The ocean of hard-to-imagine things

(warning: reading this is a waste of your time)

There was once an ocean of large, mouldy, plastic things, circumferenced by a big black fence made of straw and pumice. In the middle of this ocean stood a giant parsnip kettledrum, erected beside a bucket of A-1 Top Flight golf balls. Inside this kettledrum sat a six-legged octopus named Charlie, who drank Castrol XLR motor oil and tattooed his favourite cartoon characters, such as Beatrix the Stoat and Vern Sylvester ('The Angry Anglican'), onto an elongated sheet of horsehide, which he would later sell to Armenian cellists at the Armenian cello symposium in the north-northwest centre of town. Once again, the octopus' name was Charlie.

Charlie very much enjoyed pottery; he considered it a worthwhile hobby to go along with horsehide etching. However, he often showed up late for his weekly pottery class (which was held somewhere outside this mouldy plastic ocean). In fact Charlie was so late for class one day that his teacher, a nylon sandwich bag named Clarissa, ordered him to pay his lunch money to the school prefect Mr. Moses Von Koffalot--who was actually just a figment bouncing around in a pink broom closet--by way of punishment. Although Charlie did not mind being censured (he did realize that tardiness was unacceptable), he did not want to forfeit his lunch money to a mere figment. He said to Clarissa, "Please miss, I will need this money to eat; I know Mr. Moses will just waste it on unnecessary cosmetic surgery for his mistress, Glenda Boogerstrom." Mr. Moses had a mistress, this was true, and she was a Nordic spoon-carver (which many at the school board were shocked to find out).

Now, this confrontation between Charlie the Octopus and his teacher took place on a rather humid and tawdry Guy Fawkes' Day, a circumstance that made things more tense than they ought to have been. Luckily, just before the pottery-gong sounded to announce recess, a dew-faced, hollow-boned courier knocked at the door of the classroom and shouted, "It's Guy Fawkes' Day, and I have a delivery of roses for your teacher!" Well, Miss Clarissa was so overjoyed at the thoughtful gift of flowers that she forgave everyone in the class, including Charlie, for everything they had ever done, and she pulled out a convex brass decanter and poured sixteen litres of Chilean Merlot out the window. "Whoever sent me these flowers," she beamed, "is sweeter than this vat of wine!" And Charlie looked at her and smiled, "If all it takes is flowers to appease you, I think I'll be showing up late more often!" And everyone smiled and giggled; the roses had saved the day. Charlie drew everything that happened that day on a big purple swath of horsehide; he sold the piece for a million deutschmarks to a slow-witted cellist in the north-northwest centre of town. The cellist's name was Norbert and, by some strange quirk, he was not Armenian.

And later that evening, Moses Von Koffalot took his mistress Glenda out for a relaxing fig dinner. When she asked Moses, "Can you pass me the figs," he winked and said "My dear, but of course." And they both fell asleep, but not until several hours had passed, and they were both in their separate beds.


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