Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Episode 4: In Which Animal Passions Are Unleashed

Episode 4: In Which Animal Passions Are Unleashed

In the Governor’s office, Sir Richard DeGranville informed Gov. Nigel Buttons Gwinnett that the people on the outskirts of town where getting sick from tainted water, prompting Gwinnett to ask why they were putting their taints in the water. DeGranville suggested that they protect themselves with a quarantine, so Gwinnett ordered the formation of a perimeter around the city, to be called “The Perimeter.” Then, Gwinnett went back to amusing himself by spinning in his swivel chair.

Princess Penelope was standing by the wishing well, wishing for a way out of this horrible place…and for a friend. Seth came by, wishing for a way to return to the 21st century. They tried combining their wishing powers, but nothing happened. Observing how Seth had made so many friends despite being even more of an outsider than she is, she asked how he did it. He explained that all he does is be nice to people and do things for them. He then demonstrated by punching out a guy who was making harassing catcalls at Penelope.

At the Clermont Tavern, the Widow Cocovin was cleaning up when Ridickolas Nickleby arrived, explaining that he was late because he was watching Seth punch out a guy. She complained that he had missed “Taint Night,” but Nickleby informed her that the Governor had outlawed taints, and had set up a perimeter with 285 men guarding it. Getting back to the business of cleaning, Cocovin was desperate to get rid of the Tavern’s perpetual urine smell. She believed that Seth had something called “ammonia,” and asked Nickleby to get it from him. Nickleby agreed, despite not knowing what ammonia is.

Hector “Macho” Gazpacho was wahing his horse Cacafuego when Arnedict Barnold arrived. Hector was understandably upset by Barnold’s previous attempt to murder him, but Barnold apologized, asking whether Hector had ever done anything he regretted. Hector recalled the time he lost his hat in alligator-infested waters, and lost many men sending them to retrieve it. Barnold reassured him that his kicky little hat was well worth the sacrifice.

Gov. Gwinnett and Sir Richard DeGranville were stuck in traffic, while that same guy who harassed Penelope shouted sarcastic remarks at them. In response, DeGranville shot him with a poison dart from his blowgun-cane. Gwinnett asked why he had done that to someone singing his praises, and DeGranville attempted to explain the concept of sarcasm. (“They are insulting you with compliments!”)

Ridickolas Nickleby went to Seth’s treehouse, explaing that he’d been sent to fetch ammonia. Seth didn’t have any, but he did have some witch hazel; Nickleby was thrilled by the thought of cleaning with witchcraft. Seth, still angered by Cocovin’s treatment of Penelope, said that he wouldn’t give it to her unless she paid handsomely. (“She can’t tickle my fancy…or fancy my feast!”)

At the Clermont Tavern, Princess Penelope told the Widow Cocovin that she was trying to make friends, and asked if there was any favor she could do for Cocovin. Cocovin asked how they got rid of the smell of urine in England, and Penelope explained the concepts of hygiene and wiping. Penelope explained that, as she’d given up hope of returning to England, she would no longer be called “Princess,” but simply “Penelope.” She asked for some common clothes to fit in better, and Cocovin gave her her apron (though Penelope couldn’t fit it over her her hair).

Hector was riding through the woods, with Arnedict Barnold close at his heels, desperate to learn from the immortal Spaniard’s accumulated wisdom. Hector was discomforted by the violation of his personal space, but his horse welcomed the attentions of Barnold’s steed, Thunderpumpkin. Soon, the two horses began getting it on.

DeGranville entered the Governor’s office, where Gov. Gwinnett was practicing the technique of sarcasm. DeGranville informed Gwinnett that his Perimeter had snarled traffic throughout the town, and the cost of maintaining the 285 was astronomical. Gwinnett suggested that they set up tollbooths to pay off the cost. When DeGranville pointed out that the townspeople would not be happy about a new tax, Gwinnett authorized him to kill people who won’t pay.

Nickleby walked into the Clermont Tavern and was surprised to see Penelope working. She explained that she no longer considered herself a princess…and that, as far as she was concerned, England no longer exists. Nickleby protested that England was his home, where his wife Mitzi waits for him. Penelope replied that Mitzi probably thought he was dead, and had likely opened her walls to other men. His spirit broken, Nickleby ran out crying and cursing Penelope’s name. She protested that she was only trying to be nice.

Cacafuego and Thunderpumpkin were basking in the afterglow, pondering a life together without their masters.

