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Fresh Hell

The best dispatches from our grim new reality

He Knows When You Are Sleeping

Christmas seems to come earlier every year, with pharmacies and front stoops jumping the gun and defiling the sacred pagan rite of Halloween with reindeer and facsimiles of the ghoulish holiday elf Santa Claus. But in a crossover with the spooky season, the unquiet grave of Kris Kringle has reportedly been uncovered by archeologists in Turkey searching for the original burial site of Saint Nicholas—demon-fighter, gift-giver, patron saint of sailors and unmarried women—after tomb raiders defiled his resting place and transported his bones to Bari, Italy. That’s right, Halloween, too long second-fiddle to Christmas, has taken its revenge, supplanting the merry myth of a merry, milk-loving toymaker with that of a vengeful shade crying out for his bones and agitating for their return so at last he may know peace. Skip the cookies this year, and leave out fun-size crucifixes.


The Filth and the Fury

Descartes died of waking up too early in the morning, Diogenes died from trying seafood, and now the world’s filthiest man has died after being forced to take a bath. A ninety-four-year-old hermit called Kailash “Kalau” Singh, who went decades without bathing and preferred to wash himself with fire and consume only roadkill passed away in Iran after briefly abandoning his regimen of dirt and ash, which he reportedly sustained in protest of the many ills facing his country. Though we may well mourn the loss of God’s own Pigpen, there is at least some solace to be taken in the thought of Singh stinking up the netherworld.


Junk in the Trunk

PSSYWGN is right out. 0FSGIVN is a no-go. DANKAF is strictly verboten. The state of Maine is finally taking action to curb the epidemic of lewd and suggestive vanity license plates that have flourished after they suspended their review board following a New Hampshire lawsuit to restore free speech to the motorways and profane the freeway with tailgate obscenities like ILUVBJ, CUMM ON, and IGTAPOO, all now subject to removal. The hall of fame? The saucy veteran who incorporated his red ceremonial V into AJEATR.


You Can’t Pick Your Ancestors

Animals lashing out at the humans who jail, taunt, and consume them had a good showing this week, as a Chinese man became seriously ill after devouring a crab live because it pinched his daughter, who probably deserved it. In Sweden, a venomous king cobra named King Hiss escaped its terrarium and commandeered the building, evading capture as it menaced zoogoers and employees. Less fortunate is the “world’s saddest gorilla,” imprisoned in a rundown Thai zoo atop a high-rise mall, whose captors continue to refuse to release “Little Lotus” for less than $782,000 despite protestations from animal rights activists. Meanwhile, scientists have discovered that not only do lemurs pick their noses, they have developed a specialized digit to poke away with impunity. 


Heil Twitler

Upon consolidating his empire of Karens, butt selfies, and corporate bots as new god-king of Twitter, Elon Musk immediately came to the aid of a user operating under the dubious handle of “catturd,” who claims to have been shadowbanned, searchbanned, ghostbanned, tonguetied, spookshuttered, shitcensorted, hogtied, hoosegowed, grumblebummed, mouthmuzzled, fartfoiled, consigned to the pit of eternal stench, and is facing suspension of their Quiznos “Toasty Points” rewards card and court-martial by the KISS Army after dishonorable conduct as a Knight In Satan’s Service. But when a shadow falls over the land, heroes heed the call, as unsung avengers in the furry community have vowed to make the word “musk” unsearchable. Not all heroes wear capes. Some dress up as Gadget from Rescue Rangers or answer to Ruffles.