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Landing head-first in March

Made it on March 5, 2023.


January was again one of those pestilential five-week months that harass and harry me so often. The 25% increase in blogging demands left me exhausted—positively pooped!—nearly too tired to continue the journey onward into February. But Fortune smiled on me: She made February a normal one—not a leap year!—so I had the opportunity to regain my strength and persevere all the way into March. I made it, I did, and here we are now. Here we are.

Unfortunately, strong Pnårp or no, my palatial abode was buried under nine feet of densely-packed snow and the onslaught of the falling white shite showed no sign of abating. If Fortune really had smiled on me before, now She was standing over me, arms akimbo, laughing. Laughing and peeing in the snow as it fell on my head.

The weather forecast predicted another foot or two of the fluffy white horror—then seven more, then another eleven. In fact the entire forecast itself was buried in snow—as was all of Bouillabaisse Boulevard and the entire town. If I could see out my windows (which I couldn’t), I was sure there was snow as far as the eye could see and the nose could smell. My windows were alas a solid white—buried up to their eyebrows. My Windows was a solid blue screen, so there was no getting on the Internet either. Only my old transistor radio still functioned. And the forecast it squawked out was glum and depressing.

When the snow started coming down the chimney and in through the electrical outlets, we knew this was no ordinary storm. Fortune had clearly teamed up with Fate and her ancient Greek sisters to give me a right good pegging.

With nothing to do but wait and pray, I dug out the ol’ pen and paper from under my smoldering computer. I could finally finish my treatise on the 1990s, wherein I argued that Encino Man was the height of Hollywood entertainment and it’s all been downhill since.

I scribbled and waited. Becasue waited. The porcupine living in my dishwasher waited. We weren’t precisely sure what we were waiting for, though: The snow to stop falling? The Sun to peek through the clouds and melt the stuff down to a sudden freshet—which would wash the entire town from the map and kill us all? The roof to simply collapse and kill us all? The Kool-Aid man to crash through the wall with no warning (and kill us all)? So, we sat and we waited. I kept scrivening in my notebook; my big little blonde huzzey-muffet painted her nails to match the curtains and the drapes. And so we waited.

Having finished my treatise on the nineties, I turned my attention to solving the mysteries of the quantum world. I began:

Nobody can actually move, and instead, hundreds of times a second there’s just one guy who, due to some Sisyphean divine punishment, has the task of freezing time and then running around to physically move everyone just slightly enough—in a sort of claymation style—before resuming time for a split second and then starting this all over again.

Becasue gave me a quizzical look when she finished reading. I quirked an eyebrow in anticipation. My cornfed cutie’s phobia of spellcheckers usually kept her from critiquing my blog for me, but this paper notebook didn’t seem to come with one, so she didn’t mind an invitation to opine on my scrivenings this time. I quirked a second eyebrow, then a third. I was quickly running out of eyebrows.

“I don’t think it works that way,” she intoned in that lovable Squirrel Blind drawl of hers.

I scowled. “Well… what do you know about quantum gumbidynamics?”

She paused. Ah—check! Then she shot back, “I know there ain’t no such thing as ‘quantum gumbidynamics.’ That’s just plain stupid, is what it is.”

I grinsped. Checkmate. Drat!

I paced around my parlor like a caged moose, praying for the snowstorm to subside. My ceiling clock ticked and tocked. My dishwashing porcupine lurked quietly amongst the rows of plates in the washer. My big little redheaded huzzey-muffet’s toenails were now a bright blaze orange. But I wasn’t allowed to see—let alone touch. Our argument over my theory of quantum gumbidynamics had descended into juvenile name-calling and animal-noise-making with remarkable speed; now I was in the doghouse. But I could bark better than Becasue, so I was okay with that.

I wondered if, when the snow melted in August, I would find an ancient, perfectly-preserved block of ice buried in my back yard. Would this slab have a caveman in it, too? I wondered. I also wondered if each individual snowflake—and there were vigintillions!—harbored an intense desire to murder me, but then I dismissed the idea as downright paranoid—absurd, even. I went back to wondering about that frozen caveman beneath my back yard.

The days piled into the week; the snow piled up around my abode—ten feet, then twenty. Having no doors above the ground floor, we were quite involuntarily ensconced within until Fate saw fit to end the blizzard, let the Sun out of its cage, and melt away all the white shite for us. By Friday, we had emptied the refrigerator and freezer. By Saturday, all of the cabinets and pantries were laid bare too. I went fishing around behind the fridge for the last bits of food I might have and struck gold: A glob of desiccated mini beef ravioli from a memorable stovetop mishap in 2014, a handful of crumpled and leaking mustard packets of the same or older vintage, and three convenience-store burritos from the late 1990s.

A brief wave of nostalgia washed over me as I recalled that these burritos had probably watched Encino Man with me. I poked at them gingerly, murped pensively, and examined what remained of their constituent ingredients: Clearly this had been chicken, and clearly that had been lettuce, but were these things black beans… or goat turds? After the fourth bite I was positive they were the latter. I finished the burritos anyway.

The packets of mustard turned out to be mouse turds—damn my poor pronunciation skills!—and the mini beef ravioli turned out to be more desiccated than a dead Ferengi. I required six pints of fermented turkey juice just to wash those down without choking any further.

But wash it down I did. Then… I flushed.

Then I heard a noise out in the snow. Things were going on out there despite the thirty feet of frozen water enveloping the world. It wasn’t my old friend the snow-tulpa gnawing on the neighbor’s pets. It wasn’t another throat-clearing accident—although it sounded like the start of one. I clambered up to my tenth-floor boudoir and peered out into the white expanse.

“Herkle terkle!” said Mr. Plerkle. “Gurkle a ferkle—by Urkel or by Turkel!” He had joined Messrs. Snulbug and M’Nummenschantz in their hebdomadal poetry recitals at the corner of Bouillabaisse Boulevard and Apple-Latchier Circuit. His terse contributions to the cacophony were most edifying to say the least. Together the men croaked and quacked and squeaked and rhymed and sometimes used real words. If Roy G. Biv would join the trio, the cacophonic cadence of it all would likely rend the Earth open. We’d all be sucked down to Hades. Or at least it would melt the snow.

I coughed up a hairball this morning. I don’t remember eating all that hair but there it was. I was doubly surprised when the orange hairball turned out to be a frog (a hairy one!) and hopped away when I tried to pick it up. The shock of this was only surpassed when I later coughed up the rest of the wig I ate after those burritos.

Making mountains out of molehills, hiding elephants in mouseholes, and punching gnomes in the face with the Invisible Hand of free-market capitalism: These were the new hobbies I had taken up since becoming trapped indoors by forty-plus feet of snow. Not even Alex Trebek would stand in my way. Ayn Rand would cheer. Michael Dukakis would ride in another tank. And Dors Feline and her voluminous buttocks would rule the day.

Something had eaten the amateur poets poeticizing on the street corner. I knew what it was. The neighborhood must have been out of pigs, dogs, and first-borns, and it had been hungry.

The snow kept falling, kept piling up, and kept mating with itself to make even more snow. Indeed the snow went on as far as the eye could see and the feet could smell. Becasue still wouldn’t talk to me. Deprived of things tentacly and buttery, I returned to my monograph on the quantum nature of the Universe. A new idea popped into my head (pop!). I began: “There is only one electron that moves so fast it appears to be all of them. …”