Episode 3: Sock Puppetry of the Flea-ness
Station Note: The second extant episode of our series features the first appearance of Antisocial Earl, Marika’s misanthropic music man. It also elicited no fewer than zero letters of concern over the apparent on-screen death of a beloved children’s character. Social psychologists attribute this shameful tidal wave of indifference to the fact that no one watches television shows broadcast via lined paper.
Announcer: OH MY GOD!!! COULD IT BE?!!! YES! It’s another episode of Marika’s Crap Show of Nothing!!!
Singers: Marikaaa’s Crap Show of Nothiiing!…
Announcer: WHERE IS SHE??!! OH, BACKSTAGE?? GOOD!!!! I THOUGHT SHE WAS DEAD!!! OK, HERE’S YOUR HOST – MARIIIIKAAA !!!!
Marika: Too much tequila is never a good thing… I went and drooled all over my new sequin-encrusted robe! I hope management didn’t get wind of that part—yoh! Hey there everyone and everyone watching at home hehe. Didn’t see ya there hehe *nervous glance* *To the announcer:* Why didn’t you call me like you usually— WE’VE GOT A GREAT SHOW TODAY, ONE THAT I’M PARTICULARLY EXCITED ABOUT. We have Sanchez Pedro Velasquez, inventor of the ever-so-popular flea circus, come all the way from Guatemala; we’ve got Sleepy the fourth dwarf; and Nina is going to craft a harmonica out of tree bark and two dimes! So let’s get started! Sanchez, how you doin’?
Sanchez: I’m okay. Very good. A little hung over. Too much Orange Crush is never a good thing.
Marika: I hear ya brother!
*Sanchez has a stern look*
Marika: OK. So why don’t you begin by telling us why, how and when the flea circus, as we know it, was created?
Sanchez: It began the day my mule, Julio, died. His fleas had nowhere to go, and they didn’t want to live on me because of my B.O., so I made them a small house. But they could not live without blood, so I moved them into a circus and charged people to “step right up.” Little did they know that the performers SUCKED in more ways than one! Han? Han?… *”give it to me” hand gestures*
Marika: I suppose the fleas formed a brotherhood together. Nothing like teamwork to bring people, or even parasites, together! How did you know they were ready to go on the road?
Sanchez: The fleas were expressing an interest in tasting other people. One of them – Leon – suggested we move north, where people are fatter and hairier. So I bought a Cirque du Soleil tape and we never looked back.
Marika: Cirque du Soleil is Canadian, you know! You owe the Canadian people a lot of your success, what would you like to say to them right now?
Sanchez: Hola Canada! Your poutine-fed chinflab provides great, affordable homes for hundreds of flea communities and their egg clusters. Remember to check out my circus when we visit your town!
*Fleas wearing sombreros cheer from his mustache*
Marika: Thank you kindly Sanchez, and we will! Everyone in the studio audience today is receiving two tickets to a flea circus in your town.
*Sanchez gets up and reaches to take Marika’s hand but does the typical hair graze instead, thousands of fleas jumping on his hand biting him in joy, because Marika doesn’t reach her hand to shake back*
Sanchez: Aye aye aye! *leaves the stage*
Marika: Our next guest made his big screen debut in the 1940s when he first yawned his way into our hearts. Sleepwalking onto our stage today: Sleepy the fourth dwarf!
Sleepy: zz… nyup nyup… actually, it was 1937… zzzz… pleasure to be here… zzz… oh yeah and it’s LITTLE PERSON you insensitive ho… zzzz
Marika: Funny dwarves, always making jokes about human rights issues. Cute little guys… So why haven’t we seen Sleepy the dwarf on stage or screen in so long? Where have you been hiding?
Sleepy: I’ve been doing… a lot of fundraisers for the… zzz… Yugoslavian Society for Narcolepsy Research… you know… zzz… hosting coffee tastings… zzz… celebrity slumber parties… pajama drives… zzzzz…
Marika: What were your fans’ reactions when you first came out about your sleep apnea in 1993? Were they supportive?
