Friday, June 25, 2010

WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW ~~ Part Five



In the interests of "buying time" for the "vacationing" Silver Fox (that's Yours Truly) and the occasionally MIA Skip Simpson and Sandy Herbert, here's the fifth installment of WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW, fellow babies! And this time, as Sly Stone would have said, "it's a family affair!" We're featuring Gretchen's relatives, and Luke's family!

Now, will someone please explain to me how it qualifies as my vacation if I'm writing all of this lengthy crap stuff?!?

* * * * *


Kris Von Grüber -- Gretchen Von Grüber's Uncle Kris is a rich and happy man. A lifelong resident of Germany until roughly ten years ago, as a young man Uncle Kris worked in the West German film industry and directed some films. He then decided to make his career in the music field instead. Kris and his wife took little Gretchen in when her parents, Kris' younger brother and sister-in-law, were killed in a tragic accident twenty or so years ago. They raised Gretchen as their own, and made her part of their family's Kris Von Grüber Happy Oompah Band (currently headlining at the relatively new Las Vegas hotel & casino, Oktoberfest). Soon after the dissolution of Gretchen's marriage to an abusive, alcoholic husband, Uncle Kris moved the band (and thus, his entire extended family) to South Dakota in the USA. Although he currently lives in Las Vegas, where the band has a standing gig, Uncle Kris has expressed a desire to retire from the band and buy a home in Pleasantview (presumably to be near the niece he considers more like a daughter) while indulging his dream to become involved with the motion picture business once again.



Dotty Von Grüber -- Little is known about Gretchen's Aunt Dotty so far. She performs in the
Kris Von Grüber Happy Oompah Band along with her husband. She is apparently somewhat younger than Kris, whom she has been with for an unspecified number of years (but obviously more than twenty, having been with him during the entire time he raised Gretchen).







Mr. Tian -- Luke Tian's grandfather (first name not yet given) was, as of eight or nine years ago, still harboring deep resentment toward the Japanese invaders who overran his native China in the 1930s. Physical hurts were all-too-well remembered, and emotional scars ran even more deeply. When the teenage Luke began consorting with various "hoodlums" -- many of whom were of Japanese descent -- Mr. Tian strove to keep young Luke on a straight and narrow path. Luke acknowledged the hurts of the past, saying "I know the Japanese screwed up your left arm when you were about my age, and I know that they killed my grandmother in the waning days of the war," but went on to accuse Mr. Tian of being a racist. Stating in effect that the past was dead, or at least should be, Luke taunted his grandfather by saying "Look, old man, maybe you never bothered to read the papers, but that war ended over fifty years ago! The Japanese lost, by the way." Needless to say, Mr. Tian was not even remotely amused, especially when Luke added, "My buddies don't even call me "Luke!" They call me 'Kato

! [

a Japanese name]

Maybe I should change my stupid name from Tian to that! Maybe I should change it to 'Kato Kato!' Double the insult!" After Mr. Tian wondered aloud what he or Luke's parents had ever done "to create such an ungrateful, disrespectful, spiteful little monster," Mr. Tian and Luke parted. Mr. Tian's current status -- if he is even still alive -- has not been revealed.


Alan Tian (Ka-Meng Tian) -- Luke Tian's father is the head of Tian Global, an immensely successful import/export company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Within hours of young Luke's outrageously disrespectful argument with his aged grandfather (as described above), an incensed Alan disowned Luke for his familial transgressions. There was absolutely no contact between father and son until a few short months ago, when Luke attempted a reconciliation that apparently did not come to pass. Alan and his wife have two other children, a son and a daughter.


Susan Tian (Soo-Har Lee) -- Little is known so far about Luke Tian's mother, Alan Tian's wife. Immediately before Luke was thrown out of the Tian home -- and, in effect, the family as well -- Susan attempted to warn Luke to leave before his father "caught" him, a warning that came too late to prevent the disastrous father-son verbal confrontation. As stated in Alan Tian's entry, she has two other children besides Luke.

Coming Soon: In the next installment of WHO'S WHO IN PLEASANTVIEW -- whenever that ends up being -- we'll feature the remainder of the Simpson/Lynch Studios: Pleasantview gang!

Thanks for your time!




Monday, June 21, 2010

Act V "Some Idle Thoughts" - The Doomsday Matter


WPLJ-TV Announcer's Voice: We interrupt our regularly scheduled program of Spy Guys for an editorial rebuttal from Dewey Mellen, editor-in-chief of the Pleasantview Poop Sheet.



