SCRIPT: Wake Up Call

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, way out on the lone prairie, Betsey Horton, Writer Extraordinaire, awakes from her not-so-sound slumber sometime well before dawn. After tossing and turning for sometime, she finally accepts the inevitable. She picks up her iPad and sees an interesting notification.

Duolingo: Ms. Horton, we’re just done your Year in Review and we have good news! Congratulations! You’re in the Top 1% of Language Learners in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD! That’s right! Out of millions of people on this planet, you made it to the top! You did it! You’re a World Champion! You’re #1!

Betsey: What the f—? Is this for real?

Duolingo: You’re damn right it’s real! Here’s 10 pages of states to prove it!

Betsey: Wow, okay. Uhhh… but… wait… uhh… how?

Duolingo: You dedicated your time and put in the work! You took lessons in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Navajo, Haitian Creole, and Swahili! French and Portuguese are the two you dedicated the most time and practice on. That’s right! Just by dedicating 10 minutes a day, you made it. You didn’t even know any Portuguese a year ago. Now you can understand the brief dialogues they included in The Woman King. How does that make you feel?

Betsey: Are you sure you’re not making a mistake? I never win anything. There’s no way I can be Number One.

Duolingo: C’est vrai! You’re on top! Here’s your award!

The Owl motions to the stage behind him as the red velvet curtains roll up. Betsey suddenly finds herself standing in front and center with the spotlight on her. The Owl drapes her in a golden sash, hands her a bouquet of flowers, and puts a crown on her head. The crowd gives her a standing ovation and throws their hats in the air.

The Audience: You’re Number One! You’re Number One! You’re Number One!

Betsey: [looks around in awe for just a moment before she realizes she *LOVES* all the attention suddenly being thrown her way and immediately starts hamming it up for the crowd] Oh yes, thank you, thank you! Merci beaucoup! Muchas gracias! Obrigada! Obrigado! Merci, merci, merci! Yes, thank you. I love you all! J’adore tout la monde!

Duolingo: But wait, there’s more! Just for purely scientific purposes, we must know… why did you end your streak and go dark on your lessons when you were doing well?

Betsey: Uhh… well… actually… if you must know… the real reason is because I was listening to the French audio lessons and I got to the one where my two friends meet at a dinner party and really hit off and go on a date to the tennis court together and it goes so well that he asks her out for lunch. Honestly, I just got really randomly insanely jealous and I had to turn it off because I couldn’t stand listening to it anymore.

Duolingo: Ahhh… l’amour.

Betsey: Oui, l’amour. C’est une blague. Ridiculous. Why can’t I be invited to a fancy French dinner party where some random hot French guy asks me out on a date? Why do I have to be stuck in this godforsaken town in the middle of nowhere?

Duolingo: I can’t answer that question, but I can suggest you finish out the audio listen just in case you ever happen to find yourself in that situation. You never know! After all, that’s the point of learning new languages. They open up lots of new doors!

Betsey: You’re right. I should go back. As it turns out, I really enjoy winning. This seems like a pretty good way to go about it.

Duolingo: Yes, yes. That’s it. Turn back to the light side! Use your brain power for good!

Betsey: Brain power? What brain power?

Duolingo: The brain power you used to become a #1 Top Language Learner Worldwide!

Betsey: Oh, that brain power. The brain power I’m destroying with alcohol because I have no practical use for it in my every day life now that I live in this miserable fucking culturally devoid shithole.

Duolingo: Exactly. Now let’s get you back on track so you can make that fabulous trip to Brazil for Carnival!

Betsey: You’re right. I am much happier when I dedicate my time and energy to opening new doors to new worlds and new people. Let’s take the New Year by storm!

The crowd goes wild, again. Betsey waves and bows and blows kisses as she waltzes offstage.

The End?

SCRIPT: Betsey Returns to the Island

Author’s Note: This was originally written in October 2018. I didn’t publish it because assholes were causing me a lot of problems at the time. Also, I’m not sure where to go with it. Should I continue the series, or should I abandon the Island of Lost Guys forever? Please let me know in the comments! Thank you in advance!


On last week’s episode of “Island Escapes International…”

BETSEY and a REAL ESTATE AGENT are standing on a desert island somewhere off the coast of Belize.

BETSEY: This Island will be perfect for all of my Lost Guys. I will build them a house so grand, they will never want to leave me ever again.

REAL ESTATE AGENT: That will be one million dollars, please.

BETSEY: Shut up and take my money!

REAL ESTATE AGENT: The exchange rate for Americans is really good down here, no?

BETSEY: That’s what happens when terrible first world foreign policy allows third world countries to become havens for money laundering, drug running, human trafficking, and gang warfare.

REAL ESTATE AGENT: No comment.

BETSEY: Enough about politics! I’ve got a house to build.

Three months later, Island Escapes International checks back in with BETSEY to see how her little project is coming along…

The scene opens with a flyover shot of a beautiful, exotic island somewhere in a far away land. Area Codes by Ludacris plays in the background as a private jet circles the island. It lands gracefully in a clearing. The door opens and a staircase appears. A red carpet rolls out.

BETSEY appears at the top of the staircase looking glamorous. She is wearing an emerald green sparkling fringe dress, a glittering headband with an ornate peacock feather fascinator, multiple strings of pearls, and a fur coat. She waltzes down the red carpet in her fabulous high heels. She is followed by 25 of her closest friends. They are also dressed up in 1920’s-themed clothing. BETSEY stops to greet the cameras.

BETSEY: Welcome one and all to the grand opening of The Island of Lost Guys! Here you will find an exotic wonder never before seen anywhere in literature! I’ve searched the world far and wide in search of these rare creatures of all shapes and sizes. Behold! My ridiculous collection of Ex-Boyfriends!

A sign appears on the screen reading: “VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The term “Boyfriend,” as used in this story, is defined as any man Betsey may have dated, hooked up with, crushed on, or derived inspiration from by staring at them from across the room. Why? Because it saves a lot of time.”

