Rest Home Rangers

Episode written by Mark Edens and Michael Edens

Summarized by John Nowak, who eats prunes for dessert after a cold lunch.

Thanks to Natasha and RoboNerd for telling me which one is Kirby and Muldoon.

The episode opens in Ranger Headquarters. Chip is inflating a balloon, while Dale scat-sings "Happy Birthday" and climbs a ladder to hang a banner which reads "Happy Birthday Monty." We see Gadget is preparing a cupcake, and Zipper fruitlessly tries to crack a walnut in a nutcracker. Hey, he's just a fly. "It sure is a lot of work getting ready for Monterey Jack's birthday party," Dale explains for the benefit of those slow on the uptake, "But one thing makes it all worth it!"

Gadget is standing on a dresser, and leaps off onto a tube of frosting. The frosting jets through the air, somehow forming a perfect trimming on the border of the cupcake, finishing with a dot in the bulls-eye. During this display, she speaks: "You mean knowing you've made Monty's birthday a special occasion?"

"No," says Dale. "Eating the cake." He licks his chops.

"I'm not really sure how old Monty is," Gadget continues, plunking a birthday candle down in the middle of the cupcake. "I hope he doesn't mind having just one candle."

"Monty won't care what's on the cake," Dale points out, "as long as there's cheese inside it."

We cut to Chip, standing with his back to the door, still blowing up the balloon. "Monty can be a very sensitive mouse," Gadget insists off camera.

Monty slams the door open. This knocks Chip into a wall, and the air from the balloon inflates him. Chip starts floating. Monty actually spares him a concerned glance before announcing, "I smell Cheeeeeeese..." and begins a Cheese attack. "-Cake," Monty finishes, with a broad grin, aborting the Cheese attack.

Monty looks up at Chip, who is floating helplessly. "You better skip the cake, mate, you're putting on weight," Monty tells him. Dale starts laughing.

"Chip's just full of hot air," Dale jokes unwisely from his precarious position on the ladder. Chip turns and uses rocket propulsion to generate thrust. He banks himself off the wall and ceiling, and snatches away Dale's ladder. Dale hovers for a moment before he realizes he should be falling. With a cry of "Yikes!", Dale grabs the banner he was just hanging, and rips it free. He swings across Ranger HQ like Douglas Fairbanks, finishing with a fall into the cheesecake. The cake bursts like a balloon, covering Ranger HQ and Gadget with filling. If we assume Gadget is the chef, she makes an awfully runny cheesecake.

A moment later, Chip lands next to Dale. Embedded headfirst, the two moon the camera.

"Oh, no," cries Gadget, "The party's ruined!"

"Party?" asks Monterey, scratching his head quizzically. "Is it somebody's birthday?" The others look at him silently while he picks up the banner. "Crikey! It's my birthday. Heh. They sneak up on you, don't they? Seems like only a year since my last one."

"We had a wonderful party planned for you," Gadget explains, morosely.

Dale appears wearing a party hat and one of those noise making spiral things that extend when you blow into them. The hat and noisemaker are a bit dented; they've been damaged in the crash.

"We even had party hats," he explains. "And noisemakers." He blows into the noisemaker, knocking Zipper off Monty's shoulder into a horn.

"We had balloons, too," Chip says sadly, holding a deflated limp bit of latex.

"Don't feel bad, mate," Monty says, wiping a fragment of cheesecake from Chip's head and tasting it. "I've had plenty of birthday parties."

"Yeah," Dale says, pulling the birthday hat off his head, "you must have had hundreds of them."

"Hundreds?" Monty asks, scoffing.

"Well," says Chip, "You are older than the rest of us."

"Getting old, am I?" Monty asks, using his mass like a sumo wrestler to knock Chip a considerable distance, "I don't know the meaning of the word."

The chipmunks look concerned, and Gadget holds a worried hand to her face. "Uh oh," Dale stage-whispers. "He's starting to forget things."

Monty, tail high and slightly annoyed, walks over the blue horn Zipper was knocked into. "Just because it's my birthday don't mean that I-"

Zipper lets go with a mighty blast on the horn. Monty covers his ears and staggers about, momentarily deafened. Zipper smiles at the camera, filled with pride at his Joshua-esque accomplishment.

"Just how old are you, Monty?" Gadget asks innocently. Dale flinches.

"Hah?" Monty asks, sticking a finger in his ear and wriggling it. "What did you say?"

"I think he's getting hard of hearing," Chip whispers into Gadget's ear. The chipmunks and Gadget have expressions of deep concern.

