|"Jules & K: The Tussle With Dr. Corpuscle, Part I and Part II" |
The Recording Script
| Written and directed by Christopher Bahn. Copyright 1996. |
Episodes 15-16 of the radio-drama series Where Threads Come Loose (Originally episodes 21-22 of 1997 Edition)
Originally broadcast on KUOM-AM March 1995.
Right-click to download: Jules in Corpuscle's Office
Jules Hampton Sykes; K; Surly Coffeeshop Employee; Herr Professor Doktor Helmut Corpuscle; Dave; Scotsman; Leonard; McAndrews; Kaiser; O'Grady; Police Officer; Inspector; Reverend Jimmy Hornswoggle; Brainwashed cult members
Apparently we had more to say, or were taking longer to say it. Tony had just finished a two-part story, and this was the first of mine. Much of the rest of the series consists of multi-part shows. This story also features the return of Helmut Corpuscle, who first showed up in episode 2 of the original series, "The Weird Obsessions," which probably won't be returning in the new edition.
INTRODUCTION: Today on Where Threads Come Loose, we rejoin the crowd down at Cafe Pathetique. It's the first Tuesday of the month, which means a fresh batch of coffee's been brewed and everyone's feeling a little frisky, including our... well, our heroes, if you want to use that term, the so-called poets Jules Hampton Sykes and K. Today, as every day, Jules and K will attempt yet another assault on their common enemytheir raging, mountainous mediocrity. So far they've tasted only defeat... but now Jules and K taste their greatest challenge yeta challenge so dreadful, so horrifying, so preternaturally vile, that even the staff here at Where Threads Come Loose did not know what was in the script until fifteen minutes before recording, to avoid scaring them so badly that everyone fled the studio in terror. To wander back to my original point, will Jules and K be able to survive Stanza VI of their ongoing epic storyThe Tussle With Dr. Corpuscle! But to set up our story, we begin at the Institute for the Advanced Studieren of Very Strange People, where Herr Professor Doktor Helmut Corpuscle is treating another of his psychiatric patients.
SCENE I: Dr. Corpuscle's office at the Institute for the Advanced Studieren of Very Strange People.
Art by Dan Grothe & Christopher Bahn
Corpuscle: Congratulations, Mr. Kaiser. Today is ze last day of your psychotherapy.
Patient: Why, that's wonderful news, Dr. Corpuscle!
Corpuscle: Indeed! In less than fifteen minutes, I vill be prepared to pronounce you cured once und for all.
Patient: But doctor, I don't feel any better than when I first came here.
Corpuscle: I told you, you're cured. Here at ze Helmut Corpuscle Institute for the Advanced Studieren of Very Strange People, ve specialize in curing crazies. Just go along with it and things will be easier for both of us.
Patient: But the hallucinations, the voices, I still hear them!
Corpuscle: Ah, vell before, those vere symptoms of a rampant psychosis of ze worst kind. But now, don't you see, zose imaginary voices are simply psychosomatic. Zey are all in your head, und zerefore completely harmless.
Patient: (voice is ragged with panic) But doctor... I still can't sleep at night! I still see things, and they won't go away! I have horrible visions of monsters gnawing away at my legs... They hold me down with their filthy slimy claws and their faces just like my mother and my priest and I struggle and struggle but they just laugh and keep on eating, and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream!
Corpuscle: (angry) Listen, punkif I say you're cured, then you're cured! Who's the one with the PhD around here?
Patient: (sheepish) You are, doctor.
Corpuscle: It never fails to astound me, ze sheer arrogance of you patients! You, who have absolutely zero psychiatric training, presume to judge ze state of your mental health based on ze shaky evidence that ze symptoms you had when you came in have not been cooperative enough to simply disappear! For heavens' sakesometimes I hear voices in my head too, but you don't see me whining about it all the time!
