Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site
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The Many Worlds of
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
This Elmo story didn't tickle your funnybone?
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Redneck ~ Jive ~ Cockney ~ Elmer Fudd ~
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(NOTE: Let me say in preamble that this is meant to be humorous, rather than piercing literary criticism. I have spent as many pleasant hours reading ERB material as the next red-blooded American boy (I mean no slight to all the other nationalities represented among ERB's faithful fans), but sometimes I am overcome by the urge to poke fun at the same authors I most appreciate. ERB isn't the first and he won't be the last. I decided to say this first because of several painful experiences elsewhere on the Net where I posted something that was meant to be funny, but didn't bother to say so, and was castigated for my lack of comprehension of what a particular author was really trying to say, or else I DID put in a disclaimer ("This is HUMOR") as the final paragraph, and was upbraided by people who evidently had quit in disgust before reading that last paragraph, but couldn't resist the opportunity to yell at me because I was missing the whole point in my discussion of whatever I was discussing. With the formal disclaimer out of the way, let's move on to the main body of the post.)
Reviewing some of ERB's classic series lately, I started wondering exactly what ARE the precepts of this noble code which his heroes invariably honor? They certainly seem to feel they are behaving honorably, but we don't hear much about the details of the rules they live by. Accordingly, I have tried to derive the rules from their behavior patterns, and here is what I came up with as the foundation of their creed:
1. I shall give lip service to democratic ideals such as that a man should be judged and rewarded by his own character and accomplishments, and not just by whatever money, real estate, titles, etc., he may have inherited from his ancestors.
2. I shall give lip service to the idea that we should all avoid the fallacy of judging people's inner merit, sweetness of character, etc. by such superficial indicators as the shade of their skin, the comeliness of their features, etc.
3. I shall accept any and all aristocratic-style honors which are offered me (Duke, Warlord, Emperor, etc.).
4. I shall insist upon marrying a beautiful princess, repeat PRINCESS, and be downright smug about my accomplishment, frequently muttering, "My wife is the most beautiful woman in two worlds!" or words to that effect.
5. I shall steadfastly deny that any possible contradiction could exist when points 1, 2, 3, and 4 are considered side by side.
6. I shall be either the strongest man in the world where I principally operate, or the best swordsman, or preferably both.
7. Given that I have achieved Point 6, I shall sneer contemptuously at any villain who refuses to face me in single combat with equal weaponry (or bare hands) to settle our differences, and call him an honorless coward, or words to that effect.
8. I shall be as vague about chronological matters as possible, making it impossible for even my most fervent admirers to reach a firm consensus on when each episode of my life happened, when my children were born, etc. In extreme cases I will either claim that time is a variable and doesn't pass at the same rate for everyone in the same setting, or give flatly contradictory data, such as my marriage occurring around 20 years after my birth, i.e. 1908 or 1909, and my son being a fighter pilot in the British military at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Egad, that young whippersnapper matured quickly!
9. I shall never kill anyone except for the noblest of reasons, such as A) in a clear-cut case of self-defense, B) in a clear-cut case of defense of a beautiful maiden, C) because it furthers the plot.
10) As a general rule, whenever I encounter a "lost civilization," I shall never share the secrets of gunpowder, the steam engine, germ theory, and other modern innovations with the inhabitants; nor shall I expose them directly to 20th Century Civilization, but instead leave them living in their squalid, Stone Age (or Iron Age) conditions and never my trouble myself with concerns as to what their infant mortality rate is, etc. It's for their own good, I tell myself! Modern innovations would just "corrupt" them!
(NOTE: I admit that there were exceptions. Tarzan didn't do #4 and David Innes didn't do #10. But such exceptions were far and few between, methinks). Larry Homer
B.C. by Johnny Hart - 99.09.11
"We ask Peter stay -- live with us. Him refuse, him man of destiny."
"Peter good man, but got ants in skivvies."
"So, where is Peter, now?"
"Not know, him go West.'
"We try stop him. Tell him no pass to West."
"Him no listen to us."
"Him stubborn... still think world is round -- go look for you."
"Why do they talk like that?"
"I'm hip!... I keep wanting to buy them an infinitive or something."
"Where did you learn to speak English so well?"
"We learn from three books we find in old underground cavern."
"What kind of books?"
"Come, we show you."
LIFE OF TARZAN
LIFE OF TONTO
Illustrations by Stu Shiffman for
Adventure of the Martian Hegira:
fragments from the
Barsoomian Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes
as edited by
Stu Shiffman, FWA,
member: Sound of the Baskervilles, Hounds of the Internet
The Barsoomian Reminiscences are featured in ERBzine 0215
Release date: September 24, 1999
The One-Legged Tarzan Sketch
by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
Would you like to share it?
Please send it on over to Tarcoons & Funnies.
~~ all 122 chapters ~~
written by your very own WebJed and ERBmania's Tangor.
The "Files" are featured in two affordable editions found at:
JoN's All-Gory Pulp Parody Magazine
check out Elmo's Barsoomian Blade
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