SpongeBob Writes a Story
Gary slithered into the kitchen and spied SpongeBob, bent over the stove. He was wearing a tiny chef's hat and an apron that read, "Kiss the sponge!"
The sound startled SpongeBob, who jumped and hit his head on the above oven fan. After a moment he collected himself and turned to the snail. "Whoa, Gary! You gave me quite a scare there, pal!"
"What am I doing? Oh, just cooking up some dinner," he replied with a smile. "Come here, I'll show you. Maybe if you're a good little snail, I'll give you some leftovers!"
Gary slowly made his way over and stopped at the oven. After SpongeBob switched on the oven light, Gary peered in. "….meow?"
"Bahahaha! No, it's popcorn casserole, silly!" He pointed inside the oven. "Inside is layers of popcorn, both popped and unpopped kernels, with filling made from pumpkin pulp from last year's Jack-o-Lantern. I got the crust from a can I found way back the cabinet. It used to be a can of chili, but you know how time takes its toll…."
Gary grimaced in repulsion. Then he averted his eyes upwards towards the stove. "Meow?"
"That? Oh, that's the vegetable for the evening: Pickle soup!" SpongeBob picked up Gary and held him over the stove. In a pot lay three whole pickles in room temperature water; the stove was not on. "Looks, delicious, huh?"
SpongeBob set Gary back down. "And for dessert…. deep-fried snow cones! Mmmm!" He put his hands on his hips. "Told you I could cook more than just Krabby Patties."
Just then, something vibrated in SpongeBob's pants. DING DING DING DING!
He pulled the timer out of his pocket. "Oh-my-gosh! It's time for my favorite show!"
"What? No, I don't think that counts as a show, Gary. This is my favorite…." He raced like lightning into the living room, and crashed into the wall. Shaking it off, he jumped into his chair and flipped on the television. "… Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy!" he finished. He glued his eyes to the TV and stuck his tongue out a little bit as he grinned.
"In today's episode of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy," began the announcer, "….Mermaid Man goes to the doctor's office! And Barnacle Boy reads old magazines in the waiting room!"
Mermaid Man sat on the examination table. "Give it to me straight, doc!" he said dramatically.
The doctor sighed. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you need….. a check-up!"
"NOOOOOOO!!" he bellowed.
A scene with just the words, "CHECK UP!" was flashed with a cheesy sound.
For the next half hour, SpongeBob watched Mermaid Man have his temperature, pulse, and blood pressure taken. They made him breathe in and out with a stethoscope on his chest, and then purposely cough. Our hero had to step onto a scale and learn he'd gained six pounds. SpongeBob continued to watch as Mermaid Man was asked a series of personal questions, had a light shined into his eyes and ears, was tapped on the knee to test reflexes, and received a prostate exam. Finally, they took his blood and the doctor stepped out of the room.
For thirteen whole minutes, the screen focused on Mermaid Man just sitting on the table while the doctor waited for the test results. Finally, the physician re-entered.
"I have more bad news, Mermaid Man," said the doctor. "You must…. watch your salt intake."
"Why, Neptune, why?!" he cried. "I can't live without pretzels!"
"That's not all," continued the doctor with a grave face. "I also must tell you….. your cholesterol is too high."
"NOOOOO!! Curse you, evil cholesterol! You are my strongest opponent yet!"
The rest of the episode featured Mermaid Man paying the bill.
"CO-PAY!" flashed the screen.
"Tune in next time, when Barnacle Boy gets a mole taken off," said the announcer. "And also, will a new bran cereal help Mermaid Man stay regular? Find out next time on—" The TV switched off.
SpongeBob stared blankly at the screen. In his mind, he knew that this was the most boring, pathetic episode he'd ever watched. But his fanatic love of the show would not allow him to admit it.
He swallowed. "That… that was a great episode!" he said shakily.
"Meow," said Gary matter-of-factly.
"No, it was good! I loved the part where the receptionist couldn't find his file at first, but then she did! What a twist!"
Gary rolled his eyes.
