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Rannygazoo

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Rannygazoo: a century-old term, now rare, for a deceptive story or scheme, pranks, tricks or other irritating or foolish carryings-on. – WorldWideWords.org

 

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“Why is it every time we go to space, we end up bein’ chased by some kind ‘a giant insect?!” Raph shouted back to his brothers as the giant beetle pursued them over the alien terrain.

“Maybe if a certain genius could contain his curiosity once in a while!” Mikey called over his shoulder at his purple-banded brother.

“Oh, come on! How was I to know it was territorial and start following us as soon as it saw me?!”

“Because this always happens!” the other three chorused at him.

“This way!” Leo pointed them into a small forest of curlicue plants, which turned out to be a mistake, as each tendril of the bizarre plants began waving around as the turtles drew near, and alerting the monstrous bug to their presence. The insect took to its wings, easily clearing the field of whips and closing on them.

“It’s gaining on—AAAAHH!” Mikey screamed as seized and ensnared by a tentacle emanating from somewhere under the beetle’s carapace.

“What the—!” Raph managed before he, too, was caught and bound tight before he could even pull his weapons. Don quickly found himself incapacitated as well, and though Leo managed to lop two of the tentacles, three more whipped out and caught him.

As the terrapins struggled within the confines of their organic prison, the beetle reared back with a roar, though instead of falling on its trapped prey, there it stayed. The plates of its belly slid aside, revealing what looked like a wide bubble. A light flickered from within it, and a moment later, a quite clear black-and-white image appeared. Familiar music began blaring from trumpet-shaped orifices down the beetle’s sides. In the next moment, the title “Gone with the Wind” appeared on the “screen.”

The turtle brothers were dumbstruck, utterly befuddled by this weird turn of events.

“Oh. I see,” said Donnie drolly.

Raph struggled and eventually freed his mouth. “What? What is it?”

Don flipped a finger at the screen. “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”

 

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segue: chibi turtles sitting in a row, playing the original toon theme on kazoos

cut to next scene

 

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April never liked it when her husband came home wasted, but this was certainly a sight to behold. At least Raph had been with him, but even the hothead was stumped as to what had come over his best friend. “All right, Barishnikov, wrap it up…”

Casey, arms above his head, performed a less-than-graceful series of grand jètès across the living room floor.

“And… how many beers did you say he had?”

“Four apiece,” the turtle answered. “Normally doesn’t affect him so much…”

He watched as Casey executed a pirouette—in the sense that he completely butchered it—followed by a number of pliès with his leg up on the back of the couch… which was something Raphael never wanted to see again. In fact, he’d be going home to bleach out his eyes.

“…but, sometimes he gets in a weird mood,” the turtle continued as Casey awed them both, gracefully rising up onto the tip of one toe.

“Case en pointe.

April bit a knuckle, at once appalled and amused. “Where’d he pick up the tutu?”

 

x-x-x-x-x

 

segue: chibi turtles playing the 2k3 opening on their kazoos.

Michelangelo stops and reaches behind Don, snatching his bo. “Digiridoo solo!”

Don: “Hey! Give that back!”

Mikey: “Bwowbwowbwowbwowtuutuutuutuutuubrrrr—“

cut to next scene (quick!)

 

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The Foot obviously had some new muscle, imported from China. Well, perhaps muscle wasn’t the right term… the furry individual in Murakami’s restaurant was decidedly roly-poly and rotund. The blind chef could not see the Foot insignia on the bear-like creature’s bandana, but given the presence of a mutant in the middle of the dinner rush, the threat on his life for service and the dual pistols the creature had pointed at him with a demand for service, he was certain the insignia was there.

Not daring to kick up a fuss, Mr. Murakami had served him the meal the mutant pressed him for, while the other guests cowered at the other end of the noodle bar. When he finished eating, the panda stood, fired one of his pistols into the ceiling, and made for the door.

“You’re not even going to pay?” Murakami quipped, trying to sound innocent.

The mutant scoffed, “I’m a panda. Look it up,” and left without a further word.

