A pretty lady with brown, slightly graying hair and a brilliant smile looks directly at the camera, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I’m Leeza B. Luz. Tonight we have two formidable guests. First allow me to introduce the savior of mankind. Dr. S. A. Death!”
A not very tall, but not very short either, man enters from backstage to the song Weird Science by Oingo Boingo. He’s got short cropped brown hair and he’s dressed in baggy clothes which make him look far more emaciated than he really is saunters in as the crowd claps and whistles loudly, ushering in their savior. He’s acting like he hasn’t a care in the world, and says, “Actually, I was hoping for Eternal Dictator,” in a smooth, almost effeminate, monotone voice.
Leeza’s smile falters, “Of course Dr. Death,” she says as she gestures to the empty chairs and sits down in the middle one.
Dr. Death smiles disarmingly, “Actually Lisa it’s pronounced Deeth. Like when someone shouts at you after they think you haven’t heard them and you’re actually simply ignoring them ‘are you deef!’”
She looks down at her cue cards and frowns, “Deeth? B…b…But it says here Death.”
“Yes,” he continues more slowly, “It’s still spelt d.e.a.t.h but its pronounced d.e.e.t.h.”
“But why? Surely Dr. Death is more…your style?” she asks, flustered.
“Oh, it is my dear, it is but you see, the name Dr. Death has already been taken by DC comics, Dr. Kevorkian and Dr. Heimr. I wanted something completely unique, something totally my own.”
“Dr. Death, what gave you the idea to,” she giggles slightly, “give the aliens explosive diarrhea?”
He looks at her with slightly narrowed eyes, “I have to correct you Lisa. It was explosive atomic diarrhea. They were acting like assholes.” He covers his mouth and his eyes widen comically, “I meant rectums.”
Leeza quickly turns her head to hide the smile as she quietly says, “and darn near killed ‘em!” and giggles.
Dr. Death looks confused. One of the stage hands holds up a cue card that says, “Do we need sarcasm cards for this idiot?” Leeza grins as she reads the cards and nods her head slightly.
Leeza rolls her eyes, “It’s Leeza, Dr. Death. Why did you attach the virus to cockroaches?”
Dr. Death looks at Leeza, looking like he’s contemplating something for a moment, “I’m sorry Lisa but there can only be one Dr. Death.”
“You said, and I quote, “It’s Lisa Doctor Death. Not only is Doctor the strangest name I’ve ever heard but there can only be one Dr. Death.”
“My name is pronounced Leeza, comma, Dr. Death.”
He looks at her strangely, “Comma seems like an odd middle name, Lisa, even odder than Doctor.”
She sighs and shakes her head, “What does the S. A. in your name mean, Dr. Death?” She asks, changing the subject and making certain she is as clear and succinct as possible.
He smiles slightly, “Sadistic Asshole…” he claps his hand over his mouth and says quietly, “That was the first thing my mother told the doctor when I was born but I changed it to Slow Agonizing because it sounds so much better,” he says dreamily.
”It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it Lisa?” He looks around the studio at the audience, “Say it with me everybody! Slow Agonizing Death.”
Leeza hurries on to try to divert everyone’s attention back to a more serious interview, “Why was it you attached the virus to cockroaches?”
Dr. Death giggles maniacally and says, “Can you think of a better way to get rid of them? They get everywhere and you can never get rid of them so even though the aliens THINK they’ve gotten rid of them they are hidden in the cracks and crevices, inside and out, of their UFOs.” He giggles to himself and shouts, “Cracks! Diarrhea!” as he waves his hands wildly about his head and doubles over, laughing at his own pun.
“The aliens had already disposed of the Super Heroes and most of the Super Villains had decided to side with the aliens. Why did you decide to help mankind?”
“I’ve never even met a wrestler, let alone such a luminary personage as Mick Foley.”
Leeza sighs and shakes her head yet again, “All of humanity Dr. Death. Why did you decide to help humanity instead of siding with the aliens?”
He makes an O with his mouth and breathes out a little puff of air, “I was insulted that they felt that only Super Heroes were a threat to them,” and then he mutters under his breath, not realizing the microphone would catch it, “besides, it was MY job to kill those assholes.” In a more normal tone of voice he adds, “And I proved that to them too! I’m the one who ended up being a threat to them. Not the superheroes, not your everyday person on the street. ME! Dr. S. A. Death did them in with an itty bitty cockroach,” and he starts giggling again.
Leeza looks at her notes and composes herself, “Dr. Death, has there been anything about the aftermath that you didn’t like?”
