Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy

Floating in Ice Crystals

November 09, 2021
Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy
Floating in Ice Crystals
Show Notes Transcript

“Floating in Ice Crystals,” Episode 14

After fleeing from Perswayssick County’s murderous alien Markmen, Nicki and Gneeecey find themselves trapped in a celestial no man’s land—a surreal, freezing dimension with no up or down or end in sight. Floating helplessly in the ice crystal-populated haze, the two argue. 

When the Markmen tried to kill the two of them, a desperate Gneeecey had shouted four magical words he believed would transport himself to Earth and safety. Because Gneeecey was clinging to Nicki when he uttered those words, she believes that they’ve ended up stranded in some intermediate zone. (You’re never supposed to speak those words aloud unless you’re alone.) 

Gneeecey wonders if he and Nicki are dead. Nicki and Gneeecey debate whether they are in the hereafter or the whereafter.  

An exasperated Nicki demands answers from Gneeecey. Why did he almost get them killed? An unrepentant, greedy Gneeecey finally comes clean, letting an astounded Nicki in on his zany, multifaceted plans for her, himself, his Planet Eccchs citizens, and the Markmen.  

Nicki’s leg, slashed by Blond Big-nosed Mark, begins bleeding profusely. Gneeecey empties cash from stuffed bear Yammicles into his T-shirt pocket. He ties the limp teddy around Nicki’s limb, stopping the hemorrhaging.   

Nicki advises Gneeecey that they must make a decision—they can’t keep hovering in frigid space. They’ll have to chance saying those four all-powerful words, having no idea whether they will end up in Perswayssick County or Earth…or worse…. 

A ferocious force separates Nicki and Gneeecey, flinging them in opposite directions. Gneeecey disappears from Nicki’s sight.   

Vicki, Nicki, Grandma, and even Gneeecey thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sandi Solá, Sal Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera, and Diane L. for being generous supporting members via BuyMeACoffee.com! We appreciate their sponsorship 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!

Support the show

Transcript / “Floating in Ice Crystals,” Episode 14, written by Vicki Solá. 

All content © 2021 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]

Hey there, Nicki Rodriguez here, ready to share another adventure with you! But first, my alter ego Vicki and I want to thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sal Solá, Sandi Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera, and Diane L. for being generous supporting members through BuyMeACoffee.com!

A terrifying memory has resurfaced…. The always scheming white-and-black, walking, talking dog, Diroctor Gneeecey and I had barely escaped with our lives from the evil alien Markmen’s headquarters——just as the monstrously humongous mierk refinery known as the Mierkolatory blew up

These bad guys, all named Mark—except for their leader Bob—were just a bunch of vividly colored floating eyeballs until they invaded Gneeecey’s dimension. In Perswayssick County, they found enough of the toxic, brown goopy substance mierk to create faces and bodies for themselves, for years to come. They were paying Gneeecey off to defeat County Referendum 345, which would outlaw mierk in favor of the plentiful and safe compound zodd. Despite Gneeecey’s promises to these evil creeps, the election did not go their way. Referendum 345 passed, banning their precious, poisonous mierk.

As we attempted to escape from the revenge-seeking Markmen, a petrified Gneeecey, who had, uh, previously peed on his red high-top sneakers, shouted the four magical words that he thought would transport himself back to my Earth and out of harm’s way. But Gneeecey made one colossal mistake. You see, you’re only supposed to say those four special words when you’re alone. Certainly not while clutching onto someone else for dear life—and that someone else was me. 

Complicating matters, there was snow on the ground—well, slippery whipped cream. Perswayssick County’s first winter snows always falls as whipped cream. Here's what went down….

SFX: [Scary Ambience] [Police Sirens] [Fire Sirens] [Ambulance Sirens]

In its death throes, poignantly hideous, the old brown-bricked dinosaur of a refinery heaved and shuddered as it expelled Markmen, disembodied eyeballs, and billowing, black smoke. 

“Whole place is gonna blow!” shouted tall, brown-haired Mark, taking cover. Sirens screamed, and firemen slipped and slid as they rushed up the cream-covered hill, lugging axes and hoses. “Ergzaps!” exclaimed Blond, Big-nosed Mark, waving his pistol. “Ergzap” was the Markmen’s derogatory label for anyone who was not like them. 

