All right! I'm undone! I've finally succumbed to the horrendous compulsion consuming me lo these many months!!! I've sent my first, regrettably bad, fairly non-offensive, RR fanfic, circa Summer 1990, titled fairly appropriately, "Interview With the Mouse." Please, don't send the hit men after me...
I abhorr talk shows. Geraldo, Oprah, and all the like, prying into people's lives, filling our minds with tapioca, running out of topics after a week. Well, we'll fix them. I know one guest who would prove the worst nightmare of any talk show host on earth... Gadget Hackwrench. The fact is, she is immaculate. And here, Sally Jessy Raphael has invited her to talk, mostly because rumors are circulating that she and Chip are a tad too friendly for their own good. Rescue Ranger aficionados know it's bull, but Sally just can't resist the chance to make a very popular Disney Afternoon character look horrible. And so, Gadget finds herself sitting in a chair in front of sixty people one lazy morning in Los Angeles. She is extremely nervous, so she makes herself a cup of Penzoil tea in the staff cafeteria and sips it as she waits to be introduced. "Ladies and gentlemen," begins Sally Jessy Raphael, "my next guest is also here for our topic of on-the-job affairs. Please welcome Disney cartoon character, charitable worker, and all-around freak, Gadget from Disney's Rescue Rangers!" "Hello!" Gadget says to the audience, calmer now and trying to be sociable. "Why doesn't our guest tell us a little about herself?" asks Sally. Gadget replies, "Well, I don't like talking about myself, which isn't to say that I don't like talking, but I'm only slightly blonde and I really dislike most songs by Color Me Badd, especially I-Wanna-I'm-not-saying-" (she fidgets nervously in her chair and reaches for her cup of Penzoil tea,) "-but I really like inventing things and I'm finding solice and peace learning Pascal on my slightly refurbished Commodore Pet." "Pretty moral." Sally circles Gadget's chair, eyeing her coldly and making her edgy again. "So Gadget," prods Sally, leaning over the mouse's small frame, "what's the scoop on Chip n' Dale?" "Beg pardon?" asks Gadget, never in a steamy frame of mind. "Chip n' Dale. Any heat added lately to the twisted love triangle between you three? Dale jealous of Chip? Chip jealous of Dale? Any serious snuggling between you and the leader of your little group?" "Well," admits Gadget, obviously spilling a cardinal sin, "I did hug Chip when he found my gear collection that I lost under my bed." Sally is nervous. "Would you say that Chip has feelings for you? Or is he callous and selfish?" "Golly, I wouldn't go that far. Actually, he's kinda mean to Dale once in a while, but they always make up." "So, are you simply an object of his desires? And please, Gadget, no petroleum-based beverages on the set. Our lights are hot." "Sorry." Gadget puts the teacup on the edge of a nearby table. It falls off promptly. "Object of his desires? Hmmidunno. There was that one time he asked me to wear a bunny suit." Sally is ecstatic! "What happened?! What happened then?!" "Well, actually, we were all doing it. We were infiltrating a hutch of terrorist hares in New Zealand and we needed disguises." The audience roars. Gadget doesn't notice. Sally is beginning to sweat. The Penzoil tea is oozing through the soles of her shoes, making her nylons blotchy. She has to wrench something from her guest before Geraldo wins the best rating of the day with his tattoo-covered communist lesbian satanic motorcyclist anarchistic vegetarian young women with 79-year-old spouses. "Gadget!" she blurts. "Don't lie to me now. Are you living in sin with Chip?" "No." Gadget, bless her heart, cannot grasp the meaning of the attack. "I'm living in an oak tree with Chip, and Dale, and Monty, and Zipper. We all work and live together-" "Aha! A commune!" "No, I said an oak." "Listen, how dense are you?" Sally snorts hot air down her guest's overall shirt. "I'm trying to get you to say that you are having an affair with your boss! Is that so hard?" Gadget is astonished. "Affair? Chip? It never crossed my mind. Besides, that would be lying!" "Oh, yeah?" Sally feels the intoxicating sensation of an impending kill. "Never crossed your mind? Surely with three and a half eligible men around, you must have had some thoughts..." "Urgh..." The mouse is slipping. "C'mon, Gadget," pokes