Monday, January 25, 2010

"Accept the Word of One Who Knows!"


The conference room of Simpson/Lynch Studios. It is approximately 8 a.m. The Skipster sits alone, in his usual seat at the head of the table. The Foxster enters, yawning.

Skipster: Close the door, will you, please?

Foxster (closing door): Where's everyone else?

Skipster: Working! They've all got a ton of stuff to do already. (brief pause) No, this meeting's just for the two of us.

Foxster (jokingly): Uh-oh, what did I do now? (The Skipster smiles, but doesn't reply. The Foxster begins walking toward the coffee machine, but stops short.) No coffee? Umm... Want me to brew us a pot?

Skipster: Actually... Have you oh-so-characteristically hidden any beer in the mini-fridge?

Foxster (feigning innocence): Skip! In the conference room? And at this hour? For shame! (Suppressing a grin, the Skipster glares pointedly at the Foxster.) Okay, okay. Two breakfast brews, coming up. (The Foxster opens the small refrigerator, moves a few items, and pulls out the two bottles of Molson Golden which were hidden in the rear. He opens both while walking to his customary seat at the opposite end of the table from the Skipster. When the Foxster arrives at his chair, he slides the Skipster's open Molson along the length of the table with an expert flick of the wrist. The open beer stops scant inches away from the Skipster. The Foxster and the Skipster smile, as the Foxster sits.)

Skipster: Okay, I'll get right to the point. First of all, I should tell you that during the past few days, I've been able to recall virtually everything that happened during that embarassing "beatnik phase" of mine... and I really appreciate all the support you and the other three gave me while I wasn't quite "with it."

Foxster: No problem. Are you going to tell the others that, too?

Skipster (pausing): I... Well, you know how I am... (Foxster grins and nods) Look, David... (Foxster's eyebrows rise slightly at the Skipster's use of "David.") I'm usually in control of my emotions. But right now, I need some personal advice. (pause) Actually, I have sort of a confession to make. (The Foxster folds a white napkin, neatly placing it onto the front of his black turtleneck sweater, at the neck; it looks eerily like a clerical collar.)

Skipster (smiling wryly): Real cute... "Father Fox." (The Foxster removes the napkin and leans back in his chair, lighting a cigarette. He produces an ashtray, seemingly out of nowhere, as the Skipster lights a cigarette of his own. The Skipster looks up at Gretchen's portrait on the wall, then looks back at the Foxster.) Y'know, I envy you and Tara. Even though she's an employee, you always keep it professional during working hours. (long pause) Did I ever tell you about my childhood?

Foxster: Not in any great detail, no.

Skipster: My mother was what you would call a taskmaster. She demanded the utmost in perfection from me, and I had to keep my emotions in check. My father just went along with whatever she said. As I grew into adulthood, I had several brief romances, but whenever things started getting serious, I'd make up some lame excuse to bail. (pause) Am I rambling? (Foxster smiles and nods vigorously, while the Skipster pauses again.) Then... I enlisted in the Army.

Foxster: Oh, good, finally something I did know.

Skipster: Well, I was sick of taking orders, so I applied for OCS... one of those "ninety day wonders." (sipping his beer) Then I got assigned to... well, that doesn't matter. Anyway, all my life, I've had to act a certain way. I demand professionalism from our staff. I demand the best from you... and vice versa, of course.

Foxster: Is this really what you call "getting to the point?"

Skipster (smirking and shaking his head): You're the emotional one, while I'm the never-say-die businessman. I'm the master with plotlines, and you're the master with dialogue...

Foxster: And comma deletion...

Skipster (smiling, but otherwise ignoring the Foxster's wisecrack): I'm content to sit and make business deals, while you take personal chances with your frequent flings. And finally, you find love with Tara, while I find...

Foxster: You "find" that you're in love with Gretchen.

Skipster (after a long pause): Yes, I am. She's a wonderful woman. (Foxster nods matter-of-factly) I wonder if she feels the same way about me?

The Foxster laughs, and the Skipster stares at him quizzically.

Foxster: You're kidding, right? Of course she does!

Skipster: Are you sure?

Foxster (uncharacteristically serious, albeit briefly): Anyone with eyes can see it, my friend. (pause) Anyone but a "never-say-die businessman," evidently... (long pause) So, are you going to be smart, and take the first step? Or are you already getting ready to "bail," as you put it, before you even get the ball rolling?