The Markmen’s leader Bob, last to emerge, caught sight of us, too. “Get the girl and that little white-and-black elbow-high guy wit’ the tail—he’s the one who ripped me off!” 

On the run, I thought I was smashing into trees all by myself until I heard a high, nerdish voice. And it was talkin’ to me. 

“Hey, Ig,” it advised, “jus’ pretend you’re skatin’.” 

“Okay.” I’d never skated, but I’d become pretty good at pretending. 

“Light, glidin’ steps’ll get’cha ’cross the surfooface of this slipoopery-but-savoovory whoop cream—keep ya from gettin’ stuck in all the lousy mierk—” 

SFX: [Explosion] The mierkolatory exploded, flinging us to the ground and pelting us with debris. Faces buried in our arms, we waited. And waited some more. After the skull-shattering pyrotechnics subsided, there was silence. Eerie silence. 

“Ya awright, Yammy?” Gneeecey asked his stuffed teddy bear Yammicles as a fine, brown powder rained down on our heads. “Good. Me too.” 

“Lousy mierk,” I hissed, wiping a glob off my nose. 

Gneeecey raised his rubble-topped noggin. “Don’t call it lousy.” 

“But you just called it—” 

“Don’t call the lousy mierk lousy! An’ geddup—Stop luxuriatin’!” 

I leaped up. “Luxuriating?! Are you outta your freakin’—” 

“Let’s go! My whole stinkin’ life’s in shamboobles!” 

“Yours?” I asked, brushing ash out of my eyes. 

“Gotta get back to my office on Edgar Vompt Boulevard to declare a state of disastrophy an’ call an emergency meetin’ at the courthouse—I wanna see that lousy Jacob Qwertyuiop’s Basset Hound face when I come through that door an’ table a motion to the floor to call it a wall an’—”

“Uh, Diroctor, aren’t they still after you? Y’know, Bob and all his Marks?” SFX: [Scary Ambience]

Gneeecey removed a cracked-up computer keyboard from around his neck. “Don’t worry. Ain’t seen ’em in a while—eeeeeeeeks!” 

“Famous last words,” I muttered, flying behind a golden, lumpy-trunked fracas tree. 

Gneeecey took cover between my quaking knees. “Geewhizzicles, I thought they were my friends!” 

“You thought wrong—fifty-quadrillion dollars wrong.” 

“An’,” he added, hugging Yammicles, “thirty-seven cents. Thirty-seven cents.” 

“How long do you think we’ll have to stay here before they stop looking for us?” 

“Dunno, Ig—but I’ve jus’ rememboobered, I’m allergic to fracas—ah– haah–haaah-haaaatchooo!” SFX: [Duck Horn] The tree blew over, roots and all. We dove behind its fallen trunk. 

“Heya, Doc,” yelled Blond Big-nosed Mark, “we see yuz hidin’ behin’ that busted tree.” 

“Yeah,” snarled Brown-haired Mark, wielding a flaming pole. “An’ we see your ergzap friend too.” The blond reached into his jacket. “We’re comin’ to get’cha!” 

Gneeecey and I took off, hand in hand. “Faster,” I pleaded, pulling him. 

“Caaan’t! Yammicles’ stuffin’s fallin’ out—an’ it’s flammable!” 

“So are we!” Gneeecey broke free and tore off in the opposite direction. I flew after him and nearly collided with a giant oak tree. “C’mon—they’re gonna get us!” 

“But—my mon-ney—” 

“It’s not yours!” 

“It stinkin’ is!” 

“C’mon—” 

“Looky,” he cried, scooping up bills, “here’s some more!” 

“Pleeease—” 

“An’ some more over there!” 

“I swear—” “

“An’ here!” 

The dark-haired Markman was fast on our heels. I swooped Gneeecey and his cash-vomiting teddy up into my arms and ran. Just as I slithered down to the curb, the blond appeared, gun drawn. “Gimme dat teddy bear—now!” 

