Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy

Trouble Speaks in Many Tongues

February 15, 2022
Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy
Trouble Speaks in Many Tongues
Show Notes Transcript

“Trouble Speaks in Many Tongues,” Episode 28

Nicki has convinced a concerned Sooperflea that she’s strong enough to attempt a perilous and possibly deadly dimension jump back to Earth. But has she quite convinced herself?

Meanwhile, back at the office, therapist Ingabore Scriblig’s veggie meatballs spell trouble for Gneeecey.

We thank Marysol Rodriguez, Sandi Solá, Sal Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera, Diane L., Brunie Cariño, and Toni Aponte for being generous supporting members via BuyMeACoffee.com! We appreciate their sponsorship and support more than words can say! 

https://buymeacoffee.com/Perswayssick (Please support us with a one-time gift or monthly sponsorship amount—various levels available—to help keep us coming to you via BuyMeACoffee.com! We’ll shout you out during our podcast episodes and in our show notes here, plus supply you with more fun perks!)  

https://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Sola/e/B07J29RVMQ (Amazon Author Page, check out our Gneeecey/Nicki e-books and paperbacks!)

https://www.nfreads.com/interview-with-author-vicki-sola/ (Interview with Vicki Solá)

https://perswayssickradio.buzzsprout.com (right here, our Buzzsprout website w/episodes & transcripts!)   

And much thanks to disproportionately cool artist Jay Hudson for our podcast logo! https://yojayhudson.com/

This Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy podcast is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Ardelle Institute, providing Executive Coaching for aspiring and established professionals who want to develop their careers, including upwardly-mobile executives, professionals who may be in between jobs, and college graduates transitioning to the workforce. The Ardelle Institute helps with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, interview skills, and effective job search strategies.  For more information, please call (201) 394-6939, that's (201) 394-6939, or visit them on the web at ardelle-institute.com, that's A-R-D-E-L-L-E dash institute dot com. Take it from me, Gneeecey!

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Transcript / “Trouble Speaks in Many Tongues," written by Vicki Solá. 

All content © 2022 Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy. 

Music/Intro: Hi there, I’m author and radio host Vicki Solá, welcoming you to Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy. I invite you to escape with me into the bizarre dimension of Perswayssick County, where wackiness rules! The laughs begin when I morph into my alter ego, radio DJ Nicki Rodriguez and clash with the zany, alien canine-humanoid Gneeecey!

And now, I turn it over to my other self, Nicki….

SFX: [Magic Spell] [Door Opens] 

Hey there, Nicki Rodriguez here, just arriving at the office of therapist Ingabore Scriblig, who prefers to be called “Grandma,” and her associate, neurologist/neuropsychologist Doctor Alexandra C. Idnas. They’ve been such a great help just listening as my dimension-induced memory issues improve and I recall how I ended up in Gneeecey’s Perswayssick County! 

SFX: [Door Open]

NICKI RODRIGUEZ: Hi Doctor Idnas! Hi Grandma!

DOCTOR ALEXANDRA C. IDNAS: Hallo, Nicki, so good to see you!

INGABORE SCRIBLIG, AKA “GRANDMA”: Hallo, Hallo, Nicki, how doodle you do?

N: Fine, thanks, Grandma. Mmmm…something here smells heavenly!

IS: Oh, tank you, Nicki! Dat ees dee aroma of my special veggie meatballs! Vun of my best veggie meatball shop clients is meeting me here to pick up his order dis evening. 

N: [whispers] You know, here in the dimension of Perswayssick County, it’s common for people to run several businesses. Grandma, for instance, is a licensed therapist, and in addition, she’s the proprietor of Ingabore’s Veggie Meatball Express. Another popular business around here is Zeke’s Pizza and Transmissions. And of course, our, uh, famed friend, the elbow-high white-and-black canine-humanoid Bizzig “Zig” Gneeecey is Perswayssick County’s Grate Gizzygalumpaggis, also its Quality of Life Commissioner, plus county director, and he’s allegedly a doctor—which makes him a diroctor. In addition, Gneeecey owns the GAS Broadcast Network and runs Gneeezle’s Restaurant—and he’s my boss at both places….

DI: You know, Nicki, you and I are incredibly fortunate today. Ingabore has brought an extra batch of her veggie meatballs for us to enjoy after your session! 

