More of THE BLACK ISLAND...(2/3)

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Tarl Roger Kudrick

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Mar 26, 2002, 8:52:08 PM3/26/02
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents:
"The Black Island" (part 2 of 3)

"The Black Island" is (C) 1952 by August W. Derleth, and originally
appeared in "Weird Tales" magazine.

This MST3K Parody is (C) 2002 by Tarl Roger Kudrick
(tar...@comcast.net), with a couple of jokes added by Francis Heaney.

Disclaimers:

Any deviation from the original text of "The Black Island" is either the
result of Tarl's heavy editing, or a transcription error. Text which was
italicized in the original is _underscored_like_this_ in the Usenet
version.

Also, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (aka MST3K) is a registered trademark
of Best Brains, as are the MST3K characters and locations.

==============================================

(Commercial break ends. We see Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo huddled around
a computer screen which is facing towards them, and away from the
audience.)

CROW: E-mail...there's no entry?

TOM: Automobile...see "horseless carriage"? Mike, when was this
dictionary programmed, anyway?

MIKE: I don't know! It just came with the Satellite.

CROW: (still reading dictionary) Liberal: a person who believes in the
primary importance of individual rights and freedoms...Man, this really
IS out of date!

MIKE: Hey! We don't DO political humor here on the Satellite of Love.

TOM: Yeah, you Republican.

MIKE: Look, if it's really bothering you, I'll call Pearl and see if
she can get us an upgrade. (Activates comm system.) Pearl?

(Switch to inside of Castle Forrester. Now there are not quite as many
bananas as before, but they're still almost up to the ceiling. Bobo is
leaning against the mountain of bananas, moaning. He looks like he's
gained three hundred pounds and his hands are over his stomach. Pearl is
in front of the comm system.)

PEARL: Hello Mike. How's the story going?

MIKE: It's terrible.

PEARL: Good!

BOBO: (Moans horribly)

MIKE: I wanted to complain about the Satellite of Love's on-board
dictionary.

PEARL: (Stares at him stupidly.) And what, may I ask, makes you think I
give a flip about your dictionary?

CROW: It doesn't have the word "batrachian" in it.

PEARL: (Same blank look.)

TOM: Or "ichthyic"!

PEARL: Look you morons, I've got problems of my own right now. In case
you hadn't noticed, we've still got a bajillion bananas down here and
I'm finally convinced that Bobo can't eat any more of them.

BOBO: No more, no more! Oooohhh....

MIKE: Why not have Brain Guy just "zap" them all somewhere?

PEARL: Because bananas are very high in potassium and believe it or
not, for some reason, very large quantities of potassium seem to
interfere with Pasty Guy's mental abilities.

MIKE: I find that hard to believe.

CROW: No, it's true, Mike. I saw an inscription on a bathroom wall in a
men's room in Spokane once that left an unmistakable impression that
potassium interferes with psychic powers.

TOM: And let's not forget all those mysterious figurines carved out of
some unnaturally-colored wood in the northern forests of Siberia. If you
squint just right, they do look sort of like Brain Guy sitting next to a
banana and looking unhappy.

CROW: And what about the legend of the Ghost Clown? It's said that when
the Ghost Clown appears in your circus, it's time to give up!

TOM: That was a Scooby Doo episode.

CROW: That counts!

BOBO: (Moans loudly, and starts rocking back and forth.)

PEARL: (Wincing) And did I mention the other problem? Bananas give Bobo
gas.

MIKE: Whoops.

PEARL: Exactly.

CROW: So we can't do political humor, but toilet humor is fine?

TOM: Toilet humor is universal.

CROW: Wouldn't it depend on the culture? I'm sure in SOME cultures...

TOM: (Agitated) Look! The famous drunken explorer Ebeneezer
Anchenstemen of Korvat-Yakherder wrote with CERTAINTY in his diary
about...

