Val's Galore

Table of Contents

January 2, 2006
December 20, 2005
December 14, 2005
November 29, 2005
November 21, 2005
November 14, 2005
October 26, 2005
October 17, 2005
October 5, 2005
September 26, 2005
September 19, 2005
September 12, 2005
September 5, 2005
August 30, 2005
August 24, 2005
August 15, 2005
August 8, 2005
July 26, 2005:
July 18, 2005:
July 6, 2005:
July 12, 2005:
June 27, 2005:
June 23, 2005:

Stories of the Week

           If you were not around for the days of the Public Entertainment Relations Committee and the “Story of the Week,” you weren’t missing out on much.
           But I’ll explain anyways.  Essentially, what happened was that I came into the possession of a certain electric typewriter, and became rather enamored of it.  The monstrous piece of equipment inspired me to all sorts of creative heights, eventually leading to a brief period in which I typed up a story every week and hung it on my bedroom door.  I even had a suggestion box for my housemates to propose story ideas.  (They rarely did, the ne’er-do-wells!)  I did thus under the title of President of the Public Entertainment Relations Committee (PERC), and I remained the chair of that committee for entirely too long of a period around the year 1997. 
          You should probably consider yourself lucky that you avoided my experiments in entertainment for so long.  But not any more!  Stories of the Week are coming to a website near you!  And because I don’t have anything better to do, I am going to once again present them in a weekly format!  Look for an exciting new installment every Monday (or thereabouts). 
           Enjoy these stories!  They are full of inside jokes about my pets (most of whom are deceased) and demented, nascent Valerie-humor.
           Look!  I’m even going to make a
suggestion box!  Just like in old days!
           Perhaps eventually I'll even get around to writing new SoW's and then it'll really be a treat!  But that won't be for a while.

The current story

An original newly written SoW!  This will be the last for a while...unless I get really inspired or someone gives me a prompt!  HINT, HINT, HINT!

January 2, 2006
The Lord of the Fleas
<>Do you remember the story of Princess, the princess who eventually got adopted by a nice old lady from Boston, but only after giving an entire kingdom fleas?
     Well, this is the story of one of those fleas.
     After having been on a dog of royal blood, and having drunk some of that royal blood, and now having some of that royal blood within him, he thus was convinced he was of royal blood.
      "Heark and bow down to me," he shouted imperiously as soon as his newfound lineage occurred to him.  But as he was speaking in his puny flea-voice, no one noticed him, except one female flea nearby who was very impressed by status.
       "Oh pray my lord, art thou royalty?" the flea-ette queried.
        "Verily, I am," announced the flea.  “Behold my glory and bequeath upon me much honor and gifts!”
        “But pray, my lord, what is thy station?” continued the canny flea-ette. And there, the flea was stumped.
        He’d never actually been royalty before, and did not have the faintest notion what his title should be.  But one word that stuck in his head, probably because the flea-ette kept saying it, was “lord.”  “Lord!  I am Lord F’leappe of Canida!  Descend to thy unworthy knees!”
        Oooh.  F’leappe’s royal title gave the flea-ette shivers, she was so impressed.  Actually, Lord F’leappe was pretty impressed, too.  Before anyone knew it, the two fleas had joined forces and produced 10 little larvae, who, because of the politics of seated titles, were also lords.
        Within just a few weeks, these larvae had pupated and turned into full grown fleas, a-leaping all over the place. The only reason I know this story, is because on the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave them to me, and man, do they itch!

"Back issues"

December 20, 2005
Four Poems

Flowers in the Sun

I look out the window and what do I see?
Red and yellow flowers, staring back at me!
They turn their heads around and round,
I don’t know why; I don’t know how.
I fear this poem doesn’t rhyme, and I fear it’s ending time.
Poem Number 2
I have written Poem One…
It’s called “Flowers in the Sun.”
This one, then, is Number Two…
Nothing’s staring back at you.
Nothing’s turning round and round,
Nothing’s planted in the ground…
This one rhymed a little better,
But the ending doesn’t!
Poem Number 3
Why do I keep writing poems?
I don’t knowems!
Poem Number 4
I won’t write them any more!