N: Wow, Doctor Idnas, that’s great—can’t wait to try ’em! Thank you, Grandma!

IS: You are wery velcome! And vait till you taste my specialty sauce! Eet is sparkly but clear—dee special vegetarian cooking oil I use makes dee sauce nearly invisible. And delicious!

DI: Yah, transparent and magical! SFX: [Magic Glitter] And deese tiny veggie meatballs are slippery, too. You must stab dem vit dee fork right avay, or dey vill roll all over dee place. 

IS: Dat ees right, Alexandra, deese little veggie meatballs are slippery, like little ball bearings. Dey have to be handled very carefully! I use a magical recipe—handed down tru many generations—from our native Planet Eccchs’s Bozovian region! Makes eating almost a game!

 SFX: [Door Opens] [Kazoo Flourish] [Belch]

GNEEECEY: Hey everyone, it’s meeeeeee!

IS: Yah, Diroctor Gneeecey, vee know. And you can put avay dat concert kazoo of yours.

G: Ain’t youse peopoople hapoopy to see me?

DI: Diroctor Gneeecey, vhat brings you here?

N: Yeah, what brings you here?

G: Ah, hah, haah—FIDUCIARY! SFX: [Clinking Coins]

DI: And vee remain radder concerned—vee see dat you are still sneezing dimes!

IS: Yah, all over dee place! You ruined my birthday cake last veek.

G: Heh, heh, sorry, Graaandma. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to pick ’em all up this time. I need ’em. I need ’em all! I love mon-ney! Mmmmm! Somethin’ in here smells real apoopetizin’ an’ savoovory!

IS: Dose are my Bozovian vegetarian meatballs. I have dem over dere on dat special table, varming up. A good client is coming by later tonight to pick up a radder large order. 

G: Nice, Graaaandma…oh, looky over there! Out the window! 

IS: Vhy?

DI: Vhat ees going on out dere?

N: Yeah, what’s up? 

G: Wowzickles! Unbelievaboobical! Looky!

N: [whispers] Doctor Idnas, Grandma, and I strolled over to the window. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on out there. However, I saw Gneeecey, reflected in the glass —and he was headed right for that table where Grandma’s juicy meatballs sat warming. 

You could hear his red high-top sneakers squeak as he strode across the tiled floor. SFX: [Sneakers Squeaking]

I continued watching as Gneeecey stuffed the pockets of his aqua blue sweat pants and his lumpy, oversized matching T-shirt pocket with Grandma’s mini-meatballs. Little rivers of liquid were visible, streaming down his chest and legs. 

G: Mmm…yummy! SFX: [Dog Eating] Slippery little suckers—I mean, well, I guess there was nuthin’ out there to see by the time youse slow huuumans got over to the window there. Gotta go now, y’know how it is wit’ us busy an’ important people, we’re real busy an’ important. Oh, an’ here, brung youse this. SFX: [Rustling Papers]

Gneeecey tossed some papers down at our feet and rushed to the door. SFX: [Sneakers Squeaking]

G: See youse huuumans later! I’ll defoofinitely be baaack! See youse later, agoogilator.  SFX: [Belch] [Door Slam]

DI: Vell, Nicki, vee vill hopefully now be able to get on vit your session in peace. First, let’s see vhat’s on deese papers dat Gneeecey just trew at us. Hmm. Eet says, vee vant to tank Marysol Rodriguez, Sal Solá, Sandi Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera, Diane L., Brunie Cariño, and Toni Aponte for being generous supporting members of “Persvayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy” tru BuyMeACoffee.com.” Tank you all so vary much!

IS: So, Nicki, last time you vere here, you vere telling us about your overnight stay in Gneeecey’s pet dog Oxymoron’s 414th-floor condo in Seemingvale Towers.

DI: Yah, and dat Gneeecey has nicknamed his tiny lookalike pet puppy “Spot,” to save vowels and consonants! I’ve seen his picture—he looks much like Gneeecey, except he is a regular dog! And Gneeecey’s best friend Flea, an actual superhero known as “Sooperflea,” stayed vit you dat night. He is dee vun who saved your life after you qvite accidentally dimension-jumped from your planet Earth’s New Jersey to our dimension of Persvayssick County’s New Jersey. 

N: Yes, Doctor Idnas. Black-furred, red-caped canine-humanoid Flea will always be my hero. I began losing patience with him, though. My leg muscles were extremely weak from my unintentional dimension jump, and I know that he was worried about me.