Cut to shot of a large mansion built in the middle of the clearing. The house is a white Southern plantation-style home with lavender shutters and a row of elaborate Corinthian-style columns out front. A grey slate path leads a trail to the grand front steps. Antique rocking chairs sway out on the front porch. Empty beer cans cover the grass and toilet paper hangs from the bushes. Mardi Gras beads decorate the windows and doors. A flock of plastic pink flamingos hangs out on the front lawn.

BETSEY: Wait a second. Something isn’t right here. This isn’t how I left my house!

BETSEY leads both the group and the camera crew to the front door. BETSEY unlocks the house and throws open the clean glass French doors to reveal a messy, smelly, utterly disgusting man cave. More empty beer cans litter the floor, joined by half-eaten bags of chips, used solo cups, and crushed Mountain Dew cartons. Everyone gasps in shock at the sight.

BETSEY: [laughing nervously] Looks like the guys had another party last night! Ridiculous! I know for a fact I told them I was coming. I don’t know why they didn’t clean up!

BETSEY leads the crew through the foyer and living room into the kitchen, where the mess is even worse. The garbage is overflowing with trash, the counter is lined with liquor bottles, and the counters are stained red from the cheap mixers. A gigantic stack of dishes sits abandoned in the sink, left for dead some time ago. The door to the backyard is slightly ajar, with a dog’s muddy paw prints trailing in and out of the house. An empty keg rolls across the deck like a tumbleweed in the wind. Everyone looks over the scene in horror.

BETSEY: I can’t believe this! How could they leave the house like this when they knew they were going to be on national television?! Don’t they have any idea we’re live?! Men are so ungrateful! You give them a whole house and they trash it! Typical!

Everyone follows BETSEY as she storms up the stairs to the second floor to wake THE GUYS. She raises her voice and lets out the most obnoxious holler they’ve ever heard. All of them simultaneously jump awake, throw on their uniforms, and assemble in the hall. They stand at attention as BETSEY marches up and down the hall to inspect the lot. She immediately notices who is missing from the lineup.

BETSEY: Alright, which one of you measly maggots decided it was a good idea to leave that mess downstairs?! Don’t you realize we’re live on national television here?!

THE GUYS stand together in silent solidarity. Betsey rolls her eyes and marches to the end of the line. There she finds TOM DE LA SALLE. He looks especially determined to play the part of LOYAL GRUNT SOLDIER, a random extra in Scene Three who captures the attention of the director, becomes a crucial supporting player over the course of the movie, and receives his own dramatic death scene in the final act. As a result, he stars in the director’s next five productions, wins multiple Oscars, and quickly becomes an international sensation.

BETSEY: You! Soldier! You seem like you’re looking for a chance to stand out from the crowd! I always know a Star when I see one. Tell me. What do you have to say?

TOM: [stands up tall and salutes BETSEY fiercely] Ma’am, yes, Ma’am! It was the President of the Belizean chapter of the Mu Alpha Tau Zeta fraternity, ma’am!

BETSEY: [confused] I beg your pardon? The Who of the What now?

TOM: The President of the Fraternity.

BETSEY: [eyes narrow darkly] What fraternity?

TOM: The fraternity we all joined in a Secret Ceremony in the basement. He told us it was real jack rabbit blood, but it just tasted like regular old blackberry brandy to me. Never much liked the stuff myself. Always thought it tasted like cough syrup.

BETSEY: [twitching angrily] I never authorized any sort of Greek activity on this island! There is no way this is a respectable, legitimate, registered organization. I’m not dealing with the legal ramifications of this. I’m going to have to shut it down.

TOM: Well, good luck with that one. He’s not going to let it go easily. It was crazy how it all happened. Everything was normal. All of us were just relaxing out here in our hammocks. The one day, HE showed up. Suddenly, he took over everything. [snaps fingers] Just like that.

BETSEY: I know exactly what you mean. What happened next?

TOM: He rounded us up, put us in bunks, and sent us out to do the grunt work. It’s been three years now since he enslaved us, but I never lost hope. Every once in awhile he throws a party to boost moral, but slogging through the day is brutal. We built this house with blood, sweat, and tears. Good men died here. So many good men! So many good god damned men!

TOM breaks down and starts crying dramatically. The crowd stands in awe, completely enraptured by his performance. BETSEY wipes a single tear from her eye.

BETSEY: Beautiful. Just beautiful. That is some real goddamn talent right there!

THE CROWD applauds. BETSEY promptly resumes her angry stance.

BETSEY: And pray tell, good solider, what is the name of this so-called “president” of this obviously fake “Mu Alpha Tau Zeta” fraternity? Is he aware that no legitimate Greek organization contains four letters in its name?

TOM: It was Andrew Darling, ma’am.

THE CROWD gasps.

BETSEY: [fuming] Of course it was.

TOM: As for your second question, I can neither confirm nor deny he has any knowledge of the Greek system. I can only say that he believes himself to be The Emperor of the whole island and therefore controls everything that goes on here.

BETSEY: Well… we’ll see about that, won’t we?

TOM: He’s upstairs in the penthouse if you’re looking for him.

BETSEY: [sarcastically] Of course he’s in the penthouse. Where else would he be?

TOM: I can take you up there if you like.

BETSEY: Lead the way. As for the rest of you, clean up this mess right now! I want this island to shine like the top of the Chrysler building!

THE GUYS: Whatever you say, Boss!

BETSEY: Damn right.

TOM leads BETSEY & COMPANY upstairs to the penthouse. At the top of the stairway they find an elaborate purple and gold door with a sign written in childish crayon scrawl, “ANDREW’S ROOM. NO GIRLS ALLOWED! (EXCEPT 4 MOM).” The door promptly opens and two young college girls come tramping out in the same clubwear they wore to the party the night before. Their makeup is smeared and their hairstyles askew. They stop giggling when greeted with the sight of a full camera crew.

BETSEY: Excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude, but… who the hell are you?

COLLEGE GIRL 1: What’s with the camera crew? Are we on TV right now?

COLLEGE GIRL 2: [cutting in front and taking a selfie in front of the cameras] I’m Ashley and this is Tiffany! We’re Influencers!

