Thursday, January 21, 2010

The (Not Quite) Final Countdown

Scene One

The Foxster's first-floor bedroom, shortly before eight a.m. The Foxster is lying face-down on his bed. He is shirtless, and shoeless; he wears only black slacks, black socks... and his dark sunglasses. Tara kneels beside him on the bed, as she administers a light back rub.

Tara: So, less than a week before the grand opening of Kewl Beanz!, and I've been going over the guest list...

Foxster: Yeah, I noticed the paperwork on my desk.

Tara: Anything you'd like to mention?

Foxster: Only that you made one misspelling on your list. There's not supposed to be an "H" in Ronda's name...

Tara (playfully pulling Foxster's hair): I'll cross it out.

Foxster: Already did that.

Tara (pulling Foxster's hair harder): What I meant was, is there anyone you'd like to add to the list, smartie!

Foxster: No, why?

Tara: Well, aside from the fact that we've extended an open invitation to virtually everyone twenty-one and older in Pleasantview...

Foxster: Half of whom work for us now, at the club...

Tara: And all of whom I didn't bother writing down...

Foxster: Understandable. So, why should I add anyone?

Tara: Besides your internet friends who'll be attending -- and by "your" I mean yours and the Skipster's -- I just wondered about your Hollywood friends, or maybe your contacts in New York, and the like?

Foxster: I wouldn't exactly call the entertainment crowd our "friends." Just because we interact with them on a business level doesn't mean we want to socialize with most of them. Why else would our headquarters be in Alabama?

Tara: Oh. So there's no one you're inviting?

Foxster: Skipster suggested Susan and Tim, but word has it that they've just split.

Tara: What about Brad and Angelina?

Foxster: Thank you for not saying "Brangelina." (Tara smiles.) They've been... pretty busy lately, according to the papers.

Tara: So, they're not broken up, too?

Foxster: No. Why do you...? (pause) Lemme guess. Reading the tabloids again, hon?

Tara (laughing): Guilty as charged. (pause) What about... you know... Ben?

Foxster: He'll probably show. I imagine he has the night free...

Tara: So, it looks like we'll be concentrating on schmoozing with the internet crowd.

Foxster: We certainly will.

Tara: I noticed they're mostly women, so far. Lucky for you, you big flirt!

Foxster: Heh. (pause) Umm... Tara, speaking of the "internet crowd," I should probably tell you about... something... that happened at an earlier internet event... since it involves one of our guests for Tuesday...

Tara: This was before you and I became an "item?"

Foxster: Well, sure. Before we even met, actually.

Tara: Then it doesn't matter, baby! So relax. I plan to charm the pants off of everyone who shows up.

Foxster: As long as you don't mean that literally, sweetheart! I think Barry and Mr. Toast would like that far too much!

Tara: Very funny, "Foxster."

Foxster: One more thing, hon. Has anyone other than Lizzie asked for a "pick-up" by the SnL One?

Tara: No, not yet.

Foxster: Well, I hope we'll hear from anyone who needs transportation before the 26th!

There is a knock at the door. Foxster sits up and reaches for his black turtleneck sweater even as he slips his feet into his black loafers. Tara gets off of the bed and answers the door. Kato is standing there. He notices the Foxster, who is now seated on the bed, adjusting his shirt.

Kato (embarrassed): I'm not interrupting anything, I hope!

Tara: No, nothing like that, Kato. What's up?

Kato (to Foxster): Gretchen, Mr. Skipster, and I were hoping that you would make the call to Orson's veterinarian from the conference room, on the speaker, so we could all hear how he's progressing.

Foxster and Tara nod. All exit the room, as Foxster closes and locks the door behind them.

* * * * *

Scene Two

The second-floor conference room, at approximately 9:00 a.m. Gretchen and Tara are alone in the room, minutes after the Skipster, the Foxster, and Kato have left. Vickie enters.

Vickie: Hey, girls, good morning! (Gretchen and Tara nod in greeting, both forcing smiles.) Umm... I just passed Mr. Skipster and Mr. Foxster downstairs, as I came to work. (pause) Did I... miss something?

Gretchen: We were just learning out about Orson's condition.

Vickie: Ohhhh, that's right! The poor little kitty! Foxster called me last night to tell me about his injury. (Gretchen and Tara exchange meaningful glances.) How is the little dear?

Tara: He's stable, thankfully. They've given him half a dozen tests...

Vickie (mischievously): Including a CAT scan?

Gretchen (bristling): Is that supposably a joke?

Tara (whispering): That's "supposedly," hon. (Gretchen shrugs.)

Vickie: Well, of course it was a joke. It was only a joke.

Gretchen: It is unfunny. Orson is a segment of the family.

Vickie (muttering): Geez, he's only a cat...

Tara: He's family, as Gretchen said, which is more than... (Catches herself, as Vickie stares at her pointedly.) Well, if you'll both excuse me, I have work to do... (exits)

There is an uncomfortable silence as Vickie and Gretchen stare at each other briefly.

Gretchen: I must also be working. Excuse me as well, please. (exits)

Vickie (softly): Fine. Don't tell me how the little dust-mop's doing. Like I care anyway. (Vickie sits at the head of the conference table.) Little fuzz-head's just lucky I didn't kick him harder.

* * * * *

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  1. I am much relieved! I was afraid to look and see why Tara was on her knees beside the Skipster. Whew! A back rub.

    That is no misspelling in my name. My mother went "H-less."

    As far as famous couples, Tom and Katie are still together. But if you invite them, take care not to mention: Matt, Brooke or anti-depressants or it could get ugly.

  2. @Ronda: Sorry you misunderstood (my fault). "Ronda" was misspelled "Rhonda" on Tara's list. Foxster was pointing out that there is not supposed to be an "H" in your name. I'll tweak that line. Thanks!!!

  3. @Ronda: Just changed the section about the Ronda/Rhonda confusion. Tara won't make that mistake again.

    Also, invite Tom Cruise? After what happened on our jet, on the way to Willow's Manor Ball?

    And I see that you and Kato think similarly...

  4. oh, the darkness of that woman's aura makes me ill. I am so much a cat person (or is that a cat's person?). She makes my claws come out.