NARRATOR: Oh, there you are. Welcome to Episode Three of “Nuevo Malibu”, entitled “She Was Friendly to the Navy, But Rotten to the Corps”. “Nuevo Malibu” is sponsored by Sherm’s Worms.

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And we’re off. In our last episode, earthlings Clell Landis and Doctor Shay Watt? team up with Mack, the subliminal being that communicates through holograms. The trio and I, the Narrator, miniaturize our time-traveling Port-a-Potty the TURDIS, and meander through Donald Trump’s sundry brain lobes before adjourning to the Italian Renaissance for some pasta. After dinner, we stroll the streets of ancient Rome. Mack, who had transformed to Galileo to order our meal, slips into some one more comfortable — the form of John Nursall,  a reclusive scrimshaw artist.

MACK: I understand that earthlings often like to attend a film after dining out. We could visit Planet Rom-Com in the Resort System.

LANDIS: What’s that?

MACK: An ongoing romantic comedy, Landis. You and the Doctor would be irresistibly drawn into the conventions of the genre: the meet cute, the inferior yet lovable  sidekicks, the triumph of true love over many obstacles.

DOCTOR: Irresistibly?

MACK: The atmosphere on Rom-Com overpowers earthlings. It wouldn’t affect me or Narrator. We could watch out for you AND serve the plot as your loyal  though not as attractive best friends.

NARRATOR: I’m in.

DOCTOR: Would we have enough control to signal you with a safe word? 

MACK: Yes. I strongly recommend you try this, Doctor. The primary audience for rom-coms are young heterosexual women. Are you heterosexual?

DOCTOR: (beat) Well, a lady doesn’t kiss and tell. Let’s just say I came of age in the 60’s and leave it at that.

MACK: Certainly. What would you prefer your safe word to be?

DOCTOR: Mandingo.

MACK: Landis, what do you want for yoursafe word?

LANDIS: STOP!

MACK: Very well. I am now transforming into Andy Devine, legendary sidekick of Roy Rogers, then Wild Bill Hickok.

EFFECT: weird electronic sound

MACK: (extremely raspy drawl) I’m now Corky Binderstaff, relatable though addled wingman for whoever you get named out there, Landis.

NARRATOR: Since we’ll be outside, may I have a body? The Doctor’s sidekick would have a body.

EFFECT: weird electronic sound; auto shop sounds

NARRATOR: Mack fits me with a Rosie O’Donnell style torso just as we set down.

EFFECT: TURDIS landing

NARRATOR: A name! I need a name!

DOCTOR: You’re Marge.

NARRATOR: Marge? One syllable?

DOCTOR: I love that name.

MACK: Marge, when the door opens, give Landis and the doctor a head start to begin their fantasy as purely as possible.

NARRATOR: Marge?

EFFECT: TURDIS door opening; birds singing; city sounds

LANDIS: Pippin! PIPPIN! (beat) Excuse me, have you seen a penguin waddle by quite recently?

DOCTOR: No, I’m certain I’d remember.

LANDIS: You couldn’t miss it. It’s an emperor penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri to those who really care. Largest of all penguins extant, a near-threatened

species, alas.

DOCTOR: I know. They’re my specialty. I’m Professor Alexandra Lavoisier. I teach at Columbia. I’ve  just returned from a field trip to Antartica.

LANDIS: Are you a descendant of Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry?

DOCTOR: Why, yes.

LANDIS: What an honour. I’m Doctor Tim Whern. I teach zoology at Vancouver Island University. We have something in common.

DOCTOR: Do tell.

LANDIS: We’ve both focused on studying endemic species. Mine is the Haida Gwaii black bear, Ursus americanus carlottae.

DOCTOR: A keystone species in the archipelago. Intriguing.

LANDIS: To be sure. Do your friends call you Alex?

DOCTOR: Andra, actually. Is this your first visit to Manhattan?

LANDIS: Yes, I’m on holiday. There’s a tobacco shop in Greenwich Village that sells rare blends it won’t send through the mail.

DOCTOR: Perhaps. I could help you find it.

LANDIS: Oh, I couldn’t ask that of you unless you’d let me buy you dinner. I bet you know some charming bistros in the Village.

