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Thursday, 21 August
The Quest Fulfilled

Snark waited patiently while Rory the Caterpillar took another massive bong hit. Finally, the caterpillar pointed six legs behind Snark. " 'Ere . . . the Cat will take you." Snark turned around.

There on a branch sat a lovely Kitty, cleaning her fur with the air of someone who has suffered many fools in her time. She seemed to take no interest in Snark, who nonetheless greeted her.

"Hullo, Cat."

"You may, if you prefer, call me Kitty."

"As you wish, Kitty. What do I do now?"

"You may do whatever you wish. I am going to rent videos. I have an urge to see Uncle Buck, I think." Kitty began to stride away.

Snark gasped. "But that's mad!"

Kitty said agreeably, "That's true. We're all mad here. You're mad. I'm mad."

Snark said, "Actually, I might be kind of high. The caterpillar might have fucked me up."

"Whatever works," Kitty replied. "Come along. Perhaps we shall find the Duchess."

"The Duchess?" asked Snark. He wished he had something to eat.

"Yes," said Kitty, "some know her as Judith. She often walks this way from time to time nursing her baby number."

"I'm sorry . . . did you say number?" Snark was very confused.

"Yes. She has an adorable little Thirteen. He's quite the dickens; last week the Duchess found him beating up forest hoboes. What a laugh they had." Kitty said this flatly and coldly.

"Tough little number," murmured Snark.

"Indeed. Well, here we are. I'm off, unless you fancy joining me. Are you sure you wouldn't like to watch a movie? Say, Monkeybone?"

Snark grimaced. "I think not."

And without another word, Kitty vanished, bit by bit, starting with the tail, until finally only her smile remained. Then the smile said, "You are really a very smelly badger," and it too vanished.

"Vile cat. Was that necessary? May she be beset by unpleasant Australians." muttered Snark. "Where in the deuce am I, anyway?"

A melodious voice came from behind him. "You are right here, dear badger, which I must say beats Sacramento."

Snark whirled around to see a lovely duchess. She held in her arms a very filthy baby, which, as Snark soon noticed, really was a number 13.

"You are the one they call Judith," said Snark, "and that is your little baby 13. He's very handsome," lied Snark, attempting courtesy.

"And you seek the Flask of Always Whisky, dear Snark. I have heard. And you are very polite, for it is plain to see that this baby is uglier than Dale Chihuly. For your kindness, I will take you to see the one who can help you: The Red Queen."

"I thank you milady. Shall we walk?"

"Do let's. To pass the time, perhaps I will sing for you a song? Little 13 loves it so, for it is about upholding the Libertarian ideal."

Snark was mystified by this turn of phrase, and replied, "I myself enjoy songs about Ross Perot, but pray, continue."

And with that, the duchess Judith began singing a sort of lullaby to the besmirched child, and gave it a violent shake at the end of every line:

"Speak roughly of your government, Castigate it when it taxes; It knows only malign intent, Take up your guns and axes!

CHORUS: Wow! Wow! Wow!"

While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the thing screeched like Steve Albini.

"I rage against my government, I work for its demise; For it's rebellion that I do foment, Because I hate those fucking guys.

CHORUS: Wow! Wow! Wow!"

Snark walked quietly a moment, and then said, "That was quite lovely."

"Thank you," said Judith, "little 13 does get so worked up. It is good to soothe him. At any rate, we are here."

Snark looked up and beheld a strange scene. It was a croquet game, populated by an odd array of creatures; Snark beheld lobsters, giant cockroaches, stuffed dogs, baboons, and a bowl of melted cheese. Dominating the scene was a figure dressed entirely in red: obviously the queen. She was screaming vicious oaths and imprecations.

"Does the Queen have a name?" asked Snark fearfully.

"Brad," whispered the Duchess, "and I think she's been drinking again."

At that point the Queen screamed at Snark. "YOU! VILE BADGER! APPROACH!"

Snark paled, but did as he was told. "Yes, your Highness."

"What? Is on? Your head?" demanded Brad venemously.

"A floppy hat, your Highness," quavered Snark.

"It looks like Tommy Hilfiger shat on your head," observed the Queen.

"It was kind of a wild night," replied Snark, "it's certainly possible."

At this, Brad stared at Snark, and then laughed uproariously. "You delightful thing! You please me! Shall we play darts? I have several sporting men in my taver--ah, castle, that enjoy darts."

"If you please, Madam, I am on a quest. My true love has sent me on a quest, and I was told that you might help."

"A quest! Isn't that divine!" Brad clapped his hands. "And what might this quest be for?"

