Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 569

"So, Mogey," Smush said one day as the two pals sat around a heaping plate of ebelskivers, "have you made any New Year's resolutions?"

"Indeed I have," Mogey replied. "I've resolved to add an additional apricot bear claw to my daily doughnut regimen."

"I see, and how many doughnuts does that take you up to on a typical day? Six? Seven?"

"It's actually a nice round gentleman's ten."

"Ah," said Smush. "You know, Mogey, usually a New Year's resolution is something constructive, like getting healthy, or, say, being kinder to others."

"Well that's just what I'm doing," Mogey responded. "The Moge-man is a whole lot nicer to his neighbors with an extra apricot bear claw in his belly. I'll be so darn kind, people might actually stop shrieking when I pass them on the sidewalk."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 568

"Do you think you could ever live in a rain forest?" Mogey asked Smush as the two pals stared out the kitchen window at a bleak, stormy November morning.

"Not on your life," Smush replied.

"Why's that? Is it the bugs?"

"No sir, the bugs don't other me in the slightest."

"The heat, then?"

"Uh-uh," Smush said. "Smush loves him some hot, humid weather."

"Well what is it?" Mogey inquired. "Why wouldn't you live in a rain forest?"

"Two reasons," Smush replied. "First, I'm deathly afraid of leaches. Second, monkeys. Those wise guys are always giving you a hard time. It's like, hey, monkey, if you're going to make a funny face at me, why don't you come down here where I can hit you with my monkey beating stick?"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 567

"You know something, Smush? I'm thinking about taking on the horn," Mogey announced one day as the two pals were viewing an amateur game of skittles at the YMCA.

"Good for you!" Smush replied. "Which horn is that? The french horn?"

"Of course not."

"The trumpet, then?"


"Perhaps the flugelhorn?"

"Um, no, Smush, I'm talking about the XXXL creme horn at Papa Bombasta's House of Absurdly Oversized Pastries," said Mogey, rolling his eyes dramatically. "Sheesh, it's like you've never spoken to me before."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 566

When Grandma Mulligan moved down to Crillking County, Mogey and Smush missed her warm smile, her potato soup, and her blazin' hot hip hop stylings, in that order. One winter's eve when they missed Grandma Mulligan particularly terribly, Mogey and Smush decided to try their hands at making her world famous potato soup.

"Are all the ingredients assembled?" Smush asked.

"Yessiree," Mogey replied.

"Alright then, hand me a potato." Mogey handed him one. "Hang on a second," Smush said. "This isn't a potato at all. It's a Mr. Potato Head doll."


"We need real potatoes to make potato soup."

"I've had enough of this talk of real potatoes and fake potatoes," Mogey said sternly. "Grandma Mulligan never held with potato racism and I won't either!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 565

One morning Mogey was enjoying a heaping bowl of bran clusters when he looked up to see Smush descending the stairs. His pal looked remarkably different: A long grey beard hung from Smush's chin and despite leaning heavily on a cane, he was limping along at a snail's pace, his back hunched awkwardly.

"Good heavens, Smush!" Mogey exclaimed. "What has happened? Have I gone to bed and woken up many years later like Rip van Stiltskin?"

"Of course you haven't, dunderhead," Smush replied. "And it's Rumplewinkle, not Rip van Stiltskin."

"But, but you're an old man!"

"I most certainly am not! This is just my napping beard," Smush rejoined, pulling off the false grey whiskers. "And I'm only using this cane because you roller skated over my foot yesterday. I told you the inside of that elevator wasn't a roller derby arena, but did you listen to me? No you did not."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 564

"How would you like to go caroling today, Mogey?" Smush asked one morning very near Christmas.

"Hmm, I must say I'm intrigued," Mogey replied. "Tell me more about this caroling."

"We'll go from door to door, singing our favorite Christmas songs and bringing cheer to our friends and neighbors."

"And what would we get in return?" Mogey asked.

"You don't get anything in return," Smush said. "It's just a nice thing to do."

"Fiddlesticks! I thought you mentioned something about figgy puddings?"

"I said nothing of the sort."

"Well I suppose I could bring my own figgy puddings," Mogey said thoughtfully. "Let's do it. But you had better be prepared to carry the second verse of Good King Wenceslas: That first verse always makes me hungry, so I'll probably have my mouth full."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 563

Of all the magnificent and monstrous creatures in the land, the most feared was the mighty quadropus. He was a squid-like sea-dwelling beast with four tentacles long enough to crush an entire truckload of snack cakes into one tiny nugget of deliciousness. The quadropus was also know for his keen fashion eye: He had a tendency to gobble up anyone he thought was dressed distastefully.

One fine morning, Mogey and Smush were out for a refreshing swim in Burntbottom Bay when suddenly the might quadropus rose up before them.

"Who goes there?" the quadropus demanded in his booming voice.

"Tis just us," Mogey replied. "Mogey and Smush."

"Ah," said the quadropus. "I thought you may have been the snack cake delivery man."

"While we're in your presence, oh great quadropus," Smush interjected, "would you mind telling us what you think of our fashion senses?" The quadropus gazed at them with an appraising eye.

"Poor, but not the worst I've seen. Your choice of striped socks with plaid swim trunks was a bit misguided, as was, come to think of it, your choice to wear socks of any kind whilst swimming."

An awkward silence fell for a moment, as Mogey and Smush gazed bashfully down into the water at their stockinged feet.

"Ohhhh, I get it," Mogey said suddenly. "It's like 'octopus,' but he has four legs instead of eight!"

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 562

"What shall we do to get girls to dance with us?" Mogey asked one lovely summer's eve as he and Smush were en route to the big hoedown.

"It is a mystery that has plagued scholars for centuries and centuries," Smush replied. "Although I hear girls love tough guys - can you do anything tough?"

"I can demonstrate a few tai chi moves. Do you think that would work?"

"I'm not so sure... tai chi doesn't seem like something tough guys would do."

"Balderdash," Mogey retorted. "It's a martial art!"

"What about scars?" Smush suggested. "Have you got any scars to show off how tough you are?"

"That I do!" Mogey said excitedly. "See the little red spot where that soft-shell crab pinched me last week? If that doesn't make me look like a hard man, nothing will."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 561

One morning, Mogey returned home from working the late shift at the savory cracker factory to find a statue in the front garden. The statue was a full-size sloth carved out of brilliant white stone, and the sculptor had taken extra care to make it exceptionally lifelike.

"Nice statue," Mogey told Smush as he went inside and wearily set down his lunch, extra lunch, and luncho fantastico (Spanish for "3rd lunch") pails.

"What statue is that?" Smush asked, looking up from his copy of Prune & Dried Fruit Aficionado.

"The big sloth statue out front," Mogey replied.

"No! No! No!" Smush cried, tossing aside his magazine and dashing out the front door. "That crafty rascal."

Mogey followed his pal outside to discover that the sloth statue was gone. "I don't understand," he said. "What happened?"

"It wasn't a statue at all," Smush replied. "It was an actual sloth covered in flour. You see, Mogey, that critter has taken to rolling around our flour bin. He likes how it feels on his fur, but then our bread smells like sloth for the next week. When you saw him in the front garden, he was actually fleeing the scene of the crime very, very slowly."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 560

"He had a shiny bald head," Mogey explained to the police sketch artist. "And if you ask me he looked to be a few apples short of an apple cake."

"Ok," the sketch artist replied. "What about his height?"

"He was probably, what, two-foot-two or two-foot-four?" Smush answered.

"And what sort of clothes was he wearing?"

"I'm not sure," Smush said. "It was hard to see anything around the armor-like shell he had on his back."

"It sounds like this guy looked exactly like a turtle," said the sketch artist. "What did he do, again?"

"He was a turtle," Mogey replied. "And he ate up half the cabbages in our garden."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 559

"I've finally completed my masterpiece," Mogey announced, staggering out of the broom closet in a haze of dry bubblegum fragments and chocolate milkshake residue. A crumpled, greasy manuscript was clutched in his hand. "I've written a book of World War I poetry!"

"Say," Smush responded, "aren't we supposed to live in a time before World War I?"

"Probably," Mogey said, "but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict a world war will occur at some point in the future, or to imagine what it will be like."

"Yeah, we also live in a time before rockets," Smush added, "but I guess that's besides the point. Let's hear some poetry, then."

"Alright - this one really sums up the tone of the entire book. It's called Fluffy the Bunny's French Countryside Ice Cream Picnic."

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 558

Scarcely a week passed when Mogey and Smush would not find themselves in the offices of FP Werthersoriginals, the director of the local theater. Mogey and Smush were dying to be in show business, but FP Werthersoriginals roundly dismissed every idea they came up with.

"We're back, Mr. Werthersoriginals," Smush declared as they strode into the office once again, "despite the fact that Mogey cried for an entire week when you said our two-man band was 'filthy - and not in the good way.'"

"It's true," Mogey added. "And that wasn't even as painful as the time you started firing warning shots from your revolver during our laser light show demonstration."

"Well, get on with it then," FP Werthersoriginals said, stroking his moustache and wondering what sort of beast's leg he'd like to have for lunch that day.

"We call this: Puppet Time with Soggy & Mush," Smush announced. He and Mogey pulled socks onto their arms and began using their hands to approximate two snake-ish creatures discussing the Dewey Decimal System.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," said FP Werthersoriginals. "Whoa. Those are your puppets? A couple of gym socks? For serious? Didn't you even want to slap a pair of googly eyes on them?"

"Let's get out of here, Mogey," Smush said haughtily. "It's clear that, once again, FP Werthersoriginals doesn't understand true art."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 557

One dark and moonless summer afternoon, an ominous knock sounded on the front door of Mogey and Smush's Academy for Gifted Checker Players.

"May I help you?" Smush asked, opening the door to reveal a chubby man wearing a mask and a wide-brimmed black hat.

"Yes," the man replied. "My name is Fat Zorro. May I please have a cinnamon bun?"

"I'm afraid not," Smush rejoined. "We only have enough cinnamon buns here for our students to eat one apiece, and for Principal Mogey and I to have three."

"Tell you what," Fat Zorro said. "I'll play you in checkers for it."

"P'shaw," Mogey said.

"Laughable," Smush added.

Ten minutes later, Fat Zorro was dashing out of the school as fast as his meaty legs could carry him, six cinnamon buns impaled on his sword and the students' cheers ringing in his ears.

