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Hoarsely the Pnårp sang

Horsed around on May 13, 2012 by Philbert Nyarlathotep Årp.

“The pipping and squeaking made it all seem worth it,” the duck said, adjusting his wide-brimmed fedora as he pronounced each word slowly and in a different accent. Provençal was his favorite, but he avoided using it anywhere in this particular sentence: He would wait until later, when it seemed more appropriate. His audience today would probably think the elegant sounds were just French, he mused bitterly. Dogs were such philistines.

The duck took another drag on his cigarette.

The dogs finished their poker game, got up one by one, and began filing out of the room. There had been an awful lot of growling when the beagle won the last hand with only two pair, but at least no one had been bitten this time. Last time however, when that schnauzer won a hand on a mere bluff…

The duck grimaced. He hated dogs—hairy, noisy things, with a ridiculous-looking, toothed “snout” in place of the fine, elegant bill of a duck. He hated dogs almost as much as he hated anyone who confused French with Provençal, and anyone who rode in clown cars, and anyone who adulterated milkshakes with turpentine. In fact, he hated everyone in general. The duck was a cynic and a misanthrope.

The smell of dog hair still lingered in the room. The duck ruffled his feathers and adjusted his hat again.

Somewhere in all of this confusion, there was a Pnårp. But the Pnårp’s dime-sized mind was occupied, terribly distracted, for the misanthropic duck was no ordinary duck, but a mubbleduck—a hypnotic creature with which this bløg’s readers should be painfully familiar. And this mubbleduck had a psyogenic torsion quotient so high that he could mesmerize anything up to the size of an oliphaunt with a mere glance. The Pnårp sat on the ground, legs akimbo, his eye turrets spinning in languorous, counterclockwise circles as his jaw sagged and his tongue lolled (cow-like) from his mouth. Occasionally he burbled in a language that may have been Occitan, or may have been Mypiot, or may even have been the fabled Samnorsk. His mind was filled to the brim with images of Alyssa Milanos dancing in sandals, Britney Spearses cavorting and singing barefoot, and Chloë Moretz wearing nothing but her diaeresis as she played poker with the dogs, her dainty feet perched on the card table and the cards grasped between her slender toes.

The mubbleduck could keep a Pnårp enthralled for unending hours with such imagery. And he did.

As it loped out of the room, one of the dogs—a malamute—made a sound not unlike a goose trying to clear its nostrils after noshing upon a meal made out of a car full of clowns marinated in baconnaise sauce. The mubbleduck spun around sharply, thinking that the world was coming to an end—or perhaps that an entire SUV full of clowns had arrived, and merely to annoy him no less. The duck waited pregnantly, but there was no danger. Off in the distance, the dog that won the last hand barked. After another few moments of watchful mubbling, the mubbleduck relaxed and returned his attention to the Pnårp that he held in thrall.

But the duck was too late. The sudden surprise that had befallen the mubbleduck broke his concentration long enough—only a few mypioseconds, but long enough indeed—for the Pnårp to break free of the duck’s mental grasp. The image of blonde Chloë Moretz with three aces held daintily in her delicate, finger-like toes shattered into a thousand pieces. Chloe’s diaeresis bounced off in a random direction. The Britneys and Alyssas vanished too, in a puff of sandaled mirth and unshod, soleful alabaster. The Pnårp rose on his two hind legs, howling like an ox, and locked his baleful eye turrets upon the mubbleduck. He began belting out a victory dirge: A rendition of “I Touch Myself” by Murderdeathcock, the Pnårp’s favorite genocide metal band.

The mubbleduck, despite his best efforts, was unable to zero in on the Pnårp’s meager brain waves (more of a brain ripple really) and regain control. The duck quailed. The Pnårp stood taller, changing keys like a Scotsman changes his dormfuddies. Finally, the mubbleduck broke off, keening wildly, and scurried for cover behind the nearest rooster, of which there were plenty to choose from, as dozens had been milling about our tawdry scene this whole time, blithely unnoticed by both the mubbleduck, the Pnårp, and your quithy narrator. (Did we mention that all of this confusion took place in a barn on Mr. Smuthabupple’s Organic Farm? No? Sorry.)

