MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 17

My making a full Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction out of Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale of Grumpy Weasel looks even more inevitable every week. The entirety of the MiSTing should be at this link. As is the new norm I’ll try to explain obscure or baffling riffs after this week’s installment.

Now the Weasel News Recap: Fatty Raccoon is here! Everyone’s favorite, fabulous, one-seventh-of-a-ton raccoon tricked Grumpy Weasel into jumping into the corncrib. It’s scared off Frisky Squirrel and some supernumerary mice. Grumpy took Fatty’s advice on how to catch them! Will Grumpy live to regret listening to Fatty? Will Fatty live to regret angering a bundle of rage in weasel shape? Read on and learn!


TOM: Editing rival to emacs-XTREME.


CROW: He just assumed Dewey was going to defeat Truman and now …

> As soon as Grumpy Weasel left to chase the squirrels

JOEL: If you know what I mean.

> and mice that he had frightened away from the corncrib

TOM: Everybody run! The corn is teething!

> Fatty
> Raccoon hurried into the building through a hole in the floor

CROW: I’m fixing a hole where the racc climbs in …

> which nobody knew but himself.

JOEL: The loneliness of the long-distance raccoon.

> Though he was a great eater

TOM: I don’t know about ‘great’, I mean, he eats a lot but does he do anything to advance the eating *arts*?

> Fatty was also a fast
> one. And now he bolted a huge meal of corn

CROW: A cornmeal?

JOEL: No, a meal of corn.

CROW: Right, so, a cornmeal.

JOEL: No, you’re not hearing me.

CROW: I need better ears.

JOEL: Ears of corn.

CROW: Cornears.

TOM: Corneas? I thought his eyes were fine?

> in only a few
> minutes. Then, smiling broadly, he left the corncrib by his
> private doorway

JOEL: Polite way of saying he fell through the floor.

> and squatted down to await Grumpy’s return.

TOM: Now there’s a sentence nobody’s ever written before.

> In a little while Grumpy appeared.

CROW: As the prophecy foretold.

> "I hoped I’d see you again," Fatty Raccoon told him.

JOEL: Well now Grumpy just knows you’re lying.

> "Did you have any luck?"

TOM: He hasn’t had any luck this whole book!

> "No!" Grumpy Weasel snapped. "I was mistaken about
> your idea.

CROW: It fails to account for how the cosmological constant would have to vary in the first ten-billionths of a second after the Big Bang!

> It was a very poor one. For I’ve been running in a
> circle (as you suggested) till I’m dizzy;

JOEL: Well, just run in circles the opposite way until you’re un-dizzy.

> and I haven’t seen
> the least sign of a mouse nor a squirrel."

TOM: [ As Boris Badenov ] ‘Have to get mouse and squirrel!’

> Fatty Raccoon told him to cheer up.

CROW: You can just *feel* Grumpy’s withering stare through the pages like this.

> "I’ve another idea for you," he said.

JOEL: No time to ask questions, just put on this clown suit and this tiny doghouse over your head!

TOM: ‘I’ve’?

> "Keep it! Keep it!" Grumpy Weasel hissed.

TOM: No, take the box!

CROW: Door number three! You always want door number three!

> "Your last
> idea only made me tired; and I haven’t a capture to my credit
> to-night."

JOEL: ‘I haven’t a capture to my credit to-night’? Why is he talking like he’s in a lesser PG Wodehouse?

TOM: Grump Among The Chickens.

> "That’s because you ran too fast," Fatty explained
> glibly.

CROW: He … ran right past the squirrels?

> "Now, if you’ll be careful to run slowly, and do just
> as I tell you, I can promise that there’ll be a capture,
> without fail."

TOM: Now, if you invade Persia, a great empire will be destroyed.

> Grumpy had had such bad luck in his hunting about the
> farmyard that he decided to listen, anyhow.

CROW: Yeah, has Grumpy eaten, like, ever?

JOEL: If his whole issue is ‘hangry’ I’m swear …

> He told himself
> that he wouldn’t take Fatty’s advice unless it was much
> better than he expected.

TOM: A better plan than ‘run in circles’?

> "Well—go on!" he grunted.

CROW: Go on with your merry little schemes and plans.

> "Do you see that little house near the woodshed?"

TOM: Is it little or is it far away?

> Fatty Raccoon asked him. "It has a low doorway that’s always
> open, and no windows at all."

JOEL: Wait …

CROW: Is … is that the outhouse?

> "Yes!" said Grumpy Weasel harshly. "Of course I see
> it. I’m not blind."

TOM: You sure? Because ‘blind as a weasel’ sure sounds like it could be a saying.

> "Do you know who lives there?"

CROW: This *can’t* be the outhouse, right?

> "I always supposed that it belonged to Johnnie
> Green," said Grumpy.

TOM: He has to house his ineffectively caught pets somewhere.

> "His father is big and lives in the big
> house, and Johnnie is little and lives in the little house."

JOEL: [ As Fatty ] ‘Well, then who lives in the wide house?’

CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘The president.’

JOEL: [ As Fatty ] ‘D’oh!’

> Fatty Raccoon laughed merrily.

JOEL: [ As Fatty ] ‘Sorry, just thought of a hilarious corn I ate this morning.’

