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56: Instant Karma

Darcy is at sea, Blat is on top of the world – and Eggerton has a kitchen nightmare of a different kind.

Game Master: Sean Howard
Players: Carter Siddall, Michael Howie and Marisa King
Story Consultant: Laura Packer
Game Consultant: Stephen Smith
Music and Sound Design: Eli Hamada McIlveen

Content warning: Electric shocks, tight spaces, panic, missing persons, institutional corruption, involuntary drug use, wheeling, dealing and reality television.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(muffled)

I fired the bazooka, and now I can’t get up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you made another poor decision and now you’re paying for it.

SEAN

Loping on all fours and then standing up quite tall are what appear to be a group of werewolves.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow, hello, welc—

SEAN

And then they are shoved aside by five porcupine were-people.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn, there’s other ones? Like me?

SEAN

The scorpions have gone incorporeal like a haze and you see a giant face in the sky.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Make your choice. The fae free for all time…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s nice.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Or choose your friends.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

My friends?

I think maybe you and I could work together.

SEAN (AS THE SHATTERING)

Yes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’ll get a nice presentation going.

SEAN

The Shattering begins to expand, taking over the entire sky.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Limbo! We might need to go to Limbo, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, everyone’s looking at me and I’m not sure I could do it if everyone is looking at me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Peri used to take me places.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Then you can take us places!

Pop!

CARTER (AS KARMA BURGER EMPLOYEE)

(over a tinny speaker)

Welcome to Karma Burger, please get out of the ball pit.

Panicked screams. Windows and furniture go smash as patrons flee the Karma Burger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so everybody just stay cool.

SEAN (AS KARMA BURGER EMPLOYEE)

Do you know how to cook?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Actually, yes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m wearing this stupid paper hat. Doesn’t that just make me an employee?

SEAN (AS KARMA BURGER EMPLOYEE)

Yeah, it checks.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You need to remember the hair net, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine, okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

HOTEL ROOM

An old-style TV set switches on with a hum.

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

(on the TV)

Hey, Joey!

CARTER (AS JOEY)

…Mr. Wisney?

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Come closer to the screen, Joey. Your parents aren’t up yet.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

Oh, gee, I didn’t even know I had turned it on, but, uh, okay. Mr. Wisney, how did you know my name?

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

I know everyone’s name, Joey! And you signed that 13-page form.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

That’s when I mailed in to become a member of the fan club!

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

That’s right, Joey! And because you’re visiting Earthland today, and your parents aren’t up and it’s early, I have a special treat for you.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

Is it breakfast?

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

It’s food-related.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

Oh, it’s food-related?

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

I have a special new show to show you that’s coming in live right now.

ON THE TV:

Blandly inspirational background music.

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

(stiff, as though reading off a teleprompter)

Hello, and welcome to Karma Burger. At Karma Burger, we make all your karma good karma.

We would like to introduce you to one of our newest employees who loves working at Karma Burger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So when do I start talking?

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

Just hold on now, Eccleston. Now, come on in, Eccleston.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hi, hi, hi, hi. My name’s Eggerton.

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

Oh. “Eggerton”. We care what our employees care about…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s good.

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

And he cares about his name.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I just feel like our name is our identity, and I just don’t understand why my name tag has these numbers and this barcode on it, though—

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

So don’t you enjoy working at Karma Burger?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s so much fun! There’s always new stickers, and there’s people coming in and yelling at me and baby vomit to clean up. And sometimes people snap at my ankles, and I don’t know why. But you know, most of the time, there’s just a little bit of slime on the floor we’ve got to get around. And then we can deliver these delicious, delicious burgers!

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

You heard it here first. We put the slime on the floor, not in your burgers.

Make sure you come to Karma Burger. Kids, if you come to Karma Burger—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve been trying to put the slime in the burger. I thought that’s why we had the slime.

MARISA (AS SPOKESPERSON)

—you get 10% off. So get your parents to bring you to Karma Burger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Bye!

HOTEL ROOM

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

What’d you think of that, Joey?

CARTER (AS JOEY)

Well, I thought that the Eccleston character was funny. But I don’t know. Something about the rampant capitalism made me a little depressed.

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

So I’m writing down “A little depressed”. Is that correct?

CARTER (AS JOEY)

I suppose so, Mr. Wisney.

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Thank you. Now, I’m going to show you a bunch of grownups making your food, but they have to do it by the rules, or they get shocked!

CARTER (AS JOEY)

…So just like how my parents make a meal in the kitchen?

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Exactly. Now, shut up and sit down and watch this!

ON THE TV:

Tense reality-show music.

SEAN (AS SUPERVISOR)

(over a speaker)

One order of fries!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, okay, okay. So we gotta get fries. That means potatoes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I have one!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You have a potato. Okay, now we need to chop the potato into fry potatoes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Chopping it!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, now—

SEAN

Roll 2d6 to chop potatoes.

MARISA

It’s a 7.

SEAN

So you drop half of them.

A zap of electricity.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaa! Oh, no. Why do they keep falling? Why did they build this on a 45 degree angle? More potatoes!

What was the last order? I didn’t hear the last order because there’s so many potatoes on the floor! And now they’re covered in slime…

SEAN (AS SUPERVISOR)

Can we have the first order of potato fries?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, they’re in the fryer. Yeah, okay, out of the fryer…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Put them down the chute!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And into the chute…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Put them down the chute!

SEAN

Roll 2d6 to get them out of the fryer and into the chute.

MIKE

That’s a 4!

SEAN

Ohhhhh. Not good.

MIKE

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The chute’s clogged! The chute’s clogged!

SEAN

Yeah, the chute’s clogged.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, I’ll go in and I’ll push it… I’ll push out the chute. I’m in. I’m inside the chute.

SEAN

And you no longer have Eggerton.

SEAN (AS SUPERVISOR)

We have order of veggie burger with pleather cheese.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, okay, they’re in the freezer. Wait, but I’m all alone. Eggerton, get out of the chute! Get out—

A warning beep.

SEAN (AS SUPERVISOR)

Order of fries is in jeopardy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I got a mop, Eggerton! I’m just going to… Grab the mop and I’m going to try and pull you out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ow! Why are you poking me!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, just grab it. I’ll try and pull you out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, and—nnnnngh!