“Can’t we, y’know, disgust this?” begged Gneeecey. Looking right through me, Blond Big-nosed Mark took aim and squeezed the trigger. The revolver just clicked. SFX: [Click] I began shivering uncontrollably. “Whadda crummy time to run outta bullets!” The Markman hurled his weapon to the ground. The whipped cream swallowed it whole. 

I watched saucer-eyed as he extracted a glistening knife from his tight waistband. “Ergzap, put Doc here down—real slow-like.” 

“No,” I replied, still cradling Gneeecey. 

“Put him down.” 

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted three figures running toward us. Looked like my GAS Network co-worker and friend Cleve, followed by police officer Ethan Imbroglio—in uniform, shield gleaming—and Gneeecey’s pal, the black-furred canine-humanoid Sooperflea. 

“I said, put Doc down.” 

“No.” 

Mark lunged forward. “Okay, ya witch wit’ a B—see how ya like dis—” 

“The Ig here can’t afford no extra consonants,” interrupted Gneeecey. “Not even a stinkin’ B.” 

Startled, the Markman sliced my left leg below the knee as he slipped and fell. 

“She can’t afford no B, not on what I pay her,” added Gneeecey, clutching onto me for dear life. Stunned, I gazed down at the scarlet puddle pooling on the white whipped cream. 

“How ’bout we see if Doc likes dis,” suggested Brown-haired Mark, laughing so hard that he began to cough. “Hah, hah, hah, hah!” He pointed his fiery pole at Yammicles. 

“Threeee fordy-twoooo bluuuuue!” shrieked Gneeecey, still clinging to me. SFX: [Supersonic Aerodynamic Woosh]

SFX: [Scary Background II]

“Where in stinkin’ Bogelthorpe’s name are we?” inquired Gneeecey, floating alongside me, invoking the name of his Planet Eccchs’s most celebrated religious figure, Saint Bogelthorpe.

SFX: [Magic Glitter/interspersed with Magic Summon]

“D-d-dunno,” I answered. My teeth chattered as I studied the gray, ice-crystal-dotted haze that surrounded us. There was no up or down or end in sight. I pulled my coat sleeve up to check the time. I did a double-take. The hands on both of my watches whirled high-speed, helter-skelter, in clockwise and counterclockwise directions, making me dizzier than I already was.  

“Ig, do ya think we’re suspenderated in some gigaaantical storm cloud?”  

“No—it’s like we’re stuck between places,” I replied. “In some nowhere land—maybe even another dimension.”  

Gneeecey’s bulgy peepers widened.  

(I chuckle) “I’m no stranger to that kinda thing.” 

He frowned. “Why’re ya laughin’? What’s so stinkin’ funny? Nuthin’s funny now.”  

My eyes settled on him. “You mean something was funny before?” 

“Ya don’t suppose them bad guys we just escaped from zapped us here wit’ them fancy computers of theirs?”  

“Nah.” I zipped my jacket up. “You saw—the whole place, including their high-tech computers, blew to smithereens.”  

“Ain’t that somewheres in Texas?” 

“Uh, no—it actually means—”  

“Mayboobee it’s my stinkin’ Redecoritis nervological disorder playin’ tricks.”  

“No—I don’t think—”  

“I know ya never think, Ig. Now, when we get back home, call my nervologist Doctor Idnas an’ have her describe me extra strength Bumpex—mayboobe she has some free sampooples—” 

“It’s not your meds. You really wanna know what I think?”  

“Yeah, Ig. For once, I do.”  

“When our friend Sooperflea and I first discussed the finer points of dimension jumping—”  

“Get to the stinkin’ point, Ig—” 

“Well,” I continued, ignoring his rudeness, “he warned me to make aboobsolutely—ugh—sure I was alone whenever I said those four words.” Mierk exposure had affected my speech.  

“So?” 

“When you said those words—screamed ’em—you were holding onto me—”  

“Somethin’ I’m really ashamed of—an’ always will be—” 

“And,” I concluded, searching my pockets for a chewable StomQuell antacid tablet, “because you did that when we were, uh, physically connected, we’ve most likely ended up stranded in some intermediate zone.” 

“Well, now we’re ’eft—really ’eft!”  

“What?” 

“Apostrophe E-F-T! Don’cha understanderate English?”  

