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.”