Theatre of the Mind ~ Bad Blood

It may come as a surprise to some of you that despite my on-line persona, there are some days when I am not my perky, pleasant, and positive self. Take today for example . . .

I arrived at my TOTM office characteristically *less* than exuberant. The TOTM saga was now well into Season 5 and the TOTMs had been coming at a steady pace. But these were the dog days of TOTMs. I needed encouragement; I needed motivation; I needed to know that someone was out there! And yet, I hadn't heard from anyone for days and days. I opened my email, once again hoping for any morsels of feedback-good, bad, or indifferent-that might be flung my way. Eureka! At last, today I had mail! My fingers trembled as I pushed "get message," nervously anticipating whatever the loyal TOTM follower had to say. And there it was: "Are you going to do another TOTM today or what?" Suddenly I snapped.

What do you mean you want me to do another TOTM? And why do I have to do it right now? I just spent hours on my ass doing a TOTM, all for you. I do it all for you, people. You know, I haven't eaten since 6 o'clock this morning, and all that was was a half a cream cheese bagel, and it wasn't even real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese. And now you want me to run off and do another TOTM? What the hell is the matter with you?

Don't! Don't even start with me! Well, okay, this TOTM has to be done in one hour and I'm going to tell you exactly what I saw from the beginning . . . the very beginning. It was all about the footwear. That's not what you saw? Okay, now you're scaring me.

1. Footwear Sighting #1: I'd know that running footwear anywhere.

2. Mulder is doing the . . . with the thing.

3. Scully's look as she finds the fake fangs says that Mulder is in deep doo-doo.

4. Oh sh . . . what? What was he going to say? Shoot? Shucks? Shazaam?

5. Meanwhile, he got his footwear all dirty. Oh shi . . .

6. I never liked that trash can anyway. I'm glad the footwear destroyed it.

7. Thanks to the editing Scully can't seem to decide whether to have her arms crossed or her hands in her lap.

8. TWC1: I think Mulder is looking pretty terrific in this episode. And I gotta know if you're gonna back me up or what.

9. If M&S go to prison, do you think they could share a cell? That oughta solve the UST problem.

10. Maybe Scully and Large Marge can watch "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" together. She Said -- Scully's Version

11. "Hope you brought your cowboy boots." What'd I say about footwear?

12. It's a slide show on speed!

13. Mulder always finds her theories goofy. I don't consider this an exaggeration.

14. El Chupacabra? Naw, that's John Shiban. This is Vince Gilligan.

15. Mulder not imparting all the information about the case? When has that happened before?

16. Scully can rest in peace in The Iditarod model. Or maybe The Last Supper?

17. Footwear Sighting #2: Local law enforcement is represented by . . . a pair of cowboy boots!

18. A pair of cowboy boots attached to Sheriff Lucius Hartwell. (BTW, Hartwell is the VG Holly reference in this episode since that is Vince's girlfriend's middle name-hence the name.)

19. I'm sure it only *seems* like he forgets your name at times, Scully.

20. TWC2: "Nice threads." I've always said clothes make the man. Besides which, I'd rather look at Mulder than listen to another one of Scully's (making my fingers go like little quotation marks) "theories."

21. Since when did Scully become the expert on vampirism?

22. Jealous!Mulder is wondering that too as he watches the interaction between Dana and Lucius.

23. "Dana?! He never even knew your first name." (Obviously, right again, as "Dana" changes to "Agent Scully" as she continues her story.)

24. Footwear Sighting #3: The Big Breakthrough! His shoes are untied!

25. Scully, you need him to tell you what to look for in an autopsy? Maybe you'd better check that box marked "Head - Human Remains - Handle With Care" to see if yours is in there.

26. Footwear Sighting #4: Scully fears Mulder might be right and checks out the footwear for herself.

27. It's autopsy time. Yee-haw. Do you think Scully puts all that stuff back when she's done with it?

28. Footwear Sighting #5: Close-up of Scully's too-little-to-reach-the-pedals feet in those white autopsy Nikes-just do it.

