Chapter 1 December 21
It was December 21st and Conor Lastowka was running down a crowded, snow-dusted street in Anyville, USA. The Rifftrax office had closed at five but it was currently seven because his boss Michael J Nelson couldn’t get the Crimmus Spirit through his thick skull. Conor heard the familiar CrimmusMan charity jingles as he ran past them, dropping some coinage to help the less fortunate. He had a good job, a lovely wife, and of course a cow rig vtuber avatar. He stopped a few feet from the corner and got a sad for a moment. Thinking of Crimmuses past, he had always wanted a corgi, but somehow something had always stopped him. Family. School. Allergies. Now his fast-paced riffing lifestyle was much too busy to make room for a dog. Yes, success was great, but what about the love of a cute corgi puppy?
Tearing up, he almost didn’t hear the familiar fwoosh-hiss of the bus coming up behind him .
“Oh no!” Conor thought to himself. “I’m too far from the bus stop! I’ll never make it in time!”
Rush(2112)’ing, he nearly got the tips of his fingers caught in the bus door as it closed before he slipped right on the curb. He could still hear the bus driver cackling: “Hahaha! What a loser, being exactly .03 seconds late for the bus! It doesn't matter what time I get here, but it sure as heck matters what time YOU get to the bus stop! I bet this guy doesn’t even have a corgi!”
Conor got up and dusted himself off, but not before noticing that all the important Rifftrax documents he had been carrying that had splattered out into the street! Mike will be furious! Conor thought as he scrambled to find them.
He walked into the street and crouched down to get them. Someone pulled him from the back of his coat collar and, nearly choking him, dragged him back onto the curb. It was…..a corgi!
Conor looked up at the corgi with sparkles in his eyes. “Oh… sorry!” Conor said, blushing. This was a meet-cute, but it certainly wasn’t a cute-meet by any stretch of the imagination. Conor was covered from head to toe in gross slush from the sidewalk. The corg let out a gruff bark and said “Watch where you’re going, you! You almost got yourself killed!”
Conor blushed even more and thought maybe he should go see a doctor from all the tremendous blushing he was doing. “Sorry Mr…..”
“I’m Sir Corg, the Corgi. I run BigBusinessTech just up the street, and I have a strong dislike for the Holiday Spirit!”
“Which holiday?” Conor asked, admiring Sir Corg’s snazzy suit and fancy business hat.
“Oh, you know, the one they make hundreds of Hallmark Lifetime Movies about every year. That one. None of the other ones that happen around that time, for the reason you very well know.”
“Oh. That’s okay, I like ThatHoliday very much.” Conor said, touching his own face hoping the red blush subsided. It had not.
Sir Corg raised what would have been an eyebrow if dogs had eyebrows. “Yes, well, be more careful next time.”
Walking away, Sir Corg looked back just once to peep on the silly Human man who got stuck in traffic. Oh, if only he had an owner. Someone who likes bad movies, perhaps? No, this fun man couldn’t have been The One for him…. unless?
Finally arriving at his home, Conor started working on the next 372pages episode. It was going to be a big one: Ready Player Eight - this time told from Daito’s perspective. Ernest Cline had forgotten he had killed Daito off in Ready Player One and just really leaned into his racist bullshit from Ready Player Two onwards. In Ready Player Eight, Wade teams up with Wade’s son and daughter (who is gay but Wade is Totally Okay with that don’t worry everyone) to fight Robo-Sorrento in the year 3100. It was based on the Classic Movie Terminator, maybe, I don’t know I only saw the new one with the cool ladies in it.
“Alright everyone, THIS is the real cool episode!” Conor began on Patreon (which for 5$/month gives you super fast access to the newest episodes and special bonus mini-sodes), “Hope you all are having a great holiday. Let me just get my notes on the episode..” Conor flipped through his spiral bound Crimmus-themed notebook. Oh no! Conor panicked. I must have dropped it in the snow when that gruff but a-very-good-boy corgi pulled me out of harms way!
* * *
Back at BigBusinessTech, Sir Corg held up a suspiciously Crimmus-themed spiral bound notebook.
“What’s this?” Sir Corg asked his assistant. The assistant, a black and fluffy boy named Alejandro, looked up at him and sniffed at him in a friendly manner. “I do not know, Sir Corg. You had it with your business coat and things when you came in.”
