Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 403

Mogey and Smush were always at the forefront of daredevilry, and so they spent many a weekend climbing, rolling down, and jumping off various dangersome objects. On a sunny afternoon in late Novembruary, the pals hiked to the top of Woodchuck's Fang, the steepest, most dangerous cliff named after a Woodchuck in all that country. Once they reached the summit, Mogey and Smush took a look around, split a bologna sandwich, and leaped off the precipice.

"Get ready to pull your rip chord!" Smush shouted after a half minute of free falling.

"Why?" Mogey asked over the howl of rushing wind.

"To deploy the parachutes, you melonhead!" Smush replied.

"You know me pretty well, right Smush?" Mogey yelled. Smush nodded. "Then what, in the extensive amount of time we've spent together," Mogey went on, "would make you think that I packed parachutes?"

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 402

"Are you gentlemen ready for some hunting?" Mogey shouted, bounding out the front door with a bow slung over his shoulder.

Smush and their sherpa, Crouching Frog, both doubled over with laughter at the sight of him. Mogey was wearing a purple hat, a bright orange scarf, and a yellow vest.

"What?" Mogey demanded.

"What in the world have you got on?" Smush asked, trying to catch his breath. Crouching Frog had gone down on one knee and was openly weeping with laughter.

"Camouflage, just like you said," Mogey replied defensively. "I don't want the deer to see me coming." This caused another wave of hilarity among his friends.

"Tell me, Mogey," Smush said, "what are you supposed to be camouflaged as?"

"The weather report today was sunny with a chance of showers," Mogey answered. "We'll see who's laughing when a rainbow comes out and I blend in perfectly."

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 401

"Why are we here?" Mogey asked Smush.

"That's really the question, isn't it?" Smush replied. "On the one hand, it seems life is too short to mean much in the grand scheme of things, yet on the other, even the tiniest moments can be so monumentally important. I believe the philosopher James "Big Jimbo" Thistlethwaite once hypothesized that a monk dropping a morsel of chicken nugget from his mouth in Timbuktu could cause a typhoon in Lubbersberg."

"No, I meant why are we right here?" Mogey asked exasperatedly. "You woke me up at four in the morning and asked me to meet you in the alley behind the waffle factory.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 400

Limerick #1
"Help me Smush! By the power of Zeus!"
Mogey cried, running round like a goose.
He panicked the farm
as he yelled in alarm,
"Our man-eating crocs have got loose!"

Limerick #2
Last night the butler's smile was a winner.
Now he looks like he just smelled paint thinner.
He learned his lesson:
you shouldn't be messin'
With Mogey and Smush during dinner.

Limerick #3
At a mountain resort, Smush cussed "Cheese graters!
I want snow, I don't want elevators!
From the chef I will take
the most mash he can make,
then I'll ski down a mountain of taters."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 399

One day, Mogey and Smush were out and about when they came upon the Peddling Peddler, a gentleman famous for selling his wares from the back of a rusty old tricycle.

"Baubles, doo-dads, or trinkets, guv'ners?" the Peddling Peddler said.

"You've got trinkets?" Mogey asked. "What flavor?"

"I'm not sure I understand you, guv'ner," the Peddling Peddler replied.

"Just plain, eh?" Mogey responded. "Well have you at least got jelly or cheese or something to put on them? I love those little shredded wheat bundles of savory goodness."

"Ah, I believe you're referring to triscuits, sir," the Peddling Peddler said. "The trinkets I've got are necklaces and bracelets and the like."

"Jewelry made out of crackers, you say?" Mogey said thoughtfully. "I've never heard of such a thing, but it sounds delicious."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 398

One afternoon, Mogey and Smush were taking their lunch at the village cafeteria when a strange little man sat down at the table opposite them. He was clad all in green and had hair as bright orange as a clownfish covered in marmalade. The diminutive chap couldn't have been more than three feet tall, yet there he sat, enjoying a bowl of chowder and fiddling with a handful of gold coins.

"Smush," Mogey whispered, "be that a leprechaun?"

