Thursday, December 31, 2015

X-Files: Millennium 'Shipper Survey

Because it's New Year's Eve, you get this.

Happy 2016, X-Philers!  WOO-HOO!


Hey, wasn't there a t.v. show by that name?...

1) The episode begins in a funeral parlor. A grieving widow is meeting with her dead husband's co-workers, finishing up with a rather bland-looking middle-aged fellow who actually gets more than one line in the script. That clues you in that this guy's going to hang around, open the casket once everyone is gone, and do something really disgustingly gross. And he does: he strips the dead guy down to his underwear and starts exchanging outfits. Your reaction is to:

A) Note the medical hazards of taking clothes off dead people, especially ones that seem to have rapidly decayed. Isn't there some kind of necro-bacteriological infection you get from doing this?...

B) Wonder what the bleep Donnie Pfaster has been up to in the past five years...

C) Worry if this guy does disgusting things at weddings too. <shudder> Keep this one off the invite list, okay? Not even if he's the one bringing the pressure cooker as a gift!...

2) Scully arrives at the cemetery, where the funeral director approaches her and asks that they stop spreading rumors of people being buried alive. She quickly appraises the situation and when she finds Mulder (where else) pecking down in the grave she openly wonders who it was spreading such stories around in the first place. You want Mulder's answer to be:

A) "Gee, Scully, all I did was come up to this blonde chick and tell her 'They're coming to get you, Barbara...'"

B) "Scully, you know perfectly well the only rumors I spread around involve Demi Moore and kitchen utensils..."

C) "Dana, I'm sorry. <guilty look> Hug?"

3) MULDER: "Merry Christmas, by the way, Scully." SCULLY: "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, too." YOU:

A) "Yeah, thanks for the fruit cake, you Punk!" <crush Mulder voodoo doll with the 12-pound paperweight known as fruit cake>

B) "Gosh, that means they didn't have any ghosts this year..."

C) "Screw Christmas! New Year's is coming! <pant> <gasp> <foreshadowing of things to come> <grin>"

4) Mulder describes the situation to Scully: a ritualistic excavation of a suicidal retired FBI agent suggests the dead man was part of some kind of zombie resurrection. Scully looks for the more rational explanation: that whoever dug up the body staged the evidence to trick people into that "zombie" conclusion. You look for:

A) The distinct possibility that for once Mulder is going to agree with the Blessed Skeptic after all...hey, is that a pig flying? Call Pink Floyd. We found their balloon...

B) Clues leading to the conclusion that the evil Professor Mori...what? <writer gets served with papers from solicitors representing the estate of Sir Conan Doyle> Damn,, I can't use Sherlock Holmes' nemesis in this survey...who was that nemesis from the Encyclopedia Brown series? Can I use him?...

C) Lots of sexual tension that hopefully will finally get resolved! <gasp> <pant>

5) Mulder and Scully report in to the Bald Boss. The other FBI agents give the standard background search going nowhere: Mulder gives the standard "zombie resurrection" theory he gives at all the meetings. As Scully's eye-rolling puts a strain on her retinas, you exclaim:

A) "Damn Punk! For once, can't you just blame Canadians for criminal activities like you're supposed to?!"

B) "Hey! That explains what happened to Jimmy Hoffa! Case closed!"

C) "Can everybody leave so that Walter and Gizzie can do some serious flirting here? Oh, wait..."

6) Skinner mentions the Millennium Group, the secretive force of darkness from Chris Carter's other show "The Nanny." We next see Mulder and Scully entering a mental institution in Virginia where Mulder seems to know his way around. C'mon, he says hello to that smiling patient they walk by. Which leads you to conclude:

A) This is a perfect opportunity for Scully to secure Mulder in a straitjacket, order up some electroshock treatment for the Punk, and head back to her family holiday down in San Diego

B) That Mulder should know who that guy was: he was the downstairs occupant in his apartment complex who was driven insane by Mulder's constant basketball dribbling

C) Not much. But you are wondering about what happened between Dana and Fox during their car ride here...hmm...<sigh>

7) Camera turns to reveal former FBI agent and former consultant to the Millennium Group Frank Black. He's busy trying to watch the Notre Dame/Boston College football game and doesn't want to discuss conspiracies. When he tells Mulder "It's first and eighteen," even though it's obviously third and ten for the Fighting Irish, you note:

A) That there's a serious continuity glitch here! Notre Dame didn't qualify for a college bowl this year, and those are the only college games being played at the end of December!

B) That no one sane would root for Notre Dame! Go Gators!

C) That Dana and Fox are in love! <writer gets stares from everybody in the sports bar> Well, they are!

8) The Praying Man has a problem with a flat tire, and a deputy shows up to try and help. Noticing the man's growing nervousness, the deputy smells the decay of a dead body and assumes the worst. The Praying Man pulls out salt, forging a circle of protection as the deputy opens the back of the truck to find a zombie snarling and growling. As the cop shoots with no effect, you realize:

A) That there's no such thing as zombies...<living dead start smashing in the windows> Dammit, BroSean, didn't you board up the windows like you were supposed to?!...

B) Augh! It's eating brains! The zombie is going to want to go to Lucky Boy's next and order their Shark-Boy Special!

C) That there's nothing really romantic about brain-eating. Can't they have zombies drinking tea instead?...

9) Mulder and Scully join the search for the missing deputy. They uncover the circle of salt, which Mulder notes is a sign of protection. Scully wonders protection from what, when the deputy's body is found. They discover the deputy's mouth had been filled with salt and stapled shut. Mulder removes a slip of paper and reads the note. You're sure it says:

A) "Lather rinse repeat."

B) "See you next Wednesday."

C) "Kiss the girl."

10) The note is a quote from Revelations, a clue that Frank Black tried to tip them to earlier. Mulder goes back to confront him, demanding straightforward answers instead of vague hints. Black refuses to help on the case, and Scully finds out why: Frank is fighting custody for his daughter Jordan, because his dead wife's parents feel he's too obsessed with conspiracies to properly care for the child. As the retired FBI agent declares he would even sell insurance to prove his sanity, you declare:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) That there's nothing sane about selling insurance, man! Just look at the last insurance guy we bumped into! Poor Clyde Bruckman...<sob> <weep>

11) Finally convincing Black to do a little off-the-radar analysis, the agents listen to the profile he gives of the four dead men: that they were members of the Millennium Group convinced they would be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so they committed suicide and hired the Praying Man to resurrect them to bring about Armageddon. As Black gives a profile of the Praying Man, you:

A) Wonder how four brain-eating zombies are going to qualify as high-ranking as the Four Horsemen. C'mon, what exactly can four dead guys do?...

B) Worry that along with the Four Horsemen, the Praying Man is going to bring back that wimpy Rudy guy to play for Notre Dame. Go Gators!

C) Watch as Dana and Fox keep their hands under the table. Ooooooooo...<wicked grin>

12) Frank Black is convinced that the Praying Man will return to claim the dead deputy before he rises as the living dead. Mulder is convinced they have to stop the Four Horsemen first. Scully argues that "Even when they were alive (they) mangled biblical prophecy to the extent that it's unrecognizable. The year 2000 is just their artificial deadline and besides, 2001 is actually the start of the new millennium." As Mulder snidely answers, "Nobody likes a math geek, Scully," you reply:

A) "She's not a math geek! She's the Blessed Enigmatic One! Prepare to be trout-slapped, Punk!" <trout-slap>

B) "The best way, really, to stop the Four Horsemen is to line up 8 men in the block, using the strong safety as a linebacker to keep the Notre Dame running game from being effective..."

C) "2001? That'd be a *great* date movie! Well, it'd certainly be a lot better than that dull 'Eyes Wide Shut' fiasco..."

13) As Mulder goes off to find the Praying Man, he asks as a favor that Scully keeps the dead deputy's mouth stapled shut. Of course, as he says this the county coroner is opening the mouth and spooning out the salt. She gets distracted by Scully's call to her answering machine asking that the autopsy not begin, and when she turns back around the dead deputy is standing and a-hungering for brains. You:

A) Shake your head. Damn, there sure are a lot of openings for medical examiners on this show...

B) Scream. Okay,'ve got a thing against brain-eating zombies...

C) Faint into a state of bliss. Fox asked Dana for a favor! <sigh>

14) Scully shows up in time to find an eerily quiet morgue. She pulls out her gun and slowly search the area. She finds the brutally attacked coroner and quickly turns to spot the Praying Man. Aiming at him distracts her from aiming at the real threat as the deputy-zombie steps out of the shadows to gnaw on Scully's medulla oblongata. She pumps off three shots to no effect. Her gun goes sliding across the floor. You:

A) Scream, "USE THE FORCE, SAINT SCULLY!" <swing that lightsaber>

B) Scream, "DEAD GUY BREATH! YUCK!" <offer a Breath Saver>

C) Weep, "NO! She hasn't slept with Fox yet!" <gnash teeth> <wail>

15) Skinner shows up asking where Scully is. He's pointed to a corner where a body is covered with a sheet. Saddened, he lifts the sheet to find...some dead guy. Skinner turns to find Scully scarred but still alive, rescued by the Praying Man who shot the zombie in the skull to stop the senseless slaughter of skeptical saints (repeat five times fast). Skinner wonders why Mulder isn't answering his phone. You wonder:

A) If this means the damn Punk is ditching everyone again and secretly driving off to Graceland! Dammit!

B) If Scully shovels up seashells by the seashore for sale at Sears...<tongue self-destructs>

C) If Fox is going to get all upset that those zombie bites on Dana's neck were hickeys. No, Fox! Don't get jealous! <whimper>

16) Mulder, meanwhile, has gone off to find a secluded, fenced-off area that would rent out to living-impaired boarders. He finds a spot, especially noting the bags of salt in the trash can. He sneaks inside, heads right for the basement, and forgets to turn on the lights as he goes downstairs. As the zombies rise from the soft dirt ground and as the Praying Man bolts the door shut, you:

A) Snort, "Yeah, Mulder, always go for the dark spooky corners of the house, why don't ya? Sheesh, it's a miracle the Punk's lasted this long!..."

B) Query, "Gee, there goes the property value of the place! No realtor is going to sell off a house infested with zombies!..."

C) Worry, "Fox, next time, check out the kitchen and make yourself a nice snack before going off to chase monsters in the basement, okay? It'll give Dana a chance to show up and cover your cute ass!"

17) Scully goes to confront Frank Black, convinced he knows more about the Praying Man and should do something to find Mulder instead of hiding from the world. Scully poses him a question: "Good and evil-- which would prevail?" After she leaves, Black asks to check himself out of the hospital. To you, this means:

A) The Blessed One has used her spiritual knowledge to ask the fundamental question of our existence, stirring righteous passion in others to do great deeds! Woo-hoo!

B) That Frank Black is finally tired of watching Notre Dame games on the t.v. and wants to go to a hotel that gets HBO instead

C) Not a lot. Philosophical questions outside the realm of "Should Dana wear white?" or "Who will get the candlesticks as a wedding present?" don't do a lot for 'Shippers...

