A Day in the Life of Gadget and Dale:
Author's Note: This story is based on the Untold Ranger Tales series and takes into account the relationships established in parts 1-8.
As the first rays of dawn penetrated the lair that used to belong solely to one Dale Oakmont, the light revealed that life was already stirring. Silently, a lithe form went first here then here, straightening and re-straightening objects and then slipped near the bed with a pair of slippers. As the form did so, a ray reflected off golden tresses and revealed it was in fact Gadget, who was now standing and looking over the sleeping form of her husband.
She smiled, contemplating him there, then put the slippers he always forgot about on the floor so he’d have them when he awakened. She reached down and kissed him ever so gently on the forehead and started to head for the door when Dale stirred.
“Gadget, that you?”
Gadget took a couple of steps back toward the bed. “Yes, Dale. I’ve got to finish up that new project I told you about. Remember, we’ll need it this afternoon.” Dale blinked and tried to get his mind to thaw. “Project? What project, my dearest love of my life? I guess it slipped my mind.”
The mouse inventor came back to the bed now, pulling Dale up to a sitting position. “What project? Golly Dale, don’t you remember? Today’s the day that we’re supposed to go to Theo’s school and talk to the kids about being Rescue Rangers. You know, for Distinguished Citizen Day?”
“Oh, oh yeah,” Dale said, thinking about the bad taste in his mouth more than anything. “So, you want me to round up some villains for us to fight at the school or something? Could help to have a visual aid.” Gadget chuckled as Dale went into the lair’s bathroom and dressed. “No, silly! You’re supposed to help me give the presentation. After all, you’re so great with kids I’m sure they’ll all warm up to you at once. And even with a full school assembly, there’s only about two or three hundred of them.”
The sound of Dale spitting out his toothpaste resounded through the lair and in a moment he rounded the corner, foam surrounding his mouth. Gadget grinned, thinking that with the expression on his face Dale looked exactly like a rabid chipmunk. At the moment, Dale probably would’ve settled for that malady rather than his soon-coming fate. “Two or three hundred! Uh, how about we ask Chip to do it? I’ll goof it up somehow! I can’t talk to those kids!”
Gadget used her considerable influence over her husband only on occasions when she knew it was necessary. Now was certainly once of those times, so she put her arms around him and her voice got soft and gentle. “Now you know full well that Chip’s already going to be talking to Theo’s home room this morning. He made the deal to do that and then go check the police reports. If he can handle a classroom full of questions, you and I can handle this.”
All of Dale’s fears and uncertainties were no match for Gadget. She always had a gift for giving him perspective on things. “I hope you’re right. I didn’t do well in school and I’d hate to keep that tradition alive. So, what are we going to talk to them about?”
“Dale, you’re as forgetful as Sparky this morning! We’re going to talk to them about what being a Rescue Ranger means. I’m bringing along a new invention and you’re supposed to bring your art tools and some of your better paintings from Ranger missions so we can use them for visual aids. I don’t suppose you remember that Miss Spelling asked you to draw some caricatures of the kids?”
Dale did remember, but grudgingly. “Yeah, I guess I better just get everything together. Gadget, I hate doing stuff like this. I don’t like going to school, even as a guest.” Gadget hugged him again and gave him a big smile. “I know, but the kids’ll love it and once you’re there you will too! Besides, we’re going to Carnival Land tonight. You know you’ll love that.”
The chipmunk gave his wife the mischievous grin that showed he was plotting. “Why don’t we just skip the school part and take all the kids to Carnival Land instead?”
“Oh go on, you!” Gadget pushed him into the main part of the lair where she’d already laid out most of the things he’d need. “Now remember, Monty’s going to be back here to help you move your things to the school as soon he helps me get my invention moved. Make sure you’ve got everything you need, then you’d better head down to breakfast.”
Gadget kissed him on the nose then headed for the door, looking back as she exited. “This is going to be fun!” Dale looked at the pile of materials, then thought about all those kids. “This is going to be a nightmare of epic proportions.”
Dale knew it was no good stalling so he began to organize things, picking out a few pictures from their adventures. “I guess Gadget wouldn’t want me to take the picture of her in the red dress. Might keep me from having to go back, though.” He dismissed the thought after another moment and finished a quick inventory. It was a very quick one in fact, because the aroma of food had been calling him for some time. The chipmunk scooted downstairs for breakfast and found Chip and Theo were there, as well as Zipper and Honey. Monty was serving out as usual.
“Well, it’s about time!” Chip said, pointing to the new wristwatch that Lahwhinie had bought him. The leader of the Rangers was agitated, mainly because something was in the way of casework. “I don’t know how you talked me into this, Theo.”
“Oh, c’mon dad!” Theo plied. “The kids at school need good role models. You said so yourself.”
“Yeah, I suppose so. You got all your things together, Dale?
Dale plunked himself in his chair. “I’m not as ready as I’ll ever be. How long are we gonna have to be there anyway?” Chip shook his head, although in reality he wanted it to be quick as well. “Fifteen minutes for the talk, then drawing after—the same as it was when you asked yesterday. Dale, you don’t have anything to be nervous about! Gadget’s probably going to do most of the talking, and then you can do drawings for the kids. It’s a cinch.”
