Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXVIII

One evening Mogey was sitting in at the kitchen table reading the funnies when Smush returned from a day's fishing at Corkle River, bringing wih him a brace of bluebelly trout. Smush plopped his catch down in the fishkettle and sank into a chair to pull off his muddy boots.

"Hey Smush," Mogey said, "want to play a game I made up today?"

"Certainly," Smush replied. "How do we play?"

"Well it's a variation on hot potato," Mogey started, stumbling over his words with excitement. "I've been thinking about it all day but we made need to make some slight adjustments to perfect it. The way we play is, we get a potato--just like in hot potato, mind you--and we toss it back and forth without ever heating it up."

"Is that...all?" Smush said. Mogey nodded eagerly. "What do you call your new game?" Smush asked hesitantly.

"Why, 'Cold Potato' of course!" Mogey answered.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXVII

Mogey and Smush had a termite problem, and so they did what everyone in the village did when they had a termite problem: they went to see the Medicine Man, Steve. Medicine Man Steve's front room was empty as Mogey and Smush sauntered in, so his secretary ushered them back into the deep dark depths of his meditation chamber.

"Hiya fellas!" M.M.S. said cheerily as they entered. "What can I do for you?"

"We have a problem with the termite nests under our front porch," Mogey began.

"Ah-ha!" Steve interupted. "Termites...say n'more, say n'more. The way you want to handle termite nests is, you take some lighter fluid, see? And you cover the nest with a nice even coat."

"Wait, lighter fluid?" Smush asked. "Won't that ruin the flavor?"

"The flavor?" Medicine Man Steve asked. "The flavor of what?"

"The termites of course," Mogey replied, "we wouldn't want our termite pie with the crispy crumbly topping to taste like lighter fluid. Our problem is getting more termites out...the nests seem to be running a bit low."

"Did you say...termite pie with crispy crumbly topping?" Medicine Man Steve said with a shocked expression. Mogey and Smush nodded eagerly. "My goodness!" M.M.S. continued, grabbing his coat. "There's no time to waste. I haven't had a termite pie in ages, and one with crispy crumbly topping in even longer than that!"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXVI

Mogey and Smush bushwhacked through jungle-like undergrowth as they made their way toward the greatest rope swing in all of Caple County. Smush led the way, armed with his machete and safari hat, and Mogey brought up the rear, trying his best to cover their tracks for no particular reason at all.

Finally they reached the swing, and it was decided by the fates of odds and evens that Smush would swing first, so Mogey scrambled down the verdant slope to check if it would be safe to land in the winding river below.

"All clear down here!" he yelled up. "She's as deep as I've ever seen!"

Smush swung out high as he could, releasing the rope at the very pinacle of its swing. Down, down, down he fell, until finally he landed with a loud goopy Plop! in waist deep mud. He struggled to his feet, clawing mud out of his eyes and staring up at Mogey.

"You were right!" Smush called excitedly. "It's the deepest, most silky smooth mud I've ever landed in!"

"Yes!" Mogey yodeled back as he gripped the rope in preparation to jump. "Mogey's turn for muddy glory! Tally hoooo!"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXV

One evening just when the regular flies were starting to turn in and the fireflies were beginning to come out Mogey and Smush were sitting in their gum tree. Two things are always true when a couple of pals decide to sit in a gum tree. Number 1: the tree will be old. Number 2: the pals will be chewing gum.

So it was with Mogey and Smush on this pleasant evening. Their gum tree was the most ancient plant in the entire orchard, and Mogey and Smush both had wads of gum the size of oranges in their mouths.

"Oh no!" Mogey said all of a sudden. "I've swallowed my gum!"

"What's the problem?" Smush asked. "We're sitting in a tree full of the stuff."

"But it'll take seven years to digest!" Mogey shouted. "I'll be ruined! Imagine where I could be in seven years if I didn't have to concentrate on digesting this awful slice of gum!"

Just then, the branch of the old gum tree upon which Mogey sat collapsed. Mogey fell to the ground and landed flat on his back, causing the offending wad of gum to fly out of his mouth with a whoosh of air. Mogey immediately leapt to his feet and began to perform a dance known as the "celebration shimmy."

"Congratulations, Mogey," Smush said. "What are you going to do with your extra seven years?"