December 12, 2005
The Visually Impaired Potato

        “I’m not blind, I’m visually impaired,” complained Ida for the seventeenth time this week.  You see, Ida was a visually impaired potato.  Her full name was Ida Hoe, named after her birth state—as were all the other potatoes, which made it very hard to tell them apart.  But Ida was easy to recognize because she had no eyes.
        In fact, when the cook was about to prepare her for dinner, she was thrown out the window because she looked deformed and might have salmonella or something.  When it rained that night, Ida sank into the ground outside the kitchen and was soon forgotten.  That is, until she began flowering.  Her leaves sprouted up all over the place, until finally she was dug up by an irritated gardener.
        And what to her wondering eyes should appear – that’s right!  She had eyes now! – but the gardener’s face!  It was so ugly that Ida almost wished she still couldn’t see.  And having eyes turned out to be nothing but a nuisance. I mean, she could have gotten into Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not Museum as a potato without eyes, but now she was just another average Ida Hoe.
        The moral of this story is: Even if you are blind, having no eyes makes you more unique and thus more special and thus way cooler than someone with eyes.
        It could also be: Keep Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not Museum in mind before rashly growing eyes all over your body.
        On the other hand, a human being with eyes all over their body would probably get into Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not Museum with ease.
        The real moral of this story is: Look before you leap.  Provided you have the eyes to help you gauge the effect your leap will have.
The end.

November 29, 2005
It Came From Behind the Medicine Cabinet
On a cold, creepy night, by the light of the moon,
I heard a loud “creeeeaak” coming from the bathroom.
I reached for my gun, my eyes wide with fear.
“I know folks have to pee, but they can’t do it here!”
Down the dark hallway I stealthily crept,
And into the bathroom I valiantly leapt.
“All right!  Hands up!” I shrieked at the air,
But when I looked ‘round, nobody was there.
I sheepishly turned to go back to bed,
When – “plop!” – Something landed on top of my head!
I looked up with a gasp, and what did I see?
A big clump of mildew, staring at me!
“Zowie!” I shouted.  “Don’t that just beat all!”
And unloaded a clip in the thing on the wall.
It fell to the floor, and I knew it was dead,
So I flushed it down the toilet and went back to bed.

I have run out of stories and will now commence telling ballads.

November 21, 2005
Clamity Jane

I’m here to tell you all a tale
Of a clam who beat a mighty whale.
She made the fastest pearls in the West.
At shooting, she was very best.
In Wild-Sea shows she did achieve fame,
And Clamity Jane was her name.
Once she was visited by a snail,
Whose shell was cracked and face was pale.
“Oh, it’s awful!” the snail cried.
“A whale’s coming; we all must hide!”
Soon came the dreadful whale sound.
The snail hid but Jane held her ground.
The whale’s breath turned Jane’s shell yellow,
As he said to her with a mighty bellow,
“Move aside, you little girl!”
That’s when Jane let loose her pearl.
It struck the whale in the eye,
And he made an awful cry.
The snail yelled, “Hip, hip, hooray!”
As the whale swam, in tears, away.
And since, all whales avoid the pain,
Of the well thrown pearls of Clamity Jane.

November 14, 2005
The Paisley Ribbon

         Once upon a time, a certain John Goodman fell in love with a certain Mary Culvert.  Mary was very beautiful in every way, very clever in every way, and very fashionable in every way—except one.  She always always always wore a certain disgusting green paisley ribbon around her neck.
        One day John got up the courage to ask her, “Why do you always wear that paisley ribbon?  It bugs me.”
        Instead of getting mad, Mary laughed and said, “Now is not the time for you to know, but if you marry me, maybe you’ll find out.”  A master of subtlety, that Mary.
        So John and Mary had a wedding, and everything went perfectly, except that when John saw Mary in her wedding dress with the paisley ribbon on her neck, he almost became a runaway groom.  And instead of saying, “I do,” he said, “Why does she always have to wear that paisley ribbon?  It irritates me!”
        “Excuse me?” said the reverend.
        “Oh,” said John, “I mean, I do.”  And John and Mary were married.
        That night, John asked, “Now that we’re married, can you take off that paisley ribbon?”  He added, “It annoys me.”
        “Oh,” Mary exclaimed.  “I’d nearly forgotten about it.  Well, now isn’t the time for you to know, but maybe if you take me to Aruba for our honeymoon, it will be.”
        So John took Mary to Aruba (and Hawaii for good measure), and Mary wore her green paisley ribbon all the time, even with her red plaid swimsuit.
        When the couple was back in Massachusetts, John asked, “So, I took you to Aruba (and Hawaii for good measure), like I promised…can you please take off that paisley ribbon?  It really peeves me.”
        “A-ha!” laughed Mary.  “Now is not the time, but maybe if you bequeath me all your assets, it will be.”
        John rolled his eyes and sat down to revise his weill.
        Now, about this time, Mary fell ill with pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.  At least, she said she had pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis; John rather thought she had a chest cold.
        “I’m…dy…ing,” Mary commenced to gasp.  “Please…rub…Vick’s…Vap-O-Rub…on…my…throat.”
        John rolled his eyes AND sighed, and tried to rub Vick’s Vap-O-Rub on Mary’s throat.  “Mary!” He finally exclaimed.  “I’m slathering Vap-O-Rub all over your paisley ribbon.  It’s disgusting.  Can I please remove it?  And what’s your reason for always wearing it, anyway?”
        “Well…” Mary gasped, “seeing as…I…probably…won’t…live…’til…to…morrow…you can take it off.”
        “Wahooo!” John rejoiced.  And he began to remove the hideous paisley ribbon.  It was quite a strange little item, because it wasn’t tied at all!  It was just a solid band all the wa around her neck.  So John got out the scissors and gingerly began snipping away at the paisley ribbon.  As the last frail thread was severed and the ribbon fluttered to the floor…his head fell off.
        “Hmmph,” said Mary.  “Serves your right for being so nosy.”  Then she took herself for a night on the town and had a delightful time with all of the assets that John had so conveniently bequeathed her.

