INTRO

Milo the Magnificent, the greatest mystic and magician since Merlin, sat alone in his remote medieval manor beyond the Mersey musing over a profound mystery in his vast mausoleum of a study. Now the naysayers felt that Milo, old as Methuselah through strict maintenance of a macrobiotic diet and avoidance of red meats, had grown muddleheaded and lost his marbles. They felt that Milo's mind was perhaps mummified by his self-imposed monastic existence, and they misprized his brilliant metaphysical theories as the mumbo-jumbo mumblings of some wild mythmaker.

But Maximilian, the manly young prince, discounted these murmurings and often visited his mentor, a virtual mine of information on all matters who would help mold him well with his wise maxims and adherence to the golden mean. Max would scale forbidding mountains, traverse through tangled moorlands, then conquer one last stark monadnock to reach Milo's moat.

On this particular day he found his mystagogue in a marathon writing session finishing up his mutivolume essays (a montane Montaigne?) on metempsychosis. Surmised Milo matter-of-factly, "The evil Modred, the scourge of mankind, is using this mysterious method of merging his soul into others, unwilling mediums shall we say, whenever he dies. Young Max, let me make it manifestly clear, you must now marshal all your cleverness, courage, and might like Mike Connors in Mannix and Roger Moore in Moonraker and stop this destructive mastermind before he melds into others and malevolently possesses their minds and bodies. Merely extricating him from the victim is meaningless so don't mistake this milepost for the finish line. Rather you must immediately suck his mojo into this retrofitted Miele vacuum/holding tank before his soul manages to meander off and quickly transmigrate into another. And permit not even the minutest crack in your golden aura lest like a tiny mouse he creeps into you!"

Milo continued, "Before entering the murky miasma of your mission vs. the maleficent Modred, I consider it mandatory that you become thoroughly marinated in the knowledge of your enemy and learn of his unlucky 13 manifestations thus far." He then unveiled a massive handwritten tome entitled, 'Modred's Madcap Microhistory by Milo' and started reading...

LIFE #1- THE ORIGINAL MODRED (CIRCA LATE 19th-EARLY 20th CENTURY)

Modred hailed from a small mining town near Manchester, England to well-meaning parents both monogamous and true...his mum Mildred a humble milkmaid and helpful midwife and his dad Malcolm a hard-working millwright. Yet he was a restless young man unsatisfied with the run of the mill routine on the mainland and yearned for the high adventure of maritime life.

Mewling at a local pub over lacking the means to attend the naval academy and become even a midshipman, he by chance bumped into a Captain Morgan, a descendent of the almost mythical pirate. He had a colorful macaw on his shoulder and magniloquently promised, "Methinks you'll be makin' mounds of moolah, much more than any middy, with good ole Morgan. So commence merrymaking and be not morose. A simple toast with our mazers of mead and it's bye mummy and daddy and you're part of me outlaw crew!"

The multiskilled Modred quickly proved his mettle aboard as a mapmaker, meteorologist, and eventually master helmsman. His messmates marveled as he expertly maneuvered the craft through a monsoon when the slightest mistiming would've left them marooned at sea. Another time when a maelstrom created by a tricky mistral wind threatened to mash the ship into matchwood on the rocks, he made it through with only minimal damage to the mizzenmast and a few cases of mal-de-mer. He could meticulously follow the moonrise and moonset to figure the tides and monitor the ship's pace accordingly. He became quite the mineralogist too, able to spot a mere microelement yea a microgram of gold in a millisecond and do an instant millrun test in his head!

But early one morning an ill and practically motionless Morgan summoned his men for this message, "Aye mateys, I've always been wary of any maldistribution of wealth and aimed to be munificent with the booty thus maintaining morale and motivation. Now this marsh fever i.e. malaria, a malady I contacted from a mosquito somewhere near Mozambique, will leave you minus your ole cap by midday. I feel the multitalented Modred should assume the mantle of captaincy and continue this modus operandi. So let there be no Machiavellian machinations from malcontented mutineers. Be not mournful and carry on!"

Morgan's motion was heartily endorsed by the motley crew made up of murderers, muggers, and various miscreants all with multipage rap sheets. The unsavory mob continued to terrorize the high seas under Captain Modred with the menacing Jolly Roger banner waving atop the mast. Their misbegotten gain included treasure chests full of gold medallions, shimmering moonstones, deutsche marks, coins of every known milling and mintmark, even mintage of rare vintage. It was mostly culled from merchant ships which had the mischance of meeting up with them. Foes who resisted were pounded with maces or chopped into mincemeat with machetes in the ensuing messy melee. And let's just say that heavily mustachioed, moreover sporting Fu Manchus and mullets and muttonchops, our marauding mariners weren't much of a target market for minoxidil and multiblade razors.

The mayhem the buccaneers caused all over the map due to their raids hurt trade, the mainspring of many a nation's well-being, so it had not just microeconomic but macroeconomic impact. A multinational summit of both ministates and big countries alike was convened in Malta to combat this macro problem and stop Modred who was making a mockery of the mercantile system. This was certainly no miniconvention as the multiracial panel included a mandarin from Mongolia, a maharajah from Madras, a marchese from Milan, and prime ministers, magnificos, and other potentates from both sides of the meridian. Even neutral mugwump nations abandoned their normal middlemost stance and rallied around the maypole to use a metaphor, agreeing to not only deny him moorage but to contribute to the multipartite cause.

All were especially miffed that Modred earned serious megabucks when a deadly microfungus spread by the mealworm according to their mycologists ruined their crops and they were forced to bargain with black marketeer middlemen to buy back older uncontaminated meal originally hijacked by...Modred and his minions!

They sent out no mere mudboat but a mammoth metallurgical marvel of a minelayer ship smug in their misassumption they could stop him. Long stretches of sea were now virtual minefields yet Modred, an intuitive minesweeper, was like a deft mogul skier and able to abruptly shift midcourse and miraculously dodge their deadly mousetraps. Then when he snuck up on the minelayer on its maiden voyage and sunk it near the Malay Peninsula, the movement simply fizzled.

But one fateful misty night Modred met up with misfortune and an untimely demise while sailing midway in the Pacific on his way towards the Port Moresby area by way of Micronesia and Melanesia (with pitstops at the Mariana and Marshall Islands). An eyewitness, his loyal first mate, melancholy and moist with tears, recalls the painful memory with this intriguing mindscape...

