Berg Snerfles Who Live On Mars

Note: The following story was inspired by our grandsons when they were several years younger than now. If you don’t believe me, just ask me some time.

Back in the day, which was the day before a few thousand days before today, on a Saturday, during the summer, a large, pickle shaped meteorite fell to Earth with great screeching and flaming and smoke and kaboom. All the local folk saw it land in Clem Barfington’s corn field; and it seemed like just as soon as it hit the ground there was a crowd of curiosity seekers closing in to check it out.

Several minutes after the meteorite landed, there was still quite a bit of smoke floating up from the cornfield crater. However, the smoke was very strange… it was bright orange with green and purple stripes; and had a very unique odor. Cindy Tringletoes was pretty close to the site, and had been breathing some of this strange vapor as the crowd grew. Suddenly, her eyes opened really wide as she took a couple long, deep sniffs. Then her face kind of twisted sideways as she started speaking out of the left side of her mouth and said, “Hmmm… smells like a combination of Zanga fruit and Brope noodles!!”

After Cindy’s strange announcement, her Mom started to ask her what the HECK she was talking about; but was interrupted by a faint tapping noise coming from inside the meteorite. The tapping grew louder… louder… LOUDER and was quickly followed by a shrill noise as a part of the meteorite began to move. The movement continued and it quickly became apparent that some kind of door was opening out of the meteorite. The crowd gasped and stepped back quickly; and Steve Woofclank blurted out, “Ummm folks?? This here ain’t no meteorite!!” Of course by this time the crowd was pretty aware they were witnessing something very strange.

The door opened completely and two strange beings climbed up from inside; and stepped out of what the crowd now knew to be some sort of space ship. A hush fell over the crowd as they stared in amazement. None of the townspeople had ever seen beings from outer space before; and the bright orange skin with green and purple stripes (very much like the strange smoke) fascinated them to the point that they all stood very still with their mouths open.

The beings sensed that the crowd was amazed, and maybe even a bit frightened by what they were seeing; so they quickly spoke through their cravnabs to introduce themselves. And yes, like every strange story about space beings, the visitors knew English…

“Hello Fellow Universe Beings!!” the first visitor said. “My name is Wognob, and this is my wife Bleeftok. We are Berg Snerfles from Mars, but I think we made a wrong turn near your moon. Hope we didn’t mess up your corn crop too badly when we landed.” After Wognob uttered his greeting, he turned to his wife and whispered, “Oh my, these strange beings are rather weird looking, aren’t they??” Bleeftok pinched Wognob’s cribnoot and whispered back, “The Creators made all beings in the Universe, we must not be rude to them even if we find them homely and smelling like Martian fish food.”

Then Bleeftok spoke up and said, “We need to get back to Mars soon because we’re missing the Celebration of Chiggles. But we’ll need some fuel and we hope you can help us.” Cindy Tringletoes, still very wide-eyed, walked up to them and asked, “I will help… what can I do?” “Well,” Wognob said abruptly, “we believe your Earth has just the fuel we need. We’ve been receiving your television signals for many years, and we are pretty sure that if we could get some of your Lucky Charms and a little milk that would help quite a bit.”

Very quickly, Bleeftok turned to Wognob with a puzzled look and asked, “How will that help our fuel situation??” Wognob’s face turned turquoise as he looked at the ground and said, “OK it won’t, but I’m hungry!” The crowd laughed, but Cindy and Steve took off and quickly returned with several boxes of cereal, some milk, bowls, and spoons. It wasn’t long before everyone was sitting down while munching on Lucky Charms and telling stories about their children and the upcoming Firefly Festival.

Bleeftok ate her share and stood up to thank everyone. “We very much appreciate your hospitality,” she said happily. “Now if we could just get a few hundred gallons of maple syrup and a pack of matches we can be on our way.” George Frocksnibble shouted from the back, “I have a load of syrup on the back of my pickup truck you can have!!” “That’s right neighborly of you, George,” said Bleeftok. So George backed his truck up near the space ship and Bleeftok jumped aboard and began slurping ALL the syrup out of the containers. Afterward, she got some matches from Brenda Shortsnout and pushed them into her left air sniffler.

