Saint Sillyon’s Home for Retired Characters and the Comedically Aged sat upon a green and sunny tract of land within the glittering shores of Inkblot Island. Here the elderly toons rested, reliving the glory days of their youth and exploring the wonderful world of geriatric comedy. Shuffleboard screw-ups, bingo bungles, tricks one could do in monotone that couldn’t be done in color, and especially why their era of cartoonery was the best era... despite them being from a wide variety of animation-eras.
Today many toons watched the east with eager eyes. It was the day when the ferry would bring in their relatives for a visit. Some toons rushed about, prepping themselves, while others just sat and waited, content that their decedents would find them in due time. In one corner, lying on a pool-chair in the sun, dressed in a white robe and sunglasses, a pinkish-white bunny toon was relaxing without a care in the world. All around her toons from bygone eras bustled about, but she cared nothing for them at the moment.
That all changed as she was pounced upon by a gaggle of bouncing bunnies and a swarm of twittering cockatiels.
“Gramma, Gramma, Gramma!” they all cried, tugging at her robes.
“Like, heeey there’s my babies!” Mellany exclaimed, sitting up and hugging them by the bunch, “Like, it’s about time you got here! I was totally getting drowned in old fogeys. Those pink and blue bunnies from that looneyversity give me such a lame headache with their ooold stories!”
The children giggled. To them, even the old comedy was new, but in spite of all that, they were the cutting edge in animated characters. Three of them were even getting their own spin-off! Still, it warmed Mellany’s heart to see them all bright-eyed and eager like they had just stepped out of a Wart Dimsey production studio.
“Tell us a story Gramma!” they demanded.
“Tell us how you met Auntie Tatianna!” one squawked.
“Like, tell us about that wolfie police officer you dated!” said another that resembled Mellany quite a bit.
“Tell us one with that horsey lady in it! She’s my favorite!” chimed a third.
“How about one with your nemesis, Doctor Nasil?” said a fourth... the creepy one that Mellany was preeetty sure would grow up to be a wonderful antagonist. Especially the way he steepled his fingers and glared shiftily about.
She raised her hands for quiet, letting the children settle before she decided which to tell.
“I think I, like, have totally the perfect story and stuff,” she started, “It’s about me and Auntie Tats and Carolyn... I was like, in the lab? I had just made some awesome discovery or some junk and Dr. Nasil was trying to, like, foil my plans again. I remember it was...”
“Amazing Doctor!” Tatianna chirped, putting on a anime-happy-face, “You’ve managed to compress all the nutrients and exercise a growing child needs into one 6oz. chocolate candy bar!”
“Like, that’s totally right Tat’s!” Doctor Chesterfield exclaimed, waving the bar at the ‘fourth wall, “Dr. C’s Totally Healthy bars are going to be available at supermarkets everywhere!”
“Kids everywhere will love their taste. Parents everywhere will love the nutrition!” Tatianna brought it to a close, “And with a prize in every box, it’ll be the best!”
Finished with their product placement, Dr. Chesterfield and Tatianna turned back to other projects at hand. An extended walk-sequence, with Mellany bouncing along while Tatianna tried her best to imitate a ‘hot nurse’ walk as she sauntered behind. Scientific equipment passed them by as they moved; columns of bubbling fluids, arcing currents, spinning doo-whats, and all the other trappings that belonged in any proper laboratory. What they didn’t see was the eye-like camera that swiveled and zoomed as they passed, watching their every move.
Long clawed fingers tapped together as Doctor Isra Nasil watched the monitors. There was Doctor Chesterfield, her nemesis, and her insufferably pretty assistant. She watched with narrow eyes as her long-time adversary as she hopped along the pathways of her giant underground laboratory complex. Today, she thought, today my lovelies you will lead me to your secrets. Four years she had schemed and manipulated her way through the halls of academia to discredit and disrupt Chesterfield’s advances in technology and now she had worked her scanning devices into the very heart of her rival’s science!
Taking a sip of her Formi-Colatm, the tastiest ant-flavored soda in the world, Isra resumed her vigilance, swiping a hand through her mohawk-like hair. Her eyes widened in delight as the pair stopped at a console. Setting her device to active, she listened in on their conversation.
“It’s gonna, like, totally revolutionize the comedy industry!” Dr. Chesterfield exclaimed, sweeping her hand at the giant machine of glinting metal, “whole new fields of entertainment at the palm of our hands and stuff!”
“It’s so big,” Tatianna sighed, glaring wide-eyed, “and shiny! What does it do again?”
