Sitting alone in my Cambridge flat, guzzling cans of discount energy drink Relentless and eating bowl upon bowl of Coco Pops, I got to thinking about cereal mascots, and the tragic life of (now sadly defunct) Professor Weetos, a scientific genius who squanders his knowledge by only working on inventions that relate to Weetos.
[SCENE – A TYPICAL SUBURBAN KITCHEN]
BERYL is a 50-something housewife. She looks thin and drawn. She sits at the table, worriedly reading a letter.
[SFX – EXPLOSION]
PROFESSOR WEETOS dashes into the room. He is balding, his remaining hair is white, and he wears a pair of spectacles apparently constructed from two large Weetos. He wears a white lab coat, the corner of which appears to be smouldering.
PROFESSOR WEETOS: It’s incredible, I tell you! Fab-tab-u-lumptious! Impossi-licious!
He spots his smouldering lab coat with a start.
He blows on it until it goes out.
I thought it couldn’t be done! I thought it was a just a stupendous dream!
BERYL: Gordon, please…
PROFESSOR WEETOS: [slamming his palms down on the table] My dear, my dear, my dear! Do you know what I’ve discovered?
BERYL: You need to read th-
PROFESSOR WEETOS: I’ve found a way to make Weetos 200% more chocolicious! Hee hee!
BERYL: [putting her head in her hands] Oh God.
PROFESSOR WEETOS: I know! I know! Weetos are already the most chocolicious cereal in the entire galaxy, but now there’s even more chocolatey flavour in every single one! Hee hee!
He begins to dance around the kitchen.
Breakfast times have never been so chocolatey!
BERYL: Gordon, you’ve got to stop this.
PROFESSOR WEETOS: I can’t stop! Weetos aren’t nearly crunchtastic enough! Ho ho! I just need a few more months to perfect my Crunch-o-tron and-
BERYL: [yelling] They’re cutting your funding!
PROFESSOR WEETOS freezes mid-jig.
[more quietly] They’re cutting your funding. This is a letter from the university. It’s been lying on your desk for two bloody weeks and you haven’t opened it. They say: [reading from the letter] ‘after six consecutive semesters without heading a seminar or lecture… blah blah blah… and your reluctance to share in bona fide peer-reviewed publications your research into commercial wheat additives… etc, etc… it is with considerable reluctance that I have decided to discontinue your grant payments and terminate your contract with the university. [beat] On a personal note, I realise how difficult things have been for you since Gregory’s passing. I thought that by allowing you to work from home while you grieved for your son, I was doing you a kindness. Now I realise my decision only isolated you in your sorrow. Please forgive me, Gordon. I have let you down.’
PROFESSOR WEETOS stands with one hand flat against the wall, his head down, his eyes closed. BERYL puts down the letter.
Gordon. Oh my dear love. Your mind… it’s been turning in circles. It’s okay now. You can let go.
His hand slides down the pale wall, leaving a brown smear.
PROFESSOR WEETOS: Yes… [lifting his head] Yes. That’s it. What on earth have I been thinking all this time? [he smiles at his wife] How have I been so foolish? Turning in circles… it’s so obvious now.
BERYL: Oh Gordon, thank G-
PROFESSOR WEETOS: Circles! By golly that’s it! Circles! [clapping his hands] Ha ha! I need to make Weetos wheely scrumptious! Hooper-duper! There’s not a moment to lose!
He hurries past BERYL, planting a kiss on her head.
I must invent a gizmo that puts even rounder holes in Weetos! To the lab! Wheeee!
PROFESSOR WEETOS exits the kitchen. BERYL lowers her head, and begins to sob.