FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF GREENBUSHBOY
One of many old concepts brought out into sunlight so my hard drive can take a breather. The 3Bs and Gwendolyn was written sometime in the 90s when I witnessed a little girl boss her three brothers around as if she were a drill sergeant. This idea has all the elements that I particularly like in a cartoon series: stupid boys, bossy girls, idiotic villains, and super spy jobs so outlandish I am shocked, I tell you shocked, that none have not been put into practice in real life.
Looking for extra allowance money, ten year olds Brad, Buster, and Baron cut out an employment coupon found in the sewer. DESCRIPTION: opportunity to be super secret agents working for a super secret government agency performing dangerous super secret missions that are so secret that no one even knows they exist. Their contact would be a mysterious woman named Gwendolyn who meets only in shadowy places in broad daylight. Gwendolyn turns out to be a ten year old girl who is so low on the super secret agency’s pecking order that she works out of her own basement down the street from the three boys. She also goes to their grade school. Her assignments come directly from a genetically engineered passenger pigeon named IGNATZ who has a real chip on his shoulder besides the one in his brain. Gwendolyn’s boss is Otis Weasel, a recluse who fears the outdoors because sunlight makes him itch. He wants to see Gwendolyn fail so his stupid son Jacque can have her job.
Brad, Buster and Baron are three eleven year olds living in North Mulch, Manitoba. They spend their free time in a self constructed tree house made from whatever junk they find in the alley between the House of Surprise Meats Food Store and the Pork Rind Company financed, Sewage is Our Friend Campaign Office. The tree house is not much to look at. Actually it is a lean-to. Situated on the ground as no trees ever bothered to grow in their neighborhood.
One day while collecting newspapers to spread out over their tree-house floor to deaden the feel of a sidewalk cracking beneath them, the boys pick up a dripping piece of paper from the sewer. It's an ad seeking secret agents to come to work at a top secret secret agency. These assignments are so secret that only a secret group of people even know they exist, and they’re not too certain. The house down the street marked HEADQUARTERS is listed as headquarters. Shockingly the house belongs to Gwendolyn, their obnoxious classmate and all around teacher’s pet.
Gwendolyn is an entry level spy master one grade. She is so low on the spy totem pole that her base of operations is a basement room next to the boiler. She has no sliding doors, fanciful weapons, or secret passageways. She makes the setting work for her with piles of teddy bears, wicker baskets, and bowls of potpourri.
Gwendolyn is enthusiastic about her new spy job, but time is not on her side. She must immediately impress her boss, Otis Weasel, a strict authoritarian old timer not much into agents who are younger than the soup stains on his one white shirt. But Gwen is all gangbusters. She has already volunteered her team to do some back logged black bag jobs. She simply forgot to tell Weasel she has yet to compile her homeboys. Sending out a school flyer ad seems to her the best way to create her A team.
The only kids to apply for the position are the three dumb dolts she finds most annoying in school. Brad, Buster and Baron drive her crazy because they clean their ears out with forks, make all sorts of gastric noises in public, and never get any of her jokes. They also never raise their hands in class. She believes because they forget to wash them after bathroom visits.
Right off the bat she breaks a cardinal spy rule in communicating with them. According to the super secret bureau chief handbook which she carries at all times, first meetings with recruits are never conducted face to face. Foggy, spooky and dangerous places on the waterfront are preferable. As no water front exists within a three hundred kilometer radius of town, up front and personal becomes the operative plan of action. She would have preferred other classmates like Clive or Owen or Sean or Conner in her action squad. Not only are they smarter, stronger, and better looking than these three twerps, it would have been much more fun to boss them around.
Brad, Buster and Baron or as she describes them Geeky, Meekly, and Twitchy don’t look the super agent types. They can, however be bought off with her mother’s bunt cakes and cookies. Until she can authorize checks, that’s the only salary Gwendolyn can afford. Since she just started working for the Super Secret Agency (the SSA) by winning a lottery contest at the local mall, her assignments have been the ones that no one else wants.
These rough and tumble errands come through Ignatz, the angry cyborg Passenger Pigeon who curries orders between Gwen’s basement and that of Otis’s head quarters two houses down. These are very important missions; otherwise why would they be so secret? Sometimes they involve world peace; other times they involve keeping the world from going to pieces.
Gwendolyn knows that her career can be made or destroyed by how her team functions in the spy world. So she is a tough task master. These are not simulation games she reminds her recruits over milk and cookies. Baron is allergic to nuts so he has oatmeal instead of chocolate chips. The boys have no aptitude, experience, or skills when it comes to espionage, spying or battling bad guys. To make matters worse for Brad, Buster and Baron, Gwendolyn must accompany her recruits on all assignments and grade them on their performances.
Gwen has been a secret agent one day longer than her team’s. The boys are cool to all of this because the desserts are good, and the spy equipment they play with can blow things up. They are also used to girls bossing them around because all three have older sisters who barely tolerate them. They can’t wait for an Ignatz delivery. Ignatz certainly can. The bird has anger management problems as well as a depressive philosophical outlook on life. When he gets really annoyed, he unscrews his head and just hands it to the closest agent and quits. Why was he built, the head asks everyone around him, if all he does is carry around large pieces of equipment from one house to another? His back hurts and he thinks he has a hernia. Interestingly, no one takes credit for building him which makes him even that much more paranoid.
JOBS SO SECRET NO ONE WANTS
• Ignatz arrives with orders from the super secret NASA to go to Mars and bring back the Land Rover with its super secret payload.
• Ignatz arrives with orders that the secret government agency, Joe Butch’s Cheap Electronics must find a cheaper route to China as quickly as possible. The boys need to start digging straight down immediately through methane pockets and volcanic magma and finish the assignment before their curfew. Luckily this is a weekend assignment.
