A Johnny Red History Lesson: The Greater Northern Maine Settlement Theory

Well hello boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, and the maladjusted alike. Pull up a seat, grab a snack and put your thinking caps on, because today I have something special for you. If you haven’t noticed already, we’ve been having ball shriveling cold weather lately. Which begs the question; Why do we live in Northern Maine?  Who thought settling here was a good idea? Why didn’t our ancestors pack up and get the fuck out of Dodge when they had the chance?  

I’ve pondered this for years and after dragging myself to work every morning this week enduring conditions the vacuum of space can only re-create, I decided it was time I put my Team of Scientists on research duty to find out exactly why it is we continue to struggle to survive in this frozen wasteland.  So today I am your history teacher and will present to you the research we’ve compiled. 

 

 

Now I know what you are all thinking right now? “This is gonna be a load of bullshit.” Well, prove me wrong because my Team of Scientists and I have already rewritten the entire Wikipedia entry on the settlement of Northern Maine. You’re welcome.  Now before I get started I have to make sure the ambience is right. Let’s see I have piles of old books, a fire going in the fireplace, just lit a pipe, not a crack pipe, have you all magnetically fixed in place, and since I refuse to own or wear a sweater vest, I did the next best thing.

 

Perfect.

Our story begins in the way, way past. A group of settlers were on the run from…I don’t know….let’s say Indians. The settlers were just about out of hope. Many lives had already been lost. They were low on supplies, and every woman aged 13-65 was pregnant. To escape certain doom the settlers headed to Northern Maine. It was then they noticed the Indians gave up their chase. Instead they stopped and began yelling, “Ochuguntuk!”  Which was Indian for, “The White Death!” They did not heed the warning as they thought the Indians were referring to the settlers themselves. 

Artist rendition of the actual White Death.

 The settlers pressed on and gave no more thought to what The White Death really was, as it was like July or something when they got to Northern Maine. Instead the settlers found a beautiful green landscape with bright blue rivers and lakes. There were resources aplenty. And best of all the area seemed completely devoid of human life. They rejoiced and thanked God for such a blessing. That night they partied it up. Even the women giving birth in the back of the stagecoaches were allowed two fingers of whiskey…to dull the pain of giving birth in the back of a stagecoach. The White Death waited patiently as it knew in a few months time it would prey on it’s clueless victims. 

The next day the settlers quickly began building cottages and shacks. They fished the river for food and collected berries. They were estatic. But the local wildlife seemed very confused. 

"What tha fuuuuuuuck?!"

All was going well for the settlers. In a months time they managed to build homes for each family, a small church for the devout, and 84 saloons. 

"Come get ye old drink on!"

Yes, everything was perfect. All the women who had given birth the month before were already knocked up again. Only two settlers had drown in the river…so far. The saloon owners figured out how to make potato whiskey. There was a minor setback however. For a week’s time the settlers had barricaded themselves inside their homes as it was reported that a maniacal demon was stalking their homesteads. 

Turns out it was really just a dumb smiling moose.

The settlers had just made it through the month of September, when they began to notice something strange. All the leaves on the trees were changing colors and the air was becoming cooler and a bit more brisk. At first this frightened the settlers. Many took it as a bad sign and started suggesting that perhaps the settlement should move further south. The majority of the settlers, blinded by the fact that they didn’t have to worry about poisonous snakes sneaking in their homes to kill their babies, or having to check their boots at night for scorpions, dismissed the other settlers and the decision was made to stay and stick it out.

Not long after came the time of the V-shaped bird terror of the skies. The birds were flying south and–

“Um, excuse me History Teacher. But I think you are full of shit.”

“Scientist #3 can you take this ungrateful student out back for ‘extra credit’?”

“Sure thing boss!”

Five minutes later:

"He won't be a problem anymore boss."

“Good. Now stand there, no don’t change your coat, and keep yourself in view of the others. Now where was I?” 

Well let’s just skip to the arrival of The White Death. Winter hit the settlement hard. In fact it got so cold the settlers were heard to say, “What the shit?” That’s right kids. The phrase, “What the shit?”, was first documented as being used during the Northern Maine settlers first winter experience. It was, “What the shit?”, cold. Another interesting fact that came about during that winter experience were men’s, and some women’s, decision to grow long beards to keep warm. 

Note to self: Grow that wonderful beard!

Things just got worse from there. Food was running short, the fresh water streams were freezing over, and 63 more women were pregnant again. They wouldn’t make it through the winter.  The stagecoaches were all stuck in the snow and all the horses were frozen to death while still standing up. 

