Friday, October 14, 2011


A Short, Yet Reasonable Guide to Extreme, Extreme Sports Drinks and "Power" Beverages


Zé do Caixão for Instinto

Instinto is a very simple and serviceable power drink with a very clear and univocal ideology: survival. The central graphic on the bottle of a hand clawing out of rubble expresses this. This, and its motto in all caps: WHY DID YOU LET ME LIVE, GOD? BIG MISTAKE. The taste of Instinto is not unlike human urine, only with the distinct iron tang of blood and a significant hint of renal failure. It has a significantly ashy, metallic, post-apocalyptic taste to it, as though one were indeed drinking it out of a rusted hubcap and spiking it with acid from a cracked battery in a monochrome sea of ash while killer drones fly overhead, as depicted in the commercial spots. Users of Instinto typically somehow manage to incorporate knives into most of their workouts, and sometimes fire.

Instinto enjoys a significant and uncomfortably devoted fan base among all-too active and still-at-large people. This may have to do with the combination of a number of features that give Instinto cross appeal: its discounted bulk pricing; its additional use as a saline wound wash and the forward looking design of its bottle which is specifically designed for significant NBC shielding and easy decontamination and allows the bottle to be easily mounted on a pack animal or wielded as a hand weapon.

Users of Instinto tend to be lean, extremely aggressive types. They tend not to wipe down their equipment: indeed, spitting may be a problem. Cutting in line and pilfering are typical of Instinto users, as is the adept use of the towel as a close quarters weapon. If you don’t drink Instinto, it is worth noting that the people who do are inevitably the ones you have to watch out for; should any dangerous event or crisis present itself in the gym, or even if the lights flicker slightly or the a/c blows a little warm, the Instinto users will be way ahead of you, on the other side of the fire door, blocking it with a chair. Instinto users know this. As a rule, they workout and travel alone, so if you ever see more than one of them at time, get the hell out the gym as fast as you can.

Never sleep with an Instinto drinker. The first time they have either charmed or forced their way into your place, you can be pretty sure that sometime during sex they have made a complete set of impressions of all of your keys on the lump of plastic modeling clay they keep in their gym bag. Also, don’t look in the gym bag.


Because of its commercial spots Fthagn! is sometimes mistaken for a cologne or mildew remover. In application it is generally considered too caustic for either purpose.

Surprisingly bitter for an exercise or power drink, yet comparatively sweet for an absinthe and achewood mixer and disturbingly opaque for a “mineral” water, Fthagn! comes in a slender serpentine glass bottle that is typically seen listlessly and precariously dangling from the long and intelligent figures of men in big shirts or women in flowing workout outfits with Empire or Neoclassical lines. The latter can often be seen on the treadmills on the “sleepwalk” setting carrying flowers to some unknown destination that they never reach.

The workout of your typical Fthagn! drinker tends to be long, drawn out and dolorous, with occasional swooning and bits of poetry. Fthagn! drinkers carefully wipe down their exercise equipment before and after, each time with the attentiveness of burying a loved one. Their perspiration tends to smell faintly of lavender, which is part of the appeal of the beverage.

However languid the workout of your average Fthagn! drinker seems to be, this does not necessarily make for poor practice, as their workout inevitably goes on an inhumanly long time, until they are drenched in a cold, dewy sweat that drips off their long raven locks into their maniacally bright eyes, long after most good Christian people have said their prayers and are safely in bed. Cardio workouts seem meaningless to Fthagn! drinkers as none of them seem to breathe while exercising (though they may sigh) or have a detectible pulse.

Note that if you spot a Fthagn! drinker in the shower, it is not necessary to wake them. It is usually sufficient to turn off the water, if the hot water has run out, and wrap them in the heavy sable riding cloak that hangs next to amber soap and shampoo they invariably carry*.

*The shampoo is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. For a larf, quote the slogan on the bottle to a Fthagn! drinker: “No More Tears.” Invariably, they will begin laughing with dreadful irony, “No More Tears! -Ha! Ha!” However, note that their laughter will go on longer than comfortable for most people and may end with coughing, or worse, a looked of fixed intensity that should not be received full on.


As of this writing, Werewolf is banned in most gyms and public places. Most of the adverse effects and behavior that have come to be associated with it are generally attributed to its high tequila and PCP content, though the company maintains that its primary ingredient is “pure rage.” Drinking Werewolf has been accurately described as “an Incredible Hulk-like experience” though it should be noted that Dr. Bruce Banner is never actually portrayed as unashamedly soiling himself when he becomes the Hulk.