BETSEY: Uh huh, yeah. Right. Sure you are. And tell me, ladies, just what are you doing in my house?

TIFFANY: This is your house?

BETSEY: It is indeed my house. Let me guess. Andrew told you otherwise.

ASHLEY: He sure did! He said this was his house and we were welcome to come over to use the pool anytime we want.

BETSEY: [rolling her eyes] Well, unfortunately you have been misinformed. This is my house and you are not to come back here anymore, especially to use my pool. No other women are allowed on this island except for me. It’s my island I bought for my ex-boyfriends. You are not welcome here.

TIFFANY: Oh… sorry!

ASHLEY: We’ll just be going now.

BETSEY: Great. I’ll send one of my minions to get the helicopter. I support your right to party, but you can’t do it in my house. Go back to school and find a real frat house to get wasted in. Thanks again for visiting The Island of Lost Guys. Get home safe!

COLLEGE GIRLS: Thanks!

THE COLLEGE GIRLS slip past the camera crew and disappear down the stairs, stopping to take several selfies on the way down. BETSEY shakes her head and looks back at the door with dread.

BETSEY: All right, let’s see what’s behind Door Number Three!

BETSEY throws the door open to find a wide open studio space. A ring of strategically placed chairs sits in the middle of the room with various instruments strewn about. In the corner rests an old futon with a lump of blankets on top and a golden retriever puppy sleeping in the corner of the bed. BETSEY approaches the futon and pulls off the blankets to reveal a disheveled (early) middle-aged man with messy hair, a heavy five o’clock shadow, and a total dadbod. He is completely naked from head to toe and holding his dick in his hand. He jumps up in surprise and quickly covers himself with the sheet.

BETSEY: Andrew! What is the meaning of this?

ANDREW: [hazily] Oh… um… heyyyy, baby. What are you doing here?

BETSEY: I called three days ago to let you know in advance I was coming! I told you to clean up the house! Why isn’t it done?

ANDREW: Uhhh…

BETSEY: And while you’re at it, would you mind explaining to everyone who those girls were we just met outside your door?

ANDREW: What girls? I didn’t see any girls.

BETSEY: We have them on camera telling us you invited them over here.

ANDREW: I don’t know who you’re talking about. Sorry.

BETSEY: [points to a lime green thong on the floor] One of them left their underwear right there.

ANDREW: Wow, that’s so weird. How did that get there? Is that yours?

BETSEY: [gives him a look of disgust] Seriously? You think I, Betsey Horton, Writer Extraordinaire, would ever wear anything lime green, let alone a g-string? I am a woman with style, class, and taste. I would NEVER wear a lime green thong!

BETSEY throws the thong in ANDREW’S face. He takes a quick sniff of it before tossing it to the floor.

ANDREW: I’m not sure where that came from. Sorry.

BETSEY: [visibly disgusted] Roll the tape!

THE CREW plays back the video footage of TIFFANY and ASHLEY for ANDREW. He looks down at the floor and cringes.

ANDREW: Ohhh… uhhh… right… uhh… those girls. Yeah. Um… They were just here to clean the house.

BETSEY: So you hired a set of maids. I see.

ANDREW: That’s right!

BETSEY: Maids that you were just found in bed with. In a filthy house.

ANDREW: You didn’t find me in bed with them. They were in here cleaning the room.

BETSEY: They certainly weren’t dressed like they were cleaning the room! They were wearing crop tops and mini skirts with six inch heels!

ANDREW: It’s a specialized service. They’re supposed to dress that way.

BETSEY: Which explains why you’re naked, of course.

ANDREW: I’m not naked. I’m wearing a sheet.

BETSEY: [heavy sigh] Andrew, I just want you know I’m very disappointed in you right now. I thought you were more responsible than this. I thought I could trust you to be left alone in charge of the house. Now I see I was wrong. You’ve humiliated me in front of a live audience. Yet again! Thanks for nothing.

ANDREW: Wait! Stop! I can explain!

BETSEY storms out of the room. The cameras linger on ANDREW for just a moment as he calls after her. THE CREW proceeds to follow BETSEY as she walks down the hallway and back to the foyer. She stops at the top of the stairs, takes a deep breath, and turns around. She clears her throat and smiles at the camera as if absolutely nothing is wrong.

BETSEY: Well, it looks like we’ve discovered the main culprit behind the party! Typical men! They really do believe deep down in their primitive little lizard brains that women are in charge of the household chores! We’ve clearly got a lot of work to do here, so I guess that means it’s time for a commercial break. We’ll be back after these somewhat questionable messages from our sponsors.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

To be continued…

SCRIPT: Retail Apocalyse

Author’s Note: I wrote this because I am a lifelong shopaholic/mall rat who started working retail in 2007, watched all of these companies burn their businesses to the ground with crappy, unnecessary changes, and now lacks any kind of sympathy for any of them.

Corporate Retailers: Why are we all constantly declaring bankruptcy and closing all our stores? We can’t figure out what we’re doing wrong!

Retail Customers: Well, once upon a time, most of you had a solid business model with solid products that created customer loyalty. Then you decided to throw away that model in favour of a constantly-changing array of cheap, ugly crap that doesn’t last and overcharge for it. Now people can no longer find the products they were habitually buying from your stores.

In the case of clothing, you flat-out refuse to cater to the average-sized American woman, instead creating exclusive lines for size 2’s only. That’s not a realistic, profitable business model. It’s just not. You can fantasize about some perfectly proportioned woman who will never exist, but reality will NEVER match your expectations. If you want to make money, you’re just going to have to accept the fact that woman are all unique individuals who deserve fabulous clothes regardless of their shape or size.

Second, you change the floor set every five minutes, creating chaos and confusion. How am I supposed to find anything when you’re constantly moving all the displays?

Third, you train your employees to harass every customer by following them around the store asking incessantly if they need anything. Then you try to push those customers into signing up for your credit cards and rewards programs, even if they said no the last 50 times they came to the store.

