The Switch

It was that time again. A Monday, two or three weeks after the last one. Yes, that's right — e-mail time.

Strong Bad sat down at his trusty stool. He typed strongbademail.exe because he's analog for some reason, and started one of his famous pre-e-mail (premail?) tunes:

"We built this city! We built this city on eeeeeee-mail!" he sung. Strong Bad hit enter and read the following e-mail,

Dear Strong Bad,

Do u like to do any winter sports? I love the winter. Do u like to make snowmen, snow angles, and have snowball fights? I do.

Crap crap crappity crap,


Strong Bad put an annoyed emphasis on the word 'angles,' as he was fairly certain snow had nothing to do with the various measurements of the acute or obtuse. Then he hit enter again and began to both type and say the following,

First of all SnowJobDude, I hope you don't actually think those things are winter sports. Making snowmen? Yeah, I don't recall that ever being used with the words, "X-TREME." And snow angels? That is physically impossible for someone like me. Every time I try to make one, I get up and there's prints of devil horns and a tail with one of them little triangles on the end — WAHH!!

Yes, Strong Bad typed this exclamation. The reason for the outburst was the sudden appearance of his arch-annoyance, Homestar. Somehow the terrific athlete had gotten into the House of Strong and into Strong Bad's room. And now he placed himself between the wrestle-man and his precious Lappy.

"Stwong Bad! Help! You gotta hide me!" said Homestar, a worried expression on his face.

Strong Bad pushed Homestar out of the way. "Homestar, what are you doing here?! Can't you see I'm trying to reply to some snowman guy?"

"Can you covuh my eyes, Stwong Bad?!"

"Homestar, shouldn't you have outgrown egocentrism by now? Or rather, by age seven? Covering your eyes isn't gonna hide you."

"Not if I do it! I gotta get someone else to!"

Strong Bad shook his head. "Why do you even wanna hide anyway?" Then he caught himself: "On second thought, I can help you find a place to hide for hours and hours! Have you seen the Poopsmith's pile of whatsit?"

"I'm twying to avoid Mawzipan!" replied Homestar. "Between you and me and everyone else awound, she's pwetty mad at me wight now."

Strong Bad didn't bother to ask why Marzipan could be angry with Homestar. He didn't care. His mind had already returned to what else he'd say in that e-mail reply. For instance, would snowball fights be an X-TREME winter sport if you could shoot them out of a machine gun-like apparatus? And how would such an event be governed? And by whom? Would there be an X-TREME Snowball Gun Fight Association of Free Country, USA? And would they be called XSGFAFC or could they think of a better acronym than that? These were the thoughts that ran through Strong Bad's husky head as Homestar went ahead and told the reason for Marzipan anger despite no one asking.

"All I did was make her dinnuh!" said Homestar. "Apparently I've got the only giwlfwiend who doesn't like tuwducken."

"Turducken?" Strong Bad snapped out of his e-mail daydream. "You mean the awesomeness that is turkey, duck, and chicken all put into one thricely delicious meat dish?! She turned that down?!"

"I know, wight?! I spent houwes putting that togethuh!" Homestar looked down and frowned. "And now she wants to cook my goose. Figuwatively, of couwse. I found that out the hawd way."

"Well, Homestar, I'm pretty sure that pile of whatsit is still there with your name on it. Figuratively, of course," said Strong Bad. "But it probably won't do you any good. If I know Marzipan — and disregard the fact that I probably don't all that well — she'll find you sooner or later. You're gonna have to face the music, and knowing her it won't be pretty. Probably some of that new age crap."

"Then I don't wanna deal with hew! Can't you do it for me, Stwong Bad?!" Homestar fell to his knees, begging. "Please, please?! I'll be youw best fwiend!"

"I think that line stopped working around age sev — oh, right, nevermind. Go find some other sucker!" Strong Bad pointed his boxing glove toward the door. "I'm not the only one around here, ya know."

"Okay, Stwong Bad!" said Homestar, randomly happy again. "But that offuh to be best fwiends still stands!"

Strong Bad watched Homestar walk out of the room, and scoffed. "Yeah, right. Marzipan would eat turducken stuffed with foie gras before that happens." He paused. "Whoa, that's a great idea! Turduckengras! Why hasn't anyone thought of that? I could make a fortune with that tasty fourmanteau!"

Homestar hurried into the basement, where The Cheat and Strong Mad were definitely not doing taxes. The little cheese anvil was busy pounding away at the Trogdor arcade game, while Strong Mad watched from behind.

