Malex, Linus and Snufflefungus have a whale of a time when something unexpected shows up in the backyard! Also, people start speaking in rhyme? Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think!
A secret despiser? Of course. That explains everything.
This episode appears before you largely as Peter originally conceived it. In editing, however, I did make one significant alteration. Under my gentle loving care, Tom of Tom’s Ship-A-Whale Service learned to conduct his business almost entirely in meter.*
Observing Tom’s interaction with Malex, it almost seems as though Malex is aware of Tom’s strange penchant and encourages it, communicating with Tom the same way Tom communicates with him. It is as if the addition of rhyme and rhythm forms a dialect of our beloved English, and without it, the conversation loses some of its meaning.
You might scoff, but do not forget, this is the Malex Minute. Anything is possible.
By the time you read this, SIGGRAPH 2008 will be winding down, and Peter and I will be exhausted out of our minds. I say this with confidence and authority because just getting ready for the conference already has me quite tired, and we haven’t** even left Ohio yet. So how tired do you think we’ll be after we’ve attended conference activities from 8:30 AM to 11 PM for five days in a row? Will we be doing cartwheels and singing about how energetic we feel?
No. We will not be doing that.
“In American Sign Language, this sign means, ‘Help! I am being mauled by a kitten!’”
* - Although Peter’s version of Tom did have a tendency to occasionally rhyme.
** - By the time of this writing, of course…
Malex: Hey there Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the Malex Minute! I’m Malex and I’ll be your host for today.
Snufflefungus: It feels like a brand new day! I bet something really exciting is going to happen!
Linus: You say that every day and it never comes true!
Snufflefungus: But you always say that, and it never comes true either!
Linus: What? It comes true sometimes!
Snufflefungus: And you know how statistics work! Just because you said nothing exciting will happen, odds are something exciting will happen very soon! (Conspiratorially) Mr. Statistics has a funny sense of humor.
Linus: (Screams.) Talking to you is like a carousel, only no one’s having any fun!
Malex: If you two don’t mind, I’m going to talk about something totally different now.
Linus: You’re a lifesaver!
Malex: So we got an email from–
Snufflefungus: (Gasps.) Malex! There’s a blue whale outside!
Linus: Yes, Snuffy. There are many of them. They live in the ocean.
Snufflefungus: But it’s in our backyard!
Malex: Oh no!
Linus: (Laughs.) That’s new.
Snufflefungus: (Genuine concern.) Oh, poor thing! I hope it isn’t looking for its mommy!
Linus: Snuffy, it’s a grown whale. It doesn’t need its mommy.
Snufflefungus: Oh, that’s a relief!
Malex: I don’t know much about whales, but don’t they need to be in water to live?
Snufflefungus: (Gasps.) We have to do something!
Linus: (Sarcastic) No, we don’t have to do anything at all! It’ll be free meat for a week or two, and free aroma for months after that. Actually, sarcasm doesn’t cover it. Mr. Whale would become Mr. Rotting, and then do you know what would happen? Do you have any idea how hard we would die of the stink?!
Snufflefungus: (Realization.) Eww.
Malex: How did it get here though?
Snufflefungus: Maybe it flew! It has wings right there, see?
Linus: Sometimes I wonder about you, little one.
Malex: Aha! Look what I found pushed under the front door? It says, “Enjoy your whale, his name is Ernest. Courtesy Tom’s Ship-A-Whale Service!”
Snufflefungus: They shipped it here?
Linus: Well, it’s not like it could’ve been washed up here, we’re completely land-locked.
Snufflefungus: Oh, that explains everything!
Malex: But why did this happen?! I don’t want a whale in my backyard!
Linus: (Chuckles.) Maybe this could turn out to be a good thing. You know how funny the homeowners’ association people are when they get angry… We’ll be in for a real treat in a few weeks!
Snufflefungus: I don’t know, they do a lot of red-faced jumping and screaming. Remember when the ambulance came and took Old Neighbor Joe to the hospital?
Malex: (Panicked.) Guys, we really need to figure out how to get it outta here.
Linus: We’re proud of Malex. He’s got the brains.
Snufflefungus: The poor thing is foaming at the mouth! I think he needs water.
Malex: Well this note does have a phone number. We’ll just have Tom’s Ship-A-Whale Service come back and pick it up.
~~ Malex picks up the phone and dials.
Tom: (Sing-song.) If you know you’ll need a whale shipped, but you’re unprepared and ill-equipped, just call us on the phone today! We’ll get it done the Tommy way! (Friendly.) Hi, what can I do for you?
Malex: Um… Well, we have a slight problem.
Tom: (Gasps in horror.) Oh no! It’s unthinkable! A problem?
Malex: It’s true.
Tom: Oh please sir, you must tell me, what did we do? Did we crush your house? Did we overcharge?
Malex: No, but the whale you sent is much too large.
Tom: I can send you one smaller, and I can send it post-haste! We’ve a whale for you, whatever your taste.
Malex: Actually, the problem is that there’s a whale at all! I simply don’t want one, big or small!
Tom: What? You don’t want a whale?
Malex: Not in the least.
Tom: In that case, we’ll come pick it up right away.
Malex: Thanks a million, good sir, you’ll be saving my day.
Tom: Yeah, whatever.
Malex: Oh, and one more thing. Could you tell us who paid you to ship it here?
Tom: The transaction is registered under “A Secret Despiser.”
Malex: A secret despiser? Did they say anything about why they sent us a whale?
Tom: The comment memo reads, “A great place to mail random, frightening, and potentially dangerous things!”
Malex: Of course. Well, thanks for your time.
Tom: Bye. (Hangs up.)
Linus: Okay, do you have any idea how weird that conversation sounded from this end?
Malex: Just… Never mind. I worked it out, the whale is leaving.
Snufflefungus: Bye, Mr. Whale! Send me postcards!
Malex: Well Ladies and Gentlemen, this episode is well and truly done. We hope you join us again next week, when we’ll be completely free of whale-related foolishness!
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.