I’m currently touring in New Zealand, and was super chuffed to get a chance to play FanFiction Comedy, an amazing show by a bunch of gifted young Kiwi stand-ups. The premise is what it says on the tin.
I wrote a story about Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc. who, as I had just learned from Wikipedia, were originally slated to be a crime-solving band called The Mystery Five (Scooby, called ‘Too Much’, was their bongo drummer), but this changed before the first episode was completed.
It was amazing fun, and I got to do my Casey Kasem impression. So here’s my story for that.
August 1969, one month before the first episode of ‘Scooby Doo Where Are You?’
“Well gang, let’s take it to a vote. We COULD keep our tour schedule and perform on the main stage, or we could check out that creepy amusement park instead.”
So, it all comes down to this moment. A fork in time. Two paths but we can only follow one destiny. And we five firm friends, we travelling band of minstrels, we will have to make a choice.
Do we continue to open the doors of perception, to liberate the squares from their buttoned down lives with our hip tunes and psychedelic beats? Or do we take that other, more perilous path? Ferreting out the evil that lurks beneath latex masks, in hidden grottos and abandoned movie theatres, evil that would otherwise get away with it, if not for us meddling kids?
I know, I know, the answer’s obvious.
We’re no detectives. We are artists. I, who have risen above the confines of my species, despite my four bow legs, my double chin, and my insatiable addiction to sandwiches, regardless of my crippling cowardice and my paradoxical inability to run away without first hovering on the spot for several seconds at a time.
I have overcome all these things. I have learned to express myself through bongo music. Despite its toxicity to me, I have even discovered an appetite for chocolate. I have lived among the humans and I have learned, in my own crude way, to ape their language.
“Ruhr uh” I say, expressing my disdain for Freddy’s plan, forgetting for a moment that ‘uh uh and uh huh” are completely indistinguishable when coming from a dog, even one as advanced as myself.
“Like Scoob, I’m voting for Woodstock!” says Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers, my closest human friend, “Three days with nothing to do but play tunes, and bliss out on a farm, man. Like, that’s where food comes from!”
“Jinkies!” says the small one, adjusting her glasses. “Don’t you want to do more with your life, Shaggy? My vote is for solving mysteries, my rigging skills could be useful in making pointlessly complicated traps”.
Then poor, sweet Daphne says something about being too clumsy for mysteries, but nobody listens. Sometimes I feel that she is true “pet” in this family. One day, sister. One day you’ll find your voice.
“Well that’s two votes for music and two votes for mysteries,” says Freddy, “I guess it’s all up to you, Scooby. Are we the Mystery Five or Mystery Inc.? Do we lay down some tunes or do we (sing-song) stand up to scooby-snack flavoured danger?” and he seductively dangles one of those confounded chocolate chip treats above my nose.
Oh, if only these crude canine lips could talk with clarity. Instead, I am cursed, unable to bark out more than a few syllables, in a harsh buffoonish mockery of human speech.
“Roobie racks!” I say, with all the force and concentration I can muster “rhy rike roobie racks”
“Like, if you put it that way, Fred!” says Shaggy, begging next to me, “I guess I want to solve scooby snacks too”
Scooby snacks? No! Groovy tracks! For the love of Christ, Shaggy, I was trying to say groovy tracks! Music fills my soul, I have no time for false phantoms and smugglers playing dress-ups.
“That settles it!” says Fred. “Let’s throw away our instruments and spend the rest of our lives solving us a mystery!”
And that was that. We were on the cusp of achieving pop rock greatness like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, Charlie Chan and the Chan Clan, or even Josie and the Pussycats. But we threw it all away.
I could have been happy. I could have been fulfilled. I wouldn’t have to live in fear. And I would have got away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids.