Radio play: This Great, Green Nation of Ours

INT. - Auditorium

SOUND: Applause in a large auditorium.

OILY

Thank you. Please. I am happy to be here tonight, and I hope that I can help clarify the position my administration has adopted regarding the handling of foreign affairs. As you know, it has always been, and probably always will be, my policy that, as Americans, we cannot, we will not, we should not, and we probably won’t put out the fire.

SOUND: Applause and speech fade down so we hear that we were listening to a broadcast of the event. Pen scratching on paper.

INT. - Oval Office

OILY

Dear Marilyn, Sorry to hear that you passed on. Watching a monster movie on the television. I bought one of your dolls, and I really love it, even though the head has fallen off. I don’t know where it went, it’s just gone. It is still fun to dress up. If you could send me a picture of yourself with your autograph on it, I would frame it and put it over my fire extinguisher to show to all my friends. Love, Oily.

SOUND: Fade up TV to hear the Applause for the President’s speech.

INT. - Fisbin’s living room

(Fisbin has the TV on)

DENNIS

(on TV)

An inspiring moment, I’m sure, for just about all of us who want to believe that what the President said makes any sense at all. Chuck?

CHUCK

(on TV)

That’s right, Dennis, and here’s political analyst Doris Cytoplast to tell us what it was we just heard. Doris?

DORIS

(on TV)

Oh! Hi, all you dolls and dollettes out there! What the Prethident actually meant, thubconsciously, of courth ---

CHUCK

Clean it up, Doris.

DORIS

Oh, er, is that most of us couldn’t even if we wanted to.

CHUCK

Thanks, Doris.

DORIS

That’ll be a million dollars, Chuck.

CHUCK

Upped the andy again, huh? Well, you’re worth every penny.

DENNIS

You know, I particularly liked the part where the President said, ‘I come not to praise television, but to be on it.’

CHUCK

Kissing hands and shaking babies even as he spoke.

DENNIS

Right, Chuck, and we’ll be right back with more live coverage of the President’s character assassination after this imported word.

SOUND: Door opens.

INT. - Studio meeting room

FISBIN

-- Put out the fire.

SOUND: Door slams.

MOGUL

Are you a company man, Fisbin?

FISBIN

Well, that depends on what ---

MOGUL

Are you a company man or not? You’re late again, Fisbin, late. What did you say?

FISBIN

Uh, ‘put out the fire,’ sir.

MOGUL

What?!

FISBIN

Nothing. Nevermind.

MOGUL

Oh, it’s all this damn computer humor. It’s addled everybody’s brain. Now, gentlemen. Do we all know why we are here?

GROUP

No!

MOGUL

Right! We’re here because we need a new concept for a new movie. The American movie-going public is come of age. They’re not stupid anymore. They’re intelligent. They’re alert. They’re aware. They’re well-versed and informed. You can’t fool them with hackneyed plots and worn-out stereotypes. We need something fresh. We need something bold. We need something innovative, something never before dreamed of in the annals of the silver screen.

VOICE

What about a disaster movie?

MOGUL

No! I said fresh. I said unique.

VOICE

How about a return of the disaster movie?

MOGUL

No! I said inspired. I said undreamed of.

FISBIN

How about beneath the son of the return of the disaster movie?

MOGUL

Wait for it, wait for it. Let me savor that. Yes, yes. It’s good. It’s good. It’s better than good, it’s mediocre! It’s never been done. Fire that man and hire him again. He’s got his shit together.

GROUP

And he’s selling it to you, sir!

MOGUL

Right. Now we need a plot. No, I have it. Picture this. A solid gangbuster half-hour of explosively violent special effects, frequently punctuated by suggestions of colossal gore just inches beyond the field of vision, leveling a clay model of New York City. But out of the ruins, love blossoms between big star Carlton Chester and rising young sex queen Saber Faucet. Oh, it’s got my blood boiling. Quick, throw out some complications!

FISBIN

Uh, monster carries Saber up tall building. Devastates a Civil Defense Unit.

MOGUL

A masterstroke. Now we need a climax.

VOICE

Chester as mad scientist destroys monster with deadly ray.

MOGUL

No, no. That’s too complicated.

FISBIN

Monster dips Saber in pudding mix and everyone is run over by a truck.

GROUP

Hooray!

MOGUL

Great, that leaves 63 minutes of commercial time left over when it comes to TV.

GROUP

Hooray!

MOGUL

Now we need a title.

VOICE

Gone With the Wind.

MOGUL

No.

VOICE

Dr. Zhivago.

MOGUL

No.

VOICE

Valley of the Dolls?

MOGUL

No!

FISBIN

Tom Swift and the Martian Fleshpots.

MOGUL

I like it. Well, gentlemen, what do you think of the total package?

GROUP

It’s stupid!

