Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Fourth Wall FALLS!

Scene One: The conference room of the newly-built Simpson/Lynch Studios complex in Pleasantview, Alabama.

It's approximately 9 a.m. Seated at the opposing heads of the conference table are the Skipster and the Foxster. Luke Tian sits on one side of the table, near the Foxster's right. Across from Luke, near the Foxster's left, sits Gretchen Von Grüber, the Skipster's former fiancée. Near the opposite end of the table's side sits Vickie Wickie, near the Skipster's left. Tara King, the Foxster's former girlfriend, sits directly across from Vickie, near the Skipster's right. At Tara's feet is Orson, the Foxster's cat.

Foxster: Before we officially begin today's meeting, I'd like everyone to welcome Gretchen back to our little group. (All save Gretchen applaud politely, Foxster, Tara, and Luke somewhat vigorously, Vickie less so, Skipster even less so.) She'll be taking the title of Executive Assistant, handling travel arrangements for SnL personnel, guest accommodations, and similar duties, which will free up our Director of Operations (The Foxster indicates Vickie with a wave of his hand.) to concentrate on some of the more business-related needs of our new studio.

Gretchen (softly): Thank you to all of you. I... I am certainly happy to have come back.

Tara: Well, as you may or may not know, Gretchen, there isn't much--

Suddenly, Tara is interrupted by an Unseen Voice.

Unseen Voice: CUT!!!

The Director of Pleasantview rushes angrily onto the conference room set, looking all around him.

Director: "Cut?" Who the hell yelled "cut?" This is my show, dammit!

"Tara" (dropping character and muttering): Who the hell cares who said it? This is a boring scene anyway!

The door to the conference room opens. Skip Simpson (the real one!) and David M. Lynch (the real one!) enter, followed by several members of the Pleasantview cast: "Dr. Jane Kildeer,"Milo Fenderbender," "Barry Cabana," and various others.

Skip: Well, it's our show, too, and I'm the one who yelled "cut!"

Director: Oh! So sorry, Mr. Simpson!

"Tara": Oh, my God! It's the executive producers!

"Gretchen" (dropping character, and her German accent): Don't you mean "ohmigods," you dumb [expletive deleted]?

"Tara" (to "Gretchen"): Don't be a jerk. The cameras aren't rolling any more!

As if on cue, everyone in the scene that was being filmed drops character.

"Foxster": Oh, good! Can I take off these stupid sunglasses now? (He does so.) Now I can see!

The small crowd of actors and actresses began conversing among themselves.

Skip: Uhh, folks? (brief pause) FOLKS!!! May I -- may we -- have your attention?

David: What Skip's trying to say is... EVERYBODY SHUT UP!!! (Most of the assembled group laughs. Then, all fall silent.)

Skip (grinning): Thanks, David. (to all) Okay, listen up, everyone. The Blogger executives wanted to come here and make this announcement, but David and I thought this would sit better if it came from us. Briefly... Pleasantview has been cancelled.

Various members of the crowd express variations on "What?" including "what the hell," "what the [expletive deleted]," etc.

"Vickie" (beginning to cry, as "Tara" rises from her chair and walks over to console her while "Orson the Cat" follows "Tara"): B-but... why?

David: The usual reason, kiddo. Low ratings.

"Vickie" (tearfully): It's not fair! I tried so hard! We all did!

David: Of course you did. You were great, "Vickie." The Pleasantview episodes featuring you were the highest-rated ones! (David looks at several of the others.) You were all great.

"Gretchen" gets up from her chair at the conference table and storms off the set, quickly returning with a lit cigarette dangling from her lips. She stands near "Vickie's" chair, close to "Tara."

"Skipster": Hey! You can't smoke in here!

"Gretchen": Oh, shut up, you scrawny sack of [expletive deleted]! You're lucky I didn't bring a mirror and a few lines of coke!

"Vickie" (timidly): Gee, "Gretchen," you're not going to smoke that thing near me, I hope?

"Gretchen": You shut up, too, you mousy little twerp! [Expletive deleted], you're almost as whiny as (pointing at the "Foxster") "she" is!

"Foxster": I am not whiny!

David (trying to lighten the mood of the room): Yeah, you are. I'm certainly not like that in real life! (Most of the people in the room laugh, including the "Foxster.")

"Foxster" (to "Gretchen"): You're just jealous because I have better hair than you do. 

"Milo" walks up to the "Foxster's" chair, leans over, and plants a little kiss on the "Foxster's" cheek.

"Milo": You go, girl! You've got better hair than everyone... except for me! (All laugh... except "Gretchen.")

"Dr. Kildeer" walks over to "Gretchen."

"Dr. Kildeer" (to "Gretchen"): And don't you dare talk that way to my kid sister, you!

"Tara" (placing her hands protectively on "Vickie's" shoulders): Or my best friend!

"Gretchen": Fine. Whatever! (turning to Skip and David) So, we've all been [expletive deleted] fired?

Skip: No, not fired. Cancelled! And you'll still get your residuals.

"Gretchen": Yeah, right! As if anyone ever views the old episodes... except for you two!

David (to the others, ignoring "Gretchen"): And it's not the end of Pleasantview completely! In fact, Skip and I still have a few isolated stories that we want to do as stand-alone episodes... someday.

"Skipster": Meaning, a bunch of script drafts that you refuse to throw away? (All laugh... except "Gretchen.") Or is this just another example of your well-known need for "closure?" (All laugh... except "Gretchen.")

David (chuckling): Yeah, something like that... to both. (pause) By the way, everyone, there's a "wrap party" tonight. Eight p.m., on the Kewl Beanz! set. We've invited the cast members who aren't here, of course, and we hope you'll all attend.

"Barry": I suppose Ben Affleck will show up, and maybe even Jack Black...

David: Actually, we didn't think to invite any of our special guest stars from previous episodes...

"Barry": Like that'd stop Affleck? (Several people laugh.)

"Tara" (to Skip and David): So, does this mean that all the stuff planned for me in Season Two will eventually get used? I mean, there's the sub-plot about my book, and the stuff about my background... (David smiles and nods.) And there's gotta be a few people who wanna know if I get back together with (pointing to the "Foxster") "Mary" over there.

