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A Ho-Mg-Zn icosahedral quasicrystal

Fractured on February 12, 2012.

Somewhere, a cat was coughing up a hairball. And somewhere closer by, I had once again embarrassed myself when I confused Ho Chi Minh with the shiny Ho-Mg-Zn icosahedral quasicrystal that for days now has wandered around Bouillabaisse Boulevard every few hours. Molkin, Wilkin, and Helcmodion were still gallivanting around inside my lizardy skull, wreaking demonic havoc across my synapses as usual. And Zippy was still screaming about Wilkin trying to set him on fire while Jumpy hid behind my pineal gland and gibbered madly about Puffe and Purre conspiring to flay him alive.

If it wasn’t for that girl-spicing accident that blew three skyscrapers on Hegelian Avenue clear off the map, I would have been halfway to Silesia by now, stuffing my corn-cob pipe with the finest, dankest goldenrod that I could get my globby little hands on and whistling the theme song to 1980s sitcom Perfect Strangers as I glivvinated along the avenues and promenades of Wrocław and Chorzów, the highways and byways of Ruda Śląska and Wałbrzych, and even the flemmings and gnobbings of Gog and Magog.

Alas, the girl-spicing accident had happened—alas!—and thus thereforely I was nowhere near Silesia: Instead, I was sitting on the floor of my expansive pantry, surrounded by opened and emptied cans of Spaghetti-Os and Chef Boyardee ravioli. Whether or not Chef Boyardee had been a Moldavian boyar, a Moldavian boy, or a mere Moldavian buoy, I wasn’t sure, although he was frequently striped red-and-white and did indeed float when dropped into salt water.

Further investigation was necessary, but even more necessary was it to deal with the piles of Spaghetti-Os and ravioli I had made all around me on the floor of my rather sizeable under-stairs pantry. I got to work wallowing in the piles forthwith, and soon not a single pile remained.

Satisfactorily covered in artificial, pasty, orange tomato sauce and pasta made out of not a single natural ingredient, I stopped to ponder something. What I pondered was the effect that Britney Spears’ supple, efflubious little feet would have on my mind right at this moment if I chose to perseverate upon them. I decided that, whatever the effect would be, it would be good: It would be so good that it might even exorcise all the demons that had invaded my brain over the past forty-odd years (and two microts). But then again, mere microts didn’t count when one was considering blonde Britney’s wonderfallopious, curvy pair of feet. All that mattered was that there was a crystallized Ho Chi Minh wandering up and down Bouillabaisse Boulevard for the past 31/π2 weeks (plus one microt), and no one would do anything about it. (And considering the horse I kept in my basement, why would anyone do anything about it?)

I hoofed it up to my bathroom and began ritually un-slathering myself, washing the bizarrely homogeneous tomato sauce from my lizardy body. At that moment the dazzling Ho-Mg-Zn icosahedral quasicrystal chose to wander by, directly outside my parlor picture window (mere feet from it, in fact). It rotated slowly as it ambled geometrically down the sidewalk. This told me that it was time to go. Time… to… go. So, I bagged another dog, passed the burrito, passed an empanada too, and then schronked on out of there like a moonbat out of a Ronald Reagan appreciation banquet. A drunken catfish—my old, finibriated friend from Shitlingthorpe, unless I missed my guess (which I often do)—swam by as I schronked along. I realized then that I was underwater… so I promptly drowned.

My new neighbor poked his head in through the electrical outlet and announced that a small piece of artillery was perched upon my roof—in a very bird-like manner. I was unclear if he was alluding to Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, or merely Bert and Ernie, but it didn’t matter: Richard Uptown Pluckman had, in 1917, began constructing a shuggoth menagerie that five years later would spell his demise. And I was bereft of even a single soda bottle to jam into my ear canals.

“Go shatter yourself upside a tree!” I tweeted gnarlishly out my parlor picture window as the lustrous Ho-Mg-Zn icosahedral quasicrystal rounded the corner onto Apple-Latchier Circuit. I knew it would return in precisely 306.019685 minutes. I goldthwaited.

Minutes passed at a fairly constant rate, as they so infrequently do when I wait.

“Egbert the Eggblot!” I suddenly began shouting at the top of my lungs. My lungs burned. The air burned. Toads burned. I wanted to go blush my teeth but I was all out of uncouthpaste.

“Egbert the Eggblot!” Moosey answered in his moosey baritone. Jebus Hortensical Christ! I remembered how I had completely forgotten about Kuro5hin over the past several weeks! Could I blame the glittering Ho-Mg-Zn icosahedral quasicrystal? Perhaps I could!

“Egbert the Eggblot!” Ravna enquavered from the upstairs bathroom. She was busy painting her toenails a lovely shade of black and dyeing her hair an even blacker shade of blue.

“Egbert the Eggblot!” Dinglebuckey chimed in, hamstery as usual. Upon his wheel he ran.

“Egbert the Eggblot!” I repeated.

“Egbert the Eggblot!” Ravna hollered back.

“Egbert the Eggblot!”

“Egbert the Eggblot!”

“Egbert the Eggblot!”

Wiebe “Wibo” van der Woobie poked his head in through my open window above the electrical outlets and told us all to shut up: We were disturbing his flower pots and the new set of shiny, chrome rims he had just bought for his old Gremlin. Inwardly I prayed that my window would suddenly turn into a guillotine. We shut up. He left.

Thoughts poured out of my mind like little Alyssa Milano’s littler toes gushing from Jennifer Love Hewitt’s delicate ears. I still wanted a soda bottle for my own ears, and now, with all these tau proteins spinning through my brain and tearing it to shreds, I was worried I would never realize my dream of once again running about naked with soda bottles in my ears. “…Egbert the Eggblot!” I concluded this chapter of my day.

Wait a minute. My brow furrowed itself as I thought for a minute. (Well, not really a minute. More like a tortellini.) “Bouillabaisse Boulevard doesn’t have any sidewalks!”

“Yes, it does!” Zippy mentally throttled me. I sank into the floor in shame.

Ravna came down the stairs (bare of feet!) to remind me that if I didn’t eat the hair sandwich that she had made me for blunch, she would give it to little brown Loquisha instead. I yerked and got to work on blunch at once.

The sudden and unexpected arrival of Friday reminded me that I had been trying to keep my nose clean for days now. As I put my nose ever closer to the grindstone, it at once became clear that I would have to pay through the nose if I wanted that iridescent Ho-Mg-Zn quasicrystal to go shatter itself upside a tree. Sticking my noisome nose where it doesn’t belong was also a distinct possibility, but on the other hand, Chloë Moretz has a very cute little nose, now doesn’t she?

Chloë’s dainty feet fluttered through my mind, wearing nothing but a diaeresis.

A vision of Richard Uptown Pluckman’s last days flashed through my squirrel-beaten mind: Near sunset, he was hurrying down a Boston sidewalk, a bag of recently-rented toads under his arm and a fearful expression on his face that verged on mindless panic. Every few steps he looked back over his shoulder (the left one) as if fleeing from some unseen pursuer. He rounded a corner into an alley, breathing a sigh of relief as he believed that he had eluded the horror tracking him, if only for moments. He squatted down, letting a couple of the toads out of the anachronistically plastic bag so they could stretch their legs. They ribbitted happily and played in a puddle in the crumbling pavement as the sun dipped below the horizon…

This vision was the last thing that went through my mind before the shuggoth’s tentacles squished my brain out through my eye sockets.