Saturday, April 29, 2017

Oodlies creator Joi Murugavell interviews Antares (another blast from the past)

Joi: If you were stuck in an elevator desperate for sex and the only way you'd get to shag the only girl left on the planet, was to tell her about your career as a cartoonist, in exactly 117 words. What would you say (she's hot and standing in the good corner of the elevator, naked). Also, animals will die if you don't do this and your nipples will be yanked by a deranged tiger as Larry the male nurse pours a mixture of salt and hot tar into your fresh wounds, if you don't do this in exactly 117 words.

Antares: Well, here we are trapped in the ultimate wet dream scenario. It will take at least two hours before any rescue team can reach us and the CCTV was stolen by vandals. I can see you're hot... as you've taken off all your clothes. Damn good idea, think I'll do likewise. Feel free to resurrect my libido... or tell me the story of your life. Either way my interest will be aroused. See those funny little bumps on my head? That's how you can tell if someone's a cartoonist. Feel free to titillate all my senses while I fondle your brainlobes. Promise I won't mess up your hair. What's your name by the way, darling? I'm Frank. [Exactly 117 words, count 'em!]

Joi: How do you pronounce your name? I do like your name and its the reason I friended you on facebook even before I knew the 'well known' in your title of 'well known cartoonist' was so deserved.

Antares: "Ahn-tah-rays" (with the accent on the second syllable). The name is neutral enough. No ethnic, biocultural or gender clues there. That's the way I like it. I'm not sure if it connects with the binary star system called Antares. All I know is, Antares is a very ancient gas giant with an impressive flatulence quotient.

An oodleee by Antares & Joi 

Joi: What does your name mean? Joi means Victory, the right pronunciation of my name is ... actually forget it! a whole bunch of idiots I know will start mispronouncing my mispronounced name if I told you.

Antares: I found out (shortly after "receiving" the name "Antares") that it's actually Greek. Combination of "anti" and "Ares" (Mars) - in effect, counterforce to Mars (Antares and Mars both appear distinctly red to the naked eye). Mars is the Roman God of Division and the planet also rules the plow and the sword (agriculture, warfare and surgery) - so Antares may be regarded as an intermediary or bridging force (in Sanskrit, antara means "inter" or "between"). Later I stumbled across some intriguing cosmomythological aspects of Antares: Chinese astrologers call it the Red Phoenix Star and the Hindu name for it is Jyeshta. Some say Jyeshta is the last portal of purification every soul must pass through on its way home to Godhead. In astrology, Antares is known as the Heart of Scorpio, because it appears to the eye as being the center of the constellation. I recently acquired a DVD of the 1959 epic movie Ben Hur and was amused to discover that Prince Judah Ben Hur's favorite horse was named Antares.

Joi: I love the feeling of aggravation and being aggravated. Its like playing with a loose tooth, slight pain but extremely pleasurable. The trick is to know when to stop, as aggravation can very quickly turn into annoyance. I know this because I often seek out irritating human beings, if I think they'd supply me with good aggravation and then I feel bad telling them they're annoying, so I'm stuck with this motley crew of friends, particularly on twitter. What's your flaw, when choosing humans as friends?

Antares: Well, I'm attracted to intimacy on all levels. I tend to befriend those who aren't ashamed of being themselves, who don't go around wearing masks or heavy armor. Ron Hubbard sagely said that true communication is only possible amongst equals. So I avoid those who are trapped in games of status or whose egos are overly competitive. I like being surrounded by folks in front of whom I can undress without a second thought. The upshot of this is that I have minimal contact with table-thumping rabble-rousers and professional pundits - in effect, your typical beer-swilling, soccer-watching pub regulars. I don't view this as a "flaw" - but it does cut me off from "popular" culture. My disdain for the Lowest Common Denominator ensures that almost everything I produce has little or "no commercial potential."

Cartoon sex, anyone?

Joi: If you munted your hands and couldn't draw, would it bother you, at this point in your life. Or would you be more concerned about the other things you couldn't do without your, hands. I'd be devastated, and I was for 2 months when my hand was injured. But in a few years, who knows. (I am aware this is the second violent thought I've had about your body parts, it wasn’t unintentional).

Antares: Contrary to public opinion, I don't see myself as a cartoonist. I'm primarily a writer-musician who happens to doodle a bit on the side. In effect, drawing isn't a MAJOR part of my life. If I lost my hands, not being able to draw is unlikely to be my main gripe. There are so many things we take for granted, Joi. When I emerged from a 5-day induced coma in December 2009, I couldn't even drink water for a couple of days. That was sheer hell. When I found myself able to drink more than a few drops of water, it was absolute bliss. It took me more than two weeks to regrow the muscles in my legs so I could jump from rock to rock and climb hills. Not being able to do that was a big shock to my system. I now relate to people with physical handicaps with far more empathy and admiration - simply because I can appreciate what it took for them to carry on, regardless.

