Chapter 2: Artifact of Doom
At the locked-down Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs confronted both SpongeBob and Squidward as the sponge stood there confused with the golden spatula in his hand.
“Both of yas realize the dangers ya just inflicted, do ya?” Mr. Krabs harshly asked with a deep glare at SpongeBob and Squidward.
“Mr. Krabs, whatever this nonsense is about, I’m just gonna let you know I had nothing to do with it.” Squidward pointed out. “If you want answers, talk to SpongeBob.”
“Well, as much as I would love to explain myself, I’m afraid I can’t.” SpongeBob happily pointed out. “Goldie and I were just doing what we love best.”
He held out the spatula, and Mr. Krabs flinched and yelped in fright until he demanded, “Boy, you tell me right now exactly where you found that thing.”
SpongeBob answered, “Down in the cellar.”
“My secret underground room…” Mr. Krabs whispered to himself. “I was certain no one would ever find it.”
“You have a secret underground room?” Squidward questioned skeptically.
“Of course I do.” Mr. Krabs answered, and pointed at the spatula. “Where else am I supposed to keep something as evil as that thing?”
“But Mr. Krabs, Goldie’s not evil.” SpongeBob pointed out as he held out the spatula in his hands. “He’s wonderful. He loves making krabby patties just as much as me. Not to mention, the patties he can make are delicious.” He reached behind him and pulled out a krabby patty that was made by the spatula. “Here try one.” He offered his co-worker.
“No thank-” Squidward was saying until SpongeBob just stuffed the krabby patty in his mouth and was forced to swallow it whole. “Hey, not bad.” He admitted with a small smile.
“See?” SpongeBob said to Mr. Krabs. “Anything that can make krabby patties that good can’t possibly be evil.”
Mr. Krabs suddenly snatched the spatula from SpongeBob. “Boys…allow me to shed a little light on the subject.” he began heading into the kitchen. “Follow me.”
Feeling confused, but not bothering to question, both SpongeBob and Squidward follow their boss into the kitchen. Mr. Krabs then turns on the grill at high temperature and lays the spatula on the edge, holding it by the grip and allowing the metal to heat up.
After about a minute, Mr. Krabs hands the spatula to SpongeBob, who yelps in pain as he juggles the hot spatula in hands. He then grips the handle to see something about the spatula that wasn’t there till now. On the metal handle of the golden spatula, a name was engraved in fancy curved letters, spelling out ‘Hoagie Grindulas’.
“‘Hoagie Grindulas’?” SpongeBob read out loud, and looked at his boss. “Who’s Hoagie Grindulas?”
“Aye, that’s what this is all about.” Mr. Krabs answered solemnly, “A long time ago, when the Krusty Krab first opened its doors, there was its first fry cook, a young lad by the name of Hoagie Grindulas.”
Mr. Krabs then walked down into the secret underground room, and SpongeBob and Squidward glance at each other until Mr. Krabs came back up with a framed picture of a grinning shark with glasses and braces; wearing a yellow shirt, a cooking apron over it, a Krusty Krab hat and name tag; and was holding a silver spatula that had his name engraved on it. On the bottom of the picture frame was text that said ‘March’ on it, indicating it was an old Employee of the Month photo.
“He doesn’t look like someone who would carry around an evil spatula.” Squidward pointed out.
“Yeah,” SpongeBob agreed with a smile. “He looks like a terrific fry cook.”
Mr. Krabs laughed and smiled. “He was, lad, he was. One of the best I ever had.” His smile began to dissolve into despair as he continued, “That is until…that day.”
Mr. Krabs became lost in the memory as he told the story of his first fry cook to his two employees, ‘Hoagie Grindulas was a great guy; about your age, SpongeBob. From what I remember, the only thing he loved more than life itself was his job as a fry cook and cooking them krabby patties.’
As Hoagie stood at the grill, flipping krabby patties, he sang a song, “K is for kindness that enters the soul and mind, R is for ravishing is your outside,”
“Yeah, so Hoagie was a wonderful fry cook and about as loyal to the customers as anybody could get.’ Mr. Krabs explained. ‘And best of all…his krabby patties were delectable.’
When a female customer took a bite out of Hoagie’s krabby patty, she got a huge smile and fell onto the floor in faint.
The flashback stopped for a second as SpongeBob mulled over what he had just heard. He giggled and looked at the spatula in delight, “Well, Hoagie’s krabby patties are the tastiest I’ve ever eaten.”
“So what does all that have to do with that ‘evil spatula’?” Squidward asked, using air-quotes.