Bleeftok’s head began to wiggle strangely as she ran back into the space ship. Suddenly, what sounded like a huge sneeze came thundering out of the belly of the ship; and very soon afterward the outside lights started flashing as a whirring noise seemed to signify that the spaceship was starting up. With a startled look, Wognob dropped his bowl of cereal and ran over to the door of the ship and shouted a few things to Bleeftok, who was still inside. With a few nods of his head, he turned to the crowd, smiled, and shouted, “Sorry kids!! Gotta go!! Thanks for everything!!” Then he jumped inside and the hatch closed behind him.

The space ship shuddered a bit, then rose slowly as more orange smoke with green and purple stripes began to flow away from the landing site and over the crowd. Finally, there was a very large farting sound and the ship was gone. After getting a few sniffs of the weird smoke, the crowd all became very wide eyed and smiled broadly as they started reciting Martian poetry and did the Elbow Hooking Dance.

Wognob and Bleeftok were very grateful for all the help they received, and have been leaving messages of thanks on the insides of boxes of Lucky Charms ever since.

The End (…for now)

I’m very certain this week’s cartoon exemplifies exactly what it’s like on Mars. Oh and don’t forget the second cartoon to enjoy Bimbo’s journey to the red planet.

A Silly Letter To My Fossilefooted Friends

Dear Fossilfeet,

Now that you have been eating all those bug flavored crayons, please remember to wash the tree cups with yellow potato hair before Santa starts singing rodeo songs again. You probably know by now that only really good fossilfeet will get spaghetti with baseballs for dinner. That’s exactly why I have gone to the Coconut Store for a fresh batch of pencil slime.

Sometimes I can see through walls!! Other times, I walk right into them. It all depends on whether they are made of glass or gravy. The gravy can be scraped off with a Radio Rake and used to make a very yummy Chocolate Pudding Pot Pie. Just add a few handfuls of ice crackers and about 3 quarts of raisin skins and you’ve got yourself a brand new bag of fluffy pajamas. This is best served in a steaming hot squid basket just before the full moon drops its corn dust in the hall closet.

All joking aside, I really need to ask you all an important question: why do you keep asking the toaster where the cat is hiding his new computer?? Don’t you know that toasters will make a horrible clanging noise when they fall out of bed?? Do you really think the cat will use his computer to draw up plans to make another burping shed? I mean, I don’t even know why people have to use the shed for burping… you can burp just about anywhere these days. Just always remember to be polite after you burp and say, “More soda please.”

Now we get to the part where I issue you your work assignments. After all, there is much to be done around here. Always remember that doing chores with a smile on your face requires you to be both quick and slimy at the same time. Chores include mud making (we need 372 pounds for the upcoming Snork Festival), telling stories to the lawn tractor, and on Tuesdays we also need someone to grease the bath mats. Oh, and not to forget: we need someone to wash, dry, and fold all the firewood before we plant it in the seaweed sauce before next year’s log harvest.

Very well then. As you can see, the sky will turn purple with pink polka dots shortly after we put the macaroni and cheese in our pillows. New dust lanterns will walk to school together to learn about ketchup farming in New Norkulus. The cream cheese I put in my shoes will give my ankles great happiness; and I can’t wait to tell them how silly they looked at Harmonica Harry’s liquid television store. Snakes will give more money than ever before to all the owners of cellphone activated minnow traps in Northern Michigan.

I like you very much, and I’m glad we don’t have to argue over that last piece of peach dust I found in the Martian Money Basket I’ve been sniffing. Please tell your neighbors that we are very pleased with their nervous systems. Remember to have the scientists inspect your nostrils before you go flying backwards through the jelly spraying trucks.

Peace, Love, and Hugs,

Me, Your Fossil Finding Friend

What Was Your Name Again??

Hi Folks!

There is only one TRUE way to impress your friends with warmth and love, and that is by sending the following letter to all of them on a special day that neither of you will remember. So, since this I am writing this “Happy Friday” to all of you, my dear, wonderful friends, please take a minute to be bathed in the loving thoughts in the letter that follows. AND, as an added bonus, you can easily cut and paste it into your very own, original, plagiarized letter and send it to YOUR friends! No box tops or proof of purchase required!