"You cheat!" Smush called after him. "You scoundrel!"

"You can take those double and triple jumps to your grave with you, Fat Zorro!" Mogey shouted. "We don't play that way at Mogey and Smush's Academy for Gifted Checker Players."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 556

"Pine straw is just as good as regular straw, I tell you!" Smush said. "I read it in a technical document of some kind!"

"There's no way!" Mogey insisted. "It's all piney and gross."

The reason Mogey and Smush were debating the merits of pine straw is that their neighbor, Phil the Farmer, had tasked them with taking care of his cow while he went to Jamaica for the week. For their help Mogey and Smush would have all the cow's milk, plus six golden coins as long as they didn't eat any portion of the animal.

But Mogey and Smush had run out of straw to feed the cow on Day 2, and now they were scrambling to find an apt substitute. With no other ideas, they hauled a wheelbarrow full of pine straw back to Phil the Farmer's barn and began pitching it into the cow's feedbasket to see what he would do.

"Excuse me," the cow said, "is that pine straw?"

"Yes," Smush replied.

"I can't eat pine straw," the cow said. "It's poisonous."

"Ha!" Mogey shouted. "Told you!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 555

One afternoon, Smush came home with a newborn baby squirrel tucked into his lunch pail.

"I hope you don't expect me to eat that for dinner," Mogey said warily. "I had squirrel for lunch today."

"He's not for dinner!" Smush said, reflexively hugging the lunch pail closer to his chest. "I thought he'd make a nice pet."

"That wouldn't be so bad, I suppose. What are you going to name him?"

"I was thinking 'Samuel.' He looks like a Samuel, doesn't he?"

"Samuel?" Mogey asked incredulously. "Do you know what that name means?"

"No, what does it mean?"

"It means," Mogey replied, lowering his voice so Samuel wouldn't hear, "little stinky skunk man."

"That is not accurate," Smush said.

"Alright, alright, I admit it," Mogey answered. "It actually mean big stinky skunk man."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 554

It was not safe to be out after dark in Mogey and Smush's township because of the Mighty Walloping Honkersanz, a creature so monstrous he would eat you up without even having an hors d'oeuvre first. In the wee hours of morning, you could hear his honking war cry as he searched for tasty people who strayed outdoors.

To the Mighty Walloping Honkersanz, Mogey was the equivalent of a fried macaroni-and-cheese ball, and so he was horrified to awake one night in the middle of the street, having apparently sleepwalked straight out the front door. More frightening still, he could hear an awful honking noise coming toward him.

Mogey whirled around and sprinted for home, only to twist his ankle on an old slice of eggplant parmesan lying in the road. He knew it was too late – the Mighty Walloping Honkersanz was already upon him. Mogey squeezed his eyes shut and waited for sweet honking death to claim him.

“Hi there, Mr. Mogey.”

“Wha-what?” gasped Mogey, opening his eyes. Standing in front of him was Royal Pantsbottom, the neighborhood paperboy.

“You’re awake awful early today,” Royal Pantsbottom said, honking his bicycle horn.

“That horn,” Mogey stammered. “I always thought your horn was the cry of the Mighty Walloping Honkersanz!”

“Oh,” Royal Pantsbottom said. “Didn’t you ever notice that my honking was always followed by the sound of a newspaper landing on your front porch?”

"I always thought that was the sound of the Mighty Walloping Honkersanz putting down his Fearsome Widowmaking Briefcase," Mogey replied.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 553

"You know, Mogey, I don't even know why I bother raking the leaves with you," Smush said one fall afternoon that was not crisp. It was anything but crisp.

"Why's that, Smush?" Mogey asked, sweeping his wooden rake carefully along the ground. "There's nothing you love more than an orderly front lawn."

"Very true. But every time we've ever raked the leaves into a pile, you haven't been able to resist the urge to jump in and undo all our hard work."

"Now that's just not fair," Mogey retorted. "I did no such thing back in the fall of '26."

"Yes, but that's only because you had a broken leg at the time," Smush said. "And you still managed to scatter the leaves about by rolling your wheelchair through the pile half a dozen times!"

Just then the urge to leap into the pile overcame Mogey, and he took a running dive into their newly formed heap of leaves, splashing them to the far corners of the yard.

"What was that?" he asked, looking ever-so-slightly guilty as he emerged from what used to be their pile. "I couldn't quite hear you."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 552

It seemed that Mogey never could catch a break. Boredom plagued him one rainy Sunday morning until he managed to track down a book that seemed interesting. But when he finally settled down in his easy chair to start in on Adventures in Toastmaking, the book seemed to have other ideas. Every time Mogey opened the cover, the book would sprout arms and legs, hop down from his lap, and run full speed until it crashed into a wall.

"Why in the world is this happening?" Mogey shrieked in frustration after the book had escaped for a third time.

"Why is what happening?" Smush asked, sticking his head into the room.

"Adventures in Toastmaking keep growing arms and legs and running away from me!"

"Well," Smush replied, surveying the situation carefully, "you are eating cheez curlies. If you tried to touch me with your fingers all covered in that weird orange dust, I'd probably run away too."

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 551

Mogey strode into the 73rd annual FancyPants Gala & All-You-Can-Eat Buffet feeling pretty darn schnazzy. His hair was combed, he had on a pair of extra-shiny shoes, and he was about to rub shoulders with the most powerful lords, ladies, and possum-barons in the countryside.

"Hey there, Smush. This is some shindig, eh?" Mogey said when he encountered his pal, who had come straight to the event from his racquetball match.

"Sheesh, Mogey, spin your top, will you?" Smush replied, rolling his eyes.

As it was Mogey's first trip to the FancyPants Gala, he assumed this was a custom of the event, deferring to Smush who was a veteran of such affairs after attending the prior year. So he pulled out the small spinning top he always kept in his pocket for good luck and gave it a good twist on the buffet table.

"No, Mogey," Smush urged quietly. "I mean, turn your top around!"

Mogey seized the top and spun it even more forcefully, accidentally propelling it into a large bowl of prawn pancakes.

"For the love of muffins, Mogey!" Smush whispered in exasperation. "I mean turn your shirt around! It's on backwards - I don't even know how you were able to button it up that way!"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 550

"Psst, Mogey," Smush whispered across the detention hall table. "Have you got the time?"

"Of course not," Mogey replied, looking up from his copy of Tractors, Tractors, and Scuttlebutt. "You know I never wear a watch."

"Well then how do you ever know what time it is?"

"What?" Mogey demanded with a level of incredulity usually reserved for an undertaker when a corpse requests a grape popsicle. "I just ask Pocketwatch Stevenson."

Mogey leaned back to reveal that the classmate in question was sitting right beside him. As Pocketwatch Stevenson shook his head with disappointment, his half dozen golden watches jangled louder then an obese janitor climbing to the top of a bell tower.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 549

"Never again!" Mogey said, his teeth chattering violently. "That's the last time I'll ever join in that cursed underwater snowball eating competition."

"I couldn't agree more," Smush replied as his body quaked with cold. "If I live through this, I swear I'll never eat another snowball in my life!"

The pals had collapsed on the hearth before a roaring fire. Warm bricks now rested on each of their frozen tummies.

"I know it's for a good cause," Mogey moaned. "But why do they have to have it in January?"

"The underwater part would be so much nicer in the summer," Smush added, "although I suppose snowballs would be pretty hard to come by. I'm off to boil some water - do you want something hot? Maybe a cup of coffee or some soup?"

"Have we got any maple syrup?"

"Does this look like the house of a molasses and honey magnate?" Smush said. "Of course we have maple syrup. Are you going to use it to sweeten your coffee?"

"Nope," Mogey replied. "I'm going to drink it straight up. Nothing cures a stomach ache like a cup full of syrup."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 548

"I can't find it anywhere!" Smush shouted. "Grandpa Ulysses would tan my hide if he found out I lost it, God rest his soul."

Mogey looked up from his copy of Slightly Less Flabby Abs in Seven Minutes and watched his pal rooting furiously through the cigar box that served as their cookbook, flinging recipes willy nilly around the kitchen.

"Easy does it, Smush," Mogey said calmly, getting up to offer his assistance. "What are you looking for?"

"Grandpa Ulysses' saltwater taffy recipe," Smush replied. With the speed of a vegetarian cobra, Mogey lashed out and slapped Smush across the face.

"I'm sorry," Mogey said immediately, snatching his hand back. "It was a gut reaction. I'm sure we can think this through: Let's start with the ingredients. Clearly Grandpa Ulysses' specialty was composed of three things: salt, water, and taffy."

"You're a genius, Mogey!" Smush exclaimed. "I think you've got it. Now how do we combine them?"

"Just stir them together in a pot over high heat," Mogey replied wisely.

The pals didn't make anything close to resembling saltwater taffy that day, but they did create a salve that proved to be a miraculous remedy for the red hand-print on Smush's face. The boiling hot salty taffy took so many layers of skin off, you'd never know Smush had been slapped at all.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 547

One evening, Smush entered the pantry in search of some fruit roll-ups, only to find Mogey sitting on a sack of cornmeal, looking as though he had just stuck his tongue in an electrical socket (again). His eyes were wide, his fists were clenched, and he was rocking to and fro like a madman.

"What happened, Mogey?" Smush asked. "Did you read Make Way for Ducklings again?"

"No," Mogey replied without lifting his eyes, "but I've just encountered a conundrum that will haunt me to the rest of my days. It's an unsolvable, existential paradox!"

"What is it?" Smush asked.

"I couldn't do that to you, my friend," Mogey said, shaking his head vigorously. "You'll lose touch with reality trying to solve this devil's riddle."

"But I'm so curious now!" Smush begged. "Maybe I can help you find the answer."

"There is no answer."

"Nevertheless, I must know," Smush insisted. "I can't see you suffer alone this way."

"Alright, but don't say I didn't warn you," Mogey said. "The question is this: Is stew meant to be eaten on a plate or in a bowl?"

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 546

One evening, Mogey was readying himself for a somewhat warm date while Smush worked on his 1:5 scale model of a chicken. After trying on several dozen articles of clothing, including sock garters and an eye patch, Mogey finally settled on an outfit.

"How do I look?" he asked Smush. "D'you think she'll like me?"

"Of course," his pal replied. "You look like a thousand dollars."

"I wore vertical stripes because they're supposed to be slimming. Hopefully she won't be able to tell that I'm a bit of a chunker just by looking at my sweater."

