Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goodbye Amelia

Well, the end of the Amy Pond run with Dr. Who has come and gone. I really liked Amy. She was hot. Because she had known the Doctor almost her whole life, she was less in awe of him than some of his companions--and the doctor more attached to her in some ways. At least, that's my take anyway. I'm not going to give any spoilers. Matt Smith (the actor who playes The Doctor) said he didn't think anyone could get through the episode without a lump in their throat. That was an understatement. I'm somewhat jaded and won't watch a lot of TV shows because I know what the actors are going to say before their mouths open and how the show will end ten minutes into it. Not this time. I never saw the ending coming. If this was inside a movie theatre there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gunslingers & Ghost Stories

Well, my latest project as editor is Gunslingers and Ghost Stories. It's just like it sounds--western ghost stories. It's planned to come out December 1st. Bet ya can't wait.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Blog

Hi, it's me, Karl,

I'm guest blogging today.  The weather's changing. Back in the cretaceous, Colorado was warmer than it is now.  I don't really like winter. But, contrary to popular opinion, dinosaurs are not cold blooded.  I don't hibernate. I just get really chummy with my space heater during the winter months.

Dave's blog yesterday had some delicious sandwich recipes. I couldn't wait to try them out. I really liked the one with peanut butter and barbecue sauce. That may now be my favorite sandwich. 

So, my latest adventure was I went to a haunted house.  I don't mean one of those places with college kids acting like zombies, I mean a real one.  Well, the ghost there came down the stairs. It was one of those black ghosts that nobody understands.. I'm told people didn't even believe they existed, then better low light cameras came on the market and started capturing them and now there's lots of pictures of them. Anyway, the ghost got a look at me and I sent it fleeing back up the stairs. They haven't heard a peep out that ghost since then.  I may try and start a  new career as a ghost remover. They'll have to come up with something more scary than that, let me tell you. They have these devices called EVP meters now. It lets you hear the ghosts, as they sometimes talk to you. The ghost I ran off said "What the?" Then it said something like "Yaaaa!" and that was it. I think modern technology is awesome.

Back where I come from I don't think we had ghosts.  Maybe someday I'll get over to the Labrea Tar Pits and see if they have any dino ghosts over there. I wish they had dino ghosts up in South Dakota. They might be some of my old friends. I'd love to go and catch up on old times with them.

Until next time...


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Feeding people

The other day I posted that I had placed a bag of hamburgers in someone's car.   Well, the window got rolled up as it's been raining. Finally, the bag of rotting hamburgers disappeared. 

While on the subject of lunches, the hotel I used to work at had a refrigerator in the break room. The amount of thieving of people's food was astonishing.  It didn't matter if you wrote your name on something, chances were good it would be gone before you could eat it.  What particularly bothered me was somebody kept taking my diet Dr. Pepper, even though my name was clearly posted on it. One day I got fed up and dumped a bottle of soy sauce in it.  I also noted the level on the 2 liter bottle. Somebody clearly took some of the liquid. I don't know what their reaction was when they drank it. Ultimately, I gave up and stopped bringing anything to work that I could not consume within my shift.

Did this stop me from leaving things? Hell no.  I once made a sandwich of bologna, turnips, ketchup and children's paste [it's not toxic and won't hurt you if you eat it. Yes, the kind kids use for art class]. That sandwich disappeared.  I also made one once that had mold on the inside of the bun. That also promptly disappeared.  Then there was the sandwich of peanut butter, barbecue sauce, powdered sugar and sliced radishes. Half of it vanished. Somebody actually cut it in half, took half and left half in the fridge.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weird Western Site

I've stumbled across a site devoted to weird westerns.. A lot of info on WW authors and books there, though you have to kind of work at it to find stuff. If you like WW stuff, it's worth a few minutes to look over, me thinks.