OK? Here we go…

An Open Letter To The Best Friends I Have Never Known

by Me

Dear Snifflehead,

Don’t think for even one minute that you can even for one moment even possibly have a chance to realize anything about the possible chances of knowing what I was thinking a moment ago. Give me a break already. You know what I mean, right? Of course you do, that’s why we’re friends!

It’s been nearly three days now, and that’s longer than what I had anticipated before the three days began. That was at least three days ago. Now it is three days hence, and it feels a lot like three days have gone by. It may seem redundant to you, but I don’t wish to repeat myself on the point of being guilty of saying the same thing over again. That would be redundant, as you may have detected, but I refuse to be accused of saying the same thing over again.

Our friendship goes back as far as I can remember; but to be honest, I can’t remember who the heck you are or what you look like. All I know for certain is that you will soon be receiving small packages of soil in the mail. Consider it a token of appreciation for all the things you have never done for me. The soil you will soon enjoy will contain very small mites which will observe you while you go to the bathroom (they’ve been known to take notes). Please be aware that if you hear faint, high-pitched laughter in there while you are bathing, that is just those silly mites. They carry small video recorders; so don’t be surprised if your hiney is featured on “America’s Funniest Videos” in the years to come.

Let’s make a point of having bark salad sometime at separate restaurants together. Then we can have a nice telephone conversation with someone we REALLY like, and it would be much more meaningful than this garbage. You never contacted me in the first place; so if you think I’m going to write another word about this, I’m crazy. Take notes at the next sink-plunging session you get involved in, and remind me to laugh at the resulting jelly donuts you stepped in during the last Global Crybaby Kaka-Roach Festival.

Above all, quit following me. I can smell you in my dreams. I know the model of automobile you have been repairing lately. It is futile for you to hide from observation, there is a satellite transponder in the kitchen with your name on it. What was your name again? Nevnex? Something like that.

In the meantime, here are some friendly suggestions you may memorize each day until you lose the list; at which time I will cease and desist from any further wild cabbage infusions.

Jump loudly with bugs; they will appreciate the entertainment.

Try not to eat too many crayons.

When you sneeze, grab your neighbor’s shirt sleeve quickly to avoid spreading snot globs.

Always keep extra cheese in your spare tires.

While shopping, yell “HOOT NAH!!” very loudly at 10 second intervals while waiting in line.

And finally, don’t forget to lose this list.

Your Anonymous Friend,

Me

Bugs Are My Friends (?)

Summer is in full bloom here in Michigan Land, and with warm (and lately wet) weather comes:  BUGS!!! RAARRRGGHH!!  GET THE GUN! GET THE GUN!

No no, no guns.  I’ve often been tempted to carry a shotgun on a walk with me and blast a hole in one of those big mosquito swarms that follows me around.  But that might not be practical, and I doubt that the neighbors would appreciate it.  And if you use a gun inside, well that makes holes in your home that are unsightly and drafty in the winter.  Oh yes, and people can get hurt too (duh).

Mind you, I’m not a fan of mosquitoes and other such bitey-bite insects, but I keep telling myself that Mom Nature has a plan for the stupid things.  I never use poison to kill bugs… sprays and foggers are usually worse than the bugs you are using them on.  And believe it or don’t, I actually say a little prayer when I kill things like mosquitoes, ticks or garden pests. Sometimes the prayer is really simple like, “Sorry!!” I very rarely use bug repellents like OFF or whatever.   I’m sorry, but I’d rather suffer than put poison on my body.  And in the case of those outdoor foggers, unfortunately they also kill many GOOD bugs.  The same goes for in the garden, and because we don’t spray, we get lots of beneficial insects like praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs and the like.

