Friday, December 24, 2004

Realiticomm Episode #5

Realiticomm Episode #5


When we last left our Megalocorp staffers, the Gift Basket Task Force was seen rapidly leaving the crowd of homeless people, who had become somewhat boisterous and unruly in their attempts to grab the gift baskets. In his hasty departure, Sid left something, and more importantly, somebody behind.

[Moxie is getting her parking pass renewed for 2005 and is in the security office. She stops into the office of Vincent Decatur, security director, who has monitors all over the wall. Vin is an ex-Navy SEAL who keeps one foot in the shadowy world of “contracting.” She’s looking at some of the many photos he has on the wall behind his desk.]

Moxie: Is that you?

Vin: That’s me. Nam.

Moxie: Is that a snake?

Vin: That’s a snake.

Moxie: What were you doing with him?

Vin: I was about to eat him.

Moxie: [Makes a face, and is about the say something when a message pops up on Vin’s computer that catches his attention.]

Vin: Hmmmm.

Moxie: What?

Vin: Oh, nothing. [Vin is smiling.]

Moxie: What?

Vin: Oh, just a little job opportunity in Africa. [Vin types a brief reply to his mercenary recruitment e-mail. He speaks out loud as he types.] “Not this time, Shipmate. I’m busy for the next few weeks, and my shot card needs to be updated for Liberia. Thanks for thinking of me. Vin.”

Moxie: Still playing “Soldier of Fortune?”

Vin: Say, my friends in the Police department tell me Santa’s Little Helpers had some excitement this morning.

Moxie: What are you talking about? [Moxie’s cell phone rings.] Hello.

Sid: [Over cell phone…] Moxie, we had a little problem. The gift giving didn’t go down exactly the way we wanted. Anyway, umm, ahh, instead of spreading out our donations all around town we decided to give all the gift bags away at that one spot where we were. The demand was so great there that…

Moxie: What do you mean “problem?”

Sid: Well, the mob kind of overwhelmed us. We just barely got out of there.

Moxie: Are you all okay?

Sid: Yeah, we’re okay, aren’t Genevieve? Bea? Noreen? Oh, oh.

Moxie: What?

Sid: We lost Bea?Moxie: You what? You lost Bea?

Vin: Hey, it’s okay. I was on the phone with the locals a few minutes ago. They rolled in just as your van was hightailing it out of there. They picked up one "Abelie B. Bonnet" who claimed not to be a resident of the squatters village but, in fact, actually have a job, and that job is with MagaloCorp... and they gave her a lift back in the cruiser.

Moxie: [To Vin…] Thank God. [To Sid…] Sid, tell Genevieve that Bea is okay. The police have her. Get back here to the office and report to me as soon as you get back. [Moxie hangs up and turns to Vin.] Thanks. I better get back to the office so I can find out what happened. It would be so nice if your friends can keep this quiet, but if they can’t, it would be nice to know what the hell is going to end up in the newspaper. [Moxie shines a big grin at Vin. She turns and walks out.

*****

Abelia [Abelia B. Bonnet): [Arriving in the building, looking angry and disheveled]: Where is that Sid Haydecker? He's getting a piece of my mind like he ain't never seen before.

Miss Ruby [Front desk receptionist]: And hello to you, too girlfriend. Where you been? Sid and Genevieve and Noreen were back a little while ago. They did say something about those homeless people being out of control over the bee pollen and stuff. Was that a Police cruiser I just see you ride up in?

Abelia: [Steaming from her ears]: They all went off and left me! They didn't even give me a chance to get back into the van! Can you believe it? Those homeless people--there were dozens of them--were tearing up those boxes and fightin’ over the bee pollen and rubbers. I knew those rubbers were a big mistake. The cops were cruisin’ by and gave me a lift, but it took a few minutes of flappin’ my jaws to convince them I wasn't one of them homeless types. Wait till I get my hands on that Sid.

Miss Ruby: Well. I'm sure it was a mistake....Good afternoon! Megalocorp. How may I--oh! Hey girlfriend! Say what? What was that you heard about the Megalocorp van? Being mobbed by the homeless? You don't say! Was there any news cameras?

Abelia: Ha! Serves them right. Wait till this hits the top floor.

Miss Ruby [trying to shush Abelia by waving her hand]: They're sayin' we did what? I don't know nothin' about no rubbers. But I'm much obliged for the heads up. Gotta call--gotta run! Bye!

Abelia: I got one thing?

Miss Ruby: What’s that?

Abelia: I got Sid’s camera.

*****

Sid: [Walks into the corporate communications office looking like a mess.] Well, that sure was fun.

Smidgin: You look like you got run over.

Sid: That’s about what happened?

Penny: Where’s Noreen?

Sid: I think she went to tell Nelson she’s okay. She said she was coming back down here.

Smidgin: Where’s Genevieve?

Sid: I think she went to the ladies room to wipe the despair off of her face and hands.

Smidgin: [To Sid.] The Athletic Department called. They want you to usher for the basketball game.

Penny: You usher at the basketball games?

Sid: Keeps me out of the house.

Penny: I thought you worked at Home Depot?Sid: I do.

Smidgin: I thought you worked at Blockbuster?

Sid: I do.

Penny: Hey, Sid, did you get any photos we can use?

Sid: I’m sure we did. I mean, I guess. Let me see. Oh crap.

Penny and Smidgin [in unison]: What?

Sid: I lost the camera

Noreen: [Walks into the office.] It was horrible. I lost it.

Sid: We all kind of lost it.

Noreen: No, I mean my pin. You know…

Smidgin: The Holly Jolly Christmas pin?

Noreen: [Sobbing.] Yes, it’s gone.

Moxie: [Walking by, on the way to her office.] You really covered yourself with glory today, Sid. The whole operation gets messed up, and you lose Bea.

Sid: [Hangs his head in shame.] I’m sorry.

[Moxie walks into her office. Sid, looks down. Then at Smidgin.]

What is the best thing about dating a homeless woman?

Penny: Oh, gee. Here it comes. What?

Sid: You can drop her off anywhere.

Moxie: I’m going to call Mr. Offal and tell him what happened. And then I want to see all of you in my office. I’ll just be a minute.

Bea: [Walks in. Everyone is happy to see her. Hugs all around.] Noreen, you okay, Honey?
Noreen: I’ll be alright. I sorry we left you behind. We were so scared.

Bea: I know. I was, too. You okay?