Retail Employees: Another part of your problem is that you hire 20 part-time workers to work 5-10 hours a week each when a small handful of full-time workers could easily cover those same hours. Yet you refuse to schedule anyone for a full 40 hours a week so you don’t have to give them healthcare or benefits. Then you cut people’s hours down even further by sending them home early citing “payroll.”

You tell us this is because “retail jobs are for teenagers and college students,” completely dismissing everyone who has a degree in, oh, let’s say fashion merchandising, for example. It also ignores people who don’t have degrees and people living in rural areas where the closest mall offers most of the non-ag/industrial/manual labor jobs. Yet you pay shit wages that don’t even cover a week’s worth of groceries for most families.

On top of all of that, you demand we harass customers with credit cards to meet arbitrary sales goals when there is absolutely no reward for us. You treat your employees like easily-disposable garbage that you can replace just like that and wonder why your employee turn-over rate is so ridiculously high. You fire people without giving reason or warning so they can’t file for unemployment or get the benefits they need. Then you call this “job creation” and tell us to be grateful for it.

Retailers, you do all of this, every single day, and you wonder why you are shuttering at an alarming rate. Seriously, fuck off.

Corporate Retailers: We just don’t understand why we’re losing customers. Let’s blame Amazon and online shopping! Now get back to work, you ungrateful maggots. We’re cutting your hours and your hourly pay even more. And don’t even ASK for healthcare in the middle of a pandemic! Just be grateful you even have a job!

Now, if you don’t mind, we’re going to go sail around on the yachts we bought with all the money we made off of screwing over both our customers and employees. Then we will beg for a big government bailout when our company goes under! Yay capitalism!

SCRIPT: Feed Your Ex To A Tiger

Betsey is scrolling through Facebook when she comes upon an exciting ad: “CLICK HERE TO FEED YOUR EX TO A TIGER.” Upon following the link, she finds an Exotic Cat Sanctuary page advertising a charity event.

Web Page: Have you ever fantasized about feeding your ex to a tiger? Now you can make that dream come true! For every five dollars you donate, we’ll name a piece of raw meat after your ex and feed it to a tiger on our social media livestream! Every contribution you make goes towards helping end the enslavement of these beautiful, dignified creatures for human entertainment! Whether your contribution goes towards efforts to lobby Congress to pass the necessary legislation, care for the cats, or general upkeep of the facility, rest assured your money is going to good use! Click here to donate today!

Betsey: Hmmm….

After dedicating many long hours to carefully researching the legitimacy of the organization, Betsey makes her decision. She sits down at her computer and begins to pen her email.

Betsey: [reading aloud as she types] To whom it may concern, I am contacting you directly because I would like to make a significant enough contribution to your organization that I receive a tax break in return. I care deeply about protecting the rights of animals, especially exotic animals born, bred, and forever imprisoned in captivity for profit and so-called “entertainment.” My lifelong passion for this cause is something I take very seriously. That is why I want to make such a significant contribution to your organization.

The following list of names is quite lengthy and may take up the majority of your livestream, which I am more than happy to financially compensate you for in return. Here’s my offer of a ridiculous amount of money that only exists in this story. Please let me know what you think. Thank you again for dedicating your life to preserving the dignity of these beautiful creatures.

Betsey attaches a list of names that not only includes her exes, but several former employers and assorted bullies as well. She sends off the letter and waits for a response. A few hours later, she receives an email from the organization’s director.

Director: Dear Betsey, Thank you so much for your donation! I am thrilled to offer you an exclusive spot on our livestream in return for your generous contribution. We will be hosting the event on DATE at TIME. Here’s some super boring info about financial stuff, blah blah blah. Thank you again for working with us to protect exotic animal rights!

On the day of the event, Betsey tunes into the livestream.

Director: Hey there all you cool cats and kittens! We are excited to inform you that our “Feed Your Ex To A Tiger” campaign has been a raging success! We’ve received millions of dollars in donations! You’d be surprised just how many people in this world would feed their ex to a tiger!

… Not that I would know or anything, of course. I didn’t do it, but if I did, I was clearly ridding the world of a shady drug dealer who was regularly flying to a third world country to prey on young girls living in poverty. Is it really that big of a loss to the human race? NO!

Anyway, as I was saying, the number of people who want to see their ex fed to a tiger was so significant that we’ll be doing these livestreams for several months. We might even make it a permanent thing!

That being said, I’d like to dedicate the first episode to Betsey Horton, who sent us a list so long and a contribution so large, we decided to acknowledge her as our top donor! Those of us here at Exotic Cat Sanctuary are grateful to you for helping our cause. Enjoy watching your exes get fed to a tiger, Betsey!

Betsey: [sits back and smirks as the first deer leg is pulled from the pile and waved over a hungry tiger’s head] Thanks, Director Lady. I will.

The End

SCRIPT: Mad Dog’s Associations

INT: BLOODY MARY’S BAR – DAY

Mad Dog is sitting at the end of the bar having a drink when Sam comes over to wash the dishes.

Mad Dog: So… about that Super Bowl Party…

Sam: Oh sorry, Pup, but you’re not allowed to come anymore.

Mad Dog: Why not?

Sam: Because of your “associations.”

Mad Dog: Associations? What associations?

Sam: You know… your associations.

Mad Dog gives Sam a weird look and thinks it over for a moment. Finally, he has a realization.

Mad Dog: It was Billy the Biker Guy, wasn’t it?

Sam: What?

Mad Dog: I used to roll with the Bandidos, you know. That was back when I went to Barber College in Sioux City.

Sam: Um… no. Your other associations.

Mad Dog: [thinks it over again] Oh, you mean Doug. Doug the Drug Dealer. I used to sell mattresses for him back in the day. He still owes me money.

Sam: No.

Mad Dog: It was that damn Indian, wasn’t it? Joe Three Deer! He’s always getting me into trouble. He’s the reason I’ll never go back to the Rez. It’s been thirty years and he’s still trying to kill me!

Sam: No, no, no. I meant your OTHER associations.

Mad Dog: Ohhhh… now I see. It was that set of blonde twins I married in Vegas.

Sam: What?

Mad Dog: Yeah, they were my cousins.

Sam: Huh?

