This was the Opening Ceremonies Skit for WisCon 2002, mainly by Gregory Rihn, with help from Pat Murphy, Jim Hudson, Georgie Schnobrich, and Ellen Klages. This was the final draft script, although the final performance differed a bit due to the usual fluffs. (Plus, Ellen is an incorrigible ad-libber--).

(Opening scene) Cast mills about on stage:

Greg: (generally): We're all here except Pat Murphy. Has anyone seen her?

Others: No, nope, not yet (etc).

Georgie: Oh, great! She has a major part, and she's lost in space somewhere.

Greg: Who else can we get to fill in?

(Producer voice over): "In tonight's performance,
the part of the Goon will be played by Max Merriwell
played by Pat Murphy and the part of Pat Murphy will
be played by Mary Maxwell played by Jim Hudson."

Jim: Fortunately, I just happen to have brought a spare costume.

Georgie: Go for it!

(Jim does quick change.)

Pat Murphy: (entering from back): Here I am!

Georgie: Thank goodness you made it--there's been a slight change of cast--. (Takes her aside and "whispers" to her.)

Greg: (radio voice): The time is now 8PM. This is the WISCON radio network.

Space Babe, Episode 97: The Menace of Moroni-3

Georgie (intro): Do you remember long evenings listening to the
radio--;those exciting adventures of your favorite heroes, like Captain Midnight, Buck Rogers--and Space Babe?  What? You don't remember? Well-failing that--invent! --and join us as Space Babe combats "The Menace of Moroni-3"!

(music under--"Donna Diana" Overture)

Greg: (Shadow voice): Who knows what EVIL lurks in the HEARTS of MEN?

Female voice (Ellen): The Space Babe knows! (Maniacal female laughter)

Voice 1 (Pat): Look, up in the sky!

Voice 2: (Nina) It's a rocket!

Voice 3: (Jim) It's a comet!

Voice 4: (Nalo) It's---

(All make whooshing sounds into mikes)

--Spaaaace baaaabe!"

Greg: (Announcer Voice): Return with us now to the thrilling days of the
far future, where Space Babe fights a never-ending battle
for Truth, Justice, and the Feminist Way. A fiery ship with the speed of
light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty, HI-YO-HELVA! SPACE BABE RIDES AGAIN!

(Music up, then down)

Georgie: Our story begins at Space Babe's hidden fortress, somewhere in the
asteroid belt. Space Babe has just returned from unraveling the riddle of the Time Gypsy last episode . .

Space Babe: (Ellen Klages. You can tell she's Space Babe because she's
wearing a domino mask).
"Pat! Karen! Rally round, my faithful henchwomen!";

Pat: (Jim Hudson): (To Karen) How come we have to be henchwomen?

Karen: (Nina Kiriki Hoffman understudying Karen Joy Fowler): She's got the mask--and have you ever seen her do an auction?

Space Babe: Where have you been, sisters?

Pat: (portentous voice) "Killing swine."

Space Babe: While I symphatize with the sentiment, surely you recall that as the "Good Gals'" we are committed to use non-violent means where possible?

Pat: I meant that figuratively. I've been at the Phobos Feminist Fun Fest. I helped out with the Male Chauvinist Pig Roast. I got to insert the spits.  (thrusting motion, as with a rapier.)

Space Babe: (to Karen/Nina): And, sister, what about you?

Karen/Nina: I tested our secret Clothing Disintegrator Ray on the guest speaker at the Rush Limbaugh Memorial Society Dinner. Truly the Emperor had no clothes!  Let's give it a full test at the Neo-Republican Caucus!

Pat: I'll lend you a hand.

Space Babe: And I another.

Karen/Nina: I myself can do the rest.

Space Babe: It's good to smite the Pompous Patriarchists in the funny bone, but I have dire tidings, women! There's been an outbreak of Male Fundamentalism on planet Moroni-3.

Pat: Male Fundamentalism! Oh, no!

Karenina: Male Fundamentalism? What's that?

SB: A century or so ago, a bunch of male supremacists got together and decided that what they liked best about ancient religions was the exaltation of men and the subjugation of women. So they collected all the repressive stuff from the old texts, threw out the rest, and then combined it with a bunch of stuff culled from unenlightened 20th Century SF and fantasy writers, and made that their Holy Book. They call it "The Manlimanifesto."

Karen/Nina: Ewww.

SB: Since then, it's been a continual battle for feminists everywhere to
combat this offense wherever it rears its ugly head!

Pat: I'd like to give them a good kick, right in the male fundament.

SB: And we will, sister, we will.  I have a cunning plan. .  .

Announcer:(Georgie) Meanwhile, in another hidden fortress in another part of
the Galaxy . . .

