Mild Kingdom

Like every other American of my generation, I grew up watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom starring Marlin Perkins. The most amazing thing about this show was not the exotic locales or dangerous animals they encountered. It was Marlin’s ability to convince his none-too-bright sidekick, Jim, to perform death defying acts of stupidity. 

Here’s an example of a typical scene.

Marlin:  Here we are in deepest Africa. Our native guide, Walulu, has informed us that the largest crocodile in watering hole, whom they call Astaminyahna (translated “Gonna Get Ya”), is suffering from a toothache. My assistant, Jim, will now swim through the crocodile infested waters, pry open Astaminyahna’s mouth, and perform a root canal without the aid of anesthesia.

Jim (wrestling the croc):  Marlin, could you hand me the vise grips and cordless drill?

Marlin:  No can do, Jim. I might get mud on my new khaki shorts.

The mild animal in today’s story is obviously constipated or suffering from some sort of intestinal blockage. Too bad Marlin isn’t around, I’m sure he’d have Jim hogtie the poor creature and administer a soothing enema.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the host of this award winning program is Marlene Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To read stories by other FFF authors click here.


Scene: The President has assembled his cabinet for an emergency meeting at a secret location somewhere in Pennsylvania.

President: I’m sure you’re all wondering why I summoned you here.

Vice President: No, but I am curious why we are meeting in a third-story broom closet on the campus of Havertown U.

President: This is a matter of national security. I don’t want anything leaking to the media until we’ve made our decision. Then I’ll call a press conference and inform the American public.

Secretary of State: Oh, I love secrets. When can we start planning the cover-up?

Secretary of Defense: Is it terrorists? I’ll put the military on high-alert.

President: No, it’s much more serious than that. Ladies and gentlemen, meet our new, middle-of-the-road political mascot, “Doofus.”

Copyright EL Appleby
Copyright EL Appleby


32 Comments on “Mild Kingdom

  1. Hilarious recollection of Wild Kingdom, Russell! As for Doofus, someone must have been really bored out of their mind at work to concoct that freak of Photoshop nature.


  2. But…we don’t need a new Doofus. We still have Joe!

    My favorite of the two stories is Mild Kingdom, though. Good Lord, does that mean I’m as old as you are?!?! Dang it.



    • No, I’m pretty sure you just watched reruns in syndication. I was right there, praying for Jim to outlast the Anaconda while Marlin studied the social interaction of Mallards from the safety of a duck blind.


  3. An enema? Ugh! As a nurse, I hate administering enemas. Let’s just give the little guy a sip of Miralax and let nature take its course.
    I will, however, take a Doofus bumper sticker for the 2016 campaign. It seems so right!


  4. I remember that – Jim, grab that 20 foot python for me, would ya.

    I wonder what happened to him ? I think I qualify for the doofus party.


  5. Absolutely brilliant.
    Not sure a Brit should comment on one of your political mascots – we have more than enough Doofuses – or should it be Doofi – of our own!
    Still chuckling Russell


  6. Aaah, but secret meetings are no match for our Russell. I’d like to ask you to put me down for a bumper sticker…we have an election coming up in 99 days (and counting), however we already have a doofus in charge.
    You never cease to amaze me with your stories each week. I really look forward to reading them.


  7. Having met Jim many times when he was a guest on our Morning Show, I can’t think of him with a straight face anymore with that Mild Animal and intestinal blockage. From a political viewpoint, you need to “know your enema” very well.

    I laughed until I stopped. Always a pleasure, Russ.


  8. Dear Mr. M. O. Omaha

    I can’t stop laughing. We used to watch Mr. Perkins every Monday night. Your intro was my favorite part this week.
    As for political mascots and Doofuses I shall plead the 5th.




  9. Brilliant – love the story, love the name ‘Doofus’, and this line really made me laugh:
    “I love secrets. When can we start planning the cover-up?”
    Great stuff 🙂


  10. Russell, you never disappoint. How do you do this? Love your humor. Maybe this is just what our country needs. Poor Doofus would get blamed for everything though.


  11. And Johnny Carson used to do a number on Marlon Perkins too, but I can’t quite remember how it went. Marlon looked like a stiff breeze would blow him over while Jim Fowler did all the heavy lifting. Those are fun memories for a couple of Geezers like us!

    Doofus will have great success as a mascot for either party!


  12. I could just hear the narrator’s voice in my head when I read the Mild Kingdom part. Well done! As for Doofus, is this finally a conglomeration of all the political parties?


  13. “When can we start planning the cover-up!” ahaha! I think Marlin made Jim sleep with Doofus every night. (If you need me, I’ll be down at Doofus Headquarters registering to vote.)

    Havertown U sounds familiar. Didn’t Al Gore graduate from there? I heard they offer a Global Warming/Internet Inventing Degree, but I could be mistaken . . .


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