"If you please, your Highness, I am looking for the Flask of Always Whisky."

The Queen stared hard at Snark for a very long time. Snark finally quietly added, "And if I may, Madam . . . if I may . . . I like your cute little ass."

The Queen softened. "Dear boy," she whispered, "I'd have an uglier badger killed for saying that. I shall grant your wish." She suddenly whirled. "GUARDS! Summon the wastrel!"

The guards looked at each other. "Ah, pardon, your Highness, but which one? We have so many."

"You know the one! He won't shut up about anything! Always with the 'fuck this' and 'eat shit' and 'where's my pants?' The drunken lout who won't be quiet!"

"You mean Skot?"

"YES! He's the one. Horrid little pervert. Once I found him making GI Joe hump My Pretty Pony. Bring him to me!"

And in short order, the pitiful Skot was hauled before the Queen. Snark was appalled at the state of the man (if it was a man). It resembled a scarecrow built out of skin grafts and clumps of discarded hair.

"Skot," said Brad imperiously, "this man is on a quest. He requires the Flask of Always Whisky for his true love. You possess it. You will give it to him, or I will remove your head, if I can find it. I assume it's where all the spittle and bullshit flows from, so my chances are good. And if not, I can always look up your ass; it's sure to be there."

The thing whined and rattled like a sack of rusty nails. "But I need it! I need it! You cannot take it! Without it, I will only be left with the Everflowing Keg, The Goblet of Pwim-River, The Eternal Fount of Single Malt, and The Unrelenting Bota Bag! Please!"

"You traitorous little homo. You dare defy the will of the Queen?" Brad screeched. "HAND. IT. OVER."

Skot scraped the dirt sadly, and whimpered incoherently. "Very well," it said, "I obey you in all things, my Queen." It produced a lovely crystal flask from somewere within its terrible, mismatched clothing. "Here," Skot breathed, "take it, Sir, and think of me well."

Snark trembled as he took up the prize. He felt dizzy, and he looked up at the Queen, whose image seemed to swim before Snark. "I . . . I thank you, Queen . . . I suddenly don't feel well . . . "

The Queen spoke from a distance: "Fare thee well, dear badger. Be always happy . . . that flask will sure help. Enjoy it."

Then Snark knew only darkness, for how long he knew not. When he awoke, his head was in Fox's lap, and she beamed down at him joyfully. "My love! You wake!" She held the flask up. "And you have triumphed, my heroic badger."

Snark bathed in her radiance. "It was a mighty quest, my love," Snark said, "but I am all the happier to be back in your presence."

Fox glowed anew. "We shall know the greatest happiness," she said, "and perhaps, someday, I can somehow repay your efforts on this quest." She took a long pull off of the flask and smiled enigmatically.

Snark took the flask and enjoyed a thoughtful drink. "Well," he said craftily, "do you know anything about Batman?"

"Oh, heavens," said Fox, starting to comprehend, "you'd better give me back that flask."

It would be unseemly to continue further. Let's just say they lived happily ever after.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

Hey, man c'n I bumma smoke? Howsabout summa dat pwim?

Comment number: 003517   Posted by: mike whybark on August 21, 2003 11:37 PM from IP: 216.173.212.237

*standing ovation*
ummmmmmmm I had to look past the extensive borrowing, the weird, drug-addled meanderings and the racist assumptions (we are NOT unpleasant!), but I liiiiike. I many many like.

Comment number: 003518   Posted by: An Australian on August 21, 2003 11:44 PM from IP: 165.21.154.15

oh fuck, i read this one first, not realising that the first part was underneath.

BUGGER, no wonder I didnt know what the fuck you were talking about.

Comment number: 003519   Posted by: pretty_paranoia (another Australian) on August 22, 2003 01:00 AM from IP: 203.30.34.225

wow... the best Alice in Wonderland remake EVER! Much better than American McGee's Alice.

Comment number: 003520   Posted by: Ryan Waddell on August 22, 2003 05:24 AM from IP: 206.47.252.100

Hey, nothing against the Aussies. Like 90% of this nonsense, it was nothing more than an in-joke. Next week we shall return to our regularly scheduled nonspecific hogwash.

Comment number: 003521   Posted by: Skot on August 22, 2003 07:29 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

"we are not unpleasant"? Fuck you. I most certainly AM unpleasant.

Comment number: 003522   Posted by: sennoma on August 22, 2003 08:17 AM from IP: 137.53.85.134

For the record? I look terrible in red.

