The Love Vole

on November 11, 2009 in Fiction

“So, did you get my pitch?” Morton asked as soon as the programming director picked up her phone.

“Yes, Morton,” the director said. “We did, and we’re very happy at the thought of working with a legend in the business, especially since you’re returning to it after such a long absence, but we have a few questions.”

“Well, did you watch the demo tape?” he asked her. “I think that should explain everything pretty well.”

“Yes, we did. We watched the tape.”

“Well… what did you think?”

“A vole, Morton?”

“Yeah, a vole. Morty the Love Vole.”

“Kids don’t know what that is.”

“Well, that’s why it’s educational,” Morton said, exasperated. “Morty the Love Vole doesn’t talk down to children. He’s not afraid to take them to new places… strange places, even scary places.”

“Scary places?”

“You know, places that make people uncomfortable at first. Places that make them squirm un,” Morton said. “Like in the song, ‘Fear of the Unknown Is Just Comfortable Familiarity Waiting To Happen’.”

“We actually thought that song was a little… unwieldy.”

“Well, I’ve got another one called ‘Have You Hugged A Stranger Today’.”

“Morton, leaving all that aside… kids don’t need to know what a vole is,” the director said. “Couldn’t you say it’s a mouse?”

“But the puppet is a vole,” Morton said.

“Kids don’t know the difference.”

“But then we’re talking down to them,” Morton said. “Anyway, he’s Morty the Love Vole because ‘love’ is ‘vole’ spelled sideways.”

“Spelled what?”

“Sideways,” Morty said. “‘Mouse’ spelled sideways is… I don’t know. Useom. Sueom. Nothing good, anyway. Look, the puppet is clearly a vole.”

“Well… I think we’d have to ask you to redesign the puppet anyway.”

“What? The puppet is perfect.”

“It’s… unsettling,” the director said. “It’s like you took a latex model of a dead rodent, blew it up, and grafted your own face onto it.”

“Yes, exactly!” Morton said. “Well, I used a computer to sort of blend my face with the vole’s. It wouldn’t look realistic, otherwise.”

“‘Realistic’ isn’t quite the word I’d use,” the programming director said. “Have you ever heard the phrase ‘uncanny valley’, Morton?”

“That’s where Morty the Love Vole lives,” Morton said. “The Uncanny Valley of Happiness.”

“On a, ah, somewhat related subject… we’re kind of giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that the fact that the puppet’s, uh, anatomically complete is simply a side effect of the fact that you used a real vole as a model. That’d haved to be fixed before we could think about putting it on the air.”

“Actually, I was planning on fixing Morty on the air,” Morton said. “You know, to teach the kids about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. And your Love Voles. This would be after the sex ed episode. I have another puppet made for that one.”

“You know, Morton, I’m not sure you should be working in children’s television.”

“I just have to find the right model for the face,” Morton said.

“Goodbye, Morton. I don’t think we can work together.”

“You sound like you have a nice face.”

“I’m hanging up now, Morton.”

“…I love you.”

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5 Responses to “The Love Vole”

  1. blue-x says:

    Wow… this is so strangely unsettling I had to comment. I don’t know what I had to say, but I felt the need to write something.

    I only recently discovered this blog (because I’m slow to notice new things), and wanted to say I’m enjoying these miniatures a lot. I’m glad they seem to be entertaining and helpful to you.

  2. Lysaea says:

    *wants to watch Morty the Love Vole now =(*

  3. readaholic says:


  4. Tier says:

    This reminded me of the Mr. Rogers parody “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood”

  5. Morten says:

    Uncanny valley? I don’t get it. Love the Vole tho.

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