Beautiful picture? No. Those horses are dead!

It was at this time that the majority of the settlers decided it was a mistake to settle in Northern Maine and began packing their things for the long, arduous journey south. But one faction of the settlers, who were stubborn, told the rest of the settlers that they were going to stay and try to survive the winter. As you can imagine the other settlers were not pleased with this. Ironically the stubborn faction also owned all the muskets. Anyone who disagreed with them were promptly shot dead. 

It will promptly shoot you dead.

Our research uncovered one such town meeting where it was debated amongst the settlers if leaving Northern Maine could be an option. It went something like this:

“We are gathered here today to debate whether or not leaving our settlement is a good idea.”

“What the shit?! Let’s get the fuck out of here!”

*POW!*

“Let it be noted that I have promptly shot dead the last speaker.”

“What will we eat!?”

“We’ve devised a way to “ice” fish the lake for food.”

“That seems like a lot of unnecessary work when we can just move south!”

*POW!*

“Let it be noted that I have promptly shot dead the last speaker.”

“Ok…um…how will we pass the time during the long winter months?”

“We will make shoes that allow us to walk on the snow. Also other more elaborate shoes with long thin boards attached to hurl ourselves down the hill sides. We also have another shoe in mind that will have short steel blades attached to skate on the frozen lake.”

“……FOOLS! YOU’LL KILL US ALL!”

*POW!*

“Let it be noted that I have promptly shot dead the last speaker.”

In the end the stubborn faction found a way  to keep the remaining settlers happy. Also they were running out of ammo for their muskets. To keep the remaining settlers happy the stubborn faction opened 32 more saloons and Northern Maine’s first, and I’m sure not last, brothel.

MEEEEEOOOOOOWWW!!!

So as we close the books on our history lesson for today, I have to say you have been a patient and willing group of learners. I am proud to have passed this little piece of history onto your young minds and perhaps one day you–

“That other student was right! You’re full of shit!”

“Um…Scientist #3?”

"Looks like someone is itching for some detention time. That's right. You sit back down and shut your yapper."

Bonus Content:

Further research has revealed that there was a faction of Northern Maine settlers that managed to escape the White Death. They moved to Louisiana. Which would explain the similar last names to the people of Northern Maine. Wait. Wow it says here they established Bourbon Street to help drink away the terrors their Northern Maine experiences. And they haven’t stopped drinking since.

Bourbon Street: Where Awesome Went to Settle

John Michael Gagnon…Ochuguntuk!…Johnny Red

 

We’re Subjects to the Programs of the Ancient Human Being: More Doctor Steel

Because I haven’t got time for a proper blog post lately. Here’s more Doctor Steel. We Decide It!

 

And so…we reap what we sow.

It’s a Cowboy Bebop Christmas For Me!

Well I have one day off from work this week, and it happens to be Christmas day. Family stuff is done and now I’m bored. Been watching a bunch of new AMV’s for the classic Cowboy Bebop. Here are a few of my favorite.

 

First my all time favorite, “Call Me” with a great new AMV.

New one I found titled, “Stress”.  Everybody’s out to get me, but I feel alright!

Another classic AMV, “Gotta Knock a Little Harder.”

The iconic intro music, “Tank!”

And finally, I know it’s Coldplay, but I dig this song. “Clocks” to Cowboy Bebop.

Johnny Red’s Road Trip With a Depressed Transformer

Before we set out on my Road Trip with a Depressed Transformer, I have to say one thing. Michael Bay is a hack. His Transformer movies were abominations of what made growing up with the Transformers toys and watching the cartoons so great. He’s consiously made an effort to piss on our childhoods. Michael Bay is a horrible filmmaker, except I thought The Rock was pretty good. But that’s where it ended. For fuck’s sake he introduced “Black Guy” Transformers that literally said, “We don’t do much reading.”

The film idustry should put a restraining order on him. Here’s a clip of how Michael Bay makes movies.

So if Michael “Now I can pay for hookers” Bay can violate our beloved robots that transform into other things, then so can I!

I give you!

 

MILE ZERO:

Friday morning began as a peaceful, hopeful day. I was on the bottom steps of my apartment waiting for a Fed Ex delivery. I managed to score a copy of “Zombie Love Triangle” off of ebay for the low, low price of $350. Some might consider that a lot of money, but I don’t think you can put a price on viewing a threesome consisting of Jessica Biel, Scarlet Johansson, and a Zombified James Dean. It won lots of awards….in Europe.

