Friday, September 4, 2015

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 650

"What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?" Mogey asked casually. The pals were playing two-on-two Scrabble: Mogey and a golden retriever disc jockey known as ScuttleMutt versus Smush and a dragon boxing champion called Teence Lancelittle.

"You know very well that my favorite letter is 'Q,'" Smush replied. "It starts out so many of my favorite words: quack, quilt, quince, quality foodstuffs. Why do you ask?"

"Because," Mogey said, leaning forward intensely, "we're going to beat you with a word that has at least five Qs in it. ScuttleMutt! Get out that dictionary and find me the most Q-loaded word in there. And make it a triple word score!"

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 649

"Do you think we can go to the coal car now?" Mogey asked for maybe the fiftieth time.

Smush sighed and put down his copy of Beef and Other Meat Wellingtons Weekly. "I suppose so," he said, "but you're not going to like it. Where you got this idea that you want to ride in a coal car is beyond me. Are you sure you're not thinking of the caboose? Or better yet, the dining car?" 

"Yeah! "Yeah! Yeah!" Mogey exclaimed. "The coal car: Second from the front, full of coal, a pleasure to ride in for man or mole."

"You say that like it's a well known verse, but I'm proof positive you invented it yourself," muttered Smush as the two pals made their way through the Bennington & Northern train. After passing through half a dozen cars, they finally emerged into the open air. Before them was a filthy, unadorned box of a train car, loaded about halfway to the top with sooty coal. 

"See, Mogey," Smush said. "There's nothing glamorous abou-- Mogey?" Smush spun around in a panic, only to see that Mogey had already hopped across the gap and was burrowing into the coal in a way that could only be described as "snuggling."

"Coal car," Mogey sighed, yawning deeply. "Coal caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar." 

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 648

Perhaps it was a coincidence, but anytime Mogey and Smush ate barbecue ribs, the subject of mortality seemed to come up.

"So," Mogey said around a mouthful of sweet, sweet St. Louis style, "if it had to end, how would you want to go?"

Smush peered around the epic pile of bones in the center of the table that would later be used for a game known as "pork jenga."

"'Tis an unpleasant subject, but I've always thought 'Killed by a Crocodile' would read nicely on a tombstone," he replied. "That's why I challenge Hambone the Croc - a notoriously sore loser - to a weekly arm rasslin' match. When the day comes that I finally pin him, it will be time. And yourself?"

"There's only one way Mogey's shuffling off this earthly coil. A fair maiden is captured by a dastardly kidnapper and taken the the tippy top of the water tower in Cliffburgh--"

"That thing must be 500 feet high!" Smush exclaimed.

"You're darn right," Mogey said. "Anyhow, I pursue the kidnapper to the tippy top, where I become locked in combat with his dastardly self. Only, I realize that there's no way I can win - he's just too strong for me. After assuring that the fair maiden is safe, I manage to latch on to the dastardly villain and send both of us tumbling over the edge. Now what the kidnapper (dastardly though he is) doesn't know is that I'm wearing a parachute."

"Wait a second, I thought this was supposed to be the way it all ended."

"Let me finish! I pull the ripcord, but it malfunctions, you see. Turns out, instead of packing the parachute, I've filled the bag with two full racks of these fine St. Louis style ribs. I finish all of them before impact. The end."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 647

Of all the games at all the fairgrounds in Tungleton-on-Gunk, whack-a-mole was far and away our heroes' favorite.

In the first place, as is evident from the town in which they lived, Mogey and Smush loved hyphens. Few carnival games offered as many hyphens in their names as whack-a-mole. And when you threw in the fact that the principal tool of whack-a-mole is a whack-a-mole mole-whacker, the game couldn't be beat.

In the second place, Mogey and Smush hated moles. Their beloved childhood dog, Chunko, had been killed by moles long ago. Well, he was killed by moles in the sense that moles dug the tunnels in which Chunko (who was slender of brains but not of tummy) got both inextricably stuck and hopelessly lost. Mogey and Smush had despised moles ever since.

In the third place, Mogey and Smush found mole a l'orange to be the most delectable dish in Tungleton-on-Gunk, and possibly in all of existence.

