This morning I had a horrible thought.

What? At least I had one, okay?

Where in the world is WON-KEY (alias Smith and Jones Squee and Key).

The last time I saw him, he was in Arkansas.

WON-KEY BUSTED!

Poor little guy. Given so much freedom, so many miles to travel, so many unattended bananas in the wee hours after Starbucks closed.

What’s a hungry Won-Key with a Banana addiction to do?

Steal them, of course.

.

Which is what he did. Which is what landed him in the slammer. Which is what caused the judge to confine him in a posh rehab center for Banana Addicts.

I missed him.

I searched for a Furry Mascot Support Network.

Who knew I would find one among Kristen Lamb’s Blogging-to-Build-Brand classmate and #WANA112 network? What are the odds?

In the absence of Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s statistics, we’ll simply say, “slim.”

[I asked him, okay? Sheldon said it was a stupid question. Stupid questions make him sad.]

Mike Schulenberg also has a fetish for love of odd adorable fuzzy mascots and offered to tell his story.

MEET MIKE SCHULENBERG

Mike Schulenberg writes speculative fiction exploring friendship and strength in a universe on the verge of devouring itself.  He is a creator and destroyer of worlds.

He is also a friend of cats.

Mike left his own site Realms of Perilous Wonder to hang out on my hammock today.

.

WHO NEEDS A FISH NAMED WANDA?

by Mike Schulenberg

We met one afternoon in our local grocery store, near the produce section.  I had just run in, intending to pick up a light lunch before returning to work.

She mesmerized me when I saw her.

Her rich, vibrant colors drew me staggering toward her like a zombie to brains, my arms outstretched to pull her from the steel cage that trapped her with several others.  Her head and tail were the color of lime sherbet, her side fins the blue of a cloudless sky, and her body the orange of a setting sun.  She gazed up at me with the one hypnotic eye that was not hidden by the other side of her head.

Did I forget to mention she’s a stuffed animal an artificial creature?  A fish tall enough to tower over many small children if only she were not too floppy to stand upright on her tail fins.

“Take me home with you,” her lips of red vinyl seemed to whisper.

“Right, off we go.”

I tucked her under one arm and went deeper into the store, searching for food.

In one of the aisles, a kindly grandmother halted me to better admire the fish’s radiant majesty.  “Aww, whoever that’s for is going to love it,” she said.

I grinned at her.  “It’s for me, and I already do.”

With future lunch in one hand and resplendent artificial creature in the other, I approached the cash register and placed her on the conveyor belt so that she rested comfortably on her belly.  The cashier checked out each customer in front of me, conveying the fish forward by increments until payment united us in a grand destiny.

She dominated the conveyor with her awesome splendor, and witnessing the spectacle of her majestic ride made it well worth the $25 USD.

For a long time, she reposed on a tie-dye bean bag I used to have in my cubicle at a previous place of employment.  Eventually I brought her home to recline in a papasan chair, where she is still enthroned today, watching against evil with whatever eye happens to be facing outward at that particular moment.

She didn’t get her name until much later.  A friend and I used to play Scrabble online.  Using rather lenient rules, we allowed ourselves to use proper names.

During one harrowing game, my friend positioned herself to crush me like an egg in an iron fist.  I considered my letters: Q-G-U.  I studied the game board.  I considered the letters again.

What could I possibly do with these?

I deployed the letters anyway.

“What does QEGU mean?” she messaged.

“Qegu is the name of my giant artificial fish,” I replied.

“I didn’t know her name was Qegu.”

“I named her that just now.”

I sensed her eyes rolling at the other end of the internet, but she went along with it.

I don’t remember if I won that Scrabble game or not.

But really, Qegu was the winner because she finally got a name.

She is a noble and mighty fish, even if she dresses a lot like Fred Flintstone.

Picture Courtesy of YOGI BEAR WIKI

Thanks for having me on your blog, Gloria! I had a lot of fun.

Thanks for your visit, Mike, and for the support you’ve provided during these trying times. There’s a posse looking for Won-Key now. The judge has agreed to release him into the custody of Brinda Berry. (He’s getting close to Little Rock. Woot!)

Readers, when Mike sent me this post, my first thought was, “Qegu?”

My second thought took me to the seedy side. “That chick must really have the hots for you, Mike, if she let you get away with Qegu.”

“Nah,” he said. “She knew she was going to beat me anyway. It was a pity pass.”

Do you have anything odd cute and cuddly hanging around your house as an inspiration for a post, a letter, a day of productive writing? Have you gotten away with an intentionally misspelled or inventive word in Scrabble? I have. It’s fun!

Leave some Qegu and Won-Key comment love so we know you were here. And, make sure to visit Mike at his site. LIKE him while you’re there. Trust me. He’s a likeable guy. But, DO NOT play Scrabble with him. He’s far too sneaky inventive.

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