Mad Dog: It was a fast wedding.

Sam: Uhhh… no.

Mad Dog: Well then, I have no idea who you’re talking about.

Sam: I’m talking about Betsey. Betsey Horton. The Writer Extraordinaire. You’re guilty by association. Therefore, you’re disinvited to the party. I don’t want you passing information to her about what goes on here, which is a really dumb thing to say because literally nothing is going on here at all. I know that because I’m bored. So bored. So, so, so, so, so bored. That’s why I’m using you to start this shit with her again. Because I’m bored.

Mad Dog: Really?

Sam: Yeah, really.

Mad Dog: [staring at him in disbelief] We don’t talk about you like that.

Sam: It doesn’t matter. You’re guilty by association. Also, I am bored. Did I mention the fact that I’m bored? Because I am really bored.

Mad Dog gives Sam the once over and shakes his head. Then he finishes his drink and gets up to leave.

Mad Dog: You know, this bar used to be a really great place. Now it’s just a bunch of fucking yuppies.

Mad Dog leaves the bar and wanders over to Betsey’s house, where he finds her writing about a bunch of people who have nothing to do with South Dakota at all.

Mad Dog: You’re not gonna believe what just happened to me at Bloody Mary’s.

Betsey: Let me guess. Someone was a douchebag to you because you have the nerve to be seen out in public with me.

Mad Dog: Yeah.

Betsey rolls her eyes, yawns, and goes back to her writing.

Betsey: Well, if they don’t want me writing about them like they’re a bunch of petty assholes, then they should really stop acting like a bunch of petty assholes. Maybe try apologizing instead?

Mad Dog: Ehhh… fuck ’em. Let’s go to a dive bar in some random small town nearby. I’ll introduce you to some real people.

Betsey: I’m already there, fam.

They hop in the car and drive over the bridge to Nebraska.

The End

SCRIPT: Lisa

Once upon a time, Bloody Mary’s Bar was owned by a woman. This woman is the most badass motherfucker in all of the bar’s history. This is the completely made-up version of her life story, as told by a writer who totally embarrassed herself after waiting years to finally meet this person.

EXT: Outer Space. A lone spaceship hurdles towards Earth at an alarmingly fast speed. It enters the Earth’s atmosphere and heads straight for South Dakota. The subsequent montage of scenes unfold as the Narrator describes them.

Narrator: A long time ago, in a galaxy not-so-far away, an alien baby was sent to Earth to collect data on human beings. A little girl named Lisa saw the bright lights in the sky and watched in awe as the mysterious unidentified object in the sky crash landed in a field near her house. Letting her curiosity get the better of her, Lisa wandered out into the field to investigate. There she discovered the wrecked space ship with a tiny baby inside. She took the baby home to her family, who adopted him and raised him as one of their own. From that day on, the alien vowed to someday return the favor.

Thirty-some odd years later…

A white Cadillac with chromed-out spinners on the wheels speeds down a dirt road towards an abandoned farmhouse. Three men in cowboy hats stand outside waiting. The Cadillac pulls up in front of them. Out steps a young woman dressed in all black carrying a suitcase. She flips her hair back as she adjusts her designer sunglasses. She opens the suitcase to reveal the cash inside.

Lisa: Is that enough for you boys?

The men look at each other and shrug.

Man 1: It’s more than enough. Unfortunately, you are a woman. Therefore, you will never be good enough to run Bloody Mary’s Bar.

Man 2: Why don’t you just get married and have babies like a real woman is supposed to do?

Man 3: Yeah!

Lisa: What the hell? I thought we had a deal! You said you respected me as an equal! Why are you backing out now?

Man 1: Well, we talked it over with a bunch of other men and all of us agree we’re scared of women with power and influence, especially you.

Man 2: The thing is… Bloody Mary’s is a working man’s bar. If we sell it to you, you’ll destroy the integrity of it for future generations to come. That’s why we can’t sell you the bar. We just don’t trust a woman to run it. You might let your crazy, irrational lady emotions and stuff get in the way.

Lisa: Wow. What a bunch of bullshit!

All three men suddenly pull guns on Lisa. She gasps in horror as she realizes she’s been betrayed.

Man 1: We’re sorry, but we can’t sell you the bar.

Man 2: We still want the money though. That’s why we lured you out here to an abandoned farmhouse where no one will hear you scream.

Man 3: Now you will die.

Dramatic music plays as the men start to close in on Lisa. Luckily, right at that moment, the alien appears to save the day. He jumps out of the trunk of the car and shoots each man in the head. Lisa grabs the suitcase full of money and gets in the passenger seat of the car. The alien throws a timed explosive device at the farmhouse and jumps into the driver’s seat. He puts it in reverse, does a donut, and takes off at full speed. They are less than a mile away from the farmhouse when in explodes into flames. Lisa clutches the suitcase to her chest and takes a deep breath as they make their escape.

Lisa: Thanks for rescuing me, Owl. I shouldn’t have come out here alone. I’m glad you showed away in the back to make sure I was safe.

The Owl: Anytime, sis. It’s the least I could do considering the fact that you saved my life once too.

Lisa: But the bar! What are we going to do about the bar?

The Owl: It’s already taken care of.

The Owl points to the glovebox. Lisa opens it and takes out a stack of documents. Everything appears to be in order. All she has to do is sign.

Lisa: Where did you get these?!

The Owl: I have my ways. And don’t worry about the murders. We’ve already taken care of those too.

Lisa smiles at him gratefully as they drive off into the sunset. Three weeks later, the body of the bar’s previous owner is found in a canyon somewhere out in Colorado, half-eaten by wolves. To this day, they’re still don’t know if it was a murder or a suicide.

The End

SCRIPT: That Awkward Moment…

Betsey is standing onstage in front of a huge audience, ranting about what a bunch of bullshit it is that she got kicked out of the bar again.

Betsey: And then I told the Owner he could suck my dick!

Suddenly, the audience gasps. They give her a look like someone important has just appeared behind her.

Betsey: Let me guess. He’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?