Stuck in traffic, Arnedict Barnold ran into Seth. Gazing upon the crowd, Barnold launched into a verbose discourse about the common people, which was too obscure for Seth to follow. Barnold clarified by singing a song of his vision of a country where all people are equally free to masturbate. DeGranville interrupted the song by demanding a toll, showing them the edict authorizing deadly force.

Inspired by Penelope’s reinvention of herself, the Widow Cocovin decided that she would no longer be called “the Widow,” but would now simply be Connie Cocovin. Upon meeting her, Hector was instantly smitten by her glamour, and asked her “Do you know how a Spanish man makes love?” He then took off his cape and waved it in front of her. Unable to resist, she charged at him.

Nickleby ran into Governor Gwinnett’s office, wailing that Penelope had declared that England no longer exists. Stunned by this news, Gwinnett concluded that Penelope had magical powers…powers which he coveted. Nickleby recalled that Seth had something called “witch hazel,” and they reasoned that this substance had banished England into the haze. If they could retrieve this witch hazel, they could bring England back.

DeGranville entered the Clermont Tavern, where Penelope explained that she had taken up service out of the goodness of her heart. Pondering the ideas of goodness and service, DeGranville recalled the vow he made to Gwinnett’s father…a vow to take care of Nigel for as long as he lives. Noticing the way his eyes shifted as he said “as long as he lives,” Penelope realized DeGranville’s sinister meaning. DeGranville explained that Gwinnett’s idiocy was the only thing holding him back from unleashing the wrath of England…and while he was sworn to serve Gwinnett, she could release him from that obligation.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Episode 3: In Which the Show Is Cancelled

Episode 3: In Which the Show Is Cancelled

A great storm descended upon the community of Little Five Ports, plunging the town into darkness and postponing our heroes' adventures until next week.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Episode 2: In Which Blood and Other Fluids Are Spilled

Episode 2: In Which Blood and Other Fluids Are Spilled

In the Governor’s office, Sir Richard DeGranville was attempting to go over important tax matters, but Governor Nigel Buttons Gwinnett was too preoccupied by pondering the question of how bees can make both wax AND honey.

In the town square, Arnedict Barnold explained to Seth that he was trying to dissuade the colonists from fighting, because freedom is not worth dying for. “Freedom is totally free!” However, he was still collecting a tax on it.

At the Clermont Tavern, Princess Penelope lamented to the Widow Cocovin that her father, King George III, had left her behind in this filthy colony. Now, Penelope would have to work to earn her keep—a concept she had never experienced, but had always been curious about. The Widow Cocovin suggested that Penelope could work in the Tavern’s secret lounge, showing a little ankle (and perhaps even an elbow) for the gentleman patrons. Cocovin demonstrated by lifting her skirt a couple of inches, and Arnedict Barnold immediately rushed in and taxed her for lewdness.

Hector “Macho” Gazpacho, freed from his wife Esmerelda, brought his steed Cacafuego in to Ridickolas Nickleby’s stable to be groomed—a full body wash with a happy ending. As they pondered what they would do with the resulting (ahem) discharge, Nickleby suggested that they collect the seed in Hector’s helmet, then prop it in a doorway to fall on some unsuspecting fool. Laughing over their planned prank, Nickleby and Gazpacho formed an immediate bond of friendship, and Nickelby shared his backstory: He had been captured by Washington’s troops while pursuing his escaped pet parakeet, and one of Washington’s men had ruthlessly slit his horse’s throat, then further humiliated Nickleby by forcing him to bathe in its blood. And the man who did that was Arnedict Barnold.

Seth paid a visit to the rebels’ headquarters, where Arnedict Barnold presented him with a gun in the shape of a horse. (“I invented it with my free thought!”) Seth was ready to join the revolution, but Barnold asked “How would you be free if you obeyed my orders? Screweth my orders!”

Sir Richard DeGranville entered the Governor’s office, upsetting the helmet full of horse seed propped in the doorway, which spilled upon his head. As DeGranville and Gwinnett tried to figure out what this substance was (“This isn’t honey…I’ve tasted this before…”), the Widow Cocovin entered and remarked “Wow, that’s a lot of semen.” Finding Hector’s name inscribed on the helmet, DeGranville swore revenge.

Later, in the secret gentlemen’s lounge of the Clermont Tavern, Princess Penelope auditioned for the Widow Cocovin. Instructed to show a little ankle, Penelope got carried away by the music and actually showed her calves as well. Cocovin told her that she now had to choose a stage name, by combining the name of Penelope’s first pet with the address where she first lived. Penelope was now “Fritz England.”

