Friday, February 23, 2007

My Wombat Adventure

I walked through the door and threw the wombat down on the counter. The sign above read “Wombats Is We.”

“You freaks sold me a defective wombat,” I said angrily, ill-advisedly using an adverb. “This piece of junk doesn’t even wom. And its batting average is pitiful.”

The disinterested female on the opposite side of the counter stared over my left shoulder, her obvious annoyance at my presence not nearly as maddening as the chomping sounds produced by her vigorous gum-chewing. Her bottle-blonde hair was pulled straight back and knotted at the back her head. So severe was the hair-do, it stretched her face, causing her eyes to bulge with a Lagoon Creature quality. She stamped out a spent Marlboro and lit another.

“So what?” she asked, her beady eyes staring at me through the haze of smoke around her head. “Who do I look like, Cesar Chavez?”

Because I didn’t wish to admit, even to myself, I didn’t understand the comparison, I chose instead to snarl and shove the furry creature nearer. “Listen,” I said. “I need to exchange this wombat for an operable model. My son’s birthday is tomorrow and he’s determined to have a wombat.”

“Kid’s spoiled,” the woman said. “Give ‘im a rake and let ‘im contribute to society.”

“No, you don’t understand,” I said. “Lancelot is very particular about his birthday gifts. Christmas doesn’t faze him, but his birthday present has to be right. And this year he wants—no, demands—a wombat.”

“Wombats scratch.”
“We’ll have it declawed. Assuming they have claws, of course.”
“And if they don’t?”
“Then it doesn’t matter. Look, can’t you just exchange it?”
“Gotta receipt?”

I handed her the crumpled paper and she took it, sighing heavily as she opened and smoothed it on the counter.

“Looks like you got it on sale. Can’t give you the sale price, ‘cause it’s over. You’ll have to pay the difference.”

“Wait, that...”
“And you’ll have to buy another Wombat Welcome Packet.”
“But I still have the first one.”
“Tough beans.”

As eager as I was to be done with the entire process, I wasn’t about to let some blonde floozy trample my consumer rights. “I’d like to speak to a manager,” I said, as politely as I could manage.

“You’re doin’ just that,” she said.

“You’re the manager?”

“Kinda slow, ain’t you?” Taking a long drag on the cigarette, she gave a mighty cough and looked at me with what could possibly have been a look of pity. “We don’t take to your kind.”

“Morons, idiots, simpletons.”
“Shut up.”

It was now obvious I was not going to get a wombat replacement by going through the accepted channels, so I vaulted the counter and stalked toward the back room. Blondie shrieked and started after me, her progress mercifully slowed by her high heels, which were approximately the height of the Washington Monument.

“You can’t go back there!” she screamed. “It’s my private domain!”

“Domain?” I burst through the swinging doors and found myself in a large, warehouse area. Metal shelves lined the walls and wire cages lined the shelves. Each cage contained a single wombat. “Look at this!” I said. “There must be thousands of wombats here! Why can’t you just exchange one?”

For once, Blondie was silent, so I marched over to one of the cages and withdrew a young, squirming wombat. Knowing the battle was lost, the manager watched me go as I exited purposefully through the swinging doors.

It wasn’t until I got the wombat home, placed it inside a mesh holding cage, tied a festive bow around the cage, and began singing “Happy Birthday,” that I realized I had no little boy. Feeling the effects of such an anticlimax, I sighed and peeked into the cage. The baby wombat was sitting in a corner. When he saw me, he smiled brightly and gave me a thumb up. At least…I think it was his thumb.


Anonymous said...

This is a hilarious wombat story. I can't imagine how you could forget you didn't have a son. I can imagine forgetting you have one, but that you don't have one?! Hmmmmmm.....things are a lot worse than I thought.

robkroese said...

I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. I'd like to, but I can't. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

You too? I'm glad I'm not alone. I myself have noticed that when Wombat Exchange Day comes around, floozies are thick upon the ground The sheer cussedness of the day brings them aboveground. A cane with a sharpened rubber stopple is called for in such circumstances.

I notice your baby wombat was sitting in one corner. With patience and daily repetition, he can be trained to sit in two corners.

Note to prospective owners: A healthy wombat normally woms at about 2000 RPM, just before the secondaries kick in. This represents a significant fuel savings and is one of the benefits of wombat ownership.

Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

Great post! I'd never considered measuring a wombat's womming abilities, but there you have it.


Sprocket can sit in two corners. He's talented like that. He's pointier than a wombat, but I'll excuse that for now.

Jack W. Regan said...

Ha! Yeah, I guess it is a little unnecessary to say he sat in "one" corner... You guys will make me into a writer, yet!

Thanks for the comments, blogsters!

Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

I didn't even notice the subtle little bit of old man trickery in Dad's comment. I thought he was just being weird and all.

Seriously though. This is hilarious. Of course, I always like stuff like this. Substitute "toaster" for "wombat," and it'd be almost completely normal.

Woe to the consumer who finds himself in possession of a cheap wombat.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Craig. Humor in the British/Canadian vein, barking back at the barking madness of the world. Wombats must wom in the same way that hammers ham and sugar shugs.

The Wompom, by the way, is from the charming offhand genius of Flander and Swann, from the duo of the same name:
Very popular in the '60s, sadly neglected these days. Inquire of Foo for CDs of their heyday.

The "sharpened rubber stopple" is a takeoff on the frighteningly zoomorphic "gum massager" that used to be attached to the end of certain toothbrushes. Also sadly neglected, along with dental hygiene and the gold standard. Whether you could successfully defend yourself against an attacking floozie with one has yet to be determined.

And we should mention that no woms, poms, wombs, ombas or bats were thrown down, spun at high RPM or otherwise harmed in the making of that there post or these here comments.

Jacob Nordby said...

First a note to Stupid Blogger's Wifey...

You are hereafter, henceforth and forevermore subsequently to be known as Bef...maybe Beffy. This is a nod to the Ebonics pronunciation of your name. It's funny and it's easier to say. So, Bef, how's that grab you?

Secondly, even though I was assured that nothing sinister was intended, you may note that I have been ousted from the contributors section of this esteemed (to be pronounced es-TEAM-ed) forum. I waited patiently for at least 31 seconds and noted that I STILL hadn't been re-instated. Hmmph!

So anyway, wom away if you must and a happy St. Catherines of the Illuminata Day to you, too.

Jacob Nordby

Anonymous said...

Pickle Weasel, I don't mind Bef or Beffy. That is what all small children call me. So feel free to do likewise.

Jacob Nordby said...

Hmmm, Bef...

I was thinking more like the huge, thuggish type who might jump out of a pimped Lincoln Navigator and pop a cap in your bottom with his "nine".

Imagine a deep, growly Barry White voice...."Yo, Bef!"

See, not ONLY small kids. Some pretty scary, big black dudes, too!

robkroese said...

Happy Inappropriate Card Day, Stupid!

Anonymous said...

Wombat art! Wombats are almost always art.

A story about a wombat for children:

Sometimes I like to curl up in a ball too.