MOGUL

Right! Let’s go with it.

SOUND: Chairs moving away from table, and footsteps leaving room. Others fade, close up on Fisbin walking down hall. As he walks down the hall, the sound of a telephone ringing gets louder as he approaches it.

INT. - Hallway

FISBIN

(singing)

A pay phone was ringing, it just about blew my mind ---

SOUND: Fisbin answers phone.

FISBIN

Hello?

VOICE

(on telephone)

Time now for the Holy Gosh Almighty Sneak Preview Power Hour.

SOUND: Choir starts singing in the background.

CHOIR

Jesus robbed me, This I know, My accountant told me so. All ye bums And sinners repent, God works for the government.

SOUND: Choir continues humming under.

VOICE

Don’t touch that Dial! Mere soap won’t wash away the sins of humanity, but you can wipe that smile off your face and make a clean breast of your transgressions under the watchful eye of the revving Reverend Argyle Pothole, here in the Random Access Church of the Acoustical Labyrinth. Join us now as we listen to the gentle scrubbing particles of speech and the Holy Gosh Almighty Spitup and Take Notice Choir and you will understand more fully your place under the firmament of the Future. Reverend?

POTHOLE

(on telephone)

(to choir)

That’s fine, that’s fine.

(pause)

That’s fine, that’s real nice. That’s very nice … now sit down and shut up.

SOUND: The choir stops singing. A member of the congregation starts coughing.

POTHOLE

Sal-i-vation!

SOUND: Coughing continues.

POTHOLE

Sal-i-vation!

SOUND: Cougher coughs his last and dies.

POTHOLE

Greetings, my children, and keep quiet. I, as you know, am the Reverend Argyle Pothole, and I am here to help sponge away the accumulation of filthy remuneration that you have acquired since I spoke to you last, for only in this way can you ever hope to get into heaven, pass through the eye of a needle, or avoid probate when you are called upon by the Big Banker in the sky to be sacrificed on the Altar of the Great Semantic Apocalypse.

OLD MAN

Hallelujah!

POTHOLE

And when you see that Altar, when you look deep into the great, green depths of that Altar, you will see yourself as the Big Banker sees you. Yes, you will be able to stand back and look at yourself in this Altar Ego. And what is this Altar Ego? Money. But we’re not going to talk about money today, because today there are more important things to talk about. What sort of things? Things like Salivation.

OLD MAN

Hallelujah!

POTHOLE

Now I hear you asking, ‘What does this mean in terms of dollars and cents?’ Well, it means that we believe in the Word.

OLD MAN

The Word!

POTHOLE

The Word!

OLD MAN

What is the Word?

POTHOLE

What is the Word? I’m going to tell you. Last week in my sermon, the Word was Money.

OLD MAN

Money!

POTHOLE

But this week, the Word is Salivation. That’s what makes the Holy Stick-’em on the back of the Stamp of Approval of the Holy Spirit work. Can you see this, friends? I’ll hold it up high. It’s big, it’s red, it’s got a picture of God on it, front and profile.

OLD MAN

Money!

POTHOLE

Shut up! Yes, friends, it is Salivation that will make this spirit backing work for your cause. But there is something else, too. Something else you can do to help yourself. ‘What is it that we can do,’ I hear you ask. The answer is simple, like all things that are the work of greater lending institutions: you must contribute to the force of Almighty goodness that surrounds us, keeps us from our enemies, and helps us maintain our powerful lobbies — lobbies you can visit right after the sermon with your contribution.

OLD MAN

I can feel the power!

POTHOLE

Don’t worry if you aren’t strong enough to make as great a contribution as I know you can, for I am here to help you. As I always say, ‘Less is more, and more is better.’ Just give until you give up, my tiny children, and when you come back next week at this same time, you can atone for needing my help. If you’re listening to me on the radio right now, you can help yourself to this flow of Salivation by going out right now in the neighborhood that I’m sure you live in buy a church of any denomination. And then you take your stamps, you take those stamps with all the Salivation that you get today here on the show, and you can make that Holy Stick-’em work for you, and turn them in for valuable gifts at any of our redemption centers.

OLD MAN

Lick ’em!

POTHOLE

Gifts that will make you happy.

OLD MAN

Lick me!

POTHOLE

And when you’re happy, that Big Banker upstairs is happy. And when he’s happy, I like to bow my head and pray, so won’t you pray with me, now? ‘Hourly Father, in witches’ heaven, hollowly rings thy laugh. While things don’t run, your kings have fun on Earth, as they will in heaven. Take from us this day our meager bread, and deliver to us our mail. For thine is the realty, and the sound bite, and the clout, forever.’ Amen.

OLD MAN

Amen!