"Toss me down another hunk of gum!" Mogey shouted. "I ain't going nowhere!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXIV

One afternoon when it really wasn't any season at all, Mogey and Smush were ambling down to the bakery for fresh-made popovers when they encountered one of the most annoying fellows in all the village.

"Good morrow Masters Mogey and Smush!" the vexatious gentleman said, poking his head out the shop door. "Could I interest either of you in a lovely hairpiece today?"

Wigsy Wigguns, the toupee maker, had the bad luck to establish his business in a town with a peculiarly low number of bald men, and that peculiarly low number was zero. So Wigsy had become a bit of a pushy salesman in recent years.

"No thank you, Wigsy," Mogey said, rolling his eyes. "We're not bald, remember?" The wigmaker hung his head with melancholy and trudged back inside his vastly overstocked shop.

Mogey and Smush continued on toward the bakery, but it wasn't long before Smush heard a quiet snipping sound in his ear. He spun around to see Wigsy Wigguns running away and cackling, a fistful of Smush hair held high.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXIII

One perfect midsummer day Mogey and Smush were at the beach building a sandcastle. They were just perfecting the northeastern battlements when Smush spotted a shadowy figure down the beach a ways.

"Avast Mogey," Smush said. "Do you see that boy?" Mogey glanced quickly in the direction Smush was pointing and nodded his head yes. "Good Heavens, man!" Smush whispered sharply, grabbing Mogey by the cheeks. "Do you not realize who the child is?"

"Naw?" Mogey tried to answer. He found it rather difficult to talk with Smush pulling on his cheeks as he was.

"That boy is Herbie von Cluck, the youngest member of the Templeton Brutes. They're the most ruthless skim-boarding gang around these parts," Smush told him. "And he's coming this way."

Sure enough, Herbie von Cluck strode down the sandbar until he reached Mogey and Smush's castle. He cast a shrewd 6-year-old eye at their handiwork.

"I claim this castle in the name of the Templeton Brutes!" the little toe-head shouted, slamming a foot down on their bell tower. Mogey and Smush nodded obsequiously.

"Yes, sir," they chorused fearfully. "Anything you want, sir."

"And get me an italian ice!" Herbie von Cluck said with an evil grin. "Tutti frutti. With three of those little wooden spoons!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXII

One afternoon Mogey trod downstairs into the chill of the winecellar and found Smush occupied by something very odd indeed. Smush had half a dozen bottles of wine open and into each one he had crammed what seemed to be a small hunk of meat.

"What is this madness?" Mogey asked.

"Well, Mogey, I'll tell you," Smush said. "I was sitting in my hammock and I thought to myself, I thought, how could we make our extensive wine collection even better?"

"And what marvelous idea occurred to you?" Mogey wondered aloud.

"This one:" Smush replied. "What one food do we almost always eat when we drink wine?"

"That's an easy one," Mogey answered, "baby back ribs."

"Exactly. So I'm stoppering every one of our wine bottles with barbecue ribs. I think this'll give the wine a more robust meat bouquet."

"Tis genius!" Mogey shouted jubilantly.

"And you haven't even heard the invention's name," Smush said with pride. "I call it: the pork cork."

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXI

One brisk autumn morning around one in the afternoon, Mogey and Smush were making flapjacks. Mogey would pour the jack and Smush would flap it, and they could make a whole lot of flapjacks very quickly that way.

Once, Smush had tried to pour and Mogey had tried to flap but it had been a complete disaster. They'd ended up covered head to toe in batter, and when they went outside to clean off, they'd quickly discovered it was the day of the great seagull migration. Both Mogey and Smush still had the beaknibblin' scars to prove it.

"Hey Mogey, what would you do if a genie granted you only one wish?" Smush asked as he wrapped a flapjack around two slices of bacon and munched enthusiastically.

"Tie his tail in a knot, give him a noogie, and steal his lamp," Mogey said. "Genies are supposed to give three wishes...he should've known better than that."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXX

One day Mogey and Smush were walking on their stilts through the sunflower field when Mogey stepped in a gopher hole. He waved his arms wildly, trying to regain his balance, but toppled to the ground and landed with a loud Oof!

