Please Forgive My Anal-Retentiveness


Inspired by Paul Exton

"You see? Right there, Scully was holding the cloth, then when the camera
angle changed, she picked it up from the table. A spliced shot."

Two seventeen-year-old friends, Josh and Frederick, were watching X-Files
on a couch at Josh's house. Frederick had just rewound a scene and watched
it again. Josh sighed. "Listen Frederick, you don't have to find every
inconsistency in everything everywhere. It's just stupid."

Frederick, whose parents never dared call him Fred, almost blew up. "Do I
scream and rant when you spread your nacho cheese every which way, instead
of putting little piles on each cracker in turn? Do I get in your face
when you don't use Kleenex the full four times you should? Did I get mad
at your mother when I realized the toilet paper was facing out and not in?!?"

Josh stood up. "Okay, mister wise guy, let's see how you like this then."
With that, he pulled out the magic wand he had gotten with his magic kit
when he was thirteen. Josh had been practicing arcane arts in his spare
time, books from creepy little stores that vanished when he turned around.
He had wanted to be a magician since seeing "The Great Spumoni" when he was
a child, and was disgusted to learn that it was all illusions. When he was
wandering the mall on his sixteenth birthday, he heard a noise from behind

When he turned around, he saw yet another of those creepy bookstores. This
one, though, had lots of other stuff. It also had the weirdest person he'd
ever seen in one of those creepy bookstores. The short white man looked
about thirty, had frizzed-out hair, freakier than Weird Al's, a
fizzy-chinned beard about one inch in length, and no mustache. Instead of
a robe, like most of these weirdoes, he had a green and red shiny jumpsuit
with multicolored stars all over. He looked like the result of a collision
between Jerry Lewis' funniest character, Steve Martin as himself, and Jim
from Taxi on uppers, wrapped in fabric from Bizzarro-world.

The man giggled insanely. "I've got the perfect book for you," he said,
sounding exactly like the Mad Hatter. "It's a first edition of the
Eldrimorphnocron, fifteen-ninety-eight! Don't thank me, you'll need it,
now skedaddle!" With that, he pushed the young man out of the store and
closed the door behind him. Instead of merely disappearing when he looked
away, the store stretched down a bit, then rolled up into the sign, like a
cartoon window-shade. The sign, which said "McGuffins Galore", then burst
into flame and was gone with no ashes in a single second.

After a year of study, and turning ants into pillbugs and so forth, Josh
had had enough of his anal-retentive friend Frederick.

"Bippity boppity boo," he said, waving the wand. "L'cheffy zanitobo,

Frederick frowned. "That doesn't even sound like a real magic spell, Josh.
You'd be better off with a combination of Hebrew, Japanese, and Latin. At
the very least, don't say zippy. Woah!"

He said "Woah!" because his ears had just slid, with a slick wet motion, to
the top of his head, while changing. They were now nestled in his hair,
and pointed, like a dog's. He felt them. "Okay, you've got magic. Cool.

He paused for breath. "My ears should have grown outward and stayed where
they were. As it is, the passage between ear and jaw is much too long. It
could get infected. I might have to take antibiotics."

Josh was annoyed. "Zethram colinum streppersobo totobo!"

Frederick felt his clothes change into fur. "And you know that was
completely wrong, though I guess you couldn't take my clothes off without
being a nasty pervert, and I know you're not."

Josh was majorly ticked. "Hannah fargolo, zippo tonosogo fohoboto!"

Frederick was calm as his nose turned into a snout. His mouth disappeared,
then reappeared on the snout. Muscles started working, but until the bones
cracked and reformed, his mouth didn't work. Along the way, his head
squished down to become a dog's skull. Finally, the work was done on his
face, and he said, "That one hurt. It appears I will be some kind of dog.
This is better than pot.

"However, I've got a bone to pick. That snout transformation was
completely wrong. It's obvious that my nose AND mouth should have pushed
out TOGETHER, and that my jaw would have lengthened. In fact, my tongue
was somewhere else as I transformed. It should have been more changed. Of
course, I wouldn't be able to speak, but it'd be more correct."

Josh was mad, and nearly screamed out the nest part. "Gobona secktum
flarvinastio vectunosh!!!"

Frederick felt something and moved his hands to look at them. His thumbs
shrunk and disappeared, then dewclaws formed halfway up his arms. His
elbow and wrist crunched, his shoulders bent, things popped and snapped
under the fur-covered skin, and his arms became perfect dog legs. "God,
Josh, that was the worst one yet! You know it would have taken a simple
shifting of proportions to do that the right way."

Josh was furious. "Geblechem sadunzelt flapper jumping straflo sanito!"

Frederick's knee broke going the other way, painfully, and another sick
crunch was heard as his thigh bent to make a new knee. His ankle
straightened out, and the two bones turned into four metatarsals.
Meanwhile, he nitpicked every single detail of the transformation of his
legs, down to the toenail issue.

Josh would have screamed if doing so wouldn't have rendered the spell
permanent, causing all sorts of legal issues and the loss of a friend.
Instead, he rammed out the final portion of the spell. "KLATUU BARACUDDA

"It's 'barada nickto', you idiot, at least get the reference right,"
Frederick muttered as his torso changed from that of a human to that of a
dog in anatomically wrong ways. Finally, the pain ended, the dog-boy stood
on all fours, and looked at his friend. "So? Now what?"

Josh thought. "I don't know. Run. Chase your tail. The book only says
how to change someone. You have two days."

"What am I supposed to do with two days?!? I could be caught by the
dog-catcher if I ran free, since we're deep in a city. I could stay here
and watch TV, but my vision is different and I'd probably get a headache.
I can't go to school, I can't go home, I can't do anything. I don't have
dog instincts, I don't have hands, and I've got this nagging feeling you
forgot something."

They both said, "Tail."

Frederick sighed. "And why did you do this in the first place? It's
completely pointless."

Josh shrugged. "You were being an anal retentive bore."

"Anal retentive?"


* * *
Copyright 1998 by
BlueNight. If you want to post this
anywhere else, please ask for permission first. Thank you.

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