But Mogey and Smush had never won a game of whack-a-mole. They'd come close one afternoon when a light rain slowed the moles' reaction time, but even then, they'd been foiled.

Today, however, they decided to win at all costs. They had devised a mole-whacker of such epic proportions that no mole could hope to escape un-l'oranged. But though their mole-whacker covered three-quarters of the whack-a-mole board, still moles continued to pop up, taunting the pals with their clever, delicious-looking faces.

Finally, in frustration, Mogey dropped the mole-whacker and leapt into one of the mole-holes, getting stuck partway through just like Chunko all those years ago.

"Hey!" Mogey shouted as Smush tried to pull him out by his ankles. "These moles are just plastic! They'd make a mediocre mole a l'orange at best."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 646

One warm summer evening, as the fireflies floated aimlessly, the polecats sneaked furtively, and a lone, moony toad dreamed of winning the 100-Meter Hop, Mogey sat by the fire pit, toasting marshmallows. Being a connoisseur of fine cuisine, Mogey was far more concerned with the toppings he added to fully toasted marshmallows than he was with the mallows themselves. So though he had but a few meager sticks on the fire, the picnic table was spread with an incredible array of so-called toppings, from caramel sauce and hot fudge to crushed cheez-its and an entire Hawaiian pizza.

"Ah," said Smush, wandering over from the hammock he'd strung between two ancient statues of trousers. "I was wondering where my bucket of chicken wings ended up."

"The honey barbecue ones are particularly tasty on top of a fresh-toasted mallow," Mogey replied.

"True, but this fire is pitiful! You'll never cook your mallows through on that thing."

Mogey simply shrugged and swept his arm toward the smorgasbord atop the picnic table. Smush sighed a weary sigh and trudged in the direction of their homestead's armory. "You know, Mogey," he said, "Uncle Herman was wrong about herring-scented candles and he was definitely wrong about his ability to fight that ostrich warrior who came to town, but he was right about one thing: If something's worth doing, it's worth doing with a flamethrower."

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 645

"What do you think of this bouquet?" Mogey asked nervously. "It has to be perfect - I've been waiting my whole life for a chance to go on a date with Miss Molly MacFluffernutter."

"Oof, Mogey. That bouquet is uglier than that piglet who was born with a human nose," Smush replied, for he too was secretly in love with Miss Molly MacFluffernutter.

"Uglier than Slinky the Pig?" Mogey gasped. "Smush, you have to help me!"

"Well, first off: The daffodils send totally the wrong message. Are you looking to take her to dinner or back in time to the age of the dinosaurs? And tulips? Come on, Mogey, you're not Tad Khan, boy millionaire. The daisies come on too strong. The lilies don't come on strong enough. And the baby's breath is flat out disgusting."

"But if I take all of those away, I'm only left with a single stinkblossum flower!"

"Exactly," Smush said sagely. "Keep it simple - she'll love it." With that, Smush guiltily ushered his best pal out the door and watched him saunter down the road, stinkblossum in hand....

Many hours later, Smush was awakened by the sound of an extremely smitten Mogey bursting into his study. "You were right!" Mogey hollered. "She loved the flower!"

"She... did?"

"She did! We're going out again next week... to my two favorite places: Cluckie's Chicken Shack and Legoland," Mogey said, swooning dramatically onto Smush's desk. "And it's all thanks to you - she was so impressed that I brought her a flower that perfectly matched my cologne!"

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 644

Mogey and Smush crashed through the tall grass, their arms clutching golden candlesticks, jewel-encrusted meat thermometers, and all manner of other ludicrous treasures. When they finally emerged into a clearing before the entrance to their secret cave, both pals were gasping for air.

"Open Sesame!" Mogey wheezed, but the door hidden in the wall of stone didn't budge.

"You changed the password, remember?" Smush said.

"So I did... Open Licorice!" Still the doorway did not emerge.

"Hurry, Mogey - the sultan's soldiers will be here any minute!"

"Open Bacon! Open Butter Brickle! Open Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese! Shoot!" Mogey exclaimed. "I know it was one of my favorite foods."

"But that's all of them!" Smush said desperately as the hoofbeats of a dozen soldiers mounted upon mighty steeds (horses, probably, or perhaps large pigs) thundered in their ears. "Every food is your favorite food!"

