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!!!


Thursday, July 29, 2010


(Silver Fox here, fellow babies!)

I almost sh-- errr... freaked when I found the following on a friend's blogroll:

Unsubscribers Wanted - If you see your picture on the sidebar, please remove this blog from your "blogs I follow" list. There is nothing to see here. Move along please.

I didn't post that, so that meant that my writing partner, Skip Simpson, did. Telling our readers right before the finale of Spy Guys to "go away," as it were? What the hell was he thinking? I wondered.

I checked the Simpson/Lynch Studios blog itself -- that's the one you're reading now, fellow babies, so forgive me for not linking to it -- and found that the post had already been deleted. I decided to call my ol' buddy Skip in Alabama, to calmly & rationally discuss the matter. The following is our conversation:

Skip: Hey, David! Great to hear from you! (pause) Why'd you call collect?

David (shouting): Never mind that! Why the [expletive deleted] did you just tell our SnL followers to stop reading our blog?

Skip (chuckling): Oh, that? Heh. I mistakenly posted it to the wrong blog. It was meant for Skip's Stuff.

David (shouting): Don't lie to me, you lying liar! You deleted that blog!

Skip (calmly): No, little buddy, I just "closed" it. And I wrote that post because I want to "clean house," as it were, and start my blog fresh in a few months.

David (shouting): Anyone who has a blogroll will see that [expletive deleted] post there, whether you deleted it from SnL or not! And all of our followers will see it in their [expletive deleted] new posts list, too, you stupid [expletive deleted], and...

Skip (calmly): Really? (pause) Oops.

David (shouting): "Oops?" "Oops?!?" [Expletive deleted] OOPS?!?

Skip (calmly): Gee, if you're really upset, ol' chum, why not write a short post telling them it was meant for Skip's Stuff instead. They'll understand.

David (screaming): IF I'm upset?!? And stop saying it was meant for Skip's Stuff! You deleted that, you dumb [multiple expletives deleted]!

Skip (calmly, to the point of being comatose): I told you, I didn't delete it, I just closed it. Go there and see for yourself.

David (muttering): Go there yourself! Heh. Go [expletive deleted] yourself. (pause) See if I won't. (checking Skip's Stuff's URL) Uhhh...

Skip (half asleep): Still there, ol' pal?

David (quietly): Umm... 'Bye, there, Skip. (David hangs up.)

* * * * *

So... If anyone saw that post, or sees it in their "Followers" listings... It was a mistake. Skip's mistake. Not mine. We both still love our readers. And I'm calm and rational. Really.

At least... I'm much better now.

And HEY! In the event that this post "buried" our last entry, please DO NOT MISS the penultimate chapter of Spy Guys, already posted! (I even changed the date so it'd be at the top of this blog!) So click here, willya?

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Here we are with the sixth and final segment of WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW! This time we deal with just one of the Spy Guys cast, an unfortunate relative of hers, and our more minor characters. Some of them will be showing up again, some of them we -- and you, perhaps -- are glad we got rid of, and others have merely been mentioned, and may or may not ever get "fleshed out" more than they have already.

* * * * *

Annabel-Lee Pleasant -- Better known as "Buffy," the only high school nickname she ever formed a liking for -- "Chipmunk Cheeks" and "Wide Glide" were two of the disparaging others -- Miss Pleasant is a member of the family that founded Pleasantview, Alabama. Among her other interests, Buffy is a devoted fan of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps influenced by her being named for his poem, Annabel Lee. (Buffy's parents, of course, were the ones who added a hyphen to their daughter's name.) She even joined the misspelled "Edgar Alan Poe Society" during her high school years. (The misspelling was thanks to the society's advisor, Dewey Mellen... who's an idiot.) Sometime after her graduation a few years ago, Buffy underwent a slight make-over which made her much more attractive to the "discriminating eyes" of the small-minded Pleasantview townspeople... as well as the Skipster, as shown in a recent Simpson/Lynch Studios: Spy Guys post! Buffy is currently an agent for the international espionage agency known only as GLOBE, and is stationed in its Pleasantview outpost, although she ostensibly works as a receptionist for its cover operation, Global Telecommunications.

Gabriel Pleasant III -- Gabriel Pleasant is better known as "Gabby," as were his father and grandfather before him. In fact, his grandfather founded the town of Pleasantview, Alabama. He is literally the only homeless person living in Pleasantview. Regrettably, the fact of Gabby's situation invokes only scorn and disgust from most of the native townspeople, as opposed to sympathy, charity, or any other positive reaction. With a mere handful of exceptions, only an occasional "outsider" such as the unlikely Barry Cabana ever shows him any compassion. Gabby is considered an embarrassment to the wealthy & oh-so-proper Pleasant clan itself. The origins of his unfortunate status have yet to be told.

