Thanks all for being with me for another chapter of this Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction. I’m still looking at Arthur Scott Bailey’s 1915 children’s novel about animals, The Tale of Fatty Raccoon. You can read earlier installments of the MiSTing here. This chapter doesn’t demand much knowledge of what’s gone before, though. If you want to jump in all you really need to know is that Fatty Raccoon would like to eat you, and Arthur Scott Bailey hates Fatty Raccoon for it. Enjoy!
CROW: How x-i-ting!
> FATTY MEETS JIMMY RABBIT
MIKE: Jimmy meets Fatty Rabbit.
TOM: Rabbit meets Jimmy Fatty.
> For once Fatty Raccoon was not hungry.
TOM: Hold me, Mike, I’m scared!
> He had eaten so much of
> Farmer Green’s corn that he felt as if he could not swallow another
MIKE: So he’s taken to just rubbing corn on his belly and hoping for the best.
> He was strolling homewards through the woods when someone
> called to him. It was Jimmy Rabbit.
TOM: Y’know, if Fatty had an ear of corn to introduce to Jimmy, but was indifferent to how the meeting went, Fatty could say, ‘Jimmy, Green’s Corn, and I don’t care.’
MIKE: [ Sighing ] You too?
> "Where are you going, Fatty?" Jimmy Rabbit asked.
CROW: The big meeting in Toronto.
> "Home!" said Fatty.
> "Are you hungry?" Jimmy Rabbit asked anxiously.
MIKE: [ As Jack Benny, putting his hand on his cheek ] ‘Well!’
> "I should say not!" Fatty answered.
TOM: [ As Fatty ] ‘Um … should I? Did I get my line wrong?’
> "I’ve just had the finest
> meal I ever ate in my life."
MIKE: By ‘finest’ he means ‘most recent’.
CROW: Say this for Fatty, he’s a great person to cook for.
> Jimmy Rabbit seemed to be relieved to hear that.
TOM: [ As Jimmy ] ‘Hooray! It wasn’t me!’
> "Come on over and play," he said. "My brother and I are
> playing barber- shop over in the old sycamore tree; and we need you."
CROW: Wait … why are rabbits playing barber shop?
MIKE: Why are they not playing hare salon?
CROW: And we’re being the problem.
> "All right!" said Fatty. It was not often that any of the
> smaller forest-people were willing to play with him,
TOM: Wonder why that could be.
> because generally
> Fatty couldn’t help getting hungry and then he usually tried to eat
> his playmates.
MIKE: You know, when we make that joke it’s just sick, but when the book makes it it’s …
> "What do you need me for?" Fatty asked, as he trudged
> along beside Jimmy Rabbit.
TOM: We need somebody to be the guy off in back complaining about the Giants.
> "We need you for the barber’s pole," Jimmy explained. "You can
> come inside the hollow tree and stick your tail out through a hole.
CROW: [ As Fatty ] You need me to do a stick’s job?
> will make a fine barber’s pole—though the stripes DO run the wrong
> way, to be sure."
MIKE: Well, you could lean sideways a little?
> Fatty Raccoon was greatly pleased. He looked around at his tail
> and felt very proud.
CROW: A fine horsehair tail, one of the most elegant … wait, I’m being handed a bulletin.
> "I’ve got a beautiful tail—haven’t I?" he asked.
> "Um—yes!" Jimmy Rabbit replied, "though I must say it isn’t
> one that I would care for myself…
TOM: Frish — *Frith* Worshippers have to say that.
MIKE: Hard saying ‘Frish Wor’ — that *is* hard.
> But come along! There may be people
> waiting to get their hair cut."
CROW: I’ve lost all understanding of the level of anthropomorphization here.
> Sure enough! When they reached the make-believe barber-shop
> there was a gray squirrel inside,
MIKE: Can touch that up with a little Just For Squirrels.
> and Jimmy Rabbit’s brother was
> busily snipping the fur off Mr. Squirrel’s head.
TOM: Uh-oh …
> "How much do you charge for a hair-cut?" Fatty asked.
TOM: Fatty! Get out of there! IT’S AN IMPROV TROUPE!
> "Oh, that depends!" Jimmy Rabbit said. "Mr. Squirrel will pay
> us six cabbage leaves.
CROW: But for you?
MIKE: Yes, yes?
CROW: Six cabbage leaves, who do you think you are?
> But if we were to cut your hair we’d have to
> ask more. We’d want a dozen cabbage leaves, at least."
CROW: Oh, dang.
MIKE: This is about that time I ate your best friend, isn’t it?
> "Well, don’t I get anything for the use of my tail?" Fatty
CROW: Well, what does your tail need to use?
> He had already stuck it out through the hole; and he had half a
> mind to pull it in again.
