And now let me conclude one of my most giddy, silly Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fictions. As mentioned last week, this started as an advertisement in a 1930s issue of Modern Mechanix. Seems like one of those things that might have been legitimate enough, if you wanted to spend your time and energy making and selling potato chips. I’m going to guess this isn’t how the Better Made chip empire was born, though.
The closing sketch is a riff on the old-time-radio series Lum and Abner, for not much reason besides I like the show. I was getting into it when I wrote this MiSTing originally. (It’s a great example of the 15-minute serial comedy.) And it would not be absurd if Lum and Abner — about two completely guileless Arkansas shopkeepers, often trying some scheme to get some extra money — had a story where they tried to get rich making potato chips.
The end of the sketch has Tom Servo announcing a replacement for Web Site Number Nine. This was a project I was doing back then, to learn PHP and database stuff that might get me a job and also serve the community. I never got happy with the finished project, but I use some of the scripts for that even today, to do all the nice formatting on these MiSTings that give the quoted text a light blue background and that highlights Mike and Joel and Crow and Tom Servo’s names. So if you know someone who’d be willing to pay me, oh let’s say $65,000 pa for that coloring scheme, let me know, okay? Thanks.
The “used Sklar” references the Sklar Brothers, whose Cheap Seats show on ESPN Classic(?) in the early 2000s scratched many of our Mystery Science Theater 3000 itches. But with more sports and spelling bees. I don’t remember whether the blogger gotten for trading Tom Servo meant anyone in particular or just a comment on how, hey, bloggers, they’re always making fun of stuff that doesn’t need it, right?
> BIG PROFITS
MIKE: No, bigger!
TOM: It’s a wild profiteeria!
> The profits in this business are enormous.
CROW: [ Amused ] They’re potato-y chip-tacular!
> You can
> take $11.50 in raw material
TOM: [ Announcing ] Any raw material! Have some bauxite? Make potato chips with that!
> — run it through the machine
CROW: [ Feebly ] We, ah, we’re still working on this part but it’s going to be great!
> and take out enough chips to bring you $35 cash
MIKE: [ Amused ] Cash or potato chips!
> — selling at
> wholesale. A clear profit for your time of $23.50.
CROW: Why, that’s nearly twenty-four dollars!
MIKE: You can almost buy Manhattan on that potato chip fortune!
> And that’s
> one day’s output for the machine.
CROW: [ Humoring this ] Why, in two days you could make a profit of $47!
> At this rate it is possible
> for a man and wife working together to make $135.00 a week.
TOM: [ Humoring ] Hey, that’s a whole twenty-*seven* dollars a day!
MIKE: [ As the announcer ] The money is just pouring in! And it’s just potatoes and bauxite!
> And now the complete plant — with my new machine —
CROW: I call it … the POTATO machine!
MIKE: It’s amazingly fantastic and chip-based!
> can be
> put into your kitchen or basement
TOM: Or toss it immediately on the pile for the garage sale.
> for less than the down
> payment on a cheap car.
MIKE: Far less than the payment for a whole car company!
> SEND POSTAL FOR FREE INFORMATION
CROW: [ Announcing ] Mail anything to anything else!
MIKE: [ Likewise ] Just mail something! You’ll get valuable free information!
TOM: [ Likewise ] And if you meet a Postal then send it!
> Send your name and address today on a postal card.
MIKE: [ Announcing ] Include a sample of your favorite potato chip!
> I’ll send you pictures
> and information free showing exactly how
> you can start at home and make money the first day.
CROW: Full explanations of what a potato is!
TOM: Clear diagrams show what parts are the skin!
MIKE: Helpful “Frequently Asked Questions” show how to identify a potato in under twenty minutes a day!
> information is Free.
TOM: We make our money selling potato chip toner!
> No obligation.
MIKE: Just your friends and family rolling their eyes and talking to you through clenched teeth!
> O. K. MILLER,
TOM: Didn’t he have a series on Mutual Broadcasting?
> 325 W. Huron St.,
CROW: Here on Huron?
TOM: Huron chips!
> Dept. 406 Chicago,
MIKE: Chicago! Potato chip by the Lake!
CROW: 406 potato chips by the Lake!
TOM: Time to blow this popsicle stand.
[ 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 … 6 … ]
[ SATELLITE OF LOVE. CROW and MIKE are behind the desk, with General Store-type toy junk scattered haphazardly. From one plastic barrel MIKE takes and eats a potato chip. ]
MIKE: [ With an Arkansan accent, kept until the note later on ] Well, if this weren’t one of the most underwhelmed p’tato chips I ever did see.
CROW: [ Similar accent, also kept until the note ] I doggies, Lum, I knowed it, but what are we s’pposed to do ‘gainst the Squire’s p’tato chip monopoly?
