TSP Episode #111: "Hedgehog"
This chapter contains direct quotes from the brilliant movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Unfortunately, I don't own Monty Python either.
Part 3. The Reckoning
A bunch of townspeople have inside the assembly room in City Hall. The Mayor and Officer Barbrady stand in front of the crowd. There is a large blackboard behind them.
Mayor: Now, as you all know, we have assembled here to discuss methods of dealing with cultists, and to brainstorm possible causes for their inexplicable, violent behavior. Now, does anyone have any thoughts on what might be causing our city's rise in cult activity?
Stephen Stotch (standing up to speak): Violent video games.
Mayor: Good, good. [She writes down "Violent video games" on the board.] What else have we got?
Sheila Broflovski (standing): Rap music.
Mayor (writing this down too): Yes, good stuff, good stuff, people.
Mr. Garrison (standing): Mexicans.
Mayor (writing this down): Yes, of course. They're always a good scapegoat. What else?
Kyle enters Cartman's house. The lights are off in the main room. Cartman and Becca are playing GameStation. They are in the exact same positions on the couch as before.
Kyle: Don't think I've given up on the X-Box, Cartman.
Cartman: You're still hung up on that, Kyle? Sheesh. While you were trying to prove me guilty of a crime I didn't commit, Becca and I passed another twenty-four levels on my "Blood Avengers" game.
Becca (mumbling): I kill them. I kill them all…
Kyle: Well, now I'm giving you an ultimatum. Admit what you did and agree to buy Stan a new X-Box, or I swear to God, I will wreck your GameStation.
Cartman and Becca both turn and stare at Kyle, looking horrified.
Cartman: You wouldn't.
Kyle: I would. I'll do it right now.
As she screams, she leaps from the couch like a puma and knocks Kyle over. She starts scratching, biting, and kicking him. Kyle manages to shove her off of him for long enough to get up, but Becca runs right back and starts wailing on him like a maniac.
Becca: I will kill you! I will kill you!
Kyle finally manages to grab her and hold her in the air away from his body. She continues to flail her arms and legs around, and she scratches at Kyle's hands.
Kyle: Okay! Okay! I won't do anything to your GameStation! Just calm down, you psycho!
Becca stops scratching at him. Kyle drops her on the floor and she slinks back to her seat at the couch. She picks up her controller and continues to play the game.
Becca (quietly): I will kill you if you hurt our GameStation. I will kill you over and over again.
Kyle starts to leave.
Kyle: This isn't over, Cartman!
The next morning, Stan wakes up in his room. He sits up, rubbing his eyes. He glances out the window. Again, the mutilated corpses of numerous animals are strewn throughout the yard. Officer Barbrady is there, directing a clean-up.
Stan: Oh no!
Stan goes outside and walks over to the hutch. He squats down and looks at Binky in the back. Bloody hedgehog footprints cover the floor of the hutch. Binky stares at Stan. Stan steps backwards into the body cavity of a mutilated bobcat. Then he vomits.
Barbrady: Hey, kid, watch it! You're contaminating the crime scene!
Stan runs inside up to Shelly's room. He bangs on the door.
Stan: Charlie! Charlie!
Shelly opens the door and smacks Stan across the face. Then Charlie comes out.
Stan: The yard… there are a bunch of animal corpses again!
Charlie: Oh no! Is it that cult again? Your parents said they might be using your yard for rituals.
Stan: I don't think it was a cult that killed all those animals.
Charlie: Really? Well, who did?
Stan: I know this is going to sound really strange, but… well, I think it was your hedgehog.
Charlie stares at him skeptically.
Stan: I looked in his hutch, and there were bloody hedgehog footprints all over the floor. It was really weird.
Charlie: That isn't weird. If someone was killing a bunch of animals right outside, some blood probably just got in the cage.
Stan: Just come and look. You'll see what I mean.
They walk downstairs and go into the backyard. They go over to the hutch. When they look inside, there are no footprints or blood. Charlie looks at Stan dubiously.
Charlie: I don't get it.
Charlie: If that was supposed to be a joke, I don't get it.