Dewey: Citizens of Pleasantview, plus those of neighboring Porterview who are close enough to the WPLJ tower to receive this transmission! Good morning, or evening, or whenever the management at WPLJ decides to air this... probably around 3 a.m. in the morning, if I know them... (pause) Anyway, in a recent editorial by this station's general manager, Ian Cumming, Mr. Cumming editorialized against recent anti-British sentiments expressed by outraged Pleasantview Americans. These outraged Pleasantview Americans I speak of are outraged by the disastrous BP oil disaster which I, in my capacity as editor-in-chief and staff reporter for the Pleasantview Poop Sheet -- available daily in most local retail outlets at a per-copy cost of only fifty cents per copy, or one dollar on Sundays -- unearthed early last week. (pause) In his regularly-scheduled early-morning program, "Cumming At Your Breakfast Table," Mr. Cumming said that it is unfair for our Pleasantview citizens to blame our foreign allies as a whole for the unfortunate situation in the Gulf, or as he himself put it, "It is unfair for our Pleasantview citizens to blame our foreign allies as a whole for the unfortunate situation in the Gulf." Well, as Colonel Harry Potter on M*A*S*H would have said... "Horse hockey!" Don't you people understand what is going on here?!? Not content with changing the name of my Dutch forebears' beloved New Amsterdam to New York so many years ago, the British -- and make no mistake, these so-called "British" are the very same race as the English, who no doubt changed the name of their country to avoid embarrassment over what they've done to our own American native language -- are obviously staging this "accident" as a reprisal for our patriotic forefathers' Boston Tea Party! To this affront, citizens of Pleasantview, I can only offer up a battle cry: "Heck, no! Stop the flow!" We must band together as brothers -- and sisters, too, as I suppose we must, because of all that equal rights stuff -- and fight these terrorists, much as my own father, Crenshaw Mellen, came out publicly against Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers as early as 1944!


At this point, an exasperated WPLJ Cameraman sighs, shakes his head, and laughingly mutters something to a nearby stagehand. Dewey responds to what he thinks the man has said.

Dewey (to WPLJ Cameraman): "What a hassle?" My fellow citizen, it's more than a mere hassle! It is a catastrophe of catastrophic proportions! (Dewey pauses, then addresses the viewers once again.) Now, rather than sit on my hands and scratch my head, I have offered my expertise to various political groups, starting with the Tea Party, and then moving on to the Coffee Party, the Mr. Pibb Party, the Nehi Party, and others. Those who have read and replied to my extensive resumé and accompanying cover letter have reluctantly informed me that they currently have no openings for new members, so I have taken it upon myself to revive the party of the late, lamented presidential candidate, Patrick Layton Paulsen, the Straight-Talking American Government Party... or "STAG" Party, for short. I hereby declare my intention to throw caution to the breaking wind, and my hat into the rink, and...


The WPLJ Cameraman gives Dewey the traditional "Time" signal.

Dewey: What? I'm out of time already? But I haven't...

WPLJ-TV Announcer's Voice: That was an editorial rebuttal from Dewey Mellen, editor-in-chief of the Pleasantview Poop Sheet. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program of Spy Guys, already in progress.

* * * * *
Scene One (in progress): We suddenly see Buffy and the Skipster standing by a beautiful woodland waterfall. Pretty music is playing.

Buffy: Wow! I promise that your secret will always be safe with me, Skipster.


Skipster: I trust you, Buffy. (The Skipster gives Buffy a small kiss.) Now, let's get back to the van.



Fade out.
* * * * *
Announcer: Spy Guys will return after a word from our sponsor.
* * * * *


Scene Two: Louisville, Kentucky. Monday. 7 pm. The "Spy Guys" -- the Skipster, Mr. Winter, Glory Becker, John Slate, Kitt Kittridge, and Buffy Pleasant -- are sitting in a rented seven-passenger mini-van. They are now intently studying the screen of Agent John Slate's laptop computer, where he is busy inputting data. They are all smoking Tareyton cigarettes.


Slate: When Mr. Winter thought that the fellow on our spycam was Eric Idle, I remembered that Mr. Idle had a connection to the original Rutles. I also remembered that while we were on the plane, one of my web searches revealed that there was going to be a huge Rutles Convention here in Louisville.

Mr. Winter: It's such a shame about Eric Idle. I always thought he was such a gifted young man. Why would he want to destroy the world? It would make more sense for John Cleese...



