Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LVI

One foggy morning Mogey and Smush were out in the barn milking the goats. Splish-splish went the foamy milk into the pail and Mogey and Smushed hummed their own private milking songs to themselves.

"Smush?" Mogey said after a while. "Do you ever wonder if there's something more?"

"You mean to life?" Smush asked, ducking his head beneath the udder of the cow he was milking.

"No," said Mogey, "not more to life, more in the udder! I always feel like we leave a few of the choicest drops in there!"

"Put down that bench vice!" Smush said sternly before Mogey could do anything. Mogey glared at him and tried to hide the clamp behind his back. "And now apologize to Spots Chamberlain!" Smush said, gesturing to the goat who was looking back at Mogey in a state udder fear.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LV

Some of the boxes down cellar had gotten terribly mildewy, and so Mogey and Smush were carrying the worst ones upstairs to the rubbish heap.

"This thing is unnatural heavy," Mogey said, grunting as he hefted a particularly mildewy cardboard box. "What in the world is in it?"

"Clay," Smush responded, a far off look in his eye. "It's 30 pounds of clay from that failed diorama I was building of the world spatzle-eating competition."

"Why, we can't throw this out!" Mogey cried. "That spatzle diorama was your life's work! You could still finish it!"

"Never," Smush said slowly, pointing a quivering finger in Mogey's face, "mention that spatzle diorama to me again."

Smush grabbed the box and stormed upstairs. Mogey took a moment alone in the basement then, to muse to himself about the pressures of the high level diorama world.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LIV

One spooky evening around twilight, Mogey and Smush were taking the shortcut home through the forest of Nirkle. Some said things grew in the Nirkle that were vestiges of time immemorial...others claimed to have heard the voices of long- or almost-dead ancestors whispering through the vines and leaves.

"Why do we even take this way?" Mogey asked as they ducked under the fallen trunk of a once-great polka plant. "We say it's a shortcut, but one of us always gets almost eaten by something or we get lost or whatever else, and it ends up taking just as long as the path through East Baconston, home of the bacon slushie."

"Don't be so dramatic, Mogey," Smush said. "Neither of us has come close to getting eaten the last 4 or 5 times through here, right? Mogey?" Smush looked around, and sure enough, Mogey was wandering away as though entranced. "What are you doing, Mogey?"

"See that flower there?" Mogey said, pointing toward a rather large sunflower with a 1,000 yard stare on his face. "I shall pluck it and give it to the Lady Dewdlee, and she shall fall madly in love with me!"

"Who the heck is the Lady Dewdlee?" Smush asked as Mogey reached for the flower. For one split second Smush realized it was a bit odd for a sunflower to grow in the deep dark woods of Nirkle but then an enormous plant mouth clamped onto Mogey from above and lifted him high into the air.

With a sigh Smush took out the lamp oil Molotov cocktail he always carried with him through the forest of Nirkle for just such an occasion. Smush lit the oil-soaked rag in the bottle's end and shielded his eyes.

"Fear me, sir plant monster!" he yelled as he threw. "For my name is Smush!"

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LIII

One day Mogey and Smush were moseying their way through a ditch beside the highway. They often moseyed through ditches in search of treasures, and this was prime ditch-moseying season: the height of summer, when the ditches were bone dry and everyone threw things out their carriage windows.

The pull had been relatively good so far that day: Smush had found a stuffed elk head with only one antler missing and Mogey a ziplock bag full of shampoo and seven empty cans of wild cherry pepsi. But nothing could have prepared them for what they would find next.

"Mogey! Look here!" Smush cried. Mogey jogged over to Smush's side and gasped with heavenly delight. Stuck in the dried mud were two of the most lovingly broken-in canes Mogey and Smush had ever seen.

"I'll call mine....the staff of Excelsior!" Smush said, holding his battered cane aloft triumphantly. "What'll you call yours?"

