BUSTER: Well… this must be The Big Critter’s office! I probably better knock at least once before I just barge right on in….
Buster raps lightly on the door as he’s opening it to come inside…
BUSTER: Ummmm, Mr. Evil Squirrel? You wanted to….. um….
BUSTER: Oh….. hi Mitzi!
MITZI: Like, Hisies, Possie Wossie!
BUSTER: So, what are you doing in Evil Squirrel’s office? On the floor? Upside down?
EVIL SQUIRREL: Do you mind!?!?
BUSTER: Oh, sorry sir! I didn’t see you there! I hope I’m not interrupting anything important.
ES: No…. nothing important at all, Buster. I’m just trying to clear out a fucking paper jam here, that’s all. You better have a damned good reason for being here or you’ll be catching crabs in a moldy box of Goodwill donations!
BUSTER: Ummmmm… I got a memo saying you wanted to see me in your office.
ES: Oh…. yeah, I guess I did send for you. (Slaps Mitzi’s buttocks) Up, girl! I’ve got business to attend to. I’m pretty sure my schedule is clear tomorrow though… so maybe we can pick up where we left off then with this dicktation.
MITZI: Like, it’s totally a date!!! And hopefully tomorrow, we won’t have to, like, wait four hours before we can get it on…….
ES: (Pushing Mitzi offstage) I think you’ve overstayed your welcome now, Mitz. Out, out, out!!!! (Clearing his throat and adjusting his fur back into a professional manner) Now, Buster, about why I summoned you here today…
BUSTER: I’m fired, right?
ES: Buster, I’d NEVER fire you! Terminate you, definitely. You’re so fun to terminate. But no, you remain enslav… er, employed here at The Nest.
BUSTER: That’s a relief! My family won’t have to starve this winter and eat each other again like the last time I lost my job watching out for icebergs on some big ocean liner.
ES: Now Buster, about why I sent for you…
BUSTER: Boss, can I ask you a question?
ES: I guess so since you just rudely interrupted me.
BUSTER: Aren’t we technically the same critter?
ES: You are hardly in my class of critterdom, Buster.
BUSTER: No, I mean we’re like… we’re really the exact same critter. So how is it we can both appear on stage together like this?
ES: Oh, that’s just SCT’s Photoshop magic. I cut you out of another picture to paste here beside me.
BUSTER: So is that why I have all these extra background pixels surrounding me?
ES: Yeah. My rendezv… er, appointment with Mitzi didn’t leave me a whole lot of time to be precise, so I did a lazy job cutting around you. I mean, you’re really not worth the extra effort anyway.
BUSTER: Point taken, sir. Now about that business?
ES: Yes! Buster, remember the comments section of last week’s episode of Shelf Critter Theatre?
BUSTER: I didn’t get a chance to read them, sir. I died before that episode was over.
ES: Yeah, of course you did. Well, I made this offhand comment about coming up with a Buster Death Advent Calendar… and my readers really seemed to embrace the idea, so I thought…. well…. (pushes a few buttons on the keyboard) what do you think, Buster?
BUSTER: Oh my. I thought Halloween was already over, sir.
ES: Why not combine the best of both and count down the days until Christmas with not one, not two, but twenty-four of your glorious, crowd pleasing deaths? This is so fucking brilliant, I can’t believe I hadn’t already thought of it.
BUSTER: I don’t know, boss, it seems like….
BUSTER: Ummmm, sir. I think my Photoshop layer is starting to fizzle out.
ES: Oh, darn. Well, I guess that’s what I should expect from a pirated photo enhancing program I lifted off Napster. Let’s see if a little concussive maintenance fixes the problem….
BUSTER: What’s concussive mainten…
ES: Well what do you know, good as new!
BUSTER: Gee, thanks boss! You really are a genius!
ES: I know, Buster. I know.
BUSTER: But I’m only used to dying once a week. Dying once a day is asking an awful lot of my respawning abilities… I don’t know if I can handle it, sir!
ES: Nonsense! I can kill you at quarter till every hour and still make an effective cuckoo clock out of you.
BUSTER: That may be true, sir. But what about all the extra pain and suffering on my part just for other people’s cheap thrills?
ES: Don’t worry, I’ve got that covered with something cheaper than actually having paid medical insurance for you critters. Fuzzy!!!
FUZZYWIG: This better be important, boss dude. The little hand and the big hand are both on the four.
ES: Buster, while the advent calendar promotion is going on, you have free and unlimited access to Fuzzywig’s pain lessening MARIHUANA!
FUZZYWIG: Hold the Batphone, Commissioner Gordon. My Good Stuff doesn’t come cheap, and I sure as hell ain’t sharing it with a dying possum…
ES: You don’t pay a goddamn cent for that shit, Fuzzy, and you know it. I supply that for you as a prop in your SCT appearances, and make sure to lock it back up in my safe once shooting’s over! That’s MY weed, and until Christmas it’s also Buster’s weed! Do you understand, pothead?
FUZZYWIG: Yeah, loud and clear, Dope Nazi! See if I provide my unique sense of humor, charm and movie star good looks to another one of your stupid stories without receiving a big fat raise first. Hasta lumbago, El Jefe!
Fuzzywig and his “borrowed” paraphernalia exit stage 4:20.
ES: So, Buster! Now that we’ve taken care of your superficial needs, I think we should do a dry run to make sure this advent calendar thing is going to work out!
BUSTER: A dry run? What do you mean….. oh wait, you want to off me now!?!?
ES: You’re not as dumb as you look, Buster!
BUSTER: But it’s still only November, sir! You can’t start the countdown to Christmas early, or Santa will…
ES: Santa shit! If Mecca can start the holiday season in August, I sure as hell can kick it off on The Nest on the last day of November! I think it’s time to make the season brighter by decking the halls with your carcass!
ES: (Turning towards the mouse) Are you ready, kid?
ZEEBA: Fuck yeah, Unca Evil!!! Time to make blood! Blood!Blood!Blood!Blood!
Zeeba starts jumping up and down on the mouse button like an ADHD kid in a sugar factory…
BUSTER: Oh no!!! What’s happening to me!?!?!? I feel like an 18 wheeler just ran over my belly!
BUSTER: On second thought… make that a Sherman tank…
BUSTER: And on third thought…….. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ES: Well done, Zeeba! That was a successful test if there ever was one. Everything went smoothly, and nobody got hurt!
ZEEBA: Lookie at what I did, Mommy!!!
MITZI: Mama Mitzi’s, like, so proud of her little grrl! You’re so totally badass!
ES: And that puts a nice blood red bow on another family friendly episode of Shelf Critter Theatre, folks! Don’t forget to tune in to The Nest every day through Christmas Eve to see how Buster will help make your holidays merry and bright by turning the snow red!
ZEEBA: YES! Eat the red snow!!!! Blood!Blood!Blood!Blood!Blood!Blood!Blood!Blood!
The Buster Death Advent Calendar starts tomorrow! Beware: audience members in the first few rows may get slightly drenched in possum guts…