Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Abbreviate Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCII

"Hey Smush," Mogey said in mid-yawn one morning at the breakfast table. "You know how we've been eating a lot of waffles lately?"

"Well how could we not after the jail gave us two tubs of 'expired' waffle batter?" Smush replied. "It was only a few weeks old after all - and they'd kept it in the root cellar the entire time."

"Right," Mogey answered. "Well I've thought of a completely new topping that's going to revolutionize the waffle industry. It's better than syrup, better than jam, better than clotted cream even! And you'll never guess what it is."

"Is it cinnamon and sugar?" Smush suggested.


"You're sure? It's definitely not cinnamon and sugar?"

"Absolutely not," Mogey insisted. "Those are the last two ingredients I want near my waffles."

"Alrighty Mogerty Moges," Smush said. "What is it?"

"Cinnamon and sugar!" Mogey proclaimed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCI

Difficult as this is to believe, there was a time when neither Mogey nor Smush had ever visited Barnabyshire. Realizing what a mistake this was, the two pals packed their bags and set out for Barnabyshire on a wintry Wednesday morning around eleven.

Over the course of the long journey Mogey and Smush questioned everyone they passed as to the ins and outs of Barnabyshire: what to do, what to eat, the best lodgings. There was disagreement over the warmest boarding house, and various characters informed them of many different social engagements, but every last traveler they met told Mogey and Smush that they absolutely MUST have a Barnabyshire Pie.

When a bedraggled Mogey and Smush finally crossed the moat into the village they were almost delirious with exhaustion. Only one thought kept them conscious: a fresh Barnabyshire Pie. They stumbled into the pub and flopped down in the seats nearest the door.

"A Barnabyshire Pie!" they cried in unison.

"Are ye certain?" asked a portly barkeep, sauntering over to the table.

"Yes!" Smush answered. "We've been dreaming of Barnabyshire Pie for the entire three quarters of a mile journey from our home!"

"Alright," the barkeep replied, reaching behind the bar. He pulled out two tins full to the brim of molasses and duck feathers, which he proceeded to toss into Mogey and Smush's faces before the weary travelers could raise a hand to stop him. "Welcome to Barnabyshire, ye goofies!" the barkeep cried.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CC

Episode One
One partly cloudy summer day Mogey and Smush were oiling their cannon. A cannon must be kept well-oiled or it will rust, and a rusty cannon sometimes launches cannonballs on a substandard trajectory.

"Smush," Mogey said, "I've been wondering something for quite a while now. Why do we have this cannon in our front garden?"

"Why I can't believe you would even ask such a dunderhead question," Smush replied. "The reasoning behind the cannon is twofold. Fold One: home defense. Remember the time that traveling salesman rode his donkey cart up the path there? Well what if instead of a salesman it had been a pirate? And what if instead of a donkey cart it had been a fully-rigged Spanish Galleon? You wouldn't be wondering about our cannon then."

"Mmm," Mogey answered, "quite."

"And there's still another fold to go," Smush went on. "Fold Two: doesn't it look nice sitting here besides my posies?"

Episode Two
The penalty for stealing a chicken in Dundeendoubleborough County was six hours in the stocks, so as you might imagine, Mogey and Smush spent a great many days in front of city hall with their hands locked into the county's most heavy-duty pillory. One such day was a gloomy, dim one in late fall.

"Why do we always seem to end up here on Tuesdays?" Smush asked as a small child hurled spoiled cabbage at his head.

"I know the very reason," Mogey replied, as an overripe tomato sailed toward him. "It's because Farmer Lumphilden feeds his hens double on Sunday nights."

"Ahh, of course" Smush said, grimacing as Sister Laurel-Ann, the village nun, gave him a fearsome noogie. "So they look particularly fat and scrumptious Monday afternoon, which is when we get caught."

"Heavens no," Mogey answered while a surly dwarf tugged on his eyebrows. "I think it's because we're so envious of the chickens' extra dinner that we want to take them down a peg or two. And everyone knows eating a chicken is the only way to teach it a lesson."

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCIX

One summer afternoon that would have been absolutely perfect for treasure hunting Mogey and Smush were out treasure hunting. They looked high and low over hill and under dale in search of a hidden treasure trove they knew must be out there.

