(Note: This was something I dashed off for one of my college writing classes in college back in 1988. The professor, as I recall, wanted us to have a little fun and so gave us a weekend assignment to "just write something really silly." I think my response scared him; I know it certainly scared me…)

Once upon a time, but not really all that long ago when you really stop and think about it, there was a mythical land which some people called Kankakee. And just down the highway from this mythical land was an enchanted wooded area which the local folks called Rock Creek. (The reason they called this place Rock Creek, as far as we know, is because of the nearby creek which happened to flow past a bunch of rocks.)

On the far side of this wooded area was a cave. And inside this cave there lived a small band of leprechauns, who had come to Rock Creek after their hometown had been ravaged by the Great French Fry Famine.

Now, in all of Rock Creek – for that matter, throughout all of Kankakee – only one of the “Big Folks” (which is what the leprechauns liked to call the rest of us) even knew that the leprechauns lived in that cave. (This was partly because so many of the Big Folks had left Kankakee, hoping to find better lives for themselves someplace else. But that’s a story for another time…) E. Pleribus Jones was a true man of the world, the sort of fellow used to associating with pink elephants and purple armadilloes. He alone knew about the leprechauns, who had made themselves known to E. Pleribus late one evening as he stumbled out the doorway of a certain refreshment establishment he often liked to visit.

The leprechauns had sensed in E. Pleribus a trusting, friendly spirit, and they soon became great friends. E. Pleribus spent as much time with his new friends as he possibly could, which wasn’t difficult since he didn’t have a job or a wife to make him do things around the house. He very much enjoyed playing games with the leprechauns and singing their songs and hearing stories about the place where they had lived before coming to Kankakee.

Besides, they were a heck of a lot more friendly to have around than the lavender dragon he’d seen following him around a few times. For one thing, the dragon’s breath always seemed to smell of barbecued damsel… a particularly dreadful smell, as anyone who has hung around a lot of dragons will quickly tell you.

The leprechauns were happy that they had finally found a friend among the Big Folk in their new homeland. But it soon became clear that the time they were spending with E. Pleribus was keeping the leprechauns from doing their chores. One of the things that didn’t get done whenever E. Pleribus was around was anti-terrorism, which is a type of Italian appetizer served with a special sauce that is so spicy that it will blow your kneecaps off. The leprechauns loved to make big pots of the stuff and eat it all up, then gather round and see whose kneecaps blew the farthest.

Another thing that the leprechauns had liked to do before they met E. Pleribus was to go here and there, from one corner of the world to the next, looking for excitement and adventure, helping people who needed help and punishing those who deserved it. One day a small group of young leprechauns, who had all been born after the leprechauns came to Kankakee and so had only heard their parents and grandparents tell stories about the way things used to be, decided to travel around doing these things the older leprechauns weren’t doing anymore.

Don’t get me wrong: the younger leprechauns liked being friends with E. Pleribus just as much as the older leprechauns did. It’s just that they felt that spending all their time with E. Pleribus would keep them from doing things they thought were important.

And so one day, one of the younger leprechauns – a remarkably bright little fellow named Chester Questerbester – spent his life savings on the purchase of a big RV and talked a few of his chums into taking a trip. The next morning they set out in search of excitement, adventure, and better-paved roads; the rest of the leprechauns stayed behind with E. Pleribus Jones, who had promised to introduce them to his other friends the pink elephants the next time they came by for a visit.

A few hours later they stopped for gas just outside another lythical land known as Chicago. While their friends lined up to wait for their turn to use the gas station’s bathroom, Chester and his two brothers – Lester and Fester Questerbester – decided to take a walk around and see some of the sights. Along the way they learned that the people of Chicago were ruled by an evil Emperor named Barph Ladle. They learned this the hard way when Lester and Fester were captured by some of Barph Ladle’s soldiers and taken to his castle. Chester managed to escape as his brothers were captured, but when he tried to go back to the gas station to get the other leprechauns so they could help them escape he became hopelessly lost. 

“Doggone it,” Chester said to himself as he tried to find his way back, “I wish I’d left a trail of popcorn the way Bobby did in Hawaii on The Brady Bunch.”

He wandered around for a day or so, not knowing just what to do or where he was. He knew that he couldn’t leave his two buddies behind, but he also knew that he would not be able to rescue them all by himself. 

