Episode 10: You Blight Up My Life
Reggie Bunkler was sitting in his office when a new act came knocking on his door…the French-Canadian mime artist Michel Jacquesonne. Reggie warned him that the circus’ budget was too tight to pay him much, but Michel replied that he worked not for money, but for the love of mime. Of course, that wouldn’t stop him from taking whatever money he could get…
Sealman Rushdie and Viktoria Busliftor were changing the baby-thing, which called Viktoria “Mama.” Viktoria marveled at how quickly it was maturing.
Bearded lady Deb Henderson, worried about the July 4th fireworks show and its effects on her unborn child, consulted Gunther Gayfer-Wilhelm as the circus’ resident expert on danger. Gunther assured her that there was nothing to worry about, because babies love loud noises. Feeling the baby kick, Gunther declared “He’s like a little Pele…or some more relevant soccer player.” Deb then revealed that Stoolts had seen her kissing Truck, and she was afraid Stoolts might do something drastic. Gunther advised her to face her fears for the sake of her baby. Finally remembering a more contemporary reference, Gunther encouraged the baby to “Bend it like Beckham.”
Far away, on top of the dump on Moreland Avenue, Sasha was looking over the city and contemplating her decision to leave the circus. Knowing no other trade but acrobatics, she had been reduced to contorting her body in the street for 50 cents a pop.
In his fireworks lab, Stoolts was plotting his revenge. He’d acquired a sample of American Red Elm Blight, which he would spray on everybody else. He gloated that the blight, while fatal to trees, would have a different effect on humans: when combined with fireworks, it would drive everyone insane. (“Now THAT’S an evil plan!”)
Reggie found Viktoria cradling the parasite-baby. Reggie warned that the baby was the result of the curse Viktoria’s mother had placed on Reggie, but Viktoria countered that babies shouldn’t be blamed for where they came from. The baby began revealing Reggie’s deepest secrets, and Reggie threatened to drown it in the bathtub. The baby sinisterly replied “Let him try.” Changing the subject to lighten the mood, Viktoria remarked how much she was looking forward to the fireworks display. (“There’s nothing more American than explosions.”) Reggie told Viktoria that they’d arranged the perfect soundtrack to accompany the fireworks—The Spin Doctors.
Deb informed Sealman that she was pregnant, and asked him to be her midwife. Sealman felt her belly and declared that the baby was going to be a little Vitas Gerulitas, or some other outdated tennis player. Then he broke into a song about the wonders and joys of childbirth.
As Sasha gazed at the circus from her vantage point on the dump, Gunther came climbing through the garbage to join her. He wanted to watch the fireworks with her, and to prove once and for all that he’s not gay. Sasha replied that she knew from their lovemaking that he wasn’t gay…although she suspected his penis might be.
Michel Jacquesonne was performing his mime act in the center ring, narrating his actions aloud for the audience. Stoolts came in, and the age-old rivalry between clowns and mimes reared its ugly head. Stoolts squirted Michel with his blight-spray, then continued threatening him. In response, Michel created an imaginary wall between himself and Stoolts.
Reggie took the baby-thing to the elephant-wash station in an attempt to destroy it. He asked the baby what it wanted, and the baby revealed that it planned to take over the circus. The Bunkler Brothers Family Circus would soon be the Baby Brothers Family Circus, as soon as Deb’s baby arrived. The baby revealed that he, not Stoolts, had impregnated Deb…he had climbed up Stoolts’ pants leg and gotten in between them. (“So, technically, it’ll be my son, but ‘Baby Brothers’ sounds better.”) Horrified, Reggie carried the baby into his office and stuffed it in the Swear Jar.
Stoolts found Viktoria looking through a Viewmaster, entranced by the pictures of the Florida mermaids. Viktoria remarked that she had noticed Stoolts squirting people with his spray-bottle. Thinking the clown was simply spraying water as a playful way to cool people off, Viktoria asked to be sprayed. Since Viktoria was one of the few people who had always been nice to Stoolts, Stoolts refused to spray her with the blight. Viktoria then grabbed the bottle and squirted herself.
Sasha and Gunther were celebrating their happiness in the dump when Stoolts came by. He told them about the American Red Elm Blight and what it did to trees, but before he could continue as to its effects on humans, Sasha and Gunther began crying over the dead trees and orphaned saplings. Confused, Stoolts started to explain that he’d had an epiphany. Sasha asked if this was going to turn into another of his long-winded Cosby Show stories.
Sealman was swimming in his tank when Stoolts came by. Complimenting him on his fitness, Stoolts compared him to Jack LaLanne and other out-of-date exercise gurus. Then he sprayed Sealman with the blight.
Returning to the circus, Sasha came to Reggie’s office. Feeling confident that the circus had suffered in her absence, she demanded a raise. Fed up with her diva attitude, Reggie finally told her off. In a fit of rage, she threw Reggie’s bottle of Tums across the room. A vicious battle ensued, with Sasha wrecking the office. (In the process, she knocked the Swear Jar off the desk, and the evil baby took the opportunity to escape.) After smashing Reggie across the back with a chair, Sasha went to Stoolts and told him that he’d turned her into a superhuman killing machine with his blight-spray. She demanded that he spray her with an antidote.
Returning from the dump, Gunther ran into Viktoria. The lingering smell of dirty diapers reminded Viktoria that she had misplaced the baby-thing. Gunther realized that they were all in grave danger.
Michel, Sealman, Gunther, and Viktoria gathered outside Reggie’s office to watch the fireworks. Seeing Reggie lying on the ground, Viktoria remarked “I hear with a spine injury, you should move them immediately.” As they did so, Sasha, Deb, and Stoolts arrived. Stoolts confessed to Deb that he’d done something terrible and now felt deep remorse. Meanwhile, Reggie warned everybody else that the baby-thing had impregnated not only Deb, but Sasha as well. Just then, the sound of the Spin Doctors filled the air, and the fireworks began. The pyrotechnics combined with Stoolts’ spray, and everybody began behaving in more-than-usually bizarre ways. Gunther, the only one who had not been sprayed, attempted to reason with Stoolts by discussing the Cosby Show and asking “What would Rudy do?” Moved by Gunther’s plea, Stoolts urged everybody to snap out of it, helping them to shake off the effects by complimenting each of them and boosting their self-confidence. Deb congratulated Stoolts for saving the day, although Sasha pointed out that he had started the trouble in the first place.
TO BE CONTINUED…