That next morning, Flea kept testing me—over and over again—timing me with a stopwatch while he made me stand on one foot. He was really kind of stern with me, too. Not his usual good-natured self. I was exhausted and yes, weak. And I was starving, too. There was nothing normal to eat in Gneeezle’s Restaurant the night before, or in poor Spot’s gross kitchen—thanks to Gneeecey. I just wanted, desperately, to return to my own world—my mom and my family. I knew they’d be worried sick when they realized I was missing! We’d been through enough—my dad had died recently, the summer after my freshman year in college.

DI: I’m so sorry, Nicki. 

IS: Yah, Nicki, vee are deeply sorry for your loss.

N: Thank you. So, I really needed to get back home right away! Flea had promised to get me on the Garden State Parkway, y’know, so I could get back to my New Jersey. Then, I felt he broke that promise—all of a sudden, he said he’d been observing me and thought I was too weak and might even die if I attempted to return to my dimension too soon. He and Gneeecey told me about another Earth human they knew—a guy named Julio—who tried to return to Earth too soon…and Julio didn’t make it….

DI: Flea vas vary concerned for your velfare.

IS: Very protective.

N: Yes, I realize now that he felt responsible for me and wanted to make sure I was strong enough to return home safely. 

DI: Vell, please tell us vhat happened next. 

IS: Yah, please do, Nicki. And vhen your session here ees finished, vee vill celebrate your returning memory vit a nice little veggie meatball party. And don’t vorry. I brought extra meatballs! I expected dat Gneeecey vould be up to his old tricks.

N: Ha, yes—that’s our Gneeecey! Anyway, this is how that next day went….

SFX: [Magic Spell] 

“I, uh, didn’t mean—um, I’m sorry for, y’know, when I said—I mean, when I thought I’d rather have malaria than ever come back here again,” I stammered. “I really didn’t mean—” 

“It’s okay,” replied Flea, patting my arm. 

“Thanks for understanding.” 

“De nada.” 

My jaw dropped. The superhero spoke Spanish.

“Been waitin’ to use that—we studied alien languages at the academy. Trouble speaks in many tongues.” 

“I—I imagine it does.” 

“Let’s go, Nicki. Time to get’cha home.” Flea crouched down to rub Oxymoron’s snowy tummy. “Don’t worry, Spotsickles—Bogelthorpe the doorman will be up soon to take care of ya.” 

Hands trembling, I stroked the pup’s lightbulb-sized head. Flea had finally given me clearance to dimension-jump back to Earth.

SFX: [Magic Spell]

Oxymoron’s yelps intensified as we lumbered down the corridor. Poor pup was alone again. SFX: [Puppy Barking] My numb, dimension-burned leg muscles didn’t feel all that strong. I had to stop every few yards. Flea had determined that I was good to go. But was I?

“Bad morning,” gushed skinny, human Bogelthorpe as he bounced out of the chiming elevator. SFX: [Elevator Chimes] A choke chain dangled from his pasty fingers. The doorman smoothed down his greasy black patent-leather hair with his free hand. He reminded me very much of a certain Transylvanian count. 

“Bad mornin’,” replied Flea, his eyes fixed on my gimpy limbs. Bogelthorpe inserted a long, thin arm back into the car after we entered and pressed the button for the lobby, to save us the trouble. His open hand, ignored by Flea, narrowly escaped being severed at the wrist by the closing doors. I clutched the icy railing and braced myself for the ear-popping descent. 

SFX: [Elevator Chimes]

SFX: [Magic Spell]

Daylight glorified my prized red ’64-and-a-half Mustang’s new streaks and dents. My late dad had spent years restoring that car, his last gift to me. 

Flea had rescued me when my car was shoved off the Perswayssick Bridge by some invisible force. Afterward, I’d been in no shape to drive. So, I let Flea drive us into town. He was a nice guy, but a horrible driver—the damage to my vehicle was proof. Tears welled up as I flopped into the driver’s seat and pulled the door shut. SFX: [Slot Clunk]

Flea leaned into my open window. “You’re trapped,” he whispered, glancing over his shoulder, “between worlds.” 

“Whaaa—”

 “Perswayssick County was created when our two dimensions collided.” 