And now, the rest of the entries for those who have been mentioned or otherwise featured in Simpson/Lynch Studios: Pleasantview... except for Buffy Pleasant's fellow GLOBE agents, who will shortly be showcased in the remaining chapters of Spy Guys. Photos for all -- except one, as noted below -- are regrettably, or not-so-regrettably, unavailable.

Angela Mercy -- Angela Mercy is the Managing Editor of Peeps magazine, the leading entertainment gossip magazine in the Western hemisphere. Angela began her career in the 1960s as the author of "goo-goo hippie love poems" before being hired as a writer on the long-running TV soap opera, Ocean Haven. Eventually, she had become the show's Head Writer, which is when she first encountered the young Foxster, who began writing for Ocean Haven under the pseudonym of "David DaSilva." Years later, when Angela had become Peeps' Managing Editor and the Foxster was world-famous as part of the Simpson/Lynch duo, Angela and the Foxster made a friendly, informal agreement that Simpson/Lynch Studios would feed exclusive interviews and the like to Peeps, as long as Peeps never published unfounded rumors about SnL or its staff.

Carol Brady -- Attractive, capable Carol Brady -- no, not that Carol Brady! -- holds the office of Town Clerk in Pleasantview. She has her fingers in every proverbial pie in town; some maintain that she is Pleasantview's de facto mayor. Carol was immediately attracted to the Foxster upon their first meeting, at which point he politely informed her that he was dating Tara King.... which, at this writing, is admittedly no longer the case...

Irene Mellen -- Irene is the mother of Dewey Mellen, who runs the Pleasantview Poop Sheet, Pleasantview's only newspaper. She serves as the presumably-unpaid proofreader for the Dewey's Doings social column.

Bruno Drake -- During the Skipster/Foxster feud, the Skipster and Foxster decided to settle their differences publicly, in -- of all things -- a professional wrestling ring. Enter Bruno Drake, who -- among other shady activities -- had founded a wrestling federation known as the WTF (variously defined as either "Wrestle That Feller" or "Wrestle That F***er"). The WTF attempted to bring back the glory days of the 1980s WWF matches by shamelessly stealing the WWF wrestlers' names and modus operandi. The Skipster was forced to perform as "Macho Man" Randy Savage, while the Foxster was decked out as "Hulk" Hogan. Drake scheduled a match between the Skipster and yet another WWF clone, which offended both the Skipster and Foxster, who each made it clear that they intended to end their associations with the WTF regardless of their own grudge match's outcome. Realizing that the loss of his "big draw" duo of Simpson & Lynch would be detrimental to the economic health of the WTF, Drake had his minions kidnap Luke Tian as a blackmail pawn during the fixed match between the Skipster and the aforementioned "clone." Seeing "that Elvis guy" and other WTF thugs gang up on the Skipster, the Foxster intervened, ending the Skipster/Foxster feud. The Skipster soon used his contacts as a former agent of GLOBE to single-handedly rescue Luke, unemotionally dispatching many of those who stood in his way. Bruno Drake remains at large.

Arthur Prunesqualor -- Prunesqualor was the WTF's
above-mentioned "WWF clone," who performed for the WTF under the alias of "The Honky Tonk Man." (The real WCW & WWF's "Honky Tonk Man," Roy Wayne Farris, had absolutely nothing to do with the WTF, of course.) Prunesqualor was conveniently located in Alabama, so while the Skipster was rescuing Luke, the Foxster tracked down Prunesqualor and beat the livin' crap out of him for his part in Luke's abduction. (I actually have a photo of Mr. Prunesqualor, but who cares, right?)

Friedrich -- While still a teen in her native Germany, Gretchen Von Grüber married a young man named Friedrich (last name unrevealed). Friedrich was an alcoholic who brutally beat Gretchen on several occasions, even causing a miscarriage when he hurled a pregnant Gretchen down a flight of stairs. Gretchen's Uncle Kris gave Friedrich a taste of his own violent medicine "as a lovely parting gift" before taking Gretchen away from Friedrich... forever?

Ian Cumming -- Cumming is the owner and general manager of Pleasantview's only radio station, WPLJ-AM (specializing in "oldies"), as well as its "sister" station, WPLJ-TV.

Crenshaw Mellen -- Crenshaw Mellen was the father of Dewey Mellen and the founder of the Pleasantview Poop Sheet.

Calvin T. Burnside -- Burnside is the as-yet-unseen mayor of Pleasantview, Alabama.

Chester Minnit -- Minnit is the very-soon-to-be-mentioned Chief of the Pleasantview Volunteer Fire Department.

