Episode 4: Mother Russia
Circus owner Reggie Bunkler called a meeting of the entire staff, explaining that the circus needed to change its name to duck all the lawsuits against it. Everyone began brainstorming new names. Viktor suggested “Smokey and the Bandit.” Truck proposed “The Guaranteed Somebody’s Gonna Die Circus.” Sasha offered “The Sasha Experience.” Deb countered with “The Sasha’s a Big Bitch Experience.”
Stoolts asked Gunther Gayfer-Wilhelm for advice on his girl troubles, explaining that Deb had caught him talking to Sasha and getting an erection. (“Now she’s gonna leave me, and we were gonna open a pizza place someday!”) The conversation drifted onto the subject of pizza.
Sasha and Sealman were having ice cream together and discussing the circus’ new name. Sealman considered a meaningless, one-word name like upscale restaurants use. When Sasha suggested that he write down his ideas, he confessed that he couldn’t read or write…and he needed to learn so that he could realize his dream of joining the Atlanta Sympathy Orchestra. Sasha told him that he first needed to get rid of his defeatist attitude.
Strongman Viktor Busliftor came to Truck’s workshop, where Truck was sawing off the end of a shotgun. Truck proposed a new act, where Viktor would set his mustache on fire, and Truck would put it out with a shotgun. Viktor replied that he had done that before—that was how his face got the way it is now. They discussed the possibility of Viktor getting a face transplant.
Reggie called Deb into his office to discuss the decline in her customer-service skills. She explained that she’d been preoccupied with her relationship with Stoolts. When Reggie pointed out that fraternization between co-workers was against the rules, she protested “I’m a bearded lady! If I don’t get any here, I’m not gonna get any anywhere!” She then explained that her jealousy over Sasha had driven her into a murderous rage, and she suggested that she put that rage to good use by becoming the circus’ official hitman. Reggie replied that he didn’t need anyone killed, then tried to calm her down by setting her up on a blind date.
Sasha and Gunther had a heart-to-heart about their love/hate relationship. She explained that she could not deal with his beauty, as it drew attention away from her. As they bickered, the sexual tension grew until they threw themselves into each other’s arms.
Sealman and Truck were watching girls walk by, making lewd comments.
Deb was in her train car, angrily baking rat-poison treats, when Stoolts came by to apologize for his encounter with Sasha. (“It wasn’t like my pants were down…because I can’t take my clothes off.”) He then explained that he couldn’t help it if Sasha’s attracted to him—after all, he’s tall, sensitive, and has read all the ‘Twilight’ novels.
Reggie called Viktor to his office, where Viktor asked Reggie the purpose of Reggie’s ‘Swear Jar.’ Reggie explained that he kept the circus clean by making everybody put in money when they use profanity, and that money would go to the performers (in the form of a skee-ball party) at the end of the year. They then turned to a more pressing matter—the impending visit by Viktor’s mother. Just then, Mrs. Busliftor arrived, screeching her son’s name. Reggie mistook the shrill, blaring cry for an elephant’s death rattle.
Later, Viktor was showing his mother around the circus, though she was unimpressed. She wanted him to return to Russia, declaring that he’s wasting away and becoming a decadent American. As proof, she pointed out that he now smells of Old Spice.
In Gunther’s train car, Sasha and Gunther were attempting to keep their passion under control. She declared that it would never work out, as she knows from his flamboyant costumes and luxurious hair that he’s gay. When he protested that she was stereotyping him, she pointed out that his very name is “Gayfer.” He insisted that his attraction for her was real, and they lay down upon Gunther’s tiny bed. Having to assume a contorted pose to fit on the bed, Sasha worried that everybody could see her butt.
Deb was prettying herself up when her blind date arrived—Truck Tarkenton. Truck gave her some flowers, and she served her special Chicken Royale recipe (chicken and green beans). Just then, Stoolts came by to share the news that Sasha had shown her butt to everyone. Seeing Deb and Truck together, Stoolts shouted “What the fuck’s going on?” Then he threw some money towards the Swear Jar, since he couldn’t walk that far.
Afterwards, Stoolts poured out his heart to Sealman, who declared that he was going to make a man of Stoolts by finding another woman for him. Just then, Irina Busliftor walked by. When Sealman approached her to fix her up with Stoolts, she clubbed Sealman with a large bone.
Leaving their respective liaisons, Sasha and Deb ran into each other. They argued and insulted each other viciously.
Viktor and Gunther were playing ping-pong and discussing Mrs. Busliftor’s visit. When Viktor complained that his mother drives him crazy, Gunther sympathetically replied that he doesn’t love his parents either. Viktor clarified that he wasn’t going that far—he never said he didn’t love his mother, just that she drove him crazy. Gunther further explained that he and his parents were emotionally cut off from each other—Gunther is carrying on his family lion-taming tradition, though his father isn’t there to see it. Viktor suggested that Gunther mend fences with his parents, then realized he should take his own advice. They then came up with an idea for a new act—Gunther would move from lion-taming to mother-taming.
Truck was telling Reggie about his date with Deb. (“We had chicken and green beans from a can, then she got in a fight with her boyfriend. Best date ever.”) Grateful for Reggie fixing them up, Truck said that he owed Reggie a big debt and would do anything to pay him back. Reggie immediately called in that favor, explaining that Sealman had been clubbed…and since the circus couldn’t afford a vet, they needed Truck to check him for brain damage.
Reggie revealed the circus’ new name: “The Smokey and the Bandit Imminent Death Family Circus.”
Stoolts picked up Mrs. Busliftor for their date, hoping that she would soon segue into speaking English like in ‘Hunt for Red October.’
Taking the stage for his big number, the injured Sealman sang a chorus of “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” then immediately collapsed.
TO BE CONTINUED…