Plankton and Karen, Sitting in a Tree

Plankton and his computer wife Karen sat atop a tree not too far from SpongeBob's house. Karen sighed as Plankton looked in SpongeBob's direction through half of a set of binoculars.

"There he is, Karen. Look at him…. watering his spice garden without a care in the world."

"Why did you drag me out here? We could be back at the Chum Bucket right now, perhaps even coming up with a good plan…. but noooo, we're up a tree."

"Patience, Karen. This is a good plan. Think about it, there are only two souls in all the sea who know the Krabby Patty secret recipe: ol' man Krabs, and that yellow twit in the sunhat over there."

"So?"

"Soooo….. my efforts with Eugene have proved fruitless. But I may have more luck with his naïve employee. Understand now?"

"Not really, Einstein. How does watching him in his yard help you get the formula? Do you expect him to just stand out there and yell it out for the whole town to hear?"

"We're spying, Karen. Through spying, we'll learn his weaknesses. And once we know those, we'll move in for the kill."

"Somehow I doubt this will work."

"You never believe in me…. but this time, things will be different! Just watch."

"I'm watching. He's just…. watering his spice garden."

"Who knows, that cilantro could be the secret ingredient! Look how he talks to the plants….. like they understand…. maybe he takes such good care of them because they have to be just right for the formula."

"Or maybe he just really likes gardening."

"Must you put me down every... single... time... ?"

"I'm not putting you down, I'm saying you're looking too deep into this."

"You are always criticizing me! Every day, it's 'That plan will never work' or 'You're setting yourself up for a failure' or 'Don't get stuck in the garbage disposal again'. I'm getting really tired of it!"

"Keep your voice down, you're going to give away our hiding spot."

"He's not looking in our direction--wait, yes he is! No wait, no. He's looking at the clouds I think."

"The clouds?"

"Yeah, clouds. Ever heard of them?"

"We don't have clouds--"

"Now what's he doing? Oh, no, he's going back inside!"

"Guess that's that. Let's go back to the Chum Bucket."

"Quiet! I think he's coming back out."

"Oh, boy…."

"He has something in his arms, but I can't tell what it is. I wish I had two eyes."

"Looks like a bunch of metal pipes."

"Metal pipes? What does he want with that? Hmm…. he's attaching them together."

"Maybe he's building a fence to keep people from spying on him."

"Oh, haha, Karen. Very funny. Now what's he doing? Look at all those wires! Those like very scientific-- where'd he get those?!"

"Maybe you should follow his example and get back to your own lab."

"Great Neptune! What if he's creating some kind of doomsday device?!"

"You have a one-track mind, don't you?"

"Well, just look! It's big, it's metal, it's….. science-y-- what else could it be?!"

"I can't believe you're a 'genius' and you said 'science-y'. Believe it or not, not everyone is evil like you."

"You're right. That stupid sponge is too…. ugh kind…. to build something like that."

"Did the fact that he reads bedtime stories to curry give you your first hint?"

"But if it's not a doomsday device, what is it? I mean, look how advanced it is! I know I don't have good depth perception, but from here that looks really big!"

"And complex."

"And scary, frankly! Especially coming from a guy like him. Hey… I think the lights went off in the house, and the Easter Island head too. He must be siphoning all the power for the device!"

"That or he's not as good with those wires as he thinks."

"Oh, that sniveling artist neighbor of his is coming outside."

"We should leave before we're spotted."

"Quiet! I'm trying to hear what he's saying. He's yelling about the power I think."

"Well, obviously. You need to pay more attention to details. Body language can give you a lot of cues. Notice the way the SpongeBob is gesturing to his…. um, contraption. His eyelids are curved downwards but he's smiling while he's talking. What does this mean?"

"I said be quiet!"

"Fine. Don't take my advice."

"That crazy cephalopod just pulled out a crowbar! He's going to smash the machine!"

"Wow, look at the sponge."

"He's taking the blows! His determination to protect his device leads me to believe it must have incredible importance…. I must find out what it is!"

"His neighbor seems to be growing weary. I suppose repeatedly striking someone with a crowbar is tiring work."

"Oh, it is. Looks like he's going back inside. And SpongeBob is still smiling, despite his beaten-in face."

"You could learn something from him."

"Don't start, Karen."

"Keep your eye on the scene. Someone else is coming."

"It's that fat starfish. He must have heard the sponge pummeling."

"They're talking about the machine."

"Oh, what is it! This is driving me crazy!"

"You're not having feelings for another machine, are you? I can't believe this, I have been with you through thick and thin--"

"Sheesh, I didn't know you were the jealous type."

"So you do like it!"

"No, it's not like that…. I just want to know what it does. You're the only computer for me."

"That's what I thought."

"Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get back to spying."

"Go ahead, you're not missing much."

"Gah! What are they doing?"

"Looks like they're blowing bubbles."

"Well duh. I meant, what are they doing so close to all those electrical cords with bubble soap? They're gonna shock themse-- well nevermind, it happened."

"Looks painful."

"Those fools! Mishandling such incredible equipment!"

"They're both going back inside."

"NOOOO!! I must find out what this thing is! What if it has something to do with the Krabby Patty secret formula?!"

"You're obsessed."

"You stupid poriferan! Get back out and use that contraption, whatever it is!"

"Let's just go."

"But what about the machine?! I must know its function! What if its power is so great that one could use it to RULE THE WORLD?! Its meaning must be known!"

"Quit whining, the door's opening."

"He's coming back out! And with a cord…."

"He's plugging it into the machine…."

The 'machine' whirred to life as SpongeBob inserted the pronged end into the its outlet. The homemade sign lit brightly with humungous letters: "HI PLANKTON!" it read.

SpongeBob looked in Plankton's direction, waving his arms and grinning widely.

Plankton gasped and walked backward in shock. "Egads! He knew the whole time?! I--" He had walked backwards too far and fell off the tree. Falling several feet, he landed with a thud. "Ugh…."

"Way to go, genius."

THE END.