I hope you’re ready for a bit more of my big Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfiction. Here’s the seventh chapter of Arthur Scott Bailey’s 1915 children’s novel The Tale of Fatty Coon with jokes added in. And who is Fatty Coon?
Well, Fatty is a raccoon who eats a lot. Or tires to eat a lot. He has tried to eat goshawk eggs, to get attacked by a goshawk. He’s tried to eat turtle eggs, and got away with it. He’s tried to eat squirrels, and been scared off by a “tramp raccoon”. He’s tried to eat a fishing lure, which got Farmer Green laughing at him. And he’s eaten green corn, and would kind of like to never do anything else again. What’s this week’s eating extravaganza?
… Before that, a bit of a content warning. There’s a bunch of jokes here about Fatty’s weight and his over-eating. He hasn’t got a lot of properties otherwise. But, again, if you’re not up for fat jokes in your recreational reading, then, yeah, skip this. We’ll catch up on some better material.
TOM: Sequel to the classic miniseries V.
> JOHNNIE GREEN IS DISAPPOINTED
> It made Fatty Coon feel sad, just to think that there was that
> field full of corn, and that he could never eat all of it.
CROW: Yeah, well, no matter how long you grow your hair you can never have all the hair, ever think of that?
> But Fatty
> made up his mind that he would do the best he could. He would visit
> the cornfield every night and feast on those sweet, tender kernels.
MIKE: You know, this is hard enough without the text making the jokes we want to make about Fatty here.
> The very next night Fatty set out toward Farmer Green’s. It
> was hardly dark. But Fatty could not wait any longer.
CROW: So he stood up and eclipsed the sun.
> He could not
> even wait for his mother and his sisters and his brother. He hurried
> away alone. And when he came in sight of the cornfield he felt better.
TOM: He finally reached the downhill part.
> He had been the least bit afraid that the corn might be gone. He
> thought that maybe Farmer Green had picked it, or that some of the
> forest people had eaten it all.
MIKE: ‘The forest people’? The heck?
> But there it was—a forest of corn,
TOM: A jungle of maize.
CROW: A glacial moraine of quinoa.
> waving and rustling in the moonlight as the breeze touched it. Fatty
> felt very happy as he slipped through the rail-fence.
MIKE: [ Snickering ] How?
> I wouldn’t dare say how many ears of corn Fatty ate that
TOM: Numbers don’t run that high.
> And he would have eaten more, too, if it hadn’t been for just
> one thing. A dog barked. And that spoiled Fatty’s fun.
MIKE: Now he had to post something snarky about the dog on Twitter.
> For the dog was
> altogether too near for Fatty to feel safe. He even dropped the ear of
> corn he was gnawing and hurried toward the woods.
CROW: ‘*Dropped* the ear of corn’? Not buying it.
> It was lucky for Fatty that he started when he did.
TOM: ‘Hey, look, a raccoon!’
> For that dog was close behind him in no time. There was only one thing to do:
> Fatty knew that he must climb a tree at once. So he made for the
> nearest tree in sight—a big, spreading oak, which stood all alone just
> beyond the fence.
MIKE: [ As the tree ] ‘I’m sure my friends will be back for me any day now.’
> And as Fatty crouched on a limb he felt safe enough,
> though the dog barked and whined, and leaped against the tree, and
> made a great fuss.
TOM: [ The dog, as Margaret Dumont ] ‘Oh, Mister Firefly!’
> Fatty looked down at the dog and scolded a little. He was not
CROW: [ Fatty, to narrator ] ‘I’m not?!’
> But it made him cross to be driven out of the cornfield. And
> he wished the dog would go away.
CROW: [ Fatty, as Groucho ] ‘Why can’t I dance with the cows until you come home?’
> But the dog—it was Farmer Green’s
> Spot—the dog had no idea of leaving.
MIKE: [ As Groucho ] ‘Rush to Freedonia! One raccoon is trapped in a tree! Send help at once!’
TOM: ‘If you can’t send help send two more trees.’
> He stayed right there and barked
> so loudly that it was not long before Farmer Green and his hired man
> came in sight. And with them was Johnnie Green and a little, young dog
> that had just been given to him.
MIKE: Ooh, puppers!
CROW: Who’s a good boy? Is it you?
> When Farmer Green saw Fatty he seemed disappointed.
TOM: ‘Aw, man, Fatty Coon? Why couldn’t we be in The Tale of Frisky Squirrel instead?’
> "He’s too
> young to bother with," he said. "His skin’s not worth much.
CROW: Well, yeah, but you multiply that by the size and …
> We’ll go
> ‘long and see what we can find."
> But Johnnie Green stayed behind. He wanted that young coon.
TOM: [ As Fatty ] ‘You only want me because you don’t know me!’
> And he intended to have him, too. Leaving the young dog to watch Fatty
CROW: [ Dog, as Margaret Dumont ] ‘Mister Firefly! Are you still here?’
MIKE: [ Fatty, as Groucho ] ‘No, no, I just went up this tree to leaf.’
> Johnnie went back to the farmhouse. After a while he appeared
> again with an axe over his shoulder. And when he began to chop away at
> the big oak, Fatty Coon felt very uneasy.
TOM: You can’t cut this down for your Christmas tree! It’s not tagged.
> Whenever Johnnie drove his
> axe into the tree, both the tree and Fatty shivered together.
CROW: Fatty’s going to be wobbling for *days* after this.
> Fatty began to wish he had stayed away from the cornfield. But not for
> long, because Johnnie Green soon gave up the idea of chopping down the
> big oak.
MIKE: But his plan is foolproof, unless raccoons can jump out of trees!
> The wood was so hard to cut, and the tree was so big, that
> Johnnie had not chopped long before he saw that it would take him all
> night to cut through it. He looked up longingly at Fatty Coon.
TOM: o/` Sometimes, when we touch … the honesty’s too much … o/`
> Johnnie started to climb the tree himself. But the higher he climbed,
> the higher Fatty climbed. And Johnnie knew that he could never catch
> that plump young coon in that way.
MIKE: [ As Johnnie ] ‘I don’t get it, I saw the Kratt Brothers try this.’
TOM: Did they catch the raccoon?
MIKE: ‘No, but they did *this*.’
> At last Johnnie Green started off, calling his dog after him.
> And then Fatty Coon came down. But he did not go back to the
> cornfield. He decided that he had had adventures enough for one night.
CROW: ‘On to Farmer Green’s workshed!’
> But Fatty had learned something—at least he thought he had. For he
> made up his mind that once he climbed a tree, no man could reach him.
> TREES COULD NOT BE CHOPPED DOWN!
TOM: Fatty’s become a sawing denier?
CROW: ‘But Fatty, what about — ‘
MIKE: ‘STUMPS ARE A NATURAL FLUCTUATION!’
> That was what Fatty believed. Perhaps
> you will know, later, whether Fatty ever found out that he was
CROW: ‘But about this pile of logs?’
MIKE: ‘IT’S A CONSPIRACY BY BIG TIMBER!’
TOM: That’s … true.
[ Does he ever find out? We’ll see in future weeks or you can just read the book on your own if you have a free hour. ]