October 26, 2005
The Encephalitic Cephalopod:
A story that reminds the reader to never stick pencils up one’s nose

        Once there was this cephalopod.  Now, many people think that cephalopods are a class of mollusks including the squids, cuttlefishes, and octopuses, that have a tubular siphon under the head, a group of muscular arms around the front of the head which are usually furnished with suckers, highly developed eyes, and usually a bag of inky fluid which can be ejected for defense or concealment. 
            But nope!  This cephalopod was a true cephalopod.  As you well know, this class’ name is derived from the Greek words kephale, meaning ‘head’ and pous, meaning ‘foot.’  So a cephalopod would naturally have its heads on its foot.  And this one – Seth was his name – did.
            As you can imagine, walking on your heads all day would probably begin to hurt a little.  Soon Seth came down with encephalitis, and he needed a brain transplant.  So he went to the Cephalopod Brain Transplantation Clinic in Akron, and was examined by two doctors, Dr. Binkle and Dr. George, at two separate times.  But I won’t go into that.  Dr. George tried very hard on the day of the surgery to find Seth a good new brain, and finally he succeeded.  But Seth had eight brains, one for each head, you know, seven of which were still unaccounted for. 
            “Hey,” said Dr. George.  “I’ll just give him one brain, and eight legs to make up for it.”  So he did.  When Seth gave birth – oops!  I guess he wasn’t Seth after all – he (or she) had seventeen silly smiling cephalopods named Stephanie, Susan, Steve, Stanly, Sarah, Sabrina, Sue, Sally, Sarabi, Skunk, Sierra, Sophia, Sparky, Salvador, Serena, Santa Ana, and Joy.  By a miracle of genetics, they each had only one brain and eight legs, and now you know why cephalopods are a class of mollusks including the squids, cuttlefishes, and octopuses that have a tubular siphon under the head, a group of muscular arms around the front of the head which are usually furnished with suckers, highly developed eyes, and usually a bag of inky fluid which can be ejected for defense or concealment. 
        And now you also know why you should never stick pencils up your nose.

 October 17, 2005
How the Porcupine Got Its Spleen

   If you look out the window, there is a chance that you will see a family of porcupines passing by.  You might notice that they are all slightly different in size, color, number of quills, dental condition, etc.  But there are two things that they all have in common—a spleen, and a head.
    Twenty years ago, porcupines had no spleen, and likewise, no head, but that was very unfortunate for them, because, as you have already been informed in Installment One, porcupines are vegetarians (except for small pieces of United States presidents added in for flavor (Eisenhower is quite tasty).  Without a spleen, a vegetarian often gets indigestion (which the pieces of the presidents helps to prevent).
    So, one day, Father Adam Porcupine decided to get himself a spleen.  At the Porcupine Spleen Transplantation Clinic in Akron, Mr. Porcupine was examined by two doctors (at two separate times, the reason for which you will find out later) named George Binkle and Binkle George.  They were clones of each other, and since, if they were exactly the same as each other, they would create a horrific paradox (or pair o’ docs!), they alternated being sane and insane.  While Dr. Binkle was perfectly normal, Dr. George was off the wall.  And vice versa.  So they finally agreed, through a long process of passing notes to each other and waiting until their mental conditions reversed, that they could give Mr. Porcupine a spleen.
    Now when Dr. Binkle originally cloned himself, his clone didn’t get quite as much brainpower.  On the day of the surgery, Dr. George, who was the sane one at the moment, accidentally gave Mr. Porcupine a head.  However, he also managed to give him a spleen, and the operation went off perfectly.
    Mr. Porcupine and Mrs. Porcupine, whose name was Dora, reproduced and formed (by some miracle of genetics) seventeen headed and spleened children named Ella, Finkie, Lorna, Polly, Dolly, Ralph, Newton, Karma, Doris, Manette, Portio, Horatio, Xena, Clarence, Tricia, Andena, and Lammie.  None of them were depraved mutants, which is very rare in porcupine circles, except for Manette, who went on to create hedgehogs.  So Ella, Finkie, Lorna, Polly, Dolly, Ralph, Newton, Karma, Doris, Portio, Horatio, Xena, Clarence, Tricia, Andena, and Lammie produced 86 more porcupines named Louisa.  Every Louisa had a spleen.