"Good thinking," Smush said. "The barbecue sauce on your chin is broadcasting that quite nicely."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 545

"Oy, Smush, what's the weather look like?" Mogey called from the cellar, where he was churning butter. Smush looked out the kitchen window into the early morning light.

"Rain's coming down faster than tears on a Darth Vader mask," he replied.

"What's it raining?" Mogey asked as he came upstairs and began making himself a cup of tea.

"What do you mean, 'what's it raining?'"

"What material is falling from the sky?"


"Again?" Mogey demanded. "Why's it always have to be so boring? I keep hoping that one of these days it'll rain chocolate syrup. Or at the very least, ginger ale."

"You're not overly familiar with the water cycle, are you, Mogey?" Smush said.

"The what now?" Mogey asked, sticking his hand out the door and licking it, just to confirm the rain's composition.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 544

"Hey Smush," said Mogey one windy winter day, "we're best pals, right?"

"'Course we are," Smush replied.

"Right, well then as my best pal, if I were to die, can you make sure they bury me somewhere with a view of the seashore? Oh - and can you tell them to sing Woolly Bully at my funeral?"

"On my honor, if the unthinkable should happen, I will see that you're put to rest as you wish," Smush promised. "And now that you mention it, I've got a request for you if I die first."

"Anything," Mogey replied, "just name it."

"I want you to keep those squirrels off my gutters!" Smush exclaimed. "Dang critters - thinking they're so much better than us just because they've got furry tails! I don't care if you need to use your crossbow and a can of Raid: Keep them out of this house, d'you hear?"

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 543

"Hey Mogey, what are you doing?" Smush asked, approaching his pal who was quite clearly sitting under a tree and spitting sunflower seeds into an old tin can.

"Something very important," Mogey replied.

"Oh," said Smush. "Well, how would you like to go canoeing?"

Mogey gave Smush a look of surprise, mixed with disdain, with a pinch of indigestion.

"Canoeing?" he demanded. "Do I look like a velvet tortoise to you? No, I'll walk to Manitoba and back before I step foot in a canoe."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 542

One of Mogey and Smush's closest friends was Percival, the toll taker. Each morning the pals and many other townspeople lined up at Percival's tollbooth to pay the fare to cross Moosebroth River. Mogey and Smush liked Percival because he had kind, twinkly eyes, and because he gave every third customer a Flintstones vitamin. But this didn't put him beyond reproach.

"That's it," Mogey whispered through gritted teeth one day as he and Smush waited for the toll, "I can't take it anymore! Percival or no Percival, I'm through waiting in this line!"

Squeezing the sides of his mighty horse, Stumbles McGee, Mogey galloped alongside the queue of horsemen and past Percival's toll booth, leaping over the final barrier to the Moosebroth River Bridge... and plunging straight into the water below. Unbeknownst to Mogey, the bridge was in fact a drawbridge that had been swung open to allow an oyster boat through. Now he found himself floating downstream with Stumbles, who - though he was a strong swimmer - despised water so greatly that he would drink only mulled cider and Doctor Pepper.

"Nayyyy!" announced Stumbles, unceremoniously headbutting his master before swimming to the water's edge. Back ashore, Smush cantered up to the tollbooth apologetically.

"Sorry about that, Percival," he said. "I don't know what gets into him sometimes."

"Not to worry," Percival replied, eyes twinkling merrily. "Here, have a Flintstones vitamin."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 541

One day while Smush was outside building a stone wall, Mogey pulled up beside him in an old- fashioned car with skinny tires and an enormous engine that belched blue smoke. He wore driving goggles, black leather gloves, and suspenders, which all made sense because it happened to be old timey times at the time.

"Ahoy, Smush!" Mogey shouted above the roar of his automobile. "Care to join me for a fall foliage drive?"

"Let me see if I've got this," Smush said, straightening his aching back. "You're going to drive around looking at dead leaves?"

"Indeed, but I do believe you're missing the point."

"And what is that?"

"Fall foliage drives are a fantastic excuse to eat cheese sandwiches and saltwater taffy," Mogey replied, gesturing to the car's back seat, which was loaded to the gills with both comestibles.

For a moment Smush regarded his pal like a fat baby angel eyeing a moist piece of devil's food cake.

"By golly you're right!" he exclaimed suddenly, leaping into the passenger's seat and grabbing some Jarlsberg on rye.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 540

It started out as a typical afternoon at M&S United Experimental Labs Ltd. Inc LLC also known as Mogey and Smush's cellar. Mogey was fiddling with something or other, Smush was taking a nap in his comfiest lab coat, and Fitzy, their lab assistant, was running about performing all the tasks that kept the laboratory up and running.

"I've got it!" Mogey shouted, causing Smush to fall backwards out of his chair and Fitzy to let out a nervous squeak. In addition to being the lab assistant, Fitzy was both literally and figuratively a guinea pig, and so he always became nervous when new inventions were announced.

"What have you got?" Smush asked, dusting himself off.

"The next great taste combination!" Mogey declared. "You've heard of peanut butter and jelly, cookies and cream, rice and roni." Smush and Fitzy exchanged befuddled looks at this last one. "Now prepare yourselves," Mogey continued, "for the newest flavor sensation. I must warn you: it will seem bold, it will seem strange, it may even seem horrifying, but it will be delicious. The combination is: pork chops... and apple sauce!"

"Sheesh, Mogey, that was invented centuries ago," Smush said.

"What? Are you sure you heard me correctly? I'm talking about pork chops... and apple sauce!"

"Yes, I know," Smush replied. "We ate those very things like three nights ago."

"Ohhhh," Mogey said, "those are pork chops? I always thought pork chops were made from some unusual cut of unicorn meat. Back to the ol' drawing board I guess."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 539

Young cowpokes Mogey and Smush shook the dust off their boots as they stepped into the Yella-Bellied Saloon for a touch of shade and a cool glass of sarsaparilla. Seeing as it was three in the afternoon, most of the other cowpokes were out poking cows and the saloon was dead quiet. A grumbling bartender served the pals their sarsaparilla and then disappeared into the back room to perform some chores that apparently involved heavy snoring.

Suddenly, the tranquility of the cool barroom was broken by a wizened old man who ambled through the doorway wearing long, flowing robes. He sported a majestic white beard and his eyes twinkled like twin glazed hams.

"Mogey!" Smush whispered urgently. "Tis a wizard!"

"Aye," Mogey agreed as the wizard took a seat at the bar, "let's ask him for stuff."

"Excuse me, Mr. Wizard?" Smush said.

"Yes?" the wizard replied.

"My friend and I were wondering - are you able to conjure things out of thin air?"

"Afraid not," said the wizard. "I can only replicate objects already in my possession."

"But that's perfect!" Mogey interjected, pulling a leather pouch out of his pocket. "We have four gold pieces here - our entire life savings. If you could replicate those a few thousand times we'd be glad to split the profits with you."

"Indeed?" the wizard said, raising his eyebrows as he accepted the moneybag.

Just then, a crowd of doctors rushed into the saloon and seized the wizard by the shirtsleeves.

"Mr. Periwinkle!" one of the doctors cried. "Thank God you're all right. We were worried sick about you. How did you get out of your room, anyway?"

Without a word to Mogey and Smush, the Doctors bustled the old man - who still had their moneybag - out of the establishment.

"He wasn't a wizard, was he, Smush?" Mogey asked when they had gone.

"Nope," Smush replied, wincing as he took a long draft of sarsaparilla.

"That's the third time this month!" Mogey grumbled. "Who knew the wild west had so few wizards... and so many devious retirement home residents!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 538

"You know something, Smush?" Mogey said one autumn day as a cool breeze blew across the barnyard. "That wind is the first breath of winter."

"How can you tell?" Smush asked as he milked a cow with one hand and a goat with the other.

"The goose has goosebumps," Mogey replied. "He's always the first to know about these things."

"His skin is always bumpy - that's why they call them goosebumps."

"But he's also shivering."

"Nah," Smush said. "He's just waddling along. That's how geese walk no matter what season it is."

"Well," Mogey continued, "now he's pulled on wool socks and a stocking cap." He paused, waiting expectantly for Smush's rebuttal.

"I got nothing," Smush replied as the goose zipped up his sealskin parka and went off in search of some hot cocoa.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 537

It was a typical Wednesday afternoon, and as such, Mogey and Smush found themselves kept behind after school, writing the same phrases over and over on the blackboard. On this particular day, Smush had been forced to write I will not propose marriage to the school nurse 500 times, while Mogey's assignment was The blind boys' lunch does not belong to everyone.

"Hey Smush," Mogey said, when they'd each written their phrase about 150 times, "what do you suppose chalk is made of?"

"I always assumed the main ingredient was the powdered bones of disobedient boys," Smush replied.

"Oh," said Mogey. "Say, aren't we disobedient boys?"

"That we are," Smush answered, flexing his sore writing hand.

"I see," Mogey rejoined. For a moment the schoolroom was silent but for the squeaking of chalk against the blackboard.

"Any idea what's for dinner tonight?" Mogey asked.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 536

On Thursday evenings, the town of Puddlemuck held a game night to occupy the young ladies and gentlemen who might otherwise get up to mischief. Mogey and his teammate, Winifred "The Beast" McKenzie, had long wanted to take down their archrivals, Smush and Sweet Bessy Blake, in a game called "How Well Do You Know Your Friends?"

The rules of the game were simple: one team member would answer a series of personal questions behind closed doors, and the second teammate would try to guess the responses.

One Thursday, Mogey and The Beast had made it to the final round all tied up with Smush and Sweet Bessy. A bucket of pork rinds and a week's worth of pride were on the line for the winning team.

"Sweet Bessy, this question is for you," said Officer Popsicle, their host for the evening. "When Smush gets out of a pool, what does he dry off first?"

"Hmm," Sweet Bessy hmmed. "I would have to guess... his waterwings?"

"Correct!" Officer Popsicle announced.

The crowd cheered jubilantly. It was now do or die for Mogey and The Beast.

"Alright, Beast, are you ready for your question?" Officer Popsicle asked. The Beast nodded, staring hungrily at the bucket of pork rinds. "What is Mogey's favorite fruit?"

"Apples?" The Beast suggested, after mulling it over for a moment.