Noreen: I lost my “Holly Jolly Christmas” pin. [Breaks into tears.]

Sid: Oh, here comes Genevieve.

Smidgin: Genevieve, Exotic Pets called. They said that Jimmy Buffet is ready for pickup.

Genevieve: [To Smidgin…] Thanks. [To Bea…] Bea, I’m so sorry we left you.

Bea: I guess we all okay now. And besides… [Sound of “Holly Jolly Christmas” comes from Noreen’s pin that Bea had picked up off the ground.]

Noreen: My pin? Oh, thank God!


[Moxie calls the front office and reports the less than successful community relations effort, but that all persons are safely accounted for. Vin Decatur calls to say that he’s talked with the Police and the report will be sparse on details, and that it didn’t appear that anyone else might have seen the incident. In fact, every bit of stuff that was pulled out of the van as it sped away had been picked up and taken by the various people who “lived” under the bridge. A moment later Moxie appears at her door and calls everyone in her office. The staff is very subdued, fearing some kind of dressing down.]

Moxie: Would you all come in here, please?

[The room is lit with candles. Bing Crosby is singing “White Christmas” on Moxie’s CD player. Several bottle of champagne are arranged on her conference table with some plastic cups. Instead of a reprimand, Moxie has provided holiday refreshments to her staff.]

Moxie: [She raises her glass in a toast.] Merry Christmas. I love guys!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Realiticomm Episode #4

If you are new to this story, read the previous episodes (below) first.

We last left the MegaloCorp van with Genevieve, Noreen, Sid and Abelia at an isolated location beneath some highway overpasses and drainage ditches where they expected to find some homeless people so they could distribute the MegaloCorp community relations holiday gift baskets.

Genevieve: Sid, ready to take some pictures?

Sid: Of who? The only guy we’ve found is asleep in a box and all we can see is his feet.

Bea: Maybe we should give him a goodie bag and leave it by his feet.

Noreen: That’s a good idea. Here, I’ll get one. Genevieve, you go over next to his feet and hold the bag out and Sid can snap the photo.

Genevieve: Me? Why me?

Sid: Get over there, Genevieve. Turn your Santa hat so I can see your face.

Bigfoot: [A large, bearded man with huge feet approaches unheard and appears behind them as they watch appears behind them as they watch Sid take a photo of Genevieve holding the gift bag.] What are you doing?

Bea: [Screams.] You startled me!

Noreen: Oh, God! I think I had an accident.

Genevieve: [Loses her balance and falls on the box shelter.] Ahhhgh!

Sid: I got some good pictures.

Bigfoot: Careful. You might wake the Governor.

Bea: Really, that’s our Governor?

Noreen: Is he alive?

Bigfoot: Oh, sure. He works nights. You guys with Social Services or something?

Genevieve: We’re from MegaloCorp. We’ve brought some gift packages to share with you for the holidays.

Bigfoot: You got something to eat?

Noreen: You know who you remind me of? Burl Ives. [Noreen smiles and activates her pin. She then hands Bigfoot a bag.]

Bigfoot: What’s in here?

[Several others appear from out of the shadows, like munchkins. They warily approach Bigfoot and look at him as if awaiting some guidance about what to do next. Big foot hands a bag to a short bag lady; she rips the bag apart and seizes upon the capsule of bee pollen. She quickly eats it, and grabs another bag and searches for the bee pollen capsule and eats it.]

Bigfoot: [Takes out the Colorectal Cancer coffee mug from the bag.] Got anything to go is this coffee mug?

Noreen: The cancer disappears when you put hot liquid in it.

Bigfoot: [Ponders this for a minute.] I see. Hey, look, Auntie Em, here’s a bumper sticker for your collection.

Auntie Em: [Comes forward, grabs the bumper sticker, peels the backing and immediately sticks it on her coat, already covered with stickers.]

[Another person, wearing several layers of clothes so they can’t tell if it is a man or a woman, grabs a bag and takes out one of the donated condoms and opens it.]

Bigfoot: What are you gonna do with that, Bucko?

Bucko: [Looks at Bigfoot, then everyone else, and starts to eat the condom.]

Bigfoot: Now you don’t want to go and do that. You can’t eat those.

Auntie Em: Why not? I used to. All the time.

*****

Atlee (Atlee Elmont is the Editor of the MegaloCorp company magazine): Faith, heard anything about the status of the calendars? Last I heard it was at the printers. We need to get those things out.

Faith: The status of all jobs is posted. You can look for yourself.

Atlee: Okay, you have me there. But let me ask you, should I look in “Clients and Profits.” WebPressPro Track? Elite Job Status Tracking? JobProTracker? PrintJob TrackerPro?

Faith: These are valuable tracking tools. You should use them. It would save you wasting your time and mine. You should learn how to use them, or have your assistant April learn how.

Atlee: Well, funny you should mention that. As you know, we have our work entered in several different tracking systems. I’m going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that we have one system for tracking our work, not a dozen. We can’t be looking in one system for status of the design work and another system for job printing and yet another for the magazine printing. You have two many tracking systems.

Faith: I’ve been working with Guy Pradeep in upgrade some of our systems. Incidentally, I hear that our updated version or Quark doesn’t support some of our fonts, so we’ll have to buy some patches and some font upgrades? I’ll take it out of your budget.

Atlee: I was perfectly happy with the version we had. It wasn’t my idea to get the new version, and now that we have it we can open standard fonts. My reward for all this is I have to get some new software to fix it? I just find that absurd.

Faith: You should plan ahead.

Atlee: Faith, I turned my work in for the company calendar in September?

Faith: I think that means you should have started earlier. Don’t blame me if you haven’t planned properly.

Atlee: Listen, Faith, you and I both know we got that work moving with plenty of time. The calendars should have been distributed to customers, employees and shareholders already. It’s December. It’s the end of December.

Faith: Atlee, I know what month it is. If you just look on your tracking systems you can find out where your work is.

Atlee: Well, can’t you help me here? You know these tracking systems better than we do. Better than I do, at least.

Faith: [Pulls up several job orders on her computer.] Here it is. 2005 MegaloCorp Corporate calendars. It says the point of contact is Atlee Elmont. [Faith stares at Atlee as if she has delivered the piece de resistance.]

Atlee: So, where’s my job?

Faith: You should check with your POC.

Atlee: [Takes a deep breath.] Faith, where is my job?

Faith: [Faith looks at screen.] It’s at the printer.

