June 4th, 2007

NOW PLAYING: The Long-Awaited Conclusion to Audio Dream Theater’s Douglas/Dubie Trilogy! Starring Real-Life Actress Kathryn Blume! Have Mercy!

by Philip Baruth

We know: you’ve got a crazy life. Kids, job, pick-up basketball, poisoning the squirrels nesting in the attic, obsessively checking your credit report for signs of identity theft. It’s a lot to manage.

the league of 2 xtraordinary gentlemenAnd somehow you managed to miss the previous two installments of The League of Extraordinary Republican Gentlemen.

That would be the story of two increasingly lonely and luckless GOP superheroes, Governor Jim Douglas and his youthful ward Brian.

Not to worry: the first two installments are available on VDB’s sidebar, under “Full-Tilt Audio Satire.”

What are the critics saying about the series?

A direct quote from Vermont’s Senate President Pro Tem: “I did hear the piece, and I thought it was right on the money. And the Governor’s running for cover . . . . I thought it was funny as hell.”

Say no more.

Now, at long last, we bring you the conclusion of the trilogy, a wrap-up of this year’s legislative session like you’ve never heard before, and will never hear again:

Statehouse of the Living Dead.

We went the extra mile on this one. Along with Alex Ball’s audio genius and the voice art of Neil Jensen, this installment showcases the work of Kathryn Blume, VDB’s favorite real-world actress.

In short, it’s candy for your ears.

The embedded player is directly below, and the script follows. As always, we recommend headphones. And a seat-belt. Enjoy.


LXG Episode Three: State House of the Living Dead

Voice Over:

With the end of the Legislative session looming, Jim Douglas faces the ultimate indignity: a threat to cut nine of administration’s fourteen public relations experts. And for the first time, Douglas realizes that he and his youthful ward can no longer go it alone. But summoning reinforcements will require the use of a power even Douglas shudders to contemplate. We join them now, in the Cave with the Golden Dome. [Water dripping; bat wings, etc.]

Douglas: Brian, we need to have a talk.

[No response from Dubie, but we hear a snippet of the “American Idol” theme playing in the background.]

Douglas: Brian! Turn off that damn television! [Sound of television snapping off]

Dubie: [Losing it] Don’t make me deal with reality, Jim! The Democrats are all over me at the Statehouse . . . [Voice full of horror] I feel their sharp little teeth on my ankles every time I walk down the hall —

Douglas: Snap out of it, man! [Meaty Slap] It’s not just global warming legislation anymore. No, now they’re coming after my spin doctors, Brian! Do you understand what that means?

Dubie: [Indignant] Yes. [Immediate collapse] No.

Douglas: With Randy Brock gone, the spin doctors were our last line of defense. But now when we raid the Catamount Fund, it’s going to look — like we’re raiding the Catamount Fund! Shum-lin could attack at any minute. [Slightly ominous music comes up] Forget the eerie monotone. We need real power now. Although I swore nothing would ever drive me to it, you and I are going to have to engage [Music swells, then stops] in a little bit of necromancy.

Dubie: [Very reluctantly] Well, okay, Jim. [Pause] But I thought we were against civil unions and stuff!

Douglas: No, necromancy, you fool! Black magic! Raising people from the dead!

Dubie: [High-pitched scream]

Douglas: Years ago, when I was a student at Middlebury College, I was visited in my dorm room late one night by the Prince of Darkness himself. It was 1972, as I recall.

[Flashback music gives way to the sound of a small transistor radio playing “Close to You” by the Carpenters; we also hear Young Douglas’s pencil scratching across a page, and Young Douglas humming, singing along badly just under his breath. Then comes a knock on the door.]

Young Douglas: Oh for crying out loud! Dirty hippies. I told you, I’m not interested in sampling your brownies!

[Sound of door opening, closing, footsteps. Then we hear Reagan’s voice]

Reagan: That’s right, Jim. Avoid the brownies. Or next thing you know you’ll be teaching Sociology at Berkeley.

Douglas: Huh? Who are you? How did you get in here?

Reagan: Well, Jim, I’m the Devil. And of course in a few years I’ll be President of the United States. But I’m here tonight to make you a bargain: the power to raise and command the dead in exchange for your immortal soul.

Douglas: Never, you fiend!

Reagan: Suit yourself. But in about 35 years you’ll be Governor and your only Republican ally will be a man named Brian Dubie.

Douglas: [Immediately] Okay, it’s a deal.

[Flashback music brings us back to the present]

Douglas: All these years, I’ve been terrified to use that dark power. But now, with Al Gore on the Democrats’ side, there’s no other way.

Dubie: But how do you raise the dead, Jim?

Douglas: First, we light this candle [match scratching sound], next to this copy of the Federalist Papers. Okay, now join hands, and chant after me: [Both chant] “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Nixon Right Over!”

[There is a sound like the whirlwind in the Wizard of Oz, and then a sound like a body falling to the floor]

Dubie: [Gasp] I think that’s really Richard Nixon, Jim!

Nixon: [Sound of Nixon brushing off his suit] Boy, this one’s a real Mensa candidate, isn’t he, Jim? No wonder you need reinforcements.

