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Something Completely Different
Author - T'Leela | Genre - Humor | Main Story | Rating - G | S
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"Something Completely Different"
Something a little lighter to make up for all the angst floating around lately. This was obviously inspired by Stub and Joe's Movie Night series.
T'Pol looked around her and concluded, not for the first time, that humans were categorically insane.
The room was packed; this Movie Night had been one of the most highly anticipated in recent memory. Her crewmates were almost to a person dissolved in mirth. Many were braying with laughter. Others were smiling broadly and whispering to one another.
Commander Tucker nudged her and she regarded him. His eyes were shiny with unshed tears, yet he seemed possessed by merriment. "I love the part with the killer bunny."
She stared at him in confusion. As far as she was aware, rabbits, colloquially known as "bunnies," were among the most timid and shy of Earth mammals.
She looked to Captain Archer, seated next to the Commander, for clarification. But he was clearly possessed by the same group hysteria that afflicted everyone else. She watched him in horror as Archer elbowed Tucker and shouted to the screen, "Bring out...the holy hand grenade!" Both he and Tucker collapsed in laughter.
Perhaps she should contact the High Command. Both the Captain and the third-in-command had clearly lost their minds.
"Aw, T'Pol, it's a comedy," Trip said by way of explanation.
To T'Pol's relief, the crew seemed to have recovered rapidly from whatever group hysteria had overtaken them during the movie. The paroxysms of mirth had subsided, though many individuals milling about still seemed noticeably animated.
Commander Tucker had invited her to the mess for "coffee," and though she never drank that noxious brew, she appreciated his attempt to include her in the ship's social life and accepted. In addition, while she was completely lost as to what in this particular movie had affected the humans so, her scientific curiosity had been aroused and she desired to better understand the triggers that had prompted the outrageous display she had witnessed.
She sat with Tucker, Lieutenant Reed, and Ensign Sato. As she sipped her tea and picked at the piece of blueberry pie Tucker had insisted she take, she attempted to unravel the explanation that the ineloquent engineer attempted to provide.
"See, T'Pol, it's just so ridiculous it's funny. Like the Frenchman insulting them. The things he said were so ridiculous, that the idea that someone would be seriously insulted is...well, it's funny."
"I mean no disrespect, Commander, but I do not understand the humor in comparing one's father to a pet rodent."
"Well, it's just that it's so..." Tucker put down his cup of coffee and sighed. "You're right, it is hard to explain. I guess Python's just a British thing, eh, Malcolm?"
"I have never understood the need to categorize certain comedy as 'British.', the tactical officer said stiffly. You never hear Nathaniel Stewart categorized as "American" comedy, do you?"
"Well, no. But Mal, let me ask you this: Do you think Benny Hill is funny?"
"Yes, I find him rather amusing."
"Well, there ya go." He turned to T'Pol. "Trust me, Sub-Commander, nobody but the British find Benny Hill funny."
T'Pol arched an eyebrow at Trip. "However, you found this movie to be amusing."
"Hell yes! Monty Python is hilarious."
"I loved the television series," Hoshi added. "'And now for something completely different...'"
"'A Scotsman riding a horse,'" Reed supplied dryly. Hoshi dissolved into giggles.
"But it doesn't translate," said Hoshi, suddenly serious now that she was discussing languages. "When I would spend summers in Japan with my grandparents, occasionally I would come across a Python episode dubbed in Japanese. It wasn't really funny at all." She looked thoughtful for a moment. "I suppose, Sub-Commander, that humor is one of the most difficult areas to describe and quantify across cultures."
"I would agree with you, Ensign," said T'Pol.
"Except for one universal truth," Trip said with a teasing glint in his eye. "The Brits love drag. Show 'em a guy in a dress, and it's pure comedy gold. Isn't that right, Lieutenant Reed?"
Tucker and Sato dissolved in laughter. T'Pol looked on quiet confusion, and Reed glared at Trip with pure murder in his eyes.
A few nights later, T'Pol gazed at the console in her quarters. She had requested the entire series from the ship's library, vowing she would her attempts to understand humans would not be stymied by the ridiculous antics of a human comedy troupe. As she watched the brief skits unfold, there was one that she found herself returning to again and again. The expression on the taller man's face, his grave self-possession, his bafflement at the bizarre antics around him were almost Vulcan in nature. Something about the man and the situation in which he found himself--something about it caught her attention. T'Pol could not explain why, but there was something about his predicament she found...fascinating.
"I need answers, people and I need them now."
The escape pod had been found three days ago, floating dead in space. Its alien occupant, vaguely humanoid, had looked perfectly alive when they removed it from the craft.
Within moments, though, all of the alien's biosigns had stopped. Despite all of Phlox's ministrations, the being ceased all respiration, pulse, and brain activity.
Then the pod had started sending a subspace signal. Despite Trip's best efforts, he had as yet been unable to shut it off.
Now Archer, T'Pol, Trip, and Phlox were seated in the ready room, trying to determine out how to proceed.
"I've got a dead alien, a distress signal that might bring his whole fleet down on us..." Archer continued.
Phlox interrupted him. "Captain, I'm not entirely certain he's dead."
Archer eyed the Denobulan. "Explain, doctor."
"The creature's biosigns are entirely absent," Phlox began. "According to our conventional criteria, that would mean death. However, the body temperature has remained constant and rigor mortis has not set in. It is possible that the alien is in some state of suspended animation."
"T'Pol, do you agree with the doctor's assessment?"
