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The House That Jerks Built

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One-Shot: The House That Jerks Built

Game Information

Background

The players are a team of construction workers. Their goal today is to build a house. They have all the materials and tools they might possibly need, presuming they get the right ones, of course. As it turns out, the local wildlife might object to the construction, and the players will have to contend with this as well.

This game was played on March 17, 2002.

Mechanics

This game was played using Steve Jackson's TOON system, and a scenario from the book Toon Tales. The system is very simple, and has only four stats: Muscle, Zip, Chutzpah, and Smarts. Skills are based on a stat, and are usually a 2d6 roll. Players also have schticks which allow them to do some special and usually zany things. Also, nobody can die -- they just Fall Down for a little while.

One house rule was in effect: Falling Down put you out of play for five minutes instead of the typical three, because games are a little slower on-line.

Maps and Artwork

Dramatis Personae

Player Roster and Character Sheets

The information given for Ian Bonechase was somewhat modified in play by the player, as Ian Hutzel said he was far more familiar with hooligan soccer fans than baseball. ;-)
Character Species Player Character Sheet
JerksGM Human Lou Erickson N/A
Bill Schwemp Human Collie Collier HTML
Ian Bonechase Bulldog Ian Hutzel HTML
Raggedy Mandy Rag Doll Ariel Matthews HTML

Non-Player Characters

NameSpeciesPosition or description
George Growler Grizzly Bear George is the site foreman, and the PCs' boss. He prefers to leave the work to others and spend as much time sleeping in the foreman's trailer as he can, but he'll emerge to deliver motivational batterings and even to pitch in if he thinks it'll get the workers moving.
Walter Chipmunk Chipmunk Walter is a chipmunk, who lives under the building site with his brother Digby. Other than Walter's glasses, they look exactly alike.
Digby Chipmunk Chipmunk Digby is Walter's brother. They don't particularly want a house built on top of their home, and will do what they can to prevent it from being completed. Digby looks just like Walter, except he doesn't wear glasses.

Game Log

    The sun is still coming up when the three crewmembers from Acme Construction arrive. The foreman, a huge grizzly bear -- seven feet if he's an inch -- comes out of a little trailer from one corner of the lot and says, "So, we've got to get this house built today! Get the walls up, the driveway in, and the lawn planted." He points to the center of the lot and says, "The outlines of the house have been drawn there on the ground with chalk. All the supplies, tools, and equipment you'll need are here, here, and here." The bear points out the heavy equipment lot, the huge stack of supplies, and a tool shed. He says, "Anybody got any questions?"

Bill blinks up at the huge bear, then smiles and nods blankly. Mandy says brightly to the bear, "Yeah! Would you like a jelly bean?"

    Mandy is a living rag doll. She stands three feet tall and has long red yarn for hair. Her eyes are big black buttons and she wears a red and white gingham dress. She speaks in a high-pitched little girl's voice. Mandy is always cheerful and happy, so everyone likes her. Unfortunately, she is also incredibly clumsy and causes accidents that seldom hurt her, but often hurt others. Mandy carries jelly beans and electrical tape in her Back Pocket.

The bear blinks, then finishes, "I'm George Growler. I'll be in the trailer if you need anything. I've got some dynamite in there, too. Ask me if you need it." He goes back to the trailer, carefully not scuffing the chalk. It rocks on its little wheels, pretty much held in place by just a couple of wooden blocks under them.

Bill looks at the bulldog and the raggedy doll and grins, pushing back his cowboy hat and then shoving out his right hand at the other two, "Hi! I'm Bill!" He has a can of grape soda in his left hand, and a light purple 'drink mustache,' which he licks off as he beams cheerfully at the others.

    Bill Schwemp is a 5' 8" human with short black hair and a big nose. He usually wears old overalls that have lots of patches and holes. He also wears sneakers and a beat-up cowboy hat. He is a nice guy, but really stupid. Lunchtime is his favorite time of day. He carries an unlimited supply of grape sodas in his Back Pocket.

Ian puffs away on his cigar, and tromps off toward the equipment trailing a small column of smoke. "Aye, let's get it done then. Sooner we get t' work the sooner it'll be time fer lunch." The chalk lines marking the plans scuff a little.

