Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCIX

One day Mogey and Smush were heading on down to the haberdasher to get their shirts taken out. Their collective poundage had increased considerably since they had discovered how easy it was to make mozzarella sticks if you have an in-house frialator, and now their shirts had grown uncomfortably tight. The worst area was about the wrists, where the shirts were so constrictive that their hands had swollen up to triple their normal size, but Mogey and Smush had far too much propriety to unbutton their cuffs.

They were almost halfway to town when they encountered a tiny chipmunk sitting on his haunches in the middle of the road. Mogey, who was always taken with the small creatures of the land, crouched down to greet the little fellow.

"Hello, my friend," Mogey said. "What can I do for you?"

The chipmunk cocked his head to the side curiously for a moment before launching himself forward and locking his jaws around Mogey's finger like a steel bear trap. With no warning, two dozen more of the creatures barrelled out into the highway and began nipping at Mogey and Smush's hands with reckless abandon.

"Oh no!" Smush shouted. "These aren't chipmunks at all, they're sausage squirrels! They must think our fingers are kielbasas! Run for it!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCVIII

It was dust devil season and so Mogey and Smush headed out on the range. They both wore their worst waistcoats and trousers and strapped down their spectacles with double-bonded duct tape.

The range was covered with more dust devils than there were horns on a horned toadie and Mogey and Smush rode every one they could catch, hurling themselves into the little twisters only to be spun around and around and then spat out the top. A possibly wise old man had once told them "All manner of objects can be encountered while flying about the inside of a dust devil, you twits!" so Mogey and Smush were careful to see them all: from Cowpoke Tomkins's cowpoker, to the bell from the highest tower of Meiserbrook Castle, to a pleasant young man named Bootsey O'Clure, who had some interesting things to say about the Ashbyville football team.

Finally Mogey and Smush were plum tuckered out, but they were ready for one last dust devil ride. That was when the grandpapa, the big daddy, the mighty-mighty, or as it's called by some, a big dustdevil, happened to strike. Smush caught it almost instantly and was lifted from the ground and up into the swirling vortex, but Mogey, whose plum was just a bit more tuckered than Smush's, couldn't keep up. After a good 40 seconds of spinning, Smush was thrown from the very top of the dust devil and landed next to Mogey wearing nothing but his sunglasses.

"My goodness, Smush," Mogey said, "take my waistcoat and cover yourself! What happened in there?"

"Dust devil season!" Smush answered, giving Mogey a heart slap on the back as he tied the waistcoat about his middle. "Is there anything better?"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCVII

"Smush," Mogey said one winter's day, "you ever think that maybe we should start a band?"

Smush left off the cinnamon buns he was making and flung his arms up, showering Mogey and much of the kitchen with flour.

"How can you say that?" he demanded. "When we already have a band!"

"What is this madness?" Mogey said. "We aren't in any band."

"Well then I suppose the Mogey and Smush Fife and Accordian Magic Machine Experience is just a figment of my imagination?" Smush asked.

"Wasn't that just the two of us marching around town with a slide whistle and a sleeve of oreos?" Mogey replied. "Although it's true we were mighty popular with the ladies..."

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCVI

One day towards the end of autumn, Mogey and Smush were cavorting about the hills and dales of old Winsal Upon Snook. Smush had begun climbing an old gnarled tree when he spotted a most unusual piece of fruit hanging from one of its topmost branches.

"Mogey!" he called. "You're not going to believe this, but I think I've found a pineapple!"

"A pineapple?" Mogey replied. "But I've only heard tell of those in my wildest imaginings."

"Same here," Smush said, "but I don't know what else this could be, take a look." Mogey craned his eyes into the tree and caught sight of the fruit in question. It was an apple all right, an apple with pine cones hanging from it every which way.

"No Smush, don't!" Mogey yelled. "It's a trap!"

But it was too late. Smush had gotten into a mighty precarious position reaching out for that "pineapple" and just as he was about to grasp it, the tree gave a shimmy, a shake, and a Ho-Ho-Ho and Smush was thrown from his high perch, landing in a thick pile of nettles. As Mogey tried to help his friend de-nettle himself, the tree let out another booming laugh and shook like a bowl full of melted pudding pops.

"It wasn't a pineapple at all," Smush said, staring off into the distance. "The pranking tree of Winsal Upon Snook has struck again."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCIV

One morning Smush woke up in mortal terror: his legs weren't working, they weren't working at all. His legs still looked as ruddy and generously apportioned as always but he couldn't feel them or move them even one inch.