The computer screen suddenly displays a photo of Eric Idle from his fansite. Slate studies the site for a moment.



Slate: Hmmm. It appears that Eric Idle is appearing in London this week, performing in a live stage show based upon Monty Python's The Life Of Brian. (Slate crushes his cigarette.)



Glory: So, that man with the key... is an Idle impersonator? (Glory crushes her cigarette.)



Slate: It would appear so. Let me check something else. (Slate logs in to GLOBE's database.) Anyone have a cigarette?

(Mr. Winter gives Slate a Tareyton. He lights up.)
Slate: Too bad these don't come in menthol...
Glory: Hmmm. That looks pretty good. Can I have a cigarette too?
(Mr. Winter gives Glory a Tareyton.)
Kittridge: Can I have two cigarettes?
(Mr. Winter gives Kittridge two cigarettes.)
Kittridge: I'm eating my cigarettes...
After a few seconds, the screen begins displaying a video file.
Slate: Here we go. Maybe this will tell us something.


The intrepid agents all crowd around the screen. They are all puffing away on Tareytons.



Skipster: That's interesting! All of the members of this Rutles tribute band have obviously undergone plastic surgery to resemble the original Rutles. They've even changed their names! (pause) Dirk McQuickly's name is spelled wrong in this video, though.


Mr. Winter: It's a pretty common problem, Skipster. It's hard to find desent data inputt perssonnell that kan spel corectly.



Kittridge: This is nuts! We know where the key to the Doomsday Clock is, and we know who has it! I say we just get the key back! Shoot the bastard if we have to! How the hell do we know where in the world Eric Idle/Dirk McQuickly a/k/a "Mike Rotch" is going to be next?


Slate (studying the computer screen)



:

Looks like he's staying right here.


Glory: What do you mean, John?



Slate: Mike Rotch is right here.

Mr. Winter: Of course your crotch is right here! I can see it!


Slate: I mean, "Cheese 'N' Onions" are scheduled to perform tomorrow at noon, in a huge concert that will be carried live all over the world via satellite.



Glory: So we'll have all the bad eggs in one basket. Then we can nab 'em at noon tomorrow. Break the yolks if we have to.


Mr. Winter: That sounds like an excellent plan, Miss Becker! It'll also give us the opportunity for some much-needed sleep. I missed my afternoon nap, and when that happens, I tend to easily get confused.


Kittridge rolls his eyes and mutters to himself.


Kittridge: So that's his problem.

Skipster: Then I suggest we make our way back to "SnL One." It's got lots of space onboard, and plenty of sleeping accommodations. We'll be able to rest up, and still track the key.


Mr. Winter: Good idea, Skipster! That sounds like an excellent plan! Could we stop at a convenience store along the way? I need to pick up a carton of Tareytons. You know, "They have the taste worth fighting for."

Skipster: Well, normally we don't allow smoking onboard the plane... but since we'll all be smoking Tareytons, I think I can look the other way. (Holding up a pack of Tareytons, he winks at the camera. Freeze frame.)
TO BE CONTINUED...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Act IV "Tricks Are For Kids" - The Doomsday Matter

The Scene: Louisville, Kentucky. Monday. 6 pm. The "Spy Guys" -- the Skipster, Mr. Winter, Glory Becker, John Slate, Kitt Kittridge and Buffy Pleasant -- are riding in a rented seven-passenger mini-van. Thanks to Slate's tracking device, they have successfully tracked the elusive key for the Doomsday Clock to the UTS Terminal at Louisville International Airport, where it was transferred to a local delivery truck. They have followed the truck for a few hours, intently watching their portable GPS receiver/tracking device for any indication that the package containing the key is being delivered. They are now in traffic, following the truck to its next stop. Glory is driving, and Slate is "riding shotgun," keeping a sharp eye on the tracking device that they have named "Carmen." Buffy and the Skipster are in the short middle seat, while Mr. Winter and Kittridge are sharing the large rear seat.

Kittridge (to no one in particular): I hate sitting in this enclosed mini-van. It's too confining. It makes me crazy.

Everyone ignores Kittridge.

Glory: How late do these guys deliver?

Slate: The latest I ever got a delivery from UTS was around 8 pm. But that was during the Christmas season.

Buffy: Whoever shipped the key probably paid for the "Hip Hop Bunny Express One-Day Delivery."

Kittridge: The what?

