Dr. Batorious: And here to present the award for the Best All-Time Artist of 2003, we give you Rescue Ranger fandom’s enigmatic wordsmith . . . Rennod.
::Light applause comes from the audience as the curtain folds back. The house and stage lights dim and a spotlight illuminates the podium with a faint yet radiant vertical shaft of light. Rennod strides purposefully towards the podium, having changed now from his fatigues to a dark blue casual pullover shirt, jeans, and his ubiquitous black cap and glasses::
Rennod: Good evening. At this time tonight, we honor those who have produced works of art that have remained a part of the Rangerphile community as a lasting impression. Those whose work has had such impact as to remain cherished favorites from year to year. To those that had the talent and courage to give such wonderful contributions to the lasting memory of the show we cherish, we give thanks and appreciation in the form of this Golden Acorn Award, the Best All-Time Artist Award of 2003.
::The big screen shows the title slide with the name of the award on it::
Rennod: As usual for Best All-Time Awards, last year’s winner is automatically a nominee. Here they all are, in no particular order:
- Charles Williams
- Ilya Pestov
Rennod: And the winner is . . .
::Rennod reaches for his back pocket for the envelope. He freezes in place for a moment, then rapidly checks the other back pocket, then the first one again, to be sure. He grins gamely::
Rennod: . . . going to have to wait a minute or two here . . .
::One moment he’s there, absolutely still—the next, he’s gone, sprinting for the backstage, leaving only the afterimage of his silhouette in the spotlight briefly remaining. A slight murmur, punctuated by chuckles, ripples through the audience::
::Backstage, two shadowy figures look below at the strange man scrambling around madly below them::
Euripedes: You don’t suppose he’s looking for . . . ?
Voltaire: The very same document we have in our hands?
Euripedes: Oh, you are the clever one, aren’t you?
Voltaire: Well, I do try . . .
::Below, Rennod hears something making noise above him. Looking up, he sees movement in the rafters::
Rennod: Hey! Who’s up there? Is that my envelope?
Voltaire: You’ll have to catch us to find out!
Rennod: That voice... no, it couldn’t be!
::The flamboyant gator reveals himself with a flourish::
Sewernose: Ta-daaaaaa! Please, please, no autographs! Applause, adulation, yes, but no autographs—though by all means, please keep asking, heh.
Rennod: Give that back! I need that envelope for the ceremony!
Euripedes: You’ll have to talk to talented, green, and scaly here, first!
Volitaire: Hey! Take that back!
Sewernose: What? Hey, yeah!
Euripedes: I was merely being descriptive. He is green and scaly, you know.
Sewernose: True, true, that I am.
Volitaire: I was talking about calling him talented.
Sewernose: <I>Now wait a minute here</I>!
Rennod: You already did, silly.
::Sure enough, while Sewernose argues with his puppets, Rennod finds the access ladder to the catwalk above and reaches the alligator-actor. A stout flying kick knocks the reptile off-balance, causing him to lose his hold on the envelope. Rennod makes a grab for it, but Sewernose’s tail thumps the author in the chest heavily, spoiling the effort::
Sewernose: Trying to upstage me, eh? Understudies should know their place!
Rennod: Then you should know yours!
::The two combatants grapple briefly, Rennod holding the gator’s mouth shut with one arm, and warding off Voltaire with the other. Finally, Euripedes uses Rennod’s nose as a speed-punching bag, causing the man with the shades to let go. Sewernose gnashes his jaws menacingly to put some distance between them, and Rennod backs off unhesitatingly::
Rennod and Sewernose: The envelope!
::All eyes go to the coveted envelope, now precariously balanced on the edge of the catwalk railing an equal distance between them. They both lunge for it, but while Rennod is a little quicker and seizes the envelope, Sewernose has greater mass and momentum and knocks the author over the railing. Rennod hangs, self-suspended, over the stage in a precarious predicament, the aggrandizing alligator looming over him::
Sewernose: See, you cannot even avoid the obvious cliché. Pathetic.
Rennod: Yeah, but by using it I’ve forced you into a cliché part as well. To be original, you’d have to help me out of this.
Voltaire: Yow. Spurious logic.
Euripedes: I hate to say it, but I think he has a point.
Sewernose: I hate it when everybody’s right.
::Rennod’s hand starts to get tired::
Rennod: Not only that, but the show must go on, I’m on cue, and you’re trying to upstage <I>me</I>.
Euripedes: Double owie.
Sewernose: When you put it that way . . .
::His grip was failing. He’d slip any moment now::
Rennod: Look, you want to be in next year’s awards show or what?
::Sewernose perks up at the words::
Sewernose: You mean it?
::Not much longer now . . .::
Rennod: Yes! Yes! If it’s in my power, you’ve got it! Now help me!
Sewernose: Ah! Deal! Now I, Sewernose DeBergerac, famed acting alligator extraordinaire, shall be best supporting alligator in this, your greatest role, greatest because of me and my help . . .
::Of course, at that instant, Rennod’s fingers slip away::
Euripedes: Oops. Well, as they say in show business, ‘break a leg!’ Right?
Voltaire: I suppose this would have helped!
::With that, the small puppet grabs a coiled line of rope and tosses it after the plummeting presenter . . .::
::Several explosive gasps slip form the audience as Rennod, out of nowhere, plunges down several feet from above and crashes to the stage. A rope drops from above a second later, the trailing last inches of which plop unceremoniously on the bill of his cap. The frayed end dangles tauntingly in front of Rennod’s nose::
Rennod (muttering): A bit late . . .
::He slowly gets up and dusts himself off, then returns to the podium::
Rennod: Sorry for the wait, ladies and gentlemen.
::From the audience comes a strange noise of a feline throat being cleared noisily::
The J.A.M.: **¡¡ahem!!**
Rennod: And jaguars as well, my apologies.
The J.A.M.: De nada, amigo.
Rennod: And now, the envelope!
::The man with the shades holds the now-rumpled envelope aloft. Rennod brings it down and carefully opens it, removing the small card emblazoned with the winner::
Rennod: And the winner for the 2003 Best Artist is. . .Fish!
::After all that, a safe and simple acceptance is most welcome from the audience. They clap eagerly, standing as Fish reaches the podium to accept the award from Rennod::
Fish: Holy MOLY.
::The crowd smiles and laughs accordingly::
Fish: I just want to thank all the artists who had their work posted on some of the first CDRR sites I stumbled on, such as the aforementioned Gadget Internet Archives, which inspired me to draw again. My artistic talents were in deep hibernation for years until finding a fan base for these strangely aesthetically pleasing creatures had me pulling off pen caps again.
::Clapping breaks out for a moment or two, then settles down again::
Fish: What I learned from drawing and digitally editing "Of Mice and Mayhem" has spilled over into a second career for me now, and I suppose I have the entire CDRR phenomenon to thank.
<a href=“http://www.electricfishmusic.com/fishart_web/index.htm”> Check here to see what I mean</a>.
Fish: I also want to voice my appreciation for the many current artists I have since seen, who I also believe deserve a nod. From amazing modern-art collages to stylized interpretations to humorous model sheet alterations to stunning sketch work, we've got it all.
::The spotlight touches on several of the current artists, who stand and acknowledge the audience::
Fish: And of course, I wish to thank Charles Williams for his inspiration to me and for his amazing contributions to the CDRR artistic community.
::This brings the largest applause, and, as it shows no signs of dying down, Fish simply hefts his award and leaves the stage with Rennod::