Mandy says "Oh boy!" and dashes off after the bulldog toward Heavy Equipment. She also scuffs the chalk somewhat.

The huge, cigar-smoking bulldog stalks off toward Heavy Equipment. Wearing a Scotland soccer jersey and sixteen-eye Doc Martens, like any proper hooligan, he doesn't seem to notice that he's trampling the house plans. Bill brightens, "Lunch already?!" and trundles hastily off after the bulldog. The ambling human scuffs the chalk lines a lot more.

Bill pauses long enough to take a long slug of his grape soda, then heads along after the other two. He cheerfully notes, "Heavy equipment is fun to drive... it makes loud growly noises but it isn't mad at you!"

Ian pauses to stare at Bill, "Uh... aye."

Bill beams cheerfully at Ian. Mandy beams at Bill. "Want a jelly bean?"

The Heavy Equipment Yard contains several bright yellow vehicles, with big engines, the kind used for all sorts of construction. There is a dump truck full of gravel, a cement mixer, a bulldozer, a crane, a steamroller, and two identical tanker trucks. The manifest says they hold 25,000 gallons, and that one is water, and one is gasoline.

Bill studies the jellybean solemnly, then looks at Mandy and says hopefully, "I'll trade you a grape soda for a purple one?"

Raggedy Mandy fishes in her Bag of Many Things. "Sure! Hang on a sec while I find the jelly beans-"

Bill produces another can of grape soda from his back pocket and offers it to Mandy. He's now got an open can in his left, and an unopened can in his right, but hasn't realized his hands are full yet.

Ian grins more broadly than his face should allow, rubbing his hands together. "Ayyyyyyye."

Bill brightens, and reaches for the handful of purple jellybeans! -then notices he has a can in that hand. He reaches with the other hand! There's a can there too. He looks bemused, then brightens, studying his feet. No, wait... boots. He looks a bit anguished. There are purple jellybeans waiting for him...!

Raggedy Mandy looks around, holding out the overflowing handful of beans.

Ian watches this exchange with mounting dismay. He shakes his head, calling back to the others, "Oi! Put the bloody CAN down!"

Bill whimpers... then looks up at the bulldog. A pause to think a moment... then a look of awe crosses his face. "Wow... are you the manager?" He puts both cans down, and politely and carefully accepts the beans with both hands, "Thank you, ma'am!"

Ian tromps back toward the other two, "Look here, then. We'll be needin' forms fer the foundation, then t' pour the concrete. I'll get t' work on the excavation, you two start buildin' the forms, then."

Mandy turns around to peer at Ian. "You want a what? A crane? Oh. Bulldozer for the foundation. Ok!"

There's a little noise behind the group, as a couple of concerned looking chipmunks pop out of a hole. One wears glasses, and the other doesn't. They watch concernedly.

Bill smiles at Ian, "Would you like a purple jelly bean? Um... forms? Um... I can spell, some?" Bill contentedly eats purple jellybeans.

Raggedy Mandy heads swiftly for the bulldozer. Smoke is rising from Ian's head. Either he's frustrated, or his bowler is on fire. "Look here, then -- OI! Come BACK HERE!" Bill's awe with the bulldog increases. He watches the steam with fascination, munching beans. Ian goes loping off after the rag doll. "Come back here, ye wee hellion!"

Raggedy Mandy calls back with a touch of ire, "I AM hurrying!"

Ian says, "Can you understand a bloody thing that's comin' outta me mouth?!"

Bill watches interestedly, then comments cheerfully to the chipmunks behind him, "Better than the movies, right? Want a jelly bean?"

Raggedy Mandy skids to a halt and looks horrified. "Your mouth is -- you need First Aid!" She reaches in her bag.

The chipmunks scamper out of their hole. The one without glasses goes scampering off, following the chalk lines on the ground, exploring. The one with glasses comes up to Bill, and says, "That would be nice, thank you. What's going on here?"

Bill crouches down so he's closer to the chipmunk, putting his hand down so the chipmunk can help itself to the purple jellybeans. Cheerfully he says, "We're building! ...uh... something... yeah. The chalk marks -- those are what we're building."

Raggedy Mandy pulls out a toothbrush, frowns, and throws it over her shoulder, noticing that Ian's mouth isn't bloody after all. "Why'd you tell me you needed a Band-Aid if you weren't hurt? Act professional! We have a house to build."

