MiSTing: Story: Zoe on the Couch

Blue Light Productions presents....
	My first posted MiSTing. I'm working on another one, but thought 
this deserved to come out first.

<Insert your favourite opening here. Hey, I've never seen the show, so 
how I can insert an opening?>

[SOL Interior. Tom and Crow are sitting behind a desk, dressed up in 
suits with silly bow ties.]

[Magic Voice hmms a generic tune of documentries everywhere.]

TOM: Good morning everyone! And, welcome to "Let's Be Inappropriate!" 
Crow, old buddy, what should we talk about tonight?
CROW: Well, Tom, I thought today we could discuss the toilet life of the 
Amazonian marsupial.

[Mike wanders on.]

MIKE: Er, guys, I don't think that's really appropriate discussion for 
our audience.

[Tom thumps his head against the table, and Crow gives Mike a 
'long-suffering' look.]

CROW: That was the point, Nelson. Geez, ruin a good sketch, whydontcha?
MIKE: Oh. Sorry guys.

[MADS light flash.]

TOM: Oh, good. Just who I need right now. Doctor Killfile.

[DEEP 13]

DR. F: You know, it's amazing sometimes how often your skits relate to 
the dreck I'm about to send you. Still, that wont help in this case. 
Here's something I picked up from someone who doesn't know the difference 
between mailing and posting. Don't enjoy.

[SOL - divers alarums]



>Article 2949 of alt.drwho.creative:

TOM: Oo, another creative group dragged to the pits of hell.
CROW: It can say hi to alt.startrek.creative when it gets there.

>Message-ID: <003303Z21101995@anon.penet.fi>
>Path: comp.vuw.ac.nz!waikato!ames!agate!nntp-ucb.barrnet.net!autodesk.com!

MIKE: Always nice to know that it didn't go to any lengths to get to us.

>Newsgroups: alt.drwho.creative
>From: an264537@anon.penet.fi (an264537)

TOM: At least they're being open with their email address.

>X-Anonymously-To: alt.drwho.creative
>Organization: Anonymous forwarding service
>Reply-To: an264537@anon.penet.fi
>Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 00:30:32 UTC

CROW: Unfortunate Terminal Crap.

>Subject: Story: Zoe on the Couch

MIKE: Uhh, guys, perhaps you shouldn't be reading this.

>Lines: 316
>Summary:  A personal attack on Donald Gillikin was written and retracted.
>          The attack also explained the final two stories I had planned.

MIKE: Actually, I don't think I want to read this, either.
TOM: If we've given the summary, do we still have to suffer the post?
MIKE: I'm afraid so.

>When I first read Donald's attack, I wrote a malicious reply.
>It was clear that Donald had not read Jason Miller's questions and 
>comments, but I thought I could still have a little fun at his expense.

CROW: I'm just cutsy in that way.

>When I wrote the reply, I had thought it was insightful and scathing and 
>funny.  I reread it at lunch.  It's none of the above, but I think it is 
>self-revealing, more so than my stories, so I'm posting it.  (That and the
>fact that I spent two hours on it.)

TOM: So, it's superficial, pleasent and serious, but, because he took two 
hours to write the thing, WE STILL HAVE TO SUFFER IT!!
MIKE: [pats Tom] There, there. Only 300 lines to go.
TOM: Oh, thank you so much.

>                                    I doubt if many people will read my 
>stories after this.  It would be pointless to write if that were true.


>Oh, well.
>Donald, if you insist on reading it, don't take it seriously.  After
>putting you through an emotional wringer, I reveal that the reply was
>merely more self promotion.  Fun at your expense.  Whoopee.

MIKE: So, Donald, you were just a toy I used at your expense to merely 
get a good word in for myself.

>Rereading it now, I find it silly and stupid and weird.  I think it's still 
>insulting but that could be my own arrogance.  Don't take it seriously.
>Why take anything over the net seriously?  Just so we can over-react!

CROW: I think it's silly and stupid and weird, and I haven't even read it 
MIKE: Just as long as we don't overreact.
MIKE: No, Tom, that's over-*act*ing.
TOM: Oh. Right.

>Sorry about being so verbose; I don't want this to be misunderstood.
>Here is the original response:
>Readers of adwc who don't want to hear my retort to Donald's attack
>  should hit 'n' now.  I'm not sure this post is funny enough unless
>  you're in the same room as Donald.