He was wondering around feeling sorry for himself when he happened to run into a young fellow named Luke Warmwater, a former farmer who had recently graduated from the Greater Bourbonnais Hero Academy and was now a card-carrying member of the Union of Heroes, Good Guys and Avengers, Local 815. Luke had been wondering around looking for a few people who were sick and tired enough of Barph Ladle and who might be willing to try getting a good rebellion going. 

When Chester told Luke about Barph Ladle’s kidnapping of his friends, Luke immediately offered his help in rescuing them. (It wasn’t that Luke really cared all that much about either Lester or Fester, whom he had never even met; he was simply looking for a good excuse to hunt down Barph Ladle and give him a good thrashing for having killed Luke’s Heroism 101 professor, Twenty-One Spumoni, a year or so before.) Fortunately Luke knew the area better than Kareem did, and so together they set out to rescue Lester and Fester from the diabolical clutches of the evil Barph Ladle. 

Along the way they happened to meet up with the other leprechauns, who had finally finished taking turns back at the gas station rest room and had spent the past few days trying to figure out what had become of the Questerbester brothers. 

Once this intrepid group of adventurers arrived at Ladle's lair, it didn't take very long for the battle to get underway. Chester drew his sword (seemingly out of thin air, since I don't seem to recall having armed him with one when I started this), and commenced to hack and slash and chop a path through Ladle's soldiers and rescued Lester and Fester. Then, all reunited once more, the entire band of leprechauns fought the good fight against Ladle's troops; meanwhile, Luke Warmwater devoted all his attention and energy to the obligatory battle to the death with Barph Ladle himself.

It was the classical confrontation between good and evil. It was the classical example of the irresistable force coming up against the immoveable object. It was a classical waste of time, since both combatants knew darn good and well that the good guy always comes away the winner in the end. Still, part of that tradition dictates that the bad guy put up a decent fight before reaching that point; and since both opponents were firm believers in tradition (and since they also knew that the public tends to eat that sort of thing up), they went ahead and commenced to have at it. (By now the leprechauns had already defeated Ladle's troops and, having nothing better to do at this point in the story, sat down to watch.)

BAM! POW!! PHFITT!!! Their laser-swords swung back and forth, colliding every now and then – the contacts sent a cascade of brightly colored sparks raining down upon the floor, which wouldn't have been so bad except that one of those sparks landed on Lester's big ol' hat and set it afire. Ladle noticed that he was losing the battle a bit earlier than he should have been, and so decided to get really nasty by announcing that he was actually Luke's long-lost father. Luke called him a liar and, to prove the point, took out his wallet and showed Ladle a photograph that had been taken when Luke was just a wee little nipper.

The photo showed the infant Luke and his father showing off their matching birthmarks: A small blue marking shaped like the Playboy bunny logo, located on the big toe of their left feet. "I'll know my father when I see the birthmnark," Luke announced.

Ladle just smirked. "Yeah, well, check this out," he said. Then he ripped off his left tennis shoe and revealed a small blue marking shaped like the Playboy bunny logo, located on the big toe of his left foot. "See?" he said. "I really am your father!"

Needless to say, the revelation took Luke a little by surprise. "Well, I'll be superamalagmated," he exclaimed. "You really are my father!" He dropped the photo, gazed into his father's eyes, and took a quick swing at the man's head with his laser sword.

"That’ll teach you to run off on your wife and kid, you lousy bum you!" Luke declared as Barph Ladle's head rolled across the floor. "Next time you say you're going to the store for some cigarettes, try not to lose your way back home!"

Fester Questerbester pointed at the head of Barph Ladle and whistled. "Boy, I’ll bet he wishes he had stayed in bed this morning!"

Well, with Barph Ladle dead and his influence over the community pretty much rendered null and void, there was really no real need for a Rebellion anymore. But Luke hated to call the whole thing off – after all, he'd already mailed all the invitations – so he decided to set in search of a new enemy to rebel against. And eventually he found one – but that is a story for another time.

Luke spent a day or so in the company of the leprechauns, enjoying their friendship if not their cuisine. Eventually, however, he decided it was time to be on his way. He gave a letter he had written to his mother to Chester, asking that the leprechauns deliver it for him in person. he even drew directions on the back of the envelope, just in case. Chester promised to make the delivery and, after expressing the appropriate gratitude to Luke for his recent efforts on their behalf, joined the other leprechauns on board their Winnebago and set out to keep that promise.

But first, they made a brief detour back to the mythical land of Kankakee, where all of the leprechauns except the Questerbesters got off the RV. It seems that, in light of their recent escapades, the majority of the leprechauns had decided that staying home and playing silly games with E. Pleribus Jones was more fun, after all. Safer, too. After a good night's sleep, Chester, Lester and Fester bid their comrades goodbye and hit the road once more.

