"Why, you... "

"OUCH!! Woo woo woo... nyuk nyuk nyuk!"

Ranma sat watching the televison. It was an American comedy show dubbed into Japanese. The Three Stooges. It was a black and white show, from many years ago. Ranma wondered what had ever become of the comedians who made it.

Akane stormed into the room. She was carrying a pot with some slimy green substance slithering around inside it. She slammed the pot forcefully onto the table in front of Ranma.

"Eat!" Akane said, glaring at Ranma with extreme hostility.

"Uh..." Ranma said.

"What do you mean, 'uh'?!?" Akane said as her mallet crashed down on his head. "HOW DARE YOU?! <bam!>You STUPID <bam!> INCONSIDERATE <bam!> PERVERTED <bam!> SCUM! <bam!> <bam!> DIE! <bam!> DIE!!" She struck Ranma repeatedly, punctuating her words with mallet strikes as she beat her fiance into a bloody pulp.

Oh no, Akane thought as she looked at the bleeding lump of flesh in front of her. There's something wrong with Ranma? How could this have happened? What did it mean?

"Ohhh... " Ranma groaned, his consciousness starting to return.

"I'M TRYING TO THINK!!!" Akane screamed, bashing Ranma again and again with her mallet. "SHUT UP!! <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> HOW can you <bam!> be so <bam!> THOUGHTLESS <bam!> and INCONSIDERATE <bam!> TIME <bam!> AND TIME <bam!> AGAIN<bam!> <bam!> ??"

Oh, no! Not again?!? Ranma was hurt! A thought dawned on Akane. Could she have had something to do with this?

It couldn't be. She couldn't have been turned into a mindless one-dimensional character. She had internal dialog! That proved it! Oh, why did she do it? How could she help her Ranma now?

"A... Akane..."

"SHUT UP!! <bam!> <bam!> DIE!! <bam!> DIE!! <bam!> <bam!> MAIM!! <bam!> KILL!! <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> " Akane struck, her mallet pounding down again and again until Ranma was reduced to his basic atomic and molecular components. Then she did the same for the house.

Oh, what have I done, she thought...

Then she noticed she was being watched. It was a man, an older man with white skin, and a haircut not unlike hers.

"It's happened again, hasn't it," the man said.

"Who are you?!" Akane snapped.

"The name's Moses Harry Horwitz, but you can call me Moe. I used to be a comedian. Me and my buddies, we used to make people laugh by slapping each other around. Every time I'd hit Curly in the head with a hammer, boy, those audiences would laugh, let me tell you.

"Then something changed. Suddenly Curly was actually getting hurt when I'd hit him. He lost an eye when I poked him. I couldn't stop. I bashed him over the head with a wrench and gave him a concussion. Still, I couldn't stop.

"Larry tried to stop me. He turned out to be a really nice guy, with no particular inclination toward violence at all. He tried to get Curly away from me, but it was no use. I... I ended up killing them both. The other two, Shamp -- I mean Shemp, and Kochi Joe or whatever his name was, they were nowhere to be found. Oh God, when I think about it, the horror..."

"Oh, you poor man," Akane cried. "Oh no. How could I have done such a thing!!!! Ranma!! I'll never see your smile again, never hear you laugh, never touch your hand in mine!"

"I'm sorry," Moe said. "If there's anything I can do..."

"Could..." Akane said, her voice choking on tears, "could I pretend that you're Ranma? Just to have him back for a moment to say goodbye?"

Moe nodded in assent.

"Then DIE!!!! <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> MAIM!!! <bam!> KILL!!! <bam!> <bam!> KILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!> <bam!>"