Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCXII

One clear winter's day when the sunlight glinted off the snow like candlelight off a freshly-licked butter knife, Mogey and Smush were strolling through town. As they passed a dark and mysterious alleyway, a voice beckoned them from the shadows.

"Von't you help me, good sirs?" the voice said in a thick Transylvanian accent. Mogey and Smush looked at each other, shrugged, and veered into the alleyway.

The voice's owner, it turned out, was an extraordinarily pale man wearing an old fashioned suit and a deep purple cape.

"I vant to eat!" the pale man exclaimed, gesturing strangely with his cape. "If I do not eat I vill die."

"Seems accurate," Mogey said.

"We're with you so far..." Smush added.

"But zee only thing I can eat - or more truthfully, drink - is forbidden!" the pale man said, guiltily looking away.

"What is it?" Mogey asked curiously. "What's the only thing you can drink?"

"Zee most taboo liquid to drink in all zee vorld. Zee most sinful of all beverages!" the pale man said. "By now I am sure you have realized vhat I speak of: Havaiian punch!"

"Hawaiian punch?" Smush demanded. "Why don't you just go get it yourself?"

"Look at my skin!" the man cried. "I vould burn like a crispy pork snack! Zee sun is glinting like candlelight off a freshly licked butter knife!"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCXI

One morning on their way to work at the snake hatchery, Mogey and Smush paused in front of a blue spruce to which clung the largest squid either of them had ever seen.

"What's going on here?" Mogey asked Smush as they stared up at the squid, who was waggling his tentacles in an impudent manner.

"It appears to be a squid in a tree," Smush replied.

"Huh," Mogey said thoughtfully. "How do you suppose he got up there?"

"I haven't the foggiest idea," Smush said. "All I know is that the problem of what we're eating for lunch today seems to have been solved for us. Now run back and get our stepladder, won't you, Mogey? I'll go tell Mr. Dawdlefooze we're going to be a few minutes late to work."

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCX

One day Mogey and Smush were bringing a sheep to market when they encountered a tinker on the mud track just outside town. The tinker travelled in a ramshackle cart drawn by two jackrabbits and a three legged pony, and he took particular interest in the white Derbyshire Mogey and Smush were leading along.

"Be that sheep for sale, gentlefolk?" the tinker asked. He hopped down from his cart, which shook violently, causing all the bits and bobs hanging from the eves to make quite a racket. "I'll give ye two pieces of silver, a raccoon pelt, and this Jimbo "Jellylegs" Johnston signed rookie card for it."

"Are you serious?" Smush asked, taken aback. "I am sure you speak in jest, goodly tinker, for this is a prize Derbyshire white, the finest sheep in the whole county! "

"Alright, alright," the tinker replied. "You gentlemen drive a hard bargain. How about a sack of grapefruits, a lucky boar's tusk, my plumpest hen, and this coupon for two free games of skee ball at Funland?"

"Excuse me a moment while I confer with my business associate, won't you?" Smush said. He turned to Mogey. "Is skee ball the one where you try to jump the balls into those little targets?" he whispered. Mogey nodded, and Smush turned back to the tinker. "Throw in half of that ham sandwich you're eating and you've got yourself a deal!"

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCIX

One day Mogey and Smush walked into town to buy some scarves and a case of soy sauce when they came upon a large group of people gathered before city hall.

"What's going on here?" Mogey asked a crinkly old wheelwright.

"A wizard's just come through town!" the ancient man said. "He set a jar of pickles on the town hall steps and decreed that any man who could open it was destined to be the next King of Smolsey!"

Mogey and Smush pushed to the front of the crowd, where a half dozen men were brutalizing a small pickle jar with sledge hammers, spears, and even their fists. The pickle jar absorbed all the punishment without so much as a crack.

"Allow me, gentlemen, if you will," Smush said, brushing past the attackers. He knelt to pick up the pickle jar and carefully examined it. With a flick of his wrist, Smush popped the jar open and fished out a pickle.

"My stars!" one of the onlookers cried in disbelief. "How did you do that?"

"Righty tighty, lefty loosey," Smush replied calmly, munching on the pickle. The crowd let out a collective groan.