Monty trudges over to the nutcracker Zipper tried to use earlier. "I never felt better in my life," he says, belying his body language. He sits down, his mass immediately crushing the nut and dumping him unexpectedly.

"Was that your joints popping?" Gadget asks.

"You sound awfully stiff," Chip observes.

"Must be the old trick knee," Monty mutters, twisting his right leg and making a sound like a badly adjusted prosthesis.

"Maybe you should rest," Gadget suggests, "while we go to the supermarket to get more cheese to make another birthday cake."

Naturally, this fans the flame of defiance in the old warrior. He stands, fists balled at his sides. "Going out for cheese?" he cries. "Now that's my idea of a party!" he races out the door. Again, his lines don't seem to match his body language - I'm not sure if his line was modified, or if the intent was to play up the front he's projecting with his dialog against the anger in his soul.

"He's pretty spry for someone so old," Dale observes.

The scene shifts to a modern exhibition hall. A loudspeaker voice fills us in. "Welcome ladies and gentlemilkmen, to the International Dairy Exhibit." The scene shifts to Miss Dairy, a blonde in a one-piece bathing suit, standing next to a cow. The announcer continues. "Richly upholstered in genuine cowskin and with two horns as standard features, the new Holstein is the epitome of three-cylinder performance!" The crowd applauds.

We pan over to Professor Nimnul, who stands on a stage in front of closed curtains, eating out of a box of prunes. "Crowds always make me nervous," he says, "unless they're groveling at my feet." We move backstage and see Nimnul come behind the curtains. There is a gigantic milk bottle on the stage. "No more groveling crowds for you, Norman Nimnul. This is your big chance. From now on, I'll be strictly legitimate. Legit?" he asks. "That's not easy," he says, in what may be a circuitous reference to Underdog's mad scientist enemy, Simon Bar Sinister. He takes a piece of paper out of his pocket. "I'd better practice some more."

"Ahem. 'Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished cows -' - wait for laugh - it's no use," he snarls in frustration. "I'll never be able to remember this speech." He tosses the crumbled paper into the air. "When I get this nervous, all I want to do is eat, rant, and rave!" He stomps angrily.

He lands on a device which resembles a Super Soaker mixed with a bagpipe. A ray shoots out, and hits a small calf being awarded a blue ribbon. The calf immediately transforms into a powerful and belligerent bull, who then chases the judge, with revenge in his eye.

"Whoops," Nimnul says, ducking behind the curtains. He opens the bagpipe-like device. "I wonder how much power that blast used up. I better add some more of my special organic fuel," he says, tipping the contents of his box into the bagpipe. "Prunes!"

"Ladies and dairymen," says the Master of Ceremonies. The curtain opens with Nimnul's back to the audience. He sees the crowd and shifts uncomfortably, the milk bottle as his backdrop. The MC goes on. "Professor Nimnul's new invention will mean as much to the cheese industry as the great French scientist Pasteur meant to milk!" Nimnul actually looks uncomfortable during this, as though suddenly aware that sort of intro builds up some fierce expectations. The crowd applauds him.

Nimnul takes the mike. "Surrender immediately!" he cries, "or I shall crush you all like..." (c'mon, admit it. Haven't you ever wanted to do that?) he suddenly remembers he's going legitimate, and laughs nervously. "Oh, sorry. Old habits are hard to break. My newest invention, the, uh -" here he eats a prune, which doesn't do much for his presentation, "Fast Oldness Generating Instrument, Experimental - FOGIE for short - can turn milk into aged cheese, instantly! Before your eyes, I will transform these ten thousand gallons of fresh milk (he points at the enormous milk bottle) into ten tons of aged Cheddar!" He aims the FOGIE. Nothing happens. "Uh, sorry," he explains to a suddenly restive crowd, "wrong setting." He applies percussive maintenance to the FOGIE. "This time, nothing can go wrong. Say cheese!" A few weak bolts of energy are fired from the FOGIE and hit the milk bottle, which curdles. A visible aroma wafts across the crowd, which looks nauseated. "I've used up all the prune fuel," gasps a horrified Nimnul. "This is the pits." In the crowd behind him, two other people who resemble Nimnul are clearly visible; one seems to be wearing a toupee. Perhaps the character designer was having an off day.

"This experiment has gone sour," gasps the MC.

