Part 6: When Good GIRs Go ‘Mad’
Dib hadn’t gone too far when he came upon a very unusual sight, though considering all he’d seen lately that wasn’t saying much. It was a house, but an oddly shaped house painted bright green with two circular windows on either side, and two black, wedge shaped chimneys right above those. A short, square piece of red carpeting led to the front door which had a black triangular porch light right above it. With all these features put together the house almost looked like a green puppy with its tongue hanging out, and Dib would have laughed had he not found it so unsettling.
A long table was set out in front under a grove of trees. As Dib approached the yard, a lilting tune filled his ears and he heard a voice singing, “Doom Doom Doom, Doomy Doomy Doom! Doom Doom Doom, Doody-doody Doom DOOM!”
Dib cocked an eyebrow, already getting a bad feeling about this. “Curiouser and curiouser,” he muttered. Then he stuck out his jaw in thought; Hmm, why did I just say that? he wondered, feeling as if he were quoting from something, but as the phrase seemed to fit the situation quite aptly he didn’t dwell on it.
He stepped through the front gate and spotted who could only be the Mad Hatter sitting at the head of the table. “Oh no,” Dib smacked his forehead; the Mad Hatter was none other than Zim’s crazy little robot, GIR, and if it wasn’t it sure bore a striking resemblance. The robot was dressed in a long jacket and had on a grossly oversized top hat with a card that read ‘Z?’ stuck in the brim. He sat in a large, high-backed chair, his eyes telescoping inquisitively at the funny looking newcomer.
“Hi!” GIR chirped letting his tongue wag out. “Are you the pizza guy?”
“Aww,” GIR hung his head disappointedly. “I wanted pizza,” he whined picking up a gooey, cheesy slice of pizza and chomping into it.
“But you’ve got a piece right there,” Dib said, feeling a headache coming on.
GIR stopped chewing and looked in his hand. “Oh yeeeeeaaaahh….” he drawled and slurped the cheese off happily at this discovery, making smacky, slobbery, sucky noises in the process.
Dib’s stomach churned and he swallowed uneasily. “Er, excuse me, but can you tell me which way Zim went?” he asked, wanting to get this over with as quickly as possible.
“I’m having a tea-party!” GIR bubbled in his tin can voice, ignoring the question. “Here,” he held out a cup for Dib, “you can play too!”
“I don’t have time to play ‘tea-party’, I need to find Zim,” Dib protested, “Now do you know where he went?”
“Have some tea first… Please?” GIR asked in tones of pure innocence.
“No! I told you I don’t have time to-…” Dib started, but paused when he saw the heartbroken look on the robot’s face, his metal lip trembling and his aqua colored eyes brimming with tears. “Oh, all right, but only for a few minutes,” Dib caved.
GIR’s face lit up excitedly. “YAY!!” he screeched and inexplicably threw his pizza into the air. “Hey, where’d my pizza go?” he looked at his empty hand puzzled, then the drippy slice landed back in his open palm. “Oh, there you are!” he smiled and happily gobbled the rest of it down.
Yes, a headache was definitely brewing Dib thought as he sighed (something he seemed to be doing a lot of recently) and sat down in a big, cushy armchair. He surveyed the spread, noticing a dotting of quaint little tea-items set out on the table such as teacups, teapots, silverware, plates, and sugar-bowls. Of course the picturesque charm was somewhat ruined by the fact that most of these were obscured by taco wrappers, empty Slurpy cups, potato chip bags, and greasy, old pizza boxes.
“These are my friends,” the quote-unquote “Mad Hatter” grinned at Dib and gesticulated to two little forms sitting in the chairs beside him, one being a stuffed moose toy, the other a scraggly, stuffed monkey, both dressed up in cute little suits. “This is the March Monkey and the Dormoose! Go ahead, say ‘Hi’ to… um, the guy who isn’t the Pizza Guy, Mister Monkey!”
