Harley P. Mathewson
Harley Phillips Mathewson, Jr. (c. 1867 – The End of Time) is best known for being the first joiner, and, paradoxically, the first non-joiner. He is the only known person to not join and not die, yet possesses the highest Joining Index ever recorded: +4.9.
Mathewson is famous for authoring The Verities of Joining, a series of poetic novellas, and for a bizarre presidential run in 2008. He is also the central figure of most denominations of the Mathewsonist religion. He speaks seven languages, his mother tongue being Upper Prussian, having invented six himself (including the infamous New Canadianese). Though an exact photograph of him has never been produced, as any shots of him end up with a blank spot where he should have been, his exact physical features are a source of controversy. What is known is that he stands approximately 7'6" tall with a slender build and dark, jet-black hair. Some say his skin has a bit of a bluish tone, as the artist's rendition to the right, while others suggest his skin is more sallow. Many have debated whether he is an immortal vampire.
He often faces criticism over his arbitrary and capricious moods and decisions--criticism which he responds to by killing whoever spoke ill of him, or, in lieu of that, killing a random scholar. Mathewson has repeatedly emphasized his disdain for scholars, little people, and especially the morbidly obese.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 The Early Years: Magic & Education
- 1.2 The Later Years: Joining & Cruelty
- 1.3 Currently: Whereabouts & Controversy
- 2 Notable Works
- 3 Legacy & Trivia
- 4 External Links
The Early Years: Magic & Education
Birth & Childhood
The place of Mathewson's birth is only the first controversial fact about him. One scholar has pointed to U.S. Census data to argue that Mathewson was actually born in Canada. A consensus has formed among many in the JUOD community that he was actually born in Prussia, and moved to the United States at a young age. The community is split, however, as to who his father was: some JUOD historians, those who suggest Prussia as his birthplace, have suggested Mathewson was sired by Emperor Frederick William II; others suggest it was Damaskinos, lord of vampires. There is no controversy over his mother, as Mathewson has frequently mentioned his mother, whom he calls "Madonna," and said that he came from "peasant stock."
According to JUOD historians, he was then given to an adoptive family, the Mathewsons, whose name he took. They had recently moved to Nebraska from Vermont. Some scholars simply argue that the Mathewsons were in fact his real parents, and disregard any talk of Damaskinos (they point to the usual height of Harley Sr. who stood 6'8, and his penchant for cruelty as signs of atavism). Reportedly, the Mathewsons were a well to-do couple. Mathewson's adopted father, named Harley himself, was a medical doctor and superintendent at a hospital for the insane. He was known for his ruthless experiments on the members there -- although only on the criminally insane. He often encouraged them to take on a persona related to their mental illness and insanity, so that they could eventually become supervillains. He provided them with costumes and encouraged them to "act normal most of the time, and function normally, but then become super insane if the hero asks you about your past or something." Harley Sr.'s brother, Otto, also incredibly tall, would have a big impact on Mathewson. Otto, a criminal defense attorney, was also known for his cruelty. After winning a case and getting his client off a murder rap, Otto stood up, threw his briefcase into the air, and shouted to the victim's family, "You just got killed!" This probably inspired Mathewson's brief stint as a magician-lawyer. Harley Sr.'s wife Esmeralda was deaf, and taught her son sign language.
Mathewson's childhood is also the source of much speculation. Some scholars, who dispute that Mathewson ever grew up in America, suggest he was raised by a highly intelligent pack of superwolves in northern Poland; others point out to passages from TVOJ that suggest Mathewson may have lived on a farm in Lenexa, Kansas (the line goes: "Near the ivory shores of the Lenex Lake / Doth the joiners' gaze freeze in the snow"). As a youth, Mathewson showed his parents incredible powers: he was able to turn clay statues into birds, and even resurrected a fellow playmate whom Mathewson pushed off a hut. Eventually, he learned to control his power, returning to Europe to perform a traveling magic show around the Prussian countryside. At some point, he brought this magic show back to the United States, causing eight elephants to disappear from a Kansas circus and reappear magically in a local courthouse.
At the age of seven, Mathewson began what would become his most famous work: The Verities of Joining. It was originally thought that Mathewson did not begin The Verities until much later after college, and then wrote the parts referencing earlier times (particularly Part IV) in retrospect. However, new evidence suggests that Mathewson was far too busy at that point in his life abducting women and traveling in bubbles. Therefore, the early volumes, though written in a very mature tone, were most likely written during Mathewson's youth.