"It just needs more fuel," says a sweating Nimnul, shaking his prune box into the FOGIE. "Oh no. I ate all the prunes..." he turns to the audience, desperate. By now, they're shaking their fists. "It really works! Honest! I'm a genius! I'll make it work!" Unwisely, he throws the FOGIE down onto the stage and leaps on it. A machinegun-like spray of prune pits fires out of the FOGIE, hits the milk container, and shatters it. 10,000 gallons of sour milk flood the audience, washing Nimnul and the FOGIE out the door. <All in all, I've seen worse product demos, but I've seen better.>

"You're washed up around here, Nimnul!" yells the MC. "And your invention stinks!" He slams the door, leaving Nimnul in the gutter.

"You think that milk was rotten," threatens Nimnul, "wait until I go bad!"

We cut to a supermarket's dairy section. "There's so much to cheese from - I mean choose from," says Gadget, "I don't know where to start. This should make a wonderful cheesecake," she finishes, holding a wedge about her size. Chip and Dale watch carefully.

A huge wheel of cheese above them begins to move. They scatter, and are narrowly missed as the wheel crashes down where they were standing. It bounces out of the display and lands on the floor. "This should make an even better one," says Monty, standing near it with Zipper.

Nimnul races into the supermarket. "Prunes," he says out loud, grabbing an empty shopping cart. "I must have prunes!"

A man with a filled grocery bag watches sympathetically. "Poor old guy," he says.

Nimnul stops in front of an enormous stack of boxes of prunes. "Prunes," he says with a sigh. "The wonder fruit." He counts briefly. "It'll take forever to load all of these," he says with a frown. He takes out a calculator, punches a few keys. "Ah-ha!" and removes a single box. The entire display crashes down on him, burying him in boxes and filling the basket. He emerges. "Science!" he cries out in triumph.

Over in the dairy section, the Rangers are taking Monty's cheese wheel by standing on the top and walking backwards. "Now that you're a mature mouse," Gadget says, broaching a delicate subject with all the charm she can muster, "you really should watch what you eat."

"I never eat anything I can't see," Monty protests. "Besides, I've been eating cheese all my life."

"And that's a long time," Dale observes, with all the charm he can muster, which isn't much.

"Maybe you should try eating healthier food," Chip suggests.

"Healthier? Like what?" Monty asks.

"Well, like, like..." We see Nimnul's shopping cart, heaped high with boxes of prunes, racing towards us, dropping boxes. "like prunes!"

Nimnul has reached the register. "This is the express lane," says the cashier, "no more than twelve items."

"But I've only got one item," Nimnul tries to explain. "Prunes!"

"You must have over a thousand! You'll have to use the regular checkout lane."

"You can't stop science!" Nimnul declares, and tries to push his shopping cart through. Unaware they are thwarting a plan for global domination, the bag boy pushes back.

"You're in paper or plastic?" the bag boy asks.

"Out of my way!" Nimnul shouts, or I'll turn you from a bag boy into an old bag man!" He opens a box of prunes, loading the FOGIE, preparing to make good his threat.

Nimnul fires the FOGIE, hitting a display of eggs, which hatch into chicks which turn into hens. They race past the Rangers, scattering loose pinions.

"What's all the fuss and feathers?" Monty asks.

Nimnul races out the door. "Shoplifter!" cries the cashier. "Call the police!" Someone hits a floor alarm. Bells ring. This place must get a lot of shoplifters if they'll install foot-activated alarms for use over a shopping basket of prunes.

"It's Professor Nimnul!" yells a shocked Gadget.

"After him!" Chip commands. They start running in unison. Since they're still standing on the wheel of cheese, it goes into reverse, taking them out of shot in the wrong direction.

Nimnul has made it outside. Police sirens wail. "The police!" Nimnul gasps. He loads the FOGIE. "Don't they have anything better to do than arrest criminals?" he asks. He fires the FOGIE at a police car, aging the car (it starts to rattle and the hood lifts) and turning Kirby and Muldoon into older versions of themselves, with white hair and eyebrows. Kirby's mustache goes white as well. Muldoon now sports a beard.

"Put on the brakes," Muldoon says to Kirby.

"Hmm?" asks Kirby, cupping his ear.

"I said put on the brakes," Muldoon repeats. "What are you, deaf?"

"No thanks," says Kirby. "I already had lunch."

Nimnul dives for cover as Kirby sends his car into his shopping cart of prunes. They scatter, and the car goes into the grocery store. The Rangers duck, and Chip and Dale emerge from a pile of rubble. "Hey," snaps Chip, "You're not supposed to drive in here!"

"Right," Dale agrees. "This is an exit." Chip glares at him. Dale escapes a bonk by the thinnest of margins.

