Fliers and Messages
Hamton woke early on Thursday morning with his head spinning. His usual peaceful sleep had been littered by a number of bizarre dreams that drifted between strange to outright banana-spewing crazy.
In the first dream, he was climbing a mountain-sized bottle of Du Coeur perfume and, just when he was about to reach the top of the perfume's cap, it came loose from the bottle. Screaming, still holding on to the cap, Hamton fell off the edge, but for some reason didn't die or even wake up.
In the second dream, he was walking the streets of Acme Acres and seeing multiple copies of himself doing everything imaginable — everything from fixing cars with his bare hands, to painting houses in the bitter cold, even making a snowman with nothing more than a pair of tweezers.
The third dream had taken place inside Hamton’s own house. There he frantically cleaned everything in a way that was almost certifiable. He was sweeping AND mopping the floor with his feet, dusting and polishing with his hands, and, somehow, moving the vacuum cleaner with his teeth.
Of all these dreams, this last one proved to be the most significant because it gave Hamton an idea which, he hoped, may lead him closer to a regular sized bottle of Du Coeur perfume.
So after washing up, Hamton went to the kitchen to fry up two servings of over easy eggs for breakfast. Waiting for the eggs to cook in the frying pan, he ran back to his room and grabbed a few sheets of clean paper off his desk. With a black marker in hand, he returned to the kitchen table and quickly scribbled out a number of miniature posters.
The sizzling sound of eggs brought him back to the stove and he slid them onto a clean plate. With a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a dash of black pepper, and a rather full glass of orange juice, Hamton sat back down and read over his fliers:
House Needs Cleaning?
Vacuuming? Disinfecting? Scrubbing?
Call HAMTON J. PIG to schedule
I'll work any house, big or small.
Guaranteed to make it shining and spotless
All for only $10.00
Yes, you read it right.
Chewing his breakfast, Hamton wrote his phone number on the stubs sticking at the bottom of each flier. By the time he cleaned his plate, he had finished with the last stub and drained his tall glass of orange juice in two gulps.
There, Hamton thought confidently, admiring the completed fliers. This 'oughta bring in some extra money.
If there was one thing Hamton took more pride in than a good meal, it was a house so clean that the owner would whistle in amazement — and he just so happened to be an expert when it came to making things shiny and spotless. It felt like a good idea, then, to offer up his skills to others. Hamton wasn't expecting to make a great deal of cash, but he felt it would, at least, be something else to add to the lunch box sitting safely in his dresser's bottom drawer.
Looking up at the clock, Hamton saw he had only fifteen minutes before he was usually out the door to join his friends in walking to school. So, using the first five minutes to brush his teeth and don his winter coat and hat, he chose to spend the last bit searching through his massive collection of cookbooks for a cake recipe — one, he hoped, would be excellent enough to wow Professor Yosemite Sam tomorrow in Exploding Cakes (a fairly challenging task at that).
Hmm . . . thought Hamton. Maybe a nice carrot cake. Given Prof. Sam's hatred of rabbits, it would probably be enough to make him explode. Although . . . Buster and Babs might try that idea — they were carrot fanatics, after all.
But before Hamton could ponder any farther, he glanced again to the clock which told him it was time to go. Placing the chosen cookbook down on the table for later, he stuffed his fliers into his coat, locked the front door, and headed out for the city.
The snow from yesterevening lay upon the ground like soft powder. It lined the stretching fences, hung to the trees like large fluffy nests, and laid atop cars like they had been covered with blankets. To Hamton’s delight, it wasn't as cold out as it had been last night, there being only a light breeze; his chilled, reddening cheeks were quite thankful for it. The sunshine pierced the overcast sky and Hamton had to squint for the first couple minutes as the light glared off the snow. But it didn't last long or really bother him that much. It was a truly tranquil morning as the first few cars started up and headed down the city streets.