MIKE: [ As a jingling bell rings ] Hold on there, that’s a stranger come into our store, ain’t it?
[ TOM, with a bouquet of potato chips in his bubble, enters; he speaks normally but ebulliently. ]
TOM: Gentlemen! Could I interest you in as many potato chips as I have bauxite to make and pass the savings on to you? Please try a sample — my bubble is perfectly hygienic!
[ MIKE samples a chip. ]
MIKE: By gum — this here ‘tato chip tastes like more than p’tatoes!
CROW: Now, that’s plum silly, how can that happen?
MIKE: [ Giving CROW a chip ] But it’s got itself a tasting like they was sour cream and chives in it! Chives!
TOM: Yes! I bring you chives! And at under twenty-three dollars!
CROW: [ Finishing nibbling ] Why if it weren’t the most amazing thing I ever did see! What a future we got ourselves to live in!
TOM: And we are near a breakthrough on dip!
MIKE: [ Folding his hands together, and, bowing — with this, MIKE and CROW give up the accents and resume speaking normally ] And … scene. [ Eating another chip from TOM ] Thank you, gentlemen. Now, Tom, you had a special announcement, didn’t you?
TOM: Why, yes. Our potato chip bit is all in fun —
CROW: [ Muttering to himself ] Potato chip bite.
TOM: *Thank* you, Crow. But for Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fictions or MiSTings, whichever comes first, plus MiSTing quotes yanked out of all context, why not try the shiny new web site
TOM: Thank you, won’t you?
CROW: And what about the Dibs List for future MiSTing authors?
TOM: [ Looking at CROW ] You can’t just let me have my moment, can you? For shame, Crow, for shame.
[ TOM exits, sulking. ]
MIKE: Right, ah, what do you think, sirs?
[ DEEP 13. DR FORRESTER and TV’s FRANK are piling up open baskets of potato chips. TV’s FRANK eats one. ]
FRANK: Dip? Dip?! Why, we’ve almost solved the problem of cheddar cheese potato chips! Get out of here with your dip!
DR F: As the henchling says, gentlemen. Why, at 23 dollars and 50 cents we’ll be rolling in crispy, fried money by tomorrow.
FRANK: Oh, and I’m going to trade Crow for a used Sklar.
[ SATELLITE OF LOVE. CROW is riled up; MIKE is eating potato chips. ]
CROW: What? Me? What for? Which Sklar?
[ DEEP 13. As before. ]
FRANK: Who knows? Besides, I’m getting a blogger for trading Tom. Hey, Steve, shall I push the button?
DR F: No, Frank, you should push the button.
FRANK: Oh, OK, I’ll do that instea — huh?
| \ | / \ | / \|/ -----O----- /|\ / | \ / | \ |
Mystery Science Theater 3000, its characters and situations and everything are the property of Best Brains, Inc, and don’t think anyone is challenging that at all. O K Miller’s advertisement copy is used for non-commercial parody and commentary purposes so don’t get the idea any infringement-like things are meant. I’m curious how the machine worked. No defamation of the Squire was intended.
Rotisserie League sports have that name because of a group of Philadelphia Phillies fans in early 1980 who gathered at Manhattan’s Rotisserie Francaise restaurant on East 52nd Street for fantasy league meetings. Special thanks for the “tragedy … and party snacks” line as well as to my beta testers.
Keep circulating the posts.
> START YOU in a Profitable Potato Chip Business At Home
[ The End ]
6 thoughts on “MiSTed: I WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO TURN Potatoes into CASH! (Part 2 of 2)”
Since you dont seem to have a topic for ether sitcoms or coatimundis I’ll just leave this here…I just saw an “Odd Couple” where Felix compares Oscar’s diet to that of the coatimundi.
Oh my goodness … I’m having a flash of memory of that scene, but I may just be synthesizing it from knowing how the show usually goes. I don’t imagine you remember anything of the episode plot so I might be able to find it?
Sure, it’s called “Gloria,Hallaluja” and is the episode where Oscar ( aka Andre La Plume) gets Felix’s Ex as a computer date.
Thank you! Oh, I remember the bit about Oscar dating Felix’s Ex. But haven’t seen the episode in a long while.
Too bad they cut your segment with Frank and Dr F. arguing about the pros and cons of turning potatoes into Evil Johnny Cash clones. I thought it was some of the funniest material you’ve written. So what if it was derivative of “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”. It was a nice tribute to John Astin. Keep circulating the MISTings,my friend.
Yeah, there’s always some things that play well in the writers room and just do not work once published. Hazards of the game.
And, thanks. I’m feeling like I might just see how many of my old MiSTings I’m not yet too embarrassed by to post around here. It’s so much fun being surprised by my own voice.