Smush performed a neat clucker ducker tasplow dismount and leapt down next to his friend. Mogey's body was fine, but his pride, on the other hand, had been horribly punched. Punched right in the pride he was.

"Smush?" Mogey asked. "Am I getting too fat?"

"Nonsense!" Smush cried, slapping him on the back smartly. It sounded like a side of bacon hitting a cold griddle. "You're not fat, you're merely portly! Portliness is a sign of charisma, and power, and enjoyment of meatballs!"

"What was that last one?" Mogey asked.

"Power," Smush replied as he tried to help Mogey to his feet without getting his hand stuck in one of Mogey's tummy rolls. "You're the most powerful Mogey this side of Peaselburgh."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXIX

On a boiling hot summer's day around noon, Mogey and Smush were weeding the vegetable patch when a most peculiar thing happened.

One of the turnips opened its eyes. Now Mogey and Smush had seen eyes on turnips before, but never the kind that could open. The turnip blinked twice at Mogey and Smush and then opened a toothless turnipy mouth.

"You'll never catch me alive!" the turnip screamed, and he leapt out of the ground and took off on his gnarled turnip legs, only, he didn't get too far. See, his turnip tail of roots was still stuck in the ground, and pull as he might, the turnip couldn't seem to free it. But the audacious bulb wasn't finished.

"Rise, veggie brothers!" he yelled. "Rise against your oppressors!" All around the garden, vegetables from rutabagas to cabbages began opening their little eyes as the turnip yelled out his rallying cry. "Vegetables unite! A bid for freedom is at your door-ste--"

The turnip was abrubtly cut off by a loud crunch as Mogey chomped him in single bite. "Any-un else 'ant to 'ee a hero?" Mogey asked with his mouth full, glaring about the garden. Every eye immediately snapped shut.

"How was it?" Smush asked as they walked to the hose for a drink of water.

"Could've used some honey mustard," Mogey said, "but alright. Did you know turnips had such deep voices?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXVIII

Upon making an exceptionally bleary-eyed descent down the fireman's pole after naptime one brisk autumn day, Mogey and Smush happened upon a note stuck to the counter in their breakfast nook.

The note was exceptional for two reasons. The first was the method used to attach it to the countertop: the parchment appearred to have been shot into the surface with over a dozen bullets. The second reason the note was exceptional was its substance. It read:

Dear Mogey and Smush,

Your day of reckoning has come. I have finally returned to claim what is rightfully mine. I think you know what I'm talking about. Come on outside when you mangy dogs are ready to face the music.

Affectionately Yours,
Buck Arue

PS: If you didn't know what I was talking about, it's that pastrami and coleslaw sandwich on a kaiser roll you stole off my plate back in '71 when I wasn't looking, you yellow-bellied critters. Not a day goes by that my mouth doesn't water at the thought of that sandwich.

"My goodness!" Mogey said as they heard Buck pacing outside, shooting his pistols at their nice shrubs and shouting Yee-Haw! "What will we do?"

"I've got an idea," Smush said, pulling out a fresh package of kaiser rolls from the breadbox. "But we have to act quick. Run down to the pastrami cellar and grab that Big Bertha cut we've been saving for a special occasion. And pray with all your might that we've got some leftover coleslaw."

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXVII

One winter's evening Mogey and Smush were cleaning the bellows they used in the old wrought-iron woodstove. The bellows get very dusty in the dead of winter because Mogey and Smush were always sawing things indoors.

"Mogey?" Smush said as they worked. "I've always wondered something. What is your favorite color?"

"Midnight plum!" Mogey replied excitedly. Not only was he very proud of his favorite color, he'd been waiting ages for Smush to ask him about it. Smush, however, gave Mogey a long, gritty stare.

"Awful," he said, shaking his head. "Just awful."

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXVI

One summery night Mogey and Smush were roasting marshmallows at the village bonfire down on the town common.

"You know what I think I'll make?" Mogey said as the spruce boughs snapped in the heat. "W'mores."

"Don't you mean s'mores?" Smush asked.

"No, I don't," Mogey replied. "I mean w'mores."