Skipster: Hm? Oh, no... Not this time! I just wanted your advice on how to handle this. (long pause) Do you really think she loves me?

Foxster: With all her heart. (smiles) I have no idea why.

Skipster (smirking): Yeah, neither do I. Neither do I.

Foxster (finishing his beer): Okay, then! My advice is this: Start out slowly. Slowly. Ask her out on a "real date" and see where it goes from there. (seriously) No one here at SnL would think anything would be affected professionally between you two! If Tara and I can manage that, you certainly can!

Skipster suddenly changes his body language, leans back in his chair, and finishes his beer.

Skipster: Okay, about tomorrow's party...

Foxster (softly, and strangely serenely): Ahhh, back to normal.

Skipster: Has anyone other than Lizzie asked for a pick-up by the SnL One?

Foxster: Not yet...

Skipster: Well, if... Aww, shoot! I forgot to send my flight uniform to the dry cleaners!

Foxster: Gretchen already took care of that. (brief pause) She sent Kato's, too.

Skipster: She did?

Foxster: Of course she did. She's already worked out our entire schedule. (pause) What did you expect? That 'Director of Operations' title is pretty all-encompassing. (pause) And I know you. You only suggested that promotion because you knew she could handle it. (brief pause) And naturally, I agree. (The Foxster gets up and walks toward the door. As he passes the Skipster, he points back toward the ashtray, and the empty beer bottle he left on the table.) You get to clean up. (Foxster opens the door to exit, but turns back to look at the still-seated Skipster.) Now, don't forget my advice, which you asked me for! Take things slowly! (The Foxster exits the conference room.)

Skipster (nodding): Slowly. Slowly.

To Be Continued, Early Tomorrow Morning...

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  1. OK, when does the Kewl Beanz party/opening kick off? I am getting preps in order and have just added another promo sing-up link to my side bar under "currently." I do hope I can bribe someone rich and famous to accompany me. --I'm still paying off that Tea in Aspen! LOL.

  2. When does it "begin?" is what I meant to say. Dear oh dear!

  3. @Mmm: Thanks for all your support! We assume you're providing your own transportation, unlike Lizzie, for instance, who's hitching a ride on the SnL One. Tara's going to be spending the morning at Montgomery International Airport, herding our guests together and seeing them off to the Pleasantview Country Club and Spa. If you want to head to KB for breakfast, anyone with an invite can show up as early as 5 a.m. (Central Time).

    We'll be doing three or four posts throughout the day. Looking forward to your contribution(s)!

  4. OK, my "date" has her won plane so I think I'm set!

  5. Her own plane, eh? I can think of two people she might be, but I won't guess publicly, in case I'm right, so I won't spoil your surprise for everyone!

    Hope you and Tara hit it off, as she's looking forward to your next Christmas Tea!

  6. I will have my bags together and ready to be picked up around 10:00pm tonight. I know, late flight, but it fits MY schedule. (snicker snicker)

    Say...would you be willing to also pick up my date as well? What? You thought this gorgeous redhead was going to the party alone? Not likely. I need someone on my arm to keep off the "Sly Fox". (wink)

  7. Will do! Just give us a quick call -- "Simpson/Lynch Studios" in Pleasantview, Alabama is listed, of course, and feel free to call collect -- and Carla the Receptionist will take down notes for Gretchen, who will arrange the scheduling, adjust for the proper time zones, etc.

    I can't wait to see whom you'll be bringing!

    (Note to the Skipster: I've already informed the entire staff that we'll all be responsible for insuring that there'll be plenty of coffee brewed at the studio, at Kewl Beanz!, and on board the SnL One!)

  8. Pardone me, but I would prefer to work direclty with you, NOT "Gretchen". I am confident that you would be able to meet all my flight needs.

    Thank you. I will expect a call within the hour.

  9. PS If you keep an eye out on my blog the sidebar will continue to provide my status of events...

  10. That's great, Foxster! Um... you DO realize that as the bartender onboard SnL One, YOU get to brew the coffee? Kato and I are headed out to Montgomery to preflight the bird. Bring Gretchen, Tara, Orson and yourself out in your little Borgatti sportscar in about an hour.

