MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 14

Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale Of Grumpy Weasel continues to amuse me. If it, in Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction form, amuses you, you might check out the whole of the project at this link, not counting whatever chapters I haven’t gotten to.

The story so far: After twelve chapters of antagonizing everyone Grumpy Weasel has started saying kind things to Old Mrs Hen. What’s his deal, and does it make Arthur Scott Bailey look like he can’t write a protagonist he likes? We’ll see.

While writing this I felt like I was short on the goofy whimsical riffs, and yet there they were when I was done. The reference to Ratigan’s hall is both a Beatles and a Great Mouse Detective thing. “Walk Right In, Walk Right Out” was one of the songs the Max Weinberg 7 used for commercial intros all the time on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. There’s a nice version of it by Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on YouTube although the lyrics may make a Honeymooners fan angry that “the hucklebuck” wasn’t a nonsense word invented for that one episode where Ralph was feeling old. Worse, that goofy “Do The Hucklebuck” song was an actual song, younger — at the time that episode was made — than Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up And Dance” is today. You’ve been warned.


JOEL: So that’s eleven less than five, this is chapter minus four?

CROW: Sounds right.


TOM: Is … is the book over?

> Grumpy Weasel

TOM: Guess not.

> was quick to see

CROW: Yeah, we know he’s quick, that was the whole Jimmy Rabbit race.

> that fat Mrs. Hen
> swallowed every word he said as greedily as if it had been an
> angleworm.

JOEL: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘Hey, I only eat diet angleworm.’

> "Yes! You have a fine house here," he said.

TOM: [ As Groucho ] ‘I’ve had a fine house here but this isn’t it.’

> "But
> of course you’re crowded," he added gloomily,

JOEL: Ever since that four-star review in Better Nests and Gardens.

> to show Mrs.
> Hen that he knew she had no place for him.

CROW: Is … is he looking for … _snugglebunnies_?

JOEL: Not since Jimmy Rabbit escaped.

> "Oh! Not at all!" Mrs. Hen assured him.

TOM: It’s called a sub-efficiency apartment and there’s really lots of space once you move everything out into the hall.

> "And the door’s always shut tight at night," he
> added, "on account of that prowling Tommy Fox."

CROW: Have you ever considered that Tommy Fox only prowls around because he’s wondering why you’re shutting the door so tight?

> "Yes! We have to be careful," said Mrs. Hen.

TOM: Hence our choice to wear helmets all the time.

CROW: *Hens* our choice.

> "And there’s Peter Mink, too," Grumpy went on.

JOEL: Hey, he was your biggest fan in the Jimmy Rabbit race!

> "Don’t
> leave an opening big enough for him!

TOM: Give him the slightest conversational opening and he’ll talk to you for hours!

CROW: He has *opinions* about the 1960s Popeye cartoons.

> He can get through a
> small hole, too—any that’s big enough for his head."

JOEL: Smaller than that, if he leaves his head at home.

> At that Mrs. Hen looked startled, as if she had just
> remembered something that made her feel uneasy.

TOM: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘My rat closet!’

> "He couldn’t get through a rat hole, could he?" she
> inquired nervously.

CROW: I started on a rat hole but I couldn’t get past the first thirty pages.

> "Why—there isn’t one here, is there?" Grumpy asked.

JOEL: I want to know how many holes it takes to fill Ratigan’s hall?

> "There is an old one," she admitted. "It hasn’t been
> used in my time."

TOM: But an ancient prophecy speaks of a great uniter of the rats who will someday emerge from it.

> "If I could see it I’d know at once whether Pete
> could crawl through it," Grumpy Weasel said,

CROW: Or you could just ask Pete?

TOM: Maybe it would be more convenient to take the hole to Pete and see if it fits around him?

> talking to
> himself—or so it seemed to Mrs. Hen.

JOEL: [ As though just now realizing ] OH!

> "I’ll show it to you gladly!" she cried.

