INT. IMPORTANT-LOOKING GOVERNMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
An important-looking GOVERNMENT MAN sits at his desk as an EXPERT enters the room. The GOVERNMENT MAN stands up.
GOVERNMENT MAN (anxiously): What’s happening? What’s the news?
EXPERT (grimly): It’s not good. When you decided to have the United States construct a massive picket fence around the entire Middle East, did you have any idea what the cost what be?
GOVERNMENT MAN: We—we thought we could handle it.
EXPERT: Yeah? Well now you’re in the red, you’ve got thousands of miles of fencepost running around the Middle East, and you haven’t even painted the damn thing yet! If you don’t find a way to get that fence white washed, you’re going down.
GOVERNMENT MAN (stammering): But… what can we do?
EXPERT: Oh, this is far beyond my expertise. There’s only one person who can help you now. The greatest work-dodger this country has ever known.
EXT. THE MIDDLE EAST – DAY
TOM SAWYER, a sexy ginger wearing a white button down with the sleeves rolled up, brown suspenders holding up brown trousers, and no shoes leans against a white picket fence in the middle of the desert. He takes a great bite from an apple and it’s sexy as hell.
A group of United Nations peacekeepers drive up in a jeep.
GERMAN: Vhat are you doing, American boy?
SAWYER: Oh, you know, just painting this ol’ fence.
He gestures a thumb at several million cans of paint.
GERMAN: Oh yah? Vell ve vere going to ask you to come to ze swimming hole, but it looks like you’re too busy!
All the peacekeepers laugh. SAWYER takes another bite of his apple.
SAWYER: Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll just keep painting this here fence. It’s a big top secret project for America. Trust me, you wouldn’t care about it at all.
ITALIAN (suspiciously): A big top secret project?
BRITISH MAN: And America wants to keep it all to themselves?!
The peacekeepers all jump out of the jeep and start fighting each other.
FRENCHMAN: France will give you 10 million Euros to paint the fence!
BRITISH MAN: Poppycock! Britain will give you the Tower of London!
ITALIAN: Italy will give you the Pope!
SAWYER: Gentlemen, gentlemen! Settle down! There’s plenty of fence for everyone!
to be continued….
"Besides," he tells her, "marijuana is a gateway drug. Be careful with that stuff.”
She takes her medium-sized pizza and opens it on her bed where she mindlessly shoves slice after slice into her mouth as she stalks her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend on Facebook. Two hours of this is followed by three episodes of the 90’s sitcom Dinosaurs, during which she falls asleep on the half-eaten pizza as though it were the softest pillow. This pizza envelops her head as she dreams of a different life, a life where she probably has a real pillow and her Chihuahua is not chewing on her hair while she sleeps.
When she wakes up the right side of her face is covered in dried up sauce that flakes off like snakeskin as she lifts herself from the pizza box slumber. She takes in her surroundings: unmade bed, open laptop, Domino’s pizza box. She assesses her life in that moment. Should she be more motivated? Should she run a 5k like every other one of her single urbanite friends? Should she finally go to grad school? Should she get back together with Charles from accounting? Yeah, it’s been two years, but he clearly still wants her. He always answers her texts instantly and typically replies with far more emojis than any secure adult man needs to use. Maybe she will give him a call. She deserves someone interested in her for once.
She reaches for her phone which is somewhere underneath the pizza, but the pizza captivates her for a moment. There are three slices left of her pepperoni and green pepper pizza. Sun is filtering through the single window in her bedroom. It makes the green pepper on the pizza look like hardened sludge atop melted Velveeta, a food that looks so cartoonish it could only be enticing in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle episode.
She picks up the three remaining slices with one hand as if they came together to make one mega slice. She takes a bite. This is the breakfast of champions. This is Domino’s.
It’s been so great to meet all of you! This house has been sooo
welcoming. There’s just one tiny little problem, and I know some of
you will be nodding your bitchy dyed blonde heads about this, so I’ll
say it. We need to talk about Oscar. He’s a great cat, with a really
sweet personality once you get to know him! But please, guys, do not
try to pick him up. I saw how Tara got all scratched up, and we want
to avoid that. Oscar gets nervous around people, that’s just the way
he is! The best thing to do is to give the little guy his space, and
not harass him. (Whatever Tara says about an unprovoked attack is
bulls*it, IMHO.) I’m sure the cuts will clot up and stop bleeding
soon, it’s only been a few days.
Also, I know some of you get a little bit creeped out when Oscar comes
into your rooms. But he’s just being friendly! I get that it’s creepy
to wake up with him sitting on your chest. He’s surprisingly heavy for
his size! I’m pretty sure it used to creep me out too, although,
honestly, I don’t even really remember a time when he wasn’t there
when I started my day. Anyway, Dan, some of you need to stop being big
babies. I really doubt you woke up and saw ”light coming out of his
eyes.” You were just fooled by how big they are. Like, you know, you
could loose everything about yourself inside? Come on now, does any of
that sound like light? Anyway, guys, locking your doors is not the
solution. The scratching and meowing outside just gets really
annoying, and face it, he’s going to get in anyway. He always does.