Bill holds a huge hand out to the chipmunk to shake han- er... paws? fingers? and adds, "Bill Schwemp, construction. I'm gonna be building the forms! Nice to meetcha, Mr. uhhh...?"

The chipmunk says, "You're building chalk marks?" The other chipmunk comes back and says, "Digby! They've drawn a house over our home!" Digby says, "Oh, Walter, that's bad."

Bill smiles and nods to the other chipmunk, "Howdy. Purple jelly bean?"

Ian skids to a halt and pushes back his bowler. "You are rapidly strainin' my sadly flaggin' attempts at controllin' my baser instincts, ye wee typhoon. Come along, then, I'll explain what we should be doin'."

Walter says, "Oh, thank you." He nibbles while Digby ponders.

Raggedy Mandy gasps and says, "That doesn't sound G-rated, Mister! This is a family show!" She then follows the bulldog, skipping.

Bill adds sagely to the chipmunks, "Don't worry, it's a family house. Mandy said so."

The chalk lines smudge a little more. Digby suddenly smiles, and says, "Come on, Walter." Walter thanks Bill for the jellybean, and they scamper off in to the bushes.

Bill waves to the departing chipmunks, "Nice meetin' y'all!"

Ian sets about instructing the rag doll in how to put the concrete forms together, then pauses, "Have ye got a hammer in that bag, then?"

Raggedy Mandy looks delighted to help and says, "Sure!" She reaches in... and pulls out... a jackhammer. It happens to be off. She frowns and says, "Sorry. Try again?" She offers the bag to Ian.

Bill shakes his head. Tsk... doesn't she know anything? "Mandy, ya gotta plug it in!" Bill has another jellybean, pleased that he could help.

Ian looks at the gaping maw of the bag, then at the little doll. "You have got to be kiddin' me. Come on, then, we'll try the tool sh-" He pauses, stares with mild horror at Bill, and murmurs, "Oh bloody hell." Raggedy Mandy places the jackhammer carefully on the ground, then skips over to the tool shed.

Bill looks a bit surprised at the look Ian just gave him... then his eyes widen, and he spins around madly to see what's behind him and scaring the bulldog! Bill looks around puzzledly, his back to the bulldog. "Uhh... what was sneaking up on me, Mr. Ian?" Ian facepalms.

There's a rattling and clanking noise from the tool shed, in fact. The chipmunks come walking past, carrying a big pipe wrench, apparently trying to sweep it along the ground. It isn't doing much good.

Raggedy Mandy speeds up and says, "Hey, guys -- that's our house-building stuff!"

Ian grrrs, spying the chipmunks. "D'ye remember what I said about my baser instincts just now?"

Bill ahs in sudden revelation -- he must've been supposed to be helping the chipmunks, obviously. He hastens over to them, "Hi there! Mr. Ian wants me to help you." He reaches down and picks up the pipe wrench, lifting the chipmunks as well, "So... where you want it?" Bill tries to look brisk and professional (in his patched, shabby clothes) -- that's one dangerous bulldog, obviously.

Raggedy Mandy says to the bulldog, "Aye, laddie?"

Digby says, "Yeep!" and Walter says, "Aaack!" and both of them let go of the wrench, drop to the ground, and scamper away. Walter is heard to say, "We need some chalk, right?"

Bill looks confused, watching the chipmunks run off. He calls after them, "Uh... is that where you want this wrench?"

Ian growls again. "I just lost the battle. OI! HEADS UP ON YOU!" He goes tearing off after the chipmunks.

Raggedy Mandy stares at the bulldog, says "Isn't anybody else building a house?" and goes to get a hammer from the tool shed.

Bill gets a worried look. Angry managers are... kinda bad news, he knows, and this one seems real peeved... maybe if he pretended he didn't have anything to do with the wrench, things would get better. He quietly puts the now-sticky, purple-jelly-bean-covered wrench down, and tiptoes after Mandy... like he's been doing that all along, yeah, that's the ticket!

Raggedy Mandy pulls an electric soldering gun from the tool shed... she beams. "Wait'll I show Ian I got his hammer! He'll like me then! Better plug it in for him..." she trots off in search of an electrical socket, the short cord dangling. "I know it'll work better once it's plugged in."