Patient: But, doctor
Corpuscle: Who ze hell do you think you are, anyway? You are a lowly, sniveling worm with a terrible self-image! I have larger psychiatric interests to think of than whether or not you feel good! I, sir, am interested in a total picture of mental health! Any therapy that doesn't make me feel better too is completely useless.
Patient: I see! What I hear you saying is that your interests as my therapist are inherently more important than my own!
Patient: Oh, I'm so ashamed, doctor Corpuscle... You've been so good to me... I'll give you anything you want.
Patient: Yes, doctoranything!
Corpuscle: Well, Mr. Kaiser... you certainly are very close to being cured...
Patient: Oh, happy day!
Corpuscle: Let's take a look through your files... Most of your money is tied up in your psychiatry fees, of course, so zere's no point in my asking for that. Hmm... both cars were sold to pay for your Prozac prescription... You seem to be just about tapped out, Mr. Kaiser. Perhaps I was wrong... maybe you are still a neurotic, jellyfish-like wretch worthy only to be spat upon in ze gutter.
Patient: No! No, please... What about my pension plan?
Corpuscle: You gave that to me last week.
Patient: What about my poor sick mother?
Corpuscle: Oh, for God's sake don't try pity on me
Patient: No, doctor, what I mean is, her iron lung must be worth at least $500.
Corpuscle: Now you're talking my language. I'll have one of my men drive out to the nursing home and pick it up.
Patient: Oh, thank you, sir. I'm so happy that I can make you happy.
Corpuscle: You're welcome, Mr. Kaiser... now we can at long last move on to ze most... ahem... final stage in your treatment. I am afraid I must revoke your prescription for Prozac.
Patient: (absolutely horrified) No! Never that!
Corpuscle: I thought I told you not to give me no backtalk.
Patient: But I need it! I get the shakes without it!
Corpuscle: Oh, I see! Ha ha ha ha... you silly patient, all this time you thought that it was ze Prozac you craved.
Patient: It wasn't?
Corpuscle: Of course not. I mix all my Prozac with an equal part of crack cocaine. It was zat drug to which you vere addicted.
Patient: (relieved) Oh... well, that's completely different.
Corpuscle: Of course it is. Crack, you can get at any local elementary school. No prescription required!
Patient: But why are you taking me off Prozac, Dr. Corpuscle?
Corpuscle: I vant to use you as a human guinea pig for an experiment I'm doing on a brand new pharmaceutical.
Patient: Doctor knows bestsign me up! What's the drug?
Corpuscle: Well... drug is such a formal term, isn't it? Zis is more like a vitamin or a mineral... It is completely natural and thus could not possibly have any harmful side effects like, ha ha, death or something!
Patient: It must a miracle drug! But what is it?
Corpuscle: Simple, common, household oven cleaner. Here is your dosage. Very, very effective.
Patient: But isn't oven cleaner poisonous?
Corpuscle: (warningly) Mr. Kaiser...
(SFX: Door knock)
Corpuscle: Excuse me. Miss Jones, I zot I told you no visitors!
Police Officer: This is the police! Unlock this door!
Corpuscle: Oh, dear... Zis is such an inconvenient time. Perhaps in an hour or so?
Patient: Dr. Corpuscle, what's happening?
Corpuscle: Nothing, nothing...
(SFX: Banging on door, which continues for a while during the next exchange)
Police Officer: Herr Professor Doktor Helmut Corpuscle, a.k.a. Jimmy "The Weasel" D'Angelo, come out with your hands up! You are under arrest for forty-seven counts of murder in the first degree.
Corpuscle: (offended) Forty-seven? Give me my due, you stingy bastards... zere were at least six more.
Police Officer: What? Oh, just a second, let me check my notes... yes, you're right. Make that fifty-three counts of murder one.
Corpuscle: Zat's more like it. It's a matter of professional pride.
Police Officer: Sorry, Dr. Corpuscle. So anyway, come out with your hands up! You don't have a chance, the building is surrounded! You're also charged with malicious fraud, felonious meanness, two counts of impersonating a medical doctor
Corpuscle: Zat iss untrue! I only impersonated one doctor!