When suddenly!!

*Whhhhoooooor! Whhhhoooooor!* (that’s an ambulance siren effect in case you were wondering)

“Hmmm? Must have been an accident somewhere.”

The ambulance is racing through traffic. Ironically it seems to be showing no regards to other’s safety. At one point it has driven onto the sidewalk, causing multiple elderly to jump into alleyways and into the doorways of local shops. See, I knew they only pretended to be slow. To my surprise the ambulance has stopped in front of my apartment.

*REE-RAWT-ROW-RA-ROOT*(that’s the sound effect of a transformer, well, transforming)

The Transformer known as Ratchet!

“ARE YOU THE HUMAN CALLED JOHNNY RED?!”

“You know who I am Ratchet.”

“THERE’S NO TIME!!”

*REE-RAWT-ROW-RA-ROOT*

“QUICKLY! GET INSIDE OF ME!”

“Um….no.”

“IT’S AN EMERGENCY AND THE AUTOBOTS NEED YOUR HELP!”

“AND I need to catch the Fed Ex guy. He’s been here three times this week and I wasn’t here. If I don’t pick up my package it will get sent back. Trust me. I NEED this for the weekend.”

“AND I SAY HUMANITY NEEDS YOU!!”

“God damnit!! Alright!”

The Autobots couldn't have sent Jazz to pick me up? At least he's a porsche.

MILE ONE:

“So what’s the problem?”

“MEGATRON IS BACK AND IS PLANNING ON RELEASING A TECHNO VIRUS TO DESTROY THE HUMAN RACE!”

“Really?”

“UH…YEAH!”

“Because I’ve been home all day and haven’t seen any of this on the news.”

“TRUST ME!”

“I don’t trust you. Why did you pick me up?”

“IT’S…UM…COMPLICATED.”

“Ratchet I’m not even joking. Why the fuck did you pick me up?”

“ARCEE LEFT ME AGAIN.”

Arcee: The first female Transformer. Yeah, she gets around.

“Oh you bastard! I can’t believe you did this to me again!”

“I JUST NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO.”

“Now I know why they call you Ratchet.”

“WHY’S THAT?”

“Because you’re a fucking tool that’s why!”

“I’M SORRY. I’M A MESS…AND….I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. IF A TRANSFORMER COULD CRY…I WOULD.”

“Alright, alright. Stop whining. What happened?”

“SHE LEFT ME FOR A NEW GUY. I CAN’T COMPETE.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. What does this guy have that you don’t?”

“I’M BRINGING UP HIS PROFILE ON MY DATA SCREEN.”

The Transformer known as Vibracon!

“Well….damn.”

“SHE SAID I WAS OLD NEWS, AND THAT I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE WITH MY LIFE.”

“She has a point Ratchet. What have you done lately?”

“ARE YOU TAKING THE WHOREBOT’S SIDE?”

“No Ratchet I’m not. I mean just look at you. You have no style.”

“EXPLAIN.”

“Well first of all you transform into an ambulance that would have been decommissioned in the late 80’s.”

“I’M OLD FASHIONED.”

“I respect that about you, but look at Optimus Prime. He’s moved on with his life.”

"WHEN NOT STICKING MY ROBOT FOOT UP DECEPTICON ASS, I SPEND MY TIME ROCKING OUT TO MY FAVORITE TUNES WITH MY APPLE iPOD."

“HE’S A SELL OUT!”

“Possibly, but look at where it has taken him. There’s no real Decepticon threat anymore Ratchet. You have to find a new purpose while here on Earth.”

“NOT ONLY IS HE A SELL OUT, BUT HIS PRESIDENTIAL BID IS BEYOND RIDICULOUS.”

“Are you even listening to me?”

“BEING LEADER OF THE AUTOBOTS WASN’T ENOUGH? HE’S ALSO LEADER OF CYBERTRON. NOW HE WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE HUMANS AS WELL.”

 

“YOU HUMANS CAN’T CHANGE INTO ANYTHING!”

“Ratchet, stop deflecting.”

“YOU’RE RIGHT. I’M SORRY.”

“And stop apologizing all the time. Show some balls…er…ball bearings perhaps. I don’t know what you guys have down there.”

“WHAT AM I GONNA DO?”

“I’ll tell ya what. I know a bar not far from here.”

MILE TWENTY:

“AHHH. THIS IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED.”

“Feels good doesn’t it?”

“A BAR, GOOD DRINKS, AND A GOOD FRIEND. THIS IS ALL I REALLY NEED.”

