Now I resume my Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfiction, riffing Johnny Pez’s Isaac Asimov fanfiction “Safety First”. And a bunch of shorts, to the point that even at the end of this segment we haven’t started his story. (One that, I’ll repeat, isn’t actually bad; it was pleasant enough to read, and he was quite kind to let me riff it.)
The “Beat the Black Knight” riff references the classic 1989 pinball game Black Knight 2000. Its attract mode has a fun little song in which the Black Knight demands you “give me your money” and a chorus sings back, “Beat the Black Knight!”. The riff about opening mail being a risk is a timely and thus dated joke. When I wrote this in late 2001 or early 2002 we had that mystery of anthrax-laced letters sent through the mail. For a few months my parents would occasionally get a mail delivery that was very late and had been microwaved. I don’t know how I had a spam from 1996 sitting around for riffing in 2001; maybe it was sitting in the Web Site Number Nine Dibs List repository? March 1996 was before I had even seen a whole episode of the show, much less would go looking to write fan fiction. I’m delighted to have anticipated Pi Day with my riffs.
I have a vague idea that the web site of celebrities with digitally enlarged noses was a short-lived actual thing, but it may have been one of those fake sketches Conan O’Brien did for the “Visible Closed Captioning” sketches. (He’d do a bit where the closed caption person rebelled against the show, but to have something for him to “caption”, they’d use a plausible-but-not-developed-enough sketch.) The Northway here is the spur of the New York Thruway leading from Albany north; I went to grad school just outside Albany. Yes, near exit six.
> If that was you
TOM: You’d be me by now.
> starving to death you would want someone
CROW: We all need someone, sometimes.
> to give you something wouldn’t you.
JOEL: That depends what they’d give. Food? Sure. A soccer ball? Probably not.
> QUICKLY GIVE ME MONEY !
CROW, TOM: [ falsetto, in harmony ] "Beat the Black Knight!"
> $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $6, $7, $8, $9, $10
JOEL: Ten… Banana-creme-pies!
ALL: [ Singing ] And that’s… our… song… of ten!
> Here ALL you poor
> people here is $1 for all of you
CROW: There are only ten poor people in the world?
TOM: Hey, poverty’s not as big a problem as we thought.
> Jesus Loves ALL OF YOU !
JOEL: Except that dent in your toenail. That kind of creeps Jesus out.
> the Lord !
CROW: Where you work, or bank!
> Now don’t try saying there
TOM: It’s too hot and you’ll burn your foot.
> is too many starving people,
JOEL: "There is too many starving purpluff" — hey, you *can’t* say that!
> or that overpopulating the world to death creates wars, starvation,
CROW: Awkward family reunions…
> poverty, crime,
TOM: Rupert Murdoch’s empire…
> abortion etc. worldwide.
JOEL: Hey, do you suppose there are rants like this on Bizarro Superman’s world?
> That is not the problem
CROW: But it is extra credit if any of you need help for your final exam.
> the problem is that YOU are not giving me enough money
JOEL: I feel the same way about you, Jack McKenna.
> to take care
> of all those good and wonderful starving people.
TOM: Look at all the good and wonderful starving people down there — they look like ants.
CROW: Those are ants. You’re looking where you dropped a gumball.
> That’s the problem.
JOEL: That, and how you can’t get a good pizza in this town.
> And no no no
TOM: He’s kind of a nihilist Santa Claus.
> I don’t pay taxes
CROW: I *play* them!
> the money is for the poor.
JOEL: The carpet remnants are for the spare bedroom.
> Well got to go
TOM: Big old world out there and it’s not gonna overpopulate itself!
> and build more churches
JOEL: Oh, and also zone for a seaport, and put up a zoo before the Sims get all cranky.
> in all the rich
CROW: Don’t say anything to them, I want it to be a surprise.
> I am the pope !
JOEL: [ Singing ] I am an iiii-ii-iiii-island!
