Daily Archives: December 25, 2016

Zom Fu – Chapter 9

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The tiger claw clan’s sanctuary was surrounded by high walls. The main gates served as the only point of entry or exit and as the sun rose, Bohai headed for them with Junjie in tow.

“Brother!”

Bohai ignored Junjie and kept walking forward with his head held high and his nose in the air.

“Brother,” Junjie. “Will you stop?”

Bohai refused. He walked even faster.

Junjie put his hand on Bohai’s shoulder. “Can we talk about this?”

Bohai slapped Junjie’s hand away. “There is nothing to talk about.”

“Stay,” Junjie said.

“Not a chance,” Bohai said. “I am the greatest of all the up and coming young kung fu warriors.”

“Which is precisely why I need you here to help me lead the clan when the master is gone,” Junjie said.

Bohai stopped and smirked. “Do you have any idea how ignorant you sound?”

“No,” Junjie said. “But since we were small you’ve never missed an opportunity to tell me, so let’s hear it.”

Bohai poked his finger into Junjie’s chest. “A leader doesn’t need help leading. A leader leads.”

“All leaders have advisors,” Junjie said. “Even the Emperor has counselors.”

“Ha,” Bohai said. “You are no Emperor. Now leave me be so I can go where my genius will be appreciated.”

Bohai started walking. Junjie followed.

“Bohai,” Junjie said. “You are appreciated.”

Bohai flicked his hand, waving off the sentiment as though it meant little to him.

“You are loved,”Junjie said.

“Drivel,” Bohai replied.

“Bohai,” Junjie said. “You may be an arrogant, egotistical, stubborn, self-centered horse’s ass, but damn it, you are our arrogant, egotistical, stubborn, self-centered horse’s ass. I know you didn’t mean what you said about being willing to kill us all and walk over our graves just to get the Staff of Ages.”

“I did mean it,” Bohai said.  “Every word of it.”

“You didn’t,” Junjie replied.

The two warriors locked eyes and stared at each other.

“And what makes you so sure of that?” Bohai asked.

“Because you aren’t doing it right now,” Junjie answered.

Bohai looked away. “You speak the gibberish of a child.”

“I speak the truth,” Junjie said. “I have no doubt you could overpower me, Mei-Ling, Niu, the Master, even the rest of the disciples and take the Staff of Ages by force if you really wanted to.”

“That is the truth,” Bohai said.

“So why are you running way instead of doing just that?” Junjie asked.

“Bah,” Bohai said as he walked onward. “Drivel.”

Junjie remained in place but shouted after his longtime friend. “Because you love us, Bohai!”

Bohai waved his hand behind him as if he were trying to shoo away an annoying dog.

“One day you will wake up alone and regretful for abandoning your clan,” Junjie said.

“Nonsense!” Bohai cried.

“And when that day comes, I hope you will return!” Junjie shouted.

“Never!” Bohai replied.

“You know you will be welcome,” Junjie said.

“Don’t wait for me, imbecile,” Bohai said as he reached the gate.

Feeling defeated, Junjie turned and walked back to the temple.

A burly man wearing steel plated body armor and a helmet shouted down from the top of the wall.

“Behold and hear me, for I am Kang the Magnificent, Guardian of the Gate of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw. I have vanquished scores of evildoers in my day and all are well advised to stay on the good side of my humble nature. Bask in my…”

Bohai scoffed. “Kang. Come now. I’ve heard this litany a million times.”

“Then you shall hear it a million and one times!” Kang shouted. “Bask in my glory and recognize that I will not be swayed in my duty to protect the walls that keep my illustrious clan safe. Identify yourself immediately!”

“Are you kidding me?” Bohai asked. “We’ve known each other for years.”

“You will identify yourself or be turned away,” Kang said.

Bohai sighed. “Bohai.”

“Hmm,” Kang said. “Yes. You do appear to be Bohai.”

“Right,” Bohai said. “Let’s move this along.”

“State your business for approaching the gate,” Kang said.

“To locate the nearest brothel, where I will fornicate with your mother in exchange for my pocket change,” Bohai replied.