"I told you guys we had it wrong!" another onlooker shouted.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCVIII

One day while they were on holiday Mogey and Smush were taking a stroll through a large, rustic orchard.

"Funny thing about grapefruits," Mogey said as they passed a stand of grapefruit trees. "Did you know they're neither grapes nor fruits?"

"They are certainly fruits," Smush replied.

"Funny thing about blueberries," Mogey said, pointing to a thicket of blueberry bushes. "Did you know they're neither--"

"They are too!" Smush interrupted. "They're both blue AND berries!"

"Funny thing about how getting hit in the face with a rotten peach is both fun and NOT a huge mess," Mogey said menacingly as he picked up a peach bigger and rottener than Big Peachy Rotterdam, the lead singer of The Orchard Blues Three.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCVII

One day Mogey and Smush discovered that a small colony of feral pigs had taken up residence in their chimney, and so they hired a chimney sweep to come out and take a look at their delicate situation.

"Tom Big Toe, at your service," the chimney sweep said as he walked up the front drive. He was a short, stout man, and did not look at all designed for crawling up chimneys.

"Tom Big Toe?" Mogey declared, shaking the chimney sweep's grubby hand. "Ha! Just like Tom Thumb!"

"Don't you EVER mention that name in my presence!" Tom Big Toe yelled, putting a wrought iron fire-poker to Mogey's neck with alarming quickness. "That lummox is my cousin! For the life of me I can't understand why Tom Thumb gets to entertain kings and get baked into pies and hide in the mouths of slack-jawed millers when Tom Big Toe is stuck here sweeping chimneys! It's plain crooked, it is."

Mogey and Smush exchanged incredulous looks but remained silent as Tom Big Toe lowered the fire-poker.

"Alrighty then," Tom Big Toe said, clapping his hands together. "Let's see about that pig colony in your chimney!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCVI

One icy spring day, Mogey and Smush sat on the floor of their yurt, huddled over their raw coke fire, when they heard the knock of a strong and hairy fist on the front door.

"May I come in and get warm for a moment?" a strong and hairy voice called from outside.

"Be you a sasquatch?" Smush asked cautiously.

"No!" the voice yelled. "I'm naught but an arctic seal!"

"Then shove off!" Mogey yelled. "No one gets into this yurt unless he can give out big warm sasquatch hugs!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCV

"Smush?" Mogey began as he approached the pastry table where his pal sat hard at work making beef n' gravy turnovers. "I need you to come help me fight Cucumber McGraw."

"Fight Cucumber McGraw?" Smush asked, removing his beef juice safety goggles dramatically. "But he's got the strength of a dozen burly men, plus another man who's only a bit burly! What's he done to you, anyhow?"

"He disrespected the name of Mogey in front of half the town!" Mogey replied. "As we passed one another on the street I greeted him cordially, but ol' Cucumber McGraw whacked me full in the face with a sack of leafy greens."

"Tisk tisk, Mogey," Smush said, shaking his noggin. "He meant no disrespect. That's just how Cucumber McGraw says hello."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCIV

"You see that house up there?" Smush said one day as he and Mogey were ambling along Haystack Boulevard. He pointed to a cozy-looking brick building with an impeccably kept front garden. "Be on your guard as we pass that one, my lad. That's the house of Witch Richards, the orneriest old hag in all these parts."

Mogey gulped, but wanting to look like a tough guy, he recomposed himself and nodded stoically as they approached Witch Richards' abode. No sooner had they passed her garden gate than the front door creaked open and out stepped a matronly old woman carrying a cookie sheet in her oven mitt-ensconced hands.

"Oh boys!" she called sweetly. Mogey and Smush stopped dead in their tracks with fear. "Boys, would you like some fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies?"

Mogey and Smush both stared at her for a split second before turning and tearing down the street as though their preposterous lives depended on it.

"See what I mean, Mogey?" Smush yelled as they ran. "The orneriest old hag in all these parts. Oatmeal raisin - BLEH!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCIII

One afternoon Smush came barreling through the front door, slamming it behind him and startling Mogey, who'd been busy making a broccoli bake, minus the broccoli.

