Theatre of the Mind ~ Humbug

1. What a lovely scene. Two boys splashing and playing in their backyard pool!

2. Oh no! There is evil lurking in the bushes!

3. Look out, kids! Swim for your lives!

4. Whew! It's just their dad!

5. Um . . . he looks a little . . . odd. But there he is playing with his kids, enjoying his time with them. Pretty much leading a "normal" life.

6. Oh no! Evil is *still* lurking in the bushes! Is that the theme from Jaws I hear in the background?

7. Gee, we were prepared to be "horrified" by the guy we thought was the monster, and now this poor, loving dad is the victim. Appearances can be deceiving . . .

8. I began to worry just a little bit when The Enigma was listed as a guest star. But in retrospect, maybe they should use this method to credit all the guest stars: The Skinman. The Ratboy. The Fowl One.

9. Scully has only compassion for the Alligator Man: "Imagine going through your whole life looking like this."

10. The one time one of Scully's black outfits would be appropriate and she's wearing tan.

11. Alligator Man + Bearded Lady = Pretty Good Looking Kids.

12. Scully checks out all the mourners as they check her out. Mulder checks out the tall guy in the next seat and learns what it's like to be Scully.

13. Mulder makes some great faces in this episode, and the first one is right here.

14. TWC1: And Mulder has a big woo-hoo moment at the funeral. Hedgehog hair is beginning to "grow" on me.

15. The funeral is disrupted by . . . don't all the nuts roll down to Florida?

16. I usually go to funerals hoping that a fight will break out, much as I go to fights hoping a hockey game will break out.

17. "I can't wait for the wake." ROTFLMAO

18. It's nice to the know that Flukie didn't let a little thing like getting cut in half in the sewer get in the way of his success. (Written by Darin Morgan.)

19. "I got the impression that Glazebrook wasn't the only sideshow performer residing here." You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to fool Agent Mulder!

20. Hmmm. I think I'm beginning to get the picture now. Yes, there's an X-File here, but the real focus of this episode is how our perceptions of people are formed by what we see on the outside. We make our snap judgments based on outer appearance and rarely take the time to see what is on the inside. Instead, we tend to size up, stereotype, and perhaps discriminate against others based solely on their looks. I'd just like to point out that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, beauty is only skin deep, you can't judge a book by its cover . . .

21. Well, I won't sit idly by as you hurl cliches at me. If this episode *is* about how shallow we are, then I would say it just *aches* for more totally worthless commentary!

22. TWC2: Ask and ye shall receive.

23. Mulder is captivated by the story of the Fiji Mermaid, while Scully does one of her best eyerolls.

24. S--"Do you recall what Barnum said about suckers?" (nod to Mulder). You know, you called him a sucker in "Deep Throat" too, Scully, but he was right all along.

25. The Vancouver pool of dog actors must be slim pickins'. I think this Fido appeared in "Fire" too.

26. Mulder manages to offend the motel manager Mr. Nutt by asking if he had done much circus work in his life.

27. Mr. Nutt manages to offend Mulder by calling his necktie designs "unimaginative."

28. Having learned nothing from his Mr. Nutt encounter, Mulder poses the same question to Lanny, who I think was billed in the credits as The Man With The Congenital Twin Growing Out of His Side.

29. Again, we learn we can't judge Lanny just by appearances. He was proud of displaying his deformity; not so proud of toting people's luggage.

30. TWC3: Morning Jog!Mulder! He is looking nice.

31. I'm not "puzzled" anymore. This is why I don't eat sushi.

32. Scully waked up and thinks it's raining men.

33. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

34. I'll grant you, it is tough to interrogate someone while they are hammering a nail up their nose.

35. Another great Mulder face as he removes Dr. Blockhead's body piercing.

36. Dr. B--"Did you know that through the protective Chinese practice of Tiea Bu Shan,you can train your testicles to draw up into your abdomen?" M--"Oh, I'm doing that as we speak." LOL (Special TWC: I don't think so, honey.)

37. "Maybe it was another bald-headed, jigsaw puzzled-tattooed, naked guy I saw." Mulder, you're not in D.C. anymore.