Joi: Do you have a favorite shampoo and conditioner? or any tips on how to care for long hair.

Antares: I had to lop off my locks in October 2010. I inherited my mother's extremely fine hair and I used to have a fantastic mane (see 1991 pic at right)... but it began thinning out with age and my hairdresser suggested I cut it short, so it could regain a bit of density. Right now it's just touching my shoulders. I do miss my waist-length wildman image - guess it's part of growing older maturing and letting go of unnecessary accessories like hair (though I prefer to view the process not so much as "losing hair" but "gaining face"). When I had glorious tresses a few girlfriends offered an assortment of tips on hair care - using a brush instead of a comb, applying conditioner after shampooing, and so on. I never had much patience for preening, so I'm not a good role model for tonsorial hygiene. However, I'm still vain enough to apply dark henna to my hair once every 2 or 3 months - not only does it obscure the white hairs, henna also strengthens the follicles. And, best of all, I can buy henna for RM1.50 a packet!

Scatological resonances

Joi: Have you ever shaved your armpits? Or any other bits?

Antares: I don't have much body hair. My paternal grandmother advised my mum to avoid beef during pregnancy, so her offspring are all relatively hairless, which makes it impossible to grow a beard (I gave up after trying for 30 years, even resorting to magic hair-growth lotions that obviously don't work). As for other bits... um... I did attempt to shave my pubic hair once, to make my penis look bigger... but ended up nicking my balls with the razor. Now I'm a connoisseur of other people's hair - armpit or otherwise, visible or otherwise.

Joi: I love this series of cartoons which you started drawing in 1991. I'm not just a fan of the whimsical lines in the sketches but more how one thing led to another that made someone sit down and act silly, for quite a while. You've dedicated the website to your grandson, Max. What does it feel like having a grandson? Most grandparents are more relaxed with their grandkids than they were with their own kids. I mean my mum hardly swears at my nephews. Her favorite thing to yell at us was "I'll give you a slap and send you flying"; it was really difficult trying not to laugh as she was always dead serious when she said that and yet it was such a ridiculous thing to say.

Antares: The Goon Gallery, as stated in my notes on Goonology, was the result of a single outpouring of looniness. I used up an entire drawing pad trying to explain what a "goon" looks like to an ignorant Canadian. Like most improvisations, it's an unrepeatable performance and I'm glad it's finally been digitized and published online. I view digital tech as something heavensent, since I don't enjoy offering stuff to publishers - only to be told there's "no market" for my work. Thank Google for free blog templates! Now anyone anywhere with internet access can have a good chuckle at no expense. My grandson Max (who turned 11 on 28 August 2011) is an enthusiastic doodler himself and he drew me some inspiring get-well cards when I was in hospital. I'm giving him a Tacoma guitar for his birthday in the hope that he will someday do cover versions of his grandfather's songs. The idea appeals greatly to me. Thus far, Max has fulfilled his father's ambitions to be a jock. I'd be overjoyed to see him continue the family tradition of crooning and doodling. The best thing about my grandchildren is that I only see them on rare occasions - so we have no negative impressions whatsoever of each other.


Joi: Are you a horny doodler? (a doodler who can't keep his hands to himself and dry humps paper constantly with long objects that squirt ink). Or a binge doodler?

Antares: My doodling days are all but over, Joi. I can't find any pens that work reliably (25 years ago I could buy China-made Hero fountain pens for around M$4.50 and they not only worked fine but lasted years; these days Hero pens are absolute crap, and the last few I bought are lying around unused in some drawer). Also, I used to yak on the phone extensively - and doodling was something to do with my hands. These days, 90% of my social interactions happen via facebook - and that doesn't exactly inspire doodling. The most recent cartoon assignment was in 2009 when I was asked to illustrate a book on the Malaysian budget and how the government was squandering it. I took it on as a challenge, as I hadn't done any cartoons in years. Managed to produce 9 usable illustrations within a week, so I'm relieved I haven't completely lost it.

Joi: There are countless websites on the ‘poor graphic designer who has to make that logo bigger’. When you worked as a cartoonist, did you find a similar noose around your neck? What did you do, to keep the juices flowing? and did you know when it was time to leave? (when I think I've asked someone too many questions I simply chuck multiple questions into one paragraph). I always giggle when people say 'juices flowing'. Because I'm extremely childish.