"Smush!" Mogey called. "Come quickly! I've found it! I've finally found it!" Smush heard his voice float over a bluff and immediately scrambled up to see what treasure he'd uncovered. He found Mogey crouched in a bramble at the very top.

"Look Smush," Mogey said with quiet awe as he pointed down into the valley. "Have you ever seen a treasure so magnificent?"

"I don't believe I have, Moginator," Smush replied, giving his friend a hearty pat on the back. "I don't believe I have. It would appear they have an entire ham hock in that picnic basket, and raisin buns besides!"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCVIII

One day Mogey went down to the workshop to find Smush hard at work building something.

"What in the world are you making, Smush?" Mogey asked.

"A rowboat," Smush replied.

"Great goblin gobs Smush!" Mogey cried. "How could you? Haven't you ever read any science fiction? Those things are going to enslave the human race someday!"

"No Mogey," Smush answered with a great sigh. "I said a rowBOAT."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCVII

One day in the crunchety cold depths of winter, Mogey and Smush went out to the silo for a sack of flour to make their morning doughnuts. The silo's old iron door squealed in protest as they cranked it open and they hurriedly closed it against the cold. Inside the lanternlight danced upon flour sacks piled taller than a two story building. Smush hefted a sack over his shoulder and turned to leave but then paused, sniffing the air.

"There's a sack missing," he said with certainty, staring up at the mountain of burlap.

"What are you talking about, Smush?" Mogey retorted, hugging himself in the bitter air.

"Don't you play dumb with me, Mogey," Smush said, wagging his finger. "I know your penchant for raw flour. I'll bet a brace of Turkish hens I know where I'll find that missing sack."

And with that Smush marched back to the house and up the stairs to Mogey's room, not even bothering to remove his snowy boots.

"Ah ha!" Smush cried, pulling a half-empty flour sack from beneath Mogey's bed.

"I 'ave no idea how 'at got der," Mogey answered, charging breathlessly into the room and attempting to speak around a huge mouthful of flour.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCVI

One damp spring day as Mogey and Smush were out harrowing the oat fields, Mogey stubbed his toe on an extremely sharp possum who happened to gallop past.

"Yowch!" Mogey shouted, falling to the ground. "My toe! I've been hit!"

"Let me have a look at that," Smush said, reigning in Sanford O'Wells and Patches, their prize winning ox team. Smush walked over and examined Mogey's toe. "Looks like a nice deep cut you've got there, Mogester," Smush opined. Then, without warning he gave Mogey's other foot a swift kick.

"Yowch! Again!" Mogey cried. "What did you do that for?"

Instead of answering, Smush pulled out his riding crop and gave Mogey a few well-placed smacks to the upper extremities.

"Stop it, Smush!" Mogey yelled, getting to his feet and lurching forward. "What's gotten into you?"

"Ah, but how's that stubbed toe feeling?" Smush asked.

"Much worse!" Mogey shouted. "And now my upper extremities are sore as well!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCV

One evening Mogey and Smush were ambling down to the village square for a theatre in the round performance of The Devil's Lasagna, one of the most popular plays of the season. It was to be a particularly exciting show, as Her Majesty's own theatre troupe, The Tubbylarg Players, had made its way out to their little hamlet.

Mogey and Smush were about halfway down the old country road, when a short man with a meticulously waxed moustache sauntered up behind them.

"Say fellows," the man said, "I'm awfully chilly. Could either of you spare your coat for a moment or two?"

"My goodness!" Mogey cried. "But you're Limas Bamberchin, star of The Tubbylarg Players!"

"Um...sure I am," the man replied.

"Well then take both our coats!" Smush said, heaping his atop the man's shoulders where it was followed swiftly by Mogey's jacket. " You can give them back to us at the theatre! And here, take this money in case you need to buy a shank of lamb to warm up on your way to the theatre!"

The man took the coats and the money and, thanking them, sauntered off again.

"Say Mogey," Smush murmured after a bit, "I'd always heard that Limas Bamberchin was rather a tall man. And clean-shaven. How'd you know that was him?"