"Yes, I concur. There are several theories I am currently pursuing, but the most likely is that the being is in some kind of self-induced stasis, possibly triggered by an inhospitable atmosphere."
"I see." Archer thought a moment. "Phlox, does the alien's condition seem stable?"
"Well, I'm clearly not fully aware of the biological processes at work here, but as far as it goes, yes, the creature seems to be stable."
"Okay, then the next issue on the table is that signal. Trip, any progress?"
"T'Pol, since the alien doesn't seem to be going anywhere, help Trip locate the origin of that signal before its friends come looking for him." Archer stood. "Let's get to work. Dismissed."
Trip and T'pol walked in companionable silence to the turbolift leading to the cargo bay. The doors opened, and the pair entered.
After the lift started, Trip turned to the science officer. "Self-induced suspended animation, huh? That's something we haven't encountered before."
"Indeed," T'Pol agreed. "However, I have also formulated an alternate theory."
T'Pol gazed serenely at the turbolift walls. "I believe he may be pining for the fjords."
Trip stared at her for a moment in open confusion.
Then he began to laugh.
He laughed so hard he doubled over, clutching his diaphragm as he shook uncontrollably. He laughed so hard tears filled his eyes. He laughed so hard he literally grew weak in the knees, clutching at the rail for support.
As the lift came to a halt Trip straightened up and wiped his eyes.
"T'Pol, I apologize for every time I called you a cold, humorless Vulcan. You, my darlin', are a riot."
T'Pol continued to regard the gray panel before her impassively. In her mind, however, she observed that making a human laugh, while an illogical use of one's time, was oddly...pleasurable.
Especially when the human in question was Commander Charles Tucker the Third.
One slim eyebrow arched a fraction. "Apology accepted, Commander."
The lift doors opened and Trip smiled at her. "C'mon, Sub-Commander Comedienne. Let's locate that signal."
As they proceeded to the cargo bay, T'Pol considered inviting Commander Tucker to her quarters that evening to review another series of skits. Perhaps, she reflected, he could help her better understand "The Ministry of Silly Walks."
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Very funny! Thanx for that - you're right about our needing something light. This was great. With the 'mostly dead' alien, I thought you were gonna give us the "Ex Parrot" skit - Hey, are you up for writing a sequel?
Than k you for a funn story what a nice suprise.Mont Python and the holy grail.T'Pol turning the tables on Trip well done.Who says Vulcans don't have a sense of humor.;)
That was from the dead parrot sketch (my fave)
"He's not dead! He's pining for the fjords!"
Hey, thanks for the comments
Nice little skit. I must confess however to not understanding the joke. What is a fjord? And how was it analogous to the"dead" alien ?
Oh, dear...if you don't know the "dead parrot" sketch, I'm afraid it's not gonna make any sense.
In a nutshell, John Cleese bought a parrot at a pet store and it dies. So he brings it back and the store owner doesn't want to return the $ so he tries to convince Cleese the parrot isn't really dead. One of the things the pet shop owner says is "He's not dead! He's pining for the fjords!" Which is funny because fjords are Scandinavian lakes and parrots are, well, not from that part of the world.
Wow, that's not too funny written down. Trust me, it's a comedy classic.
That was very cute!
*dissolves into fits of giggles . . again* I love this fic, 'Leela. Perhaps it's also my love for Monty Python. Mix ENT and Monty and . . well, you've got comedic perfection.
I can't wait for more!
"Right! Good show, carry on."
constable Buggers, Wakefield
"They didn't boil the engines!"
Leonora Whitters, misses, London
"Vulcans know what I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink"
the whole silliness really starts with the type of parrot it was .. which shows the cleese character didnt know much when he got the parrot from the shop keeper palin.
it was a norwegian blue parrot..
see the connection now..
to bad someone didnt mention to tpol this is what came from the flower of british academics..
NO ONE CAN PREPARE FOR THE KLINGON INQUISITION! Beautiful story. But seriously, no one understands the Ministry of Silly Walks.
Oh my gosh! How =utterly= delightful. As an avowed Anglophile I loved Trip's teasing Malcolm ("nobody but the British find Benny Hill funny" and the part about them loving a man in drag--too right!). And having T'pol crack a joke that causes Trip to call her a riot was perfection! This gave me a smile wide enough to last all day. Thanks!
That was hilarious!!! I love Python, and I sure didn't expect that. I thought you were going to put Malcolm in drag, and that I woulda killed to see!!
Nobody but the British find Benny Hill funny? I beg to differ. Whenever my carrier came in range of British TV, every man aboard, 5000 American sailors, almost laughed themselves into a coma at The Benny Hill Show. It was a huge favorite and we eventually got all the tapes for the ship.
aw...I miss stories like this...just everyday life aboard our favorite starship :o)
Say no more, say no more! Tee hee, Python rules! (Must find Dead Parrot sketch immediately), that was awesome, I love Holy Grail, great job! :)
Okay, that was too funny! What I wouldn't give to see T'Pol watching Python! Now you need to do the sequel so we can find out what happens when Trip tries to demonstrate silly walks in an attempt to explain (one of my favorite skits, btw!).
My brother-in-law was having a conversation with his gf about the dead lavender in the front lawn. He said it wasn't dead, it was "Pining for th fjords". I think it's a british guy thing... I'm a Cunuck and never found the whole Monty Python thing funny until I married a Brit. I can see why T'Pol would find it strange :-)