“If increases the hyper-elasticity of toons and reduces the flat-joke coefficients by up to fifty percent! It also stimulates the production of wackydine, the hormone that causes craziness!”
“So... it makes toons bouncier, stretchier, and funnier?” Tatianna translated for the audience.
“Uh duuuh? Isn’t that, like, what I just said?” Mellany deadpanned.
“Great! So who is gonna be our first test subject?” Tatianna wondered aloud.
Why... it will be you my dears, thought Dr. Nasil, I will take that technological marvel and I will turn it to my own evil purposes.
The villainous doctor stood up from her chair and paced the length of her laboratory, plotting how she would extract such a wondrous device from the hands of her nemesis. Her long clawed fingers rubbed her extremely long muzzle thoughtfully, her other hand set behind her back next to her large fluffy tail. Suddenly she got the idea she was looking for, striking an “ah HAH!” pose before dashing off to her equipment locker. Inside was a jetpack, gleaming and shining, that she immediately strapped on and made her way outside. As she passed tables and workbenches she grabbed random objects and stuffed them into her belt.
The elevator from her secret lab whirred as she stepped inside. Upwards it rose through the long shaft that connected the lab to the outside world. Many sets of eyes stared as the sinister looking anteater in a lab coat and jetpack stepped out from underneath the graceful park fountain that had suddenly risen into the air. Shifting her eyes to the astonished faces, Dr. Nasil slipped a small device from her coat pocket. Clicking a button on the control wand, the fountain lowered back into position with a whirr of mechanics.
“Don’t mind me,” she said to the gawking onlookers, “Federal Park Fountain Inspector... Yep... everything checks out here.”
Keying her jetpack into action, she blasted away into the air.
Carolyn barely broke a sweat as she ran around the track as fast as she could. The scenery of the gym whirred by, unfocussed as she concentrated on her race. Behind her, a few other competitors ate her dust. Her only competition came from a cheetah girl who, thanks to a slow start and Carolyn’s better build for long runs, was just nipping at her heels. Snorting out a cloud of effort-steam, she surged forward, breaking the tape at the end of the finish line. The crowd cheered as she slowed her pace in an attempt to avoid cramps, pumping her fists into the air as she basked in her victory. Aglow with delight, she shook her mane of hair in a very anime-style swirl that she saved just for these occasions.
Her coach and teammates crowded in to congratulate her, patting her back and shouting encouraging tidbits. She wiped her face down with a towel and made for the locker room, still amped from her impressive win. As soon as her butt touched the bench, she heard a familiar song coming from her gym bag. Groaning, she rolled her eyes with frustration as she fished out her cell phone.
“Carolyn HIiiii!” said the exaggerated valley-girl voice on the phone, “It’s Mellany!”
Suppressing another groan, Carolyn leaned back in to the phone, her head having previously been pushed away by the blast of sound at Dr. Chesterfield’s greeting.
“Uh... hi Dr. C,” she replied, “Umm... what’s up?”
“Well, like, we’ve got an amazing new machine we just built... and I was totally, like, wondering if, like, you’d like to try it!”
Another eye-roll. Four ‘like’s in the same sentence! It wasn’t Dr. C’s personal best, but it sure was close. Of course, as Carolyn’s brain pulled itself out of that mess, she realized that the doctor had mentioned a new machine.
“Noooo, no no no no!” Carolyn replied, “I’ve got too many things to do and have undergone waay too many procedures. Not again.”
“But... but it’ll help you.”
“I don’t need help doctor. I’m finally over the last stuff you did to me.”
“But it will really, really help! I’m totally serious this time!”
“Why would I need any more help? I’m fine!”
“Because you’re not funny!”
Silence hung in the air like a fog as Carolyn soaked in the doctor’s pronouncement.
“I’m an athlete. A respected winner and role model... I don’t need to be funny! My viewers look to me for self-esteem!”
“Carolyn... you gotta face facts.” Mellany sighed, “You’re just not a funny toon. But don’t worry, I can help! My new machine...”
“...will make me funny?” Carolyn gasped.
“Give me twenty minutes!”
Ants! All of them, below me, ants! Dr. Nasil laughed to herself, scurrying about in their petty lives, never knowing what is hovering above. It is I, their destroyer! How I hunger to bring about their end! And here it is, time for lunch!
She chuckled to herself as she lapped up a long tongue-full of squirmy insects. They tried to resist, but they were helpless before her. She smiled as she crunched down, enjoying their lemony flavor. Again and again her tongue darted out, cleaning her plate of her lunch. So many people had stared at her when she landed, jetpack flaring out behind her, but she had no time for them. It was lunchtime after all... even her rival couldn’t ignore lunchtime.