DOCTOR: I do and I accept. But first you have to admit that you weren’t actually walking a penguin in Central Park.

LANDIS: (laughing) Busted. I apologize, Professor Lavoisier. I recognized you from the photo on the jacket of your newest book. I’ve followed your work for years. That was the best opening I could come up with

on the spur of the moment. Please forgive me.

DOCTOR: (laughing) Call me Andra.

EFFECT: Landis and the Doctor laughing in the distance

NARRATOR: They’re laughing. Should we join them?

MACK: Yes, Marge. Follow their lead, and hope that they remember the names we originated in the TURDIS.

NARRATOR: Stop calling me Marge when we’re not near them.

MACK: Certainly, Narrator.

DOCTOR: Oh, look. There’s my best friend Midge, but I don’t who that odd-looking chap with her is.

LANDIS: That chap is Conkie Blenderstagg, a colleague of mine. He was hit in the head with a boomerang while he was studying kangaroo mating habits. I’m his caretakernow. Please be patient with him.

DOCTOR: Of course. (shouting) Hello, Midge!

NARRATOR: Midge? That’s even worse than Marge.

MACK: Work with it, Midge. I mean, Narrator.

LANDIS: Conkie, how nice that this lady found you. I thought you were just going to the washroom.

MACK: Sorry.

LANDIS: Conkie, this other lady is Professor Alexandra Lavoisier. She teaches school nearby.

MACK: Hello.

DOCTOR: Hello, Conkie. You’ve just met my friend Midge. Midge, this is Doctor Tim Whern from Vancouver Island.

NARRATOR: Nice to meet you, Doctor Whern.

LANDIS: Please call me Tim. Do you still have that headache, Conkie?

MACK: Yes.

DOCTOR: Why don’t we get something to drink and watch the children play with Frisbees and Hackysacks?

LANDIS: Don’t worry, Conkie. They don’t have boomerangs here.

MACK: Okay.

NARRATOR: (echo) I’m now in a toilet stall. I need to narrate and I don’t want to risk upsetting the flow of the Lavoisier-Whern connection. The four of us find a romantic Italian restaurant at Professor Lavoisier’s suggestion, apparently unaware that she had eaten 16th Century pasta an hour earlier as the Doctor. I was famished since I had never eaten anything.We end up in Doctor Whern and Conkie’s hotel room.

LANDIS: Conkie, Andra and I want to discuss zoology stuff in the other room. Do you mind waiting out here with Midge? I bet the TV here has the Treehouse Channel. Maybe Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood will be on.

MACK: Sure.

DOCTOR: Conkie, Midge will be glad to stay here with you.

MACK: Okay.

NARRATOR: Can we order room service?

LANDIS:  Absolutely. Anything you want.

NARRATOR: I’ve always wanted to try bananas Foster.

LANDIS: Enjoy!

EFFECT: door closing

NARRATOR: Mack, I understand my role in this, but I can’t figure out what you’re supposed to be.

MACK: Someone for whom Doctor Whern feels responsible. I believe a head wound is involved.

NARRATOR: Things are about to heat up in there. How are we going to monitor this?

MACK: I installed a camera and microphone in there during a toilet break. We can watch on this TV.

NARRATOR: Wouldn’t you rather watch Daniel Tiger?

MACK: No, I find his show childish and an unrealistic portrayal of an apex predator.

EFFECT: TV being turned on

NARRATOR: Wow. Landis wasted no time.

LANDIS: Some music to set the mood, then?

DOCTOR: I’d love that.

MUSIC: start of “At Last” by Etta James, fades slowly

DOCTOR: My, this is the warmest I’ve been since I got back from Antarctica.

LANDIS: There’s a South Pole joke in there somewhere, but I’m too much of a gentleman to say it.

EFFECT: couple making out, fades

NARRATOR: Landis is more limber than I would have guessed for a man his age.

MACK: The endorphins and oxytocin surging through his brain enhance flexibility.

NARRATOR: I think I’m feeling a surge, too. I like having a body.

MACK: Our assignment is to monitor.

DOCTOR: Oh, Doctor!

LANDIS: I’m your Haida Gwaii bear, baby!

MACK: Have you heard either of them say their safety word yet?

