Friday, October 29, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 445

As the Caravan of Wonders rolled joltingly along beneath him, Smush gripped the reins and glanced sideways at Mogey's sleeping figure. It had been a long day of selling wonders at the gypsy camp, and so Smush let his pal sleep.

"Whoaaaa," Smush said in a deep voice, bringing Phelps, their Clydesdale, to a halt. A tortoise had crawled into the middle of the dirt track and seemed content to sit there, paying no heed to the oncoming traffic.

"Oy!" Smush yelled. "Tortoise! Get out of the way, will ya?"

"I'm sorry sir," the tortoise replied, "but I'm afraid this bump in the road is just too high for me to cross. Might I request your assistance? The name's Porgin Meeks."

Grumbling about helpless tortoises, Smush clambered down from the caravan and walked to Porgin's resting place. Suddenly, the tortoise began to grow. Inexplicably, magically, Porgin Meeks doubled, then tripled in size, continuing to expand until he was a good eight feet from head to tail.

"Hohoho!" Porgin Meeks chuckled, baring his suddenly enormous claws. "Who's the helpless turtle now? I was planning on eating only your horse, but I may have room for you as well!"

As Smush cowered in fright, Porgin's beak-like jaws descended and Smush braced himself for the tortoise's mighty chomp. But it never came. Smush reopened his eyes to see that Mogey had woken up and somehow flipped Porgin Meeks onto his back, where the tortoise's arms and legs waved about in a panic as he tried unsuccessfully to right himself.

"Stupid magical tortoises," Mogey muttered as he climbed into the caravan and fell promptly back to sleep.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 444

Mogey and Smush were down at the cobbler's shop one winter's afternoon to survey the goods. Well, Smush was there to survey the goods. Mogey had tagged along for no reason at all and he was growing more and more impatient with Smush's elaborate shopping style.

"So you're telling me you can make these boots in brown AND black?" Smush asked.

"Aye," the cobbler replied without looking up from the shoe he was shaping.

"Is the black more of a midnight black or a coal black?" Smush pressed.

"What's the difference?" the cobbler said, taking a large puff from the ragged cigar in his mouth. "It's a miner's boot."

"Oh there's a big difference," Smush answered defensively. "You see, midnight black has a bit of a blue tinge, while--"

"Smush, can we get out of here already?" Mogey interrupted. "I've got things to do!"

"You have things to do?" Smush demanded, rounding on his pal. "What things do you have to do?"

"Um," Mogey replied, darting his eyes about as if searching for ideas. "I have to go see a man about a sheep?" he suggested. Smush and the carpenter weren't buying it. "Alright fine, I don't have anything to do," Mogey admitted. "But I'd rather send my girlfriend on a date with Jimmy 'Iron-abs' Hansom than listen to this shoe-talk any longer."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 443

One morning after a tremendous rainstorm, Mogey and Smush were walking along the dirt track that wound from their house down to the muffin shop. The path, incidentally, had not been there when Mogey and Smush first moved in, but years of daily pilgrimages for banana nut muffins had etched a muddy crease in the woods and pastures.

Other townspeople had taken to using Drury Lane, as the muffin trail became known, and on damp days the path became slick and trampled. As Mogey and Smush strolled, visions of lemon poppy seed muffins dancing in their heads, the came upon an immense hole in the middle of the path.

"Good heavens!" Smush exclaimed. "Mogey, I do believe that is a crater caused by some sort of meteoric impact!"

"It sure looks that way," Mogey replied. "But wouldn't we have heard a shooting star hit so close last night?"

Here Mogey and Smush were interrupted by the arrival of Lars Bigbottom, a half giant-half cyclops who lived down the road a ways.

"Say," Lars Bigbottom hollered, turning his one and a half eyes toward Mogey and Smush, "what are you two looking at? You'd better not go mucking up my lunch spot just as I've gotten the seat the way I like it!"

With that, Lars Bigbottom settled his massive bulk in the center of the path, fitting his backside perfectly into the strange crater.

"Well," Mogey said, "I suppose this saves us the trouble of digging around for a meteor."

"Come on, Mogey," Smush replied with a sigh, "let's go see if there are any peach muffins left."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 442

When they were very small, Mogey and Smush had teamed up to win a county-wide battle royale, which resulted in the two pals receiving scholarships to attend any secondary school they could gain entrance to. Throughout their grammar school days, Mogey and Smush studied hard, preparing themselves for the very best academies in all the land. Finally, at the age of sixteen, the time had come for them to choose which schools they would apply to.