Antares: I was never a full-time cartoonist. In fact, most people didn't even know I could draw until my first book, ADOI! came out in 1989. After that, I was offered occasional commissions to illustrate various publications. Only rarely did my cartoons appear in the newspapers. Mostly they appeared in magazines, illustrating my own short stories, etc. I only recall two instances when I was required to "tone down" a cartoon: the first was when the editor felt nervous about the Madonna figure I had drawn to illustrate "The Black Marker Brigade"... I had to redraw her minus the nunnish tudung. The second instance was when I had to add a bikini top to a nude female figure for a full-page cartoon featured in a short-lived monthly called Journal One. Nothing too serious - it's always about religion and sex, isn't it? They are inextricably bound together, it appears. I like the idea of your creative (or procreative) juices flowing, Joi. I'm not only childish, I find the word "juice" rather delicious. And it makes me think of James Joyce, and Joi Murugavell.

Commemorating Joi Murugavell's historic visit to Magick River on 6 January 2012

Joi: If we were ever in the same room, I will be equipped with stacks of paper and a box of sharpies. I'd love to oodlie on a large sheet of paper, pass it to you to continue my lines and vice versa. We'd listen to music and I'll accuse you of farting even when you don't. For now, I'm not exactly content, but happy with combining our lines to make (non)sense out of non(sense).

Antares: Sounds heavenly to me, unfair accusations of flatulence and all. I'm a bit Joycean (Juicean?) in that whenever I'm really fond of somebody, I tend to think their fart is divinely fragrant. How come your questions for me are so serious, Joi? I was expecting some off-the-wall ones... but, no worries, I enjoyed answering them anyhow.

Joi: I’m a very serious person, I often try not to be. I’m glad you survived 2009, clearly, we need more of you. I find you very soothing, like a lozenge. Though I’d never suck you, I'd hate for you to get smaller. (I love that I haven’t given you an opportunity for a come back here … here’s a customary gesture ‘xoxo’). Thank you for your art, trust, kindness and time … stranger from facebook with the fab name. 

Another oodleee by Antares & Joi  

[First posted 26 September 2011]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

All The Best Limericks Are Lewd

Abraham was indeed a wily old Jew
Kept company with only the Chosen Few
By forswearing sin
And his own foreskin
He managed the whole world to screw

It was a limerick that got me my first job as a junior copywriter. I had just turned 20 and was living with my parents in the house where I was born. I knew it was time to leave the family nest and learn to stand on my own feet - so when a friend mentioned that an ad agency in KL was looking for new blood, I immediately wrote to them. A few days later I received a test in the mail and was asked to compose a limerick; then write a news report about it, followed by an editorial. This was the limerick I came up with (of course I had to keep it clean):

A grand gourmand named Gus
Decided to devour a bus
But as he began to chew
He said, "Oh no, this won't do,
The passengers are making a fuss!"

Needless to say I got the job and soon found myself turning into a professional wordsmith, churning out readable text by the column inch. It didn't take long for me to realize I wasn't cut out to be a hack. Within 18 months I quit, after winning $5,000 in a slogan writing competition for Hall's cough drops, and began a checkered career as a freelancer and creative consultant. I continued to compose the occasional limerick - but somehow they were never quite lewd enough...

A fair mädchen was having her lüncheon
In a very chic cafe in München
Well, I got bold and told her
That I wanted to hold her
"Ja ja," she said and we got engaged pretty sünchen

As clean limericks go, this one ranks as an all-time winner (unfortunately I didn't write it and I don't know who did): 

A wonderful bird is the pelican;
His beak can hold more than his belican.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week,
Though I’m damned if I know how the helican!

But enough of clean limericks! Bring on the best and lewdest ones I have collected over the years. I must mention here that some of the dirtiest limericks ever written came from Isaac Asimov, acclaimed writer of sciencefiction novels. Here are a couple I like:

Said an ovum one night to a sperm,
"You're a very attractive young germ.
Come join me, my sweet,
Let our nuclei meet
And in nine months we'll both come to term."


"We refuse," said two men from Australia,
"Bestiality this saturnalia.
For now, we bethink us,
The ornithorhynchus
Is our down-under type of Mammalia."

And I have a gut feeling we owe this classic to Asimov:

The astronomer's crime was heinous:
"We mustn't let convention restrain us;
Though I've made a career
Out of Venus, my dear,
I'm tempted to switch to Uranus."

Let's open the floodgates of debauchery and prurience, shall we? But first, a limerick defining what limericks are really about...

The Limerick's furtive and mean, 
To be kept under close quarantine, 
Or she'll sneak to the slums, 
Where she promptly becomes 
Disorderly, drunk and obscene!