"And who could forget the greatest quote ever, 'Have you taken any prescription or over-the-counter medicines in the last twenty four hours?' Oh, that was a hoot!"
The snail glared at SpongeBob.
"Okay, okay, I admit it! It was terrible!" he sobbed. "But…. it can't be Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's fault. They don't write the shows." SpongeBob smiled widely. "That's it! I'll write an episode of my very own! It'll be great!"
Gary wasn't listening to SpongeBob anymore; he had slithered back into the kitchen.
"Greatest episode of 'Mermaid Man'….. prepare to the written!"
SpongeBob sat at his desk, pencil in hand. "Where to begin, where to begin…." he thought out loud. "Let's see…. hmm, I need an idea before I start writing all willy-nilly. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy need a good villain to face…. something much more fierce and menacing than high cholesterol. Ooh, how about the doctors find a lump?" He shook himself. "No! Get that terrible episode out of your head, SpongeBob! This calls for a truly terrifying villain!"
The clocked ticked as SpongeBob sat and brainstormed. "I need a good animal…. what's the best animal? Oh, duh! A sea sponge! Yeah, they can face a sea sponge!" SpongeBob giggled. "Ooh, I'm loving this story already! Okay now…. this particular sea sponge looks a lot like me, except…. hmmm, fifteen feet tall! And wears a mask and cape! And has a MUSTACHE!"
He began scribbling his ideas on the paper. "Yeah, yeah, this is good. I will call this sponge…. SpongeBad VillainPants. His special powers are…. super-strength, x-ray vision, laser beam eyes, ability to fly……" he rambled on with nearly every superpower in the book.
"SpongeBad VillainPants has an evil plan. He has stolen all the world's grease! He has filled a giant pool in his backyard at his lair with it, which he likes to swim around in and also cook in. But the rest of the world is left grease-less….. how will they eat French fries and Krabby Patties?! They may even be forced to eat … dun dun dun…. healthy food! No hummus and bean curd for them….. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are to the rescue!"
For the next few hours, SpongeBob worked on his story. Nothing could distract him, not even Gary's meows, the oven ding, or his filling bladder.
SpongeBob dropped the pencil at his side and exhaled. "I…. AM DONE!" he exclaimed, raising the papers high above his head proudly.
He lowered them. "I must show my work to someone! Oh, I know! Patrick!" After quickly thinking it over, he abandoned the thought. "I forgot, Patrick doesn't know how to read. Hmmm, think SpongeBob! Oh, duh! Squidward! He'll love it, I'm sure….. he loves literature and such."
SpongeBob headed for the door.
"I'll put the kitchen fire out later, Gary! I've gotta share my masterpiece first!"
Squidward opened up his clarinet case slowly, relishing the moment. He carefully removed the instrument from its resting place, sliding his tentacle down it. "Oh, Clari…. are you ready to make wonderful music together?"
He took a deep breath and put his lips on the end. To begin playing, he looked over to his sheet music and did a double-take. A nasty, sour note screeched out of the instrument. "What is this?!" asked Squidward angrily. SpongeBob's story was on his music stand.
Out of nowhere, SpongeBob latched onto Squidward's head. "IT'S THE BEST MERMAID MAN AND BARNACLE BOY STORY EVER!" he screamed in excitement.
Squidward pried the sponge off of him. "Get off of me! What makes you think you can just barge right into my home and get on my head like that? Can't you at least knock first?!"
SpongeBob frowned and pawed the ground sheepishly. "I just wanted to let you read my story….. I'd love to get your opinion…."
"YOU? Wrote a STORY?"
"How could you possibly write anything? Don't you know the rules of the fine literary arts?"
"You can't just write whatever you want! Writing is a craft that must be studied, cultivated, and practiced with the utmost care before it is even close to being considered true writing. You can't possibly understand that."
"Well…. can you at least look at it, Squidward? Maybe, with you being the literary genius that you are, can give me some advice for my story."
"I suppose I do have a penchant for constructive criticism…. very well, I'll read it."
They both sat down as Squidward began silently reading SpongeBob's story.