Hector “Macho” Gazpacho and Ridickolas Nickleby were laughing over their prank, when Arnedict Barnold came by to collect his freedom tax. Barnold threatened to kill Hector’s horse if he didn’t pay up. Nickleby attempted to defuse the situation, suggesting they settle it with a jump-rope-off (using Nickleby’s tether). However, when Hector stumbled on the first pass, Barnold made good on his promise by slashing Cacafuego’s throat. He then put his blade to Hector’s throat, but Hector laughed off Barnold’s threat: “Cut away, my friend! Cut away!” Much to Hector’s surprise, Barnold did.

In the Clermont Tavern’s lounge, Seth had come to see the debut of the new dancer “Fritz England.” Shortly afterwards, Arnedict Barnold joined him. Princess Penelope came out and began her routine, but soon found herself overtaken by the music and went farther than planned, stripping down to her corset. Seth, recognizing “Fritz England” as Penelope (due to her tattoo, which he remembered from the history books), urged her to put her dress back on and regain her dignity. He then berated the Widow Cocovin (“You’re a pimp! And not in a good way!”). With the Princess’ identity revealed, Arnedict Barnold presented her with the taxes he’d collected.

Sir Richard DeGranville and Governor Gwinnett were wandering through the woods, searching for Hector so that Richard could take his vengeance. Gwinnett was still going on about bees, wax, and honey.

Elsewhere in the woods, Ridickolas Nickleby knelt beside the mortally-wounded Hector. DeGranville arrived; seeing that he was too late to take his revenge, the disappointed DeGranville simply returned Hector’s helmet and stormed off in frustration. After DeGranville left, Hector instructed Nickleby to reach into his cape and pull out the bottle in his pocket, then told him to apply the water to his wound. Instantly, the water from the Fountain of Youth healed him. Nickleby then used the water to heal Cacafuego as well. Nickleby, amazed by the water’s miraculous powers, wondered why Hector was stuck in this rathole with such wonders at his disposal. Hector explained that he could do anything except one thing—swim. The Fountain water had left him unable to deal with common water, so he could not cross the ocean to return to Spain. (Nor could he bathe.) However, its other powers included granting Cacafuego the gift of flight, which he demonstrated by having Nickleby ride into the sky (until his tether ran out). Nickleby and Hector swore their eternal friendship—well, eternal until Nickleby dies and Hector lives on.

Princess Penelope was sitting alone in her poetry circle, waiting for her writing partner Seth. Arnedict Barnold arrived, but since he’s not on the roster, he had to leave (but not before confiscating one of her earrings for the freedom tax). Penelope sang her poem about being alone. Outside, Sir Richard DeGranville walked by, singing his own lonely song. As their songs blended together, DeGranville entered the room and they began talking. Seeing the human side beneath Richard’s scary demeanor, Penelope invited him to a weekend getaway, but he could not abandon his duty to the Governor. He sympathetically touched her shoulder, then realized he had been too forward. He offered to cut off his own hand to make up for it.

Seth came to Governor Gwinnett’s office for some fatherly (if moronic) advice. Seth explained that, since being stuck in the 18th century, he was trying his best not to change the past, but he worried that there could be horrific consequences to even the smallest things, like teaching everybody the high-five. Of course, this all went over Gwinnett’s head, but he was very upset that Seth hadn’t taught HIM the high-five. Gwinnett called in DeGranville and ordered him to take Seth to the torture dungeon until he reveals the secret of the high-five. Seth created a distraction (“Hey, what’s that over there?”) and escaped. Gwinnett forgot why he had ordered Seth captured in the first place.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Episode 1: In Which We Meet Our Players

Episode 1: In Which We Meet Our Players

In the office of His Majesty’s Governor Nigel Buttons Gwinnett, the Governor was wondering where all the dust on his desk was coming from. His right-hand man, the ruthless Richard DeGranville, explained that dust comes from shed skin cells, prompting the Governor to issue an decree outlawing skin-shedding. DeGranville pointed out a more pressing order of business—the impending visit by His Majesty King George III. Gwinnett suggested that they honor the King with a parade, with wagons covered in roses and oranges. He dispatched DeGranville to find that Spanish chap, Hector “Macho” Gazpacho, and have him smuggle in some oranges from Florida.

Meanwhile, the King arrived and paid a visit to his exiled daughter, Princess Penelope. He recounted a strange sight he had encountered on his way over: Clouds shaped like bunnies chasing clouds shaped like sharks, while saying something about “representation.” Penelope warned him that telling people about this would only fuel his reputation for madness, and she sang the popular “Crazy George” song.

