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A sleigh ride to the North Pole

Kringled on December 25, 2011.

Somewhere out there Chloë Moretz danced upon slender bare feet beneath clear blue skies. And somewhere far, far above me was the surface of the Earth—and, if that psychedelic gnute were to be believed, the land known as Upper Silesia was up there, too.

I pondered deeply as I waited a few more moments: Until all the splattered blood and scattered entrails oozed back down the sides of the deep, cartoonishly Pnårp-shaped crater and pooled on the floor where I could reach them. Blood duly scooped up and poured back into one of the many lacerations now covering my goaty body, and organs successfully crammed back where they belong (more or less), I clambered out of the crater and beadily looked around. I appeared to be in the middle of a field fit for grazing geese; gently rolling hills and snow-capped mountains beyond them lined the horizon in three directions. In the fourth, there was nothing but a massive pile of turtles all the way up… and all the way down. I ignored it.

And other than a flock of white geese grazing merrily off in the distance, bringing the hills to life with the sound of honking, there was no sign of human presence anywhere. Hopefully I would be able to ascertain my actual whereabouts without resorting to granfallooning any of the geese!

The gnute, much like several of my most important bones, was nowhere to be found. Mountain Dew was bubbling out of the soil next to the crater that my rapid descent had created, but that was as irrelevant as the zigazigging that Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell had nakedly engaged in sixteen weeks ago (ah!), so I did my best to ignore the burbling, iridescent green elixir and concentrate my thoughts on the pinlit galoobery at hand.

“Now where might I find a road sign indimmicating what land this might be?” I wondermuttered aloud as the geese honked and Britney Spears tunes popped into my mind for some reason. “Or a pinlighter at this ungodly hour?”

The hour wasn’t particularly ungodly, but it seemed like the right rhetorical flourish to use at the time.

A suave little voice whispered into my ear that I should trudge northward. Fortunately, nothing seemed to be amiss in that direction: The grazing geese were off to the south and the turtle-pile was to the east. I peered north. There appeared to be nothing in my path, at least for several thousand smoots, except green, green grass carapacing the smooth, curvaceous landscape.

“Alyssa Milano’s smooth, curvaceous feet would be better,” I muttered under my broth, “But I suppose smooth, curvaceous hills atwittered with harmless grass is good enough. Now where did I put my pepperoni…?” I rummaged through my pockets until I found it: A fine red, meaty stick it was, glistening under the late morning Sun as its orange grease slowly diffused out through the artificial sheep bowel in which the meat-like substance was encased. “Don’t leave home without it!” I tweeted to myself as I started treading northward.

Time passed and the hills kept rolling. Soon I realized that the hills were rolling forward in the very same direction that I had been walking, so even though I had traipsed across many a-mile, the landscape around me had changed not a whit. Idly I wondered where these hills’ parking brake was as I sat down on the nearest knoll and began noshing nippishly upon the slippery pepperoni.

Something shimmered in the air next to my hairy left ear. It was the gnute. He was smirking.

“Ohhh, what do you want, you discompoblious little thing?” I whined between mouthfuls of deliciously greasy pepperoni. You got me into this mess! And where the hecklegroober am I anyway?”

“You’re sitting on a knoll in a big, grassy field,” the gnute intoned.

I rolled my eyes. “Did you forget your Captain Obvious cape?” I snarked snarkily.

“Not at all!” the gnute pointed with his scaly, blue-green claw. With a puff! not unlike the sound a magic dragon might make if squeezed hard enough, suddenly my half-noshed stick of pepperoni was wearing a tiny cloth cape. I threw it to the ground and glared at the gnute.

“I was eating that!” I whined angrily.

“And now the ground-geese are.” The gnute’s voice remained as even as 2, 4, 6, or even 8.

With a start I looked down; indeed a ground-goose had emerged from its unseen burrow and had begun devouring the remnants of my oily stick with its toothy beak. And then with a gorgothine honk that echoed off of the very atmosphere (for there were no mountains within earshot), the goose slithered back down into its burrow and disappeared.

I sighed deeply. The gnute smirked again. “So where the hecklegroober am I?” I persisted wearily.

“If I told you, ‘driving down the expressway in an AMC Gremlin that you stole from Wiebe van der Woobie,’ would you believe me?”

I thought for a moment. The last time that I had been driving anything down an expressway was weeks ago when I first set out on this oragabulous journey to visit Mister Ollanthorpe von Sträsmussenbörg. And I had been puttering along in my own trusty old Trabant—the pride of East Germany—not old man Van der Woobie’s Gremlin. But then, I had had a run-in with a rather stubborn eighteen-wheeler, I remembered hazily, and I had ended up axle-snappingly sliding across the median strip after vaulting over a snowbank. The only thing that had saved my life was the combination of my quick thinking, cluster lizard–like ability to roll out of even the fastest-moving vehicles, and of course the voices in my head telling me to steal old Wibo’s car when he stopped to snigger and sneer at my predicament.

Wait, what?

I shrieked in abject, incontinent panic as the vehicle that I was suddenly piloting crashed through a large green exit sign and did a sideways somersault in the air. The car—indeed a Gremlin—landed on its roof seconds—what felt like weeks—later, slid across the pavement, and came to a rest at the feet of a man in a chicken suit holding a sign advertising the Ollanthorpe Savings Bank’s new program making mortgages available to the unborn. Someone’s future life flashed before my eyes: The bizarre, incredible story of a man’s hapless adventure ride from Washington, D.C. to England to Russia to a goosefield in the middle of nowhere.

I clambered out of the car and took in my surroundings bemusedly. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately. Chicken man had run off, after a pregnant woman had exited the laundromat across the street. Shattered pieces of the exit sign were strewn about the roadway. The Gremlin was a smoking ruin. Off in the distance, an owl creaked. I sat down on the sidewalk and assessed my Pnårpy situation. I hadn’t made it to southern Moravia. I hadn’t made it to the District of Columbia, either. I hadn’t made it to the Kremlin, just a Gremlin. I hadn’t even made it to Upper Silesia. But, come Hell or high-definition video, I would make it to the North Pole. Not even the untimely death of North Korea’s biggest Daffy Duck fan, nor that 1983 attack on a South Korean cabinet with a box of stale crab rangoons that he had allegedly masterminded, would get in my way.

“Why the North Pole?” Nosey asked me from within my fractured cranium.

“Because, ‘It sounded like a good idea at the time’ is the punchline to this caper,” Shnarkey snarked.

“I thought it was, ‘Idiot freezes to death chasing lost stick of pepperoni—film at 11,’ Fluffy countered. The others started arguing. The owl creaked again, closer.

I chuckled with satisfaction. Let them mock! Let them snark! The hallucinatory gnute was gone, and in his place there remained only my schizo-affective chorus of small-capitalized voices. And, if Luck would be on my side this coming week, I would make it to Santa’s workshop at the top of the world by Christmas Eve.