> "You don’t know as much as I thought you did!" he
> cried.

TOM: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Yeah, well, I know things you never thought I didn’t know!’

CROW: [ As Fatty ] ‘Yeah, I — what?’

> It may be that Fatty had set out to make Grumpy angry.
> Anyhow, Grumpy’s eyes burned in the darkness like two coals
> of fire.

JOEL: Uh-oh, weasel’s coming up to power.

> "I’m right about that little house," he wrangled.

TOM: They throw away *way* too much trash *every* single *week*! Something is up there!

> "Nonsense!" Fatty Raccoon exclaimed. And that made
> Grumpy angrier than ever.

JOEL: [ As Fatty, walking it back ] ‘Uh … partial sense? In the right contexts?’

> "You learned that word of old Mr. Crow!" he grumbled.

CROW: Aw, I gifted ‘Nonsense’ to the world, anyone can have it.

> "It’s his favorite expression; and I can’t endure it."

TOM: Grumpy doesn’t play favorites, he’s an equal-opportunity non-endurer.

> "You don’t need to stay here and listen to it," Fatty
> Raccoon said.

CROW: You can listen to it anywhere on my new podcast! Let me tell you the Raccoon Supper Syndication feed!

> "If you dared to you could run over to Johnnie
> Green’s house (as you call it);

TOM: Stipulating for the benefit of counsel without making an admission with regard to the house-ness of Johnnie Green.

> and if you found that you
> were right about it I promise you I’d never say ‘Nonsense’
> again."

JOEL: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Hmm … how close do I have to get so you promise you’ll never say ‘Snackage’ again?’

> If Grumpy Weasel hadn’t been so angry

CROW: He’d be any other character in this book.

> perhaps he
> wouldn’t have been so eager to prove himself right.

TOM: Grumpy strikes me as someone happy to let other people think wrong things about him.

> While
> Fatty watched him he bounded across the farmyard

JOEL: [ As Fatty, calling ] ‘It’s the other way!’

CROW: [ As Grumpy, responding ] ‘I knew that!’

> and stopped
> at the doorway of the tiny house.

TOM: Pardon, is the tiny of the house at home?

> And then he bounded back
> again, a great deal faster, with old dog Spot yelping behind
> him.

JOEL: The Tale of Territorial Spot.

CROW: He just doesn’t want Grumpy in and seeing his stuff, you know?

> Fatty Raccoon did not wait for anything more.

TOM: [ As Fatty ] Got my rhythm, got my music, got my corn … who could ask for anything more?

CROW: Toyota!

> He made
> for the woods at top speed, grinning as he went.

JOEL: Anytime he can run downhill …

> The next day he pretended to be surprised to meet
> Grumpy.

TOM: [ As Fatty ] ‘Ernie? Ernie Dinkelfwat?!’

> "You must have forgotten my advice," he said.

JOEL: Always — I mean, NEVER — I mean, make sure you don’t fail to forget — and keeping with you — never on your person — even in these troubled times. Thank you.

> "I
> promised you that there would be a capture if you ran slowly.

CROW: I couldn’t do the capture, it wanted me to prove I was a human.

> But it’s plain that you ran too fast, or you wouldn’t be
> here."

TOM: Fatty’s summer abroad working as the Sphinx really paying off here.

> "Nonsense!" Grumpy Weasel shouted, flying into a
> passion at once.

JOEL: Lucky he’s not flying into a passion play, it would mess up the Easter services.

> And he often wondered, afterward, what Fatty
> Raccoon found to laugh at.

TOM: [ As Fatty ] ‘Ha ha! You’ve fallen for my fairy logic! Now I return to the Raccoon Dimension for ninety days!’

JOEL: [ Announcer ] Ladies and gentlemen you have just had *the* Fatty Raccoon Experience!

CROW: Not without cheese dip I haven’t.

[ To continue … ? ]

Tom’s “Grump Among The Chickens” references PG Wodehouse’s Love Among The Chickens. It’s a good book, and only lesser compared to, like, Wooster-and-Jeeves or Blanding Castle stories. You can get it from Project Gutenberg. Johnnie Green and his “ineffectively caught pets” thing refers to an incident in The Tale of Fatty Raccoon where he’s not good at catching Fatty. Also how earlier in this Tale Johnnie couldn’t keep hold of Jimmy Rabbit. There’s no good reason for me to expand ‘RSS feed’ as ‘Raccoon Supper Syndication feed’ except I couldn’t find the ‘feed’ pun I really needed there. The “Toyota” line riffs on an early 80s series they had which used “I Got Rhythm” as theme. Ernie Dinkelfwat is lifted from Bloom County; please let his loved ones know he’s all right.

Considering how much of Grumpy’s motivation, besides being unpleasant to the neighbors, is hunting it’s striking how much he doesn’t get to eat. I know we couldn’t have him devour someone on-screen but you’d think there’d be a reference to how he’d just finished a meal or something.


Author: Joseph Nebus

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

7 thoughts on “MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 17”

  1. TOM: Stipulating for the benefit of counsel without making an admission with regard to the house-ness of Johnnie Green

    CROW: [As John Houseman] We make money the fat raccoon way — We EAT it.


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