And now, dear patient readers of my Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction, I bring you the end of Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale Of Fatty Raccoon. This has been fun to do, for me at least. I tel you truthfully I do not know what I’ll do here next week. These MiSTings have been good for me, in that they’ve been nice manageable things carrying me through a stressful time. Leaping right into another Sleepy-Time Tale might be a bit much, though. We’ll see.
Although this concluding chapter largely stands on its own, it does lean a bit on something from Chapter X, which you can read here.
And this and all the chapters of Fatty Raccoon’s adventures are at this link. I have not yet gotten around to editing the earliest chapters to revise his last name to Raccoon; I intend to. And the earlier chapters lean into fat jokes, which I regret.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.
TOM: The departure of Xander Cage.
> THE TRACKS IN THE SNOW
CROW: o/` Go round and round, round and round … o/`
[ MIKE puts his hand on CROW’s shoulder.]
> One fine winter’s day Fatty Raccoon
MIKE: Who *had permission* by the way. He wasn’t just swiping days off of winter.
> came upon the queerest tracks
> in the snow.
CROW: It’s just the Gay and Non-Binary Rail Road. No big deal.
> They were huge—a great deal bigger, even, than
TOM: Maybe they were Big Bear tracks? Did you think of that?
> which Fatty had sometimes seen, for once in a while,
> before the weather grew too cold,
MIKE: After the weather grew that tall, though.
> and he fell into his winter’s sleep,
> a bear would come down into the valley from his home on Blue Mountain.
CROW: That is a lot of comma-splicing.
MIKE: Everybody’s got to have some writing quirk.
> But these were six times as big as bear tracks.
TOM: Is that six times in diameter or in area?
MIKE: Six times in popularity.
> And Fatty felt
> a shiver of fear run up and down his back.
CROW: I won’t believe he’s scared until his tail spirals like a barberpole, just like in the cartoons.
TOM: Jimmy Rabbit?
> He followed the trail a little way. But he was very careful.
> He was always ready to scramble up a tree,
CROW: Bringing his frying pan, some melted butter, a little shredded cheese, some onions and chopped peppers and he’s set to scramble a tree for you.
> in case he should suddenly
> see the strange animal—or rather, in case the strange animal should
> see HIM.
MIKE: The strange animal’s the only creature in the forest who doesn’t hate Fatty!
> The great tracks led straight toward Farmer Green’s house.
CROW: [ As Fatty ] Farmer Green has one of those walking houses?
> Fatty did not want to go there.
TOM: Too many painful memories of saying something awkward.
> So he hurried home to ask his mother
> what he had found. Mrs. Raccoon listened to Fatty’s story.
MIKE: [ As Mom ] This is more of a scenario than a story, Fatty. Where’s insight into how people act?
> “I think it must be the monster that almost caught me in the
> road last summer,”
TOM: Ooooooh, yeah.
CROW: Oh, this is it! This is where all the threads of Fatty’s life come together!
> said Fatty, meaning the automobile that had given
> him a great fright.
MIKE: It wasn’t that *great* a fright. Just a pretty good fright.
> “Maybe he’s come back again to catch Farmer Green
> and his family … Do you suppose he’s eaten them up?”
MIKE: [ As Mom ] Oh no, child. When Farmer Green’s eaten it’ll be by finance capitalism pushing him into debt and stripping the right to own his equipment or even his seeds, at the same time industrialism demands ecologically suicidal chemical spraying alongside climate change.
> Mrs. Raccoon was puzzled. And she was somewhat alarmed, too. She
> wanted to see those strange tracks herself.
TOM: Mrs Raccoon doesn’t get to do a lot of fun things for herself anymore.
> So she told her other
> children not to step a foot out of the house until she came back.
ALL: [ As Fatty’s siblings ] Yes, Mom … *again*.
MIKE: You figure Fatty ever has to stay home while Mom deals with Fluffy’s issue?
> then she asked Fatty to run along and show her where he had come upon
> the monster’s trail.
CROW: [ As Fatty ] It’ll be easy to find because I left it on the ground!
> Fatty Raccoon felt very important,
MIKE: From his moustache on down.
> as he led the way across the
> swamp and into the woods. It was not often that he could show his
> mother anything.
TOM: He’s been showing her something every two chapters all book!
> And he was so proud that he almost forgot his fright.
> “I guess you’re glad I have sharp eyes,” he said, as they
> hurried along.
MIKE: Fatty’s got a smooth technique in fishing for compliments.
> “If the tracks are as big as you say they are, your eyes
> wouldn’t have to be very sharp to see them,” his mother told him.
CROW: Major smackdown from Mrs Raccoon.
> Raccoon never liked to hear her children boast. She knew that boasting is
> one of the most unpleasant things anyone can do.
CROW: Next to eating potato chips with your mouth open.