"Too true, Smush," Mogey replied, taking one last long gaze at a toilet brush adorned with rubies and emeralds, "too true."

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 643

After Mogey and Smush saved the life of Earl Earlington, Earl of Earlham, Lord Earlington insisted that the two pals spend a holiday in his Earldom. Mogey and Smush were hesitant, in the first place because they were worried about the midnight snacking policy in a place as proper as Earlham Castle, and in the second place because the only reason Lord Earlington had needed saving was that they had summoned the evil spirit Choo Choo Magoo in an attempt to win a dance-off. Choo Choo was malicious, but he was also one heck of a dancer, and Mogey and Smush were desperate. When the dance-off ended with Mogey, Smush and Choo Choo victorious, the ghoul then attempted to devour the judges (of whom Lord Earlington was one) whole, and was only stopped when Mogey and Smush used a serviceable imitation of his arch nemesis, Enormobrawn Ironpants, to distract him.

Anyhow, the lure of whole roast beasts of many species overcame Mogey and Smush's guilt, and they took Lord Earlington up on his offer. Sure enough, they learned that midnight snacking was discouraged at Earlham, which was how Mogey and Smush found themselves creeping through the darkened castle in search of the kitchens.

Multiple minutes into their search, as the rumblies in their respective tumblies reached a deafening level, Mogey and Smush came upon a balcony that looked out into the Great Hall. They could see the entrance to the kitchens, but the floor lay 50 feet below, with no easy way down.

"I know," Mogey whispered. "We'll slide down the tapestry like the secret agents do! I've seen it a hundred times."

"You mean this priceless tapestry that Lord Earlington said has been in his family for several hundred generations?" Smush asked. Mogey nodded. Both of their tumblies rumblied audibly. "What choice do we have?"

Each pal grabbed one side of the immense tapestry that hung below their balcony, swung their legs over the railing, and began to shimmy down hand over hand. Almost immediately, the fabric began to rip apart, and with a wrenching sound, the whole tapestry tore in half, sending Mogey and Smush tumbling to the floor. Smush groaned and propped himself up on one elbow, gazing up at the 50-foot-long tear.

"Let's get to the kitchens, grab some dunkaroos and a staple gun, and get to work, Mogey," he said. "It's going to be a long night."

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 642

"How sure are you that it's safe?" Smush asked Mogey as the two pals gazed up at their new tree fort. Mogey had spent fifty painstaking minutes assembling the building - which took up the top third of a mammoth redwood tree out back - out of particle board, packing tape, and that multicolored clay that you buy in arts & crafts stores. Mogey loved arts & crafts stores.

"I'm positive," Mogey replied. "There's a better chance of someone not smoking a pipe calling you 'old bean,' than of this tree fort falling apart. Has someone not smoking a pipe ever called you 'old bean?'"

"Of course not - what would he tap thoughtfully on his chin? His walking stick? I think not."

"Precisely," Mogey said. "Now watch me: I'll show you just how safe this fort is." He leapt onto the rope ladder with the grace of a baby whose diaper is too tight and began to climb. When he reached the halfway point of the 80-foot climb, the tree fort completely imploded, showering the area with potato chips and dippin' sauces, and sending the ladder plummeting earthward.

Luckily, the globose Mogey was an extremely bouncy fellow, and he absorbed the force of his fall with only a mild look of annoyance as he rebounded back into the air. Impatiently, he waited for the bouncing to subside while Smush scurried around the forest floor in search of chip crumbs.


Friday, August 1, 2014

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 641

Mogey and Smush met for the first time in the crowded cafeteria of St. Pumpernickel's School for Troublesome Lads on a gloomy day long ago. Smush was about to chomp into a pickled beef sandwich when he heard a grunt across the table that - at first - he assumed had come from a stray pygmy hippopotamus, of which St. Pumpernickel's had many.

"Oy," said the grunter, who was of course our old friend Mogey, "I'll trade you this jar of cabbage'n'stuff for your fruit-by-the-foot."

Smush paused mid-bite, a feat more uncommon than lightning striking twice and then issuing a formal apology for overzealousness.

"How about my cold guinea fowl leg for your butterscotch pudding cup?" he replied.