“I was getting to that.” Mr. Krabs answered, looking annoyed. “Let me go on.”
Back in the flashback, Mr. Krabs continued narrating, ‘As good as Hoagie’s patties were, he loved every one he made…And I mean every one.’
This was proven when Hoagie had accidentally burned a krabby patty, yet cuddled it closely anyway. Then when a customer threw away his unfinished krabby patty, Hoagie suddenly zipped over to the trashcan and growled at the customer behind his back.
‘Then after a while, the boy became a little too lovable of them. So much that he refused to even sell them to the customers.’
In the Krusty Krab, a crowd of customers was gathered at the cash register, shouting angrily while Hoagie locked himself in the kitchen, sitting next to the grill and hoarding a handful of krabby patties to himself.
“That’s silly, Mr. Krabs.” SpongeBob said, interrupting the story. “Krabby patties are meant to be loved and given. The only part better than making them is seeing the look on the customer’s face when they take that first bite.”
“So what’d you do about him?” Squidward asked, looking more interested.
“Well, I wasn’t makin’ any money with the way he was actin’,” Mr. Krabs explained. “So I fired him.”
SpongeBob shrieked in shock while Squidward crossed his arms in disappointment, “And?” he asked.
“Well…” Mr. Krabs answered, looking a sort of uncomfortable. “Something in him sort of…snapped. He never was the same after that.”
“What did he do next, Mr. Krabs?” SpongeBob asked anxiously. “Is he still in town? Is he okay?”
“No,” Mr. Krabs simply answered. “He died.”
“What?!” Both SpongeBob and Squidward questioned in shock.
“Aye, lads.” Mr. Krabs nodded grimly.
Mr. Krabs had a flashback that somehow showed Hoagie’s spatula hit the floor with a clang, presumably after he died. Once it rested on the ground, the spatula glowed green for a second and turned gold with his name disappearing off the handle.
“Not really sure how he died though.” Mr. Krabs admitted with a shrug. “But all I know is from that day on, his spirit now resides in that spatula, and whoever holds it will become possessed by the greed and obsession he felt until they are completely influenced.”
“You know this?” Squidward asked with disbelief.
“Of course.” Mr. Krabs replied with a shrug. “I know greed when I see it. It just comes naturally to me for some reason.”
SpongeBob had an amazed expression as he looked at the cursed spatula in his hands. But Squidward suddenly snatched it away.
“What a load of baloney.” Squidward said in disbelief, waving the spatula around. “A spatula that can do a few magic tricks doesn’t make it possessed. If you’re really that superstitious, then why not get rid of the thing?”
“You can’t, Mr. Squidward.” Mr. Krabs answered, looking distressed. “It’ll just keep coming back.”
Squidward just scoffed and turned away. “Just watch.” He then marched to the back door and went outside.
Once he was alone outside, he began mumbling to himself. “Those idiots, believing a crazy fry cook is actually in a spatula.” Then he held up the spatula and looked at it. “They never listen to what I have to say. They don’t even appreciate me. I waste my life in that dump and do I ever get a word of-” but he suddenly stopped and glared at the utensil. “Wait a minute, why the barnacle am I telling you all this?”
Without another word, Squidward tossed the spatula in the dumpster and walked back inside.
When he was back in the kitchen, Squidward crossed his arms and said, “There, no more cursed spatula, problem solved.”
“Hey guys,” Patrick greeted as he suddenly appeared. “Look what fell out of the sky when I was looking in the dumpster.” He held up the treasure that was none other than the cursed golden spatula.
At this, Mr. Krabs screamed in horror as he jumped into SpongeBob’s arms. SpongeBob screamed as well just for the heck of it while Squidward shouted, “Will you two shut up?!” he snatched the spatula back. “We’ve just been approaching this the wrong way.”
He took both ends of the spatula and attempted to break it in half. He grunted and struggled, but he was not able to even bend it.
“Uh…Squidward?” SpongeBob tried to say. “I don’t think you should-”
But Squidward continued to struggle to break the spatula in half as his forehead sweat. But the spatula started to glow green in his hands, and a force was suddenly let out that blew Squidward away and the spatula fell to the ground with a clank.
“That what I’ve been tellin’ ya, Mr. Squidward.” Mr. Krabs explained as he picked up the spatula. “The only way to be rid of this thing for good is to throw it into the molten lava of the volcano in the Arctic Ocean.”
Squidward groaned as he rubbed his head and joined back with the group. “So why haven’t you done that before?” he asked.