"I was manning the wheel for the cap'n moving along at a moderate pace when methought I espied 'mid the moonbeams a fair maiden in the water. I says to meself, 'Holy Moly! This is madness. She must be a mirage,' but no...I sees it was a mermaid just like the memorable monotint illustration in Modred's mythogaphy book chock fulla multiheaded monsters and other miscreations. She was a blonde with big melons, aye ample measurements to drive menfolk wild." (So she was a mantrap with healthy mammary glands like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, or Mamie Van Doren.)

Continued he, "I was about to speak to milady but don't I sees the cap'n on the deck taking measured puffs from his meerschaum pipe and stretching his limns and muscles like he sometimes did. He's all smitten and exclaims, 'Paragon of maidenhood. Manna from heaven from a divine matchmaker. Mistress of the sea. Mirabile dictu. But pardon me madam...Is this sea taken?' The siren motions for him to jump in and completely moonstruck he does so saying, 'I've been mischaracterized as a misogamist afraid of the milestone of matrimony. But aye, you've melted me heart and I'm madly in love. If you come aboard I'll bedeck you with a multistrand pearl necklace I picked up in Marrakesh, Morocco and write lovely madrigals to read to you by the moonlight. We can get married and mate and I'll promise to remain monogynous and true.' But then don't some ravenous mako sharks and manta rays instantly make mealtime out of him!"

So not only was he cheated out of marital bliss but we still don't know for sure if miscegenation, mixing of the two races, is possible. Well Modred's soul now left his mortal body (parts), but he got to thinking, "I'm not ready to meet my maker, not with my penchant to commit mischief." Then while moseying over Mexico he noticed El Senor Miguel Martinez...

LIFE #2- FROM MAYORALTY TO MONARCHY

Now this fellow was the beloved mayor of Mexico City, a burgeoning metropolis not yet a megalopolis at that time, entering the modern age due to his deft management. The multipronged modernization effort he had mapped out included plans for conversion to the metric system, multilane macadamized roads, mass transit via an overhead monorail along with a multispan suspension bridge, and the piping in of methane gas from the marshlands. Monetarily speaking, he used a mature approach by not simply misguidedly minting new currency to pay for it all creating an inflationary mess but by issuing municipal bonds (munis) when necessary.

Not some marionette for the monied elite or millionaire business moguls, he was a marked departure from mossback conservatives who prescribed to the mudsill theory that so marginalizes the common man. He kept in touch with his multifarious constituency which included mineworkers, metalsmiths, migrant farmworkers etc....a rich multicultural mix indeed. Constantly mainstreeting and visiting town meetinghouses instead of just riding by in a motorcade, he kept in touch and enjoyed broad multicommunity support which he bolstered by ensuring that the legislature's makeup wasn't malapportioned and that all minority groups had a mouthpiece. Not one to micromanage and go meddle in minutiae, he was nevertheless often sought out as a mediator of quarrels. Modeling himself after Solomon (Judge Mathis wasn't around yet) and not marred by a misologist's disdain of reason, rather he was a wise mensch who methodically rendered just verdicts.

But doesn't Modred slip into Miguel Martinez at the midpoint of his promising reign and turn him into a raving monomaniac. He bought the support of the military (figuring why muster a group of mercenaries?) and with this manpower staged a quick middle of the night coup and assumed control of all Mexico.

A stern martinet, he sought to mute all opponents who decried the sudden move from an all-inclusive multilateral form of governance to one so very monocratic in their motherland by tossing them in dungeons steeped in muck and mire. Preferring the masses be mindless monosyllabic mannequins, he labeled any unflattering magazine article or printed matter as misinformation whereupon the author would be subjected to grave mistreatment and jailed also. He declared martial law and disbanded the minuteman militia siezing all munitions and materiél of war employing a minimax strategy to forestall any potential mobocracy. He even erected monuments to himself and commissioned murals all bearing his likeness. In his paranoid mania he mandated that the country despite its multiethnicity be a monolingual society in which one could only speak manganese...(Just kidding with a malapropism. I know that's a metallic element and not a language (it was Spanish) but just wanted to make sure you weren't getting moony on me.)

Myopic misgovernment became the norm as Modred maladministered the treasury, misallocating funds such that municipalities couldn't function while he stole countless moneybags making himself and his supporters multimillionaires. So mortified was one magistrate from Monterey over the malfeasance that masquerading as a mailman, he managed to get near Modred as he strolled along the manicured lawn outside the presidential mansion but misthrew a Molotov cocktail and just missed him by a few meters.

An immediate manhunt ensued covering the whole metro area for the would-be assassin who had struck without monition with the misthrown weapon, but he escaped down a manhole cover to an abandoned mineshaft where he lived like a mole person while he mulled his next attempt. His anger smoldering like molten magma ready to erupt like at Mount Vesuvius, the one man mujahideen soon emerged from his musty enclave to stike again to put an end to the flagrant misrule. On a dark mizzly slightly moonlit night he cleverly made it past Modred's angry mongrel guard dogs mesmerizing the untrained mangy mottled mutts by tossing them raw meat. While they eagerly munched on every last morsel, he jumped atop the mansard roof then slipped like a moray eel through a small mezzanine level window where he happened upon the dutiful major-domo.

Having already served his master chicken mole earlier for dinner, he was now preparing late night munchies for him...macaroons and a choice of a slice of mace nutmeg cake or lemon meringue pie along with a mug of mocha coffee with milk and a lump of maple sugar. Chilled to the marrow by the trespasser he cried, "Milord, a maniac has entered our midst!" and in the ensuing mano-a-mano was whacked in the mouth with such force he suffered lost molars and a malposed mandible, a serious malocclusion that required months of surgery to correct. The intruder then found his way to Modred who also proved mettlesome but after just a few mistimed swipes at the unvited guest was smothered like when Chief offed McMurphy with a pillow in Cuckoo's Nest though this here was no mercy killing.

LIFE #3- MODRED GOES TO SCHOOL

Next Modred's restless soul happened to be milling about over Milwaukee where it entered the mild-mannered Moritmer Morton at Marquette East. He was thinking, "I wouldn't mind being a multidisciplinary scholar with several masters degrees and a multilingual speaker, no monoglot. The teacher instantly became as sadistic as...Marquis de Sade himself! A nuttier then a macadamia nut academia nut, he'd assign murderous homework assignments that were like multiton millstones around your neck. For instance on Monday he'd assign Melville's magnum opus Moby Dick and Shakespeare's Macbeth and his metafictional A Midsummer Night's Dream all to be read by midweek!

He meted out such low marks that never mind magna cum laude, you were lucky to earn your mortarboard at all. When grading he never minced words, scribbling scathing mordant comments in the margins with his red marker like everyone else's answers were misconstructed. In class he hovered over students like a mantis ready to pounce and had a dreadful maser-like gaze that would split them at the midline...in two halves! In his book every viewpoint was a misinterpretation if it varied minutely from his own, and magnifying every foible, he'd label his charges as woefully mistaken moronic miseducated meatheads with misbalanced priorities aspiring to middlebrow mediocrity.