Buffy: "Hip Hop Bunny Express." Haven't you seen the commercials? They have a cute little man in a bunny outfit that hops around singing, "If you need it sent in one day, then Hip Hop Bunny will show you the way... hip-hop-hop... happy hip-hop-hop..."

Kittridge (interrupting): I think we get the picture.

Buffy: I once sent a cake to my aunt in Chattanooga that way. It cost a lot, but it did arrive on time.

Glory: Well, it looks like "Hip Hop Bunny" is about to happy-hip-hop to deliver another Easter egg.

They pull over as the delivery truck comes to a stop. After a minute, they see the driver, who is wearing a bright yellow baseball cap with plastic rabbit ears, emerge with a small brown box. A small red dot on the GPS screen starts flashing.

Slate: That's it! That's the key!

In a flash, Glory bolts out of the mini-van and races towards the delivery driver.

Glory: Freeze, rabbit! FBI!!! (The surprised delivery driver turns and faces Glory, who has produced a fake FBI badge. Glory grabs the package. After a short pause, she points to his rabbit-eared baseball cap.) Don't you find that incredibly demeaning?

Driver (stammering and nodding his head)
:
Y-yes...

Glory snatches the cap off his head.

Glory: There. I've just impounded it as evidence. If you breathe a word of this, I'll have you thrown in prison for ninety-nine years, under section forty-seven, part thirteen, sub-paragraph twenty-two of the Patriot Act. Now get your ass out of here!

Driver: Th-thank you... (The hapless driver gets in his vehicle and peels out of there, nearly colliding with a passing cement truck.)

Glory saunters back to the mini-van with a smirk on her face, and the pilfered baseball cap placed jauntily on her head. She sits in the driver's seat and holds the small package up.

Glory: Ta-da! Package here for a "D. McQuickly," whoever he or she is, at 1331 Hasenpfeffer Avenue. (Glory hands the package to Slate, who begins carefully unwrapping it.)

Mr. Winter: Very nice work, Agent Becker. Now we move on to the next step.

Kittridge: The next step??? We got what we came for!

Mr. Winter: Mr. Kittridge... We may have recovered the key, but we still have no earthly idea why it was stolen, or who stole it.

Slate has unwrapped the package and is studying the key intently.

Kittridge: So... what are you saying here? We give it back???

Glory: I think that's exactly what Mr. Winter is saying here, Sparky.

Skipster: But with a few added extras...

Slate: Such as a micro mini-cam and microphone combination... (which he has carefully affixed to the key. Slate begins re-wrapping the package.)

Buffy: Oh, wow! So now we can really spy on the bad guys, huh?

Skipster: And listen to everything they're saying.

Glory: Now... Who gets to be the delivery bunny? (She smiles.)

A few minutes later, a very angry Kitt Kittridge, wearing a bright yellow baseball cap with plastic rabbit ears, stalks through the main entrance of 1331 Hasenpfeffer Avenue. He finds himself standing in a reception area. The receptionist, wearing a huge nose ring, glances up.

Receptionist: Yes?

Kittridge (muttering sullenly)
:
Hiphopgottapackagehere...

Receptionist: What? Speak up. I can't hear you!

Kittridge (speaking up)
:
I said, I got a package here for a "D. McQuickly." (pause) Hip hop.

Receptionist: Oh, yes. Mister McQuickly. I'll sign for it.

Kittridge (clearing his throat)
:
Sorry, ma'am. He has to sign for it personally. (pause) New rules... ever since that... that unfortunate accident last week... in Pasta Fazool.

Receptionist: What accident?

Kittridge: It was... it was that unfortunate one. (pause) You know... (pause) He has to sign for it personally. (pause) New rules. (pause) Hip. (pause) Hop.

Receptionist: I said that I'll sign for it.

Kittridge loudly slams his hand down on the table.

Kittridge: DAMNIT!!! NOW THE HIP HOP BUNNY IS GETTING PISSED!!! GET HIS ASS OUT HERE NOW OR I'M TAKING THIS DAMNED THING BACK, RIGHT AFTER THE HIP HOP BUNNY YANKS THAT DAMNED RING OUT OF YOUR UGLY NOSE AND SHOVES IT DOWN YOUR UGLY THROAT!!!

The Receptionist picks up the phone.

Receptionist: Mr. McQuickly? There's a crazed rabbit out here, with a package you need to sign for.

A few moments later, McQuickly enters through a door. He is tall and slender, with light colored hair, and speaks with a clipped British accent.

McQuickly: Oh, this is such a bother! I don't see why...

