Linus has been getting tutored for a week by a woman named Wind. If that doesn’t make you want to listen, we don’t know what will! Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think.
In Snuffy’s words, “Wind blew away.” And really, in the face of the veritable gale of personality represented by Malex, Linus, and Snufflefungus, who could possibly blame her?
I enjoy this episode very much. I think it turned out very well. And the desperate, clawing process we went through to hew this episode from nothing only makes it all the more endearing to me. The sacrifices! The exhaustion! The pain! The endless hours spent sitting next to my sweetheart in McDonald’s while writing the script!*
It was all quite a process, and I really hope you enjoy the results as much as I do…
You know, something I have come to truly despise is a particularly insidious form of writer’s block which only strikes when deadlines are looming. What’s up with that?! When I don’t have time to write, or there are no impending deadlines, the creative juices flow freely. But the very instant I start thinking, “I should have such-and-such done in time for so-and-so,” all bets are off. In that moment, you might as well ask a tree frog for its input, as it’s two thirds more likely to come up with something of quality.**
One would think that living alone in the city with nothing to do would stimulate at least a bit of productivity, but one would find oneself sadly mistaken.
So what is the practical upshot of all this? What does this mean for you?
Nothing. Nothing whatever. Aren’t you sorry you brought it up?
“Incredible! Do it again!”
* - I didn’t say it was all painful!
** - Stay away from the squirrel though. It’ll definitely respond, but it’s terrifically illiterate.
Malex: Welcome to the Malex Minute everybody! Last week, I hired a tutor to help Linus along with a few little things.
Snufflefungus: Linus can’t read!
Malex: Right, well–
Snufflefungus: Or write!
Malex: That’s true, but–
Snufflefungus: Or add!
Malex: That’s– I think we–
Snufflefungus: Or subtract!
Malex: We don’t want–
Snufflefungus: Or think!
Malex: Linus is sensitive about his learning problems.
Snufflefungus: Oh! Sorry.
Malex: So anyway, Linus’s tutor, Wind has been meeting with him every day.
Snufflefungus: (Conspiratorially.) They’re in the other room now!
Malex: Yes. We’re not sure exactly what the process is. Linus is pretty tight-lipped about it.
Snufflefungus: Sometimes there’s screaming.
Wind: Excuse me, Malex?
Malex: Oh, hi! How’s it going in there?
Wind: Well, I think we’re making progress. I just wanted to ask… Do you think Linus is… Angry?
Malex: Yes. He is definitely that.
Wind: (Disconcerted.) It’s just that… he’s like a waterfall of negative energy, cascading down from a mountain of despair.
Snufflefungus: Tell me about it.
Wind: And sometimes he yells nonsense words. Very angrily.
Malex: Ah. That means he’s trying to cuss at you.
Wind: Oh. That explains a lot.
Malex: So, aside from the hate, how are things going?
Wind: Very well! Linus is very passionate about so many things, and I’ve been trying to teach him how to tap into that passion to accomplish hard things!
Malex: Does that even work?
Snufflefungus: What kind of things?
Wind: Oh, like arithmetic, spelling, reading and writing… Linus has learned a lot, and I think he would like to share his progress with everyone!
Malex: I find that hard to believe, but okay.
Wind: Linus! Linus, we’re ready for you now!
Wind: Yes, so would you like to share what you’ve learned with your friends?
Linus: (Screams.) No!
Wind: Good! Let’s spell (Drawn out enunciation.) spirituality.
Linus: Are you nuts? Is there a critical piece missing from your brain?! I just can’t imagine–
Malex: Linus! Why don’t you just cooperate with your teacher. We’re all here to support you.
Linus: What ridiculous word am I supposed to spell now?
Wind: (Drawn out enunciation.) Spirituality.
Snufflefungus: You can do it, Linus! We’re all cheering for you!
Linus: Okay. (Deep breath.) S-P-I-R-I-T-U-V-W-X–
Wind: Now Linus, remember the rules for spelling.
Linus: (Pouting.) I don’t wanna!
Malex: Linus, cooperate with your teacher.
Linus: (Grumbles.) Fine.
Wind: Now, how do you feel about spelling?
Linus: I hate it!
Wind: Good! Now, we’re gonna bundle up all those feelings into a little box and wrap it up with tissue.
Linus: (Rote following along.) I’m bundling, but I’m not using a little box!
Wind: Now, we’re gonna take that box, and what are we gonna do with it?
Linus: (Resigned.) We’re going to mail it to the gods of spelling.
Wind: Very good!
Malex: I– I’m sorry, I have to ask. Is this a… widely accepted teaching method?
Wind: (Miffed.) I am a free spirit. I start with ‘widely accepted’ teaching methods, but then I embrace them to my soul, and I make them my very own.
Malex: (Drawn out.) Right. Well, I guess that’s good.
Wind: (Defensive.) People appreciate me for it, so I should say it’s good.
Snufflefungus: Goodness is good!
Linus: I’m mailing over here. Nothing’s coming back.
Wind: Just keep focusing on your feelings. What do you feel now?
Linus: Frustration, embarrassment, and rage!
Wind: Good! Now, as these feelings churn, letters will come.
Malex: I– I’m sorry, could– could you explain how this is supposed to work?
Wind: It’s a form of spirituality. You clearly wouldn’t understand.
Malex: What?! I’m a very spiritual person!
Linus: Hey, shut up Malex. We’re talking about my feelings over here!
Malex: (Aggressive.) Oh– Oh, I’m sorry, I was just starting to come to the conclusion that this is all bunk, that’s all.
Wind: It’s you! That’s where all the negative energy’s been coming from!
Linus: I told you it’s not my fault! This one always drags me down!
Malex: (Blows up.) This is patently ridiculous! Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned phonics?! This crazy mumbo-jumbo isn’t gonna help anybody!
Wind: (Starts crying.)
Snufflefungus: Don’t cry, Wind! Malex is only bad sometimes!
Linus: Good goin’ dipstick. You made the lady cry.
Malex: I– I didn’t mean–
Wind: (Sobbing.) You did mean it! You meant every word! This house is a dark sun of negative energy, washing over the whole world like a plague, and I’m never returning!
Malex: I– I didn’t–
Snufflefungus: (Cheerful.) Bye!
~~ Door slams shut.
Snufflefungus: (Sadly.) Wind blew away.
Linus: Malex, how could you?! She was my only friend!
Snufflefungus: It’s okay Linus, we’re always here for you!
Malex: Well, that was the worst two thousand dollars I’ve ever spent!
Snufflefungus: (Cheerful.) I liked her! (Thoughtful.) She was weird…
Linus: Actually, I’m kinda glad she’s gone. She made me do so much work!
Malex: Are you completely hopeless?
Linus: (Affirmative tone.) If I have anything to say about it…
Malex: Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I guess that’s all we have time for today. Thanks for listening, and we hope you come back next week for another episode of the Malex Minute!
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writer: Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers, with a guest appearance by Noble Wisdom as Wind.
Post-processing director: Gabriel Markley
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Leela
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.