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Volume 5816
From the Prolific Pen of John Martin

I've been watching occasional Ron Ely Tarzan episodes. . . . 
Episode 1 of Season 2 has a new "theme song" (just an instrumental bit). 
The title of the episode is "Tiger Tiger!"

By John "Bridge" Martin
With a nod to William Blake

Once upon an olden time,
Blake composed a little rhyme;

He wondered how (poetically),
That sometime, Somebody would see

That it would be a useful thing,
A tiger in this world to bring.

So he began to sit and write:
"Tiger, tiger, burning bright."

But ere he wrote that famous line
He had some different words in mind:

"Tiger, tiger, burning orange?"
But wait! for nothing rhymes with orange!

"Tiger, tiger, burning red?"
Even worse; he slapped his head.

Maybe, "Look and see yon tiger,"
But all that rhymed with that was Niger.

(He checked it on the internet
And found that tigers aren't there...yet.)

Next: "Oh tiger, burning, burning?"
No! For readers would be squirming:

In their minds they'd see a pyre,
Where that tiger'd be on fire.

And so he went back to square one;
The final version was this one:

"Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
"In the forests of the night."

That "burning" word still bothered him,
But now his mind was growing dim.

'Twas best to finish off the poem,
So he, at last, could have shalom.


Frank Frazetta


  Tarzan had suffered some serious injuries in his lifetime, including a bullet wound or two. The most obvious wound was the scar on his forehead, where a bullet had grazed him as a young man. It still turned flaming red every time he was angry.

  But Tarzan was thankful that, in all of his adventures, he had never lost a limb, or even a finger. But the longer you live, the more likely it is that something will finally happen to you, and now he was faced with a problem that was most problematical for the apeman.

  Tarzan was toothless as the result of an encounter with The Little People.

  The Littles were the descendants of John Little of England, foremost member of Robin Hood's band of Merry Men, who had fled Sherwood Forest after the death of their outlaw leader, when a new, evil king came to the throne and oppression broke out anew.

  The Little group had fled to Central Africa to carve out a Little homeland in the jungle wilderness. But they had retained many of the old ways, including their large stature and what Little fighting ability they had.

  It had happened one day when Tarzan chanced to come upon a Little stream and started across a log that spanned the banks just as a member of the Little clan was approaching from the opposite direction. Since neither would yield the right-of-way, a battle ensued aboard the log in midstream and, though Tarzan used all of his fighting skill, he was unfamiliar with the way the Littles brandished staffs, and the thick, caber-like, multi-purpose implement easily broke Tarzan's spear in two. Several rough blows to his head had shattered all of his teeth and sent him splattring into the relatively shallow water beneath the log.

  Tarzan had not given up, though. Spitting teeth, he had sprang back onto the log and charged into his foe full force, managing a grin as he heard the giant involuntarily expelling all of the air in his chest cavity as the two of them went back into the brook.

  From then on, they had become friends. Tarzan found out later that the log incident had been planned in advance, as Little scouts had seen him coming. It was a rite of passage for the tribe, and their only way of accepting new friends.

  That, however, did not solve the problem Tarzan now had with his missing and broken teeth. Other steps would have to be taken.

  And now Tarzan was walking out of the dentist's office in Roonga City and into the waiting room, where Jane put down the magazine she was reading and smiled, saying to Tarzan, "Okay John, give me a big grin so I can see that new set of choppers."

  Tarzan responded with a slight grimace. Being Tarzan he had, of course, refused any novacaine, perferring to experience the whole range of sensations when the last remaining chunks of teeth, some broken off at the gum line, were dug, pried and wrested from his mouth.

  The dentist and his staff had marveled at Tarzan's ability to withstand the excruciating agony. There was no question that it hurt like the Devil. Tarzan had immortality but that did not mean he didn't suffer pain. But years of going barefoot in the jungle, with little sharp rocks, broken-off tree twigs, and thorns constantly stabbing into the bottoms of his feet, had given him a high tolerance for torture of his body.

  "Sorry, no grin," he told Jane. "But I'll give you a nice smile. Trouble is, the bloomin' dentures they made for me don't fit, so they have to be relined. They won't be able to do that until the gums heal and the stiches come out."

  "Oh Tarzan," she said, "How long will that take."

  "Shouldn't be more than a week," he said. "It's okay. I can get along fine without the teeth for a few days. But it means I'll have to be pretty much on a diet of soft food, since I can't chew. And I'll be blowed if I'm going to be a gummer."

  "Just soft food?" asked Jane.

  "Yes," sighed Tarzan. "You know...pudding, yogurt, soup...and, oh yes [Tarzan smiled] ice cream."

