Monday, July 10, 2017

From 1975, It’s ... Star Track! [part 1]



In November, 1975, I was a sophomore at Oklahoma City University.  Among other affiliations and friendships, I was a member of the OCU United Methodist Student Movement.
            OCU’s Press Club sponsored an annual skit night, Keshena Kapers.  Any organization was allowed to put on a short musical skit.
            Our gang of wacky Methodists decided that we didn’t want the fraternities and sororities to have all the fun.  We decided we, too, could (a la Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney) put on a show!
            A big cultural influence, in those days, was Channel 5 KOCO-TV’s airing of Star Trek at 4PM on weekdays.  In those pre-VCR days, it was a wonderful experience to hang around in the lobby of your dorm with a half-dozen other folks, all watching Gene Roddenberry’s communal sci-fi gospel.
            Combine those two aspects of life – religion and TV SF – and you’re predestined (get it?) to come up with an idea like ours, which intentionally emulated Trek’s “Patterns of Force” or “Bread and Circuses”:   We crosswired Trek and a Bible story.
            The main collaborators are as listed. However, it was my idea to insert Gilbert-and-Sullivan songs as the musical meat, and it was I who rewrote the lyrics – and here is the post on Spock’s Record Round-Up, in which I share the actual children’s record which taught me the songs!
            An earlier post on the Super Blog covers the some of the props I came up with for use in this skit.
            Our skit was directed by Shelley Williams, with intense coaching from Dale Thele, with piano accompaniment by ... I don’t remember!
            Below is the program, with my notations of who won the prizes.  *sigh* not us, darn it! 




 Following is the text of STAR TRACK, half today and  the rest next week.


STAR TRACK
or, The U.S.S.  Paralyzed

by Mark Alfred, Stephen Smith, Mary Len Gillingham, and Scott Tyra

Voice of CAPTAIN KROOK:  Space:  a mindless frontier.  These are the voyages of the spaceship Paralyzed.  Its mission:  to destroy strange, new worlds; to seek out new strife, and new limitations; to rush in where angels fear to tread.

(Music; up curtain.)

(Lights up on Captain Krook, Mister Spot, and Doctor McClown (also known “Groans”), of the USS Paralyzed.   They have just beamed down.  As Mr Spot begins Tricorder readings, Krook and McClown do triple-takes, for behind them to their left is a huge wooden structure – the Ark.  This is made clear because of the stenciled legend:  U.S.S.  Ark.  Krook hurriedly flips open his Communicator and speaks.)

KROOK:  Krook to Paralyzed.

VOICE OF LT COMMANDER SHODD:  Paralyzed here, Captain.

KROOK:  Beaming accomplished, Shoddy.  Krook out.

SHODDY’S VOICE:  Aye, sir.  Shodd out.

(Krook and McClown stand, staring at the Ark while Spot continues his Tricorder readings.  Voiceover:)

KROOK’S VOICE:  Captain’s log, Stardate 2448.17.  Dr McClown, Mr  Spot, and I have beamed down to Planet H-3 of the Frogtor System to investigate strange life-form readings there.  Little do we realize that we are about to encounter one of the strangest sets of occurrences since the month Mr Spot spent eating rock salt, after mind-melding with the Horta.

SPOT (reading from Tricorder):  Captain, Tricorder readings indicate a rather large structure in the posterior portion of the surrounding area.  It is made of gopher wood.  Many life-form readings of various types are being received.

(He makes a half-turn, but still has his eyes fixed on the Tricorder.)

SPOT:  The structure should be located precisely here.

(He points and then looks up.  He has missed by forty feet.  He quickly adjusts his aim.)

KROOK (amused):  What’s the matter, Mr  Spot?

McCLOWN (derisively):  Logic not working today?

SPOT:  Gentleman, this structure strongly resembles the broad side of a barn.  May I suggest, Doctor, that you take that medical kit, and place it –

(He is interrupted by the entrance of a chubby, ruddy woman in a frowsy bathrobe.  She carries a stone tablet and a chisel.  She reads off her list in a strong Yiddish accent.)

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Chickens.

(A cackle from within the Ark.)

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Cows, dogs, rabbits.

(Cows and dogs reply.  No answer from the rabbits.)

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Rabbits I said!

(She turns and looks into the Ark.)

NOAH’ S WIFE (sighs):  Not again! (a beat.) Horses.  Elephants.  Armadillos.

(The horses and elephants reply.  Nothing from the armadillos.)

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Armadillos (Yells.) NOAH! NOAH!

(She turns to Krook, Spot, and McClown, seeing them for the first time.)

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Hey – you seen an old guy with a couple of armadillos?

SPOT (raising an eyebrow):  Fascinating.  Captain, why should this woman wish to
give offensive weapons to pickles?

NOAH’ S WIFE:  (coming closer):  Hey! Who are you? Go home! Drink! Be merry!
Leave me here all alone to worry!

KROOK:  Madam, who are you?

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Me? (Slaps her chest.) Me? I'm just crazy old Noah's wife, good- for-nothing! No one cares who does the cooking! No one cares who sweeps out the Ark! And my schlemiel of a husband is out on the town with a couple of armadillos!