"Me?" Mogey demanded. "I thought you knew him! Do you mean to tell me we've just given away our best jackets AND our lamb shank money in one fell swoop?"

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCIV

One cold winter morning when the snow was waist high, Mogey and Smush's house sprung a leak. Melted snow came streaming in through a chicken-sized hole in the roof, and so the two pals road into town to get Handyman Bull Babcock.

When they returned, Handyman Bull Babcock headed upstairs to take a gander at the leak while Mogey and Smush built and roaring fire and brewed a pot of tea in an attempt to warm up. Shortly thereafter, Bull came down scratching his head.

"So can you fix it?" Smush asked.

"You know, it's the strangest thing," Bull replied. "But your roof don't seem to be made of nothin' but cardboard, hay, and chewin' gum."

"Well of course," Mogey answered. "Our manor is one of the finest in the district. What did you think the roof would be made out of?"

"Wood?" Handyman Bull Babcock said. "Tar paper? Tin?"

"We prefer a cardboard, hay, and gum roof," Smush retorted. "Or a C.H. Gum as they're called. It's much more pleasing to the eye and nostrils. Now can you fix the thing or not?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCIII

One morning Mogey got the letter. He'd finally been called up to the Pickledun Football Club after their star forward, Lars Tubbles, had sprained his stomach by swallowing a particularly spicy chicken wing. Mogey knew he was ready for the big leagues: he was playing the best soccer of his life, and had just led Pickledun's farm team, The Stallmuckers, to a club record 1-game winning streak.

"How are you feeling?" Smush asked as they walked toward the stadium in the morning fog.

"I've never felt better," Mogey replied. "It feels like a hat-trick day to me."

"Have you ever done one of those before?" Smush said.

"A hat-trick? Not yet," Mogey answered. "But I think today's the day."

By the second half Pickledun was already losing 34-nil, but the fans still mustered a rousing cheer when Mogey entered the game for the first time. He'd scarcely been in for a minute when a perfect pass was lobbed in his direction by defender Johnson Buhrt. All Mogey had to do was tap it by the goaltender but instead he stopped running, removed a top hat from his shorts, and began to spin it on his finger. The crowd began to boo, even as Mogey flipped the hat from one finger to another, finally spinning it on his nose and popping it onto his head. Things were hurled on the field as Mogey stood by in confusion and disappointment. Smush, however, understood and cheered wildly.

"Great hat-trick, Mogey!" he cried. "One of the best of all time."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCII

One crisp autumn afternoon Mogey and Smush set about making a berry pear-y pie. Mogey got out the old stepladder and reached up to the tippety top of their kitchen shelves where sat a dusty copy of Mrs. Delectable's Extraordinarily Wild Dessert Cookbook.

"It says here," Mogey said, opening to the page on berry pear-y pies, "that one of the principle ingedients in pie is dough."

"Uh oh," Smush replied. "That could be trouble."

"But why?" Mogey asked.

"Well there's only been one deer at the salt-lick all this week," Smush answered. "And he was a buck! It might take nigh on a fortnight to get a doe."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXCI

One day Mogey and Smush ran out of jam. They looked high and low in the pantry, the larder, and the root cellar. It was a serious problem they had on their hands considering they were making toast with jam, which is very difficult to make if there's no jam about.

"A jam hunt it is!" Smush announced, and they struck out down the lane.

After they'd ransacked the pantries of their neighbors Mister Maisers, Missus Caisers, and John-Fred Whipplebun, it became clear to Mogey and Smush that the entire county was plum out of jam, and certainly out of plum jam, which was their favorite flavor.

"What has happened?" Smush cried desperately. "Is our poor county stricken by jam thieves?"

"Now don't be mad, Smush," Mogey said slowly after a moment. "But I've just remembered where the jam is. I brought the jar to bed with me last night for a bit of a bedtime snack. It's just on my bedside table.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CXC

"I've got a trivia question for you, Smush," said Mogey one morning as they walked to the mill in a fog thicker than marshmallow fluff. "What creature has the hardest pinch in the animal kingdom?"

