In this Grand Kickoff for Quarter Sixteen, Malex, Mara, Linus, and Snufflefungus are faced with a hard decision! Will they ignore the signs of impending doom or set out on another quest? Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think.
Firstly, I must apologize to anyone who was looking for this Malex’s Thoughts section during the first week this episode was released. My day job has had (and will continue to have) me very overwhelmed during these last two months of the year, and I completely dropped the ball on writing this section.
However, that is a subject for a blog entry, not Malex’s Thoughts on a Malex Minute episode.
This episode marks the beginning of Malex Minute Quarter Sixteen. This is our sixteenth consecutive block of thirteen episodes, and when it is over, the Malex Minute will have been running without a break for four straight years.
This, in my honest opinion, is quite a feat. It means that, for example, if you were to hypothetically graduate with a bachelor’s degree at the end of this coming winter quarter,* you could have been listening to the Malex Minute every single week from your first day of classes to your last. Entire presidential careers have lasted this same length of time.** Babies who were conceived during our first year of production are now able to produce an astonishing amount of trouble all by themselves! Heck, back when I first started the Malex Minute, the housing market hadn’t even crashed yet!
So what I’m saying is, four years is a long time, and the Malex Minute, for better or worse, has quite a bit of history behind it. As weird as it sounds, I think I consider this show to be our greatest achievement, collectively, to date.
So enjoy this episode! It’s been a long time in the making.
P.S. Stay tuned for Malex Minute 197 – This quarter’s story arc is intense!
* - Ohio State University is on quarters. For those of you that are on semesters, I cannot relate to you.
** - Hooray for unpopular presidents!
Malex: Welcome back to the Malex Minute, everybody!
Linus: Malex, it’s been a week. Our last episode was last week.
Snufflefungus: But it’s a new quarter! Quarter Sixteen!
Mara: I don’t get that, how does that work again?
Malex: Every three months is a new Malex Minute quarter. Quarter Fifteen was September through November, and Quarter Sixteen will be December through February!
Mara: Right, got it.
Malex: So, welcome back to the Malex Minute! Gee, we’d better recap, otherwise people might get lost!
Linus: If you must, do it quick.
Malex: Okay! All the way back in Quarter Thirteen, we discovered that Snufflefungus had stashed away an astonishing amount of money from using his telekinesis to work hundreds if not thousands of jobs simultaneously. In Quarter Fourteen, news about Snuffy’s huge pile of cash leaked out to the general population, illegal fur traders discovered Snuffy’s fur, and a secret government agency called the PSA discovered Snuffy’s psychic powers. By the end of Quarter Fourteen, Snuffy was the most wanted Snufflefungus on the whole planet – and not in a good way.
Snufflefungus: It wasn’t good at all! (Shudders.)
Malex: So at the end of Quarter Fourteen, we escaped from Earth into space – or so we thought!
Mara: But the PSA sent one of their scary agents after us!
Linus: They chased us all the way to some other planet, where they shot us down!
Malex: We crash landed in the desert and most of Quarter Fifteen was just us trying to survive and find some civilization!
Snufflefungus: Yay for civilization!
Linus: We eventually found Snuffleopolis – a whole colony of Snufflefungi!
Mara: But there have been some other ominous things that have happened since we crash landed here.
Malex: Yes, we’ve run into several of the Nine Riding Squirrels, the planet is quaking with seismic tremors, and that PSA agent is still hunting us!
Linus: Malex, you don’t think we should take Fat Purple Riding Squirrel seriously, do you?
Snufflefungus: Yeah, Malex! He said we needed to go to the big city to avert the disaster that was going to befall the universe.
Malex: Well, Linus, I’m not excited about leaving Snuffleopolis, but there have been all those ominous tremors.
Mara: And Sad Orange Riding Squirrel seemed to think those were being caused by something bad. It had him pretty upset.
Malex: Sad Orange Riding Squirrel is always upset. That’s why they call him Sad Orange Riding Squirrel.
Mara: Still, you don’t think they’re connected, do you?
Linus: There’s only one way to find out…
Snufflefungus: Sing the question song and then search for it on the Internet!
Linus: No, we go to the big city!
Malex: He does have a point.
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: (Clears throat.)
Malex: Mayor Fluffsalot! How are you?
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: The Candy and Joy Closet has been ransacked and the community garden has been eaten.
Snufflefungus: Aw, Mayor Fluffsalot, there will be new shipments of Joy! And Candy!
Malex: And you could replant the garden, couldn’t you?
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: You don’t understand. The whole garden was eaten, including the soil.
Linus: He ate the soil?!
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: He stripped us all the way down to the bedrock.
Malex: I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I should also take this opportunity to stress that we do not know, endorse, or enjoy Fat Purple Riding Squirrel, and his visit to your forest colony distressed us as much as it distressed you.
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: Then there’s the matter of the tremors, which also only started after you arrived.
Mara: You don’t think we’re to blame, do you?!
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: Not necessarily, but when such disaster befalls us just as we are welcoming you into our community, it does beg the question.
Snufflefungus: But Mayor! I– We–
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: Don’t give me that wobbly lip, son. Just because you’re a fellow Snufflefungus doesn’t mean I won’t punish you if you’re guilty!
Philip the Snufflefungus: (Dismissive.) Oh Mayor, please. There’s no need to harass our guests. They’re clearly as upset by these developments as we are.
Malex: We are quite upset.
Philip the Snufflefungus: The mayor is just worried about the pending elections. Although he doesn’t have anything to worry about, since nobody has ever bothered to run against him, and nobody is planning to yet.
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: Well, yes, but still! The Snuffies are frightened!
Linus: Well what are we supposed to do about it?!
Mara: We aren’t responsible for causing these problems!
Philip the Snufflefungus: Isn’t there anything you can do to help us?
Malex: Well, there– There could be.
Snufflefungus: We can travel to the big city! Fat Purple Riding Squirrel said that was the only way to stop the disaster!
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: Oh, really?
Linus: Well, yes.
Malex: But it’s not as if Fat Purple Riding Squirrel’s a trustworthy source of information.
Philip the Snufflefungus: But, if there’s a chance you can prevent disaster, you’ll go for it, right?
Malex: I– I… I guess so.
~~ Cheering and clapping.
Mara: How did we end up with a crowd behind us?!
Linus: And I still don’t understand how there’s clapping!
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: You heard it, good people of Snuffleopolis! The young Snufflefungus called Snufflefungus, the one who freed our race from slavery, will now travel to the big city and save us from the tremors!
Mara: I hate to be a party pooper, but how do we get to this city? And what about supplies? We lost all of ours running from the flesh-eating zombie trees.
Fluffsalot the Snufflefungus: We can give you all the supplies you’ll need! And Philip here can show you how to get to the big city.
Philip the Snufflefungus: It’s simple! The biggest city on this continent is called New Civilatham. It’s almost straight northeast.
Philip the Snufflefungus: But you can’t go that way. Between us and the city is the biggest active volcano on the planet. It’s called Mount Gloom, and it’s not safe to travel within a hundred miles of it.
Linus: Why, is it erupting?
Philip the Snufflefungus: No. It’s just not safe. You’ll have to go around.
Malex: Which way? Clockwise or counterclockwise?
Philip the Snufflefungus: (Laughs.) Clockwise, otherwise you’ll fall into the eastern sea. Come on, I’ll show you a map.
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writer: Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers, with a guest appearance by Leela as Mara.
Post-processing director: Leela
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Drew Reed
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.