It’s Christmas Eve. Evil Squirrel, President and CEO of Shelf Critter Theatre, LLC, looks over a bridge and ponders his misfortune…
EVIL SQUIRREL: Ten years now I’ve been trying to make a name for myself. I drew comics. I made fun of commercials. I took pictures of squirrels. I exposed Alyans as spies for the KGB. And what has it gotten me? Still overseeing a third rate blog that only a few people read and nobody really cares about. And this whole Shelf Critter thing…. what an epic failure it’s been! Sex, drugs and violence…. yeah, that doesn’t sell on the internet apparently. There’s really not much use for me to keep trying, and I sure don’t want to go back to working at Mecca stocking Chia Pets. Nope, there’s only the Van Halen solution now…… might as well jump!
But before ES can take the Nestea plunge into the ice cold river below….
RICKY: You know you really shouldn’t do that.
ES: Why? Didn’t you ever learn from M*A*S*H that Suicide is Painless?
RICKY: As your guardian angel, I just can’t let this happen.
ES: You don’t look like an angel to me. In fact, you look like some homeless critter…
RICKY: That’s because I haven’t earned my wings yet.
ES: Well, you better get yourself a can of Red Bull, because that’s the only way you’re getting any wings.
RICKY: You believe that you haven’t made a difference on the Shelf, but what if I showed you just how life on the Shelf would be different had you never been born?
ES: Have you been taking LSD?
RICKY: Come, my son. Take my paw and let’s take a look at the Shelf without Evil Squirrel having ever existed…
Some groovy, seizure inducing special effects fade out the cold, wintry scene at the bridge, and segue into an alternate reality where Evil Squirrel was never the gleam in anyone’s eye….
ES: This place seems pretty normal to me. Doesn’t look like my non-existence changed much of anything after all!
RICKY: Patience, grasshopper.
ES: I know all of these critters! Mary, still as cute as can be. Bub, probably still doesn’t have a weewee. Ultraviolet…. wait, I never give him roles anymore! Oh, and look… it’s that incompetent Troll!
ES: Dammit Troll! How many times have I told you that you do NOT get any breaks! Now get back to my office and scrub my executive toilet….
TROLL: Excuse me, do I know you?
ES: You’re going to wish you were never born when I’m through dunking your head in the blue water…
SHADOW: Actually, sir, I believe it is YOU who was never born.
ES: Huh? Oh yeah…. wait, how do you know that?
SHADOW: Even in this alternate reality I know everything. May I introduce you to my colleague, Dr. Troll, who obtained his PhD in Applied Astrophysics from B.U.T. University and now works with NASA probing black holes!
DR. TROLL, PhD: That’s right! And right now I’m working on a computer model that will stabilize the world’s climate and prevent droughts!
ES: Boy, that will really make Rainy happy!
TROLL: Sir, I have no idea who Rainy is, but if you don’t mind, I have very important government work to do here, so if you’ll kindly stop harassing me…
ES: How can an incompetent fool like Troll be some big shot scientist? He can’t even do the laundry without turning all of my briefs pink!
RICKY: Since you were never born into this world, Troll was able to put his education to use and become a valuable member of society… whereas you wasted all of his talents doing menial jobs as your indentured servant.
ES: That’s nonsense! It shouldn’t have taken my influence to turn Troll into the loser he is! And why did he not know who Rainy was? She’s sprayed his smelly ass quite a few times…
RICKY: Since you were not around to purchase her, Rainy was instead bought by someone who actually used her for her intended purpose. She’s sitting in someone’s garden right now collecting rain in her gauge about twice a week rather than having to live a miserable life as an indoor prop for your wicked schemes.
ES: No, that can’t be! Rainy’s my go-t0 when I need a cheap laugh at someone else’s expense! This world isn’t right…
WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG! WAG!
ES: Oh, hey there, Fleabag! Careful not to shit on my shoes this time, I just bought them on clearance for five….
FUZZYWIG: What did you call my dog?
ES: Hi Fuzzy! Fleabag seemed awfully happy to see me, so I…
FUZZYWIG: How dare you call my beloved canine a fleabag! I make sure Rover gets excellent veterinary care and I can assure you there isn’t a flea or tick anywhere in his fur.
