Pernish McTavish

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Trained Thoughts
5/6/2017 9:44pm

The recovered Antarctic journals of Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks end with the April 29, 1985 entry, but the last known statements of the doctor were taken in the deposition following his rescue in 1988. They were published in the Journal of Applied Apophenia's special edition on the ill-fated expedition, complete with fold-out maps, full bios of all the students, and a special centerfold full-length photo of Dr. Fiddlesticks wearing nothing but a pith helmet and a pair of stained, ragged tighty-whities, just as he was found on the enormous piece of toast floating in the Ross Sea. The deposition was taken on the research vessel Daniel Wegner, which was the ship that discovered him.


INTERVIEWER: Please state your name.

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks, Master of Breakfast and Mental Surfing.

INTERVIEWER: Why were you floating on a piece of toast?
DR. FIDDLESTICKS: A sunnyside up egg seemed too slippery. Toast is comforting.

INTERVIEWER: How did you get here?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: I thought about it.

INTERVIEWER: Thought about it?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Yes but I have to be very careful.


DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Careful what I think about. Because it comes true.

INTERVIEWER: What you think about comes true?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Don't think of a polar bear!


DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Wait, no, it's ME who's not supposed to think of a polar bear.

INTERVIEWER: You're not supposed to think of a polar bear? But there are no polar bears in Antarctica. Penguins, yes.

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: Ah! Yes! Very good! You're getting me to not think of the polar bear by mentioning penguins!

INTERVIEWER: You're not supposed to think about these things?

DR. FIDDLESTICKS: I spent months in a cave learning not to think about them. They taught me.

INTERVIEWER: Who taught you?


The interview was interrupted by a rampaging polar bear that suddenly appeared in the infirmary of the ship where the doctor was being questioned. The polar bear was accompanied by a waddle of penguins.


Trained Thoughts
4/1/2017 2:48pm

The Antarctic journals of Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks only appeared sporadically in the Journal of Applied Apophenia following the March 1985 posts. Presumably this was because of the difficulty in recovering them after his disappearance. Also, that they were initially used as bedding in the cage of Hermes the Hamster, the school trip's mascot and pet, and only discovered later in a forensic examination of the expedition's garbage.


April 2, 1985
The snowcat is running fine again. Turns out you can't start it when it's in gear! Who knew? All this technology can be such a hassle. Which is why I've turned off the RDF (Radio Direction Finding) because all I need are the sun and the moon and the stars to help guide my way through this beautiful, cloud-covered, icy wasteland. Also, it helps save the battery since I'm cranking the Footloose soundtrack I brought along on cassette.

April 4, 1985
So.... did the kids move camp? Seems like St. Dymphna station would be hard to just pick up and relocate. Without a trace. But I'm sure it was right here, because I have an unerring sense of direction. Even in the whiteout we've been having for 36 hours. Luckily I have four cases of Cup Noodle. And I prefer them dry anyway.

April 7, 1985
These kids picked a heck of a time to play hide & seek. But I figured out their game--it's a cave! Don't know why we didn't spot it before, because the cave-mouth is eNORMous. Huge limestone paving stones, huge five-pointed pillars holding up the ceiling. One might even call them "cyclopean" if we still used that word that way. Which we don't. Anyways, you could land a plane in here! Or a snowcat. I've parked just inside the entrance and am headed in to find those kids and we'll all have a good laugh. I've got to admit I'm surprised they'd go this far for a prank, considering how attentive to their school work they seemed. Maybe we CAN get along!

April 12, 1985
I am so worn out from all the dancing. Of course I was thrilled to befriend Kevin Bacon here and practice our moves, but it seems like it's prom every single night! Still no sign of my students, however. Time to head deeper into the caves.

April 20, 1985
I've now accepted the Nobel Prize for Archaeology seven times. I didn't even know they had one! Sure, I'm appreciative, but it's starting to ring a little hollow. Perhaps it's time to move on again.

