Salt Mama Said Knock You Out

Credits

Carl G. Brooks – Paul Ellis
Richard Nadolny – Chuck

Written by David S. Dear
Opening music “Coffee” by Cambo
Closing music “Life Illusion” by Ketsa


PAUL

Okay, we’re recording now.

CHUCK

Are you sure you know what you’re doing?

PAUL

Absolutely. I’ve watched the kid do this countless times.

CHUCK

How many episodes did you guys do?

PAUL

Uh… fifteen, I think.

CHUCK

Then you’ve watched her do it fifteen times. Fourteen if you don’t count my wedding.

PAUL

Which one? And them, Chuck.

CHUCK

Why do you have to bring my ex wives into it?

PAUL

No, Coral’s pronouns. They go by they/them.

CHUCK

Oh, that. Yeah, yeah.

PAUL

No, “yeah yeah”. They’re serious about their identity.

CHUCK

Alright. Don’t get your panties in a toaster. So you don’t need them to do all this? I hear making a podcast is pretty complicated.

PAUL

You pretty much just have to hit record. I mean, I don’t know how to do the editing, so this will have to be unedited so it won’t sound as polished as our normal episodes.

CHUCK

So this will be like our own Twitch show.

PAUL

No, it’s nothing like a Twitch stream. Get with it, man. Okay, are you ready?

CHUCK

Let’s do this. Ladies and gents, we are about to play-

PAUL

Hey, what are you doing? It’s my show.

CHUCK

I bet Ally-gator would beg to differ.

PAUL

Well, she’s not here right now, is she? So for this episode, I am the host and you’re my esteemed guest. Well, my guest.

CHUCK

Then kick it off, big guy.

PAUL

Okay. Thank you. Our faithful listeners… we are bringing you a bonus episode. Well, I’m bringing you a bonus episode. Considering no one else was clever enough to think to do this. So you’re listening to a secret episode where you get to hear Chuck and I play and conquer… ZOND ARSENAL!

CHUCK

That’s right, Paul. We’re going to show you how we get past the most challenging levels and-

PAUL

Remember, they can’t actually see the game. Hence the term listeners.

CHUCK

Oh yeah.

PAUL

Well, we’re going to describe how we get through the game, and you get to hear exciting game play and witty banter the whole time.

CHUCK

As opposed to bicker the whole time, like your regular episodes.

PAUL

Whatever. You don’t even listen to the show, do you?

CHUCK

Why would I listen to the show? If I want to hear couples argue, I would just take out my earbuds and respond to Elaine when she’s annoyed with me.

PAUL

So how is Elaine anyway?

CHUCK

I think she went to her cousin’s this weekend.

PAUL

You think? She’s away for the weekend and you don’t know where she went?

CHUCK

Like I said, I think she went to her cousin’s. Or she went cruising.

PAUL

You’re such a good listener.

CHUCK

Maybe she went shopping for cushions…

PAUL

The whole weekend? Cushion shopping?

CHUCK

I don’t know how long it takes. Have you ever shopped for cushions?

PAUL

Once. But we bought the rest of the couch with it so it only took the better part of a day.

CHUCK

Then that’s probably where she is.

PAUL

Okay, back to the game. So what level do you want to start on?

CHUCK

Well, thanks to you I was able to get past the melt point. I think we should start at the zombie bears arcade. That might take two people to get through.

PAUL

You suck at this game. I can get through the zombie bears arcade by myself.

CHUCK

Oh yeah? And how much staminata do you have when you get all the way through it?

PAUL

Usually, three.

CHUCK

Three? I bet you don’t get very far on three staminata.

PAUL

As long as I don’t get hugged by a bicky.

CHUCK

Well from what I read, the bicky hugs you to congratulate you on making it through the zombie bears arcade and gives you a happy potion.

PAUL

Yeah but the hug does four points of damage.

CHUCK

Ah, I see. So my theory is correct. With two of us facing off against the zombie bears we can get through it losing only half our staminata. I figure we would each have about four hundred by the time we get our hugs.

PAUL

Alright, then. Let’s take on the zombie bears arcade.

CHUCK

I have a better idea. Let’s go back and see if we can beat the Clanch.

PAUL

Ugh. The Clanch was so hard to beat. I don’t want to take the time to do it again.

CHUCK

But I hear it drops some great loot like a fire vest or the helmet of antibiotics. With those we could get through the zombie bears arcade more easily.

PAUL

No. It’s too demoralizing getting beaten up by that thing. I don’t think it’s worth it.

CHUCK

Come on, Paul! If we go balls-to-the-wall and use all our power-ups beforehand…

PAUL

Okay. Hold on. “Balls-to-the-wall”?

CHUCK

That’s how we’re going to have to approach it. The only way we can beat the Clanch-

PAUL

Balls-to-the-wall.

CHUCK

Absolutely.

PAUL

I never understood that expression. How did that become synonymous with going all out? Personally it sounds really uncomfortable. I mean “pedal to the metal” I get. But I will not be putting my jewels to gypsum for the sake of beating the Clanch.

CHUCK

You’re overthinking it. It rhymes and it sounds cool.

PAUL

You seem to think any testicular colloquialism sounds cool.

CHUCK

Are we going after the Clanch or what?

PAUL

I don’t think I’m up for having to go balls-to-the-mall just to beat a boss we already beat.