> *** AND IF ANY OF THOSE STARVING PEOPLE
TOM: How hungry can they be? You gave them all a dollar just now.
> TRY TO GET VIOLENT
CROW: Don’t take the law into your own hands. Take them to "The People’s Court."
> KILL THEM
JOEL: Oh, boo.
CROW: This guy was fun up until now.
> THEY ARE THE "BAD" ONES ***
CROW: How can we say they’re bad? I’m really sure deciding who’s bad is Santa’s job.
JOEL: About time for the next track, right?
TOM: I think so.
> From: Ken Seto (ken…@erinet.com)
TOM: With love.
> Subject: OPEN LETTER
JOEL: Who would take that kind of risk these days?
> TO PRESIDENT CLINTON
CROW:"Dear President Clinton: I’m a junior at a small midwestern college…"
> Newsgroups: sci.math
> Date: 1996/03/14
JOEL: Oh, see, a math article would go up on 3-14.
TOM:Bet it was posted at 1:59.
> Dear Follow Fringe Scientists,
CROW: "Hi! How you doing? Weather’s great, sorry you’re not here!"
TOM: Follow the yellow fringe scientists!
> The following letter was sent to President Clinton
JOEL: ‘Cause I didn’t have the address for Mayor McCheese.
> and his reply was
> a standard form letter.
TOM: Sent in the standard plain brown wrapper.
> After many months of posting in the Net I
> notice that there are thousands of us around.
CROW: We really ought to set traps or something.
> If we all write to
> President Clinton the way I did,
TOM: In crayon?
> he will surely take our collective
> opinion into consideration.
CROW:"Dear President Clinton: I have been a good boy all year and
would like a Nintendo and a horse. Thank you."
> I think the Internet is a perfect vehicle
> to accomplish this task. Here’s how:
TOM: First: get online.
CROW: Second: fire up your web browser.
JOEL: Third: suddenly notice you’ve spent six hours looking at pictures of celebrities with digitally enlarged noses.
> 1. Make a posting in this thread and address it to President Clinton
TOM: He’s got time to read it. He’s not doing much else these days.
> or just merely say that you support the format that I outlined in
> my letter to him.
CROW: Or just don’t beat me up and take my lunch money.
> 2. I will personally make copy of your posting and forwarded it to the
> White House.
JOEL: They like that sort of personal touch.
> 3. I will acculmulate the list
TOM: I will control the horizontal! I will control the vertical!
> of those who had made a posting in this
CROW: Except those who use this thread to voice insults toward Wesley Crusher.
> and this list will be available to all those who are in
> this list.
JOEL: You may visit this list, but when you do, it will spend
all its time complaining about how you never visit it.
> 4. Tell your friends
TOM: They won’t want to be left out!
> to make posting in this thread and tell your
> friends to tell their friends to make postings……etc.
CROW: All perfectly legal! Ask the Post Office!
> 5. This posting will appear in all intereted newsgroups.
JOEL: Newsgroups have such IN-teresting postings.
> 6. For more information
TOM: Write to "President Clinton," Pueblo, Colorado 81009.
> please e-mail me at <ken…@erinet.com> also
CROW: Come on down to Ken’s Eto, just ten big steps off the Northway at exit six.
> visit my web site <http://www.erinet.com/kenseto/book.html>.
TOM: Remember to bring a housewarming present!
JOEL: I question his sincerity.
> Ken H. Seto
TOM: The H stands for Happy!
[ to continue … ]
2 thoughts on “MiSTed: Safety First (part 2 of 16)”
GYPSY:”…and they’ll tell two friends,and before you know it ,we all will use Fabrege Organics shampoo and look like Heather Locklier
CROW: Dynasty Heather Locklier or TJ Hooker Heather Locklier?
GYPSY: Gee,I don’t know,guys.
TOM: It’s an important distinction,Gyps.
I’m not sure which Heather Lockear I’d rather look like. I suppose whichever one had the better eyesight. I rely a lot on reading to relieve the burden of having my own personality.