by Martin Maenza
“All right, then,” continued Bizarro-Ambush Bug. “Let’s begin with the spokesmodel competition.” He waved his hand, and the curtain behind him fell to the stage in a collapsed heap. There, on rickety staircases on each side of the stage were two Bizarro females, one with long reddish hair and the other with short blonde hair. “Presenting Miss Bizarro-Lana Lang and Miss Bizarro-Lucy Lane.”
The two women started to descend the stairs to howls and dog barks from the audience. Bizarro-Lucy stumbled a bit, which brought great cheers from the crowd. When they reached the center stage, Bizarro-Lana shoved Bizarro-Lucy aside. “Back, you sweetie!” the redhead growled. “Age before beauty!”
Lucy snarled. “You take that back!” she said, shoving Lana hard. “Me am not a beauty!”
“Compared to me you am!” Lana retorted with another shove.
“Am not!” Lucy stomped her foot.
“Am too!” Lana screamed.
“Ladies, ladies, please,” Bizarro-Ambush Bug said, trying to calm their quarrel. “One at a time.”
“No, no,” two Bizarro-Superman stagehands said as they wheeled out a large tub. “Let them fight — prove who not worthy of the title of ugliest spokesmodel.”
“Fight?!” Bizarro-Ambush Bug exclaimed in surprise. He was now regretting missing the rehearsal earlier.
“Yes,” one of the stage hands said, “fight — in mud!” The two removed the lid of the tub to reveal a large vat of oozing brown liquid. Both Bizarro females squealed and rushed eagerly to climb into the tank.
“Look at me! Look at me!” called Bizarro-Lucy as she lathered the mud across her body. “Me am so unattractive covered in mud!”
“Wanna bet?” Bizarro-Lana cried as she dived under the surface, only to emerge with gobs of the icky, gushy substance falling from her face and hair. “Who am the ugliest now?”
“Me!” Lucy cried, slamming her fists into the mud. The mixture flew into the air.
“No, me!” Lana mocked, doing the same.
Both women shouted and slammed their fists. Mud flew out of the tub quickly and furiously. The stage hands smiled as clumps hit them in the chest. The two females seemed very skilled at slinging mud.
“Aaccckk!” Bizarro-Ambush Bug ducked behind his podium to avoid being hit.
A red-haired Bizarro dressed in a green jacket with a red bow tie jumped up on the stage and began to take flash photographs of the two with his camera. “Frown and say crackers, girls!” Bizarro-Jimmy Olsen said. This prompted the duo to throw even more mud.
“Enough, enough!” Bizarro-Ambush Bug shouted from the podium. “Wheel them away! Wheel them away!” The audience cheered as the two stage hands pushed the tank off to the side. Bizarro-Jimmy followed, continuing to snap photos.
Bizarro-Ambush Bug straightened himself up and brushed at his jacket to remove any molecules of dust that might have fallen upon it. Luckily for them, no mud had hit him. “All right, now,” he said in a rather severe tone. “After that, I think we need a bit more entertainment.” He checked the notes on the podium. “Ah, yes. Let’s move on to the musical competition.” He nodded to the band leader.
This time, the Bizarro was watching. He cued up his baton, poked himself in the eye, and got the orchestra to start playing. It was equally as dreadful as before, but this time more subdued, no doubt to allow the singer to perform and not be drowned out by the playing.
A brown-haired man stepped out onto the stage, a microphone in his hand. He acknowledged the boos from the audience with a determined grin. “Somewhere, under the rainbow,” he began to sing, “waaay down looowww! There am a place that me seen of, once in a picture shooowww!”
Bizarro-Ambush Bug winced at the sound. It was like nails grating against a chalkboard as the singer shrieked out the tune. Only occasionally did he actually hit the right note.
The Bizarros in the audience seemed to be enjoying it in their own demented way. A few swayed back and forth, but not in the same direction. A few smashed heads, nodded to the others, and did it again.
The singer was winding up the song with a big, loud finish. “If ugly little bluebirds swiiimmm, oh, why, oh whhhyyy can hiiimmm!”
The crowd was on its feet, jeering the singer. They hurled fresh produce onto the stage, pelting the singer. The firm celery, carrots, and potatoes bounced off the man with little damage. The man lowered the microphone and blushed with the criticism. He silently mouthed some words.