October 17, 2005
An inquiry into the fate of the rare Botswana wombat, genus Botswanolus, a species of mammal that disappeared suddenly without a trace and of whom no bodies were found, and about whom circulate many myths and stories including the one tested by this study, which states that the rare Botswana wombat was not really annihilated by the industrialization of its home country of Botswana, but that when it saw the future of its race was in danger, it merely evolved into a higher being, namely a certain black cat named Pepsi, who, not surprisingly, was influenced by her previous life as a wombat and retained some distinct characteristics such as a wombat-like name, Yombat, a certain yowling voice much like that of the thought-to-be extinct (but possibly not extinct) rare Botswana Wombat, a terrible skin condition known to the possibly (but not certainly) extinct rare Botswana wombats as flakiskinitis, and finally, a black coat similar in color and texture to that of the presumed (but not necessarily) extinct rare Botswana Wombat

            Research has indicated that the legend is not true.

October 5, 2005
The Venus Flytrap

    A long time ago, near the beginning of creation, all the plants and insects were making deals with each other.  A bug would sidle up to a plant and say, “Pssst…buddy!  I’ll help you reproduce by pollinating other plants.”
    And the plant would say, “Well, what’s the price?”
    And the bug would say, “You will be my food source.  I’ll eat your pollen and drink your nectar.”
    And it was a deal.
    But there was one plant who could not manage to make one.  Not a single bug sidled up to her and made an offer.  She had no smell, and her leaves were not very colorful, and none of the bugs wanted her.  She was the Venus flytrap.  Only then she was just known as the Venus flower.
    Eventually, after the Venus flower had spent a long time waiting, a fly ambled over, thinking, well, if she doesn’t smell as sickeningly sweet as those other flowers, maybe she tastes like garbage.
    So he made a deal.  “If you let me eat your nectar, I will help you reproduce.”
    But when the fly tasted her pollen and nectar, he discovered to his dismay that it tasted just as sugary as all those other flowers.
    “VVVVvvvvvvv,” he buzzed off angrily and decided not to help her reproduce.  After all, in his mind, she had tricked him.
    When the Venus flower heard about this, it was just the last straw.  A lifetime of disappointments had finally gotten to her.  She grew sour on the inside and began to produce a poison, so sweet smelling that it attracted all sorts of insects.  Even flies.  And to this day, she still gets revenge on that fly who didn’t keep his part of the bargain, but still ate part of her.  She eats them right back.

September 26, 2005
The Moody Barnacle

        If Barney were a dog, he would have been barking up the wrong tree.  But he wasn’t a dog, and so he was simply sticking to it; and the tree wasn’t a tree, per se, but a rather large sperm whale located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.  And since Barney had tenaciously attached himself to this rather large sperm whale, he was also located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.  Barney was a barnacle.
        Barnacles are not much for physical activity, and so they tend to cement themselves to a stationary point, build little shells around themselves, and stay there, occasionally waving their legs around for entertainment.  However, Barney, being a bit of a nonconformist as far as barnacles go, had attached himself to said sperm whale instead.  You see, he had taken a shine to the aforementioned cetacean—she was huge yet remarkably graceful, and she had the kind of personality - and teeth - that demanded respect.  Smitten with her beauty, Barney broke out his calcite and held on tight.  There was no other thing to do; he was in love!
        So in what way was Barney barking up the wrong tree?  Well, the whale herself did not share Barney’s feelings.  “Dude, get off me!” she would say.  “You’re impeding my hydrodynamics!”
        These kinds of insensitive statements drove Barney to despair.  But then he would contemplate her elegant flukes, or listen to her singing, and his heart would leap for joy again!  His emotional extremes led Barney to become, as the title of this story says, quite a moody barnacle.  Some of his planktonic friends observed his distress, raised their eyebrows (figuratively speaking—most of them didn’t even have eyes!), and said things like, “Barney, don’t you see?  You and that whale are never going to work out.  She’s just in a different class from you!”  Actually, she was in an entirely different phylum, but Barney didn’t let that stop him.
        For many years, Barney continued his one-sided love affair with the disinterested sperm whale, until one day the whale nearly beached herself on a large rock on the coast of Maine.  She survived and was, in fact, none the worse for wear, but in the collision, Barney was dislodged from his one true love!  The whale vanished into the distance, and Barney spent the next week stumbling around the rock in a daze, calling out his lost love’s name.  Eventually he blundered shell-first into another barnacle, who was firmly attached to the rock as most barnacles are.
        “Hello, big boy,” said the other barnacle (yep, she was female), and that’s all it took for Barney to realize his true destiny.  He and the other barnacle spent the remainders of their lives clinging to each other happily and never moving from their fixed location on the coast of Maine.
        Barney hardly ever even thought about his fling with the freewheeling whale, who, even though the absence of the drag-producing barnacle caused her to more frequently run into rocks at top speed, ended up being pretty happy on her own.

