::The curtains of the Walt Disney Theater swing open once more to reveal a rather charming scene. It appears as though a large paddleboat, more cartoonish than accurate, is chugging along some great river. As the spindly paddlewheel goes around and around and around puffs of artificial smoke come out of the smokestacks.
::From somewhere about the boat a small banjo tune begins to play, one that is slightly mournful, yet vibrant.
::The ship bobbles and heaves on the artificial water, looking like a living representation of Steamboat Willie or something out of "Song of the South". The motions of the boat cause many in the audience to remember that they are currently ensconced within the [i]Wonder[/i], and silently breathe the hope that the massive cruise ship does not encounter any conditions that make it copy the representative steamboat on the stage!
::As they watch, the lighting of the scene changes, moving from the bright shades of day to the rose colored hues of twilight. About the deck of the steamboat oil lamps roar to life, and at once dozens of fireflies begin to flit about the scene.
::The audience looks on as the scene unfolds, listening as the banjo plays, watching as a door pops open onto the deck…dressed in white with a black cravat, the gray hair of the figure unbridled and whipping about in the breeze that comes up the river.
::It’s Mark Twain.
::Or, at least, Salazar Ovid Spumoni dressed as Mark Twain::
Spumoni: Mark Twain was one of the most beloved satirists of all time, which is something of a paradox, for those of you who have no idea what’s going on.
:The rat takes the bubble gum cigar from his mouth and pretending to shake off the ash. He dives farther into the impression, taking on the drawl and inflections of Twain. Thus is Mr. Twumoni born::
Twumoni (looking wistful): ’Fools’, says Lord Byron…when he’s not busy being dead, ‘are my theme…let satire be my song’. But then again he also mentioned that ‘If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad’, so he’s already one down against most Rangerphiles, who it must be said have long ago beat him to that state. We should mention also that we have made a ‘Bryonic Hero’ one of our most revered idols.
::The rat winks::
Twumoni: Satire is the art of making people laugh at feeling horrible about themselves.
::Twumoni adjusts the mustache of his disguise as he speaks::
Twumoni: And we have long ago adapted this technique to make fun of ourselves...individually and as a fandom on the whole as the situation dictates.
::The Twainist chuckles and throws the remains of his “cigar” into the artificial water::
Twumoni: What other fandom could get away with having actual characters named Mary and Gary Stu involved in their works? Some fandoms become so fully drowned in drama and angst that they have to apply for F.E.M.A. assistance. The Rangerdom…not so much. Why? Because the Rangerdom has fully realized from the get-go that its devotion to a cartoon is entirely insane…and is, on the whole, ‘cool with that’
::A tense chuckle filters through the audience::
Twumoni: We use satire to look at ourselves very introspectively…existentially…longitudinally? Whatever. The point is that when we give out the Best Satire Award each year we’re reminding ourselves that this is a tiny fandom of an obscure 1980’s cartoon, and therefore not anything that is worth getting all hot and bothered about…”
::He casts a long gaze out over the crowd::
Twumoni: …then we hit each other with fish.
Dale (in the audience):
::Twumoni shrugs his shoulders as the audience laughs and ‘lights’ another ‘cigar’. He flicks the ‘match’ to the artificial water, but is rather surprised when the entire steamboat set suddenly catches fire. Twumoni hurries the sketch along::
Twumoni (looking worried): Umm, the nominees for Best Satire include…
::He runs up one more deck to escape the flames::
Ograth (from the audience): TACOOOOOOOOS!!!
Dale (from the audience): CHALUPAS!
::The flames leap higher as Spumoni jumps on top of the wheelhouse::
Twumoni: The next nominee is NutsforBrains, our beloved Nutsy, for ‘The Trials of Cooking’ in which we discover that the Achilles heel of our heroes is ‘lunch’.
::As the flames consume the set Spumoni scrambles up the smokestack::
Twumoni: And, oh…me…for ‘After the Mission’ and ‘Requiem for a Reprobate’ wherein you all laughed at the Rangers dying horrible deaths and public transportation.
::At once the set is utterly consumed by the towering flames! Someone in the audience screams. The sprinklers come on and for a moment all is confusion.
Yet at once the smoke clears, and amid the ash the form of Spumoni is seen sitting on the stage. He is shaking slightly, but after a moment he collects himself and stands. He pats his own form, and realizing that he’s still wearing the Mark Twain costume he stands, clears his throat and begins to speak.
As he opens his mouth there is a silent but resonant ‘poof’ and the costume goes up in smoke. Spumoni, his eyes wide with terror, states his next line quietly::
Spumoni: The 2008 Golden Acorn for Best Satire goes to…Trials of Cooking AND Ranger Days!
is daydreaming, as in her thoughts she gazes out onto the warm night through
one of the ship's portholes::
Nutsy: Huh? What?"
::She snaps back to attention at the ceremonies, keenly conscious of hundreds of eyes looking at her::
Nutsy; Oh my gosh, I WON!?!?
::Blushing like bad, Nutsy goes to the stage and takes her place behind the podium, where she encounteres a problem: The podium is taller than she is::
Nutsy (good-naturedly): Story of my life.
::She thanks Dr. Indy, who kindly
hands her the mike. The short chipmunk steps in front of the podium::
Nutsy: Wow, this is truly humbling.
::Scattered claps from the audience::
Nutsy: I thank you all for your support and friendship. You know, it's rather funny, my cooking skills, or lack thereof, are rather notorious with my family and friends. Some of you know this, but that meatball fiasco was based on something I actually did.
Dale (from the audience): Do you cook with motor oil?!
::Gadget whaps Dale with her awards program while the audience laughs::
Nutsy: Don't worry, I didn't cook anything here tonight, so you are all safe! Anyway, I once wrote a column on that meatball incident and won second place in the company's editorial contest. I also wrote a humorous speech on my cooking mishaps and took first in a local contest, and third in the area contest.
::Nutsy cradles her Golden Acorn Award lovingly::
Nutsy: Who would have thought NOT learning how to cook could be so awarding? Thanks again, everyone!
::As Nutsy leaves the stage, the scene changes dramatically::