"Mogey!" he yelled, in a panic. "Come in here quick!"

"What is it?" Mogey asked as he strode in from making hot cross buns, billowing a cloud of flour dust behind him.

"It's my legs!" Smush cried. "I can't feel them! I think I may have the polio...or that other leg one...what's it called...."

"Paralytic Nobendyitus?" Mogey asked. Smush nodded vigorously. "Don't worry young chap, you don't have Paralytic Nobendyitus. Your legs are just asleep."

"How do you know that?" Smush said.

"Well for one thing, they're snoring," Mogey replied. "Quite loud, I might add. And for another, I came in here and sat on them for twenty minutes while I was tying my shoes."

"You sat on my legs?" Smush demanded. "Why in the world would you do something as outlandish as that?"

"They're warmer than the edge of my bed," Mogey said, shaking his head as though this were the most obvious thing in the world, which it was.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCV

One blustery day Mogey and Smush were hiking to a cabin they'd heard tell of up in Frooterby Notch. It had been a long, perspiry slog up the old sheeping trail, especially for two fellows as portly and fond of butters as Mogey and Smush, but finally they made it.

"Hooray! We've done it!" Mogey shouted, as the cabin came within view. "Look at this place! Way up here in the clouds...there's a fire pit, and a picnic table, that?"

"Easy Mogey," Smush cautioned.

"It is! It's a mooselounger!" Mogey said eagerly. "I haven't seen one of those since my Grandpappy McRooney had one when I was but a young pup. I call first sit in it!"

Mogey dropped is rucksack and ran for the mooselounger with its comfortable antler-scoop seat and furry footrest. He vaulted over the woodpile and landed on the mooselounger with a loud woosh.

But it just so happened that this mooselounger wasn't a mooselounger so much as it was an actual moose, and as everyone knows, moose don't like to be landed on with a loud woosh. Not one bit. The moose got to his feet, bucked Mogey off, and smacked him right across the face with his hoof.

"Now you've gone and given me agita," the moose said, glowering, "and on a full stomach of meatlovers calzone, too. Shame on you." The moose kicked a bit more sand in Mogey's direction and stomped away in search of some chamomile.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCIII

One afternoon Mogey and Smush were doing the dishes when their friend Ongy Oingy stopped by for a spot of lemon-lime soda pop. Ongy Oingy was a man who was long in the moustache and wide in the belly, so their ancient sofa creaked mightily when he took a seat.

"I've got a question for yehs guys," Ongy Oingy said. "Why is it you're missing a cushion on this couch?"

"Oh that cushion's not missing," Mogey said knowledgably. "It's the imaginary cushion."

"See, the other two cushions, they're just old, dusty, musty sacks," Smush added. "The imaginary cushion can be anything at all: a soft bed of moss...a heap of bunnies...a cloud that's been put in the clothes drier until it's warm as could be...."

"I see," Ongy Oingy replied, taking a thoughtful sip of his lemon lime soda pop. "And you two just got rid of the real cushion that used to be here? For no reason?"

"Well we did coincidentally happen to invent the imaginary cushion the same night Mogey got sick all over the old cushion," Smush answered.

"I ate a really bad batch of blazin' amazin' buffalo chicken wings," Mogey said, shrugging his shoulders in agreement.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCII

One morning Mogey and Smush were having breakfast for dinner for breakfast, when Mogey decided to unleash a prank he'd spent the better part of the last 3 - 6 weeks planning.

"Oh Smush," Mogey said, "these oatcakes are awfully bland. Would you like a bit of salt?"

"Sure," said Smush, as he accepted the salt shaker, "what a splendid idea." Smush gave the salt a few shakes before the top popped off, dumping its contents all over Smush's oatcakes. Mogey cackled gleefully.

"Taste it!" he yelled. "Taste your oatcakes now!" Smush stuck a finger in the white mound atop his breakfast for dinner for breakfast plate and realized that it hadn't been salt at all. It was sugar. Smush stared at Mogey with tears in his eyes.

"How did you know?" Smush asked. "How did you know I wanted sugary oatcakes for my birthday? Truly you are the greatest friend a Smush could have!"

"What's that?" Mogey replied, looking up from plate of scones n' cream. "Did you say it was your birthday?"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XCI

One misty morning Mogey and Smush were rowing down the canal on their way to get some personal pan pizzas. With very little warning, a troop of sea snails emerged from the water and slimed their way to the tip top of the canal wall. Once they were in position, the snails began honking. And as everyone knows, a troop of sea snails engaged in a honking ritual is something glorious to behold, so of course Mogey and Smush stopped to watch.

