Merry Christmas, said Blurtso.
Merry Christmas, said Harlan.
Wow, said Blurtso, a tin of chocolate!
Wow, said Harlan, a can of whipped cream!
More whipped cream? said Harlan.
Don’t mind if I do, said Blurtso.
To eat, or not to eat,
—that is the question—
whether ‘tis sounder for the stomach
to suffer the pricks and pangs
of outrageous hunger and resist,
—and by resisting, shrink this swollen shape—
or to indulge, and then sleep,
for after that indulgence, the sleep that’s
sure to follow spawns decrease of increase,
and makes of energy lethargy’s fool;
to eat, and sleep, and fatten as we dream!
Ay, there’s the rub; for in that fatness of form
what dangers may lie—the
hypertensive extinction, the diabetic
demise—must give us pause to consider
the view of a sugary grave;
yet what burro would not exchange
a future pleasure aloof,
for a present pleasure ahoof?
‘Tis a consumption devoutly to be wished,
when one of his stomach might its quietus make
with a baked pumpkin!
Thus do cravings make cowards of us all,
sugaring over the dieting hue of resolution
with sweet-scented cinnamon
and graham-cracker crust, and with this,
best intentions turn awry, losing,
in the act of consuming, the name of action.
Do you have any Kings? asked Blurtso. Go fish, said Pablo. Do you have any Tens? asked Pablo. Go fish, said Blurtso. Do you have any Threes? asked Blurtso. Go fish, said Pablo. Do you have any Twos? asked Pablo. Go fish, said Blurtso. Do you have any pumpkin pies? asked Blurtso. Yes, said Pablo, I have three, in the fridge behind the watermelons.
Sitting in the woods can be suspenseful, said Blurtso. Suspenseful? said Pablo. Yes, said Blurtso, as if something is about to happen. What do you expect to happen? said Pablo. I don’t know, said Blurtso, it’s as if the continual sound of the creek, the breeze on the ears, the deep alterations of light and dark, are all waiting for something… maybe a change in the wind or a change in the sky, a sudden downpour or wild animal, maybe a cougar come to drink at the stream… something dramatic is going to happen. COME AND GET IT!!! called Bonny from the cabin. FRESH SCONES AND PUMPKIN PIE!!!
Hello, said Blurtso. Hello, said the devil. Come in, said Blurtso. Thank you, said the devil. I wasn’t sure you’d come, said Blurtso. I wasn’t sure you’d be here, said the devil. Here I am, said Blurtso. And I, said the devil. The bet is, said Blurtso, to see who can eat the most pumpkin pies. Yes, said the devil. And if I win? said Blurtso. You will have an endless supply of pumpkin pies. And if I lose? said Blurtso. You will relinquish your soul. Very well, said Blurtso, shall we begin with the pie on the table? Yes, said the devil, that looks like a perfectly good pie. Would you like to go first? asked Blurtso. No, said the devil, I wouldn’t dream of it. Very well, said Blurtso, sitting down to the pie. Blurtso cut the pie, slowly, into six equal slices, then proceeded to eat them, one by one, relishing every pumpkin-filled bite. When he finished he licked the tin and pushed it toward the devil. That’s enough for me, said Blurtso. Only one? said the devil, that’s no competition at all. Perhaps, said Blurtso. O.k., said the devil, now it’s my turn. Go ahead, said Blurtso. Where’s my pie? asked the devil. I’m sorry, said Blurtso, I ate the last one.