Where Threads Come Loose
"Titanic Trio Part III: The Lowest Form of Humor

The Recording Script

• Written and directed by Tony Pagel. Produced by Christopher Bahn.
• Episode 29 (1997 Edition) of the radiodrama series Where Threads Come Loose
• Originally broadcast on KUOM-AM September 1995.

• Magnifisplendertastic Man: Chuck Keller
• Strange Arranger: Joel Stitzel
• Watery Grave: Tony Pagel
• Punster: Johnny Smokes
• Nickel Boy: Adam Pagel
• Big Cheese: Dan Grothe (?)
• Announcer, Kid: Christopher Bahn

• The third of Tony's parodic mini-series about three subcompetent superheroes: The Superman-esque Magnifisplendertastic Man, incredibly strong but even more incredibly stupid; Strange Arranger, a magic-wielding mystic whose powers run to card tricks and other dimestore stuff; and Watery Grave, a hapless Aquaman type whose voice sounds like gargling, whose skin is clammy and cold, who's cowardly and carsick, and who has never actually learned to swim. (The script of the Trio's first appearance hasn't been converted into HTML, but you can read the second episode here.) The character of Rimshot was played by a drum-cymbal noise off one of our sound-effects discs; that's why he doesn't actually have any lines.
Announcer: Threads Comix in Association with Fireball Andy Marlowe present issue #795 of the Titanic Trio: The Lowest Form of Humor. Featuring the talents of: (announcer reads cast and crew list here)

Announcer: As you remember from last issue, the Titanic Trio had just returned from Wisconsin Dells where they battled Pease Porridge Hot and The Muffin Man in their stronghold at Storybook Gardens. These nursery-rhyme rapscallions were attempting to use the area's candy kitchens to enslave the world with fudgy sweetness. After defeating the villains and accepting tickets to Wigglin' Willie's Waterpark as payment for their deeds, our heroes returned to Really Big City and the climate-controlled comfort of their Super Secret Vault of Peace.

(telemetry effects)

Art by Audry Wolters
Magnifisplendertastic Man: This beanbag chair we bought in the Dells is just what the doctor ordered. My spinal column is enjoying the combined effect of styrofoam beads and blue pseudo-leatherette vinyl. Aaahh.

Strange Arranger: I am glad you enjoy it. I also have returned with a treasure from the Dells. This replica of one of the apocryphal Wisconsin Dells ducks will provide me with much needed information on human behavior.

Watery Grave: Well all I have to say is that this box of salt water taffy I got sucks the proverbial big one. I thought that flavors like pickle, couscous and primordial soup would be a taste treat. At least that's what that pimple-faced snake of a taffy vendor said. O, I have been cruelly duped!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Enough of the self-pity, Watery Grave. A superhero must never throw a pity party, for the guest of honor always buys his own refreshments.

Watery Grave: What?

Magnifisplendertastic Man: You need to put the past behind you, my companion. Forget the damage inflicted by the treacherous seller of confections and face the new day with clean teeth and a sunny smile. Pull yourself up by the swim fins and march into the morning's dewy splendor.

Watery Grave: Are you understanding any of this, Arranger?

Strange Arranger: Apparently the bean bag chair on which our companion sits is causing a rush of endorphins to his head.

Watery Grave: What?

Strange Arranger: Simply put, the comfy chair that currently hosts Magnifisplendertastic Man is making him feel all yummy and scrumptious inside. Oh look, my model comes with a little driver. All aboard! Toot-toot!

Watery Grave: I don't believe this.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Would someone come over here and rub my tummy?

Strange Arranger: And over here on your left is the Devil's Back Porch Formation which was carved out of the living rock about 50,000 years ago. If you look closely enough, you can see Ol' Scratch himself lighting a citronella candle.

Watery Grave: Bah! I wonder what the red ones are. (EFX: unwrap taffy) Bleah! Steak tartare!

(EFX: beep of videophone)

Strange Arranger: It's the Big Cheese!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: I just love that sound. In fact, I love all of you very very much.

