"Everyone's quick to blame the alien."- Aeschylus, "I'm not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work " - Ray Bradbury, "Not that the story need be long- but it will take a long while to make it short." – Henry David Thoreau, 'Those are my principles and if you don't like them... well- I have others.' Groucho Marx, A-muse-meant- for-you, ant dancing prohibited, “I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here.” ― Arthur C. Clarke, “It's not a beard- it's an animal I've trained to sit very still.” ― Bill Bailey, Calling occupants of interplanetary ultra-emissaries, cor-my-rant-goes on, Good morning starshine the earth says hello, Humour, If you know not of Judge Judy go watcheth it first, It is written in the stars above, It takes a long time to become young - Picasso, It's a big 'un, Judging from the cover I'd love to read the book Honey do you love as good as you look, Never put a sock in a toaster - Eddie Izzard, punny parody, The Gods decree..
Judge Groody Slimedem of The Skies
— Episode One —
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Warning: Viewers are warned that the following program may cause offense to those under the age of two hundred, and could induce severe diarrhoea in those of a sensitive nature who wear socks with sandals.
Announcer: You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Groody Slimedem. The people are real, the aliens are real, the cases are real, the handbags are real, the electric fences are real, the flying badgers are not real — those lie purely in your imagination; please get some help as soon as possible after the show. The rulings are final. This is her courtroom. This is Judge Groody.
Barf the bailiff: Order. All rise for the Judge. [Judge Groody enters the courtroom from the ceiling in a pillar of fiery light, descending slowly to her chair, as a wolf–like creature plays the electric bagpipes. She glares malevolently at everyone in sight — a vision in black chiffon and multiple layers of tanned, wrinkly skin that reach from just under her eyeballs to the floor. A small, permed, bouffant wig sits perilously upon her tiny skull. She smiles, showing all two hundred and eight of her razor-sharp incisors. The crowd gasps briefly and three members of the audience instinctively evacuate their bowels.]
Barf to Judge G: Your honour, this is case number 28100425171818277291657230064 — Ashlee Chuffer versus Tiffany Flabberjowls. All parties have been sworn in. [Barf addresses the public:] You may be seated.
Judge G to Barf: Thank you, Barf.
Judge G to Ms C: It is your assertion, Ms Chuffer, that the defendant keyed your Space Hopper. Yes? [Ms Chuffer is a conical, hairless creature, approximately three feet wide and two feet tall; she has minuscule eyes, feathered ears that are plaited together with pink tinsel, a long curly tail but no apparent mouth, and is sporting a jauntily placed ornate scrubbing brush as a hat. She is mottled blue and pink and becoming rosier in hue by the second. A small amount of green gas appears from beneath her tail which she catches expertly in a vial and holds up before the court.]
Judge G to Barf: Barf, can you get that for me and tell me her answer please? [Barf looks deeply unhappy, but picks up said vial, opens the cork, and sniffs.]
Barf to Judge G: [Coughing, eyes now watering.] The plaintiff says, ‘Yes’, your honour. [He then vomits into the waste paper bin.]
Judge G to Ms F: Ms Flabberjowls, you have a counterclaim which I shall address in a moment. First of all, Barf is going to get you a coat to wear, as you must be feeling chilly in your liquid nitrogen bikini . . . and nothing else.
Ms F to Judge G: That int all I got on! [She holds up one of her six legs to show she is also wearing ten inch–high platform stilettos together with fetching aquamarine and orange leg warmers.]
Judge G to Barf & Ms F: Barf, make it a floor length overcoat! [Now addressing the defendant:] Next time you come to court, Ms Flabberjowls, and there will be a next time, believe me, wear something more appropriate than a neon flesh flasher’s attire!
Ms F to Judge G: Hey, I, um, like, whatever, ma’am. [Barf makes the defendant put on the lighting cameraman’s collar–to–ankle dark brown overcoat but leaves his flat cap on the defendant’s desk as an optional extra.]
Judge G to Ms F: Your counter claimant alleges that Ms Chuffer caused you, Ms Flabberjowls, undue suffering and humiliation by accessing your personal online dating accounts, changing your gang name to Fluffdownbelowandupstairstoo, plus she made you feel nauseous with all her copious farting. Is that correct?
Ms F to Judge G: It is. [Tries to look aggrieved but ends up cross-eyed.]
Judge G to Ms F: What’s your actual gang name, you idiot?
Ms F to Judge G: Shittinbananas.
Judge G to Barf: Am I hearing this right, Barf? This young lady is upset she isn’t being called Shittinbananas? [Barf nods, then shakes his head, laughing long and hard.] Touch every third person, and you’ll find an idiot. [Addressing the defendant, Ms F, again:] Ms Flabberjowls, where did you think you were coming today, to an all night tea dance?
