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Corn gone bacon and eggs

Consterned on September 3, 2023.

The fiendish duo reminded me of Karl Winerboffer and Charlie Witherspoonworth. Ol’ Charlie was known as “Fwappity-Do-Da” to his friends and enemies alike (but was sometimes called “Yoobie Doobie Doo” by his two frenemies from Yorba Linda and Yerba Buena). And Winerboffer was simply known as a man who boffed wieners. A third miscreant from Pittsburgh (or was it Peoria?) orbited languidly around them. He reminded me of Roy G. Biv, the most colorful man alive dead—he wasn’t an awful poet, nor a good one, and he wasn’t colorful, and in fact he shared nothing at all in common with the insurrectable Mr. Biv—but he reminded me of the old coot nonetheless. Perhaps it was because their names shared not a single letter in common. These three misdemeanants had recently set themselves the goal of stealing all the pink slime from the local McGonigle’s restaurant. On Monday, they had pulled off the heist swimmingly.

A brouhaha had broken out two days later when the Haha Brewery on Zubenelgenubi Street had shut down with no warning. The scuttlebutt was someone had scuttled their buttocks in the mash, but other rumors persisted: The surplus toads from the toad farm on Goading Road had been quietly disposed of in the fermentation tanks, contaminating everything. Or a horde of stumblebums had broken out of the stumblebum stables on Wiggensworth Street and purloined all the copper tubing. Or even a snollygoster of bowyangs had absquatulated all the collywobbles, sparged all the lautered wort, and gongoozled the fartleks. But I knew the truth: It was gnomes.

One way or another, one thing was assured: People still wouldn’t switch back to Bud Light.

The onordaceous bugbears spread their thick, aliphatic paternostering drool across their fast food with gusto and glee. McGonigle’s, robbed of their pink slime, was done for. Not even Wendy’s was spared. Heinz catsup dribbled from their gaping maws as those bugbears lapped up the last bits of it. The Hammurderer had now also been implicated in the Great Pink Slime Heist of ’23—the inside man in the whole affair—but that still didn’t explain how those bugbears ground up all those toads into a fine pink mist and fed them into those horses’ copper-plated butts.

I was fast asleep throughout all this, sleeping off a six-week bender which I had somehow squeezed into a mere three days. It was Thursday, give or take a week. While I slept, my eyes darted back and forth under their lids like overstimulated Javan stink badgers. I was “asleep” but my brain still teased and tormented me with images and sounds and smells and gnomes. Electrons rippled back and forth across the vigintillions of connections between the cells that made up the gooey mass squeezed inside my skull—which some people called a “brain” but which I knew was really just a pile of horse mucus.

In this particularly efflubious dream, I danced an ecstatic victory dance—all the gnomes, the world over, had been vanquished—conquered and subjugated—and we celebrated. Everyone celebrated. Decillions of tiny little pointed hats, the spoils of war, were amassed in one giant pile outside the capital, then set ablaze to complete our triumph.

Amara La Negra’s “What a Bam Bam” blared in the background and I hummed along in a wordless, mouthless mumble. (My mouth had been replaced with a supernumerary nose.) Something burbled. I burbled back—but it sounded like a man blowing his nose in stereo. There were no gnomes. A single gnome-sized pair of boots rested in the pallid light, but the gnome had departed. Something burbled louder. That Javan stink badger took off faster than you can say “Cunnusburble.” (And I say that often.)

The burbling put me in mind of a gagging horse trying to whinny. Or maybe a truck’s engine drowning in pink slime. (Whereas my dear old Mamårp always called me a good surmiser, I was never good at differentiating burbling from babbling, blorpling, or bazooking.) The music blared louder; still I danced that frenetic and Pnårpy dance. Someone kicked me in the face again—it wasn’t a barefoot Uma Thurman but this was good enough. The merry burbling slowly took on a darker, baleful note. Something was now wrong. Very wrong. I stopped dancing.