POTHOLE

And speaking of real estate, we really should keep that Big Landowner in the sky happy. If you’re not paying your Holy Rent, or maybe you’re getting a little behind — and we all like to get a little behind once in awhile — the Big Landowner in the sky could look down on day upon all us squatters and decide ---

SOUND: The Operator cuts in and cuts off the Reverend.

OPERATOR

(on telephone)

Excuse me, Mr. Fisbin?

FISBIN

Yes.

OPERATOR

I’m sorry to interrupt. Your film is ready for screening, and Mr. Mogul wants you to look at it to see what he thinks of it.

FISBIN

Great, finished already.

OPERATOR

Yes, sir. The Mark of the Beast computer completed the last shot just a few minutes ago. The first copy is in viewing room B.

FISBIN

Thank you, Operator.

OPERATOR

You’re welcome, sir. That’s viewing room B.

SOUND: Fisbin hangs up the phone.

FISBIN

Viewing room B. I think that is down this corridor. Ah, Green A, B, and C to the left, Red D, E, and F to the right. OK.

SOUND: Footsteps on linoleum. Heavy door opens, and then closes behind Fisbin. All ambient noise ends.

INT. - Viewing room B

FISBIN

Jeez, I can’t see a thing in here. Where are the lights? There.

(shouts)

Hey! Is there anybody in here?

(to himself)

I guess I’ll have to run the terminal myself. I hope I can access the right film. Nothing’s the same since they reformatted. How do you get the Supervisor?

SOUND: Beeps signifying keyboard entry at a computer terminal.

FISBIN

Great. Let’s see — employee verify? Fisbin.

SOUND: Typing, and a beep.

FISBIN

OK. Reverify, batch save, batch data, job in, system status, memory dump, re-do, job out — I don’t think I want any of those.

SOUND: Beep from terminal.

FISBIN

Oops. Well at least I didn’t lock up the system. Let’s see, operator data — ah, here it is. Search.

SOUND: Two beeps from terminal.

FISBIN

Oh, oh. Unique, offset, and mask. Better try a mask search.

(BEEP)

Column one.

(BEEP, pause, BEEP)

Search limit, field complete.

(BEEP)

Mask, ‘Tom Swift and the Martian Fleshpots.’

(BEEPING)

Mmm. ‘Processing request.’ OK. Oh. ‘Request on viewing screen.’ I did it.

SOUND: Film starting up.

ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

Loreen, Spawn of the West. The film you’ve waited for is now the film you’ve seen before. The Mario Italics production of Loreen, Spawn of the West. A story of war, and the men of war, and of warring men, and men at war, and men against men, and still more men, and what the war did to the men, and what the men did, and what they said they did, but in reality did not do. A time when men were men, and everyone was in the Army. A time of love.

MALE

(on screen)

Why don’t you go undress for dinner, my dear, while I slaughter a few Huns in the sitting room?

ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

And a time of confusion.

MALE

(on screen)

But I can’t love you, don’t you see? The war has made me half a man.

FEMALE

(on screen)

You mean ---

MALE

(on screen)

No, I don’t think so.

ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

The secret loves they didn’t love. The secret lives they didn’t live.

MALE

(on screen)

Gee, what do I mean?

ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

Now it can be told. The story you haven’t seen since the last time. Loreen, Spawn of the West. In Bananavision.

SOUND: Preview ends. Silence returns to the room.

FISBIN

Well. That isn’t quite what I wanted. I wonder how they spelled ‘fleshpots?’ Maybe it’s two words instead of three. Try it the other way. Job out.

(BEEPS)

Code FISBIN.

(BEEPS)

Search —

(BEEP)

Filter —

(BEEP)

Column one —

(BEEP)

Search limit —

(BEEP)

Mask ‘Tom Swift and the Martian Fleshpots.’ Output device, uh, screen.

SOUND: More beeps, and then Film whir.

ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

Chlorine, Cause of the Waste. Now, the chemical you’ve feared before becomes the chemical you’ve breathed before. The Marshall Artisto production of Chlorine, Cause of the Waste. A story of death, and the people who died. A story of gas and death, and swimming pools and death, and washday and death, and ordinary drinking water and death, and incredible train wrecks and death, and what the death did to the people, and what the people did, and what the people said they were going to do but never had a chance to do. A time when men were dead, and women were dead, and everyone in the Army was dead, too. A time of love.

FISBIN

Enough.

SOUND: Two beeps, then a bonk, indicating an error.

FISBIN

Damn, I’ve locked up the system.

SOUND: Briefcase opening, papers being shuffled.

FISBIN

Darn it. I left my error recovery book at home. I’m just going to have to get some mainframe time for this.

SOUND: Fisbin leaves room, walks down hall for a short distance, then enters another room. Sound of computers in the background.

RECEPTIONIST

Yes sir, can I help you?