And so ensued a half hour of fierce negotiations, mediated by a stern, but fair, third party: Billy "Li'l Baaaa" Goatherd. When it was over, Smush had acquired two strips of bacon, a magnetic checkers board, a pile of candy corns, a pog slammer shaped like a cobra skull, and a hefty slice of turkey pie. Mogey, on the other hand, had gained the fruit-by-the-foot, a year-old Highlights magazine, the alleged key to the school's alleged chicken coop, and some jerky of unknown origins.

"I believe this is the beginning of a long and prosperous friendship," said Smush with a wide grin.

"Whatsat?" Mogey sputtered. He glanced up quickly, then resumed trying to suck butterscotch pudding through a rolled up fruit-by-the-foot.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 640

One evening, Mogey and Smush were headed home after playing an invigorating whist tournament against the likes of Rupert Grandiose, tortoise historian and a troll named Beastly. As they passed a local establishment known as The Horse and Corncob, Mogey paused.

"You know," he said, "this establishment would be the perfect establishment for some mountebankery."

"Some what?" Smush inquired.

"You know, a swindle. A charlatan's quackery."

"I feel sure that you don't know what any of those expressions mean," Smush asked. "You think they're some kind of food, don't you?"

"No...."

"Yes you do, you think they refer to a savory pastry involving apples, bacon, and possibly a duck."

"Well, don't they?" Mogey replied pleadingly as his tummy growled with the power of a trash compactor crushing two dozen short tons of stale graham crackers to a delicious powder.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 639

One afternoon, Mogey returned home to find his best pal Smush shaping a big pile of mud in the front yard.

"Welp," Smush said, with a sigh of satisfaction. "It's finished."

"What's finished?" Mogey inquired.

"This!" Smush cried, pointing violently at the pile of mud. Mogey could tell Smush was devastated by the question, mainly because he began filling his hat with mud in a despondent manner.

"Oh of course," Mogey said, "this... sculpture..." Smush's ears pricked up, "of... me?" Smush nodded expectantly. "And... you? Riding a... hawk?"

"It's actually a falcon," Smush replied smugly. "But I wouldn't expect a novice in both mud art and ornithology like yourself to know the difference."

That day and every Tuesday afterward, Smush came back out to the garden under cover of darkness and gave his mud sculpture a single, prideful pat on the head, the kind of pat a man gives to the best chimichanga he's ever made and then eaten in a single bite.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 638

"How was your day, Moge-man?" Smush asked as he sat down next to his pal one evening at the local sodey fountain.

"Pretty good," Mogey replied. "I met Count Chocula."

"How did that happen?"

"Well, I was feeling a bit more peckish than usual so I ate twelve bowls of cereal in a row. At about the ninth bowl I began to hallucinate, and by the twelfth, Count Chocula himself paid me a visit. We went rollerblading together through his chocolately palace and he busted a gnarly misty flip off one of the buttresses."

"Ok...."

"What, is there some other way to meet Count Chocula?" Mogey demanded.

"I was thinking you met, like, a guy in a foam costume," Smush said.

"He duped me, didn't he? That Transylvanian trickster! I kept telling him, 'I'm imagining this,' and he would always say, 'Relax, guy, have another pudding pop and some chocolate milk.' Such shenanigans will not stand! I'll get you for this, imaginary Count Chocula!"

"Oh boy..."

"I'll get youuuuuuuu!" Mogey howled into the night.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 637

"I bet I can do more chin-ups than you," Smush said randomly as the two pals were both filling out their income tax returns with crayons. Smush had chosen a periwinkle-colored crayon. Mogey, of course, was using burnt sienna.

"I bet you can't," Mogey replied.

"Well, I suppose we'll need an impartial judge," Smush announced.

Two days later, Mogey and Smush found themselves in Frau Pferdefleish's barn, warming up their muscles and getting just the right amount of chalk onto their hands.

"Take your places," said Fashionisto Buck, the agreed-upon impartial judge. Despite his commitment to neutrality, Buck had accepted many, many bribes from both Mogey and Smush over the last two days. So many, in fact, that he'd forgotten who was ahead and become impartial once more.

Mogey and Smush crouched below two of Frau Pferdefleish's many chin-up bars.

"Ready? And... go!" shouted Buck.