"Foxster" (laughing, as a still-standing "Milo" gently strokes the "Foxster's" hair): You just like filming the love scenes, sweetie, knowing you're not my type in real life! (All laugh... except "Gretchen.")

"Tara" (smiling widely and winking playfully at the "Foxster"): If you say so, fuzzy! (All laugh... except "Gretchen.")

"Foxster": *sigh* Well, screw it. What's done is done. (brief pause) I'm gonna shave this bushy beard off, and audition for that off-Broadway musical I've been looking at.

"Vickie" (sadly): Well, the only thing I'm going to audition for is my church choir.

Skip: "Vickie," you can sing? ("Vickie" nods.) Oh! I didn't know that.

All (except for Skip, David, "Gretchen," and the Director): YOU NEVER ASKED!!! (All laugh... except "Gretchen.")

"Gretchen" tosses her finished cigarette into "Vickie's" Kewl Beanz! coffee mug. "Vickie" grimaces with distaste.

"Gretchen": Awww, [expletive deleted] it! Who cares? If I had to hand out one more [expletive deleted] yellow rose, I think I'd puke, anyway! (pause) Okay, kiddies, I'm outta here. I'm gonna go bar-hopping, and maybe I can get laid tonight! Take it easy, suckers! ("Gretchen" exits.)

"Dr. Kildeer" (softly): And good riddance.

"Barry" (to Skip and David): So, when you make these so-called "stand-alone episodes," are you going to use us? Or are you going to re-cast?

Skip: We intend to use most of you, if at all possible, depending on your other commitments. (Offstage, there is the sound of a slamming metal door as "Gretchen" exits the building.) Then again... (he pointedly adds) there are one or two roles which we may re-cast...

"Dr. Kildeer": Well, I might as well get going, too. (to "Vickie") You need a ride, sis?

"Vickie" (standing): Sure, thanks. Maybe I can get to Bible study on time, for a change. ("Vickie" and "Dr. Kildeer" walk off-stage. They both wave to the remaining group.) 'Bye, folks! God bless! See you at the party tonight! ("Vickie" and "Dr. Kildeer" exit.)

"Milo": That "Vickie" is so sweet!

"Skipster": And what an amazing actress!

"Barry": Yup. Ya gotta love her.

"Tara": Well, I'm gonna split, too. (She playfully nudges "Orson" with her foot.) Ready to go, fur-face?

"Orson" stands on his hind legs and removes the head of his cat costume, revealing the sweaty face of a five-year-old boy.

"Orson": Okay, Mommy! ("Orson" and "Tara" say their good-byes, and leave.)

"Luke" (to Skip and David): Uhhh, if you guys don't mind my asking this, can you give me the phone number of that actress you hired a few weeks ago to play my teen-aged sister, Amy? I'd... uhhh... like to ask her out.

Skip: Well... we'll call her first, and if it's okay with her, we'll give it to you at the wrap party.

"Luke": Kewl beanz! (All laugh.)

 "Barry": Hey, "Luke," isn't that kinda ...sick?

"Luke" (laughing): Well, for one thing, she's not really my sister...

"Barry": I know that! But... she's only fourteen!

"Luke": Uh-uh, don't worry. Her character is fourteen. She's nineteen. First question I asked her! (All laugh, as "Luke" walks off-stage.) Gong xi fa cai, everyone!

David (to himself): Funny, I thought that was usually reserved for the Chinese New Year...

One by one, the actors and the Director say their good-byes and leave. Finally, only Skip, David, The "Foxster," and "Milo" remain.

David (to the "Foxster"): Hey... You mentioned shaving that beard. How do you look without it?

"Foxster" (smiling): Drop-dead gorgeous. Why?

David: No, I meant age-wise.

"Foxster": Heh. Like a teenager!

David: Great! I have a flashback storyline planned for you and "Barry Cabana." Its working title is "Young Foxster."

"Foxster": Terrific! (brief pause) See you guys tonight! (The "Foxster" and "Milo" say their good-byes and exit.)

After a very short pause, Skip walks toward the conference room door. He looks back at David, who is visually surveying the room.

Skip: Well... Are you coming?

David (after a long pause): You know, I am really going to miss this place.

Skip: Mm.

David looks at Skip, smiling knowingly. Both exit.


Skip's Voice (from off-screen): Hey! You can leave, too!

Uhhh... You mean me, Mr. Simpson?

Skip's Voice (from off-screen): Yeah, you, Mr. Omnipotent Narrator!

Oh. Okay.

THE END*... for now.

*The end of Pleasantview, not the end of the blog, that is!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Special Announcement... Kinda.

From the Real-World Team of Simpson & Lynch:

After posting only one chapter of what we call "Season Two" of Pleasantview nearly a month ago, this blog seems to be collecting more than its share of virtual dust, dunnit? 

Briefly: This is a combination of Skip's and David's time-consuming real-world concerns, as well as the fact that our thirty-year-old partnership -- if you don't count a hiatus of seventeen years! -- has recently gelled into not just one, but two exciting projects. These "projects" involve an opportunity for the two of us to actually make some money from our collaborative efforts, and that's something that we haven't seen (as a partnership) for over twenty years!

Want a hint? Okay, here goes: In a way, these projects can be described as "something old, something new, something borrowed, and -- heh, heh -- something blue!"

And no, it has nothing to do with a wedding! Skip's wedding to the lovely Sandy Herbert isn't scheduled until 2012, and as for David... Yeah, right.

So stay tuned, sports fans!

David says: "Thanks for your time."

And Skip says: "Vootie!"

Th-th-th-that's all, folks!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pleasantview, Season Two Opener ~~ EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It!

From the Front Page of the Pleasantview Poop Sheet:


(article contributed by Editor-in-Chief, staff reporter,
and advertising director, Dewey Mellen)

Flames engulfed the Simpson/Lynch Studios at 35 Woodland Drive in Pleasantview today, at approximately 6 a.m. in the morning. This was due to a blaze which broke out when a fire began. Pleasantview Volunteer Fire Department personnel were on the scene well before 9 a.m.