[Mike starts hitting something]
CROW: Come on, Mike. Hit that 'n' harder.
MIKE: It isn't working!

>I know I'm no writer.  I try but I'm not.  I can't do characterizations,
>  so I have to make the stories bizarre.  I always warn people and 
>  provide one line summaries so people can avoid them.

TOM: So, he's admitting that he can't write, and that all his stories can be 
summed up in one line.

>  Many people don't bother with my stories, but I think some people find 
>  a few of the stories amusing, and most people don't mind my showing off 
>  (as many unpaid writers do) since I do try to contribute stories.  
>  Apparently, some people mind - a lot ...

CROW: We get forced to read this. WE mind.

>Donald wrote:
>  >If there's one thing I can't stand, it's an author who in his arrogance
>  >feels the need to provide us poor benighted readers with a self-serving
>  >exigesis of his work.  My dear fellow, just because some of us didn't like
>  >it doesn't mean that we didn't understand it, so there is no need to
>  >defensively assert your superiority.
>You hurt my feelings !

CROW: I'm gonna tell on you!

>Donald Gillikin, grow up.

CORW: Be mature like me. [blows a raspberry]

>Your post is a personal attack.  Fine.

TOM: Hey, Crow, he's calling an open season on attacking him.
CROW: Way to go.

>But you also use one of the worst underhanded styles of attack.
>  You attack like a bully:  you attack by accusing your rival of 
>  being defensive and leave no room to respond, "my dear fellow."
>  A person can't respond without making himself sound defensive.

MIKE: And this guy is throwing the discussion wide open?

>  Beat your wife lately?
>  My dad told me never to let people like you get away with that.

CROW: He also said to stay away from them happy pills.
MIKE&TOM: Bouncey, bouncey, bouncey.

>  How would you like an underhanded attack?  Ready to hear some 
>  insights about yourself, "my dear fellow" ...

MIKE: Brace yourselves, guys.

>Even though you pretend to represent "poor benighted readers,"
>  I see your post as a rush to defend your friend Jason Miller.  
>  It is admirable to defend a friend.  It is a good thing.

TOM: Yep, it's a good things to do.
CROW: Yeah. Defend a friend. Good.
MIKE: Nine out of ten people said that defending a friend was a good thing.

>  I didn't mean to attack Jason in any way.  If Jason cared, I'm sure,
>  as a future JD, he could argue his own case and win - and without 
>  resorting to your tactics or words like "benighted" and "exigesis."  
>  Are you a school teacher?  If so, you are coming on way too strong.

TOM: You're using big words that I don't understand.

>  It's funny.  While you ridicule people for acting superior, you 
>  use words like "exigesis."  How many of us knew what that meant?
>  Don't worry, no one thinks you're a hypocrite.  (By the way, use a 
>  spelling checker.)

TOM: [tries to waves his hands in the air, but understandably fails.] I 
know, I know. Doland only got ONE letter wrong. Sheesh, think what this 
guy would do to Ratliff.
MIKE: Well, be fair, Tom. Ratliff does deserve it.
CROW: Yeah, but we wont deserve Doctor Forrester showing us the result.

>All my posts are self-promotion including this one.  

CROW: Here's the part where I promote my own abusing.

>  I'm guilty of using multi-syllabic words like that but I wanted
>  hype my last two adwc stories (this is alt.drwho.creative after all).
>  The stories are about teachers and students, in which the narrators 
>  are teachers of some sort... does that explain the tone?

MIKE: Nope. Nor does it explain why you can't find the email function.
TOM: He's just doing this to hype his own stories, remember?
MIKE: It's times like this I really hate being up here.

>  I have been showing off, and in my last story, I parody myself and I refer 
>  back to my "exigesis" and my comments to Shannon and Will.

MIKE: Okay, Tom, what is "exigesis"?
TOM: It's supopsed to be "exEgesis" and it means: critical explanation of 
a text.
MIKE: Well, that explains everything.

>                                                              The other is 
>  a nice but perhaps over-sentimental story that I got from Will.
>  (Thanks, Will!)

ALL: Thanks, Will!

>  You could easily make fun of those stories, but, Donald, I hope you 
>  resist any temptation to read those stories.   They suck.  
>  They're certainly not worth being a hypocrite.

MIKE: Yeah, Donald, don't read those stories and make fun of them.
CROW: That's our job.

>Donald, grow up.   <-- Yes, this sentence ends in a preposition.

