I have another chapter of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction for you, another piece of Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale of Grumpy Weasel. As ever, the whole of the MiSTing should be at this link. and please let me know if something goes missing.
Previously in Grumpy Weasel: Grumpy Weasel challenged Jimmy Rabbit to a race and Old Mister Crow was all over it. Old Mister Crow’s arranged for Jimmy to get a twenty-leap lead and he’s very excited for Jimmy’s inevitable win. But what happens come the day of the race?
The Betty Boop cartoon referenced is “Ha! Ha! Ha”, where yes, the dentist’s laughing gas gets out of control. Lee de Forest was a prolific inventor of the early 20th century, mostly of electrical and radio gear and also scams that maybe didn’t quite break the law but not for want of larcenous intent. The Dick Tracy reference is to something that happened in the strip recently and I plan to talk about it Tuesday. Now, let’s read.
JOEL: Oh no, this chapter’s all about the Quadratic Equation.
> HA! AND HA, HA!
TOM: Hey, it’s the Betty Boop cartoon with the laughing gas.
> A great outcry rang through the woods
JOEL: Somebody catch it!
> the moment
> Jimmy Rabbit set out to race Grumpy Weasel and beat him.
TOM: Gotta think about your life when everyone you know wants to see you be worse at running.
> Shouts of "Good luck!" and "Run hard!" and "Hurrah for James
> Rabbit!" followed Jimmy.
JOEL: ‘Hurrah’, because Lee de Forest hadn’t invented ‘Hooray’ yet.
> But old Mr. Crow squawked, "You
> don’t need to hurry!"
CROW: You just need to be faster than the other guy! … Wait.
> He thought that the race was already as
> good as won,
JOEL: Or as good as as good as won would be.
> for Grumpy Weasel had insisted on giving Jimmy
> Rabbit a start of twenty jumps.
TOM: And now Grumpy Weasel reveals he meant elephant jumps.
> Meanwhile Grumpy Weasel glowered.
CROW: A now-obscure word meaning to glow red.
JOEL: Gladiola flowered (glowered).
> But he could not
> glower at Jimmy’s friends,
TOM: He has a strict schedule for when to glower at rabbit friends.
> because he had to watch Jimmy
> himself in order to count the first twenty jumps he took.
CROW: One jump into hyperspace and Grumpy won’t be able to follow, kid.
> When Grumpy had counted nineteen and a half away he started.
TOM: Hey, that’s cheating by half a jump.
> And old Mr. Crow, as he sat staring at the race, declared
> that Grumpy Weasel hadn’t a chance to win.
JOEL: Really wondering what Mister Crow’s angle on this is.
> The company seemed ready to take Mr. Crow’s word for
TOM: You know the old folklore about crows knowing their rabbit/weasel racing lore.
> that is, all except Grumpy Weasel’s cousin, Peter Mink.
CROW: The polecat.
> He spoke up and said that as for him, he would wait and see
> what happened.
JOEL: The huge vote of confidence that is saying ‘I guess he hasn’t lost yet.’
> He didn’t believe old Mr. Crow knew what he
> was talking about.
CROW: It’s a crow thing, you wouldn’t understand.
> Mr. Crow grew almost a purplish black with rage.
TOM: Is this something to do with eggs? I feel like this is really about eggs.
> "We’ll all wait," he said stiffly. "We’ll all wait.
CROW: Well, Jimmy and Grumpy can’t wait or the race won’t work.
> And when the race is over you will apologize to me."
TOM: [ As Peter Mink ] ‘Jeez, fine, if it’s that important to you then Jimmy Rabbit is gonna win, take a chill pill.’
> Peter Mink merely grinned. He had no respect for his
JOEL: [ Gasping at this gossip ] Peter Mink is a cad! And bounder!
CROW: Jimmy Rabbit’s the bounder.
> And now he didn’t appear to mind in the least when
> the entire company let him severely alone.
TOM: It shows real strength of character to disagree with the crowd about who you think will win a footrace.
> Mr. Crow shot a triumphant look
JOEL: Aaah! My antique ceramic Look!
> at him about an hour
CROW: Mister Crow is on Central Time.
> when Jimmy Rabbit came bounding into sight, with no
> one following him.
TOM: Having got badly lost on the way to the race course.
> "You may as well stop now," Mr. Crow told
> Jimmy. "You’ve as good as won the race already."
JOEL: I know they’re animals but they don’t seem very good at this.
> Jimmy Rabbit said that he thought so, too,
CROW: [ As Jimmy, as The Wizard of Oz ] ‘But I can’t stop my legs, I don’t know how they work!’
> but he
> supposed he’d better keep running a while longer, till Grumpy
> Weasel gave up.
TOM: This was a pretty good scheme for Grumpy to get Jimmy to run an hour away from him.
> So off he hopped again.
JOEL: Next, Jimmy runs up to meet Dick Tracy.
> Everybody except Peter Mink laughed heartily
CROW: Daniel Hart the deer asks what’s so funny.
> Grumpy Weasel came springing up the slope a little while
TOM: [ As Grumpy ] ‘I want my two dollars!’
> "You may as well stop now. You’ve as good as lost
> already," Mr. Crow greeted him.
JOEL: [ As Grumpy ] ‘I am not lost, I just don’t know where I am!’
> "Whose race is this—yours or mine?" Grumpy Weasel
TOM: It’s the rat race.
JOEL: No, Billy Rat’s not racing until sunset.
> And off he hurried, without pausing to hear Mr.
> Crow’s answer.
CROW: How long does it take to hear ‘Yours’?
> "We’ll wait a while longer," Mr. Crow told the
JOEL: How else would waiting work?
> "for the end is so near we may as well see it."
TOM: Is … Is Mr Crow forecasting the apocalypse?
> "Whose end?" Peter Mink asked him.
CROW: *Anyone’s* end, as long as it’s Henry Kissinger’s.
> "I mean the end of the race, of course!" Mr. Crow
JOEL: Oh no, they accidentally looped back, the race is a Moebius strip!
> "Oh! I thought you meant the end of Jimmy Rabbit,"
> Peter Mink replied.
CROW: [ As Elmer Fudd ] o/` End of Jimmy Wabbit o/`
> "Impossible! Impossible!"
TOM: Burgers! Burgers!
> was all Mr. Crow said to
> that. But he began to fidget—which was a sign that he was
JOEL: Or he’s stimming, did you think of that, Mr Narrator ?
> And when Jimmy Rabbit appeared again Mr. Crow was
> not quite so cocksure when he asked if the race wasn’t over.
CROW: [ As Mr Crow ] Cocksure? No, no, I’m crow-sure, if I know anything it’s that.
> "It would be," Jimmy Rabbit answered, "but the
> trouble is, Grumpy Weasel won’t stop running!"
TOM: [ As Grumpy, distant ] ‘I’m stuck in second gear! HEEEELP!’
> "Ha!" said Mr. Crow hoarsely.
JOEL: Let me hear what Mr Horse crows now.
> But Peter Mink said,
> "Ha, ha!"
CROW: Almost ended the chapter on the title, neat.
> And there is a great difference between those two
> remarks, as we shall see.
TOM: Hey! The Narrator peeked ahead! That’s cheating!
[ To continue … ? ]