Put the Pen Down and Back Away Slowly

Bob Kiwi and Company Take on the Mary Sue Litmus Test

Bob: Jennies, tell me that title doesn't say what I think it says.
Jennies: Suck it up, Kiwi. I was bored, my creativity demons were on strike, and one can only wallop Drake with a club-ful of razor blades and rusty nails for so long before it loses that special…how should I put it?
Drake: *yeurk!*
Jennies: Not quite what I was going for, but well said nonetheless. Before it loses that special “yeurk!” that makes it the quality entertainment it is.
Drake: (whimpers)
Jennies: (shrugs) Besides, it was this or Haiku.
Beak: (striking theatrical pose)
              Oh Great BaNAna
              Bright Shining Light That Guides Me
              Through Life's Trials and Turns.
All: *blink* *blink* 0_o;
Bob: So! On with the Litmus Test!
Ferdie: Well said.
Beak: (grins) Thanks.
Ferdie: (mutters) I wasn't talking to you.
Beak: I've got lots more. Wanna hear them?
Jennies: (nervously rifling through stack of papers) I'm a little busy right now, Beak. But I'm pretty sure Drake would love to hear them!
Drake: Urgle?!?
Ferdie: (rolls eyes) I love how we never lose track of our goal.
Jennies: Ferdie, might I remind you that there are fans out there who would just love to see you fall prey to the feminine wiles of a certain intergalactic personage I could mention.
Ferdie: (eyes wide, fearful and pleading) Please, no. She'll hurt me.
Jennies: Glad we understand each other. Now, then: Avengers, assemble! (gestures dramatically)
All: *sound of crickets chirping*
Jennies: *hoists up Beak*
Beak:     Your fine yellow skin
                Fairest in all the rainbow
                Oh Great BaNAna
All: *mad rush to auditorium seats*
Bob: Roll film!
Ferdie: Tape.
Bob: Whatever!
Jennies: (sighs) Now if only I didn't need to blackmail my cast at every turn…
Iiwi: You'd need a new hobby.
Jennies: (stops mid-rant, one finger raised) Point. Okay, let's get down to business.

Who is Mary Sue, you ask?

Beak: Who asked?
Bob: Shut up, Beak.
Beak: But I was only curious-
Ferdie: It was a rhetorical question.
Beak: A what?
Bob: (mutters something about stupid kiwis)

Mary Sue is the most hated and feared creature in all of fandom. She is perfect in every way – smart, pretty, popular, well-connected, and the apple of everyone's eye.

Sign Holder: I'm hungry.
Lita: There's popcorn in the back.
Iiwi: There is? (lunges for snack table)
All: *feeding frenzy*
Jennies: (shakes head in exasperation)

Her hair is luxurious; her eyes, astounding. She is as appealing as can be, irresistible to all around her.

Ferdia: Well, that pretty much rules out Drake.
Lita: I dunno, he's pretty appealing through a set of crosshairs. It's like pain and suffering are irresistibly drawn to him, or something.
Drake: (whimpers) When will the hurting stop?

She is often a model citizen, teenage genius, mysterious stranger, or super-powered heroine, but she can also be a charming rogue or titillating “Bad Girl.” She is always unusual; always special. Always around to lend a helping hand. And always, always loved.

Iiwi: Bleah
Ferdia: (makes 'gag' gesture)
Lita: (through a mouth of popcorn) She's a witch! Burn her! Burn her! (throws popcorn at screen)
Sign Holder: (teary-eyed) She turned me into a newt…
Lita: A newt?
Newt: (jolts awake from nap) I say, is someone calling me? I was paying such keen attention to this remarkably informative film that-
Jennies: Can it, redcoat.
Newt: Now Jensios, that was uncalled for-

Mary Sue, in short, MUST BE STOPPED.