The audience shake their heads nervously. Betsey turns around slowly and sees Andrew’s Mom standing right there with a huge smile on her face. Betsey’s eyes widen in shock. Andrew’s Mom titters at Betsey and shakes her head. She walks up to Betsey and pats her on the back.

Andrew’s Mom: You tell him, sweetheart.

Betsey: Thanks, Mom.

Andrew’s Mom: Anytime, sweetie.

She smiles again and walks out the door.

The End

SCRIPT: Commercial Break

Everyone is sitting at Bloody Mary’s Bar minding their own business, except for Betsey. Suddenly, she looks up from her notebook and right into the camera at the audience.

Betsey: We interrupt this episode of Betsey at the Bar to bring you a special message from our sponsors.

The scene changes to a shot of Andrew lounging on his couch watching tv in a PBR t-shirt and a ratty old pair of basketball shorts. His hair is messy and sticking out from the side of his head. Lying on the couch next to him a cute little golden retriever puppy named Sam.

Andrew: Hey Sam-Sam! Do you want a treat?

Sam jumps off the couch and wags his tail enthusiastically.

Andrew: Can you do the special trick I taught you? Can you go get Daddy a beer?

Sam barks enthusiastically and runs out of the room. The camera follows him into the kitchen, where he opens the door to the refrigerator and picks up a pounder of PBR with his mouth. He shuts the door again and carries it back into the living room where Andrew is sitting.

Andrew: Good boy, Sam-Sam! You get a treat!

Andrew takes the beer, tosses Sam a piece of peanut-butter flavored bacon, and smiles at the camera.

Andrew: It’s PBR, the Official Sponsor of Bloody Mary’s Bar!

Sam: Bark bark!

The commercial ends.

The scene changes to an old gas station where Teen Angel is fixing up a car. He is covered in grease and dirt. After working steadily-but-unsuccessfully for a long time, he sighs heavily, puts down his tools, and walks over to a mini-cooler nearby. He pulls out a bottle of Miller High Life, pops the cap, and looks at the camera.

Teen Angel: Miller High Life. The only REAL beer for REAL, hardworking, American men like me.

The commercial ends.

The scene changes to a 1950’s-style suburban kitchen with a cute little brunette housewife setting the table for dinner. She is wearing a nice dress, a frilly apron, and high heels. Her hair is perfectly done up and she has on a full face of makeup. Duke comes home wearing a suit and tie. He hangs his hat up by the door and walks into the kitchen.

Duke: Honey, I’m home!

Duke’s Wife: You’re just in time for dinner, darling. I made your favourite: meat and potatoes with a can of Schlitz on the side.

Duke: Where are the children?

Duke’s Wife: They’re already in bed. I know how you feel about children, honey. They should be neither seen nor heard. That’s why I wanted it to be just us for tonight. I even bought a brand new set of lingerie.

Duke takes the beer and sits down the table. He takes a sip of his Schlitz and smiles happily.

Duke: Ahh, this is the life for me.

Suddenly, he hears somebody calling his name off in the distance. The scene goes blurry as Duke’s daydream dissipates into reality. He finds himself standing in a modern-day suburban kitchen wearing a frilly pink apron. The children are screaming loudly and running around everywhere. He looks down at the pan in front of him and realizes it’s on fire. Suddenly, his wife appears behind him wearing a designer pant suit.

Duke’s Wife: Let me guess. You burned our dinner. Again.

Duke: I’m sorry. It was an accident!

Duke’s Wife: Here I am, out there in the world, working hard, slaving away all day so we can have a good life, and you can’t even have dinner ready when I come home?! What good are you?!

Duke rolls his eyes and goes to the refrigerator to get a can of Schlitz. He raises it up in an imaginary toast as his wife stands there staring at him in utter disbelief.

Duke: Don’t worry, darling. I didn’t burn the beer!

The commercial ends.

The scene changes to Betsey sitting in the bar with a glass of champagne and her notebook. She pours one out for Dubs and orders a Miller High Life instead. Teen Angel serves it to her with a smile on his face. Betsey looks at the camera and winks.

Betsey: I don’t always drink champagne, by when I do, I drink the Champagne of Beers.

Teen Angel: That’s what I’m saying!

The commercial ends.

Betsey: And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Betsey returns to writing in her notebook while her characters return to tending after the bar.

The End

SCRIPT: The Untimely Death of Betsey Horton, Writer Extraordinaire

Betsey is sitting at the bar with Mad Dog when they get into an argument. Betsey is annoyed so she gets up and decides to move over to the opposite end of the bar where The Line of Death usually sits.

Betsey: Oh, woe is me! I really am an old lady now! I’m on the Line of Death and everything!

Howard Hughes looks at her as if she has just uttered the most offensive, scandalous thing he’s ever heard.

Howard Hughes: Just who the hell does this girl think she is?

Betsey: The Line of Death, The Line of Death. What does it really mean to be on The Line of Death? Let me think about it for a moment. Hmm… you know, if I could pick a way to die, it would be eaten by lions while on safari. Why? Because it would make an awesome story, of course!

Howard Hughes: What did she just say?

Betsey: Just think! Everybody would be talking about it for weeks! Months! Years! Maybe even centuries! Yeah, centuries!

Howard Hughes is rendered completely speechless. Andrew smiles at Betsey and sighs dreamily. She winks at him and he winks back. They both know exactly what the other is thinking. Betsey gets up and leaves for the day. When she isn’t seen or heard from in a couple weeks, everyone starts to get worried.

Duke: Not that I really care or anything, but has anyone seen Betsey lately? I noticed she hasn’t been around. Not that I was looking, of course. I only noticed she was gone because it seemed a lot… quieter… around here than usual.

Andrew stands over the cash register and smirks to himself as he rubs his hands together mischeviously. At long last, the opportunity he has been waiting for has arrived. He turns around and puts a solemn look on his face.

Andrew: Yeah, didn’t you hear? Betsey Horton died!

Duke: What? How?

Andrew: She was eaten by lions!

Duke: Oh come on, Andrew. Don’t put us on.

Andrew: No, it’s true, it’s true. I was there! I saw the whole thing! It was awful! There was blood everywhere!