Eggerton is pulled out with a loud pop.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, good, good, good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, we got veggie burgers. You got to get some pleather—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So where are the fries?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know. You got to cut some more.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are the fries in the—Okay, I’m going into the chute after the fries.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! No! Do not block the—arghhhh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, it’s dark and I’m stuck again, but I’ve got the fries!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well just keep pushing them out the other end.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(laughing)

Push the fries through the blockage. All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Out the other end, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They’re getting a little mushy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ve got to make the veggie burger. I’m frying it now. I’m frying it.

SEAN (AS SUPERVISOR)

Order delivered! Bing!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay. Okay, they got their mushy fries. Okay, can you help me back out of the chute?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, here’s the mop. Here’s the mop.

Pop!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Don’t go in the chute anymore. We got to get burgers down there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, now how many orders of fries do we have to do still?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Probably about three more.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, go get a potato.

SEAN

You have no fries in the fryer right now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s nothing in the fryer.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m working on the veggie burger!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, who’s getting the potatoes?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know. I don’t think we have enough employees here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why don’t we—okay, this system needs some work! All right, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to time out, and we’re just going to do it my way, okay?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so we take a little bit of burger stuff from this pile, we put it into this bowl, and we take a little bit of this special sugar and throw it in the bowl and stir it around—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Are you making fairy cakes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Nope, it’s a burger.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think this looks a lot like fairy cakes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaand I’m gonna mold it and okay! Down the chute we go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s not what they ordered!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s a fairy burger!

All right, next one up. What’s the next order?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Can we just cut potatoes like they told us?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, we’re going to do fairy potatoes?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, we’re just going to do potato—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The key of that is to carve it like…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you look at the Earth menu? Did you read through it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Darcy. Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Look, there’s pictures. They show you how to do it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This is a craft and an art. And I’m going to carve this potato to be the beautifulest fairy potato…

Warning beeps.

SEAN (AS SUPERVISOR)

French fry order is lost.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you doing over there?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, now I’m going to take these potatoes from the floor that are a little bit slimy and—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you just make a swan out of potatoes?

Warning beeps.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, it was a fairy angel, but—

Zapping sounds again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(blood-curdling scream)

Aaaaaaaaa!

The dramatic music ends.

ELI (AS ANNOUNCER)

Electric Karma Nightmare Chef will continue.

HOTEL ROOM

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Well, Joey, what did you think of that?

CARTER (AS JOEY)

(tearful)

…It reminded me of that time my parents almost got a divorce!

And plus, they were talking over top of one another, so I couldn’t really understand what they were saying a lot of the time?

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Okay, thanks, Jimmy. If you could just keep the notes to a minimum and just tell me how it made you feel.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

Hungry… yet sad.

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Ah, hungry, perfect, perfect. Hungry, yet a little sad, which might make you want to… binge eat?

CARTER (AS JOEY)

Well, that’s true.

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Perfect.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

It’s what my mom does.

SEAN (AS MR. WISNEY)

Thank you, Jimmy! Well, when your parents wake up, be sure to tell them that Wisney took care of you.

CARTER (AS JOEY)

…And binge eat?

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers, an improvised fantasy role-playing game set in the world of Alba Salix. Your Game Master is Sean Howard, with players Michael Howie, Carter Siddall, and Marisa King.

Episode 56: Instant Karma.

THE PARK

The singing of birds, and modern-sounding traffic rushing past in the distance.

SEAN

So standing on the far side of the street is a smelly and oily and bedraggled Eggerton. Next to him is Darcy, with a sweaty brow. And they’re waiting for a gap in the traffic to cross back to the park, where they can see the large hill that is Snowball, and the makeshift tents.

And… just waiting to cross the street.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s just that marketing said that we could probably keep doing the show, but you just need to, you know, maybe not yell so much. Because they were interested in our dynamic, they said. And like, they really liked the way that it was playing and they think that the audience—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ve only been working here for two days, and you talked me into it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I didn’t really talk you into it. I just suggested that in order for us to integrate ourselves into this current situation, maybe it would be helpful if we had, you know, jobs and some disposable income. And it’s funny how they just say like, well, yeah, here’s your money for your job, and then here’s the dues and the taxes and the oversight fees—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And you didn’t tell me we’re going to be on display for all these people staring at us while we’re—

SEAN (AS A PASSING CHILD)

Hey, Mom, look at that! Is that a Karma Burger? Can we go to Karma Burger, Mom?

CARTER (AS A PASSING PARENT)

Anything to shut you up, fine.

SEAN (AS A PASSING CHILD)

Okay, yay!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

See how much joy we’re bringing people?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So much joy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s incredible! I’m so happy that we’re here, even though it’s starting to feel a little bit like we’re never going to leave.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We need to figure out a way to get out of here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I mean, we need to just get across the road. I think once that blue—the blue car thing comes by, we can probably go. But no… I

Okay, now it’s past. You want to go? Should we go?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. Let’s go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, we’re going?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Going? Going? Now?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Go. Now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, let’s go.

A car zooms past, horn blaring

SEAN (AS THE CAR)

HOOOONK!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Okay! No, it’s fine! It’s fine. Okay, we didn’t see that one coming. Did you look both ways?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, I did. Aren’t they driving a little fast for a road where there’s kids crossing all over the place?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I would think so. But, you know, you never really know. That was one of those special vans that we’re not supposed to question ever, according to the manual.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, boy, the manual. Oh…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did you read your copy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I didn’t.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, I’ve got a second one with notes in it, if you might find that helpful. I highlighted the parts that I thought were fun, and I drew some pictures in the margin when I got bored.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where are you finding time to do this?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, when I’m studying.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re studying?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’m studying—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

To serve burgers.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it’s not just burgers. I mean, it’s to serve an experience, right? The whole thing here I’ve been reading about Wisney is that they want really, like, the whole experience to be wonderful.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But we don’t care about this experience! This isn’t our experience. We just ended up here through some crazy mistake!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It wasn’t a mistake. It was a brilliant tactical decision that saved a lot of lives…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And—and—it’s not by mistake. We signed the contracts. And—

SEAN (AS A PARK VISITOR)

Excuse me! Oh, sorry, I got my tentacle on you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh… heh…

SEAN (AS A PARK VISITOR)

Is the translator working?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I—

SEAN (AS A PARK VISITOR)

Can you understand me?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes! Yes.