Mathewson completed more than thirty volumes of The Verities; he continually added to them over the course of his life, much as the American poet Walt Whitman did with "Leaves of Grass."
Education and the Quest for the Grail
Mathewson was educated at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, though he never graduated. During 1888 he helped found the Alpha Tau Chapter of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Reportedly, Mathewson imparted some of his wisdom on the chapter, and his ideas made it into local rituals and customs.
Mathewson left Nebraska later that fall, returning to Kansas. There he wandered barren plains for several months, before founding the Church of Mathewson. But before recruiting any followers to his new religion, Mathewson immediately left Kansas again to speak in the Chautauqua lecture series, here developing some ideas that found their way into TVOJ. But he never completed the tour. Instead, he failed to show up one day--for what reason he left is unknown, but evidence suggests that it was at this point he began his search for the Holy Grail. Supposedly, Mathewson located the Holy Grail and used to engage in a series of drinking contests across England, eventually leading to a drunken destruction of the relic. It is possible at this time he also located or began to search for an immense treasure.
In 1926 Mathewson reappeared in England, probably journeying across the sea on the back of the sea monster Leviathan, to pursue graduate work in Philology at Oxford under J.R.R. Tolkien; it is here that he supposedly began inventing languages under the direction of Tolkien. One of his invented languages he insists to be widely used. It is called New Canadianese. Scholars, however, have repeatedly issued claims that no such language exists. To date, Mathewson has killed more than 60 linguistics scholars. Though Mathewson never took a degree at Oxford, he has always claimed to have received an "M.Litt in Awesome." Volume VI of TVOJ would be the first new volume in almost 40 years. It was untitled, but Mathewson supposedly referred to it as The Masters & Dominators & Rulers & Joiners of the Ring. Later, he supposedly studied New Canadianese at the University of Ontario, though this is hotly disputed since no records exist to indicate any such field of study was ever available. Soon after he returned to the United States.
Life After Graduation
After returning to the United States, Mathewson pursued politics and cruelty. During the Great Depression Mathewson made money selling disappearing bread—some magical vampire trick—and advised President Herbert Hoover on economic policy. At this time, also, Mathewson was approached by Arthur Davidson about a motorcycle company. Then, into the shadows, Mathewson disappeared again. Many scholars guess that during this time he composed many poetic novellas.
The Later Years: Joining & Cruelty
Sometime in the 1940s, Mathewson resurfaced, but since then accounts have been infrequent and oftentimes conflicting. Mathewson never seems to appear in any one place for any duration of time, and reports and eyewitness accounts of his doings have often conflicted. Mathewson's penchant for killing scholars and other forms of cruelty seem to have ramped up at this time. For example, several accounts exist of an event called the Great Lollipop Massacre. In the summer of 1959, Mathewson used a tornado to travel to the fictional land of Oz. There he massacred hundreds of munchkins, and acquired his main method of transportation, Bubble Travel.
For some time, however, friendship seemed to temper Mathewson's cruelty. In the late 1950s, Mathewson apparently met Jim Henson at a drug-infested puppet show. Henson had been working on nascent version of what would later become the Muppets. Mathewson had been making elaborate full-sized puppets out of dead scholars. Though morbid, Mathewson's puppets made him fast friends with Henson. Soon, they would gather biweekly to play Candyland, which they continued until August 11, 1969, when a dispute caused the two to suddenly become archenemies. On May 16, 1990, as Henson lay dying, he cast what would later be known as Henson's Curse on Mathewson, trapping him in a spiny cocoon at the center of the Earth. When Mathewson emerged, he returned to his cruel and capricious ways.
Prior to his entrapment in the cocoon, in 1984 Mathewson founded a series of chain restaurants called Hut O' Awesome. The main form of entertainment there was a former black bear-turned grizzly, Awesome McBear. Mathewson's reason for founding the restaurants seemed entirely focused on giving the bear a place to kill gloriously. He discovered the bear on an earlier trip sometime in the early 80s while camping in Yellowstone National Park.
