So, yeah. Finances are tough all over. Everybody’s got it bad, I’m sure many others are worse off than I am. At least I still have a roof over my head. While watching Teletubbies with Arcturo, I started to think about what it would be like if we get evicted and have to roommate with the Teletubbies. What follows is a fictitous account of how such a scenario might play out. Names have been changed (or misspelled) to protect my innocence.
ROOMIN’ WITH THE TUBBIES!
It all started this morning, when I awoke to find that all the furniture in my house had somehow made its way to the street curb. I walked outside to discuss this with the furniture when I saw an official looking paper taped haphazardly to my door. The paper explained that I was several thousand dollars in debt to the owners of the house and that I should probably consider taking up residence elsewhere while I try to figure out how I’m going to pay them. Since I have no friends (that I know of), I used the last remaining minutes on my cell phone to call the Teletubbies and see if they could help me out in my time of need.
I was surprised at how well the idea went over. “Stay with us! Stay with us! Stay with us!” said Po. “Yes, yes! Come here!” said Lala and Dipsy. Tinky Winky danced around shouting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” How could I refuse? So we packed up what stuff we could carry, and moved to Tubbyland.
It was all “oohs” and “aahs” as we arrived – lots of big hugs and dancing. I thought to myself “This is going to be great!” Nice rolling green hills with flowers and bunny rabbits everywhere. The weather is always nice. Everybody is so kind to each other. I might like it here. Arcturo took to it immediately. He can fly freely anywhere, play with the bunnies and flowers – it’s paradise for him! So while he went off exploring, I took our stuff inside the tubby hutch to settle in.
Po showed me the extra bed where I’d be sleeping. The bed was shaped like a bean, made of metal, and no bigger than my left thigh. No way could I comfortably fit on that, so I set myself up with a sleeping bag on the floor, next to the “bed”. Tinky Winky came home, and had obviously been drinking. He said a few things about not playing music loud at night and passed out at the table. I woke him and mentioned that Lala said I should get a copy of the key from him. He opened his purse, and felt around inside. Although I could see it was empty, he shuffled through it for a good ten minutes, finally proclaiming that there is no key. They leave the door unlocked all the time because there’s no crime in tubbyland. That’s when I heard gunshots outside.
I went out to see what the noise was, and Dipsey was sitting on a rock shooting the heads off of flowers with a snub-nose .38 pistol. I ran up, grabbed the weapon off of him and asked “Where did you get this?!?!”
“Po! He gave me! Bullets too!” So I took the gun and the rest of the ammo off of Dipsey and headed back to find Po. He denied ever seeing the gun. I don’t know if he’s lying to me, or if he’s just too stupid to remember anything from one day to the next. As the days went on I came to understand it’s probably the latter.
Arcturo came home with all sorts of stories – he was excited to be there and was having the time of his life. This makes it all worthwhile – if he’s happy, I’m happy. At least we won’t have to watch the same damn episode of Teletubbies every day. He went straight to bed with dreams of new possibilities and adventures in Tubbyland in his little head.
Things were quiet, so I settled back with a good book in my sleeping bag on the floor. I felt pretty content too, as I must have slipped off to sleep with the book in my lap.
I felt something breathing on me, and awoke startled to see all four teletubbies staring at me with their cold, dead, shark-like eyes just inches from my face. I instinctively shrieked and scuttled back against the wall. The teletubbies must have gotten frightened too, as they ran giggling and laughing around and around the tubby hutch. The Nu-nu came out to see what the excitement was and they all ran around the inside of the hutch, laughing and snorting.
I suddenly faced the uncomfortable realization that I was living with a bunch of semi-retarded alien life forms that don’t really understand the world around them. Eventually their attention deficit disorder gave them some reason to wander outside the hutch and do whatever teletubbies do outside at 3:00 am. Things were quiet again, so I settled in and had a fitful few more hours of sleep.
