Spontoon Island
home - contact - credits - new - links - history - maps - art - story

Radio-play Transcript 
"The Spapoop Mystical Theater of the Air" show:
'The Spontoon War'
Transcribed & Edited by W. D. Reimer & M.M. Marmel

Programme Transcription: "The Spontoon War"

Historical Note:  This radio program, first aired on October 31, 1936, caused a panic among the people of Spontoon, already nervous about the prospect of war in the northern Pacific.  It has never been re-broadcast, by orders of the Spontoon Althing.

Spontoon Communications Ministry Transcription

The Spapoop Mystical Theater of the Air presents:
“The Spontoon War”
Station LONO broadcast
Sunday, October 31, 1936, 1900 Casino Island time
Broadcast rights reserved

[MUSIC:  Trademark theme of the Theater of the Air - “Danse Macabre” performed on a Theremin]

Narrator:  Today, the inhabitants of the Spontoons have worked and played among the idyllic islands of their home.  The war jitters of earlier months have subsided, and the economic downturn predicted has not materialized. 

But some Spontoonies know that, just over the horizon, lurk forces kept under tight restraint, awaiting only a single event to unleash an avalanche of unintended consequences...

Announcer 1:  Welcome to Radio LONO’s nightly program for a lovely Sunday night here in the Spontoon Islands.  Our first broadcast comes to you live from the ballroom of Shepherd’s Hotel on Casino Island.  We give you now the Alfred Neasman Orchestra with their performance of “Lovely Hula Paws.”

[MUSIC:  “Lovely Hula Paws”]

Announcer 2:  And now a news update.  The Interior and Foreign Ministries have reported signs of strange goings-on just to the northwest of Spontoon.  Fishing boats and passing cargo planes report seeing strange flashes of multicolored light in the sky along with a thick blanket of cloud over parts of the open ocean.  Some pilots report that the cloud isn’t moving with the wind like the weather should.  We’ll update you with more information as soon as we have any.

Announcer 1:  Our next performance comes direct from Salty Sal’s Fish Shack, a great place for dining and dancing till dawn on scenic South Island.  Here’s Milli Okoele with a selection of fine authentic Polynesian jazz . . .

[MUSIC:  “Little Grass Shack,” jazz motif with drums and ukuleles]

Announcer 2:  We take you now to the Interior Ministry, to hear a press conference with Interior Minister Cowper and one of our leading scientists, Professor Nigel Crowe.  We give you our reporter Nikki-Li.  Go ahead, Nikki!

Nikki-Li:  Thanks!  I’m here with Minister Cowper to ask him and Professor Crowe a few questions about the recent reports to the northwest.  Professor, can you tell us what’s going on?

Professor Crowe:  (Indistinct)

Nikki-Li:  Could you step a bit closer to the microphone, sir?

Crowe:  How’s that?

Nikki-Li:  Much better, thank you sir.  Now, can you tell us what’s happening?

Crowe:  Not much to say, really.  We’ve been receiving reports from fishing boats and cargo planes, and quite frankly it’s a mystery. 

Nikki-Li:  Is Cranium Island behind this, Minister?

Cowper:  If I knew, I couldn’t tell you.  We are investigating.

Nikki-Li:  Let me ask Professor Crowe a question.  Sir, please:  Are we in any danger?

Crowe:  Oh, I shouldn’t think so.  By all accounts the cloud or whatever it is isn’t moving.

Wu Chang:  (off-mike)  Where are they?  I have to warn them!

Nikki-Li:  Just a moment!  Who are you?

Wu Chang:  I’m Wu Chang, a seer. 

Nikki-Li:  A seer, eh?  And what have you seen, sir?

Wu Chang:  Terrible things are about to happen!

Crowe:  Nonsense, my good fellow.  There’s a perfectly rational explanation for it, I’m sure.

Chang:  (snorts)  So says the fur of science.  Your sort meddles in mysteries better left alone.  And you’ll come to grief as a result. 

Crowe:  I think you’re being overly melodramatic.  There’s nothing happening out there.

Chang:  Liar.

Nikki-Li:  Are we getting all this?

Chang:  You have no idea what’s going on out there, yet you stand there and talk as if you did know.  Suit yourself, but I am leaving these islands.  Now.

[GRAMS:  Footsteps]

Nikki-Li:  Sir!  Don’t walk away, please – can you answer any questions?

