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A Frat of Flaming Feghoots
by Art Bupkis

Although Isaac Asimov's very short "A Niche in Time Saves Stein" (150 words) is probably the most famous, Grendel Briarton first introduced these stories ending in PUNchlines in his series, "Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot".  But, for my taste, the masters of the longer "literary Feghoot" (I know, an oxymoron) were Jay Ward  & gang when they were doing "Rocky and Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show".

To the relief of most adults--but the great dismay of countless ageless sophomores in hiding throughout the world--the long Feghoot is an endangered beast today. A rabid conservationist, I have pledged that such environmental diminishment shall not endure. I now present--in the grand style of Ward's "Aesop and Son", "Peabody's Improbable History" and "Fractured Fairy Tales"—my very own, "Flaming Feghoots”. 

(Hold on to your cookies, culture fans.)


The Demise Of the Randy Red Rooster

An aging Rhode Island Red rooster lived on a farm where hens were raised for the table. That is until one year when the market for fryers dropped, and the farmer decided to switch to eggs.  He sold all his Red hens and replaced them with Leghorns--lesbian Leghorns.  

The farmer might have gotten rid of his little Red rooster, too, but he had a soft spot for the old guy, and with "California-Certified Lesbian Leghorns", he didn't think he had much risk of fertilized eggs. The rooster didn't know this, however. He had long considered his role as a prolific daddy critical to his survival, and now worried horridly that he'd soon end up in the farm cat's dinner dish if he didn't mate with these new hens.

The poor old rooster tried just about everything…. bouquets of ripe sunflowers, chocolate-covered worms. Nothing worked. The hens stayed to themselves, and pecked at him if he came too close. He feared his goose would soon be cooked.

One day, however, he overheard two teenage farm hands talking behind the barn. One of them told the other he'd finally managed to nail the high school virgin. Got her drinking whisky, and  "She was cold out. Never made a peep."

Well, well, well. The rooster sneaked into the farmhands' cabin and lifted a bottle of "Ol' Dirty Bird"*. When the hens were next out in the yard, he sneaked into their coop and poured the whole fifth into their feed.

The hens came back in and started eating. Soon they were all dancing and giving each other little pecks on the cheek. The flock's Mother Hen Superior soon had an idea.

"Girls, we just have to have the chicks form the coop next door over for a party. We could gossip all night long about that dorky little Red rooster pervert."

Mother Superior hurried out the front door to invite the neighbors. She was so excited she even forgot to take a wrap. A winter front was coming through, and a chill wind blew.

"Cold out!", she clucked.

At that the rooster jumped down from the roof and tackled the hen. She fought him, squawking bloody murder. All the other Leghorns piled out of their coops. They pecked the poor old randy Red rooster to death.

And the moral of this story?

"Don't mount queer chickens before they klatch."

*For you Brits:  OLD CROW, a cheap bourbon whisky.


A Bull(winkle) Story

Like many a down on his luck actor-has-been, Bullwinkle J. Moose was finally abandoned by his long-time partner.  Rocket J. Squirrel flew off to the Caribbean with a flamingo he'd met while he and Moose were wintering in Key West, Florida. That was five years ago.

Trying to drown his sorrow, Bullwinkle took to drink. As his money neared exhaustion he had even dipped into Sterno and anti-freeze. (This was Frost-Bite Falls, Minnesota, after all.)

Now, however, Moose was flat broke, and looking starvation in the face.

"And he's sure got one mean, hungry look, believe you me!"

Lucky for Bullwinkle, there was still tremendous admiration for "Mr. Know-It-All" amongst the Minnesotans. Further, Minnesota is a state full of softhearted liberals. The legislature quickly passed a bill putting the state's "Favorite Moose" on a pension: "Retired Honorary Professor of Philosophy, Poetry, and Minnesota Moose-Nugget Mining (3-M)" at the University of Minnesota.

No longer poor, but still with a big head, and thus somewhat of an ingrate, Bullwinkle complained publicly that a mere teacher's pension was not enough for a star of his accomplishments. He petitioned for additional money as a reward for having saved Frost-Bite Falls from the Metal-Munching Moon-Mice nearly half a century ago.

Former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura, had a simple response, "Faget about it, fur-nose.", and led a successful campaign against any more money for Moose.

Nevertheless, given all the publicity, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska--who had image problems with moose-lovers--invited Bullwinkle to become a paid spokes-critter for her up-coming 2012 Presidential campaign, and asked him to start right away. Bullwinkle was happy to sign on, too. Big bucks….  but it was disgraceful, given that Palin had shot and eaten his nephew.

Yes, folks, as any animal sociologist will tell you: 

"A moose with only one dole soon gets bought."


All Because Stella Milner Refused To Kiss Old Ludwig The Pig

A miller and his daughter, Stella Milner, decided to get the best of the king. The miller went to the palace and announced that his daughter could spin straw into gold. 

The king made it clear he didn't like to be the butt of jokes, so this better be good. Nevertheless, if Stella could make gold, the king would give her a nice reward. 

Stella was locked in a room with a bundle of straw. When the door was opened the next morning, there was a small pile of gold filament lying on the floor….  the same gold Stella had hidden under her skirt.

The king was delighted---and greedy. He gave Stella a small plastic statue of himself as her reward, then stuffed the same room to the ceiling with bales of straw, and said that if the girl would spin all that into gold she could marry his son, the Crown Prince. 

"But if you don't, young lady, woe is you".

When Stella was left alone she began to cry…. but soon she heard a strange little voice.

"Stop it already!"  It came from a weird little man, sitting on a rafter.

"Make you a deal, sweetie. I'll spin all this straw into gold for you, but before I do, you have to promise you’ll kiss my cousin, poor old Ludwig the Pig."

The weird little man then showed Stella Ludwig's picture.

"I'd rather die," she said.

So the weird little man said he'd just sit there on the rafter until morning when the king would come in expecting gold. Quite obnoxious, he wanted to see the girl get punished. 

"Stella, he's gonna give you such a smack!"

"Listen, whatever your name is, I'll never put pork to my lips. Orthodox, ya know."

Quite frankly, the weird little man didn't give a damn. "Smack-O!”, he snickered, and settled in for the night.

At 7 am the door opened. In walked the King and the Prince. There was no gold…. but that really wasn't so bad for Stella. The king had actually come to tell her that the deal was off.  His son refused to marry, gold or no. 

While the king was making his speech—which went on and on--the prince ran off with the weird little man, who, as it turned out, was a fairy.

So Stella went home single and poor, but soon thereafter she made quite a lot of money. She discovered that treating cucumber peels with common kitchen chemicals could make a very fine cloth, one that is lightweight, inexpensive and eco-friendly. It quickly replaced the schmatta everyone back then had been wearing.  True, this new cloth wrinkled easily, but that was actually fortunate for her pop, Stanley. The new cloth tycoon's father was soon making his own fortune off a steam-ironing machine he invented.  Yes, famous in the garment industry in his own right, besides inventing the "Stanley Steamer", pop also came up with the brand name by which Stella's remarkable cloth is still known today--Rumpled Dill Skin.

>;-) >