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Volume 5656
In A Galaxy Far Away...
Somewhere In A Parallel Universe...
By John "Bridge" Martin

Once upon a time there was a Planet of the Apes,
They sent some rockets here to conquer us.
Most of them, however, landed in the ocean wide,
Where apes were eaten by an octopus.

But one airship was lucky to have set down on the land,
Deep in the heart of Darkest Africa.
They carved themselves a home and learned to walk among the trees,
Thanks to their alien strength and stamina.

One, whose name was Kala, soon gave birth to a balu,
A baby whom she gave the name Kal-El,
She knew that he'd grow up to be a super kind of ape,
And help their tribe on Earth to far excel.

But ere the youth was suckled and developed bulk and brawn,
The biggest and the meanest ape went nuts,
And in his rage he tore into the hapless little babe,
And took his life with bruises, bonks and cuts.

Then as it happened, Kala found an orphaned human boy,
And though -- compared to hers -- he wasn't strong,
She thought that it'd be nice to have him keep her company
(At least 'til something better came along).

She thought that she would name him something similar to that
By which she had identified her son,
And so she called him Kal-Ud which means drinker of the milk
And kept him close till he turned twenty-one.

But Kal-Ud turned out better than she ever thought he would;
He grew about as strong as her first kid,
And he acquired a cape to hang from mighty shoulder thews,
And all were thrilled at all the deeds he did.

He leaped the highest treetops with a single graceful bound,
And was faster than an arrow shot from bow,
He made the mighty rivers flow where'er he wished them to,
And when he fought he'd win by a K.O.

One day a pretty girl showed up within his jungle sphere,
And he was smitten by this Lois Jane.
To keep her safe from those who had a grudge against Kal-Ud,
He carved out an estate for their domain.

And then he took a human name to further obfuscate
The fact that he was Kal-Ud of the Apes.
They wrote some books about him and made movies of his feats,
One of which was called "Kal-Ud Escapes."

The Apes gave up their first idea of conquering the Earth,
Because they found some other things to do,
Like pulling bark off fallen trees to search for little bugs
To flavor up the berry soups they'd brew.

Kal-Ud also made a treaty with a native band
Who always helped with anything he'd do,
And in return he fought for justice and their tribal way
When enemies would search out the Wazoo.

Today if you should venture out into the jungle deep
And find that you are getting into scrapes,
Just know that there's a mild-mannered guy who'll rescue you,
That super man named Kal-Ud of the Apes.

EDGARDEMAIN: Celebrating the literary legerdemain of Edgar Rice Burroughs

"Sak," Tars Tarkas barked, looking pointedly at John Carter.

  Carter wasn't one to be ordered around, however. After all, he was now Warlord of Mars and thus, Tarkas's commander in chief. Why was the tall green man now directing him to do something that he -- and everyone else on civilized Barsoom -- already knew he could do?

  Carter glared at Tarkas and folded his arms and then, for good measure, turned his head sideways and sent a glob of saliva rocketing into the red Martian sand.

  Tarkas fumed.

  "Sak!" he said again. "Sak." This time he provided a little demonstration to go along with the words. He held one of his four hands out in front of his body, fingers closed. Then, with one of his remaining three hands, he began prying his fingers apart until the whole hand resembled the tentacles of a kaldane.

  Though words had failed, the demonstration turned on the light in Carter's mind.

  "Oh, Sak!" said Carter smiling. "Now I get you. You want to see my new SAK -- my Swiss Army Knife!"

  Carter reached onto his harness and unhooked the device. "It's pretty neat," he said to Tars. "My uncle Ed gave it to me on my last trip to Earth. It had just been invented and he had bought two, so he gave one to me."

  Tars Tarkas smiled and came closer to marvel at the knife with the many blades.

  "What's that one for?" he inquired, pointing to one that had a blade like a spiral.

  "Oh, that's the corkscrew," said Carter, "for pulling corks out of bottles."

  "What's a cork?" the puzzled Thark responded.

  "Oh, sorry," said John Carter. "The corn oak tree is native to the Mediterranean region of Earth. On Mars you guys just use the English word, bung, that I introduced you to."

  "That's not the only English word you've polluted our language with," said Tars Tarkas, rolling his eyes. "You keep reverting to calling this planet Mars. It's Barsoom, Barsoom, Barsoom.

  "So," he got back to the original subject. "What are you going to use that, uh, corkscrew for?"

  "Well," said John Carter, "I think it would work great for cleaning out the thoat compound. All that dried, solidified dung that we have to pick up and carry out with our hands, since there are no shovels on Mars. We can just use this corkscrew to drill into each one and pick them up without having to touch them."

  "So you're saying it can be used for dealing the dung rather than unsealing the bung," said Tarkas.

  Carter smiled.

  "What's that silly grin for," Tarkas challenged.

  "Just that you can't help using my English words," said Carter. "Dung is another word I brought from the Earth. Before I did that, you had a much grosser name. You called it---"

  Tarkas held up all four of his hands in a warning gesture. "Don't remind me," he said.

