"Clear thy mind of questions, and thou shalt become less wise than whenst thou didst first commence!"
(Author's note: Hopelessly out of date.)
the Achievement Table: The holy grail of every Sparrow-Legged Man. Through a well-nigh unintelligible but clearly Hellish process, each "successful" Sparrow-Legged Man is allowed to enjoy a single, ice-cold glass of orange juice at a small, round table while being videotaped. A tiny audience is present to applaud him. When he is finished with his juice, the Sparrow-Legged Man is given a copy of the video tape and banished from Sparrow-Legged society forever. See also: The Sparrow-legged Man.
Bacon In His Path: According to legend, when a traveler is blessed by the deities, he is said to have "bacon in his path", which suggests not only plenty of food along the way, but cheap sexual encounters as well. When a traveler has been cursed by the deities, he is said to have "exhausted his rasher".
Beltsnap: Small California city 110 miles north of Sacramento in which the Newe Englande Orange Powder Companie and Ubiquitous Wax and Lye, Inc. is headquartered. Also home to the Beltsnap Bat Company, Louisville Slugger's most feared competitor. See also: Newe Englande Orange Powder Companie and Ubiquitous Wax and Lye, Inc.
Birdsley,Arthur: Once-famous but now obscure American author, whose The Sticks and March Through Dalton are nearly-forgotten classics. Birdsley has been a great influence on Butler's work. See also: Chench, Cnenc and North Forfolont, whose Community Theatre group has almost singlehandedly brought the current revival of Birdsley's work to the attention of the American avant-garde.
Bread, Don: Don Bread was born with a peculiar deformity; his head resembles a loaf of rye bread. Unfortunately, this portentous head was balanced atop the flimsiest of necks, which caused Don no end of pain. Finally unable to continue to endure his plight, he sliced the living face from his "skull", which killed him. His friends were so upset that they composed a ballad about his life in his memory.
The Burrito Man: A living, incontinent burrito who bumbles about the world causing unpleasant (but mostly harmless) consternation. He will be devoured by the chip-men one day.
Chench,Cnenc: (pronounced Chench, Nenk) A war deity of the Fire-Hats, originally a character in Arthur Birdsley's novel The Sticks. Cnenc has a sort of gastrointestinal problem which more-or-less requires that He hold His exposed and rotting entrails with at least one of His arms. His legendary meeting with Ipthoor Ribalbus Cormorant was heralded as a sort of truce between the Fire-Hat and Fire-Head religious factions, but since that meeting, Ithius Cren has attempted to ensure that the two sides bear nothing but hatred for each other. See also: Cormorant, Ipthoor Ribalbus; Cren, Ithius; Fire-Hats; Fire-Heads
Chicken State University: The oldest institute of higher learning in America, located in the Financial District of San Francisco, California. CSU offers a wide range of courses and majors, and boasts Ithius Cren, Lep Wrobstel and Jan Van Bampus among its faculty. Plagued by legal problems and complaints from students, the university attempted (somewhat vainly) to repair its tarnished image by issuing a surreal newsletter and calendar to its Alumni. Click here to learn about CSU's curriculum. See also: Cren, Ithius; Van Bampus, Jan; Wrobstel, Lep
The Confectioner (or Le Confiseur): A pastry chef that inadvertantly allowed a batch of his botched pastries to be set free. He quickly issued an Edict declaring that these defective treats should be hunted down and slaughtered. His chief agent in this effort was the Pie Smasher See also: The Pie Smasher
Cormorant, Ipthoor Ribalbus: A death god of the Fire-Heads whose appearance resembles a skeletal, bipedal rat in 17th century European finery. He prefers not to become involved in the affairs and disputes of others, though He did make an effort at religious unification with Cnenc Chench . Since that meeting, Cormorant has not been seen or heard from... See also: Chench, Cnenc
The Corn Gentleman: An aristocratic connoisseur of les pâtisseries. He is always in search of exotic new confections, yet like all true connoisseurs, he is rarely, if ever, truly pleased by them. O, la la! C'est la vie, non?