Police Officer: Listen, Corpuscle, I'm just a beat copquestions of justice get answered by the head people downtown.
Corpuscle: In zat case, I am not coming out! You vill never take me alive, coppers!
Patient: Dr. Corpuscle, what's going on?
Corpuscle: Oh! Um... it's nothing important. Let's get back to your therapy, shall we?
Patient: But what's this about fifty-three murders?
Corpuscle: I told you it vas nothing. Perhaps you are hallucinating again.
Patient: But I could swear I heard
Corpuscle: Listen, you crack-brained nincompoop, I'm your psychiatrist. Who you gonna believeme or the law?
Patient: Dr. Corpuscle, how can you question my loyalty? You taught me never to trust anybody but you!
Corpuscle: And zat loyalty has put you in the position you're in today, correct?
Patient: Yes, doctor.
Corpuscle: Zen swallow zat damned oven cleaner. I don't have all day.
Patient: Yes, doctor. (chokes horribly and dies)
Corpuscle: Officer, you can make zat fifty-four murders now.
Police Officer: Yes sir... let me make a note of that. OK, Dr. Corpuscle, I'm going to break this door down now.
Corpuscle: No, you most certainly are not.
Police Officer: Stop kidding around!
Corpuscle: Who's kidding? I have prepared myself for the day ze police found me out. Look underneath ze stairwell just to your right.
Police Officer: WhatOh my God, you've wired the place with dynamite!
Corpuscle: That iss correct! So you had better hightail it out of my institute. I am just about to blow it to smithereens. Ha ha ha ha!
Police Officer: But you'll die too!
Corpuscle: Of course not, you fool! I'm a villainI'm invincible! (laughs maniacally)
Police Officer: Clear the building!
Corpuscle: funf... vier... drei... zwei... eins... Explodieren!
(SFX: Explosion, showering bricks, etc.)
Inspector: What a terrible explosion!
Police Officer: Yes, Inspector! No one could have possbly survived such a hellish conflagration!
Inspector: I don't know about that... I've got a bad feeling, Officer O'Malley. I don't think we've seen the last of Herr Professor Doktor Helmut Corpuscle. He'll be backit's just a question of when.
SCENE II: Cafe Pathetique, two months later.
Annoucer: Two months later, in Cafe Pathetique, a small espresso joint near an enormous, bureaucracy-ridden university in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we join the poets Jules and K along with their normal friend Dave.
Dave: Hello, K.
K: Hello, Dave.
Dave: Are you feeling alright? You're not drinking any coffee.
K: I've ordered some. I'm waiting for it to arrive.
Dave: Don't you have to go up to the counter to get it?
K: No, no. Cafe Pathetique just started a new serviceyou put in your order, and they bring out your drink right to your table, just like in a restaurant.
Dave: Well, that sounds like a good idea.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Table 12incoming!
(SFX: Crash of glass)
Dave: But I see they haven't quite got the bugs worked out of it yet.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I heard that. I won't stand for anybody questioning my methods.
Dave: What methods? Your table delivery service is nothing more than throwing a mug of coffee at the person who ordered it!
K: And it isn't even the flavor I ordered.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I'll get a system down soon. My mother didn't raise no dummies.
Dave: Oh, really?
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yes. All the stupid kids were put up for adoption. And now that I think about it, you look kinda like dad. Heh heh heh heh heh heh.
Jules: Excuse me! Can I get some service here?
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah, whaddaya want?
Jules: I'm feeling adventurous today... Let me try something I haven't had before.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I got just the thing... Do you like Italian sodas?
Jules: Yes, yes... But I've tried every flavor you have. The selections make me weary.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Whaddaya mean, weary?
Jules: I simply mean that a lime soda is no longer amusing to me on a philosophical level, and that's so important to one's mental stability. If one is not spiritually challenged by one's drink, then how can life itself be said to have meaning?