18) Frank Black goes straight to the Praying Man's house. The Praying Man is grateful Black arrived, apparently knowing him from the Millennium Group. It seems Mulder succeeded in killing one of the Four Horsemen, and the Praying Man wants to "convert" Black so there can be four again and assure the Endtimes. Black, thankfully, has other ideas and captures the Praying Man. He heads down into the basement finding Mulder standing nervously in a small circle of salt. Mulder warns to "Shoot for the head. That seems to stop them." You warn:

A) "Shut up, Mulder. If the zombies hear you they'll wear protective helmets or something..."

B) "I think Frank Black knows this. I kinda saw that Millennium episode guest-starring KISS where Frank's partner showed him all those horror classics..."

C) "Stay alive, Fox. No matter what happens, Dana will find you!"

19) Frank Black goes to war against the three remaining zombies. He gets one, but the next one knocks him down. Mulder finishes off his clip on that dead guy, but that gives the last of the Four Horsemen to smash through the wall and threaten to eat some brains. As Scully shows up at the last second to waste Dead Guy Number Four, you:

A) Cheer, "Battle On, St. Scully!"

B) Groan, "Damn, now we'll never get that zombie sequel 'Millennium II: Dawn of the Dead' now!"

C) Pray, "Okay, now can Dana and Fox hug each other, grateful to be alive?"

20) The hospital t.v. is showing the New York New Year's Eve celebration. Dick Clark is hosting the festivities. Everyone is there to get bandaged up after their horrifying ordeal against the Four Horsemen. Scully brings in a smiling Jordan, Frank's daughter. Frank Black gives his thanks and looks to go home. You:

A) Think it was a good idea to let the Blessed One allow Frank Black a chance to enjoy his victory. All right!

B) Realize to your horror that...the ageless facade...the empty expression...OH MY GOD! DICK CLARK IS A ZOMBIE! <scream>

C) Can't wait! Oh boy oh boy OH BOY!!!...

BONUS: The ball drops. It's 2000. Mulder looks down at Scully, getting an idea. She looks up at him, sharing the same thought. They kiss. It's not a passionate, tongue-lashing, breathless kiss, but hey, it's a lip lock. You:

A) Critique the kiss and fault the Punk for his lousy aim. Not her nose, you jerk!...

B) Blame it on the Bossa Nova...

C) Faint. No, really. THEY DID IT! THEY KISSED! <blissful coma>

ADDED BONUS: They part. MULDER: "The world didn't end." SCULLY (faint smile): "No, it didn't." They walk out, still embracing. YOU:

A) "Ack! There's not enough room in the doorway for both of them to squeeze through! Watch out for..." <thud> "Ouch, say goodbye to the shoulders..."

B) "Hey! Shouldn't Y2K be causing the hospital power to shut down and..." <power blackout> "There we go!..."

C) "..." <still in a blissful coma>

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr convinced that Good will prevail over long as Pat Buchanan stays out of the White House!

B) Then you are an X-Philer wondering if we're ever going to get a cross-over episode with a show that really matters: "Mystery Science Theater 3000!" What? Canceled?! Well, so was "Millennium!"...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who can at last stare down those damn NoRomos and say, "Pay up, suckers!"

Oh, and it's 2016!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Personal Note: My Writings

You may notice I have a "Writings" tab up on my menu bar.

One of the things I've done over the decades is write. More than just these blogs I juggle depending on the topic, I've been working on short stories, novels, professional articles, all the literary fields. I've done fanfiction - mostly X-Files as you can see here at the Gossamer archive - but regular (sort of) fiction as well.

I'm eager to announce that I've e-published a new story, Body Armor Blues, as a novella on both Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook (Smashwords) formats.

Cover art by Istebrak

It's from an original 'verse I'm working on filled with superheroes, and I hope it's well-written and engaging and witty for readers to enjoy. If you do purchase a copy, please do me the honor of leaving a review for it when you can. Thank you!

X-Files: How The Ghosts Stole Christmas 'Shipper Survey

'Tis the season to be cranky, fa la la la phooey.

This wasn't really a fun episode to watch back in the day.

To all the Germans visiting this site during these holidays, apologies for ruining Mithras Festivus Saturnalia for you.

Here goes:

X-Files: How the Ghosts Stole Christmas 'Shipper Survey

SPOILER SPACE for those who think the Ghost of Christmas Future will be played by The Guy Who Will Always Be Known As Doogie Howser

Okay, here we go...

1) Once upon a Midnight Clear-y, while Scully gift-wrapped, weak and weary...there came a beeping gently bleeping on her cellular phone (all right, it ain't Poe, but poetry ain't my gig, you dig?). She drives out to "Somewhere in Maryland" (If it's Crofton, my older brother needs to re-appraise his property value...) on Christmas Eve to find Mulder staked out in front of a condemned home. You realize:

A) That Scully isn't out caroling with her mother like she's supposed to! Damn it! When is Sheila Larken going to make her mandatory appearance this season so she can call Mulder "Fox"?!?!

B) That "Somewhere in Maryland" doesn't cut it for your rabid X-Phile, who'll most likely chart the location according to stellar cartography, time of day, nautical measurements, and determine the exact location to be...Vancouver?!...whoops, didn't carry the two on that longitudinal calculation...

C) That it would have been so much easier on them if Fox had swung by Annapolis to pick up Dana at her mother's ("Hi, Fox!" "Mrs. Scully, PLEASE stop calling me that!...") before driving to this...quaint bed and breakfast...

2) Scully wants to know what the hell is going on. "Mulder: Stakeout. Scully: On Christmas Eve? Mulder: It's an important date. Scully (borderline ticked-off): No kidding." Mulder wants a stake-out on this house on Christmas Eve. Scully complains that she's got an early morning with her family at 0600 hours and that she's got some wrapping to finish up. As Mulder spies at the back of her car, spotting all the presents already wrapped, you realize:

A) That the Blessed One has been caught fibbing! <gasp> Oh My God, now she DOES have something to confess to her priest!...<hang head in shame>

B) That Scully quite simply isn't in the mood to house-shop...she's comfortable with her new apartment in Georgetown as is...<shrug> <writer of survey is home-shopping though, so where's them classifieds?>

C) That this is Dana's subtle way of saying she wants to sit at her mom's house in front of the Christmas tree...sipping warm tea...with Fox...under the mistletoe...<wink> <wiggle eyebrows>

3) Scully does her best to avoid temptation, but the next thing you know she's sliding into Mulder's car wanting to know what the big deal is about an abandoned house. Mulder says it's not abandoned, that the former occupants are returning, and thereby hangs a tale. Scully quickly realizes this is a haunted house and Mulder wants her to go "ghost-busting." As he tells a tale of young lovers seeking to escape the horrors of war and plague in 1917, you note:

A) That there's a trout-shaped package in Scully's backseat that she should give to the Punk now for getting her out in the middle of Andover and locking the car doors on her all with this warped desire to chase ghosts...

B) That "ghost-busting" is a trademark owned by Dan Ackroyd and various other suits in Hollywood, and you'll be sure CC will be hearing from their lawyers in the morning

C) That this idea of a lovers' pact doesn't sound so great... why didn't that ghostly couple go to Vegas for an Elvis wedding like Moose and Squirrel are supposed to?...

4) Scully doesn't buy it. Mulder, slightly disappointed that she doesn't believe in ghosts, gets out of the car and goes to enter the gothic house alone. Scully, at first worried Mulder should have somewhere else to go, tries to talk herself into not following him ("I'm not going to do it. My New Year's resolution."). But as she pats her jacket for her car keys, you wonder:

A) Whether or not the Blessed One will have to seriously kick the Punk's ass for taking her car keys

B) Why Scully doesn't believe in ghosts after five years and a half years of doing this show...and not only that, but Ahab and Missy are bound to be spinning in their graves...

C) Why Dana just doesn't invite Fox over to her mom's house...Bill and his family are staying at a hotel, so nobody's feathers will be ruffled tonight as they sit by the fireplace humming "Winter Wonderland" and looking up at the mistletoe and... <phone rings. Writer: "Oh, hi, Mary. No, I do not have a mistletoe fetish!... and by the way, do you need those research papers back for grading?... Oh, the students flunked anyway...Sorry about that...">

5) Scully storms into the house after Mulder, asking if he took her car keys. He says no, and then the doors slam shut as lightning strikes through the fog-filled hills of Bowie, MD. At this point, you:

A) Know the Punk is lying through his teeth, and he's got the Lone Gunmen outside operating a dry ice machine and strobe lights/sfx equipment all in some elaborate hoax to scare the Blessed One into a false confession that she Believes... but it won't work!

B) Scream, hide under the sofa, and rediscover all those Canadian quarters you keep getting in the vending machines instead of real American coinage like you're supposed to when you get change back from soda machines! I mean, I can't trade those Canadian coins back for American quarters! It's a bloody rip-off! I hate getting the wrong change, dammit! I hate it I hate it I hate...<writer gets tackled by medics> <they give tranq injection> <writer smiles, becomes calm> <sings> Oh, the weather outside... is frightful... hmm-hm-hmm-hm-delightful... la-da-la-la-la-da-da, let it snow let it snow let in snow...

C) Hope this bed-and-breakfast has a nice downy-filled mattress that Dana and Fox will find warm and cozy... <deep sigh>

6) They're locked in the house. There's noises upstairs, chains rattling, floors creaking. Scully sees a shadowy figure during the flash of lightning. And there's something about that grandfather clock... You take this all in and:

A) Wait for Scully to state one of her "Scully Rational Explanations" (trademark pending) to convince Mulder to help her kick the damn doors down!

B) Recognize the grandfather clock from an episode of "Hart To Hart"! This is what happens when you move your production to L.A.! You keep seeing the same rock formation in the desert again and again and again and...but I digress...

C) Wonder why the camera hasn't spotted that mistletoe in the foyer yet... <phone rings> <Writer: "Nancy? Yet Another Nancy? Hey, how, look, it's Christmas. I have to write about mistletoe. It's not a fetish, okay???...">

7) As expected, Scully hauls out her SRE (note: oh, to the newbies, this stands for Scully Rational Explanation). I'd write it down, but I wouldn't finish it until Easter. To wit, we react to the potential horror of haunted houses because the concept of such is so ingrained into our collective consciousness. Ghosts reflect not the reality of an afterlife but the Living's desire to believe in some form of immortality. Mulder doesn't hear a word of it, which leads you:

A) To want Scully to turn on the lights in the house, use the clock to smash open the doors, get in her car, hot-wire the ignition, and drive home to be with people who actually listen to what she has to say

B) To stop using an Ouija board to contact the dead, since that doesn't seem to work, and use something else that would attract those spirits that are young and immortal... something like Pictionary!...