"I'm sorry," Officer Popsicle replied. "Mogey's favorite fruit is - in his own words -, 'Ew, fruit? What?' I am pleased to announce that Smush and Sweet Bessy win again!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 535

On a cool, clear Summer's day, Mogey and Smush set out for Papa Jacques' Guns-n-Shrimp, a store they'd heard mentioned in many a tale of name brands at discount prices. As they traversed the unfamiliar path, Mogey noticed something odd hanging from one of the trees nearby.

"Is that an old-fashioned washboard?" he asked, walking over to inspect the contraption.

"Seems to be," Smush replied.

"I wonder what it's doing here in the woods," Mogey said, gently thumping it with the back of his hand.

As he turned to walk away, the washboard swung dramatically forward, bonking Mogey on the back of the head.

"Hey!" Mogey shouted, spinning around and pushing back at the offending piece of cleaning equipment. "Get off!"

As if on cue, multiple washboards dropped from every tree in the vicinity, and suddenly the woods were teeming with the dangling devices, which began to swing wildly.

"Run for it!" Smush yelled. And the pals did, ducking and weaving in an effort to avoid the onslaught. But it was impossible to dodge them all: more than once, Mogey and Smush found themselves bopped on the noggin, smacked across the shoulders, or slapped straight in the face by the malicious washboards.

Finally reaching the end of the wood, the pals tore across a meadow and - for some reason - leapt into a pond before realizing they had made it to safety.

"Well," Smush said, pulling pondweed out of his hair as he massaged a sore nose, "I guess that's why they call it Face-Smacking Washboard Tree Forest."

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 534

After a heartbreaking loss in the countywide kickball tournament, Mogey and Smush found themselves dining at the grand estate of Bigby Largitude III, the captain and financial backer of their team.

"Well, you can't win 'em all, I suppose," Bigby said in a subdued tone.

"Mmm," Mogey replied, reaching for another lamb shank.

"Indeed," Smush added, refilling his glass with with fresh-squeezed orange juice.

"We left it all out on the field," Bigby continued.

"Quite," Smush said around a mouthful of lobster stuffed with filet mignon.

"Too true," Mogey agreed as he heaped another spoonful of caviar onto his plate.

"Kickball really is a game of inches," Bigby said.

"Oh, spare me your platypus!" Mogey cried at the top of his lungs.

"Don't you mean 'platitudes?'" Bigby replied coolly.

"No," Mogey answered. "I was just letting your butler know that I'm all set on the platypus front... it's a bit overcooked for my liking."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 533

Curious lads that they were, Mogey and Smush thought a long time about the nickname that had been bestowed on a particular one of their schoolmates. Many theories as to the origins of the name had been proposed, but every one was discredited in turn. Finally, Mogey and Smush saw no other choice but to ask the classmate himself.

"So why is it they call you Muleboy?" Smush queried when they encountered him in the cafeteria.

"Why do you think?" Muleboy returned, setting down his tray and crossing his arms.

"Is it because of your enormous nostrils?" Mogey ventured.

"No," Muleboy answered, flaring his nostrils angrily.

"Your habit of eating out of a feedbag?" Smush suggested.

"No," Muleboy said. "And those aren't feedbags, they're potato chip packages. I like the crispy crumblies at the bottom."

"Is it your long snout, er, I mean, nose?" Mogey asked.

"Not likely."

"Your hairy face? Your big front teeth? Your affinity for hay?" Smush said.

"No, no, and no," Muleboy replied. "It's because of my incredibly strong legs!"

With that, Muleboy spun around, went down on all fours, and kicked at Mogey and Smush, just like a mule. Each of our heroes caught a foot square in the chest, sending them flying backwards so fast that Smush didn't eat anything but fudgsicles for a week, and Mogey coughed up a live gopher he'd apparently forgotten to chew thoroughly enough.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 532

"I've kept you in the dark for too long," Mogey announced as he and Smush strode into the county fairgrounds for the annual egg-toss competition. "I don't just plan to watch this contest. I've entered as a competitor."

"You have?" Smush asked, trying not to sound too hurt. "But who's your egg-toss partner?"

"Chugg Malloy," Mogey replied with a sly smile.

"Chugg Malloy?" Smush demanded. "You mean your archenemy? The Chugg Malloy who was so angry when you dented his front bumper that he plucked every one of our chickens bald and then turned up the AC in the chicken coup?"

"That's the one."

"But they say his fastball goes 114 miles an hour! He once decapitated the batter, catcher, and umpire on the same pitch! This is the man you're going to allow to throw a small round object in your direction?"

"See that's where the plan gets truly ingenius," Mogey said. "I've switched our egg out for a Cadbury creme egg. When he throws it at my head - as he surely will - I'll end up with a mouth full of chocolate and laugh all the way to the dentist!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 531

"Scrabble, Mousetrap, Clue, and Trouble," the witch moaned as she stirred her cauldron ominously.

"Are you sure this is such a good idea?" Mogey whispered. He and Smush stood across the glowing pot of witch's brew, shivering in the moonless night.

"We've got to do it!" Smush replied quietly. "If we don't get this strength potion, Howie Wheeler and Bart Gimick are just going to keep taking our lunch money until we haven't got any left. Then they'll start stealing our clothes!"

"Silence!" the witch cried. "The toad you brought requires the utmost quiet in order to infuse the potion with his toadiness."

The toad calmly presided over the brewing process atop a stool and didn't appear at all perturbed by their conversation, but Mogey and Smush hushed up nonetheless. The witch gave the potion a final stir, then produced a pinch of some mysterious powder from the depths of her robes, which she deposited into the cauldron with a flourish.

Emitting a thunderous POP the cauldron immediately burst forth a fireball the size of a small horse, which knocked Mogey and Smush to the ground and singed the witch's eyebrows.

"Ribbit," said the toad from atop his perch. The witch leaned in close, carefully inspecting the creature.

"This isn't a toad at all!" she shrieked. "You've brought me a frog dipped in grapenuts!"

"Sorry," Smush replied, shrugging his shoulders. "We don't have many toads near our house."

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 530

In the olden days, a time period in which Mogey and Smush occasionally lived, a spice peddler would travel from town to town leading a little spotted donkey. The donkey wore cargo shorts on both its front and back legs, and every one of its pockets bulged with exotic flavors from unknown lands.

One olden day, the spice peddler happened upon Mogey and Smush's cottage and walked up to the front porch in hopes of selling some of his wares.

"Ahoy," hailed the spice peddler, as spice peddlers are wont to do. Mogey answered the door wearing only his long johns and holding a musket in his hands.

"What can I do for you?" Mogey asked cheerfully.

"Sir, I'm a traveling spice peddler. I wonder: would you care to purchase any herbs or spices?"

"Herbs?" Mogey demanded. "Spices? You disgust me. We don't engage in that sort of tomfoolery in this establishment! Why don't you and your donkey get out of here and go back to playing ultimate frisbee?"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 529

"You know something, Smush?" Mogey asked one day as they hoed the rutabagas under a blistering sun. "I just don't understand New Year's Eve."

"What's not to understand?" Smush asked, pausing to mop his brow.

"I don't know why everybody chooses that one random night to drink champagne, eat peaches, and break chairs over one anothers' heads. Is there no rhyme or reason to it?"

"Well of course there is," Smush replied, ignoring Mogey's typically blatant ignorance of holiday traditions. "It's the last day of the year, isn't it? A time to celebrate the inception of a brand new, unspoiled year. Haven't you ever noticed that New Year's Eve takes place on the same date every time?"

"Nope," Mogey replied. And with that he dropped his hoe and went running down the field in hot pursuit of an anthropomorphic cumberbund who had just stolen the biggest, finest rutabaga of the season.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 528

"What are you doing on Saturday, Mogey?" Smush asked one morning so glorious that a muffin was later named after it.

"You mean after the snake rasslin' competition in the village square?" Mogey asked. "Nothing much."

"Excellent," Smush replied. "We're throwing a party for the seventy-fifth birthday of Hedgehog Sam, the Bacon Man. Now remember, it's a surprise party so mum's the word."

"What word?"

"It's just a figure of speech," Smush said, rolling his eyes. "Just go back to playing with that Jacob's ladder and be quiet about it, will you?"

"How am I supposed to be quiet when you're talking about mummy parties and bacon?" Mogey exclaimed. "I have so many questions. How much bacon will there be? What type of bacon? Will the bacon be free?"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 527

"Son, what is your greatest ambition in life?" the King of the Rat People asked Mogey. Mogey wiped canoli filling off his chin, for he and Smush had just won their freedom from the Rat People by out-eating two prolific Rat Men at a buffet of stale Italian pastries.

"I want to be the lead baton twirler in the Harvest Day Parade," he replied breathlessly.

"I see," said the King of the Rat People, thoughtfully tapping his swan bone sceptre to his chin. "And why is that?"

"Because I love batons," Mogey answered. "I love them in soup. I love them on salads. I even love them crushed up in a glass of ice cold milk."

"Psst," the King of the Rat People whispered, turning to Smush, "is he confusing batons and croutons?"

"Yes," Smush replied, "yes, I do believe he is."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 526

Smush returned home one evening with a goose under one arm and a barrel of pickled hog noses under the other, only to find his pal Mogey sitting alone on the sofa with a lampshade over his head.

"Holy seedcakes, Mogey!" Smush shouted, starting as he came upon his friend in the darkened room. "You nearly scared the pants off me. Weren't you planning on doing some crazy partying tonight?"

"That's what I am doing," Mogey replied, without removing his peculiar head garment. "Whenever someone's been out a crazy party in the cartoons, they've always got a lampshade on their head."

"I see," said Smush. "But why is it so dark in here?"

"Um... because I took the lamp apart? Duh."

"So then you're just going to wait here until something crazy happens?" Smush asked.

"That's the plan," Mogey replied assuredly. "Wooooeeee! You and me, lampshade! Let the party begin!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 525

"Mogey and Smush's Casa de Apples and Appley Things," was a very grand name for a not-so-grand establishment. It was a rusted out old gypsy wagon out of which Mogey and Smush sold apples, apple butter, apple sauce, and pineapples. But never apple cider. Under no circumstances apple cider.

On a day so sweaty that it made the dog days of Summer seem like that sea-cucumber days of Spring, Mogey and Smush were minding the counter at the Casa de Apples and Appley Things and fanning themselves with old hubcaps. A fine horse and carriage pulled up along the nearby dusty road and out stepped the most beautiful princess Mogey and Smush had ever seen.