Other friendly bugs (which are not bugs, they are arachnids) are spiders.  Wait a minute… SPIDERS!! ARRRGGHH! GET THE GUN! GET THE GUN!  Oh wait, no guns.  So OK, I don’t really freak out quite that badly.   In fact, spiders actually get a fair trial at our place. I’ve actually learned to appreciate the beauty in those little eight-legged alien beings. Being the organic gardeners that we are, the family has learned to respect beneficial bugs as a valuable resource. Yeah, I know. Spiders aren’t technically bugs. Tell that to your six year old and see how far you get!

Anyhow, spiders don’t strike terror in our hearts these days (ya, right). That statement is pretty much true, especially if :

A) WE KNOW WHERE THE SPIDER IS, AND

12) IT’S THERE WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE.

To explain item 12) above, I really need to come clean and admit that many spiders have been killed execution style simply by showing up near one of us by surprise.  But we really do try to save them if we can and I’ve even grown to the point where I can pick them up…sometimes. If they’re small enough.  But when those rascals are crawling on me unannounced, I have been known to do one of two things, either greet them with a sudden KERSMOOSH, or I do a most unusual running dance. I also chant while run-dancing:  “OGodHolyCowYoySpiderBig!!!” Or something like that.  As I said, spiders will normally get a fair trial at our house. When discovered, they are captured and released in the garden. Spider sightings have often caused the family to summon me with big voices. If Mr. or Mrs. Spider (How do you tell, anyway? Don’t EVEN ask me to inspect their private parts!) isn’t too large, I’ll scoop it into my palm and carefully encage it in my hand. I set them free behind the compost pile, or someplace where they can find cover. The big ones, however, are strictly jar material.

An excellent critter catching device can be built with a jelly jar and one of those ejector type cards from a magazine.  You know, the ones that fall out of a fresh-out-of-the-mailbox magazine when you’re on the potty.  They’re easily identified by their large bold print that goes something like:   “YES! Send me 956 weeks of Dirteaters Digest for only $34.67, $50 less than newsstand price!  If you don’t have a jelly jar, a drinking glass is also a good bug holder. Such a device is also useful for wasps, which are also beneficial critters. Woe unto the spider or wasp who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, though. Those guys get the old El-Kabong treatment. Know what you have then? Bug guts!  Ooo, ocky, yicky. Paper towel, please.

Sometimes rain has fostered a population boom of a garden pest that rhymes with bugs, SLUGS.  Those are NOT delicious!  I remember being totally intrigued by them when I was a kid:  “Wow!! A snail with no shell!!  Cool!!”    Now it’s:  “HEY!!  These *&%$ things are eating my plants!!  GET THE GUN! GET THE GUN!”  Oh right… no guns. Anyway, sticking to my organic ways, I won’t buy slug poison.  We saw some in the store and I wanted it badly.  Very badly.  But I figure there’s enough poison on our planet without me spreading more.

I heard years ago that beer will kill them.  You pour it into a shallow pan and put it on the ground, and the slugs are attracted and drown in it.  I reluctantly bought some a couple years ago for the first time ever in my new old life.  I say “reluctantly,” because before I learned my lesson, I’d already bought enough for one lifetime and I very nearly “drowned” in it… if you get my drift.  Now my oldness is new and I don’t allow beer (or any other intoxicant) into my body.  I’m allergic you see.  The stuff makes me break out in traffic violations. Anyway, the beer did work very well, but then I found a dead baby toad in the beer so I’ve quit using it in favor of sprinkling diatomaceous earth on and around affected plants. And of course if I find them I toss them out of the garden so they can feed on something else.

Anyway, sure, this organic gardening can be frustrating at times.  However, if you plan your garden carefully and encourage natural predators (beneficial insects and spiders), it is also very rewarding to grow food that you know is safe to eat.  And yes, of course I realize that slugs may rhyme with bugs, but they are not bugs at all, they’re gastropod mollusks. As far as I know, slugs have no natural enemies.

Well, maybe they have one:  ME.

Now I’ve never had any termite problems, but apparently Popeye has…

A Special Request

Many of my friends and family have been asking me, “How’s it going?” My answer: “Well things are RFW right now.” The reply is “What’s RFW?” And my reply is “Really F*%king Weird.” They know why that is of course… and because of that I hope they’ll all excuse the letting loose of some recycled nonsense for this week’s silly scribble. You see, I’ve been tringling lately, and of course that could be construed as something that never resembled a bowl of dust chowder hiding in my furnace pillows.

