A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “We’re Volunteers Fighting Disease”


Unfortunately for the Baudelaires, this V.F.D. stands for “Volunteers Fighting Disease” a group of enthusiasts who visit Heimlich Hospital where they sing to patients and give out heart-shaped balloons. But they never offer anything physically helpful like medicine. Though on the bright side, they believe that “no news is good news” so it’s unlikely they saw the kids in the rag of lies known as The Daily Punctilio. Still, their work pretty much involves being happy all the time, even among people coughing up bile. They also call each other “brother” and “sister.” Still, their song is quite hilarious but they’re also pretty annoying that if you watch them in the TV show, whatever they sing will stick in your head.


Since I won’t even bother to use the song in these posts, I decided to go with the Chordettes’ “Mr. Sandman” since I don’t think I can do justice to the “Volunteers Fighting Disease” number. The original version revolves around a folklore figure called the Sandman to bring in a “dream” which usually revolves around a love interest. Still, it’s kind of a peppy tune from the 1950s. Anyway, I have the Volunteers Fighting Disease sing about themselves, which might be like fingernails on the chalkboard for some. Still, the cheery but overly saccharine mood this song conveys seems about right.


“We’re Volunteers Fighting Disease”

Sung by the Volunteers Fighting Disease

(Bung, bung, bung, bung)

We’re Volunteers Fighting Disease (bung, bung, bung bung)
We’re always cheerful for all days a week (bung, bung, bung bung)
If someone said that we’re sad and gloomy (bung, bung, bung, bung)
We think that they’re just full of bull and hooey
We make sick folks smile
If they have nosebleeds or cough bile
So we all hope you get well soon
Please have a heart-shaped balloon

(Bung, bung, bung, bung)

We see people, get them to laugh
Even when doctors must saw them in half
Night and day, we’ll always sing more
To boys with broken bones to girls with sores
We sing to sick patients
Whether with ulcers or new stents
So we all hope you get well soon
Please have a heart-shaped balloon

(Bung, bung, bung, bung)

We sing to men with measles or pox
We sing to women with flu or had their jaws locked
And inhale deadly germs that hurt you
We’ll visit you with our heart-shaped balloons
We visit patients right in their beds (right in their beds)
Even when they keep us out of their heads
So we all hope you get well soon
Please have a heart-shaped balloon
So you might please, please, please, please,
Please have a heart-shaped balloon

(Bung, bung, bung, bung)

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Last Chance General Store”


After spending a significant amount of time walking through the Hinterlands while on the V.F.D. and police, the Baudelaires don’t have any idea where they’re going. One morning, they reach the Last Chance General Store, which is a rest stop to get gas. But it also sells almost anything like fresh limes, plastic knives, canned meat, white envelopes, mango flavored candy, red wine, leather wallets, fashion magazines, goldfish bowls, sleeping bags, roasted figs, cardboard boxes, controversial vitamins, asparagus, fountain pens, onions, peacock feathers, cooking utensils, chandeliers, tiles, cat food, fish nets, mirrors, socks, ivy, matches, shoes, gasoline, nylon rope, floor wax, soup bowls, window curtains, rocking horses, top hats, fibre-optic cable, pink lipstick, apricots, magnifying glasses, umbrellas, paintbrushes, French horns, pepper grinders, safety pins, candy canes, ashtrays, construction paper, canned peas, undershirts, clocks, towel racks, piggy banks, placid skirts, slippers, sausages, bathtubs and newspapers. Seeing there’s a telegraph wire, the kids go in to send a telegram to Mr. Poe since he’s the only person they could reliably reach. Even though doing so is kind of pointless since when has Mr. Poe ever been helpful? The shopkeeper lets them to it. But while the Baudelaires are waiting for a response, a guy names Lou comes in with an issue of The Daily Punctilio depicting the children as murderers. The two guys then chase the kids around the store because the paper can’t possibly be wrong (despite that it totally is). Once they escape, they decide to hop in a windowless van with the words V.F.D. on it with people they don’t know, despite the conventional stranger danger wisdom. Yet, to be fair the Baudelaires don’t have much choice here, especially since the people inside don’t read the paper.


The song I chose to parody here is “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. While the original is said to be about drugs, Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell gives a different answer, “In the verse there is still the thing about an Indiana girl on an Indiana night, just when it gets to the chorus he had the presence of mind to give it a deeper meaning. My take on it is it can be whatever you want it to be. A lot of people think it’s a drug reference, and if that’s what you want to think, it very well could be, but it could also just be a goodbye love song.” Though the music video mostly revolves around a morgue scene with a pretty dead woman played by Kim Basinger. In this version, I have the Baudelaires visiting and being chased out of the Last Chance General Store.


“Last Chance General Store”

We’ve been fleeing from a mob at V.F.D.
Going through the Hinterlands without a stop to sleep
Didn’t know where we walked around the plain
But can’t go back or we’d be burned at the stake

Well, we came across the Last Chance General Store
Got some gasoline pumps, and merchandise galore
Coming from a roof, I saw a telegraph wire
We decide to send Mr. Poe a wire since we’re all tired, of walking on

Last Chance General Store
Tell me what you all came in for
Watch for three fugitives and Lou’s
Late getting the paper in

We don’t have folks and can’t call police
And our friends are far in the air almost unseen
There’s only one man we know, one man to go
Hate to say this, sibs, but that’s Mr. Poe
Oh my my, oh hell yeah
Gotta send out that telegram
We’ll take a bite, I’ll work the device
Once we’ll hear a reply, then we’ll go fly

Last Chance General Store
Tell me what you all came in for
Sending out a telegram and you
Don’t have any cash on hand

We’ll tell Poe we’re wanted fugitives
Though we didn’t really do anything
Count Olaf hasn’t actually passed
We’re in danger, thanks you ass
Oh my my, oh hell yeah
Violet, keep working that telegraph
Not sure if Mr. Poe can get out of this mess
But he probably won’t, and we can’t leave an address

Last Chance General Store
These kids murdered Count Omar
They’re all on the frontpage news and you
Lent them a T-graph to use