Ms F to Judge G: No, a fancy dress at your ’ouse like, huh. [She then blows large yellow bubbles of earwax out defiantly.]
Judge G to Ms F: Let me explain something to you, fresh mouth, I’m the only one who makes jokes round here. Who is this prince sat next to you?
Ms F to Judge G: It’s my egglet-daddy. Prong Danglybits.
Judge G to Prong D: Step up please, sir. And what do you do for a living, Mr Danglybits?
Prong D to himself: Um . . .
Judge G to Prong D: ‘Um’, Mr Danglybits, is not an answer! Does it take much training to be an Um? Would you look down at your chest for me for a moment, sir? [Mr Danglybits is wearing a T-shirt that reads BARE TENTACLES RULE! He looks very pleased with himself. The Judge covers her eyes with a flap of loose skin briefly and groans.] Do you come from a long line of imbeciles by any chance, Mr Danglybits? Because that is a ridiculous shirt you have chosen to wear to court today. I don’t know what kind of statement you thought you were making, but if you wanted to leave the impression on this recording — one that you’re going to have embossed upon posterity for your children and generations to come — that you were in any way an intelligent person, you can be sure that the shirt you’re wearing has scuppered all chances of that. Now, what do you know about the case?
Prong D to Judge G: Tiff ditn’t do nothin’, she won’t never vandalise nothin’, she wos wiv me the ’ole night, she’s a top bird, and no mistake!
Judge G to Prong D: [Sighs then growls slightly.] Do you think they keep me here because I’m pretty, Mr Danglybits? [Judge Groody has a large trough under her chin to catch the yellow, gooey slime that drips from the corners of her enormous, sharp tooth–stuffed maw, and her boil–filled face harbours around forty two centimetre-long parasitic, winged bugs who pop and eat the contents of said boils regularly, whilst swinging from the long jet black hairs that sprout randomly on her cheeks.]
Prong D to Judge G: [In what is a clearly a most candid reply.] No ma’am. I don’t not.
Judge G to Prong D: GOOD! Because, notwithstanding your prolific double negatives, they don’t, they keep me here because I’m smart, and I promise you that on your very smartest day, sir — should such occasions exist, which I doubt — you aren’t even a FIFTIETH as sharp as I am. GET IT?
Prong D to Judge G: [Presently eating his own earwax and grinning like a moron.] I does ma’am. Sorry ma’am.
Judge G to Prong D: What the hell are you smirking about, Mr Danglybits? I do not find you cute, sir. She might find you cute. [Judge G points to Ms Flabberjowls.] Your surrogate mothers may . . . briefly have found you cute. But I guarantee you, sir, I do not! [Prong begins stroking a giant horn that’s sticking out of his forehead in a suggestive, somewhat priapic manner, whilst making a purring noise.] And by the way, I wrote a book you should read, sir. You know what’s it’s called? Beauty Fades, Horns Wither, Dumb is Forever. [Prong Danglybits stops the horn stroking and pouts.] Take your hands out of your underpants and GET OUT! [Prong rolls across the courtroom slowly, leaving a small trail of dark matter behind him whilst making rude sucking noises.]
Judge G to Barf: Barf, clean that up, will you? [Barf does so, sighing.]
Judge G to Ms C: I have things to do, Ms Chuffer, do you have any actual evidence that the defendant keyed your Space Hopper? [Ms Chuffer nods and slides a small disc across the table, then spends some time filling a much larger vial. Barf goes the precise colour of the vial’s contents.]
Judge G to Ms F: So . . . this is a very simple case we have here, Ms Flabberjowls. Ms Chuffer apparently has holoscreen footage of a message you sent her on the universal social platform Tentaclebook — shall we take a look? [Judge Groody sets the disk down in front of her and presses a button on the side. A foot–tall hologram of Ms Flabberjowls appears wearing little in the way of clothing to cover her modesty beyond what appears to be a sequinned sandwich wrap which is strapping some kind of garden ornament in the shape of a penguin between her two spines, and holds three perilously situated banana skins in place. Whilst gyrating wildly and slapping two of her buttocks she shouts, ‘Yeah uhhuh bayetch! I keyed your raggedy ass hopper.’ (A donkey in the audience let’s out a shout.) ‘That’s right, Chuffer, and I’d do it again cos you got no indignity, ya fart–faced floozy. I found a vial of your evil bum gas in my eggsac daddy’s tracksuit bottoms. You leave Prongy be or it’ll be you scratched up next!’ The hologram closes and silence briefly reigns. Everyone looks at Ms Flabberjowls.]