C) To count all the words Dana uses that connotes sexual imagery... hmm, I count nine! <sigh>

8) A door (once locked) squeaks open. "Tell me you're not afraid," whispers Mulder. Yes, Scully whispers back, "I'm afraid... but it's an irrational fear." You:

A) Note that, as the Blessed One is showing us, there is no weakness in being afraid... there is, however, a serious problem of hanging out with Punks that keep getting you in trouble!...

B) Recite the "I will not Fear" speech from "Dune"... "Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will go out to a bar, actually approach cute women, flirt with them, ask for their phone numbers. And if they throw drinks in my face, I will wipe it off before it spills onto my pants. But I will not fear."

C) Want Fox to comfort her by holding Dana close and answering, "Let that feeling you feel be not fear, but hope... and trust... <smooch> and love..." <after he kisses her, then you can swoon>

9) They enter a room, a library (Hey! My kind of haunted house :-)) of sorts where Scully notes how the lights are turned on, and that there's a log on the fire. Someone, squatters perhaps, has moved in here. Mulder openly wonders why anyone would want to be in a house that's cursed. As Scully grouches, "It's not enough that it's haunted? It has to be cursed?" you shout at the screen:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) "WHAT? Couples die here on Christmas Eve?! NOW YOU TELL US?! Head count, buddy! One gal, one guy equals one couple! Fox, you BLEEPING Punk!"

10) Mulder notices something about the floorboards, and Scully turns to notice the stairs to the upper floor of the library is gone. She turns back to see Mulder doing that "Spooky-Face-with-a-flashlight gag." She screams, and you scream:

A) "Shoot him!"

B) "Shoot him!"

C) "Kiss him, then shoot him!"

11) They lift up the floorboards to find a dead body, then Mulder spots another one next to it. Scully suddenly notices how the dead woman is wearing her clothes...and that the dead guy is wearing Mulder's outfit. As they put two and two together, you:

A) Relish the fact that there are other women who emulate the Enigmatic One's fashion style... uh, that IS another woman under the floorboards, ya?...

B) Wait for them to calmly and quietly place the wooden pieces back where they belong before running the HELL OUT OF THERE!

C) Wonder if the bodies were holding hands...<sigh> What a way to go-go...

12) They try to run for it, but they keep stumbling into the same room. They figure on splitting up to see if either room leads to a way out, but they wind up getting separated when the door closes between them. You:

A) Suffer a post-traumatic flashback to an episode of Scooby-Doo that had the same stunt as this

B) Task the two for separating like that: Rule #2 of Haunted Houses specifically states "You must never split up with the group to investigate a darkened room all by your lonesome."

C) Worry that Dana and Fox will never get a chance to break Rule #1 of Haunted Houses: "Never have sex." :(

13) Mulder shoots the lock on the door only to find a brick wall now between himself and Scully. Then, the door at the other end of the room opens, and...Ed Asner walks out?! This leads you to picture:

A) Alan Alda showing up later as a Conspiracy figure known as "Korean War Doctor Who Has Nightmares About Losing His Arms Man"

B) Shannon Doherty showing up as Bitchy, uh, Witchy Woman... oh, wait, can they afford a cross-over episode like that?...

C) Pope John Paul II as himself blessing Fox and Dana's wedding... well, rule is you hold the wedding in the bride's church, and if Dana's Catholic, then bring in the head honcho to do a job this important, ya?...

14) Ed Asner talks to Mulder about why he's there. Ed describes himself as an expert on behavior relating to the paranormal, and classifies Mulder as a narcissistic, overzealous, self-righteous egomaniac, "you kindly think of yourself as single-minded but you're prone to obsessive compulsiveness, workaholic, anti-socialism... Fertile fields for the descent into total whacko breakdown." He sees Mulder as lonely, chasing "paramasturbatory illusions" and having to trick his own partner into doing things for him. He evens suggests Mulder stole her car keys just to get her inside the house. When Mulder quietly stares back, looking either shocked or guilty, you:

A) Scream, "You DID steal her car keys! You Punk! Shoot him, Scully!"

B) Query, "Paramasturbatory? What is THAT? Would that be <explicit bodily function> to an alien sexual partner? Eeeeeeeewwwww..."

C) Weep over the possibility that, yes, Fox does indeed stay home alone instead of going over to Dana's to sit by the fireplace and glance ever so innocently at the mistletoe hanging overhead... <phone rings> <Writer: "Hi, Zod, I was expecting your call. No. Look. Mistletoe. Christmas. I have to write about mistletoe, okay? Would you prefer I have them eat fruit cake, like that's even possible?...">

15) Scully is having a hard time with her door, too, until Lily Tomlin walks into the room. Scully screams, Lily screams, Scully fumbles for her gun, shouting she's a federal agent. Lily asks some questions about why she's there, finding out that they're looking for ghosts, even though Scully doesn't believe in them. Lily mocks Scully for having such a lonely life, hanging around someone just to prove him wrong, that she "can see it in your face. The fear, the conflicted yearnings, a subconscious desire to find fulfillment through another. Intimacy through co-dependency, etc." As Scully gets defensive, you answer:

A) "Scully, no! That was so embarrassing. Let Mulder do the girly screams, okay?..."

B) "Right. Furniture is draped. Having house painted. Sure. That doesn't explain the cobwebs, swirling dust, floating candelabra, dancing brooms, meddling kids and crazy mutt running around, etc."

C) "Hey, more sexual terminology... 'yearning'... 'fulfillment'... 'intimacy'...add words like 'chocolate' and 'cookie dough ice cream' and Dana'll be flying through the roof!..." <wicked grin>

16) Ed Asner joins the ladies, having left Mulder in the other room to walk into brick walls. Scully gets even more antsy and orders them to raise their hands. She then spots a not-so-solid hole through Lily's midsection, and then, worriedly, lifts Ed's hat to see a very-solid hole through his head. As the poor girl faints, you shout:

A) "Scully, no! That was so embarrassing. Let Mulder do the fainting, okay?..."

B) "Head like a hole! Black as your soul! I'd rather die! Than give you control! <repeat twice> Bow down before the...oh, sorry, I'll stop singing...sorry..."

C) "Hey! They are ghosts! Dana's got to believe now! Does that mean she and Fox can finally end all this denial and DO IT?!?!"

17) The show returns to Mulder, who's now busy climbing up to the upper floor to see if he can escape that way. Lily shows up to block his exit. He figures out she's a ghost, and watches as she checks the books on the shelves, pulling them out without touching them, for the one she's looking for... "The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas." Lily asks Mulder why he and Scully are there, and assumes they came this night to fulfill a lovers' pact to kill each other and live (or should that be un-live?) together forever. As she hands Mulder his own gun, offering the temptation of "never being alone again," you:

A) Chuckle, knowing that the Punk couldn't even shoot the broad side of an Area 51 hanger!

B) Shake your head, knowing that the book-moving scene is a rip-off from "Ghostbusters" and that Dan Ackroyd and his suits WILL be calling CC for sure.

C) Worry, knowing that all Dana and Fox really need is a good chat with Mrs. Scully while she serves them hot cocoa (with marshmallows, yum!) while they sit near the fireplace under the mistletoe... <phone rings> <Writer refuses to answer>

18) Now it's Scully's turn, this time with Ed warning her as she awakens that Mulder is crazy, a sad lonely man who brought her out to this haunted house to fulfil some twisted desire, a secret lovers' pact to un-live forever. He even hands her the car keys, offering a chance to escape. Scully, hearing Mulder banging on the door, instead orders the door between them to be opened. Ed opens it, and Mulder steps in with gun blazing. As the scene cuts to commercial, you realize:

A) That if that's really Mulder pulling the trigger and not a ghostly trick, then the Punk is going to get the Mother of All Trout-Slappings once the Big Trout returns from its TOD in Iraq!!!

B) That Scully's going to have to wear Kevlar body armor off-duty too...

C) Hey! Fox didn't steal the car keys after all! Dana, you're not going to have to shoot him like we thought...<BLAM>...oh. Fox! You didn't have to shoot her! She was going to forgive you about the car keys!...

19) Mulder comes in shooting, shouting that this is the only way to end the loneliness. Scully refuses to shoot back, shouting that she doesn't believe Mulder would do this. <BLAM> Mulder finally aims at her and nails her in the gut. She falls to the floor as Mulder notes "Merry Christmas, Scully," and aims the gun at himself. But as the camera turns and reveals it's really Lily using her ghostly powers to trick Scully, you:

A) Curse Lily for not shooting Mulder first and giving Scully a chance to head back to San Diego and visit Det. Kersage again... oh, she's doing that next week?... okay...

B) Knew all along that Mulder wasn't real: C'mon, if he wanted to get back at her for shooting him in "Anasazi" he would have done that in the "Pusher" episode three years ago!...

C) Convince yourself that Fox was really shooting at this bee he saw on Dana's blouse... damn bee!...

20) Now it's Mulder's turn. He comes into the room to find Scully shot. She mutters that she couldn't believe he would do it, that she would...<BLAM> She nails him in the gut. As Mulder falls down, we see it's really Lily on the floor doing her best to trick him. You reply:

A) "Serves you right for stealing her car... oh, wait, he didn't do that. Serves you right for shooting the Blessed One... oh, wait, Lily did that... Oh. Okay. Serves you right for doing that scary-face trick with your flashlight, you Punk! ...That oughta stick..."

B) "Uh-oh. If Skinner and Krycek show up, the Slashers are going to paint bull's-eyes on them too!"

C) "Damn bee! Stop screwing up Dana and Fox's aim!"

21) Somewhere, an old record player plays a nice, sweet Christmas tune. Mulder and Scully crawl into the main hallway, blood trails in their wake. They see each other, aim, decide against it, and bitch to each other about getting shot. As Mulder stops to think, you realize:

A) That the Blessed One has exceptionally good upper-body strength if she's beating Mulder in the race to the doorway out of there

B) That the realtors in Maryland are going to have a tough time selling this property: "Oh, never mind those brownish streaks on the floor, Mr. and Mrs. Smith... and that growling noise in the upper bedroom, well that's just a loose window... that odd stench coming from that bottomless pit in the basement? That's just the neighbors..."

C) That the ghosts, to create a proper romantic mood, should be playing Dana and Fox's love theme... "Too Drunk To F---" by the Dead Kennedys... <romantic punk sigh>

22) Mulder stands up, figuring out the shootings were all a trick. Scully stands up as well, and they silently glance at one another. You know they're thinking:

A) MULDER: Hey, let's go back in and complain about this treatment we're getting. SCULLY: Do that and I'll shoot you for real, you Punk!

B) MULDER: Run? SCULLY: Run. MULDER: Ladies first. SCULLY: Oh, no. Go right ahead. MULDER: I insist. SCULLY: Let's not wait, shall we? We'll run together.

C) FOX: Oh, dear. I'm going to have to make up this Christmas to her. I wonder if I can get some massage oil for her at this late hour... DANA: I know he meant well, but this Eve hasn't turned out right. It's a good thing I bought some erotic incense for him to use later...