Douglas: It’s an honor to have raised you from the crypt, Sir.

Nixon: Well, of course it is, goddamit! I’m Dick Nixon. Now if you want real muscle, I’m gonna Haldeman, and Kissinger. Oh, and Marilyn Monroe.

Douglas: But why Marilyn —

Nixon: [Harshly] Because she belongs to Kennedy, that’s why, goddamit! Now, do you want to keep your spin doctors, or don’t you?

[Chanting takes over: “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Henry right over!” Whirlwind sound; Kissinger muttering to himself]

Kissinger: Wait a minute . . . what am I doing here? I’m not dead yet. I’m still relevant, I’m still influential.

Nixon: Oh, suck it up, Henry.

[Security Alert sounds]

Douglas: Not a moment too soon! The security cameras show Shum-lin and the Democrats massing on the State House lawn. Everyone outside!

Nixon: Come on, you dirty liberals! You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore!

[Sound of doors opening, feet running; battle noise; first strains of Wagnerian opera divas screeching, continues very softly under the following dialogue]

Douglas: And so, the battle is joined, eh Shum-lin?

Symington: Actually, Peter’s not here today.

Douglas: Gaye Symington! What are you doing here? Where’s my nemesis?

Symington: Peter said the battle had to start in the House first.

Douglas: [Taken aback; opera screeches to a halt; disappointed noises from the zombies] Really? In the House, eh?

Symington: That’s what Peter said. And my suggestion is that we all calm down and try, for once, to act like adults and conduct the people’s business.

Douglas: But Shum-lin and I are supposed to be having our climactic battle to the death! How am I going to battle to the death with a . . . well, you know.

Symington: With a what?

Dubie: With a girl.

Symington: Oh, I see. [Seductively, until the last word] Well, what about a girl wearing a pair of . . . these!

Douglas: [Gasp] The Birkenstocks of Death! Run, Brian!

[Sounds of a roundhouse kick; meaty sound of Birkenstock on face; martial arts noises; zombie noises; Wagnerian screeching kicks in again, going up and down in volume as voice exchanges come in and out]

Gore: Governor Douglas, I believe you and I have some unfinished business. I’m still livid about you trying to kill the New England Wilderness Bill, frankly.

Nixon: Oh, yeah? Well, let me make one thing perfectly clear, Gore: you gotta go through me to get Douglas.

Gore: Well, if it isn’t Tricky Dick himself!

Nixon: Ain’t it the inconvenient truth.

Gore: Hey, look behind you! I think that’s John Dean over there!

Nixon: That son of a bitch Dean! Where? I don’t see any — [Turns, and we hear the sound of Nixon being sucker-punched]

Gore: That’s for assaulting my reason . . . Dick.

Douglas: Damn! Nixon and his boys are out of commission. And so’s Brian. But this is one fox they’ll never catch. Let’s see, where’d I put those extra ketchup packets I promised Brian from the Burger King Drive-Through . . . just squirt these on my shirt [sound of ketchup squirting], and then I’ll lie here next to my own ribbon-piercing scissors. They’ll think old Jim finally bought the dairy farm.

[Sound of running feet; then the running stops, and we hear Gore gasp]

Gore: [Gasp] Oh my Lord. Gaye! Over here. [More running feet, then stopping] I found him. He’s . . . he’s dead, Gaye. He fell . . . running with his own scissors.

Symington: If only he’d listened to me. I tried to get him to stop the nasty press conferences, tried to get him to step out from behind the spin doctors and really put some ideas of his own on the table. And now [hint of tears] it’s too late. Well, we’ll find a foster home for you, Brian —

Dubie: Thanks, Gaye. [Almost sobbing] He was a beautiful man. A beautiful man with a beautiful monotone.

Symington: — and we’ll bring the body into the State House where it can lie in state. Everybody grab hold. One, two, three, heave! [Straining] Okay, who’s got the ribbon-piercing scissors? Brian?

Dubie: [Straining] I thought you had ‘em.

Gore: [Straining, but voice horrified] Gaye, I hope I’m incorrect, but I think the scissors are in the Governor’s hand. [Complete silence] And it’s moving.

[Strings from Psycho, volume high enough to make listener jump]

Voice Over: Tune in next time, when we’ll hear Ronald Reagan, Prince of Darkness, say:

Reagan: What the heck is Douglas trying to pull here? This thing was supposed to be a human soul!

Voice Over:
Same Audio Dream time, Same Audio Dream channel.


Alex Ball: Sound engineering; voice work
Philip Baruth: Script; voice work
Kathryn Blume: Voice work
Neil Jensen: Graphics; voice work

One Response to ' NOW PLAYING: The Long-Awaited Conclusion to Audio Dream Theater’s Douglas/Dubie Trilogy! Starring Real-Life Actress Kathryn Blume! Have Mercy! '

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  1. on June 8th, 2007 at 1:01 am

    […] Only you can say if we’ve earned your vote, but since last year we’ve tried our best to up the quality of the site still further: to bring you the analytical and the absurd, the local and the national, full-length interviews, high-quality cartooning and sound-rich political satire. We’ve tried to make the site look good, and read well, forgoing advertising to keep the reading experience sharp and focused. […]