In our last installment, Dave had accidentally stabbed the crow that had stolen the game, resulting in both game and bird heading out the window. Dave is horrified, and has a moment of silence for the poor bird. He does not regret the loss of the game in any way, because he had no intention of really playing anyway.
We then encounter a wandering sudden scene shift!
We are back to Rose, and her heavily wizard-decorated house. Rose feels that the excessive wizard decorations are part of some passive aggressive ploy on her mother’s part. (Let it not be said that Rose is completely innocent of being passive aggressive herself. She gave her mother a vacuum cleaner as a gift, complete with a drink holder. Mom of course had the vacuum cleaner bronzed and put on display.) Rose heads for the kitchen, intending to sneak out through the back. (The adversarial relationships each of the kids have with their guardians is very nostalgic 80s kid vid for me.)
On the way to the kitchen we see some further examples of Rose and Mom’s passive aggressive warfare. When Mom bought Rose a princess doll, Rose knitted it a floppy octopus head and tentacles, turning it into an Eldritch Horror Princess. We learn that Rose’s mother drinks a lot, while pretending to be the perfect sitcom housewife (sans a husband), and there is further evidence that Mom and Rose are kind of unhinged. (As if we needed any further evidence.)
Further examples of crazy: When Rose was a little girl she drew a picture of her cat Jaspers. It went on the refrigerator as such pictures often do, but Mom added a fifteen thousand dollar frame and welded it to the refrigerator. Much more recently, Rose took some alphabet magnets and wrote the word “shrew” but since she was without the letter ‘w’ she used two vs. In retaliation, Mom helpfully left a pack of ws just below the word “shrew.” Rose responded with a sincere thank you note that had been notarized and signed with a drop of blood. Since part of the note was brushing the floor, Mom took a cushion and placed it beneath the note so that bottom half was resting on it.
Those Lalondes, always trying to one-up each other.
The unseen director tries to get Rose to use one of the ws as a fake mustache. Rose feels this is completely silly, but decides that approaching imminent doom requires a little levity, and goes along with it. She is then directed to captchalogue the w, which she does. She then leaves twelve cents behind to pay for the w. The director then suggests that Rose find a way to one-up her mother, after some consideration, she simply captchalogues the pillow with plans to embroider a poem in praise of motherhood on it.
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Rose is about to head out the back door but then a wandering Mom appears! Mom is doing her “ironic housewife routine.” This involves mopping the floor with an empty bucket. Rose quickly hides.
Rose darts away, narrowly escaping an encounter with her mother. She somersaults along but lands in a pile of wizard statuary. We go back to Dave in the past, who has repaired the window with some gaffer tape. Dave is briefly distracted by his friends, who are pestering him. gardenGnostic talks about a present that she sent John which he will not get yet because he will lose it, but find it later when he actually needs it. This is slightly temporally and causally confusing to Dave, but he is very used to being confused by gardenGnostic. After his conversation with gardenGnostic, Dave’s next ==> command is to get his phone. From there, we see that a towel has suddenly landed on his head and the next command is for Dave to pursue his adversary.
And then, we’re back to John. He is in his room which is a mess and splotched with tar. We are more or less in the present and John is receiving a message from Dave. Dave says that he’s looking for his Bro’s game. John is attempting to explain about the monsters in his room, but Dave scoffs, stating the monsters are not real. Of course he’s stating this because of course that’s what his job would be if John were in a monster movie. (There is always someone who doubts the presence of the monsters. Dave is annoyed by this trope and rants about it.) He then suggests that John “weaponize” his sylladex. John signs off after ragging on Dave about his brother’s puppet obsession.
John prepares to read his book, not apparently noticing that monsters are in fact real and wear brightly colored jester costumes.
Next, we go back to Rose. Rose attempts to somersault out the door, but she’s blocked by Mom. This is a game feature with the commands AGRESS, AGGRIEVE, ABJURE and ABSTAIN. You might want to play with some of the commands and see what happens. ABSTAIN results in ironic negligence and a “auto Perrier.” ABJURING results in ironic indulgence and Mom offers Rose a pony. AGGRESS is of course, passive. AGGRIEVE involves another parry on Mom’s part, then she goes back to housekeeping as if nothing had happened.
The next ==> command instructs Rose to be the pony, and then trample Mom. Rose of course, can’t be the pony, though she does give it a pat on the nose. The pony’s name is Maplehoof. The next ==> command is for John to turn around.