* * * * *

Whew! Over thirty freakin' characters accumulated i
n less than a year, and that's
not counting the other four Spy Guys cast members -- Mr. Winter, Kitt Kittridge, John Slate, and Glory Becker -- but it's a bit early to tell you stuff about them which you'll be learning in Spy Guys itself!

Stay tuned for the remaining episodes of Spy Guys...

And as always, thanks for your time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Act VI "The Flying Risotto Brothers" - 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." Our intrepid GLOBE agents are sitting in the conference area.

Mr. Winter: I've called you all here so that we can discuss the events so far. Before we begin, would anyone like a nice cold Carling Black Label? Besides me, of course? (Indicating a cooler filled with cans of Carling Black Label beer.)

Kittridge: What, no Tareyton cigarettes?

Glory: I'll take one, thanks.

Slate: Sure. I find that Carling Black Label refreshes my thirst with a nice smooth taste. (Holds up a can and smiles)

Skipster: I'll agree with you on that one, John. I'll take one, also.

Buffy: Oh yes! I'll have one. But one is my limit. (beams) I believe in drinking responsibly.

Kittridge: I believe in drinking irresponsibly. I'll take three.

Mr. Winter: Ahem. So the key that will activate the Doomsday Clock, which has the power to destroy the world, has fallen into the wrong hands. Whereas the hands of the Doomsday Clock can only mirror the time unless activated, the hands now controlling those hands are slimy and dirty. Which reminds me... I forgot to wash my hands. Excuse me. (Mr. Winter disappears into the lavatory. )

Kittridge drains his third beer, crushes the can and tosses it neatly over his shoulder into a judiciously placed recycle bin. He deftly reaches for another beer, pops it open and takes a huge swallow. He lets out a belch, and laughs.

Kittridge (to no one in particular): Wake me when he comes back. Or better yet... don't.

Mr. Winter returns from the lavatory.

Mr. Winter: Yes. So, where was I?

Kittridge: You were saying something about washing your slimy and dirty hands.

Mr. Winter: No... I did that... Oh, yes! Because of a tracking device built into the key, we have been able to track it here to Louisville, Tennessee...

: Kentucky.

Mr. Winter: Excuse me?

Glory: Louisville is in Kentucky.

Mr. Winter: When did they move it? (pause) Well... never mind about that now. The little black box that Mr. Slate is holding (Slate holds up "the little black box.") is actually the tracking device, which Mr. Slate has improved upon considerably. (Slate beams.)

Kittridge (to Slate, as he grabs another beer): Any chance of "improving" that thing so it'll track down a few saucy-looking ladies? (Kittridge silently mouths the word "saw-sayyy" to himself and chuckles.)

Mr. Winter: We have discovered that a group of individuals, posing as a tribute band to the internationally known and beloved group, The Rutles, are behind the key caper. This band, aptly named "Cheese 'n Onions" will be performing tomorrow at noon, in a televised concert which will be seen by every living person in the world.

Kittridge: Every living person? (Mr. Winter nods.) That certainly is convenient, plot-wise...

Mr. Winter: This will also give us the opportunity to nab them. (pause) Is there anything I've forgotten?

Kittridge: Only that everyone here already knew virtually all of that...

Mr. Winter (glaring at Kittridge): Agent Kittridge... I suggest you refrain from drinking any more Carling Black Label beer. As a matter of fact, I'm ordering you to stop right now! If you can't add anything worthwhile to this meeting, please feel free to leave this room.

Glory: Plane.

Mr. Winter: Yes it is very plain! Mr. Kittridge is getting shittridge... I mean, shitfaced!

Kittridge: Mr. Winter! I'm surprised at you! (pause) I mean, I thought you British used the word "shite."

Glory (ignoring Kittridge): I meant, we're on a plane, Mr. Winter. Kittridge needs to leave the plane.

Kittridge (to Glory, with a sarcastic bow after he stands): Whatever you wish, oh mighty Ice Maiden!

Kittridge leaves in a huff. (Actually, more like a minute-and-a-huff, since he has trouble finding the exit.)

Glory: Thank God! That bozo gives me a headache. I can't figure out for the life of me what he's doing in GLOBE. Sometimes I think he's really working for the other side!

Mr. Winter: I suggest we get some needed sleep. Tomorrow is a big day. Goodnight all.

The GLOBE agents retreat to their separate sleeping quarters aboard the huge plane. The Skipster makes his way to his suite, when he becomes aware of someone following him. He turns and sees Buffy.

Skipster: Oh, hi, Buffy. Did you need me to show you to your room?

Buffy (smiling): Actually... I'd like to see your room.

Suddenly, Buffy reaches up and kisses the Skipster passionately. The Skipster is taken aback at first, but then surrenders to her hot kisses. He gazes into her face.

