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To muffle up a gooſe

Muffled up on October 31, 2021.

This paſt Wedneſday, I was reminded of my old buttocks-dwelling ſtuffleupagous. A ſtranger had exhorted me to “muffle up a gooſe,” which I naturally miſheard, miſinterpreted, and miſtook for a call to releaſe my old ſtuffleupagous forthwith. I only realized my miſtake many long, drawn-out minutes (and many, many broken flower pots) later. After the ſtuffleupagous was duly ſtuffed back whence it came and all the flowers were ſtuffed into ſhiny new pots, I finally went about muffling up the neareſt geeſe.

Noting it’s 2021, not 1711 anymore, I alſo ſtopped this ſillineſs at once. But many open questions remained. What was I now to do with all these muffled-up geese? Muffled or unmuffled, the pestilential little honkers were still quite insistent on making a noisy, noisome mess wherever they waddled. And what would happen when they inevitably unmuffled themselves? A gaggle of angry, angry geese is no laughing matter. Before any accidental unmufflings took place, I would have to hide all those shiny new flower pots—lest they be buried in angry, angry goose poop.

What to do, what to do? The dilemma reminded me of my experiments in animal magnetism back in the 1990s, which involved feeding strong magnets to the same local goose population. The experiment had appeared to go well at first—until the geese all got stuck to the cars parked along the shoulder of Bouillabaisse Boulevard and I had to pry them loose with a crowbar.

Embarrassment overtook me then; I’d fled back into my house and refused to emerge for twenty-seven years. Time had passed without me by its side. I remained a shut-in until last week, when I finally ventured out once again.

The stuffleupagous rumbled unsettlingly deep in my buttocks. I knew now what I had to do.


The Weeble wobbled. It didn’t fall down, but my desk started to wobble in concert with it. The 4′ stack of Finnish dunning letters off to one side threatened to topple and kill me (and the Weeble). I deflected the threat handily by defecating wildly in every direction. Only the inverse square law saved my palatial abode from complete annihilation.

The Weeble settled back down. The cheap particle-board desk soon followed. But the stack only grew.

That night, I had a bad dream about Strom Thurmond hiding in my closet, using endless parliamentary trickery and blustering filibustery to win every argument.

And then, time for breakfast. The Weeble was wobbling anew—I wasn’t sure why—I wanted to blame ol’ Strom but I was pretty sure he was only a dream—and now I was hungry. Very hungry. I went to my freezer, pulled out a frozen slab of bacon, and gobbled the whole thing up before it had a chance to thaw. I then gobbled up another frozen slab of bacon, a pack of sausages, a bag of Snausages, and then three bags of bagels. I considered devouring all of the ice cubes—and their plastic trays—but a rapid onset of indigestion cured me of that fancy. I squatted down on the floor, moaned ungruliously, and tried not to die. The ice cubes were spared.

Time passed. Strom Thurmond moldered away in the ground. I fell asleep passed out, which induced more horrifying dreams about long-dead senators pecking my eyes out with sharpened pork barrels and boondoggles. Time continued to pass like gas; I awoke, passed gas (a few litres of it!), and then began wobbling myself. And now I wanted some barrels of pork.

I crept out of bed, another tooth-breaking breakfast my goal. My freezer… empty. So this time I tackled the food in the defrigerator nestled below it. I ate all my condiments, pepperoni, and cream cheese—in one enormous gulp. The butter went next, then the milk, cream, sour cream, sweet cream, angry cream, half-and-half, third-third-and-third and ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall. Poofing myself up and standing staunchly on my hind legs, I began belting out:

Bump, gurgle, gurgle—!

My bumpin’ turgid burble—!

A-bump a-gurgle gurgle, gurgle-gurg—!!

