Funny Fantasy Science Fiction

“Hey, Burt.  Guess what?”

“What is it, Bart?”

“I was down by the pier having a casual smoke and, in the bay, was a crate I found lapping against the waves.  Curious, I fished it out––don’t ask me how––and opened it with a crowbar I happened to find along the quay.  And of all the things in the world, do you know what I saw?”

“Gosh, Bart.  What did you see?”



“Nothing.  Zip.  Empty air.  So, after groaning a long-winded show of frustration, I kicked the crate back into the bay, went to take out another smoke and found that the words I was muttering started to spill outta me as if my mouth had sprung a leak.”

“You’re kidding?”

“I kid not, Burt!  My gums flapped their little hearts away, and now my mouth is aching like nobody’s business.  And boy, they never stop.  I tried lighting another smoke, and my cigarette kept falling out cuz my lips refused to stay shut!”

“That’s the craziest thing I heard all day, Bart!  Whaddeah think was the cause of it?”

“No idea, but whoever’s idea of a joke this was is gonna have an extra pair o’lips fatter than a Punchinello in a burlesque sideshow!  It coulda been a ghost.  It coulda been a curse.  Coulda been an alien from a godforsaken universe.  Regardless, when I'm done with this fella, he's gonna end up flatter than one of my stamped-out cigarette butts!”

“And since then, your condition never stopped?”

“It never stopped.  I’m a-yammerin’ and a-hollarin’ with no end in sight!  Everyone gawks at me like I’m a batty old crone just thrown off her rocker.  I’m that turkey ambling down the street with a trap running faster than a hypersonic jet.  A wise guy even came up to me and asked if I was part of a séance.”

“Why’s that, Bart?”

“Because my gift of the gab was enough to raise the dead!”

“Did you, Bart?”

“What?  No!  But my lips pucker every time I pass a cemetery.”

“Why’s that?”

“So, I end up whistling past the graveyard!  They say it's the only way to keep the Reaper away.”

“What did you do afterwards?”

“Well, down on my luck, I went to the bar just around the corner and when I tried to take a shot of some good ol’ Jack Daniels, half of it ran up my nose on account my mouth was closed half the time!  When I went to the diner across the street, I ordered myself a chili dog, but every time I tried to bite into it I began spouting off about the dame on the opposite end of the aisle.  I couldn’t even finish my dinner when her boyfriend, the palooka that he was, charged me as if I waved a red flag in front of a bull, and hightailed it outta there like I just robbed the First National Bank!”

“Boy!  I’d say that was a close one!”

“I’ll say!  My lips ran so fast, I used them instead of my feet!  I was so loud, heads popped out of the windows from tenants who thought I was the Second Coming!  The hospital wards were so offended they shushed me before they even heard me!  They said I violated the local noise ordinance, but when I asked when it came into effect, they said as soon as they saw me amblin' down the block!”

“Heavens have mercy!”

“Mercy my ear!  No one had any mercy for me.  And so, I kept babbling away, cursed to utter every stream of consciousness scrolling through my brain!”

“That must've been a nightmare!”

“Whaddeah think I was dreamin’ about?  Kittens and unicorns?  I thought I died and reincarnated as a typewriter clickety-clacking 'til the end of time!”

“Gee, Bart.  How loud were you?”

“So loud I peeled the paint off of every house under the housing authority.  Not only that, but they even sent me the bill and told me next time I did that I’d end up paying for the insurance on top!”

“How much did they charge?”

“It was the direct premium!  I’m even sure they took a liberty or two in tacking on a few extras for good measure.  I was so loud, wherever I walked the zoning board reserved it as airspace.  I was so loud, the boomboxes told me to shut up!” 

“I’m sorry you had to go through all that, Bart.  Did anything else happen?”

“Did anything else happen, he asked.  No!  I was so loud, the fire department thought I was a siren.  When they went looking for the fire, they put me out!”

“That's why you're sopping wet?”

“Yes, that's why I'm sopping wet!  And when I walked past an army base, the recruiter was so impressed, he asked me if they could use me as a sonic weapon!”


“Really.    When rioters tried to burn down the city, they just aimed my head and away I blabbed.  Those crazy hooligans dispersed faster than a wet mackerel grabbed fresh from outta the water.  Then they shipped me overseas and had me shoot down a whole salvo of ICBMs.  You shoulda seen how they went kaput like flies in a bug zapper!”

