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Shivering even under the erstwhile comfort of the satin and 74,000-threadcount Egyptian cotton bedclothes of Prince Valdebill's undulating, woefully underheated Scooby Doo Kiddie Pool waterbed, young Gareth could hear the footsteps of the dark prince approaching. His lithe, young body twitched in anticipatory dread. How had he ever doubted the whispers about the dark desires of the prince? Why had he scoffed openly and even guffawed upon occasion when fellow patrons of The Kiddie Pool Tavern and Foosball Pavilion warned him of the grave perils of skulking in the shadows of Valdebill's foreboding Castle Maine?

The eerily signature clack-clackity-clack-clack-clackity-clack-clack sound of the prince's custom Kenneth Cole Unlisted boots stopped in the hallway just outside the door, and Gareth found himself unable to breathe as he imagined the prince's tragically gnarled hand upon the doorhandle. He pulled himself even tighter underneath the duvet.

Sadly, we may never know what happens to poor Gareth. Unless we preemptorily retain the not-quite-pristine-yet-not-yet-entirely-blackened soul that could one day -- without our intervention -- become Prince Valdebill in Castle Maine, this is how the story may begin ... and the rest of the story may never be told.

Is that what you want, people? Do you want wee Gareth to languish in terror there in that freezing waterbed for.ev.ver? Do you want him to become the eternal victim of a dark Prince Valdebill, a victim who will never again frolic winsomely in the carefree meadows of Cheersenjeers? Never again know the joys of mucking about in The Kiddie Pool Tavern and Foosball Pavilion? Because that's what will happen if we don't ransom the soul of our prince before he goes sour. And it's going to be ALL. OUR. FAULT. Stern people will sternly point at this very scene, shake their heads sternly, and say sternestly, "That right there -- that's why we can't have anything nice here. Because you people don't appreciate the nice souls we have. No, you have to ruin everything. Thanks a lot. Just thanks sooo much."

Then they'll sigh. Heavily. And roll their eyes right at us, derisively, without mercy, without remorse. And they'll schmool once more.

schmool [shmOOOOOOl], from the Latin schmuleatum viareum oresum post ipso facto, "I fart via the mouth after trumpeting that very fact": to expel air sardonically through judgmentally pursed lips immediately after trivializing an obvious truth via rolling one's eyes so robustly as to sometimes require medical intervention.
And we'll have to hire therapists -- the expensive ones, the ones our insurance won't even begin to cover -- to expunge even the toppest of the top layers of guilt that will weigh and prey on us for years. And we'll lie sleepless in our own chilly waterbeds night after night after night, longing for respite, desperate to travel back to the single moment in time that could have saved us from endless cycles of despair and Klonopin and recrimination and the schmooling. O Lawzy, the schmooling! Until finally we break and tear into the floorboards of our bedrooms with our bared nails, shrieking, "Yes ... yes ... it was the schmooling of the old man's heart!"

The time ... O the time! ... the time when we could merely have clicked the fracking PayPal link and saved a soul. The soul. The one we held in our grubby little hands while we maniacally chirped, "Oh, I will hug him and squeeze him and call him Bill."

Don't let this happen to us. We stand together today on the precipice of a junction of a fork in the path of overwrought metaphors, and we can choose the direction that will save actual lives here, people. We can save Gareth's. We might even save our own.

One-time contribution: click here.

$5 monthly contribution: click here

$10 monthly contribution: click here

$20 monthly contribution: click here

Snail mail: Bill Harnsberger, 16 Pitt St., Portland ME 04103

The Kelley Blue Book lists a soul in BiPM's fair-to-partly-cloudy condition at $74,363; with dressage training, car elevators, rock-solid Etch-a-Sketch economic foundations, and optional kiddie pool sunroof, that value rockets to more than $151,694. And we're getting it all for a measly $25,000. Sheesh. Even with the mileage Bill's got on 'im, this soul is a steal.

Don't let Gareth down. Don't let yourself down. Don't take the last train for the coast. And don't take wooden nickels.

Click that link. Preempt the hazardous eyerolling and the schmooling that could become a hazard to public health and drag our entire nation down to the level of mere sarcasm and bitter one liners in the Comments sections of random diaries.

Shill Bill. And save our soul.

The Great Bill-A-Thon Remaining Bring-It-Home-Baby Schedule

Saturday, September 15€
afternoon post (around 4 pm): [you are here with your guide, MsSpentyouth]
evening: Nautical Knots

Sunday, September 16€
morning: blue jersey mom
€afternoon post (around 1pm): Moody Loner
€afternoon post (around 4pm): Debbie in ME€
evening: triciawyse

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