Stan (confused): No, it was here, I… I don't know…
Charlie: Dude, you need to get some sleep or something.
Tweek and Dougie are in Dougie's room. Tweek sits on a chair. Dougie is dressed up like a doctor. He holds a clipboard and wears examination gloves.
Dougie: Okay, it's time for your first check-up. Now, first of all, I am going to run through a list of rabies symptoms. Tell me if you've been experiencing any of these.
Dougie: Cough or sore throat.
Dougie: Cramping or stomachaches.
Dougie: Excellent. So far, so good. Now, I'm going to run through some of the more telling symptoms. Have you been feeling very tense or anxious?
Tweek: Well—ngh—well, yeah, I guess. Ah!
Dougie: Have you experienced any sensory hallucinations?
Tweek: What—ah!—what are those?
Dougie: Hallucinations are when you see or hear things that aren't really there. Usually, they're sort of strange, like bright colors, or strange music, or imaginary creatures like dragons, or fairies, or gnomes.
Tweek: Gnomes? You mean—ngh—like underpants gnomes?
Dougie stares at him but doesn't say anything.
Tweek: Jesus Christ, I am hallucinating!
Dougie: And, last, have you been having uncontrollable muscle spasms?
Tweek: Muscle spasms? Ngh—no, I don't think so. Ah!
Dougie stares at him again. He writes something down.
Tweek: What—ngh—what is it?
Dougie: Well, I didn't say anything because I didn't want to be rude, but you are having muscle spasms in your face and upper body.
Tweek: No—ngh—no I'm not!
Dougie: You just did it again.
Dougie: Wait just a minute, you'll probably—[Tweek ticks, cocking his head, shutting his eye, and jerking his shoulder up]—There! You just did it again!
Tweek: I don't—ah!—I don't know what you're talking about.
Dougie: Wait here just a minute.
Dougie walks out of the room and into the hallway. He pulls out a phone and dials a number. After a moment, he starts talking.
Dougie: Yeah, this is Dougie. …No, it didn't go too well. I think he has rabies.
Charlie is on the other end of the line in the Marsh house. She is on the phone in the kitchen. Sharon is washing dishes at the sink nearby.
Charlie: Oh. [There is a pause.] Are you sure? [Pause.] I mean, on a scale of one to ten, one being completely not sure, ten being—[Pause.] Seven? Really? [Pause. Charlie then speaks in an annoyed grumble.] You're the doctor, Dougie. [Pause. Charlie now speaks more loudly and with greater irritation in her voice.] I said, "You're the doctor!" No, I won't say it again! I want a second opinion! Have Kenny come check him out. [Pause.] Yes, you're still the doctor. I'll be there in just a minute.
She hangs up. She looks worried and angry at the same time.
Charlie: Damn it!
Sharon: Young lady! Language!
Charlie (covering her mouth): Sorry.
Kyle sits at his desk in his room. He rests his head on his arms, and he looks depressed. Someone knocks at the door, then Stan enters the room.
Stan: Dude, I have to show you something.
Kyle: I give up.
Kyle: I give up, Stan. I can't do it. I don't know how he did it, but he beat me this time. I… I lost.
Stan: Don't you think you're being a little dramatic?
Kyle sits up. He turns and glares at Stan.
Kyle: You're the one that's being dramatic, Stan! Do you have any idea how it feels for me to lose to Cartman? It's like being stabbed through the heart a thousand times! It's like choking to death on my own vomit! It's awful! It's just too awful!
Stan: You didn't lose to Cartman, Kyle. I don't even think he's the one who broke the X-Box.
Kyle: Who else could have possibly done it?
Stan: …Come with me, I need to show you something.
Tweek sits on the chair in Dougie's room. Kenny appears to be examining him as Charlie and Dougie look on. Charlie is visibly nervous.
Charlie: So, what do you think, Kenny?
Kenny: (He's rabid all right.)
Charlie: Oh no. What are we going to do?
Tweek: What are we going to do? I'll—ah!—I'll tell you what we're going to do! We're going to take me to the—ngh—to the hospital right now and tell them exactly what happened!
