When I was five, I threw a toaster into the sink and nearly electrocuted myself. I sometimes wonder if that has had an effect on me. When everything is said and done, I have a tendency to look back on my toaster experience and consider if that is where everything went wrong. Then again. If was silly enough to throw the toaster into the sink, there may have already been something wrong with me.

"Can I eat the kitten?" Ployhar asked me. We were squatting behind the Ninth Street Market, where I had found a scrumptious fluff of a cat. I held him in my hands and stroked its feathery white fur.

"No," I told him firmly.

He growled and tossed a ball of snot at me, which I skillfully dodged. "That's just selfish, Bugie. It's not like you NEED the kitten. To leave it here uneaten would be a waste of good fluff."

"I said no. I refuse to let you eat an innocent kitten."

"But just the other day you let Fhung eat that grasshopper!" Fhung, upon hearing his name, looked up from the pavement he had been licking and grinned stupidly. "Now please tell us why is grasshoppers any different from kittens?"

"Kittens are sweet and harmless," I explained, placing the cat on the ground, "and grasshoppers are green and icky." I stood up and brushed the dirt off of my school uniform. "Let's get home now." Laggardly, my two strangeling companions got off the ground and followed me down the road to my little house on Ninth Street.

Fhung and Ployhar have been with me so long I can hardly remember a time when I was without them. I don't know exactly what they are, and for the life of me I can't figure out why they follow me around. They are not normal creatures, not even of this world. Fhung is a lizard-ish fellow with enormous gooey globes for eyes. His pupils dart around like a hamster on speed, and I'll be darned if he can't see in thirteen directions at once. He wears a fetching red bandanna around his neck and collects socks. Ployhar is the more obnoxious of the two, and talks consistently. He is a purple, furry creature that hovers around looking for as much trouble as he can possibly get his rubbery little hands on.

"Lola, my sweet!" Ployhar said to our plastic flamingo lawn ornament with a sly grin. He gave the pink piece of plastic a slimey peck on the cheek and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "I do declare you is growing more becoming with every hour that passes." The flamingo said nothing. "Always playing hard to get, isn't you?"

"She don't like you, old chap," commented Fhung. "Every day we goes through this, and everyday she don't even say a word to you. You may as well move on. The Johansson's have a lovely gnome next door."

"Bah! Lola here'll be mine! Just you waut and see!"

"The fact also remains," I interrupted as I pulled out my house key, "that Lola is an inanimate object."

"Well, that's what you said about that garbage truck, weren't it? And that ferocious beast attacked me!"

I sighed and did not reply to his argument. An argument with Ployhar is a waste of one's time and intelligence, as I have learned a great many times. I unlocked the house and the two creatures rampaged inside. Fhung made a beeline to the kitchen to make his hourly batch of toast. Ployhar, after licking random objects lying around the house, determined that our home had, in fact, not been attacked by the Lemon-X Monkeys and was safe. He began bouncing on the couch. "Bugie, bring hither me magic wand!" he commanded regally. I tossed him the remote control and then put my school bag in my room. As I was putting my things away, the doorbell rang. Fhung opened the door and screamed, "We don't want none of your communist vacuums now be gone, varmint!" He then proceeded to slam the door. Perhaps I should note at this point that I am the only one who sees or hears Fhung and Ployhar, in their natural form, that is.

The doorbell rang again, and this time I ran to get it before either of my troublesome friends could do so. I opened the door, and to my pleasant surprise it was Michael. Michael, who is a divine and lovely creature in every way, stood on my doormat in a state of confusion.

"The door opened, and. well then the door shut," he said to me, looking for an explanation.

"Ah, yes," I said with a smile. "There's a terrible draft, you see. Come in, won't you?"

"Yes." He was still confused, but I suppose he was so overwhelmed by my charm that he did not think about it again; at least, I hope it was something to that effect.

"Can I get you a soda?" I asked in my sweetest voice. Of course as soon as I asked the question I regretted it, for I then remembered that only last week Ployhar had thrown all of the soda cans at the television in a fit of rage when Damien left Renee on his soap.

"No thanks," said Michael through his perfect gleaming teeth. Fate shone on me! Ployhar then jumped on my head screaming in my ear (oh, how fortunate that Michael couldn't hear!), "Who's this nitwit? Send him on his way and make me some waffles! Rainbow waffles, if you can manage."

I gave him a good thwap in the face, knocking him on the floor. To ease Michael's confusion, I told him I'd been swatting at a fly. I then asked him to come and sit on the couch, where we chatted pleasantly. Ployhar was quite disappointed when I turned off the television, for he hated missing his soaps. After whining and screaming and threatening to eat everything in the house had no effect on me, he grew bored and dragged Fhung off to the bedroom. At last, I was able to spend a peaceful afternoon with Michael.

"You're a lovely girl, Taylor," he told me after awhile, looking deep into me with those sweet eyes of his. He leaned closer and rubbed my arm. I felt little fairies dancing around my stomach. I closed my eyes and puckered my lips as he leaned in to kiss me. I edged ever-closer, reaching for contact with the lips I had so long admired (you could practically hear the romantic music being played; it was just like in the soaps!). At last our lips reached and oh! It was. it was. furry? Slimey? Smelly?

