Problem was that I'm using Rex and rex has a stat() function: https://metacpan.org/pod/Rex::Commands::Fs#stat($file) which was overriding the built-in.
$PM = "Perl Monk's";
$MCF = "Most Clueless
Friar Abbot Bishop Pontiff Deacon Curate Priest Vicar";
$nysus = $PM . ' ' . $MCF;
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