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Wernicke, Broca, and a two-week, drug-fueled bender

Refueled on June 19, 2022.

“Fleas, flies, and friars! Fuccant! I cursed mightily. “Fuccant! F———, f———, f———!” Once again I had neglected to read the instructions on the label, and ended up with the entire bottle jammed up my nose—jammed so far it would take a twenty-mule team to get it out.

Tuesday was not looking up for me.

Hours later, my intricate plan to insufflate enough borax to sneeze the bottle out of my nose had proven a miserable failure, but it did teach me some interesting physics about high pressure within the human brainpan—once again. I gathered my eyes up off the floor, screwed my ear bones back together, and went back to work trying to blog out something resembling a coherent “blog entry.”

If Wernicke and Broca went on a two-week, drug-fueled bender, this would be the semantic wreckage they left in their wake.

Midway through the week, Wednesday arrived unexpectedly, and I learned that I had more in common with fungus than plants. So I trimmed the leaves growing out of my nose and let the mushrooms resprout from my ears instead. The mushrooms bore a striking resemblance to Rory Calhoun but they sounded like Britney Spears, so I did not dare eat them.

The bacornucopia in my basement continued to wait silently, biding its time. It was patient. It could afford to be patient. It was bacon grease. But I could not. Realizing what awaited me, I panicked and launched myself out the ninth-floor window. I landed in my back yard with such force I left a cartoonishly Pnårp-shaped hole in the ground, and then hid in it for a while.

Bouba and Kiki had disappeared. No one had seen the two squirrels in weeks. On Thursday I made squirrel-nut soup and fed it to my kerfrumpt, so all was well in the world nonetheless. Bouba and Kiki might return—or they might not. I also made some pepperoni-nut stew and fed that to myself. All remained well in the world. Nonetheless, something felt wrong: I wasn’t sure if it was the name of the month (June), the day of the month (the 16th), or the name of the day (Thursday, sometimes known as Thor’s Day, Thrudsday, or Thrr’gggrh’mnrrh’klrrh’day), but something was definitely amiss. I double-checked that my squirrel-nut soup only consisted of nuts eaten by squirrels. Indeed it looked right; I did not mistakenly grind Bouba and Kiki (including their nuts) into a fine paste and make soup out of them.

But then I realized what was amiss: All my other squirrels had disappeared, too. My yard was totally squirrelless—totally bereft of squirrels. I didn’t know what that meant but based on past experience, no good could come from it. Either someone had assassinated all the squirrels and I was next, or all the squirrels were gathering in their underground lairs, plotting my assassination. So I hid in a hole in the ground—my own underground lair—for the remainder of Thursday.

Friday blorpled onto my calendar, cheery and winsome. I remained in my spider hole deep in the ground—renamed by my editor to a “squirrel hole” to prevent my readers from mocking me for another careless plot hole in my life’s story. One way or another, call it what you may (just don’t call it a horse’s ass), it was a hole in the ground, and I was in it.

Thus spake the high lord of the Grunnelsby Wyverns:

One lip to the Netherworld, one lip to Heaven, a tongue to the Stars.

Ba‘al will enter his innards,

Into his mouth he will descend like a dried olive,

Produce of the Earth, and fruit of the trees.

My own knowledge of the Grunnelsby Wyverns was limited. Obscure mythological creatures, compared by some to the Watchers in the Book of Enoch or the nefarious Englebee Troobles in the Book of Pnårp, they were believed to ride the waves traversing the expanses between the D-branes and p-branes, perpendicular to normal space and time. They appeared in our reality only in time of great need. Or, when the viewer had insufflated enough DMT to confuse a horse’s ass with Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate. I just thought they were tasty (the Grunnelsby Wyverns, not the horses’ asses). If it wasn’t for my all-pepperoni, all-the-time diet, I would have eaten each and every one.