Of course, this would probably make her behind schedule, but knowing that ditzy bunny she imagined it wouldn’t be too far behind. Finishing her plate, paying her bill, and leaving a villainously low tip, she blasted herself back into the sky. Belly full, she felt ready to take on the world! One thing at a time Isra, she thought to herself, first Doctor Chesterfields Funnifying Machine... THEN the world!
How did I get here? Carolyn thought as she looked around the newly revamped laboratory, Again…
Carolyn stood waiting in the laboratory as Doctor Chesterfield and Tatianna busied themselves prepping this and calibrating that. They called out instructions and confirmations back and forth leaving Carolyn idle, still in her track suit. Lights blinked on, the computers made whirring sounds, Jacob’s Ladders snapped and crackled with visually stimulating, but otherwise useless electricity, little orb-on-sticky things went WwWwOOM!! All of it doing nothing to entertain the bored horse girl standing in the middle of it all.
“Ready to begin the experiment!” Doctor Chesterfield yelled, thrusting a finger into the air.
“Experiment?!” Carolyn cried, “You said you were ready for it!”
“Oh, yeah, it’s just a prototype,” Mellany said, “Like, I thought I totally told you about that.”
“Noooo, you told me you could make me FUNNY!” she shouted.
“Nurse? I think we need to anesthetize the patient,” Mellany mock whispered to Tatianna.
“Got it!” Tats chirped, drawing a huge syringe full of bubbling green fluid from a coat pocket that was far too small to house it.
“OOOooooh no!” Carolyn yelled, eyes massively wide and pupils shrinking to dots, “You are not injecting me with that!”
“Of course not!” Tatianna tweeted happily before flipping the giant needle around and whacking Carolyn squarely on the head with it.
Carolyn’s black horse body flattened into a wide black pancake. She popped back up almost immediately, sitting on her backside with little stars and Dr. Chesterfields and Tatiannas whirling about her dizzied head. With an exaggerated shaking, she got herself back to consciousness.
“See?” Dr. Chesterfield said without enthusiasm, “If you were really funny, you’d have at least done the accordion thing... or you know, jabbered a little and said something awkward.”
Carolyn was clearly senseless, tongue hanging out of her mouth and a little bit of swirling still around her head. In a cloud of hands and motion Tatianna and Mellany grabbed her up and tied her down to an exam table. They came away with Carolyn fully restrained, wires all over her.
“Alrighty then!” Mellany cheered, “Now I’ll just throw this switch and hope I’m half the genius people think I am!”
Her hand closed on a huge Frankenstein-style switch, complete with yellow and black warning striped and a big red knob on the end. The lights of the lab reflected in her wild pink eyes, a huge grin on her face.
“FOR SCIENCE!” she yelled.
Tatianna and the doctor looked up as the ceiling crashed in above them. A figure riding on jets of flame fell from above and the room filled with maniacal, villainous laughter. In their midst touched down the anteatery form of Doctor Nasil, goggles on and looking as terrible and horrible as she could. Looking around at the wreckage she had caused, Dr. Nasil let lose yet another villainous laugh!
“You ceiling was locked, so I let MYSELF in!” she crowed in the midst of the destruction.
“You can’t lock a ceiling...” Carolyn said, confused.
“Oh wow...” Dr. Nasil said, cocking her head toward Dr. Chesterfield, “I can really see why you chose her for your test run... she is way not funny.”
“Yep,” Dr. C agreed, “that’s exactly why.”
“HEY!” Carolyn protested.
“Anyways, back to business,” Dr. Nasil continued, thrusting a clawed hand toward the doctor and Tatianna, “Give me the... um... the... thing!”
Three sets of eyes were upon Dr. Nasil, waiting for her to continue and silently berating her for the delay.
“Hold on, hold on, I’ve gotta remember my line,” Dr. Nasil said, digging I her lab coat pockets, “I’ve got my flash cards here somewhere.”
“Is this going to take long?” Tatianna queried impatiently, “We’ve got dinner plans you know.”
“Hold on... just... just...”
“Like ohmahgawd,” Dr. Chesterfield sighed, “It’s ‘Give me your Funnyfication Machine or else!’ Am I the only reads the whole script?”
“Fine! Whatever!” Dr. Nasil shouted, “How ‘bout I just TAKE it instead?!”