Watery Grave: (mouth full of taffy) I'll get it.

(EFX: another beep) Big Cheese: Hello Titanic Trio, are you there?

Watery Grave: Murflegurbin.

Big Cheese: Eh what?

Watery Grave: Just a second. (spits out the taffy) What is it, Big Cheese?

Big Cheese: Oh thank heavens, Watery Grave. Is the rest of the team there?

Strange Arranger: Just up ahead is a point of rock we like to call Oyagitchaumgowon, which is the Native American word for "big hunk of rock that looks like a barber pole". Isn't nature wonderful, folks? Beep beep, everyone out of the way for the mighty Duck!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: (sing-song) Lambykins you are my only squoogy-woogums and I will pet your itsy-bitsy woolly head.

Watery Grave: Uh, more or less, Big Cheese.

Big Cheese: Excellent. There's a crisis of epic proportions forming in the Old-World quarter of the city. Only the Titanic Trio has the ability to help!

Strange Arranger: That concludes our tour of the Dells. Have a wonderful day in the tourist trap that never sleeps and don't forget your complimentary 50-cent-off passes to Tommy Bartlett's Robot World.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Daffodils and daisies make me smile, smile, smile.

Watery Grave: We'll do the best we can, Chief. What seems to be the trouble?

Big Cheese: Well, there was an emergency call from the Quarter about three hours ago to the police station. The person on the line said that there was the makings of a riot forming on the corner of Kanoegenfloegen and Meshbesher Streets.

Watery Grave: You mean in front of the statue of Admiral Lederkranz, famed tactician and pastry chef?

Big Cheese: The very same. We deployed a squadron of riot police to the scene, but they haven't reported in yet. I fear that something loathsome and icky has happened to them.

Watery Grave: And you want us to go and check it out?

Big Cheese: Precisely. I'm counting on the Titanic Trio to accomplish yet another daring feat of superherohood.

Watery Grave: We'll be right out there as soon as we can, BC.

Big Cheese: Thank you, Watery Grave. Big Cheese out. (EFX: same beep).

Watery Grave: You heard the Big Cheese, guys. Let's get moving.

Strange Arranger: Vroom-vroom! The duck knows no master. He is king of the road! Tourists flee from his ponderous bulk. Run little tourists, run while you still can!

Watery Grave: Arranger, we've got a mission from the Big Cheese.
Strange Arranger: What? Oh yes, the Big Cheese. My anthropological study will have to wait.

Watery Grave: Help me get MM out of that chair.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: (singing) I go squeak, squeak, squeak in my little blue chair and my little blue chair squeaks with me!

Watery Grave: Come on, MM. There's a situation brewing in the Old World Quarter. It's time to do some action-packed deeds.

Strange Arranger: Yes, come on, my companion. If I have to leave my duck behind, so too must you vacate that chair no matter how comfy or squeaky.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: But I love this chair and it loves me back! I'll never leave it and it will cushion my rear forever.

Strange Arranger: We have no time for creature comforts, my companion! As we shilly-shally, horrors could be a-bubbling on the cobbled streets of the Quarter!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: But I haven't been this comfortable since our run-in with the Posturepede, (See "Four Posts and a Thousand Legs" Issue #633-Tony). My broad back is tired from bearing the burdens of the universe. It wants to rest.

Watery Grave: Listen you muscle-bound clod! Stop thinking about your mighty behind and get out of that chair. There's hero work to be done.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Oh alright. Maybe if we wrap this up quickly, I can come back and feel it's cushy embrace once again.

Strange Arranger: That is the spirit, my companion.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Okay then. Titanic Trio role call! I, Magnifisplendertasitc Man, with unbounded strength, questionable intelligence and a blue bean bag chair that calls to me with the sweet song of contoured support. Oh how I...

Watery Grave: Hey! Hey!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Oh yes. Sorry.

Strange Arranger: I, The Strange Arranger, with my intimate knowledge of John Dee, Aleister Crowley and the 'Lil Houdini Magic Kit.

