Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better
Monday, September 27, 2010
Your Wild Kingdom Mind Tricks Won't Work On Me, Marlin Perkins
Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler appear on screen, in a dimly lit place, with strange creatures walking about. Fowler looks something the worse for wear, with bandages visible on some of his skin, and his khaki clothes appearing tattered. He also has a cast on his right arm.
"Good evening, and hello from a place long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I'm Marlin Perkins and this is my good friend Jim Fowler. Welcome to the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Tonight we're going to show you the strange new wildlife and species of this galaxy, where we've been spending the last few days thanks to the assistance of the Mutual of Omaha's hyperwarp drive program. If you've been wondering why your premiums have tended to be high lately, well, those hyperwarp drives don't come cheap, you know, but they do allow us to travel across the stars. Jim, how are you feeling tonight?"
"Still a little dizzy, Marlin. And I still have first degree burns from that encounter with the balrog."
"Yes, but wasn't it fun getting into a tussle with that big fellow?"
"Fun isn't the word I would use for it, Marlin."
"Well, moving on, we've been exploring this galaxy for a few days. It's a wonderous place, with a wealth of different species seemingly everywhere. Tonight you'll see a species of small green people with large ears who tend to speak in inverted order. And we've encountered ewoks and jawas, tauntauns and banthas, and wookies and Tusken raiders, also called Sandpeople. Jim had a bit of a run in with one of them yesterday."
"Yes, he hit me with that staff of his. It really hurt. If my family is watching, please call my lawyer. I don't want to do this show anymore."
"Oh, Jim, you and your sense of humour. We're here on the planet Tatooine, a desert world on the outer rim of the galaxy, a hot and inhospitable place. We've come at the invitation of a local entrepeneur, if you will, and you have to see him to believe him."
The camera pans across a large dim room, filled with creatures far and wide, odd looking to say the least. At the far end of the room, a large tan-yellow slug like creature reclines on a huge platform. It has arms, disinterested eyes, and a really, really big body. A little creature sits at its side. Various slave girls of various humanoid species dance before it, scantily clad, chained up, the creature clutching the end of the chains.
"This is Jabba the Hutt."
"Marlin, I just want to go home. I'm still dizzy from the concussion. And I think my arm has an infection."
"Later, Jim. Let's go say hello to Jabba. Now, ladies and gentlemen, you'll see these small devices in our ears. They're called Universal Translators. It comes in handy when you're talking to the Hutts, who, as it is, do not speak English, and tend to destroy translator droids on a regular basis. Jabba has one in his ear, as you might see. We'll be able to understand him, and he'll understand us. For you at home, we'll put in the subtitles during editing."
Marlin and Jim approach Jabba, who seems to nod, and laughs in a deep, jovial, guttural way.
"Hello, Marlin, hello, Jim. Ho ho ho ho ho ho."
"Jabba, you've been called a gangster."
"Oh, that's nonsense. Gangster is such a harsh word, Marlin. I provide goods and services under the table for my clientele. Sometimes it's gambling. Sometimes it's a protection racket. Sometimes it's prostitution. Sometimes it's slave labour. Sometimes it's narcotics. Have you tried the Corellian Narcodust by the way?"
"Yes, Jim and I both did, and we had some very interesting hallucinations, by the way."
"Good. As I was saying, I don't think of myself as a gangster. I'm just a businessman doing his best to get by in a fairly repressive empire. Oh, sure, from time to time I have to bribe Imperial officials, and from time to time I have to remind everyone who's boss. Look over there."
The camera pans to a far wall, where a block hangs on a wall. A man seems suspended in some dark material, frozen in time.
"That's a smuggler by the name of Solo, who once screwed me over on a smuggling shipment. He's frozen in carbonite. Makes a nice wall decoration, doesn't he? I'm sure this won't come back to haunt me. It's not like he has any Jedi friends or anything that'll come after him, right?"
"I'm sure he won't, right, Jim?"
"My burns still hurt, Marlin."
A low rumble fills the chamber, seemingly from below.
"Oh my. What was that sound, Jabba?"
"Oh, that's the Rancor monster. We use him to amuse ourselves. Last time we dropped an annoying Gungan named Jar Jar Binks down into the pit. The poor fool didn't last ten seconds."
The camera pans down into a grate in the floor, where a large beast, vaguely reptilian, stalks far below in a dark, dank pit.
"Wow! That's fascinating! Jim, how about you go down there and say hello to the Rancor monster?"
"No, Marlin. I'm not going down in there."
"We're going to wait up here while Jim heads in there and shows the Rancor monster what he's capable of."