February 2012

Musin’s and Thinkin’s

A Monthly Stroll Down Folksy Byways

with Jack Pendarvis

Thanks to so many of you for writing in to request more of my famous pine-cone tips. It is no wonder that my modest suggestions on the subject have received a flood of positive responses surpassing anything else I have ever set to paper. Nor am I being a braggart by saying as much. All credit must go to the ever-versatile pine cone, known colloquially as "The King of the Decorative Pine-Tree-Related Objects." The Romans marveled at its shapely symmetry, probably. I'm sure the Greeks got a big kick out of pine cones, too. I'm going to "go out on a limb"—as a talking pine cone might put it!—and say that Euclid came up with math from counting all those doodads that stick out of a pine cone. Even the ancient Chinese and Egyptians would surely agree that pine cones add a quaint touch to any occasion, such as an ugly divorce.

Have you tried putting a little hat on your pine cone? Suddenly you have a friend. If you take her to a movie, make sure she fits comfortably into the cup-holder on the armrest. You don't want a stranger sitting on your pine cone by mistake.

Far too seldom do we stop to imagine things from the pine cone's point of view. According to scientists, pine cones may very well inhabit a bustling world of their own, all but invisible to the human eye, worshipping at the church or synagogue of their choice and holding down steady jobs—though many of them devote their weekends to community theater or harmless motorcycle clubs. And, of course, they gaily festoon their houses with tiny, bewildered humans.

In fact, these sentient pine cones, should they exist, represent an unspeakable horror sent straight from the maw of hell to enslave us all.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Jack Pendarvis has written three books.

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