(Lights flash, the buzzer sounds)

ALL: Story Time! Aaaaaaa.....

3...
2...
1...


> We shipped for Ponape on the second day, traveling by one of
> the regular steamers plying the islands. I had thought we were to
> have possession of a ship of our own,

CROW: But our moms wouldn't let us have one.

> but Professor Shrewsbury offered an explanation that other
> arrangements had been made out of Ponape.

TOM: That's not an explanation, that's a restatement of the problem.

> We gathered together on the deck soon after leaving the docks,
> primarily for the purpose of comparing notes

CROW: Do people look at YOU strangely when you use words like
"batrachian"? Oh, me too!

> and I discovered that all of them spoke matter-of-factly of being
> under surveillance in Singapore.

TOM: They saw themselves on "America's Most Gullible" the very next day.

> "And you," Professor Shrewsbury turned to me.

MIKE: Did "turned to me" mean "said" back in 1952?
CROW: We'll have to ask our dictionary when we get back.

> "Were you aware of being followed, Mr. Blayne?"
> I shook my head. "But I had thought someone trailed after
> you," I admitted. "Who were they?"
> "The Deep Ones," offered Phelan.

TOM: Ann Landers and Andy Rooney.

> "They are everywhere, but we've had other followers far more
> dangerous. The star protects us from them; they cannot harm us
> as long as we carry it."

MIKE: What star?

> "I have one for you, Mr. Blayne," said Professor Shrewsbury.

MIKE: WHAT star? Did I miss something?
CROW: Leave it alone, Mike.

> "Who are the Deep Ones?" I asked.
> Professor Shrewsbury offered an immediate explanation.

TOM: Which I delayed telling you about so I could tell you that it
really was immediate, first.

> The Deep Ones, he said, were minions of Cthulhu. Originally they
> had been aquatic only--hideously suggestive of human beings, but
> essentially

TOM: Uh oh...

> batrachian or ichthyic;

ALL: AAAAAAAA!!!

> but over a century ago

CROW: They became batrachian AND ichthyic?

> certain American traders had come into the South Pacific and
> formed alliances with the Deep Ones, mating with them

ALL: EEEEWWWWW!!! Gross!
TOM: I TOLD you this should have been in an erotic magazine!

> and thus producing

CROW: An argument for contraception even the Pope would agree with.

> a hybrid breed which could exist equally well on land or in the
> sea;

TOM: Meaning it would die quickly in both places.

> it was this hybrid breed which was to be found in most of the port
> cities of the world, never very far from water.

MIKE: They hung out in bathrooms a lot.

> That they were directed by some sort of super-intelligence from
> the sea seemed unquestionable

CROW: Because they always got water-based questions right when they
appeared on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire".

> since they were never long in discovering any member of Professor
> Shrewbury's party, all of whom had had previous encounters with
> the followers of Cthulhu--

MIKE: Mostly at wild parties.

> and, indeed, with certain minions of others of the Ancient Ones.

TOM: Like Dick Clark.

> Their purpose was clearly menacing, but the power of the five-
> pointed star, which was sealed with the seal of the Elder Gods

MIKE: "Do not open until Xmas"

> rendered them impotent.

CROW: Finally, an infallible family planning device.

> Should anyone of them fail to carry the star, however, he might
> fall victim to the Deep Ones, or the Abominable Mi-Go,

TOM: As in "Oh Mi-Go, this story is LAME!"

> or to the Tcho-Tcho people, the Shoggoths, the Shantaks,

MIKE: The Stay-Puf Marshmallow Men,

> or any among a score or more of those human and semi-human
> creatures dedicated to the service of the Ancient Ones.

CROW: No wonder it's so hard to find good service nowadays; the Ancient
Ones took all the dedicated employees.

> Professor Shrewsbury excused himself to go to his cabin

MIKE: Because he could hardly keep a straight face anymore.

