Episode 2: Bad Decisions
Talking sea lion Sealman Rushdie were relaxing by the pool as the bearded lady Deb Henderson congratulated him on his performance. He explained that every time he plays the horns, he puts his sould into it, and a little bit of his soul drifts out into the troposphere. Worried that he might lose his soul entirely, Deb suggested that he quit and go back to the sea. When he replied that it wasn’t safe for him to return, she sympathized, explaining that she could no longer go back home to Chatsworth since she was part of a prostitution ring there. Sealman was impressed (and attracted) by the revelation of her dark side.
Daredevil Robbie “Bad Decisions” Kniesions was preparing to jump his bike over a dozen angry porcupines when circus owner Reggie Bunkler came by to discuss the budget. Robbie suggested an idea that could get them grant money: He would jump his bike over 8 buses full of special-needs kids, with the buses set on fire; his bike would then spray fire-extinguisher foam on them, and then the circus would be rewarded for saving the children. Reggie warned Robbie that the stunt was too dangerous for a man in Robbie’s condition—he’d had so many head injuries that his helmet was the only thing holding his brains in. Robbie angrily insisted that nobody would stop him.
Strongman Viktor Busliftor was holding up the big top as roadie Truck Tarkenton repaired the bolts. Viktor asked Truck for a favor…he needed Truck to mail a card to his mother in Russia. Viktor warned that if he doesn’t get the card in the mailbox today, the entire circus could die.
Animal trainer Gunther Gayfer-Wilhelm and trapeze artist Sasha were shopping in the Food Lion and arguing about their billing status. Tired of the bickering, Sasha decided they should have a final showdown to decide who is the better performer.
Robbie and Sealman were recruiting special kids for the stunt, when Robbie made a bigoted anti-sea-lion remark and a fight broke out. After the melee, Robbie explained that his father had died when he swerved his bike to avoid a seal, then crashed into a box of glass. Ever since then, he’s held a grudge against aquatic mammals…but he wants to change. Sealman accepted his apology…but when Robbie referred to the special kids as “tards,” Sealman started beating him up again.
Sasha was rehearsing on the trapeze when Truck swung by on a zip-line to work on the lights. Impressed by his skill, she told him about her challenge to Gunther. She could see two ways of outdoing Gunther’s act—either she and Truck could work out an incredible aerial act together, or Truck could kill Gunther’s star tiger cub Schatzi. (“I could just twist its neck like a pickle jar…a furry pickle jar that coughs up blood.”)
Reggie Bunkler called a meeting of the entire circus, informing them that their fairground permit had been revoked, and they would have to perform at an abandoned chemical storage plant. Sasha proposed that the circus could save money by firing everybody except her. A massive argument broke out among everybody, until Reggie pulled them all together with an inspirational speech.
Deb had baked some borscht pastries for Viktor, who was amazed by the taste of Russia. As they discussed the circus’ future, Viktor explained that he wasn’t worried about anything, as long as his mother gets her card. Just then, Truck ran by the thent in a panic. When Deb remarked on Truck’s speed, Viktor realized that she could see through the tent. He suggested that she use her X-ray vision to help the circus, by guessing the contents of the patrons’ wallets (then claiming it as a prize for guessing correctly). Deb protested that she didn’t want her super-powers to be known, because she was afraid of scientists cutting her brain open.
Truck ran to Gunther for help, explaining that he needed to get to the post office super-fast before it was too late. Gunther told him to ride his tiger Schatzi. (“Her backbone is strong, though her neck is weak.”) Torn between his earlier discussion with Sasha and the trust Gunther had placed in him, Truck tearfully rode off.
When Robbie mocked Sealman’s performance of “Stairway to Heaven,” Sealman retorted by insulting Robbie’s spandex-clad physique. (“I have a thyroid condition!”) Robbie began a monologue on the stressful life of a daredevil, and his constant attempts to live up to his father’s reputation through more and more dangerous stunts.
At the Food Lion, Gunther and Sasha faced off for their challenge. Gunther suggested that, rather than fight each other, they unite against a common enemy—the circus itself. Just then, Reggie rushed in to stop the fight, and they confronted him about their pay. Viktor and Deb came in to do some shopping, buying sirloin and arugala for Deb’s latest recipe. Reggie was shocked that they could afford it, and Viktor explained their new “Guess Your Wallet” game.
Sasha confessed to Gunther that she had urged Truck to kill Schatzi. Just then, Truck wandered by, staring in shock at his hands. Assuming the worst, Sasha offered to replace Schatzi by dressing in a cat costume and becoming part of his act. Suddenly, Sealman Rushdie rushed in and declared that he had solved the circus’ financial woes—he had raised $34,000 by pickpocketing all the special-needs kids.
TO BE CONTINUED…