29. Only Scully could get hungry while scooping pizza ingredients out of someone's stomach.

30. Award for Best Use of Episode Legends: Change of Davy Crockett Motor Court to Sam Houston Motor Lodge. Too cute.

31. Poor Scully. Resorting to mechanical magic fingers when other magic fingers are so close.

32. Footwear Sighting #6: Scully kicks off her SHOES when she gets on the vibrating bed, AND we get a nice close-up of her FEET when Mulder opens the door.

33. Awww, naturally, all Scully's other thoughts just vibrate right out of her head when she sees his disheveled appearance. What happened?

34. TWC3: The She-Said Holy Flaming Cow moment! You gotta do that autopsy!

35. MSRM: Sh . . . They were only on that bed together for a few seconds, and didn't a thousand different things run through your mind? So many possibilities, so little time.

36. Is Scully implying that Mulder has trashed her motel room at some time in the past?

37. Aunt B's pizza! I thought they only had franchises in Oklahoma (see "D.P.O.").

38. Oh, oh. The pizza delivery guy is the one that Mulder did the . . . with the thing.

39. You give those small intestines an inch, they'll take a mile.

40. I think Scully might want to consult a chiropractor. She's got serious neck problems (and noises).

41. Bad Scully! She should have known from the heavy breathing that it was Mulder.

42. Did you see that big old light bulb go off over Scully's head when she figured out the pizza guy was the chloral-hydrating vampire?

43. Even though she was worried about Mulder, I'm glad Scully took the time to change back into her street clothes before dashing to his rescue. You can't go vampire hunting in scrubs-it just isn't done!

44. It sure appears to me that Scully ordered a pizza with no cheese. No cheese, unbuttered popcorn. Perhaps the girl is lactose intolerant?

45. Footwear Sighting #7: Those cute little stocking feet sticking out from beside the bed!

46. TWC4: "That's it?" Head on the desk, woo-hoo!!

47. "Can you dig it?" Play that funky music, white boy. (And Mulder in a sleeveless undershirt? Have we ever seen that before?)

48. "I did not." Oh, I think you probably did. And she's not gonna let you forget it, in much the same way you probably don't let her forget a little "joy to the world" on the forest floor.

49. Scully arrived just after he did the . . . with the thing and found that the vampire teeth were fake.

50. Wow, he sure towers over her. Perhaps she forgot her 3" heeled footwear!! He Said - Mulder's Version

51. The tone has changed, but the cowboy boots remain the same.

52. "Why are we going to Dallas?" How about a little cheese with all that whine!

53. BTW, Chaney, Texas, is probably named for Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney, Jr., both of whom played vampires in their film careers.

54. If you don't present a well-organized slide show, you get the Wrath of Scully!

55. It's a kinder, gentler Mulder, wary of jumping to conclusions, and always eager to hear her opinions and respectful of them. So you knew right away this was a slight exaggeration, huh?

56. Do you think Scully chose the "Velvet Fox" model for Mulder's eternal rest? (That joke about "repeat business" isn't so funny now, is it Mulder?)

57. Hoo boy! Scully can think it about Hartwell if she wants. I save my hoo-boys for another.

58. TWC5: Mulder is oh so cute when he reacts to Hartwell's big buck teeth/slight overbite.

59. If Scully says she does not "gaze" at Sheriff Hartwell, she's lying. She even repeats things.

60. Mulder is back to being the vampirism expert . . . and Scully is duly impressed. Her behind the back machinations are hilarious!

61. But *I* am impressed that even though Mulder is red/green colorblind, he knows Scully has red hair.

62. Footwear Sighting #8: Mulder is Footwear Inspector #1013!!

63. TWC6: Why is it so important that we designate each time Mulder looks good in an episode? I'm gettin' to it.

64. Mulder's so busy showing off, he misses his own clues-the killer will be drawn to the cemetery? And this one is driving a Gremlin (i.e., an imaginary creature, demon, etc.). Hel-lo!

65. Footwear Sighting #9: Footwear on the desk. He's a sole man!

66. Mulder & Hartwell and their Rainman Conversation in the Car: I'm definitely thinking about the bloopers, definitely thinking about the bloopers. Hartwell's an excellent driver.

