This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger.
In this installment, Ellen reveals the answer to Pareidolia Play Along 7.
Yep, it’s just netting in a vineyard. It’s supposed to keep the birds from eating the grapes.
Emu San: That’s the spirit! I like the fear & blackmail angle. I like the murky depths. These things work best when they generate nightmares for small children. Works for the Jesuits, eh? I shouldn’t mess with a sound plan, but I wonder if there’s a possible tie in with Cthulu? Hmmm. The only substantial improvement I can think of is to throw in some guilt. But nice, nicely done!
Nepenthe: I like it. It’s simple and elegant. But will it sell? Elegant low-key religion just doesn’t have the marketing/profit potential of ridiculous, awkward, intrusive ones such as Catholicism, Mormonism & Scientology. It’s a grand foundation, but for maximum returns, weird it up. Maybe throw in some sexual guilt, that always works.
peicurmudgeon: Points for both making me laugh and reminding me of my No-prize. It was awarded by Stan Lee at Marvel Comics back in the day if you noticed a mistake in their comic books. They didn’t have the budget to send you anything real, so they gave you a No-prize. I have one. How’s that for old-school nerd cred?
My no-prize was not for Swamp Thing, but for Man-Thing. Man-Thing was not sentient, just a shambling quasi-vegetative amphibianish biped who oozed acid when occasion demanded such. The tag line was something like “Those who know fear, burn at the Man-Thing’s touch!” He was like that a twitchy uncle at the family reunion, the one your mother hisses at you and says, “Whatever you do, DON’T start talking about the election!” If you were in the swamp and up to no good and got very emotional in a negative way, it would disturb the creature from it’s daily schedule of photosynthetic communion and mycorrhizal meditation. Then it would come and put a hurt on you. Best to walk on eggshells around Man-Thing.
He/it wasn’t so much a character as a plot device. Swamp Thing, which came almost immediately afterwards, was arguably (If anyone cared enough to argue, which I doubt.) more successful for a certain kind of standard comic book narrative. Swamp-Thing was weirder. I always opt for weirder, given the choice.
In the first issue, there was a biography of the ill-fated main character and how he became Man Thing. He’d had bad luck from birth, we were told. The doctor had dropped him on his head right after he was born. The illustration showed the doc holding the infant by his ankles and winding up to give him that old-school slap that was supposedly administered to get sluggish babies breathing. However, the baby was drawn facing the viewer with the doctor’s hand in the foreground, a fig leaf for modesty’s sake. Perhaps, being dropped was good luck. Perhaps, if the doctor’s slap had connected, it would have been a harsher beginning than being dropped. It’s the backside that traditionally receives the blow, not the family jewels. For pointing this out, I was awarded a no-prize. Now I have taken it off the shelf of my memory and I would like to pass it along from Stan Lee to me to YOU. Take good care of it.
Susannah: I took the shot at a research station. I’m sure the scientists there could cook up some fancy herbicide that would defoliate triffids in a trice. What it would do to the grapes, however, is the worrisome part. Perhaps we should lay in a stock of flamethrowers. Anything that works for Ripley…
Yellow Thursday: Oh yes! I can see it. Gah, I was walking those rows! I don’t usually have a problem with snakes. I kind of like snakes, to a point. I think you’ve found that point! Allow me to award you an Oh-No! Prize.