Villains: (cheering) We'll help!!
Ozzie: (checks organizer) I've got a spare weapons cache!
Ivan: (digs in pockets) I've got firearms!
Lita: (hoists up shoulder-blaster almost as tall as she is) I've got a rocket launcher!
Sign Holder: (eyes boggle) Where were you keeping that?!?
D'Gal: (calmly) I've got a thermonuclear ion cannon clusterfrag doomsday device.
All: *blink*
Drake: (attempts to melt into seat cushions) help me…
Ferdie: Why am I not surprised?
Sign Holder: (to Lita) And where was he keeping that?!?
Lita: (eyeing device with envious glee) Never mind that, where can I get one?!?
Jennies: (massages temples, muttering softly)

The first step in our war against Mary Sue is simple: population control. Our mission: identify possible Mary Sues (and her male counterpart, Gary Stu) and show them the error of their ways, that they might grow into characters destined for something more than the great burning flame-bin of infamy.

Bob: (scribbling notes) Oooh, Great Burning Flamedom of Infamy. I like that.

Or simply smite them out of existence. Whichever proves easier.

D'Gal: (sharpening points on medieval mace) Or more entertaining.
Jennies: (laughs evilly) Muahahahaha….

So, without further ado, we present:
You Might Be A Mary Sue If…
A Quick Quiz to See if your Precious Avatars
are Bound for Stardom or a Torch-Wielding Mob.

Drake: I can't help but not like the sound of that…
D'Gal: Come off it, those things aren't a problem unless you've been doused in kerosene.
Drake: (hopeful) Really?
D'Gal: (nods) Absolutely.
* Trap door overhead flaps open. Kerosene cascades down, dousing Drake. *
All: *scoot away from Drake*
Drake: *whimper*
Ferdia: You know, I've heard that while a neuron is firing, it can't process any overlapping stimuli.
Drake: Really?
D'Gal: (nonchalantly) Anybody got a light?
Jennies: There will be no setting fire to this auditorium!
D'Gal: How about setting fire to someone in the auditorium?
Jennies: Absolutely not! You'll scorch the seats.
D'Gal: (huffs)
Jennies: (frowns) Still, if that neuron thing is true, that would mean there's a pain threshold nothing can surpass.
D'Gal: (brandishing large amounts of overly-cruel-looking weaponry) Let's find out.
Jennies: Fine, fine. As long as it's in the interest of scientific inquiry. But - no fire.
D'Gal: (shrugs) I can live with that.
Drake: help meeeeee…..

1. Has your character had an abnormally painful or complicated childhood?

Iiwi: Define complicated.
Ferdie: A-ha!
Iiwi: What? I mean, we were always on the move, but that was all part and parcel of the whole archaeologist/explorer gig. It was fun.
Newt: I'll put you down for half a tick, then.
Ferdie: What about us? Our father died on a case.
Jennies: It happens, sometimes. And since he's really and truly dead and not – repeat, NOT – part of an intergalactic band of freedom fighters like some fans like to suggest, it's hardly worth mentioning.
Newt: Partial tick.
Jennies: Anyone else?
All: (turn to Drake)
Drake: Hey, don't look at me. I had a happy childhood.
Ferdia: (rolls eyes) Ignorance is bliss.
Lita: (helpfully) D'Gal grew up in a desert wasteland turned war zone.
Iiwi: Wow. And that turned you into the delightful psychopath we all know and love?
Drake: (muttering) Speak for yourselves.
Bob: Jennies?
Jennies: (shrugs) There's no explaining that one away. Guilty as charged.
Beak: Is it over? Can I recite another Haiku?
Iiwi: ROLL TAPE!!!

1b. Mary Sue may also have had an unremarkable childhood, aside from possibly being a misfit.

Ferdia: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Squeaks: You picked up on that too, eh?
Jennies: Don't look at me. Both of those are off the same quiz. I think the point is that their childhood has to be believable – no alien abductions or spy kids, but no perfect cookie-cutter angels or textbook nerds, either.
Newt: So, Jensios, how should I score this?
Jennies: Don't. We're moving on.