“Alejandro, you are very new at this job since you only started last week. I do not know where my other assistant ended up, but I will try to get them back if you cannot figure out where mysterious Crimmus-themed notebooks are coming from. This is BigBusinessTech, not HolidayLand, after all!”
Alejandro twitched his ears defiantly but just said, “Yes of course, Sir Corg!”
Sir Corg went back into his office and got back to work. His first call was from someone from the “372pages Players”.
“Yes hello, this is someone from the 372pages Players and I’d like to buy controlling shares in 372pages.” Said the person on the line.
“Oh, yes I can help you with that. Let’s go to 372pages Offices and inform them that you’ll be taking them over.” Sir Corg said.
“Excellent. Do we need to sign any paperwork?” They asked.
“No, I can sign the paperwork as your legal Business counsel. I shall get this done before Crimmus.”
Sir Corg placed his paw on the document folder that contained 372pages portfolio. It was a very thin, light folder. He had to get this done, though. His big raise depended on it. He’d do anything to get this company, whatever it was, into the hands of his client.
Chapter 2 December 22
“Conor, you’re doing fine work here at Rifftrax,” Mike began scolding Conor, “However, while you were busy blaming me for spending all our earnings on the 372pages Players, you also were busy losing our important show notes. As a result, our 372pages viewership has tanked!”
Drat all his luck! Conor was very upset by all of this. After all they’d been through - defeating Ernest Cline, being turned into vampires, finally one-upping Sean Penn with their newer, bigger heated pool… but now this had to happen. What was a Conor to do?
At the end of yet another funny but miserable day, Conor gathered his items up and trudged through the snow both ways home. He didn’t even bother taking the bus this time.
That was it! His notebook must have fallen out of his hands and Sir Corg must have picked it up by accident. Now all he had to do was remember where Sir Corg worked. Just then, his normal bus rolled by with a giant ad on the side that said “BIGBUSINESSTECH”. That was it! -- Again! Conor blushed again thinking about having to be near Sir Corg, the gruff businessdog of BigBusinessTech.
Conor looked up BigBusinessTech’s address and went to the office building. He wasn’t sure what he was going to say to the dog, but was nevertheless excited to see him again.
Inside, he was met with a familiar friend.
“Alejandro!” Conor exclaimed. “I didn’t know you worked here!”
Alejandro looked at Conor and nodded in greeting. “Hello Conor, it is me, Alejandro.”
“Yes, I know that.” Conor said.
Alejandro swished his tail happily and pressed the intercom on the desk.
“Sir Corg, there is a client to see you.” Alejandro purred.
“Wait!” Conor said. “I’m not a client! I just came here to see if he had my notebook.”
Just then, Sir Corg stepped out of his office. His frown-y countenance melted into a half-smile as he saw who was there.
It’s him! Sir Corg thought, trying to stay calm. But his fluffybutt wiggled happily, betraying his CoolGuy(™) facade. He cleared his throat. “Oh, human. I think I have your notebook. It’s in my office.”
Conor followed Sir Corg into his office. Sir Corg jumped up on his executive chair and put his cute furry paws on his desk. He had lots of paperwork on his desk.
“Here it is. Paw!” Sir Corg said automatically. Conor reached his hand out and went to grab the notebook. With this, all his problems with 372pages were going to be solved. Except he looked down a little at the paperwork. He peeped. And there it was: 372pages Players Lawyerstuff.
“Hey, how do you know the 372pages Players?” Conor asked.
“Oh, BigBusinessTech is lawyering for them. They want to hostil-y take over some big
company they did some contract work for. In fact, the deals will be signed by Crimmus.”
Conor was shocked. How dare the 372pages Players try to take over his and Mike's podcast?! And how could this handsome good boy Sir Corg truly be in league with them? Now Conor was enraged.
“It’s crimmus!” Conor exclaimed. “How could you do a Lawyer against me!”
Sir Corg was surprised. “You’re the owner of the Big Company that 372pages Players want to hostily take over?”
“Not if I have anything to say about it!” And with that, Conor ran off in a huff, grasping his crimmus notebook as tight as he could.
Chapter 3: December 23rd
“Look Conor, it could be much worse.” Mike said, trying to calm Conor down. Conor was currently pacing back and forth in the Rifftrax offices. Alejandro was there too, licking his paws and watching. “We could have been sent on a mission from Santa to kill Ernest Cline. That happened.”