Days passed. Not much happened. At some point the three leprechauns decided to try and relieve the monotony by pulling over and doing a little exploring on foot – forgetting, I reckon, that this was exactly how their troubles with Barph Ladle had started.

It was while their attention was thus occupied that the three of them were suddenly accosted by the abominable Nila Monster, a terrible creature which often assumed the guise of a human female, though no one to this day is really certain just what it really was. The Nila Monster was the very worst type of parasite: it drained and devoured a man's mind in such a way that its victims never realized just how much danger he was in until it already too late.

The Nila Monster was in an especially vile mood this particular day and proceeded to attack the unsuspecting leprechauns without any prior warning whatsoever, which as any disciple of Miss Manners will quickly point is darn rude. The Nila Monster growled and breathed fire and generally did everything it could think of to scare the leprechauns; but the leprechauns were plucky little fellows, as we all well know by now, and weren't about to let a little thing like a vile fire-breathing Nila Monster spoil their afternoon.

"Stand down, little leprechauns, or I shall be forced to devour the three of you," the Nila Monster said at one point.

"If you do," Lester told the Nila Monster, "we'll be forced to retaliate by giving you the worst case of heartburn in medical history!"

Now as this real-life drama was unfolding, Little Miss Muffet (yes, that Little Miss Muffet!) had gone for a walk way over on the other side of the forest. Interesting girl, this Little Miss Muffet: her first name was Shelly, and to be perfectly honest she wasn't really all that little. (In fact, she had omething of a reputation as the best darned bikini stuffer in her neighborhood… but that's a story for another time, too.) Furthermore she really wasn't a "Miss" in the truest sense of the word – having only recently gotten a divorce from her husband, a crooked insurance salesman who had been convicted for pocketing death benefits which had rightfully belonged to some dead politican's poor widow. She was also a cousin to Ralph Monroe, the well-known scion of a well-to-do Kankakee family whose complete story may yet be one day told (as soon as I think of it).

Anyway, as I said before, Miss Muffet had gone out for a walk over on the other side of the forest from where the leprechauns' battle royal against the evil Nila Monster was taking place. She had just passed near the small camp where the rest of the leprechaun tribe still lived at Rock Creek when she was quite suddenly overcome with a most severe case of fatigue. (It was her own fault, really, having stayed up late the night before watching old Errol Flynn movies on the cable TV with her neighbor, Snow White.) Quite fortunately for her, she just happened to find what seemed to be an abandoned house. Actually it wasn't abandoned at all; in fact it was the home of three good fairies, one of whom happened to be Luke Warmwater's mother. (See how these divergent plot points are starting to come together?)

Shelly either didn't know or (more likely) didn't care that anyone lived in the place. She just knew that she was tired, and this place would give her a roof over her head while she rested. So without so much as a knock on the door (not a very polite thing to do, as any self-respecting Girl Scout will point out), she just barged right on through the front door and went about making herself at home. The very first thing she noticed upon entering was that in addition to being incredibly tired, she was also incredibly hungry. So she headed for the kitchen in search of a quick snack before hitting the hay.

On the kitchen table there were three bowls filled with Shelly's favorite snack food – pre-sweetened, vitamin-fortified, low-fat spider meal! And not just any ol' spider meal, either – this was the expensive, almost impossible to find European imported stuff, with the small touch of grasshopper gizzards added for extra flavor. 

This was incredible… to have found such a treat in this part of the world was a real find. Shelly simply couldn't pass up an opportunity like this! So she sat down at the table and took a bite from the first bowl – but as soon as the spoon touched her tongue, she dropped it and let out a howl that would have put Lon Chaney Jr. to shame.

"OHHH!!!" she exclaimed. "These spiders are too (expletive deleted) hot!"

She then moved on to the second bowl, hoping that perhaps its contents had been sitting there a little longer and so were cooler. She took a spoonful into her mouth, and immediately spit it out onto the rustic wooden floor as her face wrinkled in disgust.

"Yoick!! These spiders are too (expletive deleted again) cold!!"

Then, very cautiously, she took a tiny bite from the third bowl.

"Hmmm!" she cooed. "These spiders are just right!" And in an instant she had devoured the entire contents of the bowl. Having thus satisfied her appetite, she then made up way upstairs to find the sleeping quarters.

Now pay real close attention here, kiddies, because this is where things really start to get interesting.

