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Al Gore: A User’s Manual

Peered at on December 4, 2022.

With Thanksgiving over, and that deep, deep-fried turkey thoroughly and completely gobbled up, life returned to normal. The gnomes returned to hiding in my wainscoting and my oatmeal cookies went back to work plotting my demise. I went back to work at the horse factory on Hobbyhorse Lane until I was reminded I no longer had that job. (A long story.) While I was out, the gnomes restored my kitchen, lapped up all the bacon grease, and returned the skeezle-wumpus to my over-stove cabinet. Once again a late-night trip to the kitchen to fetch a snack would be fraught with peril. Chromobolism continued with flavifoliation giving way to fuscufoliar brunitude and our autumnal days soon to give way to the brumal. Everything was back to the way it normally was. The way it should be.

“Squirrel up, squirrel down—squirrel in, squirrel out,” I intoned as I contemplated my own condition as a six-foot-tall man–squirrel. Indeed, everything was the way it should be again.

But then I frowned with mild unease. Winter was coming, Christmas was on its way, and then followed Satanmas. Christmas has always been my most enfliverously favorite holiday, but I could never be too sure what this year held in store: For example, a mere 21 weeks ago, my Independence Day celebratorials had been rudely interrupted by bubbling pasta, a lactating raccoon, and a panda that ate, shot, and left. So—there still being many long, arduous days between today and Christmas—who could say what would happen this year?

Maybe that panda would come back to shoot up the place again.

I peered into the toilet bowl with trepidation. Something was wrong. The water had been replaced with melted lard. The bowl appeared to grow as I stared into the abyss within. It was calling to me. Against my will I began to move forward.

And then behind me, a wheedling, needling cackle rang out—

He would call me in early hours of the morning panicked, saying there was a man flying around his ceiling and that he wouldn’t come down. This went on for weeks. But I told him not to worry: The silithicine creatures had taken up residence in my bedroom now—so whoever was flying around my neighbor’s ceiling was likely harmless. Maybe even benevolent.

“If you can’t shoo him away with a broom, try some ghast repellent,” I suggested nonchalantly. “That usually works for me!” But my neighbor remained skeptical. I tried to remain helpful—even offering to pay him a visit and de-ghast his house for him with my own bare, bear hands—but his skepticism persisted. “Now look, I know everyone thinks I’m barmy—and I am!—but that doesn’t mean I can’t help a fellow crazy person. So, do you want my advice or not?”

“Actually… I don’t, Phillip,” he replied when I let him get a word in edgewise. “I don’t even know why you called me!” And then he hung up. I wished him well, then spent a few minutes (they were shockingly short minutes) making obscene pepperoni noises into my phone. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Everything seems like a good idea… at the time.

With a heavy heart, I solemnly deposited the paper towel into my trash can. It was the last one from a long, long roll of paper towels. The cardboard tube now hung naked and alone over my countertop. The towel—delicately patterned in pink and blue paisley—had given its life to clean up a particularly egregious potato juice spill.

I had mooblesauntered into the kitchen at 8:18 b.m., hours before the ass-crack of dawn, in search of a snack to nosh on: Perhaps some pepperoni, crudberry cupcakes, or leftover fried moose synapse from the previous night’s dinner party.

Potato juice was the last thing on my mind. After I learned my Becasue loathed the stuff, I had vowed to quit. There was only one jug left in my refrigerator and it was already half gone. But then, in my early-morning snack-seeking reverie, I had stumbled blearily into my fridge with my guard down. I opened the door, and—while fumbling for a stick of pepperoni and the bowl of brains—my eyes fell upon that half-empty jug of cool, refreshing, beige elixir. I simply could not help myself. Before I even knew what I was doing, I’d uncapped the jug, flung the cap across the room, and begun pouring the potato juice down my gullet like a crack fiend. I gulped and guzzled and swigged and chugged. In my goose-like swilling frenzy, perhaps 20% of the delicious liquid made it down my throat. The rest made it everywhere else.

The cleanup involved much ashamed, sheepish mewling interspersed with furious, explosive cursing—more than fits on a single page in this docile & perfunctory blog of mine. I’ll leave it up to the gnomes to recount the details, for I shan’t.

I sighed forlornly and opened a new roll of paper towels. Looking at the last, now-soggy one from the old roll, I mused to myself: Life will never be the same. This new roll—delightfully embroidered but bereft of any delicate patterning—just stark, plain white—would make a paltry substitute for the old roll. But it was all I had. In the cabinet, the skeezle-wumpus stirred. I backed away slowly before it leapt from the cabinet, gabbling and snarling, and tried to claw me to death with its adamantium-plated claws.

Then I forgot about the whole affair and returned to nibbling on pepperoni and moose synapse. The Sun was slinking up above the horizon and the zebras were schronking on by outdoors. The geese still hadn’t finished eating them. I frowned again. Stupid geese.

Daylight drove me from bed again, at 8:18 a.m.  The Sun was bright and furious today. I split my differential, tipped over, and—worse yet—imploded. My stack of Al Gore: A User’s Manual hardcovers kept growing and growing. With no more uneven-legged tables and chairs anywhere in my palatial abode, I had no more use for these books, but they just kept coming and coming. I considered adding a few rooms to my house, made entirely out of these otherwise-useless tomes, but then remembered: I know less about carpentry than a housefly does. I nixed the idea. One should know one’s limitations.

“Underwear? Under where? Under… here? Under… there? Under… anywhere?!”

Saturday began banally—with a bale of bananas for breakfast—but then turned into a wild goose chase as I searched the 157 rooms of my palatial abode for one single pair of underwear. Each and every pair had vanished from my dresser drawer overnight. I was quick to blame the Underpants Gnomes—I always blame the nearest gnomes—but, among the multitude of gnomely infestations I have endured, Underpants Gnomes have never made an appearance. Westphalian Schmongeling Gnomes, oh yes. Moldavian Moldering Gnomes, indeed. Even Cantonese Canting Gnomes—ah, so many of those! But nary a single Underpants Gnome. Not one.

Becasue’s had all gone missing, too. And her socks. And my socks, and my asshats, and even my nose mittens and butt scarves. It was all very perplexing and distressing. I briefly entertained the idea that it was all an elaborate conspiracy by the local zebra population to drive me bonkers. However, I ruled that out when I remembered the geese had finished off the last zebra on Friday. Could the Langoliers have decided to specialize? Did I forget to renew my underwear app subscription again? Curiouser and curiouser.

A wise man reminded me, “You got to feed the geese to keep the blood flowing.” Becasue and I went upstairs and fed the geese again. And again and again and again! We forgot we needed any underwear.

My sleep is now haunted by night terrors featuring a gnome with a huge blue bleb cackling endlessly as I drown in a toilet bowl overflowing with bacon grease. Having long lost faith in human doctors, I turned to my personal Diagnosan, who was also at a loss to explain my situation. So, I went back to and again suffered the same nightmares—except there were two gnomes now. It wasn’t as bizarre as that leaked video with Lady GaGa, Bailey Jay, and Dors Feline, but it was close.

A headless moose went galloping by my window. I glanced at my refrigerator, reminded of the bowl of fried moose synapse within. Off in the distance, I heard sirens. A deep sense of foreboding replaced my earlier unmitigated, raving terror. Surely the gnomes would start stealing all my outerwear next! I duck-taped all my drawers and closets and cabinets shut and hunkered down for the oncoming onslaught. Another dark and Strommy night was surely upon me.

[Feetnote: No actual zebras were harmed in the making of this entry. However, three turkeys were run over on the way home, a squirrel was sacrificed, and my neighbor died en route to the hospital.]