38. The Conundrum eats live animals, light bulbs, cranberries? I always have been a little suspicious of those folks at Ocean Spray.

39. Jiminy Crickets, Scully. Another great Mulder face (cricket epiphany?).

40. The Great Scullini strikes again! And the Great Mullini proves that he has a little something up his sleeve as well!

41. Thanks to her "intellectual curiosity," Dr. Scully pays a little extra for "proof" of an extreme possibility. Who's calling who a sucker!

42. I'm glad that Agent Mulder is looking out for Agent Scully's crawlspace. That's true love!

43. Mr. Nutt-"You'd be surprised how many women find my size intriguingly alluring." M-"And you'd be surprised how many men do as well." LOL

44. Scully tells the bedtime story of Jim-Jim, the Dog-Faced Boy. "Oh, you know what I like."

45. It's the great potato exhumation caper! Bring a shovel, a flashlight, and some sour cream.

46. LOL funny when Scully tries to explain their presence and exasperated Mulder just says, "We found out you used to be a dog-faced boy."

47. That's a clever way to make sure you don't lose your rent check. Just pin it to your loincloth.

48. Do you think it says "The Conundrum" on his driver's license too?

49. I guess sometimes you feel like a Nutt, sometimes you don't.

50. TWC4: What did he say about banality? I was preoccupied.

51. TWC5: Love the trench coat with tee-shirt look. Let's see more of that!

52. Trying to handcuff an escape artist. Good move, Scully.

53. But don't worry. Mulder has got this suspect "nailed." :::groan:::

54. TWC6: Just let me say that when Mulder delivers Dr. Blockhead to the jail, that ain't all he delivers. Suffice it to say that he must have gotten dressed in a hurry, if you get my drift? (Okay, sorry, out of gutter now, but we said this episode was about outward appearances, didn't we?)

55. Another great Mulder face, a little squeamish looking at the lost appendage.

56. Am I hearing correctly? Is that our Scully explaining that the twin disengaged himself from Lanny? Naturally Mulder believes without question. Why can't she give him the same consideration?

57. You knew M&S would end up in the funhouse . . . er, tabernacle of terror, didn't you?

58. Mulder getting lost in a maze full of dead ends-what a perfect metaphor for the X-Files, don't you think?

59. Scullys. Lots and lots of Scullys.

60. TWC7: Mulder sliding out of the chute. A big hoo-boy.

61. Interesting how the usually unflappable Mulder is rendered speechless several times in this episode. Like, "Did you see a uh, uh . . ."

62. TWC8: Scully in brown suit. Very nice. Nice hair too.

63. I can see the Sheriff's report now. "These FBI agents had very wacky theories. Agent Scully's theories were particularly disturbing."

64. "Now you know how I feel." ROTFLMAO.

65. TWC9: Vogue!Mulder! If the future looks just like him, bring it on! This is tonight's holy flaming cow moment.

66. "Imagine going through your whole life looking like that." It's all a matter of perspective. (See #9)

67. I think Blockhead and Conundrum better stop and get a big pack of Rolaids. How do you spell relief?

68. Love the M&S double take in the last scene. Perfect ending to a perfect episode!

69. In the usual X-files universe, Mulder, and by association Scully, are the oddballs, the people who are considered "not quite normal" by their peers. In the "Humbug" universe, M&S have the chance to be the normal people, and as such are out of their element, but still not out of character. As the episode progresses, we realize that just as we stereotype people who may not look like the standard definition of "normal," the "freaks" of Gibsonton, Florida, are doing the same to the dynamic duo. They probably figure Mr. GQ cover boy and Ms. Brainiac have it pretty good. Lord, if they only knew!

70. As you can see, it's tough to parody a parody. This episode didn't originally air on April Fool's Eve for nothing. Perhaps this TOTM is a "genuine fake," just like the Fiji Mermaid. At any rate, like all TOTMs, it is part fact and part fiction. And "You never know where the truth ends and the humbug begins."

Many, many apologies for this dud, but it's been a long day, and just like the X-Files episodes, they can't all be gems. Sometimes writing the TOTM is a spiritual thing, and "if people knew the true price of spirituality, there'd be more atheists." I'll try to do better tomorrow . . . er, later today.