Chang:  (indistinct)

Nikki-Li:  I guess not.  That was Wu Chang, a self-professed seer, who apparently has his own theories about what is going on out at sea.  Well, while we wait for anything new to develop, we’ll go back to the studio.

Announcer 2:  Thanks, Nikki-Li!  Well, folks, that’s some interesting news, isn’t it?  Now back to our program – our next piece of music comes from the prestigious Marylebone Hotel, where the Paul Moele’Mekembe Band will perform “Somewhere My Love Lies Sleeping.”

[MUSIC:  “Somewhere My Love Lies Sleeping”]

Announcer 1:  I hate to interrupt, folks, but there are reports coming in of a disturbance on Meeting Island.  Our reporter Lucy Two Paws is on the scene.  Come in, Lucy!

Lucy Two Paws:  Is this on?  Can you hear me?  Oh . . . This is Lucy Two Paws for Radio LONO, coming to you from Meeting Island where well-known local shop owner Ted Watanabe and his entire family have just been gunned down.  Witnesses say that a group of heavy-set furs led by a young woman described as “looking like a cross between a fox and a raccoon” walked into Watanabe’s store and started shooting.  We’ll provide you with further developments as the story unfolds.  Back to the studio now.

Announcer 1:  Thank you, Lucy.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mister Watanabe’s family and survivors. 

Announcer 2:  For our next presentation, we take you to the Grand Casino Spontoon.  The Larry Barry Band will perform “Moonglow.”

[MUSIC:  “Moonglow”]

Announcer 2:  We’re sorry to break in, folks, but this is a news flash from Radio LONO.  The Interior Ministry has determined that the woman who led the murderers of the Watanabe family was none other than the leader of the Ivory Macaw Gang.  Sources within the Constabulary tell us that the shopkeeper had threatened to expose the Ivory Macaw’s criminal activities in Meeting Island.  According to our sources, the murderers are making their escape via airplane.

Announcer 1:  And here we have a report from the Naval Syndicate base on Moon Island.  At the request of the Althing, planes and ships have been sent out to capture the fleeing plane –

Announcer 2:  Sorry to interrupt, but this was just received!  It’s a message from Krupmark Island, and it reads, “Do not approach Krupmark Island.”

Announcer 1:  Well!  That seems pretty unequivocal, doesn’t it folks?  You can expect us to break in from time to time with updated information as this goes on.  In the meantime, we’ll turn to the next performance on tonight’s show from Susie’s Happy Clam Bar on Eastern Island.  The band there is a native outfit, with lots of verve, so let’s give a listen to P’ala Hakakawana and his Spontoon Submarine Band!

[MUSIC:  “A Little Grass Skirt,” abruptly cut off]

Announcer 2:  A news flash from Radio LONO!  We have established a link with the Naval Syndicate patrol planes pursuing the drug gang as they try to get away to Krupmark Island.  Alder One, can you hear us?

[GRAMS:  Static]

Announcer 2:  Alder One, this is Radio LONO.  Can you hear us?

[GRAMS:  Electronic warbling]

[GRAMS:  All “Alder” parts accompanied by aircraft engine noise]

Alder 1:  (off-mike)  We read you, Radio LONO.

Announcer 2:  How far are you from catching the Ivory Macaw?

Alder 1:  We’re about five . . . them.  We’re flying a faster plane, so catching up . . .  easy.

Announcer 2:  So you’re about to catch up to them?

Alder 1:  Roger.

Announcer 2:  What will you do if you can’t stop them?

Alder 1:  (garbled voice off-mike, followed by scream)

Announcer 2:  Alder One!  Are you all right?  (off-mike)  Can we get Alder Two?  Alder Two, can you hear us?

Alder 2:  We read you, LONO.  Alder One’s destroyed.

Announcer 2:  What happened?

Alder 2:  As we got near Krupmark, a thunderstorm started forming up.  It was nothing like I’ve ever seen.

Announcer 2:  Tell us, please.

Alder 2:  The clouds parted – to let the smugglers fly through.

Announcer 2:  What!

Alder 2:  And when Jack – er, Alder One tried to follow them, the clouds smashed the plane to bits.  We’re turning back now – impossible to get through the clouds.

Announcer 2:  The – the clouds smashed the plane!?

Alder 2:  That’s right.  (off-mike)  What? 

Announcer 2:  Alder Two, what’s happening; can you tell us?