"What's your number one choice, Mogey?" Smush asked as the two of them pored over directories in the village library.

"I'm going to apply to the most elite school in town," Mogey replied quietly. "A school so selective that only about ten students per year are eligible to be admitted: St. Lucy's."

"St. Lucy's?" Smush said. "But that's a school for the blind!"

"The blindingly smart, perhaps," Mogey responded curtly.

"Good gracious," Smush muttered, shaking his head. "Will you do me a favor, Mogey? Put in an application at Auntie T-Bone's School for the Simple, just in case."

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 441

Mogey and Smush had been staying with their Uncle Chester for some months, and since they didn't do much besides tend their organic garden, Uncle Chester would give them certain duties while he was off working in the mines. Mogey and Smush hadn't the slightest idea what he mined, but he always came back covered in dirt and smelling spicy.

"Now listen here, Murgy and Splash," Uncle Chester said one morning as he was packing his lunch pail. "We need some things fixed about the house, so today I want you two to hire out a few repairmen in town and have them waiting here when I get home tonight."

"It's MOGEY and Splash, Uncle Chester," Mogey reminded him.

"Smush, not Splash!" Smush cried in disbelief. "It's Mogey and Smush!"

"Zip those flapping food-gulpers of yours," Uncle Chester responded, "and listen up! Here are the people we need: an electrician to fix that faulty hall light, a door repairman to work on the hinges in the entryway, and a plumber to unclog the jacuzzi drain."

With that Uncle Chester headed out, and Mogey and Smush spent the entire day combing the village for the very best of each profession it had to offer. When Uncle Chester returned that evening, his nephews were waiting proudly outside the house with three other gentlemen.

"Uncle Chester," Mogey began, "may I present the three workers you require?" He gestured theatrically to the first man, a slender fellow in a long, flowing cape. "This is Giovanni Fantastico, the magician you requested for the hall light."

"And this," Smush interjected, pointing to the beefy fellow in the middle, "is Tony Chopsticks, the doorman. I didn't know there was much hopping involved in door repair, but word on the street is that Tony is the best 'bouncer' in town."

"Finally," Mogey said, introducing Uncle Chester to a small, rat-faced man, "we have Captain Chuck, the rum-runner you asked about for the jacuzzi."

"Say, where are you going?" Smush asked Uncle Chester, who had turned and begun walking around the house without a word.

"To burn that organic garden to the ground, once and for all," Uncle Chester called back.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 440

Mogey and Smush trekked through the soggy Mallowmarsh Wood in the driving rain one night, searching for shelter. After a long while they came upon a hillside cave that looked dreary, but dry. Mogey tried to enter, and though the rain showed no signs of abating, Smush held him back.

"No Mogey," Smush shouted above the noise of stormy forest, "we mustn't enter that cave. Inside dwells Doctor Villainman, who smites down all who approach him with his fearsome Doomclaw."

"What goes on with this Doomclaw?" Mogey asked, shivering. "Does he actually have freakish talon-hands, or is it some sort of inexorably strong robotic contraption?"

"I believe it's one of those arm-extender claws that you buy at an aquarium gift shop," Smush answered. "But he is mighty good with it."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 439

One morning, Mogey and Smush found that a mysterious barrel had been delivered to their doorstep. It was a large and sturdy hogshead made of white oak, and they quickly rolled it inside lest the neighbors think they were putting on airs.

"Are you sure you didn't order another barrel of mead?" Smush asked.

"Yes," Mogey insisted. "Maybe you sent for a barrel of cider and forgot. You're always going on about how you could drink ten gallons of the stuff."

"Hogwash!" Smush replied. The two pals looked at one another, then down at the mystery barrel. "Well," Smush began, "shall we tap this beast and see what's inside?"

"Most definitely," Mogey said, pulling his favoritest crowbar from the umbrella stand and prying the top off the barrel.

No sooner had Mogey cracked the lid than the vessel burst open and out flowed a veritable river of furry, shrieking creatures. Within seconds Mogey and Smush had monkeys swinging from the hall lamps, robbing the larder of its entire supply of fruitsnacks, and shredding their Persian carpets to a fine confetti.

"Oh yeahhhh," Mogey and Smush said in unison, as recollection suddenly dawned on them.

"I told you we would forget that a barrel of monkeys was arriving," Mogey said as he opened the door to the cellar.

"You did, indeed," Smush admitted. "Say, where are you going?"