She waltzed serenely up to the gypsy cart window and ordered two apple tarts and a bowl of apple sauce, which she promptly ate while Mogey and Smush watched wordlessly.

"You sir," she said, addressing Mogey as she wiped the crumbs off her delicate hands. "Are you the architect of these tasty delights?"

"No'm," Mogey admitted. "I'm really more of an assistant. Me pal Smush here is the true genius behind Mogey and Smush's Casa de Apples and Appley Things."

"Is this true?" the princess asked. Smush nodded. "Then come back to my castle with me and be my husband. Any man who can work such wonders with apples and appley things has earned my undying admiration and affection. You shall be King and Lord of every apple the sun touches. And your friend the good Mogey will have any Dukedom his heart desires."

"Truly?" Smush asked.

"Truly," the princess replied. "If you'll pour me one glass of apple cider we can be on our way immediately!"

"Cider?" Smush demanded. "Apple CIDER? Do I look like a purveyor of cider to you? Cider is for grouchy babies and rebellious grandpas! That scenario you just laid out - you know, the one that I've dreamt about since the day I was born in the pig trough next door - is off! Off I say!"

Without another word, the princess turned on her heel, climbed into the coach, and drove away.

"Way to tell her, Smush," Mogey congratulated. "That princess had another thing coming. Cider... p'shaw...."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 524

There was no more avoiding the issue. It was time to face facts. Mogey's head had become as bald as a ripe plum.

Smush knew that his pal had been going through a sensitive patch ever since that lone remaining hair had fallen out during its daily brushing, so he tried to keep his jokes to a minimum and help Mogey through.

One day, after a week of sullenness, Mogey came up from the cellar (where he had taken to sleeping), as chipper as Smush had ever seen him. There was a hop in his step, a swagger in his gate, and even a jaunty tilt to the way his 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol was stuffed into the back of his jeans. It didn't take Smush long to find out why.

"Good morning, good Smush," Mogey said cheerily. "Notice anything different about me?"

Smush looked up from his breakfast and almost choked to death on his honey bunches of honey nut honey.

"What is that on your head?" he asked when he had finished coughing. Perched atop Mogey's hairless noggin was a piece of hard, shiny plastic molded into the shape of hair.

"A wig," Mogey replied.

"Where in the heck did you get it?" Smush demanded, barely containing his laughter.

"I scalped a mannequin down at the department store," Mogey said proudly. "Doesn't it look top notch?"

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 523

"Mogey, what have you got in that file cabinet underneath your workbench?" Smush asked, abrubtly looking up from his work at the offices of Mogush-Smugey Enterprises.

"Files..." Mogey said, his eyes darting about guiltily.

"Mogey..." Smush prodded.

"Ok, ok, I admit it," Mogey wailed. "There are no files! The drawer is just full of Bit-O-Honey bars and peanut M&Ms! But what was I supposed to do, Smush? My Aunt Helga gave me that file cabinet for my birthday last year."

"Why don't you just put some files in it?"

"We sell eyes of newt and ideas for bad dreams to the witches in town, Smush," Mogey said, rolling his eyes. "There's not exactly a whole lot of paperwork involved."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 522

"What should we do next, Mogey?" Smush asked as the two pals strode between a large pile of goat manure and the tilt-a-whirl at the county fair.

"I desperately want to win a prize for Cynthia Brickle!" Mogey said. "But I can't think of a single carnival game I'm good at. I haven't the strength for the hammer game, the accuracy for the water pistols, nor the mental fortitude for whack-a-mole."

"There, there, Mogey," Smush consoled his friend, patting him on the back. Mogey stared listlessly out at the rows of bright lights and flashing colors.

"Hang on a second!" Mogey exclaimed, suddenly cheery. "There's a game I can do! Kiss the bearded lady and win a prize - it's a carnival classic."

"Mogey, wait! You don't understand," Smush urged, but Mogey was already jogging up the steps of a kissing booth. Before anyone knew exactly what was happening, Mogey had seized the kissing booth attendant by the back of the neck and administered a smooch that could be heard halfway across the fairground.

"I did it!" Mogey shouted, prancing around the booth with his hands held up like a prizefighter. "I kissed the bearded lady! What did I win? What prize will I bring to my sweet Cynthia?"

Smush sighed and shook his head as the burly, albeit dashing, lumberjack who had been manning the kissing booth stared at Mogey in dismay and furiously wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 521

On a day so cold that it was impossible to go outside without at least four pieces of cinnamon gum on one's person at all times, Mogey and Smush went into an empty cornfield to try out Smush's new boomerang.

"See here, Mogey," Smush said confidently. "I saw a shaman demonstrate this technique. All you do is grip the boomerang thisaways and give it a nice strong throw."

Smush whipped the boomerang across the field where it crashed gracelessly into the woods.

"Isn't it supposed to come back?" Mogey asked. Smush ignored the question and began to trudge grumpily in the direction the boomerang had gone.

Mogey was hurrying to catch up when the boomerang burst forth from the forest and flew across the field, spinning to a gentle landing at Smush's feet with two steaming cups of hot cocoa sitting atop it.

"Ha!" Smush shouted joyfully. "Told you I knew how to do this!" Grabbing one of the cups of hot cocoa (which was quickly becoming cold cocoa), Smush once again heaved the boomerang away, only to have it crash once more into the woods. The device returned again, however, this time bearing a mostly-full box of fruit-by-the-foot.

"What a miraculous thing!" Mogey shouted, already consuming his fruit at a rate not measurable in feet. This time he took his turn, chucking the boomerang with all his might to see it disappear into the forest once more.

Hidden behind several layers of trees, a rogue weasel named Mr. Goosewithers chuckled evilly to himself as he caught the boomerang and strapped two exploding cigars to it. He had designs on Mogey and Smush's chicken coup, and his meticulously thought-out plan was finally coming to fruition. At last he thought, as he threw the boomerang back out toward the unsuspecting goofballs in the cornfield, at last the chicken coup will be mine!

"Hey look, cigars!" Smush exclaimed as the boomerang landed in front of them once more. "Boomerang, you old so-and-so, I don't know how you do it, but you've done it again!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 520

After Mogey and Smush's farmhouse was burgled for the 2nd time in 3 weeks (thieves had taken their great-grandfather's golden pocketwatch AND a top secret experimental recipe for raisin buns), the two pals decided they needed to invest in some home protection. So they strapped Jasper, their strongest donkey, to the cart and made their way down to Enormo-mart.

Smush procured a map and an official Enormo-mart sherpa and began exploring the wide array of ninja stars the store had to offer. After a bit, Mogey came around the corner pushing a shopping trolley loaded to the gills with pens, pencils, and ink.

"What are you doing with all those pens, Mogey?" Smush asked, glancing up from a Gizzard Slicer 5000.

"You know how they say that the pen is mightier than the sword?" Mogey said.

"Yes, I suppose I do," Smush replied, chuckling to himself. He knew his pal well enough to follow this line of thought to its obvious conclusion.

"I'm going to load these bad boys up with angry bees and hang them over all the doorways," Mogey continued. "Then I'll spray the next unlucky burgler who enters our house with stolen honey. My wrath will descend on him like the hammer of Thor."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 519

"I don't know why everyone says it's so hard to ride a bucking bronco," Mogey said, removing his cowboy hat and using his shirt sleeve to wipe sweat from his brow. "That was the second-easiest thing I ever did in my life."

"What was first?" Smush inquired.

"Deciding whether or not to have a third slice of sweet potato pie last night."

"Of course," Smush replied, nodding sagely. "Well, it was quite a ride."

"I just can't get over it," Mogey said. "All these big tough guys with their spurs, and their moustaches, and their arrays of fine soaps and lotions, are always complaining about the fearsome bucking broncos. How they put their lives in danger; how they need clowns to save them after they get bucked off. I just rode that bucking bronco better than any of 'em on my first try! What's the deal, wisest Smush?"

"I'm not sure," Smush answered. "Although it could be that the big tough guys you speak of ride actual bucking broncos, whereas you just hopped on a horse-shaped spring rider at the playground."

"Nah," Mogey said assuredly. "That can't be it."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 518

Mogey was in the market for a new pipe, and so he and Smush packed a burlap sack full of peanut butter, fluff, and bacon sangwiches and headed into town. Spotting a respectable looking establishment called Corncob Robert's House o' Pipes, the two pals stepped inside to see what they could see.

"Good afternoon!" bellowed the bearded, bespectacled, bulbous proprieter when they entered.

"Hello there, old bean," Smush replied. "Be you Corncob Robert?"

"That I am," he answered. "But please, call me Cob Bob - everyone does. What can I do for you fine sirs?"

"Sheesh, Cob Bob," Mogey said, breaking into a fit of giggles. "My old pipe has worn out and I'm in dire need of a new one." At least, that's what Mogey had been telling everyone. In actual fact, Mogey had never smoked a pipe in his life and didn't, technically speaking, know which end of a pipe went in one's mouth. But he thought being a pipe smoker sounded awfully sophisticated to the ladies.

"Well as you can see, we've got a fine selection here," Cob Bob explained. "What sort of pipe are you looking for?"

"How much are these Southington numbers on the top shelf?" Smush asked.

"Five pieces of silver," Cob Bob replied. "Or, if you prefer, one medium-to-large laying hen and a book of brainteasers."

"Sheesh, Cob Bob," Mogey said, laughing even harder this time. "That's a pretty steep price. What else have you got?"

"The clay pipes are quite nice," said Cob Bob, looking a bit put off. "They'll only run you two pieces of silver or an exceptionally creepy jack-in-the-box."

"Sheesh--," Mogey began, but Cob Bob had grabbed him by the shirt collar and hauled him up onto the counter.

"If you say Sheesh Cob Bob one more time," Cob Bob growled, "I swear on the life of my pet penguin's unborn child that I will not sell you a pipe today, nor until the end of time."

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 517

"Top of the morning to you, Mogey," Smush said as he slid down the spiral tube slide that led from his bedchamber to his and Mogey's secret food pantry in the cellar of the Dexter School for Troublemaking Lads. "What are your plans for this fine St. Patrick's Day?"

"Well," replied Mogey, delicately spearing a fried mackerel with his fork and biting its head off, "as you may or may not know, I have two St. Patrick's Day traditions."

"I did not know that," Smush said. This wasn't entirely true: he did, in fact, know that Mogey had two St. Patrick's Day "traditions," but he also knew that said "traditions" changed each and every year.