Cren, Ithius: A boisterous pleasure god and King of the Fire-Heads. Ithius Cren's appearance is not easy to stomach; He has a beaked nose and a white, fleshy, flaming head upon which He wears a funnel-like hat. His body is covered by a wrought-iron cylinder, He wears striped stockings, elf-like shoes, has a fish's tail and has branches for arms. Upon His arm-branches are skewered 13 marshmallows, which regenerate when they are plucked so that there are always thirteen. He is the son of the Fishmonger and is the head of the Re-Enactment department at Chicken State University, where He has recently succeeded (?) in re-animating two skeletons from the corpse of the Sparrow-Legged Man . His enmity towards the Fire-Hats religion is unparalleled. See also: Chicken State University; Fire-Hats; Fire-Heads; the Fishmonger; Flesh Penguin; Piquoque; the Sparrow-legged Man
Danish Sea Ape: The Danish Sea Ape is a baleful, mopey aquatic mammal long thought to be extinct but recently found thriving in the waters of the Black Sea.
Deus Cera: An artificial deity of wax that advertises for the Beltsnap Bat Company. See also: Beltsnap
Deus Lixivia: An artificial deity of lye that advertises for Ubiquitous Wax and Lye, Inc. See also: The Newe Englande Orange Powder Companie and Ubiquitous Wax and Lye, Inc.
Dundermas: A holiday of the Fire-Heads that occurs on August 22 . It is an absolutely pointless holiday, but communion with the Fire-Head deities is held anyway, and the ceremony for doing so is not dissimilar from the modern Roman Catholic communion ceremony, at least not formally. Ithius Cren's favorite holiday. See also: Cren, Ithius; Dundermas Eve; Fire-Hats; Fire-Heads
Dundermas Eve: A holiday of the Fire-Hats that occurs on August 21 . It is an absolutely pointless holiday, but communion with the Fire-Hat deities is held anyway, and the ceremony for doing so is not dissimilar from the modern Roman Catholic communion ceremony, at least not formally. See also: Dundermas; Fire-Hats; Fire-Heads
The Ethernaut: The Ethernaut is a confused creature, neither fish nor fowl, whose insatiable curiosity causes him to roam about in the physical, metaphysical and anti-space realms looking for the unfamiliar. Unfortunately, the unfamiliar always turns out either to be boring or frightening, causing the Ethernaut to be in a state of constant motion.
Fire Hats: The Fire-Hats believe that the only true method of spiritual communication with their deities is by wearing a hat (there are various styles, but many resemble Roman Catholic miters) with a cyclopean flaming toast emblem. They are in constant disputation with the Fire-Heads , who hold almost identical philosophical values but believe in a very different methodology. See also: Fire-Heads
Fire Heads: The Fire-Heads believe that the only true method of spiritual communication with their deities is by setting their very heads on fire using a nearly eternally burning fuel. They are in constant disputation with the Fire-Hats , who hold almost identical philosophical values but believe in a very different methodology. See also: Fire-Hats
The Fishmonger: The father of Ithius Cren, this insane dealer in rotten fish and other comestibles continues to roam the countryside selling his filthy wares and giving advice. See also: Cren, Ithius
Flapjack: an unfortunate and nervous creature made of flesh and pancake. When Flapjack is overcome by stress, he pours syrup on himself and runs about wildly while spinning his flat body segments. In the scene depicted, Flapjack is upset with his squid-dog and looks vainly to the heavens for relief.
Flesh Penguin: Companion to Piquoque, Ithius Cren's unfortunate dog. Flesh Penguin neither eats nor excretes, and is probably the result of one of Cren's botched necromantic experiments. Piquoque thinks of Flesh Penguin as sort of a warm, organic teddy bear. See also: Cren, Ithius; Piquoque
The Garbage Keeper: The Garbage Keeper sits on a great pile of dung and watches over his dump to ensure that no-one disturbs his collection of filth. He takes the garbage of others gladly, as he is convinced that lay people are entirely incapable of handling their refuse properly. The gate into the Garbage Keeper's dump reads "STERCVS TECVM", meaning, roughly, "Dung Be With You" in Latin. The Garbage Keeper has been known to harbor Fire-Head and Fire-Hat deities in his compound in order to enable them to get away from their day to day work. See also: Fire-Hats; Fire-Heads
Goor: A botched, but loveable idiot whose annoying antics are interminable. His utter stupidity, combined with his mismatched limbs and appaling appearance make him difficult to tolerate, yet his heart of gold seems always to prevail over every difficulty. Still, it isn't hard to imagine his untimely demise by, say, falling into a crevasse or eating the wrong kind of candy.
