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What the heck… is bothering me?

Chanted on June 12, 2011.

I was mad.

Very, very mad.

Wednesday had started out normally, as days are wont to do around here (except when they’re not, which is most of the time, actually). I had awoken to the sounds of Yappie beeping wildly and my alarm clock clattering around downstairs wanting to be let out. I had a perfectly normal breakfast—composed entirely of eggs, naturally—and then had sauntered into my perfectly palatial bathroom in order to take a perfectly normal shower.

After disrobing and swinging my leather pajamas over my head like a quivering madman for a few moments, I stepped in and turned on the water. The water flowed. The temperature was just right. No Knib-Knob Gnomes were in sight. As I began to bathe merrily, everything was still going fine—that is, nothing was going wrong—so still I was in my usual good spirits, whistling softly to myself and even bumping and gurgling a bit. So, thinking nothing but happy thoughts, I picked up the soap.

It broke in half.

I was mad.

Turning the water off and tearing the shower curtain from its bar, I howled madly and sprang from the shower in red, roaring rage. Roaring, red rage. Yappie, somewhere further upstairs, stopped beeping suddenly, probably wondering what his madman of a master was going on about this time, and probably praying to his doggie little self that he wouldn’t bear the brunt of it. I flung the bar of soap out the open bathroom window; it sailed through the air along a soapy parabolic arc and landed with a satisfying splat! on the forehead of a hapless pedestrian out for a morning stroll along Bouillabaisse Boulevard. The poor fellow squeaked and ran off. I chuckled bumptuously, my spirits slightly re-elevated toward their previous chipper levels—but much more effort would be required to put me back into my usual mindlessly zany mood than one simple assault on a random citizen!

I ran outside and continued raging—howlingly, as only the Grand Pnårpissimo can do. Spying the first of many ceramic garden gnomes placed strategically around my curtilage in the dead of night, I gave the poor thing a swift kick right in its ceramic little head; it went flying. I gave the second and third their own well-earned swift kicks, sending the second gnome (I think his name was Borbundûr) into my new neighbor’s cabbage patch and the third across the street into old Mr. Van der Woobie’s birdbath. It shattered. The gnome remained intact. Birds tweeted in alarm and crickets chirpily admonished me for my poor anger management.

Rarrrggghhh and flarrrrgggghhhh!! I thundered as I pounced upon the fourth bearded and befezzed little hellion with gusto and… rage! “You bergrumptuous minions of Haldûrburðgar will rue the day you ceramicked your way into my garden! You will rue the day!!

This particular gnome however proved much more formidable: My first attempt at a hearty swift kicking wholly missed his painted earthenware jaw, and—the laws of physics still being in full effect in my garden—I ended up stumbling backwards on an arm-spiraling but fortunately brief journey onto the muddy earth below. Naturally, this only enraged me further. Grraaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!

Off in the distance, a dog puffed itself up, stood on its hind legs, and belted out the Canadian national anthem.

I then regained my upright posture—fortunately with a minimum of flounder-like flailing—and assessed the situation. Foaming at the nose and frothing at the ears, I was ready to pulverize Gnomey Hellion #4 with my bare fingernails (or some bear fingernails if I could find a bear in time and successfully declaw it) when suddenly old Mr. Van der Woobie came running across the street, waving a broom over his head and hollering epithets at me for destroying his birdbath. He was mad. Very, very mad.

And only then did I realize that upon exiting my shower I had forgotten to reattach my pajamas—or any other clothes—to my goaty frame.

“Pwee, pwee, pwee! You’ll never catch me! I yerked viciffiously as I scootled back indoors. Things that should never be seen in the light of day flopped and wriggled blasphemously as I retreated. My face was as red as a glorpf-snake that suddenly found itself floating in a can of fire engine paint. I slammed the door and locked it; Yappie cocked his head and eyed me curiously. I glared at him reproachfully. “What!? It’s not like I go careening about the neighborhood with nary a scrap of pepperoni about my body everyday, you damnably insufferable old mutt!”

Yappie turned tail and squinked out of the room.

“What’s going on down there?” Ravna called out blearily from upstairs, no doubt wondering what the hecklegroober yours truly (that’d be me) was up to at this early hour.

“Nothing, Rav! Just Yappie pointing his dogbuttocks at me again!” I replied.

“That’s nice, Phil,” came the humoring reply. “Just don’t blow the house up again, okay?”

“Will do!” I hooted back cheerily.

The phone rang. It was Mr. Van der Woobie. He was still mad. Very, very mad. And so very, very old and grumpy, too. “Where the hell do you expect my birds to take a bath now, eh?” he began without so much as a greeting. “Are you gonna wash my birds for me, you ingrate?”

“Nope! But they can use some of my soap! It just broke in half!” I tried to put up a false front of continued cheeriness, but inside my Pnårpy bosom, lithe porcupines of pure, unadulterated fury were slithering down my veins. And my crotchety old across-the-street neighbor was about to bear the full brunt of my charging bull moosery.

“And what are birds going to do with soap, you half-witted nitwit? Eat it!?

“Three, two, one!” I began chanting, ignoring the woobly old man on the other end of my moose antlers. “One, two, three!”

“So you can count, eh? Good for you, you ill-bread nincompoop of a—”

“—What the heck… is bothering me?”

“I don’t know, Phillip. Maybe stark, raving insanity? Mr. Van der Woobie shot back, his voice steeped in cruel sarcasm and heraldic fimbriation. “Maybe stark, insipid stupidity!?

I ignored him. “Three, two, one! One, two, three! What the heck… is bothering me?”

“What the hell are you going on about, you lunatic? How’d you ever get let out of that nut house in Buffalo anyway? Or the one before that? Convince them that you—”

What the heck is bothering me!?!? Click! I hung up. A strange calm gripped me like never before, wafting over me like a cool summer breeze blowing up my nostrils and tickling my nose hairs all the way up in back. The lithe porcupines slithering down my veins demobilized and returned to my lymph nodes without firing a shot. I relaxed—I unclenched. The day ended. Another began.

That day ended, too. And another began.

At seven seconds past eight past nine on the morning of Friday, the tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two-thousand and eleven, Mr. Van der Woobie’s house—in the most brilliant deflagration seen in this county since that catastrophic frog-blasting accident back in ’05—was suddenly replaced with an enormous, smoking crater. The house—what was left of it—was scattered over a thousand-smoot radius (plus or minus Mr. Van der Woobie’s ears). The cause of the blast has yet to be established, but I can assure my readers I was in Afghanistan at the time and nowhere near the house nor any large piles of explosives. Pwee, pwee, pwee! They’ll never catch me!

Thanks, Steve Urkel school of anger management!