2. Mary Sue is either independently wealthy, or inconceivably well-funded.

All: Bobetta!!
Bobetta: *sob!* You're all so mean!!
Ferdie: On a side note, that definitely rules you out, Sis.
Ferdia: Thanks for pointing that out, Captain I-Work-In-A-Condemned-Building.
Ferdie: It is not condemned!
Ferdia: Well, it ought to be!

3. She is also well-connected, either by birth or social standing.

Beak: *cough* Bobetta!
Bobetta: *SOB!!!*
Bob: (bristling at Beak) Don't make me come over there!
Jennies: In all fairness, I'm gonna have to flag Drake on this one.
Squeaks: (turns to Drake, incredulous) You?!?
D'Gal: (smugly) You didn't think he made that rank on merit, now did you, Arcadia?
Drake: (glowering at D'Gal) You know, I'd hurt you, if I didn't know it'd cause me even more unnecessary pain and suffering.
D'Gal: *evil grin*

4. Mary Sue is very popular, and has many friends.

Drake: Well, that certainly rules me out!
D'Gal: Come on, now. You made a friend up in New York, right? Officer…what was her name? With the rubber glove?
Jennies: (searches memory) Bertha, I think. Or was it Brunhild? (shrugs) Ask the fans, that's their bit.
Drake: I couldn't sit down for a week! (cries) Why must I suffer so?!?
Ivan: (bored) Can we get back to the subject at hand?
Bob: Right. Friends and popularity.
Bobetta: I've got lots of both. But that doesn't mean anything – money and friends is like honey and ants.
Beak: Easily dispatched with a garden hose?
Bobetta: (pales) I…I meant one attracts the other.
Beak: Ohh….
Bob: (growls)
Jennies: Let's just pan right past the violence and get back to the quiz, shall we?

4b. If she is not popular with the “In” crowd, she is either a leader of underdogs, or a lone wolf.

Ferdie: Aroooooooooooooooo- oof! (doubles over)
Ferdia: (just backhanded Ferdie) Don't make me do that again.
Ferdie: What? *cough* Someone had to do it!
Squeaks: And it would of course be you that's gullible enough to go through with it.
Ferdie: (to Jennies) Can we put him down as a loner? (points to Squeaks)
Ivan: (inspecting wingtips) Considering how inseparable he and your sister are?
Ferdia: (feathers ruffling) You insinuating something?
Ivan: (quirks eyebrow) Only that you need to pick up some hobbies, detective. There's more to life than police work, you know.
Ferdia: (glowering) Hobbies require money. And free time.
Ivan: All you two do is work! My sign holder has more of a social life than you do!
Sign Holder: (genki grin) I play video games at the arcade every Tuesday and Friday from four to six.
Bob: Okay, so we've established that most of this crew needs to invest in social lives. Duly noted. Can we continue?
Drake: (sticks tongue out at D'Gal) Nya. If nothing else, I've got more friends than you, fiend.
D'Gal: (chuckles evilly) If you only knew…
Drake: What was that?
D'Gal: At least my friends keep in touch. (evil grin)
Drake: I'm going to ignore that comment on the grounds that it made no sense.
D'Gal: I rest my case.
Drake: (blinks) I'm fairly certain I've just helped insult myself again somehow…
Jennies: (has stuffed cotton in ears during this exchange and is merrily dancing to Eighties music) Domo Arigato, Mister Roboto-
Ferdia: Let's keep going, shall we?

5. Mary Sue is smart, witty, and talented.

Ivan: Which pretty much rules out most of this crowd.
Beak: Hey! I'm smart!
Bobetta: And I'm witty!
Drake: I'm talented!
Iiwi: You're sad, that's what you lot are.
Drake: *sniffs* I have feelings too, you know.
D'Gal: None that we care about.
Jennies: I'd say while certain characters have a bit more than their fair share of certain qualities, it tends to round out.
Lita: (rolls eyes) Oh, sure. You've got your strategists, your marksmen, your criminal masterminds, paranormal experts, and professional smart-alecks.
Ivan: Such as yourself.
Lita: (inspects nails) I have no shame.
Jennies: I'm sorry, I can't do wanton stupidity. Not for long, not without wanting to kill someone. (*Drake curls into ball*) I try to spread the witticisms around, though, and everyone has at least one talent. I mean, we're all good at something. Maybe not mind-boggling, or top in our field, or even worthy of professional note – but we can at least impress nonprofessionals and hopefully not be laughed at by our co-workers. (frowns, thinking) Well, unless our talent is amateur comedy, that is, in which case-
Iiwi: (surreptitiously bumps projector, causing the film to start up again)

6. Mary Sue does not learn by studying. She instinctively knows everything, or can find it immediately. And she never needs training or practice.