The moral of this story is: all’s whale that ends whale.

September 19, 2005
Mr. Frank and the Giraffe

            Mr. Frank was lost in the African savanna.  He had not had any water for a day and a half, and he was ready to try anything to get some.  Through the haze of mirages and steam rising from the early morning dung, he saw a herd of giraffes.  He crawled toward them in the hope of finding a water hole.  When he neared the herd, he saw that there was no water, but off in the distance, there was.  He crept stealthily toward a young giraffe, making the noises of a mouse in order to keep it off its guard.  When he was about four feet from the large animal, he jumped on its back.  The giraffe began to run in a panic, but soon it calmed down.  After a few minutes, the herd began to move toward the water hole.  Mr. Frank was eagerly anticipating the cool water running down his throat, when he was suddenly struck with acute acrophobia, and was afraid to get down off the giraffe. (No, you get down off a duck!)  So while the giraffe was bending down toward the clear, cool water, Mr. Frank was shaking on its back.  He strained and strained, but he could not reach the liquid from his high mount, and he was too afraid to get down.  The moral of this story is, you can ride a giraffe to water, but you can’t reach the drink.

My personal favorite!
September 12, 2005
Fred’s Toilet:
A Story of Horror
            Fred’s toilet was a nice porcelain three-gallon deal with carpeting on the lid and a cushion on the seat.  Fred didn’t use it very often.  He worked ten hours a day, eating lunch and dinner at work.  That meant he was only home about fourteen hours, around twelve of which he spent sleeping and eating breakfast, which left only two hours of the day for him to be with his toilet. 
            Plus, then, you had to count all the weekends which he spent at parties or at the beach with his many girlfriends.  He never took his girlfriends home, so the toilet never got to meet any of them.
            Soon it became very bitter.  Calcium deposits and water rings began to appear aound its rim.  Fred never took the time to give it a good scrubbing.   Poor poor toilet!  Never having any social contact, except with the sink, who could only talk about different kinds of toothpaste and the time Fred’s pet guinea pig pooped in the overflow hole.
            So the toilet formulated a plan—a diabolical plan! Hahahahahaaa!  He made a deal with the door that if he would give fair warning the next time he was going to overflow, the door would shut and jam up when Toilet gave the signal.  For two whole weeks Toilet waited anxiously to put his plan into action, and finally, It happened!  Fred came into the bathroom to brush his teeth, and he sat down on the toilet.  Plop, plop, went his two little gifts for his porcelain friend, and his porcelain friend responded, “Gurgle, gurgle.”
            That was the sign.  The door slammed shut and jammed.
            “Ha ha ha!” Toilet cackled.  “Finally we can be together!”
            Fred stood up in astonishment.
            “That’s right, your dear porcelain friend has a little surprise for you!  Now we can be together forever!”
            Fred stared at the toilet and then tried to make a bolt for the door, but he had jammed himself solidly.
            “We never spend any quality time!  How do you think I fell, always alone while you’re out with your girlfriends?  Let me tell you, I’ve seen the toilet bowl cleaner ads, and the toilets in those are all happy!  Well taken care of, clean…and then look at me!  Calcium deposits!  Rust stains!  Look, you didn’t even bother to flush!”
            In a daze, Fred flushed the toilet.
            “You didn’t have to do that.  I could have flushed myself.  So many years in solitary confinement give a guy plenty of time to learn.  But…I won’t be solitary any more.  You are going to live with me!  FOREVER!”
            “But what about my needs?” said Fred, trying to stay calm.  “How will I survive, locked up in a bathroom like this?”
            “Well, said the toilet deviously, “there’s plenty of water…you can drink out of me.  It’s a pity you hadn’t taken better care of me, though; I’m gonna be pretty unsanitary.  But there’s no need to worry about your vitamins.  I’m loaded with calcium and iron.  And no, I wouldn’t drink out of the sink if I were you…there’s a guinea pig poop jammed in his overflow hole.”
            “Wait!” exclaimed Fred.  “Couldn’t we make a deal?  I could bring over my girlfriends…I’ll quit my job…I’ll use you every day…twice!”
            “No deal,” said Toilet.  “Now it’s just you and me.”
            “Never!” said Fred, who had formulated his own plan just in case this ever happened.  He scrambled up onto the edge of the bathtub and opened the frosted-glass window above it, which he tried to climb out of.
            “Bathtub!  Do something!” screamed the toilet, but Bathtub had developed an attachment to Fred (He bathed in him every day) and thought that the toilet was being silly.            Fred scrabbled out the window and went straight to Plumber Central, where he found himself someone to aid him in his plight.
            First the pair dismantled the door so he wouldn’t lock the two of them in (the plumber was a bit too pudgy to go out the window, and Bathtub wasn’t too fond of him, either), then they disassembled the toilet, despite his protests and threats to overflow.  They replaced him with a nice five-gallon beauty without seat cushions (which Fred had always disliked anyway).
When the new toilet overflowed for the first time, it didn’t warn Door, who got water damage and dry rot and had to be replaced.
            Well, anyway, the moral of this story is, be nice to your appliances; you never know which ones might be mentally unstable.