*****

Penny: Look, another Christmas present in your in-basket.

Smidgin: Who brought it?

Penny: I didn’t see.

Smidgin: It says, “To Smijin. From your secret admirer.”

Penny: Oh, that is so sweet. How many is that today?

Smidgin: This is the third.

Penny: What is it?

Smidgin: Guess I’ll just have to peek. Feels like another Beanie Baby.

Penny: Just what you need.

Smidgin: Oh, how cute. “Happy the Holiday Hyena.”

Penny: How darling.

Smidgin: You want it for your kids?

Penny: You kidding? I’d have to have two, or none at all. They’d fight over it.

Smidgin: I forgot.

Penny: That’s okay.

Smidgin: Maybe I’ll get another. It’s still early.

Penny: Hey, that’s okay.

Smidgin: Is their Dad doing anything for them this year?

Penny: You kidding?

*****

Moxie: [She mumbles to herself in her office.] If Tad wants material for a book, I can give him material. I'm going to close my door for an hour and I'm burning up my keyboard.

Let's see. First book idea..."Drive Business - But Obey the Signs." A guide to safe driving on the dangerous highway of commerce."

Chapter One - Learn how to drive from the best.

Chapter Two - Accelerating into traffic. Let then see you coming.

Chapter Three - When to honk your horn - for safety or for impact.

Chapter Four - The Road Less Traveled - byways and side streets to success.

Chapter Five - Deer Crossing - Competing with non-humans for a piece of the action.

Chapter Six - Road Construction - How your tax dollars at work can work for you.

Chapter Seven - Never ask for directions when you're lost.

Chapter Eight - Spinning your wheels in the workplace? You may need new treads.


*****

Genevieve: Can we get a group picture here?

Noreen (to Bigfoot): I swear you look like Burl Ives. Doesn’t he look like Burl Ives.

Sid: Give him your hat, Noreen. Then you can talk about your Burl Ives.

Noreen: Oh, good idea, and we can get a picture. [Noreen gives Bigfoot her Santa hat. Genevieve prepares to take a photo but Noreen notices that Bigfoot gives off an unclean aura.]

Sid: [Turns to see people taking bags from the van.] Hey, guys, don’t be grabbing all those bags.

[The crowd of vagrants has been getting steadily larger. They are grabbing for the bags in the back of the van. Two of the boxes spill out on to the ground and the crowd pushes and shoves to get at them. The coffee mugs spill out and break on the ground. Bucko is eating condoms. Genevieve hops in the van, as does Noreen. Sid tries to get to the back door to close it, but is pushed away. Sid drops the camera. The crowd pulls the remaining boxes of gift bags onto the ground and starts pulling them open looking for something worthwhile. Bea picks up the camera. Sid jumps in the driver’s seat, turns on the ignition and steps on the gas. A few of the homeless people who were in front of the van dive out of the way. Sid takes off.]


*****

Smidgin: Did you know that Mini-Me is getting a divorce?

Penny: The guy from Austin Powers?

Smidgin: Verne Troyer’s his name.

Penny: I didn’t know he was married.

Smidgin: To a yoga instructor.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Realiticomm Episode # 3

This is the third installment. For best results, read previous episodes first.

Moxie: The year’s closing out, and that means we need to get started on the annual report. I’ll be assigning a writer to help with Tad’s [Tad Offal, MegaloCorp CEO] comments and some of the verbiage. We’ll need the financials as soon as…

William Earnest (MegaloCorp CFO): That won’t be necessary.

Moxie: I was going to put…

William: That won’t be necessary.

Moxie: [Stares at William.]

William: We’ll take care of the annual report.

Moxie: Bill, this is my job. I do the annual report. I get the financials from you.

William: Well, we need to be very careful with our numbers this year.

Moxie: Bill, I know this hasn’t been our best year…

William: Right, so we’ll need to keep a cap on that.

Moxie: A cap?

William: A lid.

Moxie: What are you saying?

William: We’re going to hold off on releasing any of our financial data. We think that’s best.

Moxie: That’s not right, Bill. We have an obligation to put forward our honest financials.

William: Moxie, I want to make this clear. The numbers are not good. We think it’s best if we are not too public about the financials.

Moxie: We have to put out an annual report. We’re a publicly traded company.

William: [Says nothing.]

Moxie: Bill, this is wrong. You can’t sit on the data just because it doesn’t look good.

William: [Says nothing.]

Moxie: Bill, I need the financials as soon as they are available. I’m going ahead with my work on the annual report.

******

Genevieve: Okay, Sid. Is the vehicle all loaded up?

Sid: Yep. It’s down by the front entrance. I left it running so it will stay warm. Who is coming?

Genevieve: You and me, and Noreen and Bea.

Sid: Is Noreen meeting us here or down at the van?

Genevieve: I don’t know. Smidgen, can you call Bea and see if she’s coming with us?

Sid: I’ve got the camera. I sent e-mails to the media outlets in town but I didn’t get any interest in our photo ops. I guess I can see what we get and push them a photo with an expanded cutline.

Smidgen: Bea will meet you at the main entrance in two minutes.

Noreen: [Adjusts coat, which activates Christmas pin on her sweater that plays “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”]

Genevieve: That’s a cute song.

Noreen. I just love Burl Ives. It’s the best Christmas carol, don’t you think? Don’t you think that, Smidgin?Smidgin: I’d have to say Run DMC did the best Christmas song. You know the one I’m talking about, Penny?

Smidgin and Penny stand up and chant:

Give up the dough!
Give up the dough!
Give up the dough on Xmas yo!

Give up the dough!
Give up the dough!
Give up the dough
(Here we go, here we go!)

Penny: (Laughs.) Now that’s a traditional Christmas carol!

Noreen: [Looks hurt. She pushes the button on her pin and “Holly Jolly Christmas” plays again.] It’s not Burl Ives. Burl Ives IS Christmas.

Sid: Hey, Penny. You look especially blonde today.

Penny: I don’t know how to respond to that, Sid.

Sid: No, I can see that you wouldn’t.

Penny: Sid, why are blonde jokes so short?

Sid: Why’s that?

Penny: So men can remember them.


*****


Moxie: [At Starbucks with her friend, Carole Singer, who is a VP with an advertising agency in town.]

Carole: I think Tad is cute.

Moxie: He’s married.

Carole: So?

Moxie: Come on. Get real.

Carole: I bet he messes around.