Watery Grave: And I, the Watery Grave, with my ability...to wade up to waist height!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: It's always a good idea to set your sights high.

Watery Grave: Hey, back off! My instructor says I'm making excellent progress.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Yeah, right. And together, we are...

ALL: The Titanic Trio!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: To the Hyundai!

SCENE II. Downtown

Announcer: And so our heroes pile into the fire-engine red Hyundai and speed for the Old World Quarter of Really Big City. Who knows what horrors lurk in its sauerkraut-laden alleys. What fiendish purveyors of evil haunt its delis and curio shops? What has happened to the Big Cheese's riot squads? Let's join our heroes and discover these answers.

(EFX: car driving)
Magnifisplendertastic Man: The Hyundai seems to be drifting a little to the right. I can't understand it. We just had it looked at by the staff of Big Wally's Cars and Gyros.

Strange Arranger: Perhaps it was affected by our confrontation with The Right-Winger and the Whip. (See: TT #712: "Eye of Newt, Tongue of Bob"-Tony)

Watery Grave: Couldn't we trade this sardine can for a roomier car? We could get a really big Cadillac or something. Magnifisplendertastic Man takes up the whole front seat. I mean, we're supposed to be defenders of the American way, and we're driving a foreign car. What about the hypocrisy?

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Never fear, my aquatic associate. This vehicle was a gift from a former team-mate of mine. Before the Titanic Trio was assembled, I was part of the Keynesian Commandos. My squadron was the finest bunch of cold warriors this side of the Atlantic. My companions and I were given the Hyundai by the government for years of service. As the only remaining member of the Commandos, I inherited the car. (See "Keynesian Commandos" issues 1-55 —Tony). Oh how I miss the old squadron: Red Scare, ICBM, Gold Standard, and especially Old Glory Gal. My super-enhanced heart is filled with sorrow.

Strange Arranger: Pay attention to the road, MM!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: What? Oh yes, the road. How I respect it's asphalty surface. It is truly a modern miracle.

Watery Grave: Wait a minute! How could you possibly have gotten a Hyundai in the 1950's? They weren't built until the late eighties! And why have we never heard about your old squadron before this? For God's sake, man! What about continuity?!?

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Continuity! Hah! I chuckle a chuckle of contempt from my barrel chest! Ha-ha! We are super heroes! What need have we of logic or accurate time lines? Let's just go out and battle some unknown quantity of evil.

Watery Grave: But...

Strange Arranger: I agree, my scaly soul-mate. Let us just do our jobs and let history sort everything out.

Watery Grave: I can't believe this outfit...

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Next stop: Kanoegenfloegen and Meshbesher! (EFX:tire squeal) Everybody out!

(EFX:car doors open/close)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Now to business. Just where is this shadowy threat? Where will the forces of darkness place their crime-muddied boots?

Strange Arranger: I think the source of the disturbance can be traced to that crowd gathered by the statue of Admiral Lederkranz. There appears to be two figures standing on a stage in front of it.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Aha. That is definitely suspicious. Perhaps they can tell us what the disturbance is.

Watery Grave: Maybe we should go up to the stage and hear what they're saying to the crowd.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Excellent plan, Watery. But this might be risky. I think it's a situation that calls for...

Watery Grave: Oh, no.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Disguises!

Watery Grave: I knew it.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Arranger, break out the disguise kit. After we don our urban camouflage, we can infiltrate the crowd and get to the bottom of this.

SCENE III. In the crowd.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: That should just about do it. How do I look, fellows?

Strange Arranger: The transformation is startling. Those dark glasses make you unrecognizable to me, and I have known you for many a year.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Excellent! I must add that your fake scar completely changes your appearance.

Watery Grave: This is stupid! No one's going to believe that I naturally have a beard! I have no other hair on my body and am covered in slightly damp scales!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Watery, are you some sort of nay-sayer? Ever since the beginning of this adventure, you have been a gloomy gus. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were deliberately sabotaging our operation.

Watery Grave: Oh for crying out...Listen, I joined this operation to fight the forces of evil, not to wear costumes that wouldn't even fool a child.