Becoming increasingly nervous, SpongeBob bit his lip. 'Please like it, please like it, please like it,' he thought to himself.
Finally, Squidward turned the last page and set the papers down.
"Well?" SpongeBob learned forward in anticipation. "What'd you think?"
"Terrible," he stated, devoid of emotion.
SpongeBob's face shriveled up as he quivered.
"You continually switched back and forth between past and present tense, your punctuation is lacking, your plot is hackneyed and rushed, your vocabulary is slim and repetitive, your sentence structure is awkward and clunky, everyone is out of character, and your ending is both predictable and weak."
SpongeBob furrowed his brow. "Yeah? Well, that was a run-on sentence!"
"I thought you wanted my help?" asked Squidward crossly, putting his hands on his hips.
"I do!" He fell to his knees. "Help me improve my writing, Squidward! Please!" he begged.
Sighing, Squidward walked over to an easel and picked up a marker. "Okay, here's your first lesson." In big letters, he wrote, "YOUR AWFUL AT WRITING."
Beginning to cry, SpongeBob flopped back onto the floor again. "I know!"
"Ha ha ha!" Squidward laughed, his nose inflating and deflating. "Watch this magic, SpongeBob." Slowly, he drew an apostrophe after the 'u' in 'your' and added an 'e' to the end. "Behold, the enigma that is your/ you're is revealed."
"Another thing," said Squidward as he fished through a box. "When writing, be prepared to have the book thrown at you." He tossed a thesaurus at SpongeBob, hitting him upside his head.
He held his head in pain. "Wha… what was that for?"
"It was a pun, SpongeBob. You should include them in your story."
"That was a pun? I didn't think it was that funny—"
"Just look at the thesaurus you barnacle-head!"
SpongeBob picked it up and looked at the front cover. "This is a thesaurus? I thought they were a kind of dinosaur!"
"What??" Squidward shook himself. "No…. see, that's why I gave this to you. Your vocabulary needs improving."
"I'll have you know, Squidward, that my vocabulary is GREAT," he said proudly, closing his eyes and crossing his arms. "Give me any word and I'll define it."
Squidward squinted. "How about 'supercilious'?"
"Forget it, SpongeBob…. Let's just move on. I'm tired of talking about the technicals of grammar and vocabulary, I still haven't insulted—er, discussed, your plot yet."
"What should I change, Squidward?"
"First of all, why grease? He could have stolen anything in the whole world and you chose grease?"
SpongeBob edged in and grinned. "I like grease."
"Yes, well, it's a terrible idea. And why'd he steal it? Stealing is so…. over-used. Super-villains are always stealing the world's supply of something. You need an original idea."
"But Squidward, if I change the grease and thievery, that completely changes the story! All that's left is the characters!"
"And that brings me to my next point: never self-insert."
SpongeBob blinked. "Um, are you sure you're still talking about a writing lesson?"
"Yes!" he yelled. "A self-insert is when you write yourself into a story."
"Oh, that's not me! That's SpongeBad VillainPants." SpongeBob cuffed his mouth with a little smile. "He's evil," he whispered.
"It's you, SpongeBob. A souped up you. In fact, I'd say the way you altered yourself, you're bordering on a Marty Stu."
"The male equivalent of a Mary Sue. They're perfect in every way…. unstoppable, unbeatable, and most of all, unreadable."
"Gasp! But Squidward, he is defeated. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy win!"
"Oh yeah, about your so-called ending….. what were you thinking?!"
SpongeBob shrunk, frowning.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this supposed to be based on an action show? So why, instead of an epic battle, did you opt to make them learn a lesson, make up, and HUG?!"
"Because that's what I wanted!"
"You can't just do whatever you want. It's completely out-of-character. If an author makes characters do something so OUT of character such as that, especially for an ending, then they are a truly awful writer!"
"I'm sorry," said SpongeBob. He leaned in and hugged Squidward. "I'm glad we're friends."
Squidward hugged him back, smiling. "Me too, SpongeBob."
A/N: In case you don't get it, the ending is supposed to be ironic because of what Squidward said.