Werewolf drinkers inevitably make the same discovery at the gym: that everything at the gym is either very heavy, durable and hard to break, like free weights and exercise machines, or is light, fragile and easy to break, like big mirrors and other people’s ipods and small facial bones. They also inevitably come to the conclusion that they themselves are more like the former than the latter, indeed are some sort of anvil against which all things must be forged or broken: a serious decline in overall peace and security, property values, standards of living, and availability of electricity, communications and potable water inevitably follows. Retail of Werewolf is extremely unpopular with local law enforcement, whom are highly averse to protracted foot chases, broken handcuffs and human bites.

Werewolf has a very pleasant herbal taste, not unlike Jagermeister or going down on a Wiccan. I highly endorse Werewolf as my extreme sports drink of choice. If it is not available in your community, similar effects can be obtained by mixing Night Train, Redbull, Gatorade, Smoking Dog, ether and Butazamine.

I hope you are all happy now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The End of the Sign

Dear Wayfarer,

We here at the Sign of the Yellow Sphinx merely tell stories. It is your kind and game attempts to answer that make them into proper riddles.

The Sign of the Yellow Sphinx has, as promised, run for exactly a year with postings no less than every two weeks. Unfortunately, we seem to have left our curious dream detective sleeping on the case (you should comment or email me if you really like this story and find the situation intolerable). On the other hand, we did have more werewolves than expected and even a free comic book and trip to Mars.

Yet, as some of you well know, I awake to find myself in an even stranger and less believable city than before.

And yet, as I prostrated myself before the 999 levels of shopping mall in that jewel city, whose name is as long and as beautiful as a tourist brochure, กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตน์ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์ and sat and meditated in the refreshing quiet of its food courts, I found myself again reflecting upon my life on Mars, my adventures with my Master and the Monster Poops I had seen.

And so, to give these recollections some form, I have seen it fit to start another blog, Naak Leuuap (นาค เหลือบ, the metallic blue Naga), which will contain these narratives and also provide true and accurate information about this remote and imaginary city as such would be useful to travelers.

Naak Leuuap นาค เหลือบ will be published over the course of my first year in Bangkok, after which I will be ordaining as a Buddhist monk, for a period to be determined by the unknown weight of my past lives.

And so, after our closing ceremonies here, I invite you to join me at my new fictitious home in another imaginary made up place: it would not be a home without you.

your most humble and grateful,

Van Choojitarom
เเวน ชูจิตารมย์


Estimating the size of the creature by comparison with the diameter of the large trees near which it passed–the few giants of the forest which had escaped the fury of the land-slide–I concluded it to be far larger than any ship of the line in existence. I say ship of the line, because the shape of the monster suggested the idea- the hull of one of our seventy-four might convey a very tolerable conception of the general outline. The mouth of the animal was situated at the extremity of a proboscis some sixty or seventy feet in length, and about as thick as the body of an ordinary elephant. Near the root of this trunk was an immense quantity of black shaggy hair- more than could have been supplied by the coats of a score of buffaloes; and projecting from this hair downwardly and laterally, sprang two gleaming tusks not unlike those of the wild boar, but of infinitely greater dimensions. Extending forward, parallel with the proboscis, and on each side of it, was a gigantic staff, thirty or forty feet in length, formed seemingly of pure crystal and in shape a perfect prism,–it reflected in the most gorgeous manner the rays of the declining sun. The trunk was fashioned like a wedge with the apex to the earth. From it there were outspread two pairs of wings- each wing nearly one hundred yards in length–one pair being placed above the other, and all thickly covered with metal scales; each scale apparently some ten or twelve feet in diameter. I observed that the upper and lower tiers of wings were connected by a strong chain. But the chief peculiarity of this horrible thing was the representation of a Death's Head, which covered nearly the whole surface of its breast, and which was as accurately traced in glaring white, upon the dark ground of the body, as if it had been there carefully designed by an artist. While I regarded the terrific animal, and more especially the appearance on its breast, with a feeling or horror and awe–with a sentiment of forthcoming evil, which I found it impossible to quell by any effort of the reason, I perceived the huge jaws at the extremity of the proboscis suddenly expand themselves, and from them there proceeded a sound so loud and so expressive of woe, that it struck upon my nerves like a knell and as the monster disappeared at the foot of the hill, I fell at once, fainting, to the floor.

-Edgar Allan Poe, "The Sphinx"

Confessions of the Yellow Sphinx

Daniel: I got that banner that you had carefully fixed the layout for and never used it.

