CAPTAIN PLEONASM VS. MRS. WILLOUGHBY’S FOURTH-GRADE CIVICS CLASS.

Although no recordings of the old Captain Pleonasm radio serial have survived, a number of the original scripts were recently unearthed in the archives of the Northern Broadcasting Company.

ANNOUNCER. Malt-O-Cod, the delicious and nutritious malt food drink flavored with real cod-liver oil, presents…

(Music: Theme, up and under for…)

ANNOUNCER. The Thrilling and Exciting Adventures of Captain Pleonasm and His Faithful and Trustworthy Sidekick and Assistant, Interjection Boy!

(Music: In full, then fade for…)

ANNOUNCER. Our story begins today with Captain Pleonasm once again proudly engaging in his civic duty of helping the young people of America to stay on the straight and narrow path.

CAPT. PLEONASM. I do not recall this structure or building as being so small. When I was here, these rooms were vast and cavernous chambers. Artemus Ward Elementary was a Brobdingnagian palace of immense proportions. It is painfully and distressingly apparent that my arch-nemeses, the Editors of Doom, have been attacking this school with their Condense-O Ray.

INTERJECTION BOY. Waverin’ willets, Captain Pleaonasm! The last time you were here you were ten years old, and Mrs. Willoughby says you were the shortest kid in your class.

CAPT. PLEONASM. I fail to see the relevance of that information, or its application to the subject at hand.

INTERJECTION BOY. Gadzooks, Captain Pleonasm, I’m just saying that—Oh, look, there’s my little brother’s classroom now! And here comes Mrs. Willoughby.

CAPT. PLEONASM. What did you say your little brother’s name was again? By what appellation shall I address him?

INTERJECTION BOY. Argyle socks, Captain Pleonasm! I’ve told you about fifty times. His name is Interrogative Boy.

CAPT. PLEONASM. It still seems strange and suspicious, too odd to be a mere coincidence or unrelated concatenation of events, that your little brother has the very same and identical civics teacher that I had in fourth grade.

INTERJECTION BOY. Blitherin’ bandicoots, Captain Pleonasm! It’s not as strange as all that. You know Mrs. Willoughby has the job forever cause she knows where the bodies are buried.

MRS. WILLOUGHBY (approaching). Billy! How nice of you to come!

INTERJECTION BOY. Grievin’ ganders, Mrs. Willoughby! You mean his name was Billy?

MRS. WILLOUGHBY. Well, of course! He wasn’t always Captain Pleonasm, you know. Back in the fourth grade, he was just plain little Billy Pleonasm. Such a cute little boy! Not too bright, but heavens! what a vocabulary. Come in, come in! The class is very excited that you’re coming.

(Sound: chaotic elementary-school classroom.)

MRS.WILLOUGHBY. Settle down, boys and girls! We have a very special treat today. Captain Pleonasm is here to talk with us. That’s right—the famous Captain Pleonasm himself, and believe it or not, just a few decades ago he was a student in this very classroom, just like all of you! But now he’s a crusading hero with a lucrative Malt-O-Cod contract!

LITTLE GIRL. I wanted Superman.

LITTLE BOY. Or Batman.

INTERROGATIVE BOY. What are you doing here, big brother?

INTERJECTION BOY. Reekin’ ramps, little brother! I’m a sidekick! I’ve got to be by his side, no matter what danger he faces!

MRS. WILLOUHGBY. So now Captain Pleonasm is going to give us his very interesting presentation.

CAPT. PLEONASM. My aim and purpose, dear children, is to tell you that crime and lawbreaking do not pay. They are not remunerative. Nothing is to be gained by flouting the statutes of our fair Commonwealth. In the end, a life devoted to transgression of the criminal code will not materially increase your wealth.

INTERROGATIVE BOY (stage whisper).Why does he keep saying the same thing over and over again?

INTERJECTION BOY. (stage whisper) Merciful malamutes, Interrogative Boy! That’s his thing. It’s what he does.

MRS.WILLOUGHBY. Well, that’s very interesting, and I’m sure you could go on like this all afternoon. But why don’t we answer some questions now? Yes, Angela?

LITTLE GIRL. Why couldn’t we get Superman like Mrs. Fanshawe’s class did?

LITTLE BOY. Or Batman?

MRS.WILLOUGHBY. Mrs. Fanshawe’s class got Superman because the school could only afford Superman’s honorarium for one class, and Mrs. Fanshawe bribed the principal with cupcakes, which was a very naughty thing to do. Are there any real questions for Captain Pleonasm? Yes, Interrogative Boy?

INTERROGATIVE BOY. Why do you wear that dorky long underwear?

LITTLE GIRL. Yeah, instead of a cool cape like Superman?

LITTLE BOY. Or Batman?

ANNOUNCER. Is this the end for Captain Pleonasm’s dignity? Will he escape from Artemus Ward Elementary School with his pride intact? Don’t miss next week’s enthralling and riveting episode of the Thrilling and Exciting Adventures of Captain Pleonasm and His Faithful and Trustworthy Sidekick and Assistant, Interjection Boy!

(Music: In full, and under for…)

ANNOUNCER. Kids, have you pestered your moms for Malt-O-Cod today? Remember, Malt-O-Cod is the only malt food drink with the rich, satisfying flavor of real cod-liver oil, now with the official Captain Pleonasm comb and tissue paper in every box, so you can play along with the Captain Pleonasm theme. Start wearing down your parents’ resistance now!

(Music: In full, then out.)

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I used to get Malt-o-Cod at our local Foodland, but it closed!

  2. In my mind, I can clearly recall that theme song as if it were yesterday.


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