Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: August, 2005

Trios, Elipses, and Brackets.


So the three companions met early the next day at the foot of the great tree. Of course it took most of the day for barbjohn to remember who he was, where he was, which baseball team won the penant in 1963, and why his sandal was glued to his forehead. He happened upon the tree mainly because it was the biggest thing on the horizon that morning. A furious Shan let Gordan chew barbjohn’s ear while he himself attempted to help remove the sandal without a lobotomy (which I guarantee you was an option at this point { due to the brass chainsaw wedged into the ground nearby [which though rusty actually still functions properly ]}) In any case, after relaying to the writer how annyoying and grammatically incorrect his recent sequence of brackets is, Shan succeeds in ripping the sandal (and some scalp) from his sidekick’s head. The group wastes no time talking, since it would most likely end in a fight, or at least a barbeque. Instead they saunter (well barbjohn mostly tripped) toward the tree and climb up approximately fifty of its laboriously big branches before…

Meet the new side-kick barb-john.


Shan had no friends, his unhealthy, un-normal, and downright uh, unhealthy lifestyle had scared off any potential well-wishers. One day however whilst performing his usual hamstring lacerations he happened upon a one legged, mute, deaf and blind child entitled barbjohn. Barb-john was not strong or especially talented (except of course the skill of having abosultely no clue what’s going on, at any time) but as far as side-kick material goes, barb-john was #1. So having no sidekick of his own except a nasty underfed lab rat on his shoulder, Shan took barb-john under his wing. Having promised him glory and supassing wealth and money and riches beyond measure and…a nice wife, he slapped his new sidekick on the back (which cause him to fall flat into gravel and mud) and declared “What do you think of that my fair weathered son.” Barb-john mumbled something about butterflies and tire-irons and struggled to his feet.

It is done

Well folks, I finally have some pictures up. Not many, and none that are really of Pakistan, pretty much cute baby pictures and a neat-o video. Check ’em out:

That’s just one picture…I would have put more up, but unfortunately I’m not immortal and the upload time is killing me, one though…one day.


Shan, now thoroughly convinced that the way to true happiness lies through meditation, and devotion to the light side, has become a boring character in this story. It is therefore my duty to kill him, and replace him with a character much more suited to the task of climing the tree and speaking with the three ‘cheese dancing’ goats. O, wait a second, Shan is motioning to me… “What’s that? You went over to the dark side? No, that can’t be possible…” Sorry folks, I misinterpreted. Shan was just saying that he wants to be part of the annual bark climb of the old Jedi order. Now its making sense. Each year the Jedi send a special troop to try and climb the tallest tree, the winner gets a turquoise light saber, and a 5 dollar bill. The tallest tree if you recall is John Paul’s tree, except that it was apparently cut down by a clumsy Jedi Padawan named Danny Fleecepants, when he was practicing his lightsaber throw in the middle of the forest… All of that is to say that the annual tree to be climbed this year is none other than the tree in the land of Inis. So Shan doesn’t have to be removed from the story, and now he has a little more strength and wit, O and he acquired a tiny little shoulder pal named Gordan, who used to be a lab rat from Texas.

Back in the big K

Here we are, in Karachi again, hoping to access our dear bank account. I was hoping to get some pictures today, but this silly computer doesn’t seem to want to take my photos without first downloading a 123mg driver, and I won’t even tell you how long THAT would take.

In a few days we really are moving to Kunri. The house is being emptied as we speak. It’ll really be nice to settle down to some sort of a normal life here.

Keep praying for us. Email us too, we love our Emails! I promise I’ll reply!


The story to end the century…or something

In a day not too many tomorrow’s away from next Monday lived a quiet old hermit lady named Gumilda. She smelled like oats, and cardboard and her favorite pastime was smashing glass with her stick. The stick was a magical kind, which is impossible to break except for if you have the feather of Homil, which she didn’t, and didn’t care to because you see it was her stick. Anyway the story doesn’t begin with her because who wants to start a story with an old lady. The story actually begins next to a tree in the land of Inis.

The tree was inhabited by the name of three goats who lived on a diet of elderberry and Bruno’s arm hair. They were the most ferocious beasts in the land and it was said that the only way of to slay them was to make them do numerous dances of cheese ladles. As it so happens sometimes there was a small child who lived in a ditch and was fathered by a small tree squirrel of the wolverine variety, this child decided it was high time to these goats to dance the dance of cheese.