"Gadzooks, Mogey!" Smush shouted. "Hail is coming down out there as big as hens' eggs!"

Mogey looked out the window, a rapturous smile spreading across his face, and dashed outside without a word. When he returned he was whistling happily and carrying half a dozen hailstones in his apron.

"Gonna make me an ice omelet," he sang quietly, "gonna cook one up real nice. Hail the size of hen's eggs. Ice ommmmmmmmmmmmmelet...."

Mogey stoked the fire in the pot belly stove until the frying pan on top was good and hot, singing and humming all the while. But as he tried to crack first one hailstone, then another, and another, without success, Mogey began to realize that his ice omelet dream was an impossible one.

Smush watched as his pal stood, staring at the frying pan in shock, looking as sad as a chicken whose son has just turned evil.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCII

"That's it!" Mogey exclaimed one day as he and Smush were playing an intense game of whist and sharing a bowl of tater tots. "I'm through!"

"Through?" Smush asked. "Through with what?"

"I'm through with eating ice cream," Mogey replied. "My paunch has begun to draw attention from the ladies, and not in a good way. From this point forward, I shall eat not a single scoop more of rum raisin, butter brickle, or any of the delectable ice cream flavors that have given me such an ungainly figure. And now that that's settled," Mogey said, unflexing his arms as he came out of his famous speaking stance, "how would you like to join me on a journey to the frozen custard stand?"

"Wouldn't eating frozen custard kind of defeat the purpose of giving ice cream up?" Smush queried.

"Come now, my dear Smush," Mogey answered. "I gave up ice cream, not deliciousness."

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCI

"What're we waiting for again, Smush?" Mogey asked, keenly analyzing a slice of salami in his boredom.

"We're waiting for the Thrashing Clawsparrow of Waterloo!" Smush whispered without breaking his gaze from their surroundings. "A mighty bird from another age. It stands fifteen feet high with a wingspan of more than 4 leagues and its claws are sharp enough to shave every hair off a full-grown wolf in only two strokes. If we're patient, we might just get a chance to leap atop the behemoth and be the first to ride him."

"The Mashing Turnip of Ballyhoo, you say?" Mogey replied. "That doesn't sound so--"

"There he is!" Smush interrupted as he caught sight of the colossal fowl. "Let's go for it Mogey!"

Mogey and Smush scampered with all their might and leaped onto the Thrashing Clawsparrow of Waterloo, gripping tight to its neck and back and hanging on for dear life.

"We're doing it, Mogey!" Smush bellowed. "We're riding the Thrashing Clawsparrow of Waterloo!"

"AHEM!" the museum curator cleared his throat as loudly as possible, silencing Mogey and Smush's hooting and hollering. "Gentlemen!" he shouted up at them. "Please do not ride the pterodactyl skeleton - it is extremely fragile!"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCC

One day as Mogey and Smush strode through the Enchanted Forest of Flurm, where the sun dappled ground was as soft underfoot as a bag of jam, they encountered a peaceful, clear-running stream.

"Look at all the crawdads!" Mogey exclaimed, reaching his hand into the water. No sooner had he broken the surface than a loud CHOMP! echoed across the woods. The noise was so resounding that it sent squirrels flying into their holes and lumberjacks leaping into one anothers' arms.

"Yowch!" Mogey shrieked, almost doubling the sound of the CHOMP! for volume as he hopped up and down, clutching his thumb. So cacophonous was the racket that squirrels ran back out of their holes and straight up the shirts of already jittery lumberjacks.

"These ain't crawdads, Mogey," Smush replied evenly. "They're Portuguese Chomping Shrimp!"

"Portuguese Chomping Shrimp?" Mogey stammered. "The most feared critter in all the Forest of Flurm? Great Ham Sandwiches with Mustard! Why aren't you running for the hills?"

"Come now, Mogey," Smush said, standing tall. "I've been chomp-proof since the day I was dropped in a lobster tank at age three and a half. Auntie Bloogle always claimed it was an accident, but I think she did it to make me un-chomp-able. And I've still got the chomp-scars to prove it."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCIX

Mogey, Smush, and their sherpa, Steve, finally summitted Bat Fang Mountain at half past two in the morning on April the twenty-fourth. They'd been climbing for weeks, and hunger had eventually forced them to devour their packmule, as well as the mules of several other climbing parties, but they had made it to the top.