23) They run. You:

A) Praise Scully's ability to move that fast in high heels!

B) Clock them at Mach 2, running a little faster than those teenagers in "Rush". Oh, right, haven't uploaded that survey yet.

C) Swear they held hands quick-stepping it down those stairs!

24) It's morning. Mulder is watching "Christmas Carol (no, the Dickens version!)" on TV. There's a knock at the door. He answers it to find Scully, who is noticeably missing out on her family's 0600 meeting at the tree. She wants to confirm none of this night's events really happened. They fret a little: Scully trying to admit she doesn't live to just prove him wrong, Mulder trying to admit he's a bit self-obsessed (okay, paramasturbatory) about his quest, both of them facing up (a little) to their denials. As you wait for it, you wish:

A) That Mulder would make a New Year's resolution not to ditch Scully all the time, to listen to her, to be more supportive and short, to stop being such a Punk!

B) That the next time these two go after ghosts, they wear some body armor.

C) That they spray for bees right now before they kiss, dammit!

25) Mulder, apologizing for earlier saying they shouldn't exchange Christmas gifts, offers a tube-shaped gift to Scully. Scully offers a box-shaped gift to Mulder. They both grin like kids and sit down to open them. As the camera pulls away, you conclude with this thought:

A) "That better not be a Grail, Mulder! She's already got one! It's very nice-a!..."

B) "What the...? What kind of gift is tube shaped? Why did that box rattle like a video cassette? No, don't pull the camera away! We gotta see!..."

C) "Hey, dammit! Fox, you didn't put up any mistletoe!..." <phone rings> <Writer: "OKAY! Yes, I've NEVER kissed under a mistletoe, ALL RIGHT?! So I'm OBSESSED about the idea!...oh, Mom. You just called about the visit this Christmas... Uh, oh, that rant, uh, never mind...">

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who's giving out holy trout blessed in the waters of Scully's bathtub for Christmas...just right for slapping the Punk or Punkette in your life!

B) Then you are an X-Phile who's giving out those plastic alien fetuses in bottles for Christmas... much to the chagrin of your Trekkie friends, who would have preferred a Borg action figure.

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who's upset that there wasn't any snow this Christmas episode so Dana and Fox could make snow angels...or any carolers singing bright happy romantic Yuletide tunes...or any cozy fireplace scene sitting on plush rugs drinking warm cocoa...or any mistletoe <phone rings> <Writer: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO">

<singing> And have yourself...a Wicked...Kick-Ass... Christmas... Toooooooooo... ;-)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Off-Topic: STAR WARS

Dudes, even the Germans know it's STAR WARS WEEKEND.

Let's just go watch the movie about 4-5 more times in the theaters while we get prepped for the X-Files revival, ya?


(except for the fact that James Bond makes a cameo, for the sake of protection I won't say which scene)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

X-Files: First Person Shooter 'Shipper Survey (Not Safe For NoRomos)

Since the 201 Days of X-Files build-up to the new series is finishing up with Season Seven, I've determined that I can easily put up 'Shipper Surveys of Yore from that year to cover for the fact I'm too busy now to write new 'Shipper Surveys of episodes I'd missed.

While this one's already come and gone on the repeats, you can easily replay it on your DVD collection or video stream feed. In the meanwhile, be aware of a few things:

A) This episode involves Scully getting power armor and shooting sh-t up;
20 million geeks just orgasmed

B) This episode involves Krista Allen getting downloaded into CGI and shooting sh-t up;
Another 20 million geeks just orgasmed

C) This episode involves one brief off-screen moment where Dana and Fox likely had Glad To Be Alive Sex.

...I'm saving that photo towards the end, you pervs.

So, without further ado, here's:

First Person Shooter 'Shipper Survey

Scene: a computer terminal somewhere in South Florida. The survey writer is attempting to hack into the Disney network in order to submit a script idea for a sequel to TRON (note: this was years before TRON: Legacy). The computer screen goes blank, then a message appears: "Hello Witty.". 
Me: "Hey, it's the Master Control Program. Wassup?" 
MCP: "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Witty." 
Me: "Oh, yeah, how are you gonna stop me?" 
MCP: "Like this." 
Laser beam system in the corner of the room activates and zaps the survey writer into digital information. The information is beamed back into the mainframe. The survey writer has been uploaded. 

1) The X-Files episode begins with a trio of geeks all dressed up and ready to play. They've got on body armor, headgear, freaky sunglasses, the works. They're loading up on heavy artillery, the kind of firepower that would make an NRA member faint in orgasmic bliss. The doorway opens and they rush into a darkened alley. As they wait for their first nemeses, you:

A) Yawn and continue reading your dog-eared copy of "Way of the Warrior"

B) Glance about in dazed amazement at the digitally created environment around you. Hey, why are my arms glowing neon red?

C) Wonder if Dana and Fox play the multiplayer package of "Sense and Sensibility: the 3D Game" (note: this was years before Red Dwarf would riff on the same gag, I swear)

Scene: Sark plugs in to speak with the MCP: "What kind of program have you brought in for me this time?" 
MCP: "He's not any kind of program, Sark, he's a 'Shipper." 
Sark is stunned: "A 'Shipper?" 
MCP: "Yes. He pushed me in the real world. Somebody pushes me I push back, so I brought him down here." 

2) The geeks rush into a game setting, a dark alleyway into which drives a slew of evil bikers. As the geeks open fire, blowing up the oncoming bikers, you:

A) Want to trout-slap the geniuses who thought up this game. These dumb-ass bikers are easier to shoot at than a tied-down Barney doll!

B) Discover to your horror that the MCP wants you playing in the games until you die playing!

C) Start shaking at the hands, the first sign of SWS, 'Shipper Withdrawal Syndrome!

3) One geek gets nailed, left prone on his fat ass while the body armor he's wearing gives him electric shocks to keep him down. The second geek breaks away from his remaining partner, rushing into one of the buildings to find special power-ups you usually find in these games. Suddenly, a stiletto-heeled woman in a tight revealing leather dominatrix suit comes up. The second geek genuflects to kiss her hand. The woman announces, "I am Maitreya. This is my game," just before she morphs out a flintlock to blow the geek away. As the credits open, you note to yourself:

A) Aw, hell! Another bimbo!

B) Yeah! It's her game, her rules, her album deal, her dorm room posters, her movie package, her life, her bagel with real cream cheese! Trout-slap 'em all, Maitreya!!!

C) Oh, if only Dana had an outfit like that in her closet! And Fox showed up with the handcuffs! <kinky sigh>

4) Mulder and Scully show up at First Person Shooter, Inc. The security guard at the entrance scans in their badges and their retinas for clearance. Scully notes, "I can get in the Pentagon easier than this." You reply:

A) "On this show? Always!"

B) "Help! I've been digitized into the computer and the MCP is forcing me to play Frogger!"

C) "You know what's harder? Waiting seven years for Dana and Fox to make out like crazed wabbits!!!"

5) The Lone Gunmen greet them, offering the finest snacks and bottled water that Silicon Valley can offer. The LG are concerned about an "industrial accident" here at FPS where they've been working as consultants. Mulder promptly asks if they've received cash or stock options. As the Great Geeks look embarrassed, rattling off the stock options they've received, you realize:

A) That three more people have been sucked into the madness that are IPOs. And just as the market is due to fall to compensate for the prolonged bull market!...

B) That you're about to get plugged in to ride the light cycles with RAM and TRON!

C) That Dana and Fox need to think about their financial futures when they get back from their honeymoon in Jamaica!...

6) Mulder and Scully investigate the holosuite crime scene: dead guy with bullet wound, but no gun, no bullet, and no gun-toting babe. The game programmers are worried, mostly because the main investors are not going to be pleased the police will be involved. You:

A) Sigh, because poor Scully has got to do another autopsy...damn, she might as well wear scrubs 24 hours a day!...

B) Tell TRON that your "user" wants to destroy the MCP. TRON replies that his user wants that too. Exchange meaningful but platonic looks. Dudes, not that there's anything wrong with it!...

C) Wonder if Dana can perform an exotic strip tease with her medical scrubs...hmm, but would Fox be able to hang around the morgue without getting grossed out like he usually does?...well, for her, we can only hope so!...

7) Mulder gets the Lone Gunmen and the female game programmer, Phoebe, to re-play the game vid, and re-image the computer stuff to wireframe so they can see through the "walls." Sure enough, the wireframe reveals a gun-toting femme fatale with a 38-DD (no relation to David) bra size. As Phoebe whispers, "Goddess," you realize:

A) That Phoebe's been hanging around the wrong web sites! Sis, that should be "Blessed Red-head," ya dig?...

B) That if they had Lara Croft running around back in 1982, TRON would've raked in $100 million easy at the box office!...

C) That it's a bit sad we keep missing opportunities to have Dana and Fox discuss the paranormal effects of cyberdating...<sigh>

8) The police show, and are not thrilled there's a body with no murder weapon nor suspect. Mulder, thankfully, shows up in time to hand over the digitized image of Maitreya. But as the police go off in search of the byte babe, a Sinistar, no wait that's sinister looking samurai walks in: it's Daryl Musashi, and he's here to open a can of whup ass. Scully doesn't understand all this testosterone flowing around, even as her partner is in awe that Musashi, the Master of Megabyte Mayhem, has arrived. As Mulder rushes off with the Lone Gunmen to be enlightened at the feet of this cyber-samurai, you can only:

A) Sigh to yourself and hope that Musashi is not able to train the Punk in the Ways of the Trout-Slapping Warrior...that's Scully's skill, dammit!...

B) Rev up your light cycle and prepare for the rush!...

C) Hope Fox doesn't waste his honeymoon with Dana playing Quake III for hours on end...<sigh>

9) Musashi suits up, goes in, takes out the lame-ass bikers, and hurries into the same death trap the first victim entered. We say "first victim" because Musashi is now "second victim," especially because Maitreya shows up with a samurai sword and cuts Musashi's hands off. As Musashi screams in pain, your first thought is:

A) Gee, this Goddess chick has a real twisted sense of irony using a samurai sword on this guy...

B) Hey! How's he gonna operate his mouse now?!

C) Dana, Fox...well, it's pretty much your only thought at this time of the evening...<sigh>

10) Scully is missing all of the excitement, trying her best to describe the autopsy on the first victim. Mulder shows up, bringing in poor Daryl Musashi...and there is no way I'm gonna use the line "he lost his he..." NO I'm not saying it! Anyway. Mulder and Scully take a moment to debate the value of violent shoot-em-up games: Mulder thinks it helps release the primal urges that modern society cannot otherwise allow; Scully boils it all down to a "great need to blast the crap out of stuff." You:

A) Wonder what primal urge Scully has...oh, right, trout-slapping Punks! <slap>

B) Are too busy racing around the game grid in your light cycle keeping from getting de-rezzed! <sharp turn> <zoom> <sharp turn> <opponent's light cycle slams into the wall> Yahoo!...