Kid: Hey look! It's the Titanic Trio!

Watery Grave: See what I mean?

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Nonsense! These disguises are foolproof! That silly child just made a lucky guess. Now, on to discover this threat to order! Titanic Trio...INFILTRATE!

SCENE IV. The Evil Wurst Vendor.

Strange Arranger: Perhaps we should split up to cover more ground.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Good idea, Arranger. I'll work my way to the front of the crowd; you two cover the rear.

Strange Arranger: I hear you loud and clear, MM.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Roger, over and out.

Strange Arranger: Alright, Watery Grave. We have been charged with covering the rear.

Watery Grave: I heard.

Strange Arranger: Let us get to the bottom of this mystery, shall we?

Watery Grave: All I can see is that there's a crowd.

Nickel Boy (disguised as wurst vendor): Ach! Delicious sausages free for super heroes!

Watery Grave: Wow! Free ethnic sausages! Come on, Arranger!

Strange Arranger: I do not think that is wise, my companion. Accepting the gift of gratis sausage would indeed blow our cover sky-high.

Watery Grave: Come on, Arranger. Don't be a spoil sport. Look, he's got a monkey on his shoulder! Anyone with a trained monkey is okay in my book. Let's get us some wurst!

Nickel Boy: Gott im Himmel! Mein affen und I vish to give these tasty vieners to super heroes to reward dem vor dey're fine work. If only dere vere such heroes around, I vould lavish dem mit attention und bratwurst.

Watery Grave: Excuse me, Sausage Man. We would like free sausages.

Nickel Boy: Donner und blitzen! You are not superheroes! I vas hoping dose wundermenschen, der Titanic Trio, vould be here today.

Watery Grave: But we are two of the Titanic Trio. I'm Watery Grave and over here is the Strange Arranger.

Strange Arranger: Yes, do not be fooled by our disguises.

Watery Grave: See? This fake beard comes right off. (ripping noise) Oooh, I hope that grows back.

Nickel Boy: Ach so! I believe dat you are truly heroes. Please grab a wurst in honor of your fine work.

Watery Grave: Don't mind if I do.

Strange Arranger: Yes, a sizzling bratwurst is just the thing for this sunny day.

Nickel Boy: Here you are. Enjoy.

Watery Grave: (mouth full) Hmm. Tasty.

Strange Arranger: (mouth full) Yes indeed. Do I detect a hint of fennel?

Watery Grave: I think it's caraway.

Nickel Boy: (dropping the accent) You're both wrong! That toothsome taste in your mouths is a powerful narcotic of my own invention! Bwah-ha-ha!

Strange Arranger: Even though you are an ethnic citizen, I do not think that the city will look too kindly on your adding of illegal drugs to your sausages.
Nickel Boy: Fools! Meat companies do it all the time! How else can you explain the vast success of corn dogs?

Watery Grave: Wait a minute...you're not a friendly wurst vendor!

Nickel Boy: Brilliant deduction, Watery Grave. It is I, Nickel Boy, come to wreak meaty justice on the Titanic Trio! Bwah-ha-ha! I had hoped to get all three of you at once, but two will do just as nicely.

Strange Arranger: Must...call for...help. But I'm so...sleepy.

Nickel Boy: That would be my soporific agent speeding through your veins. In moments, you will be unconscious and my carefully crafted revenge will begin.

Strange Arranger: Everything is getting...black. Can't...fight it. Ungh!

Nickel Boy: Bwah-ha-ha!

Watery Grave: That was delicious. Can I have another one?

Nickel Boy: What! You should be snoring on the sidewalk by now.

Watery Grave: Nope. I'm peppy and lively.

Nickel Boy: Perhaps my concoction is ineffective against aquatic biology. Curses!

Watery Grave: So can I have another one or not?

Nickel Boy: In a minute. I think this situation calls for monkey power. Jacques! Sic 'em!

(Monkey shrieks, WG screams, WG falls with a thud)

Nickel Boy: That's more like it. Now to the warehouse for revenge and ladyfingers!