SEAN (AS A PARK VISITOR)

Oh, yes, good. Sorry, I’m looking for the new dragon ride. You know where that is?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The dragon ride?

SEAN (AS A PARK VISITOR)

Yes. It’s—the map’s a little hard to read. It looks like it’s somewhere near a Kar-ca-burger?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s the Karma Burger, but you’ve got nine tentacles and you can only have seven tentacles to ride that ride. So you might want to try the actual—I think they call it the Stegosaurus ride or something like that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ste-go-saurus… Ste-go-saurus.

SEAN (AS A PARK VISITOR)

(disappointed)

Okay. I’ll go back to the… thanks.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, you’re welcome.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, I really wish that some of these places would come up with more creative names for things that don’t sound so fake. Like, do you ever notice that? Ste-go-saurus…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, but I think on Earth, that’s like a thing. So to them, maybe it makes sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Stegosaurus. Why does it have so many syllables?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ste-GOSS-aurus, maybe.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ste-GOSS-aurus?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know if I’m saying it right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What if it’s STY-gosaurus?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it could be that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Stygosaurus.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It could be that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s hard to do that accent.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(loudly, into a phone)

Louie, baby, I just got an idea! Something about a Stego-saur-ras, something like that. I’m going to have to call you back. Ciao, babe. Love ya.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so. What I’m hearing from corporate is that the new show about the Karma Burger isn’t working so well because you two keep arguing with one another.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why—I don’t think it was the arguing so much, Blat. I think it was the yelling that was kind of one-sided while I was bravely coming up with creative solutions.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Good notes. Always love to talk to you, babe.

(kissing sounds—then, to Darcy)

Okay, so how is he doing really? I mean, really, really.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m right here still.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re asking me?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, I’m asking you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But he’s been working there longer.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m like at your shoulder.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He seems to be a bit too obsessed with the rules. And we’ve just found out that the viewers like to have the outsider perspective that you’re delivering.

So maybe he could maybe take a page off of you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t know if he’s that obsessed with the rules. If you notice, he made—

SEAN

(phone ringing)

Doot doot do-do-do, doot doot doot!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, uh, great. No, I gotta pick this up, sorry—Louie! Babe! Is it you?

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

(over the phone)

Yeah, you know it’s me! Yeah, the Stegosaurus thing is rockin’! It was a great idea.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, so I’m thinking maybe people with more tentacles could be on the Stegosaurus. And we get uh…. the younger ones with the fewer tentacles to be on maybe the dragon that we’ve got in the park across the street.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

All right, all right. You want me to run that up corporate, or…?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Run that up corporate, see what they think about it…

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

I’m on it! I’m on it, boss, I’m on it!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, maybe we could get Mr. Wisney’s assistant to circle back on this.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Y‑you want me to go to Wisney’s assistant?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Go to Wisney’s assistant. Just, you know, shoot that up the flagpole and see if they like the idea of that. Yeah, sure.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Yeah, you know, it’s just… she’s a little scary. Um…

Okay, I’ll do it! I’ll do it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, very good, very good.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Okay, all right. Uh…

(awkward silence)

I… Should I hang up now?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Louie. Babe. I’m always the one that hangs up first. It’s a power move.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Well, I—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Annnd… hanging up.

Great. Okay. Now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat, you seem so energized these days.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know, here’s the thing. Two great things have happened. First, I found myself in a new career, late in life, that I didn’t think I would find so satisfying. Also, no one’s trying to kill us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, it’s funny because I kind of feel the other way. Like, maybe not they’re trying to kill us, but they’re okay with us dying horribly while trying to improve the bottom line, maybe. I don’t know. I’ve heard some other people muttering about that. And I was just wondering if maybe that’s—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy. Eggsy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Baby.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy baby.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Baby.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy, ciao, baby, baby.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Baby, baby chow.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you know how many people are watching Shock Kitchen?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, I don’t think you’re much older than me. I just don’t feel like “baby”… I’m not a baby—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You are on Shock Kitchen. We’re changing the title—I think we should do that right now…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Shock Kitchen.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Shock Kitchen just came to me. I think Shock Kitchen is a lot catchier.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Shock Kitchen. Mm hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s shorter. It’s catchier—Shock Kitchen!

So… a lot.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A lot of kids are watching Shock Kitchen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that’s fun.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Because they have to, because the shows are beamed directly into every hotel that’s around the park that Wisney operates.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s smart.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Shock Kitchen is a big hit. You are the star of Shock Kitchen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

I’m the star?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(lowers his voice)

See, now, I’ve told Darcy that maybe she’s the star of Shock Kitchen…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, she’s probably almost—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But don’t listen—you’re the real star of Shock Kitchen. You know I’ve always loved you, baby.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Of course.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ciao, baby, baby, ciao.

(kissing sounds)

Very good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I like the kissy face.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay! Darcy! So!

You’re now the star of Shock Kitchen. Doesn’t that sound better?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I just heard you tell Eggerton that—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You were here for that?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I’m here in the corner. You just don’t hear me.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(groans)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He can be the star! I don’t want to be the star.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, see, we need a dramatic foil…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Darcy, are you in that tent?

Silence. Mike starts giggling.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, are you taking a meeting without me? I thought we were having a meeting here, but now you’re taking a meeting without—are you seeking other representation?! You’re not going union, are you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you know how much it’s going to cost us to make Shock Kitchen if you make this union?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t “take meetings”. You “take meetings”. I just talk to people.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Darcy, there’s someone out here that’s looking to speak to you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, you can come in.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I can’t quite fit in that tent.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I’ll come out then.