Sally. The intensity is extraordinary. The tea is up to her knees. "Spill the beans! Tell us your wildest, most sinful, most unDisneylike fantasy!" Gadget can withhold no longer. Passionately she stands, bold and shameless, and declares, "It's kissing Kevin Costner." She inhales. "On the nose." There is a dead silence. Sally turns this over very slowly in her mind. Here is her guest, who is not having any affairs, cannot be tricked into saying she is having any affairs, cannot be threatened into saying she is having any affairs, and whose best grasp of immorality is giving Robin of Locksley a smooch on the beak! This is insane! "Please don't judge me too harshly," Gadget entreats. "I assume more than a few women in America think Kevin Costner has a cute nose. I didn't mean to be obscene or anything." "YES!" Sally hops up and down. "Every woman in America thinks Kevin Costner has a cute nose! That's not interesting! That's not entertainment! Give us some dirt! Some filth! Some body fluids!" "Yech!" "Do you really think people are interested in something that trivial and mindless? We are in the entertainment business!!" Her prey has escaped, the audience is starving for juicy slander, and Penzoil itches like crazy. She feels a tightness in her stomach she most often attributed to intestinal flu. Sally simply has got to make this rodent admit to some sin- any sin. "Can't you think," she wheezes, "of another body part?" "Spleen?" Gadget guesses. The moderator takes a deep breath, lets it out, and thinks for a moment. She smiles. She has a horrible yet incredible idea. "Oh Gadget?" she sings sweetly. "It's time to move on to the next topic on our program today..." "Mm hm?" The Ranger is observing the spill which is spreading madly and now squishes between her toes. "How would you answer to allogations from a very reliable source that-" (Gadget is munching on a cookie from the table,) "-the Rescue Rangers are no more than a common vigilante group and threaten the course of federal and local law enforcement?" Crumbs go flying. Gadget sputters, her chair nearly falls backwards, and she bolts upright, staring knives ot Sally, keeping her limbs still with difficulty. "What did you say?" Sally grins. This the fool understands. "That's right," the host sneers, "a flock of outlaws who get in the way of police, who destroy public and private property, who waste the taxes hardworking Americans-" (she juts out her chest) "-spend on law enforcement and public works!" She is applauded fiercely and cold eyes survey Gadget the anarchist. "We'll be back with more of the truth on these would-be heroes after this commercial break." The hate has evaporated from Gadget's countenence. It is she who now has intestinal cramps. She is shaking uncontrollably as she staggers offstage with Sally's laughter ringing in her large ears. She is sheet-white as Chip sees her in the hallway. He catches her as she is about to fall on her nose. "I'm going to vomit," she groans. Chip, taking her quite literally, releases her and she slumps down the wall to the floor. When it is obvious to him that she is morbidly joking and he is safe, he pulls her inert form up off the floor. He is furious and scared, and she is just plain scared. "They can't do this. You can't let her drag us through the mud," Chip demands. Gadget half-comprehends. "We agreed to the first topic so anyone in their right mind could see that nothing horrible is going on in our ranks. But, Good Lord, Gadget! You have to stop that... that banshee of day TV!" "Umpgh," she replies. She shuts her eyes, hoping somehow to awaken in her own bed, grab a stuffed animal, and try for a good dream this time. "Come on, open them baby blues." The coach shakes some consciousness into his starting guard. "We got a job to do. Listen, the guys are working on a plan to get us out of this mess and you have to be alive enough to absorb it before the break is over." He softens. "Can you do it? The Rangers are counting on you." Gadget is regaining her normal color and has stopped shaking. Slowly she straightens out and stands on her own, exhaling sharply and running a paw through her bangs. "If you get me some caffeine," she suggests, "I think I'll be able to do it." "Atta girl." Chip hugs her. "Let's go. We don't have a microsecond to lose." They walk down the hall together. "Why did you mention Costner anyway?" "Golly, I