Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mysterious Herbs Result in Carl Quarantine

During a recent foraging expedition to restock the larder of Carls' Kitchen, honorary Carl (and sometimes spy) Ghostly Wombat stumbled across several previously undocumented new species of roughage, which ultimately left CarlHalla designated as "unfit for visitors". This, of course, is vastly different from its usual motto of "Abandon all corn, ye who enter here". This article stands as a public announcement broadcast by the Carl guild as warning to any cooking enthusiasts, lest similar circumstances befall another guild.

Although Melonni obviously knows the fern is poisonous, she knows Carls never learn anything that they don't experience for themselves

Depicted above is the root cause of the problem. When presented with a glowing bush (or indeed, most anything that glows), the natural Carl reaction is "I could make booze out of that!" Consequently, Ghostly Wombat ignored Melonni's evident disdain for the fern and harvested a sample for the Carl distillery. It is a widely-believed fact that Tankarific will drink most anything that makes a sloshing sound when jostled, and she logically concluded that if said substance glowed whilst providing the drunken goodness that he loved so much.

Ignoring Melonni's chuckling in the background, Ghostly enlisted Gwen's help in gathering and transporting the herb back to the kitchen. However, she was soon sidetracked by yet another fascinating bit of herbiage:

Tahlkora gesticulates wildly in an attempt to prevent Ghostly from making a second mistake

Hypnotized by the leafy bush apparently growing out of a dinosaur's foot, Ghostly couldn't help but imagine the possibilities. Dinodrink? Scaly Delight? Gargantuan Grog? The possibilities were endless! Quickly harvesting a bushel of dino-leaves, she scurried back to CarlHalla in hopes of preparing a celebratory drink-fest the likes of which the filthy minkeys would envy for generations.

Despite several setbacks (including a couple small-scale explosions that had Healing Carl beating her senseless for damaging her precious wyvern painting), refreshments were produced, including a delightful salad that combined the products of both bushes. The dinner a success, Ghostly reveled in the guild's compliments. Until, that is, half an hour later, when several Carls begain experiencing minor digestive problems.

Godly Carl lets off some steam

After careful evaluation, the Carls have determined that any documentation of these events must be stricken from the record. On a related note, CarlHalla will be hosting a gathering to which all filthy minkeys are invited. Drinks will be served.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Carl or No?

Welcome, readers, to another installment of "Carl or No?"! As our longtime readers know, this series presents the viewer with an assortment of images and asks whether the figures depicted are Carls, or simply plebeians who have no place in honest society. Now, without further stalling for time, let's get started!

Contestant 1 enjoys fine dining, long walks on the Jade Sea, and clowns! Let's have a few words.

[Goth/Emo Lovechild]: "Excuse me, I think I'm lost. See, I was heading for a KISS convention and my car broke down. Could you point me to the nearest phone?"

Good stuff, good good stuff. We'll have the audience's verdict at the end of the segment. And now, let's see Contestant 2!

Fancypants?! Wait, you're not Fancypants. Clever disguise though. See me after the show; I have someone I think you should meet.

[Tattooed Man in Girdle]: "Me Carl because me freeze things with eyenipples and smash with axe! ... No have axe now, but show later!"

[Audience]: "oooOOooo!"

My my, looks like Tankarific's got an admirer! Let's hope he doesn't drink, or CarlHalla's supply chain will be overwhelmed! And speaking of supplies, our next contestant is in charge of making sure that the Carls' minipets have a ready stash of pre-sliced kibble to suit any palate!

[Woman with Hair Julienne]: "What can I say? Give me a meat and I'll dice it up. In fact, it doesn't even have to technically be meat; this one time, I sliced--"

Let me just cut you off there, madame; this is a family column, and Diabolical Carl has already described your escapades with him in great detail.

[Julienne]: "Diabolical who now?"

Anyway, our next contestant claims to share a physical attribute with several of the Carls. Let's see if we can guess what it is!

So, would anyone care to take a guess? What Carl attribute is very prominently displayed by contestant 4?

[Audience]: "A face!" "The mask!" "Worms on his chest!" "A penchant for buggery!"

Well now, I'm not sure how that last one qualifies as a physical attribute, but it seems we have several ideas, and so far no winners. We'll announce the answer at the end of the column for you readers out there who can't stand to not know. And that brings us to the next contestant!

[Blue Crab]: "I pinch?" *scuttles around aimlessly*

Whoa, I think we have a dead ringer here! No voting necessary folks; he's obviously a pervert, and obviously lost/drunk/both! If that isn't Carl, I don't know what is! Let's move on.

Ho now, it seems we're in the presence of royalty! This contestant is almost as well-known as Prince Rurik himself for his tendency towards both dying as well as not-surviving! What do you have to say?

