Monday, August 31, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXI

One evening Mogey found Smush sitting on the porch, enjoying a corncob pipe in his stocking feet.

"Smush?" Mogey said. "There's something I've been meaning to talk with you about. I think it's high time we got a pet of some kind."

"A pet?" Smush replied. "We have literally an entire barnyard full of animals in the back garden. Look there! There's a herd of our goats inside munching our best sofa cushions!"

"Well I was thinking we'd get something a bit more exotic, like this rare Persion Stagoose, perhaps," Mogey insisted, holding up a newspaper clipping of what looked like a goose with magnificent set of antlers.

"I'm fairly sure we've got one of those too, Mogers. Yes I spotted a stagoose in the hayloft not two days ago. Wait here just a moment and I'll go find it," Smush said, grabbing a set of antlers from the wall and bustling out back in search Manwel, their plumpest goose.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXX

One day Mogey and Smush decided it was time to clean their most valuable possession: an oriental carpet they'd bought from a traveling circus for twenty pieces of silver.

"Are you sure you've got it, Mogey?" Smush called out as they carried the rug around the hall corner.

"I'm fine!" Mogey answered. "Look at my arms, I'm mega-Mogey over here!" Just then, the carpet caught on one of the banister attachments and they heard an awful tearing sound.

"Quick Mogey, there's no time to waste! Get me my sewing kit before it loses too much thread!" Smush yelled. Mogey sprinted upstairs and returned presently with the old cigar box that held Smush's extensive sewing supplies.

Smush carefully selected a needle and thread, licked his thumb and forefinger, and twisted the end of the thread into a point. He poked the dark string expertly through the eye of the needle. Then he used it to poke Mogey, hard, in the arm.

"Yowch!" Mogey squealed.

"It's not half what you deserve!" Smush muttered. "Now lift the other end of this rug and try not to drop it - we've got to bring the thing all the way out to the paddock so the goats can lick it clean."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXIX

One morning Mogey and Smush were both readying themselves for job interviews. Mogey was applying for an apprenticeship in the copper mine and Smush wanted to become the assistant stall mucker at the village stables, so they both wore their Sunday best.

"Mogey?" Smush asked hesitantly as they stood in front of the hall looking glass making sure they looked presentable. "Do you ever use anything in your hair?"

"Smush..." Mogey replied with a fatherly smile. "Smushity Smush Smushin. Are you thinking of sprucing up that mane of yours?"

"I think it might be time."

"You've come to the right Mogey," Mogey said. "Some people like to put bear grease in their hair. Others prefer moustache wax. Well I'm going to let you in on a little family secret that's been passed down through my family for fourteen generations. The very best thing to slick your hair back..." Mogey paused dramatically, "is honey butter. Plus it makes you smell very nice for the ladyfolk."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXVIII

"Hey Smush," Mogey said one day as the two of them were stewing peaches, "there's something I've always wanted to ask you. How'd you get that bump on your nose?"

"Listen close, Mogey," Smush uttered through gritted teeth. "I'll tell you this one time: I got this bump in my nose from headbutting every man, woman, and child who asks me how I got the bump in my nose. Don't ever forget that. Now add some more cinnamon...I want these peaches spicy!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXVII

One moonless night Mogey and Smush were walking home as an icey wind rubbed the elm tree branches together. Mogey and Smush's lantern was low on oil, and so they'd turned it down to the point where it cast a spooky, flickering glow on the surrounding forest.

"Hello strangers..." a voice whispered, causing Mogey and Smush both to jump halfway out of their skin. "Don't be afraid," the voice said, as a dark figure materialized out of the gloom.

"Who are you?" Mogey asked shakily.

"My name is Samson O'Ween," the figure replied, doffing a collapsed top hat. "I'm here to guide you home...ha ha ha ha...."

"Why did you just laugh like that?" Smush asked.

"Because I'm not really here to guide you home," Samson O'Ween answered. "Oh yes, and Samson's my real first name is Hal!"

Mogey and Smush needed to hear no more. They turned and ran for the hills with all their might.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXVI

One morning that was ghostly with fog, Smush was rowing the dory along as Mogey stood poised at the bow, harpoon in hand.

"Thar she blows!" Mogey shouted. "Smush, row your arms off, me hearty! I've got one in my sights."

"What did you see?" Smush asked calmly.

"The spout of a Chubby Whale! The most valuable prize in the business!" Mogey yelled. "Row, sir! Row with all your might!"

"I very much doubt that," Smush answered.