Ferdie: I'd like to point out my ever-expanding library of the paranormal, the bizarre, and the Occult, as well as the odd college courses I can afford to take.
Bob: You think this kind of cute comes easy?!? It takes years and years of hard work and practice!
Ferdia: I refer the Peanut Gallery to Ivan's comments on our lack of social lives. Police and freelance detective work aside, Squeaks and I spend a good deal of time at the gym and firing range.
Ivan: I just bet you do.
Lita: I admit to not studying. But I'm still learning, and I've got the Chemistry grade to prove it!
Ivan: (quirks eyebrow) Farlane, you're failing Chemistry.
Lita: Yes, but now it's because I'm blowing stuff up on purpose. Before, it was mostly accidental.
Drake: I don't know everything.
D'Gal: Well, there's an understatement!
Ferdia: Drake, the precinct's coffee is more intuitive than you.
Ferdie: Has it figured out how to escape the brewing pot yet?
Squeaks: Came pretty close a week ago.
Ferdia: Yeah, but Trevor forgot to feed it over the weekend, so we have to start all over.
Ferdie: You feed the coffee?!?
Ferdia: (shrugs) It's our mascot. Kinda.
Lita: Can we get back to Drake's inadequacy?
Drake: (fumes) Intelligence!
Lita: Inadequate intelligence!
Jennies: Whatever. Drake's got a point, though. He has yet to grasp more than the basics of social interaction.
Sign Holder: Like not pissing off the girl with the grenade launcher?
Lita: *grins*
Drake: (gulps) Forgot about that…
Lita: Allow me to remind you. (grins wider)
Newt: So, Jensios…
Jennies: I admit, some characters need their intelligence lowered beneath “Omnipotence,” and some learning curves should probably find time to demonstrate themselves a bit less subtly. (glances over to most recent scene of Drake-related carnage) Or at all.
Iiwi: (helpfully) Bob can't lob a grenade worth a damn.
Squeaks: Ferdia could stand some accuracy improvement on larger firearms.
Ferdia: (fluffs feathers) At least I don't plow into the ground on the helo demo.
Squeaks: (folds arms) Those things are far too finicky.
Ferdia: You're just spoiled by spacecraft and their hover drives-
Jennies: Okay, I'm moving on…

7. If Mary Sue does need to learn a new skill, she progresses rapidly, and surpasses her masters in a matter of weeks.

Ferdia: Show off.
Squeaks: I knew people like that in the academy. They generally did well right up until the field exercises; then they tended to choke. Something to do with real versus imagined danger.
Drake: Says the mouse that made captain right out of said academy.
Squeaks: (ears prick up) I'm an Arellian. We spend most of our lives in training, and our teenage summers in field assignments. I'd already graduated from our own naval academy with a Lieutenant’s rank; SpaceFleet took that into consideration. (shrugs) Besides, it was supposed to be a simple tour of duty. Grid mapping and border patrol, minimum contact with non-Allied races. Perfect for breaking in a new captain.
Bob: I dunno, sounds like an excuse to me…
D'Gal: You want excuses? Ask Dumas here how he got his rank.
Drake: IT. IS. DU-MAAS!!!

