Theatre of Your Brain


January 18, 2013 by T. Gregory Argall

Turkle Sisters Mysteries

An Audio Play for MP3 Radio Thingy

Episode One


Theme song plays. Something trippy, like the bass line from “One Of These Days” by Pink Floyd.

Mic:       We don’t look for mysteries.

Nic:        We just find ‘em.

Mic:       Then we solve ‘em.

Nic:        ‘Cuz that’s just what we do.

Song transitions into something up-beat, rocking, and sexy, but played on bagpipes or maybe a theramin. Or both.

Announcer: Yes, it’s time for another exciting adventure on this week’s episode of…

Mic & Nic:   (together) Turkle Sisters Mysteries!

Announcer:  (rapidly) The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual persons or events except for the parts that are real but we can’t tell you which parts those are because, well, come on, where’s the fun in that, right?  It’s more fun if you just sit there and try to guess which parts are real and which parts are totally made up. We think so anyway and we’re the ones in charge so, hey, why is the music getting so loud? What the hell…?

Music builds until it drowns out the announcer, losing him mid-sentence. Suddenly the music stops and we hear peaceful, small town sounds like birds singing and horses pooping in the street.

Announcer:  (pause) Oh, we’re back? Fine. >ahem< As our adventure begins, the beautiful Turkle sisters are strolling along the sidewalk in pleasant downtown Anywheresville.

Mic:       What if the woodchuck has a catapult or a trebuchet? Then he could chuck even more wood, couldn’t he?

Nic:        Not necessarily. It would still take time for him to load the catapult each time. And what’s the timeframe for the question? Is it an hour? Is it a day? If it’s a whole day, does he stop to sleep or go to the bathroom?

Mic:       Woodchucks don’t go to the bathroom. Well, they go to the bathroom, but not in a bathroom. They don’t use plumbing, is what I mean. So, in theory, he could just keep chucking wood while going to the bathroom.

Nic:        So could you, but would you want to?

Mic:       Probably not, but it would really depend on the size of the pieces of wood and where I was chucking them.

Nic:        See? There are so many variables. It’s not that simple a question when you really think about it.

Mic:       I never said it was a simple question. I just said it was a valid question.

Nic:        But is it?

Mic:       Yes. It is.

Nic:        Do woodchucks even chuck wood? Is that a thing they do? Is it part of the woodchuck repertoire?

Mic:       You don’t know for certain that it’s not.

Nic:        I’ve never seen a woodchuck chuck wood, now that I think about it.

Mic:       Sure, but just because we haven’t actually seen something happen doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.

Nic:        You’re probably right. I’ve never seen an actual singing frog, but that cartoon has to be based on something, right?

Mic:       Yeah, that might have been made up.

Nic:        I rest my case.

Mic:       You were making a case?

Nic:        Of course I was.

Mic:       Oh. And what, exactly, was the case you were making, now that you have rested it?

Nic:        That a woodchuck would chuck a variable amount of wood, depending upon the extraneous circumstances surrounding the chucking of the wood, including, but not limited to, the period of time involved, the particular weather condition at the time of chucking, the condition of the wood itself, and, with a quantum nod to Heisenberg, the unintentional but inevitable interference from the observer or observers of the chucking itself.

Mic:       Hm.

Nic:        Hm?

Mic:       Yes. Hm.

Nic:        You don’t agree?

Mic:       Well, I don’t disagree, I just have a different answer, that’s all.

Nic:        And what’s your answer?

Mic:       Two cords.

Nic:        Two cords? Really?

Mic:       Yep.  According to the guidelines listed in the union handbook, a woodchuck is entitled to a fifteen minute break once he has chucked two cords of wood. They have to rest their little arms, you see. Health and safety.

Nic:        There’s a woodchuck union?

Mic:       Of course there is. You really need to get out more.

Nic:        Maybe you need to get out less.

Mic:       Nope.  Hey, what’s going on over there?

Nic:        You mean the crime scene with all the police tape around it?

Mic:       Yeah. Boy, the sheriff sure loves his police tape, doesn’t he?

Nic:        Probably gets a good price if he buys it in bulk.

Mic:       Yeah, probably. Good morning, Sheriff.

Sheriff:  Good morning, Mic. Good morning, Nic.

Nic:        What’s going on?

Mic:       Was there a crime or are you trying to use up surplus police tape?

Sheriff:  Is it that obvious?

Nic:        Which, the crime or the surplus?

Sheriff:   Both, really.

Mic:       In that case, yes, it’s pretty obvious.

Nic:        I mean, you’ve got all your deputies there by that broken store window, staring at that boot on the ground. What is that, a size ten, left?