Comment number: 003523   Posted by: TheQueen on August 22, 2003 08:18 AM from IP: 216.114.64.26

Skot, you think I do not know what you are doing, but I do know. I do know it.

Comment number: 003524   Posted by: Johnny13 on August 22, 2003 08:33 AM from IP: 163.192.21.2

Skot, that is, without a doubt, the most accurate description of a visit to the DMV I have ever read. Bravo, sir, brav-o.

Comment number: 003525   Posted by: Joe on August 22, 2003 09:08 AM from IP: 165.247.33.244

Does the phrase "sick fuck" have any significant meaning to you? No? How about "psychotropic delusion?"....

Comment number: 003526   Posted by: cikphux on August 22, 2003 12:22 PM from IP: 216.253.102.3

Of course, I mean "sick fuck" in the utmost respectful and complementary context. And I really enjoyed the account of your personal experience with schizophrenia...

Comment number: 003527   Posted by: cikphux on August 22, 2003 12:25 PM from IP: 216.253.102.3

Somewhere -- perhaps on an idyllic little class-3 planet, vaguely Earth-like with verdant forests, expansive seas and richly textured deserts -- there exists a creature of such surpassing compassion and beauty that it is as though it were suffused with the very essence of joy. This creature, named Linatha, has an extensive following of her kind who recognize her for these overarching qualities, and who gather below her ramshackle abode daily at dawn, when the twin suns of their solar system sends the barest first tendrils of life-giving light across the unspoiled hills. They come singly and in twos and threes, diverging on the freshly lit copse where Linatha spends her time, awaiting the always uplifting treatises from Linatha's own lips. None of the creatures consider this a religious journey, because they have no concept of religion, they simply know in their hearts that what Linatha speaks to them is pure and wholesome and right.

Linatha awakens as she has awakened for every day of her brief life, aware of the beauty and splendor that her fair world has graced her with. She dresses unhurriedly and breaks her fast at her small table, looking out over the sweeping vista before her and revelling in the feeling of life. She makes her way to the portal to this world, where now many thousands anxiously await her words.

A soft sighing flows through the crowd as they first glimpse Linatha exiting her cabin, resplendent in light cloth and the refulgent sheen of her carapace. As they normally are, they are again struck dumb by the achingly apparent beauty of Linatha, and to a person they fall in love with her all over again. Not a possessive love, but a unselfish, giving, full love of complete abandon.

Linatha makes her way slowly through the crowd toward the rock from whcih she speaks daily. She doesn't rush, but neither does she dally. Upon reaching the rock, the crowd falls silent, ready at last to hear what Linatha deigns to share with them on this day.

Linatha looks across the faces of the people around her, marvelling anew that these people would travel so far to be with her. They enliven her, they give her purpose, as she gives them purpose. With these thoughts in her minds, she begins speaking.

"I haven't the faintest fucking clue what Skot has been babbling about the past few days. Anybody help a sister out?"

Comment number: 003528   Posted by: ColdForged on August 22, 2003 03:05 PM from IP: 66.152.60.98

As an Australian and a bong-hitting caterpillar, I feel doubly aggrieved.

Comment number: 003529   Posted by: Rory on August 22, 2003 04:21 PM from IP: 81.135.69.80

(delurking) What Lassie did for collies, you've done for badgers. Course Lassie was a dude, played by a girl. Gender-bending issues aside, you should write a book, and I'll scrape up the change off the floor of my car to buy it. Love your stuff, (well, the parts between the coherency) thanks for sharing your brain.

Comment number: 003530   Posted by: A Tacoma(ian?) Girl on August 24, 2003 01:22 AM from IP: 131.191.71.100

Hooray! I swoon!

Comment number: 003531   Posted by: redfox on August 24, 2003 03:45 PM from IP: 138.88.79.114

*applauds*

Comment number: 003532   Posted by: Graham on August 24, 2003 04:37 PM from IP: 63.138.146.180

I'm on my way to obtain the eternal fount of single malt. Just a word of warning.

Comment number: 003533   Posted by: KOTWF on August 25, 2003 06:19 AM from IP: 65.194.128.206

Excellent! Funniest thing I've read in days.

Comment number: 003534   Posted by: Lee on August 31, 2003 05:10 PM from IP: 151.196.183.123

heh. "uglier than dale chihuly", indeed! rev.dodgson's mummified corpse would piss itself. your cast of characters reminds me of tony millionaire's 'maakies' cartoons.

Comment number: 003535   Posted by: RayD8 on September 1, 2003 01:54 PM from IP: 141.154.11.160

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