MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 18

Yes, it’s one more chapter in Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale of Grumpy Weasel. The whole of my Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction of it should be at this link. And I’ll try and put explanations of riffs a the end of all this.

The story so far: Grumpy Weasel has had unpleasant run-ins with several birds, a muskrat, a rabbit, and Fatty Raccoon. I mean unpleasant for them. Grumpy enjoyed it all by not enjoying any of it. Who’s going to be next on Grumpy’s agenda of disliking things? Read on …


CROW: Prequel to the prequel to XXX: Ecks versus Sever.


TOM: Out east they say ‘Soda! goes the weasel.’

> There were many things that did not please Grumpy
> Weasel

JOEL: So be gone with them!

> —things that almost any one else would have liked.

CROW: How do we count Fatty Raccoon’s likability?

> For instance, there was music.

TOM: [ Singing ‘Til There Was You ] o/` And wonderful roses o/`

> The Pleasant Valley Singing
> Society,

CROW: Aren’t they the people Cherry Trail keeps doing garden stuff for?

> to which most of the bird people belonged,

TOM: What, Twitter?

> did not
> number Grumpy Weasel among its admirers.

CROW: They’re hoping he supports them on Patreon, though.

> He never cared to
> hear a bird sing—not even Jolly Robin’s cousin the Hermit,

JOEL: They’ve got a lovely daughter …

> who was one of the most beautiful singers in the woods. And
> as for Buddy Brown Thrasher,

TOM: Death metal comes to the Pleasant Valley!

> whom most people thought a
> brilliant performer, Grumpy Weasel always groaned whenever he
> heard him singing in the topmost branches of a tree.

CROW: When he sung in a bush, that was different.

> A bird-song—according to Grumpy Weasel—

TOM: [ As Grumpy, giving a report ] ‘Webster’s Dictionary defines birdsong as the song of one or more birds.’

JOEL: Webster wasn’t working hard the day he filled out the ‘birdsong’ card.

> was of use

> in only one way: it told you where the bird was.

CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Oh! Well, that’s two ways, then.’

> And that was
> a help, of course, if you were trying to catch him.

JOEL: To catch a bird, it helps to think like a bird … hey, seed!

> Nor did the musical Frog family’s nightly concerts

TOM: To a sold-out arena!

> have much charm for Grumpy, though he did admit that some of
> their songs were not so bad as others.

JOEL: The closer they get to that Lesley Gore sound the better for him.

> "I can stand it now and then," he said, "to hear a
> good, glum croaking, provided there are plenty of discords."

CROW: Grumpy’s a huge fan of the 7-chord.

> Naturally, knowing how he felt, Grumpy Weasel’s
> neighbors never invited him to listen to their concerts.

TOM: Sounds like a problem solved, then.

> On
> the contrary they usually asked him please to go away, if he
> happened to come along.

JOEL: It only hurt when they started inviting him over so they can leave.

> Certainly nobody could sing his best,
> with such a listener.

CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Well how good do you expect me to listen with such singing?’

> As a rule Grumpy Weasel was glad to go on about his
> business,

TOM: Mankind was your business!

> though to be sure he hated to oblige anybody.

CROW: Has Grumpy considered passive-aggression?

JOEL: Oh, he’s thought about it but he probably wouldn’t do it nearly well enough to annoy.

> But
> one day he stopped and scolded at the top of his voice when
> he came upon the Woodchuck brothers whistling in the pasture.

TOM: How were the Whistling Woodchuck Brothers not a regular blackout gag on _The Muppet Show_?

> Their whistles quavered a bit when they noticed who
> was present.

JOEL: [ Whistling ‘Sidewalks of New York’, but after a few bars breaking it off to a questioning tone. ]

> And they moved a little nearer their front door,
> in order to dodge out of sight if need be.

TOM: They hope to fool Grumpy into thinking the door was whistling.

> Although Grumpy
> Weasel might follow them, there was a back door they could
> rush out of.

CROW: Won’t they be surprised when Grumpy runs in the back door?

> And since they knew their way about their
> underground halls better than he did they did not worry
> greatly.

JOEL: They know every speakeasy, pool joint, and crooked pinball parlor in the Bowery.

> "We’re sorry—"

CROW: But your mauling has been disconnected.

> said the biggest brother, who was
> called Billy Woodchuck—"we’re sorry you don’t like our
> music.