Passing Frosty's Ice Cream Parlor, Hamton saw that someone had made a snowman right outside the shop doors. Clothed in a wool hat and scarf, it sported a nametag with the name "Parson Brown."
"Hmm," Hamton said thoughtfully. "I wonder if he had been made with tweezers. . . ."
"You guys go on, I just have a few things I got to hang up. See you all in class."
When he and his friends arrived at Acme Loo, the first thing Hamton did was head down the bustling hallway to hang his fliers for house cleaning. He brushed the coat and shirt sleeves of many students as they went here and there, grabbing their books and heading to the day's first classes.
After pinning up all his fliers on the school bulletin boards and taping a few on the walls, Hamton went back to his locker to deposit his coat. By then, most of the students had gone and left the hallway empty, so it came as a surprise to Hamton to find Shirley waiting for him by his locker.
"Hamton, like, over here!" she called, waving her white feathered hand.
"Hi, Shirley," said Hamton, opening his locker and putting away his coat. "What’s up?"
"Ah, you know, the ceiling, the sky, the stars, my aura. Same old, same old," she said, giving a shrug.
Hamton smirked. "Well, that’s nice. How was Plucky this morning?"
"Oh, he was fantastic!" she said brightly. "If you can, like, actually believe it, I managed to get him to try some morning yoga!"
"Really?" Hamton said, impressed. "That’s great."
Shirley sighed wearily. "Yeah, it was at first, but he went for, like, five minutes before getting tired and impatient. But," she added on a happier note, "at least he tried it, so that's a start. Anyway, Hamton?"
"I need to talk to you for a couple minutes."
"Class is about to start, Shirley." He pointed up to the nearby clock. "Can’t it wait ‘till later?"
"Oh don’t worry about the time," said Shirley, waving her hand. "These hallway conversations always last as long as we need them to. We’ve seen it, like, a million times on TV. It’s like the clock stands still until we leave."
"Oh yeah . . . Warped Perception," said Hamton, remembering the lesson from Cartoon Logic. "So what do you need to talk about?"
Shirley didn’t speak at first, but checked down both directions in the hall. Once certain that no one else was listening, she turned back to Hamton and spoke only loud enough for him to hear. "Okay. Listen, Hamton. Me, Babs, and Fifi went down to the Mall yesterday after school, just to pass the time and check out some clothes and other junk, you know?"
"Okay. . ." said Hamton, not really sure why she was telling him this.
"Anyway, we stopped at Shears 'cause Fifi wanted to check out the Du Coeur perfume, and it was there me and Babs both started thinking . . ."
She paused. Whatever it was that Shirley and Babs had been thinking, Hamton thought it must've been something very grave because Shirley's usual calm face seemed suddenly stressed.
She continued. "Well, as you know, Hamton, Du Coeur is very popular, with it currently being the most prized perfume in Europe, you know."
"I guess . . ." said Hamton, shrugging.
"Yeah, so, me and Babs both wondered, both then and from something Plucky said the other day — what if they run out before you can buy a copy for Fifi?"
"Yeah . . . well, that might happen, sure," he said, trying to sound calmer than he felt, though his timid voice gave himself away. "But really, Shirley, how likely is that? I mean, the perfume is so expensive."
"True, but you never know with these things. So," she added with a renewed smile, "that’s why me and Babs came up with an idea that solved the little probla-mo."
Feeling as though a lead weight had just dropped into his stomach atop his digesting breakfast, Hamton looked at her in stunned disbelief. "You guys didn't buy one, did you? Shirley!"
"What?" she almost shrieked. "Like, no way! We would never want something that expensive. Babs has, like, plenty of perfumes and I prefer my incense sticks. But forget that. As I was saying, we both thought that, to keep Shears from totally selling out, I should provide a little . . . influence."
"Influence?" repeated Hamton, raising an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"Oh, you know, a little mental rearranging here, a tad hypnosis there, psycho junk like that. Anyway, to be, like, super clear, I arranged things so Shears will hold a box of the perfume for you in case the supply runs short."
