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My new neighbor from Georgia

Nazified on April 2, 2006.

Yesterday being April Fools Day, I got fooled a lot (and I fooled people a lot, but I do that every day, according to Samuel Dreckers and poor Mr. Wilson). When I came home from another trip to Madame Beaux-Pieds’ brothel—it’s under Mr. Harshbarger’s haberdashery now, no longer behind the abortion clinic on Squayzie Avenue—I found my whole house had been turned upside-down and inside-out! Someone had even painted pictures of moose and sea urchins all over my front door! But the clincher was this: The letter K drawn in elegant Fraktur across my driveway.

I had no idea what it meant (Nazis!?), or who did it (Nazis!?!?), so I went up and down my street, door to door, and bonked people over the head with my triangular briefcase. I had filled it with lead shot for just this occasion, making it as heavy as a rhinoceros in heat. Finally, someone confessed. He was depressed (as was his cranium); I was impressed: It wasn’t poor Mr. Wilson or Samuel Dreckers like I had suspected inflectedly, but my newest neighbor, a fat man from Georgia named Fyodor Vyacheslavovich Tvalashvili. He had only moved in about six hours earlier.

I spun around and flapped my arms like mad, accusing him of sending the Schmongeling Gnomes after me all these years—after all, he had only lived in the neighborhood for six hours, and didn’t even know me, so who better to accuse of haunting me all these months with incipient lawn gnomes? Fyodor Vyacheslavovich was nonplussed, so he drew a minus sign on my forehead and called me a “yak-breeding, inbred Cossack.” I rebutted his minus sign with a “±” stamped onto his forehead.

Then Fyodor Vyacheslavovich called me a “flimsy flim-flam man.” I couldn’t let that stand, so I let out a howl that made his windowpanes shake and his dogs soil themselves and bay at the Moon like ocelots. His answer was brief: “Floople, floople!!! Floople.” He screeched those three words, darting back and forth like a lizard, in and out of his bushes and shrubbery. That was all I could stands, and I couldn’t stands no more, so I let him have it, all for the low, low price of $4,999.95: A diamond pinky ring that my dear, dear brother Grårp had been buried with.

Fyodor Vyacheslavovich thanked me kindly and went about his business, as I did mine: Beating his dogs (one an underdog, the other a Cappadocian Twirling Hound) with my lampshade until they were willing to eat unfried hamburger for dinner. I went back to my upside-down house after that, strangely satisfied. F.V. Tvalashvili went back to Colchis.

I got a letter from him this morning. All it said was, “You’ve been hornswoggled, Mr. Årp.” I plan to ask him exactly what the heck that means tomorrow—just after I visit the new eigencafé at the end of the block, the Pam & Meg’s.