Monty pauses in front of the chipmunks. "This is no time to lie down on the job, mate. Nimnul's getting away!" He leaves through the hole left by the police car. Gadget helps the chipmunks up. The others race to catch up with Monty.

"Now to cover my escape," Nimnul says, wielding the FOGIE. He sprays a shot over the awning. The awning collapses onto the Rangers. Monty rips through.

"Come on, mates, he's getting away!" Monty repeats. Nimnul slips on some prunes and falls backwards onto the FOGIE. A beam shoots out and hits Monty, where he is helping the other Rangers up. In a major continuity glitch, the other Rangers watch as Monty is hit by the beam, is knocked over, and rolls away. Later dialog will make it clear they didn't see him get shot by a mad scientist's ray gun.

Nimnul races off, laughing maniacally. He is being pursued - sort of - by Kirby and Muldoon.

"Halt," gasps an exhausted Kirby, now showing he's lost one of his incisors. "Halt!"

"Please," Muldoon beseeches, as Nimnul escapes.

<Presumably Kirby and Muldoon keep their guns in their holsters because shooting shoplifters in the back is frowned upon.>

The Rangers have abandoned the chase, and stand near their fallen friend, who lies face down. "Monty!" says Gadget.

"Are you all right, Monty?" Chip asks.

Monty stands, back to the camera. He faces his friends, who recoil in shock. "Of course I'm all right," he says in an hoarse, old man's voice. The camera turns to reveal Monty with a wrinkled face, and white mustache and eyebrows. "Like I said before, never felt better in my life."

There is a pause, and we return to the Ranger Tree. "Professor Nimnul is sure to strike again," says Chip.

"But where?" asks Gadget. "He could be anywhere in the city."

"We'll have to stay alert!"

Monty snores, loudly. We pan over to where he sits, in a rocking chair, blanket over his knees.

"I don't understand how Monty got so old so fast," Chip says.

"Yeah," agrees Dale. "He was all right yesterday."

"You have to remember," Gadget reminds them, tucking in Monty's blanket, "he's a year older today." <This is one of the very few times Chip and Dale both show Gadget up, without her being distracted. Still, it gets my vote for funniest line of the episode.>

"Old or not," says Chip, "Monty's still a Rescue Ranger -"

"Eh?" asks Monty, awakening groggily. "What?"

"You fell asleep," Dale tells him.

"Asleep?!" asks an offended Monty. "I was just resting my eyes."

"We're trying to come up with a plan to stop Professor Nimnul," Chip reminds Monty.

"Nimnul again, eh?" asks Monty. "You young whippersnappers are always up in the air over something."

"That's it!" Gadget yelps.

"Eh? Uh, what -eh ?"

"Up in the air," Gadget explains. "We can use the Ranger Plane to watch over the city, and catch Nimnul when he strikes again." This is a minor blooper, since they actually take the Ranger Wing.

"That's right! Great idea, Monty," says Chip approvingly. Monty has dozed off again. "Monty?"

"His eyes sure need a lot of rest," Dale observes.

Meanwhile, Nimnul is loading prunes into the FOGIE. "My FOGIE device is a whole new wrinkle in diabolical plots," Nimnul announces to an empty room. "The wonder of the age. Ha ha ha! Fuel is the only problem. If I'm going to wreak endless havoc, I'll need an endless supply of prunes. Why not go to the source. Everybody knows where prunes come from - the prune factory."

We cut to an aged Kirby and Muldoon driving, slowly, backing up traffic. The sound of horns fills the air. Presumably, a large number of the people caught behind them don't realize a police car is holding everyone up. Not many people honk at police cars knowingly. At least, not twice.

"Do you hear something?" Muldoon asks.

"No thanks," says Kirby. "I'm trying to cut down on doughnuts."

The Ranger Wing swoops down over the backed up traffic, going in the opposite direction. The Rangers look out, while Monty dozes. "Traffic looks a little slow today," Dale observes.

"Slow?" asks Monty. "Why, I remember once back in ought-seven, I had to drive a herd of tortoises across the Galapagos islands. Now that was slow..."

"Don't you think Monty's acting strange now that he's older?" Gadget asks Chip.

"Yeah." Chip agrees. "What a difference a day makes."

"Chip! Gadget!" yells Dale, pointing. "It's Nimnul!"

"We'll find out what he's up to now," Chip says.