NARRATOR: Huh? Oh, . . . I’ll be back in a bit. Order the bananas Foster, would you, Mack?

MACK: Certainly.

NARRATOR: When I return two hours later, Landis and the Doctor had “completed their task”, as Mack put it. I devour my dessert, then go with the Doctor to Professor Lavoisier’s place, where she describes her coupling in extensive detail that I found both disgusting and compelling. She says that  we are to meet Landis and Mack for breakfast. I bid her goodnight, then stay near her apartment building entrance until she leaves in the morning, tailing her to the restaurant.

LANDIS: Look, Conky, there’s Midge.

MACK: Who?

LANDIS: You met her yesterday.

MACK: I did?

LANDIS: Midge! Over here!

NARRATOR: Good morning.

LANDIS: And there’s Andra.  Conky, why don’t you and Midge stay here a moment?

MACK: Here?

NARRATOR: I’ll watch him, Doctor Whern.

LANDIS: Thanks. Oh, Andra!

EFFECT: footsteps walking away

MACK: (beat) How was the rest of your evening?

NARRATOR: Gross and titillating.

MACK: Landis fell immediately into a coma-like slumber. I monitored his pulse, just in case.

LANDIS: Good morning, Professor. How did you sleep last night?

EFFECT: face being slapped

LANDIS: I swallowed my gum. I swallowed my gum!

MACK: Is that the normal greeting for lovers here?

NARRATOR: I don’t know. I’m just visiting.

LANDIS: Something I said in the throes of passion?

DOCTOR: You lied to me! There is no Tim Whern on the faculty of Vancouver Island University!

LANDIS: You checked?

DOCTOR: I fell in love with you last night. I wanted to know all about you.

LANDIS: Look, if I was just being myself, you wouldn’t have given me a second glance yesterday.

DOCTOR: You don’t know that.

LANDIS: Point of fact, I do. I’m a bicycle messenger. You’ve signed for hundreds of packages from me in the last six years.

DOCTOR: (beat) Well, you look different without a ball cap.

LANDIS: I adore you. I couldn’t figure out any other way to get your attention. Wasn’t last night fantastic?

DOCTOR: Yes, dammit! Now get out of my life!

NARRATOR: The Doctor runs away. As her fictional best friend and actual caretaker, I follow as Landis rejoins Mack.

LANDIS: Oh, Conky. I really messed up. What should I do?

MACK: About what?

NARRATOR: The Doctor heads straight to the airport to fly to Antarctica. I alert Mack. He and Landis arrive at the airport just as she and I do. Landis approaches her with a bouquet of flowers he snatches from a merchant’s kiosk. They talk energetically.

MACK: It’s going well.

NARRATOR: She just jammed the flowers up his nose. 

MACK: His thorough humiliation is crucial to the plot. It sets up the  ostentatious display he must make to convince the Doctor that no one else would ever do anything as daring for her.

NARRATOR: When? She’s boarding and he’s running away.

MACK: Intriguing. An unexpected plot twist.

NARRATOR: With Landis out of sight and the Doctor on the plane, Mack and I watch her flight taxi out to the runway. Just as it starts rolling, we spot Landis.

MACK: He’s racing at the plane, shouting and waving his arms.

NARRATOR: Can you tell what he’s shouting?

MACK: It looks like . . . “STOP!” He’s shouting “STOP!”.

NARRATOR: That’s his safety word!

MACK: But he may just be shouting it at the plane as part of the plot.

NARRATOR: How can we be sure if . . . oh, dear.

MACK: I’ve seen video of this.

NARRATOR: Nothing left of him. Just a brief red spray coming out of the engine.

MACK: Narrator, listen closely. When the Doctor’s flight is brought back and she deplanes, take her to the top of the closest parking structure. I’ll go back in time and fetch him on a secluded parof the tarmac. Explain as little as possible.

NARRATOR: Soon the four of us stand on a deserted roof at the airport. Because they are still in rom-com character, Mack and I have trouble convincing them to get into the TURDIS.

DOCTOR: So, Doctor Tim Whern, if that is your name. Yesterday I was moderately happy with my single lifestyle. Now  I’m getting kidnapped by two aliens who want us to fly God-knows-where in a Port-a-Potty. You’ve ruined my life!

