On the balcony to the illegal sublet Wendy shares with another young, photogenic artist, she and Lacey are preparing for Art Crawl, a semi-sporadical festival of the arts. Dubby’s talking on the phone with her moms and Lacey’s a bit jealous. See, her moms – Dr. Barbara Thornfield, M.D. Ph.D. – is the absent type. But Lacey’s got Dubby to prop her up and keep her sane. She can always count on Dubby.
It’s Wendy Watson‘s first session with Sensei Ping. Sadly, we don’t get to see the master battler of the Clan of the Pointed Stick in action, we only hear him behind door number one. One hour of training – 59 1/2 minutes actually – and Dubby’s not dead. She’s thrilled.
That was awesome. That was the best thing ever. The teaching, the learning, the laughter, the bonding. I swept the leg!
Lacey’s so happy. Dr. Barbara Thornfield, M.D. Ph.D. is going to show up for Art Crawl. After 45 minutes on hold, her mother said yes, though the doctor’s assistant broke onto the line to say she might not be able to go in case Henry Kissinger needed her. So Lacey will have the two most important people in her life at Art Crawl: moms and Dubby.
Of course something comes up and Dubby has to bow out for a bit of setup.
“Dubby, there is nothing cool about zombies.”
But there is something cool about seminal British band The Zombies, led by Rod Argent on piano and Colin Blunstone on vocals. So when Middleman and Wendy Watson show up at St. Albans hospital to interview Mr. Argent about the attack he suffered at the hands and teeth of his wife, Dubby is of course Ms. Blunstone from Time of the Season Unlimited Mutual.
After hearing the details of the attack – trout gore all over Mr. Argent from fishing, his crazed wife biting him, his super-strong wife throwing their RV at him – MM pulls the curtains around the bed and pulls his gun. It’s going to be curtains for Mr. Argent. A quick convo with Dubby about the sad fate of the man follows until Mr. Argent cries out that he doesn’t want to die. Fortunate. “Zombies lack any sense of self-preservation.” Middleman cheerily lets him live.
Ida calls: zombie attack in progress.
Back at the hall outside the illegal sublet Wendy shares with Lacey, Lacey and Noser argue with neighbor (and bad artist) Pip. He’d like to perform his epic monologue “Hey Mr. God” for Art Crawl. No one wants to see that. Really.
At the Grundy Fish Market, Mr. Argent’s poor, trout-craving wife is…what? Yes. I said this zombie craves trout. Anyway, his poor, trout-craving wife is on a rampage. Looking for trout. To eat.
Middleman tranqs her. With “enough tranquilizer to take down a Bengal elephant.” Oops. Two Bengal elephants.
Back at Middle HQ, we find out the zombie’s not a zombie. She’s got a heartbeat. Unfortunately, it’s accelerating a half-beat every 1005 seconds. They need to find an antidote before it explodes “like a sausage casing full of weasels.” Ida runs zombie-girl’s blood while the brown-clad heroes head to the Middlegarage.
Back at Art Crawl, things are going apace. Art’s getting hung, recyclables are being recycled, and Pip’s wearing a black track suit. All is well, until Lacey gets a call from moms. Henry Kissinger needs her.
In Middlemobile 2, MM is quizzing Dubby about her training. She thinks he’s jealous of her progress with Sensei Ping, but that’s not how MM rolls. He’s just proud as a new poppa.
Lacey calls to let Dubby know her moms won’t be making it to Art Crawl. Henry Kissinger.
“That guy! Cambodia, Chile, now Art Crawl?”
At the Beechwood Park RV Park, MM and Dubby look for evidence. Ida calls MM with the blood work. She was bitten by a Peruvian Flying Pike. Its venom turns its victims into trout-craving zombies. Oh, by the way, while Ida and MM are chatting on the Middlewatch, Dubby’s fighting a Flying Pike in the background. If only she’d left it alive to make the antidote…
But that’s okay. There’s a tag on the fish from the Odessey and Oracle Fishery. Helpful bad guys, leaving clues like that lying around.
At the fishery, MM and Dubby find a boatload of Peruvian Flying Pike. And then they find four men with shotguns. Dubby suggests Pain’s River – the first thing Sensei Ping taught her, even though it’s very complicated – and forty-seven seconds later the thugs are bound. Mr. White is running the operation, but the thugs have never seen his face.
Call fish and game, take a few live Pike back to MiddleHQ, and make the antidote.
And Dubby still has hopes of making it to Art Crawl which has already begun with Stump the Band. Noser’s awesome at Stump the Band. He stands on stage in his purple jacket holding his guitar close. The crowd yells out songs…he ponders…then says, “yeah, I know that.” Truly awe-inspiring!
A quick cure for Mr. Argent’s zombie-bride, and the Middleteam starts looking for Mr. White. But Dubby bails, claiming MM just wants busy work.
Lacey begins her performance before a rapt Art Crawl audience. MM buzzes the Middlewatch, calls on Dubby’s cell, and then shows up. While Lacey continues, MM tells Dubby a zombie attack is in progress. They exit, with Lacey on the verge of tears.
Another zombie. Man, what is it with zombies? While the zombie recovers from the antidote, Lacey shows up at the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Temp Agency to express her anger to Dubby. So angry is she, that when MM comes out to drag Dubby back inside she doesn’t even flirt with him. He’s visibly wounded by that, but soldiers on.
Turns out the party girl-zombie had gone on a casting call to be a spokesgirl for !!!!, an energy drink that smells like Peruvian Flying Pike with a touch of trout. Oops. Someone’s got an insidious plan to sell zombie-making juice as an energy drink!
Downtown at !!!! Industries, the Middleduo find cases and cases and cases of !!!!. Plus vending machines and…Mr. White! The head thug from the fish hatchery!
A former poacher, he was attacked by a school of Peruvian Pike. One bit his neck and turned him into a zombie. A friendly native gave him the antidote and Mr. White devised his heinous plan to, as MM puts it, “concoct the perfect cocktail of aquatic addiction to make yourself rich by fish-hooking the world on your energy drink.”
He gets the drop on the Middlepair and drops trout on the pair. Then he lets loose his secret weapon: hot zombie spokesmodels!
MM and Dubby duck into an office where she apologizes for letting her good day with Sensei Ping go to her head. But MM’s not in it to say “I told you so”. He’s in it to fight evil. So they battle together, taking out the hot zombie spokesmodels with the Devil’s Dance. Kicks the crapola outta SYTYCD, I tell ya!
Time to rise up and greet the dawn
In Middlecar 2, Dubby learns what the second key is for: jet power!
Thanks to the jet power, they catch up to Mr. White and Dubby tranqs him in the nick of time. But Middleman steps on her line. So she gets a do-over and goes with “swift justice.” It’s all in her delivery.
Next Art Crawl? Zombie-themed.
They were all zombie-themed this week, and all the ones I caught were related to The Zombies:
- St. Albans
- Mr. Argent
- Ms. Blunstone
- Time of the Season Unlimited Mutual
- Grundy Fish Market
- Beechwood Park RV Park
- Odessey and Oracle Fishery
- Mr. White
What did I miss? And what did everyone else think?