“This isn’t funny—” 

The terrier-hound-like canine-humanoid fiddled with his long black furry ear. “It was an accidental interface.” 

“C’mon—” 

“Our Planet Eccchs scientists call it an ‘EDE’—an Exponential Dimensional Event. It’s complicated—hasta do wit’ time warps an’ the time-space continuum, an’ tripled dimensional displacement.” 

“Tripled dimensional displacement,” I repeated, praying that Flea wasn’t some kind of nut.  Trouble evidently did speak in many tongues.

“I’m not some kinda nut!” 

“Hey—you promised that you wouldn’t violate my mental privacy with your superhero ESP!” 

“Ya wanna go home?” 

“Aren’t you supposed to be telling me how?” 

“Displacement formulas are so complex that Zig thinks about ’em when he has trouble sleepin’. He says it works better than countin’ herds of vlork vaulting over vlonkets.” 

I winced. I couldn’t picture Gneeecey counting anything but cash. 

“Zig will explain the technical part better, some other time—” 

“Some other time? There isn’t gonna be—” 

“Sssssh!  I know this is difficult to wrap your head around.”

“You got that right.” 

“When ya think of it though, we’re lucky.” 

I licked my dry lips. “We are? How so?” 

“Well,” replied Flea, laughing so hard that he almost began crying, “if one of those collidin’ dimensions, say yours, was antimatter, we wouldn’t even be here havin’ this conversation.” 

I shot him a sidelong glance.

“Anyway,” he continued, regaining his composure, “when the outer reaches of our atmospheres—yours an’ mine—touched, that action created a whole new dimension incorporatin’ elements of your Earth an’ my Planet Eccchs.” 

“Strange universe. You’d better not be pulling my leg.” 

“I’m not. An’ actually, our scientists say it’s a multiverse—at least a tripliverse, possibly a quadrupliverse.” 

My tired eyes widened. 

“Anyway,” he informed me, “our Perswayssick County’s parta New Joisey.” 

“Oh?” 

“Planet Eccchs—actually, our richly historic Commonwealth of Bozovia—brushed by your Earth’s Garden State, quite accidentally.” 

“How come the rest of Jersey doesn’t know?” 

“Our Perswayssick County’s not detectable by your dimension.” 

“So, then you don’t pay state taxes.” 

Flea’s face lit up. “Or federal. But we do maintain our own taxation commission, to ensure county safety an’ services. Taxation is one of the things our Grate Gizzygalumpaggis Zig Gneeecey oversees.”

My jaw tightened. Gneeecey would tax a dead horse and enjoy it. 

The superhero noticed my pained expression. “Zig’s not all that bad. I mean, everyone’s got their faults, but he’s really an okay guy. We’ve been best friends since our childhood back on Planet Eccchs.” 

I remained silent.

 “Do ya understand all this so far?” 

“Honestly, Flea, I’m trying.” 

He rubbed his fuzzy chin, searching for the right words. “Ya can’t see these other dimensions from here or there—it’s kinda like not bein’ able to see somethin’ that’s around the corner.” 

“Uh-huh.” 

He raised an index finger. “Like radio waves—ya can’t see ’em, but’cha know they’re there.” 

I nodded. “Okay. Got’cha. But now, how do I return to, y’know, regular New Jersey?” 

“Well, that all depends on what’cha consider regular—” 

“Please—” 

“Awright, awright.” He grabbed a pen from his utility belt and scribbled something on the back of a business card. 

“What’s that?” I asked.

He slapped his hand over my mouth, squashing half my nose. “These words are your passport home. Don’t say ’em aloud till you’re in a deserted area! Nebberd-kinnezzard—an’ that means extra never, where I come from—say ’em when you’re sick, or wit’ anyone, or in a populated area—it would be disastrous.” 

Trying my best to breathe through one clogged nostril, I could only grunt. 

“I’d suggest you drive out to those woods, back on Street Avenue,” Flea advised, finally removing his hot, prickly mitt from my face. “Y’know, we passed through there, after I rescued ya, on our way to Perswayssick City an’ Gneeezle’s.” 

“Just these four words will get me home?” The words—which I’m not gonna say outloud now, for the sake of our safety—seemed very familiar. 

“Yup—like Zig says, three lousy numbers an’ a color.” 

“You mean, Gneeecey knows how to—” 

“Now, put that card away!” 

“How do I know that this, uh, incantation, won’t transport me to your planet?” 