67. Mulder & Hartwell look like two gunslingers comin' to save the town from wayward Winnebagos.

68. TWC7: "Why skip ahead?" Especially when the two of them look so cute in front of the poster!

69. As she drops and rolls, Scully can shoot out the tire on a speeding Gremlin, but Mulder can't shoot out the tire of a motor home going backwards in a circle? Has he been on the firing range since "Pusher"?

70. Footwear Sighting #10: Luckily, the RV runs out of gas to provide us with another close-up!

71. TWC8: The He-Said Holy Flaming Cow Moment! Was there *ever* a better wounded puppy dog look? I think not. (Poor baby! No sharing a bed this time!)

72. These two are getting awfully comfortable in each other's rooms. She packed his unmentionables in "Detour" and now he thinks nothing of stripping down to his unmentionables in her room.

73. Footwear Sighting #11: Muddy Mulder Footwear! Be still my heart!

74. Let's hope Mulder learned a thing or two about tipping the pizza guy and does a better job in "Empedocles."

75. "Ah, Scully." It's nice to know Mulder appreciates her at least for her ability to order dinner. Ah, if she could only be there to eat the pizza that falls on his vibrating chest!

76. Footwear Sighting #12: Muddy Mulder Footwear with shoelaces untied.

77. But how disappointing to learn that your constant and touchstone thinks she gets an obscene phone call and doesn't realize that it's you. And she calls you a creep to boot (no footwear pun intended).

78. That's right. Don't go for the gun. Go for the seeds!!

79. TWC9: Flying squirrel, talking moose. What's the difference?

80. Not only did he kill someone, he also destroyed motel property.

81. That's quite an interesting sheet-covered shot of Ronnie at the morgue. If I didn't know better, I might be thinking chronic morbid tumescence. Sch-wing!

82. Ronnie finds that he has no fangs. Oh sh . . .

83. You know, I think Mulder *is* right about 98.9 percent of the time. (And BTW, did you know that if you look for a synonym for the word "vampire" you get "reanimated corpse"? Kind of puts a whole new spin on things, don't you think?) I Said - Polly's Version

84. Moose & Squirrel sent to the principal's office.

85. But don't you love how she straightens his tie? They are *so* married.

86. Now maybe this is just me, but don't you think it's a little telling that Skinner's secretary looks exactly like Scully? The man is absolutely smitten.

87. "I was drugged." I noticed that.

88. And Ronnie is now alive. I noticed that too. People come back to life all the time on the XF.

89. Aw, I thought surely this was a job for the Big Ass Flashlights.

90. Buck teeth? Slight overbite? What's more significant? The teeth-or who's right?

91. "Don't say I never did nothin' fer ya." Mulder, what are you doing? This is not the time to test the "if you love something, set it free" theory (making quotation marks with my fingers again).

92. Footwear Sighting #13: Cowboy boot coffee mug.

93. Scully finally falls for the guy with the green eyes and it's the wrong one! (Well, she was drugged.)

94. Footwear Sighting #14: Mulder!Boots. Not my favorite Timberlands, but they'll do.

95. Ride 'em, urban cowboy!!

96. It just doesn't work the same when they can eat your crucifix.

97. Footwear Sighting #15: Holy Flaming Footwear That Was Once a Cow!! Look at those gunboats in the window. What is it they say about the size of a man's feet?

98. I think maybe Scully got "deputized."

99. TWC10: The I Said Holy Flaming Cow Moment-Agent Mulder, come blow my horn!

100. Neck check! Neck check! Not as nice as "Ice," but that long look up and down at the Sheriff's coat on Scully and wondering how it got there is worth the price of admission.

101. Footwear Sighting #16: Mulder ties his shoes . . . was that the sound of my tongue hitting the floor?

Well, that's exactly the way it happened from start to finish. Although I can neither confirm nor deny your version of events which occurred outside my presence. And anyway, by the time I finished with this, I was drugged. And then I was characteristically exuberant.

102. That is . . . essentially, exactly the way it happened.

103. Essentially.

104. Fade to black.

105. Except for the part about the footwear.

One-hundred five entries in this TOTM? Was that really necessary? What was I thinking?

"I was just trying to be thorough."

Apologies, as always, for everything except the footwear.