Episode 5: Arms and the Man
Daredevil Robbie ‘Bad Decisions’ Knisions and Sealman Rushdie were recuperating from their respective injuries in the circus’ infirmary. Having been clubbed by Irina Busliftor, Sealman needed a skull transplant—or, failing that, he could take Robbie’s helmet. Robbie explained that, after his numerous head injuries, his helmet was the only thing holding his brain inside his head…just as his spandex jumpsuit was the only thing holding his body together (having donated all his skin for grafts for all the kids he’d burned in his last stunt). Robbie lamented that he could never be naked again.
Circus owner Reggie Bunkler was in his office when Robbie came in and punched him for not visiting him in the infirmary. After Robbie left, Mrs. Busliftor entered and took all the money from the Swear Jar. She informed him that she had come to take her son Viktor back to Russia, explaining that her homeland needed a strong man to take charge, so she was going to reinstate him as the new Czar. She then revealed that she was prepared to buy Viktor’s freedom with sex, placing her leg on Reggie’s desk Mrs. Robinson-style. Reggie was repulsed yet transfixed by her attempt to seduce him.
Truck Tarkenton was apologizing to Stoolts for having dinner with Stoolts’ girlfriend Deb Henderson, explaining that it was a blind date and that he didn’t know he was being fixed up with Deb. Stoolts warned that he would kill Truck if Truck saw Deb again.
Deb and Viktor were having tea together. Viktor rhapsodized on the superiority of Asian tea to European tea, explaining that Oolong was “honest tea.” Deb replied that she admired honesty.
Reggie ran to the infirmary, panicked by his encounter with Mrs. Busliftor. He started to tell Sealman about it, but found he could only express his dismay by breaking into a song titled “I Feel So Dirty.”
Viktor looked in his refrigerator for some water and was shocked to discover a bottle of vodka and a box of condoms. He confronted his mother about her drinking and whoring, and she explained that she had done it for the sake of his freedom. He retorted that he didn’t want to go back to Russia—if she wants to take him back, she would have to drag him there until he dies. He continued by explaining that he didn’t want to rule Russia; he was content with the small pleasure that came from an audience’s applause. She proposed that they compromise by taking over America instead.
Deb was giving Robbie a shoulder rub (as therapy for his injury, nothing else) and asking advice on her relationship with Stoolts. Robbie, true to his ‘Bad Decisions’ nickname, recommended that she keep moving from one relationship to the next before they get stale. Just then, Stoolts came in to break the news about Reggie’s encounter with Mrs. Busliftor. Seeing Deb with her hands on Robbie’s shoulders, he called her a “bearded hooker.”
Truck came to Reggie’s office and found Reggie in a state of shock. When Reggie explained how Mrs. Busliftor had seduced him, Truck was awestruck. He explained that he’d heard rumors about Mrs. Busliftor’s amazing sexual powers—her vagina was a healer. Truck reported that the one-armed Def Leppard drummer used to have no arms at all before he slept with her. When Reggie protested that he didn’t feel healed, Truck reassured him that in the morning, Reggie would wake up as a brand new man, “Reggie 2.0.”
The next morning, Reggie woke up to discover a baby arm growing out of his chest. He screamed in anguish.
Viktor came to see Sealman to discuss what to do about Viktor’s mother. They realized that they needed to get rid of her, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. Sealman suggested that they could arrange an “accident” by using the most accident-prone person in the circus: Robbie ‘Bad Decisions’ Knisions.
Fed up with Stoolts’ jealousy, Deb ran to Truck for help. Truck informed her that Stoolts had threatened his life, and that he might have to kill Stoolts first for their own protection. Deb was outwardly dismayed, but secretly attracted by Truck’s dangerous bad-boy persona. (“Your mouth says no, but your breasts say yes.”)
Irina Busliftor encountered Stoolts and was impressed by his stature. Since her son was unwilling to take up the mantle of Czar, she asked Stoolts to come to Russia and take power with her. Confused, Stoolts started asking many questions about how the Russian election process worked, until Irina cut him off by saying that he was thinking too much. Stoolts took that as a compliment.
Robbie was practicing his newest stunt, riding his bike while lifting a barbell. Viktor and Sealman came to see him and were surprised to see Robbie stealing Viktor’s act. Robbie boasted that he could do the work of everybody in the circus: He has Viktor’s strength, Sealman’s musical talent, and Deb’s facial hair. And he toured with the Scorpions, just like Truck.
Reggie came to Deb’s trailer, hoping that Truck could help him with his new third arm. As Reggie and Deb talked, she opened up about her relationship problems. Reggie advised her to ignore Robbie’s advice and follow her heart. In turn, she suggested that Reggie follow his baby arm. The baby arm gripped Reggie’s finger, and he was suddenly filled with parental pride.
In preparation for his new position as Czar, Stoolts was practicing Russian jokes. Caught up in his monologue, he failed to notice Truck sneaking up behind him with a wrench. Truck swung the wrench, and Stoolts went down like a giant redwood.
Irina Busliftor was sitting in the empty center ring, singing Russian songs and basking in the imaginary applause. Sealman and Robbie sneaked in to eliminate her, but upon seeing her, Robbie was instantly smitten. Robbie took her in his arms and blew on her pinwheel (no, that’s not a metaphor). Just then, Viktor entered, shocked by the sight. Irina broke away from Robbie’s embrace, fed up with all the craziness. She placed a Russian curse on the entire circus: “May your child’s arms grow out of your chests, and may death befall you all!” With that, she vanished in a puff of smoke, to Robbie’s dismay and Viktor’s relief.
TO BE CONTINUED…