Darcy emerges from the tent.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(a little gloomier than usual)

I’m sort of a big dragon, if you’ve forgotten.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, yes…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I know you’re famous.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s been a very long day.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I know famous people sometimes forget about the little people…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You have to remember, I signed up to do this, and in exchange, all the werefolk were allowed to stay here in the park, and you, and they weren’t going to kick us out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Plus, we get free Karma Burger!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And we get free Karma Burger. As long as Eggerton and I exchange our labour for—until the end of time, you can stay.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I know. I’m not trying to be ungrateful. Just… I haven’t really had a lot of time to talk with you in a while now. Since we got here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You’ve been really busy. I know you’re on the screens and things.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So what have you been up to?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

It’s nice of you to ask, but there’s a gentleman looking to speak—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, you’re not the one who wants to talk to me. There’s someone else.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah, I was looking for you. And I heard Blat yelling and thought you might be in there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that’s generally how he is these days. Okay, well, who wants to talk to me?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

He’s over there. He’s talking to the—trying to talk to the werecupines. It’s not going well. He says he’s the Commissioner or something?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hello? Hello? Apparently—

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

(flamboyant and overbearing)

Oh! Ow! Oh, Spike! Ha ha, quite the handshake. Yes.

Oh. Oh, yes. Hi! Are you Miss—what’s it say? I don’t have my glasses. Can you read this card for me? Is that you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Darcy Kimball, yeah.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes. Oh, yes. Yes! Delightful to—I’d shake your hand, but they seem to have very large thorns in them right now. Lovely friends you have here in this park…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. I haven’t had a chance to get to know them really well, but they seem like nice people.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Ha. Yes, I’m sure they are. I’m sure they are.

So I am just, you know, Commissioner of this section of Earthland and just stopping by, ha ha.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Great.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Now, I just put my jacket with the empty pockets right here. I’ll just hang it on this little branch… Yes. I’m sure all your permits are in order here?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. Permits for what? We work here for you, I guess, or your higher-ups.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Ah, yes, yes. You’re new here, right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, fairly recent.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes. Yes. Well, it seems you don’t have the proper permits. Miss… Darcy, is it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, it’s Darcy, and I don’t need any permits. We have an agreement with the park that we’re going to stay here while we—

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, you do, you do. Right. So if you would just show me those permits, we’ll just move right along.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There are no permits! I don’t have permits!

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, you don’t have permits. Well, that’s a small problem. Again, something I’m sure is just an oversight—oh, look, my jacket is so light, ha ha. So light.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…Why do you keep talking about your jacket?

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Okay, fine. You want to play it that way? Very well, Miss, what was it…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Kimball.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Kimball, yes. Okay. Very good, very good. Right, um…

(awkward silence)

Oh, you’re serious?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I… do you want something from me?

Are you looking for a bribe?!

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, no! No, no, ha ha. No, no, there’s no—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who are you?! What if I go to Mr. Wisney?

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, yes, why don’t you go to Mr. Wisney? I think you should definitely speak to Mr. Wisney about this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did he send you? Are you working for him?

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Of course I’m working for him. I am the Commissioner!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, this is so frustrating. I hate this place so much!

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Ah, don’t we all? Don’t we all?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t you talk to my friend Blat? He seems to know all about how these places work, and he’s a wheeler and a dealer, and he’s just fitting in here beautifully. So why don’t you talk to him about your stupid permits?

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Very well.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He’s in there, that tent over there. You can’t miss him. He’s a tall, supercilious fellow.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Ah. Supercilious…

Are there any more of those spiky things in there?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, good, good, good.

Excuse me!

Uh, what was his name? Sorry…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, I’m sure we’ll talk again, Darcy…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, Eggsy, when they order fries, you need to just make them fries.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but we didn’t have any potatoes because they kept falling on the floor. And it seemed wasteful to leave the floor potatoes covered in slime on the floor. So I just reused.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s just, Wisney doesn’t own the rights to fairy cakes. So we can’t show you making fairy cakes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There weren’t fairy cakes per se. There were fairy potatoes, and there was a fairy burger. Like, they’re variations. I mean, do we have to change them more?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, my lord, it’s the Commissioner!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The Commissioner?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, ha ha, hello, sir!

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Ahhhh, hello! Yes, hello, Mr. Blat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hello! Hi! It’s nice to see you!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m Blat.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Excuse me? What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m Blat. He’s not Blat. I’m—

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, but I’ve seen him on these screens.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, yes, this is Eggerton. He is the new star of Shock Kitchen.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Shock Kitchen?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re going to have to change the name for that. It was a much longer complicated name before. Shock Kitchen—very, very catchy.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Very catchy, very catchy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, I thought so. I thought so, too.

So, um, that’s him. And of course, you met Darcy.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, I did. I didn’t really get a good vibe from Darcy, if you know what I mean.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, she’s the dramatic foil, you see! The dramatic foil against Eggerton here, who is more of the upbeat lead that the kids all love.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Comedy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Exactly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Less comedy, more certain leadership.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, yes, yes.

Oh, so Blat, I’ve been sent your way. It seems there’s a small issue…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

With our accommodations? Yes, Mr. Commissioner, I’m glad you brought that up. See, we were hoping to perhaps get moved to a Wisney park so that we might actually have, you know, beds, and bathrooms…

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, but you are in a Wisney Park. This is Wisney Central Park right here where you’re parked.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, but this is literally a park

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, but that’s what you wanted, you said, and I believe that’s what the contract stated.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. Yes, yes. I just assumed that, heh, since we have two of the performers here for Shock Kitchen and I am a newly hired junior account executive, that perhaps we could be in one of the hotels that are part of a Wisney park…

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, ha ha, no, no. Only guests may be in the hotels. Wisney is very specific about that, yes. So sorry, but I’m sure you can take that up with Wisney. I’m actually here because of a small administrative issue. I’m sure it’s nothing. A bit of oversight, you know. It seems you don’t—no one seems to have the permits for you being here in this park.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Right. We’ve always been in this park and then we moved across the street to the Karma Burger where the show is being produced.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So we just thought maybe a move up from that would be to live indoors. I don’t know anything about any permits. We just assumed we would be getting some sort of paperwork at some point saying that we could move.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Paperwork? I’ve got a lot of paperwork!