ES: Did you just say…… Rover?
ROVER: BARK! (Extends paw)
ES: Oh, now this is too much! Where’s the misbehaving, mangy mutt I know named Fleabag who you constantly want to sell to the Chinese buffet?
FUZZYWIG: You monster! How could you say such a thing? Are you one of those reefer addicts?
ES: Am I a….. wait a minute! Look who’s talking!!!!
FUZZYWIG: Are you mad? I always just said “NO!” like Nancy Reagan told me to! Let’s get out of here, Rover! Apparently the loony bin opened its cage this morning…
ES: What’s going on here!?!?
RICKY: Still think your influence didn’t make an indelible impression on the Shelf? Without you, Fuzzywig never got started on the path to being a drug addict. And his dog graduated with top honors from obedience school without you to turn him into every dog owner’s nightmare for the amusement of your audience.
ES: NTTAWWT. Still, I have a hard time believing my very existence had such an impact on the behavior of the critters.
SNUGGLE: Here’s a piece of candy for you, little girl!
TINA: For meeeeee!?!?!
ES: Well, it’s good to see some things remain the same! If DJ Scratchy actually exists in this horrible place, she’d be queuing up “Aqualung” right now…
SNUGGLE: You bet, Tina! Always remember to only take candy from critters you trust!
TINA: That’s swell advice, Uncle Snuggie! You’re the best youth counselor ever!
Tina scampers away with her piece of candy…… unmolested.
ES: You’ve got to be kidding me!!!
SNUGGLE: Mitzi, my sweetie!
MITZI: Snuggie Wuggie Teddy Bear! Like, Mitzi’s been totally waiting for our date all week!
Snuggle gives Mitzi a peck on the cheek…
ES: Well, at least these two are still horny as fuck…
MITZI: OMG! Like, that critter just totally said a wordy durdy!
SNUGGLE: Excuse me, sir, but I don’t appreciate you using foul language like that in front of my steady girlfriend!
ES: What? Since when do you care about what lang….. wait a minute! Did you just say “steady!?!?”
SNUGGLE: That’s right, Mitzi and I are high school sweethearts who’ve been dating for a few years now. What’s it to you?
ES: Now come on! You two are the most promiscuous critters on this Shelf! Hell, Mitzi has two illegitimate kids that we know about…
RICKY: Before you embarrass yourself much more… maybe I should inform you that, like yourself, Zeeba and Bearcat don’t exist in this world.
ES: WHAT!?!? Zeeba’s like, literally, one of my most popular critters!!!! How can there be no Zeeba!?!?!?!?
RICKY: Because Mitzi is…..
MITZI: Mitzi totally doesn’t have any kids because Mitzi’s a virgin!!!
ES: Wait…. where was the image of Mr. French hysterically laughing that always pops up every time someone says Mitzi is a virgin!?!?!? Mitzi, you can’t possibly be……
MITZI: Mitzi is, like, totally saving herself for marriage! You’re such a big meanie for even thinking…
SNUGGLE: Let’s split, Mitzi! I’m not gonna sit here and listen to this creep sully your reputation like that!
ES: This is unreal! Snuggle Bear calling ME a creep! Is everything on the Shelf really so different without my interference?
RICKY: Hush! I hear our Shelf President is giving a speech…
UNCLE SAM: My fellow critters, it is with great pleasure that I speak about the many triumphs of my benevolent administration….
ES: Yeah, this is going to be a boring speech full of lies and corruption….
SAM: I’m pleased that Samcare has made excellent health care available to all critters. We have also signed peace treaties with many of our longtime enemy shelves. I have signed into law the toughest anti-discrimination act in the world! And the project I am most proud of…
SAM: … my ecology policy! Which has helped save wild mermaids from the verge of extinction!
MERMAID: Glub! Glub!
The audience wildly cheers and applauds…
SAM: And now for a few words from my Secretary of Wholesomeness….
ES: Even Uncle Sam became a straight shooter without my guidance? This is no longer the Shelf, it’s a FUCKED UP MESS!!!!