"I've got to retrieve my monkey wrench," Mogey called from the basement stairs. "Experts agree that it's the only way to get rid of these little buggers."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 438

"If you could have one superpower, what would it be?" Mogey asked Smush one fall afternoon as they were picking nectarines.

"A bottomless tummy," Smush replied. "And you?"

"I would live in the ocean," Mogey said, his voice taking on a dreamy quality, "and be able to command all sea creatures, from the mighty humpback whale to the humble starfish. Every day I would dine on kelp and seahorse salad and every evening at seven thirty, an army of cuttlefish would arrive to give me a sponge bath."

"Why would you need a sponge bath if you lived in the ocean?" Smush queried.

"How dare you?" Mogey declared angrily, chucking a rotten nectarine at Smush's shoes. "How dare you stomp all over my dreams with your pterodactyl-leather-booted feet? If I want an underwater sponge bath, then an underwater sponge bath I shall have!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 437

"Bleh!" Mogey exclaimed, spraying a mouthful of hot coffee all over his rhetoric textbook. "This coffee is disgusting!"

"I'm not surprised," Smush said without raising an eyebrow, "you asked for it with a heaping tablespoon of salt stirred in."

"Ugh, I didn't mean this kind of salt," Mogey replied. "I meant the good kind."

"Do you mean... sugar?" Smush asked incredulously.

"Yes, that's the one," Mogey said. "A heaping tablespoon of sugar salt!"

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 436

One evening, Mogey and Smush were getting themselves ready for the big sock hop. The sock hop was just about the only social event all year in Turtsborough (apart from the annual cow patty stacking contest) so anyone worth his salt would be there (along with some folks who were only worth their paprika).

"Hurry up, Mogey!" Smush shouted up the stairs. "I told Miss Shoefly I'd meet her at the gymnasium doors at seven!"

"I'm coming!" Mogey replied, bounding down the stairs two at a time, and presenting himself with a grin. "What do you think?"

Smush took in Mogey's chosen outfit of a frayed tank top and camouflage shorts for a moment before heaving a great sigh.

"I thought we agreed not to dress up!" Smush exclaimed, plucking at Mogey's tank top. "Now I'll have to go change," he grumbled, stomping upstairs angrily.

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 435

One foggy morning, local milkman Bernie Boggins arrived at the offices of M&S Marine Towing with his daily delivery of milk, cream, and butter. He knocked on the door and was beckoned inside by the proprietors, Messrs. Mogey and Smush.

"Here's your daily dairy," Bernie Boggins announced, setting the milk crate down.

"Thank you, Bernie," Smush said without looking up from his newspaper.

"Ahem," Bernie coughed awkwardly. "I hate to bring this up, but I'm afraid you gentlemen haven't paid your bill in two months."

"We know Bernie, and we're sorry," Mogey answered. "But we can't pay you until business picks up. There simply isn't any money."

"And what is your business, exactly?" the milkman queried.

"We've got a tugboat in Bunchie Lake," Mogey said. "The HMS Hamhock. She's a strong one too: the old girl can pull boats and barges more than twenty times her size."

"I don't understand," Bernie Boggins replied.

"Well, you see, Boggins," Smush said, "a tugboat's engines have quite a bit more torque--"

"No, I understand what a tugboat is," Bernie Boggins interrupted. "But I don't understand how you two expect to make any money. Bunchie Lake is no bigger than my above-ground swimming pool, and the HMS Hamhock is quite literally the only boat in it."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 434

One evening, Mogey returned home later than normal, having stopped at the pie shop on his way home from work. He was still brushing blackberry pie crumbs out of his whiskers when he opened the door to find that his best pal Smush was being held hostage.

"Tell us where the safe is!" shouted a moustachioed man holding a musket to Smush's head. "Tell us where the safe is, or your pal goes to sleep with the pigeons."

"That's 'sleep with the fishes,' Egbert," moustache's partner in crime corrected. The partner was a rather diminutive fellow with an eye patch and an overabundance of freckles. "But he's quite right," eye patch went on, turning to Mogey. "We'll do away with Master Smush right quick if you don't give up the safe."

"It's down in the cellar!" Mogey shouted immediately. "Hidden in a hogshead of cider."

Egbert and the man with the eye patch retrieved the safe, bid Mogey and Smush toodles, and ran for the hills, leaving Smush shaking his head.

"You couldn't have at least tried to trick them while I formulated a plan?" Smush demanded. "They wouldn't have killed me right off."