Kittridge cuts him off.

Kittridge: HEY!!! THE HIP HOP BUNNY DON'T WANNA HEAR NO SHIT OUT OF YOU, EITHER! JUST SHUT THE HELL UP AND SIGN FOR THE DAMNED PACKAGE!!!

McQuickly nervously looks around.

McQuickly: Uh... where... where am I supposed to sign?

Kittridge looks around and snatches a desk calendar.

Kittridge: SIGN THAT, YOU TWIT!!!

McQuickly nervously signs. Kittridge glares at him and shoves the package into his hands.

Kittridge: Thank you, and... a happy hip-hop day to you. (Kittridge turns on his heel and boldly strides out the door, angrily tossing the detested bunny-eared baseball cap into the bushes as soon as he is out of sight. He climbs into the mini-van and slumps into the back seat.)

Skipster (suppressing a smile)
:
So, Kitt... How's tricks?

Buffy: Silly rabbit. (giggling) Tricks are for kids. (The Skipster and Buffy burst out laughing. Kittridge glares at them.)

Kittridge: You know... I really hate the both of you...

Slate: Shhh! (Slate turns up the volume on the micro mini-cam and microphone combination.) The package is being unwrapped.

They can hear the sound of tearing paper through the speakers, as they all watch the video monitor. Suddenly, McQuickly's smiling face comes into view. Mr. Winter reacts with a start.

Mr. Winter: Oh, my Lord!

Skipster: What? What is it?

Mr. Winter: It appears that we've delivered a device that could destroy the world... (There is a long pause as Mr. Winter shakes his head.) ...into the hands of...

Glory: Mr. Winter!!! Who? Who is it???

Mr. Winter: Monty Python's Flying Circus! We've delivered it to Eric Idle!!!


TO BE CONTINUED...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Act III "Do We Have A Plan?" - The Doomsday Matter


Scene One: Monday afternoon. 1:00 pm. In pursuit of the missing key for the Doomsday Clock, our intrepid GLOBE agents have arrived at Montgomery Regional Airport, where they have boarded the private luxury Boeing 777-232ER known as the "SnL One." Onboard are the Skipster, Mr. Winter, Glory Becker, John Slate, Kitt Kittridge, and Buffy Pleasant.

Glory: Holy cow! We have this baby? Man, I'm gonna love this!

Kittridge: Did I ever tell you I hate flying? It's too confining! It makes me crazy!

Everyone ignores Kittridge.

Buffy: You know, this is my first flight? Do we have a flight attendant, or do I help out with getting the drinks and peanuts? I am not sure I can walk in the air (Buffy laughs nervously.).

Skipster: Help yourselves to the amenities onboard. We have a fully stocked galley, and a full bar. I would recommend against any serious imbibing, however, as we are all on duty right now.

Kittridge (under his breath): Speak for yourself...


Slate (holding a large box filled with electronic paraphenalia):Mind if I go up front and set up some equipment?

Skipster: Go right ahead, John. I think I have a pretty good idea what you're up to. By the way, there's a high definition video camera mounted in the nose, and you might be able to tie into that. It might help our plan.

Kittridge (rolling his eyes.): Shit! Do we even have a plan?

Ignoring Kittridge, Slate smiles and nods at the Skipster. He goes up to the flight deck. Skipster looks at Glory.

Skipster: Glory, you told me on the way up here that you've been checked out on this aircraft. Ready to fly the right seat?

Glory: On my way, captain. Standard procedure on the transponder?

The Skipster smiles and nods. Glory starts to go forward to the flight deck. The Skipster puts his hand on her arm.

Skipster: Just don't touch the control yoke yet. I'll explain when I get up front. (Glory nods and continues to the flight deck.)

Buffy: What's a transponder?

Skipster: The transponder is our signal from the aircraft with a unique code. This allows air traffic control to "see" us on their radars. In this case, all aircraft that fly for "secret government organizations" have a special four-digit number that allows us to fly with a minimum of bureaucratic interference from down below.

Buffy: Wow!

Skipster: So, I'd suggest y'all strap in and get ready to do some flyin'.

Buffy starts to turn, then impulsively turns back and plants a kiss on the Skipster's cheek. The Skipster is momentarily taken aback. Kittridge shakes his head in disgust.

Buffy (winking): Punch a hole in the sky, flyboy!

Buffy, Mr. Winter, and Kittridge settle back in comfortable swivel chairs as the Skipster goes forward and takes his seat on the left side of the flight deck. They all fasten their seatbelts.