C) Point out to Dana and Fox that there are other, more pleasurable primal urges to talk about! <kinky sigh>

Scene: TRON and RAM finish off the remaining redshirts and follow Witty through the blown-out wall opening. Recognizers (those horseshoe-shaped thingees, remember?) fly down to close off the opening, but they are too late. Sark, frustrated, starts to chew the cardboard scenery...

11) Police caught a suspect and call Mulder and Scully in for the interrogation. The agents arrive to find the station crowded with panting, wolf-whistling morons. In the interrogation room sits a scantily-clad woman from a nearby strip club who looks just like Maitreya, except that she's real, including her name: Jade Blue Afterglow. As Mulder's tongue drops to the floor, you wonder:

A) Why certain parents were so short-sighted as to name their baby girl Jade Blue Afterglow...guys, with that kind of name the poor girl's doomed to either be an ecdysiast <the survey writer has always wanted to use that word!> or Secretary of Housing and Urban Development!...

B) Just how fast can a light cycle go? <zoom by a trio of tanks opening fire on the escaping game gladiators> Whoops, fast enough, I hope!!!

C) How Fox can see anything in this Jade Blue bitch when his One-In-Five-Billion Dana is standing right there and...<Jade Blue crosses her legs again> Oh, he sees Paris, he sees, wait, the RIFT <among other things>!!! Nooooo... Damn NoRomos!

12) Jade Blue explains she was "scanned" by the FPS people, explaining how her image became Maitreya. She gets up to walk away, shaking her hips at Mulder who leans over to get a good look. Thankfully, Scully leans over to block his view. As the ecdysiast <the survey writer assures everyone it's a real word, check the OED> walks past the gauntlet of drooling police officers, Mulder sits back up and mutters, "I am feeling the great need to blast the crap out of something." You:

A) Are feeling the great need to trout-slap some punks! <grr>

B) Are going 700 MHz in a 450 MHz speed zone! <zoom> (note: dear God. It's 2015 now and we're all at 2 GHz minimum, we're like Warp 9.9 compared to 1999 tech!)

C) Are upset Fox wouldn't try something more relaxing like a Swedish massage...Dana did bring her massage oil bottle, you know!...<sigh>

13) Mulder and Scully return to FPS in time to find the Lone Gunmen working with Phoebe to correct the "bug" as it were. Unfortunately, the LG are on the game floor when the machine turns itself on. As the poor hackers freak, Mulder does what he can: he cowboys up, puts on the gear, and with his patented "Bring it on" prepares to blast the crap out of something. You prepare:

A) To look for the off switch. Guys, just pull the plug!...

B) To get TRON to an I/O Tower and contact Alan for the information he needs to purge the MCP from the grid now and for all time!...

C) To wait another 30 minutes before Dana and Fox will be able to hold hands...damn, every time Fox goes off to play with the other boys...<sigh>

14) Mulder checks up on the Lone Gunmen: Byers is hit, but it's just a flesh wound. As the agent gives his hacker crew cover fire while they run for the door, you mutter to yourself:

A) "This is why bleeding heart pacifists shouldn't play shoot-em-up games..."

B) "Who does the MCP calculate he is?..."

C) "Why doesn't anyone just type in a cheat code or something?..."

Scene: RAM has, sadly, gone the way of the Star Trek Redshirts. TRON has met up with YORI and has contacted Alan for the memory disk to destroy the MCP. The survey writer now reveals his identity.
Witty: "I'm what you guys call a User...but it gets worse. I'm what is known as a 'Shipper." 
TRON shakes his head as Bruce Boxlietner realizes he should have gone to that Babylon 5 convention in Cleveland like his agent begged him to... 

15) Mulder goes off to face Maitreya alone. He dodges her sword, actually survives for three seconds longer than the two earlier players, and then...the game uploads into the ether, taking Mulder into the digital cyberspace. You:

A) Want to say it's impossible, but no one seems to notice something so obvious being said...<sigh> Just pour another 'rita, sisters...

B) Suddenly notice this spooky-looking guy wearing body armor standing next to you on the solar sail...hey, Mulder's showed up!...

C) Worry that YORI is looking at Digitized!Fox the wrong way...that cyber slut!...

Scene: Witty takes a moment to explain to Mulder that he's been downloaded into the game grid and now it's up to him and TRON to stop the MCP. Mulder and TRON glance at each other before rolling their eyes and muttering "damn cross-over fanfics!"... 

16) Ivan, the other FPS programmer, is actually thrilled now that the FBI got involved in this murder case: the investors think the controversy will sell the game to eager 12-year-olds (uh, the 40-year-olds (inserted note: as a now-45-year-old still pining for City of Heroes, I feel like I've just time-delayed insulted myself) who THINK they're still 12...). The Lone Gunmen are working to bring the game back online to retrieve Mulder. Mulder, meanwhile, is doing what he can to survive against the Goddess Maitreya. Scully confronts Ivan about Jade Blue Afterglow, but Phoebe is the one who runs out of the room. Scully realizes it was Phoebe who created Maitreya: the perfect woman warrior as a means of confronting the testosterone-filled workplace. You note:

A) That if Phoebe wanted to confront the testosterone-filled workplace, instead of succumbing to the bloodlust by creating a woman warrior, she should have just covered her work desk with Beanie Babies! Oh, wait, she's the woman, she doesn't HAVE A DESK DAMMIT!

B) That Sark's closing in fast on his light carrier! And those digital bugs are...are...scattering off into the distance. Didn't YORI say those things were threatening? But they didn't do anything! What a letdown!...

C) That on your new Sims computer game, there's a pair of FBI agents you can pair off in a relationship...<cyber sigh>

17) While the hackers bicker once the game re-loads on how to stop Maitreya, Scully realizes Mulder is not going to last much longer against her, especially as she has literally cowboy-ed up and has replicated into five versions. All seems lost until the game door opens, and out steps Scully in SWAT!Scully mode. As she opens fire and blows the crap out of things, you:

A) Cheer for the Blessed Kick-Ass Skeptic! Battle On, Scully!

B) Spot the MCP's Tower in the distance...he's preparing for...something...<ominous music>

C) Hope she wears that outfit on the honeymoon! Fox is clearly aroused by her SWAT gear!

20 million 'Shippers just orgasmed

18) Scully squares off against Maitreya, who keeps getting blown away and keeps coming back with bigger artillery...even her own tank! The Lone Gunmen realize they have to completely crash the system by hitting the History Eraser Button (Space Madness...hehe), but Ivan is thinking of lost stock options. As Scully's Big Effing Gun runs low on ammo, the LG succeed in getting Phoebe to type in the kill code. Did they save them in time? You:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) see D) Hey, wait, there's no D) on this survey! The MCP is taking over the 'Shipper Surveys! Noooo...

19) The Lone Gunmen enter the deserted holosuite: it seems Mulder and Scully are...<sniff> more. Phoebe notices, however, that Scully's BFG is still existing in the real world, so they check the game's entry room...where they find Mulder and Scully prone on the floor with the yellow dye packs on the front of their armor vests emptied. For you, that means:

A) Scully used her Jedi mind tricks to convince herself and Mulder the bullets weren't the vests reacted to the digital information but their minds did not buy the illusion of death...

B) Sark has fallen and the MCP is vulnerable to TRON's disk! Throw it!

C) Well, the way things were going in the game they weren't shot, so...the dye packets exploded somehow...wait...WAIT! They exploded under intense a passionate embrace! YES! YES! YES! <faint>
Scully: Uh, it's not what it looks like...
20 Million 'Shippers: IT DOES! IT TOTALLY DOES!

Scene: TRON throws his disk. It impales the MCP at his base. His face changes to that of Bill Gates and fades into digital oblivion. The I/O Towers across the grid go back online. The survey writer is ejected back into the real world... 

20) Mulder starts off on another lame speech, which sounds like Chris Carter added it at the last, geez, it's lame. But back in the game's control room, Ivan is weeping for his lost program (gee, dude, next time save to back-up, okay?...) when the game comes back on...with Maitreya walking towards the screen in her leather jumpsuit...but now wearing the face of Dana Scully. You conclude:

A) That Maitreya's goal was to cause enough chaos and anarchy to bring her Creator into her world so she can become her! Sorta like V'Ger in that first Star Trek movie...

B) That the game grid is now free! Open source code for everyone! <cheers>

C) That Dana and Fox GROPED! Who cares about that lame-ass speech, Chris! Go surf, dude!...<sigh>

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSE acolyte who's downloaded fifteen different images of SWAT!Scully for your basement altar!

B) Then you are a program on the grid, free to ride the light cycle wherever you want to! <promptly drives it into another wall>

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who's lived to see the MCP destro...hey, wait! You've lived long enough to see evidence that Dana and Fox embraced!!! <sigh>

Scene: Witty returns - screaming a girly scream - to the computer terminal to see what happened once the MCP fell from power. It seems that it unleashed Linux everywhere and all the computers across the globe are now crash-free (note: at least until Windows Vista eight years after the original survey)
Satisfied smile.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

X-Files: all things 'Shipper Survey

So there I was yesterday responding to the Twitter-fest that exploded over the X-Files episode "Chimera," and so I realize, hey how far along into this season are we? And I discover we're in Season Seven, and then I discover that the next episode is "all things," the episode directed by Gillian "St. Scully" Anderson...

...and that THIS is the episode for all 'Shippers to band together in celebration.


So, without further explanation, here's the survey I wrote oh so long ago!

all things

1) The episode begins in lower case letters only. e.e. cummings would approve. Actually, the episode begins with a bathroom faucet dripping. We see Scully changing into her clothes...hey, was she undressed for a reason? She quietly leaves the bathroom and walks into a bedroom, walking past a leg barely covered by a bedsheet...hey, wait a second. She keeps walking past the sleeping form of a guy lying NAKED IN BED?!?! You scream:

A) "Condoms! Did you remember the condoms?!?!"

B) "Uh-oh. If that's Mulder, we'll never hear the end of it from those naive 'Shippers who keep answering C) on these surveys!"

C) "That had better be Fox!!! <camera keeps panning up to reveal it is, indeed, Dana's One-In-Five-Billion> YES! YES! THEY DID IT! THEY FINALLY DID IT!" <faint in orgasmic bliss>

2) Okay, so they did it. There's still an episode to do. So...

A) Forget it. We've got to talk! Details, Dana, we want details!

B) No, they didn't do it. They're just friends! That's all they are, all right?! <mutter> <grumble>

C) <Unable to respond due to current blissed-out state>

3) Shall we continue? We flashback to Saturday, and who works on a Saturday? Mulder does, sadly dragging poor Scully into his Hell. She shows up with lunch while Mulder is preparing another slide show, this time thankfully using Moby for a soundtrack. He starts off the slide show on those pesky crop circles that make for cool rock album covers. Scully focuses on her sandwich, noticeably not listening. Mulder realizes he's lost Scully's interest, so he adds, "And I'm not wearing any pants." Only then does she pay attention. You:

A) Expect the Blessed One to rattle off the FBI dress code to remind the Punk he either wears pants at work or at least a Scottish kilt...what clan tartan is 'Mulder' anyway?...