One last thing, and this is a bit awkward, but Becca made me PROMISE
I’d bring it up. I hear a few of you have been having dreams. Dreams
where ya’ll are running through the streets, growing claws, tearing
into the hot bodies of your prey - their little hearts beat so fast
when they sense you coming, don’t they? But as I keep saying,
everyone has those dreams. I’ve had them for years! As for a certain
someone’s claims that she woke up with blood on her pillow, I think
you-know-who is just looking for an excuse for her catty behaviour!
To get serious for a moment, guys, you’ve talked to my references, my
old housemates. Didn’t they sound like normal people? Healthy, human
people with two legs and round pupils and 2-6 nipples? They were good
housemates. We’re good housemates. We all have to make sacrifices to
get along. “Love me, love my cat,” right! All I ask is that, if you’re
unhappy, you don’t take it out on Oscar. He lives here now. He’s
always lived here. He’s one of us.
[Helen Craig is a writer and science media person from the UK. She can
usually be found complaining about TV shows on twitter.
As your mayor, there’s nothing I’d like to do more today than to wish you a Merry Christmas like the town’s page-a-day calendar says and celebrate with friends and family. However, I already did that yesterday, and the fact that Christmas is supposedly happening two days in a row is something we can no longer ignore. Sure, it being 75 degrees for a Pennsylvania Christmas should’ve tipped us off yesterday, but I don’t think any of us wanted to believe the town’s beloved calendar could be wrong and global warming was such an easy scapegoat.
Honestly, I had my first inkling of something being amiss during that week completely comprised of Tuesdays, but I thought it might have to do with a Leap Year. Earth’s orbital period around the Sun isn’t perfectly 365 days, so maybe adding a week of Tuesdays fixed all that. I see now that doesn’t make much sense, but I also receive my paycheck on Tuesdays, so my judgment was clouded. Clouded with checks.
See, it was supposed to be a word of the day calendar. We’d give it to everyone for free so the entire town’s vocabulary would improve without hiring an actual English teacher for the school system (if you can teach Gym, Math, and those other subjects, you can also teach English, Mrs. Rose). The word would change each day, but the date would obviously stick to the calendar system we know and love. Well, I guess there was a miscommunication, because the dates change bizarrely whereas the word of the day stays constant throughout the year. If we didn’t know before, I think we all now understand what a “gargoyle” is. Hey, one less word for you to worry about, Mrs. Rose.
I checked with the internet and today is actually June 2nd, so boy were we off for some time. This poses some problems for the town. Since April 15th wasn’t one of the days we learned the meaning of “gargoyle,” we’re all probably currently under investigation by the IRS for tax evasion. But, so was Al Capone, so at least we have some famous company. Also, if your child was born sometime this year, their birth certificate is obviously invalid and they are not currently legal citizens. We’ll have to work that out, but I’d say hide the kids for now in an attic or hard to reach place so they aren’t deported. The Winter Olympics also came and went, and I know the town had a few athletes slated to perform. All I can say is sorry, and that fours years isn’t that long of a wait, especially in this town where time is clearly not taken very seriously.
Have no fear, though, the town’s word of the day calendar has been reprinted and you will all receive one at the end of this meeting. I’ve thoroughly inspected each and every date to make sure they’re in the correct order and that the defined word changes daily. I told them not to include “gargoyle” again, but they still did, so consider September 3rd a day where you won’t have to learn a new word.
I expect everything will be back to normal very soon. Tomorrow will be just like any other June 3rd, well except for that June 3rd we had a few months back where we laughed at the other towns for celebrating Valentine’s Day so late. Oh, that reminds me, don’t tell out-of-towners that this happened. This will just be our little secret, like the time I gave the ceremonial key to the town to the guy who started that fire instead of the guy who put it out. It’s not like that key does anything anyways. At least not after that.
Well that’s all I have regarding the town’s calendars. Remember to place your multiple Christmas trees near the curb tomorrow so we can remove any damning evidence. Mrs. Rose will be by to pick them up so she can teach her Biology students about conifers. Won’t you, you old gargoyle?
[Keaton Patti is a writer and comedian living in New York City. You may remember him from the previous sentence.]
Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, humans and extra-terrestrial overlords!
All Hail the Overlords.
I’m pleased as punch to have you all here today for the Fourth Annual Fishing Tourney at Lake Great Hope. Well, everyone except Janine Newheart. Yes, I see you Janine. We all see you, to our great displeasure.
Before we start, I just wanted to go over a couple of rules.
One, this contest is all about skill, so please do not use any more than a fishing rod and bait for the competition. You may not use your hands, spears, tentacles, or lasers to catch your fish.
Two, do not sabotage your fellow competitors by trying to mess with their rods, their bait, or their extra arm. We had an incident two years ago which caused the entire competition to lose its integrity and moral compass, and the board would much prefer that didn’t happen again. We’re looking at you, Janine.
Three, raccoons do not count as fish. We are sorry for the confusion last year.
Violating any of these rules can forfeit your bid in the competition.
And no, Janine, you do not get extra points if you are eaten by the paleolithic era water monster that roams Lake Great Hope. Remember, you must be able to physically accept your prize, and substitutions are not permitted in the tournament.
Get your shit together, Janine.
With that out of the way, let’s have a great time here at the Fourth Annual Fishing Tourney! And remember, the Overlords are watching.
They are always, always watching.
[G. Blaise Hoeler writes for BroadwayWorld.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @ghoeler]