It was then that a giant headless chicken rose over the horizon. It spread its wings and began to cluck—

I awoke shrieking and babbling, leapt from my bed, and rushed to the window. Was the world still out there? Was the grass still green, the sky still blue, and the squirrels a delightful shade of gray?

Songbirds were chirping merrily and birds of prey were circling ominously: They searched for mice to swoop down upon, rend limb from limb, and devour still struggling and half-alive. Cars passed by on my delightfully zany street named for French fish soup: Men and women off to whatever it was ordinary men and women do each day—concepts utterly alien to an aloof doofus like yours truly. Garbage trucks prowled the street and the garbage men scurried about, faithfully performing their sacred job of spilling trashcans all over the place and adding to the local litter population. Seagulls followed them, circling equally ominously: They searched for their own prey, an errant French fry or a blot of pink slime, perhaps—or an unhatted head to shit upon.

No chickens were in view, let alone headless ones.

I eased back from the window, relief washing over me like a mild summer rain of seagull droppings. I unconsciously adjusted my fez (the only thing I wear to bed—to shield myself against just such a rainstorm). The world appeared to be—at least for a moment—exactly as it should be. It was still out there and it was still the proper colors. It had not in fact been devoured by Mike the Headless Chicken.

It was 7:07 a.m.  (My clocks tirelessly work together to tell me stuff like this. I generally trust them but sometimes… one can never be too sure. I peered back out the window and observed the Sun. The Sun was up, in the right position for a Friday morning at 7:07 a.m., and after staring long enough to burn holes in my corneas, I knew it was true: It was truly 7:07 a.m.)

Becasue was already downstairs in the kitchen cooking up a breakfast of corn: Cornmeal pancakes, cornbread toast, and even corn-wrapped bacon and corn-stuffed eggs. Corn gone wonderfully right for a change. I ambled down the stairs, stumbled over some errant fnords, unleashed ungodly curses upon them for their intransigence, and bumbled my way to the kitchen table.

“What were y’all shrieking about up there? Gnomes in your underpants again?”

My eyebulbs widened. I stifled a consterned yerk. “There are gnomes in my underpants!?”

Becasue shot me a quizzical look—mildly irritated, but not enough to earn me another bootprint on my bare buttocks. At least not yet. But it was only 2½ minutes past 7:07 a.m.; there was plenty of life left in this Friday. “Well, I don’t know—it’s you who was doing all that shrieking—not me!”

“—And babbling!” I added helpfully. My huzzey-muffet returned to stirring the eggcorns. Indeed that goat-leather dress did make her butt look big—wondrously big! But that was neither here nor there now—nor was the dress I stitched together for her from all those goat pelts. “Don’t forget babbling!”

We sat and we noshed. I ate every single corny pancake, every slice of cornful toast, and every last kernel of that bacon and those eggs. Then I ate Becasue. Then we returned upstairs and counted our undergarments to ensure there truly were no gnomes in the underpants drawer. All our underwear was there, including my favorite pair of argyle dormfuddies. We both breathed a sigh of relief. It was 11:11 a.m.

Things had come complete circle by Sunday—and my own squarish head could be thanked for that. Those misdadigers who had stolen all our pink slime had been apprehended and forced to disgorge the purloined pink slime. McGonigle’s could resume making quality American hamburgers for us stooges to consume once again. The Haha Brewery had reopened—a thorough washing of all their equipment with the finest buttwash (and the discovery and removal of six tons of pink slime hidden in their brew tanks) had done the trick. And Mike the Headless Chicken had actually died in 1947, so he wouldn’t be harrying me in my dreams any more.

It really had truly been, indeed, an awesomely squaliaggratitious week.

Things would keep going awry, and chickens would keep losing their heads. But mine was firmly attached so I knew I wouldn’t lose it again. My corneas were a different story, but that was neither here nor there now—nor was that supernumerary nose anymore, not since I had slammed it in a car door on Saturday and it went running off with my corneas.