Ian lopes off after the chipmunks, barking and snarling, and skids to a halt as the chipmunks vanish down a hole, falling over himself as he sinks one arm down to the shoulder in after them. Coming up empty, he growls in frustration, trailing a thick black column of cigar smoke... then looks up, spying some grass seed and a hose. "Oh, aye... it's time to do some landscaping, ye wee bastards."

Bill sighs in relief, "Good, I got a hammer too... now he won't growl at me neither. Let's go get nails 'n' wood 'n' stuff." He looks around, then heads for the building supply pile, carrying a circular skill-saw, trailing the long orange cord behind him.

Raggedy Mandy heads to the big generator next to the tool shed, catching her breath at the awesome profusion of orange extension cords. She plugs the cord of the... hammer.. into the first one she reaches.

Bill beams -- good, everything they need is here! He can see boards that aren't to bad, and lots of nails! He picks up several boards, ignoring the ones that spill and fall, then fills his pockets with nails. Slowly but surely, Bill is leaving a sticky purple patina over everything he touches. Some of them, irritatingly, are in boxes, and they also tend to fall out of his hands. One of the boxes falls onto a tilted board, and as he steps around trying to find the right supplies he trips over the board. Nails and boards go flying, and unbeknownst to him, the box of nails goes flying, smacking Ian firmly in the back of the head!

Something like a cross between "OI!" and "YIPE!" comes from off camera. Bill sits up and rubs his leg, "Darn board." Bill YIPES! bouncing straight up -- nails in the pockets are sharp in one's rear!

A chipmunk moves along, drawing a line on the ground, while the other is seen with a little whiskbroom, erasing others.

Raggedy Mandy finds to her immense frustration that nothing happens when she plugs the cord in. She tries another, eyeing the generator. The generator starts, and Mandy squeals with glee! She begins to run toward the house outline with her... hammer.

Ian sits up slowly, whimpering like a wounded dog (appropriately enough.) He sighs and begins to methodically pick the fifteen-penny nails out of his scalp. He mutters darkly to himself, "No fear, Ian, ye've had worse... Berlin 1987, Scotland vs. West Germany, ye were arrested fe' throwin' a live nuclear device at fans of the opposin' team..."

Bill looks around injuredly, rubbing his assaulted rear also. Bill glowers, kicking the offending board. One of the boxes of nails knocks a pile of bricks over. One of the bricks hits a pane of glass, which shatters with a terrific crash. Someone should clean up the mess. Bill blinks at the mess... then looks around a bit worriedly. Whew... no one saw. He calls out hopefully, "Hey... someone should clean this mess up?"

Ian calls out from elsewhere, "Then clean it up!" He's on all fours still picking nails out of his head.

Bill decides it's most important to help Mandy build forms. Besides... if you're not there, you're less likely to be blamed for the mess, right? He gathers up a few boards hastily, and grabs the cord on his "hammer" and heads hastily for Mandy. He uh... he didn't hear anything 'bout cleaning up no mess, no, he sure didn't!

The chipmunks continue redrawing the plans which are chalked on the ground. The circular saw-hammer bounces along the ground after Bill. One of the boards Bill is carrying swings round and wallops Ian in the backside a good one. Ian is propelled face-forwards in to the faucet for the big hose. Ian yipes miserably. His bowler rotates in the air for some minutes. The faucet, however, makes a fine likeness of his profile.

Ian doesn't move, right away. He can be heard to mutter, "1982, The Hague, Scotland vs. Belgium...."

Bill beams at Mandy as he arrives, trailing sticky purple nails, sticky purple boards, and a sticky purple electrical cord... with a circular saw bouncing along after him on the end of it. "Howdy, Ms. Mandy! Gotcher wood and nails for you!" Bill dumps the wood with a HUGE clatter, obliterating some of the chalk lines as well. He puts his hands on his hips and looks around disapprovingly at the bulldog on the ground, "I gotta say... sleeping on the job!"

Raggedy Mandy BEAMS, "Oh, joy! Thanks, Mister Bill! Hand me your wood, that's just what I need!"

Ian stands up, slowly, ripping out several sections of pipe along with him, and slowly peels the pipe off his face. He looks at the twisted pipe, slaps it approvingly in the palm of his hand and, cocking his bowler forward, goes looking for some chipmunks.