Stacey: I started collaborative, online erotic story with you about edge play with extremely short people, and then, when it got too scary, let my roommate Tom finish it. Tom really liked writing the story with you. Then, when Tom got too scary, I moved out. You should not reply to any further emails or requests for contact, because I'm pretty sure Tom is now detained at her Majesty's leisure.

Majumba: I deleted all your racist comments.

Robert: There was no charity event. All the donuts went to me.

Brian: I don't bathe for a month and then I ask all the hookers to call me "King Brian."

Ady: I did actually find your bra

Margaret: I've strongly suspected you don't like oneiric detective stories

Aisha: That whole weird thing when I had the flu for a week and I wanted you to give hand jobs to strangers while you were on the bus and come back and tell me about it -I stole that from a Lars Von Trier movie. Seriously, you deserve so much better than me.

Loren: I pay extra to call the hookers "Loren."

Tom: I told you I would steal all your stories and become rich and famous. If you haven't guessed already, it was me. Now I'm in Bangkok to commit another series of horrific crimes against extremely short people and there is nothing you can do but read about it online at the prison library.

Stephen: I don't know how this happened, but your baby is mine. I know it.

"The Sphinx" by Oscar Wilde

As part of our closing ceremonies here At the Sign of the Yellow Sphinx, it is my pleasure to present to you a poem by my close personal friend, Oscar Wilde.

[lights down]

(To Marcel Schwob in friendship and in admiration)

In a dim corner of my room for longer than

my fancy thinks

A beautiful and silent Sphinx has watched me

through the shifting gloom.

Inviolate and immobile she does not rise she

does not stir

For silver moons are naught to her and naught

to her the suns that reel.

Red follows grey across the air, the waves of

moonlight ebb and flow

But with the Dawn she does not go and in the

night-time she is there.

Dawn follows Dawn and Nights grow old and

all the while this curious cat

Lies couching on the Chinese mat with eyes of

satin rimmed with gold.

Upon the mat she lies and leers and on the

tawny throat of her

Flutters the soft and silky fur or ripples to her

pointed ears.

Come forth, my lovely seneschal! so somnolent,

so statuesque!

Come forth you exquisite grotesque! half woman

and half animal!

Come forth my lovely languorous Sphinx! and

put your head upon my knee!

And let me stroke your throat and see your

body spotted like the Lynx!

And let me touch those curving claws of yellow

ivory and grasp

The tail that like a monstrous Asp coils round

your heavy velvet paws!

A thousand weary centuries are thine

while I have hardly seen

Some twenty summers cast their green for

Autumn's gaudy liveries.

But you can read the Hieroglyphs on the

great sandstone obelisks,

And you have talked with Basilisks, and you

have looked on Hippogriffs.

O tell me, were you standing by when Isis to

Osiris knelt?

And did you watch the Egyptian melt her union

for Antony

And drink the jewel-drunken wine and bend

her head in mimic awe

To see the huge proconsul draw the salted tunny

from the brine?

And did you mark the Cyprian kiss white Adon

on his catafalque?

And did you follow Amenalk, the God of


And did you talk with Thoth, and did you hear

the moon-horned Io weep?

And know the painted kings who sleep beneath

the wedge-shaped Pyramid?

Lift up your large black satin eyes which are

like cushions where one sinks!

Fawn at my feet, fantastic Sphinx! and sing me all your memories!

Sing to me of the Jewish maid who wandered

with the Holy Child,

And how you led them through the wild, and

how they slept beneath your shade.

Sing to me of that odorous green eve when

crouching by the marge

You heard from Adrian's gilded barge the

laughter of Antinous

And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and

watched with hot and hungry stare

The ivory body of that rare young slave with

his pomegranate mouth!

Sing to me of the Labyrinth in which the twi-

formed bull was stalled!

Sing to me of the night you crawled across the

temple's granite plinth

When through the purple corridors the screaming

scarlet Ibis flew

In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the

moaning Mandragores,

And the great torpid crocodile within the tank

shed slimy tears,

And tare the jewels from his ears and staggered

back into the Nile,

And the priests cursed you with shrill psalms as

in your claws you seized their snake

And crept away with it to slake your passion by

the shuddering palms.

Who were your lovers? who were they

who wrestled for you in the dust?

Which was the vessel of your Lust? What

Leman had you, every day?

Did giant Lizards come and crouch before you

on the reedy banks?

Did Gryphons with great metal flanks leap on

you in your trampled couch?