In another part of town, events were unfolding that would soon have a huge bearing on Dale and Gadget’s day. On the top of a hill, in a geodesic dome, in a control room littered with telltales, levers and buttons, two humans stood together. They were laughing gleefully, rubbing their hands together. The elder troublemaker spoke first.
“Hoo hoo! At last, after three years of constant research and effort, I have created the most devastating—not to mention crime-friendly—device of my career!” Nimnul said. Nimnul’s nephew, Normie, was now a teenager. He was still every bit as troublesome as he’d been before, and now in a larger size to boot.
“That’s great, Unc!” Normie said. “Say, why don’t you let me give that a tryout?” Normie reached for the device in his Uncle Norton’s hand, but got a slap on the wrist for his efforts. “What did I tell you, Normie?” Nimnul asked.
“Uh, don’t touch anything you make?”
“RIGHT!” Nimnul shouted. “Now go outside and polish the dome while I plot the devastation of the city!” Nimnul started off, then called Normie back. “Oops, I almost broke the criminal code by not explaining my new invention! This is my new portable tornado ray, an offshoot of the weather machine. Encased in a simple pistol-grip design, this weapon allows me to literally blow away anyone who’d try to stop my plans! And I can even set it to use the ray’s cyclonic powers to drill through anything, even a bank vault!”
Normie eyes filled with glee. “That’s great, Unc! Now can I try it out?” Norton struck a contemplative pose. “Hmm, let me think about it...NO! Now go and do as you’re told or I’ll teleport you to Antarctica!” At that moment an alarm sounded, diverting Nimnul’s attention. “Oh, my experiment! I’ve got to add in the potassium nitrate or it’ll be ruined!”
Nimnul put the device down in his haste, which later he would admit was a big mistake—well, actually he’d find a reason to blame someone else. Normie naturally took advantage. “So, Uncle Norton doesn’t think I’m useful, huh? Well, I’ll show him! I’ll do something he’s only dreamed of.”
Normie pulled out a city map and pointed to a circle made there by his uncle. “That’s where the vermin are. I’ll track them down and then, whoosh! I’ll blow them away for good!”
Normie chuckled as he headed out of the dome, carrying the tornado ray. He tripped, dropping the gun, then picked it up again and dusted it off as he headed into town and Central Park.
The RangerWing landed outside the school, and Monty began helping Dale move his stuff into the gymnasium. “Looks like it’s gonna be a right fun time, lad! Why, I remember the first time I talked in front of an audience. Of course, the fight afterward did kinda leave everyone speechless.”
Dale had imagined every horrible kind of accident that could happen to them on the way, but unfortunately they’d landed safely. Now he’d have to go through with it. “I just want today to go smooth—no fights, no villains, no natural disasters or anything. Just talking, drawing and eating.” With a quick move, Dale came close to Monty and whispered, “Er, do you think if I ran off, anyone would notice?”
Unfortunately for Dale, Gadget caught up with them at that moment, holding an invention of hers. “Oh Dale, what could possibly happen? The sky’s blue, the wind is calm, and everything’s perfect for a great presentation.”
Yep, you guessed it. Just as Gadget got the words out, the wind picked up. A lot.
Monty grabbed his flight cap to keep it from blowing off his head. “Crikey! Where’d this hurricane come from? It’s loike the time I rounded the Cape of No Hope in the middle of a...”
“Tornado!” Gadget exclaimed.
“No lass, it was a storm, lashing us about!” Monty said.
“No, look up!”
Above them, they could see the cyclonic winds beginning to stir. From a secluded spot in the bushes, Normie laughed as the ray brought the tornado to life. “This is great! Now I get to ruin those nasty rodents’ day, and knock down a school to boot! I just knew today was going to be good.”
Dale picked up Gadget, since he knew she’d be too fascinated with the phenomenon to think about her own safety. “Everyone, inside quick!” Dale dashed for the door, holding Gadget tightly in his arms. Gadget was only too glad to get out of harm’s way at first, but then she saw something that made her break free. “Ohmigosh! Dale, there’s children out there!”
Indeed there were. The kids were in the process of changing classes, and the sounds outside had drawn their attention. Now they pointed up in fear, some of them screaming as a tornado the height of a large tree came toward them. Normie was guiding it with his ray gun, cackling with mischievous joy.
Dale spotted him. “Normie! Why can’t that kid go straight? Gadget, can you whip up something to stop that doohickey he has?” Gadget ran back to the Wing and grabbed her invention, returning quickly. “Well, actually I think this could help. It’s a high-powered snow cone maker that I was going to use to make goodies for the kids. If we can activate it and get the tornado to suck it up, the extreme cold it produces should dissipate the tornado!”
“Go for it, Gadget!” Dale shouted, over the approaching twister’s winds.
Gadget sized up the situation. “Okay, I’ll set it up. Help Monty get the kids to safety!” Dale leaped into action as he helped Monty corral the panicking children to safety. “We’d do Bedivere proud, Monty!”