FISBIN

Yeah, I need some mainframe time. I can’t seem to access my film from the ---

RECEPTIONIST

What is your pass code, please?

FISBIN

Fisbin. F-I-S-B-I-N. Which terminal may I use?

RECEPTIONIST

Just a moment, sir. I have to wait for an authorization code. Ah, here we are. OK, just put your thumb-print here — thank you. Now breath into this tube. Thank you. You may use the third booth on the left.

FISBIN

Thank you.

SOUND: Footsteps, and Fisbin enters booth. door clicks shut behind him.

FISBIN

This looks more familiar. Let’s see, ‘Enter movie file.’

SOUND: Typing into a different kind of terminal.

FISBIN

Code authorization, Fisbin. Mother’s maiden name, uh, Beefbucket. Movie name, Tom Swift and the Martian Fleshpots.

(pause for typing)

Hmmm. I guess I want status.

SOUND: Lots of typing.

FISBIN

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Producer, director, writer, blah blah blah. Looks like everyone got a screen credit but me. Here we are; ‘Status: Go. Finish date: 70095,’ that’s today. All right, output to viewing room B equals two. ‘Current output to viewing room F. Start time: 3800.’ Hey, that just started. Maybe I’ll get to see this thing yet.

SOUND: Fisbin leaves booth. Footsteps through door, down hall running. Enters viewing room F. Screening is in progress.

DENNIS

(on screen)

-- cache of catnip. In what is being called the biggest bust in the history of the Corps, officers have seized over 13 tons of catnip and three juvenile tabbys on a catamaran anchored just off the coast near San Diego. Officers were alerted to the felonious felines when a bell worn by one of them began to ring. The names of the tabbys are being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

FISBIN

Good, I didn’t miss any of the movie.

DENNIS

(on screen)

In other news for dogs, the Supreme Court today ordered the integration of all Guard Dog schools in the nation. Previously, these schools had only been open to those dogs that exhibited a quote killer instinct unquote. Now by the new court order, all dogs who wish to attend are legally protected against discrimination. The Court will decide next week on the issue of whether or not busing will be necessary to achieve species balance. Finally, scientists have discovered an unexplainable radio emission coming from the Dog Nebula, some 400 light years away. That is 2,800 dog light years. We’ll have more for you on this story as we get details. Well, it’s time now for sports, and our own good sport himself, Dr. Chuck Up. Chuck?

CHUCK

(on screen)

Thanks, Dennis. I’ll bet you’re wondering what’s going on in the high-velocity, heavy-duty world of sports.

DENNIS

(on screen)

You bet your four-inch spike heels I am.

CHUCK

(on screen)

Well, the big action was at three o’clock when Dying for Dollars, the most popular game show, held its national die-offs. Wish you could have been there, Dennis, as visiting Russian contender Doris Dostoyevsky set a new world record in the maze event. And, in just over sixteen hours, showed up at the finish line looking as ready as anyone I’ve ever seen for that piece of cheese. The former record holder Turk Bordhall unfortunately perished earlier when he fell into a vat of boiling wax in the Sink or Swim portion of the event, and was unable to congratulate the new champion. Amateur league hopeful Runty Davenport made a poor showing in the Beat the Clock competition and was unable to amass the necessary ten points before his wife was executed, but teammate Whammo, the psychopathic killer whale, weighing in at a strong six tons, chose the correct door, not only allowing his team to wiggle away with all the marbles, but also avoiding a lot of senseless destruction. The talk around the locker room is about a trade of God For A Day’s big crowd-pleaser, Studs Graphite, for the ever-homicidal Tommy Bowser, whose contract with the Killer Jocks of the Future is just about up.

DENNIS

(on screen)

That Bowser’s a big fellow.

CHUCK

(on screen)

With or without four-inch heels, and he’s deadly with a blunt instrument.

DENNIS

(on screen)

Sounds like there should be megabucks in that deal.

CHUCK

(on screen)

If they live.

DENNIS

(on screen)

And on that hopeful note, it’s time for Chuck and myself to call it a millennium, but be sure to stay tuned for tonight’s movie, ‘Baleen; Vermin or Pest?’ The hapless story of a rural American family carving a life for themselves out of the urban jungle.

CHUCK

(on screen)

I think they, uh, mostly carve each other up.

DENNIS

(on screen)

A healthy dose of sex and violence.

CHUCK

(on screen)

A really good picture.

DENNIS

(on screen)

Good night, from the Too Close To Be News Team. Tune in tomorrow night for our special feature, “One of Our Rockets is Burning.”

SOUND: The news stops, and the room goes silent. Fisbin taps on the table impatiently.

FISBIN

I’m waiting. Maybe it’s waiting for input. There must be a button here. Oh, yeah. Run.

(BEEP)

VOICE

Lunch is served.