> and bring to me the star of which he had spoken. It was a rough-
> surfaced stone, grey in color, with a barely distinguishable seal
> representing a pillar of light, as closely as I could approximate
> it.

MIKE: It's a star!
CROW: It's a pillar!
TOM: It's a stone!
MIKE: It's three batrachian repellents in one!

> It was not large;

TOM: So I threw it back.

> it scarcely covered my palm, but it had a peculiar effect on me,
> for it felt as if it burned my flesh, and I found it curiously
> repellent.

CROW: Normally he LIKES being set on fire.

> I put it into my pocket, and there it seemed incredibly heavy;
> there, too, it left a burning sensation on my skin, despite the
> clothing between;

MIKE: I told you to wear your asbestos underwear, but do you ever
listen to me?

> it did not appear to have a similar effect on the others, as far
> as I could ascertain.

TOM: Because none of them were leaping about, shouting "I've got
something hot in my pants!"

> Indeed, it became so heavy,

ALL: Man,

> presently, and afflicted me so sorely with the sensation of heat,
> that I found it necessary to excuse myself and hasten to my cabin
> so that I could remove the stone from my person and leave it among
> my possessions.

MIKE: A box of string and a Betty Boop "Thought of the Day" calendar.

> Only then did I feel free

CROW: What, did he remove his underwear, too?

> to rejoin my companions, where I took a listener's part in their
> discussion of events beyond my ken--

TOM: Like whether or not the little engine "could"--

> not alone of Cthulhu and Hastur, and their minions, or of the
> others, not alone of the Elder Gods and that titanic battle which
> must have taken place aeons ago and involved countless universes,

MIKE: Which for this guy means "more than three".

> but of certain adventures these five had shared together,

CROW: Including crossovers with Doc Savage and The Shadow,

> for they made countless references to ancient tablets, to books
> which, to judge by the dates which occurred in their conversation,

TOM: These guys got dates? How?

> had been made long before mankind had learned to write even on
> papyrus.

MIKE: All they had was toilet paper.

> They spoke repeatedly, too, of a "library" on "Celaeno", which was
> beyond my ken.

CROW: Big...room...with...books.

> I was loath to ask, but I gathered that they had undergone a
> period of exile at an archeological site--a library at a place
> called "Celaeno",

MIKE: Brilliant deduction!
CROW: Sherlock Holmes has nothing on this guy.

> of which I knew nothing

TOM: And that's different from every other topic in the world, how?

> and was reluctant to admit ignorance of a site so archaeologically
> ancient under a name I had hitherto associated only with the
> stars.

MIKE: So instead I talked loudly about sports.

> Their references to the Ancient Ones intimated too of feuds
> among these beings, between Hastur and Cthugha on the one hand,
> and Cthulhu and Ithaqua on the other;

CROW: The Ancient Ones invented tag-team wrestling!

> evidently these beings were united only against the Elder Gods,

MIKE: Even back then, kids wouldn't respect their parents.

> but vied with one another for the worship of their minions and the
> destruction or seduction of such inhabitants of their regions as
> came within their orbits.

TOM: Destroy, seduce, or get out of the way!

> I gathered, too, that Professor Shrewsbury and his companions had

CROW: Used the phrase "snipe hunt" one time too many to be taken
entirely seriously,

> been drawn together often by mere chance, that all had been
> exposed to similar dangers, and

MIKE: Were actually all the same person.

> all had eventually sought the haven which the professor had
> discovered many years before.

TOM: In his parents' basement.

> It was somewhat disquieting, too, to reflect upon certain casual
> references made by the Professor

CROW: Like, "The last time we found a guy this dumb and dragged him out
to an island in the middle of nowhere, he wasn't even a decent snack."

> to events in which he had played a part but which had taken place
> much longer ago than could have been possible, considering his
> age;

MIKE: Like, "Great idea, making the Earth round, no?"

> but I concluded, finally, that I must have been in error and
> misunderstood.

TOM: As usual.