<a href=""  target="_blank"><img src="" title="Weird Western" /></a>


I've been trying to thin out my collection of cartoon character glasses.  Unfortunately, the buyers on eBay don't seem to want to pay much for anything--plus they're expensive to ship.  Alas, this has not worked out all that well. Then you ad the time in photographing them and such and it's barely worth my time.  In general, my glasses are worth less now than they were 20 years ago. The market has not been kind. You'd think as glasses get broken and such, they'd become rarer. Well, rare or not, there's little market for them. Don't know what I'll try next.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lunches From Outer Space

I live in a condo complex. I’ve noticed a neighbor always leaves his car window down. They’re new to the area. I suspect that will change when winter hits. For some reason, I went to Wendy’s and ordered three of the cheapest hamburgers they have. I ended up with ones that cost $1.39 each. I placed the bag on the passenger side seat of said car with said open window. I don’t know why I did it. I just did. Anyway, the car went away for the day and when it came back, I noticed the sack of burgers still sitting on the front seat. It looked like it hadn’t even been touched. Then another day went by and I noticed the sack of burgers still seemed to be in the exact same place..

I don’t how long the sack of burgers will sit there. I’ll revisit this at some future point. I’m amazed the bears haven’t gone after them. I would be a might bit curious at finding a bag of burgers in my car. I’d probably dispose of them. They’re still out in that car as of this posting.

This reminds me somewhat of someone I went to high school with. Shortly after graduation, he left the keys to his car in my possession. I promptly had a duplicate set made. I had intended to move his car and do annoying things like that. What I actually ended up doing was making bag lunches and placing them in his car. They were basic lunches with a bag of chips, a sandwich such as peanut butter and perhaps some fruit like a banana or apple. I left these lunches in his car a good eight or nine times. I was simply amazed when I learned that he’d actually been eating them. Lunches mysteriously placed in a locked car by unknown persons for whatever fiendish intent. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, but I sure as heck wouldn’t have eaten them.

This doesn’t prove much other than I’m kind of weird and I can’t figure why someone would run around with a bag of three day and counting old hamburgers in his car.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I'm just wrapping up a ghost story anthology.  This is the first time I've paid people by the word instead of a flat rate or royalty formula.  Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the stories are coming in way longer than anything I've ever edited before, averaging about 6000 words. I think I'm one of the few places that will take stories up to 7K, so I'm used to running a little longer than some other outfits. But, even for me, I'm amazed at how long winded some of this stuff is. I guess I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Tired Family

The Tired Family


Sam Tired The dad, who works as a plumber

Lois Tired: The wife and mother. She works at home taking suicide prevention calls.

Larry Tired: Age 8. The son.

Scene 1

(After a father and son outing, Sam and Larry are on their way home in the family car.)

Sam: That was kind of fun.

Larry: Yeah. Too bad that horse threw the jockey in the fifth. You’d have won the daily double.

Sam: Don’t remind me. You did okay.

Larry: Hundred bucks.

(They pass a new sign by the road. It reads Try Butt Sex)

Larry: Dad, what’s butt sex?

Sam: Uh, that’s when a man sticks his pecker in another man’s butt.

Larry: Why would they do that?

Sam: Uh, I don’t know. Ask your mother.


Scene 2

(Sam is brushing his teeth, getting ready for bed.)

Lois: Sweetie, did you take Sam to the racetrack today?

Sam: Uh, yeah. He did pretty good.

Lois: Do you think that’s what he should be learning? Gambling?

Sam: People gamble. It goes back thousands of years. He might as well learn that now.

Lois: You think so, do you? He asked me something a little while ago. He wanted to know about butt sex.

Sam: Well, kids are curious.

Lois: Where did he hear about butt sex?

Sam: From some sign by the road. 

Lois: He’s your son.

Sam: Well, it was either ask you or ask the older boys at school. I’m sure some of them would give him a demonstration.

Lois: So, today he learned about butt sex and gambling. What do you have planned for tomorrow?

Sam: If he knows about butt sex and gambling, my work as his father is done.

(Sam unfolds a blanket on the living room couch. Then tosses some pillows down. Sam lies down and covers up)

Sam: Boy, do I love this couch.

To be continued

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Refreshing Beverage?