Dib leaned over to get a better look at the Mad Hatter’s ‘guest’, reaching out his hand to touch the scary looking monkey toy. “That is the ugliest stuffed monkey I’ve ever-… NUH!” Dib yelped and pulled away as the monkey snapped at him. “This thing isn’t stuffed!”
“No, he’s Mister March Monkey,” GIR squeaked and tied a pair of brown rabbit ears onto its head, “only for the party he’s being Mister March Hare!” The monkey just sat there, looking quite absurd, and yet still freakishly scary in its bunny hood, growling at Dib.
The scythe-haired boy shut his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, deciding it would be best not to examine the moose toy.
“Here,” GIR shoved a teacup in Dib’s face, “have some tea!”
Dib took the cup and put it to his lips when GIR snatched it away from him. “Wait, I’ll put some sugar in it,” he said and dumped the entire contents of a sugar bowl into Dib’s cup. “That’s better!” he declared in his high-pitched voice and handed it back to him. Dib just stared at the pile of amber colored slop in the teacup and shoved it aside.
“So anyway, I was wondering…” he began conversationally, “You haven’t by any small chance seen Zim today, have you?”
“What’s a Zim?” GIR asked chomping into a burrito.
“No, not what, who,” Dib corrected.
Dib buried his face in his hands with an exasperated moan, his dull headache inching towards a full-fledged migraine.
The top hat adorned automaton noticed his aggravation. “Aww, I know what you need,” it smiled its cutest smile and jumped out of its chair, embracing Dib’s head in a tight hug.
“Ugh! No, get off! Squeezing… brain! … Skull… collapsing…” Dib struggled to pry the overly affectionate robot off his cranium while also trying to remain conscious. Actually quite a feat if you think about it.
GIR released his grip and Dib tried to shake away the dark blotches that were muddling his vision. Of course GIR’s ‘hug therapy’ had only made his headache worse. He put a hand to his ear to feel if his brain was leaking out.
“You’re fun Mister ‘Not the Pizza Guy’,” GIR giggled rather adorably.
“My name is Dib,” he groaned, his head still reeling.
“Oh. Okay,” GIR said flatly, then his face brightened, “I’m gonna sing the Dib song now! Dib Dib Dib! Dibby-Dibby-Dib Dib…”
Dib looked down at the table, searching for a spot to bang his head on.
Luckily, the Mad Hatter-GIR had ceased his little concert and was now preoccupied flying the Dormoose around like an airplane, complete with sound effects, so Dib was spared. Still, he was getting pretty sick of the insane way people acted in this world. Of course if he’d really stopped to think about it he might have realized that this version of GIR was pretty much exactly the same as the old one, and that went the same for most of the others he’d encountered too.
“Gah!” Dib suddenly yelled as a brown blur was thrust in his face.
“Mister Dormoose likes you!” GIR grinned and wiggled the moose in front of Dib’s eyes, poking him with its antlers. Dib brushed the offending moose aside and the robot held out another cup to him. “Have some more tea!” he offered.
Dib didn’t bother to point out that he hadn’t had any yet, so it was impossible for him to have more. He declined when GIR offered him some sugar and lifted the cup to take a sip, but then thought better of it, remembering the strange effects the cuisine around here seemed to have on him, and set the cup down as politely as possible.
“You don’t like it?” GIR asked in a wounded tone.
Dib, not wanting to upset the sensitive little robot, thought up a quick excuse. “Um, no. I mean yes, I like it, but I, ah… I’m allergic to tea,” he finished lamely, mentally smacking himself upside the head. However, the explanation seemed to satisfy the Mad Hatter.
“Okie-dokie!” GIR stuck out his tongue in ignorant bliss. “How ‘bout a Chocolate Brain Freezy?”
“Uh… I’m allergic to those too. Now please,” Dib began, pronouncing each word slowly and sharply as if GIR were stupid (because… well, he was), “I really, really need to know… have you seen Zim come past here today? You know, a green alien wearing rabbit ears and carrying a watch?” Dib added when GIR just stared blankly.
