Thursday, January 12, 2012

In Which Trish Reads _Vegemorphs_ So Adam And Ifi Don't Have To

So, here is a thing that exists:

This thing that exists is the creatively named parody, Vegemorphs, written by Leif E. Green (son of a...) and published in 1998 by Troll Communications. And it is assuredly and objectively the SECOND-strangest book I have read that attempted to cash-in on the Animorphs series.

Right off the bat we get a pretty dead-on parody of the famous
Animorphs opening, "I can't tell you my first name - or my last name either. And I can't tell you where I live. But I might be lying in your refrigerator's vegetable bin or in the produce section of your local supermarket right now." This is Kale Kyle the leader guy. Rounding out the rest of the cast are Carrot Cary the wacky smart guy, Olive Olivia the... however you'd categorize Cassie I guess, Tomato Tommy and Radish Randi the other two (literally, they're here so that there can be five humans in the cast), and the evil Jerkks. It's that kind of parody.

By the way, it's 1998 and Kale and company "like to wear funky clothes, listen to alternative music, and do crazy things." They also hang out with old ladies in a Bingo parlor. Yup.

It's on the way home from playing Bingo that the gang runs into a giant flying mushroom that is covering a farmer's field with fungal spores. Shortly afterwards, they meet Prince Brassica, the talking broccoli and the wise and brave ruler of the Vegetable Kingdom. The Prince informs the kids that certain otherwise ordinary plants are as intelligent as humans but are unable to speak to normal humans. They are extremely rare because they live most of their lives underground and the few who venture to the surface risk getting eaten. They are also at war with the Jerkks, evil fungi who want to infect everything alive on every planet they land upon, and they are losing badly.

But Prince Brassica has a new plan. He will use his magical salad dressing to give his new human friends the ability to transform into giant talking vegetable-people who will better be able to fight the space-fungi.

I promise you, I am stone-cold sober right now. (At the time of writing, I mean.)
The kids agree to all this because I guess being a talking vegetable is at least more exciting than playing Bingo. It's worth quoting Kyle's description of Newman's Own Escafil: "I felt tart and tangy, crisp and cool, hot and spicy, crunchy and mellow - all at once... It was like I had been all mixed up - and now everything was mixed right. I had been tossed."

Kyle's salad... has been tossed...

AAAAaaaaanyway. So for those of you wondering if turning into a talking vegetable is the worst kind of Blessed With Suck, it... well, it isn't the WORST kind, but it's close. You can smell a vegetable and then transform into a vegetable-person, but you can also make your clothing invisible, turn into a normal vegetable, shoot a magic beam of vitamins and minerals at people, and transform other people into talking vegetables because...??? If you are wondering, we're not told why you can turn into a tomato or an eggplant if the magic supposedly only works on vegetables. Oh, and of course there is a time limit. Stay a vegetable past the "recommended cooking time" and you're stuck like that. Wee. (For the record, a character does ask whether that means "steamed, stir-fried, boiled, or microwaved" before getting his question shot down.)

Enter the villain: his name is Fun Gus. Of course it is. And he is a Rubrum fungus that can turn into a giant vegetable. And he dresses like Urkle. And he drinks celery juice made from his enemies. And he holds evil secret meetings called the Snorings, where people go to eat mushroom soup and be infected by fungi in their sleep. And he stinks. In fact, he and his followers' favorite battle tactic is to swarm all over their opponents and make them sick.

The kids escape the battle and run home. And in the morning Kyle wakes up to find that Cary has somehow entered his room and has turned into a carrot-person. Cary then turns into a normal carrot and talks about how awesome being a carrot is and how he actually wouldn't mind being a carrot forever and could Kyle hop downstairs and get some salad dressing and pour it all over Cary's carrot body and oh God what? WHAT?
WHAT?!?