As I'm writing this I'm sipping on a glass of Sugar Free Hawaiian Punch. I find it refreshing now and then.Emphasis on Sugar Free.  I bought some on the Internet, but I thought it'd be cheaper and easier if I could find a local store that carried it. So, I called the customer service number for the company, which I also got over the Internet, and asked where I might be able to purchase said beverage.  They informed me they don't make a Sugar Free version and did not know what I was talking about. This has me wondering what on earth it is that I am drinking.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Halloween Haunts

The Horror Writers Association will be running a whole bunch of special stuff on their blog during the month of October in celebration of Halloween.
They're even going to have giveaways of free stuff.  Folks should check it often during October cause it should be worth your while.  There's a link on this blog to that blog down lower on this page. Anyone can get there from here.

Also in celebration of Halloween, as I've previously mentioned, I'll be reading ghost stories along with five other Colorado writers on October 27th in Denver.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Covers out there

I continue to believe that my biggest problem as a publisher is that a lot of people simply don't know about our products over at Science Fiction Trails. I suppose it's always possible they do know and want nothing to do with it.  But, assuming the former, we have our covers on the Books Received section of SF Signal, thanks to a little help from David Boop. [Six Guns Straight From Hell & Low Noon] If they get reviewed at some point, that would be nice. Reviews definitely affect sales, which is why I'm amazed at how many small publishers won't even bother to send out review copies.

And SF Site just put the cover of the Martian Issue of Science Fiction Trails up on their Magazines Received section 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Posting Rants

I was going to rant a bit about the Postal Service, but I decided it's just pointless. I have a new set of complaints but it just doesn't matter.  Mail sent to me at my old post office doesn't get forwarded and doesn't go back to the sender, either. I think they just toss it in their trash dumpster. One of these days I'm going to go over there and see how much unopened first class mail is in their dumpster.

I said it doesn't matter because it doesn't matter.  You can't do anything about the horrible service. You can't do anything about the thieving employees who keep stealing your packages. You can't do anything about the poorly trained employees. You can't do anything about the postmaster who tells his clerks to say he's not there when you can see him standing back off somewhere. The Post Office did a brilliant job at cutting down on their staggering number of complaints--they took all of the complaint forms out of the Post Office. It's now nearly impossible to complain about anything.

If I have an issue with UPS or FedEx I can call someone and probably get some effort at resolving the problem. That ain't happening with the Postal Service. Yet they whine about declining business. Heck, I now send anything important by UPS. Wonder why. Maybe it's all the packages they've stolen and given to other people by careless employees who don't give a damn.

So, I was going to rant about the Postal Service, but I decided it's pointless.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Ghostly Gathering

I've mentioned before that I was putting together an author even right before Halloween. This is it.
A Ghostly Gathering
Colorado authors Steve Rasnic Tem, Alastair Mayer, David Boop, J. A. Campbell, Laura Givens & David B. Riley will be reading their ghost stories.
Saturday, October 27th
at the
Broadway Book Mall
200 South Broadway, Denver
7 PM
For more info go to

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dr. Weird Western

Yesterday's Dr. Who episode was long awaited.  I was so thrilled to finally be able to watch it.  This was an honest to God weird western episode. The Doctor took on an alien cyborg gunslinger who was threatening a western town. And things weren't exactly what they first seemed. And the cyborg gunslinger isn't quite as bad as first thought. And it was all wonderful.

This is the sort of thing I've been publishing in my magazine, Science Fiction Trails, for the past eight years, sans the Doctor.  Western sci fi keeps turning up where you least expect it. Now, even on the BBC.  Yippe Yi Yo.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pterodactyl Dayz

Hi, it’s me, Karl. I’m guest blogging today. There was some talk of making some video starring me. The hangup is they can’t seem to figure out a storyline. So, it may be a while. I don’t see what the problem is. They could have me saving the world from space aliens. Me eating the bad guys in some western. Or I could take on my arch nemesis, the pterodactyls. I really like that one. Heck, we could do all three in one video. That would be awesome.

Pterodactyls are mean and nasty flying creatures that used to attack young dinosaurs from the air. One came after me once when I was little. But my mom came running and that was one critter that learned not to mess with a tyrannosaurus’s younguns. They don’t even taste very good. A lot of people call them flying dinosaurs, but they’re not. I didn’t know that back when I lived in the cretaceous, but that’s what they said at the museum. And people think they were ancestors to the birds. They were just flying reptiles that died out. Good riddance, I say. They weren’t all that big, but people aren’t sure how big they were, because a lot of the fossils were probably juveniles. They sure seemed big when I was young and they wanted to eat me.

