Give Away the Store, Why Don't Ya!
By Mike Stevens
A Smiling Toy Shop Tale
Jasper had a plan; use mumbo-jumbo on Machoof and have him take Jasper back to The Smiling Toy Shop. He'd already used mumbo-jumbo to erases any memories he and the other two slope-heads may have had of his getting smacked around like a cheap suit; whatever that means. He still felt like his head was lopsided from where Machoof had teed off on his ass, but he knew it wasn't true. Machoof would pay for causing such humiliation; oh, Machoof would most definitely pay!
When Machoof was alone in the living room, where Jasper was lying face up on the carpet; having been dropped there by Cozycottage when his friend called and asked if he'd like to come over to play, he put his plan into motion. At least Cotty had left him alone and wasn't constantly touching him, or worse yet, throwing him and bashing him up in the air and catching his by a limb; that total bastard. Machoof was staring like a zombie at some inane piece of crap on channel 5,987 or something, and was already 1/2 asleep, so Jasper helped him along to night-night. He wasn't sure this would work, but he'd soon find out.
Machoof awoke from a vivid dream, saw Jasper lying on the floor, and immediately said, "Come on, Furbell, I must take you back to the Smiling Toy Shop; strange, it makes no sense, and I don't know why, but it seems important."
Jasper had to hide a smile, for his plan of planting a suggesting with Machoof had worked like a charm. He's overheard the puppet master who'd created him one night, during a drunken ego-fest; in which he only did it to see if he could, say that he had the ability to do this, but he'd never tested it out. Now that he had, he'd definitely be utilizing it more often.
Into the car, and back to the Smiling Toy Shop once more. "Ding-ding!" sounded the bell over the front door. Mr. Vesta was working, saw Jasper in Machoof's hands, and said,
"Is there a problem with the teddy bear, sir?"
"Oh, not really; in fact, I don't even know why I'm here."
Oh-oh; Jasper had failed to give Machoof a good reason. Shit! Well, he'd mumbo-jumbo his ass, and plant a good one in Mr, Vesta's head.
Mr. Vesta slowly opened his eyes, and saw the form of a customer next to him on the floor. What had happened? Oh yeah, this customer was returning the teddy bear he'd recently purchased, because, because, huh, he couldn't recall exactly; it had something to do with him being dissatisfied, but it wasn't really important, what mattered was he try to make things right.
Machoof stirred, and sat up in confusion. Where was he; and why was he on the floor? He looked into a face, a face that was somehow familiar, yet he was having trouble remembering who he was. The staring face said,
"Sir, I apologize for any inconvenience, and here's one hundred dollars for your trouble," he sat up so he could reach the till, and pulled out several 20's. "In fact, for all your trouble, why not take extra? I'm not sure how many 20's are here, but it doesn't matter; our customers' satisfaction is all that matters."
Machoof couldn't remember why he was here, but here was the shop owner shoving a handful of 20's at him, so he quickly pocketed the money, said a mumbled thank you and goodbye, and exited the shop, glancing up at the Smiling Toy Shop banner above the door. He remembered the shop, but had no clue why he'd come in. Oh well, several 20's; for that, he didn't really care.
As the dissatisfied customer left, Mr. Vesta just sat staring at the open cash drawer of the till. What had just happened? He struggled to remember; oh yeah, the customer had been dissatisfied, about what he couldn't recall. He glanced at the clock on the wall; it was past closing time. Time to lock the door, count today's money, and put it in the safe. He looked at the cash; all the slots for the various bills were stuffed full, except the 20's. Now that was odd.
Jasper sat by the register and watched old man Vesta staring at the till; the considerably-lighter till. He had panicked when he realized he should have given Machoof a reason for returning him, but then he'd implanted vague 'dissatisfied' reasons in Machoof and Vesta's head. Problem solved!
A still-confused Mr. Vesta grabbed him, and threw him towards the shelf, where Jasper landed heavily and painfully on his back.
"Owe, you bastard!" he yelled without thinking. "Watch what you're doing, old man." Quickly remembering himself, Jasper mumbo-jumboed Mr. Vesta before he could even reply. He started to say, "What the hell are...?" before slumping to the floor, out of it. Jasper pulled himself painfully to his feet, or at least the useless claws sown onto the ends of his limbs. "You try walking with this shit where your feet ought to be!" he mumbled, then turned to look at his new/old home.