Duke: That doesn’t make any sense. How was she eaten by lions?

Andrew: She was on safari and she got too close to the lions so they ate her. I mean, they really just ripped her apart. At the end the hyenas came in. Once they were done, the vultures picked her off. Then all the the flies came and laid their eggs. It was super gross. There were maggots crawling all over the place. Then her body decomposed and became the grass. And then the antelope ate the grass and the lions ate the antelope.

Duke: What?

Andrew: Yeah. But like, that’s just nature, you know? The Circle of Life and all that. Yeah, I learned about it when I watched The Lion King with my daughter. It was so deep, you guys. It really affected me a lot and just, like, changed my whole perspective on things. It’s sad that she died, but she always wanted to go on safari, and she did say she would choose to be eaten by lions, so I mean, at least she lived her dream. How many of you can say you died living your dream? No one, because we’re all still sitting here alive. Think about that.

Everyone in the bar stares at Andrew in shock. They believe him. They actually, really, truly, deeply in their hearts believe him. They all sit there in silence looking super sad. Nobody knows what to say. Suddenly, Howard Hughes steps up to the plate. He buys everyone in the bar a shot of LaRue.

Howard Hughes: I say we make a toast to Betsey Horton, Writer Extraordinaire! To the bravest woman on The Line of Death!

Everyone in the bar drinks. There’s a moment of silence. Duke looks absolutely torn apart.

Andrew: What is it, Duke?

Duke: I just feel so guilty! I made up all these lies about her and told them to anyone who would listen. I was so mean to her all the time! But really she wasn’t so bad all along. I wish she was here now to wake me from my slumber with her loud, obnoxious laugh.

Andrew: Aww, that’s very sweet of you, Duke. I’m sure if Betsey was here right now, she would appreciate the sentiment.

Mad Dog: Oh will you guys just shut the hell up already? You’re nothin’ but a bunch of cry babies! Hey bartender, get me another beer, would ya?!

Andrew: Don’t you have anything nice to say, Mad Dog? Betsey was your friend!

Mad Dog: Meh. I’m no good at this stuff. I’d rather just drink a beer and smoke a joint instead.

Andrew: Fair enough. I can’t say Betsey would disagree with you there.

Suddenly, Betsey Horton walks into the bar, completely alive and 100% intact. Everyone turns around and stares at her in shock. They look like they’ve all just seen a ghost.

Betsey: What are you guys staring at? Is there something on my dress?

Everyone turns back around and looks Andrew with severely annoyed expressions on their face. Duke looks the angriest of them all.

Andrew: Uh… Hey guys. What’s up?

They promptly rip him to shreds like he’s Scar after the hyenas turn on him.

The End

Overheard at Bloody Mary’s Bar

One of my favourite things about being a writer is my collection of quotes. I have been collecting them since I was in high school. The following is a collection of quotes taken from my favourite bar, Bloody Mary’s. I have mined them from several notebooks I’ve used over the last three years. Some are attributed, while others are not. I hope you enjoy the show!

Mad Dog: This place sucks. Let’s go to Cleo’s.
Me: Ugh, why on Earth would anyone ever want to go to Cleo’s?
Mad Dog: The beer here is too expensive.
Me: It’s not expensive compared to a city. Besides, you’re not paying for the beer. You’re paying for the Bloody Mary’s Bar Experience™.
Mad Dog: What’s that? Sitting at the bar alone while everyone else in the room judges you?
Me: I see what you’re saying, but why sit at the bar when you can go outside and sit on the patio?
Mad Dog: You got on me on that one right there.

“What is it? The 1800’s?”
“Well, it is South Dakota.”

“Are you finished?”
“Yeah, I’m Finnish. Just kidding! I’m Polish.”

“He’s the Cornelius Vanderbilt of Social Security.”
“What does that even mean?”

“I keep my house emasculate.”

“If you’re seen slow dancin’ with him, it’ll ruin your reputation.”

“My couch may pull out, but I don’t.”

“I took so many pictures last night, I had to delete some apps to make room for them all.”

“I gave up Catholicism for Lent… five years ago.”

“Do you think we’ll ever make it back out to the Hills alive?”
“You two sound like a couple of old cowboys.”
“We are a couple of old cowboys.”

Mad Dog: Let me tell you a story about that guy sitting right over there. That guy was hired to kill me. He tried everything. He even tried to run me over with his car. Finally, he realized, he can’t kill me. I’m invincible.

Mad Dog: Andrew used to be a fun guy. Always surrounded by women! Women everywhere! He was nice until he became–
Andrew: A Capitalist?

“Sioux Falls is like a suburb without a city.”

Mad Dog: In a few years, you can retire. Upgrade to Executive Level. Become a traveling bartender. You know… Ski Slope Mama.
Andrew: Ski Slope Mama???

Mad Dog: [points to my phone] Can you find me a list of everyone who’s currently in jail?

“George W. Bush definitely has Jedi Powers. Did you see him dodge those shoes? Normal people can’t do that.”

Andrew: I went to Prom Dinner at Al’s Oasis.
Me: You went to Prom Dinner at The Taxidermy Capital of the World?!
Andrew: What? It’s a nice place. It’s the nicest place in town!
Me: [horrified stare]

“You’re not a real Catholic until you’ve had an exorcism.”

“It’s always been one of my dreams to pop an eye out.”

“I would never never teach Sylvia Plath, just because I would never want to be implicated in someone’s suicide.”

“The other day I was just driving along and everything was so idyllic, you know? And then I thought… I might die here.”

“I’m not gay, but I’ve got a huge guy crush on Steve McQueen!”

“I worked in a slaughter house once. I lasted a day. Not because I was against it, but because it was too far away.”

Tattoo Guy: There’s nobody real in this bar tonight. Everyone is just an actor playing their part on the stage of life. It’s all so fake and meaningless.
Me: Wow, TG, that’s actually really deep and insightful. I’m totally going to write that one down in my notebook.

Me: Oh, like Fixer-Upper?
Andrew’s Mom: More like… Burner-Downer!

