Hot Hot Phone

Hot Hot Phone

Tom Sawyer: The Sexy Modern Reboot [pt 4/4]

[pt1] [pt 2][pt3]


A faint ticking is coming from the darkness of the cave. SAWYER hurries forward and discovers, to his horror, hiding under some dead leaves: a ticking time bomb.

SAWYER: It’s a bomb!

FINN: This was a trap!

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.) (sneering): Yes, it was!

A sexy man in a suit steps into view: ponytailed, dark-skinned, and grinning.

SAWYER, BECKY, and FINN all gasp.

SAWYER: I should have known it was you! My old nemesis. Injun Joe!

INJUN JOE: I’m sorry, what did you just call me?

BECKY: Tom, that is not acceptable language!

HUCK: I mean I’m racist? I have a black friend! I know racism!


The bomb explodes.


[Ben Baker is a writer living in Arlington, Virginia. Like everyone else, he is on Twitter.]

I’m Starting to Think the Sale Price of These Towels is Just the Actual Price

Before you ring that up, I just need to make sure I’ve got this right—you’re telling me all bath towels are twenty percent off this weekend? Wow. That is a great deal. Don’t get me wrong, I came here specifically for the Fourth of July sale and you guys are not disappointing. It’s just that I can’t help but notice this is the same discount you had on bath towels when I was here last week during your Spring into Summer sale. And now that I think of it… isn’t this the same discount you had in February for your Valentine’s Day sale? No, no, I’m not complaining. I’ll still buy them. I love a deal as much as the next Kohl’s customer. The thing is, I’m starting to suspect that the sale price is really just the actual price of your bath towels.

 In fact, I can’t think of a time when I’ve been here and you guys didn’t have a sale going on. There was the Christmas sale, of course. But then you had the New Year New Deals sale, the Presidents’ Day sale, March into Savings Month—that one was literally a month-long sale. At what point have your bath towels ever cost full price?

 Actually—excuse me—by show of hands, has anyone in this line ever paid full price for towels here? Yes, I realize it’s a long line, that’s why it’s a good sample set for this research. Just raise them up high. Look at that. No hands. This goes all the way back to your grand opening sale, doesn’t it? God, how long have we all just been pawns in this discount house of lies?

 Yes, I still want to purchase these towels. But now I feel like I’ve been looped into some elaborate marketing hoax. Is that what this is? You didn’t have to trick me, Kohl’s! I clearly shop here regularly. If this sale price is the actual price, these are still relatively inexpensive towels. You don’t need to wow me with glitz and glam. Sure, maybe a sale here and there would lure me in more frequently, but you flew too close to the sun with this one. My eyes are open now.

 What? No, I forgot my Kohl’s loyalty card at home. You can just swipe the store one to get me that extra five percent off? Thanks. Wait. Hang on. I could be lying! What if I don’t really have a Kohl’s loyalty card? I’m paying with cash; you don’t even know who I am! If you just swipe the store card for anyone who comes through then what is the point of the loyalty program? You evidently take an additional five percent off at the register for every person anyway. Why not just take five percent off the price of every item in this store and get rid of this sickening ruse! My loyalty clearly means nothing to you, Kohl’s. That hurts.

 You can put the receipt in the bag, thank you. What’s this? $10 in Kohl’s Cash? You disgust me. This whole manipulative incentive system just gives customers a false sense of accomplishment and further deadens our society’s already feeble sense of priorities.

 Yes, of course I’ll still take it.

[Kate Sidley is a comedy writer and performer based out of NYC. She writes for the sketch teams Mint Comedy and Moose and performs with the improv team Miss Elizabeth. Kate is a co-founder of Sea Tea Improv, Connecticut’s premiere improv company. For more info on upcoming shows and sketch videos, visit]

Tom Sawyer: The Sexy Modern Reboot [pt 3/4]

[pt1] [pt 2]



A young hipster-looking hobo is propped up against a shack by a river. He is dressed only in jean overalls and a straw hat, is smoking a pipe, and has a tattoo of an anchor on his arm. It goes without saying that he is sexy as hell.

SAWYER and BECKY approach, and HUCKLEBERRY FINN looks up.

SAWYER: Huckleberry, my old friend! It’s been a while.

FINN: It’s Finn now, Tom. It’s much cooler and sexier for the modern age.

SAWYER: Right.

