One of my favorite songs ends with these three lyrics repeated a handful of times:
“Your head is on the moon. It’s not necessary to breathe. Forever is a long time.”
The reason I am reminded of them is what happened after we left off our intrepid heroes. Cassiopeia Birnbaum had just catapulted herself onto the housicopter in order to confront Trentoteps. In a fit of anger and fear, Trentoteps lifted the housicopter further and further up, up, up into the sky, and yet further still, up farther than the housicopter had ever travelled. Further than anyone thought the housicopter could travel. Until it reached his home. That is to say, he took the housicopter to the moon. With Cassiopeia Birnbaum inside.
But don’t worry! She doesn’t die. Somehow, the genetic combination of baboon and scarecrow allows her to survive in the atmosphereless atmosphere of outer space. This shocks her just as much as it shocks the Space Mummy, who was certain his surprise trip would spell her demise.
“I was certain my surprise trip would spell your demise,” Trentoteps said to Cassie. “But since you can survive in the atmosphereless atmosphere of outer space, I will have to demise you some other way. Like this!” He shot a laser beam from his metallic fist. It struck Cassie in the chest. She gasped and fell to the ground. But she still did not die. What was it that protected her this time? I don’t know. Perhaps you can come up with an answer! Leave a theory in the comments and we will discuss it on Friday! Fun!
In the meantime, though, Trentoteps got more and more frustrated as he tried to destroy poor Cassiopeia Birnbaum. Cassiopeia got more and more confused as her body continued to not be dead. And back on Earth, Leopold Birnbaum got more and more distraught as he watched his daughter buffeted by laser beams through a telescope he yoinked from Count Hawkula’s secret stash of telescopes.
“You put that back!” Count Hawkula shouted from his prison atop the mizzen mast. “And let me down! I can see my house from here, and it is an ugly sight! I hate my house! Hate it!”
“You will stay there until the authorities arrive and arrest you for all the stolen goods in your river boat,” Walter said. “And once you are as good as incarcerated, we’re taking the flea circus on the road. We’ll become famous, no thanks to you!”
“Arr! You know, if I get my housicopter back, I’ll gladly be your manager/mode of transportation. And my bird Becky went to Clown College!” Vincent Fishbein said.
“Brawk! It was Yale Clown University!” Brawk!”
“Excuse me!” Vincent Fishbein said.
“Gentlemen! Talking animals! We can wrap up these sub-plots later! Right now, we need to help my daughter. Who can help me get up to the moon?” Leopold Birnbaum said. Just then, the police arrived to arrest Count Hawkula for robbery, kidnapping and illegal comb over. They also brought an ambulance in case anyone was hurt, and a fire truck.
Meanwhile, on the moon, Trentoteps was having zero luck with his laser beams. Zilch luck. And so, he grasped Cassiopeia Birnbaum by the throat and began to choke her. This had the desired effect of causing her harm. Cassie gasped and gasped for air, eyes rolling in agony. Until they fell upon something. Something potentially useful. There appeared to be a loose bandage on Trentoteps’s’s’s shoulder. She reached her long baboon arm around him and tugged. Hard. Almost immediately, he began to unravel, spinning like a whirligig and screaming like a villain, “No! Noooooooooo!”
Underneath all those bandabes was no body, no skeleton, no soul. Just a whole mess of dust. And a metallic fist, which fell to the lunar surface, then remembered there was no gravity on the moon and floated into the sun, evaporating in the heat. The unfurled bandages did the same, copycats. Cassiopeia sighed. She felt relieved there was no more threat of a maniacal Space Mummy, but sad that he had to die for it all to end.
Moments later, her father showed up on the fire truck’s ladder to bring her back to Earth. “I was on the moon!” Cassiopeia said to him. “But it’s sure good to be back home, father!”
Because of her bravery, Cassiopeia Birnbaum was awarded a gold medal, a blue ribbon and a whole bunch of scratch and sniff stickers. Astronauts were sent to the moon to retrieve the casket Trentoteps was entombed in, and it now sits at the Museum of Fictional History. They were also able to retrieve the housicopter, so Vincent Fishbein was able to make good on his promise, and the Walter & Company Flea Circus travels from town to town bringing teeny, tiny smiles to all the children of the world. Count Hawkula is still cooling his heels in the State Penitentiary.
Anyone else I left out? As for me, I have learned my lesson. From now on, I will plan ahead, and my narratives will be much less sloppy.
Cassiopeia had brought along a small cedar chest. It was lined with laserproof paneling. When Trentoteps’ laser beam struck Cassie in the chest, its lid swung shut, safely sealing away the laserness. She then gasped and fell to the floor just for fun.
Cassie had brought a small cedar chest which lay on the floor. Cassie, like all scarecrow-baboons and cats, was enthralled by the beam of laser light on the chest, and, gasping, fell to the floor to chase it. She did not die for the same reason that cats do not die when they chase laser light beams.
Cassie was standing in a laser-not-hurting-you chest. Because the beam struck her in the chest, it did not hurt her, but she was disoriented by the flash of light, and gasped and fell down.
Cassie was standing in an ordinary, not laserproof, not laser-not-hurting-you chest, and Trentoteps’ laser was super-deadly.
But he missed.
“It” was a really good idea that struck Cassie in the chest, where she was standing. It was the idea to gasp and fall to the ground, which she did.
Duh, everyone knows scarecrow-baboons are laserproof.
The laser beam struck HER (Housing and Economic Recovery) in the chest, plunging the economy back into recession.