Friday, June 25, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXIX

In the Valley of Smelli there lay a wellspring known to locals as "Doughnut Hole." Rather than fresh water, the spring gave forth piles of fresh doughnuts from time to time, and on those days the fragrance of fried dough wafted through the air for miles.

Mogey and Smush's cottage was just within sniffing range of the Valley of Smelli, and one morning Smush went out to do the milking and paused halfway to the barn. He sniffed the air once, cautiously, and then galloped back to the house at top speed.

"Chocolate glazed!" Smush hollered as he burst through the back door. "Quick, Mogey, Doughnut Hole is finally erupting chocolate glazed again!"

"I know!" Mogey called back, stumbling downstairs with one trouser leg on. "I caught a whiff through my bedroom window!"

The two pals loaded their muskets, donned their coonskin caps, and departed for the Valley of Smelli. All morning they trudged through briar and bramble until they finally arrived, scratched, bruised, and hungry, at the edge of the valley. Beneath them lay Tumbledown Hill, an incline so steep that the only way to negotiate it was via somersault, and beyond that they could see Doughnut Hole spewing chocolate glazed doughnuts the size of life rings.

"Tallyho!" Mogey shouted and he leapt from the precipice, tumbling down Tumbledown Hill with reckless abandon. Once he reached the bottom, Mogey got very unsteadily to his feet. "Come on down, Smush! It's not so bad after the first few tumbles!"

"No thanks, Mogey," Smush replied. "I think I'll just take the escalator." He walked twenty feet or so over to the shiny new escalator and stepped on in a stately manner.

"Dang it!" Mogey muttered to himself. "I always forget they have one of those in the Valley of Smelli."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXVIII

"Now now, Mogey and Smush, you know full well it is past your bedtime," the governess called. Mogey and Smush were deathly afraid of the governess and so they dropped their game of tiddlywinks at once, and ran upstairs to the drawing room.

"Have you washed behind your ears?" the governess asked, putting down her knitting.

"Yes, governess," Mogey and Smush said, bobbing their heads. The governess checked behind their ears anyhow - she always checked.

"Alright then, you may say your prayers," the governess instructed. Mogey and Smush knelt down and clasped their hands in front of themselves.

"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my leftovers will keep
If I should hunger before I wake
I pray the cook a pie will bake."

"Now off to bed with you!" the governess said, sending Mogey and Smush to their chambers. When they had gone she smacked her lips and began rustling around the pantry: something about those troublesome children saying their prayers made her hungry every time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXVII

Several public chess tables stood in hamlet of Tipary with a spectacular view of Lake Nump. It was at one of these tables that Mogey and Smush could be found on a blustery September afternoon.

"Say, what are you trying to pull, Smush?" Mogey demanded. "You can't move two pieces at once!"

"It's called castling, Mogey," Smush replied, exasperatedly. "You can cross the rook and the king, so long as the king hasn't moved yet."

"And just who is this 'crook' you speak of?" Mogey asked.

"It's 'rook,' Mogey, 'rook.'" Smush answered. "Rook is just another name for the castle."

"I see," Mogey replied, surveying the chess board through narrowed eyes and nodding as if he had decided something. "This game is stupid. Let's go play Hungry Hungry Hippos."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXVI

One cheery Autumn afternoon, Mogey and Smush found themselves surrounded by demon geese. The pals hadn't ventured anywhere near demon goose territory, but everyone knows how unpredictable demon geese can be, and with nary a moment's notice Mogey and Smush had been trapped by a particularly surly gang of the creatures.

"Mogey," Smush whispered out of the corner of his mouth. "Please tell me you brought those lizard scales with you. Lizard scales are our only defense against demon geese."

"Of course I brought them," Mogey replied. "You think I would leave the house without lizard scales in the height of demon goose season?"

Mogey reached into his rucksack and pulled out an old-fashioned laboratory balance.

"What is that?" Smush hissed.

"My lizard scales," Mogey said proudly. "I weighed some lizards with them just this morning."

"Oh boy," Smush said, heaving a great sigh. "I never thought I'd go out this way... nibbled to death by demon geese."

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXV

One evening, Mogey and Smush approached Grandfatherman Simpson as he was having his evening pipe. Grandfatherman Simpson wasn't a grandfather to Mogey or Smush (or anyone else, so far as they knew), but he was a kind old geezer who lived in Mogey and Smush's boarding house.