Kittridge (muttering to himself): "Punch a hole in the sky, flyboy." So "Captain Skippy" is Chuck Yeager all of a sudden. Shit! I hate seatbelts! I hate being confined! It makes me crazy!

Mr. Winter is slumping in his comfortable swivel chair, obviously worried.

Buffy: Mr Winter? Are you feeling alright?

Mr. Winter (after a long pause):I'm just... thinking... about what a silly old man I am. If it wasn't for me, we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

Kittridge (muttering to himself):You got that right, geezer-breath...

Buffy glares at Kittridge, then turns back to Mr. Winter. She gently places her hand on his arm and tries to console him.

Buffy: Stop blaming yourself, Mr. Winter. Look at it this way... If the Doomsday Clock is detonated, you won't have to worry about getting fired by Headquarters!

Mr. Winter moans and covers his face with his hands. Kittridge snorts loudly. Buffy looks confused. On the flight deck, Skipster and Glory have completed the preflight checklist, and startup of the twin Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines. Behind them, Slate is in the final stages of assembling a "Key Tracking Station." They begin pushback...

* * * * *

Scene Two: Monday afternoon. 1:45 pm. The team has now been airborne for forty minutes, following the directional signal that they key has been emitting. Electronics genius John Slate has put the finishing touches on his jury-rigged tracking device. The Skipster and Glory Becker are piloting the massive aircraft.

Skipster (to Glory): I'm going to turn on the intercom so they can hear us back there. (The Skipster flicks a switch.) Hello? Can y'all hear me? (The Skipster and Glory hear Mr. Winter's voice through the flight deck speakers.)

Mr. Winter's Voice: I think I just heard the conference table talking to us...

Buffy's Voice (after a pause): Yes, Skipster. We hear you loud and clear. We've had a bit of a problem with Agent Kittridge. He keeps stealing liquor from the bar.

Skipster: Make sure you keep him away from the Jack Daniel's Green Label. That's my partner's private stock.

(The Skipster and Glory hear the sounds of Buffy and Kittridge arguing. Then they hear Kittridge's exasperated voice.)

Kittridge's Voice: Hey! How the hell was I supposed to know?

Slate (clapping his hands together): Okay! That should do it! I've been able to augment and clean up the signal for more precise tracking.

Glory: Nice work, John.

Slate: Ah! But wait! There's more! I've also been able to tie the signal into our GPS, and this little handheld model! (Slate proudly holds up a Carmen portable GPS receiver.)

Glory: Really nice work, John!

Slate: Ah! But wait! There's still more! I've tied this all together with the video camera on the front of the plane, and we'll be able to actually see our quarry.

Glory: Hell! Really, really nice work, John!!!

Skipster (laughing and switching on the video monitor):You may ask yourself, "How does he do it?"

Slate (shrugging his shoulders as the video screen comes to life): What can I say? It's a gift. (The image of I-65 from thirty-five thousand feet comes sharply into view. Slate leans forward to get a better view of the screen.) The signal is coming from about five miles ahead. Can we zoom in?

(The Skipster turns a small knob on the side of the screen, zooming the camera in. The image of a package delivery truck appears.)

Skipster: Bingo! At the speed we're going, versus the speed they're traveling, we're gonna be overtaking it very fast. (looking at Glory) Glory, throttle back to get us at one hundred and fifty knots with full flaps. I wanna get a good look at this thing.

(Glory throttles back and lowers the large flaps on the trailing edge of the wing.)

Skipster: It's a United Transport Service van.

Slate: Can you get the number off the back?

Glory: It looks like E-47. I repeat... Echo-four-seven.

Slate: Cool beans! (He turns to his laptop computer and begins typing.)

Glory: I haven't been there yet.

Skipster: Been where yet?

Glory: Kewl Beanz! It's a coffeehouse in Pleasantview. Do you know it?

Skipster (chuckling):I own it.

Slate: Aha! UTS van E-47 is scheduled to arrive at the freight terminal at Louisville International Airport for offloading.

Glory: You really are sharp, John. (pause) Are you married, by any chance?

Slate (holding up his left hand, displaying a gold wedding band): Wednesday will make five years.

Glory (a little diappointed): Oh. (pause) Does your wife know what you really do for a living?

Slate (sighing):She thinks I work for our decoy company, Global Telecommunications, as an electronics engineer. (sadly) That's the only lie I've ever told her...

