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The twentieth best day of my life

Easily understood on March 20, 2022.

Tomorrow will be twenty-three years from March 21, 1999, which at the time was the seventeenth best day of my life. What had made it so good? I’d been noshing noisily and messily upon a fistful of live snails when, what to my blundering eyes should appear, but a QWERTY keyboard! It was sleek and beige, with the most delicate hand-painted symbols on each keycap. It had 105 of them, arranged in the most popular layout known to man- and fishkind. This keyboard was on a mission though: It had no time to stop and chat with me about its many, many keys or the odd placement of its Windows key betwixt F12 and F14. I waved but it went rolling on by, riding aback a half-puma, half-grasshopper beast! I probably should have been disturbed—or at least mildly perturbed—but hours of slurping down live snails had left me in a mental state of exultation such that the sight of a sleek keyboard atop a six-legged big cat made me rejoice and nothing more.

I also happened to be sitting inside a small, rectangular box right then—a kindly neighbor had sat me there and told me not to move lest I get lost or hurt myself. I always listened when she talked down to me like I was a twelve-year-old. She always knew best. So I sat and watched and I exulted and rejoiced until the spectacle went away. Then everything else went away too—which was far from exulting! I fell onto my buttocks, began foaming, and swallowed my tongue. The screaming stars, ever my faithful companions, sneered and jeered at me from their celestial temple thousands of miles above the Earth. The experience brought to the forefront of my addled pate the ruined temples of the Acropolis and the fact that you must be very, very drunk to read this docile & perfunctory blog as often as you do.

As I recall, I continued to foam at the nose and ears. The live snails wriggled free. But… listen: The man over there, riding the next six-legged pumahopper coming down the street? That’s the man. He’s the one. He’s the one all right. And my neighbor never came back to let me out of that comfy little box. To this day I am still there. At least in spirit.

That peculiar March 21 has, in the ensuing years, fallen to twentieth best day in my life. My smashingly successful breakfast at Pam & Meg’s in 2011, my discovery of the Bagel Nebula in 2012, and my scantily-clad, barefoot, winged fairy queen crushing all the garden gnomes into mush in 2021 have all outshone that day. A lot of other days have probably outshone it too, but I forget those. I forget a lot, like how to count or put things in order. Spwahh!

And, as weeks are wont to do, this week bore on. The gnomes were up to their old tricks: This time it was fertilizing the galumph saplings in my back yard with dozens upon dozens of squirrel corpses. Recently made and recently flayed, the skinless things littered the ground beneath the saplings. The hairy pelts adorned the gnomes’ hoary belts. Bouba and Kiki darted frantically around the treetops, chittering in wild alarm, but unlike cats, gnomes are inedible to squirrels, so there was little they could do but bubble and squeak. However, I—being the Grand Pnårpissimo, puffed up with hubris and arrogance that would make even thirty Napoléons blush—could indeed do something to stop the carnage. (Although, no, I would not eat the gnomes. Eww. Too much beard.)

But, what could I do? A lot! I could do a lot to stop it. I could do so much to stop it, so decisively, so precipitously, that my sudden and forceful action would actually reverse time and stop it before it began. The dozens of skinned squirrels would be reborn, the gnomes would be smashed into millions of impotent little shards, and Bouba and Kiki would dance with rounded, pointed joy.

I clambered up to my roolf and took aim. Bellowing my bellicose battle cry, I blew the gnomes to smithereens with my roolf-mounted AK-47. Thousands of 7,620×39,000µm rounds tore through those gnomes like butter—like ceramic butter. The dozens of squirrel corpses came back to life; amidst air hazy with plaster dust they danced with joy upon the shattered corpses of 524,288 garden gnomes. Off in the distance, a Pnårp cackled. Nearer by, a Pnårp descended from the roolf, foaming, and danced. Neighbors shouted in alarm at the noise, the destruction, and the mad, nude gyrations that greeted them when they came running to see what all the hubbub was about.

Implored to explain my actions and the swath of devastation spanning my back yard and two others, I could tell the gathering crowd only one thing: “I call it my ‘roolf’ because it’s opposite my floor and ‘floor’ spelled backwards is ‘roolf’!”

sin(x) × sec(x) = a lot more sin than any other trigonometric copulation! Thus concluded today’s lesson in the theology of trigonometry.

Lunch at the Cthulomat followed. The gagh was fresh and I gulped down the whole wriggling, greasy lump of it in as goose-like a manner as I could sustain. Prior to noshing, I had considered eating in the manner of a Klingon, but with no glass-topped tables around to smash nor any Romulans to slay with my bare hands, I decided that being a goose was the second best thing. Since today’s topic of discussion was “The twentieth best day of my life,” I worked my way down to the twentieth best thing before departing. This necessitated an additional nineteen helpings of gagh, but when I ate that last serving like the erotoleptic glorpf-snake which I was now mimicking, I knew it had all been worth it. All the other customers had fled by my eleventh serving—apparently few men want to be around another man eating a pile of live pepperoni worms while pretending he’s three turgid gorillas riding a single estral yak—but since the Cthulomat is entirely automated, no angry waitstaff came running to chastise me and boot me out on the buttocks.

I then sauntered home, sated, satiated, and satisfied. English is like that sometimes.

I made a detour to the Spend-O-Mart on my homeward sojourn, since I was all out of pepperoni again (ignoring for a moment that my fridge was stuffed to the gills with it). In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the Spend-O-Mart had been rebranded the Spend O’Mart all week, and the entire building, including all the merchandise within, had been painted or dyed various shades of green—from the deep, somber forest tones of the white bread to the blinding, fluorescent chartreuse hams stacked in Giza-scale pyramids, everything was green, green, green. Lemons and limes were only distinguishable because the lemons had been dyed lime green and the limes dyed emerald. Boxes of Cheez-Its and all other crackers had been painted an opaque, uniform mint green. And the sticks of verdant pepperoni, once I located them in a sea of other green meats, bore the appearance of elongated avocados. (Mmm, avocados.)

Borb McBorbley, the store manager, my close friend, and an Irishman himself, was nowhere to be found. Eh, probably ran off in a panic, I mused to myself. Who doesn’t… when ol’ Pnårp is around?

I then sauntered home, pepperonied, pepperoniated, and pepperonified. I wish English would be like that sometimes, but it isn’t.

The neighborhood gossip that night was that my new neighbor Gnaddeus had been arrested for tater-totting a twelve-year-old on Tuesday. After laughing heartily at his misfortune, I looted his house and stole all his houseplants. If ol’ Naddy had only told me his real name, I could’ve written him in prison—but since he didn’t, all I could do was take pictures of my new pair of ducks (eating his houseplants!) and mail them to all the other inmates. I only stopped taking pictures when my cell phone finally ran out of film.

This morning the Flesch–Kincaid Readability Test revealed that my docile & perfunctory blog is “easily understood by an average eleven-year-old student.” The test was silent as to whether or not twelve-year-olds (or anyone else for that matter) could understand my witty boobery.

“F———!” I exclaimed. “That’s it?!”

I was mad. And when I get mad, I eat lots of pepperoni. Lots and lots of pepperoni. Even more than my ongoing hardcore pepperonial diet calls for. So I stood up, toppling my computering chair, and plodded—nay, stomped!—into my kitchen, tore open the fridge, and started shoving handfuls of pepperoni right down my throat. I was mad. Mad, mad, mad. One pound, then two, then three disappeared into the gaping maw centered about the lower half of my capriporcine countenance. I washed it all down with some pepperoni tea.

And then I really, really needed a new pair of dormfuddies.