The dean originally misattributed the sudden change in Mortimer to a midlife crisis or perhaps male menopause (a misnomer for andropause?) and gave him a mulligan. But one day when the recruiters mentioned that there were students who might've matriculated into their fine multiversity but did not due to this meanie's reputation for maltreatment, he stopped minifying the problem and sent a memo to Mortimer for a meeting. In the morrow a brazen Mortimer gave no pardon moi but defended his methodology and denied any misconduct, dismissing the mounting criticism. Yet the dean had profound misgivings over the misanthropic Mortimer's mindset and sacked him yanking him midstream from any modules and minicourses he was misadministering.

Since his resume gave him a mensurable advantage over the majority of jobseekers, he was hired to teach math over at Madison High East nearby. Here with the utmost merriment he would mechanically issue misdemeanors to anyone who was a microsecond late for class and would mock promising mathematicians calling their methods misconceived if they dared to approach a multistep problem in a different manner then he even if it resulted in no miscomputation.

Whereas the medial students couldn't possibly manage to complete the homework assignments of mythic proportions, even mathletes with microcomputers in their heads capable of deciphering multisided polygons and doing mutidigit multiplication without a calculator and handling multiterm equations, had difficulty, with only those maxing out on Maxwell House and methamphetamines pulling it off. Then when the meany gave a midterm exam that involved mastery of material he only spent a minute on in class, everyone flunked miserably.

When these meager results reached the principal along with myriad complaints about the formerly mousey Mortimer Morton becoming so mean-spirited, he remarked, "You are maladapted to teaching and have misrepresented yourself on your resume as a model instructor. Really...when mathematical geniuses fail exams this misdefines us as a place that is failing in its mission to impart knowledge. You shouldn't hurl your vitriolic maledictions, more caustic than muriatic acid, at your pupils if perchance they make the slightest miscalculation. Then you misgrade even when they have the correct result which mirrors your own but followed their own muse to arrive at it. Consider your reign of terror and misemployment mercifully over."

Moritmer went into his defensive mode claiming it was all a misunderstanding, maddening the princpal further. He continued, "Let this be a megadose of reality for you. Trying to milk me for sympathy will not meliorate the hard feelings or mitigate the punishment." Mortimer then went outside for a walk wearing a moue moping and muttering to himself that this second firing was yet another misanalysis and not paying a mote of attention to the traffic on the busy main street when Wham!...his bad luck continued and he got mangled under not just some minicar but a Mack truck no less and was killed before even making it to the median strip.

LIFE #4- EL MALO

After this, while floating over Madrid, Modred heard a loud moo below and saw an amazing animal reminiscent of the mythological Minotaur. Tagged with the moniker El Malo in the bullfighting milieu, the beast inspired Modred to test his multiformity. He thought, "Mightn't it be fun to be this fine wild mammal while I'm riding this merry-go-round called life."

Well his first matchup was with a skilled matador whom he simply mutilated on the first momentary misplay. All who followed were mown down in the arena and wound up monoplegic or in a mortuary. So El Malo was renamed El Más Malo post-Modred and would just mop the arena with these guys without even mussing up his fur causing 'muchos madres' to be 'muy triste' over the horrible maimings and high mortality rate ('muchachos muertos'). They compelled the sports commissioner to say, "Hey, Un Momento!" and place a moratorium on the mismatches.

So the animal's handlers now took to selling his malodorous manure as a memento, but looking to rake in real moola, decided on mating him. But a skittish Modred just wasn't about to mount an animal and do the McNasty in a meadow as El Más Malo. So they packed him up in the minvan and brought him to some huge megaplex that said 'laughterhouse' on a makeshift sign, prompting him to think, "Hmmm...a comedy mecca!" Inside there was no sign of The Marx Brothers, Milton Berle, or even Morey Amsterdam for that matter, so he thought, "My oh my, I must've misread the sign or they misspelled something or a letter is missing and it's a......slaughterhouse! Oh man!!!" So it was hasta mañana for El Más Malo who paid dearly for his miscomprehension as he was chopped milessimally and sent along to the meatpacking dept. and shipped out as filet mignon.

LIFE #5- ADVENTURE IN MALI

Following this, while drifting over Africa, Modred became impressed with the mystique of a mighty lion with long mane and regal mien whom he could plainly see ruled the microcosm of the animal world as the undisputed mahatma and king of the jungle with unbridled machismo. Modred mused, "Yeah, since I still mayn't want to get amorous with a female animal who gets mushy on me, I'll just downplay my animal magnetism and say I have a migraine headache because I simply can't resist the majesty of the position and the magnitude of responsibility."

Unfortunately his ambition never materialized since within moments he was snapped up by some moneygrubbing hunters who had been monitoring his movements. Did he find himself......with Marlon Perkins on Mutual Of Omaha's Wild Kingdom?...as the new mascot roaring (certainly not mewing) before the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movies?...but no!...rather he was not far from midtown Manhattan at the Bronx Zoo, the famed metropolitan menagerie.

The restless Modred became miserable over the monotonous modus vivendi of the zoo and as a result summoned (with a quick zoo-wide memorandum, his roar!) all the animals to a motivational speech which he delivered with almost militant zeal. He stated, "Since my paws lack the manual dexterity to write a manifesto, hear me well my brethren in this manmade prison yea a morgue misnamed a zoo. We are mired in this dull malaise but meanwhile our selfish captors mistermed as civilized, ignorant that we are all part of the same macrocosm, misuse our beautiful habitat building megasprawls over every last millimeter or should I say micron of land, poisoning every last millileter or should I say minim of our waters, and turning glaciers into meltwater among other misdeeds. And I blame these careless meshuganas for the fact that there are no mastodons, wooly mammoths, or moa birds with us tonight. Now with the help of a magnanimous human accomplice, a Mr. Jeffrey Goines (yes that maniacal misfit character Brad Pitt portrayed in the wacky movie Twelve Monkeys) we will escape en masse at midnight."

With his majestic delivery and knack for mot juste Modred turned obstinacy into malleability and really lit a match under them pretty much getting everyone on board. The macaques, mandrills, and marmosets were all in as were the marmots, martens, meerkats, and mongooses. The muskox and moose were psyched as were the marsupials. The monitor lizard joined in as did 'Hugh Manatee' (mea culpa, a morbid pun). Among the birdlife, once the mergansers and mallards honked yes, the mynah birds, mistlethrushes, and meadowlarks chirped in too.