"Urt," Mogey replied with certainty. "Urt the Magnificent."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LII

Smush had done it again. Once every few weeks or so for the last year, he'd mistakenly shut the padlock on their outbuilding door and left the keys inside. Every time Smush did this, he and Mogey never realized the error until, of course, someone felt the need to enter the little building again, at which time they would repeat the same ritual: call up Carlos, the locksmith.

"Mornin' boys," said Carlos as he walked up from his van to greet a Mogey and Smush who appeared to have quite a bit on their respective minds. "Outhouse again?" he asked. Mogey and Smush nodded hurriedly.

"The sooner you can get that lock off, the better," Mogey said, wiping a drop of sweat from his brow.

"No worries, boys, I'll have that lock off in three shakes of a duck's tail," Carlos replied, hefting his lock cutters. He wasn't, coincidentally enough so much a locksmith as he was a man named Carlos with a van and a pair of lock cutters.

The three of them hustled round back, and true to his word, Carlos had the lock off before Mogey and Smush's duck, O'Mullen, could wag her tail three times. Mogey immediately hustled inside.

"Thanks again," Smush told Carlos as he handed him a crisp ninepence. "You know, Carlos, I was thinking, would you ever come see us if we didn't keep locking ourselves out?"

"No," said Carlos, "I don't believe I would. You really are two exceptionally strange people, aren't you?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LI

One morning Mogey and Smush were enjoying some hot porridge in their breakfast nook when a grasshopper came in through the window. Mogey, who was never one to mince words with a grasshopper, quickly speared it on his fork, cut it into 5 pieces, lightly seasoned it, and tossed it into his porridge. Smush looked at him with vehement disgust.

"You know Mogey," he said, "sometimes you are the most disgusting creature." And Smush took his porridge bowl and stormed from the room.

Mogey rolled his eyes to the ceiling, wondering what had gotten Smush all riled up this time as he crunched the grasshopper bits thoughtfully.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume L

Part I:

One early, early morning--perhaps it was even quarter to 7--Mogey and Smush awoke at the very same time. Now this wasn't the first time something of that nature had happened. There was, of course, the time they'd decided to split a fourth chimichurra from a street vendor named Emilio, and the food poisoning had struck them both simulaneously. There was the time they'd agreed to meet at the ice box at 12:01 AM to enjoy Welch's Juice Pops in honor of St. Bertram's Day. And who could forget the great squirrel stampede of '41, an event to which their home had borne extremely close witness.

On this morning, however, Mogey and Smush had awoken for a completely different reason. A train whistle had sounded just outside their house. In Mogey and Smush's experience, a train whistle was normally attached to a train, and, also in their experience, there was no train just outside their house.

So Mogey and Smush both stumbled from their respective hammocks and dashed to the veranda. Sure enough, smack dab in the middle of their back garden was a monstrous locomotive trundling along on tracks that had been built right through Smush's prize-winning petunias.

"Where did this train come from?" Smush yelled to no one in particular. A sooty-looking conductor stuck his head out the side window and looked around until he caught sight of Mogey and Smush.

"Just put in last night!" he said. "This here's the mango train from Calamoor...should be another one comin' about every two hours!"

"My word..." Mogey said, looking at Smush in mortal fear. "We'll never get a solid two and a half hour nap in again! What's to be done?"

Part II:

When last we left our heroes they were in the most peculiar conundrum of having a locomotive steaming through their back garden. A locomotive that hadn't been there before.

"Well," said Smush judiciously, "there are any number of ways we could handle this sitch-ee-ation."

"I know one!" Mogey shouted overjoyously. "I noticed the first train didn't have a cowcatcher on the front. If we go get Lemuel "The Buffalo" Barker over here and have him stand on the tracks, the train might get derailed. At the very least it'd be a very uncomfortable ride for a few seconds."

"That's a mighty fine plan, Mogey," Smush said, "except we wouldn't have Lemuel "The Buffalo" Barker to play on our Buck Buck team any longer. But we'll call that Way Number One. May I propose as Way Number Two that we pelt the engineer with all those funky cabbages that are starting to stink up the root cellar?"