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Oh, yes, do you? I just need—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, okay, here. Let me just—I’ll take this one out and unfold it… and okay, here you go! There’s this…

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Perfect, and—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then I’ve got this piece. And it’s purple, so you can have that one—

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Now, Blat, there’s just a small issue. We just need to have the proper permits in place…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And this one—

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

You know, and I’m sure, you know, special bureaucratic workers such as myself can straighten this out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And a yellow one…

Oh, ha ha, this is the contract from when they were in that hotel and they were trying to buy us—remember those contracts we kept getting? I still have one of those on me. Here you go, and there’s that one…

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Tell you what. Why don’t I just leave my briefcase here—my empty briefcase here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh, right…

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

And why don’t we meet tomorrow and we can continue this conversation. And I can pick up my briefcase then.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, you do realize that we’ve only been here for 72 hours and thus haven’t been paid yet.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

So tomorrow then?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Tomorrow. Great.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Very good.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’ll be picking up your briefcase… tomorrow.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes! I must say, it’s such a delight to speak to you! And you might want to tell the very large hill outside that maybe they should direct people your way in the future?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right, yes, of course. Our way in the future. Well, Mr. Commissioner, we’ll certainly endeavour to solve this problem tomorrow!

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Yes, I’m just going to go see the medics now about my hands.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, all right. Good luck with the medics and your insurance that you get from Wisney…

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Lovely to meet you. Nice to meet you, Ecclestein…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Eggerton.

SEAN (AS THE COMMISSIONER)

Ah, yes, yes.

The Commissioner leaves.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Do you think he wants this BOGO for a Tickle Tonic?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So when people ask you for paperwork, you think it’s okay to just give them any random piece of paperwork?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, he wasn’t really being that specific. And I’ve got all this paperwork around. You know, it’s the stuff I haven’t been able to mail in a while. Things that I’ve kept with me for reference, some of my notebooks and journals, some of the documentation, the maps I’ve drawn, cartography, notations on foreign languages and cultures, and a whole bunch of coupons. And some stickers!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What are you going to do with any of this stuff?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I thought I could just give him the BOGO and that would equal out the permit thing. Because I mean two Tickle Tonics for the price of one, that’s pretty good! I don’t know if they exist anymore, if the Shattering swallowed it with all time. But, you know—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I think maybe we’re in a separate dimension now.

Let me get you and Darcy together. Um, Darcy, when you started work on Shock Kitchen, did anybody give you any paperwork or permits or anything at all as an employee?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Are you talking to me, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, Darcy. I am speaking—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, don’t yell at me from inside the tent when I’m outside the tent.

Darcy enters the tent.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Now I’m inside the tent. Did you have a question for me?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Yes. I was wondering if, as an employee—

SEAN

(phone ringing)

Doot doot do-do-do, doot doot doot!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

—I’m sorry, I have to take this, it’s Louie—Louie, baby! How are you?

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Hey, I’m doing great, doing great, you know. Hey boss… so if I was having a little trouble maybe, you know, getting a hold of Wisney’s assistant, I just wanted to check, you know, if there’s an alternative… I know you’re such a problem solver.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, you know what? Here’s the thing. We’re going to put that on the back burner for now.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Back burner, back burner, yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m just wondering if perhaps, uh… you’ve figured out anything to do with permits allowing us to live in the park across the street?

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

(uncomfortable)

Oooh, oh, oh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

From the Karma Burger?

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

You’re not speaking to the Commissioner, are you, boss?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The Commissioner was just here, yes.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Oh. Yeah.

Yeah, that’s not good, boss.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s not good—

We haven’t seen any paychecks yet from the—well, let’s see, we’ve been here for three days, so I believe we’ve been shooting… yes, 70 hours of Shock Kitchen so far.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Wait, wait, wait—what’d you say, boss?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’ve been here for three days, we’ve shot 70 hours of Shock Kitchen

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Wait, boss, that’s brilliant! You renamed the show?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, yes, we’ve renamed the show! I think it’s catchier. It’s shorter. It’s succinct. I think that’s much better.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Oh, yeah, boss, I love it. Boss, let me—I’m gonna run that up the line. I’m gonna run that up the line. I gotta go!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, wait—

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Oh, but I can’t hang up, boss. You got to hang up. It’s your thing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes! I have to hang up. It’s my thing. So before I hang up, what about the permits allowing us to live in the park across from the Karma Burger?

(silence)

Do we have them? It just seems like we should be able to live here if we are employees of Wisney.

Silence.

SEAN (AS LOUIE)

Did you hang up, boss?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Hanging up, Louie, ciao, babe.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who even is Louie, Blat? Do you know who he is? Are you sure he’s not just someone who wandered into the park and then pretended to be an employee and is just stringing you along? Has he actually ever done anything effective for you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, I normally don’t like to just agree blatantly with Darcy, but all I’ve been hearing is “Louie, Louie, Louie, hey, Louie, Louie, baby,” over and over and over. So I’ve got some questions, too.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Listen, I was told that Louie is my assistant. When they offered me the job as a junior account executive, they said that I got an assistant. They just assumed I was already an employee because I was wearing a suit. And they’ve got this special thing where they have just tentacled people working for Wisney, they need to have the occasional half demon or fae or even a human who enjoys wearing extra large pants.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, but I seem to be working at the bottom of the heap, and you seem to be on top of the heap and really enjoying it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ahhh. Because of two things.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Louie?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no… Because I was wearing a tie, and I’m, um… not… female. So! How are we doing with Shock Kitchen? On camera, did anyone ever talk to you about permits or money or anything? Since we are employees, we have shot—congratulations, everybody—70 hours of Shock Kitchen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wow, that’s great. 70 hours! That’s…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Which reminds me, the break time is almost over. We gotta get back to Shock Kitchen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, can I just rinse off the shock scar? I mean, it just feels like it’s kind of itchy, and I want to put something on it maybe?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, but for continuity purposes, we’re just going to have to show it on camera at least once this episode.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I might as well just leave it then, right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, that’s fine. Fair enough.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s our plan? Is our plan Shock Kitchen, Blat, for… this is it? Because this isn’t why we’re here. We have to move on and figure out what to do with all our friends out there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello! What do you think I’m trying to do? Do you—I’m sorry. Do you think you people make a lot of money so far? No, so far you’ve made zero. Bupkis. Why? You’re on a non-union reality show.