Directly behind the sea snails a gang of lobsters crawled ashore and began clicking their front claws (the crusher claw not the pincher) together in perfect rhythm with all the honking. But that's not all. On the opposite canal wall, eleven hundred and one sting rays began slapping their flippers against the old cobblestone, keeping time with the lobsters and the sea snails. Fourteen dozen artic terns landed on a nearby fence and added their calls to the burgeoning song.

Finally, a fat, hairless, remarkable clean-looking man wearing bermuda shorts floated by on his back, drumming on his stomach and singing along with the sea snails, the lobsters, the sting rays, and the artic terns. "Ohhhh baby, oh-oh, oh baby," his song went. Mogey and Smush got up and danced and danced until the lobsters pinched the fat hairless man, the seagulls ate the sea snails, and the sting rays slapped each other silly.

"Come on, Mogey," Smush said when it was quiet again. "There's a mushroom and anchovy 'za with my name on it."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume XC

One night Mogey and Smush were perusing the almanac by the warmth of the woodstove. The fire crackled pleasantly as they mooned over how much rain was supposedly coming next July, and snickered over how little Plumperville would be getting.

"Oy Mogey," Smush said, "how about a quick game of stugenball?"

"How do you play?" Mogey asked.

"Stugenball's a simple game," Smush replied. "But a game of champions. We take one of these cricket balls, see? And whoever can do the best impression of the cricket ball wins stugenball."

"You mean we just curl up and try to look round?" Mogey asked.

"However you think you can do the best imitation," Smush answered.

"My word!" Mogey said. "Danger, intrigue, suspense...stugenball really does have it all!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXIX

Mogey and Smush were taking a wagonload of sweet n' sour haggis into town one day when they encountered a leprechaun. Now this might seem a fantastic event to the ordinary person, but Mogey and Smush were anything but ordinary. They knew this leprechaun well, and his name was Todd.

"Are me eyes going?" Todd said, hopping spryly onto the wagon. "Or is that Mogey and Smush with a wagonload of sweet n' sour haggis?"

"Hullo, Todd," Mogey and Smush chorused dully, for Todd was a bit much this early in the morning.

"And a pleasant day to you as well!" Todd replied, hopping into the seat between Mogey and Smush and crossing his legs energetically.

There are differing opinions as to what happened next: leading Mogey and Smush historian R. Edgar Hoovingburg insists that a bump in the road caused a piece of gold to fall from Todd's money pouch, while recent evidence has been unearthed that suggests Todd may have been fiddling with the coin and fumbled it for no particular reason at all. Either way, a leprechaun coin hit the floor of the wagon and just so happened to bounce into Mogey's lap. And as everyone knows, once you get a leprechaun's gold, you get his powers.

"Yes!" Mogey cried. "Yesssss! I have the power!" He began to magically shoot rainbows across the sky and make shamrocks sprout from the hills far and wide, even though it was still three weeks til shamrock season.

"Gimme that back!" Todd shouted, snatching the coin from Mogey's hand. Immediately the rainbows faded and the shamrocks retreated into the ground. Todd the leprechaun leapt from the wagon and disappearred into a woodchuck hole.

"Hmmm," Mogey said thoughfully. "I probably should've held on to that coin a bit tighter eh?"

Smush merely shook his head disappointedly and returned to the sweet n' sour haggis he was munching.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXVIII

One day around late morning Smush was rummaging around in the kitchen, looking for an egg whisk when he came across an implement of treachery the likes of which he'd never seen before.

"What is this, Mogey?" he bellowed.

"Oh that? Tis a gooseberry bristler," Mogey, who was hard at work scrubbing his statue of Lief Erikson, replied. "You know, for getting those bristles off gooseberries. I bought it at the swap meet Thursday last."

"Why are you talking like that?" Smush asked. "And if this really is a gooseberry bristler, which I very much doubt, how could you leave it lying around when you know full well that our dear friend B'John Pulpeter is coming over this very night?"

"Why?" Mogey said. "Is B'John allergic to gooseberries?"

"Heavens no," Smush answered. "But it is certainly not proper for gooseberries to be about when we're having company....especially not at the height of grape season."

"Hang etiquette," Mogey said. "If it's debristled gooseberries B'John Pulpeter wants, it'll be debristled gooseberries B'John Pulpeter gets."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXVII

One hot autumn evening just as the harvest moon was beginning to rise, Mogey and Smush were mowing hay. Mogey was just taking a break to mop his brow and sharpen his scythe when he saw a sight up on the ridge that made his blood simultaneously curdle and run cold. And there is nothing worse than cold curdled blood.