Ms F to Judge G: Yeah, but no. It ain’t me. [She tuts.] Huh, okay, it wos me, but I was only messin’ with her ugly ass. [The donkey has to be escorted out of the courtroom by security after some loud swearing and a scuffle.]
Judge G to Ms F: Ms Chuffer says you and she were good friends until the night your boyfriend was caught with some vials of her gas, then you got very angry and jealous and keyed her Space Hopper — that’s the upshot isn’t it, madam?! And don’t look over there, look over here! [Points to her eyes — the defendant has fifteen eyes on stalks so finds this trickier than most. Ms Flabberjowls says nothing but shakes her spoon-pierced jowls aggressively in the negative.]
Judge G to Barf: Okay, gimme the estimate for fixin’ the Space Hopper. [Barf hands over some papers.] Why is the estimate to fix it 16,843 Galaxy Dollars and yet the amount you’re asking for is 2,007,634?
Barf to Judge G: [Barf now wearing a kind of gas mask with a hatch at the front.] She says the extra is on account of pain and suffering for being made out to be a ‘smelly bum’ — her words, m’am, apologies — all over the galaxy whilst travelling with her family. [Ms Chuffer points to some wriggling goo under one armpit.] Plus the scratched Space Hopper makes her look like, and again, ma’m, I quote, ‘a total scrag with no indignity’.
Judge G to both defendants: [Sighs.] Didn’t either of you two fools graduate from college? No? School, even? No? That figures. It’s dignity not indignity you morons! The only indignant one here is myself, having the misfortune to have to listen to this Mooncow crap all day! The court hereby awards the plaintive 16,843 Galaxy Dollars and bans the defendant from being within three feet of a banana for five years, the counterclaim is dismissed. [Judge G slowly begins to float upwards, bellowing the final words:] Case closed! [Thwack!]
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[Credits roll. Esme opens the padlocked exit doors of the Cloud Cinema and lets the sun shine in upon a multitude of blinking, perplexed and stupefied faces. Still gripping their cartons of popcorn and hugging paper dustbins with straws poking out of them, Esme instructs them all to go have a sleep and come back for Episode Two, in the course of which things end up a little more . . . personal. *grins*]
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— Episode Two —
Barf to Judge G: Your honour, this is case number 28100425171818277291657230065 — Mr Pftthhpb Moth and Family: also representing The Club of Insect Amputees versus Mr Arthur Centry. All parties have been sworn in. [Barf turns and addresses the public:] You may be seated.
Judge G to Barf: Thank you, Barf.
Judge G to Mr Moth: This is an interesting case, and that’s bearing in mind last week I had a woman suing her son for eating her sister and not sharing any of the buffet. But anyway, Mr Moth, you claim the defendant, Mr Arthur Centry, assaulted, maimed and murdered members of your close and extended family, along with many others in a killing rampage that was both cold and pointless, and as a consequence you seek punitive damages for yourself and those you represent to the tune of seventy million Galaxy Dollars, calling also for the imprisonment of the defendant within the Festering Mines of Jath for a period of no less than twenty years.
Mr Moth to Judge G: [Whispers with a lisp.] Yeth ma’am. [He flutters his wings nervously, keeping as far away as possible from Mr Centry, yet equally as close to the miniature virtual moon he has brought along to cling to.]
Judge G to Mr Centry: Sir, you are charged with pulling the wings off several of Mr Moth’s relatives two weeks ago in what appears to be just the latest in a string of motiveless, utterly cruel acts. In fact, the list of atrocities goes on: legs and wings pulled off living beings, those helpless within your powerful grasp, spiders, flies, in fact, all manner of creatures have died or been terribly disfigured thanks to your rampage of cruelty in the past year, Mr Centry, whole linages destroyed. What say you? How do you plead? [Arthur peeks over the edge of the defendants table, resting his chin on the edge. He is a small child of five. He begins to pick his nose with impressive diligence.] Have you anything at all to say in your defence?
Mr Centry to Judge G: You have a big poo head! [He ducks down behind the desk so he cannot be seen and begins singing a song which only appears to have the lyrics ‘poo-head’ in it.]
Judge G to Mr Centry: I do NOT have a big poo head, sir! [At least half the members of the audience are agreeing with Arthur and begin waving a variety of tentacles, antennae and other limbs in the air whilst making a mooing sound to show their solidarity with him on this point.] You are in contempt of court for that remark, and the audience should remember whose courtroom this is! [She presses a large red button on her desk and six of the audience fall through trapdoors in the floor. All muttering ceases instantly. Arthur is giggling and trying to untie Barf’s shoelaces.] Seems a clear and cut case; you show no remorse and come across as a cold and barefaced serial killer. Therefore I sentence you, Arthur . . . [A resounding ‘AHEM’ echoes across the room and the judge turns to the defendant’s left. Suddenly there is an old man sat in the witness chair next to Arthur; he is dressed in a suit covered in stars and bunting.]