8. Mary Sue's talents are not limited to mental and physical prowess, however. She also has superpowers.

Iiwi: I think that's about as close as we've ever gotten to explaining Drake's healing factor.
Drake: My what?
Iiwi: (sigh) Never mind.
Bob: No, seriously.
Iiwi: I'm just saying, given how often he gets maimed, mauled, and generally beaten to a pulp, he's got to have a healing factor of some sort. It's the only reason he's lived through so much abuse, and probably the best argument for why he's not constantly in a full body cast.
Bob: Oh. Okay. I thought that was just because while Jennies likes using him as a piñata, she doesn't like keeping him out of the action while he recovers.
Jennies: (thoughtful) I wouldn't call that an ability so much as a divine form of protection. What about the rest of the cast?
Ferdie: Beak has that telepathic Mind-Speaky thing.
Bob: And Iiwi can fly.
Iiwi: I have wings! Of course I can fly!
Beak: She's got you there. She's a Flier.
Bob: I still say wings should count.
Iiwi: Bob, it's not like I can levitate or anything! Heck, I can't even tie my shoes!
Bob: You don't wear shoes!
Iiwi: Because they'd always be untied!
Beak: What does that have to do with super powers?
Iiwi: Well…nothing, really. Just pointing out the lack of opposable thumbs that make these wings possible. (flexes wings)
Newt: So is flying a point?
Jennies: (baffled) Newt? You're still keeping score?
Newt: Wasn't that the point of this quiz in the first place?

9. Mary Sue has one or more distinguishing marks – tattoos, scars, and/or unusual birthmarks – because they're oh-so-fashionable.

Ferdia: (points to Squeaks)
Squeaks: (sighs) It's not a tattoo, it's an insignia.
Ferdia: I wasn't talking about that.
Squeaks: Nicked ears and mangled tail, then?
Ferdia: Wasn't talking about that, either.
All: *silence*
Ferdia: What? He's got this scar on his shoulder - (yanks Squeaks' shirt to expose his collarbone) - See?
Ferdie: (grumbles) You did that just to make me twitch, didn't you?
Ferdia: (blinks innocently) Did what?
Jennies: (massages temples) *sigh* Never mind. Just let go of the mouse and let's move on.
Lita: You know, I don't think this is a fair question. I mean, feathers do a better job of hiding scars and distinguishing marks than fur -
Squeaks: (nods) Much better job-
Lita: -and beak nicks grow out in a matter of weeks. Nobody in this crew dyes their fur – or their feathers –
Ferdie: Galaxia does.
All: 0_o!!!
Ferdie: What? Don't you guys pay attention to the stories? It says she does!
D'Gal: (nods) He's right, she does.
Ferdia: (to Ferdie) That was revenge for making you twitch, wasn't it?
Ferdie: (grins) You've taught me well.
Bob: (uncovers his ears) Changing the subject – what about species? Could we count unusual species types?
Jennies: Not unless you all want points.
Ferdie: (thinking) Aliens become less of a special case scenario when half your adventures involve them, I suppose.
Iiwi: And kiwis aren't native to North America.
Newt: So, Jensios…
Jennies: A point each for the cops, and an extra one for Squeaks.
Squeaks: (blinks in surprise)
Jennies: (shrugs) Sorry, but you had far too many hits on that one for just one point.
Iiwi: (points to Drake) Shouldn't he get a point too?
Jennies: (shakes head) Nah. For some reason or other, he doesn't scar.
Drake: And I'm forever grateful for that. Otherwise, I'd be nothing but a mass of scar tissue by now.
Sign Holder: (ponders that) So…you'd look like a wad of used chewing gum?
Drake: (stares blankly at Sign Holder)
Sign Holder: What? You would, wouldn't you?
Jennies: (muttering to herself) I need caffeine. That's gotta be it. Need caffeine.

10. Often, Mary Sue will have a “Past”. It can be a mysterious Past, a tragic Past, a haunted Past – any kind of Past. (Past being different from childhood, of course, since it happened after their eighteenth birthday.)