Bill forgets the bulldog and beams at the rag doll, "Sure thing, ma'am!" He grabs a random handful of sticky purple boards and drops them into Mandy's arms.

Raggedy Mandy's screams are buried under a pile of sticky purple boards. There is a muffled "Aaaaaagh! I wasn't ready for your wood! I think I got a splinter in my -- ASK me next time!"

Bill blinks bemusedly, then leans over, "But Ms. Mandy... you asked!" He pauses, thinking. This will take a while.

The woodpile says indignantly, "Am NOT!"

Ian growls quietly, looking around for the chipmunks, which seem to have vanished. Behind his back, the water appears to be creeping toward the generators. Water fountains from the ground where the faucet was. The hose lies useless, and water seeps in to the chipmunk's tunnel nearby, and slowly towards the generator.

Bill blinks again, his train of thought derailed. "Whoa! Ms. Mandy, did you hear that?! The woodpile talks!"

THe woodpile BEEPS... This woodpile has been censored briefly by ACME Studios. This is a family show.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled woodpile.

Bill gasps, then looks around, realizing the rag doll isn't visible... and she was screaming -- and the woodpile is saying naughty things! What could cause... his eyes widen as a lit light bulb appears over his head and he straightens, crying out, "Don't worry, Ms. Mandy, I'll save you from the woodpile!" He grabs up the cord of his hammer and runs for the generator, to plug it in!

Ian shrugs, giving up the chase for now, and wanders back toward where he left the others. He pauses, looking around, not long after Bill takes off. "An' where's that wee mannikin gone now?" He sits down on the woodpile to wait.

The woodpile shrieks! Ian jumps clear of the woodpile, swinging his twisted pipe wildly! ...until he realizes he can't find a source for the shriek. He squints, and gingerly pokes the woodpile with the pipe. Muffled noises, as of someone yelling about being crushed by someone else's butt and something heavy and then poked, emanate from the woodpile.

Bill yells at the bulldog, "LOOK OUT, IAN, IT'S A MAN-EATIN' WOODPILE!" as he gallops towards the generator. He doesn't notice the curling loops of electrical cord around his boots, and abruptly they tighten as he reaches their end. Bill slides towards the generator, arms out-stretched, more loops of electrical cord whirling madly about him, and a shocked look on his face -- until he impacts face first into the generator! There's a resounding ka*LAAAAAANG*! and the cord plugs in neatly... then a *roar* as the circular saw starts!

Ian looks over at Bill, then back at the woodpile. There's a long pause. Then he exhales a big plume of smoke and sighs, "Oh, bloody hell." He starts excavating the woodpile.

Raggedy Mandy has a bright idea and turns on her... hammer. Smoke starts to drift out from under the woodpile.

Ian stops. "Tha's a wee bit irregular..."

Raggedy Mandy yells merrily, "I'll save you!" from inside the -- smoking-- woodpile.

The saw bounces up and then kicks itself forward, throwing sparks from its blade when it touches the ground. It begins to kind of jerk around randomly, as it's on with nobody holding it. It yanks on Bill through the cord a couple of times.

Ian looks over, hearing the clatter. He sees the uncontrolled circular saw, he sees the smoking woodpile. He pushes back his bowler and considers, "An' do I really want t' disturb this carefully orchestrated comedic opportunity?" He leans on the length of pipe, appraising. Ian glances at the camera, "I understand th' value of preservin' the fourth wall, mind ye, but quite frankly I've been waitin' fer this since the twelfth frame."

Before the woodpile really catches fire, the bounding saw manages to cut the cord of the soldering gun, leaving bare wires behind, before imbedding it's self in one of the boards pretty good. The little birdies whirling distractingly around Bill's head and chirping madly finally disappear. He groans, starting to wake up. The smoke continues to rise. Ian looks at the camera again, "Ye see? No justice at all." He shrugs and goes back to excavating the woodpile.

Cambot 4 nods sympathetically, making the image sway giddily.

Bill, having left a trail of nails behind him that managed to empty his pockets, sits up, rubbing his head until it pops back into its usual shape. He blinks, looking around confusedly and noticing all the water spraying everywhere, "Uh... we s'pposed to build a swimming pool frame too?"

