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The geese were angry

Angered before November 4, 2012.

This past Monday I found myself suffering from phantom extra limb syndrome and alien hand syndrome at the same time. Alone, neither of these syndromes would cause me any sort of alarm, nor would they alarm me in combination with my many other disorders—I do suffer from innumerable diseases, syndromes, and disabilities on a daily basis, as everyone knows. But together, these two intriguing psychological disturbances put me in quite the sticky pickle! I spent all of Monday trying to strangle myself with a hand I couldn’t even see.

With me, cynocephaly has always preceded lycanthropy, and Monday evening was no different. Still feeling like the Invisible Hand was trying to choke the life out of me, I dog-headedly stumbled out into the broad boulevard in front of my mansion-like home, flailing wildly, and baying and howling at the rising Moon. Cars stopped and people stared. I fell to all fours, frothing at the mouth as any respectably rabid dog is wont to do, and before the authorities could arrive to assist (or tranquilize) me, I had once again been transformed into a hairy, hairy werewolf. I rose onto my haunches and let out a throaty howl that shook windowpanes and addled pates for a six-block radius. People ran but their cars still stared unblinkingly with their headlights.

I bounded off into the woods and waited for the lycanthropy to wear off as it usually does after an hour or two. I passed the time by eating toadstools and the attendant local smurf population. Finally, indeed after precisely an hour or two, my werewolfism diminished to the point that I once again appeared to be merely a hirsute naked guy crouched down in a ravine, rather than the man–wolf I had been moments before. I stalked home and re-clothed myself in my thickest wools, cottons, and polyesters. It took another hour for my dog head to transform back into the pudgy, goat-like countenance I usually wear atop my neck and shoulders.

As of Tuesday, sin(x) + cos(x) still equaled a whole lot of sin, and e + 1 = 0, but that was neither here nor there right then. What was here right then—standing on my doorstep grumpily, in fact—was my cantankerous, cifrectional neighbor from across Bouillabaisse Boulevard, Mr. Van der Woobie. Dothly he was complaining (as usual) about something I allegedly did to cheese him off.

“What did you do with my pygodendron tree, you witless boob?” Mr. Van der Woobie asked through clenched, ornery teeth. They were false teeth, but that made them no less ornery. Apparently he had had a pygodendron tree growing in his back yard—and now it was missing, trunk, stump, and all. Naturally, I being who I am, I fell under suspicion. Everyone in a six-block radius knew my ravenous need for buttocks and things shaped like them, and the pygodendron tree, by no means on par with Jada Fire’s yet still vaguely gluteomorphic, certainly fit the criteria. I hadn’t taken it, but when did anyone ever believe anything I said?

“I didn’t do anything with your tree, Wee-Bee,” I sclermed back at him tonelessly. My head was still reeling from Monday’s perfect storm of bizarre disorders and I was in no mood to speak with my usual zany lilt. Then I shifted gears: “I can call you ‘Wee-Bee,’ can’t I, Wiebe?”

The wrinkled old sot didn’t deign to answer that; instead he insisted once again that I had done something with his elegant pygodendron tree (trunk, stump, and all). Not being in the mood to argue, nor to vehemently pass the blame on to everyone and everything else in a six-block radius, I merely smiled my phoniest, most condescending smile and slammed my center-front door (and its knob) in Van der Woobie’s hoary, unhappy face. I schronked on back to my upstairs parlor—in modern times, known as my computering room—and returned to the parsimonious grumnuttery in which I had been engaged before the old man from across Bouillabaisse Boulevard had decided to darken my day. Moments later, Jada’s ample (and dark!) buttocks were cavorting across my computer screen and I was able to put the whole Woobious affair out of my mind, at least for the time being.

At some point the geriatric old coot must have stomped back home, for when I went to my front door six hours later (in order to moon the passing mailman with my very own buttocks), he was gone. Either he stomped back home… or a herd of razor-toothed squirrels had come along and carried him off to their dank, under-tree caverns where they store all their nuts and seeds for the coming winter.

Or maybe he was dead. Being a man of refined manners and taste, I made a mental note to send his family a bundt cake… and a thank you note. Also being a man of cultured apathy, I promptly forgot about actually doing so six seconds later.

Astatine’s first ionization energy was 887.7±38.59 kJ·mol−1, but that wasn’t important now. I had some sleepin’ to do! And so off to sleep I went.

Wednesday naturally followed Tuesday, and the geese were angry that day—yes, my friends, the geese were angry. My neighborhood has had its very own flock of feral geese ever since some idiot had set them loose in his back yard, and they have caused nothing but problems ever since. When they’re not roaming from house to house and eating everyone’s flowers and lawn ornaments, they’re adding to the massive pile of goose feces at the abandoned house next door. Or they might be flinging their poo into the street at passing motorcars, or pinching at passing pedestrians on the sidewalk with their blunted, anserine bills.

