cleric

LEAD MINI QUARRY

Chapter 5

How The Heck Did We Ever Get To This Dump?

 

Dorfo and his friends, Jam, Mary, and Pipsqueak found themselves standing on a well-worn trail within throwing distance of the walled town of Limburger.   Small puddles of ink dotted the path and their large Stubbie feet left clear prints in the damp earth.  “Well I’ll be a turnip pie  on the steps of a pigeon coop”, exclaimed Dorfo.  He was sounding more and more like his addled uncle Bellybutton as the journey progressed, a fact that hadn’t gone unnoticed by his companions.  “C’mon gang this is our destination.  Let’s see if we can find Gambloss before he spends all his money.  Whether he likes it or not he’s going to have foot the bill for this trip.”

The companions followed the trail to an intersection with the main Limburger  thoroughfare and were awestruck as they approached the  mighty walls of ripened cheese* and the aroma of  body odor that accompanied it.   They snorted in great breaths of air.   “By Jove it's smells just like my Old Crapper's feet,” exclaimed a delighted but homesick Jam-Jar. “I do miss the Landfill.”

As they approached the small deteriorating wooden gate.   “I understand the people of Limburger are very suspicious of strangers,” Dorfo muttered. “ Mary and Pipsqueak you take care to act as normal as possible.”  Upon reaching the rickety gate the Stubbies saw a small worn wooden sign hanging from a nail in the rotting wood.  The writing warned visitors NO PEDDLERS NO VAGRANTS NO GAMBLERS ALLOWED.   “Okay”, said Dorfo, “let me do all the talking.”  He knocked on the gate as hard as possible and almost put his fist through the wood.  A feeble voice responded from inside the walls,   “All right, all ready, you don't have to break down the door, I'm coming as fast as I can!”

                                                            .    .    .

Jam Jar hadn't followed his companions to the entrance.   Instead he meandered to  the thick walls of Limburger cheese that surrounded the town.  As he neared, he felt as though he was floating on the pungent odors wafting from the walls.   His rotund frame was as light as the air as he made his way to the base of the wall.   Jam wasn't sure whether or not his movements were voluntary.  All he knew was that he was at the foot of the barrier and felt no compunction to leave and join his friends.  The cheese looked so soft and creamy and it cried out to be tasted.  Jam pulled a knife from his knapsack and plunged it in to the Limburger.  He tasted the cheese and was amazed at the flavor.   He couldn't resist spreading some on a Twinkie and, much to his delight, he felt the taste was without compare.  He dug deeper into the Limburger as though he was eating his way to the heavens, never noticing the wall closing in around him.   Before long Jam ran out of Twinkies and, while rummaging through his knapsack looking for more of the Elvis cakes, he finally noticed that the cheese had surrounded him.   It was closing in as fast as cheese could move.   Pressing against him and rolling his flab into grotesque configurations.   His only chance was to try and eat his way through the wall.  He alternated eating huge mouthsfull of cheese with muffled cries for help.  All that kept him from being devoured by the wall was his the eating prowess of his Stubbie genes.   Yet time was running out.

                                                               .    .    .

The gatekeeper finally reached the wall and opened a small watch hole.   He stared out and seeing nothing muttered, “punk kids always knocking and running away.  If I ever get my hands...” 

Dorfo quickly shouted as the man began to close the little window, “wait, we're here!” 

“Where,” countered the old geezer.

“Look down you old fool,” shouted Mary.  “We're Stubbies!”

  “What could a herd of Stubbies be wanting in Limburger?” he questioned.  “And what might your names?”

Dorfo replied, “we are Stubbies of the Landfill, My name is Mr. Underpants and  I am travelling with my friends Jam, Mary, and Pipsqueak.   Our business is none of yours.”

“Well, sighed the old man, it may normally be none of my business but in these strange times when Stubbie herds are traveling about under assumed names it becomes my business.   Underpants, I mean really?  Anyway, can't you read the sign? It says no Stubbies allowed!”

Dorfo countered, “we have read the sign and there is no mention of Stubbies, just pedlars, gamblers, and vagrants.  I don't see any mention of Stubbies anywhere among the grafitti on this door either.”

The gatekeeper's tone rose, “what do you think a Stubbie is?   If we allow you to come in here the first thing you'll do is go to the inn order some food and start trying to sell us some kind of junk we threw away two weeks before.   Or you'll scheme up some kind of  trade to pay for your lodging and meals.   Stubbie equals pedlar!”  He reached his hand through thew window grabbed the sign and turned it around revealing the words NO STUBBIES ALLOWED.   “Why do we always have to spell things out for you hustlers.”

“Look here, squawked Pipsqueak, we know that Stubbies are too allowed in Limburger.  There is a thriving community of them beyond these walls.  You must let us in immediately for our friend Gambloss is waiting for us at the Overburdened Pony.  He is a gambler and he wouldn't have asked us to meet him here if he or Stubbies weren’t allowed entrance.   Now let us in before the hack writers that have been chasing us find us and erase us!”

The old watchman sighed, “it is true that we let Gambloss into this town but if he's a gambler then I'm an Elvis!   Haha, this town was built with his money!  And there may be Stubbies living in Limburger but they aren't the Landfill type.   They are good folk, not annoying hucksters like you.   Now then, these hack writers you speak of,  some townsfolk have reported seeing strange Stubbie-like creatures prowling out side the walls.   Chattering their teeth in gutteral sounds, and erasing parts of the countryside near Barry White's No Money Downs Mall, but we didn't take the stories seriously.  Tell me more about these hack writers and what they look like.”

Dorfo quickly described their earlier encounter with the hack writers and implored the gatekeeper to let the friends inside before the mysterious figures came back.      Entrance was grudingly allowed and the old man opened the deteriorating gate.   “Just you be careful,”  warned the doorman.    “There may be Stubbies living in Limburger but not near as many as there once was.   I'd say the herd is down to less than a score of families.   They are disappearing and no one knows why.”  