The fire's origin is being investigated by the Pleasantview Volunteer Fire Department, although early reports say that the apparent cause was an electrical fire started by a faulty computer power supply. Fire Chief Chester Minnit of Pleasantview was quoted as saying, "Our early reports say that the apparent cause was an electrical fire started by a faulty computer power supply."

According to Town Clerk Carol Brady, everything in the studio was up to fire codes, but there is no reason at this time to suspect foul play. Miss Brady was quoted as saying "Everything in the studio was up to fire codes, but there is no reason at this time to suspect foul play."

There were no deaths or injuries during the fire. The owner of the property, Skip Simpson, is apparently away on business. Mr. Simpson's former fiancée, Gretchen Van Grüber, apparently left several weeks ago for parts unknown. Mr. Simpson's partner, Mr. David Foxster, moved into the Old Fenneman Estate on One Lakeside Drive in Pleasantview months ago, as well. Mr. Foxster was not available for comment. The only other resident of the studio is a Mr. Luke T. Ahn, who is reportedly away on other business.

According to Simpson/Lynch Studios' receptionist, Carol Nolastnamegiven, she was outside the building at the time the fire began before officially reporting to work, enjoying the backyard and the surrounding scenery while drinking herbal tea and smoking an herbal cigarette. When asked why she did not call the PVFD immediately, instead of the allowing the neighboring families to do so instead, Miss Nolastnamegiven replied, "Huh? Oh, yeah. I dunno. It was kinda pretty, though. Nice colors'n'stuff. Hey, you got any chocolate on you?"

Local attraction Cool Beans, owned by Simpson/Lynch Studios, is located approximately one mile away from the studio, at 330 Main Street, also in Pleasantview, and suffered no damage from the fire. Neither did Mr. Foxster's home, being several miles away.

Damage to the studio was extensive, and is estimated at being a lot of money.

Local radio station WPLJ-AM was beginning to organize a fund drive, but after being reminded that Mr. Simpson and Mr. Foxster are both multi-millionaires, they changed it to a fund drive to send Pleasantview's only homeless man and resident wino, Gabby Pleasant III, out of town.

* * * * *

From the Next-to-the-Last Page of the Pleasantview Poop Sheet, One Day Later:

Correction: The Pleasantview Poop Sheet staff would like to list a few minor corrections to yesterday's front page headline article. The Simpson/Lynch Studios receptionist is not named Carol Lastnamenotgiven. Her name is Carla; her last name was not given. Mr. Skip Simpson's former fiancée, Gretchen Von Grüber, was misidentified as Gretchen Van Grüber. Mr. Simpson's partner, whose name was unfortunately given as David Foxster, is apparently named David M. Lynch. Mr. Luke Tian's name was incorrectly listed as Luke T. Ahn, like actor Philip Ahn in the enjoyable "Kung Fu" television series. The Kewl Beanz! restaurant, nightclub, and coffeehouse was inadvertently misspelled as Cool Beans. Mr. Lynch's former girlfriend, Tara King, manager of Kewl Beanz!, evidently was available for comment, as was Kewl Beanz! assistant manager, Bella Vergara, but we didn't think of calling either of them. Other than these small points, the Pleasantview Poop Sheet stands by the integrity of its original article.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Foxster's Fone... errr.. Phone Call ~ A Teaser for PLEASANTVIEW, Season Two!

PLEASANTVIEW is returning soon!!!

David M. Lynch (a/k/a The Silver Fox) here, fellow babies! And yes, that's right: Season Two of Pleasantview is coming soon!

I had what I hoped was a pretty good post already written for this entry, when I got a polite but relatively short email from Skip Simpson saying, "While Sandy and I are away from the blog world, feel free to write ANYTHING YOU WANT on the Simpson/Lynch Studios blog. Anything, EXCEPT... Please don't write ANY dialog for the Skipster himself. I don't want you to screw up the character. No offense."

No dialog for the Skipster? Terrific. Ter-freakin'-rific! This resulted in a rather hasty edit. Hope you like it anyway.

Thanks for your time.

* * * * *

Scene One: The living room of the Foxster's home in Pleasantview, Alabama, known locally as "The Old Fenneman Estate." It is early in the afternoon. The Foxster is speaking on the telephone.

Foxster: Skipster! I've been trying to call you for two or three days! (laughing) Why do you even bother having a cell phone, if you're not going to answer it? (pauses while Skipster speaks) Have you been to the studio at all lately? (pauses while Skipster speaks) Neither have I, pretty much, and I haven't been to Kewl Beanz! since Tara and I split. (pauses while Skipster speaks) Well, she hasn't quit. Why the hell should she? She's still as competent as ever. (pauses while Skipster speaks) I've had a few strained phone conversations with her, and I still sign her paychecks, and Bella's, and everybody else's... but that's about it. (pauses while Skipster speaks) And just for the record... according to Carla, although we both know how reliable she can be... Gretchen hasn't called, or shown up. (brief pause while Skipster speaks) I know you didn't ask. I'm telling you anyway. (brief pause while Skipster speaks) Same to you, fella! (pause) Anyway, it's "safe" for you to come back, evidently. (brief pause while Skipster speaks) Like I said: Same to you, fella! (pauses while Skipster speaks) Me? Believe it or not, I just got home a few days ago. I was in Louisville, Kentucky! And get this... I just bought a racehorse! (pauses while Skipster speaks) You don't? Why? What the hell's wrong with horses? (pauses while Skipster speaks) Well, they say you're supposed to get right back on, when that happens. (long pause while Skipster speaks) Luke's doing okay. In fact, there's some stuff going on with him that ought to interest you... but I'll save it for now. And Vickie's been doing a great job coordinating the building of the new studio and office complex. (long pause while Skipster speaks) Yup, I agree. And it's time we officially made her Director of Operations. That'll give her access to the SnL bank account, so she can handle all the payments to the staff, and the construction workers, and-- What? (pauses while Skipster speaks) I told you. I bought a racehorse. (The Foxster pauses while Skipster speaks, then laughs.) Damned if I know! After taking care of the business deal, I got drunk. Realllly drunk. I don't remember anything I did in Louisville until the last day I crawled out of bed with a killer hangover and drove home! (pause) So... when are you coming back? (pauses while Skipster speaks) Well, can you at least tell me where you are? (pauses while Skipster speaks) Fine. Be that way... and don't think I can't hear that girlish giggling in the background, you ol' dog! (laughs) Actually, I'm gonna get a few more days' worth of r&r before I go back, too! (brief pause while Skipster speaks) Yeah, you too, old buddy. (The Foxster disconnects.)