“That’s really impressive!”

“I’ll say.  I prattled away so much, when I looked down, the streets started to shake.  It registered a 4.5 on the Richter scale!”

“You mean it was you responsible for that earthquake when I was shaving earlier this afternoon?”

“I suppose it was.  You even nicked yourself on the cheek.”

“Ouch!  Don’t touch it, Bart.  It’s still bruised!”

“That reminds me.  A news agency heard all about the hubbub and got in touch with me.  They said they would pay me to read off their prompts.  All I had to do was let nature run its course!”

“Well, you got a job.  That’s great news!”

“Not really.  The first headline I recited had my name all over it!  I was on all the front pages.  I was the talk of town on every platform.  I was mentioned so much the platforms canceled me!  They said my voice was too toxic and offended their fragile little egos.  They even threatened to cancel the agency that hired me from the start, and the scary thing was that they had the guns and bombs to do it!”

“That's terrible!”

“I'll say.  I was so distraught, I went to grab another cigarette only to lose it again with all that yakkity-yakking.  When it fell on the sidewalk, a cop ran up and handed me a ticket for littering!”

“And you still haven’t found a way to pull the plug on that loudspeaker coming out of your mouth?”

“Proof’s in the pudding.  How do ya think I’m talking to you right now?  Through a moment of silence?  I just wanna find that whippersnapper who did this to me and clobber ‘im one!”

“I’m right there with you, Bar––”

“Clobber ‘im one, eh?”

“Bart, who said that?  It came from your lips, but it didn’t sound like you!”

“Well, whoddeah think said tha––

“Oh, quit yer chitter-chatter already!”

“Pardon me, but are you talking to yourself, Bart?”

“No, you idiot––oof!”

“You acted like someone just socked you in the gut, Bart!”

“Whaddea think––Hey what gives?  I feel like someone's tryin' to bust outta—”

“Gang way!”

“Are you possessed, Bart?  It doesn’t sound like you.”

“Of course, it’s not me, you nincum––oh, no!  Aaagh!”

“What is it, Bart?  Speak to me!  You look blue in the face––Now, wait a minute.  Who––what’s that coming out of your mouth, Bart?  It looks like a technicolor rainbow!”


“Looks like I had enough fun for today.”

“Wait.  You’re not Bart!  Who are you?”

“I’m the one this pudgy dimwit was lookin' to clobber…and give me a pair o' lips fatter than a Punchinello at a burlesque sideshow!  After all that time I spent floatin' around in that crate, for Pete's sake.  Name’s Chusty, by the way.  I’m what you might call a living gag.”

“Oh, my!  Pleased to meet you, Chusty.  Say, you look like something outta one of those cartoon pictures!”

“You bet!  You should see the planet where I'm from.  I can tell you one thing; there's a whole lot more of me up there!”

“Wow!  You’re from another planet?”

“Where else would I be?  Detroit?”

“I see.  One question.  What can you do for my friend Bart here?  I see that he’s lying prostrate on the ground with a face looking like he had a bit too much off the tap!  Is he gonna be alright?”

“Sure.  Sure.  He’ll be up and about in no time flat.  Though, I’m sure he won’t be in the mood to speak with anyone for a long, long time!”

“If he doesn’t lose his mind when I tell him who came crawling out of him!”

“Ha!  Makes me laugh ev'ry time!  It’s what I do best.  I didn’t come all the way over here from the Phoenicis R system to wind up in the city dog pound.”

“Well, you certainly look like one!  I even thought about taking you home and giving you a leash and a collar.  I’d hate to see what kind of fleas the likes of you would have!”

“Nah, I'm used to 'em.  They come with the territory.  Can't shake 'em loose, even in thru-space hoppin' to ev'ry star.  Just give 'em a good scratch, I say!”

“Say, now.  I think I'm getting an itch!”

“Hm.  Looks like I need a bath.  Gettin' kind of' mangy after bein' cooped up for so long in your buddy there.  By the way, friend,  those fleas will need a good laugh.  It's the only way to stave off the curse cuz they'll be spreadin' the funny bone this way to Sunday!”

“Why's that, friend?”

“Cuz they came here last week and they breed like they're goin' outta style!”

February 21, 2023 07:00

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