LANDIS: I’ve got a lifestyle, too, ya know. I don’t wanna  leave now that the Yankees are good again.

NARRATOR: In his current form as an old slovenly man, Mack isn’t at all persuasive, so he transforms into a body builder.

DOCTOR: Midge, who are you talking to?

LANDIS: And, Conky, how are you able to do that? Is it a steroid thing?

NARRATOR: We all board the TURDIS and leave Planet Rom-Com. Landis and the Doctor regain their true selves. Mack switches from body builder back to reclusive scrimshaw artist John Nursall, a much simpler life form. I’m relieved of my Rosie O’Donnell body.

MACK: So what do you remember?

LANDIS: I vaguely recall some screwy movie with Rosie O’Donnell. And Andy Devine, of all people.

DOCTOR: A lovely day in Central Park. Penguins, perhaps?

NARRATOR: Anything else? 

LANDIS: I . . . think the movie might have been R-rated.

MACK: Tell us more.

DOCTOR: There was an Etta James song playing.

NARRATOR: Go on.

DOCTOR: The faint scent of bananas Foster from another room. Some zoologist said he wanted to show me the Silken Hummingbird, even though it was dark. (beat) Uh-oh.

LANDIS: Uh-oh, ditto.

MACK: Uh-oh, indeed.

LANDIS: Doc, I sorta want to apologize, yet thank you profusely.

DOCTOR: Problem is, we can’t avoid each other much in the TURDIS.

LANDIS: Yeah, how do we deal with the embarrassment?

MACK: I could transform into the therapist of your choice. Even Freud, if you’d like.

DOCTOR: No, psychoanalysis takes forever.

MACK: Then how about this . . . ?

NARRATOR: An hour later, we’re back in 16th Century Italy strolling the streets of ancient Rome.

MACK: So, do you wish to return to earth for a nightcap?

LANDIS: Actually, Mack, I’m in the mood for a movie.

DOCTOR: Yes. Maybe something light, like a romantic comedy.

NARRATOR: How about an avocado smoothie, instead? We could watch the Pismo Beach sunset.

DOCTOR: Why not? Let’s see how Nuevo Malibu is faring. Some traveling music, please, Mack.

MUSIC: “Dixie Chicken” by Little Feat, from “Waiting for Columbus” 

NARRATOR: We choose April 20th, 2019, for re-entry.

EFFECT: TURDIS landing

LANDIS: World, sweet world.

EFFECT: TURDIS door opening; beach sounds; crowd sounds

DOCTOR: Look, there’s that avocado vendor. Hello!

VENDOR: Hey. Two more smoothies, don’t skimp on the parsley?

DOCTOR: Yes, please.

LANDIS: Why is there such a huge crowd?

VENDOR: We’re in the middle of the Hippie High Holidays.

LANDIS: Say what?

DOCTOR: Yes?

MACK: Landis wasn’t addressing you, Doctor. He was inquiring locally about the Hippie High Holidays.

LANDIS: Say what? Again.

VENDOR: The Hippie High Holidays are a four-day national celebration. It was the first law passed by the new government. 

DOCTOR: Four days?

VENDOR: Fer sure, fer sure. It started yesterday, Bicycle Day.

LANDIS: You’re celebrating bicycles?

MACK: Not the two-wheeled vehicle. I believe it honours the discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide’s potency by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1943.

DOCTOR: The first acid trip?

VENDOR: Yeah, what he said.

DOCTOR: Okay, so you commemorated LSD yesterday. What’s special about today?

VENDOR: Are you kidding? It’s April 20th, 4/20. That’s the time of day weed smokers spark up everywhere. Today it’s all day. Then the 22nd is Earth Day.

LANDIS: What do you celebrate tomorrow for the 21st?

VENDOR: The first meeting of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I’m not sure who they are.

DOCTOR: So why is everyone gathering down at the shore?

VENDOR: It’s the Sunset Smoke, the official closing ceremony for today..

DOCTOR: Oh, I thought it was the evening fog rolling in.

LANDIS: (coughing) Use your empiricism again, Doc. Deep breaths.