> That night I had the first of the curiously disturbing dreams

MIKE: He dreamed of Altoids?

> which haunted our voyage. Though I slept soundly enough,

CROW: So, then, the dreams weren't THAT bad.

> I was never free of dreams.

TOM: Or maybe they were.

> I dreamed that night

MIKE: Yes, we got that.

> that I found myself in a great city deep in the sea. My
> subaqueous existence

TOM: I told you this guy was all wet.

> did not trouble me; I was able to breathe,

CROW: For about half a second, then I drowned.

> move about as I pleased, and carry on a normal existence in the
> ocean's depth.

MIKE: But boy, were those McDonald's hamburgers soggy!

> The city, however, was not a modern city; it was quite ancient--
> quite possibly a city as might have been visualized by an
> archaeologist--

CROW: An archaeologist with a city planning degree.

> far more ancient than any city I had ever known before, with vast,
> monolithic buildings, on the walls of many of which had been
> emblazoned representatives of the sun, the moon, the stars,

MIKE: Green clovers, blue diamonds...

> and certain grotesquely horrible figments of the artist's
> imagination,

TOM: The artist? Does he mean the artist who used to be called Prince?
CROW: He's got an awful imagination all right; I saw "Purple Rain".

> some of them amazingly similar to the Fisherman's God of the Cook
> Islanders.

MIKE: And others that looked a lot like Elmer Fudd.

> Moreover, some of the buildings featured doorways of unusual size,
> both in width and height, as they were constructed for beings
> beyond the conception of mankind.

CROW: You know, like, big ones.

> I moved about among the city's streets unmolested,

MIKE: He actually sounds disappointed!

> but I was not alone.

TOM: Other people were unmolested too.

> Other human or semi-human

MIKE: Or hemi-demi-semi-human,

> beings became visible from time to time, most of them strangely
> batrachian

ALL: AAAAAAAA!!!

> in their aspects and movements, and my own locomotion was rather
> more batrachian than human.

CROW: Which was the FIRST name Rob Zombie thought of for that song, but
then he changed his mind.

> I saw presently that all the inhabitants were

TOM: Staring at me and giggling.

> moving in one general direction, and I followed in their wake.

MIKE: If all the batrachian semi-humans jumped off a cliff, would you
do that, too?
TOM: Please?

> Thus I came presently

CROW: You'd think a guy with a vocabulary as big as his would know the
word "soon".
TOM: It's people like him who insist on saying "utilize" instead of
"use".

> to a rise in the sea-bottom, at the top of which

CROW: At the top of the bottom?
TOM: Are you SURE this wasn't printed in an erotic...
MIKE: Quiet!

> stood a ruined building which was clearly a temple. The building
> was of black stone, of pieces suggesting the Egyptian pyramids;

CROW: In that they were black and rectangular.

> it was no longer intact, but had fallen away, disclosing beyond
> the great doorway a passage which struck downward, into the sea-
> bottom.

TOM: A passage into the sea's bottom? Oh Mike, this imagery is
reeeeeaaaalllllllyyyy getting to me...

> Around this doorway, in a semi-circle, clustered the denizens of
> that ocean depth, I among them, waiting upon some event which was
> foreordained.

CROW: "And it shall come to pass that a complete boob will interrupt
our conga line."

> I grew aware of a chanting ululation rising from among them,

MIKE: "I like Ike! I like Ike!"

> but I could distinguish no words, for the language was not one I
> knew. Yet I had the conviction that I should know it,

CROW: Because I'd taken four straight years of it in high school,

> and several of the strange beings near me stared at me in a
> particularly revolting way,

MIKE: Which differed from the revolting way strangers usually stared at
him.

> accusingly, as if I were guilty of some breach of conduct.

TOM: Dummy, it's black-tie only!

