Intrepid reporters Glenn Wich and Harms Whey continue their road trip across the country. This latest from Wich —
“Just a typical day for us, the New Jersey Devil just handed us a map, shampoo, and a luffa, as he teleported us to Ochopee, Florida. I’m Glen Wich, an investigative journalist, along with my fellow reporter and partner in these mystical escapades, Harms Way.
We’d been dumped here after an intense hockey game against the New Jersey Devil. Our task? To find the local cryptid – the Skunk Ape.
Hours turned into days of combing through the dense swampy undergrowth of the Everglades, following the pungent trail of the legendary beast. Our breakthrough came when we stumbled upon a surprisingly approachable, if noticeably aromatic, Skunk Ape.
AND HE TALKS!
His first words? “I can’t take it anymore,” he moaned, his voice filled with heartrending sadness. “None of the monsters want to be my friend. They all avoid me because I smell too badly.”
I glanced at Harms, who just shrugged and looked at the Skunk Ape sympathetically. We’d been in odd situations before, but a smelly, lonely Skunk Ape was a new one.
“The rains here do nothing for me,” the Skunk Ape lamented, “The Everglades have no soap, and even the alligators won’t give me the time of day.”
Feeling a pang of empathy, we offered our unexpected assistance. After all, everyone, even a skunk ape, deserves to be clean.
With a combination of our shampoo, the luffa, and an unexpected degree of manual labor, we gave the Skunk Ape a thorough scrub down in a nearby stream. His pungent musk gradually washed away, replaced by a clean, almost floral scent.
Once we’d finished, his whole demeanor changed. He stood a little taller, his eyes sparkled with newfound confidence, and he smiled, revealing a row of gleaming white teeth.
“A Skunk Ape Dance is coming up,” he confessed. “There’s someone I want to ask, but I was afraid because of my smell. But now, thanks to you, I think I have a chance.”
In the days that followed, we watched with bated breath as he asked his crush to the dance. To our collective relief, she said yes. Overjoyed, the Skunk Ape thanked us profusely and then gave us a peculiar-looking drink.
He informed us it was a special teleportation potion that would take us to our next assignment. We raised our glasses in a toast to his newfound happiness and with one swig, found ourselves abruptly standing in Mississippi. Our new task? To search for the enigmatic Phantom Barber.