SCENE V. Enter the Punster.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Excuse me, citizens. Please let me through! Disguised superhero here. Whew! Finally at the front. Now to observe the goings-on. Perhaps those two men on the platform will explain.

Punster: ...and then the cowboys says, (sings to the tune of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo) "Pardon me Roy, Is that the cat who ate your new shoe?"

Rimshot: (note: Rimshot speaks only as a rimshot. The effect will be played whenever his initials come up).

Crowd: (in zombie unison) Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Punster: Thank you, thank you. You're a great crowd! But seriously, I'd like to thank you all for coming down here and becoming my hypnotised army of evil. You're the best, and I don't say that to just any group on mindless drones. Now as you all know, I'm here to assemble a gang of drooling minions to take over the world. You're all going to be a part of criminal history, so smile and settle back to some more good comedy.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: This villain's treachery is stupefying! I shall have to raise a ruckus. This crowd of honest citizens will surely join me in defeating him. (raises voice) Excuse me, Mr. Evil Fellow!

Punster: What's that? No one should be talking during the performance!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: I'm afraid your reign of terror is over, Mr. Evil Fellow. The Titanic Trio is here to thwart your plotting and planning!

Punster: Gasp! Not the Titanic Trio which defeated my old crony, the Humidifier? (see issue #532: Wet Blanket, -Tony)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: The very same! Prepare your hiney for a thorough paddling!

Punster: Oh, I don't think so. For as the unpainted cabinet said to the carpenter, "I'm not finished yet".


Crowd: Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Uh, I don't get it.

Punster: You may not get it yet, but you're going to get it. No one matches wits with the Punster and lives, not even the Titanic Trio!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Oh yeah? Try me.

SCENE VI: Warehouse.

Announcer: Meanwhile in an abandoned warehouse near the Old World District, the Strange Arranger and Watery Grave awaken to find themselves secured to concrete slabs with boards strapped to their chests.

Strange Arranger: What? What happened? I appear to be secured to a concrete slab with a board strapped to my chest.

Announcer: I just told them that. Don't you ever listen?

Watery Grave: Oh, Mrs. Gore, stop that. What if the vice-president was to find out?

Strange Arranger: Watery Grave! Wake up! We are in what might be dire straits!

Nickel Boy: Hah! If you only knew how dire or indeed how straight, you'd be gibbering with fear and begging for mercy!

Watery Grave: Oh Tipper, Tipper. Where did you learn that trick with your tongue?

Nickel Boy: Begging, I say! Why, my revenge is so apt, so pertinent, so Adam West that I'm dancing the tarantella. But on the inside where it doesn't show so much.

Watery Grave: Whipped cream? But isn't that Bill's?

Nickel Boy: Arrgh! Enough of this obviously sick dreaming to interrupt my monologue. Jacques! Rouse fish boy from his slumber!

Jacques: (monkey noise)

Watery Grave: Wha? Ack! Get that evil primate away from me!

Nickel Boy: There. That's more like it. Now where was I? Oh yes, You are both doomed! Doomed for mocking my superpowers (see Hero Worship-Tony). Doomed for getting me fired from my cushy University job (See The Red Tape Waltz-Tony). And doomed for just being better dressed than me. I hate that.

Strange Arranger: But what is your fiendish plot?

Nickel Boy: I was hoping you'd ask that. You are both secured to concrete slabs with boards strapped to your chests.

Announcer: What, was my exposition not good enough for you? You comic book types make me sick. And to think I gave up public television for this.

Nickel Boy: You are probably wondering why I have teamed up with a little monkey named Jacques.

Strange Arranger: Actually no.

Nickel Boy: Well I'm going to tell you anyway! Jacques is the key to this whole torture. I've trained him to do a special task when he hears a certain song. When I start the tape on this boom box on the floor, Jacques will begin his work and then you two heroes are history!

Watery Grave: Okay.

Nickel Boy: What? Don't you want to know what terrible fate awaits you?

Watery Grave: Not me especially? How about you, Arranger?

