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Autumn had arrived

Floundered on October 16, 2022.

The trees lining Bouillabaisse Boulevard began to change color this week—yellows, oranges, reds, and blues as far as the eye can see and the nose can smell.

Autumnal chromomorphosis had begun and would proceed inexorably until everything was brown, gray, black… dead. Deviridation led into enluridation and enrubidation as the tiny molecules of chlorophyll retreated down into the veins of the leaves, exposing the sinister carotenoids and allowing the vile anthocyanins to advance and overwhelm. Apoprasinous birches went perixanthic, the maples went aderythric, and the galumph trees turned bright, almost fluorescent blue from trunk to tip.

The pines lost their oldest needles. My spaghetti trees lost their oldest noodles. Bouba and Kiki scurried to and fro, frenetically burying their nuts in the earth: The last of the acorns and the edible galumph nuts before they too turned blue and detonated at the slightest touch. The Sassanian sap-sucking gnomes labored intensely, siphoning all of that delicious chlorophyll from every deciduous leaf in sight, storing the verdant chemical in their subterrene lairs to feed on throughout the winter. Chlorophyllophagous gnomes were a hardy lot.

The goats had all gone to seed; soon the cats and the dogs would begin losing their leaves, too. Asters were blooming, mushrooms were surging out of the ground like engorged genitalia, and the Pausanian paucity of nature reached new heights. I awoke this morning to a light frost: A rime of white crystal covering the ground, my many windows, and even my outdoor toilet bowl.

Autumn had arrived, viciously sinking its teeth into every living thing—and it was far from done. Phloeohypny, xylemosomny, and cambiodormancy would come next. Each and every tree’s xylem would fall silent: Sap would no longer course through the cambium, nor flow through the phloem. The gnomes would play their wild music on their xylemphones and dance, dance, dance—before disappearing into their warrens for the winter.

Dendrosomnia would set in across the land. Once spectral catabasis was complete, hibernal phyllonecry and foliomortism would follow. The earth would be covered in an unending expanse of xerotic necrophylls—brown, gray, black… dead. The abiding fungi, deep in the soil, gathering their strength throughout summer, would now seize their chance for glory: They would reach out with their hyphae, probing and scouring the necrophylls for nutrients, expanding their mycelia to consume and envelop each dead and dying leaf. Mold would grow to encase the Earth. Nothing could stop it. Nothing could stand in its way.

The silithicine creatures would withdraw to their caverns to hibernate. And all the bugs would die, die, die, dieeee!

Brown, gray, black… dead.

I paused to assess the word-fried rice I had stirred and poured out onto the page. I frowned. “Some of these aren’t even real words!” I moaned. ‘Catabasis’? ‘Goats’!? Seriously, what the f———!?” I started erasing furiously. Once again, I tried to write too hard and sprained something.

Then I recalled the advice I gave to that jungle philosopher. I picked up some dead, moldy leaves and pensively ate them.



I checked my nose log. As I suspected, in 1997 I suffered the same problem. My nose usage was up 6% this year, just as it was then. Even though it’s my nose, I am far from an expert in rhinology, rhinometry, or even rhinonomy, so I was at a loss to explain my excess nosing as of late. But the data didn’t lie: At this rate, unless I put a stop to it, I would soon be breathing so fast and hard that I would use up all the Earth’s oxygen within 717,000 years. There was only one potential limiting factor: The possibility that my metabolic rate would rise until my core temperature surpassed the combustion point of human tissue. So, I had a choice: Die of suffocation in 717,000 years or die of my own autoimmolation in 81,800. Either possibility was a tough future to come to grips with.

I snuffled abruptly and then tried holding my breath, in a desperate effort to not die in 717,000 years. Unfortunately, my breath wouldn’t fit in my tiny, tyrannosaurus-like arms; after not even a minute, I spilled it all over the floor. Gasping and floundering around on the floor like a gaffed carp seemed like an appropriate response, so I commenced at once. Connecting the dots, I concluded those Sassanian sap-sucking gnomes were behind not only the dying trees but also my breathing problems. I cursed them aloud between gasps and sputters. “Assassins! Sassanian assassins! Rarrrgh—!!”

