A dream in the semblance of a story.

Being the First of Several Parts

Somewhere between 1976 and 2007

The commercial dissolves to blackout and then the telly shows lights and tights. We've returned to the Carol Burnett Show, with special guest James Gandolfini.

CAROL: Are you ding-dang ding-dang Tony?
JAMES: Yes, I'm ding-dang ding-dang Tony!
CAROL: Ba Da Bing!
JAMES: Bada-bing! Bada Ching! Ching! Ching!

Tappety tappety tap!

Tap. They're doing a tap routine, tapping off each other.

Tap tap shuffa shuffa tap tap tap.

I don't know if I'm on the floor with popcorn or in a dingy flat with uneaten pizza. We're watching anachronism as popular culture. Vaudeville died a long time ago. The episode also features the obligatory Sopranos send-up, the Baritones, nicely capturing the tenor of the original.

Voice in a whirlwind.

"The Visiting Grouch," concerns an odd assortment of strange creatures who share a little blue home. The phone, an old school black phone with a dial, rings. A sailback reptile answers, effusively agreeing to whatever the caller on the other end might be proposing. Upon hanging up, he is hit with a bit of shock and dismay.

"What is it?" asks a fish-tailed gorilla.

"Do you recall That Grouchy Guy?"

"Yes! Well we should all remember what happened the last time!"

"Well.... He asked to stay here a few days when he was in town, and I forgot and said yes!"

We get a silent movie sort of turn to the camera. What I can't figure is, how did the sailback reptile just remember this? And if he didn't, why would he agree to the billeting of someone he could not recall?

Gospherus chuckles, a small chuckle. His cactus says nothing, but we might expect this from a cactus.

The remainder of the presentation involves the various animals bending over backwards to appease That Grouchy Guy, who makes endless demands regarding the food, his accommodations, and leisure activities. They cart him all around town in their purple Volkswagen Beetle. He complains about all manner of things, and even brings a tiny tiger to tears. It's about the size of a housecat, the little tiger.

Very little, if anything, gets resolved. The story ends because he leaves. All the strange creatures agree to never permit That Grouchy Guy to stay at their little blue home again.

I'm confused. But Gospherus I think rather likes it, and he smiles at his cactus.


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