Three Hours to Gilligan



Witness if you will the S.S. Minnow, forty feet of disaster, presently outfitted with a first mate named Gilligan, a skipper named Skipper, and five lonely people who thought they were headed for a three-hour tour, but instead signed up for a ticket to the Twilight Zone.

"It came out of nowhere." The Skipper put two beefy hands on his hips and scratched his head. "Storm just came out of nowhere. Never seen anything like it in all my days of skippering. Something's not right."

"I told you we shouldn't have come!" Gilligan, the first mate, ran crashing into the crippled hull of the S.S. Minnow. The skeletal remains slipped silently into the abyss that surrounded the lonely, deserted island.

"The Skipper's right." Ginger, one of the passengers, fingered the straps of a glittering evening gown. "That wasn't a normal storm, at all. Something's happening. Something unusual. Something strange!"

"Now, we all just have to stay calm." A man who called himself, the Professor, grabbed a transistor radio from the sinking ship. "We still have the radio. We'll just call for help."

"Lovey? I can't find Lovey!" Thurston Howell III grabbed the Professor by the arm. "You've got to help me save her!"

"Get hold of yourself, Man!" The Skipper slapped Thurston across the face. "We'll find her by God, we'll find her if it's the last thing we do."

"She's probably looking for a phone." Mary Ann, another passenger, adjusted the ribbons in her braided hair. "We should all be looking for phones."

Slowly a woman staggered out of the crashing waves dragging a large steamer trunk.

"It's Lovey. She's alright." Thurston ran up to his wife. "Thank God, you're safe."

"My diamonds-they were too heavy. I thought I was going to drown. It was awful." Lovey Howell coughed and spat water.

"May Day, May Day." The professor dialed the transistor radio and tried to call for help.

"Excuse me?" Gilligan raised his hand. "But that won't work."

"You broke it, didn't you?" Mary Ann slapped Gilligan. "You've been breaking things ever since we started on this voyage of the darned. I bet you even broke the ship."

"That's true, Gilligan," Ginger opened a compact and applied lipstick. "You broke the heel of my shoe when you stepped on my foot, my glass when you fell down the steps, and my tooth when you tripped over the ropes."

"No, I didn't break the radio." Gilligan turned his back on the rest of the group and crossed his arms. "You can't talk into a transistor radio without a microphone." He mumbled over his shoulder.

"I knew that." The professor threw the radio on the beach. It smashed into shards of plastic.

"Gilligan broke the radio!" Ginger and Mary Ann shouted.

"I didn't do it." Gilligan hunkered down on the beach, his back still to the crowd. "It was the professor."

"Oh, isn't that just like you, Gilligan! Blame the professor. But you're the one that insisted it wouldn't work."

"But it wouldn't work," Gilligan pouted.

"We'll never know, now will we, little Buddy?" The Skipper looked around the island and scratched his head. "Folks, without the radio, I'm afraid we're stranded."

"I'll go mad, I will. I tell you, I'll go stark raving mad, if we don't get off this island soon." Mary Ann waved her arms and ran in circles on the beach.

"Get hold of yourself, Dorothy!" Lovey Howell slapped Mary Ann on the face. "We'll get home. Isn't that right, Thurston? Tell, Dorothy, we're all going to be safe. Tell her Thurston. Tell her, before I go mad myself."

"My name isn't Dorothy." Mary Ann put her hand on her cheek.

"Of course it is," Lovey insisted. "I saw you in the Wizard of Oz with that cute little dog, whose name was, oh, I forget, but it was definitely you! And you killed that witch, didn't you? The one who swore to get you, the one whose shoes you stole with those flying monkeys? It's your fault, that witch put a curse on you, and now we're all going to die!"

"Get hold of yourself, woman." Thurston slapped Mrs. Howell.

"Don't you slap me." Lovey slapped Mr. Howell back.

"Calm down, people." The Skipper scratched his head. "We are all going to have to hang together or we're going to hang separately, by God."

"What did that mean? Hang Separately? This is all a plot isn't it? You scuttled the boat, didn't you Skipper, if you really are the Skipper? I don't think you're the Skipper, at all. No, I think you deliberately stranded us here so you could meet up with some pirates and sell us as slaves. How dare you!" Ginger slapped the Skipper.

"Snap out of it!" The professor slapped Ginger. "There are no pirates on the island. As a matter of fact, the island is completely deserted.

"Deserted? But that means-there's nobody here but us. Just the seven of us. Doesn't anyone think that's peculiar? That somehow we seven people would end up on this island together? Seven strangers, seven deadly sins, seven seals, seven days, seven-up?"

"Stop it!" Mary Ann slapped Ginger. "You're frightening me."

"We need a plan." The professor looked around. "Not much to work with, but I think I can build a turbo-encabulator if Mrs. Howell will loan me that trunk of hers". The professor looked at Lovey. "Meanwhile, Ginger and Mary Ann, bake us a cake. Skipper, you and Gilligan get some firewood. Mr. Howell, you stand there and look rich."

