Author Archives: haljohnsonbooks

Riddle

Q. What makes you say “Polly wanna cracker” when you’re speaking in tongues? (The answer is below, after all this filler text I put in for obscurity.) . FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER FILLER […]

Life with/against the Circus

Life with/against the Circus I joined the circus sort of, Ran away and joined the day we Tamed, beneath the overpass, menageries of sarin gas, The bearded lady, the leopards, and the kiwi. That morning, some drunk ape took my ticket. I said I should be comped because I Helped at the concession stand. He […]

From Adventure Comics #397

Yes, that’s a depowered Wonder Woman helping Supergirl out by invoking what may not be the oldest name of God…but is certainly the most retro.

The Morally Fraught Incentive

I came up with a lot of theories when I was a kid, and some of the were wrong, especially the ones about math. But some of them were pretty close to the mark. For example, I’d noticed that teachers often emphasized the importance of effort, saying something like: “It’s not your fault if you’re just […]

Lenny Bruce Died for Old Harvard

I. I grew up thinking that Lenny Bruce was a hero, because he suffered and died to expand the range of things we, as grownups, were permitted to talk about. The Victorian era was a dark, superstitious time when words such as”belly” or “leg” were considered injurious to “sensitive” souls, and therefore banned from polite […]

Imagine a World Where People Knew Stuff

This is the internet: Ignorant people shouting dumb things at each other, while we cheer them on. I’ve seen so many celebrations of this “perfect response” to a hateful meme, and none of those celebrations pause to wonder if a response can be “perfect” when it asserts that “it is the Wright brothers who have taken the credit” for […]

Why Kipling Was Never Knighted (Perhaps)

Sometime in the late nineteenth century there appeared the anonymous bawdy ballad “The Bastard King of England.” Rumor attributed it to Kipling, with no real evidence; and rumor goes on to assert that the ballad and the attestation so scandalized Queen Victoria that she refused to knight Kipling. (Other rumors hold that he was offered, […]