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This Week In Weird Twitter, Volume 112

Never hire a jerboa to be your au pair, unless you love awesomeness.


Gerard the Jerboa was perplexed. For starters, he wasn’t sure how he’d been tricked into babysitting, though he vaguely remembered Conejito being involved. Maybe perplexed wasn’t the right word given said involvement. Was he flummoxed? No, he was perturbed and perhaps a little enraged. Babysitting was one thing—one that could be adventurous!—but somehow that gig had morphed over time.

First, the Spuckler family, which Conejito had introduced him to, convinced him to transition from babysitting their large brood to nannying the kids while the parents went about the business of being adult hillbillies. Then, it went even fuller time with Gerard taking on the role of au pair. The Spucklers, being hillbillies, didn’t use that term, instead opting for Granny Gerard. Gerard, though, had his dignity, or what was left of it, so he put au pair on his business cards, even if he couldn’t explain why he needed business cards.

He also put it on his résumé, again inexplicably since he wanted to get into a different line of work, but even though he craved adventure, intrigue, he knew he couldn’t get involved with Conejito again. Or so he thought. For as he sat sipping on glass of delicious pineapple juice and preparing to make a break for it—the Spuckler children could survive without him—he received a message from the rabbit.

Every time he thought he was out, Conejito pulled him back in. He didn’t want to comply, but he wanted his copy of “Hysteria” back.

He paused, preparing to face this new challenge.

He decided to recruit an accomplice. He knew just the man for the job.

After dropping off the cake and retrieving the Def Leppard cassette, Gerard offered Conejito some choice words.

Conejito took it in stride.

His childhood had informed his sensibilities, after all.

Plus he had contrarian opinions.

As they took leave of the abandoned barn, Jeff remembered his manners, even though he had to take some liberties with reality.

For etiquette is important.

Off they went, on the road less traveled.

They arrived back at the Spuckler place just as the first child was awaking. He wasn’t necessarily excited about it.

A second child dragged down the stairs and proposed to the first that they go trout fishing. His reply, while sentient, was somewhat confounding.

They headed to the fishing hole. Once there, things took an odd turn. Gerard had to break the silence.

Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly given we’re discussing a jerboa that was working as an au pair, the squirrel responded.

The child who had risen first chimed in.

Jeff was starting to wonder if tagging along had been a mistake.

Gerard assured him there was a point to all this. He was less than convincing.

A third child showed up at the fishing hole and threw a rock in the water, scaring all the fish, before mentioning a disturbing occurrence from the previous night. Annie parachuted in to offer expertise.

Hearing the conversation, the closet creature emerged and muddied the waters, metaphorically this time, unlike the rock from a second ago.

Things were getting confusing, but Gerard encouraged them to persevere.

And also to think outside the box, particularly when it offered a counter to nighttime disturbances.

A fourth child awoke and came outside. She was pleased with the results, not least of which because fishing can be better when it’s cloudy.

Gerard realized everything was going according to plan, albeit a loose one.

A nearby tree started ringing. Jeff located a telephone disguised as a pinecone, Maxwell Smart-style.

The person on the other end of the line offered a cryptic response.

Jeff responded in kind.

And added:

Bobby chimed in. That’s when Jeff realized it was an old-school party line.

I cracked open an ice-cold Zima, surveyed the scene, and asked myself, “Am I doing this right?” The first clue to the answer was held in my beverage, but there was a second.

Nevertheless, I persisted, for I had an excuse.

At that moment, yet another child emerged from the house to offer a proclamation.

Someone, I don’t know who as the ensemble was getting out of hand, retorted.

Then someone else, we’ll figure out who in a minute, dropped out, also realizing things were getting out of hand, but remembering to be polite.

And now for a word from our sponsors. At least one potential sponsor.

We can’t forget the slots reserved for local advertisements.

I took another sip of my Zima and began to question my actions.

Then I took yet another sip and offered my own proclamation.

And also a promise.

One of the children, the one Annie had talked to, grew bored with the proceedings and headed off to other adventures.

On her way out, she offered some thinly veiled criticism.

But also encouragement.

I decided then and there to upgrade my style.

A notification appeared on my phone. I had an email. I decided to believe it wasn’t spam. The threat, if ignored, was too dangerous.

On the other hand…

No, I had to keep on keeping on, if for no other reason than to keep this streak going.

But on the other other hand.

It was then that another character ambled off, though no one questioned it.

Because, I mean.

Then another departed, having some pressing matters to attend to.

Gerard started to realize his adventure may not have been real, but instead just a lively internet forum.

Which wasn’t without its perks.

Though still straining credibility.

Except for this, which was totally legit.

And this.

With that, the last of the children headed back home. Gerard realized it was time to move on. Also, he knew the perp, but he liked Rocket.

Gerard said his goodbyes. Jeff was off to chainsaw things, Annie was still investigating, Bobby was doing his best Hank Scorpio impression, the others were doing whatever they were doing. All in all, it wasn’t Gerard’s best job, but he could spin it on a résumé, plus he had plenty of business cards left he could use to fake people out if need be.

But he needed a base, somewhere to nest in and recalibrate. A home from which to make his next move. He popped in his “Hysteria” cassette, cranked up the volume, and got an idea. It was time to go underground, deep underground. Soon he would be able to command delivery of his own ice cream cake, but first, he needed a secret location.