Hamton’s mouth fell open. "You did? Really?"
"Yeah. It’s packed away, safe and stored out of sight. Now you won't have to worry about them going out of stock."
It was a surprise the likes of which Hamton couldn’t have anticipated or asked for. It was as though a very serious threat had just been neutralized, leaving Hamton to focus more clearly and calmly on the main task. The feeling of relief was indescribable, so, with the happiest smile he could form, he said, "Thanks, Shirley."
She returned his smile with her own and said, "Like, no probla-mo, Hamton. What are friends for? Anyway, let’s go," she added, pointing her thumb over her shoulder to a wall clock, which before had been motionless and was now moving again, "we're gonna be late for class."
"Huh? Oh, right!" Hamton had been so surprised by Shirley's wonderful news that he forgot they were still in school. Grabbing their books and notebooks from their lockers, they both hurried off down the hallway.
Everything now seemed ten times brighter to Hamton: It was as though the sun had broken through the school roof and was shining down on him, reminding him that there was still a ray of light to be seen and felt.
Just as they were a few footsteps away from the classroom door, however, Shirley sprinted in front of Hamton with her hand outstretched. (Hamton could’ve sworn he heard the nearest clock screech to halt.)
"One last thing, Hamton," she said, and her tone was suddenly serious. "I know it’s not, like, something you know a lot about, but mental spells are . . . complicated."
"I bet they are," he said. "I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It’s amazing that you’re able to do it, though."
"Well . . . kinda. . .but, you see. . . ."
The look on her face made Hamton frown. "Shirley?"
She sighed in resign. "The truth is, Hamton, I had a little trouble planting the suggestion into the Shears workers, and I was lucky to get as far as I did."
"So what does that mean?" he asked, his imaginary light starting to dim.
"Oh, it’s not, like, too much to worry about," Shirley assured him. "Shears will hold the perfume for you, just not forever. The influence I placed on the Shears staff will only hold until the end of December 23rd, the day before the Christmas party."
Hamton gaped. "I have until the 23rd?" he asked, a little louder than he meant to.
"I hope that’s okay, Hamton," said Shirley, looking slightly worried. "It was the best I could do given how much influence I had to plant. I chose the 23rd because it seemed pointless extending the time beyond then, seeing as Shears will be closed for Christmas Eve. Not to mention you plan on giving Fifi her gift on the day of the party, so, like, any time afterwards would be too late. So, Hamton," she looked him straight in the eye, "you’ve got to make sure you buy the perfume before the store closes on that day, otherwise it'll be up for grabs to anyone else who gets there first. Got it?"
Hamton hesitated at first, feeling slightly annoyed for having this unexpected news sprung upon him. But at the same time he couldn’t deny that Shirley made sense on both points. And besides, she went to so much just to help him.
Smiling, Hamton replied, "Got it. And don’t worry, the 23rd is fine with me. The fact that you went this far to help is more than I could’ve asked for. Seriously, thanks so much for this, Shirley."
Shirley smiled and nodded. "Like, no probla-mo," she said.
Then, using her mental abilities, she pulled the classroom door open and held it aloft to let Hamton in.
After four unstressful hours of Bird Chasing, Spotlight Stealing, and double Outwitting, Hamton and his friends headed to the cafeteria with the rest of their grade for lunch. Upon arrival, a warm, steamy scent drifted down the lunch line, coupled with the delicious aroma of melted cheese and frying butter.
Buster sat down next to Babs and Hamton, gave a slow inhale through his nose and sighed with satisfaction. "Nothing like grilled cheese and tomato soup on a cold day."
"Except when its grilled carrots and carrot soup, or carrot anything, I bet?" Plucky said dryly.
Everyone, including Buster and Babs, gave a humored smile. Babs responded, "Funny, but we don't eat carrots every day, Plucky. We like variety just like everyone else."
