Month: September 2019

Would You Like to Try Again?

The Powers That Be have realized their mistake with regard to the jury summons the human female received. I’m sure that when someone pointed out their goof they were properly horrified. No one wants the human female to show up anywhere in her pajamas and slippers to sit in sleepy judgment on various and assorted miscreants.

Thus, at my instigation, they have sent out corrected summonses.


Tuesdav? Well done, court minion. Well done.

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Mail has been rather sporadic lately.  Sometimes I just tell the carrier they can take a day off.  No one really needs their mail-order medicines or the latest quilt fabric catalog, do they?

The other day, though, I arranged for something a little more dramatic.

squashed po

Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly swears that the collapse of a sorting facility in the Big City to the South “won’t affect mail deliveries at all.”

If you believe that, I’ve some lovely acreage in Muspelheim you might be interested in.

Still, perhaps they are telling the truth (for once), because this managed to arrive for the human female:

jury summons

Isn’t that hilarious?!  Sometimes I make myself laugh!  Remember, mortal, it’s a legal document!  You have to report exactly where–and when!–they say, or you’ll be in big, expensive trouble!

And I know what you’re thinking.  If you show up in your pajamas and slippers, they’ll fine you two hundred dollars!

Ehehehehe!  Let’s see you wriggle out of this one.

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It’s About Time.

A BHI  (Big, Heavy Item) arrived in the stockroom for the human yesterday, but it was raining, so she and her staff waited a bit.  And then the stockroom was closed, so it’s not today until someone can go fetch it and cart it over here.

Great Frigga’s Corset!  It’s the long-lost centrifuge!  It was not delivered by F&THS, whose paperwork carries the delightful slogan.


(The human female was surprised, because apparently they only go as far as the Big city to the South)

Nor was it delivered by Yeah, Right, Ciao, but by a third, apparently more reliable, shipper.

Here it is, out of its protective swaddlings.  It’s ENORMOUS!  And so terribly clean!


Yeah, that won’t last.

Let’s plug it in!   Odin’s eyepatch!  Look at that slick display!


Speed, timer, and a bunch of other things.  Hmmm.  This looks complicated. I’m not sure the human female should go anywhere near it…

The inside is clearly set up for some good, fast, fun!


Come, on Sorvall!  Let’s go for a spin!

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P.S.  Sigyn, here.  You know what the best part about this shipment is?  It’s the return address for the vendor:


Is that not the cutest address ever?  I’d love to live on a street with a cute name like that!  I think I’ll ask the humans if we can move…

: )




A Capsicum With A Secret

The human female bought a pepper yesterday, to slice up and eat with the beany glop known as “hummus.”  Apparently “hummus” is what it’s called in its native country.  And here I always thought it was called that because that’s the coughy-gaggy noise you make when you’re trying to get the taste of chickpeas and sesame out of your mouth afterwards.

So now she’s going to cut up the pepper.  WAIT!  Sigyn, did you hear that?  That pepper rattled!


Ehehehe!  The human female is looking at her pepper with grave distrust and then at me and then back to the pepper.  What?  You think I did something to it?  Put a little surprise inside?  Maaaaybe I did… Maybe there’s a great big bug in there?  Wouldn’t that be funny!

Go ahead.  Open ‘er up.  If you dare.

By Idunns’ little apples!  It’s inhabited!


The golden orange pepper has spawned a twisted little yellow and green pepper!

I did not know they could do that.

Hey!  What if it’s like those Russian nesting dolls?   Maybe there’s a smaller pepper inside the little pepper.  Keep slicing, human, and let’s get to the bottom of this!


Sadly empty.  I feel so cheated.

But it does give me some ideas for a few nifty vegetable-based pranks….

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It’s All Sorts of Untrustworthy Up In Here

Sigyn and I have accompanied the mortals on their weekly grocery run.  While they peruse the canned goods and debate the merits of one brand of toothpaste over another, my beloved and I are free to look around at the things that are not groceries.

Sigyn is quite charmed by these succulents in the home goods aisle. Succulents are all the rage these days.