"Firstly, I save a snake's life," Mogey expounded. "St. Patrick, as you are probably aware, was quite fond of snakes. After I'm in possession of the rescued snake, I sneak into Miss March's Academy for Shrill Girls and set it loose in the coatroom. You've never seen such havoc in your life!"

"Did St. Patrick have it out for shrill girls," Smush asked, "or what?"

"No, no," Mogey said, still chuckling to himself, "the first tradition is for St. Patrick, the second one is solely for me."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 516

"Silence is paramount," Mogey whispered to Smush as they crept along. "Even the slightest noise could alert the enemy to our presence."

He was right, of course, for Mogey and Smush were en route to steal one of Missus Abernathy's crumble top mincemeat pies. The mission was more difficult than it might seem - Missus Abernathy was in her eighties and blinder than a mole baby, but she was known to fire her crossbow out the window without warning if she suspected pie thieves were about.

Smush nodded seriously and the pals scampered through Missus Abernathy's back garden, only stopping once they were crouched below the windowsill where several pies sat cooling.

Smush gave Mogey the previously agreed-upon hand signal (rock horns) and Mogey got to his feet and quickly removed the crumble top mincemeat pie from the windowsill. He and Smush had begun to creep stealthily away, when Mogey stepped on a stray ostrich egg that had rolled into the yard. The egg issued a loud crack, followed by an even louder splat, and almost instantly, Missus Abernathy was at the window with the crossbow at her shoulder.

"Who goes there?" Missus Abernathy demanded, cocking her head in the direction of the now-frozen Mogey and Smush. They could see hundreds of tiny pies with X's through them carved into the handle of the crossbow - one for every pie thief she had iced. "I'll tan your hides and put you in my next pie, I say!" she shouted.

Missus Abernathy felt around the windowsill with her spare hand, apparently assuming that the pie thieves had gone.

"Ah well, they've only gotten the crumble top mincemeat," she muttered. "Thank goodness they didn't take my strawberry-gooseberry. That's the true winner of the bunch."

As Missus Abernathy wandered away from the window, Mogey and Smush exchanged a significant look. They knew that either the strawberry-gooseberry pie would be theirs, or they'd get a crossbow quarrel to the hip flexer trying. And no pie ever tasted so good as that strawberry-gooseberry one did when Mogey and Smush finally devoured it in the waiting room outside Saint Ignacious Memorial Crossbow Wound Treatment Center.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 515

After a long afternoon of hunting wooly mammoths, giant bison, and winged woodchucks, Smush returned home to his tipi, excited to check in on his brand new, tricked out aquarium. The aquarium was a glistening, 50 gallon job that Smush had spent months stocking with exotic fish and crustaceans from around the globe.

No sooner had Smush opened his tipi flap than he saw Mogey inside with his feet propped up on the table, dangling a fishing pole into the aquarium.

"What are you doing in my tipi, Mogey?" Smush demanded angrily.

"Fishin'," Mogey replied lazily. "Check it out, I've already caught three of the little orange ones, six of the silvery funny looking ones, and even this miniature crab. A couple more and we should have enough for a fish kabob. Ho ho ho."

"Why in the world would you go fishing in an aquarium when there's a perfectly good river outside teaming with rainbow trout?" Smush asked.

"Because these ones are so little and delicious-looking," Mogey said. "I don't think you quite understand, Smush. I'm making a fish kabob. You know, like 'shish kabob.'"

"How could you do such a thing?" Smush asked. "I put my heart and soul into that aquarium."

"Sheesh, don't be so selfish, Smush," Mogey muttered, turning back to his fishing pole. "I just caught you dinner for goodness sakes."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 514

One hazy spring afternoon, Mogey and Smush got into one of the most heated arguments of their long friendship. The pals simply could not agree on what sort of apple trees they should plant in their orchard.

"What about Granny Smith apples?" Smush ventured.

"No way, Jose," Mogey replied. "My Grandpa Smith told me that Granny Smiths were pure evil! I'm partial to a red delicious - what say you to that?"

"Ugh, more like 'red disgusting,'" Smush said. "I know: we could plant some mcintoshes."

"I would rather consume a sandwich made out of cabbage, mayonnaise, and your neck hairs than eat a mcintosh apple," Mogey asserted.

"Well what does it matter?" Smush said finally. "These trees won't have apples on them for a dozen years or more."

"A dozen years?" Mogey demanded. "But that's an eternity! Next thing you're going to tell me that they won't be covered in caramel when we pick them!"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 513

On a journey to Far Off Figgington, Mogey and Smush came upon an old, rickety rope bridge that spanned a gorge deep enough to hold 800,000 killer whales who had just eaten 800,000 other killer whales. The bridge's slats were missing in places, rotten in others, and at some points, blatantly made of such substandard building materials as cloth diapers and hot pocket boxes.

"What say you, Mogey?" Smush said, staring out at the bridge.

"Be not afraid," Mogey replied serenely. "She'll hold us."

"I'm not so sure," said Smush. "It looks awfully rickety out there."

"Be not afraid, Smush," Mogey repeated. "Trust in the map - it told us to come this way."

Without replying, Smush hefted a rock no bigger than a midget's fist and lobbed it toward the middle of the bridge. Issuing no more than a mild creek, all four bridge supports snapped, and the entire contraption plummeted to the depths - slats, ropes, and all.

"It just goes to show that there's truth to that old saying, "Smush said. "Never put too much creedence in a map purchased from a troll wearing overalls."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 512

"Alrighty, the next item on the agenda is ball game snacks," Smush announced, peering down through his spectacles. He was leading a bi-weekly meeting of the "Club of Best," an organization dedicated to deciding the best thing in every imaginable category.

"Do I hear nominations?" Smush continued. "Best ball game snacks?"

"Hot dogs," Mogey suggested.

"Peanuts!" squeaked Vole Richard, one of the more diminutive members of the club.

"Soft pretzels," volunteered Lil' Esquire, their resident rapper/attorney.

"You are all wrong!" shouted Thundercuss the Magnificent, a mighty viking lord who served as club treasurer and bake sale manager. "Nachos are the greatest ball game snack!"

"I think Thundercuss makes some good points," Smush said nervously. "Are we in agreement that nachos are the best food at a ball game?"

"Aye," said the entire assemblage in a shaky unison, causing Thundercuss the Magnificent to look very pleased indeed.

"I thought he was off his rocker when he made us vote Marmaduke the best comic strip of all time," Mogey whispered to Lil' Esquire. "But nachos at a ball game? That Thundercuss is killing us!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 511

As young lads, Mogey and Smush often yearned to do something illegal. Some of their pals were known to steal zebras from the zoo and race them down busy thoroughfares; others would snag a nip of moonshine from Old Man Crankus when he was napping on his front porch. The bravest and foolhardiest of all would play pranks on Missus Lamb, the owner of the penny candy store, who was known to pull a 12-gauge shotgun out of her hoopskirts at the slightest provocation.

Mogey and Smush didn't like the sounds of all that, but it became a source of great shame that they had yet to break a single law, rule, or ordinance. So when they happened upon what appearred to be an illegal animal fighting ring down by the creek, they mustered their courage and stepped inside.

The operation was housed inside a musty, semi-permanent tent, inside of which dozens of bearded, burly men stood about, shouting, exchanging money, and generally roughhousing. Mogey and Smush, being small of stature (if not of girth) were able to squeeze their way, mostly undetected, to the edge of the ring.

"What in the world are those things?" Mogey asked as they peered into the battle arena.

"I haven't the foggiest idea," Smush replied.

Inside a wooden circle stood two creatures that looked like throw-pillows with stubby arms, stubby legs, and great googily eyes atop their pillow bodies. They were exceptionally adorable. As Mogey and Smush watched, the pillow-creatures waddled slowly toward one another and bumped chests several times until one of them toppled gently to the ground. Half the crowd cheered deliriously, while the other half audibly murmered "Awwwww."

"Sir?" Smush asked, tugging on the sleeve of a nearby man. "What are we watching?"

"Pillah fight," the man grunted, wiping tears of joy from his eyes. "Ain't they adorable?"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 510

"Doughnut machine repairman!"

Never had three words sounded to sweet to Smush (although "chicken fried cheese" was a close second). He bustled down the hall at his fastest bustle when he heard the repairman at the front door.

"Oh thank heavens!" Smush cried, embracing the very surprised-looking repairman on the front steps. "Our doughnut machine's been broken almost a full day! I do believe the gears may be jammed with peanut butter and chocolate ganache."

Smush showed the repairman their piteously wounded doughnut machine, then led him around back, where Mogey was playing solitaire and mournfully munching a stale bagel.

"Now Mogey and I are the meddling sort," Smush said, "and we'll probably make your job twice as difficult if we're not distracted somehow. So I'm going to turn on this sprinkler, which should keep us well-occupied as you fix our doughnut-maker."

"You know, Smush, I can hear everything you're saying. A silly old sprinkler isn't going to BAAHAHAHA!" Mogey collapsed into a fit of giggles as the sprinkler came on and began sweeping back and forth over the lawn.

"So should I..." the doughnut machine repairman began to ask, but he realized Smush was no longer standing next to him. Smush was rolling around beneath the sprinkler, laughing like a ticklish Frenchman.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 509

On a typical morning in the fantastic land of Fleegelflugal, Mogey and Smush rode their Powerwheels trucks through a field of whistling teakettles, a forest of bright purple trees, and a very brief shower of fingerling potatoes. As they crested a hill they encountered a horse who had what appeared to be an ear of corn strapped to its head.

"Nay!" the horse hollered, in possibly the least intimidating voice of all time. "Nay! NAY!"

"Excuse me, sir," Smush said, addressing the horse, "but can we help you somehow?"

"Yes!" the horse replied. "I'm a unicorn and you're in my territory. And I don't like it! Not one bit."

"Don't unicorns have horns?" Mogey asked.

"Common misconception," the unicorn responded. "Those ugly, one horn things are actually uni-horns. Every real unicorn has a big ol' ear of corn growing out of his forehead."

"I see," Smush said. "Well it's much less scary than a horn, isn't it?"

"It may be now," said the unicorn, "but if I pop these corn kernels, this bad boy will nearly triple in size! Now I don't suppose either of you gentlemen has a hair dryer I could borrow for a moment?"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 508

Mogey and Smush had been working as snailers for two weeks. It was a good job: the pay was fair, they got to work outdoors, and the foreman sang selections from Sweating to the Oldies all the live long day.