"You doubt my eye for whale spouts?" Mogey exclaimed. "What makes you so wise in these matters?"

"Well," Smush said, "we ARE in Beauregard Pond. And I did just see young Bulkie McGunther swim by wearing a snorkle."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXV

The day of the flood started out like any other. Mogey and Smush sat down for their morning cake (the smallest of the four cakes they would eat that day) and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading out to tend the bulk candy aisle they were building in the back garden.

When they returned for a midmorning snack, Smush realized in horror that the meat sauce he was cooking was about to burn.

"Good grief!" he cried on seeing the pot bubbling furiously. "My bolognese!"

"Be careful Smush!" Mogey urged as his friend rushed to take the pot off the stove. "Remember the words of that old crone in front of the cigar shop!"

But Smush did not remember: in his hurry to remove the eighteen gallon saucepot from the heat, his hand slipped and the pot crashed to the floor, flooding the kitchen and staining their carpet deep crimson.

"Then the old crone was right," Mogey said heavily. "The great flood has come to pass."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXIV

"Smush?" Mogey asked one day as he was deboning a salmon. "Why does pepper make you sneeze?"

"What are you trying to say?" Smush fired back. "Last time I checked, it makes lots of people sneeze!"

"Indeed," Mogey said, "but why?"

"What do I look like - the pepper commissioner?" Smush demanded. "Am I some sort of pepper sorcerer? I can't help you with every little pepper question you dream up!"

It was just about this time that Mogey remembered an incident, years earlier, when a rogue peppercorn had found it's way into Smush's nostril and caused him to sneeze so hard that a nearby ptarmigan was bowled over and sprained its ankle quite badly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXIII

One autumn afternoon Mogey and Smush were at lumberjack class when their teacher, Jacques Fromage, began to explain the importance of tightly coiled rope.

"You want to coil it nice and neat, see?" Jacques said. "This way your toes won't escape...Mogey! Smush! Have you been paying attention?"

"Yes sir, Mr. Fromage," Mogey and Smush chorused as they snapped away from an intense game of handslaps.

"Mmmoh really?" Jacques replied. "Well then why don't you come up here and show me how to coil a double goosenecked safety line for an oak strut buttress?"

Mogey and Smush walked to the front of the class and began heaping ropes into a pile and knotting them at random as Jacques shook his head disappointedly. Their failure culminated in Mogey dangling upside down with his ankle caught in a hanging rope while Smush unsheathed his machete and chopped the rope to pieces.

"Let me tell you a little secret about the lumberjack game," Jacques said, leaning in close to Mogey and Smush. "If you want to get anyplace you gotta be smart, you gotta be strong, and you gotta be goodlookin'. I'll be honest, I'm not so sure it's the proper profession for you fellahs."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXII

One day Mogey and Smush were down at the market selling home-grown potatoes when Mogey got into an altercation.

"Look, I don't care what your nickname is!" Mogey exclaimed. "I don't like the way you're looking at my taters."

"You don't understand," the man said. "You don't know who I am? I'm Barney 'The Nose' Banderbus, 498 and 0." It was plain to see why they called him "The Nose": Banderbus had one of the most exceptionally bulbous and hairy schnozzes Mogey and Smush had ever seen.

"So you fancy yourself a boxer?" Mogey taunted, dancing about. "Well, The Nose, you KNOWS nothing! You oggle my tators once more and you'll be 498 and 1 before you can say 'petal!'"

"Did you say 'pedal?'" The Nose inquired.

"No, peTal'" Mogey corrected him. "As in a flower petal."

"You know, you're quite a potato salesman," The Nose said thoughtfully. "I'll take a dozen pounds of your finest!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXI

Historians and witch doctors alike have long wondered the principal manner in which Mogey and Smush made their living. There were many ways the two pals earned enough to afford their daily pie, one of which was the famed tight-rope walking academy they ran out back.

"But Mikolecevic," Mogey protested, "how can you leave us now? We've taught you everything you know." He and Smush were both crestfallen as they sat across from their prized pupil, Mikolecevic Jones, on a fine spring day at the academy's training facility.

"I'm sorry Master Mogey, Master Smush," Mikolecevic replied sadly.

"Go if you must," Smush said, "but promise me one thing: promise you haven't gone over to the dark side of rope walking."

"You know me too well, Master Smush," Mikolecevic admitted, his countenance downcast. "It is true that I have succumbed to the temptation of loose-rope walking. There is nothing you can do to save me now. Farewell."