Gadget takes the Wing down, turning in a steep bank. Nimnul, carrying the FOGIE slung over his back, is breaking into a garage through a high rear window, climbing on some cardboard boxes. Moments later, Gadget lands the Ranger Wing. Zipper spots Nimnul through the window and gestures to show where he is. Chip takes a string attached to a fish hook, and tosses it so it grapples on the window ledge. The Rangers quickly rappel up the string, with Dale taking up the rear. Monty is asleep again, but has his tail wrapped around Dale's middle, so Dale is doing the difficult job of hauling Monty up with him.

"I hope you go on a diet before your next birthday," Dale complains.

The Rangers make it up to the window ledge and look in.

"I don't see anything," Gadget says.

"I think I hear something," says Chip.

"Monty," Dale says, shaking the older mouse, "Wake up!"

Monty is snoring loudly. He awakes, groggy. "What's up?" he asks.

"We're trying to see what Nimnul is up to," says Chip.

"Ah. Need some help, do you?" Monty asks. "That'll teach you to give your eyes more rest." Gadget and Dale help Monty move to the window. Monty shields his eyes and stares into the gloom of the garage. Nimnul moves out from cover of some boxes. He seems Nimnul breaking into a van. "Looks to me like that young scalawag's stealing a truck."

"What would he want to steal a moving van for?" Chip asks.

"I guess he wants to move something," Dale observes. Chip gives Dale an entirely undeserved bonk, because Dale is right.

"I think we've got him trapped," Gadget says. "He'll never get through those doors," alluding to locked steel shutters.

Nimnul aims the FOGIE. "Let's grow old together," he says, and fires a burst that dissolves the doors in a cloud of rust.

"Look at that!" Chip gasps.

The boys gape in horror at the destruction. "Frankly," Gadget admits with a wide grin, as innocently pleased as though this had been arranged for her personal entertainment, "I'm impressed." <Gadget seems at times to be a mad scientist who happens to be working with the good guys. This is one of those times.>

Nimnul tries to start the moving van, but he's having trouble. "Why won't this thing start?" he asks.

"Don't let him get away!" yells Chip, and sprints into the window. He is followed by Dale, Gadget, and Zipper.

"I'm ... right behind you," Monty says, slowly lifting his legs in through the window.

Nimnul gets the van started, and backs it while turning. Chip, Dale, and Gadget leap in through the open rear door. There is a thick blanket on the floor of the cargo bay. "Where's Monty?" Gadget asks, noticing he's not with them.

"Monty!" Gadget yells, seeing Monty standing on top of a stack of boxes.

"Oh, go ahead without me," Monty says, setting himself down on a hook, "I just need to sit a spell and rest my bones."

"Quick, Zipper!" Gadget snaps. "The control panel!"

Zipper hurtles himself repeatedly against a green button, finally pressing it.

As luck would have it, this is the "Toss mouse into the back of a moving truck" button. The hook moves, Monty falls off. With a cry of "Geronimouse," he grabs the strap on the roll down door on the back of the van, both closing it and swinging himself into the back of the van. He bounces on the padded truck floor. Nimnul takes the van out through the blasted door.

"Are you all right, Monty?" Dale asks, as they help him up.

"Of course I'm all right, you blinking shaved tail," Monty snaps. "Why, I'm strong as Limburger cheese." The van takes a turn, throwing Monty to the floor. Gadget reacts with horror. "Well, make that mild Cheddar," Monty corrects himself, standing.

"It's not natural to get that old that fast," Gadget finally realizes. "Something must have made you old. Think back, Monty, has anything unusual happened today?" <Like maybe that ray gun Nimnul shot you with while we all watched in horror?>

"Well, now, let's see. Today, today..." Monty muses. "What day is it anyway?"

"It's your birthday, Monty" Chip tells him.

"Oh yes, must have forgot. Memory's getting a little rusty."

"That's it!" Gadget exclaims. "You saw what Professor Nimnul's ray did to those doors? Rusted them. A hundred years of rust in seconds. Professor Nimnul must have invented an aging ray. Monty must have gotten hit with it, and it made him old before his time." Monty falls back, asleep.

"Then it wasn't just because it was his birthday?" Dale asks. "That's a relief."

"Why?" Chip asks.

"Because next week is my birthday," Dale explains.

Nimnul drives up to the prune factory. Using the FOGIE, he rusts a hole through steel loading doors. He brings the van to a halt. "Billions and billions of prunes," he exults. "Enough to age the whole city. City? Huh! Enough to age the whole world! All I have to do is load them in."

He opens the van door, revealing the Rangers. "It's Nimnul!" yells Gadget. They scatter. Monty wakes up. Nimnul grabs him.