Showing great moxie, they all did escape as planned but by early morn they were all quickly rounded up...except for the mistrusting Modred who misapprehended the motives of his captors. Seeing them armed with modified M14s to fire tranquilizers to mellow out the animals and slow their mobility, he feared the worst...that they were marksmen shooting to kill. He then started pummeling and mauling the fellow aiming at him, masticating so furiously he tore him off at the midsection. So unfortunately, though they had meant to minimize any harm, they felt compelled to shoot to kill the mad beast now since he clearly posed a menace to the public.

LIFE #6- MONTGOMERY MURDOCH

Aimlessly wafting over Monte Carlo after that episode, Modred noticed a fascinating biz magnate, a multibillionaire on a par with J. P. Morgan and Andrew Mellon named Montgomery Murdoch. Dressed in the finest monogrammed menswear (his 'manny' always saw that things matched and were Martinized), he wore a distinctive monocle like the Monopoly Guy. He had started out as an insignificant minnow down in the mailroom of a large multidivisional corporation where fortunately, the high muckamucks believed in meritocracy. Since he demonstrated he could multitask and handle monumental projects while keeping problems to a minimum and would never malinger or miss a day of work, he enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top.

So one day Montgomery the CEO was relaxing and meditating in his smart streamline moderne manse sipping a martini and thought, "I've reached this mountaintop and that's marvelous but I can no longer mothball my entrepreneurial ambitions." With several multibank holding companies as willing moneylenders and mortgage brokers, he went out on his own investing in multistory office buildings and multifamily apartment complexes and even got into manufacturing with a plant in Malaysia cranking out multipurpose thingamabobs and miscellaneous metalware. He quickly went from a small company to a midsize one to a conglomerate with a dizzying matrix of subsidiaries, some Murdoch startups and others mergers and acquisitions.

But doesn't Modred enter him and metamorphose the formerly esteemed like a wise mullah Montgomery Murdoch into a meretricious mountebank. He started a multiservice investment arm to rival Merrill Lynch but immediately started misreporting income at every turn with misleading quarterly statements, inflated midyear results, and manipulative annual reports all fostering the misimpression that he was a moneyman with the Midas touch. He further intentionally misadvised his clients when he misdescribed his stock portfolio as a can't-miss moneymaker which was pure malarkey. Eventually some crusading muckrakers ripped the mask off his scheme and got damaging headlines under mastheads everywhere with unflattering articles below raining down like mortar fire detailing the financial misdealings and devil-may-care attitude.

While he continually misled investors misstating the risk factor involved claiming the funds were invested in solid firms on mainline stock exchanges, he and his cronies were stuffing their maws with the kind of money Bernie Madoff made off with and squandering on measly junk bonds a la Mike Milken. It was funny how he had been quite the miser with his old fortune mindful of every penny but what a madman he became with others' cash with financial misadventures such as these...

*He invested in a microbrewery which then concocted a line including a multigrain ale, a malternative, and a premium beer to rival mainstays like Miller, Molson, and Michelob. Unfortunately, the products fizzled in the marketplace when those who quaffed mugfuls claimed the first product was too muddy, the second like a mixture of old moccasins, and the third like multigrade motor oil.

*He badly misjudged a mendacious muckworm of an art dealer buying supposed masterpieces of Matisse, Manet, Monet, and Granda Moses, even some Degas monotypes. It was all a myth since upon microanalysis they turned out to be miscatalogued identical forgeries not worth a thing.

Then despite being previously content with his modest Mercury Montclair even though megarich, once Modred got into him and other peoples' mammon rolled in, he started buying sporty motorcars of exotic marque like an Aston-Martin, a Mazerati, even a MacLaren for which he built his own private motorway out in the Mojave desert to race around. Then when he couldn't get his hands on an F-16 multirole fighter, he purchased a McDonnell-Douglas multiengine plane to fly overhead.

With that media spotlight glaring down on his misdoings including allegations he'd misfiled his taxes which brought both federal and multisate tax auditors down on him, Modred a.k.a. Montgomery Murdoch fled to Montenegro for a mountaineering expedition to get away from it all. He picked not some little mesa but a vast massif and chose a rather muggy midwinter day when the melting snow caused excess mudflow. It was a fatal misestimation as the resulting mother of all mudslides sent him hurtling helplessly over the mountainside to his death.

In his will he left his mastiff dog Magnus the bulk of his fortune and not a smidgen to those he had wronged, a misdivision which didn't cut the mustard necessitating a multimillion dollar multiparty class action suit resulting in a more meaningful distribution via a court-ordered dismantling of his empire.

LIFE #7- MITCHELL MACGUFFIN

Modred soon found himself over Malibu Beach where he saw some moviemaking in progress. It was a major motion picture starring actor Mitchell MacGuffin that moviegoers would surely be flocking to the multiplexes and cinemas to see. Modred thought, "I'd like to be this macho mediagenic megastar matinee idol. With his marketable name on every marquee I'll be bigger than Marlon Brando or Steve McQueen. I'll land all the meaty roles and be the metrosexual babe magnet about town and have everyone massage my ego." Now though Mitch was known as somewhat moody and mercurial to begin with, the newly 'Modrified' prima-donna Mitch became such a meltdown-prone megalomaniac difficult to mollify that everyone joked he needed maximum strength Midol for his premenstrual syndrome. He now gloated to everyone from the matte painter to the re-recording mixer that HE was their meal ticket.

He was attended by a manicurist, a masseuse and masseur, and a makeup artist who was always on hand to trim his mustache, soften him up with moisturizer and mudpacks, pretty him up with musk and mascara, mousse his hair, apply miconazole to his feet, and administer mouthwash rinse. There was a maidservant for mundane tasks like cleaning his messes and sorting through his mailbags full of fan letters not to mention a manservant for mowing and mulching his lawn among other tasks.

Mornings this fellow would prepare Mitch's breakfast, a cinnamon muffin with margarine and marmalade along with Mott's apple juice made from Macintosh apples so rich in malic acid. Later he would prepare a meatball sub with a milkshake for lunch and for dinner chow mein and moo goo gai pan with no monosodium glutamate with a bottle of mineral water. An accomplished mixologist he could concoct a cocktail like a mimosa, mojito, maragarita, or mint julep on the spot topped with a maraschino cherry.

Well anyway, Mitch was no doubt a multidimensionally talented pro thespian who by utilizing various mnemonic devices never muffed his lines, memorizing the lengthiest of monologues with ease. An inspiring masterful entertainer who never mailed it in, he could never be miscast. So whether doing a mawkish melodrama (without being maudlin himself), a lavish musical, or a macabre horror flick, going solo in a monodrama, belting out a monody, performing intricate mime artistry like Marcel Marceau, trying masque theater perhaps, or even tackling a TV miniseries, he always excelled.