Strange Arranger: No, I am not the slightest bit curious.

Nickel Boy: But you have to be! What good is a twisted revenge if the parties involved don't care? It goes against the comics code!

Strange Arranger: Nevertheless, I have no desire to know my current destiny.

Watery Grave: Besides, I can pretty much guess what it is.

Nickel Boy: No you can't. I'm too complex and unfathomable.

Watery Grave: Oh yeah? Let me see: You've been obsessed with nickels for what, three issues now? So it probably has something to do with nickels.

Nickel Boy: Uh, no it doesn't.

Watery Grave: Oh, of course it does! I can see them under that sheet in the corner. There must be about ten thousand worth there.

Nickel Boy: Okay, so maybe it does have something to do with nickels. There, are you happy now? You're absolutely ruining this for me! But can you guess what they're for? Hmm, you talking trout? Can you?

Watery Grave: I don't know. Let's see, you've trained the monkey to, oh, stack them up on the boards until we're crushed by the weight...

Nickel Boy: Arggh! Shut up!

Watery Grave: Leaving us a pulpy mass of flesh encased in spandex...

Nickel Boy: I'm not listening...La-la-la! I can't hear you!

Watery Grave: And thereby teaching us respect for the awesome might of the nickel. Something like that, I would suppose.

Nickel Boy: Oooh! Fine. Fine! Maybe my plan was suspiciously close to that one. But then again maybe it wasn't. You will have plenty of time to ponder your folly as Jacques does his work. Are you ready Jacques?

Jacques: (monkey noises)

Nickel Boy: Okay, I'll start the tape. (EFX: Tape clicks on, and early-'80s-era electronically based pop-prog-rock plays) Okay Jacques, get moving! And now, I have to go call a locksmith. I've locked my keys in my car. And instead of watching to make sure you get what you deserve, I'm going to eat some snack foods and read their ingredient lists to myself. That ought to teach you! So long, suckers! Bwa-ha-ha!

SCENE VI: In the Square.

Announcer: Back at the statue of Admiral Lederkranz, the Punster and Rimshot battle furiously with Magnifisplendertastic Man.

Punster: ...then the shrimp says, (t.t.t.o. "I Lost my heart...) "I lost my harp in Sam Clam's Disco"!


Crowd: Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: But why would a shrimp even have a harp? They don't have the manual dexterity to play one. Not to mention the fact that they have very little taste for classical music...

Punster: What is with you? I've seen more of a sense of humor in park benches.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Perhaps I don't "get" your "comedy stylings," but that doesn't mean I don't have a sense of humor. Why, I laugh all the time. In fact, I feel a belly laugh bubbling up right now. HA-HA-HA!

Punster: I now see the drawback to my scheme for world domination. In order for my natural gift of hypnotic punning to be effective, the victim must possess a rudimentary intelligence.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: What? Speak English, you, or I'll come up there and make you speak it.

Punster: Oh yeah? You wouldn't dare.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: There's nothing as sad as a comedian gone bad, except perhaps a poet that don't even know it. It's high time you got your come-uppance.

Punster: I beg to differ. For as the man said two days after the explosion at the cereal factory, "I still have some tricks up my sleeve"!


Crowd: Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Punster: Thank you, Rimshot. Get that heckler, folks! Bring me his head, and I waive the two-drink minimum!

Crowd: Ba-dum-dum-ching. Ba-dum-dum-ching. Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Uh, oh.

SCENE VII. Back at the warehouse.
(Prog-rock music in the background)

Strange Arranger: How are you doing, Watery?

Watery Grave: Not too good, Arranger. You?

Strange Arranger: The pressure generated by the weight of these nickels is beginning to make breathing difficult.

Watery Grave: I agree. As much as I hate to admit it, this novelty revenge has taught me the value of a nickel. I can see why Nickel Boy prizes them so highly.

Strange Arranger: I also realize the folly of my ways, but that is less important than devising an escape from this. What are we going to do?

Watery Grave: I could try to exude some oil around the wrist cuffs holding me down and slip out.