* * * * *

Scene Two: The Foxster's bedroom in The Old Fenneman Estate. It is late evening. The phone rings and the Foxster answers it.

Foxster: Hello? Who is-- Barry? Barry Cabana?!? Holy... !!! I haven't seen you since-- (pauses while Barry speaks) What are you talking about? You were in Louisville? (The Foxster pauses again while Barry speaks at length, then responds in a very low voice.) And the Skipster did what, again?

The Foxster listens patiently while Barry speaks. Then, after the Foxster and Barry exchange a few pleasantries about the recent resurgence in Barry's career, the call ends.

The Foxster calls the Skipster's number.

There is no answer.

* * * * *

Coming Soon: Season Two of Pleasantview begins for real!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spy Guys Sweeps Awards!

Secret Agent Award designed by Sandra Herbert

FROM: Simpson/Lynch Studios

SUBJECT: Spy Guys Sweeps Awards!


Pleasantview, AL - It was announced earlier today that "Spy Guys," an original made-for-Blogger series, has swept the prestigious "Secret Agent Awards" in multiple categories, which means "more than one." The awards, known in the trade as "Bondies," are considered to be the most prestigious awards in the business.

When the series' creator, Skip Simpson, was notified after the governing panel's decision, all he could say was, "Wow! I'm humbled and thankful. After all, this is a very prestigious award. I'm gonna wake up Sandy and tell her." He was in fact referring to the series co-writer and paramour of Mr. Simpson, Ms. Sandra Herbert, who was in fact sound asleep and making funny noises at the time.

Mr. David M. Lynch, the Executive Producer of the acclaimed series, could not be reached for comment.

The "Bondie" was awarded in the following categories:

Best Title Sequence Animation

Best Use Of Jerry Goldsmith Music Originally Written For Obscure 60's Television Series

Best Actor - The Foxster

Best Supporting Actress - Unnamed Receptionist With Nose Ring in Act IV.

A fan of the blog known only as "Sharp-Eyed Reader," when reached for comment, said "This is great! Those Bondies are really prestigious awards! But I'm hoping that when Spy Guys returns, it'll send our intrepid agents into outer space! If not... so sad..."

For those who might have missed it, here is the title sequence again.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Act IX "Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch" - The Doomsday Matter

Announcer: Spy Guys will continue after a word from our sponsor...

Scene: GLOBE outpost. Pleasantview, Alabama. The morning after the day before. Or something. Our intrepid agents are assembled in the conference area, and enjoying the forty-seven cases of expensive champagne... compliments of GLOBE HQ.

We eavedrop on the Skipster and Buffy.

Skipster: Buffy, I really would like to see you again.

Buffy: Likewise. But...

Skipster: But?

Buffy: (sighs) Look. You realize as well as I do that in your position, if you were seen with me, the tabloids would want to know, "Who's that girl on the Skipster's arm?" at such-and-such movie premiere. They could dig, and dig, and ultimately blow my cover... not to mention GLOBE's.

Skipster: You really are wise beyond your years...

Buffy: Skip. My career comes first. I'm sure you can understand that.

Skipster: So... if we do see each other, we're going to have to be realllly sneaky.

Buffy: Hey. We're spies! That part should come easy!

Skip: Sounds like pizza and movie nights at my place.

Buffy: I'd like that.

They smile at each other. We eavesdrop on Slate, Kittridge and Mr. Winter.

Slate: Let me get this straight. You saved Professor Roy Hinkley's life? He's an idol to me! He was like Zefram Cochrane to my Geordi La Forge!

Kittridge: Who?

Slate: Star Trek reference.

Kittridge: Never watched it...

Winter: I worked with Roy back in the old days. He was quite the genius in coming up with new and unusual hardware. He was a good friend. I'm sorry I missed out on seeing him again.

We eavesdrop on Glory and the Skipster.

Glory: So, how much does your drunken friend remember about all this?

Skipster: The Foxster? I'm afraid he was too drunk to remember anything... not that he was in any shape to comprehend it anyway. Looks like GLOBE's secrets are safe.

Glory: Did you ever find out why he happened to be in Louisville?

Skipster: (shrugs) All he would say was, "I needed to see a man about a horse."

Mr. Winter clinks his glass.

Winter: Attention, everyone. Miss Buffy Pleasant would like to make an announcement.

Buffy: Hey, y'all. In honor of the man who not only helped save the world, but also captured Bruno Drake in the process, I stayed up all night to make this cake. The inscription reads, "To A Great Guy." This is for Agent Kitt Kittridge!

Glory: Never knew you had it in ya, Sparky!

Kittridge: (matter-of-factly) You never asked.

Buffy takes the cover off the cake. All that's left are crumbs.

Winter: Oh, dear! That cake was for him?

Later, as Glory pulls Mr. Winter aside...

Glory: Mr. Winter... I have a confession to make...

Winter: You want to tell me that all this time, you were also assigned to keep tabs on our little operation and report to the powers-that-be?

Glory: (astonished) Yes! How did you...?

Winter: Standard operating procedure within the organization. Don't forget, I've been around a long time.

Glory: Then you should know that because of your quick thinking, you not only helped save what could have been a deadly situation, but you also protected GLOBE's cover in the process. And that's what I wrote in my report. (smiling) And thus, the champagne delivery.

Winter: I learned a long time ago that people will believe whatever you want them to believe. Life itself can be an illusion. My nephew is an amateur magician. He knows about things like that.

Glory: Is your nephew in Great Britain, or does he live here, as you do?

Winter: Oh, he's right here in the states. As a matter of fact... (indicating Kittridge) he's right over there.

Glory looks astonished.