But one day he mulishly insisted on performing a daring motorcycle stunt instead of allowing the stuntman who was not only a motocross champ but a former gold medalist in motorsports to do it. The director shouted through his megaphone, "You may've not read the microprint in your contract but for the millionth time, let there be no miscommunication. There's no need for any mishap and that's the stuntman's métier not yours."

Modred as Mitch, still feeling his masculinity was being challenged replied, "Put a muzzle on it motormouth. It's an insult to my manhood to be relegated to riding a motorbike at wimpy moped speed so far. It's a moot point so stop making a mountain out of a molehill. I'm no meek mealy-mouthed milquetoast to be mollycoddled." So like a moth to the flame he sped of at like 100 miles per hour and went smack into a masonry wall on a bad corner. They medevaced poor Mitchell MacGuffin to the nearest hospital but alas it was too late, and they needed a mortician not a medic.

LIFE #8- MODRED'S FORAY IN THE MONKHOOD

Looking now for someone new, Modred was mooching around over a monastery, actually a motherhouse for the St. Malachy's order of mendicant monks, and noticed the pious Brother Maurice attending to his ministerial duties instructing the laiety then his young missionaries to mend their ways and avoid moral lapses. Modred thought, "Heck, I do remember the story of the magi bringing myrrh and other gifts to the manger of the baby Messiah, the messenger of God, son of the Virgin Mary, who when he grew up preached to multitudes, performed miracles, scorned the moneychangers at the temple, and was later manacled and martyred but who will come back in the new millenium. Maybe I've forgotten the difference between say the monotheists and the monophysites and I'm not into attending mass or singing from the missal like this guy, but unless I'm miscounting, it looks like he has a cool mil in donations just sitting there in his mahogany desk earmarked for good works."

Needless to say, once Modred snuck into Maurice he started misspending these funds first by erecting a megalithic marble likeness as a memorial to himself while his faithful myrmidons toiled in mudstone huts in other lands. He splurged on crown molding of exquisite millwork for his office along with a pool table so he could practice his masse shots and cut down on his miscues and be like Steve Mizerak, Minnesota Fats, and Willie Mosconi. He replaced his simple mono phonograph with a multiroom stereo system so he could sing along with Mitch Miller everywhere then tossed out the black and white Magnavox in favor of a multiscreen TV system of Mitsubishi plasmas so he could simultaneously watch his reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mayberry R.F.D., Maude, and MASH (both the older ones with Maclean Stevenson and the newer ones with Harry Morgan).

The makeover continued as he added a minibar which he stocked with expensive bottles of Madeira wine (from the mid-1840s...not misdated!), a Maytag dishwasher with soundproofing mastic, and a JennAir modular cooktop. Then after replacing the simple mortise and tenon wooden fence with an imposing gate of gaudy metalwork, he hired the finest masons to craft glorious stone-mullioned windows and minarets taller than what you'd see on any Muslim mosque or even on the Taj Mahal. Further misappropriating funds like St. Malachy's was some rich multisite megachurch, he traded in the order's minibus for a Mercedes Benz complete with his smiling mug on the mudguards then snagged a multispeed engine motorboat which he moored over at the marina.

Then one day his rabbi friend Menachem from the nearby temple came over with some misaddressed and misdelivered packages and said, "These were by my mailbox so I thought they were my new menorahs I ordered but they're yours. Now I'm not mudslinging here but I believe you are misordering your priorities and this bespeaks a psychological misorientation, a misbelief in the false god of materialism. Honestly now, a dozen mink coats each in its own mothproof garment bag?...an MP3 player to replace your minidisc player and your microcasette recorder?...a Mughal carpet from India with millefleurs motif? And you never come over shouting Mazel Tov! and join me and the missus for matzo balls anymore since you're so busy mischanneling your energies."

Indeed nowadays Maurice was a glutton who knew every maitre-d' in town on a first name basis and ordered huge mouthwatering multicourse dinners from their menus and wound up with a matchbook collection including every fine local restaurant. He felt, "I've been malnourished all these years at St. Malachy's. I swear they used a micrometer to mete out those mingy portions." Marine delicacies were his favorite like mussels, a scrumptious mollusk, perhaps mackerel or marlin, sometimes monkfish (sashimi) with miso soup whereas the old Maurice had contented himself with lowly mudfish and menhaden as penance. When doing Middle-Eastern he'd go for mezze followed by moussaka and tender mutton marinaded in sweet marjoram, mint, and rosemary. He would go red wine...merlot or white wine...muscatel to wash things down. For an appetizer he preferred a fruit cocktail of mangos, minneolas, and mandarin orange segments, but for a whopping dessert went either for multitiered mousse or multilayered millefeuille with plenty of raspberries macerated in Marsala wine.

Anyhow, next came gross misusage of church property when he converted a St. Malachy warehouse into a multiuse facility without permission. He tossed out religious artifacts like monstrances and rare manuscripts. The latter had not even yet been microcopied onto microform...either microfilm (reels) or microfiche (sheets)...to be read back later on a microreader or even mimeographed on the copier. For his own self-enrichment he hosted midget mudwrestling, pari-mutuel betting, indoor miniature golf, multievent track and field competitions, and three card monte tables.

The place really turned into a madhouse when like some ersatz Vince McMahon he staged some flyweight bouts (several classes below middleweight). On fight night he enjoyed mingling with the crowd strolling through as official macebearer and serving as the M.C. up at the microphone proudly announcing a fight card of say Moe 'The Medfly' Maloney vs. Marty 'The Midge' Moskowitz or Millard 'The Mayfly' Millwood vs. Melvin 'The Mite' Minsky. Some of these fighters were real matchstick figures who should've been disqualified, but Maurice would add makeweights to the scale so the bogus weight would match the misquoted weight they were listed at.

Reports of Maurice's mismanagement reached the Monseignor whose suspicions multiplied manyfold when he received a manila envelope containing an 8mm. film. It featured Maurice and a couple of young missies in sexy minidresses in a motel room downing a magnum of mescal, dancing to the music, then landing on a mattress for a ménage à trois. Seems it was shot covertly by the manager of the local minilab since one of the minxes in a mini was...his missis!

So the Monseignor marched right over to St. Malachy's straight from matins in his multicolored robe and miter hat and using his minicam replayed this for Maurice and queried, "Heavens to Mergetroid! What were you doing?" to which Maurice replied, "Looks like the mambo and the macarena." Countered the Monseignor, "Between this and the misapplication of funds have you not a modicum of morality? Your new warped mentality makes you maladjusted for membership in the clergy and this misalliance must end. Goodbye!"