Captain Allman: (Greg Rihn): All hands on deck!

Goon: (Pat Murphy): Aye aye, Captain Allman, sir!

CA:  Great news, men! A new male supremacist front has sprung up on Moroni-3!
No doubt that feminist witch Space Babe and her Secret Feminist Cabal will try to intervene,  running in weapons or worse, feminist literature! But the Manliman Star Empire won't be taken lying down. We'll erect an embargo to support our brothers in struggle.

Stand by to raise ship!

Goon: Aye-aye, sir! But--sir?

CA: What is it?

Goon: Are there enough of us to enforce an embargo? Our movement is still-so-so-small.

Captain Allman: No, my fair cousin, we are enough..
The fewer men, the greater share of honour (and of women!).
God's will, I pray you, wish not one man more.
This story shall the good man teach his son
And we in it shall be remembered.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he that risks his life with me,
Shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile!
(claps Goon around the shoulders)

Goon: (transported)  Ah! I see it now! A band of brothers! Yes! Perhaps they'll call us--the Allman Brothers Band!

CA: Not--bad--. Now, prepare for engine start!

Georgie: Shortly thereafter, in yet another hidden fortress in a third part of the Galaxy, a mysterious figure scans the Shipping News:

The Midnight Robber (Nalo Hopkinson):  Hah! It says here that the star
freighter John Norman will be lifting from Marsport tomorrow with a cargo of patriarchist literature, bound for Moroni-3. I don't think so! This is a job for --The Midnight Robber!

(Music in, swell, then fade)

Georgie: Well! What will happen next? We'll find out, after these
words from our sponsors;

Commercial (Georgie):  "Space Babe" is brought you every week by
Feminist Mills, makers of the new chillingly cold cereal Weirdy Wheats!
Weirdy Wheats are guaranteed to toughen the threads that bind your bones
together, and give you the silent strength of stones!  Send in a dozen
box tops from Weirdy Wheats, Conscious Crunchies, or other fine Feminist
Mills cereals, and get a free self-sterilizing Zap Gun, so that you can
become a Feminist Freemartin just like Space Babe!

(Insert other commercials and Public Service announcements (ie Tiptree
Bake Sale, etc.)

(Music in, then out)

Georgie: And now we return to the Thrilling Adventures of Space Babe!
It is one week later: We look in on the Control deck of the tramp
freighter John Norman, a shabby ship of dubious registry and questionable history.

Pat: Two minutes to transit into Moroni-3 local space.

Karen/Nina: I can't wait to get there and back again.

SB: On with the disguises!

(Pat and Karenina don cheap false whiskers. Space Babe, still wearing her
mask, sticks on a handlebar mustache)

Pat: Transit to normal space--now!

(Cast rocks as though jumping from hyper space to normal space)

Karen/Nina: Smooth jump!

(Enter The Midnight Robber, brandishing a Zap Gun)

TMR: Hands up, chauvinist pigs!

(SB, Pat and Karen startledly comply.)

SB: What do you want? We have nothing of value to you!

TMR: Too right you don't! I'm the Midnight Robber, and I say you're
going to jettison all of the filth in your hold into the sun!

Karen: The Midnight Robber! Cool! --er, curses!

TMR: Yes, I'm the Midnight Robber! (Midnight Robber Rant) I wasn't always a robber you know, but I was stolen, yes, stolen away from my loving home by a wicked, selfish, stupid MAN, who then abandoned me, abandoned me, a poor child, to fend for myself among wild beasts, and brigands, and RUDE PEOPLE--

SB: (Aside) Egad, the Midnight Robber! I've wanted to meet her, but we
can't let her stop us now, or give away our plans.

(To TMR): Say, isn't that Zap Gun a Wisconsin Winter brand testicle freezer?

TMR: You bet! A Model WisCon 26, guaranteed to freeze the balls off a
brass monkey at 50 yards, so if you value your family jewels, you better follow my orders!

SB: (To Pat and Karen): Get her!

(The three tackle, disarm, and restrain the Robber)

SB: Sorry about that, Robber, but there's no time to explain. We won't harm you.

Karen/Nina: Captain, we're being hailed!

SB: Acknowledge!

Captain Allman: This is the Manliman Star Empire Battlecruiser "Phallic Symbol"! Heave to, and open your ports for inspection.

Pat: Oh, no! The Phallic Symbol! Her commander's Captain Allman, the biggest prick in the Universe.

Karenina: Hah! Not likely!

(They all look at her.)

Karenina: What? Oh, remember the speaker at the Limbaugh luncheon? Guess who! Nothing to write home about.

Space Babe: Careful! Here they come!

(Captain Allman and Goon enter)

CA (to Goon): Check the holds.

(to the crew) Papers!