Mr. Winter's Voice: Lies are a bad thing in a happy marriage, Mr. Slate. What was it the poet once wrote...?

The Skipster quickly switches the intercom off.

Skipster (changing the subject): Well, folks... looks like it's on to Louisville, Kentucky! (Retracting the flaps, the Skipster smoothly throttles the engines back up to accelerate to 350 knots.)

Glory: What the hell's in Louisville, Kentucky?

Slate, who has already done a web search on Louisville, replies.

Slate: According to Googly, "Louisville is Home of the Kentucky Derby, Fort Knox, bourbon whiskey, the home offices of Papa John's Pizza, the air freight hub of UTS, and the world's largest annual Rutles Festival."

Glory: What the hell's a "Rutles Festival?"

Slate (reading his computer monitor screen): Again, according to Googly, "The Rutles (also known as the Prefab Four) are a band that are known for their visual and aural pastiches and parodies of The Beatles. Originally created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes as a fictional band to be featured as part of various 1970s television programming, the group evolved into a real band that recorded and toured, and released two UK chart hits. Unexpectedly, this parody band became extremely popular, and has spawned many tribute bands, which arrive in June for a week-long Rutles Festival."


Skipster: Sounds like fun. (after a pause) The final destination of the key is in, or near, Louisville... or it's being transferred to a plane to take it somewhere else. Either way, we'll be waiting at the the airport keeping close tabs on that little bugger. Glory, punch in the info for Louisville International Airport, KSDF, in the Flight Management Computer, and let ATC know of our new flight plan. (pause) And John... happy anniversary!

Slate: Which reminds me... maybe I should call and tell her I'm gonna be working a little late tonight, huh?

(The Skipster and Glory both nod.)

TO BE CONTINUED...


Saturday, June 5, 2010

WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW ~~ Part Four


Silver Fox here. Heads up, fellow babies! I say "heads," because today's new WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW post contains profiles of a fur-head, an airhead, a dyed head, and a d**k-head! You've been "warned."

* * * * *

Orson the Cat -- Orson is the Foxster's over-fed pet, approximately four years old in "human" years. During the Skipster/Foxster feud, the Skipster actually had Orson "kidnapped" from Massachusetts to Alabama by Luke Tian. The Foxster jetted down to Simpson Studio, in a vain attempt to reclaim his beloved pet. This resulted in a chance meeting between the Foxster and Tara King. Tara was immediately attracted to the Foxster's handsome face; he in turn was immediately attracted to the legs revealed by her mini-skirt. Soon after, Tara impulsively spirited Orson away from Simpson Studio, and the two of them arrived shortly thereafter at the Foxster's bachelor pad in Massachusetts. (And the rest, as we've said before, is history.) Sometime later, the coffee-drinking cat was viciously kicked by the newly-employed Vickie Wickie. Orson suffered two broken ribs which caused a traumatic pneumothorax. Luckily, keen observation by Luke Tian, who subsequently rushed Orson to Pleasantview Animal Hospital, saved Orson's life. He's currently healthy, happy, and presumably well-fed in the Foxster's new home... but he sorely misses Tara.

Carla the Receptionist -- Carla, last name unknown (probably even to her), is the receptionist at Simpson/Lynch Studios. She is somewhere in her forties, and is rumored to have relocated to Alabama from New York City. Carla was hired after an evidently-lackadaisical screening process conducted by both the Skipster and the Foxster. Her work "skills" are debatable; she rarely gets two messages correctly in a row. Carla speaks in a monotone and has an exasperating habit of identifying herself fully each time she calls the Skipster or the Foxster via the studio intercom system ("Mr. Skipster? This is Carla, from downstairs." "Yes, Carla, we know where you are.") and has a penchant for both herbal teas and what she refers to as... umm... "herbal cigarettes."

Barry Cabana -- Born Barnard Cavanaugh over sixty years back, Barry is a fading singer/entertainer. He was one of the Foxster's earliest employers almost fifteen ago -- albeit for only a few weeks -- and the Foxster feels indebted to Barry to this day for the various lessons he learned from the singer. Barry's voice is nowhere near as good as it was when he was at the pinnacle of his career, ten to thirty years ago, when he was known far and wide as "Mr. Broadway." He has had at least three face-lifts, and although his hair's current natural color is chalk-white, he dyes it black with what he self-mockingly describes as "shoe polish." Barry "comes on" as being arrogant, sexist, and abrasive, but those traits all hide a massive insecurity and a realization that he is well past his prime. In a softer, charitable moment, Barry took in Pleasantview's sole homeless individual and allowed the man to stay with him at Simpson/Lynch Studios... whereupon the two men drank excessively and "trashed the place."