Charlie: Yeah, but if everyone figures out that Binky has rabies, they'll take him away. And he's not acting rabid yet. Can't I just keep him until he starts acting sick? We can say something else bit Tweek.
Dougie: What should we say bit him?
Outside, a large group of townspeople march by, shouting about cults and waving their banners and posters. The four kids look at each other.
Later that day, the Mayor is giving a speech to a large group of anti-cult townspeople when Randy comes running through the crowd.
Mayor: We continue to make progress, but we still have yet to determine—
Randy: Wait! Mayor, wait! I've got it!
Mayor: Mr. Marsh?
Randy: Mayor! [He reaches the podium, panting.] Let me speak to the people, Mayor.
Mayor: Well… by all means.
Randy, still heaving, steps to the podium.
Randy: Fellow townspeople: I believe I have at last uncovered the cause of the increase in cult activity in our town. It's so strange, yet so simple.
Mr. Garrison: Yeah, it's those goddamned Mexicans!
Randy: No, don't you see? What makes people act aggressive and strange?
Mayor: …Violent video games?
Randy: No! It's rabies!
Randy: Yes! They think the Tweak boy might have rabies. And they think he caught it after he was bitten by a cult member!
Mr. Garrison: …That makes perfect sense!
Mayor: Yes! All it would take is one infected cult member. He could bite others, who would bite others, and next thing you know, you have a full-fledged Jonestown on your hands!
Randy: Exactly. They have the Tweak boy quarantined so he can't infect anyone else. Now all we have to do is stop the spread of rabies at its source. Jimbo, Ned, you know what to do.
Jimbo and Ned look thrilled.
Jimbo and Ned are hiding behind a bush by Stark's Pond. A deer, several rabbits, and some squirrels are standing nearby.
Jimbo: Alright, Ned. Are you ready? Protect the town!
Ned: Mm-protect the town.
Ned fires away at the animals and quickly kills them all.
Jimbo: Good job, Ned. Let's find some more wild animals to kill.
Ned: Mm-we're heroes.
Tweek is in a hospital room, hooked up to a bunch of monitors. He looks the same as he always does, but he's wearing a hospital gown. His arms and legs are strapped to the hospital bed. A nurse wearing a gas mask walks into the room.
Nurse: Tweek? Some of your little friends are here to see you.
Tweek: My friends?
Charlie, Dougie, and Kenny walk into the room. They are all wearing gas masks. Kenny carries a large gift basket and Dougie has some "Get Well Soon" balloons.
Charlie: Hi Tweek. Sorry about the quarantine.
Tweek: Th-that's okay.
Kenny (holding up the gift basket): (We brought you a gift basket.)
Tweek stares at the gift basket, somewhat annoyed.
Charlie: So, they're killing all the wild animals so nobody else can get rabies now. [Tweek glares at her.] Isn't that great?
Tweek: If I die in here—ah!—it's all on you, Charlie Pierzynski. You and your-ngh-your stupid hedgehog. Ah!
Charlie looks a little bit worried.
Stan and Kyle are in Stan's house, looking out the window into the backyard.
Kyle: What are we doing, Stan?
Stan: Look. There he is.
Binky crawls out from beneath a bush, staring at the boys through the window. He is tracking blood through the snow.
Kyle: You need to take a deep breath and forget about this stupid hedgehog, Stan.
Stan: But look! It… it's tracking blood through the snow and everything!
Kyle: Dude. There have been, like, twenty dead animals in your yard over the past two days. There's going to be a little blood.
Stan pauses, then his eyes widen.
Stan: Wait a minute… Who let him out of his hutch?
Kyle stares at Binky. Binky stares back, unblinking.
Kyle: …I-I'm sure Charlie or someone let him out.
Stan: Do you really think Charlie would leave her pet alone, out in the open, in the backyard where almost two dozen mutilated animals were just found?
Binky scuttles back under the bush.
Kyle: You know what? I'll prove it to you. Let's go outside, and I'll show you that there is nothing weird about that hedgehog.