“Too roight we would,” Monty said, taking a glance over at Normie. “Hey, what’s that looney kid up to now? Looks like he’s got a case of the jumping heebies!” Everything had been going great for Normie, but then it happened—Normie’s dropping the ray gun earlier had affected it after all, and it shorted out.
“What’s wrong with this thingy? Why can’t I control it!” Normie shouted, frustrated no end. The mini-tornado stopped its progress toward the school and reversed course—right for Normie. “No, no! Go the other way, you stupid tornado! The other way!”
Dale was about to laugh at Normie’s plight, but snapped his fingers in disgust instead. “Nuts! Now we have to rescue Normie. I hope Gadget’s invention works!” Dale began running for Normie, shouting instructions, not sure if Normie could understand him. Normie backed up in panic. “The vermin! He’s going to attack!”
Normie was in fact a coward, like his uncle. He dove for the bushes, the tornado right behind. The winds ripped up the bush he was hiding under and soon picked Normie off the ground, spinning him relentlessly. “Whoa-oa-oa-oa-oa!”
Monty, Gadget and Dale approached the base of the tornado, watching the fun. “Gadget luv, couldn’t we just watch this fer a while? It’s right entertaining!” Gadget gave her father a disapproving look, then returned her attention to the tornado. “I know he’s not worth it, Monty, but we did pledge ourselves to help people in trouble and right now he’s the one. Here, help me activate the snow cone machine.”
Monty pulled a lever on the side of the cubical metal machine and threw it at the tornado’s base. Quickly the machine was sucked up into the funnel and coincidentally came right into Normie’s hands. “Hey, what’s this?” Normie watched as little snow cones came pouring out of the side of the machine. “Snow cones? Hey, where’s the cherry filling?”
As the snow cones accumulated, they brought the ambient temperature inside the tornado low enough that it could no longer hold its integrity. With that it was gone, and left Normie spinning momentarily in midair. Down he came, yelling all the way. He crashed into the ground, losing his grip (and his consciousness) on the snow cone machine and it bounced off of his tummy right to Monty who promptly deactivated it.
“Gadget, I’d say that invention left him cold!” Monty punned.
The Rangers’ attention was diverted as from behind all the school kids, teachers, and the principal applauded their victory. They’d come out once the winds had abated, and now they all stood there, cheering their heroes. Dale took hold of Gadget’s arm and held it up, as if to declare her the winner of a boxing match. “A big round of applause for Gadget! Uh Gadget, you better dismantle that tornado thingy before it causes any more destruction.”
Gadget went over and inspected the tornado ray. “I don’t think we have to worry about that anymore, Dale. The internal circuitry’s all busted up.” From the crowd, Miss Spelling approached the trio. “Well, I see you three have managed to give us a very convincing visual aid when it comes to Distinguished Citizen Day. You have done well.”
Miss Spelling promptly gave each one of them a gold star from her coveted little box. “Now, Mr. Oakmont, suppose you tell these eager young minds what lesson they should learn from all that they’ve seen today?” Strangely, Dale knew just what to say. “Snow cones are good to eat and they can also save the city from disaster!”
The kids shouted with glee as one and Gadget set up her snow cone maker to provide a treat for the kids. Once everyone had their fill, Dale pitched right in with drawings and artwork of the kids. They loved it, and once Dale got into it he did as well, as Gadget knew he would. When they finally got back to Ranger Headquarters, they all admitted it had turned into a great day. Chip and Zipper came to attention as they walked in.
“Hi, guys!” Chip said. “It was quiet today at the police station. So, how was the presentation? You guys were there longer than I thought you’d be.” Dale stole a glance at Gadget and Monty. “Well, you know how it is, Chip—saving the world, eating snow cones, all in a day’s work. Gadget as usual was completely brilliant.”
Chip studied Dale dubiously. “Uh huh. Well, everyone ready to head for Carnival Land? Lahwhinie’s almost ready.” Chip headed to the back to check on Lahwhinie, and Dale stood there, amazed. “He didn’t think anything happened! Hey, Chip...”
Gadget stopped him. “It’s okay, Dale. We’ll fill them all in once we get to Carnival Land.” Monty put a hand on both their shoulders. “You bet. Say, I wonder what happened to Normie? Didja see if he got up all right?” Gadget nodded. “Yeah, he was only dazed. Of course, I suspect that right now he’s a little worse off than that...”
“YOU DID WHAT!”
Normie ducked his head, which was a good thing considering the objects his uncle was throwing at him. “I was trying to beat the vermin for you, to make you happy!” Nimnul aimed carefully and threw a big lug nut for a strike on the inside corner. “Not if you’re my nephew, you weren’t! You were trying to grab the glory for yourself! Well, I’ll show you something that really knows how to grab!”
Nimnul activated his remote control, and a big mechanical dog came out of a panel in the wall. “GET HIM!” As the dog chased the screaming Normie around and around the room, the scene slowly faded to the Rangers laughing joyfully on the merry-go-round at Carnival Land. Truly, it was the end of a great day.
Theo Maplewood and Miss Spelling are copyright Indy and Chris Silva. Norton Nimnul, Normie Nimnul and the Rescue Rangers are copyright Disney and used without permission but with the utmost respect.