Dewey Mellen -- It is often said that every town needs one good newspaper. Unfortunately, Pleasantview has Dewey Mellen's Pleasantview Poop Sheet instead! "Dashing Dewey," as he -- and only he -- calls himself, was an English teacher and the advisor to the yearbook staff at Pleasantview High School until a few short years ago. (If you're wondering how competent he was while there, he not only listed the senior class members' redundantly-titled "future goals," but also headed the school's "Edgar Alan [sic] Poe Society!") After several of what Dewey himself has described as "lonely, overweight, and unpopular female students" complained to school officials about Dewey's unnerving attempts at "reaching out," he was asked to resign, whereupon he began devoting all of his time to Pleasantview's only newspaper (which Dewey had inherited from his late father). Dewey serves as its Editor-in-Chief, staff reporter, and advertising director. Dewey is undeservedly egotistical -- he understandably "struck out" more than once when asking Dr. Jane Kildeer for a date, for example, and now believes she simply doesn't care to date any man his age -- and is extremely sloppy when fact-checking his articles for the Pleasantview Poop Sheet. Only his page five local gossip column, Dewey's Doings, appears without need for later corrections of misspellings or goofs of a similar nature... and that's only thanks to his own mother, who proofreads Dewey's Doings, but not the rest of the paper. In other words, putting it much more succinctly... Dewey's an idiot.

Coming Soon: A special "All in the Family" post in Part Five of WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW!

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW ~~ Part Three


Silver Fox (not the "Foxster"), here, with Part Three of WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW! This time we feature some of our ever-growing supporting cast, namely, the three who were instrumental in keeping the Foxster alive a while ago, when he had his heart attack.

By the way, fellow babies, throughout WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW, I could -- should? -- have thrown in 8,000,000 "linky-things" to "prove" all these fascinatin' facts I'm throwin' at ya, but that would have taken an additional couple of hours, and this was supposed to be my freakin' "vacation," y'know?!?

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Dr. Jane Kildeer -- Dr. Kildeer saved the Foxster's life when he was rushed to Pleasantview Community Hospital after a recent heart attack. During her follow-up consultations with the Foxster, she convinced him to quit smoking cigarettes, and strongly suggested that he (as well as Tara) abandon the communal living arrangements at Simpson/Lynch Studios. (The SnL staff's "living arrangements" placed the Skipster & Gretchen, the Foxster & Tara, and Luke Tian all under the same roof during the majority of their working and leisure hours.) This prompted the Foxster to purchase what was and still is referred to as "the Old Fenneman Estate," into which he swiftly moved along with Tara. Not only is Dr. Kildeer an accomplished physician with a genuine concern for her patients' well-being, she is also an attractive, affable single woman with a wonderful sense of humor. She is constantly being told that she resembles actress Nicole Kidman, which unfortunately means that she more than slightly resembles Vickie Wickie, as well.

Frank the EMT -- Frank (last name undisclosed thus far) was luckily on the scene (and on duty) when the Foxster had his heart attack. A rugged, charismatic individual with matinée idol looks, Frank has expressed a desire to the Foxster to become a "movie star," which may or may not have been a joke. A chance meeting with Milo Fenderbender at Kewl Beanz! left Frank with the unsettling impression that he'd seen Milo before, while Milo exited as soon as possible, looking like he'd seen "a ghost." Frank also confided in Tara that he was "getting deeply attracted" to someone he worked with at the hospital. He swore Tara to secrecy about the matter, and although the two of them have presumably discussed the matter at length by now, "off-screen," as it were, this "someone's" identity has yet to be revealed to our readers.

Nurse Betty -- Betty (last name unrevealed) is the head nurse in Pleasantview Community Hospital's ICU. Betty is remarkably efficient, and at least as competent as everyone else at PCH with whom the Foxster made contact during his stay there. Betty wears her dark brown hair in a style popular among many of Pleasantview's female citizens, a hairdo known as "The Tara" (in honor of Tara King's boost to the local economy via Simpson/Lynch Studios' Kewl Beanz! coffeehouse, restaurant, and nightclub, which Tara helms).

Coming Soon: The next installment of WHO'S WHO in PLEASANTVIEW will focus on four characters who are all very different from one another!

Thanks for your time.