"That might work," said Mogey, "but then what would we eat for dinner tonight?"

"True, true," said Smush with a sigh. Then an idea popped into his head like a spider monkey popping into a fig tree. That is to say, very loudly. "I've got it!" he yelled. "It's a plan so possible that it just might work." Mogey looked at him with great anticipation. "Way Number Three:" Smush said, "we let the train stay, but each night we snag a piece or two of cargo for our supper. It wouldn't really be like stealing because, well, they crushed my petunias for goodness sakes. I've already had 3 of the mangos that rolled off the first train...delicious!"

Before Mogey could respond, another train rumbled around the bend pulling a car from which eminated the most delicious combination of moos, oinks, and buhgocks either of them had ever heard.

"By gum you're right," Mogey said, licking his chops, "this train could be the greatest thing that's ever happened to us."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLIX

One day Smush awoke from his midafternoon nap and stumbled downstairs bleery-eyed to find Mogey hard at work making a mosiac in the kitchen sink.

"What are you doing, Mogey?" Smush asked. Mogey straightened up and stretched his hocks tiredly.

"I call it...Goose Gargantuan!" he said, gesturing grandly to the mosaic in the sink. Smush peered in and sure enough, there was a fabulous sculpture of a gladiator goose leading an entire army of geese-at-arms.

"Magnificent," Smush said. "And we'll really still be able to use the sink once you're done?"

"Oh no," Mogey said, "we can't scratch Goose Gargantuan. We'll have to wash the dishes in the pork defrosting sink."

"Well then how shall we defrost the pork?" Smush asked.

"Why do you think I intstalled the brand new shelf in the sauna?" Mogey replied.

"Gee whiz, Mogey," Smush said, shaking his head in awe. "I don't know how you do it. When it comes to thinking about culinary delights you are light years ahead of the rest of us."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLVIII

"Hey Smush," Mogey mused as they sat one evening on the screened-in porch. "If you were stranded in the middle of the deepest, hottest, most cameliest desert in all the world, and you could only have one item with you, what would it be?"

"No question about it," Smush said, after thinking for a moment. "I would bring a moist towelette."

"A moist towelette?" Mogey said incredulously. "You mean a diaper-wipe? Are you mad? Wouldn't you rather have a whole barrel of water?"

"Ah," Smush said, "but how would I wipe my mouth after I got done drinking from the barrel? You see, not only is the moist towelette moist, it is also a towelette."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLVII

One day Mogey and Smush were on a jaunt through the heath--the sort of jaunt you take when you've just consumed a very large pot of cream soup--when they saw something they'd only heard of in the most frightening of tales.

An old and muddy crone leapt with shocking agility from the peat bog just ahead of them and stood, blocking their path through the heath. She cackled loudly and began to sing.

Dumplings Dumplings
Dumpling Stew
I cook Dumplings,
Eat them too!

"No!" Mogey cried. "It can't be!"

"It is," Smush replied. "Tis the Dumpling Witch of Ipswitch. She'll make us eat dumplings til we can't stand up, and then feed us her famous cheese sauce! Run for it!"

And so Mogey and Smush broke into a full gallop, as the Dumpling Witch of Ipswitch chased after them, shrieking and showering them with delicious fresh dumplings from her dumpling satchel.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLVI

One day Mogey and Smush were sitting at the table enjoying a pair of bologna and watercress sandwiches for lunch.

"You know, Mogey," Smush said with his mouth so full that a small piece of bologna flopped onto his chin, "I've been thinking. Maybe it's about time we opened up our own belt making operation."

"And what makes you think we can make belts?" Mogey replied.

Smush tucked the rogue piece of bologna back into his mouth. "I know everything there is to know about belts," he said.

"Smush, in the entire time I've known you, I've seen you wear a belt a total of two times," Mogey said. "And both times you wore it on your head."

"I will not apologize for my kilts OR my sweatpants!" Smush shouted irately. "They are far more comfortable for a man with a portly disposition." And Smush leapt to his feet and began to stomp angrily around the island in the kitchen.