Feathers flew everywhere.

This rooster of course would have no part of the mubbleduckery and began pecking madly at the duck. The duck chickened out and ran. If only someone had thrown overcooked spaghetti all over the ground right then, perhaps the mubbleduck would have been victorious in his battle with the rooster. But the rectangularization of the mortality curve had thoroughly prevented any spaghetti-throwing; all that had been available this year in the supermarkets and hypermarkets was box upon box of throwable tortellini, tortelloni, tortelloopi, and macaroni & cheese. Unfortunately, none of the varieties of tortellpasta was macarony enough, and macaroni & cheese was macaronier than needed. So, the mubbleduck put the spaghetti-tossing idea out of his mind and ran for higher ground. The rooster followed. The Pnårp changed keys again, singing more hoarsely now, and then turned into a horse.

Hoarsely the Pnårp sang the “Horst Wessel Song” until he could sing no more—but that didn’t stop him, no. The rooster swooned and lost consciousness. The duck swanned but held fast. The Pnårp began to move—to close in on the trapped mubbleduck—licking his chops and rubbing his palms together as cartoonishly as he could manage. “I have always sought to expand my eating horizon,” the goat-like man chortled mockingly as he advanced upon the cornered and now-helpless mubbleduck. The duck mubbled one last time and leapt through the nearest window in a desperate bid for some Silesian Silly Putty. It was just like the life and death of a red Solo cup, really.

The Pnårp began to sing “Red Solo Cup.”

There being no windows in this particular barn, the panicked mubbleduck bounced off a wooden wall and fell backwards upon his butt, dazed and confused. Feathers flew once more. His fedora went rolling toward the Pnårp and his cigarette went out. The duck tried to stand and face his death valiantly—as all ducks desire—but the Pnårp loomed over him now, salivating like a dog. Like a poker-playing dog.

The Pnårp snatched up the mubbleduck in one hand, knife and fork in the other two hands, and—

Hours later, the Pnårp sat on the ground again, legs akimbo, his belly full of satisfaction and feathers. A duckbill sat on the dirt next to him. Again the Pnårp dreamed of Alyssa upon Alyssa Milano, dancing and prancing, and Britney upon Britney Spears, cavorting and singing, each Britney more barefoot than the last. The Alyssas were unshod now, too. And again the lovely blonde Chloe Moretz was there, riding atop another Chloe, riding atop another Chloe. It was Chloes all the way down… and this time, they weren’t even wearing their diaereses!

But something was wrong. Off in the distance, a dog had a straight flush. The Pnårp’s stomach began to rumble—to burble and rumble, to bumble and gurgle, to blurple and gorfloogle. At first the grimbumpsity was imperceptible (until it wasn’t), but as the minutes ticked by and the ticks tocked by (only to be eaten by the now-awake rooster), the disturbance in the Pnårp’s stomach grew—grew and grew—until he was suffering from a full-blown case of mulpicious and zoracious indigestion of the most hippopotamously oliphauntine nature. He blamed the mubbleduck he had eaten whole. And uncooked.

“I haven’t felt this sick since 1996… when I entered that Moldavian mold-eating contest and nearly died of ergotism!” the Pnårp bellyached as his belly ached continuously and his under-tummy rumbled like an earthquake let loose by an angry, purple-haired goddess. He rolled over, then rolled over some more, but nothing would do. He twitched and spasmed like a bug doused in brake fluid. Consciousness waned. Before he knew it, the Pnårp was dead. The mubbleduck had won.

Mubbleducks always win.

And that, my friends, is why you never eat a mubbleduck that can make a pack of dogs play poker.