DEER in the headlights,


Your father thought DC Comics were the Congressional paper of record.
Then again, he thought Renegade was a thirst quencher for convicts.
And that's because he thought Gatorade was a lotion for your mother's feet.

Greetings to you and what matters to you. We first of all thank you for your positive viral encouragement. We are aware of the sacrifices that you are making in these times. We are all in the realm of sacrifice, dancing in its flames, stamping on its ashes, and burning the burdens we no longer need. What albatrosses which were, flapping its wings now towards a fresher, far horizon.


The Phoenix was tired. After all, regardless of a reputation for rising from one's ashes and becoming fresh new bird, it still was a pain in the tailfeather far more often than not. Pure instinct or no, it still required gargantuan amounts of effort to attain the liquification to burn, and then reassemble from the smouldering dust as were it like stepping out in new Roberto Cavalli. It were important to Noah and the ZOOATHALON that THE SPHINX be represented on board the ship. Meanwhile the Sphinx was hatching a plan in two directions at once, the past and future to mobilize his escape. He would have a beast upon master Noah's vessel, THE PHOENIX, while projecting himself into the future as a figment of the imagination of a writer/illustrator for the great DC COMICS. This would enable him to bleed himself into another reality through the medium of ink. He was certain that THIS was the idea which would free him, while saving face for Egypt. His statue, his thousands year tomb, would remain where situated until its stone gave way to the sands intentions and became as one with the sands. Not even cats are as finicky as Phoenix, so Noah had to be careful not to allow any offence to happen upon the vaunted bird of legend, lest it choose to leave itself free of troubles and remain the isolated incident its life witnesses itself as. As luck would also have it, IF they could convince the bird to join the craft's expedition, it would have a marvellous stabilizing effect on the ship's most fragile cargo, the 800 POUND GORILLAS. Whose twin fate was as of yet to be determined. As it happens in these chronicles, Woody, our erstwhile woodpecker had been having dreams as of late of the Phoenix, though it took a few dreams for the woodpecker to understand the connection with Arizona. Why did they always meet there? Anyway, Woody having gotten the subconscious pun, felt the dream visits to be precursors to his own imminent escape from the forest which held him captive and diminished. What is never not clear to Phoenix is this: lay low and remain alone. Take the love where ye may find it, and leave whatever sweetness is, kept in the confines of the kiss. Only the tragic doubt what the lovers of life longingly lust for. Let what sweetmeats touch the tongue, touch the heart of the next breath, let what tender tears need tendering fall and moisten the ground where seeds lie sleeping. Otherwise, NOTHING IS EVER GUARANTEED. ONLY THE LAST BREATH, is ever guaranteed. Handling his sector of the assignment, LUTHER MEANS, was granted full portfolio to do what was necessary to entice Phoenix aboard the ship. There was never even a thought in the crew of Noah's mind, to attempt to board two Phoenix, for that would tempt the odds and fate. All the more since these birds become what numbers they need, upon that need. And although it may seem a little trite, the OTHER advantage to having these birds on board was that, it were well known that PHOENIX was a master teacher of PHONICS. Go figure. And it didn't hurt a bit that Phoenix were immune to the Killer Caterpillars and their mean eyed stare.


LUTHER MEANS figured that the task would be somewhat difficult. He had no problem with difficult as it were the only true 'cult' he belonged to. What he did not surmise when he took Noah's assignment to pre-board the ZOOATHALON was the aggressiveness of THE SPONSORS.
Not liking being patronized too much, imagine Luther's humour in having to hear this: “Now listen here you, we are the largest soft drink company in the world and we demand that you find two spaces for our spokesmen, the 800 pound gorillas. We are huge, we can crush you justlikethat”.
Luther thought to himself the irony of being the largest soft drink company in the world soon to be the largest soft drink company in the world with no customers, but a boat load of barn animals, rare specimens and gorillas fighting for diva supremacy. Naturally, there was the beer manufacturer insisting that his prize KILLER CATERPILLARS, The Short Wave Bandits, had been paid a fortune in forest subsistence to be their 'visual icons', and that hell would break loose if a meeting with Noah himself were not arranged forthwith. Again, it brought not a small chuckle to the closed mouth of master Means to inculcate himself with the thought that, well, HELL WAS ABOUT TO BREAK LOOSE. He had but two more days before master Noah would come back tanned, hung over and boat lagged to get this portion of his sector and its responsibilities together. He'd not anticipated the commercial aspect of his pre-boarding procedure. Even with his vast experience as a 'fixer', this was a call to a new economy, a new way of politics, its advance and thrust. You parry, tarry, stall, connive, ignore. Meanwhile, you carry on. This LUTHER MEANS did. Although, he did accept, the wisdom of accommodating, as and when he could, what demands the sponsors made, to keep their precious diva's happy. To keep the logorhythms of process, ever moving on. To prove one's value to the cause. To ENABLE. To take what instruction is provided by the circumstance, move it beyond the vacillation of chance and drop the seeds that time demands be planted. All of that having been said, he still wished that Noah had told him that, among his sector's responsibilities would be amortizing the cost of pre-boarding expenses, against the pre-sales of ZOOATHALON merchandise, which had already been pre-sold.