DOCTOR: (coughing) Ye Zeus! That’s some quality whack! Make that three avocado smoothies, vendor.

LANDIS: (coughing) Four. And do you have any brownies?

VENDOR: (coughing) Here. Try our holiday pack.

DOCTOR: (coughing) Where?

MACK: The vendor is within a metre of you, Doctor.

DOCTOR: (coughing) Mack, why aren’t you coughing?

MACK: I don’t actually breath. I’m a hologram, as I continually tell Landis.

LANDIS: (coughing) Watch it, Mack. I’m less than a metre away.

DOCTOR: (coughing) Oh, there you are, Landis.

NARRATOR: Hey, that’s my line.

DOCTOR: (coughing) Voiceover, you shouldn’t be out in a crowd. Someone might hear you.

NARRATOR: So what? I could be any one of these stoners.

VENDOR: (coughing) So who’s paying, the guy who thinks he’s a hologram?

NARRATOR: We decide to return to the TURDIS.

VENDOR: (coughing, from a distance) Hey, deadbeats! No one paid me! (beat) But I still respect your humanity!

LANDIS: Let’s go to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I bet the crowds are even livelier there.

DOCTOR: Sure. Music, please, Mack.

MUSIC: start of “San Francisco” by Scott MacKenzie

LANDIS: Too obvious, Mack.

MACK: Very well.

MUSIC: some of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett

DOCTOR: Stop screwing around, Mack.

MACK: Certainly, Doctor.

MUSIC: start of “Sausalito Summer Nights” by Diesel

NARRATOR: Golden Gate Park actually is enshrouded by fog. We land at the end of a row of genuine Port-a-Potties. No one seems to notice or care.

EFFECT: TURDIS landing, door opening; jubilant crowd noises

FRIENDLY: Well, hello, again! I remember you from my border greeting job. How are you, and are you having a pleasant yet stimulating day?

LANDIS: Oh, hey. I remember you, too. You’re still naked.

FRIENDLY: Well, it’s still my preference. Did you have any more interaction with Sarah Palin?

LANDIS: Yes, she buzzed us with her helicopter when we were searching for Trump’s amygda-something.

FRIENDLY: Trump’s what?

NARRATOR: His frontal lobe, actually.

FRIENDLY: Trump’s frontal lobe? And who said that?

MACK: Me. I’m learning ventriloquism.

DOCTOR: Don’t mind them. The High Holidays, you know.

FRIENDLY: Certainly. Enjoy!

LANDIS: So how are you?

FRIENDLY: Just super! I’m a member of the Bunch of Buddies.

DOCTOR: What is the Bunch of Buddies?

FRIENDLY: The top governing council of Nuevo Malibu. We didn’t want to give ultimate power to one person, because . . . well, you know. We take turns chairing our meetings.

DOCTOR: How is that working?

FRIENDLY: Better. We first tried the consensus method.

LANDIS: What’s that?

FRIENDLY: A decision-making process that attempts to be collaborative, cooperative, egalitarian, inclusive and participatory. Everyone shares their views and we eventually, sometimes ever so slowly, reach a consensus.

DOCTOR: How did that work out?

FRIENDLY: The only consensus we reached was that nobody liked it. We’re striving to be a more perfect union, but people were asking for better roads and faster internet. We had to get real real fast. But we’re learning. OJT, you know.

DOCTOR: Best of luck.

LANDIS:  Hey, is Palin still around?

EFFECT: helicopter approaching, machine gunfire

NARRATOR: You had to ask, didn’t you?

LANDIS and DOCTOR: Damn you, Sarah Palin!

FRIENDLY: It’s alright, she agreed to shoot blanks for the holidays.

MUSIC: Sausalito Summer Nights by Diesel    

NARRATOR: Thus endeth the episode. “Nuevo Malibu” is a Storm Born Production, brought to you by Sherm’s Worms. When you’re thinking of slimy things, think of Sherm. Music used was “At Last” by Etta James, “Dixie Chicken” by Little Feat from the “Waiting for Columbus” album, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie and “Sausalito Summernight” by Diesel.

Meet the cast and crew: I’m Kris Wellstein . . .We didn’t tell Narrator, but we slipped in a bit of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett.