a 14 Rivers Production
to AXZ, (both of them) with love.
I swear none of the characters are meant to represent anyone living or
dead. I hereby also swear that I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST THE FRENCH
WHATSOEVER. It's just a comedy.
Ranma 1/2 (c) Rumiko Takahashi. Please don't sue me.
Writing style inspired by Chuck Palahniuk.geocities-dot-com/rokan99/chenalos.html
Dr. Strangelouvre, or: How I learned to relate to women the hard way.
The name's Ranma.
I wouldn't tell you any of this if I didn't know you knew me. You
probably know I become a girl when I get doused with cold water. Nothing I
say is going to surprise you except what I did to get here, now. So lets
cut right to the chase. Here I am, I got a 4-foot long piece of bread
in one hand, and my other hand is just a clenched fist. If I drop the
bread, I'm screwed. If the bread breaks, I'm screwed. A problem, because
this bread is soggy. I spent my whole life throwing punches, and
socking out kicks. If anything happens to this bread, though, I'll spend the
rest of my life asking people if they want to super size their meal.
The bread breaks, I lose, and my kempo career is over, so a wax coating
on your car will cost an extra 150 yen.
You'll probably want to know how it all came to this, if it makes you
feel better, so do I. I'll fill you all in on the minor details I know
leading up to this moment, which is a deul with Akane's doctor. This is
not Dr. Tofu, mind you. This Doctor here, monitors Akane's 'Special
condition.' You should know that it's because of this condition that I
permanently lost her as my fianc'. It's because of her condition that I
have to fight her doctor in the first place. And, thanks to this
condition, I'll never be able to practice martial arts again. You can ask me
about her condition, but I don't want to talk about it.
One thing at a time, here. We'll come to that bridge when the flood
waters slam you into it. You'd be amazed the kind of messes you can get
into, just for demanding some kind of normality out of your life.
I hope normality is a real word.
Strangelouvre, Dr. W. Strangelouvre, he's opposing me, happily laughing
his ass off. That damn blonde hair of his shining in the sun, that just
peaked out from behind the clouds. Glistening Goldilocks. Looks like
somebody planted a wheat field on his head. What kind of a name is
Strangelouvre, anyway? I heard from Kodachi once that the French don't even
recognize W as one of their letters. Kodachi, another big problem.
She'll be here any second. Depending on the outcome, she'll be eternally
devoted to either me or Strangelouvre. It's a lose/lose situation. Le
Suppose the world is about to be destroyed by 2 billion H-bombs worth
of solar flare. You have to decide which of the worlds nations gets
ripped out of the ground and the metals manufactured in order to build a
rescue ship that will save the human race. What do you do?
The clock is ticking.
What do you do?
Mankind is on the line.
Make the call.
That's what I'd do. Rip Strangelouvre's nation right out of the ground,
and use the Eiffel Tower as a TV antenna. The Arc d' Triumph would make
a great spoiler. Throw the whole thing into outer space. Maybe I'm
rushing my decision too much. You shouldn't judge an entire people or
nation because of just one man, but if the French are like Strangelouvre, I
vote for the next Godzilla movie to be shot in Paris. Every single
problem I've had recently goes right back to Strangelouvre. He's the cause
of all this.
Cause and Effect. This is how the world works. What I'm in right now,
(Bread in my hand, Strangelouvre laughing at me, never being able to
fight again) this is what you'd call "Effect" usually more interesting
that cause ever is, but always confusing if you don't know that "Cause".
Hit yourself if you're nodding off. Pay attention, this might become
important later. I can go on and on and on about how crazy this effect is
going to be...so I will.
Somewhere in this town, Ryoga and his psychologist/sparring partner are
hunting me down, and they're thirsty for my blood. For Ryoga, I guess
he's looking for a right of passage. This is the single act that moves
you from being a child into being an adult. All cultures have these. For
Jews, it's a Bahr Mitzvah. Alot of African tribes get circumcision. I
could tell you what it was in Ancient Greece, but you wouldn't want to
hear it. For Ryoga, though, my demise is his right of passage. He is
convinced that when he kills me, He'll never get lost again, he'll have
Akane all to his own, and he'll become a man. All of this new way of
thinking is from his Psychologist, Dr. Noitaru. Ryoga and I use to fight
alot, but that psychologist of his turned him into a maniac. That's
right. More maniacal than usual. To Dr. Noitaru, Ryoga killing me would be
therapeutic. Psychology and martial arts don't mix, and this guy does
both. I mean think about it: in one, you're helping the whiner by letting
him whine, the other you're helping the whiner by beating the whine out
of him. I'll go with whichever one makes him shut up faster. Besides, I
think "Dr." Noitaru is not a doctor at all, just some faking quack. You
can fake practicing psychology pretty easily.
