There once was a man who made muffins every Tuesday morning. He was approximately 93 years old, however when he jogged (every Wednesday morning) he was as spry as an octogenarian. Well, this man, let’s call him Nate, for that was his name, loved to make muffins. Pumpkin. Spice. Blueberry. Strawberry. Chocolate. Coconut. Granola. Lime. Even Poppy Seed, though he did sometimes worry about testing positive for opium. Well, every Monday night Nate would gather up his ingredients and go to sleep at around 6:45 (unless his granddaughter Janie was calling from NYU- then he would postpone bedtime for about 30 minutes, though it did slow him down the following morning). Well, Nate would wake up at around 3:00 (yes, 3:00) and begin cooking his muffins. He had only one oven, so he would often pack it with 3 or 4 trays. Some muffins were baked in his toaster, whilst some were made in the microwave (though they were somewhat more gooey). He even found a way to cook a few in the fireplace (though they were somewhat more crunchy). Well, at around 6:00, Nate would have around 230 muffins. Sometimes 250, but usually closer to 230. Well, he would sit down, take two strawberry muffins and a glass of milk and eat them whilst listening to his Frank Sinatra records. After 20 minutes, he would get up and pack up his muffins into Tupperware (he was a Tupperware salesman for 13 years and won many salesman awards, thus gaining a collection of approximately 450 Tupperware pieces). He would load the containers into his ’92 Corolla, plug in his iPod, set it to shuffle, and pull out of driveway (of course, he only had one song on his iPod- “Come Fly With Me” by Frank”- though if you pointed out the pointlessness of appointing the iPod to shuffle mode, he would point you towards the door, even if you were outside). He would drive at 30 mph (though the speed limit was 45) down to the City Hall. He would park across the street in front of Bonnie’s Soda Shop (dropping off 8 muffins, per their deal). He would cross the road, carrying a stack of 14 Tupperwear containers. To the left of the steps of City Hall would be sitting a folding table and a stool (set up by Uma Polski, who did this for the cost of 4 muffins). Nate would take his containers, empty each one, lining up the muffins in alphabetical order, starting with Apple muffins and ending with Yam muffins (he experimented with Zebra flavored muffins in the 80s, however PETA called him for 3 weeks during “Frasier” and he got so frustrated he burned his zebra muffin recipe, his TV, his phone, and his latest copy of Newsweek- then he went and picked up a new TV and phone and subscribed to TIME). Well, after organizing the muffins, it would usually be 8:00, though he sometimes finished at 7:45. He would sit down and pull out his cell phone to call his grandson Ernie to wake him up for his 8:30 Biology class. Then Nate would hover over the muffins with a flyswatter, guarding his creations with tender loving care. Around 8:15, the usual people showed up. Henrietta Smithers, mayor; Janice Worth, City Hall receptionist; Ira Opplegang, host and producer of The Good Morning Show (City Hall doubled as the town TV station). Each would pick up two muffins, thank Nate for his handiwork, and then head in. And then Nate would sit there for another 8 hours, and finally realize that only three people worked at City Hall. He would pull out his Palm Pilot and make a note to remember to reduce his muffin numbers by more than 200. Unfortunately, Nate had never actually learned to turn on his Palm Pilot, so week after week he would forget his muffin number blunder and make the same number of muffins that he had been making ever since 1970, when the city was five times the size. So, each evening, Nate would take his leftover muffins to the local pond and feed them to the swans, the ducks, the crows, and the pigeons, and any other birds that came by. In the town of Dowby, North Carolina, the population barely hovered over 34. However, in the 40 years that Nate had been making muffins, the bird population of Dowby increased exponentially. In fact, the ratio of human to bird was around 1:358. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records gave Dowby the title of “Most Birdiest Town in America”; however, as Johann Redgraves, the town’s bookseller/librarian, had left in 1997 after making a fortune selling Beanie Babies, the townspeople weren’t that up to date on the news stories. Well, Nate would sit on the park bench and stare into the feathery water and dream. He dreamed of a place where people ate muffins all day long and sang Frank Sinatra songs while doing the limbo and playing Monopoly. And he would whisper “Blue Eyes, I wish I could find Muffinland and be the king of the muffins.” And then the sprinklers would turn on and Nate would head back to City Hall, pack up his Tupperware containers, and head home.
On April 23, 2008, Nate woke up, made the muffins, drove to City Hall, realized his blunder, and headed to the park. However, he never made it home. You see, about 40 years ago Nate started taking a pill called Olikicillin, made by the Werkle Drug Co., located just outside of Dowby. However, about 35 years, Werkle went out of business; however, Nate didn’t know this. All he knew was that one day Olikicillin cost 3.50 a bottle, and the next day it cost 12 cents. Never to pass up a bargain, he purchased approximately 3400 bottles of Olikicillin. Now, the reason Werkle went out of business was because the pill Olikicillin, designed for arthritis comfort, had a small dose of steroids in it. Well, their researchers discovered that the steroids had an interesting affect on wildlife. Namely, their monkeys began to grow extra eyeballs and their snakes grew about 4 times their normal length. Well, PETA heard about this and organized a protest, a petition, and a boycott. It worked, and Werkle went out of business. Well, Nate continued using Olikicillin, uninformed of the freakish affect on nature. The only strange thing it did in his life was notably his bad memory and spry knees and ankles (I did say he jogged like he was 60). Well, on this Tuesday evening, as Nate sat there on the bench, he began singing his favorite Sinatra song.
“Come fly with me, come fly let’s fly away…”
And so, the birds of Dowby, North Carolina obeyed their leader’s voice, and, with the strength of a thousand T-Rexes, lifted Nate up off the ground. They carried him high into the sky, thanks to their steroid-induced strength. They carried Nate to the land of Muffistan, in the heart of Asia Minor. There they dropped him through the skylight of the royal palace. Nate fell on the king of Muffistan, killing him instantly. But it was okay, because the king didn’t pay his taxes. Well, the royal subjects found Nate in the morning (the birds carried the king’s body to a nearyby ossuary), and believing it to be a sign from God (and partly because they didn’t like their original king), the citizens of Muffistan put on the hottest record that was out- Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits, pulled out the limbo poles and the Monopoly boards, and crowned Nate with a golden poppy seed muffin. He cried and cried and called his grandchildren. They weren’t impressed. But Nate was overjoyed and suddenly felt the left side of his body go limp. He smelled toast.
And it was over.
That is, the Muffistani national game of “Tranquilizer Tag/Toast Hunt” was over.
Nate lived to be 145 (Okicillin was pretty amazing) and he ruled the kingdom with great wisdom and muffinistic enlightenment.
But the kids back home in Dowby never forgot their friend, the Muffin Man. Partly because every year the town did a pageant in his honor and the kids had to sing 12 songs about muffins, not to mention learn choreography. It was the pits.
But still, the Muffin Man never really died. In our hearts. Right?
His Royal Highness Nathan Silazar- 1915-2060- May he always be immuffinned in our hearts.