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The stars screamed at me, but why?

Shredded on March 6, 2022.

Tomorrow will be 23 years from March 7, 1999—the day the stars began to scream their sweet nothings at me, and I began to wonder why it was so. I thought about it and I saw his face—then I glimpsed the stars again. Days earlier, I had been scribbling madly along my kitchen wainscoting about the screaming stars that dog me interminably; the idea of using my computer to publish such scribblings to the world was nothing more than a twinkle in my eye socket.

Something had begun to go horribly awry inside my computering machine. The pixels in the monitor had started dancing—blue and horrific, one then another, then another. They did the tango, they did the fandango. And all in blue. Seeing no recourse save utilizing my large collection of shotguns and shotgun shells for its intended purpose, I blew 717 holes right in the face of that dastardly CRT. Glass shattered and phosphors flew everywhere. The screaming voices ceased. I realized then however that my choice of solutions was rather impetuous: I would now never go computering with that monitor again.

A planned jaunt down to the Spend-O-Mart, equally impetuous, to purchase a new CRT was thwarted when I discovered that my Pinto had been stolen right out from under my garage. The voices remained silenced and I resolved to nosh upon something hearty and filling for lunch, smoking CRT be damned—but then I recalled that I’d discovered, minutes earlier, that my car had been stolen. You knew that—but how? Now I think your phone is ringing. Pick it up, dude, before it swallows us all whole. Or perhaps the ringing is merely the screaming stars beginning to shriek anew.


Returning to the present, I cranched lightly, then burbled happily. Today was indeed a day for happy burbling. My universally pepperonial diet continues this week uninterrupted. Thick and pinguid, the pepperoni is—and the outcome of my consumption is, dare I say, greasy and steatorrheic. And that too is what the shocked #9 Blunder Bus driver found out last Saturday—which is why I’m not allowed within 100′ of a city bus, a city blunderbuss, a bus driver, nor a bus stop for the next year or five.

The derbfine and obolus men watched me from the bus stop as I plodded past. One of the men, behatted in a fine felt fez of the reddest teal I had ever seen, sneered ominously at me. I knew his type, all right. All hat and no brain. I sneered back. My eyelashes flared and my nose was grim. I tried to look ominous myself, but ended up just looking like a goat. The derbfine man continued to sneer. I wasn’t sure if he was a conniver, or just a very good knifer, but since I knew how to pronounce the former, I had a reasonably sure guess. (Words I cannot pronounce simply do not exist.)

Then the man stabbed me in the back.

I bled out there on the sidewalk. I also learned a valuable lesson in pronunciation. And before I knew it, I had joined my old neighbor, Mr. Maximilian X. Wilson, in northern California. Mr. Wilson had always wanted to be a professional flatulist when he grew up, but instead he became a cat-canning plant manager and then, after a long battle with cancerous neighbors (mostly me!), he died. His life’s dream was to toot and toot, but instead he canned cats, and now he moldered away in northern California.

My own professional flatulence had always outshone his anyway, in every way. That I believe is why he hated me so: Simple colonic jealousy. And is what did him in eventually.

My personal witenagemot of gnomes, gnutes, and gnizzles told me this. I have no reason to doubt them. These wise counselors also taught me the theology of trigonometry, including its most important lesson:

sin(x) + cos(x) = a whole lot of sin!

These “thoughts” rattled through my head as my own Pnårpy corpse decomposed beneath the scorched northern Californian soil. Time passed (but not much, really). And then a passing Blemmye, always on the lookout for decomposing corpses, found me and restored me to life. Thanking the acephalic man profusely, I returned to Bouillabaisse Boulevard aback a Technicolor zebra before anyone noticed I was gone. My gnomely witenagemot informed me a mere two days (and one ear) had passed.

But a lot can change in a couple days. A giant mutant brain had been discovered floating only a few miles from the coast. Soft-spoken and calm, it was nonetheless bent on manufacturing metal men to transform all fleshy people of the world into stone men. This was the latest crisis to strike my town. Most fleshy people panicked when they learned of the mutant brain. Others just wrapped their faces in more COVID-19 masks and went nonchalantly about their lives. Mayor Rhoodie, ever the fine statesman, used the crisis to unveil his latest plan to simply feed the homeless into a giant paper shredder and then blame Russia. People cheered and forgot about the brain and the army of hollow metal men coming to fossilize all of us. I rounded up the last remnants of the Dinosaucers; we went to war against the brain and metal men, defeated them, and sent them all to the bottom of the sea.

When the crisis was over, there would be no more homeless bums. (And there would be no paper shredders.) In an effort to be more sensitive to their plight, homeless bums were now to be referred to as “people of less homes,” the mayor insisted. He thus declared the problem solved and moved onto the next crisis he could use to enliven our lives.

Traipsing home from the Battle with the Brain, wearing my cravat shaped like a déchaussée fish, I chuckled again remembering the thorough and complete enfeciation of that poor Blunder Bus. I burbled happily with both lips. Who else could live such adventures as the ones I had these past few days? I reached my front yard and burbled again.

Topless, blue-skinned ladies lounged about and suckled nameless creatures. One-eyed mirrorbirds and gliderbirds flitted by overhead. The mirrorbirds are forever cursed to only be able to look up, but that’s what makes them such optimists. Bouba and Kiki, my squirrel friends, chittered at me from their treetop abode. Bouba, round as ever, murped and burbled. And Kiki, always the sharper of the two, clicked and tittled.

I was within shitting distance of my palatial home when it happened. As you know, teratogenic turtles have hurled their shredded pizza at me, without cease, for weeks. But now these juvenile chelonians saw fit to rain down upon me far more unpleasant and stercoreous missiles. I squeeorled and bolted for the door. There was no time to employ the subtle invention known as a “doorknob”; I thrust myself through the door without a second thought (nor even a first).

Entering the safety of my sweet, sweet home, I quickly realized the flaw in my plan: With the door busted beyond recognition, nothing stood now between me and everything that harried and harassed me. It all flooded in like a swarm of angry genocide wasps; after gratuitously using another semicolon to maintain the breathless nature of this paragraph, I went all bug-eyed and gibbery, then fled deeper.

The mutant brain had been vanquished. The mutant turtles were unstoppable. I fled down to my basement, past the barrels of bacon grease, down to the subbasement, and then deeper still. Walls, doors, and solid earth pose no obstacle to panicking Pnårps. Today’s catabasis was ample demonstration of this. I only stopped my mad, mole-like descent when I broke through into the series of subterrene caverns which an exterminator had exposed in 2002 while fumigating for gnomes.

I fell and went plop, then squirmed around on my back like an overturned turtle. My senses—having fled from me far above—finally caught up with me and went plop right next to me. Realizing I remained a bipedal creature and possessed a modicum of dignity—a small modicum—I stood up and dusted myself off pretentiously.

In twenty years, these caverns had changed. They were now full of… Himalayan Varnishing Gnomes.

If I had been wearing a pair of reinforced dormfuddies today, I would have been safe. But I wasn’t. The wheedling and whirring commenced at once—the moment the gnomes smelled me. If I had in my possession a déchaussée Chloë Moretz instead of this useless piscine cravat, I would have been safe. But I hadn’t. I cursed my luck. There was nothing to be done. In the darkness the wheedling was closing in on all sides. Dignity be damned; I took one last opportunity to indulge in mindless and panicked shrieking. Then I became calm. I resigned myself to my highly polished fate. Fate herself cackled. At least I would leave a shiny corpse.