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Two stumblebums for Phillip Norbert Årp

Stumbled around on August 8, 2010.

On Tuesday this past week, I finally escaped from the eldritch, tentacly madness that is Cthulhu, and made my way back to my homely little town on the back of a really, really big fish. Those slices of pepperoni I always keep in my left breast pocket really helped out, too, because without them, I wouldn’t have been able to catch that really, really big fish, tie myself to its back, and force it to swim all the way back to my abode.

Riding that fish all the way back to my abode was the plan at least, but after 1,500 miles or so (they were mostly average-length miles) we hit the coast of northern California and the fish had to turn back. It seems my town is rather landlocked, many more hundreds of miles inland; my fishy friend, lacking both wings and wheels, couldn’t take me the rest of the way. I would have to walk. So, I bid that really, really big fish a tearful farewell, and began to start to set off on a long journey on foot.

But, fortunately, I’m Phillip Norbert Årp—the Grand Pnårpissimo!—and, much like that lipless cousin of mine, I had… a plan! Finding the nearest hapless garden gnome, I stole his cell phone and called Ol’ Bummie, my old friend and keeper of the stumblebum stables on Wiggensworth Street.

Ol’ Bummie first got all bent out of shape because I still couldn’t remember his real name—and had actually called him, before catching myself in a butterfly net, by the nickname I had made up. So before allowing me to get down to business about my plan, he first reiterated that his real name was Cornelius F. Yiffingsley, and demanded that I begin calling him that at once. He even had the accent to go along with such a pretentious name.

“Fine, fine, Ol’ Bummie, I’ll call you whatever you wa—” I caught myself (this time in a hair net) and corrected myself at once. “—I mean, Cornelius. Do you mind if I call you Corney?”

“Yes, I do mi—”

“Excellent! So, Corney, let me tell you about my plan! It requires a stumblebum or two, so I thought you might be able to help!”

There was a long pause. “I don’t have any… stumblebums… for you to borrow, so I can’t help.”

I plodded onward. “Don’t worry about that right now, Corney. We can talk about how many stumblebums you have that I can borrow after I tell you about my splendiferous plan. So, anywa—”

“But I don’t have any stumblebums!”

I sighed angrily. Someone wasn’t getting a Sefernday card next year. “Look, Corney—do you want to help me or not?”

“Well no, actually, I don’t. The last time you asked for my ‘help,’ you wanted me to fly a thousand miles across the damned country with a sackful of pepperoni, just so you could wave it over your head like a maniac and shout some nonsense about pastries plotting against letting you play with your girlfriend’s feet. And wh—”

“They were oatmeal cookies, not pastries,” I interrupted.

“Fine. Oatmeal cookies. And when I asked you to pay for my plane ticket, you sent me a crate of dryer lint, tried to claim it was legal tender, and made up some excuse about having to buy your girlfriend a new pair of flip-flops!”

“It is legal tender!” I protested. And I remembered ever so delicately placing those flip-flops on Ravna’s two delicate feet. Oh, baby. “Anyway, that was last time I was stranded in northern California without so much as a cornpone in my pocket. This time, I promise I’ll pay you in real currency if you help!”

U.S. currency?” Ol’ Bummie shot back.

“Um…” My neurons spun madly. Were old soy sauce packets currency in the United Spates? Well, I guess Ol’ Bummie would be the one to find out for me. “…Yes!”

“…So what do you need from me this time? No sacks of spiced meat products this time, you!”

“No, no! Not even pepperoni can save me this time. I need two old stumblebums, from the 1940s preferably, and a bottle of buttw—”

“I told you I don’t have any stumblebums!”

“But you’re the stumblebum stable keeper!”

“No, I’m not! I don’t even know what that is!

“That big old building on Wiggensworth Street where all the old stumblebums stumble around drunk and demand dryer lint from people who wander by!”

“That’s the homeless shelter, you idiot.”

“That’s the same thing!” I retorted. Ha! I had ensnared him in his own web of lies.

“Whatever…” Corney paused a minute—clearly indicating I had backed him into a corner and that he knew I was about to move in for the kill. “But I don’t have any stumblebums!”

“Fine, fine!” I gave in. “So, anyway, what I need are two old stumblebums and a bottl—”

Ol’ Bummie hung up. I called back, and as soon as he realized it was me, he hung up again. I called a third time, and again he hung up as soon as he realized it was me. I called a fourth time, and it just rang and rang.

Concluding that Samuel Dreckers, trained assassin, must have suddenly broken into Ol’ Bummie’s house and assassinated him for his dealings with yours truly, I called the police and reported a possible murdercide. The police were most happy to receive my report, and even promised to send two 1940s-era stumblebums to my location at once in order to assist me.

The two men that arrived were not, alas, stumblebums, but a pair of Bavarian White-Tailed Gnomes… in zoot suits. Not since Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill crossed the Ticonderoga on a mosquito-powered tiki raft had I seen something so vendaciously efflubious. Efflubious, I tell you! Efflubious!

Efflubious! Efflubious!

Murrrrp. Hmm… I forgot where this entry was going. Looking back on it, not even the combined wisdom of Presidents Polk, Carter, and Clinton could tell you were this train wreck was supposed to be going before it derailed. I think I’ll stop writing now. Perhaps I was fantasizing about Monica Lewinski’s feet again. Oh yes, Monica Lewinski’s big, salicious feet… mmm, oh yes…