Ill equipped for mainstream society and severed from his moorings, Maurice became manically depressed and unable to stay motivated and so drifted from one menial job to the next. Mishandling his health and diet like he was a motorman run amok on his locomotive or a cosmonaut in freefall at microgravity, he endlessly smoked mentholated Marlboros and Pall Malls to the point where he developed melanoma whereupon malignant tumors metastasized exponentially. He developed myocardial infarcation followed by a damaged mitral valve and multilocular cysts which left his body badly misshapen. He tried countless medications but no mithridate was found though morphine and multimodal therapy helped. Finally one day when the mercury was rising alarmingly on his thermometer and he realized his medicine had run out, he reached for his mobile phone to call an ambulance but alas he had mislaid it someplace, a fatal mix-up as it turned out as he succumbed to what was termed a multifactorial cause of death.

LIFE #9- THAT'S M'BOY!

Flying by chance over the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, Modred became instantly enchanted with mischievous moppet Mikey McGillicuddy. The tyke wouldn't listen to his mommy and kept monkeying around the exhibits eventually knocking over the megalosaur. No biggie...it was only 65 million years old. That was when a fireball of a meteorite came hurtling down from out of the metagalaxy resulting in the mass extinction of the dinosaurs according to the sign.

Anyway, with Modred inside him Mikey became one malicious little munchkin. He became a pro at swiping 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, and Mars bars as well as marzipan and malted milk balls from the local minimarts and mom & pop stores along with plenty of battery multipacks for his Mario Brothers. From the sports memorabilia store he pilfered vintage matchbox cars and baseball cards like ones of Minnie Minoso, muscleman Mark McGwire, and Mickey Mantle who launched some prodigious moonshots in his day. He snagged an autographed catcher's mitt of MVP Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins (who never should've traded Mudcat Grant) and a midiron six (a mashie niblick!) once used by Phil Mickelson.

Even though his momma tried to teach him manners he was very potty-mouthed cursing '#%*! You'...(er, encouraging monogenesis) and quite rude always forgetting to say 'Thank you ma'am' or 'May I' or even 'Excuse me sir' instead of 'Hey Mac!'. He'd get wacky after smoking marijuana through a multichambered bong and do stuff like vandalizing parking meters and terrorizing his pets i.e. feeding the black mollies and African cichlids (mouthbreeders from Lake Malawi) to the manx cat and blowing up mice in the microwave. (By the way, always use the molly bolts the manufacturer supplies in the micro's mounting hardware when installing and always check the warranty on the magnetron tube.) Despite being told, he'd never wipe his shoes on the mat before entering the mudroom and brattily refuse to eat his muesli or even mini-wheats for breakfast. Lacking the maturity to avoid malnutrition, he would instead wolf down marshmallow moon pies and mesquite barbecue potato chips.

He quickly wore out his welcome at the magnet school when after being chided by the marmish Miss Mumphrey for his comical mimcry of her mannerisms behind her back, he then slipped a mickey, a tiny microcapsule of serious milligrams of Ambien, which metabolized in her mochaccino. Later, feeling inexplicably muzzy, she canceled that day's lesson on the Monitor and the Merrimac and the ancient civilizations of Macedonia and Mesopotamia in order to rest.

His mystified parents, worried he would never adopt the mores of society no matter which child rearing manual they consulted, decided to enroll him in a Montessori school where the matronly Miss Meredith promised to do her best to modify his monstrous sociopathic behavior.

On a May field trip to various meadowlands, woods, and gardens, her assignment was for the kiddies to create a montage of their finds. Upon the board were flowers from the myrtle, fruit from the mulberry, sprigs of mistletoe, milkweed pods, funny-smelling marigolds, multistemmed magnolias, multiflorous mariposas, pretty mums, delightful moonflowers and mayflowers, and different grasses and mosses. But shockingly, as if a microswitch went off in his head compelling him to misbehave, doesn't little Mikey, not heeding the motto 'It's a sin to kill a mockingbird' do just that and after grabbing some mucilage slapped a dead one on the lovely mélange along with some squished millipedes.

Miss Meredith, exasperated that her multisensory teaching approach had failed, then suggested the McGillicuddys check the morphology of Mikey's brain. She wondered if there was a misconnection and something was miswired in there or perhaps his medualla oblongata was malformed in some way. Microchemists searched for disease-causing microorganisms, microbiologists probed for harmful microbes, and molecular biologists, using advanced microfabricated devices, combed his DNA for genetic miscoding and mutations. After utilizing the most advanced microphysics so there would be no misdiagnosis, the team concluded that though he lacked the normal moeity of good and bad, there was no malfunction with something physically wrong. So he was not 'insane in the membrane' (yes a multiword expression for crazy) due to some ominous multisyllabic disorder.

It was determined by this multimember committee that the reason he was such a Mephistophelean yea satanic little monster prone to misbehavior was mainly because he'd modeled himself so closely after famous fictional malefactors. There was Magneto from the Marvel comics, then Ming The Merciless, Buck Rogers' nemesis (both of whom he had multijointed action figures), and also that cartoon mouse Savior Faire (who'd always shout 'Mush malamute!' to his muscular sled dog so he didn't have to manhaul his stolen cheese around while avoiding Major Minor's top Mountie Klondike Kat).

Next his Aunt Martha bought him a minicomputer to keep him occupied. It had superfast microchips, substantial megabytes, a high megahertz microprocessor, and multiport flexibility for which she supplied a multifunctional printer and a nice external modem which never misdialed. The enterprising Mikey delved headlong into microelectronics to gain the microengineering know-how to micromachine new components microminiaturized just right to updgrade the existing microcurcuitry on his motherboard. These modifications transformed his machinery into a supercomputer and with just the right clever microprogramming enabled him to marry into the Pentagon's top secret mainframe like it was just another multiaccess system. However, just as he was about to hack in and misprogram it from afar and have the U.S.A launch missiles towards Moscow (sorta like Matthew Broderick in WarGames), he took sick.

Apparently, all the monkeyshines created a morass of bad karma as the youngster was simultaneously felled with mumps, measles, and mononucleosis (mono). Then when his medical condition worsened when he contacted meningitis and acute myopathy and even malabsorption syndrome, his short misspent life came to a sad end.

LIFE #10- OH MARON!