Sheriff:   Right.

Nic:        No, I’m pretty sure it’s a left.

Sheriff:   I meant, yes, it is a left boot. Good eye, Nic.

Nic:        Thanks.

Mic:       As for the police tape… when you start wrapping it around yourself, yeah, it’s a little obvious that you’re trying to use it up.

Sheriff:   Oh. Too much?

Nic:        A little bit, yeah.

Mic:       Here, let me help you.

We hear sounds of police tape being collected up and crumpled. At least fifteen seconds, maybe longer.

Nic:        Whoa, steady there, Sheriff. Don’t spin too fast.

Mic:       You’ll end up dizzy on the ground.

Sheriff:   Thanks. Don’t want that to happen again.

Mic:       Again?

Sheriff:   What? No. Nothing.

Nic:        What happened to your shirt, Sheriff?

Mic:       The sleeve is torn. There, at the shoulder.

Sheriff:   Oh. I guess I caught it on something. I hadn’t noticed. Hm.

Nic:        That’s a shame.

Mic:       Yeah. So, is there another boot?

Sheriff:   Another boot?

Nic:        They usually travel in pairs. Is there another boot around here somewhere?

Sheriff:   Oh. Right. Gotcha. yeah, we found another boot around the corner there.

Mic:       Oh, yeah, I see more deputies standing in a circle staring at it.

Nic:        Really? Oh, I see them.

Mic:       You’ve certainly got a lot of deputies, Sheriff.

Sheriff:   Well, Mic, when you roll up to a crime scene, you never know how many pieces of evidence you’ll need to stand and stare at. Best to have as many deputies as possible on hand, just in case.

Nic:        Good point. Is it a size ten, as well?

Sheriff:   Is what a size ten?

Nic:        The other boot.

Sheriff:   Oh. Yes, preliminary investigation indicates that it is, in fact, a size ten.

Mic:       Is it the right boot?

Sheriff:   Right for what?

Mic:       A right foot. Does it match the other boot? Are they a pair?

Sheriff:   (chuckles condescendingly) Oh, you Turkle sisters, with all your questions and your mystery-solving and such. Why don’t you just leave the police work to the professionals, okay?

Nic:        Why aren’t there any deputies standing around over there?

Sheriff:   Where? There?

Mic:       Yeah. Shouldn’t there be some deputies standing there staring at that?

Sheriff:   Of course not. It’s not evidence. It’s just a shrub. It was there long before this crime was committed. At least two days before. I’m pretty sure I saw that very shrub in just that spot on Tuesday, and it hasn’t moved. Not an inch.

Mic:       But what about that bit of torn fabric hanging from the shrub?

Nic:        That might be evidence, right?

Sheriff:   Oh, don’t you girls worry your pretty little heads about—Hey, now, you might be on to something there. (calling) Hey, Murray, get some deputies to stand around that shrub there. Looks like there might be some evidence there to stare at.

Murray:   (distant) Roger that, Sheriff. How many deputies do you want on that? Is three enough?

Sheriff:   Three? Are you crazy? That’s evidence, maybe. You need at least four deputies. Five, if you got ‘em.

Murray:   (distant) Roger that, Sheriff. Right away.

Nic:        Sheriff, I might be wrong, but it looks sort of like that torn fabric might match the tear in your shirt sleeve.

Mic:       You know what, Nic? I think you’re not. Wrong, that is.

Nic:        Thanks, Mic.

Mic:       It looks like it would be a perfect match for the tear in the sheriff’s sleeve.

Sheriff:   Murray! Bring that piece of torn fabric evidence over here.

Murray:   Roger that, Sheriff. Here you go.

Sheriff:   Does it look like it matches this tear in my sleeve?

Murray:   Roger that, Sheriff. I think it’s an exact match.

Sheriff:   Deputies, what do you guys think? Is it a match? Stare hard, just to be sure.

Deputies:         (general sounds of agreement from five deputies)

Nic:        Well, that’s interesting.

Mic:       Yes, very interesting.

Sheriff:   Anyway, ladies. Always a pleasure chatting with you, but as you can see, we’re very busy here. More evidence is cropping up all the time. Don’t know where it keeps coming from. If we find much more evidence, we may have to borrow some deputies from Downtheroadberg, just to be sure that it all gets properly stared at. And that means more paperwork.

Nic:        We understand. Just one more question.

Sheriff:   Now, Nic…

Mic:       Just one. Please? It’ll be a quick question, too.

Sheriff:   Mic… (sigh) All right. One more question, then I really have to get back to solving this crime.  Ask away.

Mic & Nic: (together) Where are your boots?

Sheriff:    What?