(checks Pat's). "Max Merriwell." (looks at her) Hmm.

(checks Karen's) "Weldon Merrimax" (looks at her) Uh-huh.

Karen/Nina: (in growly faux male voice) You expected maybe Sarah Canary?

Captain Allman:(spends a long time scrutinizing SB's ID, oblivious to the fact that
she's wearing her mask) "James Tiptree, Jr." ? (peers at her closely) Don't I know you?

SB: Never had the pleasure of meeting you before, sir.

CA: (His eye falls on TMR, hungrily) Who's this--brown girl?

TMR: (defiantly) I'm The Midnight Robber!

(Karen and Pat do head smacks out of CA's view--)

SB: (hurriedly) Yep, she was trying to hijack our precious cargo, but we
overpowered her!

CA: Good work, men! (aside) Must be tougher than they look! Ahem! You've apprehended a dangerous criminal. I'll be glad to take her into custody for you. ---On the way
back to base, I can introduce her to my whips and chains!

SB: Not so fast! There's a big reward out for her, and WE'LL be the one's claiming it, thank you very much! (pokes Allman with the Zap Gun)  Besides, we have our OWN whips and chains.

CA: Oh,well--can I watch?

SB: Don't you have somewhere else to be?

CA: Yes, you're right. Making the galaxy safe for Male Domination
requires unceasing vigilance. As soon as we're done inspecting your cargo, we'll continue our patrol.

(enter Goon, with book)

CA: What have you found?

Goon: Only these, sir, plus copies of the same thing in microfiche, and fiche readers. (hands CA the book)

CA: Aha! Holy writ! "The Manlimanifesto", handsomely bound in real leather, too.
(opens the book and starts to scan.)

TMR: (a small distressed sound) Ah!

CA: Eh?

TMR: Nothing--(she shakes her head frantically at SB as CA looks back to
the book)

SB: Why don't you take that one with you?--with our complements!

CA: Thank you! (to Goon) Come along, our work here is done! (exit)

SB: Thank goddess that's over! (rips off mustache) Ow, damn!
(Pat and Karen gingerly remove beards)

TMR: You're women!  Why, you're Space Babe!  I don't understand--why are
you of all people delivering that male supremacist trash?

SB: In fact, the text is excerpts from feminist writers after the first few pages: most
of the Male Fundamentalists don't really read it anyway.  But inside the covers there's another fiche, with the complete works of James Tiptree, Jr., plus all of the Tiptree award winners; centuries worth of the best gender-examining fiction.

TMR: So that's it!

SB: OK, so YOU did something to the book I gave Allman. What?

TMR: Well, I've been stowed away in your hold for days, waiting for you
to get out of warp--

SB: Yes--

TMR: --and you should always have a backup plan--

SB: Go on.

TMR: So I used the time to booby-trap the book spines with Cosmic
Stink-Bombs, set to go off on a delay after the book was opened!

Karen/Nina: Captain! Emergency hail from the "Phallic Symbol"!

CA: (cough!) Mayday! Mayday! This is (choke) the MSE vessel Phallic
Symbol. Our atmosphere plant has suffered a (hack)
catastrophic failure (wheeze).  Any ships able to respond, please render
assistance (erk!).

ALL: (laugh)

SB: Turn that off! I don't think we're able to render assistance-- we'd
hurt ourselves laughing. Maximum boost for Moroni-3.

(to Midnight Robber) So, can we drop you off someplace?

TMR: Then, I suppose this means no whips and chains?

SB: Well---not necessarily . . .;

TMR: (laughs) Babe, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Georgie: "Epilogue: Moroni space, a drifting lifeboat, not long after."

Goon:  Say, Captain, this Book of Ursula is really good. You should read it!

Captain Allman: Oh---shut up!

(Music swell, fade to music under)

Georgie (Commercial): Tune in next time for another thrilling adventure in Space and Time with Space Babe, as she solves the mystery of the "Body Switchers from Outer Space," brought to you by Conscious Crunchies,  the consciousness raising breakfast cereal with more moral fiber, that will take you past the size of dreaming. Conscious Crunchies, another fine product from Feminist Mills.

(Music swell, then under)

Georgie: Tonight's drama featured the talents of:
Ellen Klages as Space Babe
Pat Murphy  as Max Merriwell as The Goon
Nina Kiriki Hoffman as Karen Joy Fowler as Karen
Gregory Rihn as Captain Allman
Jim Hudson as Mary Maxwell as Pat
and Nalo Hopkinson as The Midnight Robber.

I'm your announcer, Georgie Schnobrich, saying Goodnight.

(music out)
(segue to introduction of guests and committee,  Jeanne Gomoll and the Amazing Artistic Anomaly, and other business.)

 Return to Humour Archive