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A trip to southern Moravia

Plunged off a cliff on November 27, 2011.

Shocking news was brought to my attention this Tuesday: Mister Ollanthorpe von Sträsmussenbörg, from southern Moravia, didn’t really die as a result of sixteen rabid underdogs trampling him, as I had been led to believe for twelve long years. In fact, he wasn’t dead at all: He was, in fact, quite alive, and living out his life in lovely, lively southern Moravia.

(And in fact I’m going to say “in fact” again, due to the fact that I love that expression this week. Fact, fact, fact!)

Upon learning this startling Ollanthorpian fact on Tuesday, at precisely swive o’clock in the afternoon, I realized I must—at flunce!—take a trip to southern Moravia in order to give a nice, big, warm “Welcome back!” to my old friend who didn’t actually go anywhere. The Internet informed me that southern Moravia was quite far away from my homely little home town, but, now with gas prices slowly falling toward “just a bit more than 50% more than a two-dollar whore,” I was sure I could afford the trip without losing my shirt.

Losing my pants was another thing entirely, and in fact I did seem to have lost my pants—both legs, the entire pair—sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. I searched high and low, peeking and poking into each of the eleventeen-hundred-and-six rooms in my palatial home, but nary a pair of pants (or even a single pant) did I find. Expanding my search to the grounds around my home, I found them: My finely handcrafted pair of pants, made out of the finest Eigentorian leather from the finest Eigentorian slave laborers, had been thrown up into a tree outside my primary master bedroom on the ninth floor of the west wing of my sprawling abode.

Wondering why I had eaten those pants in the first place, I got the tallest ladder I could find out of my neighbor’s garage and set about trying to get those pants down from that tree. Stunningly, I made it up the ladder on the first attempt, and even more stunningly, I was able to seize the pair of pants in my gnarly hands on the first try. Knowing my luck wouldn’t hold out for much longer, I eased myself down the ladder with as much care as I could. Setting both feet firmly back on the ground, I looked around, waiting for some disaster—any disaster—to strike suddenly and without warning.

Nothing happened. I brought the ladder back down, rolled it up, stapled it shut, and carefully reinserted it in my neighbor’s garage through the broken window. Then, swinging my handcrafted eigenpants merrily about and whistling as I walked, I plodded back inside my palatial home and resumed planning my trip to southern Moravia in order to say hello to my old friend Mister Ollanthorpe.

Tuesday ended and Wednesday blew by like a middle-aged man speeding down a suburban road in a sports car that he purchased mere hours before in the depths of a profound midlife crisis. As Wednesday ended, Thursday loomed balefully on the horizon, and then, precisely one second after midnight, it dropped itself into place on my muldersome calendar. In previous weeks, Thursday’s arrival—in fact, any day’s arrival—was a cause for concern, alarm, or in some cases, outright panic, but this week, Thursday’s arrival was truly a scullious godsend: For, Thursday afternoon, at precisely half past swive, while the rest of America was noshing merrily on turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and cranberry gel, I instead was to begin my long and efflubious trip to southern Moravia. If that googly mapping service I found online were to be believed, it would only take me thirty-seven hours overland to reach southern Moravia from my starting point in an undisclosed bunker in the central United States.

My clock slowly pinched out the hours, minutes, and seconds as I waited, waited and waited for swive-thirty to arrive. My bags were packed; I was ready to go. I wasn’t leaving on a jet plane, but I did know one thing: I didn’t know when I’d be back again.

Swive-thirty finally at last arrived, and I in a hurry departed, alive. My car was filled to the brim with pepperoni, potted meat, and spiced ham—gifts for Mister Ollanthorpe from the plant that canned spam. I vroomed out onto Bouillabaisse Boulevard, my destination southern Moravia—by way of Massachusetts, France, and Bavaria. I chuckled with mirthful glee as I turned onto the interstate: “France” was such a silly, silly name for any place!

“Did you just try to make ‘any place’ rhyme with ‘interstate’?” a voice peeped out from deep within my trans-occipital sulcus. It sounded like Nosey was in the mood to mock and ridicule me again.

“None of your business! Why are you so nosy!?” I shot back.

“Maybe if you didn’t have such a big nose, he wouldn’t be!” Shnarkey snarked.

“That’s a complete non sequitur!” I retorted Latinly. Cars swerved around me as the battle of wits grew from minor skirmish into outright war.

“Look out! That eighteen-wheeler isn’t just a figment of your twisted imagination!” Nosey disappeared in an audible poof! as I looked in front of me again and saw that Nosey was, for once in his nosy little life, not being entirely useless and unhelpful.