Skipster: All right. (The Skipster takes Buffy's arm and they disappear into his private suite. As Buffy hums Madonna's "Like A Virgin," The Skipster locks the door behind them.)

* * * * *

Scene Two: We see Kittridge approximately two hours after he left Mr. Winter's meeting, and the Snl One. He exits one of several Louisville bars which he has visited in the interim. Despite the passage of time -- and no Carling Black Label to be found -- he is still moderately drunk. Upon exiting the bar, he walks into the parking lot instead of back onto the sidewalk, which had been his intention.

Kittridge (talking to himself): Crummy hick bars! Not one of 'em serves Black Label! Maybe I should go back to the plane... (pause) No! No way! First, Mr. Magnanimous Skipster says "Help yourself to the bar, kiddies," and then Old Man Winter decides we all need to get sober and discuss our mission?!? What a crock! They can all go...

Among the numerous nondescript automobiles and SUVs, Kittridge's bloodshot eyes suddenly discern a gleaming black sportscar. He immediately recognizes the model.

Kittridge (softly, almost reverently): Holy shit! A Borgatti! A Borgatti! They only rolled forty-seven of those puppies off the assembly line before the whole factory was flooded and destroyed by spaghetti sauce!

Kittridge approaches the immaculate, highly-polished vehicle and eyes it up and down with admiration before noticing three seedy-looking men -- Banjo, T-Bone, and Cletus -- standing a few feet behind him, reflected in the windows of the Borgatti. He turns to face them, his eyes attempting to focus.

Kittridge: Hey, don't worry, guys! I wasn't going to mess with your car, I was only admiring it! (Kittridge's eyes narrow as he gets a better look at the three men.) Then again, from the looks of you three, it obviously isn't your car!

Banjo: An' it ain't your car, neither!

T-Bone (to Banjo): He just admitted that, Banjo.

Banjo (to T-Bone, while slapping him in the back of the head): Shuddup, willya? (to Kittridge) So... What's the attraction here, pal?

Kittridge: It's a classic! And I used to have one... not that it's any of your business... "pal."

Cletus: You couldn't afford t'buy one o'these on a GLOBE agent's salary!

Kittridge (smirking): I never said I bought one... I said I had one. (long pause) And don't think I'm so drunk that I missed your reference to my being a GLOBE agent.

Banjo (slapping Cletus in the back of the head): You loudmouth!

Kittridge (suddenly acting quite sober): You shouldn't slap your own brothers around like that... Banjo.

Banjo: Huh? You know who I am?

T-Bone: He must know all of us, Banjo! He said "brothers!"

Banjo (slapping T-Bone in the back of the head): Shuddup!!!

Kittridge (nodding): Uh-huh... You're the Flying Risotto Brothers, all right!

Cletus: He does know us! We's famous! He musta seen our stage act!

Kittridge: Yeah, right. As if! Sorry, Cletus -- It is "Cletus," isn't it? -- but I know you three from GLOBE files. Three performing idiots who occasionally hire out to ENEMA, and... (Kittridge pauses, wide-eyed.) Oh, shit. If you three morons are following me here in Louisville, then this Doomsday Clock matter must be bigger than we all thought!

T-Bone : Banjo, he knows ENEMA is behind Mike Rotch and the others!

Kittridge (grinning): Well, I certainly do now...

Banjo (slapping T-Bone in the back of the head): You nitwit! Shuddup!

T-Bone: We gotta kill 'im!

Cletus' left leg begins trembling, and he breaks out into a cold sweat.

Cletus: N-no... W-w-we c-can't k-k-k-kill 'im!

Banjo (looking at Cletus): Aw, crap...

T-Bone (to Cletus): Why not?

Banjo and Cletus: You know why!

T-Bone: Oh, that again! (pause) I'll handle this... (T-Bone produces a pistol bearing a silencer and shoots Kittridge in the chest. Almost immediately, Kittridge drops like a stone.)

Cletus: You knuckle-head! Why'd ya kill 'im?!?

T-Bone: I didn't, dummy! That was a trank dart!

Banjo (hurriedly): Okay, okay, okay, lissen up, you two bozos! We gotta get 'im back t'Mike Rotch and the others, and since we're on foot, just like he was, we're gonna hafta take 'im in this little Brigatti...

T-Bone: Borgatti...

Banjo (slapping T-Bone in the back of the head): Nobody freakin' cares, dimwit!!! Cletus, pry that trunk open, and you two stuff 'im in there while I hot-wire this thing!

* * * * *

Scene Three: The same parking lot, approximately half an hour later. A man exits the bar, walking unsteadily toward the spot where his Borgatti had been parked.