"Close, but no," Smush replied. "That there is a LEPER-chaun."

"How can you tell?" Mogey asked.

"Well for one thing, his nose just fell off into his soup," Smush answered.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 397

"Have you ever noticed," Smush said one morning as he and Mogey were eating a hearty breakfast of bacon, bacon, sausage, and bacon, "that several hours after eating a big supper, you're hungry again?"

"I don't understand the question," Mogey replied, pouring molasses on his breakfast meats.

"What I mean is, if you eat an especially big meal, you're hungrier than ever a few hours later," Smush explained.

"Yes, of course," Mogey acknowledged. "But I'm still confused. What happens in those hours between the meal and being hungry?"

"Well, you're full," Smush said.


"Yes, full. You're not hungry because your stomach is full."

"You're a wise man, Smush," Mogey replied, shaking his head. "But some mornings you think up ideas more daft than a bankrupt porta-john salesman. A full stomach - ha! Who's ever heard of such a thing?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 396

"I'm so delighted that the weekend is almost here," Mogey told Smush one Friday morning.

"Humbug!" Smush replied grumpily. "Hang weekends! Why do you enjoy them so greatly?"

"Weekends are the best," Mogey said. "I get to sleep into the late morning, eat an enormous breakfast of crullers and sausages, then play croquet all afternoon. What could be grander?"

"But Mogey," Smush insisted, "that's the same thing you do every day, weekend or not."

"Right you are," Mogey answered. "But on the weekends, everyone can join me! I'm not sure you realize how much less fun croquet is when your only opponent is Fudgy Bolber, the pig from next door."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 395

"Did you know you can find your way in the forest by looking at which side of the tree is mossier?" Mogey asked Smush as they wandered through The Billion Acre Wood one foggy morning.

"In fact I did," Smush replied confidently. "Moss grows better on the north side of trees. But that's not the only natural compass that exists, you know. Clouds usually move either east or west, spider webs tend to grow on the south sides of trees, and tadpoles almost always congregate on the west side of ponds."

"Fascinating," Mogey said. "Truly you are a great woodsman. What other hints from nature can you use if you're lost?"

"Take your neck fat, for instance," Smush answered. "I can tell you slept facing south last night, because you've got six chins on your right side, but only four on the left."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 394

After apprenticing as a ship's boy for several years under the tutelage of Sam Wiseacre, the best sailor in town, Mogey wanted to show off his skills. So he and Smush borrowed a small skiff and set out into the harbor.

"What's this thing called?" Smush asked, pointing up at a spar atop the sail.

"That's the gaff," Mogey replied expertly.

"Bahahaha!" Smush burst out laughing. "The gaff? Avast, matey, raise the gaff!" Smush exclaimed, collpasing back into a fit of laughter. "That's absurd. And what's this called?"

"That'd be the rudder," Mogey said.

"Hohohohoho!" Smush howled once more. "Rudder? Stop it, Mogey, you're killing me." He wiped tears of laughter from his eyes. "Now I want a straight answer on this one: what do you call this crossbar here?"

"That's the boom," Mogey answered with a sigh.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 393

"Say, Smush, where are you going?" Mogey asked, looking up from a bowl of cold cereal as Smush tip-toed out the front door late one evening.

"Tonight, dear Mogey, I am not Smush," Smush said in a deep and mysterious voice. "I am a righter of wrongs, a protector of those who cannot protect themselves. By night I prowl the rooftops and back alleys of our village, battling against the villainy that lurks in the darkness. Finally this town will have the hero it deserves!"

"So you're just like The Red Falcon?" Mogey asked.

"Who?" Smush demanded.

"The Red Falcon," Mogey replied. "He's been doing that sort of thing for months. The guy is pretty much my hero. Haven't you noticed that I'm actually wearing a costume modeled after his?" he asked, gesturing to his mask made of crimson feathers.

"Oh," Smush said. "So you are...."