Did monstrous hippopotami come sidling toward

you in the mist?

Did gilt-scaled dragons writhe and twist with

passion as you passed them by?

And from the brick-built Lycian tomb what

horrible Chimera came

With fearful heads and fearful flame to breed

new wonders from your womb?

Or had you shameful secret quests and did

you harry to your home

Some Nereid coiled in amber foam with curious

rock crystal breasts?

Or did you treading through the froth call to

the brown Sidonian

For tidings of Leviathan, Leviathan or


Or did you when the sun was set climb up the

cactus-covered slope

To meet your swarthy Ethiop whose body was

of polished jet?

Or did you while the earthen skiffs dropped

down the grey Nilotic flats

At twilight and the flickering bats flew round

the temple's triple glyphs

Steal to the border of the bar and swim across

the silent lake

And slink into the vault and make the Pyramid

your lupanar

Till from each black sarcophagus rose up the

painted swathed dead?

Or did you lure unto your bed the ivory-horned


Or did you love the god of flies who plagued

the Hebrews and was splashed

With wine unto the waist? or Pasht, who had

green beryls for her eyes?

Or that young god, the Tyrian, who was more

amorous than the dove

Of Ashtaroth? or did you love the god of the


Whose wings, like strange transparent talc, rose

high above his hawk-faced head,

Painted with silver and with red and ribbed with

rods of Oreichalch?

Or did huge Apis from his car leap down and

lay before your feet

Big blossoms of the honey-sweet and honey-

coloured nenuphar?

How subtle-secret is your smile! Did you

love none then? Nay, I know

Great Ammon was your bedfellow! He lay with

you beside the Nile!

The river-horses in the slime trumpeted when

they saw him come

Odorous with Syrian galbanum and smeared with

spikenard and with thyme.

He came along the river bank like some tall

galley argent-sailed,

He strode across the waters, mailed in beauty,

and the waters sank.

He strode across the desert sand: he reached

the valley where you lay:

He waited till the dawn of day: then touched

your black breasts with his hand.

You kissed his mouth with mouths of flame:

you made the horned god your own:

You stood behind him on his throne: you called

him by his secret name.

You whispered monstrous oracles into the

caverns of his ears:

With blood of goats and blood of steers you

taught him monstrous miracles.

White Ammon was your bedfellow! Your

chamber was the steaming Nile!

And with your curved archaic smile you watched

his passion come and go.

With Syrian oils his brows were bright:

and wide-spread as a tent at noon

His marble limbs made pale the moon and lent

the day a larger light.

His long hair was nine cubits' span and coloured

like that yellow gem

Which hidden in their garment's hem the

merchants bring from Kurdistan.

His face was as the must that lies upon a vat of

new-made wine:

The seas could not insapphirine the perfect azure

of his eyes.

His thick soft throat was white as milk and

threaded with thin veins of blue:

And curious pearls like frozen dew were

broidered on his flowing silk.

On pearl and porphyry pedestalled he was

too bright to look upon:

For on his ivory breast there shone the wondrous


That mystic moonlit jewel which some diver of

the Colchian caves

Had found beneath the blackening waves and

carried to the Colchian witch.

Before his gilded galiot ran naked vine-wreathed


And lines of swaying elephants knelt down to

draw his chariot,

And lines of swarthy Nubians bare up his litter

as he rode

Down the great granite-paven road between the

nodding peacock-fans.

The merchants brought him steatite from Sidon

in their painted ships:

The meanest cup that touched his lips was

fashioned from a chrysolite.

The merchants brought him cedar chests of rich

apparel bound with cords:

His train was borne by Memphian lords: young

kings were glad to be his guests.

Ten hundred shaven priests did bow to Ammon's

altar day and night,

Ten hundred lamps did wave their light through

Ammon's carven house--and now

Foul snake and speckled adder with their young

ones crawl from stone to stone

For ruined is the house and prone the great

rose-marble monolith!

Wild ass or trotting jackal comes and couches

in the mouldering gates:

Wild satyrs call unto their mates across the

fallen fluted drums.

And on the summit of the pile the blue-faced

ape of Horus sits

And gibbers while the fig-tree splits the pillars

of the peristyle

The god is scattered here and there: deep

hidden in the windy sand

I saw his giant granite hand still clenched in

impotent despair.

And many a wandering caravan of stately

negroes silken-shawled,

Crossing the desert, halts appalled before the

neck that none can span.

And many a bearded Bedouin draws back his

yellow-striped burnous

To gaze upon the Titan thews of him who was

thy paladin.