From her lab coat pocket came a wide-barreled, and very sci-fi looking cannon, complete with blinking lights and whining coils. BLATT BLATT BLATT! Went the cannon, launching cream pies at the faces of Dr. Chesterfield, Tatianna, and Carolyn, splattering them with crazy white knockout cream!
“MWWWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!” laughed Dr. Nasil triumphantly as the three came around.
They woke to find themselves strapped, or in Carolyn’s case STILL strapped, to a table, the evil doctor looming over them maliciously as lightning crackled around her.
“Ooh, nice effect!” Carolyn admired, totally ruining the moment.
Now she was the one with all three sets of eyes upon her.
“Whaaat?” she asked honestly.
“Gyah! It’s like she sucks all the air out of the room!” Dr. Nasil groaned angrily, “Now I forgot my lines again!”
“It’s ‘Now your precious machine is mine, I will rule the world of comedy... blah blah blah,” Mellany said with an eyeroll.
“Yes! That’s it! Now I will rule the... wait... hold on. She needs fixing first!” Dr. Nasil shouted as she aimed the device at the three of them and threw the switch!
The three captive toons were zapped with a brilliant swirly yellow and green beam that encompassed their bodies in zapping energy. Tatianna and Carolyn squirmed under the beam, but Mellany looked out angrily at the fourth wall.
“Ummm... It was like, totally supposed to be light blue. I programmed the beam to be light blue.”
“Ah but I changed it while you were out!” Dr. Nasil pointed out with triumph.
“You fiend! Aaaah!!” Mellany cried out as she too twitched with the energy of the funnyfication ray.
Finally the zap was at an end. The machine died down to the increased sound of the villainous laughter of Dr. Nasil. For a moment she stared, wondering how she would know if it had worked.
“Um... are you supposed to be different or something?” she questioned.
All three shrugged their shoulders.
“Hmmm, maybe I had it adjusted wrong...”
As she turned away to check the computer monitors, all three slipped out of their restraints and began bouncing around the room. Carolyn stretched her long muzzle out to make mocking faces at Dr. Nasil’s back. Dr. C and Tatianna ran around after each other with scientific equipment trying to whack each other over the head. Carolyn bent down and shook her butt at the evil doctor, pulling her tail down to turn her hind end into an effigy of the anteater’s face. Dr. C juggled microscopes and test tubes. Tatianna joined Carolyn in openly mocking their rival.
“Hmmm, seems I got everything right,” Dr. Nasil said to herself as she turned round to see her victims. By this time, of course, they were all back in their restraints looking bored and tired. “I wonder what went wrong...” she added before turning back to the monitors.
This time, the three whipped out of their restraints and ran up behind the villainous toon. Before she knew what happened, Dr. Nasil found her underwear pulled up and over her head, hooked on the end of her long nose. The three toons laughed riotously as the evil doctor tried desperately to un-wedgie herself.
“Granny panties?!” Dr. C howled, “I knew you were evil, but I didn’t know you were THAT evil!”
“And they even had little ants all over,” Tatianna chimed in, “Now I know why you’re so grouchy all the time!”
At last Dr. Nasil spun round quickly, disappearing into the whirlwind of a classic ‘spin-change.’ When the swirling stopped, she stood facing them; face red, breath fast and hard, little wisps of steam puffing from her ears.
“You’re not allowed to get the upper hand yet!” she yelled, pointing accusingly at the trio, “It’s only the second act!!”
Reaching once again into her lab coat, she produced a huge device, looking like a big ol’ crossbow with a giant wooden mallet attached. Clicking the trigger thrice, she launched an extending boxing glove out the end and knocked all three silly. They sat in a corner, stars and lights swirling round their heads.
“Hah, and you all thought I was gonna smash ‘em flat with the mallet part,” Dr. Nasil said to the fourth wall, “Well no one gets the upper hand on Docter Isra Nasil! Now that I control the Funnyfication Machine, I will soon control the WORLD! MWAHAHAHA!!!”
“So did she do it Gramma? Are we conquered?” said one grandchild eagerly.
“Did she ever use the hammer? I mean that totally felt like a Chekov’s Gun there,” asked another, one of the more nerdy ones.
“How did Dr. Nasil intend to rule the world? Is the funnyfication machine still operational?” questioned the nefarious-looking one.
“Did the wolfy cop guy come and save you?”
Mellany calmed her grandchildren down with a wave of her hands.
“Now, now. It’s only the second act kids,” she said, “didn’t your mothers teach you about story structure? You can’t just give everything away at the start, you gotta build toward a fun ending.”
“We normally just run around screaming in our shows Gramma,” admitted one of the bunny kids, “Our producers say that thinking is for nerds. What kids want is colors and noise.”