"Egads, Smush!" he yelled. "Get down!"

"What is it, Mogey?" Smush asked as they crouched in the freshly mown hay.

"I think I just saw..." Mogey whispered, "the human potato!"

Ever so carefully Mogey and Smush poked their heads above the tops of the grass. There it was, still atop the hill: a bulbous, hideous creature covered in dirt. It let out a blubbery bellow like an air bubble popping in a bowl of pudding.

"Oh," said Smush, rising to his feet. "That's not the human potato. That's just big Polly Provolone, been out hunting for egg nog again."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXVI

Mogey and Smush were walking across the veldt one summer day so hot that the air was shimmering and the water buffalo were wearing their swim trunks. As they traveled along they encountered a shaggy bear resting in the shade of a peppermint tree. The bear was sweating profusely and fanning himself with what looked to be a peacock's tailfeathers.

"Are you alright, Bear?" Mogey asked.

"It's this blasted fur!" the bear moaned. "I'm so darn hot I can't even move to get a drink of water or eat a tortoise!"

"The fur you say?" Smush rejoined, flicking on his DR-209 battery-powered never-jam hair clippers, which began buzzing pleasantly. "I think we can fix that."

And so the legend of Jeremiah Smooth, naked bear of the Serengeti, was born.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXV

One darkening autumn afternoon, Mogey and Smush were cleaning their pistols when there was a loud knock at the door. They opened it to find a man of generous proportions wearing a greasy top hat and galoshes was standing on their front steps.

"Evening, gentlemen," the man said, whipping off his top hat and giving a theatrical bow. "The name's Oil McToots, lamp technician, at your service."

Mogey and Smush exchanged bewildered looks. They'd been afforded an unobstructed view of the top of Oil McToots's head when he took off his hat, and the sight had not been pretty.

"I'm afraid we don't have any lamps that need filling, Master McToots," Mogey said, his gaze drifting inexorably to the lamp technician's top hat.

"Oh that's quite alright," Oil McToots replied. "I don't find there's much call for old-timey lamp fuel these days."

"May I ask you a question, McToots?" Smush said. "How in the world does one end up with a set of toes on the top of his head?"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXIV

On a mysterious morning in late spring, Mogey and Smush walked along the sun dappled forest floor of Wiseacre Wood. They were making much less noise than usual for fear of waking the Brutish Magees, a notorious family of opossums that lived in the area.

Without warning, a monstrous hole opened in the ground before them, yawning wide as Mogey and Smush stood rooted to the ground in terror. The hole expanded until it swallowed Mogey and Smush up, and the two friends found themselves in the damp, toothy mouth of some enormous underground creature.

The mouth chewed thoughtfully for a few moments before letting out a fearsome roar and spitting Mogey and Smush high into the air. They were thrown far above the treetops but had the great fortune of landing in a thicket of rare beanbagplants, the softest bushes in all that country.

"And that," Smush said, wiping a gob of monster spit from his neck, "is why we never take a bath the week before traveling through Wiseacre Wood."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXIII

One evening Mogey and Smush were supping on pheasant and welsh rarebit.

"Hey Mogey," Smush said, "my rarebit needs a bit more chocolate syrup. Would you grab it from the dumbwaiter?"

"Listen up bucko!" Mogey shouted, wagging his finger under Smush's nose. "Just because he can't read and we found him wandering around the henyard trying looking for chickenfeed, does NOT give you cause to call Weatherby dumb!"

Weatherby, the manservant Mogey and Smush had hired several weeks ago, stood silently in the corner, entertaining himself immensely with the spoon he was hanging from his nose.

"I wasn't talking about Weatherby, I was talking about the dumbwaiter," Smush said. "You know, that little elevator for food that's right behind you?"

"Is that what that thing is called?" Mogey answered. "All these years I've been calling it the muffin lift. Oh Weatherby? I'm running low on BoKu, could you top me off?"

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXII

One winter's afternoon, Mogey and Smush were snowshoeing through the frozen wilderness. As they tramped to the top of Mount Crunch, Smush spotted some smoke off in the distance.

"Look there, Mogey," he said. "I'll bet that's old Fred Dukington, trying out some of the smoke signals we practiced!"

Mogey and Smush gazed off in the direction of the smoke, carefully watching each puff as it billowed and shot skyward.

