ON THE ABC WEEKEND SPECIAL SATURDAY MORNING MOVIE:
"Changing your lifestyle can be hazardous to your health." — The J.A.M.
"Good-bye, my wife."
"Good-bye, my beloved husband."
WALT DISNEY PICTURES PRESENTS / PRESENTA / APRESENTA
A REMAKE OF A CLASSIC…
DIGITALLY REMASTERED WITH 2 ADDITIONAL CHAPTERS AND 2 ADDITIONAL SONGS…
128,676 WORDS… [2,526 words more than the previous edition]
140 PAGES… [well, in the MS Word format I used]
"He shouldn't laugh at his own joke."
THE DAY LAUGHTER DIED
But no more. No more Goof-up, no more Klutz, no more Clown, no more Comedian, no more goofin' off, no more foolin' around, no more…gettin' girlfriends…in danger…no more gettin' your hormones and emotions in the way of duty! I'm a Crime-fighter for cryin' out loud! Crime-fighters and Comedians don't mix! No more…no more…no…more…
Exhausted from his emotional disturbance and lack of nourishment, he cried himself to sleep again, with those words echoing all over his spirit, mind, and body, announcing the decision he had made:
No more, no more, no more…
IT'S AN OAKMONT THING
She lowered her ears and began to cry at this point, "I think Dale is going to lose Foxy!"
She wept on her husband's shoulder but was suddenly frightened, as well as everyone else, when Chip stood and banged his fists on the table, ears back and tail stiff.
"No!" he chattered. "This is insanity! It's all a coincidence! Foxglove was not killed! She would never leave Dale! And he would never let her go!"
Dale's father stood and glared at him, also with stiff ears and tail, "All right, Mister 'Detective', then you explain why our family has gone through this…this…this HELL!"
A SEARCH BEGINS
"Um…Otis…actually, the real reason…I'm here is because…because I need to find my family. Any family. I really need someone of my family present at the wedding, even if it is a distant cousin. The ceremony…can't be totally legal without witnesses from both families. And…and…I need your help."
Both of them banked and hovered suddenly, echosounding at each other for a moment.
That was the first time Foxglove had asked for help from someone other than the Rescue Rangers…
DALE'S LAMENT: I AWOKE AND LAUGHED NO MORE
Chip simply could not believe that this was the same happy-go-lucky chipmunk who was ready to get married two days ago—
Suddenly, he ran up to him, grabbed his shirt again, and growled, "?"
Dale looked at his best friend with low ears and tail and tremendous sadness. "You don't know how much I wish I was Ditz, Chip. If I was, then the real me would have already escaped from his spaceship and Foxy and I would be havin' our honeymoon on the actual moon—"
A FUNERAL PYRE
His ears and tail were limp again.
This was more difficult than it seemed.
It is never easy to say good-bye, especially to a close friend. But this had to be done.
He closed his eyes and tossed the match…
A SEARCH CONTINUES
"Are you all right? You seem rather sad, and you haven't gone back to the park since yesterday. Is…is something wrong?"
Foxglove had to think fast. Her excuses were rapidly running out of convincing power, and Otis was asking too many questions…
CHIP'S LAMENT: STICKINDEMUD
But still, he had already read half of his Sureluck Jones novels, and when he wasn't doing that or solving cases, he was at the gym, either pumping iron or practising his fencing. Now, his shoulders were widening, and muscles were beginning to show through his fur, and even where they weren't, due to the fat layer all sciurids have for hibernating, it was fairly obvious that he was getting more and more solid.
Furthermore, he had not said one single stupid comment since that night, and it appeared that Chip was actually waiting for him to do so in order to bonk him.
But no, Dale kept his comments short and serious.
And only serious.
In fact, that was all he said now: serious things.
He didn't tell jokes anymore, not even when they were resting from cases or even on their way to or back from them.
Dale did not even laugh anymore…
ALONE (UGH) AGAIN
That was a long trip from New York, but this was her quest now, and she would have to carry it out until she found her parents, living or dead.
And now, she would have to carry it out—
OLD FLAME, NEW FUEL
Dale padded up and opened the do—
NEW FLAME, OLD FUEL
Foxglove echosounded at her for a moment, and replied, "I guess I'll live like any other bat, I suppose. Sleep during the day, eat during the night, have a few friends, avoid owls and other predators, just be an average batmaid."
"But whayat 'bout yore fammeleh? Ah mean, well yew eyver fannd a mayte aggin'?"
The ex-girlfriend echosounded ahead and thought, No way, while replying, "I don't know, Feyyanna. Right now, I simply don't know."
Feyyanna knew, however.