SOUND: Clatter of canned lunch sliding down delivery tube.

FISBIN

Intermission, eh? Well, what have we got here? Mmm, a petroburger, a DDT malt, and some chickenfat sorbet. Not bad. Maybe I should hit RUN again.

SOUND: Beep. Old film clip running, with sound of the sprockets catching the edges of the film in the background. Blurry soundtrack.

OILY

(on screen)

Is it working? What? It’s running? Hey, this is fun. Boy, I hope nobody ever gets their hands on this.

FISBIN

That looks like the President.

OILY

(on screen)

Heh, heh. Hi! You may not recognize me like this, but I am the President of the United States. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I’ve got a friend here I would like to introduce to you. Andy, this is the American Public. American Public, this is Maggoty Andy, and Maggoty Andy is my friend. Dolls don’t talk back, you know. Hey, I’d like to introduce my friend with the camera. Come on out here. American Public, this is ---

SOUND: Film breaks and stops.

FISBIN

Weird. That guy really looked like the President. I wonder who put that trash in the computer? And where is my movie? Let’s try RUN again.

(BEEP)

What the hell? “Insert twenty-five cents”? Since when — where’s the slot? Come on, just show me the damn film.

(BEEP)

Oh, all right. Here.

SOUND: A quarter drops into the slot.

FISBIN

This better work.

SOUND: Same clattering sound that accompanied the food. A can hits the carpeted floor, and an inflating noise begins.

FISBIN

What the — what am I going to do with two inflatable Maggoty Andy dolls? Good God, they’re not even legal.

SOUND: Old film running again.

OILY

(on screen)

Is it working? What? It’s running? Hey, this is fun. Boy, I hope nobody ---

FISBIN

No more.

SOUND: Several beeps and bonks.

FISBIN

Damn, I’ve locked up the system again. Forget it. I’m going home.

SOUND: Fisbin leaves room and slams door behind himself. Footsteps. Leaves building entirely. Sound of the street in the background.

MAN

Hey, buddy.

FISBIN

I don’t want any.

MAN

Hey, buddy. Got a minute?

FISBIN

Not interested.

MAN

Original Maggoty Andys. You can’t buy these anywhere.

FISBIN

Let go of my arm.

MAN

Hey, no harm, no foul.

(off)

Have a nice day.

FISBIN

Christ!

(pause)

I need a drink.

INT. - Bar

SOUND: Fisbin enters bar. TV in background.

VOICE

-- and so I said, “That was no lady, that was a Maggoty Andy!”

SOUND: Laughter among the bar patrons.

TV COMMERCIAL

(on screen)

Maureen, Spurned by the Rest. The film you waded through is now the film that sickened you. The Mario Fallopio production of Maureen, Spurned by the Rest. A story of whores, and men and whores, and whoring men, and men and still more whores, and what the whores did to the men, and what the men did, and what they said they did, but the whores would not let them do. A time when men were whores, and everyone was in the business. A time of love. Maureen, Spurned by the Rest.

FISBIN

Bartender?

BARTENDER

You talking to me?

FISBIN

Uh, yeah. I’d like an Andy Dollbanger.

BARTENDER

Beat it, pal. We don’t serve Maggots.

FISBIN

I mean a, uh, Harvey … just make that a double whiskey.

BARTENDER

Humph. That’s better. Here’s your drink.

FISBIN

Thanks.

TV NEWS

(on screen)

More news from California tonight as casualty reports continue to filter in from the battle zone. According to Chief Peter Pritcher, the insects have opened up an early lead, but residents of Malibu, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills are being put on alert in case the lizards bounce back for the win. We will bring you more details as we get them.

FISBIN

(on filter)

Problems, problems, problems. Things were different when I was a kid. Look at these jerks. Is their life better now than it was back in glamour school? Scientists can prove that flying saucers come from the center of the Earth but they can’t figure out how to make a blow drier you don’t have to keep under a pyramid.

(off filter)

Bartender? Could I have another one of these, please?

TV NEWS

(on screen)

Elsewhere, Emilio Fabuloso, brother of famed Italian director Federico Fabuloso, went berserk and threw himself into a futon-making machine, after he became enraged to find this has nose was made of rubber and there were polka dots on all of this double-knit suits. Emilio’s wife said Fabuloso struggled unsuccessfully with the inflatable shoes for several minutes, but ran screaming from the house when informed that he had lost his job and was going to be forced to support himself by taking a job at the circus.

Next up, more dollosexual roundups, after this.

FISBIN

(on filter)

Still, it’s not so bad being a jerk. Better to be a jerk than an individual. Who really cares that all experiences co-exist simultaneously, and that it is only our insistence upon perceiving them singly in a certain order that enables us to relate, falsely or not, with these events in terms of time and location. At least as a jerk I am entitled to view the phenomena from the same perspective as everyone else. I can even invite people over for dinner once in awhile, even though they are only jerks just like myself.

