THE NEFARIOUS DR. WILHELM SKREEM’S TERRIFYING TOUR OF HIS SECRET LAIR

Bwah-ha-ha, and bwah-ha-how-are-ya? Please, dare to come in. Go on, cross the threatening threshold into my secret lair. I am, as you know, the Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem. May I present you with a menacing but hearty handclasp? Help yourself to one of my dreadfully delicious monster cookies. Gaze with… malaise at my woefully wood-paneled sitting room! Oh, and take off your shoes.

You may be wondering why I invited you here to my secret underwater lair nestled several fathoms below the surface of Beaver Creek. What trick is the Nefarious Dr. Wilhelm Skreem hiding up his sinister but handsome sleeve? Is it a trap? Will I be mutated beyond recognition into a common housefly or a less common Brownstone fly? Will I be zapped by his patented Supra-Shrink Ray and shrunk to one-tenth of my size, forced to fraternize with common houseflies? Please, you misoverestimate me for one, and for two, the Supra-Shrink Ray is actually only patent pending, so fingers crossed for that.

The real reason you have been invited to my secret underwater lair is due to an enemy common to the both of us- the economy. I can no longer afford the rent on this secret hideout and pay the mortgage on my Dutch Gothic home in Valley Junction. So, I’m extending an offer to sublet my lair for the remainder of the lease. Unfortunately, the lease is with the Devil, so it is eternal and only includes electric. But, as you will see, the benefits far outweigh the risks in this particular investment. Let me show you as we step through the secret passageway behind the bookcase. Yes, just pull this copy of I’ll Sign Your Death Warrant With Spicy Mustard by Dijon Hancock and the wall pivots outward. Neat, huh? Some call the secret passageway behind the bookcase too cliché, but I like to think of it as a classic feature. I believe the kids today would call it vintage. Incidentally, this library is stocked with the most complete volumes of villainy, and is catalogued in the more complex Louie Decimal System. Mind the stairs, they’re a bit shaky, and a lot treacherousy.

Down here, we have my laboratory/rec room. Let me throw the light switch here and deactivate the booby traps. I have the booby traps set every time I leave, but you can put them on a timer. The foosball table doubles as a slab for cadaver experiments; it plugs into a wall socket for easy reanimation. That Super Computer on the west wall folds down into a Murphy bed. Those three doors lead to three different rooms. Behind one is a lady and the other is a tiger. The third is the bathroom. They’re not clearly marked, but believe me, you’ll learn which is which. And the lady is nice. A bit high-strung, though.

I can’t help but notice you admiring my robot. He was actually a gift for my brother-in-law, but he refused to accept it. I got the idea from Rocky IV. Sure, that robot danced and played music and this robot is a trained assassin that shoots anthrax at the first sign of danger, but they both have pretty much the same head. I mean, you try to do something special for someone’s birthday and all they can say is, “My eyes! My eyes!” and all you can say is, “Don’t provoke him! Don’t provoke him!” And then your sister stops sending you Christmas cards. Let me tell you, we really put the “dysfunction” in “dysfunctional family.” Bwah-ha-ha!

Over here is the walk-in closet, which doubles as the escape pod access room. Behind those silk shirts is the hatch which leads to the pod, in the event of an emergency or sudden, inexplicable anthrax outbreak. You just press that large green button that says Open Hatch. The large red button that says Self-Destruct should not be pressed, or else you won’t get your deposit back. Oh, and the electric tie rack is coming with me. The silk shirts are staying, though. That was a phase I’m trying to forget.

Other than that, there’s not much else to show. The large television keeps track of all the evil taking place in the world. There’s a satellite feed for erupting volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis or large asteroids on a collision course with the Earth. Otherwise, it pretty much stays on Fox News all day. And the kitchenette is there. Make sure to plug in the fridge if you want to use it. I never eat here, and you know that pungent unplugged-in fridge smell. I know it drives me mad.

So, we’ll keep in touch. Thank you for attending my tour. My robot will show you out. Begone!

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