Ferdie: Wait, wait. I still want to know what everyone was referring to in the last question. Why'd you get a point, Sis?
Ferdia: I take the fifth.
Jennies: Please do.
Ferdie: No, really, I wanna-
Jennies: Do you want me to throw you to the fans?
Ferdie: (fights back look of terror) Shutting up now.
Bobetta: Anyone with a Past here?
D'Gal: (evil grin) None that are talking.
Drake: (huffs) Fortunately, we already know the relevant bits of your past, fiend.
D'Gal: (chuckles) Says you, Duck. But I wasn't referring to my past.
Drake: Whose, then?
D'Gal: (evil grin) I take the fifth.
Drake: (inarticulate cry of frustration)

11. Mary Sue can do no wrong. Things like laws and behavioral codes of conduct seldom inhibit her, and she is seldom penalized or held responsible for her actions. Rules are often bent or broken for Mary Sue.

Ferdie: Like the laws of physics?
Ferdia: (grins) They cower before me.
Jennies: I'm fairly certain said laws are thrown to the wolves equally for each person here. (pauses, glancing at Drake) Not always in the individual's favor, but still…
Newt: I think they meant other kinds of rules.
Ferdie: Like how Sis can break speeding laws by any degree she pleases?
Iiwi: And how easily our aliens get naturalization papers?
Beak: No, no, that's because of Bobetta's connections.
Bobetta: There's nothing unusual about that. Money, power, and charm can get you pretty much anything. Including everything necessary for a new legal identity. Though I will admit, it was much easier in the nineties than it is nowadays.
Bob: What about how we work with Ivan, even though he's evil?
Ivan: Can you prove it?
Bob: Not yet, no. But you have to slip up eventually.
Ivan: Oh, I've done it before. You've just never been around to see it, or haven't noticed if you were.
Bob: Aaarg…
Drake: Well, there was that bit where the Alliance let SpaceFleet recovery policy lapse in Arcadia's case. And their reaction after we reported him found.
D'Gal: Oh, yes, and let's not forget Plateria's blatant disregard of their own citizens' rights conventions.
Drake: (grumbles) I really hate you…

12. Mary Sue is a charming soul. She's irresistible to the opposite sex, can get other characters to act radically out-of-character around her, and can even get them to fight for her affections.

Bobetta: (sighs dramatically) Ah! I suppose I must plead guilty to this one.
Ivan: You?
Bobetta: (tears well up in eyes) Fiend! Why must you toy with my affections so!
Ivan: (raises eyebrow) What?
Bob: You leave my fiancé alone!
Jennies: In all fairness, Bobetta, you tend to bait Bob and Ivan with the intent of getting them to fight.
Bobetta: (indignant) I do not!
Iiwi: Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

13. Mary Sue, talented prodigy that she is, can easily defeat the resident Big Bad (or Good), often without breaking a sweat. (This is, or course, a metaphor. It is perfectly okay if she breaks a sweat fighting the mad doctor, his/her legion of robot berserkers, and the blood demon defending the place.) This relatively effortless victory is possible - even likely - regardless of how often, organized, and in what numbers the heroes (or villains) have attempted the same feat.

Iiwi: Anybody here ever effortlessly take down a Big Bad?
Drake: I outfought Ferdia once.
Ferdia: You ambushed us with a laser cannon and a flaming spaceship in a dead-end alley at the end of a particularly exhausting shift! Hardly a fair match!
Drake: So?
Ferdia: So? So, I can take you any day of the week!
Drake: Ha! I'd like to see that!
D'Gal: I just bet you would.
Drake: (angrily) You stay out of this!
Jennies: Children, play nice now. You can grind each other's bones into chalk later. Right now, we're still trying to get through this quiz. So. Anyone ever single-handedly defeat a superior force?
Bob: Beak's beaten Java Empire destroyers before. They're huge, and have tons of soldiers and attack systems. Does that count?
Jennies: I think so, but it's hard to say. You lot tend to work as a team, and Mary Sue tends to either fight her battles alone, or let others fight while she commands from afar.
All: Ah…

14. Sometimes, of course, villains/heroes prove difficult to defeat. Fortunately, Mary Sue has a never-ending supply of witticisms and snappy retorts at her command.