“You don’t have any money on you do you?”

“WHAT WOULD I NEED WITH HUMAN MONEY?”

“It’s just that–”

“ANOTHER ROUND HUMAN BAR KEEP!”

“Um…fine I’ll pay.”

“I JUST HAVE ONE QUESTION.”

“What’s that Ratchet?”

“WHY IS THE BAR KEEP STARING A HOLE STRAIGHT THROUGH ME?”

 

“Maybe it’s because you tore the roof off of this place so you could get inside.”

“PAY THE TAB. WE SHOULD BE GOING.”

MILE FIFTY:

“PADIDDLE!”

“…”

“PADIDDLE!”

“Stop. I’m not playing.”

"PADIDDLE!"

“PADIDDLE! PADIDDLE!”

“I’m not joking.”

“PADIDDLE! PADIDDLE! PADIDDLE! YOU OWE ME SO MUCH ENERGON!”

“shut up. Shut Up. SHUT UP!!”

MILE EIGHTY:

“You don’t even have a tape deck in here.”

“YOU DON’T WANT TO TALK ANYMORE?”

“I don’t know what else we can talk about.”

“EXPLAIN.”

“You’re stubborn. You’re not gonna change. You want to hold on to this ideology that you are here to save humanity.”

“AND THAT’S A BAD THING?”

“No it’s not. It’s just an old thing.”

“IT’S NOT OLD. THERE ARE STILL HUMANS THAT NEED HELP. LIKE THIS ONE. I’M GONNA PICK UP THAT HITCHHIKER.”

“Don’t pick up that hitchhiker!”

Of course.

“WHAT IS YOUR DESTINATION HUMAN?”

“I’m on a mission to save the human race.”

“WHAT A COINCIDENCE! AS AM I!”

“Ratchet, he’s not on a mission to save the human race.”

“I’m from the planet Nerplex and I’ve been sent here by my Reptloid bretheren!”

“I FIND NO SUCH PLANET AS NERPLEX IN MY DATA BASE.”

“Pull over Ratchet.”

“JOHNNY RED YOUR VITAL SIGNS ARE GOING SPASTIC.”

“He has a hatchet.”

“No Nerplex? Has my home planet been destoyed?”

“IT’S POSSIBLE.”

“It’s not possible. Nerplex sounds like a prescription drug which he is probably off of.”

A view into the mind of our hitchhiker.

“You mock the Reptloid race!”

“Nooooo…it’s just that we aren’t equipped to…um…transport you back home.”

“Aaaaaaargh!! Die puny human!”

“WHAT IS HAPPENNING?”

“Fuck! Pull the vehicle over!”

“I AM THE VEHICLE.”

“The hatchet is in my elbow!! Pull OVER!”

SCREEEEEECH!!!

Ratchet screeches to a halt as I hurdle myself outside. I quickly slam the door shut leaving the homicidal lunatic trapped inside. Then I quickly pull the hatchet out of my elbow.

“Ooooow! Fucking hell! Ratchet lock the doors so he doesn’t escape!”

“OK!”

“We have to call the police so that they can deal–”

*REE-AHHH!-RAWT-CRUNCH!-ROW-RA-BLOODY GURGLING-ROOT*

“OOPS.”

“That was and will forever be the most horrific thing I have ever heard or seen.”

“SOOOO, SHALL WE CONTINUE?”

“Not until we get you cleaned up. Carry me to a car wash.”

MILE EIGHTY FIVE:

 

 

“I FEEL SO MUCH SHAME RIGHT NOW.”

“Quiet, you’re almost cleaned up.”

“YOU’RE RIGHT YOU KNOW. I’M OLD FASHIONED AND USELESS.”

“You’re not useless.”

“I’VE EVEN RUINED OUR FRIENDSHIP HAVEN’T I?”

“It’s not ruined Ratchet. I’m just a little pissed off because I hadn’t planned on spending my day pressure washing bits of crazy person out of you.”

“I’M A LOSER.”

Ratchet turns his robot face away and begins sulking.

“There, all done. I gotta go inside and make a quick call. Then we’ll head out.”

Five Minutes Later:

“Ok Ratchet, let’s roll out!”

“WHY SO CHIPPER?”

“No reason.”

 

MILE ONE HUNDRED:

“I’M JUST GONNA TAKE YOU HOME.”

“Why? Our road trip has just started.”

“YOU’RE JUST BEING NICE.”

“Ratchet I’ve been thinking and….boy that jet seems to be flying really low.”

