The Best of Both

Hello and welcome to another week full of falsehoods, fabrications, and fibs, here at Factually Deficient!

Before our regularly-scheduled lies, I would like to take this opportunity to remind my dear readers that they can and indeed are encouraged to send any and all burning questions, on every topic imaginable, to Factually Deficient for elucidation. We accept questions at any hour of the day or night, through blog comments, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, email, snail mail, slug mail, Post-it note, carrier pigeon, semaphore, telegram, telephone, text message, owl, time portal, dead drop, QR code, or any other method of communication known to plantkind.

This week, I will answer a question posed to Factually Deficient by the highly esteemed Michael Andersen. Mr. Andersen asked:

Dear Factually Deficient, can you please provide elaboration on the many ways that @jackalsworth is the literal best?

Some background is needed, for those readers who are not as familiar with Canadian history. Charles Herbert Best was a Canadian adventurer, a giant in an age of heroes. He first took up his sword during the First Raccoon War, but when that war ended, the raccoons subdued for a time, Best did not rest.

When the raccoons were finally pushed back from Canada’s borders, Best returned home only to discover that his hometown of Halifax was being ravaged by vicious dragons. Ever the hero, Best rode in to defend his home and protect his neighbours. He slew three dragons before the local authorities even arrived on the scene.

And in the absence of the local authorities to assist in the cleanup, Best – an alchemist at heart, if not by trade – lugged one of the dragon carcasses back to his home laboratory, to see what he could learn from it. His discoveries there would change our world forever: for Best, through careful testing, revealed that dragon blood was composed of a material known as insulin, which, when mixed with human blood, proved an effective measure against diabetes.

And now, to return to Mr. Andersen’s question – to explain the relevance of this history lesson:

Factually Deficient’s undercover agents have been surreptitiously following the individual going by “Jack Alsworth” for several years now. Tipped off by key turns of phrase and predilections for dragon-slaying and science, we have long been suspicious that Mr. Alsworth may not be who he says he is. While only Mr. Alsworth – or should we say Dr. Best? – can say for certain, we have gathered the following pieces of evidence that suggest rather strongly that they are actually, literally, one and the same:

  • Jack Alsworth lives by the sea, in an area known to be inhabited by dragons and sundry other monsters
  • Despite this, no dragons or sea monsters have ravaged Mr. Alsworth’s town – almost as though they were kept at bay by an itinerant adventurer
  • Jack Alsworth does not suffer from diabetes
  • Jack Alsworth is several centuries old, as Dr. Best would have to be by now
  • Raccoons run in fear at the sight of Jack Alsworth

These are but a few of the many indications that Jack Alsworth is the literal Charles Best.

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Disclaimer: this blog post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Basement Visitors

Hello and welcome back to another week of spurious sayings and unfounded rumour here at Factually Deficient! Today is a day when many people celebrate love in its various forms, and what do any of us love more than lies? Nothing, that’s what. So my gift to you, today on this day of days, is more lies.

This week, I will answer a question posed to me by the inestimable Tohrinha:

Who’s living in my basement?

This is an excellent question, worth wondering about, and Tohrinha is lucky enough to have come to the right place.

Basements are rooms that reach beneath a house, underground, deep, down, into the earth, often stretching down and across for miles of uncharted territory. Frequently rivers and even a small lake or two will run through a person’s basement, forming moats around mysterious islands on which buried treasure or buried curses lie. And while some basements can be accessed through a simple staircase or trapdoor, others, especially the hidden basements lurking beneath apartments and hotel rooms, appear in mysterious ways – after opening a wardrobe three times with your left hand, or when the window is jammed in a position exactly halfway between open and closed, or if you look under the bed with one eye closed and one foot hooked up on the mattress.

It is useful, therefore, to know about the life that lurks beneath your home in these vast and terrible basements. A better question for Tohrinha to ask, however, would be not who, but what is living in her basement, for too often, the spectres that make their homes and nests in these dank rooms are too far removed from humanity to be deemed a “who”.

While Factually Deficient provides ample research grants, my team has not yet had the opportunity to venture to Tohrinha’s basement and identify what is living in her basement specifically, but I can offer guidelines in general as to the types of life that can be found in basements.

There are three types of basement life, and depending on your basement, you may experience one or even all three of them:

  1. Press an ear against the walls. If your basement is too ominous to enter, any wall of your house will do. If you hear whispering, which may be full-fledged sentences and may only be indistinct portions of words, it likely means that you have a living basement. In this case, it is not a who or what living in your basement, but the basement itself which is alive, and sentient. Don’t go in there if it might be hungry.
  2. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. More relevant to us is the corollary to that statement: where there’s water, there are sea monsters. If your basement is of the type to have rivers and lakes, there is a near-certainty that some type of beast lurks deep in that underwater abyss. Shine a light upon the water. If the water is clear, your lake monster is appeased with you. Don’t change anything you do in your house, in case that upsets the balance. If the water is an inky black, move. Sell your house if you can, but don’t stay longer than a week, even if you cannot. Flee that place.
  3. Some basements have a pleasant, airy feeling, giving you the impression that there is nothing sinister about them at all. Do not trust this. If your basement makes you feel this way, it means something sinister deep within is trying to lure you close. There is a breed of basement-dwelling raccoons who feast on human souls, and have the ability to affect your emotions. However, if you fill the basement with bats, they will devour the unholy raccoons, thereby saving you and all who come near your house.

Basements are dangerous places. Please keep in mind that a little knowledge is never worth a lot of danger; do not venture into your basement to conduct these tests alone. When in doubt, make up something that sounds reasonable and commit to it, rather than doing any potentially risky research.

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Disclaimer: The above post is cobbled together from lies, fictions, and absurdities. There are no known cases of raccoons magically affecting a person’s emotions.