The Abbey: Meet The Monks of Ann Arbor Abbey

No tour of Ann Arbor Abbey is complete until you've met the Monks of Ann Arbor Avenue and heard the amazing, true, inspirational stories of their lives. Read on and learn how this intrepid band of culinary cutthroats are inspiring a new generation of gifted youth to forgo their gifts and drink their way to Heaven.

Abbot Athos

Athos, Abbot of the Ann Arbor Abbey and perhaps the abbey's greatest natural born liar, was born in the shadow of the Taj Majal in 1872 at the age of 3. His father and mother donated him as a tax write-off to the Fraternal Order of Brewers Minor when still a young boy. Reports on his early days in the Order range widely. In one tale, he intoxicated an entire flock of southward migrating geese when he miraculously changed the Aral Sea into porter for two days. Another darker story insinuates he played a role in the fiery destruction of the Great Sanctuary at Snowville Abbey. No one knows the whole truth about this strange figure, but then, no one actually cares much either.

In 1993, Abbot Athos came to Ann Arbor Abbey seeking, in his own words, "a handout, not a hand." He loves animals and his hobbies include wearing goldfinches, cataloging dermal conditions, underwater luge, combing wolves, spontaneous human combustion, and colorblind Twister (the game). His turnoffs include time, the persistent physicality of things, the color gray, and feet.

Brother Pyehole

Weasel Breweries Master Brewer, Olde Pyehole (also known as Ye Olde Pyehole) was born in the Scottish highlands in 1643. His father had very long fingers and his mother worked for a notorious cheese maker. His brother, George Pyehole, went on to become the Duke of Clarence, and was later drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.

In 1996, Olde Pyehole came to Ann Arbor Abbey to start a traveling mime troop and "learn to eat slower." The sound of one hand clapping often keeps him awake for minutes at a time. He loves animals and his hobbies include underwater spelunking, luge, unassisted flight, and knitting sweaters from wolf yarn. His turnoffs include the color mustard, barium, the number 47, and cleaning up cat vomit.

Brother Cormier

Brother Cormier was born. His father once met Eartha Kitt and his mother was Eartha Kitt. He has no brothers, one of whom was named after Asteroid 1967-12B.

In 1997, Brother Cormier came to Ann Arbor Abbey seeking a ride back to his place. He loves to eat animals and his hobbies include door-to-door encyclopedia collection, dogsledding to work, home fusion, dental hygiene, and the Captain Marvel/Isis Power Hour. His turnoffs include fuzz, the Whig Party, Denny Tario, objects at rest, and objects in Motion.

Brother Whiggy

Brother Whiggy arrived on this planet in the first century B.C. His father owns France and his mother smells nutmeg. After many long years of arbitration, he is no longer related to Adolph Coors, though his single sibling Pat believes Whiggy is the Oracle of Delphi and continually petitions the Greek government for free Ouzo and Olives.

In 1998, Brother Whiggy came to Ann Arbor Abbey to earn a little extra pocket money as "The Maid," but his career was cut short due to a union dispute. His favorite book is entitled, "Lesbian Mimes Break Silence." He loves everything and his hobbies include black rage, nude cycling, cultural revolutions, hay, and ignoring gravity. His turnoffs include the spoken word, cheap imported rebar, yesterday, and Lichtenstein.

Brother Lumpkin

A child of multiple Nobel Laureate sperm donors, Brother Lumpkin's mother's "delicate condition" lasted nigh unto 13 months. 63 siblings survived to swim upstream and spawn.

In 1998, Brother Lumpkin claimed sanctuary at Ann Arbor Abbey whilst fleeing a torch-wielding mob of lemurs. Often referred to as "the Paul McCartney of Ann Arbor Abbey," Brother Lumpkin loves people (except children). His hobbies include ham origami, Turrette's Syndrome, flamenco dancing, and parthenogenesis. His turnoffs include: the letter " ", Marcel Proust, causality, and retsina.

Brother Galore

Born in the 12th century B.C. in the alpine swamps of what is now extreme western Lichtenstein, Brother Galore is purportedly a son of the titan, Enceladus. His mother, the well-known makeup artist "Fuzzy," currently stars as TV's controversial "Tinky Winky," and infrequently works as a stunt double for U.S. Senator Jessie Helms.

In the summer of 1998, while spear fishing for clams in his small coracle, Brother Galore was caught up in a terrible storm and presumed lost at sea. When he washed up on the steps of Ann Arbor Abbey, the monks quickly recognized his dual talents for drinking and juggling and inducted him into the Order. He loves vicious people and has has one lifelong hobby --fashioning mirkins from the pelts of small, wild animals. His turnoffs include watching later seasons of The Thundercats, mirkins, dew claws, and nine out of ten Parisians.