• Ignatz arrives with orders that the super secret Mulch City, Manitoba City Council needs a super secret dam built immediately and then supplied with a billion gallons of water from anyplace in Canada where it won’t be noticed.
• Ignatz arrives with orders that the super secret but highly abandoned Haunted House must be moved to a more scenic location to maximize the tourist trade. Whatever is in that house must be convinced that the move will have back end profits for it as well.
• Ignatz arrives with orders that the White House expects Gwendolyn and her team to greet the alien armada landing on Earth and tourist them around while all of Washington heads for the hills.
• Ignatz arrives with orders that super secret Mad Scientist Sammy is once more looking for subjects to experiment upon.
BUT WHO ARE GWENDOLYN’S BOYS?
Poor Brad. He’s a super spy with a box of Kleenex as his first line of defense. if there is anyone anywhere in the world sick with a cold, mumps, measles, chicken pox, flu or indigestion, Brad comes down with it. The boy blows his nose and coughs up more phlegm than a 1920s tuberculin clinic.He makes a lousy stealth operative because his coughing, wheezing, hacking, and sneezing gives his position away every time.
Buster considers himself the jock of the group. He has excellent hand eye coordination. He just can’t catch anything though he does see everything coming his way eventually. Footballs, basketballs, baseballs, hockey pucks and those strange things that curlers use hit him on the head constantly whether he’s playing the game or not. Buster never travels anywhere without his protective head gear and knee and shoulder pads. He wears other more personal boy things as well.
Baron goes nowhere without his computer. Even though they are on very secret missions, homework still must be completed on time. It makes for some embarrassing moments when right in the middle of an assignment, Gwendolyn must stop everything to help him relearn the alphabet.
Gwendolyn becomes a super secret spy the day her name is picked from a big pickle barrel at a mall contest appropriately entitled, WHO WANTS TO BE THE NEXT SUPER SECRET AGENT. She also receives a full day’s worth of coupons at Lumbago’s House of Oddly Shaped Cheeses. The girl has an ego and is always quick with the smart ass remark. Usually the insults go over the heads of the boys who are too busy trying to remember their assignments while putting together their spy equipment. She carries with her several GPS units so the boys don't have to ask for directions which they would never do anyway.
IGNATZ THE PASSENGER PIGEON:
Ignatz is a genetically engineered passenger pigeon and therefore a top secret experiment. It is his responsibility to ferry both assignments and heavy spy equipment between Gwen’s basement and that of her boss, Otis whose head quarters is someplace further up the bloc. Ignatz complains about everything not the least of which is the fact that he is technically extinct and hence his Saturday nights are a real drag. Perhaps he really believes he is a raven because his favorite word is “Nevermore” as in never more am I going to deliver anything to anyone on my day off.
THE VILLAINOUS OTIS:
What a bad man! He lied and cheated and scammed his way to his current position as head of the super secret agency. He was once a high school principle but found the work way above his pay grade so now he runs the Manitoba Office of the SSA. He takes great pleasure in giving Gwendolyn assignments that no one else wants. If she fails and he hopes she does, he will install his son JACQUE in her post; if she succeeds, he will take all the glory and his son can go off and continue to clean his bedroom. Shakespeare could not have come up with a more evil person.
Jacque goes to the best grade school in the world, pays all of his friends to be around him, has more money than can be found on the corner of Wall and Street, yet misses the action of working in the spy business. He played the role for one day and parts of Earth still are facing blackout problems. He is arrogant, stupid, and full of himself. His brain is both shaken and stirred. Both he and his father loaded that pickle barrel up with Jacque’s name and still can’t believe that Gwendolyn was chosen in the contest.
NASA seeks Gwendolyn’s boys to retrieve the Mars Land Rover. Just fly the first shuttle to Mars and pick up the Rover and return it. As there is no overtime pay, this must be accomplished between the hours of 9A-5P on any given Saturday. NASA warns them not to touch anything else on the planet other than the Rover otherwise the reverberations could prove cataclysmic for the entire Solar System’s ecosystem. Taking the first flight to Mars, the team arrives just in time to keep junk dealers from some other galaxy from stealing the Land Rover and placing it on an intergalactic E Bay system. A big fight ensues before Gwendolyn and the boys retrieve the Rover. However, the Red Planet now looks black and blue causing the indigenous life forms on the planet to flee in panic to Earth. Eventually everything is straightened out when Baron downloads all of Schubert’s Symphonies for the classic music loving Martians and sends the aliens back home with their very own eight tracks recordings.
Joe Butch Electronics must have a new and quicker route to China. Super secret scientists tell Gwendolyn that if one digs a hole down through the Earth, orders can just be dropped straight to the Chinese for delivery. Twelve hours later when the Chinese are on top of the Earth, they can simply drop the finished goods straight down the hole and into Joe Butch’s Electronics store. Get this done before the sun sets and the store will give the boys a discount on 10 year old computers. Our heroes finish their construction project but miss the Chinese mainland by several miles thanks in large measure to Otis and Jacque revising the data sent to Gwen. The South China Sea makes a guest appearance in Manitoba where the townspeople hire her team to build a super secret dam and stock it with steelheads. Since the team missed the deadline, and Joe Butch Electronics does not sell bait and tackle goods, Joe Bob kindly gives them a discount on 15 year old computers for their effort.
Mad Scientist Sammy (Gwendolyn’s uncle) calls and begs her to come over with her boys. He plans on taking over the world once again. This time he’ll pay her allowance for a month rather than the usual payment of pizza if she allows him to experiment on her team. Well blood is thicker than water so she says yes. His scheme ends when our heroes actually do take over the world which really annoys Otis and Jacque. Now that the boys are in charge of the Earth, no one knows what to do next.