B) Note that this is still a strictly professional relationship and they're just good friends, okay?

C) Are certain this is how the conversation led directly to BED WHERE THEY DID IT! <pant> <gasp>

5) I would love to re-type the entire conversation between Mulder and Scully at this point, but I'm sure I'll run into copyright violations. Just check out Carri K's work archived at Tiny Dancer's transcript site. Essentially, Mulder is disheartened that his partner doesn't want to hunt for crop circles. Scully is unhappy about wasting another weekend when she's got more important things to do, like autopsies and bubble baths (although not at the same time). You are:

A) Damn proud the Blessed Red-head has finally stuck to her guns on this issue! Damn right she deserves a bubble bath!

B) Damn pleased to point out that given the way this is going, this is proof that Mulder and Scully are NOT romantically involved. They're, well, not even good friends at the moment...

C) Damn pleased to point out that Dana and Fox always argue as a way of flirting, so they are indeed going to DO IT TONIGHT BABY! Woo-hoo!

6) I will take these quotes from the transcript (Thanks, Carri, oh and whoever wrote the script...). Scully: "Look, we're always running. We're always chasing the next big thing. Why don't you ever just stay still?" Mulder: "I wouldn't know what I'd be missing." You:

A) "You'd be missing a trout upside the head, you Punk! Now finish your sandwich before it hits the floor!"

B) "They're just good friends! Why won't you accept it?!"

C) "Fox! You'd be missing some great passionate sex! Now take Dana over to your place now and check to see if those bedsprings hold up better than that waterbed!"

7) Scully goes to a hospital to pick up her autopsy reports. A distracted, disinterested blonde nurse hands over a file, all the while tapping her pencil to a particular rhythm. It's the same rhythm, in fact, of the water faucet, the slide projector, and the wheels of a car driving over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at 14.3 mph. Scully checks the file but notices the x-ray is of another person. She goes back to the nurses' station to report it, but the blonde nurse has left. You:

A) Have already said your peace about blondes and nurses and blonde nurses. Let's not go over that again, shall we?...<mutter> <grumble>

B) Recognize the backbeat. It's the background noise you get on your radio telescope array when you point it at Vega.

C) Know at some point Fox will return from England with a set of little green children from the Land of St. Martin's that he and Dana can adopt, because after all WE KNOW THEY'RE HAVING A RELATIONSHIP! No, not the kids, but Dana and Fox! YES! YES!

8) It turns out that the x-ray Scully had been given belongs to someone she knows, a Dr.Waterson. She heads up to his hospital room, carefully avoiding Waterson's family member by hiding behind last February's issue of Feng Shui Life (Damn. My library doesn't cover that title). When she gets the chance, she walks into the room. Time slows. Scully walks very dramatically. Suddenly, a World War Two era plane dives in, the pilot screaming for God. You:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) Scream at the cats to get the <expletive deleted> off of the remote control!!! <grr> <hiss> <switch back to proper channel>

9) Waterson's doctor returns and asks to speak to Scully in the hallway. Scully is flustered, especially after the doctor mentions that Waterson spoke of her. Uh-oh. It turns out Waterson was a teacher of Scully's. UH-OH. You:

A) Note the fact that Scully has a thing for older father figures and...and...Skinner, will you stop drooling?!

B) Jump to the conclusion that Waterson's really a good, really.

C) Aren't fazed in the slightest. After all, the teaser showed us that DANA WANTS FOX! So in this case, Waterson really IS a good friend... 'cause that's ALL he is!!! <triumphant smirk>

10) Scully had hurried back to her apartment to check if crazed manicurists haven't broken in lately. She gets a phone call from Waterson's daughter, Maggie, who's not entirely thrilled to speak to her. Her father learned of Scully's visit and wants her to come back. Scully gets another call coming in. It's Mulder, asking for a favor: a group researching crop circles developed alternate calculations with new data, and he wants Scully to pick up the materials and ship it out to England for him. Scully fades out, listening to the rhythm, before regaining her sense of time and tells Mulder she's going out for the evening. You:

A) Watch that defeated expression cross the Punk's face. HA! Go call the Lone Gunmen. They're NEVER doing anything on Saturday nights!

B) Remain convinced the Lone Gunmen are just good friends...

C) Remain hopeful that the events in this episode's teaser will bear fruit (foreshadowing, natch!), because Dana and Fox ARE GONNA DO IT!!!

11) Scully returns to the hospital, accidentally entering the wrong room, where it seems a tall red-haired woman is leading a prayer service. You want Scully to say:

A) "Sorry. I was looking for the fresh trout freezer."

B) "We're just friends, okay?!"

C) "Sorry. I was just thinking about this guy I work with and how I'll be jumping in bed with him by the end of tonight's episode...Walter! Not you! Stop drooling!"

12) Scully visits her old mentor, Dr. Daniel Waterson. Waterson's daughter leaves the room in anger. Scully and Waterson hold hands while they talk: Waterson looking to renew a past relationship, Scully noting that he still thinks her joining the FBI was a mistake. You note:

A) That it wasn't a mistake. It led to her relationship to her FBI trainer, too!

B) That even with the hand-holding, they're just good friends.

C) That those NoRomos who keep answering B) think EVERYONE'S just good friends. Sheesh!

13) Scully's driving away from the hospital. Mulder calls again, looking to leave the address of the paranormal group with the crop circle data. While on the phone, Scully gets distracted with how traffic is flowing because of the eye-rolling that occurs whenever Mulder brings up this stuff, and almost gets in a car accident. It happens like this: time slows. The rhythm kicks in. That blonde nurse shows up. The soundtrack changes from Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" to Moby's "Sky Is Broken." Then a truck blows by, the same truck that flattened a prostitute in last season's Tithonus. You can tell by that dent. You take this all in and realize:

A) This stuff wouldn't happen if people didn't use their phones while driving!

B) Ray Bradbury's story "The Crowd" got it half-right: at every car accident in the world, there's the same damn blonde nurse!

C) That Dana was okay: like Clyde Bruckman told her, she'll never die! There can be only One! <soundtrack switches over from Moby to Queen>

NOTE: that survey question contains the most cross-references to other episodes, shows, songs, and literary works than any other previous question. Call ESPN Sportscenter! I've got a "Did You Know?" for them!!!

14) Still stunned by the near-miss, Scully does Mulder a favor and visits the home of the Taoist crop circle group. It turns out to be the tall red-headed woman we last saw in survey question 11). Scully wants to wait a minute and catch her breath after her almost-car wreck. The Taoist, Colleen, tells her "...a car accident isn't my experience they're often the end results of us not paying attention to something." You add:

A) "Yeah! That something is called a stop light!"

B) "No, really, they're just good friends!..."

C) "And that something is Fox! Go to him, Dana!"

15) Scully is being brusque with Colleen: she wants to get the papers and get going. Colleen remains cheerful and hands over the papers. Scully drops a folder, sighs, and bends over to pick up some pictures. Time slows again. That means something. As she picks up a picture of a crop circle shaped like a heart, you realize:

A) It means Led Zeppelin has another cover shot for a greatest hits album!

B) It means they're just good friends! Why can't you accept that?!

C) It means Gizzie and strong safety John Lynch of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are just good friends! Just seeing if you were paying attention. It also means Dana and Fox are meant for each other! <sigh>

16) Scully gets a call. She hurries back to the hospital to find Dr. Waterson arguing with his doctor over treatment. Scully catches a bit of the disagreement and sides with Waterson on the amount of dosage. The doctor leaves in a huff. Maggie Waterson storms out as well, chewing out Scully for her very existence. Scully wonders how Maggie learned of the affair. It turns out Daniel was sloppy in hiding the evidence: the whips, the handcuffs (and he wondered why Scully went in for the FBI...), the midgets standing in the corner playing accordions, you know, the kinky stuff. But I digress. Daniel had to divorce the missus, piss off his daughter, and move to Washington. Scully, realizing why he moved to D.C., asked him when. When he whispers, "almost ten years ago," you yell back:

A) "WHAT?! Ten years without even trying a phone call?!?! This was your big plan, to wait until you had a heart attack and hope for cosmic forces to draw the Blessed One to your bedside?! This is worse than a ditch! At least the Punk calls when he ditches!!!"

B) "Ten years?! What kind of friend are you?!"

C) "Ten years?! Hah! Any romantic inclinations you have toward Dana are now legally null and void! And best of all, she doesn't have to invite you to her and Fox's wedding!!!"

17) The news freaks Scully out. She starts to cry, and openly wonders why and how she came to this moment, this place, wondering about the life she has and the life that could have been. She leans atop Waterson, listening to his heart. Time slows. Again. This time, though, the rhythm becomes erratic: Daniel's heart flatlines. As Scully screams for a nurse to come help, you:

A) Wonder how the Blessed Skeptic would hold up if she had to guest-star in a crossover episode with "Chicago Hope" where...what? They canceled that show? Oh. We can let Christine Lathi out of the bathroom now...

B) Check your wrist watch. You

C) Remind Dana she probably just kicked out the equipment's power cord...

18) Scully goes into Take Charge!Mode, ordering the nurses around, gripping the shock paddles, uping the voltage, and generally proving that she can indeed do well in a guest appearance on "Chicago Hope"...uh, in a reunion special or something. Anyway, once they revive a pulse in Waterson, Scully relaxes, at which point you:

A) Serve out some Scully-ritas to the nurses and with a wink say "It's Bro Sean time!"

B) Point out that Mulder and Scully are just good friends...

C) Wonder if this is a good time for Fox to show up with some paranormally-bent wheat stalks and ask Dana if they could...hold hands or something. <sigh>

19) Scully returns to Colleen's house to apologize and indirectly ask for further enlightenment. She waits in the hallway, uncomfortably, as Colleen fondly kisses her female companion Carol goodbye for the day. Scully and Colleen chat: Colleen brings up holistic medicine practices, the need to maintain a spiritual balance to be healthy, and truckloads of high fiber for normal bowel movements. But I digress. Colleen brings up the fact she was once a successful, overworked physicist under a lot of stress professionally and personally: she eventually found herself suffering from breast cancer. She went to a holistic healer who preached spiritual balance, and it helped: Colleen's cancer went into remission. As Scully sips some tea and takes all of this in, you contemplate:

A) If stress and spiritual imbalance explains these nagging heada...<Mulder calls again asking Scully if she's sure she doesn't want to hunt crop circles> A-ha! That's the cause! <trout-slapping of Punks ensue>

B) That, okay, besides the lesbian couple, everybody else on this show are just good friends!

C) If all this denial on the part of the NoRomos will cause them physical ailments...Guys, let it go. If you don't, you'll suffer with facial twitches for the rest of your lives!