"Yeah, well," said Plucky, picking up his spoon, "at the rate I see you guys eat 'em, I'm surprised you two haven't turned orange yet."
Rolling their eyes, Buster and Babs each dunked half of their grilled cheese slices into their bowls.
Buster’s statement about their lunch proved quite accurate: the soup was hot and sweet, and, combined with the crispy, gooey grilled cheese, made a perfect lunch for this brisk winter day.
Besides the usual mild chit-chat, Hamton and the others past the time listening to Plucky gripe about work last night at the Country Club. While it may be annoying to some, the five of them found Plucky's comments funny, if not a little obnoxious.
"I mean, a six-dollar tip?" said Plucky, outraged and shaking his soup spoon. "Six dollars when the meal cost over fifty? That service deserved at least ten bucks! I mean, haven't I proven my worth as a waiter after all these years?"
Fifi gave a muffled chuckle, having just taken a sip from her soup. Swallowing, she said, "Plucky, you and I have only worked zhere for over a year. Do you not remember? We both joined ze same month."
"Well, it feels like it’s been years for me," said Plucky, taking a bite from his grilled cheese. "I hope it goes better tonight. Maybe your harp playing will help. I've always noticed I seem to get better tips on the nights you play."
"People appreciate a good tune with a good meal," said Babs. "And Plucky, it might help if you stop grumbling so much every time you don't get a large tip."
"Yeah, yeah, fine. . .," said Plucky grudgingly, taking one large bite and finishing off his grilled cheese.
Hamton bit down again into his, appreciating the crispy bread and the soft cheesy center. He then spooned some tomato soup, savoring the combined taste. As he was about to swallow, Buster spoke, "So, Hamton, you're starting a little cleaning service?"
Hamton froze and at once swallowed more than he would've liked. Coughing a little, he cleared his throat from the sudden gulp, then said, "Uh —*cough* well, yes. You saw my fliers, I’m guessing?"
"Yep," Buster answered. "We saw them as we walked to lunch."
Deciding that it really wasn't a big deal that they all knew, Hamton calmly shrugged. "It's just a little something I thought might help since the holidays are coming up. I could use a little extra money."
Hamton looked directly at Buster as he spoke this last sentence. He couldn't explain any further with Fifi present, but, looking at the four of his other friends who knew, all who remained calm and poised, Hamton could tell that they understood the true meaning of his decision to start a small cleaning service.
"That sounds like a good idea," said Babs. "You planning on doing it after school, Hamton?"
"Whenever I can," he clarified, putting his spoon down into his half-empty soup bowl. "The person who wants cleaning will schedule a time with me and I'll do it when I have the chance. Not sure how much I'll be able to do, though" said Hamton, only now realizing this fact. "Depending on what they want me to clean, some places might take longer to do. I might not even get that many calls, seeing as I only put up the fliers here in the school."
"Perhaps you can make more fliers and spread zem throughout ze city, non?" Fifi suggested.
"Yeah, Hamton," said Buster. "Spreading the word is a crucial step for business, even small services like yours."
"Maybe," said Hamton, "but for now I'd just like to see what I can get here at school. If I have to, I'll make more and ask the local businesses to post them in their windows — if they’ll allow it, that is."
"Well, that sounds like an excellent idea," said Babs encouragingly.
"Yeah. We all know how much you love to clean," said Plucky. "Whether it be a dirty floor or the food on your plate, no one does it like you, pal."
"Plucky!" snapped Babs.
"No, it's okay," said Hamton, chuckling at this statement. "Plucky's right — on both points."
"If you'd like, Hamton," said Babs, "I could ask my Mom if she wants help cleaning our home. Given how huge my family is, I think she’d appreciate any extra help."
"Would you?" asked Hamton eagerly. "If you wouldn't mind —"
"Of course I don’t mind," said Babs. "Plus you'd be doing me a favor. Any way I can get out of cleaning the place is always fine with me. I'll talk to her and let you know as soon as I can."