"Alright, Smush, I'm sorry," Mogey said. "Now come on, let's go down to the baker and have some fig tiddly oggys for dessert."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLV

Mogey and Smush were lazing about the house fairly bored one Tuesday when they thought they'd have a game of pogs. Smush grabbed his pog sack and Mogey grabbed his and they headed down to the Junior High School.

Round back by the dumpsters was the usual bunch of cut-ups playing conkers and knucklebones and, of course, pogs: king of playground games. Mogey and Smush sank into their pogstances and waited for a game.

After a minute or two, a brash youngster with buck teeth and holes in his stockings sauntered up and challenged Mogey to a pog-off. As a visitor, it was Mogey's honor to slam first, but his opponent did not follow the ancient ways. Before Mogey had even gotten into position, the ruffian had pulled out the most cruel looking slammer any of them had ever seen and thrown a perfect shot at the pile, flipping every last pog in his favour.

"I'LL KILL YEH, I WILL!" Mogey yelled as he lunged at the youth in a blind fury. But Smush caught him by his shoulders and held him back until his buck-rage had subsided.

"Ok, kid," Smush said, stepping forward. "How's about a rematch?" The kid nodded gingerly and crouched down to set it up. "Oh and kid?" Smush said. "This time, we're playing for slammers."

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLIV

"Mogey..." Smush said one morning as they sat at the breakfast table. "I've got a surprise for you." Mogey didn't say a word but his bottom crept to the edge of his chair and his spoon rattled in his hand. "Remember how we had to go into town for more turpentine this today?"

"Yehhhhhhhhhhs..." Mogey said excitely.

"Well let's just say we won't have to walk. I've arranged for us to borrow the neighbor's yak," Smush told him. Mogey leapt out of his chair, upending the table and spilling honey bunches of oats everywhere in his excitement.

"Stapleton? You got Stapleton?" Mogey shrieked. And he ran outside. Sure enough, standing in the front garden eating oats from his feedbag was Stapleton, the neighbor's broken down old yak. Mogey ran full speed and vaulted onto Stapleton's back, causing the ancient beast to wheeze like an old lady pulling rutabagas .

"Giyap, Stapleton!" Mogey yelled, and Stapleton plodded forward, taking a step every thirty seconds or so while Mogey bounced ecstatically on his back. Smush watched his friend ride Stapleton around the garden for a minute before heading back inside to clean up all those honey bunches of oats.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLIII

One scorching summer day Mogey and Smush were up on the roof throwing water balloons at innocent passersby. Smush had just flung a perfect balloon at the paperboy, causing him to lose control of his bicycle and swerve into the compost heap.

Mogey and Smush were still celebrating this epic toss when the greatest target either of them had ever seen came waddling up the street. The man (if you could call him that) must have weighed more than 25 stones and he was leash-walking six siamese cats.

Smush raised his arm to hurl the most menacing water balloon of all time, but Mogey stayed his hand. "Wait a moment, Smush," he said. "I've got something special for this behemoth."

Mogey produced a special balloon and pitched it in a perfect arc toward the fat cat man. The missile landed directly upon the back of one of the felines and exploded, showering man and cats alike with chive n' garlic flavoured cottage cheese.

"What was that?" Smush asked.

"I took it out of the icebox 3 days ago," Mogey said gleefully. "I call it...THE DROOGAN!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLII

Mogey and Smush were hurrying home down the old cart track one evening when they came across a bark peddler toting his little cart full of birch beer and canoe sidings.

"You'd better get inside quickly, if you can," Smush said. "There's a storm about to start any minute."

The peddler paused and sniffed the air. "Oi!" he said. "You two! Rain's coming. Ye'd better take shelter."

"I just said that," Smush said.

"Wassat?" The peddler replied, cocking his ear toward Mogey and Smush.