Arcturo woke me around 6:00 am and wanted to go outside to play, so I let him out and retired back to my sleeping bag trying to grasp a few more minutes sleep. I must have dozed off for a few minutes, because I awoke to find myself covered with tubby toast. Po, Lala, and Dipsey were running around the hutch in hysterics, while the Tubby Toaster spit out toast after toast. Tubby toast was flying everywhere! I stumbled over to the machine, and lifted a lever on it, stopping the torrent of toast. The machine was smoking and stunk like burnt crumbs, as the teletubbies danced around going “Yay! Hooway!” and giving me hugs. I don’t know how they survived so long, being as stupid as they are.
I went outside the hutch to get some fresh air and looked around to see if I could see Arcturo anywhere. I walked some distance and saw him in a tree, happy and singing like a Walt Disney blue-bird from Snow White, so I figured I’d leave him to enjoy himself. On my way back to the tubby hutch I saw Tinky Winky staggering home, obviously drunk again. He practically had to crawl up one of the hills, and when he arrived at the top, he drunkenly stumbled, rolling down the hill. All 3 other teletubbies came running out to greet him, and they all fell on the ground and rolled around with him.
I looked towards the horizon and saw the windmill was spinning madly, with crazy sparks flying off of it. At first, I thought it was another disasterous malfunction that I’d have to fix, when the Teletubbies all gathered at the peak of the hill and I remembered this is how the TVs in their tummies worked. Arcturo flew over and landed on my shoulder, so we sat and watched to see which teletubby’s TV would start working. First there was a lot of static then Po’s belly lit up. It’s showtime!!
I was disappointed to see that it was one of the episodes I had already seen over 2,398 times with Arcturo. It’s one of the recordings I made before we had our TV service shut off – the one with the little white Scotty dog named “Gesso” frolicking on the beach with some kids. “Gesso, get the ball! Gesso, get the ball!” Arcturo has a great time, it’s one of his favorite episodes – barking with the dog, and going “Yay Gesso!!!”
After the video intermission, all the teletubbies gathered together again and a voice said “One day in teletubby land, all the teletubbies had their favorite thing. Tinky Winky had his purse, Lala has her ball, Dipsey has her hat, …but where’s Po’s cooter?”
They all looked around, going “Where Po cooter, where Po cooter?” I stood up and said “Oh come on guys! I just saw you do this exact same thing last night on TV! The damn scooter’s up a tree!” but they went around looking everywhere for it, inside rabbit holes, under talking flowers that don’t even like scooters anyways, until eventually locating it up in the exact damn tree where I told them it was.
Po retrieved his scooter and they all gathered on top of the hill again with their favorite things. This time Dipsey didn’t have her hat. You know the drill – off they go looking for it. Hint: it’s in the same damn tree.
This goes on until each Teletubby loses and finds his/her own favorite toy. Arcturo flew off to do more exploring and I eventually figured out that, no matter how many times I tell them where to find their stuff, they’re going to go through the motions anyways, so I wasn’t really being much help. I found a nice shady tree with colorful flowers growing around it, and continued reading my book.
It wasn’t long before a small rainbow colored cloud rained colorful paint down on me, totally saturating the book I was reading. As I looked again, little flowers had sprouted out of the book where each drop hit. The book was totally ruined. It was an old paperback of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons”, I had read it twice already, so it’s no great loss. Except now I had nothing to distract me from the Teletubbies constant efforts to annoy me.
I headed back to the tubby hutch and on my way I saw the camera crew packing up and congratulating the teletubbies on another great show well done. I wasn’t going to mention the camera crew, because there might be some fucking kids reading this and I don’t want to spoil the magic illusion of teletubby land for them. But the camera crew were almost as clueless as the teletubbies themselves. I said “Man, didn’t you guys notice that they did the EXACT same damn thing they do on the show EVERY DAY?!?!”
“No, no monsieur” said the cameraman in a totally fake french accent (I could tell he was from Cornwall by his cockney mispronounciations of words) “Non, non! Thees ees new! Theeze cheeldreen weel get a rise from eet!”
