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Alive 4

Made for, and screened across the hugely bonkers US cable teevee network!

CiH  note to kick off with..  Now this is going to be some uneasy attempt at
comedy  "inspired"  by  the televisual high jinks  that  our  trans-atlantic
cousins get up to.  Believe it,  because you must, there is a real life tele
programme called "Exploding Varmints!" which unifies the normally  disparate
themes  of  cuddly  fluffy woodland creatures,  and  high-velocity  elephant
killing  guns!  A typical episode goes something like this..Carefree  flopsy
bunny  rabbit  frolics in the middle distance,  then WHAAAMMM!  suddenly  it
flies through the air, disintegrating into several pieces as it goes...

Apparently, to make an episode of this "Apocalypse Now meets Beatrix Potter'
concept, local farmers are queuing up to donate the use of their land, as it
helps  them with 'vermin clearance'.  This may well serve the twin needs  of
entertainment  and agricultural usefulness,  but it is a concept that brings
up  one of the biggest differences between us Europeans,  and the good folks
of USA-ville.

Why have they got such a thing about guns!?  Why can't they get rid of their
violent  urges  by heavy drinking,  followed by random hitting and  kicking,
like  the  rest  of  us?  (Or loony headless chicken style  driving  on  the 
autobahn, if you are German.)

 Still, enough waffling, and time for the....


"Hi there folks, I'm your host, Pete Poindexter, and it's another episode of 
the  ever  enthralling  'Weasel   Mortar Fun Hour'  and  after  last  week's 
airburst escapades, we're going for those huge ground impact craters! Now we 
go straight over to our commentator in the field, Jay K."

"Hiiee,  this  is  Jay  K,  now this week,  we've teamed up with the  always 
popular combination of Billy 'Bubba' Bob, and his ex-NATO issue 81mm mortar. 
Now tell the viewers what you intend to do this week Billy."

"Weeaaalll,  there's  a colony of rogue rodents with communist and  arab-ist 
sympathies,  at  about  half  a klick distance from the firing  position.  I 
intend  to soften them up with an initial dozen rounds of  groundburst  high 

"Then,  when those furry Osama bin Laden thinkalikes are trying to burrow in 
to  deep  cover,  we  switch over to delayed action fusing  for  that  extra 
cratering effect.  After we're done, those sonofagun enemies of the American 
way of life won't be going 'Neeeek!' no more!"

Just about then, Billy Bob turns and starts to load the mortar.


Meanwhile, about half a klick away, a growing whistling sound leads to alarm
among the woodland creatures there, a tiny squeaky voice rises up..

"Incoming! Take cover!"


A couple are too slow, they are hurled into the abyss! The cameras pick this
up,  panning  in  close,  then the inevitable slo-motion action replay  with
studio commentary.

"Look,  there,  in the impact plume from the third shell, there they go!! Oh 
yes,  that looks like a torso,  and part of a head! That's a great start for 
Billy Bob, now back over to you Jay K."

"Yes Pete,  and it is only the beginning, as Billy Bob has a surprise for us 
all,  slightly later in the programme.  Meanwhile, he is just about to start 
on the second phase of his attack..."

What follows is almost identical to the scene before,  although as these are
fused  for deep penetration,  there is more earth scattered about.  A camera
team,  with Jay K.  staggers close to the scene of the devastation, in order
to check out what has been stirred up.

In  amongst the churned and smoking earth,  various rodent parts can be just
about seen, Jay K. starts stirring the loose earth with a stick..

"Bring  the camera over here...  There's some hind-quarters,  and some blood 
spots, I think? A piece of a leg. Not much in the way of visible remains, so 
it looks like you done good here, Billy Bob!"

"Thanks,  Jay  K.  The  pleasure's  all mine,  and the viewers back home, of 

"Now Billy Bob,  for the second half of the programme,  you've got something 
extra special laid on for us, is that not right?"

"Yeahhh  sure!!  Instead  of firing good honest mortar shells AT the  vermin 
scum, I'm now using weasels AS the ammunition!"

"Hey! Sounds way cool Billy Bob, let's see those weasels then!"

A procession of weasels is led out,  in a column,  tied to each other,  with
minature  manacles,  and  wearing minature blindfolds.  They also seem to be
dressed in strangely familiar black pyjamas for some reason.

"Pete  in the studio here,  Billy Bob,  like what is going on with the black 

"I was at Da Nang in '67, and these little critters surrounded our position. 
All  night,  we  heard them sharpening their weaselly teeth,  crying out  in 
their  squeaky  voices that they were going to chew out our livers,  in  the 
name  of  international socialism.  We only got out of that one by  a  hairs 
breadth,  and  with 1500 tonnes of napalm dropped right on top of the little 

"Er Billy Bob, I hardly think that matters right now?"

"These scumbag weasels ARE Charlie, they're Vietcong, I insist!!"

(Sotto Voco in the studio.) "It's okay,  it's not going out live, and we can 
edit out the drooling later, right?"

A somewhat calmer and less red-faced Billy Bob resumes the commentary.

"Okay,  for  the  benefit  of the viewers back home,  I've  converted  these 
weasels  into  mortar rounds by the simple addition of a  rectally  inserted 
cordite  propellant charge topped off with a fulminate of mercury  detonator 
cap.  Now this is the first time we've tried this,  so we're not sure if the 
weasels  will leave the barrel intact,  or as a kind of fragmentating  mushy 

"A lot depends on the respective strengths of the propellant, and the weasel 
itself I suppose."

"That's  right  Jay  K.  Literally  anything could happen in  the  next  few 
minutes, so let's LOAD THOSE WEASELS!"

First one goes in.. WHUMP!

Weasel #1 leaves intact,  but flails wildly at the top of its arc of flight,
and drifts badly off target.

Second one in... SPLATTT!

Misfire!  The second weasel disintegrates in the mortar barrel,  and a spray
of  blood,  fur and small unidentifiable weasel parts comes geysering out of
the top.  Billy Bob collapses laughing,  as Jay K.  who insisted on standing
closely to the mortar, catches the lot!

A brief pause to towel off the worst of the debris, then....

Fire three..   A perfect launch. The third weasel clutches its limbs closely
to its body, terrified, but also made aerodynamic by this action. It goes on
to  hit its target to  loud  applause and  much  whooping (oh yes, very much
whooping!) A close-up of the impact  area reveals  a small neat  hole with a
couple of weasel legs sticking out of it.

Jay K.  still sponging small traces of the second unfortunate attempt off of
him, rounds things up.

"Billy  Bob,  it's been a blast,  but that's all we have time for this week, 
now it's back to Pete in the studio."

"Thank you Jay K.  And in a very real sense,  we're running out of time too, 
but  not  as  quickly  as those weasels did!  Good night  to  you  all,  and 
remember, don't try this at home, too much!"

(All) "Goodnight!"

(Remember,  none of this should be attempted at home by unqualified persons. 
Using  weasels in place of regular munitions as shown in this  programme  is 
not condoned, as weasel claws at high speed have a detrimental effect on the 
inner linings of mortar barrels.  A specially adapted mortar was used in the 
making  of this programme,  no vertebrates over 2kg body weight were hurt in 
the making of this programme..)

Could  it happen here,  well if they did a version with a very large calibre
mortar and the inhabitants of the various 'Big Brother' houses, I hope so!

CiH - Dec '01

Alive 4