Flea gazed heavenward. “It can’t. Nuthin’ can.” 

“You can’t return to your planet?”

“Nope.” The elbow-high superhero wiped his wet peepers on his navy polyester sleeve. “Us Eccchsers—canine-humanoids, humans, an’ other folk, like Gneeecey’s restaurant delivery mouse Altitude—have no such way of goin’ home.” 

“Why not?” 

“Has somethin’ to do wit’ our planet bein’ the PDT—the Primary Dimensional Transgressor. Our scientists say we caused the EDE. Quantum Electrohypernuculational Globulization or somethin’ like that—I’m not totally sure. Ask Zig—” 

“You mean, Gneeecey?” 

“He’s the expert,” declared Flea. 

“Can’t your, y’know, ESP help?” 

“Even when it works, it never gives me an answer to this.” 

“Does your planet know you’re stranded?” 

“Yeah. Our technology’s kinda more advanced than yours,” Flea answered apologetically. 

“Anyone from my New Jersey stuck on your planet after this, uh, EDE mishap?” 

“Not that we know of—although some of our citizens have reported sightin’ rogue tomatoes. Giant ones.” 

“How many of you Planet Eccchsers  are stuck here in Perswayssick County?” 

He lowered his head. “At last census, fifteen million.” 

“That’s more people than in all of—” 

“New York City,” he proclaimed, finishing my sentence. “More people than your planet has in some of its countries.” 

“So, are you able to communicate with your planet?” 

“We maintain an electronic link-up—our computers have a twenny-seven-zillion-point-two terafluroflop capability,” he replied, sniffling. “We can even transfer certain light materials back an’ forth, like rindom seeds.” 

My own eyes had misted over. Flea blew his honking nose on his red cape. SFX: [Duck Horn] “Our scientists—here in Perswayssick County an’ back on our mother planet—are workin’ day an’ night, thirteen months a year, to find the right formula to bring us home.” 

I took his four-fingered hand in mine. The hint of a smile suddenly illuminated his tear-stained face, much like sunshine peeking through clouds after a soaking storm. “Y’know, as Grate Gizzygalumpaggis—or, Grate Gizzy for short, to, y’know, conserve vowels an’ consonants—our Zig Gneeecey will not only be accountable for our safety an’ welfare— he’ll be spearheadin’ our efforts to return home.” 

“You mean, Gneeecey—” 

“Fleeeea!” screamed a sign-carrying figure, zigzagging across the street, as horns blasted and tires shrieked. SFX: [Screeching Brakes] [Horns] 

Flea’s bulbous eyeballs popped out. “Flubbubb—watch out!” 

A split-second later, a speeding brown Freak O’Nature Foods truck plowed into a swerving kelly-green taxi. SFX: [Car Crash] [Glass Shatter]

Oblivious to the fact that Perswayssick City’s main drag Murgatroyd Avenue had, in his honor, just tied itself into knots to gift-wrap him a smash-up, complete with sparkling confetti, the furry jaywalking canine-humanoid stepped up onto the curb. 

As the drivers emerged from their crumpled vehicles, cussing each other out, Flea grabbed his pal by the shoulders. “For Saint Bogelthorpe’s sake, Flubbubb—ya jus’ almost got hit!” 

“Lousy drivers,” muttered Flubbubb. His golden, iridescent fur reflected subtleties of the rainbow with each movement. A cinnamon widow’s peak capped his lustrous dome, and he possessed a magnificently silky buff tail. Flubbubb set his handmade “Stop the Divlopment” sign down on the sidewalk. The “S” had been scrawled backward. 

SFX: [Sirens] [Metal Bang] “I see,” Flea shouted over the whining sirens and clanking tow-trucks, “you’re demonstratin’ against the development.” 

“Yeah—I been protestin’ the divlopment all mornin’, all by myself, to impress Zig.” 

“Nice threads,” commented Flea, noticing the handsome Flubbubb’s electric-blue “Save the Goonafish” T-shirt.

“Thanks. Been wearin’ it every day—I mean, how can the poor goonafish learn if their underwater schools get bulldozed, like Zig says? An’ we can’t let those mean divloppers steal all Zig’s money—” 

“Flubbubb,” interrupted Flea, looking my way, “Nicki Rodriguez. Nicki, Flubbubb Finial.” 

