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Today I was being a…

Squirreled on August 8, 2021.

Monday.   Today I was being a six-foot-tall man–squirrel again. Bouba and Kiki were up to their squirrelly ol’ tricks in my yard again: Stealing all the acorns from my galumph trees, eating all the seeds in my bird feeders, and burying their nuts in my back yard. I didn’t mind my squirrelly friends eating all my seeds, and what they did with their fuzzy nuts was none of my business, but I did want to know where they were putting the acorns. (As everyone knows, galumph trees are highly volatile and their acorns, buried in the moist soil, are essentially landmines just waiting to go off.) So, after affecting my guise as a six-foot-tall man–squirrel, I went out to surveil my squirrels and ascertain where all the acorns were going.

Alas Bouba and Kiki were too smart for me and saw through my disguise immediately. Tails aquiver, chittering angrily as squirrels are wont to do, they scampered off, out of reach, up into the galumph branches. From there they could pelt me with acorns with impunity, which they proceeded to do. I howled in frustration, jumped up and down, and accidentally split in two like Rumpelstiltskin. Both halves of me retreated back into my house. Giving up on endeavor, I cordoned off the entire back yard with caution tape and erected Active minefield signs every 50′ so none of my snooping neighbors would end up legless and blame me for it.

Tuesday.   Today I was being a six-yard-long man–snake (which ate the man–squirrel). Feeling inspired, I again tried to get one over on Bouba and Kiki, but—obviously—they were even more apprehensive of an 18′ man–snake than a 6′ man–squirrel. And so, plan B was foiled before I even finished zipping up the scaly costume. Despairing, I slithered over to my neighbor’s yard—carefully avoiding traversing my own back yard—and swallowed all his geese. My neighbor wasn’t very happy with this and chased me back home. Fortunately, he didn’t get much farther than my back yard, hah!

Wednesday.   Today I was being a man-shaped traffic cone. A mishap, the details of which I shan’t disclose, resulted in my Pnårpy form slathered head-to-toenail in fluorescent orange paint and wrapped in reflective tape, so this seemed like a good idea at the time. (I can assure my readers, and will most vehemently do so, that the mishap had nothing to do with Nicki Minaj’s “Come on a Cone” being played on an endless loop last night for six hours. That wasn’t me, I swear.)

And so, looking every bit a large, man-shaped traffic cone, there was only one thing for me to do next: I wandered down to the nearest construction site and squatted down on the pavement, shifting around until my overall morphology was more-or-less conical. (Some may say, “dwarf-like.”) At first the construction crew seemed to appreciate the extra—and quit noticeable—traffic cone stoutly guarding their construction site from oncoming traffic, but this appreciation didn’t last long. My lifelong inability to remain stationary for more than a few minutes without beginning to fidget, gruntle, gyrate, and eventually hoot madly like an owl, thwarted my desire to remain on the site for the full work shift; not even my offer to wear a blinking amber light atop my otherwise unlit noggin could convince the foreman to let me remain. I was hustled off the work site under threat of being scooped up by an excavator and deposited in a vat of concrete.

Thursday.   Today I was being an anthropomorphic human. Considering my usual bursiform shape, this was the most challenging thing I decided to be this week. I sauntered out into my front yard, man-shaped as ever, proudly peering up and down Bouillabaisse Boulevard. It was early morning, misty and foggy, the air cool. Global narming hadn’t yet turned the day into the broiling, 120° hellscape I had come to expect as of late, but the day was still young. Soon the pavement would be melting, people would be frying eggs on the sidewalk, and birds would be spontaneously combusting and falling from the sky. Peering down, I saw my morning newspaper had already been flung at my house, so there was little chance an angry, vengeful paperboy would happen by and fling one at my face. I relaxed, hooted once or twice, and went back inside.

Being a man-shaped man, I decided to do decidedly human-shaped things this fine Thursday: I had some breakfast. I milled about my palatial abode. I had some blunch, followed by lunch, linner, slupper, dinner, and supper. I resumed my hobby of building a chicken gun in my basement. I sorted my collection of Boglins in my attic. I ran up and down my stairs until I tired, stumbled, and hit my head on the pointy end of the railing. I spent a few minutes teasing my paper shredder, out of sheer boredom. I watched the liquefied Bouillabaisse Boulevard pavement flow down the street toward Frummwich Drive. And finally, I collapsed into a viscous puddle on the floor, which was quickly lapped up by my scaly ol’ kerfrumpt.

Friday.   Today I was being my own reflection in the mirror. This was most constraining, considering that I’m a vampire and don’t actually have a reflection. So I spent the day motionless in front of my mirror, straining with all my might to make myself appear. I failed.

Saturday.   Today I was being anyone but myself. I myself had horribly embarrassed I myself last evening, when I myself realized that I myself had made a terrible mistake while sorting fish back in July. I myself’s filter fish, which properly belonged in the aquarium, had instead ended up vacuum-sealed and stowed neatly in the freezer. This mistake was only fully realized when a bunch of shapeless lumps of fish goo were discovered (by I myself) floating in the aquarium, being nibbled down to nubs by the guppies. “So that’s what happened to the gefilte fish!” I (myself) blurted. “What a horrible fish-sorting mistake!” It was even more embarrassing than the sorting mistake I had made with the ithyphallic geoducks.

Drowning in humiliation, I myself decided that henceforth, I would simply not be myself anymore. I would be someone else—anyone else. Anyone who was not me, I would be. My clever plan to escape my stupid, stupid self almost worked, too: Taking a casual gallivant around the neighborhood, I declared to anyone who would listen that I was no longer myself but someone else.

I told my next-door neighbor that I was the Sneŗtman. He just looked at me quizzically and closed the door. I told my two-houses-down neighbor that my name was Orly O’Reilly. He just hooted, owl-like, O rly, Orly?” and slammed the door even harder. I told the next human (or, human-shaped person–thing; I wasn’t sure) that my name was Ollie O. Lee-Ochsenfrei. He just snorted, chortled, and beat me in the face with his doorknob.

Wandering deliriously into the goatburping park on Shoehorner Street, a doorknob-shaped dent in my goat-shaped head, I drunkenly told the first person who didn’t scurry away quickly enough that my name was Jar’Edo Wens: An Australian Aboriginal god of earthly knowledge and physical might, created by Altjira to ensure that people did not get too arrogant or self-conceited. This went over poorly, and again I found doorknobs being slammed into my forehead with gusto and glee. I don’t know what happened next, but when I awoke I was lying upside down on my own roof with a broken kookely-wanger at my side and a large kundalundee alubida-bubidee jammed in my nose. I sheepishly slithered back into my house via the toilet vent pipe and nixed any further plans to identify as anyone else. I would be me, I myself, once again.

Sunday.   Today I was being a Pnårp. My day was largely uneventful—banal, even. It began with a morning coffee and fried garefowl eggs, and ended with me reciting “Goodbye, morning coffee!” while I whizzed it (the coffee, not the eggs) down the drain. The day proceeded apace with a complete lack of whimsical catastrophes, witless boobery, or any other kind of eldritch zaniness. Finally, the evening ushered in a hearty reclinin’ in my Hopeless Slack-Ass® recliner, with my scaly ol’ kerfrumpt curled up at my side and a glass of potato juice in my hand.

All in all, it was a good day—and a good week.