Snufflefungus goes on safari in search of a rare live tornado specimen! Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think!
Quarter Ten has finally arrived!
I’m not sure what precise significance the number ‘ten’ has, save being the first two-digit number in any base ten numbering system. I’m starting to fear that my obsessions with such quantification are borderline numerological. But even if they are, will anybody really care?
I really like this episode, despite (or perhaps because of) my limited involvement. Snufflefungus and Linus really are quite a pair together, and this episode is a brilliant illustration of the fact.*
Often Linus appears to be manipulating Snufflefungus for his own ends or simply for the sake of being mean. However, in this episode, we catch a rare glimpse of another possibility. I am beginning to believe that Linus encourages Snufflefungus’s inaccurate view of the world just so he can have an excuse to romp around in the mud, eat candy all day, and generally disregard whatever responsibilities Malex has placed on him.
It’s almost as if Linus’s and Snufflefungus’s adventures are analogous to Calvin and Hobbes hurtling down a snow-covered hill, only Linus plays both Calvin and Hobbes, and Snufflefungus finds himself joyfully playing the sled.
We can’t very well document all the childish mischief Linus and Snufflefungus get themselves into, for fear that our minds would explode from the sheer randomness of it all. But you may look forward to another such episode, whenever it happens and whatever it contains.
“Hold on, my sword is falling apart. I’ll just use my finger instead.”
* - Speaking of brilliant illustrations, this week’s illustration clearly demonstrates that Peter is at the top of his artistic game. If you don’t believe me, look at the picture again and ask yourself who else could successfully make Snufflefungus appear to be snuggled underneath the covers in such direct defiance of the actual shape of his body.
Snufflefungus: The news mentioned tornadoes yesterday, Malex!
Malex: It is definitely getting to be tornado season. They’re all over the news.
Narrating Snufflefungus: I had always heard of these ‘tornadoes.’ Big, spinney things as tall as the clouds that run in unpredictable paths!
Linus: (Sarcastic) Good thing we’re in tornado alley! We’re completely safe!
Malex: You know, we get an occasional tornado warning when there’s rough weather, but I’ve never seen one with my own eyes.
Snufflefungus: I wonder what they look like?
Narrating Snufflefungus: I knew tornadoes were dangerous. But so were lions, and I knew Teddy Roosevelt used to hunt lions. Maybe Teddy Roosevelt had a few tornado hunts during his travels too!
Malex: Yeah you know, I’ve always had something of a morbid curiosity to see one in real life.
Linus: Hey Snuffy, why don’t you go look for one? Think of the stories you could tell! The bragging rights!
Malex: Oh, be quiet Linus!
Linus: You’re pompous, insecure, and dangerous with anything more exotic than string.
Malex: (Sighs.) I’m so glad you feel you have the freedom to criticize the establishment.
Linus: What can I say? I’m a rebel.
Malex: Well Snufflefungus, it’s about your bedtime. You should go brush your teeth.
Narrating Snufflefungus: But that night I couldn’t sleep. The suggestion of going on a tornado hunt myself had stuck with me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Snufflefungus: (Yawns.) Well good morning, Linus! What are you doing?
Linus: I’m reading.
Snufflefungus: I was thinking a lot about what you said last night.
Linus: (Preoccupied.) Oh really?
Snufflefungus: Yep! I couldn’t sleep last night ’cause I was really excited.
Linus: That’s nice.
Snufflefungus: I was wondering if you were really serious when you said it?
Linus: Wait– What? Said what?
Snufflefungus: You said, “Why don’t you go look for a tornado?“
Linus: Yeah, what about it?
Snufflefungus: Well, I wondered how serious you were.
Linus: (Realizes what’s going on.) Hmm. This situation has intriguing potential.
Snufflefungus: Do you think I really could go on a tornado hunt?
Linus: It depends on how much fun I’ll have– I mean I’m sure we’d have a lot of fun. Let’s go!
Snufflefungus: Yay! Now we need to be properly prepared with equipment and provisions!
Narrating Snufflefungus: We gathered Peterson’s Tornado Field Guide, a camera, some water, a flashlight, a map of the world, a rope, a cowboy hat, and enough candy to last us several days. We were all set to go hunting for a wild tornado!
Snufflefungus: Wait, let’s tell Malex before we leave.
Linus: Um– No, he’s busy doing the… That is, he’s working on… being busy. He can’t be bothered.
Snufflefungus: Oh, then I guess we’ll have to wait until we can ask him.
Linus: Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I already told him. He said to have a good time and, uh… to get some good pictures for him!
Narrating Snufflefungus: We were off. Tracking down the fabled tornado. With luck, we hoped possibly even to acquire a specimen to bring back and show Malex!
Snufflefungus: He’ll be so surprised, it’ll be even better than the pictures he told us to get!
Linus: Yeah. He’ll be disappointed if you don’t bring him a live tornado.
Narrating Snufflefungus: Even better, a live specimen! Now we had only to get on the trail of one of them.
Snufflefungus: So do you know what tornado tracks look like?
Snufflefungus: It says in the field guide, “Tornadoes have even been known to drive straw through tree trunks!” Do you see any trees with straw through them?
Linus: No, I think they only do that where they live, Snufflefungus. If we’re to follow their tracks to where they live, we need to find another sign to look for.
Snufflefungus: It also says that they appear in extreme weather conditions, when it’s very windy out with lots of dark clouds.
Linus: Look, there’s a dark cloud up there, see?
Snufflefungus: (Gasp.) You’re right!
Linus: Let’s follow it!
Narrating Snufflefungus: We followed the dark cloud, until we lost the trail.
Snufflefungus: Look, it’s moved above us! We can’t follow it anymore!
Linus: There’s a muddy brook right there, Snuffy! Let’s trudge in it!
Narrating Snufflefungus: Our plan was a good one, but we started to run low on provisions before we reached any sign of a tornado.
Snufflefungus: I’m bored with trudging.
Linus: Let’s stop at that store and buy some candy.
Narrating Snufflefungus: We stocked back up on supplies, but we were not eager to re-embark. We had searched all day with no luck. The team was experiencing some discouragement.
Cashier: Is that all?
Snufflefungus: Oh, I’d like this kind of candy too! And– And this kind!
Customer: Hey, hurry up, will ya’?! I’ve been waiting in line here for an hour!
Linus: Snufflefungus, maybe we’d better head home. We wanna make it back before dark.
Cashier: You’re not buying all this after all?
Linus: No, let’s go.
Narrating Snufflefungus: We had no choice but to turn back. The hunt was lost.
Malex: Where were you two?!
Snufflefungus: We were searching for the fabled–
Linus: We were gardening.
Malex: Gardening, eh? And that explains why you’re soaked with muddy water halfway up to your knees?
Narrating Snufflefungus: It was to remain a mystery forever whether the fabled tornadoes really existed. But for now, we were content to leave it that way.
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writers: Peter Markley and Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers
Post-processing director: Gabriel Markley
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Leela
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.