I like going to the museum and looking at the exhibits. Sometimes I sit around and let people think I’m an exhibit. That’s always fun. The guy at the museum’s loading dock is mad at me. There was this truck delivering meat for the snack bar. They had beef, and some frozen chicken and some stuff in a box with a fish printed on the side. It didn’t taste or look like any fish I ever saw. Whoever saw square fish? Well, they don’t have any of that stuff anymore. Boy was that guy steamed. I was hungry.

Then I went over to some Girl Scouts and they all left suddenly. I thought they’d like a chance to see a dinosaur up close. Apparently, not. I don’t know what they were all screaming about. It was probably good to take them outside. I'm sure their screaming was bothering people.

So, anyway, maybe I’ll be in some video. Maybe not. Til next time.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Kollege fuhtbahl

I'm glad football has started.  But, it's actually the college game that I like. I'd rather watch college football than the NFL.  But, it's harder to get your favorite game. You've got to hunt through a myriad of cable networks. Even after all of that, sometimes it simply isn't out there to watch.  So, when it's all said and done, I may or may not be able to get the Stanford game or the Oregon game. But, if I can, I watch it. Why am I partial to Pac 12 football? Two reason, I'm a California kid and that's what I grew up watching. And, I'm an Oregon alum. Now that Colorado has joined the PAC 12 you'd think there'd be more of those match ups available, but that doesn't seem to be the case thus far. In fact, it's looking worse--if Colorado isn't in the game, we ain't getting it.

I wasn't happy with the recent shift in conference alignments. I am not happy Colorado went to the Pac 10. Nor was I happy about the Nebraska move, either. But, for some reason, they didn't ask me.

An observation

I've had a picture of Commander Bligh  on this very blog [Down on the lower right side], on my previous blog, and use it as an avatar on the Horror Writers Association forum. Yet, no one has ever asked me why I have a picture of Commander Bligh here. Usually referred to as "Captain Bligh," he was not a captain, as I understand it. He was a lieutenant commander. Which is why I refer to him as Commander Bligh. The HMS Bounty was an insignificant little tub that was sent on a mission to bring breadfruit trees to the new world as a cheap source of protein for slaves. Well, that didn't work out quite so well.

Tally Ho

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Yesterday I kept coughing for some reason.  It finally stopped. I think it might've been some allergy. I always seem to get fall allergies.  I'm not sure what causes them. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

$$$ Money

Well, for the past five days I've been paying cash for my purchases.  It has been pure hell.  I just love my debit card and use it to pay for almost all routine purchases. I think debit cards are absolutely wonderful. Why cash?  I wanted to see if the results were the same as they were a year ago when I did a similar experiment.  To put it bluntly, money handlers can't count. Now, keep in mind I live in a ski resort and our workforce is probably not typical compared to an average American town. Still, a year ago the only transactions that were right were at the (Kroger) grocery store and  the bank. Another grocery store and all other transactions (95%) from tacos to gasoline resulted in change errors. All of them. And I was shorted every time.

As I said, this was similar. It was not the same mix of businesses.  I just bought what I wanted, but paid cash. My change was only off in 25% of the transactions--way better than last year, but still alarmingly high. One local restaurant routinely rounds off and never bothers to give you the silver part of your change at all, which is a violation of Colorado law.

And that's one reason I like to use my debit card. There is no change involved.

I've noticed terminals for some sort of smart phone based payments sprouting up. I refused to put my life on a phone. My phone is just a phone and it will remain so. I don't know if this new system will catch on.  But it would probably better serve people than cash, based on my results.

For now, just give me my debit card and leave me be. And stop ripping people off with their change.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

fortune cookie

Only fools and dead men won't change their minds. Fools won't. Dead men can't.