(off filter)

Bartender, bring me another one of these, please.

(on filter)

Jerks just like myself. Of course, there is one big difference between them and me. God will never evict me.

TV COMMERCIAL

(on screen)

Sure, everybody’s here and nobody else, but that may not be enough if you’re a busy executive. It has been calculated that almost all the scientists now alive were born in the last 100 years. This means we are closer to the future than ever before in the post-nasal era. In such exciting times, you may need to be two places at once. Why do your own dirty work? Be the first on you block to visit Frostbite Brothers Insta-Twin, the Bay Area’s largest distributor of coin-operated clones, robots, androids, and synthoids since 1984. Copies made while you wait. Frostbite Brothers, where we can never get enough of you. Level 400, zone 24, area 45, corridor 14, section 8, in the Big Gun Shopping Mall.

SOUND: schlock music.

MOSS PUNTER

(on screen)

Yes, friends. All roads lead to historic old Barstow Bay. Now, who knew last year’s earthquake would leave us with all this valuable beachfront property? Ever feel like crawling under a rock? Well, you can at Barstow Bay. The builder of these fine homes worked for six days and was arrested on the seventh, but now they’re ours, and we’re selling them to you. Over 2,000 boulders and caves of all descriptions are available for immediate occupancy at Tierra del Agua, many overlooking the erosion zone. And on a clear day, you can see Bakersfield Island, water wonderland. So call now for your free weekend of bondage here at scenic Barstow Bay. Just call the number on your screen and ask for our no-information obligation package. Act now, this honor is limited.

TV ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

This is KUPE, Channel 12, ADI 2.

FISBIN

(on filter)

But what if he does evict me? What if I am exactly like every other jerk, and they are all exactly like me? That sure doesn’t make sex sound very appealing. If we’re all made the same, then any physical manifestation of sexual attraction between any two or more humans constitutes nothing more than self-abuse. And because everything is relative, that means all sex is incestuous. So much for my operation.

(off filter)

Bartender, could you bring me another, please?

OILY

Let me pay for this one, fella.

FISBIN

(drunk)

Sure.

TV NEWS

(on screen)

Antarctic terrorists today kidnapped the Uranian ambassador while he was being transmitted to London, and severely scrambled the signal of the Earth ambassador. A team of mathematicians have been working around the clock in an attempt to reproduce the ambassador, but the outlook is dim for a full recovery, according to a spokesperson. The terrorists have yet to make their demands, but it is believed that they will call for more open space between planets.

On the lighter side, researchers at the Westinghouse laboratories in New Jersey claim to have developed the world’s first underwireless bra. Sources say that it may be as little as four months before the bra begin appearing in retail outlets.

Back with the man who raped his phone, and weather, after this.

OILY

You look pretty depressed, fella. What’s your problem?

FISBIN

Ah, everything seems to be all screwed up.

OILY

I know what you mean.

TV COMMERCIAL

(on screen)

“Last one with radiation poisoning is a rotten Bolshevic.” How would you like that to be the familiar call around your neighborhood? Well, of course you would. And now you can, with the all new supersonic atomic powered laundry deterrent, Cold War. Yes, Cold War is the only deterrent for dirt of all kinds, thanks to the millions of little radiation enhancers in every cupful. Available only after years of Army testing, these little radiation enhancers make your washer so lethal the dirt is literally scared out of your clothing. So, pick up a pile of Cold War today. You’ll see it in the exclusive cobalt box!

TV COMMERCIAL

(on screen)

Hi, pigeons. It’s your friend and mine, the fabulously fine George Butox, of Baboon Motors, here in the wide-track city of Dumpster. Say, friends, are you sick and tired of our big “Going Out of Business” sale? Well that’s tough, because with prices like these, we’ll probably be going out of business FOREVER. You want to talk about savings? Do you want to talk about big, big, big, big, big, big savings? Then don’t come here because we don’t have time to talk with you. We’re too busy selling cars like this 1991 Belchfire 8 with absolutely no distinguishing features whatsoever! And if you’re one of the first ten people to buy a car today, we’ll include a free highwayman with your purchase. Remember, minimum five dollars per person per table order, so come on down and say hello. We’re in the crotch where the freeways collide in Downer. See you forever!

TV NEWS

(on screen)

Multi-billionaire Ray Kroc today announced that he is joining the Seattle Indians in their fight to practice totemism. The Indians are upset that a recent Supreme Court ruling equated totemism with dollosexuality, thus making it illegal for the Indians to be Americans. Mr. Kroc apparently feels that there is a threat to his familiar falling arches if the ruling against the Indians is allowed to stand. KUPE reporters were on hand to ask Bonita Tyrant, the author of the bill, if she realized that it might spell the end of some of our priceless American heritage. Ms. Tyrant replied, “I think when this is all over, these people will thank me for helping them become better Christians.” The opening arguments will be heard tomorrow.