“Yeah. It’s actually my first language—been speaking it since birth. Now, what did you just say?” 

“Do I always gotta ’splain stuff to ya? ‘Eft’ is a whaddayacallit—contraption of the word ‘bereft.’ More ekookonomical—two less consonants an’ one less vowel.” 

 “Oh.” 

“Now, that’s a vowel!” 

I rolled my eyes.  

“On my planet—an’ all over Perswayssick County— we got these amphiboobious blue two-headed lizards. Unhapoopy little creatures, called efts, ’causa their misooserabooble igspressions.”  

“Really.” 

“Perhaphoops ya mighta seen some, back at Vompt.” 

Our GAS Network offices and studios were located on one of Perswayssick County’s main drags, Edgar Vompt Boulevard. 

“They’ve made nests inside sevooveral of our copy machines,” Gneeecey added. 

I shuddered. 

“They, y’know, crawl in through the paper trays.” 

“Charming.” 

“Y’know, I once had a pet eft named Screwball. One day when I was at school, my dog Wrecks ate him. An’ that’s spelled W-R-E-C-K-S. My family could afford the extra consonants! Anyways, ya shoulda seen poor Screwball—all that was left of him was his left—” 

“I, uh, get the picture.” 

“Ya think we’re dead—like Screwball?” 

“You mean,” I asked, “is this the hereafter? I certainly hope not—” 

“The whereafter?” 

“The hereafter—” 

“Oh then,” he declared with great authority, “that proboobably wouldn’t be here now.” 

“What wouldn’t be?” 

“The hereafter. ’Cause, we’re here now, not after or before.” 

I felt a migraine coming on. “Well, it’s all neither here nor there.” 

“But,” snapped Gneeecey, “we know it’s not the thereafter, on accounta we’re here an’ not there.” 

“Where?” 

He groaned. “The thereafter! The here is now an’ the after would be then.” 

“But even then,” I countered, “you don’t know that here couldn’t be there.” 

He punched his fists in the fog. “If it’s anywhere, it’s here now! Ya don’t see it there now, do ya?!” 

“I hate to agree with you, but no, I don’t see here there now—” 

He thrust a furry finger in my flinching face. “But, it could be after! An’ it coulda been before, jus’ as well! Prove that it wasn’t or won’t be.” 

“I can’t.” 

“See? Ya can’t prove here wasn’t there before—but it certaintaneously was unless it wasn’t! An’ ya can’t prove that here might not be there after—it’s all fifty-fifty! Jus’ like I learned in my News Guessin’ seminars!” 

I glanced down at my mismatched footwear. Running from the bad guys, I had lost a shoe and just happened to find a black loafer that must’ve belonged to one of them. It had fit perfectly. 

“Ya really can’t argue wit’ mathematratical formulas,  so, conversically, ya can’t prove anythin’ there was here—then, after, or now. Thereforthically, ya can’t prove we’re not dead.” 

I took a deep breath of icy air. And got brain freeze. 

“So, don’t waste your Ig breath arguin’ wit’ meee—I’m a PUNI graduate. I can argue both sides!” 

Ah, yes, Gneeecey had attended PUNI, Perswayssick University of New Ideas. Sighing, I popped a fuzz-covered StomQuell. 

Gneeecey turned to his stuffed teddy bear, Yammicles. “Ain’t no gravoovity here, Yammy. You okay?” 

“Just my luck,” I mumbled. “You’re going even more loopy.” 

Gneeecey shook his worn plush toy. “He’s traumatized, ’causa these cirkookumstantial cirkookumstances. Yammy! Speak to me!” 

“Surely, you don’t expect an answer.”  

“Says he’s okay.” 

Best to change the subject. “Doctor, do you think—”  

“That’s stinkin’ diroctor—I’m a doctor an’ county director! Rememboober?” 

“Uh, sorry. Stinkin’ diroctor—uh—I mean diroctor—uh—” 

I swore I saw steam pouring out of his black triangular ears. “Stinkin’ whaaat?” 

“Do you think our guys Cleve and Sooperflea got away okay after the explosion? Didn’t you see them running toward us? You think your favorite intern Stu—”  

“Who cares, nah, an’ who cares?—in that order.” 

