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And the rest was history

Revised for February 12, 2023.

Way back in 1999, I toyed with the idea of taking up tree farming, but then I learned that bananas don’t grow on trees, so lost interest. (All I wanted was an unlimited supply of bananas.) So I decided to take up a lot of space and other people’s time instead. And that’s when I decided to take up blogging. And the rest is history.

Sometime in 1998, I had taken up a hobby as an inventor. My tachyonic antitelephone was a bust, and whereas the square chickens I bred would have made factory farming 125% more efficient, animal rights activists set my barn on fire, then my hair, so I went back to the drawing board again. Finally, with nothing more than a child’s Spirograph to entertain me, and a bunch of paper clips and old fuses lying around, I invented the Historiograph: A device that would condemn us not only to repeat history, but to do so in an endless, spiraling loop.

Francis Fukayama would be angry but George Santayana would be proud—if history hadn’t already put him in the ground. Indeed, my Historiograph was put to good use over the next two decades. I returned to taking up space, time, and air. And the rest is history.

More recently, the rubbish-stuffed cream cartons I had deposited all around town were taking up plenty of space, too. I smiled with satisfaction. Soon, I would fill the whole world with rubbish-stuffed cartons of all shapes and sizes—cream cartons, soda bottles, milk jugs, and even oil barrels. Soon. Hundreds of years in the future, people could and would use their tachyonic antitelephones to call me and ask, “Why, Pnårp? Why did you do it?” I’d merely reply with vulgar pepperoni noises and hang up.

And the rest would be history.

Previously, in 1997, I had taken up the Internet for the first time. Neither Lorne Green nor Lorna Doone (neither the person nor the cookie) could stop me. The Internet was mine. There were no tweeting birds or tooting mastodons back then, no book full of my face, not even a real smirch engine to find all of the suppurthine splendippity one can find on the modern Internet. Back then, connecting to the Internet entailed emitting loud, obnoxious squeaks and hisses into one’s telephone, then jamming the handset into the back of one’s computer before it became confused and disconnected itself. That was followed by the arduous affair of manually pushing all the electrons up the wire (uphill, both ways), then frantically trying to pull them back down, laden down with the latest “e-mail,” “web site,” or “news moop” data. Much like ox-drawn ploughs and horse-drawn carriages of yore, some early protocols even involved live gophers doing the pulling and pushing. I moved on from those after I got my hand bit off by an angry rodent.

Two years would pass before I blogged my way head-first onto that “world wide web,” but the signs were evident I would do so even in ’97. That year, the Spice Girls had released Spiceworld, gnomes had stolen 17.3 million $1 bills from a bank in North Carolina, and a pair of mad British scientists had proven that the blithering madness creeping into my life was the same as the madness of cows. I had taken to the Internet like blowflies to a deliciously putrescing corpse, and soon I would take the Internet in a logorrheic storm.

And the rest is history.

Before that, in 1996, I had been twenty-six years old and still too young to run for president. So instead I spent the year as a door-to-door clock salesman. Whatever merchandise I didn’t sell, I ate. (This is why, to this day, I make a lot of ticking noises.)

The cat-canning plant opened that year but the hiring manager told me—in no uncertain terms—to come back in exactly 4,004 days. I marked my calendar and went away. That seemed like a long time to wait for an opening, so I went downtown and made a few of my own openings in the various walls and storefronts until a policeman took my hammer and chisel away. I hadn’t yet even heard of the Internet in ’96 but knew I would one day become a blogger. If only the mixotrophs living in my nose at the time would let me, that is—and they would not. Years would have to pass before I discovered a cure for those nasal interlopers infesting my olfactory bulb, applied the cure, and freed myself from those little, manganese-devouring fiends. My nose freed (and my face freed of my nose), I was then able to take up blogging.

And the rest is history.

Earlier, in 1995, I had become quite confused when I picked up the telephone one June morning and on the other end of the line, it was me calling myself from the year 2025. I told me myself, quite stridently, “Beware of the gnomes! They’re coming for you in ten years!” But I didn’t listen. I never listen to myself. I also tried to warn myself about the gnutes and gnizzles, the ghasts and gugs, and even the next crop of mixotrophs that would take up residence in my upper left eyelashes and lower left nostrils. But I didn’t listen. I never listen to myself.

And the rest is history.

All the way back in 1975, I had been but a Pnårpling. In 1965 I was −5 years old. And in 1955, I wasn’t even someone’s bad idea yet. But I soon would be.

And the rest is history.

While taking a stroll down Wiggensworth Street yesterday, humming “Dick Bicycle” to myself, Murderdeathcock’s latest hit featuring Nicki Minaj, I suddenly became alarmed and perturbed. It wasn’t the open manhole I nearly fell down nor the bus that I nearly blundered into. It was my nose. The mixotrophs where mixing it up inside my nose again. The memory of that day back in 1995 when I’d been warned burbled up to the top of my smooth brain. Again I regretted not listening to myself.

I stopped humming and sneezed, but other than startling the nearest labradoodle, this accomplished nothing. The little buggers were mixin’ it up in there, partying like it was 1995±4. I forced out another sneeze. This one startled the bus, which took flight, yet still my nose remained the playground of myriad microscopic mixotrophs.

I glanced around helplessly, first left, then right, then sploughpt. I was coming off the court fully drenched. My eyes darted to and fro, then landed on a solution: A particularly rough and gnarly telephone pole—one covered in hundreds of bent nails, tacks, and staples, remnants of yard-sale and lost-dog flyers long-departed. I took a couple steps back and charged the pole, head-on and nose-first.

Amidst reconsidering all those hyphens, I bounced off the pole with a squickening thunk! A small crowd of person–things gathered around and watched; concerned whispers and malodorous smells passed between them. Turning and turning in the widening gyre, I was even about to turn around and beat my chest. I bounced off the telephone pole again. Those mixotrophs sure put up a good fight, much like those nasal demons I’d carelessly insufflated back in 1990. I bounced back a third time. Someone was going to need a new pair of dormfuddies by the time this was done—but not those luddlanders. “Quoii-ii-ii-i-i-i!” I shrieked like an overcaffeinated Athabascan and charged a final time…

Becasue and I finally plucked the last of those staples out of my forehead this morning. I was grumpy and grumbling sullenly, as I am wont to do on most mornings ending in 11:59 a.m.  “Those pig-butchering dog-pushers… those dog-pushing pig-butchers…”

I took another bite of my invidious flobcumber casserole and grimaced. The blood-dimmed tide was loosed and the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity, so they can get on their f———ing keyboards and make me the bad guy.

And what of 1999, you ask? I later learned that not only do bananas not grow on trees, but neither do coconuts; and, whereas apples do, pineapples do not. Yet pines are trees (and delicious). These small facts—if they can be called “facts” at all—laid me up in bed for 2½ weeks, while my strobilaceous mind sorted through it all. I emerged from the grip of fetid melancholia after a dream revealed to me that my true calling in life was opening a dog health spa.

Six weeks later, Shiatsu for Your Shih Tzu débuted at the corner of Hobbyhorse Lane and Hoboken Street. And the rest is history.

[Feetnote: Again I want to take a moment to assure my readers that this week’s blog entry was written by the real Pnårp and not an A.I. version of myself. Alas I have nine more fingers on my left hand than I did last week, so you probably won’t believe me.]