Hello again and welcome to a bit more of Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale of Fatty Raccoon. I have been able to turn the previous 14 chapters of this into Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction. And now? Chapter 15. If it helps you set your expectations, this chapter is set in February.
> FATTY VISITS THE SMOKE-HOUSE
CROW: It’s so nice of Fatty to visit the smoke-houses stuck at home like that.
> The winter was fast going.
MIKE: Until someone grabbed its tail through the hole in the sycamore.
> And one fine day in February Fatty
> Raccoon crept out of his mother’s house to enjoy the warm sunshine—
TOM: February, the Sunshine Month.
> and see what he could find to eat.
> Fatty was much thinner than he had been in the fall.
CROW: So be with us for next week when we start _The Tale Of Thinny Raccoon_.
> He had
> spent so much of the time sleeping that he had really eaten very
TOM: [ As Fatty ] ‘Wouldn’t mind eating little if I did it more often.’
> And now he hardly knew himself as he looked at his sides. They
> no longer stuck out as they had once.
MIKE: You know, the ‘sleep-and-pretend-barber-shop’ weight plan is the most successful diet plan.
> After nosing about the swamp and the woods all the afternoon
> Fatty decided that there was no use in trying to get a meal there.
CROW: What if I offered to pay someone Tuesday for a hamburger today?
> ground was covered with snow. And except for rabbit tracks—and a few
TOM: And a fox.
CROW: Three deer.
MIKE: That band of river otters.
CROW: Those penguins.
TOM: That team of dressage armadillos.
MIKE: Four elephants all wearing berets.
> he could find nothing that even suggested food. And
> looking at those tracks only made him hungrier than ever.
CROW: Man, never go eating on an empty stomach.
> For a few minutes Fatty thought deeply. And then he turned
> about and went straight toward Farmer Green’s place.
TOM: Oh, you can’t eat a *place*. Fatty, you want to look for *food*.
> He waited behind
> the fence just beyond Farmer Green’s house; and when it began to grow
> dark he crept across the barnyard.
MIKE: So he got up in the sunlight to wait for nightfall.
> As Fatty passed a small, low building he noticed a delicious
> smell. And he stopped right there.
CROW: Tell me it’s a pie cooling on the windowsill.
MIKE: ‘Tramp raccoon’ already snagged that.
> He had gone far enough. The door
> was open a little way.
TOM: Ah, that’s all he needs for probable cause.
> And after one quick look all around—to make
> sure there was nobody to see him—Fatty slipped inside.
MIKE: [ As Fatty ] OW! … I meant to do that!
> It was almost dark inside Farmer Green’s smokehouse—for that
> was what the small, low building was called.
TOM: Or the smoke-house, if you edit the titles of chapters.
> It was almost dark; but
> Fatty could see just as well as you and I can see in the daytime.
MIKE: Course, him bringing the flashlight helped.
> There was a long row of hams hung up in a line. Underneath them were
> white ashes, where Farmer Green had built wood fires, to smoke the
CROW: Wait, really? Like, that’s how smoking meat works?
MIKE: [ Shrugs ]
> But the fires were out, now; and Fatty was in no danger of being
TOM: The passion was gone from the hams.
> The hams were what Fatty Raccoon had smelled. And the hams were
> what Fatty intended to eat.
MIKE: If he can just get them away from the guy who draws ‘Heathcliff’.
> He decided that he would eat them
> all—though of course he could never have done that—at least, not in
> one night; nor in a week, either.
TOM: Nine days, though? That would do it, if he ate through dinner breaks.
> But when it came to eating, Fatty’s
> courage never failed him. He would have tried to eat an elephant, if
> he had had the chance.
MIKE: Imagining him slurping the elephant’s trunk up like a strand of spaghetti.
CROW: Asking the elephant to rub a little alfredo sauce on him .. .
> Fatty did not stop to look long at that row of hams.
MIKE: He only wept, for the lack of new worlds to conquer.
> climbed a post that ran up the side of the house and he crept out
TOM: If he ran out he’d be showing post-haste.
> along the pole from which the hams were hung.
CROW: Oh, they’re hamstrung.
> He stopped at the very first ham he came to.
MIKE: And asked for directions to town.
> There was no
> sense in going any further.
TOM: Unless you’re being whimsical!
> And Fatty dropped on top of the ham and in
> a twinkling he had torn off a big, delicious mouthful.
MIKE: [ Low-key ] o/` I wanna hold your ham … o/`
> Fatty could not eat fast enough. He wished he had two
TOM: And six eyes, not all on his face!
> —he was so hungry. But he did very well, with only ONE.
CROW: You know, an expert eater can use only the one mouth and you never notice the difference.
> In no
> time at all he had made a great hole in the ham.
TOM: Oh, ham and Swiss.
> And he had no idea of
MIKE: ‘I will not start stopping’, he said.
> But he did stop.
CROW: ‘Wait, I started stopping anyway!’
> He stopped very suddenly.
TOM: Have you tried stopping stopping?
MIKE: Or starting not-stopping?
> For the first
> thing he knew, something threw him right down upon the floor.
CROW: [ Upbeat ] Hey, hey, hey! It’s the crushing sadness of modern life! Great to see you!
> And the
> ham fell on top of him and nearly knocked him senseless.
> He choked and spluttered;
TOM: He never expected to live a ‘death by snu-snu’ meme.
> for the ashes filled his mouth and
> his eyes, and his ears, too. For a moment he lay there on his back;
MIKE: Surprised he isn’t trying to eat his way out of the ham.
> but soon he managed to kick the heavy ham off his stomach and then he
> felt a little better.
CROW: On to seconds!
> But he was terribly frightened. And though his
> eyes smarted so he could hardly see, he sprang up and found the
TOM: [ As Fatty ] ‘Lead on, my trusty moustache! … Oh no!’
> Fatty swallowed a whole mouthful of ashes as he dashed across
> the barnyard.
CROW: And then he remembered he could’ve eaten the ham off him instead.
> And he never stopped running until he was almost home.
> He was puzzled. Try as he would, he couldn’t decide what it was that
> had flung him upon the floor.
MIKE: But he suspects Jasper Jay.
> And when he told his mother about his
> adventure—as he did a whole month later—she didn’t know exactly
> what had happened, either.
TOM: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] ‘Why didn’t you just eat your way out of the ham?’
CROW: [ As Fatty ] ‘I panicked, okay?’
> "It was some sort of trap, probably," Mrs. Raccoon said.
TOM: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] ‘I bet they were catching hams and you just got in the way.’
> But for once Mrs. Raccoon was mistaken.
MIKE: It was in fact an ordinary reconnaissance mission, not trapping.
> It was very simple.
CROW: Allow me to explain until it is complicated and you are tired.
> In his greedy haste Fatty had merely
> bitten through the cord that fastened the ham to the pole.
TOM: In his defense, that was Cajun spiced cord.
> And of
> course it had at once fallen, carrying Fatty with it!
> But what do you suppose?
CROW: Oh, that pet mice all just assume they’re really good at foraging because look, there’s always food blocks right when they want.
> Afterward, when Fatty had grown up,
> and had children of his own,
TOM: Wait, Fatty grows up? Spoilers!
> he often told them about the time he had
> escaped from the trap in Farmer Green’s smokehouse.
MIKE: Raccoons don’t have a lot of epics, you understand.
> Fatty’s children thought it very exciting. It was their
> favorite story.
TOM: Above even the barber-shop saga.
And they made their father tell it over and over
CROW: And he never suspected they were putting him on.
[ To be continued … ]