“Well, I did.” Mr. Krabs explained uneasily. “You know that guy who delivers the buns to the Krusty Krab?”
“Carl?” SpongeBob guessed, thinking he knew who it was he was talking about.
“No, the one who delivers on Tuesday.”
“Jack?” Squidward corrected.
“Yeah, him.” Mr. Krabs said with a nod. “Well, me and his brother journeyed to the Arctic Ocean to destroy the spatuler. However…its power was just too much for us.”
Another flashback goes into Mr. Krabs’s past where he was standing near the edge of a hot volcano in the middle of a baron snow-covered wasteland.
“Now’s our chance!” Mr. Krabs yelled to someone. “Throw it in and end its power!”
But an orange middle-aged fish behind him was not paying attention to him and was holding the golden spatula in his hands with a deranged look in his eyes. “No…” he said with a sinister voice. “With this, I can make all the delicious buns I want…and no one will ever take them from me!”
He laughed maniacally and left as Mr. Krabs stared helplessly.
Back in the present time, Mr. Krabs was finishing explaining, “He was never the same after that. I think he’s still in the nuthouse.”
“That’s terrible, Mr. Krabs.” SpongeBob said, still looking stunned at everything he just heard. “I’m sure if Hoagie’s spirit were free from this small imprisonment, he wouldn’t harm anyone else with his misery.” Then an idea lit in his eyes, “Wait, Mr. Krabs! What if we went to destroy the spatula?”
“What?” Mr. Krabs asked in shock.
“Us?” Squidward also asked, looking angry at the idea. “Travel all the way to the Arctic Ocean just to throw a piece of junk into a volcano? You wish.”
“Oh please, Mr. Krabs!” SpongeBob begged as he got on his knees. “We found Hoagie’s spatula. It’s a sign that it’s now our duty to finally put him to rest before he makes anyone else feel his sadness.”
“Or we can just put it back where you found it and pretend we never saw the thing.” Squidward pointed out.
However, they ignored Squidward’s suggestions, and Mr. Krabs put an arm around SpongeBob. “You’re absolutely right, lad. That thing has haunted me for far too long. Now is the chance for all of us to destroy that thing once and for all.” Then he shouted out loud, “Alright, boys! Pack your bags! We’re going on a perilous journey first thing tomorrow mornin’!”
“Whoo-hoo!” SpongeBob cheered with his fists in the air.
“Well, count me out.” Squidward rejected, crossing his arms. “I’m not going half-way across the ocean for a stupid spatula.”
“Sorry, Mr. Squidward, this trip is mandatory.” Mr. Krabs told him. “You either go or you’re fired.”
He walked away, leaving Squidward steaming with anger. SpongeBob turned to his best friend, Patrick, and asked, “So how about it, Pat? You wanna come with us on a dangerous adventure to throw a cursed spatula in a volcano?”
“Hmm…” Patrick thought for a second. “Will there be plenty of adventure food to eat?”
“You bet.” SpongeBob then put his arm around Patrick and playfully punched him in the stomach. “We even have a spatula who can cook for us.” He whispered in excitement.
Patrick then threw his arms up in the air. “Then I’m in!” he shouted excitedly.
The two friends cheered and ran off, presumably to prepare for the long journey tomorrow. But what no one noticed was that someone had heard their entire conversation.
From across the street at the Chum Bucket, a huge telescope was spying on the Krusty Krab. From inside, Plankton looked away from it and thought about everything he heard.
“A golden spatula, eh?” Plankton said to himself with a smile. “One that can cook krabby patties on its own; and krabby patties that tastes even better than the ones made by its own maker?” He then laughed evilly. “That spatula is as good as mine!”
“Plankton,” Karen, his computer wife, hollered. “Why bother stealing some old spatula? Why not just go to the Krusty Krab and steal the formula while Krabs is away?”
“Don’t you see, Karen?” Plankton explained. “With that spatula, I won’t need to push myself to steal the secret formula. With that spatula’s power, I can get my own even better krabby patties that can run Krabs out of business. Since he’s on his way to destroy the thing anyway, it’ll be secure in my hands.”
“Unless you forget the fact that it’s possessed by an insane fry cook that will curse whoever dares to lay a hand on it.”
“Blah, blah, blah,” Plankton just scoffed. “I don’t believe in those silly curses. Besides, with my intellect and mastermind skills, I don’t need to worry about some made up curse.” Then he began to walk off. “See ya in a couple of weeks, honey!”