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Gnomes? In my photocopier?

Litigated before September 18, 2011.

I sat down heavily in front of my computering device, not unlike a garbage bag full of sausage being dropped from a fourth-floor window onto a sidewalk below. Breathing raggedly and still covered in glargoyle blood, I picked up the ol’ board of keys and began tap-tap-tapping out the best description I could muster of what I had endured over the past 5¼ days. The accuracy of my tale would no doubt suffer as a result of my psychological state, stark nakedness, and the two soda bottles jammed firmly in my ears, but committing my story to paper now was of the utmost importance—before all the horrifying details stored loosely in my squishy gray matter gave way to my all-too-typical obsession with gnomes, killer squirrels, and Alyssa Milano’s slender young feet and toes.

Mmm, Alyssa’s feet and toes…

The keyboard clattered and clattered as Dinglebuckey looked on curiously and two of my shuggothlings wandered in and made their best attempts to drive me into the depths of insanity again. Ravna knew better than to interrupt me in my perseverational Pnårpitude, so she just sighed and took Moosey for a walk again. I kept typing.

Hours passed, then more, and even more, and still I kept clacking and smacking away at the keyboard, sometimes actually hitting keys that produced letters, numbers, and symbols on the computer’s glowing green monitor. Horsefeathers soon started passing after my clock ran out of hours. Dinglebuckey finally wandered off to find a baseboard to gnaw on, and the mivulating paroxysms of bubble-congeries oozed their way back to the shuggoth hatchery in my bestiary. The dust mites nestled in the dust-bunnies, dust-dogs, and dust-buffaloes strewn about the room grew tired of watching me emulsify and reticulate in front of the computerational screen. Even the garden path I just led you up and down failed to disenhornswoggle you from your boredom.

Listless acedia gripped every living thing around me, but a frantic energy exuded from my every pore and pushed the boredom back into the dark corners of my palatial computerizing room—a frantic energy not seen since that Peep-microwaving accident that I caused years ago, which bathed my entire town not only in gigajoules of 2.4 gigahertz radiation, but also tonne upon tonne of sweet, sticky marshmallow covered in artificially colored, granulated sugar.

“Done!” I shouted at last, the clacking coming to an end as my bony fingers hovered over the “Control” and “S” keys. This was the moment I was waiting for: In one smooth motion I would instruct my computing device to save this masterpiece—electrons would roll along the wires and circuit pathways—disks would spin—millions of iron fibers would turn their beady little heads this way or that, committing to disk the ones and zeroes that encoded my masterpiece in the cryptic binary language that only my computer (and Loquisha, when she was horny) spoke fluently.

I pressed—no, not any key, not this time!—the “Control” and “S” keys… simultaneously, no less… and waited.

Instead of my hard drive rearing up and gulping my horror-bloggery down its eager throat and onto its shiny little platters, gnomes started shooting out of every slot in my computering machine’s beige plastic face! A cranching swarm of gnomes—gnomes riding cockroaches, golden cockroaches!—shot out of the CD-ROM drive! Writhing gnomes on horseback squirmed out of the USB and Firewire sockets like equestrian maggots! And a flock of my old nemeses, Westphalian Schmongeling Gnomes, came pouring out of the 5¼″ drive that I still keep attached to my computiator specifically to prevent gnome infestations from getting out of hand!

The sudden explosion of horse- and cockroach-riding gnomes streaming out of my computer brought back memories of a nightmarish experience I suffered back in 1996. I was working in a small IT office for an even smaller law firm in the even smaller town of Bungholio, Michigan. We ordered a brand new Xerox all-in-one unit: A photocopier, fax, scanner, dictaphone, and deli slicer all packed into one polished metal package. It was the state of the art at the time, one of those manual-feed ones with the big metal drum and lovely purple ink that gets lighter over time. Well, little did we know that the ink reservoir was infested with a clutch of gnome eggs! Three days after we purchased the thing, I arrived at the office and found the place teaming with millions upon millions of wheedling, needling, skeezling gnomes, all streaming out of the now-broken Xerox copier, hanging from the rafters, and lollygagging around the water cooler. No one else was in yet, so I tried to clean up the mess myself (after the usual fit of gibbering incontinence, of course). I ended up slicing off three fingers, a toe, and my nose trying to jam all those gnomes back in through the deli slicer end of that damned device.

The pointy-nosed bosses at Xerox tried to tell us the gnomes were actually a feature of their product: That Xerox’s patented copying process actually involved millions of gnomes frantically transcribing each document as it was fed into the machine, sort of like a swarm of tiny little mediæval monks transcribing bibles. We didn’t buy it, of course. Fortunately one thing we did buy (besides the now-useless copier) was a copy of Lawsuits for Dummies, so multiple lawsuits ensued, each more frivolous than the last.

It took six weeks to fully fumigate the office, and another three for the stench of gnomicides and rotting gnome corpses to dissipate. Everyone but the two partners quit the firm by the end of the year, and they went bankrupt a few weeks later, after the first six suits against Xerox failed, then the ones against each of the gnomes individually, then the ones the erstwhile partners launched against each other. As we all remember from high school physics, two lawyers suing each other results in the mutual annihilation of both lawyer and anti-lawyer and the massive release of electromagnetic energy in the form of highly-destructive gamma radiation. Bungholio was blown clear off the map. Within a year every mapmaker, atlas-writer, and encyclopedia-penner had removed all mention of Bungholio from their works—forever. Fortunately I was safely back home when this whole-city elision happened, so I survived (for the most part).

And that, my friends, is why you’ve never heard of Bungholio, Michigan. And it’s why you should never buy a Xerox product, too.