BECKY: Finn, can you get us upriver fast? There’s word of strange goings-on at McDougal’s Cave, and we need to get there as soon as possible.

FINN hurries to get his boat ready and they follow after.

FINN: You should have called me ahead of time. I could get us there twice as fast with the help of my friend [BLEEP] Jim.

SAWYER and BECKY stare at him.

FINN: Oh, no, it’s not like that. We’re just really good friends, so it’s cool if I call him that.

BECKY: Yeah, I don’t think it is…

FINN: No, trust me. It’s totally fine.

SAWYER and BECKY look uncomfortable as FINN kicks the boat engine on.

FINN (almost to himself): You can’t be racist if you have a black friend.

The engine roars and the boat takes off.


to be continued….

[Ben Baker is a writer living in Arlington, Virginia. Like everyone else, he is on Twitter.]

Confession: I’m the Woman All Romantic Comedies Are Based On

Hi, I’m the woman all rom-coms are based on. My movies (adaptations) have taken heat for portraying “unrealistic” situations with “poorly-written” dialogue and “stock” characters. Well I’m here to tell you that behind all these “stupid tropes” (i.e. my LIFE), there’s a reason, a reason they don’t tell you in the movies.

Take my first love, for instance. His name was Tag (stop laughing), and we were both stuck in hopeless relationships – he with a nagging wife (I’m not sure what her name is),and I with a SoCal hunk who, for what it’s worth, did not give me the love I deserved. One day, I left Tag to board my flight to LAX, and without knowing what time my flight was or what airline I was flying or even which airport I was leaving from, he ran through security and stopped me, just as I was about to board the plane. So trite, right? NO. Because it turns out his mom was an industrial engineer and built every airport in the state, so it was, like, really easy to get all that information and track me down. But they CONVENIENTLY leave that out of the movies. Go figure.

Then my second love, Steve, came along. He was my best friend – eternally single, but always down to help with my bra shopping (in retrospect, this may have been awkward for him??). Anyway, I had been dating renowned Welsh oiler, Ralph Elliot (Ralph like “Ralph Fiennes” which sounds like “Rafe”). It was perfect, until his business calls proved more important than calling home. But luckily, when I came crying to Steve in his bagel factory(?), he wiped up the crumbs of my tears and said, “I’m sorry, I know you thought he was perfect.” I replied, “but he’s not perfect for me —” – and then I got cut-off by an overhead helicopter! What I had meant to say was “but he’s not perfect for Meowth, my cat, who did not like him, but unrelated, I think I’m falling in love with you.” Much less corny, right?! And totally unaddressed in the movies. Anyway, Steve kissed me and then we fell in love and Sixpence None The Richer was playing on the radio just because whatever.

But then there was my third love, Rich (a.k.a. “Da Quarterback”). I met him during my “big glasses” phase, when I looked gross (see: big glasses) and my main interest was reading shampoo ingredients (see: big glasses). But after a confusing courtship (his friend dared him to date me, which I’m sure is typical), we were gazing at each other beneath a flickering streetlamp. Then, he took off my big glasses (ew) and voila! Suddenly he discovered I was actually gorgeous and cool and good at guitar and also going to Brown for grad school. BUT THIS WASN’T SUPERFICIAL because IT TURNS OUT my glasses had been causing pressure build-up in my frontal lobe, which controls personality, ergo (see: Brown) the glasses had made me forget these INTERESTING things about myself! But Rich’s medical prowess for the power of not wearing glasses is yet another missed detail in “the biz.”

So you see? To make me less human, the commercialized monster of Hollywood filmmaking SIMPLIFIED these moments of my life (probably happened to Malcolm X, too). And frankly, if I didn’t spend so much time defending myself, I could be advancing my burgeoning small bookstore / Etsy kazoo career at this coffee shop.

[Rekha Shankar writes for Reductress, makes funny videos, is the champion of Punderdome 3000, and can be found on twitter right HERE. ]

“Wow! I guess what they say is true: Daniel Day-Lewis really does disappear into his rolls!”

[Patrick Cotnoir  is an unemployed cool guy living in New York City (The Big Apple) (The City That Never Sleeps) (Manhattan). You can follow him on Twitter at @patrickcotnoir and give him a job!

“Wow! I guess what they say is true: Daniel Day-Lewis really does disappear into his rolls!”

