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Dead Men’s Pearls

Time was that a world-changing news datum would come every ten years or so, if that. The world was slow. Around the time of the Industrial Revolution, that ramped up to a dizzying rate of one a year. Towards the end of the Twentieth Century, the rate was up to one a week, quickly reaching one a day in the early 21st.

Today, the rate is one every fifteen minutes. And here’s what’s at the top of the hour: turns out girls from San Francisco can make dead men come after all.

Either that or there’s a necronautical anomaly restricted to the Bay Area, but I like my version better.

As news-rich as we are now, there’s still no way to determine exactly how this began. I mean, how do you discover that you can give dead men erections? And, frankly, what kind of freak swallows, in that situation?

Nonetheless, word got around that, in NoCal at least, you can get dead men off. And there was a reason that the news spread. It turned out that corpse-loads, black and red and with the consistency of passion-fruit pulp, conferred some kind of near-psychedelic experience. The legs of perception spread wide and led you into the world of the dead. Which appeared to be a men’s toilet in an industrial club sometime after 1am on a Saturday.

It wasn’t long before communion-girls (and a smattering of men) began spitting instead of swallowing. Dribbling blackened cadaver-jizz into little plastic vials. And selling it. Dead Men’s Pearls, it’s called. Fifty bucks a pop, which is putting an awful lot of girls through media studies courses at UC Berkeley. And introducing a lot of guys to the taste of semen. Which is doing wonders for the social fabric of the Bay Area, in a “Honey, do I really taste like that?” “Honey, this is why I keep mints by the bed” kind of way.

We have made contact with the world of the dead. And it’s an endless corridor of toilet cubicles full of people throwing up with Einsturzende Neubauten playing tinnily in the background. Which, perhaps, is as it should be.

And since it’s taken fifteen minutes for me to explain all this to you, we’re now due the next world-changing new discovery.

Can’t wait.

(Written May 2004, very quickly, to try and get it the fuck out of my head.)

Published in brainjuice


  1. links for 2005-03-01
    Do You Have What it Takes to Live Above Me? (categories: funny nyc) TeeVee Station Break: Ewwww! The Vidiots point out how improper editing can cause very unfortunate results. (categories: tv movies funny gross) “But most annoying is that…

  2. […] The mighty, mighty Warren Ellis writes great comics -stuff everybody sees, like Planetary and Global Frequency, and stuff nobody sees, like Switchblade Honey and Orbiter. He also posts fascinatingly disgusting stories. I am stalking him. I obsessively read all his comics, websites, feeds, zines and mailing lists. Moo hoo haa haa. (I even stole that evil-laugh variant from an issue of Transmetropolitan.) […]

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