Steve Ellicott sat in his car in rush hour traffic.
Alex "Round-Dog", Ripington was on the radio ranting away.
Today's topic was the 9th anniversary of the time a disgruntled sports reporter tried to kill him with a car bomb. The same day, a guy named Richard Marks actually did get blown up, but there was no mention of him.
Steve turned off the radio, and thought back to everything that lead up to this moment.
Sometime in the 1940's.
Mort Pizzby sat at a booth in a diner drawing on napkins, and gloomily contemplating his lot in life.
He was a failed graphic artist who currently had a gig illustrating high school science textbooks.
He doodled out a water molecule.
A circle with two smaller circles.
At an adjacent booth, a two year old sat in a high chair messily eating cake, and saying "Yummy Youse! Yummy Youse!".
The piece of cake was off of a whole cake on the table made to look like a cartoon rat.
The child was saying the rat's name wrong.
Mort looked at the napkin, and wrote "Yummy Youse".
He doodled on the water molecule until it looked like the face of a tree frog.
He drew a body under the face, and now it was a tree frog with tuxedo and tails, and spats.
A cartoon empire was born.
Sometime in the 1950's.
Yummy Youse became a comic strip, became an animated cartoon, became a string of animated cartoons, followed by many other characters, then movies, then merchandise, then television once it was invented, then finally, the crown jewel, Pizzbyworld.
A fired and disgruntled employee of Pizzbyworld now sat at a booth in a diner, drawing on napkins.
His name was Ed Ellicott.
He drew Yummy as an evil life choking anaconda.
"Too on the nose", he grumbled.
He drew the anaconda strangling Yummy.
"Better!", he said.
He drew Yummy's face shape made out of tires with the anaconda wrapped around it.
"Hmm...", he said, mental gears turning.
He drew himself as a superhero with the snake and tires logo as his chest symbol.
Next to this character, he wrote "Captain Carburetor".
"Yes!!", he said aloud, and then looked around to see if he'd been noticed.
He snuck out of the diner with the napkin, holding it like it was the blueprint for a water powered automobile, or a formula for lead into gold.
Sometime in the 1960's.
Ed stood before his 10 year old son, Steve, in the Captain Carburetor costume, waved his hand towards the auto salvage yard he now ran, and said "soon this will all be yours".
Steve scrunched his nose in disappointment.
Sometime in the 1970's.
Ed was dead of a heart attack.
Steve was 25.
He had some choices to make.
He looked at his dad's corny old costume, and then a magazine he was holding about the new video tape machines that were coming out.
He turned to a page with a picture of a home satellite dish, then pulled out a marker pen, and doodled the anaconda from the Captain Carburetor logo around it.
He turned another page, and saw an ad for satellite descramblers.
He wrote "Captain", above the word "Descrambler".
He nodded, and knew instantly what his future would be.
Sometime in the 1980's.
Steve's son, Perry, sat in a high chair messily eating cake.
It was a Yummy Youse cake.
"Yummy Youse! Yummy Youse!", he chanted.
Steve's mother in law saw the mess, crinkled her nose, and said "lovely".
Steve thought to himself "someday, I'm going to do something to really spite you, you mean old broad".
Sometime in the 1990's
Steve shuffled through his son's old comics, and noted how many crossovers there were.
He found a pattern to the crossovers, and in that pattern, he unlocked how all characters in fiction go together in this infinitely expanding uber-verse.
And within this uber-verse, there also included movies.
From this, Steve concluded that to be at the heart of this uber-verse, was to rule the world.
And there was only one real-world way to be at the hub of all of it.
Steve Ellicott opened Lovely's.
Across the parking lot, was Hannalee's grocery store.
The mother in law didn't approve.
"Good", he thought.
Dusty Irwin wandered through the grocery store, and then stopped dead in his tracks.
There was a display of Halloween masks, and one of them hypnotically grabbed his attention.
Meanwhile, at Lovely's, Steve was stocking tapes.
The latest Astro Gallop boxed set was out.
Meanwhile, Perry Ellicott threw out some old junk.
One of those bits of junk was an old science textbook.
A textbook that was still reusing the water molecule illustration drawn by Mort Pizzby.
Perry flashed back to his dad helping him with his homework, and being enthralled by his dad's description of acids, and what they could do.
In his imagination, he had imagined the sizzling of acid to being like the quantum dissolvers in Astro-Gallop.
Steve Ellicott sat in his car in rush hour traffic.
He was back from his flashback.
It had taken half a minute.
Traffic nudged forward an inch.
Outside his car window was an apartment building.
Inside that apartment building, Dusty Irwin awoke from a memory nightmare.
"Fuckin memories...fuckin life", he mumbled.
Steve Ellicott finished reading the latest Shmegalamonga Halloween post.
It was the sixth one, with the theme "witch's brew".
He switched back over to the Lovely's homepage, and got back to work.
He looked out at the shelves, and saw the expanding new section of tapes in transparent green cases.
Inside those transparent green cases were transparent green cassettes with green glitter embedded in the plastic, and with green hologram stickers of the JS mask for the top label.
Local kids were making fan movies of individual chapters of Jade-Shade's adventures from Shmegalamonga, and bringing them to Steve in various formats.
Steve would then transfer them to one of the green tapes, put on the JS label, write the chapter name and number, insert a printout of the text chapter as liner notes in the case, then rent them out, and give the money to the filmmaker.
Kids who rented them out became inspired, and would make their own sequels and crossovers to those chapters.
And so on, and so on.
The fan-canon stuff he put in purple cases.
Fan-canon that got secretly rented by Dusty or Irma got a JS and/or Chokecherry seal of approval sticker.
That encouraged kids to make even more films.
The JS section of the store was slowly taking over.
Steve walked along the JS section picking up random cases, and noted how the box descriptions progressed like JS chapters, and vice versa.
Steve grabbed the tape for Season 2, Chapter 20, and popped it into the machine.
Steve Ellicott sat in his car in rush hour traffic...
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