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Gurning for two

Faces made before April 8, 2012.

I went strolling about Hobgoblin Street this Tewesday past, in the direction of Peniel Plaza, poesies and toesies on my mind. As I approached the plaza, poesy as ever, another man came walking toward me: A most curious man, with a countenance resembling a goat fattened on whey, lye, and rye, a lump of black hair riding atop his head like a tufted gander, and a round, cylindrical nose befitting the cartooniest of characters. A burnt-umber fez he wore atop his dollop of hair, and he intermittently went cross-eyed and goonflayvinal. Lastly, he was carrying a valise that resembled nothing so much as the eigenbriefcase that I clutched in my own left hand.

He had his in his right.

He stopped in front of me. He uncrossed his eyes. I looked him over more closely. He looked over me. I eyed him right in the eyes; he returned my steely gaze with an even steelier one. My left eyebrow quirked up in unspoken question—his rightmost eyebrow did the same. I gurned a bit, making a puerile face; he gurned back. His lip was upturned and his nose set in the sneeriest of sneers.

I gurned even more: Puckering my lips like I was about to kiss the biggest ass I ever needed to kiss, I uncrossed my eyes until I was more wall-eyed than the walliest of wall-eye fish. He nearly did the same—or maybe it really was the same; I was too busy trying to contort my face into the tortuous shape of a tortelloni being eaten by a squirrel-fox-dingo. (Or was it the other way around?)

A woman walked by: A woman wearing a Victorian-era dress and carrying a parasol sequined purple and azure. Her dress flourished outwardly wider than she was tall. She turned to eye the both of us curiously and couldn’t help but titter and giggle. I turned to look at her as my steely-eyed partner did the same. She asked me in the most effetely Britannic of accents what the devil I was doing putting on such faces right here in the middle of a public sidewalk. I attempted to answer her in the same balderdasherous dialect, but all that came out was the sound of a gubbly-goose honking over an old 14.4k modem.

The woman wandered off as women are wont to do, still giggling and tittering to herself. I snorted a giggle after her; the goat-faced goon in front of me followed with the same giggling snort. I snapped my head back to stare him down. He had the same idea. I was just about to scratch my head in confusion, but the other man beat me to it. I scratched my head anyway and went back to gurning—gormfully so, with much gusto and glee. After a fashion—or maybe a bit faster—he went back to doing the same.

He gurned gormlessly, the bastard.

We flailed at each other. We flapped our arms. We twiddled our thumbs, our fingers, and our toes. We stuck our tongues out, made our lips into the duckiest of bills, and even put on the most goose-like of grins after (another) fashion (or two). We spun our eye turrets, furrowed our brows, dilated and contracted our pupils back and forth. We flared our prehensile nostrils and waggled our big-lobed ears. We bucked our teeth, curled our tongues, bobbed our Adam’s apples, and even vibroflexed our tonsils at each other. People continued passing by; a few turned to look as they went, but most wilfully ignored the ungrulious little show going on before their ubblabumptuous eyebulbs: Two men gurning wildly at each other, each trying to out-frown, -wince, or -grimace the other, but always being thwarted within a millisecond (or less). We gurned and gurned as afternoon followed noon and finally evening even threatened to ensue.

I stopped to ponder, casting my eyes down at the sidewalk beneath our four feet. I quirked another eyebrow in enquiry. He quirked his, no doubt inquiring as to the same thing: Our queries were paired; our questions matched. My other eyebrow danced the fandango; his did the monster mash.

As darkness fell and the threat of vampires sucking my lifeblood from my neck became more and more palpable, another man came out of the shop next to the both of us—my goaty buddy and me—and cast a curious glance at me that would have condemned me to the nut house had the man been a psychologist rather than the glaziery-doodle that he was.

As it was, he was a glaziery-doodle—a glassery-shop employee—and the apprentice to the town’s master glazier. He was a third-degree assistant deputy backup glazier himself, and he had come out to fetch the mirror that had been plopped out on the sidewalk in order to entice naïve glass-buyers into his store (and the store of the master glazier). I turned to look at the glaziery-doodle; he continued eyeing me like I had grown six heads from my left nostril and another two from my headier head that sprouted concentrically from my lower, left nipple. I turned back to leer at my goat-faced partner again, and—wouldn’t you know it?—he had vanished. In front of me there no longer was a goofy-looking cartoon caricature of a man with a dollop of black hair and a knobby little nose set amid a goat-wheyed face. I was shocked… I was confused. I had no idea where the man went or how he had done so so quickly! I looked down: Perhaps he had slipped out through the storm drain! I looked to the left: Perhaps he had stepped out into the street and been swept away by a passing autobus! I looked to the right: There was no alley for him to have weaseled his way down, so if he went that way, he must’ve been capable of the dark art of teleportation!

The sun was setting. I grinned imperiously: I may have been bemused to the point of obolobolous confusion, but at least I wasn’t dying this week! I trotted home as horse-like as ever.