Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger – Part II

A radio clicks on.  Static is heard, as well as a high-pitched whine as the radio tunes to a good station.

ADVERTISER: . . . and you’ll never have to worry about blood stains again.  Now stayed tuned for the continuation of Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger, and remember that when the Captain needs to deal with those pesky bodily fluids, he uses Uncle Popee’s Excrete-A-Gone for the stains.

A trumpet fanfare.

ANNOUNCER:  Look up – er, down, at the street.  Who is that masked man, dashing through traffic and knocking over hot dog vendors with the greatest of ease?  Why, it’s none other than Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger, the superhero with the heart of a warrior, the strength of a giant, and the inability to read even the simplest instructions on a box of Poptarts that even a mentally challenged, blind 7-year old could read.

CAPTAIN: (from a distance) Hey!

ANNOUNCER:  He also has super-hearing!  In last week’s adventure, the newest villain to plague the streets of Ruby City, The Jack of Trades threatened to blow up the town’s whiskey distillery if, thereby crippling the entire adult male population, if his demands were not met.  The Captain dashed off to stop him, but he was foiled once again when he could not comprehend a map of the city.  Now he must consult with his greatest foe if he is to find a way to win the day!

LIBRARIAN: (stamping a book) And this is due back in two weeks.  Enjoy!

The sound of glass breaking.

CAPTAIN:  It is I, Captain Solecis –

LIBRARIAN:  Oh lord, not you again.

CAPTAIN:  Yes, me, Captain Sol –

LIBRARIAN:  Why can’t you leave us alone?!

CAPTAIN:  Captain –

LIBRARIAN:  First, you come and pee all over my desk, then you get struck by lightning, completely frying my computer, and now you’re over here every week asking for help reading every single piece of paper you find.

CAPTAIN:  Not every week.

LIBRARIAN:  EVERY WEEK!  And every time, you come through the window because you’re too stupid to read the signs pointing to the front door!  Huge glass windows are expensive, you know?!

CAPTAIN:  Well –

LIBRARIAN:  And you always hit me after I help you.

CAPTAIN: (boisterous laugh) Yes, we have fought many battles, and while you are a dastardly foe, I have always won in the end.

LIBRARIAN:  My medicals bills are stacking up –

CAPTAIN:  But I am not here to regale your patrons with our past encounters.  Now, I need your help to stop the newest villain threatening this city.

LIBRARIAN:  I’ve started to talk to a lawyer –

Captain slaps the librarian.

CAPTAIN:  I know you loathe me, and I you, and someday we shall fight until one of us is no more, but dammit man, there are more important things to worry about!  Don’t you listen to the radio?

LIBRARIAN:  There are no radios allowed in the library.

CAPTAIN:  The Jack of Trades is threatening to blow up the town’s whiskey supply, and I need your help to stop him.

PATRON:  The distillery?!

The sound of many people in the library fainting.

LIBRARIAN:  What the hell?

CAPTAIN:  (taking out a map) You may be a pretentious, smarmy bastard and I hate everything you stand for, but you’ve done fair by this city.  Let us join forces.  Read this map, and help me find the distillery so that I may stop the Jack of Trades before it is too late.

LIBRARIAN:  Oh god.

CAPTAIN:  Yes, call upon your evil and ancient eldergods, and call forth your powers to decipher any written language.

LIBRARIAN:  You really are stupid.

CAPTAIN:  You know all my abilities to comprehend any written symbols has been stripped away!

LIBRARIAN:  You’re not dumb because you can’t read, or at least not just because you can’t read.

Captain knocks a lamp off a desk and onto the ground.

LIBRARIAN:  Hey!

CAPTAIN:  We don’t have time for this!  That distillery is going to be gone soon, and I need to know where it is!

LIBRARIAN:  It’s right next door, you moron!

CAPTAIN:  What?

LIBRARIAN:  If you had opened your eyes before jumping through windows and knocking out all the men in the library, you would have seen that the distillery is the building right by this one.

CAPTAIN:  Oh.

