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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

THE CURSED TOBOGGAN

By Psychic Mystic Madam Misty Murky Merkel
Psychic/Contributor
Humor News Nuts Online Publications

It's a new month and there's lots going on.  There's an election afoot in America and there's going to be a bumper crop of jellybeans up in Canada.  I love jellybeans and it is one of the few crop harvests that I pay attention to.  In addition to the jelly bean crop I am going way, way out on a limb and predicting that 2016 will see a huge growth in sock puppet production.  It's not that the demand for sock puppets is going to increase but instead because shoe prices will climb to record highs people will no longer be able to afford shoes and who needs socks if you don't have any shoes to put them in.  Ergo, all those excess socks will be used to make sock puppets.

For me these last few days have been kind of busy.  Everyone is asking me which types of petunias to plant this spring and which type of manure is best for their primroses.  I even had three brothers ask me if I could help them exorcise their toboggan.  It seems that every time these three brothers, named Grimm, went down a hill on their toboggan their toboggan would crash into a tree.  The brothers told me that even if there were no trees near the path they chose down a hill their toboggan would inevitably veer toward some large tree even if it were several hundred feet away.  

Now, I am not actually known to be much of an exorcist and generally stay away from such requests but, because I knew their family virtually forever I decided I would do the brother's Grimm a real solid and try to exorcise the spirits that were guiding the brother's toboggan into trees or at least try to appease the nature of the spirits so that the brothers could have much safer journeys on their toboggan.

In order to find out why the brother's Grimm were having such a problem with trees I had to ask them a few questions.  The brothers names were Rizzo, Izzy and Pete and their parents, Pete and Leona had been friends of my family gong back decades so, I felt comfortable questioning the boys and they seemed very eager to answer my questions.  Of course, I kind of knew from previous experiences what was wrong with their toboggan but, I thought I needed to ask them a couple of questions just to make sure I was on the right track.

Now boys," I began," I need to know if you had your Toboggan christened before you decided to start riding her?"

"Yes, we did Madam Misty," Pete answered, "We had it christened The 
Deathbed because we all thought that was a real cool name for our toboggan board."

"O.K.," I responded, "Did you happen to christen this vessel with a bottle of champagne as is traditional at such christenings?"

"Well, yes we did," responded Pete again.  He was the elder brother so; I was not surprised that the other two left the responses up to Pete. A lot of siblings get use to deferring the speaker role to the eldest when they are kids and follow through with that arrangement throughout life.

"And, was the bottle unopened and full of champagne when you christened your toboggan?" I asked.      

"I swear to you Madam, the bottle was still corked and we did not drink a single drop of champagne out of that bottle before we broke it across our curvy snowboard," insisted Pete while making a heart crossing gesture with his right hand.   

"Well, that's the problem," I said, "you wasted a perfectly good bottle of Champagne on a hunk of wood and you angered the spirits of alcohol.  You see the spirits of alcohol get very angry whenever alcohol is wasted."

"But, I thought all the great ships that have ever sailed were christened with an alcoholic beverage," Pete rebuffed.

"Yes, but the ships that stayed afloat always had their contents consumed before the bottle was broken across the bow.  Every ship that has ever sunk sank because the simple step of not drinking the alcoholic contents of the bottle before christening was not adhered to.  Many a captain and his crew have wished on the day their ship went down that someone with a thirst had had the forethought to empty the contents of the champagne bottle before said contents were wasted in a meaningless bottle breaking ceremony.  

Tisk, tisk, you boys don't know how very angry you have made the alcoholic spirits and what trouble you have brought down upon yourselves because of your ignorance of both tradition and the spirit-gods of alcohol."

The three boys jaws dropped when they finally perceived the seriousness of their situation.  Their eyes stared forward like the eyes of three condemned men, waiting for their sentence to be carried out.  

Then, Pete asked in the meek voice of a capitulating man, "But, what are we to do Madam Merkel?"

I knew it was my duty to these men and to their family that I tell them the truth about what had to happen.  "First of all," I began, "you must quit tobogganing and put your snowboard away forever. Then finally, you must never speak of the sport of tobogganing ever again."

After my suggestions the Grimm brothers looked even more depressed, lowering their gaze directly to the ground in a sign of total capitulation.  Then Pete spoke in the lowest possible audible tone "But, Madam Merkel, we can't give up our toboggan or tobogganing.   You see our father, you knew him David, people all called him Zippy, was a great tobogganer.  He even almost went to the Olympics he was so good.   Well, as you might know he was killed on his toboggan on M-72 when his toboggan swerved suddenly off the toboggan trail.  It was a terrible accident.  He had been drinking at a nearby bar before he hit the toboggan run and wouldn't you know the irony of it all is that our dad slammed directly into an ambulance.  In short, he was killed when he hit an emergency vehicle.  And, before dad's funeral the undertaker upset my mother when he told her that our dad might have still made it if he had been given CPR.  This information crushed my mother because there were three trained medical people on board that ambulance but, they were all men and in those days men didn’t give other men mouth-to-mouth CPR."