Glory: (dumbfounded) Kitt Kittridge... is your NEPHEW???

Winter: I figured it was time to get him out of jail, and put him to use where his talents would be utilized for the common good. (pause) Now, let's see how good you are at keeping that secret between us, shall we?

Mr. Winter hoists his glass of champagne.

Winter: (loudly) To a great staff! May all our futures be bright!

Kittridge: And "God bless us, every one!"

There is a pause as everyone looks at Kittridge. Then, for the very first time, everyone laughs at his wisecrack.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Act VIII "Cheese 'N Onions" - The Doomsday Matter

Announcer: "Spy Guys" will begin after this commercial message.

Scene One: Tuesday morning. 11:45 AM. The Anthony Michael Hall, an enormous auditorium in Louisville, Kentucky, which will serve as the venue to Cheese 'n Onions, the world-famous tribute band to The Rutles, at high noon. Hundreds of television cameras are there to record the images of thousands of gathered dignitaries, international politicians, and leaders from the arts and sciences. What this assembled throng does not know however, is that in a few minutes, they will be witnesses to a very strange scene. We find our intrepid GLOBE agents, Mr. Winter, Glory Becker, John Slate, The Skipster and Buffy Pleasant, assembled for a final briefing.

Mr. Winter: Does everyone have their earpieces in their ears? (Everyone nods in the affirmative.) Good. Does everyone have their microphones either up their sleeves or pinned onto their gowns? (Everyone nods in the affirmative.) Good. And is everyone packing an automatic weapon? (Everyone nods in the affirmative.) Good. Let's help make this a memorable concert. (Checks his watch.) We have fifteen minutes. I'm going over to the punchbowl. (Mr. Winter wanders off.)

Buffy brushes her hand against the Skipster's.

Buffy: I... I just want you to know that whatever happens, I'll always treasure last night. It was the most incredible experience of my life. (Buffy kisses the Skipster on the cheek, and wanders off with Glory. The Skipster walks over to Slate.)

Skipster: Is the the tracking device for the key working okay?

Slate: Yep. No problems. Looks like the key is somewhere backstage. Y'know, I was thinking that... (Their conversation is interrupted by hearing the voices of Buffy and Glory through their earpieces.)

Glory's Voice: So, how was it, girlfriend?

Buffy's Voice: It was fantastic! Skipster is a wonderful lover, who really knows what a woman wants!

Glory's Voice: Yum! Details! I want details!

Buffy's Voice: Well, he took me in his room and we started kissing. Really softly at first, and then we started getting really hot 'n heavy, y'know? (Slate looks up at the Skipster who is standing in horror. Buffy continues talking.) Before you know it, we were totally naked and laying on the bed and he was running his hand up my thigh. I thought I was gonna faint, I was so excited! So... I reached down and started touching him, y'know? That seemed to drive him really crazy, because he was moaning loudly. (Slate manages a small shrug of his shoulders, and attempts a feeble smile. The Skipster is turning white. They hear Glory's voice pipe in.)

Glory's Voice: Did he say anything?

Buffy's Voice: Oh yeah! He started talking dirty about what he was gonna do to me. I gotta tell ya, that was really turning me on! (Skipster buries his face in his palm.)

Glory's Voice: Did you tell him about...?

Buffy's Voice: Not yet. I think he might've acted differently if he knew it was my first time!

Slate looks at the Skipster. A crash is heard from the next room as a glass falls to the floor and breaks. A few seconds later, a visibly-shaken Mr. Winter appears in an archway with an open-mouthed look of shock. The Skipster wheels around.

Skipster: (shouting) Buffy!!! SHUT UP!!!

The assembled crowd, having absolutely no idea as to what caused his outburst, falls silent as they all stare at the Skipster. Without moving, his eyes dart around the room as he catches everyone's gaze. He laughs sheepishly.

Skipster: Heh, heh...

* * * * *

Scene Two: Tuesday morning. 11:50 AM. A black Borgatti sportscar races through the streets of Louisville towards the Anthony Michael Hall. Its two visible occupants are GLOBE agent Kitt Kittridge, who is driving, and the Skipster's writing & business partner the Foxster, who is now very, very drunk, slumped in the passenger seat, and singing at the top of his lungs. Stashed in the trunk is an unconscious Bruno Drake.

Foxster (singing): Farewell an' adooooo, ye fair Spanish ladiezzz... farewell an' adooooo, ye ladiezzz o'Spainnn... (The Foxster's head rolls to the left as he stops singing and drunkenly stares at Kittridge for a moment.) Y'know sumpin', Kittleridge? Yer a reeel somnabitch to steal my car. Y'know that? (hiccups) But cha wanna know sumpin' elsss? (Foxster weakly pokes Kittridge in the right arm.) Yer also one helluva guy to give me a ride innit! (Foxster laughs loudly and stares out the window.) I dunno whether ta kiss ya or kick yer ass!

Kittridge: (evenly) Well... don't try either. (pause) Just be glad I recognized you from all those magazine covers you did with the Skipster. Otherwise, I would have run you over.

Foxster: He'zzz my pal, y'know... (pause) The ollll' Skisster! My pal! My buddy! (pause) My pal! (pause) Whadda helluva guy. (His head rolls back towards Kittridge.) And you sed he's right here in town? Wait'll he sees me! He's gonna shit! (Foxster laughs loudly.)

Kittridge: (under his breath) No doubt...

Foxster: Hey, Kittlerdidge... We got time to stop at McDonald's for a Filet-O-Fish?

Kittridge: Well, we really shouldn't... but I'm dying for a Big Mac myself... for some reason.

The Borgatti sportscar races on...

* * * * *

Scene Three: Tuesday morning, 11:58 AM. Inside the Anthony Michael Hall auditorium, where the assembled guests are being seated. From his vantage point offstage, the Skipster is observing the last-minute activity behind the closed curtains, as roadies finalize the sound checks and prepare the instruments. He watches as a bulletproof plexiglass podium rises silently and majestically from the stage floor, awaiting the master of ceremonies. He can hear the director issuing orders for preliminary camera positions through the P.A. system, and hear the floor manager giving the countdown until airtime. He hears Slate's voice through his earpiece.

