It was an ongoing sorrow to Elwood and Merope Pillforth that both of their sons had proven to be so difficult to push out of the nest, so that--although both were college graduates--both shared quarters in their parents' basement, but even worse than their failure to prove nidifugous was the fact that they detested one another and were complete opposites, in that Jameson was so finicky about neatness that he could not bear to sit down to breakfast before he had washed the dishes used to prepare it and Lyle was such a slob that his dishes piled up in the sink until several days had passed and Jameson went ahead and washed them himself; it was a pity, though, that Jameson depended so much on Lyle's carelessness when he decided to start dealing drugs out of his own bedroom, because Lyle wasn't too disorganized to notice his brother's activities, and after some pretty smooth work with a body camera, Lyle was happy to be the rat fink who turned his brother in to the law, because it meant he got to be the rat fink who had sole possession of the basement.
The fact that chickens have nidifugous young is doubly inconvenient because not only are the chicks wandering about annoyingly almost the instant their feathers are dry, but--while a clutch of chicks going in all directions may sound adorable--the realia of the situation may include cats, dogs, and young children with a fondness for squeezing things, not to mention how even an adult may prescind in order to consider the day's activities, place a foot wrong, and end up with a gassy little corpse instead of a cute ball of fluff.
While courting Caspar Milquetoast, the thing Olivia Gabardine found most challenging was that he was an extreme ailurophile who, while thankfully he did not actually hoard cats, did center his entire life around Lucibelle, a rotund yet mettlesome grey tabby who had her own room in his two-bedroom apartment (Casper's home office was in the dining room) and who liked to say hello to visitors by scratching them vigorously and demanding treats; although Olivia did her best to addulce the prickly feline with food offerings, catnip, and honeyed speech, Lucibelle continued to display the general demeanor of a fiend from Hell and eventually Ms Gabardine joined the long line of ex-girlfriends, while Casper, though interested in marriage, at 40 found himself with his bachelor state unchanged: who'd've thunk it!
While working on a ranch as part of the witness protection program, Grantly Maroon became interested in Wicca and decided to perform an Imbolc ritual on the Saturday closest to February 1st, when he would get each of the cattle to jump over a fire in order to ensure their good health, but--acting without rede and mistaking the size of the fire needed for the ritual--Grantley planned to drive the animals over a large bonfire, which portended an impromptu Texas-style barbecue; fortunately, one of his friends, realizing the size of the fire she was helping to prepare, called animal protection, but by the time officers arrived, the feds had already snatched Grantley Maroon off the ranch and out of that identity, and had sent him down the rabbit hole.
When Cinderella's cruel stepmother and stepsisters forbade her to go to the ball, her fairy godmother changed her appearance so that she could bluff them out if they saw her, and in her gown made of magically transformed cabbage, which were no longer ill-assorted remnants of cloth, but an iridescent marvel of golden scales, she dazzled everyone at the ball, and when she fled, leaving one golden slipper behind that found its way to King Jeff, through paragnosis he knew that the owner of the shoe was the girl he wanted to marry and he sent his faithful acolytes far and wide searching for the woman whose foot the shoe would fit.
Amy belongs to PETA and her particular hobbyhorse is debunking the idea that horses are the devoted companions of their owners, so that every gee-gee she sees she attempts to manumit by releasing it from its pasture into the neighboring countryside.
Dolores Windemere had always been poor, so she had to schlep her laundry to the bus stop and thence to the laundromat, where she sat staring into space as her clothes went round and round; people thought she was a highfalutin snob too proud to talk to them, but she was merely unitasking, because she had read multitasking is bad for you, and there she would sit until the haphazard shaking and bouncing of the cheap machines made her get up to go see that her clothes were still in one piece
Jack Hardshaw worked so hard at his job for the bank that he often lunched al desko, but it made him feel gauche when an underling from one of the branches met with him to solve some business imbroglio and he had to clear away the plates and wrappings from his meal, often leaving niveous drifts of salt on his desk.
Caspar Milquetoast was accused of robbing a bank by getting inside after hours and carrying bags of cash out the unused retral entrance into the alley, after which the community shunned him, but he had some steadfast friends who worked to prove his innocence: at last they found the exculpatory evidence that freed him and convicted Horace Schmidt, his exact double.
After first conducting their conspiracies to overthrow the government in great secrecy, sotto voce in restaurants and by coded messages, all the while detailing to one another how they would return the state to the original vision of the founders, once the putsch happened the coupists proceeded to grimthorpe their new regime with brute enthusiasm, it soon becoming clear that they construed the nature and purposes of the state very differently from most originalists.
After a man was found dead in North Dakota with strange fine hairs and pincer marks around his mouth, investigations eventually led to the discovery of a top secret base on the other side of the Canadian border and a US-Government-funded experiment that had produced soft-bodied sericeous moth-like creatures grown to enormous size, which had got loose somehow, multiplied, and were only now beginning to reach the exurbs of Grand Forks, but when the lawsuits against the government began to roll in, officials fell back on the blame-Canada tradition, implementing it literally by attempting to subrogate Canada for the US in the court actions.
Mehmet's sponsor for his emigration to the United States required that he be married and through a matchmaker he made a formal arrangement with a seemingly perfect candidate, but she had a tendency to divagate and at last she wandered off altogether (with the young musician who joined them for meals at the cafe), so that the desperate Mehmet asked the dancer Aisha, who previously had intimidated him with her spangled wardrobe and kohl-rimmed eyes, and she not only agreed to subrogate herself for the other one, but upon their reaching New York proved to be an affectionate wife and a model of fidelity.
Caspar Milquetoast was arraigned in court for selling fake Georgian antique teapots, whose phoniness should have been perspicuous to the most casual observer, given that the material was Corningware and --the beatinest detail of all--the personage portrayed among the scrolls and roses was John Cena; nevertheless, Caspar's fraud had gone undetected for years.
Mariah Mandrake had always thought that the cost of living in a large modern city was the emotional limitations of gesellschaft, because neither all the city services in the world nor all the Manchester United pride in the universe could make up for the lack of the malleable emotional warmth to be found in small-town life, even if those more personal sorts of daily interaction might take the form of intrusive encounters with cantankerous critics who had known you all your life and made sure you knew in no uncertain terms what a disappointment you were, and so—having resigned herself to having nothing more in common with other Mancunians except that they lived in the same city—Mariah was deeply moved after the Manchester bombing to see how many of her fellow citizens came forward to offer everything from food to chauffer service to housing.
It seemed that the anschauung of Bartleby was irrevocably and indeed increasingly glum, rooted in alienation and depression, but then my partner hired Paul Weevil, who spilled the ink, spoiled the nibs, blotted his copy, scuffed his shoes on the stairs and hallways, sang drinking songs and recited long passages memoriter from Longfellow, until the day Bartleby snapped and, leaping to his feet, seized Weevil by his lapels, dragged him to the window, and hurled him through it, whereupon our colleagues rushed to observe the result of this abrupt defenestration, but we saw that Weevil was picking himself up out of the shards of glass on the Fifth Avenue pavement and apparently was not seriously harmed---and Bartleby was downright cheerful for at least ten days.
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