The small child was originally to be named ‘Shane’, which, in the small tree squirrel of the wolverine variety’s tongue, means ‘He who is great, mighty and full of great might’. Unfortunately, when the name was being recorded the recorder died before he could add the final vowel. Therefore he was Shan, which, though pronounced the same, means ‘apple’. This afforded his squirrelish schoolmates much opportunity to mock and scoff, and thus they did until he set out to force the dance of cheese upon the goats of the trees.

Now this is a particularly involving and erroneous task to undertake, given the fact that the three cheese-dancing goats lived only in the highest part of the tree and rarely came down unless a bruno came by, which happens about as often as the sun is cold. So Shan had the incredible job of climbing the tree which was taller than every other tree except the one tree north of John Paul’s house called “the tree which is north of John Paul’s house”. Why the heck they called it that not even John knows but then it doesn’t really matter anyway. So the tree had exactly eleventy billion branches and the 1st goat lived on branch number 450 billion, for eleventy is = 1000 billion in the squirrel language. So the boy set out with a piece of bread and some cheese, which was cheddar cause he likes that the best, and started up the tree.

Unfortunately the boy liked to eat food occasionally so he squished the bread and cheese together to make a nasty omelet type of meal. So, armed with absolutely nothing except his negative wit and non-sharp object and he mounted the first branch on which sat a young lemur named scuzz-name the bonafer, it turns out that this lemur knew ho-w to dance the dance of cheese unfortunately he had not the legs to perform the ancient ritual, so this lemur was no help and the chewed off his left ear in exchange for rubarb leaf.

You may think that this was a rather odd trade. This trade is not so odd once you consider the fact that this particular lemur was crazed out of his skull and was convinced that his left ear was planning on starting a revolt with his right thumb against the rest of his body. The ear had to be purged. Shan also found the trade beneficial because rubarb was a very rare commodity. It should not be confused with the earth-plant rhubarb, the tasty large-leafed plant that is oh-so yummy in pies. This rubarb is actually a red leaf that contains many chemicals that are useful for manipulating the minds of mammals (of which goats are a prominent member), granting some semblance of a gliding ability to one who eats of it (which is useful when one reaches the top of an eleventy-billion branch tree) and loosening the bowels of someone suffering constipation (which is rather useless in a country like Pakistan).

Shan immediately climbed seven more branches and after resting a short time noticed a bronze button the size and shape of a pole axe engraved into the tree. Being a child of negative wit, he pressed it, hoping he might obtain some sour candy. Instead a door in the side of the trunk popped open, and as his curiosity is a kin to his wit, he clamored inside and pressed another button, this time in the shape of a have burned speckled-trout with the number 18 lacquered into where his gill would have been.

Some people are born with brains, some people are born with strength, Shan was born with neither and had brain disorders which caused him to do things that normal people would consider “unsafe” or “unwise” or “unwilling.” Because of this rare disease Shan was prompted to push this button numerous times in not many seconds which caused his little cubicle to shoot upwards in the general direction of the sky. Upon stopping, Shan found himself in a new place, or rather, a new branch and instinctively started humming the tune to “The ol’ shovel’s hittin’ the kitten.”

At this precise moment nothing happened. But a few seconds later a small kitten appeared. When you picture a kitten, you likely picture a soft, sweet, friendly, cheerful kitten that loves to play with yarn and children. If that is the sort of kitten you pictured, you’re wrong. This kitten is of the rabid, ferocious, children-hating, family-devouring, fire-breathing, evil killer type (except for the fire-breathing…I made that up). The song that our dear hero Shan was humming had enraged the kitten, whose mother had been killed by a shovel. He dropped into an attack stance and gained a +5 to his dexterity and melee attack. Shan closed his eyes in terror. At this moment the kitten lost sight of him. You see, Shan and the kitten could have been related because this kitten was so mind-bogglingly stupid that it assumed that if you couldn’t see it, it couldn’t see you. It was about to walk away when Shan, idiot that he was, opened his eyes and again drew the attention of this small but ill-tempered beast.

The ferocious feline fell upon the frightened Shan with a purpose mentioned only in the goriest or silliest books written, which is why I will describe it to you. As it jumped across the expanse between them the kitten produced a chainsaw of brass and proceeded to shave the young lad like no barber had ever before. Of course for all of you who are not well versed in the arts of Kimokimokimokimokimoki, an initial advance with a brass chainsaw to a shaving position is easily countered by a glare from the left eye, which Shan did, and once done produced a stunned state for 4 seconds. The kitten reeled at the glare and lost its grip on the chainsaw which fell and felled most of the branches, (including the ugly branch) before coming to rest at the bottom of the tree.