Sighing to herself about the state of cartoons these days, Dr. Chesterfield continued her story.
The trio came too shortly after being conked out. They were now tied up with ropes and gagged, preventing their escape. They all wiggled, hoping to slip free the bonds that entangled them, but even as they did they heard that same wicked laughter booming out over them. They all looked up to see Dr. Nasil looming like a shadow before their eyes. In her arms the carried the core of the funnyfication machine.
“And now that I have your precious machine, I will say goodbye my dear doctor,” Dr. Nasil taunted, “But before I go, I thought of something amusing to do to you... something to make sure you go out with a... bang!”
Suddenly a man in a black t-shirt, headset, and black cap leaned in from off screen and whispered something into her ear. As quickly as he came, he vanished once more, leaving Dr. Nasil still posed for gloating.
“And... umm... yeah...” she said, gathering her thoughts before proceeding with her taunting, “I also wanted to inform you that I have stolen your recipe for your Totally Healthy bars! Wait till the world tastes the chocolatey horror of Dr. Nasil’s Totally UN-Healthy Bars! I’ll make them STEAL a prize in every box! Nyaaahahahaa! I’d also like to inform you that these villainous acts are being brought to you by the good people at Formi-Colatm! Formi-Colatm like an ant’s nest in every sip, now in Carpenter Ant, Zesty Lemon, and Cherry Larva!”
“Mrrffmrrmmmph,” Dr. C said with a roll of her eyes, causing the words ‘Way too much product placement,’ to appear in subtitles.
“I know, I know, but it pays the bills,” Dr. Nasil groaned, “But anyways. Back to the villainy and stuff.”
Dr. Nasil brought out three clear hoses, one for each of her victims. She made a circuit of her foes before stopping in front of Tatianna. As she pulled down the gag that bound Tatianna’s beak, the cockatiel girl immediately began squawking.
“You’ll never get away with this Dr. Nasil! We’ve beaten you before and well beat you again! You can’t...”
The hose was shoved into her beak, cutting off the last words with an “Ooomph.”
“How about shovin’ a cork in it!” taunted the doc, “Hah! I’ve wanted to say that for so long!”
Tatianna looked shocked as Dr. Nasil sauntered back to the controls and dialed in the settings. Soon, Tatianna’s eyes bulged wider than normal, as did her cheeks. A general look of surprised came over her face as she felt herself begin to swell as the contents of the hose pumped into her. Next, she pulled down Carolyn’s gag and repeated the procedure, jamming the hose in before the horse girl could protest. She muttered something as the villainous anteater keyed in the next commands and gas began pumping into the horse’s mouth.
Next she came to Mellany. Instead of simply jamming the hose in, she decided to gloat a little before sentencing her rival to a very balloon end.
“Any last words Doctor?”
“No!” she replied, “Not the Inflatium gas! We’ve never successfully tested it!”
“Consider this a trial run! Goodbye Doctor Chesterfield! Too bad you can’t stick around to witness my success.”
The commands keyed in, Dr. Nasil turned one last time to see her lifelong adversaries expanding to their doom.
“Gotta fly!” she announced as she launched herself off into the sky.
Tatianna groaned and cast her eyes about as her body swelled ever larger. She goggled with eyes the size of dinner plates and looked questioningly at her partner, hoping there was some way out of this. Dr. Chesterfield shrugged her rapidly expanding shoulders in an expression of helplessness. Carolyn made a lot of noise and kicked impotently with her yet un-swollen legs, trying to free herself, or at least do SOMETHING.
Their heads and shoulders grew larger, pushing out their features till they resembled party balloons more than people. Their lower bodies, constrained by the ropes, had miraculously been spared the expansion. But even as they realized this marvel, the strain of ropes that had reached their limits sounded throughout the lab. The ropes had become unbearably tight around their shoulders and now strained under the pressure of rapidly inflating bodies.
One by one the ropes popped, bursting asunder under unnatural forces. The first to go was Tatianna, the Inflatium gas rushing out of her head and into the rest of her form, plumping out her body more evenly against her clothes. Her fingers and toes were now more akin to sausages than digits, her arms and legs looking like they belonged on a sumo wrestler. Still she grew as the gas stretched her body out of proportion.
Next came Carolyn, a black beauty bursting her bounds and becoming a bulging balloon instead of a toned athlete. Eagerly she tried to run towards the shut-off mechanism, but before she could reach it she had filled to the point that she lifted off the ground like an astronaut on a moonwalk. Her track suit, made of spandex, stretched with her into a form-fitting second skin. As she drifted downward, she reached out a stubby hand to try and hit the buttons. Success! Her fingers contacted with the control pad... ... ... and set the machine into overdrive!