Okay fine. As long as they go about their work and leave me in peace at night, I can deal with having a fake french camera crew around during the day. After dropping my flower saturated book in the recycling bin, I went back outside to enjoy the sunset. I was just about to call Arcturo in for the night when I saw lights flashing inside the tubby hutch and smoke billowing out the top. I ran inside to see what the matter was.
I burst in to see three of the teletubbies sitting at the table, egging Po on – “No Po, don’t push that button.” Po was at the central console inside the tubby hutch, randomly pushing buttons and pulling levers. He obviously had even less an idea of what each button and lever controls than I did. Every time he pushed or pulled something, things went haywire – sparks and fire everywhere. And each time the other teletubbies would pretend to fall on the floor and wriggle around in mock agony, laughing and screaming.
I reset a few of the switches Po had fiddled with and things stopped popping and fizzling. I grabbed Po by the neck and said “See?!?! See what you did by screwing around with the goddamn controls!? Now everything’s screwed up and I bet you have NO IDEA how to set them right again!” As I was shaking him like a baby, Lala ran up behind me and started flipping switches again. I spun around to stop her, and Tinky Winky caught me blindside with his purse, POW, right in the kisser. I turned to confront Tinky Winky and twisted my ankle falling off the platform around the console. As I tried to stand up and regain my balance, Dipsey bull-rushed me with a full body slam into the round metal table where they eat their tubby toast and stuff. It felt like I cracked a rib. In the confusion, the Nu-nu came out and started running around the console making snuffing noises. The teletubbies left me on the floor as they chased the Nu-nu around and around.
Arcturo came home at this point and thought it was normal merrymaking. He sat on his perch cheering them on and laughing. As things calmed down, I said goodnight to him and put him to bed. I didn’t want to let him know I had almost murdered some of his little teletubby friends in a barroom like scuffle.
After he had gone to sleep, I was feeling a bit hungry. Po offered to show me how to work the Tubby Custard machine, but it quickly became apparent that even he didn’t know how to use it properly. It wasn’t long before the place was literally covered with pink custard goop. Lala took this opportunity to track it all around the hutch and slap globs of it all over the walls and console controls.
I sat down with a bowlful of the pink stuff and wondered how I was going to eat it without any utensils to be found anywhere. It turns out the bowl is actually a spiralling straw that you can suck the custard through. I’ve seen them use these bowls on TV, but they never used the straw. I guess they just shovel it into their mouths like little pigs or something. The stuff tasted awful, like a plastic Play-Dough kind of taste that leaves a coating on your tongue. But it was a welcome change from the dry, stale, cardboard tasting Tubby Toast we had been eating. After dinner, Po and Dipsey immediately went to bed, so I found a rag and considered the task of trying to clean up the custard mess they had made.
The rag wasn’t your usual material – it was made of some space-age stuff that was shiny like plastic aluminum foil – the same type of textile they use as blankets when they go to bed. The rag was no help at all – it was very non-absorbent. I then remembered that the Nu-nu sometimes cleans up their mess, so I went to the Nu-nu chamber and kicked him, “Hey, get up and give me a hand cleaning up your friends’ mess here!”
The Nu-nu grumbled and snuffled, obviously upset at being woken so abruptly, but went to work snorting up all the pink custard off of every wall, floor and console switch. When he finished, I apologized for being rude to him and thanked him for cleaning up the place. He raised his hose in the air, said “Snuff you bish.” and crawled back to his little nook.
I was feeling a bit disheartened at this point, and wandered outside in the crisp night air to consider the events of the day. Earlier I noticed that one of the camera crew guys had left his newspaper behind. So I figured since I don’t have my book to read anymore, I’d hunt for that newspaper and check out the classifieds for apartments to rent cheap. I set off to find the newspaper, and I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed that it wasn’t up in the freakin’ tree.
Eventually I found the newspaper mashed in the bottom of a puddle. I saw the Teletubbies stomping in the puddle earlier, going “Splash splash splash, tubby tubby tubby tubby, splash splash splash…” I thought they were just having fun getting their feet wet. Seems they were simply trying to turn the newspaper back into wood pulp slurry.