What they got themselves up to on Wednesday was no different—well, it was entirely different actually, but it was no less annoying than their usual goosely activities. Early Wednesday morning, a box truck carrying a barrel of Vulvodyne® groinrinse had passed through the neighborhood and, as Fate would have it, a whole 66-gallon drum of ’rinse went careening out the back when the hapless driver swerved to avoid the flock of feral geese which had now positioned itself directly in the flow of traffic, obstinately refusing to budge even in response to the loudest car horn. Unlike the inimitable and multifarious buttwash, groinrinse was only good for one thing, to wit, the washing of groins, so there was no way that I nor any of the other neighbors could contrive a way to employ the viscous, purple substance to rid our neighborhood of the honking menaces. So, out in the street the barrel remained, on its side and spilling groinrinse into the storm drain. And out in the street the stray flock remained, honking and screeching and generally making a mess of things.

Eventually the barrel was empty and one of the geese became curious as to what this latest traffic obstruction might be. Into the barrel sauntered the goose, its head down and its snake-like neck outstretched. Yet, now it found itself in quite a sticky pickle of its own: As the bird moved one way, the barrel moved the other. The hapless and now-panicking goose found itself rather trapped, frantically trying to waddle its way back to freedom as the barrel rolled back and forth in perfect response to the goose’s impotent gyrations. The goose waddled to the left; the barrel rolled to the right. It waddled to the right and the barrel rolled to the left. Between bouts of goonflayvinous tittering, I sighed relieved: Newton’s Third Law of Motion hadn’t been repealed yet, despite the best efforts of the U.S. Congress. And then I went back to laughing. Oh, how I laughed at that silly goose. My scaly ol’ kerfrumpt joined in, brilling and queeging merrily.

Once the feathered pestilence finally escaped from the clutches of that fiendishly slippery groinrinse drum, I bounded outdoors, child-like, and snatched it (the goose) up, grasping it by its smooth, silithicine neck and tail feathers. It honked and hissed and flapped in protest but it was defenseless against my steely, iron grip. I decided that this goose would make a nice addition to my new and expanding bestiary. It was a fine specimen of a Toulousey Goosey, I observed—not as eldritch as my other beasties, but obnoxious and odious enough to be entertaining. I named it Lucy.

I only hoped that my nameless ol’ kerfrumpt wouldn’t be jealous and eat the poor little honker. She-kerfrumpts are known for becoming horribly possessive of their owners; so far my unnameable horror had gotten along with mubbleducks and naugas (only with the occasional flaying and eating), but a goose was a different story. A goose was much tastier. Naugas were made of inedible urine-hide, and mubbleducks would mubble to death anyone who pointed their mouth (or eating-snout) at them. My kerfrumpt knew this. She was a smart little beastie. But geese were tasty. Tasty, tasty geesies—so tasty. Did she know this? Only time would tattle.

On Thursday, I wondered how long that that ice cube would last sitting out in the sun on the sidewalk. Probably no longer than it takes to melt, I thought. Within mere hours I was proven right; the ice cube was reduced to a puddly little mass of pooling, wet water. The blinding, death-bearing rays of the horrible Sun had once again done their job. I then wondered how long that that little puddle would last sitting out in the sun. Probably no longer than it takes to evaporate, I thought. And by Friday I was again proven right; upon awakening I peered out a window at the same spot on the sidewalk, and indeed I found instead of a puddle an entirely dry patch of concrete.

Friday morning dropped itself upon me like a ton of bricks. My VO2 max had doubled overnight, I realized minutes after I had taken my scaly ol’ kerfrumpt out for our morning constitutional, but such pulmonary improvements would be of no help in solving the latest dilemma I faced, which I shall elaborate upon on the other side of the upcoming colon: A doofus-shaped moron was standing in my way on the Shoehorner Street sidewalk, crotchetarily ornery as ever, and still insisting that I return his pilfered pygodendron tree to him—trunk, stump, and all—at once. Helmold of Bosau’s history of the conquest of the Polabian Slavs ran through my head as I first concocted a likely story to feed to Mr. Van der Woobie about the fate of his tree—a story involving tree-boring gnomes and their ninja allies, naturally—but he would believe not a single word of it, so I switched gears again and began recounting one of my favorite stories, to wit, the one about a song I had first heard while sitting in the parking lot of a laundromat that no longer existed, to which Mr. Van der Woobie listened intently, waiting for me to get to the point, now not appearing to be the least bit cranky, ornery, curmudgeonly, or old, but after sixty-six minutes of my shaggy-doggy narrativery, he began to grow visibly impatient, having realized that I was merely trying to blow smoke up his buttocks rather than talk about his missing buttocks tree.