Just then Dr. Chesterfield’s ropes burst away as she swelled suddenly twice as fast! She grabbed desperately for anything she could, knocking over science equipment and lab books in her fumbling effort for grip.
Tatianna, now filling at twice the rate, more closely resembled a ball than a bird. Her arms, head, legs, and body had filled so much that definitive things like limbs were being pulled and deformed out of proportion, pulled into their new shapes... round. Beside her, the black balloon of Carolyn tagged along behind her, with Mellany expanding close behind.
A ripping sound filled the space as clothing, too strained by the pressure underneath, gave way in the same manner as the ropes before them. Seams stretched, showing shiny, cartoony skin beneath. Some burst, splitting the clothing away, while others held strong. Tiny tears in the weak points of fabric became larger as lab coats, shirts, pants, and undergarments ripped away into tatters and shreds. First it was Tatianna who burst free of her garments, followed by those of Doctor Chesterfield who had always preferred to wear a size too large.
Carolyn, on the other hand, was having quite a time with her spandex track suit. As it had reached the limits of its stretchiness, the clothes had instead become constricting, causing Carolyn’s limbs and head to expand freakishly like muffins rising out of their cups. Of course, no fabric could stand up to such punishment for long. Before long it too ripped into shreds, just like the rest, and fell away to the lab floor.
By this time, the three had grown so large that they were pushing the boundaries of the cavernous laboratory. The clothing had barely hit the ground before it was rolled over by the ever-expanding masses of the doctor and her companions. Concerned faces rolled over the surfaces of the toons-cum-balloons, exaggerated and seemingly painted on. All were wondering when this would end. When the limits of Dr. Chesterfield’s technologically enhanced elasticity would give out.
Such concerns were lost to the trio as their bodies smooshed up against the walls. They heard equipment clatter and beakers break beneath them, but luckily nothing managed to pierce their rubbery bodies. Faces forced together as they rapidly filled the room.
Mr. Mottley stroked his long moustache happily, serving out a pair of tacos to some of the local kids. Ever since he was a young ferret he had dreamed of opening his own taco stand. He had labored for years, testing and experimenting, and had finally come up with the perfect formula for constructing the most excellent tacos in the world. Fish, chicken, bean or beef, his tacos simply could not be beat.
He waved the kids goodbye and patted the apron pocket in which their coins had been stashed. Here, just down the street from Chesterfield Enterprises, was the most promising place to host his dream; Mr. Mottley’s Terrific Travelling Taco sTand! Folks flocked from all around town to get a bite of his delicious, zesty tacos. He made a month’s profits every lunchtime, and even now, just after the rush had died down, he felt the fullness of his money pouch which assured him of a job well done.
A rush of air swept past him as he set about cleaning his beloved stand. When he glanced up, he beheld a sinister figure in a lab coat and goggles, a jetpack upon her back and a large computer core cradled in her arms. The brightness of day seemed to be sucked into her as she loomed with ill intent over the happy vendor.
“Welcome to Mr. Mottley’s Terrific Travelling Taco sTand! What can I get you today?”
“One Insect Supreme,” she said darkly, “extra hot and easy on the grasshoppers, oh and a Formi-Colatm.”
“Ah, Formi-Colatm, proud sponsor of the Villainous Olympics.”
Quickly he served the creepy anteater lady and pocketed her money. Idly he went back to cleaning, ignoring the oddness of his latest customer.
Suddenly, Mr. Mottley hear an earsplitting cracking sound, like the pavement was breaking. He glanced over to see a trio of parade balloons rising from the ground not fifty feet away from him! The balloons were enormous, at least three stories tall. Less afraid than amazed, he watched as they rolled their way out of the pavement. He couldn’t be sure what characters they were supposed to be, shaking his head that the parade coordinators must not have realized that they were overfilling them.
One looked like a cockatiel, all grey with giant red cheekspots, big white eyes, and a broad yellow beak. He wondered, for a moment, whether this was perhaps a new character from one of those popular videogames kids played on their phones. Another was light pink with huge pink eyes and the impressions of long ears and buck teeth... a rabbit he supposed... reminiscent of some toy that little girls played with. The third was a coal-black figure that he simply couldn’t identify. It was just too... dark... to identify, the white eyes being the only things visible against the dark surface. Maybe, he thought to himself, maybe it’s one of those pocket-whatsits from overseas.