It's almost impossible to trace limericks back to their source. The memorable ones tend to get circulated and recirculated over time till they end up attributed to Anonymous (presumably an obscure Greek lyricist). Here's the rest of my collection to date:

There once was a girl from Ealing,
Who said she had no sexual feeling.
Until a cynic named Boris,
Touched her clitoris,
And they’re still scraping her off the ceiling.


There was a young fellow from Kent,
Whose prick was so long that it bent,
To save himself trouble,
He put it in double,
And instead of coming he went.


A lesbian girl from Khartoum
Took a gay young man up to her room. 
At the start of the night 
She said "Let's get this right. 
Who does what? And with which? And to whom?"


There was an old bishop from Buckingham 
Who spoke of young girls and of fucking 'em 
But a bishop from Wales 
Took the wind from his sails 
When he spoke of young boys and of sucking 'em

From the crypt of the Church of St. Giles 
Came a scream that carried for miles 
Said the Vicar, "Good Gracious, 
Has Brother Ignatius 
Forgotten the Bishop has piles?"


There once was a man from Peru 
Who fell asleep in his canoe 
As he dreamt of Venus 
he played with his penis 
And woke up with a handful of goo.


There was a young woman from Yale 
Who offered her body for sale 
For the sake of the blind 
She had her behind 
Tattooed with her prices in Braille


There was a young fellow from Leeds,
Who swallowed a package of seeds.
Great tufts of grass,
Sprouted out of his ass,
And his balls were all covered with weeds.


There was a young man from Lynn,
Whose prick was the size of a pin.
Said his girl with a laugh,
As she fondled his staff,
“This won’t be much of a sin.”


There was a young lady from Maine,
Who enjoyed copulating on a train.
Not once, I maintain,
But again and again,
And again and again and again.


There was a young actress from Crewe, 
Who remarked as the vicar withdrew, 
The Bishop was quicker 
and thicker and slicker, 
And two inches longer than you.


There was a young plumber from Lee 
who was plumbing his girl with great glee, 
she said,  "Stop your plumbing, 
I think someone's coming..." 
Said the plumber, still plumbing, "It's me!"


A kinky young girl from Coleshill, 
Tried a dynamite stick for a thrill, 
They found her vagina 
in North Carolina, 
and bits of her tits in Brazil.


There was a young man from Pitlocherie, 
making love to his girl in the rockery, 
she said, "Look you've cum 
all over my bum, 
This isn't a shag, it's a mockery."


There was a young lassie from Morton, 
who had one long tit and one short'un, 
on top of all that 
a great hairy twat, 
and a fart like a six fifty Norton.


There was a young man from Harrow 
who had one as big as a marrow. 
He said to his tart, 
"Try this for a start. 
My balls are outside on a barrow."


There was a young girl from Hitchin, 
who was scratching her crotch in the kitchen. 
Her mother said "Rose, 
It's crabs, I suppose." 
She said "Bollocks, get on with your stitchin'."


There was a young girl from Devizes, 
who had tits of different sizes. 
One was quite small, 
almost nothing at all, 
But the other was big and won prizes.


There once was a young man from Brighton,
Who said to a young lass, “You’re a tight’un!”
She said, “Listen, Hon,
You’re in the wrong one.
There’s plenty of room in the right one.”


A lady while dining at Crewe,
Found an elephant’s dong in her stew,
Said the waiter, “Don’t shout,
Or wave it about,
Or the others will all want one too!”


There was a young woman of Croft,
Who played with herself in a loft,
Having reasoned that candles,
Could never cause scandals,
Besides which they did not go soft.


There was a young woman named Sally, 
who loved an occasional dally, 
she sat on the lap
of a well endowed chap, 
Crying, "Gee, Dick, you're right up my alley!"


There was a young gaucho named Bruno 
Who said "If there is one thing I do know, 
A woman is fine, 
a donkey divine, 
But the llama is numero uno."


There once was a man from Nantucket
Whose schlong was so long he could sucket
He said with a grin
Wiping spunk off his chin
"If my ear were a cunt I could fucket!"

Nantucket seems to have inspired more than its fair share of limericks, not all of them lewd - but they do merit a passing mention, if only for their literary value:

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

This soon spawned a sequel...

But he followed the pair to Pawtucket,
The man and the girl with the bucket;
And he said to the man,
He was welcome to Nan,
But as for the bucket, Pawtucket.

What better way to end this post than with a mathematical limerick composed by Leigh Mercer (1893-1977) who came up with this poetic equation:

Translated into plain English it reads:

A dozen, a gross, and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five times eleven
Is nine squared and not a bit more.