Mongolfior and Blitzen

Lady: I never jest. Well, at a subsequent period, numberless small islands rose round the arctic circle, one of which, more bleak, more uninhabitable, more uncanny, than the rest, was called Darwinia.

Both: Darwinia! why Darwinia?

Lady: Because it was the residence of that monkey from which the human race ought to have descended but did not.

Uncle: Oh Samuel!

Sam: Oh Uncle!

Lady: (slight electric movement) Ah! Mongolfior and Blitzen approach.

Both: Mongolfior and Blitzen! what’s that?

Lady: My steed and charioteer. (another shock—aside) Blitzen must be highly charged this morning.

Uncle: Your steed, Mongolfior! ah! the name of a favorite horse.

Lady: Horse! my dear sir, the horse is an extinct animal. The Mongolfior constitutes our only mode of locomotion. But perhaps that species of fly did not exist in your day.

Sam: Fly! why, yes, we had flies, but that had nothing to do with natural history.

Lady: No. They partook of that material nature which characterized all the barbarous customs of your time. Now, my second cousin, the immortal Jehuta, undertook to improve upon that species of fly, and the result is the Mongolfior compared with whose speed and power hurricanes and lightning are a joke.

Uncle: Oh Samuel! what is to become of us? I am becoming seriously ill.

Lady: I made the immortal Jehuta Peeress of the Realm in recognition of the benefit conferred upon society. Her crest, two wings; and her motto, Flyat Justitia (mummies look at her in amazement).

Uncle: (experiencing slight electric shock and turning angrily to Sam) Sam, don’t you do that again.

Sam: Do what, Uncle?

Uncle: What? You know what. I don’t like it. (lady begins to enjoy joke—to lady) But, excuse me if the remark seems personal, Mongolfior must be an animal of great power to be able to—to—to.

Lady: Allow me to help you out of your difficulty. To carry me, you wish to say. Ah! in this, the twentieth century, we know how to rise superior to all obstacles. Do you see that bottle? (producing bottle).

Both: We do.

Lady: Well, that bottle contains the elixir of anti-specific-gravitation, a few drops of which will reduce my specific gravity to a minimummy.

Sam: (bursts into a loud laugh) Excuse me, madam, but I lost my gravity without having recourse to the elixir.

Uncle: Oh! this is too much. you really must remember, madam, there is a limit to my credulity. (experiences a more violent shock and turns angrily to Sam) Samuel, I don’t like it. I told you that before.

Sam: My dear Uncle, what am I doing?

Uncle: You know well enough what you are doing; but I am serious. I don’t like it. If you do it again I shall be very angry.

Sam: (is about to speak when he utters a scream with violent contortions) Oh Uncle! what’s that? I feel so ill.

Shock and Awe