Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Blood-Eating Horses of Tibet

Horses and COACISSW have a long history together. From Guy Vanderhaeghe's lovely description of horse-entry in the Last Crossing to Reverend Joseph Goiffon's riveting true story of survival. Horses are, in many ways, the classic animal to cut open and crawl inside to survive a storm in the wild.

However, the relationship has had its share of controversy. Anonymous contributors to this blog have gone so far as to suggest that the horse should have cut open Reverend Goiffon, instead of the other way around, calling into question my "small-minded assertion that man is more deserving of life than horse." They submitted this photo of a shetland pony gazing into the camera as evidence. It seems that the cuteness of horses, and their supposed docility (promoted by the Big Horse Lobby and generations of little girls) have warped our society's perception of what is, at its heart, a vicious beast.

Well no more!

Deadly Equines, one of the most important books of our era, puts to rest these myths by detailing one horse-commited atrocity after another: The Man Eater of Lucknow, Rysdyk-killer of four, the Blood-Eating Horses of Tibet, Sir Ernest Shackleton's voracious Manchurian Socks, and the unfaithful mares of Kind Diomedes. The Deadly Equines site is full of helpful information on the subject, including a Map of Meat-Eating and Killer Horses, showing exactly where and when horse crimes were committed. For too long communities from Antarctica to Yemen have suffered in silence.

So, to anonymous I say this: sure those big buttery eyes may look friendly, but behind them lurks the cold calculating mind of a killer, waiting to strike. A horse will kill you for no reason, just for sport. If a storm is boiling on the horizon, strike fast, strike hard, strike before the horse strikes you. If you find yourself hesitating, just remember how Diomedes met his end.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Here at COACISSW we generally adhere to a strict no cutting-open-humans-and-crawling-inside-to-survive-a-storm-in-the-wild policy. However, in the timeless words of Spock just before he ventured into the lethally irradiated engineering room of the starship Enterprise, "The good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one."

Now imagine you are trapped in the Forbidden Forest, a massive storm--possibly natural, possibly the work of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named--is brewing on the horizon. Acromantulas are closing in and the Arania Exumai spell isn't working to hold them back. And there, at your side, is Hagrid: twice as tall and five times as wide as the average man. His barrel-like chest cavity capable of sheltering your entire party for the duration of the storm.

Plus, he's half giant, so he isn't really a human at all.

Hagrid is friendly and softhearted. Use these qualities against him. Begin to cry, bemoaning your approaching demise. Tell him of all the things you wish you had done, the mountains you would have climbed, the tournaments of wizardry you would have won, the animals you would have treated more kindly, the man or woman you would have kissed. Ask him for a hug.

Sneak your blade into your sleeve and wrap your arms around his neck (be sure to get them under all that hair). As he's squeezing and comforting you, draw out your blade and jam it into his throat with all your strength. This first cut is crucial--Hagrid is quite strong. If you don't wound him terminally with the first strike he'll shake you free and stomp you to dust. Be sure to sever the carotid artery.

There will be fountains of blood. Leap out of the way. Let him tire himself out staggering around trying to staunch it. Ignore his pleas for mercy and his bellows of "Why? Why?" When he collapses, roll him onto his back, slice open his chest, remove his big warm heart, and crawl inside. The acromantulas will leave you alone safely inside their beloved friend, and the storm will pass.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene! Emergency Post!

This is our moment people! An apocalyptic swirl is hurtling up the eastern seaboard carving a swath of death and destruction. Three people are already dead. Hundreds of millions more will probably follow. Thirty foot waves, crippling rain, and 100 MPH winds that turn every lawn ornament into a hurtling death missile are coming for your family. The hurricane is the size of Europe, but unlike Europe it's actually threatening. It's every man, woman, and child for themselves.

An 'expert' on CNN just advised everyone to get to their safe room. He's a damn fool. Room's aren't safe. What holds them together? Nails. Razor sharp steel blades just waiting for the moment a hurricane frees them from bondage so they can ravage you and all those you love. Get out of your house! Get out of your apartment! Get outside before it's too late!

Our only hope is to cut open an animal and crawl inside to survive the storm in the wild.

For over a year I've been compiling a list of animals suitable for cutting open and crawling inside to survive a storm in the wild. Grab your blade, consult the list, and get out there. Personally, I've been filling my NYC building's patio with trash for the past hour. The rats are already starting to come. I hope to kill a hundred or so of them to create a safe, warm, nail-less shelter from which to weather this bitch Irene.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Good news on the UPADFPMBSPA front today. Jack Horner, the white-haired scientist who gets everybody killed in Jurassic Park, has announced that he's creating a chickenosaurus!