Yes, my love, they are quite pretty.  And colorful, too, yes.  And most assuredly easy to care for.  Oh, you think we should get some, as the Terror Twins might be less likely to gnaw on these than on the other houseplants?  I suspect you are correct.  Because they are plastic.

Speaking of felines…  There is a portly, overly-cheerful one and its equally smiley kin in the new little tea cafe near the front of the store.


I rarely trust cats, and I can tell this crew is up to something.  No one smiles this much unless they are Up To Something.  I should know.

(Hey, Sigyn, how is a beckoning lucky cat statue like a flat, round, tasteless candy?  They’re both Neko-wavers!  Ba-dum tsss!)

The little cafe has some interesting wall art, too.  There are some flowers, and there is a pagoda and …

Sweet Glittering Bifrost!


Can’t I go anywhere without running into depictions of my stupid, oafish “brother”?  Even when it doesn’t really have his big, dumb face, it’s still his big, dumb face.

My day is spoilt.  Let’s go home.

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Oh, How Could I Forget?!

It happens every fall.  It’s as perennial as the changing of the leaves, the aroma of woodsmoke on the air, and the roar of the football-watching crowds (only one of which actually occurs in this part of Midgard in September.  The colored leaves will hold off until the middle of December, and the woodsmoke won’t arrive until January–unless someone barbecues for Thanksgiving…)

It did happen this year, and I did meddle, but I was so busy being naughty in other directions that I forgot to write about it.  Of what do I speak?  Why of the Dead Cat Ballet, of course!  The arrival of the year’s worth of preserved animals, “fresh” from the Purveyor of Dead Things, carefully coordinated with the PODT, the carrier, Central Receiving, Prep Staff, and Slow, Silent, and Costly.  Given all the things that have to go right, at just the right times, it’s amazing that it ever works.

The human female put her order in in May, the same as she usually does.  This year, the request included a truly staggering number of frogs and sea cucumbers (the latter of which, although they ARE pickled, are not at all nice on sandwiches.  Don’t ask.)  She was informed that the lampreys would be on backorder, and that the sharks might be delayed.  This was expected, as lampreys have the gall not to fling themselves into nets until late in the year.

Fast forward to August, when the human female began to arrange the shipping and delivery.  Central Receiving, true to form, indulged in that Midgardian children’s game known as “phone tag,” but eventually a date and time was settled upon. The human female, having been instructed that all requests to Slow, Silent, and Costly go only through the Department’s Facilities Manager (no more ad hoc work requests to deal with my plumbing projects, if you please), obliged and requested that the post in the double doors be removed.  When she asked the FM for the work order number, in case something went wrong at the last minute (like last year, when the removed post was put back before the delivery even happened), she was told, “It’s under control.”  “But what is the number?” “It’s being handled.”  In other words, mortal, sit down, shut up, and listen to your betters.

The delivery arrived as scheduled, multiple pallets of it, right on time.  One of Prep Staff having had quite enough of the Human Female and moving on to bigger and better things, the team was a person short, so the affianced of one of the minions was dragooned into helping.

I let it all proceed as desired (which should have been their second clue), with swift transfer of all the various boxes from the pallets to the shelves.  Sea cucumbers here, frogs over there, fish on the shelf by the door.  But what about the boxes with no labels?  Oh, just put those in the hallway and we’ll sort them out later.

When all the labeled parcels had been stowed away, the scope of my mischief was apparent.


None of those boxes had external markings that would hint at their contents.  What was supposed to be a forty-minute session of sweating and grunting turned into a long, protracted, painful parody of Yule, with everyone sitting upon the ground and opening the boxes to discern their contents.   None proved to be completely full.  “I’ve got three rats.” “Four more squid in this one.” “Mine is just twelve copies of the insert for the preserving fluid.”  And so on, for another delightful hour.

At the end, the human female and her minions were short on two items and over on one.  (Midgardians, apparently count like this:  One, two, many, ….thousands.)  A look through the labeled boxes revealed that one, at least, was mismarked and contained something different entirely, altering the count further.