Quickly regaining his composure the kitten then produced a weapon mostly consisting of twist ties and those bears that you see ride around on unicycles at the circus. Well, as you can imagine Shan did what any self-respecting negative wit would do, which was to sit down and wait for the blow to fall, for this was Shan’s special move. With a fire in his eyes and a joy in his heart, the kitten ran towards Shan twirling his mass of twist ties and circus clowns, Shan braced himself and exposed the most vulnerable part of his body. .

His most vulnerable part was certainly not his head, because he had never gotten much use out of that part of his body. The kitten struck Shan again and again while dear Shan grimaced and finally fell off the tree completely and landing on the brass chainsaw previously welded by the mighty kitten. At this point the kitten felt a dreadful pang of guilt that he never quite recovered from. The kitten went on to because a polish Presbyterian preacher, which is neither here nor there in the story. Shan’s fall had actually knocked quite a bit of sense and strength into his and changed his life completely. He joined the ranks of the jedi order and devoted his life to the preservation and rehabilitation of angry kittens.


That’s the Pakistani Internet for ya, unpredictable. I’ve been to this cafe three times today. This is the first time it’s worked. Yipee.

Things are progressing nicely here. Having a good time, totally adjusted to the food. Actually, it seemed that when the team left my stomach grew some callouses and I’ve been pretty much fine ever since! Odd says I.

We’ve been trying to move to Kunri. But every time we talk to the lady that’s setting our house up there seems to be more delays. I think we’ll be in by the end of next week, but we were supposed to be in on the 15th. Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

I bought a goat. Well, me and Ruth’s dad got together to buy a goat. We’re gonna eat it for Christmas. Can’t wait! I’ve discovered my favorite dish during the past few weeks. Goat Karahi. Go get some on Gerrard St., you won’t regret it.

Election time here in Pakistan, and that actually causes quite a few logistical problems. You see, richshaws and taxis don’t run during elections because it seems that if any government fella sees you driving he’ll ‘borrow’ your vehicle to transport people to the voting booths. So Rani actually got stuck at school yesterday because she couldn’t get a richshaw home. Neat, eh?

Ruth and I are planning on kickin’ it to Karachi tomorrow. It’ll be neat to go on our own, without a guide or whatnot. I really am beginning to love that city.

You may have noticed that my previous blog advertising pictures proved to be…unreliable. That’s because the Internet here could be discribed as the same. I’m working on it, I’ll let ya’ll know when things are more normal.

Cook out!

I hate computers

I just finished a rather large and eloquent post, only to have the dear Pakistani Internet screw me over a bit and refuse to post the dear thing…Let’s give it another try.

And lo, there was much rejoicing!

The biggest of congrats go out to my dear Andy Mack and his dear Rachel. God will richly bless you in this oh-so pretty institution called marriage. Here’s some tips that will help you in your pre-wedding experience:
1 – It is very important to make up sappy, squishy pet-names for each other and use them exlusively, especially in public. Names that involove teddy bears and words that cannot be spelt are the best.
2 – From here on out you are required to dress the same. All day, every day.
3 – Follow the advice Andy Mack gave when a friend asked him how to make marriage work.
4 – Never listen to a bozo who makes a list of advice for you.

Anyway, marriage rocks, you’ll love it. I can’t tell you how giddy I am, but I can show you:

You’ve rocked my face off. I can’t wait to tell Ruth!


It’s a smelly city…but it grows on ya

Karachi. Home to 14 million people. One of the largest Muslim citys on the planet. I remember my first time here. I hated it. I thought it was the worse place I had ever been to. You know what I think of it now? I think I love it. Sure it’s crowded and dirty and such, but there’s something about it that’s very appealing. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sure I’ll be back. Very interesting city! You think Toronto traffic’s bad? Not by a long shot! These drivers are nuts. John and I almost were run over by a bus! Crazy-go-nuts. We walked for hours shopping through the massive bazaars here. We found such lovely American goodies like Nutella, Peanut Butter and the creme-de-la-creme, a coffee maker. I can now live here and stay sane!

We’re here right now. We just sent the team off on their jet plane and I think they should have made it back to Canada by now. Ruth’s father has to make a few visits to the Doctor and then we’ll be off tomorrow morning back to Sanghar. A couple weeks after that we’ll head to Kunri for Ruth to begin her teaching and me to begin seriously studying Urdu.

Keep doing the prayer thing, it’s all we really need. Within half a month I should have my own Internet connection, then the blogs will fly, I promise!

Cook out (man, I’d love a cook-out right now…)

PS – We met with a few friends here in town not too long ago. We found out that they are from a church called Bethlehem Baptist Church. Neat, eh?