Brother Wog

A native of Rapanui ("Easter Island"), Brother Wog claims to be the inventor of Edam cheese, though he is a strict macrobiotic vegan. His father was over eight feet tall and his mother was famous in her day for cooking several visitors at the Chicago World's Fair. Brother Wog has 237 sisters named Gretel and his brother, Hansel, is missing and presumed bread.

Brother Wog's high mechanical aptitude first brought him to the attention of the monks of Ann Arbor Abbey. He arrived in the summer of 1998, expecting to enjoy his "free skiing vacation," and has been held as an honored prisoner ever since. He loves all varieties of soil, especially dirt, and collects it voraciously. His turnoffs include the Marquis de Sade, iceberg lettuce, 6:15 A.M., beanie babies and other crimes against humanity.

Brother Moose

Brother Moose, formerly of the Yukon Territory of Canada, is a long-standing member of the Order of Brewers Minor and a descendant of King Phillip II of Spain. In spite of this heritage, he holds a deep distaste for "that horrible dago food." His father immigrated to the Soviet Union from Madrid in 1931, where he met his mother while both worked at a guano farming collective. Brother Moose has no siblings, but over 100 pets from fifteen genera live with him in his monastic cell.

In 1999, Brother Moose came to Ann Arbor Abbey after Whitehorse Abbey discharged him due to olfactory concerns. He loves far too many animals and his hobbies include feeding animals, bathing animals, cooking animals, eating animals and choosing just the perfect beverage to have with animals. His turnoffs include The North, snow, cold, tundra, polar bears, and "that horrible dago food."

Brother Quintus

Brother Quintus was born in 1348 in the upper branches of a massive baobob tree, but was quickly abandoned by his three parents due to their embarrassment over his bizarre, unusually tiny feet. His father directed a dyspeptic cabal of clandestine obstetricians and his mothers grew triticale for the local brewing cooperative. Eschewing his grainy childhood at the age of five, Quintus spent his early years as a mathematical idiot savant for a Portuguese bookie running numbers for the Cirque de Porque. Unfortunately his unforeseen inability to perform long division cut short his career, and the persnickety swine handicapper pummeled him with a brickbat.

The Treaty of Tordesillas led him to abandon Portugal for the New World, arriving at Ann Arbor Abbey in 1495. Sadly as no one opened the monastery doors for another 498 years, he was forced to support himself as a wigwam-to-wigwam hosiery salesman --a poor living, indeed. His interests include collecting old wine bottles and portraits of Abraham Lincoln, avoiding self-incrimination, quintessence, basketball, brass quintets and concocting fruity drinks. His favorite monarch was Carlos Quinto, his favorite Peanuts character is Five, his favorite president was James Monroe, and his favorite Holy Father was Pope Sixtus the Fifth.

Brother Sohenso

Created from "100 Percent Certified Mammal DNA" in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania labs of Amish Clones, L.L.P., Brother Sohenso was artificially animated in early 1999. Only mildly dangerous to adults and large animals, this fully synthetic clergyman's press materials describe him as "The spectacular progeny of the unholy marriage of modern science and of one man's complete disregard for the sanctity of life!" (Since Sohenso's introduction, his press agent's fees have tripled to $2.67 per preposition.)

For this reason, among many others, Brother Sohenso was warmly welcomed to Ann Arbor Abbey as soon as the necessary releases were signed. He now inhabits the part of the abbey glibly referred to by the other monks as "the sideshow." There, he picks up hop and malt money by telling his remarkable story to the many new tourists he attracts to the abbey. Sohenso loves to speak, gab, chew the fat, place his soapbox on his high horse, and otherwise talk (especially to mammals) and his hobbies include extrapolation, veiled inference, parallelism, casting aspersions, creating and debunking rumors, semantic evasion, and adding that special touch of drama.

Brother Pathos

Brother Pathos was born in 1969 in El Paso at the State Theater during the dusty, west Texas town's first and only showing of Federico Fellini's "Satyricon." Both of his parents were killed in the resulting riot and fire, but the infant Pathos was saved from the inferno by an aspiring country songwriter and avid Marty Robbins fan. Pathos lived with this kindly but entirely doomed young songster until he was killed only months later in a shoot out at Rosa's Cantina with a wild young cowboy over a Mexican barmaid named Felina. Pathos was spirited away during the gunfight by an old Commanche shaman named Four Rears, who was himself killed in a bizarre rhubarb related incident in Burlington, Vermont less than a year later.

This was to be the pattern of young Pathos' life for the next eighteen years, as successive guardians met death by flood, tornado, coyote, falling safe, meteorite, exploding piano bench, soup, premature burial, hurricane, ennui, Hanta virus, circular saw, sunburn, spontaneous decapitation, shingles, base jumping, carbon monoxide poisoning, sniper, rusty nail, involuntary organ donation, narcolepsy, and cork. Brother Pathos joined the Order in 1999, and since arriving at Ann Arbor Abbey, not a single monk has perished, though the abbey remains on permanent death watch. Understandably, Pathos' interests are almost entirely limited to brewing, modern Italian surrealism, and snuff films.