Dr. Death shakes his head, “No, not really although there is that one YouTube video and I’m really getting sick of seeing it.”
Leeza looks at him innocently, her hands clasped in her lap, as the video starts playing on the screen in the background. We see a black, instead of grey, which is apparently their version of an Albino, alien kicking someone who looks like Johnny Cash, only dressed in all pink, into a volcano screaming, “Oh You About To Be Flaming Queen!” The clone starts singing, “I fell into a burning ring of…” but before he can finish the lyric he starts choking and screaming in agony. “What video is that?” Leeza asks.
Dr. Death glares at her, “The one where one of my Men In Black was kicked into the volcano and ALL we hear after that is ‘Ring Of Fire’ playing over and over and over again! I heard that song for weeks after the attempted invasion. People even kept emailing me, and I do NOT know how they got my email address but I’ll blame Radio Shack since they always ask for my email address whenever I shop there.”
Leeza looks at him unblinkingly, “What were they sending you?”
He looks back, surprised since he had forgotten the question and gotten lost in his own thoughts, “They were sending me .gifs of Clone43 falling into the volcano in a repeating loop.”
“Why Johnny Cash?”
“Nobody messes with The Men In Black!” he says, sounding the most serious and animated he’s sounded since he went out on stage.
“What happened to you?”
“What do you mean what happened to me? I’m perfectly fine, thank you very much!” he says, sounding insulted.
“No, no, no. Why did you go into DNA research?”
He answers to the tempo of Monster Mash in a monotone voice, “I was working in my lab, on my rash, when I realized nothing is scarier than Johnny Cash.
They did the monster mash, it was a graveyard smash.
They did the mash, it caught on in a flash.
They did the mash, they did the monster mash.” Leeza winces as Dr. Death sings very off key and starts waving his arms and dancing in his chair.
“I knew I could not take on the world alone, so I created an army of Johnny Cash clones.
Besides, I once saw a Canadian commercial where the Man in Black did a spot for one of their banks. It was way back when Debit cards first came out. They called the machine the Johnny Cash Machine. After all, one can never have too much cash,” and he smiles a big smile aimed right at the cameras.
Leeza looks at the camera, shakes her head and mouths, “Dr. Seuss has a lot to answer for.”
“How did you know the bug would work on the aliens?”
“I didn’t but I used a DNA twist,” and he gets up and does the twist to the music in his head.
Ms. Luz stares at her guest, wondering how in the world she ended up with such a fruit cake as Dr. Death. “There is a rumour that Weird Al is suing you,” she states once he sits back down.
Dr. Death looks confused for barely a second but suddenly lifts his arm in the air and points at the air above his head, like he had just had a light bulb moment, “That is simply a misunderstanding. I thought I had already received permission to use his ‘I Think I’m A Clone Now’ in my victory musical for when I do take over the world,” and he starts dancing in his chair to I Think We’re Alone Now by Tommy James and the Shondells.
Leeza shakes her head slowly as she watches the crazy man across from her. At least until he grabs her from her chair and starts dancing with her on the stage in front of a full studio audience. She pushes him back and sits back down gracefully and huffs as she looks at the camera, “We’ll be back after this commercial break.”
Leeza slumps in her seat and takes a drink from her water bottle then leans her head back on her chair and sighs. She’s had some strange people on her show before but Dr. Death takes the cake.
When the stage manager gives the signal that they are about to go back on live air a stage hand ushers the doctor back into his chair and admonishes him to stay put.
“We’re live in,” the stage manager says and then counts down with his fingers from five to one.
“Welcome back. Today we have the savior of the world, Dr. Death.” She looks at him pointedly, “Other than the virus to get rid of the aliens what do you consider your greatest invention?”
Dr. Death smiles broadly, “The portable hole but when I went to the patent office I couldn’t find it. It seemed to have fallen through the hole in my pocket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa. There was a hole in my pocket Dear Lisa.”
She looks at the camera again and mouths, “And so does Sesame Street.”
“Actually Dr. Death my name is pronounced Leeeeezzzzzzaaaaaa.”
Dr. Death rolls his eyes and flips his hand as if dismissing what she said as irrelevant.
“And what has been your biggest failure?” She asks rather than trying to get him to pronounce her name correctly.
Dr. Death sighs, “I just can’t get the formula for dehydrated water correct,” he says as he shakes his head and a shimmery tear slips down his cheek. “It’s a hard knock life, it’s a hard knock life for me,” he starts singing off key again.
The same stage hand is ready in the wings in case Dr. Death gets carried away again.
“What was the most disappointing thing, in your opinion, about the aliens?”