Kang looked to his left and right. Upon seeing that no one else was watching, the mighty gatekeeper broke character.

“Come on, man. I told you about my mother in confidence.”

“I approach the gates in order to abandon this clan,” Bohai said.

“Yeah, right,” Kang said.

“I do not lie,” Bohai said.

“Why would you want to do a dumb thing like that?” Kang asked.

“The Staff of Ages has been promised to Junjie, even though I am far more worthy,” Bohai answered.

“Oh,” Kang said. “Dick measuring contest. Say no more.”

Kang yanked a lever and a series of gears turned round and round, culminating in the iron gate opening.

Bohai stepped outside of the sanctuary’s walls.

“Is this a permanent thing or are you just going to hide in the woods until everyone comes crying to you and telling you they’re sorry and shit?” Kang asked.

“It is permanent,” Bohai said.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Kang replied.

“I am not,” Bohai said.

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Merry Christmas 

Merry Christmas 3.5 readers.


Bookshelf Q. Battledog, World’s Worst Security Dog

No wonder the Yeti is always taking over BQB HQ.

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Top Ten Reasons Why Die Hard Should Be Your Favorite Christmas Movie

Merry Christmas and Yippy Ki Yay 3.5 motherfuckers!

It’s time to talk about why Die Hard should be your favorite Christmas movie:

#10 – First action film where the hero didn’t have almost super hero like powers.  In the 1980s, Schwarzenegger and Stallone put out a shit ton of flicks where they’d shoot ten million bad guys without ever reloading and never get a scratch on them.  Meanwhile, McClane is a cop, so he has training, but this one man vs. a terrorist organization is a situation that your average cop couldn’t handle on his own.  Though I love Arnie and Sly, I can relate to McClane.

#9 – Hans Gruber is a bad ass, a gentleman super thief who is all about the money.  He love suits, love talking about gentlemanly activities, and calmly enjoys a shrimp cocktail he snagged from the Nakatomi Christmas party as he informs the guests they’ll be shot if they try anything funny.  RIP Alan Rickman.

#8 – It launched Reginald VelJohnson’s career and gave us Family Matters.  In Die Hard, Reginald plays working class father/cop Al Powell, McClane’s only friend on the outside.  While all the law enforcement big wigs worry about rules and procedures, McClane and Al share that same cut the BS mindset.  Carl Winslow is so similar to Powell that you could, if you want, just assume that Al couldn’t take all the heat after Nakatomi, so he moved to Chicago, transferred to the Chicago PD, and raised a family next door to a nerd named Steve Urkel who lusts after his daughter and blows up his house with his harebrained science experiments.

I really feel there should have been at least one episode where Carl should have shouted, Yes, Steve!  You did do that!  And living next door to you is worse than the Christmas I spent talking John McClane through the Nakatomi Tower terrorist bank robber attack!”

#7 – Argyle plays Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” as he drives McClane to the Christmas party.  It is truly the best of all Christmas rap songs.  One might argue that “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses qualifies but…eh, it’s really an 80s love ballad disguised as a rap.  The Waitresses were great, but they didn’t represent Queens.

#6 – McClane is also relatable because of his marital troubles.  Sometimes a couple can have a fight and there is no easy answer as to who is right.  Holly got a great job that took her to LA.  Yes, McClane could have supported her but then again he had his own career as a New York police officer and she signed up to be with a man based in New York when she married him.  Reverse the situation and you might think McClane to be a dick if he were hired for a job with the LAPD and demanded that his wife give up a job she enjoyed in NYC.   Hell, if she makes enough, maybe McClane could have just left police work all together and  moved to LA with his wife and taken a job as a security guard at Disney Land or something, though I doubt he would have enjoyed that.

#5 – McClane and Powell both have the same receding hairline, yet Hollywood suits allowed them to be main characters in a movie anyway.  Sigh.  If they ever remake Die Hard without Bruce Willis (blasphemy, for it really is a perfect movie) they surely will hire some hot stud muffin douche with a full head of hair.