"At least men didn’t give other men mouth-to-mouth in the Midwest," I added.  "Well, if you men want to keep tobogganing then at least get yourselves a new toboggan.  Look, this one is obviously cursed so it's going to be hard to shake that curse and make this toboggan safe again."

"But, we have to use this toboggan," Pete insisted, “You see this toboggan has a lot of the original wood in it that was salvaged from our dad's crashed sled.  And, he also told us that the wood he used in his toboggan came from a wooden sarcophagus belonging to an ancient god-king.  You see my dad was stationed with the army in Southeast Asia during the seventies. 

Well, in his free time my dad liked to dress with just a loin cloth and take long walks in the jungle while pretending he was Tarzan.  It was during one of these walks that he came upon this ancient temple that was all covered with plants and snakes.  My dad being an adventurer and wearing nothing but his loin cloth made his way into the temple and found this beautifully carved wooden sarcophagus.  Dad opened the sarcophagus and found this nasty looking dried-up dead guy inside.  Well, dad really liked the wood so he dumped out the dead guy and chopped up the wood enough so he could send it back to Michigan.  Once dad’s tour was up he returned home and proceeded to build the fastest, most beautiful toboggan the world has ever known.  Dad said it took sixteen coats of varnish to get the dead guy smell out of the toboggan but once the smell was covered up, dad said the toboggan was a pleasure to ride. Of course dad’s toboggan was completely destroyed during the accident however, some of the wood we were able to salvage and we used it when we built The Deathbed.”

"You know you boys are completely without luck.  After what you have just told me I have to say that there is no way this story is going to end well for you but,   out of respect for your family I will do my best to advise you on a course of action that might just save both your lives and your tobogganing fun.  

I need the three of you to meet me over on the big tobogganing hill just North of M-72 at midnight tonight and bring along your toboggan and two very expensive bottles of champagne.  Just make sure they're expensive and make sure that they are full."

"We can do this Madam Merkel," Pete assured me in a much more positive tone as he looked up from the ground and into my eyes.  "We all want to thank you for helping us with our terrible problem and we really want to do something to show our gratitude for your help.  Just how can we repay you for helping us?"

"Well," I said, "the first bottle of champagne is for rechristening your toboggan and the second bottle is for me to drink after you've made your run down the hill.  A full bottle of expensive champagne is thanks enough.  I’m also glad that I’m able to help out three old friends of my family."

So, at midnight we all met at the top of the toboggan run just North of M-72.  We rechristened the toboggan the Death Box in honor of their dad who had died within the toboggan and the dead Asian god-king who had probably spent several millennium undisturbed within the wood of the toboggan before being cast out by the father of the brothers Grimm.    I figured that changing the name of the toboggan might just help change its destiny and the destiny of the souls who chose to ride on it.  Maybe a new name would calm the alcoholic spirits who had been so offended at the original christening of the toboggan.  Of course, we also tried to appease these spirits by drinking down the contents of the bottle that was eventually used to break across the bow of the snow vessel.  And of course, because there were two bottles of Campaign I let the brothers drink down the contents of the first bottle while I opened and took large gulps from the second one trying to numb my senses for the horrors which I knew I was about to witness.  

  Finally, it was time.  The brothers Grim took off on their toboggan down the hill heading toward an open field at the bottom maybe a mile or so away.  However, about halfway down the hill, the Deathbed suddenly veered way off toward the right and headed straight into traffic on highway M-72.  The Deathbed crashed ironically, into the side of an ambulance.  The Brother's Grim were lucky that this time the ambulance had three ladies on board who all gladly gave it their all through mouth-to-mouth CPR to revive the brothers (the brothers Grim were all three quite handsome) but, the brothers had sustained very serious injuries and never made it to the hospital.

The memorial service for the Brothers was very moving however, here was a great deal more crying then I am use to at such services.  I never knew the family Grimm to be such weepers. 

I am still quite shaken up over the whole ordeal.  I just wish I would have asked the brothers to bring three bottles of champagne to the toboggan run that night.  I could have used a second bottle after witnessing the carnage on the highway below. 

I'm still keeping track of anything said about the accident in case I might be questioned by the authorities for, according to the latest news release from the local Sheriff’s department the accident is still under investigation with alcohol suspected as a contributing factor in the crash. 

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