I thought back to my ill-fated search for the Englebee Troobles. Beginning in 1999, I had plodded from one end of the world to the other, yet found not one shred of evidence of the Englebee Troobles—I had found no more than a pink tee-shirt, a puce hockey puck, and a fuchsia zebra named Oliver Boliver Butt. I had been thrown into a hole in the ground in Afghanistan, then into another in Ohio. Then one in Iowa, Hawaii, and other states whose names resembling nothing more than howling and moaning. And here I was in a hole in the ground in my yard now. I like holes in the ground—and they like me. I started howling and moaning.

“Ohio, Iowa, Hawaii, and Ohiowaii! Ohio, Iowa, Hawaii, and Ohohowawawaee! Ohh-high-ohh, Ohh-hee-ohh, and Eee-ohh-wahh! Ohio, Iowa, Iyooaahh, Yohee-ohh, Hoowoohayaway, and…!”

And that was what happened when bad things happen to good sentences. My mind returned to the present. But it was still Saturday outside (and inside, too). Fortunately, all I had to do was wait a bit longer—Saturday would give way to Sunday—and I could engage in my usual frantic blogginations and perturb the world once again with ribazarre stories of what goes on inside my brainpan (which now has a skylight!).

The Sneŗtman and the Angry Banana again went into battle Friday night, a real knock-down drag-out fistfight. “Now that was an unusual string of punctuation,” I mused. I put the Angry Banana out of my mind and looked back at the previous paragraph. “Should sentences really end with ‘!).’?” I asked. I continued to pile non-alphanumeric characters upon each until the floor gave way. I landed on my buttocks in the basement. Keycaps scattered everywhere. “!@#$%^&*~!” I swore. Now I needed a new floor and a new keyboard. “!@#$———, !@#$———, !@#$———!”

The Angry Banana emerged again the next morning, angry and banana-like as ever. He was a tenacious little fruit and would never back down from a fight, least of all with a gruglimneous coward like the Sneŗtman. “Pepperoni jelly time!” I enquavered hemidemisemiquaverously. “Pepperoni jelly and a football bat! Hey, yeah! Hey, yeah!” I broke out into song, like a dancing banana, which after several inscrutable verses, finally warded off the Angry Banana. That left the Sneŗtman for me to deal with. We battled it out like Jacob and the angel at Peniel.

I prevailed of course. I always do when I catch my opponent off-guard with my bottle of buttwash.

The last time my town had seen a bout like this was when Benjamin the Nettin’ Yahoo, the modern-day retiarius, took on the Punchin’ Llama, that dastardly monk, in 1987. People still spoke about that match, which went the whole fifteen rounds and resulted in a draw (and lots of dead fish strewn about the boxing ring). And now, with thousands of sneŗtgnomes dead this time—smashed to ceramic little sneŗtbits—the Sneŗtman vanquished for all time, and sixteen miles around 229B Bouillabaisse Boulevard coated in a fine puce foam, the town would have something even grander to talk about for the next 35 years.

And the magniloquent scrivenings continued, faster and faster.

Sunday started off wanly. I stared at my newest tube of toothpaste, forlorn and wan myself. I wondered why they all tasted different—every brand was “mint” but no two brands could do “mint” the same way. “Well, at least it isn’t ‘horse’s ass,’ I thought aloud. “No, that wouldn’t be a very good toothpaste flavor.” I went back to brushing, then tried not to accidentally hang myself with the floss.

You’ll be happy to know, I did not accidentally hang myself. (Nor did I do so intentionally—why do you ask?) I survived my Saturday toothbrushing unscathed. I went on to do bigger and better things for the remainder of the day, including brushing my hair, brushing my nose hair, and brushing my pet kerfrumpt. (She doesn’t actually have hair.) I wanted a bagel for breakfast but couldn’t find any made out of solid pepperoni, so I settled on eating a bag of semi-solid pepperoni instead. It wasn’t bagel-shaped, alas—it was more of a lump shaped like the bag—but it would do. I wondered if anyone had eaten a squirrel-fur bagel ever before, but then remembered that squirrels ’round these parts don’t have fur. They have thorns.

Batter-dipped squirrel tails were also a possibility—but only if they were made of pepperoni. I suddenly had a grand idea: Grind up squirrels and make pepperoni out of them! Then I realized that was a terrible idea: Too many thorns.

I went back to bed.