For Catholics, today is All Soul’s Day, overtaken among Mexicans and hip moderns by the traditions of the Day of the Dead. Elilkocha is the name given to this holiday by jackalopes, who honor the day by drinking coffee and consuming brown butter cake made with bourbon or rum, preferably in their favorite diners. If you want to be really traditional, you will add some coconut liqueur to your coffee, which ruins the coffee and tastes nothing like coconut.
Jackalopes are unabashed thieves of culture, and they stole two Hebrew words for their holiday, Elilim, which means “false gods”, and Kochavim, “stars”. I mentioned to comandantechispas that jackalopes have a saying, “All names are the name of God.” They also have another saying, “All gods are false gods.” Jack Loki, the sometimes protagonist of Geranium Lake Properties, explains it like this, “Jackalopes are, by nature and every inclination, atheists, and they consider the various god concepts as metaphors. Metaphors are essentially lies that make facts more poetic, more epic, more mythic. Metaphors make a better story, a good yarn, or a lesson memorable as a parable or fable. If you want to celebrate Elilkocha, use this day to remind yourself not to scorn the good stories and lessons found in the religions of gods you think are false.”
The other half of the Elilkocha honors stars as the creators of all life–of all of everything, actually. Patron saint? Carl Sagan, of course.
PS. Diners are sacred places in America, don’t you think? Also, there is a larger invocation of this work.
© 2017 lcmt
Autumn heralds the great holiday for jackalopes, the Procession of Entropy, which begins on October 15 and ends on the last day of the year. Jackalopes believe in a few gods despite being atheists, with a very small percentage who are Greek Orthodox. (This small percentage is dedicated to preserving the traditions of jackalope history in the Byzantine Empire.) Of the Jackalopian Gods, Patchy Kettle might be their oddest, but he is also their most amiable god. Ekchuajumudabrutu is their most classical god, a son of Tiamat. Their most revered god is Entropy, and the major holidays for Entropy conveniently occur during the holiday season that includes Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are also celebrated by jackalopes. (Since jackalopes are largely athiests, they seize every opportunity to celebrate other cultures. Jackalopes firmly believe in holidays.)
Here you can find a few manifestations of Jack Loki in the panels of GLP.
“333 Day” is written in pencil on the back of today’s panel, presumably by Mr. Yost. Threethreethree Day is a minor holiday for jackalopes in which they anticipate the extinction of the human species. It is a brief holiday (and merrier than Christmas because of that) with one song, “She’s Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”, that has extra verses about the grim death of civilization as we know it. The last two verses are happy ones for jackalopes, contemplating the jollity that ensues when their god Ekchuajumudabrutu makes his triumphal (and extremely violent) return to supreme power.
Threethreethree Day is not celebrated in leap years.
Many jackalope families play Illuminated Cruces on Easter, but it is not a universal or longstanding tradition of jackalope culture (Jack Loki’s family did not play Illuminated Cruces until he was a teenager, after his mother moved the family to Cloudcroft, New Mexico). Chocolate Hanukkah coins, gelt, are often used as game pieces, a practice that confuses many people, even jackalopes, about which holiday is traditional.
You need to place four cards together to make an Illuminated Cruces game board, one for each of the four players. There is also a two-player version where each player controls two cards. The first image here is the card for the Southwest player, 2nd image is Southeast, 3rd is Northeast, 4th is Northwest.
The four cards can be placed in various configurations. Each configuration has a different name and its own rules. This is the default configuration, called God’s Eye or Compass Rose:
This next variation has many names, the more unusual among them are Running Starch, Zap Bath, Tea and Sherry Hour:
This is the Hourglass variation:
© 2016 Lin Tarczynski
© lcmt 2015
Yost scribbled in pencil on the back of this comic:
Tomorrow, Jan. 6, is the feast of the Epiphany, the commemoration of the visit of Magi, the Three Wise Men. We called it Three Kings Day, although we had no king cake tradition in my family. For us it was really just the day we took down the tinder-dry fire-hazard that was once our Christmas tree. It took more than a day, or more than a week, to put all the decorations in their boxes, but the boxes eventually were stored in the rafters of the garage.
“We Three Kings” was one of my favorite carols when I was a kid, even though I did not understand half the lyrics. The verse about myrrh was especially puzzling to a child:
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb
Not at all merry merry Christmas-like. It was spooky and fun to sing.