Art and commentary by Kimberly Harris

Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Santa’s New Helper, The Trumpus

The Trumpus carts away a load of candidates in a basket and a sled

The Trumpus spirits away a load of naughty office-seekers to be whipped in his underground lair deep inside the elegant and exclusive Trumpus Tunnel and Casino deep beneath Atlantic City.

In Germany, Austria and Italy, Santa and Krampus have been in a partnership since time immemorial. Their special compact specifies that Santa will reward the good children and Krampus, a part-demon, part-goat creature, has the responsibility of punishing the bad ones. This way, Santa does not tarnish his public image as a kind, jovial old fellow loved by all.

In the United States, the worst a naughty child can expect from Santa is a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking. However, in Europe, the fate of misbehaving children is far grimmer. Santa doesn’t bother with them. After leaving presents for the good kids, he instructs Krampus to collect the naughty ones and stuff them in his basket to be taken away to be whipped with switches made of birch twigs, or worse, to be devoured altogether.

Due to the alarming increase in naughtiness and bad behavior on the part of adults around the world, Santa decided to add a new position to his holiday workforce. His longstanding sidekick Krampus will now be getting some much-needed assistance from Trumpus, a new hire from America.

Over the last few months, Santa had deployed a number of his best Elves on a Shelf to infiltrate the homes of prominent candidates and observe their behavior. When the elves reported back with their findings, Santa was horrified by what he heard, especially regarding the appalling exchange of insults and accusations between the candidates. Santa instructed Trumpus to mete out deserving punishment to them. The wily Trumpus lured them all in under the pretense of a sleigh ride to a political rally where wealthy donors would be present. But before they knew it, they were collected into a basket and swiftly consigned to a dungeon in Trumpus’ subterranean lair in the elegant and exclusive Trumpus Tunnel and Casino beneath Atlantic City where they soon realized that all the slot machines are rigged, the hors d’oeuvres are stale and none of the drinks are free.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

No Free Toy Hidden in the Box of Life

: An elderly sailor is enjoying a beer and a tasty snack

After a hard life at sea, aging sailor Jackson sips a beer and munches on candied popcorn snacks while slowly coming to accept the sad reality that there is no free prize hidden in the box of life.

Throughout the happy-go-lucky days of his childhood growing up by the sea, young Jackson always looked forward to discovering the prize traditionally included in every box of tasty popcorn snacks given to him by his mother. After a long career traveling far and wide aboard ships, Jackson retired by the seashore. One evening he sought to relive the nostalgia of the carefree days of his youth when he would wait with so much anticipation for his mom to bring him his favorite treat all the while speculating as to what exciting new treasure might be revealed among the candied popcorn and nuts in the box. However, as he sipped his beer and savored his favorite snack, he suddenly became cognizant of the sobering reality that life was no longer just a bowl of candy coated popcorn with peanuts and even worse, that there is no free prize hidden in the box of life. Nevertheless, he has not given up hope of unearthing that secret decoder ring that would unlock the mysteries of the universe and that might just be at the bottom of the very box he had just opened.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

Dining with the Devil

Mary is sharing a hot dog lunch with Prince of Darkness

An age-old adage states that “”He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon”

Mary was enjoying her hot dog lunch when the Prince of Darkness unashamedly invited himself to share her table. As a precaution against any unwelcome advances on his part, she asked the waiter to bring a long spoon to serve the mustard.

Happy New Year 2014!

Circus acrobats are performing on the moon

Fly me to the moon in 2014. Let me play among the stars…

Ned is home for the holidays

A skeleton holding a suitcase is approaching a haunted house

Ned arrives at his ancestral home just in time for Halloween and finds his cat anxiously waiting for him on the porch

After so many years away from home, Ned finally collected enough frequent flyer miles to take the long arduous trip back home to see his family. While he had a pleasant flight on Spirit Airlines, he found the TSA pat-down to be highly intrusive and demeaning and plans to post a video of the offence which was kindly taken by a fellow traveler on YouTube. It also provides irrefutable proof that it was the TSA that crushed his favorite hat, for which Ned intends to file a claim for reimbursement.

Abandoned hipster chickens struggle to make ends meet

A destitute chicken is playing a ukulele on a street corner hoping for tips

Cruelly abandoned by her hipster master who felt that taking care of her was too much of a burden, Hazel was forced to shed her dignity and was reduced to selling eggs and playing music on the street for strangers in hope of securing her next meal.

