Tuesday, April 1, 2014



I cannot remember the first time I read one of Robert Brockway's articles on Cracked.com, the humor website, but it's been years. Robert is not a humorist per se, as was James Thurber; he tends more to sci-fi, or speculative fiction, or whatever the hell they're calling it these days, but I was immediately taken with his writing style, not just because of his use of the English language, which is beautiful and unusual, but because he paints images that linger in the mind. . .


. . . and then follows it up with a picture and more prose that embeds itself for eternity, as well as setting you up for the hilarity that is to follow:

 "Demonstration matches were frequently held at county fairs and stadiums all across the country, though it was most prominent in the Midwest during the early 1910s. It was usually played with a basketball, as seen above, and the only mandated gear was a jaunty cap and a callous disregard for human life. It was every bit as unquestionably awesome as it was uncontrollably, screamingly retarded:"

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/15-old-photographs-that-prove-world-used-to-be-insane_p2/#ixzz2xfoeQ8iL
There is more mayhem regarding "Auto Polo" but really? Is it any more idiotic than any of the crap you see on "World's Dumbest Partiers?" I must admit it is the ONLY show I watch on Tee Vee; all else is Netflix. I've seen entire back seats of sedans strung up between two trees and drunken red necks swinging to and fro and laughed myself into apoplexy when one of them does a face-plant into the dirt. Am I just not enjoying a free, and safe, ride as the lower end of the gene pool continues it's slow, albeit creative slouch towards self-destruction? But, I digress.

Within this same article, after "Auto Polo", is something that is near and dear to my heart, although, I am glad it is not practiced anymore, for the sake of the wildlife involved. It is called "Lion Drome" and yes, it was a thing. Just thinking that we, here in the U. S. ever did something like this should seem astonishing, but crazy stunts with wild beasts and any other wild, insane, dangerous things that will most surely end in tears, regret, blood and shattered limbs is done all the time, even now. 

"Lion Drome" consisted of, um. . . well. . . it was. . . Hell. I'm just going to let Robert describe it for you. 

"I've shown this photo once before, but I don't think I made it totally clear that Lion Dromes were not a fluke. This was just how you took in a show, back in the day. It was like going to the matinee now, only instead of watching Jeremy Renner pout in front of a shaky camera, you had the kids stick their unshielded little faces out over a bowl of automotive trauma and told them to inhale the heady fumes of gasoline and jungle predator.


 The first time I saw this picture and could finally stop laughing, I looked at the expression on the lion's face and dubbed him "Executive Lion". He's thinking, "Hmmm, wonder if I ate my briefcase."

I have to dip back into a familiar well and go back to "World's Dumbest" and this time I think it was 2 guys on motorcycles inside a metal ball. . . In Bulgaria, which is already sounding like a bad idea. Here in the good ol' U. S. of A., OSHA isn't exactly busting the chops of cheap carnivals that roam around the country, and since they pretty much dump nuclear waste in the rivers, land and atmosphere with regularity in Eastern Europe, I'm sure they don't give two hoots about a couple of dull-normal siblings in a Bulgarian carny. I was proven right. 

The ball held all right, but the two dudes, after reaching maximum speed did about 2 laps that looked like an insane Wheel-o, before meeting in mid-air and falling into a crumpled heap in the bottom of the metal ball. Who does this? I mean, the ball has to be sturdy enough to hold two full-grown men and two motorcycles, so the bars are rather dense, so you get this impression of a giant atom, with large molecules acting okay, and then, poof! Critical Mass? Fission? . . . and a crumpled heap of men and metal at the bottom. Meanwhile, the "assistant" who had presented this amazing thing with a flair of her hand was off to the side playing "Statues" with her arm still held out, pointing to this 8th wonder of the world. It took her a good minute, or minute and a half to realize all was not going to plan. But I digress.

I could go on for hours about the funny and laugh-out-loud expressions and turns of phrase that Robert Brockway continually amazes me with in his writings. Like any excellent writer, he practices and hones his craft and his diligence and persistence are paying off for him. The publishing house Tor purchased his book, the Unnoticeables at auction, with a three-book, six-figure deal! Tor said the books are "hilarious urban fantasy novels" set in a world that pulls from New York's punk scene in the 1970s as well as the modern-day Los Angeles entertainment industry. The Unnoticeables is tentatively scheduled for July 2015.

