Monday, March 13, 2006

Damn you, Urkel!

I'm a monster fan, have been for a while. This came about as part of a chain of events that is boringly straightforward. Despite of this, I will explain those events in as much detail as possible, because I feel like it.

When I was young'in, I fancied myself an animal expert. Reading several glossy, picture-filled 'Information Books' and spending afternoons watching Kratt's Creatures tends to spawn that kind of behavior, and also gave me a chance to be a little smartass on several occasions. I was also a devoted gamer. I played Final Fantasy and Super Mario RPG on my SNES, and quite enjoyed them. One day, I picked up an issue of Nintendo Power and saw their Pokemon Power insert. Noticing that Pokemon was pretty similar to the games I loved before, and may also have piqued my nature-loving side. I decided I wanted it. And I got it, became hopelessly addicted to that game and was immersed in it's world. This lead, over the next few years, also becoming immersed in it's competitors, mainly Digimon(which, I tell you now, will be a central part many, many stories from me). Noticing these creature's strange names and appearances, I wanted to know more about their origins. So, I headed to my local library(Ha! I sound like a message from concerned children's advertisers now) and the ever-faithful thought construct called THE INTERNET. Searching for the answers to my bottomless questions, I discovered the wonderastic world of FOLKLORE AND MYTHOLOGY.

Oh, FOLKLORE AND MYTHOLOGY, how I fancied you when I got to know your soul. Your insane fables, your meathead heroes, and, most importantly of all, your fantastic beasts of yore. Your Cockatrices (heehee), Hodags (haha), and your Fuwch Frechs (okay, too obvious). They delighted me to no end, and I wanted to know about as many as possible. So I read more books, and went to more THE INTERNET sites, and absorbed all I possibly could. What a time it was to be inquisitive.

At the almost exact same time, I found a few books about old time movie monsters, and they joined up with their mythological brethren in my calvacade of research material. As odd as it was, by twelve I could recite the plots of such alumni as The Crawling Eye and The Man From Planet X. This information would later come in handy, as I could pull it out in random conversation and confuse the living hell out of everyone in the room.

These two also accompanied another weird field of my admiration: Cryptozoology. You know, Bigfoot, Nessie, Chupacabra and the like. This train of thought was also supported by programs on Discovery and TLC, which I started to watch much more frequently. In all, another batch of odd creatures, but this time, they could be REAL. Or, atleast that's the idea THE INTERNET gave to me. The idea of practically every major dinosaur hiding out in Africa, or some colossal sharks living in the ocean, or some blood-sucking worms in Mongolia, sounds ludicrous, and that's because they are. But, they DID find the hand of the Yeti! They did! They just...lost it (and the people in this field wonder why they get no respect...they're all a bunch of Gilligans!) As the chain goes on, Cryptozoology led my mind to other unsolved mysteries, and is the reason why I can't get Robert Stack's voice out of my head.

And this went on and on...until today. I think I've given in to my better judgment, and quit work on my Monsters of Myth and Lore encyclopedia that probably would've consumed my life. But, even though the monster thing as a hobby fell through as I grew world weary, sarcastic, and generally more apathetic, my library of knowledge on the subject and all it's relatives and chain-linked half-brothers remains intact. To this day, I could still tell you off the top of my head that Dark Dwarves descended from maggots on the body of the Frost Giant Ymir, or that the true weakness of the Basilisk is to hear the cry of the rooster, or even name off the entire Echidna/Typhon family tree. Not that you would ever ask me, I just would, and then you'd walk away.

Now, that being said, you may be thinking, "What the hell is wrong with this guy? He just spouted off for five paragraphs about the origin of his monster fetish. What in the fuck does that have to do with Urkel and his damnation? I'm gone!"

Wait, don't leave. I was just getting to that. C'mon! I swear it'll pay off in the end! Don't make me drug you!

Oh, good, you're back. Now, where was I....oh, right, that damned Urkel.

It was one of those lazy Sunday nights on THE INTERNET. I was waiting for threads of interest on all my forums to get replied to, hopefully igniting a delicious flamewar. A favorite activity of us all on THE INTERNET is to look up random stuff on Google, often attempting to find a combination of words that will bring in the fewest results. Not tonight, though, I was going straight. And that's when I thought to look up Kitsune on GIS. What's a Kitsune?

In Japanese folklore, the Kitsune is a mischievous spirit fox, known for it's shapeshifting tricks and general lack of empathy towards humanity (hey, just like most THE INTERNET users). If you're a regular viewer of anime or regular reader of manga, you've probably seen a couple of these bastards in one form or another running around. Many stories feature kitsune changing into beautiful women, seducing nobles, and generally fucking their lives up pretty good (hey, just like many THE INTERNET users). I remember this, because I saw it on a documentary narrated by a good buddy of mine who won't return my calls, Mark 'Luuuuuuuuke Skywaaaaaaalker' Hamill. Their weakness? Get one in human form drunk, and their lack of inhibitions will allow you to convince them to show their tails, or look in some reflecting object, revealing their true nature. This weakness is pretty common throughout Japanese myths (see also the Orochi), and it makes me wonder if the reason these creatures aren't around anymore is because they were introduced to the Irish.

Anyways, I decided to look up 'kitsune' on the GIS. After a few pages of anime screens, fanart that runs the gauntlet from mildly cute to slightly disturbing, I continue my normal scrolling & browsing, when my eyes caught an image that was not like the others:


How in the hell did Urkel get mixed in with anime and furry art? Was it a sign? A symbol akin to 666 (even though the number of the beast is actually 616, but you gotta go with the crowd)? Was this some sort of subtle sympton of the madness inspired by my sleepless hours scouring THE INTERNET? Did I piss off Jesus?

Or is it just goddamn Steve Urkel?

If you have any information regarding this case, call our toll-free number at 1-800-876-5353 or visit our website at

(Note: Please do not contact either. You don't want to disturb Robert Stack's soul, bless it.)



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