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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another Pathetic Tale for the Faint at Heart

What's even better than an unfinished illustration? An unfinished story to go with it!

Frumpty Lumpty

You may have heard of Humpty Dumpty, that grand old character of Eggsville, who had a great fall and was never the same again, but you probably never heard of Humpty’s nephew Frumpty Lumpty. Frumpty Lumpty was an egg just like his uncle, but smaller and a little more raw. When he saw what happened to his uncle, he decided to stay indoors on a bed of soft cushions. He carefully sanded the corners off all of his furniture and glued pieces of foam on the edges of everything. “Nothing will take me by surprise,” claimed Frumpty Lumpty. “Just because I am an egg does not mean I will be easy to crack.”

Soon Frumpty Lumpty developed a habit of ordering useless things from television infomercials and mail-order catalogs because he was bored with his shut-in lifestyle. To get his deliveries, he had to walk to his mailbox—just across the street and under a tree where a woodpecker lived. Every time he went to his mailbox, the woodpecker stared at him. “Stop looking at me, woodpecker!” Sometimes the woodpecker moved its beak as if to say, “I will punch holes in you like a whiffle ball.” Frumpty toddled fast as he could back inside, wiped his forehead with a tissue, and fainted onto his soft recliner.

Frumpty ordered a bunch of Snuggies—all different colors, one for each day of the week. He ordered an 8-hour video of a yule log burning in a fireplace. He ordered little blocks of freeze-dried ice cream like astronauts eat up in space. He ordered a stack of edible dinner plates that tasted horrible. He ordered shoes shaped like penguins holding little snow shovels. The catalog guaranteed that they would shovel your sidewalk snow for you*. Frumpty ordered a lot of things just to get free shipping, and then forgot what he ordered so that when those things arrived, they surprised him. “Oh, what a treat! Some kind of slippers for cat feet,” he said when he opened a box. “Now if they would just send me a cat,” and he started looking through catalogs. “Maybe one with no claws.”    
               *Only up to one centimeter of snow

Although it strained his budget, he’d joined the Toilet Seat of the Month Club, and was waiting for this month’s toilet seat to arrive: the Wonderplush Microfuzz Rumpcradle, so comfortable it will make you forget you’re on the toilet. Frumpty was a tad bit worried about forgetting too soon that he was on the toilet, but he was also painfully aware that last month’s toilet seat, the May Flowers Garden of Rich Delights, was already in the red-hot crosshairs of toilet seat fashionistas across America, and he would soon be noticeably outcommoded. “What if someone finds out I’m still using last month’s toilet seat four days into May?” That’s when he decided against letting anyone into his house. No more repairmen or surprise visitors. Even friends could be a big risk. He would keep the curtains closed so no one could see him watching TV or sitting on his outdated toilet seat.

One Saturday, Frumpty Lumpty needed to go out to get the mail. He was expecting a 9-volt Hot Dog Slicer with free Hot Dog Peeler, making hot dogs easier to eat without choking, but he was really scared to go outside. It was rainy, and he was worried about slip-and-fall situations because he had seen a number of Tad Morlan commercials. Finally he put on three layers of Snuggies and a hardhat, plus some grippy shoes. He also used a walker like some grandmas use. He made it to the mailbox safe and sound.
    “Darn,” he said, “No Hot Dog Slicer.” He got some new catalogs from the mailbox and looked up to see the woodpecker landing on his shoulder. His eyes stretched maximally open and he cried a little bit of egg white. Then he tripped on a tiny pebble and died, but came back to terrorize your neighborhood!

Just kidding--that's not how it ends.

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