My jaw dropped.  

Gneeecey smiled. “In times of crisis, my spiritual beliefs direct me.” 

“Didn’t know you had any.” 

He plunged a grimy fur fist into his T-shirt pocket and surfaced with a worn hardcover book and a crumpled yellow card. 

“Why, looky, Ig—here’s that sock repair ticket of mine ya misplaced!” 

Lost for words, I just growled. I’d freaking looked everywhere for that thing, for weeks, with Gneeecey blaming me the whole time. 

He opened his copy of The Revered Utterances of the Grand Oogitty-Boogitty: A Celestial Bullfighter’s Road Map for Hiking Through the Six-Lane, Poop-Splattered Asphalt Ocean of Life. “You’ll depreciate his universically-revered hynesty’s wise advice.” 

“Uh-huh. Yeah.” 

His Grand Oogitty-Boogitty was a giant, toga-clad potato that arrived annually in Perswayssick County, on the tail of a comet, from deep in outer space.  

“He writes, for it is what it is, an’ not what it was, an’ certainly not what it might be, if ever it wasn’t.’” 

Still shivering, I just looked at Gneeecey.

He shrugged and tossed the purple tome over his shoulder. “What’s a roasted potato know, anyways?” 

“There’s one thing I know,” I declared, blowing warm air into my numb, cupped hands.  

“Whaaat?” 

“You’ve got a whole lot of explaining to do.”  

“Can’t—tongue’s froze to the roof of my lousy mouth.” 

“Diroctor, I’ve never known anyone like you.” 

“Thanks, Ig.” SFX: [Belch] 

“Ugh. Gross. And that wasn’t a compoopliment—ugh—compliment. And stop calling me Ig. Name’s Nicki. Nicki Rodriguez.” 

He plucked a stretched-out, oval scrap of mierk off his shirt, complete with eye and mouth holes. 

“Musta been one of their faces.” 

“Lovely.” As I attempted to move closer to examine it, I drifted further away. “Must be, for every action, there’s an equal and opooposite— ugh—opposite reaction.” 

“Or not. Rememboober, everythin’s fifty-fifty!” 

“That may be,” I answered, swimming away from him in order to return to his side, “but what I really wanna know is, what’cha gotta say for your sorry self?” 

“My stinkin’ feet are froze.” Yellow icicles hung from his shoelaces. 

I exhaled into my jacket in a feeble attempt to ward off hypothermia. I’d always suspected that hell would be air-conditioned—you’d always have to wear a sweater, and your nose would constantly run. For all eternity. “Diroctor, I asked you a question.” 

Gneeecey remained silent. 

I stared him up and down, suppressing a strong urge to kick him. “You’ve really got issues.”  

He balled up his fists. “Who are you—Sigmoid Freund?” 

“No. I’m Nicki Rodriguez, and I want answers. You almost got us killed. Why?”  

A look of shame washed over his needing-to-be-washed face. I almost didn’t recognize the good diroctor. “Well?” 

“I dunno why I do summa the junk I do. I’m jus’ me—can’t really stop bein’ me.” 

“Y’know, Diroctor—”  

“Ya can call me Bizzig.” 

My overworked heart nearly ceased beating. Bizzig was a nickname that only a few select were allowed to use. 

“Or Zig-squared—that’s like callin’ me Zig-Zig, but’cha get to keep one ‘Zig’ as a spare.” 

“Well, Zig-squared—” 

He flinched. 

“I’ve always believed that people can change.” 

“Not me.”  

“Why not?”  

“Well, Ig—” 

“Please stop calling me Ig.” 

“Yeah, awright, Ig. Y’know, I always been priddy modest, even though I am a genius—” 

“What’s your point? Do you even have one?” 

“I’m igsplainin’ things real slow ’cause I know ya understanderate stuff slow.” 

“Okay, Zig-squared—” 

“An’ don’t call me Zig-squared, Zig-Zig or Bizzig!”

“But—but, five seconds ago—” 

That was then an’ this is now.” 

“Fine. And stop calling me Ig.” 