"We'll see what we can do, too," said Buster, looking to Plucky, Fifi, and Shirley, who all nodded. "We'll let others know about your offer to clean. We'll spread the word, if that’s okay."
For a moment, Hamton didn't know whether to look shocked or happy. So, instead, he just beamed. "Yeah! Yeah, of course it's okay! Thanks, guys!"
Owing nothing to the food he had eaten, a great sense of warmth flooded through Hamton as though he were bundled next to a camp fire.
His friends had helped him not once, but twice in the same day. Could things get any better, Hamton wondered?
To his surprise and delight, it did.
When the six of them left the cafeteria to spend the rest of the lunch hour chatting in the hall, Hamton looked over at one of the school's bulletin boards and saw with eagerness that one of the stubs from his fliers had been torn off.
I’m well on my way, Hamton thought, smiling.
Let’s just hope you can make it in time, replied his ominous inner voice.
It was with immense relief that no homework was given in either Calculations or Destruction class, as it reminded Hamton on his way to his locker that he still had two assignments waiting at home, both of which he knew he had to finish tonight.
Shouldn't be too hard, though, he thought. He already had a start on his Cartoon Logic essay, and really, how difficult can it be to decide on a cake recipe?
Hamton zipped up his winter coat and turned in time to see Plucky return from the bathroom, dressed in his dress shirt and red waiter's vest.
Walking outside into the cold, partly-cloudy afternoon, Plucky and Fifi both waved goodbye to the group and set off for the Country Club. Given that they all had homework to do, Hamton and the others gave one another a quick "see you tomorrow" and went off on their different paths towards home.
Upon entering his house, Hamton’s first thoughts were on starting his homework and getting it out of the way. Then, afterwards, he could devote some time to plot out how to go about and earn some more money.
But before Hamton could even make it out of the entryway, he paused in the living room when he saw the blinking of a small red light. It was coming from his phone’s answering machine.
Sure of what this must mean, Hamton dropped his coat to the floor, ran into the living room, and pressed the Play button on the machine.
"You have THREE new messages," said the machine in its automated voice. "First message."
"Hello, Hamton. This is Granny. I saw your ad on the bulletin board today and would like to schedule a time when you can come and clean my house. I think it's so good of you youngsters taking such responsibility and trying to get a job. Well, anyway, give me a call when you have the time, dear. If not, I'll see you at school and we can do it then. Oh, and by the way, Hamton, please be sure to get plenty of sleep. I don't want you drifting off in my class again like you did on Tuesday. Buh-bye."
Yes! Hamton thought eagerly. First customer in only the first day!
"Second message," said the machine. This next one came from someone else Hamton knew — this one being quite younger and, if Hamton must say, quite looney.
"Hey, Pig-A! Gogo Dodo calling! I heard from you and your friends in lunch today that you're looking for some things to clean. Well, Wackyland is getting a bit messy, even for my twisted taste buds. So, drop me a message or shoot me a note when you get the chance. Or, if that's all too literal for you, just use a telephone and call me. You know how to call out 'Wackyland', right? See ya!"
Wow . . . Hamton thought, hardly believing his good luck. Two customers already. . . .
"Third message," said the machine.
The last message wasn’t a job offer. From out of the machine spoke a voice that was both sweet and cheery — one that Hamton had known all his life.
"Hi, Hamton, sweetie. We got your letter, which means that you must've gotten ours. Me and your father are happy you're doing fine and hope the snow isn't making you too cold. It almost makes us feel bad that we get to spend most of our time in the warm sun. But, hey, at least you don’t have to worry about sunburn, right? You do remember where we left the electric blanket and footie pajamas in case of an emergency, right?
"Anyway, Hamton, we've talked it over and me and your father think we'll be stopping by next week either on Wednesday or Thursday. We still have to figure out which day works out best for us, but you can definitely expect to see us on one of those days.
"I hope you’re happy and aren't starving yourself, sweetie. We’ll have us a nice big dinner when we visit. Until then, take care and keep up your school work, my smart little man! Mommy and Daddy love you! Bye!"
