Saturday, February 14, 2009

What We Talk About When We Talk About Unicorns

I guess you've noticed there wasn't a Friday the 13th unicorn yesterday or a Valentine's Day unicorn either and you're probably pretty upset about the whole thing. You're probably like, "Is this the end of the Holiday Unicorn Series?" The answer is yes. We have glutted ourselves on unicorns, have we not? And we all know the Bastille Day Unicorn was the best one and it was only the second in the series. We should have quit while we were ahead! But the title of this "post" is a "takeoff" on a Raymond Carver title that really ends with "Love," so that's your Valentine's Day reward, I suppose. And if you put a comma in it, "Friday, the 13th Unicorn" would be an okay protagonist for a children's book, I guess. You could almost sing a song about him to the tune of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. What fun that would be! Or write a Raymond Carver-style story featuring unicorns instead of those guys who usually end up in Raymond Carver stories. A romantic and creative activity for you and that special someone on Valentine's Day! In the meantime, I'm going to look for some other kind of legendary monster with which to illustrate this "post." And yes, I consider unicorns to be monsters. (Look! I found Spring-Heeled Jack! He is a fine and sometimes overlooked legendary monster. I first read about him in a Reader's Digest publication called STRANGE STORIES, AMAZING FACTS - a formative tome for Mr. Ward as well. How many are the times we have pleasantly discussed it. I still have my copy. As I take it out and read it now, I see that a Victorian lass named Jane Alsop described Spring-Heeled Jack to the police in the following manner: "He was wearing a kind of helmet, and a tight-fitting white costume like an oilskin. His face was hideous, his eyes were like balls of fire. His hands had great claws, and he vomited blue and white flames." I suddenly realize that I had Spring-Heeled Jack in mind in my very first book when I had a narrator describe the superhero Johnny America. [Evidence: he jumps high and there is blue flame involved, though regrettably he does not "vomit" it, which would have been awesome.] Thanks, Reader's Digest! I also notice in STRANGE STORIES, AMAZING FACTS that "a paste of egg yolk and unicorn liver was said to heal leprosy." Good to know! And our goodbye to the subject.)