  11. I'm going to miss Skipster's fling with his beatnik persona. I actually didn't need a translater,lol.
    Horray for the Skipster. Gretchen is one awesome lady. But really David, Father Fox???
    By the way, Sean Connery is going to be my date. I have a thing for hunks with thick silver hair.
    We will be arriving in his vintage Mercedes. See you there.

  12. @Lizzie: Will do, milady! And I'll be checking your blog constantly. I already saw your first "report."

    @Skip: N.P. with the coffee on board the SnL One. Carla's got it covered at SnL, and the KB kitchen staff have everything under control there. But Tara will remain at the airport to field al the new arrivals.

  13. Not a problem, considering you and your date are our only passengers. We can wait at the gate for you.

  14. Don't panic, Lizzie. Nothing starts officially until five a.m., Central Time, anyway. And I'm sure your date will wait for you! So, as the Skipster said, we can cool our jets -- pun intended -- until you arrive at the airport.

  15. You bet. The Skipster, Tara, myself, and the rest of us want to give all our guests the best possible treatment.

  16. Well, as soon as I find my country club attire that I just purchased last night, I'm set to hop in the cab and head to the airport. My guest is supposed to meet us all there. Ohhh lala

  17. Oh, so we don't have to make a side trip to get him? Cool. And I'm glad it's only a spare outfit you couldn't find. I was picturing you running around your home, still wearing that towel.

  18. Mr. Simpson! You shouldn't have! I cannot believe who just showed up at my doorstep to get me to the airport to meet you, my guest, and Mr. Foxter's and his crew! My heart is beating out of my chest as we speak!! :D

  19. Didn't I say we all wanted you and other guests to have the best possible treatment? Hope "Mr. S." and your date don't end up fighting over you...

    And gosh, Lizzie, I hope you don't make too many "heart" remarks around your "personal taxi service." I hear he's a bit sensitive about the subject.

  20. Hey, since when have I been put on the ignore list, lol.
    Hope to see you in the early am.

  21. Of course Sean is staying over at my place tonight so we can get that early start.

  22. Ignore list? You? Never! Nothing you said in your earlier comment required a specific answer, but I hope you notice you're already mentioned in our sidebar's Status Report!

  23. I'll have a pre-party post going up shortly....

  24. @Lizzie: Looking forward to it. We should have lots to tell the others by the time of today's first official post.

    @Dreamhaven: By the way, if Sean's staying at your place, you may actually get a late start to the event... but somehow, I doubt you'll mind.

  25. I'm going to rest on the flight. Chat with you all in a bit. I'm eager to lay my head on my guest's fantastic pecks!! :D hahaha

  26. @Lizzie: Hm. Your date is admittedly a very good-looking guy. One of those who would've been designated as such in high school, for example. Kinda glad Tara isn't along for the ride this time...

  27. Just wanted you to know that I will be the "Lurker" due to my current back pain which makes me a totally unreliable participant right now. I hope you all have a lot of fun, I think on Tuesday I am just going to go sit in my Jacuzzi bathtub, light a few candles and then get to lurking, well.

    Wow, somehow that just sounds so dirty. I think I better use lots of bubblebath.

    Have fun and I hope you enjoy my lurking as much as I enjoy lurking.

    God bless.

    PS...that still sounds dirty.

  28. @Mrsupole: "Dirty-sounding" or not, I think your heartfelt "God bless" kinda washes your "lurker" designation clean. ;-)

    When Mr. Toast held his Christmas Tea a couple of months back, I, too, was a "lurker." I couldn't commit to actually attending, but I visited and commented on several blogs that did, to the point where Mr. Toast graciously thanked me for my participation. So in advance, allow us -- and by "us" I'm presuming to speak for the Skipster, too -- to welcome you and tell you we're glad you're feeling well enough to tag along, to any extent you're willing! God bless!

  29. I have just started to learn Tai Chi, so in honour of that accomplishment I have decided to travel by rickshaw. However it's proving a little slower going that anticipated, even though I've hired Xena Warrior Princess as motive power. Who knew you guys had so much snow?

  30. @Barry: Hope you make it here early enough to enjoy all KB has to offer. Our first official post of the day is up now, by the way. Have a great time!