GIR scrunched up his features in what little thought he possessed. “Yes. Um, wait… No. Hmm? What’s that Mister Dormoose?” he held up the moose toy to a non-existent ear. “Mister Dormoose says he did,” GIR announced proudly.
Dib’s eye began to twitch. “And did ‘Mister Dormoose’ say which way he went?”
GIR held up the moose again and a mischievous, childlike smile spread across his face. “He says it’s a secret! But he might tell you if you sing him a song.”
“I’m not singing you a song you stupid moose, now just tell me which way Zim went!” Dib shouted. Then he realized he was shouting at a stuffed animal and immediately felt like an idiot. He didn’t have to worry about feeling that way for too long however, for the March Monkey, er…um ‘Hare’, decided to take this moment to jump up on the table and start throwing stuff at him. “Ow!” Dib leaped from his chair as a saucer hit him in the head and he quickly dodged a plate of Taquitos sailing towards him. The scary monkey kept hurling items at Dib, and when that got old it started screeching wildly and chased him around the table.
GIR bounced joyfully in his seat, greatly entertained at seeing the psychotic primate going after the screaming Dib-human. “The March Hare wants you to sing too!” he smiled at Dib as if the terrified boy wasn’t running for his life.
“Alright! Alright! Just get this thing away from me!” Dib pleaded, ducking behind a chair.
At this the monkey abruptly stopped its rampage and walked calmly back to its place. Dib followed suit, slinking back to his own chair in complete humiliation (Hey, you’d be embarrassed too if you were being chased by a monkey with bunny ears).
Dib groaned warily, “Okay, let’s get this over with. What do you want me to sing?”
“Ah ah ah,” GIR wagged a finger at him, “Ask Mr. Dormoose!”
Dib gritted his teeth, wishing he had something to strangle. “Okay... Mr. Dormoose, what should I sing?”
GIR listened to the toy’s imaginary whispers. “He says sing ‘Twinkle, twinkle’!”
Dib rolled his eyes and began, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I-...”
“No, no, that’s not how it goes,” GIR interrupted. “It goes: Twinkle, twinkle, little mongoose… uh, what rhymes with mongoose?” he looked at Dib expectantly.
“I thought you knew the song,” he replied.
“I forgot the words. I know, we can sing the Barney song instead! ‘I love you, you love meee!…”
“NO! Anything but that!” Dib cut him off hastily and started singing ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little mongoose’ and surprisingly enough managed to come up with a rhyme for the word.
GIR clapped and kicked his legs up and down as Dib finished the song. “Yay! Now tell me a story about giant pigs!”
“No!” Dib slammed his fist on the table, his temper wearing dangerously thin, “I don’t have time for this. I played along with your little tea-party thing, now just tell me where Zim went!”
“He went... That way!” GIR squealed and pointed in two different directions at once, then proceeded to jump up on the table and start smashing dishes over his head. “WHEEHEEHOOOO!!” he reveled in his smashy fun, and the March Hare added its two cents by screeching at the top of its lungs and flinging more food. Dib barely missed being nailed by a jar of mayo. Fed up, he pushed back his chair disgustedly and stalked away, glancing back just once to see the Mad Hatter trying to stuff the Dormoose into a teapot and the so-called March Hare picking vermin out of its fur.
“Well, that was a huge waste of time,” Dib remarked as he marched sulkily into the woods. “Is everyone around here a complete moron!? Well I’ve had it with this place! I don’t even care if I find Zim anymore, I just want to go home!”
It suddenly occurred to Dib that he hadn’t even once thought about exactly how he was going to get home again. His light brown eyes shifted back and forth apprehensively. “It shouldn’t be that hard... right?”
Just as he was puzzling over this, he noticed one of the trees up ahead had a door carved right into it. Very odd, yes, but Dib was in no position to find it so.
Going through it seemed to be as good an option as any, and besides it was either that or keep running around in the woods. “Please let this lead somewhere sane,” Dib prayed and stepped inside.