Raggedy Mandy notes that her hammer has ceased working, and tosses it down. She reaches into the Bag. Raggedy Mandy pulls out a shop vac. She shakes it sadly.. she was hoping for a beaver to eat her out of this woodpile... but cheers up at the "Black Hole" logo on the shopvac. "Well, you're in the right place, pal."

Ian finishes tossing aside the final board... just in time to stare into the barrel of a really, really big Shop-Vac. He growls, "Watch where ye're pointin' that!"

Raggedy Mandy blinks at the sudden daylight and says, "Hi Ian! I am- isn't it pointed at you?" Raggedy Mandy hauls the shopvac cheerfully out into the clear.

Ian gingerly takes the hose and moves it away from his head. "You then, help Bill get up... I'll handle this." Raggedy Mandy goes to plug the Shop-Vac in. It just seems SO useful.

With a little creak, the door of the foreman's trailer opens. The grizzly steps out, and looks around. He shouts, "What are you DOING?" He stomps over and shuts the water off at the main valve, and says, "Here I thought I'd tell you it was time for coffee break, but you've not gotten anything done! Get to it. Get the forms up! Spread this grass seed before it sprouts!" He kicks a soggy burlap sack of fast-grow seed.

Bill's eyes widen, and he shrinks down a little, trying to look small and inconspicuous, like... like a generator. Air bubbles come up out of the chipmunk hole, as the water drains down it. The chipmunks emerge, looking more like drowned rats than squirrels. Angry drowned rats. Bill gives the chipmunks a sympathetic glance, "Whoa, you too, huh?"

Bill offers Mandy a handful of cords. He's got plenty wrapped around him! Raggedy Mandy beams at Bill, "Thanks!" and plugs it in. Ian decides to be nowhere near this when it happens, and goes to see to the grass seed. Raggedy Mandy tries turning her shop-vac on. Raggedy Mandy says, "We can clean up the glass with this, and everything."

The Shop Vac comes on. It sucks. It REALLY sucks. Dirt, bits of gravel, stray boards, the abandoned soldering hammer, some bricks, all the loose nails, and all the chalk lines.

Bill starts trying to shove the cords off him, grunting with the effort, "Uh! Um, yeah... sure thing..." He doesn't have any idea what he's agreeing to -- as he suddenly realizes when his hat tries to take off for the vac! He yelps, grabbing at it! Ian takes yet another nail to the dome, in passing. He takes this one in stride, carefully un-impales his hat from his forehead, and flicks it over his shoulder.

Raggedy Mandy holds on tight. "I've got it!"

Bill lunges for his hat, but misses it. Instead he manages to whirl electrical cords into the air, unplug the circular saw, get whacked repeatedly by passing boards, and get peppered with nails. He yelps, flailing wildly and falling towards the Great Big Sucking Device!

Ian has his head down to the wind, holding his hat with one hand, and making very.... slow.... progress... toward the grass seed. "Fer pity's sake, someone plug that bleedin' thing up!"

There's a loud *SCHLOOP*! noise... as Bill does so. With... himself.

The vacuum is relentless, and sucks Bill up, although the machine makes a loud screeching noise as it slowly slurps the gangly man in to it's self. Bill is bigger than the vacuum's barrel, and once it fills up, the sides burst, and Bill oozes out as kind of a paste. Having popped, the vacuum whines a terrible mechanical death rattle, and stops, forever.

Bill lies on the ground two-dimensionally, and makes squeaky unhappy noises.

Ian goes flying as the suction suddenly stops. After he's extricated the pipe from his mouth, neatly chewed into a bow, he grumbles and surveys the damage. He pauses, actually seeing the damage.

Raggedy Mandy blinks. "Oops."

Ian says, "I saw something like this in Antwerp, 1988, Scotland vs. the Dutch West Indies."

Having watched this in stunned awe, the foreman stomps over to Mandy, saying, "Quit horsing around! Get to building forms." He hands her a hammer (a normal one) and gives her a shove to the pile of boards. He doesn't seem to know or care that the chalk lines are gone. They'll have to think of something.

Bill lies there limply, still two-dimensional, and flutters a bit in the breeze. George (the bear foreman) stomps off to his trailer, looking for a first aid kit. The chipmunks sneak in to Growler's trailer when he goes in for the first aid kit.