Too late did he realize that the balloons had yet to lift off the ground. So wrapped up in trying to figure out just what characters they were supposed to be, he didn’t see the danger until it was on top of him... literally. The black mass of Carolyn’s body rolled over him, flattening him beneath her, and his cart with it a moment later.
Block after block the trio rolled out, pushing aside or flattening buildings, who protested loudly at their ill treatment (being that most were toon buildings anyway.) Their expanding features still moved about their impossibly round faces, concerned with the calamity their bloating bodies were wreaking on the metropolis. Try though they might to apologize their words were obscured by the now ridiculously tiny hoses hanging from the puckered orifice of their mouths. “MMmm MMMRRRMmm,” was the best any of them could manage.
They rolled over people, vehicles, houses, buildings, skyscrapers... on and on until they felt the cold, thin air above them. Their skin stretched so thin that light passed through it, allowing each to see straight through the other’s body. Each had pushed their way through a metropolitan area, crushing everything they passed under the enormous pressure of the Inflatium gas. Finally, at long last, they stopped. Their limit had been reached. The squeak and squeal of torturously overinflated skin sounded as the three colossal balloons rubbed against each other.
The three sighed. All in all, it had been a more embarrassing experience than discomforting.
Buzzy the Bee buzzed happily along, his eyes closed as he hummed a merry tune about pollen and flowers. The sun was on his back and his pollen baskets were full, not a care left in the world. Suddenly his flight was interrupted as he bounced into a rubbery, bouncy wall. Opening his eyes, he saw a see-through grey wall, taller than he could believe, obstructing his path! He pushed, unable to move the unyielding mountain in front of him. After a few minutes of frustrated effort, he went with the expedient thing and unsheathed his stinger...
“MMMmmm NNNMMMmmm? (You know?)” said Tatianna, her words translating into subtitles as she said them through the tube, “mmm Hmmm HMmmmzzz Mm HnMM MMGM! (I think things will be OK!)”
The Tatianna balloon detonated! One instant she was there beside her friends, the next she was a flutter of toon-shards scattered far and wide. The shock of her explosion caused Carolyn to follow suit, blasting away with the force of released gas that sent her pieces scattering. Then too did Mellany erupt.
Being a toon city, the crushed metropolis quickly sprang back up, some buildings and people bouncing like accordions, some swaying woozily, and others simply springing back up and continuing their day like nothing had ever happened. All over the combined cities that made up the metro-area, little shards of pink, black, grey, white, yellow and red drifted down among the inhabitants like a ticker-tape parade.
“So was that it Gramma? Did you and Tats and Carolyn die? Were you exploded forever, never able to do anything again?” asked a grandchild aloud.
“Did Dr. Nasil take over the world? Did she alter the funnyfication machine to her own evil ends?” ... again that villainous looking grandchild... Mellany made a mental note to talk to his mother.
“No, no kids,” she said calmly, “Like, that was just the third act. I still have more stuff to tell you.”
“Like how you got mean old Nasil back, huh Gramma?!” another grandkid exclaimed.
“Well, Duuh. Ok it was like this...”
A few of the burst toon shards remained by the origin point, collected around the trio of hoses. An eye here, a bit of mouth there, a shard of beak still over there. Like inchworms the pieces of exploded toon inched their way over to each other, the faces of Tatianna, Mellany, and Carolyn reforming like a picture in a shattered mirror.
“Alright, that was enough fun for one day,” Carolyn said as soon as her mouth-pieces were in proximity.
Tatianna’s beak slithered over close to her angry looking eyes, “Of course, you realize, this means war.”
“That is, like, totally not your line Tats,” Mellany said with a roll of her eyes that literally rolled her eyes a short way, “Alright girls, we’ve got to pull ourselves together. After all, it’s the fourth act and we still haven’t stopped her! And I’ll be totally bummed if she renamed it Dr. Nasil’s Totally UN-Healthy Bars already.
The evil Isra Nasil typed furiously at her supercomputer’s keyboard. A few more forms and she would have her final triumph! All that remained was to plagiarize her rival’s research papers, put in the copyright patents, and submit it all for publishing and she would once and for all succeed where the revoltingly bubbly Mellany Chesterfield had failed!
But first she needed to win just ooooone more game of Solitaire!
“Stupid Jack of Clubs,” she muttered as she clicked through the stack of cards again, “probably buried riiight under the friggin ten of diamonds! Always this happens!”
“I don’t have the Heart to tell her, gals” called a voice from the other side of the lab, “But she’d better get a Spade for when we bury you Doctor Nasil!”