Go, seek his fragments on the moor and

wash them in the evening dew,

And from their pieces make anew thy mutilated


Go, seek them where they lie alone and from

their broken pieces make

Thy bruised bedfellow! And wake mad passions

in the senseless stone!

Charm his dull ear with Syrian hymns! he loved

your body! oh, be kind,

Pour spikenard on his hair, and wind soft rolls

of linen round his limbs!

Wind round his head the figured coins! stain

with red fruits those pallid lips!

Weave purple for his shrunken hips! and purple

for his barren loins!

Away to Egypt! Have no fear. Only one

God has ever died.

Only one God has let His side be wounded by a

soldier's spear.

But these, thy lovers, are not dead. Still by the

hundred-cubit gate

Dog-faced Anubis sits in state with lotus-lilies

for thy head.

Still from his chair of porphyry gaunt Memnon

strains his lidless eyes

Across the empty land, and cries each yellow

morning unto thee.

And Nilus with his broken horn lies in his black

and oozy bed

And till thy coming will not spread his waters on

the withering corn.

Your lovers are not dead, I know. They will

rise up and hear your voice

And clash their cymbals and rejoice and run to

kiss your mouth! And so,

Set wings upon your argosies! Set horses to

your ebon car!

Back to your Nile! Or if you are grown sick of

dead divinities

Follow some roving lion's spoor across the copper-

coloured plain,

Reach out and hale him by the mane and bid

him be your paramour!

Couch by his side upon the grass and set your

white teeth in his throat

And when you hear his dying note lash your

long flanks of polished brass

And take a tiger for your mate, whose amber

sides are flecked with black,

And ride upon his gilded back in triumph

through the Theban gate,

And toy with him in amorous jests, and when

he turns, and snarls, and gnaws,

O smite him with your jasper claws! and bruise

him with your agate breasts!

Why are you tarrying? Get hence! I

weary of your sullen ways,

I weary of your steadfast gaze, your somnolent


Your horrible and heavy breath makes the light

flicker in the lamp,

And on my brow I feel the damp and dreadful

dews of night and death.

Your eyes are like fantastic moons that shiver

in some stagnant lake,

Your tongue is like a scarlet snake that dances

to fantastic tunes,

Your pulse makes poisonous melodies, and your

black throat is like the hole

Left by some torch or burning coal on Saracenic


Away! The sulphur-coloured stars are hurrying

through the Western gate!

Away! Or it may be too late to climb their silent

silver cars!

See, the dawn shivers round the grey gilt-dialled

towers, and the rain

Streams down each diamonded pane and blurs

with tears the wannish day.

What snake-tressed fury fresh from Hell, with

uncouth gestures and unclean,

Stole from the poppy-drowsy queen and led you

to a student's cell?

What songless tongueless ghost of sin crept

through the curtains of the night,

And saw my taper burning bright, and knocked,

and bade you enter in?

Are there not others more accursed, whiter with

leprosies than I?

Are Abana and Pharphar dry that you come here

to slake your thirst?

Get hence, you loathsome mystery! Hideous

animal, get hence!

You wake in me each bestial sense, you make me

what I would not be.

You make my creed a barren sham, you wake

foul dreams of sensual life,

And Atys with his blood-stained knife were

better than the thing I am.

False Sphinx! False Sphinx! By reedy Styx

old Charon, leaning on his oar,

Waits for my coin. Go thou before, and leave

me to my crucifix,

Whose pallid burden, sick with pain, watches

the world with wearied eyes,

And weeps for every soul that dies, and weeps

for every soul in vain.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spring 2009

The deputy was a rookie and got jumped. He got grief for that and the bite got infected. There were a string of killings, someone with a dog or a wolf. They got worse. He had problems with anger at work. One night, he spots the girl who jumped him. She explained that they had come in the winter from Chicago. But he had gotten HIV. Now he was just killing. The pack tried to stop him; he killed them. She needed him. When they tracked him, he was thin, thin and sick. She didn’t cry. He quit the department.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Winter 2008

Jack came back chewed up, nearly dead. The others died. He meant it this time. He was always at Father Jonathan’s side now, helping out. Patti had started using again, so it was no surprise she vanished, but then they found her. They said it was a pack of dogs. Somebody killed Robbie and Consuela, too, and dogs must have come after. John went on the news about the shelter. The story went national. Jack organized the whole thing, helping to raise millions. Father Jonathan never stopped praying for Jack, but could not stop him. The shelter closed that spring.