As Shelly crept into the bedroom, she noticed that there were three beds (naturally!) side by side along the north wall. She quickly jumped into the first bed – but, of course, it was too hard. So she jumped back out.

Next she jumped into the second bed – but, of course, it was just too darned soft. 

"Now if everything runs true to form," she said to herself as she struggled to climb up and out of the too-soft mattress, "then this next bed should be just right!"

So Shelly jumped into the third bed and discovered to her delight that it was, indeed, just right. Unfortunately, it also turned out to be very much occupied! For sleeping in this particular bed was none other than Luke Warmwater's mother, who – by one of those wild and totally unrealistic quirks of fate which so often occur in this type of story – had decided to stay home and take a nap while her two sisters, the other two fairies, had gone out for a pre-lunch walk.

(Say, I just noticed something – with the exception of Mrs. Warmwater, nobody seems to stay home much in this neck of the woods, do they? Everybody's out taking a walk. Oh, well…)

"AAWWWKKKKK!!!!" Mrs. Warmwater cried out in surprise as Shelly slid into the bed and touched her backside with two very cold feet. "Who is this intruder creeping under the covers next to me?"

"SHH!" Shelly held a finger to her lips. "Be quiet, will you? All I want to do is take a nap."

"Three beds in the room, and you gotta have the one with somebody already in it? You're weird, girlie!"

"Not weird, just tired. Besides, this bed just happens to be the most comfortable one of the three."

"No kidding," Mrs. Warmwater said a tad sarcastically. "Well, if you're going to insist on sticking around, sister, just make sure you keep to your side of the bed. After all, this fairy tale's only got a PG rating!"

It was just about that time that the telephone decided to ring (having pondered the matter for some time before the fact, one presumes). A disgruntled Mrs. Warmwater climbed out of the bed and waddled across the room to answer it.

"Hello? Who? Oh, really? No, I won't be going anywhere for a while. It did? So what happened? Well, how about that! Yeah, congrats and all that stuff. Yeah, I'll be here a'waitin'. All right. Yeah, okay. See you in a bit. G'bye."

"So who was that?" Miss Muffet asked as Mrs. Warmwater got back into the bed. 

"Some leprechaun from over on the other side of the forest. Apparently he and some of his buddies ran into my son a day or so ago and were on their way over to bring me a message from him. Sounds like they've had a busy couple of days, what with this business of killing off Barph Ladle and running into that pug-ugly Nila Monster on the way here today."

"Oh. my! Are they all right?" Miss Muffet asked with what was obviously only mock concern.

"Oh, yeah, they're fine. But it sounds like that Nila Monster's gonna be breathing fire through her (expletive deleted a third time) for a while."

Mrs. Warmwater then commenced to ramble on for a spell, mostly about her son Luke, but Shelly barely heard her. She was for more interested in the fact that these approoaching leprechauns might have played a part in the death of Barph Ladle, with whom she’d had a mad and passionate affair just prior to her divorce from the crooked insurance salesman. And so Shelly resolved right then and there to avenge his death.

She turned, popped Mrs. Warmwater upside the head to shut her up, and pointed at the closet door. "Go get in that closet!" she commanded.

"What? Why?"

"Don't ask stupid questions, you dumb old bat. Just do what you're told!"

Thus chastised, Mrs. Warmwater got out of the bed again and did as she was told. Miss Muffet also got up long enough to lock the closet door, and had no sooner climbed back into the bed and had gotten all snug under the blanket when she heard the knock upon the door.

“Who is it?” Shelly Muffet called out.

"Ummm, it's Chester Questerbester, ma’am,” the voice responded from outside the house. “And my brothers, Lester and Fester. We have a message from your son Luke.”

“Oh, yes, the nice leprechauns who called earlier. Do come in!”

The Questerbesters opened the door and stepped inside the house. They looked around for a moment but was unable to locate their host; Chester was about to call out in ask where she was when the brothers heard the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs. They tuned in time to observe Shelly Muffet reach the bottom step, and as soon as they saw her they knew something was amiss; they had expected someone much older than the woman who stood before them.

“My goodness!” Chester said in an astonished tone. “What big - ”

He never finished the statement. “Hold it right there, buster!” Miss Muffet interrupted. “You men are all alike – even when you’re leprechauns. Always reducing women to sex objects! Why, I oughtta...” Glancing around the room, Shelly noticed an old broom in a corner by the bookshelf. She grabbed it and started swinging around like a samurai sword as the Questerbesters scattered and dashed about the room in an effort to avoid getting walloped by the thing.