“Hi.” I extended a hand. 

“Oh, hi.” Flubbubb glanced absentmindedly in my direction for all of two seconds, then addressed Flea, in his Gneeecey-like voice. “Can’t wait till our big rally tonight, in Circle Square!” 

My teeth hurt at the thought of Gneeecey playing an electrically amplified violin. 

“Uh, Flubbubb—” 

“Did Zig say I could play wit’ youse? Did he? Did he? Did he?” Flubbubb’s tail revolved so rapidly that he resembled a helicopter, ready for take-off. 

“Uh, well, uh—”

“Got my concert triangle—the gold one—specifically an’ professionally tuned, ’specially for tonight. An’ I’m takin’ these anti-xylophobic tablets, too—the pharmacist says they’re herbicidal. They’ll be sure to control my fear of xylophones!”

“Flubbubb, we gotta talk—” 

“I love talkin’ about Zig! He’s so cool!” Flubbubb, Flea, and Gneeecey had been childhood pals back on Planet Eccchs. I recall Flea saying that Flubbubb worshipped the very ground that Gneeecey sat on. Flubbubb was always trying to gain Gneeecey’s favor, with no success.

Steering Flubbubb up the walk, Flea pointed to a chrome-plated railroad car across the street. “Nicki, we’re headin’ over to the diner there. Can I buy ya brunch?” 

“Uh, no—please don’t! Um, I mean, no thanks!” 

Flea smiled. “Okay, Nicki. Next time.” 

“Uh—there won’t be a next time—”

“Don’t be so sure. Oh, an’ here.” Flea handed me a wad of bills. 

“What’s that for?” 

He grinned sheepishly. “Your bumpers.” 

“Thanks, but I can’t take that—you saved my life.” 

He stepped back. “I insist. I caused a lot of damage to your car. My drivin’ was kinda bad.” 

“No, Flea, I absolutely can’t take this. You saved my life.” I tucked the money into Flea’s red utility belt. “Y’know, I’m gonna miss you— you’re a real class act.” 

“Aw, that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever told me.” His eyes glistened with tears. 

“I mean it, Flea.” 

“You be careful, Nicki. Please.” 

Nodding, I fastened my seatbelt. The superhero tossed a cellophane Freak O’Nature Rindom Doodles bag through my open window. I knew I couldn’t eat ’em. 

The rust-colored, arrow-shaped flakes were razor-sharp—one had punctured my thumb, just the night before, in Spots’s condo. 

“Ya gotta be hungry!” 

I smiled. “Thanks, Flea. Nice meeting you, Flubbubb. If I run into Julio, I’ll tell him you guys said hi.”

Flubbubb’s chin clunked to his chest, his spinning chocolate eyes stilled by terror. 

SFX: [Fail Horn] [Magic Spell]

I was ready to roll. I’d lost track of how many times I’d peered down at the card Flea had given me, to make sure it was still there. Hyperventilating, I turned my key, comforted by the Mustang’s distinctive idle, that is, until voices exploded from my speakers—sassy and harmonized, like my grandmother’s favorite group, The Andrews Sisters—belting out, “Nuthin’ could be stoopider than a week away on Jupiter, with you, joop-joop-a-joop, stoop-stoop-a-stoop!” 

I slammed the radio’s remaining knob with my fist—popping it off. SFX: [Boing] I screeched out of my parking space. SFX: [Screeching Brakes]

Murgatroyd Avenue remained littered with broken glass from the accident Flubbubb had caused, and traffic was bumper-to-bumper. SFX: [Engine] [Motorcycle Rumbling] [Horns] [Sirens]

Overhead, tangles of unchanging red lights, multi-colored blinkers, and odd signs decorated intersections like carelessly hung holiday ornaments. What did “look before you stop to start before you go,” and “left turners may not, unless not specified not to, especially in this lane, otherwise move into the next left-turn-only lane before trying not to do it again,” mean? 

My damp clothes glued me to my seat as the midday sun transformed the car into a greenhouse. Exhaust mingled with street vendors’ steaming, bitter-smelling rindom-laced munchies, manufacturing a hanging stink. Nausea stole up into my throat. 

SFX: [Fail Horn] [Magic Spell]

I’d made it out of the city. Leaves blew down the road sideways, their sharp points scraping the pavement. The sweet smoke that swirled through the crisp air conjured up phantoms of autumns past. Before I knew it, Street Road’s flame-colored woods filled my windshield. 

