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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Zolton Does Amazon: Severely Weather’d

Zolton Does Amazon: Severely Weather’d

I originally wrote this piece for MediaShower.com, for use on the late, great comedy site ZuG.com. Text and images published here with permission.

Mother Nature has been one scary momma lately. You can barely swing a dead meteorologist without hitting some sort of earthquake, twister, tsunami, flood or typhoon on the map. What’s next, hailstones the size of Kardashian implants? Krakatoa ripping us all a new volcanic lava-hole? Plagues of locusts and killer bees and whatever the hell species the Philly Phanatic belongs to?

It’s enough to scare the waterspout right out of you. Frankly, most days I’m afraid to even look outside.

Just like the weatherman said: partly sunny, with a chance of “AAAAAHHHHHH!! AAAAAAAHH!! YAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!”

But if a natural disaster is coming — and believe me, it’s coming — then the least you can do is be prepared. Once the megastorm/meteor/iceberg/Ent invasion hits, the four basic necessities will be hard to come by: Food. Shelter. Clothing. Twitter.

But you can be prepared for the next weather emergency. Our old friend Amazon has all the survival supplies you need; read my actual Amazon product reviews below to make sure you’re not left out in the cold.

Or the lava, or the swarms of insects. You might want to invest in some galoshes, just in case.

20 Individually Wrapped Twinkies

My Amazon Review:

If there’s a food that can withstand any weather emergency, it’s the almighty Twinkie. They’re the perfect survival staple: Twinkies are waterproof, fire retardant, unfreezable and approximately as lava-resistant as you are. They float, have a half-life longer than carbon-14, the filling repels insects when rubbed on the skin, and these are individually wrapped, so if a tornado carries them miles away, you can still track them down and enjoy a delicious post-apocalyptic snack.

In fact, their tastiness is the only downside. I bought a week’s supply, four boxes to stash away in case of emergency. They lasted about six hours. I think I may have inhaled one of the wrappers.

Maybe I should switch to Hostess Ho-Ho’s. Just to be safe.

Big Wooden Lean-To

My Amazon Review:

One of the most important things in a weather emergency is finding shelter from the elements. This lean-to looked sturdy enough to handle moderate wind and rain, and the description said it’s “quality wood construction” and is “compatible with larger equipment and animals”. You could store giraffes or rhinos or Eiffel Towers in it, by the sound of things. That’s plenty good to suit my survival needs.

Or so I thought. It turns out this so-called “big” lean-to is actually a model, or a toy or something. Toying with my emotions is what it is! Here I wanted a place to keep myself and whatever survives the hurricane or blizzard or portal to Hades safe and protected. But this thing’s only a foot tall — I guess that “larger equipment and animals” means hamsters and exercise wheels, because that’s all that’s fitting inside this dinky little “BIG” structure.

Come to think of it, Mr. Nibbles would get awfully scared all alone in his cage. And he’ll need that wheel to bulk up, so he can survive the Mad Max-ian dystopic future we’ll no doubt find ourselves in.

Fine. The lean-to can stay. At least ONE of us will have three walls and a plywood roof over our head.

Knitting with Dog Hair

My Amazon Review:

When all the sheep have been swept away or encased in rogue glaciers, what will be left to make our clothes from? Dogs, that’s what. Man’s best friend will stick close by our side through the emergency — begging for Snausages, most likely — and will happily provide raw material for our shirts, hats and scarves in the aftermath. Because they won’t know any better.

I bought this book to learn all about fashioning attractive outerwear from the mutt fuzz I’ve long taken for granted, or picked off my popcorn that falls in the floor. I immediately set out to craft a new knit cap from the hair of my own dog. It’s about time she earned her keep around here.

Mmmmm, it feels like cashmere. Sure, it SMELLS like Alpo and rolled-in poodle plop. But mmmmmmm… caaaaaaashmere.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well. I was a little over-eager and skipped a few chapters, so I missed a fairly important point: the hair you use for your project CANNOT STILL BE CONNECTED TO THE DOG when you start knitting. The fur is hard enough to keep on the needles, without all the squirming and howling going on. And if someone comes by to walk the dog or play fetch, then you might as well forget it. You’ll never keep your stitching straight while the mutt’s dragging you through the park after a tennis ball.

Trust me. My new “cap” looks like a drawn and quartered doily. It’s back to stitch one for me.

200kV Van deGraaf Generator

My Amazon Review:

Electricity is a fickle beast, and should a storm or fire or horde of rabid squirrels knock out the power, I want to be sure to have a backup — so I can tell everyone on the internets about it. After all, if a disaster strikes and nobody tweets it, did it really happen? Google Search says, “NO.”

So I ordered this backup generator, which says it can produce 200 kilo-Volts. That seemed like plenty to me, but I think I’m doing something wrong here somehow. First of all, I had to plug it into the wall. I thought the whole point of the generator was to not NEED the socket. But I figured maybe it had to charge up. Fair enough.

I left it plugged in for a couple of hours, and tried to charge my laptop with it. But there was nowhere to plug in the cable; just this big metal globe. And when I got close to that, sparks shot across at me and gave me a nasty jolt.

On the other hand, the laptop flickered on when it happened. I guess that’s just how it works. So now I’ve been sitting here next to the generator for the last three hours, typing out this review and touching a finger to the globe when the computer runs out of juice. It’s working, I guess, but I’m getting a little bit shellshocked. Or shockshelled. Something. And I think my hair is stuck permanently in the “up” position.

Photographic re-enactment of actual events. I tried taking a picture of myself, but when I touched the camera, it asploded.

If this is what it takes to be prepared for an emergency, then I give up. Bring on the comets and plagues of frogs already. I’ll be hiding under the covers.

What’s that, a cataclysm? Sorry, it’s my naptime. Could you come back in maybe a few dozen years? Thanxyerapeach.

Join in on the prank! Click the links to see each real-life Amazon review, then mark them as “helpful” so they rise to the top of the list on Amazon. Or click here to read and rate the entire library of Zolton reviews!

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