“We weren’t sent there to kill him, Mike, that just, sort of accidentally happened. He blew himself up!” Conor threw his arms in the air in a defeated fashion. “With 372pages Players trying to take over our podcast, we’ll have nothing left and will be forced to sell Rifftrax!”
Mike was busy flipping through the Hallmark Movie Channel. “I’m sure we can do something about it, Conor. Why don’t we just call BigBusinessTech and have them send over the guy who is handling the case? If we show him why we shouldn’t be taken over by imaginary actors, he might have a change of heart. It is Crimmus, after all.”
Conor paused and considered this.
“Okay.” He finally resolved. “Let’s do this. But Mike? Alejandro?” -- at that, both Mike and Alejandro’s ears perked up at attention-- “I’ll need your help. We gotta turn this place into a literal HolidayLand!”
Mike turned on some Crimmus music. It was just “Little Drummer Boy” in every different genre of music you could think of. Sure, by the end of the night their ears would be bleeding but that gave them the motivation to finish as soon as possible.
The montage began with Alejandro getting stuck in the garlands. Mike, taking last year’s lights out of the box and discovering that someone (Conor) didn’t wrap them correctly and now they’re all tangled! Conor, carefully adjusting the miniature replica of Santa's village of madness as Alejandro stomped through looking for pets. And finally, as the 17th version of Little Drummer Boy penetrated the air, Alejandro nestled sweetly under the tree as Mike and Conor put the Sheriff Starr badge on top.
“That was a good montage.” Conor said.
“I agree completely, partner.” Mike replied. “And now that we have everything set up, it’s almost time for Sir Corg to arrive.
“You didn’t forget to call Sir Corg, right?” Alejandro whispered through his adorable face.
“I did! Let me see if he can come over.” Conor dialled as fast as he could. The puppy picked up on the first ring.
“Yes Hello this is Sir Corg.”
“Oh yes can you come over to the Rifftrax Offices? We have a surprise for you regarding 372pages.”
“Of course I will be right over and I will be bringing The Documents for you to sign.”
Conor’s heart sank. “oh alright..”
With that they hung up and Conor was very nervous.
After 10 minutes, there was a knock at the door. Conor opened up the door and motioned in welcome.
“Welcome, Sir Corg! Please come in and enjoy the holiday spirit.”
Sir Corg looked around the room. It was very crimmus-y. Unpleasant to look at for such a grumpy big business corgi like himself. “What is this supposed to do?” Sir Corg asked.
“Well, Sir Corg,” Conor began sheepishly, “I wanted to show you the Crimmus spirit, so that perhaps maybe you would think about giving us our podcast back. We have lots of devoted fans and listeners, and handing the podcast over to an imaginary group of people is just--”
“Enough!” Sir Corg barked. No, he really barked it, because he’s a dog do you get it? “I’ve heard absolutely enough of this nonsense. The lawyering is almost done, I just need you to sign over your microphones and your podcast so the 372pages Players can take over.” And with that, Sir Corg thrusted a pen and contract at Conor and Mike.
Mike was very upset. He loved his microphone. They sort of had the same name. “Mike” and “Mic”. It had brought them closer together. But now this cute little puppy is taking Mic away from him?! NOT OK!!!!
“Listen here, you adorable little puppers. I’m not going to stand for this. We made up the 372pages Players and they’re not even real people. I don’t know how they could have called you and they certainly don’t have any legal ground.”
Sir Corg tilted his head and flopped his ears to the side in confusion. “I do not know why you would lie like this, but I am very confused. I will just return tomorrow with more Lawyerstuff and get you to sign the papers. Good day!” And with that Sir Corg trotted like a little furry prince out of the office.
Chapter 4: December 24th
“What are we going to do now?” Conor asked Mike after Sir Corg had driven away somehow despite being a literal dog.
“Well Conor, I guess it’s time to pack it up.” Mike took out the traditional ‘we’re leaving our job’ cardboard box that included a desk lamp, a mouse and keyboard, the microphones, and of course the #2 dixon ticonderoga pencil. Also a plant for some reason because even though they never have a plant on their desk during the entire movie, the box always has one. Isn’t that weird?