At that moment, from their vantage point atop the hill overlooking the house, Mrs. Warmwater’s fairy sisters – Ursula and Yvonne – noticed the ruckus through a window as they were returning home from their morning constitutional.

“Great gobs of goose grease!” Yvonne – the youngest of the three sisters – exclaimed. “What are we going to do?”

A look of determination etched itself into her older sister’s features. 

“There’s only one thing we can do, little sister,” Ursula remarked as her eyes narrowed into slits. She reached into the inner pocket of her cloak and pulled out a magic wand. Yvonne nodded and smiled grimly as the two of them unfurled their fairy wings and quickly flew down the hill towards the battleground that was their home.

They threw open the door and entered the house just in time to see Shelly Muffet swing the broom directly into Chester Questerbester’s midsection. Poor Chester doubled over and fell to the floor as his brothers continued to run around in an effort to avoid the same fate.

“Stop!” Ursula cried out in a commanding tone. “Cease this mayhem at once, you top-heavy refugee from a Disney animated classic!”

Shelly turned and glared menacingly at the angry fairy. “And what happens if I don’t?” she snarled. 

Ursula smiled. “This,” she answered simply. Then she pointed her magic wand at Shelly; a single fiery red blast issued forth from the wand and struck Shelly directly in the feet, melting her glass slippers and fusing them to the floor.

The heat of the blast burned Miss Muffet’s feet, causing her to jump out of the slippers and charge out of the house towards the river. She jumped in to cool her toasted tootsies, then after a few minutes came out of the water and headed off into the forest in hopes of putting as much distance between her and the angry fairies as possible. In time, fate would lead her to become part of an unexpected romantic triangle with none other than both Luke Warmwater AND E. Pleribus Jones – but that, yet again, is a story for another day. (And a darned good one at that...)

As Miss Muffet made her hot-footed trek towards the river, Ursula and Yvonne released their sister Mrs. Warmwater from the closet while Lester and Fester moved in to help their wounded brother. Touched by their concern for poor Chester – and realizing quite suddenly that he was a pretty good-looking fellow, as leprechauns go – Yvonne knelt beside Chester and laid one hand upon his chest. A glow seemed to emanate from her palm for the briefest of moments, and suddenly Chester sat straight up as if he had never been hurt.

“Wow!” He turned his head in Yvonne’s direction and smiled. “That was incredible!”

Yvonne returned his smile. “If you think was something, you should see what happens when I...” She leaned forward and whispered the rest of her comment directly into Chester’s ear so that nobody but him could hear. Chester’s eyes grew wide and his smile got bigger... so much so, in fact, that his brothers feared his teeth might break.

Mrs. Warmwater looked towards her other sister and rolled her eyes. “Oh brother,” she said.

Ursula just grinned. “Hush, sister, let her be,” she answered. “You know what it’s like to feel that way.”

“I used to,” Mrs. Warmwater responded with a sigh.

Well, just between you and me and the fencepost I’m not sure just what it was that Yvonne whispered in Chester’s ear. But I guess the old boy knew a good thing when he heard it, because it was just a short time later that Chester and Yvonne became leprechaun and fairy-wife. It was a grand day; Fester talked their old friend E. Pleribus into performing the ceremony, Lester and Ursula acted as best man and maid of honor, and Mrs. Warmwater sang “Annie’s Song.” 

Afterwards, during the reception, everyone enjoyed pumpkin cake and root beer and danced to the music of Ferbie Weebeebanger and the Atomic Dilly-Whoompers. There was one unfortunate incident when Snow White and Cinderella got into a shoving match during the tossing of the bouquet, but other than that everything went off fairly smoothly.

As Chester and Yvonne headed off for their honeymoon and the party started to break up, Lester looked at Fester and asked, “Do you think either one of us will ever get married?”

“I don’t know,” Fester admitted. He thought about it for a minute and added, “If I do, I sure hope it’s to someone who looks like her! Next to Yvonne, even that Miss Muffet doesn’t stack up.”

“True,” his brother responded. “But I think I’d rather marry an ugly girl.”

Fester looked at Lester as if he were crazy. “Are you crazy?” he asked. 
“Why on earth would you want to marry an ugly girl?”

“Because a pretty girl is liable to run away,” Lester told him.

“That’s just silly!” Fester said. “Besides, an ugly girl is liable to run away, too.”

Lester shrugged. “Yeah – but who cares?”

At which point everyone went their own way and I suppose lived more or less happily ever after. After all, isn’t that the point?