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The entirely fictional Dr. Pfeiffer attached a collander with wires coming out of it to the shaved cranium of a Samuel Jackson impersonator. The bank of computers behind him, really just a drab wall scienced up with flashing bulbs, blinked and hummed. He took the other collander from its unnecessary display case and fixed it on the hairless pate of someone who looked very much like Morgan Freeman.

"Throw the switch!" he muttered without excitement to his Morlockish apprentice, who wore khakis built in the 1920s and no shirt. His torso was round like a testicle and covered in what someone who was trying to make an average joke would call "perfectly straight pubic hair." Whatever though, the guy grabbed the giant lever with both hands and pulled.

The skies opened up, probably, accompanied by a menacing rumble, but a lightning rod protruding from the highest spire of the doctor's castle redoubt preempted any lightning with its proton pre-cum. The 'computers' in the laboratory thrummed and shook; Jackson and Freeman arched their backs convulsively. Their eyes popped open, revealing only whites. Clearly we were meant to believe something important was happening.

I think the point of doctor's experiment was to create some kind of box office double-threat by infusing Morgan Freeman's folksy wisdom with the civil righteous fire of Mr. Jackson, but I wouldn't put any money on it.

Date Written: March 01, 2004
Author: qualcomm
Average Vote: 4.25

03/5/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (4): This seems like a companion piece to Planned Neglect. But I don't think the same person wrote. Anyway, it's pretty freakin' funny.
03/5/2004 Benny Maniacs (4): Although it didn't garner a laugh, this one is really well written and the idea is good.
03/5/2004 Craig Lewis: Ok, I'm going to wait before voting on this. And even though I find it highly likely that this short is indeed the work of my arch-nemesis, the author of "Planned Neglect," I am raising the following question only partially out of deep and untrammeled loathing, disgust and spite -- and the question stands regardless of who the author is. The question is this: does anyone besides me find the stylistic device used throughout this short -- which might (imprecisely) be called "the qualification tic" -- annoying rather than amusing? I refer to phrases such as: "The entirely fictional Dr. Pfeiffer"; "unnecessary display case"; "someone who looked very much like Morgan Freeman"; "covered in what someone who was trying to make an average joke would call 'perfectly straight pubic hair'"; "Whatever though, the guy grabbed the giant lever with both hands and pulled"; "The skies opened up, probably, accompanied by a menacing rumble"; etc. etc. etc. etc. Obviously, I understand that this mannerism is meant, in this particular short, to convey knowing, ironic distance from the short's cliched science fiction atmosphere; I don't doubt for a second that the author is fully in command of the device and that this is all very intentionally done. And yeah, the short is reasonably well-written, although I'd imagine most people will agree that -- like the torso-testicle -- the "proton pre-cum" is rather a hack, by-the-numbers Acmeshorts gesture (insert random sex/dick/jizz reference for guaranteed bonus points!). Anyway, does anyone agree or disagree? I'm inclined to give this a 3.
03/5/2004 qualcomm: no, dude it's by me, not ewan. but again, i find your labeling of certain devices as hack or cheap to be arbitrary in the extreme. so dick/cum references are a standard acme device? i agree, it's in lots of shorts, including the matza job you gave 5 stars to yesterday. so didn't his piece, which contains about twenty of these cheap penile/seminal jokes, earn the same contempt from you? (note, i do not think this is my greatest work, but still, in light of your praise yesterday for jokes i find to be of essentially the same ilk as those in here, i am terribly, terribly confused.)
03/5/2004 Craig Lewis: My apologies to Ewan. (Not really.) The reason Matza's short didn't earn the same contempt is because the entire premise of his short was horny-toad talk. I'm not a prude: I don't object to dick/vag/arse jokes on principle. I like me a good dirty old short. The Acme phenomenon I'm referring is the completely gratuitous recourse to dirty-talk for no apparent reason. Nothing in your short here really seems to call for the pre-cum, it seems to me like a rote reflex: paragraph three, bring on the jizz. That's all. Anyway...you're still my shorts hero, Feldy.
03/5/2004 qualcomm: yeah, whatever.
03/5/2004 qualcomm: seriously, though, the reason i put that joke in there was because i just learned how lightning rods worked and it struck me at the time as being much like proton precum.
03/5/2004 qualcomm: incidentally, in my opinion, the qualification tic doesn't only impart ironic distance... it lets you know you're in the hands of a narrator who doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't really care.
03/5/2004 Craig Lewis: Fair enough. While I've got you on the line, will you please make sure that your pal Snow logs on and explains just why I'm so fucking stupid when he gets back? I'm not a-gonna let him worm out of this, no way.
03/5/2004 Mr. Pony (5): Okay, now this one's funny when you read it aloud.
03/6/2004 John Slocum: as a newcomer to the site, I have a question: why wouldn't you care if you didn't know what you were doing?
03/6/2004 Jon Matza: Unreliable narrator, try?
03/8/2004 Benny Maniacs: I like the inventive use of invention in this, but felt like the punchline could have "cummed" more.
03/8/2004 Ewan Snow (4): "unnecessary display case" is right on. "Khakis built in the 1920s and no shirt" is nice. "...someone who was trying to make an average joke would call 'perfectly straight pubic hair'" is first rate. Would have been better without the last paragraph.
03/8/2004 qualcomm: incidentally, i must point out for honor's sake that this short was inspired by a now-lost snowshort that had a scifi theme... i don't remember much of it, only that at some point, an overloaded computer exploded in a cloud of "cheap smoke"
03/8/2004 Ewan Snow: What? Rip-off? Can I change my vote to one star?! Pony, what was that idea of yours?
03/8/2004 qualcomm: mulp
02/17/2005 Mr. Pony: What was that idea of mine?