Moxie: I don’t know. I don’t mix my personal life with my work life. You might try that yourself.

Carole: Ouch. And touché. But seriously, Mox. Imagine, you could wrap him around your little bitty fingers.

Moxie: That’s not what I’m after.

Carole: Well, do something to make him really need you, rely on you.

Moxie: He’s writing a book.

Carole: A book?

Moxie: I asked him what it was about and he said he didn’t know. Then he asked me if I could help him come up with an idea.

Carole: Where did that come from, outer space?

Moxie: Really. I mean, I was talking to him about something important and he launches off into this book idea. I know he was talking about Sterling Benchmarque.

Carole: Oh, that explains it. That notorious phony. “Doctor” Sterling Benchmarque.

Carole and Moxie say in unison: “The Third.”

Moxie: Sterling has been saying that Tad should write a book to raise his profile.

Carole: About what?

Moxie: That’s the point. Sterling’s books are way out there. Gibberish. But the talk show people foam all over him. I’ll be that’s what he’s filling Tad with.

Carole: Foam?

Moxie: Maybe I should come up with some bogus ideas for Tad’s book to see if he follows up.

Carole: Oooo. I like it. You are sneaky.


*****

Ruby [Ruby Rapicault, front desk “knows-everyone” busy-body receptionist.]: Hello, Abelia. You look lovely, girl. I like that Christmas bow in your hair.

Bea: Thank you, Ruby.

Ruby: And look at you, Noreen, honey. I love that red outfit. Red sweater, red slacks. You red all over, honey!

Noreen: You look festive, yourself, Ruby. Don’t you love Christmas?

Ruby: I got Christmas carols playing in my ear.

Noreen: Listen to this. [Activates her “Holly Jolly Christmas” pin.]

Bea: Isn’t that nice?

Ruby: Oh, Noreen, you sure know how to accessorize. Genevieve, where is your Christmas spirit, honey?

Genevieve: What?

Ruby: You look like somebody died. You all in black. Come on, brighten it up.

Sid: Ladies, I was saving my surprise. But this seems like a good time. [Sid produces Santa hats for Noreen and Genevieve, and puts one on himself.] Sorry, Ruby. This last one’s for Bea.

Ruby: She’s already out in the van. Where you off to?

Genevieve: We’re going to spread some holiday cheer. You want to come with us?

Ruby: Oh no, I got some of that right here in my bottom drawer.


*****

Sid: [Sid is driving.] Okay, if we’re all buckled up we’ll shove off. Anybody know where we’re going?

Noreen: I got lost down there once.

Genevieve: I think if we head towards the interchange, and take the service road off towards the landfill and those big parking lots where all those old trucks are parked, we can go down there and follow the river to the underpass.

Bea: I don’t recognize anything here.

Noreen: They’ll sure be happy when they get our goodies. [Noreen inadvertently activates her “Holly Jolly Christmas” pin.]

Bea: [Smiles at Noreen.] That’s nice.

Noreen: Burl Ives.

Sid: Hold on, it’s gonna get bumpy.

Genevieve: Cut through those Jersey barriers there. See, where there’s an opening? It looks like we can head over towards those big bridges. There might be people living underneath.

Noreen: Look, there’s a path through those weeds.

Bea: What a dump.

Genevieve. There. Go through over there. Look. It looks like some boxes and stuff over by those bridge abutments.

Noreen: Look! A smashed up shopping cart. We must be getting close! Oh, I can hardly wait to see their faces.

Sid: I see it. I’m on it.

Genevieve: Pull over by those boxes there.

Sid: [Stops van by several boxes placed together to create some kind of shelter.] I see some feet sticking out of the bottom of this one here. [Sid gets out of the van. Walks over to the feet and nudges them.] Yo, hello. You in there?

Genevieve: Of course he’s in there, Sid. [Mutters “that’s a stupid question,” or words to that effect.]

Sid: Hey, we got something for you here.

Bea: I don’t see anyone else.

Noreen: This place gives me the creeps. [Her “Holly Jolly Christmas” pin starts singing again.”

Sid: You were expecting maybe Bedford Falls? [Nudges the feet again] Hey you! Wake up! We got something for you!

Bea: Maybe he’s deaf?

Noreen: Maybe he’s dead.

Sid: Great. That would be our luck. We go to all this trouble to spread some holiday cheer to the homeless and the first bum we come to is on ice.

Bea: Maybe he’d like some hot cocoa?



Thursday, December 16, 2004

Realiticomm Epsisode 2

Realiticomm – Episode Two

Dr. D. Sterling Benchmarque, III is one of MegaloCorp’s PR Consultants. They usually keep several around to cancel each other out.

"Stir." Has a deep radio voice. Drives a 1988 Cadillac Allante. Say's "I'm your 'idea' guy. Often wears shell necklaces and chokers with Aloha shirts buttoned halfway. His undergraduate degree is from SUNY New Paltz. Masters in organizational management of systematic models from Mercyhurst University in Erie. Doctorate in Education from University of Maine at Fort Kent. Has "authored" six books: "Interpreting Cloud Formations for Organizational
Effectiveness;" "Revisionist Corporate Culture Germination;" "Coming of Age in the New Age Business Environment." His doctoral thesis was “Employment of Bio-Social Theory and Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques to impact emotions, relationships, behavior, and cognition of targeted consumer markets.” Best known for his analysis that showed that the Snail Darter population in the Tennessee Valley Watershed was contributing to birth defects, bad teeth and inbreeding.


Stir (Dr. D. Sterling Benchmarque, III, PR Consultant): You know, Tad, I can make you look like a real visionary. We collaborate on a book, and you’ll dazzle ‘em. You’ll be on every talk show.

Tad Offal (MegaloCorp CEO): Think so?

Stir: Oprah. Good Morning America. Today Show. Leno.

Tad: No way.

Stir: Way

Tad: This is about positioning yourself, my friend. Look at your peers. They all have big jobs. They all have advanced degrees. They’re all on the boards of big charities. Right?

Tad: Right.

Stir: But they haven’t written a book. You…you need to write a book.

Tad: What would I write about? I mean, I have to have something to write about, don’t I?

Stir: (Waves his hands dismissively.) Nah. Not really. I mean, you can write about anything. Even better, you can write about nothing. I’ve done that a couple of times. Nobody says your wrong about what you say because you aren’t saying anything. This is the trick. It’s brilliant. It can’t fail. And you are a published author. People will line up to get you to sign your book just because your name is on the cover.

