THE INVENTIONS OF DR. EDGAR EUPHONIUM: ELEVITATOR SHOES

Dear Journal, today began as any ordinary day begins anymore, with a frantic call from Dr. Edgar Euphonium. “Come to the lab, Gottfredson, post-haste! I’ve finally hit the jackpot!” he shouted through the receiver. He then hung up, without so much as a hello from my end of the line. It makes me wonder if he’s ever dialed incorrectly in the past and not realized it, screaming at complete strangers about his latest invention. What these strangers don’t know is that they’re missing out.
Dr. Euphonium doesn’t have the world’s greatest track record. Sure, his inventions have pretty much all worked, but they’ve also pretty much all backfired on him in one way or another, always spectacularly. He’s a tireless optimist, though, and he never stops creating. His philosophy: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, though his lemonade would probably burst into flames or give you x-ray taste buds or something.
I rushed over to his lab, which is about ten blocks from my house. It looks like it used to be a barn or a small schoolhouse, and he knocked out most of the walls and installed all sorts of computers and Tesla coils and fancy equipment straight out of old science fiction movies. His front door is a massive wooden slab, with a miniscule knocker at my eye level. I’m about four-foot ten, average height for a ten-year old, which leads me to believe it was installed for me specifically. However, it is tiny. I honestly don’t know how he’s able to hear it, but every time I tap it against that enormous door he flings it open within seconds and says, “Come in, Floyd, you’re late!” This time, he did not answer the door, but I could hear his muffled, “Come in Floyd, you’re late,” through the nearby window.
I entered the lab, but couldn’t find Dr. Euphonium anywhere. The layout of the lab is pretty open, and aside from a bathroom there were no other rooms he could have been hiding in. I sincerely hoped he hadn’t called me from the bathroom. Then I heard snickering. I darted my eyes around the lab, but there was no sign of the doctor. He wasn’t behind his grandfather clock/time machine, nor was he at his Sewmaster 3000 which he had used to make his Traveling Sales Pants. Then he giggled again.
I looked up. “Hello down there, Gottfredson!” he said, floating in the air. His head was nearly touching the ceiling. “My latest invention was inspired by Mary Poppins. ‘I love to laugh, loud and long and clear’” he added in a serviceable Ed Wynn impression.
“How did you get up there?” I asked. There were no strings I could see or jet packs.
“I’m glad you asked, my boy! These,” he said, pointing to his feet, “are my Elevitator Shoes! Part Elevator Shoe, part Levitator Shoe! They’re activated by the magnetic field in the Earth’s core. And they’re so much fun!” He giggled again. They did look like fun, but also dangerous.
“So can you turn them off or something?” I asked.
“No, no, that’s the best part, they’re all natural, all magnetized! Silly magnets, who cares how they work, they are a laugh riot!” He was giggling again. It was getting annoying.
“So, then, how do you get down?” I asked.
“Simple, Gottfredson, you just remove the shoes.”
“But wouldn’t you fall?”
“Of course, that goes without saying.”
“But wouldn’t you break your neck?”
“Of course, that- oh, I see what you’re getting at. There is a small flaw in the design,” he understated. Small flaw, I thought, how does he expect to get down? This question he answered with another question. “Floyd, my boy, can you fetch me the ladder?” I sighed.
“Sure, where do you keep it?” I asked.
“Um, I meant your ladder. I’ll wait here.” Apparently, Dr. Euphonium didn’t feel the need to keep household tools in his lab. He was always borrowing my father’s wrenches and drills and things. I left the lab to get the ladder.
I had completely forgotten that today was New Comic Book day, though and I had to stop at the comic shop first to get my latest issue of Ventriloquest, the ongoing adventures of a dummy trying to find his voice. And it turned out they had a whole bunch of back issues of Dixieland Horse I didn’t have, so I bought those and a grape soda. It was such a nice day; I found a shady spot and read them all. My afternoon was filled with fizzy grape goodness and the hilarious tales of a horse singing her way through the early 20th Century. I’d never felt so relaxed in my life. After that I came home and had goulash for dinner. Yum!
And that was my day, pretty uneventful for the most part, aside from- oh shoot, the ladder!

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