Mogey and Smush leaped up to grab hold of their respective chin-up bars and strained mightily. To the naked eye - and even the modestly clothed eye - neither of them appeared to gain any altitude whatsoever, but Buck raced back and forth, making precise chalk markings on the barn wall before each of the deflated pals fell to the floor in a heap.

"I definitely beat you!" Mogey yelled breathlessly.

"No chance," Smush disagreed. "I made it at least one sixteenth of an inch!"

The pals looked at Fashionisto Buck expectantly, as he took careful measurements with a slide rule.

"Sorry," Buck said finally, "but the height of both chin-ups is almost undetectable. I'd need a vernier caliper to call this anything other than a draw."

"Well it just so happens," Mogey proclaimed slyly, as he reached into his back pocket, "that I brought a vernier caliper for this very reason."

"That's a charleston chew," Buck said. He looked down at the candy bar in confusion. "Is this supposed to be another bribe?"

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 636

One afternoon, Smush was shearing his sheep, Godzilla, when Mogey walked into the sheepfold wearing one sweatband on his head, four on each arm, and two around his ankles.

"Anyone for tennis?" he asked.

"No!" Smush replied. "And I could really use your help shearing Godzilla!" The sheep, who (unbeknownst to Smush) had worn an embarrassingly old set of underpants under his wool coat that day, was wriggling like mad.

"Well, you think pret-ty highly of yourself, don't you?" Mogey asked Smush. "I was talking to Godzilla."

"Fine - just take him," Smush said with a sigh. "He's being a pain in the neck today, anyway."

"Phew!" exclaimed Godzilla, tugging his partly-sheared coat over his bottom as he trotted off to grab his racket.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 635

One fine summer evening, Mogey and Smush were walking through the county fairgrounds. Mainly, they were trying to execute a long con that would result in a lifetime supply of funnel cakes for each of them, but in the meantime they were taking in the sights.

"Step right up, heya! Step right up and find out what breed of dog you'd be," shouted the hawker of a carnival game. He wore a top hat and, bizarrely, a pair of women's silk pajama pants. That was all. "Step right up, I say!" he continued, pointing right at Mogey. "You, suh! I'll tell ya what dog most closely resembles your personality, see? Only two bits!"

Mogey never could turn down a hawker who pointed directly at him, so step up he did. The carnie sat him down on a battered wooden stool and looked deeply into his eyes.

"Easy one," he said. "Dachshund."

"A wiener dog?" Mogey exclaimed. "How dare you?"

"Yes indeed - of all the dogs in the animal kingdom, wiener dogs are the most gullible, see? Plus there's the obvious physical resemblance. That'll be two bits!"

"Ooh! I'm next!" shouted Smush. "Do mine!" When he'd collected his two bits from a reluctant Mogey, the carnie sat Smush down on the stool. He looked at Smush for a long time, and his expression grew more and more dismayed.

"I'm sorry," he said, finally. "But your dog equivalent is too grim. I just... can't. No charge."

"What in the world?" Smush replied. "What could possibly be that bad?" But the carnie simply stood and packed up his stall without another word.

"Don't worry about it, Smush," Mogey said, slapping his pal on the back. "I'm sure you were just a demonically possessed scotty dog who's going to bring about the Rapture or something. Now come on, we're well behind schedule on this funnel cake heist."

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 634

Mogey and Smush had just returned home from a long day of teaching middle school gym. Mogey flopped onto the couch, raising a cloud of middle school locker room scent, while Smush peered into the icebox in search of a snack.

"You want a yogurt, Mogey?" he asked. "That's what I'm having."

"Is it fruit-on-the-bottom?"

"Yes."

"Ick!" Mogey exclaimed.

"I think I might have a few with the fruit mixed in somewhere..." Smush said, rummaging around some more.

"Bleghh!" Mogey replied, looking even more disgusted.

"Well what are you after then? Fruit on the top?"

"Smush, let me make one thing perfectly clear: If you suggest one more yogurt topping that doesn't start with an 'h' and rhyme with 'got pudge,' I'm going to be sicker than an old racist dolphin watching his granddaughter kiss a sea lion."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 633

Smush was partial to a good rocking chair. Mogey was more of a barcalounger fan himself, but because he was a good friend - and because he hadn't been out of the house in nearly a fortnight - he accompanied Smush down to Rockin' Robin's Chair/House Warehouse.