> Even while others were still joining the throng from the city
> below, a kind of glow began to come into being in the doorway,
> an oddly diffused light, not white or yellow, but pale green,

CROW: Also not pink, or blue, or orange, or beige, but pale green. And
not dark green, or forest green, or...
MIKE: We get it, Crow.

> lambent, like the movement of the curtain auroras,

MIKE: What curtains?

> deepening in intensity as the moments passed. Then, deep in the
> heart

ALL: (singing) Of Texas...

> of the passage, rising out of the light, came a great amorphous
> mass of flesh,

MIKE: It's Peter Griffin!

> preceded by incredibly long, lashing tentacles, a thing with the
> head of what might have been a gigantic human being in its upper
> half

TOM: Stewie?

> and an octopoid creature below.

CROW: Or it might have been an ant, I'm really not sure.

> I caught but a single, horrified glimpse of it; then I screamed
> aloud and woke.

ALL: THE END.

> I lay

CROW: Damn!

> for some time trying to ascertain the reason for being of the dream I had had.

TOM: I'm going to lay here for some time trying to ascertain the
meaning of that sentence.

> That it grew from my knowledge of the ancient legends, I could not
> doubt;

MIKE: But did the anchovy pizza I ate at midnight have anything to do
with it?

> but how could I account for my perspective in the dream? I was not
> an interloper

CROW: That IS weird; normally this guy's shunned everywhere he goes.

> as I was in fact on my way to discover the point of egress for
> Cthulhu.

MIKE: If only Cthulhu would post signs or something.

> Moreover,

CROW: There's ALWAYS a "moreover" with this guy.

> I was a witness to something more than was set down in any of the
> references or sources I had read, and nothing of what I had
> dreamed had been envisioned in anything Professor Shrewsbury had
> said.

TOM: Yeah, like who'd think a fish god would live in the ocean?

> But I puzzled over this problem in vain.

MIKE: Then gave up and tossed it in my closet with the Rubik's Cube,
the 23-skidoo game, and that triangular solitaire puzzle with all the
holes and the golf tees.

> The only explanation I could credit lay in the work of a perfervid
> imagination, which might conceivably have conjured up the
> substance of my dream.

CROW: In other words, you dreamed it.

> Lulled by the smooth movement of the ship, I drifted off to sleep
> once more, and again into dream.
> This time, however, the setting was far different.

TOM: Was it one of those flying dreams?

> I dreamed I was the spectator at cataclysmic events
> far out among the constellations and galaxies.

CROW: And there wasn't a hot dog vendor for miles.

> There a great battle was joined between beings far beyond the
> conceptions of a mere human being.

MIKE: So I'm not going to even bother trying to describe them.

> They were great, constantly changing, masses of what appeared to
> be pure light--sometimes in the form of pillars, sometimes as
> great globes, sometimes as clouds;

TOM: He's right, I could never have imagined anything as amazing as
that.
CROW: And I dreamed that I was waving a pennant that said "Go, Mass of
Light Sometimes in the Form of a Cloud!"
MIKE: And a big styrofoam finger.

> these masses struggled

CROW: Against their capitalist oppressors,

> titanically with other masses likewise constantly changing not
> only in intensity and shape, but also in color.

MIKE: Sounds like he's trying to watch those scrambled pay stations
without buying the converter box.

> Their size was monstrous; compared to them, I had the size of an
> ant to a dinosaur.

MIKE: Brain-wise, too.

> The battle raged in space, and from time to time one of the
> opponents of the pillars of light would be caught up and flung
> far outward, dwindling to the sight,

CROW: So far this isn't anything you can't see on "WWF Raw".

> and altering hideously in shape, taking on the aspect of a solid,
> fleshy form, yet undergoing unceasing metamorphosis.

TOM: Into other solid, fleshy forms.

> Suddenly, in the midst of this interstellar engagement,

MIKE: A fight broke out over where the wedding should be held.

> it was as if a curtain had been drawn across the scene;

CROW: Oh, THERE'S the curtain!