So of course the human female called the PODT, who agreed to send the missing defunct vertebrates.  When she told them how the shipment had been so inefficiently packed as to result in about a pallet’s-worth of unlabeled, un-full boxes and asked if couldn’t they please a) pack full boxes next time, and b) label them.  “Well,  on your next order you should specify that you want the boxes labeled. I don’t know–there might be an extra charge for that.”

Ehehehehe!  Don’t you know that about half your vendors and ALL of the freight lines work for me now?  Now that I know it really bugs you, you can look forward to even more mystery boxes next fall.

One final note.  This might be the end of an era. Since the real, live Dead Cats are being ordered separately these days, since they take so long to arrive, for the first time in memory, there were no actual defunct kitties in this year’s order.  The human female reckons that the whole rigmarole  ought to be renamed.  She’s proposed the “Dead Frog Fandango.”  Hmm.  It’s not untrue, but it just doesn’t have the same “zip.”

What do you think?

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Auspicious, But Only For Felines

What with the heat and all the late nights at work and the book editing and the yardwork and the housework (which the human female will cite as a reason, but which, believe me, she is not doing), it’s a rare night indeed when the humans feel like making dinner when they get home.

That is how we’ve ended up with delicious Chinese take-out for dinner tonight.  I’ve no complaints.  I like a good orange chicken as much as the next fellow, though Sigyn usually opts for the tofu and vegetables, since nothing with a face went into it.

Well, that was good.  Time for fortune cookies!  They’re a ridiculous Midgardian custom, but I think they’re fun anyway.

Here’s mine:


Everything except THIS FORTUNE! 

Sigyn, what does yours say?


Great Frigga’s corset!   That’s…not nice.  I think I shall have to have a word with a certain cookie manufacturer.

On the bright side, the paper bag and the plastic bag that the food came in apparently makes the best crinkly noises EVER! 


Small Engine; Big Mischief

The human female doesn’t really enjoy mowing the lawn (especially in this heat), but when she does get around to it, she likes to do a good job.

Which is why she found it so annoying when I had the mower die with part of the front lawn left to do.

unmowed patch

Ehehehehe!  All done except for that one very noticeable patch about 8 feet by 10.  Yank and pull as you will, mortal, that mower is not starting again today.  Hmmm.  Maybe you’ve flooded it?

(The next day.)  The human female is in hopes that a night spent thinking about its transgressions will have put the mower in a cooperative mood.

Yank.  hbdhbd Yank. RRrrnhbdhhbdh..dh.  YANK. RRRRrrrrrnnHbdhhbdkhbdhhbadh… YANKETY-YANK!  PUTTTttttputt…putt…put…pt.

Oh, dear.  Is it still not working?  And you’ve checked the gas and the air filter and the gas and the spark plug and the gas?  And you’ve tipped the mower up to see that the blade can turn freely and all that happened was the gas and oil leaked all over the patio?And it’s still not happy?  Aww.  Guess it’s dead then, huh?

So now the human female is looking online at electric lawn mowers.  She’s picked out one that’s available locally–or at least that’s what the computer says.  So now it’s off to the Big Box of Home Hardware and Stuff.

So here the humans are, wandering around this immense place, looking for the mowers.  And here they are!  There are several electric models, but not the blue one they’re looking for.  I’m suggesting that maybe this other green one would work.  The nice employee says they have two in stock.  And they do!  The demo one hanging on the wall and the one down below.  In the opened box.  That’s missing the batteries.  Sigh.  No mower will be purchased today, though the employee is helpfully willing to order the one they originally wanted online.  It could be here in as little as two weeks!

Ehehehehe!  By that time, the city will have pinned a Nasty-gram on the human female’s front door, citing her for an Unkempt Lawn.  Or maybe, considering the state it’s in, they’ll just pin one little torn-off corner of the citation to her door…

So now the humans are back home, awaiting the arrival of their Handy Bachelor Friend, the one who’s pretty good with small engines.  Let’s see if he can overcome my mischief and get this pesky mower going.