One day, as it came time for lunch, the men assembled in front of a large tureen on the back of the wagon to receive their daily rations.

"Snail chowder?" the foreman offered when Mogey's turn came round.

"Snail chowder!" Mogey shrieked girlishly. "You don't meant to tell me that all these snails we've been gathering are for eatin, do you?"

"Liver n' henfeathers, Mogey," Smush muttered behind him. "Of all the things to say...."

"Well of course they're for eatin, lad," the foreman said. "What'd you think they was for?"

"I always thought people brought the snails into work with them, because they're so slow, see?" Mogey stated matter-of-factly. "That way they look like they're working harder by comparison. Sort of like what we do with Chubby Eddy over there."

"Phew," Chubby Eddy said, mopping his brow as he finally returned from his 10 AM coffee break. "What a day, what a day, what a day."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 507

On an evening as clear and cool as a mildly refrigerated jellyfish, Mogey and Smush found themselves out in their field weeding the beans. An infestation of Puerto Rican Mudflup - an insidious weed that could spring up in a matter of hours - threatened to wipe out their entire bean crop if they didn't get rid of it. And without beans, Mogey and Smush would be unable to make the mainstay of their entire diet: baked beans.

So the two pals weeded and weeded til they could weed no more. Finally they had reached the point of exhaustion and were near collapsing when they heard a loud, gravelly voice.

"Looks like you boys need a professional weeder."

The voice belonged to a tall, slim man sitting atop the rock wall with one of his feet propped up beside him and the other dangling toward the ground. He wore an old straw hat that hid his face, and a long piece of uncooked spaghetti was clenched firmly between his teeth.

"Wh-Who are you, mister?" Smush stammered as Mogey shrank toward him in fear.

"The name's Tater," the man replied, pushing back his hat, "Buck Tater."

"Well since you asked," Smush said, "we could use a man who knows how to pull some weeds. Care to join us?"

"Right on," Buck Tater answered, hopping down from the rock wall to inspect the field. "Now what you've got here is a serious case of Puerto Rican Mudflup," he continued. "And if there's one thing I know about Puerto Rican Mudflup, it's that they love ukulele music."

With that, Buck Tater produced a ukulele as if by magic and began to strum it lazily. One by one, the weeds loosened from the ground, finally popping out of the ground with a sound like a cork coming out of a bottle. Using their roots as legs, the Puerto Rican Mudflups walked out of the beanrows and followed Buck Tater as he walked toward the rising sun with a smile on his face and a ukulele in his arms.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 506

Mogey and Smush's great dream in life since they were young rapscallions was to own a fountain. So they had set out to make their fortunes selling hedgehog hats, with the final goal of the fountain always in their minds. The hedgehog hats were made for hedgehogs, not from hedgehogs, a distinction Mogey and Smush found themselves spending the overwhelming majority of their time explaining. There was not much demand for hedgehog hats, you see, but there was also not much competition.

Finally, on a sunny afternoon in late October, Mogey and Smush had sold just enough hedgehog hats to afford a grand fountain for their front garden, so they asked Vasily Graham, the fountain man, to come out and take a look.

"Aye, you've got a plenty strong foundation here for a double decker fountain if I just put down a bit of flagstone," Vasily Graham said.

"Where would the cheese be stored?" Mogey asked. His question was flatly ignored by both Smush and Vasily.

"And you could bury the hose?" Smush queried.

"Oh easily, yes," said Vasily. "Now will you be wanting to run this in the Winter?"

"How often will we need to restock the cheese?" Mogey asked. Again he was dismissed outright.

"In the Winter, oh yes," Smush replied to Vasily. "How difficult is that to do?"

"I DEMAND TO KNOW ABOUT THE CHEESE!" Mogey shouted finally.

"What in the world are you on about?" Smush asked. "What cheese?"

"The cheese that's going to come out of the fountain," Mogey said, looking slightly crestfallen. "We're not just getting in ordinary old water fountain, are we? After all these years, I just assumed it was a cheese fountain we were after."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 505

One afternoon, Mogey and Smush had one of their rip-roarin'-est, name-calling-est, eye-poking-est arguments of all time. The altercation had begun when Smush beat Mogey in a hard fought game of Pretty Pretty Princess, after which Mogey had called Smush a cheat and belittled his collection of Snapple caps. It had turned ugly then, because Smush, normally so even-tempered, would not have the good name of his Snapple cap collection dragged through the mud.

They had both stormed off to their respective bedchambers and hadn't seen each other for three whole days, when they encountered one another in the parlor.

"Good day, Mogey," Smush ventured in a stilted voice, glancing up from his newspaper.

"Good day to you as well, Smush," Mogey replied. "How are you this fine afternoon?"

"Just peachy," Smush said, to which Mogey muttered something in return. "What was that?" Smush demanded.

"I said, 'you wish,'" Mogey repeated haughtily, knowing in his heart that his next few words would undoubtedly lead to fisticuffs. "'Peachy?' Ha! More like nectarine-y. I saw you try to grow a moustache last year and your face stayed smoother than the beats of Big Tumbo Rasta-man, the childlike reggae sensation."

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 504

One day, Mogey and Smush were waddling - and, on downhill sections of the path, rolling - to the fruit roll-up stand in town, when they were stopped dead in their tracks by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The T-Rex was twenty feet tall if he was an inch, and he turned toward Mogey and Smush, baring teeth as long as six nutter butters laid end to end.

Mogey and Smush could tell from the glint in the T-Rex's eye and and the drool on his chin that the monster had plans to devour our pudgy heroes. Gaping his mouth impossibly wide, the T-rex emitted a bone-chilling, bloodcurdling, near-appetite reducing roar.

"Cut that out!" Mogey shouted back at the beast. "You're going to be pretty dino-sore tomorrow if you don't quit that roaring!"

The T-Rex clamped his mouth shut in surprise, then narrowed his eyes menacingly.

"Did you just come up with a pun mocking the creature that's about to eat us?" Smush muttered.

Suddenly the dinosaur threw back his head and began to emit a loud, barking laugh. He laughed so long and so hard that he eventually collapsed onto his back, waving his tiny arms in fits of hilarity.

"Tyrannosauruses love puns, Smush, everyone knows that," Mogey said confidently as he walked around the laughing T-Rex and began once more to make his way toward the fruit roll-up stand. "Honestly, you should get your nose out of the funny pages and into a history book once in a while."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 503

One hot afternoon, Smush headed down to the well for a pail of water. As he neared the bottom of the hill, he saw that Mogey was perched on the well housing with his feet dangling over, hanging a fishing line down into the water.

"Say, Mogey," Smush said as he drew up next to his pal, "what are you fishing for?"

"I'm not fishin," Mogey replied with a sigh. "I went and dropped a croissant down the well again."

"Sheesh," Smush groaned, shaking his head. "When are you going to learn not to lean your croissants over the well like that?"

"Probably never," said Mogey as he reeled up the dripping wet pastry. "I'm just a daredevil like that, I guess."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 502

One cool spring morn, Mogey and Smush were walking along the old rock wall that separated Good Jeremiah Baker's land from Evil Persimmon von Snibb's property. They were playing a game they liked to call "rocks," which consisted of throwing rocks at other rocks in hopes of creating even more rocks.

After Smush had made a particularly nice rock toss, he noticed that Mogey was no longer beside him - he was standing stock still upon the rock wall, completely lost in thought.

"I've got it!" Mogey shouted suddenly, leaping into the air with joy. "I finally know what I'm going to do with my life. I'm going to become a cowpoke."

"A cowpoke?" Smush asked.

"Indeed," Mogey said. "I think I could be the best darn cowpoke that ever there was."

"I'm not entirely convinced that you know what a cowpoke does," Smush ventured. "I bet you think they go around poking cows all day, don't you?"

"I do," Mogey replied. "And there's nothing you can tell me that'll make me think otherwise."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 501

"Geeaaarrrghhoooo!" Mogey yawned hugely, stretching his arms high and then reaching them down as far as he could (almost to upper thigh-level). "It feels good to get out of that attic."

"Too true, Mogey, too true," Smush said as the two pals strode through their house for the first time in months. "I could not have stood one more day in the presence of that Man-Rat."

"What Man-Rat?" Mogey asked, absentmindedly nibbling at a crumb he'd just discovered clinging to his shirt.

"Um, the Man-Rat who just imprisoned us in our own attic for nigh-on one hundred days?" Smush suggested incredulously.

"One hundred days?" Mogey exclaimed. "For goodness sakes, I thought I'd just had a longish nap - a week, two at most."

"How is it possible you don't recall this?" Smush demanded. "A Man-Rat broke into the house whilst we were cleaning the attic - well, I was cleaning and you were snoozing - and held us captive. We've had nary an adventure since!"

"Humpf," Mogey grunted. "I must've slept through it all."

"But you ate your gruel every day!" Smush said. "And usually some of mine as well."

"You know I'm a notorious nap-eater."

"Do you mean to tell me that you also slept through the epic two-hour arm-wrestling match I had with the Man-Rat to win us our freedom not ten minutes ago?" Smush asked disappointedly.

"I guess I did. I just may be the most impressive sleeper in this whole county," Mogey said happily. "Well anyhow, we're back now, aren't we?"

"Yes, I suppose we are," Smush sighed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 500

One day, Mogey and Smush ventured out on an epic journey to the Frankfurt Fritter Festival. It would take them many days to reach the festival, and so they did not pack lightly, bringing along four fully loaded donkeys and a fully loaded mule for good measure. In addition, both Mogey and Smush carried rucksacks full of every food they knew how to cook, from fried turkey to fried chicken.

The pals began their quest at ten in the morning, so by 10:45 they were understandably famished and looking for a nice spot to take a break.

"That looks like a good place to stop," Mogey said, pointing to a muddy slope dotted with rocks shaped like fists.

"Mogey, I'm not so sure..." Smush began, but it was too late. Mogey was already venturing onto the slick field, where presently he slipped and bonked his nose exceptionally hard on a fist-rock. "Are you all right?" Smush called. "Be you hurt?"

"Doe, I'b fide," Mogey insisted, though his nose hurt worse than a beating from a ghost army.

"I tried to warn you," Smush said as he carefully picked his way out to where his pal lay, nursing a rapidly swelling schnoz, "this is no place for a picnic."