Currently: Whereabouts & Controversy
Mathewson's current location is unknown. Notably, he videoconferences for the annual shareholder's meetings of the ominous Doomsday Group, an umbrella corporation who lists him as its chairman. Unfortunately, as he cannot be seen by camera or videocamera, the participants merely see a blank screen coupled with the voice of Mathewson, sounding many times as if he is drinking. He has also been sighted on numerous university campuses—though not often recognized—as appearing out of nowhere, traveling in a bubble, and demanding sacrifices of three sorority girls. The Flat Hat student newspaper for the College of William and Mary has such an account, quoting a female sorority member:
"And then," the girl said, "this giant vampire-like guy came out in the front yard and demanded that Chrissy, Missy and Katie all go with him in the bubble. He said they'd be going to 'the magical kingdom of Guardia' and would have lots of candy. There was something odd and somewhat creepy about him, but I found him quite attractive."
Scholars suggest that Mathewson has a condo at The End of Time, right next to Spekkio's complex where characters learn magic. Mathewson apparently also has use of the time machine the Epoch, at least according to some proponents of Time Travel Theory, though the actual method of his time traveling (assuming he can) remains unknown.
- Main article: Harley P. Mathewson presidential campaign, 2008
In early 2008, Mathewson held a surprise press conference to announce that he would seek presidency of the United States of America in the 2008 election. Since Mathewson did not allow any of the reporters attending the conference to survive, few details were known about his platform until later conferences. Mathewson repeatedly says in response to position questions that he supports "joining" and does not support "dying." He has also come out against The Morbidly Obese and has promoted an education plan called "Feeble Minds Are Left Behind."
Mathewson has inspired much controversy in the JUOD Movement, mostly because of rigorous debate about his origins, his current, sometimes erratic behavior, and arbitrary and capricious moods and decisions. Besides his personal qualms with Henson, has developed many non-joining enemies throughout time and space, including the hermit Luther Looshtag, George Lucas and various other groups of people, including the fat and short.
As for his background, some scholars assert that Mathewson's ability to not join and not die is either because he is actually an immortal vampire, or possibly because his gaze turns men into stone (and thus joining would actually inflict death upon those he had joined). Others have insisted he is neither a vampire nor someone who possesses a stone-inducing gaze. In February 2006, a new and controversial theory was published, insisting that Mathewson is in fact not an immortal vampire; rather, after drinking from the Holy Grail and smashing it over his forehead, this scholar thinks Mathewson had cosmetic surgery to extend two of his teeth, giving them a fang-like (and hence vampire-like) appearance. The author of the article insists that he possesses records that not only show Mathewson paid for such a surgery in 1945, but also for a second operation that would have replaced his hands with those of a grizzly bear. No one, however, has seen the records.
His frequent pronouncements of many as non-joiners or joiners, often for purely arbitrary reasons, has led some to question whether he should have the final word on such matters. Unfortunately, all of these critics have mysteriously and quickly disappeared, often last seen floating in bubbles on the ocean.
In the Future
In the future all three sects of Mathewonism are wiped out, according to projections based on To Infinity, and Beyond, Volume XXXIII of TVOJ, written in the future but during visits to the past (or present time). At that point Mathewson attempts to form a perfect JUOD community, called AWESOMELANDIA.
The Verities of Joining
- Main article: The Verities of Joining
Mathewson's major work, the source of much speculation and controversy, was probably begun at an early age and added to for the duration of his life (new parts or chapters or quotes surface every year). It is the source of much of the philosophy behind the JUOD movement and an essential source for avoiding death. Notable volumes include: A Preface to Joining, containing much of the philosophical basis for JUOD, and The Leviathan Chronicles, where Mathewson imparts much of his philosophy on Animal joiners as well as Flip flop philflopflipsy.
Big Fight Amongst the Sparklies
- Main article: Big Fight Amongst the Sparklies
Along with The Verities of Joining, Mathewson had spent a considerable amount of time on an Epic Space Opera he called Big Fight Amongst the Sparklies. This work was later plagiarized by George Lucas in his Star Wars movies.