I’m a junior account executive. I should be getting a high salary. I don’t know what that is. I’ve only been here for three days, and I haven’t even met Louie yet. But… you know, I should be making some money. And with money comes shelter. And with shelter comes a place to put all the were-creatures and the eagles and the antelopes and the sturgeon and… maybe a really big outhouse for the dragon? I don’t know what the real estate situation around here is exactly.

SEAN (AS A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT)

(from inside)

Five minute call, Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, very good, Louise. Thank you!

All right, so you’re going to make sure that that shock scar is visible… Remember, Darcy, you’re the dramatic foil. You’re angry. You don’t like it here. A lot of dark energy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Nooo problem.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Excellent, babe. That’s why I love you. You guys go on set, don’t get shocked too badly. Remember, fries go down the chute. But remember also… the caring.

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

It’s the beginning of the middle of The End of Time and Other Bothers.

ELI

Hello, hello! It’s Eli here with the announcements for this week.

And yeah, didn’t I tell ya, when things go sideways on this show, they keep going sideways… and off the rails and over the horizon.

I don’t have a whole lot to report this week, except that we’ve got one more of these in the can and then we’re getting together in a couple of weeks to record some more and find out what happens next. Because your guess is as good as ours for where this is going to go next.

And I also want to shout out some of our patrons continue on thanking the people that have been keeping us afloat in the flag flying here forever, it seems like.

So great big thank you to Chris Magilton; Emily Wager; Zach Israel; Jennifer Hughes; Becky Arenivar, whose name I’ve read out so many times on the credits—thank you, Becky! The Sleep With Me podcast, which is an excellent way to get your Z’s in, your zeds, with the assistance of Dearest Scooter;

Michele Marcotte, Carolyn Kreisel, Denise O’Malley, and Cass McPhee, a name you might know from Moonbase Theta, Out. Cool!

So thank you all so much from the bottom of our hearts and to all our other supporters, whether it’s financial, or shouting us out or telling a friend, it means so much to us.

All right! Let’s get on with the rest of the show.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: KARMA BURGER

We’re in the car with the mother and daughter from last episode.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

All right, Janine, so you got all of the stickers that you wanted?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Yes, Mummy.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

That’s excellent. It was very nice of them to do that for us, even though most of their restaurant was missing.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

I didn’t think it was allowed.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I saw a menagerie of animals nearby. I’m wondering if they had anything to do with it.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

I love animals!

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Oh, you should have seen the size of this one iguana. Big as a house, it was!

Janine, honey, Mummy’s very hungry, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait until we get home. Could you pull out one of the Mega Fries or something that I can eat all the way?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Yes, here you go!

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Now, you really shouldn’t do this when you’re driving. We’re just going to do a little cheat right here and now. It’s all right.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

It looks different than usual.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Well, I’m sure that they’re doing the best that they can with their limited resources after being crushed into powder.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

I think the fries all glommed together or something.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Well, that will sometimes happen in the fryer. It’s all right, Precious. Just give me what you’ve got.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Okay, here you go! I’m going to have one too.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Well, this seems to be more of a dessert item, but I’m sure it’s fine.

(eats, with much smacking of lips)

Um, um, um, um, um.

A knock at the window.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

I need you to roll down your window, ma’am.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Oh, my heavens! I didn’t even know you were here at the intersection. Oh, I’m all aflutter! All right.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

You need to roll down the window, ma’am.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I’m sorry, I just hit the air conditioner. I’m very sorry. Just give me a moment.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

The button right there—

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

And I’ve turned off the engine. Well, I’m sure that would make you feel better anyway if I did that. More comfortable. And—whoop! There goes the glove box. Okay—and the window. Yes, officer?

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Hi, ma’am. I just want to make sure everything’s okay. You’ve been—I’ve got reports that you’ve been parked here in the drive-through for the last three hours.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I thought I was on my way home!

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Oh, is that your—I’m sorry, you’re not alone. Is that your daughter?

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

That is my daughter.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Helloooo!

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

She’s usually not this energetic. I guess she’s just excited to meet a constable of the law.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Are you a flamingo?

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Or she thinks you’re a flamingo. Children and their imaginations!

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay. I’m getting a strange scent here. Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to step out of your vehicle.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

All right. I’ll step out of the vehicle and step towards you—hellooo.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Mommy, the stickers completely cover my face!

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I think those are supposed to go in the book, dear heart. Just a moment. Mommy’s talking to the constable of the law. Hello.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay, whoa. Little unsteady on your feet there, ma’am.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Oh! Well, maybe I just wanted to get caught by you—hello!

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay. Ma’am, have you been drinking?

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

No! Never! My husband was an alcoholic, and I don’t touch the stuff.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay. Sorry. Just had to ask, ma’am. All right—

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

But I’ll eat as many of these fries that you can get. Are we in the drive-thru right now? Perhaps we can get some more.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay. Ma’am, I’m just going to—here, can I have you come back to your car?

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Oh, all right, here in the car. Dear heart, do we have any more of those, Janine, darling? The fries, the special fries?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

I ate them all.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Oh, well, I don’t blame you. My, they’re addictive… I did not give an addictive substance to my daughter knowingly. I did it unknowingly, which means I did not fail as a parent.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

(into radio)

I’m going to need backup here. Over.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I’m sorry, darling. I thought I was talking to a constable of the law. You’re right, he is a flamingo!

MARISA (AS JANINE)

I told you so.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Coochie coochie coo!

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Yeah, I need two cars and the paddy wagon—

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Coochie coochie coo!

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Oh, she’s—please don’t do that to my chin.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

You’re pink!

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay, I’m just going to have to ask for your keys, ma’am.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Are you going to drive me home, flamingo?

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Yes, ma’am.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Oooh! It’s like one of those acts you see at the circus, Janine. The animals are going to do something entertaining, like drive our car.