For she, too, had noticed the way Foxglove echosounded at Otis whenever he flew directly in front of her…
A NEW HOPE AND OLD FRIENDS
"E-eighteen years ago…I…was flying in a park…near the coast…in Staten Island…it was evening…I was carrying my daughter…my husband was next to me…an owl lady attacked…I dodged her as best as I could…my husband tried to defend me…the owl lady hit me in my wing…I dropped my daughter…my husband was killed…I fell…blacked out…I echosounded for my daughter…and never found her…I always thought the owl lady killed her…unless…unless…is your name Leticia?"
Could that be her real name…?
GADGET'S LAMENT: DEATH OF A DREAM
The tamias turned away again in unexplainable pain, as his ears drooped again…
He felt cold, very cold. And he still would not look at her…
"…but I've been thinking everything over as best as I could, and…and I can't come up with anything other than the fact that we just can't raise a family here! There's no way it can be done while keeping them safe from our enemies! I don't want me or my cubs to go through what Dale and Foxglove went through…do you?"
FOXGLOVE'S LAMENT: DESESPERADA
I walk under the sun
But it's winter in my heart
That's how I am
Because our love
Is an emerald that a thief stole
Because I don't know anymore
Where my dream is nor why it left
I have nowhere to go
I can only repeat…
THE NUTSHELL CLUB
"Welcome, males and females, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, once again to The Nutshell Club! Tonight, as you know, is Comedy Night, and we've decided to make it an Open Mike night, though this mike looks somewhat closed here, ahem—"
A rimshot from the band declared that last phrase to be a joke, though some animals in the audience moaned at it.
"But really, folks, we have a great evening planned out for everyone—I just hope our plans don't backfire—[rimshot, moaning]—and we have lined up a great cast of the best amateur comedians in town—if there is such a thing—[rimshot, more moaning]. Ha, geez, it sounds like someone here needs some antacid or something—[rimshot with same results]. Oh well, I'd better get off this stage before I throw our plans out the door. Okay, now, here's our first victim—I mean 'comedian'…"
That had worked quite well, and sometime during their first winter together, that impulse disappeared altogether, "freeing" her from the last link she thought she had with the witch and her criminal past, enabling her to further concentrate on Dale.
I'LL BE WATCHING YOU
Chip did not like the tone of the word "kill", as his ears and tail showed.
With a shrug, Dale turned around and went to talk to the band again. One minute later, he padded up to the microphone, and began…
A SECOND CHANCE
She looked deeply into his pained eyes, gently held his head in her paws, drew him closer…
…and kissed him…
ANOTHER SECOND CHANCE
She then rushed up to him and hugged him tightly, pleading, "H-help me…b…brother…please…I need…help…"
A BROKEN SPIRIT DRIETH THE BONES
Finally, they were fully hit with understanding.
Some ears and tails sagged, and some others stiffened:
"NO!" chattered Chip.
"Not me pally!"
"This is illogical!"
MORE DRYING AS WELL
"What is your concept of death? Not suicide, just 'death'."
The batmaid winced slightly once more.
"Death? Well, I know it's something that will happen to all of us, but I guess we're supposed to live this life as best we can before we go, maybe…and death…is the final resting place, where you're free from pain, free from evil…free from sin…free from…from…yaaaawwwwwwn…from…"
MONTEREY'S LAMENT: MOST DEFINITELY DEAD
Dale kept quiet again for a moment, and then explained, "Don't you get it, guys? All our major foul-ups ended when I killed the Comedian! The Clown was harmin' the team, he was placin' us—placin' Foxy—in more danger than was called for; he was killin' us! Now he's gone, and as much as I miss him, he can't and he won't be back…ever!"
THE LAST MATCHMAKERS
They sat quietly again, and a few moments later, the batmaid pondered, "They would have made a lovely couple, don't you think?"
"Chip and Gadget?"
"Dale and Foxglove."
The sciurid sighed. Once more his mind explored what could have been…
"A funeral?" asked Richard. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"…Please? Let me just say good-bye to them. I never did, and…that just may be what has been eating at me all this time…"
ZIPPER'S LAMENT: USE THE FORCE, LUKE
Dale had his ears up, his tail was stiff, and he was unusually silent. The sunset was over, but he was still looking toward the west.
Or, that was where he was facing, for he had a blank look in his eyes.
Then, his breathing became more laboured. Something began pressing in his chest again, but he couldn't tell what it was.
He slowly began to turn back to Zipper, and as he did, his fur began ruffling.
The Stealth Expert became quite scared at that, because he knew it wasn't the wind that was causing Dale's fur to stand on end.
"Dale? Is something wrong?"