TOM: Gee, what a lucky sentence. One day, I'm gonna have a sentence all 
of my own, which ends in a proposition, when I grow up.

>  Post fan fiction and encourage writers.  Nobody wants to hear us argue,
>  not even if we try to be cute about it.  I don't want to hear your
>  comments because I doubt you can be impartial and reasonable any more.

CROW: [bad french accent] I don't wanna hear about it no more, you stupid 
english k-nig-it.

>Let's stop quarreling.
>If you must insult me via email, then do it.  Will you?

TOM: Yeah, follow my example.

>If you feel you need the last word, you may have it.

CROW: Does this mean it's over?


MIKE: I think this guy is waiting for Donald to have his last word.


TOM: No one will be allowed entry to the exciting carridge return scene.



>Donald, since you can't stand writers who provide self-serving "exigesis,"  
>  I'm obligated to provide you one to explain this post.

MIKE: We take it back. Give us more carridge returns.

>  You inspired me with your underhanded tactics, so I replied in kind:

CROW: You started it.
TOM: No, you did.
CROW: You did.
TOM: You did.
CROW: You did.
TOM: You did.
MIKE: [stays the 'bots] Guys, [points to screen] HE started it.

>  Personal insults:  
>    You insulted me outright.  Although the harshest name I call you is 
>    "bully," I imply that you are obvious, pretentious, etc.

ALL: [gasp]
CROW: He used the 'b' word.
TOM: He should have his mouth washed out with soap.
MIKE: Down with his net access, I say!

>    I think the worst insult is exposing your inability to be impartial,
>    since reasonable people prize that in themselves.

CROW: I think I'm a prize, and I'm being impartial about myself.

>  Playing to the audience:  My humility intro, admissions of fault, etc.
>    Although I'm sincere about all of that, using some of them in a 
>    quarrel is underhanded.

TOM: I'm allowed to call myself useless, but no-one else is. So there.

>  Straw man tactics:  
>    I accuse you of rushing in to defend Jason, and ridicule you, since
>    he can take care of himself.  This is a straw man tactic assuming, of 
>    course, you didn't rush in to defend Jason from some imagined attack.

CROW: [falsetto] Now, dear, stop playing with your straw men. You're 
geting the floor filthy.
TOM: [kid] Awww, mom.

>    I hope Jason didn't see it as an insult. He's adult enough not to care.

MIKE: But, if he did see it as an insult, is he still adult enough not to 

>  Divide and conquer:
>    Clearly, after this, anyone who rushes in to defend Donald risks being 
>    labeled a moron.  If anyone does want to defend him, perhaps he should
>    include the preface "I am not a moron but ..."

TOM: Has this guy ever heard of "poisoning the well"?
MIKE: I think he invented it.

>  Pre-emptive strike:
>    I've confessed to being a "rude pretentious jerk" twice.
>    You didn't add anything new with your insult.

MIKE: Just reenforcing the obvious.

>    I also dared you to read my last two stories, but only at the cost 
>    of your honor.

TOM: I dare you to read those stories.
CROW: Never, sir. That would be a slur on my honour.

>  Irony:
>    This was a self-inflicted wound caused by the word "exigesis."
>  Spelling flame:
>    This was a self-inflicted wound caused by the word "exigesis."

TOM: The thing I like the most is the fresh and new jibes he finds.

>  Reverse psychology:
>    Will I really let you have the last word?  Guess. 
>    Actually I will.  Do you have any self-restraint?

MIKE: Remember kids, Catch 22 isn't a book, it's a killing stroke.

>  Reasoning:
>    You attacked me with an underhanded tactic.  Shouldn't you be 
>    prepared for an attack in kind?

CROW: Do unto others before they do unto you.

>    Let's stop quarreling.  The question is:  can you stop?> 

CROW: No, can you stop?
TOM: No, can you?
CROW: No, can you?
[Mike rests his hands on the 'bots heads, and they stop.]

>   Sarcasm:
>    You are not a hypocrite.

TOM: Oo, that's.. that's... what was that?

>Want more?  I've been waiting for someone like you to expose yourself.
>I'm just learning the art of the personal insult.  
>Won't you please stay a while?

CROW: Come and be my special friend.


TOM: Not this again!
[Both 'bots break down and start cvrying.]


[Mike pats them.]
MIKE: There, there guys. Just think of it as a large portion of those 300 
lines that you don't have to bother with.
[The 'bots sniff and stop crying.]