The moment the message ended, Hamton jabbed down on the delete button, feeling undyingly thankful that no one else had been there to listen.
Love you both, too, Mom, he thought. But, geez, be careful what you say in your messages!
"Message deleted. End of messages," said the machine with a final BEEP.
Still . . . it’ll be good to see you two. Until next week then. . . .
With his plans changed, Hamton returned to the entryway to hang up his coat and hat, then made his way back to the couch and picked up the phone's receiver.
"Okay, Hamton," said Granny on the phones' other end. "I'll see you tonight at 6:30. Do you have your own cleaning supplies, dear?"
"Oh, yeah, don't worry about it, Granny," said Hamton, leaning back on the couch. "I always keep plenty of supplies handy. I'll see you at 6:30, then."
"Okay, dear. Bye."
Hamton hung up the phone and then picked it up again, now planning to dial the number for Wackyland. His finger was an inch from the buttons when, at that moment, it suddenly occurred to Hamton that there was a small problem: that being he didn't have the slightest idea what to dial.
He had never called Wackyland before on account that he and Gogo never really talked or hung out (not outside of school or Tiny Toon Adventures, that is). Not to mention, Wackyland was just far too crazy for Hamton's tastes. He didn’t hate the place, but it wasn’t his choice idea for a weekend get-away.
So how else could he get ahold of Gogo? Gogo didn’t leave a phone number in his message and Hamton didn’t own a phonebook; the only people he ever needed to call were his parents and friends (and, on regular occasion, Presto Pizza: Acme’s Acres number-one pizza place), and he had all their numbers down by memory. The only reason he had Granny’s phone number was because all the school teachers and principal provided contact information at the beginning of Fall term.
So, what else could he do?
With the phone’s receiver still in his hand, Hamton stared down at the bottom-most number.
"Hmm . . . well, first time for everything, I guess."
Not knowing what else to do, Hamton pressed the zero and waited as the phone purred its familiar ringback.
A few seconds later, he heard. . .
"Hello, this is the Operator," said the Operator.
"Uh, hi," said Hamton. So this was what it’s like to dial zero. . . . "Can you please connect me to Wackyland in Acme Acres?
"Wackyland?" repeated the Operator.
"Oh, that's simple, sir. All you have to do is call out 'Wackyland.'"
And without so much as another word, she disconnected the call.
Hamton stared opened-mouthed at the opposite wall as the phone droned in his ear.
"What?" he asked, looking at the phone. Certain that there had been a misunderstanding, Hamton dialed the zero again.
"Hello, this is the Operator," she said a second time.
"Hello?" said Hamton, his voice clear and paced. "Can you — hear me? I would like — to call — Gogo Dodo in Wackyland — which is — in — Acme — Acres!"
There was a pause, then the Operator said, "I told you before, sir, all you have to do is call out 'Wackyland.' Have a good evening, then." And again, she hung up.
"Hey, wait!" Hamton shouted, but there was nothing to speak to except the droning sound.
His brow furrowed, Hamton jabbed the zero for a third time and waited, glaring at his reflection in the TV screen.
"Hello, this is —"
"Hello!" Hamton shouted, his fist clenched. "Listen to me! I want to call Wackyland! Okay? I don't understand how I'm supposed to call it if you don’t connect me or give the number!"
"Sir, you don't dial anything," said the Operator patiently. "Wackyland doesn't have any traditional landline, cartoon or otherwise, so I can’t connect you. You have to literally call out 'Wackyland' into your phone and then it will take care of the rest. I'm sorry I wasn't more clear in my description. Now, have I cleared that all up?"
"Uh . . . sure?" said Hamton.
"All right, then" she said. "Once again, I wish you a good evening, sir. Goodbye." And for the third time, she ended the call.
