Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wherein I Discover My Mission in Life Not to Mention a Half Pound of Girds


I don't know if any of you get broadcasts from WCOW, our local radio station. Probably not. It has a broadcasting radius of about, oh, 50 feet. This causes problems because we practically have to park right next to the broadcast tower to get the news. A picture of the broadcast building, taken after the last Jute Mill explosion and flood, showed me not rowing a boat. (In fact, giving the impression of not rowing a boat is extremely difficult, if not painful.)

There are a couple of things you have to know so you can make sense of the picture, which, of course, you can’t see. The name of the town used to be West Aardvark, which was what it was when there were only aardvarks living here. That was before 10,000 Holstien cows moved onto farmer Angus Probendary's farm, led by the leader of the cow faction, Morton Slaf-Kabnecier (he was rumored to be of indefinite eastern bovine lineage). Mort was the first cow to move into the downtown area, soon to be called Mooburg. He bought up the local bowling alley, then he and a faction of other cows took over the radio station. Apparently, he wanted to bowl in stereo.

The takeover of the radio station was sneaky. They broke in at night (the last broadcast is at 12:00 AM), and covered the walls with cat food. I think it was Friskie's Salmon and Tuna Dinner. The next day, the radio station was inundated with about a thousand stray cats, who licked the walls with great gusto, then settled down in the reception room and demanded Fancy Feast Gourmet Truffle Surprise.

It took the city council (still a majority of aardvarks) weeks to locate the object of the cats' demands (Gourmet Truffle Surprise being available only in Belgium). By that time, WCOW was forced to suspend live programming due to an infestation of fleas. Unfortunately, a big flea convention had been scheduled at the Aardvark Inn that weekend. Small fleas were arriving two weeks later.

"WCOW announces (said the press release) that due to the immediate need to spray its studios, we will broadcast recorded aardvark yodeling until 2100 tonight, with news on the hour."

The ensuing cat, flea, and fumigation uproar caused terrible personnel problems, forcing the aardvark owners to recruit hundreds of workers on short notice. Instead, they simply sold out to the cows at a ridiculous price. The cows said: "We're not going to pay you anything at all!" And the aardvarks said: "That's ridiculous!"

But sell they did. And did the cows recruit hundreds of radio workers? Nein! Instead, they went high-tech and bought a mechanical parrot named Salty with a 1500-word vocabulary, mostly Portuguese swear words, and alleged telepathic powers. Apparently, he could pinpoint the exact location of Peek Frean's Wheaty Assortment at a distance of a hundred paces.

This act (the parrot caper) whipped the town's already highly-charged tension into a fever pitch. Imagine driving several miles into the countryside just to hear recorded mooing (Cow Rap is simply incomprehensible, at least to aardvarks) punctuated by aaawwwking demands for crackers and peppered with poignant Portugueseries such as "Quem arremessou a isso o matey freaking?", "Batten abaixo os portais, vocĂȘ bastich do fargin!", and "Tirita eu madeiras, vocĂȘ furo do gelo do rei do fu!" Now imagine them driving out there several times. The people of West Aardvark really weren't very bright.

Things were obviously getting out of hand, so the local aardvarks held a meeting in the one place the cows couldn't get to: the third floor of the City Hall (this was before they installed the Zoom-O-Guernsey escalator).

In short, I was the aardvark charged with running Morton Slaf-Kabnecier and his pack of bandits out of town.

So, I'm writing this, sitting at home stewing about all this, basically girding my loins for the great out-kicking endeavor. To be very honest, I had no idea that I had any loins, so I spent several hours this morning hoofing around the house looking for them. After a few calls to the local hospital, it turns out I'm packing them somewhere not too distant from my pockets. Another couple of hours and I should be able to come up with some girds, if I can just get the refrigerator open.