The old man pulled out his phone. “Siri, search the dictionary for ‘panda.’”

“Panda, noun,” the robotic voice dictated. “Mammalian animal originating from China. Eats shoots and leaves.”

 

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segue: Author enters, pushing in a rolling chalkboard and carrying a pointer.

“Beta-Bitch here. The previous sketch is a classic joke based on a grammar blunder, because a panda EATS SHOOTS AND LEAVES.” She writes this on the chalkboard. “Clearly, what is meant is that the Foot panda EATS, SHOOTS, AND LEAVES, so we need to place commas after each item in the list—“

She begins to add the commas as Chibi Raphael enters and shoves the author and chalkboard offstage. “Nope, nope, nope, nope…”

Author, whining as she is pushed offstage: “But, commas!”

cut to next scene

 

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Five-year-old Michelangelo sniffled, staring down at the plaster cast his older brother had wrapped his broken leg with. It was his own fault; he’d been trying to show off on the skateboard they shared, but misjudged his ability to steer while doing a handstand and had bounced down every step in the entryway, cracking his femur on the way down. Donnie had been gentle, and had given him a hefty dose of painkiller, but it still ached and worse, Mikey was feeling sorry for himself.

Now that Don had done all he could as the family’s mini-medic, Master Splinter entered to check on Mikey. “How are you feeling, my son?”

Mikey looked up at him with tearful eyes. “Kinda bad, Papa. I din’t mean ta fall down the stairs… they just jumpeded out in fronna me.” He frowned. “Donnie sayed I can’t go play for a long, long time, and it’s no fair!”

“Your brother is correct. You may not run around until your leg has healed.” Splinter looked away. “That may be a trial for us both,” he sighed, knowing his incapacitated youngest now had no means to burn off his boundless energy.

A whine went up from the little turtle. Splinter thought, stroking his thin beard. Mikey sounded panicked when he moved to leave the room. “I will be right back, my son,” he assured.

The rat strode out to where his other three were playing, rather subdued in light of the day’s earlier event. “My sons, may I ask a favor of you?”

“Sure, Sensei. What is it?” Leonardo volunteered immediately.

“Do you still have any of the markers you received for your Mutation Day? I wish to do something for your brother.”

“I think so,” Leo answered.

“I know where they are!” Raphael said, taking off for their bedroom and returning moments later.

The rat gladly accepted the markers from his son, and the three followed their sensei to Michelangelo’s bed. The youngest turtle looked up at them sorrowfully.

Splinter sat next to his son’s broken leg, uncapping the black marker. He tapped the end of the marker against his chin in thought. “Let’s see… Let us start with the eyes.” On his son’s bound knee, he drew a pair of circles, then two filled-in pupils for some comedically large crossed eyes. Mikey looked on, his attention captured. His older brothers clustered around the side of the bed, equally interested. “Then… a nose…” Splinter switched to a pink marker to make an exaggerated pig nose, then switched to blue for the comma-shaped nostrils. He paused, seeming to think. “Something is still missing… Ah!”

“What?” Mikey asked, captivated.

Uncapping the green marker, Splinter added a long booger hanging from one of the hog nostrils. “Ewwww!!” the four tots groaned and laughed together.

“And… a mouth…” A bright, curving smile was added to Mikey’s upper knee, followed by a pair of huge buck teeth, which sent the little turtle into peals of laughter. A kooky pair of green ears and curly orange clown hair followed, and at the boys’ shouted suggestions, a zigzag black scar, a swirly purple mustache and a spiky red beard completed the funny face looking back at Mikey from his leg.

“There!” Splinter declared, turning the markers over to the brothers to add their own names and drawings to Mikey’s cast. “I made a fun knee.”

 

x-x-x-x-x

 

segue: chibi turtles with kazoos, playing “T-U-R-T-L-E Power”

Leonardo dashes out, then comes sliding across the stage on his knees, brandishing an electric guitar, which he slams a chord on.

Don: “What was that for?”

