Scene: The work area adjacent to the conference room at Simpson/Lynch Studios. It is early Thursday morning, approximately 9:00 a.m.
The Skipster is sitting at his desk, reading a letter as the Foxster enters.
Foxster: Damn. You grabbed the mail before I could? (The Skipster doesn't reply. The Foxster sits at his computer.)
After a long period of silence, the Skipster gets up and hands the Foxster the letter he's been reading. The Foxster looks up.
Foxster (smirking): You sure you want me to
Skipster: It's okay. I just want you to see this.
The Foxster leans back in his chair and begins to read, while the Skipster walks into the main conference room and makes a new pot of coffee.
Skipster (yelling): Coffee?
Foxster (holding up a black mug which the Skipster hadn't noticed): No, thanks. I'm fighting a cold, or the flu, or some damned thing. I'm drinking tea, believe it or not. (pause) Caffeine is caffeine, right? (The Skipster nods, as the Foxster begins reading.)
* * * * *
Dear Mister Skipster,
Both Dotty and I were overjoyed when our dear Gretchen called us with the glad tidings! Both Dotty and myself have always prayed that Gretchen would finally find a good man to love her. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine it would be you!
Gretchen has written to us constantly since she started working for your fine organization. She has told us about all the wonderful friends she has made, and how Miss Tara is teaching her English at last! We had always tried to get Gretchen to learn English, but she can be very stubborn (as you might know) and had always refused for reasons known only unto herself.
When Gretchen got that promotion to Operations Director, she called us right away. We couldn't see her face, but we knew she was beaming with pride. Thank you and your very nice partner Mister Foxster for giving her a chance to prove herself!
Mister Skipster, you spent too much money on that beautiful ring! Knowing our Gretchen the way we do, she would have been happy with a "Cracker Jack" ring! Ha ha! Dotty just read that last part and said "Kris!!! It was beautiful ring! He bought it because he loves her!" Oh oh. I am in trouble now! Ha ha!
Our entire family is so happy for you both! We know you will never hurt her in any way.
Just to let you know we have something in common, since you never had much time to get to know us like your partner, Mister Foxster did. When I was in Germany being much younger, I worked in West German film industry. I actually directed three movies you probably never heard of. Then I discovered music, and decided to go into that. Sometimes I wonder if I should have remained in film, as I really do love movies.
Dotty and I are having break from show in Vegas in a week, and would love to visit you in Alabama. (Don't worry, it will just be Dotty and myself, not entire band this time. Ha ha!) We have been talking about retiring shortly, as the family band can do very well on its own. We really enjoyed Pleasantview, and have been thinking about buying a retirement home there.
We look forward to seeing you all again! God bless all of you!
Kris and Dotty Von Grüber
P.S. Dotty and I have enclosed a check for your engagement present.
* * * * *
The Foxster finishes reading. Skipster sits back down.
Skipster (clearing throat): They're ba-ack! Analysis, Mister Spock?
Foxster: How much was the check?
Skipster: Who cares? I'm never going to cash it.
Foxster: Endorse it to me, then.
Skipster: Stop being a wise-guy. What do you make of all this?
Foxster: Your reading comprehension skills are as good as mine... well, almost. (smiles) You read the letter before I did. Uncle Kris and Aunt Dotty wuv their little Gretchie-poo, and for some strange reason think you're the ideal man for her, and...
Skipster: Come on, David, I'm serious!
The Foxster thinks long and hard for a moment, removes his dark glasses and looks the Skipster right in the eyes.
Foxster: Fine. You want "serious," you'll get "serious." Both barrels. I think it's time I held up a mirror to you.
Skipster: Me? I want to know what you think he's up to!
Foxster: "Up to?" What do you have against Uncle Kris, or Gretchen's whole family, for that matter?
Foxster: So I'm Irish; sue me. (pause) I mean it, though. That whole family is nothing but a bunch of sweethearts, but you resented them from the moment they set up their tent on the property.
Foxster: Yeah, but they didn't! In fact, they were even more than generous when Simpson/Lynch Studios fell on tough times for that brief but alarming period. I know that Tara and I were offered plenty of free meals courtesy of the Von Grübers, at a time when every penny counted.
Skipster (defensively): We pulled out of it...
Foxster: Yeah, eventually, but it was tough sledding while you were out of your head, thinking you were "Big Daddy-O" Skipster! The only thing they "took" from us was several square feet of unused property, which ended as soon as they got the gig in Vegas!
Skipster: Well, that damned Oompah music kept me up all night...
Foxster: Is that the best you've got? You're not exactly the type for hot chocolate and jammies by eight, anyway!
Skipster: So, you can really blame me for suspecting their motives?
Foxster: What "motives?" It was obvious that they were just finding an excuse to hang around while making sure that their little girl wasn't being taken advantage of by the big, bad Hollywood vultures! I mean, haven't you ever... (long pause) Oh, my God... Of course you haven't!
Foxster: I keep forgetting... You're new at this.
Skipster: You keep saying that. Stop saying that! What are you talking about?
Foxster: You've never been subjected to anything like that, have you?
Skipster: Anything like what?
Foxster: Gretchen's huge family. Hell, anyone's huge family!
Foxster: And you yourself told me, not long ago, that what family you did have wasn't very close. Domineering mother, passive father...
Skipster: Are you analyzing me?
Foxster: You got a good look at Gretchen's large, closely-knit, protective, loving family, and you couldn't deal with it. Probably scared the crap out of you, or at the very least, disoriented the hell out of you.
Foxster: Hey, you asked for my analysis.
Foxster (softly): I'm just holding up the mirror, like I warned you that I would. (brief pause) Truth hurts?
Foxster (putting his dark sunglasses back on): I'm right, you know.
Skipster (smirking): I hate that... you know. I hate it when you're right. Did I ever tell you that?
Foxster (chuckling): More times than I can count. I lost track after 47.
Foxster: Well, sure, that's because I'm so freakin' wonderful. (seriously) That, and the fact that I have... well, had... such a big family. And it was nice to feel that way again.
Foxster: Long story. Several long stories, actually. But... let's save that for a day when I'm on the analyst's couch and you're holding up the mirror, shall we?
Foxster (teasingly): Oh, shut up. (brief pause) Wait until you get my bill.
Skipster: Where are you going now?
Foxster: I'm going to stop in at Kewl Beanz!, and spend some quality time with Tara. How about you? Are you going to sit here all morning?
Skipster. No. (brief pause) No, actually... I think I'll go and find Gretchen, and spend some quality time with her.
Foxster: Ah. Not a lot of work's gonna get done in the ol' studio today...
Skipster: I can live with that.
Foxster: Really! (pause) Good. You're learning. (Foxster exits)
* * * * *
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