Gus the Gavel: A living gavel with an upbeat personality who was promoted to godhood for exactly three hours by Cnenc Chench. Cnenc had second thoughts after lunch and demoted Gus quickly, thus causing his immediate death. He was mourned by very few.
The Idiot In Tar: There used to be a small tar pit at the equator in which an idiot dressed in silly clothes stood and imparted wisdom to his visitors. This site was sacred to the followers of the Fire-Hat religion, but Ithius Cren filled the tar pit with marbles and killed the idiot, angering the Fire-Hats greatly. This incident destroyed the brief peace that ensued after Cormorant and Chench made their nonaggression pact. See also: Cren, Ithius; Fire-Hats
The History of Formerly Salty Areas: This is the name of a long-lost tome that is said to chronicle the ancient history of the Fire-Head religion. The original manuscript has been found only in fragments, but many spurious editions of the work have surfaced over time. Archaeologists continue to search for authentic pieces of the work. See also: Fire-Heads
The Mammodont: A goddess representing dental purity and innocence, the ideal state to which most teeth can only aspire but never achieve. See also: Sacrodont, Necrodont.
Marmoset and Quigley, Practitioners of Felt: Marmoset and Quigley are not only brothers but are the two finest hatters in the entire world. Marmoset is a marmoset from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Quigley is a rotund man from Vienna, Austria. They have a beautiful, entirely human mother who is actually younger than either of them. Their hat shop in Rio is legendary, and the pair has been known to travel worldwide in order to learn the hat making techniques of various cultures. On their trip to Iraq, they met the Sparrow-legged Man, who returned to Brazil with them and made quite a nuisance of himself. Marmoset and Quigley have been known to deal very harshly with shoplifters. See also: the Sparrow-legged Man
Melchior: A skeletal bard that roams about composing ballads, hymns and ribald songs about whatever strikes his fancy, though his work is usually based on actual events. He is careful to be politically and religiously neutral, so as to acquire the greatest number of patrons. His favorite instruments are the lute and the bagpipes, and he never gives lessons.
Monsieur Dejeuner: Monsieur Dejeuner has been punished by the Fire-Hat deities for his appalling arrogance. He is always hungry for breakfast foods, but he is cursed, and is never able to eat any. Cnenc Chench has often tormented him with imps shaped like various breakfast foods, which Monsieur Dejeuner tries to capture and eat, but never to any avail. This, of course has caused Monsieur Dejeuner to become entirely insane. Schoolchildren taunt him with the horrible chant, "Monsieur Dejeuner, vous n'avez pas le petit dejeuner, maintenant!" See also: Chench, Cnenc
The Necrodont: A deity representing tooth decay, gum disease and all manner of dental afflictions. He is in a state of constant, infectious woe, due entirely to his own denial and inaction. See also: Mammodont, Sacrodont.
The Newe Englande Orange Powder Companie and Ubiquitous Wax and Lye, Inc.: The flagship corporation based in Beltsnap, California under whose aegis the following companies have their identity: Cat Box Productions, Beltsnap Bat Company, Southern Policeman's Neck, Two Cats Brand Catholic Talc, Spudsklune Toothpaste, Conquistador Electronic Publishing, Butler Cryogenics and Upholstery, Police Drink Juice, Hammurabi Records and the North Forfolont Community Theatre. Stock for the N.E.O.P. Co. and U.W. and L., Inc. is traded on the N.Y.S.E. as UWL. See also: Beltsnap
North Forfolont: A small town in upper New York State whose community theatre group has been almost singlehandedly responsible for reviving the works of Birdsley and Ibsen. Also the birthplace of famed Rush vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee. See also: Birdsley, Arthur
The PeanutButter Man: A being made entirely of peanut butter who surfs throughout the land on a piece of bread. He is transfixed by the prospect of jelly. He is nearly always lost, and is bound to meet a horrible end.