"What do you think he said?" Mogey asked when the clouds of smoke began to thin out.

"I thought it was 'the bees will soon be here for the doorstop feast.'" Smush replied.

"That's funny," Mogey said. "Because I could've sworn he said 'beware the approach of thunder chestnuts.' That old Fred Dukington really is crazy, isn't he?" Smush agreed, and they turned back and headed for the path down the side of Mount Crunch.

When they finally reached home, Mogey and Smush realized the smoke signals hadn't been old Fred Dukington at all. Their outhouse had been reduced to a pile of smoldering wood, and their pet Goose, Burt Frankers, was standing nearby, holding a sack of fireworks and looking bashful.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXXI

One glorious spring day that just so happened to be the day of the countywide slinky fair, Mogey and Smush headed down to the town square with their slinkies in hand. Mogey was excited to slinky and be seen slinkying, but Smush? Smush had a date with slinky destiny.

"Do mine eyes deceive me?" shouted a callous voice as Mogey and Smush entered the slinkgrounds. "That can't be Smush? Not after that performance last year!"

Smush merely stared his verbal assailant in the eye and whispered one word. "Rematch."

A crowd of people gathered as Smush ascended the long staircase that had been erected in the center of town for slinky-offs. His shouting opponent, a nameless, evil man named Pepperjohn, climbed next to him. When they reached the top, Smush gave his slinky, which he called Mr. Rubenstein, a good luck bounce and readied himself to slink. Pepperjohn, full of bravado as always, merely plopped his slinky, The Red Wonder, down upon the top stair.

"Readyyyyyy...annnd...Slink!" called the referee from the bottom of the staircase, and they were off. First Mr. Rubenstein was ahead, then The Red Wonder made a push, and then they were neck and neck. Just when it seemed as if The Red Wonder was going to eek out yet another victory, Mr. Rubenstein surged forward with a superslinky effort to claim the win.

Led by Mogey, the townspeople descended on Smush and Mr. Rubenstein, the heroes of the hour, showering them with rose petals and slinky rejuvenating oil. Pepperjohn, meanwhile, was forced to take his supper in Farmer Johannson's extra-prickly hedgehog pen. And the Red Wonder was melted down and recast into an ornamental toilet flush, the most dishonerable fate any slinky could have.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXX

One cool autumn morning, Mogey and Smush were out pioneering. They pioneered at least twice a week, because someone had to tame the unbridled wilderness of West Baxterlake, and no one else was really brave enough to do it. So Smush had on his coonskin cap and Mogey had fixed a bayonet to the end of his musket and they both carried sacks of brightly colored I Voted buttons in case they met any hostile natives.

They were making their way through the bush when they came across the largest mushroom they'd ever laid eyes on. It was more than ten feet across and a deep chesnut brown speckled with acid-purple spots.

"Whoa," said Smush. "What should we do?"

"Well," Mogey replied, "as pioneers, I think the scholarly thing to do would be to take a scientific sample." So he took out a sterile test tube and carefully sliced a tiny sliver of mushroom as a sample. He placed it inside the container then covered it with wax paper and newspaper and set it carefully inside his pack.

"What now?" Smush asked.

"The only academic thing left to do is jump on it I suppose," Mogey said studiously. He and Smush both took flying leaps and landed on opposite sides of the giant shroom. The great fungus held their weight for just a moment and then crumbled with a loud mushroomy Fwump!

"Good science on that one," Smush said. "Some of the best science I've ever seen."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume LXXIX

Sometimes in the dog days of summer, it got so hot and dry that Mogey and Smush feared their crops would die and the fields would catch fire. At these times Mogey and Smush turned to the only weapon they had: Froggy Paws' Indian Rain Dance.

"Oh-oh-oh-oh, we want some ray-ain!" Mogey chanted, just as their spiritual mentor, Froggy Paws, had taught them. Smush sat on the dust, face painted bright green, banging on his bongo drum while Mogey danced the traditional rain dance around him. "Smush has a sunburn, on his ear...give us some moisture, up-in-here!"

As Mogey sang these last words there was a crack of thunder and the skies opened up above their little farm. It took Mogey and Smush only a few seconds to realize that it wasn't water raining down from the heavens. Nay, their rain dance had yielded a torrential downpour... of bee stingers. These began to land everywhere, including Mogey and Smush's exposed arms, and so they sprinted for the barn, yowtching with every stinger that landed on them.

"Not again!" Smush yelled as they ran for cover. "Froggy Pawwwwwsssss!"