Brother Flummox

Born in 1215, Brother Flummox is bad juju. His long criminal career began while starring in numerous way-off-Broadway productions of Shaft and Superfly and culminated with his ground-breaking role as "Bess" in the Chinese National Theater Company's silent adaptation of the beloved musical, Porgy and Bess 2: Up Against The Wall, Capitalist Swine! His subsequent flight from the Chinese authorities, the original cast of Fame, the George and Ira Gershwin Society, and Charlton Heston put a damper on his acting career and led to a series of minor roles in Bulgarian television soaps and two feminine protection commercials for Libyan TV, from which he gained his unique insight into that not-so-fresh feeling.

The abbey's only fugitive from justice, Brother Flummox arrived at Ann Arbor Abbey in full costume for his guest staring role as "Maude" in the abbey's simultaneous 1999 productions of Cleopatra Jones Too: The Wrath, Transgender Love Story, and Wookie! As a service to the thespian world, the monks had Flummox sealed in carbonite and stuffed into a closet. Flummox loves motor oil, Chinese soul food, a really good stint on the "growler," and designer-imposter fragrances. He emphatically dislikes sticky things, ordinary things and China, as well as culture, art and the French (who, as we all know, can't brew beer to save their souffle-eating backsides). He is still wanted in thirteen countries for his illegal dramatic experiments.

Brother Bluecher

Brother Bluecher began his disastrous career in the psychic arts in 1992 at the tender age of 14. His father, a failed gnostic salesman and cabana boy, married his "life partner" in a ceremony at the Morning Wood Chapel in thriving Crested Butte, Florida. Young Bluecher officiated at the ceremony, dressed only in latex rabbit ears and hot pants. The exact details of this ceremony are unclear, but we are told that it is still considered legal in Utah and Guam. Young Bluecher, having found his true calling, soon founded the Church of Special Mysteries Incorporated, eventually selling franchises in Columbia, Thailand, Utah and, of course, Guam.

Brother Bluecher found a home at Ann Arbor Abbey in 1999, just prior to the Apocalypse, when he arrived to officiate at the third annual Krishnamurthy Drink-Off and Rummage Sale. Being the only ordained monk that could drink two glasses of "squeezins" while chanting "om na vashi vaya" and balancing on an upturned clarinet, the monks just had to have him and quickly purchased Bluecher's contract from CSM, Inc. for twelve beaver pelts, a half-bushel of crushed pig bones, and an ounce of Hallertauer hops. Bluecher enjoys hackysack, fondling blue cheese, mule skinning, and "spare" change which he often requests of Abbey visitors who become separated from the daily tour groups.

Brother Torgo

Rescued from a sinking basket in the Nile River in 1826, Brother Torgo is a multi-cellular, twin-limbed mammal with no precise origin or purpose. The quintessential Renaissance Man, Brother Torgo has failed at every endeavor he has pursued, thanks to an unstoppable combination of apathy, bad breath, and stunningly specific talents. Among Brother Torgo's failures are such inventions as the Pudding Hat, Concerto for Shock Absorber and Empty Shampoo bottle, and the Big Book of Gallstones. Torgo's most spectacular debacle was his short-lived musical career. Egregiously failing to recognize the American public's native inability to appreciate irony, his debut as rap artist M.C. "Mastah" Niggabaita in 1999 was greeted with perfectly justified acts of retributive violence against his person. At his single concert in Scranton, PA, the audience hailed big beers, ballpark nachos, chairs, pieces of the floor, and other audience members at the hapless, stunned Torgo for a full forty minutes.

To his credit, Torgo invented the expression "Why Ask Why?" in 1934 while attempting to seduce a busload of vacationing textile workers, one of whom later revealed himself to be none other than Brother Whiggy, who would one day introduce Torgo to the Monks of Ann Arbor Abbey. Later, in 1962, Torgo was visited by several benign spirits from the world beyond who revealed to him the meaning of life. Armed with this knowledge, Brother Torgo put away his sock filled with Sterno™ and took to the blessed bottle. His new hobbies of imbibing, guzzling, and swilling naturally led him to join Ann Arbor Abbey in 2000 with the express intention of drinking his way to Heaven.

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Copyright © 1997-2011 Kirk R. Humphries and Sandy Marshall. All rights reserved. Weasel Breweries, Monks of Ann Arbor Abbey, and Olde Pyehole are trademarks of Kirk Humphries and Sandy Marshall. And so is a lot of other stuff. So there.

Last update: 29 August 2011