[Aggro-drawing Suicidal Masochistic Bastard who charges recklessly into battle every single time you're doing a mission in which he has to survive]: "Shiro must be stopped! Maybe if I dive from this ridiculously high platform into the midst of that deadly battle..."

[Audience]: "Heal him! Have all monks focus on him immediately and never stop!!"

Ha ha! Always the joker. And speaking of jokes, we've reached our final contestant of the day. This character is not likely to be familiar to anyone, and simply had the misfortune of being in the wrong place when our cameraman was calibrating his shot!

This walking wardrobe malfunction apparently got up on the wrong side of bed and just decided to keep facing that way! Perhaps we have a royalty competition with our previous contestant?

[Kamikaze Togo]: "A crown does not royalty make. You have to be willing to throw yourself into any fray, no matter how hopeless!" *triggers group of afflicted pop-ups*

Well said, my frined, well said. And with the main segment of the colum out of the way, let's jump straight to the conclusions. Judges tell us: which ones are Carls?!

[Judges]: "Well, contestant one is obviously out. I mean, goth *and* emo in one package? That's not Carl, that's just freaking annoying. Plus, what's with that little patch of fur on his chin? Either grow a beard or don't! It's not a complicated decision!"

[Lovechild]: "I expected nothing less; this just serves to reinforce my impression that life is a pointless sad descent--"

[Judges]: "Someone drag him out of here. Moving on to contestant 2: this was a much tougher decision. I mean, he has eyes where his freaking nipples should be! That said, after careful analysis, we've concluded that this is not Carl, it is merely a poor attempt to disguise oneself as Carl in order to infiltrate Fancypants' inner sanctum. Everyone knows his penchant for all things nipple-related."

[Eyenipples]: *Attempts to smash the podium with the axe he forgot at home* *Looks confused*.

{Judges]: "Whatever. Go hang out with that Emo guy. With those pretenders cast aside, we can dig into the real meat of the competition. Sickle woman, despite her odd choice of makeup, is definitely a Carl in hiding, attempting to blend in with those who cannot understand her inner Carlness. Hell, she even chose a weapon shaped like a C for Carl, even though this design is obviously detrimental to her doing any real damage in battle. And, of course, this demonstrates her Carlness more clearly than anything, as a Carl is always willing to sacrifice effectiveness for fashion."

[Julienne]: "I thank you for the honor you have bestowed upon me. Now if you'll excuse me, I hear a horde of hungry minipets milling about CarlHalla. Sharon must've signed online."

[Judges]: "Ever dedicated to your work. Go with Carl, fine lady. Now for the man with worms on his chest: while the point on your head speaks for itself, you just don't quite seem to have the Carl 'zest'. Perhaps you come across as too focused? Might I suggest you add some corn to your garment decor and see if it helps your chances for next time?

[PointyHead]: *Hangs pointed head in shame* "I have brought dishonor upon myself and my house. I cannot bear to keep living!" *Charges in to join Togo*

[Judges]: "Iiinteresting... with that reckless maneuver, he might just be Carl material! We'll take that discussion offline for our next show. Now, as the Blue Crab's candidacy has already been established, we move along to that idiot trying to get himself killed in order to ruin our chances at beating this mission. No Carl, end of story. You suck Togo, I hate you, and you can burn in hell with Rurik and those damned ice imps that cast maelstrom whenever I stand still for more than 2 seconds.

"And finally, our crowned candidate of not paying attention... interesting strategy. It is true that a Carl would never be caught paying attention to anything evident, and despite your bad fashion sense, I think the crown works. However! You are docked infinity million points for not facing the camera during the shoot."

Well then, it looks like that sums things up! As always, you may not agree with the judges' decisions, but if nothing else, that simply proves that they're right! And for those of you that think the judges' last comment about the crowned one was contradictory, just remember: a true Carl ALWAYS knows where the camera is!

Better Know the Carls

As longtime (and most shorttime) disciples of the Carl are well aware, the Carl is nothing if not a study in contrasts. Observers of the witty banter between the Carls and the Filthy Minkeys (TM) may note within moments a multitude of nonsensical statements, most of which conflict with each other. This seeming incongruity is due in part to the very eccentricity of the Carl; making sense has never held any place in the Carl's bylaws, and as such is not attributed the level of respect that is granted to, say, corn, or words that sound awesome.

Our more perceptive readers may have noticed that I said "in part" in the lines above, while those more Carlishly inclined probably lost interest and wandered off in search of something shiny and alcoholic. Regardless, I say this because the Carl's very contrariness to all things normal is also caused in large part by its very internal diversity. See the figure below.

Rurik is obviously disgusted with Tankarific's unwillingness to make others do all his work.