At the Clermont Tavern, the tavern’s owner, the Widow Cocovin, and British prisoner-of-war Ridickolas Nickleby were showing the ropes to new employee Seth (a 21st-century high-school student who had been left behind on a time-traveling field trip). As Seth helped prepare for the King’s visit, he expressed his concern about how he would pay his way in this strange new (or rather, strange old) world. The Widow Cocovin assured him that she would repay his work with her kindness. And by “kindness,” she meant “vagina.”

General George Washington and his second-in-command, Arnedict Barnold, were going over strategy for the revolution. Appalled by Washington’s incompetence in not noticing a redcoat patrol, Barnold discovered the reason for Washington’s carelessness—a hemp pipe in the General’s coat. As Barnold lectured him, Washington launched into a stoned discourse about bees and bears.

Hector “Macho” Gazpacho, a Spanish conquistador who had discovered the fountain of youth and had wandered the New World for 300 years, was strolling through the woods with his wife Esmerelda (who had not drunk from the fountain but had kept herself alive through sheer hatred). Esmerelda cast her runes and predicted that Hector would lose that which he desires most…and that she would be with him forever. Hector kicked away the runes.

King George III arrived at Governor Gwinnett’s office, beaming with pride on the upcoming parade. Richard DeGranville attempted to warn the King that the people were restless and that there was danger, but his explanation went over the King’s head. The Governor put it in terms that George could understand, by continuing the sharks-and-bunnies metaphor.

Seth was helping Ridickolas Nickleby run the printing press to make announcements for the King’s parade. Seth congratulated Nickleby by showing him how to do a high-five, then worried that he might have changed the future by doing so. General Washington came in to sneak a joint. Seeing Nickleby’s red coat, Washington wrestled him to the ground. Seth explained that they were printing leaflets for the King, but he had changed the portrait by drawing a killer biker ’stache on him—which was sure to blow people’s minds because nobody even knows what a biker is.

Hector “Macho” Gazpacho was strolling through the wood with his faithful steed, Cacafuego. Hector lamented that he had let eternal youth go to his head; he had gotten distracted from his mission to claim land for Spain, and now feared to return to his homeland. Richard DeGranville interrupted Hector’s soliloquy to demand a shitload of oranges.

Washington, Seth, and Nickleby were hanging around and getting high (while Arnedict Barnold stood by and disapproved). George complained about his strained relationship with Martha, while Seth regaled the others with spicy tales of 21st-century dating rituals (including shameless kissing). Nickleby, observing the shape of an oil lamp, invented the bong.

At the Clermont Tavern, Gov. Gwinnett and the King were sharing some brews, while Gwinnett warned George that he was in danger from George Washington. Smelling the King’s confusion from far away, Richard DeGranville rushed in and explained to the King that he is not the only “George” in the world. Finally catching on, the King proposed that they keep Washington away from the celebration by declaring it a “No Georges Allowed” event. When DeGranville pointed out that this would exclude the King from his own party, they changed it to “No Washingtons Allowed.”

Alone, dejected, and hideous, Esmerelda Gazpacho was wandering through the woods. Alone, dejected, and georgeous, Princess Penelope strolled by and introduced herself. When Esmerelda lamented that her husband would never give her a child, Penelope pointed out that the 300-year-old Esmerelda was unlikely to conceive in any case. Esmerelda countered that, despite her age, her womb was a juicy peach rather than a dried avocado. She recalled that she used to be the most beautiful maiden in her village, and was queen of the onion festival. Penelope offered to give Esmerelda a bath and a new dress so she could recapture her old glamour. Touched by her kindness, Esmerelda read Penelope’s future in some bird entrails, predicting that she would soon find love.

In Washington’s absence, Arnedict Barnold addressed the troops, urging them to surrender.

Richard DeGranville was guarding the door to the party when Hector “Macho” Gazpacho arrived, having failed in his quest for oranges. DeGranville proposed that Hector could make up for his failure by killing Washington, in return for which, DeGranville would kill Esmerelda for Hector. The rest of the guests arrived, including George Washington (who claimed to be Ridickolas’ cousin Jorge). George Washington’s eyes met Esmerelda’s, and they began making love right there in front of everybody. Washington’s disguise fell off during their passionate embrace. Before DeGranville could strike at the exposed General, Washington fled, declaring his love for Esmerelda as he escaped. Esmerelda pledged to wait for him, even for 300 more years.