As you might imagine, harmony exists in nature.
So does reality and the pre-boarding exercise never anticipated the co-existence of the fierce rivals, the ARETHA'S and THE MYNAH BIRDS. See, the Aretha's were a gang of the parrot species. They had been house parrots exposed to the music of the grand maestra ARETHA FRANKLIN and had formed a superior attitude which had informed subsequent species. They were said to have been aligned, and thereby strengthened with their alliance with the PATSY CLINE subset of the house parrot clan. The Aretha's were renowned for telling it just like it was. No mincing. Mincing was for MYNAH BIRDS. Understand, Mynah Birds, though highly intelligent, are highly neurotic. They are always suspicious that all other talking birds, are talking about THEM. The Aretha's, aggressive and alert to this, take advantage when advantage appears. And, being literalists, the MYNAH BIRDS neuroses comes from their belief that others regard them as MINOR. Which leaves a chip on their sloping, apologetic shoulders the size of Atlas's castoffs. A 3 HOUR TOUR, A 3 HOUR TOUR! Whenever the Mynah Birds would get whipped up, either the resident PATSY'S or ARETHA'S would drown them out with a grand rendition of one of the great songstresses songs.
And sometimes to spring a summertime trap on the simmering mind, an Aretha, while sputtering, might sing Springsteen. To ease the strain that might delay COLTRANE. Of they might sing SMOKEY ROBINSON, just in case they hobble some. Of course, we all know that PARROTS ARE SPOILED. THEY EVEN HAVE THEIR OWN RESCUE SERVICE! But, life is what life is and the parrot tribe think little of Mynah Birds, it is a territorial thing. Think what you may, but it took parrots thousands of years to evolve from deep jungle stations to perches near the pooch or on the porch near porticos who get to poop on papers in the houses of the pallid and weary.
They are not going to give all that up easily, be sure of this and for them MYNAH BIRD IS ENCROACHMENT! And as far as parrot tribe is concerned, the Mynah's have nothing at all to say, which parrot tribe haven't already heard and repeated first. Parrots know that we are more likely to be disturbed by forces we command, than by those we do not. And that NO TALKING BIRD is ever really persecuted for their language, but FOR THEIR WITS.


Simone LeBon Cortes awoke with a deep excited stretch. Her limbs reached out to gravity. Her instincts reached out and quickly arranged her in front of the coffee pot, where she hurriedly stuffed her java into it's boiling belly. She couldn't wait to get to work today. She had had a great dream of a new project, a new character. She though of calling it, at least for now, THE SPHINX. She was sure that THIS was the project to get her boss off of her back, and to earn the respect of her colleagues. This would provide her long overdue success. She felt in her gut that finally she had the right focus for her talents and that this dream she had, would prove pivotal to her future. She was sure that her stock would rise. In her mind, she had envisioned an 'energy' that rises, upon crisis from THE SPHINX, and from its essence would arise a modern superhero, versed in the ancient ways. And though delighted by the idea, she was slightly puzzled as to the significance of the small bandaged woodpecker who kept trying to get her attention in the dream. She imagined him now as a part of the new mysteries to unfold from the strokes of her ink besotted pen………


In lieu of the recent article in the NEW YORK TIMES, (yes, Virgil, it arrives in Milano also!),
concerning the plight of artists and their 'PRICE LISTS', I have determined the rates of my own availability, once we are again available to be available.
We read that the grand madame Christina Aguilera set the going rate at 850 dollars for a photograph. With this gold standard artist in mind, my rates are as follows (and don't be player haters, support our majestic roll):

  • Fist bump- 5.00

  • Handshake- 15.00

  • Handshake after having washed hands- 25.00

  • Kiss on cheek- 25.00

  • Kiss on lips- 35.00

  • Tongues- 50.00

  • Breath Mint- 5.00

  • Compliment- 25.00

  • Compliment while grabbing your ass- 50.00

  • Compliment while grabbing and pulling your hair- 75.00

  • Compliment while grabbing and pulling your hair in German- 100.00

  • Compliment while grabbing and pulling your hair in Italian- (price dependent upon exchange rate of Euro)

  • Insulting you or someone you love into a recording device for no more than ten seconds in a clipped British accent- 150.00

  • Affecting a Scottish Burr- add additional 10.00

  • Full frontal embrace- 50.00

  • Full frontal embrace with meaning- 75.00

  • (We charge- 10.00 extra for more sincerity)

  • Feel my pectorals- 50.00

  • Feel my bulge- 150.00

  • Photo- 100.00

  • Photo with eyes open- 150.00

  • Photo with eyes open and looking into the camera- 175.00

  • Photo with eyes open, looking into the camera and giving you a compliment while grabbing your ass- 200.00

  • Signing breasts- 50.00 (unless over 34D, in which case, I give refund)

  • Signing and then squeezing breast- 75.00

  • Signing your breast and then singing into it- 250.00

  • Autographs- 100.00

  • Autographs with MY signature- 200.00

  • My signature on documents that can make all of your problems go away, justlikethat- 3500.00

  • Mortgage advice- 250.00

  • Me setting you up with Vinny, or let's just say, a certain 'someone'- 1500.00

  • The Band's personal Pot connection- 500.00 (plus a taste)

  • My stories on the time I met that Central American Indian dude with STING, and placed my tea cup on his lip and told him “Yo, take this back into the kitchen for me, will you?”- 300.00

  • I laugh at one of your jokes- 75.00

  • Private Adult Burping- 375.00

  • Head shots- 75.00

  • Hand Jobs- Price upon request.

  • (and this is the 'piece de resistance', and how I make the bulk of my monies), Directions from the backstage area (where you have consumed far too much beverage and paid for the 'Smoke with the Band Package'), back to where your car is parked- 1000.00

  • All purchases over 75.00 comes with a selection of ZOOATHALON merchandise!

  • Includes already signed special commemorative T-shirt, “The End Of the World is Near where I live”.


Stay tuned…


MILANO 25th MAY 2010