And now, the weather. As usual, there is none. However, one interesting sidelight, today marks the fifth anniversary of the government’s mandatory weather rationing that was designed to ease the crippling national weather shortage. Can you remember when we thought that weather was an inexhaustible resource, like smog?

Finally, Congresswoman Bonita Tyrant is reportedly sequestered in her Florida mansion while working on a national weapons bill. This bill follows closely on the heels of Tyrant’s omnibus crime bill that outlawed homosexuality, foreignism, libido, trial by jury, and of course, dollosexuality. Informed sources say that the new bill allows minority citizens to carry personal defense aids up to and including buzzers as long as they aren’t too loud, while white anglo-saxons will be able to carry either a large handgun or a tactical nuclear weapon, depending upon their height. Supporters of the bill hope that its passage will decrease racial tension.

That’s it for the news tonight. Stay tuned now for Marty Bingle In The News, with host Doris Farthingby Smythe-Jones.

TV ANNOUNCER

(on screen)

You are watching KUPE, cupee TV, channel 12, in the area of dominant influence 2.

SOUND: Theme music on screen.

DORIS

(on screen)

Good evening. I am your host tonight on Marty Bingle In The News. Joining me tonight to talk about Marty will be some of the influential minds in the country, as we delve into a poignant subject, infiltrating as it were that controversial can of lemmings, “Equal harassment under the law; right or privilege?” On tonight’s panel, we have on my left, First Father Francisquito Parochial, owner/operator of the God in the Box Drive-Through Tabernacles.

FATHER

(on screen)

Nolo contendre, folks.

DORIS

(on screen)

And on my left, the very busy head of the Federal Bureau of Stupid Nomenclature, Senator Andrew Jackson Washington Carver Jones, who, as an android, was decommissioned some years ago, but it doesn’t stop him from being quite active politically. Hello, Senator.

And on my left, psychic guru Sal Murdy, who claims to be in telepathic communication this very moment with the pre-spirit of Idi Amin Dada, famed political surrealist, and of course, on my left, a typical housewife who we found this morning rooting around the trashbins behind the studio.

SOUND: Gradual fade up on a large battle on screen.

DORIS

(on screen)

Uh, evidently, joining us now is, on the far left, Swami Francis X Juarez Ramaramtas, founder of the National Nuke ’Em Now Foundation. Nice, uh, to have you with us, Swami. Say, do you think you could have your men wait …

SOUND: On screen Battle enters the TV studio.

DORIS

(on screen)

Aiiiy! I’m hit. Father. Father!

FATHER

(on screen)

Yes, my child?

DORIS

(on screen)

I’m hit. I think it’s the end for me.

FATHER

(on screen)

Would you like me to perform extreme junction?

DORIS

(on screen)

No. What I want is for you to give us your opinion on what part of Swaziland Marty Bingle will most enjoy on his visit there next month.

FATHER

(on screen)

I’m sorry, I have no idea.

SOUND: The battle is now raging in the TV studio. It continues in the background of the bar.

OILY

How about another one, friend?

FISBIN

T’anks.

OILY

What say you finish your drink and we both go out to Cybernaut City?

FISBIN

No thanks. I’ve NEVER had to pay for violence.

OILY

Oh, you’re worried about the cybers. You can’t hurt them, you know. They’re just like humans.

FISBIN

Nah. I think I’ll just run over a dog on my way home, or something.

OILY

OK. But if you feel like letting off a little steam, it’s about the only way that a guy can have fun anymore … since they outlawed dolls.

FISBIN

What?

OILY

You haven’t got a doll, have you?

FISBIN

No!

OILY

You want to over and play with mine? Big, white place over on Pennsylvania Avenue?

FISBIN

You got to be kidding.

(sotto voce)

I don’t believe this is happening.

OILY

Ah, look here, I’ve got one with me.

SOUND: Oily rustles his coat and pulls out a doll. The sounds of the battle now fade up and enter the bar.

FISBIN

I’m getting out of here. Bartender! Check, please.

OILY

Here. Let me pay that.

FISBIN

Buddy, please. I’d rather do it myself.

SOLDIER

(to Oily)

Excuse me, President Hiyafeller. This area is no longer secure. We’re going to have to move you.

(to Fisbin)

Stand clear. I don’t want to have to transmit you.

FISBIN

The President? Transmit me?

OILY

It’s OK, soldier. He’s with me.

SOLDIER

He is?

OILY

You ARE with me, aren’t you?

FISBIN

What?

SOLDIER

We’ll have to go out the back. There seems to be some sort of disturbance in the front, sir.