SPOT (lowering the eyebrow raised earlier):  Fascinating.

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Hmm.  .  .  (She moves closer to Krook.)  Hey!  You Look like a nice young man.  What’re you doing here?  You married?

McCLOWN:  You might say ... he’s married to his ship.

NOAH’ S WIFE:  (takes a step back):  What?  I can imagine the honeymoon!

KROOK:  No, madam.   You don’t quite understand.

(Music up.)

“I Am the Captain of the Paralyzed

KROOK:  I am the captain of the Paralyzed,
And a darn good captain too!
My ship is run with pride,
And my ego’s ten miles wide,
I’ve got feats of derring-do!

ALL:  A ship that’s run with pride
And an ego ten miles wide,
And with feats of derring-do!

KROOK:  Though I’m honest through and through,
There is nothing that’s taboo
If you cross my palm with cash!
If your soul were mine I’d hock it
To put money in my pocket,
And my macho’s never been surpassed!

ALL:  What, never?

KROOK:  No, never!

ALL:  What, never?

KROOK:  Hardly ever!

ALL:  His macho’s never been surpassed!

KROOK:  So all join in and idolize
The perfect captain of the Paralyzed!

ALL:  So all join in and idolize
The captain of the Paralyzed!

(Music ceases.)

NOAH’S WIFE (confidentially, to Krook):  Look, sweetie! You may be nice, but Robinson
Caruso you ain’t! (to all three:) But where’s my crazy husband? The animals are sick, the elephants are restless, and I can’t open the pickle jar!

McCLOWN:  Mrs, Noah, perhaps I can help you.

NOAH’S WIFE:  What, can you open the pickles?

McCLOWN:  No, you don’t understand.  I mean, maybe I can help you with the animals.  You see, I’m a doctor.

NOAH’S WIFE:  A.  doctor?  Come with me.

(She ushers him to the Ark door.)

NOAH’S WIFE:  Look in there.  The elephants have nosebleeds!  The snakes have bedsores!  The giraffes have sore throats!  The hippopotamus has a toothache!  The cats have litter bugs!

(She stops and looks as McClown suspiciously.)

NOAH’ S WIFE:  Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Are you sure you're a doctor?  Where’s your grey hair?  Where’s your black bag?  Where's your whiskey bottle?  And where’s the bill?

McCLOWN:  You don’t understand, Mrs.  Noah.  We doctors aren’t like that any more!

(Music up.)

“I Am the Very Model of a General Practitioner”


McCLOWN:  I am the very model of a general practitioner;
I’ve knowledge of the body that’s both modern and traditional.
I know of every organ and I know of every arterie,
And when I have a problem I get oh-so-very martyrie!
I’m also well acquainted both with muscles and with ligaments,
My medical ineptness gets me in the worst predicaments!
And when it isn’t bad, my bedside manner’s merely comical –
And working on a spaceship makes my problems astronomical!

ALL:  And working on a spaceship makes his problems astronomical,
And working on a spaceship makes his problems astronomical,
And working on a spaceship makes his problems astronomic-comical!

McCLOWN:  And so if you keep healthy you should think yourself quite fortunate,
Cause if you get a splinter, then I might decide to amputate –
But still, in matters medical, both modern and traditional,
I am the very model of a general practitioner!

(Music ceases.)

(McClown and Mrs Noah enter the ark.)

SPOT (turning to Krook):  Captain, as commendable as the good doctor’s medical –
 or should I say, veterinary – proficiency may be, I should like to venture a question at this time.

KROOK:  What is it, Spot?

SPOT:  I am unsure on one point of galactic law.  Does Dr.  McClown’s healing of these animals constitute a violation of the Prime Directive? Let me quote from Subsection K, paragraph iv, clause B-5:  “The Prime Directive strictly prohibits starship interference with the normal development of alien plant and animal life, unless – ”

(McClown and Mrs Noah reappear in the door of the Ark.   McClown is packing up his medical kit, and straightening his uniform shirt.)

NOAH’S WIFE (catching her breath):  I don’t believe it!  Such a fast worker!   all the animals are okay, too!  Another Oral Roberts!  Whatta you know!

(She takes a closer look at Mr Spot, for the first time.)

NOAH’S WIFE:   Hmm ...  Hey! Look at those ears!  Aren’t they something!  How about you, Mr Tall-Dark-and-Logical?  Are you married?

(Krook smiles.   McClown snickers.)

SPOT:  No, madam, I –

NOAH’S WIFE:  No?  Then, have I got a girl for you!

(She turns and calls.)

NOAH’S WIFE:   Delilah!  Where are you honey?  Delilah, come here!

(A luscious young thing, poured into a slinky dress, undulates from behind the Ark.   She is blonde, slender, and firmly packed.   She speaks with a southern accent so syrupy you could spread it on your cornbread.)

DELILAH:   Yes, Mama?

NOAH’S WIFE:  C’mere, Delilah.

(Mr Spot turns and catches sight of Delilah.   His Adam’s apple starts dancing; his fists clench and unclench; he starts to slobber.)

End, part the first
What will happen when the repressed, cold-minded Mr Spot meets the hot-blooded child of Nature, Noah’s daughter, Delilah?  You may find out by tuning in this same time, next week!





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