CROW: You're right, Mike.
TOM: It's a pity that the entire message isn't like this.
MIKE: Wouldn't that be rather boring?
CROW: Better than being painful.

>Donald, are you still here?

MIKE: Geez, give us a warning next time.

>Would you believe me if I said I was just kidding?  
>I was but I'm no Don Rickles.

CROW: You're no Milton Berle either.

>I've been waiting for someone take offense and rip into me.  

CROW: Someone just asking for us to hit them? There's gotta be a catch.

>  Many anonymous posters troll:  I've been chomping at the bit and you 
>  happened to be the only one to take the bait. (Sorry about the metaphors.)

[Tom tries to understand this, and his head starts smoking. Mike quickly 
removes Tom's head and put's it on backwards.]
TOM: Ahh, much better, Mike.

>  Even though I said this was a personal attack, how can it be?
>  Your insult was only two sentences.  There's no way I can attack you
>  without making most of the stuff up.  If they hit home, ask yourself why.

CROW: If a paragraph inspires him to write this, what will happen to us?
MIKE: I'm sure Doctor Forrester will protect us.

>I don't know if you can accept my apology.  I don't know if the apology
>  would be sincere.  Your attack was sudden, irrelevant, and underhanded.

CROW: As oppsed to warning me about it, having it on topic, and been 
totally transparent.
[Mike turns Tom's head around to face the creen.]
TOM: Aw. I was enjoying that.
MIKE: You can't have it easy forever.

>  My attack was meant to be entertaining.  Some people might find it so
>  scathing that they will never read my stories ever again.  Unpaid
>  writers (even me or especially me) crave attention.

CROW: I get attention by posting flames with the word "Story" in the title.
TOM: Yeah, Mike. Whatever happened to Zoe?
MIKE: I think that's a question better left unanswered.

>  I have no personal quarrel with you if this silliness dies as it should.
>  You invited the attack, as did I, by showing off.
>  We're guilty of the same thing.

CROW: But some are more guilty than others.

>You attacked well.  I fought you to a draw.  Go in peace, and
>  return with jewels for the women, trinkets for the children, and
>  stories of heroes and gods that you can tell us all.

CROW: [deep voice] You have done well, my son.
TOM: Gee, he seems so nice now.

>  Perhaps I should say this seriously:  
>     Let's not argue.  Let's write stories - and not clever thinly-veiled
>     insults.  Nobody wants to read acrid posts from either of us.

MIKE: But that doesn't stop me form doing it though.

>I'm not trying to be emotionally manipulative by provoking you to anger
>  then dismissing your feelings by apologizing.

CROW: Wait.. no.. in fact, I am.

>  I'm anonymous.  I don't have a reputation worth protecting, but you do.
>  (I'm not saying that you should get an anonymous account and attack me
>  from there but you should protect your reputation.)

MIKE: Am I hiding behind anonyminity? No, and neither should you.
CROW: Hehehe. No-one knows who I am, so I can do whatever my little 
heart desires.

>You dislike my style.  To tell you the truth, I've grown weary of this net 
>  persona, weary of the stories, weary of the writing, weary of this group.

MIKE: We're weary of reading this post.

>  My own fault.


>  In two weeks, I'll leave this group.  I have to be here to get feedback,
>  but you don't - not for the next two weeks.  There must be some nice
>  person who will send you stories that other writers post, but if there
>  isn't, I'll repost them myself and hop away.

MIKE: Er, what's he saying?
TOM: I think he's saying that he'll only be here for another two weeks, 
so he'll mail Donald other people's stories.
MIKE: No, I don't think so.

>  If you insist on staying and causing trouble, I'll go.
>This post has gotten too weird.

CROW: Speak the truth, brother.

>I've been insincere for so long that I'm clumsy writing any other way.
>[Donald, if you're still here, the rest of this post doesn't concern you.
> I explain my stories again - I can't help it. I'm not doing it to provoke
> you.]

MIKE: You can help it. Be a man. Don't post email!
TOM:  Mike, you do realise that we're being incredibly sexist in assuing 
that the poster is a male.
MIKE: If we assume that the poster's a female, we'll get hate mail 
complaining about assuimng that females call themselves pretentious.
CROW: Remember kids, Catch 22 isn't a book, it's a killing stroke.