Kyle leads Stan outside. They walk over to the bush Binky had just gone under. Then they see the bloody body of an unrecognizable man. They gape in horror as they see Binky crawling around in his body cavity, apparently eating him. The boys scream and run inside.
Kyle: It's evil!
Stan: I told you! I knew it all along! It's evil! It's the thing that's been killing all those animals, not a stupid cult!
Kyle (after a pause): Well… well, isn't it possible that… that the body was there before, and he's just… he's just…
Stan: He's just what? Mysteriously out of his cage, tracking blood in the snow and eating the guy's guts?
Charlie and Kenny enter the house just then. They walk up to Stan and Kyle.
Kenny: (Hey dudes. What's up?)
Kyle (pointing outside): That thing is evil!
Charlie (looking irritated): It isn't evil! It's just a little rabid!
Kyle: …It's rabid?
Charlie: Did Stan put you up to this?
Stan: No! And whatever that thing is, it's a lot worse than rabid.
Kyle: It killed a guy! There's a body in the backyard!
Charlie: I don't see a body. You guys are just making it up to scare me, aren't you?
Stan: No! It's evil, we swear!
Charlie: No he isn't. He's just a harmless little hedgehog with a teensy bit of rabies. Come on, I'll show you.
She walks out the back door. Kenny goes after her.
Stan: Dude, don't go out there!
She ignores or doesn't hear him. Stan and Kyle glance at each other, then they apprehensively follow them. Charlie goes to the hutch and is surprised to find it empty.
Charlie: Binky? What did you guys do to Binky?
Stan: We didn't—
Charlie: Oh, there he is.
Binky is peeking out at them from under the bush. Kyle and Stan edge back towards the door.
Kyle: Don't get too close to it, Charlie.
Charlie: Whatever, Kyle.
Kenny walks up next to Charlie near the bush. Then, with super-hedgehog strength, Binky leaps out of the bush and attacks Kenny's face. In a few quick seconds of scratching and muffled screaming, Kenny is dead. Binky is scarfing down his brain.
Stan: Oh my God! He killed Kenny!
Kyle: You bastard!
Charlie stares at Binky, horrified. She doesn't say anything. Then, slowly, she walks backwards to where Stan and Kyle are standing.
Kyle: See? It killed Kenny. Now do you believe us?
Charlie: Jesus Christ!
Stan (pointing at Binky, who still stares at the group with large, unblinking eyes): That thing is evil!
Charlie: Binky is eating Kenny!
Stan: Yeah. He is.
Charlie: I can't believe it! This is all my fault! What are we going to do?
Binky begins to groom his paws and face. He continues staring at the group.
Stan: Well, for starters, you could lock that thing back in its hutch before it kills somebody important.
Charlie: What? I'm not getting any closer to that thing!
Stan (sighing and rolling his eyes): You were fine with it before.
Charlie: Yeah, I was fine with it before I knew it could eat me!
Stan: Just do it!
Very cautiously, Charlie approaches the hedgehog. She slowly picks it up, then makes a mad dash for the hutch, throws it inside, and locks the door.
Charlie: There. Done.
The kids all go inside. Stan locks the back door.
Kyle: Wait a minute. If that thing managed to kill all those animals overnight, then shouldn't it be able to get out of—
They all look out the window. Binky is standing in the middle of the yard, staring at them through the window. The kids all yelp and duck down, out of sight.
Charlie (whispering): We can't trap it! How did it get out?
Stan (whispering): I don't know!
Kyle: Should we try to kill it?
Stan: How on earth are we supposed to kill it? I don't suppose you want to go anywhere near it, do you?
Charlie (eyes widening with sudden realization): Wait a minute. I know this. I know what's happening.
Stan: You do?
Charlie: I think I can get rid of it, but I'm going to need a need a monk outfit and a bomb.
Stan, Kyle, and Charlie are out in the backyard, where Binky is still feasting on Kenny's remains. Charlie and Kyle are dressed like monks. Stan is dressed as a knight, and he holds a hand grenade decorated with a cross.
Charlie: Are you guys ready?