Ian says, "Ye're a menace, ye wee freak of nature, d'ye know that? Start on the forms, then, I'll get t' excavatin' fer the foundation."

Raggedy Mandy looks around for a working hammer. Ian calmly, or rather as calmly as a badly used (or drawn) caricature of a violent Scots sports fanatic can be, begins to excavate the foundation with the aid of the bulldozer. He even knows how to drive it straight.

Growler comes back out of the trailer with a first aid kit. He scoops up the pile of Bill goo, wraps it up in tape, and sprays it with fixative. He rips the tape off all at once. Bill says, "Ow!" but stays standing up when the bear is done. Bill sways slightly, then beams a bit woozily at the bear, "Grape soda?"

The foreman gives the doll a hammer, and says, "Come on, let's build this." He holds boards up, and starts to help out. The forms finally begin to take shape. Bill looks around at the incredible mess... then hastily goes to help the bear and the rag doll. Wasn't him made such a mess, nopenope! The fact that he's soggy, partly purple, got bits of grass sprouting on parts of him, and has nails sticking out of parts of his clothing... is lost on him.

However, the bulldozer is making a real mess. A lot of water ran underground, through the chipmunks' tunnels, and the good stirring Ian gave it with the bulldozer has made a wonderful, thick, brown soupy gunk. Things begin to stick in it. The forms begin to sink in the mud. The bulldozer begins to sink, bogging down, and throwing mud across the yard, splattering the generator and tool shed.

Raggedy Mandy works away with great enthusiasm! "Thanks for the new hammer-- I kind of liked the one I had to plug in, though. Is this battery? ...uh oh..."

Ian just stops the bulldozer. "I dunno if I can handle any more frustration today without strikin' somebody with lawn darts!" He hops out of the seat of the bulldozer and growls, "RIGHT then, ye wee gel!" He grabs hold of the treads and, with already oversize biceps bulging, simply picks the useless equipment out of the bog and tromps back to the shed with it, setting it down near where the chalk lines used to be. "Rather do it my bleedin' self!"

The bear starts muttering, and stamps his foot. He shouts, "All morning you've been wasting time, when you can do things like that? You're all bloody useless!" He bares his claws and reaches for Mandy and Bill, targeting Ian after them, and shouts, "When I get my paws on you!"

Ian grins widely and cocks his hat forward, "Ayyyye, NOW ye're talkin'! Heads up on YOU!" He rolls up his sleeves.

Raggedy Mandy looks up wide-eyed... Bill looks up at the bear, then yelps, jumping back and reaching for the door handle behind him! He puts his hand on the door handle and opens it! "C'mon, Ms. Mandy!" He holds the door, in the doorframe, open, for the rag doll. The doorframe, of course, is in a wall as well... which is part of a house!

Raggedy Mandy says, "Uh... I... yeah!" She scurries in after Bill. Bill slams the door behind them both!

Raggedy Mandy looks around and says, "Oh. Is this the house we built today?"

Bill looks around too. "Uh... yeah!" He beams at Mandy, offering her a soda can, "Nice house. Grape soda?"

Raggedy Mandy beams. "Thanks!" She pops the soda top and looks around. "We did a good job."

Ian bellows, "JUST WAIT UNTIL I GET MY BUTCHERING TOOLS! I'LL- eh?"

Bill peeks cautiously out a window. "Wow... better than the movies out there!"

The bear slams in to the door, and staggers back, his front half flattened. He shakes himself, and says, "Aaarrrgh!" and isn't sure if he should be stunned, happy, or apoplectic. He settles for seething his way back to his trailer, and slamming the door, saying, "G'wan! You're done. Take the rest of the day off."

Bill beams at the rag doll, "Yeah! And we get the rest of the day off. Should I ask you for lunch now?" Bill adds, "You did say to ask first next time?"

Raggedy Mandy blinks, then shrugs, grinning, "Sure! Lunch sounds good." She reaches in her Bag. Outside, as the other two re-join him, Ian scratches his head, staring confusedly. He shrugs, "Ah well. Time t' go get pissed."

As the three bewildered builders walk away, there's a gentle sucking sound, and then a great BLOOP! as the house sinks into the mud hole, vanishing as if it never were.

- - THE END - -




Last modified: 2002-Mar-22 18:03:03

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