"Please, Grandfatherman, tell us a tale," Smush begged, as Grandfatherman Simpson swayed in his favorite rocking chair.

"This is the tale of Pimbuckle the Brave, a man I knew well," Grandfatherman Simpson began, tapping his pipe on the arm of his chair and gesturing for Mogey and Smush to be seated. "It is a story of both woe and whoa... be you ready for such a yarn?"

Mogey and Smush nodded eagerly as they sat cross-legged on the floor at Grandfatherman Simpson's feet.

"Pimbuckle the Brave was the greatest knight ever to walk this land," Grandfatherman Simpson continued. "His strength was so great that he could leap over castle walls and punch trees out of his way. He was so kind that he once bounced a tyke on his knee even as he singlehandedly sailed a ship through a typhoon. He was so fearsome in battle that an entire army of zombies once pulled on diapers and started drinking from baby bottles at the sound of his war cry. But no man - not even Pimbuckle the Brave - is free of shortcomings, and it was on the eve of his most important battle that Pimbuckle discovered his greatest weakness: great white sharks."

"No!" Mogey cried. "Pimbuckle!"

"Not sharks!" Smush added excitedly.

"Unfortunately it's true, my lads," Grandfatherman Simpson replied. "The night before Pimbuckle was to defend Fort Bubblemuck from an army of Mongols, he encountered Slaytora, the most feared great white shark in the seven seas. It was love at first sight. For the rest of his life he followed Slaytora across the oceans, trying to convince her to go on a date with him, and poor Pimbuckle was never the same."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXIV

One glorious summer afternoon, Mogey and Smush were peddling along on their penny-farthing bicycles, when they were accosted by Dunk Doofer, the town clod. Dunk Doofer's method of accosting cyclists was not the gentlest: it involved a trampoline, a fungo bat, and quite a bit of banshee-like howling.

"What'd you do that for?" Mogey groaned, attempting to extract himself from the spokes of his toppled bike.

"Yeah, Doofer, what's your problem?" Smush added as he shook gravel out of his hair.

"I had to tell you guys, I just had to!" Dunk Doofer replied. "There's something down at Lurkey Pond that you've got to see. A snapping turtle...wait for swimming!"

"What's so exciting about that?" Smush asked. "Snapping turtles swim all the time."

"They do?" Dunk Doofer said. "But why don't they sink under those heavy shells?"

"I don't know," Smush answered. "They just don't."

"Oh," said Dunk Doofer. There was a long pause as Mogey and Smush continued to dust themselves and their bicycles off. "So are you guys coming or what?"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXIII

"You know something, Smush?" Mogey said, holding up a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce. "I eat this sauce all the time, but I can never remember how it's pronounced."

"Mmhmm," Smush replied patronizingly.

"Is it 'Wur-chester-shire Sauce?'" Mogey went on.

Smush just sat there, munching placidly.

"You're right, that's not quite it," Mogey said. "I think it might be 'Wooster-shear Sauce.'"

Once again Smush ignored him.

"Or is it just 'Wooster Sauce?'" Mogey continued.

"For crying out loud, Mogey!" Smush retorted. "Just put some more on your pancakes and quiet down about the stuff, already!"

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXII

There was but one bank in the hamlet of Plonkle, and on a muggy day in late September, that bank was robbed. Quick Louie Cooper and the Gainesville Five held up the bank at knifepoint and made off with every piece of silver, gold, and pizza in the place.

Mogey and Smush, who always kept their money buried in the backyard below the manure pile (to deter both robbers and their own greedy selves), were suddenly the richest fellows in town.

Most townsfolk would've lent a hand to help their neighbors get back on their feet, but Mogey and Smush were not most townsfolk. Three days after the big bank robbery, Mogey and Smush came strutting down main street. Mogey wore a new silk top hat and a pair of jewel encrusted riding boots, while Smush sported a splendid cape and several sparkling ankle bracelets. Both of the pals had new walking sticks topped with golden seagulls. They stopped in front of the general store, where four of the village elders sat, reduced to sharing a single pipe between them.

"Anyone for tennis?" Smush asked, with a twirl of his cape.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLXI

On a moonless and eerie night, Mogey and Smush were walking home through the plains of Mer Doher. They had just come to a fork in the road, when their torch sputtered and died, rendering their map useless for navigation. It was not, however, useless as a food source, and Mogey and Smush quickly devoured the tattered piece of parchment for sustenance.

"How in the world will we get home now?" Mogey bemoaned, picking a hunk of map out of his teeth.