Passing now over the Mediterranean, Modred became impressed with a mafioso whom he saw down below, one Don Marco. As a junior mobster he had proven himself working the maildrops and meting out justice for his bosses especially to magpies who sang to the cops. He eventually rose to made man then powerful mafia don able to extricate himself from any legal maze. Murder charges would just get reduced to manslaughter then dropped when material witnesses would suddenly clam up and misremember everything if they didn't magically disappear! In blatant miscarriages of justice, judges on the take would mischarge the jury to influence outcomes, declare mistrials if necessary, and even declare the prosecutor was mispleading his case, presenting a misjoinder, not proving mens rea, or committing some other trumped up alleged malpractice.

So Modred as Don Marco decides one day to run an errand for his moll and shop the farmer's market browsing the pushcarts for manicotti, mortadella, mozzarella, and minestrone soup. But doesn't the rival mafiosi the Marchesse Bros. barge in with machine guns blazing in a bid to muscle in on his territory and in a mise en scene reminiscent of the St. Valentine's Day massacre blow him away.

LIFE #11- SHOULDA GONE TO MIDAS!...OR MEINEKE

Wandering now above Memphis over a Merle's Automotive, he came to like the trusted mechanic Merle, proprietor of this thriving multibay garage ably serving local motorists. Of course once Modred entered the equation, he became quite the maggot grossly micharging for repair time and using an obscene markup on parts too. So now, even if your car had low mileage or was in mint condition, he'd say your chassis had a misalignment, your manifold had a misfunction, you had a carbon monoxide leak or needed a new muffler, or that some other multistage task needed to be done.

But one day old Mrs. McMenamy, no easy mark, stormed in saying, "Holy Moses! I do declare you mistook me for some muttonhead with this miswritten bill. Monroe shocks and Michelin tires ain't costin' this much and you must be slow as molasses to charge these here man-hours!" Uncomfortable being under the microscope, Merle offered some maundering unconvincing reply to which the unassuaged Mrs. McMenamy snarled...

"Looky here mister! Just cuz I got this here macular degeneration and old skin that looks like it's-a moltin' don't mean you can bamboozle me, you sneaky muskrat. Heck, I'm one tough buzzard who's survived a mastectomy (shoulda had me one of them mammograms earlier) and a coupla ministrokes. I ain't needin' no meds besides the occasional Motrin if I'm achy, milk of magnesia if I'm backed up, Mucinex if I got too much mucus, and melatonin if I cain't sleep good. Durn it my mammie wuz a sturdy ole matriarch. She weren't no fancy marchioness or queen like Mademoiselle Marie Ant-Wynette (I coulda just mispronounced that), but yeah, she done taught me to be a muleteer and help grow the maize and millet on our midland farm beyond the mudflats that weren't no more'n a barren moonscape before we worked it while pappy who weren't no marquess or Lord Mountbatten or nuttin' was out peddlin' moonshine. We plainfolks ain't likin' a no-account lower'n a mudskipper in a mangrove swamp cheat like you!" She then proceeded to fatally mow him down with her minicompact Mazda Miata.

LIFE #12- THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF MEDICI

Prowling now over a modish fashion show in Milan, Modred spotted style maven Marcello Medici unveiling his latest masterworks. Even stuck in the mud misoneists burdened by mortmain who maligned anything new had to concede that he was an industry maverick and no frightened mare. Indeed he was a megavolt jolt (strong enough to fry the best multirange multimeter) against the bland monoculture whose collections were a refreshing antidote to the mechanistically mass-produced merchandise out there. Whatever fabric he chose, whether it be moire, mohair, madras, merino, muslin, or even some new microfiber and whatever color, be it mauve, magenta, or maroon etc., and whether he kept it simple or used some intricate meshwork or mosaic pattern, he had the magic touch.

Able to rely on simple word of mouth, he didn't need any multidirectional marketing campaigns or multimedia ad placement from any Madison Ave. types. Out in Movieville the starlets ranked him amongst Man Ray, Bob Mackie, and Alexander McQueen for dresses and gowns. In Maui his multihued mumu was a big hit and up north his line of mittens, muffs, mukluks, and mackinaw coats with moleskin lining was a smash with Eskimos.

Yet whereas before a huge megawatt bulb would go off in his head resulting in countless megahits, with Modred muddling his judgement it was one fashion misfire after another for Marcello. Black gothic monochromatic misproportioned monstrosities in mossgrown old styles predominated. Cattily remarked one fashion mag writer (MEOW!), "Nieman Marcus and Macy's have declared mayday on Medici's sinking ship with his latest midis being yet another megaton stinkbomb.They are hardly misvaluing his work since even huge markdowns have achieved only middling success. And no, that's not misbranded knockoff clothing you see at megastores like Wal-Mart and K-Mart but really is blowout high fashion Medici...GASP!...alongside the everyday mufti!"

All these missteps weighed heavily on Marcello such that he got away from his MetRX and megavitamins and working out at the multigym and started indulging in mescaline and other mind-altering drugs. Spurning the methadone clinic or any other ministrations, he fell further into the meshes of addiction. Then tragically, in abject misery compounded by bad microdots of LSD, he fatally shot himself in the temple with his Magnum feeling life had no meaning.

LIFE #13- A MULTI-INSTRUMENTAL GENIUS

So now our story finds Modred over the Mohegan Sun resort where he was drawn to some mellifluous sounds emanating from an auditorium. The famed maestro Murray MacMurray was performing minuets, mazurkas, and merengues on his mandolin followed by brisk medlies and selections from moving multimovement symphonies on his melodeon and mellophone! Our latter-day Mozart was accompanied by a few musicians on and off...a metronomically precise percussionist gently striking the marimba and metallophone with his mallets and occasionally shaking the maracas, a multistring bass player, a melismatic mezzo-soprano, even a mariachi band. The multifaceted performance brilliantly combined different meters and styles meriting multiple encores. Amazingly, the expert miking of the melodious sounds along with Murray the skilled minstrel's magical camaradarie and magnetic personality made the giant concert hall feel like an intimate musicale.

But once Modred got into Murray what you had was a monolithic marriage of heavy metal sound with mirthless lyrics a la Megadath, Metallica, and Marilyn Manson yet unlistenable. He lost his multigenerational fan base and even diehard metalheads from the mosh pits sporting mohawks masochistic enough to don headphones and try to listen to the final mixdown of his latest multitrack recording were perplexed wondering, "Do we have monaural hearing loss or was this lame CD misrecorded in monophonic sound?" while deejays found every microgroove of the vinyl LP version jarring.