LIBRARIAN:  The distillery is the company that funds this library!  That’s why we’re called Ruby City’s Drink n’ Read Book Depository.

CAPTAIN:  I always wondered about that.

LIBRARIAN:  The two buildings are even attached.  There is a hallway down the east wing that heads straight into the main show room of the distillery.

CAPTAIN:  By Jove!  I can use that hallway to sneak into the distillery, giving me the element of surprise!  Your powers and ancient knowledge helps save the city once again.  But the time for your wily incantations and archaic wordsmithing is over, and the time for brazen action is at hand.  Farewell, my greatest foe.  Today we have found a common ground and have become allies, but I swear someday I shall destroy you and your confusing building of . . . confusion.

Pause.  Captain slaps the librarian.  Pause.  Captain knocks another lamp to the ground.  Pause.

LIBRARIAN:  Get the hell out of my library.

Captain runs off.

NARRATOR:  And so Captain Solecistic is off!  But will he get to the distillery in time to stop the Jack of Trades, or will the distillery –

LIBRARIAN:  And library!  We’re attached, you know.

NARRATOR: Will he be able to save the distillery and library before the Jack of Trades incinerates it?  Will the Captain be able to find the east wing without being able reading any of the signs posted in the library?  Will the Librarian press charges against the Captain for breaking yet another window?

LIBRARIAN:  YES!

NARRATOR:  Tune in next time to find out the answers on Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger!

Fanfare plays.

A continuation from last week’s script.

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Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger – Part I

Static and the high pitch whine of radio channels changing.  Bits of music can be heard, along with some Spanish, but then the radio clicks in on its wanted destination.

NEWSMAN: . . . and they never did find the other shoe.  That’s it for tonight’s evening edition of Newest Nightly News at Night.  We’ll be back at the same time tomorrow.  And make sure to catch our midday edition, the Daily Data Deadline Dispatch.  I’m you’re host Phillip G. Rubenfelderheimerloben, bidding you a good night.  Now stayed tuned for the latest installment of The Adventures of Captain Solecistic, the Illiterate Avenger!  But first, a word from our sponsors at Blunt Briefs, makers of the underwear that don’t mess around with small talk.

A jingle plays.

ADVERTISER: BUY OUR PRODUCTS!

The same jingle.  Silence.  Then a horn plays a small fanfare.

MAN 1:  The world is full of criminals and corrupt philanthropists.

MAN 2:  They take our money, burn our houses, replace our jobs with robots and eat our babies.

WOMAN:  Is there any one that can help us?!

NARRATOR: This sounds like a job for –

Theme music.

EVERYBODY: (with echo) CAPTAIN SOLECISTIC!

NARRATOR:  That’s right, CAPTAIN SOLECISTIC, THE ILLITERATE AVENGER!  When Ruby City’s top reporter Parker Gently accidentally angered Thoth the Egyptian God of Language by urinating on the reference desk in the library while drunk, he was cursed by having his ability to read stripped away!  But the same curse also granted him super strength, super hearing, mild toenail fungus, and an unquenchable thirst to fight crime!  Now he battles the forces of evil and stands for what is true and good and happy and . . . stuff. But he must keep his new powers hidden away or else!  What adventure will he get into today?!

The music changes from the theme to a jaunty tune.  The sounds of a newsroom.

NARRATOR:  We find our hero in the office of the Ruby Bugle’s editor-and-chief, Dirk Harpoon, dictating his latest story.

PARKER: “ . . . and he’ll never be able to abuse the good people of Ruby City ever again.”

CHIEF:  That’s a great story Gently, but it needs to be written down!  I can’t remember my wife’s name, let alone an entire story!

The phone rings.

CHIEF: (answering) Yeah?

RECEPTIONIST:  It’s Barbara on 3.

CHIEF:  Who?  I don’t know a Barbara.

RECEPTIONIST:  It’s your wife –

Dirk hangs up.

CHIEF:  You used to write all your stories down, then you suddenly stopped.  What’s the skinny on that?

PARKER:  But chief, it is written down.  That’s why Robbie is here.

ROBBIE:  (popping out from behind Parker)  HI YA CHIEF!