I fished the newspaper out of the puddle and was able to peel off the classifieds section from inside it. It was sopping wet, but I laid it across the warm tubby toaster. After a while it dried out a bit and was marginally readable. I took it with me to my sleeping bag and, even though I had no money to my name, began frantically scanning the Apartments For Rent section. I was desperate, I had to get out of there somehow.
I eventually fell asleep out of exhaustion, and was awoken by the sound of cruise ship bullhorns outside the hutch. I ran outside to find the teletubbies were up on a hill and the rest of teletubbyland was flooded with rain water. Three ships were plowing through the water right towards the hutch with bullhorns and clarion alarms blaring! I slipped in the water but managed to narrowly avoid being run over by one of them as they sailed off into the horizon. The water receded and the teletubbies all clapped. I’ve seen this episode before, so I wasn’t surprised when a parade of colorful 3-D animated animals marched through 2 by 2.
I climbed down from the tree that I had sought out for safety, and started towards the tubby hutch to see if Arcturo was awake yet or not. He slept soundly through it all and was ready for a new day of exploring and adventure, so I made him breakfast and let him outside. Soon after he flew off, the teletubbies marched back to the hutch for their breakfast. I had hoped to have some peace and quiet with my meal, but of course it was the usual mayhem. Custard and burnt toast everywhere. I tried to ignore their antics, but they kept standing up and flopping down in their chairs – they have some kind of horn up their ass that goes “PRRFFFFTTT” when they sit. It was disgusting, but I tried to ignore it and ate my toast with my eyes down. I still had Arcturo’s jar of bird seed mix on the table, so I fished through it for something edible. Found a peanut! It wasn’t edible, so I spit it out on the floor. Let the Nu-nu clean it up.
As they commenced their meal time mess, Dipsey put on her hat and started messing with the controls again. I figured hell, they’ve lived here this long without killing each other, so screw it – if she wants to mess with the controls, let her. I’m not their goddamn mother for chrissakes. If any children are reading this, I should explain that just because there’s a big pretty yellow switch blinking on and off doesn’t mean you go fucking with it unless you know what the hell it does, okay?
So Dipsey walks up to the pretty flashing yellow switch and flips it like an idiot. Suddenly a thousand volts of electricity shoots through every metal item in the hutch, dropping us all to the floor like we’ve just been tasered naked at Coachella. The Nu-nu was screaming like a piggy in his hutch with smoke pouring out his eyeballs. I remember this awful electrical humming sound that reverberated with every wave of electricity surging through us. I grabbed Dipsey by her foot and slid her across the floor and out the door to safety. Po and Lala were spasming out on the floor. Only Tinky Winkey had the good sense to hop up on the non-metal part of his bed laughing at us. I made my way to a rubber mat near the console and flipped the switch back to where it was.
I think I felt a bit hysterical at this point, as I screamed at Lala and Po on the floor, “You guys almost DIED! That crazy bitch got at the controls again and now look at what happens! How the hell did you possibly get by without murdering each other before I got here?!?!” Po and Lala started quietly sobbing, while Tinky Winkey continued laughing like it was the funniest thing he’d seen all year. There’s no reasoning with these teletubbies! At least Dipsey might appreciate that I just about saved her life. I turned to see if she had made it safely outside, and as I looked I saw a rock come through the open door and nail me right between the eyes.
As you can imagine, this led to more confusion and fighting. Lots of things were said that I wish I hadn’t said, and I got pretty badly banged up. That rock hit me pretty hard and left a big goozer on my forehead. When I tripped in the spilled custard I think I knocked my shoulder out of the socket. But eventually everything calmed down. Arcturo came home just as the camera crew had set up for the show.
He was rapt with groupie-like attention, as the Teletubbies gathered up on the hill and the voice said “One day in teletubby land, all the teletubbies had their favorite thing. Tinky Winky had his purse, Lala has her ball, Dipsey has her hat, …but where’s Po’s cooter?”
I felt inside my pocket for that .38 snub-nose pistol. I may need it.