Alder 2:  We’re . . . tr . . .

[GRAMS:  Static]

Announcer 2:  Alder Two!

[GRAMS:  Static]

[GRAMS:  Indistinct voices off-mike]

Announcer 2:  I’m . . . I’m told that we’ve lost contact with Alder Two.

Announcer 1:  We need to break in now, for an important announcement.  Ladies and gentlemen, Defense Minister Heipua.

Heipua:  Good evening.  You have just heard of the destruction of one Naval Syndicate patrol plane, and the presumed destruction of another, as they neared Krupmark Island.  We have presumed, based on secret information, that Krupmark’s rulers have concluded some kind of arrangement with Cranium Island, and now we have confirmed that.

Announcer 1:  Minister Heipua, what does this mean?  Will they try to attack us?

Heipua:  We don’t know at this point, but the Naval Syndicate is sending more planes and patrol ships to the area, and the Defense Ministry is announcing the immediate callup of the Spontoon Militia.

Announcer 1:  We’ll spread the word, Minister.  Is there anything else?

Heipua:  Yes.  The Althing is asking all civilians to evacuate the extreme western districts of Main and South islands as a precaution.  We’re not certain what may be coming, but we want people to get out of the way.

[GRAMS:  Paper rustling]

Heipua:  This message has just been given to me.  Surprisingly, it’s a distress call from Krupmark Island – and all contact’s been lost.

Announcer 1:  There you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  The Althing has ordered a call-up of all militia members, and the evacuation of the western districts of Main and South Islands. 

Announcer 2:  We’ll be sending a reporter out there as quickly as we can, in order to bring you the most up-to-the-minute accounts possible.  And now, for your listening enjoyment, the Spontones!

(MUSIC:  The Spontones’ cover of “Stardust,” abruptly cut off)

Announcer 1:  Radio LONO interrupts this show for a special bulletin!  The Defense Ministry has reported that two patrol boats have reported that quote “something horrible” is approaching the western point of Main Island from the direction of Krupmark.  When we asked for details, the patrol boat just said, “Be afraid – be very afraid,” and then reported that they were falling back to new positions just inside the lagoon.

Announcer 2:  We’ve managed to get a reporter out there, equipped with a remote transmitter.  Jim?  Jim, can you hear us?”

[GRAMS:  Static]

Jim:  (off-mike)  . . . adio LONO, Radio LONO, come in please.

Announcer 2:  Jim, we hear you!  What do you see?

Jim:  I’m here at the Militia’s forward headquarters.  Soldiers are equipped, and our shore defenses are fully deployed and ready.  I’m standing here with a pair of binoculars, looking westward out to sea.  So far, I’m not – wait a moment! 

Announcer 2:  Tell us what you see, Jim.

Jim:  Something is slowly starting to come up out of the water.  It – well, it looks like wet metal, or wet leather . . . Its eyes!  I can’t bear to look into its eyes!  When I look at its eyes I can hear a voice in my head, no words, telling me that it’s coming for me . . . it’s coming for us all. 

Announcer 2:  Jim, are you okay?

Jim:  No, I’m not okay.  None of us are.  A priestess is now coming forward and chanting at the creature, trying to drive it back into the sea.

[GRAMS:  Off-mike and very distant sound of chanting, then a scream]

[GRAMS:  Crackle of rifle fire off-mike; sound of artillery fire]

Jim:  The priestess has collapsed and the Militia have opened fire on the thing! 

[GRAMS:  Rifle and artillery fire]

Jim:  The shells are having some effect – the creature’s staggering – but wait!  There’s another one starting to come out of the water and – what’s that sound?

[GRAMS:  Low, deep hum]


Announcer 2:  Jim!  Jim, are you okay?  Answer me!

[GRAMS:  High-pitched electronic howl]

Jim:  (sounding frantic)  There’s – the creatures are shooting back, but I can’t see what they’re using.  Fires are springing up everywhere as they sweep the defenders out of their positions!

Announcer 2:  Jim!  Jim, if you can hear me, get out of there!

Jim:  We’ve had word from the commander of this post that we’ll fall back and regroup at –

[GRAMS:  Static]

Announcer 2:  Jim!  Jim, are you there?

[GRAMS:  Static]

Announcer 1:  I’ve received word from the Defense Ministry that the two creatures that have come out of the sea have destroyed our forward defenses, and the Militia has been ordered to fall back to prepared positions farther inland.

