(a diamond unpolished, hurled into the ocean)
So, as Petey stood alone and cold in a bright chamber awaiting his vision of death, his mind wandered nostalgic paths – winding memory lanes that never ended. All roads led to more precious reminisces, more tragic regrets. He heard a sound from the adjoining room – a kind of klaxon, a kind of scream. Reverberating with strange emphasis, it hit Petey’s ears piercingly. He knew what it meant; whatever strange toy they had decided to invent, to crush him from all memory, was ready. Petey hadn’t even been told what it was that would eventually destroy his continuing presence, and he certainly never had any idle dream for Immortality. His mind hadn’t even wandered too far on the subject. This is what surprised him the most.
He had hopes that some new, improved (although it was hard to see how) Anvil™ would be tested on him. It was a standard; it would be an honour to be destroyed by such iconic pseudo-violence. But ACME had grown sillier recently. They had started to take things too seriously, and Petey did not much care for the ray guns and odd, almost magical, instruments of pain that many modern residents showed gravitation towards. He assumed another gimmicky gadget would be the tool of his own death. The thought greatly annoyed him so, klaxon still ringing out, his mind turned back to the shouting entrance of former glories. Petey thought of Sally O’Malley.
“Don’t you even think about it Petey, you won’t get away with it this time!”
Can life so abstract, so imagined, still be beautiful? Can it truly be as lasting in one’s heart as real, human amour? Not the ice cream advertisement acts of the night between silky, digital sheets. That incapacitating stupidity that so mercilessly takes hold when you realise another is worth sharing your entire being and soul. To us, this question remains open ended, but let’s take the case of Petey Porksworth; for whom the query of his perceived loveliness in Sally was absolutely rhetorical. She was gorgeous – such striking outlines; bold but understated. A perfect colour scheme, selected from some forgotten palette, and such simple, endearing features.
Not just a question of the aesthetics, Sally O’Malley (to Petey) was the complete encapsulation of all things right – the same sweet delusion that takes so many who become captured by another. She was smart, his foil. That was their partnership. Petey’s idiocy defined them, his stupid yet charmingly daring stunts considered in tandem with their act; but so too was Sally’s stoic but caring determination, tendering the vapid strangeness of her counterpart and adding a surreal reality to his warped world. She wasn’t just revered by Petey, and these were those delicious days before the birth of the ultimately sickening Georgie B. Ovine.
“Come on, Sal! It’ll be fun… If I reach the top o’ that mountain I can put up a perdy flag with my face on it!”
On to something here, she’s a great character. Can’t wait to show Doug, this is just what we need. He scrolled with haste and excitement, that tingling take-over felt only when you intrinsically know this is one of the peaks of your existence. For Wallace, the accidental and drug-induced creation of Sally O’Malley a little under an hour ago was one of those moments. Perhaps she can be the dog? Definitely want a dog, studio wants cow. Stupid? Nobody likes cows. Cows are scary. After initially writing Petey, Sally was Wallace’s first original work for the large, conglomerate animation studio. Perfecting other (long retired) men’s characters for three years had proved arduous and trivial into a seemingly infinite soup of artistic silencing. Finally he had grasped his creative hands around something tangible, malleable – something of his possession. He charged into it with the full onslaught of arrogant self-assuredness that always follows sure breakthrough. He had finally cracked his no-where show about the silly pig, previously a mere sketch in worn, weary notebooks.
My Magnum Opus, pretentious thought, probably true. Open document, scratch course chin. Everyone says it looks stupid; it just comes natural. Move on, document loaded, fresh words. Still hasn’t lost resonance of first five reads, gained if anything. Slap knees with excitement – silent chuckle accentuates pride. Get up, move for phone, tell the world.
Season One – Episode Three
EXT. Manimal Farm – Barn DAY
Sun shines off the imposing but impressive barn. SALLY sits in front; lightly panting, but appears proud and magnificent. Next to her PETEY rolls around in muck, a look of retarded contentment splashed over his lovable but stupid face.
Mmmhmm! You just gotsta try this, Sal! Nothin’ like mud dryin’ on your skin.
(moving her front paws forward into a fully laid position)
Petey, dear, I’m going to take a pass on that one. (yawns) Can’t you find anything better to do you silly pig?
(springing up into a vain pose of self-defence, an unfitting look of seriousness on his face. Accentuate this with a fanfare.)
I’m full of ideas Sal! You just watch me go…
(with drooping eyes)
Has the idea ever occurred to you to be quiet for a while?
Sickly nostalgic cravings filled his nostrils as Petey thought of her (only the dull, disturbing reverb of his death-klaxon remaining in his true-time). Where had she gone, and why? They had sat outside the barn as nonchalantly as they ever had – Petey reeled out nonsense while Sally batted off his madness with smooth, acerbic ease. She never seemed judgemental or insulting, always gentle and motherly. A dog and a pig; humble loyalty as a barrier to lethargic indulgence.
All day the barn had entranced Petey. It had always been there but, until today (this episode), it posed no potential challenge. He was never given the capacity to know the purpose of the barn, or even the fact that – hypothetically in this strange cartoon landscape – it had been built rather than sprouted from the ground like the hills he had been so used to rolling around atop. Instead, on that day, when the jangles of his theme tune signalled unstructured awakening, he looked up at the deep red paint of the barn’s wood and saw a truly foolish and determined fate.
He would climb that mountain; he would conquer the construct that played silent backdrop to his life. He would make it his own. He never considered that, like most of his activities, it was probably going to end badly. Even if each day was marred with humorous conclusions, it was painfully true that these antics did have repercussions for their innocent, toy-like victims.
Sally, as usual, had insight towards the dark turn of events that would probably take place should Petey attempt his foolhardy plan. She had pleaded and barked orders to the contrary but his shrivelled, floppy ears just flapped away her words. With another yawn and stretch she conceded, and Petey began his ridiculous journey upwards to the pine peak of the barn.