From Page Two of the Pleasantview Poop Sheet, April fifth:
SINGER BARRY "MR. BROADWAY" CABANA COMPLETES DISAPPOINTING TWO-WEEK ENGAGEMENT AT LOCAL ATTRACTION COOL BEANS!
(article contributed by Editor-in-Chief, staff reporter, and advertising director, Dewey Mellen)
Singer Barry "Mr. Broadway" Cabana has just completed a disappointing two-week engagement at local attraction Cool Beans. Mr. Cabana, who is apparently not dead as had been reported elsewhere, performed many of his old standards, as well as those of many other, more well-known singers, during his two-weekend jig.
When asked for further details, Isabella Viagra, assistant manager of Cool Beans, stated that the nightclub's receipts were not severely affected, as most regular patrons were inclined to bypass Mr. Cabana's shows by going instead to the second-floor room they call Creb's Crib, which is soundproofed. Miss Viagra was quoted as saying "Our receipts were not severely affected, as most regular patrons were inclined to bypass Mr. Cabana's shows by going instead to the second-floor room we call Creb's Crib, which is soundproofed."
When this reporter attempted to question two of the nightclub's regular patrons, a Mr. Frank Emt and a Mr. Milo Minderbinder, both replied with no comment. Mr. Emt was quoted as saying "No comment," and Mr. Minderbinder was quoted as saying "Get that ****ing camera out of my face, ****head."
* * * * *
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 some minor corrections to yesterday's second page article. The Kewl Beanz! restaurant, nightclub, and coffeehouse was inadvertently misspelled as Cool Beans. The room identified as Creb's Crib is actually known as Krebs' Krib. Mr. Cabana does not perform Irish jigs; the word this reporter had unsuccessfully searched for was gig. The gentleman named as Mr. Frank Emt is actually an EMT named Frank; no last name was given to this reporter. According to Kewl Beanz! manager Tara King, the gentleman named as Mr. Milo Minderbinder is actually named Milo Fenderbender. Miss Isabella Vergara was misidentified as Isabella Viagra, an understandable error considering her effect on this reporter. Additionally, we regret that our newspapers of 3/21/1998, 12/27/2002, and 7/03/2007 all contained obituaries for Mr. Cabana. Other than these small points, the Pleasantview Poop Sheet stands by the integrity of its original article.
* * * * *
Scene One: The "break room" of Kewl Beanz!, where Barry Cabana sits alone on a sofa, two suitcases at his feet. Barry is silent, sedate, and uncharacteristically sober. Assistant Manager Isabella "Bella" Vergara enters.
Bella: Mr. Cabana?
Barry: Please, Bella... Barry. (Bella smiles and nods.) And... I hope I didn't come across as too much of a di- I mean, too much of a jerk while I was here.
Bella: Well, you had your moments... Barry. (Bella laughs.) But don't worry. I've dealt with many men who have been a lot more... flirtatious... than you! (pause) The SnL limousine has arrived to bring you to the airport.
Barry: Thanks, babe. (brief pause) I'm glad it'll just be me and Luke for the long drive. At least he's not ticked off at me.
Bella: Not exactly...
Barry (standing): Oh? Who's with him? Skip? David?
Bella: Actually, Barry... Luke isn't driving at all. It's Tara. And she's alone.
Barry: Uh-oh... (recovering) I mean.. Oh, good!
Bella smiles knowingly as Barry struggles to lift his suitcases. Shaking her head in anticipation of his protests, Bella takes the suitcases from him and the two exit the break room.
* * * * *
Scene Two: The interior of the Simpson/Lynch Studios limousine. Tara has been driving, with Barry sitting up front next to her, for nearly twenty minutes. Neither of them has spoken.
Tara: Why so quiet, Barry? It's certainly not like you.
Barry (softly): Oh... I dunno...
Tara: I won't bite. (Tara waits for some sort of double-entendre wisecrack from Barry, which doesn't come.) No, really. Why so quiet?
Barry: Uhhh... Where's Luke? I kinda expected him to be taking me to Montgomery. (pause) I like that kid.
Tara: Yeah, he's a sweetie. And he likes you, too... But I asked if he'd mind if I brought you. (pause) You haven't answered my question, Barry. Why so quiet?
Barry: Truthfully? (Tara nods.) I've just been waiting for you to lay into me for... everything.
Tara: Everything, like...?
Barry: The poor attendance at my shows, for one thing. I must have killed your profits...
Tara: Oh, don't worry, it'll take more than that to sink Kewl Beanz! (pause) Sorry. That wasn't very tactful.
Barry: But very much in character... if you don't mind my saying so.
Tara: Not at all. I'm not really known for being tactful. (pause) I believe one of your little nicknames for me was... "Tara-dactyl?" (Barry winces and nods.)