On the other hand, next time I see them, I think I’ll ask both of my grandsons to wash the kitty litter with toothpaste and Chicken Lamp Soup so we can all enjoy another car tasting contest. It takes a lot of skill to taste cars, especially when their eyes are shooting butter globs out of the tailpipe whistle.

Ah yes, good old tailpipe whistle globs. Aren’t those just wonderful on a nice piece of cracked clam shell toasting waffle? Yes, of course you do. In fact, I distinctly remember the time both of my shoes had broccoli oozing out of the chimney faucets. Those were simpler times when rabbits knew how to yodel much more quietly than they do on Sundays.

Please, do not put any more ketchup in my coat pocket.

I am still a bit wonky after my Beautiful Girlfriend flew off to Heaven; so I hope you will all coagulate my indivisibility regarding this short but sweet Happy Friday!!! thing that’s happening right here. So sweet is the shortness of this story that I’m going to march down those stairs (the ones that go from up here to down there) and offer a shiny new dime to the first pencil sharpener that is willing to amplify my nasal tentacles.

Of course, we must finish this silly story with a small space animal that can write its own name with the largest pile of applesauce this side of the Martian Mud Watering Festival. Small space animals generally have names like “Big Giant Tiny Guy” or “Totally Huge Very Little Donut Flattener.” I’ve never met any of these strange beings; possibly because I just invented them with my stainless steel curtain softeners.

Very well then. Please give Love to All You See; and try to remember ask them to Give Me Some Really Delicious Cake. Also, Ask Them Not To Capitalize Every Word In A Sentence; Because It’s Just Not The Way Squirrels Are Supposed To Explode.Thank you, and please feel free to use this special cheese to stay warm on those cold, steamy grocery store power tools.

It’s in the cheese drawer.


At this time I must force you to watch one of my very favorite cartoons. That is unless of course you choose not to do so.

One Week

So… my Beautiful Girlfriend left for The Great Beyond a week ago. OK a week and one day to be precise. Lots of people figured I’d be a complete mess without her… and I admit that my heart aches terribly. Lots of people have said “I’m sorry.” Lots of people have sent their love. And one friend in particular said, “I’m so sad for you.” Well I’m pretty sad too folks, but as I told my friend, I’m immeasurably grateful for the life we built together. Yes, I’ve cried my eyes out several times. One time in particular I cried very loudly and hard. My throat is still a bit sore. And yes, I was home alone so the only people who were affected by my outburst were Ivy Anne and Luna, our two kitties.

It’s OK, they still love me.

Grief mixed with gratitude has brought me a pretty decent helping of peace that surprises even me. I’ve even been able to be a bit silly and make friends laugh. I’m convinced my Honey Pie would want this for me. I know if the situation was reversed, I would be doing everything I could from The Other Side to lift as much sadness from her as I could.

Before she left, we actually focused on gratitude somewhat regularly. It’s a tool we acquired during our recovery from addiction that enabled us to enjoy each day, and especially the last of our time together. As her mobility waned, a successful evening often meant watching our favorite TV shows while stuffing our faces with chocolate goodies. As the end approached, one of my important jobs was to ensure there was a box of Good N Plenty available at all times. And when evening came, I’d prepare a dish of miniature chocolate bars, some peanut M&Ms and maybe some whoppers or some other chocolate remarkableness. I sometimes silently scolded myself for chocolating (Not a word? I don’t care!!) along with her, knowing that my britches would probably tighten a bit. But that never stopped me. I made the mistake of getting on the scale a few times during the many weeks of chocolate holy mackerel; but it was a small price to pay for keeping My Sweet Love’s sweet tooth satisfied.

“We are blessed,” was a common refrain. Because we are.