You may notice several layers of contrasts in the preceding image, some evident to all, but some only to those who know where to look. For example, the most obvious difference between the figures represented (Tankarific top, Rurik bottom, Bad Puppy left) is that Tankarific is the embodiment of all things tank: he stoically survives (usually), he's clad head-to-toe in shiny plate, he smash with axe, etc. In contrast, Rurik is the exact opposite: he's whiny (both alive and dead), has obvious gaps in his protective layers, is quite obviously flaming (or at least his sword is, and that's what's important), etc. The Bad Puppy, obviously, needs no description, as his faults were adequately mentioned in a previous post.

Now some may argue that this example deals with only one Carl, and as such, cannot possible encompass all the complexities of a true Carl contradiction. While valid, this complaint assumes that my argument is complete. If that were the case, what would the remainder of this long-winded post contain? Hmm? That's what I thought! That said, see the image below:

Tankarific and Necrotic rarely see eye-to-eye, for various reasons we won't get into.

Yes, it's another Tankarific example, as he is a favorite of our more primitive readers who can empathize with his straightforward manner of dealing with obstacles. Nonetheless, upon comparing the image with the first picture in this post, the most notable difference is the complete darkness in image 2, once Necrotic Carl has entered the picture. Tankarific, the epitome of good, proper (albeit often inebriated) society, has had his light muted by the presence of a more sinister figure. Although Necrotic tries to balance things out with a smashing choice of outfits, his hideous visage (shown in half-profile to protect our more impressionable readers) blocks out any and all light brought about by Tankarific's proximity. Continued evidence of this is provided in Figure 3:

A study in ugly? I hesitate to crown a winner, but the guy on the left looks somewhat like one of the sand people.

My apologies to our readers with delicate sensibilities, but as something of a hack writer, I tend to use shock value to get my point across. The ugliness contained in the image above has not been adequately measured, but top experts have described it as being "as ugly as possible without destroying all that is holy in the world." When asked what would happen if Diabolical Carl were to enter the scene, said experts' eyes widened in alarm before their heads exploded.

Excessive analysis aside, the figure in the foreground of Figure 3 has obviously dealt with Necrotic before, as he has come prepared with a full-face industrial grade gas mask and what appears to be flaming gloves to sterilize anything he touches. Necrotic wisely keeps his distance, contenting himself with leveling a malevolent glare at the oblivious creature. It should be noted that the begasmasked character, while not a Carl, appears to know how to properly deal with them, much as the secondary character in Figure 4:

Godly Carl likes to keep himself surrounded by fine ladies, even if they're colorblind.

Ah, finally we reach another Carl whose very appearance doesn't destroy the equipment with which his image is captured. Yes, we are viewing the (in?)famous Godly Carl, a rare sighting, given his recent reclusiveness. Known for dying frequently and being better at pulling than at tanking, we can see that despite the fact that he wears a dress, he still has time to inspect the wares of the opposite sex. Obviously his good fashion sense has become offended by the lime green abomination standing beside him, but he only has eyes for the necro woman in the tattered skirt. Some men might be concerned by the fact that she is obviously required to cover her face in public, but that is evidently not the area that he's interested in anyway. ... *ahem* but I digress. Our last Carlish example lies below.

Kuunavang feigns disinterest as the ladies inspect the megapet.

We close with two of the Carl ladies, evidently fascinated by one of the rare megapets that can be found sporatically throughout the Jade Sea. Ghostly Carl has a long history of antagonizing such behemoths, but this one has apparently captured her heart and Mesmerizing Carl's mild disinterest. Although these two women are obviously distracted by gigantic adorable animals, don't let their mild exteriors deceive you; Mesmerizing is known for her sharp tongue and rapid pace and Ghostly will promptly get confused and drop an urn of some random person's ashes upon your head before she realizes what's happening.

This concludes this installment of Comparisons in Carl; future installments will include several characters that, while not Carls, have attained the honored rank of "Cheap Imitation Carl" (and no, FancyPants won't be in that one either. You know you're disappointed).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Drunken Debauchery

Last evening the MnkY Guild Hall was invaded yet again by the alcoholic elf Steve. Not content though to desecrate the home of the buttmonkey alone, Steve brought friends.

Steve and his twin Bob brought their drunken prom dates to the home of the MnkYs to dance the night away in a state of drunken debauchery. Firewater and Creme Brulee were consumed and debris from the party scattered all over the lovely circular center of the home of the monkeys.

There was talk of dancing nude; but, luckily, Steve was persuaded with some difficulty to keep his clothes on as no one wanted to see a portly naked elf. Most were slightly nauseous at the thought.

Bob and his date left early as complaints were made about horny teenagers. I hesitate to conjecture as to where they might have gone from there.

Also, missing from the Monkey Hall are the items the merchant normally offers for sale. Steve was heard to say he was getting all the Monkey stuff. If you have any information please contact the representatives of the MnkY Guild.