“They weren’t One Eyed, One Horned Flying Purple People Eaters.”
Leeza looks at Dr. Death like he’s just escaped from the nearest mental ward and asks, “And why is that?”
“They would have made an excellent trophy on my wall.”
Leeza and everyone in the audience gasps, “You would keep a trophy like that? You would actually have it stuffed and mounted?”
Dr. Death looks offended, “Of course not young lady! What kind of pervert do you think I am? I would have sent it to the taxidermist and hung it on the wall,” he says proudly.
Leeza rolls her eyes and changes the subject, again, “Did you ever consider a career in music?
Dr. Death flips his hand dismissively again. “No, hate the stuff,” and shakes his head vehemently.
“How does it make you feel, knowing that the world thinks of you as a hero now?”
“It is not my fault if the world is full of gullible fools that will soon be licking the shine off my boots.”
Ms. Luz stares quite pointedly at his feet which are encased in socks and sandals while, with some difficulty, saying nothing.
She looks at the camera and lets the audience know there’s a commercial coming up.
“Dr. Death, really, are you this crazy at home?”
He huffs as he paces around the stage, occasionally stopping and staring out over the audience. When he turns back toward Ms. Luz he has a gleam in his eye which makes her uncomfortable. He walks up to her and kneels down in front of her, picking up her right hand and kissing the back of it, “We must prepare for tomorrow night.” When Leeza doesn’t give the expected response he shows some irritation. “Come now Pinky, say your line.”
Leeza looks slightly irritated herself, “Pinky? Who in the world is Pinky?”
“Come on Pinky, say it,” he says, not realizing he’s not in some warped cartoon world.
She looks to the stage hands for help. After a couple of minutes one of them holds up a cue card, “Why? What are we going to do tomorrow night?”
Dr. Death smiles rather absent mindedly, “The same thing we do every night, Pinky - try to take over the world!”
By now everyone in the studio is looking at Dr. Death and seriously wondering if he really has escaped from the local mental ward.
A stage hand comes and escorts Dr. Death back to his seat, again, and the stage manager counts down to live air.
“Welcome back. It has been a rather,” Leeza pauses a moment for effect, “illuminating discussion with the Savior Of Mankind. Now I would like to…” Dr. Death interrupts, “I have already told you Lisa, I wish to be called Eternal Dictator.”
She sighs and corrects herself, realizing he’s not quite right in the head, “Right. It has been a rather illuminating discussion with the Eternal Dictator. Now I would like to introduce Clone1475.”
The Doctor’s head snaps up and his eyes narrow as he looks directly at a Johnny Cash look alike as he strides in from the wings and smiles as his eyes land on the hostess. “Thank you for having me Ms. Luz,” he says in that wonderful baritone voice.
She gives him a genuine smile. It seems like his creator’s craziness didn’t pass over to him.
“Thank you for coming Clone1475. Please, have a seat,” she says as she waves her hand at the seat on her left since Dr. Death is sitting to her right.
He takes his seat and leans back, crossing his left ankle over his right knee, “Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here in beautiful Washington State. Please, call me Gestetner.”
Leeza looks confused, “Gestetner? Isn’t that an old fashioned copy machine?”
Dr. Death looks ready to kill his own creation and stutters out, “Gestetner? No! You are Clone1475!”
“Yes,” the Johnny Cash clone says with a big smile, “I wanted a name and the aliens were kind enough to give me one.”
“But why Gestetner? Surely they realized…”
Dr. Death, not paying much attention to the conversation whispers, “Bless you,” when he hears Leeza say Gestetner.
Gestetner shakes his head and smiles as he hears Dr. Death, “No, they did not have the human concept of male and female since they are an androgynous species.”
“But surely they realized Gestetner isn’t really a name? That it is brand name?”
Gestetner sighs, “Oh, but it is a name. It’s the surname of the man who invented the Gestetner machine. Besides,” he shrugs, “they learned the languages of the world from listening to the television and radio waves bouncing around in space so they have no concept of male and female names.”
“But Gestetner? Really? Surely they could have called you Ditto, at least.”
Ms. Luz glares at Dr. Death, having had her fill of the crazy man. Gestetner smiles, “I suppose but that didn’t seem to be one of the words they knew. Besides, can you think of a better name for someone who is an exact copy of thousands of others than the last name of the father of carbon copies?”
“I guess not,” she frowns and cues one of the stage hands. The music for the video starts playing again. Gestetner smiles and the doctor starts fidgeting as the video starts playing, “Where were you when Clone43 was kicked into Mount St. Helen?”