Barry (after a pause): Everyone at Kewl Beanz! and the studio was so accepting, or at least tolerant, of whatever I did, and... Well, I figure if anyone's gonna...
Tara: "Lay into you?"
Barry (nodding): It'd be you. (pause) Even when I drunkenly trashed the studio, Skip and Gretchen helped Luke clean up my mess with hardly a complaint, and then David -- your "Foxster" -- discovered that I'd drunk his whole bottle of Jack Daniel's green label...
Tara (interrupting): Barry. You drank his whole case. (pause) I suppose that was my fault for forgetting his liquor when I had everything else packed up for the move to our new house.
Barry (chuckling): Yeah, right. It was all your fault. I only drank every freakin' drop of what was there. Totally your fault.
Tara (smiling): So, why wait until now to apologize? (brief pause) I mean, assuming this is some sort of apology.
Barry: It is. I guess it's just... (pause) Some people care more about their first impression on people than they do about what people think of them after they're gone. (pause) I guess I've always been the opposite. I'm more worried about what people will say about me after I'm... gone.
Tara (seriously): And by "gone," do you mean, after you've left, or after you've...?
Barry: Died? (Tara nods.) Heh. Both, I guess.
Tara: Barry... You ever consider trying to make a good impression at both ends of a visit?
Barry (after a long pause): Tara... You are wise beyond your years.
Tara: Yeah, well, I'm a lot older than I look.
Barry: Old? You wanna talk old? How old do you think I am?
Barry: Okay, doll, I'll rephrase that. How old do I look? Like, not so much up close, but when I'm on the stage?
Tara: You could pass for forty, forty-five. (pause) Really.
Barry: Ha! Thanks. I was older than that when I met David, fifteen years or so ago. (pause) But after three face lifts, and a lot of shoe polish...
Tara: "Shoe polish?"
Barry: That's what I call my hair dye. (Tara laughs.) Without it, my hair's as white as Gretchen's uncle, Kris Von Grüber's, is.
Tara: You know Uncle Kris?
Barry: No... but I've seen his band perform in Vegas. (brief pause) I like all kinds of music.
Tara: Oh. I hadn't realized you were still headlining in Las Vegas.
Barry: Headlining? Oh, please! I was only in Vegas. Seeing a few shows. Drinking and gambling. (pause) Mainly drinking. (pause) I'm lucky to get a gig on a freakin' "old folks" cruise.
Barry: That's why I jumped at the chance to play Pleasantview when David called me. Twenty, thirty years ago I would have laughed at the offer. (pause) I don't really laugh much nowadays...
There is an uncomfortable silence for several minutes.
Tara: Is it okay if I ask you something, Barry?
Barry: Oh, sure.
Barry: Oh, sure.
Tara: When you... "trashed the studio," as you put it... You weren't alone. There was that homeless man...
Barry: Yeah. "Gabby."
Barry (smiling): "Gabby" Pleasant. Nice guy. (pause) Did you know the town of Pleasantview is named for his family?
Tara: Actually, I did. (pause) How did he get there?
Barry: How? Well, I invited him, of course.
Tara: Sorry, I meant, why did you invite him?
Barry: I ran into him outside of Kewl Beanz! one evening, before my gig actually began, and figured he could use a roof over his head, at least for a few nights... and a bath... and a meal or two or three... and... (pause) I guess I just kinda said to myself, "There but for the grace of God go I," you know what I mean...
Tara (emotionally): Yeah... Yes. I know what you mean. (long pause) Barry, not many people know this, but... before Luke and I came to Pleasantview... we were homeless. Both of us. In Florida. That's how he and I met.
Tara (her voice trembling): And there were plenty of nights that we both would have appreciated someone like you to...
Barry: Help you trash a studio?
Tara (wiping her eyes as Barry pretends not to notice): Something like that.
There is another, longer silence, as Tara drives Barry the rest of the way to the airport... but this silence is not uncomfortable at all.
* * * * *
Scene Three: Montgomery Regional Airport. Tara and Barry are saying their good-byes.
Tara: Okay, you! Get your skinny butt on that plane, and remember what I told you: Be yourself whenever possible, and save that "Mr. Broadway" sh- I mean, crap... (Barry laughs.) for when you're under the spotlights! I know you didn't ask for my advice... In fact, David always says he hates it when people give advice unless they're asked...
Barry: Still? He was like that when I met him, too!
Tara: Creature of habit, I guess!
Barry laughs again, and holds out his right hand for a good-bye handshake. Ignoring it, Tara leans forward, grabbing Barry by the back of his head so she can pull him slightly toward her as she plants a kiss on his left cheek. Barry is somewhat surprised and even flustered; his eyes open wide.
Barry: Umm... Careful, kid, you don't want to get any "shoe polish" on you!
Tara (laughing): Who cares? (brief pause) Now go!
Barry (backing away from her and waving): See you around, gorgeous!
Tara: You can count on it.
Barry walks away.