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Shaken and stir crazy

Swept on January 21, 2024.

With Easter fast approaching like a rabid rabbit out of Hell, and the white shit falling from the sky showing no sign of ceasing, I resigned myself to the grim reality that I would probably die under 34′ of snow. I would freeze to death. I would become a veritable Pnårpcicle. Trillions of angry, smirking snowflakes would suffocate me to death. I would be smothered under their fluffy, icy scrumptiousness. Come spring, all that would remain of me would be my perfectly preserved corpse. As they melted away to oblivion, the snowflakes would laugh triumphantly—but still they would melt. And they would die. The crows would have the last laugh: They would feast on my remains.

The snow fell. The days passed. Easter drew yet closer: Like a rabid rabbit rapidly hippity-hopping straight out of Hell. With my burnt and tattered Santa Claus suit in the shop, I recalled how I had nothing to wear on Christmas. Now, with my bunny suit frozen stiff under 34′ of snow, would I also have to spend Easter wandering the streets and boulevards naked? Only time would tell.

But my ceiling clock was tight-lipped. He would tell me nothing. Becasue, 5½-foot-tall girl–chipmunk that she is, used her expert tunnelling abilities to dig herself out of the 34′ of snow on Tuesday, leaving me behind—alone to die—in my palatial abode buried under all this snow. She even took her new shoes and those resplendent toes with her! The gnomes withdrew behind the wainscoting and refused to come out. Nurdlebutt was hiding in a mousehole. And that pangolin nesting in my dishwasher had moved to Florida.

The homing pigeon I trained to pluck money out of people’s hands and bring it back to me probably wasn’t coming back this time, either. Everyone had abandoned me to my snowy fate.

By Wednesday, the snowplows gave up on Bouillabaisse Boulevard. Word was, the whole lot of them lit out for Florida, too. More friggin’ snow fell and even the weathermen couldn’t predict when it would end. I briefly considered moving to Florida myself, but then I would become Florida Man… and that’s not a fate to wish on anyone!

Although it was entirely horrible, the news wasn’t entirely terrible. Last year, I did learn one lesson: Stock up on food and other provisions like it’s goin’ out of style. And I did! I wouldn’t be eating rediscovered burritos this time around, no sir! My pantries were stuffed with enough food to last until 2025, enough toilet paper to last until 2065, and enough toothbrushes to last until 2161. The neighborhood may again be completely bereft of squirrels—but my endless freezers were now full of endless meat!

Now if only I had something to do while trapped indoors before I went all shaken and stir crazy.



I did some laundry but then ran out of dirty clothes, so I jumped in the washing machine myself and went, “Whee, whee, whee-whee-wheeeeee!!” I did some vacuuming and sucked up all the dust, dust mites, and broken doorknobs around my 157 rooms, but then ran out of broken doorknobs, so I turned the vacuum cleaner on myself. I decided that my plain, white plaster walls needed some decorating, so I fetched my sharpest set of Sharpies and went to town.

I spent half an hour opening and closing the door to my refrigerator to see if the contents changed at any point on their own. (They did not.) I spent the second half of that interminable hour doing the same with the door to my defrigerator. (That’s how I found that casserole suddenly on Thursday.) Then I spent the third half of that horrible, never-ending hour wondering if it would ever end. (It would not.)

Ultimately, I sat down in my computering chair and started spinning madly while squealing, “Pwee, pwee, pwee, pwee-diddle-diddle dee!” If only that pangolin could see me now, I was sure he would disapprove heartily. But I wouldn’t care—in fact, his approbrium would only further egg me on. Emboldened, I would go on to slay ten thousand gnomes, line the streets with their crucified corpses, and declare myself Emperor of Molvanîa. I spun faster and pweed louder.

Boredom even with that puerile diversion at last overtook me. My rotating in place came to a halt. The tenth half of that suppurthine hour had begun. I stared up at the ceiling, mouth agape and frog-like. Perhaps I could, Mulder-like, entertain myself by flicking all my pencils at that ceiling. No, I thought to myself, That’s how you blinded yourself in both eyes last month. (I got better.)

I fidgeted. I cast about. I rearranged papers on my desk, turning them upside down, then right-side up again. I tried to brush some errant hairs off my desk but failed. They wouldn’t budge. This was simply too much. I gave up. Boredom won. Ennui enveloped me. I resorted to plucking errant hairs out of my ears, but even that was too much. I began twickling out a ballad about the return of the screaming stars and Chloë Moretz wearing nothing but her diaeresis. Then I turned the vacuum cleaner on myself again.



After cleaning up that sticky mess, I ambled downstairs. I looked out my over-sink window at the snow falling. It was still falling. And falling. All those snowflakes were still grinning their rictus grins at me—and the pale, shadowy entities that live beneath the snow were gathering their forces to attack me once it melted. I was sure of it. My eyebulbs narrowed. My brow furrowed. My nose bellowed. I snorted. I harrumphed. I carpled. I even cranched a might bit.

Truly I had not seen so much white powder flying through the air since my previous life in a.d. 79 as a street-sweeper in Pompeii. That had been good, honest work too. The streets had never looked so perfect as when I had swept them. And then that damnable volcano blew.