"Have no fear, Mogey," Smush replied. "We'll use the stars to guide ourselves, just as our seafaring ancestors have done for generations."

"I see one heading that way!" Mogey exclaimed, pointing at a shooting star near the horizon.

"Quickly, Mogey!" Smush said. "Follow that star!"

The two pals ran across the plains of Mer Doher at a dead sprint in the same direction as the shooting star. Moments later, they both fell face first into a ditch that appeared to have some sort of prickly fungus growing in the bottom.

"Oof!" Mogey grunted, spitting out a mouthful of fungus thorns.

"Stupid stars," Smush added.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLX

Mogey gripped the reins of his trusty steed, a fluffy sheep named Jolly, and adjusted his marshmallow helmet, for he was a contestant in the thirteenth annual Brockdale Sissy Joust. He stared across a field padded with the softest down comforters at his opponent, fifteen-time Sissy Joust Champion, Beanpole Van Ness.

The referee checked with both competitors then softly strummed a lyre and the match was afoot.

"Giddap, Jolly," Mogey urged as he lowered his pool noodle lance. Jolly toddled toward Beanpole Van Ness as Mogey held on for dear life.

When the competitors met in the center of the field mere minutes later, Mogey was quaking with mortal terror. Beanpole Van Ness's aim was true, and his bright green pool noodle smacked Mogey square in the chest, knocking him to the heavily padded ground.

"How did it go?" Smush asked when Mogey returned home later that day, leading a dejected looking Jolly.

"Terrible," Mogey replied. "That's one more year I'll have to wait to realize my dream of wearing the Brockdale Sissy Joust tiara."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLIX

One cold, clammy afternoon, serf Mogey and feudal Smush were toiling on their small plot of land, trying with all their might to coax a few dozen turnips out of the ground. They had just put the finishing touches on a scarecrow made of buttered popcorn, when a stretch limousine stopped in front of their farm. The driver hurriedly opened the rear door and out stepped Vladimir "Peaches" Ivanov, the Baron of all the surrounding countryside.

"Good morrow, lowly peasants!" called Peaches Ivanov cheerfully, striding toward Mogey and Smush.

"Good morrow, Baron Ivanov," Mogey and Smush droned, rolling their eyes.

"Pardon the intrusion," Peaches Ivanov went on, "but I've learned that you fellows have yet to pay your monthly tax of eight loaves, six bushels of turnips, and two adorable kittens."

"It's not our fault, Baron Ivanov!" Mogey declared. "It's the darned crows. We keep trying to grow crops to pay the tax, but the crows just won't leave us alone. They've eaten our last three scarecrows!"

"I see," Peaches Ivanov replied. "And I can't help but notice that your scarecrow is constructed of delicious buttered popcorn. Won't that attract crows, rather than repelling them?"

"P'shaw," Smush said dismissively. "Crows hate popcorn. These ones are just scoundrels."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLVIII

One morning as they were readying themselves for an ice cream social at Jessup MacLowd's, Mogey walked into Smush's bedchamber looking mighty confused.

"I just can't figure it out, Smush. Do I wear this shirt tucked in or untucked?" he asked. "If I leave it untucked, it's much too long, but if I tuck it in, my pants bunch all funny."

"Mogey, that's a women's nightgown," Smush replied.

"So?" Mogey asked.

"So tuck it in!" Smush replied, adding, "duh."

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLVII

"Constable! Constable!" Mogey shouted. "Please help! Someone's stolen the hot dog I was about to eat!"

"A stolen hot dog, eh?" replied Constable Carter Mcgraw, a moustachioed man who could spit farther than he could walk and juggle eleven babies at once. "What about that one there?" he asked, pointing to the hot dog in Mogey's hand.

"We got that afterward," Smush answered as Mogey took a bite of the dog in question. "Mogey had to get some sustenance before we brought this problem to the authorities."

"Tell me what happened," Contstable Carter McGraw said.

"I was watching a moustachioed man juggling nearly half a dozen babies," Mogey expounded, "when suddenly the hot dog in my hand was gone, replaced by a mysterious infant I'd never met before. Before I knew it, the moustachioed baby-juggler had scooted away, and I was one hot dog poorer, and one baby richer."

"Say," Smush said, "what ever happened to that baby?"

"He's around here somewhere," Mogey replied. "But on to more important matters: what say you, Constable?"