And here he is, with his own mower that the human female can use to finish her front yard and do the back.  “Let’s take a look.”  Prime-prime-prime-prime.  Yank, yank, yank, yank, Rnnn..pttb..pttb.  “Oh, it’s definitely water in the fuel.  Now, if this were my old mower, I’d just loosen the little plug in the bottom of the gas tank and let it drip out, but these new ones are mumble, grumble, grumble. You need some fuel additive and a new air filter.”  He and the human male have gone back to the Big Box of Home Hardware and Stuff to buy some while the female gets to the mowing.

Aha!  I knew it!  I set the wheels on the Handy Bachelor Friend’s mower one notch shorter than the human female keeps hers, and the patch she just mowed makes the rest of the lawn look too long! And it’s not a mulching mower, either, so she’s leaving long windrows of clippings. Beautiful!

I could do this all day.  Now the menfolks are back with the air filter, the fuel additive, and some gloves.  Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.  “Now it’ll start right up!”  Prime-prime-prime-prime.  Yank, yank, yank, yank, Rnnn..pttb..pttb.  “Well, maybe it’s the spark plug.”

This is where the Handy Bachelor friend finds that he doesn’t have the exact right size socket to pull the plug, and neither does the human male.  Oh, I’ll eventually let them get it out, but just because they’re going to see that it’s perfectly fine.

“Well, let’s take the housing off the engine and see what’s going on under there.  Okay, that’s all right.  {Insert arcane words like ‘venturi’ and ‘overhead’} And that looks fine.  Okay, there.  Try to start it now.”

“KA-THWAP!”  Very instructive!   They have just learned that you cannot start it with the housing unsecured, since the pull-cord just yanks the housing off.  Tighten, tighten, tighten.  Prime-prime-prime-prime.  Yank, yank, yank, yank, Rnnn..pttb..pttb.

The human female is wondering if it’s the throttle cable, because that’s what broke on her previous mower, forcing her to jam the throttle open with a piece of wood every time she wanted to start it.  “No, the cable’s not broken, but—wait.  Hold down the throttle again…  Now try to start it…” Prime-prime-prime-prime.  Yank, yank, yank, yank, Rnnn..pttb..pttb.

At this point I show a little mercy and let the Handy Bachelor Friend notice that, while the throttle cable is intact, it’s somehow too long.  How does a metal cable stretch?  It’s not pulling hard enough and the mower is basically trying to start with the engine shut off.  Hence the Rnnn..pttb..pttb.  “Here.  Let me push this thing over a bit more while you try to start it.”

Prime-prime-prime-prime.  Yank.  BANGVROOOOOM!!!!!

Great news!  They have discovered the problem!

Not so great news!  That bang was the mower chewing up the air filter cover, which was sitting underneath it.  (Thanks, Handy Bachelor Friend.)

So now the question is, “How can we shorten the cable, given that it has special things on either end which cannot be removed?”  There needs to be a way to wind it round the handle frame or something, just to take up some slack.  I will let them fiddle with it for another ten or fifteen minutes in the hot afternoon sun before I point out that they can disassemble the handle, reverse it, and have the cable run just that little bit farther.  An adjustment here and a zip tie or two there and TA DA!  The mower runs now!  Granted, the human female will have to keep picking up the air filter and sticking it back on since there’s no cover for it, but at least she can finish the front yard.

Oh, wait.  The human female had to come in for some water.  And now she can’t start it again.  With her short little arms, she has a real problem pulling the cord out to its full length.  And it looks like the cable problem is reoccurring.  It’s going to take the two men to start it.

(later.)  Whew.  Now she’s finished.  Hot, sweaty, filthy, malodorous, and finished.  Well, except for the sidewalk, which needs weeding, and the holly that needs trimming, and the spent sunflowers that need to come down and….What time is it getting to be?  Dinner time already?  Tsk, tsk.  I’ve ruined an entire day with a job that should take two hours, tops.  Well done, me!

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