"Hmm," Smush replied thoughtfully. "That would be the Arctic Sweaty Lobster, wouldn't it?"

"Not quite," Mogey answered with a mischievous grin.

"Oh," Smush said. "Is it the Anger-toothed Scorpion of Dirtery Dell?"

"Nope," Mogey replied, barely containing his mirth.

"Well what is it?" Smush demanded.

"It's that guy!" Mogey cried, pointing to a particularly crotchety gnome who waddled by, pinched Smush's leg so hard that he fell to the ground in a heap, and waddled away.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXIX

One day Mogey and Smush were weeding the rutabagas when a creakity cart rolled up the the path. The cart was stacked precariously in back with dozens of covered cages, and at the reins was a dapper man with slicked back hair and a handsome purple suit.

"Good morrow, fine gents," the man said, hopping spryly from his perch. "The name's Badgerman Bleak, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance I'm sure."

"Mogey," Mogey replied in a daze, shaking Badgerman Bleak's outstretched hand.

"Smush," said Smush as he did the same.

"Do you really think we're fine gents?" Mogey asked.

"I do indeed," Badgerman Bleak replied. "So fine in fact, that I can't believe your magnificent estate doesn't have something every magnificent estate needs. Something, in fact, that I'd be able to provide you for the low low price of twenty-nine ninety-nine." He made a sweeping gesture to the cages in the rear of the cart.

"What's that?" Smush asked with a goofy grin. "A badger? Teehee."

With surprising quickness for how handsome he was, Badgerman Bleak slapped Smush across the face.

"How dare you?" Badgerman Bleak bellowed. "Badgerman's a family name! The only things I sell are windchimes. And lobster pots." And with that, Badgerman Bleak rode off into the sunset, though it was only ten in the morning.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXVIII

One day Mogey and Smush were trekking across the mighty Chokedust Desert when they came upon a small shed. They were tired and sandy and sitting in the shade of the tiny building was the coolest thing they'd felt since daybreak.

"Fill your canteens, boys?"

The crackly voice made Mogey and Smush both jump. A supremely wrinkly old man with the most distinguished ear-hair they had ever seen had opened a window in the shed above them and stuck his head out.

"Fill your canteens?" the man repeated. Mogey and Smush looked at once another: their canteens had gotten frighteningly low.

"How much?" Smush asked.

"15 copper pennypieces," the man said with a wink.

"We'll take it!" Mogey exclaimed. 15 copper pennypieces was a bargain this far from civilization. The man collected their canteens and disappeared back into the shed, reemerging presently with the newly filled vessels. Mogey grabbed eagerly at his and took an experimental draught.

With the cry of a wounded boar, Mogey spat out the liquid as if it had burned him.

"What is this stuff?" he demanded.

"Water," the man replied with a concerned look.

"Water?" Smush countered. "Who do you think we are? Mogey and Smush don't drink any beverage that doesn't include the words 'tropical' and 'punch' in its name!"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXVII

One day Mogey awoke with a loose tooth. How it came loose he had no idea, though he suspected his propensity to eat rock candy in his sleep may have had something to do with it. It was a well-known fact in those times that a loose tooth would turn evil and try to corrupt the other teeth with sweets and exotic spices, so Mogey knew the tooth would have to be removed. Since he couldn't grit his teeth, he did his best to grit his eyes and vowed to do what had to be done.

Smush walked outside a bit later to find Mogey crouched about ten feet behind Silvio, their prize Great Pink pig, a length of twine leading from his mouth to somewhere near Silvio's hind legs.

"What in the world are you doing Mogey?" Smush demanded.

"Give Silvio a slap, will you Smush?" Mogey asked nervously. "I'm trying to yank this tooth out."

Smush needed no other encouragement: he gave Silvio a firm smack on the flank and the enormous hog squealed and galloped away. The string, however, remained where it was with nary a yank on Mogey's loose tooth.

"Oh no!" Mogey cried. "I've forgotten to tie the twine to the pig! And the barnyard gate is wide open!"

He and Smush broke into a hollering sprint after their prize piggy, but Silvio had a head start and the smell of freedom in his large pink nostrils.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXVI

One evening Mogey and Smush were readying themselves to head into town for a meeting of the village council. It was a warm summer night, so Smush began tacking Hoofnugget, their old cart horse.