Don't believe me?
Just remember these three sentences:
How do you feel?
Talk about that.
How did that make you feel?
Calmly ask those questions (the first one once, and the other two
intermittently) hang up some bogus diplomas, and let the guy sit on a couch
for an hour, and you'll roll away with 8,000 yen a session. Back to
Ryoga. One of these quacks, using those three sentences brainwashed my
most heated rival into a ticking time-bomb with my name on it. Wait, I
forgot the other important part of psychology: Consolement. It's important
that after Ryoga tells his partner in crime how he wants to rip out my
trachea and use it to fix roof gutters that Dr. Noitaru tell him
"That's alright" and "It's not your fault."
How's that for effect? Maybe I overestimate Ryoga's will to kill me.
Think about it, he couldn't kill ME. I'm the reason he's been on a quest
for these past few years, I'm the person he's been looking for all this
time, and it's because of me he is who he is today. Don't quote me on
that, because when I think about it, it's a damn good motive. If the
bread fails me, I'll never be able to fight again, thus, when Ryoga comes
to take his revenge, I'll be totally defenseless. I can't fight back,
so even lost boy should be able to off me. Anyway, I know Ryoga, he
won't fight if I can't fight, and that all comes down to weather or not
this frigging piece of soggy-ass bread holds together.
This is all the effect. It's just me, the doc, two loaves of bread and
a bunch of puddles out in the Furinkan yard. Somewhere in this town,
Kodachi is running to arrive here, Ryoga is with his therapist wandering
all around Nerima, but wanting in his heart to be right here, beating in
my skull. There might be other people who want to see this, but I
assure you Akane is not one of them. I'm sure Akane is at home, balling her
eyes out, praying to God, and wishing on the stars that we never meet
again. For what it's worth, I can't remember wanting to see her more.
This is the effect. This is the way the world is working right now. If
by this point you still aren't interested, then get out while the
Dr. Strangelouvre calls to me, he says "Aer yeeu Ready, Monseur?"
>From this point on, I'll be telling you the cause. Keep in mind, it's
all leading up to this. I squeeze the bread loaf. A sponge would be
I call back to him; I got to start this sometime. And I do.
Cause and effect. This is the way the world works. Effect is always
pretty, but it's gotta be caused by something less interesting. Thus, from
here on in, this is the cause. The build up. See how I got to where I
am today. If you're nodding off, hit yourself.
This was her SPECIAL Doctor. Dr. Strangelouvre is a professional
there's no-one like him. Medical degrees from Bla bla bla. Kasumi painted an
awfully in-depth picture. Dr. Strangelouvre, Akane's 'Special doctor'
since she was 11. "There's no need for you to go. She'll be fine."
Like I didn't know that. I wasn't even interested in the doctor's place
to begin with. I'd just taken a hot bath, and I'm in my glorious guy
form; and hungry. All I wanted was some Chinese food. I was putting my
shoes on, getting all set to get to Shampoo's restaurant when I hear a
voice behind me.
"That's the way, boy."
A compliment from the old man, when I haven't done anything good or
bad. You know right away, this means trouble.
I asked him what did he mean?
"Why accompanying Akane on her doctor's visit, of course."
I did't particularly care to go to doctor Tofu's. All I wanted was some
"Now don't just bail out on this, Ranma. This is your chance to be
there for her, understand her better...even at the biological level."
Right now, my biological level is telling me 'Run screaming out the
door. Fight or flight. Migrate.'