With very little help from the shop owner, Robin, a sneaky little man who looked more like a leprechaun than at least three leprechauns Mogey and Smush knew personally, the pals finally made it to the rocking chair section.

Smush apprehensively lowered his peach cobbler-enhanced bulk into the first chair, which creaked ominously, though apparently not ominously enough for Smush.

"I like it," he said, rocking thoughtfully back and forth, "but it's just not quite spindly enough for me. I like a rocking chair with elegant, slender woodwork."

They moved on to another chair whose rockers were so slim that they looked as if they would have difficulty holding up an ultramarathoning baby in a helium diaper. Smush sat down with an even louder creak, but once again shook his head.

"Still not spindly enough?" Mogey asked.

"Not quite," said Smush.

Finally they found the least sturdy-looking rocker in the entire chair/house warehouse, a high backed number that may have been made from chickadee bones and balsa wood. Smush sat gingerly, producing the loudest, longest creak they had heard all day. But the chair held. A grin spread across Smush's face.

Suddenly an overhead trap door opened, pouring a dozen jumbo-sized watermelons onto Smush's head and lap and sending him sprawling as the chair splintered into literally billions of pieces.

"Ha-ha!" shouted Robin, the diminutive store owner. "Another classic misdirection from Rockin' Robin!" He danced away merrily, clicking his heels and stealing hats from several small children.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 632

"Have you ever wondered," Mogey murmured as he swept the remnants of his dinner plate into a paper bag beneath the sink (all that remained were two limp string beans that hadn't gotten a proper dose of butter), "what happens to all of our trash?"

"No," Smush replied. "I know exactly what happens to it."

"I've always imaged that there's some sort of fairy... no, more of an ogre - a trash ogre - who comes to pick it up--"

"It just goes into a big pile next to Barnaby Johannson's latrine - you'd know that too if you ever took the trash out."

"--the ogre loves trash far more than new items, you see, and he builds things out of it," Mogey continued dreamily. "Breadcrust boats and yogurt cup castles and wax paper kites. Can't you just see it now? An ogre flying a kite made of crumpled old wax paper?"

"I've got to hand it to you, Mogey, you're always full of ideas," Smush said. "But I once owned a parrot who was full of ideas too...."

"And?"

"Remember that time we had parrot turnovers garnished with parrot beak?"

"Oh my, yes," Mogey said. "Those were delicious! Savory and sweet all at once."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 631

Mogey and Smush's wagon had broken again, so they brought out their cantankerous old team of oxen and hauled it slowly down to Warren Syrup's Tampa Bay Wagoneers, a wheelwright's shop down in the village. It was a trip they always dreaded, because Warren Syrup reminded them that they didn't know diddly about wagons.

"What seems to be the trouble this time?" Warren boomed as he noticed the familiar sight of Mogey and Smush's doleful oxen.

"The front right wheel won't turn," Smush replied.

"And our rear axle is wobbling something awful," Mogey added.

"Let me take a look here," said Warren. He crouched to get a closer look at the wagon, punctuating his inspection with several hmmm's and a few ah-ha's. "I've identified the problem," he announced after a few moments. "The spokes on the front right wheel appear to be made out of uncooked spaghetti, so that'll have to go. As for the rear axle, well, it doesn't exist. The wagon box is just sort of... leaning... on the wheels."

"Thus explaining the wobbliness," Mogey interjected knowledgeably.

"Will it be expensive to fix?" Smush queried.

"Phenomenally."

"And - on a related note - what's the plan for that spaghetti you're removing?" Mogey asked.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 630

"Oh, look! They have ping pong!" Mogey exclaimed as he and Smush strode into the local YMCA (Young Meddlers' Crouton Abomination) for the first time.

"You're right," Smush replied. "Let's have a game, eh?" He selected a red and black paddle from the rack, but Mogey simply walked to the other end of the table. "Say, aren't you going to get a paddle?" Smush asked.

"No sir - I prefer to play barehanded," said Mogey. "And my new pals here think that's pretty cool."