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 392

One evening, Mogey and Smush were down at Frank Manky's Pub for the annual darts tournament, undoubtedly the biggest event of the year in their little town. Almost every man in the village entered the competition, but every year Mogey and Smush had high hopes of bringing home the bacon.

"Next up," the Master of Ceremonies announced, "Smush versus your defending champion: The Pulverizer."

The crowd gasped. The Pulverizer cut a fearsome figure; his father was a goblin and his mother was a tyrannosaurus rex. The fellow could do two things well: eat steak sandwiches and throw darts, and he had won the tournament three years running.

"Do you want to go through with this or just forfeit now?" The Pulverizer asked Smush.

"Listen here, 'The.' If that's your real name," Smush retorted forcefully. "I grew up playing darts. I'm not afraid of the likes of you."

"You do know that the sharp end goes in front, right?" The Pulverizer said, gesturing to the way Smush was holding his dart.

"Poppycock," Smush replied. "The sharpness is to help you get a better grip. If these feathers aren't meant to work like a four-pronged grappling hook, what do they put them on the dart for?"

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 391

One afternoon, Mogey and Smush had volunteered to take care of Mogey's baby nephew, Lil Chester.

"Whatever you do, don't forget to feed him," Mogey's sister had insisted before leaving her son in Mogey and Smush's less-than-capable hands.

Taking their assignment very seriously, Mogey and Smush set about nourishing Lil Chester as their first order of business. This turned out to be a much more difficult task than expected. They offered him macaroni and cheese, a roast beef sandwich, a caramel latte, some limburger cheese, even a bowl of three-alarm chili, but Lil Chester refused them all.

"Crazy baby!" Smush exclaimed in exasperation. "Why won't you eat something?"

Lil Chester just lay there on his blankie, looking mutely up at his hapless caretakers.

"I've never seen a baby who wasn't hungry!" Mogey grumbled. "My sister's going to be awful cantankerous if she finds out we couldn't get Lil Chester to eat...."

Searching for inspiration, Mogey poured himself a glass of milk in one of the strange, rubber-topped bottles his sister had left, and took a long swig. After catching sight of him drinking, the normally reserved Lil Chester lunged from the confines of his cradle, snatched the bottle from Mogey's hands, and proceeded to down it in seconds.

"That's the darnedest thing I ever saw," Smush said. "That baby's an absolute fiend for milk."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 390

"Do you ever wish you could breathe underwater?" Mogey asked Smush abruptly as the two of them were rowing across Lake Lockalookie one morning.

"Not really," Smush replied. "It's awfully wet down there...."

"Of course you do," Mogey interrupted assuredly. "Who doesn't? Well I'm happy to say I've solved this problem that has plagued mankind since at least the Tuesday before last." Mogey paused to look around as if expecting applause. "How did I crack this riddle, you ask?" he went on. "By figuring out the key to the underwater breathing abilities of fish!"

"Gills?" Smush asked.

"No," Mogey said. "It turns out, the thing all fish have in common is that they smile upside down."

"You're sure it's not gills?" Smush said.

"Allow me to demonstrate," Mogey replied. He then arranged his face into an expression so fish-like, that for a moment, Smush entertained the notion that it just might work. Several minutes later when he was hauling a half-drowned and still very fishy-looking Mogey out of Lake Lockalookie, Smush wondered if he had a more foolish notion in all his life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 389

One day Mogey and Smush were playing jacks when they were approached by a quadcorn. As the name suggests, a quadcorn is a four-horned horse, but unlike its aesthetically pleasing cousin, the unicorn, a quadcorn's horns do not always grow from its head. In fact, a quadcorn's horns can grow pretty much anyplace that they (the horns) please, and the specimen who approached Mogey and Smush was particularly unfortunate looking. He had one horn growing from his ear, two protruding from his left cheek, and one planted squarely on his rump.

"'Ello, chaps!" the quadcorn announced cheerily. "My name's Skippy."

"Great Scot!" Smush exclaimed at the sight of the ugly beast.

"Whoa!" added Mogey.

"What are you playing?" Skippy asked, looking somewhat taken aback.