All: *laugh heartily*

15. In the event of heroic injury, there is always a faithful companion around to nurse Mary Sue back to health; she is also perfectly willing to return the favor, should her handsome rescuer later be wounded himself.

Drake: (whines) No one ever nurses me back to health when I'm hurt.
D'Gal: Tell you what, Duck: next time you get yourself maimed, I'll call Brunhild down to tend to you.
Drake: No thanks.
D'Gal: You sure? It'd be no trouble at all, really.
Drake: Please, no.
D'Gal: What was that?
Drake: (panicky) I beg you not to help me.

16. If the unthinkable happens, and Mary Sue is defeated, she dies tragically – or heroically. She may fall prey to an unbelievably evil monster, or die of neglect by uncaring fiends, or take on a suicide mission or death sentence to set things right or prove a point. She never hesitates to fling herself in front of the fatal blast, saving an ally or loved one, despite the potential consequences.

Jennies: Anyone here ever died tragically?
D'Gal: (glares at Drake) Sadly, no.
Drake: No thanks to you, I might add! I've lost count of the number of times you've nearly managed to maim me beyond all recog- wait…
D'Gal: I'll admit, you've proven especially difficult to kill. But I'm working on it.
Drake: (whimpers) As if I wasn't paranoid enough already…

17. Mary Sue's beauty is never marred by injury - be it mortal or not - regardless of whether said injury is the result of a gunshot, blade, or incendiary device.

Lita: (pats grenade launcher affectionately)
Drake: (slides down seat)

18. When mortally wounded, Mary Sue always has the time to bid her loving companions a fond farewell before passing with a flutter of eyelids and a gentle sigh. Her friends – indeed, much of the surrounding territory – mourn her passing.

Drake: So, if I were one of these creatures, people would mourn me and realize how wrong they were to treat me like a sadomasochist's squeak toy during life?
Jennies: (twitches) Must fight visual….must fight visual…
Ferdia: Drake, I forbid you from ever using that phrase again.
Squeaks: My sentiments exactly.
Beak: Appreciated in death as they never were in life…well, that does seem to be the general theory…
D'Gal: Care to test it out, Duck?
Drake: Pass.
Iiwi: But if you don't do it, we'll never find out what happens when one of us dies!
Drake: Are you saying I'm expendable?
Ferdia: Yes.
Iiwi: Well, what with that healing factor and all, we figure you'll recover first. And since Jennies seems determined to keep you around, if all else fails, she'll bring you back.
Drake: eep.
Bob: (shakes head) Yet another question we can't answer. How much of this is left, anyway?
Beak: Let me check. (wanders over to projector)
Jennies: No, Beak, don't touch-
Beak: (Nabs the film reel, pulling it out to inspect how far along it is. The reel is more delicate than it looks, and breaks, sending fragments spinning out into the room as the screen flashes white.) Uh….oops…
Bob: Can you fix it, Jennies?
Jennies: Ha! 'Can I fix it?' Heehee….No. How 'bout you, Newt?
Newt: Sorry, Jensios. This machine is far too archaic for me.
Bob: (smiles wide) Oh well, too bad. Guess we'll just have to stop now.
Beak: (hopeful) I have more Haikus. Shall I read them?
All: NO!
Beak: But-
D'Gal: Time for a tactical withdrawal. (casts about for an exit)
Ferdie: Run away! Run away!
Lita: Stampede!
All: (make beeline for exit)
Beak: (looks around empty auditorium) But…what about my Haikus?
Jennies: (shrugs) Sorry, Beak. Maybe later. Right now, I've got to figure out how to fix this film reel. It's due back at the Mary Sue Society by Monday.
Beak: Goodness.
Jennies: There's a fairly hefty deposit I won't be getting back if I can't piece it back together. Said money will, of course, be coming out of your paycheck. Especially if you keep bugging me while I'm working…
Beak: (uneasily) Well, good luck then. I'm, uh…off to work on my Haikus. (backs out quickly)
Jennies: *sigh* I'm living in a Looney Bin…Goodnight, all.


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