> it faded away abruptly, and slowly another took its place, or,
> rather, a succession of scenes--

TOM: Previews!
MIKE: We never get previews with OUR movies.

> a strange, black-watered lake, lost among crags in an utterly
> alien landscape,

CROW: Here, lake! Here, lake!

> certainly not terrestrial,

TOM: Hence his use of the phrase "utterly alien".

> with a boiling, churning disturbance in the water and the rising
> of a thing too hideous to be named;

CROW: I name thee: Moe.

> a bleak, dark, windswept landscape with snow-covered crags ringing
> in a great plateau, in the center of which rose a black structure
> suggesting a many-turreted castle, within which sat enthroned a
> quartet of sombre beings in the guise of men,

MIKE: Who looked just like the Marx Brothers.

> attended by bat-winged birds; a sea kingdom, a far cry from
> Carcassone, similar to that of which I had originally dreamed;
> a snowy landscape, suggestive of Canadian regions,

TOM: He's dreaming of the vacation slides from Hell.

> with a great shape striding across it, as on the wind, blotting
> out the stars, showing in their place great shining eyes, a
> grotesque caricature on mankind in the Arctic wastes.

CROW: It must have been drawn by Ralph Steadman.

> These scenes passed before my eyes in dream with ever-
> increasing rapidity, and only one was remotely recognizable;

MIKE: The one that looked like Canada?
TOM: The one that looked like the Arctic?
CROW: The one that looked like a castle?

> a sea-coast town

TOM: We're wrong again! (All of them mutter and tear up little
tickets.)

> which, I was confident, was in Massachusetts
> or at least somewhere along the New England coast,

MIKE: Or at least somewhere in the United States, or on planet Earth.

> and there I saw, moving about in its streets, people I remembered
> having seen far back in memory--particularly the always heavily
> veiled figure of the woman who had been my mother.

CROW: Until the day she got her sex changed and became my father.
TOM: Heavily veiled? What, was she from the mid-East?
MIKE: Would YOU want to be seen in public if you had this guy for a son?

> The dream ended at last.

ALL: Hooray!

> I woke again, far from sleep now, filled with a thousand
> perplexing questions,

CROW: Like, "How'd that seaweed-covered corpse get in my bed?"

> unable to know the meaning of what I had seen in dream,

TOM: It means you're a loony.

> the kaleidoscope of events utterly beyond my ken.

MIKE: But not beyond my Barbie.

> I lay trying to thread them together,

CROW: I hope he has more success than the author's having.

> to evoke or create a common link; I could find none save the
> nebulous mythology of which Professor Shrewsbury had spoken.

ALL: DUUUHHHHH!!!

> I rose presently and went out on deck.

CROW: Please fall overboard.

> The night was calm, a moon shone,

MIKE: Just one? What a rip-off.

> the ship moved steadily through the South Pacific toward our goal.
> The hour was late, past midnight, and I stood at the rail watching
> the passing scene--the stars, wondering where, if any place, life
> such as mankind knew it existed;

TOM: If he means intelligent life, he can rule out that boat.

> the sea, with the moonlight glinting and gleaming on the gently
> swelling water, wondering whether, indeed, there had ever existed
> the legendary sunken continents,

MIKE: Wouldn't the sea water KNOW if those continents existed? It would
wash over them all the time.

> whether cities had sunk beneath the sea's surface in ages gone by,

CROW: Or just a few minutes ago and I'd missed it,

> and what denizens of the deep lurked in those depths as yet
> unknown to man.

MIKE: But which WOMEN were already writing scientific articles about.

> Presently, however, the sound of our passage began to have a
> peculiarly illusory effect,

TOM: Such as?

> and at the same time I was given to imagining

TOM: C'mon, tell us what the effect was!

> that dark shapes swam with the ship, alongside, shapes in the
> guise, however distorted, of human beings;

CROW: Boy those Mary Kay saleswomen are persistent.