And who might YOU be, sir?
Mr Centry as Arthur C: I am Arthur Centry, ma’am, aged a century and an arth, er, sorry, a century and a half. I’m here to defend my five year-old self. In the future, at the age of one hundred and forty nine, I finally completed my work on a time travel device which has enabled me to be here today, to plead my case.
[The Judge looks at small Arthur and then at large Arthur, and back again.]
Judge G to Arthur C: Are you playing with me, sir? I don’t like people playing with me, I make them cry, use them as bath sponges, then tape them to the ceiling.
Arthur C to Judge G: I can assure you I am not playing with you at all, ma’am.
Judge G to Arthur C: I’m not sure your science adds up at all, sir, and as I always say, if it doesn’t make sense . . . it isn’t true! [The crowd go wild at her oft played catch-phrase, then are sprayed with hormones that make them coo like pigeons.]
Arthur C to Judge G: Well, that’s as maybe, ma’am, but plain science doesn’t take into account amusing fiction, and therefore I ask you to look beyond your initial fixation on physics and see the case from the heart. [The Judge pulls up a flap of skin and displays a dark hole where her heart once lay, her having sold it for the TV rights to every episode, back in the 2070s. Arthur C continues:]
I plead for your mercy. I was nothing more than a guileless, innocent child, with no understanding of consequence, or consciousness of pain, or how easily we can snuff out another’s life. Yes, I killed many moths and insects at this age, maimed hundreds of others. [The moths and other small creatures are alternating between weeping loudly and shouting out filthy names in the defendants’ direction. Both of them.] But I soon came to realise, in horror, the carnage I had wreaked, and went on to save many animals’ lives: birds trapped in oil, Jahoobles that had fallen in goo on Apex 46, seals on the cusp of being culled, wee midges about to be slapped by fat people holidaying, a fifty-winged giant dragonfly that was once trapped with a furious Winkle-Spikle Cat in the King’s palatial greenhouses on Kelper 7. I stopped eating all sentient life forms, and created an empire of kindness within my reach, a devotion that has been the core focus of my life, and all so I could show the capability this small human child has to redeem himself, and perhaps, his whole race. My remorse is as sincere as it is complete. I put my life, and that of this small child at the mercy of the court, and your good self, Judge Groody. Please show some compassion.
Judge G to Arthur C: You’re telling me my original sentence must have been erroneous then, Mr Centry? That I was . . . wrong, and that really, humans are compassionate and caring once given a fair chance?
Arthur C to Judge G: Yes ma’am!
Judge G to Arthur C: Despite all the killing and maiming?
Arthur C to Judge G: Yes, ma’am! [Drags little Arthur into his arms and falls to his knees.]
Judge G to Arthur C: Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining! [The Judge opens her mouth like a staircase unfolding and two cracked, foul-smelling tongues reach out to grasp both Arthur the elder and younger, dragging them swiftly into her mouth. She then has a good old chomp and smiles at the courtroom, saying:] ‘If there’s one thing I CANNOT abide it’s Humansplaining!’] Seventy million Galaxy Dollars awarded to the claimant. [Judge G slowly begins to float upwards, bellowing the final words:] Case closed! [Thwack!]
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[Credits roll. The viewers stretch limbs and rearrange gussets; Mr Pink opens a third bottle of Fanny Fougerat XO Cognac and hoovers a line of mescaline off the mirror he’s been kissing most of the day; Professor Taboo lets out a low, Texan sigh as he unbuckles his impressively tight ball gag; Bela performs a superb and enticing Hula dance in happiness at the verdicts; Peter runs about in the buff teaching young Geese how to fly and lecturing them on the merits of Anarcho-Syndicalism; Hariod starts snogging his 98 year-old neighbour after scoffing all her lemon drizzle cake, the resultant copious farts blowing her best lace doilies clean into Glastonbury High Street — he then suggests taking her swiftly up the Tor; Swarn and Museworthy Man don Shakespearean ruffs to discuss the merits of the above piece using filthy puns and the medium of dance until it all becomes too much for Swarn and he orgasms all over Esme’s buffet; Val gets her neeps and tatties out for the crowd; Matty mews from his cage happily with eight unlit cigars in his mouth and an empty bottle of meths at his side, whilst Prospero the Great pokes a pointy stick (a wand, that is, of course) at him attempting to turn the mewling one back into a wombat. And throughout it all, Rosie-Roo, Esme’s faithful canine companion, remains unstirred, secure in her subconscious monitoring of her mistress’ substantial and well-harnessed titters.]
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