Philip the Snufflefungus leads our heroes to safety! Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think.
Wow! I don’t know what it is about this episode, but it strikes me as utterly hilarious. I suspect it’s either the sleep deprivation during the writing process or the sleep deprivation I am enjoying at this very moment! I hope it’s the former, because in the case of the latter I’m probably just enjoying drivel.
Speaking of drivel, I wrote a neat little blog entry about my latest, desperate plea for more time to work on the things I love to do. It’s called Not Sleeping!™ and it involves not sleeping!* Incredibly, by not sleeping, one finds oneself with plenty of extra time for all of that being alive that life is all about.
“Side-effects?” you ask? Give me a minute to finish listening to the little people call my name from inside the wall and I’ll look into possible downsides of Not Sleeping!™ for you.
On a more Malex-Minute-related point, if you couldn’t already tell, we’ve now set ourselves up nicely for an incredible new story arc to heat up really well and really fast. Be very excited!
“I was in Lamesville, apparently. Being lame.”
* - Imagine that.
Malex: Finally, a clearing!
Philip the Snufflefungus: Yes! We’re safe now.
Snufflefungus: Yay for safety!
Mara: That was the most horrifying thing ever!
Linus: (Sarcastically.) What, you mean you don’t enjoy running through a darkened, foresty maze of ravenous zombie-trees who scream and hiss about wanting to eat you as you run through screaming and hacking at them with a chainsaw?
Snufflefungus: I don’t enjoy it. I’m covered in tree sap.
Philip the Snufflefungus: Consider it a trophy of war, my young friend!
Mara: Hey, are these all… tiny huts?
Philip the Snufflefungus: Yes they are!
Snufflefungus: (Delighted gasp.) Are there… more Snufflefungi here?!
Philip the Snufflefungus: Yes! There’s a whole colony of us here!
Mara: Wow! What are you all doing out here?!
Philip the Snufflefungus: We live here! We farm, we build things, we trade with other towns nearby, we tell stories and sing songs, we have families and children – and we have rich and wonderful lives!
Malex: But you’re so far away from your home planet! At– At least… I– I think you are. That– That is… Where did we crash land?
Linus: I could tell you, but I’d rather watch you squirm.
Malex: Linus, you’re such a good friend. But, as a friend, I have to tell you, you make a horrible computer.
Linus: That’s okay. While we’re being honest, your face makes me cry at night when nobody’s looking.
Philip the Snufflefungus: To answer your question, Malex, we are far away from our home planet.
Snufflefungus: But Philip, what brings you so far away?
Philip the Snufflefungus: When our slavery ended, everything got better overnight! Once our masters realized that we were people too, they felt so bad about it, they promised to improve our situation in every conceivable way if we would be persuaded to stay. You see, they needed us to continue doing our jobs, or their whole economy would collapse. So they upgraded all our living quarters, upgraded our food, started paying us, and let us choose our own schedules! We didn’t need any better education, you see, because we were already running their entire information infrastructure with our telepathy.
Malex: Gee, how come things didn’t work out so well on Earth?
Linus: I secretly believe that humans are the dross of the universe.
Malex: Thanks, buddy.
Mara: So, Philip, if everything was so wonderful, why did you and your friends leave?
Philip the Snufflefungus: Oh, lots of reasons! Some of us wanted the adventure! Some of us wanted to prove to ourselves that we actually could leave. But for most of us, our lives had gotten too easy, so we missed that sense of struggling to forge a life for ourselves! By coming all the way out here and starting a colony in essentially the middle of nowhere, we were able to rekindle that pioneering spirit!
Malex: Wow, that’s amazing.
Linus: You know, whenever I want to rekindle my pioneering spirit, I just count my toes. It’s always been zero so far, but you never know when that might change.
Philip the Snufflefungus: You must all be exhausted! It’s still the middle of the night, so everyone is asleep except those of us who are on watch. You can all stay the night in my hut, right over there.
Mara: Oh, thank you Philip!
Linus: Wait, which one is it?
Philip the Snufflefungus: That one.
Malex: I’m sorry, which one?
Philip the Snufflefungus: That one, it’s plainly visible right over there.
Malex: I– We’re having trouble… That is, you– You don’t have any arms, so we can’t really see where you’re pointing.
Mara: Speak for yourself.
Philip the Snufflefungus: I was pointing with my mind. Don’t you do telepathy?
Malex: (Grits teeth.) No, I don’t.
Snufflefungus: It’s okay, Malex! Telepathy is like baby teeth! You have to lose them before your real teeth come in!
Linus: Malex, did I drop him as a child? Over and over again?
Malex: Snufflefungus… I’m not really following you.
Linus: (To himself.) Silly me, of course I did.
Snufflefungus: Telepathy doesn’t show up right away. You have to be five! Are you five?
Malex: No, Snuffy, I’m not five.
Snufflefungus: There, see? It’ll come soon enough, just you wait! (Parentally.) Soon, you’ll be all grown up! And then you’ll wish you had lived in the moment.
Philip the Snufflefungus: Well, this conversation has been very enlightening. Please go in and make yourselves at home. I’m still on watch for another hour. In the morning, I’ll introduce you to the colony!
Mara: Thank you so much for everything Philip! We’d be dead if it wasn’t for you.
Malex: You know, there are other men here who would have been capable of responding to the situation.
Mara: With what, your cardboard box which is standing in for an imaginary tent? Or– Or how about an imaginary chainsaw? Or maybe an imaginary personality! What about an imaginary ability to not stumble upon the most horrifying breeches in sanity that I have ever witnessed?!
Linus: Hey! You’re not the only one with feelings! Unless they’re weird, girly feelings. Have fun with those.
Snufflefungus: Mara, Malex has been through lots of adventures! Even ones that aren’t in his head! He’s not one of those stereotypical, useless men you see on TV all the time!
Linus: Yeah, what is it with those men? On TV they’re always so useless!
Mara: Malex, what’s wrong? You seem to have gone pale.
Malex: (Horrified.) Our imaginary tent. It’s…
Linus: Oh no! Not the cardboard box!
Snufflefungus: Where did you leave it? We can always retrace your steps.
Malex: (Matter-of-factly.) No. No, we’re not going back for it.
~~ Scene change.
Bob the Tree: (Accusatory.) Jezebel! What do you have on your head?!
Jezebel the Tree: (Hisses.) You get away from my fancy hat!
Bob the Tree: That’s no hat! You stole that cardboard box from those walkin’ folks!
Jezebel the Tree: I did not! They dropped it!
Bob the Tree: Carl! Wake up! Did you see if Jezebel stole it? I think she did.
Carl the Tree: (Groans.) I’m so out of it… I’ve felt like blowing chunks ever since I ate that squirrel! Being a zombie tree is so gross!
Bob the Tree: Ya’ think we’ll ever get better from this zombie sickness?
Jezebel the Tree: (Screams.) No! Stop talking and look at my hat! Isn’t it pretty?
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writer: Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers, with a guest appearance by Leela as Mara and Jezebel.
Post-processing director: Leela
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Drew Reed
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.