CHIEF:  Jesus the Lord Slurping Soda on the Cross, I didn’t even see ya kid.

PARKER:  You get all of that Robbie?

ROBBIE:  Yeah, I got it all Mr. Gently, but you sure do talk fast.  My hand’s cramping all up.

The sound of someone slapping Robbie.

CHIEF:  Shut up and be grateful.  When I started in the business, I acted as an eraser when they printed a mistake.  5000 copies of the Bugle corrected by me and my tongue.  And did you hear me complainin’?

ROBBIE:  No.

CHIEF:  That’s right!  The ink was made with lead back then and I would pass out before I could say a word.  Not that it mattered as my tongue would be useless for the next thirteen days and the fumes from the machines did a number on my memory.  (Pause.)  What was I just talking about?

PARKER:  You were saying how much you liked my story.

CHIEF:  Oh yeah.  But start writing it down!

PARKER:  Don’t worry chief, I got it covered.  (to Robbie)  There’s a good boy; here’s a condom.

ROBBIE:  Gee, thanks Mr. Gently.  And it’s new!

PARKER: Now walk that story to the printer.

ROBBIE:  I won’t just walk there Mr. Gently, I’ll run!

Robbie leaves.  A door opens and closes.

CHIEF:  What a slow news day!  Nothing is going on around here!

NARRATOR:  Just then who walks in?  Why it’s none other than –

A knock.  The door swings open.

PARKER:  Stacy Bateman, top columnist at the Ruby Bugle and currently having a torrid love affair with yours truly.

Pause.

STACY:  I hate that you say that every time I walk into the room, Parker.

CHIEF:  What is it Bateman?  I’m busy talking about how nothing is going on.

STACY:  Turn on your radio, Chief, you’ll want to hear this.

A radio is turned on.

REPORTER:  This just in!  A terrorist calling himself ‘The Jack of Trades’ is threatening to blow up a local building.  Here’s an excerpt from his message to the police now:

JACK:  I demand the city hand over to me ten million dollars in unmarked silver dollars by the end of the day, or I will blow up Ruby City’s beloved bourbon distillery!

CHIEF:  NO!

The chief falls over.

STACY:  Chief!

PARKER:  He’s fainted.

REPORTER:  At present, there are no authorities at the scene as they all have mysteriously fainted after hearing the message.  It seems that Ruby City’s whiskey days are coming to a close.

The radio is turned off.

PARKER:  We have to do something!

STACY:  But what can we, masters of the written word, do to stop a mad man like that?  In these situations, the ability to read and write doesn’t mean a darn.

The sound of more people falling over.

STACY:  Oh no, it looks like the art department has heard the news.  I’m to go and help.

PARKER:  Reading doesn’t mean a darn?  Well, this looks like a job for –

An explosion, and a trumpet flare.

CAPTAIN:  – CAPTAIN SOLESISTIC, THE ILLITERATE AVENGER!  I have to stop The Jack of Trades before it’s too late.  The radio says he’s at the bourbon distillery, so I only have to look at a map!

He unfolds a map.  Pause.

CAPTAIN:  Damn.  I forgot that maps must be read.  This villain is more dastardly than I thought; always one step ahead.  It looks like I’ll once again need to turn to my old nemesis to help me in my quest to help save the city.

Dramatic music.

NARRATOR:  Who is this mysterious nemesis?  And can the Captain trust him, or will he be betrayed?  Who is the Jack of Trades, and why does he want to blow up all the sweet, lovely, life-giving whiskey?  Will the Captain be able to find his way to the distillery before it’s too late?  (pause)  You might want to get on that, by the way –

CAPTAIN:  Oh.  Right.  Up, up, and to places!

Sound of a glass breaking as the Captain jumps through the window.

NARRATOR:  For the answers to these questions and more, tune in next week for the exciting conclusion of CAPTAIN SOLECISTIC: THE ILLITERATE AVENGER!!!  Now a word from our sponsor.

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Radio clicks off.—Script to be concluded next week.  Created with Time For More Cake; check out his blog. —