> The absorption of the stone had taught them what to expect, and for
> a moment it seemed that their worst anticipations were to be
CROW: Pebbles across the county might be no more!
> The sluggish currents circled through the Thing,
TOM, CROW: Dum DA-dum!
> the victim’s body to the center. The giant tentacle drew back into
> the globe and became itself a current.
JOEL: Don’t fight the current! Swim out and then make it to shore!
> The concentric circles
> merged — tightened — became one gleaming cord that encircled the
> helpless prey.
TOM: Is … he turning into Sailor Moon?
> From the inner circumference of this cord shot
> forth, not the swords of light that had powdered the stone to atoms,
> but myriads of radiant tentacles that gripped and cupped the body in
> a thousand places.
CROW: [ Bill Jones, giggling ] No wait stop I’m ticklish aaaaaaugh
[ and breaks down laughing ]
> Suddenly the tentacles withdrew themselves, all save the ones that
> grasped the head.
JOEL: That’s his *hair*.
> These seemed to tighten their pressure — to
> swell and pulse with a grayish substance that was flowing from the
> cups into the cord and from the cord into the body of the mass.
TOM: And from the body of the mass into the grayish substance and
that’s what we call an ‘economy’.
> Yes, it was a grayish something, a smokelike Essence that was being
> drawn from the cranial cavity.
CROW: Mmm, fresh skull juice.
> Bill Jones was no longer screaming
> and gibbering, but was stiff with the rigidity of stone.
JOEL: [ Bill Jones ] ‘Mondays, am I right?’
> Notwithstanding, there was no visible mark upon his body; his flesh
> seemed unharmed.
TOM: [ The Blob ] Oh yeah! Let me work on that.
JOEL: [ Bill Jones ] Whoa hey yeowwwowow!
> Swiftly came the awful climax. The waving tentacles withdrew
> themselves, the body of Bill Jones lost its rigidity, a heaving
> motion from the center of the Thing
CROW, JOEL: Dum DA-dum!
> propelled its cargo to the
> surface — and Bill Jones stepped out!
TOM: And he holds up the eight of diamonds — your card?
> Yes, he stepped out and stood for a moment staring straight ahead,
> staring at nothing, glassily. Every person in the shivering,
> paralysed group knew instinctively that something unthinkable had
> happened to him.
CROW: You suppose Farmer Burns will give him a refund?
> Something had transpired, something hitherto
> possible only in the abysmal spaces of the Other Side of Things.
JOEL: Do … do you think he liked it?
> Finally he turned and faced the nameless object, raising his arm
> stiffly, automatically, as in a military salute.
CROW: Oh, do *not* go there, I don’t have the energy.
> Then he turned and
> walked jerkily, mindlessly, round and round the globe like a wooden
> soldier marching. Meanwhile the Thing
ALL: Dum DA-dum!
> lay quiescent — gorged!
> Professor Ralston was the first to find his voice. In fact,
> Professor Ralston was always finding his voice in the most
> unexpected places.
JOEL: One time he spent a week searching for it before it turned up
> But this time it had caught a chill. It was
> "Gentlemen," he began, looking down academically upon the motley
TOM: Too Fast For Love.
> as though doubting the aptitude of his salutation.
CROW: ‘It appears the aliens are here to … play.’
> "Fellow-citizens," he corrected,
TOM: The ever-popular ‘unneeded correction that somehow makes
you sound like a jerk’.
> "the phenomenon we have just
> witnessed is, to the lay mind, inexplicable. To me — and to my
> honorable colleagues (added as an afterthought) it is quite clear.
CROW: Oh, *boo*.
> Quite clear, indeed. We have before us a specimen, a perfect
> specimen, I might say, of a — of a — "
JOEL: You know he’s a professor of accounting, right?
> He stammered in the presence of the unnamable.
TOM: Read the employee badge! Then you can name it.
> His hesitancy caused
> the rapt attention of the throng that was waiting breathlessly for
> an explanation, to flicker back to the inexplicable.
CROW: [ As Ralston ] ‘Hey, stop paying attention to the not-man here!’
> In the
> fraction of a second that their gaze had been diverted from the
ALL: Dum DA-dum!
> to the professor, the object had shot forth another tentacle,
> gripping him round the neck and choking off his sentence with a
> horrid rasp that sounded like a death rattle.
[ ALL clap. ]
JOEL: ‘Wait! I needed him to sign my financial aid paperwork!’
> Needless to say,
JOEL: End paragraph.
> the revolting process that had turned Bill Jones
> from a human being into a mindless automaton was repeated with
> Professor Ralston.
TOM: Blob is going to get *such* a letter from the Faculty Senate.
> It happened as before, too rapidly for
> intervention, too suddenly for the minds of the onlookers to shake
> off the paralysis of an unprecedented nightmare.
JOEL: With too much joy from everyone who’s had to listen to
the Professor mansplaining the world.
> But when the
> victim was thrown to the surface, when he stepped out, drained of
> the grayish smokelike essence, a tentacle still gripped his neck and
> another rested directly on top of his head.
CROW: He’s ready for Stromboli’s puppet show!
> This latter tentacle,
> instead of absorbing from him, visibly poured into him what
> resembled a threadlike stream of violet light.
TOM: Heck of a way to pick a new Doctor Who.
> Facing the cowering audience with eyes staring glassily, still in
> the grip of the unknowable, Professor Ralston did an unbelievable
CROW: Let’s … POLKA!
> He resumed his lecture at the exact point of interruption!
> But he spoke with the tonelessness of a machine, a machine that
> pulsed to the will of a dictator, inhuman and inexorable!
JOEL: I had this guy for pre-algebra!
> "What you see before you," the Voice continued — the Voice that no
> longer echoed the thoughts of the professor — "is what you would
> call an amoeba, a giant amoeba.
CROW: Would you believe … a giant amoeba with cupholders?
TOM: It’s, it’s, maybe more of a paramecium? Would you buy that?
> It is I — this amoeba, who am
> addressing you — children of an alien universe.
JOEL: [ As the Amoeba ] Are … are any of you buying this?
> It is I, who
> through this captured instrument of expression, whose queer language
> you can understand, am explaining my presence on your planet.
CROW: [ As the Amoeba ] I … you know, this got a better reaction when I tried it at open-mic night.
> pour my thoughts into this specialised brain-box which I have
> previously drained of its meager thought-content." (Here the
> "honorable colleagues" nudged each other gleefully.)
TOM: Mind-wiping is fun when it’s someone else on the faculty senate getting it!
> "I have so
> drained it for the purpose of analysis and that the flow of my own
> ideas may pass from my mind to yours unimpeded by any distortion
> that might otherwise be caused by their conflict with the thoughts
> of this individual.
JOEL: Oh, uh, PS, we’re not the bad guys?
> "First I absorbed the brain-content of this being whom you call Bill
> Jones, but I found his mental instrument unavailable.
TOM: Oh, sheesh.
> It was
> technically untrained in the use of your words that would best
> convey my meaning.
CROW: [ Bill Jones ] Are you calling me stupid?
JOEL: [ As Amoeba ] I’m saying you have an abundance of deficiencies!
CROW: [ Bill Jones ] Well … okay then.