As ever, readers who are new to the diary, please scroll down a bit to where you see the Thppgrg tag. Click on it. Yeah, that’s right. Otherwise, if you missed part fifteen, you can just click here. (Art by Chris McFann.)
And with that, finally, it’s done. The stupid play . . . is complete. We got the bugger.
It took hours, and hours, and HOURS, and tears, and sweat, and blood, and cursing, and several bouts of rock-paper-scissors (including a round-robin tournament to settle an argument about the exact rules of rock-paper-scissors) and one semi-brief semi-hostage semi-crisis when Vladamir VanO’Shaughnessy Blah-blah-blah #3 freaked-the-hell-out from the stress of re-editing (for the 8th time) the mute yeti lab-assistant Nigel’s interpretive-dance soliloquy about the evils of gambling and horse theft in Act 2 . . . he was also, in his defense, using an old brain that once belonged to a large and angry hillbilly tap-dance instructor at the time—and he locked himself and Jimbo in the closet. Although, apparently, the involvement of Jimbo in the crisis was completely accidental. Also, it took twenty-three pots of coffee and a handful each of complete rewrites and powerful prescription amphetamines, along with cutting the entire script into strips and throwing it into the air and letting Princess Leafirellha reassemble it, twice, and all nine uses of quickened wish that Mr. Bliss had and some stealing from Wikipedia (that one was my idea), and—in the end—the assistance of Dead-Neck McGee the stupid cleric ghost in coming up with a catchy rhyme for the word “cromulance” during the reprise of the show’s opening number during the penultimate car-chase gun-fight in Act 3 . . . but the rock-opera romantic-comedy/mistaken-identity musical action/love-story extravaganza Margin of Errors: +/-L.OV[E] is finally finished.
And it’s actually really good. I’m honored to have written it. Even if that stupid ghost gets his name in the credits along with me. In his defense, it’s a really good rhyme for “cromulance.” And he did also help resolve the “B-Plot” with the gnome-cloning machine and the mohawked bikers vs. Japanese schoolgirls knitting-school rivalry.
If I had to name the part of the final work I’m most proud of, I guess I would probably say it’s the role I wrote for myself as “Maxx Thrust-Gofast”—the enigmatic, handsome, and mysterious (but sensitive!) goblin secret-agent/billionaire owner of Thrust-Gofast Ultimate Designs and brilliant inventor of the revolutionary Steel-Thrust Go-Fastinator. He’s the sponsor of the plot-central pit-trap-building competition, and a jet-setting playboy and world-class karate expert, and I even wrote myself a “bit” where I get to do a deus ex machina sort of thing at the end, where I set everything right: reward the good, punish the wicked, and get the girl.
It’s sort of my signature shout-out to Shakespeare.
The best part is that because it’s a play and—as the writer—I get to control the whole world and everyone in it and their dialogue, I never actually have to explain exactly what the Steel-Thrust Go-Fastinator is or what it actually does. It just makes me look super cool and smart.
Also, my character gets all the best lines and doesn’t have to sing OR dance—just, like, lean against things and give witty comebacks to perfect joke set-ups and look cool in the awesome costume I designed and will subsequently have an entire professional costuming department make for me by hand. Writing is the BEST.
With a little luck, I can even spin-off the character of Maxx Thrust-Gofast into other work and maybe other venues. I think he’s a really inspiring figure. He certainly inspires me. My first thought, just off the top of my head, is a video game; maybe kind of a 2-D old-school side-scroller like Mega Man X meets Donkey Kong Country, with the exploration elements of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with a Double Dragon thing, and racing sections like in Mario Kart 64.
Then, I think, a tie-in cartoon. Maybe a cereal.
I’m currently looking into Kickstarter funding.
To help facilitate expansions of the property, I subtly worked into the script a bit of a rags-to-riches, intrigue-heavy backstory, with him growing up as a gifted gold-medal Olympian jiu-jitsu swimmer and astronaut heart surgeon who gives it all up when his father—the simple jet-pack repairman, Lance Thrust-Gofast—is killed by a former student from his old laser-sword dojo, who later turns out to be his own twin brother. It’s all mapped out on a napkin.
The part I would say I’m least happy about is that my idiot writing partners cut pretty much my entire character, and most especially all his backstory, scenes, entrances, and the parts where other characters reference him. I only get one line at the very end and I don’t get the girl. Also, they laughed at me when I confided to them that I have kind of a crush on Abliguritia Thundersmasher-Roth, who is apparently WAY out of my league. Editors are the WORST.
Now, the greatest question on my mind is whether humble Greg the vampire amateur-singer and professional male-model/middle-manager of Accounts Receivable for the Exceptionally Evil Corporation can accurately embody the true, brooding pathos of Dr. Horatio Ivoryvice and his quest to build a perfect spiked pit trap, find a cure for his stutter (spoiler alert: he learns that he doesn’t stutter when he sings from the heart) and—with the help of his astigmatic yeti lab assistant Nigel—both clear his name and find true love.
Actually, no. The greatest question is if the special effects department is going to convincingly make Chris the Maintenance Yeti’s toupee look even semi-realistic. He aced the audition, and he’s perfect for the role, but . . . gah. Who the hell has ever heard of a balding, bespeckled yeti who’s THAT good at dancing?
Also, I’m kind of wondering if there’s money in the budget for the pyrotechnics we wrote in.
Well, I suppose we find out tonight at first rehearsal. Until then, I’m going to bed.