Stan: This is retarded.
Charlie (annoyed): Just go with it, Stan. Okay, Kyle. Start.
Kyle: Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one.
Charlie:And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats…
She pauses and looks at Kyle. Kyle doesn't say anything. She clears her throat loudly.
Kyle: Oh… uh, skip a bit, Brother.
Charlie: And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.
Charlie: Okay, Stan. Now remember: say five instead of three.
Stan: Why do I-?
Charlie: Just do it, Stan.
Stan rolls his eyes and removes the cross/pin from the grenade. Binky stares at the three of them without blinking.
Stan: One, two, five!
Kyle: Three, sir.
Stan chucks the hand grenade at Binky. It explodes. Bits of Kenny's body splatter all over the yard, but Binky is no more.
Stan: That takes care of that problem.
Kyle: There's just one more thing we have to do.
Stan: What's that?
The townspeople are all gathered in City Hall for another cult meeting. Everyone is talking amongst themselves.
Mayor: Quiet down, people! Let's get this thing started! Now, Jimbo and Ned, did you succeed in your mission?
Jimbo: Yes, ma'am! We wiped out every wild animal in town!
Ned: Mm-also some cows. They looked like they might have been infected.
Mayor: Excellent. So, next on the agenda is—
Suddenly, a doctor rushes into the building. He looks disturbed.
Doctor: Mayor, I've got some unexpected news.
Mayor: What is it?
Doctor: Well, the test results came back and… well, the Tweak boy does not have rabies.
The townspeople gasp and begin to whisper.
Mayor: No rabies? How is that possible?
Stan: Because the cultists don't have rabies.
Stan walks into the room. Kyle and Charlie stand behind him. Stan is pushing Becca in a wheelchair. Becca's arms, legs, and torso are strapped to the seat, and she is struggling intensely against them, screaming wildly.
Mayor: Jesus, what's wrong with her?
Becca (thrashing her arms and legs): I WANT MY GAMESTATION! GIVE ME MY GAME STATION!
Stan: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Becca Pierzynski. Just a week ago, she was a normal, happy, five-year-old girl.
Sharon (looking shocked and concerned): Well, what happened?
Kyle: GameStation 3X. GameStation 3X happened, and in just one short week playing "Blood Avengers," this otherwise normal kid transformed into a maladjusted, violent lunatic.
Becca: KILL! GIVE ME MY GAMESTATION OR I WILL KILL!
The townspeople glance at one another, not sure of what's going on. Suddenly, Randy stands up, apparently experiencing a revelation.
Randy: I've got it! We were wrong! It wasn't rabies that was making all those cultists act insane!
Jimbo: Well, if it wasn't rabies, what the hell was it?
Randy: Violent video games! Don't you see? We didn't need to kill all the wild animals in town. We just need to destroy the video games!
The townspeople look at each other, still not sure what to think.
Stephen Stotch (standing up): He's right. We need to take matters into our own hands and stop this cult problem at the source! Let's destroy the GameStations!
The townspeople storm out of city hall, carrying torches and pitchforks. Once they're gone, only Stan, Kyle, Charlie, and Becca (still strapped in the wheelchair) remain. Becca is wide-eyed, pale, and trembling.
Becca: I want… I just want…
She dissolves into tears. Charlie pats her back.
Charlie: Don't worry, Becca. A week or two in rehab and you'll be as good as new.
Becca (crying): I just want my GameStation!
Stan to Kyle: What was the point of all this?
Kyle (smiling evilly): I'm teaching Cartman a lesson. I'm teaching him that he can't be an asshole about his new gaming console and get away with it.
Stan stares at Kyle oddly.
Cartman still sits on his couch, playing GameStation.
Cartman: Yes! Yes! I am the King of "Blood Avengers"!
The angry mob of townspeople storms into the house.
Cartman: What the-?
Stephen sets fire to the GameStation as the others holler wildly. A few men take turns smashing the console with bats until it is completely destroyed. Then they rush out as quickly as they entered. Cartman stares at the wreckage with an expression of utter horror.
Cartman: …The FUCK?