Thankfully Kyle's mean older brother arrives before things get wicked awkward and since he is wearing tacky clothes and is suddenly obsessed with animation (something I have to point out because I am me) he has obviously been infected by the (
sigh) Jerkks. Specifically, the dreaded Streptococcus or Strep Throat bacteria. One of (*sigh*) Fun Gus' other favorite tactics is to turn fungi and bacteria which are normally harmless, like Trichophyton, evil and super-virulent. I was previously unaware that the fungus that causes Athlete's Foot is more often than not mostly harmless. This is a hell of a context in which to learn that.

So the gang gets together and practices turning into vegetables and turning other people into vegetables and endive right into stalking bad guys to get right to the root of why they can't leaf the Vegetable Kingdom alone peas kohlrabi nasturtium and - sweet mother of Gregor Mendel there are so many vegetable puns. Like, an entire Xanth novel's worth of awful puns in a little over a hundred pages.

Anyway the gang causes some chaos in the local salad bar where they meet with Prince Brassica again and he explains their new plan. They will invade the next Snoring as vegetables with anti-fungal cream smeared all over themselves, hijack a delivery truck full of anti-fungal cream, and then zap everyone with their vitamin and mineral beams.


I just wrote that, right? I just actually wrote that.

Well, the battle goes surprisingly smoothly, and is even helped along via Deus ex Machina, a big thunderstorm that washes away all the evil fungus. Fun Gus goes underground, presumably shaking his fist like an 80's cartoon villain, and the Vegetable Kingdom warriors are at the ready whenever he returns in the sequel that will never happen. The downside is that Cary is now a carrot permanently, but he's now living among the Vegetable Kingdom warriors and is happier than he has ever been.

Repeat: CARY IS HAPPIER ABOUT BEING A
F***ING CARROT THAN TOBIAS EVER WAS BEING A HAWK WHICH, just as a reminder, IS NOT THE GODDAMN ROOT OF A GODDAMN PLANT AND CAN F***ING FLY!!! Wow.

So there you have it, I guess. For the curious, a version of the book with a different, spooky cover and credits is available at Amazon. It's worth visiting the page for the comments alone.

Now, since I think I am spent, who wants to tackle these things or these things?

-----

Sketch of the Day

Here is a squirrel:

1.2.12 - Sketchbook Page

6 comments:

Adam said...

Oh goodness. This book is everything I have dreamed it could be and more. So...the Escafil Device is salad dressing? And being turned into a carrot suddenly gives you a vore fetish? This is honestly so terrifying that it takes on a sort of strange beauty.

Hmm, I was actually planning on reviewing this on April Fools Day, but since you have it covered, I will try and see if I can convince Ifi to read The Host or something.

Trish said...

Oh no. As thematically appropriate as _The Host_ might be, go for one of the _Humanomorphs_ (and, quietly, part of Trish dies) books that I didn't cover. Each of them is on Amazon for a penny.

Tomozaurus said...

Wow, what the hell XD

Hadiaz said...

"So, here is a thing that exists:"

Until now, I thought Vegemorphs was just something from Arthur ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPo02r7A5hA&feature=channel_video_title ).

"But Prince Brassica has a new plan. He will use his magical salad dressing to give his new human friends the ability to transform into giant talking vegetable-people who will better be able to fight the space-fungi."

You've talked about nightmare fuel here b-4, but not innuendo fuel (which is what this book seems to be) AFAIK.

"So the gang gets together and practices turning into vegetables and turning other people into vegetables and endive right into stalking bad guys to get right to the root of why they can't leaf the Vegetable Kingdom alone peas kohlrabi nasturtium and - sweet mother of Gregor Mendel there are so many vegetable puns. Like, an entire Xanth novel's worth of awful puns in a little over a hundred pages."

& I thought Power Rangers had a lot of bad puns. Even the author's pen name is a bad pun.

Albertonykus said...

I think your tag "WTF" sums this up.

Trish said...

"Even the author's pen name is a bad pun."

I... I didn't notice that until just now. This. F***ing. Book.