Sleepy: zzzzz… huh? Umm… yes, they were… well, all three of them… I was voted least popular dwarf back in seventy-six so… zzzz… huh? umm… yes, they were… very supportive… zzzz… huh? umm… yes, they were…zzzz… huh? umm… Charlie Horse is a jerk… Hush Puppy, now he’s a good guy… zzzzz… Lamb Chops is a lesbian, did you know that?… huh? zzz… huh?… zzz… huh? umm… zzzz…
Marika: No, no I didn’t. So how did you react when your doctor told you it was fatal – *producer comes and whispers* No wait, no, he didn’t know that? Oh…
Sleepy: zzz… hmm…… what? WHAAAT?? You mean I could DIE in my sleep? No fair!!! I haven’t done anything wrong… okay, so maybe Dopey wasn’t always bald, but you can’t prove I was involved!!! NO ONE CAN!!! I – zzzzzz…
Marika: We always like to joke around with our guests! Silly Sleepy, did you hear “fatal”? Why, I said “endearing”! They can sound alike at times hehe. You know, “E” is right before “F” in the alphabet an’ all… *voice drifts off*
Sleepy: zzz… zz… — *stops breathing*
*Marika hits Sleepy on the chest repeatedly, trying to pass it off as a friendly tap while giggling nervously*
Marika: He’s tired, he’s just really tired from his flight. *aside:* Hey Gary, maybe you should, you know, take him backstage… *awkward smile to the camera* We’ll be right back.
– COMMERCIAL –
Sock Puppet: Have you been injured in a motor vehicle accident?
Mummy: *sadly* Uh-huh.
Sock Puppet: McGee and Shweinberg can help you FIGHT BACK! *balls into a fist and punches a guy*
Guy: OW! Stupid justice!!
Mummy: Gee, thanks McGee and Shweinberg!
*Shot of Mummy relaxing in a hot tub with babes*
Song: Be a smart mummyyyy / Profit from injuryyyy! ♪
– BACK TO THE SHOW –
Marika: McGee and Shweinberg sure helped me when I got my right leg severed by one of those Barbie cars. You know the ones? You know the commercials with little girls in pigtails driving?
*Turns to music guy*
Marika: How’s the wife and kids?
Antisocial Earl: None of your business.
Producer: *mouthing* Get – the – hat!
*Stagehand sheepishly runs onstage, grabs Sleepy’s hat and runs offstage*
Antisocial Earl: Whatever. *band plays “La Cucaracha”*
Marika: That’s the spirit! Let’s see what wacky Nina has for us today! Hey Nina, what’s going on? I barely recognized you in that costume! What does it have to do with what you are going to show us today?
Nina: What? Oh, you mean this sequined wetsuit and African mask? I have no idea. I haven’t done the laundry in weeks. But today we’re going to carve our very own bark harmonicas! Did everyone bring their bark – and their two times?
*Audience members wave materials*
Nina: Awesome! I LOVE YOU!!
Marika: I love you too Nina! God, isn’t she just a DAARLING! I brought my bark and dimes. What next?
Nina: Simple. Place the bark in your mouth, like thith, an’ – GNNRRR! — *spits out bark* bite down to make the holes. This is how real metal harmonicas are made! Next, go outside, place the dimes in a hat as an “example,” and play your sorrows away. Well, actually, your sorrows will only go away once you have enough change for a sandwich.
Marika: In what kind of environment must the hat with dimes be placed in order to collect enough change for a sandwich?
Nina: That’s a moderately great question! Place the hat on a side-walk… *writes “sidewalk” on Marika’s desk in permanent marker* …with many pee-pull… *same* …walking by. It helps if you’re not naked… this I’ve learned by experience.
Marika: No kidding. *places tongue in cheek pensively*
*Producer rushes out and bashes desk with a caveman-style club*
Marika: Oh. Oh yeah! All right, Nina, what’s next? *stares backstage*
Nina: Uh… you, uh… *sweats* Okay, I’ll be honest… I didn’t actually prepare for this… I don’t know how to play the harmonica, with or without clothes. I just grabbed some bark and two dimes and ran to the studio. It’s just so hard to live up to your expectations that I’m a “whiz” at everything!!
Marika: You are the weakest link, goodbye. *to the audience:* Don’t worry folks, Nina will be in the Pit of Death for four or five hours only. This concludes this episode of…
Singers: Marikaaa’s Crap Show of Nothiiing!… ♪
Announcer: All guests on Marika’s Crap Show of Nothing are lodged in Larson Wood Simulation desks. Larson Wood Simulation: Real Enough to Fool a Beaver!
*Shot of beaver dam made of desks*
END OF EPISODE 3