That's what a recent fortune cookie told me.  To me, it's not a fortune.  That's the thing: fortune cookies no longer seem to have fortunes in them. A fortune is something like "You will die tomorrow" or "Your wife will run off with the mail man."  The stuff  they're putting inside fortune cookies just is not fortunes, it seems to me anyway.  That's why I'd just as soon have an almond cookie, but they never give you anything buy fortune cookies in Chinese restaurants. Almond cookies are way better.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I had a grilled cheese sandwich yesterday. I like them on sourdough bread.  That's not in itself all that interesting.  I guess the problem with my meal is that I didn't have any tomato soup with it. I always have tomato soup when I have a grilled cheese. My departure was due to my not taking a list of needed foodstuffs to the grocery store. I bought the bread and the cheese, but neglected the soup. When I began to prepare my meal, only then did I realize I didn't have any tomato soup. I was miserable. The sandwich was fine, but I've become so accustomed to having soup with that particular sandwich it really bothered me. I guess I'm simply too set in my ways. I think that's the only sandwich that I am so obsessively attached to having soup with it. I think it stems to childhood, as many habits do. My mother always served tomato soup when she fixed a grilled cheese. And so, a zillion years later, I felt somewhat lost and missing something because I didn't have any soup.

And the odd thing is, my mother never fixed grilled cheeses with sourdough bread. She always used plain old white bread.  But, although I never use plain old white bread for anything, I seem to still be fixated on the need to have my soup. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

That Doctor Guy

Well, after a long hiatus, Dr. Who is back.  So far, pretty good stuff. Heck, they even had dinosaurs.  I always thought, if some benevolent time traveler offered me a ride back in time, I'd like to see some dinosaurs.  I don't know that I'd want to be their lunch, but a quick trip to the cretaceous period would be kind of nice. I think the cretaceous dinosaurs are the more interesting, not that I'm all knowing on these matters.

Anyway back to Dr. Who. They damn near lost me last year with the Amy isn't Amy and River is Amy's daughter even though she's way older than Amy and blah blah. This season, so far anyway, doesn't have these threads or "Badwolf" turning up everywhere or cracks in people's bedrooms. It's just one adventure at a time (so far). An improvement, in my opinion.

And the stun guns they had in Saturday's episode looked identical to the ones in Primeval. BBC always recycling props.  Heck the dinosaurs looked like the ones in Primeval, too. Primeval is a different BBC time travel series.  The Brits sure seem to go for time travel.  It's almost the only science fiction one sees on the BBC.  Tally ho.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Halloween's coming up.  I'm kind of amazed at how libraries deal with the holiday.  It's long been my belief that librarians don't seem to like horror.  When I've had the time, I've often gone into libaries here and there and just sort of looked around as we neared the Halloween date.  Very few libraries have much of a display to celebrate the day.  If they do anything at all, it'll be in the juvenile section with maybe a few selected books and something orange.

My suspicions have deep roots. They go way back to when I was in high school in California. I noticed the Alameda County library system did not have a single book by Edgar Allen Poe--not just our branch, but the entire system. I asked the supposed head librarian about this and got a "I don't know" as to why there was not one book by a major American author.  She knew damn well, but would not admit that librarians don't like to order horror books. I figured that out right away and have believed it to this day.

A notable exception has been the Jeffco library system, which is in the Denver area.  I just discovered they even ordered the last anthology I edited, Low Noon. In spite of my best efforts, that book has not gotten much in the review department. I was amazed they even knew about it. They've ordered other books of mine as well.   In the southwest, the Pima County libraries in Tucson have ordered my western anthologies. Wonderful people.

Alas, they're the exception, not the norm.  Try it yourself and see if there's a meaningful horror display at your library for Halloween. I doubt you'll find much. I'd love to be proven wrong. And, I'll continue to check libraries for Halloween displays.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


In watching bits of the Democratic Convention, I noticed in the seats was the delegation claiming to be from North Dakota.  I wonder where they're really from.  Say what?  I don't think there really is such a place as North Dakota.  I think it's just a fabrication.  In all my years of working in the hotel business, no one from North Dakota ever shows up.  In all my years as an editor, I've never seen a single story from anybody in North Dakota.  I've never met anyone from North Dakota. Heck, I can't even find anybody who claims to have even been there. That's why I don't think there is such a place and that it is simply a fiction that turns up on election maps--for what reason I do not really know.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Starship Troopers

