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Dingleberry champion hamster

Plotted against on March 21, 2010.

Papists have been hired and suborned to witness against me.

That’s what I found out this week when I had marched down to my mailbox at the end of my ponderously long driveway and checked my mail. A single letter was resting silently inside my mailbox (surrounded by all the other letters), and when I opened it, these were the words that appeared on the scruppulous paper:

Papers have been mired and stubborn fitness again steams.

Since these words made no sense, I decided to interpret them however made most sense to my addlepated little brain: Ergo, papists have been hired and suborned to witness against me. Obviously, the papists inhabiting Bouillabaisse Boulevard had caught onto my little list-of-popes scam and were now plotting my demise. Perhaps even Pope Rat-zinger was lurking in my bushes waiting to garrote me in my sleep!

“Oh, no! Samuel Dreckers is still a trained assassin! The papists will send him to buttbuttinate me!” I squawked, blanching. The stuffleupagous, my most recent gluteal acquisition, shifted uneasily in my gut.

“Thus is the pernicious entente cordial of Uncle Edward VII brought to nought,” I mumblesputtered to myself under my breath, my eyes narrowing and my nostrils flaring with grim determination. “This is a job for my dingleberry champion hamster, Dinglebuckey. Only he can protect me from the likes of trained assassin Samuel Dreckers.”

I went up my stairs—all of them—and fetched Dinglebuckey. He was an ordinary brown hamster, but I had painted racing stripes down his back and outfit him with an airfoil, which greatly improved both his aerodynamics and formidability. I kept him in a small rubber cage behind the electrical outlet in my forty-seventh bedroom, the one that the gorillas and Ravna share every Monday. Upon bringing him back down my stairs (again, all of them), I fetched some duct tape and a carving knife, and, closely following an online guide on converting hamsters into ruthless killing tools, I went about making Dinglebuckey into a lean, mean, furry fighting machine.

After three false starts and almost accidentally killing Dinglebuckey by taping the knife to his back in an orientation perpendicular to what the guidebook had called for, I was finished, and Dinglebuckey was transformed.

I set him loose to go find Samuel Dreckers and battle him to the death.

Dinglebuckey skittered off of my countertop, onto the floor, and lodged himself behind a bookshelf where he wouldn’t come out no matter how pathetically I implored him.

Then Yappie ate him.

Okay… Plan B. I sealed up my entire palatial house with the remaining duct tape and a few thousand plastic grocery bags that I had stowed in my cupboards and baseboards. Then Yappie ate all the bags and duct tape, too.

Plan C. I armed my gluefish and prepared for a last stand behind their aquarium. Then I remembered, gluefish can’t handle firearms. Gluefish have no hands.

Plan D. Gorilla army! Then I remembered that all the shrieking and moaning coming from bedroom twenty-six meant that the gorillas were all busy enjoying Ravna, and the last thing I ever want to do is get between a gang of horny, sweaty gorillas and their supple-footed plaything.

Plan E. I came up with another plan.

Plan F. Failure. Move on to plan G.

Plan G. I called up Samuel Dreckers on the phone and asked him outright, “Hey, Sammy, you wouldn’t perhaps have any plans to kill me anytime soon, would you? You know, being that trained assassin and all…”

“If I told you, I’d have to kill you, Phillip,” he answered. I squeaked in fright and hung up the phone. That got nowhere. Onto another plan!

Plan I. I called up poor old Mr. Wilson and asked him if he knew whether or not Dreckers had any plans to kill me. Poor Mr. Wilson just looked forlornly into the phone, shook his head, sighed, sighed again, rolled his eyes, canned some more cats at his cat-canning plant, and hung up.

Plan J. I called up my dear sister Plårp to see what she knew, and see how her feet were doing. They were as delicious and curvy as ever, she told me. After an hour-long conversation about her latest pedicure, I realized this was getting me no closer to knowing what Samuel Dreckers was up to, let alone Pope Rat-zinger, so I cut the conversation short, tooted into the phone with finality, and hung up.

Plan K. I ran in circles panicking. Whereas this proved to be highly cathartic, I was still no closer to the truth about the latest popish plot descending upon Bouillabaisse Boulevard.

Plan L. Instead, I ran upstairs and hid under my bed.

So far, so good.

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