Eh-ph-ster Et THE Epfted ... Or, Did She?

(Very) Original Bedtime Story By David D. Wronski

Some business things first. "Eh-ph-ster" is the little girl’s name. Really! So to not to as to make the little darling teary eyed and down in the mouth and all mopey-dopey we will be saying her name right. OK? Right!

Let’s break it down: The “Eh-” you pronounce like the sound of a big loud inhale of air. The “ph-ster” you say kind of quick, but not too quick or it will sound like a sneeze and your mother will be putting you to bed and giving you chicken soup and taking your temperature every fifteen minutes. So, not so fast as a sneeze, but not so slow that you could fit a slice of pizza between the “ph-” and the “ster”. Eh-ph-ster, just the way it’s spelled. Say it right. Don't be a silly.

What kind of name is that, "Eh-ph-ster", you might ask?

Here's the skinny. Her Mom wanted to name her Ester, and her Dad liked Ephegene. Like their parents’ parents’ parents’ parents before them they compromised. Dad’s name is “Edfold” and Mom is “Eustancia”. His folks settled on a compromise over “Edsel” and “Efold”. Her folks got together over “Eusticia” and “Etonisca”. You could say it was a marriage made in heaven. Or you could say, "E-gads!"

Who could have even imagined that two people from families with a penchant for not only naming every dern one of their offspring with a name beginning with the letter “E” and would, historically down the line from the time of the first recording of their family histories — and presumably even before that down the eons and mists of prerecorded history to a time who knows when; but who knows since its before recorded history, silly — have a mom and a dad where each would have different ideas of what to name the kid but would always come to some compromise that all agreed was even better than the sum of the parts. 

Now that’s cleared up let’s proceed.

Eh-ph-ster was an inquisitive little girl. One day gazing at the fishies etcetera in her fish bowl, which was set on a small but sturdy table in one corner of her room . . . then it hit her. Not the fishy bowl, silly. But a great idea. “I’ll go to the local deep sea divers shop — one "Diver Dan's Diverse Diving Divertisments" — and learn how to dive and then I can go deep down into the sea and see what there is to see, in the sea. For sure. I think.”

The next thing you know there’s one little Eh-ph-ster walking around in a specially designed diving suit in the ocean at what one person who was there swore must have been the deepest part of the ocean. The dive suit was designed by her, mind you. This girl also had a head on her shoulders. But now, also a huge waterproof bubble thingy on her shoulders too. (That’s so she wouldn’t get her hair all wet. Which had a tendency to frizzle even on a rainy day, let alone down in the ocean.) “If you’re going to all the trouble to walk around on the deepest ocean floor you might as well look your best,” Eh-ph-ster would say. Let that be a lesson to you too.

Anyhow, there’s little Eh-ph-ster strolling around on the ocean floor when what does she see but that it looks like a hot dog. Not a dog that is hot, but a hot dog. The kind you eat in a soft bun with a squiggle of yellow mustard.

Really! Why would we fib about such a thing anyway, silly?

Who doesn’t like a hot dog? Eh-ph-ster not being an exception, naturally picked it up and put it into her collection net along with the gold doubloons and large precious jewels she got when just a little before she discovered a pirate's chest that was hidden away some time ago. By a pirate, silly. Who else?

After her dive when she was back on board the boat it was time for lunch and Eh-ph-ster knew what she would be having. That little hot dog.

Funny thing though. That little hot dog was nice and warm and ready to eat even just after emerging from the icy cold dark ocean depths. What’s going on there, huh? If you ever have yourself eaten a hot dog in a pool, or in the bathtub, or in the rain you know that they get all soggy and mushy and the mustard slips off and you have a mess and your parents weren’t all that happy to find you doing something silly like that. Come on, admit it. Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there.

Well, little Eh-ph-ster, unbeknownst to her at the time, was making history. In fact that weren’t no hot dog after all. It was an Epfted. It was in rare fact the very first and only Epfted anyone had ever seen, let alone brought up from the ocean deep and got close enough to put on a plate, let alone think that it could make a nice lunch. But, who knew? Certainly not the lovely unpresupposing little Eh-ph-ster.

We know it was an Epfted only after this very incident which is unfolding even as you read this here story. Because, before little Eh-ph-ster came upon this little beastie, it was never known in the entire history of the entire world. Really!

And, oh, yes. The thing about the Epfted is that it can talk. And, in whatever language the person who is near it happens to speak. So right away little Eh-ph-ster is in a fix. By this time she is getting pretty hungry, what with and after all that moseying around under the ocean depths on the ocean bottom. But, just as she is about to eat what she thinks is a delicious hot dog, what does she hear?

“Hey, kid, hold on a minute. Put me down! Now!” If you were the world’s only Epfted you wouldn’t be mincing your words either. Did we mention that it was not only the first Epfted anyone had ever laid eyes on, but it was the one and only Epfted in existence? Seems that the Epfted was such an evolutionary oddity that once it came into existence Mother Nature closed the gate on it right away. Unceremoniously shut it down. One Epfted is one too many. Apparently.

So that’s why it would be a problem to eat one of those critters. Not that it would be the end of the Epfted, mind you. The Epfted has a way of reconstituting itself even it was chopped up into the tiniest pieces. Blended into a smoothie. Mushed to mush. So, if someone were to eat the Epfted, they’d wind up with a real live Epfted in their belly, and it doesn’t take a whale of a lot of imagination to figure out the kind of trouble it is to be living inside someone’s stomach. Ask that fellow Jonah if you don’t believe it.

There’s not too much to tell after that. Eh-ph-ster out of sheer fright put that Epfted down, and fast. Whereupon the critter sprouted legs that looked very much like potato sticks and scrambled off the plate, as fast as scrambled eggs would fall off the plate if you had a mind to do such a silly thing. And, don't do such a silly thing. Eat your scrambled eggs. Then jumping off the table and with a running jump the Epfted returned to the sea from whence it came, though the sea itself wasn’t all that pleased either that once again the lonely and solitary Epfted would be prowling around on the seabed deep. Noisy little buggers, those Epfteds.

As it leaped to its safety that little Epfted could be heard to say, “You can’t have your Epfted and eat it too.”
So kiddies. Let that be a lesson to you all.

And, if that's not enough . . .

Take this! Then go to sleep.

But first a quiz: How many times did the "Epfted" show up in this story?

(Answer: There's only one Epfted.)

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