"This is all about attempting to satisfy the aspirations of 6th graders (and children of all ages) and bring back dinosaurs," he writes. Ah the whimsy of an aging megalomaniac! It's so refreshing in this age of 'no you can't hatch your alligator bird because of ethical concerns.' Yes I can! Horner says.

I'm on the record supporting any and all UPADFPMBSPA research. Create them, hatch them, wait for a storm, and slice 'em open, is my opinion. My only concern is that we end up with something adorable like the allifrog.

It's painfully obvious to anyone who's spent time tromping around in the woods lately that there aren't enough vicious beasts with man-sized chest cavities roaming around. The cities are even worse--full of fat people bloating in the sun, surrounded by pigeons. We're going soft, America. Politicians would be wise to take notice and surreptitiously fund the work of the great Dr. Horner. If a couple velociraptors get loose in DC next fall it will certainly take people's mind off the economy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

120 Pound Rat (This Damnable Epoch)

The economic constraints of this damnable epoch forced me to relocate to a soul-sucking urban shit-center, dampening my connection to the wild survivalist cause of cutting open an animal and crawling inside to survive a storm in the wild. I've spent a year in a concrete wasteland ducking into liquor stores to survive storms. I thought there was nothing but drifters to cut open, and then an article caught my eye.

A 120 pound rat (apparently it's proper name is a capybara, but a rat is a rat) was found in a wastewater treatment plant outside Paso Robles, in Central California. A sewer rat large enough to cut open and crawl inside. The very thought had me rushing home to sharpen my blade.

Running through the street, I noticed several manhole covers and realized that every one is a portal to a wild subterranean kingdom, rife with sliceable beasts. A perfect haven in the event of apocalyptic storms or nuclear fallout. I was tempted to clench my knife in my teeth and leap down, sunny afternoon be damned.

I did some more research and, judging by this video, once you catch a giant rat subduing it shouldn't be a problem.

The lesson here, my friends, is that no matter where life takes you it is possible that you will have to cut open an animal and crawl inside to survive a storm in the wild, and when that time comes, the animal you need will be there. Whether it's lurking in the sewer or leashed to your neighbor's porch. Have faith. Don't hesitate. Remain strong of heart and quick with blade.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Reverend Joseph Goiffon, Hero

The nip of fall is in the air and off on the horizon the darkening clouds gather, plotting cataclysmic hailstorms, squalls, and blizzards. Yes, my friends, winter storm season is upon us. The lazy debauch of summer with its sickening golden hue is a mere memory. Nights are lengthening, flowers are dying, and rodents are scurrying for their rodent holes. Oh, happy day!

Along with the triumphal changing of the seasons, a sensational true story--a most fulfilling scrap of history, a 16 oz ribeye of knowledge--arrived on COACISSW's doorstep courtesy of friend-of-the-blog GregLog. It's a tale of survival and redemption. A man of God facing the raw power of nature and emerging with three of four limbs.

It takes place in 19th Century America: a time when lonely pilgrims braved the raging snows of the high plains with nothing but a horse and their steely will for company; a time when men's brows were bushy with virility and their lips were thin with resolve; and a time when fiery-spirited settlers of the frontier cut open animals and crawled inside to survive storms in the wild. Put yourself there, dear reader. Let your mind travel back to those simpler days. Feel the itch of your woolen long johns and the weight of the knife on your belt. Test your voice: it booms with strength. Gather your eyebrows together and let the bristles connect--how bushy they are! Peer out from beneath them. Make your gaze as flinty as a bear trap. Fill your powerful lungs with crisp clean prairie air and read on, my friends, read on.

"In late August of 1860 Father Joseph Goiffon received a letter from the Vicar General requesting him to travel to St. Paul and to meet with him. Father Goiffon was disturbed by the summons because he feared that he would not be able to return to Pembina (his parish in the great survivalist state of North Dakota) before winter. He left Pembina quickly by oxcart train and arrived in St. Paul in September. The train was to return to Pembina during the first week of October. Father Goiffon thought that he would be ready to return with his friends but he was delayed. He left St. Paul a few days later and hoped to join up with the oxcart train. On November 1 he reached the Great Salt River beyond the present City of Grand Forks and spent the night with other travelers who were encamped there. They urged him to wait until the rain would stop. The winter cold was also beginning to set in. But Father Goiffon was anxious to reach his parish and went ahead by himself on the horse which he had purchased while in St. Paul. The rain turned to snow and quickly both horse and man became hopelessly lost. The horse died in the bad storm, and TO SAVE HIS OWN LIFE THE PRIEST CUT OPEN THE CARCASS AND CRAWLED INSIDE. When Father Goiffon was found he was still alive but one leg was badly frozen."