"No Smush, you don't understand," Mogey pleaded. "One of those burglars was propping his muddy boots up on our nicest sofa. I had to get them out of here as soon as possible!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 433

On a gloomy and moonless night, Mogey and Smush stumbled through the Swamp of Crushing Horrors, utterly lost.

"I TOLD you the Swamp of Crushing Horrors sounded like a terrible place for a picnic!" Smush grumbled as his frustration began to get the better of him.

"I was trying to find a private spot!" Mogey replied. "You said our last picnic was too crowded."

"You set up the blanket in the middle of a jousting track!" Smush retorted. "With a tournament going on. Pieces of my potato salad bowl are probably still lodged in that horse's hoof."

They went on like this, lost and bickering, for many an hour, until the two pals were exhausted, muddy, and no closer to finding their way out of the swamp. Just when Mogey and Smush were ready to give up and hunker down til dawn, a soft light appeared in the murky night air. The light drifted toward them, no bigger than a candle flame, until finally they could see that its source was a tiny, flying man glowing golden in the darkness.

"Are you a fairy?" Mogey asked when the creature stopped flying and hovered a few feet from their faces.

"Yep," the fairy replied.

"What's your name?" Mogey asked in wonder.

"Larry," the fairy answered.

"Your name is Larry?" Smush demanded. "Larry the fairy?"

"Yes!" Larry said, sounding a bit annoyed. "I mean, technically my name is Lawrence, but only my mother calls me that."

"Well Larry, can you help us escape the Swamp of Crushing Horrors?" Mogey asked hopefully.

"Nope!" Larry replied. "I'm just here to annoy you." And with that, Larry set about buzzing in Mogey and Smush's ears like an oversized gnat for the rest of the night, making life in the Swamp of Crushing Horrors even more miserable, if possible, than it already was.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 432

One day of yore, King Mogey and Emperor Smush formed an alliance that joined their countries into one powerful nation called West Eastly. What neither Mogey nor Smush knew, however, was that both of them shared the same devious plan. At their first meeting as joint heads of state, Mogey planned to do away with Smush, while Smush plotted to usurp Mogey, as both of them wanted to become the sole ruler of West Eastly.

Finally the fateful day arrived. The proper paperwork had been filed. The i's had been dotted and the t's had been crossed, which was a fairly easy task since West Eastly had no i's and only two t's. King Mogey and Emperor Smush agreed to meet in the throne room of their new palace in West Eastly City.

"Good day, King Mogey," Smush announced, catching sight of his new ally across the magnificent chamber.

"The same to you, Emperor Smush," Mogey replied serenely. "Shall we sit at our throne?"

"Indeed," Smush replied, and they crossed to the head of the room where a resplendent gold throne had been installed. When they reached it, both monarchs paused warily.

"Looks like this throne ain't big enough for the two of us!" Mogey announced, brandishing a dagger at the same time as Smush pulled cruel looking club from beneath his robes.

"Wait a second," Smush interrupted before the blows could be exchanged. "It looks like the throne might be wide enough to fit both of us after all."

"Right you are, Smush," Mogey replied, lowering his dagger as he took a second look at the golden chair. "Good thing we spent a little extra to get that 'bench throne' from Linens n' Things."

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 431

Mogey and Smush had both eaten many a pizza in their day, but one rainy evening they dined on that delicacy together for the very first time. As they ate and tried to keep the leaking roof water from hitting their pie, Smush noticed a curious thing about Mogey's pizza-eating habits.

"You don't eat your pizza crusts, Mogey?" Smush asked in astonishment.

"Oh, I eat them," Mogey replied. "But I save them for 'smiles bonanza.' Just you wait."

They finished the pizza and Mogey was left with a mound of curved, uneaten crusts. He dashed into the other room, returning moments later with a tub of vanilla frosting.

"Smiles bonanza time!" Mogey shouted, dipping his first crust into the icing with gusto. "You see, Smush," Mogey went on, munching happily, "it would be unseemly to dip an entire slice of pizza in frosting. But no one can fault you for adding a little decoration to these cheery, smile-shaped crusts. It's a smiles bonanza!"

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 430

Mogey and Smush were walking through the woods one day (in the not-so-merry-month of November) when Mogey announced that he was taking a nap.

"I'm taking a nap," he announced. "This patch of moss looks extremely comfortable."