TOM: Would you like a coupon good for two musics?

> And we’d like to know what’s the matter with it; for
> we always strive to please."

JOEL: They’re very professional, I bet they make it big someday.

> "It’s not so much the way you whistle," Grumpy
> snarled, "though your whistling is bad enough, it’s so
> cheerful.

CROW: [ As Billy ] What if we’re doing it while shivering in our shoes?

TOM: [ As Grumpy ] You don’t wear shoes!

> What I find fault with especially is the tune. It’s
> insulting to me. And you can’t deny it."

JOEL: [ As Billy ] What’s so insulting about I Don’t Like Weasels? Oh, now I say it out loud I hear it.

> Well, the Woodchuck brothers looked at one another in
> a puzzled fashion.

TOM: They’re stumped by today’s Woodchuck Wordle.

CROW: It’s ‘WHEEP’! It’s always ‘WHEEP’!

> "Never again let me hear you whistling, ‘Pop! Goes
> the Weasel,’" Grumpy warned them.

TOM: Got it, only sing it a capella from now on.

> That was the name of the
> Woodchuck brothers’ favorite air,

JOEL: Huh. Well, my favorite air is four parts nitrogen to one oxygen but hey, you like what you like.

> and the one they could
> whistle best. And any one could see that they were quite
> upset.

CROW: [ As Billy ] Would you like to race to the finish of the song?

> "Why don’t you like that tune?" Billy Woodchuck asked
> Grumpy Weasel politely.

TOM: [ As Grumpy ] I was cheated out of the royalties.

> "It’s that word ‘pop,’" Grumpy said.

CROW: Oh, he’s not into pop music.

> "It reminds me
> of a pop-gun. And a pop-gun reminds me of a real gun. And
> that’s something I don’t want to think about."

TOM: He’s making a good case, have to give him that.

> Well, the Woodchuck brothers looked at one another
> again. But this time they smiled.

JOEL: [ Billy, as Leo Gorcey ] Give ’em the ol’ Routine 29!

TOM: [ As Huntz Hall ] Ooh! Ooh! Right, chief!

> "You’ve misunderstood," Billy Woodchuck told Grumpy
> Weasel. "This is a different kind of pop.

CROW: Technically it’s a sort of ginger beer.

> It means that when
> you enter a hole you pop into it in a jiffy, without taking
> all day to do it."

JOEL: Oh come on, that … makes … sense?

TOM: [ Muttering, going over the lyrics ] Go around the mulberry bush, monkey chase the weasel, all in good fun …

> For a wonder Grumpy Weasel was almost pleased.

CROW: For two wonders Grumpy might almost experience Gemuetlichkeit.

> "That’s true!" he cried. "I couldn’t be slow if I
> wanted to be!"

JOEL: [ As Grumpy ] ‘But if I wanted to I could be the fastest to being the slowest thing imaginable! You’d be so slow getting to being slow compared to me you’d never get to me! Nobody could beat my pace to not being fast if I tried at it!’

TOM: [ As Billy ] ‘Are you high?’

> And he actually asked the Woodchuck brothers
> to whistle "Pop! Goes the Weasel" once more.

CROW: Wait, Grumpy’s first moment of happiness was caused by a *fan theory*?

> But Grumpy Weasel never thought of thanking them.

JOEL: [ As Billy ] ‘That’s all right, our real thanks is in messing with people’s heads!’

[ To continue … ? ]

The 7-chord is what came up when I looked up ‘most dissonant chord’ and this site says C# diminished sounds dissonant at least. The reference to the Bowery wasn’t meant to set up the Bowery Boys riff but it works nicely. There is, of course, no agreement about what the song Pop Goes The Weasel means, but a lot of theories. Considering the lyrics now I’m not sure the Whistling Woodchuck Brothers are wrong in saying it means weasels are fast.


Author: Joseph Nebus

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

9 thoughts on “MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 18”

    1. Oh, that’s the reference I couldn’t place. I know I’ve said this sentiment before but one of the drawbacks of doing this week-by-week is not having the time for second thoughts to really filter in.


  1. The Pleasant Valley Singing

    CROW [As the Monkees] Another Pleasant Valley Sunday/ Weasels grumpin’ everywhere./Fatty Raccoon’s made the scene, and no one seems to care.


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