Tad: What about my picture?

Stir: That, too. Your picture, and your name in big letters. What you talk about, write about, is largely irrelevant. Fact is your doing it. People respect that. You think people read all those self-help and business books out there? No way. But they buy ‘em. And if they know the guy, or met the buy, or got the guy to sign the damn thing they’ll buy a half a dozen.

Tad: Okay. So, I still have to have a subject, don’t I?

Stir: Not to worry. Listen, there must be something you like, right? A pastime, a hobby? Something you like to do.

Tad: I dunno. You want some coffee?

Stir: Yeah. Two creams. Three sugars.

Tad: (Calls out to secretary in outer office) Honey, two cups of coffee please. Stir takes his …

Sally Forth (Tad’s executive secretary): Two creams. Three sugars.

Stir: So, like was sayin’. What flips your switch?

Tad: Stir, you know the answer to that. I like beating you ass on the golf course. I like have a nice short term affair when I’m on the road. And I enjoy a nice single malt scotch.

Stir: That’s not what I meant. Wait, maybe it is. You can write a book like Business is like the Golf Course.” Except a million people have already written that book. Hell, I was staring up into the sky and watching the clouds turn into different shapes and wrote a book about. A freaking book about clouds, Tad. See what I mean?

Tad: A book about clouds?

Stir: I’ve "authored" six books, plus a bunch of magazine articles, including "Interpreting Cloud Formations for Organizational Effectiveness;" "Revisionist Corporate Culture Germination;" "Coming of Age in the New Age Business Environment." I could go on.

Tad: What are they about?

Stir: What difference does that make? The important thing is that I wrote something. I think you should, too. And I’m the guy to help you make it happen.

Tad: You really think so.

Stir: It’s what I do.

Tad: A book?

Stir: Yessir. A book. Gotta have a book. Publish or perish.

*****

Genevieve: Let’s finish off the list of donated items so we can start packing them a get them ready for distribution. We have 200 tubes of Sun-Enhancer cocoa butter. 240 K-ROX bumper stickers. 112 eye shades from TWA Airlines.

Sid: Didn’t they go out of business?

Noreen: Say, that will make them collectors items. Won’t our homeless people be pleased about that!

Bea: That’s so nice.

Genevieve: And we have 167 Laker Airways pilots wings.

Moxie: Genevieve, how's it going?

Genevieve: Hello, Moxie. We sure have some great donations for our gift baskets for the homeless. We were just going over the list.

[Genevieve passes spreadsheet to Moxie.]

Moxie: Bee pollen capsules? Sample-size fabric softeners? Molly McButter? Eye shades? You got to be kidding?

Genevieve: No, Moxie, this is for real. This is so great, isn’t it?

Moxie: Don’t you think homeless people want something to eat or drink, or to wear, or to keep them dry or warm?

Genevieve: Oh. Well you can eat Molly McButter.

Noreen: I’ve heard that cocoa butter is edible.

Moxie: I can’t believe this.

Sid: She’s testy today, isn’t she? Hey, did you hear about the baby seal who walks into a bar?

Genevieve: No.

Sid: Bartender asks, "What'll ya have?" and the baby seal says "Anything but a Canadian club."

*****

Moxie: Smidgen. Call Sally and see if I can get in to see Mr. Offal. I need to see him right away.

Smidgen: Sure. Are you tired? You look tired.

Moxie: Thanks, Smidge. Is it hot in here?

Smidgen: Sally says to come up now and she can get you in.

Penny: What’s that song you’re playing?

Smidgen: [Srunches her face and plays rock star)

“Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain”

Penny: Yeah. Who’s that?

Smidgen: Butthole Surfers.


*****

Tad: I thought you would be delighted that we’re finally doing some of that “community relations” you are always talking about.

Moxie: Yes, Tad, I am. I completely agree with the company reaching out to the community. But we’re going about this the wrong way. This fiasco was handed off to me. From HR. It was planned by one of the Employee Process Action Teams. I had nothing to do with the planning.

Tad: Maybe you’re just ticked that Clifton Homestead is the guy who got this project moving.

Moxie: No, Tad. That’s not the case at all. Don’t even think that. But do you know what we’re giving to these street people?

Tad: Sure. They’ve got nothing…

Moxie: Suntan lotion. Contact lens cleaning solution.

Tad: …We’re giving them something…

Moxie: Bee pollen capsules. Coupons for Viagra.

Tad: Sounds like something to me. Something beats nothing.

Moxie: These items don’t help a homeless person. If we really have compassion we would be giving them blankets, jackets, soap and toothbrushes, socks and underwear…

Tad: I don’t want to be getting into their unmentionables.

Moxie: We should give them bottled water, or plastic sheeting they could use for shelter. I mean, did we ask anyone out in the community what would be useful, beneficial, desireable?

Tad says nothing.

Moxie: You know, Tad. This could backfire. This could make us look bad.

Tad: I’m thinking of writing a book?

Moxie: What?

Tad: A book. You know, so I can become a published author.

Moxie: A book about what?

Tad: I don’t know. I was hoping you could help me with that.

*****

Genevieve: Sid, it was a goofd idea to use these plastic bags instead of actual baskets.

Noreen: That happy face just brightens my day, you know?

Genevieve: Okay, we’re out of the bee pollen. Let’s start putting some of those post-it notes in the rest of these bags. We’re almost done. Just take whatever you’ve got and fill these bags over here and we’ll be all done.

Sid: I can fit about 40 bags in each of these boxes. So ten of these shipping boxes will take care of the total of 400 gift baskets.

Genevieve: Bea, did you call Red Kettle? What did they say?

Bea: They asked me what we were putting in the baskets.

Genevieve: What did you tell them?

Bea: Stuff. Good stuff.

Genevieve: When are they coming to get them?

Bea: Well, they don’t have time to collect the baskets and distribute them for us. So they want us to do it ourselves.

Genevieve: Well, that’s a wrinkle in our plan. I guess we can take them out and find out where the homeless people live and drop them off.

Sid: I’ll bring the camera and we’ll get some shots of Tad handing them out to the needy. If Tad can't go, whoever. Maybe you Genevieve.

Genevieve: Where should we take them?

Noreen: We should start with that underpass by the interstate, over by the river and the railroad tracks. I’ve seen lots of people that look like they’re living in boxes there.

Genevieve: Good idea.

