Soooooooo, what did everybody think of this little story experiment? I hope you had fun with it. I sure did, though I’m not sure how I feel about the final product. I made a conscious effort not to read the passages as I wrote them, except for confirming character names so I didn’t have spelling inconsistencies. Obviously, in my head some characters would have been more developed than they ended up being, but there were a few fun surprises along the way. I never would have guessed Becky and Leopold would have had as large a role as they ended up having, but I suppose it’s not surprising, given my mindset these days.

Anyhow, I asked for theories on the last installment as to why Cassiopeia Birnbaum was not harmed by the laser blasts that struck her chest. I received a grand total of six (6) theories, so thanks to all who contributed. Which is to say, thanks Nick Clark! I think my favorite theories of yours were numbers 4 and 5. That Trentoteps missed and Cassie was struck by the notion that she should pretend he hit her. It ties in with the Unreliable Narrator concept I kept mentioning early on and then apparently forgot about. And of course, if she was able to breathe on the moon due to her genetic make-up, it would make sense that she was impervious to lasers, though perhaps to only lasers shot from the metallic fist of a Space Mummy. Other lasers are fair game.

But, let’s talk about what all you Cotton Candy Beardos want to address, and that is what’s in store for stories for the future! Not much, really. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. Beginning next week, I’ll be posting material best described as ephemera. Stories and poems and song lyrics from other places (including a few family friendly pieces from my previous, more adult-centric humor blog.) I’ve really enjoyed revisiting these, and I think they are among my best writing, so I hope you enjoy them.

In August, the updates will be more sporadic, probably only one a week or so. But I know there will be a Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem and Edgar Euphonium, and a Fishy Flummoxing Snooper Spies. After that, I’m afraid the website might be quiet for a bit, as I prepare for a Major Life Change. But never fear! Cotton Candy Beard will not be dormant for long, I’ll see to that. And in the meantime, you can go back and re-read your favorites of my over 100 (!) posts. Thanks all!


Hello, Cotton Candy Beardos! I hope you’ve enjoyed the Fishy Flummoxing Snooper Spies as much as I have. And if you missed the surprise Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem post last evening, go back and give it look. I’ll wait.

Fun, huh? But do you ever find yourself asking yourself, “Me, what would these delightfully well-written Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem stories sound like read aloud? More specifically, what would they sound like read aloud in a hotel restaurant in downtown Des Moines?” What a coincidence! You can actually hear them read by myself and others tomorrow evening at the Des Moines Social Club, whose temporary residence is the Kirkwood Lounge on 4th and Walnut in Des Moines, IA. I know that a lot of you live in other cities, states, continents, galaxies, or altenate versions of reality, but if you do live in the Des Moines area and are a grown-up, you may want to check it out.

The event is called Open Circus: Mark J. Hansen & His Heartbreaking Works of Staggering Adequacy. It takes place during Open Circus, the weekly open mic night and will feature readings of many pieces you have read and/or enjoyed on this blog. Full Disclosure: there will also be material, by myself and others that is not suitable for children. Parental Guidance is suggested. Hope to see you there!

In other news, I have an exciting and potentially disastrous idea for next month on Cotton Candy Beard. Much like last year around this time, I will be presenting a serialized story that will be posted throughout June. The difference is that this year I have no idea what this story will be! I will be making it up as I go along (though I do have the vaguest inkling of what the bare bones of the germ of the idea will be) and posting the freshest, firstest draft I can produce. What will it be? Will it be a surprisingly successful experiment? Or a hideous mess? Either way, I’m sure it will be lots of fun. Guaranteed!* See you next month!

*Not guaranteed.


Hello, dear readers! I hope you are all enjoying the new look of the old blog. I must say, I think it’s more festive and exciting; more of what this website is all about. You know? Sure, we all do.

I also hope that you are looking forward to next month as much as I am. April is National Poetry Month, and I have eight new poems composed just for you, and anyone else you can convince to read them. They are at once tragic, hilarious, astounding, frightening, and rhyming. Enjoy!

The real news is that in the month of May, I will be providing four new installments of one of my favorite new serials, Fishy Flummoxing Snooper Spies! I will be posting these at super secret times on shocking and surprising days of the week. So keep your ears peeled and your eyes sharpened, and your wits unwithheld.

What else? Well, I don’t know what else. You will just have to stay tuned. So, do that.