Leo, grinning: “Turtle power chord!”

Mikey, holding up his kazoo: “We should cover the entire Out of the Shell tour like this!”

Don: “No.”

Leo: “No.”

Raph: “Never again.”

cut to next scene

 

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“Gone With the Wind” had a running time of nearly four hours. The turtles were finding this out from experience.

“Iiit’ll let us go after this, right?” Michelangelo asked, still bound up in the theater-insect’s tentacles. “ ‘Cause I seriously need a potty break…”

The family genius shook his head. “I… couldn’t guess. We don’t know why this thing grabbed us or what it expects from us, or what it’s trying to do by showing us an old movie…Though if it’s trying to communicate in some way, I’d say it’s dong a pretty poor job of it…”

“Well, guess we’re about to find out,” Raph announced as Scarlett declared soppily how tomorrow was another day.

The insect’s stomach screen faded out, then came back with something in an alien language, with a prominent display of two changing characters.

“That looks like a countdown… maybe ‘til the next feature starts?” Leo guessed.

“Hey…” Mikey addressed the insect, prodding its tentacles with a finger… about all he could manage with his arms still wrapped tightly to his sides. “Can we go now??”

But the answer appeared to be ‘no’, as the opening credits of the Wizard of Oz started to run, and the brothers all groaned.

“All right… it had its chance,” Leo said shortly. “Now it’s time for my favorite ‘40s movie.” With a swift movement, one of his blades sliced quickly through the tentacles holding him and with a few more spins, twists and leaps to evade the oncoming replacements, he cut his brothers free as well. “Took you four hours to get around ta doin’ that?” Raphael complained.

“Three, to get a hold on the blade and position it right without the bug noticing the movement and tightening up agaain… But at that point, we were all well invested in the plot, so I figured it was best at that point to just wait it out and see if it let us go.” Raph rolled his eyes.

The four ran and all squeezed into a tiny gap beneath a rock overhang before the giant bug could recover and transform itself back to something more mobile.

“That was your favorite classic film?” Mikey asked skeptically. “Didn’t think you were much for slasher flicks…”

Leo held up his sword smugly before sheathing it. “Katana Hot Tin Roof,” he grinned. “It’s a classic!”

 

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seuge: turtles playing kazoos

Raphael stops playing: “What the heck are we doin’ this for?”

Leonardo: “Because the author asked us to.”

Raph: (skeptical look) “And we’re actually doin’ it because…?”

Michelangelo: “Come on, Raph! It’s fun! Plus, she offered free pizza!”

Raph: “Oh. Because of Mikey’s stomach doing the negotiation. Natch. But, kazoos?”

Author, from offscreen: “It’s thematic for the rannygazoos! Running series of jokes… with kazoos!”

Donatello, to the author: “You’re aware that the word rannygazoo has nothing to do with running or kazoos, right?”

Mikey: “Donnie’s right. I mean, Donnie’s usually right, but, he’s definitely right about rannygazoos.

Author: “What? How do you of all people even know that word? It was in fashion, like, a century ago.”

Leo: “Rannygazoo? We use that on, like, a daily basis.”

Raph: “More like three times a day, around Mikey.”

Author: “Seriously?? That’s in your daily vocabulary?”

Leo: “Well, yeah… we use it about as much as, say, sesquipedalian…”

Don: “…pugilistic…”

Raph: “…ennui…”

Mike: “…mellifluous…”

Author: (doubtful) “…Really?!”

Turtles: “Indubitably!”

Author: (stunned) “…Guys, I’m a writer and I don’t use words that fancy that often…” (pauses) “Wait… what dimension is this?” (strides over to the edge of the dimension—which ends at the side of the set—and pulls the corner up, causing a large cloud of dust) “Dimension…” (looks at the inscription under the dimensional edge) “…carrot?! Hmph. No wonder this is all nonsense. Well, my bad… Guys, you can take five. Sorry for all the ranny—“ (sniffles from the dust)—Ah-CHOO!”

Mikey: “Ranny-gezunheit!”