Nic:        Your boots.

Mic:       You’re a size ten, right?

Sheriff:   Sure, yeah, but what’s that got to do with..?

Nic:        Well, you’re not wearing your boots.

Mic:       You’re just standing here in your socks.

Sheriff:   What? That’s ridiculous. I’m not— hey, now, I’m just wearing socks on my feet. Why do you suppose that is?

Nic:        That’s kind of what we were wondering, Sheriff.

Mic:       It seems your bootless feet might be evidence.

Sheriff:   My goodness, you might be right. (calling) Murray!

Murray:   Right here, Sheriff.

Sheriff:   We need some deputies to stare at my feet. They’re probably evidence.

Murray:   The deputies are evidence?

Sheriff:   No, my feet are.

Murray:   Roger that, Sheriff. Do you want more deputies to do that, or can we just have these deputies that are staring at the tear in your sleeve also stare at your feet? I mean, it’s getting kind of crowded right around you…

Sheriff:   Dammit, man, this is serious police work. We can’t afford to do it halfway. Get more deputies. Now.

Murray:   Roger that, Sheriff.

Sheriff:   I’m sure if I turn like this maybe, then perhaps we can fit more in. Taller ones in the back can watch the sleeve. Shorter ones in front watch the feet.

Deputies:        (general kerfuffle as multiple deputies gather around and try not to block each other’s view)

Sheriff:  Gather ‘round. Everyone in? Anyone who can’t see what they’re staring at? No? Good.

Nic:        Uh, Sheriff..?

Sheriff:   Wha? Who said that?

Nic:        Me. Over here. Hi.

Sheriff:   Oh, hey. Nic, Mic, are you guys still here?

Mic:       Yeah, we are.

Nic:        And we’re sorry to have to say this but…

Mic:       Here’s the thing, Sheriff… With that torn fabric matching the tear in your sleeve…

Nic:        And if those are your boots over there with those other deputies…

Sheriff:   Ahhh…. Yeah, I think they are…

Mic:       Well, then the evidence seems to indicate that this crime was committed by…

Mic & Nic: (together) You.

Sheriff:   (chuckling condescendingly) Oh, you Turkle sisters. I don’t know how you get these ideas in your pretty little heads, but I can—Hey, now, you might be on to something there. (calling) Murray!

Murray:   Right here, Sheriff.

Sheriff:   Murray, arrest me for this crime.

Murray:   Are you sure, Sheriff?

Sheriff:   I’m as surprised as you are, Murray. I didn’t suspect me at all, but the evidence doesn’t lie. Arrest me.

Murray:   Roger that, Sheriff. Take him away, boys. And don’t forget to rough him up a bit, too. Gotta teach these criminals a lesson, after all.

Sheriff:   Good call, Murray.

Murray:   Roger that, Sheriff.

Mic:       Huh. Well that’s a shame.

Nic:        Yeah, I didn’t mind him too much.

Mic:       No, me neither. The way he let us solve mysteries for him, it was almost like he knew he needed the help.

Nic:        I hope the next sheriff is as understanding as this one was.

Mic:       Yeah. So here’s something I’ve always wondered…

Nic:        Yeah..?

Mic:       With knock-knock jokes…

Nic:        Why not just look through the peep-hole?

Mic:       Exactly. That’s what I was going to say. I mean why bother with all that “Who is it?” stuff and then you have to ask twice because, I don’t know, I guess you don’t know any of your friends’ last names.

Nic:        Right. What’s up with that?

Jazzy outro music starts to play.

Announcer:  You have been listening to…

Mic & Nic:  (together) Turkle Sisters Mysteries.

Announcer:  Don’t miss the next exciting episode, when Nic will ask…

Nic:        Why would anyone buy sea shells from her at the seashore? Can’t they just get their own? They’re already at the seashore. Just pick up some shells. Is that so hard?

Mic:       Maybe she got the last ones and now she’s cornered the market. She could have the sea shell monopoly on that particular seashore.

Music rises.

 The End.

(This script was inspired by my friends, Nicole Turkle and Michele (Turkle) Smith. They don’t actually solve crimes for the police but they are fun people and I like them.
Someday we might even be allowed to record this, and then you’ll be in for a treat.



One thought on “Theatre of Your Brain

  1. Bill Poulin says:

    Fun stuff, but then I always love a mystery… 🙂

    Side question: How could Peter Piper pick pickled peppers? The peppers can’t get pickled until after they’ve been picked… things growing on trees (do peppers grow on trees?) aren’t pickled yet. Unless they mean ‘picked’ as in ‘selected’… Peter Piper opted for pickled peppers. Maybe he was at a Subway.

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