OK, so, MOS Burgers: at the time I was living in Singapore and they had the Japanese(?) chain there and I really got into their whole style. Not just a good variety of burger and burger-like patties, and the choice to have a rice bun instead of a bread-based one, but also, like, advertising copy about being in touch with nature and all that. The reference to someday getting to be Head Beagle is from Peanuts, of course, and a storyline that they reran earlier this year that made Charles Schulz seem impossibly timely. Seriously. Scarily timely.
I suppose it’s inconsistent with my opening-sketch claim that Professor Bobo was good with forms that he misreads one in the closing sketch. The idea that he would be good with forms was ripped off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show where Ted Baxter had some weirdly specific moments of supreme competence. (Knowing who had won every local-TV award ever, for example, or being able to do arithmetic instantly as long as he imagined it was about money.) I like idiot characters with narrowly-defined fields of competence.
The closing line about Heidi Klum refers to a cranky person who used to haunt the late-night talk show newsgroups on Usenet. He had the idea that the aliens guiding human destiny left clues to their plans in the news about Heidi Klum. Sounds ridiculous? All right. He was incredibly happy to answer any and all questions you had, indefatigably. He eventually promised his wife and therapist he’d stop promoting his Heidi Klum theory, and as far as I know he did. But boy did he leave a deep impression on everyone who saw his work.
> Today, we have discussed segments of our shared history that
> explain your origins and the basis of your present condition of
MIKE: Next week, remember, we’re doing the Polish-Lithuanian monarchy,
so read up chapter eight and be ready with questions, people.
> We ask you to use this awareness to examine how far you
> actually have come!
CROW: I’m suddenly more aware of my tongue.
TOM: You don’t have a tongue.
CROW: Then I’m suddenly confused and distressed.
> Your liberation and new world service are truly
> within reach!
TOM: As soon as you pay up your library fines!
> We now take our leave.
MIKE: [ As Groucho ] I’ve had a wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.
> Blessings, dear Ones! Know, in
> your Heart of Hearts,
CROW: In your Diamond of Diamonds,
MIKE: In your Spade of Spades,
TOM: In your Club of Clubs..
> that the eternal Supply and perpetual Prosperity
> of Heaven is yours!
MIKE: This reads like the advertising materials for MOS Burgers.
> So Be It! Selamat Gajun! Selamat Kasijaram!
CROW: They’re either Malay or the Klindesteron beademungen.
> for Be One! Blessed in Love and in Joy!)
TOM: And there’s some fine print where you sign up to buy two CDs
each month for a year.
> Planetary Activation Organization
MIKE: Somebody check the Earth’s batteries. Venus was dead
three months before we noticed.
> This copy was reposted by Robert E. McElwaine
TOM: The `E’ stands for `Extra.’
CROW: Robert E. McExtralwaine?
> PAO Member
> Eckankar Initiate
MIKE: And a good friend.
> B.S., Physics and Astronomy, UW-EC
CROW: Hah … Mike?
MIKE: Not my fault, guys.
> http://members.aol.com/rem547 PLUS
TOM: That adds up to rem 1007.
> See also http://www.paoweb.com/sn122600.htm ,
CROW: A URL actually created by a snore.
> http://www.disclosureproject.org .
> P.S.: PASS IT ON !
MIKE: You’ll never guess which of your close friends is waiting
for this very message!
TOM: OK? Is that all you have to say for yourself?
[ 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… ]
[ SATELLITE OF LOVE DESK. GYPSY, TOM SERVO, and CROW are there, with
many papers scattered on the desk. A pencil is wedged into
CROW’s hand. ]
GYPSY: You need line 17 from form 8-E.
CROW: I know, I’m just — look, how many amiable characters from the
movies and shorts we watch have visited us on the Hex Field View
Screen this year?
TOM: 28, including four visits from Marrissa Picard.
GYPSY: You have to tell them how you made Jay Gordon cry.
TOM: Tell them 35.
CROW: I’m not cheating on these forms!
TOM: Oh, like they’ll check?
GYPSY: It kind of goes against the spirit —
[ MIKE enters. They all hush up for a few seconds. ]
MIKE: So. Who wants to —
[ Simultaneously: ]
CROW: We realized we haven’t filled in our reports for the
Galactic Federation of Light this year yet.
TOM: You wouldn’t believe how many forms it is, either,
but it’s worth doing.
GYPSY: It’s an important part of bringing light to the universe.
MIKE: [ Playing along ] Plus you might get to be Head Beagle.
GYPSY: So we’re listing all this year’s light-bringing.
CROW: You got anything you want reported?
MIKE: I, uh, cleaned the burnt pizza stuff out of the toaster oven.
CROW: That’s good! What else do we have?
TOM: We played keep-away with Observer’s brain for like ten minutes.
MIKE: That didn’t really uplift anyone’s soul.
CROW: Well … what about that fun we had playing backgammon? That had
to bring something good into the world.
GYPSY: We just moved the checkers around randomly for five minutes,
got bored, then you threw them like ninja stars until
you broke the McVote McDLT glasses.
CROW: Oh yeah.
TOM: Well … we had to have done something, right?
GYPSY: We didn’t stop anyone from bringing light.
CROW: OK, I’m writing that in — Mike, you have any stamps? We
need to mail this to the Galactic Federation of Light Central
Processing Bureau in Menominee, Michigan.
MIKE: Oh, fresh out. Let’s check in on Pittney-Bowes, shall we?
TOM: Four, five — hey, does Sonic the Hedgehog still exist?
[ CASTLE FORRESTER. The stage is filled by shipping cartons of all
sizes, marked “LIGHT BULBS” and stacked precariously high.
BOBO, PEARL, and OBSERVER are squeezed in front, reading
papers on a business envelope. ]
OBSERVER: Dahdahdaaah … appreciate your filing early … blah de
blah … having reviewed your Federation of Light returns this
year … yeah, uh-huh … computed against withholding reported
in form 671-X …
PEARL: So how much of a light-bringing refund did we *get*?
BOBO: [ Pointing at a line ] Fifty-five thousand, three hundred
[ A pause, as PEARL simmers. ]
PEARL: That’s our Zip code, you — [ She pinches his nose. ]
[ BOBO barks, Curly style; his left arm windmills around and hits
OBSERVER’s brain, which he drops, apparently onto PEARL’s
foot as she grabs her foot and hops. She trips into BOBO, who
bounces against one pile of boxes, sending it crashing. He
rebounds to knock PEARL and OBSERVER into their own huge stacks,
which sends off volleys of crashing and imploding light bulb
sounds through the credits … ]
\ | / \ | / \|/ ---O--- /|\ / | \ / | \
Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the characters and situations
therein are the property of Best Brains, Inc. The essay “GALACTIC FEDERATION Update: August 5, 2003” comes to us from Robert McElwaine
and Sheldan Nidle. This MiSTing as a whole is the creation of Joseph
Nebus, who intends no particular ill-will towards Robert McElwaine,
Sheldan Nidle, or any nigh-omnipotent beings guiding humanity towards
a glorious new destiny in the stars, but does enjoy following Kansan’s
reports of how they signal their intents through the life and career
of Heidi Klum. Come back, Dr. Mike Neylon!
> Greetings, dear Hearts! We return with more interesting topics to
> share with you.