There's a new DVD/Blu Ray movie out from the Starship Troopers movie legacy. I think it's called Invasion. I have no plans to buy a copy.  I don't really understand the concept here. I really loved the original movie. It had lots of action, plenty of dead bugs and even coed shower scenes.  But, then some genius figured they should make some more movies that were all low budget direct to DVD movies. They were awful. And they keep making more. As I understand it, the latest is completely CGI.  It's just a cartoon.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Well, I'm not entirely happy with the new issue of Locus.  Yes, they did mention both new issues of Science Fiction Trails in the new magazines received section.and that's a good thing.  But they didn't use the cover of either magazine. And, they placed the cover of some other magazine between the listings of both issues. That is not so good. But, they say any publicity is good publicity. At least they mentioned them. I get the Kindle ebook version, no idea if this is true about the print issue.

In case anyone's forgotten, the actual covers appear below.  Buy some copies and hand them out to seniors at local nursing homes. They'll be so confused. Why has this covered wagon got legs?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Redshirt Freshman of Notre Dame

The Red Shirt Freshman of Notre Dame
by David B. Riley

Otis Claverson didn't look too good when the trainers carried him off the field. His eyes were glazed over and his usually smiling face had been replaced by one filled with searing pain. "Seventy-three," someone kept yelling. That number seemed familiar. Lizard Murphy glanced down at his jersey. He was number 73. He looked at Elmo Bruno, defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. "Lizard in," the crusty man with the thinning crew cut ordered. Lizard put on his helmet and trotted onto the field. The last game of the regular season, a bowl bid and a national championship were on the line and Lizard had never played for a single minute during the entire season. He lined up at the right middle linebacker spot, replacing the injured Otis Claverson, who was in for only two plays for the starting linebacker.

He grunted and looked mean for the benefit of the big tight end on the other side of the ball. Lizard glanced down and realized they were practically standing on the end zone. They were down by three points and there was only a minute left in the game and New Mexico State was about to score again — New Mexico State.

The instant the ball was snapped, the quarterback stepped back to pass. Lizard scrambled after the tight end. Lizard ran like a truck and had been put in to stop the anticipated run. For a big man, their tight end was fast—much faster than Lizard. Lizard tried to keep up. Suddenly the tight end turned back toward the quarterback. Lizard was behind him—way behind him, and the ball was going straight at the tight end, who was now five yards in front of Lizard.

Then something strange happened that would change Lizard's life forever. The New Mexico State tight end vanished—just disappeared. The ball sailed straight into Lizard's gut. Somehow, Lizard managed to hang onto it.

"Down it you meathead!" he could hear coach Elmo yelling.

There were a lot of the other guys between him and the other end zone nearly 100 yards away, but time was running out. He put his helmet down and charged ahead. The first state guy made contact on the five, a stiff arm sent him to the turf. By the 20, Lizard's lungs were hurting and he still had 80 yards to go. A second guy missed a tackle to his legs. Lizard looked over his shoulder. Micky D. was only a few yards behind him. The free safety was so much faster than he was. He tossed the ball—a perfect lateral to his teammate. Lizard stopped. His teammate sailed past him, dodged two tacklers and headed into open field.

A few seconds later Notre Dame was back on top as Mick D. Spillner ran untouched into the end zone. People everywhere on the sidelines were cheering and jumping up and down—at least everywhere on the Notre Dame side. The State guys were jumping up and down too, but they were screaming and shaking their fists.

The New Mexico State coach, finishing an undefeated rookie season, disregarded the fact that Notre Dame was setting up for the extra point and stormed out onto the field. The referee threw a flag and blew his whistle to stop play. "Where the hell's my tight end?" he yelled to the official.

After a five minute consultation, the referee ruled that the touchdown stood, and that there were ten seconds left on the clock. Campus security would have to deal with the mysterious disappearance of Buz Bombarella, star tight end for New Mexico State. Disappearing during a play was not covered in NCAA rules.

Lizard was touched when Mickey D. gave him the football he'd lateraled to him. He vowed to cherish it forever.

That evening, he was walking back to his room in the company of Juliet Mills, one of the cheerleaders who had suddenly taken an interest in him. He was about to explain how he'd come to be named Lizard, but he had an uneasy feeling that something wasn't quite right. Tearing his eyes away from her, he looked around. There was a flying saucer hovering over the dorm. He broke into a run. In fact, if he'd ran that fast earlier, he could've scored the touchdown himself. He charged up the stairs and busted through the door to his room without even stopping to turn the knob or unlock it.