> it seemed to my already overwrought

MIKE: Prose?

> mind that the very water seemed to whisper my name: Horvath
> Blayne! Horvath Blayne! over and over,

TOM: Would you just answer the damn ocean already?

> and it was then as if a dozen voices whispered back: Horvath
> Waite! Horvath Waite!,

CROW: [As voices] "Red Rover, Red Rover, send Horvath Waite over!"

> until at last I was overcome by the conviction that I should turn
> back, go away, return to my ancestral home,

MIKE: We'd like that very much!

> as if I did not know that it had been destroyed in the holocaust
> of 1928.
> For my name had not always been Blayne,

TOM: The kids at school named me Lunkhead.

> having undergone a change in name

MIKE: That WOULD be the traditional way in which names do not stay the
same.

> in the home of my foster-parents in Boston. My grandfather's
> name had been Asaph Waite

CROW: Does ANYONE in this story a normal name?
TOM: Even the writer's name is August Derleth.

> and I had never consciously seen him,

MIKE: I only saw him when I was unconscious.

> and he perished with my grandmother, my father, and my mother in a
> disaster which had struck their town when I was yet only a babe in
> arms,

TOM: Proving once again that babies and rocket launchers just don't mix.

> and while I was on a visit with cousins who had forthwith adopted
> me after a loss which, to any other older child, would have been
> shockingly tragic.

MIKE: But my cousins just laughed when they heard about my whole family
dying.

> So overpoweringly suggestive did these illusory voices
> calling my name become, that I turned at last and sought
> the comparative peace of my cabin, where I took once again to
> my berth, hoping this time for sleep undisturbed by any dream.

TOM: Just then, the alarm went off.

(The text fades again, and Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo reappear on the
Satellite of Love. There's a new computer screen facing them, and they
look at it, surprised.)

MIKE: Hey, where'd this come from?

GYPSY: (Entering from stage right.) I found it in an old storeroom.
It's a new computer dictionary.

TOM: (Turns on the dictionary.) Okay, let's look up "batrachian".
Hmmm...it means "frog-like".

CROW: And "ichthyic" means "fish-like".

MIKE: That's it? That's all the author was trying to say? That all this
weird artwork looked like frogs and fishes?

CROW: Well you know Mike, if you find artwork featuring frogs and
fishes, and you follow the path they lay out, you can find some pretty
horrible things.

MIKE: Oh?

CROW: Sure. Come over to this bookshelf, filled with randomly selected
books. (Sure enough, there's a bookshelf behind all of them.) Here's a
book with a frog on the cover. It's called "Francine Frog and her
Friends" and it's got a cute little picture of a frog on it.

TOM: I get it...and further along, on the SAME shelf, there's a book
called "The History of Trout Fishing". And it's got pictures of a trout
on the cover. See? (Shows Mike.)

MIKE: Okay, but...

CROW: And if we follow the path laid out by these books, we come
to...(goes further down bookshelf)...a book on...uh... (Loses his
enthusiasm.) Building kitchen cabinets.

MIKE: (Taking book) "The Handyman's Guide to Kitchen Cabinetry". What's
so scary about that?

TOM: Uh, well...have you ever tried to BUILD one of those things?

CROW: Yeah Mike, have you?

MIKE: Well, no, but...

TOM: Well they're awful! You need nails, and screws, and hammers...

CROW: Hammers, Mike! Hammers!

TOM: And you never have the right screw sizes! The book calls for
9/16th screws, but all you have are 17/32nd screws, and...

CROW: And the trees! Think of all the trees that die making the wood
for the cabinets!

TOM: Right, Mike! The trees!

CROW: This book is a nightmare, Mike! (Waves book around.)

TOM: The horror! The horror! Waaaahhhhh...

CROW: (Also starts crying)

MIKE: All right, all right, calm down guys.

GYPSY: There there.

MIKE: (To audience) We'll be right back.

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