20) Scully goes back to the hospital with flowers, only to find an extremely pissed off daughter and Waterson deep into a coma. Dispirited, she walks the streets of D.C.'s Chinatown (which looks suspiciously like Houston), again in slow motion to the rhythm of a Moby song. She spies the blonde hair of that nurse again, and follows it to a Buddhist temple. She kneels and prays. As Scully does this, flashback sequences from the last seven seasons pass the screen. You:

A) Spot the episode where Scully talks to God, and She says "Girlfriend, trout-slap that Punk!"

B) Think Scully and Buddha are just good friends...

C) Recognize most of the flashbacks, but where's the scene of Dana and Fox dancing to an Irish tune from the lost Limerick episode?! Aw, nuts, they forgot to include it!...

21) Scully gets a flash of insight. The next thing we see is a holistic healer standing over Waterson's body trying to "purge" the unhealthy "blocks." Waterson's doctor shows up, extremely pissed that Scully would bring in somebody like this, and argues that only he or family members can decide what's best for the patient. Maggie speaks up, surprisingly in favor of having a healer present. The healer announces, though, that there's not much he can do: Waterson is fading, and all that's preventing him from leaving is some kind of unfinished business. You:

A) Know that unfinished business is to have the oil changed in his car. Or something like that.

B) Are certain that the healer and Dr. Kervorkian are just good friends...

C) Think someone should kick the plug out again...beep bu-dep beeeeeeeeeeeeeepp!

22) Scully has returned to her apartment. Time slows. Again. Will someone fix the <expletive deleted> clock?! Anyway, Scully finds herself back at the hospital. This time, though, she's visiting herself, when she was dying of cancer. It's a dream. She wakes up. When Maggie calls asking her to come to the hospital, you're certain:

A) That it was all a dream...let's go eat ice cream. Cool, dude!

B) That it was all a dream...all a dream...all a dream...<the NoRomo answering this wakes up in on a farm in Kansas surrounded by X-Files characters...with the noticeable distinction of Scully and Mulder dressed up like they were just married>...AAIIEE!

C) That the scream you just heard was the scream of a NoRomo realizing that it's NOT a dream and that Dana and Fox have always been/are/will always be in love! <insert maniacal laughter here>

23) Scully returns to find Waterson revived from his coma, but upset that Scully would bring in a holistic healer: Waterson seems to think alternative medicine is "crap." He's also insisting on re-starting his relationship with Scully, but she backs away. She points out the illness he's suffering is of the soul, caused not by her ending the relationship ten years ago but by his refusal to deal with the pain it caused his daughter Maggie. Scully tells him goodbye, and leaves him with Maggie who seems willing now to talk with her father. You:

A) Cheer the righteousness of the Blessed Red-Head and enjoy the metaphorical trout-slap she just delivered to this No!Phone-Call Punk!

B) Are probably right in thinking Daniel and Dana are just good friends...but not really. They're not even friends now.

C) Cheer the righteousness of the Sexy Red-Head and enjoy the fact that this leaves her entirely free to MAKE OUT WITH FOX! Here comes the events leading to the teaser! Woo-hoo!!!

24) Scully walks out of the hospital. Time slows. She goes past two nuns (Hi, Twee! Hi, SisLens!) and spots that blonde nurse again. She runs up to meet her, but then a crowd walks between them and Scully instead finds Mulder standing there. He'd returned from England with nothing to show but a cap that reads "Stonehenge Rocks!" They smile, and Scully offers to make some tea. You:

A) Are upset that Gillian didn't give Twee or SisLens the opportunity to give a cool one-liner like "We're doing it out of habit" or...or...okay, I'll shush...

B) Are absolutely one-hundred percent convinced they're just good friends! Okay? OKAY?!?!

C) Are absolutely gleeful. YES! YES!

25) Mulder and Scully have returned to Mulder's apartment. It looks like they've been talking for a long while and drunk a lot of tea. They're talking about Scully's experiences of this weekend, of confronting a past and the possibilities another path would have offered. Mulder is stunned Scully talked to God in a Buddhist temple: to him, it's like "saying you're having David Crosby's baby." You:

A) Curse the Punk for his blasphemy. The Blessed One talks to God all the time! It goes like this: SCULLY: "Dear God, please do something about my dumb-ass partner!" GOD: "Okay." Why do you think God keeps dropping holy trout on your head, you Punk?

B) Keep repeating to yourself that they're just good friends drinking tea and talking about God throwing fish at people. Happens all the time.

C) Curse Fox for even suggesting the slight improbability that Dana's carrying David Crosby's baby! Dude, she's supposed to be carrying YOUR baby!

BONUS: They finish talking. Scully starts sleeping on Mulder's shoulder. He tenderly pulls away a strand of hair from her face, draws a blanket over her shoulders, and gets up from the futon so he can get the bed ready for some raunchy hip grinding. The camera pulls over to the fish tank as Moby's song comes up one last time for the evening. The camera focuses on a small statue of Buddha underneath the fish tank. Re-consider the teaser that opened this episode and you can conclude:

A) THAT'S who has been keeping an eye on Mulder's fish! And we thought it was Frohike taking care of Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom!...

B) That nothing happened! Scully is going to stay right here on the futon! They're just good friends! THAT'S ALL! NOTHING HAPPENED!

C) That it looks like when Dana and Fox get married it's going to be in a Buddhist temple. And we've finally figured out Fox's religion! He's a Fish worshipper!


If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSE member who's at least glad the Blessed One has a life.

B) Then you are a NoRomo sitting in a white padded cell muttering "They're just good friends...just good friends...<uncontrollable facial tic> Just good friends..."

C) Then you are a 'Shipper dancing the Happy Happy Joy Joy dance. And you're dancing in Jack's boots. Whee. Life is good. :-)

WAIT! I just realized something! Remember in Season One, in episode "Tooms"? The Conversation In the Car? Where Mulder said, "If it's tea it's love," and Scully replied, "Must be fate, Mulder. Root beer." That's why they drank tea at the end!!! IT'S LOVE! YES!!!!!!!!!


Purpose of this 'Shipper Survey site: ASSURED.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

X-Files: Chimera 'Shipper Survey

For some reason, my Twitter feed today was filled with references to this episode, so I pulled up my old HTML and decided to repost this survey for tonight's entertainment!

Just to note, this episode was made well before Suburgatory, so no I don't have any references to that wacky sitcom about Stepford Suburbian Subversions! Except for this paragraph. Go figure.

Anywho! Send In the Corvii!


1) The episode begins in a beautiful backyard garden. It's Easter. The birds sing a happy tune, and there is always music in the air. As two women complement each other for the success of this festive shindig, you realize:

A) That "always music in the air" line is the same thing the Dancing Midget said in "Twin Peaks." Dude, that's a pretty obscure cultural reference!...

B) This town of Stepford is still, for some reason, oddly...wrong, somehow...<ominous foreshadowing>

C) This is exactly how you'd imagine the wedding reception set-up would be for Dana and Fox! The flowers, the outfits, the food, the evil-looking ravens overhead... <sigh>

2) The two women, Mrs. Adderly and Mrs. Crittendon, turn from delighted to bitchy when the town tramp, Ms. Uphouse, shows up with leftovers in her Tupperware. The smiles are forced, the demeanors are darkened, and the trout are prepared. Later, Mrs. Crittendon's girl runs off looking for more Easter eggs when the little girl is scared by a big raven and the sudden appearance of Ms. Uphouse. That evening Mrs. Crittendon is calling her husband to complain about what happened to their daughter. Suddenly, the curtains fly open, the mirrors are shattered, and you're certain that:

A) There's about 14 years of bad luck thanks to this teaser...<another mirror shatters> Okay, 21 years...<monster enters the hallway> <more shattering>...Sigh, 35 years...Roll the credits before <another mirror gets dusted>...Damn!...

B) The raven is mighty pissed there's no bust of Pallas to perch on!

C) If it's not sludge monsters, it's mirror-shattering monsters! Will Dana and Fox ever find a nice quiet neighborhood to raise Emily clones?...

3) Warn the neighbors: Mulder's looking through a telescope again. This time, he's being a Peeping Tom with a purpose, working a stakeout to find a mysterious kidnapper stalking the streets of Vancouver. Scully shows up with food and coffee, disenchanted with the current assignment of constantly staring at hookers, johns, and comic book collectors. Mulder, of course, is thrilled to be watching the dark underside of urban civilization and...hold that thought, his phone rings. He promptly packs up and ditches Scully in this seedy, dilapidated building. You:

A) Shake your head, knowing this ditch would have happened. Scully, you should have brought trout instead of donuts! <much vigorous trout-slapping of the Punk>

B) Wonder about this dark underside stuff. Guys, it's early afternoon! It won't get dark until 6:30 p.m.!

C) Curse the Fates, noting that this is the first time Dana and Fox have shared a room on an assignment, and there's a mattress in the corner, too. DAMN!...

4) Skinner has called Mulder in to his office to re-assign him to the missing persons case on Mrs. Crittendon, the daughter of a federal judge. Mulder keeps thinking he's done something to tick Skinner off. Now, I'd like to use Spookycc in the survey at this point, so:

A) If Spookycc is a Scully fan, she'd be wondering why the Blessed Redhead didn't get this plum assignment while leaving the Punk in the cold, messy building watching hookers like he'd wanted to in the first place!...

B) If Spookycc is a Mulder fan, she'd be worried he IS in trouble with Skinner and they're going to fight again for the umpteenth time!...

C) If Spookycc is a Slasher, then...oh, don't you DARE think like that, Spookycc!!! <fume> <glare>

5) Mulder arrives in sunny...uh, what's the city supposed to be this time? Okay, sunny Calgary. He meets with the usual assortment of suspects: the grieving husband, the clueless sheriff, the cheerful babysitter from across the street with a mysterious henna tattoo on her hand, and the shifty-eyed owner of the town tavern out along the waterfront. Which one of these is the Fearsome Ferret Monster?!

A) Whichever one is the blonde. Damn blonde!

B) Whoever isn't allergic to rubber masks!

C) Old Man Hensaw who owns the copper mine! And he would've gotten away with it too if...if...<sigh> I shouldn't have watched that Scooby-Doo marathon on the Cartoon Network...

6) Mulder checks out the scene of the crime: the empty spots on the walls where shattered mirrors were removed, the claw marks, the half-eaten meals and spilled cups of grog, the missing captain's log and navigation tools of the Mary Celeste, and a crudely drawn map of an island with a pit overlooked by an oak tree. You take this all in and deduce:

A) The writer of this survey isn't doing a very good job of keeping up with the actual storyline of this episode. Stick to the facts, dammit! <trout-slap>

B) The Bell Witch and her buddy Bigfoot might have been involved in the kidnapping. Check the local airfields for five World-War-Two era Navy bomber planes!...

C) Dana and Fox are going to...<survey writer notices the number of evil glares he's receiving>...What? It's a typical C) answer, dammit!

D) Krycek is not in this episode. So don't answer with a D) dammit!...