Sid: This works out better. Won’t have some Red kettle guy with a bell and a Santa hat getting all the glory.

Noreen: Look what I found, a big bag of Pizza Hut refrigerator magnets.

Bea: That’s nice. Some of them live in refrigerators.

***

Penny Stock (communication specialist): What are you listening to, Smidge?

Smidgen: Green Day.

Penny: The new one?

Smidgen: American idiot.

Penny: Oh, I like that CD.

Smidgen: Is that a new necklace?

Penny: This is pretty cool. It’s rawhide with turquoise and silver.

Smidgen: It looks good on you. Where did you get it?

Penny: At the mall, of course. That little stand next to the Cinnabon place. Hey, are you still going out with William from the bank?

Smidgen: No, I don’t think so. He was nice, and all. But, I don’t think he’s my type.

Penny: He was cute. Nice body. But...

Smidgen: Yeah. But…

Penny: Right…but…

Penny: Hey, look at this. It’s “Girls Gone Wild” night at the Dead End Club on Friday. We should go.

Smidgen: Maybe. You could meet that guy I told you about in your horoscope.

Penny: And you could meet yours. The one you will reveal a deep dark secret to.

Moxie: Here’s an invitation to a meeting on company reorganization. Guess Moxie will have to go to that.

Penny: We still come under Corporate Counsel don’t we?

Smidgen: Yes. For now. Always subject to change.

Penny: Hey, are the 2005 calendars back from the printer yet?

Smidgen: I’ll have to ask Atlee when he gets in. Hi, Jimmy!

Jimmy (James Bottsweep, the janitor): Morning ladies.

Smidgen: Jimmy, I have a Hershey’s Kiss for you. And two empty returnable bottles.

Jimmy: Awh, Smidgen. You just the most thoughtful person. They 'a special place in heaven for you.

*****

Moxie: This is Moxie.

Charlotte: Hello, Maria, this is Charlotte Webb. I’m a graphic designer who has been doing some freelance work for you and Hillary Cribb, your web person.

Moxie: Right. I remember. You did. I evealutated your work and helped make the selection to have you do our Intranet.

Charlotte: I’ve sent several invoices to Hillary. But I haven’t been paid. The work was completed back in May. So this account is overdue. Hillary has not responded to my e-mails. I called Finance and they say that they don’t have the invoice. In fact I’ve sent it to them, but they say Hillary has to sign off on the job and approve the payment.

Moxie: Well, Hillary used to be part of Corporate Communication, but now Web Services is its own department. But I’ll talk to her. I’ll see what I can do. You should be paid.

Charlotte. Thanks, Maria. I appreciate you looking into this.


*****

Moxie: Hillary, I got a call from Charlotte Webb, the freelancer who did some web design work for us last spring.

Hillary Cribb (the MegaloCorp Director of New Media): Me, Mox. She did it for me, not we.

Moxie: She says she hasn’t been paid.

Hillary: And that impacts on you how?

Moxie: Hillary, come on. She worked for us. We gave her a job to build some pages for our intranet. She did that. She expects to get paid.

Hillary: It’s my intranet, first of all. This is my problem, not yours.

Moxie: You may be your own little department now, but you were part of this department when we signed the work order, and you begged me to sign it. So, I did. And the work was done. And now it needs to be paid. That’s how it works.

Hillary: Well, I really don’t like the work she did.

Moxie: That’s not relevant. You owe her the money.

Hillary: It’s not functional the way I wanted it.

Moxie: Did you give her specs on the job?

Hillary: Yes, but the job got more complicated.

Moxie: Did you amend the work order to add more functionality?

Hillary: Listen. I don’t really like the pages. I expected more.

Moxie: The company’s business reputation is at stake. You don’t going around stiffing contractors because you decide later you wanted something else…

Hillary: Don’t lecture me.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Realiticomm Episode One December 13, 2004

Moxie: My name is Maria Xenia Eleftheriadis, the sort of new (five months) Director of Corporate Communications here at MegaloCorp. My friends call me Moxie. My enemies (I can’t imagine why I would have any) call me “Bitch.” My ex-husband refers to me as “that one” and “The Litigant,” although our divorce was pretty straightforward and uncontested, not at all complicated by children or property or really anything. It was his idea we call it quits, and seeing I wasn’t getting any fulfillment out of the relationship I didn’t argue the point. My mother cried for a week. “You had such a beautiful wedding,” she said. There wasn’t much to divide, and I let him have it all. I think he was seeing someone and that’s why he left (he denies it), because he had someone to leave for. I didn’t. But he doesn’t have a job, or a future, and I do.

I’ve been told I look a little bit like Sarah Jessica Parker, but I’m not as tall. I’m the only Greek woman with blue eyes. I work out. I look pretty good. I go to Curves and I get electrolysis. I’m all-natural, although I streak my hair from time to time. Doesn’t everybody?

I came to Megalo from a stint at a PR agency that specialized in crisis communications. I worked too hard and too many hours for clients that didn’t deserve to be let off the hook for the heinous things they had done to their customers, to their shareholders, to the environment, to the community or to mankind. In fact, we made these dirt bags look like saints. I won some great awards, got some big raises, developed ulcers and nearly had a nervous breakdown. Depends who you ask. My ex-husband says I wasn’t there for him during this “difficult time.” He wasn’t there for me, either.

On paper I work for William F. Morrissey, Esq., the corporate secretary, general counsel and vice president for corporate affairs. Mr. Morrissey was supposed to interview me for my final interview when I was thinking about coming to this job. He actually left me a voicemail. Once. That was more than five months ago and I have not heard from him, nor seen him since. I’m told various reasons why I don’t see him at work, like he is doing some trial work for the company, is on loan to the Bush Administration, is at Betty Ford, but I have no clue.

Fortunately, I have access to Tad Offal, our CEO. He calls me when he needs something. He calls me when he wants something. He calls me when he doesn’t like his coverage in the press. He calls me when he doesn’t like his photo in the newsletter.

He’s an okay boss, I guess. He treats me with respect, I think. He listens to what I have to say, sometimes, if there are no lawyers around. I think he just likes to listen to me because he likes the sound of my sultry, seductive voice. That’s an acceptable reason for me.

My background is in PR and corporate communications. I thought MegaloCorp was a huge break for me. A big raise. Big staff, sort of. A first class operation. I’m still getting over the fact that this job is hardly what I thought it would be. Or maybe I’m not what they thought I would be.