Dale brought up his right paw to his chest. Something was causing him unbelievable pain, something within him was sensing—
NIGHT OF THE STRIGIDÆ
"Code 936! Code 936! Any units respond to ultrasound alarm 936! Track ultrasonic SOS signals to a park in East Staten Island! Code 936! Code 936!"
Is this what a moth feels just before it dies…?
Foxglove took a direct hit on her right shoulder.
Otis took a direct hit on his head.
Rosie took a direct hit on her left side.
Feyyanna was able to dodge the stones, but not without slamming into Richard, who was on her right…
"Ah! More rodents!"
"Monty, run!" chattered Dale.
"Hey! Yew doen' hayave tew yeyell!"
"Your nose is broken!"
"…'ow's it look…?"
"Ahh, it's an improvement."
PREPARE FOR ABANDONMENT
The oak remained still, and its occupants made no sign they were there. But he knew they were there, as they should also be waking up by now.
The sky was a swath of blue and red, and a hint of dark blue off in the eastern horizon. A crescent moon hung just above the southwestern horizon, and an occasional bird fluttered through the sky.
There was an airplane now and then, but no bats.
She would not be coming back.
…a tear quenched that smouldering wick…
He tossed the contract in…
PREPARE FOR FORSAKING
The batmaid then turned and left her previous life forever.
The rings then sank to the bottom of his heart…
PREPARE FOR FEAR
Panic and fear enveloped him once more:
Panic and fear that had gripped the heart of the Comedian countless times before.
He could not escape them.
Unbelievable panic and unbelievable fear…
He tossed the card in…
PREPARE FOR ANGST
"But do you know what was the truly worst part? Chip, I was cryin'. And how many of you came after me?"
Chip could not say a single word.
"Yeah, you're just barely noticin' that now, aren't you? Chip, I was one second away from leavin' Paris and the Rescue Rangers forever, if that would have made you happy. Fortunately for you, I got hit on the head right before I went to the train station, on my way to the airport. And sure, later on you apologised, sayin' that the Rescue Rangers wouldn't be the same without me. And you said that you'd never doubt my abilities again. But tell me, Chip, have you doubted my abilities after Paris?"
Chip froze again.
"Come on, Chip, I dare you to say no…"
PREPARE FOR SADNESS
Pierre and Dalee stopped mixing ingredients and just looked sadly at each other, laying their ears against their heads…
Her tears were mixed with Dale's; they were on the floor too, as well as on her face. His woody/nutty/bubble-gummy/chocolaty scent was still mingled with her own. That final good-bye hurt, and it hurt so much, she actually reconsidered her threat of finding Fat Cat and feeding herself to him—
It made him cry because in a flash, memories of the past year and the previous night landed on him like an anvil. Memories of him and Foxglove so much enjoying sunrises and sunsets, memories of them about to get married yesterday, memories of the tragic events of last night, memories of the sudden realisation of who he was and what he was getting Foxglove into, memories of the talk they had…
He was so devastated and exhausted that he didn't bother going back…
The pain in his chest then reappeared with full force, making him think he had a black hole where his heart used to be…
His sorrow then mixed with anger…
PREPARE FOR ANGER
Gadget had to use every bit of self-control to avoid strangling this media representative. Her tail stiffened, and she tried not to growl…
"…Mister Maplewood, Miss Hackwrench, Mister Colby, Mister Lightringer, this conversation is over and I will not speak of it, with you or with no shrink, ever—again! DO YOU UNDERSTAND? EVER!"
PREPARE FOR WRATH
Dale calmly padded up to him, laid his ears back, grabbed him by his shirt, and began giving him a series of right hooks…
Dale had his ears down and his tail was as stiff as a board, and his countenance was one of total rage, matched only by the expression he had in Fat Cat's lair that other night…
PREPARE FOR HATRED
Suddenly, a monster stiffened her ears and tail and growled, "I'LL KILL DALE FOR THIS!"
PREPARE FOR PAIN
"Never better!" she replied, as she tried to stand from the pilot's seat while reaching for her trusty plunger harpoon.
As she did, a horrible squeak shot out of her throat.
"My arm!" she finally vocalised moments later, with low ears and tail.
All three rodents looked at her arm.
The right coverall sleeve was torn, and her pelt had a deep gash in it. Her left hip was also in pain, but not as much as her arm was.
No time to lick wounds just yet…
PREPARE FOR FRUSTRATION
No, no more. The chipmunk did not turn around, not even to look at her. Dale had flatly refused her one more time…
PREPARE FOR DESPERATION
Foxglove drooped her ears and tail, read the printouts for the nth time, and then crumpled them up before throwing them aside…
PREPARE FOR DEPRESSION
True, he was most definitely depressed, but now, it seemed that he would eventually get used to this depression, and it appeared that Foxglove would get used to it as well.