"IS THIS DEDUCTIBLE!?" Strong Mad bellowed.

"Hey, guys!" said Homestar as he entered. "Stwong Bad told me thewe wewe some suckews awound the house! Has either of you two seen 'em? I got a hankewin' for a lollipop like no one's bizzy-ness!"

"Mehmehmeh!" said The Cheat, not looking away from the game.

"Hey, that weminds me! Can eithew one of you guys tempowawily take my place? Just until Mawzipan stops being mad at me?"

"Mehmehmehmeh!" answered The Cheat in an angry tone.

"Whoa, calm down The Cheat! I wasn't in … sin … gu-uating anything!" said Homestar, butchering the word. "I know you haven't dwessed up as me and made out with Mawzipan befowe — why would you say that?"

The Cheat groaned and rolled his eyes. Which isn't a good thing to do when one plays a video game, but he forgot.

"Gosh, nevuhmind! I don't need that attitude, mistuh!" said Homestar. Then he turned to Strong Mad. "What about you, big guy? Wanna help a no-awmed whitey out?"

"I GOT ARMS!" Strong Mad shouted.

"You'we wight, that pwobably would wuin it."

Not having any luck in the basement, Homestar decided to check another room for possible assistants in his scheme. After looking on the roof, in the bathroom, and under the sink, he went to Strong Sad's room.

Strong Sad was busy playing a board game with Homsar. That particular day's game was Scrabble. Strong Sad put down his play, the word 'quizzical,' attached near the end of Homsar's earlier 'waffle.'

"I got Q and two Z's and triple word score!" said Strong Sad, actually somewhat happy for a change. "That's my highest score yet."

"Aaahh-aaahh-aahh! I got negative breakfast stamps!" replied Homsar, his hat jumping off his head and spinning in the air.

"Hey ya, fellas," said Homestar as he walked in. "Eithuh one of you wanna do me a favuh-fav?"

"What is it now, Homestar?" asked Strong Sad in his whiney voice. "You didn't get another subpoena again, did you?"

"Nah, I leawned my lesson. That's the last time I pwetend to smoke with hot bweath on a cold day in a non-smoking awea."

"Condensation is not a toy."

"Okay, you'we weally dull. Mawzipan would definitely know you'we not me. And you've got awms!" Homestar then turned his attention to the other person (creature?) in the room, Homsar. "How 'bout you, munchkin? Wanna take one for the team?"

"Aaahh-aaahh-aahh! It's time for school spearmint!" said Homsar.

"I'll take that as a yes!"

Homestar figured Homsar was the best candidate to be his surrogate scapegoat. After all, neither had arms. It just made sense. Or at least, it made sense to Homestar.

Homestar gave Homsar his old duckie shirt and his hat as a disguise. He would have given the little guy his star shirt, but that would reveal he had only one. And he didn't want to get charged with a public nudity offense again.

The two were right outside Marzipan's door. Homsar stood on the stoop, while Homestar hid in the bushes. Homsar banged his head on the door to knock.

"Who is it?" asked Marzipan's voice from inside.

"It's meeee," Homestar answered, singsong. "Your Boyfwiend-star Wunnuh!" He heard Marzipan's footsteps approaching and ducked his head in the bush.

Marzipan opened the door, brow furrowed. "I can't believe you, Home …" She surveyed the scene before her: a short, white Homestar-like thing, with a duckie shirt and a familiar hat. " … star?"

"Aaahh-aaahh-aahh! Make my toast substitute flavor, please!" said Homsar.

"Homestar, did you eat all that nasty turducken yourself? You should have listened to me. Just look at what it's done to your athletic figure!"

"Whe-e-e-e-ere's the lemonade cup test, sir?" he said. The hat Homestar had given Homsar flew up into the air and spun as he spoke, just like his normal bowler hat.

"What are you talking about?" Marzipan turned her nonexistent nose up. "That's no way to apologize to a lady."

"Pssst," Homestar whispered to Homsar from the bushes. "Say you'we sowwy … uh, I mean I'm sowwy … cwap, this is confusing!"

"What was that?" asked Marzipan, glancing around.

"Um, nothing! Just some squiwwels in the bushes," said Homestar. "Tweet tweet, I'm a squiwwel, tweet tweet, don't look in the bushes, tweet tweet!"