"Aw man," Mogey sighed. "We're taking Hoofnugget? But I wanted to roll into town in style."

"In style you say?" Smush rejoined. "I know just the thing."

And so it was that Mogey and Smush rode into the village of Grouchport (much to the consternation of its townspeople) on a pair of wheeled surfboards towed by an entire flock of brightly-plumed chickenbirds.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXV

One day Mogey and Smush went to the seashore. It was a lovely day: the sun was shining, the waters were calm, even the hermit crabs didn't seem quite so bloodthirsty.

Smush went for a solitary stroll down the beach to clear his mind and his throat. As he traveled a fair distance away from Mogey and the other beachgoers, a large seal unexpectedly emerged from the water and began to bark playfully and hop about him.

"What are you doing, fella?" Smush asked with a grin. The seal held up a flipper for a handshake, which Smush administered gladly. The seal dropped a worn ball at Smush's feet, and they began an old-fashioned game of fetch. Doobles, as Smush named the seal, was a bit ungainly on land, but if Smush threw the ball into the ocean Doobles would put on display of aquatic grace that baffled the mind and pleased the eye.

"Sheesh," Mogey said as he came sauntering up after a while. "That has got to be the fattest dog I've ever seen."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXIV

One foggy morning Mogey and Smush were selecting sailors to join them for a 3-year fishing voyage aboard their ship, the Marmalade. The prospective crew members were a motley bunch, and our heroes put them in a line and strode hither and thither, weighing the pros and cons of each man.

"Where do you hail from, sailor?" Smush asked a moustached man wearing a grubby linen shirt and cutoff jean shorts.

"The haunted woods a' Beansbury, cap'n," the man replied, spitting respectfully to the side so as not to hit Smush. "I cut me sailin' teeth on a freshwater musseler, an' was the ship's boy on the whalin' ship Seamurder IV, the only survivor when she sank off Dangerdeath Rock. For the last six years I been fishing cod in the dragon-infested waters a' poison bay."

"What about you?" Mogey demanded of a barrel-chested fellow wearing only suspenders and parachute pants.

"Can't say as I've been fishing before," he replied. "But I do like a good fish chowder with my supper now and again. One thing though, will there be many early mornings? I'm more of a night owl myself."

Mogey and Smush turned their backs and talked in muted tones.

"Well it comes down to Beansbury and Suspenders-man," Smush said. "Which one do you think?"

"I have my doubts about Beansbury," Mogey replied. "Who knows if he'd be tough enough to survive a 3-year voyage? I say Suspenders is the way to go."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXIII

One day Mogey and Smush were hulling strawberries out back. Smush, who had been uncharacteristically pensive for the preceding hour or so, finally spoke up.

"I've been thinking, Mogey," he said.

"What have you been thinking?" Mogey replied.

"I've been thinking I might like to run for mayor of this here township," Smush stated.

"You?" Mogey asked, chuckling. "Mayor of Turgusburgington? You don't know the first thing about being mayor!"

"How dast you?" Smush demanded. "What don't I know about being mayor?"

"Well," Mogey answered thoughtfully, "do you know how to spell the name of the town, for instance?"

"But of course I do!" Smush said. "The historic village of Turgusburgington, spelled T-E-G-S-B-U-G-then there's one of those little symbols that looks sort of like an eight with a tail-T-U-N. Turgusburgington."

"I've doubted you before," Mogey responded after a moment, "but this was the last time. You'll make the greatest mayor this little town has ever seen!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CLXXXII

Quite early one morning Mogey and Smush struck out for the county fair so they would be first in line to arm wrestle "Musclebound" Bjorn, the rumored part man - part orangutan who would be taking all comers.

"What the heck were you doing last night, Mogey?" Smush demanded as they cut across the front garden.

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean," Mogey replied.

"This grass is soaking wet!" Smush cried. "Did you have some sort of late night pool party out here?"

"That's just morning dew," Mogey explained.

"You're morning dew!" Smush retorted and he stomped back toward the house in search of some dry towels.