[Phone rings. It’s Moxie’s cell phone which has an OutKast ‘Hey Ya’ ring tone.]

Lou Fumare (MegaloCorp HQ building manager): Moxie, it’s me.

Moxie: Who is this?

Lou: It’s me. Lou.

Moxie: Lou who?

Lou: Me. Lou Fumare.

Moxie: Oh. Why are you calling on my personal cell phone?

Lou: Excuuuuse me?

Moxie: I’m sitting at my desk, Lou. How hard would it be for you to call me on my office line, which, as we both know, you have on your speed dial? Am I not good enough for your speed dial? Are you afraid somebody might find out about your crush on me?

Lou: Maybe I like talking with you without the company snoops listening in.

Moxie: It’s cold up here. Can you crank up the heat?

Lou: Sure. Whatever you want, Moxie. Whatever. You name it. I’m there for you.

Moxie: Come on, Lou. I’ve got work to do. I presume you do, too.

Lou: I thought you would want to know about this, and owing to my discretion about such sensitive matters, I’m perfectly willing to keep this private between the two of us, if you know what I mean

Moxie: Hello.

Lou: Yeah. Hello.

Moxie: Lou, will you tell me what’s going on.

Lou: I got your Christmas present to yourself down here. I thought I’d call you so you could come and get it yourself, you know, so I don’t have to send Ian Collins to your door. I know his tattoos repulse you.

Moxie: They do.

Lou: He’s got a new one.

Moxie: I can only imagine.

Lou: Want me to tell you where?

Moxie: Lou, stop. Stop this now.

Lou: Okay, so you coming down here?

Moxie: I don’t have the first clue about what this is about.

Lou: I think you do. I got a package here. It’s addressed to you.

Moxie: So, I get lots of packages. So what.

Lou: Not from Pleasure Sensations of Canoga Park California.

Moxie: What?

Lou: Contents, 144 three-packs of “SensXtreme” condoms. Moxie, you planning a big party I wasn’t invited to?

Pause.

Lou: You there?

Pause.

Lou: You don’t want me to have Vinny look into this, do you. Those boneheads in Internal Audit are always looking for a wrong tree to bark up. They’d have a field day with this. Keep ‘em busy for a whole week.

Moxie: Are you threatening me?

Lou: No, I just…

Moxie: Good. You have your Sid Vicious, or Johnny Rotten or whatever his name is, bring this box up with the rest of the mail for Corporate Communications, and deliver it to Smidgen like he does every morning.

Lou: OK, but…

Moxie: If I ever hear you say a word about this to anybody, you’re in big trouble, you understand me?

Lou: Hey, don’t…

Moxie: And Lou, don’t ever, ever call me on my personal cell phone again.

Moxie hangs up.

Lou hangs up.

Lou, shouting out into the office: Hey, Mitch, we got complaints about the temperature in Corporate Communications. They say they got no heat. So turn it all the way up in there, will yah?

*****

Moxie puts on her full-length sweater, and heads out of her office to get herself a cup of coffee. The pot is next to Smidgen’s desk. Sarah Michelle Jennings is too cute for her own good. Men flock to her. She sits at the front desk for corporate communications. She is 20, just five feet tall, if that. She is reading a Cosmo. Moxie sips the coffee and spits it out into the wastebasket.

Moxie: Igggh.

Smidgen: Something wrong with the coffee, Mox?

Moxie: I’ll say. You try it?

Smidgen: No. Are you crazy?

Moxie: It’s cold.

Smidgen: I wouldn’t know. Do you like my nails?

Moxie: Yeah, they’re great. I’m going to dump this pot out and make a fresh pot. Who usually makes it?

Smidgen: Sid’s usually the first one in. He’s at that meeting with Genevieve on the holiday baskets. You know, Mox, I could help you do something about your nails.

Moxie: What’s wrong with my nails?

Smidgen: Nothing. If you like that sort of thing.

*****

Moxie: Nothing beats a stupid idea to just kill my holiday spirit. My "friends" in HR have launched another one of their great ideas for community relations, sold the idea to the front office, and assigned Corporate Communications to run with it.

This year we will be collecting gift baskets and distributing them to the homeless. The gift “baskets” are actually blue plastic bags with yellow “happy faces”

The “goodies” we collected through a series of deals that I seriously question, strong-arm threats to late-bill-paying customers and deadbeat vendors will fill a basket, of that there is no doubt.

So CorpComm is in charge of this fiasco, but I assigned Genevieve (that’s pronounced “Jenn-uh-vee-EV”) D’Ecolletage, my Special Events Coordinator, to the task of running the committee, gathering the donations and distributing the material. This may have been a mistake.

Genevieve has her degree in parks and recreation management. She is anal about details. Over organized and works too hard making sure everything is precisely so. She has what you would call an “ample figure.” She’s ample everywhere. She could use a few workouts. Her clothes are so tight that they give me a little too much information about her body. And her perfume arrives 10 minutes before she does. She told me that she wants to wear an ankle bracelet but doesn’t know the significance of which ankle to wear it on. Someone told her that if you wear an ankle on your left ankle you are a cheap whore and the right ankle means you are expensive. She’s trying to verify that. I was unable to help.

She also has Noreen Nesbit working with her. Noreen works in fulfillment (her identical-twin husband works in Risk management). Noreen and Nelson are always so excited to be doing anything and everything. They look like matching draperies when you see them together. She’s so excited to be on the Community Relations “Holiday Gift Basket” Committee. But she drives me up a wall. Noreen is really deep into the holiday spirit, too. She’s got candy-cane earrings that blink, a snowman pin that plays “Frosty the Snowman” over and over, a necklace with little sleigh bells that jingle wherever she goes. Kind of like having my cat around the office. Her Christmas Sweater has little wrapped gift packages all over it, and all that stuff drives me nuts, too. Give it a rest, Noreen, you know what I mean?

I stuck Sid Hoedecker on the committee, too, just to get him out of Atlee’s hair. Atlee owes me, again.

Also on the committee is Abelia Bonnet, who is a clerk for some department. She likes to be called Bea and thinks “Bea Bonnet” is such a cute name. She is usually offered up for such time-intensive and wasteful tasks because she serves no other useful purpose at whatever place she works doing whatever it is she’s supposed to do. Except projects like this. Then she shines.

Noreen: I’m just so proud to be here, Genevieve. Thank you for selecting me from all the many worthy people here at MegaloCorp.”

