Frankenstory 12/14/2002, round 1, #4
     The fish ladder of success 

1  The fish ladder would remain in disrepair again; 
5  Tom Pettybone had taken up comedy. His tools were rusting, but his timing was in fine form. 
6  He was certain that environmental comedy was a field waiting to be 
9  ambled into, just like you would amble into a saloon. He twirled his sixshooters 
15 the first time he went on stage, a rhythmic counterpoint to his monologue; it was distracting, but the strategy helped in 
12 taking his time, a new approach for him. Mr. Greenspade hired him anyway 
13 but made him wear cheezy costumes of endangered animals and 
19 gave him a smirking sidekick full of big ideas who liked to moonwalk constantly. The guy 
17 called him "Thomas" and never looked straight at him.  But the smirk was too 
21 much, and Tom would send him for bottled water when he started 
23 to open his mouth, a product practically unknown out here in Hillbilly Country USA. 
22      He knew he was hitting his stride when he could open with jokes like 
28 the one about the martian in Walmart and Aisle 12. Bon mots flowed aplenty, like 'that 
16 reminds me ... B U Z Z ... S H Z Z Z ... B A K ... fisherman 
11 crossed with a farmer? A cod some sod! Oh, look at 
3  me, I've gone from bad to verse!" [the whole room bursts into raucous laughter and 
26 Greenspade and sidekick are seen counting fistfuls of cash.] 
33 Tom moved out of the fishing skiff and into the trailer park - a little piece of heaven to him. 
27      Occasionally he could put his old high school job to good use, like when 
29 he asked a lady up out of the audience and started kissing her 
4  many times, over and over.  The crowd burst into protests, pushing back chairs 
10 but he pressed on down the aisle, his mudboots ringing on the gym floors, and caught the heckler in his arms: 
8  - he kissed her dispassionately, unconsciously wiping his mouth with his sleeve afterward 
14 He got his start at the carnival kissing booth, it was old hat. He made 
7 money, after all.  But he'd never been able to sustain it long enough to 
18 make a good living. His lips would ache like an old war injury when it rained and 
20 unless he kept swilling Evian water - tap water had chlorine - he'd get dehydrated, but then the water made him "spitty". 
34      Once he started hugging trees, he could never go back to kissing people 
32      He got to the point in his career where you start thinking Leno. Boy he 
24 wanted it, wanted it so bad he could taste it, wanted it like the fish wants the worm 
25 - attention, glory, and social change. The spirits of the deforested earth could kiss him nightly for that. 
30 "Laugh, and cram the message down their throats" George Bernard Shaw had said, or something like it. 
31 An environmentalist turned comedian, couldn't have made a joke of his platform, 
2  couldn't have before, but now he could, and the crowd loved it. 

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange; Habeeb is green