There was little Homer could have done to avoid the accident. Krusty had been drinking and came round the corner far too fast.
Now Krusty’s klown car was mashed into Homer’s driver door, its klown horn jammed on providing a cruelly ironic soundtrack to the scene.
Marge and the kids had managed to free themselves. They were shocked but largely unhurt. Maggie, in her usual stoicism, sat on the kerb drawing patterns with a lump of chalk. Lisa was nearby, making a call on her iPhone to Chief Wiggum.
Bart had opened the door of Krusty’s car and, after picking his way through the empty bottles of scotch that had spilled out onto the street, was attempting to revive his hero, slapping him round the face and honking his nose.
Meanwhile Marge was with Homer. He had been unable to free himself from the car after the driver’s door had buckled from the impact, trapping his legs. She could see that there was a deep gash in his thigh and he was bleeding heavily. He caught her looking and moved his hand down to hide it from her view.
“Are the kids safe?” he choked.
“Yes,” she reassured him, and gave his shoulder a squeeze through the broken window.
It was getting towards the end of winter. Long before everyone else, the snowman could feel the thaw in the air. He knew what he had to do.
That night he crept into the house. In the hallway he took off his hat and placed it back on the hat-stand.
In the kitchen he returned his nose to the vegetable drawer of the fridge.
He had to work quickly in the living room. The still-smouldering fire was giving out a fair amount of heat and he dreaded leaving a wet patch on the rug. He removed his teeth first, placing them carefully back in the coal scuttle. Then he took out his eyes.
He used his twiggy fingers to feel his way out of the house, and made sure he shut the front door behind him.
In the woods at the bottom of the garden he shook his arms free from their icy sockets, and began his wait for spring.
Magnus the Magician was more confusing than bad. He pulled hats out of rabbits, got women to cut saws in half, and often he wouldn’t let you leave until you guessed what card he was holding.
Nevertheless, solid accounting and minimal overheads meant he carved out a decent living.
Annabelle asked for her pasta and antipasta to be brought at the same time.
Not only had she made a cultural faux pas, but she also left hungry after her two courses annihilated each other in a volley of high-energy photons.
Tim’s pubic region was frighteningly close to Tanya’s. Under normal circumstances he would pay more attention to this, but he was currently preoccupied with the tiny pieces of wine-stained dead skin on her lips, and how he finally, after months, had her in his arms. On only one other occasion had his pulse rate been this high in a disabled toilet.
He scratched the back of her scalp gently and she smiled, the skin on her lips cracking. Forgetting himself for a moment, he ran his tongue along her bottom lip. She recoiled an inch or so and her expression became strangely serious. But soon she was upon him, her face looming and distorting in front of his. To Tim, her mouth looked angry and a bit like the mouth of a monster. Her eyes had blurred and merged into one, and her nose seemed enormous and in the wrong place. It occurred to him briefly to call the whole thing off, but instead he closed his eyes, and found the experience to be a lot more enjoyable.
After three, or possibly ten, minutes, Tanya withdrew her tongue. With her face back in focus Tim could see Tanya’s lips were now fuller, the cracks healed.
“Come on” she said, “we’d better get back.”
It had been by far Tim’s favourite AA meeting.
Stuart hauled the sack of dead mice out of the boot of his car. He was now £114.56 poorer than when he woke up that day.
He was also beginning to realise he might have too many owls.