"A mouse! Planning to eat my prunes, eh?" the evil scientist gloats to the mouse he holds. "You're a regular thief. And I know how to handle thieves ... especially when I'm so much bigger than they are. Ha ha ha ha...!"

We see a quick pan of the inside of the factory. It's as typical a cartoon industrial setting as was ever shown to the music of Carl Stalling's "Powerhouse." Lots of conveyer belts, of course. Conveyer belts are bad news for cartoon animals. "We've got to save Monty!" Chip yells. Chip, Dale, and Gadget scuttle off.

"Lucky for you I'm too busy to deal with you properly," Nimnul tells Monty. "I'll just have to let things slide for now." Nimnul releases Monty on a chute and watches him slip down, laughing as Monty screams. Monty ends up inside a highly polished metal vat.

"Crikey," he says. "I haven't been this dizzy since the last time I went waltzing with Matilda."

The Rangers walk up to the bowl. "Monty!" Gadget yells.

Monty stands and starts talking to his own reflection. "Oh, good day, mate," he says. "You wouldn't know a bonzer way out of this bowl, would you?" He pauses a moment. "What's the matter, mate," he asks. "Cat got your tongue?" An instant later, he realizes his mistake. "Bust my buttons, it's my own reflection. No wonder he was so good looking." Suddenly, he realizes what's happened to him. "Wait a minute. I'm blinking old! I always knew it would end someday, but I didn't know it would happen all in one day."

"Don't worry, Monty," Chip yells down. "We'll have you out in a jiffy!"

Monty slides down, depressed. "Don't bother mates. An old codger like me is just no use."

"Don't talk like that!" an angry Gadget snaps. "You're still a Rescue Ranger."

"Even if you are as old as the hills," Dale says cheerily.

Chip gives Dale a well-deserved bonk. "We're trying to cheer him up, stupid!"

Gadget glares at the red-nosed chipmunk. "You probably hurt his feelings."

They look back down, at Monty, who is snoring blissfully.

"At least he isn't losing any sleep over it," Chip observes.

Zipper flies up with a string, takes it down, and ties it around Monty. The Rangers haul him up with difficulty.

Monty wakes up. "Nothing like a nap to give you a lift. Where am I?"

"Don't you remember?" Chip asks. Chip seems to have trouble grasping the basic concept here. "We're trying to stop Professor Nimnul."

"Oh, I'm too old for that kind of thing," Monty says sadly. "I'll just sit down and rest my old bones." He parks himself on a button, turning the factory on. Prunes are loaded onto a conveyer belt by a scoop. Threatening cartoon knives whirl, de-pitting the prunes. Bottles of prune juice are filled, and capped. Those knives look particularly interesting. You just know somebody's going to be fed into them.

Professor Nimnul rounds a corner and gasps. "I know those rodents," he says slowly. "Every time I see them, something goes wrong with my plans." He takes out the FOGIE. "I'll finish them this time - for old time's sake."

He fires the FOGIE and misses. The table the Rangers are standing on rusts away, dumping them onto a conveyer belt. Dale lands inside a box. Chip and Gadget shake the box.

Monty sits up. He's covered in rust. "Crikey," he says. "I really am getting rusty."

"Dale!" Chip cries.

Gadget and Chip dive for cover. Nimnul misses them. "Drat! I've lost them," he says, angry.

Dale's box does into a box-wrapping machine. "I wouldn't have this problem if they were edible -" Nimnul begins. Dale pops out of the wrapping of a box in front of him. Dale bewails his fate.

Nimnul fires, and misses. Dale leaps away, and races past Chip. "This way, Dale!" cries Chip, grabbing onto him.

"No, this way!" yells Dale, dragging Chip right off the pipe and into the open air. They plummet, landing on (you guessed it) the conveyer belt, right before it feeds into the pit-slicing machine. They dodge the knives. "That was a close shave," says Dale. A pit flicker hand flicks the chipmunks into a box of prune pits.

Chip bonks Dale on the back of the head, clearing a prune pit out of Dale's throat. "Thanks, Chip," Dale says, shaking his friend's hand.

"Any time," Chip smiles. This makes three bonks this episode, if we assume the Heimlich maneuver counts. The chipmunks look up in horror at Nimnul, who aims the FOGIE at them. He fires and they leap. The FOGIE hits the pits.

"Uh, oh ..." Nimnul begins, as the pits vibrate. Nimnul flees.

Kirby and Muldoon drive past the factory. "Hey... do you see anything unusual?" Muldoon asks.