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Uh-huh. So you want a fresh-faced and amusing drink, eh? How about my new earth-flavored Italian soda.
Jules: Hmm! What's in it?
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Well, instead of the usual syrup, I use the finest European loam, imported from the exotic farmlands just south of Kiev.
Jules: Loam, you say? My stars, that sounds exotic indeed. Give me a double!
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Great. That'll be five-fifty.
Jules: And well worth the price, I'm sure. Thank you, my good man.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Oh, no. Thank you for letting me serve you. Heh heh heh heh heh.
Jules: Well, he certainly seems chipper today. I wonder what's wrong with him? (pause) K, Dave! A good day to you both! Let's get rid of this newspaper so I can sit down.
(SFX: Paper tearing)
K: (bored) Hello, Jules.
Dave: Jules, I was reading that!
Jules: It's always got to be you, you, you, doesn't it, Dave. (slight pause) K, do you feel alright? You're not drinking any coffee! What kind of poet do you think you are if you're not slugging down a cup of espresso every half-hour?
K: It's a long story.
Jules: Oh, dear, you didn't fall for the table delivery service ruse, did you?
Jules: You should go back to the counter and demand that he give you another coffee for free!
K: Oh, heavens, I wouldn't want to make waves.
Dave: K, you paid for a coffee that sailed past the table and smashed against the wall! You didn't even get to drink it!
K: It's my own fault. I could have been really really quick and had a sip while it was still in the air.
Dave: K, don't be such a schmuck.
K: I just don't want to be a bother.
Jules: You need to lose your inhibitions, K! Live a little!
K: I'm nothing but inhibitions! If I lost my inhibitions there'd be nothing left of me. I've tried to calm down, but I try so hard at it that I get all nervous and high-strung.
Dave: K, I doubt you've even tried.
K: Well, no, I haven't, really. I'm working on an ode to melancholy. Every night I work on it, late late hours until I fall asleep over my diary. If I was happier, I'd never be able to finish it!
Dave: You want to be miserable?
Jules: Come now, Dave, it isn't so hard to comprehend. It's misery in the service of poetry! I do it all the time myself.
K: I do it better.
Jules: Lies! I'm far more pitiful than you are.
K: Ha! In the all-seeing eyes of the infinite universe, I am but a lowly mote of contemptible flotsamI'd like to see you even try and top that!
Jules: Let's take this outside, beret boy.
Dave: Guys, stop that. You're each pitiful in your own, um, wonderful way.
K: Thank you, Dave. It's nice of you to notice.
Jules: Yes, it's about time, too. We were wondering if you'd ever pick up on our unique genius.
Dave: That particular part of it I was already aware of.
K: What's wrong, Jules?
Jules: This drink I just orderedit's horrible! And it's supposed to contain fine European loam!
Dave: Fine European what?
Jules: Loam, I said. It's seltzer water mixed with the finest quality loam available. (sips again) Ugh! Hand me a napkin. This soda tastes like mud.
Dave: It is mud, Jules.
Jules: (shocked) What?!
Dave: Well, what do you think loam is?
Jules: (Defensive) I don't know! I didn't really think about it... I thought it was a flavoring additive, like Metamucil.
Dave: Metamucil is not a flavoring, Jules.
Jules: Oh, alright, yes, I knew that, but everyone has to have one or two guilty pleasures.
Dave: Whatever, Jules.
Jules: It's true! Look at Khe feels guilty about every pleasure he has! God, I wish I had his kind of fortitude.
Dave: This conversation is getting more than a little strange. K, don't you ever try to be happy? Or carefree?
K: Um... well... no. Like I said, it makes me nervous to feel good.
Dave: You're a weird man, K.
K: I wish I had some coffee. I'm very thirsty.
Dave: Oh, God, that's how this whole problem started, isn't it.
K: Well, what do you expect me to do? I told you I don't want to go up and bother the counterperson. He's always in a bad mood, and he'll be mean to me.