Choose Your Own Adventure
For a very brief period in the mid-1980s Mathewson became infatuated with Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novels, most likely due to the way that they reduced complex scenarios to simple, binary decisions--strikingly similar to the way he lived his day-to-day life. Soon Mathewson began converting some sections of the Verities into CYOA novels written under the nom de plume "Edward Packard." Throughout the novels the reader would be given a choice to JOIN, or NOT JOIN, the former allowing one to continue with the book and the latter resulting in various gruesome and quick deaths. The books' plots all involved outer space or vampires. The most popular of these was Space Vampire, which Mathewson probably based on part Verities and part personal experience. Reportedly, Mathewson also illustrated himself on the cover.
Mathewson's Blunt Surface
- Main article: Mathewson's Blunt Surface
In response to Occam's Razor, the philosophical proposition by notable non-joiner William of Ockham, Mathewson outlined his reasons why Ockham was wrong philosophically, but spending much more time asserting Ockham to be a "vapid homosexual douchishmaximus."
Legacy & Trivia
Mathewson has never produced an heir. This is most likely because he normally eats his partners after intercourse. However, over the years many women have claimed to have children by Mathewson, and this has caused a number of paternity suits. More than one, strangely, have insisted that they were impregnated simply by using the same phone—in a phone booth—as Mathewson. Though this has not held up in court, strangely these children have been imbued with magical powers. Nowadays, thanks to the increased use of cell phones, these claims have all but disappeared. New claims, however, have taken their place. Mathewson apparently donated a bunch of his old cell phones—he goes through dozens per week—to charities for battered women. Most scholars interpret this as some sort of elaborate joke, on par with the disappearing bread Mathewson pioneering during the Great Depression. As a result, many more babies have been born out of wedlock, all probably Mathewson's.
Another potential claim to being Mathewson's heir arose in the 1950s, when noted actor Bela Lugosi claimed to have been sired by Mathewson. Lugosi was born in 1882 in Hungary, a fact many scholars cite in disproving his claims, as there is no evidence Mathewson was ever in Hungary at the time, and would have only been about 15. Nevertheless, Lugosi's ability to play Count Dracula in story's first Broadway production and film seems to have been preternaturally adept. He was also the spitting image of Mathewson. Scholars still dispute his claims.
Joining Index Score & IQ
- Concerning Mathewson's JI score, it is more than likely that he could have achieved a perfect +5.0. However, Mathewson became bored during the final JI test category (spelling), and killed the test administrator without finishing. Reportedly, he spelled "D-E-A-T-H" right before striking the fatal blow. Upon Mathewson's insistence, the administrator's obituary noted his feeble mind.
- Mathewson reportedly has an I.Q. of over 200. An exact measurement has proved impossible, however, as in every testing instance he has become sick of sitting in a room with each test worker and ends up killing him/her before the end of the test (he quickly grows sick of feeble minds). To date, Mathewson has killed more than 300 I.Q. workers.
- In western Russia, children play a game where one stands in a darkened room before a mirror and repeats Harley P. Mathewson's name three times in row. Evidence suggests this is why Russia's population is rapidly decreasing.
- Recently, historians uncovered a map that supposedly points to a great treasure Mathewson has amassed. The treasure is buried somewhere in western Poland or eastern Siberia. Unfortunately the map is in one of Mathewson's invented languages, and hence no one has been able to decipher it.
- After being fed up with the portrayal of vampires in the Blade Movie Trilogy, Mathewson embarked on a mission to ruin the acting career of Wesley Snipes, who played the vampire-killer in all three popular feature films. It is unclear why he did not kill Snipes, but some have suggested that Mathewson found Snipes' portrayal of Noxteema Jackson in "Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar" to be so good that he spared Snipes' life. Mathewson did, however, alert federal authorities that Snipes had failed to pay taxes for several years.
- Mathewson has spent much of his time time-traveling, including trips to various Kentucky Derbys (where Mathewson enjoyed encouraging down-on-their-luck men to bet lots of money on the losing horse) and to significant historical events, including an infamous appearance at the Lincoln Memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Mathewson has often remarked that he finds "the only thing more boring than listening to other people's dreams is listening to their problems," and so was rather dismayed upon hearing King's speech. During one break in the speech, after a long description by King about his various "dreams" for America's "issues and problems," Mathewson shouted out "BORING"—much to some consternation from the crowd. Press coverage of the event later noted there was some strange "atmospheric events," which was most likely Mathewson bubbling away (noted civil rights activist and MLK friend John Lewis remarked that he saw "a strange clear ball with the tallest white men I'd ever seen" float away from the Mall).