"Jacks," Smush replied warily. "But it would be difficult to play with hoofs."

"Or a horn on your bottom," Mogey said under his breath.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 388

Though the Kingdom of Blooko had become a much safer place, most residents who could remember the Great Goblin Pestilence were still in the habit of bearing arms everywhere they went. Unlike the old days, however, weaponry was now used more for bragging rights than anything else.

One day at the honey factory, Smush was involved in just such a bragging contest during the lunch break.

"The sword is infinitely inferior to the battle axe," insisted Bold Frankie, a man twice as wide as he was tall (and he was quite tall). "Not only is the battle axe more practical, it's way more powerful."

"Ah, but that's where you're wrong," Smush replied. "The sword is far more powerful than the battle axe in the right hands."

"You're going to tell me that your wimpy sword is more powerful than this?" Bold Frankie exclaimed, brandishing his enormous axe.

"Please, Bold Frankie," Smush said quietly. "Don't make me draw Excelsior."

"Ooooooooooooooh," murmured the crowd, which was comprised principally of Mogey.

"Go ahead," Bold Frankie said menacingly. "I dare you."

Smush grasped the hilt of mighty Excelsior and drew the sword from its sheath, confidently displaying his prized weapon. When Bold Frankie caught sight of the sword, which was the size of a medium butter knife, he began to laugh so hard that he dropped his battle axe and doubled over.

"Excelsior vanquishes yet another foe!" Smush proclaimed proudly.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 387

Late one evening, Mogey and Smush were sneaking around the woodlands behind Lord Culpepper's estate in search of wild choco-choco-chip muffins. These curiosities of nature seemed to grow only on Lord Culpepper's land during the full moon, but they were so moist and chocolately that Mogey and Smush couldn't resist. They had gathered almost a full basket of the delicious muffins when a voice in the darkness caused them to stop dead.

"Doing some poaching tonight, gents?" The voice belonged to the game warden, Boysenberry O'keefe, a half man - half cave man whose disposition was as ornery as his face. "Because you know everything that lives on the Lord's land belongs to Lord Culpepper."

"No sir, Mister Boysenberry, sir," Mogey mumbled. "We wasn't doing any poaching. We were just gathering some of these wild choco-choco-chip muffins."

"Wild muffins?" Boysenberry O'keefe demanded. "Let me see what you've got there." He snatched the basket from Smush's hands and looked inside. "Where do you find these?" he asked.

"They grow all over," Smush replied. "Usually on the ground but sometimes there's an odd one up in a tree or bush."

At this, Boysenberry O'keefe burst out laughing and was unable to stop for several minutes afterward, eventually collapsing onto one knee in hilarity. Finally he regained control of himself and stood up, wiping his eyes.

"Well, chaps, I'm sorry to say that I must let you go on your merry way," Boysenberry said. "Although I should tell you, those aren't 'wild' muffins. Lord Culpepper is a man of habit, and every month at the full moon he breakfasts on choco-choco-chip muffins. But as with most aristocrats, his eyes are bigger than his stomach, so the multitude of muffins he doesn't eat are dumped back here with the rest of the kitchen rubbish. You've been collecting garbage muffins."

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 386

One morning in the midst of the summer holidays Mogey and Smush went barrelling through the front door, excited for a day of tomfoolery, mischief, and philosophical contemplation.

"Now, now, boys," Aunt Jennifer called, causing Mogey and Smush to screech to a halt. "Have you finished your chores?"

"Yes, Aunt Jennifer," Mogey and Smush chorused.

"You milked the goats?" she insisted.

"Yes, Aunt Jennifer."

"You mucked the horse stalls?"

"Yes, Aunt Jennifer."

"You polished the good silver?"

"Yes, Aunt Jennifer."

"You coaxed the corn to grow?"

"Well..." Mogey and Smush hesitated, looking down at their feet.

"Mogey and Smush, you get out there and you coax that corn!" Aunt Jennifer admonished. "What will we eat all winter if that corn doesn't have the encouragement to grow into delicious ears that we can make into pone? I'd sooner die than experience a pone-less winter!"

