Saturday, May 1, 1993

1993: The Branch Pythagoreans

Never ones to stop at political correctness, the 1993 skit was a combination of the Branch Davidian debacle and the turmoils in the Space Station contract. The skit was about a mathematical cult that believes Gene Kranz is the reincarnation of the Greek mathemetician Pythagoras: the Branch Pythagoreans.

We kicked everyone else's sorry butt all across the Gilruth Center compound. Unfortunately, the judges failed to agree, as we went trophy-less.

Despite the tragic ending to the events at Waco, we felt we couldn't compromise our own principles and create a new skit for the FOD cookoff. Plus, we couldn't come up with a new one.

High/lowlights: Still more Cherry Bombs, Sally's duet with Alan on "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights", Roje ending up in the mud, Pat McGroin, and the Top Five Space Babes.

1993 skit: The Branch Pythagoreans

© 1993 Surfin' Chili

[CNN Music, James Earl Jones saying "This... is CNN.]

ANNOUNCER: We interrupt this chili cookoff for a Chili News Network special report. We take you live to CNN Headquarters in Clear Lake, Texas for the first installment of "Crisis on Orbit: Freedom Held Hostage, Day 1."

PAT: Good afternoon, I'm Pat McGroin. We have a reporter on the scene of a reported takeover of the Space Station Freedom by a cult group. On the scene, orbiting 220 nautical miles above the earth, is our correspondent, Wolf Brand Chili. Wolf Brand? What can you tell us about this group?

WOLF: Pat, the Space Station has been taken over by a group called the Branch Pythagoreans. This group is a mathematical cult that believes that Gene Kranz is the reincarnation of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras. They also worship right angles.

PAT: So they're a bunch of squares?

WOLF: We have unconfirmed reports that is true.

PAT: Wolf Brand, can you tell us how this all happened?

WOLF: Pat, this group of people are followers of a man named John Aaron, who used to be in charge of the Space Station Work Package II project. After his reassignment, he and his fanatical band of Space Station Zealots have commandeered the Space Station Freedom. The first government agency on the scene was the newly reorganized ATF, that's the Bureau of Anarchy, Taxation, and Free-Health-Care. During their attempt to reclaim Freedom, four ATF agents were exposed to potentially lethal doses of Planet Texas chili. Doctors are pessimistic about their chances of survival due to the toxic nature of the Planet Texas sludge.

PAT: Thank you Wolf Brand; we have to take a break now. We'll be back after these messages.

ANNOUNCER: We'll have more in our continuing coverage of "Crisis on Orbit: Freedom Held Hostage, Day 1", sponsored by Surfin' Chili, Producers of such fine films as "Surfin' Chili and the Holy Grail", "Chili Instinct", "A Few Good Chilis", and "A Chili Runs Through It."


BILL & AL: [in unison] It's Bill's World, party on, tax and spend, don't inhale, all right.

BILL: [brushing hair behind ears] OK... In support of our latest bus tour, we now present our list of the top five space babes of all time. OK, our number five Space Babe is Marsha Ivins. Just look at this Glamour Shot pose! Shwing!

AL: She's a babelicious babetician from Babe-alonia!

BILL: Good one, my vice-dude. Space Babe number four is Sally Ride. Not only was she the first American woman in space, but she's the only Space Babe to have a song written about her. [sound clip of "Ride Sally Ride" song]

AL: [in serious tone] Next on our list of Space Babes is rookie astronaut Eileen Collins, the first woman pilot astronaut. We've included her here as a tribute and a symbol of the post-modern feminism that has triumphed over the prevailing good-old boy mentality that has so pervaded our society.

BILL: Ooooo-kay. Let's move on. Space Babe number two is the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. The woman cosmonaut with the hairy armpits that looks like an East German swimmer.

AL: We've included her here as a sorbet, if you will, to cleanse the palate.

BILL: And now, the number one Space Babe of all time, past, present and future, is... that curvaceous animated vixen, Judy Jetson! [catcalls from audience]

ANNOUNCER: Look for Bill and Al taking money out of a wallet near you. Now back to our continuing coverage of "Crisis on Orbit: Freedom Held Hostage, Day 1."

PAT: Welcome back to Chili News Network. We switch you now to the home of former President George Bush for his reaction to the takeover. With the President is Anita Martini-Margarita.

ANITA: Thanks, Pat. Mr. President, what are your thoughts on this grave matter?

BUSH: [ad libs] ...thousand points of light... [ad lib] ...not gonna do it... [ad lib] ...wouldn't be prudent... [ad lib] ...not at this juncture... [ad lib] (etc.)

[ANITA tries to interrupt with "Yes, but..." but keeps getting cut off. She eventually drags BUSH away.]

PAT: We have just recieved a pre-recorded message from the Branch Pythagoreans. We are to play it as a condition for ending the siege. Due to the necessarily technical content of this message, we would like to caution our less intelligent viewers and any members of management. [plays message]

TAPE: [pre-taped, spoken over "Star Trek" sound effects] It's so clear and simple... the solution is the fact that the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides! I mean... how long will it be until the people realize that the square root of -1 just isn't real... it's not real, man!... it's imaginary! Now, now, we have come here to integrate, not differentiate. I don't want to go off on a tangent, but consider the transcendentalism of pi. [background chanting of "pi" like a mantra]. In summation, we are prepared to take this to the limit as time goes to infinity! T-E-A-M teeeeeeeam Drink! (Tim's the Devil) [in small voice] Oui, oui, I am not afraid!

PAT: [stunned tone] Uhhh, yeah... Now we have an interview with the Acting President of the United States, Hillary Ride-em Clinton.

HILLARY: Why can't we all just get along?

PAT: I'm sorry, Madame President, but we have to interrupt, there's late breaking action.

HILLARY: But what about my healt care reforms?

PAT: I'm sorry, we have to go. Wolf Brand, what do you have?

HILLARY: Just like a man to pull out before the job's done.

WOLF: We've just leaned that the combined forces of HUD, White House lobbyists, and various special interest groups have invaded the Space Station in an attempt to convert it to low income housing.

PAT: What happened to the Pythagoreans?

WOLF: The combined forces blanketed the Space Station with leaflets describing the Clinton budget plan. The Branch Pythagoreans were so confused by the mathematics involved that they were all driven insane, fell into a catatonic state, and led away bound in straitjackets.

PAT: Thank you, Wolf Brand. Well, the Space Station Freedom has been returned to safety. This has been a special report from the Chili News Network. "Crisis on Orbit: Freedom Held Hostage, Day 1". We now return you to your regularly scheduled chili cookoff.

cast (in order of appearance):

Announcer: Andrea Podsiadlo

Pat McGroin: Michael Grabois

Wolf Brand Chili: Roje Yap

Bill Clinton: Alan Groskreutz?

Al Gore: Tim Griffiths

George Bush: Jeff Schikner

Anita Martini-Margarita: Misty Schikner

Tape: Alan Groskreutz and Surfin' Chili

Small voice on tape: Lee Coggins

Hillary Ride-em Clinton: Sally Jurgens

not appearing but helping anyway:

Robin Hieber

Kevin Shireman