[Patrick Cotnoir  is an unemployed cool guy living in New York City (The Big Apple) (The City That Never Sleeps) (Manhattan). You can follow him on Twitter at @patrickcotnoir and give him a job!
Wow! I guess what they say is true: Daniel Day-Lewis really does disappear into his rolls!”
[Patrick Cotnoir  is an unemployed cool guy living in New York City (The Big Apple) (The City That Never Sleeps) (Manhattan). You can follow him on Twitter at @patrickcotnoir and give him a job!

Tom Sawyer: The Sexy Modern Reboot [pt 2/5]

[pt 1]


The GOVERNMENT MAN, the EXPERT, and TOM admire the freshly painted picket fence running around the entire Middle East.

EXPERT: But Tom, you must have paid them a fortune to do this!

SAWYER: Actually, they paid me. I recommend you start looking for a place we can lodge the Pope. Maybe the Tower of London.

GOVERNMENT MAN (marveling): Tom Sawyer, how ever do you do it?

WOMAN’S VOICE (O.S.): How indeed?

SAWYER freezes.

SAWYER: Excuse me, gentlemen.

He turns to face BECKY THATCHER, a woman his age, her brown hair in pigtails, her dress blue and plaid but showing plenty of skin because it is 2014 and America wants to see Becky Thatcher’s boobs.

SAWYER: My, my. Becky Thatcher. Now there’s a face I didn’t expect to see again.

BECKY: Nor I yours.

SAWYER: Last I heard, you were engaged to Alfred Temple.

BECKY: Last I heard, you were dead.

SAWYER: A necessary precaution to throw off my enemies.

BECKY: Does that include me?

SAWYER: Does it?

BECKY: We’ll see, Tom. For the moment, I need your help. In fact, I need you to call on one of your fellow “deceased.” We need to take a little boat trip.

to be continued….

[Ben Baker is a writer living in Arlington, Virginia. Like everyone else, he is on Twitter.]

I Am the Pony From Ginuwine’s Song “Pony”

I’m here to clear up a major misconception regarding American R&B singer Ginuwine’s hit debut single titled “Pony”. Over the past 18 years, I’ve stood by on hooves as people everywhere have made snide remarks about the hidden meaning behind the term “pony” in Ginuwine’s song “Pony” – including one interpretation of the word that also starts with a “p” and has an “n”, a couple other letters, and 2 syllables like “pony”.

 Penis. It’s penis.

 Well I’ve had it up to here (insert average height of Shetland pony) with you sick perverts and I’m coming forward (once someone opens the gate to my stable) to expose the real story behind the 1996 hit “Pony”.

 That “Pony”… is me.

 I was a gift to Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (known to most of you less intimately as “Ginuwine”) in the summer of 1976, when he was just a wee boy. He was a bit afraid of me initially (as most youths are with their first time), but soon overcame that fear as he learned to love riding me throughout the permitted riding areas of our nation’s capital, where Elgin and I grew up. Once autumn had arrived, Elgin would rush home from school and become immediately overjoyed to know that “my saddle’s waiting / come and jump on it.”

During the 10 years that followed Elgin’s first time riding me, we developed a special relationship – one might even call us “friends with benefits”, since he fed and bathed me and, in exchange, I would take him on galloping tours around beautiful Washington, D.C.

He even brought me into school for “show and tell” once and we laughed and laughed at all the prepubescent children who couldn’t even reach my ponytail.

By the time Elgin had entered his teen years, it was well established that we were partners for life – him being “someone who knows how to ride / without even falling off”.

He only fell off that one time and we both acknowledged that it was a mistake on his part.

Eventually, Elgin’s family had to sell me to a children’s petting zoo in order to put him through Prince George’s Community College, where he earned his paralegal associate’s degree.

But that wasn’t the end of our friendship. Shortly before he hit it big as a rhythm and blues singer, he wrote me a letter, detailing how much I meant to him and how I was the inspiration for his first single from his debut album, Ginuwine… The Bachelor. I wish I kept that letter after all those years but I ended up eating it because I thought it was food.

Despite our ups and downs (ups including the time we spent riding around the District of Columbia without a care in the world, downs including when his family sold me for money), I know Ginuwine still loves me to this day and wishes he could play with me right now – just the two of us, he and I. When I look back on our time together, I know he learned as much about life from me as I did from him.

Also, I taught him how to have sex with women.

[Meghan Ross is a writer (sp?) and a tweeter.]