The pale-green-skinned host tried to make the words out, squinting. He was certain the last word was you, but the first didn’t appear to be thank. He rolled his eyes. Whatever. “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bizarro-Ham Sarris,” Bizarro-Ambush Bug said. The singer stepped to the side of the stage.
“And now, the challenger–” Bizarro-Ambush Bug started to say.
“No, no!” a shrill female voice sobbed from the other side of the stage. “Me can’t do it! Me can’t follow that act! Me am not bad enough!” A young Bizarro-Dalene Cion ran across the stage in tears, her hands covering her face.
The audience let out an uproarious laugh that echoed throughout the hall.
Bizarro-Ambush Bug shook his head. “I supposed that means Mr. Sarris wins by default!” The audience booed and threw more vegetables. There were more silently mouthed two-letter phrases ending in you from the singer as he left the stage.
The competition then turned to the acting portion of the program. A scene opened with two Bizarros sitting on a bus made out of a number of large cardboard boxes taped together. Windows on it were torn out, and the word BUS with a backward B was scrawled along the side in black marker.
“Me like apples,” the first of them said.
“Me like apples, too,” said the second.
“Me like pears,” said the first.
“Me, too!” the second Bizarro exclaimed. “Me can eat pears all day!”
A third Bizarro, dressed in a crumpled business suit over his backward Superman costume, leaned over. He was playing one of the extras in the scene. “Would you two shut up?!”
The second Bizarro paid him no mind. “Me find pears tasty.”
The first Bizarro smiled. “Pears give me gas!”
The second Bizarro clamped him about the shoulders. “Pears give me gas, too! That why me like them.” A farting contest soon ensued, and both actors laughed loudly.
The second Bizarro turned to the man who had told them to be quiet. “Hey, stranger. Know what am most annoying noise in the world?”
The man shook his head no.
The two Bizarro actors shouted out in unison: “GNNNAAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAAHHH!”
The audience cheered and howled. The two actors took their bows and exited the stage.
Bizarro-Ambush Bug shook his head. “I’m afraid I don’t understand this at all,” he said to himself. “Must be a cultural thing or something.”
Two Bizarro women now took their places in the scene and went through the same dialogue as the males had before. The reaction to the two women was not as enthusiastic as it was for the men.
Bizarro-Ambush Bug then called both pairs back out onto the stage. “OK, the judges have cast their votes,” he announced as he read from a slip of paper that was handed to him. He walked over and stood between the two pairs.
A drum roll started as he held his hand out to indicate the men. “The judges give our male actors… two stars!” The audience booed as a pair of throwing stars flew across the stage and struck the two Bizarro men in the chest.
Cringing at the display, Bizarro-Ambush Bug continued to press on as the consummate professional he was. “The judges give our female actors… four stars!” Again, booing but lesser. Four throwing stars flew at the women, who ducked out of the way, for they were not invulnerable like their male counterparts.
Bizarro-Ambush Bug dodged the assault, too. One managed to snag the material of his tailored suit, tearing the jacket. “That is it!” he exploded. “You are all crazy!” He was now shouting at the top of his lungs.
“And you, judges!” he shouted at the three on the panel. “Obviously you don’t get it! The women were clearly the least-favored performers, yet you gave them the highest rating? Why? Why?”
Bizarro-Gerry, Bizarro-Lois, and Bizarro-Merry looked at one another dumbfounded, shrugged their shoulders, and looked blankly back at Bizarro-Ambush Bug.
“Aaahhh!” the green-skinned Bizarro shrieked. “That’s it. That’s it! I quit!”
He started to storm off the stage when the Bizarro-Superman producer stepped in his path. “Bad news, Buggy!” the producer said, smiling. “We am a bomb! Our Nielsen share was zero point zero zero two.”
“What?” Bizarro-Ambush Bug blinked. “You mean we’re canceled after one show?” His heart started to race with enthusiasm at the prospect.
“No, no, no!” the producer said, still grinning. “The network hates us! Renewed the show for five seasons. You locked into contract, you lucky dog, you!” He slapped the host on the back.
Bizarro-Ambush Bug screamed out in sorrow.