Robert's comment on his website, regarding his good news on robertbrockway.net? "That's right -- THREE god damn books coming your way. I am going to literally crush you with an avalanche of my books*.

*Provided you are small and do not struggle too much"

His book RX: A Tale of Negativity is available on Amazon and you can read his articles on Cracked.com. His website is www.robertbrockway.net and he is also a disciple of Chuck Wendig, another hellacious author and fan of establishing a solid work ethic.

Please, please, please be sure and stop by my fabulous team Leader for this challenge, DamyantiG to see her post on action scenes in writing, here: Amlokiblogs: #atozchallenge : A for Action #fiction #writing #quotes


Judy Phillips said...

Love it!! I need to read this guy's stuff for sure! (But never, under any circumstances, must my 26 yr-old son see these pics, because he and his friends come up with enough insane stuff to try as it is... ;) )

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Viola .. it's odd isn't it - but animal antics put me off now .. especially having seen them in the wild ... but quite understand as humans have been doing similar for years .. the Romans took wild animals all over their empire

Cheers for Robert Brockway .. Hilary

Anna Tan said...

Thanks for the introduction.

anna @ Deeply Shallow

Glenda Cates said...

Great pictures thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

By golly That was what we now call Demolition Derby!!!! (first pic) Still have those at the Missouri State Fair every year. Yup, we're rednecks :)

Diana Jillian said...

Oh my gosh! I was actually able to follow your blog. That's the first time in days!!! LOL. I get overly excited sometimes.

Love the pictures you posted. Was the one with the lion from the 20's?

I look forward to seeing more of your blogs. :)


Gail said...

There are no words...this post left me speechless! Amazing and Zany (A-Z!)

Viola Fury said...


So glad you stopped by! He's definitely in a class by himself! His creativity is endless as well. One of my favorite articles is the one where he watches a very horribly translated movie and deciphers the obviously computer-generated text. I go back and read it about once every six months and howl all over again! He's a keeper! Thanks again for the visit! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...


I understand that reluctance, but you have to admit that "Canne de Combat" and "Auto Polo" do have their charms. If people are going to be idiots, I'm perfectly willing to sit on the sidelines and watch and laugh. What I got such a major kick out of was Robert's description of "automotive trauma and told them to inhale the heady fumes of gasoline and jungle predator." I laughed so hard when I read that, I didn't know if I was going to pee, stop breathing or throw up! I call that the "Red Zone" of laughter. Luckily, Lion Dromes went the way of the Roman Empire. Thanks, Hillary! You are marvelous! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...

Anna! I do hope you enjoyed this and I encourage you to read some more of his writings. His gift with the English language is phenomenal and his creativity is unmatched! Thanks for stopping by. I'm on my way to see Baba Yag! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...


I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. The links have many, many more pictures of mayhem, minus Robert's fabulous commentary! Thanks for stopping by! Mary

Viola Fury said...

slfinnell 1965!

Thanks for stopping by! All of this stuff amuses me, and although I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line, I would be right in the middle of all of that mayhem! In my family, you hadn't had a good time, if there wasn't a broken bone or two and some bleeding! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...


I'm so happy you were able to follow my blog! I had to do some kind of voodoo to follow yours. Just ridiculous, isn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by; the one with the lions was actually from the 30s and the Lion Drome was a thing for quite a while according to Robert and what I've read about them.

The human race is not always blessed with good sense, particularly when it comes to making money; look at dare-devils and the idiots in the metal ball riding motor-scooters! Mary xoxo

Viola Fury said...


Ha ha, you crack me up! I'm so glad you enjoyed my post; I had fun writing it. I knew when I decided on HUMOR AND HUMORISTS that I would write about Robert Brockway, because his writing is so fine, but so very, very insane at times! Thank you so much for stopping by! Mary xoxo

Andrea said...

ha ha ha! I do love his writing,,gotta check out more of it, thank you!

Andi-Roo TheWorldForRealz said...

I loved articles from Cracked.com so I'm always shocked I don't read more of them. Thanks for the reminder that I need to go fill up on a good heaping dose of their funny!

THAT LION. Oh, geezy.

Kristen Dyrr said...

Awesome! I love Cracked.com too, and I am actually going to be writing an article for them sometime soon! :)

Random Musings from the KristenHead — B is for 'Believe' (and Behold the Beguiling Beauty of the Beach)