Genevieve: I have an Excel spreadsheet for all of you. It shows the projected 400 baskets. We currently have donations from various sources of up to 300 items, but not every basket will have exactly the same items. Right now, I’m projecting that we have a requirement to deliver the 400 baskets to Red Kettle Charities on December 20, so we have to get this all done by then.

We currently do not have any donations of 400 items, so we’ll have to try and divide up these items evenly between the 400 baskets. The first item on your list is the 300 Downy April Fresh samples, followed by the Abbott Labratories Sof/Pro soft contact lenses cleaning solution sample bottles.

Noreen: Genevieve, is that Giorgio you are wearing? Oh, I just love Giorgio. It really fills up a room, doesn’t it?

Genevieve: It’s Obsession.

Noreen: I agree. I’m obsessed with that smell, too.

Genevieve: No, the perfume. It’s Obsession.

Noreen: “I know what you mean about perfume. You can become obsessed with it.”

Genevieve: We have 275 samples of Improve, the dog food supplement for itchy skin. We have 250 American flag pins.”

Bea: That’s nice.

Noreen: Oh, I like these. They have John Kerry’s face on them. Who’s the other fellow?

Genevieve: John Edwards. We have 300 coupons for a trial six-pack for Viagra. 220 sample capsules of bee pollen.

Sid: Bee pollen?

Noreen: That’s supposed to be good for you, I read. I saw it in that Organic Gardening magazine. Bee pollen. And something about manure, something like that.

Sid: Mix them together, the Viagra and the bee pollen. I like that idea. Stiffen the stinger.

Genevieve: [shoots a withering glance at Sid which shuts him up for the moment] We have some other items coming from some other suppliers. Here’s a notice that we have some items on order. Here’s a list of items coming from TSR Associates.. Let’s see, 50 hair brushes large, 38 hair brushes, small; 112 sets of hairclips; 200 cards of 100 hairclips. 58 Power Ranger hair clips; 62 Sailor Moon hairclips; 38 Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle hairclips and 13 My Little Pony hairclips. So there’s these. And then we have 175 “Shopping with Mary Kate and Ashley” coloring books; and 58 boxes of “Yo! Mo Math with Moesha” flash cards.

Bea: That’s nice.

Genevieve: We have 112 “Stamp out Colorectal Cancer” coffee mugs. You pour in a hot liquid and the cancer goes away. 300 Sporanox post-it note pads; 275 Oxycontin ball point pens; and 189 Vaniga Eflorrnithine Cream refrigerator magnets. And 600 tongue depressors.

Noreen: You can make some wonderful craft projects with tongue depressors and popsicle sticks.

Bea: That’s nice.

Noreen: I made a big Christmas Village once out of popsicle sticks, toothpicks , confectioners sugar and sugar cubes.

Sid: I once made a giant X-rated cookie out of two big Hershey kisses. That was before my wife stopped talking to me.

Bea: That must have been nice.

Sid: Do we have any food coming?

Genevieve: We have a bag with approximately 300 little packages of breath mintys from Helmsely Hotels. We have 144 camouflage gauze bandages; 250 towel-paper-cleansing-wets. I guess that’s the government term for wash-n-dry. We have 100 sample size packets of Molly McButter artificial butter flavoring. We have 144 packages of Pleasure Sensations SensXtreme prophylactics.

Bea: That’s nice.

*****

Penny: Hey, Smidge.

Smidgen: What?

Penny: I got a coupon on the Internet for a free bottle of Sierra Mist.

Smidgen: Totally bonus! E-mail it to me.

Penny: What are you doing?

Smidgen: Checking my horoscope.

Penny: What’s it say?

Smidge: Mine? It says “Stand by for some big-time changes in a close personal relationship today. You hold a deep secret inside you, which will bubble to the surface today. You may not realize it when it reveals itself, but you will be called upon to acknowledge this secret in front of somebody who means something to you. This revelation will have a profound impact on your relationship.”

Penny: Whoa. What’s that mean.

Smidgen: Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Penny: Some secret that will be revealed. Sounds so mysterious. I wonder who the “somebody” is.

Smidgen: I don’t have a clue. Guess we'll have to see who walks in the door.

Penny: What’s mine say?

Smidgen: You are a Virgo, right?

Penny: Right.

Smidgen: 'To you on this day, everything, every person, every dream and every conscious thought shall be a vessel full of delight. Taste each as they are presented to you, like a multi-course gourmet meal, and savor each morsel. But do not over indulge. Even the most vile fermentation can get you high. Judge like a monarch and select the choicest, most pure from among all that is before you.”

Penny: What’s that mean?

Smidgen: It means you’re going to meet some guy on a cruise ship that has a buffet.

Penny: Don’t look, but here comes your Prince Charming now.

Smidgen: Hi, Ian.

Ian: ‘Ow we doin, girls?. G’free boxeses a’day. Please sign ‘ere.

Smidgen: Ian, you never had me sign for anything before.

Ian: Well, is juss this one, actually. The one from Pleasure Sensations. Lou wants a signature for ‘is one.

Smidgen: Pleasure Sensations?

Ian: Yeah. Canoga Park, California.

Smidgen: What?

Ian: Contents, 144 three-packs of SensiXtreme condums. Sign ‘ere.

Smidgen: It’s for Moxie?

Ian: Yeah.

Smidgen: Is that a new tattoo?

Ian: The Queen? Yeah. I fig’rd get ‘er before she’s dead.

Smidgen: Why did Lou want somebody to sign for these? Is he trying to embarrass somebody?

Ian: Lou. ‘E’s a merchant banker.

Smidgen: A what?

Ian: A wanker.

Moxie: What’s this? Who’s a wanker?

Ian: [Smiles, revealing very bad teeth.]

Smidgen: Lou wanted a signature for this box of condoms.

Moxie: So this is Lou’s wet dream. Ian, be a good lad and tell Lou that I inventoried this box and we came up six short. Tell him I’m calling Vin Decatur and launching an investigation into internal pilfering.

Ian: You got orchestras!

Moxie: What?

Smidgen: What?

Penny: What?

Ian: Orchestras. Means “orchestras halls”, which rhymes with balls.

Moxie: Smidgen, please get Clifton Homestead on the phone.

Penny: All those tattoos. He’s kind of creepy. Where’s he from?

Smidge: Liverpool. That’s in England. It’s where the Beatles came from. You know, the band Paul McCartney used to sing with.