"Not much of a view, is there?" Mogey said, gazing out disappointedly.

"Well it is half past two in the morning," Smush replied. "What do you say, Mr. Mogey? Is it yodelling time?"

"I wholeheartedly agree," Mogey exclaimed. He took a deep breath. "YODELAY-EE-OOOO!"

"What in heaven's name are you doing Mogey?" Smush demanded, as he opened his rucksack and tossed his friend a chocolate covered, cream filled snack cake. "I said it was time for some yodels, not time to yell like a crazy person."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCVIII

In the days of Mogey and Smush, there was no man more valuable in than the village tiler. The tiles were so shiny and clean, yet so fragile at the same time, that a tiler must have his grout and trowel close at hand all day and all night, especially in a town so rambunctious as Punchley. And there was tiler more magnificent in all the land than Mogey and Smush's tiler, Tyler the tiler.

"It's as though you're an artist with those tiles, Tyler," Smush said admiringly one day when Tyler had come by to repair a floor that had been damaged during a high-octane dumpling-eating contest.

"Aye," said Tyler.

"Is there anything you can't tile?" Mogey asked.

"Sir," Tyler replied, stopping work for a rare moment, "I can tile anything under the golden sun."

"Anything?" Smush queried. "Even if it had a lot of, er, moving parts?"

"Aye," said Tyler the tiler. And that very afternoon, the legend of Roundsnout, the Highland Tiled Pig, was born.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCVII

Whenever the whistle blew to announce lunchtime, Mogey and Smush were always the first ones away from their posts at the dissembly line. By the time the other workers were opening their lunch pails, Mogey and Smush were already halfway through their main course.

"Here Mogey, I've brought you a fresh granny smith apple," Smush offered one day at lunch. But Mogey looked at the apple like an ostrich looking at a fresh halibut. That is to say, unfavorably. "What's the matter, Mogey?" Smush asked. "Haven't you ever heard 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away?'"

"I always thought it was 'three custards or custard-like foods of varying shapes, sizes, and flavors a day keep the doctor away,'" Mogey said.

"What sort of doctor would three custards a day keep away?" Smush demanded with a chuckle.

"Dr. Vance Pudding, the best doctor I ever saw" Mogey replied, beaming. "He's such a magnificent Doc, that he's got his own motto: 'My patients don't live long, but boy do they have bad teeth!'"

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCVI

Mogey and Smush were all about blowing bubbles. Well, maybe not all, but they were certainly partially about blowing bubbles. One fateful day, they set about trying to blow the biggest bubble OF ALL TIME. The two pals started out by filling an entire child's swimming pool with soapy water, despite the child's objections.

"I see enough soapy water on bath night!" the child insisted, but Mogey and Smush would not be stopped.

They found a thick piece of wire in the alley behind the doughnut shop and fashioned it into an enormous hoop, and finally it was time to attempt the great feat. It took both Mogey and Smush to dip the gargantuan bubblemaker into the soapy pool, and once it was well-coated they hefted it out with great difficulty. Mogey and Smush sprinted down the lane, holding the bubble hoop aloft as an old cow named Norbert watched them from behind his fence and chortled at the absurdity of it all.

Not fifty paces down the road, Mogey tripped over his own big toe, sending both himself and Smush sprawling. But a miraculous thing had happened. At that exact moment, the biggest bubble OF ALL TIME had dislodged from the bubble hoop and, in all the confusion, encapsulated our heroes. Within seconds, Mogey and Smush found themselves trapped inside the biggest bubble OF ALL TIME, and headed for the heavens.

"What do we do now, Mogey?" Smush asked fearfully, gazing down at the now distant township from the bubble's floor.