“Can you imagine trying to do all this horrible disease stuff while being homeless?” I asked her some months ago. I’m guessing the length of suffering might have been much shorter, as our ability to get medical care would have been challenging at best. I cannot bear to think about how homeless people suffer each and every day. I mean, my Lovely Bride and I had no debt, a nice home, plenty to eat, cars that work, and an amazing collection of family and friends with whom we share the joy of living. What more can you ask for?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

What came to mind for this week’s video was the song by Barenaked Ladies. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I loved their music when it first came around, even though the members of the group are neither bare, nor naked, nor ladies.

So here ya go.

A Very Short Lifetime

My best friend was whisked off to the Great Beyond yesterday. She also happened to be my Beautiful Girlfriend, my Soulmate, my Love. The People Upstairs (you know, those God people) put us together 52 years ago when we were 17 year old children. She allowed me to marry her when we reached the ripe old age of 19; and I will be forever grateful to have been blessed with over 50 years of wedded bliss.

My Sweetie was an amazing woman who powered through a long battle with idiopathic interstitial pulmonary fibrosis; a nasty lung disease that robbed her of so much. During her lifelong career in nursing she showed me how to care for others with excellence, empathy, and love. I’m convinced that her living examples literally taught me how to become her caretaker these past several years.

I’ll be honest, I’m a bit shell shocked. How can such an amazing lifetime with such an amazing person end so abruptly? Poor baby was in Hospice care for just a smidge over 40 hours; but thank God (whoever They are) we were able to get the meds to ease her journey into the Other Side. When we first met, we very quickly knew we were meant for each other. Our intimate spiritual bond gave us the fortitude to venture into life on our own as soon as we were legal adults. We pretty much literally grew up together; and seems like all the dreams and planning that went along with young love happened forever ago. On the other hand, our deep enjoyment of every moment we spent together made it feel like we just fell in love yesterday.

As youngsters, we partied like there was no tomorrow. After partying a bit too much; recovery taught us how to be grateful for each new day; and gave us the tools we needed to embrace (but not necessarily like) the changes her disease dished out to us. Friends would often be surprised when we told them, “In spite of all the bullshit, we are grateful and content most of the time.” And we were.

We were blessed by a visit with a local psychic back in April; and during the sessions we were told that My Honey Pie would be able to communicate with me easily from Heaven. Well guess what, she already has!! Numerous times, no less. I know this because when my mind is still I receive thoughts that I know are coming from her. I’d love to hear her voice and see her face; but hey, maybe later. I do know that she’ll be the first person I’ll be looking for when it’s my turn to cross over. It will likely feel like a rather long lifetime for me, but from what I’ve heard time is different over there. Guess I’ll just have to wait to find out.

I love you my dear. I’ll see you in my dreams. And then later in person!!

When Silly Jumps Out

Dear Snail Dance Participants,

There was once a time when I would sit for hours on end. Then I would stand up and realize my end was getting numb from sitting so long. This is no way to extract naturally sweetened stapler receptacles from small pink laboratory telephone handsets.

You may well wonder, “what the HECK-A-MA-ROONEY are you trying to say?? Anyhow??” Then again you may well not wonder that well at all. If you do enjoy going to the Wonder Well, you may have already noticed that this has absolutely nothing to do with the German Chocolate Cake that was left outside to shiver during that last forest fire that never happened in my back yard. On the other hand, you have a small insect crawling carefully away so as not to awaken the dreaded Ritz Cracker Ejection Robot.

Now I know that sometimes I may have been known to write completely silly things. There have also, of course, been other times when I was not known at all. Ah, those were the times… You see, there are things that make us cry, and there are things that make us wish cars would run on jelly beans. I prefer smiling over crying, although crying can be helpful if I need to wash my soul. After the soul washing, however, it’s time to get out the lint brush and get on with life as we know it here on Amplo-Snavorkey (that’s the Crelbian name for Earth, The Cosmic Dirt-Water-And-Air-Blob).

147 years ago, when I was still working, friends would receive a very strange Instant Message From Me, And Only A Few Words Would Be Capitalized. For Example, I’ve Been Known To Send Such Crazy Sentences As: “My ears are full of sand again. Can you please pass me the bread wrench?” That one just caused me to laugh at my very own writing, which may be cause for alarm.