Here you are—oh, that’s my wallet! I’m sorry.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay, now just—

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I’m very aware of my teeth at the moment. Is that normal? Teeth. Teeth. I have so many teeth. Janine, how many teeth do you have?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

84.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

84! I probably have twice as much just because I’m so old.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Ma’am, I’m just going to need to take this… whatever this food was.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

French fries. We had them Mega’d. We wanted to get the stickers, so I agreed to anything that they could provide. And they wanted to upscale for an additional fifty cents, and I agreed.

Why am I explaining this to a flamingo?

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Okay, ma’am. So we’ll get some help here right away.

And for the rest of you, please remember, be careful what you eat and visit OtherBothers.com to save this poor family that has been thrust into a horrible, horrible state because of trusting a fairy.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Dear heart, go rummage around on the floor in the half-exploded building. See if we can find any more of these Mega Fries.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

I’m on it!

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

I’ve never dated a flamingo, but I’m willing to make an exception.

MIKE (AS A BEAR)

Excuse me, ma’am.

CARTER (AS MOTHER)

Yes?

MIKE (AS A BEAR)

I see that you’re interested in this flamingo, and I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried bear.

Laughter.

SEAN (AS POLICE OFFICER)

Go to OtherBothers.com, please.

MIKE (AS A BEAR)

I just wanted to participate.

Music sting.

THE PARK

In the distance, the sound of a roller coaster, and the whistle of a tourist train.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Oh, hey, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Aren’t you supposed to be on set?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I was.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

How are you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Not great, Snowball. Not great.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

You and Blat seem to be fighting a lot.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, we’re supposed to be doing something with our lives, not doing some reality TV show where Eggerton constantly gets shocked and stuck in a chute! I mean, that’s even low for him. He’s better than that.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

I don’t mind doing the rides…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

They’re making you do rides?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah, well, if they have enough tentacles, they can ride my tail.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is just unacceptable! We’re not all supposed to be here for other people’s entertainment! We’re not carnival rides!

Plus, Eggerton’s really bad in that kitchen. He can’t make fries to save his life. He just keeps making them into fairy cakes.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(chuckles)

Really?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes! But for some reason, the audiences love it. I don’t know what’s going on.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I’ve been meaning to check it out, but there’s… across the street over there, the hotel, you can almost see one of the screens from this side of the street.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But this is crazy. I don’t even know where we are! I mean, we gotta get out of this park so we can figure out where we actually are.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

I’ve been meaning to talk to you, but you had a lot on your plate. You should get some rest, and then we can talk.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, well, I was going to rest now, but Blat’s going to come storming over soon, yelling at me that I’m not on set, and I ruined the take. Not that I know what a take is, really.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. Why don’t you… here. You can—

SEAN

And he starts to shift, and the ground shakes.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Why don’t you come here—I’ll curl up around you, and you can get some sleep.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(yawning)

Oh, thanks, Snowball. It’s been nonstop since we got here.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

…And when you wake up, we can talk about how Reginald didn’t make it.

ON SET

SEAN

Blat, your phone is ringing nonstop. Louise is trying to find you. No one can find Darcy. You’re now an hour delayed on the shoot, and you’re trying to evade everyone. You’re trying to find Darcy.

You step outside Karma Burger, and you see Darcy, but dressed really strange. And she’s just getting out of a car.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, ha ha, very good! So they are finally treating the stars properly! Very good.

Okay, Darcy, you’re an hour late. I don’t need you pulling this diva crap, okay? Even though we’ve already finished season two.

So why don’t you get in there, get the old hair net on, and we’ll give them another fun-filled episode of Shock Kitchen.

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

I’m sorry. Do I know you? Do you… work here?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I see. So we’re really playing this hard.

So the season’s up. You want to renegotiate the contract. We haven’t even got permits yet allowing us to live in a park! You just have to work with me a little bit so that maybe we can improve our living situation, and we can, I don’t know, have cages that the werepeople can live in or something. But for now, why don’t you go into Shock Kitchen and be the dramatic foil to Eggerton’s crazy, wacky ideas of what fast food cuisine is.

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

You are a very tense individual. And you talk a lot. How do people put up with you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

People have to put up with me. I am an account executive. I’ve been here three days, and I’ve already been promoted twice!

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

Oh, boy. You sound insufferable.

Do you know where I am? What is this place?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is the Karma Burger across the street from the park. This is the set for Shock Kitchen. So I need you to—

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

Blat? Blat? Corporate is on the line! I’m trying to keep them busy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, Louise, I’m just talking to, ha ha, to Darcy here. We’re just going get her in…

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

Oh, blessings! Okay, I’ll delay them a little longer, sir.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, very good, thank you.

Okay, so this is the set of Shock Kitchen. So I need you to do what you’ve been doing and shoot another episode of Shock Kitchen. So why don’t we go in here and film Shock Kitchen?

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

I don’t know what “Shock Kitchen”! is. Maybe you could explain to me what “Shock Kitchen” is!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Okay, I did not think that you would be the one to pull this diva crap. It was going to be Eggerton all the way. Why? Because—

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

Who is Eggerton?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Exactly! Who is Eggerton?! Because you should be the star of Shock Kitchen! How about this? I’ve just made you the star of Shock Kitchen! Is that what you want, Darcy? Fine. Your name is above the title. I’ll even give you a producer credit if that’s what you want. But I need you inside right now filming Shock Kitchen.

We won’t even shock you, okay? We’ll shock Eggerton twice as much. Why? Because you’re the star.

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

This is the sickest thing I’ve ever heard! I don’t have any idea what you people are doing here…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Would you rather be filming Slime Bucket? Two streets over, they’re filming something called Slime Bucket! What is it? I don’t know, but I don’t think you want to be on it!

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

Are you shocking people for fun?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…No, it’s called Shock Kitchen because we don’t do that. Slime Bucket is obviously a worse show!

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

I don’t know. “Slime” sounds better than “shock.”

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

There you are, Blat—sorry! Corporate wants us back on schedule, and Eggerton has gotten himself stuck in the chute again…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, Louise, I need you to find out if there’s a cast opening in Slime Bucket, because I think maybe somebody wants to be moved over to Slime Bucket. I have no idea why.