Homsar scuttled into Marzipan's house. Once he was past the door, Marzipan closed it and prepared to give Homsar — Homestar to her — the talkin' to he deserved. This was why Homestar had instructed Homsar to put on this charade in the first place: to take the brunt of Marzipan's turducken-induced fury.

"I can't believe how insensitive you are!" said Marzipan once they were both in the house. "Do you know what they do to those poor birds? What do you have to say for yourself, Homestar?"

"Aaahh-aaahh-aahh! Let's paint the town ready-made!"

Marzipan softened. "Really, Homestar? You wanna paint? Wow! I can't remember the last time you took a genuine interest in something I like! Okay, then! Let's paint!"

Strong Bad walked up Marzipan's steps. Tucked under one arm he had his newly formed turduckengras, and in his other hand he had a lighter. Normally he brought a brown paper bag filled with a certain something else when he came to Marzipan's door with a lighter, but today was different.

He set the quadruple-poultry dish down on Marzipan's doormat and flicked on the lighter. "Oh, man. This is gonna be so awesome."

But he had a hard time lighting the food concoction on fire. He fiddled with the lighter. "Come on, you stupid thing! Get to burninating!"

Suddenly Homestar's head popped out of the nearby bushes. "Hey, Stwong Bad!"

"Ahh!" Strong Bad startled. "What the crap?! Oh, it's just you, Dumbstar. What are you doing hiding in the bushes?"

"What awe you doing with that tasty looking biwd?"

"You answer me first!"

"Awight, awight. I'm waiting for Mawzipan to finish yelling at me."

"But … you're out here. And she's inside."

"Wight. She's yelling at me inside."

"But you're … oh, nevermind."

Homestar frowned. "I've been in thewe a long time. I hope Mawzipan's going easy on mini-me."

Strong Bad had given up trying to set the turduckengras on fire. In his frustration, he'd started angrily jabbing at it with his big knife. Since he was cutting in somewhat of a face pattern, it was starting to look vaguely like a Thanksgiving Jack-o-Lantern. But when he heard Homestar's comment, he stopped the stabbing and looked over. "What?! Don't tell me you sent that little weirdo Homsar to take your place! She'll never fall for that!"

"I dunno. They've been in thewe an awfully long time, so I think I'm in the cleauh."

"Maybe Marzipan likes Homsar better," said Strong Bad in a sly tone. "Wouldn't that be a deliciously ironic twist of fate?"

"Stwong Bad, you cwack me up. Now awe you gonna pass me a deliciously iwonic twist of dwumstick or what?"

Just then the door opened. Homestar quickly ducked back into the bushes, disappointed he didn't get a taste of delicious irony poultry.

Homsar stepped outside as Marzipan stood at the doorway. "Thanks so mu—" She saw Strong Bad still on the stoop. " … what are you doing here?!"

"Oh, uh, hey Marzipan," said Strong Bad, glancing around. He was ashamed that his turduckengras burninating plan had fallen through. "I was just, uh …" Strong Bad hesitated. He couldn't think of anything to say, so he picked up the turduckengras and tossed it at the side of her house. It splattered against her paneling. "Take that!" He turned and ran off. As his figure grew smaller in the distance, he called out, "The Frankenstein of food strikes again!"

"Again?" said Marzipan. She didn't know Strong Bad knew of the previous turducken incident with Homestar. She shrugged it off and faced Homsar. "I had so much fun today, Homestar," she said to him. "Painting, crocheting pictures of cottages, writing to chain restaurants to ask if their mono- and diglycerides are of animal origin, and those other things we did! What a great day! You normally hardly ever spend time doing things I like."

"Aaahh-aaahh-aahh! I'm a priceless coin from the bronze era!" replied Homsar.

"Of course you are," Marzipan humored. "Well, see you later, Homestar. Don't forget we're set to protest the Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Live on Ice Show tomorrow! It's so mean how they treat that worm." She smiled and closed the door behind her.

Homestar popped out of the bushes. "Wow, you did it! She's not mad anymowe at me or anything! I owe you one, man. A Cold One."

"I-I-I-I'm counting my carbs emissions!" said Homsar, stretching out his words.

"Wight. So how'd it go down anyway? Did you cwy? Or just take it? Or did you use those fancy wowds of youws? I just wanna know how you deal with the ladies."

"Aaahh-aaahh-aahh! I went through all bases and hit a home run!"

Homestar nodded. "Wight, wight." Then his eyes shot open in shock. "Wait, what?!"