A little green guy with black eyes and two antennae sticking out of his head was climbing out the window — with the game ball. Lizard lunged after him and grabbed onto the ball. The green-guy jumped off the ledge and pulled Lizard off with him. Instead of falling, they ascended. Three seconds later, they were inside the flying saucer.

Lizard kicked the green guy with enough force to get his football back.

Five other green guys were standing around him, each one had a shiny cylinder pointed straight at Lizard's head. He let the green guy take back the football.

"It's you!" someone said. Lizard turned around. There was another green guy, but this one was wearing a Notre Dame jersey. The other green guys bowed. "I can't believe it's you. Would you autograph the football?"

"Hell no."

"No way. It's my ball." Lizard crossed his arms and tried to look as defiant as possible.
"We'll kill you."

Lizard accepted the pen one of them was now holding and scrawled something with his right hand. Lizard was a southpaw and figured that was about as good as a bad forgery. They didn't seem to notice. "What's with you guys?" He handed back the football "Go Irish!" they all yelled in unison. An ugly thought entered his mind. "You guys do something to that tight end?"

They all started looking toward the ceiling. The one in the football jersey finally gestured for the others to put away their weapons. "You would've lost the national championship."

"There were only fifty seconds left," the others said, again all in unison. "A touchdown would've finished you."

"Where is he?" Lizard asked. "Did you transport him up?"

"Out of range," they all said.

"We vaporized him. Maybe we got a little carried away."

"This is too weird. Keep the damn ball."

"Ah, thank you," the one in the jersey said. "You are too kind."

"When we go to the Fiesta Bowl, you guys aren't going to . . . ?" Lizard asked.

"No. We regret that little incident."

"Besides, Miami doesn't have a prayer. Go Irish!" they all yelled.

 "You wanted to see me?" Lizard asked as he stood at attention in Elmo Bruno's office.

Bruno turned down the sound of the television. He'd been watching Jeopardy. "This ruckus about yesterday's game. The Fiesta Bowl just backed out of their invite. The boss is in there now trying to get us booked in some bowl in Alaska."


"Yeah, and they're talking about going with Alcom State instead of us."


"I don't even know where the heck that is."

Lizard sat down in one of the comfy leather chairs. "I wouldn't worry about it, sir. I think Notre Dame is entering a new era of football."

"How so?"

The news team interrupted Jeopardy on the television to bring a report that the stadium in Arizona that was used by the Fiesta Bowl had just been leveled by an apparent earthquake. Police were denying rumors of a flying saucer sighting just moments before the quake.

Author's note: The way college bowls are awarded has changed substantially since this story was first published. I'm posting this story in honor of the start of college football season. It first appeared in Strange Days magazine.

Guest Blogger (Karl)

Hi, it’s me, Karl.

I’m filling in today as guest blogger. I probably should get my own blog site. I kind of like blogging.

Well, I just discovered pancakes. I’d never eaten them before. Boy, I sure wish we’d had them back during the cretaceous. I’d never have left. These boy scouts were having this pancake breakfast. Well, for some reason they all ran off and left all these pancakes. They were really good. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat the syrup bottle before or after I ate all of the pancakes, so I ate it last. They had sausage and ham and coffee, too. I ate that, but it was the pancakes that I was most impressed with. Apparently, some woman named Aunt Jemima actually makes them and the scouts just add water and cook them. Boy I’d sure like to meet Aunt Jemima. She could fix me pancakes all day long. I’ve never had anything so light and fluffy. I don’t know why the boy scouts left so many pancakes, but I didn’t let them go to waste. I sure wouldn’t run off and leave plates full of steaming pancakes. I’ve got to find out where Aunt Jemima lives and go see her. She’s got a new fan.

I liked these things so much I found this pancake house. They didn’t seem to have any pancakes inside, though. Everybody was sort of sitting on the floor with the lights off. Boy, I don’t really understand some people’s religions.

Well, that’s all for now. Til next time . . .