Anyways, the boys packed up all their 372pages stuff including promotional pennants, stickers, notebooks, and crates of unsold Helluva Rig onesies. “The adult-size onesies may have been a mistake” Conor thought to himself as he felt himself smile at their authentic replica of a classic british henry the hoover vacuum cleaner. But then he felt his smile turn into a frown :< because they’d have to say goodbye to it.
Alejandro left the office and raced to meet Sir Corg who was just leaving BigBusinessTech for the day.
* * *
“Sir Corg! Sir Corg!” Alejandro squonked. “What are you doing? Why are you closing down 372pages and turning it over to imaginary people?”
“Alejandro, you are the worst personal assistant ever. You didn’t even pick up my organic handcrafted puppy treats from Le Amaz’On yesterday. I had to get them myself! So what do I care if we close down a podcast.”
Alejandro let out a yawp. Just a yawp. What even is that.
“Sir Corg, you are being unreasonable. Don’t you know that that will make Conor sad? And he loves bad movies and to make fun of the bad movies. He’s your perfect ownerfriend!”
“But does he like artisan beer?” Sir Corg asked.
“He does!” Alejandro mlem’d.
“Okay, but does he also love baseball and not in a vampiric sense?”
“He was and might still be a vampire, but he does also love baseball on it’s own!” Alejandro floofed his tail.
Sir Corg dropped his biscuit. Of all the humans that exist in the world, why did Conor have to be his perfect ownerfriend? Suddenly, Sir Corg realized all the bad things he’d done - insulted the Crimmus decor, paid a bus driver to harass people for not having corgis, and finally he decided that imaginary non-existent people should be sole owners of a podcast that Conor owned. He was a puppy-fool.
Chapter 5: December 25th
Sir Corg arrived at the Rifftrax offices where Conor and Mike still were because Rifftrax was fine and wasn’t the thing being shut down. He began barking as loud as he could.
“Someone shut that dog up, it’s worse than crows!” Mike shooted.
Conor opened the door to maybe pet the dog and give it a treat before sending it on it’s way because he was the protagonist of a crimmus story and so therefore had barely any personality. But when he opened it there was………………………………. Sir Corg!
“Sir Corg!” Conor gasped. “What are you doing here?”
“Conor, I’m so sorry that I did all those bad things that I did. Could you ever forgive me?”
Conor thought long and hard about it. He thought about how Sir Corg insulted his Crimmus decorations even though Alejandro looked really cute all tangled up in garlands. He thought of how Sir Corg helped the 372pages players become the owners of 372pages. And finally, for some reason he couldn’t get it out of his head that Sir Corg may have had something to do with being mocked by that bus driver in chapter 1.
Finally, Conor breathed slowly and then gave his answer: “I think I can forgive you, but we need to get our podcast back. The jackals are ravenous for a new episode.”
“It’s okay, that didn’t actually happen.” Alejandro said.
“Alejandro’s here too?” Conor said, surprised.
“Yes I am here.” Alejandro said, floofing his tail. “I was the one who called BigBusinessTech as the 372pages players. As you said, they are imaginary. I just wanted to get you and Sir Corg together for Crimmus.”
Sir Corg’s and Conor’s eyes welled up with tears. Of course, Conor thought, A Galumpa coming through for us like this. It truly is a Crimmus miracle.
“Conor, will you take in Sir Corg as a Crimmus puppy?” Alejandro asked.
Conor nodded vigorously and ran down the steps (there were steps) and picked up Sir Corg. He petted and kissed him and hugged him happily. “I will take care of Sir Corg forever!”
“This is good.” Alejandro smiled and showed off his two cute little fangs. “I will now undo the spell that made Sir Corg talk and wear clothes like a people. Enjoy your Crimmus corgi, Conor. And don’t forget to do a sing along over the credits for no reason.”
Sir Corg licked Conor’s face happily as that was all he could do now instead of saying how happy he was to finally find a humanman that would snuggle him and watch bad movies with him.
“Oh, one more thing, Conor.” Alejandro said like Columbo.
“What is it, Alejandro?” Conor said between giggles and puppy lickings.
“I will need you and Mike to help me save my people. I will call on you again in the new year.”
“Okay, I’ll tell Mike.”
“Thank you. Have a good Crimmus Mike and Conor. And good luck. You will need it.” Alejandro floofed his tail once more and vanished with a little “pop pop pop” sound.