CROW: I’m sorry, Grumpy Weasel can’t do anything gladly.

> "Do come
> right in and look at our rat hole, Mr. Weasel!"

TOM: Please don’t mind the clutter, it’s a bit of a rat’s nest around the hole — oh say!

> As she spoke, Mrs. Hen started for the henhouse.

CROW: Oh, you keep the hole *inside* the henhouse, how elegant.

> And
> after her crept Grumpy Weasel,

TOM: Being creepy.

> hoping that nobody else would
> see him.

JOEL: You don’t want to cause a scene with Mr Hen.

> So far as he could tell, the hens were all out of
> doors, scratching in the dirt.

CROW: Boy, the ground is *itchy* today!

> But suddenly Mrs. Hen’s
> jealous neighbor began to set up a great squawking,

TOM: It’s the Great Squawking, Charlie Brown.

> calling
> upon Mrs. Hen to be careful, for she was in great danger.

CROW: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘How does my being careful help you with your great danger?’

JOEL: [ As Neighbor ] ‘No, no, I mean … you know what, go ahead.’

> Fat Mrs. Hen turned about with a vexed look upon her
> handsome but somewhat stupid face.

TOM: Stupid face! Read a book sometime, face, it’ll do you good!

> "Walk right in!" she said to Grumpy.

CROW: [ Singing ‘Walk Right In, Walk Right Out’ ] o/` Walk right out, walk right in, walk right out o/`

> "I must stop and
> settle with her. She has gone too far."

TOM: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘Imagine a neighbor preferring I were not dead!’

CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘I can’t, it’s like imagining a square circle or something.’

> And leaving Grumpy to
> find the rat hole without her help,

JOEL: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘Just go up the ladder and take a right at the grizzly-bear hole, you can’t miss it!’

TOM: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Wait, there’s a grizzly bear hole?’

JOEL: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘Yes, but you’ll never see a rat use it!’

> Mrs. Hen fluttered across
> the henyard with her head thrust forward,

JOEL: o/` She clucks right in … o/`

> to give her
> meddlesome neighbor a number of hard pecks and so teach her
> to mind her own affairs.

TOM: [ As Mrs Hen ]*Now* am I a woman of scandalous virtue or what?’

> With a low chuckle

JOEL: A low dishonest chuckle.

> Grumpy Weasel slipped inside the
> henhouse,

TOM: Whoops!


> where he found himself quite alone.

JOEL: Apart from that Henry Bemis guy.

> It took him but
> a few moments to discover in one corner of the building the
> old rat hole of which Mrs. Hen had spoken.

TOM: He’s going to dare the Ninja Turtles to a race and grab Splinter.

> And then he went to the door and looked out,

CROW: Look out!
[ ALL duck ]

> for Mrs.
> Hen and her neighbor were making a terrific racket.

TOM: Oh, they must really like playing tennis together!

> He saw
> the end of the squabble. And soon Mrs. Hen came running back,
> with her feathers sadly rumpled, and her comb awry.

JOEL: [ As Mrs Hen ] ‘Yeah so we’ve got yetis and they’re not nice.’

> "I settled with her," she gasped. "And now tell me
> about the rat hole.

CROW: What, with your comb awry like that?

> Could Peter Mink get through it?"
> "No, he couldn’t!" Grumpy Weasel said.

TOM: He didn’t bring his fake ID and the bouncer is strict.

> Then he dodged
> strangely back into the henhouse.

JOEL: Uh … incoming?

> And though Mrs. Hen hopped
> in after him she couldn’t find him anywhere.

TOM: Invisiweasel!

> She couldn’t understand it.

CROW: She was all but sure objects had permanence and yet here we are.

[ To continue … ? ]

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

5 thoughts on “MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 14”

        1. Oh, did I mention we found an actual packet of smelling salts the other day? And they look just like they do in the cartoons, although we don’t know what they smell like, since we’re trying to cut down on the salt.


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