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Another day, another pig war

Splined on June 20, 2021.

Another day, another pig war, that’s what I always say. (And I do say that—a lot. Why, just last Saturday I said, “Another day, another pig war,” as I awoke from yet another spate of gorgothine night terrors. The Sneŗtman had tried but failed to steal my soul; his defeat at the hands and feet of yours truly had so thoroughly flummoxed him that he vanished in a puff of ham and eggs. I had bested that sempiternal enemy of all that is good and wholesome again, sending him back to the hypogeum from which he and seven thousand ghouls had slithered.

Oinking ham and clucking eggs.

Defeating the Sneŗtman’s attempts to steal my soul utterly defeated his attempts to steal Alyssa Milano’s soles, too. And so again, another pig war was over.

That sempiternal compatriot of my navel dandruff, on the other hand, still had some fight in him. It took me until Monday morning to vanquish that formidable yet amusingly fuzzy foe.

And so it was, things went on, other stuff happened, and this paragraph is supposed to read like some pompous voiceover at the opening of an epic movie, but instead it just falls flat, inviting mockery and derision.

On Monday, I began my morning by cracking open the newspaper and reading a human interest piece about a thoroughly uninteresting human. The story, about a certain Wilbur P. Elmot and his bid to reopen the Zubenelgenubi Street paperclip factory, made me sure of one thing: My perfidious oatmeal cookies were hard at work conspiring against me—scurrying about in scurrilous skullduggery, in the scullery, hurrying to and fro, making a slurry of poisoned curry. They intended to feed it to me but I didn’t worry.

Because I was also sure of another thing: “Wilbur P. Elmot” was the most uninspiringly bureaucratic name I had ever seen this side of Stanley H. Tweedle. It was funny in a tragicomic way. Poor Wilbur was predestined from birth to manufacture paperclips. If he hadn’t gone into paperclip manufactory, he would have been a… door-to-door phone book salesman or a cat-canning plant manager. If only Wilbur had been given an illustrious name like “Phillip Norbert Årp,” he would’ve gone places. I sipped my potato juice and turned the page. Off in the distance, a dog barked—a high-pitched yip that set my teeth on edge. I vowed revenge.

Another day, another pig war indeed.

On Tuesday, I marked the 162nd anniversary of the start of the Pig War: A long series of confusing and incongruous events, completely orthogonal to each other but all involving swine, which ultimately led to President Piggy-Man becoming America’s president for life. Eightscore and two years later, I was still unclear how it all happened—most Americans still are—but I was sure of one thing: Now I wanted a ham sandwich. With mayonnaise and eggs. Hold the eggshells.

And on Tuesday, I began my morning by carefully peeling open the newspaper to see if there were any stories commemorating this momentous 1859 event. There were not. There was a story about the stock market being up, another about it being down, and a third linking a Twizzler shortage to the recent spike in pork belly futures. I really wanted some pork products now. In another story, President Piggy-Man was quoted claiming he was personally keeping the economy strong by tweeting nonstop. I didn’t buy that either. What I did want to buy was a heap of ham, a pile of pork, a ’bundance of bacon, and an entire silo of sausage. But the grocery store wasn’t open yet and the old Ham & Eggs eigencafé has been closed since 2006. The only things I could construct into breakfast were yesterday’s eggshells and a jug of potato juice. I considered dunking the newspaper in the juice and eating that, but some things even Pnårp won’t do.

Another day—another pig war—passed into oblivion.

On Wednesday, I began my morning by cracking open the newspaper—a particularly stiff edition that required I go digging through my utensil draw in search of an actual nutcracker. Once I succeeded in opening the paper, I sat down to my breakfast of eggshells and shmoo. These eggshells were fortunately uncracked and still contained the delicious, gooey egg within. I punctured each one carefully with a tap and die and, mosquito-like, proceeded to suck the eggluescent fluid out. A hearty meal, if a bit too mucous for my tastes. Fortunately the slab of broiled shmoo more than compensated.

The top story in Wednesday’s broadsheet was the city’s purchase of fifty tranquilizer guns, part of Mayor Julian Rhoodie’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to 100% of our citizens by July. I was disappointed the city council had rejected my idea—simply spike the city’s water supply—but after that little misunderstanding with the hexafluoride at the waterworks, they were a tad reluctant to entertain any more citizen initiatives. No matter. I had plenty of other ideas. I made a mental note to spend the evening working on my “universal basic incommodation” proposal. Indoor toilets for all!

Another pig of a day—another pig war—ended.

On Thursday, I began my morning wondering where the hecklegroober the paper had gone. It wasn’t on the step. It wasn’t on the stoop. It wasn’t on the porch. It wasn’t on the poop. I assumed my nefarious new neighbor had stolen it—he’s only lived in the neighborhood for ten years, so few trust him yet—but then I remembered, he and his family had moved on to bigger and better things after a tooth-brushing accident in 2019 had rendered his house uninhabitable. “Well, curse him and his uranium-soaked nuclear family,” I muttered to myself.

Ultimately my search for the morning paper was a bust. I chalked it up to the growing cicada infestation on Bouillabaisse Boulevard and went back inside before the cicadas made me disappear. I unwrapped all the fish I bought yesterday and re-read yesterday’s stories over a breakfast of toasted shingles and burnt nutraloaf. I had bought a lot of fish. I had a lot of re-reading to do.

I took another swig of my potato juice, another bite of my lixivial breakfast. Off in the distance, a dog yipped and yipped and yipped until someone used its football-sized little corpse as it was meant to be used. It was funny, in a supremely satisfying way. Moments later, something smacked into my window, flopped down on the ground, and skittered off. I just refilled my glass.

Tomorrow would be another pig war.

On Friday, I began my morning with a bowl of brown and some red kibble. I was all out of potato juice, but grinding some leftover horsebread into a thin slurry made a passable substitute. Again there was no newspaper, again I searched high and low for it, and again I blamed the swarms of cicadas filling my street—now a foot deep and emitting such a cacophonous buzzing that I needed to jam lightbulbs into my ears to sleep. I sipped my horsebread… and then my eyes widened.

“My anus is rumbling!” I squeaked. More ruffled about the rectum than girt about the paps this time, I flew to the bathroom like a flash, intent on heading off any dysplumbious accidents that would no doubt become the stuff of legends. I sat and I waited—perched. I knew I was about to regret eating those eggshells on Tuesday morning, even more than my Diet of Worms on Thursday night. Only proper toilet posture and poise would save me now, I reassured myself…

On Saturday, I began my morning on the roolf of my house. [I call it my “roolf” because it’s opposite my floor and “floor” spelled backwards is “roolf.”] I had only the vaguest notion how I got up there—maybe it involved that chicken suit I threw up in a tree or another farting spree? There was a hole in the roolf, and when I peered into it, where I should have glimpsed my fourth-story bathroom, instead my eyes fell upon an indescribable horror: Huge, turgid, glistening, and dark brown, there sat the largest cicada I had ever seen. He looked up at me and clicked his mouthparts in smirking laughter. I inched away from the hole and flopped over onto my back on the roolf.

Unsurprisingly, no newspaper was to be found anywhere on my roolf. Perhaps the cicada stole it so he had something to read on the loo. But I was calm and at peace. I lay back on the roolf and relaxed. The Sun was out, the sky was blue, and the clouds didn’t look like the eldritch, suppurthine horrors I usually see when I look at them. It was going to be a good day.

Off in the distance, upwind of me, someone was using a blowtorch to deal with his mouse problem. And now I wanted a steak.)