No, I must say this about that: it would be much MORE alarming to go through life without laughing at all. Even though our world is being attacked by The Corona Monster, I’ve determined that I need to keep two things in mind:

A) I must always be grateful because I am blessed in so very many ways.

34) I must try my best to be happy (or at least pleasant) while I’m also being alive in this plane of existence, and

H2) I must never say I need to keep two things in mind when I really meant more than two; and of course

9x)  I sure do love those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Candy Things you can get at the store during The Great Anything Festival in the robust community of Milkwater Flatulence Ridge.

One thing I’ve learned during my 70 trips around the Sun is that people would really much rather be happy than sad. Therefore, I have tried my best to spread smiling on the walls of peoples toenails (and shoe horns) whenever the dog manure jumps out of the spider webs. Sometimes I tell a joke. Sometimes I make a silly face. Sometimes I dash into the kitchen and whip up some roasted kitty dander with a nice garnish of avocado pit puree. After 13 other methods of jocular animation my friends will have quietly left the building and I don’t have to worry about them being sad, at least not around me.

So my friends, as you can see, my brain still maintains a goodly amount of chowder dust in the depths of its ammonia flavored barnacle snack bars. Nothing that was written here tonight will ever have anything to do with Cream Of Flamingo Soup or any other nuclear missile lobotomy. All I ask is that if you are interested, please try to smile once in awhile. And if you can do that, please send one (or more) of the aforementioned smiles to a friend or even a stranger!

Sincerely Yours,

Hyram C. Gilmore

Captain of the Royal Licorice Cabbage Brigade
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OK, now for da cartoon thing.

Completely Untrue Yet Scientific Observations About Muskegon

Warning: This message contains nonsense and may destroy your porcupine salad.

———————————————

Hello My Dear Frame Handlers,

Although most crustaceans were not aware, I’ve lived in Muskegon for approximately 932. So I must say, thank you for visiting us while we were not at home. Perhaps you have never asked me, “How is Muskegon?? Anyhow??” So I’m probably not overdue for an answer.

So, just how IS Muskegon?? Or even better, where is Muskegon?? OK I will keep you in suspenders no longer: Muskegon is located directly near the area that is obscured by amplified latitude and longitude reverberation, which occur at least semi-annually in the deep dark continent of WatchyaDoin which of course is surrounded by the Sea of Magnetosis; directly south of Haliboocheny.

So how is Muskegon?? Oh wait, you already asked that. Well, here are some of my own scientifically based observations: Muskegon is like a chicken with no milk for cereal. All the trees are planted upside down and one has a difficult time finding shade under the roots that stick up in the air. The squirrels are very large and strong, which is partly due to their diet of car parts. Wild dogs run the streets in packs of 12 – 20 ounce containers. Cabbage hammers often get lost during their walk home from the movies.

Many small children grow their own toys.

You’d think that in a large town as small as Muskegon there would be a library and perhaps even a delicatessen. Well, unfortunately the only service provided here is curb dusting on Wednesdays between 12 a.m. and 12:03 a.m. So obviously there’s no delicatessen, but rather a small collection of street vendors who, for a small fee, will abstain from throwing long expired food at you while you walk along the freshly dusted curb.

All the fire hydrants have been painted with invisible ink. Nobody knows why, and now of course they cannot find any of them; so the 1973 Dodge Ram 1/2 ton Firetruck and its 14 man crew must rely on many reused bottles of Dasani and / or Aquafina for fire sprinkling enjoyment.

Muskegon prides itself on the “high quality” paving jobs of the city streets. The primary paving material is zebra mussels. The shells are crunchy and fun to drive on; and the bodies of the mussels are soft and gooey. Once a big layer of mussels is applied to the avenue, a steam roller flattens them to make Instant Road. Nose clamps are freely available at major intersections during “The Great Paving Festival” in early August. While they enjoy the festival, residents wear their nose clamps while singing that old time favorite paving song, “Holy Moly Bad Stink Oh My Gosh Wow.”