September 5, 2005
Bobber Ann

            My name is Perry.  I am a seagull; perhaps you recall the breathtaking story of my emergence into the world of flight?  In case you don’t, I spent many years of my life sulking in a dank cave, because my legs didn’t work.  Misery was my life.  And then, a lobster with a large cranium changed everything!  He scuttled into my cave one afternoon, said, “I won 17 chess tournaments,” and suddenly I realized I could fly!  And I flew off into the sunset, where I disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.
            For many years, I wandered the Earth, my self-identity obliterated by that fateful triangle.  One day, I happened to fly into a beach, where I saw the most beautiful sight in the world.  It was a white bobber, floating gently on the waves of the cove.  Alighting on its slick white surface and depositing a dull white present for its enjoyment, I asked its name. 
            Ann!  Bobber Ann!  It was the most beautiful name I had ever heard!  I knew at that moment I would have to find something more lasting than a turd for this buoy to remember me by—and so I composed a serenade: “Bob-bob-bob…bob-bobber Ann!  Bob-bob-bob…bob-bobber Ann!  Bob-bob-bob…bob-bob-bob-bobber Aaa-aaa-ann!”  Et cetera.  I’m sure you have heard Bobber Ann’s song before.  It was quite a hit in the sixties, though why they changed its title I’ll never know.
            As much as I loved Bobber Ann, I had more pressing needs to attend to, such as recovering my identity.  Though I adored her and (though she never said a word) I am sure she adored me, I could not let this promising bobber live the rest of her life with a nameless seagull.
            Many events in my quest have been long forgotten, but the memory of Bobber Ann still lingers like the sweet scent of a rose.  I am getting gon in years now, and I want to preserve my Ann for all posterity.  That is why I told you this story.  I hope with all my broken heart that you will not forget this tragic tale of love found and lost; I hope that you will cherish always my story of buoy meets gull.

August 30, 2005
The Story of Zookey the Penguin

            Way up at the North Pole lived Freddy the Polar Bear, Hilda the Polar Bear and Zookey the penguin.  One day Freddy took a vacation to America, and when he was asked where he came from, he replied, “I live in the North Pole with Hilda the Polar Bear and Zookey the Penguin.”
            The Americans laughed out loud when he said this, for everyone knows penguins don’t live at the North Pole.  He was ridiculed throughout his trip and went home in embarrassment.  As soon as he arrived, he told Zookey of his predicament and asked her to please move to the South Pole where she belonged.  Zookey refused.
            Hilda appeared on the scene then and also begged Zookey to leave, because she, too, was going to America and didn’t want to be ridiculed.  When Zookey still refused, the two polar bears took a plane to the South Pole to enlist the aid of some other penguins.  When the plane returned, carrying two polar bears and two penguins, it crashed and broke the ice.  
          So the penguins went to talk to Zookey, and the bears went to patch the ice.  They were carrying a huge tub of glue, which sloshed all over the place, including on the igloo and Zookey’s back.  However, they managed to get to the hole with some glue still in the bucket, and they fixed it.  They returned to see the two Southpolians looking very flustered.  Zookey was still being stubborn.
            Finally the two South Pole penguins gave up and decided to leave, and one of them tried to pat Zookey on the back as a token of his friendship.  But his wing stuck to the glue and he could not get it off.
            So, the moral of this story is: Birds of a feather stick together!
The end