Sure enough, Mogey seemed to have acquired three min-pins, a talking chinchilla, and an obese fellow wearing a batman cape. All five of them had gathered on Mogey's side of the ping-pong table and were staring at him in awe.

"Suit yourself," Smush said. He bounced the ball a few times, then tapped a serve over the net. Mogey hauled back and smacked the ball with his palm, sending it flying past Smush's head without coming anywhere near the table. He raised his arms in victory and fell backward into the arms of his wildly cheering fans.

"You know, Mogey, the ball has to bounce off the table to score a point..."

But Mogey, the three min-pins, the talking chinchilla, and the obese fellow in the batman cape ignored him and walked out of the room singing, "campeones, campeones, ole ole ole! Campeones, campeones, ole ole ole!"

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 629

"Do me a solid, would you, Smush?" Mogey asked, bustling into the smoking room with his arms full of brochures to various roller skating rinks.

"What do you need?"

"Call the clockmaker and tell him we need him here by five this afternoon at the latest."

"Oh - did your clock break?" Smush queried.

"No, but can't that guy do anything except fix clocks?" Mogey demanded. "I'm trying to set up an ungodly number of dominoes on the staircase tonight, and I'll need an assistant with a hunch back and a steady hand."

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 628

No one had ever come so close to completing the El Dorado Pizzeria Impobstacle Course before. Smush had stunned onlookers with his ability to swim leisurely across the pit of molten lava. He had amazed them when he literally hoisted the main gladiator, Brutalator, on his own petard. He had even inspired tearful surprise at an obstacle called the Poetry Guillotine when he recited a moving soliloquy from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

"Ok, Smush!" Mogey called from the sidelines. "Only one obstacle left, and it's the easiest of them all! You just have to hop onto that six-inch-high platform and hit the red button. C'mon, buddy, win us that medium pepperoni pizza!"

"What do you mean, 'hop?'" Smush asked, examining the platform.

"Just jump up there, two-footed. Like a bunny! Or a kangaroo! Or Pepe Le Pew!"

"I don't know how to do that...."

"Come on, Smush, stop fooling around!" Mogey cried desperately. "Time is running out!"

Smush tried several of the most uncoordinated hops in Impobstacle Course history before finally falling flat on his face as the clock expired.

"Nooooooo!" Mogey howled, falling to his knees. "Our pizza!"

"I knew he didn't have it in him," muttered Brutalator from the top of his petard.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 627

"Ahoy, Mogey!" Smush said as he came inside and stamped the snow off his boots. "What did you get up to this fine day?"

"Not too much," Mogey replied, rolling out of his hammock with a thunk. After more than a dozen attempts at exiting the hammock gracefully, he'd resorted months earlier to padding the landing with a bed of stolen ketchup packets and using a barrel roll technique to escape.

"Didn't you do anything productive?" Smush asked disdainfully.

"Of course I did," Mogey replied with a frown of resentment. "I made the most realistic looking plate of play-doh spaghetti you ever saw. It looked so good that I offered Ferdie a bite to see what would happen; he ate the whole thing before I could stop him!"

"Ferdie... our prize hertfordshire pig?"

"Yes. On a related note, I hope you're in the mood to have blue-tinged porkchops for dinner."

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 626

One day - an otherwise peaceful, random day - Smush heaved an exasperated sigh, threw down his pitchfork, and stormed out of the donkey barn. Mogey followed quickly, partially to see what was the matter with his pal, but also because Smush had left the door ajar, and Lord knows what kind of mischief those clever, clever donkeys could get up to if they escaped.

"I've had it!" Smush exclaimed when Mogey found him. "All this business of mucking donkey stalls - I can't do it any longer!"

"Well we could muck the cow stalls for a while if you like...."

"That's not what I mean. I want something bigger, better... I want to be a scientist!"

"What sort of scientist?" Mogey queried.

"You know, one of those scientists who spends all day witnessing and authenticating the execution of contracts, preparing documents, taking affidavits, and using a heck of a lot of rubber stamps," Smush said. Mogey stared at him blankly. "Is that not what a scientist does?"

"No...."

"What's that person called, then?" Smush asked.

"A notary?" Mogey replied. "I think?"

"That's the one," Smush murmured dreamily, "and one of these days, I will be a notary!"