Announcer 2:  Main Island’s not that large – what will happen if - ?

Announcer 1:  I don’t want to think about that right now.

Announcer 2:  We might have to start – a note‘s been handed to me.  Scouts operating behind the line of the monsters’ advance have found Jim’s remains. 

Announcer 1:  Our prayers go out to his family.  We’ve set up a link to the main Militia command post near Mount Kiribatori.  The Althing has ordered more evacuations of all civilians:  The central districts of Main Island are to evacuate immediately to the eastern part of the island and to South Island.

Announcer 2:  We’ve got the link set up . . . are we ready here?  Okay, let’s – okay, okay.  Can you hear us, Mele?

Mele:  Yes, I can hear you.  The Militia have lost most of their heavy artillery when the monsters breached our shore defenses.  Scouts report that they’re avoiding Sacred Lake, while destroying everything around it.  Roads are clogged with fleeing refugees, and we’ve been hearing Syndicate seaplanes overhead, all going toward the invading things.

Announcer 1:  Are any coming back?

Mele:  Very few.  Some of the pilots are reporting bomb hits on one of the monsters, but it’s taking a lot of effort to bring even one of them down.

[GRAMS:  Sound of distant artillery]

Mele:  Wait a moment!  Can you hear that?  The Militia’s got some more cannon.

[GRAMS:  Sound of distant massive explosion]

Announcer 2:  Mele, what was that?

Mele:  We got one!  It blew up like a Hoopy Jaloopy effigy.  The other one is looking around, as if uncertain . . .

[GRAMS:  High-pitched electronic howl]

Mele:  There goes its heat ray again.

[GRAMS:  Explosions]

Mele:  The artillery positions are being destroyed, and the soldiers are falling back again. 

[GRAMS:  Paper rustling]

Mele:  This order is from the Militia Commander.  “All troops are to fall back.  Meeting Island is no longer defensible.  Plan K is in effect.”  I have no idea what Plan K is, but this is bad.

Announcer 2:  Worse than the stories my grandmother used to tell me.

Announcer 1:  While Mele retreats with the Militia, I’ve just received word that the Althing is moving to Sacred Island.  Martial law has been declared for Casino and Eastern Island, and Moon Island is on a war footing.  Evacuees are heading for South Island, but we’re getting reports that some boats full of refugees are being pulled under.

Announcer 2:  Pulled under! 

Mele:  (coughs)  Can you hear me?

Announcer 1:  Go ahead, Mele!

Mele:  (coughs)  If you can hear me – the monsters have destroyed Main Village.  (coughs)  The ashes swirling about us as we withdraw further east are all that’s left of the inhabitants.  (coughs)

Announcer 2:  My God.

Announcer 1:  We’re going to set up an observation post near the Radio LONO transmitter so we can see what’s going on.  Mele, are you still there?

[GRAMS:  High-pitched electronic howl]

[GRAMS:  Sound of artillery]

Mele:  Yes!  I’m going to have to get away –

[GRAMS:  Explosion]

[GRAMS:  Static]

Announcer 1:  Looks like we’ve lost Mele.  If anyone can hear us over on Main Island, evacuate immediately! 

Announcer 2:  I’m going to be on the roof, looking out toward Meeting Island.

[GRAMS:  Sound of open microphone being put down]

Announcer 1:  This is Radio LONO, the Voice of the Gods, telling you about the invasion of Spontoon by monsters, presumably from Cranium Island.  They’ve so far destroyed more than half of Main Island including Main Village.  The Althing has left Meeting Island in order to direct the battle from a safer place – although I’m not sure where that is...

Announcer 2:  I’m on?  Okay.  I’m speaking to you from Tower Hill, looking across toward Meeting Island.  Off in the distance I can see plumes of smoke and fires on Main Island.  The ridge of Moon Island is blocking me from seeing what’s going on at Meeting Island, but from the reddish glow there I can guess.

The Naval Syndicate base is lit up, and I can see planes lifting off to attack.  They’re our allies, and they’ve fought bravely for us, at horrible cost.

[GRAMS:  Distant explosions, high-pitched electronic howl]

Announcer 2:  I – I can see it!  One of the monsters has reached Moon Island!  I can see a hulking mass, silhouetted by the flames at its back as it climbs the ridge. 