His precipitous fall from grace was like that of ex-Motowner and moonwalker Michael Jackson. You may recall that once his records stopped going multi-platinum, the press painted him as a misogynistic child molester whose frightening loss of melanin, the pigment in moles and freckles, left him resembling a Mikado cast member...(remember his pale police mugshot?). In Murray's case it was misreported that A) a strange microparasite had consumed much of his brain such that though he still had his Mensa level mental acuity, he'd lost his musicality, and B) he was writing while high on mushrooms (obviously not simple morels) and had consulted a maharishi like McCartney and The Beatles had done for guidance which in his case was to find the right mantra and correct his misdirection into the moloch of drug abuse.

MURRAY GETS PHYSICAL

Murray felt the pent up aggression of an angry mustang due to these misperceptions and his miniscule record and ticket sales. So one rainy day he joined a punishing mudbath of a pickup football match at the local minipark. Always a maladroit multisport washout as an athlete, he'd miskick the soccer ball, misaim the bowling ball, and mishit the golf ball, but today he just had to play mid linebacker.

In his Walter Mitty-like reveries he had always imagined himself a musclebound mesomorph playing for the Miami Dolphins. No midrange talent he was a multiposition star who could not only manhandle opponents like Manny Fernandez but rush like Mercury Morris and pass like Dan Marino. Not only would eager not exactly monandrous cheerleaders and majorettes wearing skimpy miniskirts and midriffs fawn over him but the G.M. would refuse whopping multiplayer offers just to keep him.

After the game, nursing what felt like a strained metatarsal, a bruised metacarpal, and a microtear on his meniscus due to a brutal midfield hit, he hobbled back home. He hoped that rest and not serious modalities i.e. microsurgery or mechanotherapy would cure his ills while regretting, "I should've stayed on the sidelines and played mah-jongg with the old-timers and mumblety-peg with the youngsters."

BACK TO MILO AND MAXIMILIAN...REMEMBER THEM?

So Milo The Magnificent with his mystical know-how had zoned in on Modred as Murray MacMurray moaning and groaning on his bed. Said he to young Max, "We mustn't tarry. Let's maximize the opportunity to stop him before he morphs into life #14 somewhere." He placed his tome back on the mantelshelf and continued, "It is now midmorning but you can be there by midafternoon if you consume this mandrake potion which will allow you to fly midair. And dispel any romantic notions of a fancy coat of mail (armour) since you need only the retrofitted Miele vacuum and this monkshood (wolfsbane) potion to become invisible if need be.

Max quickly flew to his destination, a multilevel multiunit apartment complex and rang the buzzer...BZZZ...

Modred (as Murray): "Who is it?"
Max (disguising his voice): "Merry Maids! I'm Millie! This month's special is a free cleaning, every microinch of your apartment and then if you deem us meritorious, we'll return for half price.
Modred (as Murray): "My tub is so moldy and mildewy I'm embarassed so I'll clean it myself. No thanks."

5 minutes later...BZZZ...

Modred (as Murray): "Who is it?"
Max: "I'm Millard, the new milkman from Old MacDonald's farm offering you a free trial of milk and...
Modred (as Murray) interrupting: "Sorry, ever since I was a wee mite and mama found I was lactose intolerant I've always made up for it with Minute Maid O.J. instead with plenty of multivitamins which I gulp down like Mike & Ikes and M&Ms."

5 minutes later...BZZZ...

Modred (as Murray): "Who is it?"
Max (disguising his voice): "It's Ma! Hi son! Now unless I'm mishearing that inner voice, those maternal instincts of mine tell me you might be hungry so I brought you a Big Mac!"
Modred (as Murray): "Nah! You're just some madwoman intruder misidentifying herself as my mammy who knows I just order McNuggets and never Big Macs. McDonald's uses that mayonnaise-like special sauce while I'm a 'Hold the mayo' kinda guy and then that cheddar cheese while I do only Muenster. So your claim of matrilineage is therefore mush. Vamoose!"

A frustrated Max now mustered all his momentum and like some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Michelangelo was his favorite) was ready to break down the door but then remembered to use the monkshood. Sure enough along came a Miss Murphy, a tenant from downstairs who was just heading out to the milliner and her macrame class, and the invisible Max crept right in.

Now true, Murray was not dead yet like the others and Modred was still inside him, but Max, once a novitiate in the ministry, was prepared for this momentous occasion. He barged into the apartment and commanded (the imperative mood there for you English majors) Modred's foul spirit to leave Murray careful he misspoke not a word of the proven rite. Finally a cloudy looking Modred popped out and said...

"Mr. Exorcist. I hope you're not misclassifying me as an evil demon. Heck, I'm more like Edward Mulhare's meddlesome Captain Bragg in the Ghost and Mrs. Muir and don't want to be mislabeled and misunderstood like that." Replied the mistrustful Max, "You worry about being miscalled evil but meantime you remain mum about having ruined 12 lives since your days as the pirate Modred protégé of Captain Morgan. Hah! A cowardly milksop you are with the courage of a paper-mache piñata, afraid to approach St. Peter's Gate. So you float 'mongst the living searching for new victims. Once the metempsychosis occurs your nasty mojo militates against the person living much longer they get so mixed up and in such a moribund state."

With that Modred executed his masterstroke and pulled out the retrofitted Miele vacuum and sucked Modred into it! He flew back to Milo who carefully transferred Modred into a special Mason jar which he found a place for on his mantelpiece right between two little ming trees.

In his memoirs years later, an aged Max wrote, "When Milo died his heirs searched the castle by the moors in vain for the artifact. After reading through his old missives, they realized that it hadn't been mislocated but entrusted to a holy man named Melchizedek. This fellow convinced Modred, tired of being bottled up, to migrate up to St. Peter's Gate where he received a multiyear stretch in purgatory starting at the bottom but slowly working up to the midmost level at last report." Continued Max, "When this Melchizedek would serve his guests macaroni, he'd pull out the famous Mason jar now filled with his homemade marinara sauce and tell the story. The touchstone work 'Modred's Madcap Microhistory by Milo' was left to me with these instructions...

'Dear Max, please edit out any misplaced modifiers, misspelt words, things misworded, and any other grammatical mistakes. Do it on that Macintosh of yours where you do no mistyping since you installed Mavis Beacon. Find a publisher who does good work free of mackles and misprints, misnumbered pages, and mistranslations in foreign editions.' While the other publishers misconstrued the epic as the misassembled mishmash of a raving mythomaniac, two didn't misappraise and decided it was of considerable merit. So I grabbed a nickel figuring heads Houghton-Mifflin and tails McMillan & Co. The flip came up Monticello! (tails) and so McMillan published the tome (bound in their thickest millboard) which went on to win several esteemed literary medals for science and history awarded posthumously to the amazing Milo The Magnicent."

The End

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