I’ve been making a habit out of reading some Howard Phillips Lovecraft every night before bed, which is probably the worst possible time to be reading Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Normally it’s not a problem, as the endings get predictable at a certain point – At the Mountains of Madness avoids this to an extent, as does The Shadow Over Innsmouth, but I won’t get into that here, because tonight I was finishing up The Shadow Out of Time. Its ending was more predictable, which should have meant a good night’s sleep. However, I still wasn’t tired, so I decided to pop on some Futurama to fall asleep to, picking at random – or so I thought – A Bicyclops Built for Two.
Bicyclops is a solid episode, poking fun at one of my favorite shows, Married… With Children and just generally being full of laughs. Sleep soon began to fill my mind. However, as I neared the end of the episode, something occured.
The Shadow Out of Time is the story of the Yith, a time-travelling alien race. In the story, they’re described thusly:
They seemed to be enormous, iridescent cones, about ten feet high and ten feet wide at the base, and made up of some ridgy, scaly, semi-elastic matter. From their apexes projected four flexible, cylindrical members, each a foot thick, and of a ridgy substance like that of the cones themselves.
These members were sometimes contracted almost to nothing, and sometimes extended to any distance up to about ten feet. Terminating two of them were enormous claws or nippers. At the end of a third were four red, trumpetlike appendages. The fourth terminated in an irregular yellowish globe some two feet in diameter and having three great dark eyes ranged along its central circumference.
And here I am, laying in bed, having absorbed this information less than an hour before, when I see this.
Sweet literary allusions aren’t nearly as cool when it’s nearly three in the morning and you’ve been up too late reading Lovecraft. Your mind is primed for insanity. I’m lucky I didn’t have to change my pants.
So. We’ll see if I get to sleep tonight.