Jelly jiggled through my veins as I drove over layers of crunchy foliage and parked. I scrutinized Flea’s chicken scratch on the back of his business card until the words meant nothing. 

Its flip side pictured the superhero flying high up in the clouds, clutching a model of a spine, his scarlet cape billowing. Embossed letters below the image read: Fleaglossitty Floppinsplodge, Superhero. In a jam? Call 3-3-3—S-O-O-P-E-R-F-L-E-A. Chiropractic office opening soon on Shnoggleshnook Road & Achilles Avenue! Ask Flea or visit xxx-dot-ifyoucryfleawillfly-dot-zoom or xxx-dot-ouchmyback-dot-click.

Cold perspiration gathered on my upper lip as I recalled other times I’d sat frozen—across the street from the midtown salsa club where I’d often emcee. Each time the traffic light went red, I’d promise myself, next light. Next light, I’ll get out and go into the building. I’d play that game until it was nearly time for the band—and me—to be onstage. Once inside, I’d always wonder why I’d stayed in the car so long. It wasn’t because I was afraid to meet anyone named Julio. 

Heart racing, I lowered my head onto the steering wheel, then bolted upright and opened my mouth. Out tripped Flea’s four little words, the three numbers and color that I’m not gonna repeat here inside this office! 

SFX: [Explosion] [Supersonic Aerodynamic Whoosh] [Magic Summon] After the blinding purple flash, I saw nothing.

SFX: [Fail Horn] [Magic Spell]

DI: Vow, Nicki, you vere very brave!

IS: Yah, Nicki!

N: And I’m so sorry that you both can’t get back to your Planet Eccchs—

SFX: [Door Opens] [Kazoo Flourish] [Belch]

G: Hey everyone, I’m baaack! 

DI: Diroctor Gneeecey….

G: Youse guys, looky over there—somethin’s goin’ on outside that window—this time, for real! Go look out that window!

Rolling our eyes, Doctor Idnas, Grandma, and I walked over to the window and watched Gneeecey’s reflection in the glass. 

He tore over to the special table where Grandma’s glistening meatballs sat, still warming. SFX: [Sneakers Squeaking] With both arms, the greedy canine-humanoid scooped up an enormous, steaming mound and squeezed them tightly to his chest. 

G: Kinda hot. Uh, youse guys, keep lookin’ over there—lemme know if youse see any cops—uh-oh—ah, hah, haah, FIDUCIARY! SFX: [Clinking Coins] Oh no! Hope I ain’t allergical to nuthin’ here!

IS: You veren’t before, vhen you stole dee first batch!

Grandma, Doctor Idnas, and I turned around and watched Gneeecey, arms folded.

G: Ah, hah, haah, FIDUCIARY! SFX: [Clinking Coins] 

Grandma’s stolen veggie meatballs tumbled to the floor, all but covering it. They rolled around the gray tiles like a bunch of greased ball bearings.  

Somehow, Gneeecey ended up dancing on top of them, arms waving as he tried without success to regain his footing. He looked like a living windmill. 

G: Halp! Halp! SFX: [Circus] [Cartoon Slip] [Accent Cartoon] Halp! Someone halp! An’ ow, hot! Even my tongue’s in trouble—can’t hardly speak! SFX: [Circus] [Cartoon Slip] [Accent Cartoon] [Boing] [Duck Horn] Ow! My bimbus!

[Fail Horn] [Magic Spell]

Nicki Rodriguez here again! We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy!” And we thank you for listening. Please help us spread the word—please tell a friend about us! We appreciate every single download! And again, thank you, Marysol Rodriguez, Sal Solá, Sandi Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera, Diane L., Brunie Cariño, and Toni Aponte, for being generous supporting members through BuyMeACoffee.com! 

Time now to turn it back over to my alter ego, Vicki. Until next time, be well and stay safe!

SFX: [Magic Spell]

Music/Outro: Thanks, Nicki! Vicki here again. Thanks so much for tuning in to “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy.” We hope you enjoyed traveling to this loopy dimension with us and that you’ll come along again! Our new episodes drop every Tuesday morning! Please make sure to subscribe and tell a friend! And keep on laughing!

Frank: It’s a Gneeecey thing! [SFX: Door Slam] ###