“Now, Ig, ’bout that dopey maroon poopfolio case of yours—” 

I folded my arms. “Yeah? What about my portfolio case—y’know, the one you stole and hid?” 

“First of all, ya nevoover thanked me for fishin’ it outta the Perswayssick River—” 

“Never asked you to! And I’m still paying you—all the money I supposedly owe you! All you ever thought about was lining your pockets—with my money.”  

“True. But I also did it for the environment.” 

“Oh, puhleeease. Don’t tell me you ever gave a hoot about the environment—no, I take that back—you gave a hoot when you thought you could make a bundle by selling it out.” 

“Thought I could work things a few ways, plus make a profit. An’ make you an’ everyone else hapoopy.” 

“Oh, and how’s that?” 

“I’m soooo brilliant, I can’t stinkin’ staaaand myself—” 

“That makes at least two of us—”  

He scrunched up his snout. “My plan had a little somethin’ for everyone. First, it helped the most important one, meeee—an’ it made Mark, Mark, an’ Mark, an’ Mark, an’—” 

“C’mon—” 

“An’ their leader Bob, too—made ’em all hapoopy. Gave ’em false hope after they destroyed their own planet—Planet of the Marked Men. I told ’em yooou had the secret codes, inside your poopfolio, to coordinates on Earth where they’d find all the mierk they’d ever need.” 

Now boiling hot, I unzipped my jacket. 

“So,” Gneeecey continued, his words forming clouds, “I arranged to sell ’em your papers—” 

“Papers that weren’t yours in the first place—”  

“Yeah—them. Dopes paid me big bucks—up front, before I even delivered. Along wit’ what they gave me to kill that lousy, no-good Refooferendum 345 the county was votin’ on. An’ that jus’ kilt me—hapoopily, of course—them payin’ me to do somethin’ I hadda do anyways, for my own sake.” 

“And we all know how well that went.”  

Gneeecey’s eyes darkened. “Ain’t my fault if our snitizens are selfish, paranoid, backward-lookin’, unscientifical—” 

“You’ve just described yourself, Diroctor.” 

“Lemme stinkin’ finish. I also told ’em that only you could decipher the codes. That way, I’d get the mon-ney, but you’d be in danger.” 

“Heartwarming.” 

“An’ here’s another part that’s good for yooou—I kissed up to ’em, not ’cause I was afraid of ’em or nuthin’ like that—” 

“Oh, no. Of course not—” 

“I wanted to keep ’em hapoopy, to help you an’ your planet.” 

“My planet and I thank you—we’ll award you a Nobel Prize.” 

“See, I said you’d thank me!” 

“If you don’t mind my asking, how exactly would all this help me and my planet?”  

“I’ll make up—I mean, get to that part.” 

Freezing again, I zipped up my jacket.  

“An’ next time Zynnfandel calls—” 

“Zynnfandel?” 

“Our Planet Eccchs leader. Next time he calls, I can finally answer that lousy, stinkin’ scary hotline in my office an’ report that I’m makin’ progress wit’ the mission he assigned me! Your papers do contain secret codes—for a formula that’ll return us Eccchsers to our planet!” 

“Oh, this just keeps getting better and better.”  

“I’m glad ya rekookognize that. I got a patriotical duty to help my people, too.” 

I scoured my pockets for another StomQuell. “What makes you possibly think that I know how to get to your Planet Eccchs?” 

“I figured, since ya invaded our dimension in the first place, ya musta knew lots. Then I read your papers—” 

“After you stole ’em—” 

“Yeah. An’ bein’ the genius I am, I discovered them codes, hidden in your dopey shorthand. There’s more than a few X’s encrypted in them notes. Got everythin’ wrote down here.” He patted his lumpy T-shirt pocket. “What’s so stinkin’ funny, Ig?” 

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Xavier Colón was one of the main characters in my novel. “If you’d come to me first, I could’ve saved you a whole bunch of time—and trouble.”  

“Great—I knew you’d decipher them codes for me!”  

Bobbing around in nothingness had made me nauseous. “You’re amazing.” 

“I know. An’ now, I’ll make ya privoovy to the rest of my plan.”  

“What’s that—to stop dreaming up insane stuff?” 