Strange Arranger: You would have to touch me to get me off of my slab, right?

Watery Grave: Well yeah.

Strange Arranger: I do not like that plan. No offense, Watery.

Watery Grave: None taken.

Strange Arranger: Perhaps you could use your sonic scream to influence the monkey's mind. It worked the last time. (see The Red Tape Waltz-Tony).

Watery Grave: No, that won't do it. He's not a sea monkey. Aren't you supposed to be an escape artist?

Strange Arranger: Yes, I am fully trained to free myself from any entrapment.

Watery Grave: So?

Strange Arranger: So what? Oh, yes. Use my powers to escape. How silly of me. Ungh...Urg...Argle. Whew! I am sorry, but I am afraid I cannot.

Watery Grave: What!? What kind of Super Magician are you?

Strange Arranger: Oh excuse me if I am not at my best here. I am just being crushed beneath a mountain of nickels. It is not like there is any kind of pressure.

Watery Grave: I bet David Copperfield could have done it.

Strange Arranger: COPPERFIELD! That hack! If I was not pinned under all this currency, I would punch you right in what passes for your nose!

Watery Grave: Oh yeah?

Strange Arranger: Yeah. And what is more, I...

Watery Grave: Alright, calm down. We need to come up with something, but quick.

Strange Arranger: Magnifisplendertastic Man would know what to do...

SCENE VIII. Mass Hysteria!

Announcer: Oh would he? Let's just see how our hero is faring against a mesmerized comedy audience.

(Crowd repeats its mantra throughout)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Now let's not be hasty. I enjoy a good chuckle just like any other hero. I meant no offense against your wholly evil guru. I...Aiigh!

Punster: Look at him Rimshot. He is no match for a full battalion of people whooped up on puns. They will reduce him to a shiny patch on the cobblestones, and then, the world!


Punster: You're right, chum. This sure does beat the comedy circuit. It's deader than the proverbial doornail. It's a good thing we discovered this curious side-effect of my talent, or my agent would have dropped me like that.


Punster: I'm not really sure what they're going to do to him and I really don't care. Just as long as he's out of the picture. Excuse me a second, Rimshot. (to crowd) That's right, my followers! Pick him up! For as the peasant said after his bout with the vampire, "That guy is a real pain in the neck!"


Magnifisplendertastic Man: Hey, put me down! I can't hurt them. They're simple citizens under the spell of that Svengali of Schtick! What are they planning to do? They're carrying me toward that brick wall! What sort of dastardly machination is this? Hey! I feel like Michael Stipe in "Drive" (sings) Hey kids, rock and roll, nobody...Uh,oh. Song's over. Arrggh!

SCENE IX. In the Warehouse.

Strange Arranger: I don't know which is worse, the weight of these nickels or that horrible song. Nickel Boy must have made an endless loop of the thing.

Watery Grave: At the rate that damned monkey is going, we won't have to worry about it much longer. Hey you, yeah you, ya lousy primate! Your mother wore a bellhop outfit!

Jacques: (angry monkey screech)

Strange Arranger: I am not so sure you should have done that. He's working a lot faster now.

Watery Grave: Ouch! Hey, no biting, you dirty cheater!

Strange Arranger: It looks like this is the end, my friend.

(MM shout starts small and gets louder over the next few lines)

Watery Grave: What's that sound? I don't remember that sort of scream on this album.

Strange Arranger: It's getting louder. What could it be?

Jacques: (monkey sound of wonder)

EFX: Explosion as MM rockets through the soild brick warehouse wall. Bricks tumble, Jacques wails.)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Ooh, that tingles.

Watery Grave: MM! You've come to save us!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: What's this? My two companions the Strange Arranger and Watery Grave secured to concrete slab with boards strapped to their chests!

Announcer: Okay, that does it! No more exposition from me. I'm going home.

Strange Arranger: Hurry, MM. Clear off these nickels before we're superhero puree!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Oh, okay. (EFX: two crashes of currency)

Strange Arranger: Whew! That was indeed a very close shave.