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXX

One evening Mogey came bustling up to Smush with (as the Seafolk of Timbuktu say) his undies in a bunch.

"Smush," Mogey stated. "This is unacceptable. You and I don't have a secret handshake. Heck, we don't even have a well-known handshake, doggone it!"

Smush had never heard his friend cuss so horribly.

"Ok, Mogey," he said, "ok. What were you thinking of?"

"Here's what I got in mind..." Mogey began. "We pound our fists together and then do a little spin on our boot heels. Then we each pull a pickerel tale out of our breast pocket and we slap those together three times. After that, you run down to the jam stand and I'll sprint to the peanut fields and we'll meet back in the middle to smash together a perfect peanut butter and jelly sangwich. Then we'd wrap it up with a double wink."

"Smashing!" Smush replied. "Only one thing though, what's a double wink?"

"It's when you wink both eyes at once," Mogey answered quietly. "Only a few creatures in the entire animal kingdom can do it, but don't worry, I know the secret."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXIX

"Moge-ster!" Smush called up the stairs as Mogey was slipping on his shiny shoes for a night of merriment. "How do you feel about Polka Dots?"

"Polka dots?" Mogey exclaimed. "Is there anything uglier? I want nothing to do with polka dots!"

Mogey heard what sounded like a loud sob, followed by the downstairs door slamming. And then Smush stomped into his room looking positively livid.

"Why would you say that?" Smush demanded. "You knew we were going to the polka hall tonight!"


"So when I asked you that, I was standing downstairs with the lovely and glamorous Polka Dots: Dorothy Halebard and Dorothy Speizlebab!" Smush shouted. "And now you've made them run away crying! One thing's for sure: I will NOT go stag to a polka hall."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXVIII

One horrid winter day Mogey and Smush were both suffering from the fever. Anytime Mogey would cough, Smush would sneeze, and anytime Smush's throat hurt, Mogey's belly ached. The fever was so intense that it began to bring on hallucinations: at one point Mogey walked in to find Smush deep in conversation with someone named Queen Leopolda who wasn't there at all. Finally, Smush could take it no more. He began crawling to the kitchen.

"Smush," Mogey groaned, "where are you going?"

"I'm going to end this misery," Smush replied. When he reached the kitchen he heaved out a large bowl, an egg whisk, some molasses, a large packet of horse radish, a pound of uncooked macaroni, three eggs, and a prickly pear. He churned these ingredients together into a chunky sort of stew.

"Mogey!" he called. "Come here will you?" Mogey crawled slowly into the kitchen. "Drink this." And drink it he did.

"Ugh!" Mogey grimaced. "This is awful! Will it really make me feel better?"

"Nope!" Smush replied. "But I'm feeling better already."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXVII

"Keep your eyes closed, Smush," Mogey said as he led his friend along. "You wouldn't want to spoil your birthday present!"

"I'm trying," Smush muttered, "but it's too hot to keep them shut much longer - my eyeballs are sweating something awful."

"Almost there," Mogey assured him. He led Smush to the top of Bulbous Hill and stationed him in front of the water slide he'd spent the last few weeks putting together. "Now hold still, Smush!"

Mogey got a running start and barrelled into his unsuspecting pal, shoving him down the slide with the speed of a marmot who has the scent of almond butter in his nostrils. Smush slid alllllll the way down Bulbous Hill, finally landing with a splash in Knuckleburt Creek.

"How was it, Smush? How was it?" Mogey cried, racing down to meet him.

"Pretty fun," Smush said, wincing. "Although we may want to cut a few of the branches off those logs you used...and maybe sand the bark down a bit...."

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXVI

"Oh Mogey?" Smush said one mediocre summer morning. "How's about we head down to Nickelroy's spice shop for some exotic spices from around the world?"

"An excellent idea," Mogey rejoined. "I've been thinking our cooking's been a bit bland lately. Exotic spices from around the world might be just the thing."

So Mogey and Smush hopped into their pig-drawn carriage and let their two steeds, Oinks McMaren and Pinkbreath, carry them into town. Nickelroy's spice shop smelled spicy as ever when they walked through the door.

"Good day, Nickelroy," Smush greeted the proprietor. "What have you got for us in the vein of exotic spices from around the world?"

"How funny you should ask," Nickelroy replied hefting a jar filled with the tiny white and black grains of some spice. "I've just gotten this amazing new one in today. It's called Altsay Epperpay...give it a try." Mogey and Smush both stuck a finger into the spice jar and touched it to their tongues.

