, Alexie Aaron, has written many paranormal novels and she’s got our whole family scared of their own shadows.

Next, I dismissed a number of more logical possibilities including whether my 91 year old mother could even make a sound that loud. It was at least twice as loud as if you threw a bucket of water on her, (believe me, this happens–sometimes.) I concluded that she couldn’t be so loud on her own.

Haunted days passed after hearing those first screams. I kept seeing things out of the corners of my eyes, and my bedroom door would creak without opening. I hid the cleaver, in case my mommy, who was obviously possessed, was about to chop me up.

Then, I heard reference to foxes that scream 3 times during mating. Researchers haven’t determined why but I suspect they’re party animals, (the foxes, not the researchers–necessarily.)

That was the obvious solution to the mystery–until my little sister told me that Mom had done this before, while they were staying together in a motel room. She could not be awakened.

The weird thing is that Mother never remembers what her scary dreams are about. Nor does she recall ever being attacked, or in great danger. After the nightmare, she continues to sleep, and has no ill effects the next day. (Maybe she really is possessed?)

I’m the one suffering ill effects from her nightmares. I can’t get to sleep after hearing her screams because of the adrenaline coursing through my body–making my heart thump and hair stand on end. Not to mention, I keep seeing things that probably aren’t there.

I’ve come up with one plan to not only solve the mystery, but to make myself feel better. Can anyone spare a bucket of holy water?

And You Think You Can Drink

Wine After Beer, Better Fear–No More

Drinkers worldwide received tragic news this week, thanks to researcher Joran Kochling of Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. It turns out that his exhaustive study of alcohol consumption, some of which involved self-experimentation, revealed that it doesn’t matter whether you drink wine or beer first, the results are the same–hangovers!

This intrepid investigator managed to recruit 90 healthy volunteers willing to consume beer and wine in copious quantities from among the thousand or so people milling outside his recruitment station. He divided them into 3 groups. One group drank 2 1/2 pints of 5% lager, followed by 4 “large” glasses of white wine, (“large” was not defined–it could have been a quart for all I know.) The second group drank 4 large glasses of wine followed by 2 1/2 pints of beer and the third group could only have beer or wine, not both.

Degree of drunkenness was determined immediately after consumption by means of a simple interview with the imbibers, (Who knows how to say, “drunk as a skunk” in German?) Then, the next morning, said imbibers rated their hangover symptoms. A week later, each group was given their alcohol in reverse order and data was again collected.

It turns out that it doesn’t matter what you drink first, the hangover symptoms are the same.

Further investigation reveals that many researchers study the problem of hangovers–go figure.

The Chirp Heard Round the World

The walls have ears

Way back in 2016, US diplomats were rushed home from Cuba after being attacked by some strange kind of sonic bomb. In retaliation, the US government got all huffy and sent the Cuban diplomats home.

Not much later, I found it strange that US/Cuban relations suddenly improved and the sanctions against the island nation were lifted. Everyone danced in the streets of Havana, but no one, to my knowledge, had solved the mystery of the alleged sonic bombs that had caused dozens of embassy staffers to fall ill with everything from vertigo to “cognitive difficulties” to hearing loss. Until now.

Mindy Weisberger, a senior reporter with “Live Science,” revealed the probable cause of the diabolical decibels–crickets! Namely, the Indies short-tailed cricket, the lonesome males of which apparently decided to take up residence at the fancy Havana Hotel. These poor buggers sang their hearts out, (actually, sang their legs off), in search of likewise lonesome females, which were rumored to hang out in the establishment’s friendly barroom.

I imagine that those who threw the Cuban diplomatic corps out of the US were so embarrassed at this revelation that they eased up on the sanctions against the chirpy Caribbean country in exchange for keeping the secret of the sonic bomb’s weaponry under wraps.

In related news, France’s cute little water bug, which they call the “boatman,” is the loudest animal for its size on Earth–and it’s only strumming its genitals! I hope that the Embassy workers have been warned about this impending peril.

The bug responsible for sending diplomats scurrying for cover was finally pinned down.

Robots Want to Know More About You, And So Do I

The Eyes Have It

This may be a picture of a beautiful child, or a future psychopath. You be the judge.

In an effort to improve human/machine interactions, researchers at the University of Southern Australia are trying to help robots identify an individual’s personality type. Therefore, they’ve been recording peoples’ eye movements whilst doing everyday tasks, then administered a test to determine each person’s dominant personality trait.

