Sunday, August 24, 2008

Unholy Hybrid

Pictures as promised–but this may take some ‘splaining.

See, in the beginning was a writer named Howard Phillips Lovecraft (genuflects). And he wrote short stories that quickly became a shared universe among a number of pulp writers. In a nutshell, these stories were about a universe that was not just indifferent, it was inimical. The BEST one could hope for was that the gods took absolutely no notice of you whatsoever and just squished you like the insignificant insect you were.

Because, see, the gods running the universe were both awesome and terrible. Utterly inhuman and unknowable. Evil can be bargained with, because evil wants something you have. Evil covets, and by offering it a way to acquire what it covets, you have some handle on the situation. These gods . . . don’t really want anything you have. They have their own motivations and desires. You just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Go here for more (if you

And as so many projects do, it took on its own form of life. Fans of the fiction began writing their own. The internet spawned (you should forgive the term) an unholy hybrid of lolcats and the Mythos, resulting in LOLthulhu–recaptioned pictures from the Mythos. Ur sanity–it has a flavr.

So–wayyy wayyy back when (can it really have been about a decade ago?? I think it was . . .) A bunch of us were having dinner when we got into a discussion of Codpieces of Cthlhu. I think it was when I said something about St. Cyr sounded like a Lovecraftian high priestess and sufficient persons at the table were into Rocky Horror that the theme, well, caught fire.

We rattled off a ton of names for them, mostly alliterative–the Cuddly Codpiece of Cthulhu, the Carniverous Codpiece of Cthulhu, the Concupicent Codpiece of Cthulhu. And the Elvis Codpiece of Cthulhu. There may be pictures floating around fandom somewhere of the Codpieces and the party to which they were worn, but this was long before I had a digital camera. Or a blog, for that matter.

This year, the theme for the August Party is “Atlantis Goes to Hell.” DH Gareth asked me to make him a Codpiece of Cthulhu to wear because that would be appropriate and comfortable to wear while manning the grill in August in Arizona. Because it is both hot and humid. (Yes, yes, Floridians laugh at the notion of “humid” in Arizona, and say they can handle it. Earlier this summer, a dozen Floridian touristas had to be rescued off Camelback Mountain while hiking, due to dehydration. They only had 30 bottle of water with them, but honey, it’s 110 and 25 percent out there. Three bottles of water ain’t gonna get you up and down Camelback Mountain in the late morning.)

I said sure, figuring it couldn’t be any harder than a doll. I had a codpiece pattern from all those years ago, and the trimming bit should be pretty simple. Of course, my patterning methods leave a lot to be desired–I sort of get some paper, mentally project the three-dimensional piece into the flat, and cut away everything that doesn’t match my vision. Uhm, yeah.

Now that you’ve read this far, a reward! Pictures of the Cetaceous Codpiece of Cthulhu!

Even better than jazz sitar . . .

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