Dave: Seize the day, K! It's just a cup of coffee! How can you be so self-conscious that you can't go to the counter and buy a drink?
K: Dave, you know I'm no good at rhetorical questions.
Jules: (triumphantly, and apropos of nothing) I've got it!
K: Got what?
Jules: K, we need therapy!
Dave: Jules, what are you going on about now?
Jules: Psychiatry is what I'm on about!
K: (totally confused) Why do we need therapy, Jules?
Dave: You're right, K, you're no good at rhetorical questions.
Jules: Are you afraid of death, K?
K: Your death or mine?
Jules: Yours, of course.
K: I suppose so. Why do you ask?
Jules: K, have you no sense of the broader scope? How many poems have been written about death and morbidity?
K: I don't know... seven?
Jules: No, Kcountless thousands! And each one was brilliant! We can have a piece of that action.
K: With psychiatry? How?
Jules: K, what could be simpler? It's a rudimentary syllogism, really. See if you can follow me.
K: Alright, let's hear it.
Jules: Point A: All the best poetry is about personal anguish.
Jules: Point B: We both want to write good poetry.
Jules: Point C: We don't really have much in the way of personal anguishand that deficiency, and not a lack of talent as our detractors, parents and fans would have it, is blocking us from fame.
Jules: Point D: Psychiatrists specialize in bringing up seething chunks of sublimated sociopathies to the surface.
Jules: So if we want to really dig in to our unhappy, maudlin side in order to craft better verse...
K: Then we should have our heads examined!
Jules: Exactly, K! We'll both go get some psychotherapy and really start getting to the bottom of some issues better left unexplored.
K: I see what you mean... but I'm still not convinced. It just doesn't seem like the answer to all of our questions.
Dave: Well, Jules might have a pointit might be a good method to at least learn more about yourselves. Could be worth a look, anyway.
K: Dave, you're so naive. There's a simple, convenient answer to every one of life's difficult questions. All that prattle about years of hardship and torturous self-discovery is a propaganda campaign by masochists. Besides, what if the therapy doesn't work?
Jules: (hadn't considered the thought) What do you mean?
K: Well, suppose you let your id loose and there's still nothing wrong down there? You'd have nothing to write about! Or worse, suppose you really do have a neurosis and they accidentally cure it trying to let it out!
Jules: (deeply shocked) Oh dear... I hadn't thought of that, K. What if I'm not all screwed up? I'm just wasting my time then!
Dave: Oh, trust me, Jules, you're all screwed up.
Jules: You're not just saying that? You don't think that deep down, I'm really just distressingly normal?
Dave: Jules, I swear on the soul of my sainted grandmother, I would never, never dream of calling you normal.
Jules: (stiffens his resolve) Then I'll take your risk, K. I'm neurotic, damn you!
K: What about the other side of the coinwhat if you get cured?
Jules: Nonsense! Sure, maybe a shrink could take away my mental problemsbut it won't happen while I still have my wits about me! I know plenty of people who've been in therapy for years and are still basket cases. I'm sure I will be too.
Dave: Well, at least we can all agree on something.
Jules: Goodbye, all! I'm off to seek my fortune!
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Table 14, cafe au lait incomingheads up!
Scotsman: Ach an' begorra! It's a flyin' cuppa coffee!
(SFX: Crash of glass)
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Damn, I missed again... Heh heh heh heh heh. I love this job.
SCENE III: A reputable psychiatrist's office.
Announcer: Two hours later, in the office of a local psychiatrist, Jules tries to find out what's wrong with him.
Psychiatrist: Well, surely there must be something bothering you, Mr. Sykes.
Jules: I don't know why you're asking meyou're supposed to be the professional. And by the way, Dr. McAndrews, but that's Mr. Hampton Sykes. Two last names, don't you know.
Psychiatrist: Look, Mr. Hampton Sykes, we have been here for almost two hours now and you haven't told me why you're here.