Well, I could go on and on, but then I’d soon be forced to join that self-help group, “On And On And On-Anon.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please, by all means, abruptly give yourself a swirly; and then think carefully about what it is you expect to hear from the likes of me.

Got it? OK, that’s fine. Please don’t ever again accuse me of refusing to disseminate this information.

Yours in Two Trains,

Gigglefoot B. Floopenhosen
a.k.a. “The Great Wide Giblet Hunter”

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School’s almost out!!

In Servitude To Felines

Once upon a lifetime all my living life from as long as I can remember until now, I’ve lived with cats. Domestic cats, of course. Nothing exotic like lynxes or leopards that some crazy people seem to think is OK. Of course there were dogs sprinkled in with the mix, but the cats far outnumbered them in our family. My Beautiful Girlfriend had a similar upbringing, although I’m not sure her family had as many cats as we did back in the day.

We love cats; and when we married and made our own home, my Lovely Bride brought her kitty NoName from Wisconsin to Florida where I was doing my Air Force thing. NoName ran away for two weeks shortly after we all settled into our apartment. That of course prompted us to answer an ad for “free Persian kittens.” Upon arriving at the “Persian” kittens’ home there was only one kitty left for adoption. Agrisby Anne, as we named her, was anything but Persian. More like a tortoise shell colored, short haired gremlin with fleas that were nearly as big as her. So we brought her home, got rid of the fleas, and did our best to satisfy her insatiable appetite.

Then NoName came home.

OK so now two cats. No big deal right? I mean, cats know where to go potty, and they don’t need you to go with them. They’re pretty independent creatures and we like that. And if you treat them right, they love to snuggle with you. We’ve always been the types to let them outside, but that has hazards; not the least of which is automobiles. And yes, we’ve lost some that way.

Fast forward many cats later, to autumn of 2022. Freddy the Freeloader, our last indoor / outdoor cat, died of natural causes. He was one very cool dude, a feral that My Awesome Sweetheart fell in love with as he roamed about outside our home. She started feeding him outside, and although I knew the end result, I resisted allowing him in the house since we already had two other cats and a dog. In those days he used a plastic kiddie pool we had leaning up against the back of the garage for shelter, and since we hadn’t seen him for a couple days we feared the worst. On my way out the door for work, I lifted up the kiddie pool to see if he was dead or injured and found he was very much alive, as he shot out of there like a rocket. After he slowed down a bit I saw that he walked like he was very drunk. I told my Amazing Best Friend, but since I had to skedaddle for work she was left with the time consuming chore of getting him into a carrier; and then whisking him off to the vet. The vet shot him up with antibiotics and told us to keep him indoors for a couple weeks; after which we let him out thinking we might not see him again.

Turned out Freddy liked our house and us enough to come back, and he was Mr. In and Out for 13 years with us. In fact, he was the last of the indoor / outdoor cats in our line of many, many others. Both of us, of course, were very saddened by the loss of our pal Fred. My Beautiful Honey Pie solemnly pledged, “I don’t want any more animals for a year!!” Within about 5 months we were knocking on the door of the Noah Project, a local no-kill shelter. After proving we were worthy, we came home with Ivy Anne and Luna. Ivy was about 14 months old, 2 of which were spent in the shelter. Luna was 6 when she was dropped off at the shelter, and stayed there for 10 months!! Poor baby.

We love these two rascals. They are indoor cats, an experience we’ve never dealt with before. And in our personal opinion, shelter cats are weird. We’d love to let them outside but both of them would be roadkill in nothing flat. And you know what else? The litter boxes fill up a lot faster. Huge surprise, right? Indoor / outdoor cats actually prefer to do their business outside… unless of course the weather is nasty.

Since my Lovely Lover is not really able anymore, I’m the Lone Cat Rancher these days. I feed the cats. I clean the shit box. I clean the water bowl. I wash the food bowls. Then comes the afternoon feeding. And evening. Then it’s time to clean the water box, feed the shit bowls, and wash the food all over again. And again. And again. Oh and not to forget trying to keep them amused with toys and play time! But due to our serious devotion as foster parents, we do all this with love.

Yes, we really do love our cats, but sometimes we wonder who’s really running the show.