"Very fishy," Constable Carter McGraw said, wiping some mustard from his upper lip. "It sounds like the work of my evil brother, Porter McShaw."

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLVI

One evening, Smush came into the washroom to find Mogey hunkered down in front of the looking glass, rubbing furiously on his two front teeth.

"What foolishness are you up to this time, Mogey?" Smush asked.

"I'm trying to help my tusks grow in," Mogey replied. "I did my best to be patient but they're just taking so darned long."

"Your tusks?"

"Precisely," Mogey said. "How long must a young fellow wait before his he gets a respectable set of chompers?"

"Don't be silly, Mogey," Smush said. "You could no sooner grow a pair of tusks than Jim 'Babycakes' Wallingham could walk through a prickerbush without getting a boo-boo. It's time to give up your dreams of playing walrus tennis and get back to reality, already."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLV

One morning, Mogey awoke to find a tattered piece of parchment stuck to his face, upon which was scrawled a single red X.

"What do you suppose it means?" Mogey exclaimed, after he'd found Smush and told him of his discovery.

"I haven't the foggiest idea," Smush said. "I guess we'd better go ask Madame Shoosteaux."

Madame Shoosteaux was on old gypsy woman who lived in a tepee down the road a spell. Mogey and Smush often consulted with her on mattes of mystery and intrigue, and her wisdom had a calming effect under even the most dire circumstances.

"Not the crimson X!" Madame Shoosteaux cried as Mogey related the events of that morning. "Anything but the crimson X! It is a sign, Mogey," she went on in a whisper. "A sign that you must go to the Cave of Souls."

"The Cave of Souls?" Mogey repeated. "But where is that?"

"At the base of Mount Poppersax, a fortnight's journey from here on foot," Madame Shoosteaux replied. "Or exit 42 off the interstate."

And so Mogey and Smush journeyed tirelessly, stopping only for the most essential jerkeys (beef and turkey), until they had reached the base of Mount Poppersax. The walked inside the first cave they happened upon and were greeted almost immediately by a sweaty gentleman wearing a bright blue suit.

"Yow!" the man hollered, and then began a sort of half singing, half yelling performance. "You make me feel blue," the man sang/yelled. "Bluer than a plucked turkey in winter. Yow!"

"We should leave, Mogey," Smush whispered as the man went on. "I think this may be the wrong Cave of Souls."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLIV

After eleven straight days of eating beans and applesauce for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, and midnight snacks, Mogey and Smush decided they would have to make some money. So they went to the park and Mogey set up his easel, while Smush, who was a natural born salesman, set about finding some customers.

"Step right up, step right up, ladies, gentlemen, babies," Smush hollered. "See Mogey, a true Renaissance man, draw the most lifelike portraits in all the land."

"Say, that sounds pretty good," a young passerby exclaimed. "I'd like my portrait done, please."

Smush sat the young man down opposite the easel, as Mogey made some final preparations. He clenched his jaw, stuck his tongue out thoughtfully, and commenced to draw. Thirty seconds later he was handing their first customer a Mogey original.

"That was fast!" the young man said. "Hey - wait just a second! What in the world is this?" he demanded, holding up Mogey's crude stick figure drawing.

"Just what you asked for," Mogey replied. "An extremely accurate portrait."

"It hasn't even got the right number of arms!" the man retorted.

"Oh," Mogey said taking another look at his drawing. "Well isn't that a third arm just there?"

"That's my backpack," the man replied in disgust.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume CCCLIII

One autumn day Mogey and Smush were walking through the County Fair when they came upon a sign that said "Mindreading by the Incredible, Unbelievable, Indubitable Shaman Stevie G." No mere mortal could walk by a sign like that without becoming intrigued, so of course Mogey and Smush went inside Shaman Stevie G's booth.

In the dimly lit interior, a man was sitting alone at a table, staring at a crystal ball and munching on an empanada.

"Please, be seated, gentlemen," the man said, swallowing his last bite.

"Are you the Incredible, Unbelievable, Indubitable Shaman Stevie G?" Mogey asked as he pulled up a chair.

"Indeed," Shaman Stevie G replied. "Now allow me to look into my crystal ball and the mindreading will commence."

"I don't mean to interrupt, Mr. G," Smush said. "But isn't a crystal ball more for fortune telling?"

"Which one of us is the mindreader here?" Shaman Stevie G retorted. "Is it you? I thought not. Now let me concentrate," he murmured, staring deeply into the crystal ball. "First off, your minds seem to be round and very foggy...."