"My goodness!" Mogey announced. "This is the most exotic spice from around the world I've ever tasted. Hang salt and pepper, altsay epperpay is my new favorite!"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXV

One day when the wind whipped hard enough to pull a dodo bird's beak off center, Mogey and Smush were canoeing down the might Upachuck River.

"Can't we get over to the side and wait this storm out?" Mogey yelled over the gale.

"No can do, Moge-man!" Smush called back. "Not if we want to make it to this square dance on time anyhow!"

"I-I'm not feeling so good, Smush," Mogey said.

"Just hang on!" Smush shouted. "You'll feel much better with a bit of fresh air in your face! And that's Big Jimmy Falls up ahead, so you'll be getting plenty of fresh air in just a moment!"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXIV

It was a sweaty, exhausted Mogey and Smush who reached the top of a grassy hill after a mighty three-quarters of an hour's travel. As they crested the knoll, a monstrous hole in the earth came into view.

"By Golly," Smush whispered in awe, "this must be Chunk Crater. Eons ago, a great meteor called the Sky Diaper plummeted to earth here, causing the hole we see today."

Just then, a line of several dozen exceptionally dirty dwarves came walking by. Each of them had a shovel slung over his shoulder and they were all singing out lustily.

"Another day of digging
for our little band here
We dug this entire hole
A meteor didn't land here!"

"What amazingly good timing," Mogey exclaimed as the dwarves filed past. "I guess this isn't Chunk Crater after all, eh Smush?"

"Crazy dwarves..." Smush muttered. "Who are you going to believe: your best friend, or a bunch of dwarves with a song and a shovel?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXIII

One day Mogey was in the midst of telling Smush a story about the time he'd evaded capture by the Mighty Yungaman of Dunspee Lake.

" the Yungaman comes flying out of the water, but I stop and stand stock-still because he supposedly doesn't have good peripheral vision, see? So I'm sitting on pins and needles at this point..."

"You know I sat on pins and needles once?" Smush interrupted.

"I hadn't heard that," Mogey answered. "What happened?"

"I had a large amount of pins and needles sticking out of my bottom for nye on four days," Smush replied. "That's what happened."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXII

One golden morning, Mogey and Smush were packing their lunch pails with various foodstuffs. Smush had crammed his pail with cold chicken, half of a bean burrito, a small packet of hot n' sassy beef jerky, two potatoes, part of a summer sausage, and a hefty slice of peach cobbler. Mogey had packed a similar smorgasbord and was just wrapping up a sardine sandwich to top it all off.

"Smush, you really must weigh in on this debate," Mogey said. "Would you call what I'm wrapping this sandwich in aluminum foil, aluminium foil, or tin foil?"

"Mogey," Smush replied with a sigh, "you're wrapping that sandwich in paper. Now get a move on, we're going to be late to the breakfast buffet."

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXI

One day Mogey and Smush were lost. They had unfurled their tattered old Map of All the Land and were both hunched over it trying to discern the best way to travel from Amesbury, where they were, to Bernoch-by-the-Lake, where they were going.

"Why don't we just cut through this big dark area here?" Mogey asked, pointing at a black blob on the map.

"Heavens no!" Smush replied. "We can't go through Murderwood! There's turtles in there big enough to ride!"

"So?" Mogey said. "What's wrong with that?"

"I haven't told you what rides the turtles yet," Smush answered. "Upon the back of each a chipmunk!"

"That still doesn't seem very dangerous...."

"But I haven't told you what the chipmunks have in their hands yet," Smush said. "Each turtle-riding armed with not one, but two chestnut pistols that fire almond darts. No, we shall not take the shortcut through Murderwood...not on my watch."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLX

One day Mogey and Smush were cruising on through the open air market when they came across a most curious peddler. His stall was full of tiny cages containing moths, grasshoppers, and all manner of other creepy-crawlies.

"What've you got for us, peddler?" Mogey said.

"A fine selection I have today, chaps," the peddler replied. "I think two clever shoppers such as yourselves will find this particular item most interesting." He gestured to a cage hanging from the stall's top post. "It's a Lithuanian Horn Bug."

"What's it do?" Mogey asked as he examined the creature.

"If you rub its horn on your knees every morning, it'll give you the ability to climb ladders at breakneck pace!"

"That doesn't seem very useful," Smush said. "In fact, the term 'breakneck pace' suggests--"

"We'll take it!" Mogey cried. "With this little guy on my side I'll be eating twice the coconuts in half the time."