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Dugongs, bleating, and a meowing Nurdlebutt

Bellyached on August 13, 2023.

This week was a flurry of dugongs, of goats, and even of cats. Monday brought a blizzard of dugongs emerging from my ear canals, as they commonly do. This was entirely unsurprising: I had attempted to use a dugong as a Q-Tip on Sunday night, and this is what happens. Instead of panicking, I just let the sirenian flurry wash over me. Tuesday delivered a blizzard of goats, which was slightly more surprising because I could not, for the life of me, remember using any goats as a Q-Tip, a toothbrush, or even a sharpened one as a straight razor (at least in the past three months). So this perturbed me—nay, we could say it even disturbed me—but I shooed them all away, put the affair out of mind, and went back to the parsimonious grumnuttery my Tuesdays and Tuesnights are known for, the world over.

Yet the flurries continued. On Wednesday, I thought it was simply snowing but then realized it was only my toenail dandruff acting up again. I put my shoes back on.

Thursday bore shock and irritation as I discovered that no goats had been shooed away hard enough to actually cause them to depart. The caprine buggers had instead ensconced themselves in the deepest nooks, crannies, and crevices within my palatial, 157-room house. I first became aware of it when I flopped bonelessly down onto one of my myriad couches… and it began bleating. I was quite suspicious—almost immediately. Couches aren’t supposed to bleat. I disassembled it with much gusto (but little glee) and: Lo and behold, beneath the nineteenth layer of cushions was a clutch of goats! I shooed them away harder, out the window they went—defenestrated, they were!—but when I flopped equally bonelessly down in my Hopeless Slack-Ass® recliner, it started bleating too!

My house has lots of crevices—and I had lots of goats jammed into them. Grumbling the most sulfurous imprecations, I plodded downstairs and fetched a can of goat repellent from my garage.

I wanted to name the cat after the goat I had found trapped under my bed, but the dugongs insisted I name her “Nurdlebutt” instead. After much bellyaching, ballyhooing, and even a touch of bornful filibustering, I capitulated. Google informed me, “Your search—‘Nurdlebutt’—did not match any documents.” With that level of uniquarity, I knew “Nurdlebutt” would make a good name.

Nurdlebutt meowed plaintively. At least she didn’t start bleating or making dugong-noises. I relaxed a little (but only a little—one can never be too careful). I picked her up and made my own human-noises at her, then took her downstairs and poured her a bowl of the finest cold turkey juice. She lapped it up. I poured myself a bowl and lapped it up in the same cat-like manner.

All things considered, I decided not to take cat-naming advice from H.P. Lovecraft. Cthulhu would be disappointed, but I’d deal with it.

I was sitting so still I could feel my ear hairs grow. Becasue was mopping up the last of the goat blood splattered around my walls and wainscoting. The dugongs kept shaking their big, lumpy heads at me—I had run out of Q-Tips and now my garden hose was full of salami. Sad dugongs. I sat yet stiller. I could hear every one of my own bloody corpuscles race through the veins in my head. (And I have a lot of veins in my head.) Then I nearly leapt out of my skin as Nurdlebutt started bleating at us.

The dugongs wouldn’t leave. They lounged on my couches, sofas, loveseats, ottomans, recliners, and three-legged stools, smirking at me when I glowered disapprovingly upon them. The goat infestation remained immense—hidden where we least expected it—but immense nonetheless. The damnable sirenians barked at me if I glared too long at them. I barked back. Their arrogant cunctation left no doubt: We were in it for the long haul.

Becasue went down to the garage and fetched my barrel of dugong repellent. My garage is quite far away and my elevator is out of service, so in the meantime, I tried negotiating with my leathery nemeses. I offered all the barrels of bacon grease one could ever want. They were unimpressed. I offered something even more impressive—a lifetime subscription to the Rory Calhoun fan club newsletter—but they were unimpressed and nonplussed. Then I offered a box of goat-shaped Q-Tips, which left them even more nonplussed—and simply confused now.

I wondered what my bed cushions were doing. Was music erupting from them? It didn’t sound like it. Would more dugongs fall from my ear canals? It was likely. I glanced out a window and hummed a few bars from Murderdeathcock’s latest chart-topper. Where was my big blonde huzzey-muffet and my even bigger flamethrower? Had she been kidnapped by these sirenian foes on her way back up my many stairs? I glowered harder. Off in the distance, a dugong barked.

“One of these days, I will have plucked all my ear hairs,” I muttered. “One day.”

Saturday bled into Sunday. Nurdlebutt had revealed her true nature—another goat. (The bleating was an obvious giveaway.) The caprine feline was ordered in no uncertain terms to vacate the premises at once—or Becasue would have herself a fine new goat-leather dress come Monday. The remaining goats and dugongs proved harder to extirpate. But that last barrel of highly flammable bull semen had done the trick. The goats, the dugongs, and even the dishwasher-dwelling pangolin had been sent back whence they came—straight down to Hell. We didn’t even need any handbaskets this time.

Something quacked suddenly behind my 1970s-era television set. Becasue shot me a consterned look. I waddled over and peeked around the back. There it was. It looked like a duck. And if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and meows like a duck, it was likely not a dugong.

It was another goat.