"No," Kirby says, shaking his head. "No coffee for me, thanks." Food seems to be on Kirby's mind; he's probably dieting. Plum trees blast through the roof of the factory. The policemen back up and park in front of the factory. They stare at the trees.

"That looks plum suspicious," Muldoon says.

Chip and Dale race over catwalks in the forest of plum trees. Nimnul follows them. "Meddle in my diabolical plans, will you?" he asks. "I'll teach you to leave bad enough alone." He turns a switch on the FOGIE to 100. "How would you like to be 90 years old, in chipmunk years? That's six hundred and thirty, to you and me," he tells the camera.

They've reached the end of the catwalk. Chip and Dale look at one another and gulp. There seems no escape.

"Chip!" yells Gadget from off camera. "Dale! Hurry! Jump!" She is riding in a bucket moving across a powered line.

The boys leap, as Nimnul fires, and land in the bucket with Gadget. "Hurrah! We're safe!" yells Dale. Nimnul fires again, and the cable snaps. Before they fall, Dale complains: "Well, we were safe..."

They plummet (heh) into an empty bottle. Zipper gasps in horror and goes after them. Nimnul chuckles and picks up the bottle. "Rodents under glass," he says. He lifts the bottle ... and uh-oh, he puts it on a conveyer belt! The belt feeds into a device that fills bottles with prune juice. Seeing the hideous fate which awaits them, the three trapped rangers leap about in terror. They know about conveyer belts. Zipper flies up and tries to push the bottle over (yeah, right...) until he is covered by a label which traps him. He struggles under the paper, fruitlessly.

Monty wanders next to a reflective surface. "Where is everybody?" he asks. He turns to his reflection. "You haven't seen my pals, old-timer...oh, it's me again."

He turns and sees his friends struggling in the bottle, and waves as they scream pathetically for him to save them. "That's just like them," he muses. "They remember their old friend Monty when they need help."

The bottled rodents stop in front of the valve. "What are you doing in there?" Nimnul asks them. The bottle is filled. "Oh," he laughs. "The back stroke!" A pit bounces off his head. "Who threw that?" he asks, hissing.

Monty gives him the raspberry. "Hey, sonny, how about picking on someone your own age?" he challenges Nimnul.

"Ooooooh!" yells Nimnul, racing with FOGIE drawn. "Talk about asking for it!"

He fires. Monty dodges. The blast hits the mirrored wall and reflects onto Nimnul, aging him, turning his hair white and giving him a long beard. The FOGIE is flipped onto a conveyer belt. "I've been outsmarted," Nimnul moans, "by a mouse!"

"Being old's not so bad," Monty observes. "Even if it does slow you down a mite. Just gives you more time to reflect."

"This is terrible," Nimnul sobs. "Now I'll never conquer the world before I retire." He turns and notices the FOGIE is being taken away by the belt. "My FOGIE device!" he cries. He goes after it with all the speed he can muster, which to be blunt, isn't much. "Come back here, goldurn it."

Monty's made it to the Rangers. In a continuity glitch, the bottle is now half empty, or half full, depending on your personality. "Don't worry, mates," he assures them. "I'm coming."

Ignoring the screams of warning issuing shrilly from the bottle, he tips it over, sending it crashing down to the floor, where it shatters. Rule 15. Free and miraculously uninjured by any of the razor sharp glass shards about them, the four rangers take stock.

"We almost drowned in prune juice," Gadget says.

"Yeah, but I sure feel healthy!" Dale crows.

"Monty, look out!" Chip yells.

"How do I get off this thing?" Monty asks from the conveyer belt, immediately before the bottle capper crowns him with a bottle cap. He falls off.

Gadget shakes her head sadly. "I have an idea," Gadget says. "Chip, you and Dale grab Nimnul's aging device and take it over to those plum trees." Such is their faith in the mouse they obey immediately. "Zipper, you come with me." Zipper and Gadget race off in the opposite direction.

Chip and Dale scale to the conveyer belt and start jogging in place. "Here it comes!" says Dale.

"We have to push it off," Chip says. He shoves at it, ineffectually. "Dale, help me push." Working together, the two chipmunks push the FOGIE off the conveyer belt and leap off after, landing on it.

Zipper plucks a plum and drops it to Gadget, who tosses it on a stack. Chip and Dale arrive, dragging the FOGIE. "Now what, Gadget?" Chip asks.

"If my theory is right," she says, "we should be able to reverse what happened by feeding plums into this device."

