03 werewold PittRight now, you are probably asking yourself, “Would a Werewolf by any other name smell as sweet?” If you weren’t asking yourself that question after you read the title to this column, may I ask why not? Werewolves get the short end of the stick, perhaps because they won’t play fetch, or more likely due to societal discrimination against the Werewolf community. Today’s essay will try to bridge the gap between Werewolves and humans.

Chico Marx once asked “Why a duck?” in the Marx Brothers’ 1929 movie "Cocoanuts." Groucho said something to Chico about a viaduct. This led to a long conversation about ducks totally ignoring the plight of Werewolves. This is a clear example of concern for ducks overriding microaggressions against Werewolves. Why not “Why a Werewolf?” instead of ducks. Groucho and Chico both owe Werewolves an apology and substantial reparations. If you shoot a Werewolf with a silver bullet, does he not bleed? If Shylock in Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” had changed a word he could have been talking about Werewolves when he said: “Hath not a Werewolf eyes? Hath not a Werewolf hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions …. If you prick us, do we not bleed. If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

Today’s column is a defense of Werewolves, as discriminated a carbon-based life form as there ever was one. Let us consider the origin of the species of Werewolves. Werewolves were not always Werewolves; they began as people until something happened. That event that changes a human into a Werewolf is called Lycanthropy. According to Greek myth, a King named Lycaon foretold Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Lycaon tried to feed a human flesh pizza to Zeus at a picnic. Zeus got wise to Lycaon’s plot before chowing down and refused the pie. Zeus was not amused and turned Lycaon and his sons into the original Werewolves.

Zeus didn’t stick around forever so other events had to turn people into Werewolves. According to Mr. Google some of the most common ways you can become a Werewolf are by being bitten by one, some people are born Werewolves (e.g. Jeffrey Epstein), or drinking rain water from the foot print of a Werewolf. A person dumb enough to drink rain water from the foot print of a Werewolf probably lowers the collective average IQs of all Werewolves. Such a person probably thinks that the gross jellylike substance on top of Vienna sausages straight from the can is a taste treat. This demonstrates the old saying, “There is no accounting for taste, said the old lady as she kissed the cow.”

Even if you are smart enough not to drink water from the footprint of a Werewolf you are not safe. Recall the immortal poetry from the Lon Chaney Jr. movie “The Wolfman” which advises: “Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night/ May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright.” You can wear a mask. You can get a wolfsbane vaccine. You can socially distance from Werewolves. But none of these precautions can protect you when the wolfsbane is blooming and the full moon is shining. This column is slated to stain newsstands on 2 December. The November full moon was on 30 November which means the moon is still shining bright. The Werewolves will be out in full force when this Up & Coming Weekly hits the streets. As one final gift from the year of Our Lord 2020, the last full moon of 2020 will be on December 29th. The December full moon is called the Cold Moon. Werewolves are covered with fur so the cold doesn’t bother them. Be careful on the 29th.

As a public service, we do not wish to leave you without a remedy in the event that you are turned into a 2020 Werewolf. There are certain things one can do to reverse the curse of the Werewolf. Kindly jot these down on a sticky note and affix it to your refrigerator in the event that Lycanthropy comes to your door. Making a poultice of wolfsbane and wearing it around the neck can sometimes reverse Werewolfery. Exorcism by a Board Certified Veterinarian can often reverse a person’s transmogrification into a Werewolf. Strapping a Werewolf patient to a chair and forcing them to watch 24 hours of daytime television almost always destroys the Werewolf virus. Unfortunately, the cure of watching daytime TV can be worse than the disease of Werewolfery. Most former Werewolf patients after 24 hours of exposure to the drivel from daytime TV lose at least 50% of their IQ. Post TV therapy, the former Werewolf is not good for much of anything other than being used as home plate in a Little League baseball game.

In defense of Werewolves, I do not want to leave the impression that everything about being a Werewolf is unpleasant. Consider the immortal words of the late, great Warren Zevon in his song "Werewolves of London" — “He’s the hairy handed gent who ran amuck in Kent/ Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair/ You better stay away from him/ He’ll rip your lungs out Jim/ I’d like to meet his tailor/ AAOOOO Werewolves of London, AAOOOO/ Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen/ Doing the Werewolves of London/ I saw a Werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s/ And his hair was perfect.”

So, if you need to upgrade your fashion sense, meet the Queen, and get a perfect hair cut despite the Rona, becoming a Werewolf may be the right career step for you.

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