wanted to be honest." Sally grins to herself as Makeup smears base on her forehead. At last, she has the Rescue Rangers and their PR rep right where she wants them. And her special guests, sure to deepen the vortex of public loathing the Rangers are being thrust into, have just arrived. Thank God for jet airplanes. Now her ratings will skyrocket, and stations across the country will replace that sniveling little cartoon for brats with... maybe a cartoon about her! She struts onstage with complete confidence. Gadget is there too, but Sally is surprised and dissatisfied to see her confidently sitting and facing the audience. The audience is surprised too. The crowd is hushed. Sally begins at the cue. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a special guest today to discuss Ranger vandalism, destruction and tax wasting, Professor Norton Nimnul. Welcome, Professor." "Thanks, Sally." He grins at her. Sally turns away hastily. "And now, Professor, You claim that the Rescue Rangers are interfering with policemen wherever they travel?" "Yep. I saw it. They're always sneaking into precincts, stealing police files, and eating all the cheese that our honest police force pays for." "We gain access by perfectly legitimate mouseholes," Gadget retorts, "we take cases the police throw out because they're too big or small or in the wrong part of town, and the cheese... I can't vouch for. But I might add, Nimnul, the only reason you've seen us `committing crimes' is because you're always doing time in our home precinct." The audience mutters. "And by the way," Gadget addresses them, "did you ever hear about the time Professor Police Interference turned two guys from 5th precinct into copsicles? We had to blow the fuses in three blow dryers before they were thawed out-" "Thank you, Professor Nimnul." Sally is edgy. "Next up is Mr. Fat Cat, a leading authority on Ranger misdeeds. Now, Mr. Fat, you say the Rangers cause massive property damage?" "Oh, massive." Fat Cat stares coldly at Gadget, who seizes the opportunity and fulfills her lifelong dream of sticking her tongue out at him. The audience responds favorably. "You see?" Fat Cat points. "You see what rogues these Rescue Rodents are? Why, just the other day, they told moles to dig under my home, nearly destroying the foundation! "O, that little thing?" The mouse yawns. "Probably just retaliation since you convinced those same moles to destroy half the city in similar fashion." To this the audience responds less favorably. Fat Cat shifts in his chair. "Wake up, America! Sally here is asking you to idolize these criminals, who we fight every day of our lives." Fat Cat slinks away. "Beat it, mouse! You're wrecking my show!" the host hisses. Gadget gives her a charming grimace. "Listen, everyone," she continues. "We Rescue Rangers don't try to break the law, we try to work with it. We don't try to cause damage, but sometimes we have to to save a life. And I didn't come here to ruin this show (of course, it was a nice fringe benefit.) I just came here to tell you that.. we're working for you, and we need you to give us a chance." Dead silence. "That's all." Gadget, the fire of inspired oratorio gone, has realized that she's just given a dramatic speech in front of a zillion people. She's white again. But the audience is clapping. Some are hooting. All Gadget can do is smile a little with relief, and Sally is nowhere to be found. The episode of Sally Jessy Raphael broadcasts two weeks later, to a stunning review by the Rescue Rangers. "Where do they come up with these guests?" asks Dale. "The last two were real geeks." Chip looks at Gadget, who is recluding at the other end of the couch. He moves over to her side. "I'm really proud of you," he says kindly. "You did what you had to. And pretty darn well, one might add." "Golly." The mouse blushes. "Thanks, Chip." "Hey!" Dale rushes over. "Chip, you always hog all the hugs. Mouse sandwich!" And Gadget, between and betwixt her friends, is happy. You'd think that, with the destruction of the Sally Jessy Raphael show, the other sleaze peddlers would wise up and leave our heroes be. But no, I think Geraldo is having some show on excessive/compulsive behavior, and I hear he's invited Monterey Jack and a few wheels of Edam over. Well, come what may, the Rescue Rangers will once again make our world a little safer and a little better to live in.