Why do the Howells get a pass on K.P.?" The Skipper hit Gilligan on the head.

"It's the way of the world, Old Boy." Thurston Howell lit a cigar.

"That's not fair, is it?" Mary Ann picked up a stick. "And why is it that the Howells are the only people on this island who have last names? All the rest of us only have first names. Maybe the Howells are the real reason we were targeted by that storm."

"Mary Ann is right!" Ginger looked for a stick. "Let them bake cake, huh? I'll show you cake!"

"Mary Ann and Ginger are right! Why would the Howells pack every last diamond of their wealth for a three-hour tour? Something isn't right here! Let's get em, boys!" The Skipper grabbed a huge piece of driftwood and started swinging. The rest of the group, except Gilligan, found rocks, sticks, and some rusty pitchforks that had been abandoned by some earlier Neolithic dwellers. The Howells huddled together while the angry mob began to circle and chant, "Death to the Howells."

Meanwhile Gilligan continued to gather firewood. Something shiny gleamed from the sandy beach. Gilligan picked it up. It was a shard of broken glass that must have been washed up from the ocean. Gilligan studied the glass, turning it over and over, until it caught a ray from the sun and a beam of light flashed into the sky and glinted off an oval object hovering above the island.

A few hundred yards down the beach, a flaming saucer crashed to the ground. Above the debris, a parachute floated downward and finally landed beside the saucer. A man crawled out from under the mass of fabric.

"Come on Little Buddy." The Skipper dropped the piece of driftwood and ran down the beach. Gilligan dropped the shard and went running after him. "Are you okay?" The skipper leaned over the man sprawled on the beach.

"Let me count my fingers. Yep, all ten of them, dancing oh so fine. I'm just a bit shaken" The man sat up and coughed. "The name's Uncle Tanoose, I mean Dr. T., no wait a minute, Wrong-Way Feldman, that's it. I think. I was trying to get to Mars."

"Impossible." The Professor dropped his sticks. "Technology doesn't exist. You would be dead before you finished the voyage."

"Tell that to those little gray guys I met in Roswell." Feldman stood up, folded his chute into a ball and tucked it under his arm. "Spent a night playing poker with them when I got lost in the desert, and won that thing with Aces and Queens." Feldman pointed at the saucer. "Has a warp drive, you won't believe, well, it had a warp drive you wouldn't believe. Not good for much now, is it?" Feldman shook his head.

"We could have gotten off this island with that saucer." Ginger slapped Feldman. "If you hadn't crashed it."

"Well, I wouldn't have crashed if someone on this island hadn't blinded me with your signal." Feldman slapped Ginger back.

"What signal?" The Skipper looked at Gilligan.

"I didn't do it." Gilligan crossed his arms.

"It's Gilligan's fault." The group formed a circle around Gilligan. "Are you in Feldman? Let's get him." Suddenly, the group stopped. Static sounds were coming from Feldman's flight suit pocket.

"What's that noise?" Mrs. Howell looked at Feldman.

"Must be the radio." Feldman opened the flap of a breast pocket and took out a small radio about the size of a fountain pen. "It came with the saucer." More static emanated from the radio. Feldman fiddled with the tip.

"Is anybody out there?" A voice dissolved from the static. More voices and the sounds of screaming in the background.

"Here, give me that!" The professor grabbed the fountain pen and flicked the tip. "This is the professor. We're on an island somewhere in the Pacific. We need rescuing."

"Are you trying to be funny?" The voice screamed. "If I could, I'd jump through this radio and slap you!"

"Of course we're not trying to be funny, and if I could jump through this radio, I'd come over there and slap you!" The professor screamed into the fountain pen while the rest of the group huddled around.

"Oh yes, pretend like you didn't know that the whole planet got hijacked by some wormhole, except for one tiny island in the Pacific."

"You mean?" The professor started.

"That's right, this is the world and we need you to come and rescue us."

A woman stands over a kitchen sink washing dishes. She puts the last plate in a drainer on the sideboard, wipes her hands, and walks from the kitchen to a bedroom. The door is open.

"Time for bed, Rod." The woman walks into the bedroom and puts her hands on the shoulders of a ten-year old tousle-headed boy in a pair of striped pajamas.

"But, I want to play with my toys." The boy is bent over a large table.

"Is that your island diorama?" The woman picks up a small pigtailed figure in a gingham dress and a sailor. "It's very nice, but you need to get some rest, young man." The woman gives the boy a hand and pulls him out of the chair. "You have a big day tomorrow. It's your birthday"

The boy gets into bed and snuggles under a layer of blankets. "I'm tired." He yawns as his mother kisses him and turns out the lights. Maybe he won't play with the model tomorrow, he decides. He's getting bored. Maybe he should destroy it and build an amusement park with a carnival barker and a cat woman named, Maya.

Then again, maybe he can think of something that is fun to do with the island's survivors and the diorama. Maybe he will just send them to the cornfield.

The End