Battlepanda: Vanity of the Word-Gobblers


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Vanity of the Word-Gobblers

(An excerpt from my 5th-grade reading workbook, The Scratch Papers, now out-of-print. Previous excerpts: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.)

It may surprise you to know that the face of a Word-Gobbler has a great deal of expression. Strange as it may seem, a Word-Gobbler is very concerned about what it looks like. I estimate that a W.G. spends about three hours a day convincing itself that it is handsome. When it can find a mirror wedged someplace deep in Moog's cavern, the W.G. will admire its gummy, fleshy self until its own head becomes quite swollen with pride.

Unfortunately, when a Word-Gobbler's head swells, it really swells. Nothing can embarrass a W.G. worse than a swollen head, since it thinks it is so handsome. The only way to get rid of this condition is for the W.G. to make gestures with the rest of its body until the head grows long and skinny. So flattened, the W.G. can navigate through narrow openings in the cavern rocks. The W.G. must often brave dangerous slopes and tight squeezes. The narrow openings help push the W.G.'s head back into shape. Then it can happily look in the mirror again and flirt once more with the hazards of having too much pride.