Watery Grave: You said it. Now where's that venomous monkey? I've got a score to settle.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'm sure the announcer will straighten everything out.

(long pause)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Okay, maybe not. But there's no time to fill me in, my companions, for lo there is a multitude of glassy-eyed comedy victims hot on my heels!

Crowd: Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Watery Grave: Arrgh! Is this our fate? To be rescued from certain destruction only to be trampled by an even more certain one? I've gotta get out of this business.

Strange Arranger: If you have any ideas, MM, I would suggest you give them now.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: What? I've never had to think before. Oh mama, we're all doomed! Doomed I say!

Punster: Surrender Titanic Trio or be annihilated! For like the priest with amnesia, you haven't got a prayer!


Crowd: Ba-dum-dum-ching.

Watery Grave: That's what you've been up against? Somebody put me back under the nickels. That was at least a merciful death.

Strange Arranger: Don't just stand there, MM. Give him what for!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Who me? Oh, yeah. Uh...don't have a prayer huh? Well, as the ice cream cone said to the tongue, "I'd rather be in New Mexico."


Crowd: Ba-dum-dum...huh?

Punster: Hey, what the hell do you think you're doing?


Punster: Don't give me that. That wasn't even a joke.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Really? I thought it was a real knee-slapper.

Punster: That was awful. You couldn't even get a spot on Saturday Night Live with that material.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Ah. Well, as the one-legged goat peddler said to the convention of Mongolian Shriners, "Which way to the bathroom?"


Crowd: Ba-dum...uh...(various people say: What?, I don't get it?, etc.)

Punster: Stop acknowledging those! They aren't even close to funny.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: It's all a matter of perspective. For as the frog in the coon-skin cap said to the roller-skating walrus, "It's all a matter of perspective".


Crowd: (various people say: Where am I?, What day is it?, Whose shirt is this?)

Punster: Arrgh! You no-talent do-gooder! My plans, my lovely plans! All gone. Sob.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Stop sniveling and come with us, Punster. We'll make sure you get a nice cell downtown.

Punster: Never! I must flee! Come on, Rimshot!


Strange Arranger: MM, they are getting away!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: After them!

SCENE X. Getaway.

Punster: Hurry, Rimshot! They're right behind us.


Punster: I don't know yet. We'll find something. Look, there's a guy by that car there.

Nickel Boy: ...Lechithin, rolled corn meal, yellow number 5, corn syrup...Bwa-ha-ha!

Punster: You there! Get in the car! We've got to get out of here!

Nickel Boy: Who's we?

Punster: The Punster and my sidekick Rimshot. Hurry! There's no time to lose, the Titanic Trio is hot on our heels!

Nickel Boy: The Titanic Trio? But that's impossible. I just crushed two of them underneath stacks of nickels! They should be the Sensational Solo Act by now.

Punster: Oh yeah? Then who's that?

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Someone stop that comedian!

Strange Arranger: Halt, evildoers!

Watery Grave: Oh man, we've got to stop all this running. I've got a huge stitch in my side!

Nickel Boy: Curses! Well, Punster and Rimshot, you're lucky that locksmith got here. Hop in! We're headed for the drive-thru of darkness!

(EFX: car doors open/close, car drives off)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Blast! We missed them.

Strange Arranger: But we have saved the day yet again!


Magnifisplendertastic Man: Come on, fellows. Back to the Super Secret Vault of Peace. That beanbag chair of mine calls to me from across the city. I must massage my posterior in anticipation. Aaaah...
Watery Grave: Hey stop that, this is a family show!

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Hold on, what's this stuck to my nether region? (EFX: unpeeling sound) It appears to be a flattened monkey!

Strange Arranger: It is Jacques! The simian pawn of evil has been crushed. A moment of silence please for the unwitting animal. (short pause)

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Okay, that's enough. Now on to home. Roll the credits, maestro!


Strange Arranger: I think the announcer left in a snit, MM.

Magnifisplendertastic Man: Oh. Then I shall have to take over.

(MM reads credits)