BY SUZANNE KELMAN
Dec. 13, 2013
INTERIOR, WHIDBEY LIFE MAGAZINE HEADQUARTERS – SOMEWHERE ON EARTH
The “Life Cave” is stacked from floor to ceiling with photos, articles, art stories, supplies and anything a goat can produce.
At the desk under a pile of old island periodicals, SUPERHERO SUE is slumped, head down, mumbling to herself.
An alarm is triggered.
INTENSE RINGING SOUNDS AND FLASHING LIGHTS
PASSIONATE PATRICIA, a cute, cocky broad with great legs, dashes into the office with a tablet featuring the mock-up for a glossy print edition of Whidbey life Magazine. She drops it gingerly on the desk.
It’s bad isn’t it?
Sue still slumped, doesn’t look up.
The worst. We are not going to make it; we are nowhere near.
What! No, that’s impossible. What are we going to do?
Sue pulls her head from the desk and slams her hand down on a button that instantly cuts the ringing alarms.
We are going to have to go to the extreme. Call in the Superbloggers!
Really? It’s that desperate?
I’m afraid so!
One hour later, the Life Cave is full of an odd assortment of superheroes with uncanny blogging powers.
BENEVOLENT BOB, a highly skilled cartoonist, who also happens to be… a panda.
VIVACIOUS VICKY, skilled in mixing dangerously sweet concoctions of food with funky names, who also speaks goat.
JUBILANT JUDITH, just back from sweeping the sky — which she minds.
And lastly, we believe there may be ELUSIVE ERIC, but as he is also a master of disguise… one can never really be quite sure.
These are all the Superbloggers we could get on such short notice.
I’m afraid it’s worse than we thought.
What! You mean worse than trying to lug defrosted water to 30 goats on a November morning and then… trying to milk them?
Worse then trying to board a 4 p.m. ferry at 3:30 p.m. on July 3?
Worse then trying to find an adequate supply of bamboo shoots to feed a 300 pound Panda on an island in the Northwest in January?
Yes. Much worse.
(Sounding decidedly like Elusive Eric)
Worse than trying to get a ticket to the last night of “The Full Monty” at WICA?
Well, maybe not that bad, but nearly.
(Now disguised as a chicken)
I think we need to tell Whidbey Island the truth.
The truth! The truth! WHIDBEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
Benevolent Bob jumps to his paws.
What truth? I thought this was just a campaign to get the Whidbey Life Magazine into a printed format?
All the other Superbloggers look sheepishly from one to the other.
All that can be heard in the room are… crickets.
A fern walks up to Bob and puts a frond on his shoulder… [It might be Elusive Eric.]
We didn’t want to worry you, Bob, because we know how difficult it is for you just to draw without having opposable thumbs.
But the problem is much bigger then just the printing of a magazine.
How can it be bigger than having a whole island of artists with no periodical to call their own? Do you know how many artists we have on this island?
Suddenly the door bursts open and in rushes JOYOUS JAN with her hands full of charts, graphs and a piece of bread spread with what looks decidedly like an illegal substance or, as it’s known for F.D.A. purposes, “Dulce de leche.”
I have them all; the final numbers. Unfortunately, it’s as bad as we thought!
With one sweep she clears the cluttered table, throws down the charts and pulls out her whiteboard and scribbles hurried equations.
Can the ferry be saved?
I don’t think so.
What? What’s wrong with the ferry?
What about the sinkholes? The landslides?
Jan looks down… then shakes her head.
This is terrible! It will make my job minding the sky so much harder. I won’t know what weather to prepare for!
What? Will someone please tell me what is going on? I was under the impression that we were just doing an Indiegogo called “Roll the Presses for WLM” to create a print addition of the magazine for tourists and off-line folks, to help them find out about the island’s artists and what’s happening on Whidbey.
The armchair get’s up and speaks; the voice is once again… strangely familiar.
We are going to have to tell him.
All the Superbloggers look from one to the other; there is a long hard silence. Superhero Sue steps forward.
A few months ago, through the list of the Drew-ids, we obtained a cunning, second-hand device (which we of course paid 10 percent to the list for) that measures solar flares, biomass, volcanic activity, and the amount of Mr. Mobley’s sauce consumed.
Joyous Jan approaches the white board and writes down more figures.
We have figured out that because of global warming and rapid climate change and the interminable amount of sauce consumed, that Puget Sound is going to be knocked off kilter by precisely .3758942789 degrees West on Dec. 22.
Well, that doesn’t sound serious. What’s going to happen to the whales?
We have calculated that if we don’t weigh down the ferry with the precise gigawatts to change up the catalytic convertor, reverse the warp core emissions, and reboot the laser cannons, the sound will reset to 10 minus pie (apple) on Dec. 22.
At that point, the ferry will list in such a way as to be naked to the untrained eye, but catastrophic to the Island of Whidbey!
That figure equals the exact weight that can be produced with 1,000 copies of a printed edition of Whidbey Life Magazine.
Without the printed magazine on the ferry, an unprecedented chain reaction will occur on our shores, resulting in tidal waves, sinkholes, and huge landslides that will dam the Sound, preventing the whales from ever visiting Langley again!
I don’t believe you. That sounds ridiculous.
Exactly! That’s what people on Whidbey will say if we tell them the truth.
So we have had to go undercover with this campaign.
Oh. What are we going to do?
A TALKING HAT STAND
Why don’t we ask SMASHING SUE to write a blog piece? Maybe, just maybe, if all three of her readers contributed to the campaign… ?
It’s a long-shot, but, yes, yes, it might just work!
ONLY if we get all three.
WILL THE THREE READERS OF SUE THE SCREENWRITER PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN?
WILL WHIDBEY BE SAVED FROM DISAPPEARING INTO A SINKHOLE?
WILL THE WHALES HAVE TO MOVE TO LYNNWOOD?
ONLY YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS.
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK ─ SAME BAT TIME, SAME BAT CHANNEL ─ TO SEE IF WHIDBEY ISLAND IS SAVED BY WHIDBEY LIFE MAGAZINE!
Click here to help Whidbey Life Magazine save the island from the abyss!
Screenwriter Suzanne Kelman will teach a new, six-week screenwriting basics class from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday mornings starting on Jan 18. There will be an open house on Saturday, Jan. 11 for anyone interested in more details about the class. For info about the class or the open house email Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.