"But Aunt Jennifer, we were going to play in Joe Pugle's Slip n' Slide!" Mogey insisted.

"That contraption will still be there after you've done some corn coaxing," Aunt Jennifer replied. "I don't care if you have to sing to it, that corn had best be knee high by tomorrow morning!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 385

Mogey and Smush had always been contemptuous of hobbies. They routinely sent letters using stamps from their neighbor's priceless stamp collection. On occasion they would plant a small-to-medium sized artillery shell on a grassy hillside in Mogey's Grandpa's model train layout. Once they even wasted a coconut cream pie giving a young lad's face its comeuppance after he flew a kite too near their house.

But there was one hobby Mogey and Smush hated above all others: birdwatching. As luck would have it, their postman was the most renowned birdwatcher in all of Gattleburn County. His name was Orn. Orn O'Thologist.

"Good day, chaps," Orn said cheerily as he deposited their mail one morning.

"Move along there, O'Thologist," Smush said bluntly from inside the screen door. "Chop chop."

"Righto," Orn replied. He hopped merrily off their front stoop and began to skip up the lane, but something caused him to pause, mid-skip. "Say, fellows!" Orn hissed in a barely audible whisper. "Come out here a moment!"

So compelling was Orn O'Thologist's voice that Mogey and Smush reluctantly went outside and followed him up the lane.

"See that bird there?" Orn whispered excitedly, pointing to a bright orange creature perched in a tree not ten feet away. "I'm not sure you gents know how special this is. That, my friends, is an Burnt Mukka, the rarest bird in this entire county! Can you see it?"

Mogey raised his shotgun to his shoulder, aimed carefully, and blew the Burnt Mukka away.

"No, I can't say that I can," Mogey replied, brushing a singed Mukka feather off his nose. "Like Smush said: get a move on, O'Thologist."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 384

One cool, calm, and collected winter's morning, Mogey and Smush paid a visit to their great uncle and benefactor, Lord Kensingtonburroughs. It was Lord Kensingtonburroughs who supported their voracious eating habits, continually failing farms, and legendary pool parties, and so Mogey and Smush thought it only right to stop in and see him from time to time.

"...and then Smush bellyflopped right onto a school of swordfish!" Mogey was saying. "You should've been there, Lord Kensingtonburroughs."

"Please, dear nephew," Lord Kensingtonburroughs replied. "Call me by my first name: Juan. Now, who'd like some coffee?"

"Thanks, Uncle Juan," Smush said. "I wouldn't say no to a cup of black coffee."

"Me too, Uncle Juan, me too!" Mogey exclaimed. "But I take my coffee polychromatic."

"Polychromatic?" Lord Kensingtonburroughs asked."I'm not sure I'm familiar with that style."

"Oh, it's very easy to prepare," Mogey said. "You just take a cup of black coffee and add two generous scoops of gummy bears."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 383

One sunny afternoon, Mogey and Smush were pulling weeds in the back garden when Smush unearthed what appeared to be a human foot in the petunia bed.

"What in the world?" Smush exclaimed.

"Well?" Mogey said. "Give it a sniff already."

Smush obliged and pulled back almost instantly with a look of disgust on his ample face.

"Ugh!" he groaned. "It smells awful!" At which point the toes of the foot began to wriggle indignantly, as if they had heard him.

Suddenly, a mound of earth behind the foot began to shift, spilling petunia bulbs into the geraniums, and up sat Mudfingers Waterbottom, the most soulful saxophonist in all the land. Old Mudfingers looked awfully cross as he brushed dirt from his lapels and picked himself up off the ground.

"Used to be, a man could have a nap in his neighbor's petunia patch without some miscreant smelling his feet," Mudfingers Waterbottom muttered, shaking his head. "But I guess those days are gone."

And Old Mudfingers Waterbottom picked up his saxophone and wandered off into the sunset, playing a tune so mournful that dwarves as far as ten miles away began to cry tears made of lemon-lime gatorade.