“I’LL ANALYZE IT.”

“And?”

“DON’T PANIC JOHNNY RED! BUT THAT’S NOT JUST A JET!”

“Oh no Ratchet! What could it possibly be?”

*REE-RAWT-ROW-RA-ROOT*

Decepticon known as Dirge: Ok, well not too well known.

“TREMBLE HUMANS! I’M DIRGE AND…UM…I’M UP TO NO GOOD!”

“Ratchet! Save me!”

“DON’T WORRY JOHNNY RED! I’LL PROTECT YOU!”

Ratchet places me behind a building to keep me safe. He then proceeds to lay a pummeling on poor Dirge.

Ooooooooh Snap!!

“DIRGE! YOU’VE PICKED THE WRONG AUTOBOT ON THE WRONG DAY!”

I cringe as Ratchet robot piledrives Dirge into an abandoned Chuck E Cheese.

“PLEASE SHOW MERCY RATCHET! SPARE MY LIFE AND I’LL LEAVE!”

“LEAVE THEN! AND LET THE OTHER DECEPTICONS KNOW THAT THERE IS STILL ONE AUTOBOT THAT THEY HAVE TO FEAR!”

*REE-RAWT-ROW-RA-ROOT*

Dirge transforms and flies away leaving a smoke trail behind him.

“Ratchet! That was amazing! You saved me!”

“YOU’RE WELCOME JOHNNY RED! I FEEL ALIVE! LIKE I COULD TAKE ON THE WORLD!”

“That’s great! But can you start by taking me home?”

“OF COURSE. YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH A TRAUMATIC EVENT. YOU MUST GO HOME AND REST.”

TWO DAYS LATER AT JOHNNY RED’S APARTMENT:

*RING! RING!*

“Hello.”

“HEY JOHNNY RED. IT’S DIRGE.”

“Hey Dirge. Thanks a lot for the other day.”

“YEAH…ABOUT THAT. DO YOU HAVE MY ENERGON?”

“Yep. Just stop on by whenever you can.”

I always keep a supply of Energon on stand by.

“I LIKE ENERGON.”

“I know you do Dirge.”

“I MAY HAVE A PROBLEM…YOU KNOW…WITH ENERGON. IT’S NOT EASY HAVING A DILDO SHAPED HEAD.”

“Well we all have our addictions and reasons why we do.”

“UM…I WAS THINKING THAT WHEN I PICK IT UP THAT MAYBE WE CAN GO FOR A FLY AND TALK ABOUT IT?”

“God damnit.”

“WHAT WAS THAT?”

“Nothing Dirge, it was nothing.”

BONUS CONTENT

 

 

JOHN MICHAEL GAGNON…REE-RAWT-ROW-RA-ROOT…JOHNNY RED

 

“If You Catch a Tiger by the Tail…Don’t Fail.”

I’ve decided that the song “Gunman” by Them Crooked Vultures will now be the theme song for my life. Now to figure out a way to have it broadcast from my body at will. Hmmm?

Gunman,
Bloodshot eyes.
Gunman,
Grain of sand.
Sisters,
Could not speak.
Father,
Is a holy ghost.
And there’s lions
In a cage.

It don’t matter, don’t try to explain,
You’re just another dog to be trained,
Choke chained.
You’re gonna end up under tooth and nail.
If you catch a tiger by the tail,
Don’t fail.

Brother,
Does not dream
Anymore.
Sisters,
Could not sleep.
Transformation incomplete,
Mercy killing, those counting sheep.
I’m a trigger, quick to fire,
Punctuate betwixt the eyes
And you’re clever…
It ain’t gonna help you.

Violence is just an incomplete thought,
Coming to a complete stop,
Stop.
You’re so clever you’ll tear us apart,
Then masquerade it as art.
Not smart.
If you can help anyone, help yourself,
That’s unless you hate yourself,
Then don’t help.

Angry ants are crawling,
Makes you wanna scream.

Lions clawing,
Building up steam.
Flesh and bone have no persuasion,
This is the path to my destination.
Gunman,
Where you been?
You’re my
Hero,
Savior,
Psycho,
Slayer.

Follow the leader yet lead ’em the same.
Slugs punctuate the refrain,
Come again?
It don’t matter, don’t try to explain.
You’re just a dog to be trained,
Choke chained.
You gonna end up under tooth & nail.
If you catch a tiger by the tail,
Don’t fail.
I wanna go blind, wanna stare at the sun.
De-evolution.

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