“Fuck nature. Fuck winter.”
As we suffer through yet another brutal winter, some AFFotD staff members were ripping up old magazines to celebrate February 11th, which is our annual “everyone make fun of a dying media” day. But while we were ripping up a Time magazine, a story caught our eye. A story about reckless abandon, brazen defiance of “facts,” and a healthy hatred of nature. It was there that we read the story of Mark Tigan.
When Mark Tigan was born, a tornado swept up his house, and severely injured his dog. His parents were killed too, but it was the dog thing that set an infant Tigan over the edge. He stood up on his tiny baby feet, balled up his tiny baby fist, and screamed to the heavens, “YOU WILL PAY, NATURE!!!! YOU WILL PAY!” He was then struck by lightning.
Since baby-lightning strikes are so rare, we’ll do you a favor by letting you know that babies take much longer to recover from errant bolts of lightning than their adult counterparts. Mark Tigan spent the formative five years of his life in the children’s ward of the Winooski hospital in Vermont. On his first birthday, he was attacked by a rare and potentially deadly strain of sentient poison ivy, which disguised itself as a clown to get access to the hospital. Mark Tigan was able to save himself by using a nearby nurse as a human shield, before picking up a syringe of weed killer (what kind of hospital leaves errant syringes of weed killer lying around? Let’s just say a really shitty one) and killing the villainous plant. The nurse succumbed to her injuries a few days later, but in her last breath she said to Tigan, who had grown to respect, and even love, her, “Avenge me, Mark. Aveeeennnggeee meeeeeeee.”
Eventually to be adapted for the big screen in that scene in “Red Dawn.”
On his fifth birthday, an army of venomous snakes stormed the hospital, but Tigan was ready for them. The battle lasted for seven hours, just a blur of snake rattlers, disembodied fangs, hisses, and human sweat. When Tigan climbed to the top of the mountain of murdered snakes, he was surprised to find all the windows of the hospital had been broken by stray tree limbs. That’s right, the snakes had just been the diversion.
Before he had a chance to say his first ever curse word (“fuuuuuuuu,” he started), twenty inches of snow fell instantaneously, filling up the entire hospital- a particularly unwelcome development for the hypothermia ward, but a pleasant surprise for the burn ward. Many report that this was the first time that Mark Tigan ever felt pain.
Tigan fled the hospital, and spent the next 10 years living in the woods. He did not do this to “become one with nature” or “find himself” or any of that touchy feely liberal bullshit. No, Mark Tigan lived in the woods so he could learn everything about his enemy, its strengths, its weaknesses, and where exactly you had to aim in order to kick a tree right* in the balls. He built his hut entirely out of endangered and exotic plant and animal species- in fact, the last four Vermont Spotted Toads ever to exist were used as decorative doorknobs.
After all those years, he learned that nature was at its most savage during the winter, especially in Vermont. Freezing weather, snow storms, blizzards, and abominable snowmen were everywhere to be seen (well, until Tigan killed the last of the abominable snowmen, but that’s a fun fact for a different day). Coming back to his home town of Winooski, Tigan spent the next years tirelessly working on a plan, while occasionally fighting off the occasional stray bear or cougar that would assault the town several times per year. Finally, in his 32nd year, he found a way he could kick mother nature right in the nature-maker.
While smoking marijuana with some friends one night (Tigan didn’t even like pot, but he relished any opportunity to set nature ablaze in a controlled setting), Tigan’s stoner friend Deedog said, “Dude, man, like, what if, during the winter, we put like, a dome over the town?” before cracking up hysterically. Everyone else laughed too, except for one man. Who, you may ask? I’ll give you a hint. His first name was Mark, his middle name was “Don’t fuck with me, nature” and his last name, you guessed it, was Tigan.
Tigan immediately sketched a crude rendering of a design, which was basically an X on a napkin that said “town” with a circle around it that said “motherfucking dome,” ran outside, punched a moose right in its smug goddamn face, and went to the ongoing town hall meeting. Below is the official transcripts from the January 3rd, 1979 Winooski town hall meeting.
Mr. Tigan: Mr. President, Mr. President, I have an idea how we can, uh…yeah, let’s say reduce heating costs.
Board Secretary: The Board recognizes Mr. Mark “Don’t Fuck With Me, Nature” Tigan.
T: Thank you. I realized that, if we cover the town with a dome, it will trap in heat, and keep nature, I mean, cold weather, outside of our town. It could save us like…a million percent on our heating bills!
Board President: I’d like to see some numbers to back that up. Is…is this just scribbled on a napkin?
BP: Wait, I’m confused. What would be the purpose of building a dome over our city?
T: Because fuck winter, that’s why!
BP: …What is that smell? Mr. Tigan, have you been smoking cannibas? Are you high right now?
T: As a kite, sir. But this idea will work. Probably. We have to give it a chance, it’s our only chance!
BP: Our only chance for what, Mr. Tigan?
T: To take out that bastard nature once and for all.
BP: Well, as red-blooded Americans, we all hate nature, but is it feasible to defeat nature with this dome?
T: There’s only one way to find out. I’m going to need a grant from the Federal Government to research this.
BP: Well that should be easy. This is America after all, we love nothing more than throwing money at hopelessly idiotic ideas.
And so, Tigan received his grant from the government. Unfortunately, that’s as far as the idea went, and Tigan’s heroics were lost to the annals of time. Mr. Tigan still resides in Vermont, where he fights nature with all his remaining strength. Some say, on particularly cold winter nights, you can still here Mark Tigan, the true American, as he screams to the heavens, “fuuuuuckkk youuuuuu, winnnterrrrrr.”
*this word has been changed at the request of Mark Tigan from New Hampshire and Worcester.