"Are you sure you want to lie down on that moss?" Smush replied. "I'm all for naps but you're going to get awfully dirty. You could always just--"

"Oh, look at me, I'm fancypants Smush," Mogey mocked. "I'm fraidy-scared of sitting on the ground."

"That's not it, Mogey," Smush protested.

"I need to go back to my emperor-sized bed to do any napping," Mogey continued. "It's too dirty out in the woods."

"Mogey, you're still wearing a tuxedo from your gala this afternoon," Smush retorted. "And I just so happen to have two hammocks in my backback, but I don't suppose you'd be interested in one of those, would you?"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 429

Mogey, Smush, and most everyone in town were out berrying on the sunny side of Mount Malarkey one summer afternoon. Mogey emptied a full pail of boysenberries into the wagon and proceeded back to the berry patch with his pail atop his head.

"Check me out, Smush!" Mogey proclaimed, stumbling around blindly. "I'm Sir Loxington, the Im-pail-er!"

"You're quite the merry knight, Sir Loxington," Smush replied mockingly as he thumped Mogey's pail-helmet with the two-by-four he always brought berrying. "Get back to picking, will you? It's getting late and the berry bears will be out at sunset."

"Ouch," Mogey said, staggering about for a moment before toppling to the ground, his helmet still covering his face and head. "Impailer down," he groaned.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 428

The village of Porpaduke had grown restless of late due to the increasingly bold tactics of Signor Chinchilla, the evil dictator who ran the town with an iron fist. In fear of being overthrown, Signor Chinchilla called a town-wide meeting in Porpaduke Square and addressed the villagers.

"I've heard rumblings that maybe I shouldn't be the evil dictator of Porpaduke any longer," Signor Chinchilla announced from the podium. "That maybe I've grown soft. Well I'm here to put those rumors to rest. Today I shall take on any man, woman, or child who wishes to dethrone me in the ultimate battle of wits: a sumo wrestling match. Do I have any takers?"

The crowd noise rose as the townspeople muttered to one another, but no one seemed to be stepping forward.

"Mogey," Smush whispered. "You've got to volunteer! You're the only one who stands a chance against him."

"Are you crazy?" Mogey replied. "Signor Chinchilla must weigh thirty stones!"

"Have you seen yourself lately?" Smush retorted. "You're chubbier than a dumpling factory worker after a bad break up."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 427

One day, Mogey was out back watering the beanstalks when Smush showed up sporting two glorious shiners.

"Great Fluffernutter, Smush!" Mogey exclaimed. "What in the world happened to your eyes?"

"I got in a fight with Rupert," Smush replied, retrieving a steak from the icebox and slapping it onto his face.

"The wallaby who lives down the street?" Mogey asked. "How did it start?"

"I don't especially want to talk about it," Smush answered. "Let's just say that I learned a valuable lesson today: you should never refuse a wallaby half of your cheese sandwich."

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 426

One morning, Smush was having his Weet-Bix when Mogey entered the kitchen looking severely bummed out.

"What's got your feathers so ruffled?" Smush asked around a mouthful of Bix.

"You wouldn't understand," Mogey said with a great sigh.

"On the contrary," Smush replied. "The village gossip, Missus Weisenheim, has taught me everything there is to know about the human mind. Have a seat and tell Uncle Smush what's bothering you."

"Well, you see, Smush," Mogey began, "I can't help but be frightened of card tricks. It ain't magicians that bother me, nor the illusions themselves, but somehow when I see one of those rigged decks of cards, I feel like the walls are closing in on me."

"Mmm," Smush said thoughtfully. "I've heard Missus Weisenheim discussing this malady. It's called Trick-a-deck-a-phobia."

"Trick-a-deck-a-phobia?" Mogey repeated. "Say, where are you going?"

"To go tell Missus Weisenheim about your fear," Smush, who was already halfway out the door, replied. "The entire town gossip circuit will want to hear this one!"

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 425

On a cool summer Sunday, Mogey and Smush headed into town to pick up a custom-made hat that Smush had ordered from the local haberdasher. They entered the store and the haberdasher, PJ Kickbottom, presented Smush with a brand new cowboy hat made of the finest crushed velvet.

"Hang on a tick," Smush said as he tried the hat on. "This hat is too small!"

"Listen here, Squash," PJ Kickbottom retorted.

"It's Smush!" Smush interrupted.

"Whatever," PJ Kickbottom said menacingly, leaning across the counter. "I made that hat to your exact specifications. It ain't my fault if your head got fatter since you last measured it."