Eek Week Day that 8 Pittsburgh, based on H. P. Lovecraft’s Re-Cyclinator

I wrote the following piece a couple years ago; you might be inclined to say I bit off more than I could chew with this Eek Week business and that I’m padding out its run with a recycled bit. I would say that, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I’m exhuming something long-dead and unleashing it upon an unsuspecting world. I’ll grant you it’s a fine distinction.

Just a note: the idea for a Monkey’s Paw instruction manual came to me in a dream; in this dream, I was sitting around my apartment trying to think of something to write, and then I was like “hey, y’know what’d be kinda funny? A Monkey’s Paw instruction manual.” Then I woke up. How’s that for a fantastical inner mindscape? Relatedly, my sex dreams invariably feature people I’ve already had sex with. It’s like a virtual reality program that lets you live the life of a guy sitting in an EEG chair wearing big-ass goggles.

JacobsCo Industries, Ltd.
The Evil Mummified Primate Remains of Tomorrow, Today

Congratulations on your purchase of the JacobsCo Industries Monkey’s Paw. You hold in your hands the evil mummified primate remains of choice for the distinguished connoisseur. But don’t make those three wishes just yet!

Our customers are very important to us, and in keeping with our motto of “better living through severed extremities imbued with dark talismanic powers,” your enjoyment of this product is the sole focus of our enterprise. Therefore, we must make one thing perfectly clear:


Keep in mind that, although it can fulfill your deepest longings, it is a blasphemous thing born of chaos and will always interpret your words in the way that best suits its demonic appetite for sorrow and pain. Consider the case of one Aloisius Riddlesburger, a nineteenth-century ne’er do well who, upon stumbling across an early incarnation of Monkey’s Paw technology. wished for money, power, and fame. A string of unexplained deaths left him sole heir to a distant relative’s highly profitable Southern plantation and oversight of its hundreds-strong workforce; just days after his ascent to a position of wealth and influence he was killed in a slave revolt, gaining fame in the form of a renowned woodcarving that depicts his agonizing end.


We cannot overemphasize this. Your Monkey’s Paw carries the curse of the ancients and exists for naught but cruelty; it will use any opportunity to destroy you and those you care about. You must therefore deny it that opportunity. It is recommended that you spend at least 6 weeks editing each wish before actually making it, thus giving yourself time to see situations from every conceivable angle. While by no means comprehensive, the following list provides a number of cautionary examples, some culled from the files of our own legal department.

IF YOU WISH FOR a reunion with deceased loved ones
YOU WILL GET eaten by zombified family members

IF YOU WISH FOR taller stature
YOU WILL GET enormous tumors on the balls of your feet

IF YOU WISH FOR a blowjob
YOU WILL GET Brian Setzer hair

IF YOU WISH FOR physical beauty
YOU WILL GET a great life and the nagging suspicion that you haven’t really earned it

IF YOU WISH FOR peace of mind
YOU WILL GET a chunk of your hypothalamus ripped out and dropped into your lap, because the Monkey’s Paw is voice-operated and will use homophones against you

IF YOU WISH FOR a larger penis
YOU WILL GET a larger penis, but it will be attached to someone else and in your butt

YOU WILL GET married

The following is a sample wish that illustrates the kind of specificity with which your Monkey’s Paw should be operated:

“I, (your full name here), wish for immortality, actual temporal immortality as opposed to the figurative kind possessed by historical figures and cultural icons, the kind of immortality that halts the aging process and makes the body impervious to harm, rather than a version of eternal life which would force me to endure my own bodily decay and beyond; however, my existence must be confined to reality as we understand it, i.e., do not make me so immortal that I will survive in a meaningless void should the universe collapse in on itself as predicted by physicists; and I reserve the right to kill myself if necessary (in a manner that cannot be replicated outside of my explicit intent—none of that ironically-slitting-my-wrists-by-accident-while-chopping-onions stuff), as I cannot say as of yet whether or not I truly understand the ramifications of living forever; and though my body will be indestructible (except by my own hand, as we discussed), it will function as a normal human body, which is to say I will be capable of eating, digesting, defecating, etc., even though I won’t need food to survive, and this logic must apply to all bodily functions, voluntary and involuntary.”

See how a little clarity can mean the difference between having time to do and see everything in the world and being a twitching, self-aware wad of rotting tissue? Just use your second wish to make yourself 25 years old* and you’re almost ready to go! Now, you would think all this would be enough, but that is just the kind of thinking that your Monkey’s Paw will exploit for its fiendish amusement. The price of wish fulfillment is eternal vigilance; having made the above wishes, you would do well to constantly survey your surroundings, as your Monkey’s Paw would like nothing more than to see your newly immortal, youthful self trapped in an abandoned mineshaft where nobody will ever find you.

Just one more tip before you begin: Since you can’t possibly foresee all the unintended consequences of your wishes, a sensible precaution would be to save the third and final wish indefinitely so that you always have the option of wishing you had never bought the Monkey’s Paw. Just like the guy in the story should’ve done.

Best wishes,

Your friends at JacobsCo Industries

Visit us online at

*Your idealized age may differ. But not by much, am I right?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/29/09 at 12:51 PM • Permalink

Categories: Geek Speak

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Damn it, you’re going to get me fired.

And #5 proves the GOP hands out monkey paws at their rallies.

#6. Also. NTAWWT


I love it when you guys post great stuff so I don’t have to attempt to do the same, especially on days like this one where the weather’s shaping up to be real nice. Thx.

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