TOM: Just picturing the dignity of Fatty here.
> Jimmy Rabbit and his brother whispered together for a few
CROW: [ As Jimmy ] ‘No, no, no, no. I don’t know your name either.’
> "I’ll tell you what we’ll do," Jimmy said. "If you’ll let us
> use your tail for the barber’s pole, we’ll cut your hair free.
TOM: I mean, all hair that’s cut is free. That’s how it can fall off.
> that fair enough?"
MIKE: [ As Fatty ] ‘Will I have to bring my own hair?’
> Fatty Raccoon was satisfied. But he insisted that Jimmy begin to
> cut his hair at once.
TOM: Me, I demand to know if they have, like, rabbit-size scissors or what.
CROW: Oh, man, those stupid bunny scissors that you can’t actually cut anything with.
> "I’m doing my part of the work now," he pointed out. "So
> there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do yours."
MIKE: Jimmy counter-offers with Fatty leaving his tail there and comes back for it later.
> With that Jimmy Rabbit began. He clipped and snipped at
> Fatty’s head, pausing now and then to see the effect.
CROW: [ As Jimmy ] ‘So, uh, no eating each other right?’
> He smiled once
> in a while, behind Fatty’s back, because Fatty certainly did look
> funny with his fur all ragged and uneven.
TOM: Oh, now, how bad could it OH MY GOD! RUN! RUN FOR THE HILLS!
> "Moustache trimmed?" Jimmy Rabbit asked, when he had finished
> with Fatty’s head.
MIKE: Ah yes, the most renowned feature of a raccoon’s markings: the moustache.
> "Certainly—of course!" Fatty Raccoon answered.
CROW: You feel like Fatty shows up a lot in Animal Reddit threads about jerk customers.
> And pretty soon
> Fatty’s long white moustache lay on the floor of the barber-shop.
CROW: That’s *lie* on the floor.
TOM: No it’s not.
MIKE: Do I have to separate you two?
TOM: I mean, you do.
> Fatty felt a bit uneasy as he looked down and saw his beautiful
> moustache lying at his feet. "You haven’t cut it too short, I hope,"
> he said.
CROW: Aw, c’mon, you’re not hardly bleeding at all!
> "No, indeed!" Jimmy Rabbit assured him. "It’s the very latest
TOM: This is all the rage in Raccoon Paris.
> "What on earth has happened to you?" Mrs. Raccoon cried,—when
> Fatty reached home that night. "Have you been in a fire?"
MIKE: [ As Fatty ] ‘You should … see … the other fire?’
> "It’s the latest style, Mother," Fatty told her.
CROW: [ As Fatty ] ‘It’s by Mangee. On the Left Bank.’
> "At least,
> that’s what Jimmy Rabbit says." He felt the least bit uneasy again.
MIKE: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] ‘Did you tell him your Jimmy-Green’s-corn joke? Is that why he did that?’
> "Did you let that Jimmy Rabbit do that to you?" Mrs. Raccoon
TOM: There was also his brother, what’s-his-name!
> Fatty hung his head. He said nothing at all. But his mother
> "Well! you ARE a sight!" she exclaimed.
CROW: I guess? Since so far all we’ve been told is his fur’s uneven and he lost his moustache?
MIKE: Telling us there’s something funny without showing what it is; very Funky Winkerbean-y.
> "It will be months
> before you look like my child again. I shall be ashamed to go anywhere
> with you."
MIKE: Who’s gonna see? You go everywhere in the middle of the night.
> Fatty Raccoon felt very foolish. And there was just one thing
> that kept him from crying. And THAT was THIS:
TOM: For three months, he’ll be the chupacabra!
> he made up his mind that
> when he played barber-shop with Jimmy Rabbit again he would get even
> with him.
CROW: Jimmy and his brother are some those nasty prank-playing children from a 1910 comic strip.
MIKE: The Katzenjam-hare Kids.
> But when the next day came, Fatty couldn’t find Jimmy Rabbit
> and his brother anywhere. They kept out of sight.
TOM: They were wearing his eye mask as *their* eye masks!
> But they had told
> all the other forest-people about the trick they had played on Fatty
MIKE: Also they could see he was shaved naked-ish … we guess?
> And everywhere Fatty went he heard nothing but hoots and jeers
> and laughs.
TOM: [ As Forest-People ] ‘Hah, hah, doesn’t have a moustache!’
CROW: [ As Forest-People ] ‘Look at the uneven fur on that raccoon!’
MIKE: [ As Forest-People ] ‘We assume there’s something else funny about your appearance!’
> He felt very silly. And he wished that he might meet Jimmy
> Rabbit and his brother.
CROW: Funny thing is by the time he finds them, Fatty’s decided this look really works for him.
MIKE: Life, y’know?
[ To be continued, someday ]