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

No, no, no! Corporate won’t be happy with that. We have to get back to filming.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No. No. They won’t. They won’t. They won’t. Okay. Okay. So he’s stuck in the chute? Can we get a camera down there to film him in the chute?

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

Okay, I’m on that. I’m on it. They’re just waiting for the—you know, they want to see the “foil”, as you call it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, the foil… Okay, I’ve got an idea. Um—

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

Oh, hi, Darcy.

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

Hi, uh… What’s your name?

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

Louise. Louise.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Get her into hair and makeup. If she says she isn’t Darcy, uh… she’s being method.

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

I am hungry, actually.

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

How about a tea? Would you like a tea?

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

Oh, a tea would be great.

SEAN (AS LOUISE)

Come with me, dear. Come with me. Okay, let’s go get you into makeup.

MARISA (AS OTHER DARCY)

Thank you…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, technical teamsters! We’re taking a five. I’ve just got to make a—

SEAN (AS A TECH)

It has to be a ten by union rules.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…You know what? We’re going to make it a twelve. Go nuts.

SEAN (AS A TECH)

Ohh!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just need to talk to our star in the chute…

Eggsy, what’s happening down there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

So I put another order of fries covered in slime with pleather cheese on it down. And then I got kind of snacky and wanted to try it and see how it was. So I went in to get it and I fell in. But then all of the other stuff I’ve been trying to send through the chute was down here too. So I started snacking on it and I kind of got stuck.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sounds great. How do you feel about being your own dramatic foil?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I feel like I’m always a foil and everyone else around is just taking away from that most of the time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I agree completely. So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to film a lot of stuff with you in the chute.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

In the chute.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Then we’re going to get you out of the chute. You’re going to be playing a new character named Eccleston, who is your twin brother.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

My twin brother?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And then this guy is going to be like, “Oh, Eggerton’s done it again!” And we’re going to film them in the corner of the restaurant over there. And then if we cut it together, it’ll look like there’s two of you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…Okay, so where are we getting the other Eggerton?

THE PARK

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Oh, oh, you’re waking up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(yawns)

Oh, that was—I needed that, Snowball, thank you very much.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I hope I didn’t wake you up with the screaming kid. Wait, let me put him down.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I don’t think—

MIKE (AS SCREAMING KID)

(screams, and runs away)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think anyone could have woken me up from that sleep.

(yawns)

I seem to remember, though, as I was dozing off—excuse me—you saying something about…

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(huge yawn)

Nnnf, you’re making me yawn.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Whew… breath.

Something about Reginald?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. I was trying to talk to you, but I know you’ve been busy filming…

Everyone made it through when we came here, but I’ve checked with all of our friends, and no one saw Reginald arrive.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well… how could Reginald not come with us?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I don’t know, maybe the GM didn’t want to have two voices the same.

MIKE

(laughing)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s not an answer, Snowball.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah, I’m not sure. We thought maybe he went somewhere different. So I sent the werecupines to check all the closets and check the area. They say there’s not even a scent of Reginald.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, Reginald’s the magical guy. Maybe he had his own teleportation abilities, and he went somewhere good, and nothing bad happened to him.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s what I’m going with, and you probably should not mention this to Blat. He’ll be pretty upset… although I wouldn’t mind him getting upset right now.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Because otherwise he’s been sucked out into the void.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, no, I don’t think that happened.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. Okay.

I just wanted you to know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, thanks.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

They’re still filming. You should probably get to set.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ugh. I don’t want to go to set. I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to get off this park.

The train whistle sounds again.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I know. You’ll find a way, you always do.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I have to have time to ride the little train that comes through all the way to the end to see where it goes. I’d ask you, but you can’t fit in it.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I can get you on that next train.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Really?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s always so crowded.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I’ll enjoy this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Do your magic.

Train whistle.

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

(absurd Italian accent)

Okay, everybody, that was the train ride! Everyone enjoy the train?

Small children cheer.

SEAN (AS A SMALL CHILD)

I want to go again!

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

You know what? You can go again! Everybody, back on the train!

More cheering and shouts of “Yay!”

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

Eh? What’s that?

Snowball lets out a massive roar, and the passengers run for their lives, all screaming in panic.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

There you go, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, but I need someone to drive the train. I don’t know how to, so keep that guy.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Give me a second…

Hey, you.

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

Aaaaaaaaaaa! Oh, wait. You don’t appear to be doing anything to me.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Yeah. I need you to drive the train for this very important VIP. You might notice her from Shock Kitchen.

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

You’re‑a the star of Shock Kitchen!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Take me to the end of the line.

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

We go to the end of the line—

Wait, are you coming?

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No.

CARTER (AS TRAIN DRIVER)

You don’t‑a fit!

We go to the end of the line!

Train whistle.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers with your Game Master, Sean Howard, and players, Marisa King, Carter Siddall, and Michael Howie.

Dialogue editing by Michael Howie. Transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King. Music and sound design by Eli Hamada McIlveen. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Steven Smith. Supporting producers: Ren and Becky Arenivar.

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon. Supporters get access to our trove of bonus material and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord. Look for the Patreon link at otherbothers.com.

OUTTAKE: EARTHLAND

The whole table joins in a weird, slightly discordant song:

MIKE

Boop, boop, boop, boop…

CARTER

Bing bing bing bing…

SEAN

Doo-doo-doo-doo…

MARISA

Earthland! Earthland!

Welcome to the Earthland.

Drive your car

And eat your food!

Play with your children here!

SEAN

Earthland, Earthland…

MARISA

Earthland! Earthland!

SEAN

Okay, there we go! Beautiful. It’s amazing. Okay, cut!

All right, let’s record that again, everyone, this time with real instruments—

MIKE

Miss Dion, this time could you keep your eyes open? It looks creepy.

MARISA

Vinnie, I think you’re saying “Ertland”.

It’s Earthland. Earthland.

MIKE

Ee-arth? Ee-arth?

MARISA

“Errrth”.

MIKE

Okay, but it’s spelled Ee-arth.

MARISA

Yeah, I know. It’s very weird.

SEAN

Okay.

CARTER

A subsidiary of the Wisney Corporation!

MARISA

(laughs)