All eyes turned on the speaker, a black horse girl standing in the doorway.
“Oh wow, that was just terrible!” moaned Dr. Nasil, “I mean seriously, girl, you’ve just got a funny deficiency I think!”
“Yeah, that was pretty bad,” Tatianna agreed.
“Like... awful.” Mellany added.
“Fine! Whatever!” Carolyn yelled before stomping off, “My first attempt at a real joke, SUE ME!”
Nasil waited for Carolyn to exit the scene before she continued.
“Uh... ok... umm... What are you doing here?!”
“Ugh, that is not even CLOSE to your line right there.” Mellany said.
“Sorry, I just... I can’t... I just can’t WORK under these conditions!” Dr. Nasil yelled, “I gotta try and remember my lines and queues and product placements after that?! She’s just so baaad with those jokes!”
Suddenly a hand grabbed her shoulder. A black hand. An equine hand. Gasping, the anteater froze in shock as she felt another strong hand grab onto the hem of her lab coat.
“Well then how about some situational comedy!” yelled Carolyn’s voice right beside her head. A moment later Dr. Nasil jumped and cried out with surprise as something goosed her behind!
“How about a little taste of your own medicine doctor?” Tatianna called out as Nasil squirmed, a familiar looking hose trailing out from under her lab coat.
“One dose of Inflatium totally coming right up!” Mellany chimed, a pad in her hand connected to the other side of the hose. With a dash of keystrokes, she waved the device at her surprised rival.
“Wait... what?!” Nasil cried, “That wasn’t in the script!”
“Protagonist’s copy!” Mellany gloated, waving a sheaf of papers teasingly at her adversary, “good guy’s eyes only!”
Carolyn trotted back with the computer core safe in her arms while Tatianna gathered up the documents Isra had stolen. Both moved to Doctor Chesterfield’s side, grinning with their victory and brandishing their prizes as they watched Dr. Nasil swell bigger and bigger.
“Totally not fair,” the villainous doctor grumped, wishing she could cross her arms as her behind began pushing away the contents of her desk and knocking over her equipment, “Protagonists copy... phffft.”
Not having been treated with the hyper-elasticity formula, Nasil rapidly reached the limit of her expansion. Her lab lay in ruins around her as her body was stretched into a ball roughly the size of a large building. Her skin had become almost completely clear, like a soap bubble needing only a tiny disruption to burst.
“Eh, I’m bored,” said the waiting Mellany before she yanked the plug on the hose.
Suddenly released, all the Inflatium quickly vacated the overfilled evildoer. Like the balloon she had become, she rocketed off on an erratic course, spiraling into the distance, screaming her oaths of revenge.
The grandchildren tittered and clamored with awe. A mixed bag of reactions stole them from their grandmother’s attention as they all speculated on the fate of the nefarious doctor, on the future of their ancestor, and on other random tidbits that infested the minds of young toons whether they made any sense or not.
Mellany watched, amused at the joy and wonder she had been able to bring to her offspring’s offspring, wondering how this bunch would apply the lessons to the next generation of cartoonery. But among all the happy faces, one sat quietly, looking very disappointed. In a flush of maternal caring, Mellany moved into the crowd and hugged her wayward grandson close.
“I know you wanted Doctor Nasil to win,” she said comfortingly, “But you’ve got to remember how cartoons worked in those days.”
“It’s just not fair Gramma,” he sighed, “I study real hard and I try and try, but nothing I seem to do will let me win. The good guys have all the best stuff.”
“Well I don’t know about that. Besides, a lot of good guys wouldn’t be as great and popular if it wasn’t for a good bad guy to win over.”
“I know... but just once I’d like the bad guy to win. I want to be the smart one who stays smart. I see all the things they did wrong and I just know I can do better!”
“Well, you know, I hear that some guy called Josh Weedoff uses villains as protagonists. Maybe I’ll give him a call for ya.”
The group talked and told stories as the day unfolded, Tatianna and Isra Nasil even arrived later in the day to meet the kids, along with many of Dr. Chesterfield’s old foes and allies. As the sun dipped down into the ocean, parents loaded up their children into the ferries and the residents of Saint Sillyon’s Home for Retired Characters and the Comedically Aged returned to their same-old routines, waiting for the next day when their relatives would visit or their brand of comedy would be needed.
Brought to you by the Same-Ol’ corporation, producer of such fine products as Inflatium: the wacky inflation gas, Formi-Cola: a swarm in every sip, and Dr. C’s Totally Healthy chocolate bars! Please Use Responsibly.