Der Krapp

by Brad Linaweaver

Big Lizards IV-2 ~ Installment 11-2

(Astute readers will recall that, last issue, Brad found himself transported to Monster Island, along with 4E Ackerman, by a mysterious Oriental chap—and rest assured it was no occident. He has been greeted by several of the island’s esteemed inhabitants, including Ghidrah and Son of Godzilla. So G is just making his approach to our intrepid journalist…)

“Duh, hi yuh,” he said, sounding exactly as he did in Godzilla’s Revenge (1969) -- a demented voice uncomfortably similar to Walt Disney’s Goofy. “Uh, as toastmaster of dis here con, I extend yuh welcome. Wanna work on uh committee?” Opening his maw, he emitted another smoke ring; he never did learn to use this fiery radioactive spray like his dad.

“Congratulations on being toastmaster, Tadzilla,” said Forry, using a term he had obviously coined.

“Why are you toastmaster?” I asked, without much diplomacy.

“'Cause I’m duh only one who can talk,” he replied candidly. “Duh others just roar an' screech an' belch, yuh know.”

Son of Godzilla led; we followed. As we traversed the length of the beach, we came upon the spectacle of a particularly unconvincing monster bellowing and crying its eyes out, if wooden disks with smears of paint on them can be called eyes. “What the hell is that?” I asked.

“Yog,” answered Godzilla’s son. I could barely restrain myself from laughing out loud at this so-called monster that had the appearance of being constructed out of second-hand pillows. It was vaguely octopoid, and every now and then its limp tentacles would move slightly.

“Why is it so unhappy?” I asked.

“Would you believe it is a relative of the Mock Turtle?” asked Forry.

Son of Godzilla had none of the aesthete in him, and barreled on ahead with an explanation: “After starring in Yog, Monster From Space (1970) for Toho, it got delusions of grandeur and applied for admission in duh exclusive Cthulhu Mythos. It thought that since its name is duh first part of Yog-Sothoth, it would have an edge with duh judges. If anything, dat made duh pantheon even less sympathetic. It was rejected quickly.”

“Nyatlathotep be praised,” I muttered under my breath.

We followed the Son of Godzilla to the hotel and were a bit disappointed at the accommodations: it was a cave. At least there was a lot of room, unlike the crowded parties back in Boston. Forry immediately started collecting stuff: bits of bone, teeth, pages of old scripts (yes, they really use them), toy tanks that had seen their day... and even pieces of rusty metal that once belonged to the zippers on old monster suits.

I needed a drink. My strongest despite at the moment was to be back at the SFWA party, which had virtually bought out an entire liquor store. I’m talking about crates of booze. Some folks may think these are closed parties, but after a few of those crates are open, a general looseness prevails in the atmosphere.

Then it struck me: I must be having the DT‘s. Maybe I was still at the SFWA party, gibbering at my hallucinations. I shook my head. “Phantoms be gone!” I cried out.

That’s when Godzilla made his appearance. Followed by another Godzilla. And another. The gargantuan heads were on a level with the cave. We were high, let me tell you.

Sonny pointed at the nearest head and said that was pop’s latest incarnation. It was unbearably cute looking, like a kid’s toy. The large plastic eyeballs were positioned so that they were almost crossed. By contrast, in the background was the head of the first Godzilla, the features now dim with age and corruption. It had an almost sinister aspect. It looked like a monster.

“Why did they change Godzilla over the years?” I asked his son.

Son laughed. “How can yuh look at me and den ask dat question?” He had a point. “Godzilla’s duh good guy now. He’s friend tuh children everywhere, an overgrown lassie... wid scales. Uh few Monster-Island conventions ago, duh awards banquet had a dish made out of duh surplus population of Tokyo. Nowadays duh food consists of udder ingredients: broiled helicopter, tank casserole…”

“Good news for us,” said Forry, smiling. “Especially since Godzilla is beside himself.”

“What do they give awards for?” I asked.

“You’ll find out,” said Tadzilla.

“A film starring Kay Kyser, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi...” listed Forry.

Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) I never did find out. A miniature volcano chose that moment to erupt and our guide (remember him?) decided we would have to skip the main programming events. As we rushed through a hail of red paper wads and other unspecial effects. I wondered what the Birchers were doing for amusement.

Son of Godzilla yelled goodbyes; “Duh, too bad yuh have tuh miss duh dead dinosaur parties. Maybe next time, huh?”

“Don’t call us; we’ll call you!” I shouted back.


“A shame,” our guide was saying as he bade us adieu back at the hotel. “They even went to the trouble to reconstruct Mecha-Godzilla for the con. You know, the giant robot version of Godzilla?”

“Who’s they?” I asked.

“The only team with the experience and skill: Matel. Be seeing you…at another con.”

“Not if I can help it,” I said. “I am a free man.”

He frowned. “Since you are such a poor sport, I have decided to punish you.” He pointed a small, cheap-looking plastic gun at Forry and pulled the trigger. Ackerman immediately fell asleep.

“What have you done?” I asked.

“Erased his memory of this affair. You will be the only one to remember. After all, you are the writer of Der Krapp.”

“You inscrutable fiend,” I began, but he was gone—leaving me feeling foolish and eminently scrutable.

That’s when I was overcome by the unearthly compulsion to find a typewriter and commit this episode to paper. From bad to worse? Be glad I’m not a poet, or it would be from bad to verse. Aargghhh, the sprit of Forry has remained behind....

Next: A return to movies when I’ll look at Toho for reel.

© 1980 by Brad Linaweaver