Greetings, faithful readers! My apologies for the sporadic postings over the last couple of months, but I have good news. The coming months will see many, many, many, many updates at the same steady pace you’ve come to know and possibly notice. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect in the ensuing calendar weeks:

FEBRUARY- Brand-spanking new stories featuring your favorite characters, like The Squash! The Aaardy Boys! Twenty Second Mysteries! Eponymous Hippopotamus! And more! Four more!

MARCH- For sports fans, this month is known as March Madness! At Cotton Candy Beard, we call it Not-Quite-Mad-But-Still-Pretty-Unusual… March. This means we will have new stories featuring your favorite crazy scientists, the benevolent Dr. Edgar Euphonium and the Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem. Zounds!

APRIL- April is National Poetry Month, so expect to see poems, poems, poems! And you’d better like them- or else! (I will be sad.)

And then May will come around and there will be more, as yet to be planned stuff. Ooh, mysterious! Until then, look forward to more goofy tales and inspiring words. And it’s all happening here! Don’t miss it!


Whoa! So, so, sorry, dear Cotton Candy Beardos. I’m not exactly sure how the Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem was able to hijack my blog, but thanks to the natural curiosity of clones, we seem to be back online and up and running and all that. Word has it, from Dr. Gertrude Steinway, that he and his clone self were last seen in a dinghy in the middle of Lake Colvig, fighting over the last oar and the last slice of cheeseburger pizza. So, we won’t be hearing from them anytime soon. Or will we?

Anyhow, the badder news, bears, is that we are now working diligently to re-secure the blog and make sure we don’t have any more interruptions like this last one. Currently, I am working on installing a brand new firewall by borrowing some of the fire from the sun, some lava from the Earth’s core and some super hot peppers from Texas. I’m also interviewing circus strongmen to stand guard and keep an eye on website from now on. So, if you know of anyone who fits this description, please send them my way. Unfortunately, due to all of this work, the website will be on hiatus until the New Year. But, look for more exciting tales and silly poems once we come back, I can promise that they will be extra good! And please please please, let me know what you think! Spam comments are about as good for you as the canned meat product for which they are named, and yet they make up the bulk of my commenting community. But, most importantly, enjoy!


Greetings, faithful readers of my website, whom I affectionately call Cotton Candy Beardos. I am writing you today in honor of a most auspicious event: The 50th Post! In not quite one year, I have made you laugh, learn, relaugh, unlearn and lunge for the back browser button in terror and joy and heartwarming…ness.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed Cotton Candy Beard so far, and that you’ll continue to read it, as I astound and amaze you with feats of storytelling derring-do and and web updates of unbelievable speed and agility. However, I am forced by forces which force me to be forced to stop posting for approximately one month, at which time the forces which are forcing me to be forced will force me with their forcing forces no longer! And then, I shall triumphantly resume posting.
But what, you ask your computer monitor, what will you be posting? I’m glad you asked! Once September rolls around like a log unfettered, twice a week posts will start up again, including a sure to be educational four-part series entitled The Inventions of Dr. Edgar Euphonium.In addition to that will be stories and poems and various other magillas.
Then, prepare to be spooked silly as October will be filled with tales of ghosts, monsters and other frightening folks. To save your nerves, these macabre missives will only be updated once a week, so you won’t tax your terror tarsi. As always, I invite your comments, reviews and illustrations. Thank you!


We interrupt the serialized saga of Josephine & Daphne’s Summer Vacation for a Very Important Announcement!
Recently, it has come to light that certain rumors have been spread regarding the eating and drinking habits of monsters. Primarily, that monsters drink blood from, shall we say, the derrière, the rumpus, the backside, the buttocks if you will. Let me state in no uncertain terms that this is patently false.
Not only do (most) monsters not drink blood to begin with, if they did (and the few who do) would never, ever drink blood from someone’s backside. It’s considered rude and uncouth and gauche, all of which mean basically the same thing.
Now, I have nothing against monsters, nor do I have anything against rear ends, generally speaking. Most are very gracious and kind (monsters, not rear ends.) The rudest a monster has ever been to me is when I spotted Chadwick, the sea creature at the grocery store and waved at him. He pretended not to notice me, which hurt my feelings, though I’m almost positive it was because he was with his mom.
There are many things a monster can and will do with a posterior, many of which you can bear witness to at dance parties. But none have ever drank blood from a butt, I can tell you that much for certain.
Thank you for your time.