#4 – Great lines that have worked their way into pop culture.  “Yippy ki yay motherfucker!” because, after all, McClane was a baby boomer and baby boomers loved their cowboy films.  A similar hero today might quote from a comic book movie or something.  Also, I have found myself saying, “Welcome to the party, pal” on occasion, usually when someone realizes something way later than they should have.

#3 – Die Hard with a Vengeance is really the best sequel in the franchise.  Die Hard 2 is ok and/or acceptable.  However, in 4 and 5 (the films that take place in the 2000s), the franchise takes a bad turn when they do break the “average guy caught at the wrong place at the wrong time” as we see McClane starting to have those Arnie/Sly-like supernatural action hero powers.  Yes, I think a plucky young cop might be able to suck it up and run through a floor full of glass with no shoes on and survive (as it happens in the original).  No, I don’t a cop could hang onto the nose of a fighter jet and survive (as happens in 4).

#2 – Dick Thornburgh is an epic douche, as most media types are.  See?  Reporters were douches like before social media.  All about hype, not really caring if they hurt anyone (i.e. barging into the McClane residence and broadcasting that Holly is married to John, thus making the situation much more dangerous).

#1 – Arnie was originally considered for McClane’s role.  Arnie was great, and very much the John Wayne of the 1980s, but I’m glad Willis got the role.  Die Hard might have been ok with Arnie, but a massive Austrian weightlifter who probably could rip terrorists in half off screen as well as on screen just isn’t as relatable as an average cop with a receding hairline and a wife he’s separated from.

In conclusion, Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie and it should be yours too.  Thanks, 3.5

 

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Zom Fu – Chapter 12

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Far outside the sanctuary’s walls, Junjie stood near a cliff and practiced his anti-stress moves. The Soaring Eagle. The Perplexed Dove. The Wounded Butterfly. They were more or less the same as they all required him to close his eyes and slowly wave his arms up and down while maintaining his balance on a short, stubby tree stump.

The trick was that he had to stand one one foot the entire time.  Thus, the handsome hero was given quite a start when the master’s voice came out of nowhere.

“Junjie.”

“Whoa, whoa…whoa!” Junjie cried as he tumbled backward and fell into the grass. He looked up to find a transparent apparition that sure looked a lot like…

“Infallible Master!” Junjie shouted as he stood up.

“Yes?” the apparition replied.

Timidly, Junjie pressed his hand through the apparition’s form and marveled as it passed right through.

Junjie’s lips quivered. His hand shook. “Oh master! You’re dead!”

“What?” the master asked. “No. I’m just practicing the art of astral projection.”

“Astral…what-jection?” Junjie asked.

“Astral projection,” the master repeated. “The ability to separate body from spirit so that both may exist on the same plane.”

“Is that even possible?” Junjie asked.

“Obviously,” the master said. “Though it is a feat that has taken me a thousand years to achieve. It is the most complex skill that a kung fu master can acquire.  I only figured it out recently.”

“So, if your spirit is here, where is your body now?” Junjie asked.

“Back meditating in my room,” the master replied. “Though it has been known to get up and do things without me. It could be making breakfast for all I know.  One time I caught it dancing.”

The master looked down at his student’s hand. It was still lodged in the stomach area of the master’s spirit.

“My son,” the master said. “If you intend to keep your hand there much longer you will have to make me dinner.”

“Oh,” Junjie said as he pulled his hand back. “I’m sorry.”

The master stepped towards the cliff. “Beautiful day.”

“Yes,” Junjie replied. “I practice here most mornings. Here, I can enjoy the peace, the quiet, the cool air…”

“…the interesting scenery,” the master said as he pointed his translucent finger toward Mei-Ling, who was practicing her moves by the banks of the river below, unaware that she was being watched.

“What?” Junjie asked. “Who? Her? I didn’t even notice she was there.”

“Come now, my son,” the master said. “As Guowei, the Seventh Infallible Master used to say, ‘He who spreads bullshit to a shitter of bulls is bound to get shit on his face.’”

