Kind of Special All Story Edition

May 22, 2008

Old Bob

The very words "fur-bearing trout" are offensive to me, either in print or in the spoken word.

Robert Benchley

Does the average man get enough sleep? What is enough sleep? What is the average man? What is "does"?

Robert Benchley (again)

is updated on


For Sale: profound harmonic vibration. Previously used only to pick up hippie chicks. $400 OBO Box 1969.
For rent: a potato I hardly use. $8/day. Will consider in kind trade for a yam. Box 12.
Tired of looking stupid just because you chew gum? Try new Tycho Brahe Gum. TBG is specially formulated to change your chewing action from that of a yokel to that of a Nobel Prize Winner. At only $7 a pack you'd be a moron not to buy it.


Wanted: two or three amateur phrenologists to make a map of the back of my rabbit's head. He has many amazing little lumps back there. Keep your hands off his enormous bum though. Top dollar paid. Box 111.



doug's obsession

The Varelli Brothers

Once upon a time there were three brothers who lived on a short street near the airport. One of the brothers, Doug, worked at the airport as a propeller polisher. He was happy to live so close to work. The eldest brother, Herman, was very nearly deaf and the constant plane traffic overhead bothered him not in the least. But the middle brother, Vernell, was not at all happy.

Vernell fancied himself a watercolourist and he spent a fair bit of time in his room working on his still lifes. He found the rattling of the whole house every time a plane went over was spilling his little dishes of water. Vernell also found that the roaring of the engines was upsetting to his much beloved equanimity. Vernell thought that this equanimity was the source of his creative energy. Vernell wanted to move.

The problem was that Vernell could not live out on his own. Most people don't much like watercolours and they are even less enthusiastic of tiny studies of the odd little things found in the bedroom of a forty year old bachelor: kleenex boxes, hand cream, empty peppermint bags and such like. Consequently Vernell didn't sell many paintings and even more consequently he didn't have any money. And most consequently of all, he could not afford rent. His only course of action was to convince his brothers to move. But how?

The first thing the middle Varelli brother thought he should do is restore his older brother Herman's hearing. But how to restore Herman's hearing? He knew that Herman would never visit an audiologist because of his fear of doctors who specialty begins with "a" but he knew that Herman had a great respect for fairies so Vernell asked the man next door to lend him his fairy for the afternoon.

This the man did and Herman's hearing was soon perfect. Next Vernell knew that he must somehow cause his younger brother, still named Doug, to lose his propeller polishing position.

Doug Varelli was a conscientious and hard working employee of the airport. He was very dedicated to his job. Almost nothing made him happier than the sight of a very shiny clean propeller and almost no activity pleased him more than rubbing a rag vigorously on some surface. That was his tragic flaw and Vernell knew it. Early one morning as Doug was busy eating his Count Chocula, Vernell stacked one hundred and thirty-two filthy, I mean really filthy, propellers in the front yard of the house. Doug was so late for work that morning that he was immediately canned. The propeller polishers having a fairly weak and ineffectual union.

The very next day the Varellis brothers put their house up for sale. Of course they asked way too much for it and so far they have had no offers. They still live there.


I Saw a Monkey on the Bus

I saw a monkey on the bus.

I didn't notice him at first. I must have walked past him but I didn't see him until I was sitting down. He was up near the front.

He got off by the zoo entrance.

Which makes sense.


Very Few People Like Wednesdays

Very few people like Wednesdays. Of course, not many people like Thursdays or Tuesdays either but hardly anybody likes Wednesdays. Janet liked Wednesdays though.

The thing that Janet liked about Wednesdays was that you were right in the middle of something on Wednesdays. You didn't need to start thinking about what was going to happen next week. You didn't even really need to start planning your weekend yet.

And not only was it too early to worry about next week on Wednesdays but also you were totally done with last week. You were into the week already. You weren't having to get "back in the swing of things". You were "in the swing of things".

On Wednesdays you could just be. And Janet liked that.


A Further Alarming Adventure of the Very Small Girl, Gilda Bonerz and the Bear Hernando (called Ludwig)

After their return from Ontario the girl Gilda and the Bear Hernando (whom she called Ludwig) settled into what might be called their routine: taunting the Badger Geoffrey in the mornings and trying on hats and making very tiny sailboats and percussion instruments in the afternoon. In the evenings they would rent popcorn and sand things. Things were rough.

Monday the Bear Hernando awoke and felt disinclined to taunt Geoffrey. He really had nothing against the badger and as well he could think of no new taunts. So he slipped silently (or at least very quietly) out of the house and went to a well known donut (or doughnut) shop for a coffee instead. But he never made it.

Gilda got up that Monday morning and knew immediately that something was wrong. She decided it was best to pretend that it wasn't. She made a fake Bear Hernando out of some old egg cartons and a shoe horn and went and taunted Geoffrey. He noticed nothing.

When Ludwig, as she called him, returned that evening wearing a solid gold hat Gilda said nothing but she rented pretzels that night as a special treat.