Wikipedia Brown: ‘Rue Britannica’ (conclusion)
Back in September 2011, First Arkansas News aired the first (and so far, only) episode of Wikipedia Brown – a bit of modern audio theater that was a blatant rip off of Encyclopedia Brown and featured a teen detective who got simple facts terribly wrong.
First Arkansas News owner/editor Ethan C. Nobles wrote some scripts for the series, banged out some music on a Fender Telecaster and cheap, no-name bass and got some actors from the Royal Theater in Benton to supply the voices for the project. After hours of recording, editing audio and converting the first episode to that MP3 format all the kids are wild about, the episode was posted.
And that’s when Nobles found out that writing a radio script and editing the audio for one are two entirely separate things. So, a second episode was partially recorded and never completed. Still, the scripts are funny as heck (at least the author thinks they are, but he’s biased) and might be worth posting.
So, that’s exactly what’s happening – all of the Wikipedia Brown scripts will be published here at First Arkansas News. Each story will fill three posts and will be published here weekly.
You can always listen to the first episode of Wikipedia Brown by clicking here.
The first installment of the first episode – Rue Britannica – was posted a couple of weeks ago and you’ll find that here. The second installment was posted last week and you can find that here. So, no you are reading the conclusion to the first Wikipedia Brown story. Yes, you lucky thing!
Before getting into that, let’s review what happened last week.
The fiendish Britannica was pursuing his plan to circulate a petition to shut off Internet access at local libraries and Wikipedia Brown appealed to Mayor Wolfgang Coody for help. The mayor, however, refused to jail Britannica, a move that appeared logical to Wikipedia as he was under the impression that Coody had the unchallenged power of a king. Wikipedia, dejected, went home and sulked. However, the ever enterprising Webster – Wikipedia’s loyal assistant – fought back against Britannica’s plans through a combination of new and traditional media. Will Wikipedia emerge from his funk? Will Britannica be foiled? Read on and find out, pilgrim!
After a restless night, morning arrives and Wikipedia is glad it’s the weekend. At least he doesn’t have to deal with school. He hops on his bicycle and goes to the office. When he arrives, Webster is already in the office.
“Good morning, Webster.”
“Wiki! Did you read The Courier this morning?”
“No. You know I don’t read newspapers,” Wikipedia yawned. “They are obsolete.”
“Well, that’s too bad. They ran an editorial about Britannica’s plans. The editor called Britannica ‘misguided’ and denounced his petition drive as ‘ludicrous.’ Oh, and look at this coming on channel 11,” Webster said as he turned up the volume on a portable television set.
“Television is obsolete, too. Webster, have you learned nothing from me?”
Wikipedia shrugged and turned his attention to the television.
“…The Courier ran an editorial today about Britannica’s attempt to get Internet access banned at city libraries,” said enthusiastic newscaster Rachel Storms. “The newspaper has come out against the effort and we at Channel 11 agree – Internet access at our city’s libraries is clearly a benefit. We do hope that Britannica’s petition drive fails and this ridiculous effort doesn’t make it to a vote.”
“Yeah! There’s no way Britannica’s petition drive will gain any traction now,” Webster said. “He’s finished. Looks like we beat him!”
“We beat him?”
“Yes, we did.”
“Webster, don’t you mean I beat him?”
“You? You beat him?”
“Yes. Me. You need to learn give credit where it is due, Webster,” Wikipedia bragged. “Somehow, my talk with the mayor paid off. He must have convinced the establishment media to come out against Britannica’s plans and that made the difference. I also saw something on a message board last night about this whole issue. It’s a very rare thing to get both the Internet and traditional media camps on the same page, but I did it. I bridged the gap between the two groups. Got them working against a common enemy. Me. All me.
“Webster, once again I’ve proven that I am great. I get things done without even half trying. Stick with me, kid, and you’ll learn a thing or two. Wikipedia comes through again! Great news!”
“Yeah, I’ll learn something, alright,” mumbled Webster. “Like how to steal credit from someone who put in all the work.”
“What’s that, Webster. Did you say something?”
“No, Wiki. Not a thing.”
As Webster fumed, the phone rang and Wikipedia answered it.
“Wikipedia Brown Detective Agency and Knowledge Repository. This is Wikipedia Brown. How can I help you?”
“This is … Britannica,” the caller replied.
“Britannica! You fiend!”
“I don’t know if I’m a fiend, but I am certainly your new nemesis. I’m calling to congratulate you on your successful efforts to thwart my plans and to warn you…. Oh, hold on. I’ve got another call coming in – I’m putting you on hold. Don’t go away – I’ll be back to threaten you in a minute. Enjoy the hold music.”
The hissing Britannica was replaced by the “three chords, no waiting” stylings of a local band.
“I’m on hold,” Wikipedia said to Webster. “I’ve put this on speaker so you can hear Britannica’s ranting when he comes back.”
“I wonder what he wants.”
“He said he wants to threaten.”
“That’s too bad,” Webster said. “I like the hold music, though.”
“Yeah, it’s peppy. Think I heard these guys play at the county fair last year. I believe they’re called The Weasels.”
“I think you’re right. I saw them at the county fair last year, too. I’ve never seen a guy eat a funnel cake while playing bass before. Incredible!”
“I wish we had hold music. Hey, Webster. The next time we put someone on hold, why don’t you whistle a tune into the phone?”
“No. I won’t do it.”
“I’m back. Sorry about that,” Britannica said over the speakerphone.
“You fiend! You are a fiendish fiend!” Wikipedia yelled at the phone.
“No, you are! Anyway, I’m not sure how you defeated me, but I wanted to let you know this isn’t over. I’ll deal with you and your precious Internet one day soon. You’ll see! Until then – goodbye, Wikipedia Brown.”
Britannica ended the call, leaving Wikipedia and Webster to savor their victory and wonder what scheme their Internet-hating nemesis will come up with next.
So, Wikipedia Brown has embraced another cause, put up a good fight and won the day.
“Hey!” Webster yelled at the narrator who is merely trying to wrap up this chapter in the Wikipedia Brown files and set the table for the next one.
Oh, yes. And Webster helped.
“Fine. That’s just fine! Have it your way. Wikipedia did it all. Good grief.”
Glory hound. Anyway, make sure to stop in next time when the sultry Ms. West retains Wikipedia Brown to solve a mystery. Who stole her shoe and why? All those questions – and more – will be answered in the Case of the Swiped Shoe.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.