It seemed Wernicke had fled my brain again, in sheer babbling terror. This left me with only one option: Elizabeth Peña’s feet from an old movie from the early 1990s. That in turn led me down a rabbit hole that ended in rapid, rabid whooping and hollering in front of my oversized, overstuffed home. Off in the distance, a cat barked. I was sure my life was spinning in circles. My own panicked toddling was carving out a slightly more oblong shape in the yard. I stopped. (Or… did I?) Nearby, a squirrel started barking. Nearer by were my booted feet. I tried to kick the rodent away, but my legs weren’t 11′ long so I failed. The squirrel laughed at me: An ogrish little tree rat. I went box-eyed and imagined burying the malevolent squirrel in a few cubic yards of week-old fish heads (and anuses). But where would I get fish heads in this day and age? The fish head depot down at the marina had closed over twenty-five years ago, largely due to my becoming a shut-in around the same time.

But then, I took heart. No fish heads were actually necessary to raise my spirits (or squash this squirrel). I realized… I could cluck with the best of them. And off I went, clucking merrily.

Clucking back into my house, clucking from one room to another, clucking back out my front door, clucking down the sidewalk, clucking across the crosswalk, and finally clucking my way right under a speeding tractor trailer. Cluck, cluck, cluck!


My Weebles bumped and gurgled, a troupe of wobbling backup singers, and dutifully did not fall down. I was home after having all my arms and legs reattached, playing with my wobbly, wobbly Weebles. It was a sight to see: Weevils whiffling and even weasels wassailing. Were there Tweedles wheedling? Indeed! The weevils wavered not at all. Off in the distance, a weasel woozled. I contemplated going on another woozle hunt, but last time it just made me dizzy and I fell over in the snow.

The geese were honking again, unmuffled, and some were wearing three-piece suits now. It was eerie, all these geese going about their honkery unmuffled and fancy-free, but then I had another thought: Protasis and apodosis, usually hand-in-hand, were strangely absent this week. I wondered if hiding in a hole in the ground, or my I’ve-been-hornswoggled corner, would end the deafening honking and hooting outside my windows. I really wanted to gag that gaggle of geese, but I was all out of goose-mufflers. Would my ample supply of snaffle bits work? Those were for horses of course—but perhaps they would do. So I went about snaffling up all the geese. They tried to protest and bit at me, but my snaffle bits were too much for them. I was at last triumphant.

It was a slurry of words, dribbling forth like so much incontinence, raining downward upon the poor reader. It was what you now see before you, my docile & perfunctory, always facile & emunctory, web page.

“Wherein Pnårp muffles up a gaggle of geese, battles a Weeble to a standstill, convincingly emulates a mother hen by clucking madly, and finally dons a chicken suit—a final act of apotheosis.” That was how this week’s diurnal journal entry was shaping up.

I wasn’t sure what it was I glimpsed in the distance. It wasn’t a squirrel-sized man–squirrel in silhouette, even though that’s what it looked like. It wasn’t a goat doing the fandango, although it was vaguely reminiscent of that, too. Was it Elizabeth Peña’s feet again, come back to distract me, or Lucy Liu as a dominatrix in another old 1990s film? Only time, or more bump-gurgling, would tell. I went back to bumping and gurgling.

…It’s been a Klingon afternoon.


Time ticked. Tick, tick, tick, tock. Then, it stopped. Saturday passed into memory (despite my kerfrumpt’s valiant attempts), and Sunday loomed large on my calendar. As Sunday morning faded inexorably into Sunday afternoon and then Sunday evening, I stood on my hands in my driveway, waiting. The tension in the air was thick, palpable—I could cut it with a knife if I was still allowed to play with knives. People passed by, some wearing ridiculous costumes ranging from cheap reproductions of cartoon monsters to piles of pumpkins atop their heads.

My eyes widened. (Even upside-down, they could widen.) I remembered: Sunday was Halloween.

I returned to my customary stance, right-side up with my feet planted in a plantigrade pattern on the ground. I scurried squirrel-like back inside my doors and donned my trademark chicken suit which I had thrown up in a tree long ago. Last week’s Sefernday costume, which I had planned to don today, had unfortunately rotted so fully it was no longer good for anything except feeding to maggots, worms, and maybe Rory Calhoun.

Now, to go gallivanting around town scaring the children…