To: PBS Kids
From: Rampage Productions
Subject: Sparrow Spelunker
Let’s not beat around the bush.
You have a thing for avians.
I have one lodged in the exhaust pipe of my furnace.
You could do with some fresh IP.
I need $100 to extract the fresh IP from the exhaust pipe of my furnace.
You seek to excite and education your young audience.
I suspect the three or four nanoseconds of life that sparrow had when it encountered the exhaust blower, which to him must have seemed like a ten thousand RPM birdie buzzsaw, were both exciting and educational.
So without further ado, I give you your children’s television flagship property: Sparrow Spelunker.
It’s a show as unafraid as its protagonist(s) to grapple with the tough issues. Issues like:
Why you really shouldn’t go in there
What will happen to you if you go in there
How much it will cost some innocent homeowner to scrape you out again after you do go in there
This said, I admit the title of the series is somewhat misleading in using the singular form of sparrow – it will probably require a new protagonist pretty much every episode. While this might seem like a lot of work from a characterization standpoint, I feel the script leaves both adequate room for characterization as well as presents the opportunity to vary the racial, familial, and political history of the sparrow for a true multicultural experience. In fact, based on the flying communist who entered my furnace in an ill-fated attempt to seize the means of heat production, I’ve put together a script outline for your consideration.
Recap of previous week
“O’ Righ’ – On last week’s episode o’ Sparrow Spelunker, ol’ SS explored the exhaust on a 100,000 BTU Luxair. Didn’t end so well for him, poor chap. But that was then, so hang onto yer hats, kiddies, ’cause this week we’re going in the intake o’ that same 100,000 BTU Luxaire!”
Audience of British-sounding-children, in Spongebob Squarepants fashion, shouts the show’s catchphase: “Oh no, Sparrow Spelunker! You mustn’t spelunk in there!”
Furnace fires up
I also have drafts for other possible episodes of Sparrow Spelunker. These include such exotic, spelunk-worthy locations as a wood chipper, a fractionating tower, a muscle car air intake, and – my personal favorite – the depths of some pachyderm’s wazoo. The last, of course, is where I sincerely wish the sparrow that inspired all of this would have flown. You know, instead of my furnace exhaust pipe. I could have done without meeting the furnace repair guy, who in his defense was a very nice man and more than willing to convert a bird oubliette back into an exhaust pipe in return for a picture of Benjamin Franklin.
This, of course, is where you come in, PBS. Just send that check to Rampage Productions.
And maybe a Sparrow Spelunker t-shirt.