I whipped the steering wheel hard to the right, slammed on the brakes, put my car windows up, turned my windshield wipers on, and beat on every knob of my car radio with as much force as I could muster. My car went into a graceless logarithmic spiral. If only I had been driving the Oscar Mayer™ wienermobile right now, I thought to myself, the accident that was 4¼ seconds away from happening would be a lot more amusing to onlookers…

Vaulting over a snowbank, my car took to the air. Perhaps I really was leaving on a jet plane! Another stray thought popped into my head, distracting me from the life that was flashing before my eyes. Alas, my vehicle had all the aerodynamics of a bumblebee but none of the wings that mysteriously allow such bumbly creatures to actually fly, and after a few short seconds the poor car came crashing back down to the ground a few smoots into the median strip. Axles snapped and tires flew everywhere. My car slid, flipped over, slid some more, crashed into a guardrail, pirouetted in place, and burst into flames. The smell of roast pork filled the air as thick, greasy smoke rose from the inferno.

Fortunately I had rolled my goaty self out of the car, cluster lizard–like, moments before it had hit that snowbank, so, other than most of the skin normally enveloping my caprine body having been shorn off by the stony pavement, I was unscathed.

A flock of strange, goose-like animals that may in fact actually have been geese landed a few meters away and began honking in distress. Right on cue, gnomes gathered around the blaze in the median strip, and started dancing and writhing in their gnomey little way. I knew what that meant: It was time to make as graceless an exit as I could manage.

Donning the oversized clown shoes I always keep under my shirt for just such a contingency, I plodded back toward home with as little grace as I could manage.

A few hours later, I had indeed successfully blorpled my way back home on foot. Entering my palace-like domicile, I hung my burnt-umber fez up beside the door and divested myself of my leisure suit, bolo tie, and handcrafted eigenpants. My trip to southern Moravia had suffered a setback, but I had no intention of giving up—yet! Come Hell or high rises, I would make it to southern Moravia just to say hi to my old friend Mister Ollanthorpe von Sträsmussenbörg.

I crawled in a hole in the ground for the remainder of Thursday and went to work plotting and scheming another way to reach southern Moravia without subjecting myself to the horrors of being launched out of a cannon pointed in the general direction of Europe.

Friday arrived in all its twenty-four-hour glory, and I resigned myself to the fact that in order to reach southern Moravia by any reasonable date, I would indeed have to resort to more ballistic methods of travel. I also resigned myself to the fact that in order to flesh out the previous sentence, I had inserted a bunch of superfluous phrases—but then again, I’m nothing if not superfluous! At least pleonasms weren’t raining from the sky as they often are when the Grand Pnårpissimo gets to writin’ in his bloggery-doo.

I was hard at work preparing my flight plan when Friday finally descended from my calendar onto the floor, ushering in the typical twenty-four-hour period that follows Friday: Glorpfsday. As Glorpfsday reared its ugly, glorpf-snake–like head and the Sun ascended into the sky to blind and burn us all, I put the finishing touches on my plan: First, I would travel by bus to Washington, D.C., where I would steal the first nuclear, chemical, or biological secrets that I could come across—maybe even directly from the president’s back pocket if I could get that close. Second, I would travel via steam ship to the former Soviet Union, where I would trade those state secrets for fifteen minutes alone in a room with the Царь-пушка, the biggest cannon ever made. Finally, I would aim the cannon in the direction of southern Moravia, light the fuse, climb in, and wait. If all went well (as we know all always does!), within moments I would be on my way to southern Moravia—hopefully landing right in Mister Ollanthorpe von Sträsmussenbörg’s back yard!

Rube Goldberg would be proud. My plan was perfect. It reminded me of that time in my previous life in 1886 when I, working as a butcher’s apprentice, had tripped over my own clownishly large feet and accidentally knocked Mr. Szczerbaczewicz’s bag of prized offal out a second-floor window. I don’t know why my perfect plan reminded me of one of my many clumsy accidents, but it did.

Setting out on foot to the bus station on Pinnfarben Street, I made a quick detour to the nearest Taco Bell first and ate every bean burrito I could get my ungrulious hands on. Satisfied I would now be able to generate enough thrust once airborne, I boarded the nearest bus bound for Washington, D.C., waited a whole sixteen minutes before I started scaring the passengers (and their pigeons), and then, with a snap, a crackle, and a pop, we were off. Our destination: President Piggy-Man’s back yard.

Stay spooned for more, kiddies! I arrive in Washington on Moonday!