7) The husband meets with Mulder and provides two vital clues: 1) His missing wife was taking birth control pills even though the man already had a vasectomy, and 2) He found a key with the number 6 on it. You deduce:

A) Mrs. Crittendon at least didn't have her ova removed, unlike some redheads we know of who deserved to keep theirs!...<fume>

B) She was having an affair with Patrick McGoohan!

C) Dana and Fox are going to get married! Ha! There, I finished the sentiment! <much cheering and celebration>

8) Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Mrs. Adderly, the sheriff's wife, is passing out MISSING posters of her friend. She is startled by Ms. Uphouse, who confronts the lady with stinging rebukes about her and her missing friend. Ms. Uphouse angrily declares, "You and Martha are two peas in a pod." As the town tramp storms off, you realize:

A) All is not well in the community of Stepford after all...

B) Mrs. Adderly and Mrs. Crittendon are Pod People! That explains everything!

C) The one science fiction homage we haven't used yet is Attack of the Crab Monsters! Which is good, because that movie didn't have any 'Shippy elements as far as I could tell...

9) Mulder and Sheriff Adderly follow up on both the hypothesis Mrs. Crittendon disappeared with her paramour and the reason how ravens can be tied to this disappearance. Adderly's not too thrilled with Mulder's focusing on the mythological importance of ravens being harbingers and foretellers of doom, and doesn't know how it ties in with shattered mirrors. Ravens, it should be noted, also have a more scientific value: they gather at corpses, especially the one of Mrs. Crittendon under her own rose garden. You:

A) Note the mythological importance of trout: they're used to slap Punk-ish people!

B) Wonder if it's just irony or dramatic irony the poor missus was left composting in her prize-winning roses...

C) Glance to the left, then to the right, before shouting that Dana and Fox are going to...<writer gets tackled by highly trained NoRomo ninjas>

10) Oh, just before the body was found, Mulder spent a sumptuous evening having dinner with the Adderlys: red wine, carved roast, sweet yams covered in marshmallow...<insert drooling noise here>. He's enjoying the meal, up until the point he gets a phone call from a shivering, starving Scully who wants to leave her last will and testament before dying all alone on her stakeout. You:

A) Think the Blessed Red-head should have gotten a number from her friends working RICO cases, and called Tony and Paulie to "order out" on the bleeping Punk!

B) Always wanted to use the word "sumptuous." Uh, Spookycc? Check the dictionary, make sure I'm using it properly, okay?...

C) Are horrified Fox didn't invite Dana up to the Adderlys! I'm sure Ellen would have saved a few slices of the roast! And they offered the guest bedroom! Moose and Squirrel could have shared! <openly weeps>

11) Everyone gets into the crime scene. You'd think after all those headaches from the O.J. and Jon-Bonet Ramsey stuff the police would know better, but I digress. Mrs. Adderly sees the body of her friend and reveals she may have seen the monster who did this. She tells Mulder about running into the town tramp (which normally gets the Punk's attention anyway) and then seeing a reflection of the monster before the glass shattered. Next thing we know, Mulder and Sheriff Adderly are interviewing Ms. Uphouse, who upset she's considered a suspect. As Mulder rattles off her arrest record, you note:

A) An unusual number of raven feathers on the diner's tabletops. Hmm...

B) She has to be the suspect! Her alibi about being with some ex-governor named Bill just won't wash!

C) A pamphlet on the counter top that reads "How to Be a Red Herring For Fun and Profit." Oh, okay...

12) Mulder gets a phone call. It's Scully: "Mulder, when you find me dead, my desiccated corpse propped up staring lifelessly through the telescope...just know that my last thoughts were of you and how I'd like to kill you." You add:

A) "Damn straight! And make sure the guys from Bada-Bing send their regards!"

B) "Scully. Just call in the SWAT units and use some of that stuff left over from Waco, and let that be the end of that."

C) "Dana! That's not a 'Shippy sentiment, now is it?" <Autumn trout-slaps the survey writer> "Autumn, couldn't you let Spookycc do that for once?" <Autumn swings the trout again> "Oh. Okay..."

13) While obsessively cleaning up the house, Mrs. Adderly comes across another one of those keys with the number 6 on it. Suddenly, the monster attacks. Mirrors shatter everywhere. Even though Mulder and the sheriff arrive in time, you realize:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) That, boy, Patrick McGoohan sure gets around!...

14) The tech boys are dusting the broken mirrors for evidence. Mrs. Adderly is distraught, and Sheriff Adderly is getting the same mind-set most sheriffs get when dealing with Mulder: he's sick and tired of the pseudo-mythic technobabble ol' Spooky keeps going on about. At this point, you're certain that:

A) If Sheriff Adderly's not a huge fan of trout-fishing before this episode, he sure is now!...

B) Skinner's going to get this report from the field office later this week that uses a lot of words like "moronic" and "lawsuit" and "full moon insanity" and "ought to be institutionalized" and...

C) Dana would prefer a white wedding because like Susan Sarandon said in "Bull Durham," honey, all women deserve to wear white...

15) Sheriff Adderly had taken the key from Mulder, claiming his boys will handle that piece of evidence. Later that night, though, the sheriff sneaks away from his bedroom and drives out to a motel lodge on the outskirts of Bellingham, where he unlocks the door, greets an amorous Ms. Uphouse, and handles that piece of ass. You:

A) Want to trout-slap the survey writer for being disrespectful to the fine upstanding citizens of the town of Bellingham. Their motels aren't used for that sort of thing!...

B) Wonder how long it took the survey writer to find a town name like Bellingham. No, it's a real place, check the gazetteers!

C) Think the last thing Dana wants for her honeymoon is a mirrored ceiling in the motel room, so sorry Bellingham, she and Fox will probably drive through but they're not staying. :-(

16) Mulder wakes up to find Mrs. Adderly making a big breakfast, doing laundry, anything it takes for her to get her mind off the fact her husband's a straying sunny beach. The wife chats with an overwhelmed Mulder, noting "I get the feeling you're not used to anyone taking care of you" and wondering if he's got a "significant other." You're sure Mulder's answer will be:

A) "Nah. Just my partner, who's gotten real used to me ditching her half the time, wiping out most of her friends and family members, and denying her even a chance of getting a bagel with real cream cheese and all..."

B) "No. For some reason I just can't find a red-headed girl who's also a Knicks fan..."

C) "Well, now that you've mentioned it, I do, but I've...never told Dana and...and I guess I should go tell her right now that it's more than trust, it''s love. Gee, thanks, Mrs. Adderly, you've helped me realize how important it is to..." <phone rings> <survey writer answers and is promptly chewed out by Spookycc for writing such a cheesy answer. "A simple YES would suffice!" she screams before slamming down the phone.>

17) Sheriff Adderly returns, and is discreetly confronted by Mulder who's beginning to suspect the officer of being...suspect. Ooh. Meanwhile, Ms. Uphouse is on the phone to her kid, telling him not to eat too many cookies for breakfast. She hangs up and spots the large number of ravens waiting outside the motel. You:

A) Remind those of you at home, especially those that never saw Hitchcock films, that when too many birds gather outside, it's a good time to run screaming for your life!

B) Count the number of ravens. Hmm, one for sorrow, two for joy, three a girl, four a boy, five means silver, six means gold, and seven for a secret that's never been told...<monster smashes into the motel room and goes medieval> Eight ravens equals vicious flesh-shredding monster, I take it...

C) Thought three ravens meant marriage! Or is that crows? Or magpies? Hmm. Where's Bartlett's Quotations when you need it???

18) Mulder arrives in time to find the medics carting away Jenny Uphouse's body. Mulder confronts the sheriff, revealing his intuition: that Adderly was seeing both women, betraying his wife to both her best friend and her worst enemy. Sheriff Adderly claims he didn't commit the murders, pointing out that the agent believes in some sort of malevolent spirit. But wait, we're not out of suspects yet. The camera edit-jumps back to the Adderly residence where the missus is noticing some battle scars she had picked up during her mandatory black-out. As we cut to commercial, you consider:

A) If that Punk Mulder finds out before Mrs. Adderly starts getting suspicious thoughts about her husband and the blonde college co-ed across the street...damn blonde! <Mrs. Adderly goes into Monster!Mode>

B) If this is just another red trout, uh, herring: after all, they've yet to explain the bizarre behavior of the Widow Lassiter out on the haunted marshes!

C) If we've got enough time left in this episode for Dana to show up, hold hands with Fox, and kick his ass for leaving her in a cold run-down hovel for most of the episode! Uh, just as long as the ass-kicking is in a romantic kinda way, that is...

19) Scully calls Mulder to announce "I'm free." <OBSSE members rejoice> She reveals how she cracked the case of the Voyeuristic Federal Agent: the blonde serial killer turned out not to be a serial killer nor a blonde: it was a cross-dressing street preacher placing the missing hookers in a half-way house. Mulder can't take time to help her celebrate yet: he has to solve his little project. He confronts Mrs. Adderly, who's hiding in her bedroom. He reveals the fact her husband was an adulterer, that her marriage was a fraud, that she is the monster of her Id. She can't deal with it, announces she wished Mulder never showed up, and goes into Monster!Mode. As she's kicking federale ass, you:

A) Would have thought the Punk would be used to getting his ass kicked like this, and learned a few tricks to...<vicious body slam> <sigh>, never mind...

B) Realize that if this is how a wife handles finding out her husband is an adulterer and the marriage was a lie, then Hillary IS capable of being a fiendish monster!...

C) Wish Fox really hadn't come to Milwaukee, too: he could have stayed in Vancouver with Dana and help her celebrate solving the Not!Blonde case!...

20) Mrs. Monster gets Mulder where he doesn't want to be: in a bathtub. But as he submerges, she sees her reflection in the water, and this time the reflection does not shatter. So the reflection shatters herself, reverting back to Wife!Mode and collapsing in tears as Mulder gasps for air. Later, as Mulder concludes the case, leaving a broken Sheriff Adderly turning away from the results of his destructive behavior, Mrs. Adderly looks out the window of her hospital room. The birds are gathering. You conclude with this thought:

A) "Hey! Did the Blessed One get her warm bath or not?"

B) "Did someone leave a newly washed car under that tree? Mulder!..."

C) "I hope this doesn't scare Fox away from the idea of marriage...well, with the Fowl One dead, Det. White chasing evil cheerleaders, Dr. Bambi chasing robotic roaches, and that Brit b-tch in England, I don't think there's any temptations for him to stray from Dana after the..." <the cross-dressing street preacher walks by in the blonde wig> "Oh, <expletive deleted>..."

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are Spookycc having a conniptic fit that...that, um, wait. I never did find out if you can wield a mean trout for slapping purposes...

B) Then you are Spookycc, who's grateful at last that you've been mentioned in a 'Shipper survey. But, dammit, there's nothing I can do about getting you to see Michael Ovitz!

C) Then you are Spookycc who is horrified that Dana and Fox didn't say anything about "trusting" one another at all during the episode! <weeping> <wailing> <gnashing of teeth>

Whatever happened to Spookycc, people...