Slate's Voice: Hey, Skipster. See anything unusual?

Skipster: (talking into the sleeve mike) Negative. Nothing yet. No sign of the band.

Floor Manager's Voice: One minute until airtime. Places, everybody.

The Skipster sees a production assistant leading the master of ceremonies towards the podium.

Slate's Voice: Copy that. Things are cool from where I'm standing.

Skipster: Roger that. (He hears Buffy's soft voice through the earpiece.)

Buffy's Voice: Skip? (pause) Are you mad at me?

Skipster: (sighs) Can we talk about this later, Buffy? (Skipster suddenly sees the master of ceremonies clearly.) Son of a bitch!

Buffy's Voice: Excuse me??? (pause) You are mad at me! I knew it!

Floor Manager's Voice: Thirty seconds.

The Skipster puts Buffy on "ignore" as he watches a man wearing an all-white tuxedo take his place behind the podium.

Skipster: Ohmigod!! It's Barry! The master of ceremonies is BARRY CABANA!!!

Floor Director's Voice: Ten seconds... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... On the air!

From the P.A. system, the hall is flooded with pre-recorded music as an unseen announcer booms out his lines.

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Live from Louisville, Kentucky, and seen by every single person in the world! A history-making event! The most famous tribute band of a tribute band of a parody band! It's Cheeeeeese 'n Onionsssss!

The crowd goes wild. The Skipster looks around as the stage lights start coming up.

Announcer: And now... Your master of cermonies for this stupendous occasion... Mister Broadway himself! Barrrrry Cabannnnna!!!

The curtains slowly open and Barry Cabana is framed by a bright white spotlight. The audience roars its approval. Barry grins and waves to the adoring crowd. The Skipster looks up. He sees a large, flat rectangular object suspended over the stage. Barry begins his speech.

Barry: Well! Good afternoon everyone, and greetings to every person in the world from Lexington, Kentucky! (cheers from all, except a few Louisville residents) Y'know... I've really gotta say how humbled I am that I was even asked to emcee this event. Up until now, I just figured that everyone thought I was dead! (laughter and scattered applause) But, I've been given a great honor. Right now, I hold the key that will activate a special clock behind me. This clock will count the hours that this fantastic group, Cheese 'n Onions will be performing onstage, as they have vowed to go into the Guinness Book Of World Records as giving the longest concert in the history of the world!

The large object is slowly lowered from the ceiling.

Skipster: Ohmigod! It's the Doomsday Clock!

Indeed, it is the authentic clock that has been freshly repainted and made to look very festive, with hearts and flowers! Barry Cabana smiles, turns, and slowly walks towards it.

Skipster: (into his sleeve) It's Barry Cabana! He's unwittingly about to destroy the world!

The Skipster darts from behind a curtain and races toward Barry. He sees Glory, Slate and Buffy all converging toward the stage. Barry, who is grinning like an idiot, is just seconds away from putting the key into the deadly device! The Skipster unholsters his weapon and aims it at "Mister Broadway."

Skipster: (softly) Sorry, Barry...

He is about to squeeze the trigger when he hears the unmistakable sound of Mr. Winter's soothing voice emanating from the P.A. system.

Mr. Winter's Voice: Barry. (pause) Barry. (Barry halts, and looks up, mystified.)

Barry: Who is that?

Mr. Winter's Voice: It's the Lord, Barry.

The audience, who assumes that this is a scheduled part of the show, begins to laugh. Barry, who now thinks this is a last-minute addition to the show, smirks and begins to play along.

Barry: (chuckling) And what is it I may do for you, oh Lord?

Mr. Winter's Voice: I command thee to bring out your special guest!

Suddenly the crowd goes wild as the Foxster comes staggering out onstage, totally drunk.

Skipster: Omigod! The Foxster!!!

Foxster: (looking around) I wanna see th'speshull guest...

Barry: (obviously surprised and pleased) Well... I'll be! It's my old pal! Ladies and gentlemen... it's the Foxster!

The Foxster staggers up to the podium and leans on it for much-needed support.

Foxster: Extinguished memmersss of the academy, I accept thiz award for... (sees the Skipster) Well... holy SHIT!!! I think I see an old buddy over there! Barry! Lez give a nice warm welcome to th' Skisster!

As the spotlight swings over, the Skipster hurridly holsters his weapon, smiles and waves to the audience. Barry motions for the Skipster to approach the podium, and the Skipster slowly begins walking toward it. Offstage, Glory, Slate, and Buffy are trying to comprehend this weird spectacle, when Kittridge runs up to Slate, out of breath.

Kittridge: John! Thank gawd I found you! Do you have the tracking device?

Slate: Of course I do! It's right here! (Slate produces the device from his jacket pocket.)

Kittridge: Take it apart!

Slate: What?

Kittridge: Just take it apart, damnit! There's no time to explain!

The sudden roar of the crowd causes them to look up, as the four members of Cheese 'n Onions walk angrily onto the stage. Barry, who believes this is still part of the act, leans into the microphone.

Barry: Ladies and gentlemen! Let's have a big welcome to Mike Rotch as Dirk McQuickly, Jacques Strapp as Ron Nasty, Hugh Jass as Stig O'Hara, and Stu Pedasso as Barry Wom! Cheese 'n Onions!!!

The crowd roars. Mike Rotch angrily grabs the key out of Barry's hand. Jacques Strapp grabs the microphone, and glares at Mike Rotch.

Strapp: (mockingly) "Have Barry do it!" Oh, great plan there, Mike! We're gonna do this like we'd orginally planned it, and to hell with any of ENEMA's ransom demands! (to the audience and television cameras) We really hate you all. (The crowd, thinking he's doing his "Ron Nasty" impression, cheers.)

Slate: (to Kittridge) Okay! It's apart! Now what?

Kittridge: The guy who helped invent this thing told me something...

Mike Rotch grabs the microphone from Jacques Strapp.

Rotch: He's right! We hate you all! (The crowd cheers. Hugh Jass grabs the microphone from Mike Rotch.)