The Pie Smasher: A freelance pastry hunter sometimes employed by the Confectioner to do his dirty work. See also: The Confectioner
Piquoque: Ithius Cren's unfortunate dog. Piquoque is a pathetic, sobbing creature, and the cruel Cren loves nothing more than to confuse and torment him, especially by putting Piquoque into absurd predicaments. Piquoque's only solace in life rests in his constant companion Flesh Penguin, in whom he confides his woes, but never to any avail. See also: Cren, Ithius; Flesh Penguin
Pooper: Pooper is an annoying, implike horror who is able to propel himself through the air by farting. His favorite pastime is to distract his victims from whatever they may be doing and cause them to harm themselves. He has led Wing Ding off of many cliffs. See also: Wing Ding
The Queen of Din: An insensate creature who makes so much racket that the land around her becomes barren and the spirits of the air are driven insane before finally being shattered.
The Raisin Heart: A symbolic heart that is incapable of life or passion. Its Revelation was largely ignored.
The Sacrodont: The patron saint of dental hygiene. His battles never cease, his work is never done, but he is ever vigilant. See also: Mammodont, Necrodont.
Scalding Hot Competition: There is no such thing as the Scalding Hot Competition.
The Sparrow-legged Man: The Sparrow-legged Man is a Sparrow-Legged Man whose trip to the Achievement Table was seven days premature. When he was banished from Sparrow-Legged society, he was ill-prepared for life in the "real world", and since his very existence was denied officially by the country of his birth, Iraq, he went mad.
Luckily for him, Marmoset and Quigley were touring Iraq at about the time of the onset of his insanity, and somehow the Sparrow-legged Man convinced Marmoset and Quigley to allow him to return with them to Rio de Janeiro. Once he was in Brazil, the Sparrow-legged Man became increasingly mentally ill and began to pine for a mate. Marmoset and Quigley tired of this behavior quickly and sent the Sparrow-legged Man to the United States on a mango barge.
He arrived with a shipment of produce at Chicken State University in San Francisco and was quickly put to work as a mascot. He was also hired at the Newe Englande Orange Powder Companie in Beltsnap as the Head Supervisor of Rejected Crusts for a brief period of time. In the summer of 1995, he was hit by a bolt of lightning and convalesced for about eight months.
When he came out of his bedridden state, he insisted upon going to Las Vegas, as he claimed to feel "lucky". He was accidentally shot to death by a Tropicana security guard in the middle of a very hot winning streak. His corpse was interred briefly at the CSU campus, but Ithius Cren attempted to reanimate him. Through an almost inexplicable series of events, Cren actually reanimated his skeleton twice, once as a rigid skeleton and once as a spongy skeleton. The two animated skeletons coexist simultaneously and have caused havoc on the CSU campus in recent months.
See also: the Achievement Table; Chicken State University; Cren, Ithius; Marmoset and Quigley, Practitioners of Felt; Newe Englande Orange Powder Companie and Ubiquitous Wax and Lye, Inc.
Van Bampus, Jan: Longtime faculty member, public relations manager and literary editor of Chicken State University . His editorials in the Chicken State University Alumni Bulletin and Schedule are infamous for their condescending tone and lack of cohesiveness. He is an academician through and through, pusillanimous to the core. See also: Chicken State University
Wing Ding: The simultaneously insane and retarded pope of the Fire-Head and Fire-Hat religions. The tenets of each religion state that there must be a single ruler over both factions, and so the most powerful representatives of each sect colluded to nominate Wing Ding, as his total ineptitude in all matters made him an ideal and highly manipulable candidate. Wing Ding is under constant torment from Pooper, which distracts and frightens Pope Wing Ding so much that he is rarely willing to emerge from his quarters unless pumpkin seeds are strewn in front of the door to his chambers. See also: Pooper, Fire Hats, Fire-Heads
Wrobstel,Lep: A cannibal and native of an uncharted Polynesian island, Lep Wrobstel heads the Headhunting department at Chicken State University . He's in charge of the annual CSU barbecue as well, and to top it all off, he was a concert percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra until Michael Tilson Thomas ousted him. See also: Chicken State University