> “Well—maybe you don’t think I saw the monster’s tracks at
> all,” said Fatty.
TOM: [ As Fatty ] Maybe I don’t even exist! Mom, you’d tell me if I didn’t exist, right?
> “Maybe you don’t think I heard him screech—“
CROW: [ As Mom ] I think you think it’s important whether you think I think you heard him screech.
TOM: [ As Fatty ] Yeah! … … What?
> “When did you hear him screech?” Mrs. Raccoon asked. “This is the
> first you’ve said about SCREECHING. When was it?”
MIKE: Was it in the screechery zone? We can get them ticketed if they were outside the screechery zone
TOM: Fatty showed his Mom the monster last summer! Why doesn’t she know about the screeching?
> “Last summer,” Fatty answered.
TOM: [ As Mom ] Last summer?! How long did you *take* to get home?
> Mrs. Raccoon didn’t smile. Perhaps she was too worried for that.
MIKE: She’s trying to figure out. How does this involve the Tramp Raccoon, Jimmy Rabbit and his imaginary brother, Jasper Jay, Farmer Green’s son, and a flivver?
> “It may not be the same monster,” she said. “It may not be a
> monster at all.”
CROW: [ As Fatty ] Don’t tell me it’s our own ids being projected against us *again*!
> But by this time Fatty was sure he was right. He was sure he
> knew more than his mother.
TOM: Ah, raccoons that age, think they have the whole world figured out.
> “Why can’t we go right over to Farmer Green’s and take some of
> his chickens?” he asked.
MIKE: Why *mayn’t* we go right over to Farmer Green’s and take some of his chickens.
> “The monster has probably eaten him by this
> time, and all his family, too.”
TOM: Feels like Fatty is being an accelerationist with this monster issue.
> But Mrs. Raccoon would do no such thing.
CROW: [ As Mom ] ‘That’s a Snuffy Smith thing to do, child. We stay classy.’
> “Show me the tracks,” she said firmly.
TOM: She wants to get some prints for Raccoon Scene Investigations.
> And so they went on
> into the woods.
> “There they are!” Fatty cried, a few minutes later.
MIKE: Told you they were in the ground!
> Mother! They’re even bigger than I said.”
CROW: Oh no, the monster’s gaining weight!
> He heard a funny noise
> behind him, then. And when Fatty Raccoon looked around he saw that his
> mother was actually holding her sides, she was laughing so hard.
TOM: Literally a funny noise.
> “Those are Farmer Green’s tracks,” she said,
CROW: And over here is Farmer Green’s beatboxing.
> as soon as she
> could stop laughing long enough to speak.
MIKE: This seems funnier to Mrs Raccoon than to me.
TOM: Thing is this dialogue is a complicated pun in Raccoon.
> “What—as big as that?” Fatty pointed at the huge prints in the
CROW: [ As Mom ] Oh, you’re right. Not as big as *that*. Say hi to the monster for me, bye!
> “Snowshoes!” Mrs. Raccoon said.
TOM: Is she explaining or is she avoiding a cuss word?
> “He was wearing snowshoes—great
> frames made of thongs and sticks,
CROW: [ Snorting ] Thongs?!
> to keep him from sinking into the
CROW: Between the thongs and the tank-ini he’s completely safe!
> So that was all there was to Fatty’s monster.
CROW: Thongs, a tank-ini and a great big set of novelty sunglasses.
[ MIKE puts his hand on CROW’s shoulder. ]
> Somehow, he was
TOM: Fatty was looking forward to being eaten by a monster.
> But he was very glad he had said nothing to Jasper Jay
> about his strange animal.
MIKE: [ As Groucho ] Weeird animal.
> For if he had, he knew he would never have
> heard the last of it.
CROW: Is it Jasper or is it Fatty who’s holding on to the turkeys thing?
TOM: Jasper Jay will be portrayed today by Ben Murphy.
> And Fatty was glad about another thing, too.
MIKE: [ Holding his arms up for attention ] Oh, oh, here it is, guys. The thesis of the book! What we should know about life as a young raccoon in the wild!
> He felt very
> happy that his mother had not let him go after Farmer Green’s
MIKE: [ Clapping ] A message for all time!
> THE END
TOM: *That’s* what we end on? That’s *all*?
CROW: There’s also that cute ringed tail dangling from the end, that’s something.
> End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Sleepy-Time Tales:
MIKE: THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING.
> Tale of Fatty Raccoon, by Arthur Scott Bailey
TOM: Imagine if after all this we learn his name’s Scott Arthur Bailey, would that be wild or what?
> *** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE TALE OF FATTY COON ***
MIKE: OKAY, THIS! *THIS* IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!
TOM: Let’s blow this popsicle stand.
[ MIKE picks up TOM and ALL file out. ]
[ And we’re done! See you next time, whatever that is! ]