Hosiery is No Laughing Matter

Dear Friends, I was recently outraged and flabbergasted when my airship's yeoman, Bruce, alerted me to a recent electronic-newsey that he had seen on the visual-teletype. The good William K. Wolfrum, Defender of Country, had sounded the alarm that a certain M. Thomas Eisenstadt has accused Mr. Wolfrum, you "Shakers," and much to my outrage, myself of being "Sockpuppeteers." Imagine! My moustaches bristle with fury that this rapscallion would dare accuse me of such tomfoolery and flim-flammery! I therefore shall put an end to this ridiculous chin-wagging, lest some careless reader be taken in by this poppycock.

I assure you, my friends, Benjamin H. Grumbles is no sockpuppeteer. The very idea that I, the Head of the Agency for Environmental Fortitude would waste time with this nonsense is the very pinnacle of hogwash! I have been entrusted with the mighty duty of Detection of Potions, Elixiers and Poisons for the US Government and Its Occupied territories. Does this bunko artist actually think I have such an abundance of leisure time that I may waste it with stockings covering my hands? Rubbish! Puppetry is the entertainment of children and the occupation of perverts. I ask you, what kind of man crouches behind a curtain, speaking through a kazoo, while forcing hand-carved roustabout Punch and Judys to engage in fisticuffs for the entertainment of hooligans? A squeaky-voiced deviant, and certainly not Benjamin H. Grumbles!

Listen to me now, good people. Stockings have one place, and that is on your feet. My jaw clenches to think that our nation's hosiery, so vital now during a time of war, are being scuttled by scallywags, all in the name of entertainment for wastrels. I value every pair of stockings I own, and love them like my own children. Indeed, let me tell you, my friends, these are the finest stockings one could hope for. Like all lovers of our Country, we are the proud owners of a silkworm farm. It takes the lovely Mrs. Grumbles a good month to harvest enough silk in order to make a single stocking to cover one of my rustic feet; it is simply boggling to think I would waste one of these valuable articles of footwear on a simple toy when it should be on my foot, planted firmly in the Kaiser's backside! (Mother Grumbles was not hampered by such time constraints. She knitted strong, warm woolens that she sent to me in the front lines during Great War, and those stockings served me well in the frigid, damp trenches. Had she not made this loving effort, the boys would still be calling me "Trenchfoot McGee.")

Hear me now, Eisenstadt; continue this skullduggery and I will thrash you soundly. As the talking-picture character Pop-eye often cries, "I have had all I can stans, and I can't stans no more!" I suggest you spend more time concerning yourself with fighting our enemies and their coal-fueled mechano-death machines than with this ridiculous slobberchopsery, and get out there and make yourself useful! Get some air into your lungs! And dash it all, keep your stockings on your feet!

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