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A Hilarius pair of ducks

Guffawed at after March 14, 2010.

Last Friday, I ran into a duck broker on Squayzie Avenue who tried to sell me a pair of ducks. I had no money on me at the time, my money having been squandered at the last Sicilian rat-fighting contest they’d held in my tiny little town, so instead I tried offering him a stuffleupagus for his pair of ducks.

He wouldn’t take it, so I duly stuffed it back up my buttocks where it belonged.

Then, I remembered: I was carrying one of the most valuable items known to mankind in my fastidious little isosceles valise. Before the duck broker lost patience and either tried to find another customer, or just bonked me over the head for being the insufferable idiot that I am, I opened up my isosceles valise, rifled through the reams of paper contained within, trying not to spill them all over the sidewalk, spilled them all over the sidewalk, spent ten minutes picking them all up, and then found it, whereupon I duly produced it, having induced it to appear before me, and handed it, rolled up with a delicate rubber band keeping it tightly in rolled-up form, to the duck broker, with a flourish and a frunknupten-klackheimer-geflugt.

It was an official list of popes, from Pope Peter to Pope Joey “Rats” Rat-zinger, written in elegant blackletter, in red ink, and signed by Rory Calhoun during his brief stint as the official clerk of the Vatican.

I bowed—almost a curtsey but not quite outright genuflection. “I don’t have any money—not even any moolah or a single simoleon—but I do have, which I would be happy to give you, the official list of popes signed by Rory Calhoun! Would that, kind duck broker, perhaps make an equitable exchange? A pair of ducks for a list of popes?”

He pondered a moment, scratching his elephantine beard with one bony claw. “I’ll accept your list of popes in return for one pair of ducks, if you answer me one question: ‘Was Peter a pope at all?’

I pondered back at him. I had no beard, so I had to make do the best I could: I tugged at my left ear with my right hand, all the while jamming my left hand deep in my pants. I hope the ruse convinced him, for when I answered, “Of course Peter was a pope: If he wasn’t a pope, then who was?”, the duck broker nodded at once and accepted my answer, and my offer.

Not since Pope Hilarius, the funniest pope alive, had let the cat out of the bag at Augsburg, ensuring that the Eighty-Nine Week War would continue for another eighty-eight weeks (and one hour), had anyone so skillfully put one over on a duck broker before! I snickered, rubbed my hands together, and twirled my handlebar moustache like a villain from an old silent movie. The ducks would be mine! All for a printout from Wikipedia that wasn’t even 73.2% accurate!

I snickered again, handed him the list, throwing in the rubber band as a free gift, and took possession of the pair of ducks. They quacked. Off in the distance, a schmog dorked. Closer by, a granfalloon swooned.

The duck broker thanked me, we shook noses, and I scurried on home with my pair of ducks, images of raising an entire duck army bent on conquering the world zipping around in my head. Oh yes, just one pair of ducks… today, one pair of ducks… tomorrow, the whole sidewalk!

After securing the ducks in a small rubber bucket (with air holes), I immediately ran out and spent a few thousand dollars on duck food, duck houses, and other duck grooming equipment. I even bought a small car shaped like a duck for Ravna to jet around town in.

Then, I slept on it.

When I awoke yes-turd day though, my hopes for raising a duck army were dashed, when the duck broker suddenly appeared at my front door, accusing me of fabricating the list of popes I had given him, and demanding his ducks back—the entire pair of ducks, no less.

I squiffled and bawbled a bit, hemming and hawing as I did so, with complete disregard to proper grammar or speling. I even yerked, murped, and may have yiffed a bit, but I’m not too proud of that last part. I was so discomboobulated over the whole thing, emotionally bereft of all quifficulations, that I truly don’t zork know what the farnhorst horpened. But the duck broker still wanted his ducks back, so I had to regain my composure, stop decomposing into a smelly heap of rotting flesh, and comport myself with indignity once again.

“This list of popes is fake!” the duck broker reiterated. I re-shitterated on the floor. “Who the hell is ‘Pope Willy’? I happen to know for a fact that Pierre de Tarentaise, as Blessed Innocent V, was pope in 1276, when your list has this ‘Pope Willy’ listed as ‘manfully slaying the gnomely heretics in Clairvaux, and reconquering the world for mankind.’ And I won’t even ask you who ‘Pope Palpatine’ is. What kind of hornswoggling bamboozlement are you trying to pull over on me, you unga-bungler?!”

I did that fish-gulping thing I’m so famous for. Wikipedia had failed me again. Not since I had used Wikipedia as a guide to auto repair and ended up causing a 57-car pileup on the expressway had the free encyclopedia that even your dog can edit failed me so badly.

The duck broker harrumphed at me, shook his head, and took his pair of ducks from my clammy little hands. Then he left. I was so taken aback by his taking back the pair of ducks that I immediately deposited a stuffleupagus on my front steps—the one I had been sheltering in my voluminous buttocks for weeks now.

The stuffleupagus reared up on its hind legs and spread its hoary wings, taking to the air after the duck broker. He spotted it and ran. Oh, how he ran: But no one can outrun an enraged stuffleupagus when its master has pinched it out unexpectedly, and mine quickly descended on the duck broker and had at him with beak and talon. Pecking at him madly, squawking and fnawking gibberously, it finally drove its hairy beak directly into the soft spot of his skull and sucked his brains right out.

He fell to the street, empty-headed, and was quickly devoured by the ravenous clutches of gnomes that live in the sidewalk cracks. The stuffleupagus returned to its master and was duly stuffed back up where it belonged.

The ducks were unharmed—and right back into their rubber bucket they went!

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