"Ployhar!" I screeched furiously, opening my eyes.

He smiled proudly, his rubbery, purple lips still puckered. "Gee, sweetums, I didn't know you cared!" he said with a mischievous cackle. "But you know we simply can't carry on like this. What would Lola say?"

"You scheming heathun! What have you done with Michael?"

Ployhar rubbed his chin. "The lanky fellow with stringy hair?"

"Yes, except for he's lean not lanky and those are golden gorgeous locks!"

"Yes, well, it's all in the eye of the beholder, eh? Fhung, old chap, have you seen that lanky fellow around here?"

"Well," said Fhung, eating an unpeeled banana and scratching his head. "We JUST had him, but I can't remember for the life of me where we put him. Have you checked under the couch?"

"I can't handle this today, boys!" I shouted, looking frantically about for my dreamboat. "If you've gone and zapped him to some parallel dimension, I swear I won't let you have sodas for month."

"Now, now, Bugie. There's no reason to get persnickety. He's here somewhere, I swear it on me mum's grave!" "Pleeeeeeeeease, Ployhar," I whined. "He means the absolute world to me, now please give him back." I protruded my lower lip into the most pitiful of all pouts.

"Oh, I see," Ployhar replied with a false sadness. He turned to his counterpart. "You see, Fhung, she'd rather have the company of that bloke than the two of us! Us bestest friends have been torn apart by the trials and tribulations of love! Its just like in the soaps!"

"It is?" Fhung asked, his enormous eyes wide with innocence. Sticky silver tears collected in Fhung's eyes. "Is that true, Bugie? You don't like us no more?"

"Well of course I still like you, just as much as I ever did." I walked over to Fhung and stroked his scaly chin. "But I really like Michael as well, and I'd just be devastated if you two had done anything with him."

"Say! Do you think that giant cat has anything to do with it?" Fhung asked quite seriously, pointing outside. My eyes grew larger than grapefruits and my jaw dropped several inches, for there was indeed a thirty foot kitten standing in the middle of Ninth Street. It was the same kitten I had befriended earlier behind the market (a bit larger of course), and dangling from its mouth was a petrified Michael.

"Ployhar!" I screamed again.

He giggled wildly, quite pleased with himself. "Well, I figured if you wasn't gonna let me eat the kitten, I might as well make some use of him!"

"You're absolutely horrible!"

"Now, now. I only done it 'cause you denied me of my soaps!"

There was no reasoning with Ployhar. I looked pleadingly at Fhung. "Can you reason with him, Fhung?"

Fhung, however, would hear nothing of it. He was hanging up down from the ceiling fan, whimpering like a small child. I let out a horrible shriek and dove right for Ployhar. He floated up onto the ceiling fan next to Fhung, out of my reach. Tears began to stream down my eyes as I was reminded, yet again, that these two menaces would always destroy everything that gave me even the slightest joy. I went into the kitchen, opened the refridgerator, and to my pleasant surprise there was one last strawberry soda. I grinned mischievously as I conceived a plan so ridiculous it was certain to work.

"Ployhar, dearest," I said. I re-entered the living room and opened the can of soda. His eyes lit up upon hearing the sizzle of the carbonated beverage. I took a loud and obnoxious slurp. "How are things going up there?"

Drool trickled from his fuzzy mouth. "It's uh. it's going all right I suppose. And how are things going with that strawberry soda?"

"Oh, things are SWELL." I took another sip.

"Funny thing; I thought there were no more sodas."

"As did I, my friend." I slurped the pink, fizzy liquid once more and looked up him with the slyest of eyes. "As did I."

He was slipping off of the fan, positively itching to get his fingers on the soda. "Might I. might I have a sip?"

He had been subtle, but just not subtle enough. "Return the kitten to its proper size and Michael to his proper place!" I commanded, licking the sticky soda off my lips. "Then its all yours."

"But.. But." He screamed something ungodly and ripped out handfuls of purple hair. He then took in a deep breath, and shrugged. "Well, I suppose I could manage that." With a snap of his fingers, the giant cat shrunk down into an adorable kitten once more, and Michael was sitting on the couch again, scratching his head and looking around him with the utmost shock. Ployhar snatched the can from my hand and galloped off somewhere.

Michael looked at me with a great deal of fear in his eyes, probably thinking to himself that he had gone temporarily insane. "You know, Taylor," he said with a shaky voice. "I think I ought to be on my way home now. I've got loads to do, you know?"

"Of course," I said, walking him to the door.

"It was nice seeing you, Tay. I'll try and call sometime, all right?" His voice indicated that he was still quite shaken.

"All right."

"Good day, then." He shook my hand rather briskly and headed down the street. I sighed with disappointed, knowing that he would not be calling anytime soon. Ployhar's goal had certainly been accomplished.

I often wonder why it is that these two creatures have come to stay at my little house on Ninth Street, and how long they intend to stay. I also wonder why they are so intent on ruining my life. For some reason, I keep thinking it has something to do with that toaster incident. But that's a little silly, I suppose.