Then Kasumi comes in saying this is Akane's special-blah blah blah,
I've already covered that part. I know why Kasumi's all up in arms about
me not going with Akane on this one. Everyone knows what you're talking
about when you mention a girl's "SPECIAL" doctor. Fortunately, I only
have to deal with the problems of being a woman 50 of the time. Which
spares me the need of these professionals. Thank God.
Just a second.
THERE. I said it.
Pop doesn't get the hint. Neither I, nor Kasumi has the guts to say
"Akane's gynecologist" to him. So I keep on putting on my shoes intent
only on leaving. Kasumi just utters "oh dear."
I have to tell you about this dream I once had. It's late at night. The
Tendos and us, we're all asleep. Suddenly, an electrical outlet shorts
out and shoots sparks like a firecracker.
Akane comes down the stairs. Strangelouvre or bust. For me, there's no
way out now.
"Where are you going, Ranma?"
She's asking me where I'm going. What should I tell her?
This shorting out socket sets light to a curtain. The fire starts out
small, then it works it's way up, and to the next curtain. The fire
catches light to the top of the window frame, and from there spreads across
the wall. The lot of us, are upstiars and asleep. Helpless and trapped
in our dreams.
As soon as Akane asks where I'm going. I know I'm screwed. Just as my
lips start to form the syllable for 'Sham' She'll go off on some hussy
fit about me just leading her on, and playing the field with her "Not
that it's any of MY business." She'd say. And it's not her business. On
the other hand if I say I'm going with her, to the gynecologists, mind
you. Then I'm trapped in a waiting room, while my mind is forcefully
bombarded with images of exams and cold utensils I NEVER want to think
about. Maybe that's just my girl-side speaking, but for me, it's true from
any way I look at it.
Nothing I can do about it.
The fire runs across the oak-bracket cieling and maple-plank floor like
a quarterback on an end run. The 50, the 40, the 35. Blackening and
blistering everything in its path. Before long, the entire downstairs is
No way out.
If I don't go with Akane, I'll be assured pop will jump me and throw me
in the pond when I get back. Those rocks hurt when you land on 'em. He
knows that, and he knows that I know that. I've got to go with her now,
or suffer hers and pops consequences for the rest of the day. So much
for MY plans. Off to the Strangelouvre waiting room. The chair.
Execution. In retrospect, I shoulda gone to the restaurant. All I wanted was
some Chinese food.
That's how my face looks after two minutes of this home-kit inferno.
Everything; our room, The Dojo, Mr. Tendo's, Akane's and Nabiki's rooms.
All of us roasted and burned up. The old freak even shrivels like
newspaper at a bonfire. Everyone burned to death, Except for Kasumi.
Kasumi's room starts to burn. Fist the door, then flames on the floor creep to
the walls and consume the dresser. But just as the fire gets to her
bed, it holds back. Not a single lick of fire will touch her blankets, no
matter how hot the flames get. No spark will touch Kasumi. Unburned,
protected, pure. When her bed falls through the floor, the fires hold her
up and set her gingerly on the ground. She is a perfect angel, bedded
down in hellfire.
She watches Akane and I leave. I'm off to sit in the fiance' holding
tank, reading magazines about the washed-up celebrities that are gonna be
in the next movie I won't see. Then, occasionally remembering what's
taking place a mere 20 feet away, through thin walls, shivers running up
and down my spine like radar. Just as we clear the residence gate
Nabiki makes a cameo appearance in my afternoon, as she heads inside.
"Where you guys headed?" she asks
"Just to the Doctor." Akane remarks, in a hurry.
"Well, tell Dr. Tofu I said hi."
It's not Dr. Tofu.
"It's not?" Nabiki turns up that conniving smile she does so well "Well
Zen Ahkané, my best ees to youer Test-"
"Shut up!" Akane screams, and stomps her way down the street. Just
before I move past the gate, back on the porch, I hear Kasumi mutter "Oh
In my dream. After the fire. After we all get burned to ashes and the
ashes burned to smoke. After the flames willed themselves to save the
eldest Tendo daughter, the sunrise peaks over the skyline. Kasumi opens
her eyes, and in her perfect white-nightgown way, she looks to the left,
then to the right. There, at the virgin white crater of a black blast
pit, she opens her mouth and speaks words; perfect and pure and honest,
as no other can say them.
"Holy fucking shit!"
to be continued.