Jass: I really don't know why you're cheering, as we're all about to die! (The crowd cheers. Stu Pedasso grabs the microphone.)

Kittridge: (to Slate) The key has a self-destruct function!

Pedasso: Listen! I'm Stu Pedasso! You can believe me! (The crowd cheers.)

Kittridge: (to Slate) And that little red button on the circuit board is the trigger!

The band members look at each other, then suddenly run toward the clock with Mike Rotch brandishing the key. The Skipster begins to draw his gun, but is stopped short by Mr. Winter's booming voice.

Mr. Winter's Voice: Let them go, Skipster! (pause) And by the way... duck and cover!

The Skipster is momentarily confused, but quickly regains his sense of discipline, honed by years of military -- and GLOBE -- training. He grabs both Barry and the Foxster by their collars, and with one swift kick, he knocks the bulletproof plexiglass podium over. He manages to wrestle every one of them to safety behind it.

Kittridge: In short... THE KEY IS A BOMB!!!

Cheese 'n Onions defiantly stand in front of the Doomsday Clock and raise their middle fingers to the cheering crowd. Mike Rotch begins to insert the key that will obliterate all life on earth.

Slate: A bomb? (brief pause) Oh. (brief pause) Cool. (Slate presses the red button.)

In the blink of an eye, Cheese 'n Onions and the Doomsday Clock are enveloped in a blinding white light and a loud explosion that rocks the stage. When the smoke clears, the only thing remaining is a large hole in the stage floor. The audience cheers.

Skipster: (to Barry) Wow! That was quick!

A lightbulb goes off over Barry's head. (Well, figuratively.) He grabs a microphone.

Barry: Ladies and gentlemen! We have all just witnessed an historical event! I must've read that script wrong, because what I meant to say earlier was that this will go in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the shortest concert in the history of the world! Thank you, and have a great day!

The music swells through the P.A. system, and after more wild applause, the audience dutifully begins to file out.

The Skipster looks over at the Foxster, who has passed out in a drunken stupor.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Act VII "The Prisoner" - The Doomsday Matter

Announcer: "Spy Guys" will begin after this commercial message.

Scene One: Onboard the private Boeing 777-232ER that is known affectionately as "SnL One." It is early Tuesday morning. The Skipster and Buffy Pleasant are arriving in the conference area, after a night of passionate lovemaking, where the rest of the GLOBE agents have gathered.
Buffy: (whispers to Skipster) I love the scent of "Hai Karate" on a man in the morning...
Seated at the conference table are Mister Winter, Glory Becker, and John Slate. Mister Winter looks up, and acknowledges their arrival.
Mr. Winter: Ah! Miss Pleasant and Skipster. I trust you both had a very restful night. (Glory and Slate suppress knowing smiles. Buffy winks and gives a "thumbs up" sign. The Skipster glances at her.) Today is the day we save the world. Any questions?
Skipster: Um, any sign of Kittridge?
Slate: I've tracked his combination i.d. badge and locator chip to what appears to be an adandoned warehouse in a dangerous part of town. Do you want me to go and get him?
Mr. Winter: Negative, Agent Slate. Either one of two things could have happened. He's either drunk and passed out, or he's being held against his will by enemy forces in order to coax us into a trap.
Buffy: But, what if he is being held prisoner and they kill him?
Mr. Winter: Miss Pleasant, he knows the risks involved. I am not going to be sending my staff into an obvious death trap. Our job is to recover the key to the Doomsday Clock from "Cheese 'n Onions."
Glory: (Interjecting) Which is The Rutles' tribute band, that will performing in a live telecast at noon that will be seen by every man, woman and child on the planet.
Mr. Winter: (Nodding) Exactly, Agent Becker. I'm afraid Agent Kittridge will have to rely upon his wits and intelligence.
Slate: (Slowly shaking his head) Then he's a dead man for sure.
Scene Two: The basement of an abandoned warehouse in a dangerous part of town. Kitt Kittridge is seated on a hard wooden chair with his wrists handcuffed behind him, and slowly regaining consciousness from being shot with a tranquilizer dart. Standing around him are Banjo, T-Bone and Cletus, otherwise known as "The Flying Risotto Brothers."