RICKY: Funny, didn’t you always used to use that term to describe your version of Shelf Critter Theatre?
ES: Sure! But this….. THIS is truly wrong! These critters are sticks in the mud! Dude, we’ve come a long way from Leave It To Fucking Beaver in the entertainment business! I….. I had no idea that without me these critters would be…..
VOICE: Thank you, Mr. President! Now I’d like to say a few things about my mission to make the Shelf the most wholesome place on earth to raise your family…..
ES: (Jerking his head around) Who said that!?!?!?!?
VOICE: …and in just the past three years, sexual deviancy on the Shelf has declined over 69%! And violent crimes against possums are almost non existent….
ES: (Angrily pushing through the enthralled crowd) STOP IT!!!!! QUIT SAYING SUCH RIDICULOUS SHIT!!!! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TO DARE……
MR. FOX: …and thanks to our new law we passed on cussing, dirty words are almost never heard on the streets anymore….
ES: The fox!!!! It’s the fox!!!!!! Ricky!!!! He can’t talk!!!!! He shouldn’t talk!!!!!! Ricky….. you gotta get me out of this nightmare!!!!!! This isn’t my beloved Shelf!!!!!! Please Ricky, I’m begging you!!!!!! Take me back to reality!!!!! I promise….. I PROMISE I won’t take my contributions to this Shelf for granted anymore!!!! (Drops into the fetal position) Please Ricky!!!! Please!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeassssssssseeeee…….
In come the seizure inducing special effects again…..
ES: I’m….. I’m back on the bridge! Does this mean the Shelf is back to the way it used to be!
RICKY: Yes, my son, we’re right back where we started.
ES: To think that the Shelf without my presence would have been such a wishy washy place where everyone was wholesome and boring! Ricky, thank you for making me see the light! Here I was going to end it all, but I realize now that I really am needed here! Oh, Ricky! It’s such a wonderful shelf!!!!
RICKY: And I aim to keep it that way…..
Ricky shoves ES off the bridge into the icy depths below….
RICKY: Lord, I believe I have done your appointed duty in making the Shelf a better place. I do hope this humble angel has now earned his wings….
VOICE: Like hell you have!!!!
RICKY: Wait a minute!!!! How did you…!?!?! But didn’t I just…..!?!?!?
ES: Ricky, do you think someone as important as me performs his own stunts?
Ricky peers over the bridge….
RICKY: You mean…. that was really…… Buster?????
ES: Ricky, you continue to fail me EVERY SINGLE TIME I give you an episode!!!! Your constant, but misguided mission to try to clean up my beloved Shelf is really starting to get on my nerves!
RICKY: Does this mean I won’t be getting my wings?
ES: Oh, you’ll be getting your wings, alright! Mosquito wings!!!
ES does a little godlike magic, making tiny buzzing wings protrude from Ricky’s back…
RICKY: But my Lord…. please!
ES: You’re nothing but a pest to me, Ricky, so you should look like one! TROLL!!!!!
TROLL: Yes sir?
ES: Troll, tell me…. are you an astrophysicist working for NASA?
TROLL: An astro… um? No sir. In fact, I failed pre-algebra in 8th grade because I got caught using my toes on the final exam.
ES: Good! Get the can of bug spray and eliminate this buzzing pest!
TROLL: Yes sir, right away sir!!!!
RICKY: Cough! Hack! I don’t think Job had it this bad….
Ricky staggers off the set, choking and gagging on the poisonous fumes…
ES: Much better! Now to go mingle with my critters!
ES: Good to see everything’s back to normal again!
FUZZYWIG: So we’re considered normal now? (Takes a huge toke) I’ll get high to that!
SNUGGLE: Dude! Where were you? You missed our little Christmas play we put on!
MITZI: Like totally! Mitzi even got to play the virgin!!!!
ES: Ah, now that’s music to my ears!
VOICE: You said it, chief!
ES quickly turns around…..
ES collapses on the floor…
CHIP: I always thought those ventriloquism lessons I took in acting school would pay off one day…
FUZZYWIG: The no-nonsense Chip playing practical jokes. Are you a refugee from the bizarro Shelf?
CHIP: Nope, I’m just a closet asshole…