April 29, 1985
If I see another Utopia I think I'll die of boredom. Ecological utopias, science utopias... so many togas! Also, cheeseburgers and milkshakes every night. Frankly, I'm starting to think something fishy is going on here...


Trained Thoughts
3/20/2017 9:16pm

Do you know what microfiche is? I didn't either but it's the only way to read the journals of Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks on his ill-fated school trip to Antarctica in 1985! They were published intermittently in the Journal of Applied Apophenia, and it is on microfilm that you have to ask a librarian for and then it takes an hour for them to climb somewhere and they come back covered with grime and cuts. But there's some really great stuff in there. The writing is super tiny but I got a magnifying glass and here is some of it:


March 20, 1985
The students are fully decamped in our huts at St. Dymphna base. It's the first day of Spring and the weather is fantastic - the high teens! I made a joke about coming out to play soccer with the "high teens" and no one got it. They were all too busy running around and taking scientific measurements and who knows what else. I've let them know I'm teaching this course on a pass/fail basis, and the only way you can fail is if you die! They didn't think that was funny either, and it's noses back to the books. I kicked the ball around till it got dark.

March 25, 1985
I gassed up the snowcat and got it running. "Hey kids let's go exploring!" I say. Nothing but blank stares when they look up from their measurements and equipment and go back to work. Part of the liberal arts oriented curriculum at Psyhigh means learning to APPRECIATE things, like the Antarctic sunset! And watching the frozen ice particles ripple in the wind! Things you CAN'T get from staring at a Cosmic Ectoplasm Interferometer all day. Maybe I SHOULD fail these kids just to teach them a lesson. It's going to be another awkward dinner around the Cup Noodles, I'm afraid.

March 25, 1985
I am so bored I spent all morning on the Rubik's cube. I don't think it's solvable.

March 29, 1985
I told the students that there was a mandatory field trip in the snowcat today and nobody showed up. I revved the engine and did donuts outside the hut and the smarmy one (I forget what her name is) came out and told me not to disturb the equipment because it was "very sensitive" and then she went back in. Hmmmph. No way I'm eating ramen with those kids tonight. I'm heading to the interior in this warm and perfectly running snowcat!

March 30, 1985
Uh, students? I know you can hear me, because I checked this radio out completely before setting out, AND I CAN HEAR YOU WHISPERING ON THE OTHER END! It's time to quit playing games and pick up the receiver. Now.

March 30, 1985
Students? This is Dr. Fiddlesticks. This may be my last transmission... there are creatures, horrible fangs and white fur and claws, attempting to break their way into the snowcat. I don't have much time. I... GOTCHA!!!! HA HA HA HA! I really had you going that time, didn't I? I'm FINE! Just a little problem with the motor. How are all of you doing?

March 30, 1985
Uh, kids? Seriously. Could you pick up the radio?


Trained Thoughts
3/13/2017 5:20pm

Ooooooo I can't stand that Mr. Fiddlesticks either! Did you know he used to be a teacher? I was looking through old editions of the alumni magazine (they are piled up in the staff lounge if you ever sneak in there to use the potty) and this is what I found in the January/March 1985 edition:

Adventure Ahoy!

{photo of a handsome young man bundled up in a parka, standing on a dock in front of a ship}

Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks, our dashing new archeology professor from Argentina, pictured here in Ushuaia before setting out on the Antarctic scientific research and exploration vessel Rosaria. Psyhigh students on this Spring study program no doubt have some fantastic and memorable times ahead. Bon voyage!

That can't really be him, can it?

Trained Thoughts
3/3/2017 6:43pm

My thoughts misbehave all the time!!! Like just today I was at the park and one started humping an old lady's leg. SO EMBARASSING! Sad.

How can I train my thoughts, @Dylan Ashcroft, so they will act appropriately in public, and someday be able to perform and perhaps enter a nationally televised talent programme?