Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Intermezzo: “As Per ‘Song of the Petlars’”

[Scene: A smoky, dimly-lit billiards hall in an unimportant location. At a lone table, psychologically distant from the billiards table, beneath a low-hanging, cone-shaded lamp, sit LEMTATA, JOSE, STING, and LEMMY. They puff cigars inbetween statements.]

LEMTATA: I'm sorry, but as per “Song of the Petlars,” who thinks the Thundercats put up a badass fight?!

JOSE: Ain't nothing to be sorry about.

STING: Ending with Panthro wasn’t epic enough... Needed to be a min longer. Show was meh... but hey, it’s geared for kids. Overall, good stuff so far.

LEMTATA: Interesting how Tygra has switched to being the resident laser gun maniac! Even though he showed that in the first episode he was good with a whip—AND could turn inexplicably invisible. I’m still wondering what good are the kittens in a fight. But Panthro shows he’s good with machines AND nunchucks—

JOSE: —Claw chucks?

LEMTATA: —so he's got enough amazing to counterbalance the uselessness of the kat & kit.


STING: Great lines (wisdom) from Emrik. And I must say an intense realisation for Lion-O. I’m waiting for the scene when Lion-O uses Technology and Sorcery! [The capital letters are audible in Sting’s speech here and all following speech.]

LEMTATA: The fight scenes are super short and lack detail, honestly. I love the show—but. Fight scenes are not its strength.

JOSE: I got chills, once again, when the Thundercat call went out. [He taps the Thundercats button on his denim jacket while saying “Thundercat call.”]

STING: Well written episode! [At this, STING transforms into ACID.]

ACID: And also showed even outnumbered the fact that the Thundercats won't lay down or surrender shows there true loyalty and strength!

LEMTATA: Love, the, series. Interesting to see Panth-o being the first to embrace and use technology effectively. I love the leadership of Slythe in this episode. He’s not as corny as the 80s version!


ACID [unintelligibly, and unaware of his enthusiasm moments earlier]: i-wasn’t-happy-with-that-episode-at-all-i’m-not-gonna-dissect-it-because-it’s-a-cartoon-i-just-wasn’t-happy.


[Scene fades.]

Mama Brain

Pennybags screeched through the slums, nearly uprooting a fire hydrant on the corner of Baltic and Mediterranean. While the neighborhood showed no more true signs of life than a Monopoly board, its otherwise perfectly-shaped green houses showed the marks of crayons and cats' teeth.

Then just as the streets were straightening, static abruptly took over the radio broadcast. And then the air was suddenly filled with an announcer’s voice speaking Commie. (“Jane... Jane... Jane...,” it uttered sotto voce.) —Pennybags’ moustache turned brown with fright. “Is this your devilry, young man? I’ll have you know we don’t tolerate subversion!”—“I don’t understand any more than you!”

Then came music from Moscow, followed by English and French speech. (“The recording was made at the Moscow Theatre of Musical Miniatures.”) Pennybags punched the radio’s facade in frustration, nearly running over a metal dog in his distraction.

At this the radio broadcast abandoned all pretensions of coming from the radio, and suffocated the air. “YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. AT THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL

Pennybags was shaking. —“Thank Providence that we’ve reached The Store!” he shouted, gesturing with a pale finger at a boutique by the roadside, which looked like a drawing in bold simple colors and 3-D lines thick as the outlines of Superman’s thighs. He slammed on the brakes and exited the car, dragging Joe with him. He draw in his breath and screeched, straining to outshout the broadcast (“WA6ODB....with...a question!”):

“Do you know how many time zones there will be in the Soviet Union? Eleven. Eleven! One, two, three—one, two, three—eleven!! And, uh—do you know how many time zones there will be in the Soviet Union? And about power, do you know—we have so much power now, young man—do you know how many time zones there’ll be in the Soviet Union?!” he raved. Sensing a break, Joe answered:


“One, two three, one two three—”


Pennybags continued raving inconsequentially; suddenly curious, Joe poked him. His finger passed right through. Emboldened, though feeling a bit gross for doing so, he leaned over and smelled Pennybag’s armpit, having correctly judged that Pennybags would take no notice. He smelled nothing. A lick? No taste either.

“The Soviet Union’ll be the whole half side of the world!” Pennybags continued. Upon this statement, his features began transforming into those of a typical 80’s AM radio talk show caller.


“They, uh, when you talk about fightin’, we’re a country that, uh, we’re a firm believer on pride, and it’s called help thy neighbor, do not kill, do not, you know, steal, cheat, lie from everybody,” the now thoroughly-redneck Pennybags continued. As this sentence drew to an end, his voice began breaking up, and so did his image.

“That's why we have to have computers, because man, nobody’s perfect. You know.” This was the last Joe heard or saw of Pennybags—for the moment—before his whole bi-sensual being faded into static.

Joe—who still less jaded than one might expect, old chap—gawked for long minutes.

He was only broken out of it by the arrival of Mama Brain. Her afro told more in a glance than Pennybags had said of consequence in the last hour.

 “Follow quickly, brother! We can’t jam Pennybags forever.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rich Uncle Pennybags Goes to the Store

"London?" asked Joe, confused.  He was tired of walking and tired of the fog.

"No, my friend!" said the monocled man, who was wearing a black tuxedo and top hat,
"You've wandered into the Endless Parking Lot of Ukk, my good man!  Don't you see the spaces painted everywhere on the ground, which is asphalt?  Haven't you noticed the faint glow of the florescent lights, the eerie shadows of the light poles?  Don't you hear a faint squealing of tires far off in the distance?"

Joe at once noticed all these details around him in the haze, though he could have sworn they had not JUST been there the second before the strange man appeared.

"The Endless Parking Lot of Uh... What? Who are you?"  Joe asked.

The monocled man chuckled, pulling out from his inside pocket a wad of comically oversized five hundred dollar bills in a gold money clip.

Joe noticed then that the bills were not real currency.  In fact, they were...

"This should explain everything," said the man, smiling sadly and handing the whole wad to Joe.  "My name is Pennybags.  Richard U. Pennybags.  My friends call me Rupert.  Would you like a ride to the store?"

 Joe did not notice, but next to the man there suddenly appeared what seemed a giant game piece shaped like an old 1930's car.

"The store..." Joe said absently, inspecting the money.  Yep.  It was oversized Monopoly money.  Joe's gaze snapped back to the man's face as the thought clicked.  "You're the old man from the game? The Monopoly mascot?  Rich Uncle Pennybags?  Now I know I am dreaming!  Or maybe still tripping, or maybe both.  Wait, what store?"

"I went to the store, late last night," said Richard, "I went to the store."

"If going to the store will get me outta this void, let's go." muttered Joe.

"Climb in, then, if you will," said Rich Uncle Pennybags, and jumped in the driver's seat of the game piece.  It roared into life and an old a.m. radio began emitting the strains of an old big band slow dance number.   Joe climbed into the passenger seat and shook his head. He hoped this wouldn't make things worse.  Pennybags grinded the gearshift and they shot off like a bullet, veering crazily between lightposts and plowing through occasional shopping carts.