>Since this used to be a creative group, allow me to yak about my stories:

TOM: *Used* to be? Has it gone the way of alt.startrek.creative?
CROW: With this guy posting, yes.

>My last story, the self-referential parody, was honestly planned several
>  weeks ago when somebody emailed me a nice comment about one of my 
>  wacko stories.  It's meant to be a frame story, a story that overflows 
>  its text so the reader and the writer are involved.  It's like this post
>  (but without the sarcasm) in that the narrator explains the story in 
>  asides and the reader has to guess whether he is BSing. And it does parody
>  some of the comments that Donald objected to - comments like this where
>  I explain myself.

TOM: It's a story where even the writer doesn't know what's going on.

>  I didn't get the idea after the fact.  I got the idea from watching the
>  Outer Limits episode in which the two invisible Martians with a time
>  machine witness a murder on earth and replay the scene over and over
>  again as they try to understand the characters.

CROW: Hey, I liked _Controlled Experiment_. Get yer own original ideas.

>My second to last story was inspired when I encountered Will's grammar.
>  (Thanks, Will!)  It's the old Pygmalion-My Fair Lady story.

MIKE: Will's gramma was Pygmalion?

>  Just one word about the ending:

MIKE: Pickle.
TOM: Offshoot.
CROW: Existential.

>  Note that in "My Fair Lady," Eliza (Audrey Hepburn) ends up staying 
>  with the Professor (Rex Harrison), but in "Pygmalion," the author implies 
>  that she marries Freddie (Howard Hell-should-I-know).  What original myth?

TOM: Howard Hell-should-I-know really shot everyone, 'because no-one 
could remember his last name.

>  The narrator misinterprets people's motivations so if you choose to read 
>  the story, be forewarned.  I would be an idiot to explain it after this.

CROW: Didn't he just explain it?
MIKE: Yep.
CROW: So he's an idiot?
MIKE: Yep.

>  The last story is somewhat offending, but this one is perhaps sickly sweet.

TOM: *This* one? What this one? This has been a flame, not a story.

>That's the end of my explanation.

TOM: The exegesis is over!

>Donald was right.  I am a rude pretentious jerk.

[They open their mouths, then pause.]
MIKE: Naah.
CROW: Too easy.
TOM: Anyone can pot shot.

>Your e-mail reply to this message WILL be *automatically* ANONYMIZED.
>Please, report inappropriate use to                abuse@anon.penet.fi
>For information (incl. non-anon reply) write to    help@anon.penet.fi
>If you have any problems, address them to          admin@anon.penet.fi

MIKE: Last minute information to try to save the post.
CROW: Too late.
TOM: Can we go now?
MIKE: Wait. One last nostalgic glimpse of thsoe blank lines.


MIKE: Right, let's roll.
[All get up and leave.]


[Tom and Crow are back in their "Let's Be Inappropriate!" outfits.]

TOM: And after that short break, we're back, with a fascinating 
documentary on the private life of a Mrs Stockingbottom...

[Mike comes in.]

MIKE: Haven't you guys learned anything? Some things are best left not 
to do.
CROW: Hey, Nelson. We spent two days on this skit, so we're gonna perform it.

[Mike shakes his head and presses the button.]

MIKE: What do you think, sir?

[DEEP 13]

DR F.: [dialing on the phone] I think those 'bots of yours have given me 
a great idea for a new TV show. [into phone] Hello, CC? Have I got a 
deal for you.


TOM: Hey, what about our share? We came up with the idea.

[DEEP 13]

DR F.: ...one moment please. [to screen] Yeah, like I'm ever gonna share 
any of it with you. [into phone] Push the button!

[Realises his mistake, then pushes the button himself.]

                                \  |  /
                                 \ | /
                                 / | \
                                /  |  \


Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its related characters and situations are
trademarks of and (c) 1994 by Best Brains, Inc.  All rights reserved.

DR F.: Who the hell are Beavus and Butthead?

Use of copyrighted and trademarked material is for entertainment
purposes only; no infringement on the original copyrights or trademarks
held by Best Brains, Inc. is intended or should be inferred.

This is not a personal attack on the poster, just what he posted.

Jamas Enright
"Answers answered and questions questioned."

>Donald, if you insist on reading it, don't take it seriously.  After
>putting you through an emotional wringer, I reveal that the reply was
>merely more self promotion.  Fun at your expense.  Whoopee.

Back to my MiST page.