Banjo: Looks like Sleeping Beauty is coming to.
T-Bone: How did a guy like him ever make it into GLOBE?
Cletus: Yeah. He's worthless. (Giggles)
Kittridge: (Murmuring) Speak for yourself, asshole. (Cletus angrily raises his arm to strike Kittridge, but is held back by Banjo.)
Banjo: Not yet, you idiot. We've gotta wait for the boss to arrive in an hour.
Kittridge: (Peering up at Banjo) Hmph... I kinda figured you had to have someone a little higher up in the food chain. So, what's the plan? Hold the world ransom? Demand control of some country? Scare nuns and orphans?
Cletus: (His left leg begins trembling) Ha! You have no idea!
T-Bone: (To Banjo) Oh no! He's getting that way again!
Banjo: (Sighs) Once he gets that way, there's just no stopping him.
Cletus: I bet you wanna know what the plan is, huh?
Kittridge: Frankly. I couldn't care less.
Cletus: (Angrily) Well, I'm gonna tell you anyway!
(Banjo and T-Bone simultaneously do "facepalms.")
Cletus: We got the professor locked up in a cell back there, and...
Cletus is suddenly cut short as his eyes suddely bulge out and a river of bright red blood begins flowing out of his mouth. He piches forward and hits the hard stone floor. Kittridge looks down and sees a smoking bullethole in the back of Cletus's head. The remaining Risotto brothers turn and see two silhouetted male figures who have quietly entered the basement.
T-Bone: Boss! We weren't expecting...
T-Bone is suddenly cut short, as another bullet from a silenced pistol burrows into his forehead, killing him instantly. Banjo watches his brother fall backwards onto the hard stone floor. Banjo furtively looks at the two silhouetted figures who are slowly walking into the room.
Banjo: Boss! Hey!!! We captured this GLOBE agent! He's gonna lead the rest of them into our trap!
The advancing figures have now come into the light, and Kittridge can make out the faces of a tall bearded man wearing an expensive suit, and his plump companion wearing a t-shirt and shorts who is holding the gun. The bearded man speaks slowly and softly, with definite traces of menace.
Bearded Man: Oh yes. The trap. (He comes to a halt a few feet from Banjo.) The trap that has worked so well, that this man's comrades have decided to ignore it completely.
Kittridge: (Doing a double-take) They've what??? How dare they???
Bearded Man: It appears that your last minute deviation in the plan has been for nothing. Mister Winter may appear to be a doddering old idiot, but at one time he was the best field agent GLOBE ever had, and can smell an obvious trap a mile away. Sadly, he's become but a shell of his former self, where he has resorted to hiring uncouth riffraff such as this. (Indicating Kittridge)
Kittridge: Hey!!!
Banjo: (Sweating profusely) Now... wait a minute here! Didn't we get that professor for ya? And didn't we make that fake Doomsday Clock that got delivered to GLOBE?
Bearded Man: On which you misspelled the name...
Banjo: Well... we DID say we were sorry for that...
Bearded Man: Oh yes. The clock that was delivered to GLOBE. The fake Doomsday Clock... the clock that also happened to get delivered with THE REAL KEY!
Banjo: It was a mixup I tell ya! BOTH keys looked alike! (Pause) And you got the real one back, dincha?
Bearded Man: Oh yes. We got it back. And we also attracted the attention of GLOBE in what should have been a very simple plan.
Kittridge: (Who has been listening to all of this, shakes his head and chuckles to himself) Wow! What a sorry bunch of shitheads.
Bearded Man: (Looks at Kittridge with a sly smile) Yes. (Pause) They were...
The heavy-set man pulls the trigger, and one silenced shot later, Banjo joins his dearly departed brothers in the "undiscovered country from which no traveler returns." The bearded man and the heavy set man slowly approach Kittridge.
Kittridge: Hey... nice work, guys! Thanks for saving me the trouble! (Cheerfully) Now, why don't you let me out of these cuffs so I can get back to some serious drinking?
Bearded Man: I have a better idea. Why don't you tell us what you know?
Kittridge: I have an even better idea. Why don't you tell me who you are???
Bearded Man: (Smiles) Of course. My associate is Arthur Prunesqualor. I am Bruno Drake.

Kittridge: You're Bruno Drake??? I've heard about you. You're the number two man in ENEMA! You really should try harder... (Pause) Say, didn't you have your mountaintop retreat blown out from under your ass a few months ago?

Drake: (Grimaces) It was a minor inconvenience. (Shudders and shakes his head) But, I thought I knew all of the active GLOBE agents. I really don't know who you are.
Kittridge: Really? I'm gonna have to fire my P.R. man! The name's Kittridge. Kitt Kittridge. I'd shake your hand, but I'm kinda tied up at the moment. (Pause) So you really don't know anything about me, huh? Well then, let me enlighten you, Sparky. (Prunesquallor aims his pistol at Kittridge's head.) Hey! Easy big guy! We're all friends here, right? Just gettin' to know each other, right? Oh, and by the way big guy... you kinda smell like pork grease. Maybe you should use a little more "Hai Karate."
Drake: You are really starting to bore me...
Kittridge: Really? Hmmm... okay let me tell you a little about myself. And stop me if you've heard this one before...
Drake rolls his eyes.
Drake: Mister Kittridge, if you think you're just buying time awaiting a rescue...
Kittridge: Nahh. You already said the cavalry's not coming, didn'tcha? Anyhoo... I used to be a thief. Not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill thief mind you... but a real arteeste! I was a notorious cat burglar in Europe. In France I was known as "Renard." That's French for "fox," doncha know? There wasn't a lock or a vault that could keep me out. And, I have a few hobbies here and there. I love to do magic! Do y'all like magic?
Drake: (Drake shakes his head) Are you planning to make yourself disappear?
Kittridge: Nah! Nothing like that! But I do have this really great trick. It's called "handcuff escape." (From behind his back Kittridge neatly produces an unlocked set of handcuffs.) See?
Drake's eyes suddely grow huge. With newly-freed hands, Kittridge quickly jumps up and snatches the gun from Arthur Prunesqualor. Deftly flipping it in the air, he grabs the handle and coldly shoots his large adversary at point-blank range. Arthur Prunesqualor falls dead onto the hard stone floor.
Kittridge: Sorry, Porky. You were just small potatoes. (Looks at Drake) But you on the other hand... (Aiming carefully, he fires a round into Drake's left kneecap. Drake crumples in pain.) Aw, gee. Does it hurt? Let me take your pain away. (Kittridge picks up a tranquilizer gun from a nearby table, and shoots Drake in the neck. Drake is immediately knocked unconscious. Kittridge takes the handcuffs and binds Drake's wrists behind his back, removing Drake's expensive Rolex and placing it on his own wrist.) Okay... now let me see you get out of them! (looking around) Okay... let's go find that "professor". (Sees a heavy door a few feet away) Okay... let's pick door number one, Monty. (Kittridge finds the door locked.) Well now... I suppose I could pick the lock... or... (reaching for key ring hanging next to the door) we could just do it the easy way. (Kittridge enters and finds himself in a small cell. In the corner is a very weak old man who sees Kittridge. This is "The Professor.")

Professor: W...who are you?

Kittridge: The Lone Ranger. Who are you?
Professor: I'm the man that helped develop the Doomsday Clock. My name is Roy Hinkley.
Kittridge: Well, the good news is... your time is up and you're free to go. I for one, have a concert to attend. I'd love to have you tag along, but as I only have one backstage pass...
Kittridge turns to leave, but the Professor stops him.
Professor: Wait! If you're going to the Doomsday Clock, there's something you should know. Listen... (Kittridge draws closer.)
Scene Three: A few minutes later. Kittridge is sitting behind the wheel of the stolen black Borgatti sportscar. He expertly hotwires the ignition, and goes speeding towards the site of the "Cheese 'n Onions" concert. As he comes to a red light, a bearded man wearing dark glasses, and who is obviously very drunk suddenly staggers out in the middle of the road, and pounds angrily on the hood of the car.
Man: You sonofabitch! Give me my car back!!!