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."