"We know it's about to rain," Mogey said loudly. "We saw it on the weather channel not fifteen minutes ago." The words were scarcely out of his mouth when a heavy rain began to fall as if someone had turned on the faucet. The peddler looked about sagely, and leaned forward as if to tell Mogey and Smush a great and terrible secret.

"Boys," he said, "a storm's a'brewin. I can feel it in my bones."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XLI

One evening Mogey walked in with an elderberry pie in one hand and a brand new invention in the other.

"What've you got there, Mogey?" Smush asked, taking off his spectacles and looking up from his racing form.

"I'm glad you asked that," Mogey said proudly. "They're my new invention: I call them rolly shoes!" And he flopped down a pair of loafers to which he had bolted small wheels.

", you say?" Smush replied, eyeing the pair of roller blades tucked into the corner that he'd gotten Mogey for his birthday a month earlier. They had yet to come out of the box.

"Aye, rolly shoes," Mogey said. "Now we can get down to the fishmonger's in half the time and bring back double the number of eel puddings."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XL

One rainy day Mogey and Smush were down by the pond doing a little fishing. The fish bit better in the rain, Smush always said, because underwater the rain sounded like bags and bags of jelly bears were being dropped from above, but there were never any jelly bears to be found, which is enough to make anyone hungry.

"Smush?" Mogey said quietly as the cast their jelly bear baited lines into the pond. "What's the difference between a newt and a salamander?"

"That's easy," Smush replied. "Newts usually wear hats, especially when they go to the supermarket, but salamanders think wearing a hat anytime is the height of rudeness."

"Wow," said Mogey, "I never knew that. You really do know pretty much everything, don't you, Smush?"

"Yep," Smush said as he sifted through their jelly bear bait bucket in search of a red one.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XXXIX

Mogey walked into the drawing room one afternoon to find Smush hard at work on an oil painting.

"What do you think?" Smush asked. "It's almost finished."

"Wow," Mogey replied, impressed. "This is really really good. Is that a famous donkey or do you know him personally?"

Smush's lip quivered ever so slightly. "It's not supposed to be a donkey," he cried. "It's a portrait of you!"

Mogey took one last appraising look at the painting and then pulled out his flare gun and launched one right into the face of his own donkeyish likeness. That was the last time Smush ever tried to paint Mogey, but it was the beginning of what art historians would later call his "donkey years."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XXXVIII

One day Mogey and Smush were walking along the dusty horse trail down the way, enjoying a couple of delicious sleeves of flavour ice. The flavour ice was from '42, an especially good year for flavour ice (and Mogey and Smush would know--they were the most prolific flavour ice connoisseurs in the district).

"Mogey?" Smush said as they walked. "Do you think it's really true that it takes 23 years to digest a piece of gum if you swallow it? Because neither of us will have any room in our stomach pretty soon if we keep playing '50 slice challenge' every night."

"Smush, look out!" yelled Mogey, and he pulled Smush back just in time.

For Smush had almost fallen victim to the infamous inch-deep Maccalister Tar Pits, the shallowist tarpits in all the land, which claimed dozens of sticks of flavour ice every year. And no one, least of all Mogey and Smush, likes a tar-covered flavour ice.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XXXVII

Mogey and Smush didn't have many close friends. The closest thing they had to a friend, in fact was a local bean farmer named Beansey. Mogey and Smush ate a LOT of beans, and so they'd become pretty close with Beansey over the years.

On the first day of summer Mogey and Smush skipped gladly down the lane to Beansey's farm when they encountered a most horrific sight. Beansey's bean farm wasn't a bean farm at all.

The beanstalks had been replaced by row upon row of corn. A sign above the gate now read Corney's Corn Farm. And out in the cornfield stood a scarecrow that looked suspiciously like Beansey

"I see you boys enjoying my new scarecrow," a drawling voice said. Sure enough, Mogey and Smush spun around to see Beansey's evil twin brother, Corney, striding in from the field. "Can I interest you boys in some corn?" he asked.

Mogey and Smush fell to their knees and screamed to the heavens as if trying to pull back their only sort-of friend.