  "A whole week without Bara the deer, freshly killed, the warm blood dripping from your jaws as you rend the succulent meat with your teeth," asked Jane, her eyes tearing up slightly.

  "Well obviously, Jane, since I don't have my old teeth, I won't be doing any rending until I get my replacements."

  Jane brightened. "Well, if you want to go out and kill a Bara and bring it back, I can always stick some in the blender and grind it down to a bloody, gooey mass for you. You know, like baby food!"

   The scar on Tarzan's forehead not only turned red in reaction to that, but it was pulsing in intensity like a traffic light. "Jane," he said, "Tarzan does not eat baby food."

  Jane's eyes widened. "Oh...I'm sorry Tarzan. I won't mention it again."

  "That would be good," said Tarzan, as the redness in the scar began to fade.

  "But Jane," he added.

  "Yes Tarzan?" she said hopefully.

  "You can get the ice cream churn going when we get home and use that all you want."

EDGARDEMAIN: Celebrating the literary legerdemain of Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Skeleton Men of Jupiter's Ancient Greece
 Jason/Carter battling the Skeleton Men

I was watching the old 1963 "Jason and the Argonauts" on television the other day 
and noted the resemblances of the stars, the villains and the special effects 
to what we might have been back then
if the movie had been about "A Princess of Mars" instead.

By John "Bridge" Martin
With apologies to John Greenleaf Whittier

Todd Armstrong on a summer's day,
Learned the role that he would play,

Jason of the Argonauts,
Sailing far at 15 knots,

On a quest that would not cease
Until they had the Golden Fleece.

Todd was tall with rugged tan,
Like a southern gentleman;

Could have shined among the stars
As Captain Carter, up on Mars.

Like their boss, each man aboard,
Had to be adept with sword,

But cunning was required, too,
When giant Talos, Jason slew.

The Martian giant's name was Joog,
And Carter put him in a fugue.

With the Harpies, Jason wars
Like Carter with the Malagors

And finally came the Skeleton Men,
And Carter handily dealt with them,

Just as Jason also won,
Battling bone men in the sun.

And Kovack in Medea's role
The whole darn plot she almost stole;

She could have been at Carter's side,
As Dejah, who became his bride.

At least she finally got to play
A Burroughs beauty anyway,

When she starred with Tarzan bold,
In the Valley of the Gold.

If back in Nineteen Sixty-Three
They'd made a John Carter movie

They could have used those props and stars
To put Todd Armstrong up on Mars.

Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
A kick in the pants: It might have been!

EDGARDEMAIN: Celebrating the literary legerdemain of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Nancy Kovack as Medea Thoris ~ Jane Burroughs

Harpies and Malagors

Talos and Joog

One Day in Old Chicago
  Edgar Rice Burroughs snapped shut his copy of "Lt. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation" and snorted.

  "How boring!" he exclaimed. "His protagonist falls too short of the mark to be called a hero." He picked up his tattered copy of "Phra the Phoenician" and set it on top of "Jones." He contemplated the two books for a minute. "I could do better," he said. "I'll invent a Phra-like character only much more macho and send him to some planet out there beyond the farthest star."

  He thought a moment more. "No, I'll just make it Mars. People would understand that better."

  He glanced at his bookshelf and his eyes fell on the spine of Kipling's "The Jungle Book." He pursed his lips. "Maybe I should send him to India," he thought. "No, that's been done. Probably Africa would be better."

  "Well, whatever I'm going to do, I'd better do quickly. Nobody's selling any pencil sharpeners and I sure ain't helping any, sitting on my butt reading pulp magazines and old books rather than going out and doing a few cold calls myself. Emma and the kids are starving and I've got to do something to generate some income. As bad as this pulp stuff is, I could probably do better blindfolded."

  However, he didn't have to swipe a dish towel from the kitchen drawer to make a blindfold. He listened carefully and, yes, the clackety-clack sound of dozens of typewriters was coming from down the hall. He got up and tiptoed down and carefully opened the door. Nearly fifty chimpanzees were within, all hacking away at typewriters, as they had been doing for the past 20 years. He opened the door wider and walked up to one of the chimps. "They've been at this so long," he sighed, "and still not a complete word, let alone a finished sentence."

  Then, his eyes brightened and he looked at the page on which a chimp was typing. It read: "I am a very old man, how old, I do not know."

  "Finally!" said ERB. "The laws of chance have produced at least the start of a manuscript. Now I can just set back and let the chimps do the work and I don't have to quit my day job."

  "Tomorrow," said ERB, "I'm going out to sell up a storm of pencil sharpeners. And when I get home, I'll see if these chimps have finished the first chapter yet."




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