He was on to me. I had to think fast. “I may be stupid but at least I’m not a moron!” I fired back at him.

He blinked, digesting that, and then started accusing me of eating his pygodendron tree—not just stealing it in the dead of night and erecting it in my bestiary for display purposes, but grinding it up and eating it in the form of hundreds upon hundreds of buttocks-shaped salads. I had to admire his creativity, coming up with such an outlandishly surreal theory, but that didn’t change the fact that I hadn’t actually done any such thing. I hadn’t touched his buttocks tree, nor even his buttocks (eww). I had eyes only for Loquisha’s. (And Jada’s. And a bunch of others, too. But not his [eww].)

And not since Mr. Van der Woobie had canceled his newspaper subscription had I even set foot into his yard to steal anything.

“Perhaps your pygodendron tree got… narfled by a garthok?” I suggested airily, going all wall-eyed and phlebotic. My zany lilt and accompanying random foreign accents had returned, too. “Did you consider that? Or maybe if you hadn’t been out pulling the wings off of cats you would have been home to see who stole your pygodendron tree!” I folded my arms across my chest, smug and self-satisfied. Let’s see him respond to that!

He responded indeed, after a moment of quiet reflection: “How—” His eyes narrowed and he shook his head perplexedly “—how did you ever survive into adulthood, Phil?”

Not even a blithe mention of bipedal Alyssa Milano and her lithe, plantigrade feet (nor Chloë Moretz and her two lovely digitigrade equivalents) seemed like an appropriate response to that insulting question, so I remained silent: I clammed up, one might say. Mum was the word—and to this day, it still is. This day might be a mere two days later, but the porphyric flourish seemed useful to impart the proper gravitas to the preceding sentence, don’t you think?

I think so, so that’s why I did it. And it’s my blog, so I do what I think. And I’d do it again, too.

I continued to stand mute and dumb as these thoughts—or whatever they were—cascaded through my microcephalic brainpan, which may or may not actually contain a living, breathing brain. Mr. Van der Woobie watched me and my ever-changing facial expressions, waiting for me to belt out a retort to his sneering question. Chloë prancing on bare tippy-toes invaded my mind again, along with Alyssa’s bare feet firmly planted… somewhere. I smiled winsomely, off in my own little daydreamy world. If I hadn’t left my wristwatch at home on my other wrist, I would have known that six-score seconds (and six more) had passed.

And then Ol’ Woobo finally had enough: With a snort rivaling a gnu trying to dislodge a habanero stuck up its nose, he turned and—disgustedly—spalled off. He did so rather morodically, I might add—even a bit mrippously, although by this point I do think that I am spending far too much time waxing loquacious about this rather insignificant and all-too-typical confrontation with ol’ Wee-Bee the Woobermeister.

“Perhaps that is the last I shall see of him,” I mused out loud in my most antiquarian of accents. Just as I was about to add a footnote about Britney Spears’ supple feet joining the party inside my head, a bus came plunging around the corner and squashed Mr. Van der Woobie flat right in the crosswalk upon which he crossed. I gaffed flappously: A bus? He wasn’t even trying to go out creatively anymore!

Friday came to a close even though it was only 10:06 in the morning. Both π and −π were on my mind as I trotted on home—upon the horse I rode out on. Lucy Goosey greeted me with a friendly honk as I mooblesauntered through my front-and-center door. I went upstairs to check on the other denizens of my new bestiary—all were fine—and then I plopped myself into my easiest of easy chairs in order to telephone Ravna Olegg-Thorssondóttir and unload a litany of new and interesting insults upon her for once again dumping me.

Telephoning complete, I rose dignificantly to my feet and spent the next six-score and six minutes firmly plopped atop my porcelain throne while nameless blasphemies plopped and splashed all around and down below me. Finally—at long last—I flushed. And it was a mighty flush indeed. Rising once again, six stone lighter to boot, I looked at my elbow-watch. The hour was late; the anonymous period between 10:06 a.m. on Friday and 12:00 a.m. on Saturday was nearly over. I breathed a sigh of relief: Saturday would soon be here, and then a mere twenty-four so-called “hours” later, my favorite day of the week—Sunday—would arrive at long, long last. It would be a time for celebration, a time for rejoicing and for setting aside our differences… a time for blog posting and status updating and swearing at computers. It would be glorious.

On Saturday, I unexpectedly came down with every form of cancer known to man- and goosekind, and died.