"Oh," Smush began, "how does that--"

But he stopped, realizing he needn't ask. Mogey had balled up two full bags of marshmallows into one enormous Megamallow and was lowering it into the fire on his pizza paddle. The Megamallow immediately burst into flames and Mogey pulled it hurriedly from the bonfire, stifling the mallowblaze with graham crackers and chocolate morsels. And before you could say Zachariah, Mogey was elbow deep in W'mores.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXV

One day Mogey walked into the loo to find Smush partaking of an oatmeal bath.

"Which one got you this time?" Mogey asked. Smush had to take an average of 2 oatmeal baths per month as a result of getting sprayed by skunks so often.

"The mama skunk sprayed me," Smush sighed, "she sprayed me good."

"If you would just keep out of their burrow, maybe this wouldn't happen so often," Mogey said.

"Hey!" Smush snapped. "When they leave my tropical punch flavored sour straws alone, I'll leave them alone! Now pour some more water in, the oatmeal's starting to solidify!"

Mogey did this and then left to let Smush enjoy his oatmeal bath in peace. He grabbed the latest issue of Burbleton Weekly from the postbox and as he settled into the old armchair to read, Mogey pulled out a pilfered sack of tropical punch flavored sour straws and munched them with gusto.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXIV

Mogey and Smush were walking along the old abandoned Mychantuxy train tracks one day when they were approached by a marmot. This particular marmot had some unusual qualities, however. He was walking toward them on his hind legs, and his belly was not only yellow, it was quite plump as well.

"Biscuits, sirs?" the marmot asked, taking off his sunglasses and extending a hand. Without hesistation, Mogey took out a sleeve of nilla wafers he'd been saving for a snack and gave them to the marmot. "Thank you, sir," the marmot said, and he continued on his merry way.

"What'd you do that for?" Smush exclaimed. "I was excited for those nilla wafers."

"Oh you don't know?" Mogey asked. "That was Marmot Steve, the biscuit doubler. You give him some biscuits, any biscuits really, and he'll bring you back twice the biscuits you lent him within the next eighteen days. See what I mean?"

But Smush didn't see at all. In fact, he was running full speed down the tracks after Marmot Steve, shillelagh raised high.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXIII

"You know, Mogey," Smush said one day. "It's high time I showed you something I found in the woods last week."

"What is it?" Mogey asked.

"I call it The Magnificent Bump," Smush replied.

"The Magnificent Bump?" Mogey asked. "Is it a hill?"

"No," Smush said, as he led Mogey into the forest.

"A mountain?"


"A butte?"


"A ridge? A bluff? A hummock?"

"No, no, no," Smush replied. "It's just a bump. Look there, you can just see it in that clearing ahead." Mogey looked. Sure enough, all that was there was a little grass-covered bump. And yet, it was one of the most magnificent things Mogey had ever seen.

"Well I suppose there's only one thing to do," Mogey said. And he and Smush spent the rest of the day rolling down the side of the bump 'til they were too dizzy even to hang a teacup on a squirrel's head.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXII

One sunny morning in early summer Mogey and Smush were ambling down the byways of old Wixleton en route to Lake Gurt, where (they say) seahorses draw carriages fit for a king and the mermaids make banana cream pie.

As they strode down a thoroughfare known as Leather Boulevard, Mogey and Smush were accosted by a man so old and bent that he was really not very young at all.

"Ye two wouldn't be striking out for Lake Gurt where (they say) seahorses draw carriages fit for a king and the mermaids make banana cream pie, twould ye?" the grizzled old man said, holding up a shaking hand.

"As a matter of fact we are heading for Lake Gurt where (they say) seahorses draw carriages fit for a king and the mermaids make banana cream pie," Mogey replied.

"Ye'll want to steer clear of there for the next fortnight," the old man said, wagging his finger. "The seahorses sneak-attacked the mermaids three nights past. And all of Lake Gurt is awash with banana cream pie filling and carriage wheels."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXI

Mogey and Smush were ice-climbing on Bittersburgh Falls one brisk January morning when a light wintry mix began coming down. They could tell it was a wintry mix because as Smush held out his hand we caught a snowflake, a chunk of sleet, and part of a frozen-stiff snowy owl.

"Hey Smush?" Mogey asked. "Howcome there's no such thing as a sumbry mix?"

"Whatever are you on about this time?" Smush replied.

"Well there's a wintry mix in the winter," Mogey said as he drove his ice axe deep into the frozen Bittersburgh Falls, "why isn't there a sumbry mix in the summer?"