“He’s ex-military.”
“Oh, so it’s his job to be an asshole.”
“Yeah, old ex-military is the worst.”

“It’s hot. I’m hungry. They’re 18. Let’s go.”

Me: [barging into Bloody Mary’s right at opening] Is there something going on here that I should know about?!
PJ: Uhh… there’s an employee meeting at five?

“Oh, you made multiple mistakes tonight? Welcome to Bloody Mary’s Bar.”

“Here, you smoke this while I go get a drink.”

“It’s not a real 21st birthday if you don’t end up in a jail cell.”

“They call him Smoke Manning.”

“It’s not Betsey. I would have heard her.”

“I literally have a Masters degree in figuring people out and I don’t understand what’s going on with men.”

Some Rando Who Just Got Out of Jail: This town is bizarre. It’s like I’m trapped in some kind of movie.

“I looked out my window and it was like a time warp.”

“I thought it’d be a dirty old cattle town, but it was actually a nice, clean place.”

“They call him Shithouse Dan. He’s from Texas. We wrote a song about him.”

Townie: [to Andrew] You’re better in real life.

Me: Owl, when did we find out who Edward Snowden was?
Owl: June 5th, 2013. Wait, who is we? Do you mean me, or everybody else?

Mad Dog: Did you get married?
Townie: Yes.
Mad Dog: [shakes his head and rolls his eyes] Another Idiot.
[All the married men in the room laugh. Andrew laughs the loudest.]

“My only plan in life is not to have a plan.”

“Smokin’ dope and runnin’ porn.”
“Sounds like the life.”

Mad Dog: Why aren’t you out there stealing Trump signs? That’s where all the money is!

“Can I get you something?”
“A new life.”

“I’m gonna squeeze it like it’s a chicken’s neck.”

“I don’t want to pee or piss all over your place of business.”

“So you’re mad at me because I have too many opinions?”
“Yes.”

[introducing me to someone new]
“This is the woman who owns my soul.”

“With all the money I handle, I probably have the immune system of a cockroach.”

“Sorry I’m not all smiles today!”

“What’s the matter? Why do you have that look on your face? Haven’t you ever smoked weed out of a giant plastic bag before?”
“No!”

“I love Star Wars!”
“Who doesn’t? [long pause] Fascists.”

“I don’t necessarily have the nicest wiener.”

“I don’t think you realize that when a jackal gets hungry, it eats.”

“I’m not saying you’re my Rosaline. You might be Juliet!”

“I’m immune to the charms of most men.”

“This song really pushes the boundaries of what it means to be music.”

Me: [comes in a cowboy-like getup]
Bartender: Why are you dressed like that?
Me: This is how South Dakota people dress.
Bartender: I’ve never seen a South Dakotan dressed like that.

“You ever look at people and think, wow, drugs are bad? Well, these are the kind of people you look at and think, wow, drugs are magic!”

“I feel like we all have pieces of the same story.”

Artist Kid: [comes in wearing a vintage leather jacket] On a scale of 1-10, how Kyle is this jacket?

“And then the evil villain mastermind sent his henchmen to spy on me.”

“My stripper name is Diamond.”

Mad Dog: [randomly, out of nowhere] Have you ever met the Hershey’s Chocolate Family?
Me: What?
Mad Dog: Hershey’s… like the chocolate.
Me: What?
Mad Dog: They’re from Germany.

Mad Dog: [talking and talking] You got all this down?

Me: I’m hungry.
Date for the Evening: Me too.
Me: Let’s go get R-Pi.
Date: No way. Can’t do it. [long and calculating pause] That would absolutely destroy my calorie count for the day.

“There’s an awful lot of ass-fucking going on around here.”
“Well, it is South Dakota.”

Mad Dog: Every day is Halloween.

“My mother always used to say that if you gotta go, you say you gotta water the lilies.”

Me: I’m gonna go watch Andrew paint the awning.
Mad Dog: Me too! I hope he’s wearing his tight little shorts.
Me: [excitedly] Me too!

“Haven’t you ever gotten naked and rolled around in paint before?”

“He lived in his house for eight years and only cleaned his bathroom once. He is The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Mad Dog: Andrew, you’re the only person in this world that I like.

Mad Dog: Garden Gnomes are my favourite animal.

“I made a beer bong out of a flamingo lawn ornament in college. We called it The Flabongo.”

Mad Dog: You know the only reason why I like baseball?
Me: Why?
Mad Dog: Because it was the only thing they let us watch in study hall.

“Take your work seriously, but not your life.”

“I’m not thinking right now. I’m just talking.”

“Winter is for getting drunk and pissing all over yourself.”

“Sorry I wasn’t smiling at 7am!”

“I’m not really a joke person. I’m more like an anecdote kind of person.”

“Do you live out in the country?”
“No, I live on Jefferson Street.”

“You know you’ve hit a low point in life when you’re getting into a fistfight over a 30-pack of Keystone Light.”

“I’ll have a water with no ice, please.”

Rando from SoMD: I hope you put Southern Maryland on the map.
Me: Be careful what you wish for.

“Welcome to Bloody Mary’s International. The Owl is flying. Jester can check the luggage. He’s not allowed near the bar anymore after mixing this terrible drink.”

“You’re just like my pinky toe. You’re cute and little and I’m probably going to bang you on the table later tonight.”

Mad Dog: [catches me sitting on the bench outside of Bloody Mary’s] Well, well, well… look who I found sitting out on the streets of Paris.

“All I know about the Illuminati is that they’re on the dollar bill.”

“Oh my god! There’s not enough brains in all three of them to make one!”

“I’m sure I’ll see you all much sooner than I want to.”

“I worked at that gas station before it was a Casey’s.”

“I’ll have the cheapest beer you have.”

Me: I was actually supposed to meet somebody important here tonight.
Mad Dog: Was it me? I’m the only person who’s important here.

Me: That was fun.
Mad Dog: Not as fun as watching a sunset.

Mad Dog: Hey Andrew! Are you ready to go to the strip club now?
Andrew: [dead serious] Yes.

Mad Dog: And that was the first time I saw a really nice set of titties.
Me: The End.