But still, this was the life he had chosen, and all Foxglove had to do to get out of her depression was find someone else who could keep her out of danger; to finally get her out of this life of danger where he nearly buried her in.
The lights dimmed.
The spotlight then shone on Chip, who was at the piano again, with his ears down. He began playing a slow and very depressing sequence.
Oh, great, thought Dale. That's all I need now! More depressing music!
Chip continued with that sequence, playing it over and over and over, letting it sink in. After the fourth repetition, he looked up to stage left, and nodded as if giving a cue.
Another spotlight then shone on Otis, also with drooped ears, who began,
PREPARE FOR DESTRUCTION
The wall fell on them.
Dale rolled over, shielding the cub with his body, hoping it would survive…
"Good-bye, my cubs."
PREPARE FOR A FUNERAL
He then turned to the pyre again, and contemplated it for a while. His gaze then drifted from the flames up to the sky, where the parts of his life were being dispersed…
PREPARE TO WEEP
They cried, cried, and cried, like they had never cried before…
Crying because of the pain of their broken hearts…
Crying because of all the physical pain they had felt…
Crying because of all the rejection they had received…
Crying for what seemed like an eternity…
PREPARE TO KILL INSTINCTS
She never understood why she did that…perhaps a salute that was custom-made for their particular organisation.
Since she associated that particular gesture with her evil days, Foxglove decided to ignore that impulse…
PREPARE TO KILL DREAMS
The sciurid sighed and turned away.
Pain was developing in his chest now.
His tail drooped.
When the tamias turned to reply, the mus could not understand why the same pain she saw in Dale's eyes was now in Chip's.
"Yes," he replied, with a very pained voice…
"…I love you with all my heart, but our love can never become what we want it to be. It's better if we leave things as they are…as…as they were before. It was wrong for us…for me…to try to change them…"
He tossed the veil in…
PREPARE TO KILL JOKES
"Hey, that was funny."
The others looked at him with slight surprise.
"It was?" asked Zipper.
"Sure it was."
Chip then asked, "Then why aren't you laughing?"
He tossed the book in…
PREPARE TO KILL WISECRACKS
Chip lowered his ears was about to bonk him for that stupid remark, but then he suddenly realised that the remark was not stupid, and it was not even a remark, but a very well established and serious suggestion that would be for the benefit of the team…
PREPARE TO KILL LAUGHTER
He simply looked at the hallway and replied, "You're right, Gadget, but the thing that's eating me most right now is the fact that he doesn't laugh anymore. Comedians aren't the only ones who laugh. Everyone, not just comedians, laughs at one point or another, everyone except—"
PREPARE TO KILL THE GOOF UP
But he had to admit, there were no foul-ups whatsoever. The case had been solved smoothly through perfect teamwork.
Then why do I feel like I'm working with a stranger…?
PREPARE TO KILL THE KLUTZ
"Hey, see, where'dya learn to punch like that?"
Another crack rang out, and the gangster was the last to fall.
"I read it somewhere," replied Dale, coldly, while shaking his right fist…
PREPARE TO KILL THE CLOWN
He looked up a trifle, and replied, "I don't. I…just had to kill the Clown that was hurtin' us all. It wasn't easy, but…the team is better off without him. And…I know you are too."
He tossed his shirt in…
PREPARE TO KILL THE COMEDIAN
No more jokes, no more wisecracks, no more stupid comments, nothing.
Dale simply couldn't look at that sight in particular…
PREPARE TO MOURN
Gadget looked at her father's best friend with shock, pain, and confusion, and with low ears and tail, threw herself at him, and cried.
And the only other time that she cried that intensely was on the day her father died…
PREPARE TO DIE
"Your friend is dying."
"I'm sorry to say that your friend is dying."
Darkness enveloped them…
An empty darkness…
A rushing darkness…
"Go a'ead and try it! I once wress'led with an African vulture back in Zimbabwe, an' I left that bloke featherless!"
"…Perhaps we can help you find a balance in—Dale? Dale?"
"It's your choice, then! But…but in the meantime, here's something that could be yours, if you only tried."
"You…you don't have to."
"Nowe, yew ain't! Yew're dayen'!"
"You really think I'm stupid, don't you…? You think I'm unreasoning? Unintelligent…?…I am a GUARDIAN!"
DEATH OF A COMEDIAN, VERSION 2.0
"Why…did…the chicken…cross…the road…?"
BRING YOUR MOURNING ATTIRE…
And darkness fell on all of them…
NEXT / NÄCHSTE / NÄSTA / A CONTINUACION / A SEGUIR