Best Artwork


::The assembled masses once more settle down, awaiting the next award presentation. Outside the Caribbean night settles around the [i]Wonder[/i], and the darkness creeps down into the theater on whispering winds. The theater grows noticeably darker, colder…as though something otherworldly was approaching::


::At once the distant hum of the ship’s engines becomes shrouded by a reverberating moan, the hull of the ship itself rearing in its welds, shuddering like a spooked horse::


Voice Offstage (Mark Hamill): Ladies and gentlemen...


::The voice tries to sound spooky while at the same time trying to hide how freaked out he himself truly is::


VO: from beyond the shadowed mists of death itself, please welcome…


::At once a mist seeps out from behind the great curtain of the Walt Disney Theater, and as that curtain rises up the mist rolls in great folds out over the crowd. “Ashokan Farewell”, its plaintive call of loss and bereavement amplified over and over, rings out in the theater, though seemingly not from the speakers…::


::A horrified awe fills those gathered there, and they gasp as a green light filters through the mists…revealing a gaunt figure. As the mist rolls away the pale light catches the features, revealing haunting eyes, long bony fingers…a stovepipe hat::


Spumoni: In the name of Oldsmobile! It’s Abraham Lincoln…it worked!


VO (disappointed): Yeah. It is…I wanted to say it.


::There’s a record scratch, and on the stage Lincoln’s eyes go wide::


Lincoln (smiling wide): Oh no, he didn’t!


::Throwing off his long coat and signature hat he strikes a pose, and at once the pale light becomes a myriad number of multi-faceted and multi-colored strobe lights and lasers that focus on the supposedly deceased emancipator. At once the sound system of the Walt Disney Theater begins pumping out “Intergalactic” by The Beastie Boys with such force that the theater literally shakes, bouncing the Rangerphiles around in their seats::


::At the start of the song Lincoln launches into a hip-hop dance routine the likes of which no deceased American president has ever attempted, one that keeps the eyes of those in the audience who are able to maintain control of their seating arrangements locked on the favorite son of Springfield::


::After about a minute the routine comes to an end, complete with Lincoln spinning to the floor and striking another pose. Springing to his feet, Lincoln takes a towel and approaches a microphone. He waits for Spumoni to stop clapping…and for the rest of the jaws to be picked up off the floor::


Lincoln: I want to thank that gray rat thing up there who invited me here to present the Golden Acorn Award for Best Artist in honor of my 200th birthday.


::Abe wipes his face with the towel. He stops and smiles::


Lincoln: Well, perhaps ‘invited’ is the wrong word. More like ‘wrenched my spirit back from beyond the black unknown with a incantation he won in a box of Frosted Mini Wheats'! and encased it in this form made of graveyard soil, ten thousand pennies, burnt chicken entrails, and a Rush album--not the good album either, the one that they made after the good one.


::Abraham Lincoln waits while the crowd regains their senses after hearing what they just heard::


Lincoln: Either way, I’m here and it’s time to present some digital statuary!


::He rubs his hands together. Behind him three large screens lower from the ceiling::


Lincoln: Our first nominee (motions to the screen behind him) is ‘Ranger Days’ by Red Sonic. Boy, isn’t that Ograth funny? He reminds me of Stanton...or Willie Taft.


::Lincoln waits for the reaction, but only the Enduring Man-Child laughs::


Lincoln: It's a high-brow joke, don't worry. Second (Lincoln stretches and points to the screen, stage left) is ‘CDRR Comic’ by Mastergodai. Jehosaphat, look at that big cat!


::The screen to stage right lights up::


Lincoln: Next we have ‘Munks and Roses’ by Saraggle. That reminds me, I have a lesson with Hendrix when I get back to the blessed realms…better write that down.


::As Lincoln fishes through his pockets for a pen the screen behind him changes::


Lincoln (writing): Also we have Fish with ‘Gadget Working Late’. I can’t make out what that missy is fiddlin’ at, but if she needs a flowery yet profound speech to go with it I’m her man!


::To stage left the screen changes again::


Lincoln (mock indignation): Hey, here we see Trash’s ‘Flower Wind’. Yeah, after I’m gone then they put the cherry trees in Washington. Thanks a lot!


::The next screen changes, and Lincoln points it out::


Lincoln: Here we have ‘Team’ by DeLTa. Wish I had a team like that when I was trying to get the 13th amendment through congress, I tell you what!


::One screen goes out, and two images appear on the left and right screens::


Lincoln: Oh...


::Lincoln looks between both pictures his expression falling::


Lincoln: Here we have two very…profound…and, engaging works. ‘Final’ by Saraggle, and ‘The War’ by Rye…the war…


::Lincoln looks back and forth between the two pictures of tragedy, death, and loss. Slowly tears start to form, then fall, the image of more than half a million men in blue and gray marching off to their deaths suddenly and obviously rips through his mind. He walks off the stage to recover himself::


::After a brief respite, Spumoni approaches the stage and picks up the pen. He pokes Lincoln with it for a bit::


Spumoni: Mr. President?


::Spumoni pokes again for good measure::


Spumoni: It’s okay. It’s time to hand out the award now…


::At once Lincoln cheers up and jumps to his feet. All the pictures flash around the screens like a slot machine, complete with sound effects he returns on stage and smiles at the audience::


Lincoln: And the winner of the 2008 Golden Acorn Award for Best Artwork is…


::Behind Lincoln and Spumoni the three screens click to a stop on a single image::


Lincoln: It’s a tie! Actually, I never liked ties myself, stifles the flow of blood to the brain. But never mind that, the winners are DeLTa and Fish!


::Lincoln slaps his knee and does a large barn dance style step. DeLTa comes up on stage first to a fine round of applause as Lincoln hands him his award::


DeLTa: Я... я.. я не знаю, что еще добавить к предыдущей своей речи... (думает)... Двойное спасибо! ;) (Показывает жесть, означающий "победа" или "двойка


::The Russian contingent laughs, while the rest blink in curious wonder. DeLTa realizes he’s done it again::


DeLTa: I... I.. I do not know what to add to my previous speech... (thinks)... Double thanks! ;)


::DeLTa gives the two-fingered “V for Victory” sign as he leaves the stage. The crowd applauds wildly as Fish comes up on stage and again Lincoln holds up the award and gives it to Fish::


Fish: Wow, can I have your autograph?


::Lincoln smiles and complies, then Fish continues::


Fish: Hey, thanks for voting for me again, everyone. It puts me in mind of the old days when I got that hernia from running down from the mezzanine to get those 500-odd awards that first year I was nominated.


Dale (from the audience): Fish! Fish! Fish!


Ograth (from the audience): FIIIIIIIIIISSSSH!


Fish: Anyway, it’s good that I’m still able to bring you something you like. Yeah, as if Gadget art wouldn’t around here.


::The audience chuckles while Gadget blushes in the audience::


Fish: Thanks for everything. I’m buying tonight over at Parrot Cay after the shindig’s over!


::As Fish leaves, Lincoln bends down toward Spumoni::


Lincoln: Hey, we gotta get me all decorporealated…I’m going kayaking with my boy Tad and Charles Shultz this afternoon!


Spumoni (clapping): Not a problem.


::Spumoni goes behind the curtain and the large moan begins to return. Lincoln bows to the audience and his countenance brightens until in a wisp of pale green light and smoke he vanishes into the aether::