“How can one be a shitter of bulls?” Junjie asked.

“I have no idea,” the master said. “The Seventh Infallible Master was a big fan of the opium so I doubt he knew either, but the point is, stop lying. There is no need to and it does not befit you.”

Junjie sighed. “I love her so, master.”

“Hmm,” the master grunted. “And does she feel the same way about you?”

“I hope so,” Junjie said. “Though I don’t know, really. We’ve had some talks. Well, I talked. She listened and made various faces of an inconclusive nature.”

“Ah,” the master said. “Women were a puzzlement a thousand years ago and little has changed since. There can be no doubt that they will always be a mystery.”

“A beautiful mystery,” Junjie said.

“And unfortunately, if you are to be the Twentieth Master, Mei-Ling shall have to remain a mystery that you will never solve.”

Junjie looked sullen. “I figured as much.”

“My son,” the master said. “I would never stand in the way of the happiness of my students. If she loves you, and you her, and if a life together is what you both desire, then I bid you both to go into the world and start a family of your very own.”

“That is a nice thought,” Junjie said.

“But whether you are a master or a disciple, the path of kung fu is a lonely one,” the master said. “It requires your complete and undivided attention. Love your fellow students. Love your family. But romantic love has no place within our sanctuary’s walls.  It is a dangerous distraction that could get you or another disciple killed.”

“I know,” Junjie said. “And I have no idea what to do.”

“Extending your life indefinitely while serving as the Twentieth Master of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw is a rare opportunity,” the master said.

“It is,” Junjie replied.

“But,” the master said. “Loving someone who loves you back is just as rare. She may even bring you more happiness than the Staff of Ages could. I would not know. It has been over a thousand and seventy years since I’ve known the love of a woman.”

Junjie choked back a cough. “A thousand and…”

“Yeah,” the master said. “You won’t be getting boom boom anytime soon if you become the next master so keep that in mind. No one told me that before I signed up for the job, let me tell you.”

“But master,” Junjie said. “The Staff chose me.”

“It did,” the master said. “But you must also choose it.”

“What happens if someone rejects the staff’s power?” Junjie asked.

“Honestly?” the master asked as he stroked his beard. “I don’t know. No one has ever done it before.”

“I have a lot to think about,” Junjie said.

“Indeed,” the master replied. “And not much time within which to do your thinking. My body grows weaker and I fear the Staff will allow me to expire soon. I would like to know that the Twentieth Master is in place before I make my way to Diyu.”

“This is all so much,” Junjie said.

“Well,” the master said. “My advice would be that you talk to Mei-Ling…as much as you can. You wouldn’t want to give up the chance at being a kung fu master for a woman who doesn’t love you…but you also wouldn’t want to take on this life changing role without knowing how the woman you love feels about you.”

“Do you know if she loves me?” Junjie asked.

“Ha,” the master said. “I may be the master of the greatest of all kung fu clans, but I will never be a master when it comes to the female mind. Talk to her, my son. Reveal the mystery of her heart and make a decision.”

“What if I make the wrong one?” Junjie asked.

“Then you will fall on your face and live with the consequences forever,” the master said.

“Huh,” Junjie said. “I was hoping for a better response.”

“Welcome to adulthood,” the master said.

The master’s ghostly form disappeared and left Junjie to observe the woman he loved all by himself.

“What am I going to do?” Junjie asked himself.

Poof! The master’s apparition appeared again.

Junjie’s frightened scream was mildly reminiscent of a woman. “Ack!”

“But seriously,” the master said. “Make a decision before tomorrow morning because the clock is ticking.”

Poof. The master’s spirit disappeared. Junjie waited a full minute before deciding he was all alone.

“Oh Mei-Ling,” Junjie said as he observed Mei-Ling practice her stances. “How I wonder what you think of me.”

Poof! The master was back and this time, he scared Junjie so much that the young man had to clutch his heart and breathe deeply just to slow it down.

“Master!” Junjie said. “You have to stop doing that!”

“Oh sorry,” the master said. “I thought this was the kitchen.”

Poof!

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