My big blonde little huzzey-muffet, hearing the commotion (and the floundering), turned to watch me with the same confusion and consternation I had come to know and love. Becasue knew better than to interrupt me in my hyperventilatory imprecations, so I was able to continue, unabated and unmolested, until I ran out of breath again. Running out of breath while cursing gnomes who’re making you hold your breath after making you breathe too much was quite the quandary, so around I went for another round.

Time passed, other things happened, Becasue left, and I regained my aplomb and some of my mental wherewithal.

“Write harder!” I scolded myself after I banished all the sap-sucking gnomes from my alveoli. I picked up my blogging pen. Hopefully I wouldn’t gouge a hole in my monitor this time.



The missing Plan H revealed itself this week. It was only 12½ years late. I was cleaning the hundreds of pounds of moldy nuts out of my pantry (damn those nut-hiding squirrels!) when I chanced upon it. It was resting gently in a crevice behind a barrel of Chef Boyardee mini beef ravioli. It was still legible, despite all these years and the untold horrors that had unfolded all around it. It was even still plan-shaped.

I read it over carefully—once, twice. It was good. It was daring. It even had a possibility of success had I executed it, back when I needed it, against those infernal papists inhabiting Bouillabaisse Boulevard. (And for me, that’s saying something!) Alas, 12½ years later, it was fully obsolete. Wholly outdated. More worthless than a dead wizzle-nipf found shriveled and desiccated in an old cellar.

But those papists had long since gotten sick of dealing with me (and my spurious list of popes) and moved on. I also was reasonably confident that Pope Joey “Rats” Rat-zinger was no longer hiding in my bushes waiting to garrote me in my sleep… but one could never be too sure.

Unlike Preparation H, Plan H did not involve my ass (or anyone else’s). But that wouldn’t stop those Sassanian gnomes from assassinating me, nor would it stop the new pope—who took the name of the saint from Assisi no less!—from finishing the job that Joey Rats could not. There was way too much ass in play this week. What to do, what to do?

I buttered a bagel, toasted it afterward, and munched on it contemplatively. Bagels always calm me down. Bagels are soothing. Bagels are relaxing—especially when stuffed with Xanax. I frowned again: But I still wasn’t sure what to do with Plan H. Not only was the poor thing obsolete, but being trapped behind that barrel of mini beef ravioli for 12½ years had left it traumatized and catatonic. What to do, what to do? My mind raced in circles. Centrifugal forces flung brain cells out my ears. A lone surviving neuron tried to coax me to flop around on the floor like a gaffed carp once more, but Becasue would brook none of that again—I had already spent enough time crazy-crazying this week, she told me. If I had a drill handy, I would have given that delinquent brain cell a good trepanning to teach it a lesson.

I continued munching on my buttery, Xanaxy bagel. My big redheaded little huzzey-muffet continued munching on her own bagel. I wondered if the autumn temperatures had anything to do with her chromomorphosis too. Then something shiny and puffy distracted me and I lost my train of thought.

Bagel munching at an end, dessert prepared, served, and devoured voraciously, I rose from the table and fed Plan H through my paper shredder with solemn, almost ritualistic finality. If any papists had been around, I would’ve asked them to perform the last rites for that daring little plan.



Daily oblations to a discalceated Chloë Moretz notwithstanding, my complete ignorance of rhinonomy caused me to misname my nose this morning—another unhappy mishap. The meandering mess of word soup that preceded this unfortunate mishappenstance, meandering its way through the entire week like a drunken glorpf-snake in search of an estral wizzle-nipf to schtupp, could unfortunately not be blamed.

Adding to my unfortunes, my Snoodabaker had a flat tire and the only spare tire I could locate was the one encircling my caprine form.

“Well, that ends the week on a low note,” I muttered as I picked up my blogging pen again. And then the tip broke.