Hamton looked curiously down at the phone's receiver. Was the Operator being serious? All he had to do was say "Wackyland?" Trying to think outside his normal sense of reason, Hamton remembered that, in Gogo's message, he had plainly said "call out Wackyland."
Slowly, Hamton placed the receiver back to the side of his head. He hesitated for a moment, then, feeling slightly stupid, he spoke into the mouth piece. "Uh . . . Wackyland, please?"
A split-second later, there came a ringing tone, meaning that his call was going through. The sound instantly quelled Hamton’s irritation.
The phone only hummed once when a new voice, a woman’s, answered with a straight, uninterrupted tone, very much like a recording.
"Thank you for calling Wackyland. Please state the name of the person, persons, persona, or other preposterous perplexity that you wish to speak to."
Hamton stuttered. "Uh . . . I want to talk to Gogo Dodo, please."
The phone immediately let out another ringing tone. Next thing he knew, Hamton leapt a good five feet into the air, hit the ceiling and landed back on the couch as a clear, loud voice proclaimed, "Hellooooooo! Gogo Dodo speaking."
Getting over his shock, Hamton rubbed the crown of his head and spoke, "Gogo, it’s me, Hamton. Ow. . ."
About a minute later, he and Gogo had set everything in order.
"So, Sunday at 1:00 in the afternoon?" asked Hamton.
"Yep," said Gogo. "That sounds, looks, and feels good to me. And I also think it’ll be a good time to come over and help me, too. I’d let you come and do it sooner but I have important things to be doing and you, my friend, will have something very important you will be doing."
"Yeah, I — hey, wait! What do you —?"
"Well, Hamton, I’ll see you on Sunday and/or in school. Maybe neither, probably both. Until then, stay weird and hello!"
And with that, Gogo ended the call, leaving Hamton to wonder just what Gogo was talking about and what insanity he had just agreed to put himself into.
About an hour later in his bedroom, Hamton finished writing his essay for Cartoon Logic.
. . .Seeing as the laws of physics in cartoons are dependent on both situation and the personality of the character, the normal laws of physics do not normally take effect until someone realizes they are defying them.
In the example of gravity, a person walking off a ledge will not fall but continue to walk normally as though there were an invisible bridge beneath their feet. Gravity will only take effect if the person looks down, thus shattering the illusion, or their concentration becomes so shaky that it knocks them out of the air. . . .
. . .Fear can also break the cartoon laws of gravity. If the person is scared enough, they can jump so high that their head might hit a satellite in space. . . .
"Or the ceiling in their living room," Hamton added dryly.
. . .Ultimately, when it comes down to it, gravity, or any law of physics, can only be broken when the situation calls for it, mainly when a Toon wishes to bring about humor or else to help overcome something otherwise impossible. Even in cartoons, there has to be some sense of order, otherwise everything would collapse onto itself.
Reading it once over and correcting any spelling errors he made, Hamton felt sure that his essay was, at least, passable.
"Okay," he said happily, putting down his pencil and standing up from his chair. "Now time for cake."
He headed off to the kitchen.
There was, of course, no cake to snack on. The cake in question was in a cook book that had been browsed through that morning.
Picking up the book resting on the kitchen table, Hamton spent a few minutes looking at all the cake recipes that were listed before returning to one that made his imagination purr.
It was a two-layer chocolate cake, decorated with white lace frosting, topped with beautiful, juicy red strawberries and just lightly dashed with powdered sugar. Hamton spent five whole minutes staring fixedly at it: the rich texture of the frosting, the hearty dark brown of the cake, the way it sat on the plate, practically begging to be served.
Hamton didn’t need to look any farther; this was the cake he wanted to make for Exploding Cakes tomorrow. Even if its ultimate end was to explode, Hamton couldn't imagine a better cake to bake for whatever reason.
With his stomach rumbling, Hamton turned to see the kitchen's wall clock read 5:30 and decided now was a good time for some supper before heading off to Granny's.
~$1,285 to go -- 20 Days until Dec. 24th~