His smile widens and his creator starts sputtering and twitching, “I was waiting off screen in a helicopter, waiting to take Bob, that’s what we called him since we couldn’t pronounce his name, back down.”
“We?” asks Ms. Luz.
Gestetner nods animatedly, “Yes, we. Some of his brothers were there with me. We all wanted him to be safe.”
“I see. Why was he there in the first place though? Why was he on top of the volcano to begin with?”
Gestetner turns his gaze to Dr. Death which causes the doctor to squirm in his seat from the intensity of his gaze, “Well, you see, they wanted to enslave the human population.”
Leeza’s eyes grow big at this information, “But why? We’ve done nothing to them!”
“Ahhhh, but you have. You see, their air has been polluted by all the sound waves and space garbage floating around up there,” he looks up toward the heavens and frowns, thinking about how the human race has been polluting not only their own atmosphere but that of other planets as well. “Bob had invented something which would temper the humans, make them more pliable and amenable to suggestion. They only wanted to make their own atmosphere livable again. If ours benefited from it too all the better!
“As his reward for doing such a stupendous job he was going to be allowed the privilege of dropping the capsule into the volcano so the next time it erupted it would send its spores forth into the world and enslave you.”
“Surely they could have negotiated with our governments?”
Gestetner laughed bitterly, “They tried that first but they were laughed out of the buildings.”
Leeza’s eyes go wide in surprise, “They tried to talk to the world leaders?”
The Johnny Cash clone nods his head, “They did. When they tried again…well, that’s what Roswell was all about.”
Her eyes go even wider, “Area 51 is real?”
His face goes dark, “It is. The government held one of their negotiators hostage until they agreed to go home.”
Gestetner nods, “It was. From what they told me he was not in good shape when he was finally allowed to go home; he was nearly transparent from lack of sunlight and proper nutrition.”
“They didn’t feed him!?” Ms. Luz shouts, horrified.
There are tears on his cheeks as he answers, “They couldn’t. We don’t have the type of food they eat here and nothing we could offer them is comparable.”
There are tears on Ms. Luz’s face now as well, “We all want to know: How is he now?”
Gestetner smiles sadly, “he died several years ago.”
Leeza gasps and outs her hand over her heart, “Oh dear! Was it…”
Gestetner shakes his head, “No, he was 456 earth years, it was his time.”
She nods, relieved to hear that it wasn’t the humans fault that the alien had died. “What were they really like?”
“Oh, you know,” the clone says with a shrug, “like ordinary people. They had names, they were intent on causing mayhem, taking out the Super Heroes…just like everyone else I know.” He looks pointedly at Dr. Death and smiles slightly. “I don’t know why the doctor,” he says with a slight sneer, “didn’t want to help them. After all, they were only doing what he’s wanted to do as long as I’ve known him.”
Dr. Death finally speaks up, intent on bringing things back to himself, “It was my job to kill the superheroes. I wanted to do it. I had it all worked. You see…”
“They were just like us?” Leeza squeaks, speaking over Dr. Death.
The clone laughs slightly, “Yes, they were just like humans. Their diet was different, their language was different but they still had to eat and sleep just like us, they had bodily functions just like everybody else…”
“You mean they…” she’s too embarrassed to actually put words to the thought but Gestetner seems to know what she’s trying to ask. “Yes, they used the bathroom just the same as everybody else.” Leeza flames bright read as Gestetner puts a word to what she had tried not to say.
“They were different from us, too, though,” he says with a slight smile.
“How so?” she asks.
“Humans turn red from sunburn but they turn white since the rays of the sun bleach them. It can take years for them to get back to their normal grey coloring.
“If they are all black they are among the smartest of their kind, and if they have hair on their heads they are the smartest. It seems the hair follicles tickle their brain cells, stimulating them.
“The taller they are the more they are ridiculed since the average height is around four feet.
“As I mentioned they are androgynous. There is no male or female, they can impregnate themselves when the time comes to have a child.”
Leeza’s eyes get bigger and rounder as Gestetner keeps talking.
The theme music for The Leeza B. Luz Show starts playing as Gestetner finishes speaking. Just as she’s about to say her good-byes to her guests, and mentally thank her lucky stars she made it to the end without killing Dr. Death, her monitor flashes and a message scrolls across the screen.
She bursts out in laughter, “Ladies and Gentlemen. I have a newsflash: The aliens have sent a message.” She doubles over with laughter at the image she now has in her head, “The aliens say, and I quote, ‘We surrender! Send more toilet paper!’” There is a sudden sound of loud laughing, some snorts and tittering and the final sight the television audience sees is of Dr. Death with a huge smile on his face.