Train your eyes on the muggy, marshy, swampish swamplands of the bayou. Watch out for ‘gators (alligators)! Or ‘diles (crocodiles)! Or skeeters (mosquitoes)! Or fechiblems (???)! But, what’s that? Cutting through the swamp gas like a knife through swamp gas. It’s a river boat. Gleaming white and red, chugging through the water, a strangely clean machine. Very conspicuous. What is it doing here?

Just take a look at the side of the boat. Emblazoned in bold, red lettering are the words “Count Hawkula’s Traveling Pawn Shop & Flea Circus!” So, that answers the question of what it is. But what is it doing in the swamp? Let’s peep through the window to find out. Come with me, don’t be shy. Watch out for the aforementioned fechiblems. Careful as you step on deck, the floor boards are mighty creaky. There we go.

Do you see that gentleman, sitting in the puffy maroon chair amidst the dusty debris and odd-looking items? The one in the cape with the combover and the cigarette holder? That’s gotta be Count Hawkula. It looks like he’s talking to that stuffed herring. Lean in a litte closer to the window. Careful, not so much that he sees you. Listen, now. See if you can hear what he says.

“Ah, my little Petunia (that must be the herring’s name.) Look with me upon my vast empire of wares! Broken bass guitars! Paintings of sad little kittens! Extra-large purple two piece outfits! Pots, vases, and candlesticks made out of deet antlers. Robots missing fingers, and several drawers of robot fingers. Wicker furniture shaped like European nations! Biographies of boring math teachers! The shrunken head of Genghis Khan! And the shrunken head of Howdy Doody!

“And then, there’s my flea circus. Acrobatic chipmunks, clown ponies, the world’s smallest giraffe, only two feet! Boxelder bugs who shoot themselves out of cannons! And more, oh so much more! I should be a king, an emperor, a ruler of worlds! Instead, I’m just my own boss. Which has its perks, but the only minion I boss around is me. Which is just sad.

“I need an all-powerful slave, Petunia. A strange freak of nature, or perhaps a supernatural being. Or perhaps maybe even both! Dare I dream it! If I had some odd combination of supernatural powerful being and freak hybrid of nature, I could rule over all. Yes, I, Count Hawkula, non-vampire cape-wearing pseudo-count of the sea, will finally meet my destiny!”

I’m not sure exactly what all he meant by that, but if I had to venture a guess, I’d bet it involves the Space Mummy, as well as Cassiopeia Birnbaum. What do you think? Are you as confused by all of this as I am?

Not to worry! It will all begin to come together and make sense soon! I think.


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