-from The Michel Houle Family of Centreville, by Bruce Houle (Croixside Press)

Again, big thanks to GregLog for sharing the above text and image.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Taking a Political Stand

Generally, when I sense politics approaching I reach for my blade. I live by the rule of the jungle and the only taxes I pay are are the scraps of meat I'm too full to eat after a fresh kill. I don't support either party or follow the issues (except when education comes up I make sure to mention how negligent our schools are in teaching proper trap-setting and lair-making techniques.)

However, after reflecting on the grizzly-bear-sized sloth and the giant-whale-eating whale, I'm prepared to come out and take what I believe to be an important political stand: I fully support any and all using-prehistoric-animal-DNA-found-in-preserved-mosquitoes-to-bring-said-prehistoric-animal-back-to-life research.

I've looked at the issue carefully from all sides. I watched Jurassic Park three times. I spoke to several amateur zoologists. And every which way I look at it, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Sure, the thought of a ten ton T Rex ravaging Manhattan is frightening, but it would be a tremedous learning moment for the legions of city dwellers who have forgotten the potency of mother nature's wrath. And think of the countless lives that will be saved from storms in the wild by the new bounty of massive chest cavities.

I hope you will join me. Write your senators. Approach them aggressively. Corner them and make sure they understand the importance of using-prehistoric-animal-DNA-found-in-preserved-mosquitoes-to-bring-said-prehistoric-animals-back-to-life (UPADFPMBSPA). Whichever party presents the stronger UPADFPMBSPA bill will certainly have my vote this fall and will probably win the day in these sharply divided times.

Together we can dramatically improve humanity's chances of surviving a storm in the wild.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Grizzly-Bear-Sized Sloth

Do you ever get the feeling life was better one and a half million years ago? I do.

Today, southern Los Angeles is a wasteland of strip malls, amusement parks, and fast food restaurants. To survive in the wild there all you need is $7 and no soul. But, one and a half million years ago this was the home of the grizzly-bear-sized sloth.

Imagine, if you will, wandering through the "moist and lush" Irvingtonian period, lost somewhere between Riverside and Upland, armed with nothing but a broadsword, hacking through ferns as an epic storm roils on the horizon.

You are seeking shelter. You are pitting your wits against the cold steely will of Mother Nature. Your resolve is as firm as your well-muscled torso. And, what do you see, hanging from a tree, fast asleep in its warm woolly hide? A sloth the size of a grizzly bear. Just waiting, waiting, to be cut open and crawled inside to survive a storm in the wild.

Monday, August 16, 2010


As Dunncle Sam noted in one of his insightful comments about using smaller animals as bait to attract larger animals which you can cut open and crawl inside to survive a storm in the wild, "whales are the 'white whale' of any COACISSWer." Their massive chest cavity, protective layer of blubber, and structural stability make them nature's greatest gift to the stranded survivalist. I suspect that even after the storm abates and the singing of birds can be heard in the trees, one would be tempted to wile away a few more hours inside the noble beast. However, like most truly great things, whales are elusive.

Hunting one down with merely the knife and floaties I bring on every expedition is a daunting task indeed. Whales are nearly impossible to catch in their own habitat. Though we are both mammals, their swimming ability is far more advanced than ours. Many times I've spotted a whale and leapt into the ocean only to lose it in the ensuing chase.

Thus, the primary way a whale is useful to a survivalist is if it's already beached. Whales generally perish in prolonged battles with giant squid (see below for a helpful illustration tattooed on some dude's arm) and sometimes wash up on land in the turbulent hours preceding a storm. But Poseidon is fickle. I urge you not to spend your final minutes 'neath the darkening sky waiting for him to deliver you a whale. Pursue a land beast, but keep an eye to the sea. Hope is the survivalist's most powerful tool.

Tattoo by Luca Natalini

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The main thing to beware of, when cutting open penguins and crawling inside to survive a storm in the wild, is whimsy. Penguins are very whimsical creatures. They wear suits. They toddle around, waggling their heads back and forth. They like to slide down hills. It's easy to get carried away and lose focus--focus necessary for survival. Instead of dragging your penguin fort to a protected area like you should as the storm approaches, you start thinking how funny it is that penguins wear suits and you're wearing a suit of penguins. Then you make a comical gesture or two with a flipper, pretending you're at a cocktail party with George Plimpton and you just said something tremendously witty. Next thing you know you're ignoring the storm altogether, sliding down a hill and BAM--struck by lightning. Game over.