EDGARDEMAIN: Celebrating the literary legerdemain of Edgar Rice Burroughs

ERBdom 8: Ivie?ERBdom 10: Larry IvieERBdom 6 Horvath
From the ERBzine Tars Tarkas Galleries: ERBzine 1390

Dolly Parton's song Jolene was so influential, it even inspired human sacrifice. As Dolly tells it:
    "We came home one day and there was a baby in a box at our gate with a note in it. The note said, 'My name is Jolene, my momma has left me here, and she wants you to have me.' Of course, we all freaked out!”
Of course, Parton couldn't keep the poor child and had to call Human Services to come and collect the baby.
    “There are some loony people in the world!”
Perhaps Dolly Parton could play Jane in a Tarzan movie. Then her theme park, Dollywood, could have Tarzan rides and attractions.
The meter of Tarzan's name would fit well with the lyrics of Dolly Parton's song, "Jolene":
And if such lyrics were written, this is how the song might go...
Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan...
I'm begging you to stay away from La;
Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan...
That city known as Opar ain't no spa

Her beauty is beyond compare
With golden bangles in her hair
With sacrificial dagger in her hand

She looks at you with sultry eyes
And when you leave her side she cries,
She wants to be your lover, my Tarzan.

She's decided you’re her man
She’ll have you any way she can
Even if it's on a slab, Tarzan

We do not need that Opar gold
So Tarzan please don't be so bold
And leap into the fire from the pan

Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan...
I'm begging you to stay away from La;
Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan...
That city known as Opar ain't no spa

Even though your mind is set
Please don't do something you'll regret,
Please don't go near that woman, my Tarzan...

I had to have this talk with you
Before another day is through
Before you leave to get more gold, Tarzan,

Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan...
I'm begging you to stay away from La;
Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan, Tarzan...
That city known as Opar ain't no spa

Tarzan, Tarzan...

  The little boy came hesitantly into the book store and approached the stern book dealer, Escribir Livres. "Would you buy my book?" he asked, thinking of his unemployed mother and seven starving siblings at home.

  "Lemme see, kid," said Livres, grabbing the book and man-handling it. "Well, it's a Tarzan book," said the dealer. "But the word Tarzan is misspelled 'Tarzen' on the spine," he growled. "They probably only made a few of these before they caught the error and fixed it. So, no, I can't give you much for this. How 'bout 50 cents."

  The kid started shedding tears of joy. Fifty cents would buy two fresh eggs, which could be boiled and sliced thin enough so that everyone in his family could have a couple sections. He left the store, knowing that his family could live for one more day.

  Livres smiled evilly as the boy left and marked the book at $1,200, then put it into a bin marked "JT."

  "Heh, heh," said the dealer. "He'll buy ANYthing!"

  The door chime tinkled again. In walked a middle-aged man dressed in khakis, wearing a pith helmet.

  "Can I help you?" the dealer asked.

  "Maybe," said the man. "I just got back from Africa and darned if a lion didn't get into my tent and try to eat this old ERB book, The Lad and the Lion. See, his teeth had almost rotted out and he left a couple of chunks of them imbedded in the cover."

  "You're robbing me," said the dealer. "But I can give you a buck for it."

  As the dealer slid the book into the JT bin, the white hunter left happily, the four quarters jingling in his pocket.

  The dealer was sure that JT would give him at least $2,000 for the book.

  The store door opened again. A good-looking blonde walked in, holding a first edition of Tarzan and the Ant-Men. "I thought this might be a good collectible," she said. "You see the title is 'Ant Men' and, look, there are the dead bodies of those tiny sugar ants on almost every page."

  "How'd they get there," said Livres, frowning. "I eat lots of chocolates," explained the blonde, "and it attracts the ants. The path to and from their nest leads right across my lap so they're always walking across any book I'm reading and I smash them flat whenever I see them."

  "I see," said the dealer. "Well, the last thing any of my customers would want is a book littered with the corpses of dead insects. If I were you, I'd take this home and dump it in the recycling bin."

  Tears welled up in the blonde's eyes, causing her mascara to run. "Very well," she said. "I just thought...."

  "No," sneered the dealer, "you weren't thinking at all, you stupid blonde."

  The next morning JT himself came into the store and Livres brought out the two books that he thought the completist would prize so highly. "How 'bout this one," he beamed. "A real rarity, with Tarzan misspelled in the title."

  JT grimaced. "Why would I want that piece of illiterate literature littering my library? No thanks."

  Livres, angered, put the book back. Now he would have a heck of a time getting rid of it. "How 'bout this, one?" he said. "Genuine African lion teeth, Probably from Jad-bal-ja himself."

  JT groaned. "Another one? I've got several of these already."

  "You're getting too hard to please," snarled the dealer. "I'm glad now that I didn't buy that McClurg of Ant Men with all the dead formicidae on its pages. By now that monstrosity is well on its way to a paper shredder."

  JT staggered backward, clutching at his heart. "No!" he screamed. "You didn't! You wouldn't!" He made his way from the store, almost losing his footing several times on the hardwood floor which had been slickened with his tears.

  The dealer watched him go, shaking his head. "These darned collectors," he muttered. "How in the heck are you supposed to know what will make them happy these days."

John Coleman Burroughs: Lad and the Lion - 5 b/w interiors


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