Jules: My good woman, don't you even know your own jargonyou're supposed to say that I haven't really opened up to any issues.
Psychiatrist: Alright, if you want to put it that way. But I'm still no closer to understanding why you came to see me. All you tell me is that last night you lay awake wondering to yourself about the terrible existential angst that plagues our society these days.
Jules: Well, I did.
Psychiatrist: In fact, Jules, I'm starting to suspect that you're deliberately wasting my time.
Jules: (grumpy) Oh, alright... Give me a second, I'll think of something. (gets a sudden thought) Maybe I'm schizoid. There's a test for that, isn't there?
Psychiatrist: Generally, Mr. Sykes
Jules: Mr. Hampton Sykes, doctor.
Psychiatrist: (impatient) Whatever your name is, generally people have some sort of idea what's wrong with them before they come to see me. They don't just make it up as they go along.
Jules: (angrily) What are you saying?
Psychiatrist: I'm saying there's nothing wrong with you.
Jules: I object most strongly! I'm a writerI must have some kind of neurosis.
Psychiatrist: Oh, is that what this is all about? Why don't you just join a writer's group?
Jules: I've been through all that. You just sit in a circle and listen to people tell you "I like it, go farther in that direction." I figured, this is just like a therapy group anyway. Why should I waste my time with amateurs when I can just go to a professional?
Psychiatrist: Listen, I've got real patients to meet with. Get out now or I'll call security.
Jules: Alright, alright, I'm going... But you're missing out! You could have named a disease after me, you know!
Psychiatrist: Medical science is already aware of hypochondria, Jules. Out.
(SFX: Door slam. Street noiseJules is now outside)
Jules: (to himself) Drat. That was a dismal failure. What am I going to do now? I can't go back to the cafe without seeing a psychiatristthey'll all laugh at me. And the last thing I'd ever want to be is a pathetic figure of fun. Maybe I can enlist a passerby(to O'Grady) excuse me, sir!
Jules: I wonder if you could help me... I'm looking for directions.
O'Grady: Where are you going?
Jules: Well, you see, I'm looking for a good psychotherapist, but I don't have anything wrong with me, so I was hoping you might know of someone who would just take my money and not ask the really tough questions like "why are you wasting my time?"
O'Grady: Well, let's see... You could try down at the Corpuscle Institute for the Advanced Studieren of Very Strange People.
Jules: But didn't that explode mysteriously a few months ago when the police raided it in order to arrest Dr. Corpuscle, who was making thousands of dollars by robbing his patients and then killing them?
O'Grady: Oh, no. This one is under completely new management. Instead of Herr Professor Doktor Helmut Corpuscle, it's run by someone named Herr Professor Doktor John Smith.
Jules: Oh, that sounds much better.
O'Grady: I hear Dr. Smith specializes in dealing with... people like you.
Jules: Then that's where I'm going! Thank you so much for your time, sir.
O'Grady: No problem.
SCENE IV: Cafe Pathetique.
Announcer: Meanwhile, back at Cafe Pathetique, we rejoin Dave and K.
Dave: Pawn to King's five and checkmate again, K.
K: Drat. That makes three games in a row for you.
Dave: You seem distracted, K.
K: Oh, it's Jules...
Leonard: Hey, guys.
Dave: Oh, hi, Leonard. Have a seat.
Leonard: Thanks. What's up?
K: Life has no meaning. I feel empty inside.
Leonard: Dude, that's harshare you bummed out about "My So-Called Life" getting cancelled too?
K: What? Cancelled? Oh, God... Nobody tells me anything.
Dave: Oh, K... I'll buy you a coffee if it'll perk you up.
Leonard: Oh, thanks, man! That's cool of you, 'cuz I'm a little short right now.
Dave: I meant just Kbesides, Leonard, you still owe me from last week.
Leonard: I knowI was gonna pay you back but then I saw that Lester's Bargain Warehouse of Slightly Warped LPs was selling a autographed pair of Eddie Vedder's tube socks, and you know how I am about footwear.