[GRAMS:  Artillery fire, loud]

Announcer 2:  Every cannon on Moon Island just opened fire at once! - the thing staggers – it’s falling? – no; it’s recovered its balance and is counterattacking.

[GRAMS:  High-pitched electronic howl]

[GRAMS:  Explosions]

Announcer 2:  The monster’s ray is destroying everything in its path, and nothing the Naval Syndicate can do is stopping it.  We’re just across the channel from the base – I can see – I can –

[GRAMS:  High-pitched electronic howl]

[GRAMS:  Static, 30 seconds]

[GRAMS:  Sound of wire recorder]

Mele:  (coughs)  I hope this is working right.  I’m a Radio LONO reporter, caught just outside what’s left of Main Village when the monster blew up a truck.  I was pinned under some wreckage, and when I came to everyone around me was dead.  I found this recorder in the wreckage of the command post, and I think it’s working. 

As far as I know I’m the only fur alive in this part of Main Island, but I’m a reporter.  I am going to record as much as I can, in hopes that someone, anyone, will find this recording.

It’s eerily quiet here, just the crackle of a few remaining fires, but the smell is what makes my stomachs heave.  Burned flesh and fur.  I’m going to head inland, try to find some fresh water to clear my throat.

[GRAMS:  Sound of footsteps on gravel]

Mele:  I’m passing the wreckage of the monster our artillery killed.  It smells foul, rotten – ugh!  Its insides are some weird mix of flesh and mechanism.  I’ve got to get away from this unclean place.

[GRAMS:  Sound of footsteps]

Mele:  I can hear fresh water – a brook or small stream.  I wish the Moon would rise so I can see a bit better –

[GRAMS:  Splash]

Mele:  Ugh!  Well, that’s one way to find water, I suppose.

[GRAMS:  Splashing, sound of gulping]

Mele:  Ahh, that’s better. 

Man:  What are you doing here?

Mele:  What!  Thank the Gods!  I had thought I’d never see another person.

Man:  There’s just me.  And no talk of Gods here; I worship Them, now.

Mele:  Them?  You mean the monsters?

Man:  Yes, I worship Them.  We lost our way, and They came to clean away our corruption.  They kill only those who do not worship them.

Mele:  I ... I see.

Man:  Since you survived, you must worship Them, too!  Wait!  Where are you going?

Mele:  Far away from you, friend.  And stay away from the Nootnops Blue.

[GRAMS:  Footsteps, trudging through brush]

Mele:  I’m standing now on the ridge overlooking the ruins of Main Village.  The skies are clearing, and the Moon’s slowly rising.  I – I can see fires and plumes of smoke on Meeting Island, Moon and – it looks like Eastern Island didn’t escape unscathed either . . .

[GRAMS:  Eerie electronic warbling sound]

[GRAMS:  Distant, ponderous splashing]

Mele:  Oh Gods!  One of the Monsters is headed this way!  No – it’s – it’s veering away!  It’s walking into the lagoon, headed west!

[GRAMS:  Eerie electronic warbling sound]

[GRAMS:  Distant, ponderous splashing]

Mele:  That warbling sound – it must be some kind of call.  The monsters are following it.

[GRAMS:  Sound of body sitting on the ground]

Mele:  There’s nothing else I can do; the monsters are leaving – it’s all over, it seems – and all I can do is sit and thank the Gods that I lived to tell the story . . .

But I have to ask myself – WHY are they leaving?  I don’t see any fires or smoke on South Island.  Why did they leave their task unfinished? 

Will they be back?

[Musical bridge]

Narrator:  Well friends, what you’ve just heard and experienced tonight was a prank, in the best Euro Halloween tradition.  Main Island’s still there, as is Meeting Island, and the Althing are all snug in their beds.  What you’ve just heard is our way of sneaking up behind you and saying “Boo!” 

So, good night, and Happy Halloween!

[MUSIC:  Mystical Theater theme]

Narrator:  You’ve been listening to the Spapoop Mystical Theater of the Air production of “The Spontoon War,” produced by W.D. Reimer and directed by M.M. Marmel.  This is Radio LONO, the Voice of the Gods.

Historical Note:  While the Althing refused to allow this show to be re-broadcast, a copy of the script is rumored to have fallen into the paws of Orson Welles, who adapted it two years later for the Mercury Theater of the Air and renamed it “The War of the Worlds.”

Transcribed and edited by W.D. Reimer & M.M. Marmel
       To Radio Transcripts