SOUND: Roar of a giant ape outside the bar.

SOLDIER

We’ll have to hurry, sir.

SOUND: Closer road. Some faint sounds of a director shouting camera directions. Some screaming.

OILY

Sounds exciting. I wonder what’s going on?

SOLDIER

Please, sir. Hurry, sir.

SOUND: Giant fist crashing through the brickwork and glass of the bar. Screams from patrons. Battle sounds become instantly front-row center.

MOGUL

Zoom in! I want that face! Gimme that face! Dolly in. Gimme that interior! Come on, you chickens. Get me a close-up!

SOUND: Faint chicken sounds, clucking and squawking.

MOGUL

Get me a different angle!

SOLDIER

Keep him away from the President, boys.

SOUND: Gunfire. Roar of the monster. Lone male voice screams in terror as the ape picks up the President.

SOLDIER

Hold your fire! He’s got the President.

MOGUL

Great! Great! Gimme tight shots, gimme long shots, gimme hook shots, this is terrific. Gimme the eight ball in the corner pocket!

OILY

(screams)

Help me! Help me!

FISBIN

He’s climbing the building with the President!

MOGUL

Thank goodness it’s only a two-story building.

(shouting)

Get the boom camera up there. I don’t want to miss a second of this.

(normal)

I can’t believe this is all free. Fisbin, you’re a genius!

FISBIN

But, that’s Oily Hiyafeller, President of the United States.

MOGUL

Don’t you think I know that? That’s what makes it so good. Fisbin, it’s your job to make sure he doesn’t sue us.

SOUND: Screams continue. General hubbub. Jet planes overhead.

VOICE 1

Look! Something is falling out of his pocket!

VOICE 2

What is it?

VOICE 1

Who knows?

SOUND: Slide whistle, descending pitch, then a light thud as a Maggoty Andy doll hits the ground.

FISBIN

I’ve got it!

SOUND: Scramble.

FISBIN

(fighting)

It’s mine! It’s mine, let go!

(panting)

MOGUL

What is it, Fisbin?

FISBIN

It’s a … a … a …

MOGUL

Fisbin, what is it?

FISBIN

It’s, it’s a doll, sir.

MOGUL

A doll?

FISBIN

A Maggoty Andy doll, sir.

SOUND: Fade out scene, fade up on quiet room with some shuffling of papers and clearing of throats in the background.

DENNIS

President Hiyafeller.

SOUND: Smattering applause.

OILY

Thank you. My fellow Americans; you know, the hours I’ve spent here have given me a rare opportunity to step away from the big disc to meet the people who live underneath the pedestal upon which you have put me, and view all I have done for this Great Green Nation of ours from an unusually unbiased perspective, that of a convicted felon. Three years ago, when I was just another old man out of a job, and the high officials of my party met to decide who they would like to serve as President, I stated clearly and for the record that I would serve as long as I didn’t have to serve meat. But now, I’ve eaten it. And what looks, on the surface, to be a disastrous turn of events, is really a God-given chance to make good the promise I made to the American people so many years ago. Never before has a mere politician had the opportunity to accomplish so much by doing so little. How heartening it is to find Americans everywhere putting out the fire. Like the time Marilyn accidentally dropped her trousers, which by the way distracted only peripherally from the media coverage of the event itself. The incident was of course a statistical probability. That is to say, it was bound to happen, and Marilyn herself was quite fond of saying that she was powerless to stop it.

DENNIS

Ah, shut up, ya fairy!

OILY

Oh, sorry.

DENNIS

That’s just about it from Washington, so let’s cut to more of me on the other side of the Capitol.

DENNIS

Thank you, Dennis. This is Dennis, standing in front of the Tyrant Estate in Florida, where Bonita Tyrant has sequestered herself behind the seemingly impenetrable walls surrounding her navel orange grove with her coterie of male advisors, whom she calls her High Men, to ponder the repercussions of President Oily Hiyafeller’s resignation, following the discovery that he stood in violation of the anti-dollosexual act, which was authored by Ms. Tyrant and signed into law by the President himself only three weeks ago. Ms. Tyrant is not seeing reporters or answering questions, although she just did issue a statement. In this statement, her last official word to the public, Ms. Tyrant said, “The resignation comes as no surprise to me. I am on a wholly secret crusade. Jesus, after all, was white, and all man.” As to what that may or may not portend, and upon whom she may or many not turn her wrath next, is anybody’s guess at this time. Some observers are wondering if there is, indeed anyone left to hate. This speculation, combined with the knowledge that what was yesterday’s humor is today’s reality, points up the uncertainty of the future. This is Dennis Thunderbunny, in front of the palatable, uh, palatial Tyrant Estate in Florida, saying, Good night.

The End


Doug Gagliardi and Greg Raven