Dave: Butoh, alright. I'll be right back.
K: Leonard, I'm in a metaphysical quandary. How does a grunge rocker like yourself reconcile considerations of existential nihilism with the mundane realities of the workaday world?
Leonard: I put on Nine Inch Nails and take a couple of Tums.
K: Drat, that won't work for me. Antacids always give me an upset stomach.
Cult members: (fading up to show that they're entering the cafe) Om... om.... om... om.... om... om.... om...
K: If only there was some way to answer these questions!
Leonard: Whoa... Look at all the guys in the orange robes.
K: I mean an easy, painless answer, of course. I'm an American citizen, and I have a right to an easily digestible and non-taxing solution to philosophical ennui.
Leonard: Oh, look, they're posting a sign.
K: Leonard, are you listening? I'm complaining about the terrible existential angst that plagues our society these days.
Leonard: Like, what else is new? I'm trying to read that sign... It says... It says... Oh, it's no use. I never learned to read.
K: It says "Attention seekers of the way towards truth and risk-free enlightenment"say, that sounds promising"We create a completely self-sufficient personal ethic so you don't have to. Let us do your spiritual thinking." My heavens, this sounds too good to be true! "Come hear the sermons of the Extremely Reverend Jimmy Hornswoggle at the Fully Most Holy and Accredited Church of Free Thought."
Reverend Jimmy: Excuse me, son...
K: Buzz off, friend. I'm trying to glean wisdom from this sign.
Rev. Jimmy: Oh, the one about the Reverend Jimmy Hornswoggle? Well, that's me, son! An' these folks chantin' behind me is my congregation. Say hello, people.
Cult members: (not interrupting their chant rhythm) Hello.
Rev. Jimmy: I couldn't help overhearin' what you was just sayin' about life bein' empty and colorless, and I knew right away I wanted to be your friend.
K: Yes! I'm filled deeply with spiritual mayonnaise.
Rev. Jimmy: I think you mean malaise.
K: Either way, it's all sticky.
Reverend Jimmy: Tell me.... you's a poet, ain't you.
K: Why, yes! How astute of you to notice.
Rev. Jimmy: Aw, it was a lucky guess. By the way, that beret looks mighty fine on you. It's new, ain't it? Would you mind moving your creative writing textbook over so's I kin sit down and have a chat with you?
K: Oh... certainly. There you are.
Rev. Jimmy: Much obliged. I don't believe I caught your name, son.
K: My name is Kjust the letter K. There used to be more to it, but I had an accident.
Rev. Jimmy: Mr. K, do you ever feel that as a poet, you're ... how do I put it... searching for meaning?
K: Why, yes! All the time! I mean, that's what poetry's all about, isn't it?
Rev. Jimmy: Have you ever considered the idea that meaning comes from... up there?
K: What, you mean the second floor of this building? I rather doubt that!
Rev. Jimmy: No, Mr. K, I mean way up there.
K: Oh, you mean the top floor. I don't know, it's still pretty far-fetched.
Rev. Jimmy: Mr. K, I'm talking about heaven. I'm talking about the Kingdom of God, and I say can I get a witness!
Cult Member: Yes, Lawd!
Rev. Jimmy: Mr. K, I wanna interduce yer mind to a radical new way of thinkin'. What if the Fully Most Holy and Accredited Church of Free Thought could aid you in the search for meaning?
K: Why, my poetry would be much better that what Jules could write, even if he does turn out to be a seething well of neuroses... How can I get all religious?
Rev. Jimmy: First, you must be saved.
K: OK, how?
Rev. Jimmy: You must find The Great All-Seeing Spirit deep within you.
K: Um... I'm not sure how to do that.
Rev. Jimmy: Nothin' could be simpler, son, thanks to the divinely inspired help of modern science! Here, take this!
K: This little green box? What does it do?
