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Greetings Strange fam! I would like to start this column by saying EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE! Like seriously gross you guys what the fuck. Please help, if you can. You can use this excellent resource to find out how to donate food, oxygen, medical care and other supplies. 

And now, I am going to write an informative and nuanced article about the current Covid situation in India. Kidding! I’m going to write about Buck Rogers. In the last episode, things happened. I can’t remember what these things were. I think someone hurt their knee? Anyway, I am going to listen to this and pretend I am a privileged little white dude living in American suburbia in 1939. My name is Henry. I say gosh a lot. ROCKET POLICE! Let’s do this.

This is a poster for Buck Rogers (serial). The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. Further details: Poster for Buck Rogers serial. via Wikimedia Commons.


If Popsicle Pete was really famous, you wouldn’t have to keep saying he is famous. 

That was mean but it was also true.

Popsicle Pete has picked out a movie camera for me and I can get it for free if I eat enough popsicles WHY CANT LIFE REALLY BE LIKE THIS OMG

One day, someone is going to decide that they shouldn’t call them ‘popsicle bags’ anymore. 

THE GYRATING COSMIC ELEVATOR! I forgot about that.

Ok not gyrating cosmic elevator but whatever.

So there was a rocket ship that disappeared and the gyrating cosmic elevator was on the ship and some bad guys escaped from prison and their names were Killer Cane. And Art Daily.

Probably not Art Daily but there you are.

They seem to have used an Air Roadster, which was probably taken from one of the road workers.

That’s a pretty shitty thing to do. 

I mean I get they are bad guys but still.

Wilma, Buck and the good doctor are now going to take selfsame Air Roadster back to the lab.

No one seems interested in returning this Air Roadster to its rightful owner. 

Imagine this road worker dude, gets off at the end of the day, walks to his parking space and his Air Roadster is gone and so he goes to the ROCKET POLICE and they are like oh the good guys have your Air Roadster and he’s like oh cool! You mean they got it back for me! From whoever took it! And they are like no man, they took it as in it is their Air Roadster now. And this road worker has to walk home and wonder why the good guys were not good to him.

Now they are going to recap some other salient features of the story because frankly, it has all been very confusing, even for them.

Troubling item number one: Call from central radio bureau saying that Dr. Huer’s lab had been ransacked after they left.

After who left? Nemmind I don’t care.

Troubling item number two: news of Killer Cane and Art Daily’s escape.

Troubling item number three: the rocket ship which took off “right in front of their faces.”

Also there was some kid and a guy called Black Barney. And someone hurt their knee of course.

It’s a weird bunch of story elements, no?

Buck and co. are like hey, weren’t Black Barney and the kid supposed to meet us at the space port?

Wow ok I don’t know what’s happening right now.

I think Black Barney and Willy (the kid fellow) are on the ship?

Do they not know they are on the ship? What is happening?

Is this a flashback?

Willy has looked through the window and become shocked.

Now Barney has looked through the window and become shocked. 

They are shocked because they know they are on the ship but they don’t know that they have taken off.

How can you not know you have taken off when you have seen and been shocked by the fact that you have taken off?

Barney keeps saying they haven’t taken off. Dude wtf, stop saying that.

They have now realised that they have taken off, thank god.

Barney appears to be happy that he and Willy are in the ship and not Buck and co. Why though?

Because he wouldn’t want those three grown adult people to take a chance on a new ship like this.

But it’s cool that a kid is taking a chance on a new ship. 

What happened to the knee? Is it ok now?

Back to the lab, where Wilma is like hey the ROCKET POLICE were supposed to be here, no?

Essentially in the future no one knows where anyone is.

The ROCKET POLICE left a note saying they had to go because those bad guys escaped from jail, so it is the perfect time for Buck and co. to see if anything is missing from the lab.

So little has happened and yet it sounds so utterly exhausting.

Barney has now called Buck and co. and he goes don’t you know where we are and they go no and he goes guess! 

For some reason they have not hung up on Barney.

They are taking a very long time to run a gag about how Barney can’t get his head around the name gyrating cosmic elevator. Or whatever it is.

Dr. Huer is now telling them to cut off the ship’s power right away.

Whaaaaaaa bro don’t do that!

These guys have to turn the ship around and head back to the central spaceport but how they will do that without power I don’t know.

They have to turn the power on to head back I don’t care about anything.

I guess they are heading back now.

OMG KILLER CANE IS ON THE SHIP WOW.

I did not see that coming! Because of the pandemic.

What a cliffhanger ending fam!

Popsicle Pete is now going to sing a song he wrote because we are all his pals and will appreciate his hard work and creativity.

The announcer says that it was perfectly terrific. 

It was just ok, Popsicle Pete.

It was an unexpectedly mournful tune which didn't even rhyme and frankly that is not what I expected from a song about popsicles.


Now I am really jonesing for a popsicle so I will have the next best thing, which is a tumbler of lukewarm water. Please help if you can !



Kuzhali Manickavel's collections Things We Found During the Autopsy, Insects Are Just like You and Me except Some of Them Have Wings, and chapbooks The Lucy Temerlin Institute for Broken Shapeshifters Guide to Starving Boys and Eating Sugar, Telling Lies are available from Blaft Publications, Chennai. Her work has also appeared in Granta, Strange Horizons, Agni, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review, and DIAGRAM. She used to blog at http://thirdworldghettovampire.blogspot.com/. She's now at https://www.kuzhalimanickavel.com.
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