"I was thinking maybe nap time," Mogey replied, yawning and stretching out along the bubble's smooth soapy curve. "Boy, I'm sure glad I didn't let you talk me out of putting those two turkey drumsticks in my pocket."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCV

One evening a gathering of the village council was held for town elders only. Being that Mogey and Smush were both rambunctious and curious youngsters, they of course set about sneaking into the almost impregnable village meeting hut. Under cover of most excellent disguises, the two attempted to hobble up to the entrance in a geezerdly fashion. But so gleeful were they about the impending shenanigans that they couldn't help but skip spryly along.

"Whoa there," the large man at the front said through an inordinately muscly set of cheek muscles. "Where do you two think you're skipping?"

"Into the meeting," Smush stated.

"Because we're both elders," Mogey added helpfully.

"Elders? Ho ho ho," the man laughed heartily. "I think not! You sir," he said, pointing to Smush. "In addition to skipping, you've got all your teeth. And I don't recall you hunching your back this much a few minutes ago. And you sir," the man turned to Mogey and shook his head. "I don't even know where to begin with you. Did you know that old people don't necessarily dress like wizards? And do you really expect me to believe you have a green beard? You've clearly duct taped tree moss to your face."

"See Mogey?" Smush shouted. "I told you back in the forest that the beard was unnecessary!"

"But Old Man Mossface has never failed me before," Mogey replied sadly.

"Do you mean to tell me you've worn that getup previously?" Smush demanded.

"No, this was the first time," Mogey answered. "But I could've sworn it was foolproof."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCIV

"Let's say we were riding into battle," Mogey began one day as he and Smush were riding into battle. "What would be your weapon of choice?"

"Why would we be riding into battle?" Smush demanded, bouncing a sword on his knees.

"Let's say some kids down the street stole our tetherball," Mogey replied.

"Just the ball?" Smush asked. "Or the pole and rope as well?"

"It matters not!" Mogey shouted, gripping the mane of his mighty armored steed in frustration. "Just imagine it, will you? What would be your weapon of choice?"

"It's no contest," Smush answered confidently. "I'd use a Bellyacher."

"What in the world is a Bellyacher?" Mogey asked.

"A potato on rope," said Smush.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCIII

There was once a day in which Mogey and Smush felt like kings of kings: they had good fortune, good health, and good toppings on their meat lovers' pizza. They set world records in both tests of wit and trials of physical endurance, all while breaking neither a sweat nor a piece of pie crust. They ate entire muffins without creating a single crumb. The world was their oyster, except that it wasn't gross like an oyster.

But that was not the particular day that will be related in this particular installment. On the particular day related in this installment, Mogey and Smush ate a light but nutritious breakfast of cinnamon sugar toast (with extra sugar), went to work at the apothecary, took in part of a cricket match on their afternoon break, and headed home around sundown.

"I must say, "Smush said as he read the evening paper before a roaring fire that night, "This day wasn't too shabby."

"True," Mogey replied, "although I can't help but feel as though we've had better."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCII

One morning during the cat days of summer, Mogey went out to tend his vegetable garden before the sun got too hot.

"How are them veggies coming in, Mogey?" Smush asked as he sidled up from the jellybean fields.

"Well," Mogey said contemplatively, "I got tomatoes the size of milk, and pumpkins the size of pumpkins...."

"Those aren't very good comparisons," Smush replied. "Those aren't very good comparisons at all. How am I to know how much milk, or what size pumpkins?"

"I see what you mean," Mogey said. "Well, my carrots are the size of bowls."

"See that still doesn't help me," Smush rejoined. "What type of--"


The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCXCI

"What're you slicing there, Mogey?" Smush asked, leaning over the ice box to see what his pal was doing.

"Coconut custard pie," Mogey replied, not taking his eyes off the delicate work. Should he dislodge even one crumb of the pie's buttery crust, it would fall to the floor, and then he would eat pie crust off the floor, which is pretty gross. "Shall I cut you a slice as well?" he asked.

"None for me, thanks," Smush answered with a shake of his head. "The tropical delight of a coconut custard pie is really more of a summer treat. I'm going to fix myself a sarsaparilla float instead."

"A sarsaparilla float in the dead of winter?" Mogey demanded, frowning. "I knew a guy who tried that one time..." he went on cryptically.

"And what happened?"

"He greatly enjoyed it," Mogey replied.