CHUCK

Fine. You have a better idea?

PAUL

As a matter of fact, I do. We take the Salt Mama tunnels.

CHUCK

Are you kidding me? That will take three times as long! We’ll tire out before we reach the bicky.

PAUL

Just hear me out on this: Yes, it will take longer. Yes, we are more likely to reach fatigue and increase risk of bacterial infection but the Salt Mamas are so much easier to defeat than zombie bears.

CHUCK

That’s true, but there’s more of them and they’re faster. Plus, the odds of bacterial infection are almost one hundred percent. It is nearly impossible to start that level without an open cut. Which takes us back to the Clanch. If we defeat him and get the helmet of antibiotics…

PAUL

We don’t need the helmet of antibiotics. Once we get through the tunnels the happy potion will take care of any bacterial infections we happen to get.

CHUCK

If we get through the tunnels. Have you ever been killed by a Salt Mama? It ain’t pretty. After you get killed by a Salt Mama you respawn at the start of the tunnels. But the worst part? When you respawn you respawn with regrets. At that point you might as well give up because it is impossible to get through the Salt Mama tunnels burdened with regrets.

PAUL

Oh yeah. I’ve read through tons of forums about that. It’s universally agreed upon that it’s virtually impossible to complete the game if you have regrets.

CHUCK

Then it’s settled. We take on the Clanch!

(beat)

Oh! I just remembered!

PAUL

Ah! You know another way through the tunnels?

CHUCK

No, Clanch made me think of it. Sally McCutcheon. That’s where Elaine went. She went to Sally McCutcheon’s bridal shower. I tried to talk her out of going since they wouldn’t set a ten dollar limit on gifts but it’s her best friend from college and she stood by her side when she was in that bad car accident, blah blah blah.

PAUL

(sarcastically, deadpanned)

How dare she.

CHUCK

Did Ally-gator go to that?

PAUL

What, the bridal shower?

CHUCK

Yeah, the Rockefeller bridal shower, apparently.

PAUL

Um. I don’t think so.

CHUCK

Well, she’s smart to boycott the shower. I mean, we have to give the bride a gift then turn around and give the couple a gift? You know what? We should have regifted that waffle iron that some jerk gave us.

PAUL

No, I don’t think she’s going because I don’t think she knows Sally McCutcheon.

CHUCK

Oh, I guess she is a bit older than Sally, isn’t she?

PAUL

Yep. Allison is the same age as you.

CHUCK

Yeah, she’s old enough to be Sally’s…

(beat)

Okay, back to the game.

PAUL

So you know what occurred to me while you were doing math on how old your wife’s college roommate is? I just remembered how we can get that bicky hug without having to go through the zombie bears arcade or the Salt Mama tunnels.

CHUCK

How? Give up the goods, sucker!

PAUL

What are you, Jimmy Cagney?

CHUCK

Jimmy Cagney’s dead. I’m pretty sure.

PAUL

Okay, so you couldn’t be Jimmy Cagney because he’s dead, but if he were alive then it’s a possibility?

CHUCK

Can you just tell me how we get the hug?

PAUL

Okay, here’s what you do: You know how when you’re fighting the Clanch and all the Ronald Wraiths come out of all the tombstones?

CHUCK

What about them? They’re so slow I never worry about them.

PAUL

That’s the thing. You have to let them kill you.

CHUCK

What’choo talkin’ ’bout, William?

PAUL

Someone posted about this on the Zond Arsenal Discord server. If you let a Ronald Wraith kill you you won’t respawn. Instead you get sent to the Superintendent of the Undead.

CHUCK

The what? Never heard of it.

PAUL

Of course you haven’t. It’s like a hack-slash-Easter Egg.

CHUCK

A hack and slash Easter Egg?

PAUL

No. Listen to me. It’s a game secret. You stand before the Superintendent of the Undead and he gives you a riddle. If you answer it right he teleports you straight to the bicky, then it’s hug city!

CHUCK

Ooh, I like it! So what’s the answer to the riddle?

PAUL

I don’t know…

CHUCK

Then let’s find out. Step aside and watch my Google Fu at work.

PAUL

No, Chuck. That would be cheating.

CHUCK

So it’s not cheating if we use this Easter Egg hack?

PAUL

It’s like a side door, not a cheat.

CHUCK

Same difference. Let’s find the answer to that riddle.

PAUL

It would be way more fun if we- come on, Chuck!

CHUCK

(away from mic)

Where’s the Internet Explorer icon?

PAUL

At least minimize the DAW.

CHUCK

Are you suffering a stroke? Minimize the dog? What the hell does that mean?

PAUL

The DAW. It’s the program that’s recording us right now. Just try not to-

Cuts off

Afterword

PAUL

Sorry about that, everyone. As you can probably guess, Chuck stopped the recording. At least he didn’t quit out of it so all this got saved.

So we tried the shortcut, which took us to the Superintendent of the Undead, and he gave us the riddle. Want to know what it was? It’s “What do forty frogs and a chocolate chip cookie have in common?” So much for Chuck’s Google Fu. The answer to that riddle is not to be found. And every time you guess it wrong it’s back to the Clanch pit. So that was fun.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our super secret episode. If you happen to know the answer to the riddle email us at dcritpodcast@gmail.com. I want to bypass the Salt Mama tunnels. Last time I almost got through it before I died of an absess. Alright. See you all later.

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