(JOEL ROBINSON, CROW T. ROBOT, and TOM SERVO are engrossed in a paperback book, the pages of which JOEL seems to be flipping back and forth at random. They're so preoccupied that they haven't noticed the persistent, angry flashing of the Deep 13 call light.)
JOEL: (looking up, startled) Oh, hi everybody. Welcome to the Satellite Of Love. These are my pals Crow T. Rob--
[INT DEEP 13.]
(DR. CLAYTON FORRESTER and TV'S FRANK have cut in and are visibly impatient with the SOL's crew and their failure to answer voluntarily.)
DR. F: Ah. Sorry, Joelita, but we have to dispense with your warm, fuzzy introductions this week. We've got something here that's just too special to wait. Frank...?
FRANK: That's right. Now, what part of the day do you hate most? If you're like me, and I know I am...heh heh heh...
(JOEL and 'BOTS with pained expressions)
[INT DEEP 13.]
FRANK: Ahhh...the worst part of the day is the ol' morning shave. I mean, who needs it? Sure, the clean-cut look of a freshly shaven face is the sign of a successful man, but hey! It's annoying!
DR. F: That's why we've invented something to make shaving a little more, shall we say, interesting, hmmhmmhmmhmm! Frank, if you'll help me illustrate? (FRANK pulls out a plastic blister pack of brightly colored disposable shavers) Bring yourself out of the doldrums of your daily routine with -- Celebrity Cut-Ups! (FRANK vamps product) The flagship item in this exclusive line of personal-care products is the Trent Raze-nor -- guaranteed to cause at least 17 nicks and nine sizeable gashes with every shave, or your money back. Frank?
(FRANK begins to demonstrate)
FRANK: Um, Clayton, I -- ow! Owie! Owie owie owie! Oh! Yes! You can cut a little deeper! Owie! I love the pain! (falls to the floor)
DR. F: (to himself) Sissy. (To the SOL crew) Next up, we have the Penn Jillette Disposable. Frank? Some assistance?
(FRANK stays on the floor. We hear faint sounds in the BG that indicate he is enjoying the Raze-nor a little too much.)
DR. F: Ah, well. This razor has the power to magically disappear at any moment -- and, it can evoke an inexplicable urge to begin shaving long before one is finished brushing one's teeth. (looks back at Frank, feigns worry) This exclusive line also features the Peter Schick-ele, the Jello Bi-Atra -- and, for the ladies, the Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills Twin Razor. (Big commercial grin turns sour as Frank goes on in the BG)
TOM: Get those guys, huh? Even their name says, "Too many crullers."
JOEL: Hey, no more lip from you, son. (to the Mads) Well, sirs, our invention this week combines the fun of those old page-flippin' adventure books we all loved as kids with the kind of nightmarish post-nuclear hellscape we've grown to love as adults. (pulls out a whole handful of smallish paperbacks) It's the Choose-Your-Own Post-Apocalyptic Adventure Series! Check 'em out!
CROW: Here's my story -- Adventure #24: Encounter at Ground Zero! "YOU are the sole survivor in an underground shelter. It was tough making the switch to 'the other red meat,' but you're a better man for it. The mystery isn't over for you, though! It's finally safe to emerge to the surface -- and good thing too, because there isn't much of Aunt Betty left."
JOEL AND TOM: CROOOOW!!!
CROW: What? Too dark?
JOEL: Crow, I told you to run all submissions by me first -- oh never mind, just go on.
TOM: Let's take a look from somewhere in the middle...ah, page 31. "YOU are in an old warehouse, or what's left of it. You are very hungry. In one corner sits a case of Campbell's Healthy Choice Country Homestyle Soup, which is glowing green. If you eat the soup, turn to page 72. If you decide to wait for something better, turn to page 101."
CROW: Eat the soup! Eat the soup!
JOEL: Okay, let's see..."YOU open a can of soup and eat it. It tastes surprisingly delicious." Ah, looks like you made a good choice, Crow. Oh, there's more. "Within thirty seconds, you grow to the size of the Capitol Records Building (if the Capitol Records Building hadn't been atomized in the first shockwave). Your heart cannot take the strain and explodes, leaving you, of course, bereft of life. The End."
CROW: Oh. I change my mind!
TOM: Okay, it says... "YOU decide the radioactive soup isn't for you. You turn to leave, but a red-eyed mutant hellbeast is blocking your path. You try to get past it, but it swiftly snatches you up and swallows you whole as a rather light snack, the end"...Joel, do they all end like this?
JOEL: War is hell, little buddy.
CROW: War can bite me!
JOEL: Well, anyway...besides the basic books, you can get add-on modules by some of the greatest, most depressing writers of the 20th century! We've got the Anthony Burgess Action Pack, the William Golding Survival Series...and right now, Tom's having a go on Riddley Walker's Rock'Em, Sock'Em Role-Playin' Book by Russell Hoban!
TOM: Let's see..."To find out what's at the bottom of the bomb crater, turn to page 177." (in a rough-hewn, vaguely Cornish accent) "We shiffit the thing and got Dad out from unner. Parbly it kilt him soons it come down on him he dint have no time to drown in the muck. He wer all smasht up you cudnt tel whose face it ben. It mytve ben any bodys." (begins to sob under his breath) "I begun to clym all over that thing then. That girt big black thing. I wer looking to see if it had a name stampt in or raisd up in the iron of it like them things do some times. It had a shel of old muck stoan hard unner the new muck tho, nor I cudnt fynd no name." (crying openly at this point) "Every one were saying, 'What is it Riddley, what're you doing?' I said, 'My dad been kilt by some thing, I don't even know the name of it! Aint that a larf!'" (screaming now) "I began larfing then, I cudnt stop...."
JOEL: (trying to intervene) Uh...Tom...Tom, buddy, you don't have to finish --
TOM: (who hasn't stopped reading or crying) "-- he said, 'You look at your dad's face, Riddley! Thats what Widders Dump did to him! There's your onwith!'" AAAAUUUUUUUUUUGH! Awwww-haah-haah-haah-haaaaaaaaah!
CROW: Jeez, Joel, way to kill our last tattered bits of hope and good cheer!
JOEL: Y'know, this game isn't as much fun as I thought it was gonna be.
TOM: (to Joel, sobbing) I WISH YOU'D NEVER MADE US!
[INT DEEP 13.]
DR. F: Oh my. How quickly they turn, eh, Astro Boy-Toy? But you're all going to "wish" you'd never been slapped into being before long, my little Mad-Libs. Because that's your midweek wind sprint -- "wish"! Starring Nine Inch Nails, and an infinite number of monkeys. Viddy this, mes amis. Give 'em five the hard way, Frank!
(FRANK is still lying on the floor, where he has passed out from loss of blood. DR. F sighs resignedly, then punches the button -- hard.)
(Buzzer and lights)
ALL: AAAAAUUUGH, WE'VE GOT GRAMMY SIGN!!!
[Door sequence: 6...5...4...3...2...1...]