Slarken Labs International

Welcome to Slarken Labs International, a service brought to your local Slarken by The Crazy Pole.

Slarken Labs have been established to provide answers to questions haunting Slarken members around the world, like. the number of possums living in the Newtown area, or the current SSTP index for various locations around Sydney.


There's a wombat in my mailbox

Now, this presents certain problems. I don't know about you, but my mailbox is generally used for temporary storage of various bills, reminders and fines. No self-respecting letter will cram in the mailbox besides the wombat, so I am seriously concerned that its presence may result in disconnection of my Internet service. And when would I be then, eh? “Sorry, I couldn't check my mail today. There's a wombat in my mailbox” probably wouldn't work terribly well on most people (with the possible exception of the subscribers to this list.)

I can't think of anybody who'd want to send me a wombat, so I'm naturally assuming that it wondered into my mailbox by itself, lured by something or someone and trapped by its own fat. I'm not sure what attracted the wombat - it certainly was not the bills - and I don't recall subscribing to or receiving any magazines that any healthy animal would be interested in. But the wombat is there and something must be done about it.

One possibility would be to deliver it back to the postoffice with the “return to sender - uncollected” sticker, but this would require extracting the wombat's head out of the mailbox, which, in turn, would involve excessive violence, so, with Wiggins and Shane overseas, I am inclined to search for another solution. In particular, I am considering putting a new mailbox next to the old one, and marking the old one with a big “out of service - wombat inside” sign.

However, there may be other options that I'm not seeing, and I am sure that the learned members of of this society will be able to point them out to me. Please advise.

P.Z., 4 November 2001

There's still a wombat in my mailbox

A recent posting by one Pete Ryland has prompted me to reexamine the content of my mailbox, which has been out of service since November last year. The "out of service - wombat inside" sign is still there, but somewhat torn and darkened by the smoke from the recent Sydney barbecues.

The first fact that emerged from the investigation is that my friendly wombat needs a bath. I swear I've never seen such a pile of smelly rotten fur in my life!

After further examination, I have also determined that the wombat is now dead - or at least unconscious - and that the local ant population has discovered the delicate taste of wombat cutlets, seasoned with the fibre of fine wombat fur, and have been dining at my expense for the last three months.

Consequently, it appears that the wombat has shrunk sufficiently for its extraction from the mailbox to be now feasible (are wombats are the only animals which shrink with age?) Unfortunately, the choice of an appropriate packaging for delivering it back to the post office presents new problems: I do not have a bucket large enough to hold all of the wombat. Further, I am worried that the post office workers may object to the maggots returned with the wombat, as to goods that have not been a part of the original package.

So I gave the wombat a bucket of water to wash itself with and resolved to leave it where it currently is.

P.Z., 14 January 2002

Disposing of a Wombat Carcass vs. Making a Vodka Martini

As with all marsupial commiserations, this calls for a vodka martini.

1. Fill mailbox with warm
dirt and edible packages
1. Fill martini glass with ice and
half a shot of campari
2. Invite wombat to burrow
itself into mailbox. Shake.
2. Combine fresh ice and vodka
in metal shaker. Shake.
3. Empty life from wombat.
Add half a colony of ants.
3. Empty ice and campari from glasses.
Add an olive on a stick.
4. Strain excess wombat from
mailbox. Grin maniacally.
4. Strain vodka into glasses.
Pretend it's good stuff.
5. Package wombat and maggots;
deliver to post office, with
evil grin and chuckling.
5. Drink martini; dare not raise
brow in disgust, sip, extoll its
“smoothness” smirkingly.
6. Hurl 6. Hurl

Wombat rotting is an honest profession, truly down-to-earth, unabashedly messy.

K., 14 January 2002

In Memory of the Smart-Ass Wombat

What if your bones are bleachéd by the sun?
And that your fur serves ants for cozy bed
When, all in scraps, the glory it once had,
Is but a mere memory of the fun
That Slarken folks enjoyed telling your sad
Tale? Stranded there, alone, the deed half-done,
In mailbox-coffin did you dream of sun-tan
As joys of life leaked slowly from your head?

Sleep well, my friend! Your timeless spirit lives!
When Slarken's lame, struck dumb with old age,
I sing immortal song of your despair!
With song I will breathe life into old veins!
It'll flow again. The winter dearth will cease!
Come Thursday - Bridies, steak and pints of beer.

P.Z., 11 July 2002

If one tried to cut a pear with a chainsaw,
how much wiggins would it take?

Dessert was nice, I tried to cut it neatly with my knife; alas the skin was tough (false hardened pear!); I called the waiter's bluff:

“Excuse me, but this knife is blunt, so could you please avail me with an implement more suited to this sordid Slarken tale?”

He cackled, stroked his wiry goatie, smiled with glad surprise and said “why certainly,” then ducked away, a glimmer in his eyes.

Forthwith he came back from the kitchen clutching a device not unlike that I'd use to cut down trees, and pulled the ripcord twice. The chainsaw rumbled wildly, almost jumping from his hands as he offered it discreetly: “I hope this meets your demands?”

I thanked him kindly, nodded and politely sipped some juice, then taking up my fork and chainsaw started once more on my fruit. This new implement fared well, my pear was nothing if not chopped but inadvertently I broke my bowl and tore the tablecloth.

“No matter,” I continued eating, pleased with my success - a feat of cutlery now noticed by some other dinner guests. The couple just across the room beckoned swiftly to their waiter (who was yet another Wiggins as we all discovered later).

Promptly they were likewise served with petrol-powered tools and wielded them delightedly on cream profiteroles. The old man, rather chuffed but fumbling, dropped it through his table and removed his knee with screams of glee: “Ain't this exciting, Mabel!”

“Oh yes dear!” she agreed, as did their Wiggins-waiter too, and soon the place was buzzing with the sound of chainsaws slicing through a dozen cheesecakes, cream and limbs, and screams of happiness abounded, amongst which darting back and forth I seven wily Wiggins counted.

K., 1 November 2000