"There is," Smush answered. "It's got grapes, strawberries, huckleberries, fig newtons, and--" But before he could finish he was interupted by one of the most ancient enemies of Mogey and Smush: Buzz Zard.

Not quite man, but not quite vulture, Buzz Zard was an ugly bald guy with wings that would flap about the countryside, taking pralines from innocent people. When Buzz Zard took someone's pralines, he took ALL their pralines. And Mogey and Smush never went ice climbing without pralines.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LX

"It's Gutter Time!"

Spring had arrived and Mogey was awakening Smush for a tradition they'd shared for as long as either of them could remember.

"Gutter time! Gutter time!" Mogey yelled as he jumped up and down thumping the still-half-asleep Smush with his elbows. Then he sang his gutter time song.

"Gutter boys and gutter girls
Gutter people round the world
gutterballs and gutter sludge
it's gutter cleaning time, you nudge!"

"Gerroff! Why do you like gutter cleaning time so much?" Smush groaned.

"What better job is there in the world?" Mogey replied. "You get to be out on the roof in the fresh air and up to your elbows in gutter gunk. I'm too excited to wait! Meet you up there!"

Mogey dashed out of the room in the direction of the attic ladder. Smush rolled over and closed his eyes again with a smile. Convincing Mogey that cleaning the gutters was fun was one of the smartest plans he'd ever thought up.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LIX

There was an ancient manor down the road a ways from Mogey and Smush's home called Buxton House. Inside lived a man just barely older than the house itself. He'd been born during a tornado (the monstrous tornado of '92 in fact) as his mother had been passing by the newly laid foundation to Buxton House. She'd taken shelter inside, and the first sight that babe ever saw were the smooth cement walls of Buxton House's cellar.

It's a well known rule in Murtleby County that if a child is born inside the newly laid foundation of a manor, he shall inherit that manor at the age of fifty-seven and a half. So it went with the Lord of Buxton House. But he was a lonely bachelor and infamous for being a packrat, so a few years back he'd hired Mogey and Smush to catalogue all the bits and widgets he'd accumlated in his attic. This Mogey and Smush did every Wednesday at three.

One Wednesday at half past three or so, Mogey came across an antique coin with the likeness of King Thorgood inscribed on its worn face.

"Make a wish!" Smush said. "King Thorgood always rewards those who believe in him." Mogey rolled his eyes but made a wish nontheless.

"My word," Smush said after they had gotten back to work a few minutes later. "It's started snowing."

"That's not snow!" Mogey screamed, his eyes lighting up like Christmas morning. "It's cocoa krispies! My wish came true!" He and Smush sprinted for the door and for 2 hours they rolled happily about in the drifts of cocoa krispies that had fallen in Buxton House's back garden.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LVIII

One day Mogey and Smush were hopping from rock to rock along the old east stone wall while the ate fresh prune whip out of cone-shaped paper cups.

"Careful Smush," Mogey warned, as Smush skittered a bit ahead, "you're passing awfully near Farmer Greasington's crabapple orchard."

"So what?" Smush replied. "I ain't afraid of Farmer Greasington...and it's not as though his trees are as ornery as he is."

No sooner had the words left Smush's mouth than a swarm of crabapple applecrabs leapt from the nearest tree and onto Smush. The tiny crabs flooded down Smush's collar, into his hair, and through every one of his buttonholes.

"CRAB ATTAAAACK!" Mogey yelled. He ran toward Smush bellowing and waving about the only thing in the world that crabapple applecrabs are afraid of: prune whip. Smush had long since finished his, but Mogey, thank goodness, was reknowned for his fondness of savoring whips of various kinds.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LVII

On a blustery afternoon in mid-March, Mogey and Smush were haunting the hills of Kettlemoor when they came upon the ruins of ancient Naglesby Castle.

"Can't you just see it?" Mogey asked. "Standing guard on those castle walls...the wind in your hair...your hand resting lightly on the hilt of your sword...savoring the taste of a couple battlemints in your mouth..."

"A couple what in your mouth?" Smush asked.

"Battlemints," Mogey replied. "You know, you always read about these olden times soldiers and their battlemints. I'll bet the proud knights of Naglesby Castle had the freshest breath in all the land."