“No, Ig—my geniosity an’ generosity will confounderate an’ astounderate ya!” 

“Confounderated and astounderated I already am.”  

“See? Now, I’ve awready helped the environment, my people, Bob, Mark an’ them, an’ you an’ your planet—” 

“You never answered me—how did you help me and my planet?” 

“Uh. . .hmmm. . .lessee. . .here it is—Mark an’ them’ll travoovel to Earth, spend mon-ney, an’ enrich your economy.” 

“Talk about rationalizing.” 

“Yes, Ig—it is rational. You’re finally gettin’ it!” 

“Right.” 

“See? Even yooou agree. Anyways, since I’ve helped everyone else, now it’s my turn.” 

I was dying for a drink. Of anything. 

“After you decipher them codes, outta sheer gratitoodinosity for all I done to you, you’ll let meee take full credit.” 

I rolled my eyes in the direction I thought was up. “Of course.” 

“Why ya sayin’ it like thaaat?” 

“As if I have such a formula—” 

“Ya do. An’ when us stranded Eccchsers finally return to our planet, I’ll be hailed as a hero! I’ll write a book—well, you’ll ghost write it for me—then I’ll take credit an’—”  

I longed to sit somewhere. Anywhere. 

“Don’t look so oogdimonious—it’s all really quite igcitin’!” 

“Uh-huh.” 

“I’ll do radio an’ TV, an’ tons of speakin’ engorgements.” 

“Yeah. Uh-huh.” 

“Wit’ what I make from all that, plus what I made in Perswayssick County, plus what I got from Mark an’ them, plus all the dough I got socked away back on my Planet Eccchs—accumulatin’ compounderated interest wit’ my planet’s thirteen months all these years—” 

“Boy—you really—”  

He jammed his wet honker into my frozen nose. “Bada-bing! I retire! Rich an’ infamous! Richer than I even am now—bet’cha I even win back my Goonafina!" 

“Oh?” 

“She’s a goonicologist. Her name led her to her profession.”  

“What’s a goonicologist?” 

“Sheesh, Ig. A doctor of goonicology.” 

“Of course.” Goonafina Blopperdang was Gneeecey’s Golden Retriever-type canine-humanoid former fiancée. She had broken his heart, jilting him by interdimensional email. 

Gneeeecey grinned. “One of the things I love best ’bout my Goonafina is that she retrieves the gold! Speakin’ of stuff like that, I done some research on yooou.”  

“Did you?” 

“Your family’s from Porty Rico.” 

“Puerto Rico.” 

“In spinach, that means ‘rich port!’ You certaintaneously been that for me!” 

I wanted to wring his filthy neck. “You are a real piece of work.” 

“Why, grassy ass!” 

My fists wouldn’t unclench. 

“Don’t look so oogdimonious—I’ve really helped ya.”  

“How’s that again?” 

He sucked in his teeth. “Do I really gotta igsplain it more? Ummmm. . . . I got it—I made ya feel good ’bout yourself.” 

“Really.”  

“I’ve allowed ya to help me help myself an’ evooveryone else. I mean, don’t it feel real good to be used like that? Don’t the beauty of it all make ya wanna cry?”  

“Yes. It does.”  

“Looky, Ig, your leg’s bleedin’ again.” 

I looked down. Blond Big-nosed Mark had slashed my left leg below my knee, as we’d tried to make a break for it. Now, my wound was gushing like a fountain. 

“Don’t worry Ig, back on Planet Eccchs, in medoodical school—in heemahoology class—they taught us how to tie tournaments.” 

“Huh?” 

“An’ they even reviewed it in brain surgery 101—y’know, in case we ever cut ourself wit’ one of them sharp scalpoopels. Jus’ hold on. . ..” Gneeecey began to transfer fistfuls of cash from Yammicles’ carcass into his T-shirt pocket. Then, kneeling in nothing but icy vapors, he tied his precious limp teddy tightly around my leg. It stopped the bloody flow. 

“Thank you, Diroctor,” I whispered, tears burning my eyes. I felt oddly touched. 