It all began several years ago with the troubling news that chickens and roosters were arriving in unprecedented numbers at animal shelters and sanctuaries throughout the United States and Canada. Recently, things reached a point where facility overcrowding is resulting in many of them being turned away due to lack of space. The authorities were puzzled at first as the phenomenon was widespread and largely precluded the possibility of a mass breakout at a local Perdue or Tyson facility. One local reporter even made a phone call to a well-placed retired colonel who is knowledgeable about the poultry industry. Unfortunately, this didn’t shed any further light on the mystery, as the polite southern gentleman pronounced that ”business was as finger-lickin’good as ever” with no reported shortages of raw materials.

A few clues eventually began to surface in the mainstream media. A recent Time Magazine article discussed the roots of the chicken abandonment problem and quoted the owner of The Chicken Run Rescue facility in Minneapolis as stating: “It’s the stupid foodies” and “We’re just sick to death of it.” Another animal rescue group in Seattle, Ducks and Clucks, told The Daily Caller that “hipster urban yuppie types who entertained romanticized notions of raising farm animals” were to blame for the crisis.

This led animal rights activists to proceed to conduct surveillance at several of the more prominent shelters to see if they could identify the method of transportation used to deliver the chickens. Soon, a pattern was revealed in the shadowy arrival of abandoned chickens. As had been suspected earlier by the reporters, they were being dropped off by people who appeared to fit the pattern of hipsterism, either by their garb, hair, demeanor or mode of conveyance. The chickens were seen to arrive transported in Kånken backpacks, in handlebar baskets on single-speed bicycles, in the trunks of flashy hybrids and in one instance, a dilapidated VW bus was observed to disgorge several dozen chickens before speeding down a dimly lit alley into the night.

It was now becoming clear that the unfortunate fowl were casualties of a dysfunctional locavore movement. The thought of stimulating production of healthy organic food in local communities was attractive to hipsters and it was a well-intentioned effort that initially enjoyed success as bumper crops of homegrown tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, beans and other tasty summer staples flourished. Chicken coops soon followed as the hipsters moved on to focus on fresh egg production.

At first, everything went well for the chickens. During the course of their tenure in their comfortable urban settings, the chickens began to emulate their masters by dressing in ragged retro clothes, donning Kangol berets, wearing lenseless tortoiseshell glasses and surreptitiously learning how to play the hipsters’ musical instruments. They even went as far as sneaking sips from their owners’ unattended cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, all the while secretly cackling out old Pabst marketing slogans, such as “Pabst makes it perfect.” Oblivious to their eventual fate, the flocks reveled in tipple and song with only passing concern regarding what the future might hold for them.

Everything went splendidly for a while as hipsters, enthralled with pets that also produced breakfast, proceeded to purchase wholesale quantities of cute fuzzy little chicks. The fact that some might grow up to be roosters never crossed the hipsters’ minds. But as nature would have it, half of the hatchlings turned out to be roosters that were not only incapable of laying eggs, but also soon became an annoyance to entire neighborhoods with their early morning crowing. The hipster foodies were placed under increasing pressure by the communities to do something about the pre-dawn cacophony. This led some people to suggest that this was a major contributing factor to a spike in the downloading of Julia Child’s iconic recipe for Coq au Vin off the Internet.

Hazel was ultimately dumped on a street corner in a bad part of town and left to fend for herself. Later, she and a handful of surviving friends would recount harrowing tales about the fate of roosters who failed to live up to the foodies’ expectations regarding egg production. Husbands disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the night, and hipsters were said to have persuaded some of the recent arrivals to join a mysterious religious cult they referred to as the “The Order of Young Friars,” after which time they were never seen again.

Hazel was fortunate in that she was able to grab her master’s ukulele as she was about to be spirited away in a rusty Volvo station wagon with a bad muffler. Now, she performs on street corners hoping to entice passersby to toss a little chicken feed her way.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

Overhyped “Supermoon” upstaged by spectacular planetary alignment

Two space aliens in vacation attire are toasting a cosmic display

Extraterrestrial campers Bob and Sue raise a glass to toast the spectacular planetary alignment in their home star system of Epsilon Eridani

There was considerable media attention focused on the so-called “Supermoon” that appeared this weekend when a full moon reached its perigee and thus its closest approach to Earth this year, causing it to appear 12% larger than when it will be at its farthest point on January 14, 2014.

However, in another part of the cosmos, a far more impressive display of galactic splendor is underway. Here, otherworldly vacationers Bob and Sue have packed up their Airstream trailer and headed for the Ursae Majoris Hills to observe this year’s spectacular Epsilon Eridani planetary alignment.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

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