Rev. Jimmy: It finds the Holy Spirit that exists in your soul.
Rev. Jimmy: Yes. It is an invention of our spiritual gurua wise and mysterious German psychiatrist known only to us as the Great Masked Leader. It completely eliminates the need for blind faith and all the messy philosophical details and issues of control that brings up.
K: How does it work?
Rev. Jimmy: It's built on the same principle as a radon detector.
K: Good heavens.. what's that?
Rev. Jimmy: Radon is a colorless, odorless, silent poison that infects thousands of basements all across the U.S., killing their inhabitants slowly through a quietly insidious infiltration of their very cell structure.
K: And the Holy Spirit works the same way?
Rev. Jimmy: Um... no, not quite. But the methods of detection are similar. The Holy Spirit, too, is colorless, odorless, noiselessit is not of this material world.
K: Good heavensso how can I get in touch with it?
Rev. Jimmy: Take the detection box I just gave you and hold it up to your chest.
Rev. Jimmy: Now press the red button, and move the box slowly over your body...
K: Alright... It doesn't seem to be working... Oh, wait(SFX: A cheesy mechanical device plays "I've Got The Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down In My Heart")it's blinking!
Rev. Jimmy: Hallelujah! You've found the spirituality within you, Mr. K!
K: This is so neat! What do I do now?
Rev. Jimmy: Now, Mr. K, you must take the next step on your secret journey. It's time you took a little trip.
K: Oh, God, not a tripI get carsick very easily.
Rev. Jimmy: Um, not quite that kind of trip, Mr. K. If only the wise and mysterious Great Masked Leader were here to explain it to you.
Corpuscle: Did I hear ze cries of someone coated mit spritual mayonnaise?
K: Um, yes. That was me. Why do you wear a mask?
Corpuscle: Ah... It iss because I am too full of wisdom to show my face in public. It is not, despite what you may have heard, because I'm a murderer, thief and con artist on the run from the police.
K: Oh. Alright.
Rev. Jimmy: Great Masked Leader, we are in need of your wisdom right now! Thank heavens you just happened to be sitting at the next table over. Tell Mr. K about the (significant pause) next step on his journey of faith.
Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Vell, Mr. K. You must begin by recognizing zat any quest for enlightenment iss at heart an attempt to change ze mindset of ze individual.
Rev. Jimmy: Sing it, brother!
Corpuscle: Typically, a person at the beginning of this journey is lost, sheeplike and vaiting for some outside source to tell him vhat to zink. Und diss is vhere we come in.
Rev. Jimmy: Oh, yeah! Tell 'im the good news!
Corpuscle: Recently, it has become possible for man to chemically alter his mental state and thus alter his point of viewvhich iss much easier than ze old way, when you had to go sit on top of a cliff and fend off lovelorn mountain goats.
Rev. Jimmy: Damn those horn-ed goats of Satan!
Corpuscle: . Only our non-toxic and fat-free hallucinogens can unlock your own seething potential for pure sanity!
Rev. Jimmy: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-men!
K: Wonderful! How do I unlock all that seething potential?
Cult members: (again, w/o breaking rhythm, they switch the mantra to:) Drink me... drink me...
Corpuscle: I happen to have a potion.
Rev. Jimmy: 12 ounces of pure joy!
K: What is it?
Corpuscle: Zis? Oh... it's just a little somezing I whipped up. Vhat's ze matter, don't you trust me?
K: I don't know...
Rev. Jimmy: Come on now, boy! Drink up! What possible harm could there be?
K: Well, when you put it that way...
Announcer: What devilish scheme is behind the wicked liquid the Great Masked Leader is about to offer K? Will Jules find the neurosis he seeks at the New Corpuscle Instituteor is he being led into a fiendish trap! And what about the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Corpuscle in the first ten minutes of the show? What's up with that anyhow? These and many other questions will be answered in the second half of "The Tussle With Dr. Corpuscle"coming soon to a radio near you.
END OF PART I. GO TO PART II