“When we get home, we’ll drop by Florence Ferguson’s ER an’ have ’em take a look at that. An’ I’ll give Yammicles a nice long bath in some heavy-duty, acid-based detergent, mixed wit’ boilin’ water an’ grain alkookohol.” 

“Diroctor, one more thing—” 

“Shoot, Ig.” 

“You were dumping yoour MierkoZurk stocks like hotcakes—selling ’em off cheap, to anyone who’d buy. Plus, there’s the bunch you put in your pal Flubbubb’s name, without even asking him—”  

Gneeecey’s fur-covered cheek muscles began twitching. “So?” 

“You must’ve taken a real bath—” 

“Told ya, I ain’t took no bath in two years.” 

I shuddered. 

“Yeah. I sold them suckers when they were goin’ bust, but I used what little I made—plus summa what Mark an’ them gave me—to purchase stock in ZIT.” 

“Zit?”  

“Zodd Intertechnological Technologies. Froop an’ Fritzl didn’t raise no dummy—you’re lookin’ at ZIT’s new majority stockholder. I own fifty-one percent.” 

“You mean—”  

“Wait till we get home an’ ya taste one of my Gneeezle’s Restaurant’s new ZigZodd burgers!” 

“Speaking of going, we have to make some sort of decision here—” 

“What’cha mean, Ig?” 

“We can’t just stay here hovering in empty, frigid space—”  

“This ain’t space, Ig—if it was, we wouldn’t be, y’know, respoopiratin’.” 

“What I’m trying to say is, we’ll have to—” 

“—say them four words again?” 

I nodded. “And we won’t know whether we’ll end up back in Perswayssick County, or in my dimension—or, well, y’know, like—”  

“Julio?”  

“Uh…yeah.” Cleve’s closest buddy, our fellow earthling Julio, was never seen again and was presumed dead after his impulsive dimension jump. 

Gneeecey’s pupils dilated. 

“And,” I added, “we should proboobably—ugh—probably move away from each other before we say those words—” 

“Nah, Ig—let’s stay together. Pleeeease.”  

“You don’t think, when you yelled those four words, that your Markmen buddies heard, and they’ll be waiting for us—” 

“Ig, you doin’ that?” 

“Doing what?” 

“Y’know, movin’ away from me?” 

SFX: [Supersonic Aerodynamic Woosh] “No—well, yeah—” 

“Try movin’ in the opooposite direction—like before!” 

“I am—it’s not working!” 

“Oh, noooooooooooooo, Ig, I’m movin’ toooooooooo!” 

SFX: [Supersonic Aerodynamic Woosh] “We’re being tugged apart—by some invisible force!” 

“Ig,” he pleaded, “come baaaaack!” 

“Caaaaan’t!” I shouted, rocketing backward. SFX: [Supersonic Aerodynamic Woosh]   

“You’re the size of a dime!”  

“Yooou toooo!” 

“I still neeeeed ya—to decipher them codes!” 

SFX: [Supersonic Aerodynamic Woosh] Gneeecey disappeared from sight. 

And everything went black…. Whoever knew if I’d ever see Gneeecey, Sooperflea, Cleve, or any of them again…I felt strangely scared for Gneeecey, as well as for myself.  

I could only imagine what Gneeeccey’s therapist Ingabore Scriblig, also known as Grandma, would say about all of this. As I floated sideways through darkness to who-knows-where, I almost heard Grandma talking to me. “Do not vorry, Nicki. You vill see your friends again. All vill be vell. All happens as it should.” 

In semi-darkness, I crash-landed on my knees, on sharp gravel, alongside what appeared to be the railroad tracks just blocks away from my Earth home. My own voice surprised me as I uttered aloud, “Thank you, Grandma.” 

SFX: [Magic Spell]  

Nicki Rodriguez here, hoping you enjoyed the ride—or the floating! Would I ever see Gneeecey again? If you’ve been listening to our episodes, you probably know the answer. If not, please stay tuned and find out! 

Greetings to everyone around this sparkling blue planet listening to “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy!” Again, we thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sal Solá, Sandi Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera, and Diane L. for being generous supporting members through BuyMeACoffee.com! You can help keep us coming to you with a one-time donation or monthly support!  

Thanks so much for checking out “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy!” Please tell a friend! 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] ###