"I don't get it," asks Dale. "How will plums help?"

"Well, prunes are just aged plums," Gadget explains. "So..."

Chip agrees. "Plums should make Monty younger."

"I hope," Gadget hedges, and strikes a cute uncertain pose.

"Stop! Get away from there!" cries Nimnul, moving slowly towards the Rangers. "That FOGIE belongs to this fogey."

The Rangers are packing the FOGIE with plums. "Hurry! Start loading," Gadget orders, even though they're finished loading. "Now, help me aim it at Monty."

"There he is!" Chip yells.

"I hope this works," says Gadget, and shoots Monty, who is staggering about with a bottle cap covering his eyes. We do not see the effect. "We have to get rid of this thing before Nimnul gets it!"

The Rangers drag the FOGIE a few feet, and drop it in front of the speeding police car of Muldoon and Kirby, which is entering through the hole Nimnul blasted originally. The car hits the FOGIE with a tire, setting it off. The beam hits a wall and reflects, de-aging Kirby, Muldoon, Nimnul, and the car in a single group hit. Apparently, our heroes weren't too concerned about de-aging the Humans - of course, as far as they're concerned, Nimnul probably deserves it, and they might not even be aware that the police officers were ever aged.

"Hands up, Nimnul," Kirby growls. Nimnul complies. "Time for a visit to your favorite old jail cell."

The Rangers race towards Monty with a bottle opener, and use it to pull the cap off his head. Monty has been de-aged. "You're your old self again!" says Dale. "I mean, your young self."

"Thanks to Gadget," says Chip.

"You know, love, as long as you were turning back the clock, you could have shaved off a few extra years," Monty says to an annoyed Gadget.

"Or at least a few pounds," Dale says.

Nimnul is being handcuffed. "What do they serve for breakfast in jail?" he asks.

"Anything you want, old-timer," Kirby assures him, revealing a remarkably lenient prison system. Still, as far as the police are concerned, Nimnul's probably being arrested for shoplifting, breaking into the prune factory, and perhaps breaking the factory ceiling with plum trees. They have no way of knowing that Nimnul was plotting world conquest, and are apparently unaware they were ever aged. (While it's illegal in the US to invade foreign countries or overthrow the federal government by force, I'm not sure if there are legal barriers in the United States against attempts to conquer the entire planet in one go. Of course, you could argue that taking over the whole shebang is impossible unless you take over bits of it, which is, as I observed before, a Federal crime.)

"No prunes," says Nimnul. "Anything but prunes."

"I'm sorry all this had to happen on your birthday, Monty," Gadget apologizes. "We had such a nice party planned."

"Don't worry, Gadget love, it's been a bonzer birthday. It's the first I've ever got younger! Hah!"

***

The Ranger Wing is an electric aircraft, built on a flashlight which points forward. The main fuselage is a cone-shaped saddle on the flashlight, with four seats: two forward and two in back. There is a pintle-mounted winch-equipped suction dart gun on the rear, where it can be fired by someone in the back seat standing backwards.

The most striking feature of the aircraft is that it is a pusher blade tiltrotor, a configuration which is probably unique in aviation. Two electric motors spinning Popsicle sticks face backwards to generate thrust, yet can be tilted upwards to generate lift and allow the aircraft to land and take off vertically. This means there must be some mechanism to reverse the flow of air through the propeller blades as they make the transition from vertical to horizontal flight. This could be done by either feathering the blades to reverse their pitch - if Popsicle sticks can be feathered - or by reversing the direction of spin while rotating the engines. In either case, it's a reasonable bet that the blades are optimized for a most efficient flow in horizontal flight (where the Wing spends most of its time) and the vertical takeoff and landing mode is actually relatively quite inefficient. It is possible that the engines can be used for vectored thrust while flying horizontally.

Also surprising is the Wing's lack of a rudder or vertical stabilizer. As anyone who's played badminton knows, cones are stable in both pitch and yaw, and the conical saddle probably gives the aircraft stability. Turning is probably accomplished through flaps, or by reducing power to one motor. I'm told it is not uncommon for model aircraft to lack rudders entirely.

The aircraft lands on two pontoons which fold up against the wings. These pontoons apparently do not have wheels, meaning the plane can only land or take off in water, or vertically. The wings are high aspect ratio and the total wingspan is considerably greater than the length of the fuselage. This implies the Ranger Wing has been optimized for range, high altitude, and a low stall speed.

 

Rescue Rangers and all characters and episodes copyright the Walt Disney Corporation and used without permission.

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