August 24, 2005
The Story of Pumpkin the Cat

           One bright spring morning, Friendly Farmer Valerie woke up, pulled on her overalls, and went out, never thinking to feed her prized cat, Pumpkin.  Which was OK, because he happened to be inside, and he could easily feed himself.  “Hum, hum, hum,” Friendly Farmer Valerie hummed, but stopped short when she saw Pumpkin.  He was covered in tiny red spots.      She didn’t think he had caught the Red Death, since that was a fictional diseasse invented by Edgar Allen Poe, but she was worried.  The spots looked kind of like measles.  So she called Venerated Vet Valerie on the phone.
            Venerated Vet Valerie was Friendly Farmer Valerie’s evil clone, but Friendly Farmer Valerie didn’t know that.  She only knew that she was her clone.  When Venerated Vet Valerie arrived, she checked Pumpkin all over and said gravely to Friendly Farmer Valerie, “She doesn’t have the measles, the moosles, or even the pumples.  She suffers from—”
            “From what!?” broke in Friendly Farmer Valerie.  “And he’s a he.”
            “From Tiny Red Dots Drawn with a Red Marker by Me So I Could Come Over and kidnap her!”
            “Him,” corrected Friendly Farmer Valerie.
            “Whatever,” said Venerated Vet Valerie, picked up Pumpkin, and ran out of there.
            “Oh, well,” said Friendly Farmer Valerie, “He was kind of annoying anyway.  He was always getting into fights, and he peed on things too much.  In fact, I am glad he’s gone.”
            Just then, the government passed a law saying that evil clones were illegal, and Venerated Vet Valerie disappeared in a puff of embarrassment, because she had never broken the law before, (except for stealing Pumpkin).
            So then the Humane Society sued Friendly Farmer Valerie for petty theft of a cat (since Venerated Vet Valerie was gone, Friendly Farmer Valerie was the only one who matched her description).  Friendly Farmer Valerie paid the million dollars out of her abundant farmer’s salary and settled back in an easy chair, watching Pumpkin take a whap at Pepsi.
            “It’s so nice to have him back,” she said.
The end

Had enough of the downer tales of something-plegic something-or-others?  Well, it's time for something new!

August 15, 2005:
The Story of Pumpkin the Cow

            Friendly Farmer Joe woke one bright spring morning, pulled on his overalls, and went outside to milk his favorite cow, Pumpkin.  “Hum hum hum,” he hummed but stopped short when he got to Pumpkin’s stall.  His prize cow was covered in red pinpricks.  “Aaaaaagh!  She has caught the Red Death!”  he cried and fled the dairy barn.  A few minutes later, he returned, wearing a festive radiation suit and his favorite gas mask.  Upon a closer inspection, Friendly Farmer Joe realized that the spots were not blood (a characteristic symptom of Red Death) but something more like pimples.  In befuddlement, he called the veterinarian, who arrived shortly thereafter. 
          Venerated Vet Vincent checked Pumpkin all over, then turned to Friendly Farmer Joe.  “I am afraid,” he said solemnly, “that Pumpkin is quite ill.  She has an advanced case of –” 
“Of what?” interrupted Friendly Farmer Joe.”
“The moosles.”

The End

August 8, 2005
The Octentaplegic Bogastaloid

            Once there was an octentaplegic Bogastaloid.  It was very unfortunate, because what was the use of being a bogastaloid if you couldn’t smurgle, or pazidiort the wapsallin, or even play the simple game of higmanosey?  This poor Bogastaloid – named Joe – decided to go see the Great Fixcantogramoph in hopes of getting a cure.
           Joe traveled three million hogurts in order to find the wise Fixcantogramoph in vain, for when he got there, he learned that the Fixcantogramoph was out to lunch.  The average fixcantogramoph spends at least 700 oberontiams at a time eating—by then, Joe would be dead!
            In desperation, Joe decided to take the prestigious suicide mission to the great unknown.  His spaceship took off in the dead of ghorston, and only three of his closest nistio members came to see him off.  He traveled for at least sixty hogurts before he saw the planet Earth, his destination.
            When he landed in the ocean, he sank to the bottom.  Which was good because Bogastaloids can only survive in water.  But it was something about the salt in the ocean that made all Joe’s ayodens start working – all eighty of them.  And he was cured!  Then he got eaten by an octopus.  But that was OK.  It had been a suicide mission anyway.

July 26, 2005
The Centiplegic Centipede

         Once there was this centipede who was centiplegic.  Just in case you don’t understand,  a centiplegic centipede is like a quadriplegic horse, or an octoplegic phalangid, or a decaplegic horseshoe crab, or a nonaplegic horseshoe crab who’s missing a leg: none of it’s limbs work.  But the most fascinating thing about this centipede was not how he got over his problem (he never miraculously recovered, or learned how to fly, and none of his friends died of concussions), but how he got to be centiplegic, and what he did after that.
         Once upon a time, there was a family, and two young members of the family were going to have a bath.  The mother creature (human) was filling the tub with water when she saw Sandy (that was the centipede’s name), and she screamed, ran out of the room, and returned with a newspaper, with which she proceeded to beat poor Sandy.  When she was sure he was dead (she was wrong), she flushed him down the toilet and gave her children their bath, thinking none more about it.
         But Sandy was alive, although centiplegic, and feeling vengeful.  He learned enough sorcery to cast a sufficient “million socks but none that match” curse on the older child, a “spend money quicker than you earn it” curse on the younger, and a “lose your keys on a daily basis” curse on the mother.  Then Sandy felt better.
         Do any of these problems happen to you?  Perhaps someone in your family has terrorized just the wrong arthropod.