The Stubbies entered Limburger cautiously and surveyed the town for the Overburdened Pony.  “Where's Jam,” queried Mary.   “He's not with us any more.   Do you guys think the old codger was right and Stubbies are disappearing”?

“I'll bet he went home,” Pipsqueak retorted, “the smell of the wall reminded him of his Old Crapper's feet and made him homesick.”

“Well I say good riddance then.  He's been nothing but a pain in the rump since we started this journey,” Dorfo angrily stated.

The stubbies walked down the road adjacent to the wall.  Unwittingly, their gazes were drawn over and over to the towering cheese defenses as they progressed to the inn. 

Shortly after sighting the Overburdened Pony Mary could no longer resist the lure of the cheese.  He meandered to the wall as if in a hypnotic trance.   As he reached the it he began grabbing handfulls of the soft cheese and shoving them into his welcoming mouth.   The wall obliged and bid him welcome as it began to surround his doughy frame.   Pipsqueak took another look, and he too was taken in by the spell  of the wall.   When Dorfo had almost reached the inn he turned to remind his companions that they were not to reveal that he was a Baggypants and was surprised to find that both Mary and Pipsqueak were no longer with him.  He looked toward the wall and saw Pipsqueak merrily chowing down on cheese and Mary nearly fully engulfed in Limburger.  Dorfo shouted for help and ran towards the wall to aid his friends.  He slapped Pipsqueak out of the trance but Mary was now inside the wall.  

Upon hearing Dorfo's cries, many residents of Limburger ran from their residences and The Overburdened Pony only to be dismayed that their protector had turned on the Stubbies.   Ropes were gathered and tied around the waists of Dorfo and Pipsqueak.   They were sent to the wall armed with cheese knives and crackers where they began the task of eating their way to their captured friend.  As time passed more Stubbies were recruited and the scene resembled a block party with a tug of war as entertainment.   Men pulling ropes taught to keep the entranced gluttonous Stubbies from being consumed by their cheese spread.  The wall fought hard but the Stubbies were up to the task.   They ate through the cheese as though it was an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch.  Occasionally they came upon bones that they discarded onto the road.  Presumably the remains of the long lost Stubbies that had been disappearing from the town. 

Within ten minutes Mary's body was reached and the rescue party was able to eat away enough cheese to get a rope around his waist.   The men pulled him out of the cheese with a great yank.   Exhausted and bellys full beyond their dreams the Stubbie rescuers took a rest and started to make plans for dinner when they heard a muffled cry from within the wall.   “Jam? exclaimed Dorfo, he's in the wall too!”   “No,” shouted a young Stubbie woman that was providing beverages to the rescue party, “that's my boy Paunch.  He's been missing since lunch!   He can eat a like a horse but I'm sure he's running out of time.   He must be full by now.   I knew that wall was evil.  If only Tom Cholesteroleo hadn't been banished from this story.    He could control Old Man    Wall-O  with cheery songs of milkmaids and sweetbreads.   Piddle Earth is changing without him.   I've heard stories of bands of marauding hack writers.  I'm sure this is their bidding!”

The Stubbie rescue team all took a deep breath and readied themselves for the next assault on Old Man Wall-O.   This time the heavy weapons were pulled out and they feasted on home-made pumpernickel as the host of the  limburger, but the young Stubbies cries were weakening as they delved on.   Soon after the second attempt the Stubbies could no longer carry on.   Their stomachs were so full that they couldn't move an inch.   All appeared to be lost when suddenly from inside the wall they heard a loud brrrrrruuup and a head-sized bubble slowly formed on the outside of the limburger.   Dorfo pulled himself up from the ground and looked at the bubble.   Inside he saw the face of his friend Jam Jar Jelly Binks with a wide smile.    Dorfo popped the bubble leaving Jam with a cheesy covering on his face.   Jam took in a deep breath of fresh air and continued eating through the rest of the cheese.   When he finally emerged he was carrying a ginormous young Stubbie boy under his left arm.  

Shouts of joy rang out from the exhausted rescue party as Jam returned Paunch to his mother.   He then pulled out a pack of Twinkies and smothered the cakes with cheese.   He belched out the words, “Time for dessert,” as the crowd lifted him high over their heads and carried him off to the Overburdened Pony.

“Sheesh,”  Dorfo whimpered.   “Always out for glory that Jam Jar is.  I've never seen anyone who was more in it for the attention than him.” 

“You've got to hand it to him,” Pipsqueak replied, “he sure knows how to please a crowd.”

The dejected Dorfo helped Mary and Pipsqueak to their feet and they all headed off to the ensuing celebration.

 

*Limburger was located east of  the Landfill just beyond the BoozeNstein River.  The town is named after it’s ten foot high walls of Limburger cheese  which were erected at the behest of the town founder and  legendary mayor C. H. Whiz because of the growing menace of the Landfill’s stench and to a lesser extent goblin raiders.   He  enlisted the help of Tom Cholesteroleo to build a living wall of cheese from the dairy in The Old Forage.   Tired of having to to put with that foul odor every time the wind blew in from the east Mayor Whiz was purported to have said, “we are faced with an enemy unseen, so overpowering  that no defense can withstand.  It seeps into our homes, our minds, wearing us down over time until we go mad!  No, we will not allow ourselves to be enslaved by one that will not fight face-to-face with honor.  I have had a great vision, we will build walls, walls of stench that is, for if we must smell something bad then we will smell something good!”  And so the townsfolk built walls made of Limburger cheese which protected them from both the Landfill and goblins.  

Copyright 2002, 2012  John Keefe

 

 

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