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.
TO BE CONTINUED…