"I stand by by statement," Mogey replied. "This is a good place to stob!"

"A good place to stop indeed," said Smush as he kicked up his feet on a fist-shaped rock, let out a satisfied sigh, and pulled a cold turkey leg from his rucksack.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 499

"I want to be in the band too!" Mogey cried, stomping his foot stubbornly. "You've already got four band members, what's one more?"

Mogey's pleading was met by looks of consternation from Smush's band, The Dumplings, who had gathered down in the cellar to practice. There was Chuck "Pignose" Buddle on drums, Slender Frankie in fiddle, Leopold "The Actuary" Akron on lead guitar, and Smush himself on tambourine.

"I'm sorry Mogey, but you haven't got any talent," Smush explained. "How can we include you when you don't sing, or write music, or play an instrument?"

"That's where you're wrong," Mogey replied. "I do play an instrument - a very unusual one. And what's more, I'm so skilled at this particular instrument that it'll be like having Bernie Montgomery playing harpsichord in your band."

"Who's Bernie Montgomery?" Leopold "The Actuary" Akron asked.

"A very good harpsichord player," said Mogey.

"All right then," Smush said with a sigh, "let's see you play this instrument."

Mogey held up a hand for complete silence, then proceeded to extract a bag of crackers from his back pocket. He crammed his mouth full of these crackers, and began to loudly and enthusiastically crunch them to the tune of When the Saints Go Marching In.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 498

One rainy afternoon, Mogey and Smush were exploring Old Uncle Chester's attic when they came across a dusty typewriter. They were rambunctious lads though, and not very bright, so they hadn't a clue what the device was used for.

"Is it some sort of musical instrument?" Mogey asked.

"It doesn't appear to be," Smush said as he punched away at the keys. "It only makes one sound."

"What about a meat tenderizer?" Mogey wondered.

"Now what sort of meat have you been eating?" Smush said. "No self-respecting steak could fit into that little area. It can't be a meat tenderizer."

"How about--"

"I've got it!" Smush shrieked, frightening some nearby mice so badly that they forgot they weren't bats and leapt from the rafters, landing fortuitously in an open sack of cheez-its. "It's a bug smasher!" Smush elaborated.

"Mmm," Mogey said thoughtfully. "Then what are the letters for?"

"They tell you which button to push for a certain type of bug," Smush replied knowledgeably. "A for ant, B for bee, C for citrus flatid planthopper, and so on."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 497

One still, clear evening in summer Mogey and Smush were setting on the porch with their bluetick hounds, Cartwright and Blubbergums, when the weapons peddler appeared. He drove an old roman chariot pulled by a single ancient-looking moose.

"Deadly instruments here!" the weapons peddler hollered. "The hottest new devices guaranteed to injure, humiliate, and destroy!"

"What are the most popular weapons this year?" Smush asked as he and Mogey stepped off the porch to inspect the peddler's goods.

"Spears are coming back into fashion," the peddler replied. "And I've seen a big increase in sales of these gorgeous dwarf-made battleaxes. But by far, the hottest item of the season has been the brand new, fully redesigned, heavy duty, super powered, fool proof Colombian crossbow."

"See anything you like, Mogey?" Smush asked.

"Nah," said Mogey. "I think I'll stick with my old stand by."

"And, just out of curiosity, what is your particular weapon of choice?" the peddler inquired.

"A six pack of hot dogs at the end of a long chain," Mogey replied. "It's both cheap and effective. You should see the bruises a direct hit from one of those babies leaves."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 496

"Mogey, has the new issue of The Weekly Muskrat arrived yet?" Smush asked one afternoon as Mogey was sifting through the mail.

"No, it appears not," Mogey replied.

"Aw shucks," said Smush.

"Shucks?" Mogey queried excitedly. "Who's shucking? Are you shucking some corn? What are you making? Popcorn? Corn fritters? Corn pone? Oh, please tell me it's corn pone!"

"I'm not shucking any corn," Smush said, rolling his eyes. "It's just a turn of phrase."

"Shucks," Mogey responded, and for the rest of that week he wore an expression that let every man, woman, and child know that one way or another, he would have his corn pone.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 495

One afternoon, Mogey and Smush were perusing a yard sale at the home of their neighbor, H.P. Moosewither.

"Come have a look at this, Mogey," Smush said as he rummaged through a box of stray kitchen implements. "I found a spoon shaped like a scallop shell."

"Intriguing," Mogey replied, examining the piece of silverware in question. "You know, this reminds me of an idea I had once to design a spoon shaped like a pitchfork."

"Wouldn't that just be a fork?" Smush inquired.

"Yes," Mogey said. "Except for the part where it's a spoon. You see, no one would ever be caught dead eating soup with a fork, but a pitchfork-shaped spoon? Well that just might fly."

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 494

One of Mogey and Smush's least favorite neighbor's was a quirky little man known as The Rhymer. Any time he encountered another person, The Rhymer would make up a rhyme and then hold out his battered old top hat in hopes of receiving a tip.

Mogey rode his razor scooter down to the mailbox one foggy morning, and The Rhymer appeared just as Mogey was collecting his paper.

"There is quite a caper / in this morning's newspaper!" The Rhymer said, bowing and holding out his top hat theatrically. Mogey sighed and turned back up the driveway.

"My job may seem all fun and rhymey / but the paycheck would make you say 'Blimey!'" The Rhymer went on, flourishing his hat once more. Still Mogey ignored him.

"My pet turtles are hungry and sad / won't you please help a struggling lad?" The Rhymer said, waving his top hat under Mogey's nose with more than a hint of annoyance this time.

"If you don't stop these hideous rhymes / I will give you a knuckle sandwich," Mogey declared theatrically as he hopped aboard his razor scooter and cruised back up the driveway.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 493

On a sunny afternoon in the blacksmith's shop, Smush became embroiled in an altercation with a young farrier over how many grapes truly made up a "bunch."

"Seventeen is the bare minimum number of grapes per bunch!" Smush insisted. "And anyone who thinks otherwise is a monkey-knuckled buffoon!"

"Oh I am, am I?" the farrier replied. "Well perhaps you'd like to go outside and settle this the old-fashioned way?"

The old-fashioned way was, of course, to have a cartwheel competition, but the young farrier in question just so happened to be Cartwheelin' Todd, the best cartwheeler in six counties. Still, Smush foolhardily accepted.

"Gladly!" he shouted, storming out into the courtyard.

Cartwheelin' Todd went first, executing six perfect cartwheels in a row and finishing with a reverse handspring, just for show. Smush responded in kind by performing approximately one quarter of one cartwheel before falling flat on his back.

"It was a good effort, at least!" Cartwheelin' Todd said, offering Smush a hand up as he tried to stifle a laugh.

"Curse you, Cartwheelin' Todd," Smush growled. "Curse you and the bicycle you rode in on."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 492

One evening Mogey and Smush were enjoying a welsh rarebit at their local eating establishment when they noticed a most peculiar creature sitting at the bar.

"Say, Smush, is that a pterodactyl over there?" Mogey asked.

"Why I do believe it is," Smush replied as he glanced over his shoulder. "Shall we go talk to him?"

So after taking a few more bracing bites of rarebit, the intrepid pals ventured to the bar.

"Say, mister," Smush began haltingly. "There's really no polite way to say this, but are you a pterodactyl?"

"No," he answered, heaving a great sigh as though he had been asked this many times before. "I'm just a skinny guy with a long nose and really flabby arms."

"Ah," Smush said, "well I apologize for the insinuation. What's your name, stranger?"

"Terry," the pterodactyly man replied.

"Let me guess!" Mogey exclaimed. "Your last name is 'Dactyl?'"

"Nope," said Terry. "It's 'Peanut.' Terry Peanut, at your service."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey and Smush Volume 491

Mogey and Smush were putting away their groceries after a trip to market one day when Smush opened an egg carton to make sure all their eggs had made it through the wagon ride intact. Instead of finding eggs inside the crate, however, he discovered it was full of pudding cups.

"Mogey, did you put all these pudding cups in the egg carton?" Smush asked.

"Indeed I did," Mogey replied. "I can't have my tapioca getting all jostled about."

"So what did you do with all the eggs?" Smush demanded.

"I just threw them in with that burlap sack of nickels," Mogey said knowledgeably. "Eggs scarcely ever break, and they don't make much mess when they do."

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 490

As Mogey and Smush made their way home after a pinochle game at a local pinochle establishment, they encountered a large owl perched over the path.

"What's up, Mr. Owl?" Mogey asked cheerily.

"The sky," said the owl, adding, "duh."

"Yes, well, we'd better be on our way home," Smush replied, rolling his eyes.

"You're heading the wrong direction then," the owl mocked. "The loony bin is back where you came from."

"Fiddlesticks," Mogey muttered as he and Smush walked away, trying to ignore the hooting. "That owl is such a wise guy!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 489

One foggy morning, Mogey and Smush went on a whalewhipping tour. This was much like a whalewatching tour, with the slight difference that instead of gazing peacefully at the leviathans of the deep, customers got to hit them with a riding crop.

"Tharr she blows!" shouted an old salt named Young Pepper. "Avast, tis a mighty bowhead whale to starboard"

"Here it comes!" Mogey squealed excitedly as he and Smush held their riding crops at the ready.

"Say, Young Pepper," Smush called. "What's the deal with the hole in the top of that whale's head?"

"Yarr, that be the blowhole," Young Pepper replied.

"What a grand idea," Mogey said. "I wish I had a blow hole."

"I can help you with that, laddie," Young Pepper said, holding up a rusty hand auger. "Just step into my office."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Abbreviated Adventures of Mogey & Smush Volume 488

"Smush! Smush! Come quickly!" Mogey shouted, his voice echoing down the hallways of Big Butte Manor.

Thinking his pal was in the direst of circumstances, Smush hustled all the way from his laboratory in the East Wing to Mogey's private chambers at the tip-top of the tallest tower. He arrived, panting, only to find Mogey, still in his nightshirt, examining the back of his own head in a mirror.

"What is it, Mogey?" Smush asked with a sigh.

"Look at this monstrous bump on my head!" Mogey wailed. "The aliens have finally gotten to me, Smush. They've implanted a tracking device beneath my scalp."

"Putty and butterscotch!" Smush snorted. "Putty and butterscotch I say! There's no alien tracking device. That bump is from when the clock radio fell off the shelf in the den yesterday and landed right on your noggin."