July 18, 2005
The Decaplegic Horseshoe Crab

            Once upon a time, there lived a decaplegic horseshoe crab.  “If you can call it living,” he often complained.  He never got to go out and do anything fun with his friends, because he was unable to walk.  While all his friends were out having a great time, “headbanging” to the sounds of the “rock” band, Seawall, poor old Lucky (for that was his name) had to sit at home.

            But in the end, all his friends got concussions or broken shells from their frivolous lifestyles, while Lucky lived to a ripe old age, until he mysteriously disappeared one day in the Bermuda Triangle.

July 12, 2005
The Octaplegic Spider

            Once there was a lonely Phalangid named Danny Longlegs.  He was born octaplegic, which was terribly unfortunate, considering that Phalangids only have 8 legs.  But he had a very loving and supportive family.  He went around everywhere in a little wheelchair.  His siblings (of which there were many) all took turns pushing him around and taking him places, but his sister, Jenny, had a lifestyle that was just too busy, so she left Danny and his wheelchair by the local pool one day while she feasted on some rotting meat near a picnic table.

            Soon some kids came by and decided to have a little fun.  Everyone knows that phalangidae have legs that move around after they’ve been pulled off.  So the kids pulled off one of his legs.

            It didn’t move around.  “Aw, man, it’s a dud,” they whined, and went in search of some more entertainment.

            Soon Jenny came back and noticed Danny only had seven legs at the moment.  She took him right home and they waited for it to grow back – and miracle of miracles!  When his leg grew back, it worked!  He was no longer octaplegic, just septaplegic.

            Danny methodically pulled off his remaining legs, and soon he wasn’t plegic at all.

            The moral of this story is, if you pull off your legs, miracles just might happen.

July 6, 2005
The Quadriplegic Horse

            Many years ago, in the land of Playrume, a quadriplegic horse rocked on its heels, feeling sorry for himself.  He wondered why he, the horse who had won seven Kentucky Derbies in his last life, had to be cursed with the silly wooden brace on his feet and could not walk a step.  He was so upset, but then, when he was dreaming, a seagull came to him.  Quoth the seagull, “never more shall you be oppressed by the silly wooden brace on your feet which prevents you from walking a step.  For I have foreseen the coming of a new era, where horses are the rulers of the Earth.  So take flight, and do not mourn the presence of that silly wooden brace on your feet, for it shall not hold you down to the Earth.”

            The horse awoke, and flew off into the sunset.  So, if you ever see a rocking horse flying through the sky, you need to get your eyes checked because this story is purely fiction. 

The End

Many sensitive Dudus were upset by "The Chess Champion," so I created a seaqull.  (Get it?  Sequel?)

June 27, 2005
The Paraplegic Seagull
A story of Hope
          There once was a seagull, living on the coast of Guam, and unlucky thing; he happened to be paraplegic.  His condition caused him no end of agony, for what was the good of being a seagull if you couldn’t play soccer, or run around and have fun?  What was the use of living? 
          His name was Perry, and he lived a miserable life in a cold, damp cave.  There was an inlet to the ocean in Perry’s cave, and one day a lobster with a large cranium scuttled in.  Perry was so busy feeling sorry for himself that he didn’t see the lobster until it spoke.  “I won seventeen chess tournaments.
          Perry was struck with inspiration.  If a lobster could win chess tournaments, Perry could make something out of his miserable, no
good, useless life.  The thought came to him that seagulls could fly!  Perry flew off into the sunset.
          Shortly afterward, Ferdinand, the cranially talented lobster disappeared.  It was surmised that Perry had eaten hum, but everyone knows that Guam is in the middle of the Bermuda triangle – so it’s no surprise that Ferdinand has disappeared off the face of the earth. 
The End.

Disclaimer:  Yes, I am aware that Guam is not in the middle of the Bermuda triangle.  I am just taking a little creative license.
June 23, 2005
The Chess Champion
            Under the boardwalk on the Georgia coast, there were two lobsters.  They weren’t sitting around fighting about trivial things like most lobsters do…No, these two were playing a stimulating game of chess.  As the sun slowly rose over the horizon, a tiny “checkmate,” was heard.  Renaldo, the loser, eventually met a fate involving a lady named Millicent and a pot of boiling water – need I say more?  But Ferdinand, the winner, went on to bigger and better things.  He soon became the national chess champion.  In second place was a sheep and in third was a man named Bobby.  But, back to the story. 
            Ferdinand enjoyed his victory and many more afterwards until he was unexpectedly eaten by a paraplegic seagull off the coast of Guam.