It may be news to you that we fall into only 5 major categories of personality. According to the popular NEO Five-Factor Inventory, (the test they used), people display: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism to different extents. Whichever trait one scores highest in is one’s “personality type.”

To no avail, I tried to get pictures of eyes which demonstrate each personality type. This may be a closely guarded secret, I don’t know. There are plenty of eye pictures, but the personality trait they exhibit is left up to the viewer.

Then I had a brainstorm. It would be more helpful if we had robots which at least identified evil people so we could keep an eye on them! So, I went to gather a photo of the first evil man who came to mind, Rasputin the Mad Monk. I found many photos of the stern-faced killer, most of which would have cost me $30-$100 to show my readers. Are they worth it? Not hardly.

So, you will have to take my word for it that Rasputin’s eyes were asymmetrical, the left one being larger. Next, I looked at photos of John Wayne Gacy, the infamous killer clown. Low and behold, his eyes didn’t match, either. His left eye drooped! It could be that each man went around with one eyebrow down, and the other up–a perfectly diabolical look, or they were just mugging for the camera.

My point is, until further study, we would do well to avoid those who have something wrong with their left eyes.

(My apologies to all those nice people with weird orbs on the left side of their smiling faces, but you better be on your best behavior. I’m watching you. And, my left eye is larger because I squint…)



In hopes of making 2019, the funniest year yet, I decided to tell you what really happened in 2018, maybe.

This bug may be hanging out waiting to become a human, (see May, below)

January: Some liberals, at least 2 or 3 of them, were cheered at the first anniversary of Trump’s presidency after learning that researchers in Bangladesh have developed a dung-eating earthworm. So, provided they raise enough of the creepy crawlers to cover the whole US up to our necks, we should be all right.

February: Elon Musk sent a rocket into space and dropped off a red 2008 Tesla convertible piloted by a dummy nicknamed, “Starman.” He, (Musk, not the dummy), thinks the car will end up in the asteroid belt, but I’m hoping the fiery heap will end up in Elon’s backyard.

March: Police in Oslo, Norway, say the FBI is assisting in the investigation of 2 forged nominations of Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace prize. They discovered the forgery because the impersonator allegedly used the same stolen identity twice. Eric Trump could not be reached for comment.

April: A mysterious ribbon of atmospheric light known as STEVE flashed across the sky over British Columbia last April. Rumors abound, but STEVE is named for the guy who discovered it, who also seems to exist in a cloud of hot, fast-moving gas. According to a new study, STEVE is not an aurora, but something completely unknown to science. Calls to Elon Musk went straight to Starman’s voicemail.

May: Reacting to North Korea’s recent nuclear advances, scientists are attempting to unlock, and possibly harness, the genome of the cockroach–reputably for the benefit of mankind. They hope that the hybrid human/cockroach will quickly adapt to environmental disasters, much like their predecessors. Upon hearing this news, clothing designers scurried to create clothing with more arms and legs.

June: The WHO, (the World Health Organization, not the band), formally added “Gaming Disorder” to their list of new diseases we can catch. They estimated that 1 out of 10 gamers spend more than 12 hours/day playing video games. 1 out of 10 researchers of this disorder were unavailable for comment, according to their moms.

July: Scientists discovered that the Thames, near London’s House of Parliament, contains so much cocaine that the eels are getting too high to mate, threatening their existence. Also threatening their existence: some members of the House of Parliament have been seen with eels up their noses.

August: A new law was passed in East Africa imposing long jail sentences for those who are “offensive” or “morally improper” online. Coincidentally, one President abruptly cancelled his trip to the area.

September: British folks were amazed at the unusual sight of a beluga whale in the Thames River this month. Reports of it having an eel stuck in its nose couldn’t be verified.

October: An Illinois candidate for governor removed 5 toilets from one of his properties making it “Uninhabitable” which should result in lower taxes. The stinking, rich businessman won the election, but lost to the tax bureau and had to pay over $300 thousand in back taxes.

November: A pigeon wearing a rhinestone vest returned to its anxious owners after 2 weeks on the lam. The poor bird could barely fly, having somehow acquired a diamond-studded tiara while it was missing.

December: NPR, (National Public Radio), reports that the Illinois State House has a nativity scene on display, in addition to a menorah and, (for devil worshipers), a statue of a snake coiled around an arm with an apple in its hand. At the unveiling of the holiday exhibits, a man resembling the new governor-elect, (discovered nearby in top hat and tail, tap-dancing with a trident), refused to comment.